Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Macaroons – Gluten-Free & Vegan

 

Oh my word! These macaroons are really good! The flavor and texture are reminiscent of Bounty bars. They’ve been on my to-do-list for a little while, and although I didn’t intend on making them today, I came home and really felt like some baking therapy. I didn’t have to buy any ingredients as I had leftover desiccated (flaked) coconut from when I made cupcakes.  

They are easy to make, deliciously moist, chewy, coconutty and sweet, making them perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. The best part of these treats are that they are dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly and alternatively sweetened with agave nectar – so you won’t get that sugar spike after eating one. Continue reading

Vegan Coconut Cupcakes

 

As usual, I wanted to make a delicious cake for my birthday… so, what’s new? The only problem is that a layered 20 cm (8 inch) cake is far too much cake, even for two greedy people like us. I ended up making cupcakes instead.

The last few years, I’ve become a fan of everything coconut. Thus I decided to make coconut cupcakes. The recipe was adapted from my moist chocolate cake and was crowned with my soy-free, vegan whipped cream. The cupcakes are vegan-friendly, Continue reading

Belgian Waffles (Liege or Sugar)

    

I was only 10 years old when I was away from my family on a school excursion. I used to play the lead in the steel band, and we were invited to play somewhere in Belgium. I don’t remember where, I was only 10. I’d only ever been away from home once before then, and that was when I went to Hong Kong with my mother when I was 3 years old. Yeah, like I remember that!

The thought of being away from family was exciting, yet daunting at the same time. I even took my cuddly Continue reading

English Toffee

  

This crunchy butter candy is known in America as English toffee. I have no idea why. The toffee I grew up with was soft and chewy, which is basically American caramels. Now British caramel is also another kettle of fish, one that I will not go into at this moment in time.

To the British audience, this toffee is similar to a Dime (Daim) bar. It’s crunchy, buttery, sweet and absolutely moreish. It’s also very similar to the American Skor bar, Heath bar, and the filling of the World famous Continue reading

Pan-Fried Corned Beef and Egg over Rice with Baby Bak Choi

 

So, it was my birthday yesterday. I turned 34, and feel no different to when I was 33 years and 364 ¾ days old. I’ve never been in better shape – I’m fitter and more flexible than I’ve ever been. However, I find that the older I get, the immature I get. I find the silliest things funny – yes, I’m just a child trapped in an adult body.

I celebrated my birthday by gorging myself with food. Although I love to cook, I didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen on my birthday, so settled for Belgian sugar (Liege) waffles, Continue reading

Baked Scotch Eggs

  

Scotch eggs are essentially boiled eggs wrapped in sausagemeat (bulk sausage), coated in breadcrumbs and fried to perfection. In the UK, they are usually enjoyed as a snack or picnic food.

I’ve been meaning to make Scotch eggs for months now… it’s became quite an obsession that needed to be ticked off my list. It all started Continue reading

Chicken, Mushroom and Tarragon Pie

  

Savory pies were one of those things we’d often secretly “steal” and eat at my parent’s eatery. We grew up eating nothing but traditional Chinese food; so much so, we didn’t even eat anything off the “Chinese” menu… so anything “different” was always a “treat”.

The source of these sinful treats was made easier when we grew up a little, and could afford to buy Pukka pies. Pukka pies are in my opinion, the king of pre-made, savory pies – they are Continue reading

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, Arugula and Feta

  

This happens to be one of the most delicious vegetarian dishes that I’ve come up with. Perfectly cooked pasta is tossed with roasted red peppers, roasted baby plum tomatoes, baby rocket (arugula) and feta cheese. This combination creates a flavor and texture sensation that will simply tantalize your taste buds. We enjoyed it hot, but it will also do well as a pasta salad, especially for a summer barbecue.

The dish features heavily on baby rocket (arugula), which is something we love. It’s aromatic, peppery and packs a punch for a salad leaf. If you’re not a big fan Continue reading

Ethiopian-Style Vegetable Stew with Chicken

  

Back in the 80’s when I was growing up, all of the news broadcasts covered the famine in Ethiopia. The only food in the famine-stricken areas were the handouts supplied by aid workers. The images of starving children in Ethiopia is something that I still carry around with me.

Up until recently, the only things I could associate with Ethiopia were famine, endless human misery, World class runners, and Lucy. This was due to my own ignorance. Ethiopian cuisine is relatively new to me, but the flavors are vast, Continue reading

Easy Peasy Cream of Tomato Soup

  

I admit it… I used to eat and enjoy tinned soup. My old time favorite was Heinz cream of tomato soup. I devoured it with buttered bread – it was cheap and filling, what else could a poor student want? As my budget changed, I upgraded to Baxter’s Luxury flame roasted red pepper and tomato soup (which they no longer sell) or Cullen Skink, and then upgraded to Covent Garden’s fresh carton soups.

Times change. I no longer eat ready-made soups, and I very rarely order soups in restaurants – I simply make my own. You can put in whatever you feel like, and the combinations are only limited by your imagination. Continue reading

Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy

  

This is a well-known British dish, which is a pub classic. It’s made by baking sausages in a Yorkshire pudding batter, and is traditionally served with mashed potatoes and onion gravy.

Funny enough, during the 29 years of my life in England, I never ate toad in the hole. However, something flicked one day and I really wanted to try toad it. I mean, I like sausages and I like Yorkshire puddings. I didn’t see that putting them together would create something Continue reading

Creamy Carrot and Fennel Soup

 

Eating out isn’t high on my list of things to do. Why? Eating out is so expensive, and the quality of ingredients can be questionable. I can most likely cook the dish at home, using organic ingredients that I’ve selected, at a fraction of the cost. Another bonus is that I know where my hands have been. Weiss, lead scientist at CleanWell recently claimed that “the average American washes his or her hands twice a day, and one of these times is in the shower”. One word – “disgusting”! I washed my hands 14 times yesterday!

Anyhow, back to this delicious soup. There is a comment I occasionally make at the dinner table, which is “I would gladly pay for this dish”. Continue reading