Home-made Muesli

Baking

HELLO!

My brekkie!

My brekkie!

I really tried to come up with something good after a long hiatus from Salad Mondays. I still eat salads, like everyday, but they’re the same damn salad. This salad to be specific.

So yesterday I decided to try something different.

Ok, I’m lying, it was basically that same salad with a tahini based dressing.

Salad nooooooooooo

Salad nooooooooooo

Looks ok, doesn’t it?

It was gross. Not super gross, but heavy gross, and unworthy of being touted as a Salad Monday salad.

SO – this was going to be a post I saved for a Friday or a Saturday to inspire some weekend projects but instead, since it turned out so beautifully and made me so happy this morning, I decided to share this little bit of success/heaven.

Every morning I eat some oat based breakfast. It’s usually overnight oats or granola or muesli. After months of the first two, I caved and bought a bag of Marks and Spencer’s “Four Berry Muesli”. Very delicious. Also, very expensive at about SGD15 a bag. It was also close to expiration.

So every morning, as I shoveled this very expensive and slightly stale cereal down my throat (with greek yogurt, obs), I realized I should try making it because a) I had most of the ingredients in my house and b) whatever I made should be cheaper.

This is what I came up with and seriously – it tastes fresh and nutty and is WAY better than any store bought muesli I have ever had, is easier to make than granola and is probably healthier – coz no added sugar!

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds, toasted/roasted (with no added salt)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cups dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 175C/350C.

Spread oats onto a baking sheet until its 1/4 inch deep (ish). Toast for ten minutes, stirring once in the middle.

Remove from oven and cool in a separate tray/ big plates.

At this point you can toast the almonds if you need to. Ten minutes should do it.

Once cool, evenly scatter the almonds, chia seeds, raisins and dried cranberries over the oats.

Carefully scoop into an air-tight container.

And done!

And done!

Serve with milk or yogurt. Drink black coffee. Revel in your brilliance.

*Adapted from Leite’s Culinaria.

Nutella Banana Crumble

Baking, Recipes


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I have been spending these past two weeks avoiding anything sweet.

Because A. My friend is getting married and I don’t want to look fat in the pictures.

And B. I pulled my back and can’t workout and I don’t want to look FAT IN THE PICTURES.

I am aware that it is not my wedding.

I am aware that gaining a bit of weight is not that big a deal.

I am also aware that looking like I’m fat in these pictures will do nothing for my self-esteem or street cred.

Are you aware that being overweight can lead to a variety of different health complications?

Yeah you know don’t you. So stop judging.

Anyway, what I’m saying is that I’ve been avoiding things that are sweet. Because desserts and anything chocolate, specifically, are my kryptonite.

So week one wasn’t that hard. Especially when I was at home, on MC, all like I need to eat healthy! Not crappy!

Week two was still doable – at work, but you know, bit difficult with the daily 3 o’clock boredom hunger pangs.

So what happened, in the middle of week two (I’m lying it was like Tuesday), was that I came across the one dessert recipe for which I ALREADY had all the ingredients for. Even if that meant stealing Hoi’s bananas. Which I did.

***

3 ripe bananas
200gm/whole jar Nutella
3 Tbsps/40gm unsalted butter
2 Tbsps/30gm brown sugar
1/2 cup/ 60gm all-purpose flour
2 Tbsps/20gm ground almonds
2 Tbsps oats (accidental but happy addition)

Heat the oven to 180C/350C.

Slice the bananas and evenly scatter them in an 8 inch round baking dish/something similar.

Spoon Nutella over, making sure to evenly layer it over. This is where you can use your individual taste to determine if you’re going to use that whole jar. DO IT.

Mix the dry ingredients with the butter until it resembles a mealy crumble. It’s okay of there are still bits of butter, that’s how the crumble form.

Top the Nutella layer with the crumble layer evenly. AGAIN.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bananas are bubbling. You’ll be able to see this from the side.

***

OH! And about the taste – it’s chocolatey and banana-ey with a hearty crumble. Basically totes perfect breakfast/tea/comfort food.

*Adapted from Deerest Deer.

Chocolate Chip (and then some) Cookies

Baking, Recipes

Chocolate Chip (and then some) CookiesIt’s been awhile cool kids!

This is because I haven’t been cooking anything particularly photogenic. Ok I lie, I have been, I’ve just been too lazy to actually photograph ANY of it. Please don’t make me.

I did however find the time to finally make these cookies that I promised I would make the day I saw them on i am a food blog.

This recipe is unique because it’s sort of a normal chocolate chip cookie but then it’s not because it’s got BLUEBERRIES in it and there’s COCONUT in it and OATMEAL and CHOCOLATE (ofcourseduh) – that I had to make it and see if all these things make it a superior cookie.

So I’m gonna level with you. It wasn’t a superior cookie. In fact the blueberries didn’t pop (in the flavor sense) in the way that I thought it would.

But guess what? It was a delicious, wholesome cookie, that really hit the spot. It tasted like childhood (at least, white people’s childhoods) and goodness.

Which is why I would make it again, and swap out the dried blueberries for raisins and white sugar for brown. But see, I would make it again.

New Mixer from my brother!

New Mixer from my brother!

These cookies – and everything I cook henceforth – was made possible by this amazing mixer gifted to me by my brother for my recent birthday 😀

Makes 18 medium sized cookies

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 + 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried blueberries

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and mix well. Beat in the vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated.

Add in the rolled oats, coconut, chocolate and blueberries. Stir until combined.

Form the dough into small balls and squish them into the shape you want your cookie to be – they will not spread much.

Place them on the baking sheet. Make sure they are well spaced.

Bake until golden brown about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for five minutes before cooling on a wire rack/tray.

Chocolate Chip (and then some) Cookies

*Adapted, barely, from i am a food blog.

**These taste better the day after baking or the day after that 🙂

Peanut Butter, Banana and Oat Muffins

Baking

Peanut Butter, Banana and Oat Muffins

I was going to leave this post till mid week because that’s typically when traffic is higher but you know what?

It’s pretty.

It looks oh-so-comforting.

And that’s what you need on a Monday morning when your entire body is screaming at you to NOT WAKE UP – CRAWL BACK UNDER THE SHEETS – THE WORLD DOES NOT DESERVE YOU!

Peanut Butter, Banana and Oat Muffins

Ahem. I present the breakfast muffin. Made with leftover mushy bananas.

They are light and fluffy and not too strong tasting if that’s your sort of thing. Since it’s not mine I would serve it with additional peanut butter or Nutella.

YUM.

Dry ingredients
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup whole oats (I made mine finer by pulsing it a bit in the food processor)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil (you can probably use vegetable oil)
2 eggs
1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar (allowed to sit for 5 minutes before incorporating)/ 1 cup buttermilk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.

Grease a muffin pan for 12 muffins.

Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.

Mix them together until just combined.

Pour evenly into the muffin holes – they will be 3/4 full.

Bake in the oven till its puffed up and the tops crack. About 20 minutes.

*Adapted from Baking Bites.
**Photography by Hoi Yee (paper_shins).

Update: You MUST eat this with an extra tablespoon (or two!) or peanut butter. THE END.

Raspberry Crumb Bars

Baking

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Guys it is time that I got serious about this blogging bizness. I like bought this domain for $18 a year. I don’t know about you but to me, that’s an investment. I mean instead of having my very own .com I could have bought 4 normal/ 2 over-priced sandwiches. Or half a dress!

But instead I’m choosing to fill a creative void in my life by maintaining this blog and entertaining people.

But am I really entertaining people? While I think I’m brilliant, my follower numbers and page views don’t seem to support that. My theory is my pictures suck. Wait no, they REALLY suck.

So this time I actually took these bars and cut of the edges and photographed them properly.

Side shot of the precariously balanced bars. I took me three tries to stack these so they didn't fall down.

Side shot of the precariously balanced bars. I took me three tries to stack these so they didn’t fall down.

These bars are dessert and breakfast worthy. Thankfully they also fall somewhere in the middle of healthy (oats) and unhealthy (butter).

The crumble mixture is nice and rich thanks to the butter and the sweet and tart raspberry jam balances it out nicely. Use decent quality jam. It’s really the key ingredient here.

This is what I call the sexy close up. Note the oozing jam and artful crumble. You almost can't see the side bits where the foil is stuck to the bar.

This is what I call the sexy close up. Note the oozing jam and artful crumble. You almost can’t see the side bits where the foil is stuck to the bar.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 175C/350F.

Line an 8 by 8 inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Grease foil.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

Stir in oats and brown sugar. Add butter, and using fingertips, work butter into mixture until evenly distributed.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the oat mixture to the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer.

Spread raspberry jam into an even layer over oat layer. If you spread it to the edge, like I did, it will stick to the foil. If you don’t want that to happen, please follow the original recipe which advises you to keep the edge jam free for 1/4 inch.

Sprinkle top evenly with remaining oat mixture, then slightly press into jam layer.

Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Man I need to wash my dishtowels more often.

Man I need to wash my dishtowels more often.

*Recipe from Cooking Classy.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Granola

Baking
Too close?

Too close?

Still too close?

Still too close?

We all good now?

We all good now?

I wanted granola and this is what I had leftover in my fridge/pantry/life. BOOM! Awesomeness in a bowl.

2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 Tbsps cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon (I think this helps bring out the taste of the chocolate)
3 Tbsps + 1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup dessicated/flaked coconut
2/3 cup chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and it makes ALL the difference)

Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcius. Line a baking sheet with foil (other people say parchment paper, I don’t have any).

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients (oats, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon).

In another bowl mix and then whisk the wet/binding ingredients (coconut oil, maple syrup, light brown sugar, vanilla extract).

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to combine. I usually use a spoon and then my hands.

Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Spread it out evenly.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and flip and add the coconut. Bake for another 10 minutes. It should smell like it’s done. I know these instructions are subjective.

Remove from the oven and when still hot pour chocolate chips over. Carefully mix with a spoon so that the chocolate chips melt a bit.

Wait until its completely cool before storing in a container. Should keep fresh for a week.

*I owe my granola making prowess entirely to Shutterbean and base my granola recipe on her Nutty Cranberry Granola. However I did adjust baking times and I find that you really just have to watch the granola and figure out what temperature and time works for your oven.

Overnight Oats (2)

Recipes

My breakfast this morning (actually this was my breakfast on Wednesday but this is a LIE all food bloggers tell) was this – Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Overnight Oats. And it was TERRIBLE.

overnight oats

This is mainly because I, like an idiot, decided I didn’t need to use a sweetener because HEY the chocolate chips would be enough. They weren’t. But I did use chia seeds and they were pretty kickass and REALLY filling and apparently the INTERNET says its good for me? Ok!

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup soy milk
1 Tbsp chia seeds (I used these chia seeds and bought it from iHerb – use my promo code at checkout if you’re a first time customer)
1-2 tsps honey/maple syrup (please use a sweetener – otherwise you WILL be sad)
dash of vanilla extract
2 Tbsps chocolate chips
1 Tbsp peanut butter

Mix oats, milk, chia seeds, honey/maple syrup and vanilla extract the night before. Put in a container (small plastic Tupperware should work) in the fridge.

The next morning, stir and top with chocolate chips and peanut butter.

Eat.

* Chia seeds have protein and are awesome and apparently will make you a successful human being.
** My overnight oats are quite liquidy. You can play around with the consistency if you want it less liquidy. I understand that this is obvious advice. But logic may not be your strong point.

Overnight Oats

Recipes

Happy Monday! Feel like stabbing yourself in the eye? Don’t!

INSTEAD – make Overnight Oats. It’s easy to do, apparently it’s good for your heart/health and it’s especially good for people (me) who don’t want to be late to work because they’re trying to eat breakfast at home.

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1/3 cup oats
2/3 cup milk (almond, soy, etc. works)
1 Tbsp dried cranberries
1 tsp honey
pinch of cinnamon
dash of vanilla extract
walnuts

Mix oats, milk, dried cranberries, honey, cinnamon and vanilla extract the night before. Put in a container (small plastic Tupperware should work) in the fridge.

The next morning, stir and garnish with walnuts.

Eat.

Pat yourself on the back for being smart and healthy and winning at life.

*One thing they don’t tell you about overnight oats is that if you put the dried fruit in the night before (you don’t have to) it becomes plump and juicy and quite awesome.

**Another thing they don’t tell you is that it’s consistency is slightly slimy.