2014-10-25

Pumpkin mantou fever

I always wanted to make mantou (Chinee bun), but then I did not have the courage until only recently. I worried that my mantou (馒头)will turn out to be "sek tou" (石头).

When I tried for the first time, I made the swiss roll shape pumpkin mantou, My girls loved them. I felt motivated, and I kept on trying.

Second times, I made double colours mantou, I stacked pumpkin and purple sweet potatoes dough together and rolled them like a swiss roll. They didn't look that great, may be the dough had been proofing for too long.


Third times, I made different shapes of  mantou. Croissant, flower, rose and triangle shapes, and I still used pumpkin and purple sweet potatoes, because both of them can give the natural sweetness.


Next time, I must learn to put different fillings inside the mantou.


I made many, thank Goodness my princesses love them. I gave some of these mantou to my PIL and my colleagues too.


I personally heart these rose pumpkin mantou the most. They were just soft and fluffy, and I did not need to steam them again when I ate on the next day.

Pumpkin Rose Buns 南瓜玫瑰形馒头
*makes 10 buns
(Recipe source is taken from Sonia A.K.A. Nasi Lemak Lover)
90g mashed pumpkin
25g fresh milk
1/2tsp instant yeast
200g plain flour
35g sugar (reduce to 25g if you prefer less sweet)
20g corn oil

Method


  1. Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl then combine well and knead till smooth. Set aside to rest for 15mins.
  2. Weight the dough into 15g each and roll into ball. Roll out 5 pieces into round thin shape, and roll a small piece of dough like a small log (two ends smaller).
  3. Layer the rolled out pieces of dough so that they overlap each other. Place a chopstick in the middle and press down lightly over the layered circles of dough, to secure in place. Put the log-shaped piece of dough at the end of circle of dough.
  4. Roll up the pieces by holding at the middle of dough, then halve the dough using a knife.
  5. Place the wrapped dough cut side down on a paper. Repeat for the rest of the dough.
  6. Put the rose shaped buns in a steamer, and leave to rise for 20mins.
  7. Bring water to a boil in a steamer. Steam the rose buns over high heat for 15 minutes.

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by  Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY)  and hosted by  Eileen (Eileen's Diary).

Pumpkin white fungus dessert

I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin in everything. I am attracted to all types of pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin goes well in almost everything. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin dessert, pumpkin cake, pumpkin soup, pumpkin noodle, pumpkin bun -- the lists are endless, and endlessly mouthwatering.

It's Halloween this Friday, and the reasons to celebrate with more pumpkin cooking.

Besides, pumpkin is packed with some powerful healthy perks -- like keeping heart health, vision, waistline and skin in check, as long as reducing additional sugar, that is.

Let me know how you find pumpkins in the comments!

Whenever I went to market, I would come back with at least a slice of pumpkin. This pumpkin dessert that I boiled last weekend is my top favorite.  Only 4 ingredients, white fungus, lotus seeds and pumpkin. A little bit of rock sugar for taste.

Recipe Source - Kimmy - Cooking Pleasure
(I amended the recipe slightly) 
Ingredients
20 gm white fungus - soaked, washed and break into florets
200 gm pumpkin - peeled and cut into small pieces
20 red dates
20 lotus seeds (optional)
3 pieces pandan leaves - washed and knotted
2000 ml water
90 gm rock sugar to taste
  1. Bring water to boil with white fungus.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Add in lotus seeds and red dates.  Cook for another 20 minutes.
  3. Lastly add in the pumpkin and pandan leaves.  Cook for a further 15 minutes until pumpkin is soft.  Add in sugar to taste.
  4. Dish up to serve warm or chilled.

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by  Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY)  and hosted by  Eileen (Eileen's Diary).

2014-10-17

Last day on Star Cruises Libra

We had actually booked Krabi tour package for my PIL. Due to the violent storm, strong wind and heavy rain, the cruises captain decided to cancel all the tours in Krabi. All passengers were remained in the ship until the cruises crew distributed new navigator on  updated schedule.
Luckily, the cruises crew is well-trained and experienced. They came out with unplanned games and programs to keep all passengers entertained. My girls were having fun in the games, they even took part in the ping pong competition.

We were too free when the pool and jacuzzi were now back to the public. We had to create some fun by mimicking our dear blogger friend, SK doing his signature pose in most of his solo travel pictures. Look at the picture, April and May got it almost right, and my hands and legs coordination was totally disaster. T___T

JAM (Jin, April and May) were doing the comedy version of Titanic pose. Muahahaha!

 
Again, April and May were doing Uncle SK's pose. You can see they had so much fun doing the pose. Thank to you, SK!

We also joined the Gala Dinner. We booked Ocean Palace, the Chinese cuisine. We got to take picture with the Captain and cruises crew while walking red carpet . All the crew were so well-dressed on that evening, as it was the farewell dinner to all of us. They would invite the passengers to dance with them in their Stardust Lounge. We were also given a glass of free beers/wines/fruit punch/soft drinks while enjoying "simply the best" show.

I want to praise the crew whom we met on the cruises. They were so friendly, helpful and warm to everyone. I managed to take pictures with some of them before we left the ship.

We didn't spend much in our cruises trip, because we didn't take the Phuket tour package and the Krabi tour was cancelled. We only spent on 2 bottles of wines and 3 copies of photos which were taken by the professional when we boarded the ship and with the Captain. The total damage is RM 300.

Other than the fun, the joy, the memories, and perhaps the fat, we also brought back some souvenirs which were given by Star Cruises during the couple games and children games.

We miss our cruises trip so much, JAMY (Jin, April, May and Yannie) wish that we can go on cruises again in future.

Thank you Anay, TM (Twilight Man) for the heads up that he gave to me on his recent cruises trip. 

2014-10-15

Super Star Cruises Libra 2014 - Part 2

Day 2, Starcruises Libra sailed to Phuket, Thailand. Due to the bad weather, many passengers suffered from sea sick, including my MIL.

We didn't follow any tour when ship parked at Phuket port. We let MIL rest in the cabin until she felt much better to join us for a walk at the market just outside the ship.
Yours truly posing with the gorgeous Libra.

That is a must to snap many pictures at the top desk.
Yours truly posing in new swimwear before having the courage to dip inside the very cold pool water.

Look at us, we had the whole pool to ourselves. We were like swimming in our own ship.

*Fantasy mode on* This is my private ship, if you happen to see anyone in the background. That is my cruises crew.

We swam from end to end in the pool. I allowed the coldness of water to burn some calories of what I ate in the breakfast buffet and lunch buffet.

Again, we had the whole jacuzzi hot tubs to ourselves. Shiokalingam!

There are two jacuzzi, one with warm water  at body temperature and another one with water that is hotter.

That is all for my part 2, it showed how we fully utilized the whole pool and jacuzzi to ourselves. We enjoyed swimming in the pool and soaking in  the jacuzzi very much, especially when everyone was out for Phuket tour. This privacy didn't last long, the crowd returned at dinner.

I will conclude my whole cruises trip in Part 3. Thanks for reading. 

2014-10-03

Starcruises Libra 2014 - Part 1

On September school break, we went for my long awaiting cruises trips from Penang to Phuket and Krabi. We had actually thought of going on cruises a few years ago. Finally, we materialized a travel wish this year. Happy!
We drove to Penang Port at noon. Other than our small family of 4, this time we took my parents in law along for the cruises.
Once boarding Starcruises Libra, a trio group band consists of a singer and 2 guitarists welcomed us with many lovely English songs at lobby. Sometimes, there was a pianist playing us nice and soothing music that would make us forget about the nausea when seasick.
We checked in to our cabins at desk 7. 3 cabins for 6 of us. April and May didn't find their room small but rather cute. lol!
We had some light refreshment and a quick shower before heading to the emergency drill at desk 6.
The cruises Entertainment and Event manager gave us information on the subsequent programs, that would happen on next two days, it covered Phuket and Krabi tours .
There was a welcome BBQ party for all of us at the pool side. Oh boy! It was just day 1 and we were served with lots of food that as tasty as it was from heaven. I like fruit and dessert the most. Slurp!
Later in the evening, it was show time. The show includes magic shows, acrobatic displays and fascinating dances and songs. April and May liked the magic show very much, We later signed them up for the magic class. The magic class was taught by the magician (in the picture above) . He and his wife are from California, USA. They were here with the cruises since January this year. 

Tell you what, every night there was also supper served to us before we wanted to call it a day.
Therefore, I woke up the next day, the first place I visited was the gym. I still ran my 9km for an hour there because I wanted to bring back only the beautiful memory and not the fat. Though I had the whole gym to myself, I didn't really like it as the room temperature was too cold for me to sweat all out ( I had actually set the air-con temperature to the highest).

Please stay tuned for the part 2, you would think that I had boarded my private ship. 

2014-09-26

Cakes that I bake with sponge mix

I get to know Pettina sponge mix from Angeline's  blog. I saw her and Hayley steaming some beautiful cupcakes. So, I bought Pettina sponge mix to replace the normal self-raising flour in my recent baking.

Baked Marble cake with Pettina sponge mix. 
You can see from the picture that I didn't successful in making the nice marble swirl. Anyway, the marble cake turned out to be fluffy and soft.

Original recipe is from here.

Oven: Preheat oven for 15 minutes before baking

The Recipe:

Ingredients:
250g sponge cake mix flour
4 eggs
4 tbsp water
4 tbsp melted butter/corn oil

Method
1. Put sponge cake mix flour and eggs into a mixing bowl. 
2. Use low speed to mix into smooth batter. 
3. Increase to high speed and beat batter until white and creamy. 
4. Add water and continue to beat until light and fluffy. 
5. To Test, use mixture to drip into a "O" shape and it can keep the shape for 10 seconds. 
6. Use a plastic spatula and mix in the melted butter in ONE DIRECTION until well-combined.DONT over-mix the mixture . If mixture starts to break up and turns watery, it means air bubbles have broken up and the cake texture will be coarse and hard. 
7. Pour the mixture into a lined and greased baking tin, bake in a pre-heated oven at 180degC for 30 to35 minutes or until cooked and golden brown. 
8. Remove and leave to cool.

Baked Zebra cake with Pettina sponge mix. 
I tried to make pandan and coffee zebra stripes this time. I think pandan and coffee would make a good combination and give better aroma.

Ingredients :( A )
200g butter
210g eggs (about 4)
250g sponge mix
5g salt
125ml milk
(B)7g instant coffee 3 in 1 
     1 tbs of pandan 

Methods:
1. Beat butter and sugar till white and fluffy.
2. Add in egg one at a time and beat till well combined after each addition.
3. Fold in sifted flour and salt, alternate with milk until well mixed.
4. Separate batter into two portions. In one portion of the batter, add in the coffee powder and another one add in pandan and mix well.
5. Put 3 tbsp of pandan batter into the center of the pan and let it spread slightly on its own. Put 3 tbsp of coffee batter in the center of the pandan batter. It will push out the other batter and, as it sits for a moment, will also spread itself. Alternating spoonfuls of the two batters, repeat the technique until all the batter has been used up.
6. Bake at pre-heated oven at 160 degree for 40 - 45 mins or until skewer comes out clean.


Steamed cupcakes with Pettina Sponge Mix 
Just add in 300ml water into 500g Pettina sponge mix. Put in cocoa powder with a small portion of batter. Make marble swirl on top of the cupcakes and steam for 15 minutes.  You can view the step by step instructions from here. These were not tasted as yummy as I expected, may be because it is less sugar, egg less and oil-free.

Steamed pumpkin cupcakes with Pettina Sponge Mix
I love these steamed pumpkin cupcakes the most. I find it more flavorful than the plain steamed cupcakes. Everything with pumpkins and sweet potatoes are my type of recipes.

Ingredients:
(A) Starter
50g sponge mix
50ml water
1 teaspoon instead yeast

(B)
50ml water
90g palm sugar (gula melaka)
320g  sponge mix
200g pumpkin puree (steamed and mashed)
100ml coconut milk
1 egg

(C)
Pumpkin seeds (optional)

Methods:
1. Mix all the starter ingredients and set aside for ½ hour to rest.
2. Prepare palm sugar syrup by adding diced palm sugar into water. Bring to simmer till all sugar melt. Strain and leave to cool. 
3. In a mixer, put in cool palm sugar syrup, pumpkin puree, coconut milk and egg. Mix till well combine. Set aside.
4. In a big bowl, sift in all-purpose flour and double action baking powder. Make a well in the center.
5. Pour in palm sugar mixture from step 3 together with starter. Fold till well incorporated.
6. Pour batter into lined paper cups till 90% full. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
7. Bring water to rapid boil. Place the proof batter cups into steamer and steam at high heat for 15 minutes. 

2014-09-20

Attending colleague's wedding dinner

23 August, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got married in France. I was invited to attend my colleague's wedding too. Wedding dinner was held at Hotel Flemington.

Before the dinner was served, we must take many pictures together.


These are all the ladies in IT department. Hayley had resigned and she is now a Tao Keh Soh of her beauty products online store.


I took April with me that evening as she was the only person left at home. My husband was at work and May went to tuition.


In case you miss Ah Hua a.k.a Yvonne. She is doing good and getting prettier everyday. I don't know when she will get back her blogging mojo and reveal her secrets of staying so well-preserved and slim.


Ever since moving to new office, I miss all Angeline's bakes. I am envy those who is still in the same office with her. She is the most generous person that she would bring all her baking and cooking to the office after trying out new recipes. What a great loss for not able to taste all those yummy bakes  of Angeline.


Hayley is the most convincing lady boss of  her beauty products online store. By looking at her, you will place order automatically from what she is using on her head to her toes. So far, I have bought eye masks and Miracle Aloe Vera gel from her. After reading her review posts, more to buy!


Lastly, a portrait of yours truly in yellow jumpsuit. Picture was taken by April. Till then, you have a nice day.