If you are like me, you probably own more than a handful of cookbooks. I like to thumb through the pages to admire the pictures, read and get inspired by them. They are a joy to collect even in this digital day and age. A physical copy that I can hold, bring from place to place, share with friends, and place sticky notes on.
Today, I want to share a special cookbook with you. It is special because the author is a fellow blogger and a dear friend. She is Denise of Singapore Shiok! and her latest cookbook is entitled Mum’s Not Cooking launched in July of this year. It was number 1 on Kinokuniya Singapore’s bestselling cookbooks list immediately following the official launch and stayed in the top 10, two months after! I received my signed copy personally from Denise when I made a quick stop-over in Singapore en route home from Malaysia in June before the launch.
I also met up with the lovely Shirley of Welcome to Shirley’s Luxury Haven for the very first time. We had a delightful lunch of multi-colored xiao long baos (Shanghai dumplings) and noodles in downtown Orchard Road before proceeding to Denise’s home for dinner. Denise’s cooking is par excellence. Two of the dishes she made was Curry Devil and Sugee Cake. The recipe for Curry Devil (simplified version) is found in the cookbook and I have made it several times now. She posted the recipe for Sugee Cake on her blog. Thank you both, Denise and Shirley for your generous hospitality.
Please do visit Denise at her blog, Singapore Shiok! for more delicious recipes and gorgeous photography. Shirley blogs at Welcome to Shirley’s Luxury Haven where she shares delicious homemade food, restaurant reviews, and beauty tips. There are also many wonderful giveaways happening on her blog.
And now, for today’s GIVEAWAY…
Since I got home in June I had not been able to obtain a copy of the cookbook as it was out of stock at Amazon. Thankfully, Ro-Ri San (hubby) had a scheduled business trip to Singapore in September and he managed to purchase a copy for me. I am offering this purchased copy (unsigned) as a GIVEAWAY to one lucky reader who leaves a comment on this post. Please state where you are from so I know where this book is headed for. This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide until 9:00pm US Central Standard Time, Sunday, November 18th, 2012. The winner will be selected using a random number generator and will be notified by email. An announcement will also be made on a post to be published on Monday, November 19th, 2012.
All the best!
I have really enjoyed this wonderful cookbook. There are 104 recipes divided into nine categories. The recipes have been written with the novice and seasoned cook in mind. They consist of Singaporean as well as Malaysian favorites simplified and demystified. The instructions are easy to follow and many of the recipes have notes on ingredients and substitutions which are really helpful. Denise shares useful kitchen tips in Kitchen 101. There is also a Fridge and Pantry List at the beginning of the book and a conversion table and index at the end. This handy little red cookbook is perfect for a student, newlywed, transplanted Singaporean or Malaysian like myself, or anyone curious about the food of that region.
Here is a popular recipe from the cookbook that I have adapted slightly to suit the taste of my family. This stew is warm and comforting, perfect for this time of the year. Usually served with rice, it can also be eaten with crusty bread. I have reduced the liquid and made it a thicker consistency for that purpose. All the ingredients including cinnamon and cloves are easily available here. With Denise’s permission, I have included the recipe here.
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves
- 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 lbs/1.5kg), cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 5 small potatoes (1 lb/450g), peeled and quartered
- 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
- ¼ head of cabbage (8 oz/225g)
- Heat canola oil in a large pot. Fry cinnamon and cloves for 1 minute to release its aroma. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add chicken pieces and allow them to fry for 3 minutes. Throw in the carrots and continue to fry for another 2 minutes.
- Pour in 2 cups (480ml) water. Cover pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. Skim off fat as much as possible.
- Add potatoes and tomatoes and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and then add cabbage. Continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
- Serve with steamed white rice or crusty bread.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!