OMG - A Suprise Prize from Foodie Blog Roll

The Foodie Blog Roll Contests: Winner!

OMG I won a tote bag! And this is by just leaving a comment in the contest section. Foodie Blogroll rocks! They keep on having cute contests and random prizes to give away specially to food bloggers who signs up =D. Will definitely post the prize when it arrives fer sure.

So wherever you are, if you write more than 50% about food on your blog, have been writing for more than a month, I suggest enrolling into this =)

I'm going to be away for a whole week so this blog won't be active but be sure to watch this space when I come back....toodles in the mean time!


Ironcupcake Earth: Reminder

I'm actually going to be way for a week but here's another friendly reminder to vote for me =). It starts this Friday (27th Nov) at 8pm but it's American time.

So the browser should be fully open on Sunday till Thursday (3rd Dec).

These are my cupcake entries again:

'Hidden Fruit of Eden' & 'Healthily Applelicious'

Pretty please vote for me! It's my first ever online competition. Your support is really appreciative. I've left the two posts below for you to have a read.Thank you muchly.


Cay Tre

Say what? Jokes...went out last night with a friend (Thanks Mel for introducing me to this place!) to this lovely Vietnamese place near Old Street (which is about a 40 min walk from my house if I'm adventurous, but a couple of tube stops away). And I really like this restaurant because it's the closest Vietnamese restaurant right now to our place. Haha. Talk about convenience.


Taken from my phone camera...

One thing I found uncomfortable was the layout of the menu as I couldn't really skim read as well as the restaurant had a dimmer ambience. Perhaps, I was more in a hurfishry to order so that I could chat more.

Food prices are really reasonable but they are not actually famous for their 'pho' soup dishes but I saw alot of people ordered the La Vong Grilled Fish that really look tasty and I think it's the specialty from this restaurant.

We had the yummy Banh Xeo (egg pancake dish stuff with bean sprouts, chicken and prawns wrapped with fresh green lettuce and dipped in fish sauce) and the classic Bun Sa (non soup beef on vermicelli) to try. When it arrived, we were super glad we didn't get any starters because the portion was huge!



The egg dish was excellent as the egg was thoroughly cooked to crisp, with a fair share portion of meat, accompanied by bay leaves, fish sauce and lettuce to be shared for two.

I wasn't happy with the beef vermicille dish as normally I would have my fish sauce and cut chilli served separately rather than already prepared with the dish. And alas, I couldnt really taste the lemongrass too.

I would definitely come here again of course and try their specialty dishes, seeing that this is different from the usual Vietnamese restaurants I have been. Quite a unique one too.

More information:
301 Old St
London, EC1V 9LA
020 7729 8662



Christmas time is nearing! Time to get 'em christmas cookies in the making. Super simple and lovely simple gifts to make! Also fun for the kids too :). Here's a simple batter recipe that one can make abundantly and you can freeze it for almost a month too!

And if you want them to 'melt' into your mouth, substitue the granulated sugar for icing sugar ;)

Makes 36 x 10cm cookies

  • 1 cup (225g) butter , softened 
  • 1 ½ cup (300g) caster sugar / granulated sugar (or 1 cup icing sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups (460g) plain flour 
  1. Mix the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, then add the egg yolk and vanilla and briefly beat to combine. Mix at high speed.
  2. Sift over the flour and stir until the mixture is well combined - you might need to get your hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together. Start off at low speed. Be careful not to over mix as the dough will harden.
  3. Place dough into an air tight gladwrap and place it in the refrigerator for an hour.
  4. Sprinkle some flour on a piece of parchment paper and place the dough on top.
  5. Sprinkle flour over a rolling pin (or use a wine bottle) before rolling the dough. If it gets soft, place it in the fridge once more.
  6. Thickness should be ¼ inches.
  7. Place it in a fridge for an hour once more before cutting them up.
  8. Bake in an oven for 12-15 mins at 180 deg C.
This is the season to be jolllyyyyyy...


Steamboat aka Hot Pot

For all of you who has no idea what the title above means, this is one of Asia's authentic ways of eating and sweating at the same time! I have no idea how it actually touched the tropical sides of Asia but apparently this originated from Mongolia, where I thought it is sensible to have something nice and warm for the almost all-year round cold season.

Definition of a hot pot (We Malaysians call 'em Steamboat):

A picture speaks a thousand words.

Our (South East Asia) version, consisting of one side spicy, the other non-spicy


And last Sat's version, the 'spicy' side is actually more sourish in Korean kimchi style


Not forgetting the desserts...Kuih Dadar (left) brought by me and yummy Gordon Ramsay style blackforest cake (right) brought by my baking buddy Ket to celebrate a belated birthday. DrooL

Yummmmyyyyyyy in 5 steps:
  1. Buy a stack of raw seafood, meat and vegetables of your liking
  2. Place them in whichever soup you want (spicy or non-spicy)
  3. Wait until it boils
  4. Take them out
  5. Eat!
Price of food for 2 days literally: £10 each.
Desserts: Free.
Company of girlfriends, endless chat & food for comfort for the winter cold: Priceless

Kuih Dadar

Another local kuih from Malaysia that I made for a Steamboat session. It does have a similar trait on it's own in the sense that there is cooking and steaming involved.

I used palm sugar for the first time and gosh the aroma was absolutely stunning when I cooked it with the coconut and pandan leaves. Feel like I was high.

Most of my ingredient portion comes from this handy website from Sugar and Everything Nice as well as there are handy tips too when it comes to the instructions. And as the ladies started to gorged each down (as usual) I had one request to add more salt to the filling (shall add that to the list).



I loved it the moment I took a bite. The outer layer was suprisingly soft, moist and tender. Moreover it didn't taste like a pancake (which I was glad about) and the filling brought back lost memories.

I had another piece straightaway.

Yes, it was sooooo yummyyy....It really has refreshed my memory of my childhood times where of all the dessert snacks that I had, I was always after that brown filling. Now I have the power to make it as much as I want! *evil laugh*

Palm sugar (my new love =P) and Pandan juice that was kept in the freezer.

And guess what? My brain is furiously ticking onto turning this into a cupcake of some sort..the blend of East and West. I am so fortunate to be exposed to 2 different worlds of different food styles! All to come soon...


Nuts nuts nuts

These are one of my little vices...coming out abit more these days haha. But hey, I am quite adaptable when it comes to writing. I think there will be this roller coaster ride where I write from food for comfort to food for health =). I do love the mix,heh. Shows that I am in balanced. Gosh,what a load of crap.

Anyway, where was I, yes...nuts, dried fruits, coated mixes. There are a few places out there that sells from a grab a bag of salted coated peanuts or dried apricots. These are the shops that I pick for it's individuality of mixes in the stuff they sell and so I thought I'd write up something to people of such preferences, i.e. From one who is wanting craving for something quick and fast, when 2.30pm-itis comes or when one is stressed out on her/his office desk and has no time to buy lunch, or when one just like to snack small while working (the last one applies to me since I do so much computer work).

Mind you, these are my observations while shopping. Any external inputs would be grateful ;)

There is the usual supermarkets such as Tescos, Sainsburys, M&S Waitrose where you get standard nuts and dried fruits but it's very plain or almost raw. Suitable as an ingredient for a dish or if you want to add it to your cereals.


Gaaah, I shouldn't have bought them...I could easily finish the packet!

And then there is the Holland & Barrett and Julian Graves which both look alike, where there are more varieties such as chocolate and yogurt coated nuts. As well as there are other snacks even including my all time seaweed nuts (YUM) Also, H&B is more of a health food store that sells vegan or gluten free products too. Snacks are sold in packets.

And then you see these stalls such as The Nut Hut (found at Westfield Shopping mall) and Cranberry stall in alot of the tube and train stations, even the tube stations too and these are much more fancy where they also sell turkish delights and baklava. You also get to pick and choose whichever you like rather than buy in packets. But it goes by weight. I like to spoil myself trying something new like chocolate coated banana chips and strawberry yogurt nuts or honey spicy cashew nuts!

The markets that I see these dried fruit and nut mixes can also be seen at Borough, Chapel and Spitafield markets

So what is your favorite nut mix? This is my top 3:
  1. Honey coated salted Cashew nuts
  2. Yogurt coated rice crispies
  3. Chocolate coated peanuts


    KV's Strawberry Cheesecake

    We were at La Tasca again the other week night and ordered dessert this round: Lemon Cheesecake. And so D suggested why not I make a cheesecake at home since he craves for it. And he wants strawberry flavoured too.

    I got super excited and started browsing on recipes, muahahaha. There were so many different types and being ultra-adventurous as usual, I didn't want to make a plain simple one. I wanted to be creative kekeke.

    So I was thinking of making a layered dessert cheesecake of some sort. Something with a fuse of the New York baked  cheesecake and strawberry flavour. I couldn't find a direct recipe. So then I turned to baked strawberry cheesecake instead. Apparently baked cheesecakes and non-bake ones are of separate species, hence I was abit uncertain about what strawberries in the batter would produce. Also, I would prefer the taste of a baked one of course, heh.

    With the sweet  base, sourish and fruit buds middle base out of the way, I love adding another sweet tinge: White chocolate. Ah hah, not to mention I want to add one sourish layer as the final piece: a strawberry coated layer. And all of this will be done in 4 lovely cute remkins. Perfect dessert for a couple, perfectly sinful in a small portion.

    Are you ready?


    My dear D absolutely gorged it down even before I finished mine!


    Machineless Frothing

    I was out one night and decided to go for my favourite Chai Latte from Starbucks and it makes a HUGE difference when my milk gets froth. It was a perfect fix to a cold windy night sipping over something soothing and warm while waiting to meet up with friends.

    Unfortunately it didn't end up nicely on the bill. I can't believe that it costs £4 for a medium sized drink (gutted)

    Because of that, I started to think the DIY way on to making this yummylicious warm drink if I didn't have much cents to spare and while I was at home too.

    And so I stumbled into a really cool page on how to froth milk, without using a machine or a frother :D

    Creamy spoonful of foam

    Pandan Chiffon Cake

    This was actually the first cake I bake back in the days and thanks to Lynn the Innovative Baker (author of donnowhattocook and now has a new website called donnowheretoeat) she lent me her trusty cake pan to try out.

    It didn't rise....even after the 2nd time. And it was all because I set it to the wrong temperature in the oven! But when I made it, my friends were so stoke that I was requested to make it again and again and so I baked it 3 times in a month! Thanks for all your support peeps :)

    And of course, many thanks to the previous owners of our flat who left a whole shelf full of herbs, spices including a bottle of pandan paste ;)

    The last one I did...which turned out the best.


    Want to eat more and lose weight?

    C'mon, I know that deep down inside of us, we all tend to want to eat something healthy for a change or there is a slight guilt when we 'over' feed ourselves with either sweet indulgence or lovely greasy fastfood.

    Anyhoo, I found a remedy (one of many billion remedies out there) that helps me out in 'cleansing' my body up. I find that us ladies (or perhaps just me) tend to move towards less carbs and more salads when we diet or want to stay healthy. But dieting means restricting the amount of food.

    In the world of vegan and vegetarians, one of the biggest advantages is the joy of eating plenty and not putting on a single stone (don't quote me on that though!). That is perhaps my way of understanding things.However, I was told by a friend that food tastes horrible when it comes to eating the vegan way. That is perhaps the most challenging part in healthy eating.

    And that is where I fill that challenge with this! I found a rustic gourmet food stall smack in Spitalfield market called Rainforest Creations.

    Can't miss this stall for it's uniqueness and food display


    Self Indulgence

    If you are a sweet tooth like me who loves her ice cream, go check out Thornton's chocolate shop as they have an ice cream section when you pass their store. It's everywhere in the city.

    To think that the price is abit more from the usual ice creams you buy from the supermarket, I'd say this is worth getting for. Packaged ice cream just don't feel / look / taste the same then when you actually get a person to scoop it for you. LOL. I'm sooooooo spoiled. As well as the main difference with this store to the others is the wafer cone that you get from them.

    Well, it isn't really worth getting one scoop as it is £2 and you don't get the wafer cone that I am after.

    For £2.50, you get 2-scoops, a chocolate coated wafer cone, a tad larger from the usual cones and plus you get a chocolate stick too for free. The wafer is not those that tastes plasticy and light. It is proper wafer coated with proper quality chocolate.  And on some occasions, you get to sample a free piece of chocolate from the shops :)

    Mmmm...Ooozing in your mouth...

    So if you're in for a quick fix, head to your nearest Thornton's store. Mine unfortunately fortunately is situated on the way home from work on Chancery Lane.

    Have you had your fix yet? ;)


    La Tasca

    A friend of mine came all the way from the East side of town (world) to visit me and so I brought up an excuse to myself to try a new restaurant. Wouldn't you know and being 'asian' to value my money as much as I can, I went to check up on any nice decent UK vouchers for a restaurant deal.

    And I found one great deal for La Tasca. 50% off the entire bill until the 1st of Dec (get it while you can!) as well as I haven't tried Spanish Tapas food as yet.

    Booking can be done online the day before but they can only hold it for 15 minutes before they have to give it away.

    I was half an hour late =(.

    But the highlight of the night was that the guy at the counter was so kind enough to slot me to the top of the waiting list (after looking at my droopy face perhaps). We were so appreciative!

    I love it these days when the restaurants are offering great deals to try their food. It is a blessing in disguise perhaps when the economy is slowly recovering.

    Anyway, seeing that most of us didn't know how to order, there was a great menu deal for 2 where you have a set of dishes that you can try. Tapas, is almost the equivalent to the chinese 'Yum Char' but the dishes are slightly bigger. We picked the Chef's Selection of Tapas which consist of 8 dishes and they were extremly lovely! My favourite was Patatas Bravas, which is fried potato with spicy tomato sauce as it tastes like wedges dipped in tomato dressing LOL.

    Didn't manage to take any photos as the restaurant was quite dimmed. Service was excellent as food came out 10 minutes after we ordered. And we could order even more while we were eating.

    At the end, we paid £9 each (4 of us) for 11 dishes, 2 pints of beer and 3 full cups of fresh orange juice.

    I'd recommend this place if you've got the voucher with you and of course that you have not tried Spanish food for the first time. It gives you a great start and a decent choice of variety dishes to pick from.

    More information:
    63-66 St Martin's Ln
    London, WC2N 4JS, United Kingdom
    020 7240 2011

    Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Bagel

    I have been craving for this for a long time...yet have not bought it for about 3 weeks now because they sell it at such a freaking high price! And the moment that I don't feel like eating it is the only time that I actually found it at a decent price (£1.80 was the cheapest I can find but in the dodgiest place where I don't really know how long it has been displayed for since that stall opens for 24 hours).

    Tesco - £2.80
    Cafe downstairs - £2.89
    Bagel cafe - £2.99!

    I can't believe how much they up the price, when it's actually so simple to make. I guess the downfall to making this for one person is that they sell smoke salmon in bulk (at least 200g) and that is why I can't afford buying it unless I'm prepared to have salmon for a week. Yes, it is true that I dislike routine food. And so it is rather hard sometimes when I cook / eat for one.

    But if you've got cravings, want a decent healthy lunch sandwhich high in omega oil and protein and with a tinge of comfort, I present you this.

    Quick method for one:

    • 1 x bagel of your liking (This can be bought for 50p in the usual supermarket stores. But if you're keen to make it, I'll attempt to do so and will create another post).
    • 1 tbsp of Philedelphia cream cheese (They sell in smaller tubs if you dislike eating the same thing twice like me).
    • About 50g-60g of smoke sliced salmon.
    • Pinch of black pepper.
    • Other optional extras: Slice of tomato, lemon juice, ham slice, fried egg, butter.
    1. With a sharp thin knife, slice the bagel slowly and gently in half. The bun is semi dense so there is no worry of it getting torn apart easily.
    2. Apply cream cheese on both sides of the sliced bagel.
    3. Scatter some black pepper.
    4. Cut the salmon pieces into thin slices of approx the width of the bagel or your last finger.
    5. Assemble the optional extras. If not place the salmon pieces on the bottom half of the bagel.
    6. Squeeze a little lemon juice if there's any.
    7. Cover the top with the other half.
    8. Take a nice and slow, smooth delicate bite...and enjoy :P
    Gosh, I am so craving for one now...


    Apple Round 2 (IronCupcake Earth)

    My Second entry for the IronCupcake Earth competition:

    Remember the batter that I tried using for my first set of entry? I ended up baking proper cupcakes from them! So yeah...I actually went through the process of roasting the apples, mashing them to get the puree and use them for my cupcake batter. And then with a little spice, I added bits of cinammon and ginger to the batter.



    After baking them, I was thinking up of the next idea for these need-to-get-dressed cupcakes and it all started with the next morning while I was trying to figure out what to eat.



    I had a small tub of plain yogurt needed finishing as I was actually planning to use it for another frosting and had forgotten about it. Seeing that I'm picky and can't run away from being a sweet tooth and being uberly health consious, I still don't prefer to have a plain yogurt (yuck, it feels like I'm eating something naked). So I looked into my little pantry and scouted for something sweet but not adding to the calories. I saw honey and marshmallows. Ah hah. Something alright to start the morning and dressing this yogurt enough so that I can finish eating it.

    While eating it, something sparked up...why not use this as my icing?? woohoo!! I got super excited. And with that while I was having my morning walk after and the gradual thinking right up to the final bit of my idea...I came up with the name for them:

    Healthily Applelicious


    Cinnamon Apple Cupcakes with Honey Yogurt Frosting and a tinge of Marshmallows for it's sweetness and a subtle sinfulness.

    I added abit of Mascarpone cheese to firm up the frosting so that it doesn't melt and with that I could reduce the amount of icing sugar to the frosting.


    Taste wise? You bet, amazing...1 got eaten in 3 bites from my collegues at work (that really suprise me because I am always hesitant and nervous whenever I make something). Some of them thought it was cream cheese frosting on top ;). They think I should quit my job and open up a catering business (Aaaw, felt so touched with the compliments).

    The actual amount of calories for each frosted cupcake is 250kcal (1/8 of your daily kcal guideline amount and yes, I actually sat down to caclulate each ingredient) and there are ways to reduce them even more by using a vegan substitute but for this competition, I shall place the exact recipe I used. As well as I dedicate this to those who are health conscious like me seeing that I came from an atheletic background and for those who wants something sweet but lighter for a change.

    If you look at my first entry, I am hoping that this entry could earn some brownie points too as a bonus. The list of the awesome prizes are below, so please vote for me towards the end of the month (I shall remind you all again):

    Voting starts on Friday, November 27th at 8 p.m. at and will be open through Thursday, December 3 at 12 noon.

    Here are the ingredients and method for making these scrumptious (I'm such a drama in emphasising) apple cupcakes


    Chicken Soup for the Soul

    This is a dish on its own and that you can pretty much cook this dish to last you at least 3 days. There are so many kinds of version of this soup, depending on one's taste of course but to make it nutritious, well balance and tasty do not really need that much of ingredients. The best part is that keeping the soup for a few more days actually brings more flavour and essence out of the dish!

    I love this dish for it's simplicity and well-nourish ingredients, as you don't need any oil at all (it all comes from the chicken) and as the cold weather draws near, there's nothing more fulfilling than a lovely delicious soup.

    Photobucket perfect for winter

    Mum taught me the simplest way to make this soup: Chicken and water. And to make chicken rice, I normally use the soup for cooking the rice.

    But I've decided to add a little bit more vegetables to balance the meal. I think this is my simplest version of making chicken soup.

    (If it's for one person, this can last for about 3 days)
    • 3 chicken thighs or drumsticks or carcass (make sure you buy any meat that includes bones as that is where you bring out the nutrients and flavour)
    • 1 onion chopped into cubes
    • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into quarters (cubes will make them soften faster)
    • 1 carrot chopped into slices
    • 1 tbsp salt
    • 5 cups of water
    Optional: Chinese herbs that you can buy per-packed in chinatown. I normally get mine from See Woo and they have english labels =)

    1. If using herbs, place them into the pot and bring it to boil before adding the chicken. Let it then simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
    2. If not, pour cold water into a pot and insert the chicken.
    3. Bring the pot to boil. Let it boil for 2 minutes. At this time, add the carrots and potatoes.
    4. And then simmer for 10 minutes.
    5. While simmering, add salt and onions.
    6. Optional to add more salt or water to taste.
    Leftover soup can be kept in the fridge for a week (just pop it into the microwave to heat it up again) or in the freezer for a month. Make sure you let it cool completely before placing it into the fridge.

    And if you want to use the soup as the stock, all you can do is just drain whatever is in it, pour on ice cubes and pop it in the freezer to be used anytime.


    Apple Round 1 (Ironcupcake Earth)

    What: Another Ironcupcake competition but it's done online
    Theme: Apples

    Another competition which I'm so keen to take on. This will be my first online entry ever and it has been an amazing experience. It all started,

    Once upon a the beginning of November or thereabouts...

    So happen my friend was only here in London for a week and she requested red velvet cupcakes since it was ultimate her favourite cupcakes. Being me, I was keen to bake for any occasion, from parties and gatherings to the point of a joking request. But in conjunction to that, I decided to try for this competition which was themed apples.

    As my creative juices were bursting, I got really excited as red velvet cupcakes depict the red colour skin of an apple and so I thought I could add something yellow inside and green on top. As well as they are known for as the 'devil's' cupcakes, I got all crazy with naming and personalising my cupcakes base on the bible, christianity and adam and eve etc. (no, this doesn't mean that I religious as such, but you just can't run away from the fact that at least 80% of world's population are Christian and each one of us know at least 1% of what the bible speaks). I decided to make my version of cupcakes blending the theme and the lovely red velvet cupcakes which I made for the first time. Behold, I call this:

    Hidden Fruit of Eden
    (Thanks to my dear D who came up with that name :* ).


    aka Red Velvet Cupcake with Apple (green) and Cream Cheese Frosting


    It all started with attempting to 'hide' an apple the red velvet cupcakes idea.


    Hmm...real apple fruit, apple batter, apple juice, apple flavour, yellow colour, green colour, red colour...*feel like eating an apple*

    Attempt 1: Wishing I had more skills, I wanted to carve a smaller piece of apple into the red velvet cupcakes but I could not think of the best way. So the next easiest thing I thought was to put an apple batter into the cupcakes and try to make an apple shape out of it.

    It didn't work...and my cupcake batter too much it spilled all over the oven =( my heart sank 10 times more just watching it go to disaster.

    Ok, attempt 2: Bake proper red velvets but sneak an apple icing into the cupcakes without her knowing

    *Evil laugh* I was becoming excited as I did them


    Process of making the red velvet cupcakes. It was a whole new experience since it was my first time making them...


    Now for the sneaky bit. Digging a hole and adding some cream cheese inside first so that it holds this 'secret' icing in the middle


    Now you see them


    Now you don't mwahahah (imagining a wicked witch laughing when the potion sizzles)


    And then topping up with cream cheese as usual, to hide all evidence...

    The apple icing has a tinge of sourish in it but it goes well with the sweet red velvet as well as topping up with cream cheese? You can't go wrong, it was sinfuly, deliciously, juicily amazinnngggg...

    So pretty pretty please:

    Vote ME   <--------- it's not hard, just click and click again ;)

    Voting starts on Friday, November 27th at 8 p.m. at and will be open through Thursday, December 3 at 12 noon. (Don't worry, I'll remind you folks again ;))

    Am competing to win the following Earth Prizes and they are Amazing! They are:

    Here are the steps if you're keen to make them

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