Homemade Granola

Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day. With a full breakie, I usually don’t even feel hungry for lunch. Not that I will skip lunch, just don’t have to eat much for lunch. (:

It has become a routine for me to wake up and have a bowl of yogurt with granola with a cup of green tea with lemongrass and lemon.  I feel happy when I eat it. hehe I was reading a post by Laureen and I was inspired to make my own granola! So I got down to doing it today.

Yummy Granola (Adapted from Eat And Be Happy)

1 1/2 cups of old fashion rolled oats

1/2 cup silvered raw almonds

1/2 cup mixed nuts (sunflower seeds, pine nuts & pumpkin seeds)

1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts (roughly chopped)

3 tbs packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

2 tbs olive oil/ vegetable oil

4 tbs honey

1 cup of dried mixed fruit (sultanas, cranberries and other fruits you like)

For the hazelnuts, I put it in my mortar and pestle and lightly pound it till most of them is broken into smaller pieces. This mortar and pestle is the best investment ever and I bought it at a steal of $2.50! haha

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 150C. Line the baking tray with baking paper and set aside.

2) Mix all the dry ingredients (except the dried fruits) together in a large bowl. Combine the honey and oil in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Stir the honey mixture into the dry ingredients and mix till well combined.

3) Spread the granola on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden, stirring every 10 minutes.

4) Remove the tray from the oven. Let the granola cool completely before stirring in the dried fruits. Store granola in an airtight container.

And the only two ways to eat it is to have it in handfuls or with yogurt of course! (:

ENJOY! (:

Valentine’s Day Surprise!

( Us 7 years ago ♥ )

Surprises. Don’t you just love them? Cause I definitely do.

My past year has been filled with happy surprises. First the proposal, then the engagement party and now valentine’s day! (: Regardless of the size of the surprise, I feel very very loved and very very lucky to be loved.

The Mr and I talked about it before hand that we won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day as we would have arrived back in Melbourne just a day before and really, we just didn’t wanna spend the astronomical amount that restaurants would charge on this day for lovers. So I decided that I was going to cook for him.

Baby surprised me with a rose when I met him for coffee! (: It’s the small things like that that counts!

and see that lego guy? He’s Leroy. hehe

okie. TO THE POINT. I’m sorry if I’m telling my life story in one post. SO. I decided to make something that my baby had always wanted to have and so I walked around in Woolworths trying to get inspiration. He always wanted to get those pork medallions stuffed with herb butter but being me, I refuse to get things that pre-marinated unless I really can’t get the flavour that they have. So I decided to get pork chops and made my own herb butter!

I was so happy I did it. Cos the smile on my baby’s face was worth every single second spent deciding on what to cook and executing it.

Love on a plate. (:

Together with the pork chops, I made a side of caesar salad! I remembered when watching masterclass in the second season that Donna Hay made caesar salad in a totally different way. So I decided to try it, just through my own memory of how to do it. and it turned out great!

I do hope everyone had an awesome valentine’s day and you spent it with your loved ones! (:

Herb Butter

125g unsalted butter, softened

2 pinches of salt

2 tablespoon of fresh oregano

handful of chopped parsley

Steps :

1) In a mortar and pestle, pound the herbs with the salt till it’s almost in a paste.

2) Add the butter and with a spoon combine both the herb paste and butter till well combined.

3) Remove from the mortar and put it in a cling wrap. Roll it up and put it into the fridge to set.

Caesar Salad

1 baby cos lettuce

4 slices of bacon

2 hard boiled eggs, sliced into half

Your favourite Caesar dressing

Parmesan cheese

Avocado (optional)

Sunflower seed (optional)

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and bake the bacon for 10mins. Remove from the oven (need it for the pork chops, so do not slice it up yet).

2) Slice the baby cos into half lengthwise

3) Cut the bacon onto the lettuce (only after the pork chops are done). Sprinkle some parmesan cheese.

4) Pour the caesar dressing on the lettuce, the amount that you would like. Place the egg on the side and the avocado and top the salad with some sunflower seeds.

Herb Butter Pork Chops

2 pork chops with bone

salt and pepper, to taste

Vine tomatoes

Steps :

1) Rub some of the herb butter and marinade the pork chops generously. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

2) Heat the frying pan and sear both sides of the pork.

3) Take the tray which you used to bake the bacon and place the pork chops on top of the bacon. Place the vine tomatoes on the side of the tray and baked for another 10-15mins (depending on how thick the chops are)

4) Plate the different components. Cut a slice of cold herb butter and place on top of the pork chops.

5) SERVE (:

Chinese New Year Inspired Cupcakes

Happy Lunar New Year everyone! (: Sorry I know I’m very late and I have gone missing in a long long time. Heading home always does this to the poor blog of mine. But I’m back! and it’s always good to be back (:

so what was your favourite cny goodie out of all that you tried? Mine’s no doubt pineapple tarts. I don’t only love to eat them, I love to make them!

I actually love making them so much that I am considering selling them next year! Will you support me?

If you’re not a fan of pastry, how about a pineapple tart inspired cupcake?

I have awesome friends who constantly give me ideas on the different flavour combinations I should try on a cupcake and no doubt, this was one of them. I originally wanted to bake the tart base to crumble it and put it on the top, but I was too lazy. So i topped it with digestive biscuits instead!

It’s really not so difficult to make, and I can even say it’s not as sinful as a pineapple tart. Only cause, you probably can eat 3-4 tarts at one go (guilty!) but after eating one cupcake, you would be happy enough to stop (or maybe you will have just ONE more haha).

so here’s the recipe! Hope you all will enjoy!

Pineapple Tart Inspired Cupcakes

125g unsalted butter, softened

250g cream cheese

1 cup caster sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups (300g) self-raising flour, sifted, plus extra to dust

300g pineapples, chopped (I used the tin ones, squeeze the pineapple dry before using them)

Steps :

1.     Preheat the oven to 1800C and line 12 mini cupcake pan with paper case

2.     Place the butter, cream cheese and caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale.

3.     Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just combined.

4.     Add the vanilla and fold in the flour and a pinch of salt.

5.     Dust the chopped pineapple with a little extra flour then stir through the mixture.

6.     Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 12-15mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allowed to cool.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
2 cups (8 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted (more if needed)
10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature and cut into small pieces
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 tbs reduced pineapple syrup

Digestive biscuit, crumbled finely

1. Sift powdered sugar and matcha together into a small bowl.

2. In a larger mixing bowl, cream the butter, powdered sugar mixture, and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Add the cream cheese, a chunk at a time, beating after each addition (just enough to work it in). Add the reduced pineapple syrup (make sure it has cooled to room temperature) until well combined.

3. Pipe it on the cupcake how you like it. Sprinkle some digestive biscuit crumbles and top with a chocolate bead.

So do you think I should sell my tarts? haha Will you support me?

Everybody HUAT AH! (: Still not too late! hehe