Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Homecooked dinner

Mom prepared the ingredients and guided Dad in cooking the dishes. I was happily drinking the soup in front of me before attacking the other dishes :)

Birthday porridge :)

After feeding the community cats with mom this morning, I suggested we made some brown rice porridge for our lunch. We cooked the porridge in the small rice cooker. I used the Jap dashi stock to make the soup base to add to the brown rice once it was cooked. Coriander, crab stick, long beans and instant oats were the other ingredients. Mom also steamed a corn.

I couldn't help taking a few photos of the simple yummy porridge.

It's nice to be able to take my birthday leave today and be home with my family and cats and have home cooked meals.


I call him different names - Bob, Bobby, dear, sweetie, darling and when he is naughty, he becomes "Notty boy" or "Notty Bob".

When he is out of our room, he is quite a sweet cat if he does not try to get past the barricade to the room where Angel is. Sometimes, one of his eyes will look smaller than the other - taking a short break while keeping an eye on his environment? :)

He will hop onto the kitchen cabinet counter at times and sit on it. Look at his leg dangling! Haha.

Don't worry. We don't prepare food there and Mom or any of us will clean the table surface or kitchen sink before we prepare our meals.

Cheese Fondue and Pizza

On Sun morning, a good friend invited me and her friends to her place for a cheese fondue party. I have tried making it with her a few weeks ago to make sure that the cheese fondue will be a success too during the party. We followed the recipe from a library book - pour white wine (table/dry) into a double boiler, stir in corn starch coated cubes of cheeses (gruyere, swiss cheese, cheese depending on your preference), add in some white pepper, continue stirring until it turned creamy.

Her friends helped with the making of the fondue too and we transferred the fondue into a slow cooker to maintain its temperature and consistency while we dipped pieces of capsicum, green apple, bread, cherry tomatoes, cocktail sausages and baguette into it. The fondue is really for cheese lovers. I also made some honey lemon drink as it is refreshing for the hot weather.

As my friend had some ingredients for pizza and we had some leftover cheddar cheese and veggies, she suggested we could make some pizza for dinner. (The cheese fondue was our lunch.) We all had fun making the dough and "decorating" our piece of dough. At 6pm, our pizzas were ready and we tried the different pizzas. Some of the pizzas had the left fondue as toppings. It was really a cheesy day :)

Good food and dessert

After the SAM visit, we girls headed to Keong Saik Rd (Chinatown) and had dinner at Kok Sen Restaurant. It's actually a coffeeshop. We had sweet sour pork (lean and tender), prawn soup (like prawn noodle soup but more potent and minus the noodles), steamed egg with century and salted egg and stir fried kailan. Dinner was yummy.

We walked around Keong Saik Rd and Neil Rd for a short while to digest our food before the girls looked for the dessert place recommended by a friend. It's Seventh Heaven located at 10 Raeburn Park. I think it's not easy for people without cars to get there. It's behind the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and nested at some commercial building behind the security counter. So it's actually quite safe with the security guards around in the secluded area. Hee. Joan had to call the dessert shop for directions and the lady over the phone asked us not to be scared and just drive up the slope, past the carpark gantry, park the car and look for the security counter. Haha.

The staff was very friendly and offer us small samples of coconut ice cream and green tea ice cream to convert us into fans. The ice cream was made by the shop and it tasted really good - the texture and taste are somewhere between rich ice cream (eg. Ben and Jerry) and gelato. I really like the green tea one - there were bits of brown rice and tea leaves and it wasn't too sweet. We ordered a platter of 3 ice cream flavours - chocolate (supposed to be dark chocolate but it tasted more like chocolate and whisky), salty cookie and cream (not bad but not salty enough) and black forest. We also had warm and soft chocolate cake. The cake was good and the accompany scoop of vanilla ice cream was interesting. I think they added cinnamon to it.

The next time I want to try their sea salt caramel. It was out of stock that night. I want green tea ice cream too :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Singapore Art Museum (SAM)

I visited SAM with my friends, Joan and Ann on Sat late afternoon to view Wu Guanzhong's paintings. I vaguely recall seeing his name in the papers. We read his biography on one of the walls in SAM and he has been through a lot to pursue his love for art. I like his oil and inking paintings of nature, houses - the colours, dots, strokes or even the black chinese ink against the white paper created beautiful scenery and objects. He also did one of the pandas.

The photo above is not the works of Wu Guanzhong. Joan commented that it's nice how the museum uses red walls to bring out certain aspect of some art pieces. We like the chandelier looking lighting made of porcelain and shaped like dangling flowers. If you are interested in the works of Wu Guanzhong, his exhibition is ongoing until 16 Aug 09.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Vampire Knight and Vampire Knight Guilty

Sis and I watched the 2 seasons of Vampire Knight over 3 nights and 1 afternoon this week and finished watching the 26 episodes last night at around 12.30am. I like the story and how the characters were drawn but compared to Nabari no Ou , it is more complicated due to the romance element. It is not the straight forward happily ever after storyline. There are darkness (presence of evil characters), sadness (death of loved ones). Of course, there are light hearted moments. Sis and I as usual teared and cried at certain scenes.

The anime is based on the manga series of the same title and the story revolves around a school (called Cross Academy) attended by vampire students in the Night Class and human students in the day class. The Chairman of the Academy set up the school, hoping to establish peace and harmony between humans and vampires. The leader of the Night Class was a Pureblood vampire, Kaname Kuran who was respected by his fellow vampires. The Chairman took care of 2 children, Yuki and Zero who both had a sad past and were the Guardians of the Academy to ensure the students of the Day and Night class observed the rules. Kaname was very nice to Yuki and he was the one who saved her from a level E vampire when she was little and brought her to Chairman Cross. Zero came to the Academy a year later when his family was killed by a Pureblood vampire. Zero appeared gruff to Yuki but cared deeply for her. The question when we were watching the anime was whether Yuki would end up with Zero or Kaname.

While discussing with Sis about the anime earlier, Sis asked me to look for another interesting anime. Watching anime is addictive and a luxury. I can tear my eyes away to eat, feed the cats and attend to some tasks but I didn't revise Jap, do some office work, iron clothes as originally planned. I guess it's okay to watch anime once in a while but I need to control the frequency, knowing how time consuming it can be :)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Baking pizza

My friend and I met this afternoon to catch up over lunch and tea and also discussed the recipes for cheese fondue and bread we could use from library books we borrowed. When my friend suggested we tried the fondue recipe and baked pizza at her place, I was game.

She let me knead the dough and guided me as she had baked it before using her recipe. It was fun and quite easy. I only sprinkled part of the pizza with capsicum as Sis and Dad don't like it. Under the mozzarella cheese were prawns, bacon and pineapple. The end result was this and I brought the whole thing home while my friend and her hubby had a smaller square one :)

Our cheese fondue was also a success. We used cheddar, Gruyere cheese and white wine. It tasted great with the baguette and capsicum. We will be making the cheese fondue and baking bread a few weekends for now and enjoying them with more friends.

Japanese noodles from Daiso

Mom got me a packet of Japanese flat noodles from Daiso and I tried cooking them on Thurs. I cooked for mom and myself for lunch and did a dry version with some cornstarch, so that it won't be too dry. It tasted quite yummy. I put bonito sauce, yuzu hot sauce, kailan, sausages, meatballs and green chillies.

Mom's fungus sweet potato dessert

I told Mom about this dessert I tasted and like and she made her own version full of fungus and sweet potato.

This was her 2nd attempt and we finished it over a few days. She made the 3rd batch and we are slowly savoring it.

Birthday dinner for Sis

Mom cooked a yummy dinner for Sis on Thurs. Sis and I took leave partly for her birthday and also to plan our itinerary for our Tokyo holiday in May. Sis also doesn't usually come home for dinner due to her work nature, so it was nice to have dinner together at home.

We had this ginger chicken with wine (sis' favorite and request),
dark soya sauce fish (my favorite dish),

spinach and hairy gourd soup.