Friday, 13 March 2015

Easy Peasy and Hassle-Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Yes, I am back after being MIA for about a month due to unavoidable circumstances.  Well... work and family is still my top priority and especially when there's a deadline to meet and you are rushing for an urgent project.  
To my fellow bloggers, I will visit your cyberhome as soon as possible whenever I am available and here's a very easy to follow muffins for those who are always in a hurry to prepare something healthy yet yummy for your family.
 

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Adapted from Cupcakes & Muffins (page 220) with minor modification in red
Ingredients :
- 250g  all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp (1 tbsp) ground cinnamon + extra, for dusting
- 110g caster sugar
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 250ml milk
- 160ml light olive oil
- 2 ripe pears (apple) peeled, cored and diced



Method :
1)  Preheat oven to 200. Prepare 18 paper liners in standard muffin pans.
2)  Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
3)  Combine egg, milk and oil, then stir into the dry ingredients until just combined.
4)  Gently fold in two-thirds of apple.
5)  Spoon into prepared pans and top each muffins with remaining apple.
6)  Dust with extra cinnamon and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the center of a muffin springs back when pressed.
7)  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Apple and Cinnamon ~ complement each other beautifully
Quick yet yummylicious muffins just perfect for breakfast or tea-time


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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Have A Bountiful and Prosperous Chinese New Year 2015

Chinese New Year celebration is also known as the Spring Festival.  This year the Chinese celebrate Spring Festival on Thursday 19 February, and ends on 5 March.
 
This year also marks the start of the Year of the Wood Sheep,  according to the Lunar New Year calendar in the Chinese zodiac.  As the year 2015 is the Year of the Wood Sheep, it is believed that those born under under this sign are going to have a good year, with plenty of good luck and opportunities ahead.
People born in the Year of the Sheep are thought to be loyal, good nature and kind.
Like Christmas in the West, people exchange gifts during the Spring Festival. The most common gifts are red envelopes. Red envelopes have money in, and are given to children and (retired) seniors. 
Do refer to the Significant of Ang Pows in my last year post to know more about the importance of these red packets.
During the next 15 days, friends and family will visit each other to exchange gifts and wish each other a prosperous new year. 
Here, I take this opportunity to wish all my Chinese readers :
*Μay Yοu Have The Pοckets of Ηappiness, 
Τhat Will Αttract Αll The Good Wishes, 
Τhis Year, Ι Αm Ρutting First Wish Ιn It, 
Βy Wishing You Α Bountiful Lunar Νew Year!*
*Fun, Jοy, Happiness, Ρeace, Lοve, Luck, will cοme to you, with my special Wish*
*Always welcome the new morning with a new spirit, a smile on your face, love in your heart and good thoughts in your mind*
*With each passing moments, let us embrace the Lunar New Year with a brighter, colorful, and joyous future!*
*May the Goat year bring you life full of joy that never fade, hopes that never die, strength that never weakens and take you as high as the sky. Wishing you a very Happy & Prosperous Chinese New Year*

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Flavorful Braised Pork Belly with Pumpkin

My goodness, time really flies and 2015 is entering its second month soon.  My sincere apologies to all for not posting anything since New Year and not visiting my fellow bloggers' cyberhome.  Well, I have been very occupied with a new project (it's a good start for me in 2015; new project means extra pocket money for me, besides my full-time job...yeah! ) which I have been rushing to meet its dateline since I came back from my year-end holidays.  Well, to all who sent their greetings and wishes last year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and may you all enjoy good health and prosperity in whatever you are doing.
Here's my 1st post for 2015 and I hope you all like this simple but very flavorful Asian braised pork belly with pumpkin.  If you wish to know the health benefits of pumpkin, click the pic  below for more info.

Flavorful Braised Pork Belly with Pumpkin
Ingredients :
- 1 strip of pork belly (blanched and cut into bite size)
- 1 bowl of cubed pumpkin (with the skin intact)
- 1 thumb sized ginger (crushed)
- 1 tbsp fermented black beans (tau si)
- soy sauce to taste
- water
- Cooking oil
Method :
1)  Heat some oil in a pan or wok.
2)  Saute ginger and  fermented black beans until aromatic.
3)  Add cubed pork belly and stir fry for awhile.  Mix well.
4)  Add water until it covers the meat.
5)  Cover and let it boil at high heat for 5 minutes.  Then lower the heat and simmer until the meat is cooked and tender.  This takes about 35 to 45 minutes depending on the type of pot used.  I used AMC medium pot.  Add more water if you prefer more gravy.

6)  When the the meat is cooked and gravy thickened, add cubed pumpkin.

7) Cover and continue to cook until the pumpkin is cooked and soft.  This takes about 5 to 8 minutes.  Add soy sauce to taste.  Stir and mix well.
8)  Serve hot with steamed rice.
A very simple yet flavorful dish
You can substitute pork belly with chicken too. 
A homey dish which our family have never get tired of it since our grandma days.
Note :  No salt is added as the fermented black beans itself is already salty.  


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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year 2015

*This is a scheduled post while I am still away vacationing*
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I am still not back from my winter holidays, so, here's a scheduled post of simple warm wishes to all my beloved followers and readers.

Till then, see you soon in a better year of 2015!




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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Seasons Greetings and Sincere Warm Wishes From Me To You

It's that time of the year again and I hope that this Christmas will bring you a cheerful ending to the year and a great beginning to a happy new one.

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It's the time of eggnog, candles, cakes, songs, reindeer, carols, laughter – and most importantly LOVE. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
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For your info, I will be away and be back after New Year. Till then, Wishing you all the best this New Year with all that you set out to achieve!!
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from




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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Easy Peasy Homemade Crispy Roast Pork Belly 脆皮烧肉 using Happy Call Pan

Roast pork belly or 烧肉 (sau rou) is in fact not that difficult to prepare.  Almost everyone can achieve it if you can get the right technique.  You can either use oven, non-stick pan or any of your preferred pan.  As for me, I used Happy Call Pan. To me, searing roast pork using Happy Call pan is a breeze.... no splattering of oil and cleaning the pan is also hassle free!
I adapted this simple homemade 脆皮烧肉 from Agnes Chang's Cookbook 'Let's Eat'.  However, instead of using oven for roasting, I used my treasured Happy Call Pan.  No regrets and I strongly recommend you to use HPC if you have one at home.  

Crispy Roast Pork Belly 脆皮烧肉
Marinade adapted from Let's Eat pg 24 (my modification in red)
- 1.3kg (600gm) pork belly with skin (whole block)
- 1 tsp cooking oil
Marinade (mixed)
- 3pcs (1/2 pc) fermented bean curd (nam yee) - mashed
- 1 tsp (2 tsp) five spice powder
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic (1 tsp garlic powder)
- 2 tbsp chopped shallots (I omitted)
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp (1 tbsp) vinegar (for rubbing the skin)
- 3 tbsp (1 tsp) salt for rubbing the skin
Method :
1)  Wipe skin with kitchen towel to remove any water.  Then, using a sharp pin holder or knife, poke the skin all over as shown above.
2)  Rub vinegar all over the skin and followed by salt.
3)  Then, rub marinade all over the meat.  
4)  Leave the marinated meat in a covered container overnight in the refrigerator.
5)  Remove marinated meat from the refrigerator.  Sprinkle and rub some five spice powder onto the meat.  I prefer extra five spice powder for that extra ommph flavor!
5)  Heat 1 tsp cooking oil in your HPC.  Place marinated pork belly on the HPC with the skin side up.  Close the lid and cook over medium heat until cooked.  Do the same to the skin and all four sides of the meat.
6)  Remove  from HPC and leave it aside to cool completely.
 
 7)  Using a sharp knife, chop it into your preferred serving size.
The meat is tender and juicy
 and the skin is crispy and crunchy
Give this a try and you will be surprised that your homemade roast pork belly is in fact better than those store bought ones.
Happy Trying and hope you have an enjoyable week :)



I am linking this post with Cook-Your-Books #19 @ kitchen flavours


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