Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Pumpkin and Baby Spring Mix Salad




While my girl enjoyed so much and happily 'polished clean' a dish of fragrance crunchy toppings Lemon and Almond baked Salmon, I have this big tub of nutty pumpkin salad to enjoy ^-^!

I like pumpkin ... very often, I would just throw some into the rice cooker to cook with the rice and make 'pumpkin rice'.
Or make fried rice with pumpkin and raisins.
Or make some pumpkin soups/desserts be it savoury or sweet.

Pumpkin salad ? Nope!
Roasted or baked pumpkin ? Nope, and this is my first attempt in making pumpkin salad with a medley of baby lettuces.
Recipe adapted mostly  from Taste.com by Sarah Hobbs


Pumpkin and Baby Spring Mix Salad
600g pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, cut into wedges
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

For the salad dressing:
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey, extra
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

142g Baby Spring mix (a medley of baby lettuces)
75g toasted pine nuts

Method:
Step 1 
Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss until the pumpkin is well coated.

Place in a single layer on the lined tray. Bake, turning once during cooking, for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with the sesame seeds. Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the seeds are lightly toasted. Remove from oven and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.

Step 2 
Combine the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, mustard and extra honey in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3 
Place the pumpkin, spinach (or mix baby lettuces) and pine nuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and gently toss until just combined. Serve immediately.

Well, here's a bowl of refreshing healthy salad to munch munch! Really loved the sweet pumpkin tossed in a bed of crunchy baby mix and pine nuts ^-^! Enjoy!

Have a pleasant week !


This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

Bought a pack of buttermilk but did not bake the cake that I had planned to. Need to use before it expires soon. Craving for some pancakes for our breakfast ... and this recipe calls for buttermilk. Bingo! 
But ... Oh NO! 
Chocolate indulgence ... again ?! 
Hee hee ... ok ok in moderation ... 
Choco-licious Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes for our weekend brekkie.


The recipe yields 4 servings but I halved it to 2 servings. Recipe source : Annies eats

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes
2 servings (about 10 pieces) enough for 2 - 3 persons.
Ingredients:
1 egg
240ml buttermilk
2 tbsps butter (melted and cooled)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
125 grams all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
105 grams chocolate chips

Method:
1) In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  Whisk in the buttermilk, butter and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.  Add in the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix just until incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips and stir just until combined.

2) Preheat the oven to 90°C (to keep the cooked pancakes warm).
Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Melt a thin pat of butter in the pan and spread it around.  Once the bottom of the pan has been covered, wipe the butter out gently with a paper towel so that only a very thin film remains.

3) Drop scoops of batter of your desired size (I used ice cream scoop) into the pan. Cook the first side until bubbles form on the surface and begin to pop, and the bottom is golden brown.  Flip gently with a spatula and cook again until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.  Transfer the cooked pancakes to an oven-safe dish in the warmed oven and repeat the process with the remaining batter.  Serve immediately.

Fluffy soft pancakes with chocolate chips. To serve, sprinkle some chocolate chips and drizzle maple syrup over the warm pancakes. As usual, my girl loved to spread with her favourite Nutella.
Yummy ! Choco-licious !
Have a nice weekend ^-^!



This post in joining Best Recipes for Everyone September Event : Chocolate Wonderland


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Apple & Oat muffins

I like to bake some healthy oatmeal muffins ... I want to add some fruits to the muffins too .... Ah ha! Apple + Oat ! That's because I've got a new pack of rolled oats and some apples 'idling' in the fruit basket ... lol !


Recipe source from Taste.com  I halved the recipe and made few slight modifications to suit our taste. Please visit Taste.com for the full recipe.

Apple & Oat Muffins (makes 6)
Ingredients:
70g self-raising flour
70 plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
60g light muscovado sugar
20g rolled oats, plus 1 tablespoon extra
100ml natural yogurt, at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten
50ml light olive oil
1 red or green apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Method :
Step 1
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 6 cups muffin pan with cooking spray or line with muffin cases.

Step 2
Sift flours and baking powder together. Stir in sugar and rolled oats.
Whisk yogurt, egg and oil together. Add to flour, mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.

Step 3
Divide mixture evenly into muffin pans until three-quarters full. Gently push slices of apple into mixture until covered and sprinkle with extra rolled oats.


Step 4
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden in colour and cooked when tested (insert a toothpick and it comes out clean). Cool for 5 minutes in pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Yum yum .... tasted fluffy soft with some apple crisp.  Complete with a glass of juice/milk or your preferred hot beverage. Wholesome goodness healthy breakfast to start the day !

Enjoy & happy baking! ^-^!
Hope you'll have a great day too !


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This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (September 2014 Event: Apple) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Kit (I-Lost in Austen).

Monday, 22 September 2014

Lemon and Almond baked Salmon

As shared previously,  the complimentary Savour magazine from Cold Storage has a few interesting recipes that I'm keen to try.

My teens loved salmon. But seriously ... I don't like fish and could take only very selective ones. Needless to say ... I hardly cook with fish at home. Very occasionally I will make pasta with fish fillet, pan fried fillet (frozen non fishy smell), steamed Grouper fillet loaded with lots of ginger etc. The fishy smell and the sight of the fish bones really gets the nerves on me. But I do encourage them to have fish in their menu whenever we eat out.

Looking at some recipes from Savour, I know my girl would love to have this 'Lemon and Almond baked Salmon'! She keeps asking if I'm seriously going to cook salmon as I have never cooked salmon before.


And ta da ... Lemon & Almond Baked Salmon specially for her ^-^


I reduced the amount of ingredients just for 1 serving, omitted the green onions as she didn't like it.
Press bread mixture over the salmon
Here's the recipe adapted from the magazine Savour. The preparation and cooking time takes less than 45 minutes for me to whip up this dish.



I could smell that herbs fragrant.  She squeezed the lemon juice on the toppings. She said the crunchy toppings tasted refreshingly yummy with the salmon.
She gave big thumbs up and exclaimed 'very nice' !

If you like salmon, do give a try on this fragrant Lemon & Almond Baked Salmon.

I'm linking this post with 

Cook-Your-Books



Saturday, 20 September 2014

Chocolate Chunk Cookies




I'm not sure if you like Subway sandwiches ... Subway Melt , Subway Club, Chicken & Bacon Range etc... No, I'm not making publicity promotion for Subway.

So why I mention Subway? The outlets here offer sandwich combo meal that comes with a drink and choice of either a cookie or a small pack of potato chips. Obviously, we (my girl & I) opted for the BIG cookies. Only a few limited flavours to choose from ... chocolate chips, chocolate & mixed nuts, peanut butter. The center is soft and chewy, while the edges are slightly crisp. We loved these big yummy cookies ... ^-^

Since I've baked a batch of crispy chocolatey Famous Amos double choc chips cookies last month, now, I decided to replicate similar Subway "big giant" cookies ... to satisfy our weekend "chocoholic" cookies craving ^-^!

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking with slight modification made in blue

Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
Makes about 18 large cookies.

Ingredients:
260 grams all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
170 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
130 grams granulated white sugar (I cut down to 90g)
140 grams firmly packed light brown sugar (cut down to 100g)
1 large egg (50 grams without shell), at room temperature
1 large egg yolk (18 grams), at room temperature
1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
220 grams semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips (I used a mixture of chocolate chunks, some dark thin square and chocolate chips)

Method:
1) Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

3) In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.

4) Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat just until incorporated. Stir or beat in the chocolate chunks. If the batter is quite soft, cover and refrigerate until firm (about 30-60 minutes).

It spreads bigger when baked
5) For large cookies, take about 1/4 cup (55 grams) of batter and form it into a round ball (can also use an ice cream scoop). Place six balls of batter on each baking sheet, spacing them several inches apart (about 8 cm). With the palm of your hand, gently flatten each ball into a round. Bake the cookies for about 14 - 16 minutes, or until they are golden brown around the edges but still a little soft in the center. (The longer you bake the cookies the more crispy they will be). Rotate your baking sheet front to back about halfway through the baking time. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.


These cookies are best the day they are baked but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.

Yum yum ... tasted like those from Subway ... crisp edges and yet their centers are soft and chewy. Choco-licious !! ... I can't stop at 2 for brekkie ...  Oops ! Another 2 ... Gosh ! Very addictive! 
Enjoy ! Have a nice weekend !

Enjoying my morning brekkie
at the little cosy corner!


This post in joining Best Recipes for Everyone September Event : Chocolate Wonderland



Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Green Apple & Aloe Vera with Honey Soup



I chance upon this easy peasy soup or dessert when I watched one of those Hong Kong cooking variety shows on TV many years ago. I made a few variations and this version can be easily done in about 15 minutes. I like the soothing effect of this warm soup. Sometimes if I'm having dry cough or slight sore throat, a bowl of this soup really helps to relieve the dryness, scratchiness or irritation in my throat. But of course, this tangy sweet soup can be served as dessert too ... any time of the day ^-^!

So, here's my sharing Green Apple & Aloe Vera with Honey Soup
Serves 2 - 3
Ingredients:
2 green apples
200g - 250g aloe vera (if unable to find/buy fresh ones, use canned) * here, I'm using canned aloe vera.
800ml - 900ml water

Method:
1) Wash the green apples, cored, cut into small pieces or wedges. (peel or unpeel the apple skin is entirely your preference).

2) Pour water into a cooking pot and bring to boil. Add the green apples and aloe vera. Continue to boil on medium flame for 10 minutes. Off the flame.

3) Serves warm. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of honey to the bowl of soup. Add more if you prefer more sweetness.

If you like to have a bowl of cold dessert, chill in the fridge for a few hours. Refreshingly tasty ! Enjoy and have a great day !



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This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (September 2014 Event: Apple) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Kit (I-Lost in Austen).

Monday, 15 September 2014

Pork chops with baked apples

There are many apples in the fruit basket. I was thinking to use some for baking .... but indecisive ... for muffin, cake, dessert or accompaniment to entrée ? Finally,  decided to cook this meal for lunch.

So, here's our weekend lunch menu :
Pork chops with baked apples
2 side dishes - Sautéed Shimeji mushroom with carrots in olive oil and baked apples.
Cream of mushroom soup.


Recipe adapted from taste.com with slight modification made in blue.

Pork chops with baked apples
Ingredients:
4 large pork chop (I used pork loin)
3 unpeeled red apples, wash clean and cut into wedges (I used green and red apples)
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves (dried rosemary leaves)
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and cracked black pepper
olive oil spray (omitted, added 1 teaspoon olive oil to the frying pan instead in Step 2)

Method:
Step 1
Preheat oven to 210°C.
Using a sharp knife, score fat around edge of chops at 3cm intervals. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper and spray with oil spray. (I omitted the oil spray, marinated pork loin for at least 1 hour in the fridge for more flavourful taste)

Step 2
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add pork chops, and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from heat.


Place the pork chops on top of apples

Step 3
Toss apple with rosemary and oil. Spread roughly over the base of a large baking dish (do not line with baking paper). Place pork chops on top of apples and cook for 10 minutes or until pork is cooked through and apples are tender. (I baked for 15 minutes)

Step 4
Serve pork with apples and steamed greens.

You may like to serve with some steamed greens or garden veggie salads. Since I've got a bunch of Shimeji mushroom,  sautéed the mushroom with some carrots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pinch of sea salt to taste.


A bowl of Campbell cream of mushroom soup makes an accompaniment to the entrée. Enjoy!

Happy cooking and have a blessed week ahead ^-^!

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This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (September 2014 Event: Apple) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Kit (I-Lost in Austen).