Sunday, November 13, 2016

Miso Sesame Squash & Tofu

The past few weeks have been really busy with travelling for leisure, work and many other things that came up. I have also been taking up some painting for leisure which is something that I have always wanted to do but never thought I would be able to do. However, I took up that personal challenge and so glad I did it. I really found so much serenity in doing this :)

Finally I found sometime to make this. I have been missing quite a few weeks with I Heart Cooking Clubs who have already begun to cook with Heidi Swanson. This week's special is squash. I've always love butternut squash so it is a delight to cook this with Heidi. See my modifications in blue.


2 pounds delicata butternut squash (~3), halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch inch thick piece
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons molasses (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon tamari or shoyu (I used light soy instead)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I used organic brown rice syrup)
1 heaping tablespoon white or yellow miso 
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
5 tablespoons water
8 ounces organic extra-firm tofu, pressed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Various toppings: toasted sesame seeds, chopped arugula, basil, basil flowers, lemon wedges

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F / 220C 180 degrees celsius, with a rack in the middle.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. 
  3. Spread the squash on a parchment-lined or well-greased baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 40 minutes, turning over with a fork after 20 minutes. Or, until golden on both sides.
  4. In the meantime, in a medium-size bowl, whisk together the molasses, tamari, maple syrup, miso, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, water, and the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil. Add the tofu, toss to coat, and set aside.
  5. When the squash is deeply golden on both sides, remove from the oven.
  6. Transfer the squash to a 2-quart baking dish. Pour the tofu mixture over the squash, and gently toss. 
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until a good amount of the marinade boils off. Toss a couple times along the way. Finish under the boiler if you like, or if you like a bit of extra color on top. Remove from the oven, and season with salt, if needed. 
  8. Finish with some toasted sesame seeds, chopped arugula, and/or herbs, and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side (to squeeze on top).

I love how caramelized the butternut squash is. It really blends quite well with the tofu. I decided not to add too much additional toppings for 2 reasons - sometimes to buy some ingredients and then not use the rest of it is like wastage to me since I don't cook everyday and also, I like to eat it as it is without too much frills. And yes, this dish is as good as it looks even without the frills.

I also made some mushroom garlic quinoa to go with it.

I never expected a vegan dish like this to taste pretty good. I think this made me look at other Heidi's recipes. But of course, the truth is, we ate all of these with a roast chicken leg each. It completes our meal for us. Very yummy and filling for sure.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Chocolate Pound Cake

It has been sometime since I last baked a chocolate cake and then I realised hey, Donna also bakes pretty decent cakes apart from Nigella. Oops!! And then I found this chocolate pound cake recipe from Donna. Apparently it has very good reviews so why talk further??

Let's check out this recipe from Donna.

  • 1 cup (100g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • ⅔ cup (180ml) boiling water
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • ⅔ cup (120g) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour
Chocolate glaze
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (60ml) single (pouring) cream
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
  2. Place the cocoa and boiling water in a bowl and mix until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter and both brown and white sugar together and beat on high speed for 6 minutes or until light and creamy. 
  4. Add the vanilla extract, eggs and cocoa mixture and beat until well combined.
  5. Add the flour and mix until just combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 21cm x 10cm loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper. I do without the non-stick baking paper to avoid drawing and cutting the paper and it works just fine. I'm probably the laziest baker around :P
  7. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. I baked it for 1 hour.*
  8. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. To make the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate, vanilla and cream in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Cool slightly before spreading over the cooled cake to serve.
*Tip: Remember not to overbake chocolate. When you remove the skewer from the cake, the cake crumbs should still be a tad wet and the skewer should not be totally dry. The reason is because the chocolate will still continue to cook inside the cake even if it is out of the oven.

Now does this even look delectable to you? Honestly even the crumbs taste so good that I cannot even stop myself from slicing it immediately just so I could taste 1 slice of it. However, I thought the glaze could have been better if I had more time :P Yes I was doing the glaze just before going to work. Oops!!

So a few days later, I baked this same chocolate pound cake upon the request of one of my girlfriends. 

Forgive me for the lighting but trust me, apart from that, the taste has not been compromised at all. It is very scrumptious. I'm definitely going to bake this every now and then whenever I crave chocolate :):)

Needless to say, Mr G told me to 'keep it coming'. HAHA!!

I'm submitting this to I Heart Cooking Clubs October Potluck.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Piri Piri Chicken

When I saw Curtis Stone's Piri Piri chicken recipe, it gave me an inspiration. However, I decided to do it in a whole chicken version instead of skewers like his so we can eat it with our bare hands since I know it would be fingerlicking good.

Generally, I use the ingredients he used but different proportions. It works fine for me :)


10 to 15 dried chillies (I rehydrated them with hot water and then cut into 1 inch pieces each)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
5 to 10 garlic cloves
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
50ml olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
1-2 tsp dried oregano
1 spring chicken, innards all cleaned


  1. Blend the dried chillies, garlic cloves, olive oil and dried oregano together. Then add red wine vinegar and lemon juice.
  2. Clean and pat the chicken dry. Cover the chicken with the marinade. Don't forget the cavity as well.
  3. Marinate it for at least 4 hours and best, overnight in the fridge.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  5. Put the chicken in the roasting tin and coat some of the leftover marinade on top of the chicken. Bake it for about 80 minutes.
  6. At every 20 minute interval, turn over the chicken and add more marinade to make the chicken moist.

All Mr G needed to say was, please make this again soon. I knew it was everything that he liked - moist chicken, spicy flavours. If these are also what you are looking for, try this too. So easy you need not spend the whole weekend in the kitchen just prepping this for dinner.

To recap, I have made several dishes with Curtis Stone during his stay with us at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

It was sad that due to personal reasons this time round, I could only make 4 dishes with Curtis. However, I have also made some other dishes with Curtis previously below too. You may be keen to make some of them too.

Look at the banana bread!!

This chocolate bread pudding!! I cannot resist it for sure.

Having seen so much pictures of Curtis Stone's food, do you actually have an idea about the type of food he loves to cook? It is like a genre of music literally but this being, a genre of food he does. To me, the food he does spells every bit about home. Perhaps it could be because Curtis is a father of two now. He will usually cook for them when he is home. That said, I also hope to continue doing a lot more cooking or baking at home not just to satisfy the hungry tums but also to bring smiles to the faces :)

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs as we are bidding farewell to Curtis Stone before we welcome Heidi Swanson.