Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

With 'All Saints Day' drawing near, some of the malls were nicely decorated with Halloween theme. Carving of Jack O' lantern pumpkins, black and orange colors were common sight for this occasion. Halloween is an annual feast which falls on 31st October, a day before All Saints day (1st November).

Apparently, Halloween is a contraction of 'All-Hallows-Eve' which literally means the day before 'All-Hallows' or 'All-Saints' - Source Wikipedia. Although Halloween is not much of a feast here where I live and not widely celebrated in the country, I decided to join in the fun by sewing Jack O' Lantern pumpkin plush with leftover felt scrap from my Angry Birds project.

Here it is,  the final product of my sewing! It wasn't exactly the neatest and cutest, but perhaps it's acceptable for a first attempt. From the back view, it looks more like kamquat or pumpkin, isn't it?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Story - Brandi Carlile

Not many people knew about the existence of this blog since I've previously written in another blog which is no longer active now. My beloved sister recently came to know about Story of Lynn and she sent me a lovely song by Brandi Carlile - The Story. I think fans of Grey Anatomy would have heard of the song before. It's a beautiful song with lyrics I could relate to in life.

Thank You, Vi! for making my day. It is true that "When I am flat broken, you made me feel like a million bucks". Love you always!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beans & Legumes

Legumes, beans and lentils are all good source of protein. They are low in fat and high in fiber. I had always thought that legumes and beans are essentially the same until I read up a little bit more about them. This is what I found out:
Legume is a plant and the fruit (commonly known as pod) is a simple dry fruit which develops from a simple carpel and usually opens along a seam on two sides. Well known legumes include peas, beans, lentil, soy, and peanuts. (Source: Wikipedia)
That means, beans and lentils are subsets of legumes. It was a bag of mixed beans I bought a few weeks ago that sparked my interest to find out the various names of beans in the bag. The bag contains 7 types of legumes and 1 type of grain - barley. Although legumes are packed with dietary benefits, they are gassy food which give people embarrassing smelly gas (that's why you fart a lot more after eating beans). But fret not, there are ways to remove gas from the beans before cooking. Most websites from google search results  suggest that by soaking beans in the water for 12 hours and boiling them for 15 minutes will reduce the gas.

Cream Sauce Pasta

Recently, my sister (who hardly ever cooks)attempted to cook her own meals when the canteen at her residential hall was closed down for 2 weeks. Driven by hunger, eating healthy and economically,she was motivated to try her luck in the kitchen.  

She survived the cooking ordeal and the dish turned out to be edible. Though I'm sure there are rooms for improvement, I thought she did an amazing job considering that this was her maiden attempt at the residential hall. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bittersweet Peanut Slab

Made of 47% cocoa, it is rich in dark chocolate with fresh roasted peanuts. This peanut chocolate bar is absolutely divine. As Whittaker's claim, the peanut slab is made of "Good honest chocolate". I must say that it is indeed honest to goodness. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Seafood Pasta & Bruschetta

Just something I cooked many months ago....

Upcycled Shoe Box

Last weekend, I attempted to upcycle an empty shoe box to a CD storage box with a roll of adhesive waxed wrapping paper. The outcome was satisfactory and the effort was well worth it. Even though this is not a noble idea, I am happy to have made it myself and not to mention that I managed to save a few dollars from buying a brand new CD storage box. 

Cost of a roll of wrapper = $5 (wrapped 2 boxes + excess)
Cost of wrapper for each box = ~$2.50
Cost of a brand new CD storage box (about similar size) = $5

Voila! It's 50% savings there. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mashed Potato & Chicken Fillet

My mum had left a bag a potatoes for me last week and one of them was starting to sprout. To prevent them from rotting and sprouting, I decided to make some mashed potatoes with seasoned chicken fillet for dinner. It was a balanced meal with some greens - asparagus and baby roma tomatoes (they are so sweet). As for the gravy, I used store-bought instant mushroom gravy which can be done in a jiffy. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

French Beans & Carrot Fried Rice

Whenever there is leftover rice from dinner, fried rice is definitely on the menu for dinner the next day. I like fried rice because it is a versatile dish and there is no specific recipe to follow. 

This fried rice calls for simple ingredients I found in my fridge.

shredded carrot
chopped french beans
minced garlic 
an egg
peeled prawns 
Regular cooking oil
Sesame oil 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Card Wallet

I was motivated to make a simple fabric card wallet after experiencing difficulty in accessing my cards with the current holder. Though the current holder is slick and stylish, it is not practical and would bulked up the wristlet pouch. 

I used scrap fabric from a skirt which had been shortened for this mini project. There are still rooms for improvement as the stitches and cutting are not as neat as they should be. The other mistake was to add on the key ring at the side of the pouch. I think it just ruined the 'classiness' of the pouch. Lesson learned - Simplicity is elegance. 

Nonetheless, I'm happy to have made something! and I'm already using it. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nique's: Coffee

A cup a day, takes your worries away.

A cup of coffee completes my breakfast and boosts my day. It is also an occasional form of indulgence after dinner. Like coffee tasting, coffee making is an art. However, unlike a connoisseur in coffee, my satisfaction for a good cup of coffee is easily attainable as long as it is aromatic and rich in texture like Nique's[photo]. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Roasted Tomato and Broccoli Pasta

I made this quick dinner after a tiring day at work. Inspired by eating fresh and living a healthy lifestyle, this meal was prepared using fresh ingredients yet keeping it simple and easy. All it takes to make this dish were roasted tomatoes, broccoli, chopped garlic, garlic infused oil, and spaghetti noodle with salt and pepper to taste. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ham & Cheese French Toast

First of all, never mind the imperfect picture. It wasn't properly taken but nevertheless, the sight of melting cheese with ham and french toast does make me drool. 

This is a "guest post" featuring Nique's three layers Ham & Cheese french toast (or French toast with Ham & Chesse, whichever way sounds better)for dinner. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Breakfast: Poached Eggs and Blackpepper Cocktail Sausage

How fun to make poached eggs with these cute silicone poach pods. It is rare to find such creative kitchenware where I live. As such, I was very excited over my little adventure and discovery at the kitchenware section of a departmental store in Westfield. Just put an egg in each pod over boiling water for 4 minutes (with cover) to get a nicely poached egg. 

Poached eggs can be eaten in many ways according to one's liking. I like mine on top of a slice of bread and a piece of cheese - lightly melted, and perhaps some black pepper cocktail sausages! 

Breakfast would not be complete without a cup of hot coffee! I miss the thick and aromatic coffee prepared by Nique!