Foodie Fridays: Fruit Jelly

My aunt brought me packets of Agar Agar from Singapore, so i decided to use some up!  I googled a few fruit jelly recipes with agar agar as an ingredient so it’ll be vegetarian.  I quite liked this youtube video where this guy mixed agar agar fruit with a cake layer.

I had just made Nutella Cake 2-3 days ago and had some left overs which I could use in the jelly – so this recipe became an instant winner.  A picture of the final product!Image

I put the jelly in small moulds as it made nicer individual treats.  Although next time I want to try it in a cake mould.  A jelly cake with real cake!

B’s Jelly Agar Agar with Strawberries

Makes: 4 small moulds

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp agar agar powder
  • 3-4 tbsp sugar (you can just omit it if you want)
  • Handful of cut strawberries
  • Some leftover cake cut into cubes

Method:

  1. Arrange strawberries in the mould facing downwards.
  2. Boil half the water and add 1 tsp agar agar and 2 tbsp sugar.  After the powder is dissolved, pour into the mould.  Freeze for 10 mins.
  3. Remove from freezer and pierce the top jelly a bit with a fork.  Add the cubes of cake on top of this layer.
  4. Repeat step 2 for another jelly layer.  Add it.  Freeze for 10 mins.  Refrigerate till you want to eat it.  Remove it from the mould and serve it inverted!

Easy and a great summer delight.  This would make a healthy snack if you omit the sugar out completely.

xx

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Travel Thursdays: 3 Days in Vienna

Beautiful– that’s definitely a word that encapsulates the ambience of Vienna. The city resembled a postcard. It was surreal.  I felt as if I was walking through a magazine with edited photographs!

We stayed in Pentahotel after thorough research on trip advisor. We wanted a good nights sleep with a budget price. In addition, it was accessible to a nearby train station.  However my only complaint would be that it was a half an hour walk to the city center and this was misrepresented to us.  We were told it was a 10 minute walk – unless of course the guy was sprinting in a marathon.

Here’s a picture of the hotel:

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Picture of our room:

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It was contemporary and clean.  I was definitely happy with it.

Some postcard-type of moments in Vienna: (FYI- These pictures are all un-edited!)

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Schonbrunn Palace

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The Belvedere

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A different angle of The Belvedere. It was just breath-taking!  And the walk there also took my breath away.  It was so far!  DO NOT TRUST AUSTRIANS when they say it’s a 5-10 minute walk.  I am really skeptical as to what speed they walk.

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A random church that we passed by as we walked and walked.

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The Hofburg

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Stephansplatz at night!

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Inside St. Peter’s Church.  Divine!

Places I recommend:

  • The Belvedere Palace- we almost didn’t end up going which would have been a real shame.  It is simply gorgeous as you can see!  You must go there to get a feel of Vienna.
  • St. Peter’s Church – sometimes people feel if they have been to one church they have been to all.  Fair enough.  But this church had gorgeous architecture.  It’s something worth visiting.
  • Schonbrunn Palace- I absolutely loved the flower carpet.  It was gorgeous!  The colors were vibrant adding to the picturesque beauty of the whole place.
  • The Imperial Palace (Hofburg).  It’s a huge square which has the Spanish Horse Riding School as well.  A beautiful place to walk around.
  • Stephansplatz – the ultimate place for tourist.  You can get souveniers and good food there!  It’s best to go here at night to feel the city-life of Vienna.  We go lucky as the 13th night was the Fashion Night of Vienna.  There were street dances to entertain the crowd and freebies given at every corner.  It was fantastic!

It was really a good holiday.  Our second day in Vienna was only half a day as we hopped over to Slovakia to celebrate our anniversary.  Slovakia deserves an entire blog post as well 😉  I’ll be posting up some stuff real soon!

xx

A Quick Hello!

Hello World! 

I’ve really missed the excitement that comes with blogging in the past few days.  I’ve been away and I’ve just got in.  We did our anniversary trip to Vienna and then joined my cousins in Dublin for a family trip!  It was simply fantastic. I will be blogging all about my latest travels shortly after uploading all my thousands of photos.  The process of selecting photos is possibly the most annoying consequence of travelling.  First world problems? haha

xx

B

 

Technology Tuesdays: iOS7

The new iOS is out  to developers for now, but its out nonetheless. My husband was glued to the announcement yesterday. So much so, that he sat in a different room from me, in full concentration!  I must admit, Apple really knows how to simplify solutions whilst making an interface sophisticated. It’s pretty brilliant if you ask me 🙂

What I like about it:

  • It looks pretty! (Aesthetics are just important)
  • Simple to use new functions.  Such as:  You can adjust the brightness of the phone from anywhere. Similarly, wireless can be switched on and off at ease.  This would be a really convenient feature for me when I’m traveling and leeching of free wifi from McDonalds!
  • Multitasking in Apps made easier. I’m not good at multitasking haha!

I don’t have it yet on my phone though.  My husband does and he keeps showing it off.  I guess there are perks being a member of the Apple Developer Program.  He gets all the geeky stuff first 😉 He takes a lot of pride in it too!!

On a sidetrack,  I’m getting better at DOTS! Yaey!

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I was playing it on the tube today.  Fortunately, I managed to get a seat (just one way though!)  On the way back, I was squashed with the crowd which made it hard to play, let alone breathe. DOT DOT DOT.

xx

B

Bright Summery Nails!

Sunshine, a word that seems to now exist in London.  I’m loving the weather.  It’s surprising how the weather can affect a person’s mood and even the colours they choose to wear on a daily basis.  When I moved to London my first impression of British was that they wore rather “dull clothes” which seemed to reflect the “grey” weather of the country. On the contrary, the Aussies are bright reflecting the sunshine of the country.  Does this also affect people’s moods?I guess the weather does play a role, but the extent of which it affects behaviour and mood is questionable.  I guess an easy scapegoat for people being in a foul mood would be “blame it on the weather”.

I LOVE COLOR.  The last few days I’ve been enjoying bright colours to reflect the beautiful bright weather.

Today I made a trip to the nail salon (poor husband hehe) and got a nice bright summery print done!

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I love it!

xx

B

B’s Recipe Index

The list of my tried and tested recipes that I’ve blogged about so far!

Appetizers

Avocado (Mustard-Mayonnaise) Crusted Chips

B’s Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Mash

B’s Basil Pesto Bruschetta

Bread Cups with Fresh Guacamole

B’s Crunchy Chickpea Bites

B’s Crispy Kale

Easy Stove Top Homemade Salty Popcorn

B’s Grilled Potatoes

Quorn Steak Sushi

B’s Mediterranean Lettuce Cups

Makhani Potato Bake

Baking

Coconut Scones

Eggless Scones

Extremely Easy Banana-Nutella Boats

B’s Eggless Scones (Revised Recipe)

Cookies

B’s 2 Ingredient Granola-Banana Cookies

Chewy Brownie Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Breads

Cheese Loaf

Easy Home-made Artisan Bread

Olive & Cheese Breadsticks

Desserts

B’s Eggless Oven Pancake 

B’s Eggless Milo Custard

B’s Frozen Banana Ice Cream

B’s Easy 3 Ingredient Ice-cream:  Banana, Nutella & Peanut Butter

B’s Nutella Croissant Bread Pudding

Fruit Jelly

Sago Custard

Mains

Asparagus, Tomato & Olive Pasta

Chinese Crispy Noodles

Chinese Style Ginger Glazed Brussel Sprouts

B’s Easy Vegetarian Chow Mein (Chinese Noodles)

B’s Easy Jacket Potatoes

B’s Red Sauce Topped Over Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini (Easy)

Eggless Oven Pancake with a Mexican Quorn Minced Twist

Easy Sushi Bowl

Kitsune Udon (Japanese Noodle Soup)

Makhani Paneer

Scrambled Tofu

Eggless Tofu Frittata

Pad Thai

Peanut, Almond & Walnut Satay Sauce Noodles

Pineapple Fried Rice

Poha – Flattened Rice

Vegan Jacket Potatoes (With Creamy Avocado & Sweet Corn)

Vegan Savoury Masala Pancakes (Chilla)

Vegetarian Tuna Jacket Potato with Avocado and Chia Seeds

Salads

B’s Easy Coleslaw Salad

B’s Multi-seeded Cranberry Salad

B’s Summer Salad

Spreads

B’s Basil Pesto Spread

B’s Easy Home-made Peanut Butter

B’s Oregano Cashew Dip

B’s Quick and Healthy Hummus

Guacamole (Avocado Spread)

Drinks

B’s Easy Green Smoothie

Ferrero Rocher Banana Smoothie

Fresh Raspberry Lemonade

Foodie Fridays: Sago Custard

I’m going for a BBQ at a cousins’ house later in the evening – so thought I’d take something along, just because I’m quite nice that way 😉  Wanted to make something easy (ok so I’m not THAT nice 😉 but nice enough!) What was imperative was that I didn’t have to go hunting for ingredients.  I hate that.  My criteria for being nice was: something basic but tasty.  So I looked through my recipes and came across sago custard.  Sago Custard is a family recipe, my aunt’s to be precise.   I haven’t made it since I lived in Australia.  So really has been ages.

For those of you who have never made sago.  Don’t fear as B is here!  🙂  I’ll guide you step by step.

Firstly, you need sago (made from tapioca FYI) seeds!  If you need to go buy these little tapioca seeds, they look like this:

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Secondly: Boil water and add 1/4 cup sago seeds after water is boiling.  Leave it to simmer for 10 minutes.  Keep stirring so the starch content does not stick.

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It should like the above after 5-7 minutes.  Where you can still see white dots.  Keep simmering.  The aim is to make it translucent.  After 10 minutes, switch the heat off and cover with a lid for another 10 minutes.  It will then become completely translucent.

Thirdly:  Sieve it with running cold water to remove excess starch.  Keep aside.  The sago is ready to be added to the simple dessert.

Aunt’s SAGO CUSTARD

Makes: One bowl

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 3-4 tbsp custard powder
  • 1/4 cup sago
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • vanilla essence

Method:

  1. Boil milk and sugar.  Add evaporated milk.
  2. Dissolve custard in water.  Add mixture to milk.
  3. Add in pre-boiled and washed sago.
  4. Refrigerate to set.

**It is nice hot as well.  A good dessert for Winter!  I decorated it with strawberries – just cause its prettier that way!

Here’s the final product!  Hope everyone enjoys it at the BBQ 🙂

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xx

B

Travel Thursdays: Future Travel Plans

Travelling is simply fulfilling.  It makes you feel alive.  It makes you get out of your comfort zone and have a different ontological experience.  It is a must.

Our next destination is Vienna!  Stay tuned – will be posting all about it in the next few weeks.  For now if there are any suggestions, or must-sees do drop me a comment!

xx

B

B’s Makhani Paneer

I love indian food in restaurants.  Home indian food usually doesn’t appeal to me much as it doesn’t have that richness.  Subsequently, at home I prefer cooking healthy stir fries (Chinese/Thai/Japanese) or simple indian lentil soup (daal).  I don’t usually try rich creamy food at home. I guess the butter content screams FAT and echoes in my kitchen.  The voices in my head do not allow this.  🙂

However, last week I really wanted Makhani Panner (Butter Tomato Sauce with Cottage Cheese cubes).  This is often accompanied with Naan Bread in restaurants.  We always order this when we are out.  Somehow the calories don’t count when eat out.  The delusional side of me believes that 😉  Since it was a meal at home,  I made wheat chapattis – healthy alternative since the butter content was already alarming.

The butter was worth it.  It was creamy – yummy and easy to make.  My husband swore it tasted like the one in the restaurant.  I had searched for a few recipes online and kind of made it to my own liking.  It was delish!!!! The creamy texture was perfect.

First – you got to mix all the ingredients together.  Always remember – if B can make it, so can you. 🙂  My mom always felt I was too busy with friends and university to ever enter the kitchen.  And now,  I’m trying different dishes all the time! Also – don’t get too alarmed by the list of ingredients.  Most of it consist of indian spices which is pretty basic for indian cooking, and once you have it at home, you can cook anything. 🙂

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After all the cooking, you end up with mouth watering Makhani Paneer!

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I loved the color!  Yum.  Here’s the recipe 🙂  Happy Cooking!

B’s Makhani Paneer

Makes: Enough for 2-3 people

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 big onion – chopped up
  • 1 big tomato – chopped up
  • 1/3 cup cashewnuts
  • 2 whole dry kashmiri red chillies
  • 2 – 3 tbsp butter (oh my!)
  • 2 pieces of: cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamons
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tsp concentrated tomato puree
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup paneer (indian cottage cheese cubes)

Method:

  1. Boil chopped tomatoes, onions, cashew nuts  chillies with 1 1/2 cup water for 10-15 minutes.  Stir constantly.
  2. Cool and blend it with a bit of concentrated tomato puree.  (just like my first picture on top!)
  3. Heat the butter – and dd the spices (cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms) with the bay leaf.
  4. Add the tomato puree, garam masala and the red gravy and saute for a few minutes. Add salt.  Mix for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add yoghurt and continue mixing to avoid any form of curdling.
  6. Add the sugar.
  7. Add some water (1/2 cup) – depending on the desired thickness.  Add the paneer to mixture.
  8. TA-DA!  Serve with hot naan or chapattis.

Note:  Many people add cream to this mixture (a few tablespoons).  However,  for me the butter was more than enough.  And it tasted just fine!  🙂

Olive and Cheese Breadsticks (Bisquick)

Just made dinner (Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta) and thought homemade breadsticks would be the perfect side. I wanted something easy to be honest as I’m pretty tired.  Although saying that, compromising the taste is not an option for me. Bisquick. Quick being the key word was an effervescent moment.  This just seemed perfect.

I’d come across Betty Crocker’s Recipe a few days ago and tried it out today.

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It was simply delectable considering how easy it was.  It was more beautiful than my picture. It was definitely one of those moments – love at first bite.  You must try it out.

Olive and Cheese Breadsticks

Makes: About 15

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Spray 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray. Stir Bisquick mix, milk, cheese and olives until soft dough forms. Place dough on surface dusted with Bisquick mix; gently roll in Bisquick mix to coat. Shape into a ball; knead 10 times.
  2. Divide dough into 15 equal parts. Roll each into a breadstick about 8 inches long. Place on cookie sheet.
  3. Brush milk over dough. Bake 11 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm with olive oil or marinara sauce for dipping.

**Note the recipe is exactly the same as the Betty Crocker link.  I’ve only changed brushing the breadsticks with egg to milk.  Now it’s completely vegetarian!