Sometimes The Simplest Hawker Food Works.

June 26, 2009

When you’ve got family with you, all you need is a good program playing on the tele, a merry heart and a series of random hawker fare. 

Such is bliss.

Finally…My New Kitchen.

May 29, 2009

All’s not done up yet. Still waiting for a time when I’m free to get an oven. Think you’ll be able to spot the empty shelf space meant for my precious new oven. 

Theme’s metallic, cosy with wood finishes. Am lovin’ my white table top which hides out the scratches (yeah!). 

Am really diggin’ the new sink too. 🙂
 

Everything’s still in a messy state but I’ll make do for now. 🙂 My favourite part of the kitchen? The island. Where the family meets to have breakfast, tea and supper.

Taipei’s Shilin Night Market.

February 14, 2009

It was a night for some food adventure. C and I were on a mission to try whatever our bellies can contain for the night.

The Taiwanese call this the “coffin bread” (棺材板 guān cái bǎn), which is bread stuffed with savoury filling, served toasted on the outside. I probably picked the wrong flavour (prawn & cheese) as I heard the black pepper beef filling was much better. Next time for sure!

Amazing oyster omelet that’s very unlike those you find in Singapore. It has an amazing sauce on top of a pancake-like fried egg and fresh juicy oysters. Underneath, you will find stir fried vegetables. A must try when you visit the Shilin Night Market.

DO NOT underestimate or be put off by these chicken backsides. 5 chickens had to give up their lives for me to stuff one stick down with glee. If you’ve never eaten this, you’ve never been to Taiwan.

Lovely dessert.

When we could not eat anymore…we went to buy local goodies.
Freshly fried almonds infused with honey and other sweet fatty gooey stuff. Cooled and then packed and then purchased.

Does this make you want to go to Taipei? 🙂

DanDan Wu @ Ximending, Taipei.

January 13, 2009

When C and I arrived in Taipei some two weeks ago, we were starved. This was mainly because we refused to eat plane food and wanted some real Tawinese cuisine.

After an hour bus ride to the hotel at Ximending, we went to DanDan Wu (a direct translation is EggEgg House) nearby.

Here’s a photo from outside the restaurant, so many floors of it! We were however too hungry to wait for seats on the upper floors so we settled for the ground floor.

Here’s my huge plate of ‘spicy’ chicken, egg with rice, spaghetti with tomato sauce and some salad. The spaghetti wasn’t fantastic, tasted like it came from a can without much flavour. Also, if you’re a chilli-loving-Singaporean, you should not take their ‘spicy’ too seriously.

Here’s the view after I ‘broke’ my egg cap on my rice. In Taiwan, only Japanese rice is used…I love it!

C’s pork-chop rice with Japanese curry was much nicer, do try this one.

However, I would not advice you to eat large meals like that as you’d be missing out on the street food, which is SO delicious! More posts on that soon. 🙂

The view across the restaurant. I love Taiwan so much. It was a comfortable 12 degrees and boy was I excited for the next 7 days to come.

Kitchen Designing In The Process.

December 21, 2008

My new home is in the process of being designed by my mum and I. I am most excited about how the kitchen would turn out. We are now awaiting the 3-dimensional mock up from our designer and this photo I found off the web best describes my new kitchen. 🙂 

My kitchen would have a dark tiled floor and a similar white kitchen top. The wood grain laminate on the cabinets would be of a darker zebra tone, in a horizontal fashion and without any metal handles protruding. My kitchen would have an ‘island-like’ work counter in an ‘L’ shape format, that connects to the stove. There would be a glass panel below the top-tier cabinet to allow for us to use markers to write recipes or notes. 

I am ecstatic, too excited to cook and bake in this new kitchen of mine. Just a mere three months to go. Breathe. 

p/s: I find this New York kitchen design really awesome too. Check out that fireplace in the middle of the room. Awesomeness! 

Seah Street Deli.

December 19, 2008

This beautiful deli is situated at Raffles Hotel, at the corner just across Seah Street. I went there for: The Chocolate Decadent Cake. I assure you, it is not for the faint hearted and you’ve got to really be in the appetite for super rich chocolate. It was such as huge slice at S$14 (inclusive of taxes and service charge).

Check it out.

What I love about this place most is its ambience. The way it makes me feel like I’ve escaped back to New York City (where delis are plenty), in the winter (strong air-conditioning inside) and enjoying some good American soul food (large portions).

And I was pleased with this jukebox standing at one corner. I love things of the good ol’ days.

*Dances to “Let’s Stay Together” in my head.

Social Media Breakfast 5.

December 18, 2008

I had a good time catching up with old friends and making new ones this Social Media Breakfast, that took place at the Samsung Store @ Vivo City. Too bad I had to leave earlier for another appointment. The location was great and the food was not too bad either.

A view of the spread.

The beautiful chocolate log cake.

And I felt so blessed because I’ve been craving for bread pudding for the longest time and viola! Delicious bread pudding in front of me.

Instant Homemade Glutinous Rice Balls.

December 17, 2008

I love Chinatown Food‘s glutinous rice balls or tangyuan. My mummy was so sweet to make this for my sister and I for supper.

Instead of a plain sugared soup, she used canned peanut soup with a little water added. You can get this easily at supermarkets in Singapore. Boil till the tangyuan floats and then eat! 🙂

There were two colours, representing two kinds of rice balls. I prefer the peanut filled ones in pink.
 

…and my sister prefers the sesame filled ones in white.
 

Yum-o! 😛

“Beach-Themed” Birthday Cake (Butter Cake With Butter Frosting).

December 15, 2008

I had so much fun baking this birthday cake for my friend who turned 25. A beach-themed cake came to mind and  I thought to myself, “okay there would be a beach mat on the sand, umbrellas and some sharks in the water” 🙂

First of all, I needed 3 layers of butter cake. Since my oven is a tiny electric one (which bakes less evenly), I baked it in 3 batches. You may freeze the cooled cake for up to 3 months and thaw it for at least 2 hours before you start to decorate the cake.

Butter Cake (serves about 9)
Adapted from “Party Cakes for kids”, Murdoch Books Australia 

150g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup fresh milk (if you want it more moist, replace some of the fresh milk with some canned condensed milk)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius. Lightly grease a round cake tin (I used a 15cm in diameter tin) and line the base with baking paper.
2. Beat the butter and sugar with electric beaters until light and creamy. Beat in eggs gradually and add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
3. Fold in the sifted flour alternatively with the milk until smooth. Spoon mixture into tin and smooth the surface. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
4. Leave the cake in the tin for about 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Frost it or freeze it in cling-wrap until it is ready to be frosted 🙂

And then…Viola. My butter cake layers thawing from the cold of the night.

Here’s my blue frosting for the ‘sea waves’ using this from allrecipes. For this cake size, I changed the total frosting portion to 18. I used a drop of blue colouring to mimic the waves.

For the ‘sand’ portion of the cake, I added less icing sugar to the frosting as it would be topped by brown sugar and I wanted to it look less stiff.

The ‘sand’.
 

The ‘sharks’, I made these out of cardboard paper. (Jaws piano tune in my head)
 

Layer 1 and 2 of the cake frosted with the ‘sand’ frosting. I would use whipped cream with fresh strawberries as a filling next time.

The sand portion all frosted.

‘Sand’ and ‘waves’ added.

Little beach mat I made, near the sharks. *Shudders.

The entire decoration.

 Here’s how the inside of the cake looked like.

 

Easy Brownie Cups Recipe.

December 12, 2008

(This post is photo intensive so beware!)

First up, the recipe for you to read through then some step by step photographs to aid anyone who has never baked before-I dare you to try this easy recipe.

Brownies (serves 16)

1/2 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter)
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius. Line a muffin tray with paper linings.
2. Mix oil, sugar and vanilla essence in a large bowl. Beat in eggs gradually with an electric mixer.
3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
4. Gradually stir in egg mixture and flour mixture until well blended (you may use your electric mixer but on low speed)
5. Stir in walnuts and pour batter into paper linings.
6. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 15 minutes or until moist crumbs cling onto the skewer when poked in the middle of the brownie (not when the skewer is clean)

Photo time.

Chop the walnuts to the consistency that you desire. This were my walnuts halfway in the chopping process.
 

The oil-some people get terrified as to how much fat goes into sweets. Reality check for you! 🙂
 

Yes and there’s sugar as well. I love the crystal look of the sugar in this photo.
 

My whisks still clean before mixing, vanilla was added to this mixture already.
 

Eggs, two are going to be separated from their gang.
 

Beating away and eggs added in gradually. I’m super particular about the meaning behind gradual, since I hate my mixture to curdle up when the eggs aren’t incorporated well. yuck.
 

The whisk after all that mixing.
 

The flour measured, feel free to be more precise than me. 🙂
 

I love this cocoa from Hershey’s.
 

Measurement of baking powder.
 

The same double-sided spoon can be used for the salt measurement as well. Thanks to this awesome magnetic measuring set from Calin last Christmas. 😀

The gorgeous dry mixture.
 

Finally all mixed together in glorious perfection.
 

The end. Now eat.
 

You’ll love how your kitchen smells when brownies are baking.