Blueberry Pound Cake

What is your earliest memory of pound cakes? Mine was from my childhood days in Singapore where pound cakes were ready made by a company called SaraLee. They come in a aluminium rectangular tray and they are always purchase when you need a last min cake but can’t afford a bakery cake. I always remember them as ‘heavy’ cakes where it’s really filling and dense. During my grocery trip, I decided on a whim that I would bake something blueberry and a blueberry pound cake would be it. That meant I would also need to purchase another kitchen item – bundt pan, which I have meaning to get but always put it off as there’s little space in my kitchen to store it. Obviously, I decided to figure out that problem after I got to eat the cake.

If you’re wondering , pound cakes get their name as they were traditionally compromised of a pound each of butter, flour, eggs and sugar but nowadays, leavening agents like baking powder are used to make them fluffier and reduce the amount of ingredients used. My body could use the lesser amount of calories in these babies!

The best part to this pound cake is the thick crunchy crust which is to die for! Pat and I had skeptical expectations looking at the cake when it came out of the oven but boy, were we so wrong. We wolfed down this cake so fast that the regrets of eating too much came way too late and had trouble digesting our dinner plus a whole pound cake that meant to feed 12. I had to eat more than I can handle for this one cause #patdoesnotsharedesserteither.

Don’t forget to serve this with some raspberries/strawberries and whipped cream! They go really well together.

 

Blueberry Pound Cake

Prep time : 20 mins

Bake Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Serves : 12

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon for the pan
  • 15 ounces (2 cups) sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for the pan
  • 15 ounces (3 cups) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 dry pint (10 ounces or about 2 cups) fresh blueberries
  • Strawberries, optional for serving
  • Whipped cream, optional for serving

 

Steps

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Heavily coat a tube bundt pan 1 tablespoon butter and 3 tablespoons sugar. Dump out the excess sugar.
  2. Whisk together 10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream the remaining butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. After all 4 eggs are in, add the vanilla extract and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the flour mixture to butter mixture and combine on low speed. Do not overbeat.
  4. Combine the blueberries with the remaining 5 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour in ziptop bag and shake. Fold berry mixture into batter. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until probe thermometer comes out clean and registers 210 degrees F. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before depanning and cooling completely. Serve with strawberries and whipped cream.

Recipe from Alton Brown

Beef Enchiladas 

It’s not everyday that Pat has a request which isn’t part of the meal rotation. I usually ask him to suggest 1 or 2 but he was quite insistent for me to try to make Enchiladas. He says it’s like pizza. There’s carb, some sauce, cheese and protein which isn’t wrong.

I am not a big fan of Mexican or actually American-Mexican dishes. I can do Nachos, Fajitas and Tacos but I actually have never eaten Enchiladas. Anyway, Pat was away for 2 weeks and what’s a better way to welcome him home with something he doesn’t think I would make.

This is actually really easy to make and it all boils down to the Enchiladas sauce, which is home-made = 100x better than store bought. Really, all it takes is 20 mins. Make it the day before and your dinner prep will be reduced.

Pat inhaled the whole tray of it while I was taking some pictures. He’s like Joey from friends – #patdoesnotsharefood. So, that’s a good sign this is going to be part of the meal rotation.

 

Beef Enchiladas

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Yield : 4 portions

 

Ingredients

  •  1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 cups Tex Mex shredded cheese
  • ½ can (2 0z) diced Jalapenos
  • 1 package of flour tortillas ( I use taco size ones but any size would work)
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 batch of Enchilada sauce
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose or gluten-free flour
    • 4 tablespoons chili powder (American, not the chili plant)
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Spring Onion, Salsa and Sour cream to serve on side

Steps

  1. Make the Enchilada sauce
    • Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk together over the heat for one minute. Stir in the remaining seasonings (chili powder through oregano). Then gradually add in the stock, whisking constantly to remove lumps. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened.
    • Set aside for it to cool.
  2. Heat oven to 350ºF . Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  3. Cook the ground beef in a medium-large pan over medium high heat. Use a spatula to break up the beef as it cooks. Once cooked, drain and return beef to pan.
  4. Add onion to the pan and cook till translucent. Add jalapenos and a little enchilada sauce. Mix them all up for a min or so.
  5.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, enchilada sauce, ground beef mixture, and cheese. Lay out a tortilla, and spread one teaspoon of sauce over the surface of the tortilla.  Portion some ground beef mixture and black bean, spread it in a line down the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle with cheese. Roll up tortilla and place in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  Spread any of the remaining enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas, then sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top.
    • The amount of enchilada sauce to use is up to personal preference, I prefer not to down the tortillas in the sauce or they might end up too soggy to serve.
  7. Bake for 17 mins and broil the cheese for another 3 mins until golden brown.
  8. Remove and serve with salsa, sour cream and spring onions in anyway you like.

 

Recipe from Gimmesomeoven

 

Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Topping


Updated the recipe cause the picture is wayyy nicer 🙂 

This took an epic number of trial and error to get the consistency of apples and crispy topping right.

Have this on a cold day, with heap of vanilla ice cream , a cup of tea and it will be a little slice of heaven.

Even better if consumed the next day – don’t even need to heat it in thr miceowave!

Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Topping

Prep Time: 40mins

Cook Time: 35-40mins

Yield: 5-6 Servings

Ingredients

The topping:

  • 3/4 cup of quick oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold, cut into pieces

The filling:

  • 3-4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced a little thinner than regular slices
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash of salt

Steps

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. Place your sliced apples into a large bowl, sprinkle lemon juice and a little white sugar over the apples. Toss to coat the apple slices
  3. Dump the apple slices over a colander to allow water to drain for about 20-30 mins. Meanwhile, work on your topping.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine topping ingredients and butter. Using your hands, rub in the butter until there is no large chunks of butter and mixture looks grainy. You may want to wear gloves if you have hot hands. Set aside or cover and refrigerate.
  5. Using back the large bowl, combine butter and flour until well blended. Add vanilla and and milk and stir well. Finally stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  6. Combine apples from colander into the large bowl, toss so that the mixture is well coated on the apples.
  7. Lube a 8×8 pan with veg spray and dump the apples into the pan.
  8. Spread topping evenly over the apples and the edges of the pan. The filling and topping should come to the top level of the pan. Don’t worry if it looks a lot, the apples will cook down.
  9. Stick the pan into the oven and bake for 35-40 mins until the topping is golden brown and set.
  10. Let it cool for 10-15 mins before serving.

Oat topping recipe from All Recipes

Apple Crisp filling recipe from Taste Better From Scratch

Pumpkin Apple Mint Dog Treats

Being a dog owner, I knew this day was coming – The day that I will make treats for my dog that hopefully he will enjoy. Just like with any kids, I do try to expose him to as much fruits and vegetables possible. Well, truth to be told, it’s because I want to see his reaction and frankly, it’s cheaper than having to keep buying them!

I’ve learnt that raspberries,blueberries, sweet potatoes and pumpkin are his favourite. Apples and strawberries are dependent on his mood. Leafy greens are not worth a sniff, peanut butter means time for pills but he falls for it every time. Pineapples and raw carrots will be spat out and appropriately flown across the room. But, in general, he is pretty good with his food which I am very blessed 🙂

When it comes to cookies, I am terrible at rolling the dough into even thickness. I have no idea if it’s the technique but I never seem to get them even. So, sugar  and shortbread cookies are my absolute nightmare – I’ve tried so many recipes, only to end up angry at myself as they never come out correct. Sticking to equally portion, round cookies are my staple, which explains the Chocolate Chip Cookie , Soft Ginger Cookies and SnickerDoodle Cookies . 😀 Now, you know why.

But when I saw this from DamnDelicious, I figured it would be worth the try to conquer my fear. After all, it’s the dog is eating! As you can see below, I think I deserve some self=praising as it turned out really cute.

I went a little extreme to stamp Maio’s name on his cookies as I fear Pat will eat one and complain why it’s tasteless!

But as it turns out – The human Pat got really jealous and I had to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies right after. *rolls eyes*

Pumpkin Mint Dog Treats

Prep time: 30-45 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Yields : 40 treats – depending on cutter size

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree ( I usually buy them in a can but make sure it’s not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

 

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky. Add apple, mint and parsley, beating just until incorporated.
  3. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely.

 

Note: Ensure your countertop is dusted with flour as the dough can get a little sticky once rolled. Also, I found that dusting your cookie cutter between cuts helps the cut pieces to come off easier.

Recipe by DamnDelicious

 

 

Maio

Maio_HighRes_Forprinting.jpg

*Personal Post*

If I have not mentioned before, Pat and I welcome a furry one to the family last Sept. It was a joint decision though Pat allowed me to pick the dog and frankly, it’s cause I have been stalking the rescue’s page for months. Anyways, I am a firm believer of certain things are fated – especially for the house you buy and the pet you adopt. If it’s meant to be yours, it will be yours and the first gut feeling will always be accurate. Like you will know if you like the house when you first step into it or if the pet and you mutually like one another during the first meet and greet.

I chose Maio from the adoption site without even a picture in his profile. The description of him fit everything we were looking for. Not a puppy – checked. Medium size – checked. Not hyper- checked. I didn’t even finish reading the description in his profile before starting the application. He even came with couple rescue surprises too – awesome recall, sticks to you, dog/people friendly, knows how to swim, serial napper, snuggler and not food picky!

These past 6 months have been wonderful with him around. He makes Pat and I more active everyday and on weekends. We no longer are couch potato bums!  However, it’s the little things he does that always gets my heart strings.

I burst into tears on the couch one day and guess who came sniffing my face, wondering what was wrong. Pat stayed for a couple mins comforting me before he had to go for hockey but Maio stuck to me till I was okay. ain’t he a sweetie?

Last night, for some reason, I felt really warm in the bedroom. Flipping like a fish and unable to find comfort, I decided to move to the couch in attempt to get some sleep. Maio hopped off the bed and came to the couch with me. Snuggling in tight and close, he snoozed with me. It was crammed on the couch with 2 of us lying down with my hands twisted a little awkwardly but I actually fell asleep. I had no idea how long he stuck around till he went back to the bedroom but I slept through the night and was woken up by my alarm.

How is it only been 6 months that he has been with us? It feels like we had him for couple years already! But like I said right – it’s all fated that the timing fell in place perfectly.

I wished that we have met him when he was a puppy or few years earlier. I will never know how his life was before being rescued. He came from a reserve as a stray and I really believe he wasn’t raised in a home. Maio wouldn’t even let Pat or I out of his sight during walks, let alone run away. It’s pretty cute to see him panicking at the dog parks when he can’t find us – running around like a maniac, searching so hard and bolting towards you when he finally sees you.

The journey has only began and there’s a lifetime of memories to collect together. Maio already has a special place in my heart and he will always be my special boy.

Turkey Sliders

 

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Turkey Sliders – Never thought I would actually be making this in my kitchen. Sliders or burgers has always beef as the protein but with a pretty high red meat consumption in the house along with cold days where the grill can’t be fired up, I figured to try this recipe by Alton Brown. I am actually starting to like ground turkey a lot, most of the time Pat thinks it’s ground chicken in his meatballs or Thai stir fry 🙂 Sounds like I am feeding a kid.

This taste different from the usual sliders I have had and the more I taste it, the more I want it. So much so, that a recipe that feeds 6 only feeds 2 people! Now, I usually make some sweet potato fries to fair along and it has been a staple in the house.

 

Turkey Sliders

Yields : 12 Sliders

Prep time : 40 mins

Cook Time: 6-10 mins

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 Portobello mushroom or 6 cremini mushroom, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste (room temp)
  • Mayo, lettuce and tomato slices to dress the babies
  • 12 slider buns

Steps

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil, mushroom and salt until mushrooms are cooked. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine miso, parmesan,turkey and mushroom. Mix well with your hands.
  3. Form 12 balls from the meat mixture. Each roughly a little bigger than a ping pong ball.
  4. Allow to chill and marinate in fridge for at least 30 mins.
  5. Place skillet back on the stove over medium-high heat, flatten each ball over the skillet with your hands. Ensure they do not touch.
  6. Cook for a total of 6 mins – 2 on each side then 1 min each side after.
  7. Set the patties aside and wipe the skillet.
  8. Place slider buns, cut side down on the skillet and cover for 1.5- 2 mins.
  9. Remove buns, slap on mayo and assemble your sliders!

 

Recipe by Alton Brown’s Every Day Cook

Italian Pasta Salad

Edit  
Once in a while, I just wish there were minions in my kitchen where i can pass them the recipe paper and the cooking gets done for me. Pat’s hopeless in the kitchen, his specialty is a mean bowl of cereal and that’s about it. Suddenly, recipes that are quick and easy to put together has so much of a bigger appeal.

This pasta salad is quick to whip together and typically is reserved for summer days where it’s hot and a cool meal is the perfect pairing. Also, this is perfect to make ahead for summer camping and potluck gatherings. Truthfully, this meal is a time saver. It is best served at room temperature and eaten the day it is made. The taste changes quite a bit at colder temperatures.

Personally, I would eat this dish by its own bit you can also serve it as a side to compliment any protein.

Italian Pasta Salad

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 7 mins

Yield: 6-8 portions

Ingredients 

  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 pound fuscilli pasta
  • 8 ounces provolone cheese, cubed or bite size pieces
  • 6 ounces salami, cubed or bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Steps

  1. Place onion, red wine vinegar and oregano in a large bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and cook pasta for 7 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, prep your other ingredients.
  4. When the pasta is cooked, drain over a colander and rinse with warm water till pasta is warm to touch.
  5. Combine pasta into the vinegar mixture and toss.
  6. Add all other ingredients and toss to combine.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve immediately or cold. Pasta salad can be kept for 3 days in air tight container.

Note: Personally, the salad taste better served at room temperature. Also, i’m cheap so I usually buy pre- sliced cheese and salami and cut it to pieces. The leftover slices are then used in sandwiches.

 

Recipe by ChowHound