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 →

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 →

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 →

Cooking demonstration with Chef Renu, and a few special guests

Cooking demo with Chef Renu_2

During my stay at Angsana, Bintan, I had the opportunity to participate in a cooking demonstration with Chef Renu Homsombat, Banyan Tree’s Corporate Chef at Saffron. The dishes that I was learning were from the four course dégustation meal that I had at Saffron. I was very excited to uncover the secrets behind Chef Renu’s delicious food. 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 →

White wine spritzer

spritzer.resized1

Truth be told, when entertaining in our home, I usually start with bubbly or wine for our guests. And if the hubby was left to the task, he’d simply crack open some bottles of ice cold beer. The idea of having to shake up an interesting beverage on top of planning, cooking and serving a meal, is a step that I’d gladly skip. However, with the stifling Singapore humidity, red wine is often too heavy. And beer tends to leave me feeling bloated (of course, I’m speaking purely from a lady’s perspective – this doesn’t seem to apply to blokes). Continue Reading →

3 Italian sauces you should never buy at the supermarket….

pesto recipe

….because you can make them quickly and easily at home, and oh so much better. I remember when I first started to cook and I used to doctor up jarred tomato sauce with herbs and such. I felt very clever about making it “better” – until my mother said, hey, basically you can use plain old tomatoes and make a REAL sauce doing very nearly the same steps. A mind blowing food moment for a teenager – cooking is… easy?!? Continue Reading →