Sunday, 31 March 2013

easter

this is going to be a mildy religious post, so if you are of another belief--buddhist, taoist, hindu--feel free to skip ahead and just gawp at  look at the foodporn as you scroll down.

anyway. today is Easter. it probably means different things to every one out there--chicks? egg hunts? cloyingly sweet marshmallow? melty rich chocolate bunnies?--but here is Singapore we don't really have Easter as a festive season like Chinese New Year or Christmas, where the tall lampposts along the tarmac roads would be strung with crimson red, sunflower yellow or twinkly fluorescent lights and boughs of holly respectively. it is for most just a holiday; a day to sleep in, cushioned by your oh-so-warm-and-inviting tussle of bedsheets, a day to pad about aimlessly and perchance update your facebook feed, a day to maybe have a hot cross bun for breakfast.

that was (as a person of Christian belief i admit ashamedly) me, i guess, last year or the one before. i didn't bother much with the He-is-Risen and let-us-pray parts. i just took it like oh okay, here's a holiday, whop de whop no school!

but in the light of my past year and all the dark turmoil and empty days and benign shadows that turned into malicious beasts of the dark, snarling at me from every nook and cranny, i have--i believe--come to look at it in another light.

Friday, 29 March 2013

one a penny two a penny

(note: a really lovely reader was kind enough to notify me of the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. if you could drop in really quickly and give me a holler for the best baking and desserts, best new blog and best kids cooking blog i'll really be awfully grateful.  today (29 March) is the last day, so please vote for me!thank you all so much <3)

hot cross buns!

if you have no daughters // if you have no sons // one a penny // two a penny // HOT CROSS BUNS.

oh yes. two buns, hot and warm from the oven, with the signature crosses golden brown over the domed tops of the bread, smelling deliciously of all those lovely spices and easter tastes. all for you. even if you have a daughter, or a son (you can make them their share but make sure you get a really really really big portion for yourself).

these were SO divine! the perfect breakfast to kick off the easter weekend. they were done in under an hour too--quick, easy, delicious, how much more can you get?

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

hot cross cookies and algebra

(note: a really lovely reader was kind enough to notify me of the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. if you could drop in really quickly and give me a holler for the best baking and desserts, best new blog and best kids cooking blog i'll really be awfully grateful. thank you all so much <3)

today, i was busy scratching gritty graphite cautiously across the arc of my graph, trying to find a tangent, when my math teacher--previously mentioned here if you remember as a kind, sweet grannyish type (she's the cutest lady oh my gosh) who calls everyone ' little one'  as a 'term of endearment'--gave back our math papers. it was on algebra, and consisted of 20% of our grades. now, you should know that math to me might as well be the Language Of Honking Siberian Proboscis Monkeys. it is the absolute worst of all my subjects, with perhaps science (what can i say? im a humanities person). x and y and a and b might as well be big burly men with thick meaty muscled forearms roped with stringy veins, tattooed with ink skulls and flames, holding nanchucks and/or broken beer bottles and/or the like for how much i want to find them. bad puns. sorry.

anyway, even though i'd had some bad struggles while studying for this particular test, i thought i'd managed it rather well on the day itself; i wasn't experiencing the heavy slick of dread coating my stomach, i wasn't nervously kneading my skirt into wrinkled clumps of fabric. but i was surprised--not pleasantly--when she called my name, waddled over after seeing my raised hand, handed my test paper to me and said with a grimace on her face: "you'll have to see me, dear."

that didn't bode well. and rightfully so, as i flipped over the sheaf of paper and saw my mark glaring at me in blood red slashes of ink.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

breakdowns and banana bread

yesterday, while i was churning out my cinnamon pull apart bread post, i was startled by the entrance of my mother into the study room. i hurriedly moused over the minimizer lozenge and the window of my internet browser shot into the tab at the taskbar, glowing faintly, before whirling around to face my mother, "what?" shooting from my lips before she had even opened her mouth.

and then i noticed that her whole face was sagging heavily, emotion boiling in roiling waves behind her face, causing her to struggle visibly to maintain her composure. i was startled by how her face was crumbling, really crumbling, and how she was desperately trying to keep the pieces in place. she rested an arm on the tall bookshelf, chin wobbling. "i can't cook today, so i'll just make you a tuna sandwich," she said in a voice that was scythed through into wobbling ribbons with tears, her eyes refusing to meet mine. "mum! what's wrong? MUM!" i made a frantic claw at her arm, my fingers brushing her skin, as she turned to make a hasty retreat into her bathroom. the door slammed shut and i heard the lock click.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

im not pulling your leg



..just pulling apart some bread.

i am so proud of this. let me just bask in the reflected glow of this loaf for a few minutes. or hours. or days. whatever.

and yes, this bread glows. can't you see it? an angelic halo of pearly bright beams arcing over that golden fragrant loaf. blindingly white, pure, glittery angel action. you can't see it? awh shucks.

anyway! so because the holidays are ending i don't want to talk about it i decided to make a special breakfast. something never ventured into before. something so fantastically delicious that every one of you would immediately leap up and tear apart your kitchens in your frenzy to create this marvelous, magnificent baby (you will, right?). and im telling you, if you don't, you are Missing Out capital-M-and-O.

healthy. single serving. cinnamon. pull apart. bread.

just call me the single serving queen (okay, im done with the boasting here, stop groaning).

Friday, 22 March 2013

this has your fingerprints all over it

...and that's a good thing. because being the proud momma of these babies is something you can strut down the street with, nose perked in the air and spine as straight as a ruler. hello, world! i made thumbprint cookies. look at these little beauties. you want one? oops...i only made enough for one person. and then you can swagger off, leaving people clamoring at your heels for just a tiny weeny eensy bite please please PLEASE, a well deserved smirk on your face. not that im encouraging you to do so. right?

naughty and nice. there are now two ways in which you can make your cookies! one deliciously dark and decadent, luscious and seductive. the other sweet and wonderfully smooth, clean and crisp and awfully pretty. you can make one. or you could make both.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

mental struggles and a loaf



today was hard.

case in point: this morning, everything was fine and dandy. i woke up, brushed up, had my brizza, browsed around instagram. then whoosh! i realised something that threw my whole day off balance, like a tennis ball hit off court with a vehement power smash.

first, let me tell you about the pair of shorts i'm wearing today (yes, this is relevant. bear with my blabber here). they're two years old, a powdery blue, faded patches of cloudy denim, washed soft and scratchy, settling comfortably around my waist. at the very pit of my ED they were forlorn and drooping around the lack of my hips, gaping open like a dark maw. before, they had been tight and fitted around my waist, abundant with padding to cushion the elastic.

i have always had to wear a shiny brown belt with these shorts. but today? they stayed on. beltless.

/note: the following may contain possibly triggering content relating to body image. please skip if you feel uncomfortable.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

oooooze

you must have known this was coming.

the molten lava cake. a tall, cylindrical mould of dense chocolate crumbs. and within is the key, the beauty of this little confection of ultimate droolery: a thick barrage of silky smooth, decadently rich chocolate lava. which upon a little coaxing by your spoon/fork, is set free and oozes with glee out in a velvet sea of absolute indulgence. hot, melty, liquid chocolate. this is THE dessert for chocolate fanatics. in fact they should sell the molten chocolate as it is, with a straw so you can just hover out all that warm oozy woozy heaven.

and now here it is: made for ONE PERSON (i'm selfish that way) and made HEALTHY.

lava cake every day? no problem!


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

second time lucky


remember these cheesecakes?

well since today is a DD (Dreadful Distasteful Dreary Dull Disgusting Doggy Doo-Doo Doctor Day ha ha isn't alliteration fun) i thought why not show the good lady what iron my will is made of? though it is an iron that sometimes quavers and makes a swift retreat back into the more easy form of rubber today it did a good job. and i am so proud of these babies.

ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: i present the single serving healthy japanese cheesecake! soft cottony indulgence that really isnt much indulgence, ALL FOR YOU.

drooling yet?

Sunday, 17 March 2013

bumps and burns

yesterday was a bad day.

i had my japanese cheesecake for breakfast--a trial run that turned out to be a home run in the taste factor, but due to my clumsy attempt at a water bath (wrong water level, wrong water temperature ARRGHH) they weren't the best result one could glean. still i was blissed out, digging my fork through pale fluffy clouds of rich light cream, the tops with that wonderfully warm browned taste, each bite so creamy sweet yet so melt in the mouth feather light. i have to make it again, and you can be sure the end recipe will be on this space soon.

however, the little resident in my brain (who hasn't been evicted yet, unfortunately, though it is in the process of MOVING OUT RIGHT AREN'T YOU) wasn't pleased. it wasn't pleased at the sugar i had put in to make the eggwhites stiff and shiny peaks of ivory foam. it wasn't pleased at the cheese i cubed into the creamy batter. it wasn't pleased that afterwards i had a sandwich for lunch, especially since it was the fourth or fifth time this week. so naturally it kicked up a fuss, and my brain was messed up majorly.


Saturday, 16 March 2013

holidays, hallelujah haptism

i love holidays.

chances to actually wake up after the sun has bled golden richness into the pale wobbly clouds, chances to feel the fresh crisp morning air sting your (more awake) face, chances to laze about with the contented reassurance of nowhere to go and nothing to do. this may be reflective of my couch potato nature but who cares? i dare you to say you hate holidays and not receive a dozen barbed glares of scorching hate blared your way, or a thousand malicious thoughts sentencing you to death by a stampede of pink elephants.

and now i type this on a friday night with the inner me smiling away silly like a demented goon, thrilled at the prospect of the week ahead of me--free, free, free!

Monday, 11 March 2013

rainy day? blondies, yay

i like rainy days. the're really therapeutic. the marble floor gets cool against the soles of your feet, you can hear the gale outside howling and slamming fists of cold icy rain against your windows. you can see sheets of water slashing angrily through the air like opalescent darts, and the sky is furrowed by sorrowful plumes of smoky charcoal. the streetlights pop up through the blur of rainwater, blobs of hazy golden light shining in the greyish bruise colour of a storm, which is cut through occasionally by the sweeping arc of the yellow white beam of a car's headlights.

these are days that call for thick, snuggly, duvets and comforters and plumped pillows. also, tall steaming mugs of thick velvety hot chocolate, tantalising wafts of heat warming your chilled hands. and there is now one more to add to the list: these beautiful peanut butter banana blondies, with their lovely caps of honeyed cinnamon peanut butter.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

cause that's the way i roll

the first time, the smell came out from the oven amazing.

the broiling spiciness of sugary cinnamon, along with a subtle roastiness from the ground nuts i sprinkled into the filling. the wonderful aroma wafted through the room on a wave of warm reassurance, and i was lulled into obliviancy. which was why when i pulled the tray out of the oven the parchment paper was crisped and crumbling black ash at the corners, my little cinnamon rolls stained inky charred at the edges and browned an ugly mud colour on the top. in other words, incorrigibly burnt.

oops. i felt guilt tugging on my heartstrings from the wastage as i tossed it into the garbage bin, bidding farewell to my shrivelled ashy attempt at the golden snaking rings of aromatic perfection. try one? nuh uh.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

cha cha cha chia


a tall, formidable stack. three rounded discs of high, towering nutty brown peppered with tiny black, releasing a warm golden aroma with the delicate thread of fragrant vanilla. creamy white curds, spilling out of the sides, rivulets of amethyst running down the nooks and crannies, minnowing their way from sweet pulpy scarlet berries.

it is a sight to behold. a sight to sigh at. and a sight to quickly devour, lips smeared with rich cheese and syrupy berry and fine pillowy crumbs.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

SUPER FUDGE

yes, the title deserves capital letters.

look at that photo. will you just look. good gravy.

but first, a question that i think deserves even the vaguest attempt of an answer:

Monday, 4 March 2013

raspberry oaty streusel bars

that, my friends, is a thing of beauty.

chewy oat morsels, crisped at the top in a bronzed golden crust. wonderful warm cinnamon, and hot creamy melty banana sweetness. not to forget sputtering berries, bleeding ruby juice, still bubbling and stinging your tongue with a snazzy tang of fizziness. and i topped it with that tantalisingly glossy swirl of chocolate hued tahini, rich and unapologetically erring on the bitter side.

bite by bite, luxurious tastes fizzling on your tongue. it will be a sad, sad time when it is gone. but it is okay, because you can--and should--make another. and another. and another.

and another.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

carrot cake and certainty


today, i was awoken at the most ungodly hour, even more so because it was a saturday, for goodness sake, and didn't someone tell all those people in the ministry of education that weekends and holidays are Sacred and Supreme? force me from my warm nestle of comforting linen at a time when the bright sunshine hasn't even bled across the inky sky, and i become as crabby as your great-great-grandma. nevertheless, i crawled out of bed, stumbled blearily in a muggy fog of sleepy haze into the washroom, and prepared for an architectural workshop that started at 8. 8, on a weekend. will i ever stop ranting about the loss of a weekend morning? i think not. but then again i think i have a most arguable case.