Sunday, 29 November 2009

Char-Grill Bar

Saw some good reviews from some food bloggers site about this Western Stall in one of the coffee shop at Yishun Ave 11. And after taking a close look at the address, I realised that it is actually near-by to our Church cell-group venue. So today before dropping mum to the cell-group class, we decided to try out the food in this stall.

The stall has indeed a nice fast-food style menu with pretty lights and a bar counter with tall seats. They have many variety of food too, from different types of meat like chicken, beef and lamb to fish and even pastas. Other than food, they also serve alcoholic beverages like Long Island Ice Tea and the stall is open till 3am on weekends.

For the start, we try their soup of the day which is the Cream of Mushroom that comes together with the set meal that we have ordered. The taste of the soup is ok, cannot expected too much from a coffee shop stall, but then at least it is not salty and it still taste good.

This is the Grill Fish Italian Herbs which come with a huge serving of Dory Fish Fillet, Salad and Cut-in Fries at the price of S$5.80 per set. You can choose any two side dishes with the main course from raisin rice, fries, salad, baked potato, pasta and etc.

Other than the fish fillet, we also ordered the Single Rock Burger Set, which come with coleslaw and baked potato. The Single Rock come with a piece of Handmade Beef patty that is sandwich before the burger bread and top with their special sauce. Posted by Picasa

While dinning at the coffee shop, at the place where we were seated which is just directly from the stall. We can see that most of the tables were fill with either the Italian grill fish or steak. So I guess these must be the popular dishes of the stall.


Saturday, 28 November 2009

Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes

Christmas is about family, friends, fun and great food. But it is often the food and gift that form the stress part of this approaching holiday season. So why not whip-up something simple and yet special from your very own kitchen, gift-wrapped it into a heart-warming and gorgeous Christmas gift for your friends and relatives..........

Usually around mid of November onwards, you will be to find all kind of Christmas Goodies on sale at most pastry shop and shopping mall. Eg. Christmas Logcake, Gingerbread man/house, Minced Pie and etc...... Since now is the festive baking season, Rey and I have come up with these quick and easy Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes. After which we gave them a make-over, packed them in gift-bags and ready to distribute out.

The Main ingredients for this Chocolate Cupcakes are Dark Chocolate, Egg, Sugar and Butter. You may also wish to get your kids to be involved in the stirring, mixing as well as the decoration of Christmas Ornaments on the end products. Since afterall, Christmas is a family festive season where everyone is encourage to be involved in the preparation. These cupcakes are so rich and simple to make that you won't hesitate to make another batch in anytime of the week.

Ingredients: (makes 6)
150g 70% Dark Chocolate, chop into small cubes
150g Unsalted Butter, cut into small cubes
3 Medium Size Egg
60g Caster Sugar
100g Self Raising Flour
1 Teaspoon Dutch-process Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Snow Powder/Icing Sugar, for dusting
Extra 1 Teaspoon Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder, for dusting

Method:
1. Set a medium glass bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter together(refer to the picture above, 2nd row, 1st picture), stir well till everything is completely melted then set a side to cool a little.
2. Sieves the self-raising flour and 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder together and set aside.
3. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick, fold in the flour mixture into the egg mixture till combined.
4. Next slowly add in the melted chocolate mixture and stir till well blended.
5. Preheat the oven to 160 degree, scoop the mixture into the prepared cup cases and bake for 20 minutes (depend on the size of cupcake case, baking time will range from 15 – 20 minutes which you can test by inserting a toothpick to test if it is cooked through)
6. The cupcakes will be soft and gooey in texture and appearance.
7. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes, dusted with extra cocoa powder and icing sugar to create the snow effect.
8. Lastly decorate it with some store bought Christmas Ornaments for that extra festive outlook.

Note:-
1) The cupcake case that is used in this recipe yield 150ml of mixture per case at 3/4 full.
2) If you prefer not to have that gooey texture cake, you can baked for another further 2 - 3 minutes for dryer texture.


After the baking, dusting of icing sugar, placing of Christmas decoration, it is time for gift wrapping. You can get some fancy wrapping bags and ribbons from Daiso or any leading Baking Accessories shop like Phoon Huat (Singapore) and Bake It Yourself.

I am sure anyone will feel great and heart-warming to receive such a wonderful homemade gift. So if you can bake any simple cookies or cupcakes, why not grab some nice wrapping bag and start making your very own Christmas goodies for your love one, colleagues or relatives. I believed they will be surprised and delighted by your special thoughts and bakes. Posted by Picasa


Bak Kuet Teh

Bak Kuet Teh is one of the popular Chinese soup that can be found in Asia countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and etc. In Singapore there are mainly 3 different types of Bak Kuet Teh where the most common type comes from Teochew style, which is light in color but uses more pepper in the soup. Whereas, Hokkien who prefer saltier food will use more soy sauce which results in a darker soup. But Cantonese on the other hand will add extra Chinese herbs to create a stronger flavoured soup.

No matter which version you prefer, there is sure a great varieties to select from the local hawker stall to high class restaurant. But instead of eating out, you might want to try out this quick and easy version which yield a more healthier result. For those Singaporean who works or station overseas for a long time, I believed this is what you are craving for. I used to crave for this while I was away from Singapore to Australia for almost 2 years. So from that time, I have tried different method to achieve a close version of this soup. And I believed at a glance on the ingredients, you will have guess that I actually combined the Teochew and Cantonese version of adding extra Peppercorns and Chinese Herbs to enhance the flavour.

This is sure to be a simple and yet delicious soup to prepare for busy working mum or those Singaporean who station overseas. All you required is a packet of this pre-packed Bak Kuet Teh spices from "Seah's Spices" which you can get from most leading supermarket in Singapore or maybe some of the overseas Asian Grocery department. The adding of small onion is to make the soup fragrance and sweet while the white peppercorns add some extra hotness to the soup to warm up the stomach during cold and raining season.

Ingredient: (serves 4)
1 Packet of Seah's Bak Kuet Teh Spices
1kg of Spare Ribs/Pork Ribs
1 Cluster of Garlic
3 Small Onion, cut into wedges
1 Tablespoon of White Peppercorns
1 Tablespoon of Wolfberries
5g of Yuzhu(玉竹)
1 Litre of Water

Method:
1. Wash, trim and blanched the spare ribs in boiling water for about 3 - 5 minutes, removed and rinse well. Set aside.
2. Preheat a pot with 1 teaspoon of oil, saute the garlic and onion till fragrant, add in the blanched spare ribs and give it a quick stir and cover for 30 seconds.
3. Next add in 1 litre of water and bring the mixture to boil, then drop in the pre-packed seah's spices, white peppercorns bag and yuzhu.
4. When the soup boils, let it simmer for about 5 minutes, transfer the soup to a slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 1 hours, add in the wolfberries and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or so. (give the soup a stir once or twice in between the cooking time to evenly distribute the taste of the spices)
5. If you are cooking this soup on the stove, simmer on medium-low heat for about 45 minutes.
6. Serve with steam rice and cut chilli with dark soy sauce.

Note:-
1. Place the peppercorns inside a soup bag, rinse it in water, and crushed lightly with the back of the knife or a mug.


To go with the above soup, I also prepared something light and green for a healthy combination. Some restaurant or food stall usually stir-fry this Baby Kailan with oyster sauce, but I choose to stir-fry this with some olive oil and minced garlic then topped with some crunchy white baits. Posted by Picasa


Jia Xiang Sarawak Kolo Mee

The famous Sarawak "Jia Xiang Mee" has about more than 6 outlets scattered in different area of Singapore. Till now, we have tried about 3 times in their Vivo City, Compass Point and Thomson branch. According to the menu and write up, their noodle is Air-Flown fresh from Sarawak Kuching and their wanton skin is thin and smooth. They have different choices of dried Kolo Mee such as Abalone, prawns, wanton and etc.

The photo feature here is their Signature Dish of Kolo Mee with Abalone slices. Friendly speaking, you can ask for more when you pay for a bowl of noodle at S$8.90. But we are just curious on what kind of Abalone they will be using.... and I guess from the photo you can see whether is it worth to pay the S$8.90 :p Other than the so called "Abalone slices", there were plenty of ingredients such as - lots of green vegetables, minced pork, char siew, fried wanton and in the separate bowl of soup there are 2 prawns and 3 wantons.

Em... for me as I was in a mood of having curry, I decided to give their curry noodle a try. I have tried a few curry noodles from those famous stalls selling Chicken Curry Noodles but the curry at Jia Xiang taste much different from the local type. I personally find that the curry don't really goes well with the Kolo mee as it taste a bit blend or maybe the noodles has not adsorb the gravy from the curry. There is also a powdery taste in their curry gravy so I guess is not my cup of tea. Posted by Picasa


Thursday, 26 November 2009

Exploring Bottle Tree Park

Prawning has became one of the hottest past-time hobbies for most Singaporean from young to old. No matter which age group you belong to, this is indeed a fun, patience testing, friends and family get together type of activities. Last weekend, we visited Bottle Tree Park which is a walking distance from MRT and bus-stop.

We have being to the Bottle Tree Park a few times which is about 5 -8 minutes walk away from the Khatib MRT Station(NS 14) station. This is a concept village where there are different kinds of sports, recreational facilities, conference rooms, eateries as well as old-times nature.


After about two years since it's grand opening in 2006. This park has being doing well and they have in-corporate a new Japanese restaurant called "Botoru Ki" which serves many varieties of reasonable price-range Japaneses Bento set meals.

They also have this little "Vegetable Farm" near the entrance of the Park where they cater for Schools Educational Tour. These are what I have discovered while discovering around the park. Neat rows of seedlings and vegetable are being planted at different stage for school tour and they even have this little cafe that looks like those western farm-style cafe that sells they own-grown vegetable, homemade snacks and beverages.

Behind the vegetable patch, there is a narrow path-way that consists of different cages that which you can see Chicken, Rabbit, Goose, Quail and etc. This is indeed a great discovery where young kids can take a look on the Kampong life-style as well as the local farm animals.

In this park, almost every members of the family can be occupied with certain activities that they like. They can choose from Long Kang” (drain) Fishing, Prawning, Paintball, Swan Paddling, Outdoor Courts (for playing balls)Remote-Control Car Racing and etc.

Prawning is a great activity where families and friends can have great time together. The anticipation of prawn biting, the patience of waiting, the excitement of hooking up a prawn and the reward of a great feast of fresh prawn. All these are wonderful moments will be last in the memories.

This is our victory of the day..... after waiting patience for about 3 hours at the pond, we managed to grab some decent amount of Fresh Prawn to whip up this wonderful Baked Prawn With Lemon & Cheese. If you are interested with the recipe, you can hope over to my recipe blog HERE to read more about it.Posted by Picasa


Baked Prawn With Lemon & Cheese

These baked Lemon & Cheese Prawns are from the Fresh Live Prawn that we caught during our Prawning Trip last weekend at Bottle Tree Park. It is indeed an enjoyable experience on the prawning trip and most of thrilling part is I get to use these prawns for my new dish.

This is a very simple dish that most of you will be able to grab the ingredients right from your fridge at any moment. All you need are some butter, 1 lemon, 2 slices of sandwich cheese if you are run out of shredded cheese. Don't worry if you don't have Fresh live prawn, you can always get any type of prawns from the supermarket or you can even replace it with fish fillet like salmon or any white fish.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
8 Medium Size Prawn
2 Slices of Sandwich Cheese, cut into thin strips
1 Lemon, cut into thin slices
10g of Butter
2 Tablespoon of RUM or Brandy, optional

Method:
1. Wash, trim and slit the back of the prawn into half, becareful not to cut too deep or else the prawn will break into halves.
2. Cut the butter into small cubes and stuff it into cuts of the prawn.
3. Arrange some lemon slices in a baking dish (or you can use disposal foil baking tray), place the stuffs prawn on top of the lemon.
4. Top the shredded cheese on top of the prawns, drizzle the liquor evenly on top of the prawn.
5. If you want that extra citric fragrance on the baked prawn, you can top with some extra strips of lemon rind.
6. Bake in the toaster oven for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the prawn is cook through.
6. You can serve this dish directly from the baking tray or you can re-arrange them in serving plate and serve as finger food for party.


Note:
~ Above is the sample photo of the toaster oven which you might have it in kitchen, it is usually used to reheat bread, pizza or small items.

The gravy of this dish is so fragrance and sweet due to the sweetness that comes from the fresh prawn. Look at the prawns, some of it still comes with prawn roes. The combination of Lemon, Cheese, Prawn and Liquor will definitely stimulate your tastebuds to another level of food tasting. Posted by Picasa


Saturday, 21 November 2009

Double-Boiled Huai Shan Chicken Soup

A bowl of warm and hearty soup is always a great comfort food for rainy season like these few weeks. After a long day at work, having a bowl of homecook soup is always such a blessing in life. For me, I am very particular about soup and I must have soup at least thrice a week. I believed a bowl of homecook soup consists of all kind of nourtition and will helps strengthen our body and prevent diseases as well as common sickness.

Soups can be made in different ways such as double-steamed(double-boiled), slow boiled and quick boiled. In this modern society, most of the households are equipped with more advance availability of alternative cooking utensils that can shorten the cooking process but yet retain its natural flavour. Posted by Picasa

Like I have used to share in most of my "Soup Posts", Red Dates and Wolfberries are some very common Chinese Herbs ingredients that can be added to our daily soup as part of the ingredients for flavouring. Today's main ingredient is "Huai Shan - 淮山" or sometime which is also refer to as "Shan Yao - 山药". Fresh Huai Shan is mostly sold in supermarkets or wet markets which you might not recognise the fresh Huai Shan as the appearance looks very different from the dried type that are thinly slices and harden before packing. The fresh one will be found in long stick-like root form with skin intact. After peeling the outer skin, you will find it wet and excessively slimy. But don't worry, the sticky substances will disappear once it is boiled in water.

Fresh Huai Shan is nature and sweet in taste that is similar to sweet potato or potato texture when used as a soup ingredient. It benefits the Spleen, Lungs and the Kidneys and strength the health.

Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
2 Chicken Drumstick, with thigh attached
300g Fresh Huai Shan(淮山)
8 - 10 Big Red Dates(红枣)
1/2 Tablespoon Wolfberries(枸杞子)
1 Honey Date (金丝蜜枣), optional
1 Litre of water

Method:
1. Wash, trim and blanched the chicken in boiling water for about 3 - 5 minutes, rinse with tap water and set aside.
2. Rinse the fresh huai shan to remove any dirt, peel the outer skin and cut the fresh into thick chunks. (fresh huai shan might feel sticky after removing the outer skin, just rinse with water and cook as per normal)
3. Bring the pot of water to boil, add in all the ingredients, except the wolfberries, when the water come to boil again, let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes on low heat.
4. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and cook on AUTO for about 2 hour. Add in the wolfberries on the last 30 minutes of cooking time. (or you can simmer the soup mixture over low heat on the stove for about 45 minutes to 1 hour)
5. Season with salt and serve with rice or you can use it as a soup base for noodles.


Monday, 16 November 2009

Winner For The Foodie Blogroll Contests

The Foodie Blog Roll Contests: Winner!I was so shock and thrill to receive an email from Food Blogroll last Sunday, 14 November 09 informing me that my blog was selected as this week's winners for the Foodie Blogroll "Adaptable Feast Cookbook" giveaway!

You can get to read more about this contest at this LINK here. Now I am looking forward to receive my prize soon and that will give me the chance to share more about this book with you soon..... Once again, thank you Foodie Blogroll for this wonder Gift........


Sunday, 15 November 2009

Orange Cocoa Macaron

I must sincerely apologise to all my readers and visitors from this Cuisine Paradise - Tea time blog. It had being a while since my last entry on baking or making a new items. Guess I don't really spent enough time on this "Tea-time" area. This afternoon upon my little baking pal request, I decided to bake his favour Chocolate Macaron...........

It has being really a long long time since my last baking on Macaron. I remember during year 2007, when Macaron started to be a "HOT" items on most leading cafe, a lot of food blogger or bakers started to experience on baking these "little gems". I was also one of those home baker who venture out into different flavour of Macarons (click HERE to read more) baking.

Today's flavour is a combination of Chocolate and Orange. Since my little darling requested for a Cocoa Shell, I used the Dutch Process Cocoa Powder which I got it from "Shermay Cooking School" from one of my friend who is working there. And since she wanted to make some Macaron and ask me for an easy recipe to follow, I decided to try my luck on making this "Gem" again after the years. And Thank God, this recipe still works well and the end products is still as lovely as before.

I was still quite nervous during the process of whisking the egg white and mixing of flour mixture. When the piped batter is ready to go into the oven, I was even more excited and I standby near the oven door to look at the "Feet" raising up slowly which really makes me so happy about it. I guess the process of making Macaron is to make sure that they have a nice "Feet" and most important the shell does not crack or sink. So overall I am very satisfy with this "Orange Cocoa Macaron" which sandwich with Orange scented Chocolate Ganache. Posted by Picasa

As requested by some of the readers who wants to try making their own macarons, you can refer to this link HERE. The blog author, Tartelette has a wide range of macarons recipes with great explanation on how to make the shell as well as the filling. I am sure those who are interested in this will be able to find some inspiration and help on making these beautiful gems.


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