What's Cooking (in Yvonne's Kitchen)?

I've changed the name of this blog to What's Cooking (in Yvonne's Kitchen) because I will be getting a kitchen of my own very soon, it maybe small but will be able to produce more goodies to share with everyone!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sour Cream, Chive & Cheddar Cheese Bread

To say I love cheese is an understatement. I don't know since when I've fallen in love with formage and this relationship is definitely not going anywhere but getting stronger.

I often have eyebrow-raising facial expression whenever I come across a good, wholesome recipe that uses generous amount of cheese in bread, like this one.

I've modified the recipe to satisfy the palatte of cheesemania such as myself. So I quickly shop for the finest and freshest ingredients I can get on hands to bake this sour cream, chive abd cheddar cheese bread. Here's the recipe:

1 packet (11 g) dry yeast
2 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup organic wholemeal bread flour
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 cup or 200g premium cheddar cheese (I love Cracker Barrel or Emborg), cubed
2 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup permasen cheese, grated (to coat the crust)

1. Preheat the oven at 170 degree Celsius.
2. In a heat-proof glass, stir in the the honey with hot water, then mix the dry yeast. Let stand for 2 minutes to foam.
3. In a mixing bowl, add sour cream, eggs, salt and 1/2 cup of all purpose flour and beat until combined.
4. Stir in the remaining flour (both wholemeal and all purpose flours) and slowly mix until the dough comes to a moist and sticky consistency.
5. Add the cheese cubes and fresh chives into the dough until they are evenly mixed. Then, stir in the pepper.
6. Slowly pour the dough into a greased 10-inch round bread pan and let the it rise till it doubles in size (about one hour).
7. Use beaten egg or melted butter to coat the top with permasen shreds.
8. Bake for 25 ~ 30 minutes or until the crust turns golden in colour.
9. Cool for 15 minutes before removing the bread from the pan to the rack.

One of the greatest perks of baking is that the aroma always permeates the room... this one will linger for hours.

I love using fresh and premium quality ingredients to cook. Yes, they can hike up the costs by a landslide, but the end result worths every single penny you pay.
Love the permasen coated crust, it's so sinfully good!!!

After taking the photos of this bread, I just couldn't wait to sample the first bite of this freshly-baked babe. I tell you... it was a WOW moment!After taking the photos of the full loaf, I can't wait to showcase the "inner beauty" of this bread. Did you see the mouth-watering cheddar cheese pockets? Hmmm... there are no words.

This is one of those super delicious and cheesy bread specially designed for cheese lovers. Did I mention that this is a super easy no-knead bread?

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Ultra-Moist Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

I always feel that my weekend is not complete without any form of baking. And fortunately, I found this unique pumpkin zucchini bread recipe which I modified and turned into a wholesome muffin recipe.

They are perfect breakfast muffins to feast the hungry tummy in the morning. It yields 18 medium size ultra-moist muffins! This is also a perfect way of sneaking veggies into the diet of picky-eating toddlers and adults.

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup organic pumpkin, mashed
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1/2 cup bran
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dried black currants
1 cup fresh zucchini, shredded
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven at 170 degrees C.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar.
3. Add pumpkin, butter and vanilla extract.
4. Combine dry ingredients and spices, then add to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
5. Fold in zucchini, dried black currants and nuts.
6. Fill the batter into souffle cups and bake for 25-30 minutes or until test done.
7. Let cool and remove the muffins to a wire rack.

When you try this recipe, be sure to sit back and enjoy the tantalizing aroma of the freshly-baked muffins. Frankly, it's quite addictive!

I baked these muffins yesterday, and 2/3 of them are already GONE...

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Angel Hair Pasta with Italian Tomato Sauce

Yes, I admit. Once in a while I do crave for Italian food. So, besides risotto, I also made some pasta this long weekend. I love angel hair pasta because it is finer than spaghetti without compromising the elasticity. Due to its larger surface-area-mass ratio, angel hair can absorb more pasta sauce and thus more flavourful.

So, here's my Italian tomato sauce recipe that serves 4 ~ 6 :


8 medium size organic tomatoes (cubed)

1 carrot (finely diced or shredded)

4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 cup leek (cut length-wise)

1 large red onion (finely chopped)

1 cup minced chicken or beef

2 cups fresh or canned button mushroom (sliced into 1/2 cm thick)

1 cup black olives (pitted and finely sliced)

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

4 sprigs of fresh thyme (this is the bomb and a must in this sauce)

4 tbsp olive oil

pinch salt

pinch freshly ground black pepper

4 servings of angel hair pasta

generous serving of freshly-grated parmesan cheese


1. In a heavy sauce pot, saute onion and garlic with olive oil at medium heat

2. Add leek and carrot saute for 5 minutes

3. Add chicken and mushroom, saute for another 5 minutes or until the meat is cooked.

4. Add tomatoes, olives and thyme and cook until tomatoes are all mashed and soft.

5.Season with red pepper flakes, pepper and salt and bring the sauce to a boil.

6.Let cool and serve it with cooked to al dante angel hair pasta

7.Top the pasta and sauce with generous amount of parmesan cheese

Most people refrain from using fresh tomatoes because they tend to be sour. So, some option includes stewed tomatoes and puree. Since I am not a canned food fan and I hate adding sugar to the sauce, I balance the sourness in tomatoes with ketchup (shhh... don't judge me).

If you have pesto sauce, add it just before serving.

I love eating this pasta with a mountain full of parmesan cheese shreds and fresh ground pepper... lovely.

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Viva Risotto!

This long weekend, I finally found some time to spend with the kitchen. So, I managed to whip up one of Adrian's favorite dishes--Risotto.

In the last Italian feast with friends, I cooked a basic risotto. This time, I challenged myself with a slightly gourmet version of it--Risotto with Leeks, Shiitake Mushrooms and Truffles from Epicurious.com(which I then improvised with asparagus).

Rissoto is an Italian creamy rice that is cooked slowly with cream, broth and fresh ingredients like chicken, mushroom, truffle (which is expensively impossible to find in Malaysia), pumpkin, peas and cured meat.

To make good risotto, one needs a lot of patience because the procedure and temparature have to be right. Imagine stirring the rice for 20 minutes non-stop in order to let the rice sloly absorbs the broth batch by batch. Not to mention that the broth has to be hot. Other ingredients have to be cooked separately before mixing into well-flavoured and cooked risotto.

Yes, it is quite labour intensive but when you see the sense of satisfaction and happiness on the face your loved one after savouring the dish-- the reward is, priceless!
Who would imagine 1 cup of arborio short-grain rice will yield four servings of scrumptious risotto?

Creamy risotto with flavourful textures--leek with cream, shiitake mushroom with fresh thyme, asparagus with garlic . Don't forget to add fresh ground peppercorns to give it a kick!!!

Let's risotto tonight!

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