This is not goodbye…

Hi all! Please do not panic after you read the title..

As I would be away for about a week and then return home and leaving home for another week, therefore this has caused little restriction in writing, hence I would be absent on this blog for a while. So kindly be patient with me as I have so much to write and I cannot wait to share it with you!

Stay tune for more in about a month time! Thank you for your understanding and till then, Take care and Ciao~

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8 things I learned by the age of 18.

8 things I learned by the age of 18,

  1. Doing things that makes me happy, not for the sake of others. Often I found myself doing things for others for their happiness, while I found little joy in doing. Therefore I learnt that I should say ‘No’ to doing something I would not enjoy.
  2. Do not hold grudges. They would only give lines on the face. 🙂
  3. The truth hurts. No matter good or bad, the truth would always hurt.
  4. Perspective. I made a little post on Perspective a while ago, from my point of view and my thoughts. And I also came to a conclusion that in order to grow and think maturely, everything has individual perspective and thoughts should be from all perspective.
  5. Be upset/mad/unhappy for only 5 seconds. Allow yourself to be in a foul mood for only 5 seconds, life is not worth to stay miserable for a long period of time.
  6. When complaining, consider the fact that others might have it worse than you. For example, I used to constantly complain about school. However on this planet, some others might not even have the chance to step into school, therefore I complained lesser, or maybe trying my best not to complain at all.
  7. Never apologize being you.
  8. It is exciting stepping out of your comfort zone. I was one who was used to be afraid of trying new things. But after a while, I thought to myself ‘If I never try I would never know’, therefore I decided to venture and try new things one step at a time. Whenever a new opportunity comes, I would be looking forward to it right now! Fear is for the weak.

As I am approaching the age of 18, I would take all this lessons with me into the future and make more mistakes and gain more knowledge on life lessons! 😀

Thank you for reading and I truly appreciate your time here. Thank you and till the next time, Ciao~

The Trilogy of Crumbles; Part I, Berry Crumble!

Hi guys! Recently, I have been baking lots of crumble, hence the trilogy. This 3 part series consist of different variation of crumbles, so without further ado, let’s get started!

To kick start this trilogy, I am sharing with you my recipe to berry crumble. I crafted the recipe out from my knowledge of food and after watching many cooking programmes. This recipe is simple and easy to eat and I am sure your family and yourself would love it.   IMG_6235 (1)

To start off this crumble recipe, I have to tell you a little something first. This is no traditional crumble recipe as I used berry sauce as the base. I did not have whole berries, but instead I had berry sauce with whole chunks of berries in it. I made the berry sauce for another occasion and had leftovers, therefore my idea to bake a berry crumble. The results were good and tasted fabulous.

{Berry sauce}

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Fresh/Frozen mixed berries (I used frozen strawberry,raspberry and blueberry)
  • About 3/4 cup sugar (Please adjust sweetness to your liking)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • Juices of half a lemon

Directions:

  1. Pour all ingredients to a saucepan and heat it over medium-low heat, while stirring occasionally. When it reach to your desired consistency, turn the heat off and leave it aside.

I heated the fruits till juices started extracting out of the fruits while the fruits remained whole.

Now, the most important part of the crumble are the crumbs! The crumbs are filled with cinnamon flavours and buttery and oh-so-yummy! They are simple and pretty darn easy!

{Crumbs for crumble!}

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts, optional
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed

Directions:

  1. Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, optional nuts, and spices in the bowl of a food processor or you could just use your hands. Pulse 5x to combine.
  2. Add cold butter cubes and pulse until butter is incorporated, 8-10 1 second pulses.
  3.  Use your hands to clump the mixture together and crumble evenly over the surface of the fruit.
    I added cinnamon and nutmeg for a taste of warmth.
    I added cinnamon and nutmeg for a taste of warmth.

    Cube butter are very important for crumble as they produce the crisps and chunks.
    Cube butter are very important for crumble as they produce the crisps and chunks.
  4. At this point you can refrigerate this for an hour or two before baking.

I saw this recipe from Jessie Monds, Fruit Crisp. I used only the recipe for the toppings as I preferred hers over others.

Here comes the fun part! Assembling the crumble! I started with the berry sauce at bottom, over a baking dish.

I had fresh blueberries in the kitchen and hence, I decided to place them above the sauce.
I had fresh blueberries in the kitchen and hence, I decided to place them above the sauce.
Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the crumble before I place it into the oven, but here's a picture of the crumble in the oven with another crumble, which recipe would be the second part of the crumble series.
Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the crumble before I place it into the oven, but here’s a picture of it in the oven with another crumble, which recipe would be the second part of the crumble series.

I baked the crumble for 30-45 minutes on a 176 degree C oven (350F). The results I got where glossy radiant purple colour with brown crispy crumble on top. The crumble went amazing with vanilla ice-cream! IMG_6258

I absolutely love this recipe and anticipating till the next time I get my hands on berries and butter!

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe as much as I do and I really could not wait till the next time, I bake berry crumble again! Till the next part of this trilogy, Ciao~

Let’s spice pasta up!

As you all may now know, I love spicy food! I would add anything spicy to spice my food up! I have to agree that sometimes, the spiciness on your tongue may ruin the flavour of your food, therefore add spice in moderation. Do not load the food with chilli till it numbs your tongue. That would definitely spoil your meal as you would be desperately looking for milk and to cool off the numbness.

Now, this recipe that I am about to share might be a little too spicy, therefore please adjust the spice level of the dish as I want everyone to be able to enjoy this dish. So without further ado, let’s dig in!

I was craving for a pasta dish that day, something spicy and a little fishy. I went rummage my kitchen and found penne, a can of tuna and plum tomato sauce; and I immediately knew what to do. And to take this dish to another level, I mashed some green peas and left that as garnish. IMG_6034

Firstly, the sauce! I started the sauce from scratch. I found a can of plum whole tomatoes in my kitchen, and I decided to utilize it. I chopped some aromatic vegetables, celery,onion and garlic, to enhance the sauce.

While the sauce is cooking, I started on the pasta! I used penne as that was available at home. Oh! And also save some pasta water for the sauce, you get the starch and goodness from the pasta to the sauce. After the pasta are cooked and drained, I poured them into my pan of sauce. Then I added my tuna. The reason I poured my tuna in last was because it is a ready-to-eat food and it does not require any cooking.

As for the peas, it is optional and unnecessary. But if you would like to know how I made them, continue reading!

I soaked the frozen peas in hot water for less than 2 minutes to soften them, then I transferred them into a small pan and fried it with garlic, salt and pepper. Squeeze a couple of teaspoon lemon juice into the peas to further flavour it. I then used a fork to gently mash them. I was not looking for a pureed pea because I wanted texture in the peas, so I lightly mashed it.

Thanks to my pasta craving, I created a new dish! I like the fact that I have been challenging myself to cook much more items that I have never tried before. Previously it is all fried noodles, one pot soups and all the mundane dishes. One recipe I was really glad that I came up with was tofu patty. I enjoyed the whole process of it. It is lovely to give yourself a challenge once in a while.

For cooking references…

IMG_6037{Spicy Tuna Pasta}

Ingredients-

Sauce:

  • 1 can of whole tomato
  • 1 stalk of chopped celery
  • 1/2 sliced onions
  • 2-3 cloves of sliced/minced garlic (I love garlic, so I put more than 1)
  • 1 can of tuna, drained ( I left mine in chunks, but feel free to flake it)
  • Chilli flakes (Omit them if you are making a kids-friendly sauce)
  • Herbs to season (I used oregano and parsley)
  • Salt and Pepper

Pasta:

  • about 2 handful penne pasta (Use whatever pasta you have on hand or your favourite pasta)
  • Pot of boiling water, seasoned with salt

Mashed Peas (Just for your information, 🙂 ):

  • About 1/8 cup of frozen peas
  • 1/4 lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to season

Direction

  1. To make the sauce, heat a pan on medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil.
  2. Fry garlic till fragrant, then add celery and onion.
  3. When celery and onion turned soft, add herbs and salt. (Adding the herbs at this stage is to enhance the aroma and flavour of the herbs)
  4. Pour tomato into the pan, and mash the whole tomato with whatever kitchen tools you are using. Add chilli flakes and season with pepper now. Taste as you are seasoning!
  5. Add pasta water into the tomato sauce if you have started cooking pasta. Turn the heat up high and let it bubble.
  6. When pasta are ready, drain them and pour the pasta into the sauce. Toss them around and let the pasta soak in the glorious sauce.
  7. Add drained tuna and stir for a couple of time to incorporate it into the sauce and remove the pan from heat.
  8. To make mashed peas, soak the peas in a bowl of hot water for no longer than 2 minutes. What you are looking for are relatively semi hard peas and not soft and mushy.
  9. In a small pan, heat it up with oil and fry garlic. Drain the peas and fry them in the garlic, tossing quickly as you do not want to overcook them.
  10. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice. Turn off the heat and mash them to your desired consistency!
  11. Then serve pasta with peas garnished on top!

I loved the heat from the chilli flakes and it also covered the fishiness from the tuna, which made them the perfect combination!

Well, that would be all for today! I hope you have enjoyed this recipe, though it does not have lots of pictures. Many recipes are on the way to publishing, therefore please be a little more patient. Till then, Ciao~

Tofu patty for Meatless Monday!

I woke up on a Monday morning, debating what to have for lunch. I was conflicted. I had to decide whether to head out for lunch or cook it myself. And I am glad to say I made the right decision!

It was tough thinking of what to cook for lunch, I had to make use of the ingredients that are available at home as I was not ready to head out to buy them. I looked through the fridges, drawers and cupboard at home, trying to get ideas of what to make. In the fridge, there was firm tofu, barley and fresh mushrooms. I roughly figured out what I could do with them. I decided to make Tofu Patty!

I choose to create ‘freestyle’ tofu patties, meant that I did not use a recipe for this patty. Pretty insane I know, but that’s the fun of cooking right! So firstly I prepped the ingredients, meant slicing, chopping and grating! I added chopped fresh mushrooms and chilli and grated garlic and ginger!

Now here comes the fun part, if you are doing this recipe with children, kindly ask them to join in! They could mash the firm tofu with all the added ingredients. Having children involve in the cooking process would spike their interest in their own food and would more likely to devour the dish!

The mashed up tofu might look like you did something wrong to the patty, but trust me, everything would be fine.
The mashed up tofu might look like you did something wrong to the patty, but trust me, everything would be fine.

I did not add any binder to the patty, therefore you have to be extremely careful when coating your patties with flour and egg wash. I did everything by hand, from shaping the patties to placing them onto the pan. I merely prepared plain flour and an egg wash to coat the tofu patties before it hits the pan! IMG_6132

Once it become golden brown on the underside, flip it and place cheese for extra flavour! IMG_6133

Onto the sauce now! How can you not have sauce on sandwiches with patty! I made my sauce a little special as I wanted a BBQ sauce, but homemade! Again, this recipe for the sauce was from my brilliant creative imagination. I combined tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, grated garlic and chilli and lemon juice. I tasted as I made the sauce to adjust the flavour to my liking. Well, I could not say it was close to barbecue sauce, however the sauce had a kick of spiciness and tanginess and it went quite well with the tofu patty!

After the patty were fried, I quickly coated the patties with the homemade sauce.
After the patty were fried, I quickly coated the patties with the homemade sauce.

To add more flavour and texture to the sandwich, I sweated half an onion in balsamic vinegar, to get caramelized onions! It adds sweetness to the sandwich. IMG_6134

Overall, I find tofu patty a joy to make. It is simple, kid-friendly and also healthy. If you are anti-vegetarian, feel free to add bacon bits in the patty, it would add saltiness.

IMG_6138{Tofu Patty Sandwich with Caramelised onions}

Ingredients-

Tofu patty:

  • 1 firm tofu
  • 3-5 pieces of fresh button mushroom (brown or white)
  • 1/2 chilli ( Omit if you do not like spice)
  • 2 tablespoon cooked barley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic and ginger
  • Butter to either fry the patty or/and caramelised onions
  • Herbs to season (I used oregano and parsley)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Flour to coat
  • 1 egg ( for egg wash)
  • Bread of your choice for the sandwich
  • Half an onion, sliced

Sauce (Please taste according to one’s liking):

  • 2-3 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • about 1-2 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions:

  1. Chop mushroom and chilli into small pieces, and set aside.
  2. Mash firm tofu with hands or whatever tools you desire, till tofu breaks apart.
  3. Add barley, mushroom and chilli into mashed tofu
  4. Season tofu with salt and pepper and herbs
  5. Place pan on a medium heat and pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  6. Shape the tofu into patties and dust with plain flour, then dip them into egg wash
  7. When the pan is heated, gently place the patty into the pan
  8. Once the underside of the patty changes into a brown colour, flip to the other side
  9. Place cheese on top of the patty
  10. While the cheese is melting, you could start making your sauce! To make the sauce, just mix everything in a bowl, and taste and adjust the flavour according to your liking!
  11. Now here comes the multi-tasking, to have caramelised onions, place a knob of butter to a hot pan, and add  sliced onion.
  12. Season onions and allow it to caramelised, tossing it a few times, so that it would not burn.
  13. When the onions are turning soft, add 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar into onions.
  14. After the onions have soaked up the vinegar and turned soft, off the heat and set aside.
  15. Now back to the patties,when the other side of the patty is turning brown, place it above your bread, cheese side up, and coat the patty with the sauce.
  16. Grab a spoonful of onions onto the patty and serve!

I have to agree that this recipe has quite a number of steps but trust me, it is all worth it. It is healthy, meatless and a burst of flavours and texture!

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe and would have a blast making the tofu-patties! Just remember to have fun and taste as you go. Till the next time, Ciao~

Please be patient…

Hi all! From the title you could infer a little that today I would not have any new recipe or new post. However, please be a little patient as I have done tons of baking the past few days and could not wait to share them with you. I just need a little more time to collate everything together, hence a longer time needed.

Items I have done the past few days were crumble, loads of them, I promised to share my tofu patty recipe with you, thus that’s coming up soon and many more! For the past week, I have yet to find time to sit myself down nicely to write, so I would make use of the next few days to do so.

All in all, I appreciate your patience with me and your understanding! Thank you and see you REAL soon!