Monday, 30 July 2012

A Visit to Little India

Last weekend, we went to Mustafa in Little India. It's a very big department store in Serangoon area. I like it because it has everything. I tell you, everything! From appliances to clothes to groceries to vitamins. They even have a whole floor just for jewelries!

After buying some stuff, we decided to randomly choose an Indian restaurant outside. We wanted to try the  but it was very full and there were lots of people being waitlisted. We didn't want to wait so off to another store and we chose Copper Chimney.

When the menu was given, I was quite surprised that they serve Indian Chinese food! Exciting food combination, I thought.


Each table has a carafe filled with water. They just give you glasses and you can drink away. As for me, I asked for ice since I don't like drinking water if it's not cold. :)
Self service for water - carafe in each table
That's my little tot playing with the cutleries while waiting for our food. The mango lassi was too flavorful for my liking. And I want my lassi to be cold, so again, I asked for ice. :D
Mango Lassi 4.50 sgd
The soup was filling. Although I was expecting a bigger serving because of it's price. But my little girl was happy with it and finished it in no time!
Sweet Corn Soup 4.00 sgd
The chicken tandoori was sooooo good! I loved how it was grilled to perfection, just right softness of the meat oozing with flavors. 
1/2 Chicken Tandoori 12 sgd


The husband loved the Subz Kofta Curry. It's a vegetarian "meatball" swimming in curry sauce. Just a hint of spice and you don't actually feel that it's made of veggies.
Subz Kofta Curry 8.00 sgd
As always, I look forward to any bread when having Indian food. May it be roti prata, naan or kulcha. I love the garlic and hint of butter. Yum, yum! 
Butter and Kashmiri Naan 4.50 sgd
One of the husband's new favorite among Indian dishes is the Palak Paneer. It's made of spinach leaves with paneer, a kind of Indian cheese. 
Palak Paneer 10.50 sgd
Overall, we were pleased with what we had. It was already late (1:30pm) for a lunch, but the place was still packed. Food was served quickly and the waiters were very friendly. We will definitely go back!


Copper Chimney
100 Syed Alwi Road
Singapore-207676
Email: sales@thecopperchimney.com
Tel: +65-63980774/98495006/97853650



Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Crispy Puff Bars

I can remember being addicted to Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats way back in high school. And I stumbled upon this recipe in the book my SIL gave me. I never thought it would be this easy to make one!

This is a nice treat you can make for a children's party, too! :)


Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 2 cups rice crispies cereal
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips/colored chocolate drops
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 5 oz bag marshmallows

Directions:

1. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and coat the foil with cooking spray or oil. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter then add marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are melted.


3. Add in the rice crispies and pumpkin seeds. Coat everything with the marshmallow and butter mixture. Remove from heat.

4. Pour and press into prepared pan. 

5. Sprinkle and press the colored chocolate drops. Let it cool for 10 minutes and chill for another 15 minutes.

6. Remove foil lining and cut bars. Serve and enjoy.

Baking Notes:

You can opt to use granola or muesli instead of the rice crispies cereal. Also, you can choose to add raisins and used other seeds instead of pumpkin.


Monday, 16 July 2012

Bite My Tongue

While blog hopping, I chanced upon Kusina ni Manang. And I loved that she tried to making Philippine goodies abroad. So I was inspired to make Lengua de Gato (Cat's Tongue). It's been a while since I had one and I haven't tried making these in the past.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 egg whites (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare baking sheets by greasing them.
2. In a bowl, mix the softened butter with the sugar. Add the egg whites carefully.
3. While mixing, add the salt and vanilla.
4. Lastly, fold in the flour. Pour the mixture into the piping bag.



Since I don't have a pastry bag, I used a plastic and cut off one edge where I inserted the piping tip. It wasn't as sturdy as a piping bag but it was good enough.


I tried doing just one go and see how it will turn out.



This was the result:

So I tried removing the tip and doubling it:

It was a bit thicker and I loved how it turned out:

I guess I need more practice. I want it to look smooth like the ones you can see being sold commercially. We just moved and it might take me a week before I can post another entry here. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Rocky Road Healthy Brownies



I was craving for something chocolatey the other day. But I was sorta hesitant to bake. You see, our things are almost packed as we're moving this weekend. And I'd have to take out my baking stuff from the boxes and put them back again and it'll mess up the arrangement. I was having an argument with myself the whole afternoon.

Oh, but the craving won. :)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup applesauce/butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • rice crispies (optional)
  • marshmallows (optional)
  • almond slivers (optional)
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
2.  In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder).
3. In a saucepan, melt the brown sugar with the applesauce. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
4. Mix in the dry ingredients carefully. Fold in the additional toppings such as marshmallows, nuts, rice crispies, or nuts.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. 6. Let brownies cool for about 20-30 minutes before cutting up and serving.


I love how it turned out. It was moist and gooey and just delicious.  The top of the brownies were shiny  on top. And I believe letting the sugar dissolve with the applesauce/butter over low heat before mixing in with the other ingredients does the trick! :)


I did 1.5 of the recipe that's why I have extra, I made them brownie muffins! :)
Source: Allrecipes.com

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Din Tai Fung

What welcomes you on the table
Last weekend, we went to Bishan to get something. Since it took over an hour for us to travel and we left the house a little late, it was almost lunch time when we got there. We roamed around for a bit and the husband suggested we eat at Din Tai Fung. Wow, for no occasion we will eat at DTF!! I'm celebrating because it's a bit expensive there, that is for me :D
Chili oil
As you know it, you have to be wait listed before can get a seat at Din Tai Fung. While waiting, we were given the paper so we can choose our orders on our own. For me, this is really good because sometimes I'm kinda hesitant to order if there's a bit of language barrier between me and the taker. You can see a big menu with photos and description outside, too. 

We waited for about 15 minutes before we were ushered to our table. When we took our seats, we were given hot tea and sauce plates with ginger strips. Below you can see the card on how to eat a Xiao Long Bao.
Ginger and instruction on how to eat Xiao Long Bao

For starters, we had the fried pork and veggie dumpling. I cannot remember what the sauce is but I didn't like it. It was brown and tasted like sweet-salty in a weird kind of way. :D The husband didn't like it too. So we dipped it in chili oil/soy sauce.
Pork and Vegetable Fried Dumplings
The last time we ate the DTF, we had the breaded pork chop and I was surprised that the one served to use didn't look like it at all! But I still liked it, it was soft and as always, the fried rice was superb!
Pork chop atop the fried rice
I felt so sad that I ordered the wrong item. I really thought I chose the Xiao Long Bao, not the dumpling. Argh! But these didn't disappoint at all. 
Dumplings prettily arranged
I wasn't able to take a photo of the two noodles that we ordered. You'd wonder what we would do with two noodles, right? Actually I made a mistake (again) by ordering plain noodles for the little girl. I didn't know plain would mean nothing going with it. Zilch, zero, nada. Of course my little girl didn't like it so we had to get another one. As you can see below, the dumpling also has soup inside. It was really a wonderful treat! :)
See the juicy dumpling?
Total bill was $41 something . It was just okay. However, for me, it was already expensive :D I could actually eat these kind of food in Manila with a lower rate. But hey, we're talking about Din Tai Fung here, baby! :) I will always go back, if money isn't an issue!


Din Tai Fung
Website: www.dintaifung.com.sg
Branch Visited:
Junction 8 Shopping Centre
9 Bishan Place #01-41 Singapore 579837
Contact: +65 6356 5228

Thursday, 5 July 2012

I Can't Believe It's Healthy!!

Normally, I would just think about cutting the sugar just to feel a little less guilty when I'm baking sweets. But since I made the home made applesauce, I was inspired to make healthier desserts more often. I cannot promise not to regress at times, but hopefully I can share more on how to make it "tummy friendly".

Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup home made applesauce
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 170┬║ C. Grease a bundt cake mould and sprinkle flour. (I used my good old 8x8 pan)
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt.
3. Add the applesauce, egg, vanilla, and carrots and chocolate chips and mix just until well mixed.
4. Pour into the cake pan and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 15-20 minutes before icing.
5. I used chocolate ganache (semi-sweet chocolate melted in hot cream) to top my cake.

Notes:

The author glazed it with about 1/4 of a cup of powdered sugar mixed with about a teaspoon of milk and then topped that with a few tablespoons of warmed up Nutella or any hazelnut spread you have. According to her, it would be good dusted with powdered sugar too, or with whipped cream, or even plain.

Since I used 8x8 pan, the cake came out a little too thin. It was about quarter of an inch. But the taste didn't disappoint. It was moist and rich and never tasted like apples or carrots!



Source: www.yammiesnoshery.com

You can still see the shredded carrots
Sorry for the blurry shot

It's unbelievably moist!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

BCB Meme: Count Your Blessings!

Congratulations to Daddy Yashiro for winning this week's meme theme, Count Your Blessings!

Photo from Google
Sometimes it's hard to count your blessings if you're distressed or facing big problems. But at the end of the day, if you were able to eat 3 meals, aren't sick and have a home to stay -- there is something to be thankful for!

Photo from Enterpreneurs-james blog



Little savings go a long, long way! I'm thankful that God has given us financial stability and no accidents or major health problems.

From Texasmls.com
I felt like it was a verrrrryy long week for us. We were stressed about finding a new place to transfer. I thought it wasn't hard to find a unit since I can find a lot of ads online or on newspapers. But I guess the steep prices of rentals nowadays hindered us from finding the right house.  The husband and I were determined to stick to our budget. Good thing he was being positive about it. Just like in the story, after "kissing several frogs" (viewing houses that weren't nice/didn't fit out budget/turned down by agent), we finally found the place for us! Thank you, Lord! :)

Photo from Singaporelisted.com
Our neighbor's son sometimes plays with my little girl. And my little one is always fond of the boy's little blue car. We were chatting last week and I mentioned that we're moving out next month, she said we can take the car with us. Wow, instant toy for the little girl! :)


Photo from Pleasuretroll
Another blessing was a play date with Audrina's first Filipino friend and classmate, Mr. K. The little kids had a blast playing together!

Photo from Williamsoto2
The husband was feeling better. The past days he was having coughs and colds and some flu-like signs. Good thing he's a-ok now! :)

Join BC Bloggers to meet and share with fellow bloggers by clicking here.

Monday, 2 July 2012

How To Make Applesauce


Red and juicy apples

I have read several times about using applesauce to substitute the fat when baking. Then I researched and found this:

A popular fat-reducing trick for baked goods is to substitute part of the oil or butter called for in a recipe with an equal amount of applesauce. Some diet-conscious cooks recommend substituting the entire fat portion, but I’ve found that substituting about half of the fat with applesauce keeps baked goods from being rubbery. Applesauce also gives baked goods a hint of apple flavor, depending on the amount used in a recipe. Source: Chefmom.sheknows.com

I've read on other sites that they use applesauce entirely to replace the fat for the recipe and there's nothing wrong with the results. So I thought, why not make one in case I will be in the mood to bake something up in the coming days? Or hours? :D

Ingredients:
  • 3 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon quill

Directions:
1. Prepare the apples by washing them. Peel, core and slice them.

2. In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft.

3. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher. To make it easier, you can use a food processor to have a finer result.

Yields: 2 cups of applesauce

Adapted from: www.allrecipes.com



Home made applesauce