Showing posts with label IKEA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IKEA. Show all posts

Saturday 24 December 2011

Christmas Gifts - Classic Chocolate Brownie and Cheddar Cheese Crackers

What is your PERFECT Christmas Gift! I am sure everyone loves to receive something special for Christmas and for us homemade gifts are perfect for this festive season. You could bake some cookies, truffles, fruit cakes or DIY some special craft and etc for your family or friends.

In this post I would like to share with you two sample bakes that I have made as Christmas Gifts for my friends.


A chocolate recipe that is foolproof at all time would be this Donna Hay, Classic Brownie which comes in handy for all occasions.  Instead of the usual rectangle shape brownie I have made these star shaped brown using foil cases from IKEA which is just perfect for Christmas Gift. 

Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Oct-Nov 2011 issue
(serves: 10 Stars | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 16 - 20 minutes)

200g Dark Chocolate, chopped
140g Unsalted Butter, cubes
1 Cup(175g) Brown Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup (75g) Plain Flour

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place half chocolate(100g) and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth.

2. All to cool slightly to lukewarm.

3. Place sugar, eggs and flour in a big mixing bowl with the chocolate mixture and mix till well combined.

4. Stir through the remaining chocolate pieces and spoon the mixture into the star shaped foil cases(I bought the star shaped cases from IKEA).

5. Bake for 16 - 20 minutes depending on the size of your mould or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

6. Allow it to cool and dust with extra cocoa powder and icing sugar.

Before serving or packing you could dust the star brownies with some extra Cocoa Powder and icing sugar to give it a better outlook as gift. I have baked this brownie for 17 minutes which I feel it could be even better if I under bake it for another 1 or 2 minutes to achieve that more moist effect with melted chocolate.


This is my first time making cheese crackers for Christmas instead of our usual Gingerbread Man. These savoury treats can be an appetizer to go with champagne or any yoghurt/cheese dips before Main Course or even as a gift-giving items. And beware this is a very addictive snacks that would be gone in no times.

(Makes: about 40 crackers | Preparation: 5 minutes + 30 minutes chilling |
Cooking: 12 minutes each batch)

210g Plain Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon MasterFoods Paprika
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
165g Butter, soften
165g Grated Cheddar Cheese
Beaten Egg for glazing

1.Sift flour, baking powder, paprika, salt and black pepper into a bowl.

2. Mix softened butter using a spoon with Cheddar until they are well blended.

3. Add dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the cheese mixture and mix until it form a soft dough.

4. Slightly flatten the dough between two sheet of baking paper and wrapped it up and place into a zip lock bag before refrigerate it from 30 minutes to firm up.

5. Take out half portion of the dough, floured work surface and roll dough into 0.5cm thick. Cut dough with desired shaped cutters and place them 1cm apart on baking tray.

6. Bake in preheated 180°C oven for about 12 minutes or till golden in colour. Remove and set aside on rack to cool before packing.


After spending a few hours in the kitchen baking the above Christmas Gifts we had this quick and simple pasta dish for dinner. I have marinated the boneless chicken drumstick with Portuguese Seasoning and some fresh rosemary herbs.

While the chicken is cooking on the pan, I also prepared some Aglio e Olio (you can refer a similar "Spaghetti Aglio e Olio" recipe HERE) and garden salad to complete the dish.

Lastly I would love to wish everyone MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday 2 December 2011

Christmas At IKEA

We are already stepping into December 2011 which bring us less than 23 days to Christmas. So if you are looking for some ideas to decorate your home perhaps you could stop by any of the IKEA outlets(Alexandra or Tampines) just like what we did. I am sure you could definitely grab something which you might need for this coming festive seasons ranging from home furniture, decorations, food and etc.


I saw their Christmas Platter Combo during my last visit to IKEA, Tampines a few week back on their behind-scene tour event. So early this week I bought my boy to IKEA in order to try out their Christmas Platter but sad to say they have run out of the "Pancakes and Swedish sparkling drink". On top of it they replaced the two items with spice muffins and apple juice.

The Christmas Platter consists of Turkey Breast, Turkey Ham and Chicken Cheese Sausage together with some fries and balanced broccoli. Their turkey ham was good and I love the cheese sausage too, but if it comes with some serving sauce the taste will be even better. This whole combo platter set cost S$13.90 or you could just get the Christmas Platter at S$9.00

Although this is my boy 1st time trying IKEA's Kid's Meal, Chicken Nuggets, he actually comments that it taste better than those served in his usual fastfood outlet. And also for the month of November till 24 December 2011, IKEA will also donates €1.00(S$1.75) whenever we purchased any kid's chicken nuggets meal to the UNICEF in order to help more children to have quality education.

To end the meal, we tried their Christmas Log Cake and Almond Cake with chocolate and butterscotch. The Christmas Log Cake comes with either Cappuccino or Latte at S$3.50 per set whereas the Almond Cake is price at S$3.50 per slice. I love the luxury and caramel taste of the almond cake with hint of nuts in it and it goes well with my cup of Cappuccino. 


The Tableware and Cookshop area located at Level 3 of IKEA, Tampine has a wide varieties of Christmas design items ranging from plates to cups and bakewares too.


You could also find some REAL Christmas Tree and plants at the Home Decoration area together with some wall ornaments and etc. I am sure there is something that suits your home for this year Christmas.


Near the check out area, you could see a lot of new designed soft toys that caters for this coming Christmas Season. Perhaps you could grab one or two of these lovely soft toys as Christmas Present for your love ones or kids and at the same time the IKEA foundation will actually donates €1.00(S$1.75) to help educate kids from UNICEF (The United Nations Children's Fund) too.


Before going back, we stop by the Swedish Food Market to exchange our token from the Kid's Meal(all kid's meal comes with a free ice cream cone). To get the ice-cream you have to place the cone on the slot in the ice-cream machine before inserting the token. Next press the start button on the machine and within less than a minute you would get your yummy soft serve ice-cream.

For more photos on this photo, you could click on the album via Cuisine Paradise Facebook HERE.

Monday 21 November 2011

IKEA - Our All-times Family Favourite

About two weeks ago I was invited to attend a "behind scene" tour at IKEA, Tampines to get to know more about their showrooms, store operations, restaurant and etc. It was a very wonderful trip where each and everyone of us was given a chance to know and see IKEA store in another aspect of view apart from what we used to know.

We were all very excited while stepping into their showroom on level 4 as we were all enlighten by their range of Christmas Dining setup at the entrance which brings out the the warm festive feelings in our heart too.

When process further, we were introduced to these IKEA showrooms where you could find lots of inspiring ideas and furnishings in realistic room settings which are similar to our living environments. For example most of the furnishings ideas from IKEA, Tampines emerged from the flour area and layout of the newer estate near their area such as Sengkang and Punggol.

And it is in these showrooms that we can try out their furniture; fall asleep in a bed, stretch out on a sofa, or even let our kids make their own decision to choose furniture for their rooms.

Despite of dealing with furniture and food, I didn't know at IKEA whenever we purchase "soft toy" at any of their outlets (Alexandra/Tampines), the IKEA foundation will actually donates €1.00(S$1.75) to help educate kids from UNICEF (The United Nations Children's Fund) which is a very meaningful contribution that we could help and take part in.

And for the month of November till 24 December 2011, IKEA will also donates €1.00(S$1.75) whenever we purchased soft toy or kid's meal(chicken nuggets) to the UNICEF in order to help more children to have quality education.

IKEA Restaurant is located at level 4, beside the Children's IKEA where you can take a break from shopping with some coffee and cake or even breakfast/dinner. And in the restaurant, you'll find healthy Swedish and local daily dishes at really low prices too. In order to cater families with kids, the restaurant is child-friendly with high chairs and a play area as well as special menu just for kids.

For your information, IKEA Restaurant is serving Christmas Dishes such as Christmas Platter, Marinated Herring Gratin, Mini Log Cake and etc where you can take a look at the menu on their website HERE.

Located at the end of Level 3, Market Hall. I am sure most of you are familiar with these racks and boxes that are found in the IKEA, Self Serve Furniture Area. The concept of these self-pick up methods came from their very first store where the demand was so great that the furniture wasn’t being provided fast enough to the consumers. So in order to please their consumers, IKEA opened their warehouse and allowed consumers to take whatever they wanted to buy and proceed straight to the payment counter.

After we have completed the tour, the next excitement we had for that night was we were invited to dine-in at their Co-workers Restaurant which is located at the back alley of the main restaurant. The design, layout and food menu of their staffs restaurant are pretty similar to what we see at their IKEA restaurant too.

For dinner, I tried their Cheese Baked Saithe (from the 3 choices) which I think is not available on their IKEA restaurant menu. Saithe is also known as coley which is a white fish with firm flesh that is very popular in Germany. I love the taste  and texture of this dish which is served together with some potato and carrot, hope it will be available in their restaurant menu soon.

Lastly I would like to thank IKEA and Pearlin from one9ninety for this wonderful IKEA behind scene tour.