Hummus

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Hummus is fully responsible for keeping any meat on my bones when I was a poor and half-starved college student. Back then, a ‘normal’ meal for me was pita chips liberally dipped in hummus with a stack of baby spinach leaves piled on top. I probably ate my weight in hummus, plus some. (Although, if I’m honest, the substance that was actually responsible for keeping me at a healthy weight in college was wine. Cheap boxed wine, to be exact. I met and started dating my husband during my boxed wine phase. You should have seen his face when he realised he was dating a boxed wine drinker. It’s a miracle we survived that first date and are still together today.)

Those were the early days of my culinary adventures and I honestly did not know that you could make hummus at home until one night I was at a sorority hummus party (yes, you read that right. They do exist) and one of my sorority sisters made 6 batches of homemade hummus. That really opened a new world for me, and I haven’t bought a tub of homemade hummus since.

You’ll be shocked by how easy and fast (and cheap!) it is to make hummus at home. Say goodbye to preservatives and unnecessary additives. Never buy store bought hummus ever again!

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Mom’s Cha Gio (Vietnamese Egg Rolls)

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I feel like an imposter writing this post. I cook a lot of different cuisines, but the food that I grew up with is somehow the hardest for me. Every time I try, it doesn’t turn out exactly right. By that I mean that it doesn’t taste exactly like how my mom makes it. Maybe because I don’t cook with the same motherly love that my mom does (although I have a very strong cat-mom instinct so that can’t be it).  More likely it’s because my mom doesn’t cook with recipes. Like any true master of the art, she just tastes here, adds there, etc etc. I haven’t developed that skill yet for Vietnamese food. I taste here, add there, and still it’s off. (Isaiah cheekily pointed out that maybe the reason why it doesn’t taste like my mom’s is because I don’t cook with meat… he makes fair point).

If you google Vietnamese egg roll recipe you won’t find one that looks like this one. That’s because this one is special. It’s my mom’s. And they’re the best freaking egg rolls you will ever eat in your life. My mom’s egg rolls have the power to stop two nations from going to war. They will one day bring about world peace. Trust me.

Let’s begin.

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Mexican Sides: Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, and Black Beans

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Mexican. My absolute favorite cuisine of all time. I enjoy both tex-mex and for-real-mex. One of my favorite restaurants in the world is Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo in Chicago, and one of my favorite meals is $1 tacos with horchata from LA food trucks. Oh my word, horchata. YES. Whenever I’m in LA I become something of a crazy woman. All I eat is Mexican. All I drink is horchata (ok, fine, and the occasional margarita). All I want is tacos and horchata and margaritas.

I used to joke that when I become pregnant I will have to move to LA because Singapore has no good Mexican food. This shouldn’t be surprising given that the Mexican population here probably isn’t very large, BUT the American population is huge, so how do they get by without their Mexican fix? I don’t know.

We have tacos, quesadillas, or burritos at least once a week in my house. The following 3 sides go well with basically anything. Eat it with rice. Put it in soups. Eat the leftovers straight from the fridge with a spoon. You get the idea.

Enjoy! -2Ns

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