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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Pantry Basics: Lemon & Mint Quinoa Salad with Mackerel

mackarel-quinoaSingapore may be in the tropics, but we’re experiencing a bit of a heat wave out here, too! This light, refreshing and healthy salad makes for a great packed lunch for those days when the sweltering heat dissuades you from leaving the comforts of your office. And if you happen to be off enjoying your summer vacation, then this would be a super addition to your picnic basket. 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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Pantry Basics: Kinako Latte

kinako latte

I recently stumbled upon the joys of kinako latte at a miniscule cafe in Arashiyama, Kyoto called kyo no cha no nagomi. We had stopped to taste their fluffy little squares of fat-free green tea and soy milk cakes (incidentally, our toddler, T adored their strawberry version). And since I was slightly obsessed with tasting matcha lattes on this trip (mostly thanks to my culinary goddess of a sister-in-law’s frequent mentions of how she loves having them at Starbucks in Tokyo), I decided to be adventurous and try a kinako latte. Before I knew it, I was hooked! Continue Reading →

Family Food: Buttermilk Pancakes

buttermilk pancakes

Fluffy and tasty even on their own, these are our house pancakes. I’d even pack a whisk into my suitcase just to be able to serve these buttermilk pancakes when we’re travelling.  They’re that easy to make. And they’re that good!

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Pantry Basics: Homemade Tomato Sauce

Homemade tomato sauce

You’ll ditch store-bought options once you realise how little it takes to make a seriously yummy tomato sauce of your own! This is my favourite tomato sauce recipe. It’s easy to make, incredibly tasty and relatively inexpensive. I’m a firm believer of layering flavours. And with a jar of this tomato sauce sitting in the fridge or freezer, part of the work of throwing a meal together is already done.

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Pantry Basics: Kinpira Carrot (金平人参)

kinpira

Kinpira carrot, stir-fried grated carrot seasoned with soy and sugar, was one of the dishes I learnt to cook at the Haru Cooking Class on our last trip to Kyoto. I know it probably isn’t high on your list of dishes to master, but it’s a delicious, quintessentially Japanese vegetable side dish which has opened my eyes to how home cooked Japanese meals are actually put together. And I simply love it. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Johnny Iuzzini's vanilla ice cream recipe

I’ve tried a host of vanilla ice cream recipes, but love this one—based on Johnny Iuzzini’s in Dessert Fourplay—best for making the vanilla ice cream that I have in our freezer at all times. It’s the first ice cream my son, T ever tasted. His little eyes lit up and he grinned in excitement when he registered its flavour, texture and temperature all at once for the very first time. That moment was truly priceless. Continue Reading →

Family Food: Whole Wheat Chocolate Cookies

cookies and milk

These whole wheat chocolate cookies are my toddler’s favourite baked goods of the moment. I serve them to him plain. But CH likes them with Amedei’s chocolate-hazelnut cream, Nutella, or a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Bubble Solution

Best ever bubble solution

With a toddler in the house, the ability to whip up a bubble solution on the fly with ingredients from your pantry is a boon. It means mom can mix up a quick batch of bubble solution while said toddler naps without ever having to leave home (although the solution works best after it has been aged overnight). Anyone who has had to hang on to a curious toddler with a mind of his own and the uncanny ability to squirm out of your grip will understand how shopping with a toddler in tow can sometimes be a physical challenge. Continue Reading →