Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Before it gets forgotten, I like to post this as an appreciation to my pal who invited me to his mum's house for some zongzi (粽子) lesson.

Thanks SC, I finally fulfilled my long time daunting wish to make my own dumpling!

The expert at work!

Line up of the stars!

Even their domestic helper can make chang!  I want her!

My generous host kept asking me to add more more more meat!

That's me - needed extra hand to make the cut.

After 2 hours of wrapping, they are ready for boiling.
So nostalgic, i remembered my grandma used to utilise the space in the corridor too.

enjoy the fruit after another few hours of boiling.  Yummy, really.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Spiced Nuts (Improved)

After the realising how easy (and tasty) is home-made nuts, I have been a little obsessed and been making them quite alot.  In the process, I fine tuned the amount of spices to add, and glad that this is now perfect for me!

One neat trick thing I learnt is that a little egg white will make the spices and whatsoever (salt, sugar blah blah blah) to "stick" to the nuts.  Simply lightly froth half an egg white and pour it into the mixture before sending off the nuts into the oven makes so much difference!

Updated with the recipe @ Jun 25:

Spiced Nuts
(Fills 3-4 jars)

1-2 tbs vegetable oil (preferably Olive)
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 star anises
3 cup of raw almonds (or any other nuts like cashew)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp each of powdered chilli, cumin and cinnamon spices
1/2 - 1 white, lightly beaten with fork until it froth - no need for mixer.  


1. Heat the oven to 160 deg C.

2. Heat oil in a wok together with cinnamon stick and star anises. When you smell the fragrance, turn off the fire and add salt and sugar. Add the raw nuts, stirring well to ensure even coverage.  When the mixture and wok is cool (important cos you do not want to cook the egg white), add the egg white and mix it evenly.  You may not need all the egg white.

3. Scatter powdered spices over the nuts & stir for even coverage.

4. Place nuts on an oven tray, spreading them out. Roast for 15 minutes or so. Keep a close eye on them as they burn easily.

5. Switch off the oven but leave nuts inside for another 5min. Remove and allow nuts to cool before storing them in clean jars. The nuts will harden upon cooling.

6. Wrap a Christmassy ribbon round the neck of the jars and you have a healthy gift to give away this season

Note: While honey or maple syrup may make the powdery spices "sticks" to the nuts, it will get very sticky (read: messy) as you eat.  Using egg white is a safer cleaner bet.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Foodie @ Alkaff Mansion

It's been a long 8-9 years since Alkaff Mansion was closed for renovation.  I remembered i wanted to hold my wedding there but gave up the idea cos money no enough then!

Perhaps that the reason why this place holds a special place in my heart; when I read about the reopening of the restaurant, I made a date.

Deja-vu...  Fort Canning?

this is a speaker in disguise!

Beautiful courtyard

the restaurant entrance?  You wait in style while the staff get your table ready.

This is a starter, on the house.  Can't remember the name but very tasty

fresh warm bread... complimentary too.

buddy's starter - Scampi

Mine - Pan Fried Mozarella with Parma Ham.  Thumbs up... you can hardly go wrong with anything ham & cheese!  

The cold cuts room in the middle of the restaurant where the ham and cheese are aged and stored.

a elegantly quiet place!

Pan seared Cod Fish
Grilled Baby Chicken - very well marinated!

Caramelized Almond Semifreddo with coffee sauce.  I could hardly eat anymore but just had to have a sweet ending!

nothing is done till the coffee is served!

Not cheap but compared to many fine dining like Ku Da Ta & Sky 57, this is affordable!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Oreo Cupcake

I think this is the first cake since I am back to Singapore almost a year ago.
Glad I did cos this recipe is simple yet yummy...  Any Oreo lover shouldn't miss this.


250g butter
1 cup sugar (I reduced by 3tbsp)
2 cups self rising flour - sift
1 tsp baking powder – sift (I used double action cos that's what I have)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
8~10 oreos – crushed (with the cream)


  1. Whisk butter, sugar, self raising flour, baking powder, eggs and vanilla essence for 2 mins.. dont overbeat ok..
  2. Stir in ur crushed oreos and thats it.. 
  3. Pipe batter into cupcakes casing
  4. Baked in preheated oven of 170C for abt 10 to 15mins

Ready to go!
I added a piece of Oreo before topping it up with batter.

Source: Bisous A Toi

Initially I wasn't sure of beating every thing up together.  I was thinking about the gluten etc that will make the cake tough, but all work out in the end.
Crushing the Oreo is probably the messiest part if you are chopping by hand. You get crumbs all over the place and cleaning up is no fun.  Well, not unless you have a domestic help.  I don't have 1, so I do it in the food processor which is alot easier!
I baked to try out this thingy! *LOL*

If you are still skeptical about the method, here's another recipe that I have bookmarked for the longest time.  It takes a bit more work though...