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Posts Tagged ‘food’

The last time I blogged…

I was 22 years old and about to embark on what remains the biggest adventure of my life – 4 months and thousands of miles from home in beautiful Switzerland. 2 years on, I continue to look back on that period of time with great fondness.

What brings me back here 2 years later? Well… nothing very profound. I just wanted to show off my latest baking creations made for Christmas – cranberry, orange & walnut muffins!

I remember spending Christmas season in Switzerland and all the European girls started getting busy in the kitchens baking all sorts of wonderful Christmas cookies. Inspired, I recently visited a blog I used to frequent which houses some of the simplest but most delectable recipes that helped me survive on edible food abroad – http://www.noobcook.com.

Wiffy, the blogger, takes wonderful pictures of her successful recipes and painstakingly provides easy-to-follow instructions that come with timely tips and cautions on what to do or not to do when cooking. As a result, my attempts from following her recipes have ALWAYS been successful.

I am deeply indebted to Wiffy for preventing me from dying of hunger or bankruptcy in Switzerland, the latter if I had to eat out for all my meals.

Now back in Singapore, I’ve come a long way these past 2 years, having graduated and learning a great deal at my current place of work. It’s a lull month in December and I’ve had the luxury of time to spend the afternoon shopping for ingredients at the bloody crowded NEX mall across the street and tottering around the kitchen. It was a great opportunity to relive the joys of baking/cooking from my days in Bern.

I’ve modified Wiffy’s Christmas muffin recipe by substituting pecans with walnuts, and decreasing the amount of sugar slightly. I was walking around Cold Storage looking for pecans and actually found some. Alas, to my horror they cost $9.45 for a 150g packet.

So I grabbed the walnuts.

An hour later, my very own Christmas muffins were ready to meet the world.

*meekly* “tadahhhh…” *spirit fingers*

Domo, as usual, strikes in the presence of delish muffins, now dusted with icing sugar for added Christmas-ness.

“Just like the good ‘ol days when I preyed on Jean’s blueberry muffins”, Domo thought to himself. Here’s photographic evidence of the assault from last June:

Next kitchen project? I’m thinking some cranberry sauce, and to go with that, a nice, juicy roast chicken. *slurp*

Happy Holidays ya’ll and God bless!

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Kitchen Non-Disaster #2

Made some pasta bolognese for lunch today.

Yeah I used the same large-shell pasta as the last time.. I know this is usually cooked with spaghetti, but cannot finish my pasta what! Very big packet leh. I used ground beef, carrots and Hunt’s diced tomatoes for this dish.

Do you know how “bolognese” is pronounced? It’s not “boh-log-neese“.. It’s pronounced “boh-log-ngie-zeh“.

So now I have two dishes to tide me through my months in Bern. Hopefully I can cook this with red wine when I’m there.

Here’s the wiki entry for the bolognese sauce and it explains its origins and actual ingredients used. They usually simmer the sauce for one hour on very low heat, but fuel is too precious now to waste on a simple lunch, so I made do with 5 minutes. HAHA. It still tasted nice!

BY THE WAY, speaking of food, rice is getting really expensive these days. Singapore’s ample supply is no excuse to waste. So PLEASE, when you eat out, and you know you have a tendency not to finish the large amounts of rice usually served, please ask for less rice. It’s just two words “FAN SHAO”. Not very difficult at all. You may think your effort will not mean a lot, but the aggregate effect of every Singaporean doing this will have a significant impact on a more just rice distribution around the region.

The reason is simple. We eat less, we’ll import less. What is happening now is that exporting countries like Vietnam and Thailand are putting up export bans to ensure self sufficiency. If we can help import less, there will be more exportable rice left for our fellow rice-importing neighbours like the Philippines.

Think about the poor in the slums there, selling their kidneys for cash. The rice price hike has induced a large black market for rice there and many are not able to afford their staple and are starving. Please do your part. Rice is precious and we are very fortunate to have enough to eat. Let’s not abuse this privilege by wasting food.

That’s why I’m cooking pasta.

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Kitchen Non-Disaster #1

Tried cooking some self-invented pasta today because I’ve been so sick of eating out. Used my poor brother as a guinea pig for my kitchen adventure. Out of my magnanimous heart I decided to post the recipe online for you.. yes.. you lonely friend studying overseas, cooking your own meals. Amounts stated in the recipe serves 2. Here goes:

Chicken Tomato Pasta Thingy

  (Click for larger images)

Approx. cooking time: 30 mins
Level of difficulty: If I can do it, anyone can.

Ingredients:
Chicken breast fillet (3 slices)
Fresh tomatoes (2 regular sized ones)
Pasta (100g) (Note: its ENOUGH. its alot alot. i used the large shell ones and all the liao4 got lodged in them. mmm! :p)
Garlic (finely chopped, 1 tbs)
Onion (finely chopped, 1 tbs or for me, much more)
Grated Parmesean Cheese ($7?!?!?!?! *$%^&!%@*@#!!!)
Black Pepper
Salt
Italian herbs
Margarine (1 tbs)

Directions:

  1. Go NTUC to get ingredients needed. Jostle with aunties while queueing up at cashier. Patience is optional but desirable. BRING YOUR RECYCLING BAG PLEASE.
  2. Dice chicken fillet and marinate them in salt and pepper. I personally marinated it with some ketchup and the effect is great.
  3. Boil a pot of water for your pasta. While water boils, proceed to step 4.
  4. Dice tomatoes. Also chop your garlic and onion. Ready-made chopped garlic is available at all leading supermarket stores. For the onions, try to look away once in awhile while chopping.
  5. If water has reached boiling point, put the pasta in. You don’t have to put the lid on or it’ll bubble up and make a mess.
  6. Heat up frying pan. Turn it down to low heat and melt about 1 tbs of margarine/butter. Add chopped garlic and onion and enjoy the heavenly smell as you sauté them.
  7. Add diced chicken and a little bit of water so the pieces do not clump together. Stir fry till they are almost cooked. Then add in diced tomatoes and mix well. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and let it simmer.
  8. If pasta is cooked, take it out and run it through cold water. Then drain it and leave it aside.
  9. The simmering is done when the tomatoes have softened. Then add in pasta and mix it around abit. If you’re feeling obssessive, try to lodge one piece of tomato or chicken into each pasta.
  10. Turn the heat off and mix in some grated parmesean cheese till the pasta turns a little gooey from the melted cheese. Garnish with some italian herbs and serve hot. 
  11. Extra step: After eating, make someone else do the dishes for you. Also, as a tip, leave the pan to soak before washing as it can be quite sticky from the cheese. 

Bon appétit. =)

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