Home-made Meatballs

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I know I promised all of you this recipe ages ago but I had been so busy...so sorry for that. I got an order from my neighbor for Spaghetti Bolognese with Chicken Meatballs for her family weekend dinner, and even though she didn't said she wanted home-made meatballs, I always like to experiment, so I searched for a few top-rated best meatballs recipes and combine them! After making the meatballs, I requested my maid to help to fry them as I need to pick up my daughter from school, and my MIL was at home for a visit. When I returned, I saw her waiting for me at the door munching the meatballs and asked for the recipe! ^^


500g minced beef or chicken, or you could even combine both at half each
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried ground basil
1/2 tsp dried ground oregano
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 egg (stirred)
Olive oil enough to fry the meatballs (not deep fried)
*If your kids do not mind a bit of spice, you can also add in 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  1. Mix everything into a dough starting from top to bottom list (egg should be the last).
  2. If you want to hide in some veggies, you can ground 1/4 cup of carrot and add in, or even broccoli. Potatoes would also be a good addition.
  3. You can fry the meatballs or even bake them

These will be great for Bolognese sauce and also good on it's own, dip in ketchup or chili sauce. My kids adore these meatballs and as I'm writing this post, my son saw the photos and asked if I could make them again :)

Freezing and reheating method:

You can freeze them before or after frying/baking. If you are cooking (frying/baking) them first, please ensure they had really cooled before you throw them in the sealed freezer bags. If you are freezing them uncooked, you need to first freeze them on a tray and once they've hardened, you can take them into the freezer bags.

To reheat cooked meatballs, after thawing, you can either fry again just to refresh them or reheat in microwave between 30-60 seconds depending on quantity of meatballs. Or, if you are using them for Bolognese sauce, just pop them in the pot together with the sauce a few minutes before you turn off the fire.

Quick Quiche

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Quiche, which is pronounced as "kee-chey" is a pie-like dish of an unsweetened pastry shell filled with custard made from eggs and milk, containing cheese and other ingredients such as vegetables, seafood and chicken/beef/ham bits. In other words, the main ingredients for a quiche is eggs, milk and cheese, you could still go away with the crust pastry. As the photo above, I baked it directly onto my pie-pan.

My motto in cooking is simple but flexible. I like one dish but can be varied into many other taste and look, and took the shortest time possible to be made. I first tried the quiche in mini bite-size using my mini muffin trays, it was a hit with my boys, including my husband, as all 2 young boys and the old one :) love to eat eggs! Then I also tried the standard muffin size. Quiches are good for breakfast and tea-time, but my boys can eat these any time of the day!

The recipe I'm going to share is the basic quiche recipe which then you can play and explore further.
I did try using beef strips too.

This smells MARVELOUS and taste SOOOOO HEAVENLY! You should really try it! So here goes the basic quiche recipe. The recipe given is for 6 standard muffin size.


6 medium eggs (1 egg for each quiche)
3/4 cup milk (equal to 2 tbs for each egg)
1/2 tsp salt
A pinch of ground pepper and dried parsley
6 tbs grated cheese (equal to 1 tbs for each quiche)
Your choice of fillings

1. Beat the eggs, milk, salt, ground pepper and dried parsley together to get the basic custard
2. Oil the tray cups or pan you are using, please ensure you oil it well. You can use vegetable oil or butter
3. Fill 3/4 of each cups with the custard, then put in 1 tablespoon of your choice of fillings and 1 tablespoon of cheese. If you are not using any other fillings, you can double the cheese amount to just have cheesy quiches
4. Bake for 10-20 minutes depending on your oven, or until the top turn golden brown and the custard harden (cooked through)

The best things about quiches is, as you notice in the recipe, it's high in protein. 1 quiche equal to 1 egg! I've tried minced meat/chicken fillings which I stir-fried with a bit of olive oil (if you want to be healthy) or butter and dash of dried ground herbs. I've experimented with just steamed veggies such as the frozen mixed veggies (peas, carrots and corns), broccoli, asparagus, diced potatoes and cherry tomatoes. I've also explored with crabsticks and stir-fried tuna. Once I had left-over grilled chickens, I just shred and minced them then used as quiche fillings too!

For the herbs, you can play around with others apart from parsley - like oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary and marjoram. Marjoram taste almost like oregano actually. Or you can just maintain only the ground pepper, because I know some don't really like herbs while picky-eater kids' eyes will bulged out when they see those tiny green parsley *LOL*

I've also tried many cheese. Feta does wonders to quiche BUT you have to finish them the same day, and the best is all in one meal :) The reason is feta taste great but it makes the quiche becomes watery, hence easier to make you sick. Mozzarella and cheddar is the best choice, but I do like creamy camembert too. Brie is too light perhaps for quiches so I usually mix it with other cheeses.

The best quiches I had is either those mini muffin size because they are bite-size...ooooohhhhhh....so easy to just plop the whole thing in your mouth! Our next favorite is using the beef strips though it can be tricky. The strips are supposed to cover the cups but as it bakes, it will shrink and curl inside hence giving the look as you can see up there. Below are also some of my collections - simple cheesy ones (no other fillings) and just veggies which you can see the broccolis :)

You can freeze the quiches (except for those using feta cheese) as make-aheads.

Freezing and reheating method:
1. After the quiches are thoroughly cool, wrap them individually in plastic wraps before putting in a sealed freeze bag and freeze them.
2. To reheat, you need to take them out of the freezer and transfer them into the fridge at least 12 hours before the intended cooking time if you don't plan to eat them now. Else, you can straight-away reheat in the oven or microwave for 2 minutes. Reheated quiches cannot be kept long so you need to straight-away finish what you have reheated

Left-over BBQ?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sometimes after a BBQ nite or BBQ party, we may still have a few left-over grilled beef, lamb and chicken, also veggies if you used them. Do not fret that this will have to go to the dumpster unless of course, they had turned bad the same day, or got contaminated. Other than that, they will make a great meal or lunchbox for the next day or even the next few days if you kept them sealed and frozen well. All you need is a little bit of creativity and innovation ;)

If your left-overs are cooked, meaning you have grilled them before freezing, you could thaw them first then lightly reheat them using small amount of oil. You could shred them first before 'stir-frying' or reheat as they are and shred afterwards. I like to add extra seasoning to disguise the 'yesterday's food' thoughts, so feel free to experiment using sauces, herbs, spices, or just the usual salt and pepper. You could also add in some veggies in the stir-fry, if you like. These are then serve with hot tortilla wraps, with fresh vegetables and sauces.

I also add them in fried rice and noodles which was a hit with my kids, and as mini pizza toppings!

Hope your family will enjoy these too, happy experimenting!

Simple Grilled Chicken

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I've posted the recipe for the pasta dish in Simple Olio Spagetti so now is the time for the chicken's recipe. I got the idea when trying out Dominoes Pizza's chicken wings. The best chicken parts for grilling is usually either the wings or the drumsticks. You can choose to grill this in the oven, or if you have a bbq pit, or if you have none, than just fry them with just a liiiiiiitle bit of oil or fat (butter) enough not to make it to dry but also not too oily. They are best eaten on their own, which I know the kids would prefer, or with rice, or pasta or bread. If you have left-overs, refrigerate them and reheat the next morning for sandwiches.


1kg chicken parts (usually you could get about 6 drumsticks or 8 wings), cleaned and pat dry with paper towels
1tsp ground/crushed black paper
1tsp dried oregano
1tsp salt
2tsb ground fresh garlic
2tsb olive oil
1tsb worcestershire sauce


1. Mix all the marinates ingredients in a big bowl to get into a paste-like liquid before adding in the chickens
2. Give the chickens a good rub with the paste, making sure all mixed well
3. Transfer into a freezer bag, try to get as much air out before sealing then leave it to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour
4. Separate the chickens and keep the liquid in a separate bowl
5. While grilling or frying, keep on brushing the chicken with the liquid now and then. You can also bake them in the oven by arranging them in a tray-pan, pour the liquid about half a centimeter deep and turn the chicken once when the top side already brown to ensure the other side also get a bit brown

Freezing and reheating method:

1. Follow step 1-3 but instead of putting in the fridge, you can straight-away freeze them
2. To cook this, you need to take them out of the freezer and transfer them into the fridge at least 12 hours before the intended cooking time. Read more in Secrets of Frozen Food on freezing and reheating the chickens.

French Banana Beignets

Monday, March 9, 2015

When I first made these and shared it in my FB, some of my friends are interested and PM me for the recipe. Honestly, I've never heard or seen these before, but accidently found the recipe when I was looking for banana recipes. I love bananas...banana cake, banana muffins, banana stew or locally we called 'Sira Pisang', I guess. So what is beignet, but most importantly, how to pronounce it?

Ok, beignets or pronounce as 'beh-nye' without the strong 'h' sound, is a French deep-fried pastry with powdered sugar. The original beignet is just plain, but there are many variation now, chocolates, with cream filling, and of course...my favorite bananas :) There are also many shapes, and it's soft and fluffy like pop-doughnuts. In this variation, its a combination taste of our local 'Jemput-jemput Pisang' or famously known as 'Cekodok' and doughnuts. Kids love these, but I would advise not to serve this to a diebetic person as it is VERY VERY VERY sweet.


2 cups of self-raising flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup of mashed bananas
1/2 cup milk
2 tsb vegetable oil
Enough oil for deep-frying

Sugar coating:
1/2 icing sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon


1. Mixed the dry items and wet items in 2 separate bowls until fully blended, then combined.
2. Drop spoonful of the batter into the hot oil and fry until golden.
3. Drain in paper towel and roll in sugar coating while still warm. You can also use dusting method instead of rolling

These cutie balls will be great for tea-time, with hot coffee or tea, or both!

Treasure Boxes

Sunday, March 8, 2015

I love cooking for my family, and I believe most of my readers are too. I devoted my whole attention and passion to provide good and healthy food for my kids especially, since my husband is working away in KL while all of us are in the north, so he could only get to try some of my food during the weekend. Cooking is like a stress-reliever for me. Each time I cook, even the same food, will never taste the same as I will always innovate the recipe. Apart from the fresh cooking during the weekend and the reheating of home-made make-ahead food in the weekdays, my other passion is to make great lunchboxes for my dearest daughter to school, which I called my 'Treasure Boxes'.


If you noticed, I'm not into the fancy cartoons or shapes or designs. It's all about the food. They should be good, healthy and of course tasty. What good will I get if I do all the fancy food stuff which my girl won't eat? Some of these food are make-aheads like the pasta, marinated chickens, quiches, muffins, soups and rice. It will take me max 10 minutes every morning to prepare this, most of the time is less and those times are usually to cut the fruits because I could reheat the food while doing that...we mommies are such a multi-tasker, aren't we?

Nisa's lunchbox will always have either fruits or veggies, or can be both, but I still let her have her occasional sweet treats like cakes and jellies. Nisa is a natural-born fruits and veggies eater, so I don't actually have any problems to force her eating those. In fact, I think she eats much healthier than me and she cannot live a day without having her bowls of fruits, so fruits are the staple in our fridge. She used to love fish but as she grows bigger, she started to push them aside. The worst food to feed her are eggs or anything made with lots of eggs like quiches or egg sandwiches, but she's the BIGGEST fan of pasta, any kind of pasta!

I can share some of the recipes when I have time to write again. Follow my FB page at https://www.facebook.com/bzmamaskitchen and you can request for the recipe you are interested to try out.

Simple Olio Spaghetti

On days the whole family want something simple but tasty, I'll make these. Ok, I have to admit that the chicken was pre-made, which means I always buy a bunch of drumsticks whenever I see them looking fresh at the poultry isle, then marinate and freeze them at home for my convenient use anytime in needs :)

There are many ways to marinate chickens, too many recipes which I won't be sharing in this post as this post is about - the spaghetti. Olio Spaghetti is by far the simplest but still maintain you as a great cook at home..haha! You may have heard Aglio, Olio and also Pepperoncino or Pepperoncini Spaghetti and wondered? Yes, they are all the same thing :)

The recipe below is for 2 adults (standard size meal) or 3 kids below 9 years.

250g cooked spaghetti (set aside)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (can add up to 1/3 cup if you want more)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil flakes
1/2 tsp chilli pepper flakes (optional if you don't like it spicy, especially for kids)
Salt to taste

1. Heat up the oil and garlic, then add in the spaghetti. Stir and fold the spaghetti all over to ensure covered with the oil, then add in all the other ingredients which are the herbs, together. Keep on stirring to ensure all are mixed well.
2. Serve with cheese on top and either some fresh garden salad (if you are vegetarian) or grilled chicken as the picture or just garlic breads.

The best thing about Olio is, you can add in anything apart of its simple self. In these photos, you can see me adding cherry tomatoes. Add in some shrimps when heating the garlic and oil to have Shrimp Olio, or some squids too for a seafood one. Or at the end, instead of grilled chicken, you can put in grilled giant prawns with cheesy topping, or Portobello  mushroom like below, just simply anything! Enjoy!

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