Saturday, March 27, 2010

Two lovely awards

Thanks so much, javapot. I know I took a long time collecting it, but thanks for thinking of me. :D I love them!

the rules for this award are as follows: copy the award image into a post; list 10 things that make you happy; tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day; link to their blogs; and notify the award recipients (who should link back to the sender’s blog).

In no particular order, things that make me happy.....

  1. Being able to spend time with my daughter every day.
  2. Meeting good friends for breakfast or meals and catching up with one another.
  3. Trying out new recipes and seeing the end product turn out successfully.
  4. Watching my girl dance.
  5. Play with babies (other people’s babies) – there is something that makes grown adults talk and act like one big child. (This one I got to copy yours, javapot ;P)
  6. Giving surprises, especially making or baking something for someone special on their birthday. Knowing that the person will be happy makes me happy.
  7. Shopping!
  8. Helping out in school and getting to know princess' classmates.
  9. Rain. I love rain.
  10. Theme parks. I'm so looking forward to visiting Universal Studios, Singapore (and no, I won't be taking the Battlestar Galactica dueling roller coasters - I'm too timid for that ;P)
The other bloggers whom I'm tagging for this double award (unless they are already nominated) are... Jottings of Life, Little Corner of Mine, Bento Fun, Beau Lotus, More than Words, Mochachocolata-Rita, Ganache-Ganache, Hawai`i's Bento Box Cookbook, Bentos and More for Kids, A Teaspoon "N" a pinch.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chilled Mango Cheesecake

I have been very lazy since Tuesday and just want to do nothing more than be a couch potato. Not sure if it's because my body is still adjusting to waking up so early since I had a break of a week in which I could wake up at any time I wished. My girl has gone on a sleepover at my friend's tonight, so I used that to push me to prepare some yummy goodies for them.

I wasn't very lucky with the two recipes I tried out today. Well, don't get me wrong. They both turned out great. But in both recipes, there were wrong measurements.

The first recipe I tried was this cheesecake one. I am not a fan of chilled cheesecakes. I love the rich, solid types. I don't like mousse-y ones either. To me, they are not real cheesecakes. However, I liked this one.

I had two mangoes in the fridge which my dad brought for my daughter, but I felt I could do something better with them and I still had about 750g of cream cheese in the chiller. I decided to pair them up and thus began my search for a recipe. I found this one on where else but ''.

I can't seem to copy the recipe so I will need to type it, sigh.

Ingredients -

500g mango, diced (I only had 450g I think = 2 mangoes)
500g cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar or to taste
1/4 cup hot water
1tbsp gelatine
300ml cream (I used the Emborg whipping cream which I had in my fridge)
75g butter, melted
1/2cup plain sweet biscuits or Mcvities digestives (I seriously do not think 1/2cup is the right amount. I put in at least 1-1/2cups as there was too much butter in equation to the original 1/2cup)

Method -

1. Blend biscuits in food processor and mix with melted butter. Press into the bottom of a cheesecake tin.

2. Place tin in freezer while preparing the rest of the mixture.

3. Combine half of the mango with cream cheese and sugar in food processor and blend till smooth.

4. Add gelatine to hot water and stir till melted. Allow to cool.

5. Add cream to mango mixture and process for 40seconds.

6. To this mixture, add the cooled gelatine and blend for a few more seconds.

7. Gently stir in the remainder diced mangoes into cheesecake mixture. Pour into prepared tin. Refrigerate at least 6hrs , decorate with sliced mango and thickened cream.

Overall it had a very nice taste, but I wish the mangoes were slightly sourish so that it would lend a more acidic taste to the overall flavour . I think 1/2tsp of lemon juice might just do the trick.

The original recipe is from here.

Broken Mirror

Friendship is like a mirror... once broken, cannot be repaired. Sad, but such is life.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The explosion

After a fun couple of hours yesterday, we returned to Vivo to have dinner with the hubby after his work. Princess wanted to have pasta at Coffee Bean while daddy & I wanted to have prata at Food Republic. In the end, we decided to pack her pasta so we could all eat together at the food court.

I love the prata there and hubby always orders a cup of teh tarik. Princess had finished her pasta and we were almost done with ours, when a lady came by with her pushcart and I ordered a lychee juice. I turned to my bag on my right to get some cash to pay her. Suddenly there was a loud crash and I thought the lady dropped a glass, which was weird as I remembered seeing the drinks in plastic cups. I looked towards the other table where princess and hubby was sitting, and saw some brown liquid all over the table. I didn't have an idea of what had happened as my back was turned. It didn't occur to me that it was the cup of tea which hubby had ordered. I think everyone got a shock, including the drinks lady. Those in the first picture are broken glass pieces, not ice cubes. The good thing was that it didn't shatter into tiny pieces. Princess didn't know what to do so we got her to leave her seat to come over to my right. While trying to get out of her seat, I think she put her palm on the chair or table and a bit of glass got caught in her palm. Everything was happening at the same time, and I was also trying to pay the lady. Hubby was very lucky to not have been drinking the tea at the time of the explosion. It was only when she started crying that we realized something was wrong. Her tiny wound had some blood on the surface but this is different from a splinter where I could just use a pair of tweezers to remove, so after calling over the shop staff who in turn got the manager of the food court over to have a look, we found a doctor at Vivo to take her to. She was very brave even though doctor did scare her a little by telling her not to look and instead look at me and not move a muscle. It wasn't a bit painful at all when the bit was removed. In fact, I think she was pretty proud of her little plaster as she held her hand palms up all the way after that, sort of trying to show that she was hurt and trying to get a bit of attention haha.

We went back to see the manager after that and got a refund of the doctor's fees as well as what we paid for our meal. He was very helpful and apologetic, as well as all those involved in it. The prata man said he was sorry but it wasn't his fault. Haha. I assured him that it wasn't, and that we were ok.

One of my friend's hubby had experienced this same incident before and according to her, there was probably a surface crack on the glass and the heat must have made it explode. But it was really a frightening experience and I just thank God that no glass bits ended in princess or hubby's eyes.

Hershey's Boutique

This is the 'pull factor' for my visit to Resorts World yesterday afternoon. When I saw the photos on my friend's facebook, I knew I HAD to go visit it! It's chocolate heaven! And what a great photo opportunity with the myriad of chocolate selection. There were even Hershey's cushions, bears and plush toys to bring home. Maybe I'm a bit suaku in Singapore, not having travelled to the US in 15yrs or more, thus there are lots of Hershey's products that I have not seen before. But wow, check out this gallon of syrup! I love the packaging. This is for serious syrup lovers.

Didn't know they have cinnamon chips as well! Great excuse for baking some cookies soon.

Hmm... never head of Symphony... anyone knows if it's nice?

Easter bunnies! I thought the eyes look kind of scary haha.

Cute carrot Reese's.

One of the many frames on the walls.

Ooo... Reese's... my favourite. Not afraid that I won't be able to find them on supermarket shelves anymore!


Cute bar of Hershey's on the window of the boutique.

Free Cone Day & Resorts World

Hubby informed us of the 'free cone day' by Ben & Jerry's which was held yesterday islandwide. It's an annual affair and even though I've known about it for a few years now, I have never gone for it. I hate long queues. Well, blame me for being in the 'fun' mood still, a spillover from the school holidays, so I decided to take the princess to Vivo after she came home from school. Needless to say, she was very excited about it. And while we were there, I had this sudden inspiration to hop across the island over to Sentosa to breathe in the Resorts World air. ;P

Despite the mega long queue @ B & J's, everything was handled so professionally and went so smoothly, that we got our cones within half an hour. They kept us occupied while we were waiting, by giving us word puzzles to fill out as part of a contest to win tickets to Vermont, USA. I managed to get most of the answers except the last two which were really tricky, thus I didn't bother to join the contest. I never have luck with them anyway. :(

When it came to our turn, princess chose the healthy mango sorbet while I opted for the new flavour called 'a cookie affair'. There were a total of about 5 flavours to choose from. I quite liked the flavour except that the ice-cream melted too quickly. Princess' one was ok. I had to eat real fast to prevent it from dripping all over my hand.

However, one thing put me off. While peeling off the paper from the cone, bits of paper were stuck and when I tried to remove them, I felt sticky glue all over the side of the cone which was really disgusting. It's the first time I've ever had problems with cone. Imagine if I had to pay for it. Well, of course I would have gone to get my money back but since I had walked quite a distance away, I didn't bother to complain. Princess' cone had the same problem so I believe it's not a one-off case. The next time you eat a cone at B & J's, do watch out for that. Poor princess was made to throw out the remainder of the cone after finishing off her ice-cream. The picture belows shows the paper bits and the area where glue was.

After our ice-cream, we took the train over to Sentosa. There wasn't really that much of a crowd there, much to my surprise.

We finally have our very own amusement park! Being there and soaking in the air, and being shut out by the barriers really makes one want to enter it. I would like 2 fun passes please... ok, in my dreams, but I will work on it. I know hubby hardly refuses my requests hehe, right hubs? ;)

This was all we could see from the outside - the main street. Princess was moody. We will try to get in soon, I promise, darling. :D

For more on our visit to Resorts World, check out my next post.

Popeye's @ T3 & Segway

It was a boring Saturday on the weekend before school started. Being a rainy afternoon, the hubby and kid didn't manage to go out on their bikes. On a whim, we decided to visit Changi Airport Terminal 3. It's quite a distance from town but a nice place to spend an evening at, far away from the crowds of the shopping malls. Only one place was on my mind as we made our way there for an early dinner. Popeye's! I've heard a lot about it and read lots of good reviews.

The photos were taken on my Iphone as I had forgotten to pack my camera. The portion below was a kid's meal. It comes with a piece of chicken, fries and Milo. The 'surprise' gift for the meal wasn't a toy. It was a 2-finger bar of KitKat to finish off the meal.

Hubby and I went for the 'Turf & Surf' set which had 4pcs of chicken (with an additional 50cents each for choice of breast or thigh meat), corn niblets, mash potatoes, prawn fritters, 2 biscuits and 2 Sjora juices (of which we chose pineapple as well as mango peach - the two flavours offered). I found the drinks very watered down, and the fries hubby complained were too dry. The biscuits were not too bad with jam. I didn't manage to take many photos as the two were impatient to get started on their dinner.

The chicken was lovely and crispy and not dry even though we got 4 breast meats due to hubby. Sigh. I mustn't buy chicken when he is with me. I love thigh and wings, not breast or drumstick. I'll be sure to visit Popeye's again without hubby in tow. You can choose the level of spiciness for the chicken. There is mild and spicy. In fact, speaking of which, I might take a trip down to Toa Payoh soon, where their other outlet is located, as I've been told. :D

Cajun fries - not all that fab.

The sides...

Cute recycle bins around the airport.

With every $20 spent at the airport, we are able to redeem three $5 tries on the Segway. It looked like a lot of fun and seeing that it was pretty empty, I signed up hubby and girl for it. Here are the rules u need to go by -

For safety, helmets first.

Off they go after a few rounds of practise.

Princess had a second go at it as hubby was too impatient to get started on the circuit which is limited to 2 rounds only, for the price we paid, thus she didn't get the full satisfaction the first time round. The trick is to do more practise rounds at the side before going the 2 rounds, as once you are done, the Segway is immediately removed from you.

While the girl was on the Segway, we had some desserts at Coffee Club right beside it.

Blackforest drink for the hubby.

Hubby's favourite Oreo cheesecake.

I opted for the lemon tart after a rich dinner of fried chicken. It was lovely and tangy. A refreshing choice.

Mango with nata de coco

I'm a little behind in my posts thus this dessert is now being presented even though I made it two weeks ago during the dry spell. We've since been getting lots of rain, heavy torrential rain for the past few days.

This has been a hot item on most blogs last year but I never made it then. However, when I chanced upon it this time round, I decided to give it a try seeing that it was pretty easy and mangoes are abundant now. However, having missed the pomelo season during CNY, I came up with the idea of adding nata de coco to it.

Princess doesn't like pomelo anyway and she loves nata so it's a great pairing. :)

I got my recipe from here if you are keen to try.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Back to basics

It's back to basics for this meal. I believe lots of households have someone or other who was brought up on luncheon meat and baked beans. I've not cooked this dish in a long while as I can't take beans. It is not good at all for my arthritis and will cause lots of pain, but I do love this pairing. The only person who truly enjoys this, is hubby. Little girl doesn't like the beans. Come to think of it, she isn't a fan of luncheon meat either. She prefers ham. I know of someone who adds an egg into this dish to give it more protein.

The only vegetable left in my refrigerator is lettuce, and I found some fresh bacon, thus it was how this dish came about. First off, I fried the bacon on its own, scooped them up, and fried some garlic before adding the lettuce and oyster sauce for taste. I sprinkled the bacon on after dishing out the vegetable.

Bentos & sleepover

We had a little guest over at our house last weekend. I thought she was a very brave girl, having just come home from America and ending up in my home for a sleepover 2 days later. We were very pleased to have her for company. I had a great time taking care of and feeding her. She had no problems with eating. For their Saturday lunch, I made them a bento each. The girls requested for prata, so that's what went into their bento.

For A, I added a char siew bao which her grandma had brought over. Grandma was really nice as she made little flower agar agar for the girls. These were really refreshing for the hot days we were experiencing. Fast forward one week and we are awash in rain every day. I'm not complaining as I much prefer the wet than the haze anytime. In A's bento, I also added a chicken wiener from Ikea and some tomato ketchup.

For princess, I made some Japanese curry (super convenient) for her prata as she likes them with curry. She has basically the same food except for the char siew bao, but she was given some lettuce and tomatoes instead.

On another occasion, I made her this very healthy bento with furikake-flavoured rice and served it with Pikachu fishcakes, sliced tomatoes and strawberry/kyuri sticks. Oops, not forgetting 2 little pieces of wieners.

Brewerkz @ Riverside Point

I planned a gathering for a group of friends to get together this March as one of them is in town from Klang. These are the girls I grew up and went to school with, and together with our 3 little ones, we met at Brewerkz to kick off a fun evening. The meeting was supposed to have been on a Wednesday but was postponed as C arrived in Singapore later than expected. Fridays are busy days in the pubbing area, but we managed to pull it off.

The rain was upon us all afternoon and it kind of dampened the spirit a little when we thought we wouldn't be able to go on the riverboat ride. However, by the end of our meal, we were delighted to note that it had stopped raining, except for a very slight drizzle which allowed us to carry on as planned. The Singapore Riverboat Cruise counter was right at the doorstep of the restaurant so it was very handy for us to pick up tickets. Best of all, there was only one other couple on board the boat. They got off at the next quay and we had the entire boat to ourselves, it almost felt like a private boat. :D The tickets cover 2 quays and it costs S$8 per person one way. Our destination was the Merlion Park at One Fullerton. There is a longer boat ride which covers the Marina area but that is not available after 5pm. We loved the lights along the way. We couldn't stop oohing and ahhing. The kids had fun waving to people on the bridges as we went under them and they loved making noises each time, creating the echo effect. All in all, it was a great evening! We hope to meet up again when C is back in December for Christmas.

We started off with Virgin Margaritas. These are great for kids as they do not contain alcohol. However, they tasted pretty sour so most kids might not like them.

C ordered a platter of sausages with mash for the kids to share. However, she ended up eating most of it but she didn't like the one with the lighter shade. I believe that is beer bratwurst.

The kids had child's portion pasta which was just plain pasta in tomato sauce and it comes with a drink of choice.

S had ribs which she said was fall off the bone type. It came with an onion salad which is not really my cup of tea. The mash is delicious though.

This is what I had - Seafood spaghetti, as it is a Friday thus no meat for me. I thought this was so-so, it wasn't that great. The pasta we had at Swensen's was much much better.

The menu is very interesting with lots of choices of food, but with 4 ladies and 3 little girls, we couldn't order much. The nachos looked really good and some of the food sound very nice. I do want to return again and try the burgers, nachos and the brownie which we didn't have space for in our tummy. But this time, I will be arranging for the guys to join us so we can order more stuff to share and try, as the portions are very big.