April 27, 2012

Pavlova Cupcakes

Thirty-four. That's not my age. It's the Celsius, outside. And I'm sweating like a *tuut* while typing this. argh..I hate sweaty armpits.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Along with backache and a headache. To make matter worse, I was late for Adam's so called school. He was crying as I rushed here and there, prepping him for school. He didn't want to go to school, I figured he woke up on the wrong side of the bed too. Finally, we got out of the house and while walking toward the school, I realized I forgot to change my pant. Too late. I was wearing a colorful heart patterns pant. Great.

Anyway, I got home and had my breakfast with Ellen (yes, the one on TV), took a couple of aspirins, had my shower, and then I  thought of making a Pavlova. Why not? I need to straighten my day back. Cewah. Since  Husband is miles away, that explains the hectic morning, I decided to make a cupcake version of Pavlova. The recipe is based on Nigella's. Sorry, no recipe card today.
It started in Mad Jack Cafe. We had a lunch there, and we ordered Pavlova as a dessert. It was our first Pavlova. I always intimidated to try this overly sweet dessert for the obvious reason. I didn't know what made me order one that day. But it proved me wrong. I took a bite and I was sold. It wasn't that sweet, the cream and fruits toned it down to my 'acceptance' level. I absolutely love it. That was my first,and only Pavlova and since then, I was craving for it. I decided to bake it myself, but being a bit of procrastinator myself, I keep on delaying it until today. Husband  always tell me that "later means never".
Back to my pavlova. As you know, Pavlova is supposed to be white, unless you put something inside. I didn't put anything in mine, but as you can see, my pavlovas are brown. I know who the culprit was-ME. 

You see, I've got to pick Adam at 12, so I figured I bake the pavlova at 10, and by 11, it should have been ready. Wrong. Came 11, the meringue was still soft, and I thought it would be okay to increase the temperature. Wrong again. It did make the outer part dry, but at the same time, it turned brown. This is what I read on the net, when your oven is too hot, the sugar inside the meringue will caramelized and that makes it brown. That's what happened to me. 

Other than that, everything is fine. The inside is still squishy mushy. Once cooled, I immediately take one cup and ngap! Heaven! It made my day, even though it's brown in color :P BTW, did you notice my cute teacup mould? he he 

Happy weekend, everyone!

April 24, 2012

Hainanese Chicken Rice and Thai-styled Tofu

Even though I am sick of chicken, I still find myself cooking and eating lots of them lately. I have to admit that preparing chicken meals are much easier and can be done almost instantly. Seafood, on the other hand, need lots of attention. They're slightly higher in price too. A kilo of ikan kembung (mackerel) is almost SGD8 dollar here, compared to a whole chicken which cost around SGD5. 
I cooked another encored meal today, Hainanese Chicken Rice, for two reasons. First is Adam..he's not feeling well lately, and his appetite is low. He drinks way too much milk, and refused to eat anything. A plate of chicken rice is always an exception when days like this come.
Secondly, last weekend, we bumped into a new chicken rice shop and we had this chicken rice set, which came with Thai tofu as a side dish. The meal was great. But the tofu...it was dish of the day. Sedaaaap...I never had anything like that before.

And that led me to re-create the same dish today. I really like how they turned out, especially the dressing. Here is is my version of Thai Tofu. Simple, light and refreshing. 

Thai-styled Tofu Recipe

What you'll need:
2 pieces of soft tofu, cubed
1 cucumber, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup of roasted peanut, coarsely pound.
2 tablespoon of Thai Chili sauce-mix it with a tablespoon of hot water.

Way of making it:
Deep fried the tofu until brown.
Place the shredded salad on the plate. 
Place the tofu on top of the salad. 
Dress them and garnish with peanuts. Serve immediately. 

As for the chicken rice, it was beyond compare to the shop's, obviously. Click here for Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe. :)

April 19, 2012

Blueberry & Coconut Pudding

We went to KL a few weeks back. Just a short trip to settle few errands there. This trip was different from previous trips. This time, we decided to take a coach instead of driving. I'm glad we did that. That was Adam first long hour bus trip and he enjoyed himself most of the time. We loved it too, and we might do it again in the future. :) We also decided to stay in hotel instead at our place. It was more like a short escapade than our normal KL trips. We usually went there for Adam's check up and to check the house.
After three days in KL, we got home and found the whole house electrics tripped. I went straight to the kitchen, opened the fridge door, and there, the whole freezer staples were gone. *Gulp*. There were frozen paratha, homemade puff pastry, meatballs, dumplings, fish fillet, bla bla bla inside..all sticky and wet. T_T According to my FIL, there was a bad thunderstorm a day earlier and it likely caused the power trip. The smell was quite bad and I had to throw everything out. Mr.Bin was so kenyang lah that day
On a sunny note, I've finally converted my MY driving license to SG's. Yerp, after three years settling here. Yippee! Anyone needs a ride? :P
As for the pudding, I loved it! Anything with coconut is a winner! :) Ate half of the dish already :P 

April 6, 2012

Sophie Dahl's Banana Bread

I read so much reviews about how good the combo of banana bread and passion fruit icing before. It brought me to bookmark one recipe which I totally forgot about it afterward. As usual hee. And yesterday, I saw a box of passion fruit whilst I was doing my groceries. It quickly reminds me of the recipe. 

There's she. Isn't she lovely. Ahem, I'm talking about the book.

I wanted to try a new banana cake recipe, but those steps made me not to. I need to separate an egg, then the egg whites need to be beaten up til soft peak bla bla bla. I know the recipe will produce a good fluffy, soft cake, rather than a quick bread which a bit dense in texture. But nah, too many steps. I need a quick one so I can join Adam's main main. That's why I always stick to Ms. Dahl's Banana Bread recipe. It easy, quick and produced the same taste as bakery-bought's (for me). 
I never iced any of my banana breads before. I usually eat it plain. You can always experiment with other types of icing if you want to. (Or if you're adventurous enough to risk your cake for Mr. Bin consumption). Other icing that would go nicely with this cake are cream cheese or vanilla icing (FG). 

Poor thing, the icing is not thick enough. It's more like a syrup. I followed everything religiously and this? Isk. It looks more like sticky date pudding now, which is pretty (for me eyes :P). I love the passion fruit icing turned syrup. I bet the 'real icing' would tastes nicer. I'm going to try and make this icing again, but obviously with a different recipe. Any recommended recipe? 

April 2, 2012

Clam Chowder

Husband and I woke up at 2++ am this morning. It is a habit of him, waking up early, yerp as early as that, if he had to catch an early flight the next morning. He went to the airport at 5, and I went back to my bed, trying to catch some sleeps before the little guy wakes up. Failed. Minutes later, the little guy woke up, asking for a milk and his daddy. After pujuk and patted him, he went back to sleep.... and I couldn't bring myself to sleep after that. It was raining cats and dogs though... T_T

The soup. The soup was inspired from one of the local restaurant we've visited often. I simply adore their seafood chowder and it becoming a must have item every time we dined in. Instead of making a seafood chowder, I opted for clams. I used a recipe from I am a food blog which has lots of vege chunks apart from the clams itself. The recipe is simple and within an hour, a bowl of creamy, thick soup was served. We ate this with hard rolls, made by my husband. ;) and the breadmaker..hihi 

Best of all, the soup is really flavorful. The clam taste is mild, which is great for Adam and his dad. Both of them are not that adventurous when it comes to seafood. There are carrots, celery, potato, and onions inside and their flavors are well composed. Husband had 3 bowls, including one he had before he flew, and Adam had one big bowl for dinner. I, on the other hand, only had a small bowl since I was too content.

On a side note, those photos were captured with a new tripod Husband got me. It was a lot easier to handle compared to previous one. TQ dear for the surprise! :) 

Well, I'm super duper sleepy now :P. Please bare with my vocabs and inept grammars. Good night blogger-land! 

Psst..I forgot to snap the clam pics. My bad.