Friday, 10 February 2012

14 Feb: A dish, a date and a gift!

As 14th of Feb looms near, Couples begin to fear, For many fret, And oft break sweat, To give to someone they hold dear. 

 Ah yes, 14th of Feb, better known as Valentine's Day, is much celebrated and also, much afeared, by couples all around the world, fretting over gifts, dates and budget constraints. We decided to put together our top 15 ideas for Valetine's Day. Here are some fun things for inspiration"

 DISHES 1) Chocolate dipped strawberries. They are quick, easy and oh so sexy... Recipe found here

2) Fondue/Both Cheese and Chocolate Nothing is more intimate than dipping meat into hot, steamy cheese or lapping up rivers of chocolate with marshmellows and feeding each other. Recipe found here

3)Chocolate Lava Cake Enough said. Watch how its done

4) Beer Pancakes I know this sounds wrong, oh so wrong but oh so good! Beer enables your pancakes to rise and be deliciously fluffy with a malty, sweet after-taste. This recipe is amazing and I have used it many times. Click here for the recipe.

5) HIS/HER's Favourite Dish This is a cop out, I know, but seriously, this is the best present. It doesn't matter if it sucks, its the thought that counts. :)

6) For those of us who aren't very savvy in the kitchen [This is definitely from E.L.], choose to splurge a little and get a nice jar of cookies! The Grand Hyatt's Mezza9 does these awesome double chocolate cookies that are fudgey-gooey on the inside, which are very popular and not madly expensive.
A jar is currently going for about SGD$28.
Click this link to the original review

7) For those with tight budgets, you can of course craft something for your other half! And what better place to get ideas for this then from us!

I will always remember an advice from one of my guy friends a long time ago, always give a practical gift to a guy because men are not fussed about pretty little things. So do away with that doily-heart buntings, furry teddy bears and frilly little nothings! Make him something useful!

And this makes a great gift unisex gift idea - a daily planner! Make one or buy one! Here is a great tutorial on how to make one

8) However, guys still do like accessories as much as us... 

9) Make a photo collage or decorate a plain photo frame and have your photo in it. Much like the ones we did for our flea here..

Or A wonderful project is to do these photo transfers like this fellow craftster has done. check out her blog here.

10) Another crafting project that is inexpensive, unisex and completely original at the same time is to create your own design T-shirt! Get a plain white T-shirt, some fabric paints and let your creative juices flow! Paint a Pollock onto the T-shirt - the easiest technique and it will turn out looking cool no matter how unskilled you are in painting.

I did one for the B.F. last year [E.L.] - but I used fabric crayons, and I replicated one of his own art works onto the T-shirt. Below is him wearing it!

11) We've also got some suggestions on what you can do together that are affordable and really quite romantic. First up... Rent some romantic comedies and stay in! Go on a rom-com movie marathon, and make-out and neck in the cinema or the couch - just like when you were so young once that you just don't care! ;)

12) Go for a massage together! Be it a big splurge in a spa or even an affordable 40 mins foot reflexology massage will do you both alot of good! You get to spend time together and enjoy the healthy benefits of a good massage. A great place to go that is also affordable is  L.C. Fu Li Hua Foot Reflexology. The masseuse really know where the ache is and will help you with it!

13) Go on a picnic! Pack some lunch and head out to the park! The Botanic Gardens will be a lovely place to lie out on a mat or a lazy stroll through the orchid gardens.

14) Visit a Museum... just do it... any of it! The National Museum, The Singapore Art Museum, The Peranakan Museum, the Asian Civilisation Museum, The ArtScience Museum... And most of the time the entrance fees are really affordable!

15) Get active! Put on your sunblock and flip-flops, and go kayaking! In Singapore, there are quite a few places you can go, and it's cheap! At SGD$15 an hour, both you and your dearest can paddle away into the serenity of open waters... 

Great! Now you are armed with these invaluable romantic and fun ideas, you have no excuse to not go out there and impress your loved one! If you have more suggestions, put it down in the comment!

And for those singles, don't let the couples have all the fun, do a big group outing with all your friends and exchange gifts as well! Valentine's Day is also known as The International Friendship day after all! [As far as I know anyway.. when I was single, it was what I celebrated with my girlfriends!]

Happy Valentine's Day!

xoxo Cheers xoxo
S.T. & E.L.

Monday, 6 February 2012

S.T: World Nutella Day Feb 5

World Nutella Day is Feb 5, and in sunny SG, I'm late by a day but some people out there in this world on the other side of the are still celebrating it!

Bascially, World Nutella Day is this crazy idea started by two Nutella obsessed girls and the world is better for it! You can read more here:

To be honest, I've been sick today and hence, finally have the time to blog. In honour of this tremendous occasion, I would like to share with you my very own take on Pierre Hermes' Nutella Tart. Created for his wife who loves this confection to no end, this tart is simply divine. I posted about this sometime back but never really gave the recipe.

For my version, I used my very own hazelnut shortcrust recipe modified from my mom's shortcrust and used extremely dark chocolate for the base. I also took liberties and decorated with white ganache.

Its absolutely delicious, its soft and creamy inside, almost like a lava cake and the pastry just melts in your mouth.


For the crust: 

  • 1/2cup of butter
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of plain flour
  • 1/4 cup of self raising flour or ground hazelnuts
  • (With self-raising flour, you get a puffier crust, ground hazelnuts give a slightly heavier but more flavourful crust  )

For the filling:
2/3 cup Nutella
4 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
7 tablespoons, 3 1/2 ounces, unsalted butter
1 large egg at room temperature, stirred with a fork
3 large egg yolks at room temperature, stirred with a fork
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup hazelnuts toasted, skinned and cut into large pieces (I omitted this and made white chocolate ganache)

For the topping
1/4 cup of cream
1/4 cup of white chocolate

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

For the crust: 
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and icing sugar. Stir in sifted flour, ground hazelnuts and beat until mixture comes together to form a dough that will be slightly sticky.

2. Spread the dough into the pan and poke holes in it using a fork.

3. Place a baking sheet over the pie shell and fill with baking beads. You can use green/red/soya beans as well.

4.Place in the oven and bake the crust for 20 minutes. Once done, set aside to cool to room temperature. 

P.S This method is called blind baking and for this recipe, you don't want to over bake the crust as it gets baked again with the filling.

For the filling: 

1.Spread the Nutella evenly over the bottom of the cooled crust and set aside.
2.Melt the chocolate and butter in separate bowls over simmering water or in the microwave.  Allow them to cool until they just feel warm to the touch.
3.Use a small whisk to stir the egg into the chocolate, gently and taking care not to agitate the mixture.  You don’t want to beat air into the ganache.  Stir in the egg yolks a little at a time, followed by the sugar.  Stir in the warm butter.  Pour the ganache over the Nutella in the tart shell.  At this point, if you opted for putting  nuts at the top, scatter the nuts now.
4. Bake the tart for 11 minutes.  The center of the tart will still be a little jiggly and the top will be dull, like a cake.  Remove the tart from the oven and slide onto a rack.  Allow the tart to cool for at least 20 minutes or until it reaches room temperature. Please note that baking time varies, on your oven, the depth of your pie tin and size of your pie tin.

For the topping:
1. Place the cream and white chocolate in a metal bowl. 
2. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, careful to not let the water touch the bottom. 
3. Gently stir the chocolate and cream mixture till smooth and melted.
4. Drizzle over the top of the Nutella tart.
For the original recipe, click here.

I hope you enjoy this and do let me know if you have any queries! This is best eaten on the day, at room temperature. Left overs( which almost never happen) can be placed in the fridge and warmed up the next day!


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S.T: Quick and Easy Multi-strand pearl bracelet

Hello all,

Its been awhile since I last posted and E.L has been the one doing all the wonderful work, from revamping the look of this site to posting numerous fun posts (despite how crazy busy she is at work!).

So sometime last year, I was in a panic for an accessory to go with a mesh, high neck black evening dress and came up with this really cute multi-strand pearl bracelet.

 Isn't it pretty? And you don't really need much, it took me less than 5 minutes to put it together! 

Step 1. Gather two necklaces of the same length and one long brooch. For this, I used a dusky pink pearl necklace and a creamy white pearl necklace. I bought these from the $2 Japanese shop on a whim! The brooch I selected is a long one, a vintage 80s cat brooch that I bought from a pet shop!

Step 2. Twist both necklaces to make a figure of eight.

Step 3. Bring one end of the figure of eight and stack it on top of the other end, making a coil. Do the same for the other necklace.

Step 4. Stack both coils on top of the other.

Step 5. Unfasten your brooch and place both coils under it.

Step 6. Fasten the brooch to secure everything.

Step 7. Slip your hand through and you are set to purr-fection. 

I hope you found this helpful. I really love this bracelet and have not unfastened it at all. If you find it hard to slip your hand in, try assembling it on your wrist already and get some help fastening your brooch to secure everything.  Try experimenting with different necklaces, strings of beads and brooches. 

Have fun!


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