Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cheesecake Brownies: Happy Bday, Grace!

Edit- 11/16/2008- I posted up new pictures of the more successful cheesecake brownies and made some changes on the recipe :D Scroll down to check it out!

Last night the girls planned a surprise for Grace's 23rd Birthday...(which actually is today!). And since i had another free day, i decided to make these Cheesecake brownies that i have been eyeing on for quite some time. The ones i made somewhat failed though... It was supposed to have a marble swirl at the top but I added too much cheesecake mixture so it was hard to make any swirls. Apart from that mistake, i also added too much baking powder to my brownies... making it more like a fluffy cake than the usual compact dessert. But whatevers, 吃到肚子都是一家人~~ These brownies are verrry easy to make, and the ingredients are also very accessible. It only took me about 15 minutes to prepare and mix everything together. I'll definitely try again... and hopefully I'll have more successful pictures to post up! But anyways, happy birthday to GRACE and hope she enjoyed them :D !

Cheesecake Brownies
Brownies from me, cheesecake part from allrecipes.com
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (i used less)
  • 1 cup sugar (i used less)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 egg (or egg white)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Stir together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs and beat well [picture 1].
  2. Separately, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt together [picture 2].
  3. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture [picture 3]. Stir well.
  4. Spread the brownie batter evenly into a prepared pan.
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth [picture 4].
  6. Dollop the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter [picture 5]. Swirl together using a knife or skewer to produce a marble effect [picture 6].
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 30 minutes until knife comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan, then cut into bars and serve.

Cheesecake Brownies

Sunday, April 27, 2008


So like, 3 weeks ago, JLo came up to my room and couldn't wait to show me a cookbook that he borrowed from Linda. It was like a Thai/south-east Asian cookbook with recipes like 檸檬魚, 月亮蝦餅, spring rolls, curries,... etc. But the only thing JLo wanted to eat in there was the 椒麻雞. I didn't really want to make it for him cuz frying chicken thighs can be a bit trickier compared to chicken breasts... But i didn't want to eat chicken breasts either cuz, thanks to JLo, i have grown to hate it. I remember there was a time when all he would eat were fried chicken breasts coated with the polish frying powder. It was good at first but having it every other day was just too much. So between cooking another chicken breast meal and 椒麻雞, i had no choice but to pick the latter.

from Linda's cookbook w/ some changes

  • 2 boneless Chicken Thighs
  • Potato starch for coating.
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil (香油/麻油)
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 bunch fresh Coriander (香菜), chopped.
  • 2 hot chili peppers (小辣椒), chopped.
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped.
  • 3 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil (香油/麻油)
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar


  1. Prepare and wash the chicken thighs.
  2. Marinade chicken for half a day.
  3. Coat the chicken with a light layer of potato starch.
  4. Heat oil and fry the chicken on high heat (both sides) at first... then turn down to medium. This will prevent the chicken from sticking to your pan.
  5. Fry until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
  6. Drain and chop the chicken into thick slices. Set on plate.
  7. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and pour over chicken. Serve!

Even though I'm not a meat person, the 椒麻雞 came out pretty good i must say. It just took a long time to fry all the chicken pieces and to make sure it was cooked... but other than that, this dish is definitely worth the try!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Brie Cheese Fondue

Like the last 2 years, my 3rd Valentine's day in Poland turned out to be filled with classes and exams so JLo always plans something at home. Last year was a home-cooked dinner surprise with candles, balloons, and..... Jay Chou music! Hahaha, he knows how happy Jay Chou songs like "浪漫手機" "園遊會" make me all lovey dovey with rainbows and butterflies inside so he majorly compromised and played it for 2 hours straight w/out complaining. [:D that's my boy!] For Valentine's this year, JLo planned a chocolate fondue surprise XD. He got me a cute heart shaped fondue set and filled it up with....... Nutella. Hahaha, okay i know what you're thinking, "...NUTELLA?! what the f......reak?!" But hey, i was impressed that 他竟然想得到! Normal guys would've just gave up on the fondue idea and did something else... or at least i would if i was a guy. But anyways, I thought 他這個偷懶還蠻好笑的. That nutella fondue was freakin' awesome, especially for a girl's once-a-month craving. Well after that i have just been anticipating the day when i can finally use my fondue set again and make cheese fondue. But it took me 3 and a half months to finally convince JLo to let me do it. Every time i mention Cheese Fondue he'd give me the 你不夠肥嗎 face, smile and say, "okay. ill watch you eat it". GRRRRRRRR....... 討厭! 哪有人送東西不讓人家用的啊?? sighhhh, i didn't give up my nagging and today, on April 23rd 2008...... i finally did it... i convinced JLo and made Brie Cheese Fondue!

Brie Cheese Fondue
adapted from "Matty's Brie Cheese Fondue" at allrecipes.com
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 250g of Brie cheese, rind removed and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg (i left this out)
  • 2 tablespoons spring onions, chopped
  • salt and white pepper to taste


  1. Rub the garlic all over a cooking pot and your fondue pot, leaving the crushed pieces in the bottom.
  2. Add the white wine to the pot and heat over medium-low heat.
  3. Toss the cheese cubes in cornstarch to coat.
  4. When the wine is hot, add the cheese.
  5. Stir slowly with a wooden spoon at first and then use a whisk.
  6. Stir constantly to keep it from scorching on the bottom of the pot.
  7. When the cheese has melted, add the spring onions and remove it from the heat,
  8. Grate in a little nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. The fondue should be smooth and coat a wooden spoon.
  10. If it seems to runny, add more cheese.
    If it is too thick, add a splash more wine --sparingly.
  11. Pour the cheese into your fondue pot and keep fondue warm over low heat.
  12. Serve with: french bread, potatoes, broccoli, sausages... or anything you like.

The wine tasted pretty strong in our fondue... i thought it made it a little...alcoholic-y bitter. I don't know, maybe it's just me cuz JLo turned out to actually LIKE it. I was surprised.... hahahahaha. But I think I'd try replacing the wine w/ something else next time just cuz I'm not a alcoholic-y/wine person. So now i have like a full bottle of white wine left... need to think of something to make and use it up. anyways, picture time!

Things you'll need:

Cheapest white wine i could find. Brie cheese. Fondue set.

Brie Cheese Fondue

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tuna Salad Cucumber Sushi

JLo and I have been making stuff almost everyday... what can i say, there's just not much to do here but study. To give you an idea of how bored we were, we went all the way to Ikea today just to eat their 1zl hot dogs. Wow, how fun.

Okay, so it all started with <--this little thing that i dug out from my cupboard. My 姑姑 gave it to me last year when i went to Amsterdam for her wedding. She also gave me 2 other ones for triangular 飯團s that are still waiting to be found somewhere in my shelves. You've probably seen people selling these things on infomercials... all you have to do is fill it up with rice and press it down to form these cute little rice balls or sushis. Anyways, i WAS gonna make normal sushis out of these but after preparing all my ingredients, i found out i didn't have any seaweed sheets cuz my brother was sleeping and i couldn't get it from him. So i went online, found a substitute, and out came these cute little sushi munchkins:

Tuna Salad Cucumber Sushi
from mykoreankitchen.com
  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 3 crab sticks (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
    (can be omitted if you don't like spicy food)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon sushi vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine


  1. Cool down the rice for about 10 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the onion, tuna, and crab sticks.
  3. Put them in a bowl and add mayonnaise, salt, pepper, sriracha.
  4. Slice the cucumber with a peeler carefully (about 0.2 cm).
  5. Boil the dashi and pour half (or as needed) into rice and mix well.
  6. Form the rice into 12 balls.
  7. Wrap rice with cucumber and top with tuna mixture.

    Tuna Salad Cucumber Sushi

    Aren't they cute?!
    wahahaha, and definitely prettier than normal sushis too.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

03/04/09 update:
Check out the Better Butter Chicken recipe HERE.

The new recipe is a bit more complicated than this one but it's worth the effort!

In POZ, there is a really good Indian Restaurant, "Taj India" by Malta Lake. It's opened by a Indian family, i think, and they serve really good curry + bottomless rice. I really like their Butter Chicken but that restaurant 真的有點遠... so I decided to try making it at home. I've always been hesitant to make Indian Curry cuz their recipes always look so complicated. They use tons of ingredients that i cant even pronounce and figuring out the Polish translation for those spices is even more impossible. So like everyone else, i just make the normal Japanese curry cubes or the Taiwanese curry powder my mom sent me. Anyways, i found this recipe online that used normal and easy ingredients and gave it a go.

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)
from allrecipes.com with my own changes
yield: 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or whatever oil you have)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (紅蔥頭 PP 沒有. So left it out)
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (I only used garlic)
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (I used real 辣椒)
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup cream or milk
  • 1 cup tomato puree (I blended 1 can of chopped tomatoes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (I used real 辣椒)
  • 1.5 tablespoon of sugar, or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (I used real 辣椒)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water.


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Saute onion until soft and translucent.
  3. Stir in butter, lemon juice, garlic , 2 teaspoon garam masala,辣椒, cumin and bay leaf.
  4. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  5. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Stir in cream/milk and yogurt.
  7. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to Taste.
  9. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
  11. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  12. Reduce heat, and season with 2 teaspoon garam masala and 辣椒.
  13. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink.
  14. Stir all the sauce into cooked chicken.
  15. Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce.
  16. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

Note: the original recipe on the website didn’t really satisfy JLo’s taste buds so we added a lot of things in there. I’d say try adding more sugar and salt. If you want, you can try adding Soy sauce in there too. Up to you, just taste it as you go.

The outcome was YUMMY! I used 2 chicken breasts + 2 chicken thighs. And in all, I made 一大炒鍋的Chicken. After Johnny and I finished cooking, we were like, "怎麼那麼多....吃不完就明天在吃"....結果我們兩個居然全部都吃光了!! Not to mention, Johnny 煮的一鍋飯也都ㄎㄧㄥˊ廖廖.

I LLLUUURRRVVEEEE potatoes so even though adding potatoes to this recipe wont make it “authentically Indian”, I did it anyways. If you care more about your food more than you care about your waistline (like me), just boil your potatoes beforehand and add it into the sauce and let it simmer. When your chicken is ready, pour the sauce + potatoes in and let it cook.

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

Masala curry powder JLo bought at
the Chinese food store in Stary Browar.
It only costs 7.50 zl.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spinach Quiche

ve made quiche before but never added Spinach to it. It's always hard to find fresh Spinach at PP. The only spinach they sell are the frozen ones. I never know what to do with the frozen spinach cuz everytime i defrost it, it dissolves into nothing. Well, I went to Carrefour and got a big bag last time and decided to make Spinach Quiche.

Spinach Quiche
adapted from www.allrecipes.com
makes 1 - 9 inch quiche

  • 1 tablespoon 0live oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 250g fresh spinach, cooked and squeezed dry [picture 1, 2]
  • 130g mushrooms, chopped
  • 170g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 200g cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
    (See Recipe Here but leave out the sugar)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 C milk1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Bake pie crust for 5-7 minutes so you won't get soggy quiche.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil until lightly browned [picture 3]. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir in squeezed spinach, mushrooms, feta cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese into the onions and garlic [picture 4]. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk [picture 5]. Pour egg mixture into Spinach mixture and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper[picture 6].
  7. Pour mixture into the pie shell [picture 7, 8].
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle top with remaining Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center [picture 9].
  10. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach Quiche

Almost everyone has watched "Popeye" and learned a little something about Spinach as a kid. We all know that Spinach contains a lot of Iron + Calcium and how Spinach is one of the best vegetables there are. But i was so bored i Wiki-ed Spinach and found this. To sum it up:

  1. Iron DOES contain more Iron than other vegetables but not by a lot.
  2. Spinach contains high amounts of Oxalate.
    - Oxalate binds to the Iron in Spinach forming--> Ferrous Oxalate (insoluble salt).
    - Ferrous Oxalate is then removed from the body.
    - So basically only about 5% of the Iron in Spinach is actually absorbed.
    - The same thing happens with Calcium in spinach.
    - Compared to Broccoli, Spinach only absorbs 5% of Calcium while Broccoli absorbs 50% of it.
  3. However, Spinach is still rich in other nutrients like Vitamin A, C, E, K, Magnesium, Folate (Vit B9).... so it's still important to eat your SPINACH!

Confession: I know even though my Spinach Quiche contains Spinach, it doesn't make it a healthy food. 所以還是少吃一點...無聊做做看就好了!

On another note, i almost chopped off my freakin finger making this freakin Quiche. I was trying to cut the onion, but it was too round and slippery, my 菜刀 completely landed on my left index finger. It was a DEEP CUT and for the first time in my life, 我看到自己的肉. KAOOOO!!! Thank goodness i still remember some First Aid skills from my Summer Red Cross training or else my roommate would've found me 2 hours later lying on the ground unconcious from blood loss........... Okay, im exaggerating.. But ARGHHHH. I was still bleeding the next day... hopefully it'll heal up soon.