Thursday, March 30, 2006

Homemade Pasta

Pasta Machine

Today was one of those days where my hands felt fidgety - i attribute this to the fact that i haven't been cooking or baking in a long while!

I was studying (yes, my exams are less than a month away!) when my mind wandered off and I suddenly felt like eating pasta. Not only did i want to eat pasta, I wanted to eat homemade pasta. I was in the mood for something made fresh without preservatives whatsoever.

Then I remembered I have a pasta machine! See that beautiful baby right above? Well my dad bought it a few years ago... actually many years ago! About 11 years ago! How do I know? Well, heh when I uncovered this gem from the storeroom, it was still in its original box with the date of purchase and price written on it (my mum has a habit of labelling most of our major purchases, don't ask me why).

I can't believe we haven't used this wonderful contraption in eons... and so I knew it was my chance to save it from anymore neglect. I went on to make my own pasta.... it's my first time! And here are some photos if you are curious:

egg and flour mixture
pouring eggs into the flour for my pasta dough

finished pasta dough
my finished pasta dough

rolling pasta noodles
rolling out the pasta noodles

Homemade pasta is rather simple actually. All you need is a pinch of salt, some flour and eggs! If you're wondering how much I used: 3 cups flour and 4 eggs at room temperature. I was supposed to add salt too but I kind of forgot and well it actually made no difference. So I think it's okay to omit it?

Anyway, I must say, it was an experience, making my own pasta for the very first time and actually tasting it. I was too lazy to make any pasta sauce whatsoever so I just opened a can of tom yam tuna and poured some over my cooked pasta:

Tom Yam Tuna Pasta

Hey, I know what you're thinking... it's quite a half-baked attempt at dinner but well I have exams to study for and I was just looking to fill my stomach asap and get back to mugging! :)

By the way, I think my noodles came out too thick, but it was fine for me... I liked it anyway. Just remember that when you cook it, it'll expand.

I might make more pasta soon - I really like it! Quite fun actually... but that'll have to wait till my exams are over.... ahh... okay back to the books. cheerios!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Mushroom and Veggie Chips?!

Mushroom Mix

I'm not sure if you guys can tell what's there in that photo above. Doesn't it look very much like greens and mushrooms? Well that's what they are but these are in a different league of their own!

It's not a salad and neither is it some ingredients for a dish... it's rather a supposedly healthier alternative for people who love chips. You know how on some days when you just feel like snacking and eating something crunchy and you don't want to be feasting on something loaded with fats? Well, I guess you could get your hands on these mushroom and vegetables chips:

JMushroom Chips Box

I don't think these are fried, but it seemed like they dried it until it's all crisp and crunchy. Rather intriguing but very very salty. So I guess, it doesn't make it all the more healthier anyway. It just helps with the consolation part. I'd take fresh vegetables and mushrooms anyday!

P.S. Just a side note about Bourdain - i actually dreamt about the guy that night I blogged about him! In my dream, we were in the same bus and I actually went up to him and snapped a photo with him... damn, I woke up soon after... there are just some dreams you wish you could make a reality! okay, i really sound like a crazy school girl rambling about some hot guy i know! but pardon me... there's just some guys (like Bourdain) that just stands out! :)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Anthony Bourdain in Singapore!


I so so so wish I am at Maxwell Food Centre now. WHY? Isn't the answer obvious? Look at that picture!!!

DAMN! I was happily taking a short nap and was woken up a while ago by Dot's message... Apparently she's at Maxwell right this instance and she snapped that photo of him above! She knows I am his fan and she wanted to make sure it was him. He's with the camera crew filming and I think he ate some famous chicken rice there. He's so friendly! Dot had wanted to snap the photo discretely but he somehow saw her taking this photo and so he smiled and looked at the camera!

Dot!! I wish I was there with you! Oh my goodnesss. Anyone who knows me knows how much I dig Anthony Bourdain! I watch his show on Discovery Travel and Living and even have his books! I was actually reading his 'Kitchen Confidential' book this week...

Though I'm not at Maxwell right now, I"m still so excited! If only I drove or rode, then I could go there now! I mean, Singapore is a small country anywayz.

Argh, a missed opportunity! I really wished I could fly right now... or teleport at most.

Anthony Bourdain! Come back to Singapore... I have yet to meet you...

I think he's coming back for the World Gourmet Summit. Maybe I could bump into him then.. Okay I'm starting to sound crazy. Hey I can't help it if he's so hot in a coolcat sorta way! I mean.. think Richard Gere. And he's a bloody chef with attitude. I love him!

It's okay, once I graduate, I'll go find a job at Discovery Travel and Living. Then maybe I could even do a show with him. hahaa... anywayz, nothing is impossible eh?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My 7 Food Sins

X of x-tension tagged me a few days ago and I had fun doing up this post. I'm sure most of you won't be surprised at my choices here. After all I have a sweet tooth and I have a love-affair with desserts and pastries. So here goes:

Dark Chocolate

Lindt Dark
Lindt, and Valrhona are some of my favourite brands

Tim Tams



My favourite tiramisu so far is from Entoria. I have yet to try Tiramisutra's! I heard its damn good though.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Nonya Pineapple tarts

My favourite flavours include New York Super Fudge Chunky and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! No surprise there :) but i recently took a liking to Cherry Garcia as well! So glad Singapore has Ben & Jerry icecream parlours!

Pineapple Tarts

Nonya Pineapple tarts
i love these nonya versions. lots of pineapple jam and a crumbly tasty crust. heavenly. totally sinful though

Apple Pie

Apple Pie
Pies! I adore pies esp apple pies ... and i love this one sold at NUS business canteen. They serve it warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. It's cheap too.... only $2 . can you believe it?


The king of fruit has a special place in my heart. Pungent but decadent, rich and creamy, I totally dig this thorny darling.

There you have it, my 7 food sins! Sinful food that I simply adore...

and now, I'll like to tag
Fat Fingers

Bon Appetit!!! I so feel like having some durians now... and erm... chocolate? but heh, chocolate is definite no-no, for now! Nvm, easter is coming... :) I'll be patient!

Carr's Table Water

Carr's Table water

Yay! I've finally finished all my deadlines. Geez, last week was incredibly hectic. Was rushing to complete two papers. I looked like a total zombie and I was eating at erratic hours and survived with as little sleep possible. But you know what? I did it! And I'm still alive. haha.. thank God for that!

Anyway, hope you guys have been doing fine! I really miss doing my thing in the kitchen and churning out stuff! And yes, i miss Chocolate very much!!!

I tell you, everytime I walk into a store, I see chocolate everywhere... everything is like made out of chocolate! And I don't realise how much chocolate I used to eat, until now. Thing is, i'm behaving as if I'm allergic to chocolate, which is kinda amusing - even my friends know I'm abstaining from choc and they try not to buy chocolate stuff. Haha.... anyway i'm still going strong. Dad bought Neapolitan icecream and I ate only the strawberry and vanilla portion! seee... how strong i am... heh.

On another note; since I had to steer clear from chocolate foodstuff, I decided to buy something I've not eaten in eons! Carr's Table Water! My my... these crackers are divine. There's just something about them. I don't know why they're called table water but I do know that these crackers was granted the Queen Victoria's Royal Warrant and was created by Jonanthan Carr in 1831. That's like a whole load of history to these thin crisp cracker! It works totally well as canapes or tapas. Put some tuna or egg spread and viola, a light snack... well I decided to smear on some of my home made lemon curd:

table water with my lemon curd

and the result? tangy, refreshing crackers fit for a queen! :0)

I love these crackers. Been eating them instead of chocolate... well but it's depleting. Time to go get more table water. I'm seriously hooked...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dad's homemade fishballs in assam gravy

Fishballs and assam

Dear all, I'm terribly sorry for my lack of posts these days! My deadlines are looming. Have plenty of papers to write and have been up to my neck 24/7. I don't even have time to bake! This is sad.

But hey, here's a lil update about my chocolate abstinence - i'm still going strong! Haven't eaten chocolate in ages. I do miss it but I'm trying to control those cravings of mine. :)

Anyway, I have other good food around to distract me from chocolate. That bowl of orange soup with cabbage, toufu and fishballs looks good eh? My dad cooked it last week. It was fantastic! The soup is assam (tamarind) based and is very tasty.

Now the thing about this dish is the fishballs:

Dad's Homemade Fishballs

I'm not being bias when I say these are the best fishballs ever! They're homemade! My dad makes them. He uses pure mackerel ya know. It's so yummy. I prefer these to the ones sold outside; those are to plastic-like! And you don't taste no fish at all. But the ones my dad makes, whoa, they are dense and filled with fish flavour. All pure ingredients and no chemicals added. Damn, it's time I learnt all his skills!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Another Meme!

Cass of cass loves to cook has tagged me for this latest meme that has been going around.
so well, here goes!

4 jobs I've had in my life:
1. Waitress at The Mango Tree
2. Editorial Intern at Asia City Publishing (they publish I-S Mag)
3. Sales-person at Metro Departmental Store
4. Freelance writer for Think Mag

4 movies I could watch over and over again:
1. Moulin Rouge
2. Dead Poet's Society
3. Million Dollar Baby
4. Forrest Gump/ The Green Mile (Couldn't decide!)

4 places I've lived:
1. Brisbane (2 months)
2. Malacca (dad's hometown, so went back there pretty often)
3. Singapore
4. N-A.

4 TV shows I watch:
1. Gilmore Girls
2. American Idol
3. Desperate Housewives
4. Grey's Anatomy

4 places I've been on vacation:
1. London and Brighton
2. Bangkok and Phuket
3. Malaysia
4. Brisbane

4 websites I visit regularly:
1. Google and Gmail
2. NUS's site (i have to!)
3. Epicurious
4. Baking Sheet

4 of my favourite foods:
1. Dark chocolate
2. Pasta
3. Chilli (anything spicy like my dad's Ayam Buah Keluak & Devil Curry!)
4. Cakes and cookies (tiramisu, brownies and my own choc chunk cookies!)

4 places I would rather be right now:
1. Studying in London
2. Pursuing a degree/course in Patisserie At Le Cordon Bleu
3. Chilling at the Maldives
4. Great Barrier Reef

4 people I'm tagging for this meme:
1. Colin of 'Only Slightly Pretentious Food'
2. Docile
3. Nani of Cream of Crete
4. Gustad of Iron Stomach

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Gingko Lotus Seed Dessert

Gingko Lotus Dessert

This is one of my favourite oriental dessert and there's nothing better than a bowl of it that's homemade. The ones I have outside are either too sweet or really stingy with the ingredients. This dessert is known to be really good for your skin - the gingko and beancurd skin attributes to that I think. It also contains lotus and barley seeds.

No, I didn't make this myself. My mum made it! She surprises me sometimes. She really dislikes cooking and anything to do with the kitchen but I guess this was fool-proof. I mean what's so difficult about throwing in the ingredients in a big pot and let it cook and simmer? haha, I'm so mean! I should give her some credit ya? So there, I'll say it, this one she made was really nice! :)

Perhaps I should make it myself someday. Anyhow, this dessert is a definite must-try, though I think most people don't really like the gingko (the yellow fruit). I remember having difficulty even swallowing it when I was younger... I didn't like it at all, and preferred having more lotus seeds than gingko. But now, I love it! Besides it's good for my skin!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Going cold-turkey for Lent

Tempting chocolates

You all know I LOVE chocolates right? And right now, I could so do with a bar right now and be really happy!


Yes, there is a but.

Because I have decided to go cold-turkey.

No, not permanently of course.

Just for 40 days.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent. So I have decided I should do something sacrificial too. And so, for the time of Lent, I am not going to eat chocolates. I shall block it out of my mind, it should hide in the shadows:

chocolate sacrifice

and I'll not eat a single ounce of chocolate for this month. Is it possible you wonder? I say Yes.... if Jesus could die on the cross, then I could do something as painless as giving up chocolates temporarily.

So, I'm afraid there won't be any chocolate recipes this month. Well I could still bake chocolate stuff I guess, for the family but I think I'd rather be on the safe side. Out of sight, out of mind. :p

Wish me luck! hahaa I doubt there would be withdrawal symptoms. hmph!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Chocolate Fondue

Homemade Chocolate Fondue

There's no better way to perk up a dull day than to indulge in some good chocolate.

Mum bought me a adorable little tealight chocolate fondue set last Christmas and I haven't had a chance to use it. Until a few days ago when I was just craving for chocolate.

It might not be much, this fondue set is more like a novelty really - it looks like a toy! or some aromatherapy kit. Anyhow, it didn't stop me from chopping up some dark chocolate, heating it up in a pot and pouring it into this porcelain bowl to dip bananas with.

I know the proper fondue should have a more liquid-like chocolate 'soup' but I didn't want to add any cream or butter so I just used pure chocolate. It's quite okay; a little thick but hey I love it this way. Chocolate brings me immense joy. Haha. it's good.

Maybe if I have the money, I'll invest in a proper fondue pot someday. Saw a gorgeous one some time ago but guess how much it costs? $1049! It's by Stelton and it's damn sleek and beautiful. The whole set has this rotating round table contraption where all your cut up fruits or meats (if you're doing a cheese fondue) will be placed and the guests won't need to get up to reach for the other end - they can just rotate it! Amazing.

You know, all this hankering for 'to-die-for' kitchen gadgets and contraptions is just so making me want to work hard and save up for that fantastic kitchen of mine which will hold everything I need... i'll be patient and continue persevering till it becomes actual reality! You bet I will! I ain't giving up just yet...

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