Saturday, December 31, 2005

To blog or not to blog

I was talking with st about this topic the other day. To blog or not to blog? Or rather what to be included in the blog, in case the blog is read by the unintended readers. This is the dilemma. Blogging is fun, and is certainly a good way to vein your frustration, record your thought, even for daily trivial things. But things can get complicated when the content involves people that may read the blog.

I am just glad that I don't have all these concerns at the moment. Life is simple ver here, just me and my small world. Even Chintong doesn't seem to bother with what I blogged.

To blog or not to blog? I think it boils down to a decision one has to make after weighing the risk involved....I decided to blog anyway, and I don't care what people think after reading my blog. Afterall, that's my life. (Well, to be honest I think i still care a lot of what people think of me). How contradicting! That's me...


A peaceful Saturday

After an eventful Christmas weekend, we decided to take things easy and do absolutely nothing this weekend. I promised myself to bake biscotti yesterday and i did! Below are the end products of my first-time chocolate dipped orange-walnut biscotti.

They look prettier after drying and certainly appear appetizing. However, I can't exactly remember how biscotti taste. Sigh... Maybe I should just buy one from Starbuck to confirm I get the flavour right.

I think I will make chocolate marble bread with chocolate ganache later if we are not going out. and phad thai for dinner since we have all the ingredient... Yesterday I saw a fellow blogger's blog, which has A LOT of dessert photos! I wonder if i would be half as good one day if I only make 5 desserts a month....

Maybe I should really get a job to sustain my expensive hobby...


Thursday, December 29, 2005

New Year Resolutions

It's end of the year, and yes, time for New Year Resolutions! I vividly remember almost the same time every year when i sit down quietly in a little cozy place, contemplating what I want to achieve in the coming year.

And the determination usually don't sustain till middle of the year, I would almost absolutely forget about all the resolutions I have made, and history repeats itself year after year. But, no, I have not given up on making New Year Resolutions. And as I would make it a resolution to keep up my resolutions every year, I make it a resolution to follow through my resolutions this year.

Other than that, I really want to...

1. Master English. O.k, I will try to read at least 4 books in a month, on top of the 5 magazines i subscibed.

2. Be a competent baker. I will try at least 5 new recipes each month.

3.Stay healthy. well, i know exercise is important, so....I will work out 3 times a week?

4.Make the world a better place, by being compassionate to people around me, prudent with the natural resources.

5. Learn the art of saving, from the master- OCT!

6. Keep in touch with friends and family whom I care so much.

Have you made you resolutions for 2006 yet? Till then, have a Happy New Year! I have to put my baby champagne into the fridge now, so that it will be chill enough on New Year Eve. (just a lame excuse to sign off, hehehe..)



Since I came to St Louis, I have been cooking dinner diligently every night. My apartment is kind of small, so there really isn't a lot of chores that needed my attention. In fact, I sometime feel guilty at the thought that dinner alone is the only thing i do for chintong. In order to make up for it, I try to cook dinner as sumptuous as possible. Below are some of the examples:

I know what you have been thinking.... and yes, i don't cook chinese meals everyday. There are so many new and affordable ingredients here!Hence i decided to cook western meals at least once a week, sometime using the oven to test out new recipes. I think i should try to make it a point to take pictures of my everyday meals so that i know what i have tried. I am really inspired by some fellow bloggers who bake and cook different dishes everyday, it really motivates me to try something new....

I think i will try my hands on biscotti tomorrow, and i shall take a picture of it no matter how it turns out to be.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Rainy Day

It's a cold rainy day here. I can't surf the internet enough with my new babe, being deprived of all the usual softwares and programs that I was so used to back in Singapore. Despite the excitement of surfing in virtual space, I finished reading "The Martha Rules" by one of my inspirational role models, Martha Stewart.

As a successful business woman and self made billionaire, she shared her knowledge and wisdom in entrepreneurship with people who are interested to start their businesses. Here's the 10 rules as stated in the book:

Rule 1: What passion got to do with it?

Build you business success around something that you love- something that is inherently and endlessly interesting to you.

Rule 2: Ask yourself, what's the Big Idea?

Focus your attention and creativity on basic things, things that people need and want. The look for ways to enlarge, improve and enhance your Big Idea.

7 neccessities for assessing your business idea:
1. Is your idea better than alternatives on the market?
2. Is your idea simple for you to develop and simple for customers to understand?
3. Are you in a geographic location where your idea will work?
4. Is your idea affordable?
5. Is your idea too big?
6. Can you expand and extend your idea?
7. Does your idea make the world better?

Rule 3: Get a telescope, a wide angle lens, and a microscope

Create a business plan that allows you to stay true to your Big Idea but helps you focus on the details. Then remain flexible enough to zoom in or out on the vital aspects as your business grows.

Rule 4: Teach so you can learn

By sharing your knowldege about your productor service with your customers, you create a deep connection that will help you learn how best to build and manage your business.

Rule 5: All dressed up and ready to grow

Use smart, cost-effective promotional Techniques that will arrest the eye, tug at the heart, and convey what is unique and special about your business or service.

Rule 6: Quality is everyday

Quality should be placed at the top of your list of priorities, and it should remain there. Quality is something you should strive for in every direction, everyday.

Rule 7: Build an A team

Seek out and hire employees who are brimming with talent, energy, integrity, optimism, and generosity. Search for advisors and partners who complement your skills and understand your ideals.

Rule 8: So the pie isn't perfect? Cut it into wedges

When faced with a business challenge, evaluate or assess the situation, gather the good things in sight, abandon the bad, clear your mind, and move on. Focus on the positive. Stay in control, and never panic.

Rule 9: Take risks, not chances

In business, there's a difference between a risk and a chance. A well-calculated risk may well end up as an investment in your business. A careless chance can cause it to crumble. And when an opportunity presents itself, never assume it will be your last.

Rule 10: Make it beautiful

Listen intently, learn new things everyday, be willing to innovate, and become an authority your customers will thrust. As an entrepreneur, you will find great joy and satisfaction in making your customers' lives easier, more meaningful, and more beautiful.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My new laptop

Finally, I got a new laptop! I can finally bid farewell to Chintong's old Mac and start quality blogging. I must say that we snatched a very good deal based on any standard that i am aware of. We got a Acer Aspire with $599, with a free Lexmark all in one printer and a wireless G router. What more can i ask for?!

However, there's a little problem, i.e I have to setup the laptop on my own. I know, this may not sound difficult. But for me, a computer illiterate, it certainly is challenging. I was sitting down in the living room for the whole afternoon yesterday, trying to figure out how to install the router. And when the old Mac's OS failed me at one point, I had no choice but to call the provider's tech support for help..It was such a pain to go through all the humiliation of not knowing what parts the technician was talking about. When the system was finally up and running, we went off to catch "The Chronical of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe".

To my dismay, I was denied access to internet when we were back! Too tired after the 125 min movie, i threw in the white towel for the day, and decided to fight the battle again today. it's another long day for me, trying to reach one technician after another when they can't solve my problem, and called my ISP provider to ask for some confidential information required to have a successful installation. And yes, I managed to pull everything together on my own. My satisfaction is beyond words.

This is life, things can't always go your way, and when you want something bad enough, you will find ways to get it.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you out there. May the warmth of the season brings great joy and peace to your heart. This is a photo taken during our Christmas eve party. We put on the santa hat to inject some festive mood into the party.

The temperature at St Louis was probably negative five degree celcius, but our little apartment was so warm that a heater was not required. I had tried my hands on preparing a honey baked ham for the first time following a recipe from And you bet, it turned out spectacular! I was so busy that i forgot to take a photo of it. Here, is a photo taken by our friend Melvin. The rest of the friends brought their signature dishes to add to the big feast.
The food was definitely too much for 9 adults and 2 kids. We ended up having a Christmas lunch at our place to finish up the leftover. Though it was fun to host friends at our apartment, Chintong and I were totally exhausted after the 2 days celebration. Chintong said it was more tiring than working...


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Recipes By Categories


Basic Buttermilk Pancake
Banana Sour Cream Pancake
Lemon and Dried Cranberries Scones with Raspberry Chocolate Chips

Muffins,Quickbreads and Scones
Meyer Lemon and Dried Blueberry Scones
Lemon Scented Blueberry Cupcakes
Mocha Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecan
Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Classic Banana Bread
Espresso Walnut Cake
Strawberry Bread
Orange Strawberry Muffins
Starbucks' Pumpkin Scones
Lemon and Dried Cranberries Scones with Raspberry Chocolate Chips
Fig Financiers
Raspberry Chocolate Chips Muffins

Yeast Bread
Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls
Asiago and Balsamic Caramelised Onion Focaccia
Onion Mustard Monkey Bread
Cheesy Zucchini and Red Onion Flatbread
Chocolate Babka
Grand Tuna Melt
Tender Potato Bread
Danish Braid
Caterpillar Bread
Danish Braid
French Bread
Pork Floss Bun

Cookies And Bar
Almond Biscotti
Irish Cream Brownies
Banana Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Pistachio Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Chocolate Chips Cookies
Eggless Chocolate Chips Cookies
Chocolate Hazelnut Sables
Nibby Hazelnut Cookies
World Peace Cookies
Viennese Chocolate Sables
Lemon Espresso Bites
Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Lavender Sables
Favorite Chocolate Biscottis
Mosaic Biscottis
M&M Bar Cookies
Matcha Cookies
Buttermilk Cookies
Almond, Fennel Seed and Orange Biscotti
Vanilla Shortbread
Pineapple Tarts
Nutella Two Tone Cookies
Cherry Garcia Biscotti
Hot Chocolate Cookies
Coffee Hazelnut Cookies
Peppermint Cookie and Cream Brownies

Fig Financiers
Hummingbird Cake
Espresso Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
Lemon Curd Marbled Cheesecake
The Most Fabulous Chocolate Cake
Accidental Coffee Coffee Cake
Raspberry-Laced Chocolate Cupcakes with Marbled Glaze
Peach Cheesecake
Strawberry Country Cake
Ina's Lemon Cake
CI Lemon Cake
Coffee Coconut Ice-Cream Cake
Chocolate Coffee Cheesecake
Carrot Cupcakes
Banana Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Buttermilk Chocolate Pound Cake
Chocolate Banana Cake
Devil's Food White Out Cake
Mississippi Mud Cake
Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Strawberry Celebration Cake
Chocolate Genoise
Traditional Madeleine
Walnut Coffee Cake
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Chocolate Fallen Souffle Cake
Coconut cupcake
Lemon Pound Cake with Cherry Compote
Ligurian Lemon Cake
Low Fat Chocolate Marble Cake
Black and White Angel Food Cake
Black and White Chocolate Cake
Coffee Walnut Cake with Coffee Mascarpone Cream
Tiramisu Cake
Lemon Cheesecake with mango topping
Apple Cheesecake
Chocolate Matcha Cupcakes
Party Chocolate Cake
Banana Chiffon Cake
My take on Macrina's Lemon Lavender Cake
Banana Cupcake with Lime Glaze
Mango Cream Cake
Espresso Chiffon Cake with Caramel Glaze/Bittersweet Glaze
Pichet Ong's Banana Cake
Chocolate Raspberry Charlotte Cake
Mini Cherry Almond Tea Cakes
Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream
Blueberry Crumb Cake
Chocolate Matcha Cupcakes
Lavender Chiffon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Matcha Cupcakes
Macrina's Lemon Lavender Coffee Cake
Mango Mascarpone Mousse Cake
Strawberry Friands
Nutella Cupcakes
Vanilla Chiffon Cake
Banana Cake with Caramel Espresso Frosting
Grand Marnier Chiffon Cake
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Little Fellas Raspberry Swirl (mini raspberry swirl cheesecake)
Little Fellas Chocolate Swirl (mini chocolate swirl cheesecake)
Little Fellas Cappuccino (mini cappuccino cheesecake)
Lemon Angel Food Cake
Yule Log

Pies and Tarts
Bacon Spinach and Feta Quiche
Normandy Apple Tart
Peach Cobbler
Egg Tarts
Strawberry Tart
Chocolate Ganache Tart
French Lemon Cream Tart
Chocolate Espresso Tart
Pavlova with Mixed Berries
Plum Galette
Matcha Crean Cheese Tarts
Nutella Tart
Seafood Quiche
Nectarine Tart
Mango Tart
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart
Lemon Meringue Pie

Other Baked Goodies
Best Matcha Cocoa Brownie
Cherry Clafoutis
Favortie Sweet Tart Dough
Chocolate Eclairs
Cherry Clafoutis 2
Almond and Dark Chocolate Granola
Blackberry and Mango Clafoutis
Cheesecake Pops
Moscato and Vanilla Poached Pears

Malaysian Pizza
Giada's Pizza Dough
Mini Ham and Cheese Calzone

Ice Creams, Sorbets and other Cold treats
Mixed Berries Frozen Yogurt
Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet
Gianduja Ice Cream
Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

No bake Sweet Treats

Chocolate Truffles
Rocky Road


Thai Shrimp Cake
Asparagus Melt with Pesto Spread
Tomatoes with Fresh Peach and Basil Vinaigrette
Korean Enoki Pancakes
Steamed Fish Rolls
Golden Crisp Daikon Cake

Warm New Potato Salad with Grainy Mustard
Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia Salad
Barefoot Contessa's Caesar Salad
Potato Salad
Summer BLT Pasta Salad
Shrimp and Mango Salad with Glass Noodles
Berry Salad
Tomatoes with Fresh Peach and Basil Vinaigrette
Vietnamese Chicken Salad


Chicken and Pasta Toss
Creamy Cajun Shrimp Linguine
Curry Baked Rice
Shrimp Scampi with Linguini
Linguine Alla Carbonara
Penne with Turkey Meatballs
Shrimp Florentine with Caramelized Garlic
Spaghetti with Asparagus, Parmesan and Ham
Pasta Primavera
Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roll-ups with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
Asparagus Pesto Lasagna
Shrimp and Scallop Arrabbiata
Shrimp Arrabbiata
Triple S Pasta
Antipasto Salad
Penne with Roasted Vegetables and Goat Cheese
Soba with tofu, red bell pepper and shiitake mushroom
Char Kway Teow

Savory Dishes

Mustard Herd Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Chinese Style Stove Top Pot Roast
Balsamic Soy Glazed Chicken Wings
Oven Fried Chicken
Beef Carnitas
Pork Carnitas
Deviled Chicken Divan
Turkey Meatballs with homemade Marinara Sauce
Indonesian Chicken
Roast Pork I
Chipotle Orange Chicken CutletI
Chicken Satay
Curry Turkey Burger
Diner Meatloaf Muffins
Shredded Beef and Mushroom Ragu
Char Siew/ Chinese Style Roast Pork
Chicken Edamame Bowl
Chicken Saltimbocca
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Barbecue Meatloaf
Thai Sweet and Sour Pork
Chicken Breasts with Gorgonzola-Tomato Salsa
Stuffed Turkey with Lemon, Oregano and Red Onion
Italian Sausage and Bread Stuffing
Chinese Beef Stew with Daikon

Salmon with Sweet and Sour Pan Sauce
Tilapia with Balsamic Butter Sauce
Five Spice Tilapia with Citrus Ponzu Sauce
Salmon Teriyaki Bowl
Oven Baked Salmon with Toasted Almond and Parsley Salsa
Seafood Tofu with Gochujang Sauce

Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms
Make Ahead Mashed Potato
Broccoli with Hot Bacon Dressing
Seared Tofu with Gingered Vegetables
Eggplant Parmesan
Vegetable and Tofu Curry
Meditteranean Stuffed Eggplant

Other Delicious Stuffs
OCT's Pineapple Fried Rice


Saturday, March 05, 2005


My name is Mandy, a Malaysian Chinese who resides in the United States since 2005.

Fresh from the Oven was first started as a space to update friends and families of my life in the United States. However, it was soon turned into a cooking and baking blog, recording my kitchen experiments because I spent most of my free time reading and trying out new recipes. Later, food photography becomes an obsession. So I cook more food to practice my photography skill.

I didn't start baking until I got married and moved to the US. The brownie mix from a box was the first revelation that I could bake too. Later, enbolden by my very encouraging husband- OCT and my friends, I started baking from scratch. I have a degree in applied chemistry, so I think I know a thing or two about mixing things without burning down the kitchen.

I love the act of mixing, baking and creating desserts for people I love. It makes people feel special when presented with homemade desserts. Which in turn makes me happy.

It wasn't until year 2009 that it became clear to me that, I could turn something I deeply passionate about into a career. So I went to The French Pastry School in Chicago, to have a formal and professional training in pastry. It is the best decision I have ever made in my life, only second to marrying OCT!

I am currently working in a professional pastry kitchen, doing what I love to do! I wake up every morning, looking forward to make someone's day special. It is the best feeling in the world.


Want to Contact me?

Comments, suggestions and questions are always welcome.

Just drop me an email at freshfromtheoven606(at)gmail(dot)com

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