{e cooks} pad thai

It started with me posting a photo of tom yum soup followed by yum voon sen on instagram. I was thinking what to cook next and someone commented “pad thai”. I love all things Thai but pad thai is my least favourite Thai food. But someone in the family loves it. So, challenge accepted.

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Normally when I cook, I’ll look for the easiest dishes to cook which involves minimal preparation and cleaning up. But now, I’m slowly moving on to slightly complicated dishes. I’m ready to expand my culinary skill ;)

 As usual, I turned to my most trusted site on the www for the recipe. After going through the recipe, I set out to buy the ingredients. I have most of the items at home except the chilli powder and the ground peanuts. I thought of leaving both the items out but I reckon they are the two most crucial accompaniments for pad thai. Now, why can’t they sell the ground peanuts and chilli powder in a smaller quantity? I have one big packet of each sitting in the kitchen! Any suggestions how to use ‘em up?

To make this dish, it’s important to have your mis en place done. Get everything ready and you are ready to roll :)

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Pad Thai (serves 2-3 pax)
Recipe adapted from here

1 tbsp cooking oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 chicken breast meat, cut into strips
8-10 shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tbsp salted Chinese radish (chye po)
1 tbsp dried shrimp
1 pc dried bean curd, cut into cubes

2 dried rice noodles (soak in hot water until soft)
1 tbsp water
Pad Thai Sauce (see below)
1 egg

2-3 Chinese chives (cut into 2 cm strips) – optional
2 handfuls of bean sprouts

Accompaniments
2 tbsp ground peanuts
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sugar – optional

Pad Thai Sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp tamarind juice
1 tbsp oyster sauce (optional)

1. Soak the dried rice noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, prepare the Pad Thai sauce by mixing the ingredients together. Set aside.
2. In a wok over medium heat, fry garlic and shallots until fragrant. Add the chicken, shrimp, salted Chinese radish, dried shrimp and dried bean curd. Stir fry until chicken and prawns are cooked.
3. Add the noodles and the water and cook until the noodles are soft.
4. Add in the Pad Thai sauce and mix well. Cook until most of the sauce has evaporated.
5. Push the noodles to one side and add an egg. Scramble the egg. Once it’s slightly cooked, add bean sprouts and Chinese chives. Mix well until cooked.
6. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with accompaniments and serve.

Aroi mak mak!

{e bakes} almond croissant

Whenever I bake or cook, I always have C in mind. He loves pandan chiffon cake, I bake pandan chiffon cake. He loves cinnamon roll, I bake cinnamon rolls (although I’ve not make it for a long time and he’s bugging me now!). He loves buffalo wings, I make buffalo wings. You get the gist?

I don’t know if this a good thing but I always put others before me. I go by this motto – as long as they are happy, I am happy. Very easy to please, huh?!

unnamed (1)Back to the almond croissant. When we were at Dutch Colony a few weeks back, C ordered an almond croissant to share. It was until then that I found out he loves almond croissant. Took me 15 years to find out! Tsk Tsk..

While we were doing grocery shopping, we spotted a box of croissant and immediately, almond croissant came to mind. I have all the ingredients readily at home, so why not almond croissant for tea?

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Until I read the recipe, I didn’t know it would be so easy to recreate something so delicious at home. A little note of caution though. Almond croissants are very delicious BUT also very rich. So eat at your own risk :D

Almond Croissants (croissants aux amandes)

recipe adapted from here

6 day old medium/large croissants
sliced almonds
icing sugar for dusting

Syrup
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup of hot water
1 tsp rum essence/vanilla essence

Almond cream/crème d’amandes
1/4 cup castor sugar
1 cup almond flour
pinch of salt
100g butter, soften, diced
2 eggs

1. Dissolve sugar with hot water. Add rum essence and set aside.
2. Combine sugar, almond flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix well and then blend in butter until well incorporated. Add in eggs, 1 at a time and mix until the mixture become creamy.
3. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Slice the croissants horizontally (like you would for a sandwich).
5. Generously brush both cut sides with sugar syrup. The croissants should be quite moist but not soaking wet. Arrange the croissants on the baking sheet, cut sides up.
6. Spread about 2 tbsp of almond filling on the bottom half of each croissant and place the top back on. Spread 1 tbsp of almond filling over the top. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the almond cream is golden. Transfer onto a cooling rack, dust with icing sugar and serve, slightly warm or at room temperature.

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Psst…a little secret with you all. I have never eaten an almond croissant before (until at Dutch Colony). Gah! But now, I am a convert. Can I have an almond croissant please? :)

 

my 14th month old

At 14th month, she understands so much of what we say to her. I think she understands more than what we think she can apprehend. For example, going to the room and grab her towel when it’s bathing time or ask us to put her shoes on when she knows we are going out or ask me to switch off the light (by pointing) when it’s bedtime – that’s my favourite part of the day.

But it is not always the case, sometimes she also pretends not to understand us! Like when we asked her to pick something up or when we stop her from doing something – the more you stop her from doing it, the more she wants to do it. We have a little monster here!!

IMG_6161.JPGShe has already started to sleep through the night (like finally!!) *throw confetti*. She will wake up at 5 or sometimes 6. I’ll nurse her and she will drift back off to sleep. But the minute she hears C’s voice, she wakes up. Unlike us adults, she has NO problem getting out of bed! 

And she’s back sleeping in her own cot. For a while, I thought it would become a white elephant! Every night after I nurse her, she will point towards her cot telling to put her in the cot. I would kiss her goodnight and that’s it! She will fall asleep on her own. I wish I could say this for afternoon naps though. Morning naps are a breeze but afternoon naps? Ugh! It’s like a battle.

She is going through the mother of all teething now!! Her canines AND molars are sprouting at.the.same.time. This is seriously no joke!! One of her canines has finally erupted. Just one! It will be a long while more before we can take a breather.

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On her eating front, she is still a champ especially when it comes to snacking. I’m slowly introducing adult’s food to her. I still control what goes into her mouth but I am easing up a little. As long as, it is not too sweet or salty, by all means. 

Right now, she is the funniest. She loves to make us laugh with her silly antics. When she knows you are angry, she will make funny faces or pretend to laugh out loud. You know, it’s very hard to be angry at her! I wish I could freeze this moment right now, minus the whining and crying!

At the same time, she has been acting out a lot. There were lots of crying, whining and tantrums. Oh, and big fat tears too! It’s rather challenging and difficult. And it takes a whole lot of patience to deal with her. I’m not sure if it’s due to teething or she is approaching the stage of disequilibrium. But like what everybody says, this is just a phase and it will pass.

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A person’s a person, no matter how small.

We love you very very muchie, my baby boo!

{e eats} pranakorn changi village

One day while having brunch at Changi Village, we came across a banner which says “authentic Thai noodle”. We were pretty stoked (one more dining choice in Changi V, yay!). Since then, I have been stalking them on Facebook and counting down to their opening.

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They are having an opening promotion now; a set meal which consist of a main, drink and dessert. They don’t have an extensive menu (makes ordering less challenging!), just a few items in each course which I believe are all carefully curated by the chef. All the food are MSG free, so brownie point to that!

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T
om yum noodle. I was expecting those robust tom yum soup like what is served in most Thai restaurants. But this has a clear soup base which I find it quite similar to ‘mama tom yum noodle’. It comes with two pork patties, a wanton skin and half an egg. Egg in tom yum soup? That’s my first!

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Minced pork noodle. I find this is lacking in flavour. Well, It could be because of the overpowering tom yum soup hence, making this a bit bland. But C like this though. You must be wondering how come his noodles was served in a kid’s bowl, right? The only reason I could think of is they must have assumed it is for Elisa. But I think it would be nice for them to clarify rather than just assume. We didn’t bother to inform the staff. It’s a small matter but I just it funny for a man to be using a kid’s bowl. 

While we find that their noodles are just ordinary (sorry guys, we still prefer Golden Mile’s), their side dishes are rather remarkable. We highly recommend them.

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Homemade fried pork cake with special dipping sauce. Delicious, flavourful and so juicy. Definitely a star dish.

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Spicy and sour fried pork ball. The tangy bed of shallots went very well with the pork balls. The only negative about this dish is that I find the shallots a tad too sour for my liking. Then again, C likes it.

Will we come back again? I don’t see a reason not to! Good food and reasonable prices – these are enough to keep us going back for more.

Pranakorn
4, Changi Village Road #01-2086,
Singapore 500004
Mon-Sun: 11am-9pm
6543 0883
* Cash only

{e eats} dutch colony frankel avenue

We stumbled upon Dutch Colony while on our way to Cedele. Hence, we dumped our idea of having breakfast at Cedele and hopped over to Dutch Colony which is just next door.

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They were on a soft launch mode when we visited, it was their third day in operations if I’m not wrong, therefore most of the food items were not available. They only have pastries and cakes and coffee, of course.

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almond croissant and cranberry swirl. The almond croissant is really good, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

1410876974.617130.IMG_5641This place look rather impressive, both interior and exterior. What I particularly like about this place is how spacious it is (stroller friendly, but the steps leading  to the cafe is not!), unlike some cafes whereby it is so cramp I can barely breathe. Also, I like the covered alfresco area, perfect for taking photos in natural lighting ;)

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1410876975.025657.IMG_5633Parents, don’t fret, they have high chairs!

This place looks promising and definitely a good news for people staying in the East. I bet when words get around, the crowds will start flocking in.

Dutch Colony
113, Frankel Avenue,
458230 Singapore.
Sun-Thur: 8am-8pm
Fri & Sat: 8am-10pm

{e eats} bali: chez gado gado

When I knew we were going to Bali, I asked some Instagram friends for recommendations on where to eat in Bali. They are real foodies, so you gotta trust them on that! The list I got was overwhelming. I wished I could try all the recommended places but it’s impossible to try all on one trip.

On our last night, C suggested to go for a nice dinner and we picked Chez Gado Gado. It was highly recommended by an IG friend. We made a reservations at 6.30 pm just in time to catch the famous Balinese sunset.

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Chez Gado Gado is located on Seminyak’s Double Six Beach. It is a fine-dining restaurant serving Pan-Mediterranean fare at an affordable price despite the swanky appearance of the restaurant.

There were two special set menus to choose from; signature set menu and sunset set menu with wine pairing. I chose the signature set menu whereas C and my MIL went for ala carte.

I wish I could do a proper review of all the food we had, but it has been a while since the dinner and I can’t remember how each dish tasted. But believe me, all the food were perfectly executed. We enjoyed our meal very very much!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAking prawn & pork belly, in sweet and sour prawn broth, cucumber, glass noodles and pineapple, served with a side of watermelon salad

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAslipper lobster, poached in butter, served with pumpkin ravioli, hazelnut and garlic emulsion

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChez Gado Gado’s gado gado, untraditional and deconstructed served with a combination of luke warm as well as pickled vegetables with flowers, herbs, crisp coconut crumbs and peanuts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtuna carpaccio a la nicoise, thinly sliced and served with free range hard boiled egg, haricort verts, baby roman, capers and sliced black olives

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAoctopus and squid fricassee, with Iberico chorizo, cannellini beans, pesto, zucchini and ginger emulsion

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAoven baked flounder with white truffle mousse, white shrimp, juniper berry and nantua sauce

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAgrilled Australian rib eye, cooked medium rare, served with herb butter, turnip, zucchini, braised shallots, potato croquettes and jus

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAseared barramundi with tamarind beurre blanc, orange marmalade, red bell pepper, almonds and rice with crunchy nuts

We were stuffed after our mains, but the dinner wouldn’t be complete without having some sweets. We asked for a candle when we placed our dessert order and upon knowing that we are (kind of) celebrating Elisa’s birthday, the waiter kindly offered us a birthday cake. To be honest, I was very surprised. I didn’t expect a baby to get this kind of treatment. I mean there are some restaurants in Bali that do not allow kids and here, they are giving Elisa, a baby who probably doesn’t know how a cake taste like a cake? They even sang her a birthday song! We were completely baffled (in a good way) by their warm gesture!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGado-gado’s 2002 classic chocolate melted cake with passion fruit and vanilla ice cream
(my MIL’s weakness)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcourtesy of Chez Gado Gado

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhappy birthday, my baby boo!

We love everything about this place. The food, the service, the ambience. It was warm and casual despite it being a fine dining restaurant. We utterly regretted for not coming here earlier on during our stay. Up till now, C is still thinking about his amazing starter of king prawns and pork belly. I guess the only to make him stop thinking is to make another trip to Bali again!

Chez Gado Gado
Seminyak,
Jalan Camplung Tanduk (Dhyana Pura) 99
80361, Indonesia
(+62)361 736 966
http://gadogadorestaurant.com/

*reservations is recommended