Sunday, 28 January 2007

Pineapple Tarts for Layla

Layla from Multiply requested for 50pcs of home-made Pineapple Tarts for herself before she delivers her baby anytime soon.

So went over to her place after work to deliver the goodies to her. Hopefully she will enjoy them.

Cheezy Tart Worm

And since there were a lot of Chocolate Trufle left from yesterday's experiment, sent some over to my aunt's place, which is near to Layla's.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Busy Weekend

We went to Orchard today cos it's been a while since we stepped into Borders. Furthermore dear hubby needs to complete his Dark Towers collection. It was fortunate that I remembered there is an open carpark next to Wheelock Place, otherwise we planned to park the van behind Shaw Towers, which would be unfortunate cos it started to rain while we had lunch at Burger King.

While at Borders managed to get myself a cookbook (with 20% discount), which hopefully the recipes will be experimented out soon. Sometimes I feel that when I buy myself a cookbook, it's just to satisfy my 'hungry eyes' looking at those yummy pictures...

Anyways, dear hubby managed to complete his collection & bought himself 2 music CDs - Oasis & Nickelback.

After a quick lunch, drove to a baking supplies shop to view some new stocks before hurrying down to National Stadium to get tickets for tonight's match - Singapore vs Malaysia. Dear hubby will be going with his mates. Tonight would be his so-called 'bachelor night'.

So when he's out, I made an impulsive decision to bake Chocolate Trufle Cake, which turned out to be disappointing. A feeling of regret crept over me as I expected it to be really good. But I learned what went wrong & what I should amend in the recipe though. Perhaps I could try again.... or not.... depends.

Overall, today has been quite relaxing. I am so not looking forward to tomorrow = work.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Recipes for Lemon Meringue Pie & Baked Potatoes

Lemon Meringue Pie (using a 25cm/10" pie plate)

Rich Short Crust Pastry:
165g flour
150g pastry margarine, chilled & cubed
2 tblsp icing sugar
1 1/2 tblsp iced water

1) Process the flour in a food processor with icing sugar & butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs (also known as the rubbing-in method). Add iced water; process just until the mixture comes together in a ball.

2) Turn pastry out onto a lightly floured surface; knead it gently until smooth & press into a 15-cm disc. Wrap in clingwarp & chill for 30mins.

3) Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out pastry to a 33-cm (13") round about 5mm thick. Pierce the base several times with a fork.

4) Line the pastry with baking papaer & half-fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 15mins. Remove paper & beans or rice & cook for further 10mins or until light golden & aromatic. Leave pastry case to cool then spoon filling into it, smoothing the top.

170g caster sugar
60g cornflour
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
80ml lemon juice, strained
185ml milk
3 egg yolks

1) Put the caster sugar & cornflour in a asaucepan. Combine the lemon zest & lemon juice & the milk & add to the pan. Stir constantly over a medium heat until mixture comes to the boil. Remove from heat, add egg yolks & mix well to combine.
*You can choose to chill the filling for 2hrs if preferred.

3 egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
80g caster sugar

1) Whisk the egg whites in a bowl with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add sugar, a spoonful at a time, beating well after each addition. The meringue should be thick & shiny.
2)Spread the meringue over the lemon filling, making sure it forms a seal all around the pastry shell to prevent filling overheating (which could cause it to separate).
3) Bake for 10mins or until the meringue is a light golden colour.

Baked Potatoes

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1kg potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced
100g gruyere cheese
2 cups fresh milk
1/2 cup thick cream
ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tblsp butter

1) Preheat oven to 190C
2) Bruise the garlic & spread on a 35x23x5cm baking tray. Arrange potato slices in layers on the tray to resemble fish scales. Sprinkle cheese on top. Repeat the layering & sprinkling of cheese until all the potatoes are used up.

3) In another bowl, mix the fresh milk, thick cream, ground black pepper, salt & nutmeg. Pour the mixture onto the potatoes on the baking tray. Drop butter on top of the mixture & bake in the oven for 45 minutes until dry & the potatoes are golden brown.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Lemon Meringue Pie, Baked Potatoes & Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

Contemplating if I should go ahead with my plan to surprise hubby with his request - Lemon Meringue Pie. It has been ages since I baked that. Furthermore I'm not interested in pies.

Last weekend he asked me to try something new as he's "had enough of cheesecakes". So will try to do it today. Surprise because if it didn't turn out good, he wouldn't know I made the pie at all.

Since I'm awake early, will try to do the pastry first. The thing about making pie is that it has to be baked blind, which I find it troublesome. Only after the pastry is cooked & out of the oven then the filling was made. Once everything has been cooled, made the meringue. If you look at the recipe it is simple to make. I guess my mentality was set that "pies are troublesome to make", therefore I find it..... troublesome (can't find any other words to describe my feeling towards making pies).

Lemon Meringue Pie

Cut it up & tried but couldn't find the satisfaction. But was it the pie or me? I leave it to hubby to judge.

After dear son's lunch, remembered that the princess asked for a Winx Club schoolbag. So have to remember to only go to Metro and Kiddy Palace. Without an objective, I can end up window-shopping for hours. I still have other 'projects' to do after this. Metro has a few but not the one which I'm looking for. So went to Kiddy Palace with son in tow. Saw it but the price...... I was so tempted to buy the Strawberry Shortcake as the price is lesser compared to the Winx. But this is her bag, not mine. Although I had to fork out $23.90 for a mere bag (it's not payday yet, you know), I think she would really love it. It would be a nice surprise for her when she get back from school. She was indeed delighted when she opened the plastic bag.

Okay, let her have her moments with the new bag. I still have things to do in the kitchen.

Next is the Baked Potato. According to the recipe, this is derived from France. Today is the second time I'm making this. Original recipe does not contain any meat, I added minced meat in as it tasted better.

Baked Potatoes

While the potatoes were in the oven, I quickly whipped up my latest addition to the "Dessert-a-Cup" family - Chocolate Hazelnut Cheese Cups / Cake.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

It had been a long day. Now time to get dear daughter to sleep.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Between full-time job & passion

Made an appointment with my bro to meet up at HarbourFront Centre on Sunday (as he's working at VivoCity) to pass me the Pineapple Tarts, which dear mum has made. These are samples for good friend Rohaya's collegues for the upcoming Chinese New Year - traditional Pineapple Tarts & Cheezy Tart Worm.

So re-packed them into smaller containers so that more people can sample them (hehe ; )). Gave some to my boss on Monday for sampling too, in case she's looking for someone to make these. And coincidentally she is. But no obligations of course.

I went to town during lunch hour to check out a baking supplies shop. Surprisingly this shop sells the stuff at reasonable prices compared to another shop which is also in town. Furthermore, this place is very accessible, which is good so I don't have to rely on dear hubby to drive me. Spent about half an hour after checking their products & pricing, & got some really nice decorations for my goodies.

Bus-stop is within walking distance & while waiting for the bus to arrive, I look down the road & wondered if I should buy lunch as well. Cos the bus I'm taking will stop right in front of my office & where do I go to get my food? Down the road is Liang Seah St, where there is this well-known coffee-shop selling Chinese noodles and such. Halal of course & the food is great & cheap. Never tried to remember the name of the coffee-shop although been there so many times. It's located right opposite Swensen's Bugis Junction. Ordered take-away Lor Mee, without chilli, as the last time I ate it with spice my mouth felt as if I've undergone plastic surgery.

After work, went to get some baking supplies for my new 'creation'. Then waited for dear hubby to fetch since it's convenient for him (I assume). I don't mind driving myself tired since I'm OFF tomorrow.

Dear daughter will be going to school tomorrow after 3 days of resting due to flu last week.

Saturday, 20 January 2007


Busy working for the past few days. Gotta concentrate on my full-time job too you know besides baking. Sometimes I feel that not only my time but my brain has been divided into portions, where I have to think & do so many things at the same time. I need a holiday badly, really! If dear hubby should read this, pleasssssseeeee! TAKE ME FOR A HOLIDAY!

Anyways, back to reality.

Got a wedding to attend to; it's hubby's cousin where my daughter & her cousin get the chance to be flower girls for the bride & groom. The wedding started at 2pm so once we reached there & had our stomach filled with delicious Nasi Minyak, went straight to the preparation room to get dear daughter ready.

Almost ready, getting the make-up on & taking pics with dear cousin aka her best friend.

Group pic & at the stage where all eyes are focused.
Dear daughter cried on stage cos I think she couldn't manage to see me around & there were a whole lot of people gathering nearby when the bride & groom came in. But she managed to brave herself & enjoyed taking pictures with everyone after that.
Since this has been a long day for the kids, both of them went to lala land before 10pm after vomitting, due to the neverending cough they had for the past week already.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

More Custard Fruit Tartlets

Did more of the Custard Fruit Tartlets for dear mum as she complained that I put too little fruits the last time.

So tried to impress her by slicing in fresh strawberries, kiwis, peaches & grapes this time. She said this is better (of course lah!).
She brought home 12 pcs & left the rest for my dear hubby to bring to work.
Later at night, did a mother-daughter project in decorating dear daughter's room window with jelly-like stickers.

Quite expensive (I think) for just a few pieces. Anyways will try to look more of these at 'pasar-malam'.

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Departure of the MV Gothernberg

Today was the day the Swedish "Pirate ship" sailed off. It was berthed at VivoCity for the past 2 weeks.

To mark its departure which was at 2pm, it shot 8 canon shots as a tribute & all ferries / ships passing by the HarbourFront Centre has been advised to give way to the ship.

It was indeed a beautiful ship, just that I didn't have the chance to take a closer look while it was berthed at VivoCity. Admission to view the ship was $10 per entry.

Nevertheless, managed to get a (unclear) shot at HarbourFront Centre Departure Hall.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Hubby's coming home

Cooked Asam Pedas Ikan Pari today for dear hubby, who is coming back from Australia after 2 weeks. Although he'll only arrive at night, he can enjoy his Asam Pedas tomorrow for lunch. Finally home-cooked food!

Just lazing around & relax, although I feel an itch to bake something - Lemon Cake - in particular. But too lazy to go to the store to get flour. Then dear daughter said she wanted to eat doughnuts. Now wondering should I go to Four Leaves??

The sky is clear, the rain has stopped but laziness got the better of me. While I pen this down, let me consider whether or not to go out at all. Afterall, I am going to the airport later to fetch dh. Don't want to waste my 'energy' going out twice *read excuses*.

Maybe I'll just enjoy the rest of the Saturday afternoon staying at home, clean up the room a bit, spend some time being silly with the kids & enjoy my cuppa with yesterday's Banana Nut Muffins (gonna heat some up). Hmmmm, good idea!

Planned to take a bus down to the airport but ended up taking a cab instead as dear daughter said, "It's night time oredy ummi." Initially I didn't want to go at all as I was feeling quite lazy, but dd likes the idea of sending & fetching her father to & from the airport.

He didn't get that much stuff from this trip, just little somethings for everyone eg: nougat, chocolates, T-shirts for the kids & himself.

From the Arrival Hall, went to Popeye's first to get some late dinner as it has been quite a while since I had the Cajun fries & mashed potato.

When we got home, dear son who was asleep woke up & was so thrilled to see Walid back. Lucky he was able to go back to sleep soon after that cos I've got to work tomorrow.

We all had an early night as it has been a long tiring day for all of us. Good to have you back baby!

Friday, 12 January 2007

ChildCare Leave & Banana Nuts Muffins

Dear daughter has been down with fever since 10th Jan, so she has been absent from school for 3 days now. Yesterday her form teacher called me up just to check on 'Ufairah.

Today, her fever has subsided but she's still down with cold. Dear son has the cold too since yesterday evening. Wanted to bring them to the clinic after but the rain has been 'cranky' - rain, stop, rain.... So decided to bring them this morning, hoping that the weather will be better.

It has been raining since morning. With the help of my mother (who travelled from the western part of the island to northeast), brought the kids for a check-up. When it comes to the children's health, there is absolutely no compromise. Therefore I had to apply for ChildCare Leave. Thanks to my understanding boss, she approved despite today being 'operations day'. If it was just one of the kids being ill, I wouldn't take the leave but 2 kids.... I don't think my domestic help can handle both. Just yesterday, she had forgotten to give dear daughter her medicine.

Anyways, decided to try out Layla's recipe Banana Almonds Muffins while the kids are asleep. Instead of using only almonds, I've added a mixture of walnuts & hazelnuts. The result is simply yummy, especially since it's raining. Fresh & hot muffins from the oven with a cuppa *slurp* mmmm..........
Banana Nuts Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
113g butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sliced almonds (toasted)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Stir in sliced almonds.
2) Mash bananas. In a mixer, blend bananas, melted butter, milk, eggs & vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring only until just blended. Do not overmix, otherwise the muffins will not be well risen. Fill muffin cups.
3) bake for about 18-22minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Let stand several minutes before transfer to wire rack.
Note: Yields 12 large muffins
Gave some to dear mom as a gratitude for coming all the way & for my lazy brothers at home to enjoy.

I'll probably catch on sleep as dear son couldn't sleep well last night due to the cough. He even vomitted twice. I really hope the kids will get better soon, so they'll not be so cranky.

P.S: Dear hubby will be back tomorrow. Planning to cook Assam Pedas ikan pari.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Ikea & my 'new' PC

It was a rainy day. Waited for the school bus with dear daughter, armed with umbrellas. School bus came unexpectedly 5 mins early despite the rain. I had expected the bus to come later. Mum is coming over, hoping to catch 'Ufairah before school but mum was just about 5 mins late. It was good also that 'Ufairah didn't see her grandma otherwise she might not want to go to school.

I was contemplating whether or not to proceed with the plan to go to Ikea Tampines. Didn't really need to go there, just wanted to see the place & maybe get some containers / boxes for the kids' storybooks. It was still raining so it was perfect weather to be indoors. Mum suggested that I bake Baked Potatoes if we are not going.

As soon as dear son wakes up, got him dressed & off we went. Had our lunch first as it was already 12pm. Fed Zinedine fries & apple pie as he can get cranky when he's hungry. Then we shopped around & it was good that Zinedine was asleep throughout, otherwise he would want to walk around as well.

So I got 2 plastic boxes for the books, some ribbons & a money plant for the house. Took a taxi back as Mum wanted to see dear daughter getting off the bus after school. Furthermore, it was still raining.

Reached my block at about 2.30pm & 5mins later, 'Ufairah's bus arrived. She was happy & surprised to see her grandma of course. Lucky she didn't ask about our shopping trip, otherwise she might not want to go to school tomorrow, knowing that we were out & about while she's in school.

Got my CPU back in the evening. I can 'see' the difference; it was like having a new PC altogether. My friend helped to install all the necessary & extras. It was worth it. Will take more care with the PC from now on.

Monday, 8 January 2007

On leave

On leave today to monitor dear daughter's school transport timing & to check whether she is getting on well with 2nd day of school. From the look of it she is definitely enjoying school. So now it is only a matter of her getting used to the new situation & making some new friends.

Spent the day lazing around with crossword puzzle & watching TV, with no CPU for me to connect to the web (it's under service).

Tried baking Fruit Cake using MIL recipe. Wasn't that successful as the fruits didn't spread equally. So no pics. Will try next time when dear hubby is around to drive me to the store for more ingredients. Overall taste is good.

Spent the rest of the day with the kids & getting dear daughter to sleep early for tomorrow. Spent 1 1/2hrs entertaining her constant queries. Didn't sleep until 11.30pm.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Boring Saturday

Spent the weekend at mum's in Choa Chu Kang, as I've got my brothers there to keep dear daughter entertained.

Spent Saturday at home, lazing around & watched "Happy Feet" DVD. Great movie! Thought of going out & shop to get some fresh air but I was feeling a little down... bored. Dear hubby is not in town due to work in Wollonggong, Australia. Will only be back next week. His boss is always sending him off on 'strategic' dates like after Hari Raya Puasa, & this time on New Year's night & due to this, he missed dear daughter's first day at school. I have no exact words to describe his boss.

As promised (to mum), I baked brownies using Betty Crocker's mix, given by a colleague after Christmas. I was happy to receive it at first, until she said,"You can try baking using this next time & share with the rest of the guys." Did she think I baked brownies using instant mix? Oh my goodness... It didn't cross my mind that my colleagues thought that I used instant brownie mix, when I gave them brownies for the Christmas gift exchange. I thought they would know it was home-baked!

Oh well, they did say it was delicious though. (sigh!)

The brownies (above) taste too sweet, although it was soft & nice. Gave some to my aunt as there were plenty. Spent the rest of the day surfing the web. Such a boring day & boring entry.

Friday, 5 January 2007

First day of school

Dear daughter still looked sleepy when I woke her up at 8.30am, all thanks to the late night. She was cranky when asked to get washed & dressed. She even refused to eat her breakfast of cheese sandwich & only insisted on having her hot Milo.

She was due for her school bus pick up at 10am. So by 9.45am she was all ready to go. She wanted to bring along a book, so I reminded her that she has to remember where she puts it in school so that she could bring it back home after school.

Her school bus came at exactly 10am (she starts at 11am & finishes at 2pm). She was all calm & even waved goodbye. I am so proud of her! Looking at her so confident & calm about school tells me that she is mentally prepared for this. Afterall, she's been asking me about her school since last month. I didn't tell her I'll be at the school to watch her. So after she left, I made my own way there.

The school bus reached the school at 10.45am. The kids are brought out of the bus by the teachers & are asked to line up in two before they are brought in. At the entrance, the children's hands & tongue are checked for HFMD (hand, foot & mouth disease). They are all lead into the holding area for the national anthem & doa.

I went in to check on her. She's just sitting down & reciting what the teachers are singing & saying. Too bad there are boys around her, otherwise she would have made some girl friends instantly. This went on for an hour before they were brought into their respective classroom. Dear daughter is in class Caribbean 2. By the looks of it, she is handling everything very well. So at about 12 noon, I left the school & hope that she will be alright & enjoy herself for the next 2 hours.

While I was attending to dear daughter in school, my brother did me a favour by delivering ladym76's cheesecups to Bowen Secondary School. Then I had to exchange dear son's sandals for another size in Tampines Mall. Mom & mother-in-law did some shopping while we were there.

After sending MIL home, went to Newton to buy wedding novelty containers for a friend's wedding this April. He had asked for 200 pcs of goodies for his guests (mind you, these 200 pcs are an addition to the existing 1000pcs he had ordered). After that went home to find out how dear daughter's day was at school.

She did enjoy herself but didn't talk too much about it, except that I saw she was very hungry in the late afternoon. She admit she was hungry, as she only had 2 sandwiches in school. Moreover, she didn't have any breakfast before she left in the morning. Poor her! And she did forget her book in school. Will check with her teacher on Monday.

Oh, what a day.... I even had to postpone an appointment with a friend today. Had to make it up to her on Monday, since I'll be on leave again.

P.S: Met Nadya aka sweetpiecupcake at Iman.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Five hours after work

I rushed home today, despite the heavy rain, as I need to get my PC ready for servicing & also to prepare 24 cups of cheesecakes (a dozen Oreo & a dozen Blueberry) for ladym76 aka Marlina from Multiply. On top of that, I have to get dear daughter to sleep early for her first day of school tomorrow at Iman Kindergarten.

An ex-colleague was kind enough to assist me with my PC as I've been having problems installing my anti-virus CD-rom for the past week. Have been contacting him (or rather bothering him) to guide me through but oh what the heck; just get the whole PC serviced since it's been 2 years I've been using it. So I'll be PC-less for the next few days.

ladym76 aka Marlina requested for a total of 24 cheesecups to be delivered to Bowen Secondary School tomorrow morning, to be shared with her collegues during their staff meeting. I hope she & her friends will enjoy the cheesecups.

Blueberry & Oreo Cheesecups

Dear daughter is still watching TV at 12.30am. I hope she won't get cranky in the morning & will be cooperative when the school bus fetches her at 10am. Most important of all, I hope she won't cry & will enjoy herself. I try hard not to show her my anxiety so that she will feel relaxed on her first day of school, but deep inside I'm worried for her.

Although it was a tough pregnancy when I carried her, she has always been an easy baby to handle. Even now at three years old. She has always been independant & easy-to-get-along, & makes new friends easily. I guess those qualities are my reassurance. Well, I just have to hope & pray that school will be a smooth journey for her, Insyaallah.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Last minute request

Last night while I was surfing the net & uploading pics into my multiply, received a request from "mypurpleyes" aka effa for a whole M&Ms Brownie. After much queries, she was asking if it was possible to have it today. I wasn't sure if I can bake & prepare it in time for her initially, as I need some time to let the choc fudge to set properly. Afterall, it was already 10pm+.

But after much thought & since I won't be working today, it should be OK for me to doze off a little later. Effa mentioned that if it was not possible, she would like to order it on the 14th instead. But she's already in her last trimester (ie: 8 months pregnant) & I do not wish her not to taste the M&Ms Brownie before giving birth. So I did my best, and here it is.....

M&Ms Brownie

While I am penning this down, Effa has already collected her brownie. I hope she will enjoy it (again).