Happy meat chef in the making!

16 Aug

I am so thrilled by the fact that I have over $100 of meat sitting happily in my freezer because of a fantastic giveaway! I just love freebies, don’t you? ūüėÄ

It all started with a subscription to Honeycombers’ mailing list (you should subscribe; it is really quite interesting sometimes) and I received an email from them Tuesday, with the subject header [$1000 The Butcher Giveaway]. I excitedly opened the email and was wondering at the back of my mind what I needed to do – if it involved writing, taking a photo, etc etc … but no! All I ¬†had to do was to be one of the first five to drop by any of their outlets and mention “Honeycombers” and I will be the proud owner of a Family Meat Pack valued over $100!

I immediately poked S who was beside me at that time, and told him that we had to leave soon¬†(we were at his parents’ place for dinner) and try our luck – and 20 minutes later we were in the car zooming down to the outlet nearer us, hoping and praying that we could make it. It was already three hours since the email was sent out ¬†but something told me to give it a try.

We walked in The Butcher together and I went up to the man sitting by the computer and said, “Um … Is there any chance that we … ?” and before I could complete my sentence, he smiled and informed me that I made it and I was the third! I practically squealed in delight. The Butcher is a place I have wandered into occasionally because I am always so fascinated by the wide selection of gourmet meat they have got but I always walk away empty handed. So you can imagine the smiles on our faces when we walked out this time, with one great big bag with our favourite meats: beef, pork, chicken and lamb!

That’s him packing up our meats! And that’s just one corner of the entire meat selection available!

We went home and I threw everything in the freezer, showered and immediately switched on my iMac to browse recipes for lamb chops and whole roast chicken. I managed to find something do-able for a noob cook such that I am and promised S that he can start looking forward to an elegant lamb dinner Friday evening!

Am off now to buy groceries now for tomorrow’s yummy dinner! I will upload the recipe(s) I used if it turned out well (: stay tuned!

The Butcher 

44 Jalan Merah Saga #01-50 S278116
80 Marine Parade Road #B1-83B S449269
http://www.thebutcher.com.sg/

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Honey cranberry cornflake cups

13 Aug

No recipe blog of mine will be complete without this comfort snack – the underrated but absolutely delicious honey cranberry cornflake cups!


photo taken from http://essentialparenting.sg/honey-cornflakes

It’s my go-to for something sweet, and is great when my mouth is “itchy” and needs to munch on something. It’s actually the very first thing I baked in my new kitchen and I love how easy, fuss-free and quick it is to do – about 20 to 30 minutes max!

Quantity
Makes about 20 cups

Equipment you need
A medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan
20 small paper cups
Baking tray

Ingredients you need
40g unsalted butter
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sugar (optional – I usually do without this and add one more tbsp of honey)
125g plain cornflakes (2 cups)
Dried cranberries (to taste)

Steps 
1 Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius.
2 Put the butter, sugar and honey in the saucepan and melt over low heat until it is all mixed and sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat.
3 Add in corn flakes+ cranberries and mix well.
4 Use a spoon and scoop the mix into the small paper cups. Arrange them on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.

5 Leave to cool and set. Best served at room temperature.

I must have made this about five times since last Nov – yes I know, I am addicted! Have you tried this before?

Lemon curd chocolate tart

13 Aug

My cell member xinyi baked this awesome lemon chocolate tart for us a few months ago and I developed a craving for it one day so I decided to try my hand at it (:

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I especially like that the base turns out to be something like shortbread, and that it’s covered with a layer of yummy chocolate ganache with a surprise tangy flavour of lemon curd inside. It certainly makes a refreshing snack/dessert though S gave it only 60% “because I don’t like lemon”. Sigh, men. Haha.

I actually baked this a week earlier but I was either too excited, or careless because I didn’t label my bottles and I ended up using salt instead of sugar in my lemon curd, which obviously affected the entire thing. I’m glad I tried again because it turned out to be pretty yummy and satisfying.

Okay, enough yammer from me – here’s the to-die-for recipe!

Recipe quantity
Makes 10

Equipment you need
Muffin trays
Mixer
Kitchen weighing scale
Two small to medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepans

Tart base/crust

Ingredients you need:
200g unsalted butter
75g castor sugar
215g plain flour
40g cornflour

Steps:
1 Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius.
2 Sieve the plain flour and cornflour into a big mixing bowl.
3 Add the butter and sugar.
4 With the mixer, mix until it is well combined.
5 Use a spoon to press the mixture into the muffin tray or little pastry moulds. Try to make the pastry bases as thin as possible as they tend to rise a fair bit in the oven.
6 Use a fork to create little holes in the pastry bases.
7 Put the trays in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

Chocolate ganache

Ingredients you need:
100g bittersweet/dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used dairy whipping cream and it turned out fine too)
30g unsalted butter

Steps:
1 Bring the cream to a full boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
2 When the cream is coming to a boil, work the butter with a rubber spatula until it becomes soft and creamy. Set aside.
3 Once the cream is at a boil, remove from heat and gently stir the cream into the chocolate with a whisk. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.
4 Leave the bowl on the counter for a minute before adding the butter bit by bit. Stir gently and bring the mixture to a smooth blend.
5 When the butter is fully incorporated, the ganache should be smooth and glossy.
6 Refrigerate ganache until chilled.
7 Remove chilled ganache from the refrigerator and whip with the mixer until light and fluffy.

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Lemon curd (makes 2/3 cup)

Ingredients you need:
1/3 cup lemon juice (you will need about two to three lemons)
5 tbsp coarse sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
(optional: for extra tanginess, add one to two tsp lemon zest)

Image

Steps:
1 In a small saucepan, dissolve sugar into lemon juice over medium heat. Add zest here if you want to.
2 Lightly beat the egg in a small/medium bowl.
3 Slowly pour the lemon/sugar syrup into the egg, and whisk constantly.
4 Beat for two minutes (only 1 if you are using a mixer here) then transfer the mixture back into the saucepan.
5 Use low heat and stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble at the edges.
6 Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
7 Transfer the lemon curd into a small container and store in the fridge.

Assembling 

1 Use a spoon to place a small dollop of lemon curd on the pastry tart base. This is where the holes created with the fork comes in – for the curd to set inside and within the pastry.
2 Cover with a nice thick layer of the chocolate ganache. Use a spatula to create a smooth layer on top.
3 Put the end result in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for it to set.
4 Best served chilled.

recipe adapted from cookingupadream

p/s: photographs are taken with instagram; yes you can follow me there too @floralfoodie

My inspiration

13 Aug

I married my best friend S last Nov and we moved into a little HDB flat in Singapore. It’s been a really exciting journey; especially now that I finally have a kitchen I can call my own!

These are some websites I prowl on a weekly basis and are my sources of inspiration. It’s always bookmarking mania whenever I visit them! I just wish I have more time to try out all the recipes I have favourited – I realise this is a grouse many share!

1 http://foodgawker.com/ (my absolute favourite)
2 http://www.noobcook.com/

Okay, I know that isn’t much, but foodgawker is practically a hobbyist chef’s heaven, in my opinion.

Truth be told, my ultimate inspiration is my husband’s approval and delight as he tucks into each dish I prepare and whip up for him (((:

Now, what I’d like to know – what is your inspiration and where do you go for tried and trusted recipes? Do share; I’d love to hear from you!

Jessica Sinclair

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