photo fun!

By , September 24, 2008 11:37 am

disclaimer : this entry is totally unrelated to food.

not sure if you guys have discovered the recent photo editing sites, so here’s sharing because i’ve been having loadsa fun with it!

there’s www.yearbookyourself.com :

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i personally like the afro do – there’s another ‘aunty’ do that is too realistic to put up.

and www.photofunia.com :

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(psst…. this pic is in the latest [oct] citta bella)

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you too can be larger than life!- have fun 🙂

squid ink pasta

By , September 18, 2008 8:44 am

it doesn’t look quite as scarily black here and that suits us both fine because it’s our first time ordering squid ink pasta. to be honest,  i don’t really care if i never try this dish my entire life because while i’ve been blessed to try many different things once in my life, i’m not proactive in wanting to do so. does that make sense? but dan is more adventurous and this is way too long an explanation for why we have a plate of squid ink pasta in front of us.

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we spied on the chef preparing our dish and were surprised to see a big bleach-like container containing the squid ink -looked like it could jolly well be colouring. when i finally got my first taste, i thought it was like a dry version of the asari clam pasta. quite nice but the fun was in checking out each other’s black teeth throughout the meal – not such a good idea if you’re on a first date.

the above picture was taken at sushi tei less than a month ago but it’s no longer on their seasonal menu. i wanted to share the picture – it looks yummy doesn’t it? 🙂

anyway, we ordered it again when we were at an italian restaurant along craig road (which shall remain unnamed cos the food there is so heavenly we dont want the word to spread too quickly hurhur) 

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somehow this looked a little more daunting and somewhat more authentic. i can’t pin down the exact taste, but there’s this flavor of clam/seafood although it’s most likely squid taste and i can’t identify it cos i’m not a big squid fan. it definitely tasted more yummy.

now i feel like i’ve really had squid ink pasta. 🙂

pain d’epice

By , September 17, 2008 9:52 am

i don’t know how to pronounce that either, but it is now number 1 on my easy bake list. angeline (from 8days and if you’re an avid reader, u’ve definitely seen her name before) was at our place last week for an interview when she saw my new baking book and exclaimed about her favourite cake from there. i never knew so many people baked!

so now i’m exclaiming it to you since i’ve baked it twice in a week  – it’s supposed to look like this :

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but mine turned out like this :

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the difference being that i threw in a big handful of raisins on my second attempt cos i thought cinnamon flavored anything goes with raisins…. and to be fair, my first attempt while very yummy, didn’t look as fine in texture as the book copy. oh well – i’ll just need lots more practice i guess. i’ll get to the recipe already – it’s from annie bell’s gorgeous cakes (the other recipes in the book look great too)

Preheat oven to 170C fan or 190 without fan and butter a 1 x 22 cm loaf tin. 

125g plain flour

150g icing sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

(sift all together)

175g unsalted butter, softened (if from fridge, pop in the microwave for 10s on high)

4 medium eggs (i usually use whatever sized eggs i have available)

Instructions : Put all the ingredients together in a food processor and  cream together. Put in loaf tin and bake for 45mins.

Simple, right? bonus is that the recipe works. i used a electric whisk to cream the ingredients. that might explain the difference in texture… have fun!

ps: serve with jam cos that’s the way it’s meant to be eaten. the cake itself isn’t really sweet. i added 20g more icing sugar on my second attempt so i can skip spreading the jam. yes. i can bake a cake but am too lazy to spread jam on it.

my macaroons!

By , September 9, 2008 8:57 am

i went to canele again last week cos i couldn’t forget the macaroons. happily, i picked out four flavors and cheekily asked what the damage was.  the lady didn’t seem to find the question amusing and answered straightfaced $9.80.

little bites of heaven really cost.

i started reminiscing the macaroons i used to make – macaroons with pretty feet (that’s what you call the frilly edges of a macaroon) and shiny tops. it’s like i lost my macaroon making abilities after i got a new oven cos i’ve only made ugly macaroons since.

with renewed interest, i embarked on my search for a perfect macaroon recipe and found these :

Tartelette

a la cuisine!

bakerette

their macaroon pictures (it’s terrible how i’m such a sucker for beautiful food pics) inspired me to run to the nearest supermarket to buy ground almond ($4 for a 100g packet=1cup).

with enthusiasm and vigor, i tried tartelette’s recipe. i thought it had too much sugar and used less. i thought not measuring the melted sugar’s temperature wouldn’t make a difference, so i didnt.

i knew i thought wrong when the macaroons deflated into inedible dough-like disks, 5mins out of the oven.

my deflated ego and enthusiasm took a day’s rest before i tried again the next day with my regular macaroon recipe at this site : david lebovitz . didn’t make a single alteration to the recipe.

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not all the shells were perfectly smooth cos i didn’t pipe it so, but i got all excited when i saw feet appearing on my macaroons plus they didn’t crack!!! 🙂

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these dont look at pretty as those i bought, but they are mine and tasted yummy 🙂 it’s REALLY sweet so i used cream cheese filling to balance out the sweetness – worked! 🙂

with some confidence back, maybe i’ll try strawberry or green tea macaroons next… yay!

ps: how to make cream cheese filling : 50 grams of cream cheese + 2 tbsp of icing sugar. whip it with a mixer til it’s soft. taste. if it tastes strongly of cheese, add more icing sugar in increments of half tbsp til it’s pleasing to ur taste buds.

more tung lok signatures

By , September 8, 2008 6:27 pm

we enjoyed it so much the last time that we went back for more. literally. we ordered 3 more dishes on top of the unforgettable duck, beef tenderloin and codfish.

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spinach tofu which i enjoyed because there’s this taste of fried egg when i bit into the tofu. yummy.

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barbequed pork shoulder which looked much better than it tasted – i say go with the duck :p

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hard to go wrong with double boiled soup 🙂

the only upsetting thing about too much food, is the lack of space afterwards for dessert :p

canele

By , September 1, 2008 12:08 am

i associate canele with upmarket desserts – pretty sweet things that pack a pow cos they’re for the rich in taste.  anyway, i was at raffles city over the weekend and miss jane wanted canele and what miss jane wants, she usually gets (plus i felt like a good dessert and i knew canele wont disappoint)

first things first, do not go there hungry because you will feel like eating their wall which has a floor-to-ceiling picture of piled up sandwiches. very scrumptious looking.

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after a quick deliberation (because i was very hungry and Wanted to eat the wall), we ordered these:

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Tomato and Crab Spaghetti – i like that it wasn’t too oily and i could taste the crabmeat in it. a new favourite!

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Seafood Marinara – run of the mill sorta nice 😀

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Braised beef in red wine which was superbly done and all the more appreciated because i was left supremely unsatisfied with my last beef stew at Big O(wheelock place) a few days before that.

i also liked that their servings weren’t too big and that allowed sufficient space for me to enjoy dessert :

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the intended look for this lemon meringue tart may be chic waves but a snail shell was what it looked like (at least to dan when he saw the picture). it was an explosion of texture and flavours, the crispy crust contrasting the creamy top, tangy lemon giving way to an aftertaste of a more familiar sweetness. you may need to share this with many friends cos it is reaaaally rich.

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i thought this a rather messily overly decorated chocolate crepe. might also have tasted better without all the ‘addons’. sometimes simple is better 🙂

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THE pistachio macaroon. it looked like a good macaroon  – see the smooth top and the nice frilly edge under the shell? those are called the macaroon’s feet and those are pretty feet in the macaroon world! and it tasted as good as it looked – the paper thin shell crumbled in my mouth and the burst of pistachio flavour was just the way i remember a good macaroon to taste (way better than bakerz inn too)

last thing : bring good company for lunch cos even if the meal isn’t as good as the one i had, you’re at least guaranteed some fun. i had a really awesome time with both 🙂

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