Rainbow Cakes at Nom

2 weeks ago, we went to Nom Cafe at Macpherson Community Club to celebrate Lee Lee’s birthday.

It is quite a cosy place which serves decent food at reasonable prices. There is also a small play area for kids with a slide. Really love kid friendly restaurants like these as kids can get really restless sitting at the table for too long. Just a simple small play area like that is really helpful for parents to chill and chat and the kids have something they enjoy doing too.

But the highlight of Nom Cafe to me is really their rainbow cakes. They have a variety of rainbow cakes …… Chocolate rainbow, salted caramel rainbow, rainbow cheesecake. Rainbow cake is usually just pretty to look at but just simple sponge cake layered with cream between each layer. But the rainbow cakes here are so much more exciting and delicious and they look good too. We got a slice of the salted caramel one and the cheesecake. Both were really pretty and tasted good too. Luv it when food looks good and tastes good too! Worth every calorie and and cent too 🙂 And the best is when it’s eaten in the  company of lovely people! Luv birthdays……a time to gather and explore new places to eat.

   

       

Papa’s birthday cake – Matcha cake improved!

For my dad’s birthday, I decided to give this matcha recipe from allrecipes one more try. I decided to do the matcha cake again for the following reasons.

  1. I still had green tea powder left
  2. We were going to a Japanese restaurant (Rakuzen@Tampines) for his birthday dinner and a matcha cake would be in line with the cuisine
  3. I wasn’t totally satisfied with the one I did for Nami’s birthday. I felt that the green tea flavour was not strong enough and it was much too sweet for my liking. So this time, I drastically reduced the sugar and increased the amount of green tea powder.

The result: Yumz!!  I enjoyed the cake a lot, which I was surprised, cos I seldom enjoy cake so much. I have more of a savoury rather than sweet tooth. I also like eating it as a loaf cake without any icing.

Here is the revised recipe which is certainly a keeper and one which I will use again! The method remains the same.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 teaspoons green tea powder (up from the original 4)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (down from original 1 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt

For the icing, I also adjusted the amounts slightly as I did not need so much since I would not be doing a layered cake.  I also wanted it less sweet with a stronger green tea flavour.

  • 1 teaspoon vanila extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoon green tea powder
  • 1 table spoon butter
  • 2 ounce cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon milk
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Daniel always joins the cake cutting and candle blowing even when it is not his birthday!

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Zixuan (Pris’ bf) also shares the same birthday as my dad!

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Rare big family shot!

Celebrating our 8th Valentine’s Day

We had a simple dinner at Museo at Sentosa Cove. It was my first time at Sentosa Cove and it is quite a lovely and quiet place. Sentosa has always been a special place for us as this is the place where we first met and got to know each other during a church youth camp.

It was a Mon night (17 Feb). We chose not to celebrate on the actual day itself as it would cost so much more to eat out on that day. Also, the last week had been pretty hectic for both of us at work.  I had purchased a Museo groupon deal so we had good food at a nice place and at a reasonable cost. Ivan had cod fish and I had steak. As it was a Monday night, it was pretty quiet at the restaurant and we were able to enjoy nice view and ambience.

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There is much to be thankful for as we celebrate our 8th valentine’s together. 8 years together is not a very long time, but it is still a significant amount of time to have shared your life with someone. We are grateful to the Lord for bringing us together and for His grace that has kept us through the ups and downs of life the past 8 years. We are thankful for the shared experiences and look forward to more to come as we continue to journey together as a couple and family.

It was nice to have some quiet moments we can spend as a couple, though it was only for about 2 hours before we had to hurry to my parent’s place to pick up Daniel and bring him home. After dinner, we had some yummy gelato from Note di Sicilia and took a leisurely walk along the waterfront admiring the lovely yachts parked at the marina. It was a simple yet special moment to remember – just enjoying each other’s company and being away from the hustle and bustle of life for a while. I really enjoyed the tranquility of the night especially after a long and hectic day at work.

 

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First lovely meal of the new year

Went for our first lovely restaurant meal of the year last Sunday (5 Jan) at one of our favourite restaurants – Ichiban.

Had been unwell for the past 2 weeks and fish soup/noodle soup/porridge have become my staples. So, to me, this Sukiyaki I had at ichiban was like such a treat. Still battling a slightly sore throat and cough, so decided to still go with the soupy option. But I really enjoyed this meal soooooo much. It was warm, comforting and full of flavour. I have been here many times and eaten this dish many times. But somehow, it really felt exceptionally good today. A nice break from the fish soup/noodle soup/porridge!

sukiyaki

 

Christmas cookoff

This is a much belated post but one that I must definitely do!

Christmas 2013 was spent with cell group. This year, we had a food/cooking competition. It was a potluck format where everyone had to bring a dish, with the option of either cooking it or buying it from somewhere. Each person got to pick an invitation card with a specific food category (eg. Meat, dessert, veg) that they had to prepare. The dish also had to be in line with the theme Christmas/Western. There would be prizes for Best Chef and Most popular dish so as to recognize efforts to cook as well as effort to source out and bring a really tasty dish.

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What was amazing was that 90% of the dishes were cooked with love by our cell members. A lot of effort went into each and every one of the dishes. Most of the time these days for potluck, we just da bao something out of convenience. Guess the competitive element helped to motivate us all to cook something. I like what one of them said – that he would rather attempt something and have it fail rather than just simply buy something. And it turned out that his dish was quite a hit! So the event was a successful one because everyone participated. The dish that was bought were really good too!

Cell cookoff 2

christmas cookoff

The food category that I picked was vegetable!! Not my favourite food and not easy to make it shine ….. how to win with a vegetable dish?? Nonetheless, I tried my best and was quite pleased that I managed to do a yummy coleslaw – almost like the one at KFC. My dish did not win but it was quite palatable and enjoyable and I was happy with it 🙂 I used this recipe. There was a lot of love that went into it for sure! Was quite sick during that week and had contemplated abandoning the dish. But decided to do it anyway donning a mask and all. Glad I managed to pull off quite a pleasant dish in the end.

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My husband won the best chef. He picked meat and chose to do ribs. Good choice! It was a winner! Not bad considering that this is the first time he is cooking ribs.

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After lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon exchanging gifts and chillaxing over card games.

What a lovely Christmas day spent with my spiritual family!

Cell cookoff 1

Popiah Party

Popiah has been a regular dish at my family dinner table since I was young. My grandma used to make it for family dinner from time to time. After she stopped cooking, my mum has continued with this tradition. So a few times a year, this will be a meal for us which we all enjoy and always look forward too. Ivan and I have tried doing popiah by ourselves for a gathering about 5 years ago, but it was not too successful. Decided to have another go at it for our Nov birthday gathering for Nov babies – Ivan, Xinyi and Daniel. So once again, I got the recipe from my mum). This is the recipe that my family has been using to make delicious popiah all this while. This time round, we were quite successful and it was quite well-received by our guests.

Ingredients (for about 8 pax)

1. 3 medium sized turnips

2. 2 medium carrots

3. 2 bunches of Chinese lettuce

4. 1 cucumber

5. 6 eggs

6. 1/2 kg prawns

7. 4 medium tau kwa

8. 100 gm beansprouts

9. Parsley

10. Chopped nuts (readily grinded ones are available at supermarket)

11. 5 chillis

12. 1-2 garlics

13. Tao chio (We use the one with the picture of a green urn which can only be found in wet markets)

14. Sweet black sauce (We use the one with yellow cap and manufactured by Sin Ngee Seng)

15. Sugar

16. Salt

17. 30-40 pieces of popiah skin (We usually use frozen ones from NTUC – cheap and good! Or can be bought from shops selling popiah too but this is much more expensive from $16 onwards per kg. This time, we found some at a dry goods shop in the market at $11/kg but I found them to be a little dry.)

Main preparation for popiah is to cook the turnip. The rest of the ingredients are quite easy to prepare.

Method for cooking turnip:

1. Shred the turnip. (This takes quite a while depending on how good your equipment is!)

2. Peel the prawns and keep the shells for the stock. Set the prawns aside for later use.

3. Fry the prawns and about 500 ml water to prepare the prawn stock. Let it simmer for a while. Set the stock aside for later use.

4. Fry 2 tablespoon garlic with oil.

5. Add 3 tablespoons tau chio and fry.

6. Add prawn stock.

7. Add shredded turnip.

8. Stir and balance the taste with sugar and salt.

9. Cover the wok and stir occasionally till the turnip is soft.

Method for the rest of the popiah ingredients:

1. Eggs – Hard boil them and slice them.

2. Prawns – fry with some garlic and dice them.

3. Cucumber – remove centre and skin and shred.

4. Tau kwa – slice into strips and fry.

5. Beansprouts – Blanch them in boiling water.

6. Chilli paste – Blend the chilli into a chili paste.

7. Garlic – Blend/Mince till fine.

To roll and wrap the popiah:

1. Lay out the skin

2. Put a piece of lettuce

3. Spread sweet sauce, chilli and garlic onto skin/lettuce

4. Add all the popiah ingredients

5. Top with turnip

6. Wrap and roll!

To wrap and roll a nice popiah requires skill  …… which even after making for so many years, my skill is far from perfect! Some tips: Too much filling will cause it to burst easily. It also helps to drain the turnip so that it is dry and will not cause the skin to break easily. Having a sharp knife to cut the popiah also helps.

Birthday date at Dozo

This is our second time back at Dozo. The first time was on Valentine’s Day in 2011. Obviously the food was good enough for us to decide to come back a second time. It was the birthday boy’s choice. He has been wanting to come back again for some time and we finally had the chance.

This time we came for lunch. Dozo serves French-Jap fusion food. For lunch, they serve a 6 course lunch and for dinner 7 course. Diners get to select from various options for each course. Here’s a glimpse of what we ate.
My favourite for the night were the escargots and the crab bisque which were really yummy and rich in flavour. Ivan of course ordered the lava cake which he loves and which has since set the benchmark for all other lava cakes!

Complimentary drinks to start off the 6 course lunch:

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First course for me and him:

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2nd course: Escargots for me and Soft shell crab for Ivan

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3rd course: I chose Crab Bisque and Ivan chose Clam soup.

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Fourth course: My duck and his Kurubuta Pork.

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5th course: Matcha ice-cream and Lava cake

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6th course: Ice Fruit tea

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After that, we went to catch Thor:The dark world. Pretty much enjoyed the movie though it was more of Ivan’s kind of movie.

Dozo Restaurant

#02-02/03, Valley Point Shopping Centre, 491 River Valley Road