While browsing Christine’s blog, I came across this recipe to make muffins with glutinous rice flour, rather than the typical wheat flour. Apparently, the texture would be a bit chewy, like mochi. As I love mochi, I was intrigued as what the result would be like so I made a batch with green tea and chocolate flavour. Now that I have tried them, I can say that the texture was rather unusual. It wasn’t particularly chewy, just very strange. I wouldn’t say it was a bad recipe – in fact the muffins looked quite nice with a light shade of green and speckled with chocolate shavings. If you would like to try something out of the ordinary, this is the recipe for you.

This is the recipe that I used, with the addition of dark chocolate shavings.

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Despite loving all things dessert, I never really liked the American style cheesecake. I found it too filling, too thick and creamy and I didn’t like the sourness. It was like really rich yogurt. However, having tried the Japanese style many years ago, I was an instant convert and I don’t know why it has taken this long to try and make it myself. The first time I made it was with a couple of friends and we divided it by four. I usually don’t make the same recipe more than once, but the cake was such a delight I made it again on the following weekend to bring to a friend’s house. So on the third consecutive weekend, I was resolute that I will make one just for myself – there was no chance I was sharing this one! That is how good this cheesecake is. Because it is so light and and fluffy, it doesn’t take much effort to consume it all in one go.

The recipe that I used was from Christine’s recipes. I used this one because it seemed like the simplest and I found her tips extremely useful. I think that the most important point is to make sure the water bath is topped up with water, so the cake is cooked with gentle heat. If you bake it without the water bath, you will find that the cheesecake becomes gummy. Another point to note is to cool the cake down in the oven by leaving the door slightly ajar for 10 minutes before fully removing the cake from the oven.

This is her recipe.

Spring is here, which means warmer weather and bountiful veggies. Among my favourites is the zucchini. I like the sweetness and how good it can taste even with minimal cooking. This recipe was on my to-make list for a while, so I jumped at the chance when we had a party for a friend who was about to be ordained as priest. Like pikelets, these look best if they are uniform, but if you’re anything like me, I have yet to master the art of uniform blobs of batter in the fry pan. Fear not, these are so delicious I am sure there will be another opportunity to practise my ladelling and flipping skills so that my fritters will be round like the moon.

Recipe Notes:

  • The recipe called for 3 zucchinis, but I used 2.
  • I omitted the shallot, parsley, oregano and nutmeg because I am averse to herbs and spices.
  • The fritters took 8 minutes to cook each side, rather than 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Next time, I would add more flour, because I found the fritters were too soft
  • I served this with homemade┬átzatziki. The flavour pairing is so good!

Zucchini Fritters (from Good Taste Magazine)
Makes 16

3 (about 400g) medium zucchini
75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
40g (1/2 cup) parmesan, finely grated
3 shallots, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup fresh continental parsley, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tsp olive oil

Trim the ends from zucchini. Coarsely grate the zucchini. Place in a colander and squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in self-raising flour, parmesan, shallots, egg, parsley, oregano, salt and nutmeg.

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Drop four 2-tablespoonful measures of zucchini mixture into pan. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with 2 tsp olive oil and remaining zucchini mixture.

Tzatziki

1/2 cucumber, small dice
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced

Mix together and serve with patties. Any leftover can be used as dip.

I have subscribed Delicious magazine since March this year and this is the first recipe I am making from it. It’s taken four months but here it is. This recipe is Ben O’Donoughue’s recipe from the March 2012 issue, and when I first looked at it back in March, it didn’t strike me as particularly appealing, but after re-reading this issue a week ago, I paused at it for a long time and decided to give it a go. I think the recipe caught my eye because the pancake is made from rice and coconut milk, which I’d never seen before. The chickpea and sweet chill combination also sounded pretty enticing! The pancakes are also pretty easy to make, which is remarkable coming from me, seeing as I am not adept at the flipping action.

I have adapted the recipe to suit the items I had in the pantry.

Crispy rice pancakes with potato and chickpeas
Serves 4

1/2 cup cooked long-grain rice
1 cup plain flour
1 cup coconut milk
2 potatoes, peeled, cut into 1.5cm pieces
1 tbs sunflower oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger
200g canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, blanched, refreshed

Place the rice, flour, coconut milk and 1 cup of water in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Transfer to a jug, season with salt, then cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Place potato in a pan of cold, salted water. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 4 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a frypan over medium-high heat. Cook cumin, stirring, for 1 minutes or until fragrant. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes until onion starts to soften. Add ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add potato and chickpeas and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until potato is just golden. Add tomato and peas, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season, then remove from heat and keep potato filling warm.

Heat a lightly greased pan over medium-high heat. Ladle 1/2 cup batter into the pan, spreading it with the back of the ladle. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden underneath. Spoon one-quarter of the filling over half the pancake, then use a palate knife to turn the uncovered half of the pancake over the filling. Slide onto a warm plate.

Repeat with remaining batter and filling to make 4 pancakes. To serve, drizzle with sweet chilli sauce.

I find that muesli bars a a quick way to satisfy a rumbling stomach. The only problem is, with the amount of sugar in some of the commercial muesli bars, they should be classified as candy bars. Having said that, I’ve eaten my fair share, and I can’t believe it has taken this long to dawn on me that I should make my own. However, after seeing this recipe, I was enlighted, and proceeded to make healthy, delicious muesli bars without any artificial flavourings and ingredients which I don’t know how to pronounce. These are great for breakfast and as a snack any time of the day.

My recipe is based on Laurie’s
recipe on Carpe Season. I have adapted it to suit what I had in the pantry.

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

Makes 8 square bars

INGREDIENTS
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cups corn flakes
1/3 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
1 cup dried fruit ( I used dried apricots and dates)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup maple syrup (I’m a fan of 100% pure maple syrup)
1/4 cup peanut butter (I used natural peanut butter – ie 100% peanuts)
1/4 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 180c.

Line a square baking tin with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, including the nuts and dried fruit. Mix with a spoon.

In a separate bowl, mix together the maple syrup, peanut batter and water. If the peanut butter is a little stiff, heat the mixture in a saucepan until melted. Pour the wet ingredients over and dry and stir with a wooden spoon.

Pour the granola mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it down with a spoon. Place into the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes.

The granola bars will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

I hope you’re not thinking “Not another cake!” because I will never tire of cakes. Plus, I haven’t used sour cream in cakes before, so this is a first for me. As you can see from the recipe, simplest cake ever. I haven’t done this yet, but I’d imagine it’ll be perfect for morning or afternoon tea. If only I could do that everyday!

Sour Cream Apple Cake
Makes 1 medium sized cake

1/2 cup plain flour
1 1/4 SR flour
1 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup roasted almonds (chopped coarsely)
3 apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs (lightly beaten)

1. Sift flours, sugar and cinnamon together. Mix in almonds, apples, milk, sour cream and eggs. Mix until just combined.
2. Line tin with baking paper and pour batter in.
3. Bake for 1 hour.

Can you tell I really like burritos? This is my second post on them within 1 month?!

This was my dinner on Friday night, and I made it around nine thirty at night, because I was so full from the birthday cake we had at work.

Just to branch off a bit, the cake was the Hazelnut Praline Mud Cake from Le Petite Gateau. It was indeed very rich (not that I had a problem with that) and delicious (they always are!) However, the icing was maroon. Not sure what was going on there – perhaps the chef got a bit excited and went overboard with the red colouring?

Back to my burritos – I borrowed the idea from Old El Paso’s Crispy chicken seasoning for soft tacos. I wanted to make something like it, but wasn’t keen on using packet mix for the coating, so I made my own recipe. Cornflakes is really good for this, because you get the crispy coating without having to deep fry it. It was so much fun to brainstorm – just add whatever you fancy and crushing it in your hands. It’s good for stress relief. Coating the chicken was an interesting experience – I hadn’t done anything that made a mess of my hands for a long while. The last time I did this must have been in my food technology class in high school when I was making tuna patties. Ahhh..happy memories.

I started off being diligent (ie coating the chicken one by one first in the flour, then egg, then cornflake mixture), but towards the end, I wanted to speed things up, so I tipped several pieces of chicken into the flour, then all into the egg, then rolled them around in the cornflake bowl. What I discovered was, when they were still raw, the pieces coated individually looked neat, and the ones done in batches looked quite messy. However, once they were cooked, you can’t tell the difference between them. I’m not sure whether I was lucky and whether that is normal.

I also made a capsicum/tomato/rice mixture to fill the burrito. This name will have to do while I think of a better name to call it. It was something I picked up while I was in the US eating Chipotle. I was intrigued by the addition of rice, and discovered it’s not such a bad idea! My version is probably not conventional, but I can testify that it is tasty! Another tip I discovered was not to cover the pan when cooking the capsicum, because they will lose their vibrant green. There is also no need to add water to the pan.

Assembly is quite easy. All that’s left is to tuck in!

Crispy Chicken Burrito
Serves 4

4 Burritos (warm in microwave for 20 seconds)
Hotsauce
Sour cream

Optional:
Shredded Cheese
Avocado mixed with lime juice and cilantro
Lettuce

Crispy Chicken:

2 chicken thighs/ breasts
3 cups corn flakes
1 1/2 tsp paprika (I used smoked paprika for a more intense flavour)
1 tsp salt
A few shakes of pepper
1/2 cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Trim fat off chicken and cut into strips
2. Mix cornflakes, paprika, salt and pepper in a bowl and crush using hands. It should be well crushed but not powdery.
3. Place the flour on a plate, and egg in another plate.
4. Coat the chicken strips lightly in the flour, then transfer into the egg, then lastly into the cornflake mixture, pressing the cornflakes onto the chicken.
5. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. In batches, cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden. Transfer onto a plate and cover with tea towel to keep warm.

Capsicum, tomato rice filling:
1 medium sized capsicum (diced)
1 tomato (diced)
1 cup cooked rice
Salt and pepper

1. Fry capsicum and tomato in pan for 2 minutes.
2. Add rice and cook for an additional minute. Season to taste.

To assemble – there are no rules on how you should do this, but this is my version:
1. Place burrito on dish, layer with capsicum mixture and sprinkle with hotsauce.
2. Arrange chicken pieces on top and dollop with sour cream. Wrap up and enjoy!


(Photos above from Pinterest)

Posting is going to be sporadic for the next month or so, as my studies are becoming more hectic. However, I do have the time to share these links.

Even though it’s winter at the moment, these pina colada ice pops would be irrestible. The bright colours of the pops makes me happy!

Saw this article via Nubbytwiglet . Getting by with just working 5 hours a day – is that possible?

Currenty hooked on Pinterest . I always knew it was there, but I’ve only just looked into it recently. A wonderful place to procrastinate and dwindle away your afternoon!

So I hear you thinking – why am I showing you these boring pieces of flat bread? Don’t be fooled – these tortillas are bursting with flavour. They have come about from me always looking out for quick items I can take to work for breakfast, because I can be fussy in some many ways and this is one of them. I heartily dislike (someone told me never to use the word hate) having cereal and toast for breakfast – which does not leave me with many options.

So I thought of this when I was looking at the supermarket catalogue. Why not tortilla, cheese and hotsauce? Cheesy tortillas is good with soup, but by itself, it can be a little plain, so why not add hotsauce? Oh, I admit it, I know that eating a spicy tortilla at 8am in the morning is not everyone’s idea of breakfast but this is so delicious you may wish to rethink that. Your coworkers may be looking at you strangely as you hold on to your tortilla, but you’ll know you are getting carbs, calcium, protein and eh….capsaicin (found in chilli) – just what you need to start the day. Another great thing is, no washing is needed, as it is all made on the sandwich press. If you really can’t stomach it, they are great for after school, after work, with drinks and anytime you are feeling peckish.

Cheesy Hotsauce Tortilla

2 tortillas
half slice of tasty cheese
A few dashes of hotsauce

1. Turn on sandwich press. Place one tortilla on hotplate (bumpy side down).
2. Break cheese into small pieces and spread evenly on the tortilla. Splash with a few drops of hotsauce and cover with second tortilla.
3. Heat for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted. I like my tortilla to be limp, but if you prefer it to be more crispy, heat for 4-5 minutes.

This may be considered blasphemy, but my favourite cake is no longer the humble chocolate cake. I use to love love love chocolate mud cake – from Safeway, from the Cheesecake Shop – you name it, I love it and could eat a whole one all at once if my conscience allowed me to. I loved the rich taste of the cocoa and the sweet, sticky icing. This isn’t to say that I no longer like chocolate cake, but I’ve discovered that recently, my tastebuds have *ahem* matured and nowadays, I prefer fruit filled cakes, because I love the natural sweetness that the fruit imparts and also the texture of the broken down fruit that’s been baked for an hour.

This is the reason why I was a little cautious about making a chocolate pear cake. I lke chocolate, and I like pears, but at the time, I just didn’t really feel like eating a chocolate pear cake. However, I haven’t tried making a chocolate pear anything before so I decided to make it anyway, because it sounded like a sophisticated combintation. Do you find that pears have have a tendency to upgrade something really ordinary to something that sounds really fancy – like rocket and walnut salad with caramelised pear, or Roast pork with pear compote? Thinking about those makes me feel hungry.

Well, I sure didn’t regret it! This was super tasty, and I’m thinking of ways how to give it a more prominent pear flavour. If you like chocolate cakes that are still fudgey in the middle, this is for you. I used 2 pears, but the cake didn’t have any pear flavour at all, I think the chocolate overpowered it. I’ll put down the proportions I used, but feel free to play around until you get a good balance of chocolate and pear – let me know what you come up with! I used Packenham pears, because that is my favourite brand (and they were handy) but I’m sure any pear would work. The linseed meal gives a grainy texture, so if you like a smoother texture, substitute the linseed meal with plain flour. My mum also commented that the cake could be a little sweeter, so up the sugar to 1 cup if you are a sweet tooth. Personally, I prefer it not too sweet, and if you are serving this for dessert, the rich cocoa taste would be offset wonderfully with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Chocolate Pear Cake
Makes 1 Cake

1 1/4 cup linseed meal
1/2 cup Sr Flour (I used wholemeal)
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup white sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup EVOO
2 pears (cored and chopped into medium sized peieces)
100g dark chocolate (melted) (I used 50% cocoa, but you can substitute milk chocolate if that is your preference)

1. Preheat oven to moderately high at 170c. Line a 24cm round spring form tin with baking paper.
2. Sift linseed meal, flour, baking powder and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
3. Beat eggs lightly in a separate bowl and pour into flour mixture. Add pears and chocolate and stir until just combined.
4. Pour mixture into tin and bake for 45 minutes. Remember not to over cake it if you want the cake to be moist inside. Cake is cooked when skewer comes out clean.

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