This has got to be one of the easiest to bake peanut butter cookies. It still does not top my mom's own recipe but sometimes one has to think of one's own convenience. And this one certainly is a recipe for keeps. I got it from the 'Almost Bourdain' blog.
2 cups (300g) plain flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
180g unsalted butter, still cool and cut into chunks
1/3 cup (75g) castor sugar
1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
110g crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup (50g) salted peanuts
Sea salt flakes, for topping
Blitz the flour, baking powder and salt together in a food processor for about 10 seconds. Keep aside in a bowl.
Blitz the butter and both the sugars in the food processor for about 40 secs till they are light and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and the egg. Whizz for another 10 seconds. At this point the mixture may look curdled but that is okay.
Now, add the above flour mixture which was kept aside to the processor until it forms a thick soft dough.
Add the peanuts to the dough and stir with a spatula (though you may find it easier to do this with your own hand).
Divide the dough in half. Lay a large sheet of foil. Gently knead one piece of the dough briefly to bring it together, then roll it into a log about 5 cm in diameter. Sit the log on one edge and roll it up in the foil. Twist the ends of the foil tightly on both ends. Repeat with the remaining dough.
If you are planning to bake the biscuits on the same day, chill the logs for 2-3 hours until they are firm enough to slice. You could alternatively freeze the logs in your fridge up to 4 weeks - just defrost them in the fridge before slicing them!)
Preheat your oven to 150°C. Line some baking trays with baking paper. Unwrap the log of dough and cut into half an inch slices. Place them onto the tray and sprinkle some sea salt onto each. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the biscuits are gloden brown and feel crisp to touch. And you've got the best tasting crunchy peanut butter cookies ever!
My aunt Aysha's recipe and another one of my childhood favourites. It is of course Malaysian and is great to have when one is suffering from an upset tummy and nothing else seems appetizing.
25g agar agar (seaweed that becomes jelly like)
7 cups of water
a pinch of salt
Boil the agar agar in some water in a saucepan with a pinch of salt. Once the agar agar melts, add sugar to the saucepan and stir until it dissolves. Reduce the heat and let it simmer while you prepare Step 2.
1 cup coconut milk
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup pandan juice (screwpine leaves that are blended with some water and strained...it should be thick).
Blend all of the ingredients above (from Step 2 only). Then, carefully pour contents of Step 2 into the saucepan containing contents of Step 1 and heat it until the liquid simmers (should not boil!). Remove from heat and stir it with a ladle. Pour the liquid into moulds and wait for 2-3 hours until it hardens. Best served when chilled slightly
I have been sampling something yummy on a daily basis now that I am visiting my family in Malaysia. I have to say that my younger sister is a better cook than I am mainly because she cooks exactly like my mom! My mom is an excellent cook and I always could eat spicy food without any problems. Unfortunately, moving to Europe has made me a sissy when it comes to spicy food now.
I learnt how to make Fried Mackerel indian style from both of them last week. Here is how you do it.
4-6 chunks of large Mackerel
3 cloves of garlic
an inch of ginger
3-4 black peppercorn
1/2 teaspoon fennel
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
a sprig of curry leaves (not to blend, for garnish)
Blend all the above ingredients and season with salt to taste. Rub it onto the fish and leave it for about 15 minutes.
You can now either deep fry the fish in oil or use a non stick grill pan and with minimum oil (I used 2 tablespoon of olive oil) and grill fry it until nicely browned on both sides.
Serve with some rice, fish curry and veggies.
Picture perfect (with no photoshopping!) ! In New Zealand, while we were driving around the South Island, we crossed the Marlborough plains and passed all these beautiful and picturesque vineyards twice in fact thanks to bad weather in Nelson. It at least made up for us not being able to explore the Abel Tasman and the Farewell Spit.
New Zealand was really a feast for the eyes and the soul. It has definitely spiced up our lives! I would truly recommend a visit to NZ but make sure you have time. A week or two is actually never really enough to get to know a country. Of course to get that much time off from work/routine schedule is never easy. But as I read somewhere, no one ever says 'I wish I had spent more time working!' when they are at their deathbed. So live a little and TRAVEL!
In Malaysia we have a savoury food that is very popular among kids and adults alike called the Curry Puffs. It can be had for breakfast, tea, as a snack ,etc. For me it is one of those foods that instantly bring childhood memories to life! I used to always get some Chicken curry puffs from the canteen during my schooling in Malaysia. And back then it used to cost like 20 or 30 sens.
This is the first time I was trying to make Sardine puffs simply because it is easier to make and I had a hungry husband to feed!
1 roll of ready made puff pastry
1 can of sardines (120g)
1/2 of red pepper chopped small
1/2 of an onion chopped small
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 egg, beaten
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and the garlic and stir for 2 minutes. Then add the curry powder and fry for a minute. Add the red pepper and the sardines. Stir fry until most liquid has evaporated and the set aside to let cool for 15 minutes
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
Unroll the puff pastry and cut to your desired size. Spoon the sardine mix onto your pastry.
How I did mine was, I cut a rectangular piece of the pastry, spooned the sardine on to the middle and then folded both ends and the sides on top of the pastry. Repeat this as many times as you want (I managed to get 6 large Sardine Puffs)
Finally, brush some egg on to the top of the pastry for glazing.
Bake at 220°C for 15-20 minutes until the top is brown and crispy.
Serve hot with some sweet chilly sauce (the kind you use for spring rolls)
In Penang there is a traditional lantern maker. Problem is he is probably the only traditional lantern maker left in Malaysia! These days made in China products seems to be the norm.
The Lantern Maker makes wonderful lanterns out of bamboo and paper. These lanterns were originally made only for the temples and clan houses. These days though a lot of refurbished shophouses in Penang have managed to get a pair to adorn their footpath. One lantern takes about 3 months to make according to him and his wife helps out with the painting. Both must be now in their late 70s.
When we met him for the first time, he was still living in an old pre-war shophouse lot in Penang on Magazine Road. With the help of our trishaw rider, we communicated with him and managed to get across that we wanted a pair of lanterns that we would pick up a couple of months later when he is finished. Unfortunately, he ended up getting us mixed up with someone else and the ones we had asked him to make ended up in someone else's hands. My friend Elene poor thing had to endure many phone calls with him to make sure he eventually gets our lanterns done. Half the frustration was every time she would call him, she'd have to go through the story again. And in the midst of all this, the poor guy and his wife were made to vacate their dilapidated shophouse and move into another neighbourhood. The hunt for their new place when we eventually got word that our lanterns were done was another story all together!
In the end, on the day when he finally decided to meet us at a meeting point to hand over the lanterns, it was raining cats and dogs and we had to get the lanterns wrapped up in plastic to make sure they stayed dry. We of course, got thoroughly drenched. Now the lanterns are in my sister's possessions. To transport the fragile lanterns from Malaysia to Switzerland is a headache. We are at the moment trying to get the lanterns packed in wooden crates to withstand the journey from Asia to Europe.
Is is all worth it? Depends on how you value things. There never is going to be another traditional lantern maker when he is gone. For us that is a good reason enough to go through all this effort.
The lanterns are BEAUTIFUL!
Ever crave for something sweet before lunch or in the late afternoons before tea or even in the evenings after dinner? We think we have found a recipe to bust it! It's not something new, am sure most of you know about it and go, 'oh I know that!'. But how many of you actually then make the effort to make it? I can fully recommend it.....it has definitely done wonders for our complexion and hunger pangs at the same time.
200g berries (any and every berry you can lay your hands on eg. raspberries, strawberries etc)
half a cup of yogurt/low fat milk (or a scoop of ice cream if you really want some dessert)
a cup of water
a tablespoon of honey (optional)
Blend it all together. Et voila! Snack time!