August 22, 2010

Mango Pomelo Sago Dessert

After I had Jess of Bakericious's mango pomelo dessert during the food blogger's gathering, I made a mental note that I shall make it some day because that was one of the best sago dessert that I've tried. The usual honeydew sago dessert that was served at buffets were either too rich or sweet. Her mango pomelo dessert was very refreshing and makes me want to have more without feeling sinful of eating dessert. I wished i wasn't too full that day to have extra helpings of the dessert. ;)

I didn't have to wait too long to try my hands at this dessert. :) Last Saturday, my family had a barbeque at our neighbourhood to celebrate my dad and mum's birthday. Their birthday was only three days apart so every year, we would celebrate for them together. Instead of the usual family dinners at restaurants, my brother organised a bbq session this year and it has been ages since I had a BBQ, not to mention my parents. I could see that my parents were pretty excited though they did not say so. *lol*

Just when everyone was getting ready to go to the park, we were hit with a really gloomy weather that we did not know whether to proceed with the barbeque, or to have a change of plans. After a slight drizzle for a short while, the sky was still grey. We were at the park, but hesitated whether to start the fire. We waited and waited.... for another half an hour or so, eventually the rain stopped completely and the weather was cool. :) Heaven was on our side!
Besides the barbeque food items, we also prepared some potluck items such as fried bee hoon, fried noodles, curry, fruits salad, etc. I brought along the mango pomelo sago dessert. It was a rather last minute decision, as I only thought about it in the morning while I was at work. So by the time I finished with the dessert, I still need a good 3 hours (accordingly to the recipe) to chill it but I only chill it for about 1 hour and had to remove from the fridge. I put one big cube of ice, but was worried that it would make the dessert bland. The mangoes I bought was a little sourish and I almost wanted to give up the idea of making the dessert. Still I went ahead with it. Jess used mango juice in place of water in the recipe while I used mango yoghurt drink and blend in with the mango puree, hoping to make it sweeter. Luckily all family doesn't have a really sweet tooth so they felt that it was just right.

It was rather a challenge making this dessert for the first time because my mom couldn't guide me as she had never cooked sago before. The sago was so starchy and murky after cooked that I do not know whether I had cooked it correctly. I patiently drained and run the cooked sago pearls in cold running water, and hey in the end I managed to get a big bowl of clear mini sago pearls! I didn't added in the whole of sago pearls as they seemed quite alot but when added to the big pot of mango milk, it was just the right amount. Happy Birthday my dear Dad and Mum! I'm sure you had enjoyed yourselves as all of us did. ;)

August 15, 2010

Lavender & Almond Snowball Cookies

Bee Bee of Honey Bee Sweets has requested for the recipe of the lavender cookies and almond shortbread that I have prepared during the food blogger's gathering because her girl loved it so much! :) Of course I'm more than happy to share the recipe, so that this happiness would be able to spread on, by both the giver (the one who bakes) and the receiver (one who receives the cookies). ;)

The lavender cookie was a recipe adapted from Angie's Recipes. I find that there are not many lavender cookie recipes around online and I can't find a single one in my recipe books. I'd wanted to give a go at Happy Homebaker's lemon lavender shortbread but when I read how she described the dough as rather unmanageable, I thought I had better err on the save side by googling for a more full proof recipe, hence eventually I settled for Angie's lavender cookies. I did not make much modifications to her recipe except that I had used butter instead of margarine, reduced the sugar slightly and I made it smaller. As I did not press the cookie flat enough, the first batch that came out was a little soft, some did not have the "crunch" you'd want in a cookie. So I had to send to the oven to bake for another 3-4 minutes.

I called my almond shortbread "almond snowball" because this was the name of the cookie as printed in "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida". The cookie looked pretty much like a snowball and is one of my favourite type of cookie because I love the melt-in-your mouth texture. It is sometimes called "russian teacakes" or "mexican wedding cakes". Unlike melting moments, which is quite similar but contains only flour and sometimes corn starch to produce this a melt-in-your-mouth texture immediately when you put it into your mouth, this recipe replaces some of the flour with almond meal that gives a more crunchy exterior and melts in your mouth only when you have bite into the interior. I actually prefer this kind of texture bcause it is not so fragile especially when you are packing it in little cookie bags, and it will not stick into your teeth that much. :)

Almond Snowball


150g pastry flour (I used cake flour)
120g insalted butter
50g icing sugar + more for dusting
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
50g ground almonds (I did not have enough ground almonds hence I grounded some whole hazel nuts to make up to 50g)

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Sift flour once. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract until softened. Fold flour and ground almonds into butter mixture using a spaula. Chill dough for about 20 minutes.
  3. Roll dough into small balls, about 8g each (I did not measure and I just roll according to my preferred size) and place on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes (I used about 18 minutes as my dough was smaller), remove from heat and leave to cool on wire rack.
  5. Once cooled, dust with icing sugar and store in an airtight container.

Recipe adapted from: "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida

To disagree lovingly

Yesterday (14 Aug to be exact), dd and I had a little disagreement with regards to money matters. In his opinion, my way of looking at the issue was totally illogical but in my opinion, I think it was perfectly reasonable. The stubborness in me would usually not agree with him in the first instance but this time, I learnt how to disagree with him but not being too emotional that may ended up in an argument like what had happened in the past.

I thought over the matter later on and thought maybe he had a point too. However, I still believe most, if not all women will think the same way as I do. Probably men and women will never agree on things to the same level. :)

Anyhow, his perspective let me see another side of him, and that has allowed me to see things and situations in another perspective. That's why I love him, :P He is not only a partner or a fiance to me. He is also like a mentor to me, he guides me along and helps me become a better person. haha....

I'm not sure if this happens in other couples. But for us, we are willing to listen, discuss and compromise, all thanks to dd who had been very patient. :)

Tomorrow we are going to try our ROM dresses and suits. *excited*!

August 12, 2010

first food bloggers meet-up

Haha... I guess I'm one of the last few to blog about this food bloggers gathering that we had last Sunday, 8 Aug 2010. Such a memorable event it was, of course I had to record in my journal.

I may not sound as excited as I may have appeared on that day, but the truth is, I was really over-whelmed and elated when I first received Pei-Lin of Dodol & Mochi's email about a month ago, asking whether I would like to attend this gathering, and I replied without much hesitation. Even though I was a little worried about this meeting "strangers" (not because they will abduct me of course!) because I was usually quiet and shy when meeting people for the first time. But i told myself: Hey life's too short to worry about so many things! Do go and pursue what you wish to. Making friends of common interest is something I'd always love do, especially after taken up this love for baking. But my shy and passive nature probably could have hindered me along the way. So, I knew if I am gonna miss this gathering, I'll regret it!

Most of us soon confirmed our attendance, and our thoughtful Pei-Lin systematically drew up an excel spreadsheet, and list all the people who will be going, and the things we would be preparing, in case there would be any overlapping.

Edith of Precious Moments was so nice to open up her sweety home for us to feast in and be comfortable. We met at 12pm and imagine we stayed until 6pm! Initially I thought it will gonna be a short one but all of us had so much to chat that time passess so fast. I believe if we had not met up at her place, we would not be able to meet up for such a long time if we had met outside.

The blur me actually got off at the wrong station because I kept associating that station I'm supposed to get off with another station. Even though Edith had given very clear instructions on the directions to her house, I still had to ask around because I was already late. :P

Here's our eleven lovely, superb, gorgeous bloggers, ;)

Pei-Lin of Dodol & Mochi
Bee Bee of Honey Bee Sweets
Grace of Kitchen Corner
Jane of Passionate about Baking
Shirley of Kokken69
You Fei of Loving Baking
Zhou Yuan (Bakertan)of Baking Library
Edith of Precious Moments
Jess of Bakericious
Yan Ee of Sweeter Side of Life
Jo of Sugar & Everything Nice

A day before the "big day", i was busy baking these lavender cookies and almond shortbreads. When my nephew knew that I would be baking, he was as excited as I am and offered to be my little helper. Heh that excitement of his soon died down and he went off to play with other things. I thought I could get another pair of hands to help me roll the cookie but he soon found that it was "not fun" after all. ;) Knew what, he exerted too much pressure that every cookie dough was too flat. When I corrected him, he thre a tantrum. Haha... :D

These lovely almond shortbreads has a crunchy texture on the outside, and melt in your mouth texture on the inside.

These special floss rolls was a recipe from Judy Koh's cookbook. It is a swiss roll with seaweed, ham, japanese cucumber and pork floss. I thought this is an interesting dish which is both sweet and savoury.

I won't be posting the photos of the other food prepared by other bloggers because I didn't get to take many photos as I'd forgotten to bring my charged battery and the original battery went flat after a few shots. Please do hop on to other's blog to see the yummy homemade dishes!
To end the note, I enjoyed every moment of the day's meet-up. You ladies (and one guy, Zhou Yuan) are really great cooks and bakers and in terms of the amount of time and patience that you have spent in the kitchen preparing for the food, I've really got lots to learn from each and everyone of you.
Hope we'll have another gathering soon! ;)

August 7, 2010

blueberry crumble muffins

I shall just keep this post simple and sweet. Work has been getting too busy that I only have little time to surf the net or do anything blogging unless I sacrifice some sleep.

It's impossible to maintain the so-called "work-life balance" that my company is constantly advocating but I shall try my best to maintain it as I can. I'm not a workaholic definitely. :) I made this twice and will make it over and over again. The texture is soft without being too buttery even though its a butter cake-base that uses the creaming recipe. If you don't mind a little extra work, please do not skip the crumble toppng because this is what gives it the extra bonus! :)

blueberry crumble muffins

Ingredients for crumble topping:

20g unsalted butter, softened
20g castor sugar
20g cake flour
10g ground almonds

Ingredients for muffins:

120g pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g fresh blueberries
50g unsalted butter, softened
40g brown sugar
30g castor sugar
1 egg, about 65g
60g cold fresh milk


  1. Make crumble topping. Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Chill in the refrigerator until use.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C . Sift flour and baking powder twice. Set aside 18 blueberries.
  3. Beat butter with an elecctric mixer until soft and creamy. Add both sugars and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until well-combined.
  4. Add one-third of flour and fold in with a spatula. Add half of milk and continue to fold batter gently. Add another one-third of flour and fold in, followed by the remainig milk. Add remaining flour and fold through, but do not overmix. Add remaining blueberries and fold in gently.
  5. Line muffin tray with muffin paper cases. Spoon batter into cases until about three-quarter full. Divide the 18 blueberries among each muffin (3 for each), then sprinkle crumble topping over.
  6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until muffin has a springy texture when pressed gently.
  7. Leave muffins to cool on a wire rack.
Recipe Source: "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida (yields 6 regular-size muffins)

August 2, 2010

ROM photography confirmed

Today we met with Henry, a freelance photographer who had been doing freelance photography services for ROM or wedding couples. He was introduced by my colleague and we have seen his works posted on flickr.

After seeing his works, we were quite happy with his style of photography and his price was quite reasonable. So we decided to engage him. :) Hopefully the photos will turn out nice at Sentosa. By the way, we have participated in the "I do" wedding at Sentosa on 10 Oct 2010 (10.10.10), if you had seen the advertisement on the papers. It's a collaboration between SPH and Sentosa. We thought it would be memorable and the timing fits in nicely within our planned date. When dd first saw the advertisement, he immediately told me about it cos' I had always wanted an outdoor wedding, but had decided to give up on the idea as we felt that planning for an outdoor wedding is not so feasible in Singapore due to the weather (too sunny or rainy will not work) condition. This event will plan the outdoor locations with the solemniser for us, we just have to get ourselves dolled up and prepared. We just pray that it won't rain on that day. :) Don't be surprised if you happen to see us on TV. *LOL* :P

Yeah so one more thing settled. We'll be chossing our ROM dress and suit this month. *excited*

We also went to Spotlight at Plaza Singapura today. I was looking for materials to make my own wedding ring pillow. To my disappointment, the silk cloth and organza material has to sold a minimum of 1 metre, which we won't need that much. If it is gonna be so cost ineffective, I guess I'll just stick to the wedding bear that Soo Kee is providing. Maybe I'll see how I can DIY to personalise the pair of wedding bears. :)

On our way home, dd and I chatted and somehow came to this topic of being happy in life. I would say I'm not a person who is optimistic person and who is always happy with life. I can be easily unhappy when things don't go the way I'd wish it would be or doesn't turn out the way I expected. dd of course knew this character of mine and often sited examples to show how a person should be contented, optimistic most importantly to let go. It doesn't mean we should be contented easily and don't work hard. Rather is to let go when certain unhappy things have already happened. Probably I am the youngest in the family, I am a little too pampered since young. But after knowing dd, I have learnt to be a better and happier person. There is of course still room for improvement. :P I am just so glad that I met him cos' he complements on my flaws, and is always there to provide a listening ear for me. I am jotting this down as I'll be able to remember what we had chatted today. :)

Tomorrow is Monday! Jia you to a busy week! :)