Goodness Bowl and Changes on the Blog

Cooking, Recipes, Thoughts

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I am no food blogger. I make food, I eat food, I enjoy food… but to say I am a food blogger is a bit… inaccurate.

That seems pretty rich coming from a person who uses the hashtag #ihaveafoodblog.

The thing is, I recently became friends with a colleague, Pei Zhen. Now, she’s a true chef and creator of food things. We were in the middle of our science comms jobs and then we started talking about food and man – when she started talking about food it was like you couldn’t stop her! She churns inventive ice-creams, packs fresh lunches for herself and her husband and has her own version of french onion soup (WTF?).

This made me think about my approach to food and the whole point of this blog.

I originally started this blog because I cook at home a lot – but the thing is, I hated cooking. So in order to change that I figured if I had a blog and celebrated what I cooked, that would change.

It did in fact, change. I love cooking now and it’s a respite from my life and my very busy mind when I do cook. However, I don’t try new things. I either cook recipes that I find online or that my Mom has taught me. I like following the path people have laid down when it comes to food – because they know what they are doing and I’m a busy person. Experimenting? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So, I’ve decided my food making posts are going to feature pictures, a story behind why I made that dish and a link to the original recipe, when there is one. Ala Cupcakes and Cashmere. Not that I’m anywhere near her popularity as a blogger. It just seems more genuine.

Also, recently, I’ve been doing more posts about my life, like this one about having an existential crisis, and the number of views those posts get are wayyy more than my food posts.

It makes more sense to explore and expand this part of the blog.

As much as I’d love to be a lifestyle blogger, I don’t have the budget for the clothes/food/travel (I think it’s called SWAG?).

Also, I love sharing what I think and how I deal. With all this 21st century bullshit that is currently making our lives so hard.

So in this installation of cooking and food, I came across this gorgeous bowl of goodness and I knew I had to have it. I actually did make it in time for Salad Monday, but the thing is, this isn’t a salad. It’s a bowl.

Everything is cooked. The quinoa comes alive with tumeric, fresh ginger and coconut oil. The carrots, beets and red onions are roasted with olive oil. The kale is mushrooms are sauteed with mirin and a splash of soy sauce. And finally the protein – chicken is baked with ginger and garlic and salt and pepper. It all comes together with an earthy sauce of miso, tahini and lemon juice. The original recipe features avocado and and no meat. But that’s all up to you.

Super Simple Roast Chicken and Spaghettini Aglio Olio

Entertaining

Chicken done right!

Chicken done right!

This past weekend and week – I two dinner parties (with my attendees help) and they both went really well. The first was a Taco Salad Bar with my girlfriends. Just prepped the ingredients and let each girl fix their own bowl.

The second was a lovely dinner in with Alex and Avi – my best bros. The challenge? Pulling this off on weeknight.

The reason for this not-so-convenient timing was that Alex was due to fly back to Kabul and we all wanted to spend some quality time together.

What could I whip up that was:
A) yummy
B) boys would eat it
C) easy + fast

And remember – boys had to eat it, so I couldn’t just like, serve them a salad.

Then I suddenly remembered Hoi serving me the best roast chicken I’ve had in my life for Christmas.

Whipped out my phone and texted – “Hoiii can you send me the recipe for your roast chicken that you made for Christmas???”

“Sure.”

And then I had it.

What about carbs?

I had some conveniently gifted spaghettini which would make this dish… FREE… if I used it. Hmmm…

A short Google search later led me to a efficient use of ALLTHEINGREDIENTS I already had in my pantry. Good thing parmesan was optional coz I don’t eat cheese/I’m cheap.

But what about greens?

The boys might not want them but my digestive system did. Too much info? WHATEVER.

I decided some chopped romaine and a simple lemon dressing would perk up the menu.

I was back home by 6:45pm, after buying groceries, prepped the chicken, popped it in the oven.

Alex came over and started on his apple crumble flambe.

Avi mixed them some Cuba Libres while I made the salad dressing.

Once Alex was done – I quickly prepped the spaghettini and Avi chopped the salad.

My (not-so) pretty plate

My (not-so) pretty plate

Dinner was served by 8:30pm. Not bad I would say.

The crumble baked while we ate. Alex then insisted we needed San Pedros to go with it. That is basically vanilla ice-cream and rum. Blended.

The food was humble, delicious and very satisfying. And totes doable on a weekend.

Also, I have literally never seen Avi that much – in my life.

It was a fantastic night that had us all laughing and me thinking about how crazy it was that these two friends of mine, who I met separately at very different parts in my life (high school vs masters), click so well. I mean the dudes both watch Hannibal, drink too much alcohol and can’t stand it when women use silence as show of anger.

Go figure.

Apple crumble flambeeeee

Apple crumble flambeeeee

Food links:
Roast Chicken
Spaghettini Aglio Olio
Lemon Vinaigrette
Cuba Libre

Apple Crumble Flamble – Ask Alex – coz it’s a family recipe!

Happy Friday everyone!

I make ugly food & it TASTES SO GOOD: Vol III

Baking, Cooking, Recipes, Thoughts

Hi friends! I’m back with the third installment of ugly food I cook and for some reason, you can’t get enough of!

I cook a couple of times a week and many times I look to the Internet Gods for guidance, advice and of course – recipes.

This installment is the longest I’ve ever done and features heavily on desserts… Clearly I need to stop pretending I live in a cold country and need sustenance in the form of sweet treats.

Because I live in Singapore and my ass needs sustenance in the form of raw green things. And some lean protein. But you know #details

SO. This time around I changed up the format. See the pretty pictures first and the ugly AND REAL pictures later.

You guys like reality? Right?

Classic Lemon Bars – Joy The Baker

This dessert, like so many others, was born out of a frenzy of denying my body sugar for days. Actually it might have been 24 hours. But as they say, same-to-same. I found the lemons in my fridge, stole my flatmate’s flour and baked these babies up. They might look questionable but I can actually say I pretty much ate ALL of this, by myself.

Healthy Quinoa Chicken Curry Bowls – Pinch of Yum

I always REALLY regret making Indian-fusion food or anything with the word curry in it. Why? It’s always insipid and then I crave my Mom’s food and then I crawl into a fetal position and cry. True story.

Ginger Walnut Chocolate Blondies – Joy the Baker

I have featured these babies before here, but before the editing and amateur “food styling” I attempted, they looked like this. They tasted friggin AMAZING though.

Goat Cheese and Blackberry Jam Grilled Sandwiches – Aamupalalla

I saw this grilled cheese, I had some left-over goat cheese, Hoi had just given me a mini-pot of strawberry jam – and I knew, it was meant to be. Stinky, cheesy and yummy, this baby was intense. Would I make it again? No. But do I regret it? No.

Chicken Shwarma Nachos – My Name is Yeh

I made these nachos for a girlie dinner and it went down like a hit. Looking back at these pictures makes me realize though that man – I have got to learn how to style food! Or accept that having a food blog might mean not eating the food you present on the blog. ANYWAY, this was very tasty and Molly Yeh’s original post on it is beautiful. I recommend taking a look.

Oatmeal raisin cookie baked oatmeal – Two Red Bowls

I saved the best, err ugliest, for last. A questionable textured breakfast that tasted pretty yummy, this baked oatmeal looked like the stuff of breakfast dreams, but in actuality looked CRAZY TERRIBLE. UGH.

I swear my food tastes good.

I make ugly food & it TASTES SO GOOD: Vol II

Baking, Cooking, Recipes, Thoughts

My first ugly food post is actually the most popular post on my blog EVER. It got 105 views which let’s face it is, pretty paltry and in all honesty it only got there because Shutterbean linked to me. THANK GOD FOR HER.

In a bid to replicate my early success in a time of complete creative drought (I find that I’m mostly really concerned about what lipstick color I should buy) that I thought I would copy an old post.

Like always, I’ve been cooking up a storm and it’s been good, but it really hasn’t looked good. AKA I haven’t bothered styling it.

Here’s what I’ve been cooking and enjoying these past two weeks! Bon App├ętit!

Bonkers Awesome Mushroom and Onion Shells and Cheese Joy The Baker

The minute I saw this recipe on Joy’s blog I had to make it. However the amount of cheese and butter held me back knowing that really eating this could in no way be classified as healthy or good for you. Still I made it (Sans Gruyere – which I will use next time) and not only was it an awesome dinner, it was an awesome lunch to take into work. Too bad it really looks nothing like the original.

Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Goat CheeseCookie and Kate

I don’t really impulse food shop because I have a set amount of things I eat in a day and at certain times (5 o’clock apple – everyday!).* So when I do buy something out of the ordinary it generally causes a lot of panic and my mind immediately tries to slot it into my routine. This is what happened when I recently bought some cheap strawberries. I don’t have the calorie bandwith or time to eat strawberries but I had to eat dinner, so I made this salad and added some grilled chicken and was good to go! Was it good? Ish.

Spicy Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup – All Recipes

Honestly, All Recipes? I know, how very 2000 of me. But seriously this recipe, which I stumbled across after typing in “sweet potato” and “coconut milk” into Google, was actually AMAZING. Make it and dunk in some udon, veggies and some silken tofu and you’ve got A MEAL my friends.

Big Clusters Maple Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Granola – Averie Cooks

I make granola from time and time and it’s always vaguely healthy. This time I didn’t want to do healthy – I wanted to do chock full, can’t even pretend this is good for you granola. Because sometimes you want to. Sometimes you want to be bad – and then feel good – and then feel obese. Because really this is what happened when I made this granola. And honestly – check out the photography in the original post and drool because it is oh-so-good.

*If you think this is strange and weird and you are still my friend then you obviously think this is a charming quirk of mine and we need not discuss this further.

I make ugly food & it TASTES SO GOOD

Baking, Cooking, Recipes, Thoughts

The food I make is partly inspired by my Mom’s cooking, partly inspired by the contents of my refrigerator and sometimes inspired by THE INTERNET. Here’s a rundown of some dishes I’ve cooked from recipes found on some of my favorite food blogs and websites. I’ve also included the pictures and links to the originals JUST so you can see how desperately I need a new camera. Mine are first. Obviously.

Nutty Cranberry GranolaShutterbean

granola

This actually turned out really well except that the oats got a bit too overdone. But honestly, they taste kickass with any kind of milk and are super filling and good for breakfast.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes (Vegan)Top With Cinnamon

pancakes Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Pancakes-049-18

This recipe make super heavy pancakes but they’re quite good and you feel weirdly healthy when you eat them. What the recipe doesn’t tell you is that it sticks to the pan like crazy if you use normal vegetable oil. So you know that’s cool if you don’t mind destroyed pancakes. Or you could use coconut oil which is recommended.

Pineapple Upside Down CakeNigella

pineapple cake

This cake is a classic. It is easy and always turns out good. Mine looks a little different because I don’t do maraschino cherries and it also tasted different because I used pineapple slices in syrup. Don’t do it. Get pineapple juice and use that instead.

Green Chili ChickenSingapore Shiok

green chilli chicken

Okay this was ugly and it didn’t taste so good. Was it something I did? Personally I think it wasn’t a very good recipe.

The Reset Button SaladShutterbean

salad

I HAD to make this salad when I saw it. Unfortunately my version didn’t have spring onions because Fairprice decided to run out. Wow the contrast of how bad my salad looks next to the original is shocking. But it tasted awesome!

So get cooking this weekend and make some ugly, tasty food!