My favourite eggnog recipe, a la The Traveler’s Lunchbox

eggnog

Every year, come Christmas time, my wife and I whip up a huge batch of eggnog. Truth be told, growing up, I wasn’t a big fan of eggnog. But that’s because for most of my life, I hadn’t tasted a really good, homemade version. That is, until I discovered this amazing recipe by Melissa, founder of The Traveler’s Lunchbox. Continue Reading →

Sous-Vide your pork belly for the perfect texture

sousvidepork

Weekdays can be tough for us amateur cooks. As much as we’d like to spend the day prepping something fresh and wonderful to serve one’s family for dinner, the reality is our jobs kind of get in the way. That’s why I do a lot of cooking on weekends, making things that I know won’t lose any flavour or freshness when frozen and defrosted several days later. One of the best methods for cooking this way is sous-vide. Continue Reading →

Molasses christmas cookies from my childhood

molasses cookies

When I was growing up in North Carolina there were a great many Christmas traditions – a lot of them involving the Moravian traditions of some of the early settlers of North Carolina. The Moravians were among the first Protestants who fled Europe to America in search of religious freedom from Eastern Europe. Because they were in North Carolina for so long, even if, like me, you are not religious or from a Eastern European heritage, Moravian Christmas traditions and foods have been synonymous with central North Carolina Christmas tradition and foods. And so for me, a nostalgic taste and scent memory of childhood Christmas is Moravian-inspired molasses cookies that my mother used to make. Continue Reading →

Bacon and mushroom pomodoro sauce

bacon and mushroom pomodoro sauce

Pasta has a way of soothing the soul. At the end of a long and tiring day, I often find myself craving a huge bowl of noodles, ideally balanced on the knee and eaten in solitude, accompanied by a glass of wine almost filled to the brim (pardon me, as I dispense with formal wine appreciation or drinking etiquette). My children have definitely inherited this love of pasta, and they have it for dinner at least once a week. They enjoy pasta with creamy carbonara, tossed in garlicky olive oil, with pesto and also pomodoro sauces. Recently, I have been making large batches of tomato pasta sauces because they are 1) extremely tasty, 2) easy to make and 3) they keep very well in the fridge. Three winning points in a recipe for any busy mom. Continue Reading →

Bill Granger’s coconut bread

coconut bread 2

It was one of those perfect moments in time, when I was completely relaxed, basking in the warm glow of the setting sun, sitting reclined and reading a beautiful Bill Granger cookbook. This one, Sydney Food, boasts absolutely stunning pictures, which enticed me so much that I wanted to jump up and try my hand at all the dishes asap. But what I enjoy most about Granger’s recipes, is that they are not complicated or intimidating in the least, and every one that I’ve tried so far has yielded the most satisfying and rewarding results. This coconut bread is a prime example. Continue Reading →

Power breakfasts: Maple vanilla French toast

French toast

One of the things I’m most fussy about as a mother, is that my kids start their day right every morning, with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. I try to instill the good habit in my children to gear up for the day ahead by fueling their brain and body. Together with their cup of milk and fruit, the breakfast menu at our house rotates between whole-grain toast, waffles, pancakes, granola, yogurt, oatmeal, muffins, scones, crepes, and my son’s most recent favourite – this French toast.

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Best gazpacho soup recipe from Willy Trullas Moreno of El Willy in Shanghai

willy trullas el willyIf you live in Shanghai, or have visited often, there is no doubt you have heard of Willy and his popular Spanish tapas restaurant El Willy. Formerly located in the French Concession in an old villa, but now on the glamorous Bund waterfront strand, El Willy is a warm and welcoming place (just like Willy). It’s also very well recognised, having  won numerous accolades in local Shanghai media and is also listed in the top 100 Restaurants in the Miele Guide. Continue Reading →

Leftover love – vegetable pancake

vegetable pancakeOdd bits of vegetables are a common sight in my fridge. I will have leftover vegetables from recipe testing, and some are tragically abandoned at some dark corner of the fridge. Of course, I can use the leftovers for another recipe, which also means that I might need to get more ingredients (and end up having more leftovers–vicious cycle!). Continue Reading →