It is a little bit tricky cooking without butter, cheese, yoghurt and cream. But it can be done, with a plan, we could deliver good food.
Cooking for the birthday boy Tristan, Susan’s husband was easy enough, but there was a mistake in regard to his birthday cake. My concentration was in the decoration of the cake, I will fill the cake with chocolate sauce and Tia Maria liquor and topped with melted chocolate,  meringue and roasted macadamia nuts. As the coffee cake was in the freezer, baked last month, I forgot that it has butter.  No, It Won’t Do!!!

Loukoumades – Greek Doughnut is the perfect fit for it.  A stack of light, crisps loukoumades drizzled with honey sprinkled with crushed macadamia nuts and dressed in fresh raspberries was his birthday cake.  Everyone was happy and enjoyed the sweet.

Pretty Cake for Tris
Loukoumades with Fresh Raspberries






It took only 22 minutes to prepare from start to finish.  Dinner party for four was lovely.

For a relaxed day, the table set up the night before, followed by the cleaning of the rooms, bedroom, bathroom and so forth.  It all was great.

Table Set Up the Night Before

Delicious Dinner

Rib Roast
Carved Rib Roast. A thick cut the way we like it

Potato Fondant, Sweet Potato Confit, Greens Vegetables were the garnishes for A standing Rib Roast Beef and it’s gravy.   Of course, there were no Yorkshire Pudding.  But Fougasse bread was baked.  Come to think of it, I could bake the pudding no butter, using oil instead.

The Gravy-Smooth and Silky

No dairy cooking is easy but you have to think properly about the choices of the ingredients.  The food was delicious we did not miss the butter.  In fact, I will do cooking without dairy once in a while.  It suits the Asian cooking well, eat plenty vegetables and fresh food.

Fougasse with Herbs
Salmon Timbale with Avocado Sauce

Another dish which I cooked with less butter was the Salmon Timbale, again here I forgot that it was added a cube of butter in each timbale.  Served with Avocado sauce.  It ‘s a good dish and they had a little taste.  I have to apologise for it, even though only a little butter but it contains the dairy just the same.

It is a tradition of mine, the gift t0 family’s birthday is my cooking.  They appreciate it.  I wish Tristan well, and God Bless You Always.  Happy Birthday, Tris!
Susan’s birthday is next month and followed by Lance, Melanie’s husband but he lives in QLD with his family, I don’t think he will be with us for the celebration.

The cooking without dairy is my new thing that I have to learn, I am a keen learner, and I can do it.  I am blessed.

Until Next Post


Sweet Scones and . . . . . . .

Quick Mix
Scone is one of the quick mixes methods, it is so easy to prepare and quick to bake.  Morning or afternoon tea served with sandwiches and cakes, but it would no complete without the scones.  I could say that the scones made the Spread!

Last night we had the best news ever, our second daughter – Jane gave birth a beautiful baby girl, she is gorgeous.   I  love her name, Elanora Esmée. We have been waiting anxiously for the past months, and now we are the grandparents again.  Altogether we are a family of fourteen, we are blessed.

To celebrate I prepared sweet scones and mini cakes for morning tea.
It looks pretty, it is different.  The scones filled up with jam and whipped cream, and dressed with pink icing on top, and add some slivered almonds.  Festive little cakes.
The mini cakes were readily available from the freezer, but they were dressed beautifully with pink icing and macadamia nuts.
Pretty pink sweets scones and cakes to celebrate and to welcome Elenora Esmée were delightful, especially they were adorned with white and pink love heart sprinkles.

A Quick Mix Cake

Here is a quick mix method that I did, a moist cake

Pineapple Cake

 A fresh pineapple has been sitting in the fruit bowl for quite some time. Pineapple cake is going to have this weekend. It is a quick mix cake, you know by now that I am a practical cook, always cook what like to eat and easy to prepare.

Susy Mini Pineapple Cake
24 mini round cakes

Peeled Fresh Pineapple

1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple and 1/2 cup sugar, mix to crush in a blender. It yields a cup
1 large egg + 1 dessert spoon yoghurt
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1  3/4 cups  self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

Self-raising flour, pineapple mixture and egg

Set the oven up to 180 degrees C
Butter a mini cake tin to make 12 cakes

The cake mixture
Place flour, white sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.
In another bowl, place the pineapple juice mixture, oil and mix lightly and add this mixture to the flour mixture.  Using a whisk, mix together by hands to combine

Add in the egg and yoghurt and mix to combine

Add in the egg and yoghurt, mix until smooth and the cake mixture is thick to a drop spoon consistency.
Spoon the cake mixture to fill up every each hole on the cake tin (3/4 almost full)
Bake in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes
Take it out and let the cakes stay in the tin for 5-7 minutes.

Take the cake out by lifting one by one and rest them in a cooler tray to cool
When it is cool, dress in melted white chocolate and sprinkle with desiccated coconut


Quick Cooking I Love

Pan fried salmon with garnishes.
Poached, Baked, Grilled and Pan fried fillet salmon can be done by quick cooking.  Garnish as you like it could be potato and salad could be rice and vegetables.  But this time I served it with pasta and zucchini, it was a good dinner and very healthy.  Get a good piece of meat, chicken and fish to do quick cooking method.  Indeed, you have to pay a little bit more, but the technique of cooking is so quick, it is healthy and delicious.  Other bonuses are you safe time and fuel expenses.


Pizza with Home Preserved Olives
Dressed home preserved olives come very handy, serve it with cheeses, dry biscuits a part of a spread, but it is delicious to add on the pizza topping.  So this is what I did.
What you need to do is the pizza dough, and it is easily done.  I did it before the gardening, as I knew I won’t have time to cook a fancy meal.  I had the dough, by the time to bake, it was quick enough to prepare.  Without knowing it we had a flavoursome pizza.  The wild rockets from the garden added extra freshness.

It has been fun baking and cooking using quick methods, indeed it is saving the time and it is no hassle. In no time you have this delicious food, savoury and sweet to be served, and the family and friends enjoy them.

There is a recipe today for you, just in case you love to bake a quick mix pineapple cake.  It is a lovely and moist cake.
I hope you like the idea of dressing the sweet scones, they do look pretty.



Until Next Post


Fougasse and Fruits

Pretty looking bread and it is a French bread the speciality of Provence.

In French cuisine, Fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with Provence but found (with variations) in other regions.  Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat. (Wikip)

I love the shape, it looks beautiful to serve whole as a part of a spread.  And it is also good as a companion for a meal.  The bread is the best to eat on the day it’s baked, enjoy warm bread straight from the oven.  It freezes well, simply warmed up quickly prior eating.

Baking the Fougasse in My Kitchen.
After proofing the dough, followed by the shaping, and let it a rest for 25 minutes also, then bake the fougasse in a hot oven for 16 minutes.

Freshly Baked Fougasse.

This Fougasse has olives, it is a vegetarian fougasse you could say.  Another popular fougasse is with lardon or bacon.  In fact, you could have sweet fougasse as well, but I never have tried it.

Fougasse for French and focaccia for Italian.  There is a similarity, indeed both are flat bread.

Fuji Apple and Fresh Quinces

Harvesting Apples
The Apples-Fuji Apple

There are two fruits that I have to care of.  One is the Fuji espalier apple tree with the fruits and it is ready to harvest. And the fruit is my fresh quince which I got from the market is ready to preserve.

A good afternoon for me today harvesting and cooking in the kitchen



Preserving Quinces

QuincIMG_7401e is a classic and old fashion fruits, and they are not easily available in the shop.  When it is in season and there is an opportunity to buy, I always do every year.  I poached them and keep for future cooking.  Love the poached quince for the filling of my almond butter cake.
Quince is such ordinary looking fruit, the flesh is creamy with a harsh texture.  But by poaching and braising in syrup for a few hours, the colour from cream change to a radiant ruby colour, amazingly beautiful.
Poaching-Braising Quinces in My Kitchen.

The quinces were braised in syrup with cinnamon stick, clove and bay leaf for over two hours.  I keep in an airtight jar and refrigerated of course.

Baking is one of my plans to be doing soon this Winter.  Keeping the kitchen warm with the aroma of herbs and spices is beautiful and pleasing.  Home Sweet Home.

Util Next Post



Susi Soto

Hot soup, a delicious home cooking to prevent common colds.  The weather is cooler, and it is late Autumn, we must get ready for Winter, to keep fit, well and healthy.
The soup is chicken soup Javanese style (cooked my way) based on Soto.  I cooked for the family since we have been having a mild cold, it helped us to get better.

Soto-Chicken Soup
After the spices have cooked and released the fragrance, add in the whole chicken to braise
Cooking the herb and spices.



Turn the chicken over, and continue to braise for 10 minutes
Add and stir in two-litre hot water and continue cooking for 19 minutes over medium-high heat.









You don’t need the recipe for this soup, but I love to give you what you need to cook this delicious soup.

The Ingredients: Spices and fragrant herbs (turmeric powder, white pepper powder, nutmeg, fresh lemon grass, fresh ginger and fresh kaffir lime leaves).  And chopped brown onion, garlic and lemon juice)

The meat: a whole bird chicken, wash, and dry.  Fill the cavity with a heaped teaspoon salt, crushed fresh ginger, kaffir lime leaves and lemon juice.  Keep aside.

Parsley and Fried Shallots

This is what I did.
In a big pot,  I sauteed the spices and fragrant herbs for a few minutes, add in a cup of hot water.
Add in the chicken and cook over medium heat for 6 minutes, place the lid on.
Turn the chicken over to cook the other side, and lower the heat, and with the lid on cook for 10 minutes further.  Add some vegetables-carrots, cabbage, spring onion and parsley and add salt to taste.
Now, add in 3 litres of hot water, bring to a gentle simmer, and continue cooking the chicken in the broth for 35 minutes.  Add two teaspoons of sugar to balance the flavour, and adjust the salt, you may need a little extra salt.
To get a better rich broth and a tender meat of the chicken, leave the pot over a very low heat for another 25 minutes.

Serve the soup hot with some chunk of the chicken meat, garnished with fresh parsley, fried shallots and a bowl of steamed rice.
I love to cook the soup throughout the year, and it is very good for colds.  It is raining and wet outside, better be staying in to keep warm.  I think we are on amend now.  Indeed thanks to the soup.

The soup has delicious colourful clear broth, it is simple enough to prepare and the ingredients are easily accessible in the market or supermarkets.  Have Fun in the Kitchen.  Happy Cooking!


Until Nex Post

Potted Plants

Potted Fig plants in my garden are not doing so well,  the fig trees have a few fruits but they will never make it to our table. Well, how wrong I was, nine fig fruits were harvested and they were good enough, not the best but they were sweets and enjoyable to eat.
Two Potted Fig Trees

The fruits were not large, but they have gone a long way, they were eaten fresh, a couple of fruits were useful for garnishes.

The baked middle – eastern flavour chicken was so right to be served with fresh fruit. The spiced chicken was complemented by the delicious fresh fig, it worked well together.

I would have cooked a rice dish with plenty of dried fruit such as apricot and currant to serve with the chicken but I did not need too, we had the fresh fig instead. Green salad with fresh fig is my favourite.
Fresh Fig to garnish sponge cake, not only looks pretty but tastes delicious. We enjoyed these leftover sponge cake from the grandkids last visit.

A New Potted Fruit Plant.
The Potted Espalier Apple Fuji is doing great it has seventeen apples, and I believe they are turning to red soon. I had a question about it, indeed there is a shade of red already. In two months I shall harvest the apples, it is exciting to have something to look forward too.

The apple is turning to a better colour, from green to reddish colour.,
I hope in six weeks time is going to be the harvest, seventeen apples from the potted tree. This time we shall enjoy the fresh fruit, poached apples and apple pies or strudel are easily prepared from the apple of the marketplace.

Beautiful Potted Herb this time of the year is rosemary, love this blue and purplish colour.

It is lovely to garnish savoury or cake for the presentation of the dishes.
The rosemary herb is so good to add to stew, lamb dishes, roast lamb or roast chicken.
Add into savoury scones or home baked olive bread with rosemary is delicious.
Every garden should have this herb, it is very useful.

The Indian Rope Hoya have grown taller and very well established. At the moment it has no flower, but the leaves are shiny and beautiful. It has been flowering once since I got it from my dear Eileen.

Other Potted Hoya has multiplied as the new plants from the cutting are growing successfully.


Potted Abutilon
It is not only a pretty plant with beautiful flowers and lovely leaves but they are deliciously cooked.

Fried abutilon Leaves

Just to catch up what is happening in my garden in regards to my potted plants, overall they are good.  It is late Autumn and moving around the potted plants is a must, such as potted orchids, potted lemongrass, ginger, indeed I am heading a big task. It needs to be done, some of them have to be protected from the cold.


Until Next Post



In my kitchen a place that I could be me and enjoy cooking this lovely food.

Certain things that I have to remember how to serve the food and beautiful dishes are flavours, textures that working together and compliment one another.

The day of baking bread, I prepare a soup to serve within a cold weather.
Love to have a bowl of soup served with bread and butter.  It is a complete meal for us.

 Earthy lentil soup with home baked sourdough Tabatier

Roasted Leg of Lamb garnished with roasted pumpkin and peas.  The whole roasted pumpkin used as a bowl to hold the peas looks very inviting for children enjoying the vegetables.

Beautiful light meringue topped with whipped cream and dressed with fresh fruits.  Berries are perfect for it, these raspberries bring the flavour better, they cut the sweetness of the meringue which adds the deliciousness of the meringue.

Fresh fig to garnish a sliced of cake is a celebration of the sweet. 

Meatballs soup in clear broth (bakso) tastes better with garnishes and adding a little vegetables cut the richness of the meat the flavour.
This soup is my favourite soup, often I cook in my kitchen and enjoy by my family too.

Fresh Fruits
What would you do with fresh fruits?  Serve as they are with fresh mints.
I dressed them up with honey or served with dipping sauce.

Pie with a crispy pastry.   I could do anything else. it goes so well with a green leafy salad. Add some fresh cheese if you wish.

Salad and meat dish served with yellow rice is good, it looks pretty and taste delicious.

Double cooked beef empal is served with steamed white rice.  And the braised whole chicken is excellent to serve with steamed white rice, and pickled cucumber is the garnish.

The baked whole chicken I would match up with baked potato and a salad or vegetables for the garnish.

Roast Beef Rib is the best to be served with its gravy and Yorkshire pudding for the garnish.

These are just samples what dishes you could match up, as what dish could pair up with the drink wine.  In my kitchen, cooking is fun.


Until Next Post


Happy Easter

My Best Wishes to  You and Family, To Have A Very Happy Easter
Enjoy The Easter Egg and Happy Feasting.

Rustic, Earthy for Our Easter Crown 2017

The Easter COOKING AND baking

Sacred Garden and Cooking for The Gods, 2017

The Easter Lamb

The Easter Eggs

Easter Crowns for The Family

The Easter Crowns for All The Gods

Brioche Crown dressed in melted white chocolate dressed with chocolate eggs.

I enjoyed the cooking and baking preparation for this Easter and I am so blessed to be able to share the cooking with family and friends.





April 2017