Friday, October 31, 2014

RSBatch meeting

Today we had our very first batch meeting!!! It was originally intended to be an EXCO meeting, but since the EXCO is 66.7% of the batch, why not just call a batch meeting? Haha!

Before the batch meeting, Huiru and I met up for some morning exercise! We planned to run at the gym, but the school gym doesn't open till 1.30pm or so, so we then decided to do stairs training (10 sets of 7 flights) but scrapped that idea because Huiru has to do 30 sets tomorrow for LBA, so we then decided to do Blogilates in the band room instead!!!

It was really fun working out with Chow because we both were at kind of similar fitness levels (on a Blogilates scale, of course. I think Chow is much much fitter than me HAHAHA). We sweated our way through four or five videos and then collapsed in a puddle of fats and sweat. Again, IT WAS REALLY FUN but I think it would've been much more fun with speakers and an actual yoga/pilates mat because the floor is quite painful to do pilates on. Nonetheless, it was great exercise and as I type, I can feel my body starting to ache already.


check out the RIMB banner cheering us on as we exercised haha!!!





We finished exercising + rolling around the floor around 11ish and went to the swimming pool toilets to shower! Borrowed soap/shampoo from Qing Kai (as usual, lol I am such a burden :() then joined Darren for a 10 minute lunch/light snack at the RI canteen!


Post-shower selfie!!! Cos full length mirror makes our legs look long wew


Batch meeting was actually really productive! Even though quite a few people came late because of PW. We also explored (ish) the Chamber of Secrets in the RSB room! I never knew it existed and it's actually really eerie if you think about it...

ANYWAY, we discussed a lot of Tune In stuff and I'm really grateful to everyone for throwing out ideas which gave birth to a AWESOME POSSUM plan and I am genuinely so so so so excited for Tune In!!! Hopefully we have tons of participants so we can execute our plans and pull off a successful Tune In :-)))))

After batch meeting, some of us decided to go to S-11 for lunch! I had to drop off an apple pie and a card at Sang Ah's place first, so I joined them a bit later. As it was raining heavily, I trudged through the rain to get to Sang Ah's house, left the gifts outside her door, rang the doorbell and ran back into the lift HAHA. I just found out that this is called the "ding dong dash" apparently (???) but Sang Ah was sleeping so she didn't hear the bell and only discovered the gifts hours later HAHAHA oh well. But I wanted to cheer her up after some ~~~stuffs~~~ so yep it was definitely worth braving the rain for :-)))))



Lunch was good, with Darren marvelling at the wonders of Instagram and singing random band tunes and also talking about various ~~~things~~~ hahaha I guess it's hard to have a bad time with the RSBatchies :-)

PARK


Who hasn't seen the little black pot of gold making it's waves around Instagram?!? I've been wanting to try out PARK's famed Truffled Mac and Cheese for the longest time, and finally got someone to accompany me there! :-)))

PARK is a small restaurant right smack in Holland Village, which runs on solar power! They have solar panels on their roofs/as their roofs (I'm not too sure) and during the day, the energy from the blazing hot sun runs the place. Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, since they are a relatively small restaurant, there are only about three tables inside the air-conditioned comfort, while other diners will have to eat al fresco. This isn't so bad if the weather is favourable, I suppose. When I visited (with Kai), we got a seat outside and the weather wasn't too bad, as it had just rained. I felt it was quite nice actually, but Kai insisted it was really hot... :(



Background: Crispy Juice Honey Oat Burger with Mesclun salad and fries ($15.80)
Foreground: Truffled Mac and Cheese ($13.80)

The mac and cheese did not disappoint! When it arrived (after quite some time, actually, and the restaurant was not crowded at all), the aroma of truffle hit me right in the face. I wanted to devour the truffle-scented air. Breaking through the crisp, golden layer of cheese was an army of little macaroni shells in a creamy sauce. Qing Kai took the first bite even before I got to holding my cutlery properly HAHAHA does that bear testament to how delicious it smelt/looked???

Anyway, despite burning my tongue (because it's hot hot hot), the mac and cheese was really something. I think it's the combination of cheese, truffle and the other herbs in it that made it really special. Boxed mac and cheese can't even compare (in fact, no one should even think of comparing the two?!?!). However, it did get a bit jelat for me after awhile. I initially thought the small little crock would not be enough to fill me up (I was ravenous) but I ended up not being able to finish the whole dish. The bacon bits kept the meal from being boring/too carb-y and creamy!



before edit                                  //                                after edit



Thanks Kai for cabbing down to HV for me (even though you were really late hahaha) and for agreeing to eat at PARK even though you weren't that hungry+spent too much recently hahaha AND ALSO for the good time over good food yay :-))) and also for attempting to be a gentleman and pay for both of us but it's okay I am a strong independent woman HAHAHA jk okay yep this is getting a bit long-winded so I shall end here.



PARK @ Holland Village
281 Holland Rd
Singapore 278621
Tel: 9721 3815


Lemon squares


I bought three too many lemons and thus decided to make lemon squares because who doesn't love a citrus dessert? I shall save tangy lemon curd for another occasion...



These lemon squares have a terrifyingly buttery shortbread-like crust, with a tart layer of lemon ~filling~ on top. My crust and topping didn't quite stick together, but I think that's because I poured the filling on top of the crust a bit too quickly after removing the crust from the oven. :-( Nonetheless, these were very well-received and I think they suit the citrus-lovers perfectly.


What you will need:
makes about 20 small squares

(Crust)
half a cup of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
half a cup of sugar
one cup of all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt





(Topping)
two eggs
a three-quarter cup of sugar
one teaspoon of lemon zest
three tablespoons of all-purpose flour
a one-quarter cup of lemon juice


Method:

(Crust)
1. Pre-heat oven to 176°C.

2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add flour and salt, beating until the dough is incorporated.
Dough may come together, but if it remains shaggy, that’s fine too.

4. Dump the crust into aluminium foil lining the prepared pan. Use your fingertips to press the dough into the bottom of the pan.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just browned around the edges.



6. Remove the baked crust and let it cool.


(Topping)
1. Whisk eggs and sugar in a medium bowl, until well-combined and slightly thick.

2. Add in the flour, lemon juice and zest, whisking until blended.





3. Pour the filling over the still-warm baked crust.



4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly-browned on top and no longer jiggling in the center.

5. Allow to cool completely in the pan, before running a knife around the edges of the pan.




6. Slice the lemon bars however you wish, and enjoy! :-)



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Pie



I've been itching to bake a pie ever since we bought the new pie-mould thing and after a whole lot of misadventures, I finally did it!!! One thing checked off my baking bucket list! After scouring the Internet for recipes, I finally found one for a lattice-top apple pie, but because my dough wasn't as thick/probably not enough as well, I didn't have enough for a lattice pattern and so ended up with an open-faced pie instead! Does that make it a tart now? Oh well. :-(



Anyway, the pie (tart?) is DELICIOUS AMAZING FABULOUS and what-have-you. I especially love the cinnamon-y sauce in the pie filling! The apples are sweet and crunchy, making the hour spent meticulously peeling the apple skins off worth-while. The pie shell is also great! It might be a bit "floury" or thick for some, but I really like it. The edges are almost biscuit-like and I love the buttery taste, almost like a shortbread!

The only drawback is that it's rather time-consuming, so try this only if you have the time! (which I had buckets of, this afternoon) ((first time leaving school at 1.30pm on a Wednesday!!!))


What you will need:
makes a 12-inch pie

(Pie shell)
two and a half cups of all-purpose flour
one tablespoon of sugar
three-quarters a teaspoon of salt
10 tablespoons of chilled unsalted butter, cut into half-inch pieces
one-third cups of olive oil
6 tablespoons (or more) of iced water


(Filling)


half a cup of sugar
one-quarter cup of brown sugar
two tablespoons of all-purpose flour
a tablespoon of lemon juice
two teaspoons of lemon zest
two tablespoons of cinnamon
six medium-sized gala apples, peeled and chopped into cubes (ish)



It was back-breaking work peeling all the apples and grating the lemons but it's so worth-while!


    Method:

    (Pie shell)
    Can be made 2 days ahead, but keep it chilled! Let dough soften slightly before rolling out.

    1. Combine the flour, sugar and salt.

    2. Add butter and olive oil and mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

    3. Add six tablespoons of iced water and process until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.

    4. Gather the dough into a ball and divide into 2 pieces. Flatten each into a disk before wrapping each in plastic. Chill for at least two hours.

    5. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured pie dish. Fold the edges under, forming a high-standing rim.


    (Filling)


    1. Mix all the ingredients except apples in a large bowl.



    2. Add the apples into the mixture and mix.


    Putting them all together...

    Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.




    Add the filling into the pie shell and bake for 10 minutes.

    After this 10 minutes, lower the temperature of the oven to about 190°C and bake for another hour, until juices bubble thickly and crust is deep golden, covering edges with foil if the apples are browning too quickly.



    Remove from oven and cool.


    the apples on the top looked slightly charred (?) and paper-y and I was worried at first, but since they tasted fine after a while, I suppose it's all right. :-) I think this happened because I soaked the apples in salt water while chopping them because I didn't want them to oxidise to quickly. Maybe salt has a drying effect on apples...(???)



    Enjoy! (with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, if possible) :-)))






    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars


    Okay so I was done writing this post and Blogger claimed to have saved it and then BAM suddenly when I refresh the page, everything disappears?!? I AM SO ANNOYED!!!

    Anyway, I whipped up these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake bars in the hopes of clearing out left-over cream cheese in the fridge! I wanted to do something interesting (actually no, I just didn't have digestive biscuits/graham crackers haha) so I used a rolled oats base instead! I guess it makes these treats just a teensy bit healthier...? :-)))

    Anyway, when I brought them to school the next morning, my friends demolished the entire box before the first period ended HAHAHA. I guess that means they're good? I felt that it was a bit too sweet though, but since I cut them up into really small squares, they weren't too jelat :-)


    What you will need:
    (makes 32 small squares)

    (Rolled oats base)
    one and a half cups of instant rolled oats
    one-third cups of brown sugar
    half a cup of unsalted butter

    (Cheesecake)
    100g of cream cheese
    one-twelfth of a cup of sugar
    one egg
    one-third of a teaspoon of vanilla extract

    (Cookie dough)
    five-thirds of a tablespoon of unsalted butter
    one-ninth of a cup of brown sugar
    1 tablespoon of sugar
    a pinch of salt
    one-third of a teaspoon of vanilla extract
    one-quarter of a cup of flour
    as much chocolate chips as you wish

    Method:

    (Rolled oats base)
    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

    2. Melt the butter before chilling it while preparing the other ingredients.



    3. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar and rolled oats and mix.



    4. Pour in the chilled melted butter and mix

    5. Press the mixture onto a lined baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes.



    it turned out so crisp, it was like eating candied biscuits!
    6. Remove from oven to cool.


    (Cheesecake)
    1. Combine cream cheese and sugar and stir till fluffy.


    pretty vanilla essence swirl!
    2. Add in the egg and vanilla essence and continue stirring till smooth.


    (Cookie Dough)
    1. Cream the butter, sugars, salt and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.



    2. Stir in the flour until incorporated.




    3. Pour in the chocolate chips.


    Putting them all together...

    Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust.



    Break off the cookie dough into large clumps and scatter them across the surface of the cheesecake filling.

    Bake for 30 minutes, or until the surface looks dry and firm and the cheesecake is set.

    Cool completely before refrigerating and refrigerate before serving. Trust me, it's much nicer cold :-)


    Though these cheesecake bars are yummy, I still prefer the no-bake cheesecakes for their soft, fluffy texture! So while I will definitely be using the rolled oats base in future, I am probably going to stick with chilling my cheesecakes instead of baking them. :-) Then again, to each his own preference.