Friday, December 26, 2008

Care Bears Marshmallow Pops!

Care to have one? This was from the Netherlands, courtesy of Eileen. I cannot imagine eating these adorable looking bears without filling guilty.

I have translated the instructions from Dutch to English: You can start by chewing from ears, followed by the head, then the belly, then the arms/paw.... argh!!!! Once you finished the whole bear, your body can almost feel the sugar overloading on all your senses! Everything you hear or speak now is in Care Bear language. Care Bear Stare!!

Lol. Merry X'mas to all! ;op

Friday, December 19, 2008

Savoury Cheese Muffins

I am jumping for joy as I took the muffins out from the tray last night. This was my first attempt in baking something savoury and I must say I like the smell, taste and looks of it. Gab did not want any sweet bakes anymore because I told her that I wanted to try out olive oil brownies. I thought of a cheese muffin immediately and I really cannot remember the source of recipe.

I have added a few things to the muffin batter and initially wanted to name this as the Cheese & Chives muffin but after much consideration, I think this generic name suits it better as I may just change a few ingredients in the future.

Savoury Cheese Muffins
2 cups self raising flour
2 eggs
1 cup fresh milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese*
1/4 cup olive oil
1 level tbsp raw sugar
bunch of chives*
chilli flakes*
1/2 tsp salt

  • Preheat oven to 180 deg.
  • Sift the flour and set aside.
  • I used Kraft's Cheddar Cheese and grated them to a little more than a cup.
  • Set some grated cheese aside for use later on top of the muffins.
  • Mix flour, grated cheese, chilli flakes in a bowl.
  • Beat 2 eggs, raw sugar with a fork until it bubbles.
  • Stir in the olive oil, followed by the milk and chives.
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the egg mix into the well.
  • Use a fork and stir everything until it is just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  • Line the muffin pan with cupcake liners and spoon until it is 2/3 full.
  • Bake them for about 15-20mins.

Garlic mustard sauce
1 clove of garlic minced
1 tsp of English mustard sauce (I used Coleman's)
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of lemon juice
3 tbsp of mayonnaise

  • Mix them well and you get this wonderful sauce!

  • I made about 11 muffins. You can get 12 or more if the mixture in each cup is lesser or the liner is smaller.
  • *You can substitute the ingredients with other alternatives like stronger cheeses, or replace the chives with scallions or chilli flakes with paprika.*
  • The sauce can give you dragon's breath because of the raw garlic but it is absolutely delicious!
  • This muffin is not very cheesy so it is suitable for many people.
  • The tangy sauce can actually make you eat more than one muffin at a go.
  • You could use them as a side dish.
  • Thanks Gab & Anna!!! For simply everything!!!
Light, golden fluffy goodness!!

Fish & Co

I ordered the usual Garlic Butter Mussels. It came with a herby foccacia for dipping into the wonderful sauce. I remembered it came with plain bread and we could ask for more if we wanted to but I think it has changed for the past few years. I still think having a plain bread with the garlic butter sauce would taste better.

Oh, did you know? I am a raw garlic convert now. Slowly picking up. Heheh...It makes me have dragon breath but I am slowly appreciating the need for raw garlic at meals. I feel like a middle age uncle wearing gold chains and eating raw garlic. Lol...

The calamari was not bad. I think it is still a little different from Italian restaurants (duh!) and I prefer da Mario or Porta Porta's version.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dinner set at Ohsho, Cuppage Plaza

Order this if you are really very hungry. This value for money set (S$16) could be easily shared among 2-3 small eaters. It comes with a plate of gyozas and a bowl of watered down soup. This set has fried rice which I absolutely like a lot, omelette, stir fried pork, coleslaw, croquette and ebi fry. Yum....I almost could not move away from the seat after dinner.

Note to self: Remind them not to put ketchup on the egg because it does not match.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

House of Tau Sar Piah, 603 Balestier Road

One day I spotted a box filled with tau sar piah and decided to sneak one out for tasting. It looked bigger than the usual tau sar piah so I thought I would eat half first. Before I realise what was happening, I found myself picking up the crumbs on the tissue that I was eating from. Yes, I finished the salty pastry.

I liked the slight warm and crispy crust, the salty and sweet mung bean (tau sar) filling and the box. Lol. I'm a sucker for nice packaging. It costs 60cents each and there are other flavours available but I am not tired of this yet so, erm, yeah, not trying other flavours until I am sick.


I need one only...really...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Key Lime Pie from California Pizza Kitchen


My last encounter with key lime pie made me very curious to try the version at CPK. I think I still like PS. Cafe's version. This one is too sweet and milky with the pie crust soggy with a strong honey taste which made the whole dessert taste weird.

Where to find nice ones?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Beef Pho at Madam Saigon

I like their version of beef pho. Since discovering them on Liang Seah Street a few months back, I have gone back and had repeated orders of their pancakes and beef pho.

One turn off this time was their spotty service which made me feel irritated. Most of the time when we were there, coriander was never present in their dishes and we were assured that they do not add coriander in their food but the last time we went back, they had coriander everywhere. I was lucky that I liked coriander enough to finish them off. Someone else was not that lucky as the mere sight of them would just be simply revolting.

The pancake is filled with beansprouts and some slivers of prawns and meat. The appetising tangy sauce is the key to such a tasty combi so this was a must order item everytime we are here.

The beef pho's soup is very tasty and after a good squeeze of lime, I was ready to slurp the whole bowl. ;o) I liked their big bouncy beef balls, onions and tendons. Yum yum...

I am ready to overlook the service and go back there again to try other items on their menu.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

X'mas assorted cookies

Assortment of shortbread cookies!

I have to credit Vanna White first because without any assistance, I would not be able to complete this almost impossible task.

I followed 2 recipes and hence have 2 types of dough. Recipes were taken and adapted from Exclusively Food & Joy of Baking. The only thing that I have substituted for both recipes is the vanilla extract with the organic vanilla pods that I have on hand. Feel free to use either one.

Melting Moments Recipe (Review & Notes):
  • Dough was pretty soft to work with so I had left them in the fridge for about an hour before working with it. I needed quite a bit of flour to prevent them from sticking.
  • The oven and baking tray was a little small so I had to bake them in many batches hence the different flavours because I was bored.
  • Instead of baking at 150 degs, I baked the cookies at 190 degs for 30mins each batch as they did not get cooked after 20mins.
  • They will not change colour.
  • They had a milky taste to it and crumbles in your mouth.
  • I could change the butter to a better quality one the next time.
  • Flavours: Original & Cinnamon sugar.
  • My melting moments cookie does not have the lemon icing in between.

Shortbread cookies Recipe (Review & Notes):
  • Same as above except that this was easier to work with because of more flour.
  • For the Jam Drop cookie, just use your thumb to make that little "well" for the jam.
  • The strawberry jam needed was very little so be aware and careful when spooning the jam onto the little "well".
  • I used the strawberry milk choco bits that I got from Phoon Huat and scattered in the dough.
  • Can increase the flavours for all the cookies.
  • Shortbread tastes drier and more crisp.
  • Flavours: Star Shaped Shortbread, White Chocolate chip cookie, Jam Drop Cookie, Strawberry Milk cookie.
  • Can keep up to 2 weeks when refrigerated.

I can take orders for up to 3 flavours @ S$13.

Thank you. Cheers!

Bamboo Charcoal Sandwich

It was as black as the herbal jelly!!! Was on the way back to Singapore when we passed by the popular Lavender Cake Shop. They are quite popular here in Malaysia or JB at least. I spotted a black loaf whilst happily browsing through their bread section. It was panther black. Lol... I wonder does it have a charcoal taste? All the benefits listed in their brochure seemed too good to be true. Do you dare to eat this black bread?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Herbal Jelly at Koong Woh Tong

Koong Woh Tong Sdn Bhd (恭和堂) is a chinese herbal tea shop which has quite a number of outlets in Malaysia. I tried this at the Genting Highlands outlet. They specialise in Herbal Jelly (Guilinggao) and herbal teas. They are quite popular despite the limited choices. I suppose each of the outlets have similar interior designs like gold coloured pots containing the herbal bitter teas and the big gold container which is actually a steamer in disguise, steaming the herbal jellies. I got the hot herbal jelly to try.

It came with a pot of diluted syrup. For some, they may find the jelly too diluted or watery for their taste. For me, it was perfect as the ultra smooth and wobbly jelly slided through my throat and went straight to my tummy. I liked that the syrup was diluted as I can just pour a lot of it and slurp it straight from the bowl. There was a bitter aftertaste which I did not mind. I could just drink their bitter tea the next time.

Prices: RM8 (small), RM10 (big).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giant Cupcakes

Giant cupcakes spotted at Orchard Road. If only they were edible...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Confectionery from Japan

This was a gift from someone at Japan. I wonder if it tastes good. Flu bug still around so I can only stare at the boxes. There were other snacks like mochi and candies but these 2 sure look interesting.

Have a break, have a Kit Kat.

Caramel Pudding flavoured and limited edition as stated on the box.

Cake Chocolat...

I just stare at them everyday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Banana Loaf with White Chocolate Chips

I had some leftover bananas so I decided to bake something small. I got myself those aluminum loaf pans like those for Sara Lee cakes so it was more convenient. You can purchase them at Phoon Huat. This recipe was inspired by my previous effort to make the banana cake.

Banana Loaf with White Chocolate Chips
80g butter
50g sugar
1 egg
2 ripe bananas
50g self raising flour
50g Quaker oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
handful of white chocolate chips
dash of cinnamon powder

  • Preheat oven to 180 deg.
  • Cream butter and sugar. Do not panic if they do not cream well.
  • Add the egg to the butter and continue to blend them.
  • Add the bananas, reserving about half of the banana for slicing and decorating the loaf. You can pre-mash the bananas before adding them.
  • The mixture will curdle but will all come together when you add the dry ingredients.
  • Add oatmeal and the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Do not overmix.
  • Fold in the white chocolate chips and cinnamon powder.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan and decorate it with the banana slices and some white chocolate chips.
  • Bake them for about 15-20mins or until it has risen well.

The banana loaf's texture is more grainy and crumbly.
I did not have enough flour this time so the oatmeal is replaceable.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cupcakes: Peanut Buttercream & Maple Buttercream

This was totally an experiment. The texture for some of the cupcakes were slightly harder than expected but luckily for me, they were still pretty edible after dressing them with flavoured buttercream. Anyone who has good sponge cake recipes, please let me know.

Waiting to be dressed...

Sponge Cupcakes
(Makes about 18 small cupcakes)
4 eggs
110g sugar
110g flour
25g melted butter

  • Preheat oven to 200 deg.
  • Whisk whole eggs and sugar together until thick batter consistency. The batter should be pale and creamy and coats the whisk when you lift the whisk up. About 10mins.
  • Fold in the flour and ensure that all are properly mixed.
  • Add the melted butter and fold in carefully.
  • Spoon the batter into the cupcake casings until almost full or 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 8-10mins.
  • Let the cupcakes cool.

125g butter
80g powdered sugar
1 heaped teaspoon cocoa powder (Optional)

  • Whip the butter until it is pale and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  • The cocoa powder was added to give the buttercream some colour. It did not make any difference to the taste of the buttercream.

Peanut Buttercream
3 tablespoons (or more) creamy peanut butter

  • Add the peanut butter to HALF of the creamed mixture and continue to whip.

1 orange rind
1 tablespoon orange marmalade mixed with 1 tablespoon of hot water

  • Brush the marmalade mixture generously on the top of the cupcake.
  • Pipe the peanut buttercream on top and sprinkle orange rind as garnish.

Maple Buttercream
3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • Add the maple syrup to the other HALF of the creamed mixture and continue to whip.

White chocolate chips
Strawberry choco flakes
Hundreds & Thousands (Rainbow sprinkles)

  • Spoon the maple buttercream on top, spread and sprinkle the toppings as garnish.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Shimbashi Soba at Paragon

Decided to head down to Paragon to have some hot soupy stuff. This is my first time eating at Shimbashi Soba so I have no idea what to order.

I ordered the Yuba & Kinoko Healthy Soba. It had tau pok, tau kee and mushrooms in a warm broth which was soothing for the throat and comforting for the tummy. I find this quite healthy and if I didn't have flu, I would have opted for more interesting sounding dish or would have skipped this place altogether.

Rather average standards as I am not too sure what to look out for. The handmade soba tasted like those that you can buy and cook at home with the exception of the coarser texture which made them more springy. The beef was good. I could finish a bowl of rice with the beef. Maybe its time to head back to Yoshinoya for my beef bowl. :oP

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Wonderful Day...

Aloe Sun BB Cream from Skin Food

Pear Restaurant No. 1

Nice gesture

1hr to kill before the show

"Simple Jack" - Lol...this was hilarious.

Pear Restaurant No.2

After steak dinner, headed to Fullerton for tea.

What a wonderful day well spent. :o)

Strawberry Crumble

1st helping

I was inspired to bake something out of the strawberries because I grabbed 2 punnets at S$4.65, which was considered quite affordable. I baked 2 batches using one punnet each time and this has inspired me to consider other filling options like blueberries or apples in future.

Sliced strawberries

Strawberry Crumble:
For the crumble and base
11/4 cup of self raising flour
1/2 cup sugar

125g of cold butter (salted)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder - Optional

5 teaspoons of beaten egg mixture

Strawberry filling
1 punnet of strawberry (250g)
2 teaspoon of cornflour

1/4 cup of sugar

  • Preheat your oven to 180 deg.
  • Slice the strawberries and mix the cornflour and sugar and leave them aside for later use.
  • Put the flour, sugar, cinnamon powder and cubes of cold butter in a bowl.
  • Use a fork and start mashing the butter in the flour to make it look like breadcrumbs.
  • Once the mixture is like breadcrumbs, add in the egg mixture.
  • Mix them until lumpy.
  • Place half of the dough mixture on a baking pan (4"x8") and use your hands to press them down until the dough covers the bottom of the pan.
  • Place the strawberries nicely on top.
  • spread the crumble on top of the strawberries. You may wish to sprinkle some extra sugar or cinnamon.
  • Bake for 20mins or until the fillings start bubbling. It will resemble like strawberry jam.
  • Let cool completely before cutting them up.
  • Stare your baked good in awe, pat yourself on the back and enjoy.

The first crumble I did was too soggy because of too much egg. The second one has more crisp to it so it you like it crisp, add less egg to them.

Lining strawberries in the pan

The result!

2nd helping. Wish you could eat!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween to all!

Who did you dress up as? ;op
I'm off to the party!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween: Mutant Pumpkins & Jumpy Yolk

It is that time of the year when the bright orange squashes make special appearances at supermarkets like Jasons Market Place and you know Halloween is just around the corner. I spotted these oddly shaped pumpkin at Raffles City.

They reminded me of a butt. Two butts in fact. Lol. There are other weird and interesting shapes of pumpkins which seemed to be mutated because of some chemical imbalance in the soil or something else. There is also this giant pumpkin which costs S$169.00!! I did not check to see how much did this giant weigh but I read on the papers that a farmer who harvested a 697kg pumpkin was this year's winner for some pumpkin competition. And that was not a record breaker. Freaky.

Speaking of freaky finds, while dining with a group of friends at a certain HK Cafe, an egg yolk actually jumped out of the plate and landed on the table.

Actually, it was "bleeding" a little after 2 stabs.

My friend ordered the half boiled egg and pushed one of the egg yolk to the side but it actually jumped out. The yolk was pretty sturdy because it did not break so we decided to use toothpick to see if it breaks. It didn't. What a strong egg yolk. :o)