Lijit Ad Tag

Apr 29, 2011

Potato Broccoli Soup

I'm aching all over and not up to a heavy lunch. Ever had one of those colds that never really become a full blown sneeze-cough-fever-sore throat thingy? It's one of the worst feelings in the world! It just sits there (like my fat cat on my chest) and refuses to go away, leaving you feeling like there's a ton of bricks on your shoulders and the head too big for the neck to support (maybe it is :P). Groan.

Feed a cold and starve a fever ... or is it the other way round? I don't even know what's coming out ... cold? Fever? Whatever.

Liquids. Right then, soup it is.

The great thing about this soup is that the starch in the potatoes thickens the soup naturally without having to add any additional cornflour or thickeners.


2 large-ish Russet potatoes / or any floury potatoes

2 - 3 cups stock (chicken/vegetable)

1 onion, finely diced

1 - 2 tbs butter

Broccoli florets, blanched

fresh grated nutmeg

cayenne pepper

fresh ground black pepper

salt to taste

1/2 cup or more milk / cream


Peel the potatoes, boil and mash them up. Put aside.

Melt butter in a pan and saute the chopped onions until it's soft and translucent, not browned.

Add the stock and the mashed potatoes and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until thickened.

Using a hand blender, buzz it a few times until you get a smooth consistency.

Reheat if you prefer your soup scalding hot (like most Chinese, ouch).

Stir in milk or cream.

Season with fresh ground black pepper, fresh ground nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

Toss in a handful of blanched broccoli florets.

Great with some garlic toast or crusty bread.

Aaahhhh ... better than a hot pack.

*Note: If you prefer a bit of bite in your soup, add in one or two boiled and diced waxy potato at the end.

Apr 21, 2011

I've Been Tagged!

I've Been Tagged!

I haven't played tag since my school days and today, I'd got tagged by Elisabeth from Food and Thrift Finds :D Oooo, I feel like a kid again!

And she'd got tagged by someone from Hungary! Boy! Talk about the long arm of the .... um, blog.

Anyway, this tag game is all about Easter and to come up with a suggested menu of 5 - 10 items. You'll have to upload these recipes from your previous posts with photos and link them back for the recipe.

After all that, link it to 10 bloggers for the invitation to do the same!

(Check out Elisabeth's yummy menu! The goat's cheese thingy is to die for!)

As I've explained to Elisabeth, I haven't been blogging very long and hope that this short list of suggested recipes whets some appetites.

Also, here's the 10 other bloggers I've tagged and hope you'll join in this nostalgic game but with a different twist.

1. Boulder Locavore

2. Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker

3. Kimba's Kitchen

4. Pass the Sushi

5. Pretend Chef

6. Quay Po Cooks

7. Russian Season

8. Something Good

9. Three Cookies

10. Turkey's For Life

Come on people! Join in the fun!

Lemongrass Ginger Ale

Apr 19, 2011

Getting Cross-eyed

It's been more than a month since I had put up my hot cross buns post (yeah, yeah, so i'd got my dates mixed up) and since then i've been busy with more ideas and variations just to make things a little more interesting. Hot cross macs galore for awhile and now, 3 different ways to make those crosses on those buns.

The initial crosses, made with orange icing, were and are still my favorite but they're not transport-friendly. So, here are the 3 other ways to make sturdier crosses (see pic): blue poppy seeds (top), piped batter (left) and pastry strips (right). I'm sure you can think up some more interesting versions.

Among these 3, I thought the poppy seeds made a better and more interesting eat. The pastry cross was hard and I suggest that you make a softer dough or just peel off the cross before sinking your teeth into it. The piped cross was also a little too chewy for my liking or maybe I should have made the mixture a little more runny.

Well, there it is. Ping messing around with tradition again.

Have a happy, variation-filled easter!

For the Poppy Seeds Crosses:

Sprinkle seeds into a cross shape after brushing dough with egg wash.

For the Piped Crosses:

1/2 tbs sugar

3 tbs flour

2 tbs water / milk

Mix together to form a smooth and pipeable batter. Pipe a thin line.

*Note: Lines spread a little during baking. See how fat mine are? :P

For the Pastry Crosses: (don't like this ... the dough strips turned out to hard to eat)

1/2 cup flour

3 tbs water

Mix into a smooth dough. Roll out and cut into strips. Attach onto buns with egg wash.

Bake as directed. (See Hot Cross Buns)

Apr 9, 2011

Easter Tea Ring

Or in other words ... a Giant Chelsea Bun!

Personally, I prefer coffee with it :D but yeah, it's supposed to be a tea-time treat. "Tea" Ring ... duh. No tea in the ingredients either.

Another traditional Easter bake.

I'd made hot cross buns too early and am a little bored of them.... need variety, but still sticking to the Eastery mood.

Truth is, I'm never tired of having good, fresh bread. And we go through bread in this household real quick.

Feel free to substitute the filling with any dried fruit of your choice and top it off with some toasted almond flakes after drizzling with the icing. Had too many ideas but in the end, I decided to go plain and simple ... when there are too many choices .... go simple, rather than overdoing the flavors.

And once again, my beloved bread machine does the arm exercises for me.


100 ml milk

1 egg

2 cups bread flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbs caster sugar

1 oz butter, softened

1 tsp instant dry yeast

1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped

1/3 cup sultanas

1/2 oz butter, melted

1/4 cup soft brown sugar / muscovado

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spice

milk for brushing

2 tbs icing sugar

1/2 tbs Grand Marnier / orange juice


Put the milk and egg into the bread machine bin.

Add in flour, salt, caster sugar and softened butter.

Make a shallow hole in the center and put in the dry yeast.

Set the machine to the "dough" setting.

When the cycle is done, remove dough from bread bin and onto a floured surface.

Knock the dough back, then roll it out to a rectangle measuring about 30 X 45 cm.

Brush dough with melted butter and spread the copped fruits evenly over it.

Mix together the brown sugar and spices, and sprinkle evenly over the fruits.

Starting from the longer edge, roll up the dough as you would a swiss roll. Place rolled dough cut side down.

Turn the 2 ends around to meet and seal by brushing with a little milk, pinching the ends together. Place on a prepared baking sheet.

Using a sharp knife / scissors, cut through about 2/3 into the circle.

Twist the sections so that they lie sideways (I did that but somehow it straightened out all by itself ... wooo).

Cover the ring with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about an hour in a warm place or until almost doubled in size and puffy.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200ºC for about 20 mins. After about 15 mins into baking, cover with foil to prevent over browning.

Cool on wire rack.

While the bread is cooling and still warm, prepare the icing.

Mix together the icing sugar and orange juice or liquer until a drizzly consistency. If too watery, add more icing sugar, if too dry ... you figure it out.

Drizzle mixture over the bread ring. Leave to cool.

* If you're using almond flakes to decorate, sprinkle over before the icing sets.

Happy Easter!

Apr 3, 2011

Savoury Custard Flan

(Thank you everyone for helping get this to FoodBuzz Top 9)

Or shall I just call this a Tart, or Quiche or maybe .... a Flartche? If you can come up with a better name, please let me know. I can think of another combination but it really doesn't sound too appetizing and neither does "leftover flan".

Anyway, this was another throw-together thingy. We had some leftover roast chicken that was clogging up my freezer space and at the same time, I was trying to unclog my brain to figure out some lunch. There was this packet of lovely fresh herbs given to me by a friend (from her garden!). I had a small block of mature cheddar and a whole lot of egg yolks leftover from making macarons. I did the math and the solution ... a Flartche.


1 small onion, diced

1 waxy potato, diced (I'm using this instead of the russet as I wanted some bite)

1 cup roast chicken meat, coarsely shredded

4 egg yolks

1 cup cream

1 cup grated mature cheddar (you can substitute with cheese of your choice)

1 handful fresh sage leaves

prepared shortcrust pastry


Preheat oven to 180 - 200ºC.

Line a 20cm round quiche pan with prepared pastry, pressing in the bottom and sides. Trim edges.

Line pastry with parchment paper. Fill with baking beads and bake blind for 15 mins.

Carefully remove beads and parchment, and bake a further 2-3 mins. Do not over-brown. Cool.

Stir fry diced onions and potatoes in a little oil until lightly browned. Stir in shredded chicken. Cool.

Beat egg yolks with cream. Stir in the shredded cheese, leaving about 3 tbs for sprinkling later.

Evenly spread out the onion/chicken/potatoes mixture into the pastry crust.

Top with a few leaves of sage.

Pour egg/cream/cheese mixture over filling.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 mins.

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake a further 20 - 25 mins or until custard is set and the top is golden brown.

Leave to cool for a few minutes before tucking in.

Serve with some fresh ground black pepper.