Sunday, November 26, 2006

Just me and my carbs

My lunch

Praise the Lord! My cold is gone! I'm really relieved I tell ya. I was so worried that I wouldn't get well in time for next Sunday's marathon. So I suppose the Febs tablets did work and my prayers didn't go unanswered :)

Now that I'm well, it's high time I resume my training within this coming week. Geez, there's only 7 days left. I just went to collect my race pack yesterday and I've got to say that the reality sank in yet again - the ardous 42.195km that I would have to complete, just like last year. The pain I felt last year still lingers in my mind and somehow it seems like pure torture to run it again but I've decided that I'm going to stick by my guns and run the race with as much passion as I had last year. Not really sure if I can beat last year's timing though, given that I haven't been training enough because of my exams and cold. Ahhh... okay I shall stop worrying and leave it up to God. Seriously, it'll take a miracle for me to complete the race again this year. I remember praying really hard as I ran last year's marathon. Desperate times call for desperate measures after all! Last year I 'summoned' my guardian angels, and prayed to God for mental and physical strength and I am definitely going to do the same this year!

Now now, of course I must do my part and those running the race this year will know that one aspect includes carbo-loading! This is my most FAVOURITE part. Why? Well, hello, if you know me, you'd know that I cannot stay away from carbs. Bread, pasta, noodles, rice, you name it, I love it. So it's super cool to know that I actually have to consume more carbs so that I'll have enough energy to run the race this coming Sunday.

So speaking of carbs, I got down to business and made some pasta dish for lunch today. Mum was lazy to cook again (as usual) so I raided the fridge and used what was in it. I could have gone out to buy lunch but honestly, I'm sick of oily, salty, msg-laden food. Besides, I felt like some pasta.

It so happens that Dad is on this crab-craze. He's been buying alot of flower crabs of late and has them steamed. Today he steamed quite a few and left some in the fridge. I saw the crabs when I opened the fridge and then I had an idea. I could make something with the crabmeat and so I took the flower crabs and extracted the meat:

flower crab

I really think these are pretty crabs. And is it me or do I see a cross on the shell? Oh blessed crabs. haha. What a Godsend! :)

With my crabmeat, I scoured the kitchen for more ingredients and finally put together a cold pasta salad dish that looked very 'rojak' but tastes really good:

wholemeal pasta

I used wholemeal pasta, celery, tomatoes, kalamata olives, crabmeat. For the dressing, I mixed together some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and used Masterfood's blend of spaghetti bolognese herbs (contains a mix of dried oregano, thyme, basil, red bell peppers, parsley and garlic).

This pasta is best eaten chilled. Best of all, it's uber healthy! I'm so going to make this again before the marathon. Pastas are so versatile you know - as long as you have the right dressing, it'll probably taste good and please, nothing can go wrong with tomatoes in pasta, oh and balsamic vinegar. Yummy.

You can give me a million dollars and I would never ever give up my carbs. I love them too much, period.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thunder Tea Rice

Hakka Lei Cha

I have been hiding in the library all week trying to cram all the info I need for my exams which start next Tuesday and it has taken a toll on me. Am having a cold and for some reason, I can't stop sniffing. It's really bad! Especially since I have a marathon to run next Sunday - all 42.195km of it. I really don't know how I'm going to survive. Ah... anyway I've been taking Febs, some kind of cold relief tablets Lina recommended me. I think it's quite effective. I hope it rids me of my runny nose soon!

On a different note, I have to rave about this Thunder Tea Rice that I've been wanting to try ever since I saw it featured on television some time back. It's actually Hakka Lei Cha, a super duper healthy rice dish made from the healthiest of ingredients - basil leaves, green tea leaves, mint leaves, Chinese parsley, coriander leaves, etc. And mind you that's just the stock. The rice itself is served with loads of good stuff like anchovies, okra, cabbage, tofu, long beans, and spinach:

close up of lei cha

That's alot of green stuff! Full of fibre and lots of nutrients! This dish actually tastes good. Well to me at least. I know JF cannot stand the potent smell of the green stock. By the way, you can choose to have brown rice (which I did), instead of the normal white rice.

You can find this dish at Vivocity's Food Republic (which I love by the way):

Food Republic at Vivocity

I still like the one at Wisma Atria, but man, the one at Vivo is HUGE and the furniture is so old-school!

Interior of Food Republic at Vivocity

I tell you, Vivocity enthralls me and it's only my third time there! Love the place, especially the supermarket. Haha. I took some pictures at the Naturally Marketplace by Cold Storage. Post it up when I have the time.

Anyway, to all the students having their exams, 'jia you!' I'm in the same boat as you and we're all going to make it to the finish line!


Thunder Tea Rice
China Square Food Centre
51 Telok Ayer St.

Amoy St. Food Centre,
7 Maxwell Road

Food Republic @ Vivo City
No. 1 Harbour Front Walk

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Teh Tarik Secret!

Tea Dust

I wrote briefly about my virgin visit to Mustafa a few weeks ago. I also mentioned about some tea that I discovered.

It's no ordinary tea - well to me at least.

I've been searching high and low for this tea! I know it might seem like a silly endeavour but really, I've been quizzical for the longest time and now I have finally found the answer.

Answer to what you might ask. Hmmm.... well you'd know if you've drank teh tarik. I believe that almost every local would have drank it once.

For the uninitiated, teh tarik translates into 'pull tea'. It's basically tea that's been mixed by 'stretching' it from a great height. Think of it as a 'juggling' act - except that the key object involved is the liquid a.k.a. the tea! hahaa....

Anyways, yes, I like teh tarik and I know that they use a very special tea. How do I know? Well I've tried using the usual Lipton teabags and I don't get the same taste and colour. Seriously, I have been really puzzled.

Have any of you ever wondered the same? Ya know... like where in the world did they get their tea from? One main reason is because I wanted to make my own at home whenever and wherever.

So while at Mustafa, I checked out the tea section and searched high and low....


I found this!

teh tarik since 1918

Haha... Teh Tarik Since 1918!

I assumed then, that it meant that this tea has been used to make teh tarik since 1918. Now that's alot of history and it probably is a damn good brand... or rather, the makers of the tea are good at what they do.

Care to know what brand it is? Look closely because I think the spelling mistake is pretty obvious. But then again it could have been done on purpose yea? You decide!

Best Strength Flavour

"Cocoanut Tree Brand Best Strength & Flavour"!

Hehe.... I was really excited. This small packet put me back by a mere $1. It's really cheap! I didn't dare buy a bigger pack for fear that it wasn't the real deal. But now that I know, I'm so gonna go back there to get a bigger pack!

I'm really happy. I've made teh tarik with this tea and am pleased to report that it really does taste, smell and look like the actual teh tarik they sell outside!

All you have to do is to add some evaporated milk, a dash of sugar, mix in the tea and tarik it as much as you want! And you'll end up with a fantastic hot teh tarik to warm yourself up during the rainy days...

I've been making alot of it... nice comfort drink especially when you need some caffeine to keep you awake while studying really hard for that exam... heh, like ME!

All right... back to my books! ciao!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Chocolate Hearts for a Wedding

Entrance of Rice Table

Remember my promise to let you in on my wedding cookie project?

That picture up there says it all. In dark brown and in hearts.

Chocolate Heart Shaped Cookies for a wedding - Jason and Jen's wedding to be exact. They're both such wonderful people. Jason is my kickboxing instructor and Jen goes for his classes (duh!) too so that's how I got to know her.

It all started when Jason approached me with a suggestion; that I bake cookies for everyone attending their wedding. And of course I immediately asked "How many?". He wanted each of his guest to have 2 cookies so the final number came to 230.

So I sat there and thought... 230.. okay. It might seem daunting but I should be able to do it since I've done this sort of 'endless baking' when I do my bake sales. So I said yes.

And that yes amounted to loads of cookies that look so pretty:

Interior of The Rice Table

I decided to make it heart shaped and I baked and baked and baked....

I did it over two days. I mixed the dough and left it overnight in the fridge so it'll be easy to cut the next day.

Then last Wednesday night, I rushed home from school to bake through the night and I must say I was pretty satisfied. You decide:

Tahu Telor

These are chocolate cookies and I used Hershey's Cocoa.

In the end, I baked about 260 pieces of the cookies.

So were the couple satisfied?

What do you think?

Their wedding was last Friday and it was held at the Singapore Art Museum's Glass Hall. It was a cosy and sweet affair. Simple, understated and elegant. The bride (Jen) looked stunning in her tailor-made gown! And Jason, the groom recited a poem. It was soooo touching. Wow. God Bless them both! Congratulations to you two once again. May you have a blessed and blissful marriage!!

Here's my cookies on one of the wedding tables:

Indonesian Dishes

I heard that the guests liked my cookies so that was good to hear. I was relieved that everything went well.

To be honestly, I was initially really stressed about not being able to finish baking the cookies on time. But thank God everything went as planned.

Here's the recipe: Chocolate Cut Out Cookies

It's a simple recipe but I halved the amount of sugar again. It was perfect. I didn't want the sugar to overwhelm the chocolate taste. Try it - it's really fool-proof.

Okay, time to hit the books! Just 13 days to my exams! EEEks!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bacon or not?

turkey bacon

Hola! Man, it feels good to be back online.

Been so busy with my assignments and as if that wasn't enough, my laptop crashed last weekend!

Yea, so that's why I haven't been posting here.

Anyway it's fixed (thanks to my very capable aunt!) and I have my laptop running smoothly now with everything intact and with the proper updated softwares and all. So that's cool! Praise God!

So anyway, I want you to look at that photo up there and guess.

Is that bacon? If yes/no, why?

Just a simple quiz to tease you guys! :)

Ahh, on another note altogether, I want to encourage all those students out there whose exams are around the corner! Happy Studying... keep it going... it's tough but hey, it'll be over in no time. Haha, just like mine... which starts in 2 weeks. Eeks. Trying my best not to freak out!

To be honest, I haven't really started revision! This is bad. The first half of the week was spent planning and baking more than 200 cookies for my friend's wedding. It was stressful I tell ya! But so worth it. Will talk about it in another post ya... Right now I better get some sleep! Got a 9am tutorial in the morning. Nitez!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Supermarket 'Loot'

Green & Black Organic Chocolate

Remember what I said about an increased consumption of snacks and nibbles during times of stress and anxiety?

Well, it has led me to a state of heightened attention whenever I enter the supermarket or a mini-mart. Seriously, I would go through the shelves and start picking out what I should stock up on.

It doesn't help that I am a supermarket addict. I have to go to the supermarket whenever I'm anywhere near one. When I'm at Raffles City, I'll pop by Jason's Marketplace, when at Suntec or Plaza Singapura, it's Carrefour, when at Tampines Mall, it's NTUC, and at Takashimaya, it's always Cold Storage, etc.

The list goes on but I shall stop lest I bore you all! I sometimes think that is it just me or am I like totally weird? Truth be told, I'd rather window shop at a supermarket than go shopping for clothes or shoes. I normally go girly shopping when I feel like I actually need to get new clothes or shoes. Supermarkets however are a different story - I can go to one even when I'm feeling full after dinner. Ask JF, he knows me well enough and I think it's sweet that he accompanies me and understands my 'obession' with supermarkets.

Anyway, enough about supermarkets and on to my 'loot'. Okay, I'm not exactly a thief or anything like that, but I did get some great stuff that I'd like to share with you...

Some of you might have tried them; if yes, great! If not, please go buy some... and for those who have better recommendations, you can always let me know! :)

If you've been reading my blog for quite a bit you'd know that I have a thing for chocolates so naturally I couldn't stay away from one which said the words "Dark Chocolate with Orange and Spices" (see the photo above). So I succumbed, and bought it.

How was it? It was great. I know it's supposed to be organic but can someone tell me if it's supposed to affect the taste? I didn't really think it made much difference but it's all right because I like the orange taste and the fact that Green & Black's paired it with dark chocolate. Mmmm..... Brown is good:

closeup of chocolate

You can find them at Cold Storage and Jason's Marketplace. I think they only came to our shores this year. Read about them in the papers before.

Next, I want to rave about this japanese cracker/pastry thingie called Genji Pie:

Genji Pie Pack

Grace recommended to me and I just had to get some of my own. It's sold at the Isetan at Shaw Towers in Orchard Road.

I like it because it's very yummy and because of it's shape:

Genji Pie

Everyone go 'Awww...' It's sweet ain't it? It's supposed to be heart shaped. Notice that it says there "Heart-warming Pie" on the packaging? These really look very much like palmiers ya know. But really, these are good to have with a cup of tea when you take a break from mugging for your exams. It's really light and flaky but not too overpowering. Me likes!

In case you can't read the fine print, here's what the makers of Genji pie have to say: "Genji pie is made from the finest ingredients, wheat flour, margarine, sugar and salt. This heart-shaped pie has been enjoyed since 1965. Why don't you make your tea time happier with Genji".

So there you have it, my latest supermarket 'loot'. I recently went to Mustafa Centre for the FIRST time! And I loved loved loved it. I bought quite a lot of stuff and finally found something I've been looking for, for ages! But I'll write about it in my next post. I have to go sleep now... and rush through my last research paper which is due on Monday. Wish me luck! tataz...

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