Blueberry season is clearly in full swing, with hundreds of punnets piled high in the shops anywhere you look. Because they are so fresh and cheap, I’ve been buying them non-stop for the last few weeks. In fact, there is exactly a kilogram of blueberries in my fridge right now. We popped blueberries straight into our mouths and layered in granola and yogurt parfaits. I have made blueberry compotes, cheesecake and tarts.
When I’m skimming through a dessert menu contemplating what to have, the words that make me stop browsing and come to an immediate decision are “sticky date pudding”. I see those three magic words and I’m done. I close the menu, order and impatiently wait to indulge in my dessert. It doesn’t help that my hubby is similarly, a sticky date pudding fanatic. This basically means we have plowed through a significant number of sticky puds together, and unfortunately, only a third of them were stellar, some were stodgy and hardly any good and startlingly, many fell downright flat. Recently, I stumbled upon a sticky date pudding recipe on Nigella’s site, and registered that it’s actually a really easy dessert to make! I tucked that thought at the back of my head, and a few days later, found a bag of dates in the pantry. You can all guess what happened next.
Ever since my last trip to Bali, where I spent four idyllic days on the beach at Nusa Dua, I have been constantly thinking about going back. But this time around, I yearned for the lush hills, ravines and lurid green paddy fields of Ubud, which I have fond memories of, from my honeymoon years ago. The therapeutic effects of being enveloped by peace and tranquility was what I desperately needed to dissolve the stress of the daily hustle and bustle of the city.
My 5-year old son tried coleslaw for the first time the other day, and he absolutely loved it! I seriously don’t know what took me so long. He generally loves crunchy vegetables, and enjoys dipping cucumber and raw carrot sticks in Japanese goma dressing or Korean bean paste, arugula in vinegrette and chomping on the cold iceberg lettuce cups in Chinese restaurants that are served with steamed ginger chicken. As any mother would be, I’m thrilled by his enthusiasm about raw cabbage and carrots! But instead of drenching the vegetables in store-bought dressing, I tried my hand at making my own, and am happy to report that the slaw was a roaring success.
My brother D, is your typical meat and potatoes kinda guy. He is always hankering after a good slab of beef, and some weeks ago, for our regular Sunday dinner at my mum’s, he treated the family to some amazing Wagyu steaks. My job was to cook some sides to complement the meat. I instantly thought of having the simplest salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper) and baking up a tray of this awesome leek and potato gratin.
If there ever was a brownie recipe showdown, this is going to be the one to give all the other recipes out there a run for their money. Dark, rich, moist and fudgey, this classic brownie is a killer on its own. But with oozy salted caramel and flecks of crunchy sea salt over top, it is simply out-of-this-world.
Two months ago, I enjoyed a rejuvenating trip to Bali on my own, leaving my two jumping beans at home with the hubby. I stayed at the stunning Mulia Resort, and ate like a queen. One of the dishes that left a lasting impression on me was a beef tenderloin drenched in a delicious bagna cauda sauce at Soleil, their fine-dining Pan-Asian restaurant. During dinner, the affable and talented Executive Chef, Corky O’Connor, came over for a chat, and apart from me gushing about that sauce, we discussed our love for anchovies (especially in pasta).
I try to eat clean and green most days. But there are times when even my steely resolve can’t trump the incessant, nagging craving for a big, decadent, juicy burger (one of my favourite foods). Since I don’t indulge in burgers that often anymore, it has to be a darn good one when I finally get down to it. The Privé Group has a burger joint, Roadhouse, one minute from my kids’ school. This is a blessing, for almost instant gratification when I need a hit, and a curse for my waistline. I have eaten there four times in total. Thrice in the last ten days. This can only mean one thing- Roadhouse serves really amazing burgers.
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.
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.