Viewing posts from the Snacks category

Weekend Cooking: Apple Cider Doughnuts

Post turkey dinner I had a lot of apple cider left over, and was wondering what to do with it.  I can’t remember how I stumbled upon the idea of making doughnuts with apple cider, but now that I have, why didn’t I think of this sooner??

There are quite a few recipes out there. Fried ones, baked ones, and after reading through the reviews I decided on the version I found on Taste of Home.

I ran out of brown sugar when making these, so I ended up using some red sugar as well.  I find that red sugar adds a richer taste to the doughnuts, perhaps closer to the taste of palm sugar, which was nice.  The recipe also called for a ginger-sugar coating, but I decided to make mine with apple cider glaze.  I need to finish off that carton of juice in the fridge!

It was also my first time deep frying something in a pot on the stove.  Previously I’ve always weaseled my way around this by either using an electric deep fryer or an air fryer, or by asking Kak’mbang to help me out with it (yeah. terrible, I know).  When I was making this, everyone in the house was taking an afternoon nap.  I didn’t want to bother Kak’mbang again, so I decided to suck it up and do it myself.

Turns out, it wasn’t so bad after all.  I did overbrown the first batch or so, and I didn’t realize that I was letting the oil get too hot, but in the end I got a batch of excellent, tasty doughnuts.  No scary oil spills, no Captain America shield (my rice cooker pot lid) needed.

These doughnuts are best eaten fresh, as it will have a nice crunchy crust as you bite into it.  Over time the texture will resemble more like soft cake bread.  Do not skip the glaze, the doughnuts have a subtle apple and spice flavor on their own, but with the glaze the amazing brightness of the apple cider really shines through.

Try it out!

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Weekend Cooking: Kak Seri’s Pan-fried Bananas

When I was way too young to remember, we had a lovely, stylish Indonesian lady named Seri who took care of our Highland Towers condo in KL.  Whenever my family visits KL we’d stay there, and nowadays Mummy would sometimes share stories of Seri and her antics.  One thing Mummy mentioned quite a few times was this simple yet amazing banana snack, which Seri used to make for afternoon tea.

Over the Hari Raya week Kak’mbang went back to our hometown Terengganu, and came back with a good-sized bunch of pisang awak, or pisang kelat siang as we call ’em in Terengganu.  This specific type of bananas is perfect for banana fritters, so Kak’mbang decided to use them for re-creating Seri’s recipe Mummy mentioned so often.  It’s really simple to make, yet so lovely and indulgent.  Love ’em.

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Ramadan Cooking: Peri-peri Cornflakes Chicken

It was the last few days of Ramadan, and things were reaaaally slowing down at work.  As I was staring at my laptop screen wondering what work I should do for the day, an email came in from Nando’s with the subject line, “Take PERi-PERi sauce balik kampung this Hari Raya okay!” I clicked on it and found this recipe.  It looked simple enough, and B.I.G. is just right there to get groceries from, so I decided to make it when I got home from work.

I made mine using my air fryer instead of the oven.  I think I cut my chicken a bit too small, so that’s another thing I’d improve on next time.  Super simple and healthy.  Try it out!

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Ramadan Cooking: Potato Croquettes

Ever since Ramadan started, I’ve been taking my quick breaks walking through the aisles of Ben’s Independent Grocer (B.I.G.) almost every working day.  Sometimes (very rarely) I leave empty handed, but most of the time I would buy some fruit at half price or bread or some ingredient I could use to make something small for buka puasa.  So this time I bought a bag of panko breadcrumbs, and made another recipe from Chef Kamarul’s book.

These croquettes were lovely, and reminded me so much of the snack I love back in Japan.  I noticed that mixing the ingredients using the potato masher wasn’t so effective for me, so next time I’ll switch to a spatula or wooden spoon instead.  I’ll also stuff them with cheese or meat to make them more hearty.

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Ramadan Cooking: Murtabak Maggi

Back in boarding school, every year the Form 4 seniors would organize a food carnival to raise funds for their Graduation Night.  Every class would set up stalls selling all sorts of food, from the normal stuff like pasta or nasi goreng, to the more creative stuff like banana with Milo drizzle (my first time learning that chocolate and banana go super well together), and of course, murtabak Maggi.

I still remember standing there watching my seniors prepare my order.  Cooked plain Maggi instant noodles were tossed in a mixture of egg and burger patty meat.  I’ve never tasted anything like it, and it was awesome.  This was almost 20 years ago.

Over the years I tried making it a couple of times, but I just couldn’t get the ratio of the ingredients right.  The murtabak either came out too dry, or just didn’t come together at all and ending up being just a regular Maggi goreng.  

Since I’ve got some extra time to cook something for buka puasa, I tried making it again.  I used this recipe from the official Maggi website and gave it my own little twist, a tribute to that awesome version my seniors made.  Absolutely delicious!

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Ramadan Cooking: Air-Fried Banana Spring Rolls With Nutella Drizzle

I bought a bunch of pisang mas last weekend, and they were quite green then so I thought they would last a while.  By mid week they’ve started to become overripe, so Kak’mbang asked me to try out this recipe by Chef Kamarul from his book, Resepi 30 Minit Chef Kamarul.  Overall recipes from his book look super simple yet promising in terms of yumminess, and I really do need to use up those bananas, so I gave this a go, with a few small changes.

Mummy doesn’t really like deep fried foods, so I made mine using an air fryer.  I used red sugar instead of brown because it gives a richer flavor, although it does melt really fast and makes the bananas quite wet.  Here’s a tip – be sure to separate out the spring roll sheets upfront, so that you can quickly assemble the spring rolls and chuck ’em in the air fryer.  I made the mistake of (sloooowly) peeling the sheets as I went along, and because my banana mixture was wet, the first few that I assembled became rather soggy and burst during the cooking process.  I also saved some time by using simple Nutella instead of making my chocolate sauce from scratch.

The results were lovely.  The spring roll skin crisped very nicely in the air fryer, and the sweetness of the filling was just nice, letting the natural flavor of the bananas do most of the talking.  A good snack ready to eat within 30 minutes!

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Weekend Cooking: Garlic & Olive Oil Pizza

I usually make my own pizza dough, but I happened to have quite a lot of store-bought pizza crust in the fridge, so I decided to throw together something simple using stuff I had on hand.  Despite minimal ingredients, this pizza made a pretty decent snack, and Rudy surprisingly loved them.  A great alternative to your regular garlic toast.  Try it out!

Based on the recipe from 500 Pizzas & Flatbreads.

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Potluck: Cheeseburger Sliders

I saw a video by Tastemade some time ago on how to make 4 types of sliders, and I knew I had to try making them.  I was going to make the cheeseburger sliders for a potluck tonight, but the host came down with fever and had to cancel (get well soon, Elle!).  I was really looking forward to trying these sliders, so I decided to go ahead and make them anyway.


I wasn’t really paying attention while shopping at the grocer earlier, and picked up emmental slices instead of cheddar (what was I thinking?? Boo).  Decided to use them anyway, but as expected the cheese taste was so mild so we had to supplement with Chesdale slices for added flavor.

Some things I would improve on next time: I’ll try to spread the meat wider and let it ride up to the sides of the tray the next time, because the meat will shrink quite a lot when cooked.  I’m going to try using normal minced beef instead of the weight watcher’s version, and reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes, to see if that improves on the juiciness.  I’ll also double the amount of cheese, and drizzle ketchup or mustard for added flavor.

Will definitely make this again!

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Pressure-Cooked Chick Peas (Kacang Kuda Rebus)

Some of the yummiest snacks are the simplest, and one of my favorites is boiled chick peas.  For an afternoon snack (and anything in between), boiled chick peas are perhaps a healthier alternative, and I could keep munching on these all day while sipping yummy cups of coffee.  Before the advent of pressure cookers this used to take forever to make, but now we can have these munchies ready within a fraction of the time.  This is how Kak’mbang makes them, apparently based on my (mysterious) Nenek’s recipe.  Enjoy!

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RayaFest 2016: Kerepek Bijan Nenek (Grandma’s Sesame Crackers)

Ramadan is almost over and Kak’mbang and I were busy with our preparations for Hari Raya tomorrow.  When I was growing up, the usual routine in the days leading up to Hari Raya would be to bake cookies, but in this day and age, everybody just buys their Raya cookies, so we no longer bother.  What I do miss from my childhood days were these kerepek bijan or sesame crackers, something Kak’mbang learned to make from my (mysterious) Nenek.  This snack is so basic yet so addictive, perfect to munch on while discussing sports or current Malaysian politics at the dining table with our relatives.  Put them in nice tiny jars and they’d also make great gifts for friends and colleagues.

Sharing the love (and the awesomeness of my grandma’s culinary skills) for everyone’s enjoyment.  Selamat Hari Raya!

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