Anne Wightman, a member of the training team for NMS Docent Training made this multiple flavoured, grainy and of course aesthetically so pleasing cake during one of the early days of our training. She has gladly shared her recipe here. Her original recipe did not have rose flavor but I added it into the syrup because pistachios and rose somehow just go together.
Ingredients (for a 21cm high cake)
75gm unsalted butter, softened
75ml canola oil
175gm shelled pistachios
50gm unsweetened desiccated coconut
125 gm plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
A pinch of salt
4 medium eggs, room tempertaure
200gm castor sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (keep the lemon for juice)
3 rounded tbsps of sour cream
Ingredients (for the syrup)
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
3tbsps caster sugar
200ml cold water
1 tsp rose essence
Ingredients for decoration
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 cup dried rose petals
1) First line a 21cm round springfoam baking tin with baking paper. Butter the sides. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
2) Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat and add in the canola oil. Mix, remove from heat and leave to cool slightly.
3) Place the pitschios into a food processor and whizz until they are finely chopped. Add the coconut, flour, baking powder, and salt and process for another 10seconds just to combine.
4) Beat the eggs and sugar using an elctric mixer until they are thick and pale.
5) Gently fold in the lemon zest and the pistachio flour mixture.
6) Add in the cooled butter and oil mix and three tbsps of sour cream.
7) Pour it into the prepared baking tin. Bake for 40-50mins in the middle shelf of the oven till a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave it to cool.
8) In the meantime, prepare the syrup. Put all the ingredients into a small pot and boil until its thick and reduced by half.
9) Run a knife around the cake to release the sides from the tin. Remove from tin and place on a cake holder. Using a skewer, make holes all over the top of the cake for the syrup to flow in.
10) Drizzle the syrup all over the cake.
11) Get the decoration ingredients ready.
12) First sprinkle the desiccated coconut over and then top with rose petals and chopped pistachios.
13) Enjoy your hard work ! Bite into a delicious Pistachio Rose Lemon Cake with your favourite cuppa.
Eggplants are a vegetable that you need to have an acquired taste for. I realised this recently during a dinner with my friends from the National Museum of Singapore. I was surprised when a vegan friend Christine refused an Eggplant Zucchini Salad claiming that they are slimy and prickish to the tongue. Hmmm...don't entirely agree with you there, Christine. Okra is slimy I agree like what you said but this is the first time I have heard that eggplants are slimy! :) Even my teen girls don't like eggplants. They don't like broccoli either even when I make a chinese stir-fry weekly. But that's a whole new story with teens and their taste buds. Moms with teens will agree on this one.
This recipe is a simple Meditarranean stirfry incorporating the eggplants with celery, tomatoes and onions and served with either hummus, quinoa or brown basmati rice. I happened to have a packet of Tilda ready-made quinoa and brown basmati rice mix (see pic below) from London, purchased during my holiday recently. (Gosh, I miss London. Again, that's another story.) Alternatively, you can make your own quinoa or brown basmati rice but do cook them in veg broth instead of plain water for an added flavor.
Ingredients (for 2-3 servings)
4 tbsps EVOO for grilling eggplants
2 tbsps EVOO for the stew
I big dark purple eggplant roughly 200gm
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 celery stick, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced or pounded
1 can 400gm tinned tomatoes
2 tbsps capers, rinsed
6-8 olives, rinsed and sliced or left whole
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
A handful of coriander leaves, chopped roughly
Quinoa & Basmati Rice
1/2 cup tricolor quinoa
1/2 cup brown basmati rice, soaked for 30mins
2.5 cups veg broth (homemade or storebought)
Salt if needed
1) Cut the eggplants into medium chunks and sprinkle some salt over the eggplants to remove the bitter juices. Leave aside for 10 mins.
2) Prepare the other ingredients. Onion, celery and garlic, black olives, capers, coriander leaves and toasted pine nuts and lastly tinned tomatoes.
3) After 10 mins, pour the 4 tbsps EVOO onto a skillet and start grilling the eggplants. Drain on paper towel and keep aside.
4) In the same skillet, add 2 more tbsps EVOO and start frying the onion and garlic.
5) After 2-3 mins, add the sliced celery.
6) After another 3 mins of stirring, add the tinned tomatoes and stir to mix again.
7) Now, add in the capers and olives. Isn't it already looking so so delicious ??
8) Add in the grilled eggplants and season with salt and chilli flakes. Let the stew cook for 10 mins on low heat. Stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the base of the skillet.
9) Meanwhile, cook the quinoa and basmati rice in veg broth in your rice cooker. I cooked the pre packaged Tilda quinoa and basmati rice mix and it took only 2 mins in microwave. This is how it looks. Don't judge by its blah look - it is really tasty.
10) After 10-12 mins, when the eggplants have stewed well with the rest of the ingredients, switch off the fire. Serve the egg plant stew on a bed of quinoa and brown basmati rice. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and coriander leaves. Serve warm.
Who would have thought mashing boiled individual baby potatoes and then baking them with butter, condiments and cheese would give us a delicious potatoe side dish? That's what we are going to get from this quick recipe. unbelievably easy and unbelievably yummm....
Ingredients (for 4 servings)
10 baby red potatoes
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps garlic granules
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
A handful of English Parsley chopped and extra for garnish at the end
1) Boil the potatoes in salted water for 20 mins.
2) Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. Grease a flat baking tray.
3) Melt the butter and then mix with the olive oil.
4) Drain the potatoes, pat dry with kitchen paper and place them on the baking tray. Slowly mash each of them flat.
5) Top each with the melted butter and olive oil mix. Season with salt & pepper. Bake for 20 mins.
6) In the meantime, mix the parmesan with the chopped parsley.
7) Remove the smashed potatoes and now top with this parmesan & parsley mix, garlic granules and drizzle some more butter olive oil mix.
8) Put back into the oven for another 10 mins to become all crispy and golden brown. Serve warm, garnished with extra parsley. Didn't I say EASY? :)
An easy french toast recipe that allows you to whip up these sweet delicious protein rich bread triangles in minutes!
Ingredients (3 servings)
3 slices of bread, cut into triangles
1/2 cup fresh milk
2 tbsps caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
1)Mix all the ingredients and whisk them till well combined.
2) Dip each triangle into the egg batter and let it soak for a few minutes.
3) Heat a skillet and swig a little canola oil.
4) Fry the dipped bread triangles in batches.
5) You can have them on their own or serve with honey and whipped cream too!
There are tons of pancake recipes out there. Why is this recipe so special? Well, this recipe is from my sister June who passed it to me years ago. It has been very well received for years in my family and friends. It’s a simple basic recipe for fluffy soft melt in your mouth pancakes and so many other variations can be made out of this one basic recipe. Like you could add mashed bananas, blueberries or raspberries or choc chips etc. I added chop chips this time round at the request of my younger Daughter Riya.
Ingredients ( for 6 pancakes)
1 cup self raising flour
2 tbsps caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup fresh milk
2tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Other additions ( Optional)
1) Mix all the dry ingredient first and then add all the wet ingredients.
Get a pancake pan ready and when hot, grease it with a mix of butter and canola oil. Pour the batter in and add the chop chips on TOP. Drizzle a few drops of butter and canola oil mix.
2) When the bottom looks light brown, flip over and let it brown on the other side.
Enjoy with a drizzle of maple syrup on top and butter on the side.
For those who are following my food blog, you'll know that I have a habit of taking a non vegetarian dish and making it vegetarian or vegan. If I can take pride in my culinary skills, its mostly a success. You can see my posts under Skinny Vegetarian Laksa or Skinny Tofu Rendang to see what I mean.
This recipe that I have posted today is no exception. I saw a recipe for a Stir Fried Beef with Ginger and Scallion and decided to try the recipe with firm tofu cubes instead. It turned out quite well when I experimented today. But I missed a bit of heat in th dish. So, I have added bird's eye chilli to the ingredients, but do remember that its optional if you prefer a less intense dish. Serve this with a bowl of Jasmine rice and condiments on the side and it makes a light satisfying Chinese vegetarian dinner.
Ingredients (serves 4)
300gm firm tofu cut into triangles
For the Marinade
2 tsps corn flour
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsps water
1/4 tsp pepper
4 tbsps canola oil
1 onion, sliced
5-6 pieces sliced ginger
1 bird's eye chilli, sliced (optional)
2 tbsps vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
3 stalks of spring onion, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup water
2 tbsps Chinese wine
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 stalk of spring onion cut into 2 inch stalks
A few onion rings
A few bird's eye chilli slices
1) Mix all the ingrdients for the marinade in a bowl.
2) Cut the firm tofu into triangles (or cubes if you prefer) and pour in the marinade. Let it sit in the marinade for 20 mins. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables and get all the sauces and garnishes ready.
3) After 20 mins, heat a wok or a skillet and pour in the canola oil. When heated sufficiently, add the marinated tofus. Be careful the oil will splatter because of the water in the marinade.
4) Flip over the tofu pieces till all the sides of all the tofu pieces are browned nicely. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain the oil.
5) With the same oil in the wok or the skillet, add in the sliced onions and start to fry till translucent.
6) The sliced ginger pieces go in next. Fry for 2 mins.
7) Add in the white parts of the spring onion and the following sauces :
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsps Chinese wine
1/2 cup water
8) Now, add in the marinated tofu pieces. Turn it over constanly and let it cook in the sauce for 10 mins on low heat. Add in the rest of the spring onions just before turning off the fire.
9) Switch off fire and serve with a bowl of rice. Garnish with more spring onion, a few rings of onion, topped with bird's eye chilli and a sprinkle of roasted sesame seeds.
I was about to post about Cheesy Baked Rice (my earlier post) when I realised that the stir fried spinach and mushrooms which I use as a filling can be a dish on its own. Simple to whip up and again simply delicious, it will make a perfect side dish at any meal or a get together. I'm sure you are already aware that spinach will wilt and reduce in quantity when cooked, so increase accordingly for a larger group of people. The mushrooms I have used in this recipe are the Narcissus brand canned button mushrooms very commonly used in Asia. You can, of course, easily substitute them with fresh button mushrooms. Last note, chilli flakes are completely optional.
Ingredients (for 2 as a side dish)
2 tbsps butter
2 tbsps olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
200 gm mushrooms, drained from tin and washed
100gm baby spinach, washed
Salt & Pepper
1/2 tsp Chilli flakes ( optional )
1) Heat a skillet and melt the butter. Add in the olive oil. When heated start frying the minced garlic.
2) Once lightly browned, add in the button mushrooms. If you are using the canned version, they have already been boiled so they need only 3-5 mins of frying. However, if you are using the fresh kind, you may need to fry longer till the mushrooms are cooked and their water evaporated and the skillet is mostly dry.
3) Now, add in all the spinach and cook till wilted. Add salt and pepper. Check for heat before adding in the chilli flakes.
4) Switch off fire and serve warm.
What could be more inviting on a cold rainy evening? Something heartwarming and soupy with an equally warm buttery toast? Or something cheesy, warm and tummy satisfying golden brown baked rice straight from the oven?
My close friends know I have recently embarked on a gluten-free diet. It will be 4 weeks on Sat 10 Feb. Not so much to lose weight or anything but more to see if my bowels will improve. You see, I have had Crohn's disease for the longest of time. Since I was 18 and after 28 year later and countless steroids and other anti-inflammatory medicine which didn't work, I have decided to see if changes in diet can make a difference. After this one month, I have lost close to 1 kg (which is a bonus) but my bowels ...hmm..it seems better only slightly. You think its too soon to tell? I know I'm not allergic to wheat when I did a blood test years ago. Probably won't make a big difference when it concerns my bowels but I do feel lighter around my belly area. My clothes fit better and friends have noticed I seem to have better skin and lost a bit of weight. Yay me!
You know what I miss the most with this GF diet? Not the scones nor the cakes. It’s my breads. No more toasts with my milk tea when I frequent my favourite cafe Killineys @ Siglap. No more nutty fragrant breads with mushroom soup at Cedele. I tried GF breads - it tasted awful. Rather go without them! When I make sandwiches for my girls in the morning for their school lunches, I'm so tempted to tear a piece and pop it in. After all, no one is awake at home besides me in that crazy ungodly early 5am mornings. No one will know right? Soft on the inside but crusty on the outside bread...Sigh. But so far I have not given into my temptations. I'll perservere and see how it goes.
Anyway, since I can't eat pasta because of the durum wheat ( I have tried other types of pasta but it just didn't taste right!), I had to substitute pasta with rice in this recipe. You know how they say necessity is the mother of all inventions? So, I remembered the baked mushroom rice from Pastamania a restaurant I frequent. I decided to replicate it as best as I could based on my memory and my tastebuds. This is definitely one of those dishes that doesn't require much time or effort. So, give it a go and be surprised at its simplicity but yet at its deliciousness :)
Ingredients (for 2 as a main meal)
1 cup of uncooked rice
2 cups of vegetable broth
2 tbsps butter
2 tbsps olive oil
6-8 cloves garlic
1 tin (200gm) button mushrooms (Narcissus brand)
100gm baby spinach, washed
Salt & Pepper
2.5 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1) Preheat your oven to 180 deg C. Cook the rice with the veg broth as you would usually cook it. Keep aside once cooked.
2) Heat a skillet and melt the butter and add the olive oil. Add the minced garlic.
3) Fry for 2-3 mins, till light brown.
4) Add the mushrooms and fry a little. Note that they have already been boiled before being canned and therefore need minimum frying time.
5) Now add the washed spinach and cook till wilted. Add the seasonings. Switch off the fire and keep aside.
6) Mix the cheddar cheese with the cooked rice.
7) Butter the baking casserole you'll be using. Tip the cheese rice mix over into your baking casserole. I just got this gorgeous terracotta coloured Jamie Oliver's baking dish. I just had to use it for this post!
8) Mix the cooked spinach and mushrooms into this cheesy rice. Mix well. Check for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
9) Flatten it with back of the spoon.
10) Top it off with mozzarella cheese and bake in the middle shelf of your oven till golden brown roughly 30-40 mins.
Enjoy heartwarming Baked Cheesy Rice with the goodness of spinach and mushrooms.
Yes, my recipe for these energy balls is my 200th recipe!! Surprising isn’t it? My family went ‘It’s time to publish a cookbook!’ I have been trying to publish one but somehow something comes up and it never gets underway. The cost of publishing any book is quite high and me being so busy with my docent training now, I don’t have time to even doll up myself of when I go out like I used to in the past!
These no bake energy balls are Super easy to roll up and were made for those with a gluten-free diet and for those who need a quick energy pick me up. They are made with natural ingredients and with no added sugar or hidden sugars. My Husband has started on this gluten free diet in an attempt to lose weight. He has successfully lost 7 kgs in the last 6 months! He is quite a lean machine now. :))
These balls can be kept for a week, if refrigerated.
Ingredients ( makes 20 small balls)
1cup instant oats
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
6-8 prunes chopped small
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsps Chia seeds
2tbsps coconut oil
1/2 cup honey ( if you want slightly sweeter energy balls)
Some desiccated coconut ( optional)
1) Put every ingredient except the desiccated coconut in a mixing bowl.
2) Mix everything up.
3) Place them in the refrigerator for 30 mins and then roll them up into balls.
4) You can decorate them with a little desiccated coconut or eat them just like that.
Black eyed peas like any other beans or pulses are packed with protein. I had not made a curry using these black eyed peas for quite some time. I had just bought a packet at a neighbourhood fresh food market yesterday morning with plans to cook it one of these days and by chance I was able to have these peas for lunch at my fellow docent trainee and friend's house. Urvashi is from Washington DC but she should be a mascot for Singapore. She loves the different cultures, the amazing weather, the wide variety of food and the ease of getting around so easily in Singapore because of our excellent public transport system. No wonder she plans to get her own place soon.
Upon entering her museum like apartment on the 17th floor of her condominium in the east of Singapore, the jaw dropping fabulous view of the sea blew me away!
She served us pink lemonade and vegetable pakoras in skewers dipped in mint coriander chutney. Then, it was followed by a scrumptious lunch all home made. Dry spiced cauliflowers, Cottage cheese curry, black eyed peas curry and a unique lemongrass eggplant dish. She had also prepared butter chicken for the non vegetarians. We finished our lunch with cold strawberries dipped in melted chocolate and a rose flavored ice cream garnished with betel leaf strips and dried rose petals. Such ingenious ideas for dessert! I should have taken photos. Then, you'll know what I mean.
Urvashi was kind enough to share her recipes. I decided to post the recipe of the black eyed peas curry here because it was quite simple and so straightforward.
Ingredients (for 4)
1 cup of dried black eyed peas soaked overnight.
2 tbsp canola oil
for tempering the oil - 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamoms and 1 bay leaf
1 large onion, chopped small
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 green chilli, sliced
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder ( Everest or Kitchen King brand)
1/2 cup tomato paste
some coriander leaves, chopped
1) Wash and boil the black eyed peas with some salt for 5 minutes in pressure cooker. Otherwise, you can boil in a small pot but it might take longer. Drain and set aside.
2) Pour 2 tbsp canola oil in a medium saucepan, then temper the dry spices. Remove these spices and discard. Keep the oil.
3) In the same pot, fry the chopped onion, ginger garlic paste and sliced green chilli.
4) Upon turning translucent, not brown, add in the spice powders and fry till oil separates.
5) Then add the tomato paste and fry further. After 5 minutes , switch off the flame and then add a tbsp of this delicious curry paste into the cooked black eyed peas. Add some water and then check for salt.
Hi guys! I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.