Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Post about Running

Although I do enjoy running, and have been running more regularly the past few weeks, I just find it hard to write about running.

I mean, what do I say?  Went for a run, was tired, it was hot, ate some cereal?

Well that's pretty much what my run on Sunday was like.

I think it must have been one of the hottest days ever.  I also didn't plan ahead, slept in until 8:30 and thus didn't start my run until almost 9.  The plan was to get over 10 k in preparation for the New Balance Real Run which is fast approaching however after about 7 k I had sucked every last drop out of my water bottles and was just about ready to collapse on the side of the road and be left for dead.

I did make it home (eventually, with a shameful time) and realized that I've learned a few lessons:

1. NEVER run after 8am or before 5pm outdoors - you're just asking for trouble if you do.

2. ALWAYS bring some gel packs on a run 10k or more.

3. ALWAYS carry some cash because if I truly needed to get home with help, I would have had no way of paying for a cab.

Really, I already knew all this but apparently I needed to be reminded.  Since I'm going away for a girls weekend in a few days I probably won't get a chance to do a long run - but the next time I do I will try to make it a more successful one!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rugby Food

If I were living in Canada I'd probably be sitting in my home wearing yoga pants and a sweater.  The temperature is probably dropping below 10 degrees Celsius at night and the leaves would be falling outside.  Autumn is without a doubt my favourite season - boots, trench coats, apple crisp and Thanksgiving turkey....

Singapore has pretty much nothing in common with Autumn Canada.  The leaves don't turn colour and I'm definitely not going to be wearing a trench coat.  However, it seems that there is one similarity - sports.  In Canada I would undoubtedly be surrounded by hockey talk - with a new season starting soon (or already started?) there would be lots of chatter about trades, new players, pro line betting (or whatever that is)...

In Singapore I am similarly surrounded by Rugby talk.  The rugby world cup is underway in the 2nd best country in the world, New Zealand and my co workers are obsessed.  We have rugby bets and rugby magazines at work and I've even gone to see a few games (and actually enjoyed it!).

As a tribute to all things sports and all things Autumn, my dinner tonight is great for both a cold weather comfort and game night!

First, I made this hearty and crusty bread which comes from a great website whose author makes all her food as natural as possible.  Instead of sugar, she uses honey, as food for the yeast.  As a tribute to the All Blacks kicking butt last night I made it with good ol' Manuka Honey straight from the World Cup venue - and it worked out just as well.  Just keep in mind that this is a rather dense bread with lots of oats and grains - perfect for a slice but any more will swell your belly!

Then I made a smoky spicy chili.  I was inspired to make chili when taking a look at this site - but decided to use a lot of different ingredients.  My recipe is below.  The chili had great heat and would be great served over a bed of rice or on its own with a piece of bread.  Of course, I had pour some Asahi beer into that spicy mix - as a symbol of the heat that Canada is gonna put on the Japanese during this week's match!

For dessert we had chocolate lava cakes which I did not invent or modify but were amazing just as they were.  I kept them in the oven a little too long - make sure you watch them and take 'em out of the oven as soon as the top looks cooked.  We had whipped cream on the side but Justin and I both agreed that vanilla ice cream will be the way to go next time.

With a productive weekend and a swollen belly I am definitely ready for bed - but not yet ready for a crazy week of marking!  Probably won't be posting for a few days - unless it's about my running.  Let's face it though, running isn't nearly as awesome as chili and chocolate lava!!!

Smoky Spicy Chili


200-300g lean ground beef
300g spare ribs, pork (I used bone-in and cleaned them but would recommend boneless)
2 small red onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 red chilis finely diced and seeds removed
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes
3oz. tomato paste
1 can chickpeas
1 can borlotti beans (or kidney is fine too)
1 can beer
2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1/2 tbsp black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Montreal steak spice
2 chipotle peppers, chopped - plus 2 tsp adobo sauce
Sour Cream and Shredded Cheese for garnish

De-bone and sear the pork on high heat in a lightly oiled pan (I used a wok because that's the biggest pan I have) for 2 minutes, lightly browning both sides.  Remove and set aside.

Turn heat down to medium and lighly oil the pan again.  Cook onion and peppers with a pinch of salt until soft, 5 minutes.  Add garlic and chili's and cook another 2 minutes.  Turn the heat a bit higher and add the ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Stir occasionally until meat is cooked.

Add the pork back into the pot and stir around for a minute or two.  Add the beans, tomatoes, paste, and stir to combine all ingredients.  Add in the beer and the seasonings, including the chipotles and adobo sauce.  Stir again until well combined.

Cover the chili and let it simmer on low heat, about 45 mins to 1 hour.  Check the chili once or twice during this process to see if seasoning is right for you.  Stir occasionally but keep your eye on those bay leaves and make sure you remove them before serving.

Top chili with cheese and sour cream and serve with your favourite bread or rice.  Enjoy the game!

Miscellaneous Cooking

Well, the past couple of days have been pretty uneventful in the kitchen.  After the bad-egg fiasco that was kinda nice.  Thursday and Friday night were dinners out with Justin's colleagues, first at Our Village, a north-Indian restaurant with a beautiful view of Boat Quay - highly recommended.  Friday night was traditional Chinese, which I would not recommend and won't waste my time speaking about it.

However, over the past couple of days I did manage to bake these Lemon Muffins with a lemony glaze:

They were a nice treat, and my colleagues seemed to like them, but I think I'm all lemon-ed out for a while.  I threw a bunch of them in the freezer for a rainy day because I couldn't possibly eat them all.

Last night I made pizza - a regular staple in our home.  I honestly think my husband would love me more if I just figured out how to get all life's nutrients into pizza form for dinner every night.

This one was a bit of a kitchen-sink pizza.  Since we hadn't been to the store we just grabbed all the veggies we could find an added it.  This time it was onions, green peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and green olives.  Turned out pretty good.  Justin (aka the mixologist) made some pretty awesome pina coladas with this rum:

They tasted heavenly.  I was going to make some molten lava cake with this cute little ramekin my friend gave me for my birthday one year but the pizza was pretty filling.

So nothing too exciting in the kitchen lately, but I'm going to make a (hopefully) pretty sweet din-din which I'll share later.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Yesterday morning I woke up and went for a nice 8k run outside along the park connector.  It was pitch black outside with just the faintest drizzle which is the best it can get for Singapore running.  I'm really appreciating my new fuel belt which allows me to carry water with me on the run so I don't nearly collapse with dehydration at the end.

After I cooled off in the shower I decided I wanted to make some eggs for breakfast.  One of my favourite (and super quick) breakfasts is an egg burrito.  I chop up a few veggies (onion, green pepper) and toss them into a frying pan.  Once they've softened I add one egg and one egg white, scramble and serve on a warm tortilla with some cheese and salsa or ketchup (depending on my mood).  If I have some ham in the house I'll add a slice of that too.

Once I had my onions softening I went to grab the eggs.  I grabbed the first egg and cracked it on the frying pan.  As I was doing this I thought to myself "hmmm...this shell is really thin..."  what happened next was one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life.

I had cracked a black, rotten, bacteria filled egg.  I don't know if anyone else has experienced this, but the entire yolk was black and the egg ran out of the shell like milk - thin.  At first, I was immediately disgusted with the sight before me - I was beginning to think this was some sort of fertilized egg that had some embryo inside of it and it was sizzling in my pan!  But that became the least of my worries because the smell that wafted out of that pan was unbelievable.

I have no idea how to describe it.  I've smelled a rotten egg before but this was worse, way worse.  It was like a combination of rotten egg, diarrhea, and anything else disgusting I can think of.  Afterwards I was reminded of the scene in "Slumdog Millionaire" when the boy jumps into a mountain of 3rd world fecal matter.

As I grabbed the pan to scrape the egg out, dispose of the garbage, scrub the pan, and disinfect everything in sight, my husband was in the bathroom puking.  Hmmm...don't know if this guy can handle being out of the office :).  The smell didn't go away, it was everywhere.  I grabbed my Clorox wipes and wiped everything, I scrubbed my hands, all the while dry-heaving like a cat with a hairball.  At this point I just needed to get outside and breath some fresh air.  I ran out to our balcony and inhaled gulps of city-air, which at the time I considered beautiful.  That was when I looked down and realized I was still in my underwear.....

My brother-in-law came to Singapore a few years back and insisted on having the Fish Head Curry.  This curry really didn't agree with him and he was sick and nauseated just by the smell.  Afterwards he said that that fish "haunted him" - I feel exactly the same way about that egg.  I was physically sick all day.  The smell will haunt me forever and make me constantly fear cracking an egg.  My husband and I both agreed that if it ever happens again the rule will be to immediately chuck the frying pan down the garbage chute.

Just another day in Asia, I suppose.

Vegetarian Night

I don't want to toot my own horn here (to be honest I'm usually quite critical of myself) but I make a good lasagna.  It just seems that lasagna and me get along well - I almost never use a recipe and it's always delicious.  It is lasagna though so how can't it be?

I did use a recipe for this one though because I have never made a vegetarian lasagna (my husband was quite skeptical).  I followed the recipe for the most part but instead of making a home-made marinara I just bough a jar of Ragu and saved myself 30-40 minutes of chopping and reducing.

I normally shy away from vegetarian recipes because I never seem truly full after them.  They always seem to be missing a little something...like meat.  This lasagna however was very satisfying and both of us loved it.  It's a recipe that I will definitely make again, though I'm thinking about swapping the ricotta for cottage cheese - a personal preference of mine.  

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
(adapted from this website)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves
1 bag (100g) fresh baby spinach
2 cups chopped shitake mushrooms
250g Ricotta cheese (or try the cottage!)
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar, but mozza is more "Italian")
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper

1 large jar of your favourite pasta sauce
1 pkg oven-ready lasagna noodles
fresh basil and Parmesan for garnish

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, cook until tender (onions become translucent).  Stir in mushrooms, cook for 3 minutes.  Add spinach, cook until wilted.  Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, cheese and egg.  Stir well.  Stir in spinach/mushroom mixture.  Set aside.

Take a large glass casserole dish and spoon about 1/3 cup pasta sauce onto the bottom of the dish.  Add 1 layer of noodles.  Top noodles with about 1/2 - 2/3 cup ricotta mixture and spoon some of the pasta sauce around as well to ensure the noodles are completely coated.  Continue this process for 4 layers.  Top with remaining pasta sauce and ricotta mixture, making sure to coat all sides and corners of the pasta (otherwise you will get gross crunchy bits)

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until you can pierce the lasagna with a fork.  Remove from oven, slice and add some chopped fresh basil and grated Parmesan.

This will convert anyone who hates vegetarian food!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Making Chicken Better

A couple of months ago my husband kindly and quietly informed me one night that he doesn't like chicken.  At first, I thought he was joking.  Honestly, chicken has essentially no real taste - how can you not like it??  It is simply a vehicle for other flavours.

Lately I have been trying to cook with less chicken because of this.  However, chicken needs to be on the menu at least once a week in order to create decent variety.  So one of my food goals is to try as many different chicken recipes as I can in order to find some that my husband will enjoy.

Tonight I made Skinny Chicken Enchiladas from this website and it turned out really well.  Preparation took me about 30 minutes and then I popped them into the oven for another 20 so it wasn't too bad for time.  I was able to wash all the dishes while waiting for them to bake.  Here's the recipe (sorry, we were so hungry I never got a chance to take any photos).  I used only 5 wraps and that used up all the chicken so I would double the recipe if you have a large family.  Basically just use one breast per person.

Enchilada Sauce:

2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
dash of chili flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper

Chicken Mixture:

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cilantro/coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp adobo sauce, from the chipotles
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
whole wheat flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


In a medium saucepan, spray some cooking spray and saute garlic for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add the chiles, chili flakes, cumin, broth, tomato sauce, pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius

Heat a medium skillet and spray with cooking spray.  Saute onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes on low heat.  Add all other ingredients except tortillas and cheese.  Cook 4-5 minutes.

Spray a large, rectangular glass baking dish.  Put 1/2 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it.  Place in the dish with seam side down.  Pour enchilada sauce all over the top, sprinkle the cheese, and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.  Serve with a spoonful of sour cream.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rosemary and Ginger

I had a couple of new recipes to try yesterday.  I was very excited about this Brown Butter Soda Bread as I've realized that bread is a truly lovely thing to bake.  Bread is so basic but at the same time it is one of the most widely eaten and highly respected foods in the world.  There are so many European countries that think of bread in near religious terms - I want to go to these countries!

Anyways, the soda bread ended up being incredibly messy, the dough was so sticky that it was nearly impossible to knead and I was pretty frustrated with it.  It does taste good but I will probably look for a different recipe next time.

I also made these Ginger Cookies which turned out much better and were ridiculously easy to make.  I've never come across a cookie recipe before where the instructions were "dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix" there was no adding the dry to the wet, no beating the eggs, nothing.  The cookies came out chewy and delicious.

Here's the recipe, which I got from a very cool cookbook called "Potluck: A special collection of more than 400 recipes from families and churches across the country".  This book was a good find - a lot of great recipes.

Vermont Ginger Cookies

2/3 cup cooking oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

Throw all of these ingredients into a bowl and mix well with a large spoon.  Pour an additional 1/2 cup of sugar into a small bowl.  Roll dough into teaspoon sized balls and toss in the sugar to coat each cookie.  Place on a parchment covered cookie sheet and press flat with a fork.  Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

As promised!


This one came out great.  A little bit crispy - but light and pillowy on the inside with a mouthwatering cinnamon aroma.

To make this cake, you should first pour yourself a glass of wine.  

This will help satiate your mouth-watering as you make this cake and give you something to do while you wait for it to bake and cool.

Here's the recipe, adapted from this website


Makes 1 loaf

25g semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 T baking powder
1/4 cup softened, unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
2 small eggs
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Spray a loaf pan with a non-stick cooking spray and they lightly dust with flour.  Set aside.
Break up chocolate and place in microwavable bowl.  Gently melt the chocolate (about 45s) until not quite melted.  Stir quickly with a spoon to completely melt all pieces.  Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon and lightly whisk to blend and break up lumps.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with a mixer until fluffy.  Add vanilla and sugar and beat on high for 1 minute.  Add eggs one at a time beating to combine after each egg.  Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
On low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions alternating with the milk (dry, wet, dry, wet, dry).

Transfer 1/3 of the batter into a small bowl and add the melted chocolate to the smaller portion.  Make sure the chocolate is thoroughly blended into the batter.

Spoon 1/2 the white batter into the bottom of the loaf pan.  Then spoon 1/2 the choc. batter in dollops over top.  Repeat until all batter is added.  Take a butter knife and cut through the batter making swirls and lines .

Bake the loaf for about 30-35 minutes until you can insert a toothpick into the centre and it comes out clean.

Once cooled completely, drizzle the ganache over top.


50 grams dark chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream or thickened cream
1 tsp butter

Break up the chocolate and add to a bowl with butter.  Heat the cream gently over low heat until it just comes to a boil (fine bubbles along the outside of the cream).  Pour all the hot cream over the choc. and butter and allow to sit for a minute or two.  Stir very well until all chocolate has melted and there is no lumps.  Once the ganache has cooled, you can drizzle it along the cake with a spoon or piping bag.

Hope you enjoy this!  Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

running has not begun...

Despite what I said a couple of weeks ago, my training has not begun.  I have barely exercised at all over the last two weeks, in fact.  This is probably the least amount of exercise I have experienced since December 2008 when I was 25 pounds heavier.

I could say that I have been sick and haven't had the energy to get up in the mornings.

I could say that work has been crazy lately and I don't have the time.

While both of those statements are true, in the last 3 years I have not allowed myself to make excuses like that.  For the past year I have regularly run at least 3 times a week whenever possible (ie. In the country or at least a country where it is feasible to exercise) and I truly love it.  It makes me feel great all day long, it makes eating sweets (like the British Cadbury bar I got today) so much more enjoyable and I truly feel like a strong person when I am running.

But I need a break.

For some reason, my body just seems to be telling me - sleep, don't push yourself.  And I've listened.  And it's been good.  But it has also reminded me how much I miss running, how I miss getting a good sweat on early in the morning as I jog past the tai chi class by the canal.  It's a good running path, and I love how I start my run in the pitch dark and finish it as the sun is beginning to rise above the buildings.

I'm going to do that run tomorrow!

But first, I'm going to make some chocolate cake.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kitchen Sink

A couple of chefs have coined this phrase already but I think it is the perfect term for many dishes.  A kitchen sink dish is a recipe where you "add everything but the kitchen sink" - it doesn't really matter what you add to the skillet/casserole dish/pot - you're gonna get a good hearty meal.

Tonight I made kitchen sink pork tenderloin for several reasons.  I really didn't want to fuss with a complicated recipe, I had a lot of extra veggies kicking around, and let's face it - adding pork tenderloin to anything is gonna be delicious.  Kitchen sink meals are just a great way to use up food instead of throwing it away because you don't have an "official" recipe.

I haven't used couscous in a while, so I put on a cup of that and threw a small red onion in a wok with a few cloves of minced garlic (using my new microplane grater which I pretty much can't live without).  I sliced up the pork into large bite-sized pieces and then added:
- a cup of halved cherry tomatoes
- a cup of frozen peas
- 1/2 cup of this marinade

Once the pork was cooked, I had myself a meal.  This honestly took me 20 minutes, which is perfect for a Tuesday night.  Kitchen sink meals are incredibly versatile.  As I was making this dish, I thought to myself "man I wish I had some chinese cabbage and mushroom to add to this" - in which case I would have used the oyster sauce in my fridge instead of the marinade.  I could have also made this a vegetarian meal by adding a can of chickpeas and a can of beans instead of meat.

Anyways hopefully this post will remind me to keep experimenting with new flavours and ingredients.  More kitchen sink recipes to come, I hope!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lovely lemons...

I don't know if it's because I've been struggling with a cold for the past couple of days or if I have some sort of vitamin C deficiency but I have really been into lemons lately.  Over the past couple of years I have grown rather fond of lemons, the fact that they can create a wonderfully flavourful dinner and be the focal point of a surprisingly satisfying dessert is a rare and beautiful thing.  Lemons can even lift a cold glass of ice water to another level - sweet and summery.

For dinner tonight I tried two lemony dishes, a lemon marinated chicken breast and a lemon-spinach risotto.  I won't speak more of the risotto because it was a flop.  The lemon did not go well with the other ingredients and it was overall a disappointment.

The chicken, on the other hand, was lovely.  Lemon chicken is a classic and so easy to make - it's a great way to turn a relatively flavourless meat into something tender and juicy.  It works really well in Singapore because we don't have a BBQ - pan frying chicken can be a bit tricky but a lemon marinade is great.  For anyone who doesn't have a lemon chicken recipe here's one:

Add the following ingredients to a large ziploc bag:
The juice of 2 lemons
A few sprigs of thyme
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 shallot or small red onion, finely diced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper

Prick the chicken breasts all over with a fork and toss into the bag.  Let marinade in fridge for 6-8 hours and then pull from the fridge up to 1 hr before cooking so that you don't shock the meat when you toss it into the pan.
Heat the pan with a little oil and add chicken breasts (don't add the marinade - you can toss it at this point).  Cook on medium heat until cooked through.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Party Snacks

Unfortunately for the last few days I've been struggling with a cold.  Although it doesn't happen often in Singapore, I have gotten my first cold of the school year.  Ick.  And we were having friends over for drinks as well which was even more upsetting.  But nonetheless I managed to get in the kitchen and make a few goodies for everyone to snack on.

The first thing that I started to work on were these Red Velvet Cupcakes which seemed to turn out really well.  I only made a half batch because I knew that they might not be a huge seller.  I did get several comments though, and I was really proud of how they turned out!

I actually think this might be one of the first cupcakes I've ever made from scratch!  It was so easy though, I'll never go back to boxed cake mixes.  Next time I'll try chocolate I think...with a butter cream frosting.

I also made some pastry pinwheels - an idea that I got from a cookbook that I left back in Canada but I modified some of the steps and ingredients.  Here's the recipe:

1 pkg Puff Pastry
1 Jar Pesto
1 Cup cherry tomatoes
Some baby boccocini to top.

Thaw pastry and roll out until it is less than 5mm thick.  Try to keep the pastry in a square/rectangular shape.
Thinly smear desired amount of pesto (around 4 tbsp) all over the pastry from corner to corner.  Don't add too much as the oil will become a problem when cooking.
Throw cherry tomatoes into a food processor and very finely chop.  Spread tomatoes all over pastry as well.
Roll the pastry up like a sleeping bag until it becomes a log.  Slice into 1 - 1.5 cm pieces and place spread out on a cookie tray.  Bake at 190C for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Cut the baby boccocini in half and put one half on each pinwheel before serving.
This is a very versatile recipe and you can use just about any type of pesto or tapenade.

I also made my famous layered nacho dip which is an awesome crowd pleaser and attempted to make a new hummus recipe that just didn't turn out - it was way too bland.  I'm going to try to fix it up today with some more garlic and lemon so that I don't have to throw it out but until then that recipe is staying off this blog!

Overall it was a great night and it was nice to sit and chat with some friends.  I wasn't totally feeling myself, but still had a lot of fun.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Finally, a post!

Truth be told, I haven't cooked anything all that fabulous this week.  Sure, there was a pork and vegetable stirfry and some M&S indian food...but no REAL recipes.  Wednesday night we met friends for dinner here which was a nice treat and a great location.

But today had to be different.  I've been wanting to try this Rachael Ray recipe all week and now that I'm coming down with a cold I thought it was a great night for some soup.  I am sometimes a bit wary when it comes to 30 minute meals from any cook, but from the time that I started peeling the potatoes until I had my first bite only 35 minutes had passed.  Another big plus was that I also had time to clean along the way.  Here's the awesome soup:

It was delicious and I would definitely make it again.  There's tons leftover and I know Justin is going to love it because it is SPICY!!  I added an extra chipotle pepper which I probably wouldn't do again because it does take away from the other flavours.

Although I'm feeling a little under the weather, I'm still looking forward to our little get-together tomorrow night.  Right now I'm in the process of making red velvet cupcakes which are looking beautiful!  I've also got a bunch of other appetizer recipes that I'm looking forward to making tomorrow.  Should be a good posting!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday Night Dinner

When I was growing up, Sunday night dinner was quite often roast beef, potatoes, veggies and of course, yorkshire puddings.  It was always a great meal.

In Singapore it is mostly unheard of to have an oven on for such a long period of time.  A lot of condos and apartments don't even have ovens in them since few Asian dishes require it.  I insisted on an oven of course.  How on earth would I have been able to live without warm chocolate chip cookies, home made pizza, or the blueberry muffins I made yesterday??

Anyways, last night I did not have a roast.  I did not use my oven.  Instead, I met some friends out at East Coast Seafood Center for a Singaporean classic - Chili Crab.

Yup, that's it - Anthony Bourdain has eaten it on one of his shows as well as a few other foodies.  The Sri Lankan Crab is cooked in this wonderful sauce that has a great consistency thanks to the added eggs.  Personally, I rarely eat the crabmeat.  Although the meat is sweet and wonderfully tender, I just can't be bothered mucking about with crackers and forks.  I'm perfectly happy dousing my rice in this wonderful chili sauce.

Of course we also ordered a ton of other dishes including the less famous, but equally delicious black pepper crab, steamed and fried buns for dipping and mopping up sauce, and some veggies for good measure.  This one here is kangkong with sambal sauce - delish!

Even though I rarely eat the crab, this is still one of my favourite Singaporean meals and I highly recommend it to anyone traveling through.  There are hundreds of restaurants that serve it and people will always recommend where to get "the best", but for a first timer you're better off going to one of the east coast venues since you also get to sit on the coast and enjoy a comfortable breeze from the ocean.  Jumbo, No Signboard, and Longbeach are all great.

Overall it was a great night.  I was particularly thankful that I finished a 10K that morning so I didn't have to feel guilty about the meal!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Running has begun!

Yesterday morning I ran 10k for the first time in A WHILE.  I haven't run 10k or more since I ran the half marathon in May, which is pretty bad.  But to be honest, I was in Australia/Canada for 6 weeks of that and I did run while I was on holiday, just not as much as I probably should have.

Anyways, after my run I was BEAT.  I still got a bunch of stuff done around the house, but my legs were TIRED.  This run made me realize how far I have to go before I'll be ready to do my next HM in December.  I'll be running another 10k this weekend and will do a bunch of other runs this week too.

I've already gotten off schedule for my running though...because I ran yesterday I took today off to rest which means I'll be off-track for the rest of the week.  But as long as I get three runs in before Saturday I'll be happy.

Looking forward to getting back into shape!  Next time I won't take such a long break....I hope.

A Good Weekend

As my weekend starts to come to a close, I've realized that I haven't posted in a few days and have had a few great meals.  First off, my friend and I attended the Borders Book Sale Friday after work and spent about 2 hours waiting in the checkout line.  It was crazy but also helped me realize that I will never attend another crazy Singapore sale again.

After that, I was so ravenous that I knew I wouldn't be able to make dinner.  I decided to meet Justin for Indian food at our favourite spot in Little India for some Chicken Malai Kebab and Paneer Makhni - our go-to dishes.  We also added Tandoori Shrimp to the menu and had no regrets.  I thoroughly stuffed myself and downed a few king cans of Kingfisher for good measure - it was excellent.

Saturday was a pretty quiet day and we had booked movie tickets for the evening.  For a quick supper beforehand, I made this pasta - except with a few changes.  I only used about 200g beef and topped up with the chorizo sausage I had sitting around in lieu of the bacon.  I also limited the amount of cheese on this thing.

This morning I also decided to use up all the blueberries we had by making these blueberry pancakes and lemon blueberry muffins.  The pancakes were delish and the muffins turned out pretty well too, though I'm still trying to find the perfect muffin recipe - I want giant muffins that burst out of the wrapper!

We were so hungry after our run this morning (I got to 10K for the first time in months - 1:00:00 flat) that I completely forgot to take a photo until all that was left was this teeny piece slathered in syrup...oh well.

My friend from Brisbane sent me this "Sweet Bush Spice" for my birthday gift and I thought I'd top the muffins with it since I didn't have any cane sugar.  It has a strong taste on its own, but was pretty much overpowered by the blueberries.  I'll have to give it a try on something else.

Overall, I think I've had a pretty successful weekend.  I think I might even have time to do some reading before we head out for an East Coast Seafood Dinner - Chili Crab and Prawns, yum!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My first shortcrust pastry

So I finally came home from work early enough yesterday to take my new food processor out.  I found a basic shortcrust pastry recipe on BBC, though it didn't make quite as much as I would have liked so the pastry was rather thin.

Here's the recipe that I used for the filling:
4 white mushrooms, chopped
100 g baby spinach, steamed and drained
3 large slices of deli ham, chopped
150ml Cream
5 eggs
Pepper and Thyme for seasoning

Scatter all the meat and veggies into the cooked pastry crust.  In a bowl, whisk eggs lightly and add cream, pepper and thyme.  Pour the egg mixture into the crust and bake 40 mins at 200C.  Top with some grated cheese.