Friday, April 30, 2010


I am a true blue Nyonya girl and thus, I just love my chillies and can't live without them. Sadly, living in New Zealand, having a fiery addiction is very costly. In winter, the chillies can be very expensive...if there's any and my solution is to hoard all the chillies that I can get my hands on during the summer months as they are more available and so much cheaper. I am super busy in the summer months ( just like the ants ) and you will find that my freezer is jam packed with trays of chillies, berries and whatever else that I can freeze for the winter months.
Grinding a big batch of chillies is much easier than trying to grind 2 or 3 in a food processor. It is a pain with small quantities as the chillies only get flung to the side of the bowl. I have frozen my batch of chilli paste and just snap pieces off when required. It defrosts very quickly too.
  • 500 gm fresh red chillis or any quantity you like
  • Wash, cut off the ends and remove most of the seeds with a teaspoon if you do not like your chillies to be hot.
  • Put into a food processor and blend until fine. There is no need to add water or oil.

  • Pack into plastic bags, flatten and label.
  • You can also use dried red chillies. Just cut off the stalk of each chilli and then snip into about 2cm lengths. You can remove the seeds if you like and give a thorough wash. Put the washed chillies in a pot and add water to just cover them. Bring to a boil and cook until the chillies soften. Drain the water and put under tap and wash until the water runs clear. Now, it is ready to be blended.
  • It is a good idea to take a small bite of the fresh chilli to determine its spiciness before you decide to remove the seeds or not. Remember, once you decide to blend the chillies with the seeds and if it turns out to be too hot, you can't do anything about it and vice versa.
  • It is easier to blend at least 500gm of chillies.
  • Freeze it flat as it is easier to break off pieces to use as required. Use a baking tray to lay the bags on and once it's frozen, you can remove the tray.
Idea: Sinner

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Vodka is an ideal cocktail base as it has no colour or flavour. Vodka will not freeze so it can be stored in the freezer indefinitely and brought out when icy-cold cocktails are required.

Vodka can be steeped with herbs or fragrant plant product. Try tarragon, honey, chilli. coffee beans, lemon peel or orange peel. Red capsicum ( pepper ), for example, will turn the vodka pink and give it a peppery flavour.

The flavouring agent should be left in the vodka for at least a week and stored away from light. Flavoured vodka should not be used as a mixer but drunk as it is in Russia, neat and cold. You can also use vodka to make vanilla bean extract.

Monday, April 26, 2010


High grade flour is also known as bread flour, high protein flour or plain strong flour. It has a high gluten content and thus it is very suitable to make any kind of bread, pizza base etc..


Hong Kong flour is also known as super light flour ( super soft flour ). It is suitable to make chinese dumplings ( pau ) because it will make the pau to be very white in colour and super soft. It is also suitable to make asian style biscuits.

Sunday, April 25, 2010



Celery is one of the easiest plants to grow. Even if your science project of growing bean sprouts ( taugeh ) in primary school failed, trust me you can't stuff this up!!! It is a fact that I hate eating celery but I just can't resist to plant some every season as whenever visitors drop by, they'll give a pat on my back for 'having' green fingers. So for me; celery = admiration.

Perfect for making 'CULEPLE' juice.


From my garden. ( Summer 2010 ).

In spring 2009, I planted 2 zucchini plants and they gave a bountiful harvest. However, in December I went to Malaysia to visit my family and upon my return a month later both plants died on me. I planted 3 more and a few weeks later strong winds claimed 1 out of 3 plants. Both of the remaining plants had abundant flowers but sadly they were almost all male flowers. Since planting this second batch of zucchini plants, so far I have only got about 3 zucchinis!!

Great to use in Spicy Vegetarian Macaroni.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Harvested from my garden. ( Summer of 2010 ).

This is a huge aubergine plant. I planted this in spring 2009 but it did not flower at all until 2 months ago when I wanted to pull it out. Lo and behold, I saw many budding flowers and within 2 weeks I got my first harvest of 3 aubergine. Right now, this plant is still surviving although its bending like an old man from all the heavy aubergines. I am sooo going to plant a few more next season.

Great for baba ghannouj and spicy vegetarian macaroni.


I simply love my KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer. Just about every chef or baker on television uses it, and so many of the other bloggers all recommend it. It is quite expensive to buy in New Zealand, and I know I could have bought cheaper from America, or even purchased a factory second from The Home Store, but this is a product that should last a lifetime, so only an original model with full New Zealand guarantee will do.

I bought the 90th Anniversay Special Edition Candy Apple Red model and find all the good recommendations are spot on. I love my KitchenAid so much I think if the house were to burn down, it may well be the first item I grab as I dash out the door!