Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Xmas!!

Merry Xmas to all! The long awaited festive day has passed with a glance. Enjoyed my company's annual xmas party on xmas eve! Would not comment much on the food as I thought it was just average. However, what matters is the fun and laughters we had during the party. And really appreciate the effort put in to make this a memorable one... ...not sure about the rest, but at least for me, it was indeed a memorable one! =)  

But unfortunately, we had meetings throughout the day which more or less dampened the festive mood! has to go on irregardless of what, rite...?

At home, we had our own style of Xmas dinner... ...

For appetizer, we had cucumber & lettuce salad. Well, not complete as there's no dressing added. But mum simply likes to chew on some fresh green vegetables to create a healthy lifestyle! =) There's also stir-fried celery with carrots, and I consider this a side dish instead of salad. Sis and bf brought Magnolia Yoghurt Smoothies - Mango with Orange sacs. Like this drink as the orange sacs gives it a zesty-refreshing taste which makes the drink not as sweet. It has a smooth mouth-feel. I tried before the strawberry flavour with nata de coco which is also quite nice.

Yoghurt is known as a food which aids and improves digestion. People who do not like to eat yoghurt are often because they feel that it's too sour or too milky. Instead of forgoing such a beneficial food, try the above yoghurt smoothies! With the fruits and flavours added, it will not be too milky or sour!

For main dish, we had mum's home-cooked mushroom spaghetti!

For side dishes... ...

Honey BBQ chicken from NTUC Fair Price
The meat is very tender, juicy and well marinated. Soft and easy to bite!

Chicken Chipolata from a wholesale factory at Woodland Terrace
My family members like this alot! Soft texture and the skin of the sausage is thin and easy to bite. Not too salty and it is well flavoured.

Lightly salted stir-fried potatoes (Indonesia - from NTUC Fair Price)
Just a simple dish which brightens up the dinner table! Like to buy indonesia potatoes (packet with green wordings) because it is easy to cook, not too hard and waxy, with the right texture when stir-fried!

Yeo's Baked Bean in Tomato sauce
Ooo~! How can we have western meal without baked beans in tomato sauce?! I still prefer Yeo's Baked Bean over other brands...simply because the tomato sauce is sweet and not sourish! And the beans are huge!

Although it's a simple home-cooked meal, we all enjoyed it alot, especially on this special festive night, with the accompany of everyone in the family! Merry Xmas to all!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Bread Papa Mango Yoghurt Puff" and "Asian Style Cucumber & Parsley Salad"

Today was out at bugis area with mum. Though it was raining cats and dogs, the place was crowded as usual. Pools of water everywhere. Rain water splash here and there till my legs were all wet! Noticed that alot of young teenagers were wearing jacket..i guess they are the happiest whenever it rains because that's when they can look "cool" and "stylish" in their jacket!

We reached there around late afternoon. We had our simple lunch at Sim Lim Square basement food court. Din take pics of the food as they are common and tastes only so-so.

After that, we window-shopped around and inched our way through the food lane at bugis street. Along the food lane, I decided to buy the thin-crusted pan cake with coconut fillings. Wonder if it's because of the cold weather that we kept feeling hungry..well it's just plain excuses! =X Anyway, most people especially those who often shop around bugis street will know this stall. The pan cake is quite fragrant and because it's thin-crusted, it's not so heavy to have it as a after meal dessert. However, I find the coconut fillings abit dry. For savoury choices, try the pan cake with ham and eggs if you want something that can fill your stomach!

At Parco Bugis basement, before we leave for the mrt train, I decided to buy the promotional product Mango Yoghurt Puff from Bread Papa, selling at $2.50 instead of $2.80!

Bread Papa Mango Yoghurt Puff

This is the second time that I try this product. The last time when I eat, the puff texture is acceptably soft. Of course it's not as soft as the original ones as this has been frozen. Puffs that are being frozen tends to be harder due to the change in the starch structures. That is why I dun expect the frozen puffs to be very soft and springy. However, this time round, it is really slightly harder which makes biting abit difficult. The yoghurt filling is still as nice, milky, sweet and sourish at the right intensity. The mango flavour is pleasantly sweet, natural and refreshing! It's quite perfect for me! =D

We headed home after that to rest as we were tired from walking the whole afternoon. At home, I decided make the Asian style Cucumber & Parsley Salad. It was my office's house-keeping aunty who introduced this dish to me. As the name suggest, it consists of cucumber, parsley and chilli padi. I prefer using chilli padi because it does not have the "raw' and "green" taste like the bigger ones. But they are MUCH spicier! As for the dressing, it consists of sesame oil, soy sauce and lime. How much of each to put depends on personal preferences. Would suggest not to add the chilli and add pineapple cubes and carrots instead if you prefer it to be sweeter, more aromatic, refreshing and not spicy! Do let me know if you have bette suggestions! =D

Asian-Style Cucumber & Parsley Salad

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kueh Bahulu a.k.a 鸡蛋糕

Sunday was another relaxing day for me. Instead of slacking around, I decided to continue developing my own style of Kueh Bahulu a.k.a 鸡蛋糕. According to my malay colleauge, traditional Kueh Bahulu is made from gula melaka a.k.a 椰唐 ye tang.  And it's more crispy on the outside. However, my aim is to create one of my own style.

My last attempt, which was also my first, was a failure as the cakes did not rise and puff up as nicely, resulting in a texture that is more similar to normal sponge cake. Guess it's because I added too much butter and too little baking powder.

This time round, I decided to try using the traditional sequence of adding the ingredients. Also, I have reduced the amount of butter, added more baking powder and eggs so that it will have a lighter texture, in another words, it would be more "airy". Below are the processing steps:

1) Beat the eggs till frothy.
*Note: To have a light cake texture, it is crucial to beat the eggs long enough as the bubbles will serve as the leavening agent during baking.

2) Add in sugar and continue to beat till dissolve.

3) Continue to beat till pale yellowish-white colour and mixture becomes thicker.

4) Add in flour.

5) Add in the unsalted butter and conitnue to mix till well blended.

6) Mixture is well blended and ready to be baked.

7) Heat up the specialised baking equipment till light goes off. Add the mixture into the moulds and cover up. For my case, I waited for about 1 minutes before opening up. By then, the cakes are ready!

The texture turns out much better than the last time. It is more "airy" and "springy" in texture. Appearance wise, it looks more appealing, probably because it is golden brown in colour. The colour and surface crispiness of the cake depends very much on the time of baking. The longer it is baked, the darker and more crispy it is! But then, it may become drier as it loses more moisture. In terms of flavour and aroma, it is quite perfect. It has the right buttery and eggy aroma. Bought some for my colleauges and they think it's good! But I find it abit dry and too sweet. Shall improve on these in my next trial!

As the saying goes, "Practice makes perfect"! When you do more, you will get the hand of it!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Advance Christmas Celebration cum secondary school mini gathering 11 Dec 2009

Just back from a secondary school advanced Christmas celebration cum mini gathering at Goldkist chalet yesterday. Not many photos were taken as I was busy preparing the food. Below are the photos taken yesterday......

Bakerzin Log Cake sponsored by our dearest Amanda

We ordered raw satay & sauce (chicken & beef), raw sambal stingray,crabstick from BBQ Wholesale. I would like to recommend the raw sambal stingray which was very flavourful. The sambal chilli which they use is salty to the right intensity and very aromatic! As for the chicken satays (I only eat chicken), I was quite disappointed because I feel that it's abit dry and not flavourful enough. The satay sauce is a healthier version kind as it does not have a layer of oil separation on top which traditional satay sauce usually have. Probably due to no chilli oil added because it's not spicy at all.

Other food which I would like to recommend is the CP Brand Roast Chicken Wings with Honey which we bought from Fair Price supermarket. The chicken is those glazed kind and is so well marinated that all the spices and sweet soy sauce taste just lingers in the mouth at the first bite of it! The skin becomes crispy-burnt after it's been bbq-ed. For those who are lazy to marinate it yourself, you may like to try this out the next time you organize a bbq gathering!

Not to forget, the Xmas Log Cake from Bakerzin which was ordered and sponsored by one of our besties, amanda! Thank you so much for bringing such lovely chocolate mousse blueberry log cake which makes us feel "high" after eating it! There's hardly any women around me who will say "NO" to chocolates!

All of us slept late on that night and by the time we woke up, it was already 9.30am! Oh yes...we missed out the sunrise view! Lazy bums like us doesn't change our bad habits! Anyway, below are the photos taken when I woke up and stroll along the beach near our chalet......

With that nice scenery to mark the end of our Xmas Gathering, we checked out at around 10:30am! Thank you to all those who make the effort to spend the night with us! Hope you guys enjoyed the mini gathering and am happy with the little surprises received from the gift exchange session! Merry Christmas to ALL~! =D

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Birth of Food Essence

Hello everyone! This post marks the beginning of the thrilling food journey with Food Essence. As a remembrance of the birth of this blog, I have created a poster for Food Essence using Photoshop.

Colourful as the poster, I hope that Food Essence will bring joy and surprises to readers! =D