Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Giant Ginger Cookies

Giant Ginger Cookies

Ginger is a wonderful spice. It's probably not what I'd love to eat when I was younger - but like I've said, the weirdest things happen to your tastebuds when you grow up. Things I didn't fancy much when I was younger start tasting a lot better now! Like ginger.

I love ginger, especially ginger tea! I would always order 'teh halia' (malay for ginger tea) when I happen to be at the coffeeshop but I always prefer the authentic ones made by Indians. That's when you know they use actual ginger infused tea, and not just instant made ones.

Of course, since I like ginger, I have to like ginger cookies... and you know what? I've always wanted to make them but never got down to it. I think it's because it's so hard to find molasses here. But anyways I found them at Tierney's Gourmet at Serene Centre and I was delighted of course.

And so, I made my first ginger cookies. The receipe was from Simply Recipes; I read Elise's post about the giant ginger cookies her friend's daughter made and was sold. I made some myself over the weekend and loved the outcome.

Do remember to include the baking soda though! I forgot to include that at first, but added some to the dough last minute. Also, the recipe did call for a coating of sugar on the dough before baking - but personally, I prefer it without. I tried both results and decided I could do with less sugar because it can overpower the ginger too much.

I liked the taste of the cookies alot. The spices were good. Of course! With cinnamon and cloves, it is bound to taste good... esp when there's ginger too. Now I feel like baking more ginger cookies... in the shape of gingerbread men! Oh wait, then that would be gingerbread wouldn't it? haha... okay I might bake them soon... when i have the time!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

What happens when you have an ingredient in your fridge that has been sitting there and you're simply dying to use it, lest it turns bad?

You'll do what I do - google the ingredient and see what recipe comes up that might look feasible enough.

I did just that and look what I came up with: Banana Buttermilk Muffins.

Interesting name? Yes, that's because it uses quite a bit of buttermilk (yes the ingredient I wanted to finish up!) and goes well with bananas.

I wanted something healthy and since I had some bananas at home; I thought, why not?

However, I did make some changes to the recipe. I didn't have wholewheat flour, so I used 1/2 cup wholemeal flour and 1/4 wheat germ, just to up the nutritional value of these muffins! And I used raw sugar instead of normal refined sugar. I didn't have walnuts so I omitted them.

The outcome was pretty okay - a little sticky though. I think it's because of the bananas and the fact that I used wholemeal flour, which didn't quite absorb the liquid properly. Anyhow, it tasted quite good and I had some with yoghurt this morning for breakfast! :)


Banana Buttermilk Muffins

This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Healthful Cooking. They bake up light and full of flavor. The riper the bananas the sweeter the muffins.

1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 tbsps canola oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray 12 regular muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
In seperate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mashed banana, oil, egg and vanilla.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir just until blended.
Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about three-fourths full.
Sprinkle tops evenly with nuts.
Bake until lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Allow to cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely.
These muffins freeze well and can be warmed in microwave.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Of cookbooks, and a kind soul

Williams-Sonoma Cookbooks

I have a total of 9 Williams-Sonoma cookbooks sitting on my shelves right now.

And I paid for none of them.

No, I certainly didn't steal them!

How then did I become the proud owner of that many cookbooks without forking out a cent?

It pays to have kind friends I guess.... friends who happen to work in a publishing company.

Haha.... he didn't only give me Williams-Sonoma cookbooks! He gave me this:

David Lebovitz’s Great Book of Chocolate

YEA! the book i've been eyeing for the longest time...

I mean, every chocoholic must own it. David Lebovitz rocks and I read his blog too. But now, I have this book and I await the day I can make a trip down to Paris and savour all the chocolatey places he has mentioned!

But wait, that's not it!

This dear friend also knows how much I love baking brownies and eating them. So he passed me this 'BROWNIES to die for!' recipe book. By the way, it's not out in stores yet (so I had to remove the picture... sorry!)

Brownies to die for indeed! There's like sooo many variations of brownies in there. It'll take me quite a while to try all the recipes though.

But you'll be the first to know, when I do!

Anyway, it's time to acknowledge this kind and sweet soul!

Mike is his name and he's been such a great friend; what with the moral support and all. He's been the one who's egging me on with my online bakery business! We've been bouncing off ideas and business plans for this dream of mine. He's a great friend I tell you. I'm sure you all would agree! I mean, who in the world would sneak out copies of cookbooks just for you? Mike! I know you're reading this... let me just say a BIG thank you once again! You're an amazing friend.... and a talented one at that. He customises sneakers ya know... So people, if you're thinking of having a special pair of your own sneakers, go look for him! I can vouch for his talent...

From my humble count of 12 cookbooks, I now have more than 25 sitting on my lil old shelf. Wow... thanks Mike once again! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Brazil Churrascaria

interior of brazil churrascaria

Reviewed this place recently. I love the interior. It must be the lights. I like how warm the place was - in a cosy sense of course. It was my first visit and I was really impressed.

I'm not much of a meat person but Brazil Churrascaria was a pleasant surprise. With over 15 different meats and cuts, even a carnivore would be full as hell! The passadors were lovely - very attentive and friendly. They'd remember which meats you want or don't want. Of course you can also request to get only one type of meat the whole evening.

Don't worry if you are vegetarian - there's always the pasta and salad bar:

Salad and Pasta Bar

Trust me, this bar alone is sufficient to whet your appetite. The food is yummy and I love the fresh greens and potato salad:

Closeup of salad and pasta bar

here's a look at the meat, whilst being carved onto my plate:

meat on my plate

Now you see what I mean? Check out the amount of meat I have on my plate! Ohhh... and I ate chicken hearts for the first time. Hehe... it tasted quite good actually. I liked the chicken wrapped with bacon, and the tenderloin.. Mmmmm.... I was duly satisfied... but not quite yet. Until this came of course:

Dessert at Brazil Churrascaria

My most favourite part of the evening - or rather, of every meal: D-E-S-S-E-R-T!

That's creme brulee, followed by strawberries stuffed with mango icecream, banana pudding, and passion fruit icecream. YUM!

Brazil Churrascaria isn't for the faint hearted. Please visit at your own risk and come with an empty stomach all right?

*Price is at $38++ per person.

Brazil Churrascaria
14/16 Sixth Avenue
Tel: 6463-1923
Open Mon-Sun: 6-10:30pm

Friday, February 17, 2006

Wholemeal Pikelets

wholemeal pikelet

Wanted to make pancakes for breakfast this morning but suddenly remembered about this wholemeal pikelet recipe I saw on Chubby Hubby's site a while ago.

I love anything that's healthy and wholesome and I felt like a healthy breakfast so I tried making these pikelets.

I expected it to be easy. But guess what? It's not that it wasn't easy. There was something wrong with my interpretation of the recipe. No, not the method, but one of the ingredients.

Wholemeal Flour. Now, the wholemeal flour I had, was the strong one. Made from whole wheat grains, it includes bran, and the wheat germ; thus the light brown coarse feel.

Now, I have a feeling, that the recipe called for a not so strong whole meal flour. I googled about the recipe and the flour and found out that I was right. This recipe actually calls for wholemeal all purpose flour. Which is a less stronger version. No wonder my pikelets didn't look anything like Chubby Hubby's.

wholemeal pikelet closeup

Well anyway, now I know. Infraredherring made them wholemeal pikelets too and they look so lovely. The site has a more accurate version of the recipe.

Overall, I think my pikelets tasted nice though. It had a very nutty flavour and I ate them with cranberries. Yum. Next time, I'll try it with the right flour. :)

TGIF! Have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My dream kitchen... time to save up!

Okay people, sorry but there won't be any food pictures in this post! You know how we all have this ideal picture of how our homes would look like in the future? I know I always dream about it. But there's one particular room in the house that just has to be fantastic and sorry to say but it'll probably be the most expensive room in my entire house. and yes, it's such an easy guess! of course it's the kitchen! that's what this post is going to be about: my dream kitchen. Bear with me a little all right? :)

I was at a furniture store a couple of days ago and found this:

My dream kitchen

Now now, isn't that just so fab!!? I have plenty of photos to show you. I've been dreaming about the day this kitchen becomes mine. Look at the rest of the kitchen and tell me it's gorgeous...

second view of my dream kitchen

steel countertops! and look at this sleek storage space:

storage space

and now, the best part, a huge sink! with those kind of detachable spray taps to faciliate the dreaded washing up:


this is the stove area... and see the long table in front? my guests can eat the food straight off the stove, warm and good!:

stove top

here's a close up shot of the stove. it's miele by the way. very expensive!

Miele Stove

now, the kitchen drawers, they're so functional:

kitchen drawers

and just look at this Miele oven with espresson machine above it:

miele oven

the fridge is just to the left of the oven/espresso machine. it's all so convenient!:


Last but not least, and overall view of the kitchen... see those seats there? that's what i'm talking about... my guests can sit there and watch me cook! :

overall view of my dream kitchen

someone please hand me a blank cheque! hahaaa... wishful thinking. not to worry, i'll save up now and hopefully in 10 years time, this kitchen will be a reality! man oh man..... all i can think about is this kitchen! help! i think i've fallen in love.... with a kitchen. no kidding. but guess what? it costs SGD$18,400, excluding appliances. ha. how's that for a dream kitchen?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

... and that's a Wrap!

cookies jars all in a row
jars of cookies waiting to be delivered..

Happy Valentine's Day ya'll!

This year's valentine's was rather different. In more ways than one of course. The days leading up to it saw me spending most of my time in the kitchen by the oven.

I'm sure you all know why?

Yep, that's because of "Cookies for a Valentine", my first baking project! I sold my cookies via this humble foodblog of mine. It's actually just to 'test waters', seeing if anyone would bite (pun intended!) and guess what? It was a major success!

I was so tired after that of course, but hey, nothing beats a satisfied customer telling you he/she loves your creations! I have gotten very positive responses from them. Maybe I'll even post up their comments? haha..

Thank you ALL for your support. I certainly hope each of you enjoyed my cookies.

Just for fun, here's a lowdown on how much i baked:

7 boxes of Cranberry Shortbread Hearts
7 bottles of Snowball Cookies
5 bottles of Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1 bottle of Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread

It was indeed a flour-y affair! Been baking every night for the past week. Now that it's all over, time to hit the books! I don't figure I'd get As just baking all night long eh? Haha.

Anyway in case some of you guys were wondering, I decided to get nice round flat boxes for the cranberry hearts because the they didn't fit well in the bottles. But the quantity's the same nonetheless

hearty delights

Anyway, I'm in the midst of working out my whole online bakery thing. I have decided on a name already, but until it's confirmed, you guys have to keep guessing! Or better still, if you think you have a cool name for it, email or leave a comment ya?

snowball cookies.. there's so many of them!

I'm actually thinking of continuing these baking projects but more so during the holidays so my studies won't be affected.

In any case, I will keep you guys in the loop all right?

Happy Valentine's Day once again!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

V Day Special @ Miss Clarity Cafe

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, most of you might be frantic at the thought of finding that perfect place to bring your date. It usually starts with a romantic candlelight dinner of course. So if you're a student or have a light wallet, what happens? Fret not, because I bring you this awesome Valentine Day Set Meal that won't weigh you down, in more ways than one:

Salmon Cream
Cream of salmon with garlic crostini & baby greens

This appetiser comes served on a crisp toasted rustic bread that goes oh-so-well with the salmon cream. In case you're wondering, the cream is made by blending egg whites with salmon. A healthier choice and a tasty one at that.

Pesto Minestrone
Pesto Minestrone

This minestrone is made from scratch and comes with a good dose of veggies like carrots, zucchini and radish. Very refreshing.

For main course, you have two choices:

Baked Snapper
Oven baked snapper crusted with wild rice puffs, cassoulet of black eyed pea & balsamic buerre noissette

This is certainly my favourite. And no, those aren't worms! The wild rice puffs add a certain crisp to the tender fish meat. Very flavouful too - love the balsamic buerre noissette (hazelnut butter)


Roasted Capon
Roasted capon with potato confit & pomnery mustard cream

Capon is sterilised chicken in case you were wondering. Can you taste the difference? Yes, the meat tends to be more springy and light. I simply love the mustard cream! Delicious.

and last but not least, dessert:

Honey Pineapple
Vanilla caramelized honey pineapple with rose & raspberry sorbet & orange chilli crunch

This is a rather unique dessert that I really fell in love with. That thing sitting on the pineapples is actually orange chilli crunch specially made for this dessert. You heard right, there's chilli inside! It's actually not that scary - it adds a fiery kick that's not overpowering at all. Combine it with the sweet pineapple, it's simply divine; so is their homemade sorbet. Chilli's supposed to be an afrodiasiac anyway!

And there you have it... a V Day menu specially created for you lovely couples by the people at Miss Clarity Cafe.

How much does it costs? Just $58.80 per couple. Add an extra $10 if you like a glass of wine to go with it.

In case you're wondering, haha this ain't an advertisement! Just wanted to share something good with you guys. I actually reviewed this V Day Set for another magazine I'm freelancing at. Enjoy ya'll! Give me feedback if you people actually go for it ya? Have a great V Day!


Miss Clarity Cafe
5 Purvis Street
Tel: 6339-4803

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Baked Alaska

Making Baked Alaska
a step-by-step effort, and i helped!

I've been wanting to post up this fiery delight my aunt made for CNY. I've never tried making it myself but watching her do it makes it seem so easy. Well I think it is easy, but you just need to be quick. It's so cool, how the meringue manages to insulate the ice cream and all.

Anyway, here's a picture of the baked alaska on fire:

Bomb Alaska

Cool eh? It was HUGE too I tell ya! She poured whiskey over it and lighted the entire 'igloo'. The kids (my cousins) were so excited and intrigued. What a perfect sweet highlight to end a meal. I'm so gonna try it out myself soon...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Yu Sheng

Yu Sheng

Happy Chinese New Year ya'll!

Hope your holiday was enjoyable. How was your 'ang pao' collection?

Anyway, my CNY was not too bad, went to have steamboat at grannie's house and yes, there was yu sheng too.

Every year my aunts will prepare their own homemade yu sheng and then when the time comes, we all gather round that huge plate and mix it all up with chopsticks:

Lo Hei

It's quite a messy affair as you can see. But hey, yu sheng is tradition, at least in Singapore. I think some Singaporean created it. It's actually a raw fish salad. It's supposed to bring prosperity, good health etc. I hope it works for me! I did have a part to play in mixing it all up... :)

Okay, that said, I'm off. Been so tired - was baking the many orders for Operation Cookies for a Valentine. Someone help me! I could so use a massage right now...

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