Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Play Dough Recipes

Considering the popularity of play dough while its price is going high among other things, this recipe can be useful for mums, who would like to give an abundant supply of play dough to their kids. This recipe comes with a bonus, the children would like making play dough. I know this for I used #2 recipe with my son.

1. Everlasting play dough

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 dessertspoon food colouring or powderpaint

Cook mixture in a pan over a medium heat, stirring all the time to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat when the mixture leaves the side of the pan.

2. Non cooking Everlasting play dough

It has the same ingredients as above, but
(a) Place all ingredients in a bowl except water.
(b) Pour on two cups of boiling water (from kettle) and stir well.
(c) Cool mixture and kneed

3. Stretchy play dough

  • Three pounds (lbs) of self-raising flour, mixed with 1 1/4 pints of water.

4. Easy play dough

One cup salt, one cup water and two cups flour; mixed it all up.

5. Dough for Pastry play

  • Three pounds (lbs), one pound of salt, two teaspoons of oil. 
  • Water as required.  Mix to make tough, pliable and easy to cut dough.

6. Runny play dough

  • Before starting to make this, consider the adults and children to have overalls ans cover the floor and tables.
  • Four ounces of cornflour and one teaspoon of powder paint.
  • Water to make thin paste. Mix together in a bowl and pour into tin tray with sides.

7. Modelling dough

  • One pound of self-raising flour and one pound of salt. 
  • Water as required to make dough.
  • This recipe is not sticky and is useful for model making as can be dried hard in slow oven or airing cupboard. When harden, it can be painted and or glazed.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Low Fat Adobo

One of the famous dishes you would hear around the world from Asia is Adobo. It is “the most wanted” dish in the Philippines.  I grew up with it as my favorite dish.  But I think, Adobo is far older than my grandmother.  Judging from the word Adobo - which means seasoning or marinating in Spanish; my hunch is, this dish is born during times Philippines was visited by the Spaniards. So it has been famous; and still getting popular: http://entertainment.inquirer.net/119843/after-eating-adobo-pancit-canton-one-republic-rocks-araneta.

My husband likes Adobo, but not his favorite because, I have to cook it the Filipino way; that is with meat parts that has lots of fat: the ingredients must be chicken with skin, and with or just pork with fat. I have to skim the fat (which is additional work), so my dear would eat it with me.

Luckily, here in England, meats are cut and grouped and sold according to different cuts. They go further on chickens; there are skinless and boneless chickens.

My husband grew up having skinless and boneless chicken breast while my diet about chicken is the opposite of his. The more skin, the more I like it.  However bad this is, or good in giving enough supply of bad cholesterol, the more the merrier.  I like salty foods too.

But as we all do, as I move on to the next stage in my life, marrying an Englishman who made me give up my liking for a high cholesterol diet is a good thing. In fact, a very good thing.  After five years of lower cholesterol diet, my body could not take a highly fat diet anymore.  It complains through ill-bloated-disgusting feeling.  But still I love Adobo, I have not given up on it.  So I thought of creating a low fat recipe that my son will also eat. I was successful.

My low fat Adobo has the same ingredient as other adobo.  The difference is the meat and the way the adobo is cooked.

You can group the adobo ingredient into two: the marinating ingredient and the meat.

Marinating ingredient:

  • 200 ml mixed of soy sauce & vinegar 
  • two Bay leaves
  • Sugar (optional, have some if you are using strong sour vinegar like datung puti, malt vinegar).
  • a teaspoon of Saki, rice wine, whisky or white wine (I call this my blending agent; it blends the sweet, sour and salty taste from the strong ingredients)
  • 3 big cloves of Fine Chopped Garlic 
  • Ground black pepper

Mixed all this together. Make sure the sugar is dissolved. Taste it to know if it will make a lovely condiment. If yes, put in your freezer for a day.

  • A kilo of Skinless, boneless chicken cut into one inch in size.
  • Sunflower or ground nut oil for frying.

Then marinate your chicken for at least two hours.

  • If you like to add potato, peel, then cut these the same size as the chicken. Potato should be not more than half of your chicken.

Fry these. Fry it until brown on the sides. Put it aside.
Fry the chickens until just cooked (this is when the colour is not pink anymore). Mix the potatoes.
Pour back the sauce in to the pan.
Cover and simmer it until cooked.  If too dry or very little sauce, little by little add water to bring back some sauce.

Serve it on top of Jasmine rice.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Perfect Mash Potatoes

I have been cooking shepherd’s pie for years and seem to come down in everyone as a good meal; until one day this is not the case anymore.  One evening, during dinner my son commented: “Why can’t you cook like the school’s shepherd’s pie?” With an open mind that my recipe could be improved,  I asked a lot of questions to know what is good about the school recipe; and it is about they have a better mashed.

True enough my mash is a hit and missed.  One Sunday, we had a roast lunch in the pub that comes with mash potatoes. The mash alone was full of  flavor with creamy but solid texture. "If they can cook mash like this, I am sure I can." This was my statement, which marked the start of a challenge called for serving the homemade perfect mash. Why am I so keen about a perfect mash? Mash is a versatile food that can be serve with so many different grilled meat, casserole or as toppings for pie like shepherd's pie or fish pie. It is healthy if served in the right amount.

After reading so many recipe in the web from different sites, I had come up with my very own one. It had created what I think the perfect mash for us. To cook the mash, I have to cook the liquid mix separate, and then apply it to the crumbling boiled potato little by little as I mash. The taste off course is from the liquid mix, the texture is from the potato.

In my research I learned that there are different potatoes. There are potatoes best for roasting and baking; and there is this powdery texture that I highly recommend for mash.  It takes some time to know if a potato is this sort. From my observation, this kind normally comes as more yellow or soil clings more on its skin. When buying potatoes in 2.5 kilos from shops Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Asda or Waitrose, the bags sometimes indicates “for mash”, otherwise for “roasting or baking”.

  • Peel 2.5 kilos of potato, chopped into one inch big. Soak it as you chopped.  Wash it and soak it with boiled water at least a centimeter above all the potatoes. Simmer it to soften (almost crumbling) on the biggest ring of your cooker.  Remember to give it a stir to evenly cook all the potatoes.

For the flavoring, you will need...

  • 100 to 200 ml of full cream milk 
  • 100 to 150 grams of salted butter 
  • Salt to add as you cook it.
  • Fine chopped garlic - the amount depends how much you like garlic.
  • 2 chicken cubes, or very strong savory flavored broth that suits your taste.
  • You can add fine chopped dried parsley, mixed herbs or “herbs provencial” not as much as I recommend the rest of the ingredients.  It can overwhelm the mash. But I do recommend to add some for it the purpose of what I discovered.  The herbs helps me to know the part of mash that do not have any liquid flavorings. With it I am able to make sure mash and the flavoring is well mixed.

Mixed all and stir on a simmering heat until all the ingredients are well blended.  Cook it until the milk curdle;  the more oily it looks creates a better texture on the mash. Taste it and add salt as required.
When potatoes are cooked to a crumbling stage, drain it well.  Gradually add the flavoring to the potato while gradually mashing it to its desired texture.

I apologize if I cannot give the exact measurement of the ingredients for flavoring.  This is all depends on how you like your mash to taste.  If your flavoring ends stronger like more salty, do not worry, for this is ideal to flavor at least 2 kilos of mash.

You can add other ingredients you think it will get your mash to taste the way you like.  My suggestion is avoid to add any ingredient that can be sweet like onion.  This will make you add more salt.  Don’t add cheese either. Cheese can make the texture rubbery if cooked too much.

I just cooked a shepherd’s pie.  Off course I have my mash on top of the sauteed mince beef and leek.  I put grated mature cheddar cheese and ground pepper on top before putting it into the oven for 180 C for 25 minutes.

I am supposed to post this with picture of my shepherd’s pie to show the versatility of mash potatoes.  I will add to it later when I manage to take a photo before my husband gets to it.  For the meantime, here is my mash potato serve with "toad in a hole" - a very nice winter meal. My son loves it serve with gravy.

Tip: For nice and easy gravy, use Bisto granules, the chicken flavor.  If serving to very young children, I suggest to use kalo cubes or other chicken cube with no artificial flavouring or no msg.

Have a fun creating your perfect mash potatoes!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A Crunchy and Moist Banana Bread Recipe

I have tried a lot of banana bread recipe using self raising flour and it always ends very hard as a brick. The last one I encounter bakes the banana bread at 150 degrees Celsius. And wallah! It is crunchy outside, soft and moist inside.  Because of its texture, I thought of freezing it and only warm it after just turning off the oven.  It is even crunchier on the top surface where the nuts are.  To explain it further, here is the recipe so you can see, taste and touch what I mean crunchy and moist banana bread.

You need,
  • 190g self raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 125g butter
  • 60ml milk
  • Chopped pecan nuts
  • Greased the loaf tin. 

Start baking!
  1. Melt butter, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Remove from heat and add the mashed bananas, mix well.
  3. Add the egg, mix well.
  4. Stir in the flour and the milk.
  5. Pour into the prepared tin, sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar or pecan nuts to give a crunch topping.  Pecan will give a more subtle sweet taste.
  6. Bake at 150 C fan oven for 20 minutes; or until a knife comes out clean when pierce through.  
  7. Slice and pour custard on it, or just simply leave to cool and enjoy it as a snack or pudding.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Most Simple Salmon Recipe

My husband creates this recipe; and mind you, he does not eat fish. However, my son loves fish. They are going camping and needed something easy to cook for dinner; that is after he built and set up the trailer tent. So he came up with the idea of wrapping a cleaned (meaning scaled) salmon in a foil seasoned by lemon, little soy sauce and parsley (you can a little bit of garlic, as you preferred). Still in the foil, he cooked it on simmering fire on his stove. At home, we cook this in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 18 to 20 minutes .  This recipe brings subtle flavour into the salmon so it is best to serve it with Jasmine or Basmati rice.

This recipe can be also serve as and evening dinner date for a couple.  Choose big pieces of salmon for the recipe.  Serve it with just boiled bright color vegetables like carrots, peas, corn and maybe with chinese patchoy.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Chocolate Ice Lolly with Mung bean

Kingsoft Office
I believe in the powers of mung beans. This kind of legumes is pack of protein, fiber and more.  One of the meals I wean my child to is boiled mung beans. Maybe this is the reason why he is small but heavy for this size, which surprised the health visitor who visited us.  But now he only eats it as part of ice lolly.

This kind of green beans is also called mongo or mungo bean in Asia. Some people like mung bean as snack with sugar after cooled from boiled.  It could be cook further by sauteing it with garlic,  onion and flavor it with chicken cubes, or hebi (dried shrimp) to serve as viand to go with rice.  Chinese people make delicious  moon cake out of it.  My favorite is my mother’s simple way of making ice lollies.

How to make as ice lollies it?


  • ice lolly molders


  • mung beans
  • chocolate powder ready for making instant drink like Nesquik (by Nestle), Milo (by Nestle too) or Ovaline; or make some by adding cacao, sugar and powdered milk.
  • milk (it is an option)
Boiled mung beans
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
441 kJ (105 kcal)
19.15 g
- Sugars
2 g
- Dietary fiber
7.6 g
0.38 g
7.02 g
Thiamine (vit. B1)
0.164 mg (14%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2)
0.061 mg (5%)
Niacin (vit. B3)
0.577 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.41 mg (8%)
Vitamin B6
0.067 mg (5%)
Folate (vit. B9)
159 μg (40%)
Vitamin C
1 mg (1%)
Vitamin E
0.15 mg (1%)
Vitamin K
2.7 μg (3%)
27 mg (3%)
1.4 mg (11%)
48 mg (14%)
0.298 mg (14%)
99 mg (14%)
266 mg (6%)
0.84 mg (9%)


  1. Wash it and soak it overnight (like 8 hours) or more in a bigger container, with at least 1 inch more of water above the beans.  The beans will expand and split as it softens.  It is important that all the beans are soaked underwater to make sure that every grain are equal in texture.  It is ready to cook if the beans split a little bit.  Do not let it turn into bean sprouts.
  2. Replace the water with boiled water or cook it straight by boiling in medium heat. When boiled stir it and you can simmer it leisurely. 
  3. Add water gently to a level not more than the beans, if it looks dry and the beans are still hard. Keep doing this until the beans are cooked.
  4. Then beans are cooked when soft and it seems to fibrous that it has thicken the water and not dry.

From here you can cook the mung beans in many different ways. 

To have some as ice lollies -
  1. Let cool to room temperature.  
  2. Mixed it well with lots of chocolate powder (that is like chocolate powder ready for making chocolate drink like Nesquik, Milo, Ovaltine, or with your own made chocolate mix).
  3. Scoop this mixed into the ice lolly moulders to the level almost filling the top of the molder; or up to the level that your molder will work in freezing the ice lolly with the stick.
  4. Make some chocolate drink with milk and fill out the ice lolly moulders. Or just scoop more of the mixed chocolate mung been into the ice lolly molders.
  5. Freeze it.
  6. Serve it as snack when fully frozen and enjoy.  

On my experience, a full mung bean ice lolly is enough for a snack or to finish the meal as the pudding, for my seven year old boy.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Spongy Banana Cake Recipe

Spongy Banana Cake by Moreish.acilegna.net

Here is an easy recipe to bake a spongy banana cake good enough to fill two round 1 inch deep pan and 7inch in diameter.


  • Butter, for greasing pans

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large 3 of 8inch long very ripe sweet bananas, mashed
  • Not more than a teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Not more than a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (I use the chopper of food processor)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour


  1. Butter or grease round cake pans; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  3. In a bowl mix the wet ingredients. Start by beat the eggs; mix the vegetable oil, vanilla extract. Then mix the mashed banana.
  4. In a bigger mixing bowl, stir or mix well together all the dry ingredients with the pecan nuts last.
  5. Pour the wet on the dry ingredients. I recommend it this way to avoid having your kitchen smoking in flour. Mix all. Stir it well. Pour it on the pans when all mixed well.
  6. Bake it for 12 minutes or more, until wooden pick or knife inserted to the centre comes out clean.

You can apply frosting on top of the cake. I have my banana cake without icing, it is lighter to have and moreish.


  • The ingredient that made it rise and fluffy in texture is the baking soda. Any of these following ingredients, when put too much the cake will taste bitter: baking soda, cinnamon and/or vanilla.
  • The shallower the cake the quicker to bake. If you had spread the batter just one inch deep, start checking your cake after 12 minutes. The cake will be soft if baked just right. Inserting a knife or a wooden pick can help determine the cake if baked. It is baked when batter is not sticking on the knife.
  • So you don’t need to label it with nuts when serving it to guests, put pecan nuts on top to decorate and at the same time letting the cake to tell everyone it sees it, “I got nuts”.
  • You can apply icing to serve it as celebration cake. I have my banana cake without icing as snacks or pudding and it is moreish this way.

Enjoy! I look forward to your feedback.