25 December 2010

have a lovely christmas

have a lovely christmas, originally uploaded by Ms_evinrude.

27 November 2010

The Food Blog Dilemma with Green Tea Azuki Scones

I love cooking, and that's why you, who are reading this, is doing so right here. I like to put ingredients together, take pretty photographs of them and share, both in terms of feeding my friends/family and my self-proclaimed "recipes". But having a food blog poses a problem.

When a kitchen escapade produces somewhat good results, I inevitably want to revisit the recipe again, like going to a good restaurant again and again. But then, what do I post? Obviously it doesn't make sense posting a recipe twice and considering the fact that I grace my blog that few times a year, the two posts will definitely be back to back. I've made roasted vegetables at least 5 times and varied takikomi-gohan so many times for almost every lunchbox I made.

On the other hand, having a food blog and does push me to try new things and be adventurous in the kitchen. Reading the various food blogs out there also helps inspire me and give me new ideas.

So, where exactly is this going? Well, actually, what I'm really trying to say is, forgive me when I space my posts sparsely, when I leave out recipes or even when I post only photographs and a bare description. Just like this one.

Basically, it is the same recipe as this, substituting strawberries for 2 tablespoons of powdered green tea and some sweet azuki that comes in a can all the way from Japan. Brilliant with some cold milk. I've also used the same recipe for a blueberry version. Perfect for lazy afternoons.
An update from the previous time I posted this recipe, as the dough is quite soft and tend to spread and lose their shape when on a baking sheet, I found that the scones bake up much prettier if I put them in moulds, fluted no less!

21 November 2010


土曜日弁当, originally uploaded by Ms_evinrude.

24 October 2010


soba salad with sesame dressing

curry baked rice with mushrooms and tomato

sweet potato and mushroom takikomi gohan with curry and bamboo shoots

I think it'll be the end of my bento series for now since I've recently switched a job and won't be cooking much, especially for lunch.

19 September 2010

Hot Pot... Not

I found myself wanting very much to eat nabe, Japanese for hot pot, after reading chika-san's post on the Japanese winter quintessential. So we don't have winter here in Singapore, but the recent monsoon has made it somehow conducive for some hot pot action.

You would have realised that the photo doesn't show a pot. Of course, it would have been an actual hot pot if I did have a proper pot. But I didn't. Or rather, I didn't have one for a single portion. So I cooked everything in a normal over-the-stove pot and served it in a bowl. So, perhaps you would prefer to call it udon with soup.

I'm not posting the method (yet again), only because it just involves heating up some ingredients and water in a pot. I used ingredients that I had in my fridge; Napa cabbage, eryngii and buna-shimeiji mushrooms, tofu and cheated with frozen store-bought meatballs. Instead of cooking everything at the same time as per a usual nabe, I opted to cook the stalks from the cabbage first. Since I wasn't really going to eat it hot-pot style, I wanted to have the stalks soften before adding the rest of the ingredients that didn't require long cooking times. The cabbage also helped sweeten the soup which I seasoned with some light soy sauce and a little sugar and guess what, the individual scallop snacks (again). My sister, who cannot stand mushrooms, said they gave the soup "undertones" which I was more than happy to have.

I had my "nabe" with udon, sprinkled with negi (spring onions) and lots of chilli powder. I think rice would also make a nice carbohydrate, almost like a "porridge". But well, I'm more a noodle person but that's just me.

I wasn't a very much of a soup person until I my Japan trip, just like how I began going back to rice. I liked, and still do, prefer stronger flavours, favouring fried noodles or dry versions with lots of sauce over soup versions. But I've since become more receptive of soup if it was well-flavoured. When I was busy trying to squeeze the food in an aesthetically-pleasing manner into my really small bowl, my sister actually noted that it looked too "bland" for my taste, besides the fact that the bowl was too small. Well, it's nice to have a change sometimes, right?

01 September 2010


今日の弁当, originally uploaded by Ms_evinrude.

31 August 2010


今日の弁当, originally uploaded by Ms_evinrude.

そして、ご飯がお粥になった (笑)


26 August 2010


今日の弁当, originally uploaded by Ms_evinrude.

22 August 2010

Roasted Vegetables

I love vegetables. I find them much more convenient to cook, especially for a 1-person meal and with so many different types of flavours: sweet, sour, bitter, peppery, fresh... I guess I could probably do without meat for a day, but definitely have to have my vegetables.

I found myself craving for roasted vegetables the other day and whipped up a batch. Although very simple and quick, I really like how flavourful the vegetables become from roasting in just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Warm, wholesome and hearty. I sometimes mix a simple dressing of red wine vinegar, wholegrain mustard and something sweet like strawberry jam, seasoned with salt and pepper to eat as a warm salad, but it's just additional and could definitely be done without.

No recipe, but hey, just drizzle cut vegetables with some olive oil and sprinkle with cracked black pepper and some sea salt. Roast in the oven at 220 degC until the vegetables are tender. I used a mixture of pumpkin, potatoes, carrots and onions cut into wedges. Sweet potatoes would be great too. I also recently discovered one of the most delicious vegetable when roasted: garlic! I never knew the humble garlic clove could develop so much sweetness and flavour with just 20 minutes in the oven. I was skeptical until I tried it for myself and it was so good! I didn't think my friends believed me either until I decided to roast whole heads of garlic over the grill for a recent barbeque to make my own garlic bread.

07 August 2010


Having been on a no-rice (maybe a little) diet since god-knows-when, I felt guilty reverting back to a sometimes-rice lifestyle. I blame it on the very long over trip to Japan I took about 2 years ago, but then I might have fallen off the wagon anyway with or without the trip. My fever for anything Japanese has since elevated, especially since my Japanese language skills have increased, and it has affected my choice of food and cooking. But that's also mainly because I've been reading Japanese food blogs.

炊き込みご飯 or takikomi-gohan, is basically rice cooked with ingredients and therefore having the rice flavoured and seasoned in the process. I much favour richer flavours and frankly, don't like white rice. Addition of seasonal ingredients (read: whatever you have and like) makes for a more exciting bowl of rice! And I like exciting.

Reading the fancy-schmanzy name might be the hardest part of cooking takikomi-gohan. Technically, you dump put everything into a pot and just let it cook. I have a feeling my way of seasoning the rice is a little unorthodox (I used mentsuyu, mirin and individual seasoned hotate or scallop snacks) but it's not like it bothers me.

This recipe is for a mushroom takikomi-gohan and I used a mixture of eryngii and buna-shimeji. My first attempt at takikomi-gohan with Japanese sweet potato and nagaimo have yielded equally good results. I'm waiting to get my hands on takenoko (bamboo shoots) and kuri (chestnuts) so that I can use them in my takikomi-gohan ventures.

If you haven't realised by now, my recipes tend to be really "free-form" and serves fairly little. I usually cook 1 serving if not 2 for the next day or a bento. This time round I prepared a pumpkin and sweet potato curry and yaki tamago (sweet egg omelette) with my takikomi-gohan but I imagine it just as nice with anything you would serve with normal rice.

きのこの炊き込みご飯 (Mushroom Takikomi-gohan)
2 Servings

1 medium eryngii
1/2 pack buna-shimeji
1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp mentsuyu (or 1 Tbsp light soy sauce and 1/2 tsp sugar)
1 Tbsp mirin
4 seasoned scallop snacks (optional)

- Gently wipe mushrooms with damp paper towel or give them a very brief rinse to remove any dirt. Trim off the ends and discard.
- Break the cluster of buna-shimeji into smaller portions and cut eryngii into bite-sized pieces.
- In a heavy-bottom saucepan, wash the rice twice.
- Layer the mushrooms over the rice and add the water, mentsuyu and mirin.
- Put the individual scallops, if using, in between the mushrooms.
- Cover the pot with a lid and simmer over low heat for 30 mins or until the rice is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. You might need to add more water depending on the rice you use.
- Alternatively, you can cook everything in a rice cooker.
- Serve hot with your favourite side dishes.

21 April 2010

On a whim

illust, originally uploaded by Ms_evinrude.