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Showing posts from March, 2005

I'm on a roll!

Since I intend to bring some goodies to bible studies later today, I decided to try my recipe for chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream frosting, so I can also use the opportunity to publicise my business - Cupcake Therapy . *scheming*

IMBB #13 - My Little Vanilla "Gem"

I was estatic when I learned the theme for IMBB #11 - My Little Cupcake!, hosted by just a really hungry blogger, maki, and I thank her for her excellent choice.

Why excellent, one may wonder? Well, it's mainly because after a long thought process, I eventually decided to focus on cupcakes to kick-start my food business. This event and theme came timely to mark the virgin trip or "Take 1" of my what-would-be-likely-to-be-tedious journey of choosing and experimenting with recipes to determine which ones would make the mark.

I had plans for a few staples, one of which would be a plain but good vanilla cupcake, concealing a jam filling, and frosted simply with icing and topped with colorful sprinkles. My first attempt seems to have met all the above. I relied on the internet for my recipe. I came up with a few but decided to honor Martha Stewart by testing hers first. Both the vanilla cupcake and icing recipes were adapted with a few minor changes.

Basically, I chose the recip…

My Comfort Food

This post is in response to Moira's post on comfort food. After reading that post, and deliberated for just a slight bit whether I should partake in yet another online blog event, I pondered what to write about and somehow, my paternal grandparents popped into my mind. Interestingly, grandparents, in general, seem to be quite often associated with comfort. Perhaps it's their patience and their constant protection against our more-demanding parents.

But in anycase, my comfort food is a simple combination of black, local Sngapore coffee, just sweetened with white sugar, all the better to dip in with a nice thick slab of again, local, long-ish white bread that has been slathered (very) generously with Planta, a local brand of margarine that comes in a metal tin.

I lived together with my paternal grandparents on a farm for the first seven years of my life on earth. I remember my grandfather, a tall and skinny man of very little words, mainly because he spoke Hokkien, a dialect I was…

Sorry J, but I love Meiji!

I have to confess; I have another love, all the way from Japan. We have known each other since young and have grown and developed a rather intimate relationship. It started out quite innocent, but now, having received so many gifts at once, I am won over. Sorry J, but Meiji has my heart now. :)Meiji is synoymous with Japanese snacks and confectionary items. I grew up eating chocolate-filled biscuits printed with a panda on them, hence known as "Panda biscuits" in my household. There was also Yan Yan, the same biscuit dough, made into sticks to dip into a small pot of chocolate or strawberry cream. Since then, Meiji has come up with even more new products, all really attractive to the kid within me. Frankly, I think I am won over by the creativity that comes with each product, rather than the taste. Not to say the products taste bad, but really, what makes me pick up Meiji's product is really the packaging. Yeah, I am a sucker :)Since working with my current company, I h…

SHF #6 - Stuck on You

It's here again. This month, Debbie, is the kind host of the event and has chosen caramel as the key ingredient. It was as if Debbie knew that I wanted to get rid of the leftover caramel I made awhile back. I can't remember exactly how I made up that batch, but I do know I melted a pack of store-bought caramel candy with heavy cream, milk and butter. Quite decadent!

I struggled on deciding what dessert to make. The common combination of bananas and caramel is good but I am not a big fan of that yellow mushy fruit. I wanted to do a sweet crepe, but one would have to eat them hot and none of my family members were going to be there and ready to devour my masterpiece. After googling around, several recipes for chewy oat bars came up, sounding oh-so-delicious. But alas! Sadly, anything that sounds remotely healthy does not sit well with my colleagues and friends at all.

So the play-safe me, decided on a cake-type of recipe. Layers of Love Chocolate Brownies , courtesy of the Nestle …

Oh my! *Viet Inn*

Pronounced "fuh," I first had the Vietnamese beef noodle soup as a student in the US. My aunt's family and I made frequent pho trips to Little Saigon in So. Cal. Whenever a new one pops up, we made a mental note to try it the next time. Though never a noodle fan, somehow I take to rice noodles in soup like a fish to water. I think it is that "noodle-soup" girl in me, but I really like pho instantly, connecting with the dish like a long lost friend.

Though the dish looks simple consisting of broth, rice noodles and a few slices of raw beef, the complexity of the dish lies in the broth itself. Long hours of simmering beef bones with a combination of spices is required to produce the clear broth. The dish is served with a plate of fresh toppings: Asian basil and saw-leaf herb, bean sprouts, sliced jalapenos and a wedge of lime, adding an additional cultural touch of novelty.

Since my return to Singapore a couple of years ago, I had given up hopes of finding good pho…

Marble Cake

The lack of something sweet and carb-y in the house propelled me to make marble cake one evening. There is something about the marbled effect created by the mixing of cocoa into one part of the batter and swirling it with the remaining unadulterated batter, creating a beautiful work of art on top and amidst the cake, that is so comforting and soothing and inviting. I wanted one different from most bakeries, which mainly produce a poundcake like sort of marble cake, often too greasy as my oily moisturised fingers can testify after I hold onto a store-bought piece of cake. This recipe however, made one that was between a cake and a bread, with just the right touch of sweetness to eat on its own, yet exhalted to a higher level when complemented with a cup of hot chocolate. Optional icing would be recommended if eating it the next day. Truely amazing fresh out of the oven, a good right-before-bed type of snack that is bound to send you off to slumberland dreaming of more.Marble Cake-…

The Minced Meat Loaf

I made my first American meat loaf a few days ago, based off a recipe from Allrecipes.com, with a few minor tweaks just to accomodate my laziness to buy lack of ingredients.

What's not to like about this dish? The preparation was a breeze, the cooking process was minimal (just pop into the oven) and besides, my family loves their MEAT!!

But seriously, I thought the inside of the loaf looked boring and plain. I suppose because the glaze just sat on top of the loaf and not inside so the loaf looked, well, like a hamburger patty about to faint! To make it look more appetizing, I diluted the remaining glaze and heated it up until boiling and used it as a gravy. In any case, my brother seemed to like it - he ate 3 out of 10 slices in one sitting! I would probably make it again, just because it's so simple but perhaps, I will try to add some peas and carrots to give it some color.

Basic Meatloaf

- 400 grams minced beef, lean
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 3/…

The Sick Loaf

I hate getting sick. But that’s my current situation right now. From a sore throat, I developed a cough and now, a flu. When it rains, it pours huh? But what’s a sick girl to do when she is awakened in the middle of the night, with no means of going back to sleep again? The poor oven must hate me, for making it work regularly, and not even allowing it to rest in the wee hours of the morning.

With a tissue over my nose and sniffling, I opened my fridge to see what’s there. Goodness! Those spiced pistachios are good, no doubt, but we still have half the bagful left?! I was already bored of eating those. So, a mental check was made for pistachio to be on my ingredient list. Hmm, what else? Oh, and dates! Definitely dates and anytime is a good time to get rid of our never-ending supply of dates.

Both the nuts and dates were from my trip to Oman a few months back. They brought back fond memories of my grand-aunt’s walnut and pistachio loaf, one that was really flavourful with the right amoun…

The "Sisters" Affair

Last Sunday was my good friend's big day and yours truely had been involved in the whole-day event from start til end. Boy! It was tiring and resulted in me being slightly sick today. I woke up several times during the night with a bad throat and thought I was slightly feverish. Turned out I was being paranoid and am feeling a bit better now. Though I knew it was a result from the whole day of activity, I do not regret a single bit, as I recall the "sisters affair", which started first thing in the morning.

Slightly lost now? Fear now for I shall elaborate. You see, in a traditional Singaporean-Chinese wedding, the bride will have a team of "sisters", who will take on the fun task of creating obstacles for the bridegroom before he could see his bride. I was one of her three "jie mei", which literally just means "sister". So the sisters would come up with tedious tasks and forfeits like money in a red packet, or eating horrendous concoctions.





T…

A bit of Rome at home

After some desktop research, I learned that panini means rolls or little breads. In Italy, the word is synonymous with sandwiches. Italians and Europeans in general savour panini as light snacks between meals or as a prelude to meals. Ok, that sets the background although to me, panini would make a light but satisfying meal when accompanied with side salads and soups.

My first authentic, or what I hoped to be, paniniwas eaten during my trip to Europe last May. When in Rome, act as the Romans do, so acting as if it was an everyday thing for me, I boldly placed an order for one at a neighbourhood cafe, where else but in Rome. To be frank, I had no idea what I had ordered; I just pointed to the display. How I derived at my choice was quite simple: I was sucked in by the firm grill marks, which somehow leaves me with special impressions of "hand made" and "personalised" qualities.

First bite into the sandwich was indescribable. I started to marvel at the simplicity of th…