Monthly Archives: March 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

I love cookies.

and ever since i’d read from one of the nicest, inspiring food/cook blog of today, the way to prepare and store cookie dough balls in freezer – there’s no turning back.

so, I have become quite haughty and now look at supermarket cookies in disdain (i’ll make an exception for M&S’). Fresh and homemade ones are so easy to make, so tasty too. And the storing part, what an idea!!

Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 2 & 1/2 doze cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups brown sugar ( or 1 brown and 1 granulated)

2 large eggs

1& 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod)

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking poowder

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (or same amount of dark chocolate, coarsely chopped)

1 cup chopped pecans (i made mine without pecan nuts, and it was just as great)

Beat the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Beat unitl creamy, about 3-4 minutes.

Add eggs one a a time, beating well between each addition. Add vanilla extract and beat until blended.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture slowly until just incoprporated. Stir in the chocolate and pecans last.

Bake at 350 Deg  F for 10-13 minutes until they have reached your desired doneness. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



Eat. Healthy.

Dinner @862 has recently taken on a Japanese twist. All because zzz borrowed a book from NLB (yes, our national library IS ONE OF THE BEST!!) by Kimiko Barber titled “Japanese Pure and Simple”.

Japanese food/cuisine (if you like) has this simple allure with the quest for perfection, balance of food with beauty, and all that invisible zen around, its really hard to not like it. In any case, Japanese fare has always been enjoyed everywhere. The sushi chains, ramen shops, new modern Japanese cafes (now what’s that?!) –  all the too-commercial restaurants that have sprouted everywhere are sure evidence.

For us, there are only a handful of shops  we will  gladly choose for a Japanese meal – among them are Nansuttei or Ikoi. I didn’t used to be or meant to be picky, that only happened when we got repeatedly disappointed by the franchise shops which decided cost efficiency is more important than quality.

Anyways.  Here are 2 recipes which zzz tried over the past weeks. They look pretty easy, obviously, i only ate, so i wouldn’t know more. There were more, but i just got too hungry to snap snap – bad bad me.

Number one dashi stock

1 postcard-sized piece of konbu (kelp seaweed)

1 ltr of water

20 dried bonito flakes (roughly a handful)

Soak the konbu in the measured water in a saucepan for at least 30 mins (ideally 1 hr) before placing it over a moderate heat. If you have not had enough time to siak the konbu, lower the heat to low/moderate to allow more time for the konbu to infuse the water/

Take out the konbu when it begins to float and a few small bubbles start to appear. Pour in a ladle of cold water followed by the bonito flakes. Turn up the heat slightly and cook until the liquid returns to boil, but do not let it come to a full boil; turn off the heat. Let the bonito flakes settle to the bottom and strain the dashi through a fine sieve lined with a piece of kitchen paper.

Grilled asparagus in dashi

20 asparagus spears

2 tbsps vegetable oil

100 ml dashi stock

50ml soy sauce

25ml mirin

An asparagus spear has a natural breaking point when you bend it, so break the spears with you hands and discard the hard lower parts. brush each spear with vegetable oil and frill for 10 mins., turning them over to cook evenly. meanwhile, mix the dashi stock, soy sauce and mirin in a flat-based dish. Transfer the cooked asparagus spears to the dish while they are hot to let them absorb the flavors fof the dashi mixture and serve.

Hokkaido salmon and potato miso soup

150 gm salmon fillet


150g potatoes, peeled

100g carrots, cut into bite-sized chunks

150g cabbage, roughly cut

150g leeks, chopped diagionally

1 tsp grated garlic

1.2 ltrs dashi stock

2-3 heaped tbsps medium colored miso paste

2 spring onions, chopped diagionally

Cut the salmon fillet into bite-sized chunks, sprinkle with salt and set aside

Chop the potatoes into bite-sized chunks and soak in water while you prepare the other vegetables. Drain the potatoes. Put the salmon and all vegetables in a saucepan with the dashi stock and bring to boil over a moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20mins, spooning off any scum that floats to the surface

Put the miso paste in a small bowl and add a ladle of soup to dilute. Add the miso mixture to the soup and stir to blend, Adjust the seasoning with salt if necessary. Let the soup return to the boil and add the chopped spring onions. Turn off the heat and serve in warmed soup dishes.

If the rice above looks like a little brown. It is. That’s because we used brown rice. OK, so its not Japanese, but we figured its the taste and essence that counts!!