Yogurt Salad Dressing

I love eating salad. I like vegetables a lot, including the bitter ones such as bitter gourd and papaya leaves. I like to put sauce or dressing on top of my veggies. My favourite so far is still the traditional peanut sauce from Indonesia, but sometimes I am also craving for something else like mayonnaise, thousand island, and roasted sesame salad dressing which we can get easily in most supermarkets.

I used to like mayonnaise and thousand island as my salad dressings, but although they were delicious when I mix them with my veggies, I knew that they were not healthy choice especially because they were high in calorie. That doesn’t mean that our family stop eating those two dressings, but we reduce the consumption. We only eat those two when we dine out and when the restaurants serve those two dressings (which is only very few times in a year). My number one rule is not to buy and keep those dressings in my kitchen cabinets. Same goes for sesame roasted dressing which we also like so much. Since I started reading the ingredients carefully before buying things, I already reduce and stop buying instant or ready to eat food such as salad dressings.

Yummy and healthy

I’ve been searching for creamy salad dressing that is still taste good but lower in calorie and healthier than what we used to have. Then recently, I was thinking of why not using plain yogurt as one of the ingredients to replace the creamy texture of salad dressing. I also had big bottles of olive oil which my mom bought for me on her Holy Land Trip. Combining those 2 would be a great options to have a much healthier salad dressing.

And no, I didn’t create this by myself since I searched in the internet to find the right recipe that suited our family taste. I didn’t exactly follow a specific recipe, but modified it a bit so the taste was acceptable for me and my family. And by the way, I only started to like yogurt recently. I didn’t like it back then, but now I’m addict to yogurt (especially strawberry flavour which is one of my must have breakfast), and I have been using yogurt a lot of times for my baking.

I must say that I really loved the result. It was really good, creamy, and didn’t taste like plain yogurt or olive oil at all. All the ingredients were mixed together and they created a delicious salad dressing. Even my sister’s family loved it too.

Besides mixing it with vegetables, I also used it as a dipping sauce for my crispy baked baguette, and they were really match together.

The mixture was really light but creamy that it went well with my spaghetti aglio olio and garlic bread. I absolutely recommend this as a healthy option for salad dressing. This was also best eaten after one day in the refrigerator.

Lunch………………

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup (140 gr) low fat plain yogurt
  2. Lime juice from 1 lime / or you can substitute with lemon juice from 1/4 lemon
  3. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  5. 1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
  6. 1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste
  7. Coriander leaves or fresh parsley, minced (optional)

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Whis until well combined
  3. Refrigerate  (best eaten after one day in the refrigerator)
  4. Serve cold with vegetables of your choice

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Indonesian Traditional Fried Puff / Resep Pastel Goreng Garing

These crispy and savoury fried puffs is absolutely my dear boy’s favourite snack until today. In Indonesia, we know this fried puffs as “pastel”. He can eat these puffs for days without getting bored at all. He is just like me, he likes savoury snacks better than sweet snacks like chocolate cakes or donuts with sweet toppings (he still doesn’t like candies up to now by the way). The only sweet thing that he likes is the dessert with vanilla flavour……………..and sometimes strawberry flavour.

I’ve posted about how to make these puffs before in this post, but this time I tried different recipe. By the way, if you read my previous post about Indonesian fried puffs, the filling is usually different than the usual fried puffs in Singapore. In Indonesia, the fillings are varied from chicken with vegetables, beef with vegetables, or even sausages, but we don’t usually use curry spices for the fillings. Sometimes I only use salt, pepper, and sugar to add flavour, but other times, I also added fish sauce and sesame oil to be mixed with the meat and vegetables. The filling is very light and won’t give you the terrible after taste in your throat which can sometimes happen if you use too much spices for the filling.

This recipe is different than my previous one, and so that is why the result was also different. I am only referring to the wrapper, and not the filling as it is almost the same. For the first one, I made the wrapper like I made pastry dough and that was why it also taste like fried pastry. This time, the wrapper taste different but still crispy even after several hours in room temperature.

I like to experience with different kind of recipes for one dish that my family likes so much just to know the difference, and for this recipe, thankfully my son loved it and he finished almost all the puffs by himself. I must say that this one was as good as the previous one since we love eating pastel so much……………….

Ingredients:

For the fillings:

  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 carrot
  3. 1 potato
  4. 20 gram rice vermicelli, soak in cold water for 15 minutes, discard the water and cut rice vermicelli into smaller pieces with kitchen scissors
  5. 10 spring onion
  6. 2 garlic
  7. 1 shallot
  8. 1/4 tsp fish sauce
  9. 1/4 tsp soy sauce
  10. 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  11. salt and pepper, to taste

For the wrapper:

  1. 250 gr all purpose flour
  2. 30 ml canola oil
  3. 50 gr butter
  4. 80 ml water
  5. 1/2 tsp sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

For the filling:

  1. Heat a medium pan with 1 tbsp olive oil and stir fry garlic and shallot until fragrant
  2. Add cut potatoes and carrots and season with fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Cook until soft
  3. Add rice vermicelli and and spring onion, mix well, and turn off the heat
  4. Set aside the fillings and let it cool in room temperature

For the wrapper:

  1. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl
  2. In a small pan, heat oil and butter until butter melted completely
  3. Immediately pour the mixture of oil and butter to the flour mixture
  4. Add water, and gently mix the mixture with wooden spatula (don’t over mix). Bring the dough together until it forms a ball
  5. Cover with cling wrap and let rest for 20 minutes
  6. Divide the dough into 50 grams each
  7. Take one dough, make into a ball, then flatten with the palm of your hand
  8. Roll into 10 cm diameter round shape (don’t worry if you can’t make nice round shape, you can always use scissors to cut the dough into nice shape later
  9. Put 1 tbsp of the fillings in the center of the dough, then fold to make a half circle shape
  10. Pull and pinch edges to seal, and if necessary, shape the edges to make a nice round shape with scissors
  11. Pleat the edges (repeatedly pull and pinch the edges to seal)
  12. Put each puff into a floured tray
  13. Deep fried until both sides are golden brown
  14. Serve warm with chili padi or chili sauce
  15. The puffs were still nice and crispy even after few hours in room temperature

Fried Puff / Pastel Goreng Ala Macik

I had to admit, that even before we finished all the fried puffs that I made previously, I was intrigued to try another recipe to make the puffs wrapper. These kind of fried puffs in Indonesia is known as “pastel”. This is my boy’s favourite snack and that is why I like to make these puffs very often. I have tried 2 different recipes before, so this would be the third times.

I read in the recipe that it resembled very famous fried puffs from one very famous stall in Jakarta, and the name of the shop is “Macik”. Whenever we came back to Jakarta, we always bought fried puffs from this shop, and we even brought these puffs back to Singapore several times because my boy really loved “pastel” from this shop (and probably the only brand that he knew, hahaha……………).

So, from all three recipes, which one is better? I can’t really tell because we loved all of them, hahaha………….

In this recipe, I substituted all purpose flour with cake flour just to see if it would result in more crispy puff. Well, I must say that using cake flour improved the texture of the puff, but there wasn’t much difference anyway. So to me, it doesn’t really matter whether I use all purpose or cake flour. The main important thing is how you handle the dough, because if you overmix, the outcome of the puff will not be good.

Ingredients:

For the wrappers:

  1. 250 gr cake flour
  2. 50 gr butter, room temperature
  3. 100 ml water
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 tsp sugar

For the fillings:

  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 carrot
  3. 1 potato
  4. 20 gram rice vermicelli, soak in cold water for 15 minutes, discard the water and cut rice vermicelli into smaller pieces with kitchen scissors
  5. 10 spring onion
  6. 2 garlic
  7. 1 shallot
  8. 1/4 tsp fish sauce
  9. 1/4 tsp soy sauce
  10. 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  11. salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

To make the filling:

  1. Heat a medium pan with 1 tbsp olive oil and stir fry garlic and shallot until fragrant
  2. Add cut potatoes and carrots and season with fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Cook until soft
  3. Add rice vermicelli and and spring onion, mix well, and turn off the heat
  4. Set aside the fillings and let it cool in room temperature

To make the wrappers:

  1. Gently mix flour, salt, sugar, and butter with hand
  2. Add water little by little and gently mix with a wooden spatula until well incorporated (mix gently and don’t over mix). If using hand, don’t knead the dough, just bring them together
  3. Cover with cling wrap and keep in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or you can make the dough one day before)
  4. Divide the dough into 50 to 60 grams each
  5. Take one dough, make into a ball, then flatten with the palm of your hand
  6. Roll into 10 cm diameter round shape (don’t worry if you can’t make nice round shape, you can always use scissors to cut the dough into nice shape later
  7. Put 1 tbsp of the fillings in the center of the dough, then fold to make a half circle shape
  8. Pull and pinch edges to seal, and if necessary, shape the edges to make a nice round shape with scissors
  9. Pleat the edges (repeatedly pull and pinch the edges to seal)
    or you can use fork to make a nice pattern on the wrapper

    End result
  10. Deep fried until both sides are golden brown
  11. Serve warm with chili green chili padi or chili sauce
  12. The puffs were still nice and crispy even after few hours in room temperature

Indonesian Traditional Fishcake (Third Recipe) / Pempek Dengan Adonan Biang (Menggunakan Telur)

This is another recipe for making Indonesia very famous fishcake from Sumatera (a big island in Indonesia), which is well known as “pempek”. My family and I love pempek so much, and these days I get addicted of trying new different recipes just to know the various results and taste that I will get.

As I have written in my previous posts about this fishcake (you can find other recipes in here and here), there are many different recipes and mix of ingredients in making this fishcake which result in different taste of this fishcake. Even different restaurants have different recipes of making this fishcake and the sauce. Everyone has their own opinion and preference of the fishcake that they like the best, and even in my family, we have our own favorite which is different from one another.

For me, this recipe is actually not my favorite although I liked it too, but my husband and son like this so much, especially when I cut into smaller parts before I fry them. They are crispy and so yummy, best to be served as snacks even without the sauce.

Although this recipe is also using starter dough, but the composition is different than the first one that I made. This recipe also use eggs as one of the ingredient, while the first one that I posted before didn’t use eggs.

The taste of the fishcake reminds me of the one that I bought from a famous pempek stall in Jakarta. It is not my favorite as I said before, but many people like it and so does my family (and sometimes they also dislike something that I like, so we are even, hahaha……………), so I will still post the recipe here which was taken from diahdidi blog and had very good reviews.

The best way to enjoy this fishcake is to cut into some small parts and fry until they turn brown and crispy. We could even eat them without the sauce as they already taste so yummy.

Ingredients:

For the fishcake:

  1. 125 gr all purpose flour
  2. 250 ml water
  3. 5 garlic, mash until form a paste with mortar and pestle
  4. 4 tbsp. salt
  5. 1 tbsp. sugar
  6. 2 eggs, beaten
  7. 300 gr tenggiri or batang fish
  8. 200 gr tapioca flour

For the sauce / “kuah cuko”:

  1. 300 gr gula jawa / Indonesian palm sugar or any kind of brown palm sugar
  2. 1 L water
  3. 5 garlic, mash with mortar and pestle
  4. 50 gr asam jawa / tamarind (add 30 ml of water, then squeeze the tamarind with your fingers to get the juice. Discard the tamarind and use the juice only)
  5. 1/2 salt
  6. 1 tbsp dried shrimp powder
  7. 2 gr tongchai or Tung Chai or Chinese Pickled Cabbage (optional, you can skip this if you don’t have)
  8. red and green chili padi (the amount depends on how spicy you want the sauce to be) , mash with mortar and pestle

Others:

  1. Egg noodle
  2. Cucumbers
  3. Dried shrimp powder

Method:

To make the fish cake:

  1. Using food processor, process the fish until it form a smooth paste
  2. Boil water in a big pot
  3. First, we are going to make the starter dough. In a medium non stick pan, combine all purpose flour, water, garlic paste, salt, and sugar and mix well with a wooden spatula
  4. Cook in low heat while continuously stirring until the mixture is very thick and you see some bubbles appear. Turn off the heat. Let it cool in room temperature
  5. Add beaten eggs and fish paste to the mixture and mix with a wooden spatula until well combined
  6. Add tapioca flour little by little (4 to 5 times), and in each addition, gently mix with a wooden spatula. Don’t knead the dough. If you over mix, the fishcake will become hard, so just mix gently (wooden spatula would be the best choice to use)
  7. Remove the dough to the kitchen top (I usually used silicone mat on top of the kitchen top because the dough didn’t stick to the mat). Sprinkle some tapioca flour on the mat and on top of the dough if the dough is too sticky to handle
  8. Shape into long shape, round shape, or fill with egg yolk in the middle. This time, I only made long shape fishcake or better known as “pempek lenjer” in Indonesia

    Take some dough and roll it with the palm of your hand until it forms a long shape
  9. Cook in boiling water until the fish cake floats. If you fill the middle with egg yolk, add another 10 minutes in the cooking time to make sure the egg is cooked thoroughly
  10. Once it floats, remove from the hot water and wash with cold water
  11. Cut into smaller parts and fry until golden brown on all sides

To make the sauce (make the sauce one day ahead and it will taste better):

  1. In a medium sauce pan, add all ingredients to make the sauce
  2. Cook in low heat and bring to boil
  3. For stronger flavor, cook in low heat for another 15 minutes
  4. Let cool in room temperature and keep in the refrigerator

How to serve:

  1. Cook egg noddle in boiling water and discard the water
  2. Cut cucumber in small slices
  3. Serve the fishcake with egg noddle, cucumber, and pour the sauce
  4. Sprinkle some dried shrimp powder (optional)

Making Fishcake Without Fish / Resep Pempek Dos

Can you actually make fishcake without using any fish at all? The answer is yes, and this is quite common in Indonesia. I have posted before about Indonesia traditional fishcake from Sumatera (a big island in Indonesia) which is very well known as “pempek”. For more information about this fishcake and the original recipe that is using real fish, you can see in my post here. This fishcake with its spicy, sour, and sweet sauce is one of the very famous dish in Indonesia and there are different kinds of recipes for this fishcake.

This time, I tried making this fishcake without using any fish at all. This kind of fishcake is known as “pempek dos” in Indonesia. The ingredients are very easy to get and you can just use water and fish stock cubes to give the fish smell and flavour to the fishcake. Fish stock cubes are very easy to get in most supermarkets.

Since I don’t usually buy any kind of stocks in supermarkets and choose to make it myself, I used homemade fish stock to replace the water. I have posted about how to make fish stock at home in this post, but I will post again here with fewer ingredients. Since I didn’t plan to use the fish stock as soup to eat, I only added lime leaves and ginger to get rid of the fishy smell.

I must say that the result was quite satisfying for me. It was delicious and no one complained about the taste (no one realized that there wasn’t any fish inside the fishcake). Some people prefer this kind of fishcake than the one with real fish. To be honest, I still prefer the one that is using real fish and not just the fish stock because it has stronger fish taste (which is important to me……………….).

The good side was, the dough was easier to shape, especially if you want to fill the fishcake with egg yolk. Besides, for first timer, there is a chance that you will fail making this traditional fishcake. So it is better to just use water and ready to use fish stock in cubes than using real fish which is quite expensive. The taste is also delicious and you might end up liking this version better than the original one that use real fish.

Ingredients for making fish stock:

  1. Fish bones and head from 1 tenggiri or batang fish
  2. 10 lime leaves
  3. 1 thumb of ginger, cut in thin slices
  4. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  5. 1 L water

Method to make fish stock:

  1. Heat a wok with olive oil and add fish bones, head, and ginger. Stir fry until fragrant and the fish bones turn color into brown
  2. Add water and lime leaves and turn to low heat
  3. Turn into low heat and let it simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Don’t forget to skim off any scums that rise to the surface
  4. Let it cool in room temperature and strain

Ingredients For The Fishcake:

  1. 400 ml fish broth or water
  2. 200 gr all purpose flour
  3. 4 tsp salt
  4. 1 tsp sugar
  5. 5 garlic, mash with mortar and pestle until it form a paste
  6. 3 eggs, beaten
  7. 250 gr tapioca flour

Method of Making Fishcake:

  1. Boil water in a big pot
  2. In a medium non stick pan, combine fish broth, all purpose flour, salt, and sugar and mix until well combined
  3. Turn on the heat to low heat, cook the mixture (stir the mixture during the cooking process) until thick and bubbles appear
  4. Turn off the heat and add mash garlic, then stir to combine
  5. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, then add egg, and process until the dough is smooth and has no lumps. I tried not to use my food processor to mix the thick paste and eggs, but it was very difficult and resulted in lumpy dough. So using food processor is my best suggestion
  6. Remove the dough to a big bowl
  7. Add tapioca flour in 4 or 5 addition. Gently mix well with a wooden spatula in each addition. Do not over mix as the fishcake will become hard to chew
  8. Remove the dough to the kitchen top (I usually used silicone mat on top of the kitchen top because the dough didn’t stick to the mat). Sprinkle some tapioca flour if necessary
  9. Shape the dough into round shape, long shape, or fill with egg yolk in the middle
  10. To make the long shape which in Indonesia in known as “pempek lenjer” or long shape fishcake follow these steps:
    Take some of the dough in your hand
    Roll with the palm of your hand to make a smooth long shape
    The result…………..

    To make “pempek kapal selam” or fishcake with egg yolk filling inside, follow these steps: start by preparing egg yolks in small cups (put each egg yolk in 1 small cup)

    Take some of the dough, make a round shape, and flatten it
    Make a deep well
    Carefully add the egg yolk

    Seal tightly and immediately cook in boiling water
  11. Cook in boiling water until the fishcake floats. If you fill the middle with egg yolk, add another 10 minutes in the cooking time to make sure the egg is cooked thoroughly
  12. Once it floats, remove from the hot water and wash with cold water
  13. Deep fried until golden brown in both sides

Ingredients for the sweet, spicy, and sour sauce / “kuah cuko”:

  1. 300 gr gula jawa / Indonesian palm sugar or any kind of brown palm sugar
  2. 1 L water
  3. 5 garlic, mash with mortar and pestle
  4. 50 gr asam jawa / tamarind (add 30 ml of water, then squeeze the tamarind with your fingers to get the juice. Discard the tamarind and use the juice only)
  5. 1/2 salt
  6. 1 tbsp dried shrimp powder
  7. 2 gr tongchai or Tung Chai or Chinese Pickled Cabbage (optional, you can skip this if you don’t have)
  8. red and green chili padi (the amount depends on how spicy you want the sauce to be) , mash with mortar and pastle

Method to make the sauce (make the sauce one day ahead and it will taste better):

  1. In a medium sauce pan, add all ingredients to make the sauce
  2. Cook in low heat and bring to boil
  3. For stronger flavor, cook in low heat for another 15 minutes
  4. Let cool in room temperature and keep in the refrigerator

How to serve:

  1. Cook egg noddle in boiling water and discard the water
  2. Cut cucumber in small slices
  3. Serve the fishcake with egg noddle, cucumber, and pour the sauce

Spaghetti With Tomato and Prawn Garlic Oil

Whoa…………….this dish tasted so good and we really loved it. It was so simple but rich in flavour that one plate was not enough for each of us. The combination of the fresh prawn, spaghetti, homemade prawn garlic oil, the sweetness of carrots, the spiciness of red chili, the fresh and fragrant coriander leaves, our favourite mushrooms, and the saltiness of Parmesan cheese were on point and as the result, we got a very delicious and healthy spaghetti dish that made us crave for some more.

In my previous post, I shared of how I made my prawn garlic oil which I used to make stir fry vegetables, fried rice, and also fried noodle, but this time, I used it to make a delicious spaghetti dish complete with fresh veggies. This was so easy to make and only took a short time to prepare and cook and was very suitable for a quick lunch on weekend (since I had many things to do on weekends, so I had to prepare something quick for lunch).

For me personally, I love when my spaghetti dish is extra hot with lots of chili in it, but I never use chili when cooking for my husband and son because they are not chili lovers like me, so this dish is still delicious even without chili. This dish is a bit different than aglio olio since I used grated fresh tomatoes to add flavour. Tomato is a good source of vitamin A and C, so I always try to add tomatoes in my cooking.

Ingredients (for each serving):

  1. 1 plate of spaghetti
  2. 40 ml prawn garlic oil
  3. 5 prawns, peel and devine, and each cut into 3
  4. 1 ripe tomato, grated
  5. 5 red chili padi, cut diagonally in thin slices
  6. 1/2 carrot, cut in long thin slices
  7. 3 shiitake mushroom, cut in long thin slices
  8. 5 coriander leaves, minced
  9. Salt and pepper, to taste
  10. Grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Boil water in a large pot and add salt to the water, the salty water adds flavor to the pasta. Pour spaghetti into the boiling water. As the pasta starts to cook, stir it well with the tongs or wooden spatula so the pasta don’t stick to each other (or to the pot). Follow the cooking time in the package. Drain and save several tbsp of pasta water
  2. Heat a medium wok with 40 ml prawn garlic oil
  3. Add grated tomato and carrot and stir fry until the carrot is half cooked
  4. Add shiitake mushroom and prawns, and cook until prawns turn into pink color
  5. Add spaghetti and 1 tbsp of the water that you saved from boiling the spaghetti
  6. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Toss until all the ingredients are combined and heated through
  8. Turn off the heat, add minced coriander leaves and mix well
  9. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan

How To Make Prawn and Garlic Oil

Most of the time, my family eat home cooked food. My son always brings lunch from home whenever he comes back late from school, and my husband also brings lunch to the office several times a week. So as you can imagine, I spent most of my time in the kitchen to cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, make snacks, puddings, bakes cakes and bread, and of course, doing the dishes.

On weekdays, I wake up early in the morning to prepare breakfast and lunch. Now that we move quite far away from school, I have to wake up even earlier. So I need something to make my life easier especially in the morning. One of the solution is to make garlic oil so I don’t have to peel and minced garlic in the morning. Most of my cooking use garlic to stir fry vegetables, making fried rice or fried noodle, or just toss it with mushroom and pasta.

Garlic oil is the most common thing that I made, but since I had leftover prawn shells, I also combined them together to make prawn garlic oil, but you can also make them separately as I will post in the recipe below.

I keep the leftover fried garlic to make soup, meatballs, or just sprinkle them on top of rice.

I love the smells of garlic and prawn oil in my cooking, and it really shorten my cooking time so I can have extra sleep in the morning (even if it’s only for few minutes).

How To Make Prawn Oil:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 large onion, cut in thin slices
  2. 1 large shallot, cut in thin slices
  3. 10 garlic, minced
  4. 2 thumbs of ginger, cut in thin slices
  5. 2 thumbs of galangal, cut in thin slices
  6. prawn head and shells from 1/2 kg of prawn
  7. 1 big ripe tomato, cut into thin slices, or grated
  8. 1 carrot, cut diagonally into thin slices
  9. 10 lime leaves
  10. 700 ml olive oil (or canola oil is also fine)

Method:

  1. In a large wok, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil
  2. Add onion, shallot, garlic, ginger, and galangal and stir fry until fragrant (it might take around 3 minutes)
  3. Add prawn shells and heads, tomato, carrot, and lime leaves and stir fry until the prawn change color into pink
  4. Bring to low heat, then add 700 ml of olive oil, make sure that all the ingredients are covered in oil, you may need to add more oil depending on the shape and size of your wok
  5. Bring to simmer for 1.5 hours, then turn off the heat
  6. Let it cool in room temperature before straining it through a fine sieve
  7. Keep the prawn oil in a containers with lids. You can keep in room temperature up to 2 weeks or in the refrigerator up to 2 months

How to Make Prawn and Garlic Oil:

Ingredients:

  1. 30 garlic, minced
  2. 300 ml olive oil
  3. prawn oil

Method:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine garlic and olive oil and keep in room temperature for at least 1 day (3 days maximum)
  2. Prepare a large wok and add garlic and olive oil together with the prawn oil
  3. In low heat, fry garlic until golden brown (you have to stir occasionally so the garlic doesn’t burn)
  4. Strain the oil and keep the oil in a close container in room temperature up to 2 weeks or in the refrigerator up to 2 months
  5. Keep the fried garlic in a close container and keep in the refrigerator. You can use the fried garlic as toppings for stir fry vegetables or to add flavor to the soup and soto.

Baked Spaghetti With Home Made Tomato Sauce, Meatballs, and Mozzarella Cheese

I still don’t know how husband and son could magically turned into spaghetti lovers. We are Indonesians, so mostly we eat rice 3 times a day, and we already did this since we were babies, so no wonder that the taste of pasta dish could sometimes be strange in our mouths. For my husband especially, who is a truly Javanese, rice is his main food, so back then, he really disliked eating spaghetti. The same case applied for my son who usually preferred rice than noodle or pasta. Not for me since I loved spaghetti since years ago.

Suddenly things changed, just in a blink of an eye (yeah, I know I was exaggerating, but I surely don’t remember when they suddenly asked to eat pasta than rice), they asked for spaghetti aglio olio again and again. Since I was bored making aglio olio, I decided to make another version of spaghetti dish.

One of my favourite spaghetti dish is baked spaghetti with meatballs, and I sometimes ordered this when we dined out. So I wanted to make my own version of spaghetti meatballs since my husband and son didn’t like the restaurant version of spaghetti meatballs.

Anyway, there are limitless creations of spaghetti dishes, so I like to mix and match all the ingredients that I have in my refrigerator and kitchen cabinet to cook new dishes. The dishes do not have to be exactly the same as the original ones, but anyhow they will still turn delicious. I don’t have to follow the exact measurement of the original recipes and just follow my instinct, and that is the beauty of cooking, and that is also why I love cooking more than baking cakes which requires exact measurement………………….. Ok, this is already out of topic………………..

I made this dish especially for my son who is a spaghetti, meatballs, and cheese lover. Combining all three of them plus some veggies was perfect because he could eat all the healthy stuff in one dish. Tomato is also very good for our health, and as much as I can, I always try to add tomatoes in my cooking, but since my son is not a tomato lover, most of the time I blend or grate the tomatoes before adding them in my dishes.

All of us loved this version of spaghetti dish. It was so rich in flavour and even by looking at the pictures already made me want this dish again. My son also topped the dish with Parmesan cheese just because he was a cheese lover, although I already added so much cheese in the dish.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  1. 150 gr minced chicken (or you can use pork or beef)
  2. 1 carrot, grated
  3. dried black fungus, soak in tap water for 15 minutes, then minced (the weight was around 50 gr after I soaked in water)
  4. 15 spring onion, minced
  5. 1 egg, beaten
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1 tbsp breadcrumb
  8. 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  9. 1/2 large onion, minced
  10. 3 garlic, minced
  11. 1 tbsp olive oil
  12. 3 tbsp butter to pan fry the meatballs

For the sauce:

  1. 500 gr ripe tomatoes
  2. 1/2 large onion, minced
  3. 3 garlic, minced
  4. 1 tbsp olive oil
  5. 50 ml thickened cream
  6. 50 ml chicken broth
  7. 10 coriander leaves, minced
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. 1 tsp liquid rock sugar
  10. 1/2 tsp pepper

Others:

  1. 3 servings of spaghetti (around 200 gr)
  2. Mozzarella cheese
  3. Parmesan cheese (optional)

Method:

  1. Boil water in a large pot and add 1 tbsp of salt into the water
  2. Pour spaghetti into the boiling water. As the pasta starts to cook, stir it well with the tongs or wooden spatula so the pasta don’t stick to each other (or to the pot). Follow the cooking time in the package
  3. Drain and set aside

To make the meatballs:

  1. Heat a wok with 1 tbsp of olive oil and add minced large onion and minced garlic. Stir fry until fragrant and you see some of the onions turn brown
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients (except butter) and mix well. The mixture might be soft, but that’s ok
  3. Wet your hand and roll the mixture into small balls
  4. Melt butter in a wok and pan fried the meatballs until brown in all sides
  5. Set aside the meatballs and we will use the leftover butter to make the sauce
Juicy meatballs

To make the sauce:

  1. Grate or finely chopped all the tomatoes and set aside
  2. In the same wok that you used to pan fry the meatballs, and using leftover butter, cook minced large onion and garlic and stir fry until fragrant and translucent
  3. Add tomatoes, coriander leaves, and chicken broth and bring to boil
  4. Add thickened cream and bring to boil
  5. Cook in low heat for 10 minutes to really soften the tomatoes and reduce the amount of tomato juice, so you’ll have a thicker sauce
  6. Since my son didn’t like to chew even the smallest part of the tomatoes, I added one step which was using a blender to smoothen the texture of the sauce, but you can skip this step. For me, I still prefer to have small chunks of tomatoes in the sauce
  7. Turn off the heat and add spaghetti and mix well with the sauce

How to bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 Celsius
  2. Prepare baking dish and add spaghetti
  3. Add mozzarella cheese on top of the spaghetti
  4. Add meatballs on top of the cheese
  5. Coat the meatballs with grated mozzarella cheese
  6. Bake for 15 minutes
  7. Serve hot and sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese (optional). I didn’t add Parmesan cheese since it was already too cheesy for me, but my son added a lot of Parmesan (that showed how much he loved cheese……………..)
  8. Best eaten with super spicy chili sauce (for me, I always have to eat pasta with chili sauce……………)

Chocolate Banana Yogurt Cake

I had a series of unfortunate events that day, and this banana cake really saved my day. I loved it so much……………it was so moist, soft, and almost melted in my mouth.

I made ogura cheese cake before I made this banana cake, and although the cake taste very good, it still shrank a bit which made me very disappointed. I made ogura cakes several times, but the cakes always shrank. I don’t know why, but definitely, I will have to try again and again until I find the right technique and tricks to make a perfect ogura cake.

So, this banana cake really made my day and I love looking at this chocolate banana yogurt cake because it was so lovely and delicious.

To be honest, I don’t really like bananas. I only ate bananas voluntarily when I was pregnant because I knew that it would be good for my baby. After that, I just stopped eating bananas for years until recently. I started to live a healthier life, so I added bananas to my list……………….. although I don’t eat bananas very often too, but it is a good start for me.

If you like bananas, this recipe is really worth to try. The cake already smelled so nicely even when it was still in the oven.

If I had known that banana cake could turn this good, I would certainly have made it very often. I never made banana cake before because I was not a big fan of bananas, but when I saw this recipe which combined bananas, lots of chocolate, and yogurt, I knew immediately that it would made a lovely combination.

I love baking with yogurt and I already did it many times. Besides healthier, yogurt also made the cakes so moist and soft. The texture was different than the cakes without yogurt, and even for not yogurt lovers like my son and my husband, they always liked all the yogurt cakes that I have made.

I always try to find new recipes which use yogurt as one of the ingredients. Besides this recipe and baked cheese tart, I also love yogurt marble cake which I will post later.

I usually have overripe bananas at home because only my husband who loves eating bananas, so this time, instead of throwing the overripe bananas into the dust bin, I decided to turn them into this super delicious cake.

I made some adjustments with the original recipe, and the steps were also different. I creamed the eggs, sugar, and butter together at the same time, instead of mixing sugar and butter first then adding egg one by one.

Instead of adding the liquid and dry ingredients alternately as usual, I added wet ingredients including the bananas together at the same time and mixed them together. I then turned off the mixer, and added all the dry ingredients one by one right from their containers and mixed them just until well combined. This was absolutely so much easier and also less baking equipment to wash. And no, I didn’t sift the flour and other dry ingredients.

I actually found out that the result was no different than the cakes that I used to make.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 large eggs
  2. 1/3 cup castor sugar
  3. 120 gr butter, in room temperature
  4. 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  5. 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  6. 10 ml plain milk
  7. 2 overripe bananas, cut into smaller parts with your hans
  8. 1 cup cake flour
  9. 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  10. 1 tsp baking powder
  11. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  12. a pinch of salt
  13. 2 tbsp chocolate chips
  14. 50 gr grated dark cooking chocolate
  15. 50 gr dark cooking chocolate, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150 Celsius
  2. Lime 9 in x 5 in non stick baking pan with parchment paper
  3. Mix eggs, butter, and sugar in a standing mixer in high speed until creamy (for about 3 minutes)
  4. Add 1 tbsp vanilla essence and mix for another 1 minute
  5. Add bananas, yogurt, and milk and mix until smooth and well combined
  6. Turn the mixer to low speed, and add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder, and mix just until well combined (don’t over mix the batter)
  7. Turn off the mixer, add chocolate chips and grated dark cooking chocolate and mix with a spatula
  8. Pour the batter into the baking pan
  9. Place the roughly chopped chocolate bites in the batter unevenly
  10. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until the toothpick poked right in the center comes out clean
  11. Let it cool for a while in a cooling rack before removing the cake carefully from the pan and cut the cake
  12. Serve with a glass of milk or hot tea

 

Cinnamon Sugar, Cheese, and Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts

I was in the mood of making donuts back then, and I wanted to try something new. For the dough, I used the bread recipe that I usually used, and for the toppings, I wanted something new that I’ve had never tried before. Then I was thinking of why not using cinnamon powder, since I had a lot at home and I haven’t used them for months. So before they were expired, I decided to make cinnamon sugar donuts, which turned out really great. I loved it. I loved the fragrant smell of cinnamon and the sweet combination between castor sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon powder.

For the sugar and cinnamon combination, I just figured out myself of the right ratio. Well, you can always be creative with this topping recipe, you can add or reduce the cinnamon if you don’t really like the strong smell and flavor, and you can also add and reduce the amount of sugar depending on how sweet you want the toppings to be.

My husband didn’t have the chance to try these donuts, because my dad, who was visiting us back then, finished all the leftover donuts which didn’t have cheese on them, hahaha…………..it was a prove of how good these donuts were. My favorite was absolutely the ones with cinnamon.

I also made butter and cheese donuts which was my boy’s favorite. He could eat two donuts just 2 hours after his big lunch.

People usually used buttercream instead of butter, but since we were not big fans of buttercream, I preferred to use butter which was very light in term of the taste. But I still want to try making donuts with buttercream topping one day (If I’m not too lazy to wash my mixer…………….).

As the bread itself, it still taste nice even after 3 days (it didn’t last for more than 3 days, so I don’t know how they will taste after 3 days). The bread was still soft and not hard to chew. This was my favorite recipe for making any kind of bread and rolls. I posted about potato donuts before and I also wrote about how soft the bread was after several days, but this recipe also produced the same result as the potato donuts. You just need to reheat the donuts if you want to eat them next time, and they will be as good as when they are still hot and fresh from the frying pan.

Besides cinnamon and cheese topping, I also made butter and chocolate rice sprinkle topping because chocolate was always my favorite flavor. Back then when I was a kid, I only wanted to eat donuts with chocolate sprinkle as it was simple and delicious. Seriously, looking at these donuts just make me hungry again…………..

So, here’s the recipe……………….

Ingredients:

  • 350 gr bread flour
  • 150 gr all purpose flour
  • 100 gr castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 12 gr instant yeast
  • 20 gr milk powder
  • 220 ml cold milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 gr unsalted butter, melted, in room temperature

For the topping:

  1. Butter, melted or in room temperature
  2. Chocolate rice sprinkle
  3. Grated cheddar cheese
  4. 5 tbsp castor sugar
  5. 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  6. 1 tsp brown sugar

Method:

  • Attach bowl and dough hooks to the mixer
  • Add bread flour, all purpose flour, sugar, eggs, instant yeast, and milk powder into the mixer bowl and start mixing with the lowest speed (speed 1 in my mixer)
  • Gradually add milk
  • When dough clings to the hooks and cleans sides of bowl, add salt and butter
  • Continue mixing in medium speed (speed 2 in my mixer) until the dough is smooth, elastic, and not sticky (do a windowpane test to check whether the dough is ready or not). It took 15 minutes for my stand mixer to finish kneading the dough
    Smooth dough
    Not sticky

    Windowpane test: the dough can be stretched without breaking it
  • Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with cling wrap and a clean cloth and let rise in warm place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. To see if the dough has risen enough, simply poke your finger into the dough, and if the finger mark stays, then it has finished rising
    Before

    After…………..double in size
  • Punch dough down and divide into 50 gr each (you can make 20 to 25 donuts)
  • Shape each dough into a round shape ball
    Take one of the dough
    Make a smooth ball by bringing all the sides to the center

    Roll with the palm of your hand for smoother texture
  • Let rise for another 15 minutes
  • Using a pastry tip, make a hole in the middle of each dough (see picture below). If you don’t have a pastry tip, simply use your index finger to make holes)
    If you don’t have a pastry tip, you can always use your index finger to make a hole
    Easy way to shape a doughnut

    Easy and fast, and don’t waste the small holes, you can also fry them
  • Shallow fry the doughnuts until golden brown in each side (do not deep fry the doughnuts, they will be very greasy and you will not get the pattern of lovely rings around the doughnuts)

    The oil only covered 1/3 of the doughnuts. You can either use medium heat or low heat to fry the doughnuts. The doughnuts will be golden brown once they’re done with pale ring surrounding the doughnut in the center area
  • After you fry the donuts, let them cool for a little while in the cooling rack
  • To make cinnamon sugar topping, combine together 5 tbsp of castor sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon powder, 1 tsp brown sugar, and mix well
  • Brush the top and sides of donuts with butter, then dunk into the cinnamon sugar mixture coating the top and the sides
  • For cheese and chocolate topping, brush the top of the donuts with butter, then add grated cheddar cheese or chocolate rice sprinkles or even both
  • Enjoy the donuts while they’re still warm or you can re-heat the donuts in a pre-heated  oven for 5 to 7 minutes ( 170 Celsius)