Feb 25, 2009

Nostalgia finds...

I was at the supplier's warehouse today to pick up new stocks of Japanese bento boxes and chanced upon these:

Old peranakan looking Tiffin carriers and enamel mug. All going for a song. So I ask how much it costs. They use these had some slight defects of a scratch here and there and were previously used as display sets in the departmental stores. And have since been returned to them.

They hope to rid of it to make way for new stock. I told them I will help them to post online via my forum and also on my blog.

So here it is:
Enamel Red mug with cover. Suggested Retail Price : S$8.70. Now its S$4.00 Cash and Carry
Stock : only 10 pcs left

Enamel 4 Tier Red Tiffin Carrier. Suggested Retail Price : S$38.00 Now its S$15.00. Cash and Carry
Stock : 10 sets

I also bought a set for myself to keep. Its great to use, to show off or to be added as part of your home kitchen collection. However not ideal as a gift as some have scratches on the bottom or the side.

Please email me at gina@kitchencapers.net to order yours.

Thanks to all who responded to this. .SOLD! Nothing left

Feb 19, 2009

All the rave about...

I have been procrastinating about making Macarons for the longest time. And I decided to make some today. I have never done this before. Partly the reason was my first taste of this delicate French cookie wasn't pleasant. At least for me. Not that the person who made it didn't do a good job. Its just that I find it way too sweet for me.

And my niece is also allergic to nuts, so I couldn't make and dump it all with her. Call it beginner's luck, I made this today. And it turn out well. However, I want to experiment it more using the right tool for the job.

I will start my macaron baking class in April this year. Been putting it off for so long and my students are getting impatient with me.

I made mine with chocolate and the filling was cream cheese. Taste wise, I am quite pleased with it. I think the cheese went very well with the chocolate. Since it was sweet, the cream cheese somewhat mellowed the taste.

I made this without cream of tartar because I want to go 'chemical-free'. And mine look different shaped because I just use eyeball control to pipe out the batter. I didn't measure and draw circles on the baking paper to get the right shape.

I am going to make more for Sunday's class to feed my students when they come for Chiffon and Sponge cake baking.

stay tuned for more macaron madness!

Feb 16, 2009


As the late Nat King Cole sings it

Let there be you, let there be me.
Let there be oysters Under the sea.

Let there be wind, an occassional rain.
Chile con carne, Sparkling champagne

Let there be birds to sing in the trees,
Someone to bless me whenever I sneeze.

Let there be cuckoos, a lark and a dove,
But first of all, please let there be love.

While the millions of couples celebrate Valentines' Day last week, my hubby and I told each other that we should celebrate LOVE and be Loved for each moment in our lives. And so we didn't do any special candlelight dinners or buy each other some fancy gifts. And although I loved Flowers, but I prefered it still rooted in a pot where it continues to wither, to grow and bloom again.

With our children, we showed them what is LOVE all about. We don't need a day in a year to celebrate it. When you love someone, you don't need a reason to celebrate it. You would love and show it everyday, every moment of your life with that special someone.

But still, my hubby knows what I like to do and to have. And he bought a whole salmon plus 4 huge mud crabs. And what is more loving than to have it all cooked and done up in the way he wants it. And he took leave to spend the whole day at home with all his loved ones..me and our girls.

This is what I cooked.

Turmeric Rice

Curry Crabs

Steamed Brown Rice Wine Crab shells

home made Smoked Salmon with small limes.

Feb 5, 2009

Let Sleeping dogs lie

Jing Jing spends all her day time sleeping. The best spot is my bedroom. Under the chair, next to all my boxes of stuff. Because that spot is just below where the air con blows out the cold air. Smart doggy!

Imagine having to look at her in this way, everyday..at home when I surf the NET on my iBook in my room! No wonder I am always so sleepy, so tired. Even though the mind is so willing to try out new recipes, the body turns weak.

See what I mean..these photos were taken yesterday.

When she feels safe, secured, she rolls up and sleeps like a human. I read that dogs will only sleep in this position if they feel safe about their surroundings. Most dogs sleep with all four paws on the ground. So its easier to get up and run away if there is any sign of danger.

Jing Jing feels very safe in the house. She can sleep in this position in any part of the house except the balcony. Because our dwarf rabbit will molest her if she does that.

Talking about Chocolate the rabbit, we all thinks he has an identity crisis now. Living all his bunny days with a dog, he doesn't know he is a rabbit. He is sleeping like a dog! I should try to creep up to him and snap him sleeping too.

Feb 2, 2009

Birthday of Men

Though being Christians since young, my mom always tells us to observe the rituals of each religion and ethnic group. Not so much into celebrating, praying it. But to know what it is and to teach our children about it. So that we can a part of our ethnic dialect groups.

Yesterday was Ren Ri (Traditional Chinese: 人日, Pinyin: rén rì), or in English terms, it is Birthday of Men. The 7th day of the lunar new year.

Here's the text I extract from nationsonline.org

Seventh day, zhengyue 7, ‘Birthday of Men’
The seventh day of the first lunar month is named renrì (Traditional Chinese: 人日, Pinyin: rén rì), literally Human Day and is considered to be the birthday of ordinary, or common men. The day is also called Day of Men or Men Day.

According to Chinese legends, Nüwa (Traditional Chinese: 女媧; Simplified Chinese: 女娲; Pinyin: nǚwā) is the goddess who created the world. Two legends refer to her creations.
Nüwa and her brother Fuxi survived a devastating calamity, which had wiped out all other life. Retired to Kunlun Mountain they prayed for a sign from the Emperor of Heaven. The divine being approved their union and the siblings set about procreating the human race.
Note: in some texts or according to other legends, Nüwa is considered to be Fuxi’s wife.

According to a different legend Nüwa created certain animals on different days as she was lonesome and wanted the animals as company. On the seventh day after the creation of the world, Nüwa created human beings from yellow clay. With the divine power entrusted to her, Nüwa made the clay figurines to become alive.

Renri is the day, when all common men are growing a year older and the day is celebrated with certain foods according to the origin of the people.
The ingredients of the dishes have a symbolic meaning and they should enhance health.

To honour Nüwa's creation of animals either vegetable dishes will be eaten or a raw fish and vegetable salad called yusheng (simplified Chinese: 鱼生; pinyin: yúshēng).
Yusheng literally means "raw fish" but since "fish (鱼)" is commonly conflated with its homophone "abundance (余)", Yúshēng (鱼生) is interpreted as a homonym for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, yusheng is considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor.

Traditional Chinese: 余, Pinyin: yú, translated: extra; surplus; remaining)
Traditional Chinese: 升, Pinyin: shēng, translated: to raise; to hoist; to promote)


So we celebrated in the only way we know..that is to dine and wine at home. I cook and prepare the food. My parents, my sister, my brother in law, my niece and her boyfriend came to feast.

After dinner I served them Apple Wine and Raisin wine. Then my mom told us about the Hokkiens who give offerings to the God of Wealth which is today. Or the 8th Day. Hubby said the stores are stocking up with Sugar cane for people to buy to use for prayer rituals.

We had steamboat (yin yang) and also teppanyaki. The steamboat had 2 types of soup: Buddha jumps over the wall soup stock and laksa gravy.

After dinner, I only served them with Fried nian gao. Which was my mom's favourite

After all these feasting, its back to just plain soup or porridge.