Browse Month by January 2011
Food

Wagamama Caramelized Sweet Potatoes Recipe

I’ve never tried this dish at the Wagamama Restaurant, but the picture looked really good from the book so I thought I should give it a go. This is why all cookbooks should come with photos! It’s also one of the easiest recipes I have ever tried. Plus this makes a great snack for when the hunger pangs strike (which happens about 83 times a day).

Wagamama Caramelised Sweet Potatoes (photo from cookbook)

Ingredients

250 g sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin wedges
Olive oil
1 tsp golden syrup
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp black sesame seeds (omitted because I didn’t have any)

Method

  1. Place potato wedges on a baking tray and drizzle olive oil over it. The original recipe uses vegetable oil to deep fry the potato but I didn’t relish all the cleaning up afterward. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180°C for about 15 minutes or until brown.
    Sweet Potato Wedges

    Baked Sweet Potato Wedges
  2. Combine golden syrup with lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat.
  3. Pour over the potato wedges and stir well to coat. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds if you have them.

    Caramelized Sweet Potatoes

Ok so the potatoes got a little burnt. But it tasted really good. I took it to a potluck lunch and someone actually asked me for the recipe (who me?). The first time ever. It felt so surreal. Normally it’ll be people wondering who brought the overly salty burnt pasta bake that I take a scoop out of so it doesn’t look so pathetic untouched.

I think it looks better deep fried, but it’s healthier baked. And the caramel is not a super thick and sweet caramel, which I liked. The lemon adds a tanginess to it and it’s something a little different to have with sweet potato.

This couldn’t be any simpler!

Some other Sweet Potato Recipes that I LOVE (made none other than my wonderful mom):

Sweet Potato Donuts

Sweet Potato Balls for Dessert

Sweet Potato Carrot Cake

Click HERE for more of her delicious Sweet Potato Recipes! Scroll down to her Sweet Potato Section.

Outfits

A Blue And White Obsession

I love blue and white stripes. Thick or thin, horizontal or vertical, I just love it. If I see any clothes with blue and white stripes, chances are, I’ll probably buy it even if I never wear it. There isn’t anything particularly fashionable about blue and white stripes, it’s not special, it’s not unique, it’s just a quirky thing I like with no explainable reason! If anyone wants to sell me anything, all they have to do is put blue and white stripes on it and I’ll probably buy your entire stock!

I had some free time over the weekend so I decided to clean out my closet, also known as a Deep Dark Hole of Shame. I had faded and worn out clothes from 10 years ago, horrid horrid unthinkable-tacky-tops that I once thought “fashionable”, and not to mention my unredeemable whites that have been dyed dirty when a coloured sock (or two) found its way into the washing machine at the same time. Out they all came and into the recycling bin they went.

It was in the midst of my Mission Organize Wardrobe that I realized how much I actually loved blue and white stripes. I think it’s becoming quite a problem.

Blue and White Stripes

Bag, shoes, cardigan, t-shirt, tank top, dress. I even pilfered a shirt (the one with the hanger) from Zara Man because it had blue and white stripes! I later also found a pair of trousers with vertical blue and white stripes. Is that going too far?!

Then I found this.

Blue and White Striped Shorts

I remember this fondly because it was bought on impulse at Republic (and I never shop there). I’m not a size 6 either, the cut was just oversized. Why did I buy it? Because it had blue and white stripes! Did I wear it? NEVER (except for trying it on to make sure it fits). Why not? Because it’s far too short and I’d feel incredibly self-conscious. The shortest I ever go is just above my knees. Unless I’m going swimming but that’s an entirely different situation. Why did I make sure something fits me, buy it, then never wear it? I’m stumped myself, there is NO logic to my thought processes where blue and white stripes are concerned.

I felt guilty for wasting money like that, so to make myself feel better, I decided to wear it at least one time.

Blue and White Shorts

I wore an oversized cardigan (from Republic too) cinched in with a leather belt from Zara (or I’d look like a whale). The scarf was for a splash of colour and those boots are my most favourite in the world that I’ve had for years. In the world of fashion, that is probably the most unfashionable thing to do, but I’ve never been one to follow the trends and when you love something, you just love it.

The front door was as far as I got. Because I turned back and decided to put on jeans instead. I know, I deserved to be boo-ed at.

Jeans Instead

At least I wore them once. Even if I only walked 2 feet in them. And I apologize for all my photos having sunglasses – the winter sun is too glaring and I always forget them otherwise. I tried not to smile because my sister thinks it’s cheesy but I think this is worse!

The necklace is from Accessorize. It looked quite antique-y which I love. It’s when you find things like this that you love UK high street fashion.

Heart Pendant Necklace

A bit of a Sharon quirk to take away with you if you ever have a belt that is too long for you. Wind it round a couple of times and tuck the end into it. You might not like it but it’s something I always do – I like the knotted look. But don’t listen to me, I’m no fashionista and I make the rules up as I go along.

Zara Belt

As for the rest of my clothes with blue and white stripes? Don’t worry, I never wear them all at once!

Can you imagine what a sight that would be?

Outfits

Sporting A Waistcoat And New Hairstyle

I have always loved waistcoats, whether on girls or on guys. For some reason, it attracts me. It looks fantastic on some guys (not all can pull it off I think), and also looks great when coupled with a suit of the right cut. A black pin-striped Gucci suit I saw in London comes to mind. Smokin’ hot. If it works, a 3-piece suit is definitely the way to go.

In any case, what I wanted was a waistcoat for me. I’ve always wanted one but a) don’t know how to wear it and never thought I could pull it off, b) didn’t think it was “my style” and c) the ones I’ve seen look rather tacky and I’ve never seen one I looked at and thought ‘AHA! I found you!’.

That is of course until yesterday.

Zara Cropped Waistcoat
Back Detail
Button Detail

A cropped tweed waistcoat with a fitted and tailored cut. The light was quite bright when I took the above pictures – the colour is actually a darker brown. This is something I would normally never think to buy, but I figured it was time to add something a little different to my mess-stricken-full-of-century-old-outfits wardrobe. It’s from Zara (www.zara.com), one of my favourite stores.

Waistcoat

My sister said I shouldn’t have smiled because I’d look cooler and more “gangsta” – right now I just look cheesy.

The cheek. Always has to have an opinion! Though I think she is quite right. And next time, just a black tank top under the waistcoat might be nice. It was too cold today for that. Any other ideas on how to wear it?

Here’s a close-up of the necklace I was wearing because you can hardly see it in the photo. Is that gorgeous or is that gorgeous? I mean just look at the colours! Sometimes you’ve just gotta love the UK high street.

Peacock Pendant Necklace

You can buy this at Accessorize (www.accessorize.com). They ship to the USA and many other countries. So check it out! I got this awhile ago but they’ve got tons of other pretty things, and if you’re a girl, you can’t help but love it.

I also got a hair cut today. New hair, new waistcoat. Not a bad day *wink*.





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Masquerade Mask
Drapeback Coast Top
Zara Waistcoat and Ruffle Top

Miscellaneous

How To Cut Pomelo Fast

The pomelo is a great fruit, something we always eat in Asia. I’ve always loved it, ever since I was a baby.

Pomelo

Yes I know my ears stick out like a monkey. Yes I know I had a huge head almost as big as the pomelo. And yes, I probably gave my mom a hard time in labour. And yes, I know I looked like a boy! One time we were out, someone came up and asked my parents why they dressed their son in a pretty pink dress. I was SO insulted.

In any case, the pomelo is also apparently a symbol of good luck and prosperity for us Chinese. The best ones we ever ate were those ripely picked from Grandpa’s backyard. It is like a giant grapefruit, but sweet.

Best Pomelo

According to my grandparents, pomelo is also good for de-worming. De-worming?! Yup, de-worming. The thought of worms existing in my body gives me the heebie jeebies. But it’s supposed to be very effective and you can actually see the worms when they’re…ummm…excreted. That’s never happened to me though (or I would’ve never touched pomelo ever again!).

I was reading a pomelo salad recipe and the author said that it was really easy to make, but it was very tedious work cutting the pomelo because it took her one and a half hours. Boy, that would be tedious wouldn’t it? I don’t know how she did it, but it’s only ever taken me 5 minutes!

How To Cut Pomelo (and FAST!)

  1. Cut the top of the pomelo off until you can almost see the fruit inside. The bottom is the flatter end.

    Cut Top Off
  2. Cut through the skin lengthwise around the pomelo. It’s quite a thick skin so you want to cut through quite deeply. I don’t explain this well, so look at the picture.

    Cut Lengthwise Around Pomelo
  3. Peel the skin wedges apart. Pull the fruit out from the bottom part of the skin.

    Peel Away Skin Wedges
  4. Break it into wedges and serve.

    Pomelo Wedges

It’s as easy as that!

We normally just throw the skin away. Or you can do what my mom did.

Pomelo Hat

Like I didn’t already have enough problems with my enormous head.

Food

Banana Fritters In Coconut Batter

My First Recipe Book

I don’t like over-riped bananas. As long as my bananas have one brown dot on it, I don’t touch it. As it happens, I forgot to eat my bananas and all of them were practically brown. I was just about to throw them out when I found this recipe in my book. Banana Fritters in Coconut Batter. I love coconut and I imagine it adds a zing to the dish. I’ve had fritters in normal batter so this sounded interesting. Plus mom makes the most amazing Banana Fritters, which I personally like better (especially since I don’t have to make it myself *grin*).

This recipe is adapted from the book pictured.

Ingredients

1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
60 g desiccated coconut (omitted because I didn’t have any but you might like to add it)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
3 tbsp coconut milk
3 tbsp water
Bananas
Oil for frying

Method

  1. To make the batter, put the flour, coconut, sugar, sesame seeds, coconut milk and water in a bowl and whisk to a smooth batter. Add more water if too thick.

    Batter
  2. Peel bananas and cut in half lengthways (and in half crossways if bananas are large).

    Bananas
  3. The recipe says to deep fry, but I don’t like using so much oil (a hassle to clean up the kitchen). So I used less oil and pan-fried my fritters. Far less oily and fattening too. Flip bananas when browned on one side.

    Frying Banana Fritters
  4. Serve with ice cream. The combination of hot and cold is too satisfying.

    Banana Fritters in Coconut Batter

Looks pretty good right? You’d want to eat it right? I’d say it came out pretty well.

But before you think I have some hidden cooking talent because all my food always seems to turn out well, let me tell you of the bunch of bananas I fried, only six pieces turned out like this.

And the rest?

Well, I’m embarassed to show you this, but I did promise the good, the bad and the ugly.

Gloopy Slimey Banana Fritters

Where is help when you need it? I don’t know what happened. Either the oil was not hot enough or I was too impatient and just flung them about a bit too much.

I see you’re looking appalled. These look so unappetizing. And I could come up with many detailed descriptions as to what I think they look like.

But I think I’ll spare you the thought *grin*.