Tuesday, March 22, 2011

~ Cellulite and Menopause ~

Cellulite and menopause :

Cellulite is not a direct by-product of menopause, but many women start noticing this dreaded skin change during the menopausal years. Sometimes called ‘orange peel’ skin or ‘cottage cheese’ skin, cellulite is a condition that affects a woman’s self esteem. In our obsession with perfect bodies, cellulite encroaches on almost every aspect of women’s emotional well-being.

Cellulite defined ........
The term cellulite came into popular use during the 1970s to describe the dimpled skin many women get on their thighs, buttocks, and abdomens. Cellulite is nothing more than a fancy word for plain old fat. Specifically, cellulite refers to the pockets of fat that become trapped between the layers of skin.

Cellulite: trapped fat?
The outer layer of our skin, called the epidermis, covers the deeper inner layer of skin known as the dermis. Additionally, there are three deeper (subcutaneous) layers of fat underneath the dermis. Normally these layers support each other evenly, giving the outer layer of skin (epidermis) a taut, smooth appearance. Skin tissues found in these layers surround the fat deposits and keep them in place.

When the structure of these skin tissues breaks down, the result is the fat gathers into small pockets that are no longer held together in a tight structure. These fat pockets are trapped within the skin’s layers and begin to transform individually. No longer are the fat pockets strung together in a firm layer, but rather become spread out. Now the fat pockets are more visible at the skin’s outer surface.

Women and cellulite ......
About 90% of all women beyond adolescence will develop cellulite during their lifetimes. Cellulite can appear at any time, but often becomes more noticeable during menopause and peri-menopause. Menopause is not a direct cause of cellulite, but some experts point out that estrogen levels are responsible for maintaining strong connective tissue. As our estrogen levels decrease during menopause, the greater the risk for developing that orange peel complexion. But many women will begin to see signs of cellulite long before menopause or peri-menopause.

Men store their fat cells differently, and tend to have more fat around the abdominal area. Women on the other hand have more fat cells to begin with, and these are mostly concentrated around the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Men’s fat cells tend to maintain more firmness and support within the skin than women’s fat cells.

Stages of cellulite .........

*Mild cellulite is normally not visible under normal standing conditions or when lying down. But when you squeeze your buttock or thighs, you will notice some dimpled skin.

*Moderate cellulite is more visible when standing and the skin appears slightly or moderately dimpled.

*Severe cellulite is very easily detected and the skin appears to have a rough texture like that of an orange peel or cottage cheese.

Causes of cellulite :
Besides the aging process, cellulite is often blamed on a diet high in fats and/or processed foods, a lack of exercise and a lack of water in the skin. Yet cellulite strikes women of all shapes and sizes; being thin does not guarantee a life free from dimpled skin. Once the connecting tissues in the skin weaken due to age, the skin’s elasticity and firmness are affected.

No real cure ......
Despite an abundance of so-called cures and treatments for cellulite there is no real way to get rid of cellulite. Women spend millions of dollars every year searching for magical creams, lotions, and even surgeries to deal with cellulite.

Changing our diets to lessen fat intake can help to shrink the size of fat cells and pockets we have, but the fat cells themselves will never melt away or disappear. Exercise is crucial for maintaining good overall health, but there are no true methods to target specific areas of the body for spot treatments. Exercise is great for strengthening our muscles and is good for our skin, yet is unable to really penetrate into the deepest layers of the skin.

Cellulite is inevitable for most of us; even the most avid athletes will end up with cellulite at some point in their lives. There are no real cures to deal with cellulite, and many women end up spending a great deal of money to prop up their emotional selves. Many experts tell us that we need to learn to accept our bodies for what they are and be proud of who we are. Cellulite makes that process just a little bit more difficult.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011



1 1/2 kg Strawberries
4 cups Sugar

How to make strawberry jam:

* Remove the stalks and wash the strawberries.
* Put the fruit in a heavy pan and stir till it boils, mash, and add sugar
* Stir until sugar is dissolved.
* Remove the scum.
* Boil rapidly till it sets when tested.
* Cool, pour into clean and dry jars.
* Seal with wax and close the lid tightly.

~ Strawberry Topping for Waffles ~

Strawberry Topping :


1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest


Slice strawberries in 1/4-inch slices and place in mixing bowl.

In a saucepan combine sugar, orange juice and orange zest; bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar.

Once syrup is at a rolling boil, remove from heat and pour over sliced strawberries. Let sit while cooking waffles. Serve over waffles.

Waffle Recipe :


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nonstick cooking spray


Heat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a second bowl, use a wooden spoon to beat together egg yolks and sugar until sugar is dissolved and eggs have turned a pale yellow.

Add milk, melted butter and vanilla to eggs and whisk to combine.

Add flour mixture to egg-milk mixture and whisk just until blended . Do not over mix.

In a third bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into waffle batter. Don't over mix!

Coat waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray if required and pour enough batter in the iron to just cover waffle grid.

Close and cook as per manufacturer's instructions until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. (Do not open waffle iron for at least 1 minute). To check if the waffles are done, open the waffle iron carefully and watch out for steam.

Repeat cooking with remaining batter. When each waffle is done, remove using either tongs or a fork. Don't forget to turn off waffle iron when all waffles are done.

Serve immediately with 1/4 cup of the Berry Topping spooned over each waffle.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

~ Fluffy Pancakes ~


* 3/4 cup milk
* 2 tablespoons white vinegar
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons white sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg
* 2 tablespoons butter, melted
* cooking spray


1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour".
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

~ Chocolate Oil Cake ~


* 2 cups white sugar
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 cups water
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa.
3. Add water, vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat by hand until smooth.
4. Pour into a 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

~ Gunakan tepung yang sesuai ~

Tepung Gandum :
Sesuai untuk dibuat cucur, jemput2, batter untuk menggoreng ikan dan ayam. Kadar gluten tepung agak sederhana jadi ia sesuai untuk makanan gorengan.

Tepung Kek :
Khas untuk membuat kek saperti Kek Mentega, Kek Buah, Kek Teh, Muffin dan kulit pastri puff. Kadar gluten dalam tepung kek ini rendah jadi ia amat sesuai untuk kek yang memerlukan struktur yang agak stabil.

Tepung Top :
Khas untuk membuat Kek Span, Kek Angel atau Kek Shiffon dan Kuih Baulu. Kadar gluten tepung ini amat rendah sekali jadi struktur protein nya amat singkat menjadikan ia sesuai untuk membuat kek yang lembut dan gebu.

Tepung Hong Kong atau Super Lite Flour :
Sesuai untuk membuat kueh pau kukus atau goreng donut. chakue dan roti paun.

Tepung Naik Sendiri atau Self-Raising Flour :
Jenis tepung ini sudah dicampur bahan penaik iaitu baking soda untuk memudahkan kita membuat kek, pancake atau batter.

Tepung Roti :
Sesuai untuk membuat roti sahaja kerana kadar gluten dalam tepung ini amat tinggi.

Tepung Wholemeal :
Tepung in adalah tepung yang diproses tanpa kulit gandum dibuang. Ia berkhasiat dan lazimnya digunakan untuk membuat roti.

Tepung Kentang :
Tepung ini dibuat daripada ubi kentang yang telah diproses. Jangan samakan tepung ini dengan tepung kanji. Tepung ini sangat sesuai dibuat roti apabila dicampurkan dengan tepung gandum. Ada juga sesetengah kek yang menggunakan tepung ini terutama untuk orang yang mempunyai alahan kepada tepung gandum.

Tepung Kacang Kuda atau Tepung Gram (Chickpea):
Penggunaan tepung ini begitu popular dalam masakan India. Ini termasuklah dalam membuat Pakora dan manisan. Di Itali tepung ini digunakan untuk membuat sejenis roti yang disebut Farinata.

Tepung Jagung :
Digunakan lazimnya sebagai bahan pemekat dan untuk membuat biskut terutama untuk mendapatkan biskut yang rangup. Apabila dicampur dengan gula ia menjadi gula aising. Di Latin Amerika, tepung ini digunakan untuk membuat kulit pita yang dipanggil Tortilla.

Tepung Beras :
Selain daripada kegunaannya untuk membuat kuih muih melayu, ia juga banyak digunakan untuk membuat biskut.

Setelah mengetahui jenis2 tepung dan kegunaannya, maka ini tentu akan memudahkan lagi anda memilih jenis2 tepung yang sesuai untuk apa jua masakan, untuk membuat kek atau biskut dan seumpamanya.

~ Menyukat Bahan-bahan ~

Ada pelbagai cara menyukat bahan-bahan. Ibu-ibu kita dahulu menyukat bahan dengan gelas, cawan, mangkuk, sudu makan dan ada juga yang main agak-agak saja atau cukup basah. Apabila buat kuih atau kek sekejap jadi dan sekejap tak jadi. Maklumlah, alat penyukatnya berubah-ubah, hari ni pakai cawan, esok lusa pakai mangkuk pula. Dengan kemudahan moden sekarang, pelbagai alat dicipta untuk memudahkan anda menimbang atau menyukat bahan-bahan. Ada penimbang digital, penimbang jarum (spring) atau pun cawan yang standard. Semuanya ada dijual di kedai bahan kek ataupun di pasaraya biasa. Di Malaysia, kita menggunakan timbangan metrik menggantikan timbangan paun (lb) dan aun (oz). Tetapi jika kita rajin melayari internet, kita boleh dapati resipi-resipi orang Amerika banyak yang menggunakan cawan (cup) dan paun. Memang bermasalah jika kita hendak mencuba resipi mereka kerana terpaksa menukarkannya kepada gram. Berikut adalah carta ringkas sukatan imperial dan juga metrik.

1 oz - 25 gm
9 oz - 250 gm
16oz (1 lb) - 450 gm
2 lb 4 oz - 1 kg
1 cawan mentega - 250 gm
1 cawan gula - 250 gm
1 cawan tepung - 125 gm
2 cawan tepung - 250 gm
1 camca kecil/teh - 5 gm

Tip Menyukat Bahan :

1. Adalah lebih mudah dan tepat jika menggunakan penimbang digital. Saya menggunakan jenama Tanita dan telah digunakan selama lebih 5 tahun tanpa sebarang masalah. Memang berbaloi membelinya walaupun harganya agak mahal.

2. Apabila menyukat tepung, gemburkan atau ayakkan ia dahulu baru disukat atau ditimbang. Jika menyukat dengan cawan, jangan ditekan tepung itu kerana ia akan menjadi padat dan sukatannya telah berlebihan. Ratakan permukaannya dengan pisau. Ia tak sepatutnya disukat membumbung.

3. Sudu/camca kecil atau sudu/camca teh, sukatannya hampir sama tetapi sudu makan dan sudu besar ianya berlainan

.4. Cecair boleh disukat dengan gram atau dengan mililiter (ml). 100 gm air dengan 100 ml air adalah lebih kurang sama sukatannya.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

~ Easy bread recipe ~

Ingredients :

To makes 2 loaves:

* 7 tsp dry yeast granules
* 2 cups boiling water
* 4 tsp honey
* 2 cups cold water
* 2¾ cups wholemeal flour
* 2¾ cups white flour (choose high grade or bakers flour if possible)
* 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
* 2 cups sunflower seeds
* 3 tsp salt


1. Firstly preheat your oven to just 180ºF (80ºC) and grease and line two 5 x 9 inch bread tins with baking paper.

2. In a bowl, combine the honey with the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Next, add the cold water and yeast and put to one side for 10 minutes so the yeast can activate (you will see some ‘froth’ form on the surface of the water).

3. Give the yeast mixture a good stir and then add the wholemeal and white flour, sunflower seeds and salt and mix until it is evenly combined. The mixture will be a very ‘loose’ and wet but don’t worry.

4. Now divide the wet mixture between your two prepared bread tins, spreading the dough so it is even distributed. Next, sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on the top of the dough. To ensure that the bread rises evenly and cooks without splitting, run a sharp knife through the top of each loaf in 4 or 5 places.

5. Place your loaves into your preheated oven and bake for just 20 minutes at 180ºF (80ºC), then turn the oven temperature up to 410ºF (210ºC) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. To check if your bread is cooked simply tap each loaf – they should sound hollow. Turn the loaves out onto a cooling rack while they are still hot and leave them to cool.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

~ Homemade bagel recipe ~

Ingredients :

4 cups bread flour

1 Tbls sugar

1 tsps salt

1 Tbls vegetable oil

2 tsps instant yeast

1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water.

Method :

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Knead well.
The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it's really stiff, or you can't get all the dry flour incorporated.

Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.

Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.

Pre heat your oven to 425.

Now, take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant roiling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be!

Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly. You can just rub a splash of vegetable oil and rub it around.

After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy, and it's time to get them boiling! Add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.

Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they're done!

Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, get the cream cheese ready, and feast on what's got to be one of the best weekend brunch treats possible!

* You can add any toppings you like to these. To make sesame, onions, poppy seed, caraway etc. etc. bagels just have a dry plate ready with the seed or spice topping spread out on it. After the bagels have come out of the boiling water, place them face down onto the seeds, and then place the seed side up onto the baking tray. Bake and flip as for plain bagels.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

~ Eggs Tart ~

1. 300 gram flour
2. 200 gram margarine/butter
3. 1 1/2 tablespoon milk powder (we used Anlene)
4. 1 1/2 tablespoon icing/castor sugar
5. 1/2 tablespoon custard powder
6. 1 egg

Ingredients for filing :

1. 250 gram sugar boiled in 250 ml water with pandan leaf,
and left cool (this is the syrup)
2. 5 eggs – beat or whish
3. 200 ml evaporated milk

( Add the beaten eggs into the cooled syrup,
then add a big pinch of custard powder and vanilla essence.
Do teh tarik motions on the mixture many times and keep it refrigerated as well. )

Pour the ingredients into a mixing bowl and start mixing them.
The dough has to “rubbed” as though you are massaging a person’s back.
Take note that the butter has to be slightly cold.
After the dough is done, it has to be refrigerated.

Line the tart moulds with the pastry (dough) by making a small ball,
then press it over the moulds.
Keep in mind that the pastry must not be too thin,
or the egg tart will break easily when done.

Take the egg mixture out from the fridge and do a couple of teh tarik motions again. Pour the egg mixture into the moulds, slightly more than 3 quarter full.
Bake them in oven for 25-30 minutes at 180°C.
To know whether the egg tarts are ready, shake the moulds slightly.
If the egg mixture is firm and the pastry is golden brown, it’s done!

Lastly, overturn the egg tarts in put into individual paper cups quickly. Serve!

Ingredients for dough :


Egg Tart :

1 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar
3 cups flour
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp vanila

1 cup fresh milk
1 1/2 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
9 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp vanila