27 November 2009

A few of my favourite things

colours, balloons, umbrellas.
and a happy little song that probably doesn't make much sense.

19 November 2009

07 November 2009

Potato and Pumpkin Gratin

Couldn't resist making a gratin today after my mother tried making one on Tuesday morning. And I guess I couldn't let a pumpkin sit for too long without whipping up something either, especially after making pumpkin korokke, spaghetti with pumpkin cream, pumpkin mac and cheese...

I have absolutely no idea what's the "actual" way of making a gratin, not even sure if there is one. But anyhow, I liked how mine turned out, considering it was done without much thinking and using the simplest of ingredients. Ok, I consider making a bechamel simple, but it really is!

Potato and Pumpkin Gratin
Serves 2 or 3

1 waxy potato, peeled and sliced into 5mm slices
200g pumpkin, peeled, seeded and sliced into 5mm slices
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp plain flour
250ml milk
Shredded cheese (whatever kind you like)
Chopped roasted pine nuts, to serve (optional)

- Preheat oven at 180 degC.
- Arrange potato and pumpkin slices in a lightly greased shallow baking dish, alternating rows between pumpkin and potato.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a frying pan.
- When the butter has melted, add flour and stir with a whisk until smooth.
- Add milk bit by bit, and continue whisking until thickened with no lumps. Add more milk if you think it's too thick or stop if you feel the mixture is too thin.
- Turn off the heat and whisk in a handful of shredded cheese. I used a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan.
- Spoon the bechamel sauce over the potato and pumpkin and sprinkle with extra cheese.
- Bake in oven for about 30mins or until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender.
- Serve hot, topped with chopped pine nuts if desired.

01 November 2009


秋っぽい天気, originally uploaded by Ms_evinrude.

09 October 2009

flumpool love

flumpool makes me cry, but i can't stop listening to them.

09 September 2009

Korokke Bento

Bento of korokke (or croquettes if you might) and baby green salad. I think korokke will be my new favourite item for my future bento menus. So many variations that I can think of and so easy to make! I'm reminded of the marvellous piping hot korokke I had in Arashiyama last year and was trying to replicate but couldn't. Still, the results were good, though I did pan-fry my korokke instead of deep-frying. I hate dealing with all that oil. There's no recipe for now and I promise I'll come back with one. But it's going to take a while. In the meantime, Google is your best friend.

25 August 2009

Spaghetti with Pumpkin Cream

I shouldn't have been cooking today. But I did anyway. And it wasn't just lunch I made. I had the nerve to pull out potatoes and breadcrumbs to make croquettes for "future bentos", but I'll talk about that the next time. Let's hope it's not tomorrow because it'll mean I didn't do my schoolwork again.

I used a 1/4 of the kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) in this recipe but have leftovers for the cream/sauce (cream sounds better but there's no cream since I substituted it with milk). I supposed I would just add more milk to it to make a soup for tomorrow's lunch or mix it into a mac and cheese. The first time I made it, Anyhow, the recipe's very simple and really satisfying (at least to me) but do remember to eat it hot since I find that the pumpkin can be a little too cloying when cooled.

Spaghetti with Pumpkin Cream
Serves 1

1 handful frozen edamame, with pods
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 small kabocha, peeled, seeded and cubed
120ml milk
1/2 a bouillon cube
Milk, extra
Salt and pepper

1 serving spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese

- Boil edamame with pods in boiling water for 3 mins. Drain, let cool and pop the beans out from the pods. Set aside
- In a small saucepan, fry chopped onions and garlic with a little oil until fragrant and onions turn translucent.
- Add cubed kabocha to the saucepan and fry for 1 - 2 mins.
- Add milk and enough water to cover the pumpkin. Stir in the bouillon cube. Alternatively, you can also use only water or only milk and season with just salt and pepper.
- Cover and simmer the pumpkin until tender. If you think there's too much liquid, let it reduce slightly over medium heat.
- Let the pumpkin cool a little before blending till smooth.
- Add milk, bit by bit, until it reaches your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper but keep in mind that parmesan cheese will also increase the saltiness. You can also use cream if you like.
- Cook spaghetti as per packet instructions until al dente. Drain and return to the cooking pot.
- Add edamame, parmesan and pumpkin cream to spaghetti and toss well.
- Serve immediately.

30 July 2009


I had the craving for oshiruko yesterday night but it was just too late to make any. So obviously I had to do it the first thing in the morning.

I used readily prepared koshi-an (sweet red bean paste) from Daiso for the soup. Besides adding too much water to the koshi-an, to neutralise the sweetness, I also added some sea salt to soup. Usually I would just make the shiratama (glutinous rice dumplings) version but I had fun trying to "grill" my mochi (glutinous rice cakes) and nearly burnt a pair of chopsticks over my stove. Oops.

Which would you choose? Shiratama or mochi?

29 July 2009

HELLO... Hello... hello...

*blows dust*

*sweeps cobwebs*

*wipes windows*

I shot my breakfast today. =)
Let's see how long I can keep this up!

Yogurt with homemade granola, homemade applesauce and Forelle pears.

02 February 2009

From Japan to You

I realised I would never really get down to blogging about my trip to Japan with the tons of homework and the fact that I hate processing photos. So here's a slideshow with my photos and it'll update itself as I upload more photos onto my Flickr site. Feel free to click on the button on the right of the thumbnail-bar to view it full screen. Enjoy!