Friday, April 30, 2010

Bacon + Asparagus = Heavenly match

It's Friday night and I didn't want to spend a whole lot of time in the I made this fuss-free bacon wrapped asparagus that tasted too good.

All you need is - bacon & asparagus of course! Wash and cut the asparagus into shorter pieces. Add some olive oil and pepper to your asparagus and mix till evenly coated. Next, cut your bacon in half (I always use low-sodium bacon). Place a few pieces of asparagus on your bacon and roll it up. You can use a toothpick to hold the roll in place (remember to soak your toothpick in water before using it so that it doesn't char in the oven) but I didn't even bother to do that. Then, place the rolls on a baking pan....I used a slotted pan so that the bacon fat can drip off. Preheat the oven to 400F and then bake the bacon rolls for about 16-18min. You can also grill the rolls. This bacon roll also works great with inoki mushrooms (which unfortunately is not so readily available where we are).

Here's my dinner......(pardon the bad kitchen light has a yellow undertone that's so unflattering!)
Here's one taken with flash.....all these shared between the 2 of us. It's not exactly the most healthy meal 'cos of the high salt and fat content of the bacon....but it sure is yummy every once in awhile when you want to make something quick and fuss-free.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chocolate + Cheesecake = Sinful!

I needed to use up some cream cheese that I bought at a sale awhile ago. So I thought - cheesecake! I'm not a huge fan of the regular cheesecake so I decided to add some chocolate to it. Yumz

Was lazy to do anything too elaborate so I settled for a chocolate cheesecake recipe provided by the good people at Kraft

I halved the recipe of course....& do take note that you'd definitely need more cookies than what's stated in the recipe to make the cheesecake base!

I was also dying to try out my new 4" mini springform pans (3 for $9.99 @ Target) that I've bought ages ago. It looks cute or what!
Here's my chocolate cheesecake with blueberries on top.

I made 2 of these (one for neighbour) and another 4 cupcake-size ones 'cos I didn't want to waste the remaining batter. Haven't gone through the taste test yet......maybe in another hour's time for our tea. This size is just perfect to be shared between me and RG. We are looking forward to tea time.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New from old.....

With can often give old stuff a new lease of life! Using the queen size fitted sheet that I bought in the thrift store in New Haven, I made 6 new 18" square cushion inserts out of it.

Peace-Love-&-Lobster t-shirt apron....

Ever since I started sewing.....I'm always on the look out for nice fabrics or clothings that I can recondition.

RG and I were in Falmouth (Cape Cod) for lunch last week and I chanced upon this cute lobster T-shirt. The color was a little faded so it was selling for $1! I decided to buy it even though I haven't got a clue what to use it for.

I was wondering what to sew today when I saw the lobster T-shirt lying on my bed. I thought, since it's a about turning it into an apron?!!

So I gathered some matching color fabric scraps and a hand towel (I like to wipe my hands on my apron so I thought why not incorporate a hand towel in the apron!!) together with my T-shirt.
First, I cut out the front picture portion of the T-shirt (I kept the remaining of the T-shirt for my other crafts). It's good that the T-shirt is XL in size so that I'd end up with a good size apron to wrap around the front width of the body.
Then I laid the T-shirt fabric on the hand towel and cut the towel to the exact same measurement as the T-shirt.
Next I cut strips of 5" (for the apron strap) and 8" (for the trim around the apron) using the below fabric scraps (or you can use the remaining of your T-shirt fabric to make these).
As my fabric scraps were quite short in length....I had to join the pieces to get one long piece.
Prepare your iron......
First, fold the fabric strip in the middle and iron. Next, fold the fabric again such that it looks like this....(yes, I'm making a bias tape)....and iron.
You'll end up with a very long narrow strip like this for the waist band....
And a slightly shorter (just enough to go around the edges of the apron) but wider strip for the trimming.....
Pin the wider strip around the edges of the apron......make folds at the corner.....'d look like that on the back of the apron......
Then, pin the narrower but longer strip to the top of the apron...when you are done pinning everything.....just machine sew all around the trimmings as well as the waist band. I sewed them several times round to ensure that everything is secured.
There you have it.....a cute T-shirt apron. You can use your old T-shirts for this project instead of using a new one like I did....anything with a fun print or wordings will look great! It's really very easy to give it a try.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Liquid goodness...GULP!

Forget the unhealthy soft drinks....try this instead. It's easy to make and creamyly yummy!

All you need is some fruits/vegetables.....fat-free yoghurt.....and some fresh fruit juices (hand-squeezed even better!). I used 1 banana, 1 slice of pineapple, peach yoghurt, orange juice and some raspberry lemonade.
Throw all the fruit bits into the blender....add yoghurt and juice...and then blend.
There you have a glass of healthy drink to fulfil your daily fruit/vegetable intake. Healthy can taste good too!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Super easy and tasty baby back ribs....

This is almost a foolproof recipe to cook the baby back ribs. All you need is a bottle of BBQ sauce (I used Kraft brand) and some baby back ribs (I made 1 pound) actually. But to enhance the flavor....I also added some ABC sauce, sesame oil, ground cumin & thai chilli sauce. The good thing's really up to you what you wanna add for the seasoning. If you are too lazy...just the BBQ sauce (1/2 bottle for 1 pound of ribs) will do too!

I put the baby back ribs and marinate into a big ziploc bag and swooshed it around till well coated. Then I left it to marinate in the refrigerator over night. I took it out once to swoosh it around some more and then placed it back in the fridge.

Approx 3hrs before your meal time, preheat your oven to 300F. Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminium foil (i used quite a bit of foil 'cos I didn't want the package to leak). Place the ribs in the middle rack and bake for 2.5hrs.

After 2.5hr, remove the package from the oven and open it up. At this point, you can cut the ribs into individual pieces. I'd recommend that you take a small piece to taste. Depending on how you like the taste of can add more seasoning at the second stage. But if you are happy with the can also start eating without going through the second stage of broiling.

For me, I like the ribs slightly charred. I applied more BBQ sauce and some honey onto the ribs. And then, I set the oven for broiling at 550F. I placed the ribs onto a broiler pan and left it in the oven for another 5-10min. I'd recommend to watch the ribs closely in case they become too charred. When you are satisfied with the degree of can then remove the ribs from the oven and then you can start the finger-licking good eating! Careful...don't burn your tongue =P~

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


After all the unhealthy eating over the past few days, I decided to make some polenta for dinner last night.

I whisked the cornmeal into some low-sodium soup stock and added very little seasoning - pepper, salt & sage. I also added some finely chopped pineapples 'cos I bought 2 big pineapples as they were on sale =P Then I poured the mixture into a non-stick baking pan and placed the pan in the refrigerator (at least an hour) to allow the polenta to set.

Once the polenta sets, I cut it into little pieces and placed them on a grill pan over the stove to cook for 2-3min on each side.

The texture is kinda like our "cai tao kueh" (radish cake). It's pretty bland 'cos I used very little seasoning. If you'd prefer it to have more taste, then you can add a stronger soup stock with more seasonings or even add some butter/cheese (which makes the polenta less healthy of course!).

I topped off the polenta with a stir-fry medley of lean chicken breast, celery, pineapple and cashew nut with a dash of sweet-and-sour & thai chilli sauce to add a little zing to the dish.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Burger nite @ Kinsale Inn (Mattapoisett)

19 April was Patriots' Day - a public holiday for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Since RG was not working, we made a date with TP to go to Kinsale Inn for their Burger Nite special.

Kinsale Inn is supposedly the oldest seaside inn in the nation. We had almost rented an apartment right next door to Kinsale Inn but we subsequently decided that it was too small for us.
We figured that the restaurant would get quite crowded for dinner so we made sure that we arrived very early and plonked ourselves down at the best table where we could get a nice view of the harbor.A glass of ice cold beer for each of us even before we ordered our food....heh heh....
All the burgers going for only 5 bucks!
I ordered the Maui-Waui....angus beef + swiss cheese + bacon + pineapple (lettuce, tomato & pickle of course). It was absolutely yummy....I love anything that has pineapple in it! =P~
RG had the Goo burger - angus beef + bacon + jalapeno + peanut butter....strange combination huh?! But I think he really liked it 'cos he gobbled up everything.
We decided to be greedy and ordered a slice of their very sinful chocolate cake after eating our burgers. It was a super huge slice....we couldn't finish it even when it was shared between the 3 of us! I absolutely love the cake...just the right texture & the chocolate ganache was hmmmm hmmmm hmmmm!
We had a wonderful dinner and at an amazing price too! We'll probably be back again soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Haven CT

We made a reservation for 1 night stay and we were given a twin double-bed room facing the wharf. For US85 per night, not only did we have a clean spacious room with super comfy beds, there was also complimentary breakfast and free wireless internet!

The view wasn't that great but still it was a waterview! I was worried about traffic noise but I could hardly hear anything.
And Ikea was right next door! We went there for some window shopping to get some home deco ideas and had our dinner there.
There are many museums and galleries in New Haven. As we didn't have a lot of time to spare, we picked 2 to visit - Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art.

Photography was restricted to certain areas but I managed to photograph this painting of Mao by Andy of my most favorite pop artists!
There are also numerous sculptures on display in courtyard of the Yale University Art Gallery.

The Center of British Art has the largest collection of British Art outside of the UK. Unfortunately, I was required to deposit my backpack/camera bag so no photography of the inside of the gallery....but trust me, there are some wonderful art pieces and you really should pop in for a visit if you are in New Haven. Admissions to the Yale University Art Gallery & Center for British Art are free.

Compared to many other places, eating out in New Haven is relatively inexpensive. Maybe 'cos it's a university town and most of the customers are students on shoestring budgets.

We especially liked the bookstore-cum-cafe concept which seemed very popular as most of such places were packed.

The below photos were taken at the Atticus Bookstore Cafe - great snacks and coffee/drinks at very reasonable prices.
The brownie dusted with a generous coating of cocoa powder tasted heavenly!
We had lunch at this japanese restaurant called Sushi on Chapel. The lunch bento sets cost 10 bucks and the food and serving sizes were very good! Unfortunately, I was too excited with my bento that I forgot to take some photos for my blog. And we got a bottle of hot sake for 1 buck...can you believe it?!!
We also ate at a Thai restaurant called Thai Pan Asian Restaurant and Bar which received a pretty decent review by New York Times. We both went for the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet and the price - USD7.50 per pax!! There was rice, noodles, curries, meats, vegetables, soup and even dessert - tapioca in coconut milk...yumz!
A last cup of coffee at the bookstore cafe before we left New Haven!

There are actually a couple of huge factory outlet malls near New Haven but they don't interest me that much. For shopping, I made RG drive me to the nearest thrift store. I love vintage stuffs and I don't mind using/wearing 2nd hand thrift stores are such a fun shopping place for me. The eclectic stuffs that you can often find in the thrift stores will make your creative juice flow!

We left the store with 2 vintage bedspreads which I'll probably reclaim for my craft projects and RG also found this amazing set of solid wood containers
which we are planning to sand down and repaint. And all these for less than 10 bucks...not to mention that it's such a great way to REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE!
These were some of the many interesting sights around New Haven. Enjoy!