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

 

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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Happy New Year!

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When do you actually stop saying Happy New Year? I’ve always wondered where the line is between being rude not saying it or just plain weird to still be greeting people with such an excitable yelp. Is there an unwritten rule I haven’t heard of where Jan 31st is the stop date? To confuse it all even more, this will be my first year living in a country where Chinese New Year is celebrated, I’m then going to go through it all again, so is it the 28th Feb? Who knows!  I just thought I’d go for it and wish you all well for the new year anyway. I’ve been away for a while, first on holiday, then busy getting my tax return completed for her majesty and finally heading back to blighty for some much needed family time over the Xmas period. But I’m back, settled in after having done god knows how many wash loads (would you believe it takes almost 3 days to dry a pair of jeans in this humidity?!) and back in the kitchen. Before I post my first recipe of the year, I wanted to share with you some of my epicurean adventures back in the UK. I never understand why Britain has got a bad rep for food. I was asked by an Australian expat here in Singapore why you can’t buy fresh vegetables in the UK, she’d seen a Jamie Oliver programme which showed a child who didn’t recognise a potato and assumed, as many other viewers probably did, that they are not available in the supermarkets on our small island. Come on Jamie you’re not helping here! You rarely see british themed restaurants yet French, Italian, German, Beligian, American Diners and Indian restaurants are seen everywhere. I was tempted by so many culinary delights when at home, from fish and chips to roast dinners. I was utterly delighted when I met a friend for a pub lunch and found Gloucestershire Old Spot Sausages on the Menu. Gloucestershire old spot is an English breed of pig, just don’t look at a picture of their cute piglets before you tuck in! Being from Gloucestershire I used to have these yummy sausages when I was growing up so I had to order the sausage sandwich and it did not fail to impress! Next stop was Borough Market, the next friend I was meeting is a big fan of Bratwurst sausages and I was keen to prove to him that you can buy these in the UK! We stopped off at German Deli on Park Street (yes, it is quite simply called German Deli)  before wandering the stalls. I did stop off for some Swiss cheeses on the way but had to pick up some Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and a Cornish Pasty for my fiancé who was staying in Singapore for an extra few days due to work commitments. I couldn’t leave Borough without getting a coffee from Monmouth to walk along the Southbank with, not to be confused with the small town in South Wales, The Monmouth Coffee Company actually opened shop in Covent Garden back in 1978. They make a killer flat white worth joining the long queue for. The staff make their way down the queue taking orders so expect you coffee to be ready by the time you get to pay.

The delights of Borough Market

The delights of Borough Market

Unbeknown to us, a few days later we ended up in a pub owned by Chris Evans, TV Presenter and Radio DJ. The Mulberry Inn, just outside of Woking was a real treat – I ordered a superfood salad that was delicious and dove straight in so no pics here I’m afraid. The next day, we were meeting our friends from Geneva and lucky us, my friend had managed to secure us a table at The Hinds Head, Heston Blumenthal’s pub in Bray. I was very excited to try Heston’s Scotch Egg, followed by a delicious roast beef dinner and for pudding, lack of photo here as it looked so yummy I completely lost myself, a treacle sponge with lemon butterscotch sauce and cream. YUM!

The Hinds Head in Bray

The Hinds Head in Bray

The next day we were to visit Smithfield with my Dad, Smithfield Meat Market is in London proper and the biggest wholesale meat market in the UK. It’s an early start as the market is closing by around 9 so to get the best of what is on offer, we jumped in the car at 4am! Christmas day was spent with the in laws to be, a traditional Christmas Dinner being the key part of the day, we then headed to my parents early boxing day morning. I was really looking forward to the rib of beef Dad had bought at Smithfield! He was using one of Heston’s recipes for a 5 hour slow cook and it was definitely worth the wait!!

SCC Smithfield Meat Market

The couple of days we had left before out flight home, we wanted to spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors. We ventured on some lovely walks near to where my parents live before heading to Heathrow for the long journey back to Singapore.

SCC Runnymede collage

A walk around Runnymede, the site of the signing of the Magna Carta and memorials to commemorate WW2 Commonwealth airmen and women and the JFK Memorial