Category Archives: dessert

Toddler Tuesdays: Two-Ingredient Cookies (No Eggs, No Dairy, No Sugar)

two-ingredient cookies 1

As much as I count my blessings that I have a fairly adventurous toddler when it comes to eating, there have undeniably been days when meal times would take quite a bit of effort, and then some. Thankfully though, it’s not of the screaming-while-climbing-out-of-the-seat type of experience;- well, at least not yet, God forbid;- but she has had moments when she would be adamant on refusing something specific on her plate, such as peas, chicken, and some days even her favourite carrots.

When these unfavourable times sneak up on us uninvitedly from around the corner, I turn to a quick finger food that has never failed to catch her attention, and is a real cinch when I find myself short of time and short of ingredients.

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Darn Good Cake [Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Cake with Chocolate Chips]

chocolate avocado cake

They say a picture paints a thousand words, but when nothing you do can possibly make it any easier to take a perfect picture of a wonderfully moist, yet non-camera-friendly dark-hued chocolate loaf cake, I guess you will have to type out the thousand words yourself. Now I know these aren’t exactly picture perfect, and it’s possibly against some food blogger ethics to post entries with unabashedly unappealing photos, but trust me when I say my search has come to an end with this, and it is my moral obligation to share a darn good cake, albeit virtually. With a tight crumb, a deep chocolate flavour enhanced with bursts of sweetness from the chocolate chips, and a rich and moist texture which becomes pronounced overnight, it would be almost impossible to guess that the secret ingredient here is avocado. That’s right; no butter, no eggs, no yoghurt, no buttermilk, but just simply mushy riped avocado.

The original recipe is very much like a wacky cake / crazy cake / depression cake (aside: if you don’t already know what I’m referring to, do your time-constrained baker self a favour and google this quick chocolate cake fix), which makes it a perfect vegan cake, but since I’m not a fan of vinegar in bakes, I decided to play around with the proportions instead, increasing the fat ratio. And if you’re still feeling kinda iffy about the whole avocado thing, let me assure you that you can’t taste it even a little. And just to convince you further, even the mister who doesn’t eat avocado / oats / ‘any of those funny healthy things you eat’, couldn’t resist enjoying a couple of slices (and even sighed when they were gone!). Now if that’s not a good cake, I don’t know what is.

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No Fancy Shmancy [Recipe: Churro Balls]

churro balls 1

I’m afraid this is going to have to be a short and quick update. Almost as quick as it takes to bring random nondescript pantry ingredients together to become what is possibly the easiest fix for a peckish tummy with only so much time to spare while her little one catches her (cat)nap. In fact, it took such a short time to bring these from stove to plate that I was convinced enough to do a repeat act the very next afternoon. In my defence though, I had some leftover cinnamon sugar from the first day, and my momma taught me never to waste a delicious thing food. Another thing she taught me? The best things in life never had a need to be fancy shmancy; so whilst the purist in you can grab the piping bag and have pretty long churros, the rest of us can easily enjoy the same crispy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside churros in a simpler, no-fuss, pop-in-your-mouth way.
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Put an Oat On it [Recipe: Oat-Crusted French Toast with Strawberry Compote]

oat crusted french toast

The last few weeks had been whizzing past, with the days merely denoted as pre- and post- Baby A’s birthday. That’s right, it has been a year (and a week now) since I became a parent, and what a wonderful year it has been! Needless to say, a great birthday celebration was in order, though really much more down-scaled and intimate than it might sound, since the birthday parties (yes, two) were really just with my immediate family (A’s the youngest of tiny lil cousins!), and the mister’s. Amidst handmade decor and birthday cake(s) by yours truly, and self-designed birthday invites and goodie bags by the mister, along with being on 24/7 baby watch, it is no wonder that the past month felt like it flew before its time. But enough of the birthday for now, I hope to share with you more soon, once I’ve filtered through photos. Rookie parent mistake: too busy preparing for everything, not enough proper photos!

Now on to today’s recipe: I know what you’re thinking. Either I really love my french toast, or I really love my breakfast food. The former, not so much, though I have to be honest it has really gone up the list of things-to-do-when-your-bread-is-expiring, knocking my much beloved bread pudding off its pedestal, thanks to the ease and quick gratification. The latter, a huge resounding yes, I do love my breakfast food, and given a choice, I would probably have it for every meal of the day. That is, until you tempt me with something along the lines of pasta, or chicken, or pasta with chicken; owh yeah.

Oats, or specifically rolled oats, has become such a large part of my life that I’ve started to Nutella it. That’s right, I’m using Nutella as a verb, because it is that important. Much like Nutella, I’ve begun to add rolled oats in practically everything;- my morning smoothie, my nightly warm malted drink, my pantry-clearing salad, and my sweetest desserts. And so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I had inadvertently decided to throw in some rolled oats one morning while preparing my french toast. Now, I know french toast is somewhere up there with eggs;- every one has a specific type they prefer. Some prefer their french toasts fluffy and soft, some like it moist and almost gooey, and others prefer it with just a bit of bite to it. These oat-crusted french toasts would satiate the tastebuds of the first and third camps. The crisp crust promises a grainy, nutty flavour with every bite, concurrently easing you into the smooth fluffy bread itself. As for the strawberry compote? It really is just the proverbial show-stopping icing on the cake.

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Rise & Shine (Recipe: Granola Berry Parfait)

rise and shine expo 1

As some of you would have realised by now, breakfast is possibly my favourite meal of the day. I’ve had more “on today’s breakfast table” photos on my instagram, than any other meals in fact. A good breakfast gets me started on the right foot, and sets the mood for the rest of the day. I’m sure everyone understands by now that a good breakfast keeps you alert, energised and focused all the way till lunch, although I’m also pretty sure most of us have had our fair share of experiencing the midday slump a little too early, glancing ever so eagerly at our watches waiting for lunch hour, amidst stifling tummy growls, all thanks to skipping this most important meal of the day.

I must admit though, I haven’t always liked breakfast. As a child, I remember my mother would nag at me as I pushed my food around my breakfast plate, or attempt to hide the egg beneath whatever little crumb of toast I had left (I do love my toast!). As I grew older, the “I’m late for school” excuse would come much too often, yet in typical maternal premonition of sorts, she would already have had my breakfast in a sandwich bag. And I am ashamed to say, there were days when that sandwich bag would just remain in the depths of my backpack for days’ end.

Now that I’m a breakfast convert (if you may call it), and have my own little one, I would hate for karma to bite me in the sandwich bag in the future. And that is the reason I am honoured to be an ambassador for the inaugural Rise & Shine, the world’s largest children’s health and developmental expo.

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A Letter to A Friend [Recipe: Cinnamon Rolls]

cinnamon rolls 1

Dearest friend,

I hope you are doing well right now. I’m sure you’re privy to everyone’s excitement today, and I understand how you must feel a tad slighted and somewhat lost, not unlike a flower having lost her bloom. But I hope you do know that deep in our hearts, you will always be remembered for all the joy and laughter you have brought us, for all the fears you have walked us through, and for all of those times you have stood by us, good and bad.

You sat there watching me grow to be the mother that I am today; a far cry from this exact day ten months ago, carefully cradling my newborn, very much in disbelief of my overnight change in status, tears of joy interlaced with relief and anxiety. Ever so often, in my trying times, you remind me how long and endless the days may seem, but how inevitably short the months and years will fly by. And with that, I hold close and cherish every moment with my loved ones, learning to find my footing again within my repository.

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hello, you [recipe: apple raisin bread pudding]

Have you ever experienced one of those moments when you can almost literally feel your repository filled to the brim with ecstatic emotions clearly indescribable through mere adjectives, yet you constantly attempt to compose yourself, with reminders never to allow those emotions to overflow, lest peering eyes and latent ears shatter you with nondescript nonchalance? Well, that was what I had been going through for almost a year now, treading ever so meticulously on eggshells, only dropping subtle hints here and there in the last few months.

I guess what I’m trying to say in a very verbose and redundantly lengthy manner is that I had been keeping a secret from you, my dearest readers. Even though my twitter and instagram followers had been privy to this piece of news, I have come to realise that I owe my readers;- who had been patiently dropping in every day even though my last entry was 4 months ago;- an explanation for my absence. For I have only found the time now to share with you, that 3 months ago, I had received the most perfect gift, or as a reader had aptly put it, “the best thing to come out from Ovenhaven’s oven”;– yes people, I am now a mommy. Continue reading