[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

[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 🙂

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“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

[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!

[Cakes & Bakes] Banana Walnut Loaf

In case I’ve not confessed on the blog yet, I don’t cook all the lovely food you see on my Instagram – Wayne does.

So what do I do, besides eating and taking photos? I bake! Because I’m more of a sweet tooth compared to Wayne and I lurveeee a good after-meal treat 🙂 In case you’re interested, some snapshots of my very amateurish baking can be found on Instagram at #poppybake.

Recently, I’ve grown to like baking loaves. I first started with a Blackberry Lemon Yogurt Loaf and I was hooked by how easy it was to make, the heavenly aroma that flooded our kitchen when it was baking and how surprisingly nice it tastes! That, being the first time I make a loaf cake.

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So I decided to make one today for my family’s Fathers’ Day gathering at our house!

Found this recipe on Foodnetwork.com and it looks really quick and easy! I had less than 2 hours to spare so the prep time seemed perfect.

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The butter-sugar -vanilla-egg-banana mixture may seem a little runny when you’re first done with incorporating them, but after you fold in the flour mix and walnuts, the texture will turn into something that resembles more of a cake mix (as below). So don’t be taken aback when you first pop your mixing bowl out of the mixer!

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Alway remember the all important step of giving the loaf tin a good butter-up and it’ll make removing the loaf a whole lot easier 🙂 And don’t forget to rap the baking tin to remove the air bubbles!

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After my experience with the Blackberry Loaf, I’ve found that baking the loaf on the middle rack may brown the crust of the loaf a little too fast. Hence, I’ve decided to bake on the lowest rack instead, to allow enough time for the inside of the cake to cook thoroughly before the crust browns. And I’ll rotate the tin every 10 mins or so to let the heat even out.

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I love the cracks on the loaves because they are unique and gives them character – no 2 loaves look the same!

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I let it cool in the tin for an hour and on the rack for another hour before serving. You can even keep it in the fridge, cling-wrapped, and enjoy it for breakfast!

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My sister-in-law who adores banana cakes gave it a thumbs up! Except that she ate one of the “end” slices so she found the crust area a little too dry. I’m trying to find a way to solve that too and keep my cake more moist without loosing the flavor. Let me know if you have any tips!

I was intending to make a plain banana cake at first, but glad I threw in the walnuts because the contrast in the texture makes the cake a whole lot more interesting 🙂

Such an easy recipe, I’m sure you’ll be able to do it too! Go give it a shot! 😉

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