Ham and Cheese Muffins

Minoo prepared two recipes for the first meeting of Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen for this fall season.  The first recipe is a hand held breakfast or lunch item which is perfect for families on the go.  These Ham and Cheese Muffins are savory instead of the regular sweet muffins.


These Ham and Cheese Muffins taste like quiche but they are easier to make.  You can even make them ahead and they can be reheated quickly.  It is also a good recipe to use your leftover bread.


  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
  • 5 cups cubed whole grain bread (about 5 slices, trim off crust)
  • 1 cup shredded Canadian Cheddar, Swiss or Colby cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced deli ham
  • 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise or quarters if they are large.


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The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors made Roti to serve with the Butter Chicken. It’s a perfect match. I had blogged about Roti here but the earlier post did not have the recipe as the demonstrator prepared the dough from her home.

Joyce made the dough for the Roti as she had many years experience in making bread. The rest of group helped out in rolling out the dough.


The Roti is great to use as a wrap too as it is very thin. We tore the Roti into smaller pieces and scooped the Butter Chicken or Samosa style Potatoes and Peas side dish onto the Roti and wrapped it up to enjoy. You have to eat with your hands to enjoy this meal.


  • 3 cups roti flour (look for ‘durum atta’) flour at any Indian grocer)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flor for dusting
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter


Flours may vary, so adjust the amounts according to the consistency of the dough. You can add extra flour to a dough that is too soft, but a stiff dough cannot be fixed!. This recipe is from Satta Lal.

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Carol, June and Karen were in-charged of making the anyway you like breadsticks for the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors. It is call any way you like breadsticks because you can vary the toppings to create breadsticks that could go with any sort of meal, from Italian to Mexican to Indian.


The Breadsticks were very crispy and Charlene just cant stop munching on them. We made the breadsticks with parmesan and black pepper, dried rosemary, onion seeds and a pepper mix which Charlene brought fromher home. The pepper mix was from her friend who brought it back from overseas. I cant recall from which country.

The baked breadsticks may be frozen, in sealable plastic bags for 1 week. Reheat in a 350F oven until crisp.


  • 1 batch Pizza dough, kneaded and risen
  • cornmeal for sprinkling, optional
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoons seeds or herbs of your choice


The toppings might include:

  • sesame seeds
  • chopped fresh or dried rosemary
  • fresh or dried thyme
  • nigella seeds (also called onion seeds)
  • poppy seeds
  • coarsely ground black peppers
  • cumin seeds

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Apple Banana Muffin

Stella made this Apple Banana Muffin for last year’s Caring Place Potluck. She demonstrated this recipe in the Caring Place Community Kitchen upon Minoo’s request.


The Apple Banana Muffin is moist and the walnuts give it the crunch. This muffin is good for after school snack or breakfast. It can also be made into a loaf.


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil or melted margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar (less if bananas are very ripe)
  • 2 to 3 bananas
  • 1 large apple
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted


Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Pineapple Bun (Polo Bun)

Arkensen and Nanzaro love Pineapple Bun, particularly from Lido Restaurant. I got this Pineapple Bun recipe from Helen. Helen has not attempt to make it because the recipe is in grams and cc which is a bit tedious to measure. Morever, Helen said it involves quite a bit of steps which seem quite complicated to her. Anyway, this is my first attempt making it and it turned out quite ok.


The Pineapple Bun (or Polo Bun) turned out quite soft and I think the dough recipe is good for any other bun. The bun remains soft even after two days.


Now, I know why it’s called Pineapple Bun. The name came from the look of the topping which resembles the pineapple skin.

It took me quite long to make it as I was trying to convert the measuring into cups and spoons as far as possible so that it’s easier for me to make it again.



  • 240g bread flour (2 cups less 3 tablespoons), I used all-purpose flour
  • 60g cake flour (8 tablespoons)
  • 45g sugar (3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon)
  • 5g yeast (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 30cc or 30ml egg (1 medium egg)
  • 135g water (125ml)
  • 3g salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 9g milk powder (2 tablespoons)
  • 30cc or 30ml warm water
  • 45g butter (3 tablespoons)



  • 80g butter (6 tablespoons)
  • 50cc or 50ml egg
  • 1 g salt (a pinch)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50g icing sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 5g milk powder (1 tablespoon)
  • 150g cake flour (1 1/4 cups)
  • another egg for egg wash


Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Cream Cheese Bun

Ben decided that I should release a few of my recipe posts before he starts our Seattle vacation series. So, here I go again.

Helen is my morning walk companion. We walk at the South Arm Park twice a week and we chit chat about our kids, recipes and all sorts of things. She shared with me this Cream Cheese Bun recipe. We are always in search of bread recipe which yields soft bun which lasts for a couple of days. A lot of the recipes we tried before yield soft buns when they first come out from the oven but they will become tough the next day.


This Cream Cheese Bun remains relatively soft the next day. For best result, microwave for 10 seconds if you consume it the next day.

I made the Cream Cheese Bun in the muffin pan as the recipe is for a small loaf. Helen had tried to make it as a loaf but it did not turn out right. I have never try to make it as loaf.


Arkensen and Nanzaro like to eat the Cream Cheese Bun with nutella. Sometime, I snug in some white chocolate wafer for a little surprise. You can fill the bun with red bean paste, lotus seed paste, etc. But my kids like it plain with nutella.


Ingredient A:

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Ingredient B:

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese

Ingredient C:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened


Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Chocolate Bun

This is Arkensen and Nanzaro’s favourite bun. It is chocolatey and soft. Sometimes, I fill the buns with some semi-sweet chocolate chips to give it the extra omph.


The Chocolate Buns are good for breakfast or after school snacks. They disappear very fast. The boys gobbles them all down in no time.


This time, I filled the Chocolate Bun with a few white chocolate wafers.


  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 cups bread flour (I used all purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • chocolate chips/wafer (optional)

I used the bread machine to prepare the dough. Set the bread machine to dough setting. Place the ingredients into the machine in the order as per your machine’s requirement.
Click on the link below for the instructions.

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New York: NY Bagels in Rockefeller Center

Since Rockefeller Center was so famous, I made it a point to visit the place one morning. Actually, there were hardly anything to see or do. It’s just a massive complex of buildings. As a matter of fact, it is considered as the largest privately held building complex in the world.

I can’t recall any more what the name of this church … maybe it’s St Patrick’s. It’s supposed to be one of the biggest in NYC. Since I was there early … at 8AM, it was still closed.


I had a view of 5th Ave. It was not really my cup of tea … I don’t care for all the fancy expensive fashion outlets. 5th Ave is perhaps the most expensive real estate in New York.


I have heard of Radio City. I think it is the headquarters of NBC. Nothing happening here too early in the morning.


If there is only one thing I wanted to see, I wanted to visit the sunken plaza in the Rockefeller Center and see Prometheus, the Greek mythology Titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mankind. But the sunken plaza was closed for the day. They had taken over the place and put in a curling rink with broadcast equipments. Continue reading

Red Bean Bun

Julie also made some Red Bean Bun which is great for snacking. I know it looks so much like hamburgers (a full meal even) but it is actually light despite the size. This is actually a simplified version of those Japanese Red Bean Pancake (Dorayaki). Julie used store bought bun to substitute the pancake.


However, the red bean paste, Julie made her own. She preferred a coarser texture red bean paste than those smooth one from the store. She did not show us how to do this though as it takes time to make it.


To assemble this, just warm up the bun using the oven or microwave and fill the bun the red bean paste.


The Red Bean Bun makes an excellent snack. It is best eaten warm.


Ha ha … this is not much of a recipe huh? I hope to get Julie to show me how she makes her red bean paste someday.

Soft Pretzel

Nanzaro’s class had a Halloween party on Halloween Day. I volunteered to help his class in making Soft Pretzels for the party. I went to the school early in the morning at 9 am. Nanzaro’s teacher, Ms T divided the class into small groups of 5 to 6 people and assigned the first 2 groups for the first session of making the Soft Pretzels.

It was fun working with the kids especially on Halloween Day because a lot of them were in costumes. Here is a pair dressed up like Siamese twins where their clothes are joined together.


Here is one injured patient working on the dough.



  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cups flour, more for kneading
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • coarse salt for sprinkling, optional

This is a really fun project for the kids. They get to work on the dough and form the dough into any shape imaginable. This brings out the creativity in the kids.


  • Measure the warm water into a large mixing bowl
  • Sprinkle in the yeast and sugar and stir until it looks cloudy.
  • Add the salt and flour and mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring the dough together with your hand and knead the dough on a floured surface until it’s soft.
  • Divide the dough into small portions and give one to each kid.
  • Let the kid roll and twist the dough into letters, numerals, snakes and anything they like.
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Lay the shaped dough on the cookie sheets.
  • Brush with beaten eggs and sprinkle with coarse salt if desired.
  • Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

Kneading the dough.


Shaping the dough.

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