Apricot Butter

Are of tired of having the same old peanut Butter, Kaya or Jelly with your morning toasts?
If so,do try this guild free and healthy spread…
Nope!!This recipe has no butter and it’s absolutely fat and dairy free!! Its just pure fruity goodnessJ

We absolutely loved it and sure it was a big relief from the usual dry morning toasts!!
In fact I can’t wait to experiment with other dry fruit butters!!

Apricot Butter
Adapted from Recipes for Health Bliss by Susan Smith Jones
1/2 Cup Dried Apricots
1 Cup water
1 stick Cinnamon
1 tspns Agave Nectar or Honey
Soak the apricots overnight in one cup water.
Next morning, transfer the apricots and water to a pot.
Add the Cinnamon stick and bring it to a boil.
Simmer it for 15 minutes until it has become soft and most of the water has been absorbed.
Do note to keep some liquid to make a puree. 
Let it cool down a bit. Remove the cinnamon stick and transfer the apricots to a blender.
Add the sweetener and pulse it for few seconds until a smooth puree is formed

Gnocchi with Mushrooms in Red wine reduction

Gnocchi, the soft Italian dumpling is one among my all time fav Italian delights!
I have posted a Gnocchi recipe from scratch here
That was when it was really hard to find Gnocchi here and once in a blue moon when you spot it in Cold storage the price would be really repelling
Back to Gnocchi..The best thing about the Gnocchi is that it’s very versatile..You can choose an alternate base instead of potatoes like pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato .
And can play around the flavorings by adding different varieties of cheese and herbs
Now a days you can easily find Gnocchi here in Singapore, that too at very reasonable price.
So here is one recipe which is very easy to put together!

Gnocchi with Mushrooms in Red wine reduction 
150 gms Gnocchi
100 gms Mushrooms. [I chose the pretty white Beech mushrooms]
¼ Cup Red wine
Flavorings of your choice- I used Oregano and Rosemary
1 tspn Olive oil
3-4 tbpsns Parmesan Cheese
Salt/Pepper to taste
First step is to start cooking the Gnocchi. Bring some water to boil in a large pot, add some salt.
Once it starts boiling, add the Gnocchi. In 2-3 minutes, they will start to float. Drain it in a colander and keep aside
While the water is boiling you can start with your Mushrooms.
Heat Oil in a wok, add the herbs of your choice, once that sizzle up, add the mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes
Add the wine, salt and pepper to taste and stir until most of the liquid has been evaporated.
Add the cooked Gnocchi to the mushrooms and add in the cheese.
Give it a quick stir and the creamy Gnocchi is ready.

I served it on top of some yummy Tomato and Basil pasta sauce. It was an absolute delight!!!

Broccoli in Five Spices

 This is one of the most fragrant Broccoli recipes I have come across. The recipe is from Monisha Bharadwaj’s India’s Vegetarian Cooking.
She have used five whole spice seeds :Cumin, fenugreek, kalonji (Nigella seeds) fennel and mustard
The broccoli florets absorb all the flavors and tastes amazing. I prefer to ignore the nutty stems as it’s too lazy to absorb any flavor

Broccoli in Five Spices
Adapted from: Monisha Bharadwaj’s India’s Vegetarian Cooking.
1tspn each of the five spices
Nigella seeds
1 large broccoli
1 tspn Oil
1-2 Green Chilies
Salt to taste 
Pound the spices lightly. Heat Oil in a pan
Once oil is hot enough, add the spices and toss well until it sizzles and the nice aroma of spices fills your kitchen
Add chilies and give it a stir
Add the broccoli and salt to taste and cover and cook until tender but not too mushy.

Fresh Lemongrass and Ginger Drink


I disappeared from blogosphere for yet another week..
But this time I had a real good bad reasonL
I was diagnosed of an unnecessary growth in my nose..
And we had to spend quite a lot of time in hospital doing tests after tests to identify the root cause.
The worst phase was the 3 days when we had to wait for my biopsy results
Man…that was my longest weekend!! And probably the only time I felt weekend was too long and we just want it to be over.
I can’t pen down the feelings we went through during those 3 days..
When you realize you are this close to one of the most dreadful disease..And your life might never be the same again!
Thank to God and to my family for all their prayers...It was not what we feared and I felt soo relieved when doc called me to tell the test results

Needless to do say there was not much cooking happening in my kitchen recently.

Anyways we are back to the routine now and I was on a cooking spree this weekendJ
Now back to today’s recipe.. Lemon Grass and Ginger drink
If you are a Thai cuisine admirer like me you sure must have tried this refreshing drink!
I must say this cooling and refreshing drink is the perfect accompaniment to the hot Thai foodJ
You can try the hot version and it’s an excellent remedy for Cold and flu.

Lemon Grass and Ginger drink
4 Cups water
4 Lemongrass stalks
½ inch Ginger
50 gms Rock sugar/increase as per your taste
Bring the water to boil
Clean the lemon grass and peel off the first 2-3 layers.
Lightly pound the think end of the lemon grass stalks and add to the water
Pound the ginger lightly and add to water
Add the sweetener of your choice and bring to boil
Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes

Tofu Pancake..Yummy Vegan breakfast

It was after moving to Singapore that I started experimenting with Tofu and Soy milk.
We have a very famous outlet here called Mr. Bean which sells superb soy milk with different flavors.
Thanks to Mr. Bean, I am a hard core lover of their soy milk and pancakes.
Anyways…my dear husband totally hates it.. And here is the weirdest comment you will hear about soy milk
“Soy milk tastes exactly like plastic” as if plastic was part of his staple diet Lolzz
Anyways that didn’t stop me from trying new Soy/Tofu recipes
And here is my  attempt to sneak tofu into our breakfast-> Tofu Pancake
Isn’t that lovely.. And this definitely didn’t taste like plastic at all and we loved it

Vegan Tofu Pancake
Adapted from: Recipes for Health Bliss by Susan Smith Jones
100 gms Tofu- Soft tofu/Silken tofu
1/3 Cup Soy Milk
1 Medium Banana Mashed
1/4 Cup + 2tbspn Whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbspn Flax seed meal
1 tbspn Agave nectar
Pinch of Cinnamon powder
In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and consistency is that of a cake batter.
If the batter is too runny, add a tablespoon of flour. If it is too thick add little more Soy milk
Heat a non stick pan over medium low heat.
Once pan is hot, pour a ladle full of batter into the pan.
When the bubble appears, flip the pancake and cook the other side.
Server with fresh fruits and syrup


And I did it..I finally made the first batch of macarons ..Successfully [sort off]!!
I have tried it numerous times before without much success…read the macarons disaster episodes here
I followed the tip given by some of the readers and my macarons finally got the feet.
I virtually sat in front of the oven and kept peeping to see if they are getting the feet for the first 10 min
..And once I saw the feet I was running around like a happy child for next 5 min…

I had actually given up macaroon until I started seeing macaroons all over Singapore.
I guess that coz of the Christmas season nearing..
Anyways I got inspired by all colorful macarons around and gave it a try.
Came out well, tasted yummy..need to work on the shape a bit more.
And here is the result!!

Strawberry Macarons
Recipe Courtesy: Deeba from Passionate about Baking
1 egg white
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup Icing sugar
1/4 tsp egg white powder
2 tbspn Caster sugar
½ tspn Strawberry essence
A drop of Pink coloring
½ tspn Meringue powder
Preheat the oven to 140 degree
Powder together the almond meal, Icing sugar and meringue powder in a blender.
Sieve it at least once.
Beat the egg white until foamy, add the caster sugar tbspn at a time and continue to beat until stiff peaks are foamed
Add the almond meal mix to the egg white in 2-3 batches and fold in until just smooth
Using a piping bag, pipe the batter into the parchment paper lined baking tray
Bake for 15 minutes.
Peel of the macaroons and let it cool in the wire rack 
You can choose the filling of your choice and sandwich the macarons.
As I was too lazy after making the macaroons, I chose the simple strawberry jelly.

Mushroom Risotto

I have been yearning to make risotto for such a long time..Courtesy to Tyler Florence and master chef series
You see the Arborio rice is 22 dollar per kilo hereL Isn’t that a crazy price for rice?
I would rather go out and eat Creamy risotto somewhere in Robertson Quay than pay such a hefty price for rice!!

Anyways back to today’s headlines, after having a scrumptious Thai lunch @ Bangkok Jam, we went to the movie Adventures of Tin tin
Half way through the movie there was some technical issue and movie was paused for 3 minutes or less than that
And guess what, all of us were given a movie /pop corn vouchers as a compensation for that 3 minutes!! Yeyy..I love GV CinemasJ
The lucky charm continued and I managed to get a pack of Carnaroli rice from Cold storage for a reasonable price!
I grabbed some mushrooms, parmesan and a bottle of wine too and rushed home..
And here is the Creamy mushroom risotto without any cream though!

Mushroom Risotto
3/4 Cup rice
3/4 Cup of flavorful mushrooms of your choice cleaned and diced
3 cups of vegetable stock
1 Onion diced
1 Garlic chopped
1 tspn of dried rosemary leaves or flavorings of your choice
3-4 tablespoon of parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Olive oil
Bring stock to boil, reduce the flame let it simmer in the sauce pan
In a pan, heat the olive oil sauté the onion, garlic and rosemary for 3-4 minutes
Add the rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes
Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for another couple of minutes
Add the stock 1/2 cup at a time and stir lightly. You have to keep stirring lightly. As George Calombaris says agitating is very crucialJ
Once the stock is completely absorbed, add another half cup of stock and continue to stir.
Keep adding ½ cup stock at a time and stir until the rice is cooked and slightly chewy.It might take 15-20 min
You can add the parmesan cheese towards the end and stir well.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Green Tea Jelly / Matcha Jelly

Jellos are always a fuss free easy breezy dessert!!
And this treat is to all green tea lovers! May the Jello be with youJ

My love for jellos started years back when we were in Chennai,India.
I used to make bowls and bowls of jello and there was nothing more refreshing than a fruity jello on a hot sunny day!
Back then Jello was the de facto dessert for all occasions or gatherings!
I used to claim that, jellos are the healthiest dessert blah blah..The ugly truth was that Jello was the only desert I could make 4 yrs backL
After so many yrs, I still feel jellos are such a guilt free treat!!

Green Tea Jelly / Matcha Jelly
1 Cup Low fat Milk
1 tbspn brown Sugar
1 tbspn Agar agar powder
1 tspn Matcha powder/Green tea powder
Add the sugar, agar agar and matcha powder to the milk .
Keep stirring and bring to the boil.
Let it cool for 10 minutes and pour the mix to jelly moulds/ramekins and let it set in refrigerator for 2-3 hours
Drizzle a little honey on top of the jello and njoy the refreshing treat!


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