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Singapore Shiok!

Posted by denise fletcher on Friday, December 2, 2011,

Hi All!

I have been up to my eyeballs these last 5 months, in this, that and the other, BUT, I have not stopped blogging - I've just been doing it somewhere else. Quickies on The Dinner Table has been a lovely introduction to the world of food blogging and a gateway to many wonderful friendships, but I crave a broader culinary scope than the one I have created here. I would like to thank each and every one of you who has read, followed, subscribed, commented, tried out my recipes, bought my bo...
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Pandan Madeleines by the Teaspoon!

Posted by denise fletcher on Thursday, July 21, 2011, In : Sweet things 


Anyone who knows Marcel Proust or madeleines will connect the two, so I don't have to do join the dots for you. I haven't read the novel. 




 

I tried, but I figure rather than run the marathon, I'd just show up at the finish line with a madeleine in my mouth, er.... half dipped in my cup of tea, and I'd get what the guy was going on, and on, and on........and ON about. And no, I'm not sure I do, but maybe it's because mine taste of pandan and take me to a whole other place ;)


Today I ha...


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Where in The World is That Woman!?!

Posted by denise fletcher on Saturday, July 2, 2011, In : Sweet things 


Last week I was in another country, and this may be out of place in a foodblog, but I always think the measure of a country is best judged by the state of its public loos. *Ahem*  Every single public loo I was in last week was absolutely pristine and each commode had a multi function bidet attached! Without exception. In one mall washroom, there was an attendant who entered every cublicle the second it was vacated and spruced it up lightning quick before inviting the next person in line to en...


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Bee Tai Bak in Green Tea

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, In : Pasta 


What do you do when you make the grave mistake of eating laksa lemak for three meals running, in the same day? You leisurely repent for two days after, that's what.



I love laksa lemak, but really, what was I thinking? All that coconut milk, richly pungent dried shrimp, masses of fried fish cake slices, heaps of fresh prawns and overly generous dollops of fiery chilli paste?!?  My boy Joseph had requested laksa for lunch the day before and when a picky eater makes  a request, you sit up and y...


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Guest Post at The Ardent Epicure - Shirred Eggs with Mushrooms

Posted by denise fletcher on Thursday, February 3, 2011, In : Breakfast 


Hello lovely readers and friends! First order of business - A Very Happy Lunar New Year to all my Chinese readers and buddies or as we say around here " Gong Xi Fa Cai, Hong Bao Na Lai!!! "

I am very, very happy today, to be posting over at The Ardent Epicure, virtual home of one of my lovely bloggie buddies, Alisha. Thank you Alisha for your gracious and lovely invitation; it's an honour and a pleasure!

Please head over to The Ardent Epicure to check out my post by clicking on the link below, ...
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Whatever's in the Fridge Wednesday - Mee Hoon Kueh

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, In : Pasta 


Well, hellooooooooo!! I'm ba-aaaack! I'd apologise for my absence, but I know you know I wouldn't disappear without good reason, and I have something for you that I hope will make up for my silence. I've actually been leaving a trail of links all over your blogs lovely friends, in your comments boxes,  but alas, most of you did not bite the bait, so, I'm just going to have to come out and say it - I have amongst other things, been working on my new bread blog, other things still simmering on ...


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Quickies Noodle Challenge Line Up and Winner!!!

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, December 15, 2010, In : Giveaways 


The challenge, for those who may not have been following developments here, was to prepare a noodle dish of your choice. It can be your unique twist on a classic like Mee Goreng, Pad Thai, Char Kway Teow, Laksa, Fettucine Alfredo, Chicken Noodle Soup, Bucatini all' Amatriciana, Mac and Cheese, Soba, Udon, …. or a concoction of your very own creation, making its debut here. Use any type of noodle or pasta and ingredient/s you wish. It can be vegetarian, vegan or piled with meat, fried in a w...


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Quickies Noodle Challenge Closing

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, December 15, 2010, In : Giveaways 

From Lazaro and myself, a big "Thank You" to everyone of the 19 bloggers who sent in entries to our challenge! As usual, there was no shortage of creativity, imaginative concepts and  truly unique presentations, all of which make our decision only harder!!

The contest is now closed and we will no longer be accepting entries.

Be sure to check this space again - we will be posting the line up of entries with photos and blog links on 15 Dec  EST (16 Dec GMT+8) .

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If We Can Make it There....

Posted by denise fletcher on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, In : Miscellaneous 

Quickies Noodle Challenge Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  19  very interesting entries! Thank you very much and remember this is open to everyone, worldwide, so keep them coming! As this may be the last Quickies Challenge for a while,  we really hope there will be a fantastic turnout. Of course, if you really want more challenges, let us know and we'll do our best to oblige! Send in as many entries as you like, just remember to get them in by midnight of  Decembe...


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Roasted Cauliflower and Mimolette Tart

Posted by denise fletcher on Monday, November 29, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 

Quickies Noodle Challenge
Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  6  very interesting entries! Thank you very much and remember this is open to everyone, worldwide, so keep them coming! As this may be the last Quickies Challenge for a while,  we really hope there will be a fantastic turnout. Of course, if you really want more challenges, let us know and we'll do our best to oblige! Send in as many entries as you like, just remember to get them in by midnight of  December 14...

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Pear and Nutmeg Crumble Muffins

Posted by denise fletcher on Monday, November 22, 2010, In : Sweet things 


Quickies Noodle Challenge Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  6  very interesting entries! Thank you very much and remember this is open to everyone, worldwide, so keep them coming! As this may be the last Quickies Challenge for a while,  we really hope there will be a fantastic turnout. Of course, if you really want more challenges, let us know and we'll do our best to oblige! Send in as many entries as you like, just remember to get them in by midnight of  December 14...


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Quickies Noodle Challenge

Posted by denise fletcher on Monday, November 15, 2010, In : Giveaways 


I'm thrilled to announce another joint Quickies : Morning, Noon and Night Cooking Challenge with Lazaro Cooks! Our first two challenges were so well received, we had repeated requests for another Quickie challenge. We aim to please, so here we are again!

The prize will be a copy of my cookbook Quickies : Morning, Noon and Night. This is my first cookbook and I've written it with the aim of providing inspiration to anyone who's ever felt too tired or too uninspired to cook, or who has the pi...


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Green Tea Chicken Noodle Soup

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, November 10, 2010, In : Soups 


It's been deliciously cool and crisp for almost two weeks now. I couldn't be happier and relish the opportunity to not just eat but cook lots of soup - something that at other times of the year, would heat up the kitchen to sauna levels! Nothing beats a bowl of steaming hot, home-made chicken noodle soup when it's nippy outside. I get bored easily though, and wondered how the taste of jasmine green tea which I can't get enough of, would work in a chicken soup.


The broth is not green as you...


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Pear and Prune Strudel with Salted Butter Glaze

Posted by denise fletcher on Monday, November 8, 2010, In : Breakfast 


Prunes really get a bum rap.  Who doesn't associate them with dentition-challenged grandmas and grandpas who can't chew much except pudding and.... stewed prunes? They're also unfortunately stuck with the unglamarous but very true reputation of being an ace laxative. Sorry, needed saying. Last week, out of the blue, I was hit by an inexplicable craving for this dark, sticky, chewy treat. Yes, I said treat.


Forget everything you thought you knew about them and start thinking of them as dri...


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Autumn Seduction

Posted by denise fletcher on Thursday, November 4, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 


Today, I'm going to show you my extensive pumpkin-themed collection, starting with this pumpkin and squash salt and pepper shaker set.....


KIDDING!!!! I get it - enough already with the pumpkin and the kitchen paraphernalia !! We're doing mushrooms today. My apologies for the pumpkin scare up there, but it feels good to have your blood actually reach your extemities, doesn't it? ;)



When it comes to things I really love eating,  like mushrooms, my patience goes out the window, along ...


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Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Pancakes....and, Uh, They're Vegan

Posted by denise fletcher on Monday, November 1, 2010, In : Breakfast 


Hubby's incessant calls from work, yes, on a Sunday, took all the pleasure out of a late lie-in, so I decided to get started on breakfast at eight-thirty; sacrilege on a weekend *grrr*  Out came the pumpkin I'd bought about two weeks ago, and had left by its lonesome under the ironing board. Oh, the joys of cramped apartment life; my tiny, three bedroomed kingdom for a proper pantry. The microplane grater fell off its hook and onto the pumpkin, as my baby walked in, all tousled hair and sleep...


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Apple, Bacon and Onion Galette

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, October 27, 2010, In : Baking 


Last night, it rained. Really rained. I was lying in bed, hoping to fall asleep, suffering my nightly ritual of tossing and turning when I heard a distant rumble. It filled me with hope. I'd had about all I could take of hot, sticky weather and being at the tail end of October, a rumble in the distance could only mean one thing. Within minutes of the outpouring, there was a perceptible nip in the air and I found myself reaching for the hardly used and up till now, mostly decorative blanket, f...


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Iced Ginger and Lavender Cookies

Posted by denise fletcher on Sunday, October 24, 2010, In : Sweet things 


When you hear "lavender", I'll bet the first thing that comes to mind is soap, air freshener or floral water. Quite fitting since the word comes from the Latin lavare which means "to wash". For centuries lavender has been associated with cleansing and purifying as it's believed to be anti bacterial, anti viral and anti microbial. Not the first thing you would associate with things you want to put in your mouth ;)



If you think about it in the remotest culinary sense, it may be herbes de Pro...


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Going Greek....Sorta

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, In : Fish and Shellfish 


I was at the dentist's office last week and stumbled on an article in a food and travel magazine about Greece and Greek food. It was so evocative and the featured dishes, so tempting, I actually contemplated tearing out the pages for, uh, future reference *blush* My 12 year old's appalled expression when he saw me fingering the inner spine of the magazine jolted me back to my senses and thanks to him, I left the office empty handed, with my head held high.




One of those dishes, Oktapodi Kra...


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Indecision and Serendipitous Pear-ings

Posted by denise fletcher on Sunday, October 17, 2010, In : Sweet things 


I was intent on getting some tender, sweet and dense Bosc pears for a dessert that had been running round and round inside my head and wouldn't leave me alone; a pear and candied ginger cheesecake. The family had been complaining about the dearth of desserts lately. Mutiny was in the air and I honestly had run out of ideas for tarting up vanilla ice cream.

After trawling three markets and two supermarkets and coming up empty, temptation presented itself in the form of canned pears. Ordinaril...


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Chickpea, Garlic and Bread Soup

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, October 13, 2010, In : Soups 


I could quite happily live on nothing but bread, cheese, coffee and bacon. Hmm... "not even chocolate, or chilli?", you'd probably think. Well, not so much those, though I'd see your point, but maybe, I'd need a bowl of soup too, every now and then.

Too many seem to view the soup pot as an edible recycling bin and fair game for every imaginable scrap that issues from a kitchen. It is tempting to throw ingredients that have seen better days, or that you can't think up any better use for, int...


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Pumpkin and White Chocolate Buttermilk Scones

Posted by denise fletcher on Friday, October 8, 2010, In : Baking 


If you've been taking a good look around the food blogosphere lately, you will know without a doubt, that we are officially in  pumpkin season. Since I bought this adorable and very large specimen not so long ago, it's been pumpkin this, that and the other in my kitchen...... not that I'm complaining. I won't push my luck though and promise this will be the last pumpkin instalment for a while. With this soup,  this cous cous dish and today's offering, I have amply proven my devotion. I know m...

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Back From the Dead With a Guest Post ;)

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, October 6, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 


Hello my lovely readers and blogger buddies! I have been scarce the last week or so - it's exam season at our house and having two boys taking very important exams during the same week is nerve wrecking, to say the least. Sadly, posting and visiting all your gorgeous blogs, had to take a backseat.

But, (this is a good "but" trust me) I do have a treat for you today. My lovely friend Biren from Roti n Rice invited me to do a guest post on her blog, a little while back and of course I gladly ...


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Quickies Morning Noon & Night Cocktail Challenge

Posted by denise fletcher on Tuesday, September 28, 2010, In : Giveaways 

 

The challenge, for those who may not have been following developments here, was to create a cocktail, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, of your choice, either your unique twist on a classic cocktail or a concoction of your very own creation. Any alcohol, liqueur, mixer, juice, garnish or ingredient was allowed. We were looking for a delicious sounding and sexy cocktail - either with a sexy name, sexy or cheeky background story, or a sexy looking presentation, or best of all, ALL THREE!!!

We wou...


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Quickies Cocktail Challenge Closing

Posted by denise fletcher on Tuesday, September 28, 2010, In : Giveaways 

Lazaro and I would like to say a  big thank you to all who took the time to conceptualise, execute and post their entries for our challenge. It's because of you that this did not turn into a non-event. You add the spark and spirit..... and we cannot thank you enough.

We are no longer accepting entries and will now deliberate on all your wonderful concoctions to decide on the winner. It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it *hic* oops....... I've already started actually ;)

We'll see you all ...
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Quickies Cocktail Challenge Last Call and Participant List

Posted by denise fletcher on Monday, September 27, 2010, In : Giveaways 


Hope you're all having a great Sunday / Monday! We are so very pleased to have received entries for the Quickies Morning, Noon and Night, Cocktail Challenge, from the following bloggers. If you have already sent in an entry but don't see your name listed below, please resend the link to your entry post at quickieschallenge@gmail.com  


We want to be absolutely sure that no one who has sent in an entry is left out - that would be unforgiveable!!


1 Tania @ Dulcis in Furno
2 Ana @ Chefwanabe
3 ...


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What a Girl Wants

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, September 22, 2010, In : Pasta 


Quickies Cocktail Challenge
 Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  16  great entries! Thank you very much and please, keep them coming guys. Send in as many entries as you like,  just remember to get them in by midnight of September 27 2010 (EST)  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on September 28 2010 (EST)  !! What's your motivation? A gorgeous cookbook! (take a detailed peek here) And now for today's post....


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Pumpkin, Corn and Chickpeas in Coconut Milk

Posted by denise fletcher on Sunday, September 19, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 

Quickies Cocktail Challenge Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  11  great entries! Thank you very much and please, keep them coming guys. Send in as many entries as you like,  just remember to get them in by midnight of September 27 2010 (ET)  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on September 28 2010 (ET)  !! What's your motivation? A gorgeous cookbook! (take a detailed peek here) And now for today's post....


I ...


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That Tomato Pie is Worth a Stop!

Posted by denise fletcher on Sunday, September 12, 2010, In : Sweet things 

Quickies Cocktail Challenge Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  8  great entries! Thank you very much and please, keep them coming guys. Send in as many entries as you like,  just remember to get them in by midnight of  September 27 2010 (ET)  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on September 28 2010 (ET)  !! What's your motivation? A gorgeous cookbook! (take a detailed peek here) And now for today's post....


St...


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When Curry People Celebrate Eid - Turmeric Rice

Posted by denise fletcher on Friday, September 10, 2010, In : Festive Cooking 


Some of you may know that I am of multicultural origin. Some of you may additionally know that I am married to someone of a different race and religion.

Today is Eid ul-Fitr or Aidil Fitri in Singapore, and it presents a perfect opportunity to celebrate the diversity that is my life and to make some noise about a cause I believe in. Every second Friday of the month has been designated Curry for Peace Day by a group I am Curry People formed expressly to promote awareness, tolerance (though on...


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Bacon Biscotti

Posted by denise fletcher on Tuesday, September 7, 2010, In : Baking 


Quickies Cocktail Challenge
Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  3  very interesting entries! Thank you very much, and please, keep them coming.  Send in as many entries as you like, just remember to get them in by midnight of  September 27 2010 (ET)  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on September 28 2010 (ET)  !! What's your motivation? A gorgeous cookbook! (take a detailed peek here) And now for today's pos...


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Brie and Mushroom Galette

Posted by denise fletcher on Thursday, September 2, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 


Quickies Cocktail Challenge
 Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  3  very interesting entries! Thank you very much and please, keep them coming. Send as many entries as you like, just remember to get them in by midnight of  September 27 2010 (ET)  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on September 28 2010 (ET)  !! What's your motivation? A gorgeous cookbook! (
take a detailed peek here) And now on to the day's post...


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Quickies: Morning Noon & Night Cocktail Challenge

Posted by denise fletcher on Tuesday, August 24, 2010, In : Giveaways 


I'm happy to announce the second joint Quickies : Morning, Noon and Night Cooking Challenge with Lazaro Cooks! Our first challenge was such a success, we had repeated requests for another Quickie challenge. Lazaro and I always aim to please, so here we are again! This time though, there will be no cooking, just mixing!

The prize will be a copy of my cookbook Quickies : Morning, Noon and Night. This is my first cookbook and I've written it with the aim of providing inspiration to anyone who's...


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Not Your Mama's Rava Pongal - Spiced Semolina with Vegetables

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 


South Indian food can be intoxicatingly heady...... or overwhelming, depending on individual perception. The fact that I grew up being constantly assailed by smells of roasting cumin, simmering asafoetida, mustard seeds popping and curry leaves blistering in hot oil, from neighbouring kitchens, probably predisposed me to a passion for South Indian flavours. On any day, I would take them over the more well known and less assertive ones of North Indian cuisine.


food photography 101 tip no 1 - ...


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Chicken Curry with Mustard Greens and Evil Landlords

Posted by denise fletcher on Friday, August 13, 2010, In : Meat 


Let me first say that I have neither veered into cannibalism, nor turned my blog into a menagerie of meanies, what with evil landlords stepping on the tails of drill wielding demons. Read on till the end and you'll see that great people, who do lovely things, just because, still exist among the dastardly denizens.

I love a good urban legend; at best it unnerves and makes you think twice about flashing your headlights or taking the last train home, all by yourself, late at night. If nothing ...


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Corn Custard and Drill Wielding Demons

Posted by denise fletcher on Thursday, August 5, 2010, In : Breakfast 


You probably wouldn't think and much less, hope, to read about dental health on a food blog, but, my dental woes  and their impact on my ability to eat normally, have got me thinking about how important my teeth are to me as a food writer and blogger. Oh yeah!!

When you're as long in the tooth as I am, a simple extraction is seldom the answer to everything, so my troubles won't end until my root canal job is finally done with. I don't like dentists and probably never will. The dental surgeon...


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Leftover Curry Noodles the Fusion Police Don't Need to Know About

Posted by denise fletcher on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, In : Pasta 


CONTENT ALERT! This will be a very short recipe.

On Sunday a very generous and shy soul (who reads my blog and will freak if she sees her name) left me in possession of a huge pot of chicken curry, the kind golden hued from turmeric and perfumed as a herb garden from the liberal use of lemongrass and makrut lime leaves. My very favourite kind of curry, and she knows it.

So large a pot was it, that it provided two meals for my family, plus enough to make a speedy, delicious and practical...


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Breakfast of Slashers

Posted by denise fletcher on Thursday, July 22, 2010, In : Breakfast 

I've been trying hard not to start each post with an apology but I have been goofing off lately (sincerest apologies to my bloggie buddies who may be feeling a bit neglected) as I've been er...tied up with projects and stalking serial killers.

KIDDING!! I have been busy though, with my ongoing undertaking and playing crazy catch up watching Dexter season 1 - 4, back to back. I've always been slow to sign up *sigh* Two weeks ago I finally found a little time to watch some TV and what do I see?...
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Chocolate Pistachio Fudgesicles

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, July 14, 2010, In : Sweet things 


First let me thank all who have emailed me about my week long absence, you know who you are and you have my gratitude for your touching concern - I guess I should've made some sort of announcement instead of quietly slinking away, hoping to go unnoticed. I've been immersed in a personal project which I hope to wrap up soon, so I can return to my regular posting schedule of Mondays and Thursdays (Singapore time). Until then, I will post at least once a week, probably on Wednesdays (yes, Singap...


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Chocolate Pistachio Cups

Posted by denise fletcher on Wednesday, July 7, 2010, In : Sweet things 


Becoming a food blogger and rubbing virtual elbows with so many like minded souls, has opened up my food universe and introduced me to things I might otherwise have never known, existed! Take instant pudding for example. This wonder of food science (some may  say culinary abomination, but, potayto potahto..... meat, poison) requires no cooking and sets instantly on contact with water! I might actually be spooked, if I were not so curious and amazed.



I'd read about it on Rick's blog, Bitter...


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Home Made Strawberry Pop Tarts - A Guest Post

Posted by denise fletcher on Saturday, July 3, 2010, In : Breakfast 


I am very proud today that my son Joseph has been invited by Lazaro from Lazaro Cooks! to do a guest post. Please do us all the honor of checking out Joseph's post over at Lazaro's virtual kitchen and sharing your thoughts and feedback with  Lazaro, Joseph and myself. We would all love to hear from you, especially Joseph!

I can go on and on about how proud I am that my son appears to be walking in my foot steps but I won't. Please see for yourself.

To Lazaro, thank you so much for this wo...


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Spicy Sesame Baked Chicken

Posted by denise fletcher on Monday, June 28, 2010, In : Meat 


I'd been harbouring this jar of tahini in my kitchen cupboard and had completely forgotten about it until yesterday when I opened a door and realised there was no way I was going to manage squeezing in the groceries I had just lugged home. Oh my God. It hit me anew how much of a pack rat I am. *sigh* After the cleaning "expedition" I ended up with almost one and a half grocery bags of expired goods and a sense of shame I haven't experienced in a while. All of them were promptly and sadly disc...


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Creamy Garlic Flower Soup with Ham and Cheese Croutons

Posted by denise fletcher on Thursday, June 24, 2010, In : Soups 


Are you thinking right now, "tomayto, tomahto"? You're not the only one. For years I had been buying, cooking and eating garlic flowers stir fried with prawns and tofu, scrambled with eggs or plopped into clear fish soup, innocent of the fact that in the West, this delectable vegetable was something of a delicacy.

Then, one day, I became a food blogger and I started reading about "garlic scape this" and "garlic scape that", but never, ever, was there a picture of garlic scape au naturel, alw...


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Matcha, Vanilla and Almond Sables

Posted by joseph on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, In : Sweet things 


I'm so glad today, to have my son Joseph, doing another guest post for me! We were thrilled that his maiden post was so warmly received and when his Father's Day treat turned out so well, we thought we should share it with all of you. I hope all you lovely dads out there had a wonderful time with your families too, on Sunday. Now, without further delay, I give you Joseph!


Hi everyone. My name is Joseph and I’m 12.  This is my second guest post for mum and this time I’ll be doing somethi...


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Easy Peasy Kinda 'Cheesy'

Posted by denise fletcher on Thursday, June 17, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 


Sometimes you just want it easy. That was the mood dictating yesterday's lunch.

Now, I don't usually give peas a chance. Really....did you think I would resist? They're round, tiny and have this tendency to roll around the plate, adroitly and annoyingly giving the tines of your fork the slip each and every time; the Frank Abagnale of vegetables. I know, I know...you're supposed to squish them against said tines then lift them to your mouth, but, I don't mix eating and exercising. I've been ...


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Oreo and Yoghurt Baby Cheesecakes

Posted by denise fletcher on Monday, June 14, 2010, In : Sweet things 


My son and hopefully, protege, Joseph, turned 12 two days ago and he requested his all time favourite dessert, Oreo cheesecake, like he's done every year, since he could speak.

I usually make a single large 23 cm (9 in) cheesecake. It's big, beautiful, and such a temptation, though I don't favour it above all other desserts, that I often will skip at least one  meal when I know cheesecake is coming to dinner ;) Then, I wantonly have three servings of it! For shame, for shame, except, I'm to...


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Shakshouka

Posted by denise fletcher on Thursday, June 10, 2010, In : Meat 


The last week has been just a little bit more hectic than usual, with me wrapping up my very first month-long food challenge, which by all accounts was a resounding success (Yaaay!!! Thanks again all 26 of you and especially Lazaro for making it such a blast!) all my boys being home together, as school holidays are on, hubby working late most days and dragging his exhausted self home well after dinner, almost every night....on top of the usual demands and commitments...yada, yada, yada! Meals...


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Quickies Avocado and Feta Challenge Entry Line Up and..... Winner!!!

Posted by denise fletcher on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, In : Giveaways 


The challenge, for those who may not have been following developments here, was to create a course using the two feature ingredients, avocado and feta cheese, with any number of additional ingredients, if so desired. Two prizes were up for grabs, a copy of my book ...



... and a guest blogger spot at the stellar Lazaro Cooks! After a month of receiving entries, I'm almost bursting to announce the winner, but first, we would like to say a huge "Thank You" to all our fabulous participants for...


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Quickies Challenge Closing

Posted by denise fletcher on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, In : Giveaways 


Nancy, Lazaro and I wish to thank each of the 26 participants of the Quickie Challenge for taking time out of their busy schedules to create and send in their entries. You've all added colour, flavour and spark to what could have easily been a non-event. Thank you for not letting that happen!

The contest is now officially closed and we will no longer be accepting entries.

The three of us will now review each entry and deliberate over the winner.

The entry line up and result will be poste...


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Quickies Challenge : Final Call and Participant List

Posted by denise fletcher on Sunday, June 6, 2010,


Hope you're all having a great Sunday Morning! It's past noon here and I'm still enjoying my first cup o' joe for the day. That's exactly what Sunday mornings are all about, or at least, should be ;) I am so very pleased to have received entries for the Quickies Morning, Noon and Night, Avocado and Feta Cooking Challenge, from the following bloggers. If you have already sent in an entry but don't see your name listed below, please resend me the link to your entry at quickiesonthedinnertable@g...


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Indonesian Bean Sprout and Potato Fritters (Bakwan) and A New Article at Blogcritics

Posted by denise fletcher on Thursday, June 3, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 


QUICKIE CHALLENGE
UPDATE :  I'm pleased to announce that we've now received  14  very interesting entries! Thank you very much. Keep them coming guys and remember to send them in by June 7 2010  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on June 8 2010  !! What's your motivation? Not one, but TWO fabulous prizes - a gorgeous cookbook (take a detailed peek here) and a guest blogger spot on the fabulous blog Lazaro Cooks! And now on to the d...


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Laksa Lovin' Ladies

Posted by denise on Monday, May 31, 2010, In : Pasta 


QUICKIE CHALLENGE
UPDATE :  I'm very pleased to announce that we've already received  13  very interesting entries! Thank you very much. Keep them coming guys and remember to send them in by June 7 2010  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on June 8 2010  !! What's your motivation? Not one, but TWO fabulous prizes - a gorgeous cookbook (take a detailed peek here) and a guest blogger spot on the fabulous blog Lazaro Cooks! And now on...


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A Vegan Indulgence Called Tahu Goreng and a New "Job" at Blogcritics

Posted by denise on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 


I have been on a Indonesian food binge of late, inspired by Pierre of Little Hungry Heart and after a weekend of wanton indulgence in all things Indonesian (food my peeps....f-o-o-d) with my Indonesian (no less) husband not so very long ago, I still was not satisfied. Walking past my cookbook shelf a few days ago and catching sight of the cover of an Indonesian cookbook had me running to the market for the freshest, softest  squares of beancurd I could find, and peanuts for a luscious and spi...


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The Devil, The Spice Trade and Mr Scoville

Posted by denise on Thursday, May 20, 2010, In : Festive Cooking 

 

QUICKIE CHALLENGE UPDATE :  I'm pleased to announce that we've now received  6  very interesting entries! Thank you very much. Keep them coming guys and remember to send them in by June 7 2010  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on June 8 2010  !! What's your motivation? Not one, but TWO fabulous prizes - a gorgeous cookbook (take a detailed peek here) and a guest blogger spot on the fabulous blog Lazaro Cooks! And now on to t...


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Pandan Cream Pie - A Guest Post

Posted by biren at roti n rice on Monday, May 17, 2010, In : Sweet things 


It gives me great pleasure today, to present a guest post by  Biren from Roti n Rice. Biren was one of the first bloggers I befriended and I was from the start, very impressed with her devoted following eventhough she was, in her own words,  not a very experienced blogger. If you've ever been to her blog, you will understand why. Her recipes are as authentic as you could hope to find anywhere, whether from a cookbook, your favourite great aunt or the internet - a place notorious for haphazard...


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Sunshine, Moonlight and Dancing

Posted by denise on Sunday, May 16, 2010, In : Awards 


QUICKIE CHALLENGE
UPDATE :  I'm very pleased to announce that we've already received  4  very interesting entries! Thank you very much. Keep them coming guys and remember to send them in by June 7 2010  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on June 8 2010  !! What's your motivation? Not one, but TWO fabulous prizes - a gorgeous cookbook (take a detailed peek here) and a guest blogger spot on the fabulous blog Lazaro Cooks! And now on ...


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A Salmon and Pea Hummus Wrap Seasoned with Maternal Trickery

Posted by denise on Wednesday, May 12, 2010, In : Fish and Shellfish 


QUICKIE CHALLENGE
UPDATE :  I'm very pleased to announce that we've already received  3  very interesting entries! Thank you very much. Keep them coming guys and remember to send them in by June 7 2010  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on June 8 2010  !! What's your motivation? Not one, but TWO fabulous prizes - a gorgeous cookbook (take a detailed peek here) and a guest blogger spot on the fabulous blog Lazaro Cooks! And now on ...


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Quickies: Morning, Noon & Night Cooking Challenge

Posted by denise on Friday, May 7, 2010, In : Giveaways 


I'm chuffed to announce the first and joint Quickies : Morning, Noon and Night Cooking Challenge with Lazaro Cooks! , inspired by the brilliant Natasha's 5 Star Foodie Makeover.

The prize will be a copy of my cookbook Quickies : Morning, Noon and Night. Minds out of gutters, please! It's not what you might think.


This is my very first cookbook and I'm really quite proud of it. I've written it to help anyone who's ever thought "Cripes, I'm too tired to cook", or uttered "I've no time to ...


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A Happy Sap Fest

Posted by denise on Thursday, May 6, 2010, In : Awards 


This post is at least a week overdue because of life, a crashed laptop and a nasty tummy bug I ran into last week.

When I first started blogging, I knew so little about blogging, blogging protocol (oh yeah, it exists!) and nothing about blog awards. Now, I see these awards as the recognition, affection and support of my fellow bloggers as well as a chance to shine the light on great blogs that may not get the attention they deserve. This is often the case with new blogs.

If being a food b...


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Tuna and Tofu

Posted by Lazaro Bernal of Lazaro Cooks! on Monday, May 3, 2010, In : Fish and Shellfish 


First, I must apologise to Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! and all his readers and followers. This post was supposed to have been up yesterday, Sunday 2 May, but I was hit by stomach flu late on Saturday night and have been flat on my back in bed until today, Monday. I hope late truly is better than never? Now, here's my treat for you today, Lazaro's eagerly awaited and slightly overdue guest post! Those who have been following me more or less regularly will know how much I admire his kitchen wizardr...


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Cilantro Love and A Near Empty Fridge

Posted by denise on Thursday, April 29, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 

I found myself alone at home yesterday - a very rare occurence for me. I can't remember the last time I was alone, since I got married and became a mother. It was a treat to potter about the apartment, doing exactly as I pleased, listening to Jeff Buckley, Ella Fitzgerald and Antonio Carlos Jobim, singing along at the top of my lungs, without eyeballs rolling left, right and centre, while sipping a little wine, just before lunch, in between the laundry, ironing and scrubbing.



Of course I l...


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Glazed Carrotphobe Cake and The Joys of Being Cheap

Posted by denise on Monday, April 26, 2010, In : Sweet things 

This is a very special post for me. Why? Because I'm a sentimental sap, if ever I've been anything, and as clumsy as I am cheap. Read right to the end of the post and see why *sigh*.......


Who's afraid of a little carrot cake?  Well...uh, I am. I bake a mean chocolate and beetroot cake and will happily gobble it, but show me a carrot, and I blanch like a sheet. There's just no accounting for taste and terrors. I like them well enough raw, as a crunchy snack or coarsely grated into salads. Cook...

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Chilled Minted Cucumber and Yoghurt Soup

Posted by denise on Friday, April 23, 2010, In : Soups 

I'd like to say a quick but heartfelt thank you to all of you, my dearest readers, for the wonderful show of support for both Lazaro and myself, when I did a guest post over at Lazaro Cooks. Thank you for all your delightful and heartwarming comments! I hope that having had a taste of Lazaro's genius, you will now follow his marvellous kitchen exploits! And now, on to today's post :





Jenn from Defunkt Gourmet and I, share an obsession. Yoghurt. It's always in my fridge and I cook and bake with ...


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Guest Post - Grilled Calamari, Chickpea and Fresh Basil Salad with Chilli Lime Vinaigrette

Posted by denise on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, In : Fish and Shellfish 


I've been approached by friend and fellow foodie Lazaro Bernal about a guest post for his wonderful blog, Lazaro Cooks. Thank you Lazaro for the the thrill, the honour, and the privilege! How could I possibly refuse?

If you haven't already checked out his blog, please, go take a look. I cannot say  enough about it but I will say this, what Lazaro does is a labour of love and it shows in everything that he posts. I have found reading Lazaro to be an enriching experience. I hope you will too....


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And the Award Goes To...

Posted by denise on Monday, April 19, 2010, In : Awards 

Last week, providence was smiling down on me as I received not one, but two awards from fellow bloggers and friends. Thank you both for making the experience of blogging such a pleasant and rewarding one :)

The Sunshine Award


This is my second time receiving the Sunshine Award, given to bloggers who are deemed warm, inspirational and positive, hence the beautiful sunflower which symbolises it. Congratulations Lazaro and thank you for sharing this with me; it doesn't matter if it's the first...


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Yoghurt and Pistachio Panna Cotta with Rose Syrup

Posted by denise on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, In : Sweet things 

Have you ever gotten stuck in a mental groove? It goes something like this : green, green, green, I want something green! Don't know why, don't know what, but gotta be GREEN!! I've near exhausted pandan and have tired of green tea this, that and the other. Pistachios - now those, I don't use much. They're not cheap and shelling them, unless you're going to immediately pop them  straight into your mouth, is a pain. So pistachio would be my green, and I would theme it on the Arabian Nights, ano...

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Crusty Baked Mackerel with Onion and Lemon Relish

Posted by denise on Monday, April 12, 2010, In : Fish and Shellfish 


You will probably be seeing more fish posts here soon, for a very good reason. One of my boys has been diagnosed with learning difficulties and we've been strongly advised to include much more fish oils in his diet, as they're believed to significantly help children with learning challenges, both from supplementary as well as dietary sources. The  next step would be Ritalin therapy, and for us, that would be an absolute last resort. Absolute.

We do everything together; when my mum was advi...


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Sizzling Surf and Turf Pasta

Posted by on Wednesday, April 7, 2010, In : Pasta 



I might well have been an impressionable and easily pleased 15 year old the first time I ate this, but if it really wasn't as good as I remember, would I still be hankering after it, ever so often, even decades later?

The version I had all those years ago had been cooked by the mother of a classmate for a farewell party at year's end. My classmate had brought it to school in one of those charmingly unchic, huge Tupperware boxes that are purpotedly so air and water tight, I think if they had...


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Chickpea, Vegetable and Cumin Stir Fry

Posted by Kmk /dd on Monday, April 5, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 


Pierre once told me he often "forgets" that I dwell in the tropics and keeps imagining, though he knows where I live, that I inhabit colder climes. Silvia is curious to know what I eat when no one is looking. Both are foodie friends and while I've had exchanges about food and sometimes, life, with both of them, neither, as far as I know have met or cyber-spoken to each other. These two seemingly disparate yet related remarks from two very different people, got me thinking about something. T...


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Guava, Soursop and Strawberry Popsicles

Posted by on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, In : Sweet things 



I hesitate to call this a recipe but I thought I'd share it as this sparked a craze at home, and all because I left some juice in the freezer longer than I should have.

I don't know how many of you have pre-teens and teenagers at home, but if you do, have you ever attempted to get them to do even a modicum of housework? Try it, if you really want to know what a losing battle actually is.

We have this problem at home with ice. There's never any. I make it and everyone else, especially my...


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Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Toasts

Posted by on Monday, March 29, 2010, In : Soups 




Roasted vegetables are a passion of mine. Soup is another. And none more so than tomato. I got bored with the usual traffic-stop red of regular tomatoes and thought a bright, sunny yellow would be a slightly unexpected and fun change. Hubby thought it was pumpkin soup and was slightly aghast at the ribbon of balsamic vinegar in his glass, until he took a sip. Then he was all smiles, and having drained his dry, asked for another shot.

Normally, when roasting just about any vegetable,  I would...


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Pretty in Pink Potato Salad

Posted by on Wednesday, March 24, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 




Eversince I made this cake, I've had pink on the brain. Truth is, I've never thought much of the taste of beetroot -  each time I've eaten it, I just haven't been able to get away from the association with sugar and earth. Beetroot is often described as "earthy" but the first time I tried it, I was quite surprised to find that it was an almost literal description of the luridly bright tuber.

Now the colour, oh, the colour, is something else altogether! I've always adored the vivid, almost vi...


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Quick Mustard and Beer Bread

Posted by on Monday, March 22, 2010, In : Baking 




I've been a tortured soul since I saw this at Apple Crumbles. Beautiful isn't it? Home made bread issues from my oven on a regular basis but I'm nothing if not impatient. Make that pathologically impatient. Now, I know greatness takes time and great bread can't  be rushed. I love the results of a slow rise and often leave my dough overnight in the fridge for spectacularly flavoured loaves the next day. But when I saw that mustard, beer and caraway loaf (have you clicked on that link yet?) I k...


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White Wine, Lemongrass and Chilli Poached Pears with Sweet Basil

Posted by on Thursday, March 18, 2010, In : Sweet things 




I hate talking about the weather -  the final destination for any conversation on its last legs, drawing it's last, choking, rasping... breath. I can hardly believe though, how crazed the weather here has been. In the last 3 weeks, I've felt like a jetsetter, going through 2 or even 3 countries in the space of a day. Scorching afternoons have given way to blustery evenings, followed by torrential 30-second downpours that have finally settled into muggy, sweat-soaked restless nights. Would y...


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My First Award - Yay!!

Posted by on Tuesday, March 16, 2010,


I know this is the recipes section and this post is not a recipe, but Quickies on The Dinner Table has been given the Sunshine Award by Kitchen Masochist, and it's a pretty big deal to me. Thank you Kitchen Masochist - I am flattered and knew those difficult questions you keep asking me on my blog would not be in vain ;)  - naaaah they were easy. Btw, if you like snappy, sassy recipes and eye popping food photography, check out her blog. Go!!
As part of the deal, I have to pass this award on...


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Pandan and Red Bean Scones

Posted by on Monday, March 15, 2010, In : Sweet things 



I'm not Irish, though every year around this time, I can't help wishing I were. If you're a member of any foood site or community, you will very likely see a torrent of recipes and pictures of food of every guise and name, coloured green and shaped into shamrocks or doused in Guinness, ale, or, numberless permutations of corned beef and cabbage, all in the name of St Patrick, most beloved immortal of the Irish, in and out of Ireland.

The Irish, real and honorary, go all out to mark the day,...


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Warm Roasted Vegetable and Pasta Salad

Posted by on Thursday, March 11, 2010, In : Salads, Vegetables and Meatless 



I was planning to make roast chicken and this salad a while ago when I chanced upon an article (an extract from "Eating Animals" a book by Jonathan Safran Foer) posted by a fellow foodie Sara, about the present state of commercial farming and it's supposed dirty secrets. Just a few short years ago,  I thought that well known claim about battery reared chickens having barely the space taken up by a sheet of copier paper, in which to spend their short miserable lives, was just urban legend. I'd...


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Serendipity Sundae

Posted by on Monday, March 8, 2010, In : Sweet things 



I hadn't intended to post this today, but as is usually the case with these things, there's a story here. I've lately become quite obsessed with low fat, healthy cakes because mum loves cake but has to watch her cholesterol intake, so every time I see a  healthy or vegan cake recipe, I perk up like a Doberman getting a whiff of burglar.

This time it was banana bread by a bewitching cook named Stella, who has a clutch of alluring but healthy cake recipes in her repertoire (I don't use those t...


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Steamed Razor Clams with Chili, Ginger and Vermouth

Posted by on Thursday, March 4, 2010, In : Night 




After the satisfying stodginess of the pot pie, I wanted something fresh and light. I'd been following and enjoying the fish related posts of a foodie friend, Biren, who does amazing Asian food, and my thoughts were turning to all the briny delights of the sea.

Providence was smiling down on me when I saw these plump, daisy fresh razor clams on a morning jaunt to the market. They were larger than the ones I'd eaten before and looked too tempting to pass by.

My mother, who is not as much a s...


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Tuna and Mushroom Pot Pie

Posted by Kmk /dd on Monday, March 1, 2010, In : Noon 



You'd never induce me to buy a jar of ready made pasta sauce, or a box of cake mix but there are two commercially prepared foods I love, and am hardly ever without; canned tuna and canned condensed soup. They're fabulously versatile ingredients and just looking at them standing proudly full frontal, on supermarket shelves, almost fries my circuitry because of the lunch or dinner ideas that start to flood my mind.

In our house, there's no such thing as "tuna surprise" or "captain's casserole"...


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Gaia's Guiltless Chocolate Mud Cake

Posted by on Thursday, February 25, 2010, In : Sweet things 



I am a cake fiend. I can't go two days without baking something and lately, my husband's been grumbling about a thickening middle (his of course) and the amount of sweet treats the children have been scarfing down owing to my baking mania. I thought of how to cut down both the butter and sugar in a cake recipe, as well as reduce cholesterol, for my mum's benefit, without sacrificing taste to the point that it's no longer worth eating. I've never liked prunes - their very name inspires depress...


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Salmon and Vegetable Parcels

Posted by on Monday, February 22, 2010, In : Night 



I saw a gorgeous fillet of salmon on the fishmonger's slab and knew right away that I wanted to eat it with the Yukon Gold potatoes and the almost needle fine beans I'd bought the day before. Cooking food sealed in parchment paper is a classical French method known as "en papillote". I love, love, love this way of preparing fish as it's almost laser quick, mess free, healthy and relies very little on fat for flavour.

What you get is a cut of fish cooked to absolute perfection, which for me,...


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Lean Mean Sze Chuan Chicken

Posted by Kmk /dd on Thursday, February 18, 2010, In : Noon 




When was the last time you had a really good, sizzling plate of Sze Chuan chicken in a Chinese restaurant? If your experience was anything like mine, you probably enjoyed the first few mouthfuls, relishing the crisp exterior of the chicken and the yielding, tender flesh inside, all bathed in a rich, dark, unctuous gravy heavily inflected with garlic... and oozing with oil.

I'll bet though, that once the dish (and your ardour) cooled down and the gravy began to congeal, what was left on the pl...


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Parmesan and Tomato Scrolls

Posted by on Monday, February 15, 2010, In : Morning 




I made these egg free, low cholesterol, lacto-vegetarian, dairy-restricted [ have I got your attention yet? ; ) ] brunch bites for my husband yesterday. We didn't feel like joining the Valentine's Day throng and falling victim to inflated restaurant prices, so, a lazy and langourous day spent almost entirely in bed was how we marked the occassion.

These delicious savoury rolls, filled with grated parmesan and topped with a tomato half, not only make a very tasty and satisfying brunch nibble...


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Almond, White Chocolate and Rum Hearts

Posted by on Friday, February 12, 2010, In : Sweet things 




Having missed posting a recipe for World Nutella Day, there was no way I was going to let Valentine's Day slip away from me. To be on the safe side, I decided to test these babies out ahead of the day itself and they turned out so well, I couldn't wait a minute more to post this. If you're planning to stay in this Sunday and are looking for something delectable but undemanding to make for your sweetheart, may I suggest these? 

Ironically, Valentine's Day was never on my list of annual highl...


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Roast Game Hens with Fennel Crusted Butternut Squash

Posted by on Wednesday, February 10, 2010, In : Night 



I finally cooked that special dinner I had been planning for hubby's return to home and hearth. It was a quiet but warm reunion, one befitting a couple as low-key as we are. After dinner, the family retired to the living room with dessert - I am not one of those mothers who forbids eating in front of the television. I don't recommend it for everyone, but it can't be denied that sitting in front of the telly with your feet tucked under and a decadently indulgent dessert on your lap, is one of ...


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Nutella and Orange Tart

Posted by on Sunday, February 7, 2010, In : Sweet things 



If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I've been devoted to Nutella for most of my life, so, I felt a little disloyal, for not posting something themed on it, for World Nutella Day (5 February) and decided that today would be the perfect day to make up for it. Being the avid baker I am, I often have shortcrust (sweet and plain), bread dough and sometimes even danish pastry in my freezer. If you're not similarly inclined, by all means use commercial frozen pastry - I hav...


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Soba Noodles in Ginger Mushroom Broth

Posted by on Thursday, February 4, 2010, In : Noon 




There are times I'll bet, when like me, you feel like the inside of a garbage bin. Days, maybe even weeks of eating anything that crosses your path, the first thing you see when you open the fridge door, or two-thirds of your pal's taco chips, if she still dares to open a bag when you're within sight. I usually feel this way post Christmas and New Year's, after all that wanton and mindless feasting and will almost always repent slowly and painfully for the first 2 months or so, of the new yea...


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Garlic and Oregano Roasted Tomatoes

Posted by on Sunday, January 31, 2010, In : Miscellaneous 




Whenever I'm at my cousin Maymay's, this will make an appearance on her table, and yesterday was no exception. But it was only yesterday, as I looked at a bowl of this, sandwiched between the plate of crisp, browned bacon and the glazed chocolate scones I'd taken along as my contribution to breakfast (which we characteristically had at high noon), that it occured to me how very simple, yet very versatile this actually is. As I plunged the tines of my fork into one and popped it in my mouth, I...


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Blueberry and Peach Crumble

Posted by on Friday, January 29, 2010, In : Sweet things 




After weeks of being a shadowy presence, my kitchen "mojo" seems to be returning, judging by the number of times my eyes have strayed to my pantry cupboard door and the mounting desire to use my KitchenAid mixer. So, yesterday, I made the very easy peach and blueberry crumble you see up there. I saw some slightly bruised blueberries going cheap at my usual supermarket and vaguely recalled a clutch of rose-flushed, yellow peaches rolling around in my fruit drawer. True enough, when I got home,...


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Madras Chicken and Pea Curry

Posted by on Monday, January 25, 2010, In : Night 




I haven't felt like cooking as much as I usually do and we've been eating out more the last few days, as I go through my routine in auto-pilot mode; schoolwork with my boys, cleaning, washing, laundry, writing when I can, distracted and slightly off kilter, wondering about how hubby would reintegrate with us after eight years apart.

Yesterday, my boys finally put their collective foot down and demanded something home made, and how, oh how, does a mother refuse a plea as plaintive as "please m...


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Chocolate Sultana Breakfast Scones

Posted by on Wednesday, January 20, 2010, In : Morning 



Scones are traditionally eaten at afternoon tea but I've always loved them even more, with coffee, in the morning. Last Saturday, I had these, in bed, way past lunch time, for breakfast, while twittering, with crumbs all over my keyboard, bed and a few unmentionable places.

My husband will soon be returning home for good, after almost 8 years working and living a 5 hour flight away from me. Once he's back, I won't be able to enjoy anything else in bed anymore, except wine and, well, my husb...


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Ginger, Lime and Mint Fizz

Posted by on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, In : Drinks 



I've encountered this cocktail more than once, when island hopping around the Maldives. It's a zingy blend of citrus, ginger and mint that really makes the palate tingle while quieting the churning tummy discomfort that can arise from being tossed about the waves like a ragdoll in a toyboat, when the usually placid, and always beautiful, Indian Ocean is less agreable. After a bone rattling speedboat ride, under the relentlessly blistering Maldivian sun, on my last trip there late last year,...


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Roast Beef Tenderloin with Pumpkin Ravioli

Posted by on Sunday, December 6, 2009, In : Noon 



What follows is less a recipe and more the conclusion of an experiment with rather tasty results. I have been reading, cover to cover, hitherto something I'd never done with a cookbook, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "River Cottage Meat Book", the last 2 weeks or so. It's a heavy book, mildly put and I actually packed it before leaving Singapore. I've never been happier to spend money on a cookbook and I'll be posting my thoughts in "Kitchen Lust" when I'm done with Mr Double-Barrelled Surname...


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Rough & Ready Tuna Tataki

Posted by on Saturday, November 28, 2009, In : Night 




After successive days of curry in varying shades of red, green, yellow and brown...here it comes, morning, noon and night, I really, really wanted something different. Hubby's apartment kitchen however, is kitchenphobic-bachelor-basic, with a fridge that holds marginally more than 3 bottles of water and doesn't even have an oven. It's lovely having the Indian Ocean in all its turquoise and cobalt glory outside every window here, in the Maldives, but I was really starting to miss my kitchen ba...


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Breakfast Plum Cake

Posted by on Sunday, July 12, 2009, In : Morning 



I woke up this morning still thinking about a friend, and her sour cherry cake. She is you see,a frightful brainiac, but, by her own admission, almost completely out of her element in the kitchen. My blog, so she told me, had induced her into actually using her "cake frame" - her term of endearment for her cake tin, to make the said cherry cake, yesterday, for tea. Brava bella! So here, inspired by her newly gained kitchen gumption (she did it, in minutes, with a spoon, little else and no dir...


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Feeding Pail Frittata

Posted by on Tuesday, July 7, 2009, In : Morning 


Can you tell I've been feeling a little lazy lately? I did stock up on groceries after the last skin-of-my-teeth cooking adventure with the dehydrated denizens of my kitchen. I just didn't much feel like doing dishes or cleaning my newly greaseless and gleaming stove. Don't tell me you haven't had one of those days? I wouldn't believe you, if you did. So, I got out my cake tin (it does look a little like a feeding pail; tilt your head a bit more to the left) and decided a baked omelette (ot...


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Hubby's in Town Tater Salad

Posted by on Monday, July 6, 2009, In : Noon 



There was little more than ice, milk, slightly shrivelled green beans and mustard in my freezer and fridge on Saturday; the husband made a pit-stop on his way back to work and was in and out of town within 2 days; I am not being facetious. Would grocery shopping be on your list of priorities? I had 6 sprouting potatoes in the basket and lots of beautiful chartreuse hued virgin olive oil. A handful of bright coral cherry tomatoes were rolling about in the crisper drawer and still had some li...


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Morning Jam Muffins

Posted by on Wednesday, July 1, 2009, In : Morning 

 



These muffins are a lazy stir away when you're up late on a weekend morning. If you love greasy, sticky, jam dripping doughnuts (those hip expanding, soul satisfying fiends) but virtuously shun them because your hips are already sorely testing the stitching on your jeans, deny yourself no more. These jammy, but otherwise relatively harmless muffins will satisfy those forbidden cravings without adding to the burden on your already beleaguered jeans; no guarantees though, if you eat more tha...


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Spaghetti Pomodoro Speziato

Posted by on Sunday, June 28, 2009, In : Noon 


I'll wager it won't take you much longer to stir this up than it would to say "Spaghetti Pomodoro Speziato". It sounds and looks quite a mouthful but all it really means is "spicy tomato spaghetti". The recipe was given to me by a half drunk Italian cook years and years ago, who swore to me, on his grandmother's grave, that it was his dead grandmother's personal creation, unaltered.

How much store can you put by the word of a partially inebriated cook/actor/model/tennis coach/I can't rememb...


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Coconut and Cardamom Candy

Posted by on Friday, June 26, 2009, In : Sweet things 



I made this a week late, but still, better than never, as they say. This is a quickie version of the candy my mother used to make when I was little. She used freshly grated coconut which gives phenomenal flavour and aroma but takes tireless stirring over a low flame and well that's just not what we're all about here. I use dessicated coconut and this is truly very nearly as good as my mum's, but she would have a fit if she knew what I've done to her recipe, so, "shhhhhhhhhhhh!" Serve this a...


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Chicken and Almond Pilaf

Posted by on Thursday, June 18, 2009, In : Night 



I don’t know about you, but every now and then, I hanker after a bit of eastern exotica, for dinner, and it has to be dinner so I get to dim or snuff the lights and play with candles, the warm glowing points of which bounce friskily off my painfully pretty, gilded tea glasses.   Madly appealing as the thought of sashaying in swishy silk pants, like Scheherazade might have, around wisps of sweetly scented smoke, might be, there is nothing remotely alluring about the thought of sweating for...


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St Clement’s Tea Cake

Posted by on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, In : Sweet things 



No, bells don’t go off every time I bite into a slice and while the British nursery rhyme may be loaded with sexual, historical and political insinuation, this is just a simple cake that is damned near divine for its beguiling scent and moist, tender crumb, studded with fresh orange slices, rind and all. As you close your mouth down on a forkful, your palate and nose are hit with, in quick succession, the sweet, juicy burst of orange, then the sharp spike of lemon and finally, the softly al...


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Better Than Sex Chicken

Posted by on Monday, June 15, 2009, In : Night 



I should tell you right off the bat that that the aforesaid claim is not mere gastronomic hyperbole  and that  this  is a simplified version of Chicken Cordon Bleu that will not challenge the less dextrous. It cooks faster than the classic version which has the ham and cheese stuffed into a pocket cut into the boned chicken breast or rolled up tightly in the flattened breast.  This isn’t exactly for the weight conscious or virtuous eater but is worth every heart stopping, artery clogging an...


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Lemon and Garlic Chicken

Posted by on Thursday, June 11, 2009, In : Noon 




Even before any of this gets on to my plate, the smell of the garlic and oregano sizzling in the olive oil, almost makes me feel as if I’m on one of the gorgeous, sun drenched Greek islands. This is indeed based on the utterly delicious but wonderfully simple Greek classic, Kotopoulo Lemonato. Greeks will use, for this amount of chicken, up to 2 whole lemons but I am defeated by anything more than one.  Feel free to adjust the citrus sharpness of the dish to your personal level of  toleranc...


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Kaffeepunch

Posted by on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, In : Drinks 




Aquavit or Akvavit as it’s known in Scandinavia is the most popular tipple in Viking territory. It’s believed to warm the body – very important in that corner of the world, amongst a host of other health benefits, not least of which is the purported ability to lengthen human life. Not surprising then that its name means “water of life”. I doubt it will add even a minute to your lifespan but it warms the gullet on its way down and starts a smoulder in the belly once it lands. Its car...


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Red Fruit Salad

Posted by on Tuesday, June 9, 2009, In : Morning 



Looking at this, through glass, glinting in the sun, you may wonder if you’re about to eat a fruit salad or a heap of crimson and violet jewels. What a sight to wake up to! Wonderfully refreshing and cleansing especially on a weekend morning following a night of alcoholic and other excesses.  If you can’t get red dragon fruit, substitute with red plums, cherries or just double the amount of your favourite of the other fruit.  The smidgeon of alcohol this contains is my brand of “hair of...


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Luca’s Survival Supper

Posted by on Monday, June 8, 2009, In : Night 


As much as any one of us loves to cook, and may well on any given day, eat, live and breathe food, there will be times when when you’ve had all you can take of microwave imploded frozen pizza, greasy stoves, kitchen conflagrations and dirty dishes. Don't tell me otherwise; you'd be a fibber. My friend Luca has rather more of such days than most, and is the inspiration behind this feast of a sandwich, that gives every indication of appealing to more than just fungi fanatics or (more or les...


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Double Chocolate Mousse Meringues

Posted by on Sunday, June 7, 2009, In : Sweet things 



The double part refers to the mousse and the meringues both being chocolate. Don’t be put off by the relative length of this recipe, it really is easy and can be made hours ahead and even be stored for a day or two before final assembly. Once put together though, it must be eaten quickly as the delicate mousse doesn’t take long to deflate, out of the refrigerator and the meringues will quickly turn soggy once in contact with the mousse. The main attraction apart from how pretty this is wo...


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Noodles in Miso Broth

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Noon 



This takes minutes to put together but does not taste anywhere as simple as it sounds. If you like fresh Asian flavours, noodles and fuss free cooking, this has your name all over it. It may look like a sinful treat, but this is actually a guilt free indulgence that would fit nicely into a low fat or diet segment, if I could bring myself to write one. Lots of lean protein and fresh vegetables, minimal fat and tons of flavour make this go down a treat no worries about getting comfortably i...
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Heartbreak Hamburger

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Noon 



This is my solace when the world is a cold, cruel place. Many would go for creamy mash and gravy, stick-to-your-ribs mac and cheese or some soul succouring chocolate treat but this is it for me when my soul and psyche have been ravaged and stand in shreds. One bite of this heavenly combination of sinus searing wasabi, blood rare beef, molten cheese and buttery avocado is all the salve I need, except maybe for a chunk or two of really good, dark, pain dulling chocolate. No, I don’t think a b...
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Vadim’s Vamp

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Drinks 



The very sight of the cobalt coloured French liqueur, Alize Bleu, brings sunny St Tropez and its bevy of beautiful people to mind. When I was growing up, Brigitte Bardot was the femme du jour and a fixture of St Tropez.  I’ve lost count of the number of Bardot movies I’ve seen but they’ve definitely left their mark. The bright citrus, cherry and spice flavours coupled with the gorgeous blue of this delightful cocktail epitomises to me, the seductive charms of the French Riviera and the ...

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Salmon Escalopes in Lemon and Caper Butter

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Night 



Escalopes are thin, broad slices of meat, poultry and in this case, fish. They cook amazingly quickly and are one of my favourite dinners to prepare when i've had a day too crazy to take my chances with take out but I'm feeling a bit too fragile to throw myself into the preparation of a fussy meal.  A glass of wine with this, some simple boiled potatoes or tender, well seasoned lentiles, and maybe a plate of mascarpone topped with tart berries, dusted with icing sugar, at the end, make a meal...

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Morning Trifle

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Morning 



You won't believe how healthy this is, after a taste. It really does look like individual trifles and tastes almost as good, but is very much healthier. Use unsweetened low or non fat yoghurt, if you're feeling particularly virtuous. This actually looks tempting enough to tempt even children into eating whole grains - fools my brood, every time

Preparation: 90 mins (including chilling)    Cook: 5 mins    Serves: 4


500 g of your favourite berry or berries, washed, drained and hulled if necessary...
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Chocolate Mushrooms

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Sweet things 



Devil –dark and just as sinful yet very easy, uses everyday ingredients and works equally well as an afternoon treat with coffee or tea, or as dessert if served with a dollop of crème fraiche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.   Recipe yields 12 – 16 muffins, depending on how generously you fill the muffin cups. Golden syrup imparts a distinctive flavour and makes a very moist cake. The tray I use to bake these has narrower and deeper cups than normal muffin trays and the cakes come out lo...
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