Tomorrow is the last day of February 2015?!

I posted a writing about 4 weeks ago, sharing my happenings during January and so for today, its time I share about how February was to me!

This month went by really quickly and furthermore, there is only 28 days to February… Wow! Thinking about how speedy this month was, school is starting real soon for me. I am left with one and a half months till the start of a new beginning. I certainly am looking forward to it as I have been dreading for a new change. I currently miss school and studying, believe it or not, I MISS STUDYING! Back when I was stuck in school till 9PM for revision, I dislike what I was doing and could not wait till all my examinations are over. But right now, I miss the feeling of being surrounded by colourful highlighted notes and practice papers with equations scribbled all over them. I use to say ‘I am never the study-type kind-of person.’, however now, I am starting to question myself…

February have been a rather hectic month with Lunar New Year happening. I ate too much but I enjoyed myself as well. Haha! I was glad I managed to catch up the lost times with my distant and close relatives, friends as well. It was a really good month!

I definitely am looking forward for March as many exciting are happening and I could not share to share them with you! Till March, Ciao~

Thank you for reading! It is always a pleasure to write to you about my life and events. I guess I could say I just love to share! 😀  Xoxo. Pei Gee

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My All-time favourite snacks!

Now, when you see the word ‘snacks’, you probably be thinking the oh-so-sweet cookies, high in sodium potato chips or the whole packet of M&M chocolates. However, in my case, it’s a total different thing! What I meant is the food I eat when I am hungry after meals or basically when my mouth chose to be busy. So for today, I would love to share with you my all-time favourite snacks.

  1. Apples. I love a good, juicy red apple. They provide the liquid, the fiber and the vitamins for my body! Its a win-win!
  2. Oranges.  I always enjoy oranges as my snack, dessert or breakfast. Its so universal in my world. Sour or sweet, big or small, its all fine with me.
  3. Granola bars! Sometimes I take granola bars when I am extremely famished or I have yet to have my meal yet, therefore it is not daily affair on consuming these bars. They are pack with energy, fiber from the nuts and protein as well! They can keep me full for quite a while… 😀
  4. A bowl of greek yogurt with granola and sometimes,with  peanut butter! This is the ultimate snack! Say if I ate a bowl of salad for lunch, my stomach would start growling at 4PM or maybe earlier! I would stroll or brisk walk to my kitchen and open the glorious fridge and reach for the greek yogurt. I would add granola into the yogurt and if I am looking for something more lasting and filling, I would add half a tablespoon of peanut butter. The greek yogurt is so creamy and yummy, some people might not enjoy it as much as I do as there is a kind of sour taste to it, therefore it acquires certain taste buds. Adding fruits, honey, cereal or granola might and would lessen the sourness in the yogurt. After my hearty bowl of greek yogurt, I am set to go for dinner at either 7PM or 8PM!  Speaking of yogurt, I absolutely dislike yogurt drinks and pre-processed fruit yogurt (the ones with flavour and fruits in the yogurt during processing.) They are high in sugar and does not benefit your body a lot. I would avoid such yogurt as much as possible!
  5. Bananas! One thing I love about bananas is they are packed with complex carbohydrates and it would keep you rather full for a while. I would add slices of bananas into my yogurt as well!
  6. Lastly, Chocolates! I am not gonna be hypocritical and say that I never ever eat junk. I just tend to stay away for simple carbohydrates and sugar, but when I am in need of a sugar rush, I would chose chocolates! I do not eat pure dark chocolates as they are a little expensive and not really accessible at home, therefore I would just eat whatever chocolates there are at home. However, one type of chocolate I would definitely avoid are chocolate bars! They are a NO NO NO!

In conclusion, I would rather eat the healthy stuff instead of sugary and salty snacks! I started taking care of my body a few years ago and I am enjoying every single second, though my friends would be stuffing their faces in fast food! HEHE! I believe everyone has the choice to eat healthy and be kind to your body. So please make wise and good decisions! Overall, just enjoy eating and eat at moderate amounts.

Thank you for reading and pardon my absence as the Lunar New Year has been hectic and still ongoing. I hope you would stay tune for more! Till then, Ciao~

Happy Lunar New Year! 新年快乐!

Hi all! So today, I am channeling my inner Chinese out as Lunar New Year is right round the corners.

Chinese New Year is a festival that I look forward to every year. It is known as the Spring Festival. We celebrate this festival for 15 days! Imagine all the eating…. Wow… Aside from the eating, families would all come together and celebrate this grand festival. What I really love most about this festival is that I would get to meet my distant relatives and catch up on their interesting life. 🙂

One thing most house have during the festival is Pineapple tart. I actually have no idea why pineapple tart but it has been a tradition in my family to have pineapple tarts, so I grew to love it. And this year, I thought I should try to bake it. And so I got down to it.  IMG_9914

There are two main components in a pineapple tart. They are the pineapple paste and the skin of the tart. Many would opt to purchase the paste as it is time-consuming and tedious, however I stubbornly decided to do my very own pineapple paste.

The pineapple paste is very very very easy to do. And I am not being ridiculous, it is just so simple. Come, let me tell you how simple it is.

Homemade Pineapple Paste/Jam

Ingredients:

  • I used 4 whole pineapples (however you could reduce the amount if you do not wish to make a huge batch of pineapple tarts. I made a total of 140 tarts with 4 whole pineapple.) Or alternatively, you could use canned pineapple.
  • Sugar. (You do not need to use caster sugar, normal cane sugar would be perfect!)

Directions:

  1. Chop/Slice/Cube the pineapples. You are going to blend it eventually. If you are using canned pineapples, please drain the juices and squeeze the pineapple dry as well. You want the mixture without liquid. IMG_9717
  2. Blend the pineapples! Blend till it create a smooth and chunk-free consistency.
  3. Transfer them into a big pot as you want to increase the surface area of the pineapple mixture.IMG_9719
  4. Add couple heaping tablespoons of sugar. Taste as you add, stop when it comes to your desired sweetness.
  5. Cook them over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; till they look dark brown and dehydrated. Mine took about 2 and a half hour to 3 hours. Patience is the key.
  6. Remove the paste onto a tray and expand the surface area of the paste by spreading it out. When the paste is completely dried, cover and place it into the fridge.
  7. When ready to use, roll them into small balls. This makes it easier to stuff them into the skins. IMG_0057

Now! When you have settled the easy part, here comes the tougher bit, making the skins of the tarts. The skin of the tart should have a buttery flavour to it, they should not let your mouth taste extremely dry afterwards and they should let the person eating it, want a second piece!

My recipe was gathered from Pinterest and I gave it shot and it worked. The tart was creamy, light and I definitely would use this recipe the next time!

Pineapple Tart Pastry skin

Ingredients:

  • 250g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 360g plain flour mixed with 2 tbsp corn flour (sifted)
  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven at 160°C.
  2. Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
  3. Cream butter and icing sugar until light.
  4. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Add in salt and beat until fluffy.
  5. Fold in sifted ingredients (divided into 2-3 times) and mix into a firm dough.
  6. Leave aside for 30 minutes.
  7. Take a teaspoonful of the dough and fill it up with the pineapple ball paste. (You do not need to leave a huge gap in between the pineapple tarts as they do not expand when baking. The weigh of each tart is 10g each. I need to be fair and square with each and every one of them. 🙂

    See how close I placed the tarts?
    See how close I placed the tarts?
  8. Put the balls on the baking tray.
  9. Brush with egg wash.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes and turn the baking tray 180 ° and continue to bake for 2 minutes or until golden brown. IMG_9903 IMG_0062
  11. Leave to cool before storing. I stored them in containers as  I planned to give some away to my relatives. IMG_0065

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this traditional treat that I have been growing up with. It was no easy task doing something so traditional, however it is about patience and understanding. I am glad I gave it a shot and I believe I would be doing this for the family from now on! Thank you for reading!

Have a Prosperous Lunar New Year to all! 祝羊年,天天喜气羊羊!

{In English it meant, In the Year of the Goat, May you be happy every day.}

The pastry skin recipe is gathered from Food 4 tots: Homemade pineapple rolls (Pineapple Tarts) –http://food-4tots.com/2010/01/30/homemade-pineapple-rolls-pineapple-tarts/3/

Breakfast and Lunch for under $8; Part 3.

And we have come to the last part of the budget meal! Lunch-time! I do not usually take lunch time seriously, I always toss in whatever there is in the fridge and for today, I had my special ingredients. Lunch is a simple affair for me, so join me for lunch!

I used all the remaining ingredient I left from breakfast, which was firm tofu, 3/4 of the red and yellow capisum, carrots, green beans, half of the red onion, potatoes and sweet potatoes. That’s all the nutrients a person needs in a meal. You have the carbohydrates from the potatoes, proteins from the tofu and green beans and vitamin A from the carrots. So without further ado, Lets get cooking!

Tofu salad with chips!

Ingredients:

  • A pack of green beans
  • A firm tofu
  • 1/2 a Carrot
  • 2/3 of yellow and red capsicum
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 or 2 potatoes
  • A Sweet potato
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Your favourite salad dressing
  • Oil for coating

Directions:

  1. Wash and boil green beans! (As they take a while to cook…) IMG_9654
  2. Wash and slice the carrots into thin strips as I want to treat them as chips on my salad to give the dish a crispy texture! IMG_9658
  3. Place the carrots in the airfryer. Do not worry if you do not have this kitchen appliance, you could just place them on a baking tray, coat them with oil and bake them for about 5-8 minutes at 180 degree C.
  4. Slice your tofu into half then slice them length-wise and drop them into hot water and bath them for a little bit. They do not take long to cook, you just need to warm them up!
  5. Slice capsicum and red onion into long strip and toss them into your serving dish.
  6. Wash and cut sweet potatoes and potatoes into long strips. I did not remove the skin as I like eating potatoes with their skin on! If you do not like the skin on the potatoes, remove them!
  7. Coat the potatoes with oil and season with salt. I loaded them into my airfryer but again, you could bake the potatoes in the oven at 220 degree C and acquire the same texture and taste!
    IMG_9670
    They tasted like wedges!

    My chips were a side for my salad as I did not want the chips to turn soggy from the salad dressing.

  8. By now the beans should be done. When cooked, drain the beans and toss them into the serving dish with the capsicum and red onion.
  9. Pour your favourite salad dressing onto the vegetables. My favourite salad dressing is balsamic vinaigrette.
  10. Place the tofu on the sides of the serving dish and place the sliced carrots on top of the vegetables.
  11. Viola! Your salad is ready with chips as a side! A hearty meal with cheap, colourful and nutritious ingredients! IMG_9664

Lovely stuff was made with so little cash! I got inspired to do this challenge from my weekly walk to the market. The market is always buzzing with fruit vendors and old aunty and uncles gathering their fresh produces, bargaining for a cheaper price.

I hope you have enjoyed this series of breakfast and lunch for under $8! Till next time, Ciao~

 

Update February 2015!

So this past few weeks have been a little crazy as Chinese Lunar New Year is coming! This year I am in charge of the goodies and these goodies are no easy chore, therefore I have been experimenting with different kinds of recipe and well, basically baking a lot! Therefore, my updates on recipe and blog post have not been frequent as I could not find the time to sit down and write. My apologies on that, however my lunch recipe on the $8 and under meal would be out shortly and I hope you do look forward to other recipes coming your way. I would try my very best to post a recipe on a  traditional goodie before the Lunar New Year ; a goodie that I enjoy every year during the Lunar New Year!

A sneak peek on the product that have been keeping me busy all week....
A sneak peek on the product that have been keeping me busy all week….

So I would hope you would pardon my absence on blogging and I would do my very best to write soon! Thank you so much for your patience!

Xoxo Pei Gee!

Food is all about EXPERIMENTING!

I believe most great chefs took a while to perfect one simple dish. Why? Because they experiment it.

Food is all about experimenting. From adjusting the pinch of salt to how much goes into the pot. Sometimes that special dish would not be near great after one try. We have to adjust the texture, flavour and appearance. And that, we must experiment.

In 2015, I have baked quite a few items. From cakes to pastry. All I could say is that I failed miserably in some of them.

For instance, I did a Pandan chiffon cake a few weeks back. The first attempt was a goner, still edible, just horrible looking. So I experimented the timing and paid more attention to it. The second time was not so bad. Appearance improved, but there’s still room for improvement. I am driven to try once more, and experiment on it again till I get it right. That’s the satisfaction.

My cooking comes from experiment as well. I never get the appearance right… But I decided to try this and try that, to achieve my desired look! It’s all about experiments!

My point is if you do not get it right the first time, do not give up. Give it another shot, experiment with the ingredients and go with your gut. Same goes to life. When we fall, pick yourself back up, try different routes till you find the right one. 🙂 However if you could do it once, give it your best shot! You only get one life.

“Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.”   -Zig Ziglar

I have been pondering about my failures for the past few days, therefore I have come to conclusion and decided to pen down my thoughts.

{Travel Adventures}- Siem Reap, Cambodia, Day 5,6 & 7!

This travel series is about to end after Day 7! How have you been liking this series?? I hope you find it somewhat interesting because I sure did. Day 5,6 and 7 are really similar, therefore I have decided to put all three days together! What we did…? Read on to find out!

On Day 5, 16 December 2014, we woke up extremely early to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat temple. We woke up at about 4am, in hopes to catch the beautiful gradient of colours in the sky. We enjoyed a chilly tuk-tuk ride in the darkness to the ticket entrance of the temple. We got ourselves the 3-day pass as we thought it would be a rush to visit most temples in a day . They also have passes for a day and 7-days if you are a temple enthusiast. When we got to Angkor Wat, there were many people waiting for the sunrise as well. We squeeze through the crowd to get the best view and waited.

We waited till about 6.30am and it was not our lucky day. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day and I believe everyone there was disappointed. However we did not let it spoil our day as we carried on with our excursion after breakfast. (Advise! We ate at the street vendors beside Angkor Wat. The food are pricey and not very fantastic. So therefore, I suggest visitors to prepare breakfast before heading to the temples or have a bite before visiting.)

This was captured during breakfast. We used a sunglass in front of the camera to create a 'gradient-ish' effect in the sky.
This was captured during breakfast. We used a sunglass in front of the camera to create a ‘gradient-ish’ effect in the sky.

After breakfast we proceeded into the majestic Angkor Wat. A friendly tour guide approached us and asked if we needed a guided tour, we kindly took his offer. And… The temples visiting begins!

IMG_8948IMG_8953 IMG_8955 IMG_8959

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This is the massive tree that ruined the temple.
This is the massive tree that ruined the temple.

IMG_9009 IMG_9031

Can you spot us....??
Can you spot us….??
If you take picture at the right angle and right place, You get to do that!
If you take picture at the right angle and right place, You get to do that!

IMG_9083IMG_9027

IMG_9087 IMG_9044

We had a really photographic guide who helped us took nice scenic pictures. But reject them or kindly say no and walk away as most of them would ask for a small fee.
We had a really photographic guide who helped us took nice scenic pictures. But reject them or kindly say no and walk away as most of them would ask for a small fee.
Could you spot us...? The steps are very steep, so be careful when climbing.
Could you spot us…? The steps are very steep, so be careful when climbing.
On of the temples in miniature form!
On of the temples in miniature form! Preah Ko

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The adorable grandma who would bless you when in the temple.
The adorable grandma who would bless you when in the temple.

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Most of the temples are in terrible ruins right now, and Cambodia is trying their best to conserve the temples. So if you visit, please be cautious as it is a holy site and be mindful of your steps as the temples do not have even ground.

The temples are amazing and I was so fortunate to be able to walk through such grounds.

We were knocked out for the 3 days we visited the temples. Temple visiting is for the fit and healthy, but I believe everyone should try when in Cambodia!

After a day of temple visitings, we had dinner at a local street vendor. We had steamboat with barbeque beef. It was so cheap and very fulfilling.

This was the basket of fresh vegetables to either put it into the soup or eat it raw.
This was the basket of fresh vegetables to either put it into the soup or eat it raw.
The sauces to dip to ingredients into. It consist of fish paste and crushed peanuts. However I did not enjoy the smell of the paste, therefore I did not have that..
The sauces to dip to ingredients into. It consist of fish paste and crushed peanuts. However I did not enjoy the smell of the paste, therefore I did not have that..

We ended our last night in Cambodia shopping at the night market, getting cheap bargains! It was a fun and chill evening, the last night. We bid farewell to the friends we met in Siem Reap and headed straight back to our guesthouse to rest for the night and the next day is back to sunny or gloomy Singapore.

Siem Reap have been such a good host to me and I would be a returning guest! Lovely people, good food and beautiful places. It was a very good trip!

To all planning to visit Siem Reap, year-end between November and December is a great time as the weather is chilly and windy! Thats what I missed most, the chilly weather! 🙂

All right all! I hope you have enjoyed my Cambodia travel series. Look forward to other travel series coming up this year as I maybe travelling to somewhere… 🙂 Till next time, Ciao~