HappY Mini Cupcakes

You might wonder why my H and Y of’ ‘happy’ in my title are in caps. That’s because the person who has inspired me to make these cupcakes have initials HY. (: So this is just a small way to thank you! hehe

so we were speaking one day, and she asked if I ever made cupcakes with rhubarb. and suddenly, it dawned on me that I’ve never tried cooking with rhubarb and I’ve only tried rhubarb once! So on Sunday when we went to the Farmer’s Market at Melbourne Showground and saw organic rhubarb, I couldn’t resist! and I’m so glad I didn’t, cause these little things were yummy! hehe and pretty!

at first we thought about one combination which I will definitely try in time to come, but searched around and saw a post by Cannelle et Vanille which I just couldn’t take my eyes off it and so I just had to give it a try!  (:

It has quite a number of components to it, and I must say all the different steps and time taken to make them is well worth it! The cupcakes came out perfectly! I know I shouldn’t praise my own work, but when I tried these little yumminess, the cupcake base was soft and moist, the poached rhubarb filling wasn’t too sweet, and the strawberry taste in both the cupcake and icing was prominent and they taste distinctly of strawberries!

alot to spare and share !

So there are 4 components to this small yummy cupcakes :

1) Strawberry yogurt cupcake

2) Poached rhubarb filling

3) Strawberry yogurt and cream cheese icing

4) Rhubarb jelly

and this is how it will look when u slice it into half!

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Gnocchi : Made From Scratch

Gnocchi. Little pillowy potato magic that when made and cooked properly would make you smile, and make your tummy very happy. (: Baby and I recently watched Masterchef Australia and saw Matt Moran’s dish of Gnocchi with burnt butter and sage and just couldn’t stop thinking about it. So we had to make it, and we had to make it for lunch today. hehe

Being ANZAC Day today, it was really difficult to get the ingredients we needed cause the supermarkets don’t open until 1pm. So we had to go to all the small marts to gather the ingredients and already that took a long while! There was a lot of prep work, and by the time we got lunch ready, it was already 230! But I think all the effort preparing the gnocchi was worth it! It was pretty yummy! hehe though we haven’t really had gnocchi at restaurants before, so there wasn’t a benchmark to compare it with! hehe But for a first attempt, it was pretty superbly yummy! hehe

so instead of the quail that Matt Moran had with his gnocchi, I made Nando’s roast chicken! (: It went pretty well! hehe although I’m very sure the quail would be better. But we had to substitute since we couldn’t get hold of the quail, plus, one quail would not be enough protein for the boys. haha

Here is the recipe adapted from Masterchef Australia, though to be honest, I made the gnocchi with “feel”. Didn’t follow the measurements, but use it as a guideline anyways! hehe (: ENJOY!

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Not So Traditional Moussaka

My first time having a Moussaka was a vegetarian one and I had it at the best place to have vegetarian food, Original Sin. I have been wanting to make my own moussaka for ages, and finally got down to it! (: I’m so glad I did, cause even though it was time consuming to grill the vegetables, it was all worth it! It was yummy!

Eggplant-Potato-Ricotta-Cheese-Meat Sauce-Eggplant (you get the idea!)

It’s very rich when you have it on it’s own, but have it with a cucumber raita, and it’s just one of the best combination you will ever have on a plate! With this combination, you would never feel too overwhelmed and could just keep eating!

My moussaka, however, is not the traditional kind you find at Greek restaurants. I improvised it a little, adding a little bit of mexican flavour (in a tin) to the dish. I was afraid the flavours might clash, but instead, it gives the dish just the slightest bit of spiciness and the kidney beans gave a good bite with every spoonful! I do apologise if you think it’s not the right way to cook it, but I do enjoy this version quite a bit. hehe

so give it a shot, and let me know if you still do prefer the traditional way of cooking it or the taste (:

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Most Important Meal of The Day : Breakfast

what is your favourite meal of the day? Breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper? Tea maybe? hehe without a doubt, mine is breakfast. Especially having breakfast with my loved ones. We could sit there for an hour or two just enjoying our food, coffee (probably a chai latte) and talking about everything that is happening around us.

my favourite kind of breakfast? Anything that has fruits and eggs and toast! Combine them together, I would say my favourite thing to have for breakfast is French toast or pancakes! hehe But I wouldn’t say I will turn down a good eggs benedict either! haha (:

we went to Safeway a couple of days back and we saw this loaf of bread that I just couldn’t resist. Scones is a big favourite of me and my mum’s and when I saw scones toast, I had to get my hands on them! hehe and the only thing I want to make with them, is french toast! hehe and I did today (:

the thickness of the toast was just right and the fresh bananas complimented the sweetness of everything. Absolutely loved how it turned out! A perfect piece of toast for this dish!

French Toast with Fresh Bananas and Golden Syrup

Ingredients :

4 pieces of bread

3 eggs

1 cup of milk

2 tbs brown sugar

butter for pan

Fruits (any of your favourites)

Maple syrup or Golden syrup

Steps :

1. Beat the eggs, milk and sugar till it’s well combined.

2. Dip bread into the mixture and cook it on a hot pan.

3. Serve with fruits and syrup. EAT UP! (:

Yummy breakfast that didn’t cost the normal $10 I would pay for it outside! (:

Marbled With A Twist

I’ve been in a celebratory mood lately. If you haven’t heard, I got into the course of my dreams : Masters of Education and I can’t be any happier! (: It starts in July so I am really looking forward to that! hehe Plus my significant other has found a job he really really loves, so everything is just falling into place now and I couldn’t be happier!

with happiness, comes my wanting to bake of course! Love to share my love and happiness with the things I cook and bake. I think that’s how the name of my blog came about. (: A couple of weeks back, I read Laureen’s post on roasted banana bundt cake. and I have been craving for banana cake for the longest time! The fact that she roasted her bananas before mashing them, I was intrigued by it and really want to give it a go! so what goes really well with banana? Chocolate! haha actually, I think chocolate goes well with almost everything and anything! SO I decided to make a marble cake, with a twist!

that’s right! Banana and chocolate marble cake! (: I think it’s a perfect combination! I was really excited cause I got a new bundt cake tin and was itching to use it! hehe and the cake came out beautifully the moment i overturned it! hehe

Banana cake has been a family favourite and I think it’s probably one cake I can safely say many people love. Baby and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood and walked into a fruit shop and the bananas were just starring at us! hehe So I had to get some and immediately I thought about Laureen’s banana cake. hehe so today was definitely the day to bake this yummy cake! hehe

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Cinnamon Raisin Pecan Rolls

oops. I did it again. my cravings always gets the best of me. haha (: Well but after seeing how this turned out. I have no regrets whatsoever. Just need to include more exercising in my daily routine, and I am safe! haha.

This is a Rachel Ray recipe. When I am back in Singapore and wake up early in the morning, I would always turn the tv on and catch the Rachel Ray show. I find it really amazing how she can always whip up something delicious and she does it with interesting themes : all things that are from a bottle, or leftovers, or practically anything! Her ability to make or bake something yummy is endless! So when I decided to try another recipe for these delicious little things, and saw that she has a recipe online, I couldn’t not try it!

Sorry I didn’t manage to take step to step photos. I was busy watching tv shows as I was baking these! But I followed the recipe to the tee, and trust me it’s one you would wanna dive right in to! (:

I used two different sized pans. One is a 20X20 square pan and a 18cm round pan. I personally loved how the buns turned out in the round pan. I thought it looks just like a flower. A yummy one, indeed. haha

and I didn’t burn it this time! (: The colour on the rolls were just gorgeous! Was so happy when I took them out of the oven! hehe

So give this recipe a shot as well as the other and let me think which u prefer!

Cinnamon Raisin and Pecan Rolls (Adapted from Rachel Ray Mag.com)

Ingredients :

½ ounce dried yeast (2 envelopes)
½ cup warm water
¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons milk
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 4½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins + 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Steps :

1. Combine the yeast and warm water and set aside for 10 minutes.

2. Warm 3/4 cup of the milk in the microwave. In a large bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of the melted butter and the warm milk. Using an electric mixer with a dough hook at low speed, or a wooden spoon, slowly stir the dissolved yeast into the butter and milk. Add ½ cup of the granulated sugar, the egg and the salt, and mix until combined. Add 4 cups of the flour, ½ cup at a time; mix until smooth. If the dough is sticky, add up to ½ cup of flour.

3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes, place in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4. Stir together the brown sugar, the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and the cinnamon. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to form a 12-by-24-inch rectangle. Brush the remaining 3 tablespoons of melted butter over the dough, and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top. Scatter the raisins over the dough.

5. Starting with a long side, roll the dough up into a log, jelly-roll style, then cut with dental floss or a sharp knife into generous 1-inch slices. Place in 3 greased 9-inch round cake pans (about 7 rolls per pan). Let the rolls rise for 45 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the rolls, uncovered, until crusty and golden on top, about 25 minutes.

Turning 24 : Best Meal Ever !

Grossi Florentino. (:

Just thinking about the food we had last night, makes me hungry and makes me smile. From the first course of bread and extra virgin olive oil, to the ever famous Tiramisu for dessert. Everything was just perfect. and the icing on the cake? Meeting Guy Grossi himself! I never knew he worked there and would appear in the restaurant, going around to every table and asking if we enjoyed our meal. His humility, touched me. And baby said, my smile was wider than when I saw Gordan Ramsay during the Good Food and Wine Show! haha

There are a few people I have to thank for tonight :

My baby of course. Thank you for the wonderful meal (: Definitely the best meal I’ve ever had! hehe

Peggy and Paul for the recommendation! hehe

okie. enough of the logistics. time for the food! hehe. Now, don’t blink. Cause you would really want to sink your teeth into everything that we had last night. hehe

once we were seated, we were greeted with warmth, bread and the best quality of extra virgin olive oil and some olives!

and super duper long bread sticks that were super yummy!

i think we enjoyed the bread and bread sticks too much, finished them all! (:

time for our starters :

Tortellini di aragosta

Peggy told me that the Lobster Tortellini was a MUST. and so I did! (: And boy was I glad I listened to her. hehe it was SO GOOD! The burnt butter sauce complimented it so well.

I could definitely have more! (:

Ceviche di capesante

Baby had the scallop ceviche and I knew the reason why he ordered it. It’s cause he knew I love raw scallops. (: That’s how lucky I am. He would order something just cause he knew it’s something I like, and there’s more than 1 thing I wanted to try on the menu hehe. Thanks sweetie! (:

amazing presentation.

slices of scallops with a tinge of spice with an awesome vinaigrette. Pure yumminess. (:

by this time, we were so looking forward to our mains.

Anatra al vinsanto

yes. I know. it looks amazing. (: Simply put : Duck confit with roast duck breast and a mushroom tart.

breaking them down to the three separate components –

duck confit – with the meat falling off the bone. superb. really superb.

Roast duck breast – Perfectly cooked with crispy skin that was just full of flavour.

Mushroom tart. Just about the best tart I’ve had. The crust had a cheesy taste and just melts in your mouth.

Costata di manz

Baby’s aged rib steak that was so well cooked that it didn’t even need a sauce to company it.

it’s so good, it’s worth another look! (:

Patate all’Italiana

a perfect side to go with our mains : Fried potatoes with rosemary and garlic

Crispy on the outside. Tender on the inside.

see the smile on our faces? hehe (:

I love how they had their own glasses, plates and even their own wine! (:

for dessert : the best tiramisu !

I loved how they serve this dessert. It came our in a huge bowl, and was served table-side.

looking at all these pictures, it’s quite obvious why we were both really happy right?

Grossi Florentino – AMAZING !