Friday, 31 May 2013

Enjoy an Appetite for Life with Nestle Singapore

Hello Nestle fans! Recently Nestle has initiate a "Give-a-Basket" campaign which runs from now till 31 October 2013 over at Nestle Singapore Facebook Page. The aim is to enable you to send your colleagues, friends, loved ones and etc a virtual baskets of Goodness, Activity or Togetherness to get their Appetite for Life going.

Through this initiative, Nestle hopes to spread the message of  "Enjoy an Appetite for Life" using the 3 main pillars which forms G.A.T (represent Goodness, Activity and Togetherness) that can inspire our life to the fullest.

Nestle Goodness Basket
GOODNESS is about eating well to ensure we get all the nutrients required to fuel and energize our body. And since there is no scientific proof on good/bad food but instead it's more like good or bad diet, there is no worry for you to indulge in an occasional chocolate or ice cream.

And for instant, you could also add some vegetables, meat/seafood to a bowl of MAGGI Instant Noodles to make it a more complete meal like what I often prepared as a quick meal.

Nestle Activity Basket
A serving of ACTIVITY like walking, running, cycling or etc should be include in your daily schedule to help you release endorphins which make you feel good. And with some snacks and beverages from Nestle Milo, I am sure you it would boost up your energy level and makes you feel energetic while coping with the activities.

And during most of the school days, my boy would packed his favourite Nestle Milo Cereal plus a pack of Milo Proto Malt for his tea-break in school which he loves to share the Milo Cereal with his classmates.

Nestle Together Basket
TOGETHERNESS draw the company of loved ones so that we could enjoy the wealth of wellness and balance in our hectic life. For example, sharing a pack of KIT KAT with my little one while taking a break from his homework makes it a great bonding time between us. And also the same thing goes with a cup of NESCAFE which served as our after dinner beverage where everyone sits around and have a chat on what happened on the itself.


HOW TO SEND THE NESTLE VIRTUAL BASKETS


Nestle Singapore Facebook Page
To start sending your virtual baskets, first you have to LIKE Nestle Singapore Facebook page in order to participate in the "Give-a basket" contest. Next, click on the Appetite for Life (refer to the photo above) to select a virtual baskets of Goodness, Activity or Togetherness.

To proceed with the sending, follow the steps shown:-

1. "Enter friend' name", click Next;
2. Choose a Photo (optional) from your facebook album to tag with the virtual basket;
3. "Write your note" in the space provided on why the recipient(s) need the doses of Goodness, Activity or Togetherness in their life.
4. The best entries received will entitled your recipient to win a real basket with Nestle products (there are 18 baskets to be won weekly). 

So let's hop over to Nestle Facebook Page and start sending our virtual baskets to friends and relatives now to show our appreciation for what they deserved.


Furthermore, I am also TAG-GED together with other fellow agents (bloggers) by Nestle on a MISSION for their Operation AFL (Appetite for Life). With Operation AFL being divided into three teams namely, (T)ogetherness, (A)ctivity, and (G)oodness, I have been assigned to Team (G)oodness.

Remember to stay tune and find out more about my MISSION assigned in the next upcoming post. Till then have a great weekend ahead. Cheers!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Cherry Blossom Mantou vs Steamed Sakura Chicken With Choya

My experiments with using pickled cherry blossom continues after my first recipe on Matcha Cherry Blossom Chiffon (抹茶盐渍樱花戚风蛋糕) in April. And also with the extra packets of supply that Joyce (ahpoohbear) loop back for us from her recent Osaka trip, I am able to try out more fusion recipes using pickled cherry blossom.

In this post I am sharing two recipes such as Cherry Blossom Mantou (Asian-style steamed bun with pickled cherry blossom) and Steamed Sakura Chicken With Choya (Steamed chicken mid-joint using picked cherry blossom and choya).


CHERRY BLOSSOM MANTOU
(樱花馒头)


Here I am making a two-tone colour steamed bun (mantou) using Sakura Leaf Powder for the green portion but you could always replace it with Matcha powder according to your preference. The sakura leaf powder added a distinctive taste to this steamed bun leaving it with a sweet and savoury flavour that makes you go for second helpings.


(Make: 6 pieces  | Preparation: 55 minutes | Cooking: 15 minutes)

Ingredients:
250g All-purpose Plain Flour
1/2 Teaspoon (2g) Baking Power
3g Instant Dry Yeast
110ml Lukewarm Water
10g Milk Powder
1 Teaspoon Sakura Leaf Powder
Some Salt Pickled Cherry Blossoms (盐渍樱花), soaked in water
25g Caster Sugar
10g Unsalted Butter, soften


Method:-
1. Add dry yeast into the lukewarm water and give it a quick stir, set aside for about 2-3 minutes till bubbles appeared.

2. In a big mixing bowl, stir in sift plain flour, milk powder and baking powder together with caster sugar till combined.

3. Next slowly add in yeast water into the flour mixture and stir using a metal spoon or clean hand till it forms soft dough.

4. Knead soft butter into the dough till it does not stick to your hand and divide the dough into 2:1 ration size.

5. With the smaller dough, knead in Sakura Leaf Powder till combined then proof the two doughs in a warm place for 20 minutes.

6. Next, flatten the doughs to release the air in it. Place the green dough on top of the plain, roll it up into a oblong shape and proof for another 15 minutes.

7. Cut the dough into equal portion, place each portion on the steamer rack with greaseproof paper below. Place some drained sakura flower on top and rest for another 15 minutes.

8. Sprinkle some water on the mantou before placing the steamer rack into the pot of boiling water and steam them over medium heat for about 10 - 12 minutes (depending on the size of the mantou). When done, removed and served hot/warm.



STEAMED SAKURA CHICKEN WITH CHOYA
(樱花梅酒鸡)


My inspiration for this Steamed Sakura Chicken with Choya (樱花梅酒鸡) comes from our all-time favourite; Steamed Rice Wine Chicken (蒸黄酒鸡) which I would prepare at least once a month. And with some pickled sakura on hand as well as Choya (plum wine) that mum bought during her recent trip, I decide to use these two special ingredients to try out this dish.


(Serves: 2-3  | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 20 minutes)

Ingredients:
6 - 8 Chicken Mid-joints
1 Teaspoon of Grated Ginger
1 Stalk Spring Onion, cut into sections
100ml Choya (Japanese plum liqueur)
Some Salt Pickled Cherry Blossoms (盐渍樱花), soaked in water

Method:-
1. Lightly marinate chicken mid-joint with grated ginger, cornflour and pinch of salt.

2. With some ginger slices and spring onion below, arrange the mid-joints on top and place the drained sakura flowers that had being soaked for 5 minutes (rinse well) on it (refer to the photo above).

3. Lastly pour in choya and let it stands for 5 minutes before steaming the mid-joints over medium heat for 20 - 25 minutes till tender.


The mid-joints were infused with the combination of Choya and pickled Sakura leaving it with a refreshing and fragrance after taste. Also after steaming, the soup broth was full of flavour due to the essence from the chicken and choya. Do give this a try if you happen to have a bottle of Choya at home and don't worry about the pickled cherry blossom as you could always omit it for a new recipe.

Lastly I would be submitting this Cherry Blossom Mantou to this month Aspiring Bakers #31 - Bao Ho-Chiak (May 2013) hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Exploring The Convenience Stores and Bakeries In Tokyo, Japan

Whenever we travel to a country, we love to visit their convenience stores to see what special food/beverages or stuffs they offered in it. And since Korean, Japan and Taiwan all have convenience stores like Seven Eleven (7-11), Lawson and Family Mart it makes us thrilled whenever we visit these stores because we could often find similar stuffs that we tried and miss having it.

I am not sure about your habits, but for us we always like to stock up some bites and beverages from these convenience stores for our bus journey as well as supper in the hotel room. And as you view through this post, you could find all kinds of food and beverage they offer in the stores as compared to what we have in Singapore.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

[Day 6] Shabu Shabu @ Shabujo, Shinjuku

Japan trip won't be satisfied if we did not try their sushi, sashimi, omurice, shabu shabu, takoyaki and etc. So on the last night of our trip, we decided to go for Shabu Shabu which was perfect for that  cold and wet evening when everyone needs some hot food to keep warm. So after searching around for a decent Shabu Shabu restaurant near our hotel at Shinjuku ( 新宿), we finally settled for Shabujo which is listed in their recommending food good guide. For your information, Shabujo is about 6 minutes walk from JR Shinjuku Station, East Exit.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Singapore Navy Open House 2013

Over the weekend, I believe many of us has visited the Singapore Navy Open House 2013 (NOH) at Changi Naval Base. The open house starts with long queues over at the Singapore Expo Hall 3 where visitors go through some security screening before boarding the free shuttle bus to NOH. Even though we were there early like 8.10am on Saturday, 18 May we still waited for about 30 minutes before we get into the bus. But thanks to the well-organized queuing system (to and back from the open house) as well as the navy staffs who help up to maintain the flow, the queue do move pretty fast and in order too.

The crowds at Singapore Expo go through the security screen and waiting to board the shuttle bus to the Navy Open House on Saturday, 18 May 2013.

K-Ster expendable mine disposal system (EMPS) on display

Navy Open House held at Changi Naval Base


With the given brochure(s) at the entrance, visitors would be able to redeem a limited edition Navy Open House Badge plus submit a slip to join their ballot cruise ride on one of their display warships too.

There are a few zones to explore at the NOH like Mission Zone, Heart Zone, Experience and Family Zone.  In the Heart Zone, there are many navy personnel around to share they stories as well as a photo booth to provide free photo taking and instant print for visitors and after which these photos would be uploaded to their Facebook here.  

Souvenirs and information booths are also available in Heart Zone too.

At the open house, visitors could also experience ear-bursting dynamic display on how the members of the elite Naval Diving Unit dropping into the water from hovering Chinook helicopters to overcome terrorist threats at sea as well as conducting a hostage rescue.

Rescue in process.....

RSS Valiant from 188 Squadron

Ships at Navy Open House which opens to public access where visitors could go for an on board tour.

RSS Swordsman at the Navy Open House. Too bad submarines are not open to public access and viewing.

Thanks God, we won balloting tickets for a 60 minutes cruise ride on board the RSS Vengeance from 188 Squadron.

We sail off from the Changi Naval Base and start with an hour of exciting cruise ride along the coastal line.

On board we get to experience the Corvettes travel at amazing speed of 30 knots which is about 50kmh. And during the ride, we also given opportunity to understand the function of the warship and the life of the crews on board through exchange conversations.

Beautiful view along the coastal line while on board the RSS Vengeance.

At the open house, there was also an Food and Beverage Zone where you could take a rest, have some bites and occupy yourself with performances that are prepared by the navy staffs and school students.

As you could see from the over, the food zone was over crowded even before the lunch hours which I think they could have bring in more stalls or bigger area to cater for the crowds in future events. For us, we just grab some pastry which has the shortest queue of all but I think it would be good to bring along some bread or sandwiches which would be great in term of cost and quality.

RSN S70-B Seahawk naval helicopter


Other than the naval ships, visitors also has the opportunities to see other assets from the Army and Air Force too. For example, Seahawk naval helicopter, Tankers, Top Gun and etc.

Out of all the exhibit warships, the queue to visit the RSS Endurance [207] never seems to get shorter than the 90 minutes wait. This ship is fitted with a well dock which can accommodate four landing crafts as well as a flight deck which can accommodate two medium lift helicopters too.

Lastly we also explore some of the foreign warships that participate in this year Navy Open House such as the :- ) USS Freedom [LCS-1] – Freedom class Littoral Combat Ship from United States of America; INS Satpura [F48] – Shivalik class Frigate and INS Kirch [P62] – Kora class Corvette from India.

Although the weather was pretty hot that day, but I am sure all those who went definitely had an enjoyable time with the cruise ride, warships tour, experience at shooting range and etc. We shall look forward for the next Navy Open House in 2016.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Omurice and Pork Cutlet With Japanese Curry

Curry (カレー) is one of the most popular dishes in Japan and it is often make into Curry Rice (カレーライス), Curry Udon (thick noodles) and Curry Bun. The ingredients used for Japanese curry are vegetables like onions, carrots, potatoes and meat such as beef, pork, and chicken. Sometime you could also find Katsu-karē / Tonkatsu (カツカレー) which is a breaded deep-fried pork cutlet served with curry sauce too.

For this recipe I have combined 3 of our family favourite such as Omelette Rice, Japanese Curry and Deep-fried Pork Cutlet into one dish and we just simply love this dish even though we are having it second time for this week.


OMURICE AND PORK CUTLET WITH JAPANESE CURRY


Although we have a mad rushing week but finally the mid-year school examination has ended (on Thursday) and now we can start counting down for June school holidays. And also since I could not help my kid to sit for the exam, all I can do as a mum is to prepare his favourite food to shower my love and encouragement to him during this stressful week.

I know there are many mothers out there sharing the same thoughts as me during this stressful exam month but I believe we would get it through and enjoy the sweet moments with our kid(s) no matter how good or bad they scored for the exam.  After all family support and love are also one of the greatest secret to score well too. 


(Serves: 2-3 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 25 - 30 minutes)

Ingredients:
  • 2 Servings Of Cooked Rice
  • 2 Pieces of Butterfly Pork Cutlets
  • 1/2 Cup of Breadcrumbs
  • Oil For Deep-frying

  • Japanese Curry
  • 3 Medium Potato, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 Medium Carrot, cut into 1.5 cm chunks
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 100g Of Pumpkin, cut into 1.5 cm chunks
  • Half Chicken Breast Meat (optional), cut into chunks
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Cooking Oil
  • 700ml Boiling Water
  • 3 - 4 Cubes of Japanese Curry Sauce Mix

  • Omelette Skin
  • 2 Eggs (55g each)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Fresh Milk

Method:-

For Japanese Curry:-
1. Saute diced onion with 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil till soft and fragrance.

2. Stir in chicken breast (lightly marinated with 1/2 teaspoon each of light soya sauce, cooking wine, cornflour and dash of ground pepper) add cook for 30 seconds before adding in carrot and potato.

3. Give the mixture a quick toss, pour in 700ml of boiling water and bring it to boil. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for about 7 minutes, add pumpkin and continue to cook for another 5 - 7 minutes until all the vegetables are cook to your preference.

4. Remove the pot from heat. Slowly stir in 3 - 4 cubes of Japanese Curry Sauce Mix till dissolved.

Tip:
~ I would advise you to taste the curry after adding the 3rd cubes and decide whether would you still like to add in either half/whole of the 4th curry cubes to suit your preference.

~ I use 2 curry cubes each from the above sauce mix so that the curry will taste better with the sweet and hot mixture, but you could also use just 1 type instead of two.

My boy loves this type of deep-fried pork cutlets which could be purchased from any of those Hainanese Scissor Cut Mixed Vegetables Rice Stalls in Singapore which cost around S$1.00 - S$2.00 each depending on it's size. For this quick recipe, I marinate the pork cutlet with egg and cornflour together with other seasonings and coat with a layer of dried bread crumbs before deep-frying it till golden brown.

You can find the recipe on how to make this deep-fried pork cutlet as well as how to use it to create dishes such as Hainanese Pork Chop Rice and Pork Katsudon at this post here.

For Omelette Skin:-
1. Lightly beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of milk till combined. Pour mixture into preheated grease pan and tilt the pan to coat the base. Cook until eggs are almost set but still a little runny in the middle (refer to the photo label no. 4 above).

2. Remove the pan from heat spoon about 1 serving of cooked rice (1/2 cup) on the omelette (refer to the photo label no. 5 above). With a spatula, flip one side of the egg omelette over the rice mixture

3. Slide the wrapped omelette rice to the edge of the pan and flip the pan against the plate for the omelette to land upside down on the plate.

4. Shape the omelette rice using kitchen paper towel and repeat steps with remaining portion of the rice and egg.

Depending on your preference, you could served the curry together with the omurice rice and pork cutlets or serve them in separate plates. For me, I love everything to be on the same plate and with decent amount of curry sauce to go with it. What about you?


Other than Omelette rice, you could also served the Japanese Curry with some cooked spaghetti or penne for quick meal idea. And if you have any interesting ways of pairing Japanese Curry, please do share with us by leaving your comments/suggestions in this post. Thanks.

Lastly, have a great weekend and hope you enjoy making this quick and easy Omurice with Japanese Curry for your family and loved ones too.


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