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Showing posts from October, 2005

Filial Duties

I will be going to Taipei, Taiwan, for the whole of next week (yay!) and spending my birthday away from home! Stay tuned for trip-related posts next week!

In the meantime, I had to perform my duties as a filial daughter and take care of my Dad's stomach while I am away. So I am making stuff to stock up and clear instructions have been given to my brother to feed Dad.

Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

These are simple breakfast muffins, with a recipe so versatile and adaptable to whatever ingredients I have to use up. This time, because I reasoned that raisins and cinnamon would keep longer, instead of fresh ingredients like apples or pears or even bananas, I made up a batch of them. I have to admit though, it is difficult to appreciate muffins after I started making cupcapkes because they just seem so much heavier and dry compared to their moist and rich counterpart.

Buttermilk Pound Cake

This one is a recipe from Alice Medrich's "Chocolate and the art of low fat desserts". I must…

Strawberry Clafoutis

I never knew what a clafoutis is until I came into the food blogging world. But ever since I read about its existence as a sort of a cross between a custard and a crepe, I knew I had to taste it for myself soon.

Though black cherries are the classic addition, clafoutis is made today with all kinds of fruit (and a good way to use leftover fruit!). I made mine with strawberries that screamed "finish me up!". Alas, the perfect clafoutis, which should achieve a deep golden brown crust on both the bottom and the top, was not mine to be. There could be two possible reasons: 1) It could be a bad recipe or 2) it could be me. I tend to think the latter because I had followed a recipe by French chef Jacques Pepin and put it simply, I trust that man. So that leaves option 2) which could be an insufficiently hot oven because the flour seemed to have separated from the rest of the batter, settling at the bottom of the pan and leaving a pale custard behind.

Looks aside, the taste was mighty…

Food from the Farmhouse

Living in the States for a few years led me to two conclusions: 1) when using fresh food ingredients, you do not require lots of seasonings and 2) Chinese food in the States, while authentic tasting (no doubt from the influence of the large Chinese population), is really unhealthy in many ways - in their portion size, their overuse of cornstarch, vegetable oil and seasonings. To put it simply, I was OD'd on Chinese food after my stay in the US and even now, I still prefer any other cuisine over Chinese.However, I do crave for one thing very Chinese sometimes - dumplings, particularly steamed or boiled ones to be dipped in black vinegar. Why? You may wonder. If you think about it, dumplings are minimally processed after they are made. A boil in stock is all they need. That's why I like them. Not being a meat-eater do not help matters though, when cravings kick in. Vegetarian or seafood versions are difficult to hunt down. I know I can make my own but it is too much wo…

A California Experience - The California Fruit and Nut Loaf

My mother loves fruitcake, especially one with lots of fruit and a good dose of alcohol.Alas, she is ever the cook but not the baker.Still she got a periodical fix from an occasional wedding dinner where a piece of fruitcake was given to guests as a “wedding souvenir”.I personally detested those freebies - I think they were the roots to my distaste for fruitcake til this day. Of course I am more tolerable now but I would not go out of my way to eat it. The freebies are often too sweet and not to mention, slightly disturbing seeing the artificial colors of red and green specked throughout.And as I grew older and wiser, I also discovered that those bits of colors were basically sugar-packed things disguised as fruit!I was and still amazed at my mother's simple taste buds.Well, always better late than never. So it is definitely a good thing I came across this recipe for California Fruit and Nut Loaf.The recipe comes from Ms Medrich's book, “Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desser…

Weekend Foodie

Weekends are generally a good time to be a foodie. Most times, I try to go for recommendations to try old favorites at new places or visit interesting food fairs. At the same time, I also forgot to take pictures most of the time so I thought I will make it official. From henceforth, dear readers, you will have to endure through a weekly report of my weekend foodie escapades. So what are some of the food I ate over the past couple of days?

On Saturday night, we had to go to a popular mall to get a camera. Hunger struck just about when every other shopper was hungry too so J and I decided to go target one restaurant and wait it out. It was destined to be Lerk Thai, a Thai-food chain that is growing steadily in numbers of restaurants as well as in foodcourts. Their Phad Thai and Tom Yum Kway Teow soup we tried a while ago rendered another visit. But alas, our choices this time around were not too great. The Green Beef Curry while acceptable, was watery and lacked the "oohmp!&…

IMBB 20: (Intentional) Fallen Soufflé

I do not claim to be an expert on soufflés but thus far, I enjoyed the ones I have eaten. Light and puffy, each bite seemed guilt free like I was just eating air. Thus far, all were the sweet sort. Given my liking for souffle, even I wonder why I do not attempt to make them at home. It is truly not because I am afraid of failure but rather, I believe souffles should be eaten a la minute and I am just not motivated enough to make it for myself. But now the challenge is set before me, to make and blog about my experience with making a soufflé, all in the name of another blogging event, Is My Blog Burning #20.

Fallen Chocolate Soufflé Torte

I did toy with the idea of a savory version for a minute but discarded that knowing that the sweet one would probably be more appropriate for anytime-snacking. This recipe came from Alice Medrich's Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts (yes, again). There is a couple of tempting recipes but I decided to go for this one for portability's sak…

The 13th Episode: The Dark Side

Started by Jennifer a.k.a Domestic Goddess, Sugar High Friday has grown and flourished into a mainstay and now, into its 13th episode. This time, Kelli from the lovely blog, Lovescool, is kindly hosting the round-up with her theme, aptly chosen (by chance or not!), chocolate as dark as the image that the number 13 conjures, in honor of the inaugural theme of white chocolate. How lovely! I have a personal preference over dark chocolates. Eating them makes me feel good about all the antioxidants I am consuming! Kelli's challenge to us, is to find something new and interesting to make. I decided to make good use of all the chocolate-themed recipe books I acquired recently as a source of inspiration.

Tribute Cake

This recipe came from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet, the book I am currently in love with because reading it makes me feel as though Alice is talking to me personally and I really appreciate that sort of connection! Yes, that's the tribute cake on the cover of the book.

I …

It wasn't me; it was the goat cheese I ate!

I confess; I love the stinky goat cheese. Growing up, I was never a dairy girl. Yes, I loved milk but that's it. The only form of cheese I knew came prepacked in slices. Going overseas to study really enlarged my experiences in so many ways. Food is obviously one key area and I learnt about other forms of cheese, more in their natural states, though I did not transform into a cheese-lover overnight. But I grew more tolerant and more willing to try new ones. I remember my first time eating goat cheese at The Cheese Board, a Berkeley pizza establishment that deserves its own post. Little pea-size chunks of white dotted my crispy thin pizza. I wondered what they were but ate them anyway, as hunger beckoned stronger than curiousity. I was surprised by their creamy texture and detected a slightly disturbing smell. I found out what they were, as I casually asked the guy sitting across. "Oh, I ate goat!", was the first thought that popped to mind.From then on, goat cheese be…

Satowa Kitchen

I was finally able to go through the Joo Chiat area en route to Geylang Serai for the Malay Ramadan festival last Friday. Ever the foodie, I planned for dinner at Satowa Kitchen, a restaurant said to be specialising in Hokkaido fare. Of course, that caught my interest since I have not had any Hokkaido food ever so it went onto my "to-try" list.

Not familiar with that area, we passed the building's car park but luck was with us as we managed to find parking adjacent to the restaurant. I was happy because my growling stomach was asking to be satisfied!

The entrance of the restaurant was simple; the typical Japanese 2-cloth entrance with restaurant's name printed on it. We had a choice of seats as there was just a couple of patrons (Japanese!) sitting by the sushi counter. I wasn't worried about the lack of crowd given the restaurant's location. In any case, fellow Singaporean foodies had already given tried and tested reviews so I was confident.

The menu was neat…

Kept awake by Espresso Cupcakes

After a heavy dinner at a buffet last night, I was feeling a bit too stuffed to go to bed right away. What else is there to do but bake especially when my lonely kitchen was beckoning me. Besides it was my colleagues' birthday so I decided to stay awake and make everyone cupcakes for breakfast. I had a new recipe to try and of course, I tried to modify it, using a white chocolate ganache instead of milk chocolate. But as good of a baker as I would like to think myself to be, the butter refused to blend into the white chocolate to become a ganache. I ended up with a soft, toothpaste like white chocolate paste. But I can't waste good chocolate (ok, I know I am not using the right term; white chocolate has technically no cocoa content at all!) so I dug out a portion of the cake and stuffed a good chunk of white chocolate into the cupcakes, followed by a bittersweet ganache made with mocha-flavoured bittersweet chocolate. Yumm! Just had one and it was sooo good! My day has star…

In the Pink!

I have to admit, I never really paid attention to the sprouting of little pink bows most often seen during the month of October. Well, until a few days ago at least because I have since changed my attitude. A couple weeks ago, I discovered a golf-sized lump on myself and although it was nowhere near my boobies and has since miraculously disappeared by grace of God, I am now more aware of cancer and its silent killer instincts. So now, I not only remind myself but also my mom, to check our bodies thoroughly. This post is dedicated to all the women in the world suffering from breast cancer - be strong and fight the disease!

Because of my personal experience as described above, I felt strongly when I read about Emily's initiation to raise breast cancer awareness through (what else) a food blogging event, aptly termed as In the Pink!, whereby we can show our support through the creation of a pink-colored food.

What you see above is a single-serving azuki mousse cake, also a first attemp…

Alaturka Mediterranean & Turkish Restaurant

Not many people I know either enjoy (citing that "it's too mushy!" or "bread is not dinner!") or ever encountered Mediterranean food. But living in the States for 5 years not only exposed me to the culture but also made me a fan of its food. Needless to say, I was waiting for an opportunity to visit the newly opened Alaturka Mediterranean & Turkish Restaurant. Waiting for the right time to go was a tricky business because I believe J associates Mediterranean food with “vegetarian” and he needs his meat! But anyhow, we managed to go there last Friday.

Sometimes it is hard ordering or trying new food with just the two of us and I was feeling that way. The menu, though not huge, but was extensive enough to create a dilemma. I found myself wanting to sample so many different things so I just chose the mezza plate (S$14) instead. It promised a variety of dips, which I absolutely love, love, love, and accompanied by a freshly baked lavash. The lavash was piping ho…