Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lychee Coconut Lime Sorbet



Now what does lychee, lime and coconut have in common?

I'd say sorbet! Madness, isn't it?

It sounds like a crazy combination of different fruits from all the different taste groups! You've got sweet, citrus and coconutty-ness blended together in a bowl.

When I first dipped my finger into the mixture, the thing that immediately struck was how similar this tastes to Pina Colada. Slurp!

(Next time I'm going to add me some rum!)

I was quite intrigued when I read the recipe and thus decided to give it a go, despite a nose that threatened to drip an eternity. It was a fuss free and relatively easy to put together. You don't even need to churn it. All you need is a blender and a baking tin? Easy as ABC.

However, you must note that home made ice cream has no preservatives and so it melts a lot quicker than any commercial branded one. So this has to be consumed ASAP. It probably doesn't help that it's summer too.  =p

Bon Appetit!


Here's the recipe!

Ingredients
Lychee Coconut Lime Sorbet
1 can of lychees
220g of caster sugar
500ml coconut milk
80ml of lime juice

Steps
Drain the lychees and place the syrup and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
Stir till the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and bring to boil, then cook for 2 minutes
Set aside and leave to cool completely.

Place the coconut cream, lychees, lime juice and cooled syrup in a blender and blend till smooth.

Pour it out to a 20x30cm metal tine lined with baking paper (make sure there is extra hanging outside the tin) and freeze for 4 hours or until set.

To consume, you have the option to remove the sorbet and cut it into squares and then blend it till smooth. OR do what I do, use an ice cream scoop to scoop it out into cups to enjoy pronto. Add berries for added accompaniments.





Sunday, July 28, 2013

Easy Like Sunday Morning


I love the Sunday that we just had with the kids.

It was a hectic Saturday past with the husband and I running different duties. And the next few weekends are packed to the brim with activities. Thus, it makes today rather special in a normal way.

1. Brunch at good old Artichoke. That's a lamb shashouka, terribly yummy! 2. Kids playing car racing on the grounds of sculpture square 3. Kate trying to revive a deflated balloon at the Art Market. 4. This poor duckie wasn't working. 5. We bought a new board book that describes items in dialects like Hokkien. My little gal cannot resist flipping through it. 6. Furniture shopping took a new twist when they found an arm chair their size! Little K went, "Can someone please paint my nails?" 7. Whilst the husband and I took a short arvo nap, the kids self entertained with a game of monopoly. I'm sure they invented their own rules but that's the fun of growing up, isn't it? 8. The night ended with a story on dino poop. Never thought I'd see the day when I have to read stories like this! 

Hope you've had a good weekend! It's almost August!! =)

Friday, July 26, 2013

And So Another Year Begins!


When they said once you cross 21, time will fly, they didn't mention that the thirties are like a rocket blasting off into space.

So I turned a year older, yesterday, and for once I wasn't feeling grouchy or mopey on the actual day! =) I totally attribute it to the glorious cup of coffee at my favourite coffee store in the whole world. It always starts my day right. My girl friend was suggesting that one should recite 5 to 10 things to be grateful for every morning to start their day, and I said I don't need to do that because I always have a cup (or two!) of coffee to look forward to! Plus, it being my birthday I was gifted with a cup of 5 ounce! =)

The rest of the day just went by as normal can be. As a treat (to her), the husband dropped the little one off at school so I had some time to myself before picking my boys up from school. I have learnt along the years that normality is always a good thing. A blessing to actually have a routine to follow. 

One of the best parts of my birthday occurred just before I was out with my gals for drinks the night prior. I overheard my eldest telling his brother, "Jake, it's Mummy's birthday tomorrow so try not to make her angry." It was very much to my amusement, because it's funny how grown up these kids are these days! Sometimes I cannot believe how long we've been at this parenting gig! 

The husband was all sneaky (again!) with his dinner plans. Whilst we were having coffee, he was asked where we were going for dinner and he proudly declared, "The best in SG! 328 Laksa!" Lol! Before being bombarded that Tian Tian Chicken rice did have an equal footing as well! 

He sweetly bought a cake back so we could celebrate with the kids before leaving for dinner. Look at the face of my little girl who LOVES birthday celebration more than anything in this world!! She kept rushing me to get dolled up quicker and held the knife throughout. 


After the cake cutting and candle blowing, he took me on a roundabout ride to Sentosa! And that was where we had probably one of the best dining experiences in Singapore. 

It totally deserves a post on its own. 

PS: Thanks for all the birthday wishes, everyone!! It was very heartwarming receiving them all day!! xx

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jamie's Italian

The husband managed to get us a reservation at Jamie's Italian which, hey hey!, has officially opened on our fair shores about a week ago! After hearing rave reviews of his namesake restaurants in London, we were very excited to be one of the lucky first to taste test their food on their preview night.
Located at Vivocity, the restaurant faces an amazing view of the harbour. The first thing that stood out for me was the gorgeous warehouse like fit out. Complete with mismatched furniture, it certainly didn't feel like it was in a mall at all. (I may or may not have stolen a few decor ideas from there.)

It was all smiles once we stepped in and we were immediately asked if we would like a drink to start. Not bad at all. However, it was where it kinda stopped because right after that, the service whilst friendly was rather erratic. Our server took our orders for mains three times, which was rather frustrating and baffling because each time, the order was taken using a mobile pos machine. It was frustating in a way too because she kept smiling through it all, so whilst we are mad, it's hard to really express our displeasure. 

She also had a peculiar style of friendliness. At some point during the dinner, I was poked when she wanted my attention. My gf was wrapped up in her arms when she assured her that her forgotten risotto was coming. Strange service, indeed. We attributed it to nerves and didn't really made an issue out of it.







Food wise, we thought the stand out dishes were their pastas. Perfectly al dante and flavoursome. I had the prawn linguine which I thought was the best amongst those that were ordered. The fish plank was also pretty delicious, complete with a tasting selection of

Our mains totally fell flat. The lamb chops were cooked well done. The burger was pretty dry and we, unfortunately didn't touch it after the first bit. This was picked up by one of the team members and she politely decided that it would be taken off the bill. The veal steak also didn't leave much of an impression. =(


I think we were quite relieved when it was time for desserts. Fortunately, we enjoyed most of what we ordered. The tiramisu was nicely moist and well balanced with the espresso and amaretto in check. The sorbets tasted really homemade with a lighter touch of sugar. It was a lovely way to close the night.

 In spite of the food, we did end up having a good night out with our friends. The casual ambience of the restaurant makes it easy for us to linger around and catch up. As for a return visit, we might just wait till the restaurant solves its teething issues before we come back. =)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Orange Poppy!


I don't know about you but I love any kind of pastry that has poppy seeds in them! There is something about a slice of orange poppy seed cake. (I'm also very partial to the lemon version!)

So this morning, I woke up feeling an urge to bake something. And I had the perfect recipe in my head. 

An Orange Poppy Seed Cake! 

Just happened that I had all the necessary ingredients, and so this was what I whipped up! It didn't take long at all. In fact, it was a fairly fuss free cake. I used a Donna Hay recipe and adapted the icing at the end.  And if you would like something that is not too difficult to bake and is fairly economical too, I'd totally have this on the list.

The cake turned out to be mildly citrusy, coupled with a generous dash of orange syrup, makes it the perfect tea time snack with a lovely green tea as a side. And if you have kids as cray cray for desserts like mine, you would know that this would disappear pretty quickly. =)


Here's the recipe.

  • Serves:Serves 8-10.

Ingredients


1/3 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
200g butter, softened
1 tablespoons orange rind, finely grated
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Syrup 
1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup shredded orange rind
1 orange, cut into round thin slices horizontally
Method
Preheat the oven to 160C. Place the poppy seeds and milk in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Place the butter, orange rind and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture and add the orange juice and poppy seed and milk mixture. Stir to combine and spoon into a 20cm round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper.

Bake for 55-60 minutes or until cooked; test with a skewer.

While the cake is cooking, make the syrup. Place the sugar, orange juice, orange slices and orange rind in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 5-6 minutes or until syrupy.


Pour half of the hot syrup over the hot cake. Once the cake has cooled down, decorate the orange slices on the top of the cake. To serve, cut the warm or cold cake into wedges and pour over the remaining syrup. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Waffles with Pinky



We wandered over to Strangers Reunion for a cuppa this morning because our favourite friendly neighbourhood coffee joint is closed for 10 days. 

My little tagalong, K, came along for the ride (her second of the day because she woke up with the boys and went along on the school run!). 

After asking us what's on the menu, she asked really nicely if Pinky the porcupine and her could have waffles, because Pinky LIKES waffles! I am not sure about you, but I find it very hard to say no when it was presented with a big sheepish smile and a pretty please.

What is it about 3 year old girls who are just filled with funny stories, tutu spins and big loads of warmth and cuddles? I thought to myself the other day how much I love my kids at this stage. And now that this is my third (and most likely last), it just makes it even more precious. Sigh. 

These kids, they really don't stay small for long. 

Playing With Flowers


It's been a while since the gals and I did something different (well, other than shopping and eating!)

So we managed to organize a day to attend a floral class by the lovely gals at Shop Wonderland! It was very last minute. I was cray cray busy last week and was only reminded that the class was on the day prior when R texted me! Gah! Thankfully, the Shop Wonderland girls were able to fit us all in!

Bright and early on Sunday, we all drove to the far end of the island to attend class at an industrial area.

Titled the "Overgrown Garden", we were presented with a gorgeous selection to play with. After a brief introduction to the foundations of this new style of arrangement, we all got to work. It was such a treat to work with this selections of beautiful blooms like peonies, hydrangeas, and mathildas! We even got to play with succulents. Most delighted!

And at the end of three hours, we finally have a have a lovely vase of flowers (in your own unique arrangement!) to bring home!

Loved spending times like this with the gals!

If you are interested in classes, you can check out their facebook page for more details. I can't guarantee you won't be tempted to sign up for one. =)

The gorgeous blooms

Step one!


Tadah! (check out Ms D's handiwork!)
Look at the size of those peonies! 


Work in progress
Ta-dah!


Isn't D's masterpiece beautiful? 

The end products

Happily showing off our blooms!

Friday, July 05, 2013

July Blessings

OMG it's July.

This year has been moving at warp speed that even I am having trouble reconciling the idea that six months has passed.

As usual, it's birthday month.

I'm not sure if it's hormones, or just the idea that it is time to grow a year older, or it's just a really bad habit to be grumpy during birthday month, or maybe school has just started OR MAYBE  it's a combination of 'em all but I'm not loving July. Yet.

Just yesterday I was counting all the things that were 'not right' in my world. I was pretty much mopey and got on with the day's program before turning in for the night without talking much at all.

And just when I thought today would be the same, I woke to an email saying that I've got a delivery on the way from a website that I had items in the shopping cart. Seriously, the first thing that came to my mind was "CREDIT CARD FRAUD!!" This was before I shook my blurry self up and checked that a purchase was made by the husband!

He sneakily bought me the bag that I initially wanted in the States. Just because.

I think in more ways than one, he knows when I need a pick me up.

Which leads me to really wake the f**k up and remember to smell the roses around me.

So here's what I wrote in my list!

#1 - I have everything I need.

I really do. I know sometimes I whinge in my head that I need this bag or I really need that dress. And then I get all mopey when I don't get it but really I do have a wardrobe (in 3 separate spaces) bursting at its seams. And if I ask really nicely, I know that the husband would normally give me what I want or heck it I can just buy it on my own. So tick! No more sookiness about material stuff.

#2 - My kids kinda rock.

Being around them day in day out does bring out some crazy moments in me but you know what? At the end of the day, no matter how their naughty antics make me mad, they still sit down and do their work whenever I ask them to, and they ask for permission before they attempt to do anything and they don't answer back. Which makes me feel bad that I yell at them at times when they get up to their mischief. So I'm learning to time manage them a little better so they can have more play time daily.

#3 - Little things make me happy

I don't need extravagant gestures to know that I have the love I need in this life to sustain me through. The husband after all these years still makes my eyes roll with all his inappropriately humorous words. His morning cuddles don't hurt as well. I look around the house and I see things that I love and enjoy like candles that I burn, pictures of our travels or even the kitchen that he designed so I can cook to my heart's desires.

#4 - Friends are gold

What's life without girl friends? I really don't know. What I know is.. there's always a bunch of gals that I can simply whatsapp in a moment's notice who will listen to whatever nonsense I come up with.

That's my whinge. And now I can hopefully move on to a more productive day.

TGIF, everyone. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

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