29 January 2018

Mango Sticky Rice

Sometimes you just get a craving and it doesn't matter that you have to trek a bit to get the ingredients.  It definitely helps if the recipe is simple enough and it is even sweeter if your 10-year old daughter wants to make it for you!

A drizzle of coconut milk over the mango and black rice

This one below was the first mango sticky rice that Z made for us, using the traditional glutinous rice.  The main difference between this one and the one above is the rice used; everything else was pretty much the same.  I can't decide which one I like better.  The black rice has a different texture, which I liked, but it is not as fragrant as the white one below.  The toasted sesame seeds probably added to how fragrant it was, too.  Maybe we'll just have to alternate between the two, because we like both for different reasons!

Do share one (or more) of your favorite desserts!

24 January 2018

My son turned 13 last week.  I am not going to embarrass him by posting his baby photos here;  he has expressly told me not to post any pictures of him here.  Overnight, it seems that I have a man-boy in the house.  He is now taller than me and his voice is much deeper. He is constantly hungry and eats a ton.  Underneath all the physical changes, though, J is still my little boy (always will be!).  He drives me bonkers sometimes and he kills me with his very corny puns, but he has the kindest, kindest heart.  When he laughs hard, it just makes you laugh right along with him even if you don't know what exactly he's laughing about.  He has such a way with words that leaves me in awe.  He loves, loves, loves food and is game to try new restaurants with me, my foodie pal.  

I made a layered chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting to help celebrate his birthday.  A labor of love, I tell you.  Took me two days.  I had to experiment a bit with the frosting.  The first recipe that I tried was too rich, too sweet.  It came out more like fudge.  This second recipe that I ended up using, though, is just right.  Just the right amount of sweetness and very light.  Three cheers for meringue buttercream!

Singwa - Wed, 24 Jan 2018

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields... 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

15 January 2018

Imagine Dragons!

Saturday night was awesome!  By sheer luck, we found out that Imagine Dragons was coming to Hong Kong and we managed to get tickets to see them live in concert (again).  It was so cool to enjoy the concert with the kids.  Josh and Zoe actually knew the words to pretty much all the songs and were singing along with gusto (well, Zoe more than Josh).  

I think we enjoyed this concert more than the last time Imagine Dragons was here, because (1) the kids are older now, (2) they knew all the songs, and (3) not as shy to really get up and do what people do at concerts.  At the last concert, they were both embarrassed by us cheering and singing out loud and going woo hoo!  We told them that that was just generally what people do at pop concerts; they didn't think it was "proper."  No, they did not go wild this time either, but both got into it more and did not shush me or ask me to sit back down.  They were singing and cheering and clapping along and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. 

Singwa - Wed, 17 Jan 2018

Imagine Dragons is such a great band.  I love their music.  Generally, rock is not my 'thing,' but there's something about the beat (and the lyrics) in their songs that I love.  We saw the usual teens and young professionals at the concert, but there were also plenty of pre-teens and families attending... and the best thing is that everybody really got into it and rocked the concert, making for a really cool experience overall.  J even ran into his English teacher at the concert! 

We will definitely want to see them again the next time they come to Hong Kong.  Them... and Billy Joel and Andrea Bocelli. 

09 January 2018

Ichiran... ❤

My son is a foodie.  A real foodie.  At 13 (well, almost 13).  Last week, he requested that we go out and try out a new place.  I love that he's game.  I've been hearing about this ramen place where they serve only one type of ramen (tonkotsu ramen), where each person gets a "booth" to themselves, where the entire experience is done with very minimal human interaction.  The weather has been cool (it's around 8°C /45°F today) and I thought it'd be nice to check out Ichiran and have a nice, hot bowl of ramen.

Off we went and made it there by 12 noon.  We were congratulating ourselves for getting there early enough that we didn't have to queue up.  Once inside, though, we realized that we'd patted ourselves on the back too soon. There was a line inside that snaked around.  We decided to just wait since we were there already.  About 30 minutes in, we were finally seated at our respective booths.  I just call them booths, but essentially, you are seated along a bar, but there are dividers between you and the people on both sides of you.

They handed each of us an order slip where we could indicate our preferences on how our ramen would be prepared:  the richness of the stock, firmness of the noodles, the spice level, how much garlic we'd like, whether or not we'd like spring onions and/or the pork slices.  We could also indicate if we'd like extra sides (dried seaweed, salted egg, mushrooms, etc.)  Both of us mainly went with the recommended selections, but opted to up the garlic level. 

You press a button, someone comes to take the order slip.  You get a cup (for water that you self-serve from your own tap on the table in front of you) and chopsticks. When your order is ready, they serve it to you and bring down the bamboo curtain that separates you from the area where the food is prepared, leaving you to savor your ramen in peace.

Singwa - Wed, 10 Jan 2018

It was easily one of the best ramen I've had... ever.  The broth was so flavorful, the noodles were just right.  The word that both J and I kept saying as we were eating --flavorful.  Suffice it to say that we will be going back there again... and again... and again.   I won't say more.

Once done, we grabbed our order slip, a copy of which was discreetly placed in a holder on our table, and went out to pay.  By then, there was long line, not just inside the restaurant, but also outside, down the block!  See?

If you ever are in Hong Kong (or Japan or Taipei or Brooklyn, NY), do check out Ichiran.  Don't let the long queues deter you. The ramen is well worth the wait!

01 January 2018

Happy 2018!

Happy new year, everyone!  I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday break.  I'd been doing a lot of baking over Christmas.   I finally made a batch of pineapple tarts just for us!  In the past, whenever I made pineapple tarts, I usually gave them away to my friend whose son loves them and we got whatever 'extras' that remained.  This time I doubled the recipe and kept a batch for ourselves.  I did run out of filling for our batch, but managed to save the day with chocolate chips!  They turned out rather yummy, so next time, I might play around some more and experiment with other toppers.

Singwa - Wed, 3 Jan 2018

I finally made J his birthday cake (his birthday is in Jan, so that means that I will be making one again for him in a few weeks' time!).  Yes, I owed him a cake all this time, so when specifically asked for a bacon chocolate cake, I could not say no.  I did use turkey bacon and dark chocolate, so we could eat it with less guilt.

Singwa - Wed, 20 Dec 2017

On top of those, I also made a batch of Almond Choc Chip Chia Seeds Cookies.  No, I didn't take a pic of those and now they're all gone.  I'll have to remember to take some pictures of them next time.  Those are my favorite cookies to make (and eat!).

I look forward to discovering and exploring new recipes this year and experimenting.

What are you looking forward to in 2018?

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