Monday, 30 March 2015

#33 - Broccoli & Cheese Mashed Potatoes


Mashed potatoes, a very common side dish regardless of the main course you are serving for dinner. It goes pretty well with your steak or pork/chicken chops and is not exactly that difficult to prepare. You can even get them ready way ahead of time and just heat them up in the oven before serving.

In this recipe, I have added broccoli & cheese to enhance the taste of the mashed potatoes. In that way, I don't have to worry about my mashed potatoes being tasteless. It is so flavourful and healthy at the same time! Yummy! 

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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
2 - 3 person

Ingredients
4 Small Potatoes, peeled & halved
1 small head Broccoli
1 cup Milk
2 tbsp Salted Butter
1 and 1/2 cup Shredded Cheese
1/2 cup Bacon Bits
Salt & Pepper, to taste


Directions
1. In a large pot, add the potatoes, making sure that they are covered with water. Bring to a boil over high heat.


2. Once the water starts to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook the potatoes for another 10 minutes.

3. While waiting for the potatoes, trim and chop broccoli into small dices.

4. Add broccoli to potatoes and cook them until both are tender (about 5 more minutes).


5. Drain off water from the pot. Using a potato masher, make sure potatoes and broccoli are well mashed.

6. Stir in milk, butter, cheese and bacon bits and continue mashing until cheese is melted.


7. Season with salt & pepper before serving.








Wednesday, 25 March 2015

#32 - Tomatoes Bruschetta


Hubby is so in love with this morning's breakfast that he gorge down one slice of the Tomatoes Bruschetta the very minute he stepped out of bed. He gave me a thumb up for this! 



This is a very simple recipe and require very few ingredients which you probably already have in your kitchen pantry. Typically, tomatoes bruschetta makes an ideal appetiser but I really like to serve this as an breakfast item due to the refreshing taste of tomatoes and herbs. Go, give it a try!


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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
2 person

Ingredients
20-25 Cherry Tomatoes (or 2 medium tomatoes), diced
1 tbsp Red Onion, finely minced
1 tbsp Garlic, minced
2 tbsp Mixed Herbs (include Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Fennel)
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Baguette, sliced at an angle about 1.5cm thick
2 tsp Butter

Directions


1. In a bowl, combine diced tomatoes cubes, onion, garlic and mixed herbs. Add in olive oil and mix well.


2. Season with salt & pepper if necessary. Set aside and allows mixture to sit for at least 5-10 minutes while preparing bread.

3. Spread a thin layer of butter on the sliced baguette and toast it in the oven/ air fryer at 160C for 3 minutes.

3. Remove bread, transfer to serving plate. Top each slice of bread with the tomatoes mixture before serving. 




Sunday, 22 March 2015

#31 - Cheesy Garlic & Brown Sugar Pork Chops



Pork chop has never been an item which I will order for at any restaurant or eatery. Reason being, it sounds like a pretty plain and boring dish to me. I would rather go for a healthy yet yummy baked salmon, or even a hearty portion of lamb chop instead.

However, when I came across this recipe on Cheesy Garlic & Brown Sugar Pork Chops, my eyes lit up! The word CHEESY definitely caught my attention. I just have to give this recipe a try! 


Anyway, I would also like to share on this quick method of defrosting your meat. It work perfectly well for my pork chops. It took me 10 minutes and I was really pleased. Click here for details and give it a try.


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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Ingredients
Dry Rub Mixture
1 tbsp Mixed Herbs (include Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Fennel)
2 tbsp Garlic, minced
3 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

4 Pork Chops
30 grams Butter, melted
1 Cup Shredded Cheese
1 tsp Parsley

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking pan with baking paper.

2. For dry rub mixture, combine mixed herbs, minced garlic, brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well. 


3. Rub both sides of pork chops with dry rub mixture. 


4. Transfer pork chops on to baking pan.

5. Drizzle melted butter over the pork chops and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.


6. Remove from oven. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the pork chops. Bake for another 5 minutes until cheese has melted.


7. Sprinkle the top with parsley before serving. Enjoy. 




Friday, 20 March 2015

#30 - Banana Loaf with Streusel Topping



I have always love baking with different types of fruits and one of my favourite has got to be bananas! The sweetness of this fruit is good for cake, muffins, bread and it even goes well with peanut butter in a sandwich. My mum has always been a great lover of banana bread and since young, I have kind of pick up on this love of hers and there is no way I can resist a soft and fragrant piece of banana cake/bread. 


In my kitchen, I always seems to have a couple of overripe bananas on the counter top every now and then and it's strange how excited I get when I see them turning dark and black. And why is that so, you asked? Simply because the darker they get, the sweeter they are and that make them so PERFECT for baking! 

For this particular recipe of Banana Loaf with Streusel Topping I am sharing, you got to love the topping as well! Trust me on that. The topping is crumbly and sweet and it goes perfectly well with the soft banana bread. Not to mention, I simply adore the combination of brown sugar with butter! On the other hand, if you are not such a huge fan of Streusel Topping, you may replace it with a cream cheese frosting and it will taste just as good! 

The loaf itself is loaded with banana and that definitely helps to ensure that the loaf remains moist and rich! 

I just love it when my kitchen is filled with the smell of freshly baked Banana Bread. Don't you?



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Ingredients
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 cups Mashed Banana (about 3 medium size bananas)
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Fine Sugar
1/2 cup (113.5g) Butter, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
2 tbsp (28.4g) Butter


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and baking paper. Set aside for later use. 

2. To prepare the streusel topping, combine the brown sugar and flour in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut in the cold butter until coarse crumbs are obtained. Refrigerate the streusel topping until it is ready to use.



3. Sieve the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon) together and set aside. 

4. In a mixing bowl, mashed the bananas using a fork until you get a thick mash of banana. 

5. To the mashed banana, add in the eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Whisk these ingredients together using a whisk until they are well combined and a thick mixture is obtained. 

6. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients in Step (2) and add in the wet ingredient in Step (4). Mix well using a whisk / spatula. Make sure that the combined mixture is well-mixed, with no trace of flour.



7. Pour the creamy batter into the loaf pan. Using a butter knife, run the knife through the batter a few times so as to remove any air bubbles.


8. Remove streusel topping from refrigerator and sprinkle them on the top of the batter evenly.


9. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until toothpick when inserted comes out clean.








Tuesday, 17 March 2015

#29 - Butterscotch Orange Cookies


Are you having a craving for something sweet and crunchy and yet you are sick and tired of the regular chocolate chips cookies? If you are feeling just like I do, try these! 


Due  to my previous craze in baking any butterscotch related recipes (eg. Salted Oatmeal Scotchies with Chocolate Chips & Butterscotch Molten Lava Cake), I have bought these bags and bags of butterscotch morsels, all stocked up in my baking pantry. It has been a long time since I have paid any attention to them. At last, I decided that it was time! Time to turn these pretty little morsels into something crunchy and yummy!


I actually baked 2 batches of these cookies, one batch on Sunday night and the other on Monday morning. The first batch was baked for 10 minutes (with 2 eggs in the recipe) and it resulted in a soft and chewy texture in the cookies when cooled. As for the second batch, due to hubby's request for a crunchier version, I baked them for an extra 3 minutes (with only 1 egg in the recipe) and with that, the cookies was slightly firmer yet provide a really good crunch to it. So, depending on your preference, you may vary the baking time accordingly. Just make sure you check on them regularly and do not over baked the cookies. You wouldn't want them to be all bitter and hard, would you?

And oh yes, if you would like your cookies to be flat like the Subway version, just follow the recipe below but to use two eggs instead of one.  That should do the trick. It works for me! I was pretty pleased with the final texture and taste of the cookies and was definitely more than happy to share them with my friends and students. Am so glad that they enjoyed it as much as I do.




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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
Make approximately 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients
1 and 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Butterscotch Morsels
113 grams Unsalted Butter, softened
80 grams Granulated Sugar
80 grams Brown Sugar
1 Egg
2 tbsp Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Orange Juice
Zest of 1 Orange

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Prepare 2 baking sheets, lined with baking paper. Set aside for later use.

3. Sift and combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt). 

4. In a small bowl, toss 1/2 cup of butterscotch morsels with 2 tablespoon of flour mixture in Step (3). The will ensure that the butterscotch morsels will be evenly distributed throughout the batter. Leave aside the remaining butterscotch morsels to serve as toppings on the cookies later.


5. In a mixer bowl, cream together butter with both sugars until creamy.


6. Add in egg, milk, vanilla extract, orange zest and orange juice gradually and beat until smooth. 

7. Combine dry ingredients in Step (3) to the wet ingredients in Step (6), one third portion at a time and mix well.


8. Add in butterscotch morsels in Step (4) to the batter. Use a spatula to mix well. Ensure that all the ingredients are well-incorporated.

9. Using a small ice-cream scoop, scope and divide the dough into small portions (ball-shaped). Place them on the baking trays. Ensure that they are at least 3 cm apart from one another. Top each cookie dough portion with several butterscotch morsels.


10. For a soft and chewy texture in the cookies, bake for 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to turn light golden brown. For a crunchier texture in the cookies, bake for an extra 3 minutes. 


11. After removing cookies from oven, allows the cookies to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.