For the love of lemons…

My favorite kitchen tools at the moment are the microplane grater and citrus juicer. They don’t take up a lot of space or require electricity – two essentials if you have a small kitchen or end up moving abroad.

I especially love the citrus juicer as I love, love lemons. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a staple in my fridge – it makes my smoothies more refreshing, it’s great with tea and today I used it to make a natural remedy for my upper respiratory irritation which is putting a damper on my day. 

I used the microplane and citrus juicer to make a concoction consisting of oranges, lemons, ginger root and garlic. All fresh of course. It’s a plus that I like all four ingredients individually. The combination produced a spicy and garlicky taste with a delicious touch of zestiness from the citruses. Cheers to good health (and you may want to brush your teeth to mask the garlic aftertaste!).

As the saying goes “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Tip: You can descale an electric kettle using lemon juice and water…

Bonus Tip: Freeze peeled garlic cloves and then use the microplane to grate it for some fresh ‘minced’ garlic. I have used the same trick to freeze and grate ginger, so experimented with garlic – it worked well!

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Just one of the locals

Eating where the locals eat I was asked by a fellow walking by where am I from so politely I said I live here but I haven’t been to this location. He confirmed the dish I was eating was the best chicken biryani in Singapore. I have to say I agree until I find otherwise. I get why he asked where I was from and to paint the picture for you… imagine a kopitiam (coffee shop which is a local eatery) filled with people of Chinese, Indian, Malay and other ethnicities; there is me…wearing a baseball hat and ready to go Thai grocery shopping. That’s what makes this country pretty damn awesome. I can go anywhere and feel like I “fit in.”

But wait, let me tell you the best part of this story. The nice stranger comes back and offers me a piece of crispy bread, I forget the name. He said “it goes very nice with the curry.” My heart melted. I have come across the nicest locals since moving here four months ago. 

Link to the kopitiam’s location:

花生湯元

15 Beach Rd, Singapore 190015

https://goo.gl/maps/XXjEkEUQmav

Kyushu Pancake Cafe in Novena

Because I love anything Japanese trying out the Kyushu Pancake Cafe in my neighborhood was a no brainer. 

Since it was my first time here I ordered the original Kyushu pancakes. Nicely presented as you would expect from the Japanese people, the pancakes themselves are satisfying. They are made with 7 different grains and even though the portion is small it was hardy. 

I am compelled to comment on the decor as I loved the simplicity of it with a splash of color. I had to ask about the green chairs as I want one or two. They are from a local shop called Comfort Design and I foresee a trip in my future…

Links to cafe and furniture shop:
http://www.kyushu-pancake.sg/

http://www.homeanddecor.com.sg/portfolios/813-comfort-design

Uncle Cook’s Walnuts Review 

Writing this short review on Uncle Cook’s Walnuts, as I didn’t see anything online. And shopping at Mustafa Centre while doing research is just not fun. Dried walnuts or nuts for that matter are expensive so I decided to try this brand. It’s a Mustafa store brand. 

As for the walnut, the minute my tongue touched the walnut, I tasted bitterness and that lingered until I finished. Won’t be buying this brand again. A good walnut tastes sweet not bitter. 

What experience have you had with Uncle Cook’s brand? Please share as I’m curious to know if this was a one off bad tasting bag of walnuts. 

Tags: #mustafacentre #unclecookswalnuts #mustafadriednuts

Osmanthus Jelly with Black Pearl

First time trying this heavenly ice dessert from the ice shop at ION Orchard. And I’m in love and I don’t say that lightly. It is so refreshing, perfect on a hot day. And when isn’t it a hot day in Singapore?! Exactly! It means I should have it everyday. 

This beautiful ice dessert has few of my favorite things, black pearls and lime. Although I am a bigger lemon fan, I think the lime fits in nicely with the herbal notes of the jelly. Speaking of lemons, it seems to be less popular here than in USA. I noted it is quiet expensive in comparison and not as apparent in food items. But there is always tiny little lime (aka kaffir lime)! 

The Start of my Bullet Journal

I have had this journal and a set of colored fineliner pens for about two months now. This was a gift from my friend Lee as I was leaving for Singapore. She shares my enthusiasm for planning and organizing so it was a thoughtful gift, thanks Lee!

The journal itself is a beautiful turquoise Leuchtturm 1917 with numbered and dotted pages, which makes it easy to write on a straight line or doodle. I love it!

Content page and the beginning of my journal set up…

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November events and tasks page layout (Note to self: use a darker color as this is hard to see or perhaps I should just overwrite this one more time to make it darker since I like the color!).

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Daily log layout (last days of the month) with Birthdays & Anniversaries spread. Got this balloon idea from Pinterest. To see where I get my inspiration, check out my  bullet journal board.

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Admittedly, I find it therapeutic scribbling balloons and zig zag patterns…

Before actually starting bullet journaling I watched a few videos from Boho Berry, Video 1 and Video 2. I believe I watched video 2 before video 1 – sometimes, I like to skip ahead to see what I’m getting myself into!  In one of the videos Boho Berry suggested starting bullet journaling in a simple notebook. And that is what I did. I drafted my layout in another journal I had and tested it for a month to see if I like the collections I had and what I used most. This also give me more time to do research on Pinterest and Instagram for fun layouts of different collections. Patience does payoff after all as I’m happy I can start November in a fun, organized fashion.

Visit the official Bullet Journal site and get started on your own bullet journal. Also, I really liked the pdf guide that Tiny Ray of Sunshine has published.
Don’t be intimidated, it’s not hard, just takes time and patience. Have fun with it and make it your own.

T & TP

I recommend that you carry a pack of tissues with you as napkins, tissues, etc. are not widely available.  Some eateries that are more modern (or western) will have them; however, local hawker centres (food centres) and neighborhood kopitiams will not supply them for you.

While on the soft paper topic – I noticed that some public restrooms will have a central/common toilet paper dispenser outside of the toilet stalls…Remember to take what you need before heading in; otherwise, you may be literally sh** out of luck…you’re welcome!

Tiong Bahru Food Centre

Exploring the food market at Tiong Bahru Food Centre.

Came here at 3pm and it was pretty empty as most of the food stalls were closed. I have noticed that a lot of food centre stalls in Singapore close between lunch and dinner (closed from ~3pm and reopen between 5-6:30pm) – lesson learned!

Dishes are not described in great detail (at least for newcomer like me) so I am often left to choose by instinct, a picture of the dish, the name of the dish or some combination thereof – which makes most meals a bit of an adventure.  I ordered a fried spicy Char Kway Teow from stall #02-08…wide flat noodles stir fried with eggs, bacon (I think), bean  sprouts, some greens and clams as well. The noodles were thin, slightly on the salty side and easy to eat. I did find the clams a bit too flavorful for my liking.  As I found out later, the clams are called cockles or see-ham, a local delicacy.

Also tried a dragon fruit juice – beautiful purplish pink color and refreshing, tasted delicate and unsuspectedly cucumber-like.