21st Party *~\o/~*

I’m never really one for throwing parties or holding events with the centre of attention being myself – this was actually my first birthday party that I can remember. But our exams were so close to my birthday this year that I couldn’t treat my friends for the incredible things that they got me and things that they did to celebrate this big milestone in my life with me, so what else can I offer but food I make from the heart?

I took a while to plan the menu, shopped and bought what felt like the entire supermarket and catering shop and then lived in the kitchen for a few days before the party. I’m not sure how to write this post – elaborating on every recipe would make this a novel hahaha and I didn’t even take a single photo of the food table!!! Not one!! Was too busy trying to make sure things were going well that I didn’t even take that many photos of my friends 😦 So I have no record of how the food looked like all laid out, except in my head.

Here’s what the menu looked like:

Savoury

  1. Penne Aglio Olio with bell peppers and mushrooms
  2. Salad with honey-balsamic dressing, feta, walnuts and cranberries
  3. Cold soba
  4. Egg Mayo Sandwiches (worst item on the menu, didn’t like it myself)
  5. 4 fingers chicken wings (catered; mum queued for so long for this, <3)
  6. Chicken pie ordered from my favourite shop in pasir ris, thanks dad for collecting it ❤
  7. Homemade salsa and tortilla chips (store bought)

Sweet

  1. White Chocolate Cheesecake
  2. Blueberry Apple Pie Bars
  3. Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting
  4. Cookies (Snickerdoodles and oatmeal raisin)

Drinks

  1. White wine sangria
  2. Assorted drinks which friends helped to buy (<3)

 

And I don’t really have photos of the food while baking too, so ahh this is just gonna be a garbled collection sorry :((

salad

Salad~

Blueberry Apple Pie Bars 1

Blueberry Apple Pie Bars

OatmealRaisinCookies_edited

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

snickerdoodles

 

More Snickerdoodles 🙂

Aaaand that’s all the photos I have. Argh pulls hairs out but no choice luh. But the planning process was equal doses of fun and exhausting, I planned out an exact schedule and stuck to it, and I smelled like cooked food for 12 hours or more a day. Hahaha

Thank you all friends & family for coming and for all your love, I love each and every one of you ❤ Thanks esp to my mum for all that you’ve done, my brothers for being there even tho Clement couldn’t come cause of army (arghhhhh army), Benz for buying me balloons, Dill for being my music and transport man, Dawn and Gw for coming earlier to help me set up ^^

Time to be a big girl now, with 21 years behind me :’) Here’s to even more amazing years ahead, I’m ready to be brave

Mini Bacon & Spinach Quiches

I’ve made quiches before for home ec class back in RG, crustless though. While testing recipes for the party, I made these bacon and spinach quiches which I really wanted to include in the menu but I couldn’t fit it into my prep schedule.

Making these were fun though! I love savoury food as much as sweet, but it’s harder to make savoury food that I can bring for people to try.

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Make-shift pie weights! Cheap, easy and can be re-used every time!

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ImageLoving how colourful they are! But the cups do take time to shape so ah maybe next time.Image

Excellent when lightly toasted so that the crust is flaky and crumbles in your mouth~

Shortcrust pastry (Pâte Brisée) Recipe

Originally from Simply Recipes (Link), re-written for those without a food processor below. If you do have a food processor, this recipe is slightly easier, but making pie crust without a food processor isn’t very difficult as well. Do head over to the simply recipes site if you do intend on making this with a food processor!

Yield: Makes 1 pâte brisée crust, enough for 1 9-inch tart. Double the recipe to make a pie with a bottom and top crust.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons sugar (increase to 1 1/2 tsps if making a sweet tart)
  • 113g (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold/frozen (If you don’t have a food processor, just stick the block of butter in the freezer without cutting it up into cubes)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Directions:

  1. Whisk flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. Take the frozen block of butter and grate it into the bowl containing the flour mixture. (This makes sure that the flour can be quickly incorporated with the butter before it starts getting warm, a big problem for hot and humid Singapore)
  3. Either use a large wooden spoon or your hands to cut the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles a course meal, with many butter pieces the size of peas, as per the picture below (Source: LivingWellSpendingLess). Uneven butter pieces are not a problem, they actually help make the crust more flaky (Y). I like using my hands for this because I feel like it helps me judge the texture of the mixture better, but sometimes when the weather is really warm, I place the bowl on a tray with a little ice water in it, and also leave a bowl of ice water and a towel next to me, where I can soak my hands to make them cold and dry them before cutting in the butter.coarse meal
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of ice cold water to the mixture and mix. Add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture just barely begins to clump together. Pinch some of the dough to check for readiness – if it holds together, it’s ready. If not, add a little more water and mix again. Try to keep the water to a minimum as too much water will make the crust tough.
  5. Tip the mixture from the bowl and place on a clean, smooth surface. For an extra flaky crust, you can press the heel of your palm into the crumbly mixture, pressing down and shmooshing the mixture into the table top. This is a French technique, called “fraisage”. (I tried this and it worked well!) Do this a few times, maybe 4 to 6 times, and it will help your crust be extra flaky.
  6. Then, use your hands to press the crumbly dough together and shape into a disc. Work the dough only enough to just bring the dough together. Do not over-knead or your crust will end up tough. You should be able to see little bits of butter, speckling the dough. When these bits of butter melt as the crust cooks, the butter will help separate the dough into flaky layers. So, visible pieces of butter are a good thing in the dough. Sprinkle the disc with a little flour on all sides. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (At this point you can freeze the dough disk for several months until ready to use. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding.)
  7. When you are ready to roll out the dough, remove the disk from the refrigerator and place on a clean, smooth, lightly floured surface. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to take just enough of a chill off of it so that it becomes easier to roll out. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 12 inch circle, to a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking.
  8. If making a pie, place the dough on to a 9-inch pie plate, lining up the fold with the center of the pan. Gently unfold and press down to line the pie dish with the dough.
  9. If making the mini quiches/pies, use any round cookie cutter of the right size to cut out pieces of the dough and place directly into the pie dishes.

To blind bake the crust:

  • Pre-heat oven to 218 degrees celsuis.
  • Place a piece of baking/parchment paper on the pie dough in the pie dish and fill it with pie weights (dry beans work just as well and definitely cheaper too). Make sure that they cover the bottom of the pie and press against the sides of the pie. The weights on the bottom will keep the pie from puffing up and the weights against the sides will keep the sides from sagging as the crust bakes.
  • Bake for 12-15 min until the edges are very lightly golden. Remove the crust(s) from the oven and remove the baking/parchment paper with the pie weights in them.
  • Put the crusts back in the oven and bake for another 5 min.

The quiche filling:

As for the filling, I didn’t really measure out the ingredients. Here’s what it consisted of:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Chopped fresh baby spinach
  • Bacon, fried
  • Swiss cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Layer the bacon, spinach and cheese in each/the quiche and pour the egg mixture over it. Bake at 170 degrees celsius for about 20min, or until the filling is set and golden.

Note: Next time I’ll try blanching the spinach first so that they look more cooked (wilted-y) instead of still holding their leaf shapes.

Okay that’s all!

In other news, I got a new stand mixer!! Show it off with a picture soon hahaha very very happy!!!! Thanks hotgang, as embarrassing as our name is ❤

 

Carrot Cake for Dad’s Birthday

Long time no update! The last week was a super intense week food-wise, my first time preparing food for about 40 for my 21st party ^^ will write about that in the next post, this post is about the carrot cake I made a couple of weeks ago for my dad’s birthday!

carrot cake 1

You’re getting old, dad!!

carrot cake ingredients

pre carrot cake

Hope you had a happy birthday and you’d probably never see this but I hope you know that our family loves you

carrot cake frosting
carrot cake slice

It was hard deciding what cake to make cause dad doesn’t like sweet stuff, but carrot is a savoury item right?

Cake evaluation: Substituted canola oil for melted butter because I didn’t have time to go out to buy it but that affected the texture I think, less ‘fluffy’ than it ought to be. I also try to use less sugar in my recipes but for this, use even less next time cause the carrots and the raisins made it so sweet! Cream cheese frosting was pretty good tho 🙂

 

Snickerdoodle Cookies!


Hello again!!

My first internship ended yesterday so I decided to bake for the people I met there! Made these Snickerdoodles, which were supposed to be for the people at the firm, mine and the junior batch of the LSIRC Exco, as well as for my wives but they disappeared so fast I’m sorry my Exco didn’t get to eat it!

But it’s okay we had so much food at the BBQ anyway, (which btw Doug’s house is freaking gorgeous I want to have a tree I can climb that’s sticking out in the middle of my balcony that’s bigger than half my current house!!!)

Kept some for my wives at our staycation 🙂 These girls have been with me since primary school, SY since p1, and I am so heartened to know that there are friendships that won’t change and will always stay no matter what.

small doodles 1No real nice photos cause I made the dough when I got home from (trying to) give tuition on thursday night, kept it in the fridge to develop its taste and texture and baked them at 6am on friday (ytd).

I say trying to give tuition cause there was this huge screw up with 190 where it didn’t arrive for more than 15 min when it usually needs to come every 2-3 min because that’s just how many buses it takes to accommodate the volume of people taking that bus from town. So I could only get on the 4th (!!!) bus that came afterwards, by that time the jam along the PIE was insane so I only got to my tutee’s place 1 hour later than I was supposed to and it was going to be her bedtime soon.

*mad**sad*

So I’m going to her place twice next week. And speaking of tuition, it really has been a challenge trying to juggle 2 tutees while interning but I’m glad I got through these 3 weeks unscathed and fighting 🙂

I’m glad I got through these 3 weeks unscathed and fighting 🙂 Internship was a real intense experience and I really learnt so much and am really thankful to have been given the opportunity.

doodles 2I’m really happy with how they turned out!! Soft, chewy and cinnamon-ey ahh ♥.♥

doodles 3They disappeared in the office so fast hahaha I was very happy they were so well received also hehe yayy thank you guys for showing lotsa enthusiasm ♥♥

Although the next time, I will – remember that sugar means both white and brown sugar.. and not only add brown sugar to it. And perhaps bake it at a higher temperature for a slightly shorter time. This time I mostly baked at 150 degrees celsius for 11-12min cause my oven is really prone to being too hot (stuff) but it was okay this time!

Got the main recipe from Ambitious Kitchen , and here’s the recipe below with my slight edits.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt used thickened cream because I had it and was lazy to head out to buy
  • For rolling mixture:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the butter continuously while the liquid butter begins to foam. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool. (Do this step first so that butter has time to cool and will not cook the eggs, rather than the other way round in the original recipe)
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer (I just whisked manually), mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt cream until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and whisk on low-speed just until combined.
  4. Chill your dough for 3 hours or as long as possible in the refrigerator (important!), or place in freezer for 30 minutes if you are super eager, although the same results cannot be promised. You want the dough VERY cold. If you desire a ‘puffy’ cookie, place them in the fridge overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Once dough is chilled measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Meanwhile mix 1/4 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. (Cookies will flatten out while baking)
  6. Bake the cookies 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Bake longer if you like crispier cookies. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yums that’s all! Just got back from the staycation (and omakase burger lunch omgahh friess and burger) and really sleepy now, gonna take a short nap before heading out for Mars’ party! Bye!!

The Tiramisu Hero Cafe & Windowsill Pies

Hello ! Happy Public Holiday haha cause Vesak Day doesn’t really mean that much to me hehe

I started my internship yesterday and it went great! Although I ran into a lot of technical problems with the computer but I got lots of help and it all worked out. I got quite a lot of research to do in the end, which I’m actually quite excited about continuing tomorrow! (ha ha, maybe I’m speaking too soon..) The people there are very accommodating and I’m glad there are q a few NUS friends there 🙂

So today’s post is about my day spent with joy last week at the Tiramisu Hero Cafe ! We then walked about 100m down the road to Windowsill Pies and continued pigging out :’D

090514_tiramisuheroaglioolio

Joy’s Aglio Olio was really quite yummy ! Though she spent some time picking out all the chilli in it, but I’d have loved it ! And, processing the photos is getting much faster now that I’ve grasped the basics of it. But so much more to learn though!!

Processing always reminds me of Chandler Bing

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Baked rice for me; I loved the curry and how spicy it was, but I’ve realised that baked rice is not really my thing.

/okay continue tmr, going for Comedy Masala’s last show at Home Club! They’re moving to a new venue next week~

090514_tiramisu

Go Tiramisu Hero Cafe of course must try the tiramisu! I love love love the cute jar, fleetingly thought about stowing it away in my bag but they cleared it away too quickly, truly ninja like the Sir. Tiramisu was pretty yums, but truthfully not the best I’ve had. Still, not too bad!

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Mandatory photo of Sir Antonio’s head as my head



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Off with his head! Presenting the Sir’s head on a platter

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Very enterprisingly, there was also a corner carved out to display an assortment of unique jewellery! Sweet~ Themed blue too, my favourite colour!

And then.. Gluttony got the better of us.. and we walked out of one cafe straight into the arms of another!!

(Definitely no regrets there)

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Teddy looks kinda woebegone but it totally fits into the magical and fairy-tale like interior ♥.♥

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They even have a super adorable bright yellow fridge that actually works! I saw a staff member get stuff from it.

Incidentally.. I saw the exact same model in pink and blue, in Tangs later that night. Such evidence of gluttony, cause I had dinner at Sun with Moon x.x

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LOVELY.

“Sweet banana mousse, salty caramel and crunchy nuts come together in an explosion of flavour!” -Windowsill’s website

Ahhhh ♥♥

 

Also, also I know I don’t really post lotsa personal life feelings stuff, but I’ve got to say that, I’m so thankful for the people that have come into my life and stayed :’) For endless conversations and connections that distance has no hold on.

090514_tiramisuherobye

Just finished typing this post after my second day of interning, and then tutoring, and then coming home to do pilates! I’ve started following the videos on Blogilates, recommended by Joy and it’s been fun! Definitely a plus for working people who don’t dare to run at night heh. woops.

Okay bye, need to get some research done before I fall aslee- zzz