Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Apple Butter with a gingery zing!

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Lately, hubby and I have been frequenting a nearby morning market to get our supply of fresh fruits.  I stocked up on loads of green apples and used some to make Apple Butter.  I love all things apple, especially baked goods and spreads, so the idea of having hot toast with apple butter sounds totally irresistable. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Pan Fried Dumplings

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There's something about pan fried dumplings that is totally addictive don't ya think?  The soupy ones are good, for about three pieces.  But those golden fried beauties, oh, i could eat like ten in a row!

Monday, 22 July 2013

A Weekend in Ho Chi Minh - Part II

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Photo take from

I can eat Vietnamese food every day!

There's something about a cuisine that features such prominent use of fresh herbs, minimal use of oil and heavy reliance on fresh ingredients.  Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisine in the world.

Friday, 19 July 2013

A Weekend in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam - Part 1

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Hubby and I went to Ho Chi Minh (HCM) last week for a short holiday without our 6 year old kiddo.  While we had a total chill and pig out break, our son was having a ball at a friend's house for 3 nights.  So everyone's happy :)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Vietnamese Prawn Rolls

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Making your own Vietnamese Prawn Rolls is simple and easy.  There is a fair bit of preparation, but the recipe is actually very easy and fuss free.  If you are gonna be serving this for several adult size portions, then it makes sense to make your own as the ingredients are very cheap (except the prawns I suppose!) and most of the ingredients can be kept for several days and be used for other types of meals. 

Instead of just plain cooked prawns, I cooked the prawns and toss them in a chili lime dressing to them a zesty flavour that complements the rolls very well.

Curtis Stone's Chili Lime Prawns - recipe HERE

I also used some homemade pickles - comprising julienned carrots, radish and cucumber - in the rolls to give it that added tang and crunch.  You can substitute this with plain strips of the same vegetables.

Simple homemade pickle

Vietnamese Prawn Rolls

  • 300g jumbo cooked prawns, sliced crosswise, recipe HERE
  • 6 pieces of dried rice sheets
  • 1/4 cup of homemade pickle, recipe HERE or substitute with shredded cucumber, carrot and radish
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • Lettuce pieces

Dipping sauce
  • 2 tbspn fish sauce
  • 2 tbspn lime juice
  • 2 tbspn of brown sugar
  • Toasted sesame seeds and crushed peanuts
1.  Dip the rice sheets in a bowl of warm water until softened.

2.  Assemble two pieces of prawns, some pickle or shredded vegetables, mint leaves and lettuce and roll the sheet to wrap it tightly.  Slice each roll diagonally before serving with the dressing.


Love all kinds of rolls?  Here are two other recipes for you to try :-)

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Homemade Pickle

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Ever since hubby got me the Iphone 5, it is so much easier to snap pictures on the go. I also find myself using the phone camera to take more photos of my cooking. That's why you have been seeing more "inferior" quality photos that have minimal styling and food props :P  My poor DSLR...The photos in this post were all taken using the Iphone 5.

After reading Gertrude's post on her Vietnamese lunch, I was inspired to make a batch of homemade pickle so I could then use them to make a similar meal.  Homemade pickle is so easy to make, it just depends on the variety of vegetables you want and how complicated the dressing you prefer. 

I always just opt for something simple and easy to prepare.  These pickle are just one of those things that always come in handy - as appetizers, as tasty sandwich ingredients, as well as ingredients for Vietnamese prawn rolls - recipe coming up!.  Add some of these pickles in the roll and it makes the whole thing so much more apetizing and gives it that wonderful zing and crunch.

I find that the best tool to shred the vegetables into the right strips is not a mandolin or a grater, but this guy below :- 

Thanks to Veron of Quay Po Cooks, who bought this handy tool for me at one of our bloggers' meet.  She said this is widely used to shred unripened mangoes to make Som Tam, the Thai mango salad.

It sure is useful - it shreds the vegetables to the right size and thickness that I like.  I'm sure you can find this in many supermarket or grocery store.

Easy Homemade Pickle

  • 1 medium size cucumber, shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • half a white radish, shredded
  • 1/3 cup of distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt

1.  Put all the ingredients into a big bowl and mix well.

2.  Store in two clean, glass jars (including the liquid) and keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Jumbo Prawns with Chili, Lemon and Parsley

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This is such an easy peasy recipe - you can use the prawns in many ways - eat it on its own as an appetizer, use it in a salad, toss it in noodles, or use it in a wrap.  I used it to make Vietnamese Prawn Rolls - recipe coming up after this post.

My MIL (my ever faithful meat and seafood supplier :P) gave me a packet of HUGE prawns - almost the size of my palm. 

Usually I would pan fry these beauties using my mum's super easy and absolutely delicious recipe, but since I've been craving for some Vietnamese prawn rolls for the past few days, I thought I'd check out another simple prawn recipe that is suitable to make the rolls.  

This recipe from Curtis Stone is perfect as it gives the prawns a zesty and appetizing flavour that goes perfectly well with the fresh herbs and vegetables used in the Vietnamese rolls.

Jumbo Prawns with Chili, Lemon and Parsley
Adapted from Curtis Stone

  • 400g jumbo prawns, shelled, deveined, sliced in halves lengthwise 
  • 2 tsp of sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest and juice / lime juice is fine too
  • 2 tsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Don't discard these prawn shells - freeze them to make the base
for a tasty batch of stock

1.  Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan, and gently pan fry the prawns for 1-2 minutes on each side, until the meat turns opaque and has curled up.  Do not overcook the prawns.

2.  Remove from pan and let it cool.

3.  Add in the dressing and toss to coat evenly.  Serve chilled or use as a base for salads, wraps etc.


I'm submitting this to the "Curtis Stone - Cook Like a Star" bloghop co-hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Grace of Life Can Be Simple, and Yen of Eat Your Heart Out

Friday, 5 July 2013

Monday, 1 July 2013

Easy Brownies with AMC Cookware

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The more I use my AMC Cookware, the more I love how fuss-free it makes my cooking.  Nowadays I hardly use my non-stick pans or my electricity-guzzling oven or even my regular pressure cooker.