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Showing posts from June, 2005

Virgin Entry to EomEoTE

Yippee! This entry marks my first submission to Jeanne's End-of-month Egg on Toast Extravaganza, albeit a weak attempt :P

What you see is really a microwavedpoached egg with a drizzle of light soy sauce, plopped over athick piece of wholemeal bread, just lightly toasted. The key points are "thick" and "lightly" because then, you have the perfect vehicle to capture all the runny yolk, which doubles up as the most delicious spread over the otherwise-bland piece of toast. There you have it, another way to enjoy an everyday and undercelebrated ingredient, the egg!

I'm the Cook Next Door!

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?
I was about 14 years old in Secondary 2 I think. Two of my best girl friends came over with a recipe for fruit tarts. We were so meticulous, weighing everything and watching every step very closely. Perhaps it's the case of too-many-cooks-ruin-the-soup, because we still messed up by burning the pastry cream and ended up with only 11 miniature tarts. We literally had to fight for our share to show-off to our family!

Who had the most influence on your cooking?
I believe it was my grandma who first influenced my love for the kitchen. I remember her cooking family-style i.e. big big metal wok over a woodfire stove, stirring a big pot of 1-pot-everything-goes yam rice for the entire extended family, with her big and strong arms. That scene has been long etched into my memory and perhaps explain why I now associate showing love with food.

Do you have an old photo as evidence of an early exposure to the culinary world and would y…

My turn at the Cookbook Meme

I've been tagged by Colin, for this cookbook meme that I have seen endlessly on many many foodblogs. I had secretly hoped I would not be tagged because as you'll read on to find out, I do not have much cookbooks to speak of.
1) Total number of cookbooks I've owned: There are technically 11 cookbooks sitting out of sight, in the top drawer of the kitchen cabinet. I used "technically" because I did not buy any of them except for 1. I use a few quite regularly, particularly the ones requiring baking. But otherwise, I really just rely on the good old internet and Google for tried & tested recipes.2) Last cookbook I bought: It is a book on baking bread, by a local chef. Can't remember the exact title but it's cheap and it has nice pictures.
3) Last food book I read: I am concurrently reading Kitchen Confidential and Fast Food Nation. But really, Kitchen Confidential is going much faster. 4) Five cookbooks that mean a lot to me:None really. I use all the …

Nicoise Salad for a hot summer night

It was a hot day whole of yesterday with minimal breeze to say the least. I was feeling lethargic from the heat, so even when hunger beckoned, I lacked the motivation to step into the kitchen much less stay there any longer than needed. I knew I wanted something simple to make and cold for dinner. What could be more perfect than leftover roasted vegetables and ready-at-hand ingredients to make a salad?

Nicoise Salad

1/2 a can tuna, water-packed but drained
1/8th of a large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 a plum tomato, wedged
2 cups of roasted vegetables (pumpkin,cauliflower, broccoli flowerets)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice

Place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle lemon juice and toss lightly. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

The fresh onions added a spicy kick to the salad. Together with a thick hunk of wholemeal bread, this simple dinner really hit the spot and I was satisfied.

Morels of Goodness!

My mom came back from Europe last weekend with goodies for me! Have a guess what she bought. I could not wait any longer to use it and made my dinner a few nights ago with it.

Tata! She bought me a jar of truffle paste (below) that cost her 24 Euros! As much as truffles are acclaimed and I have read loads about their role as an ingredient, their high cost, their unique way of growing underground, the unique way of harvesting, all the way to how there are imitation truffles popping up in China, etc, I have to admit I have never tried truffles before.

But wow! Now I really can testify that a little bit goes a long way! After the "pop" from the tamper-proof cap was gone, I picked up a waft of earthy fragrance right away. It was strong and wonderfully comforting in a way. I had to stop myself from spooning the paste directly into my mouth. Yep, it was difficult but I did it. Needless to say, the earthiness of the truffles went really wonderfully with my whole wheat pasta. I litera…

Excuse for Chocolate Cake

My cell group decided to celebrate the June babies' special day last Sunday and of course, I jumped on the occasion to bake a cake. What could be more irresistible or fail-proof other than a chocolate cake?

This is a scaled down version of my original intention of making a sophisticated looking 4-layer cake. I only made a 2-layered one. Not that it would be any more trouble or difficult, but rather, I think it would really be too rich to handle right after lunch!

What do you think about my decoration? Well, I liked it cuz it was my first decorated cake ever :) I bought those lovely sugar flowers and metallic balls a couple of weeks ago and was really eager to use them. But nice and pretty as they look, they are definitely not really the best thing to eat; they were a bit hard.

The cake was moist and fudgey, just sweet enough to go with my frosting. There was just the right amount of frosting to cake per bite though I thought the layer in between could be thicker. Maybe that…

SHF#9 - Tantalizing Strawberry Tart

It was just such a nice coincidence that the latest episode of SHF is due around Father's Day, which is also coincidentally my dad's birthday.Kindly hosted by life in flow, the versatile tart is the chosen star this time around.My first tart-making experience dates back in high school.With a couple of girlfriends, we spent the whole day, messed up my kitchen, and burnt the custard cream, resulting in 11 (only!) mini fruit tartlets.Since then, I have made several other tarts, both sweet and savory, with success. For this special occasion, I decided to try my first adult attempt at the fruit tart again. Using and trusting the recipe found on Joy of Baking, I don't foresee any bad feedback in terms of taste but I regret to say I should have used my trusty sweet crust recipe instead.
As seen, I would not be serving the tart out of the pan. Simply because of the problematic crust, the only obstacle I met with during this adventure. The instruction was to roll the pastry dough ou…

Need for Change @ Cappadoccia Cafe & Canele

After all that Chinese food in Hong Kong, both J and I were ready for a change. I decided to target Robertson Walk area because of Canele, a patisserie by Les Amis group. I've heard much about this place and about their macaroons. Being the macaroon-virgin that I am, I wanted to try one badly and I did. The pink one beckoned my name and it turned out to be a rose-flavoured one. It did not "wow" me. I thought the cookie was slightly too dense and sugary. Am I ignorant or is a macaroon just meant to be that way? Anyway, the disappointment continued when we bit into our order of the opera cake (pictured below). Actually all the individual dessert looked good but our basis for choosing the opera was that it seemed like value for money (S$6 for a long slab), and it did look quite appetizing with all its 7 required layers. Sadly, the overall mouthfeel was rather dry. We packed home all but a few bites.

What were you thinking? Of course we had dinner before Canele. It w…

Weekend in Hong Kong

J and I had a short holiday in Hong Kong, taking advantage of a 1-for-1 promotion by Valuair. We had fun just relaxing, shopping and eating our 3-days through. Here are some of the goodies we devoured! Too bad I missed a few shots because either my hunger took over too quickly or I just plainly forgotten! Oh well, this is my first time as a foodie traveller so I shall improve!

We had dim sum at the famed Luk Yu Teahouse, right after breakfast, so we did not manage to order too much food. We had char xiu bao (fluffy buns with a unique un-BBQ'd pork filling), char xiu so (thick slabs of meaty and un-BBQ'd pork in a flaky shortcrust pastry), har gow (minced shrimp dumplings with soft yet chewy skin, albeit could be thinner), steamed pai guat (steamed pork ribs, really tasty seasonings), warm white fungus in almond cream (really nice as it was not too sweet). Average and forgettable except that all the pork dishes had a really porky taste. Maybe that's the way the locals like…

Massive (cookout of) love

My mom left for her Europe tour last night with a smile on her face. But who would have thought that less than 48 hours ago, she was less than sane, shuttling around our small apartment like a busy bee, trying to take care of everything before she left.

Being the most perfect mom, she was also worried about the rest of us not having home-cooked meals when she isn't around. Usually before she goes away on trips, she would have a massive cookout, pack up the food into suitable servings and load up the freezer for our convenience.

This time around, I was home early with nothing else better to do so I decided to let mom concentrate on her packing and take over the cooking. Here's a round up of the dishes I made:

green curry black promfret with baby bok choy

stirfried bittergourd and shrimp with thai fish sauce

stirfried black pepper snapper

stirfried cucumber and shrimp with garlic teriyaki sauce

All the above in less than 2 hours but don't be overly impressed yet. I am ever so grat…

Stuffed at Cafe Brio's

Taking advantage of the last day for a 1-for-1 deal by a credit card promotion, J and I stuffed ourselves silly at Cafe Brio's located in the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore. The hotel's cafe serves an international buffet and I must first apologize to all my visual readers, for the lack of pictures, but I would surely clog up my blog if I were to post up all the different food I ate.

To sum it up quickly, there was an appetizer station, salad bar, soup station, sashimi/sushi station, a small Western and Asian selection, a few specialty stations (like shuck-on-the-spot oyster bar, cook-on-the-spot drunken prawn, DIY kueh pie tee, DIY braised pork belly in steamed bun) , dessert station and a bread and cheese station.

I am really impressed with salad station. There were different olives, marinated and grilled zucchini & eggplant (I love those!!), fresh endives, marinated leeks, six different dressings and much more than I could remember.

Not to mention, I was amaze…