AFC GRILLED : Chef Sean Connolly

An evening of good food.

Lap Cheong Watermelon Bites

An asian take on watermelon bites!

Baked Fish with Kiwi in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Add a twist to sweet and sour fish!

Semperit Pandan Cookies

Cute cookies for the festive season!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cauliflower Pumpkin Curry


Frequent rains and gloomy clouds, the days have been really chilly at my summery corner of the world. I would never have turned down an ice cream treat, but ...brrr!

These are days I cuddle up with hot tea, chocolates and meals that bring warmth to the body, like curry.

Curry has been playing on my mind. I was on my sofa nicely tucked under a blanket. I hadn't really wanted to do anything but I had to eat. Heh! So, off I went to see what was in my fridge. And that's how I landed myself with a cauliflower curry.

I had both cauliflower and pumpkin to clear off. I got into the groove once the cutting and chopping started. An hour later, my curry dish was ready and I was gleefully scooping huge spoonfuls onto my plate of rice. This, to me, is comfort food!   

Cauliflower Pumpkin Curry

Here's how I made this.

Cauliflower Pumpkin Curry
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 cup cubed pumpkin
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 3 star anise
- 3 dried bay leaves

Mix together into wet curry paste
- 2½ tbsp curry powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- 2 tbsp dried red chilli paste
Note: Add a bit of water to the curry paste, if too dry.

- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- Salt to taste and pinch of white pepper
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh coriander

1) Heat oil in pan. Saute onion and garlic until lightly browned. Add curry paste, bay leaves and star anise. Stir-fry until paste is a darker shade of red or until oil separates.

2) Add pumpkin and cauliflower. Pour the coconut milk in. Season with salt and pepper, and stir until all the ingredients are well coated.

3) Add water. Simmer covered on lower heat until pumpkin is smashed and the cauliflower is cooked.

4) Switch the heat off. Stir fresh coriander in and serve!

1) Ingredients 2) Sauteing onion and garlic.
3) Adding in the spices and curry paste.

1) Adding pumpkin and cauliflower into the mix. 2) Mixing the coconut milk in.
3) Add water and cook until pumpkin is smashed.

There you have it, served with fresh coriander.

Cauliflower Pumpkin Curry with Fresh Coriander

It's great with rice and oh-so-perfect with roti.

Cauliflower Pumpkin Curry ..dig in!

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Tree Cut-Out Cookies


It's almost Christmas, and we're at the peak of joy and togetherness. This is halfway into the holiday season. Hardworking loved ones are having their much-needed break. Everyone's relaxed. It's a nice feeling. Now, imagine if there were week long holidays every month of the year! I guess we'd all be smiling from ear to ear.

I did hint in my previous post that I had baked Christmas Tree cookies. I'm finally unveiling it today. This is a Nigella Lawson recipe. I chose it because it was simple.

My strategy has always been not to make complicated food on days I have much to do and this happens often during the holidays. There's extra housecleaning, the kind that happens seasonally, and lots of outings ...lots!

Additionally, if I decide to organise a party, I'd rather catch up with people than try to wow them with something elaborate on the dinner table ..unless I have help, of course and if it's an event where everyone chips in. Otherwise, it's always quick and easy food for me during the festive period and more difficult ones, after!

So this is it - an easy one, but no less pretty. Click here for the ingredients and how-to on 'Cut-Out Cookies'.

Christmas Tree Cut-Out Cookies

These cookies are sweet enough on its own but this is meant to be a festive treat. Therefore, the little extra icing, I think, wouldn't hurt.

1) Creaming butter and sugar together. 2) The egg and vanilla is added.
3) Dry ingredients consisting of flour, baking powder and salt. 4) Combining wet and dry ingredients.

1) My cookie dough. 2) Form a flat disk, wrap and refrigerate!
3) Work on a floured surface. 4) Roll out to just under a quarter inch thick. Cut into shapes.

My baking experience - 8 minutes flat at 175C, no more. The cookies are ready when the edges begin to brown.

Off the cookie dough goes in the oven on a lined baking tray.

Isn't it a beauty?

Begin icing once the cookies are cool. I tinged a third of the icing with a bit of red and the rest with green. Use a teaspoon to drizzle the green icing back and forth across the cookie from top to bottom. Lastly, dot with pink icing.

Drizzling the green icing across and dotting the light pink on!

My Christmas cookies are ready

The back of the cookie

Storing tips - Stack the cookies with a piece of baking paper placed in between each layer. This prevents the cookies from sticking to each other.

Christmas Tree cookies on the third day!

I think it makes a nice gift.


This blog post is linked to Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2014 organised by these wonderful people - Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Eggless Honey Walnut Cake


'Tis the season to be jolly. That's how it feels to be in the kitchen these days, brimming with life and hums of holiday tunes. No sooner had I finished baking Christmas Tree cookies, I was already scouring my books and the web for another recipe to try.

But boohoo, I ran out of eggs! Hence, my first attempt at an eggless cake recipe. What do you think? 

Eggless Honey Walnut Cake

It turned out great. Taste-wise, no less delicious and it was very moist. It's day two and the cakes are still good, left outside at room temperature in a container.

A Slice Of Eggless Honey Walnut Cake

This is a recipe I adapted from Taste Goblet - Eggless  Maple Pecan Cake. I changed some of the ingredients and, always wanting a shortcut, the steps differ too.

Eggless Honey Walnut Cake
- 1½ cups cake flour
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ cup roughly crushed walnuts
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp Tasmanian pure leatherwood honey
- ½ cup milk + juice of 2 calamansi lime (mix together)
- A little butter for greasing the baking tin

1) Sift cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.

2) Add walnuts and caster sugar. Stir to combine.

3) Push the mixed flour aside to make a hole in the center. Pour oil, milk-lime mixture and honey into the hole. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.

4) I use a baking tin with 8-rectangular holes. Grease six of the moulds with butter. Then, fill with batter until ¾ full.

5) Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C for 15minutes. Reduce to 165C for a further 5 minutes. Total bake time : 20 minutes. Use a skewer to check - if the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done.

This baking time and temp works best for my oven. Do a bake test (of 1 piece) to find out what works best for you.

6) Allow the cakes to cool in tin for about ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. The cakes should slide out of the mould with a little tap. Let it cool completely before decorating.

7) For a Christmassy feel, I dusted the cakes with icing sugar and sprinkled some white and gold sugar pearls over.

The cake is sweet enough on its own. Frosting is not a must.

1) Pure leatherwood honey 2) Add sugar and nuts to the flour mix
3) Combine all the dry ingredients. 4) Add the wet ingredients and combine

1) Pour batter into baking tin 2) The cake rises
3) Bake until nicely browned 4) Test with skewer and remove from oven

Let The Mini Cakes Cool!

No Greaseproof Paper Required!
Individual cake mould size : About 2x3 inches each

Well, that's that. I'm off to enjoy another slice! Happy Holidays, everyone ♥

Eggless Honey Walnut Cake


This blog post is linked to Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2014 organised by these wonderful people - Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Food Decoration : Spring Onion Curls (Flower)


It is 'scallion' to some and 'spring onion' to another, depending where you're from. For us, it's called the spring onion or daun bawang (onion leaf) in Malay.

I often use spring onions as a garnishing food item or bake them into savoury treats. The ones I eat are grown from red onions and is harvested fresh from my balcony garden. It's something I plant because I find it therapeutic to do so and pretty to look at.

This is one of my favourite ways to decorate home-cooked meals. It's easy and uncomplicated. A little snip here and there and the spring onion curls into a delicate flower decoration that can be used on top of pies, thick soups, or sprinkled abundantly over any dish of your preference.

The steps. Take a fresh stalk. Rinse under cool water.

Fresh Spring Onions

Cut the spring onion into 1.5-inch pieces . With a small scissor (or knife), make a cut along the length of the piece, about 1-inch from one end of the stalk. Make another cut and another, until several thin strips have been made (at the same length). Depending on the size of the stalk, I make between 5-8 small cuts.

Be careful not to slice or tear it all the way down.

Making a cut into the Spring Onion

 It should look like this.

Make several strips at the tip!

The strips will start to curl. If not, dip in cool water or rinse lightly under cool tap water. It will curl into these beautiful looking flowers.

Spring Onion Flower Curls

Now, you can decorate your dish! Some examples for an idea.


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