Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pizza Dough

Just so I remember the ingredients, I better jot it down here.

500gm plain flour
350ml water
1 packet yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil


Knead dough and roll up into a big ball. Put in bowl & clingwrap to proof for at least an hour. Remember to oil bowl first before placing dough in. (which as you can see I didn't). :P

One hour later...

Divide dough up and flatten with rolling in. Place ingredients on top, and bake at 180 deg C for about 10mins. (this really depends on the thickness of the dough)

Here you have it... before

And after...

All-time favourite Hawaiian

Master chef's secret recipe - Garlic & olive oil-base with a topping of sliced fresh button mushroom, basil leaves and mozarella.

Thanks KY for so kindly sharing the recipes. I still have a long way to go in perfecting these pizzas.

Mooncake time!

After my first ever mooncake lesson last year, I decided to test the waters again all on my own this time. As usual, I started off lazy, but last Sunday saw hubby at work, leaving us two girls on our own, so after church, we took a walk to the baking goods shop and picked up the flour, sugar, pastes etc needed to make these lovelies. I hope I am able to attempt the baked ones next year.

Thus began my mooncake making journey... the first lot I made only consisted of 5 haha, before we went out to dinner that evening. The skins were left in the fridge for a few days before I made them at a friend's house again yesterday.

These were what we made yesterday using the boy moulds of car & Shinkansen. I love the car one very much. Love the imprints on the mooncakes.

I picked up some black sesame paste yesterday at KCT so will do those hopefully this afternoon.

Radish Cake (Lor Pak Gou)

I have been wanting to try out this recipe from My Kitchen Snippets since I spied it a long time ago. However, I never got round to it. I caught sight of some beautiful radish in Cold Storage last week and bought one in order not to have any excuse to procrastinate further. Please do not compare mine to hers as hers are more beautiful.

Having set my heart to it, I spent a long time that afternoon cutting, shredding, dicing all the ingredients.

Unfortunately even though I followed the recipe exactly, it didn't turn out well. I now question if the cups of flour were actually cups for measuring cake flour or rice cups because the recipe resulted in a very dry mixture and I had to add more water to it. In the end, the original flavour was dampened (literally) by the addition of excess fluid.

I just had to keep my fingers tightly crossed while steaming it and was feeling totally discouraged. But in the end, after leaving the cake to rest and cool, thus hardening it, I felt better with the end result.

Still lots of improvement needed but I do intend to attempt making this cake again.

New friend from Penang

As bloggers and mums, we make friends from far and wide, sharing a common love for food, and the common topic of kids. Once in a while, a few of them living overseas come home, and some simply to visit our shores or use our island as a stopover point to further their journey to Australia.

One of these new blogger friend hails from Penang, and while on her short stopover in Singapore, decided to meet up with us. I feel so privileged as she only had 2-3days here before she left for Perth, and yet she chose to spend time with my girl and I one morning. We were both late as there was heavy traffic due to the preparation of the F1 race happening on our shores this weekend. Thus, we only had one hour together before I had to send princess to school.

As with all first time meetings, there were a bit of jitters on my end. Erm, will we get along, or will we be at a loss for words? Well, I was totally put at ease the moment I spied them. She is totally nice, and very bubbly by nature. She told me about all the food she'd been gobbling up in the span of one day and one morning. Haha. And right after, going for more makan. Lol. There was no 'warming up' needed. A lovely lady indeed. I got to meet her hubby who was just as nice, and her little boy who was very cute and got on with princess from the word 'go'. Even my princess who was left at the table, while I went to place our orders, was chatting to them like old friends haha. It was a short but sweet meeting and I wished we could have spent more time together that morning, but time did not permit. Sorry poor D that che che had to rush to school and couldn't play more with you. Poor dear was so upset and started crying when we said our goodbyes. Maybe on her next trip here, or if I do go to Penang, I have one more friend to visit. ;)

I think I have been spoilt by my friends from Penang who have visited in the span of 2 weeks. I got a whole lot of goodies from both parties. Haha! First there was tau sar piah, now there is phong pniah, durian cake (or dodol as friend calls it), Shat Kek Ma & some alphabet cutters. Tks pal! And it was lovely meeting the family. Have a safe trip.

Very lovely homemade durian cake which she ordered specially. I love this. Look, pure durian, not flour.

Weekend bento

Hubby spent last weekend at work. Thus I decided to make him bentos on both Saturday & Sunday. In the bento are ham & cheese sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, biscuits, Spanish melon & corncob. Bentos on both days were pretty similar.


We were invited to our first ever playdate in a classmate's home two weekends ago. However, as we already had plans, little one was very disappointed not to be able to go. So this mummy had to be thick-skinned and call up the friend's mum to request for another playdate for last weekend. She agreed to it so last Saturday right after ballet, we made our way over. I made these at the last minute, only that morning before ballet class and the chocolate wasn't even set before we had to leave for class. I was afraid that the ballerinas would topple over but they stood tall all throughout till we made it there. I used Maya's brownie recipe & topped them with some chocolate sauce and some fairy sprinkles which Sis got me. I love the pearly colours on those sprinkles. Thanks Sis.

Food I cooked

The omelette was inspired by the tiny silverfish that I picked up while out shopping with the bff one afternoon. I loved the look of the tiny Japanese silver fish which is 1/3 the size of the normal ones. I knew my girl would be in love with this, as I recently discovered that she likes crispy ikan bilis. This one's even crispier and not salty at all. But more tricky to fry as they are very tiny. I decided to cut up some spring onion, gave it a quite stir in the pan, then added 2 beaten eggs and made an omelette with that. Then I sprinkled the silverfish over the top as garnish. Lovely and simple dish. As expected, she loved it!

I decided I needed to give this dish another go, this time with all the ingredients on hand. It was beautiful and hubby loved it, for sure this time. Haha. Although I thought the pineapple juice was a bit sour. I should have used the lychee juice instead. I'm not going to write out the recipe here. Please check HK's blog for it.

I bought the above packet of mix in Mustafa's shopping with the bff on another occasion. It looked very tempting and I do love cereal prawns which they serve at seafood restaurants. I cooked this for our Friday night dinner, substituting the prawns for sliced fish as the little one doesn't like prawns. I omitted the chilli padi required in the recipe in order that she could partake of this dish. I think the chilli would give it some kick.

Verdict - It was lovely, but I think there might have been a lot of MSG as I was very thirsty, lips all dry after dinner, and for a few hours after. So, eat at your own risk.

To accompany the cereal fish, I made a veg using leftover lettuce, some young corn, crabsticks & fresh button mushrooms. I also made an Oden soup but didn't bother snapping a picture of that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cinnamoroll & Mocha cookies

Can't believe I forgot to blog about these. Over the Teachers' Day period, a friend of mine posted some pictures of the cookies that she baked for her sons' teachers and one of them was a cutout cookie & I was keen to try out that recipe. She got it from Florence's blog. I used that for the Cinnamoroll cookies and a different one for the Mocha cookies. On the back of some of the Cinnamoroll ones, I stamped the words 'Happy b'day' for a girlfriend of mine who is as crazy over the character as my girl & I are. I decided to make some My Melody ones too. Very happy with how they all turned out :D And absolutely love the pink polka-dotted cover on the bottle.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Assortment of bentos

Made an assortment of bentos last 2 weeks and here they are... not in order of appearance.

This is my most favourite of all the bentos I have made. I've procrastinated on this one for more than half a year. I did have some bento books which almost always featured at least two bentos on Anpanman and he looked very easy to put together. I just never really bothered. I have a bigger rice mould which I ordered online, but it wasn't until the bff's sil came back from Japan with a set of Anpanman characters rice mould that I felt they were just too cute to not make a bento out of. So here it is, Mr Anpanman & Mr Shokupanman. I think they are totally adorable. They have two little friends with them, namely Mr & Miss Mushroom. As this is the last bento of the school term, Mr Mushroom is feeling a little sad, although this mummy is secretly happy hehe. No more rushing mad and devoting an hour in the morning to preparing bentos, especially on Mondays or Tuesdays when I have to prepare 听写 questions. Yippee!!! Thank goodness for catered food. :D The men have tomato ketchup on their noses & cheeks, how cute ya? And the spots on the mushroom are little cheese. There is also a flower apple, golden kiwi & flower sausages. Notice that even the pick is a little pink Anpanman? :) Ok, alright, I think I have a secret fascination with the man, but he is just too adorable, although I have never watched his cartoon show.

One other bento I prepared for school was the following which comprised half a blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese spread, sausages, corn kernels, strawberries, half a plum & a mini strawberry donut.

For her godbro, he had basically the same stuff except his came with a ham & cheese sandwich, a Cinnamoroll-shaped hard-boiled egg, a steamed strawberry yoghurt cake and a mini mango donut.

Last Friday was the bff's house blessing day so I went over to lend a helping hand. I prepared a lunch bento each for princess and her godbro.

This was how I packed the warm stuff in thermal flasks.

Other than the curry udon, there were fish nuggets, strawberries, grapes, apple, cherry tomato & prune. I love these two thermal flasks of mine. It's the first time I am using the green flask even though I believe I've had it for more than 10yrs now. As for the Hello Kitty flask, it's 7yrs old, the age of princess. I bought it when she was a baby and used it to bring her porrridge out when she was young.

On the last morning before school closed for the week-long holidays, I made her a snack bento as she was in the morning session. They were to go on an excursion to visit another school and spent the morning with the girls there. They had a fun arts & craft class and even exchanged souvenirs with each other. How sweet was that?

I love this sandwich cutter that I bought recently. I have another one which is pink in colour. However, I prefer the designs on this one. The pink one has a heart shape, a house I think, and I can't make out what the other two are.

I made Nutella sandwiches & packed some mini Oreos too, for her breakfast because I doubt she could digest anything having just woken up at 6.30am and rushing about to get ready for the school bus.

This was a dinner bento for her to eat in the cab as we rushed from home to the Esplanade to catch 'Cinderella on Ice' after school one evening. She declared it very yummy as I had hidden teriyaki chicken bits within the rice.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Goodies hand-delivered :)

I received some goodies from a very dear friend today. She had a 'proxy' meet me as she couldn't make the trip here herself. It's such a pity, I would have loved to meet her, but I guess meeting her other half is better than nothing. :D

She sent over 2 boxes of tau sar piah which equates to 64 pieces??? I really wish my health was tiptop at the moment like a couple of months back, and I can wolf these down no problem, but at this moment, I really need to ration the amount I can consume else the pains in my joints will be back to haunt me. It has been acting up these couple of days so I need to be careful with the food I eat. So, maybe I will distribute some to mum & dad, and the some I'll freeze? Check out these gorgeous pastries.

In the package, there was also a packet of cream crackers cake mix. How interesting. Have you tried that yourself, babe? I received a pack of stencils & cutters as well. And I'm sure looking forward to trying out some recipes from the cookbook. Thanks for everything!

Here below are some stuff I picked up from Tangs using some gift vouchers which I had. I finally got my baking weights, a silicon-tipped pair of Cuisipro tongs and an Envirosax bag.

Campbell's Tees & bowls

I went to visit my favourite ban mian stall in Hougang yesterday. We, those people living in the East, would be familiar with the ban mian stall of Parkway Parade. It drew long queues and was forever busy whatever time of day. One day, out of the blue, princess & I were looking forward to a good lunch of ban mian after her ballet class, when we were greeted by a strange-looking stall which didn't seem like our favourite one. Curiosity got over me and I just had to check with the lady, because she too wasn't the same lady that had become such a familiar face. The man was also missing from the stall. Very weird. So a quick check at the signboard and I was pretty sure it used to read as 'Qiu Lian Ban Mian', although I couldn't be 100% sure. However, just a simple ' Ban Mian' looked too strange. So true enough they had changed owners. This current one hails from Raffles City food court and according to the lady, they have long queues there too. Well, one just has to try it to see how good it is. Unfortunately, it didn't pass the little one's tastebuds. Firstly, she complained the ikan bilis didn't taste the same, and secondly, the noodles got soft very quickly. The old stall made very good noodles and even by the end of the meal, the noodles still remained chewy.

I thought of asking the chicken rice lady if she knew where they moved to, but they were drawing in the crowds that day so I didn't want to disturb her. On another occasion, I happened to buy chicken rice for dinner, so used the opportunity to check with her. She knew where they went!!! Yippee!

So last week, another fellow ban mian lover friend and I went hunting for this stall at Hougang Mall. We couldn't find it and ended up eating at another of their stalls in the Kopitiam food court. But we wouldn't let it go, after travelling all the way, so we went in search of it and finally found it at the new NTUC outside Hougang Mall, in a new food court which just opened. I was so happy to see the lady I'm so used to. Her friend, the other cook, was there with her too. I just had to go say 'hi' to her. So both G & I appeared before her right after she served a customer and you should have seen how her face lit up when she saw us. She was so touched that we travelled all that distance and asked if we wanted to eat. We declined as we had just had our lunch. She was so kind and even offered us some uncooked noodles to bring home. We didn't take her up on her offer though. I'm just very happy that I've found them and I'm not about to let them go missing again haha.

So just yesterday, I took the little one to have lunch there. She gave us extra ikan bilis as the girl loves that. How kind of her. :) But it breaks my heart to see that they are practically swatting flies there. Business is very bad for them as the stall is very new. And right beside their stall is a wanton noodles one which had thriving business.

If you happen to live in Hougang or around that area, and you love ban mian, check out their stall! I do not have the address but it's in the new building just outside of Hougang mall, in the food court right after NTUC supermarket.

So, back to the topic of Campbell. We were off to the train station when we walked past the Bossini shop and the cute little cherubic face of the Campbell girl caught my eye. I just had to backtrack. How can one resist, right? I really wanted to get another tee on top of this one I bought, but I was more attracted to the print rather than the design of the tee. So in the end, I opted for a pair of Campbell leggings which she can probably wear to sleep. They are having a 30% off for 2 items purchased.

And this... this is what I really wanted. :D A set of limited edition Campbell soup bowls with 2 soup spoons which weren't that special eally, & a bottle of Campbell mushroom soup in a very adorable carrier. Go get yours today. :)

Last minute change

I bought these colourful veg a week or so ago but have not had a chance to cook this dish which I've been wanting to try. However, although I had prepared the ingredients way early in the afternoon, I got distracted by another 'project', thus it left me with very little time to cook this. The hungry princess kept complaining of hunger so I decided not to take a walk down to the supermarket to pick up missing ingredients such as longan and pineapple. I had to quickly put together her dinner and think up on the spot what to replace the missing ingredients with. I had a mango in the fridge and some instant lemon sauce. Decided to use those instead. So here you have it - mango chicken in lemon sauce. The result was ok, but I think I would have preferred the sweet & sour version. Will do that the next time. :) Thanks HK for the recipe.

This is the bento which I kind of 'copied' from Susan. Hope you don't mind. ;) Her recent bento caught my eye because of the very cute piggy and I just had to do it. Miss Piggy is made from chicken karaage. In the bento are also cherry tomatoes & fish fillet from her godma. In the background is a bowl of Campbell's Mushroom & Seafood soup.

While she had her dinner, I cut up a mango (from her grandpa as it's her favourite food), a golden kiwi and some grapes.

The 'Project'

Since I saw this in one of my bento books, I've been wanting to try it out but just pure laziness got a hold of me and thus, it's only now, more than half a year later, that I am attempting it. It was also helped by shopping mum's post. However, the result didn't turn out that good. Maybe I didn't add enough cornflour? But the colours turned out very pretty though. Now that I have all these coloured eggsheets, I really don't know what to do with them hahaha.

I started with boiling some katsuobushi stock (or Dashi stock) to be mixed into the egg. Next I separated the whites from the yolks.

I prepared some cornstarch solution & food colouring...

... and divided the whites into two bowls, dropping a drop of blue and red colouring separately into each bowl. I added a tbsp of the dashi stock in each mixture, as well as some cornstarch solution before beating them well and sieving them. Here's what I got.

It started off very well...

but the results weren't too ideal. Maybe there wasn't enough cornstarch?

The yellow turned out the worst.

I thought the pink was the nicest but still not perfect. I sure need more practise. :P

It looks very limpy, doesn't it?