Get ready, set..craft!

Post-Eid

September 7, 2012
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Hello again everyone! Eid (the celebration after 30 days of fasting) had come and will be going soon. There had been a lot of merry making and cleaning up. It had been fantastic, although I wish we had done a lot more visiting.

Here are some pictures to share.

20120907-105846.jpgLights Up in Geylang, Singapore

20120907-105916.jpgNew cushion covers

20120907-105929.jpgLast day of Ramadan

20120907-105942.jpgFestive Goodies in Tulip Jars (made those covers myself)

20120907-110003.jpgMy husband’s nephew in a Malay costume

20120907-110028.jpgAngry birds in my noodle soup

20120907-110127.jpgChocolate Chip cookies

You can imagine all the excess fat I lost during the fasting month is back on within a few days. And it continues to weekly. Gasp!

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5th of Ramadan

July 25, 2012
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There is about 4 hours more to go before we can break our fast. But I’ve already finished cooking because I’ll be going for my tutoring duty (Maths, I’m a Maths tutor) after this. As planned, today is a fried-food-day (isn’t everyday?? Tsk.).

I intended to make some burgers, throw in some eggs and dollops of baked beans but realized that I don’t have any more eggs (all used up for my toffee brownies). So I made a tempura batter and lather up some crabsticks and prawns with it. These, with nuggets, hot dogs and soup, would be side dishes to the main course – the potato gratin!

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The only thing that is missing is a milkshake. Ahh, that’s an idea. 😉


Make: Blueberry Longan Drink

July 24, 2012
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It’s a scorchingly hot day today and anyone who hasn’t gotten any drinks for the past few hours would buckle under it. Well, maybe not.

I should have done laundry but since I’ve no more of my favourite softener… I didn’t. (I know, excuses, excuses!)

As it is such a sunny day, I thought of making a thirst quencher for our break fast made up of a tin of longans, blueberry syrup and a few slices of lemon.

In a few hours in the fridge, and it will be really, really cool… Mmm… I can hardly wait!

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Cook: Beef Bourguignon sans Alcohol

June 22, 2012
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I’ve decided to cook French cuisine today considering that I have an abundant amount of beef cubes. I’ve followed Ina Garten’s recipe (here), except I substituted red wine and Cognac with grape juice. And I added as much sugar as the amount of tomato paste put in, that is 2 tablespoons.

Instead of putting the pot in the oven for the remaining 1h 15mins, I slow-cooked the dish over the stove. And voila!

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Looks and tastes good to me!


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Cook: Caramelized Pears

May 20, 2012
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The husband is unwell today and after cooking some hearty chicken soup, I decided to make some caramel pears for a healthier version of the dessert.

Ingredients

2 pears, pitted and cut in 4s
2 tablespoons of margarine or butter
5 tablespoons of brown sugar
Some soda (like 2 dashes)
A pinch of salt

1. Melt the butter/margarine in the saucepan.

2. Sprinkle salt and add the pears, making the fleshes touch the pan.

3. Drizzle the brown sugar over the pear quarters. Close the lid and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes.

4. Turn over the pears so that the other sides could be caramelized and leave for about 5 minutes. Serve hot with ice-cream and crushed peanuts or cookies!


Bake: Caramel Cupcakes and Fairycakes

May 10, 2012
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I am not working today and have been up since dawn. Yawn! But after watching Megan and Liz’s Valentine Cupcake video, I was inspired to make some myself. Of course, unlike them, I started from scratch. Nuh uh.. No Betty Crocker for me, no matter how many people swear by her!

I browsed through AllRecipe app (it’s God-sent!) and settled for this vanilla cupcake recipe (which I altered to make mine caramel).

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Ingredients (Copied from AllRecipe):

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup milk
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I followed this recipe closely except twisted 3 items from the ingredient list; I used brown sugar instead of white (hence, granulated) sugar, evaporated milk instead of milk and cracked 3 eggs as opposed to using 2 eggs and a yolk. I did as follows:

1. Preheat an oven to 180 deg C. Set aside about 50 small cupcake casings and 6 large ones.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.

3. Heat the butter and milk in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted.

4. Beat the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until it thickens slightly and becomes dark in colour.

5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Slowly pour in the hot milk, beating until just combined.

6. Divide batter evenly between cupcake casings. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes for the small cakes and 20 minutes for the large ones.

7. Cool them on the cooling rack and they are ready to be eaten.

Alternatively, you can frost the fairycakes and cupcakes like I did. I made use of Cake Mate icing tubes to decorate the cakes. I prefer this make for its buttery flavour to Wilton’s grainy icings. Two tubes are needed eventually. And they are really, really sweet!

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Tell me how it goes for you!


Make: Buttercup, Fuchsia and Brown Card

March 16, 2012
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Sorry everyone for I’ve been long gone. Not gone anywhere but gone busying with life. Hahaha!

Today, I’m just going to show you all a scrapbook card made for a friend. Not telling who until the days comes for the person to open it up!

My resources are:
American Crafts papers
My Mind’s Eye – On The Bright Sight Cardstock papers
Spotlight buttons
Creation Stations lace ribbon
Tombo Pit Tape U
Martha Stewart glue pen
And scraps from previous crafts

I used Tombo tape for all paper-paper sticking and ribbon/lace-paper sticking, and MS glue pen for the buttons-paper. However, at times when the buttons are too heavy on the paper and do not stick, I rely on the Tombo tape instead. However, both stickig products are good pals for scrapbooking. I’m sticking to them (pun intended, haha!).

If you have chipboard letterings and shapes, you can stick them to decorate the front and insides of the card. You must be wondering why there are 6 rectangles inside. Well, when we do celebrations here, I’d like to take pictures using Fujifilm Instax Camera which print on smallers version of the Polaroid films. So the rectangular space is perfect to become borders to the films when we stick within the rectangles.

Hope you enjoy looking at these!

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Bake: Everybody’s Bread Pudding

December 6, 2011
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Today my husband and I fasted in remembering 10 Muharram (Day of Asyurah)(for the Jews, they remember Moses and his troops crossed the red sea, for us Muslims, we remember Moses too and other great occurrences in our History).

So, to make it feel like a celebration, I’ve decided to make a bread pudding. Well, not just anybody’s bread pudding. It has fruit jam, peanut butter, Nutella, raisins, and chocolate chips. It’s for everybody! It’s great especially for kids and those young at heart. Heck, it’s for anybody, hungry or not. 😉

I’ve to make a disclaimer here. The recipe is from Allrecipe, but after watching Nigella on tv sometime back, I followed her way of spreading not only jams on the breads, but peanut butter and Nutella as well.

In the pictures shown, I baked half the recipe.

Ingredients

6 slices day-old bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
40 gm raisins
40 gm chocolate chips
4 eggs, beaten
475 ml milk
100 gm white sugar (you may want to reduce this amount because it’s already very sweet)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Bread Spreads:
Peanut Butter (Skippy’s Chunky)
Fruit Jam (St Dalfour’s Four Berries)
Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.

2. Cut the bread into triangular halves.
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Spread jams, peanut butter and Nutella on the halved breads (both sides). (What I did was to divide the bread halves into 3 portions – so there would be 4 halves for each type of spread. Get a medium sized bowl or rectangular pan and place the bread halves alternately – jam, peanut butter, Nutella and so on.)

3. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. Sprinkle with raisins and chocolate chips.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture. Let it stand for about 5 minutes.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.
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Oh the smell is so delicious although it looked a bit burnt. But that’s how I like it!

Please note that the original recipe serves 12, and this tastes great on its own or with vanilla sauce! Happy trying!


Cook: Black Pepper Chucktender Steaks

October 18, 2011
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Hello everybody! I cooked some beef steaks today for lunch with my sis. You know how much I love beef. And this recipe is spicy and sweet, but you can complement them with lemon-sour salad and baked potatoes.

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If you have a couple of Australian chuck medallions of about 1 inch thick, oyster sauce, ground black pepper and chilli powder, you’re good to go.

Ingredients
6 Chucktender medallions (500 gm about)
4 tablespoons of oyster sauce
4 tablespoons of ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
2 tablespoons of water
A pinch of salt
Butter (to butter them before grilling)

1. Thawed chuck tenders should be dry after washing. If they aren’t, pat them with a paper towel so that they can be marinated well.

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2. In a bowl, add in sugar, black pepper, salt and chilli powder. Add some water into the bowl and mix. Pour in the oyster sauce and mix again.

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3. Marinate the chuck tenders in the bowl and set aside in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes.

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4. Take out the chuck tenders from the fridge and prepare your pan/grill/oven.

5. Take some butter and if you are using the pan, butter the base and put in the medallions. If you’re using the grill or oven, slap some butter on both sides of each medallion.

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If you have some potatoes (I used US russet potatoes), luncheon meat slices or bacon and cheddar cheese, you could make jacket potatoes as a side dish with the chuck tender steaks.

Cut the potatoes in half. Dice the luncheon/bacon slices, and fry them till crisp. Grate the cheddar cheese. Sprinkle some salt, and pepper over the face of the halved potatoes. Add the cheese and fried bits. Bake them in the oven and serve with salad and steaks!

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Enjoy cooking your lunch or dinner with this recipe!


Fall Decorations

October 5, 2011
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I’ve read so much about fall colours and everyone in the upper section of the globe are excited about the changes in the leaves, transitions in the weather and hence, their activities. And last week also, I finally visited the newest kid on Orchard Road, ie. H&M flagship store and most clothes are in “fall” colours (think burnt orange, magenta, plum, off white, camel etc). So, I googled a little and surfed other’s blogs to check some decoration ideas. Whoa! And there sure are a lot!

From HGTV, I present to you:

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First – I really adore the fruits and candles with lentils! Yeah, you can make your centerpieces cheap and interesting! If it’s relevant to this side of the world (we’re at the Equator), I bet it would feel super autumn when you close your curtains/blinds, turn up the AC and have a jazzy fall party with pumpkins, candles and friends! And strings of silver pearl beads!

Second – love the acorns in coffee cups and the silver charger plates!

Third – similar to the second picture, this one has got white pumpkins and bronzy/copper accessories! Makes you think of Xmas too right?

Fourth – I love the plum napkin and table runner! Plums and deep purples, where are you this fall???

Fifth – this is my favourite today: a mix of burnt colours with something blue!

Last – autumn leaves, urns, candle holders and rattans, with a touch of class in the form of crystal glasses!

You know darn well I would love to do a show-and-tell for tablescaping and cooking/baking. But right now, the new home is in a mess (really!). Let’s hope I’ll get to start decorating by the end of next week yar! *cross fingers*

I hope wherever you are, happy decorating your homes and have a good fall (as in the season :))!


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