Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thank you my fair ladies!

I was telling you all that my friends cum colleagues came over to my apartment for a mini gathering on Sunday right? Do you know they gave me a surprise, no I should say a big surprise when they showed up with this:

My god! Thongs! Okay, I'm just playing around. They got me something that I wanted so badly but did not get it cause my Prince Charming is controlling my spending. My goodness, they really know me very well! They bought me a Philips Cucina 3-in-1!

Tell me, besides my buddies who knows me upside down (they can even predict the color of my undergarments), who do you think will know me so well! Them of course!

It's a bless that I get to know them through my current job. It's hard to find very close colleagues who eventually emerged as your friends. I mean there is a big difference between friends and colleagues. Your friends know you well and care for you, on the other hand your colleagues are only your working partners who may care for you but not as deep as how your friends do. I don't know how exactly to put that in details but I bet you all understands what I mean.

The Cucina 3-in-1 is just a gorgeous baby. You can use it for waffles, you can use it for cut & seal sandwiches and best of all, you can even use it for grills! Oh how wonderful! I totally heart it!

Thanks ladies!!!!!
(Rachel, Ping Ping, Joyz, Ching and Noelle)

Choux Puffs

Makes approx 25 mini puffs

Castor sugar1/2 tsp
Bread flour100g
Cake flour40g
Eggs, lightly beaten4
Vanilla extract1/2 tsp

  1. In a pot, bring water, butter, salt, sugar and vanilla to boil. Make sure the butter gets melted.

  2. When mixture starts boiling, add in the flour ingredients and combine well. You should get a "dough-like" mixture. Remove the mixture off from heat when you see that a white film can be seen at the bottom.

  3. Mix well to make sure all the flour are well combined. When mixture turns luke warm, add in the beaten eggs in thirds. You should get a sticky and yellowish batter.

  4. Scoop the batter into a piping and pipe them into circular shape onto a tray layed with baking paper. Bring to bake at 200 degree Celsius for 25 mins.

  5. Squeeze Custard cream or vanilla cream into the ready puff and sprinkle with icing sugar.

These puffs were baked for my colleagues cum friends who came over to my house on Sunday. It was just a simple gathering for the few closer friends in the office and I am really gald that they did enjoy the moment spent together in my squeezy apartment :) Imagine the humid weather with no aircon. 辛苦大家了! (read: Thank you for accomodating)

Majority of the girls voted for cream puffs as our dessert, so I baked them with fresh vanilla cream .Ping Ping (my picnic basket sponsor) loves them especially since they are one of her favourites and she wanted to learn how to make them. For the sake of her, I baked another batch yesterday night, so that she and the rest can get to taste the puffs again and of course, she will be able get know of the recipe from my blog :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

開飯了 Time for Dinner

The day was spent at home doing nothing. The weather was really humid and hot, so we decided not to go out. My Prince Charming complaint that I have not been cooking any Chinese food for him since the day I started experimenting on different baking recipes. Oh well, I'll do it then!

It was just a simple dinner, was it? I defrosted the poultry, pork and other ingredients needed and went off to do some work. By the time they were ready it was already 3pm. I started with the preparations and cooking and took almost 1.5 hrs to complete. 430pm and it's time for dinner! Super early dinner I can say.

By the way, it's too tedious to type out the whole recipes for the food below. If you are interested, leave me a comment and I'll send you the recipes via email ;)

糖醋里肌 Sweet and Sour Pork

麻婆豆腐 Mapo Toufu

清炒嫩波菜 Stir Fry Baby Spinach

玉米蘿蔔蔬菜湯 Sweet Corn and Carrot soup

The spread!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Picnic @ Sentosa

It was such a awesome day for picnic! The last few days, it was raining so frequently that I was panicking it might rain today. Thankfully, the dark clouds which gathered in the late morning cleared away gradually in the afternoon. Phew~ What a lucky day!

Both Prince charming and I applied for leave so that we could enjoy the long weekends (Monday is a public day for Singapore). We decided that we should go for another picnic session like the last time. I was so happy and beaming with joy because it's finally time to use my Picnic basket, given to me by Ping Ping. Thanks Ping Ping! I love the basket~ So gorgeous!

We headed to Sentosa by the Sentosa Express (Monorail). The last time I went Sentosa was like in March when my company organised a Team Building outing, while Prince Charming's was like more than 1 year ago. He got a shocked when we reached Sentosa - A big total change! We hurriedly walked ourselves to the Siloso beach in case there's no more "seats". Typical Singaporean (Kiasu). We also sat on the Skyride!

I tell you, you should see the numbers of students over there! The kids nowadays are really so fortunate, can go Sentosa by themselves when they are only like 14 or 15?!! During my time, it was either my parents or my school who will bring us there. 老了真的是老了(read: I'm really getting on age). The way kids are being treated is so different now, no wonder they are getting a tad too matured for their age, in terms of dressing I mean.

Anyway, the picnic session was good except that the sun was really big and hot. I think I almost thought I was in Sahara desert. Heng (Luckily) no dehydration occurred if not I won't be posting any entry now. LOL!

My gorgeous Picnic Basket! I heart it so much!
Spotlight is selling a similar one at $70! (comes with cutlery and plates though)

Potato Korrokes mixed with Tuna. I thought it looks like Takoyaki here.

A very simple salad with cocktail dogs.

The flattened Honey-baked Ham Sandwiches.

The cute bento boxes I got from Daiso.
Upper triangular space can be used to store 2 Onigiris and lower box for side dishes.
I actually squeezed my sandwiches in the upper part and it got flattened.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sponsorship anyone?

I want a Pasta machine!!
I want to do home-made pasta!
I want to make my own noodles!
I want! I want! I want!!!!!

I'm like drooling my saliva when I saw this machine while googling for an answer to fresh lasagna sheets.

I goggled on where to get this in Singapore and found 2 locations: Pantry Magic & Sia Huat
Pantry Magic is selling at $57 while Sia Huat's $10 more. Kind of expensive to me since I'm not sure if I'll use it that often. BUT.... I'm falling in love with it!

Blindfold me someone! Blindfold me!
Blindfold me before I gets crazy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tomato Meat Sauce Lasagna

Serves 1

Minced pork200g
Tomato purees1/2 can
Chicken stock4 tbsp
Diced onions1/2 of a medium one
Dried Lasagna sheets3-4
Olive oil1 1/2 tbsp
Salt1 1/2 tsp
Sugar2 tbsp
Mushrooms (sliced)7-10

  1. In a saucepan, heat up the oil. When the oil gets hot, stir in the diced onions. Sauté the onions for about 1 min.

  2. Add in the minced pork and stir well. Make sure that the minced pork are not crumpled together.

  3. Add in the sliced mushrooms and stir well. You may stir in the chicken stock at this time. Simmer for a while.

  4. Pour in the tomato purees and blend well. Simmer for 3 mins.

  5. Add in sugar and salt for seasoning. Simmer for another 3 mins.

  6. Break the lasgana sheets into smaller pieces if you have a small baking bowl like me.

  7. Next, add a little amount of the meat sauce at the botoom of the bowl and top it with the lasagna sheets. Alternate the steps and end it off with the meat sauce.

  8. Sprinkle a generous amount of cheese (I used pizza cheese)over the meat sauce and bring to bake at 180 degree Celsius for 12~15 mins.

I did this lasagna last night for Prince Charming. As usual, I ran out of ideas of what to have for dinner. I need to get one that's fast, easy and suits my Prince Charming's royal taste buds. I went Carrefour for grocery shopping few days ago and bought a box of dried lasagna sheets on impulse. I thought of doing it probably some other days over the weekend and since my brain cells are lazy to think at that moment ,it came in rather handy.

The whole process took less than 40 mins. It's fast to me but slow to my mum :( My mummy also nagged at me for taking such a long time to prepare a meal. Well well well, like the saying goes : 薑是老的辣 (Old ginger tastes spicier ) Read: The experts are always the experts.

Nevertheless, I'm trying my best to fasten my pace in cooking and improving my culinary skills.
My Prince Charming told me in advance that he doesn't want his tomato meat sauce to taste sourish and he wants it sweet, so I added in sugar. You can omit that if you do not want something on the sweeter side. I tasted the meat sauce and thought it really matches well with spaghetti. I guessed I can use this meat sauce for my spaghetti in future.

One sad note is that the lasagna sheets wasn't very soft even when soaked in a pot of warm water. After baking, they were chew-able but not soft, just not that kind that I like, though my Prince Charming wasn't fussy at all. He said it was okay but if it's softer then it'll be perfect! I googled and now learnt that fresh lasagna sheets are more recommended. Anyway, since Prince Charming enjoyed his overly cheeseees lasagna, I'm more happy than anyone ;)

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Astons @ Katong

Right after work, both Prince Charming and me hopped onto Bus 14 and head our way to Katong. It would be crazy in a way since both of us are working in the central and staying in the North-east area. Katong is a somehow "inaccessible" area because:

1. There's no MRT
2. There's no direct bus(es)
3. There's always jams

Like expected, the bus was crowded with people and we had to endure the almost 30-mins ride. It wasn't a bad thing since I enjoy taking bus rides (Weird but I love how you can see so many things from the route you've taken till you reach the destination).

One thing that I like about Katong is that, IT'S CROWDED WITH FOOD! Almost the whole street are selling different varieties of food. Peranankan, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Western, Chinese and even Hong Kong cuisine. You name it, I bet Katong has it ;)
Anyway, after reading the entry posted by Camemberu on Astons , we decided to have a try at Astons Specialties.

When we reached Astons, we couldn't believe our eyes. There's such a long queue! I never knew they were so popular! My apology for that :) We waited for about 20 mins before we got served a table and still there's another long long queue, double the ones we had encountered earlier. I'm sure they serve real good food, else why the queue?

I ordered their specialties of the day - Super Sampler which consists 4 kinds of sausages (Rosemary herbs, Cheese, Chicken and Pork). They were real juicy and good. My Prince Charming got himself a Prime Ribeye X-tra Cut (Medium cooked) and potato salad + Corn on cob for his side dishes. Don't ask me about the ribeye cause I've no idea at all but Prince Charming said it was tender, juicy and delicious. The side dishes were fantastic especially the Potato salad. So refreshing and tasty!

Now I understand the power behind the queues! I'm sure to visit them again! Their menu are so affordable and they don't charge a single cents on Service Charge! How cool!

Astons Blog: http://astonsspecialties.blogspot.com/
(Addresses, updates and pictures updated)

Friday, May 09, 2008


Makes approx 17 Madeleines

Vanilla extract1/2 tsp
Lemon zest1/2 tsp
Icing sugar120g
Plain flour95g
Baking powder1/4 tsp
Melted butter115g

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degree Celsius. Grease the Madeleines mould.

  2. Beat eggs, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Add in sugar gradually and combine into a thick mixture.

  3. Sift flour and baking powder and add 1/4 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Fold in gently. Add in remaining flour and combine well.

  4. Add in the melted butter to the batter and blend well. Scoop the batter into each individual mould.
  5. Bring to bake at 190 degree Celsius for 12~14 mins.

What are Madeleines? My recall of Madeleines were "Seashell cakes" sold at Delifrance in the old days. They were so expensive at that time (to me lah, since I'm only a pathetic stingy Secondary 1 student) that I can't bear to buy a packet for myself, so I don't really know how does they taste like.

It was only when I started collecting recipes that I know of them as a delicate french cake. Being a "Suan Ku", I wiki for an answer:

Madeleines are very small cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Their flavour is similar to, but somewhat lighter than, pound cake, with a pronounced butter-and-lemon taste.

Madeleines are perhaps most famous outside France for their association with involuntary memory in the Marcel Proust novel À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past in the first translation, more recently translated as In Search of Lost Time), in which the narrator experiences an awakening upon tasting a madeleine with lime-flower tea.

Anyway, I think they looked really pretty! My, they taste gorgeous too! With a slight tint of lemon scent going with the spongy cake texture just keeps my fingers want-ing to get more of them. I think they make perfect snacks! I adopted this receipe from Allrecipes.com. Mother's Day will be coming in a few days and I guessed some of you out there might consider baking these petite little cakes for your wonderful mum. I'll sure to do so if my mum fancy them. My mum don't really like sweet cakes as much as I do, probably when she's young but not now. She prefers saltish snacks :)

Last but not least, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Mum, I love you :)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

High Tea @ Home

Like I mentioned earlier in my previous post, everything seems to be going up. The rice, flour and even oil. Infatuations is almost everywhere around the globe. It's just like every single thing on earth is going to increase except for our salary *Sigh*.

I am quite thrifty in a sense, I buy only when I have the additional bucks. Ever since I started my own family with my Prince Charming, I have upgraded myself to "stingy" LOL. I can't help it since in the past, I don't have to worry about my monthly utilities bills, groceries and taxes. My parents are the ones who will handle them. Now, I have to manage them with Prince Charming and indeed, it makes me realised why my parents nagged at us (siblings + me) so much when we did not shut the TV/computer/lights/air-con off even though no-one's using.

It looks like our weekends were spent mostly at home. At most, we will stroll to the nearby neighbourhood mall to kill our time. I try to spice up our weekends by introducing new cuisines or recipes but so far I only managed to try out Thai and Western. So most of the time, I will whipped up a simple meal and we spent the rest of the day watching DVDs. I tried doing a high tea last year and it was good. Both Prince Charming and I really enjoyed the moments with each other and of course the food prepared.

With no hesitation, I suggested to Prince Charming that we should hold a mini High tea again. Mini as in I try to cut down the number of food prepared. The other time, it took me almost the whole day getting everything done. For today, I only prepared some simple stuffs: Cheesecake, salad, sandwiches and Rose Earl Gray tea.

Speaking about my cheesecake, it was a total disappointment. I wasn't happy with the look because it sank when I open the oven door halfway through the baking. It wasn't intentional because I wanted to remove some of the mini cheesecakes I baked with the left over cheesecake batter. I would say, I should know that baking them in batches is a more appropriate method! The look of it totally gross me out but well, the taste was just so good that I forgotten all about it :)

Prince Charming who used to not has a fancy for Cheesecake love it too! Well, I added sugar to the cheese when I combined them with the eggs. He doesn't like the cheesecake to has this very slight salt-ish taste. He prefers it very SWEET. The sandwiches were made with the loaf I baked last night. It was a new recipe taken from my recipe book. I'll post it up later ;) Salad were done with the left over fillings for the sandwiches.

Anway, it's really cozy to stay at home especially with such humid and hot weather. Indulging ourselves with our DIY high tea items was just so so so nice. I wish the day would be so much longer! :P