Monday, August 29, 2011

Pina Colada in a Biscuit!

This is like one of my all-time favourite snacks! Pineapple jam cookies! Jian calls them pina colada cookies. I love them because the biscuit is small & you can easily pop them into your mouth & the pineapple filling is nice, sticky & chewy. Like pineapple tarts.

We bought these at Sheng Siong for $1.75 for a packet of 200g grams. They used to sell it by weight, but I don't know what happened. HRMPF.

Close-up of the goods.

Description on the packaging, in case any of you decide to rush out to by the stuff NOW.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Da Mario Pizzeria @ Robertson Quay

Aaaaah Italian food. We have been wanting to try this place for a while now as it looks quite home style. We actually started with a beef carpaccio (Carpaccio di Manzo), but I do not have a picture of it. It was the beef on top of rocket leaves & shaved parmesan cheese, dressed with fresh lemon juice & olive oil.

Beef Lasagne. We had 2 helpings of this, as some of us liked it very much.

Paesana pizza. Tomato & cheese based pizza with porcini mushroom & parma ham. Ok, I kind of expected the mushroom to be blended & spread on the pizza, instead of medium-sized chunks. Smaller chunks spreads the mushroomy flavour around more evenly, I feel.

Golfo de Venere. This pizza is a white pizza, meaning there is no tomato sauce involved. It's got green olives, artichokes, crab meat & chili flakes in it. This pizza is stronger tasting than the previous one & the crabby flavour is very prominent. I don't know why they didn't halve the olives at least. One would think they would sit better on the pizza.

Mandarin sorbetto. This is the bomb! It tasted exactly like sweet mandarins! Even though we were all sharing the dessert, I know I ate most of this one. Heh.

Jian wanted me to take this picture. I forget why.

Tiramisu. Yummy too, but by the time I got round to it, I was stuffed with the mandarin sorbetto. A nice, yummy tiramisu, if I've ever had one.

Jian's double expresso.

The total bill came up to $155, including 3 beers, not forgettng the unphotographed beef carpaccio.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tapas @ Culina @ Dempsey

Well I knew Culina had Tete De Moine so I requested that we pop by for a spot of tapas & wine.
We sat at the bar counter & we seemed to be the only people who went to the deli counter to pick a platter, instead of ordering from the menu for dinner.

Jian did mention that the Tete De Moine was about half the price at Huber's but the pitiful thing is that they close early... like at around 7pm or so.

Our platter of lamb proscuito, comte & Tete De Moine.

We were allowed to pick stuff off the shelf & they would open it for us & everything. This came is a medium tin cause of the sauce. Roasted peppers stuffed with squid, immersed in squid ink. NICE! Rich smokey flavour the sauce gave out & the peppers were tender & tasty. $8 for the tin of 2 small peppers, but so good! We mopped up ALL the sauce with ciabatta bread!

A peep at the minced squid.

Just wanted you to have a look at the pepper without the squid ink all over the shop.

Washed down with this Soto De Torres Ibericos Crianza 2008 Tempranillo rioja. MMmMMMmmm...

They charge$15 corkage per bottle of wine you open. They also have housepour wines by the glass if your date does not drink (boring).

Also, you add $5 for making a platter.

The total bill came up to mid $80s.

We trotted over to Jones the Grocer afters, just for a walk before heading back, & found the selection of antipasto to be more extensive & there were more cheeses too (but no Tete De Moine). It's a bit pricier there, though, for the cheese & wines. Jian said that he'd go back to Epicurious anyday, rather than come back to Culina again, for the prices. I would just probably pester him to get be some Tete De Moine from Huber's before they close for the day. :P

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

National Day Feast (With TV Off)

Happy National Day to us all! Just look at the spread Dracoholic prepared for us all! She was already pottering around the kitchen before I woke (which was around 12pm).

What a spread!!!

The salad dresed with honey mustard vinegrette . I don't know what dressing this is. I think Satellite made the salad.

Totmato slices with mozzerella on top & drizzled with home-made basil pesto, typically called caprese.

Blanched french beans, tossed with lemon zest, olive oil and sea salt.

Creamed corn with bits of bacon inside!

OK, I love potatoes. These roasted potatoes, carrots & parsnips were excellent! Roasted together with onions & garlic. The parsnips were sweet & tasty, well worth the exorbitant price you pay for parsnips here. We bought parsnips on sale before. Even at half price, I still found them to be horribly expensive!

The highlight of the evening, Dracoholic's slaved-all-day roast chicken stuffed with lemon & rosemary & her home-smoked ribs with her secret kick-ass sauce. The chicken (even the breast)was tender & juicy. Oh she used sakura chicken. It was tasty, all right! ;) The ribs turned out very well indeed too! I would have never imagined smoking your own meat at home! Jian was kind of put off by the smell when the ribs were smoking & even asked me, 'What's burning????'

You drizzle this herb sauce on the chicken for extra flavour.

We finished the night off with home made sangria that Dracoholic & Satellite were furiously chopping fruits for the night before!

Once again, thank you Dracoholic & Satellite for the splendid feast!

Picnic by the Poolside @ Dracoholic's

We were in the mood for outdoors, so we prepared food & drinks & toted everything downstairs to the poolside. We even used REAL wine glasses & plates, as opposed to plastic & paper. Well, except for our forks. We used plastic forks.

Satellite prepared a smoked salmon pasta salad with sun dried tomatoes & capers. Served cold.

I prepared the platter using what Dracoholic had in the fridge. Anti-clockwise from left: ham (either breakfast or picnic), cherry tomatoes, cornishorns, smoked duck (yes the same one I used for the Orange & Duck Salad), parmesan cheese, comte cheese, shiraz cheese & goat cheese.

This guacamole is quite good... although we did not make it ourselves...

... This is the packaging it came in & it was not cheap. It's $7+ for this, which includes 2 servings. as you can see, one serving is not a lot.

In future, I really MUST take pictures of our accompanying wine/drinks.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Saturday Sit-Down Dinner @ Dracoholic's

Dracoholic, Satellite & Jian decided to be chefs for the night & went researching recipes for a nice sit-down dinner on Saturday. Our dinner went as such:

Dracoholic's crab cake quenelles & baked oysters. The sauce under the crab cake is horseradish. Nice. There were some extra crabs cakes left over & I stole one later on. The oyster was nicely done & not too salty. I remember Jian did oyster rockerfeller twice & it was extremely salty, due to the bacon.

Er, I don't know what this is called. Looks like Satellite might have to tweak this post a bit. This is her dish of roasted zucchini strip rolls stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes & goat cheese (& I'm not sure what else there is). The recipe called for gorgonzola cheese, but since most of them do not like the stronger tasting cheeses, she decided to substitute it with goat cheese. Drizzled with her home made pesto. Delicious! Recipe from Delicious magazine too! ;)

Jian's ambitious main course of individual beef wellington. YUM-OH! The reason behind this individual serving is because we couldn't find an appropriate shape of tenderloin to make a whole strip, so he bought rib eye steaks instead. Accompanied by blanched french beans & drizzled with a red wine reduction sauce. I don't know how he made it, but I guess it includes the juices from cooking the beef.

Nice & medium rare. He put in a lot of effort making everything from scratch. Er, except the proscuito ham; he had to buy that, not cure it himself. I just love how well the portobello mushroom duxelles went so well with the beef. Well worth suffering many nights of Youtube video voices instructing you how to cook your beef wellington & duck breasts (as he was deciding between these 2 dishes, but we couldn't find duck in the supermarket).

Horrid picture, I know, but this is my home -made ice-cream again.

With a bit too much kahlua.

All the courses were so good, we were all very satisfied after. Jian was happy that instead of having guzzled half the wine before dinner even started, we actually behaved & took our time with them, allowing for wine pairing throughout the meal.

Thanks Dracoholic, Satellite & Jian for the lovely lovely meal!! :)

Impromptu Friday Night Dinner at Home for Two!

Jian & I had no plans to go out on Friday night, so I whipped up a meal for two! I wouldn't call it sumptuous; I am just glad that it didn't go awry & send us running to the nearest 24hr McDonald's.

Anyway, I am so proud of this meal because 1) as mentioned, I didn't screw it up horribly & 2) I went to the supermarket at 1830hrs (coming back at around 1945hrs) & we got to eat by around 2200hrs. It's a feat for me, you know.

First up, I prepared the cut vegetable plate. I prepared it first so that it could sit in the fridge. In the meantime, I actually defrosted the frozen smoked duck (good value at Sheng Siong, btw) in the microwave oven & heated it up in between preparing other dishes.

Okay, I didn't do this one. Jian threw it together when he came home, so I guess I can't claim to have done the whole meal ALL BY MYSELF. Olives, sundried tomatoes & Parmigiano Reggiano drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

After the vege plate, I roasted 2 peppers! One would have been sufficient, but I guess I was feeling a bit over-ambitious. The peppers I bought were quite pretty, so I decided to document the process.

Semi-charred already. I forgot to take a picture of the blackened peppers before covering them to let them steam in the own vapours. This loosens the skin & makes it easier to peel off.

Tadah! De-seeded & skinned! Seasoned with olive oil & ...

... Fleur De Sel (salt with a fancy name). Go click on the link to find out about it.

One of the few salads that I do well! Orange & duck salad over butterhead lettuce with an orange, balsamic, olive oil dressing. You can use rocket or spinach leaves as well, if you are entertaining. You can also swap the duck for prawns & avocado. DELICIOUS! A few slices of onions as well, according to taste.

Paprika Lemon Mushrooms. I learnt it from Dracoholic. The recipe in my tapas book actually called for red wine, but I wasn't allowed to open the bottle of red wine as it wasn't ours (another recipe told me to use sherry, but we got no sherry in the house), so I remembered vaguely that she used fresh lemon juice in hers and COPIED.

Fry the garlic for a bit with olive oil first, then throw in the mushrooms & salt.
Stir-fry for a bit & cover.
The mushroom juices will seep out & the mushrooms will cook in the juices.
Add the paprika & lemon juice & stir-fry some more.

I added a tad too much lemon juice, as there was half a lemon in the fridge (it's almost like it was waiting for me), so I WAS squeezing & tasting & it tasted perfectly fine at one point, but since there was a few more squeezes of juice left in my hand, I thought 'Why waste?' & just squeezed the remainder in. It came out a tad too acidic, but was still nice. In future, I will use a bit less lemon juice & trust my instincts a bit more. I added a dash of cayenne pepper too. Just a dash, as even Jian says it's very spicy.

I did not throw the lemon peel out immediately after cooking the mushrooms. I used it to clean up the microwave oven & the stove-top (the acid neutralises the fats). Very green, yes? ;)

So we were bursting by the end of the meal. I figure I could have prepared half the peppers (there was some leftover) & just the duck instead of duck salad. Oops.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Home Made Bread

No I did not bake these lovely loaves. My mother-in-law (that's Jian & Satellite's mother) did. She always used to bake somthing or the other when I first started dating him, then... it ceased. Partly because the oven's thermostat was broken & it went haywire & partly because no one ate very much of it. Not that what she makes isn't good. It is! Maybe I didn't come around often enough. LOL. Anyway, they got a new oven & she's been baking up a storm!

She made these french loaves for eating with chicken curry tonight! She used whole wheat flour!

She just bought the cute bread mold, for shorter loaves so she has been enthusiatically using it since last week. Same batch, different shape.

These fellows are cooling away on the dining table, waiting to be consumed as I type. The curry is being cooked right now as well. Heh.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Bakerzin @ Jurong Point

Last Sunday was our third time to Bakerzin @ Jurong Point. The first 2 times, I remember I had the Balsamico sausage pasta, which I was pretty happy with, & the mushroom pasta (linguine al funghi or something), which I had again on Sunday. Jian had the Carbonara (OK, for this one, I am not too sure, & he cannot remember himself) & Tuna respectively. He wasn't very impressed with the tuna, I remember.

Bloody mary soup. It's just tomato soup. Noting special. We KNEW it was tomato soup already, but the taste didn't wow us.

Jian's Lamb Stew Pasta. When it arrived, I commented that it looked like chinese noodles. He agreed & said it looked like noodles from a zhi char stall. I was pretty turned off by the presentation, actually, as it seemed like it was stir-fried with sliced lamb & those horrid patterned-cut carrots. I was SO turned off that I didn't want a taste, especially when Jian seemed disappointed with it. & he was, as I asked him after his first mouthful.

My mushroom pasta was the reason why we came back here. I like the creamy sauce with melted grated parmesan cheese in it. The only thing is that recently, I have been turned off by garlic & onions, so I shoved the garlic aside. I KNOW they slice the mushrooms thinly but they put a lot of slices in the dish to make it look like there is a lot, but I guess I am OK with it. I like that for the two times that I have had this pasta, the linguine has never failed to be al dente.

The only thing isthat there was no salt & pepper on the tables. Maybe you have to take it yourself from somewhere. Also, we happened to choose a table with no cutlery on it, but by the time we got the soup, our cutlery had not arrived.

We spent almost $40 on this meal. Better to come here on weekdays, when there is the $10.90++ pasta promotion. It includes a drink.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Exotic Eats!!

We were invited to be spoilt at my sister's abode again. & SPOILT we were! She came back from Turkey not too long ago & her house-mate came back from France just about a week ago!

Duck pate that took a flight on a non-cargo plane. Delicious, I tell you!

We spread them on Meiji crackers! In our home, Meiji crackers are also THE crackers to be had!

This dish is something my sister proudly discovered but did not do it according to what she had. What she had was melon (or cantaloupe) pureed with youghurt & topped with salmon roe.
So anyway, she cut a slice of cantaloupe & a slice of melon for each person & you eat it together with the salmon roe. We also tried it with sweet yoghurt. I think i prefer it with the fruit, but the rest of them were saying that if the melon was sweeter, it'd be nicer. Sweet & salty.

This here is turkish salad that she learnt from her friend's turkish fiance. They were travelling together, so it DOES count that she learnt it through her travels. Haahaa. It's dressed with pomegranate dressing, so it is special.

The beef she roasted herself with rosemary. NOW, this beef is free-range, grass-fed beef. Supposedly not as tender as grain-fed beef, also stemming from the fact that they are leaner as they get to roam around, but boy oh boy, I don't know if it is that she is a great cook, or something, but TENDER the beef was. I'd have gone for seconds, but my tummy didn't allow me to.

She roasted herbed peppers. Add your own salt. I LOVE ROASTED PEPPERS.

The goat cheese that the house-mate toted back from France & in the background, the BEST TASTING raisins I have ever had!! Had to shave the skin off he cheese as it grew a bit of mold. Don't know why, as these guys are SERIOUS foodies & they know to bung the cheese in the fridge before anything else. Even Jian enjoyed this cheese, as he is normally not a fan of stronger tasting cheeses like goat cheese, blue cheese & the likes, but this was mild enough for him.

The raisins.... I don't know how to describe them. The next time any of my friends go to Turkey, I shall IMPLORE them to get me a big bunch of these, as well as...

... these dried strawberries! Nothing compares to turkish dried fruits!!!

We ended the meal with my home-made french vanilla pod ice cream. Not only did they rave, There were also demands for a bigger tub in future. Haahaaa.