Friday, March 27

Friday 27th finds

Must read //

As a result of Monday's momentous event, there are naturally many things worth reading and catching up on. 

"Had Singapore chosen the road of its critics, it might well have collapsed among its ethnic groups, as the example of Syria teaches today." Henry A. Kissinger's eulogy to Lee Kuan Yew

"Freedom is knowing our children can go to school without fear of drugs, or being mowed down by some insane person with a gun. Freedom is knowing that we are not bound by our class, our race, our religion, and we can excel for the individuals that we are - the freedom to accomplish." Calvin Cheng rebuts critics on Singapore trading freedom for economic success.

I love reading about him as an elder brother. By Monica Lee, Mr Lee Kuan Yew's only sister and Lee Suan Yew, Mr Lee Kuan Yew's youngest brother.

A reporter’s notes on Mr Lee by Bertha Henson.

Must make //

Anything with a bright and beautiful yellow egg gets my vote and this Georgian cheese bread floats my boat. 
Must visit //

The amazing Bezar office!

Spent 6 months in Copenhagen and I fell in love with the city. Looks like there is more reason to love the former Viking fishing village.

Wednesday, March 25

Lamb meatballs + Hummus + Spinach "pie"

My in-laws were back a long trip and they came over for lunch over the weekend. Initially, we wanted to order delivery Thai food but in the end, I thought, with proper planning, we should be able to prepare a meal for them. Plus this gives me something to maul over in my free time (yes, I absolutely cannot stand being idle).

While recipe surfing, Amateur Gourmet's Lamb Meatballs on Ottolenghi’s Hummus with Pomegranate Molasses called out to me with a vengeance. 

This recipe was adapted from Ottolenghi’s as I have trouble following recipes to a tee (thus baking is still not a strong suit of mine).

The recipe called for tahini but I had a bottle of Japanese roasted sesame salad dressing sitting in my fridge, begging to be used up and so I heeded its call. Since the dressing is runnier than tahini, I only added about half a cup of it.

I might have taken liberties with the amount of lemon juice and garlic, which resulted in a dip that was sharp, punchy and dip-tastic.

As you can see, I attempted to spoon out the hummus artistically onto the plate but of course, the effort came to naught since I dumped about four dozen meatballs over it. #sadnotsad

As for the lamb meatballs, instead of Aleppo pepper, I used a one teaspoon of grounded cumin seeds because cumin and lamb go together like Ernie and Bert - or something like that. I also left out the pine nuts because well, I didn't think they were essential and they really weren't, I promise.

And of course, I made them ahead, seared them the day before and popped them into the oven for about 10 mins at 350F.

Oh, I didn't have pomegranate molasses so after searing the meatballs, I deglazed the pan (ooo, chef-y term) with 3/4 cup of white wine and scraped up with caramelised bits, creating a sort of sauce for the dish.

I wanted to make something the Munckin could have as well and I remembered how much he loved the spinach dip at California Pizza Kitchen.

The Artichoke Spinach Dip recipe by Brown Eyed Baker was simple enough but I will admit, I messed up the quantities for mayonnaise and sour cream so it was less creamy and more of a spinach "pie." Still very yummy and maybe somewhat healthier.

Monday, March 23

Remembering Mr. Lee Kuan Yew

March 23 Monday

The day Singaporeans woke up to the realization that they have to live in a country without their founding father Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

I read about his passing as early as 4.45am when I woke up somewhat begrudgingly to pump. After reading the news, I glanced at my firstborn and felt a tinge of regret that my children will enjoy the benefits of being a Singaporean without meeting the man who made it all happen.

It is hard to watch the news. On other days, I would have complimented Channel News Asia broadcaster Glenda Chong on her chic black and white ensemble but today, I noticed how hard she was trying to maintain her composure and keep her chin from trembling - I would have been a teary heap.

Over lunch, an auntie gave me a free sample of cheese pineapple tarts with my popiah. She served me with a smile, which I returned with a half-smile given the heavy feeling in my heart. In this air-conditioned food court where you don’t even have to clear your trays given the efficiency of cleaning aunties and uncles, I'm again reminded of these creature comforts that we take for granted.

There has been much anti-government rhetoric over the past couple of years. If you are a Singaporean ranting about Lee Kuan Yew from the comforts and security of your hipster cafe, condominium or country club, I guess you have neither the maturity nor tenacity (or bluntly put, the balls) of the man himself. If you are a Singaporean bitching about our policies even after migrating, do remember, You gave up on your country, Lee Kuan Yew didn't.

Like most Singaporeans, I have never met Mr. Lee Kuan Yew personally but I will forever be in his debt. So thank you, Mr. Lee and to your children for sharing your father with us.

Friday, March 20

Friday 20th finds

Must read //

I Wasn’t Treating My Husband Fairly, And It Wasn’t Nice. I see a lot of myself in the writer and god knows the people closet to us need a break (from us) from time to time.

And experts say 55% of communication is visual eg., body language, eye contact, so let's work on our body language.

I am obsessed with Myers Briggs and colleague just forwarded me this little bit of fun. I am an INTJ mum - oh my gawd, so true!

Must make //

Lamb meatballs with Ottolenghi’s hummus? Yeah, why not.

I am usually not into mussels (more of a clams person) but this dish looks positively inviting.

Really, a kopi-o lip balm? Swoon... And they have a rose bandung flavour too.

Must visit //

I would love to go on these design trails, which are part of the Singapore Design Week. But alas, I have moral obligations this weekend that must be fulfilled. Register here.

Commissary, a beautiful greenhouse/restaurant in LA by Roy Choi. 

Monday, March 16

Bites from weekend #11

Diana's 30th (with an awesome old school coffee cake), Daphne's first month (tell me I am not the only one with a soft soft for catering food) and the in between ( carrying 9 weeks old Dumpling for the first time). 

Friday, March 13

Friday 13th finds

Must read //

Female Company President apologies to all the mothers she has worked with. Very good article. I refuse to believe women bosses are hellish to work for but this article poses a good self-check if you are a female boss.

Parenting Advice: Don’t Kill Them. Yes, there are moments when I fantasise about being *cough* kids-less.

Must make //

Cookie Butter Cheesecake. I have ordered cookie butter from Trader Joe's and my in-laws will be brining them back from the States soon. Woot~

Still thinking about my salad from Baker & Cook. This salad looks simple enough. The real questions is, will canned beets taste as good as fresh beets (which are so difficult to find)? Can anyone enlighten? 

Must visit //

The Working Capital - a new co-working space with pop-up rooms and a cafe.

Just by being in Paris, I am sure this J Crew outlet is alot cooler than the rest.

Wednesday, March 11

Bites from weekend #10

After 10 (!) long years, I thought this blog deserves a new look. I hardly dare call myself a "food blogger" these days and this new look highlights the shift in my priorities. 

So yeah, ta-dah!

* * * 

Our now-regular mother-son fortnight breakfast date with my Firstborn. Earlier this year, KW and I introduced a new tradition where one of us would take turns every alternate Saturday morning and take the Munckin (and eventually, the pea dumpling) out for breakfast as part of bonding.

It was an impromptu decision to have coffee - milo for the Munchkin - and toast at the hawker centre and I am still in awe of how cheap the meal was. Eggs, toasts, and two drinks for $3.50!?

A little workout in the sun after breakfast. #ChildhoodDays

As for the little one, he is no longer a pea but a dumpling. A dumpling with tubby thighs.

In a bid to get Russell interested in Mandarin again, I decided to look for some Chinese nursery rhyme videos. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find (free) videos of Chinese nursery rhymes that won't make you cringe? After subject my eyes and ears to a plethora of disturbingly awful videos, I finally found a bunch that I could sit through.

Homemade prawn noodles for Sunday lunch at my parents place. Yup, I didn't bother with photos thereafter. 

And this photo of the brothers together (their first!) tops the weekend. I just love this photo!