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Apr 27, 2012

Guest Post: One "O" or two "Os"

Hello everyone. I'm back ... at least for a couple of weeks, before I have to run off again to follow up on dad's condition with the doc.
Thanks all for being patient with all this inactivity. Whoo! I can tell you where all the activity was .... back home, at the hospital. But after all the last 10 days' of tests and specialists, we know that it isn't life threatening and not too serious altho looking at the discomfort, depression and distress dad was in really turns my stomach.

Anyway, here I am, with a guest post that is loooong overdue. This was suppose to be set for when I'm gone but things happened earlier than planned and I just wasn't prepared. But thank goodness for this ... I'm so exhausted right now after having just returned home yesterday. So while I recuperate and recharge my old batteries, enjoy!

Veronica, aka, Lucy (as in Lucille Ball), aka Quay Po of Quay Po Cooks, really doesn't need any introduction. She's got tons of fans from all over. And if you need an explanation as to why she calls herself "Lucy", head over to her space and read all about it.
I had the pleasure to meet up with her before all this hoohah happened.
She's such a lovely person to talk to and to be with. It was just the two of us and I don't believe we had even a moment's awkward silence (quite common with first meets) in the hours we had together.
Here's hoping we meet up more times once things settle down on my side.

Here she is, folks! Applause, please .....

One “O” or two “Os”

When Ping asked me to do a guest post for her, I felt honored. I immediately jumped on the offer. It is a great feeling to know that you are regarded as a friend and are trusted to write a post for her. Thanks Ping for thinking of me.

Ping’s blog is one that I love to visit because I always admire her incredible creation of new recipes and also the gorgeous food pictures she puts up on her blog. I also enjoy her humor and the wittiness in her writing.

The last time I met up with Ping, I brought with me some French Macarons, with lemon curd, durian filling, and was so anxious for her to taste the macs. You might guess what happened next. When I told her about the macarons, she said she does not eat durian. Aiyoh, I felt so silly for not inquiring first. I love, love love durian and am clearly guilty of assuming all Malaysians will like it too. I forgot that Ping, while a true blue Malaysian, has worldly taste. I should have made the Macarons with kumquat chocolate ganache fillings for her. Now the kumquat season is over, so I guess I can only make that one for her next year.
So the next time we meet up again, my dear Ping, I will make some of these American coconut macaroons (note, two Os) for you instead.

When I first became infatuated with macarons (note, one O) I mentioned to my Quay Lo (my husband) that I was going to learn to make them but I pronounced it as Macaroons. He was very pleased and when I first produced some from the oven that had not crack into halves, or collapse in a messy blotch in the pan, I proudly took a few to him to try. He took one look at them and said “Darling, what is this? These are not Macaroons. I don’t know what these are.” In fact, my husband’s response was no surprise. The recipe for today is indeed an American concoction which they borrowed from Scottish recipes. The principal ingredients consist of egg whites, sugar and shredded coconut. It is the only confection that my Quay Lo knew to be called Macaroon. It is sometimes called a “Coconut Macaroon” just to be sure the listener knows that it is not the classic French Macaron. Sensing my Quay Lo’s disappointment (which was brief as he was soon devouring the Macarons I had offered) I decided to give the Coconut Macaroon (ala American) a try. Here is the recipe along with the photos and I have to say, I like both confections very much. Still, as I told my Quay Lo, I felt that the Macarons (ala French) is a more refined pastry. “Darling, It has been around since 1791 according to the bible of French culinary wonders, the Larousse Gastronomique” I said to him breezily. “Not when you make it so that it smells like sewer water, my dear” he said dryly back.
So you see my dear Ping, you and my Quay Lo are of the same view and I am out voted. So this recipe is for you and your readers with some assurance that these smell perfectly divine… I promise.


2 large egg whites
3 tbs flour
a pinch salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 (7-ounce) package sweetened shredded coconut
½ tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixer whip egg whites and salt until they become foamy. Add sugar in slowly. Continue to whip until the egg whites are stiff peaks. Add vanilla extract. Fold in shredded coconut and flour.

On parchment lined cookie sheets, drop a teaspoon of the mixture leaving 1 to 2 inches around each cookie. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The outside should be golden brown but the insides should still be moist.

Optional: Drizzle dark chocolate ganache.

Apr 12, 2012

Guest Post: Cannelés by Sissi

I'm so blessed with so many blogger friends who are so willing to help me out during this period.
I mentioned earlier of a family medical crisis which will be causing me some time away from blogging. I won't bore you about it.
Just be assured that there will be some very interesting guest posts for you while I'm away. I will slot in some of my spur-of-the-moment type dishes during some lull moments as well. Oh, how I treasure those lull moments these days ...

Anyway, here's Sissi. One very special lady with a penchant for the exotic stuff. Take this Cannelés recipe for instance, it's oh-so-complicated (I like the part about "big amount of rum" tho) and so delicate ... and she made these for me! I'm very flattered Sissi, that you've gone to so much trouble to help me out. I love this! How I wish I could actually taste it.
You'll need to check out her space at With a Glass to see all the fantastic, Korean, Japanese, French .... and she says I have wide-ranging culinary interests?

Nuff said ....
Here she is!

Hello, my name is Sissi and I am honoured to guest blog today on Ping's wonderful blog. Ping is one of my dearest blogging friends and one of the rare people who always make me laugh with her writing style and unique sense of humour. Thanks to Ping's wide-ranging culinary interests, her posts are always surprising and often result in an amazing discovery, such as the excellent Coconut Pie, which has become a staple in my house. Since Ping is particularly fond of unusual patterns and originally shaped pastry (I still get hypnotised looking at these spirals), I have decided to write about Cannelés de Bordeaux, hoping their cute shape brings a smile to her face. Thank you, Ping for inviting me to your blog!

Cannelés (or canelés) de Bordeaux are one of my favourite sweet treats and it would be difficult to say which aspect I appreciate the most. Their taste, aroma, texture and even the beautiful shape are all irresistible. I still remember the first time I tasted them. I loved their rich flavours and was totally blown away by their extraordinary, springy softness. As their name suggests, cannelés come from Bordeaux in France, but they are very popular all around the country and also become famous abroad. Different sources quote different origins, but all agree that the characteristic shape, as well as the obligatory vanilla and rum presence are quite recent and date back to the beginning of the XXth century.

Cannelés are not really difficult, but they require patience, close attention during the long baking process, they do not accept shortcuts and every modification is a big risk. French websites, forums and blogs are full of cannelé recipes and related tips, but I must admit that I had to go through several failed experiments before I found a method that works with my oven and my silicone moulds. From my experience a big amount of rum as well as 24 hours refrigeration are necessary to obtain the optimum taste and texture. Apparently old-fashioned copper moulds guarantee the best results, but they are not easy to use and I am perfectly happy with the cannelés I obtain with very convenient silicone moulds. I have adapted my recipe from the one featured on Marmiton.

Preparation: 15 min + 24 hours in the fridge + about 1h30

INGREDIENTS (makes 18-20 cannelés):

500 ml (2 cups) milk
25 g (a bit less than 1 oz) butter
pinch of salt
200 g (1 cup) sugar
100 g (about 3/4 cup) flour
100 ml (about 0,4 cup) white rum
1 vanilla pod (sliced in two, lengthwise)
2 eggs
2 egg yolks


In a big bowl combine the flour, the eggs, the yolks, the sugar and the salt.
Pour the milk into a pot, add the butter and the vanilla pod.
Bring to boil.
Pour the boiling milk mixture into the bowl and combine with the remaining ingredients, constantly stirring.
When the batter has cooled down, take out the vanilla pods and scrape off the grains into the bowl, discarding the empty pods.
Add the rum, give the batter a stir and put into the fridge (covered) for 24 hours.

The following day preheat the oven to 250°C.
Fill the baking moulds up with the cold batter to the 2/3 of the height.
(If you make several batches put the remaining batter back to the fridge).
Put the moulds to the oven immediately and bake at 250°C (480°F) for 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for 50-60 minutes (in the case of my oven it's only 50 minutes).
Take the cannelés out of the oven and let them cool completely before removing from the mould.
They should be browned outside, but still soft inside.

Cannelés keep fresh for three days (or maybe more but I have never had a chance to check...).

Apr 5, 2012

Happy Easter!

Have a Happy Easter, everyone!

I must apologize for this being a repost of my past Easter stuff. I'm in a bit of a family medical crisis and not have much time nor enthusiasm (and "glowing" at the same time) to cook or bake or write much ... definitely not good company. And to top it all off, I have the flu. Yup, a case of over-glowing. Why do they say "catch a cold" when it's the heat that causes it? Why not catch the hots? :D
English is so strange, it's no wonder us Asians (some non Asians too) find it so confusing and keep getting the wrong message all the time ... not too good when it comes to business ... I suppose it could get worse during world peace negotiations .... Hooboy!
I remember my late uncle who couldn't even get his tongue around the simplest English word and had to deal with an overseas call when all the English-speaking staff were out to lunch ... he told the poor confused guy, "I am Missy Lao" ... actually meaning to say "I am busy now". Luckily they didn't lose that business contract.
My train is going off-track again, isn't it? I tend to do that a lot.

Easter ... that's right.
Just sharing some stuff I'd made last year. Easter isn't celebrated in a huge way here (perhaps in the expat community and the good Christians going to church).

Here ya go:

Hot Cross Buns for breakfast

and a bit of variation

Something for tea

For dessert

or maybe I should call them "first-aid" macs?

Cocktail hour!

What do folks eat for a meal at Easter? Educate me, please.

There will be a bit of a slow down here as well as blog love and visits but that doesn't mean I've forgotten about you. Will be back full blast once this medical crisis bit (and I don't mean my itty-bitty flu) gets settled (might take a while tho). ♥♥♥