Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

>> Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The first few weeks at a new work place is always awkward.

If you've never felt this way then you are probably less socially awkward than I am. Any tips appreciated!

I am terrible at chit-chats especially in the elevator or other confined spaces (e.g. bathroom). I never know what to say after that nice-to-meet-you handshake (I'm proud of my firm-not-sloppy handshake but not the subsequent awkwardness that follows). And I am embarrassed to admit that many colleagues are still addressed as "...hey!", where the "..." refers to the moment of silence where I frantically try to recall their names.

But besides these rather gawky experiences, I have every reason to feel thankful...for the job, the colleagues, for the opportunities to learn, to grow and to break (myself, hopefully not things/computers/people), to be of influence (however big or small!) and to able to support myself financially. And obviously for the people who support and pray for me!

On a different note, I made this rather exotic yet comforting Blueberry-Cardamom Mexican Atole (pictured above!) from McCormick's Flavor Forecast on Chinese New Year's Eve (we really lack tradition in my family). Atole is a warm sweet masa drink from Mexico traditionally served at breakfast - why haven't I discovered you earlier?

Aaaaannnd, yesterday these deliciously crunchy (and festively looking!) biscottis were made in a rush after work and just before dinner and the summer sunset. They were accompanied by a mug of Mother's rather strange but healthy concoction of red bean, mung bean and barley drink...not coffee!

I did mention we're not a traditional bunch, right?

Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti
Donna Hay Magazine Dec 2012
Makes 80
  • 2 cups plain flour, sifted 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder sifted 
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar 
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 tbsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1 cup sweetened, dried cranberries 
  • 1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios  
1. Preheat oven to 160deg. Place flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl and mis to combine.

2. Add eggs, vanilla, orange rind (I used Lemon), cranberries and pistachios and mix until you form a dough

3. Turn the dough out onto a table and with some flour, knead until smooth.

4. Form into two logs and flatten slightly. Bake in oven on two lined baking trays for 30-35 minutes or until firm cool completely.

5. When cooled use a serated knife to cut thin slices and place them back on baking trays. bake for a further 8-10 minutes until crisp. cool on trays.


Easy Butter Toffee Sauce & McCormick's Flavor Forecast 2012!

>> Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hello new year and hello you!

I've missed you...and my laptop (I've been without it for almost 2 months!)

I won't start the first post of the year with my New Year's goals...or resolutions as I did last year. (Definitely not because they are yet accomplished...)

Thinking back, Twenty Eleven (2011) saw me learning that edamame tastes pretty good in almost anything and that papaya and pineapples together can actually make your taste buds sing. So many food combinations tried and tested over that year...and shared/loved/made over and over again!

Makes me look forward to all the new flavour combos you and I will discover this year.

I think the team of experts from Flavor Forecast 2012 might know a bit more about all the trendy and inspiring flavours of 2012 than I as they have been engaged in a year-long process of identifying culinary trends!

I am writing this post in partnership with McCormick's Spice as they launch Flavor Forecast 2012. Here on this space, you know (if you've been visiting long enough) I don't normally promote commercial products - this is simply a space where I share with you what goes on in that corner of my heart and apartment where food of all sorts come out.

But as an user of the McCormick spices on a daily basis and being genuinely interested in this launch - I'd love to share with you the new flavour combos they've come up with. Coz, sharing is caring (just what my sister said to me today when I refused to lend her my cute top...)

So what is Flavor Forecast, you ask? (#You type flavor, I type flavour...)

It's essentially a forecast of the future of flavour! Or, an annual report compiled by McCormicks chefs and trend trackers that tells us what is new and trendy in the food scene this year globally!

So on their site, they've put together this great guide of flavour trends of 2012 and recipes for those flavour combinations to try. I hope you do check them out if interested. The Butter Toffee sauce I've made is from the site as well. I've been spooning on it tonight while watching TV :) It's even better than a tub of ice-cream (together would be unbeatable uh huh!)

I've attached a few of the flavour combos I find most interesting below:

Check out recipes using:

Ginger with Coconut here

Red Tea with Cinnamon & Plum here

This is definitely the flavour combo I'm most keen to try myself!!!

Korean Pepper Paste with Sesame, Asian Pear & Garlic recipes here

Check out recipes using:

Vanilla with Butter here (the Easy Butter Toffee Sauce is from here :)
Blueberry with Cardamom & Corn Masa here

For the rest of the flavour combinations of 2012, go to Flavor Forecast!

These five (5) really pretty photos above are courtesy of their website too.

Easy Butter Toffee Sauce
Recipe from here

"This toffee sauce is a snap to prepare. It elevates ice cream and sweet treats like brownies and cakes with rich, buttery flavor"

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) (125 mL or 112 grams) butter
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL or 100 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 mL) McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1. Place butter and sugar in medium saucepan on medium heat. Cook and stir until mixture turns a deep amber color.

2. Carefully stir in cream and vanilla. (Mixture will be bubbly.) Whisking constantly, cook until sauce thickens and coats back of spoon.

Makes 1 cup or 8 (2-tablespoon) servings.


Anyways, it's great to be BACK in the blogging world and speaking to you about food once again!

New friends - nice to meet you and please make yourself at home :)

Old friends - thanks so much for returning and discovering with me.

Happy new week ahead...

P.S I start a new job tomorrow - hope to return with positive news ;)

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