Re-exploring West Seattle

We have been to West Seattle previously BUT it was always raining… Finally managed to visit this place on a beautiful sunny day. Yes.. it was extremely sunny.. so sunny that my headache started in the morning and lasted till late in the evening :/

Anyway, Seattle’s really pretty.. If I ever need to leave this place, it is going to be so hard to do

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We had breakfast at the highly raved Bakery Nouveau. This place is Amanda’s paradise! There’s cakes, tarts, macarons, pastries, bread..every sweet thing that I like! Why didn’t I know about this place earlier?! The downside is it’s very crowded :/Seating is limited. BH and I bought coffee, their famous Twice Baked Almond Croissant & Chocolate Croissant. It was sinfully delicious! I personally thought that $4 for a Croissant is quite expensive. However, the pastries were so tasty that it’s worth every single cent. What do I really like about the pastry? I like it that it’s crispy, buttery and not too sweet! I would fall head over heels in LOVE with it IF it’s served warm. On the other hand, I find the powdered sugar on the croissant disturbing. haha.. it’s just me.. I just find it messy to eat with the powdered sugar, so 1/2 the time, I was trying to scrape off the sugar. Would I go back again? Yes, only if i’m around that area 🙂

West Seattle feels like a small town to me. There’s a all-year round farmer’s market… lots of dogs… and small cafe & restaurants.  There are also vintage shops which sells cool furniture! I was quite shocked that we actually spent a good amount of time walking around and just enjoying this place. It’s been a while since we did this. ahh… lovely weekend!

Drove down to Alki Beach and took these pictures..

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ws1Ended the day with dinner with friends. Happy Sunday!

Last but not least… this is Monday’s dinner… looks good? Still not my mum’s standard yet.. :/

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Won’t go home without you Part 4

Last day in LA!

We had brunch at The Kitchen We actually had a hard time looking for this place – our GPS kept bring us round and round. At last, we found it!

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Maybe we were early – it was very quiet for brunch at a supposedly high rated restaurant. I like restaurant with a rustic feeling, artsy deco – feels very unique.

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I had the highly raved Pear Pancakes.. and it was superb indeed… yumyum!! I think IF I go back to LA – I am so going to dine here again 🙂

The day was sunny and nice ( as usual). After brunch, with no time to waste…. we headed to……. *make a guess?!!*

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Griffin Observatory again! yes.. no surprise! hehe.. this place looks beautiful in the day too!

oh…. As BH was dealing with his camera.. I met a super cute doggie! It’s a Corgi-mix, Ally!!!

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Tell me.. how adorable Ally is! hahaha.. and she’s a rescue!! wish I could bring her home!

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Daytime at GO had a different charm. You can see the “Hollywood” sign pretty close here too!

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We did walked around and check out the exhibits. It is certainly a nice place to hang out on a lazy sunday afternoon 🙂

With all these beautiful sights and pictures, we headed to the airport for our flight back to Seattle! Great vacation!!!

Where’s next?!

Endless blue skies Part 3a

Weather in LA is pretty good… everyday is warm and blue.. beautiful!

Started the day with brunch at the original Farmer’s Market When I visited this place years ago, I saw ” Singapore’s Banana Leaf ” , so i told myself that if I ever go back again, I will try it

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erm… turns out that the food is not very authentic. I am not saying that I am a good cook BUT I think i can cook better

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BH’s Mee goreng tasted so much better. I feel that the Beef Rendang is lacking of something – just not there. The beef was tender though. I can’t bring myself to finish the bad food .. eeks!

Walked around the market….

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Next, we headed to Getty Museum Parking is US$15 but entry + tram ride is FREE. In my opinion, this is the 2nd best almost free attraction in LA

The place is simply beautiful.. great view of LA here!

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First thing we wondered… “why is the boy catching the frog naked?!” haha..

There’s also an outdoor garden! We saw super trees! It really reminds me of Singapore’s Garden By the Bay

 

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As usual, the view was soooo good that we hang around outdoors taking pictures. We did go inside the museum, it is HUGE. We only walked a few galleries and got to leave… FYI, museum guide (the ipod around my neck) is free, however, they run out of earpiece so it was kinda useless

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I have no idea why time flies so fast in LA. I think we just spend alot of time being stuck in traffic :/

After Getty, we had In-N-Out burger (something which most friends told us to try when we r in LA – I have no idea y)

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Ok.. the food is relatively cheap ( but super sinful) The milkshake was super good! phew.. luckily I don’t stay in LA, if not… i will be drinking it ALOT! The interesting thing is.. you can personalise the fries (soft, normal, well done) I like mine normal. BH like it well-done, which I find that it’s super dry.

We had to gobble up our dinner… FAST… as the next stop is……MAYDAY CONCERT!!! Will blog about it in another post 😀

Fried Carrot (Radish) Cake

Eating this dish in Singapore is soooo ez. Just go to any hawker centre or food court and you can order this dish.  However, this dish is not available over here. If you want to eat it, you got to make it. Well, maybe it’s healthier? You can control the ingredients and you know how you prepare it.

Actually, I had made this several times with Jo and we really like it Reminds us of home 🙂 We usally prep early in the morning and cook in the evening. Since, I am doing this alone…I like to take things slow. I made the ‘radish kueh’ on 1 day and fried them the next day.

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Fried Radish Cake (菜头粿) Recipe

(Taken from RasaMalaysia)

Ingredients:

Part 1 – Making the Radish Cake

1 medium radish (about 700g when grated) + 50ml water [ I used 750g of radish – yields about 540g of grated radish]
200g rice flour [156g rice flour]
250ml water [195ml water]
1/4 tsp salt

Method:

1. Over a very low flame, steam grated radish + 50ml water in a thick stainless steel pot (or non-stick pot). About 30 mins, or until radish turns translucent. Remove cover and allow to cool. [I drain most of the water from the radish before combing with flour mixture. You don’t see a big difference between steam/ not steam radish… hmmm.. but it will feel softer]

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2. Combine rice flour, salt and water. Mix well to combine.

3. Add rice flour solution to cooled grated radish. Stir and mix before pouring into a metal cake tin for steaming. The final mixture should resemble a somewhat watery coleslaw.

4. Steam on high for 40 mins. Leave it until completely cool (best overnight in the refrigerator), so that the radish cake firms up. It will be easier to handle too, as it will not stick to the knife when you’re cutting.

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Part 2 – Frying the Radish Cake

I used 3/4 of  steamed radish cake above ,enough for 2

1 to 2 tbsp chai poh (preserved radish/turnip) [DO NOT PUT TOO MUCH, will make the dish very salty]
2 to 3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cloves minced garlic
About 2 tsp fish sauce* (or slightly more, if you like)
3 tbsp oil (vegetable oil or lard oil)
Dash of white pepper
Chilli sauce (optional, as much as you like)
About 1 tbsp Rose Brand Thick Sweet Sauce (omit this if you are frying the white version)
3 stalks chopped spring onion
Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method:

1. Cut up steamed radish cake into small chunks. Smaller chunks will crisp better, and the result is a more delicious plate of Chai Tow Kway. You want a contrast in texture – a crisp exterior and a soft interior. And those really small, charred, crispy crumbs? Heaven.

2. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil and fry radish cake chunks till lightly browned and slightly crisp. Heat should be medium high.

3. Add minced garlic and chai poh. Fry till aromatic. Drizzle a little more oil if it is too dry.

4. Add fish sauce, pepper (and lashings of chilli sauce, if you like it spicy). Fry to coat evenly with seasoning.

5. Pour beaten eggs all over radish cake. Allow the eggs to set slightly before flipping over in sections. It’s OK if it starts breaking up when you flip over; you don’t need to have a perfect whole. At this stage, you can dish up and serve with spring onions if you are making the white version.

6. Drizzle Rose Brand Thick Sweet Sauce and stir fry to mix well. Dish up and sprinkle liberally with spring onions. Garnish with coriander leaves.

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I placed the sambal chili at the side instead of frying them together. I also added prawns for extra flavour and crunch. Now… are you hungry yet? 😀

First cupcakes for the year!

Happiness is enjoying freshly baked cupcakes for tea 🙂

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Cakes always makes me happy 🙂 well.. this cake tasted like fruit cake BUT it’s ezier to bake.. try it! Btw, I didn’t have Cointreau or Grand Marnier to soak the cranberry/dried longan – I used Bacardi instead. Works well !

Longan Cranberry Yogurt cake

(Recipe from Cuisine Paradise)

Ingredients:

  • 245g Self Raising Flour
  • 175g Unsalted Butter, cubes
  • 180g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs (60g each)
  • 30ml Fresh Orange Juice
  • Zest of 2 Oranges
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons Of Greek Yogurt
  • 50g Dried Longan, roughly chopped
  • 50g Dried Cranberry, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds
  • Some Almond Slices
  • Some Kumquat slices, optional
  • 40ml of Cointreau or Grand Marnier

 

Method:-

1. In a small bowl, soaked dried longan and cranberry using either Cointreau or Grand Marnier for at least 30 minutes or more. Stirring twice or more in between.

2. Using an electric beater, cream butter and sugar till pale and creamy.

3. Beat in egg one at a time till combined. Add in orange zest and vanilla extract, beat well.

4. Next fold in sieved flour in 3 batches alternate it with orange juice and yoghurt.

5. Stir in Chia seeds and mix it well before adding in the longan mixture.

6. Divide cake mixture into cupcake cases (do not filled it to the rim, leaving about 1.5 cm allowance for the cake to raise) or prepared loaf tin. Top with some Kumquat and almond slices.

7. Bake in preheated 180°C/350°F oven for about 25 minutes or when the skewer insert in the centre and comes out clean.

Who stole the cookies from the cookies jar?

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I have a huge love for digestive biscuits! Not any random ones but the McVitie’s. these digestive cookies are precious … They are really expensive here, so I actually brought them back from SG. As you know… The last few days were really bad for me – I was sick, drowsy after taking medicine and had little appetite. My roommate aka BH took advantage of vulnerability and…… Ate my precious cookies!

I didn’t notice the missing cookies…. Until I opened my pantry.

Booooooo…. So last night.. BH came home with these…

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Imagine the look in my eyes??? Gleaming with joy!Super happy! If there’s one thing I totally love about BH, it’s his generosity – he sees no point in suffering if he can afford it. I.e. buying the cookies even when it’s costly! Haha.. What touched me the most is…. He bought it after work! I mean… The store is not even on the way or near his office! Haha… Though it’s a day early… It’s a great Valentine’s ay gift 🙂

The walkers cookies are a bonus… How cute!! If only they made them in corgi shapes.. Hehe

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How are we spending vday? Well.. We are going for a painting class together!!! So exciting! I hope it turns out well… Hehehe..

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!!! My biggest wish this vday is… I hope all my current single friends (&sister) would find their mates soon!

Disneyworld – Day 6 Magic Kingdom again

[Will blog Day 5 & 7 together.. fast forward to Day 6 first]

20 Nov

I figured out that if you are celebrating a special occasion on a Disneyland trip, it’s better to go when it’s your 4th- example, 4th birthday, 4th anniversary! The characters are pretty excited when we told them that we are celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary! hahaha it’s kinda like a white lie (anniversary was in September) but I just wanna wear that badge and be extra special 😀

Turns out that it’s worth it to openly declare that we are celebrating our wedding anniversary!!! the crew members congratulate us… the characters congratulate us… the cutest part was.. the characters showed their hands and counted – that’s when i discovered that most of them have 4 fingers (Mickey, chip, dale) !!!! That’s y i think going to Disney to celebrate the 4th of something is a good idea! You will see Chip counting his fingers in one of the pics below .. how adorable!

It was the soft opening of the NEW Fantasyland!!

We made reservations at the new restaurant – Be Our Guest (Beast’s and Belle’s castle) For Disney dinning, u need reserve many months before or u won’t get a table. It’s our 1st and only sit down/full service Disney dining in this trip

Love the deco.. it's so real! FYI, the prince's pic will change to beast every 8 mins or so 🙂

Food was good – considering that we had bad food for the past few days. The dishes served were French inspired. I had seafood pot pie while BH had steak

When it’s time for dessert, the server would push the cart to u so that u can have your pick! Cool!!!

After we paid and exit… we met BEAST!!! It was probably the only character that we don’t have to line up for a long time!!!

Not a good pic of us BUT BEAST is majestic! Now I know how Belle fell in love with him.. such a gentle giant!

After dinner, we headed to a new attraction “Belle’s Tales” It’s an interactive story-telling session with Belle. The crew members picked some participants.. and BH was picked!!! OMG!! I was soooo excited!!!! hahaha.. I mean.. of so many people he was picked!!! see… the beauty of the ‘we are celebrating’ badge!!!! 🙂

Bing’s role was Belle’s knight!! everybody say “WAH!!” hehehe

It was such a awesome experience!!!! Something I will nv forget!!

Love how the castle changes at night… very pretty!! very magical!! I know.. I used the word ‘magical’ many times.. but it really is!! this time round, we didn’t take much pics of the fireworks.. decided that we shld just enjoy and rem it in our heads instead 🙂

Just one last look…..

Chocolate Souffles for 2!

[This is an outdated post]

One Sunday, 2 weeks ago, I was really craving for chocolate souffle and tiramisu. Yes, both desserts at the same time! haha.. I bought the ingredients and decided to make them on the same day! Abit ambitious BUT these are ez recipes! The chocolate souffle came out v well.. Tiramisu taste ok but the cream wasn’t as smooth as I wanted it to be

managed to find a recipe that yield 2 servings for the chocolate souffle

Chocolate souffle recipe (for 2)

(from My San Francisco Kitchen)

Ingredients

⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips (used chocolate bar)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp warm water
2 tbsp and 2 tsp granulated sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature (I used 3 egg whites)
⅛ tsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Confectioners’ sugar for garnish (I omitted this)

Instructions

1) Grease 2 ramekins with soft butter, then coat with sugar. Place ramekins in the freezer and chill for at least 30 minutes.

2) Place an oven rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

3) Add the chocolate and butter to heatproof bowl then placed over a saucepan filled with an inch of simmering water (not touching).Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth.Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and cinnamon. Set aside.

4) In a large bowl, add egg yolk and warm water and beat until frothy. Gradually add 2 tsp sugar, and continue beating about 5 minutes.

5)Gently fold the yolks into the chocolate mixture.Remove ramekins from freezer.

6)Add egg whites to the bowl of a standing mixer with whisk attachment and add lemon juice and pinch of salt.

7)Beat on medium until frothy, then gradually add 2 tbsp of sugar and increase speed to high.Beat until the whites hold a stiff peak then stop.

8) Gently fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten, then fold in remaining whites until just blended.

9) Carefully spoon the souffle mixture into the ramekins, and place on a baking sheet.

10)Bake until the soufflé rises and when the top is touched with your finger it springs back, about 18 to 20 minutes.

11)Remove from oven, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.

Finished mine up almost immediately! Yummy!

Note: Eat immediately after baking – it will shrink and sink once out of the oven!

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My not so successful Tiramisu.. shall share recipe when i find a better one

Avocado House Party!

I was thrilled that I got selected for Avocados House Party! 😀 I applied for other House Parties previously but didn’t get selected. Lucky me!! I was 1 of the 1500 lucky hosts!

This House Party comes with 15 shopping totes + $15 gift card for the host. It was a great experience for me and also one of the greatest reward as a couponer! Above all, this party would not have gone smoothly w/o Jo’s help (in cooking and preparing) and Dave&Jo generosity for allowing me to host at their house! Thank u!!

For food, we have….

Hawaiian Baked Rice

Recipe from Noobcook This is a good recipe for parties..and it taste so good + very filling too! We made 2 batches (white rice on one tray, brown rice on the other) – everyone loved the brown rice version, even when they don’t like brown rice!

Avocado pop tarts!

Recipe from Scarlettabakes. This is Jo’s idea! OMG… it taste sooo good…

Interior of Avo pop tart
It does not taste like avocado at all.. and looks like Kaya!!! we omitted the lime glaze.. and it still taste good!

Tacos!

How can Avocado Party not have tacos?! Recipe from Guilty Kitchen

A pic of all of us enjoying the party! Thank you House Party and Avocados From Mexico

Review: Local360

Ever since we moved to the Eastside, going to Seattle is a BIG DEAL… what i mean is.. we rarely go to Seattle because of the traffic, distance, toll or rather.. my driver’s laziness. Anyhow, Mr Brown’s talk is at downtown Seattle, so we have no choice.. haha

We went to Local360 It’s a cool place with nice atmosphere. I love the wooden interior of the restaurant as it gives a vintage feel. There are also paintings which makes the place modern.

I woke up with a very bad headache so i didn’t have much appetite. BH ordered PB & J Bons Bons for starters.. gosh.. it was poisonous!


Erm.. this is really silly but we were asking ourselves ( and looking around) – How to eat the Bons Bons? Do we dunk it in milk? I drizzle milk over my Bons Bons, so I didn’t look silly.. haha


Look at the PB inside the Bons Bons!! I only had 1 and BH ate the rest.

I ordered pancakes.. I just didn’t know what to eat..

BH ordered Pork Belly – which was soft, tender and delicious (according to him)

Overall, the food was alright. Actually, it’s not fair to judge the food as I was not in my best form. I will make a mental note to dine in this place again. Service was alright – it was really bz on a rainy Saturday afternoon! The servers took awhile to take our orders and our food also took a while to come.

Another thing to note: Prime card discount is NOT valid for brunch

Total damage: $35 w 15% tips