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Cranberry, Almond and Walnut Bread

I had leftover natural yoghurt in the fridge I’d like to clear out before it goes bad. Looking through the recipe book that came with my Kenwood BM450 machine I saw this recipe, and I had all the ingredients (or their substitutes) on hand, so here we are.

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Italian Herb and Parmesan Bread

After years of using my trusty Kenwood BM250 breadmaker, I did the stupidest thing. I let the breadpan sit in a sink filled with just a couple of inches of water. It wasn’t that much water, but it was enough for rust to build around the paddle rotator, and it became stuck. No amount of WD-40 could un-stick it, so I had a few options: 1) Keep up the WD-40 treatment and pray; 2) buy a new breadpan; or 3) buy a new breadmaker.

I chose option 1 at first. Then I had itchy fingers and checked out the Kenwood BM450 on Lazada. Payday Sale was on, and it was on sale at a 20% discount. Needless to say, I caved. I’ll still do Option 1 and figure out what to do with the old breadmaker if I did manage to fix the breadpan.

I love the Kenwood BM450. It is supposed to be better than the basic BM250, and best of all, it is gorgeous. Finally a winning combination of form and function.

I looked at the recipe book which came with the machine, and there were quite a few I’d like to try. This here though is something I found online on Genius Kitchen, which uses ingredients readily available in my pantry. My first loaf using my new machine!

I activated the yeast first because I wasn’t sure if it was still usable. You can skip this step if you like, as it is completely unnecessary for breadmaker recipes and when using instant yeast.

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Weekend Cooking: New York-Style Bagels

It’s so hard to find good bagels in KL. I can name a couple of bakeries selling it, but can’t say they are particularly spectacular. One day I had a major craving for bagels, so I looked up a few recipes and picked up the one by Sophisticated Gourmet, which didn’t seem too complicated compared to others.

My first try making this, I completely messed up the water-to-flour ratio and the dough resembled alien goo. The second time around, I went back to my learnings in the science of breadmaking, and got the ratios spot on. However I also had some problems with my breadmaker during the second try, and had to knead the dough by hand. Such a good workout, lol.

Verdict: absolutely loved it. This will definitely be my go-to recipe for bagels – simple, no frills, and absolutely delicious straight out of the oven.

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Weekend Cooking: Sausage Meatballs with Gravy

This was a recipe I made a long, long time ago for Hari Raya celebrations, and at the point of time I haven’t started blogging my culinary exploits just yet. The recipe is from Emeril’s Potluck, and as you probably can imagine, this makes a potluck-sized batch.

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Make Your Own: Italian Seasoning

We sometimes need Italian Seasoning for our pastas and such, so if you don’t happen to have any on hand, you can always make a batch of your own using herbs and spices you might already have in your pantry.

This recipe is based on Emeril’s Italian Essence recipe, and used when making Sausage Meatballs with Gravy. As with any spice mix containing onion or garlic powder, which does not keep well at room temperature in this hot, humid Malaysian weather, I always keep this spice mix in the freezer. This should keep it from masuk angin and clumping up.

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Steak and Mushroom Pie

When I first started cooking I basically had one go-to chef for most recipes I wanted to try – Emeril Lagasse. In the beginning I focused more on so-called Western dishes – pies, pasta, and casseroles – and one of my earliest attempts on pies was this steak and mushroom pie.

Last time I followed the recipe to a T (non-alcoholic ingredient substitutes aside), but this time, with more experience I’ve given it my own spin and also used my Philips electric pressure cooker to ensure the meat is tender and succulent.

Be sure to use a deep dish pie pan for this, as there is a lot of filling. The crust is wonderfully crispy, and its buttery aroma will fill your kitchen as the pie bakes in the oven. The tender beef and crispy beef breakfast strips is super hearty, perfect when paired with crusty country bread. Enjoy!

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Pastry top

I use this buttery crust for my Steak and Mushroom Pie. One recipe is enough to top one 9-inch round pie. Be patient when rolling it out; at about 1/8-inch thickness there is definitely enough dough for your pie. I recommend rolling the dough out onto a very well dusted, thin, flexible cutting board. You can then flip the board over and gently peel the dough off onto your pie.

The most rewarding moment will be when you hear the beautiful crunch of the freshly baked crust, as you cut into it. Yum!

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