Wednesday, 26 December 2012

No Peace Know Jesus

During my two weeks in Dubai, I stayed in an apartment which faces this magnificent building, Burj Khalifa.
Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, standing at 828metres tall with 160 floors. It's location is surrounded by the Dubai Mall, and a world largest dancing water fountain, which can spray to a height of 500 feet.
I enjoyed dining out at the restaurants facing the water fountain, watching the water show which comes on half hourly every evening. 

View of the Burj at night.This picture was taken from an Italian restaurant which I visited twice. I love Italian food!
 I also tried the local food at the old town area and  liked the mutton kebabs and naan at an afghan
restaurant. I never like to eat mutton and had it once long time ago. I find mutton has strong smell, but this kebab is different. I can't tell what kind of spices is blended and marinated with the meat, and this make it the scrumptious grilled meat I ever had. The naan is served hot and fluffy and it was made fresh from a bakery next door. This bakery is like no other bakeries, it only makes one kind of bread, naan. Two men knead the dough and an another is in charge of placing the dough into a tandoori oven.  He did this by kneeling near the   hot oven.

Two big skewers of kebabs with a serving of salad, tomato soup and naan cost only 20 AED( S$6.60, US$5.40 ) which is very cheap. A main course at restaurants near the mall cost about 80 AED( S$26.60, US$21,80)

After your meal, a plate of mixed spice seeds , some coated with sugar and color is placed on your table. This helps to freshen your mouth and also aids your digestive.

I spent most afternoons shopping at Dubai mall which is connected to the apartment.
I also tried red velvet cupcakes at both the Magnolia bakery and the Hummingbird bakery. Magnolia red velvet is more moist and the frosting is way better than Hummingbird's.

                                             Hummingbird's Red Velvet

I went to this store, Wafi Gourmet which sells many different types of middle eastern food, spices, nuts and desserts.

What did I buy during this trip? Most visitors to Dubai buy dates and nuts. There are many variety of dates, and I bought this less sweet and better quality dates with almonds.

I bought three kinds of nuts, pistachio, walnuts and cashew nuts. I also bought a bottle of rose water which is about $2.  I plan to bake rose essence cookies soon.

I have been to Dubai several time, so this is not a sight seeing trip for me. Overall, I enjoyed this trip very much. The weather was nice, 22C (71.6F) most days and I felt very refreshed and relaxed. I took some views from my apartment and also recorded the water show for you.

I am grateful and thankful to God for looking after me so well, keeping me close to him.  During Christmas Day service at the church, the message is 'The Names of Jesus".Jesus is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6. These names show us who Jesus is and how we can depend on him to be our King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

Wonder counselor He is perfect in every ways from birth to death. He is always available, caring for us and he understands us.

Mighty God Jesus is the doer of all great things. He battles against all devils and demons. He conquers death. We need Him for he protects us.

Everlasting Father A child yet to be born but is already called Everlasting Father by Isaiah. The promised child is God himself. He is our heavenly Father.

Prince of Peace He is Peace with God, he is also Peace of God. He guards us against our fear, our anxiety. Only Jesus can bring peace, his peace can come into our lives.

'For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace'
                                                                                                                                             Isaiah 9:6

                  NO PEACE? KNOW JESUS! 

Monday, 24 December 2012

What Does God Want From You This Christmas?

Having just posted the last of 6 course Christmas meal for six a day ago, I have no intention to do any posting till the new year. I have just returned from my 2 weeks trip Friday morning, and was busy doing house cleaning and laundry. Sunday School is having a Christmas celebration this Lord's Day and I made this for the my class as Christmas gift. This is not the first time I made cake pops and the truth is  I don't really enjoy making them.  Cake pops are cute to look at, but to make them is time consuming (I think). I have only a short evening to make them and did manage 16 pops. I adapted the recipe from bakeforhappykids.

Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
11/2 cup flour
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup hot water

  • Pre-heat oven to 175C.  Lined a 8" x 8" square pan with  baking paper.
  • Sift cocoa,flour,sugar,baking soda,baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer.
  • With the mixer on low, beat in oil, milk, vanilla, eggs and hot water, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

113g cream cheese
58g unsalted butter
180g icing sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter till creamy. With mixer on low, add icing sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowls as necessary.
Add vanilla extract and increase mixer speed. Blend until frosting is fluffy.

When cake is cooled, crumble cake with a food processor or by hands and mix in the frosting. Shape into about 12gm balls and chill in freezer. 

I made the eyes using homemade marshmallow fondant from here

 Chocolate covering

Melt 200gms of dark chocolate coating in a double boiler. 

I use chocolate coating because it is less messy with no fear of melting. Chocolate hardens after a few seconds. As you dip cake balls into the chocolate, twirl the cake pop to remove excess chocolate and decorate before it hardens.

Blessed Christmas to all my blog readers. Wishing you all the beauty & blessings of this Holy season.

What Does God Want From You This Christmas? Sunday sermon.

What does Jesus want from us ? What gift can I give that is acceptable to God?
Here is God's wishlist. Micah 6 is a message from God  to us, so that His people will not forget.

Micah 6:8 sums up what God looks for in our life and what gifts we can give.

1) To Do Justly Giving God His due. He deserves our worship and adoration. Treating people right.
                           Love your neighbors as yourself.

2) To Love Mercy loving the unlovable. A willingness to forgive the sins of others as God is willing to
                                forgive our sins.

3) To Walk Humbly Humility enables us to know we are in Christ. Acknowledge our sins and submit to
                                  God's mercy.

'He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.'        Micah 6:8

Saturday, 22 December 2012

What Christmas Is Really About #6 Pumpkin Cupcakes

A homely dessert for your Christmas meal, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. These cupcakes can be prepared two or three days before your Christmas meal.  Stored in covered container in your refrigerator until ready to use.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Joy of Baking
(16 cupcakes)

195gm all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
113gm unsalted butter,room temperature
200gm granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
180ml pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting
113gm cream cheese, room temperature
30gm unsalted butter. room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
175gm confectioners sugar

Garnish 110gm pecans or walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350F(180C).  In a large bowl, sift together the flour,baking powder,baking soda,ground spices, and salt.
  • in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl> With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and pumpkin puree, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Fill in the muffin cups evenly with the batter using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. 
  • Place on a wire rack to cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In the bowl of your mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add the butter and beat until incorporated and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar and beat until fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  • Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Sprinkle with toasted nuts.

Note: I omitted the ground cloves and reduced granulated sugar to 180gms and confectioners sugar to 120gms. For pumpkin puree, I used butternut squash, slice and steam for 10 minutes till soft. Blend to make puree.

Your complete easy to prepare intimate Christmas meal for six

Cured Salmon with Avocado Puree

Grilled Squid On Bagedil With Tamarind Sauce

Buttermilk Chicken Drumsticks

New Orleans Coleslaw

Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with chicken and Bacon

Pumpkin Cupcakes

                                        Blessed Christmas

'Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.'         James 1:17

Thursday, 20 December 2012

What Christmas Is Really About #5 Strawberry Balsamic Pizza

Green and red, the traditional colours of Christmas, this pizza will definitely set the mood of a Christmas meal. The pizza dough is from Jamie Oliver's easy pizza dough and this dough can be made ahead, freeze untl ready to use. This dough can also be used to make bread. Pictures are from old post.

Ingredients (makes 6-8 medium sized thin pizza bases)

1 kg strong white bread flour or Tipo '00' flour
1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
650 ml lukewarm water


  • Sift the flours and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle.
  • In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid.
  • Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a springy dough.
  • Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands - this is called knocking back the dough.
  • You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge or freezer until required. If using straight away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizza  This amount of dough is enough to make about 6 to 8 medium pizzas.

Recipe from Her Frozen Wings
Strawberry Balsamic Pizza 
( makes one 12 inch pizza)

1/2 cup strawberry jam
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp chilli sauce
1 ball pizza dough(Jamie Oliver's)
1 cup diced chicken breast, pan seared or any leftover roasted chicken
1/2 cup applewood bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces, cooked and drained
1/2 cup thin sliced sweet onion
12 oz shredded Italian blend cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh strawberries, diced small


  • Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan, bring to boil and reduce heat, simmer for 4-5 minutes or until reduced to half of the original amount and mixture is thick and syrupy.
  • Add strawberry jam and chilli sauce and mix well, set aside to cool.
  • Roll out pizza on your pizza pan. If you find it a little difficult to roll to the edges of the pan, let it rest for a while and roll out again.
  • Combine chicken with 2 tbsps of the balsamic strawberry mixture and mix to coat all chicken with sauce. Pour rest of the sauce onto pizza dough and spread to cover. Leave a 1" border around the edge and scatter chicken over the sauce.
  • Place about 3/4 of the cheese on top of the dough, spread to cover sauce evenly, scatter bacon and onion over cheese to distribute evenly. Scatter remaining cheese.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 230C for approximately 8-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, let it cool slightly and sprinkle with diced strawberries and fresh cilantro.

          'For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.'
                                                                                                    Romans 6:23

Sunday, 16 December 2012

What Christmas Is Really About #4 New Orleans Coleslaw

Nigella's New Orleans Coleslaw

Save 4 tablespoons of buttermilk from the buttermilk chicken drumsticks #2 to make this. This coleslaw is also known as Buttermilk Pecan Coleslaw.  Make ahead and chill in the fridge. This is what you need:


1 white cabbage (about 1 kg before trimming)
2 carrots
2 sticks celery
4 spring onions
200g mayonnaise (preferably organic)
4 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
100g pecans
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper


  • Trim and shred the cabbage, either by hand or with a food processor.
  • Peel and grate the carrots, and finely slice the celery and spring onions.
  • whisk together the mayonnaise,buttermilk,maple syrup and vinegar and coat the shredded vegetables with this dressing.
  • Season, and toss through the chopped nuts.

Note: I used walnuts

'For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.'
                                                                                                           Isaiah 9:6

Friday, 14 December 2012

What Christmas Is Really About #3 Buttermilk Drumsticks

These finger licking drumsticks are so tender with a tinge of sweetness from the maple syrup and a subtle hint of spice from cumin.  Served best with New Orleans Coleslaw.  You can easily double or triple the quantity as everything goes into a bag to marinade and out on a tray to roast.

Nigella Lawson Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Ingredients (serve 6)

12 chicken drumsticks
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, bruised and skins removed
1 tablespoon crushed peppercorns
1 tablespoon sea salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon maple syrup


  • Place the chicken drumsticks in a large freezer bag, and add the buttermilk and 1/4 cup of oil
  • Add the bruised garlic cloves to the bag with the crushed peppercorns and salt.
  • Sprinkle in the ground cumin and finally add the maple syrup, and then squish everything in the freezer bag around to mix the marinade and coat the chicken.
  • Leave the buttermilk marinated chicken in the fridge ideally overnight or out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Take the chicken pieces out of the bag shaking off the excess marinade, and then arrange them in a roasting tin lined with foil.
  • Drizzle over the 2 remaining tablespoons of oil, and then roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until brown, even scorched in parts, and juicily cooked through.
Note: You can roast a whole chicken but for easy eating and even browning, I used drumsticks. These drumsticks are good for picnic too.
Chicken Drumsticks,Buttermilk,Cumin,Oil, Garlic,Peppercorn and Salt

leave overnight

Tender, crispy skin off the bone drumstick

'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.'
Luke 2:14
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