Showing posts with label cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cooking. Show all posts

Monday, July 20, 2015

//Kaastengels - Cheese Cookies//

I grew up with these cookies. During Ied Mubarak (here) - a religious muslim celebration my - mother bake this cookies each year since I can remember until a few days a go for a Ied Mubarak.

Since Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch for hundred years a long time a go I think this is how the cookies adapted to Indonesian people to this date.

I never bake these cookies before but to celebrate Ied Mubarak this yearI asked my mother for the recipe. You know it is one of those thing that when you grow up with a certain food - you tent to neglect to know about it. And I think it is wrong.  I considered this a tradition - my family tradition. And I wanted people to now that this is something I grew up with and since now I am living a broad in the US I wanted Steven's family to know about my tradition. So after baking a lot of these cookies I packed them up and brought them over to Steven's mother and step mother. A long with a brief written explanation about the cookies. And I am very happy that they liked it.

These cookies are so delicious. If you like unsweetened cookies - this is for you. When you bite it - it is soft and crunchy at the same time. And it is super easy to make.


Kaastengels (Cheese Cookies)

~ 1-1/2 cup flour
~ 3/4 cup grated hard gouda cheese. Please use the smallest size grater.
~ 1/2 cup margerine, plus
~ 1/2 cup Wijsman butter (here) Alhtough I never used a substitue from regular grocery I think you can use the imported butter for this.

1. After grated the cheese, leave the cheese on the counter for over night without cover. And in the morning place the un covered cheese under the sun somewhere in your home for a few hours. This will help the cheese to get dry and add the crunchiness to the cookies.
2. Using a hand mixer - mix the two butter together and add the cheese.
3. Slowly add flour and mix by hand.
4. After putting all the flour mix the batter by hand until it reach to a consistency that it won't stick to your hand any more. Note; to be honest I do not use measurement I just go with how I feel. If it still soft and sticky please add more flour. The right consistency is when you roll the small amount of dough with both hand it wont stick and it will roll nicely. But you do not want it too hard either.
5. Then sprinkle a flour on a working board roll a small amount of dough to create a long round shape like a snake the size of your thumb.
6. Then cut it every 1-1/2 inch and put it on the lining baking tray.
7. Brush the top with egg yolk mix with butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
7. Bake for about 18 minutes at 350 deg.
(Note: To avoid the top egg yolk and cheese to get burn and became dark in color - I bake the cookies without the brushed egg yolk first for about 7 or 8 minutes. Then after 5 minutes when it is start to get colder I brush the half cooked cookies with egg yolk and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese) And bake them again for another 10 minutes until it became a little brownish in color. And while you are working on brushing the egg yolk - put another tray of cookies in the oven. Alternate this will safe time)

Happy baking Everyone!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

//Gruyere Mushroom Quiche//

I am not much a fan of mushroom. But recently I started to like mushroom. Though I have not explored the different type of mushrooms out there - I do like the cremini mushrooms especially sautee them with lots of garlic.

This week end I had so much raw mushrooms left over from the Sunday barbeque. And through an internet researched I found this delicious super easy Gruyere Mushroom Quiche. I can not resist on trying the recipe with the mushrooms I already have. And I was not disappointed. It is very tasty - this is the kind of quiche that your guests will like and will talk about during the party. 

So without further a do let's take a look at this delicious dish.


Gruyere Mushroom Quiche

~ Store bought frozen pie crust
~ 4 tbsp olive oil
~ 1 large onion, sliced thinly into half moons
~ 8 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, shiitake (I only used cremini)
~ 1/2 tsp salt
~ 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
~ 1/4 tsp dry mustard
~ 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dry)
~ 2 large eggs
~ 2 eggs whites
~ 3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk (not condensed milk)
~ 2/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 1 ounce) plus more to sprinkle on the top.

To prepare the filling. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in large nonstick pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onion to a bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their water and begin to brown about 6 minutes. Add the onions back to the pan, stir in the salt, pepper, mustard and thyme.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, egg whites and evaporated milk.

Sprinkle the  cheese into the pie crust. Top with the mushroom-onion mixture and pour the egg mixture on top and sprinkle with the remaining of shredded Gruyere cheese. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degree F. Bake for 35 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 wedges and serving.


Happy baking Everyone!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

//Mint Lemonade//

On my recent trip to visit my family in Jakarta Indonesia, I took the opportunity to stop in Dubai to meet my good friend from college Dina. During a few hours we were together Dina took me to an Arabic sea food restaurant. The food was undeniably delicious but what kept in my mind was the 'mint lemonade'. I can't help but to have 2 glasses of this fresh delicious drink. Perfect for a hot humid Dubai weather at the time.

Dina and I.

The Mint Lemonade Dina introduced me at an Arabic restaurant called Sammach.

So now that I am home; I searched and found the recipe and tried it out for myself. The result is just as good or even better. I think I found my perfect summer drink; 'mint lemonade'. And so far I drink this almost every day since I got home 9 days a go.

So here is the recipe.

Mint Lemonade

For one standard size glass
~ 1 lemon
~ 3 sprigs of mint leaves
~ 1/3 cup sugar syrop
~ Ice cubes

1. Take the juice out of the lemon. 2. Put the mint  leaves in a blender and pour the lemon juice. 3. Pour the sugar syrop. 4. Put 3 or 4 small ice cubes. 5. Run the blender to chop the ice then liquify it. 6. Pour into a glass. 7 Put more 5 ice cubes. Ready to serve. Note: adjust the taste accordingly.

For the Syrop.
I just eye ball the amount of granulated sugar. 
Boil some water and put some amount of granulated sugar and wait until dissolve. Cool down and pour in the container and store in the refrigerator for when ready to use.


If you try this out, please let me know what you think about this drink.
Thank you so much!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

//Flourless Caramel Chocolate Cake//

I made this cake yesterday to bring over to Steven's cousin for Passover gathering last night - and it was a hit. Since there were so many cakes - people took chunks of this cake home with them. And I could not be happier since I have a smaller version of this cake waiting for me at home.

This cake is very easy to make and for chocolate lovers - this cake won't dissappoint you.

This cake is so rich, moist and the caramel mix with the ganache chocolate covered the cake on top are just perfect combination that melts in your mouth. I lessen the amount of sugar by half a cup since I do not want to be so sweet. And the taste just came out right.

So here they are.


Flourless Caramel Chocolate Cake

~ 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
~ 1/2 cup unsalted butter
~ 1/2 cup granulated sugar
~ 1/4 teaspoon salt
~ 1 to 2 tespoons espresso powder (I used Medaglia D'Oro)
~ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ 3 large eggs
~ 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 

For Ganache
~ 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
~ 1/2 cup heavy cream

For Caramel
~ 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
~ 6 tablespoons butter
~ 4 tablespoons milk

1. Prehat the oven to 375 deg F. Lightly grease an 8 or 9" round cake pan then line the bottom with a round of parchment, great that too.
2. In a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate and butter together until it completely melted. 
3. Stir in the sugar, salt, espresso powder and vanilla. Add the eggs and using electric  mixer beat briefly until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and mix well.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. The top should have a thin crust and the cake will raised significantly but that's okay since when take it out it from the oven the cake will flatten immediately.
5. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then loosen sides with a think knife. Turn it out onto a serving plate and cool completely.
6. To make the ganache add the chocolate to a small heat proof bowl. Heat the cream until it just starts to simmer. Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit for 3 minutes. Stir until smooth and chocolate is completely melt. Spoon over the cake and allow to set.
7. Make the caramel by heat the brown sugar, butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir often and as soon as it begins to boil remove from heat. Allow to cool down, while still lukewarm spoon over the top and use the back of spoon or a spreader to evenly coat the top of the cake. Some of the ganache will melt and mix into it but that is fine.
8. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Happy baking Everyone?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Helathy Breakfast "Beet and Caramelized Boiled Egg Bites"

I got the original recipe from my mother in law. Each morning she eats cut boiled eggs on a saltine crackers. One day she let me tasted it and to my surprise it tastes delicious and since then occasionally I eat a couple of saltine crackers with cut boiled eggs on top for breakfast.

Today I modified the recipe by adding caramelized onion and beet. I love the taste of caramelized onion in almost anything and I also love beet. It is tasty, sweet and healthy. I had 4 or 5 of these bites,  I felt good until late lunch or early dinner.

 These bites dish would be a perfect dish to add to any spread for a late breakfast party. I had my husband Steven tasted it this late morning and he likes them.

These bites are super easy to make. The caramelized onion and the beet can be prepared a day before and refrigerate for the next day use. 

Healthy Breakfast  Beet and Caramelized Onion Boiled Egg Bites

~Saltine crackers
~ 1/2 onion (sliced into thin pieces)
~ 4 tbsp of Olive oil
~ 4 tbsp of sweet balsamic vinaegrette
~ 1/2 tsp light brown sugar
~ 1/4 tsp salt
~ 2 boiled eggs (makes about 9 to 10 bites)

Sautee onion in olive oil then add balsamic vinaegrette, light brown sugar and salt. Cook until tender and turned into dark brown color. Ensemble each cracker with cut boiled egg then spoon the cooked onion on top the boiled egg.

For the beet.
Boiled 2 small beets until tender.
Peel the skin and cut into small pieces. Mix the beet pieces with olive oil, balsamic vinaegrette, salt and pepper. Ensemble the cracker, boiled egg and beet on the top. And serving.


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Good luck Everyone!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Perfect French Toast

I do not know why but I eat french toast for breakfast a lot during winter. May be because the smell and taste of cinnamon warm your body and mind during cold winter morning. And with a cup of coffee or tea it is just perfect.

So what is the secret to a delicious french toast? I will answer this question later. But let me tell you a story about how the french toast I ate at a restaurant in Philadelphia inspired me to create my own french toast like on below pictures. Recently Steven and I took a day trip to visit a good friend of mine who lives there. And they brought us to a restaurant in down town Philadelphia to have  brunch. O boy! The french toast is to die for! So to answer the above question - the secret is the 'brown butter'. You see a dollop brownish color butter on top the french toast on the pictures? Yes, that's the one. So if you make your basic french toast which are made of egg, milk and yes bread (challah bread is even better) you must put a dollop of brown butter on the top. It will taste so much better.

The recipe is simple; butter at room temperature + cinnamon + light brown sugar. If you make this in a large quantity you might want to use a mixer  then store in in the refrigerator for future use. You can see my other good recipe for french toast (here).

So this morning I had this again and some oranges. Ahhh so good!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

 P.S.; If you wanted to follow me through FB please follow me at my FB page here. And if you wish to follow me through Google, please follow me here I am going to delete the FB page on this blog sometime in the future as I have another one that I have created - complete story and as to why I am switching the FB page please read; here.Thank you so very much!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Day Lunch

Our Christmas Day lunch was quiet and simple.

It was only my husband; Steven, his mother;  Joan and myself. I felt like having my own turkey meal this year. I never cooked a turkey meal for Steven's family before as we always invited to his mother's side of the family; the Italian that is and for the past 9 or 10 years

I love cooking for a small number of family and friends as I do not like to work a lot in the kitchen. I can handle up to 8 people and it is a perfect number for my dining table. So decorating the table is also easy and fun for those number of people.

This turkey is very easy and simple. I brined the turkey a night before so the turkey is moist and delicious.

Since it was only the three of us, and to balance the table setting I put a set of plate and silverware for Santa.  And this is a perfect timing to create a water color name tag for the table placement and setting. I  wanted to do this since I saw a similar name tag on Pinterest (here) and this christmas lunch with Steven's mother is the perfect time to do it. As usual I like to incorporate my creativity into any occasion that I am hosting. It might look a little elaborate just only for her but one must remember that I am a photographer and a blogger; everything I created must be worthy  to photograph and to post on my blog. Plus I love putting extra times on my busy schedule to create something pretty. I do not mind that at all as I am happy doing it and seeing the pretty table setting in the end. And I hope I can impress my mother in law by doing this whole table setting and meal for her.

Ellya's Bread and Apple Stuffing
Candid Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Crunchy Fried Potatos
Caramelized Carrot and Onion
Corn Bread Stuffing Lemon Turkey
Turkey Gravy and Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Banana Cream Pie

I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebration with family and friends. And thank you so much for stopping by !

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Almond Tea Cake

Woke up  only to find another rainy and greyish day today. I was supposed to make some Ginger Cut Out Cookies  but I feel lazy going to the store to get some fresh ginger so I quickly found some ingredients in my pantry for Almond Tea Cake. So this was what I did this morning.

This simple almond cake is a good companion to drink with a warm cup of tea in the afternoon or coffee in the morning during a cold rainy day. In fact I am having it with a cup of Mint Rose tea right now and it just perfect for the afternoon treat during a wet weather in New York.

I love the cake liner  bought from Ikea a while a go.  I knew I wanted to put the batter in the Ikea cake liner.  And they are pretty as a Christmas little cakes on the table as well.


Almond Tea Cake

~ 1 cup almond meal
~ 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
~ 3/4 cup egg whites (from 5 to 6 large eggs), at room temperature
~ 1 cup sugar
~ 1 tbsp honey at room temperature or slightly warm
~ 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Whisk together the almond meal and flour until blended.
2. In a stand mixer on medium speed, whisk the egg whites. When the whites change from loose to slightly loose foam, add the sugar in a steady sprinkle, over 4 to 6 minutes. The whites will be glossy and moist.
3. Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites in 3 or 4 portions. Gently fold each addition before adding the next.
4. Fold int he honey, followed by the butter. The batter should be glossy, light and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap; let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 425 deg. Brush the cups on a mini cupcake tin with additional melted butter. Sift all-purpose flour over the molds to coat them, invert, and tap several times to shake out the excess.
6. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them three-quarters full. Bake until golden brown about 35 minutes.


Happy baking Everyone?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ontbijtkoek [Spice Breakfast Cake]

Ontbijtkoek means 'Spice Breakfast Cake'. Yes  this cake is typically eaten as breakfast in The Netherlands.

One day my heart went to my mother's cook when I was growing up as a young girl. I remember when my mother cooked this cake and we loved it very much. Back then my father was working for the US rubber plantation called Uniroyal and I remember our neighbors was the American and the Dutch families. When my parents became friends with the Dutch family, she gave my mother the recipe a long with the spices. But when they moved back to their country as their post was ended, my mother could not find the spices and she stopped making it completely.

Thanks to the internet now I can relive my fondest child hood memory; my mother's cooking 'The Ontbijtkoek Cake'.

I have not told my mother that I successfully made this cake and I knew she would be thrilled that I can make the cake that I know she would love to make again.  I will call her soon as she lives in Jakarta, Indonesia and will tell her the story.

Meantime, this cake is burst with spices. You can strongly taste it in your mouth and it is good to have it with hot tea or coffee especially when the weather is cold outside. But I will not have this for breakfast though! It tastes even better when smeared with butter.

If you love the taste of spices, this cake is for you.

Here is the recipe.


~ 2 cup all-purpose flour
~ 1/2 cup brown sugar
~ 1 tsp baking powder
~ 1 tsp baking soda
~ 2 tsp cinnamon
~ 1/3 tsp cloves, optional
~ 1/3 tsp nutmeg
~ 1/3 tsp ginger
~ 1/3 tsp salt
~ 1 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
~ 1 egg beaten
~ 1/3 cup honey
~ 1/4 cup dark molasses, optional

Preheat oven to 350 deg.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a medium sized bowl, combine all the liquid ingredients together until well blended. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until moistened. Pour batter into an oiled 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan and baked for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and remove from pan.
Set on a rack to cool. Serve with margarine spread and strong coffee or tea.

Note; For a more moist loaf, reduce flour by 1/4 cup and add a little more honey or buttermilk. It is normal if the cake is dry, however it will taste wonderful when toasted.


Happy baking Everyone!
Thank you for stopping by! 

 photo Linkedto_zps7da192d4.jpg


Monday, August 25, 2014

Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am not much of a cookie baker. But when saw this recipe over at Pinterest (here) I was excited to try it out for the first time. And it came out just like the original cookies I got the recipe from. It is moist, soft and delicious.

If you love cookies; this chocolate chips cookies recipe is one recipe to keep. You won't be disappointed. It is easy and quick to make and you do not need an electric mixer to mix the batter.  If you follow and read the instruction carefully; you can go wrong and you will end up with a delicious moist soft cookies.

If you feel like having these cookies go over to my Pinterest cookies collection here and the chocolate chip cookies recipe,  here. 
Just to warn you that you need to read the whole lengthy instructions in order to get it right. It is not difficult once you read the whole explanation and instruction.

Happy baking Everyone!