Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Egg-Citing Easter!

Received some hot cross buns as take home gift after our church service this morning. So without hesitate, I decided to use it to make an Egg-Citing Easter Bento for my boy's lunch. To enhance the bento with Easter mood, I decorated it with some "chicky" design such as hen, chick and heart-shaped egg using his favourite quail eggs.

Rejoice And Celebrate!!!! Here we wish everyone a wonderful and blessed Happy Egg-citing Easter! Cheer, remember to hut for more bunny and eggs..........


Saturday, 30 March 2013

[Day 3] RAKERU (ラケル) @ Shinjuku, Tokyo

[Continue from Exploring Shijuku (新宿) post HERE] There are many theme restaurants/cafes in Japan such as RAKERU (Alice in wonderland), Vampire cafe, Hello Kitty Cafe, AKB48 Cafe and etc. And with RAKERU as one of the nearest themed restaurant near our hotel at Shinjuku (新宿西口店), we actually went for a dinner to try out their mouthwatering Omurice (egg omelette with rice) and waffle desserts.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

[Day 3] Exploring Shinjuku (新宿)

Last year during our trip to Tokyo, Japan. We stayed at Keio Plaza Hotel (京王プラザホテル(新宿)公式サイト) which was just about 5 minutes walk to Shinjuku (新宿) Station and shopping districts with department stores such as Odakyu, Takashimaya Times Square, Kinokuniya and etc. Although there might not be a lot of sightseeing around Shinjuku area but indeed there are plenty of shopping, cafes and eateries which could satisfied both your sight and appetite.

On the 3rd day of our trip, we were on a more relax itinerary while taking a break from yesterday's Day Tour (visiting Mount Fuji and Grape Farm). And before Uncle Hock Cheng's family move on to meet up with their Japanese friends for lunch and sightseeing, we decided to explore the food counters and supermarket located at basement 2 of Odakyu Shopping Mall to grab some quick breakfast.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Quick Easter Bunny Bento

With Easter Sunday coming up this weekend, I prepared a quick Easter Pizza Bento for my boy as his breakfast.  Actually there are nothing complicated about this bento, what I did was transformed the pizza toast which I had made previously into something Easter themed with Bunny and Easter Egg.

After which just use your imagination to decorate the bunny as well as the oval shape so that it would resemble Easter egg design.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

[Day 2] Day Tour to Katsunuma Winery, Lake Kawaguchi and Koyodai In Narusawa

View of Lake Kawaguchi from Mt Kachi Kachi Ropeway
We arrived at the meeting point at about 7.30am to join the local Club Tourism Yokoso Japan Tour to Mount Fuji (富士山) and Yamanashi (山梨県). It was a beautiful Monday morning and we all look forward for our trip to visit Mt Fuji. But due to the early snow that covered almost half of Mt Fuji, the tour guide mentioned that we might not be able to go up to the Kawaguchiko 5th Station ( 富士山 河口湖 五合目) depending on weather in the afternoon.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Homemade Pizza Using Perfect Italiano Cheese

March school holiday is going on this week so we have more rest and relax time to enjoy our breakfast and afternoon tea. And upon request from my kid, we have assorted pizza in different base such as "Thin or Thick Crust" using Pita Pocket, Wrap and normal sandwich bread.

And with a decent packet of Pizza or Mozzarella Cheese, you could also turn homemade pizza into something similar like restaurant serving which impressed your family or friends. Below we have 3 quick pizza ideas (with recipes) which I hope you would find it useful as a quick meal idea.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

[Day 1] Exploring Harajuku (原宿) and Takeshita Street (竹下通り)

[Continue from previous post HERE] After about an hour of rest and relax (unpacking, shower and etc) in our hotel room, we were out again to exploring Tokyo city. And since we need to wake up early for tomorrow's day trip, Uncle Alan suggested we should just explore somewhere nearer to our hotel such as Harajuku (原宿) where the famous Takeshita Street (竹下通り) is located.

From some of my read up, it is best to visit Harajuku on a Sunday because many young people would gather around Harajuku Station and engage in cosplay (costume play) where they dressed up in excentric costumes to resemble anime characters, punk musicians, etc.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

[Day 1] Our Family Trip to Tokyo, Japan

2012 was indeed a blessing year for our family to have 3 traveling trips such as cruising with Royal Caribbean International, Voyager Of The Seas during June (read more here), flying off with Japan Airlines to my dreamland at Tokyo, Japan in November (read more here) as well as a short weekend getaway to shopping paradise at Bangkok, Thailand in December (will update the trip after Japan posts).

Traveling to Japan was an impromptu trip because we had never thought of planning another trip for that year after our cruise trip in June. It was only less than 2 months before departure that we decided to join Uncle Alan and Uncle Hock Cheng's families on their Free And Easy trip to Tokyo, Japan in later autumn (mid November).

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Egg-citing free breakfast with McDonald's National Breakfast Day

Photo source: McDonald's
On Monday, 18 March 2013; 121 McDonald’s restaurants in Singapore will participate in National Breakfast Day (a regional McDonald's initiative) by giving away over 100,000 FREE Egg McMuffins, as part of Singapore’s (and the world’s) largest ever breakfast giveaway.

Each participating McDonald restaurant in Singapore will be giving away 1,000 FREE Egg McMuffins to customers on a first-come, first-served basis. So that's a total of about more than 100,000 free Egg McMuffins plus another about 5 million Egg McMuffins will be given out free in 5000 other McDonald restaurants in Asia, Middle East and Africa to celebrate this first McDonald National Breakfast Day activity. 

Photo Source: McDonald's

Date: Monday, 18 March 2013
Location: Across 121 McDonald’s restaurants in Singapore
(Click HERE for list of participating outlets)
Time: 5.00am – 10.00am, except these locations

Photo Source: McDonald's
So gear up yourself together with your friends or family members and make your way down to the nearest participated McDonald outlets on 18 March between 5.00am - 10.00am (consider to go early to avoid the crowds) and enjoy your FREE Egg McMuffin to kick off your Monday blue. More details can be found at http://www.mcdonalds.com.sg/

Video Source: McDonald's

Enjoy your Egg-citing Breakfast with McDonald!!!!


Friday, 15 March 2013

Peach Mango Sunshine From Emicakes plus Vouchers Giveaway

Emicakes fans!!!! For the month of March, Emicakes has launched a new flavour known as Peach Mango Sunshine.  With an elegant design, this cake is filled with juicy peach cubes in zesty mango mousse that sandwich between layers of light and fluffy vanilla chiffon.

And the good new is from now till 31st March 2013, you could enjoy a 15% OFF on any 15-20cm sizes (while stocks last).

Cross Section of the Peach Mango Sunshine
Thanks to the folks from Emicakes, we get to try their new Peach Mango Sunshine which has definitely brighten up our day. For your information, all Emicakes regular chiffon cakes have been replaced with their new Chiffon+ which is 30% less cholesterol and includes Milk Protein for a healthier choice. After trying we find that surprisingly the "thick" layer of mango mousse is not as creamy or sweet as it look and it does goes well with their new chiffon+ making it a refreshing afternoon tea cake.

Peach Mango Sunshine Cake
Available @ S$31.60 for 0.6kg | S$55.10 for 1.2kg | S$69.60 for 1.7kg


Here thanks to Emicakes, we have two set of Emicakes vouchers worth S$20.00 each to giveaway to 2 Lucky Readers. To win, follow the steps below:-



EMICAKES'S VOUCHERS GIVEAWAY



1. Like
AND


2. LIKE and SHARE this photo on Facebook. (remember to leave a comment that you have liked and shared)

3. Leave a comment here using your Facebook name or a valid email address, tell us one of the new features for Emicakes.

Terms And Conditions
* This giveaway ends on Monday, 18 March 2013 (NOON, Singapore time).
* Only for readers living in SINGAPORE.
* Participants must follow the instructions mentioned above to be eligible for the giveaway.
* Please leave a valid email address when filling out the comment form so that we can contact you if you are one of the winners.

[Updated on 18 March 2013, 3.30pm]
Congratulation to Oh Lye Choon and The Dead Cockroach. You both have won a set of S$20.00 Emicakes Voucher. Please check your email for more details.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Tampopo @ Liang Court Shopping Mall

About two weeks back, we had dinner over at Tampopo, Liang Court outlet after our Bento Workshop which in-line with their Hina-matsuri Festival. Although Tampopo is well-known for it's Ramen and soup broth but we decided to go for something with more varieties such as their Black Pig (BP) Tonkatsu and my favourite Soba Noodles and Chirashi.

BP Loin Tonkatsu Set @ S$26.80
{MUST TRY} Their Black Pig (BP) Loin is so tender and juicy even after deep-fried where you could just finished the slice within a few chews. Each slice of meat is coated with a layer of crispy Japanese Panko and yet there are not too oily as compared to those I have tried before.

Super Deluxe Box @ S$24.30
Super Deluxe Box definitely worth the price with both noodle (cold soba noodles) and rice (chirashi) plus prawn tempura, chawanmushi, miso soup and fresh cut fruit. Although I am very hungry (had an early lunch that day) after the workshop I still cannot finished the prawn tempura and noodles. All I could get it down were the chawanmushi, chirashi and watermelon. Out of all the items, the mini Chirashi is my favourite.

Mini Chirashi Sushi
Love their mini Chirashizushi (Japanese rice with scattered toppings such as sashimi, tamgo, kani and etc) which comes together with the Super Deluxe Set. Although this small bowl consists slightly more than 2 tablespoons of sushi rice but with it was definitely quite stasifying with those fresh toppings.

Kid's Meal, Katsu Set A @ S$8.80
{MUST TRY} My boy was delighted with his Katsu Set which consists most of his favourite items. This set has quite a  number of items in a plate like Japanese mashed potato salad, fried ebi, tonkatsu, halve hard-boiled egg, 2 rice balls and yogurt drink. On top of the two rice balls, my boy also ordered another bowl of rice to finish up the tonkatsu.

Display of Snowmans at Tampopo Restaurant during the Hokkaido Fair.
In order to celebrate Hokkaido Fair and Hina-matsuri Festival, Tampopo brings in 3 tons of snow from the very grounds of Hokkaido to Singapore which brings joy to shoppers as well as patrons of the restaurant on 23rd - 24th February 2013. Indeed my boy together with the rest of the kids enjoy making their very own snowman during the snow display time too.

Complimentary Snow (air flown from Hokkaido) that we got from Tampopo after the dinner.

Tampopo has 4 different outlets located in Singapore at Tampopo @ Takashimaya, Tampopo @ Liang Court, Tampopo Grand and Dulcet And Studio.

TAMPOPO
177 River Valley Road
#01-23/24
Liang Court Shopping Centre
Telephone: (65) 6338 3186
Website: https://www.facebook.com/TPPSG

Thursday, 7 March 2013

{With Recipes} Perfect Italiano Masterclass by Chef Lino Sauro

Last Saturday I was invited to attend the first Perfect Italiano Masterclass which was conducted by Chef Lino Sauro, executive chef and owner of Gattopardo. During the class we were taught on how to incorporate different types of cheese into our daily cooking to make simple and mouthwatering dishes.

Below are 3 of the recipes which I would like to share with you. And out of the three, my favourite dish is Deep Fried Potato with Mozzarella Cheese which is quite similar to the Japanese Croquette. Love the crispy outer skin and oozing cheesy in it.

The class was conducted at Palate Sensations and most of the ingredients and set up are done before we arrived. I was very excited with this Masterclass because I am a cheese lover plus learning new dishes always excite me.


WONTON RAVIOLI WITH SOYA MARINATED PRAWNS AND PARMESAN FONDUE


The first dish was Ravioli which is so easy to prepare at home and the method is quite similar to our Asian Wonton (云饨). We all love the cheesy fondue that perfect this simple dish with awesome taste. At that point ShiTing and I also thought of using this fondue sauce to create our own "white sauce" paste which we think it will be simple and yet delicious. 


Recipe adapted from Perfect Italiano website, HERE.

(Serves: 4 | Preparation: 20 minutes | Cooking: 10 minutes)

Ingredients:
  • 100g Perfect Italiano Parmesan Grated Cheese
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 20 Pieces of Wonton Skin (square shaped)
  • 20g Light Soya Sauce
  • 30g Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 110g Full Cream Milk
  • 1 Stalk of Spring Onion, chopped
  • 20g White Wine
  • 10 Pieces of Tiger Prawns, halves


Method:-
1.Peel and marinate prawns with soya, garlic, olive oil and spring onion.

2. Make Parmesan fondue by mixing Perfect Italiano Parmesan Grated Cheese, milk, butter and white wine.

3. Warm up mixture in a bain-marie (double-boiled) over medium heat till creamy. Season with white pepper, set aside.

4. Lightly brush wonton wrappers with beaten egg, divide the prawn mixture evenly on the wrappers.

5. Seal them neatly by folding it into half to form triangles. Put in boiling water for 3 min (or until wonton floats up).

6. Pour prepared fondue on plate and lay down the cooked ravioli. Season with Perfect Italiano Parmesan Grated Cheese, spring onion and serve immediately.



RICE ROLL WITH MOZZARELLA CHEESE AND SALMON


Adding cheese into sushi roll plus topping it with extra cheese makes this dish a perfect mini "baked rice roll" which is great for party food. And if you are not into salmon, perhaps ingredients like Kani (crab stick), Tamagoyaki (egg omelette) or even some Can Tuna or etc. (the above garnish is making by ShiTing (www.lobsterpaints.com), my cooking partner of that day)


Recipe adapted from Perfect Italiano website, HERE.

(Serves: 4 | Preparation: 15 minutes | Cooking: 5 minutes)

Ingredients:
  • 250g Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese
  • 200g Cooked Sushi Rice
  • 4 Sheets of Nori (seaweed)
  • 150g cured/smoked salmon
  • 100g Cucumber, cut into strips
  • 5g Wasabi
  • 200g Mayonnaise


Method:-
1.Place a sheet of nori on bamboo mat.

2. Spread and flatten rice on top of nori.

3. Lay down salmon, cucumber and Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese in the middle.

4. Hold on to the ends of the bamboo mat and roll, making sure that the ingredients are held inside it.

5. Remove bamboo mat and cut rice roll by one inch.

6. Warm up rice roll to melt Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese (for extra flavour, you could top extra mozzarella cheese on the cut sushi before putting them into the preheated oven (180 degree Celsius, 2 minutes or toaster oven, 3 minutes).

7. Garnish the sushi with extra cucumber and salmon. Serve with mayonnaise and/or wasabi.



DEEP FRIED POTATO WITH MOZZARELLA CHEESE
(served with sweet and sour sauce)


For the 3rd dish, we made something fusion such as mashed potato patty wrapped with oozing Mozzarella Cheese and it was infused with aromatic spices such as lemongrass, cinnamon and hint of curry powder. Love this to bits and I would re-create this again using tuna and cheese for a more filling snacks.


Recipe adapted from Perfect Italiano website, HERE.

(Serves: 4 | Preparation: 20 minutes | Cooking: 10 minutes)

Ingredients:
  • 200g Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese
  • 400g Potatoes, boiled till soften
  • 50g Corn Starch
  • 50g Onion, chopped
  • 5g Cinnamon
  • 5g Ground Black Pepper
  • 5g Curry Powder
  • 2 Eggs (55g)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 30g Lemongrass, minced
  • 20g Shallot, minced
  • Lemon Zest
  • 300g Japanese Breadcrumbs (panko)
  • Oil to fry


Method:-
1. Peel the skin of the potato, mashed it using a fork or grater.

2. Mix in all the DRY ingredients except cheese and breadcrumbs (if the mixture i too wet to handle, add in some breadcrumb and cheese to keep it dry to handle)

3. Next shaped about 2 tablespoons of potato mixture into a ball, flatten it slight and wrapped it with 1/2 tablespoon or more of the Italiano Mozzarella Cheese.

4. Sealed and shaped it back to a round shape, coat it with panko crumbs and lightly flatten it to form a 2 inches wide patty.

5. Heat oil in pan. Lower patties into oil and fry on medium low heat until crisp and golden on the bottom.

6. Fry the other side. Drain and ready to serve with sweet and sour sauce.


As for the cheeses used, although there are a wide range of Perfect Italiano cheeses, but in Singapore there are only 3 different types available in the supermarkets such as:-

Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Cheese
This cheese is really stretchy and it has a mild flavour that melts beautiful with every bite. Now they even have low fat version (35% less fat than regular mozzarella) which is available in a block/grated for your convenience.
[BEST USE ON] Pizza or Lasagne

Perfect Italiano Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan is aged for up to 18 months so it has a rich and bold flavours which adds bite and enhance the taste of dish. It is available in a block /grated for your convenience too.
[BEST USE ON] Pastas, Salads, Risottos and Soup

Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus Cheese
Pizza Plus is a delicious and unique combination of three cheese - Mozzarella (for stretch), Cheddar (for bold flavour) and Parmesan (for bite).
[BEST USE ON] Pizza. Sauces and Hot Snacks


Currently Perfect Italiano is running a contest where shoppers could "Stand a chance to win a Perfect Italiano Masterclass experience!". To join the lucky draw, submit your receipt details for proof of purchase of at least one pack of Perfect Italiano Cheese. (read more HERE)

Lastly I would like to thank Perfect Italiano and Joy from Tribal DDB Singapore for the Perfect Italiano Masterclass invite.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Organic Brown Rice Milk And Organic Soymilk Using Pebblio Soymilk Maker

Many of you might remember my posts on Homemade Organic Soymilk plus some related recipes using soymilk and okara (soybean resides) which I have shared last year. And with many people starting to make their own soymilk at home, there are now quite a few new brands of soymilk makers available in the market with similar functions too.

In this post, I would be sharing how to make Organic Soymilk and Brown Rice Milk using Pebblio Home Appliance (a new Tofu plus Soymilk Maker) in less than 20 minutes with a collection of about 2 litres of soymilk in one batch.


HOMEMADE SOYBEAN MILK



(Make: 1.8 Lires | Preparation: 6 Hours Soaking Beans  |  Cooking: 20 minutes)

Ingredients:
200g (2 cup) Organic Soybean
1.8 Litres Water
Cane / Castor Sugar to taste
Pandan Leave, optional

Method:-
1. Add pre-soaked soybeans (soak for at least 6 hours) into the Stainless Steel Container (within the filter).

2. Fill water into the container up to the maximum mark, scrap in the vanilla bean pop, Put on the lid and turn clockwise to tighten the latch of the cover.

Place the Tofu Box below the discharge tube. Press the RED button (start/stop) follow by the "SOY MILK" button to start the process.

4. Appliance will start heating up the water (starting for 28 degrees), blend and cook the "Soy Milk" and the whole process takes about 18 - 20 minutes to complete.


5. Once done, appliance will "BEEP" 3 times. Slowly turn RELEASE KNOB and soymilk will discharge into the Tofu Box or cup.

Tip:
~ Other than using soybean alone, you could replaced the amount used to 100g each of soybean and black soybean.

~ Or using 150g Soybean plus 50g Peanut for a nutty flavour soymilk.


Above shows the internal view of the Filter after all the soymilk had be dispensed out from the container to the Tofu Box. From the photo you could also see that the Okara (soybean residues)  were collected inside the filter and you could keep them for making some Okara Butter Cake (recipe), Okara Omelette (recipe) and etc.

Above are a few types of the Organic Soybeans that I am using. You can use any brand of soybean despite of whether they are organic or not. Soybeans can be easily found in any local supermarkets or grocery stores under the dried beans sections.



ORGANIC BROWN RICE MILK


Brown Rice Milk is a dairy free milk made from brown rice and just like soymilk and almond milk, rice milk is also safe for those who suffer from lactose intolerance. Furthermore rice milk is also low in fat which in terms makes it a good milk substitute for baking too. And recently many people also starting to make their own rice milk at home which is inexpensive and easier with the help of soymilk maker or blender.


(Make : 1.8 Litres | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 20 minutes)

Ingredients:
150g (1.5 cup) Naturel Brand Organic Brown Rice
1 Vanilla Bean Pod, optional
1.8 Litres Water
Sugar to taste


Method:-
1. Rinse and wash the organic brown rice in a few rounds. Drained and add into the Stainless Steel Container (within the filter).

2. Fill water into the container up to the maximum mark, scrap in the vanilla bean pop, Put on the lid and turn clockwise to tighten the latch of the cover.

3. Place the Tofu Box below the discharge tube. Press the RED button (start/stop) follow by the "SOY MILK" button to start the process.

4. Appliance will start heating up the water (starting for 28 degrees), blend and cook the "Rice Milk" and the whole process takes about 18 - 20 minutes to complete.


5. Once done, appliance will "BEEP" 3 times. Slowly turn RELEASE KNOB and rice milk will discharge into the Tofu Box or cup.

Tip:
~ If you do not have any vanilla pod, replace it with a few leaves of pandan leaves to cook together with the rice at steps 1 to enhance the taste of the rice milk.

~ For other rice milk flavour, you could reduce the amount of brown rice to 100g (1 cup) and add in 50g of Almond or Walnut for better taste.

NATUREL Organic Brown Rice
There are a few types of Organic Brown Rice available in the supermarkets for you to pick up. Above is what we usually have at home as my kid only prefers this brand. It is easy to cook with an hour of pre-soaked before cooking it using rice cooker (without adding extra amount of water). The texture of the cooked rice is fluffy, slight chewy and most important it does not have an unpleasant or rough taste when consumed.


After flashing out the soymilk/rice milk or etc to the Tofu Box, removed the cloth filter from the Stainless Steel Container and slow removed the filter cloth from for easy washing. Since the filter cloth is washable, you could re-used (on daily basis) it up to 6 months depending on it's wear and tear conditions.

And as for the Stainless Steel Container, you could use a big washing brush (similar to those used for washing baby milk bottle) to brush the blending blade and etc which is much easier to clean the residues in it.

Disclaimer:
This is not a paid/sponsored post. We just want to share our experience and tips in using this new Pebblio Home Appliance.



HOMEMADE ORGANIC TOFU
(upcoming recipe)


For the upcoming post I would be sharing on how to make Organic Tofu (豆腐) using Nigari Salt and Homemade Soymilk. So do stay tune for more updates soon.

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KITCHEN GADGETS @ CUISINE PARADISE'S KITCHEN


Click on the above photos or HERE for more kitchen pantry ideas.