Sticky date pudding

sticky date pudding

When I’m skimming through a dessert menu contemplating what to have, the words that make me stop browsing and come to an immediate decision are “sticky date pudding”. I see those three magic words and I’m done. I close the menu, order and impatiently wait to indulge in my dessert. It doesn’t help that my hubby is similarly, a sticky date pudding fanatic. This basically means we have plowed through a significant number of sticky puds together, and unfortunately, only a third of them were stellar, some were stodgy and hardly any good and  startlingly, many fell downright flat. Recently, I stumbled upon a sticky date pudding recipe on Nigella’s site, and registered that it’s actually a really easy dessert to make! I tucked that thought at the back of my head, and a few days later, found a bag of dates in the pantry. You can all guess what happened next. Continue Reading →

Family friendly wineries and microbreweries in Margaret River, Western Australia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some of the things I was genuinely worried about when planning our family holiday in wine country was whether our son would be cool with letting papa, mama and his grandparents visit some wineries, for meals and also for cellar door tastings. I honestly should not have worried because, as I discovered, many of the best vineyards—and microbreweries as well—cater not just to old farts like me, but also to young visitors. Continue Reading →

Fresh and zingy coleslaw

coleslaw 1

My 5-year old son tried coleslaw for the first time the other day, and he absolutely loved it! I seriously don’t know what took me so long. He generally loves crunchy vegetables, and enjoys dipping cucumber and raw carrot sticks in Japanese goma dressing or Korean bean paste, arugula in vinegrette and chomping on the cold iceberg lettuce cups in Chinese restaurants that are served with steamed ginger chicken. As any mother would be, I’m thrilled by his enthusiasm about raw cabbage and carrots! But instead of drenching the vegetables in store-bought dressing, I tried my hand at making my own, and am happy to report that the slaw was a roaring success. Continue Reading →

Keeping the kids happy in Margaret River, Western Australia

margaret-river-kids-country-life-farm-3-lr

Once upon a time, my wife S and I visited Margaret River, located three hours (by car) south of Perth, Western Australia, on an almost annual basis. In fact, we had some of our best and most romantic holidays there. We’d almost always rent a house or cottage, spend the day visiting wineries, checking out local food producers and end the day with a homecooked meal, washed down of course with a new and yummy discovery. Continue Reading →

Leek and potato gratin

Leek and potato gratin

My brother D, is your typical meat and potatoes kinda guy. He is always hankering after a good slab of beef, and some weeks ago, for our regular Sunday dinner at my mum’s, he treated the family to some amazing Wagyu steaks. My job was to cook some sides to complement the meat. I instantly thought of having the simplest salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper) and baking up a tray of this awesome leek and potato gratin. Continue Reading →

The fabulous Chimelong zoo

I’ve heard from various trusted sources about the fabulousness of the Chimelong Safari Park, just on the outskirts of Guangzhou city – though admittedly I was still skeptical about how fabulous it could be, especially compared to my beloved Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. Continue Reading →

Creme de marrons

creme-de-marrons

Chestnuts are one of my five-year old son’s favourite snacks. In Singapore, street vendors roast them in a covered urn or wok, filled with charcoal bits. You crack open the shell, and the flesh within is creamy, sweet, fragrant, and extremely addictive. My family goes through a 600g bag whenever the craving strikes. But recently, I have also developed an appreciation for the cooked and peeled chestnuts that come in foil packs, sold in convenience stores and supermarkets. With a few of those packets in hand, whipping up this crème de marrons is a piece of cake. Continue Reading →

Dark chocolate covered digestives

bitten

It’s been a while since I have baked or cooked – between work, baby happenings and numerous other social going-ons, the best laid plans kept getting postponed. Lately, however, I have become increasingly conscious that it’s about time to begin to cultivate baby J’s awareness of how things end up at the table for our eager consumption, and I also thought it would be a fun activity to do together with the 18-month old toddler (how time flies). Continue Reading →

Panna cotta with blueberry coulis

panna cotta

My kids love Panna cotta, and would choose it over any item on the dessert menu without thinking twice. There was a period of time when my darling five-year old son was so obsessed, he requested for it as his after-dinner treat two weeks in a row. Panna cotta translates as “cooked cream”, and to me, is a simple, soothing dessert that is an antidote for frazzled nerves at the end of a hard day. Continue Reading →