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 →

Ron Roozen House, the best vacation home in Margaret River

Ron Roozen House

Su-Lyn and I love Margaret River. We used to visit this West Australian wine (and surf) region on an annual basis back my wifey was working on her (never-completed) doctorate with a university in Perth. A number of years ago, we discovered an incredible, gorgeously-designed house, just a short five minute drive from Margaret River Town, perched on a cliff, and overlooking the Indian Ocean. Back then, we had rented the house with two other couples and (because we were in the area for a wedding) had a blast entertaining several friends during our stay. Most recently, we decided to head back to the house with our son and Su-Lyn’s parents. 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 →

Matcha Greek yogurt teacakes

matcha teacakes

I’ve been on a matcha bender lately, imbibing copious grande green tea soy lattes, and dreaming up all sorts of recipes using this lovely jade green powder. These matcha and Greek yogurt teacakes have emerged as my favourite so far. Possessing a tremendous tender crumb, and a soft, soothing fragrance from the tea, they are ideal for an uplifting afternoon snack. And because there is not too much sugar, nor any butter in this recipe, they are significantly lighter (and I’d like to think healthier!) than the more common teatime options of cupcakes or muffins. Continue Reading →

The luxurious Mulia Resort in Nusa Dua, Bali

mulia13

Since my first child came along almost six years ago, I have never been apart from my family. Holidays were always taken with the kids, and since we don’t have hired help for the rugrats, they are pretty much attached to me at the hip almost every minute of everyday. Until a few weeks ago that is, when I embarked on a solo escapade to Bali, and spent three fabulous nights at the Mulia Resort, in Nusa Dua. Continue Reading →

Orange, sultana, oat and wholemeal scones

scones 1

This scone is everything a scone should be. Boasting a crunchy, sugary crust with moist, fluffy, buttery layers in between, it is robust, substantial and comforting. I am addicted to this recipe, partly because I like the scent the orange zest imparts, and also because the oats and wholemeal flour give these bronzed beauties a nutritional boost. Moreover, the buttermilk in here keeps the scones tender and gently tangy. I like preparing the dough the day before, leaving it in the fridge overnight and baking it bright and early for a killer breakfast the next day. I promise you, the delicious smells from the oven is one of the best things to wake up to. 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 →

Oldie but goodie: Nanbantei

nanbantei skewers

My family and I are big fans of kushiyaki. Skewers of meat, seafood, veg and even rice, glazed with soy marinade and grilled over charcoal fire. Wash it all down with some sake or ice-cold beer, and it’s one of the most relaxing meals money can buy. My kids ask to go for “Japanese satay” pretty often, and Nanbantei is our regular haunt. As testament to how how great it is, it celebrated its 30th anniversary just a few months ago, beating the odds and thriving in Singapore’s uber competitive food scene. Continue Reading →

P. Bistro: Great pastry and good, simple, real food at proper prices in Singapore

bistro-macarons

Far too often, new restaurants and cafes in Singapore disappoint me. Most often, I leave upset because I’ve been overcharged for mediocre food that may look okay but usually lacks flavour. I also leave perplexed because so many of these places are able to fill their seats, night after night, with (young) customers whose expectations must simply be lower than mine. So, I was thrilled recently to discover a new place (in my own neighbourhood no less) that offers simple, tasty, well-cooked dishes and pretty awesome pastry at sensible prices. Continue Reading →

A tomato relish for every season

tomato relish

When the entertaining (read: feasting) season is in full swing, I like having standbys in the fridge, something that can take something ordinary to the next level. They don’t have to be overly fancy or luxurious. The only criteria is that these standbys are flavour-packed and perhaps bring an unexpected twist, to shake things up a bit. I’m not clear on what the proper name of this tomato dish is. I call it a relish, but it could also be more of a chutney or jam (depending on how long it is stewed for). Continue Reading →

Pisco hopping in Ica, Peru and a recipe

piscosour

Pisco is the renowned , celebrated brandy in Peru. I remember it as smooth, slightly smoky, and fragrant with the zing of young grapes. That Chile also lays claims to Peruvians’ beloved national drink as well, adds a political dimension that for the political scientist in me, is irresistible. But what I love about Pisco is how complex an aroma it carries. All at the same time, it manages to be mellow, light, and fragrant. Continue Reading →