Archive for May, 2008

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Countdown >> 2 Days to Next Chapter

May 31, 2008

31/05/2008

Another one of my “fulfilling promise” attempts πŸ˜› Spent the day with a few of my university pals, those close ones πŸ˜› It was a really last minute decision, though a few of them couldn’t make it, we went ahead with the plan. We rolled out of bed early, met at Bedok Market for a simple, nice breakfast before heading to east coast park, where we commerce on our cycling trip! *grin* yes, it has been raining over the past few days, but thank God, we are blessed with wonderful, cooling weather and though it did drizzle lightly on and off during the 4hrs we spend cycling, it was only when we are heading off to the nearby mall when it starts to pour heavily. Hallelujah !

That’s us before embarking on the trip to conquer the eastern coastal lines! *laugh* all fresh and eager to start off… Initially, we started off aimlessly roaming cycling around the park, stopping at different parts of the park, enjoying the “specials” in the park. such as the the “Bicycle Multi-story carpark” according to one of my silly pals, i cant remember exactly who is the nonsensical one >.< *laugh* which in fact was just a small low level “tower” which we have to cycle up in spiral wise and it oversees the park. When i say low, I really mean LOW!

We spotted this “special” and decided to stop and snap some pictures. πŸ˜›

Having been to Ubin previously, cycling in the park aint challenging enough for us! Therefore, we decided to venture to the next park along the coast, Changi beach park which was about 8km away~ The trip to and fro + all the cycling inside the park itself, i reckon we covered about at least 20km today. O.O

After all the exercise, it is important that we pump up on proteins! πŸ˜› so we headed off to Fish Mart Sakuraya at Parkway Parade for some fresh sashimi! *lick lips* love this place! Master san (buddy weicyan) was the 1st to discover this gem, and brought me here a year back. And i have been telling the gang about this wonderful place for a long time! Finally we are here! πŸ˜€

So what did we had? all time favorite, salmon and tako (octopus)! On top of these, the counter staff recommended Amberjack and Mackerel~ My 1st time venturing out of the usual salmon, tuna sashimi, and i so must tell you! I felt that they are sooooooooo good~ light and chewy~ πŸ˜€

Fish Mart Sakuraya – Parkway Parade
Parkway Parade
80, Marine Parade Road
#B1-83D Singapore 449269
(65) 63454714

– .: Amanda :.

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Countdown >> 3 Days to Next Chapter

May 30, 2008

30/05/2008

3 more days to next chapter of my life~ =X i’m excited and worried at the same time! *heart pounding* Relax and chill my heart! >.<

Met up with Yani and ling too today was a great day as i managed to hang out with 2 of my fav girls(out of the many fav girls :P) and they finally got a chance to meet each other as well! I finally fulfilled the promise to bring yani to Meidi-ya Supermarket! *grin* it strikes me that i’m actively trying to fulfill all the promises i made! =X Gosh, it is not as if i’m going away to a far away place~ =/

Shocked Yani

This time i managed to practice some self control! πŸ˜› however, 1st timer yani, suffered the same fate as me when i was there for the 1st time, happily grabbing and planning for a Japanese meal! πŸ˜› As usual, Meidi-ya has lots of expensive imported products and yani was totally shocked by the price of the honeydew~ πŸ˜› i love that expression! SGD$ 89 honeydew and SGD$ 130 bunch of grapes! *GASP*

Me: “I wonder who will be the silly cow to buy such an expensive fruit!”

Yani: “For praying maybe?”

Me: *stare, ponder and laugh* “You mean if u offer a more expensive fruit u will be more blessed?”

Yani: *shrugs and laugh*

We spotted a really cool fish! Check out the vibrant red coat, and the shiny bright eyes! πŸ˜€ Guess how much does this fello cost? >.< SGD$ 138

After shopping, the plan was to head to highly recommended Zam Zam restaurant for murtabak, and finally to Rich and Good cake shop for swiss rolls! well…. Things didnt really go as planned! *sigh* It started to rain heavily when we were about to make our way there~ =( Therefore there was a change of plans~ we ended up at plaza singapura around 4pm for our late lunch. Dine at secret Recipe and Yani had a nice meatball spaghetti –>

Yani with Her spaghetti

there’s a huge variety of cakes *drool* i cant help it and ordered their tea-time promotion, which consists of a slice of cake from their cake range and a cup of coffee or tea, all priced at SGD$ 5.90. *grin*

I picked a cup of white coffee with a slice of peach cake! Sponge cake sandwiched with whipped cream and peaches, the outer layer was torched to give the nice golden brown tone. In fact i was attracted by the torched outer layer on the 1st sight! πŸ˜› YUM! i would love to come back again to try the rest of the variety soon!

Secret Recipe
Plaza Singapura Shopping Centre
68, Orchard Road
#03-18 Singapore 238839
(65) 63419909

– .: Amanda :.

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Countdown >> 4 Days to Next Chapter

May 30, 2008

29/05/2008

Time flies, it has been 2 weeks since completion of my exams! One of the significant day which marks one of the major decision i made so far. >.< And a month since i last saw ling! πŸ˜› Gosh, i am glad that she is back! Missed this girl! πŸ˜€

We arranged for a session where ling could share her experience about Korea and the 700 beautiful pics taken there. πŸ˜› Finally we settled with dining at Shokudo, Japanese Food Bazaar located at the basement of Raffles city shopping centre. Being my 1st time there, i was rather impressed with the range which they offered. It totally reminded me of Marche, but however this time, the Japanese’s version. Being a weekday and totally after lunch hours, there was not much of a crowd, in fact no crowd! less than 10 customers i’m sure! the ratio of staffs to customers was like 5:1 *Ponder*

Was supposed to grab my lunch there, but being me, i always had a hard time trying to convince my brain and finding the balance with my heart on what to eat! πŸ˜› After “Touring” around the different sections twice and like 15mins of “Brainstorming” i decided to let Ling call the shots~ *cover mouth* I seriously wonder why when it comes to food, i can never easily make a decision! *roll eyes*

1st up, some yakitori to start off the meal~ πŸ˜€ quail eggs and asparagus wrapped with bacon. nothing special here, it is simply grilled and i tasted no special marinate except for the salt from the bacon. =X But however i do take a better liking for our main course, thin crust pizza~ πŸ˜€ really thin and crispy crust! though i would prefer a more generous portion of ingredients *sigh* There are only like a few bits of shrimps in there and the rest are just bonito flakes! –>

I guess the main reason why the food that i input into my system doesn’t taste good is all due to the fact that ling was sharing all those delicious looking pics of the Korean cuisine she savored there! *sulk* Desserts did bring the meal to a nice sweet closing~ πŸ˜€ This time they are pretty generous with their ingredients! erm…. ice shavings, red beans, matcha syrup?

This pile of ice cost as much as the pizza! =X and it totally reminds me of ice kachang!! LOL, instead of all the different colorful syrups, this comes in a standard flavor of matcha (green tea) and right in the centre and top of this “ice pile” generous portion of adzuki! (red Beans) The yellow bites = chestnuts and the white ones = mochi.

Buddy Ling

That’s my buddy Ling! Is that happy, shocked expression? i bet it is “i’m freezing” expression. πŸ˜› Not much crowd = air conditioner temperature drops? After all the chit chatting, munching and scanning through the pics, we are both shivering! (-.-“) Overall, this dessert is both our favorite for the day~ *wink*

Shokudo Japanese Food Bazaar
Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road
#B1-44E Singapore 179103
(65) 6837 3793

– .: Amanda :.

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Chocolate Biscotti

May 29, 2008

WELCOME HOME LING!

Yup, this is my simple welcome home gift for buddy ling! *cheer* been pondering for sometime what i should make her :p Thank God, i’m able to narrow down the search area to Chocolate, Nuts, Fruits, coffee and *drum roll* TADA!! she is one coffee-addict who needs a shot every morning, therefore biscotti will be perfect!

Another one of Dorie’s beautiful work! πŸ˜€ yup, taken from Dorie Greenspan’s excellent book Baking: From My Home to Yours. I’m so tempted to get my own copy right now! =X Visit <<HERE>> for more visual aid! πŸ˜€ wonderful job by <Eggs on Sunday>, love the tips shared on scoring the logs halfway before baking which makes slicing them into slices easier with less cracking! πŸ˜€

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp instant coffee or instant espresso powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried fruit (optional)


Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, coffee powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. With a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla; beat for another 2 minutes. Decrease the speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the chopped nuts, chocolate and dried fruit.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide in half. Knead each portion a few times to pull the dough together into a ball, then shape each portion into a 12 x 2 inch log. Place each log on the baking sheet.
  5. Remove the sheet from the oven and let it cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Then, slice the logs diagonally into 3/4-inch thick slices and leave the slices standing up on the baking sheet. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes of baking.
  6. Transfer biscotti to a rack to cool.

Verdict?
my 2nd attempt with biscotti! πŸ˜€ and i felt this attempt was more successful than previous (harder and drier compared to the previous, but comparing taste wise, both are equally good! :P) *wink* + nothing can go wrong with chocolate, nuts and dried fruits! As usual, i halved the amount of sugar called for πŸ˜› as for nuts called for, i toasted some macadamia nuts and for dried fruits, i did a mixed of raisins and cranberries πŸ™‚ I’m greedy when it comes to nuts and fruits =X i’m most certain that i added more than the amount called for! Each bite guarantees both nuts and fruits. *grin*

– .: Baker Lee :.

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Pancake Sandwich – Dorayaki

May 27, 2008

Have you ever heard or watch the Japaneses animation, Doraemon? πŸ˜› Dorayaki is a popular sweet for tea time snack, a type of Japanese confection which consists of two small pancake-like patties made sandwiched with sweet red bean paste and it is Doraemon favorite’s food! πŸ˜€

Made my very own homemade adzuki(red bean) paste the night before. Love it! nothing beats homemade, as one will be able to control the sugar content to suit personal preference. Since dorayaki are in fact pancakes, i decided to make them for breakfast πŸ˜› Recipe taken from <here>.

Ingredients: (Makes 5 Dorayaki)
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Honey
2 Tablespoons Sugar
100g Plain Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
80ml Fresh Milk

Steps:

  1. Combine eggs, sugar and honey in the bowl.
  2. Sieve flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix them well.
  3. Gradually add in milk and mix well.
  4. Leave the batter at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using it.
  5. Grease a frying pan or a griddle and warm to middle heating range. Slowly pour constant amount of the dough on the griddle to make it in round shape. About 30 mL (2 tbs. = 1 fl. oz.) of the dough may be a pancake with about 9 cm (3 1/2 inches) in diameter.
  6. When the edge of the pancake becomes dry and rough with bubbles, turn it and cook until the other side browns evenly.
  7. Sandwich suitable amount of Red bean paste between two pancakes and serve.

Verdict?
I generously stuffed mine with adzuki paste! *cover mouth* I seriously should have made them thicker! 1 tablespoon amount of batter per pancakes, instead of 2 tablespoon, resulted in thin crepes like pancakes! *sigh* i need to make these again!!

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Soybean side dish – Kong Jang

May 22, 2008

Korean meals are usually shared family-style, with many small plates of side dishes such as kimchi, namul (Seasoned vegetables) and sauces. All arranged and placed in the center of the dining table alongside with the main dishes for everyone to help themselves.


Recently i have been actively scouting for Korean cuisine recipes, especially side dishes! Best pal Aishi commented : ” Seems like we will be cooking Korean for some time” LOL, yes, there is so much i just wanna try out! Was surfing and chatting with her, when i spotted this site, really cool! <<Recipe>> for this yummy side dish taken from <Cooking Korean Food with Maangchi> πŸ˜€ With visual representations, all seems easy and simple!

Verdict?
Reduced the soy sauce and sugar amount to 1/3 cup each. Left out the 2 cloves of garlic, it just slip off my mind though i have them ready. This is my 1st time tasting this side dish, never had anything close to this before. Wasn’t really sure what to expect at 1st, is it suppose to be soft or chewy? *ponder*

Mine gives the honey-glazed + salty taste with a chewy texture. I love the addition of sesame seeds, gives this side dish an extra bite and makes u crave for it more! YUM! My mum enjoyed this dish and she even suggested doing the black soybean version ! Thanks Maangchi for this! πŸ˜›

– .: Cook Lee :.

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SautΓ©ed seaweed strands – Miyeok Joolgi

May 20, 2008

I noticed that Korean seasonings are simple – garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce. Vegetables are blanched and lightly seasoned with sesame oil or seeds. Bought some wakame strands some time back, have yet to cook them! They have been lying in my freezer for close to 6mths! >.< Since i’m going Korean cuisine this week, i decided that it is the best time to put them into good use. *wink*

Ingredients:

100g Wakame Strands (preserved in salt)
1 Clove Garlic
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
2 Tsp Mirin
1 Tsp Soy Sauce

Toasted Sesame seeds for garnish

Steps:

  1. Soak the salted wakame strands in hot water for about 10 minutes, rinse and drain the water. Wash in two more changes of clean water.
  2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, then sautΓ©ed the strands with the crushed garlic over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add in rice vinegar, sugar, mirin, soy sauce, Mix and stir through.
  4. Mix in toasted sesame seeds, allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.

Verdict?
This is just a simple side to chew on, nothing really special. Chewy and crunchy in texture and with the seasonings, gives a salty, vinegar-y and garlic-y flavour.

– .: Cook Lee :.