Beautiful Pavlova


A pavlova is one of those desserts one can whip up in 15 minutes, pop in the oven before dinner guests start arriving, and have for dessert a couple of hours or so later. Or, more often than not in my case, whenever your guests stop feeling so stuffed from dinner and start feeling like they have room in their stomachs for dessert. Or make the meringue ahead and keep it in an airtight container for a day or two (depending on the humidity in your area), and then put it all together just before serving.

My first encounter with Pavlova was, aptly, in Australia. I won’t get into the tussle as to where it originates from exactly, but this dish is definitely one loved by many Australians as well as New Zealanders. I had my very first taste of it in a little café somewhere in Melbourne. Granted, the way the café made it wasn’t something memorable, but I was immediately struck by the possibilities of the dessert.

The sweet meringue base is mild enough to be the foundation of a multitude of flavours, and pairs well with lightly sweetened whipped cream, fruit, fruit-based curds, etc. There’s something about the sweet crisp base combined with the billowy cream and the tart-sweetness of fruit that is a winning combination. Continue reading

Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls

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There’s nothing quite like eating a freshly baked and frosted cinnamon roll. Warm, soft and cinnamon-y, with cold, melting whipped cream cheese frosting… I want one right now! Breakfast, lunch, middle of the night, there is no time of day that a fresh cinnamon roll is not welcome!

Although there are many variations on the cinnamon roll out there, this one is the easiest and most rewarding that I have tried so far. The main dough comes together in under 20 minutes, and although there is the necessary first rise, and later a second one, the dough handles fairly easily and puffs up beautifully. You can make these in about 5 hours, or, leave them to rise overnight and have them for breakfast tomorrow!
Bonus: The house smelt amazing while these were baking!

You’ve probably noticed that there are two different frostings on these rolls. I made both a whipped cream cheese frosting AND a maple coffee frosting to go on these babies. Both these frostings are so, so good, and on top of the rolls, I was in serious food heaven. Continue reading

How to Peel Hazelnuts

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One might think it a simple affair.

Buy raw hazelnuts, de-skin and roast, use in recipe. One might think it would be straight-forward and fuss-free. One would, as I quickly found out, sadly, be wrong.

After buying raw hazelnuts a couple of weeks ago, they’ve been languishing in my pantry looking balefully at me every time I open the cupboard and reach unerringly for something else. Deciding that I had better get a move on with experimenting with my list of hazelnut-based recipes before the nuts decided to revolt entirely (read go stale), I opened the bag and decided to see what I could make with them.

Since most recipes that include hazelnuts call for them to be skinless and roasted, I began to do just that. (Skinless, because their skins are bitter, and roasted, because this brings their oils out and increases their flavour immensely.) And immediately discovered how difficult it is to try and peel the skins off the darn things! Continue reading

Lemon, Dill and Salmon

3 Salmon - cooked

If you missed my last post, it may be news to you that I just got married. I absolutely love weddings – it’s essentially a great party where families and friends from all sorts of places get together, you meet lots of new (generally) wonderful people, and eat, drink, laugh, dance and have a great time surrounded by said people.

That being said, when you have a pile of visa paperwork, your other half gets a promotion, and you’re kind of on your own with most of both your families living far away and you need to plan your wedding (besides venue and dress) in about three weeks, life can get a little crazy. But one must eat. And being food-lovers, we ate. A lot. Turning to food for comfort in stressful times is a common practice, although seriously not recommended, especially before your wedding! I’m still surprised I managed to fit into my dress! Continue reading

It’s been a while.

There is a saying: “May you live in interesting times” – boy, have I ever. It’s definitely been interesting, but not in a bad way, and I’ve never been happier.

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Life has been very very interesting the past few years, to say the least. I moved from Melbourne, Australia, to Vancouver Canada, to Singapore, back to Vancouver and recently, Bellingham, Washington USA. I met many different people, from many different backgrounds, ate a LOT of food, and discovered that I have a real weakness for doughnuts. The fried kind. Not the wimpy baked cake stuff. I can tell the difference. Scouts honor.

And yes, I met (at a badminton meetup, of all things! – more on this another time perhaps) and married (!) the love of my life.

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Through it all, I’ve still been cooking and baking (a girl’s gotta eat you know) – ‘refining’ some would say, ‘experimenting’ is what I’d call it. Really. There have been ups and downs in my kitchen – burnt sugar, failed breads (oh yeast, why do you treat me so strangely?), smoky air and also beautiful cakes, great dinners and delicious (and sometimes weird) salads. And I absolutely can’t wait to start sharing my love of food and life here again.

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My big problem with blogging about the food I cook, is that for one thing, I can’t be bothered to take photos of the process because I’m one of those kitchen-is-a-disaster-while-cooking people, and another is that my camera-of-choice has been my trusty iphone because it’s always handy and I generally didn’t have any other camera charged and ready to go when I took whatever-it-was out of the oven or off the stove!

But what the heck, I have time, the blog is dusted off, I got a great camera as a wedding present, my new kitchen has great lighting – let’s do this!

This is where I leave you with some pictures of my more recent adventures.

-No-bake Cheesecake with Strawberries

-Argentine Steak with Chimichurri

-Raspberry Crumb Bars for Ashley’s birthday

-Red and White Eton Mess

-Berry and Lime Pavlova


And because I can’t resist sharing a few more snippets:
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Wedding photos
by the amazing Two Front Teeth

Happy 21st!


Made this cake for my sister’s 21st birthday party. Happy Birthday MA!!

Strawberry cheesecake with a white chocolate mousse layer on top, green white chocolate trees and a chocolate house made of Lindt chocolate bars and chocolate biscuit fingers.


So worth the effort. But this week has been exhausting.

RM’s 21st Birthday, and two cakes.

So my sister, RM, just turned 21 recently! And to celebrate, I think I went a bit nuts. On her birthday proper, I booked us a table (or two) at Simon’s Peiking Duck restaurant in Boxhill. Then the next day, threw her a surprise party in the park!

And of course, I made two cakes! One for each day.

Cake 1: She requested a chocolate cake, “smooth chocolate, like eating chocolate frosting!” was the exact request, so I made her David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Idiot cake. Then covered it with a shiny chocolate lacquer glaze, and added a handpiped rose.

Shiny glaze!

There was a small drama when

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