Avocado Brownies


I’ve been meaning to upload this recipe for a while but I wasn’t that confident with it until I made some friends try it out. I was trying to mind what I’ve been eating lately as I have way too much unhealthy meals. It doesn’t even help that I’m in the munchy mood that I crave for desserts. This drove me and my brain into coming up with the next best thing…avocado brownies. Without further ado, here it is!


AVOCADO BROWNIES RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup of plain flour
  • 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ripe avocados, mashed
  • 1/2 cocoa powder
  • 100 grams of chopped chocolate, melted over a double boiler (I used 80% Lindt chocolate bar for this)
  • 3/4 cup of coconut sugar (You can substitute this with maple syrup/agave nectar/honey/brown sugar ; totally up to you!)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line your tray with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, cream the avocado and sugar until light and fluffy with a whisk or a fork.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and egg and mix it into the creamed avocado.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt and add to the avocado mixture.
  5. Add the melted chocolate and pour the batter into the prepared tray.
  6. Bake it for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick/knife comes out nearly clean.
  7. Let the brownies cool and enjoy!

Done. It was easy and so fun to make as well. Not to forget, it is healthy too! As you can tell, all my recipes don’t take much time to make so feel free to share your feedback after trying this out so I could improve the recipe. I haven’t tried substituting the sugar with agave nectar or honey yet but if you, dear reader, ever do substitute it, do let me know by leaving me a comment at the bottom of this post. I hope you enjoy making this AND eating the brownies as much as I love doing so.

Enough

Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts (27 April 2017)


‘e·nough’

One word that not many of us tell ourselves. I know I haven’t been updating this space much and some of you might think I’ve gotten too busy with my life that I no longer write. That’s not the case. The real reason is that I’ve been having difficulties penning down my cluttered thoughts and I haven’t been getting much sleep to begin with. It doesn’t even help that my body crashed multiple of times which explains the sore throat, pounding fevers etc. So it brings me back to typing this very post right now as I sit here hoping this cup of camomile tea will aid with my sleep tonight.

I have people telling me that my words have inspired them but honestly, I’m not perfect. One of the hardest thing I struggle with is telling myself that I am enough. Not the kind of ‘enough’ that people expect me to be but more so of the kind of ‘enough’ that I know I am. They say that you are your harshest judge and I really am very harsh with myself.

People can tell you that you’re beautiful 100 times a day and if you still don’t believe it, that is the worst. So every day, I do something called “My Little Daily Enoughs” which is something I tell myself at the end of the day. Here are some of my few :

  1. You’ve done enough for today. You did your best in these 24 hours and the next 24 hours are for you to do more
  2. To someone, you’re beautiful enough.
  3. You are enough.

Everyone has their own definitions and versions of ‘being enough’. What I learned is that your flaws are stitched with good intentions. What I also learned is that you should look at the person that loves you the most and try putting yourself in that person’s shoes to see what you look like in their eyes. I do that sometimes with my mum. I do wonder what it is like for her to love such a difficult emotionally wrecked up daughter like me and not a day in my entire life where she complains and dreads about loving me. Bit by bit, I learn to love myself because of how my mother loves me.

If your partner is having a tough time loving himself/herself, do me a favour but love that person more because everyone deserves to end the day knowing that he/she is more than enough. Take it from a person who went to different countries & states just to slowly mend herself with whatever ability and skills she bears. It wasn’t a pretty sight because I was scared to the point where I would cry, waiting in the train to arrive, for I couldn’t hold myself together any longer. Here’s something to remember, if there comes a split second of the day where your insecurities got the better side of you, take a deep breath and feel your heart beating for a bit.

The heart that pumps life to your soul and every part of your living being ; it is doing more than enough for you. I know it’s easier said than done because the brain does have the loudest voice when it comes to things. What is important is that at the end of every day you know that you’re still breathing, that itself is a victory of its own. Small victories which are better than nothing at all. Remember, you really are enough ❤️

 

Chocolate Banana & Avocado Bread

Today, I woke up with the determination that I will successfully make one a banana and avocado loaf. I have left over Lindt 90% dark chocolate so I thought, ‘Why not put chocolate in it too’. I had a slight panic when I realized I didn’t have my measuring cups with me until I saw a good ol’ coffee cup. Yes, I used a coffee cup for measurements because I didn’t have measuring cups but please kindly do use measuring cups for accuracy. As I was creating this recipe mentally, I was thinking about the measurements and fitting all my estimations into them. Thank God that it turned out well.

I was also thinking whether kids would like it as I’m a swimming teacher. I’ve been trying my best to gain my appetite back after losing it for these past couple of weeks. So what a better way to treat kids with clean eats by making your own bread and spreading the little joy.  Ladies and gents, I hereby present…

CHOCOLATE BANANA & AVOCADO BREAD RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of flour (all purpose or gluten free if you prefer)
  • 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour (If you don’t have this, just use plain flour)
  • 3 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe medium bananas (mashed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar (you can use honey or agave nectar ; you can use 8 teaspoons of sugar if you don’t want it to be too sweet)
  • 3 squares of 90% Lindt dark chocolate (roughly chopped)

INSTURCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line your bread pan with parchment paper or grease it with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the avocado and sugar until light and fluffy with a whisk or a fork.
  3. Add in the mashed banana, vanilla extract and eggs and mix it into the creamed avocado.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, and salt together.
  5. Combine the dry mixture with the avocado mixture until it’s thick.
  6. Add the roughly chopped chocolate into the mixture.
  7. Transfer the mixture into your bread pan.
  8. Bake at 180°C for 35-45 minutes or a toothpick inserted in comes out clean. If the top gets brown faster, cover it with foil until the bread is completely baked.
  9. Cool the loaf completely before enjoying!

 

Tada! All done! I hope you get to try out this recipe and tell me what you think about it. Tip when it comes to cooking/baking, have a little faith in yourself. Trust me, I don’t create recipes because I’m good at it. It takes a lot of failures for me to perfect one recipe or to be confident enough to just wing it in the kitchen. I really hope you enjoy making this as much as I did. The end result was worth it 🙂

Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies

I spent my Saturday afternoon baking avocado cookies and totally…creating a recipe. It’s ‘Macros March’ for me and I was desperately craving for desserts. The next best thing my mind decides is why not I make a healthier version of cookies so I don’t feel that bad eating too much. I know they don’t really look the best but hey, Mun Choong approved of it so…ladies and gentlemen, here’s my

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of gluten free flour
  • 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 tablespoons of coconut sugar (you can substitute it with brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups of dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 of avocado (mashed)

INSTURCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line your tray with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, cream the avocado and sugar until light and fluffy with a whisk or a fork.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and egg and mix it into the creamed avocado.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the avocado mixture.
  5. Combine well until batter is sticky then using a spoon, fold in your chocolate chips.
  6. Using a small spoon, scoop the batter and drop it on the parchment paper on the tray.
  7. Bake 12-15 minutes or until it is lightly browned.
  8. Completely cool off the cookies before serving!

 

Voila! Done. It was easy and so fun to make as well. As you can tell, all my recipes don’t take much time to make so feel free to share your feedback after trying this out so I could improve the recipe. I haven’t tried substituting the sugar with agave nectar or honey yet but if you, dear reader, ever do substitute it, do let me know by leaving me a comment at the bottom of this post. I hope you enjoy making this AND eating the cookies as much as I love doing so.

Tortellini Recipe.

Last week during lunchtime, as I was walking out of the office for lunch, I had the sudden urge of wanting to eat gnocchi and tortellinis from my favorite restaurant. So then, a thought ran through my mind that went “Why don’t I make my own tortellinis so I could put whatever filling I want in them?!” And…I came home with a bag of flour, eggs, mushrooms and I was on an adventure to make my own tortellinis. I searched for recipes about pasta dough and honestly, they really do remind me of ‘Pan Mee’ except for pasta, it has more eggs  than water in the dough. Rolling the dough was a real arm workout but hey, if the Italians can do it, I believe I can do it too!

As you can see in the picture above, my tortellinis were in different sizes because I didn’t know how to properly wrap it. But fret not for it’s been a week and I’ve been better at making pasta now. Practice makes perfect, right? The best part about tortellinis, you can fill in with anything you want. Minced meat, vegetables or cheese and you can serve it with whatever sauce you prefer as well! Yes, it’s that easy. Even I didn’t expect it to be this easy! I’ll write in the recipe for the filling I’ve made which is mushrooms & herbs.

SO HERE’S MY TORTELLINI RECIPE.

INGREDIENTS (Pasta Dough)

  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (or Tipo OO Flour), plus extra for dusting
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large bowl (or on a clean surface if you prefer), mix the flour and salt.
  2. Add in your eggs and the oil.
  3. So here’s the fun part. You have to rub your palms with oil and start kneading the dough on a flour-dusted surface. Knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your fingers or when it’s smooth and elastic. The dough shouldn’t be too wet or dry so if it’s too dry, tweak it a little by adding water or if it’s too wet, add more flour. Once it’s done, wrap it with cling wrap tightly and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
  4. Use a rolling pin (or a noodle machine) and start rolling your dough. If you’re using a noodle machine, divide your dough into tiny balls to be rolled into the machine.
  5. For tortellinis, roll it to about 1mm thick.
  6. Use a round cookie cutter (I used a metal cup for this) and cut the flattened dough into circles.
  7. Place your filling in the center of a dough circle.
  8. Dip the tip of your index finger into water and brush half of the circle dough.
  9. Fold the circle into half (As shown in the pictures above).
  10. Brush one tip of the half circle with water, and fold it in making it look like a little dumpling.

If you’re not going to eat it immediately, put the tortellinis into the freezer and it will last for 1 week! If you’re eating immediately, boil your tortellinis in salted water for about 10 minutes or more (this depends because it doesn’t necessarily means that if the tortellini is floating, it’s cook. So to be safe, just lift one up and try it first to see if the dough is cook). Serve with whatever sauce you prefer. I love mine with mushroom or chicken soup. If you like yours to be in white sauce or tomato sauce, go ahead 🙂

 

PS : This dough recipe is pretty versatile. You can make raviolis, linguine, tagliatelle and lasagne as well! All you just have to do is cut into the desired shapes that you want and you’re good to go. You can even add spinach or other food coloring if you want. You can make colorful pastas too.

 

Mushroom & Herbs Filling

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 clove of garlic (minced or chopped)
  • 200 grams of oyster mushrooms (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 can of button mushrooms (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 carrot (cubed)
  • 2 teaspoons of Rosemary
  • 3 teaspoons of Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • A pinch of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce (Depending on your taste buds, you can add more if you like)
  • Extra virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a non-stick pan on medium heat, grease it with olive oil and sauté the garlic.
  2. Add in the mushrooms and carrot. Sauté them and add in the rosemary and parsley.
  3. Add the pinch of brown sugar to the mushroom and carrot along with the light soy sauce.
  4. Stir fry until golden brown and serve! 🙂

 

 

 

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.

The Valentine’s Day Speech

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

When I got invited to speak to all of you tonight, I actually looked at the photojournalist and said ‘You have got to be kidding me, right? You ask your most single best friend to speak about love and relationships to all these people?!’ Then I was told that I am the youngest in this ballroom and that everyone here is a couple, so the pressure’s real.

First and foremost, Happy Valentine’s Day, from me to you lovers.

My grandparents live with me. This year marks their 57th anniversary. I grew up understanding what love really is. My grandfather was a very poor English teacher and could barely even afford undergarments for himself, let alone take any girl out on a date. My grandmother was the Dame of Sabak Bernam and she’s the daughter of a wealthy businessman. It was one afternoon where my grandfather set his eyes on my grandmother after he finished teaching. He asked his colleague who that young lady was and the first thing his friend told him was ‘Thong, you will never get her. She’s the Dame of Sabak Bernam! Everyone knows who she is and there are so many rich guys who are after her.’

My grandfather was in for the chase and shyly, he asked my grandmother out. He was so poor that the two of them shared a bowl of kuey teow soup on their first date. He was so poor that my great grandfather (my grandmother’s dad) has to give my grandfather money to take my grandmother out. My great grandfather didn’t allow my grandmother to date my grandfather because he was so poor. Sneakily, my grandfather would call the shop behind my great grandfather’s shop and the shopkeeper would call my grandmother over to answer the call from my grandfather. My grandfather obviously won her heart not in ways where money is involved but in actions and always loving my grandmother. I’ll spare you the details but fast forward to me being born. My grandparents currently live with me and even until now, my grandmother still makes sure that I’m dressed properly before I leave the house and my grandfather would still check on my spelling and grammar despite being in his late 80’s. They don’t have the best marriage but they can never live without one another. When my grandmother had her knee surgery, my grandfather patiently waited for me to come home from work to fetch him to the hospital so we could visit her. He even asked me if his collar was neat and with his almost toothless smile, he was an excited husband to visit his wife in the hospital. Were there arguments? All the time. Every single day, even till this very day. My grandfather loves her not for the way she danced with his angels, but for the way the sound of her name could silence his demons ; and vice versa.

Love, to me, is a verb. It is when you give unconditionally. I’m no love guru but I know that if you love someone, you will put in the effort and the hard work. And you do it because you want to, not cause you need to. It is when two people accept each other’s flaws. That’s how my grandparents are still keeping their marriage strong back home. It’s a lot of work and it’s…messy and difficult but it’s all about giving and taking. Love is the home that calms the hurricanes within you and brings joy to your soul. Love gives the body life. I speak Hawaiian and the word ‘Aloha’ means ‘love’ too. It means kindness, unity, agreeable, humility and patience. I really think that’s what love is about. It gives your soul peace as well. Would I say that I’m good with relationships? No, I won’t because I’m not. I don’t think anyone is. No relationship is perfect but that’s the point of it. If you’ve not read A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks, he took a little quote out from the Bible that says

Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous.Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.’

If you know my grandparents…they endured so much. My grandfather still talks about my grandmother like she’s a queen. My grandmother still talks about my grandfather that he’s the world’s greatest gentleman. They’ve been through so much ; being parents to 5 children and being grandparents to 9 of us grandchildren. All the years of working together and being a team…they are the definition of relationship goals and the ultimate dynamic duo. They still look out for each other when they cross roads, make sure one of them don’t get left behind when we’re in a mall and pray for one another every night. To other people, they make love look so easy but as their grandchild, I know what they’ve been through. To be completely honestly, my grandmother did tell me that it was difficult because they were poor and there were times she wished she did marry a rich man instead because then life would be easier for her. But she never complained and every day she knew why she fell in love with my grandfather despite it all.

Beau Taplin once wrote in The Fiction of  People : ‘Often, when we have a crush, when we lust for a person, we see only a small percentage of who they really are. The rest we make up for ourselves. Rather than listen, or learn, we smother them in who we imagine them to be, what we desire for ourselves, we create little fantasies of people and let them grow in our hearts. And this is where the relationship fails. In time, the fiction we scribble onto a person falls away, the lies we tell ourselves unravel and soon the person standing in front of you is almost unrecognizable, you are now complete strangers in your own love. And what a terrible shame it is. My advice: pay attention to the small details of people, you will learn that the universe is far more spectacular an author than we could ever hope to be.

No one told you the messy part of love.The arguments and the disagreements and the days where you both will feel like you’re in hell. But it’s the forgiveness, acceptance and strength. You can love someone for the clothes he/she wears or the car he/she drives. But to love someone nakedly…that really is something. Naked here means loving that person instead and out ; flawed nakedness. For better and for worse. It’s really blessing, to be loved and to receive love. It honestly takes a lot to love. Loving someone is a choice and that’s the most courageous thing one could ever do in his/her life.  It means you’re willing to give someone your fragile heart and that…that is bravery right there. One thing I’ve learned from my heart is that a heart is more than just an organ that gives the body life. It was made to love and to mend whatever that is broken inside you. Magnificent isn’t it? How the heart can do wonders. On the canvases behind me, you see two anatomical hearts I’ve painted. As you can see, the two hearts are stitched together and it actually becomes one big love shape. This is an abstract of two real hearts that were taken and sewn together in a hospital. I just created an art of it. It actually takes two wholes to be one. You love a person for the soul that lives within him/her. You love the person because despite all the flaws he/she has, you chose to love the person.

I leave you with a quote from by E. E Cummings, “Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star.” So love with all kindness and gentleness.

Thank you.”

 

– The speech I gave on Valentine’s Day.

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.

Hurricane 

“The year is coming to an end. What are you thankful for? And what have you learned?”

Those were the questions I asked myself. I placed 3 fingers from my right hand on my left wrist. I felt the constant beating of my pulse. It was then I knew I was thankful for my heart. After all it has been through, I’m still thank the fact that it’s giving this body of mine life and have mended the soul within me. I can conclude that 2016 was a year that taught me 2 things :

  1. The importance of self love and self growth
  2. To believe in yourself

I’ve lost people whom I once called ‘friends’ and my cork board that was once filled with polaroids of smiles ; I took some down and replaced them with new ones with different people with different smiles. Remembering everything that has happened in 2016, it was a year that had been filled with tears, heart break, hugs, laughter and love. I did do my fair share of traveling. I’m still in the midst of learning to love myself. I’m not going to lie but I still reminisce about what Victoria, Australia have taught me in summer 2015, for I did leave a part of me there. I came home thinking 2016 is going to be the year of my life. Half way through, I stumbled and fell. Sure, I had that night where I broke down and cried myself to sleep in my hotel room by the beach. I had that morning where I woke up and wish my heart was numb so I didn’t have to feel the pain for a while. I had that afternoon where I reminded myself constantly not to lose composure. And I had that evening where I did lose my composure. The hurricane moments, I called it.

But you know that idiom that goes ‘The calm after a storm’? Well I know what that feels like. After those amalgamations of hurricane moments, it is then you will find yourself calm and it is as if something inside of you just patched everything up. But to survive those hurricane moments? It takes patience, kindness, gentleness, love and strength. No everyone pulls through those moments coming out the same and some don’t even make it out alive from their hurricane moments. In 2016, I’ve had those moments where close friends and family held me in their arms and told me that I could do it ; that I have strength in me to pick myself back up again. Reading back my 2016 resolutions, I can now safely conclude that I’ve done all of them. This year, I’ve loved unconditionally and I will love unconditionally next year too. I’ve been brave enough to cut off negative people from my life. I learned that I’m not my own enemy and I have inspired people this year.

So for 2017, I will continue doing all these. I’ve written down my resolutions so here they are :

  1. The human heart has a way of making itself large again even after it’s been broken into a million pieces. – Robert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison CountySpend the next one year by loving unconditionally, especially yourself as well as treat others the same way you want to be treated.
  2. Invest time in yourself. On improving yourself. Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees. Get out of your comfort zone, even if it means being uncomfortable.The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades, bumps, and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested — and your personal growth realized. – Katie Couric- I want to become a better person physically and mentally.
  3. Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. – Joseph AddisionIt’s time to broaden my circle of knowledge more.
  4. Don’t be too hard on yourselfSpending the next 365 days to try not to be my own enemy.
  5. God often removes a person from your life for your protection.2016 taught me this and in 2017, I’ll constantly remind myself that I deserve better. Surround myself with people who possess the ability to calm me with their presence alone. Be around the people that encourages my self growth and support my passion & goals.
  6. “Art is to console those who are broken by life” – Vincent Van Gogh – 2017 is going to be a year where I focus on art (writing, literature etc.)
  7. Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.I will hustle and build my career. I’m going to work for the results that I want!
  8. Never quit inspiring people.I did it in 2016 and I will continue doing it.
  9. Forgive more.
  10. “Be yourself, be comfortable with yourself – It’s authenticity that’s compelling.” – Rochelle ‘Shelly’ Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather.
  11. Eat clean & exercise moreOkay this is going to be difficult but..it isn’t impossible.
  12. Remember, you got this.

12 resolutions to do. They’re not very specific nor are they much. But the next 12 months with its 52 weeks and 365 days are going to be a lot of work. It’s going to a selfish year where I’ll focus on myself. 2016 has been insane but every night before I fall asleep, I am thankful and grateful for all that I have. 2017, I’m ready for you. Let’s see what you’ve got installed for me.

My heart might be bruised, but it will recover and become capable of seeing beauty of life once more. It’s happened before, it will happen again, I’m sure

Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

 

 

 

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.