Crunchy Nutty Granola

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You may have noticed that for the last few months I have been super quiet and if you pop on over to my second blog, Being Mrs D  you will see I have been quite busy! We moved to Brisbane, Australia at the end of August and since then everything has been a little bit crazy. I’ll let you in on some of the reasons I haven’t been blogging over the next couple of weeks. One of them reasons being I haven’t had any of my kitchenware as it was in a shipping container for weeks! I knew this was coming as it was the same when we moved from Switzerland to Singapore last year but I forgot how difficult it is! As I am sure you can imagine, the move has kept me very busy so in between trips to Thailand, Brisbane, a visit from the in laws and a trip back home for my very good friends wedding. There hasn’t been much Sipping, Chomping and Chewing that I’ve had time to write about.

 

This simple recipe for Granola came about because I refused to pay the ridiculous prices the supermarkets in Singapore get away with charging for the smallest box. So with a trip to Ikea for some storage jars, I pretty much had everything else I needed to make up a batch. For basic granola, all you need is oats, a sweetener and some kind of oil to bind the whole thing together and after experimenting a little, I found the best mix to be honey and virgin coconut oil. Although the oil has a deliciously coconutty smell, the flavour doesn’t come through once it’s all mixed in so don’t worry if you’re not a fan. The addition of nuts adds some crunch to the texture which wakes up those taste buds first thing in the morning. It’s delicious served with fresh fruit and yogurt!

 

All you’ll need:

2 Cups of Rolled Oats

1 Cup of Mixed Chopped Nuts of your choice – I’ve used peanut and almond this week

1 Cup of Mixed Seeds of your choice – this week I have used just sunflower seeds whilst my pantry is still not quite fully stocked!

1/2 Cup Dried Fruit such as Raisins, Blueberries or Cranberries

A pinch of salt

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup of Honey

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients except for the dried fruit in a bowl. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, over a low heat, mix the oil, honey and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and mix until well coated. Place on a baking tray in your preheated oven and cook for ten minutes, give the mixture a stir so that the paler oats are now on the top and cook for a further ten minutes. Mix again and pop back in the oven. Now keep an eye on it for the last ten minutes as depending on your oven, it may need pulling out sooner than the ten minutes if the sugar gets too hot. Leave to cool, stir through the dried fruit and store in an airtight jar.

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It gets the Pug approval!

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Chipotle Chicken Stew

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Roast chicken in our house is much more than one meal. I like to get creative with using the leftovers and try and make as many meals as possible out of them. This almost always includes me cooking up a pot of stock the next day using the bones and a tasty salad using the scraps of thigh and leg meat but thats not really that exciting. This is one of my favourite quick, easy, healthy roast chicken left over meals using few ingredients and taking minimal time. You can use skinless, boneless chicken thighs if you don’t have any roast chicken to use up!

SCC Chipotle Chicken Closer

 

For two people, you will need:

A teaspoon vegetable oil

Left over roast chicken

1 red onion, sliced

1/2 Green Pepper, sliced

1 can of chopped tomatoes

2 Tbsp Chipotle Sauce, you can add more depending on your prefered taste. I like to use the La Costena brand

Fresh Coriander to finish

 

Add a small amount of oil to a lidded saucepan and cook the onion and peppers until softened. Add the chicken, tomatoes and chipotle, cover and gently cook until the chicken is heated through. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice. So easy!!

 

SCC Chipotle Chicken

 

Fresh Mango and Chia Seed Overnight Oats

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SCC Granola with pool in the backgroundIt makes my husband laugh when I announce at roughly 9pm that I’m going to make breakfast. I think at first he thought I was going a bit nutty or just being plain daft but he soon realised what I was doing when he was preparing his the next morning and me? I just grabbed a spoon along with my oats out the fridge and I was good to go.

SCC Mango Chia Oats Close Up

Overnight oats have developed from Swiss Birchermüesli which contained apples, lemon juice, sweet evaporated milk and honey all mixed in with the oats. Although that’s uncomplicated, the recipe I’m about to give you is even quicker and easier to make. All you need is a 1/2 cup measure each of oats, milk or juice and natural yogurt, this will make your basic oats to which you can add any of your favorite breakfast fruits, nuts and seeds. Any toppings that you want to stay crunchy will need to be added right before serving. The addition of chia seeds the night before not only adds some texture to the oats but they have many, many health benefits. My favourite is how extra filling they make a dish. I take part in a Latin Fitness class two mornings a week which, prior to starting my day with these oats, I would be ravenous by the time the class was over. I am happy to say that is a thing of the past.  Once wet, the seeds get a kind of jelly coating around them this is the part that along with helping to fight blood sugar spikes, keeps your hunger pangs away.

By following this recipe you can also make it in a lunch box for a healthy, yummy grab and go breakfast.

SCC Breakfast on Balcony

 

To make one portion you will need:

 

  • 1/2 Cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Cup of Fat Free of Low Fat Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1/4 Fresh Mango, chopped. I normally freeze the mango in portion sized pots and just allow it to defrost, stirred into the oats over night.
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds, either black or white will do

 

Mix together all of your ingredients and leave in the fridge, covered, overnight. Before you tuck in, top with nuts or seeds, whatever you fancy. I love it with granola but it’s also yummy on it’s own!  That’s it, Done!

 

SCC Granola Close in Jar

Soup of the week! Lamb Mulligatawny

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SCC Lamb Mulligatawny Soup TextThe first time I tried Mulligatawny soup it was out of a Heinz tin. As a kid, I thought it was Scottish. Of course it wasn’t the mild spices that lead me to my conclusion but the name, to me, sounded very much from Scotland. It’s not really much of a surprise as the very same child thought that ‘random’ was a small town near Manchester. You know when you’re watching a TV show and they say, ‘Winners will be chosen at random’? Well I thought it was a happy place where, in a special building, there were winners everywhere. I was very much a youngster who lived in a world of Rainbows and Unicorns!

I pulled this soup together a couple of weeks ago when my husband came home from work feeling a little fluey. He said he wasn’t hungry but I had to make sure he got his vitamins if he was going to get better and it went down a treat! It’s so miserable here in Singapore at the moment. Earlier this year we had no rain at all for about 8 or 9 weeks but now we seem to be getting some everyday. This soup is full of goodness and along with the spices, a yummy, healthy, comforting dinner when the heavens are opening up outside.

This recipe, which serves 6,  comes out similar to a dhal’s consistency which you can thin out if you would prefer with some extra stock but I personally like it just the way it is.

When I’m cooking I like to prepare a Mise en Place before I start with anything else. I have multiple ramekins, dishes of various sizes and plastic containers that fill my cupboards and are used almost daily for this purpose. Our kitchen has very little worktop space so if I start making a meal and haven’t prepared anything, the odds are that something will go wrong. If I keep all my prepared ingredients in their own area, fill the sink with hot soapy water and throw the pots and ramekins straight into the washing up bowl whilst I’m cooking, I find it not only keeps the mess to a minimum, but during those periods where I have to wait 5/10 minutes before the next step,  I can get those pots washed, dried and put away making much less tidying to do after dinner. And that my friends, is what I call a good result!

 

What you’ll need:

 

  • 250g Minced Lamb
  • 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, 2 finely chopped and one squished with the flat side of a knife
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Medium Carrots, cut into smallish chunks
  • 2 Celery Sticks, sliced
  • 1 Large or Two Small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish chunks
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Eating Apple, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 a Fresh Mango, cut into chunks (You can take the other half, chop into pieces and freeze in two parts, I have another recipe coming soon that it can be used in!)
  • 1 Litre Hot Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup of Uncooked Green Lentils
  • Fresh Coriander, Natural Yogurt and flat breads to serve

 

Get all your ingredients ready as directed above and once prepped, set the oil on a medium heat in a saucepan and start browning the lamb. Whilst this is going on, place the lentils in second saucepan and add the one squished garlic clove and a bay leaf to help add some flavour into them whilst cooking. Add 2 cups of hot water and simmer for around 20 minutes. Once the lamb has browned, add in the onion, carrots, celery, sweet potato and the remaining garlic. Pop the lid on and sweat out for around 10 minutes stirring or shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom. Once soft, add in the tomato puree, curry powder and cinnamon. Stir well before pouring in the hot stock, apple and fresh mango and simmer for about 5 minutes. Check your veggies are tender before turning off the heat and leaving to cool for a few minutes. Your lentils should now be quite soft so drain them and remove the garlic and bay. Set them aside whilst you blend the soup in a food processor. It’s up to you how much you process the soup but I like to leave a few little lumps in there. Pour back into the saucepan and stir in the lentils. Season with salt and pepper before serving with a dollop of yogurt, a scattering of coriander and your chosen flat bread, pitta, chapati or naan.

SCC Lamb Mulligatawny Rain

 

 

Lemon Curd Recipe

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If you’ve been reading SipChompChew for a while you would have seen my Valentines Hearts on Soup tutorial. I’ve been wanting to make these tarts for some time now and last Wednesday night was the perfect opportunity. I had some girlfriends over for dinner and and a wedding photo presentation and I thought it would be really cute to make some wedding themed desserts. Using the same technique as the soup I filled some sweet pastry cases with lemon curd and then used raspberry curd to make the hearts. I do love lemon curd, I have a dirty little habit of eating it straight from the jar with a spoon!

SCC Lemon Curd Jar with Spoon

SCC Lemon and Raspberry Tart

Here’s my recipe for lemon curd. This should keep for a couple of weeks. I’ve read that you can freeze it but I’ve never had a need to as this recipe makes enough to fill a half liter kilner jar which is easily used up in two weeks for us. You can really get creative with lemon curd, it can top pancakes, pies, toast, scones, fill Madeleines and cakes. Add to granola or yogurt or ice cream, I could go on and on!

 

 

You will need

  • 4 Lemons, Zest and juice
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Unsalted butter, cubed
  • One egg yolk plus three whole eggs, beaten
  • 500ml jar, sterilised

SCC Lemon Curd in Jar

First you need the lemons to be warm. You get more juice out of warm lemons, a 20 second blast in the microwave should do the trick. Add all the ingredients except the eggs to a saucepan and stir on a low heat until the butter is melted. Now add the eggs. You’ll need to continuously stir else you’ll end up with a strange lemon scrambled egg mixture that resembles something out of The BFG if it’s just left to sit! After about 5 minutes, the curd should coat the back of a spoon, turn off the heat and pour through a fine sieve or cheese cloth. It won’t be the thickness that curds are known for until it’s set so allow to cool for a while before transferring it to your prepared jar, store in the fridge once cool.

I’ll post my recipe for raspberry curd soon so you can make those oh so cute heart shapes!

 

SCC Lemon Tart on Stand

 

As I’m clearly in a hearts and flowers kind of mood, I thought I’d share one of our wedding photos with you. We chose a reportage style of photography and David Jones completely nailed it – he really captured so many special moments. Here’s one of my many favourite pictures. As you can see we had perfect weather, not an April Shower in sight!

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Back from Honeybobs!

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You know? Like holibobs but honeymoon-bobs? Well my husband knew that’s what I meant the first time I said it but maybe that’s why he’s my husband!

When I cooked dinner  last tuesday, it was the first time I had cooked since 9th April! That was our last meal at home before we left for England to wed and then off on our two week honeybobs in the Maldives. Although our honeymoon was amazing in every aspect, after that amount of time we were definitely ready to come home and I was missing Bryan (the pug) heaps!

I always have the same craving when I’ve been away from home for a while and it’s always roast chicken. I think it’s because it was the most common Sunday roast my mum would make therefore making it comfort food. When we landed late on Monday night I was just about ready for my roast chicken. Having learned early on in my Singapore experience, if you want your whole chicken to come without head and feet, then you need to pick up the chicken in the packaging which states ‘without head and feet’. This is always something I pay attention to as with the first whole chicken I bought here, I had no idea until I took the bird out of it’s packaging and placed it on a tray to marinade, much to my horror I ended up eye to eye to the clucker. As I clearly still had Maldives brain on, when I picked up my first chicken packet last week and saw it said with head and feet, I just picked up the packet in the next display not checking which parts of the anatomy were still attached. I realised my error when I opened the packet and I saw cockscomb and wattles  hanging down, in a slight panic, I tried to hack off the neck with my favourite ceramic kitchen knife which my dad bought me for Christmas only to break the knife rather than the spine of the bird! Tuesday was clearly not my day. Anyhow, I stuffed my chicken with some fresh sage leaves, half a lemon and half an onion before popping in the oven at around 160 degrees for 90 minutes. We had some delicious chicken, not forgetting that lovely crispy skin, with new potatoes, green beans, roasted sweet potato and carrot. Accompanied by Bisto, as I keep forgetting to pick up gravy browning to make our passed down family recipe homemade gravy, of course we enjoyed it with a dollop of cranberry sauce. 

A lot of people have a certain food from home they crave when they’ve been traveling, my husband always fancies a cheddar and branston sandwich on white crusty rolls. What’s your comfort food craving after a spell away from home?

 

SCC Chicken in Oven SCC Chicken and Sweet potatoes SCC Chicken Meat SCC Chicken Skin

 

Scrummy Sweetcorn Farfalle

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It has been far too long since my last post but with a wedding to plan and a certain dress to fit into, I’ve been super busy attending 5 classes a week  at Singapore Dance Arts on top of yoga and my daily walks with Bryan, my gorgeous little Pug. That doesn’t mean I haven’t missed Sip Chomp Chew and I’ve been hustling up some new recipes, perfecting some old ones and dreaming of eating them all once I’m the other side of our upcoming nuptials!

A couple of weeks ago we had some friends over for a BBQ, I can never seem to get the amount of food right when cooking for more than just the two of us and we end up with heaps of left overs so I came up with this yummy pasta dish to use up the last of the corn on the cob. I’ve never eaten sweetcorn like this before but I will definitely be doing it again, I found the crunch when eating a chunk of kernels  awfully satisfying.

 

SCC Sweetcorn farfalle 1

The measurements in this recipe are in cups as I keep forgetting to buy new batteries for my kitchen scales but as soon as I do, I’ll add the alternative weights on there for you!

SCC Sweetcorn Farfalle 3

What you’ll need for one serving…

  • 1 Half cob of corn, you can use canned corn but the texture of this is so much nicer, if you use a can you will need half a cup
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp Lemon zest
  • 1 Tsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tsp Fresh chopped green chilli
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • A handful of rocket
  • 1/2 clove garilc, crushed
  • 1 cup of Farfalle
  • Fresh grated parmesan to serve

 

Heat the grill or a grill pan and cook the corn until you have gold spots. Leave to the side until cool enough to handle. Get the Farfalle boiling whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Mix together all the other ingredients before taking a sharp knife, slicing off the corn kernels so you have nice big chunks. When the pasta is cooked, add with the corn to the rest of the ingredients, top with parmesan and serve.

SCC Sweetcorn Farfalle 2

I’m not too sure when my next post will be,  with less than a month to the big day I think I have most of the details covered but little things do keep popping up occasionally. Planning a wedding from the other the side of the world has certainly been a challenge at times and I’ve learned not to be so much of a control freak over all the details! We’ve booked some really fantastic suppliers and I can’t wait to see everything coming together on the day!