Cake Painting Afternoon Tea inspired by Peter Mcdonald

Painting and desserts? YES, right up my alley!

It’s Art Month in Hong Kong and you can feel the increase in cultural and art awareness in the air. Right next to Art Basel (March 15-17th, 2015) at the Hong Kong Convention Centre, the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong has invited Japanese/British artist Peter Mcdonald to collaborate with Executive Pastry Chef David White to create an afternoon tea inspired by the artist.

<strong>CAKE PAINTING AFTERNOON TEA by artist Peter McDonald</strong>

Tea started 3:30pm and it was at that time Chef David White transformed us into Peter Mcdonald’s world of Paintings…..

Everywhere you looked were elements from the whimsical artpieces, such as the odd geometric shapes, the exaggerated cartoonish head shapes, the bright colors and 2D textures.

The highlight of the tea were the blank ‘canvases’ placed around the buffet. I loved the attention to detail here: cheesecake covered with a layer of marzipan, folded in the orders just like a mounted canvas, not to mention the little ‘nails’ on the trims which took the whole thing over the edge with cuteness. Three color paints were offered – lime, orange and strawberry jam, though the only downside was that only the red was visible on the canvas, an unfortunate error though we understand their efforts was to make it as edible and natural as possible, so no artificial coloring was added.

So not to take up the whole canvas, here is my little masterpiece =)

Besides satisfying your sweet tooth, trays of bite sized savoury treats were also available.

Afternoon tea is not complete without scones. Here they offer an array of whimsical scones shaped in squares, triangles, rectangles and circles!

You’ll also get your own tray of goodies where you can decorate and demolish at your table! Cake pops, victorian sponge, cookies and a mini cheesecake canvas. It was all too pleasing to the eyes, nose and mouth!

I’m always in awe of Grand Hyatt’s teams’ attention to detail, and this afternoon tea was no different. Although Peter Mcdonald was only present at Tea until 15th, this promotion will go on until March 31st, so book now! Priced at $329 + 10% per person on weekends and $298 + 10% per person on weekdays, with unlimited visits to the ice cream station.   Make sure you have a light lunch before you go, you’ll want to try everything!

Peter Mcdonald’s work is also on display around the hotel year round, so you can take a look whenever you’re there! For more information on the artist, click here.


My go-to Banana Smoothie

My go-to smoothie came about when we had a single too-ripe banana lying around, and I couldn’t get myself to eat it – I hate eating overly ripe bananas – its way too mushy for me. But one banana was too little to bake with… what to do?!!?

I blended it up with some kitchen staples and it turned out to be a fantastic drink! There wasn’t even a need for any added sugar or honey since the sweetness from the ripe bananas comes through. The flaxseeds adds additional nutrition – an execellent source of omega 3, full of fiber, lowers cholestrol to name a few. You’ve got your potassium and magnesium from the bananas, your probiotics from the yogurt and calcium from the yogurt and milk. All in all, it’s a delicious drink packed full of nutrition! I secretly wish for ripe bananas at home so I can make more of this now!


  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt, or plain yogurt with a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Ovaltine or cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Flaxseed (optional)

Put everything in to the blender for 30 seconds – 1 minute (until you see the flaxseeds are broken up – that’s how you release the flaxseed oils and get all the nutrition. Serve and enjoy!

Additional Tips:

  • You can add a teaspoon of honey if you prefer it to be more sweet
  • You may also add 5-10 ice cubes into the blender to get a more smoothie/slushie like consistency. .

Corn Quinoa Cumin Salad 玉米藜麥沙拉

We love eating quinoa. (藜麥…pronounce KIN-WA) We first discovered it in a small restaurant in Vancouver a few years back. The texture and the little pops in the mouth, plus the nutrients and protein it gives really is a one of a kind power grain.

BUT before I begin mixing the salad, I have to start with a little story of why I had to make this very “summery” salad in January…..

My hubby and I both love to cook. Unfortunately our cooking styles tend to differ. He’ll think of what he wants to cook/eat the day of, go ahead and buy ingredients then dive right into the kitchen. Unfortunately, that leaves me, who hates to waste food, always having to check what’s leftover in the fridge (you’ll find half an onion from his cooking in the fridge ALWAYS). This Quinoa Salad is a GREAT way to use up leftover vegetables. You don’t have to follow my recipe to be exact, feel free to toss in some extra, or leave out whatever ingredients you don’t like!

There’s also different types of quinoa: Plain Quinoa tends to have a smoother texture with mild nutty flavor, whilst the multi colored Quinoa (Black, red and plain) gives a stronger grain flavor with multiple textures. I used mixed Quinoas here because I love the variation in color, but I will use plain when I use it as a rice replacement during meals.

So here I have my already cooked Quinoa, plus veggies of the day: corn, red pepper, parsley and tomato, all diced up and chopped to similar size.


Toss everything into a bowl:


Add seasonings: salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and cumin.


Mix and adjust to taste. And here you have it, a wonderful, colorful vibrant mixed salad that is ready in minutes!!


Homemade Granola

There are lots of options for store bought Granola in the supermarket nowadays, but did you know that Granola is super easy to make at home? No addictives, extra sugar, unknown chemicals on the ingredients label, you know everything that goes into this super food.

We love it because it’s so versatile to eat – with milk for breakfast, with fruit and yogurt for a quick snack, or simply on it’s own when you’ve got the munchies.

After experimenting with a few different recipes, I’m now officially disclosing my own Granola recipe (and trust me, a lot of stuff you probably already own!)  We don’t like dried fruit, but it’s a great way to add sweetness as well as extra vitamins and fiber to your diet.

Core ingredients / 主要材料: 

  • 3 cups rolled oats / 三杯燕麥 (儘量不要用即沖的)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar / 三湯匙紅糖
  • 1/3 cup honey / 1/3 杯蜜糖
  • 1/4 vegetable oil  / 1/4 杯植物油
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt / 1/4 茶匙鹽
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract / 1 茶匙香草精

Other ingredients include, below are all optional! / 下列其他材料都自行選擇加或不加: 

  • 1 teaspoon cinammon / 1茶匙玉桂粉
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds (any kind you prefer) / 半杯豆, 如杏仁, 腰果 等…
  • 1/2 cup dried or freeze dried fruits / 半杯乾果, 如葡萄乾等..
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips / 半杯迷你巧克力片IMG_7019

Firstly, combine all the core ingredients (and cinnamon if you are using) and place on a tray, spreading it as thinly as possible:


Bake for 10-15 minutes until it’s slightly brown. Meanwhile, you can lightly toast and chop the nuts:


Remove the core mix from the oven, then add your nuts and seeds. Mix, then put back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes until everything is golden brown.


Carrie’s Homemade Granola


  • 3 cups rolled oats / 三杯燕麥 (儘量不要用即沖的)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar / 三湯匙紅糖
  • 1/3 cup honey / 1/3 杯蜜糖
  • 1/4 vegetable oil  / 1/4 杯植物油
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt / 1/4 茶匙鹽
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract / 1 茶匙香草精

Optional ingredients: 

  • 1 teaspoon cinammon / 1茶匙玉桂粉
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds (any kind you prefer) / 半杯豆, 如杏仁, 腰果 等…
  • 1/2 cup dried or freeze dried fruits / 半杯乾果, 如葡萄乾等..
  • 1/2 cup mini (dark)chocolate chips / 半杯迷你(黑)巧克力片
  1. Set oven to 150 degrees Celcius.
  2. Combine the rolled oats, brown sugar, honey, oil, salt and vanilla extract (and cinnamon if you’re using) and mix well.
  3. Place the mix into a baking tray and spread flat. Put in oven for 10-15 minutes until it’s slightly brown.
  4. Meanwhile, slightly toast and chop the nuts.
  5. Remove mix from oven, mix in the nuts and seeds and put back into the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Let cool for at least an hour and put in a airtight container for up to one week.. if it lasts that long in your household! =)

It also looks great if you put it into a jar as a thoughtful gift for family and friends, along with a homemade tag:


She cooked!

Avocado Grilled Cheese

You’ve heard of grilled cheese before. But have you ever thought of putting avocados with your grilled cheese??


I love avocados, so I’m down to put avocados on everything. It’s a great superfood, though a bit high in calories, but if you limit your intake it’s just so good for you! Besides it’s so versatile! You can mash it up to make creamy delicious guacamole, or simply cut it into cubes to put on top of salads or toast. Sandwiching avocados in grilled cheese not only enhances the flavor of the cheese, but creates additional depth, flavor and texture that is guaranteed to bring your grilled cheese to a whole new level.

You really don’t need a whole lot of ingredients to create this fantastic meal:

  • two slices of bread (whole wheat or white is fine)
  • shredded cheese (Gouda works well and melts great)
  • 1 avocado, mashed and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • a small knob of butter


1) Heat pan on low heat, melt a little butter into it.

2) An additonal step we take is before we assemble the sandwich, we’ll toast the INSIDES of the bread too. That way you’ll get addtional cruch as you bite into it, but it heats the toast up on the inside too so it’ll help melt the cheese!


3) Once one side of the bread is golden brown, remove and add additional butter to the pan. Once melted, place the UNTOASTED side of one piece of bread down (toasted side should face up). Add a handful of cheese, top with avocados then another layer of cheese.

*hint – we sometimes add a bit of reduced balsamic vinegar on top to cut down the richness of both the cheese and avocados.


4) Top off with the other slice of toast, but with toasted side facing down now. Flip the sandwich once the bottom is golden brown and add a little extra butter to grill the just flipped slice of bread to toast. Cover and let grill, checking constantly to make sure the toast is not burnt.

IMG_7672 IMG_7673

Remove from pan once ready and serve immediately while hot.


 She cooked!

Baked Avocado & Eggs 焗牛油果雞蛋

Did you know… that avocado has more potassium than bananas? That it’s loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids (same component as Olive Oils!) that keeps your heart healthy? That they’re high in fiber? That it can help you lose weight, as well as lower your Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels?

This breakfast or anytime snack is so easy to make, yet so impressive to look at! The avocado also works as it’s own serving dish, so even less cleaning up to do.

All you need is: Avocados & Eggs (plus salt and pepper to taste, and some aluminum foil would help)

簡單到不行的焗牛油果雞蛋…只需兩種材料, 簡單易做, 營養豐富的早餐 (或小食)!


Here’s how it’s done – Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out a little bit more of the avocado so a whole egg can fit inside, like this:

做法很簡單:將牛油果切半, 再將中間挖深少少, 足夠將雞蛋倒入去:


At the same time, make a little foil cup to “rest” the avocado half on top so the egg doesn’t spill everywhere once you drop it in.

將牛油果放上一塊錫紙上, 摺起錫紙邊, 好讓牛油果不要搖來搖去.

I find that it’s easier to break open the egg in small bowl then slide it into the avocado, but feel free to break the egg and drop it directly into the avocado. (Even less washing up to do?)

將一隻雞蛋打入個碗, 輕輕地”滑”入牛油果裡. (你亦可以直接打入牛油果裡)


Sprinkle a little salt, and into the oven/toaster oven it goes. I baked mine for about 15 minutes at 220 degress celcius, but it depends on how large your avocados are and how you like your eggs. Make sure the whites are all set by wiggling the pan. If its still very runny, you might want to bake it for a few more minutes.

在上面灑小許鹽, 然後放進焗爐或多士爐, 放220攝氏度. 因應不同大小的牛油果及雞蛋, 可能焗的時間會有偏差. 我焗了大概15分鐘, 直至蛋白全部變白為止.


Here it is!!! So beautifully baked and yummy! Sprinkle with pepper (and tobasco for me!) and you’ve got yourself a simple,     hassle free, healthy breakfast. Enjoy!

上面再灑一點胡椒粉 (我再加了小許辣椒粉), 就這樣! 簡單的焗牛油果雞蛋完成啦!


She cooked!