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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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 →

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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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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Strawberry bread that’s also a cake

strawberry bread

My darling aunt celebrated her 50th birthday recently. I understand that women generally prefer to not discuss their age, much less have it revealed to the world via a blog post. For this disservice, I’m prepared to receive a phone call from her right about now, to holler threats about cutting me out of her will. But hey, she looks better than most women a decade younger, so where’s the shame? If I turn out half as good as her when I reach this milestone, I’d be unabashedly shouting my age from rooftops. Anyhow, me being her favourite (read: only) niece, I decided that she deserves a splendid dinner and of course, a brilliant cake. Continue Reading →

Easy Breakfast. Baked eggs

baked-egg

I was reminded recently, over a great but ridiculously sweaty breakfast at Epicurious, an ultra-popular cafe along Robertson Quay, just how much I enjoy baked eggs for breakfast. Of course, I am a egg freak to begin with; I could happily eat eggs for brekkie seven days a week.Epicurious’ baked eggs were lusciously runny. Cooked with a generous helping of bacon and cream, and served with toast soldiers, they are simple yet entirely satisfying.

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Tips for a terrific family road trip

roadtrip3

School’s out and I’m guessing that many of our readers will be hitting the road with their families for the holidays, so I thought a quick list of useful things I discovered on our first family road trip with our two-year-old in tow might be a helpful thing to share.
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World Peace cookies

cookie stack

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. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Play Dough

play dough recipe

Regular readers may have noticed that I really enjoy making the odd children’s amusement from scratch. I think even CH didn’t fully comprehend my love of working with my hands until our toddler T came along. After almost a dozen years of marriage, it only recently dawned upon him that I’m a “crafty kind of girl” (I’m not quite sure if the pun was intended). I simply don’t believe that children ought to only discover things through pre-packaged stimuli that come out of a box. Of course, T receives plenty of toys, I don’t shun them, and he loves technology. But I try my best to throw in simple things like squishing play dough (yes, that’s a burger made out of play dough pictured above), touching grass with your bare feet, playing with ice cubes, finger painting, threading pasta, counting soybeans, and learning to tear sheets of paper into the mix.

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One-pot wonder: cauliflower and red lentil soup

chunky cauliflower soup

The hubby and I are hoping to lose a few, seeing as we basically haven’t stopped eating since the Christmas season last year. Soups have been our go-to lunches since the amount of liquid in them deceive us into thinking we are full just after one big bowl. To my surprise one day, the hubby requested for cauliflower soup. Some time back, I cooked a roasted garlic and cauliflower dish with cheddar cheese melted over. It got him loving the veg, and he has since been on kind of a cauliflower bender. Continue Reading →

Travelling with the toddler to Kyoto, Japan, Part 2

T-Chomping-on-Toast

Dining with toddlers when travelling is a world apart from eating out when it’s just you and your hunny bunny. On previous trips to Japan, I would have made reservations at cult places I’ve been dying to try or restaurants that I already love weeks in advance. Because many of my favourite haunts are uber-popular, booking ahead is essential. However, with the tiny one in tow, not only could I not plan ahead, but the kinds of restaurants we visited were very different.  Continue Reading →