Crazy Hectic August.

Once again, we are 1 more month closer to Christmas! However, time is really passing by in a blink of an eye. I am pretty taken aback by how fast time is passing. I think I might have been a little too busy to actually count the days, and when I am counting, September is approaching. I anticipate September as school’s over and I am going to be traveling!!! I believe good days are coming my way during September, hence I would like to reflect back and recount the events that happened during August.

August was hectic and all over the place. Exams, exams and more exams. August was filled with exams, therefore most of the time, I would be trapped in my room studying. A self-discovery of myself is that during examination period, I would tune most people out of my life and study. I have no idea if this is a good habit, however I realised I have been doing that and to all those who I have neglected, my apologies.

Other than exams in August, I did a number of cooking which would be up on the blog soon… Hopefully! For now, here are some of the items I cooked in the month of August!

Tofu patty sandwich! Recipe would be up soon!
Tofu patty sandwich! Recipe would be up soon!
Spicy Tuna Pasta!
Spicy Tuna Pasta!
Cold udon with miso dressing! I was really excited to dig in!
Cold udon with miso dressing! I was really excited to dig in!

August was also filled with birthdays, especially loved ones, which drove August a little more crazy! I was about to lose my insanity to examinations but with the addition of birthdays, it got way over the moon. So here is what happened during one of the birthday…

I baked a cake, which needed improvement on the decorations...
I baked a cake, which needed improvement on the decorations…

I never had such a hectic month like August throughout 2015, however I finally got a breather as exams and August are coming to end. It have been a chaotic month but glad that it went by smoothly with family, friends and FOOD!

My family utilise the National day holidays for a picnic!
My family utilise the National day holidays for a picnic!

And the amount of food eaten this month= Guilty as charged! IMG_5810 IMG_6089 IMG_5842 IMG_4695

School never gets boring with this funky kids… IMG_5166

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Just look at them…

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That’s all for the month of August and really looking forward to September!!! Thank you for reading and till the next time, Ciao~

Chasing the Sun: Singapore.

You know those moments when you’re up exceptionally early just to catch a sunrise? Those moments when you set your alarm clock at 6am in the morning just to capture that beautiful sky. And after you have seen it, you probably start the day fresh and energetic because you have such an amazing sight trapped in your mind. But plot twist! I sadly have not been one whom gets up early just to catch a gorgeous sunrise.

Then how about sunset? Sunset are moments when you try to reach the highest peak to surround yourself in the most amazing colours in the sky. Those moments are when you empty your mind and just grasp the gradients of nature.

I was a little too late for this sunset but there's that little peek of pink to capture.
I was a little too late for this sunset but there’s that little peek of pink to capture.
Moments when I stay in school after class makes going home late a bit worthwhile.
Moments when I stay in school after class makes going home late a bit worthwhile.

Stop for a minute someday to appreciate the paint of shades in the sky. You would truly know the phrase ‘love at first sight’; well that happened to me. Appreciate nature…. Till the next time, Ciao~

Colorful vegetables makes me excited!

As I mention in my earlier posts, vegetables with a variety of colours are essential in my diet. Therefore I decided to make a dish out of it! And trust me, it was good fun and a beauty.

I got inspired with the vegetables I had at home as I was lazy to head out to the market to get the ingredients, therefore I used what’s left in the kitchen. I had a little craving for a veggie patty that day, and hence that’s what I did! I used no recipe for this and it was purely from my brain. And it turned out rather alright, it was not the best thing I made, but I would not mind eating it for a casual lunch.

Ingredients I used were corn, red onion, broccoli (without the stems), carrots and chilli. I cut them into small dice and added about 2 to 3 eggs, with bread crumbs and about 3 tablespoon of plain flour.

Look at them! Vibrant colours and I'm pretty sure you can't really get them in meat..
Look at them! Vibrant colours and I’m pretty sure you can’t really get them in meat..

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The veggie mixture is done and ready to be breaded and shallow fried.
The veggie mixture is done and ready to be breaded and shallow fried.

I did not deep-fry the patty as I was really worried that the patty might fall apart, therefore I opted for shallow frying!

I accompanied the dish with baked potatoes and asparagus which were burnt and unnecessary...
I accompanied the dish with baked potatoes and asparagus which were burnt and unnecessary…

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With a dish like that, you cannot eat it plain. Hence I made a sauce that I thought would go really well with the patties and it did! I wanted a creamy, spicy and sweet sauce to go along with that patties, thus I made a spicy and sweet sauce!

I mixed greek yoghurt, ketchup and mexican hot sauce. You could adjust the amount of spiciness you want in the sauce.
I mixed 3 tablespoon greek yoghurt, 1 & 1/2 teaspoon ketchup and 1/2 teaspoon mexican hot sauce. You could adjust the amount of spiciness you want in the sauce.

The patties were filled with textures and colours and it really made my day! The creaminess of the sauce went brilliantly with the patties and I would definitely make this patties again!

{Vegetable Patty with Sweet & Spicy sauce}

Ingredients-

Veggie patty :

  • 1/2 carrot (cut into small dice)
  • 1/4 broccoli (Cut and shredded into small florets)
  • 1 chilli (Small dice) *Omit the chillies if you cannot take the heat.
  • 1 packet of corn or 1 corn kernels, boiled
  • 1/2 red onion, (cut into small dice)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 tablespoon of plain flour
  • Breadcrumbs, have extra for breading before frying
  • Oil, for shallow frying
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • Italian seasoning for extra flavour (Optional)

Sweet and Spicy sauce

  • 3 tablespoon greek yogurt
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoon ketchup/tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican hot sauce or any kind of hot sauce you prefer

Methods:

  1. Mix all vegetables with eggs, flour and breadcrumbs together to form a mixture.
  2. Shape veggie mixture into patty size and bread it with breadcrumbs.
  3. Heat up pan with oil.
  4. Fry patty till golden brown on both side.
  5. Use a kitchen towel to soak up excess oil.
  6. To make the sauce, mix greek yogurt, hot sauce and ketchup together.
  7. Now, plate up and dig in!

It is a fairly simple dish to make, packed with nutrients and textures.

As you can see, vegetables are able to make beautiful dishes and still fill your stomach. To me, eating vegetables are way more prettier and interesting than eating meat. But once again, I can never forgo meat for the rest of my life. It’s pretty fearful to see how much I enjoy vegetables and meat but life is all about seizing the moment right? So enjoy what you do and eat, have fun with cooking and till the next time, Ciao~

Not a very good Lemon Meringue Cupcake…

As you can infer from the title, I did lemon meringue cupcake a while ago and it did not went with how I wanted it to be. So the story goes…

I was experimenting with the idea of making lemon meringue cupcakes as it involves skills and a combination of good flavours. So I went hunting for a recipe. I came across one and decided that would be it.

The recipe was rather vague however I could estimate the procedures and carry on with my experiment. As there were three components in this cupcake, the most logical thing to do first was the cupcakes; as they need cooling before pipping begins. My cupcake went relatively well, however there were rather large cracks above. I disregarded that and carried on with my next element.

The cakes were a little too pale and had large cracks. I managed to cover them with the meringue.
The cakes were a little too pale and had large cracks. I managed to cover them with the meringue.

The lemon curd was relatively simple, however it requires your attention and effort as it needs constant stirring and tasting. I went with my tastebuds for the acidity of the lemon and not the exact measurements from the recipe. It went well!

I placed the curd in a piping bag as I needed to squeeze them into the cupcakes.
I placed the curd in a piping bag as I needed to squeeze them into the cupcakes.
Filled.
Filled.

Last to be made were the meringues. I did not follow the steps from the recipe and I did them my way. I melted the sugar and water and made it into a sugar syrup. I then started to whisk the egg whites in the mixer. I gently poured the sugar syrup when I was soft peaks. It took a while for it to produce stiff peaks, however good things are worth the wait right? After stiff peaks formed, I transferred the meringue into another piping bag and gave a shot at piping the filled cupcakes. When I am done piping the first cupcake, I looked at it and decided to just use a spoon to craft them above the cupcakes. It was more rustic and simple, and I was glad I changed my mind. IMG_3940

What’s a lemon meringue cupcake without the burnt meringues? Unfortunately I did not have a blow-torch, so I compromised and used a hand lighter. It worked smoothly.

The end product!
The end product!

But here comes the disappointment and my failure in this product. I tried the cupcakes and realised the lemon curd was not piped enough. It needed more lemon curd in the cupcake to enhance the whole cake. The cupcakes were left slightly bland, which made the whole cupcake unsuccessful. I was pretty bummed by the fact that I did not pipe the cupcakes deep enough which affected its flavor…  IMG_3950

Despite the setback, I am eager to try this recipe once more. It was good fun baking them, especially burning the meringue.

I guess this is what makes baking exciting. You would fail and you will want to try again to make it all better; just like life. 🙂

Well, thank you for reading. I appreciate the time you have taken here, do take a little more time and read the other posts! Till the next time, Ciao~

Meaning of Life.

One disclaimer before we begin. All this thoughts are bases solely from myself and no one else.

Ok, here goes…

From the moment we step onto Earth, you are bound to get disappointed, angry, upset and also feel the many joy of being able to breathe and laugh.

I think life or God has his way of fooling with us. One day, he would make everything go to plan. The others, misfortunes appear. Thus I conclude that life is unfair. Some have it better than others, and some have it way worst than the rest. But all in all, life goes on. Sadly/Happily, I will still wake up the next day and do what I am tasked to do. Your parents might disappoint you, your friends might upset you, however no matter how much crap happens, life still goes on. It’s a fact.

So as I am approaching my 18th birthday, I am gradually figuring out my life route. Life may not be the best but I WILL and WANT to make it better.

Well, thats it for my little post. Thank you for reading and I guess this short post is something that have been hovering in my mind for quite a while now, so I felt I would feel better writing it out. Indeed it was therapeutic. Thank you. 🙂

The food that I grew up eating…

As National Day (9th of August) is approaching, I would like to take this chance to share some delicious and sinful delicacies that I grew up eating. IMG_4624

I have been in Singapore for all my life and if you know Singapore, food is one of the trademark in this nation. So, of course, I grew up eating really yummy food since I was in kindergarten (age 4 or 5). However, there are only certain type of food that made my childhood days memorable. 

Firstly I like to introduce my all time favourite treat! Chwee Kueh! It is a steamed rice cake with preserved radish served above it. The savouriness of the preserved radish gives a burst of flavour to the dish as the steamed rice cake is simply bland.

The preserved radish above the steam rice cake provides savouriness and textures to the simple dish. Chilli sauce is given on the side, which is a must for me.
The preserved radish above the steam rice cake provides savouriness and textures to the simple dish. Chilli sauce is given on the side, which is a must for me.

I remember eating it as breakfast before school or during the weekends when I was younger. A plate like this would cause you only $1.20.

Next dish is my all-time favourite local dish till today! Fried Hokkien Noodles, in simpler terms, fried prawn noodles!

A variety of seafood (prawns and squid) are cooked together with the noodles.
A variety of seafood (prawns and squid) are cooked together with the noodles.

The rich prawn stock that they use to soak the noodles in while frying them gives extra kick to the noodles. It is a rich dish with flavourful stock and yummy noodles!

Another favourite of mine is stir-fried chilli squid. It is a common dish to find in the hawker centre (rows of local food stores opened side by side, in a floor of wholesome goodness), goes well with rice or noodles. However, it is not for those who do not take spiciness well.

Just squid stir-fried with onions and a home-made chilli sauce.
Just squid stir-fried with onions and a home-made chilli sauce.

This is a dish I grew to love as I could not take spicy food well when I was 4 to 6, but as I was growing, my spicy tolerance level grew because Singapore food are basically spicy or have a spicy element to it.

The next dish is something I crave once in a while as a mixture of cucumber, pineapple,dough fritters and bean sprout are tossed together in a thick and sweet  sauce, coated with peanuts!

The ingredients in the sauce are fermented prawn paste, tamarind paste, lime juice and chilli powder.
The ingredients in the sauce are fermented prawn paste, tamarind paste, lime juice and chilli powder.

It is a Chinese/Malay salad, called Rojak. Remember to be careful while enjoying this as the sauce stain on your clothes might smell a little like shrimp paste…

These next dish is a must-have for me when eating at a hawker centre. It is an oyster omelette with fresh oyster and eggs. Again, chilli is a must!

The egg are fried in a corn flour and rice flour mixture. So you would expect a starchy chewiness from the flour mixture together with the eggs!
The egg are fried in a corn flour and rice flour mixture. So you would expect a starchy chewiness from the flour mixture together with the eggs!

This dish requires an acquired taste-bud, however once you start, you might never want to stop.

And last but not least, a dish fine and simple. Carrot cake! Now, do not let the name fool you, in  Singapore we have a western and chinese version of carrot cake. Western being the cake with cream cheese frosting, and for the Chinese version, you have fried rice cake with radish and eggs!

There's 2 version for this carrot cake, a dark and white. The dark carrot cake is fried in dark sauce and the white is just simply pan-fried.
There’s 2 version for this carrot cake, a dark and white. The dark carrot cake is fried in dark sauce and the white is just simply pan-fried.

All in all, there are many other local delights to choose from, but I chose these that speaks home for me. Often when I am traveling, I would make a list of local food I would get when I am back home. In my opinion, what makes a dish local is chilli. The spice factor has a true significant in our cuisine. To be Singapore, you have to have a high tolerance for spiciness!

Well, that’s it for today! I hope you have enjoyed your time here and hope to see you soon! Oh! And Happy 50th Birthday Singapore. May you prosper and flourish even greater! Till the next time, Ciao~

Chasing the Sun

Hi guys! Today, I would love to share a little something new. I have decided to create a new category for this blog, with the title ‘Chasing the Sun’. It is all going to be about sunset or sunrise, if I could get up early enough… As the title says, I would try my very best to chase sunset or sunrise around the world or while I am in my home country.

Sunsets are something I found really mesmerizing, even if it is just for those few minutes; staring into the gradient lit sky. You could see it in all parts of the world, just with different surroundings.

I would make it a point to capture sunsets all around the world when I am traveling and sharing it here! For now, enjoy the sunset I saw in Bali… IMG_2988  IMG_2999