Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend and are all pumped for another week ahead! I may have been a little unmotivated today though seeing as it is a Monday after a long weekend. Friday was the first day of Hari Raya (Eid al-Fitr) here in Brunei and we got that Friday and Saturday off from work. To my surprise, the long weekend has been quite uneventful and quiet for Hari Raya.

On the eve of Raya, my mom, sister, and I went to watch the premier of The Incredibles 2! My inner 12-year-old was screaming for joy as the long wait for a sequel finally came into fruition. I remember when I was at the snacks counter, they had these character cups for the drinks. I was asked by the guy at the counter which character would I like, and with probably too much amusement for a 26-year-old in my tone, I squealed, Jack Jack! Thank God the guy did not ask me who Jack Jack was, I would’ve shamed him *shame shame shame* After I got the popcorn and drinks, I stood aside to wait for my hotdog (don’t judge, we were watching the film during our normal dinner time), and the next lady came up to the counter. I wasn’t even listening to the exchange of words between her and the snacks counter guy, but I was in such disbelief when I heard her utter the words “I want the baby.” My eyes widened and in my head I said, how dare you, you uncultured swine. You don’t deserve to watch the movie if you don’t even know the character’s name! Anyway, the film was WORTH THE WAIT. I was laughing non-stop throughout the film, and the people seated beside us were probably thinking, what is this girl on – LET ME HAVE MY MOMENT. My favourite line from the movie? “Num Num Cookie!”

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Anyway, that aside for some more side-tracking – if you want to skip ahead to the recipe, just continuing scrolling. I basically spent the rest of my long weekend at home sorting out stuff that I want to get rid of – we’re having a garage sale at home this coming Sunday – and spent the remaining of the long weekend in the kitchen cooking up a storm both good and bad *cheeky grin* I had a bit a failed attempt at a recipe I was so eager to tackle, which made me feel a little deflated after, but I did also have a successful cook the following day for a different recipe though, so all is well. I also went over to a friend’s, had lots of food, dirty talks that involved Urban Dictionary, and of course insanely MASSIVE laughs that turned into silent and out of breath laughs with tears involved for a good 5 minutes. Those are the best kind of laughters, especially between people who get the joke, or get what it is that needs to be laughed at without having to explain further.

Okay, I guess with the long-winded introduction to this post, my long weekend doesn’t seem to be THAT uneventful at all. But moving on, the adventures of Muffin Making Monday continues for its third week and I’ve got, let’s see… Blue Cheese? AND Mushies?! YAAASSS! These delightfully savoury blue cheese and mushroom muffins are delicious for ANY time of day with a hot bevvy (no, not alcohol). I know, I know, some are not very fond of the pungent taste and smell of blue cheese, but trust me when I say that these muffins smell nothing but amazing when freshly baked and the taste and the taste of the blue cheese only just subtly shines through. Check out the original recipe over on All Recipes.

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom Ingredients

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-35 MINS | SERVES 16 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 punnet (125g) brown mushrooms, roughly chopped*
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 3 & 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme**
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

*Reserved a few mushies to slice thinly, to decorate on top of the muffins (optional).
**Or you may use 2 tsp of herbes de Provence if available which is basically a combination of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line one 12 hole and one 6 hole muffin pan with paper cases. Set aside.
  2. Add the butter in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Set aside to cool down a bit.
  3. Melt a knob of butter in a medium-size pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until half done, about 30 seconds per side. Remove from the pan. Add the roughly chopped mushrooms to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with the herbs and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, and then stir in the melted butter.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Gradually stir in the egg mixture until well combined.
  6. Add the sautéd mushrooms and crumbled blue cheese into the flour mixture and gently mix. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and no more than up to 3/4 full (this allows room for the muffins to rise). Top each muffin with a sliced mushie.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with a nice cup of coffee. Enjoy!

You can store the muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Heat them back up in a steamer before serving.

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Before I wrap things up here, I just thought I’d share this weird little fascination of mine with these muffins. While I was having them for an afternoon snack, I was fascinated by the speckles of mold present in the muffins in such a way that I really sat there and observed the muffin for a good five minutes before biting into it. I even raised it up to my Mom saying, “look at all the mold in these muffins!” with an obvious hint of excitement in my tone. To which my Mom replied, “if I didn’t know you bought blue cheese for this recipe, I would’ve thrown it out because I thought it went bad since it was moldy and smelled like feet!” *cheeky grin*

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Buffalo Cauliflower & Quinoa "Meatballs"

Buffalo Cauliflower & Quinoa “Meatballs”

Hello Everyone! Before I begin, I would like to check in with everyone and see if you all were able to guess the theme for this month. I’m pretty sure that by this post, you’ll have an idea of a recurring theme, but nevertheless, I will share it with you guys right here, right now! Drumroll please!

BALL BALLS! Yes, you read that right, ball balls, and here is a little back story to the name – so there was one day, back when I was still living in Australia for my university studies, my then roommate and I were talking about Christmas I guess, well I actually don’t remember the root of our conversation but it was more like I misunderstood, or I didn’t quite hear the pronunciation of the word “baubles” when my roommate had said it. At that time, I assumed that she said “ball balls” and that, that was what those round Christmas ornaments were called. Fast forward to another time, I was correct by someone (sorry I can’t remember who) that it was actually baubles and not ball balls. I was so disappointed at the time because I thought ball balls was such an epic name to call these Christmas ornament. Just recently, and when I say recently I mean like about a year ago or so, Jialing shared with me a folder name in their office server and it was titled BALL BALLS, to which I replied to her “SEE I TOLD YOU THEY ARE CALLED BALL BALLS!” I was just overly excited at the fact that I wasn’t the only dumb one to call them ball balls.

Buffalo Cauliflower & Quinoa "Meatballs"

Jialing has been quite helpful this year in a way that she has helped me with some blog themes for this year. At first, she asked me what the theme of my blog would be for the month of December, and we both came up with the idea of doing ball-shaped food as we recalled our “ball balls” story. So, as I do not have a backstory for this particular recipe since I just came across it while browsing through Pinterest, I will just get right in to the recipe. Before you do, check out the original recipe by Erin over on The Almond Eater.

“Add a spicy kick to meatless meatballs with these vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs. With simple ingredients, like cauliflower, quinoa, garlic, and breadcrumbs, they’re sure to be a hit for the whole family!” — Erin, The Almond Eater.

Buffalo Cauliflower & Quinoa "Meatballs" Ingredients

Buffalo Cauliflower & Quinoa "Meatballs"

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 40 MINS | SERVES 24 BALLS

INGREDIENTS

For the cauliflower quinoa ‘meatballs’

  • 1 cauliflower head, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp flour (whole wheat, all purpose or oat)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

For the buffalo sauce

  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes

For the blue cheese-yoghurt dip

  • 3/4 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Ground salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and set aside.
  2. Cook the quinoa in a small sauce pot according to the packet instructions (about 12-15 minutes). While the quinoa is cooking away, steam or boil the cauliflower in a separate medium-sized pot at the same time until they are tender (about 15 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the buffalo sauce by melting the unsalted butter in a heat-proof bowl, in the microwave (or over a stove as well). Once melted, stir in the hot sauce, minced garlic, and chilli powder. Set aside.
  4. Combine the yoghurt, blue cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, milk, and lemon juice in a medium-szied bowl and whisk together until combined but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Once the quinoa is done cooking, turn the heat off and set aside. Once the cauliflower is done cooking as well, drain (if boiled) and place half the cauliflower, along with the minced garlic, into the food processor or blender and pulse for about 10-15 seconds. Remove and transfer the cauliflower into a large bowl before adding the second half of cauliflower to the food processor/blender and repeat the process.
  6. Stir in the cooked quinoa, breadcrumbs, dried oregano, and half of the buffalo sauce together with the cauliflower and then place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, allowing everything to cool off a bit.
  7. After 15 minutes, remove from the refrigerator and, using your hands, form the mixture into golf ball-sized balls (or smaller, depending on your preferred size), placing the balls directly onto the prepared baking tray. If the mixture is too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed.
  8. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the balls and bake for 15-20 minutes and golden brown and crispy on the outside.
  9. Once done, remove from the oven, Pour a small amount of the rest of the buffalo sauce over the top of each ball, making sure they all get covered with the sauce but without drowning them otherwise they will get soggy.
  10. Serve with the blue cheese-yoghurt dip and share with family and friends!

Buffalo Cauliflower & Quinoa "Meatballs"

Buffalo Cauliflower & Quinoa "Meatballs"

Buffalo Cauliflower & Quinoa "Meatballs"

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! Wow, I cannot even begin to tell you guys how mentally and physically drained I am right now – well, if I am to talk about today in particular, it’s probably not from having worked for 17 days straight already with Sunday breaks, but because I probably had (not even) too much to drink. I said not even because I know that what I had a few hours ago was not my maximum capacity, but I’m feeling tipsy and sleepy already. My boss called for a “brainstorming” session after work hours which actually turned out to be a chill session with dumplings and beers (red wine for me because I’m sophisticated and classy af) haha!

Anyway, all that aside that the fact that I have to work this coming Sunday again, tonight’s recipe is a favourite of mine – I mean, who doesn’t like buffalo chicken?! We can’t be friends if you don’t like it; I’m serious. I served mine with a simple kale and roasted chickpea salad with crumbled blue cheese on top. Buffalo chicken goes well with anything blue cheese! Be sure to check out the original recipe over on Food.com; the original recipe calls to actually brush the sauce mixture onto the chicken, but I marinated the chicken in the sauce mixture instead to absorb all the yummy flavours into the flesh.

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken

PREP TIME 20 MINS* | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 35 MINS | SERVES 6

*plus 4-6 hours of marination, or preferably overnight

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg butterflied whole chicken, washed and cleaned thoroughly
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 – 1 & 1/2 tbsp tabasco sauce (or more if you like a good punch)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 bulb garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the butter, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined. Coat your chicken in the marinade and then leave in the fridge to marinate for about 4-6 hours (or preferably overnight). Remove chicken from the fridge 45-60 minutes before roasting to bring it back to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 230C (450F or gas mark 8). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and place a rack above it.
  3. Place the chicken on the rack and into the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. The lower the heat down to 175C (350F or gas mark 4) and continue roasting for an hour and 20 minutes more. Baste the chicken with a little bit of butter at every 20 minute intervals.
  4. Once done, remove the oven and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicke

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken with Salad

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken with Salad

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Baked Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese-Yoghurt Dip

Baked Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese-Yoghurt Dip

Hello Everyone! Back again with another lip-smacking recipe that will definitely fill your tummies (I am so full right now that I keep burping out loud, and my burps taste of garlic oops!). I love buffalo wings, just as much as I practically love every other chicken wing dishes out there. Now the easy option would just be to go to Coles and buy a pre-packed marinated bag of buffalo chicken wings and simply throw it on the grill and voilà! I mean, yes I have done that multiple times, at barbecue parties because it’s a quick and easy solution to getting ready-marinated meats on the day. But no, not today; I always have to take the long route, which I think is worthwhile especially if you’re learning how to cook. Taking shortcuts won’t allow me to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with recipes. It definitely won’t allow me to expand my abilities in the kitchen as well. I’ve been wanting to tackle this recipe for a while now, but never got around to until today.

Blue Cheese-Yoghurt Dip Ingredients

So today I posted these two images on Instagram. If you have an account, please look up @amcarmenskitchen and give me a follow. I usually post teaser images of the ingredients that I will be using for the recipe that will be posted on the blog later in the evening. I also always ask my followers to guess what dish I will be making based on the pictured ingredients. I try to make my Instagram feed as interactive as possible with my followers. Today I posted a blurred image and asked them to guess the 8 ingredients for today’s dip to go with these succulent buffalo wings. Didn’t quite get many responses but thank you to my girl Mel Barrass for guessing an ingredient right! I then posted the other image and got a response from my twin Pamela about how curious she is to know what I’ll be making from these ingredients.

For this, I looked at two recipes from the Food Network and tweaked the method a bit. But please do check out the original recipes as linked:

Baked Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese-Yoghurt Dip

PREP TIME 10 MINS* | COOKING TIME 35 MINS SERVES 3-4

*Add an extra 4-5 hours waiting time for chicken to marinate

INGREDIENTS

For the buffalo wings

  • 15 chicken mid-wings, washed and cleaned
  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the blue cheese-yoghurt dip

  • 3/4 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Place the wings into a pot of boiling, salted water. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Parboil the wings for 6-8 minutes. Remove the wings and carefully pat dry. Lay the wings out on baking dish lined with paper towels.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan along with the garlic. Add the hot sauce and salt and stir to combine. Remove the paper towels and pour the hot sauce mixture over the wings and toss. Cover the dish with cling wrap and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 4-5 hours before cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, blue cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, milk and lemon juice in a medium-szied bowl and whisk together until combined but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Preheat oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and place the wings skin side up onto the tray. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 35 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Serve with blue cheese-yoghurt dip and a salad of your choice. In this case, I had a 4 leaf mix with a french dressing, and homemade roasted sweet potato fries. A great combination!

Baked Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese-Yoghurt Dip

Baked Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese-Yoghurt Dip

Baked Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese-Yoghurt Dip

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com