Archive for the 'Food' Category
We thought it would be weird. We went ‘EWWWWWWW’ when we caught wind of how the Americans love doing it. Well, we thought wrong, when my morning-sickness-ed-out palette couldn’t get enough of it at a diner in New York City.
And then, Nassim Hill Bakery & Bistro does a superb waffle version, which karate-chops-no-shadow-kicks my brains out so much that even though I don’t have a waffle-maker, I settled for making this instead.
THIS. Warm, tender, fluffy, incredibly light buttermilk pancakes, topped with generous slivers of crispy smoked bacon, tart blueberries and a good drizzle of maple syrup.
Shame on you if you still think that pimping your pancakes is immoral.
I love burgers. Well, I didn’t used to give two hoots about them until I started dating M; I fell deeper in love with him when he made me a Grilled Mushroom Swiss burger. Embarrassing, and very telling of my gluttony nature, but heck, it is a true story.
Our relationship obviously blossomed after THAT burger (I mean, how could it not?!); then, we got married in 2009 and M whisked me off to New York City for our honeymoon. I became very well-acquainted with the juicy, succulent burgers from Shake Shack and never looked back. Unfortunately, I was pregnant when we visited NYC again in late 2011 and boy, did morning sickness (more like, all-day sickness) do me in! M had gone out to get some burgers for us to nom on but I could barely take a bite. I was absolutely gutted because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to return to the States for a Shack anytime soon.
I refused to have any burgers after that, as I was certain that none could match up. I sulked in my damn-I-want-my-Shake-Shack-burger-NOW corner when I learnt that the burger joint has opened in a branch in London (my second home) AFTER I moved back to Singapore. But the gods were kind and heard my cries because Omakase Burger showed up on the island; I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I sunk my teeth into the uber moist burgers, which are not unlike the ones from Shake Shack. They are rather expensive though, as the burgs are annoyingly small for my huge appetite.
A few weeks ago, M and I were vegging out in front of the telly, letting our guts hang out after a rather unpleasant dinner while we sought solace in a food documentary on (you guessed it) burgers. M kinda came out of the documentary with a spookily crazed look and declared that he was going to NAIL THAT DAMN BURGER. And I kinda did a WWF-flex-mah-muscles thing and growled YESSSSS.
That’s how this burger came about. Incredibly juicy in spite of using lean minced beef, slathered with gooey cheese, fresh tomatoes and lettuce, topped with crispy bacon, and smothered in homemade aioli. NOW, THAT’S WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.
Sigh. I love my husband. I think you do too, huh? Excuse me, while I go bat my eyelashes at him for a burger.
If you have been sticking around here long enough, you would have read that my husband is an avid cook, and you would have learnt that he inspires me to be more competent in the kitchen (which is partly how and why this blog was started in the first place). If you have had the good fortune of coming round to our place for a home-cooked meal (and I’m not being boastful, merely telling the truth, YO), then you would KNOW that my husband IS brilliant. I put on weight when we were living in London because he made sure I ate well, and to do that, he made sure he cooked well. After all, even though I am a much better baker than a cook, I have very, very discerning taste buds.
For the past year though, M has been insanely busy at work and this means that he hasn’t been able to cook often, and man, do I miss the grub he makes! I was so delighted when his annual leave came around recently, and the doting husband cooked to MY heart’s content. I even put on a few kilos…testament to his cooking skills, no? But as it turns out, I wasn’t the only one enjoying his presence at home (and in the kitchen). Faith took on a very discerning palette a few months earlier, and she loves exciting flavours (exciting for a baby, that is). We abstain from giving her foods with sugar and salt when eating at home and try to make healthier choices when we are eating out (because she eats off our plates), and M has done a wonderful job in feeding her well. Take this lasagne for example, it is bursting with flavour, even though he hasn’t seasoned it at all. I was so impressed, that I stole more than a few bites whenever we heated this up for Faith’s lunches.
The girl lapped it all up with glee, of course. What’s not to like? Good food PLUS an awesome cook for a father. She is the luckiest girl in the world. And so am I.
I didn’t know what to gift Faith with on her first birthday. She is a very blessed child who has plenty to eat, wear and play with, thanks to family and friends who love her so. It didn’t make sense for me to get her more toys, clothes and what-not, and so I decided to create some memories for her instead, starting with the below.
We hosted a lunch to thank family and friends who have been so generous, kind, helpful and loving to us. We couldn’t have survived the first year without them (you know who you are!) and we are deeply thankful to have them in our lives.
Faith wouldn’t remember any of how we went through the first year and we wanted her to grow up, looking at the photos and listening to our first-hand accounts of how our family and friends helped us. That is why M and I splurged on a photographer, J (the talent behind Freeze The Moments); we hoped for someone to capture precious moments and relationships that would otherwise be lost on the unobservant eye. I don’t think I can do J’s work justice with words alone; I reckon I should leave it to you to have a look at the photos and all I can say is, we are absolutely pleased with what he has done for us and we highly recommend him.
I was dying to dive back into some creative work as well, and was delighted to be able to put a dessert table together for Faith. It was wonderful to finally sketch my ideas and breathe life into them. I’d dare say this was a pretty good attempt, seeing as to how it is my second dessert table *annoyinglysmugface*. It was tough though, to DIY and take care of Faith full-time; I took quite a while to design and craft the different elements, often working into the wee hours after Faith had gone to sleep. I don’t know how stylists do this for a living and I have nothing but respect for them! I had help of course, from the vendors who supplied the two-tier lemon buttercake with vanilla buttercream, chocolate pecan cookies, strawberry tarts, cheesecake, cream puffs, iced gems, and rose and mint macarons. I did entertain the crazy idea of making the desserts and pastries on my own like I did with my first dessert table, but I knew I would crumble under all that pressure. I always wanted to make Faith her first cake though, and settled on baking her a 4-inch smash cake (a refined-sugar-free buttercake with cream cheese frosting topped with her favourite blueberries) instead. Faith was also very blessed to have received two tissue pom-poms (one cream and one pastel pink, both attached to the chalkboard easel in some of the photos below) that I have chosen from Most Wonderfully Made, an online store that stocks the prettiest party supplies! The sponsored pom-poms were so well-made, as compared to the ones I DIY-ed (those on the backdrop of dessert table), that I wished I had gotten all of them (which are very affordable, by the way) from the store; I would have spared myself from all the agony of tidying the pleats up! I’m putting in a mental note to stock up on party supplies for the next party I plan!
Alright, I think I have yakked enough about the party. I leave you…with our memories.
P/S: Photos of our guests are not posted here as I would like to protect their privacy.
All rights reserved.
I know, I know. I have been awful with posting recipes over here. We haven’t been cooking very many exciting dishes, and so I have been rather uninspired in writing down our recipes. Besides, M is the whizz in the kitchen and he NEVER works with recipes (which is annoying because YOUR WIFE RUNS A FOOD BLOG YO!), if he even has the time to whip something up. He likes to say that he cooks with his heart and judging by what I have been fed with, I’d say that he is dammmnnnn right because the man I love is still cooking his way to MY heart!
But this week, being the less talented half, I redeem myself in the kitchen with a family-friendly and downright delicious meal. Corn & Bacon Fritters with Guacamole, anyone? It’s too easy to prepare and versatile enough to experiment with for your tasting pleasures. I was really delighted to have contributed this recipe as a guest writer over at A Dollop Of Me, a beautiful family blog run by one of the most inspiring mothers I know, Corsage. I love to read her musings on parenting and life, which often have me nodding at every word she says, and for the foodies in you, she writes a series, Kitchen Exploits, which is such a joy to follow! Grab your cookies, brew a nice cuppa and hop on over now for a satisfying read!
We were lounging around in the living room, watching Heston Blumenthal work his magic on some very delightful feasts on the telly. Fans of Heston would know his penchant for creating dining experiences that are out of this world. In this particular episode, he demonstrated the creation of the meatfruit, a meat-based dish made to look like a fruit, something which I thoroughly enjoyed during M’s birthday celebration at Heston’s restaurant in London, Dinner.
Heston (on telly): To make a meatfruit, we are going to use…THIS. *holds up a bull’s neatly severed testicle whilst looking supremely smug* I am going to use a bull’s plum to make a plum.
He proceeded to squeeze the living daylights out of the testicle, and emptied its contents into a bowl of whatever.
Me: Whutttt…?! Did he just…? *mind overworking at this point, hoping that the bowl of whatever was meant to be tossed into the bin, not for consumption*
Heston mashed up the bits (pun so very intended) in the bowl and started fashioning a rather realistic-looking plum out of it.
Me (hysterical): OH-EM-GEE OH-EM-GEE, YOU MEAN I ATE BALLS AT HIS RESTAURANT? YOU MEAN I ATE BALLS?! *whimpers* But it was so good…YOU MEAN I ATE BALLS?!
M (stifling his maniacal laughter): Yah you did!
Me (all dramatic whilst pulling my hair and dragging my hands down my face): NONONONO. It can’t be! I am pretty sure it was chicken liver parfait that was stuffed inside the meatfruit. NOT BALLS! It can’t be balls…right??? WHAT THE…..
M was shaking violently with stifled laughter at this point and I was pretty traumatised.
Heston then held up a meatfruit that looks like a mandarin, just like the one I ate at Dinner, and promptly announced that it was made of chicken liver parfait.
Me (total outburst): SEEEEEEEEE!!! I TOLD YOU IT WAS CHICKEN LIVER PARFAIT! *slaps M on his back repeatedly, who was still shaking with laughter*
Moral of the story for me: It wasn’t balls that I ate.
Moral of the story for M: Please don’t mess with my head again. It was very traumatising.
Moral of the story for you: Marvel at the number of times I mentioned ‘balls’.
Forty years of marriage, three kids and two grandchildren. Ladies and gentlemen, there IS a Happily Ever After.
What better way to celebrate than with some homemade cake?
Strawberry & Lychee Shortcake with a cake topper that I made (both of which need to be worked on for better results)
Thank you, Papa and Mama, for teaching us how to love. Happy Ruby Wedding Anniversary to you two lovebirds!
So…I returned to the kitchen for a very short stint, just in time for Father’s Day. I didn’t manage to bake a cake for Mother’s Day as my eyeballs were practically falling off from the severe lack of sleep, and I really wanted to make it up with a homemade something for my family. Besides, M loves it when I bake, and I thought this would be the perfect gift to celebrate his first Father’s Day.
I am fiercely defensive about my chiffon cakes. After so many years, I think I’ve come up with the right recipe to yield the perfect texture. I can almost make it with my eyes closed, having attempted it so many times to unlock the secrets to a cotton-soft, fluffy chiffon, and there is absolutely no need for frosting. Chiffon is so very stripped down to the bare minimum that I figured this was the go-to cake for a time-strapped mother of a very active baby! It helps that a chiffon goes down well after a presumably heavy Father’s Day lunch, with an inviting cup of tea.
The cake was a winner. Subtly laced with zesty yuzu and very lightly sweetened, it was absolutely delightful to enjoy it after a fat-laden meal. I have no complaints and if I really wanted to be picky, I suppose the cake could do with a stronger yuzu flavour, but not too strong such that the lightness of the cake is overpowered. Nothing a trip back to the drawing board couldn’t do to perfect the recipe.
Oh! And yes, I could have worked a tad harder at the bunting on the chiffon cake. Chiffons are a little plain to look at, and I thought it would be lovely to decorate it with something that looks remotely festive. The silly thing was I didn’t think about making the bunting until TEN minutes before we were due to leave the house for the celebration. So I hastily put one together, with trembling hands because M was going ‘HURRY UP, WOMAN! WE ARE RUNNING LATE’. Ugly, but I guess it does the job.
P/S: Sorry, probably not uploading the recipe as I may be selling this alongside my lychee chiffon. Teehee.