My improvised herb-stuffed tomatoes

Herb stuffed tomatoes

When I first started cooking, I would follow recipes to a tee. I would make sure I have all the ingredients, measure them carefully and read the cooking steps over and over again. Over time, as I gained confidence (and laziness) in the kitchen, I almost never use the exact ingredients and steps stated in a recipe. Continue Reading →

Spiced brown sugar cookies

inside spiced caramelised cookies

I’ve been grumpier than usual for the past two months, since my trusty coffee machine (an 8-year old De’Longhi Magnifica) broke. But I trudge along wearily and while the (painfully indecisive) hubby and I are still trying to figure out which is to be our new coffee machine, I have reverted to my tea-drinking ways.

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An easy quick bread: coconut bread

Coconut bread

I have a little black book. No, it does not contain any deep, dark secrets. Rather, in this notebook, I have written down recipes that I wanted to try. And one that has been staring at my face for the longest time was a quick bread recipe–Bill Granger’s coconut bread. Continue Reading →

Crunchy cucumber and sesame salad

cucumber and sesame salad

My kids love cucumbers. My little cucumber-eating champ of a 21-month old daughter, who still only has barely ten teeth (why?!), always impresses me with the alarming amount of cuke she manages to put away at each sitting. Although it’s super easy to just thinly slice up a cucumber and feed it to them, I am always keen on introducing exciting textures and tastes to their budding palates. Using the vegetable peeler to create long ribbons of cucumber not only makes it more delicate and tender for the little ones, but the salad also looks elegant enough to serve as a starter or side at a dinner party. The children had this crisp salad for lunch today with fluffy Japanese rice and a simple steamed egg custard, but it would be equally great as a refreshing accompaniment to a fillet of spicy grilled fish. Continue Reading →

DIY snack: vegan summer rolls with mango dipping sauce

Vegan summer rolls

I have been contributing to Chubby Hubby for almost a year. During this time, I have been secretly and subtly trying to introduce the wonderful world of vegetables to you. And I really thought no one would notice. Recently I met up with Charmaine, our incredible editor at Chubby Hubby and she mentioned that almost all the recipes that I contributed are vegetarian or vegan. Busted. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Lamb Stew with Chard, White Beans & Coriander

lamb stew with chard, white beans and coriander

For the longest time, chard was just something I’d only read about in cookbooks. It was one of those mythical vegetables that I knew of, but never felt was truly part of my culinary repertoire primarily because it wasn’t something I could easily pick up at the wet market or supermarket. In other words, it was a vegetable I could live without. That all changed when we recently received an organic Farm Box from SuperNature.

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Orangette’s seriously chocolatey chocolate cake

chocolate cake

I picked up Molly Wizenberg (of Orangette)’s book over a year ago when I was preggers, following J around on his work trips and doing nothing very much apart from putting away spectacular amounts of food (especially cakes and sweets) and devouring large quantities of food narratives, which often come with lovely recipes. Continue Reading →

Thai Krapow Gai (minced chicken with holy basil)

I lived in Thailand for two years and in that short time, I learned a lot about Thai food and Thai cooking. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing chefs and learned to cook some Thai staple dishes in their kitchens. I started with curries and green papaya salad – in fact, these were the first dishes I tasted in Thailand. And then I decided I needed to master the iconic Thai soups like tom kha (coconut milk soup) and tom yum goong (sweet and sour soup with shrimp). Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Easy Chocolate Ice Cream Shell

mini-magnums

It’s definitely ice cream weather right now! You would think that to get a thin coat of chocolate on your ice cream would be a simple matter of dipping it into some melted chocolate. Well, think again. I’ve made some spectacular mistakes. It doesn’t help that doing something like that in the sweltering tropics makes it doubly complex. But I’m happy to report that I’ve finally found a simple chocolate ice cream shell recipe that works: chocolate and refined coconut oil. I did try the venerable Thomas Keller’s recipe first, but it still resulted in a shell that was far too thick. It was the Chocolate Bombe Shell recipe from the fabulous Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams that did the trick.

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The taco rice I cooked and served at the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival

noosa-taco-rice

Regular readers will know that I’m uber-passionate about the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival, a super-fun, four day gourmet extravaganza held in a lovely little beach town on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. I attended the festival both last year (covering it for this site) and this year. This time, though, I was invited to be a participant. One of the activities I was asked to be part of was the festival’s annual Food Critics Cooking Competition. Continue Reading →