How To Cook Bacon Perfectly

baconWe’ve been forgoing meat for a long time now and while I still think reducing the amount of meat we consume is important, we’ve recently had the urge to treat ourselves to a little bacon for a Saturday morning big breakfast at home. Sadly, the result were shrivelled pieces of crunchy bacon. Not good. Not good at all. A quick Google search later and now I know the trick to cooking perfect bacon. Just had to share!

How genius!

(Photo via Martha Stewart)

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Recipe: Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice

thai-basil-chicken-fried-rice1If I had to pick just one type of cuisine to eat for the rest of my life, Thai food would be it! Not a doubt about that. I fell in love with it years ago when my mom was living in Bangkok. No matter where you go in Thailand – the hawker stall by the street or a fancy restaurant – you’ll end up having the most amazing food. A few of my favourites: Tom Yum, Pad Thai, green and red curries plus the many types of fried rice (like this one and pineapple).

Luckily, getting delicious Thai cuisine in Malaysia is easy. And so I never bothered even attempting it at home. But! All this changed when my sister and I tried a Thai basil chicken fried rice in one of her our favourite restaurants in Singapore. It was deeeliiiiicious. I was soon craving for it back KL and just had to give it a go.

thai-basil-chicken-fried-riceI checked out a few recipes online, tweaked it a lil to suit my taste buds and voila… we’ve got a yummy dish. This really is so easy. Try it for yourself. You’ll love it : )

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Recipe: Cinnamon Brown Butter Puffs

cinnamon-puffs-1I’ve been meaning to make these cinnamon brown butter puffs since forever. Okie, realistically speaking, since June 8th of last year though that seems like forever. But life got in the way and I never got round to making these lil bits of heaven. Yes, I judge how good a recipe is based on photos. I’m terrible that way.
cinnamon-puffscinnamon-puffs2I’m happy to report that one free afternoon rolled by and I felt like baking. Then I was hit by a bright idea: Cinnamon Brown Butter Puffs. I got straight down to it…cinnamon-puffs3These babies come out all soft, light and puffy. Then, they’re rolled in melted browned butter and swirled in a mix of cinnamon and sugar. You’ll have to exercise twice as much but trust me, it’s worth it.

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Recipe: Mini Brownie Butter Cakes

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So there I was – frantically typing away trying to complete a paper for publication when all of a sudden I felt the need for chocolate, butter and coffee. Coffee was not going to be a problem. I’ve got some great ground beans sitting on my kitchen shelf. But chocolate and butter? Hmm. That was a toughie. And then, I remembered a recipe I bookmarked a couple of days ago from Rasa Malaysia. This seemed the perfect time to give it a go. So off I went and abandoned my paper.

Less than an hour later, I had wonderful mini cakes. And they’re perfect for an afternoon snack or even, seeing as they’re not too sweet, for breakfast.

mini-brownie-butter-cakeCoffee – check. Chocolate – check. Butter – check! I was one happy gal.

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Recipe: Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cake

banana-walnut-chocolate-chunk-cake-3You know me. I love using banana in just about everything. I’ve experimented with it in cupcakes and today I’m going to show you how to make this awesome cake. The bananas keep it really moist, those walnuts add a doze of crunch while the chocolate oozes (well, it oozes because I tend to warm up a piece slightly in the microwave before snacking on it).

All you need is a few simple ingredients. Let’s go!

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The Good Batch, Damansara Uptown

Early last month, the three of us decided to try out a relatively new café nestled in the hotspot of Uptown. The Good Batch offers great selection from an all-day breakfast menu. Not only do they cater to the all-day breakfast crowd, you can also enjoy a mojito or two with your scrambled eggs at 8am! What’s not to love about this café?

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This café is surrounded with large window panels overlooking the busy road. Inside you’ll find wooden tables, cemented walls and floor. It is different in a good way. We were there on an early Sunday morning and thankfully it wasn’t crowded. Although as we were leaving, the crowd started pouring in. I believe this will definitely be a favourite spot amongst breakfast aficionados.

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Tanuja ordered The Portobello Road (RM 19.90++) with one poached egg. Two was too much for our petite friend. The dish was accompanied with wilted spinach and roasted tomatoes, two beautifully crumbed breaded Portobello mushrooms placed on toasted bread. Top of with that one runny poached egg.

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Su Yi and I both settled for The Norwegian (RM20.90++). The Norwegian comes with two poached eggs, smoked salmon, onion confit, capsicum and house made hollandaise sauce on lightly toasted muffin bread. It was beautifully executed. I’d have preferred my poached eggs to be less runny but that’s only a teeny tiny complaint.

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The coffee (we have to talk about that!) was pleasant and will definitely suit most. I will definitely return to try other items on the menu.

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{The team from Peonies and Pancakes – Su Yi, Michelle & Tanuja}

The Good Batch, Damansara Uptown
53, Jalan SS 21/1A, Damansara Uptown (Same row as Wonder Milk & Fat Spoon Café)
Monday: closed
Tue-Thurs: 11am – 12am
Fri: 11am – 1am
Sat: 10am – 1am
Sun & PH: 10am – 11pm
03-7733 2303

Recipe: The Best Speedy Cheese Sandwich

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I’m delighted to share my version of a cheese sandwich. Not because I’m the greatest cook in town (let me make that clear) but because this can be prepared in a second (I’m only slightly exaggerating) and is a great late-night meal in a hurry. It’s a beautiful thing. I used whatever I could find in my kitchen but you can jazz it up with kale or spinach or whatever else you fancy.

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Travel: Eat + Drink

Angkor Wat was fabulous (we’ll save that for another day) but Siem Reap has some serious food to offer. I feel like all we did, besides roam those ancient temples, was eat. Breakfast was served each day at the hotel and we couldn’t have been happier with the quality of food and spread offered. A selection of local fresh fruits, homemade jam, croissants, honey and yogurt, eggs cooked to your liking, strips of bacon… I could go on. The staff were also so friendly and attentive that it just made the experience much more memorable.

breakfast-at-navutu breakfast-at-navutu-2Sometimes we ate so much for breakfast that we skipped lunch, belly’s still full. But as evening drew close, we’d jump into our Tuk Tuk and head out to town. You don’t have to venture far from Pub St and the alleys close by to discover great culinary options. Sure, we could have had fish & chips or a steak but we decided to eat as the locals do and ordered mainly Khmer cuisine. Which was amazing!

pork-dishgreen-curry-dishamok-+-khmer-kitchensweet-+-sour-tonle-sap-fish-+-khmer-kitchenThe famous Amok (delicious fish curry cooked with egg) became Jon’s favourite. After having ordered the dish in at least four different restaurants, we can safely say that Khmer Kitchen serves up the best Amok in town.

khmer-kitchen street-with-restaurants-in-sieam-reapPub St is really packed full of inviting restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Happy hours are unheard of here. There are only happy days. A mug of beer costs just US 50 cents! We’re not kidding. But beware, an order of Anchor beer might get you a can of Angkor (the local brand) which tastes a little stronger and sweeter. As for me, well you know, I had to order coffee.

coffee-at-red-pianoBut it was served rather interestingly. Instead of milk on the side, there was coffee. Perhaps this is done so you can control how strong you want your coffee to be. In any case, it was good and I was happy!

happy-with-coffeeAnd then! One night, the electricity went off all over town. It was pitch dark. Waiters came around with candles to light up the place and after the initial shock, everyone calmly settled down to a candlelight dinner.

blackout-in-siem-reapWhat a fun holiday! Have any of you been to Siem Reap? Which restaurants are your faves? Do tell…

Recipe: Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

banana-muffin-with-honey-and-cinnamon-frostingThere’s something about the smell of banana cupcakes baking in the oven that makes me feel all happy. Somehow I begin to think of long conversations over coffee during breakfast. And you know me? Nothing beats a wonderful breakfast. A banana cake is classic. But a banana cupcake with honey-cinnamon frosting… now that’s indulgent. Just the way we like it!

banana-muffin-with-honey-and-cinnamon-frosting-2Let me talk about this honey-cinnamon frosting. It is definitely not your average frosting. It turned out perfect with subtle hints of cinnamon and honey. Nothing overpowering – just well, as I said, perfect. And the cupcakes? Don’t get me started. What I loved about this recipe is that the cupcakes turned out so soft and fluffy. Ahh… I want one now. Too bad my batch of 12 cupcakes disappeared within a day. Mind you, there’s only 3 of us at home. Do the math. No wait. Maybe you shouldn’t (insert guilty face).

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How To Eat Sushi 101

I stumbled upon Ryoko Iwata’s pictorial guide on the 8 things worth knowing about eating sushi.

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I love eating pickled ginger when I dine at Japanese restaurants. I never knew it was to cleanse the palate in between fish.

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Eating sushi without wasabi is akin to eating curry mee without sambal. Always ask for fresh wasabi because what you normally find on the tables at Japanese restaurants is nearly always a mixture of horseradish and green colouring, with perhaps a little dry mustard, and possibly a tiny bit of real wasabi added in. Why? Cause it is a much cheaper alternative!

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This is a nice handy guide on tuna. Nothing beats a fresh thick slice of tuna.

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I can’t agree more that sushi is good for you. Always remember to dine at places that serves good and fresh sushi to avoid any food poisoning and contamination.
4What do you think? A pretty handy guide? Do you love eating sushi? And where do you like to dine? Tell all, I’d love to hear : )