My Morning Pinspiration : Day 57

Pai Cafes, Chiang Mai

Paper Spoon Cafe


Ristr8to Coffee


Din Dee Cafe


Coffee in love


More cafe listings here

Spicy Dried Shrimp (Hei Bee Hiam) without Belachan

I was looking for simple Hei Bee Hiam recipes for making tiny spring rolls for Chinese New Year when I thought belachan (shrimp paste) was missing from this recipe.

Belachan (shrimp paste), that pungent, ubiquitous ingredient  in many Indonesian dishes, teamed with sambal, makes one of the best condiment for stir fries (french beans (below) , firm tofu, kang kong).

The end product with this Belachan-less recipe misses out on that pungent kick, but nonetheless just as satisfying when teamed with my white jasmine rice.


Recipe for Sambal Dried Shrimp – adapted from Indochine Kitchen

150 g dried shrimp
50 g red chilies*
8 shallots
3 cloves garlic
4 tbsp sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Wash dried shrimps under running tap briefly, pat dry with clean cloth.

Finely ground the dried shrimps.  I had no mortar and pestle, so I chopped up the 150g dried shrimps (in 3 batches)  in a food processor.

After 1-2 minutes in the processor, I got this:

Next, the 50g chili* + 8 shallots + 5 garlic cloves + 1/2 of a lime juice + 4 tbsp sugar goes into the blender.

I added about 1 tablespoon of water to make the blending easier.

Next, heat the 1/2 cup of oil in a wok.

Add the blended spice mix in and fry it till it turns darker and thicker in consistency.

Add grounded dried shrimps, and continue frying, till the shrimp absorbs the spice sauce mix, around 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.

My Notes:~

* If a less spicy dish is preferred, use normal red chili, instead of bird’s eye chili/chili padi

* Hei Bee Hiam can be kept in the fridge, up to 1 week.

My Morning Pinspiration : Day 53

Jenna Lyons

Those colors


That unbuttoned denim blouse


That white tees with white pants with blazer with clutch


That pair of jeans

Source: via Cuppa on Pinterest


That black outfit with red lips

Source: via Cuppa on Pinterest


That above knee hemline with strappy sandals

Source: via Cuppa on Pinterest


That chunky necklace under the wraps


That green blouse worn over a white shirt

Source: via Cuppa on Pinterest


That tunic

Source: via Cuppa on Pinterest



Source: via Cuppa on Pinterest


That white blouse underneath


Blouse, unbutton

Source: via Cuppa on Pinterest

My Morning Pinspiration : Day 52

Everyday Valentine
Some crafts that I can’t wait till the next Vday to DIY:

Accordian heart toppers


Valentine medals

Source: via Cuppa on Pinterest


Heart shaped corner bookmark

Source: via Cuppa on Pinterest


“You still make me blush” printable card


Wall of paper hearts




Pop up cards

Source: via Cuppa on Pinterest

Last Minute Chinese New Year Bake Off – Tea Cookies

Frozen dough cookies.  I have been a great fan of these recipes.  I can even freeze a few logs of them, then slice and bake them when I want to.  Hot and fresh afternoon tea cookies item every time!

The rest of the cookies I have baked for 2013 Chinese New Year:

- Pineapple Tarts (enclosed version)
Rich Almond Butter Cookies
Crunchy Sugi Cookies
Coconut Cookies
Amaretti (French Macaroon)
Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe for Tea Cookies– adapted from <<每天都是饼干日>>recipe book
Yields  40 cookies

95g top flour, sifted
25g almond grounds
50g icing sugar, sifted
1/4tsp salt
20g egg
65g unsalted butter, softened
2g loose powdered red/black tea leaves*
1/2tsp vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, whisk softened butter, then add icing sugar and salt, continue whisking.

Mix in the egg.  Whisk again.

Add tea leaves and vanilla extract.  Stir with a spoon to mix well all ingredients.

Finally, pour flour and almond grounds into the mixture, stir until a dough is formed.  Chill this in the fridge for 30mins if it is too soft to be kneaded/shaped.

After 30 minutes, take the dough out and roll it into a log. wrap in plastic or parchment paper and freeze it for 1-2 hours.*

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 180C/350F.  Take out dough from the wrap and cut it into 0.6cm slices with a sharp knife.

Arrange cookie doughs on lined baking tray, with 2cm gap between each cookie.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Cool cookies on racks completely before storing in airtight containers.

My Notes: ~

* Or leaves from 1 tea bag.

* Frozen dough can be kept up to a month.

Last Minute Chinese New Year Bake Off – Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter that is unsalted and unsweetened, is preferred here.  After all, the brown sugar and honey are all there to give this cookie a very fragrant sweet lift.

Recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies– adapted from <<每天都是饼干日>>recipe book
Yields  24 cookies

90g top flour, sifted
50g brown sugar
20g honey
1/4tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 egg
60g unsalted butter, softened
50g peanut butter, or better, make homemade ones
50g roasted skinless peanuts, slightly grounded for garnishing

In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and softened butter. Mix well with a hand whisk.

Add honey, brown sugar and salt, whisk to mix well.

Add egg to the mixture, in 2 portions, and whisk till ingredients are well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda and baking powder, and mix well.

Pour the flour into the butter mixture, and use a metal spoon to stir it into a dough.

Pour half of the grounded peanuts (25g) into the mixture and stir briefly to incorporate.

Weigh 10g of dough, and roll it into a ball.  Place it on a lined baking tray, and flatten it with palm.

Top each cookie with the remaining ground peanuts.

Bake in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for 8-10 minutes.

Cool completely before storing in airtight containers.

Last Minute Chinese New Year Bake Off – Amaretti

Amaretti : make use of your leftover egg whites with this recipe

This Italian cookie is supposed to have a crisp-exterior/chewy-tender interior texture, reminding me of French macaroons.  The ingredients required are also really close; mainly egg whites, sugar and almond flour.

But the steps seemed so much simpler.   The recipe book illustrated the instructions with just four step-by-step pictures.

There were balance egg whites after making Sugi Cookies and Rich Almond Butter Cookies, so this is perfect as the next recipe to bake.

As the recipe only makes 18 cookies (small batch, I like!), I beat the 30g egg whites till stiff peak (under 10 minutes) with a hand whisk, without an electric mixer.

Don’t you love simple recipes that do not require many equipments/gadgets?

Recipe for Amaretti – adapted from <<每天都是饼干日>>recipe book
Yields  18 cookies

110g almond flour*, sifted twice
10g castor sugar
60g icing sugar, sifted twice
30g egg white
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
18 whole almonds, for garnishing

In a clean, grease-free mixing bowl, whisk egg white till frothy.  Add castor sugar, and whisk fast to beat mixture till stiff peaks form.

Add vanilla extract, stir gently to combine.

Pour in sifted icing sugar and almond flour, fold in gently with a spatula.  Stop once flour and icing sugar are incorporated.

Chill dough till it becomes harder and easier to shape with hands.  Pinch and weigh 10g of the dough and roll it into a ball, place it on a lined baking tray, leaving about 2cm gap between the cookies.

Place an almond on top of each cookie and push it into the dough slightly.

Bake in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for 10 minutes.

Cool completely before storing in airtight containers.

My Notes: ~

* I sifted my almond grounds to get the finer bits, instead of buying almond flour.