Saturday, April 21, 2012

baked eggs; spicy paprika cumin pork, toasted mustard cheese bread

baked eggs; spicy paprika cumin pork, toasted mustard cheese bread

So I've had a rough couple of months. It wasn't my favorite way to start off the new academic year I must say but I'm just really glad that I've finally managed to adjust my mindset and my heart to think and feel differently. Sometimes the random things we find important initially really aren't all that important after all. And all everyone needs is time; time to see, time to rethink, time to heal. Eat good food, do the right things, love your family and your friends, exercise often. Shall stick with this simple mantra in my life.

Woke up this morning and prepared a dough of cinnamon walnut raisin bread to proof before getting to my baked eggs. NEW RAMEKINS~~~ Only AUD$6 for 6 of them. Wuuuuuut? Garage sale is love.

set up for 2!

I've been having breakfast for 1 for a mega long time. Didn't have the heart to plate up and have been eating the most random stuff off the pan. Cooking for others still fills me up with way more love and joy.

What I used!

800g mince meat (pork and veal works quite well!)
1 teaspoon of whole cumin, grounded coarsely
1 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon of oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 of a large white onion, sliced
1 bottle of pasta sauce, depending on how saucey you like it (herbs and garlic worked fine for me)

handful of grated cheese cheddar
3 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 large egg
parsley and thyme

What I did!

1) Marinate the meat with the spices and leave it side.

2) Fry the onions for a minute on medium high heat, before adding the garlic to fry for another minute. When onions and garlic are fragrant, throw in the marinated meat and fry until cooked, about 5 minutes.

3) Pour in the pasta sauce until satisfied with the consistency of the meat. I liked mine not too runny.

4) Put the mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix them well until a spread forms. Spread it on the sides of the bread and lay it on an aluminium foil tray. Smother the bread with the grated cheese and toast it at 200 deg C for 8 - 10 minutes, until bread is crisp and cheese is melted and brown.

5) At the same time, fill the ramekins up to about 3/4 of the way with the meat sauce, and top it up with some grated cheese and an egg. Put it into the oven to bake together with the bread. The baked eggs are done when the egg white is cooked. For a runnier egg yolk, push the yolk away from the walls of the ramekin and bake until the egg whites have yet to turn opaque white.

6) Serve with a sprinkle of thyme and parsley and share the love.

Pressure points and top tips! (from trial and error) =D

1) Don't overcook the meat. Flatten it out as best as you can and sear and brown it off on high heat and don't leave it to simmer.

2) Sprinkle some toasted nuts for a textural dimension. Toasted almonds or pine nuts? =D

3) Buy things from garage sales.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Daring Bakers March Challenge - Dutch Crunch Bread

Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

Whee, 3 tests down! Just had 3 tests in 2 days and man, was that crazy. Thankfully its all over for now and tralalala the study break is coming!! Absolutely can't wait for it. A much much MUCH needed break is in order!

So I've used a Hokkaido Milk Bread recipe and simply topped it up with the dutch crunch recipe. SO so so yummy. I'm not happy with how my dutch crunch topping turned out though. I think I've added too little rice flour into the mixture because it wasn't crunchy AT ALL. =( sadface. SO upsetting. I was looking forward to it so much! The milk bread was good, as usual. Sigh. Next time, next time.

with tasty cheese, smoked cheese, cucumber, tomato and rocket..

Dutch Crunch topping, enough for 12 dinner rolls.

2 tablespoons (2 packets) (30 ml) (15 gm/1⁄2 oz) active dry yeast 1 cup (240 ml) warm water (105-115o F) (41-46°C)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
1⁄2 teaspoon (21⁄2 ml) (3 gm) salt
11⁄2 cups (360 ml) (240 gm/81⁄2 oz) rice flour (white or brown; NOT sweet or glutinous rice flour) (increase by 1 cup or more for home-made rice flour)

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a whisk; beat hard to combine. The consistency should be like stiff royal icing – spreadable, but not too runny. If you pull some up with your whisk, as shown below, it should drip off slowly. Add more water or rice flour as necessary. Let stand 15 minutes. Apply to bread and bake as per bread's requirements.

Monday, March 19, 2012

i remember a time when..

vanilla cream cheese with sliced peaches, honey lemon drizzle and toasted chunks

I had less worries. I had less woes. I had less fear.

I also remember a time when I had more love in my heart. I had more faith in things and people. I cooked with love from my heart.

bread with pesto, tomato, avocado, poached eggs on balsamic reduction
I will get back into the swing of things, I promise. If not for anybody, at least for myself.


Have a good week ahead, whoever is reading this!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Daring Bakers February Challenge - Quick Bread

banana bread, with plenty of walnuts!

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

OMG I am so late and I've missed so many challenges!! Determined to complete March's challenge and post it. URGH!

lovely crumb and texture

So for the previous month, I've made a banana bread with plenty of walnuts. Bananas were expensive in Perth before I went back, at around 6 dollars a kilogram due to the floods in Queensland, where the bananas came from. I was so devastated that when I was back in Singapore, I made sure there was bananas in the house all the time since its perpetually cheap. Prices fell again this summer, back to 1.60 AUD a kilogram, which was way more reasonable and so here comes bananas in the house! =D Speaking of which, this is my first baking project in the new house!! WOOHOO! It worked! nomnomnom

I really love this banana bread, simply because my lovely friend, V.Lo mixed it for me while I watched her do it. Deft hands, dainty movements with loads of love, one can only expect the bread to taste amazing. And it did. Food from the heart always tastes better.

unknowingly finished the slices that I've cut for the photos.. oops

from Joe Pastry

2 overripe bananas, made about 3/4 cup banana
3/4 tbs buttermilk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
55g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg at room temperature
a cup of chopped walnuts, to spread on top

1. Preheat oven to 185 deg C.
2. Mash the banana, lemon juice and buttermilk together.
3. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy, pale yellow in color. Then add eggs one by one whilst beating between each addition.
4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix gently, followed by 1/2 of the banana mixture, then another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then remaining 1/2 of the banana mixture, and then the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Gently mixing after each addition. Do not overmix!
5. Leave at least a few streaks of white (flour mixture) to ensure that you do not overmix. Remember to scrape the bowl a lot! Scrape it into the pan and spread the chopped walnuts on top. Alternatively, swirl the chopped walnuts in gently with a spatula
6. Bake for an hour until firm and toothpick test comes out clean. Cool it in the pan, before slicing and enjoying!

Pressure points and top tips! (from trial and error) =D

1. Don't overmix. Leaving that few streaks of flour ensures that the gluten in the flour isn't overly activated, which would lead to a bread with tough leathery texture.

2. Use really really really ripe bananas because the flavor from the banana will be really intense.

3. Eat the batter. Its delicious.


Monday, January 16, 2012


a beautiful sunset in the evening whilst we were up in the mountains of Taiwan. if we were just 1 minute away from the spot that we stopped to get this shot, we would have never saw this sunset. it was as if the events of the day conspired to bring us to that exact moment

I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing.

Choy! But yes, I'm still alive. =)

Its a song lyric, by the way. Haha. ;)

My summer break came and went in a blink of an eye. I'm now back in Perth, preparing for the hustle and bustle of a new term. Been quite a busy holiday actually, running errands, doing chores, squeezing in some cooking and baking, went to Taiwan with my family, gained 6 kg in 6 days, had lots of fun, saw a sunset I'll never forget, moved house, made a couple of mousse cakes for birthdays, caught up with so many friends, made a couple of new friends, and caught a couple of movies. All in all, not an atypical holiday, but nonetheless the perfect holiday.

bread basket, with love. milk loaf, blueberry&pine nut&cinnamon scone, chives&cheese scone

It's interesting how much people change and/or not change during different phases of our lives. At some moments, it was like meeting a new friend all over while at others, it felt as if we've never grown up/apart at all. The familiar laughter, the crass humour, the unique antics, the discovery of new background information of the same friends, the underground scandals of the past eras, the endless gossips of the present eras, the changes in perspectives, and ending with the all too familiar sigh whilst reminiscing.

C'est la vie

scrambled eggs with seared avocados, homemade pistachio wholemeal bread, cheddar sausages. lazy Sunday brunch with family in Singapore

YES. The above was a draft composed 2 months ago. I have been THAT busy, or lazy, depending on the angle you're looking at. ;)

Shall update more consistently now! I shall give myself this commitment!

Well, school so far has been fairly good. Hits and misses but I'm somewhat coping well. Besides even if I'm not, there's always food to fall back on.

Alright I don't know what I'm blogging about anymore for this entry. Too back-dated and all. Till the next one! =)

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