Coffee Cupcakes

I need to prepare a cake or 8 cupcakes for my last week cake decorating class, while I was searching for unique recipes for cupcakes, i came across this Vietnamese Coffee Cupcakes recipes from Cupcake by Chockylit. Coffee Cupcakes sound interesting, since I don't have the Vietnamese coffee equipment at home and i do have a big tin of Foldger that we trying to finish up before long, i modify the original recipe by replacing the Vietnamese coffee with Foldger. This is my modified recipe.


  • 1 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 2large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-3/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/8 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp coffee grounds
  • Beat butter until soft, about 30 seconds.
  • Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  • Measure out coffee and milk together.
  • Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
  • Add about one third the coffee/milk mixture and beat until combined.
  • Repeat above, alternating flour and coffee and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Fold in the teaspoon of coffee grounds.
  • Scoop into cupcake papers about half to three-quarters full
  • Bake for 20 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
Make 12 cupakes.

This cake has a super intense coffee flavor which is delicious, but the downside of the cake is the texture is quite dense compare to the regular cupcake. The cake get dried out if you don't finish it soon enough or keep it too long in the fridge.

Steam Chinese Eggplant

A friend of mine send me a Chinese Toddler Cookbook from Singapore last month when she was looking for some food recipes for her daughter who are 2 months older than Aidan. I was so excited when I received this book and can't stop myself glancing everything in the book.
Besides all the delicious pictures and the recipes, it also provide nutrition information, notes and tip about the dish that parent needs to be aware. In addition, it also contain guidance on how to wean toddler from milk and feeding schedule. However, I think the feeding guideline provided in this book are quite aggressive where it said we should start the feeding the baby with the cup sometime in the 4th month and stop the bottle complete by 9th month and start the cow milk before one which is quite contradict with most if the advice you found from the pediatric in the state. All in all, Hubby and I think we should try the recipes for the family rather than just for Aidan as he is enjoying adult food more than a baby food except milk.
The first recipe from this mini cookbook is steam Chinese eggplant. Since the target audience for this recipe are toddlers, the flavor is very light and don't require a lot of ingredients. Here's the modified adult recipe.


  • 2 medium size chinese egg plant
  • 2 clove of garlic chopped
  • 3 shallots thinly slice
  • enough oil to fry the shallot
  • some light soy sauce
  • some olive oil for frying the garlic
  • Heat oil in a pan, add shallot the pan and fry until golden brown. Remove shallot from the pan and set aside
  • Remove the skin of eggplant and cut the eggplant into strip
  • Steam the eggplant in the steaming pan for 10 minutes. Remove eggplant from the plan and place it on the service plate
  • Heat olive oil in pan and add in chopped garlic. Fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and pour the garlic and oil on the eggplant.
  • Add in some light soy sauce to taste
  • Topped with fry shallot
This is Aidan's version. Remove the shallot and soy sauce and replace with some salt and water for the sauce. He loves it. Adding the garlic give the whole dish a richer flavor.

"My Pick" - 3 in 1 White Coffee

I am not a regular coffee drinker but I do enjoy coffee once a while especially during the weekend. I used like Nescafe 3 in 1 before the 3 in 1 pre-package white coffee exists. But since then, white coffee become our pick for both my and my hubby. We have been purchasing OldTown White Coffee for years. Every time when we went back to Malaysia, surely we will bring a couple packs from home.

Lately, I found that there is more and more 3 in 1 type of coffee or tea available in the market. Maybe because finally people realized how easy to make your cup of joe at home with one of this coffee mix. I was surprise when I saw the OldTown White Coffee actually available at one of the groceries store in town. Each package contains about 15 individual package of mix cost about 5.99USD which I think it's quite reasonable. Nowadays, these coffee mixes are not cheap in Malaysia and even more expensive in Hong Kong.

While I was planning to pick up a pack, I saw that there is another brand call Chek Hup Ipoh White Coffee was on sale for 3.99USD. I picked up Chek Up coffee and double check to make sure this is Buatan Malaysia, in fact the manufacturer is from Ipoh. Finally, we picked up the Cheong Hup brand for testing.

White Coffee


Chek Hup

Old Town





Sweeter and creamer than Old Town

Rich coffee flavor, darker in color

My Pick

I think both have similar aroma and you couldn't tell the different when you drink them in hot, but you could definitely tell the different in flavor when you drink them in cold.

Alternative Way to Cook Yu Choy

Not sure this is because I am living in the mid west or what, every weekend before heading to oriental groceries store, I already know what to expect from there in terms of Chinese vegetables selection. The basic selections that are always available all year long are: baby bak choy, yu choy, gai lan and bak choy. Once a while you can get some decent quality kangkung, Gai Choy, Chinese celery, etc.

Getting tired of stir frying green vegetables with oyster sauce but can’t think of any other best way to cook. So this week, the new experiment was stir fry chinese mustard green with canned vegetarian abalone. This is very simple dish; all you need is a can of canned vegetarian selection and some green leafy vegetables.

Melting Moments

One day I was searching for food idea to prepare Aidan’s birthday party snack and came across this blog. The first thing that caught my eyes was the picture of the cookies, then the name of the cookies. Melting Moments, what an interesting name. I wonder if that how you feel when you place a cookie in your mouth. There aren't any other way to find it out besides to try it out myself.

The original recipe can be found from Feed Me I'm Hungry and this is my modify version.

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 250g Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 60g confectioner sugar
  • 175g Plain flour
  • 60g Corn flour

Cookies Method:

  • Preheat oven to 340 degree F
  • Beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract until soft and fluffy.
  • Sift together corn flour and plain flour and fold into butter mixture in two lots.
  • Line baking trays with non-stick baking paper or spray the cookie sheet with PAM
  • Scoop 1 tsp of the cookie dough and place on the baking tray. Ensure that the cookie dough is placed approximately 1.5 inch apart from each other.
  • Bake in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes or until biscuits are a light golden.
  • Remove from oven and cool.

Orange Buttercream Filling

  • 100g confectioner sugar
  • 100g Unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange juice


  • Beat sugar, unsalted butter and orange juice until light and fluffy.
  • Place about 1/2 tsp of buttercream into one of the cookie halves and sandwich with the other half.
  • Store in an air tight container.

Makes 30 sandwiched cookies


Before adding the icing, hubby thought the cookie taste very good by itself without the icing (He is not an icing lover). This is my kind of cookie, rich buttery flavor but not too sweet.

After adding the icing, he was amazed with the outcome. The first word from him was GOOD! He told me that he never understands what they mean by Melting Moments and now he got it. Everything, the cookie and icing is literally melted in your month. This cookie reminded me the Christmas butter cookie except it is more fragile and crisp, the icing make this whole thing taste more interesting. Definitely a yes to the birthday party snack.

Comfort Food

What food can make you feel comfort when you are not? This is my version of comfort food for my family especially my dearly son.Aidan has been having diarrhea since Monday. Not exactly sure what’s wrong. He doesn’t have any fever nor did he act any different in the past few days. We didn’t bring him to his doctor because we think that we are not going to get anything out of the doctor’s visit like we did in the pass besides to make sure he eats well and sleep well which he does. Since we ran out of food to eat yesterday (can you believed it !!) I decided to cook some porridge from some fish fillet, dried scallop and some ginger.

A pot of comfort food for the whole family, what a great idea and easy solution for dinner. Aidan ate quite a bit yesterday, I hope he feel better today. But one thing for sure, he did not poop this morning.

My First Tropical Fruit Agar-Agar

While I was researching party food for my son's up coming birthday party, agar-agar was the first thing pop into my mind. It has be a while since I had my last taste of agar-agar and I don't quite remember how to make this simple dessert. I decided to do a little experiment before the event. Picked up the agar-agar strip from the oriental and didn't even realized that nowadays people actually using agar-agar powder instead. Hunting for the recipe online but most of the recipe used agar-agar powder. At last, I followed the instruction provided at the back of the package except the fruits and this is what I come up with. what do you think?

Hubby thought they taste ok but I wasn't really happy with the result. I think the agar-agar were little too hard and wasn't impress with flavor. Feel kinda silly that I don't even know how make a simple dessert like this. hmmm...

Can you tell what agar-agar mold I use?

Grilled Sesame Chicken Drumstick

This is another grill production from my hubby except that this time I am the one who prepared the chicken. The recipe was from Zu’s kitchen. The pictures showed in her blog looks mouth watering, I just can’t resist myself from trying this. Instead if oven bake, we were grilling with our new grill. Here’s mine modified version.


  • 5 chicken drumsticks
  • 100 ml water
  • 150 ml oyster sauce
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp 5-spiced powder
  • 1 large garlic, smashed
  • 1 inch ginger, smashed
  • salt to taste
  • some sesame seed for sprinkling
  • some sesame oil for drizzling

For oven roasting method, check out Zu’s kitchen

Stir fry Smooth Loofah (水瓜, 絲瓜) with Shrimp

This is my all time favorite vegetable. In fact, my family loves except my mom because she is allergy to shell fish. Last week, while I was looking for some vegetable to cook, I spotted this loofah, they looks ok. So I picked up 2 of them for my stir fry. I never know what the western name is for this plant is as we always speak the hokkien name for the veggie and they call it differently in Cantonese. When I was googling the name, interestingly I found there are variations of name for this type of veggie. Even for Chinese itself, some people call it 水瓜, other called it 絲瓜. Anyway, you should able to find this veggie in any of the oriental store especially Indian store.


  • 2 Smooth Loofah, removed all the skin and cut it into pieces.
  • 1 tbsp of dried shrimp ( I prefer fresh shrimp but since I don’t have any at home, I substitute with dried shrimp)
  • 1 glove of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup of water
  • 3 tsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Heat oil in a pan, add garlic to the pan and stir fry until it turn yellow.
  • Add shrimp and stir fry for another minute or until the fresh shrimp turn pink.
  • Add loofah and mix well with the shrimp.
  • Add water and bring to boil. Cover the pan with lid and let it cook until loofah get soften.
  • Add salt to taste.
While I was searching for the loofah, iI came across this picture that show how you cut the loofah. Not sure if this is the standard way how Chinese cut this veggie, but my family always slice the loofah in this method. Picture below show how they look before it cook. Picture and another recipe provide by POCO Chinese Food Forum.

Hubby New Toy

I bought hubby a new gas grill as a birthday gift this year. The grill has been sitting the garage since few weeks back. This week we decided to invite some friends over to our house for BBQ, so hubby can show off his new toy and his BBQ skill :)

For a startup, hubby decided to try baby back rib. We bought a slap of baby back rib and marinated with the Spice Rub Recipes from Little Corner of Mine's BBQ recipe.

  • 1 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)


  • Rub the spice on both side of the rib the day before and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Preheat the grill by turned on 2 out of the 4 burners alternately to high heat.
  • Once the grill is heat up, places the rib in between the burner to make sure there is no direct heat to the rib and turn the heat to low.
  • Covered the grill and let it cook next 30 minutes.
  • Turn the rib over and cook for another 15- 20 minutes.
  • When the rib is almost ready, brush the rib with your favorite BBQ sauce and let it cook for another 5 - 10 minutes. Turn to other site and repeating the sauce brushing process.

*If you interested in oven grilling, check out the method provided from Little Corner of Mine

Hubby and friends loves the BBQ rib very much, and his friend even consider to try again sometime soon. ( Hope we are invited for the feast.)

So what's your next BBQ agenda, Honey?

Babi Masak Kecap

Another recipe I tried last week from the Green Mangoes and Lemon Grass with slightly modification and substitution. The original recipe called for 1 1/2 cup of water, I only use 1/2 cup and mine has more sauce than the one showed in the recipe... hmm not sure why.


  • 6 dried chilies
  • 8 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2in ginger
  • 1 tsp balacan powder
  • 11/4lb pork cut into cube
  • 3 tbsp sweet dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Process chillies, shallots, garlic, ginger in a food processor until smooth paste
  • Heat oil in a pan, add chili paste and balancan powder and stir fry over low-medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add in pork and stir fry over medium heat until it changed color. About 5 minutes.
  • Add soy sauce, water and lime juice. Bring to boil. Cover with lid and let it simmer over low heat. Stirring occasionally. Cook until pork is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Add salt to taste.

Vinegared cucumber salad

I find this salad is very refreshing especially accompany with some spicy meaty main dish. I never added shallot or red onion to this dish when I made this in the past. This week, I decided to try this recipe from Green Mangoes and Lemon Grass. Since I ran out of shallot, I substitute the shallot with red onion. They turned out quite good. I was surprise that with a little addition of red onion made quite an impact to the flavor for the whole dish.


  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp water ( optional)
  • 3 tbsp castor sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 medium size cucumber
  • 3 dried chilies (the recipe call 1 large red chili)
  • 1/4 red onion (the recipe call for 2 shallots) thinly slice
  • Crush peanut ( optional)


  • Mix vinegar, sugar and water in a bowl and stir until dissolved.
  • Cut cucumber in half lengthways and scrape out the puply only if seeds are well formed.
  • Cut across 1/2 in slice and toss in the vinegar mixture
  • Add chilies and red onion.
  • Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 30 min before serving.
  • Serve with crushed peanut. ( optional)

Hubby play with the food

It was a tiring Saturday evening after all the grocery shopping, house cleaning cleaning and food preparation for the up coming week. Hubby found a tuna rice recipe from one my chinese cookbook collection. He suggested that maybe we just cook something easy for dinner that night. I wasn't in mood for cooking and eating, anything can keep my stomach satisfy, I am happy. So hubby was tasked to cook Tuna Rice for dinner.

About 45 minutes later... Dinner is ready!

My comment: Thanks for the dinner Honey. But this is not really my favorite dish. I think the rice and tuna are quite plain and flavorless. Sorry :(

My ID4 Snack

Saw this Loh Mei Chi from chowtimes. It is so simple. All you need to do is just mix everything together and microwave for a few minutes. During the ID4 holiday, we have a pool gathering for my son and his friends, so I decide to make some mochi for snack. Since I don't have red bean paste with me, I used roasted peanut and sugar for the filling. The recipe provided enough make around 8 mochi balls. This is just about the right quantity for me since they don't taste as good if left overnight.

My husband certainly not a mochi eater like me except ice cream mochi.

Laksa Lemak

When you are in Malaysia, sometime it is very confusing it come to laksa because there are many versions and depends on which part of Malaysia you at, the have a different name and different taste.

Basically, there are 3 type of laksa: Asam Laksa (Penang Laksa), Curry Laksa and Laksa Lemak.

Asam Laksa or Penang Laksa is the one without coconut milk. The soup base was mainly cook from Mackerel and has the spicy and sourly flavor. This is one of the Penang Specialty. If you get a chance to visit Penang, don't miss it.

Curry Laksa and Laska Lemak contain coconut milk. I didn't know Curry Laksa until I went to KL for my college because back in my home town, we always call it Curry Noodle without the word Laksa. So in short Curry Laksa is actually mean Noodle in Curry soup based.

Laksa Lemak is another version I think is from Melaka Nyonya. This is not as common as Asam Laksa or Curry Laksa you can find in Malaysia. If I remember it right, the first time I had Laksa Lemak were from my cousin sister in law. (She is a great cook) She cooked this from scratch and delicious is the only word I can think off.

I bought this Hup Loong Laksa Lemak from Malaysia, and it has been sitting in my pantry for a while. So I decided to treat myself some nice Malaysia noodle soup last weekend. Since we can hardly get Mackerel from here, I substitute the fish with canned Sardine. It taste great and I love premix spice. I actually prefer Hup Loong Laksa Lemak than the Hup Loong Asam Laksa. I think the Asam laksa they have are too spicy for me and lack of flavor. But for this, all you need are some fish, onion and a canned of coconut milk.Yummy!

Sometime, I think it is weird to ask my hubby how's the food taste? Especially Malaysia food that he had never eaten before like this one. He will response with good or OK. Without knowing what to expect and what's the actual flavor of the food, it is very hard for him to give me comment besides great and ok. But I just can't stop myself from asking this question, because I want to know what's his thought about my cooking :)

Crisp Fried Anchovies

Another alternative way to cook anchovies besides Nasi Lemak but this dish can be serve as the side dish for Nasi Lemak as well. When cousin sister-in-law cooked this at home, I thought it was a very simple dish; all you need is some peanut, anchovies and sugar. It turns out I was wrong. It takes more than that. The moment I saw this recipes from Green Mangoes and Lemon Grass and I know I must try this. I love eat this especially with plain porridge.


  • 1/3 cup Oil
  • 2 cups dried cleaned anchovies
  • 1/2 cup peanut
  • 6 shallots, processed until coasty ground
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp chilies powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder


  • Head 2 tbsp oil in a pan
  • Add anchovies and stir fry over medium heat until crisp and brown.Remove from pan, drain on paper towel.
  • Discard cooking oil, clean the pan.
  • Heat the pan and add peanut. Stir fry over low-medium heat until peanut cooked. Remove from pan
  • Heat remaining oil in a pan.
  • Add shallot, stir fry over low heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add sugar, chilies powder and turmeric powder then cook for another minute or two.
  • Return anchovies and peanut to the pan and mix thoroughly.
  • Allow to cool before serving.

Spicy Water Spinach (balancan Kangkung)

I believe that Balancan Kangkung is one Malaysia specialty. There are so many way to cook balancan kangkung. Some people will make the balance mixture from scratch where they pound all the garlic, shallot, chilies and etc with a mortar. Other simple versions include chopping the garlic and chillies with knife, and mix the cube balancan with water and stir fry all ingredient together. For me, I always use the Hup Loong pre-mix balancan powder for the heat and add more some dried shrimp and balance powder.

Last week, I wanted to try something new. I saw this recipe from a cookbook call The Food of Asia and decided to give it a try. The only I omitted from the original recipe is the sesame oil. I don't recall my family adds sesame oil when they cook this dish in so many versions and I think this dish will taste great without it.

  • 2 lb Kangkung (water spinach)
  • 3 tbsp dried shrimp, soak soften
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 6 shallots
  • 2 tsp sambal olek
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 tsp dried shrimp paste powder (Balancan)
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt to taste

  • Blend dried shrimp until fine.
  • Blend garlic, ginger and shallot until fine.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add garlic mixture and dried shrimp. Cook over low heat. Stir frequently for 5 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add sugar, soy sauce and mix well.
  • Add kangkung and stir well.
  • Turn up the heat to high and cover pan with lid until kangkung is tender.
  • Seasoned with salt to taste.
The dish does taste great but I prefer the my shotcut version.