Friday, August 31, 2007


Right after princess left for school yesterday, I got down to working on my frostings. Did the lemon one first. It turned out much better than the previous time, not as runny, but I still need practice on piping them. So anyway, this is the best I could do with them.

Was so pleased with the success of the lemon frosting, I got complacent. By the time I started on 2nd frosting, it wasn't that early as I had to go to school before 12pm to deliver them. But guess what? The frosting was a flop! It said in recipe to continue whisking and to ignore it being runny as it will stiffen up if I continued whisking. So I did, for a whole half hour. Then I gave up. My wrist was breaking off me. Decided to throw out the lot and start on another. This 2nd time, I put in less butter thinking maybe it was too much the 1st time. The same thing happened. By then I was rather desperate as it was past 11am. Yikes!! Had to use my brains! How to salvage the situation? I remembered I had a pot of Nutella and it saved my day! Thank God.

This is the picture of the chocolate cupcakes before frosting.

And tada... here they are all frosted with Nutella. Do they look pretty? Hehe. An overindulgence in chocolate.

Since it is Teacher's Day, I would like to say a big 'Thank you' to Peony who inspired me to start this blog in the first place. I enjoy reading her blog and check on it every day to see what she's cooked or baked, and especially the food she lovingly prepares for her grandson, Ryan. From what I know, she used to be a teacher too, so Happy Teachers' Day, Peony. Thanks a bunch.

And as for Sam, I would like to say, yes, I am keen on starting something with the stuff I bake. However, need to do costings first. And also, will invest in a proper cake mixer. I only use my hands now or the handheld mixer (seldom). So time to pamper myself a little. :)

Happy Teachers' Day!

What have I been up to the past 2 days not blogging? Well, let's see... up to my eyeballs in dough. Haha. Have been baking cookies, cupcakes, and more cupcakes. Rushing them all out for Teachers' Day. Had to do cookies on Wednesday morning, after dragging myself off the pc, being engrossed in Marapets. Yes, it can be addictive that game. ;) Princess had swimming lessons that day so had to bake the cookies for coach, and remainder will be for her Cathechism teachers this Sunday. Finished baking cookies just before swim class. Phew! And continued with cupcakes in the evening. Was planning to just do the chocolate cupcakes but realized it was short of 2. I needed 16 so each teacher would get 2 cups. By then I was already tired so it was physically impossible to go out to get extra ingredients. What was I to do?? Then I remembered!! I still had 3 lemons sitting in the fridge. Hehe. I thought that'd be nice too, to balance out the richness of the chocolate. So I willed myself out of my comfortable rest place on the sofa and got down to business. By the time cupcakes were baked and cooled, it was 12am. Sigh. Time to sleep for an exciting day ahead tomorrow - frosting them. I don't have much experience with frosting but had 2 new recipes to try, so was rather excited. It could go both ways, either success or failure.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tonight's dinner

Went to the market this morning and saw some nice lotus roots. It's quite difficult to buy stuff like that, especially vegetables, as there are only the 3 of us in the house so I usually only buy a small fistful of them and the vegetable seller always asks, 'is that enough?'. So anyway, told him to cut off half a piece of small lotus root. Cooked that with peanuts and lean pork, and added red dates at the end.

For the main dish, I cooked a chicken stew to make things easy. Just added potatoes, carrots, onions, some little leftover celery and mushrooms just to get rid of them.

Man Zhu

We had a lunch date with my dad today. Visited our usual haunt - "Man Zhu" at Chinese Swimming Club. It was a wet day, as has been the situation the last few days. Couldn't resist taking a photo of the rain, although you can't see it clearly. I love rain. Love the pitter patter, and the pattern of it: sometimes falling to the left, or to the right or just straight huge blobs down; how it creates puddles big and small. I love a really heavy downpour (once I am not caught in it!) to wash all the dirt away and leave us with a refreshing sight after. A friend once thought I was crazy to love rain and to enjoy watching it. I think it's rather therapeutic at times. Well, I know my cousin Jill loves rain too (except when she does her laundry, haha), and an aunt as well, so there's nothing really weird about me. :@

The minute princess got in the car when we picked her from school, she exclaimed that she wanted satay! So that's what she got.

She ordered herself a strawberry & banana smoothie. It looks pretty, the lovely pink and white; very much a girls' drink :)

I tried the wet seafood beehoon which was rather nice. But of course with plenty of sambal to go along.

Dad usually has the laksa but he decided to change to something different today and went for the mee goreng. I had a taste of it and it was nice.

Last but not least, we had princess' favourite chocolate fondue with fresh fruits. It's new on the menu so we ordered one to share. It's rather a lot and enough for 4 people.

The Caffebar

Went to meet princess' classmate's mum yesterday. Was a last minute thing. Didn't plan on going out but thought it'd be nice to catch up. We only meet in school occasionally so was lovely of her to ask us out. Thanks Pam. :)

We went for cakes at The Caffebar. It's in a nice little corner on the 1st level of Parkway. I wouldn't say it was quiet as there was loud music blasting from the surrounding shops yesterday. I was told it isn't usually that noisy.

Friend recommended the Baked Chocolate Cake (honestly I can't remember the name), and we decided to give that a try. We had to wait 15mins for them as they are baked upon ordering. Meanwhile we just occupied little one's time by doodling. She was starting to get bored. Haha.

But it was worth the wait. The cake was beautiful. Of course princess gobbled up all the fruit (she's a fruit lover) while friend and I were busy taking photos. By the time I turned my attention back to the plate, she was stuffing her face with the cake ha ha. Actions speak louder than words. She totally loved it and wanted another. I had some of it and the vanilla ice-cream was lovely. Could taste the vanilla beans in it.

The CaffeBar
Marine Parade Road
#01-34D Parkway Parade

The weekend

Weekends are busy with ballet, church, art class etc, so it's rest time at the end of the day, not much time for posting. He he!

Anyway, went to Bakerzin Vivo on Sunday and had a lovely lunch. Princess had pumpkin soup with loads of bread (she loves it there), hubby had spaghetti with meatballs and I had the mushroom chicken sandwich. They were all lovely but only have a photo of the soup. They also had dessert but didn't take pictures of them either.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pasta soup

Ran out of macaroni to make lunch today so used these spiral-shaped pasta. I love them. Often use them when cooking bolognaise. I like how the spirals of the pasta absorbs and traps all the sauce in them. I was boiling soup sock for dinner tonight so just took out some to make lunch for princess. Added celery, shredded carrots, chicken meat from bones used to boil stock, some fishballs, leftover tofu from previous meal and topped with fried shallots and seaweed. Also served apple and some Twisties zig-zag which mum gave. They are really nice and cheesy. Imported from Australia and sold at Candy Empire. I've not noticed if they sell them in the supermarkets here but then again, I hardly go for Twisties.

Lemon Cupcake (recipe)

As per G's request, here is the recipe, adapted from 2 recipes and modified.

Lemon Cupcakes

Cupcake ingredients (makes 15) -

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plain flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cups granulated sugar (I just used plain sugar, or can use castor)
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 eggs
1 8oz carton sour cream (I used the light version)
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel

Method -

1. Preheat oven to 350F. (I used 175C). In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30secs. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well-mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and alternate with sour cream to mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in lemon peel.

3. Fill bake cups about 1/2-3/4 way. Bake in preheated oven for about 18mins or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Leave to cool before filling and frosting. Cakes can keep overnight outside. Fill and frost only when ready to be served.

Curd ingredients - *this recipe says to fill 10 cupcakes so if you need more, probably should double the recipe.

1/6 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2-1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 egg, at room temperature
1/4 tsp vanilla

Method -

1. Over a low heat in a small saucepan, dissolve sugar in juice. Mix in zest.

2. Beat egg in a small bowl. Whisking continuously, pour syrup in a slow steady stream into egg. Beat for 2mins and transfer back to saucepan.

3. Heat over a small flame, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the curd mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool and store in fridge.

Lemon Buttercream ingredients -

1/2 cup butter, softened
1-3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Method -

1. Cream all ingredients on low speed until combined. Continue beating on high speed for 5mins until thick and fluffy.

To assemble:
1. Even off the domes of the cupcakes with a sharp knife. Cut out a cone from the top of each cupcake and fill the hole with 1/2 - 1 tsp of lemon curd. Replace cut out cone. Frost and serve.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Princess - Go yellow for gold

Went out to meet Sam this morning. She had an interview so was pretty last minute. She messaged me at 7plus this morning to ask if want to meet up in Shenton Way. So before that I headed off to Seah St to pick up some baking stuff from a bake shop there. I found this little angel in a few colours and they were so pretty. Decided to get a few for my cupcakes. This is specially for princess. I knew she'd be delighted by it. The look on her face when she had her first taste of the cupcake was worth more than a million bucks. It was a very big smile (she typed this) and her eyes twinkled. She absolutely loved it!!! She loves sour stuff and it really did it for her. Worth every bit of my effort.

Today is 'Go Yellow for Gold' day at school. Here she is, she wants to type something.

Princess says - because children have to wear anything yellow and bring $1 gold coins to make a money trail. why:cambodia children have no Food,no mummys no daddys,no clothes and they eat cockroaches so we need to help them.

She says they made these cookies on Monday during Chinese class. I guess it was just a sweet gesture to give it to them today as a little thank you for their donations to the poor children of Cambodia.

Lemon Cupcakes

The star of the show...

This has got to be my most favourite cupcake I've ever made. I love anything lemon and the lemon curd that goes inside this cupcake really gives you that 'wake up' feeling. It has the right amount of zest and perks you up instantly! Love it, absolutely!

Zesting the lemons was a bit of work. Jamie Oliver makes it look so easy. 'He's a professional', Hubby says. Ya, I suppose he's right.

I decided to splurge on some vanilla pods I saw at Phoon Huat, just to indulge myself a little. No regrets! Nothing beats the real thing. The vanilla scent is still on my fingers this morning.

To put the filling, you have to cut a hole in the middle of each cupcake and fill it with lemon curd. Some recipes say to leave off the cut out piece but as I didn't have lots of curd, decided to cover them up then frost them.

The frosting turned out a little too soft. Maybe next time I have to put it in fridge to harden slightly before piping it.

Problem solved

At last, I have sorted out how to split the photos in the post. It was bugging me for ages. Thanks Hubby, for helping me with it.

I finally baked a batch of lemon cupcakes last evening as I've been delaying it. It seemed too tedious and I just kept putting it off. Plus all my shredders did not work for zesting the lemons so even though I had planned to do it in the day, I had to abandon the project and went off to Temple Street in search of a lemon zester. Am very glad I did as the shop next door had what I was looking for. My initial plan was to go Sia Huat but when the cab driver dropped me off, I came face-to-face with a shop which was chock-a-block full of people so decided to check in there instead. They had what I was looking for! :) I'm not surprised as they deal with all manners of kitchenware which people working in the food industry need. Am very glad I did the cupcakes in the end. Was worth the effort. The cakes turned out real light and fluffy. I also made the lemon curd and am now waiting for the butter to soften before doing the frosting.

Will post pictures later in the day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Help & Wooden Chopsticks

I need to learn how to split my photos in the posts. They just lump together. Have tried many ways but just can't seem to do it. :( Hope someone who reads this can help me.

On another note, I wonder how many of you have heard about the contaminated disposable chopsticks we use in hawker centres and food courts, or even when we 'da bao' (take away) something from a food outlet. I heard it from a Taiwanese friend last year and have since done without it. But I didn't know exactly the cause of it.

So anyway, my mum heard it over the radio last week that they are totally unsafe to use. They soak them in some chemical which is harmful to our health, then leave them out in the open to dry and children and animal pee on them etc. Tests were done and traces of faeces were found. They are then shipped to Taiwan where they are packed using bare hands.

It's also not good for the environment as many bamboo trees are destroyed in the manufacturing these chopsticks. Maybe the next time when you visit the food court, think about this and opt for the non-disposable ones. I used to prefer the disposables to the ones the food places provide thinking they were more hygienic as they were individually packed in plastics. Well, not anymore, I've stopped using disposables. Better still, bring your own.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dinner tonight

Decided to post my dishes tonight. Stir fried chicken with celery and carrots, as well as a stir fried fish dish. It's called 'batang'. I don't know the English word for it.

Lunch today

Made a set for princess' lunch today. Fried some rice and served with some chicken nuggets and fresh sliced tomatoes.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Aston's Specialties

I've often walked past this cafe (well, I don't know how best to describe it, I wouldn't call it a restaurant), and seen scores of people crowding around at the entrance. Always a long queue to get in. Wonder what the fuss is all about. So this evening, being too tired to cook, decided to check out Aston's.

We got there at 5.30pm, and there were already a few people ahead of us. The cafe was packed. I wonder what time they had started coming to eat. Well, anyway, we were given a menu to look at and decide on what we wanted. The staff came over a few minutes after, to take our orders. It being our first visit to the place, we were at a loss as to what was nice, but I did see the sausages on their blog which looked good. Unfortunately, hubby was more interested in the Black Pepper Steak than the sausages. Well, we'll leave that for the next time. I ordered for myself the Hickory BBQ Chicken and for princess, she had the Vienna Sausage and Cream of Mushroom Soup. We also had a side order of French Fries.

I didn't keep track of how long we had to wait for a table but it wasn't too bad. The staff were nice and friendly. And not long after we were seated, they served the french fries and soup. Even though the place was packed, we didn't have to wait long for our food. Service was quick. The fries were great! I mean initally I thought they looked like ordinary fries and didn't look much better than those in McDonald's when I spied them on someone's plate, but we noticed they had sprinkled some spices on them and they were delicious. They were gone in an instant! I can't even remember what the name of the spice was, just that it began with the letter 'm'. Haha!

Next came the chicken (you get a choice of 2 side orders with a main). I chose garden vegetables and mashed potato. I love the taste of meat with bbq sauce so the hickory bbq was great. It didn't disappoint. The portion wasn't too big and at the end of the meal, you feel just nice, not overly full.

Hubby asked for the steak to be medium well. He usually likes it well done as he hates the sight of the blood oozing out. But even though it didn't come out as welldone as he would have liked it to be, nonetheless he enjoyed it. The black pepper sauce was very nice, full of flavour.

A disappointment was the sausages. We expected it to be a nice long sausage but they turned out to be little cocktail-sized ones. Maybe I didn't notice that it was in the appetizer menu? It's ok though as it was for the little girl so she didn't complain. But I had to take a photo for her as I had taken mummy's and daddy's.

We will definitely visit again. The ieat super burger looked really good and some side orders too. The prices are very affordable for that quality of food. You really get value for money.

Friday, August 17, 2007


After school today, we went to meet up with G & Sam and their girls who have 2 days off due to PSLE marking. Decided to go to Vivo and have lunch there as well as to let the girls have some fun together. We only get to meet during the school holidays and at the occasional birthday parties, but the girls are close, having grown up together, and also being the fact that their mums are good friends. I think it's really great to leave this legacy to our kids, us having gone to school and work together, and now, we have started a close friendship for them, which will hopefully last them till they are all grown up.


I just can't resist this movie. Can't wait for it to be out in the cinemas. It's my favourite theme - FOOD! So glad that I also figured out how to add the trailer to my blog. It isn't difficult but took me a while to get it. Now I can watch it all the time :)

Go to this link for more fun, games and downloads. Irresistibly cute.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mattel Recall

Mothers beware!!!

I'm sure by now most of you would have heard about the recall of a long list of toys manufactured by Mattel in China with excessive lead in paint as well as magnets in some.

Sad to say I have many Polly Pockets sets and 4 of them are affected. Decided to post the link to lists of affected products here as there's a little trouble trying to locate them, especially if you want the ones with photos attached. Most by now would have thrown out the boxes that the toys came in and do not have the serial numbers of the products. The pictures will help greatly.

1. List of Polly Pocket and Batman

2. List of Fisher Price, Dora the Explorer

Barbie® Doll and Tanner™ sets

4. Sarge in 'Cars' Pizar Film

This is the list released by Singapore Mattel :

Recall list of affected toys in Singapore

Mattel Care Line
(Monday - Friday: 9 am - 5 pm):
Tel : +65 - 6235 - 0667

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nutella Muffins

My dear princess came in the door and said... 'mmm, what do i smell?'. Haha, yes I just baked a batch of Nutella muffins. Used the blueberry muffin recipe as the base, as I do love it so much and instead of blueberries, I put Nutella! Added a half tsp of vanilla in muffin mix and that's it! Made them in smaller cups so yielded 12 instead of the 6 for blueberry ones. And just omit the topping. You don't need that.

It tastes great, but will take note to cut down sugar to 1/2cup as Nutella itself is sweet. Cooking and baking is all about experimentation and adapting, so I'm learning every day with each recipe I try.

Also, have to take note of baking time, as erm, got busy with blogging and didn't keep an eye on muffins. Hehe. They were fine but maybe 5mins less in the oven would have been better.

Yes, you can tell I am in a baking mood. I love to bake, not that I'm that great at it, but from reading other food blogs I'm so totally inspired by some and I didn't know that in Singapore where food is plentiful and very affordable, people still baked their own breads and buns. All this I discovered when I started blogging. The amazing buns that cranberry does are worthy to be sold in a bake shop. I am totally in awe of her.

There is also the baker who cooks. She's really amazing too.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Blueberry Muffins

Princess wasn't in school again today and she was playing by herself all morning, then grandpa visited and after he left, we decided to bake some blueberry muffins. Have been meaning to bake them but was lazy. Bought blueberries last week as they were on offer. Also found a nice recipe on Allrecipes website which sounded easy. So decided to try it out. Well, here they are...

Note: I would cut down on the sugar in the topping and maybe leave out the cinnamon.

Comment: This blueberry muffin is delicious!! Very soft and not dry at all. I wouldn't say it is moist, just a very good texture. All except for the very sweet streusel which I will cut down on sugar. Cinnamon and blueberry doesn't seem to do it for me, unlike apple and cinnamon which is a great combination. I'll maybe just put a half teaspoon of cinnamon as I find the original recipe is way too much and makes the topping a little overbearing in taste, and maybe add a dash of vanilla to muffin mix. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I'm inspired now to try out more muffin recipes. :)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Jap-inspired dinner

Made Jap curry today from instant curry mix which is really easy to use. First, fry onions, chicken, potatoes and carrots. Then add in water and boil till soft and cooked. Turn off heat and break a piece of curry cube in and mix till melted. Serve with rice.

Pasta Mania

This is our lunch today. Been feeling rather lazy to cook the past few days but since we are home today, decided to whip up a quick dish of pasta with whatever I had in the fridge.

Just for my own reference (you can try it too) -

1/2 onion
garlic sliced
1 capsicum cut into small pieces
5 fresh button mushrooms, sliced
7 chicken sausages cut into smaller pieces
5 fistfuls of macaroni
1 pkt of Campbell's instant mushroom soup
1 cup of water
black pepper
Italian herbs
Shredded mozarella

1. Fry onion, garlic, capsicum, mushrooms till almost soft.
2. Add cup of water and pkt of soup
3. Cook pasta till slightly before al dente
4. Add to ingredients and mix, season with salt, pepper and Italian herbs.
5. Turn off flame and stir in mozarella.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Munchy Donut

Ooooh... yummy munchy donut. It's simply delicious. You just can't get enough of it. I was lucky this evening cruising along Tanjong Katong Road where Munchy Donut had just opened their very 1st outlet. There wasn't a queue, surprise, surprise. I've been told that the queue clears very fast. Even on a public holiday like National Day on Thursday, it only took a 15min wait even though queue was long. And today, I was told that there was another long queue but it took only 20mins to get to the front of queue.

I just can't understand why there are 3-hr long waits in other shops. Is it just a matter of creating hype?

8 Days did a comparison of the various donut shops and Munchy earned a total of 4 half stars out of 5. Amazing! Donut Factory & Summer House got 3. Well, that figures, as I didn't think Summer's ones were great.

I got a few flavours to try today - Chocolate Banana, Bitter Chocolate, Strawberry, Rainbow Sprinkles & Cream Cheese.

They look messy when you get them but I find that just popping them in the fridge for a couple of minutes helps to harden the chocolate slightly and make them more manageable to eat.

Truly I have to agree - One is not enough!

Munchy Donut
226 Tanjong Katong Road
Tel: 6344 0880

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Woke up extremely early this morning considering slept pretty late last night and the fact that Princess wasn't going school today (what else? another case of hfmd in her class). But her body clock is used to waking at 7am, so no choice had to drag myself out of bed. Immediately baked a batch of cupcakes for her to bring on her playdate. Packed her off to her friend's so that I can clean the house in peace. If not, she'll be bored or else watch tv all day.

The cupcakes didn't turn out as well as expected as I chose to use some pretty Disney princess and Strawberry Shortcake paper cups and thus the cakes turned out enormous, not exactly what I'd call little cups, more like bowls. Haha! Well, the taste was nice though and I tried to glaze them. First time I'm trying to work with icing sugar and it was ok. Will work to improve on it. Got some lovely little royal icing cake decor in Disney princess designs on my last trip back to Ireland and have been wanting to use them. But since haven't baked in a long time, no chance to use.

All was ready by 10am and sent her off. She had a lovely day there and even managed to go for a little swim just before it was time to pick her up. The girls enjoyed the cupcakes so that was great.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


After class this morning, we walked past a shop in Joo Chiat and chanced upon a lovely cake shop. Reminds me of Bakerzin. I've never heard of it before. It's called Obolo. Apparently they used to sell their cakes online before starting their flagship store in Joo Chiat in June this year. I just missed the opening promotion where you get 3 cakes for $15.90. It's really good value. Their current promotion is a National Day special where you get a slice of New York cheesecake (a bestseller) plus a glass of Verrine Summer Berries for a special price of $9.90. Usual price is $13.10. I bought those as well as a slice of Noisette (also a bestseller). Oooh...also couldn't resist the macaroons. I got the Raspberry, Hazelnut-Chocolate and Mango-Passion. Have not tried them yet. Will have them for after-dinner dessert.

We each had a little of each cake to try. Princess had the Verrine all to herself. I didn't even get a taste of hers as by the time I was ready to try it, she had already finished everything. Haha. It must have been delicious, that's all I can say. My favourite was the Noisette. It was yummy. Was a lovely sponge, mousse, wafer combination and they used dark chocolate so it wasn't awfully sweet, more like a bitter chocolate taste. The New York cheesecake was alright. I thought the cheese was rather salty.

Well, anyway, give it a try when you are in the area.


452 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427665
Tel: 6348 9791

Friday, August 3, 2007

Lazy day

Dragged myself off to the kitchen to prepare a simple soup for dinner. Nothing too heavy as princess has gym class later. Bought half a butternut pumpkin last week when out shopping with mum and forgot all about it. Decided to steam the pumpkin and boiled some carrots with red split lentils. Would have added some curry powder to soup but don't have that. Also no bread in the house or would have been nice with soup.

Pumpkin Carrot Soup (serves 3 adults)


Half a pumpkin
2 small carrots
1-2 tbsp of red split lentils
1 tbsp of curry powder

creme fraiche


1. Steam pumpkin till soft. Scoop out flesh.
2. Boil carrots and lentils till soft.
3. Put in blender and blend well.
4. Pour soup back into saucepan and boil. Add curry powder and salt to taste.
5. Serve with a tsp of creme fraiche and garnish.

Decided to post the recipe here for G & Sam as sometimes we get ideas from each other as to what to cook for dinner. It can be a bit of a headache always having to think of stuff to cook. I find that I often end up cooking the same few dishes.