Monday, July 23, 2007

Spaghetti with Meatballs

A few food reminds so much of comfort and home to most people than spaghetti. It is a kiddie party favorite, a comfort to eat when you just want to lounge around, a great comfortingly familiar dish to share with your girlfriends and a festive lunch to share on a Sunday with your family. From a simply bolognese, we slowly gravitated to large meatballs - which is great since as simple as it is to make, the herb(y) meatballs brings so much more sophistication into the dish!

This dish is so versatile you can fit it with any mood you are in. Want to feel like a kid? Use simple spaghetti noodles (and add sweet ketchup!)! Feeling a bit sophisticated? Choose penne and use one of those canned San Marzano crushed tomatoes! Either way, it will satisfy you craving of comfort and home :)

Spaghetti with Meatballs

500g pasta noodles (Cooked al dente)

175g ground beef
175g ground pork
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 large eggs
2 tbsps herbs (basil, thyme, oregano)
1/4 cup minced onions
1/4 cup minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

2 cans San Marzano crushed plum tomatoes
Garlic and onions
1 cup tomato sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine first 8 ingredients together, shape into balls the size of pingpong balls. Brown on all sides in a pan with olive oil. Set aside. In the same pan, saute garlic and onions. Add 2 cans crushed plum tomatoes, add tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 20 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. Put back meatballs into the pan and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve over al dente noodles and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

Considering that bananas are so abundant here, I've never really ventured much into incorporating it in my baked goods. Oftentimes, I just become too obssessed with securing harder-to-find ingredients or taking advantage of seasonal fruits that I overloook this always-reliable fruit! Silly me, coz bananas are so versatile, yummy and so flexi you can use it in almost everything! Banana shake? Banana float ice cream? Banana bread? Yes to all!

So when I became a bit obssessed with the banana chocolate-chip muffin in Starbucks, I just had to try my hand on it. It also helped that I still had my Ghirardelli chocolate chips from my brother, for which Im still thanking him heaps for.

I found the recipe from Epicurious, adapted from Bon Appetit. The muffins were great, flaky with a smooth banana taste, yum! Although it was not as delectable as the one in Starbucks, the fact that its homemade made me feel better eating it. Besides, the Starbucks version doesn't come cheap!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 1999

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1 large egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used bittersweet)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 1/3 cup muffin cups with foil muffin liners. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and slat in a large bowl. Mix mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter and milk in a medium bowl. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients until just incorporated, do not overmix. Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill each muffin cup up to 3/4 full. BAke muffind until tops are pale golden and tester comes out clean with just some melted chocolate attached, about 32 minutes.

Friday, July 06, 2007

MEME: 7 Random Things About Me!

I have been tagged by the lovely Stella of Sweet Temptations for this MEME. I am most flattered, but I gotta tell you - I have not made too much friends yet in the blogosphere that I feel weird about tagging anyone. So anyone who wants to do their own, please do so! I tag everyone, haha!

When I saw Stella's tag, I was both excited and giddy! I knew this would not be easy, at the same time I knew it would be fun! Here goes, 7 random things about dear old me:

1. Im a stockbroker, which many people think odd as I don't come across as one of those bigshot ambitious ladies in pinstriped suits looking every inch like financial wizards! I like to think I come across as a housewife/doting mom, which really is eventually plainly what I want to be :)

2. I cannot ride a motorcycle ever again. I tried to drive it once and got bumped,smashing our side mirrors in the process. My boss once said when riding a motorcycle you have no defense against anything as your whole body is practically exposed! I took it to heart, and vowed never again. I have no problem driving a car though, but when I do the seat is practically so near the front you'd think I'd bump myself in the steering wheel with the slightest thud!

3. As a kid, we were beach babies. I live in a tropical island and grew up near the sea. Right after each summer, my sister and I would go back to school with red peeling noses from too much exposure to the sun (and from ignoring sunblock)! I wish I could take the Little Bee as often to the beach, unfortunately we now live in a busy city.

4. The highlight of my day, other than getting hugs from EM and the Little Bee, are the meals. It doesn't matter if I'm eating a fancy meal or some out-of-the box takeaway, I just really always look forward to finally being able to sit down quietly and enjoy FOOD. And that's for every single day. I have an unusually big appetite for such a petite frame. The main reason why I try to do as much exercise as I can is so I don't have to go on a diet and thus give up these favorite times of the day!

5. I can never grow my nails long and can never paint them any color. I tried it before and was itching to remove it right the next day! I tried to grow it long so I can have those cute little french manicures? I couldn't work the next day and looked forward to getting home to finally get hold of my nailcutter!

6. I love Readers Digest, have always been a fan. One of my fondest memories growing up is curled up reading old, old issues of Readers Digest in a hot summer afternoon while listening to the swirl of the trees in our backyard. We have issues that date back to the 1950s! I think if my parents ever decide to get rid of those, I'll offer to buy them.

7. Im the youngest of 7 brothers and sisters. My mom and dad are 22 years apart in age. Go figure! Hahaha!

Thanks Stella for tagging me. It's been a lot of fun!! :)