From the book, Lost in Translation: “It’s nice that the Japanese think so highly of thinking about nothing at all that they actually gave it a name.”

Boketto: n. Gazing vacantly into the distance without really thinking about anything specific. This word came to my mind at some of the stops we made along Seward Highway, Alaska. It was a lovely day – Blue skies, temperature in the 70s. A perfect day for some boketto. 🙂Read More »


Sichuan-style wontons in chili oil and vinegar.

I was talking to a friend a few days ago, and the conversation drifted to the topic of food and a restaurant in Singapore that I miss, and I thought about one of my favourite dish there – Hong You Chao Shou (红油抄手). Directly translated, it means “Red oil, crossed arms”. The dish is better known in English as Sichuan-style wontons in chili oil and vinegar.  In the west, wontons are typically eaten fried, but basic wontons are also eaten boiled, or in savoury soups accompanying noodles. Good wontons have thin and supple skin and when they are boiled, the skins have a wonderful slippery texture. In this dish, they are tossed in spicy chili oil and vinegar and adding some minced ginger into the wontons complements the tangy-ness of the sauce.Read More »

Easy 20 minute Pork Chops with Plum sauce, ginger and lime juice.

Some days, you just don’t have the energy or  feel like spending an hour cooking your meal. Well, yesterday was such a day for me. On days like this, I am thankful for having my staple sauces standing ready in my pantry. One of my favourite is Chinese Plum sauce, and I especially like to use it when I cook pork. There are many brands of plum sauce out there, but I have always used the one shown below as it’s a popular brand in my home country, Singapore.

This dish needs only 5 min prep time, and around 10 min cooking time. It will be ideal if you plan ahead and let the meat marinade in the sauce for 4 hours or even overnight. But because the sauce is strong in flavor with plum sauce and honey, I think it will be okay if you have no time to marinade your meat and have to cook it right away. If that’s the case, baste the pork chop with the marinade as you cook, and cook the remaining marinade after you have finished pan-frying the meat, and use it as the sauce for the pork chops.Read More »

Iced gems, batch number 2. 

So the husband managed to pester me into making these again. Made them smaller in size this time round, and ‘plump-er’, so that there’s a nicer balance of biscuit and icing (and more biscuits to eat). Decided to make a Tiffany-blue and white colour combination this time round. 🙂

Please see my earlier post for recipes and instructions on how to make these iced gem biscuits!


Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (Recipe)

So it’s time to do the weekly clean-out-the-fridge thingy to make sure there aren’t things laying forgotten in the fridge. This afternoon’s find: 3 red peppers whose skins are starting to get wrinkly, a box of also wrinkly grape tomatoes, and a going-to-yellow bunch of parsley. Hmm…maybe it’s time to cook another soup. I don’t have enough tomatoes to make just a tomato soup nor red peppers to do a roasted red pepper soup, so I guess I’m gonna to have a marriage of recipes and do a roasted red pepper and tomato soup.

To make this soup, I looked through three recipes, and took elements of what I liked from each recipe. The three recipes are, Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Grilled Tomato Soup from the recipe book The Joy of Cooking, and Nigella Lawson’s Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup Recipe. I have tried these two recipes from The Joy of Cooking before and I think the addition of fennel seeds, rice, wine and carrots in the roasted pepper soup recipe greatly added to the taste and gives you the nice texture without the need to add flour or cream to thicken the soup. Read More »

Happy National Running Day!

So apparently, there’s a National Running Day! Hope you folks had a good run or walk or spent some lovely minutes out in the sunshine. If you haven’t, there’s still time!

Today’s photo for my online running log: some cheery wildflowers beside the small lake. Love that they are springing up everywhere.

And a parting thought:

Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Crackles (Recipe)

I love to eat cookies and before I started baking, Pepperidge Farm cookies are my favourite. They still taste great to me, but really, once I started to bake, nothing tastes better than freshly-baked cookies, and I love how the whole house smells like cookies. 🙂 I tried a few recipes that I found online before but they didn’t turn out all that great and I thought it was due to my poor baking skills. However, after trying out Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook, I am convinced that sometimes, all you need is really a good recipe! So don’t give up! For the longest time I thought I was just cursed and could never produce a decent baked good. Well, this was the first cookie I tried baking from her book and my first attempt. If I can do it, so can you! By the way, I highly recommend this book. I have tried 3 recipes so far and all have turned out looking pretty and tasted great. I can’t wait to share these recipes with you! The first one I’ll be sharing today is Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Crackles. Read More »

Easy Cream of Mushroom soup! You won’t need Campbell’s ever again. (Recipe)

I’ve never tried making soup till I got my stick blender. They have always looked like they need a lot of work, especially the creamy ones. After I (finally) bought my stick blender, it’s like a new area of cooking opened up to me. I HAVE to make sure I put my blender to good use (lest someone starts nagging that there are too many things in my kitchen…) so I started looking up the ‘Soup’ section of my recipe books and realised that, hey, you know what? Soups can be one of the easiest and quickest thing to prepare AND they can be really cheap and healthy food too! Of course, just don’t choose to make lobster bisque or something if you are in a hurry. A few days ago, I discovered another soup recipe that is so quick and easy to prepare – Cream of Mushroom soup (no blending required).Read More »