I make a lot of sandwiches these days. One, my wife S love sandwiches. And two, they’re easy to throw together in the morning. (I actually make toasties, having purchased a toastie machine from Tang’s a few months back, but that’s not the point of this post.) I would say that we eat sandwiches (toasties) for brekkie at least four mornings out of seven. One of the most important elements, to me, in making a great sandwich is a great sauce (spread). And while I’d like to pretend I have the time to make my own from scratch, the truth is that I reach into the fridge and grab a jar or two. But since I’m almost always reaching for a jar of Roza’s Sauces, I know that my sandwich will turn out simply stunning.
As a home cook who cooks almost every day, thinking about what to prepare for lunch or dinner can sometimes be a tiresome affair. Though I have a mini repertoire of dishes that I have on rotation, I know that sooner or later, I will get bored, frustrated and give up cooking (okay, maybe not that serious).
I often take the best things in my life for granted, such as my wonderful hubby J who manages to squeeze time out from his non-stop work schedule to take me to my favourite country for a quick break. This time, we decided on Portland and the Oregon coast, road-tripping all the way. We flew into San Francisco airport, did a quick overnighter and then drove out bright and early the next day up towards Portland, stopping by Ashland, spent a few days in Portland, and back down by the spectacular Oregon coast.
I’ve found a new pen pal in my editor, Charmaine, who’s based in Hong Kong. We write each other about once a week, mostly just girl/mommy talk, but discussions inadvertently find their way back to food. One of our latest topics has been what we bake when we need a little pick-me-up, something that lifts our spirits on a dowdy day, or a sweet treat when we are simply in a gluttonous mood.
The Spanish word ‘tapas’, is loosely translated into English as ‘lid’. Legend has it that the term was coined when the parched King Alfonso XIII visited the coastal city of Cádiz. The gusting winds were moving so much sand in the air that a waiter had to cover the royal chalice with a slice of cured ham, acting as an impromptu lid. Whatever its origin, tapas is now enjoyed by foodies (thankfully without the tiny granules of sand) from all walks of life.
Often, I find myself needing some time off. Time off from the world, from long work days followed by longer dinners, from my computer(s), from my cell phone, from happy hour cocktails, and just from the world… I was seeking a break where I could nourish my body and empty my mind. So I did a lot of research and asked around, considering various options from yoga ashram in India to a Chinese medicine retreat in Northern Thailand. In the end I discovered the best of both worlds in Kamalaya in Koh Samui, Thailand.
If you manage to get hold of a bag of Meyer lemons, you will know how precious they are. That is why I fully utilise these lemons inside out and top to bottom. While making the Meyer lemon cream, I needed to use an extra lemon for the juice. Before I juiced the fruit, I saved the zest and kept it in the freezer for later use.
Matching wines to each dish that are strictly from a single country is a massive challenge even for the most experienced. Even more so for diners who have a stronger preference for the mainstream wines. In the landlocked country of Austria, the farmers grow a diverse range of grapes that are made into food-friendly wines for most, if not all, I dare say. Say hello to Austrian Wine Experience 2013, held for the third time in Singapore and this time is definitely a charm.