Auguest 2020: Jialing Mew

Roasted Purple Winter Vegetable Salad

“Waste not, want not.” — Jialing Mew

Short of blackened and burnt, I’ve learned from my many Auguest disasters that you can almost always save a dish on the brink of catastrophe! Just get creative, do a quick Google search, or go with your gut. I’m also a big believer of using up what you have, even if it means not quite following the recipe to a T (shoutout to anyone with random vegetable halves rotting away in their fridge!). In the same vein, ingredients can always go further than you think. Simmer bones for a flavoursome broth, that, when combined with your salvaged refrigerator produce, equals soup for supper! It’s kinder on your wallet and better for the environment.

Auguest 2020: Jialing Mew


So before we get started, I would like to explain that were it not for a HIGHLY misleading label at my local supermarket, this dish would have been much more on-theme (surely I can’t be the only one who didn’t know that ‘Purple Sweet Potato’ is in fact WHITE once peeled??). Also. Having never actually cooked with beetroot before, I was woefully unaware of how shockingly long it takes to roast in the oven, thereby obliterating whatever small amount of purple pigmentation my poor adjacent sweet potato had to begin with.

Anyway. Just your standard Auguest post featuring Food Fiascos by Jialing.

Roasted Purple Winter Vegetable Salad

Actually, though, apart from the frustrating lack of purple, I consider this to be one of my standout Auguest recipes, as it makes for a pretty fab morning meal. Feel free to skip the pomegranate if unavailable (if we’re being completely honest, that was mainly brought onboard in an effort to edge our way closer to the violet spectrum, though it did turn out to be a nice addition). I do highly recommend the candied walnuts and feta, though!

This dish comes together with fairly minimal effort, despite the lengthy roast-time. Plus, it’s warm and carb-y – the good kind of carbs, I’m told! – making it the perfect cure for your winter morning blues. P.S. keep reading until the end of the recipe for a sneaky vegan plot-twist #Auguest2016

Roasted Purple Winter Vegetable Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 2 HRS 30 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

For the roasted vegetables

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 beetroots, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 1 purple sweet potato, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt (or 1/2 tsp regular salt)
  • Pepper

For the candied walnuts

  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

For the balsamic glaze

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

To assemble

  • 50g baby rocket leaves
  • 1 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 pomegranate (arils only)

Roasted Purple Winter Vegetable Salad Ingredients

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan-forced), and line a baking tray with parchment (this is for the walnuts) plus a large roasting tray with parchment paper or aluminium foil (this is for the vegetables).
  2. First prepare the candied walnuts. Toss the walnuts with the 2 tbsp maple syrup until evenly coated. Spread out over your lined baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes (in the meantime you can begin to prepare your vegetables), then take out and turn pieces over to ensure even cooking. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, then transfer from parchment onto a plate for cooling.
  3. To prepare the roasted vegetables, first combine the 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp thyme in a bowl and lightly whisk with a fork until emulsified.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the beetroot, red onion, and sweet potato with the balsamic mixture until evenly coated. Transfer to a roasting tray and season generously with pepper and 1 tsp flaky sea salt. Roast in the oven for 1 hour, then turn the vegetables to make sure they cook evenly, and return to the oven for another 1 hour.
  5. In the last 15 minutes or so of roasting, you can start to arrange your rocket leaves on a serving dish, and prepare the balsamic glaze by heating the 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup over low heat until it begins to bubble (about 2-5 minutes). Remove from heat after 10 seconds and let cool slightly (it will thicken as it cools).
  6. Arrange roasted vegetables on top of the rocket leaves, and top with crumbled feta and pomegranate arils. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, serve, and enjoy!

Roasted Purple Winter Vegetable Salad

Tips:

  • To make it vegan, simply omit the feta (or use a plant-based substitute).
  • To make this dish even better (but less vegan) serve on toasted sourdough bread topped with poached eggs for the ultimate Instagram-worthy brunch!

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2020 | Jialing Mew (@jialingmew)

BON APPÉTIT

– Jialing Mew

myTaste.com

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! So yesterday my friend, who is visiting from New Zealand, and I went on a day-trip adventure to the pristine rainforest district of Brunei. We took a 45-minute boat ride from the city centre to the small town of Bangar in Temburong where we then travelled about 20 minutes by car to the Freme Rainforest Lodge where we had some local delights for our morning tea before setting off again on a 45-minute longboat ride to the Ulu National Park.

We climbed almost a thousand steps to get to the forest floor of the canopy walk, and then scaled a total of about 60m to the highest tower above the tallest trees of the luscious green rainforest. Even with multiple layers of sunblock, we were red from the scorching sun and we definitely worked our calves and derrières as we felt our legs shake when climbing back down to head to the mini waterfall for a nice cooling dip. The water was refreshingly blue but had fishes that weren’t afraid to nibble on you. They were the fish spa kind of fishes that really just wanted to nibble on your dead skin, but the fishes were much bigger that the little ones that you find at fish spas, so their bite was a little more scary.

Ulu Temburong National Park Adventures

After we cooled down, we headed back out on a longboat to the starting point of our kayak ride. On the way back down the crystal clear waters we spotted two freshwater crocodiles by the riverbanks – and apparently that didn’t seem to make us second guess our kayak ride back to the lodge. After our relaxing (or should I say, workout for our arms), kayak down the river, we got changed into dry clothes and had our late lunch. We were supposed to go zip-lining after but because it started to pour, we weren’t allowed to. Such a bummer though because apparently it hadn’t rained in Temburong for the past week, and it decided to as we were about to do our final activity before heading back to the main city. All-in-all it was a fun-filled day of nature and adventure – things that we both enjoy.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this little adventure for everyone before I dive right into tonight’s recipe for a lovely green smoothie bowl to match our little nature adventure from yesterday. You can switch out the low-fat milk to almond milk or coconut water, and the honey for agave nectar or maple syrup for a vegan alternative.

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 tbsp honey

Toppings

  • Bananas – loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6
  • Chia Seeds – contains omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants, iron, and calcium
  • Goji Berries – excellent source of antioxidants and nutrients that help boost the immune system and protect the body from high levels of inflammation
  • Granolacontains vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, including, but not limited to, dietary fibres, sodium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C & E, niacin, iron, and thiamin
  • Kiwis – loaded with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B6, B12, E, and potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium
  • Raspberriesgood source of vitamin C, E, K, manganese, dietary fibre, copper pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium

METHOD

  1. Blend the spinach, milk, banana, avocado, and honey until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with the raspberries, kiwi slices, chia seeds, granola, goji berries, and banana slices. Enjoy for breakfast or a power-boosting afternoon snack!

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl

As I have mentioned in last week’s post, whipping up a smoothie bowl is a great opportunity to get creative and top them with whatever you have lying around in your pantry and/or fridge. Top them with your favourite fruits, seeds, nuts, and grains!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Spicy Chai & Banana Cinnamon Smoothie

Spicy Chai & Banana Cinnamon Smoothie

Hello Everyone! We’re kicking off the Year on Amcarmen’s Kitchen, and for the month of February, with sumptuous recipes that pays tribute to one of the most popular health foods on Earth. Known, as the Banana, the curved yellow fruit is one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reason. Other than its ability to aid in regulating blood pressure due to the amount of potassium present in bananas, they are also known for helping with asthma, reducing the risk of developing childhood leukemia and help combat cancer, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood glucose levels and improve blood sugar, and many more health benefits that can be found over on Medical News Today.

I stumbled upon tonight’s recipe while I was browsing through Pinterest, in search for creative and innovative recipes to test out myself for the upcoming year for Amcarmen’s Kitchen. What initially attracted me to this recipe is the idea of adding chai tea leaves to an already delicious Banana & Cinnamon Smoothie. The original recipe can be found over on Gimme Some Oven, where the author Ali talked about why choose between having tea or a smoothie when you can have both? A brilliant idea by the way as my Banana & Cinnamon Smoothie definitely amped up in taste and flavour with the addition of Spicy Chai tea leaves from Twinings. Our local grocers didn’t have regular chai tea so I had to go for the spicy chai – nonetheless it was just as flavoursome as regular chai with an added kick to it to really boost the overall taste of the smoothie. I’m definitely keeping this recipe up my sleeve whenever I feel like a hit of protein to my breakfast/brunch mornings.

Spicy Chai & Banana Cinnamon Smoothie Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large bananas, peeled and broken into thirds or quarters
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tea bag Twinings Spicy Chai tea leaves

Optional:

  • 1 tsp maple syrup (if you’d like a sweeter smoothie)

Note: Feel free to make this smoothie completely vegan-friendly by substituting the milk out for almond milk and omitting the plain yoghurt out by adding an extra quarter cup of almond milk.

METHOD

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately, topped with a few extra slices of banana if desired and some ground cinnamon.

Spicy Chai & Banana Cinnamon Smoothie

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Hello Everyone! First off, I just want to say that this is the last noodle dish for the month of November! There’ll be one more post going up on Sunday on one of my designs, and after that I’ll be taking a 2-week break from blogging. There’s no particular reason for it – well okay, I guess you can say it’s for me to take a short break since I have been complaining for the past however so many posts about being mentally tired. It’s also mainly to go with the theme I have planned for next month; more will be revealed after my 2-week break 🙂

Okay, so before I dive into the recipe for tonight, I’d like to say sorry for a later than usual upload – I just came home from an evening with friends. We met up and did an escape room challenge together; well we split into two teams and did a different room from each other, CSI and Prison Break. Sadly I was in the losing team but they did say that CSI was definitely harder than the other one. Anyway, it was a fun night altogether but we didn’t get to talk much about our experiences over dinner because we didn’t want to ruin it for each other. Instead we vaguely talked about what we encountered and then all unanimously decided to go back again next week and do the rooms that we didn’t get to do tonight. All I can say that our brains were frazzled and scrambled after we got out of the CSI room – but in the end, we all had a great time. (I actually still can’t believe that I’m still mentally capable to write this post after a long day, and then a difficult escape room challenge).

Anyway! Back to tonight’s recipe – I don’t actually eat this dish that often, be it ordering it at a restaurant or making it at home. It’s not that I don’t like this dish, I actually enjoy it but not as much as the other noodle dishes. Char Kway Teow literally means stir-fried rice cake strips and is a national favourite in Malaysia and Singapore.

Here’s a fact that some of you may not know (I didn’t know myself too until I did my research), Char Kway Teow has a reputation of being unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content. It is this way because it made it attractive, in terms of it being a cheap source of energy and nutrients, to labourers since it was mainly served to them. When the dish was first served, it was sold by fishermen farmers and cockle-gathers who doubled as char kway teow hawkers in the evening to supplement their income.

Over time, the dish became increasingly popular and many cooks have developed their own interpretations while still using the same basic ingredients of ricecake strips/flat rice noodles fried with anything from eggs (chicken or duck), onions, garlic, prawns, cockles, Chinese sausage, chives, etc. Pork fat was predominately used to stir-fry char kway teow, but over the years, ordinary cooking oil is now used for health or religious reasons.

I based this recipe from Rasa Malaysia, so go check out the original recipe if you get the chance to!

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g kway teow noodles (rice cake strips)
  • 250g prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 100g baby clam meat
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 4-6 large free range eggs, sunny side-up
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Chinese sausages, sliced diagonally
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • Chilli paste
    • 30g dried red chillies, seeded and soaked in water until soft
    • 3 small shallots, diced
    • 2 fresh red chilies, seeded
    •  1 tsp oil
    • Pinch of salt
  • Spring onions

Sauce Mix

  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 dashes white pepper powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Grind all the ingredients of the chilli paste together using a mini food processor until fine. Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a small frying pan, over medium-high. Stir-fry the chili paste until aromatic, about 3-5 minutes and then transfer to a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Next, heat up about a tablespoon or two of oil in a large frying pan, or wok, over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown, then add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether.
  4. Add in the Chinese sausage slices and cook until you can smell the aroma coming from the sausages. Then, add in your prawns and cook until they start to change colour, about 5 minutes altogether.
  5. Add in the baby clam meat, followed by a half portion of the beansprouts and give it a quick mix. The add in the rice cake strips, making sure that you untangle the clumps when you’re adding them to the pan, followed by the sauce mix and chilli paste. Give it a good stir and make sure that all the noodles are covered with the sauce.
  6. Turn the heat off, and then mix in the rest of the beansprouts and the spring onions. Serve immediately with or without a sunny side-up egg on top. Enjoy!

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Malaysian Curry Laksa (Spicy Noodle Soup)

Malaysian Curry Laksa (Spicy Noodle Soup)

Hello Everyone! So, I’ve been told that I don’t write as much as I used to, and that’s only because there’s really nothing much to tell. Well okay, maybe a part of the reason is also that I’m always mentally tired by the end of the day when I get around to writing my blog posts. I try to write them in advance so that I could at least add some enthusiasm to my posts, but I always end up procrastinating – and I’m sorry for that! Just bare with me until the end of the year and hopefully my content will be much better when the New Year kicks in 🙂

Anyway, let’s get down to business for tonight’s post; the last week of Noodle Month! Again, the month just flew right by! December is just around the corner, and sooner or later it’ll be Christmas and then the New Year! Tonight, I am sharing with you a popular dish in Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia – Laksa! I wouldn’t say that this dish is at the top of my favourite noodle dish (only because there are many other noodle dishes that I prefer than laksa), but if I want it, I’ll have it!

The plan was to make my own laksa paste from scratch, and I know it’s no excuse, but time was short on my hands and I just made the decision to buy a ready-made, packeted paste from the stores. Also, if I made my own paste, we’d have a lot of left over ingredients (that is, if we didn’t end up using all of it), or a surplus of paste that would’ve ended up sitting in the freezer for a long time, and eventually in the trash since we don’t eat laksa that often at home. However, feel free to make your own paste and just follow the ingredients from the recipe below 🙂

Before I dive into the recipe, I’ll just talk a little bit about what Laksa is for those of you who don’t know what it is. Laksa is actually a combination of Chinese and Malaysian cuisine that consists of rice noodles/vermicelli served as a spicy soup dish with various meats such as chicken, prawn, or fish. The soup is either based on a rich and spicy curry with coconut milk, or a sour tamarind soup. The elements of a curry laksa can be distinguished by the following:

  • Coconut milk is used
  • Curry-like soup (includes curry as one of its ingredients)
  • Except for bean sprouts, no other vegetable is used
  • Bean curd puff is used
  • Served with thick or thin rice vermicelli (usually thick); occasionally served with yellow mee
  • Hard-boiled egg may be added
  • Slices of fish cake and either prawns or chicken is used

The original recipe can be found over on Serious Eats.

Malaysian Curry Laksa (Spicy Noodle Soup) Ingredients

 

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-45 MINS | SERVES 4-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g thick rice vermicelli noodles
  • 200g coconut milk
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 100g prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 3 pcs dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large free range eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 chicken crown, breasts removed and sliced, bone reserved
  • 1 packet (200g) Malaysian Curry Laksa Paste
  • 1 pc firm tofu, deep fried and cut into chunks
  • 1 pc fish cake, sliced diagonally
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • Salt
  • Spring onions
  • Whole black peppercorns

To serve

  • Sambal

METHOD

  1. Add the reserved chicken bone, chicken breast dried bay leaves, about a teaspoon or two of whole black peppercorns, and salt to a medium-sized pot filled with about 1.5L of hot/boiling water. Turn the heat up to high and leave to boil for about 30 minutes. After about 15 minutes, remove the chicken breast from the stock and set aside to rest and cool down before slicing into it.
  2. While the stock is boiling away, quickly blanch the sliced fish cakes and prawns in the stock, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the rice vermicelli noodles in and cook according to packet instructions, about 15 minutes for mine.
  4. Drain and then divide the noodles equally into 4-5 individual serving bowls. Top with the beansprouts, chicken slices, fish cake slices, fried tofu, hard-boiled egg slices, and prawns. Set aside.
  5. Heat a bit of oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown, and then add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes in total.
  6. Add the laksa paste and fry for about a minute or two before adding the chicken stock in. Give it a goo mix and then bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a slow simmer and then add in the coconut milk. Leave to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  7. Once the soup is done, ladle it into the prepared bowls and garnish with some spring onion. Serve immediately with some sambal and calamansi on the and enjoy!

Malaysian Curry Laksa (Spicy Noodle Soup)

Malaysian Curry Laksa (Spicy Noodle Soup)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

Hello Everyone! Tonight, I’ve got a very popular breakfast/brunch noodle dish to share. I remember when I was growing up, we’d travel at least 20 minutes to our favourite kolo mee place in Brunei for many years! It was kind of like our special Sunday breakfast routine with the whole family before we’d go about and do our grocery shoppings for the week. Since that place closed down a couple of years ago, we barely have kolo mee in our weekly meals – but now that I have my own way of making kolo mee, I can whip it up almost any time I crave for it!

“The secret to amazing kolo mee lies in the use of pork lard. I know this is not very healthy if eaten in large quantities but the reason why it’s used is because it coats each and every strand of the noodles with some seriously delicious meaty flavours.” — The Malay Mail Online, 2013

I guess you could say that my version of Kolo Mee is a little bit healthier (but not entirely) as I use vegetable oil instead of pork lard. Also, traditional kolo mee dishes, especially in restaurants, use quite a significant amount of MSG to enhance the flavour of the dish. The recipe that I will be sharing today doesn’t use MSG at all and is still very tasty! If you want a halal version of this dish, you can substitute the minced pork for minced chicken and just have a generous serving of fish cakes/balls instead of char is pork. You can also get creative and top it with your favourite breakfast must haves like some crispy bacon on the side or topped with a sunny-side up with the runny yolk and all that pizzaz!

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g fresh kolo mee noodles
  • 250g lean minced pork
  • 250g char siu pork (Chinese BBQ pork)*, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small red onions, diced
  • 1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli), cut into 2″ lengths
  • 1 fish cake, sliced diagonally
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced
  • Chilli Oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Light soy sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Spring onion

*Apparently, it takes a considerate amount of time when you’re making your own char siu pork at home that is! If you can easily buy it at the shops, or even your local Chinese restaurant, then I do recommend that you just buy it if you want your kolo mee now and fast!

METHOD

  1. Add about a tablespoon of light soy sauce, and a teaspoon of chilli and sesame oil into about 6-8 individual bowls/deep dishes. Set aside.
  2. In a small frying pan, heat about 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high. Add the diced onions and frying until browned and crispy. Set aside. In the same frying pan, fry off the fish cake slices, about a minute or two per side. Set aside.
  3. Heat a medium-sized frying pan (or wok if you like) over medium-high. Add about a tablespoon of the oil used to fry the onions and fish cake to the pan and sauté the garlic and chillies until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute or two.
  4. Then add in the minced pork, followed by the ground salt and black pepper. Give it a good mix and leave to cook for about 5 minutes. Add in about 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce and cook for a further five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, flash-boil the stalks of the gai lan first, then followed by the leaves until tender and wilted. Remove from the boiling water and set aside.
  6. Flash-boil the kolo mee noodles, in batches if you wish, for about a minute or two.  Once done, divide equally into your prepared bowls with the sauces and give it a good mix. Top with the minced meat, fish cakes, char siu pork, gai lan, fried onions, and spring onions. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe we’ve come to an end to Breakfast/Brunch Month, which also means that it’s almost the end of October! Once again, where did the days go? Time flies too quickly. Luckily for you guys, today will not be the last post for October for I have a recipe going up on the 31st for a Halloween Special. I won’t say much about it now but the only thing I will say about it is that it’s gonna get bloody!

So anyway, since today will be my last post for Breakfast/Brunch Month, I’m going to end it with a recipe that is sure to knock you socks off! I’ve not tried this recipe before earlier on this week, but I can assure you that for those of you who like a little bit of spice in your life, these muffins pack a good kick! I had actually planned to bake some Chorizo, Corn, and Chilli Streusel muffins two weeks ago to post for today, but we could not find any chorizo at all that week. So I told my mom that I’ll hold off making the muffins since they weren’t going up on the blog for another week or so during that time, but as the days drew closer and chorizo still could not be found – so maybe I will hold off this recipe for another time when chorizo is available.

Thus, I decided to change my recipe – Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli Muffins! I kind of like how it is sort of in theme with fall (for the Northern Hemisphere), and Halloween – the pumpkin aspect of today’s recipe that is. The original recipe for these muffins can be found over on Taste;I didn’t really do anything to alter the recipe, only that I added half of the pepitas into the muffin batter mixture. Other than that, I pretty much just followed this quick and easy recipe.

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 22-25 MINS | SERVES 12 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 & 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup coarse polenta
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Softened butter, to serve

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Grease a 12 hole muffin pan with either cooking spray or with butter.
  2. Place the pumpkin chunks on a baking tray lined with foil and season with a bit of salt, pepper, and coat with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Once done, remove from the oven and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Using a fork, mash the pumpkin and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the self-raising flour, sugar, polenta, chilli flakes, coriander, and half of the pepitas in a bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined and then make a well in the centre.
  4. Add the milk, egg, vegetable oil, and pumpkin into the well and then mix until just combined. Your batter will be very thick which is exactly what you want! Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and the spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan. Top with the remaining pepitas.
  5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and stand in muffin pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool down completely.
  6. Serve and enjoy warm or cold with softened butter!

Muffins taste best on the same day, though they may be stored covered tightly at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Apple Strudel

Breakfast Muffins: Apple Strudel

Hello Everyone! Oh my! I cannot believe that it’s the last week of October already! My has time gone by so quickly this past month. Anyway, it’s been a while since I last baked muffins for breakfast and only because the last time I made muffins was back in Sydney with my Muffin Making Monday partner Jialing. We made a pizza muffin together one afternoon at her place (the recipe isn’t up on my blog yet), and yes that was the last of our Muffin Making Monday days. Since I left Sydney, we’ve talked about how much we miss baking muffins together and even said that we should still continue it… Over Skype! I don’t know how that’s ever going to work anymore since we’re both independent working women with our busy schedules and time differences.

But anyway! I wasn’t aware that it was a Monday when I baked these babies; only Jialing reminded me of it when she asked me what I was doing that day and I said that I was going to bake some muffins. Today’s recipe can originally be found on All Recipes. The recipe says that it should make 12 muffins, but I ended up with 16, maybe I should’ve filled the muffin cups a bit more because some of them were a bit flat, and some had a nice rise to them. Also, since I ended up with 16 muffins, I ran out of crumbed topping so the muffins weren’t very covered with the brown sugar streusel. Anyway, I’ve edited the recipe a bit so that the proportions match up. These muffins are a little bit on the sweet side, so if you’re someone who doesn’t like sweet things for breakfast, then tune in on Thursday for a savoury brekky muffin 🙂 It involves chorizo and has a bit of a spicy kick to it!

Breakfast Muffins: Apple Strudel Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 16 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

For the muffin batter

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 110g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large apples, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the brown sugar streusel

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Breakfast Muffins: Apple Strudel

Breakfast Muffins: Apple Strudel

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and plain flour. Add the butter, and using your fingers, crumb the butter into the sugar mixture. Because Brunei is scorchingly hot, I needed to place the streusel in the freezer to stiffen up a bit.
  3. Using an electric handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well combined. Add in the apples and stir using a rubber spatula. Gradually stir in the flour mixture.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling them up to about 3/4 of the way, and top with the brown sugar streusel.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Once down, remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. Cool down completely on a wire rack and then they are ready to eat!

Breakfast Muffins: Apple Strudel

Breakfast Muffins: Apple Strudel

Muffins taste best on the same day, though they may be stored covered tightly at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

Hello Everyone! I’ve got another french toast recipe with a twist for you again today, but this time there will be no added milo to it. Instead we’re gonna crust our classic french toast with some cornflakes to give it that extra added crunch to an already soggy bread. I came across this idea a couple of months ago back in July when Symmetry Breakfast went viral. They posted a photo of some cornflake-crusted french toast and when I planned for Breakfast/Brunch Month for October, I knew I had to tackle a recipe for that!

I absolutely love their work! If you have been following my Instagram during that month, you would’ve seen that Jialing and I (and Edison) hopped on the #symmetrybreakfast bandwagon for the last remaining week that I was in Sydney. Actually, I might just share the photographs here since I don’t know if I will be posting them on the blog anytime other than now I guess (click on the individual images to view a larger version of them):

Homemade Charred Eggplant & Baby Octopus Shakshuka with Lebanese Bread; Blueberry & Passionfruit Cider French Crêpes with a Honeyed Citrus Creamcheese Filling topped with a Mixed Berry Compte; Orange Sunrise Cocktail Pea and Ham Soup with Stone-baked Pane di Casa and Strawberry & Lime Cider
Potato Hash Crusted Breakfast Quiche with Caramelised Onion, Chorizo, Spinach, and Sunnyside Up Egg with Mixed Leaf Salad and Garlic Butter Bread Beer, Bacon, and Tater Soup (aka “Man Soup”) with Pane di Casa; Russian Earl Grey Tea Fancy Filipino Hotsilog Brekky with Sweet Potato Hash Browns and Brekky Mocktails

L-R: Homemade Charred Eggplant & Baby Octopus Shakshuka with Lebanese Bread; Blueberry & Passionfruit Cider | French Crêpes with a Honeyed Citrus Creamcheese Filling topped with a Mixed Berry Compte; Orange Sunrise Cocktail | Pea and Ham Soup with Stone-baked Pane di Casa and Strawberry & Lime Cider Potato Hash Crusted Breakfast Quiche with Caramelised Onion, Chorizo, Spinach, and Sunnyside Up Egg with Mixed Leaf Salad and Garlic Butter Bread Beer, Bacon, and Tater Soup (aka “Man Soup”) with Pane di Casa; Russian Earl Grey Tea Fancy Filipino Hotsilog Brekky with Sweet Potato Hash Browns and Brekky Mocktails

I know, they’re not quite as symmetrical as the guys from Symmetry Breakfast (we tried to be creative with our symmetry/asymmetry lines), but it still gained a lot of views, likes (especially from Symmetry Breakfast), and new followers! Anyway, yes I realise that I have gone on a bit of a tangent, but I’m pretty sure you enjoyed those photographs (for those who have not seen them that is). So let’s get down to business shall we and get a move on to today’s recipe:

Cornflake-crusted French Toast Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8-12 MINS | SERVES 2-4*

*Depending if you want one or two slices of french toast per person; recipe is for 4 slices of bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1/2 cups of cornflakes, crushed
  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Optional:

  • Green Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Honey
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla yoghurt

METHOD

  1. Whisk the eggs together with the milk, sugar, spices, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  2. Dip both sides of a bread slice to soak up the wet mixture; do not soak it for too long. The dip the soaked sliced bread into the cornflake crumbs and coat.
  3. Place the bread slice into the frying pan and cook until done, 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils. Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
  5. Top with your favourite toppings, and/or serve with your choice of fruits for a fresh salad on the side. Enjoy!

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Milo French Toast

Milo French Toast

Hello Everyone! Anyway, so it’s week 4 of Breakfast/Brunch month and this week I will be sharing with you my now-favourite french toast recipes. I say ‘now-favourite’ because this is the very first time I’ve attempted these recipes. I’ve had and made french toast before, but the recipes I’ll be sharing with you this week are beyond than that of the classic french toast – they got a certain twist to them that will make you fall in love with french toast all over again.

Today’s recipe is one that I came across on Facebook as I was scrolling through my newsfeed. BuzzFeed Australia posted a video recipe for Milo French Toast. If you love milo and fancy some french toast to go with that, then this recipe was made for you, only that, you get to combine milo together with your french toast – how cool is that? You can top them off simply with some butter and syrup, or you can make it a bit more interesting by topping them off with some of your favourite fruits – I topped mine with some strawberries, crushed pistachios, honey, and a bit of powdered sugar.

I remember growing up, even up until now, my mom would make a classic french toast for breakfast at least once a week. When I came across this recipe and talked to her about it, we decided to try it out. It was a great success in my opinion and I loved it, so did my Mom and sister Angela. Original video recipe can be found on BuzzFeed Australia‘s Facebook page.

Milo French Toast Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8-12 MINS | SERVES 2-4*

*Depending if you want one or two slices of french toast per person; recipe is for 4 slices of bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup milo
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Optional:

  • 1 punnet (250g) strawberries, hulled then halved
  • Handful of pistachios, shelled and lightly crushed
  • Honey
  • Powered sugar

METHOD

  1. Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium.
  2. Combine the milo, milk, egg, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  3. Dip both sides of a bread slice to soak up the wet mixture; do not soak it for too long.
  4. Place the soaked bread slice into the frying pan and cook until done, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils. Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
  6. Serve up this Aussie twist on a French favourite with some honey and butter if you like, or with some fresh fruits and crushed nuts and enjoy!

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BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com