Tuesday, 16 June 2015

But When You Give To The Needy

This is so delicious that I'm going to cook it again. Before I do so, I better have the recipe up.
A very robust dish but with delicate flavours. Simple ingredients and straight forward cooking. The star is Guinness Stout but I have never tried drinking stout.  Not even a sip from the leftover.

Creamy potato mash is the best complement to this dish. Unlike tomato based stews, this doesn't go with well with rice.

This is cooked with Campbell's real beef stock commonly sold at supermarkets everywhere. This stew is always better made one day in advance.

Beef and Guinness Stew
Guinness Storehouse

200ml of Guinness foreign Extra Stout
400g stewing diced beef, I used beef shin
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 large celery, diced
1 large parsnip, diced
1 litre of thick beef stock
sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary


  • Stir fry the beef, add the vegetables and cook until tender, then pour the Guinness and reduce by half. Add the beef stock and herbs and simmer very slowly for between an hour and an hour and a half. Serve with the champ potato and honey roast carrot and parsnip.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:3-5

Friday, 12 June 2015

In The Time of those Kings

They look like croissants, don't they? They do taste like croissants but they don't have the texture of a croissant. These are my quick croissants which I have baked for the first time for the Bake Along theme.

I know it is not easy to produce light, buttery crisp type of croissants at home. In fact, I do have a recipe which I think is doable if I have more practices. I will post it here if I can achieve it. Meanwhile, here is the quick version which is not too bad if eaten with jam. It has all the buttery taste minus the tender crisp. There is no melt on the tongue texture. The interior has layers but dense and doughy.  If you're not fussy, I think this is passable. I had worse croissants in a remote international hotel somewhere in China

Quick Croissants
Makes 8 big croissants or 15 mini ones
Homecooking adventure

250g strong breaed flour
150g cold unsalted butter, cubed
120ml lukewarm milk
45g sugar
7g active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
egg wash
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk


  • Place yeast in a bowl. Add sugar and milk. Set aside to cool completely

  • Combine flour and salt into a large bowl. Add butter and using a fork combine until big crumbles form.

  • Add the yeast/milk mixture and gently combine until the dough just comes together. The butter needs to remain in pea-sized pieces. Wrap it with plastic, knead slowly to form a square and freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for a couple of hours.

  • Dust with flour your work surface and your rolling pin and start rolling the dough into a rectangular roughly two  to three times as long as it is wide.The dough is pretty hard to work with at the beginning but will come together while rolling and folding.

  • Fold the short sides of the dough into the middle. Rotate the dough by a quarter turn. Roll out slightly to lengthen. Fold the short ends towards the middle.

  • Flip the dough over so the seams are underneath. Repeat the rolling and folding process steps three more times, giving the dough a total of four times of rolling and folding.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours or better overnight.

  • On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a rectangular of 16 inches x 10 inches. Cut the dough into triangles, it will make about 8 triangles.

  • Score a small slit in the centre of each triangle base, gently stretch the corners and tip, then roll the croissant starting from the wide up to the top giving them the croissant shape.

  • Place the croissants with tip side down onto a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2-3 hours at room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 230C. Brush the croissants with egg wash.
  • Bake for 8 minutes than reduce the oven to 190C and bake for another 10-15 minutes until deep golden brown.
  • Cool on wire rack before serving.

This post is linked to Bake Along hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Lena from

In the time of those kings, the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. Daniel 2:44

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

In My Vision

I am writing this because I don't want to lose the recipe of this lovely banana cake. This was shared to me by a relative. The recipe is from Mary Gomes, a cook book author and cafe owner.

There are many banana cake recipes but I just love this one. This banana cake is also baked by my new helper who bought and paid for the all the ingredients used. She wants to bake a cake to share with her countrymen at a church fellowship and insists on paying for the ingredients. She is really such sweet girl and I am blessed to have her in the house.

I like the light and fluffy texture of  this cake and would not substitute evaporated milk for fresh milk even if I have to go to the store and get a can. There is a subtle difference in taste even though 4 tablespoons is needed. Rum is also not to be missed, and brandy can be used too in place of rum.

Banana Cake

450g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
7 Del Monte bananas


  • Sift four with baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Peel and mash bananas.
  • Grease a 30 cm or 11 inch square baking tin. Preheat oven to 150C.

360g butter
360g fine sugar (350g)
1 tablespoon rum

4 eggs
4 tablespoons evaporated milk


  • Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add rum.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing each time till batter is well mixed.
  • Fold in sifted flour a little at a time.
  • Add mashed bananas and mix well. Add milk.
  • Pour batter into a greased baking tin. Bake in preheated oven at 150C for 1 1/4 hours till cake is done. Test with a skewer.

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. Daniel 7:13

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

I Am With You

Chaliapin Steak is a Japanese invention. Made for Russian opera singer Feodor Chaliapin at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in 1936. He had requested for a tender steak.

This steak uses grated onions as a marinade to tenderize the beef. Sauteed onions is then placed on top of cooked steak to replace sauce. The final touch is using a knife to create a grid pattern on the finished steak which makes it very pretty. You can't see the grid on my steak probably due to the uneven browning of onions and meat. Nevertheless, it is very tender and succulent.

I cooked this steak by following the video Cooking With Dog. I used a cheaper cut flank steak and will cook this again, and be watching the fire to get even browning.

We walk with Jesus every day. Some wander and never seem to be settled. The LORD watches over us and makes us pilgrims walking with Him every day. Walking all the way, to Home wherever we are....

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. Genesis 28:15

Monday, 25 May 2015

The Name of the LORD

I have always thought that Madeira cake comes from Madeira and has Madeira wine. It is actually an English sponge cake traditionally lemon flavoured.

This is another easy cake to bake and is great for beginners. In fact, this cake is baked by my new helper under my instructions. She can't read recipes.  I like the texture which is soft and crumbly. Mixed berry jam is a nice complement to this lemon flavoured cake.

Overall, this is a nice quickie cake to do, and because it is lemon flavoured, I like it! If this cake is good enough for Nigella to share, it is good for me. Now, I'm wondering which mother in law? Her first late husband or the abusive ex husband?

My Mother-in-law's Madeira Cake
Nigella Lawson 'How to be a Domestic Goddess
1/2 measurement adapted from Zoe
8 x17cm loaf


80g unsalted butter
55g caster sugar + 1 tsp for sprinkling
1/2 a lemon zest
20ml lemon juice
1 egg
70g self raising flour
30g plain flour


  • Preheat the oven to 170C.  Cream the butter and sugar, and add the lemon zest.
  • Add the eggs one a time with tablespoon of the flour for each.
  • Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and finally the lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle with caster sugar
  • Bake for 25 minutes.

This post is linked to Bake Along hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from

The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
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