Weekend Recipes

Watching The Moon

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

― A.A. Milne

Ham & Cheese French Toast 02
Ham & Cheese French Toast 03Ham & Cheese French Toast 04

It feels like we are back in time, back to when we were dating. When we were constantly separated by time, by continent and sea. Just before my world went to sleep, I stayed up and waited for you. Praying the internet would work this time and I would not get frustrated that I couldn’t hear every other word you say. What is a second or few? That was how long it took for me to hear you and vice versa. Do you remember, one day you tried to console me about our separation by looking at the moon? You said we would be together by the next full moon. I always had to stretch my head and look for it amidst the skyscrapers, while you could easily see one whenever you step out of your cabin. Two years and 20 hour flight later, I stepped out of the duane and finally.. finally you became a constant sight.

So whenever we are separated, I watch the moon. And I know, by new moon, you will be home. With me, with us.

Be safe, my love.

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Make It Good

Air pollution in Paris : Eiffel tower through a haze of pollution in Paris

Photo source: AFP, via Le Monde

The past few weeks, Paris has seen very sunny winter: weather hitting 19-20 C during the day while it dipped to 3-5 C in the coldest mornings. We were overjoyed, obviously. We started to ditch the heavy cloaks, queuing for ice creams & sorbets during the day. The parks were full of people strolling and picnicking. It was the mildest winter, no snow to date and we were happy. We had enough of the cold weather. Then the smog happens. The Tour Eiffel disappeared. All public transports were free for 3 days. And today, only odd plate number vehicules can roam within Paris & its immediate surrounding.

Having lived the Indonesian forest fire and been to Shanghai on numerous occasions, there’s no comparison or reason to complain. The current pollution is bad, but it is still below their levels.

On the good side of things, I have been enjoying what the doctor calls high metabolism rate. Every girl’s dream: to be able to eat everything without putting on weight. I can see the finish line, starting to get the hospital bag ready and washing the tiny clothes. Ready or not, this little baby is coming! The only damper in my mood is the nightly leg cramps.
Baked Chicken Curry Puff 3
Curry Puff filling
Anyway, here’s one of my favorite snack, curry puffs : the cousin of samosa. Sometimes I also add boiled eggs. I usually make the dough myself, but this time round I use the ready made puff pastry. You can fry them or bake them, they are equally good. (more…)

When It Rains Non-Stop

Do you know that you can make a fresh pasta dough with KitchenAid in 5 mins flat?  I kid you not. Flour, eggs and if needed, a little water (if dough is too dry) or more flour (too wet), that’s it. The machine does all the kneading. How come I only know about it, like, now??? I was so ready to get my hands dirty, but hey, had I known it’s this simple, I would have made one sooner! Btw, Jamie Oliver does one with food processor, you can watch it here.

KitchenAid Pasta
Don’t worry about les grumeaux, i.e. the lumps, they will disappear as soon as you pass them through the pasta attachment. But it helps if you use the finer flour possible. I used Type 45, under MasterChef brand. Ha!

Fresh Pasta Dough
Homemade Lasagna
Voila. Boil them in a pot of hot water before using.
Lasagna a la napoletanaLasagna a la napoletana 2 Lasagna a la napoletana 3

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A Woman of Her Own

Times Haiku

This year’s Eid, I don’t know why I kept on thinking about my maternal grandmother. She usually made ketupat (rice cake in woven palm leaves), chicken curry, mutton curry, sayur lodeh and few other side dishes like sambal telur goreng (spicy deep fried egg) to celebrate the day. Occasionally she would send them by courier to us in Jakarta while other times she would come to visit us. She never wanted to leave her home, deep in Sumatra island, even when she needed to be taken care of. She was always an independent woman, one who wore a bright red lipstick. I used to savor her lipstick mark on my cheeks until my mom reached over and rubbed it off.

I got a lipstick mark, I was kissed, I was loved and nothing else matters.

When she was still alive, she never could stay still. She would wake up at 4am to run (even when her knees couldn’t support her anymore). She drove a boxy 4WD Daihatsu Taft when a woman driving a car was unheard of. She had a pretty successful restaurant and later a hair salon during the time men still expect women to stay at home. Many said she was a sharp business woman, but her business acumen never was passed down to the following generations. It wasn’t up till the morning of my wedding day, I was clued in to the “family secret”. That she was a mother and a grandmother to us in every sense of the word, except in DNA. Quelle horreur! Imagine the kind of scandal this was back in 1950s.

Yeah, that’s my mama. A woman of her own.

So, in memory of my beloved grandmother, the one who always told me to study hard, to go further, who left her small town to check out my university, and who always cooked all our favorites whenever we visited her, here’s Lontong with Sayur Lodeh and Sambal Telur Goreng. I miss you mama, selamat Idul Fitri!

Sayur Lodeh
Sambal Telur Goreng
Telur Goreng LontongLontong Sayur Lodeh Telur Goreng

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One Cheer For Jerusalem

‘Fess up! Who has not heard about Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi? Bad, bad you, though to be honest, I am still holding out from ordering a copy. I don’t think the french version exists yet (I’m partial to buying a cook book in the language of country I live in, that makes ingredient hunting much, much easier). Few days ago, NY Times published a recipe from Jerusalem that piqued my curiosity. It is one of the “simpler” recipe from the book that I have seen. No unheard of ingredients. Umm, hang on, yeah there is.. barberries, the Persian currants.

Chicken Cardamom Rice Jerusalem

This dish reminds me so much of the Indian Pulao. Cloves? Check. Cinnamon stick? Check. Cardamom? Check. Plain yogurt? Check. One pot wonder? Check check check!! I keep on waiting the turmeric or saffron, anything to color the dish. But nope, it wasn’t meant to be coloured, except from the red barberries.

If your curiosity is also piqued, one note: do not hold back the herbs nor the seasoning.. Also watch out for the rice and your fire/stove setting. I followed the timing indicated in the recipe, but I found the rice is overcooked – probably need to cook on even lower fire. I also wonder what would happen if chicken stock is used, instead of water. Hmmm.. 😉

Chicken Cardamom Rice Jerusalem 2
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I really like the dish. A little greasy but hey, it’s practically still weekend! I’ll just do an extra kilometer tomorrow.
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When One Knew What One Wanted

The nicest thing for a foodie living in Singapore is the ability to eat all sorts of cuisine, without needing to enter the kitchen nor breaking the bank. One could have Thai for lunch then a sumptuous burger for dinner. Then the next day, Swedish for lunch and Moroccan for dinner. My social life was built over food and trying different kind of cuisines. There is this small Moroccan cafe along Arab Street that I used to frequent at least once a month. I don’t remember how many friends, visitors & colleagues I have brought there. It was also a place where I used to bring H when he was in town.

Beef Vegetable Tagine

I was rather disappointed for not returning to this place when we were in town last May. I have been craving for a Tagine for a long time but only now I get to appease the cravings. It is not difficult at all to cook, in fact a little like one pot wonder.

It would be nice if I can have the Tajine claypot. Staub and Le Creuset offer them now, but boy oh boy.. step by step.
Couscous Medium
Beef Vegetable Tagine 2

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