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AVOCADO WAFFLES - A BREAKFAST TREAT

Avocado Waffles

BREAKFAST. We need breakfast daily. Not simply bread and toast all the time, or our favorite local prata, nasi lemak, chee cheong fun, etc. Once in a while make it special and different.

Lately I am experimenting with different types of whole grain and nutritive flours. I did the following breakfast on a Sunday morning which I know my family members will enjoy.

It is so simple once you have your ingredients on hand.

Avocados are always in my house, it is a staple for my daughter who eats it daily with one of her meals at least.

I told her I will make avocado pancakes the night before, but decided to do waffles instead.

At first I thought the buckwheat flour will not marry with the avocado well but I tell you, it happened to be a good combination. If you like buckwheat and avocado then please go ahead and make it because it gives a satisfying and fulfilling breakfast without the feeling of “Oh dear too much of a flour meal first thing in the morning”

The waffles were perfectly cooked, crisp on the outside and soft inside.

I gather this can be an all day breakfast meal if you include a piece of roast chicken or ham etc. Include a green salad and it becomes lunch or dinner.

That’s what I did with leftover batter. So enjoy a different kind of meal for a change, albeit a nutritious clean meal!

 

Avocado waffles

INGREDIENTS

1 cup self raising flour

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 avocados

 

METHOD

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend to a batter . It is alright to have some lumpy avocado.

Heat a waffle iron, brush with butter.

Pour half a cup of batter into the waffle iron and cook till desired crispness or softness is reached.

Serve with maple syrup, strawberries or blueberries and sunny side eggs.

Notes:

You may replace oil with any other preferred oil or melted butter.

You may use half cup self raising flour and 1 ½ cups buckwheat flour.

As this is not a cake recipe, you don’t need to be exact in the measurements.

Please reduce the salt if desired.

Use ripe avocadoes if possible and if you use another 1 more avocado, you don’t need the eggs.

You can make pancakes if you do not have a waffle iron. Add half a cup of water to dilute the batter if necessary.

 

PINEAPPLE TARTS TASTES DIVINE

 

Pineapple tarts have been a firm favourite since I had helped my mum making it as a little girl. I remember rolling the pineapple jam into small marble sizes and placing them on a tray.

My mum is the person who had made such great tarts that many of her friends would come over just to get a tin. My mother never sold any food to anyone, she always gives them.   And which I do follow till today. The satisfaction of seeing someone’s joy is just immense.

And I love pineapple tarts so much that I must share this incident that may leave you dumbfounded.  It is  a true incident.

You should know if you read about me  in my home page, that my mum passed away when I was barely 18 years old.

I got married at age 23.   I was in the family way at age 27.

And guess what, I craved for my mum’s pineapple tarts, but how?

I had a dream that night, my mum who was dressed so regally knocked on my door and was holding a huge tin of pineapple tarts. I remember the tin so well – it was a 2 kg EveryDay milk powder tin.

She told me this “this is just for you, enjoy it”.

I took the tin and started eating and devouring the pineapple tarts one by one. I was so satisfied. And thanked her profusely. She smiled and went away.

When I woke up that morning, I could sense the taste of pineapple tarts in my mouth and throat.   You will understand this when you eat one too many.   I was so shocked and do you know, it was the best and till today I don’t crave it that much even though it is my favourite festive treat.

 

 

Now to the main tart itself, I have done many variations of this tart but yet to perfect the one that my mum made. She didn’t leave a recipe. So it has always been a trial and each time doing the tarts slightly differently. Yes I did have many successes along the way, and as always never wrote the recipe down. One day, my younger daughter who also loves these tarts told me that she is going to tape me while I am doing it. Which she did. That is the recipe that I have been using to make tarts for her.

As she lives in London, whenever she comes to visit me or when someone goes to London, I will pass 2 jars of pineapple tarts, one for her and another for my best friend’s daughter, Mary Laura who loves these tarts too. Mary Laura has told that my tarts are the best.

Me being always on the look out for a pineapple tart recipe, came to read about pineapple tarts in the Straits Times quite  recently and so decided to have a go with this recipe. I found the dough  very difficult to handle as it had too much butter to flour ratio. But the taste was good.

 

Today’s recipe is the adaptation from the article in the Straits times  with some modifications and  it turned out so well. You will not be disappointed with this recipe of course. So those friends of mine who have requested for the recipe, here it is. Enjoy making it and eating it too.

Both the jam and the pastry are important elements.

But to save time, you may buy the jam from reputed stores. There are some good ones, for today’s recipe I bought the premium jam and I did some modifications to suit my taste.

For the pastry, it depends on your preference, some like it crumbly, some like it crisp and soft, and some like it meltingly smooth.

The pastry that I have in this recipe is slightly crisp on the outside and soft in the inside. If you bake it a little longer maybe another 5 minutes more, it will be crisp crumbly.

My personal preference is a pastry which is crisp on the outside and soft inside, which melts in your mouth but at the same time very flavourful.

 

Pineapple tarts

INGREDIENTS

210 gm plain flour

20 gm cornflour

30 gm icing sugar

¼ tsp salt

140 gm unsalted butter – must be direct from fridge and cubed

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

I to 2 tbsp ice water if necessary.

Pineapple jam as required

METHOD for Dough

In a food processor, add all the ingredients except the ice water.

Pulse it or use low speed to get the dough together. If it does not form a ball of dough, add 1 tbsp of ice cold water. Repeat if necessary to form a nice soft dough.

Keep aside in the fridge for 15 mins to 30 mins.

Or you may roll the dough to about 0.6 cm if it is not too soft to handle and proceed to use the tart mold to cut into shapes and fill with the jam.

Bake in a preheated oven at 175C for 15 mins or to your preferred pastry texture. Not more than 20 mins or your jam will become too hard.  This happens if you use store bought jam.

Remove the baked tarts to a rack to cool.

Once cooled, store in an airight jar.

This recipe makes about 40 tarts.

INGREDIENTS for Pineapple Jam

300 gm store bought premium jam

1 tsp of cinnamon powder or less

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

1/2 cup to ¾ cup hot water

5 cloves

METHOD

Put all ingredients except the water in a pan to heat through till well combined. Add the water if it is too thick and  combine until you have the right ball forming consistency. If you like the taste, remove to cool and roll into 6 gm balls. Place in a tray and keep aside to be placed in each tart shell before baking.

 

Notes:

If the jam is too tangy, add soft brown sugar, a pinch of salt to counterbalance the taste.   This is only necessary if you are using store bought pineapple jam.

Alternatively you can prepare the jam by using fresh ripe pineapples. OR you can use canned pineapples.   Reduce the sugar as the canned pineapples are already very sweet, Coarsely pulse the pineapples ,add lime juice and salt , 1 tbsp of butter, cinnamon stick and cloves, cook it till it is jammy and cool to use it. Do it a few days earlier.

 

For this recipe, I took 8 gm of dough each which I rolled into a ball. Pressed my thumb into the centre and while holding, pinched it with the pinch maker all around  with my other hand.

I finished the whole process and placed them in a baking tray.

Then I placed 1 ball of pineapple jam, 6 gm each. Slowly patted the jam onto the tart base.

To make it pretty, I crinkle cut strips of thin dough or just roll strips and put a cross on each.

And some I used a mini star mould to cut the shape of a star to decorate each tart.

You may leave it out if it is too much work but then I love to do them.

For the dough, you may reduce the icing sugar or leave it out completely  if your jam is sweet enough.

It is very important to have everything cold, including the flour, butter, eggs etc.

The pastry is a short one, so it has to be cold.

FREE BAKING CLASSES

 

I have been teaching baking skills for free in the last 2 months for single mums and to ladies who wanted to learn basic baking  but were unable to pay the fees.

 

I taught them basic muffins, savoury muffins, cup cakes with frosting, German Marble crumble Cake, Nuttella Blossoms  to name a few.

 

 

I am happy to note that each of them had learned well and now have the confidence to bake on their own. Some of them have been baking recipes from cookbooks etc. They have sent pictures of their bakes and I feel so proud of them.

I will open up more free classes if I can make some time and get a bigger venue to accommodate more ladies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alot of work goes into planning the classes – from creating recipes to buying the right ingredients and providing the refreshments.

 

I derive much happiness in teaching and to impart my passion and knowledge to anyone who is keen.

 

 

I would rather teach a person to fish instead of giving a fish to eat.

I am not posing any pictures of the ladies who came to my classes but only pictures of their bakes.

 

 

Dear ladies – who attended my classes – you know who you are,  keep on baking and keep on learning!  Keep in touch. Feel free to call me if you have any queries in baking. I will gladly assist.

SHORTBREAD BARS

 

These are english shortbread, a type of rich cookie or biscuit as it is called in asian countries.  In my early days as a child, I remember eating these cookies but it is also called butter biscuits because of the vast amount of butter used.  My mum used to do beautiful biscuits just for us kids which were  very yummy and which melted in the mouth.

Of course it was very expensive then to buy them which comes in colored round and oblong tins.  I used to reuse the tins for keeping knick knacks. These are very good too.  It is still available at very good shops.  I do buy them as gifts if I don’t have time  to prepare them myself.  But most of the time, I will prepare these shortbread bars and beautify them by putting them in beautiful art tins which becomes my signature!  And of course you know that mine is free of any chemicals or preservatives and  definitely more tasty!

So today I would like to share my recipe which I have altered a little to include flavouring and zest.  I have baked many different types of shortbread but this is one of my favorite.  It is a little finicky to do as the dough can become very soft in our hot climate.   But the hard work pays off as you will bite into a crunchy yet soft cookie when baked.  The flavor in this shortbread is just too awesome as I have used orange zest and orange extract.    You may substitute with grapefruit, lemon or just leave it out.

INGREDIENTS

 250 g plain flour

1 tbsp rice flour

220 g butter

80 g fine sugar

1 orange – zest only.

1 tsp orange extract or more if you like the flavor.

coarse sugar for sprinkiling.

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180C

Beat butter till smooth and creamy. Add sugar and continue to beat till fluffy.

Add the orange extract and the orange zest and blend well.

Slowly add in the flours and gently form a dough.

Wrap with cling wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

Roll dough onto a floured surface to ¼ inch (0.5 cm) thick, cut into 8cm by 2 cm or 3 inch by half inch bars.

Place the shortbread onto a baking sheet.

Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Keep the shortbread in the baking sheet in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill. Poke a few holes  on the top of the shortbread with a cake tester or a skewer stick if desired.

Take out and bake in a preheated oven  for 10 minutes or till shortbread is very lightly brown.

Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. Keeps well.

 NOTES

These shortbread keeps very well if stored in an airtight container.

Its a very good gift to bring along for children.

If you can’t find the orange extract, substitute with 2 tsp orange juice.

Handle the dough lightly as it may become soft, or chill well before cutting into bars.

 

travel eat – french-italian food fare in a countryside garden

 

Recently went to a restaurant in a very unlikely place, a park which is called HortPark in Singapore.

Vineyard – as it is called is a charming and cosy restaurant serving french-italian food with selections of wine of course.

The greenscape of the Hortpark was recreated to an experience of a countryside with beautiful gardens all separately cloned somewhat.  There was this Bali Garden, Edible Garden, and even a Butterfly garden.

Imagine having a meal surrounded by a luscious green all around you.

But the restaurant had very old aged tables and it was very brown with an artificial fireplace and domed cane lighting.  The lights were pretty though!

We can eat either at the air-conditioned room or just outside amidst  a recreated garden.

As there were two of us, we tried some wine, an appetizer and 2 main dishes to be shared.

We skipped dessert as  I had tea only at 4 pm.  And Dinner was at 6 pm!

The waitress was not able to suggest the wines properly, even though the restaurant is called Vineyard!  I expected some good suggestions but she was just stammering and we decided to take their house wine, which happened to be a right choice.

But the  food, especially the appetizer that we had, Baked brie fondue with toasted brioche was very good and we loved the slight sweetness of honey and balsamic vinegar over the small pot of brie. It went well with the strawberries and grapes that came with it,  Will recommend this to anyone who loves cheese or for that matter even for non-cheese lovers!

 

For the main course we had Roasted chicken with a balsamic and a dark sauce,  Chicken was juicy, tender and went well with the sides of baked crispy potatoes, baked asparagus, carrots and 1 roasted garlic.

The next main that we had was Miso Cod, and it was served with ramen noodles – surprising as it was supposed to be a french-italian restaurant.  But regret not, it was very good and  flavorful and the only french thing about this dish was  – it was a very small portion.  Definitely not enough for a person who eats moderately.  For me it would have been enough as I eat small meals throughout the day.

There was no room for dessert for me as we both had tea around 4 pm at our respective offices.

Food was good,  there was of course other main courses which looked so tempting,  pastas and pizzas were in the menu too.

Service  needs to be improved.  Some were experienced but some are not.  No personal touches, no thank you and no proper recommendation for the food.  We went through the menu and decided for ourselves what to eat.

Ambience would have been nice probably in the daylight hours  but needed some room fragrance.  It was very musty as we were one of the early customers. The room seemed dreary with the dark brown furniture and dim lights.    Nevertheless you will be able to catch the setting sun in the reflecting infinity pool just outside the restaurant while sipping wine and forget your worries, if any!

I  will definitely return with my close friends who love food!  Thank you Vineyard!

 

links – HortPark  website: nparks.gov.sg/gardems-parks

Vineyard 33 Hyderabad Road, Hortpark Singapore 119578

 

I HAVE A POSITIVE MIND, DO YOU?

Stay positve be positive, switch to positivity each time you feel negative.

I am so tuned to this after I went to a mind blowing course at Janda Baik many years ago.

The trainer who was a Colonel together with his wife were excellent in imparting postitivity in me. I have never felt better in life. I have gone through some tough times, but this training has helped me tremendously.  I want to thank them profusely.

One analogy that was used was the SWITCH to turn off and on.

Just switch on or off whenever negative thoughts creeps in – I was told. From then somehow or rather each time I see a switch anywhere I turn my postive mode on.

Nothing bothers me – I keep calm and cool. Always ask what can be the worst thing that can happen – will I be able to accept that, If yes then there is no issue, if no then learn to cope.

 

To help you further always look at the end result and work backwards from there.

You will have more resources and energy to reach your end result and objectives as you already visualize it.

Have inner peace and calm. It is no point to have a mind when a rat goes round and round. Give yourself some 10 to 20 minutes of me-time and cultivate the inner peace. You will feel better and sometimes realization and answers will just appear.

All of us go through some form of conflict, unhappiness and exasperation. Write down your anger instead. Let out your fear, anger, frustration and everything negative which surrounds you on paper.   Then after a few minutes, tear out the paper slowly and release the tension within you. You will feel so much better . You will feel refreshed and then forgiveness will surface and everything is all smiles again.

 

Exercise your mind and body. Physical exercise takes care of your body , need not specially go the gym, a walk around your homeground for 30 minutes daily is sufficient. Importantly your mind must be detoxed as well. It removes all toxins and you have a beautiful mind after that.

Don’t ever fall prey to negative comments or irritations from others. Just leave them be, Dont get flustered and learn to let go. Don’t carry any burden that doesn’t belong to you.

SO STAY POSITIVE, SWITCH ON TO POSITIVE MODE.  Really Helps.

TRAVEL EATS AND MORE…

I travelled to Northern Italy and did a side trip to St moritz in Switzerland just recently.

Of course food was predominant in my thoughts and will share my experiences which will be useful for you.  (Will post some recipes that I collected along the way)

In Milan can you get away without savoring the risotto ala milanese?  No way!  We had this and a basic cheese pizza and some roast chicken in a restaurant near Duomo ( beautiful cathedral) right in the city. Pix below.  Also a place where you can buy all branded items, such as Gucci etc. Beautiful location to walk around and you can pop into the shops to look at beautiful and very expensive luxury items.

As it was Milan Fashion Week, I caught some celebrities ( Victoria Beckam and many more) at the restaurant next to the one where I was eating.

Coming back to the food, the Risotto was exquisite, every bite al dente as it should be and the fragrance of saffron whispering in your palate as you eat slowly.

The Pizza was thinly crusted and the cheese heavenly.  Lots of it and I loved it.  I finished the whole pizza by myself. ( Very very thin crust ..)

The Roast Chicken was not that fantastic having tasted many interesting variations here in Singapore and other countries.   Apparently in that restaurant all roast dishes do not come with any sauce, so it was quite a disappointment. ( I learnt that is the case in most restaurants in Milan)

To end the meal, I had the Hot Chocolate.  Oh my,  one the best chocolate in a cup, the Italians know how to make and savor chocolate.  Hot melted chocolate, thick & gooey and every spoonful was a delight.  What was missing, maybe were churros. ( oh just kidding) ( In Spain churros are served with melted chocolate – a lovely dessert).  There was this fascinating dessert trolley, starring right before me and which had tiramisu, panna cotta and many fruity dessserts with cream etc, but then I can eat no more…..  Really can’t!

More to come…….

WHY WAIT?

Sometimes you can just wake up and realize that you must do something.

No procrastination – Beat this habit – it doesn’t give any benefit.

There are just 101 things that can make our lives better.

Simple as telling yourself to smile often.  Or smile at the driver who fetches you or at the grocer when you are buying something.  It is very nice to hear nice words from strangers, why stinge on lovely words.  Make their day and make yours in return because you feel good too.

I always remember my late mother’s words – “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it. But be generous with lovely words when the person needs it”.  A little appreciation goes a long way, even among our own family.

Lets not resist change, it is inevitable, isn’t it.  We got to embrace change, no matter what.  When we adopt and adapt – life becomes easier.

Maybe talk less, smile often, have happy and positive thoughts.

Be awesome = forgive someone who has hurt you and get relieved.  If the other person does not change, it is no more your problem,  But you are free.

I find passion in cooking and baking so I don’t feel hurt at all.  When others behave in unsavory manners, brush it off . Transfer your energy into things you love to do.

I love reading since young, but left off during my career building years, now I make it a point to read at least 1 book a week. Sometimes it stretches to 2 weeks, it is alright, at least I read.

So friends don’t worry about resolutions, make simple  changes that will make you feel  happy.

Since January 2017, I have travelled 4 times, read 10 books, taught at my baking classes,  did  2 voluntary sessions of baking classes,  tried  and tested many recipes on top of creating my own {yes, yes will be posting} spent time with very senior citizens who just wanted someone to listen and have coffee with. Spent time with a friend who was admitted in hospital and who had no one.  Not to mention attendance to workshops/seminars etc.

In the next 2 months, I still need to catch up with some old friends that I promised to meet this year.  I will have more baking classes for anyone who want to learn, bake and mingle in a fun way!  Life is revolving fast and I am not complaining.

Enjoy every minute. Make it awesome – only you can do it.  And please, I would love to hear from you, drop some lines for me to connect with you.  That will be awesome too!

 

 

 

My Say

It has been more than a year since I started this blog, have received many wishes, enquiries, tips and many more.

I thank all my friends and everyone who has given me opportunity to teach them, share recipes etc.

I am willing to share answers to your doubts in cooking/baking so feel free to ask and I will answer to the best of my ability or will check with some chefs that I know.

I have restarted my baking classes, cosy group as I want to give attention to each and everyone.  The classes will be interactive and fun. Classes are for families, children, and friends and anyone who wants to learn and bake.  I was glad to know that some students have made it a career  by selling their baked goods  learning from me.  I am very proud of them.  All of my students will have access to special benefits along the way.   Pl see Baking classes Category in this website for more details.

Today food is the one that brings people, families together.  Make it an enjoyable meal even if it is just a plain sandwich.  Give some thought on hygienic practices and get your groceries from sources that are legitimate and clean.  Plan your meals ahead as you can save lots.  Certain supermarkets have fresh produce in the mornings. Go for it. Or  pool yourself with other people and buy at wholesale prices.  Saves time and money.

One student told me that she buys 1 whole chicken and can make at least 3 dishes to serve on 3 occasions.

I guess this is the way to go. Instead of buying parts of a chicken which is slightly more expensive – 1 whole chicken can definitely give more mileage.

Same goes for a whole fish.  Usually I will buy one whole salmon and share with friends who need a few fillets.

I also make my helper happy as she loves to cook the fish head in her filipino style and she enjoys it so much.

Little changes to make our everyday life smoother is the way to go.  Be happy. Make someone else happy too.

 

BAKING CLASS

MAY BAKING CLASSES

 

RECIPE : NUTTELA BLOSSOMS

13 MAY SAT 2.30 TO 5.30 PM

OR

20 MAY SAT 2.30 TO 5.30 PM

Fees $20

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kindly note that this will a demo class with some hands on.

 

JUN BAKING CLASS

German Marble Crumble Cake

 

 

3 JUN SAT  2.30 TO 5.30 PM

OR

10 JUN SAT 2.30 TO 5.30 PM

FEE $25

This is a speciality cake which needs 3 techniques to create a beautiful chocolatee cake.

This is a demo class AND you will learn  to create a lovely textured cake.
PLEASE NOTE :
1) All classes will commence at 2.30pm.   At the end of the session, we will enjoy refreshment in a garden setting. Serangoon gardens/Serangoon North vicinity. You will be placed in a subscription list for any queries on baking.

2) I will demonstrate fully.

3) I will provide the recipes, containers and carriers etc if necessary.

5) My full address will be given after payment transfer.

6) Please call/pm/whatsapp             Renga Naidu 85713991 – www.tummycalling.com