Cooking With Love

I know a lot of us would say our mum’s cooking is the best food in the world. I would too! My mom makes the best nasi lemak, bihun goreng, lontong, mee Jawa, gulai-gulai kampung, kuih Cara, kuih ketayap, puding sagu gula Melaka and the list goes on. Heck, she even makes the best omelette!

For years I thought it was because mums had years of cooking experience, but now I realized it’s not just about mastering the techniques or recipes. It’s the unconditional love that mums put into their cooking that made their dishes unforgettable. “Air tangan ibu”, as we say it in Malay. Mums cook with love and that is the secret ingredient!

My mum enjoys cooking. It’s her passion, really. I think it’s one of her ways to show her love for the family. She can spend hours in the kitchen, preparing meals for her family without any complain, and her food always taste good. You can taste the love in every bite! She even told us that there’s particular food that she cook that will remind her of each of her children (gulai masak lemak labu and puding sagu gula Melaka are some of the food that would remind her of me because those are my fave).

Undoubtedly, being a mum is never easy but things sure are different when it is done out of love for the family. Just like this video below, I’m pretty sure mothers out there can relate to this too.



 
Now that I’m a mum myself, I finally get it. Cooking is like love made visible. There’s this unexplainable satisfaction feeling when I get to feed my family with the food that I cook myself. Cooking has become even more fun for me now, what with my food flatlay craze. I just love arranging and styling food on the table. My girls get excited too, seeing all those beautiful set up that I made. They felt like we were having a tea party or a special dinner or something. Makes dining even more fun! Hehe.

Knorr is having a special “Knorr Penuh Rasa, Penuh Kasih Sayang” campaign to celebrate the power of mum’s cooking. They want to appreciate all the hard work and effort that mums put into their daily cooking for the family by giving them a good breakaway from house chores. Knorr will select 10 winners and each winner will get a FREE helper to clean your house for 10 sessions! I mean, if you’re a stay-at-home mum with no helper like me, you know how much this means! It means I get to sit and relax without having to vacuum, mop the floor, wipe the cabinets, scrub the sink, clean the bathrooms and everything. I need to win this! Haha.

 

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All you need to do is:

  1. Snap a photo of your family’s favourite dish that you’ve cooked using any Knorr products. It can be either the Knorr Cube or Knorr All-in-One Seasoning. Oh, and you need to include the Knorr product pack as well in your photo.
  2. Share it on Knorr’s Facebook page together with the hashtag #KnorrPenuhRasaSayang and a short description of why the dish is your family’s favourite (in no more than 20 words).
  3. Winners will be selected based on the highest number of ‘likes’ and the most interesting description.

 

IMG_2830For this campaign, I used Knorr Chicken Cube to cook my family’s favourite dish.

 

IMG_2893Kari ayam

 

The Knorr Chicken Cube gives this chicken curry that extra kick. It’s so flavourful!

My husband and my girls have their own favourite dishes, but when it comes to eating rice, one of their favourite lauk is chicken curry. My husband is “orang Utara” so it’s no surprise why he loves curry very much. And somehow, my girls inherited their daddy’s love for chicken curry (as long as it’s not too spicy).

 

IMG_2932Mummy, the family’s Masterchef :P

 

Anyway, here’s my campaign entry photo. Make sure you are in the photo, together with your dish and Knorr product pack.

 

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Share your family’s favourite dish, mummies, and who knows you could be one of the lucky winners!

For more info about the campaign, visit www.facebook.com/KnorrMalaysia.



New Hobby: Food Flatlays

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been bitten by the flatlay bug quite recently, thanks to all the beautiful flatlays on my Instagram feed. I even followed @flatlays on Instagram, which is an account for everything flatlay. It’s impossible not to get hooked!

I love seeing all those beautiful fashion flatlays, but I have a particular obsession for food flatlays (probably because I love food) so most of my flatlays are food related. I think it’s a chic way of taking photos of your food, plus it’s super fun. Makes cooking a whole lot more enjoyable because it’s like playing dress up – but with food. Nothing more fun than mixing and matching the food I cook with plates and napkins! Hehe #foodiealert.

Here are some of my food flatlay photos that I shared on my Instagram. I get a lot of ideas and inspirations from my favourite flatlay accounts (@tenthousandthspoon, @thepinkdiary@dreamy_touch and @crazystylelove). Some of them are either photographers or stylists, so that explains their crazy awesome flatlays. Makes me want to take food styling class or something!
 
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This food flatlay thing has also made me go crazy over dinnerware and serveware – something I had never even bothered to think about before. So now plates, bowls, tea sets, mugs, trays, spoons, napkins, tea towels and placemats have been added to my list of shopping obsessions, along with clothes, shoes and bags (God, help my husband). Haha.

In case you’re wondering, I get most of my serveware from Daiso (my ultimate source because everything so cheappp), Aino Living, H&M Home and Ikea. I can spend hourssss in these shops. Sigh… the woman I’ve turned into! :P



It’s Pancake Day!

It’s National Pancake Day today. Of course as an avid pancake lover, I can’t think of any other way to celebrate it than by making (and eating) pancakes. In fact, I had pancakes twice today – for brunch and tea time. Good thing my girls love pancakes too. Nothing beats homemade pancakes (and I don’t mean the just-add-water ones).

 

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I usually eat my pancakes with pure maple syrup or Nutella (or both), but today I decided to make something different. Something with a little bit more effort. Something like this yogurt-blueberry sauce.

 

IMG_7536Just look at the gorgeous color!

The sauce is pretty easy to make. Just blend fresh blueberries and natural Greek yogurt in a blender and add a drop of vanilla essence and a little bit of maple syrup to sweeten it. But if you’re too lazy to take out the blender (and wash it) like me, you can just smash the blueberries with the back of a spoon and stir everything. I like that it has bits of blueberries in it. Gave it a little texture to the sauce.

 

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For the pancakes, I use the same basic pancake recipe that I’ve always used. You can refer to my Instagram post here for the recipe (I’m so lazy to type, sorry). The only difference I made is that I added lemon zest (half of a lemon) and vanilla extract in the wet ingredients. The rest is the same.

 

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This pancake is filled with fresh lemon zest and hints of vanilla. And the tartness of the blueberries complemented the sweetness of the maple syrup. Such a great combo!

So here’s to all pancake lovers. Hope you had a flippin’ good pancake day!



Grilled Chicken with Spinach Pesto

I love spinach. I love them raw, I love them steamed, I love them sautéed, I love them in soup, omelettes, sandwiches – I just love ‘em.

I always have spinach in my fridge because that’s the only green veggie that everyone in my family eats, including my kids (I put spinach in their kway teow soup).

(Oh yes, my hubby doesn’t eat that much veggies except for spinach, lettuce and that’s pretty much it -____-).

Anyway, the other day, I ran out of ideas of what to cook for dinner so I googled “spinach chicken” and found this amazing grilled chicken with spinach pesto recipe by Giada de Laurentiis. I’ve had the usual basil pesto but never tried spinach pesto before, so I just had to give it a try.

 

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The recipe didn’t use any garlic tho, but I decided to add a couple because the usual basil pesto recipe uses garlic, and because I think garlic makes dishes taste better, especially veggies. You can even add basil leaves to this spinach pesto if you like, for that herby flavour. The rest of the ingredients are pretty much the same like the usual basil pesto – pine nuts (or you can substitute with walnuts if you don’t have pine nuts), Parmesan cheese and olive oil.

 

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Making pesto is reaaaally easy. Just toss everything in the blender (or a food processor, if you have one) and zap until creamy. No cooking involved, yay! Well, of course you need to cook the chicken but we’re talking about making pesto here.

Here’s the recipe, adapted from foodnetwork.com.

Grilled Chicken with Spinach Pesto:

2 boneless chicken breasts
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cups pine nuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Heat the grill pan on medium heat and lightly oil the pan. Grill the chicken until cooked on both sides (you can also bake the chicken in the oven for about 20 minutes). Transfer to a plate and let cool.

In a blender, combine spinach, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and lemon peel and blend. With the blender running, gradually add olive oil until the mixture is creamy. Add salt and pulse lightly. Transfer the spinach mixture into a bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the spinach pesto over the chicken breasts and serve.

 

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IMG_5805You can make this pesto in advance, store it in a jar and keep it in the fridge up to 5-7 days.

And best part is, you can eat this pesto with anything! Pasta, sandwiches, burgers, chicken. I ate it with pasta the other day. Just stir a couple of tablespoons of pesto with cooked pasta in a pan over low heat and it’s ready to eat.

 

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This has become my new favourite pasta sauce. Yum! Who needs store-bought sauce when you can make your own, right?



Handcrafted Crusted Ribs

I was invited to try out TGI Fridays’ new menu with a bunch of bloggers last week, and boy, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. I had just recovered from a terrible cold – sore throat, non-stop sneezing followed by blocked nose and a slight fever that lasted for a few days. So this food testing was like a little celebration for me after 4 days of eating nothing but porridge and soups and warm apple cider vinegar with honey. Weee!

We went to TGI Fridays at The Curve. I haven’t been there in ages and didn’t even know they had revamped their outlet. I like it! It looks urban and feels more…. homey (I think because of the frames).

 

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IMG_0967Their latest promo. Handcrafted crusted ribs!

I don’t know about you, but the words crusted and ribs just made me drool. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth in them.

But first, the appetizer.

IMG_0975Their famous Fridays Three-For-All – fried Mozzarella (my fave!), spicy buffalo wings and potato skins with beef bits. Yumminess in a platter!

And then behold, the star of the show – beef bacon crusted ribs, served with crispy seasoned fries and coleslaw. I mean really, just reading it is enough to make me salivate!

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This rack of ribs is cooked to perfection, glazed with smokey BBQ sauce and crusted with crispy beef bacon. The ribs were so tender and just kind of fell off the bone, and the crispy beef bacon adds a yummy crunchy texture to it. You beef lovers would love this!

And then we had this Texas spiced lamb ribs, also served with crispy seasoned fries and coleslaw. You can either choose lamb ribs, beef ribs or beef short ribs for this.

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Ok honestly, I wasn’t expecting to like this particular dish because I’m not really a fan of lamb meat. They have this funny “sheep” smell which I don’t like. I even thought, “Ok, maybe I’ll just have 1-2 bites of this ribs, just to be polite”. But OMG, this lamb ribs exceeded my expectation. So juicy and tender and tasty and no funny sheep smell! Hehe.

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These lamb ribs are fire-grilled and crusted with a flavourful blend of Texas herbs and spices. It’s bone-licking good! I even had 2 of those.

We ended our meal with some desserts (why, of course).

IMG_1006Molten Chocolate Cake

IMG_1008Oreo Stack

IMG_1013And my favorite, Brownie Obsession.

Such a satisfying meal *rubs tummy*.

I’m sorry if my pictures are torturing you, but you can always go to your nearest TGI Fridays to satisfy your ribs craving. But better be hurry because this promo is for a limited time only!