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May 31, 2012

Simple Shrimp Pasta

Another quickie dish with a quickie pic.

Normally I'd add in some squid rings and some mussels if I can find some fresh ones in the market .... a seafood pasta. But not this time.
This could get all hoity-toity if you dress it up a little and do the pasta twirl on a fancy plate and call it "Pasta al Frutti di Mare" or "Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Frutti di Mare" or something of the sort, but I've unhoity-toity it to save some time.
Today, it's got to be quick. So, today, it's plain ol' Shrimp Pasta, or in all hoity-toityness ... "Pasta Piccante di Gamberetti". (Italian speaking folks ... did I get that right?)

(I am a little behind in my postings as well as visits to all your lovely posts. I shall slowly, but surely, make my way through them all. Also, I usually make it a point to reply to every single comment made on all of my posts, guest posts included. I definitely will reply to everyone soon once I'm fully recovered from my bleary state and have tuned my very tired being to regular mode. Oh, and in case anyone is interested, things are better now. Thank you all for your well wishes and concern and of course, all the help with the guest posts.)

So, in the meantime, you find out what a half-zonked person eats.
Pasta is actually one of my many comfort foods. Hey, I need the carbs for energy.
I can't think straight, I can't write straight, I can't spell stagriht (eek), I'm gonna shut up and eat.

(Note: This recipe is for 2 - 3 people. Adjust amounts to suit your taste.)

half a garlic bulb (not clove, bulb), finely chopped
10 - 12 medium prawns / shrimp, shelled
1 medium-sized fennel bulb, sliced (I looove fennel, don't you just love fennel?)
chilly flakes (I used about 1 tbs)

2 - 3 tbs grapeseed / olive oil

1 small bunch of coriander, chopped
salt, to taste

prepared spaghetti for 2 - 3 people (al dente)


Heat oil in a wok or deep frying pan.
Stir in garlic, chilly flakes and shrimp.
Give it a quick stir (you don't want to burn the chilly flakes, otherwise you'll get a slight bitter flavor and also to not overcook the shrimp) and add in the fennel. Stir fry until fennel is lightly translucent.
(If you want to be a little more refined, remove the shrimp when it's just cooked and set aside. I couldn't be bothered.)
Toss in the prepared pasta and chopped coriander.
Turn off the heat and mix well.
Add in salt to taste.
Add more chilly flakes if you like it spicy.

May 21, 2012

Guest Post: Elisabeth's Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pudding

Two of my very favorite ingredients! Hmm ... come to think of it, I have not many that I dislike. Maybe it might be easier to just say that FOOD is my favorite ingredient! ... as long as there's no durian in it. Yup, must always put that clause in, in case someone accidently slips in some. :D
I'll definitely be making this soon. It sounds simple enough for me not to mess up and sooooo delicious!

Here's introducing Elisabeth of Food and Thrift Finds ... wait a minute, what am I saying?! There really isn't a need to introduce Elisabeth. She's well known in the food blog world. She's the one who's always the first to give her support to a newbie blogger and have continued to be a great friend. Yeah, that's the one ... you know her. She's blog-sitting for me while I run off again for a short while. Thank you, dear friend.
A pro in her field with a big heart. Need I say more?
Here she is with such sweet words .........*blush*

I am so thrilled and honored to guest post for my dear friend Ping, whom I had the pleasure of meeting since we both started our food blogs, nearly two years ago... and have been supporting each other throughout the entire time. Ping has a meticulous food blog, and is very specific about her more than one, or two, and always a specific size...unlike my photos, which vary in sizes, and step-by-step directions when time permits. Ping has an amazing sense of humor, and always has the right thing to say, on any subject given...only in a "lighthearted" way! Her photos are always perfect, and immaculate, her choice of dishes, desserts, and baked goods are "drop dead" gorgeous, and makes you want to see, and get more! She is kind, and caring, and you will feel blessed to have her as a friend...a beautiful friend, indeed!

Thank you Ping for asking me to guest post..."the second time around!"

(* In case anyone's wondering about the "second time around" .... Elisabeth so kindly did a post for me earlier but was coincidentally the same recipe as QuayPoCooks Macaroons. You can see it here and here. How lucky am I?)

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pudding
created by: Elisabeth


3 cups whole milk
yolks of 5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
5 oz semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
Sweetened Whipped Cream, for garnish


Whisk sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan, to blend. Gradually, whisk in milk, then egg yolks.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and stirring gently, cook for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.

Pour mixture, into a bowl. Add chocolate by breaking it into chunks; add peanut butter. Let stand for a minute, and stir gently together, to combine until well blended.
Carefully spoon pudding into glass goblets, or parfait glasses, smoothing surface of pudding after each

Place plastic wrap directly over pudding, to keep skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs. or longer.
Garnish with whipped cream, and enjoy!

May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day !

Mother: (Moth-er) : n

~ A female human/animal (we behave like animals too sometimes), who loves unconditionally ..... be it her own family, her partner and her friends (virtual or otherwise).

~ A male human/animal who cares for and loves his children when there is no mother around (for whatever reasons)

(No discrimination here)

Happy Mothers' Day, everyone!
I'm sure we've been mothers sometime in our lives, whether to our own kids, cats, dogs, pets, car (?), food processor (me) and even to our own parents when they get old and infirmed.
Bottom line ... unconditional.

Have a great weekend!

May 9, 2012

Raspberry Ripple Cheese Tart

I did say I couldn't get myself into the mood to cook nor bake at this point of time but things are starting to look up a little. Also there are certainly no shortage of seriously tempting recipes around to get me going.
This was one of many. And I've also not made a cheesecake for the longest time. My family likes the non-baked ones, which is what I usually do (one day, that will get posted ... one day). The baked cheesecakes have always been a little too rich for me.
But when I saw this on Charles' page @ Five Euro Food, I knew I needed to make this and my tummy actually growled in approval! Definitely a good distraction from my worries for the moment. Not only that, the raspberry coulis, I knew, was going to balance out the richness of the cheesecake, so this was going to be a good one!

I called it a tart coz I'd sort of halved the recipe and it fitted perfectly into my flan pan ... and a couple of teeny tartlet tins. If you'd like the full recipe, please visit Charles, check out the English gentleman, ogle at his food and pics and get that idea of "English people eat only jellied eels and fish and chips" out of your head .... what? Nobody thinks that? Only me? Whoops .... (sorry, old chap) ... I forgot about Chicken Tikka Masala :)
(Please don't hate me).


8 digestive biscuits
40g butter

250 g cream cheese
1/3 cup cream
1 tbs plain flour
80 g sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk

1/4 cup raspberry coulis (I used frozen berries pureed with 1 tbs lemon juice)


Preheat oven to 180˚C

For the base:

Place biscuits in a food processor. Buzz til you get fine crumbs.
Melt the butter in the microwave and stir into the crumbs. (It should resemble wet sand)
Press into the bottom and sides of a shallow pie tin or in this case, I'd used an 8" tart / flan pan.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove and cool.

*Note: I made this a second time without baking the crust first and it also worked fine. I'd placed it in the fridge while I made the filling.

For the filling:

* Here you can use a hand/electric whisk. I'd used my food processor again after cleaning it of the crumbs.

Put in the cream cheese, eggs and flour. Buzz to mix evenly. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom if needed.
Add the sugar and cream. Process until smooth.
Pour mixture into cooled crust.
Drizzle the coulis over the top. (I'd used a chopstick to make the streaks)
Bake for about 30 minutes.
Cool and place in refrigerator for a couple of hours to set a little (this was the hardest to do ... the waiting!)
(Don't ask me how long it keeps for, coz this was gone within 24 hours)

May 3, 2012

YTF: Unplugged

No relation whatsoever with WTF .... and I don't mean the World Tennis Federation. Go figure it out for yourself .... or ask any teenager what WTF stands for. I'm too prim and proper (ahem) to say it out here.

YTF, as in Yong Tau Foo, our local get-your-hands-on-any-vege-and-stuff-it-with-some-fish-or-meat-paste type dish. In my case, I left it unstuffed or according to the title, unplugged. Instead, I've used the minced meat in the gravy.
The traditional YTF is usually stuffed with fish paste .... I can't see myself eating this with a fish-type sauce and meatarians we are in this household. I've used minced pork here, but you can always substitute it with minced chicken.

This is so not the typical YTF. This is my spur of the moment version, my what-else-can-I-add-to-this version. The I'm-too-tired-but-I-gotta-eat version. It worked out quite well altho I think I'd add more mince to it next time. Even the pic is "spur of the moment", taken with my mobile phone, still trying to figure out how to use its camera to its full potential.

Just in case you're wondering what's on the platter ... besides the little bowl of gravy.
From left to right: eggplant, firm tofu (tub tofu, yes TUB, not tube, tofu), ladies fingers, tofu puffs and fresh chilly.


These are the usual stuff (pun intended) for YTF but feel free to add whatever suits your fancy:

eggplant, sliced
firm tofu, cut into wedges or thick slices
ladies fingers, whole
fresh whole chillies, seeded (or leave them unseeded if you're feeling sadistic)
puffed tofu
bitter gourd, seeded and sliced
long beans (this one's just blanched in stock)
... have I left anything out?

For the gravy: (you'll need to adjust your amounts depending on how much of the YTF condiments you have)

1 cup minced meat
1/2 cup water
2 tsp sugar
2 tbs miso
1 tbs oyster sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
chopped scallions

cornflour + water, to thicken


Singe the veges and tofu on a lightly oiled pan until lightly browned.
Leave aside while you prepare the gravy.

Stir fry the chopped garlic in a little oil.
Add the minced meat and stir fry until browned and cooked.
Add in water, miso, oyster sauce, stir to mix well.
Taste to see if you need to add all 2 tsp of sugar.
Stir in the balsamic vinegar.
Bring to a boil and add in enough of the cornflour and water solution to thicken to gravy-like consistency.

Sprinkle with chopped scallions and serve.