Without a doubt, Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love the glittery lights and vintage ornaments on our tree, my son’s non-stop singing of his rendition of “Jingle Bells” at the top of his voice, mad shopping for presents followed by mad gift-wrapping, and most of all, catching up with extended family and close friends over endless days of gorging on rich, decadent food.
When I think of a nutritious breakfast on-the-go, muesli bars are the ideal. Compact, tasty and substantial enough to keep you filled until lunch, I keep a container of these in the fridge at all times, for a quick bite in the car when we are strapped for time in the mornings. My son loves them as an afternoon snack when he comes home from school, and because these bars are so moist, soft and chewy, I also give small bits (after taking out the nuts) to my 14 month-old daughter to nibble on when she’s peckish. Some added chocolate chips will take them into dessert territory; a healthy, yet still indulgent accompaniment to a cup of tea after dinner.
Every afternoon, between 4-5pm, I put my feet up for ten minutes to savour a slice of something sweet with my cuppa. This slot is pretty much etched in my schedule. It allows me to catch my breath and re-charge before I get on with what I call “evening mayhem”; the dinner-bath-bed routine for my two kids. On the really crazy busy days when I’m deprived of my afternoon snack, I turn into something rather scary.
I have a thing for British food personalities. Maybe I’m drawn to their accent, the way they speak with their hands and how easy they make cooking seem. Or it could just be because familiarity breeds liking; they get tonnes of airtime on TV, and their countless glossy cookbooks dominate the food section in bookstores. For whatever the reason, these guys first got me hooked on cooking and eating when I was in my teens, and today, a lot of what I do in the kitchen is still inspired by them.
A bowlful of roasted spuds would qualify as comfort food for most. My perfect potato nugget is crisp on the outside, creamy and fluffy on the inside, cooked in olive oil, and seasoned generously with sea salt and black pepper. My cheeky son, A, doesn’t quite fancy white potatoes, but absolutely adores sweet potatoes. Roasting intensifies their sweetness, turning them super caramelised and downright addictive. He prefers sweet potato fries/nuggets to steamed rice anytime, and requests for them about once a week. I’m always happy to oblige, considering how nutritious they are.
Two months ago, when we happened to have some extra Japanese cucumbers and carrots in the fridge, I thought I’d take advantage of T’s nap time to try out this quick Japanese pickle recipe. CH’s mom—who’d hung up her apron decades ago, long before I’d first met CH, and adamantly declines to cook—happened to be spending the day with T and offered to help. It was to be the first time in over a decade of marriage that I got the chance to cook alongside my mother-in-law.
One of the easiest ways to impress friends, when entertaining at home, is by making a souffle. Souffles, as anyone who has made them will attest, can be a total pain in the butt. Dessert souffles especially are tricky and can lead to embarrassment and failure if not executed perfectly. Over the years, however, S and I have realized that savoury souffles are considerably easier to make, and a slightly fallen cheese souffle is fine, whereas a limp and soggy chocolate souffle is simply icky.
S’s favourite savoury souffle (to make at home, that is) is a zucchini souffle. She really likes that the mixture can pretty much be assembled ahead of time—save for the whisking of the egg whites (and, of course, the baking). I think she also likes that this dish is somewhat healthy. Well, once you get past all the egg and cheese, it is technically a vegetable course.
Huge apologies that it’s taken me so long to put up a new post. S and I have been back from Bhutan for just 5 days and it feels like we haven’t even begun to […]
For Chinese New Year, friends of ours gave us a lovely selection of locally cultivated mushrooms from Mycofarm. They were irresistibly beautiful. The tall willow mushrooms were lusciously brown and the Hiratake oyster mushrooms were […]