[Quick Fix] Pearl Barley Oat Porridge

We love having oat porridge for breakfast.

When we were on our honeymoon, I quickly got sick of full english breakfast by Day 4, but a warm bowl of oat porridge with honey, nuts and even the occasional honeycomb never fails to give me a warm, cozy start to the day 🙂

Oat porridge is healthy, easy and extremely versatile. I like making fruit versions when we have berries, peaches or apricots lying at home. But there was no fruits available this time, so I decided to make a pearl barley version while keeping the condiments simple.

IMG_3440

Ingredients for 1 serving:

Pearl Barley – 20g

Rolled or Steel Cut Oats – 20g

Fresh Milk/ Soy Milk/ Almond Milk – 180ml (depending on how thick you want your porridge)

Pinch of salt

Cinnamon Powder – 1/2 teaspoon (optional)

Nuts or Dried fruits

Drizzle of honey

Method:

1. Wash and soak Pearl Barley for 15 mins before boiling for 20-25 mins

2. Boil the liquid (I used Soy Milk) and oats on low-medium heat for about 2 mins

3. Add the plumped up pearl barley into the oats and simmer for another min 

4. Add a pinch of salt

 5. Place porridge in serving bowl and add cinnamon power, nuts, dried fruits and drizzle on some honey

IMG_3460

IMG_3478

IMG_3483

IMG_3481

IMG_3535

“She was perfectly quiet now, but not asleep–only soothed by sweet porridge and warmth into that wide-gazing calm which makes us older human beings, with our inward turmoil, feel a certain awe in the presence of a little child, such as we feel before some quiet majesty or beauty in the earth or sky–before a steady glowing planet, or a full-flowered eglantine, or the bending trees over a silent pathway.” – George Eliot

[Cakes & Bakes] Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

My family members have been some of the best supporters for my bakes and I love making things they like, especially for special occasions.

Mum has always been a fan of chocolate banana cakes, especially the one from Secret Recipe. So I’ve long set my mind on baking a choco banana cake for her birthday 🙂

Searched through some recipes and finally decided to make a cupcake version instead as I really wanted to practice my piping.

I pretty much followed the recipe to a T (which is extremely simple) and the cupcakes turned out really moist and fragrant! Some things to share from the experience:

– Make sure the banana is ripe enough so that the aroma and taste are will not be overwhelmed by the chocolate

– I used Valhorna cocoa powder and the chocolate flavour is really rich and intense

– The cupcakes stay moist in the fridge and still tastes pretty good 3 days old

– If you’re lazy or have no time to prepare the frosting, it tastes pretty awesome as a chocolate banana muffin too!

– I sprinkled some chopped almonds on top of the frosting to create some contrast in terms of colour and the texture. The nutty flavour also helps to cut the richness of the cake and frosting

– Washing up after making chocolate-anything is such a back-breaking chore… But it’s worth it 🙂

IMG_3126 IMG_3163 IMG_3172 IMG_3191 IMG_3196

IMG_3217IMG_3200

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz

[Moments] Ennui

Been extremely domestic these few days – resting, reading, cleaning the house, making meals, doing laundry.

It’s nothing exciting, really, except that the reason for our domestication was due to Wayne getting into a close-shaved accident.

But being at home, enjoying the breeze winding through the house, the gentle touches of the sunlight (which was also perfect for laundry), and doing almost mindless chores gave me some time to think about life.

Maybe it’s what the call quarter-life crisis. I’m extremely thankful for everyone and everything I have in my life right now but especially in the recent months, I haven’t been able to shake off that intense feeling of ennui.

I watch hours pass by at work, submissions made every other week, one meeting after another, weekends come and go. It’s really not too bad, but I haven’t been able to shake of the feeling that one day I should be doing something I’m truly passionate about, advocating for something I truly believe in and taking pride in my accomplishments.

I haven’t quite seen the light yet.

So in the meantime, I just let the feeling of ennui linger while I pray about it, as I cleared out some leftover apples from the fridge and made a pot of Apple and Red Dates Beverage to lift the mood.

Ingredients:
2L of water
5 Apples
40g of rock sugar (or to taste)
A handful of red dates
Some Chinese almonds (optional)

 IMG_3020

IMG_3023

IMG_3101

IMG_3103

IMG_3074

“Life creates itself in delirium and is undone in ennui.” – Emil Cioran

[Moments] Nostalgia

It’s been a week since we returned from our 3.5 weeks long honeymoon.

We’ve been looking forward to it for such a long time, the anticipation made the trip felt ridiculously short when we looked back at it. It almost felt like a dream…

One of the most wonderful part of the trip was the amazing food we got to savour around London and Paris. A couple of Michelin-star restaurants in London, some ultra-popular food and dessert joints and the abundant artisanal hand-made pastries in Paris.

We concluded that we probably spoilt our palates during the trip. We’ll try to update the blog soon with some photos of our food adventure there 🙂

But for now, a simple homely post because I’m sick and stuck at home after a week of mere 4-hr a day sleep for the past week due to jet lag.

We bought a marble cake last night and eating it now reminded me of how my mum loves marble cakes. She used to buy them at least once a week and I’ll get to pack them to school/ work.

It’s odd how food, almost like photos, can pack so much memories and whisk you back to the past in a whim.

My sense of taste is grossly muted by the flu but the rich buttery taste still manages to cut through. I feel like a child again, waking up to breakfast served by mum. Extremely comforting when I’m stuck at home – sick.

I’ll probably try making a marble cake soon (when I’m well enough) and surprise my dearest woman on earth with that 🙂

IMG_2988

IMG_2991

IMG_2983

IMG_2998

IMG_3002

IMG_2999

IMG_3013

“There are a few moments in your life when you are truly and completely happy, and you remember to give thanks. Even as it happens you are nostalgic for the moment, you are tucking it away in your scrapbook.” –  David Benioff