[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.

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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

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“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

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[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)

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

[Quick Fix] Blueberry Chocolate Pancakes

Yes, yes, I’m a sweet tooth. And my best bet is chocolate!

Found plain pancakes a little… too plain. So I decided to throw some blueberries and chocolate into the mix.

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I prepared the blueberry pancakes and chocolate pancakes separately because the decision to make the chocolate pancakes was a last minute one.

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Here’s my $1 chocolate from Ikea again! We bought about half a doz of them previously hurhur…

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And when they are done, just stack the blueberry pancakes and chocolate pancakes alternately, slather on some butter, squish tons of golden syrup on top and scatter more blueberries and chocolates all over!

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A sweet treat (with chocolate) is good at anytime, especially for breakfast!

And it takes about the same effort as making a plain pancake!

[Quick Fix] Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Had a tough time deciding if I should categorise this under Sweet Treat or under Quick Fix, because it’s both, really!

We received a box of lovely lovely long-stemed strawberries from my mother-in-law (MIL, for future entries) over the weekends and while munching on it during tea time today, I realised they are just PERFECT for dipping!

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It costs about $18 for 500g of strawberries, but they taste really great. Crunchy, sweet, slight tartness, and really fleshy.

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I used dark chocolate from IKEA which costs less than $1 a bar and tastes so good when melted (I’ll probably do another post on the awesome stuff you can get at IKEA because there are just so many hidden treasures!).

 

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I felt this odd sense of tranquility when I was stirring the chocolate over the hot water bath. It’s unbelievably therapeutic.

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Before dipping, I kept the washed strawberries in the fridge and brought them out just before dipping so that the chocolate can set quicker due to the temperature difference.

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The whole process was so quick and easy, it took barely 15 mins, I guess? I was enjoying the process so much I forgot to check the time!

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After popping the nicely dipped strawberries into the fridge and waiting for it to set, what do you do with excess melted chocolate?

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Pray hard you have chilled bananas at home!

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And to thank the lovely MIL who has always been providing us with our weekly dose of anti-oxidents, we’re gonna leave these as a little surprise for her when she visits!

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If you have some strawberries and chocolates at home (some extra bananas will be even better), go prepare a warm water bath and start melting away!

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[Quick Fix] Curry Chicken

Curry Chicken is one comfort food that brings back lovely childhood memories.

Wayne and I always argue about who’s granny cooks curry better, mine or his. We figured, it’s really not about the taste, but the childhood memories that the aroma of curry brings. So I bet YOUR granny cooks the best curry too 🙂

We got a little tired of the usual stuff we’ve been cooking so we decided to experiment with cooking curry. But unlike our grannies, we decided to cheat a little and use Prima Taste’s curry mix :p

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Well, it’s the first time we’re attempting curry so we didn’t want to intimidate ourselves with the experience!

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Basically, we just prepared the additional items – Chicken and Potatoes – and followed the instructions on the package.

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And Mr Cook-Too-Much poured 2 packs of the mix into the pot instead of one and increased the water required correspondingly. But we did not increase the other ingredients.

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And we found that the amount of gravy is just nice for 4 chicken drumsticks, 1 pack of 6 wings (mid section) and 5 potatoes.

Of course, that will be too much for 2 people to finish in one sitting -_-

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But it so happened, that we had a couple of special guests turning up for dinner that day, totally out of the blue!

The amount of curry was just nice for the 4 of us, with a little left over, and everyone found it really tasty!

The only imperfection is that the curry had a slightly powdery texture (though not very obvious), probably because the coconut came in powder form. If you’re particular, you can try doing without the powder coconut that comes with the packet and use the coconut milk that comes in a small carton instead.

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Given the very little effort it took and the great satisfaction that came with the meal, we’ll definitely try it again!

Showed my parents the photo and they were impressed even without trying it.

Even if you don’t really cook, we’re pretty sure you can do it too!