Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Fruit And Muesli Muffins

Before this post, I have only seen and read "Muesli" in supermarkets and recipe books. It is only until I try out these wonderful "cereal" from VOGEL's which consists of uncooked rolled oats, real dried fruits and nuts that I totally fell in love with them. In fact I have replace my usual breakfast cornflakes to these yummy muesli for my milk, cooked oats, yoghurt and bakes.

Here I am sharing a 3 Steps:- Stir, Mix and Bake wholesome Fruit And Muesli Muffins recipe which you could bake anytime of the day and keep the extra in the freezer for up to 3 months. But if you love fruits and nuts, I promise these muffins would gone even without you notice them.

These Muesli are made mainly using ingredients such as grains, fruits, nuts and seeds from New Zealand which are free from artificial flavours or colours. VOGEL's mueslis combine the natural, less processed ingredients with those that pack essential healthy boosting components such as antioxidants, fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Gifts - Classic Chocolate Brownie and Cheddar Cheese Crackers

What is your PERFECT Christmas Gift! I am sure everyone loves to receive something special for Christmas and for us homemade gifts are perfect for this festive season. You could bake some cookies, truffles, fruit cakes or DIY some special craft and etc for your family or friends.

In this post I would like to share with you two sample bakes that I have made as Christmas Gifts for my friends.


CLASSIC CHOCOLATE BROWNIE


A chocolate recipe that is foolproof at all time would be this Donna Hay, Classic Brownie which comes in handy for all occasions.  Instead of the usual rectangle shape brownie I have made these star shaped brown using foil cases from IKEA which is just perfect for Christmas Gift. 

Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Oct-Nov 2011 issue
(serves: 10 Stars | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 16 - 20 minutes)

Ingredients:
200g Dark Chocolate, chopped
140g Unsalted Butter, cubes
1 Cup(175g) Brown Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup (75g) Plain Flour


Method:-
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place half chocolate(100g) and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth.

2. All to cool slightly to lukewarm.

3. Place sugar, eggs and flour in a big mixing bowl with the chocolate mixture and mix till well combined.

4. Stir through the remaining chocolate pieces and spoon the mixture into the star shaped foil cases(I bought the star shaped cases from IKEA).

5. Bake for 16 - 20 minutes depending on the size of your mould or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

6. Allow it to cool and dust with extra cocoa powder and icing sugar.

Before serving or packing you could dust the star brownies with some extra Cocoa Powder and icing sugar to give it a better outlook as gift. I have baked this brownie for 17 minutes which I feel it could be even better if I under bake it for another 1 or 2 minutes to achieve that more moist effect with melted chocolate.


CHEDDAR CHEESE CRACKERS


This is my first time making cheese crackers for Christmas instead of our usual Gingerbread Man. These savoury treats can be an appetizer to go with champagne or any yoghurt/cheese dips before Main Course or even as a gift-giving items. And beware this is a very addictive snacks that would be gone in no times.


(Makes: about 40 crackers | Preparation: 5 minutes + 30 minutes chilling |
Cooking: 12 minutes each batch)

Ingredients:
210g Plain Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon MasterFoods Paprika
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
165g Butter, soften
165g Grated Cheddar Cheese
Beaten Egg for glazing

Method:-
1.Sift flour, baking powder, paprika, salt and black pepper into a bowl.

2. Mix softened butter using a spoon with Cheddar until they are well blended.

3. Add dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the cheese mixture and mix until it form a soft dough.

4. Slightly flatten the dough between two sheet of baking paper and wrapped it up and place into a zip lock bag before refrigerate it from 30 minutes to firm up.

5. Take out half portion of the dough, floured work surface and roll dough into 0.5cm thick. Cut dough with desired shaped cutters and place them 1cm apart on baking tray.

6. Bake in preheated 180°C oven for about 12 minutes or till golden in colour. Remove and set aside on rack to cool before packing.


GRILLED CHICKEN WITH AGLIO e OLIO


After spending a few hours in the kitchen baking the above Christmas Gifts we had this quick and simple pasta dish for dinner. I have marinated the boneless chicken drumstick with Portuguese Seasoning and some fresh rosemary herbs.

While the chicken is cooking on the pan, I also prepared some Aglio e Olio (you can refer a similar "Spaghetti Aglio e Olio" recipe HERE) and garden salad to complete the dish.

Lastly I would love to wish everyone MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Yule Chocolate Log Featured @ Yahoo Makanation

It's three more days to Christmas and I am sure most of us are busy getting gifts, preparing bakes or planning  for the Christmas Menu for family or friends gathering. For this year, if you would like to make something easy and yet filled with festive feel perhaps you could try your hands on this quick and easy Yule Chocolate Log.

About two weeks back I received an email from Lorraine of Makansutra requesting to feature a quick and easy recipe post on Christmas Log Cake. So with some twist on my old recipe, I made a chocolate swiss roll and assemble it with some chocolate spread and whipped cream.

For more read-up and recipe of this Yule Chocolate Log, please refer to the article at Makanation HERE.

Once again!!! I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and feast more!!!!!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Roast Chicken with Portuguese Seasoning for Christmas

Christmas is just 5 days down the road and everyone is busying preparing Christmas menu and bakes for the coming festive gatherings. This year Christmas is early for us as I have prepared a hearty Roast Chicken with Portuguese Seasoning together with some roasted vegetables for a hearty family meal.

My mum was excited while preparing this dish together with me in the kitchen as this is her first hands-on roasting dish. And she was surprised that it was actually so easy to get everything done within less than 10 minutes and just pop it into the oven and we could enjoy the yummy roast after 2 hours time.

Last two week my brother has bought back some of my favourite MasterFood Herbs and Spices during his holiday trip to Sydney. And these will come in handy for me to prepare some quick and hearty meal within short time. For this post I would be using Portuguese Chicken Seasoning which brings together the flavours of lemon and chillies to create traditional Portuguese Chicken at home and this sure come perfect during Christmas season.


ROAST CHICKEN WITH PORTUGUESE SEASONING


Nothing beats a Hearty Roast like this during Christmas season while you could enjoy quality time with family and friends and at the same time do away with a fuss free cooking hassle in the kitchen.

These are the 3 types of MasterFoods seasoning and herbs using in this recipe but you could always choice to use your desire brand of similar products.


(serves: 4 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 1 Hour 30 minutes)
Ingredients:
1.2 - 1.4kg Whole Chicken
1 Tablespoon MasterFoods Portuguese Seasoning
1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Side Dish:
2 Medium Potato, peeled and cubes
300g Pumpkin, washed and cubes
1/2 Teaspoon MasterFoods Chilli Flakes
1 Teaspoon MasterFoods Italian Herbs
1/2 Teaspoon Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon of Soft Butter

Method:-
1. Trim the extra fats, emptied and cleaned the cavity, removed the head, neck and feet. Rinse and pat dry using kitchen paper towel.

2. Place chicken in a big bowl, brush olive oil evenly around the chicken before rubbing the Portuguese Seasoning all over the chicken include the cavity of the chicken and under the skin layers.

3. Sprinkle with salt and set aside in the roasting tray while preparing the side dish.

4. Mixed potato cubes and pumpkin together with the remaining ingredients(except butter) in a bowl and toss till well combined.

5. Stuffed some pumpkin cubes into the cavity and tie both kegs together with unwaxed kitchen string(can be found in Daiso outlets) and arrange the remaining vegetable mix at the side of the baking dish and top with dots of butter.(refer to the 6th photo above)

6. Place the chicken in preheated 180°C fan-forced oven and roast for about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours or until juice run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced with a skewer.

7. To get an nice even colour for the roast, turn the chicken around after 30 minuets interval during the baking time or basting chicken frequently with pan juice.

8. When done remove chicken from oven, cover it loosely with foil and stand for 10 minutes before serving it with steamed rice, pasta, or salad green.

This is my boy's portion of the roast chicken drumstick together with some roasted vegetables and steamed rice. Although we had added chilli flakes to the roasted vegetable but the taste was still mild as the sweetness of the pumpkin have yet blend in well with the seasonings.

Indeed this is a very simple and hearty meal which you could prepared anytime of the year even if it is not during Christmas. Here is another link of the roast chicken which I have prepared during last year's Christmas, Roasted Chicken With Brown Rice And Chestnut Stuffing.


YULE CHOCOLATE LOG



This year Christmas I have baked a Yule Chocolate Log which is something different from the previous years whereby we only had Gingerbread man, Christmas Cupcake and Fruit Cakes. This Yule Log is made with simple chocolate swiss roll recipe which used only flour, egg and sugar.

Do stay tune for the upcoming recipe soon. Cheers and enjoy the Christmas Roast!!!!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Grilled Salmon with Spicy Sweetcorn Salsa

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Corn also known as maize is one of the world's most popular and nutritious cereal crops. Corn is also used to make corn syrup, breakfast cereal, cornflour, corn chips, polenta, popcorn and etc. Also corn has similar benefits to wholegrains which is rich in carbohydrates, fibre and antioxidants.

Here we are cooking a grilled salmon dish with spicy sweetcorn salsa which is full of vibrant colours that would perk up your day.


GRILLED SALMON WITH SPICY SWEETCORN SALSA


For this dish you could choose either salmon fillet or salmon belly which would be better in texture and taste. And if you could get hold of some white firm fish fillet such as snapper or Barramundi they could also be used for this dish too.


(serves: 4 | Preparation: 15 minutes | Cooking: 10 minutes)

Ingredients for Salsa:
2 Fresh Sweetcorn Cobs, trimmed and halved
400g Can Chickpeas(garbanzo bean), drained and rinsed
1 Ripe Avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 Small Red Onion, finely chopped
1 Small Red Capsicum, diced
1 Long Green Chilli, thinly sliced
1 - 2 stalks of Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
50ml of Lime Juice
50ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4(150g each) Salmon/Snapper Fish Fillets, halved
Fresh Coriander Leaves, to serve


Method:-
1. Place corn in a pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes, remove and set aside to cool before using a sharp knife to remove the kernels.

2. Combine chickpeas, avocado, onion, capsicum, chilli and chopped coriander in a large bowl.

3. Mix 2 tablespoons lime juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl, season with salt and pepper before pouring it into the chickpea and corn kernels mixture. Toss to combine.


4. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.

5. Season fish with salt and pepper. Cook in batches for 2 minutes each side or until cooked through.

6. Transfer to plate and drizzle with remaining lime juice.

7. Arrange fish between plates and top with salsa and coriander. Serve plain or with some crusty bread at side.

Apart from having this dish plain on it's own you could also serve it together with some crusty bread for a fuller meal which would be great with it different layer of textures and flavour. And for a more spicy taste, you could also replace the green chilli with the red with or without the seeds on.

Monday, 12 December 2011

{Prego Pasta Sauce} Deliciously Thick & Rich

These are my 2nd batch of recipe booklets with Campbell's featuring FOUR of their Prego Pasta Sauce apart from the 1st batch using Swanson Clear Chicken Broth(read more HERE). And our aim for these recipes is provide consumers with some quick and fuss free idea to whip up festive dishes for coming Christmas of New Year family meals or gatherings.

These recipe booklets consists of 4 recipes using 2 white and 2 red sauces from Prego Pasta Sauce range. You could find these recipe booklets available in major supermarkets such as FairPrice, Cold Storage island wide. And here I would like to share 2 of the complimentary recipes from the booklet with those who are interested to try it with the Prego pasta sauce.


CHEESY CHICKEN DUMPLINGS


This Cheesy Chicken Dumplings is a fusion of Asian Dumpling with Italian Alfredo sauce to cook up something similar to Ravioli. Instead of using egg pasta dough for the dumplings, I have replaced it with Chinese round dumpling wrappers filled with minced chicken meat mixtures.

As this could be a rich dish due to the cheesy Alfredo sauce I would recommend it to be served together with some fresh salad greens to balance the taste. And for some nutty flavour, you could also scatter some toasted pine nuts on top of the prepared dumplings before serving.


(serves: 4 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 15 minutes)

Ingredients:
1 Bottle 350g Prego Cheesy Alfredo
20 Round Dumpling Wrappers
150g Mince Chicken Meat
20g Carrot, finely chopped/grated
2 Shallots, finely chopped
3 Fresh Water Chestnut, finely chopped
1/2 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley

Marinade:
1/2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Cooking Wine
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Cornflour
2 Cloves Garlic, slice thinly

Garnish:
Freshly Grind Black Pepper
Dried Chili Flakes, optional

Method:-
1. Marinate mince chicken, carrot, shallot, water chestnut and parsley together with marinade for at least 10 minutes.

2. Wrap each dumpling wrapper with 1/2 tablespoon of mince meat mixture by wetting the edge of the wrapper with some water and fold it into half.

3. Cook the dumplings in a medium pot filled with boiling water and 1/2 teaspoon of oil.

4. Once the dumplings float on the surface, lower the heat and continue to simmer for another 1 minute. Remove, rinse with tap water and drain well.

5. Heat up 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a pan, sauté garlic slices until golden brown remove and set aside. Pour in Prego Cheesy Alfredo, toss in cooked dumplings and simmer for 1 minute. Top with garnish and fried garlic slices. Serve immediately.



BAKED HAINANESE CHICKEN CHOP


If you love those Hong Kong style baked rice with red sauce that comes in either chicken, pork or seafood I am sure you would like this fusion version of Baked Hainanese Chicken Chop. You could replace the chicken chop with either pork or seafood and bake it together with rice or even spaghetti to create 1 dish with different versions.

The is a simple version where I use bottled tomato pasta sauce to replace our usual "Asian" seasoning and at the same time retain some of the ingredients like onion, pineapple, green peas and etc to create a fusion dish. To shorten the process you could also used frozen pork/chicken schnitzel which is available in the supermarkets too. 


(serves: 4 | Preparation: 20 minutes | Cooking: 10 minutes)

Ingredients:
1 Bottle( 680g) Prego Traditional Sauce
2 Chicken Breast Meat/ 4 Chicken Fillets
1.5 Cup Dried Bread Crumbs
Oil For Shallow Frying
2 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
2 Medium Onion, cut into wedges
150g Green Peas
2 Medium Tomato, cut into wedges
2 Slices Pineapple, cut into cubes
1 Cup Shredded Tasty Cheese

Marinade:
2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
2 Teaspoons Cooking Wine
1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
½ Teaspoon Ground Pepper
1 Tablespoon Cornflour
1 Large Egg


Method:-
1. Tenderise the chicken by flatten it with a meat mallet or the back of the knife for easy cooking before marinate it for least 10 minutes.

2. Pour cooking oil into a frying pan till about 1cm in depth and heat it up. At the meantime roll the marinated chicken fillet in breadcrumbs, pressing firmly.

3. Cooked chicken fillet for 2 - 3 minutes on each side until golden brown or cooked through on medium low heat. (do not use high heat or it will burnt the breadcrumbs)

4. Drain on absorbent paper, cut into 1cm thick slices and set aside.

5. Sauté onion till soft add in green peas and cook for 30 seconds before stirring in Prego Traditional Sauce, tomato and pineapple, simmer for 2 minutes.

6. Arrange chicken schnitzel on top of the cooked pasta or rice in a baking dish, top with pasta sauce mixture and shredded tasty cheese.

7. Bake in pre-heated 200 degree oven for 5 minutes until cheese turns golden brown. Serve.

Lastly hope you would like these 4 dishes that I have prepared using the Prego Pasta Sauce for this coming festive season. And for your information, there is also a "Holiday Giveaways With Campbell's" promotion where consumers could spent S$6.00 to quality for the festive draw to win travel vouchers up to S$3,000. Details can be found HERE or at major participating supermarkets. Cheers and have a great week everyone!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Celebrate Life This Christmas With nydc's Christmas Menu‏

Christmas isn't a time just to receive but also giving out our best to those who is in need. Here at nydc, for every Hearty Christmas roast platter or Captain’s catch seafood platter you order means a donation of S$1.00 will goes to the children of M.I.L.K(Mainly I Love Kids) and that applied to a donation of 50¢ for every Christmas Log sold too.

And with their new range of hearty selection of Christmas platters, Christmas a la carte dishes, Christmas log cakes, Christmas drinks, the nydc 2011 Christmas Menu promises to satiate the festive appetite of fun, cool and hip party of for your friends, colleagues and family.


HEARTY CHRISTMAS ROAST PLATTER
(Serves 4 @ S$98++)


The signature of the Christmas Menu must be the Hearty Christmas Roast Platter For Four: with chunky strips of succulent Australian marbled sirloin steak that are seasoned and grilled to mouth‐watering perfection; juicy spring chicken marinated over‐night with an in-house recipe and slow-­roasted with herbs; luscious pork cheese cracker and spicy bratwursts (German sausage which is usually made with veal, beef or pork) resting on traditional sauerkraut (German, "sour cabbage"); crispy beer battered onion rings with a bold BBQ sauce; creamy cheese baked Idaho potato gratin and a bed of fresh salad.

Out of all the items on the platter, we love the herbal spring chicken which is so flavorsome, tender and juicy. Their baked Idaho potato gratin was incredibly tasty with soft, creamy and cheesy texture that we kept digging for more. For your information this Hearty Christmas Roast also have serving for two person at S$56++.

Price: Hearty Christmas Roast For Four @ S$98++

All Christmas Platters come with this Passionately Fizzy Drink which is an invigorating mix of cranberry juice, soda and orange crushed ice.This is a very refreshing drinks which you could either stir-up the mixture or leave it as it is where you could taste two different flavour in a drink. Love the orange crashed ice on top which give it a zesty flavour.

A la carte price: Passionately Fizzy Drink @ S$4.80++ per mug

To end the meal, this Christmas Platter Set also comes with 4 slices of log cakes which you could choose from either "Yule love it" or "divine white chocolate-cheese".


TEA-TIME SPECIAL
(Monday - Friday, 2.00pm - 6.00pm)


If you are looking for something light with Christmas feel, perhaps this "Cinnamon Mocha Elephanccino" serve with a slice of Christmas Log cake will be a great choice to refresh your soul before continue with more festive shopping. Each slip of the drink is tinged with cinnamon and raspberries taste lingering in your mouth and for a glance you might mistaken this drink as those Hong Kong style milk tea that served with vanilla ice cream in it.

Price: Cinnamon Mocha Elephanccino(iced/hot) plus a slice of cake @ S$8.80++
A la carte price: Cinnamon Mocha Elephanccino(iced/hot) @ S$7.80++ per mug


CHRISTMAS LOGCAKE


Remember to get your log cakes early so that you won't have to worry when Christmas parties or gatherings are on the list. Here at nydc, they have two delicious Christmas Log Cake which are available on either 500g or 1kg size.

If you are a chocoholic, I would recommend you to order their "Yule love it" Chocolate Christmas Log Cake which is a decadents chocolate truffle log cake covered with Belgian couverture dark chocolate and twirled with velvety chocolate mousse.

Price:  500g @ S$32++; 1kg @ S$51++

If you don't fancy dark chocolate, maybe you can try their "divine white chocolate-cheese" log cake which is covered with a layer of smooth layer of white chocolate cheese plus a Philadelphia cream cheese center. Eat mouthful is filled with smooth and luxury chocolate cheese plus hint of savory taste.

Price:  500g @ S$37++; 1kg @ S$56++

For more detail on ordering the log cake, you could refer to their website or print out the order form HERE. Enjoy 5% early bird discount for orders placed by 12 December 2011.



nydc FACEBOOK EVENT


In order to join the Santa's Missing Stockings (a weekly draw by matching the serial number given during purchased of the Christmas Log cake) or redeem the "1-for-1" voucher (for Christmas Platters or Christmas a la carte items), please visit and "LIKE" nydc facebook fanpage before clicking the "Santa's Secret" link on the left panel shown above to "JOIN" or "REDEEM". Have fun and good luck.


nydc, New York Dessert Cafe
Bugis Junction
200 Victoria Street
#02-­‐47/48
Singapore 188021
Telephone: +65 6333 3161
Website: http://www.nydc.com.sg/

Operating Hours:
Sunday – Thursday and PH: 11.30am – 10.00pm
Friday - Saturday and Eve of PH: 11.30am – 11.00pm


GIVEAWAY - SINGAPORE READERS ONLY
(nydc's S$20 gift voucher)


For this coming Christmas I would love to Giveaway my 2 complimentary gift vouches (worth S$40.00) plus another 2 more (S$20.00 each) from the goodwill of nydc to 3 Lucky Winners so that each of you could bring your loved ones or friends to have a hearty Christmas feast or purchase the Christmas Log Cake at any of their 6 outlets at your convenience. (vouchers expired on 30 June 2012)

To participate:-
1. Leave a comment stating ONE of the Christmas items available in nydc's a la carte menu (answer can be found HERE) together with your name and a valid email address.

2. To double up your chance, you could also pop over to my facebook page HERE and "Like" this photo together with a comment stating "a main item that is found in the Hearty Christmas Roast Platters".

Closing date for this giveaway will be on Sunday, 11 December 2011(Noon).


Lastly I would like to say thank to Terence and Jackson from Calean And Sage together with nydc New York Dessert Cafe for the invited tasting.

~~~~~~~~~~~
(updated on 11 December 2011)


GIVEAWAY WINNERS


Once again thanks everyone for your participation and congratulation to the 3 Lucky winners. I would contact you shortly for your mailing address. Thanks.

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