Wednesday, November 26, 2014

One-pot cheesy pasta stew recipes for toddler and adults

My 15-month toddler likes cheese. However, I don't feed him cheese everyday. He gets his cheesy dosage perhaps once a week or so. This time, I cook this double cheese pasta stew for him.

Double Cheese Pasta Stew

(Serves 2)

Vegetables of your choice (I used chopped English spinach, carrot, onions, potatoes)
Uncooked pasta of your choice (I used organic fusilli, image at the bottom of this post)
2 tablespoons grated Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 tablespoon rice bran oil
Some water

How to:

Heat up oil in a frying pan. Stir fry chopped onions until fragrant. Add in chopped carrots and potatoes, stir fry for a few minutes. Add chopped English spinach and uncooked pasta. Add enough water to cover the ingredients and simmer until pasta is soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in both cheeses and cook until melted. Serve warm or according to your kid's liking.

This one-pot dish is an excellent choice when I need to cook something quick and easy for dinner on a busy weekday night.

Chicken & Vegetables Cheesy Pasta Stew

(Serves 2)

1 medium chicken breast, cut into slices
Vegetables of your choice (I used carrot, onions, potatoes, green peas, chickpeas)
Uncooked pasta of your choice (I used organic fusilli, image at the bottom of this post)
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons rice bran oil
Some water

How to:

Heat up oil in a frying pan. Stir fry chopped onions until fragrant. Add in chicken breast and stir fry until they turn white. Add in all vegetables and stir fry until fragrant. Add uncooked pasta and enough water to cover the ingredients and simmer until pasta is soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in cheese and cook until melted. Serve hot.

Bought this from iHerb.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mini Spinach & Cheese Quiches, Homemade Banana Chips

Mini Spinach & Cheese Quiches

It's family outing time! Hubby has chosen the RMAF (TUDM) Museum and our 15m2wo toddler has the time of his life with his grandparents! :D

About his food, I make these easy-to-make-and-pack mini quiches. They are perfect for outings because they are easy to handle and eat.

(Makes 10 mini quiches)

1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped spinach
10 ready-to-use tart shells (can be bought from Bake with Yen shop)

How to:

Preheat oven to 200°C. Mix all ingredients until well combined and scoop into tart shells. Place all quiches in a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until top turns golden brown. Cool them down before packing.

Homemade Banana Chips

My parents-in-law made these wonderful homemade banana chips for their grandson. He loves munching them! He has 8 teeth, with 2 molars and 2 canines coming out. 12 teeth soon!

How to:

Get a bunch of unripe/green bananas. Slice with a good-grade slicer to get even slices over boiling oil. The other person help to scoop up once they become crispy. Let cool in a colander. Sprinkle with organic fine cane sugar (optional) before keeping in airtight container.

In the end, here's a summary of what I packed:

1. Orgran Multigrain O's with Quinoa (can be bought from Village Grocer at Bangsar Village 1)
2. Mini Spinach & Cheese Quiches
3. Jam Doughnut Muffins
4. Homemade Banana Chips
5. Breastmilk (not in photo); he direct latched :)

Future pilot? :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jam Doughnut Muffins (Nigella Lawson)

Jam Doughnut Muffins (Nigella Lawson)

These sugary lovelies are so addictive. You know what? They are rolled in butter and sugar. Brilliant recipe by Nigella. If you put aside calories for once, these muffins are heaven-sent. I kid you not. Anyway, in the end, I only roll one muffin in butter and sugar. I keep the rest naked and they all taste just as good.

I bake these muffins because I'm joining Bake-Along #71! I missed the previous two sessions, i.e. maple pecan pie because I couldn't afford to spend a fortune and end up with an inedible pie (I fear making pie dough. The steps are complicated. Any fail-proof recipe?) and macarons (anything that involves beating egg whites to get stiff peak is out of my league). :'(

Anyway, back to these muffins. Recipe is adapted from the suggested link here.

(Yields 12 mini muffins)

Note: I used a 6-square-hole normal-sized muffin pan, so I made 6 muffins

125ml milk (I used 1/2 cup fresh milk)
85ml corn or other vegetable oil (I used 5 tablespoons rice bran oil, plus more for greasing)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g self-rising flour (I used 1 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder plus 1/4 teaspoon salt)
100g caster sugar (I used 1/3 cup molasses sugar)
12 teaspoons strawberry jam (I used 6 teaspoons homemade chia jam)
100g unsalted butter (I used 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted)
150g granulated sugar (I used 1/3 cup demerara sugar)
1 well-greased 12-cup mini-muffin pan (I used a 6-square-hole normal-sized muffin pan)

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease a 6-square-hole normal-sized muffin pan generously with oil.

2. In a bowl, beat together milk, oil, egg, and vanilla extract with a fork. In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in sugar until combined. Fold the wet ingredients gently into the flour mixture until just combined. Do not over-mix or you will get tough muffins.

3. Put a spoonful of mixture into each muffin cup until 1/3 full. Then, add a teaspoonful of jam, followed by another spoonful of mixture.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes until the muffins are gloriously risen and the tops feel springy to touch. Let cool before unmoulding.

5. Roll the muffins in melted butter and sugar. Serve.

Adding a dollop of jam to each hole.

Ready to be rolled in butter and sugar!

Unmoulded from the muffin pan after cooled down.

I roll one muffin in butter and sugar.

Gooey jam inside.

The insides.

Cut into bite-sized pieces before eating.

These muffins are so easy to make. Preparation takes about 10-15 minutes and baking time is 20 minutes. So, why don't you bake some too? :)

I'm linking this post to the event, Bake-Along #71: Theme - Jam Doughnut Muffins organized by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen Wings, and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cream Cheese Horlicks Hazelnut Bread (baked in bread maker)

Here's my latest loaf of homemade bread baked in my Cornell Bread Master bread maker.

Cream Cheese Horlicks Hazelnut Bread

Last week, I baked a loaf of Cheddar Cheese Bread. This week, I use cream cheese and I add some Horlicks powder and hazelnut meal to get that lovely malty and nutty flavor!
Recipe adapted from here.

(Makes a 2lb bread) 

2/3 cup fresh milk
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened & cubed
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons molasses sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Horlicks powder
1/4 cup hazelnut meal (ground hazelnut powder)
2 cups bread flour
1 cup wholemeal bread flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

How to:

1. By following the bread maker's manual, I have listed the ingredients' sequence correctly - in terms of which ingredient goes into the bread maker first - in the list above.

2. Close the lid, select the "basic" setting, loaf size (2lb), crust type (light), and press start.

3. Once the baking cycle is done, remove the bread pan from the machine to cool down.

Note: Please add the ingredients into the bread pan by following your bread maker's manual.

The freshly baked loaf.

To be sliced soon!

I love the aroma of freshly sliced bread.

Close-up view of a slice.

Breakfast is perfect today: eating fresh homemade bread with my fresh dragon fruit & cranberries chia jam.

If you're interested, here are some reference links:

1. How I retain the bread loaf's freshness and softness. 

2. Personal tips about using Cornell Bread Master bread maker (at the end of the post).

3. My homemade bread recipes archive. 

4. Functions available on Cornell Bread Master bread maker.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fresh Dragon Fruit & Cranberries Chia Jam (adapted from Bobby Flay's recipe)

Fresh Dragon Fruit & Cranberries Chia Jam

This is very delicious. I can just scoop and eat it like that! The original recipe by Bobby Flay is called Fresh Chia & Berry Jam. I substitute berries with dragon fruit and dried cranberries. I think the colors should do alright. And they do look good! My little one loves it too, he eats 3/4 of a little jar on his own this morning. :)

(Yields 1 & 1/2 cups)

2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 small purple dragon fruit, chopped into cubes
1/4 cup dried cranberries, soaked until soft & drained
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

How to:

1. Put chia seeds in a small bowl, add 4 tablespoons of water and stir to combine. Let chia seeds sit until water is absorbed and mixture becomes soft, about 10 minutes.

2. Put the dragon fruit, cranberries, honey, and lemon juice in a bowl and mash with a fork until jam-like consistency. Taste for sweetness and add more honey or a pinch of molasses sugar if needed.

3. Spoon the hydrated chia seeds into the berry mixture and stir to combine, using fork to break up lumps of chia until evenly combined.

4. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken. Can be made two days in advance and stored, covered in the refrigerator.

5. To serve, spoon over Greek yogurt and top with fresh fruits and/or granola.

Look at those teeny-weeny seeds.

I love the colors. They are just so pretty!

I keep them in the fridge. They are best eaten cold.

I'm linking this post to Cook like a Star (Bobby Flay) organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat Your Heart Out, and Grace from Life can be simple.


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