ALL IN ONE PAN - One Pot Meals

Cooking a dish that requires only one pan is what I enjoy doing.


Wonderful meals can be made by using just one pan as the flavour of the food will remain in the pan which enhances the dishes cooked. 


Before you begin, you need to do a little planning what goes into the pan first.  I feel the first thing that should go in the pan should be the onions, garlic or some dried herbs. This will add an aromatic flavour. 

If you are browning your meat or seafood, you could have them sautéed in the pan next.   The sauces should always be kept last in the cooking process.


I would suggest if you are going to cook with one pan, you should have one with a larger surface and you should consider one with a good depth.  This will allow you to cook with a larger quantity. Choose a good quality pan with a good heavy base for longer durability.


Washing is also made easy with one pan cooking.

Hope this tip is useful!

Happy Cooking,

A Perfect Christmas Meal for 2009

Just One month and 2 days before christmas and i am thinking about what will be a perfect christmas meal this year.

I am thinking of have a special braised duck stuffed with herbed rice and cranberry sauce served with glaze winter vegetables like carrots and cramalised onions.

I will be working on the recipes soon and will let you know how this turns out when i try it this weekend.  I need to make this healthy and therefore i must try to remove as much duck fat as possible.

I think it's time you browse through some good cookbooks and start planning your christmas dinners by making a list of dishes you will be cooking.  There will be good deals available at the supermarkets, so with good planning you can pace yourself.

In the next few weeks, we are going to prepare christmas food and if you have some wonderful ideas to share, please comment on my post.

Happy Cooking!


Plan a simple meal for your kids this holiday

If you are taking some time off from work to spend time with your kids for the end year holidays you might want to make a special meal for them with these easy ideas...


The all time favorite is the Tomatoes Meatballs Pasta and this is not difficult to prepare. You could easily pick up the ingredients at the supermarket and have dinner ready in a short time. To have great tasting meatballs, one tip is to have some sautéed onions added to it with good seasoning like Worchester sauce or the Asian oyster sauce. You could have the kids help you to make these by rolling them into  balls. As for the tomato pasta sauce, try using chunky stewed tomatoes together with your pasta sauce. This gives an added flavour to the dish.


A meal will not be complete without a nice dessert and  I would suggest you purchase some pre-made Jell-O, a simple pound cake, a strawberry sauce and some good vanilla ice-cream. These 4 ingredients will allow you to make a simple Jell-O Truffle and there is no cooking time needed.


Place a layer of the cut pound cake in a dessert bowl, then top up with some Jell-O and another layer of  the pound cake, then the vanilla ice-cream and finally drizzle with the strawberry sauce.


I hope these suggestions will help you make a simple dinner for your kids. After all that mugging for the final year exams, they deserve a special treat from you.




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I am really into comfort food these days and what more it is so simple to cook.  I like to mix spices in my comfort.
I love the sound of the sizzling oil when the spices and fresh ginger mixture when we are making the main base of a stew or curry.

All comfort food is supposed to cook into a one pot meal with a good amount of sauces in it.  My memories of comfort food is my mother chicken stew.  She will  boil the stewed many hours with carrots and cabbages. She love using cinnamon in the stew.  This main meal of  chicken stew is so delicious with a boil of steamy rice.

When eating comfort food, don't rush to finish your meal, take time to savour the food cooked.  As for me when i am eating my comfort food it helps me to put on my thinking cap and work on greater ides for my food business.

Maybe the next time....I will give you a chicken stew recipes.

If you want more do grap a copy of my book at my website

Make Comfort Food in most of you Meal...Yum and Relax.....

Making Party Food Ahead of Time

When planning a party, you don’t have to leave all the cooking to that very day instead, you can have some of the food prepared ahead of time.

The planning of the menu is important and you need to ensure the variety of food served is as simple as possible.

If you are having a party where your guests can serve themselves, I suggest meals that can be "mixed and matched" easily. For mains, you can have a simple mushroom pasta cooked with olive oil and chili, a pot of meatball stew made the night before which tastes so flavorful the next day at the party and also provide a baked chicken with roasted winter vegetables dish. Make sure you have condiments like freshly grated parmesan and chopped chives to compliment the dishes for the party.

As for desserts, you could make in advance and present them on a plate 15 minutes before serving. My favorite is the warm chocolate cake which I  make ahead of time and heat them in the oven. Top that with a scoop of good vanilla ice-cream just before serving the guests and the night is complete.

So don’t be cooped up in the kitchen during the party and lose all that valuable time mingling with your guests. I hope these tips will give you some extra time to entertain and enjoy the evening.

Easter Morning Brunch

Dear Foodies, 

Easter is just around the corner and I am sure, you might be wondering what to prepare for the family gathering.  Well I would like you to plan the meal ahead of time and make a very enjoyable Easter Morning Brunch. 

I would encourage good communial eating on a long table and if you have a garden why not set the brunch there? 

Cover your tables with a cream or white coloured table cloth and use light pastel yellows for your table setting.  Work on your favourite recipes and have them prepared in advance especially stews or curries.  Now remember if you have any cream based soups, just boil the main soup and add in the cream just before serving.  Have some roast lamb or chicken with roasted potatoes and carrots on the table too.  All the meats served will require some good sauces and you can make them in advance too. 

I hope you have a wonderful Easter Sunday and before I sign off, here is the Easter recipe I promised.

 Mixed crab egg spinach salad


 200g fresh crabmeat

100g spinach salad

10 cherry tomatoes,halved

100ml mango yogurt

20ml light cream

2 hard-boiled eggs,  mashed

3 tbsp pine nuts

3 stalks fresh coriander, chopped

3 pcs mint leaves, chopped finely

2 tbsp olive or truffle oil


Boil the crab meat and drain it.

In a salad mixing bowl, place the cooked crabmeat, mango yogurt, light cream, chopped coriander, mint leaves and the eggs and mix well.

In a plate, add in the spinach, pine nuts and tomatoes and toss. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.


Recipe by Irene Jansen
All rights reserved by Culinary Adventures Pte Ltd

My 40 Days Vegetarian Diet

I hope you like the little tips I have given you on my research of the different types of ingredients.

I am coming to an end of my 40 days vegetarian diet and i never knew i could have done it.

I have learnt alot during this period of being a vegetarian, one thing's for sure - i am more calmer and i feel so good.  At first it wasn't so easy but when it came to the 7th day i was tempted to eat meat again but i am so glad i persevered and it has been wonderful.

I feel less tired and light, i have conditioned my stomach and i eat leisurely with pleasure.  Eating must enable you to have a wonderful exprience and you should make eating an enjoyable moment.  I believe that you need to eat not feeling distracted and the more you focus on your meal, you tend to eat differently.

This period i was inspired to cook vegetarian food and the one dish i have achieved is to cook a mutton curry using mushroom stems as an alternative to actual mutton.  I also used soya milk instead of coconut and it tasted very good.

Would i return to meat?  Yes, as i need that extra bit of protein to keep me going on my hectic schedule. However, I am still opting for more vegetarian days than meat days.

As i journey more on this, i hope to share some health expriences with you and more creative ideas to eat with pleasure.

My next topic will be about easter dining...will be back.

(Remember to save my blog on your Favourites list or RSS feeds)

Choosing the right sauce for your pasta

A pasta dish is never complete without its special sauce. Whether light or heavy, sweet or creamy, it is these sauces that make all the difference.


Pasta sauces are usually categorized as one of the following: a tomato or vegetable-based sauce, a cream or butter-based sauce, a cheese sauce, a meat sauce, a herb-based sauce, or an oil-based sauce.


When selecting a sauce, consider the shape and size of the pasta noodle, since some sauces are best suited for specific types of pasta.


For shaped and tubular pasta, use thick meat sauces like Bolognese, Pesto or herb sauces, and cheese sauces. Thick cream sauces like Alfredo and Carbonara are also ideal for ribbon pasta with a broad width such as fettuccine, lasagna or linguine


Strand Pasta like angel hair, spaghetti and vermicelli will work better with light tomato sauces, butter sauces, light oil based sauces made with olive oils, and light cream sauces. You can also use these types of sauces for stuffed pasta like ravioli and tortellini.



I hope these tips will help you in choosing the right sauces for your next pasta meal. 


One of my favorite coffee beverage is the affogato and it is the most simplest  to make for guests to compliment a cake or pastry dessert at the end of the meal.


Affogato, which literally means "drowned” calls for pouring a shot of hot espresso over a scoop of ice-cream. As each espresso must be brewed, individually, you will not be able to serve all your guests at the same time. 

To serve, place a scoop of Vanilla ice-cream in a coffee cup and  the brewed expresso in a shot glass. Allow your guests to pour the hot expresso over the ice-cream. You should accompany each serving with a cookie.


Use ground dark-roast coffee beans/powder for brewing expresso to get a strong flavour and good premium Vanilla or Coffee flavoured ice-cream.



Party Ideas #2 - Oriental Zen Dining

After a busy week, why not create an oriental zen dinner in a relaxing and spa setting.

Don’t worry if you don’t have those low Japanese-styled dining tables, you can use your wooden coffee table for a start. Have large cushions scattered all around the table for 4 to 6 guests. 

Have the party small so you can really take time catching up with your guests during dinner. 


Choose light linen colours like mint green or light beige for the table cloth as well as for the cushions.

Have ceramic bowls in brown shades to create a rustic feel. You would want to have brown chopsticks and glass soup spoons. 


For flower decorations,  you can afford to choose dark coloured huge flowers, removing the stem of the flowers and have them floating in a bowl with some floating candles. Have the table top clear and uncomplicated.


Try serving your guests some light lemon herbal drink or wine in a clear sake bottle . 


As for food, be gentle on the menu. Try serving your guests food that is not too heavy and add the juices of citrus fruits in most of your seasonings. You could serve a nice lemon spicy fish over some steamy rice, or a prawn and mushroom Tom Yam soup. 


For the music, add some spa  or zen inspired tunes to create a peaceful and relaxing mood.



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