Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Seasons greetings!

Wish you all a merry christmas...
May the joys of the season
fill your heart with goodwill and cheer
May the chimes of christmas glory
add more shine and spread
smiles across the miles
today and in the new year!

I'm ringing in X'mas and the New Year in India with my family. As happy as that makes me, during the holiday season (especially around X'mas), I do miss Singapore. I miss the fun-filled parties, the alluring shopping sales, the non-stop dinner outings, the festive X'mas lights and decorations and obviously my dear friends and colleagues. 

Being a recent self-confessed Instagram addict, these are some images I took in Singapore a few weeks before I left on for my holiday.

 Now I'm off to go make some useless resolutions for the new year (most of which I'm not going to keep anyway!). 

I'll be back with more recipes, more reviews and more ramblings next year!

Happy Holidays!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Recipe of the month: Egg Biryani

These past few days have seen a flurry of activity in my world - cleaning & sorting things out at home, tying up loose ends at work, last minute shopping trips, baking cookies for some of my favorite people and packing for my upcoming holiday to India. YAY! I'll be away for almost a month so I thought that before I go, I'd prepare a few draft posts so my blog doesn't go quiet for too long. I will be hitting the publish button for this post while in India. I'm grinning just thinking about it!

A few weeks ago while I was adding the 'Recipe Index' segment on my blog, I was startled to discover that I hadn't posted a recipe featuring rice ever. Now being a South-Indian and not having a rice recipe among the 30+ recipes I've posted so far is a little embarrassing. I do cook rice dishes pretty regularly but since the cooking I do for my blog are always done in the mornings over a weekend, I tend to lean more towards cooking breakfast items or snacks. So, I decided to post my first rice item in this entry. And what do I choose? No surprises here....for the egg-obsessed me, it has to be Egg Biryani of course!

Biryani is made with fragrant basmati rice, an assortment of aromatic spices and either meat, eggs or vegetables. It is one of the more popular rice dishes, not only in the Indian subcontinent but also in South East Asia and the Middle East. This dish has evolved so much over the years that are currently several variations and styles of biryani. 

I cannot take credit for this recipe because I hijacked it from my husband. I have no idea where he got it from because he doesn't like to follow a single recipe and tends to take bits and pieces from here and there to make a customised version. All I know for sure is that this recipe works like a charm - you can use it as a guide to test your cooking skills! It is slightly time-consuming but then again, with a dish like biryani, you have to make sure you have sufficient time and all the right ingredients before you decide to prepare it. This is not a dish that should be compromised by lack of ingredients or short-cut procedures.  All these years, I couldn't be bothered of taking the trouble of making biryani at home, comfortably settling for the biryani at my favorite Indian restaurant but after I tried this recipe, I know that my visits to the restaurant will lessen considerably!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Restaurant review: PS. Cafe (Palais Renaissance) - Singapore

DECEMBER - My favorite month of the year is here! For me, the festive atmosphere begins much before the arrival of Christmas. I love Singapore especially during this season. The sparkling lights and colorful decorations go up way in advance which makes the festive cheer linger for a satisfying amount of time. 

Me and my girlfriends always make use full use of the holiday season do do our Christmas shopping, gift exchange and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. This year we planned an early Christmas outing because several of us were scheduled to be traveling overseas for the holidays. We settled on PS. Cafe at Palais Renaissance, Orchard road because it was recommended by a friend. 

I had never been to any of the PS. Cafe outlets before (there are branches at Palais, Paragon, Harding, A.S.H park and Tiong Bahru) so I was looking forward to it. The restaurant features a western menu with an amazing array of desserts. There are minor variations in the menu depending upon the time of day that you go (brunch, lunch, dinner) and the location of the branch.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Baker's Corner: The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Before I say anything else, let me proudly announce that my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie has ended with this recipe! Hurray!!!

To elaborate, I've been on the look out for the perfect cookie recipe for a long long time. Although I have posted only one cookie recipe on my blog so far, please believe me when I say that I've tried many! I like the soft, chewy kind of cookies and the two varieties that I love the most are white chocolate-macadamia nut cookies and chocolate chip cookies. The last recipe that I posted for chocolate chip cookies was good but it did not meet my expectations entirely. This recipe is an adaptation of an adapted recipe from Jacques Torres which was published on the New York times in 2008. The cookies turned out exactly the way I wanted them to be. They were chunky, soft, moist and chewy with a subtle hint of saltiness and gooey chocolate goodness as you bit into them....positively sinful! I made two batches to take to a friend's house and then to my workplace and the unanimous verdict was that my chocolate chip cookies were much better than the store-bought variety. The husband was one happy customer too. He kept going back for more! This is a recipe that I am going to laminate and preserve for my posterity! 

I hope you try this recipe because once you do, it will be your go-to cookie recipe for life!