Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Mucota Omega & Mucota Infinia at Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing [Sponsored]

 If you've been following my blog and other random posts on my social media accounts, you should know that my frequent collaborations with Ken at Focus goes a long way back when I visited their Cuppage branch as a normal paying customer. 

Imagine my surprise when Ken told me, starting next month, November 2020, he will be moving over to Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing instead. 


Located at Hong Lim Complex, he's actually just shifted to the next building from where he's currently now  at (Chinatown Point). HAHA!


And so, other than snipping off a few more centimetres of my dry, scratchy hair ends and doing my usual Mucota Omega (hair rebonding) touch up, Ken also introduced the new (albeit, not THAT new, but still new to me) Mucota Infinia Hair Treatment. 


Touted as the number 1 anti-frizz hair treatment, Mucota Infinia is effective for highly damaged bleached hair, which tends to have cuticles that are wide open. Mucota Infinia contains acidic components that will help to close up the cuticles, hence making the hair soft and smooth again.
In addition, the treatment, although strong at repairing our hair from inside to ourside, is also lightweight and doesn't weigh the hair down. The treatment also takes considerably shorter time to complete, in less than an hour, with the effects lasting 4 to 6 weeks!

Unlike Mucota Scena, which comes in 3 or 5 steps, Mucota Infinia comes in either 3 (A, B, C) or 4 (additional S) steps. According to Ken, Mucota Infinia also contains less silicone, hence the treated hair may not feel as soft and silky smooth as compared to Mucota Scena. 

Yay to tidy, straight hair roots again! 

True enough, my hair felt a little stiffer compared to how it usually felt after doing Mucota Scena, but I love how quick Mucota Infinia takes, and still made my hair soft and smooth. It's been slightly more than 2 weeks since my hair appointment, and yet with daily washing, my hair still feels smooth to the touch!

Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing is now offering a 20% discount on all hair services to all first time customers. Otherwise, you can also quote "Mia Foo" to enjoy the same 20% discount promotion! 

Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing is located at 
531 Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Complex #02-08

For more information and booking of appointments, check out their IG and FB page! 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 12 October 2020

Mia Bakes: Mung Bean Cakes (绿豆糕)

挑战过了桂花糕,下一个就是你了 - 绿豆糕!
(After succeeding the Osmanthus Rice Cake, the next one shall be you - Mung Bean Cake!)


Initally, I bought a set of  the mooncake press-mould, thinking that perhaps I can have a try at making my own fusion mooncakes (eg. baked mooncake skin but with pineapple cake filling) this year, but the procrastination... 
Oh well, Mid-Autumn is long over, so let's make Mung Bean Cakes instead!

For 20 (33 - 35g) cakes, you'll need:

250g mung beans (dry, with skin)
35g unsalted butter
50g Gavia Sweetener (1:1 sugar replacement)
20g honey
15g full cream milk powder
a pinch of salt
(and ALOT of elbow grease)

recipe adapted from Amanda Tastes

The procedures to make this cake is really simple, just that you'll require a lot of elbow grease frying the mung bean puree into the cooked dough. But anyhow, let's get started!

To 250g of mung beans, add in some water to soak the beans for at least an hour or two, until the beans has expanded in size. Then, give the beans a good rinse and pour them into a pot. Add enough water just that all the beans are covered, and bring the water to a boil over high heat on the hob. Then, turn off the hob and leave the beans to "steam" in the covered pot for 15 to 20 minutes, before adding some more water (if it has dried up) and repeating the process (of heating until the water boils, turning off the heat, steaming the beans in the covered pot) for another 2 times, until the beans are thoroughly cooked through and soft. This trick will save you a lot of gas (or electricity, if you're using induction hob) and possibly some cooking time as well.
Do remember to not add too much water (just enough to cover the beans) while boiling them, if not your puree will end up extremely watery and you'll need longer frying time later on to reduce the puree into a dough. 

Pour the cooked beans and the remaining water into your food processor or blender, and blend into a fine puree. Do blend the beans for a while longer so as to better break down the skin. Otherwise, you can also remove the skin before cooking to get a smoother, finer cake texture. 
Then, pass the puree over a sieve and directly into a non-stick pan. You may also skip the sifting part if you do not mind a coarser mouth-feel in your cake. Also, if you've already removed the skin before cooking, sifting is also not required. 

To the puree, add in the butter, sugar, honey, milk powder and a pinch of salt. Then, start stirring the mixture NON-STOP over medium heat until most of the moisture in the puree has evaporated and the mixture will start to come together into a dough. 
Now, how long more to cook the mixture once they start to come together depends on how dry/moist you prefer your cake to be. But do note that if your dough is too moist, it's harder for the cake to take the shape of your mould, and if it's too dry, they'll crack easily. 


Transfer the hot dough into a clean bowl and cover with a cling wrap. Make sure that the cling wrap is touching the surface of the dough to prevent it from drying out. Then, leave it to cool/chill in the fridge. Once the dough has cooled down, it's time to start shaping! First, divide your dough into equal portion sizes and roll them into balls. You can do this by first weighing the total weight of your dough and dividing it by how many pieces you wish to get. Just make sure that the size of your dough ball doesn't exceed the capacity of your mould press (mine is a 50g mooncake mould press). 
Then, oil your mould press to prevent sticking, and start pressing away! 

Tadaa~

I'll probably increase the amount of sugar the next time I attempt this, as this batch has an extremely obvious "low-sugar" taste. HAHAHA! 



Taste wise, due to the very subtle sweetness, the mung bean flavour is very prominent. My dad actually asked that I try covering some in flour batter and deep-fry them, saying it'll taste just like Kuih Kasturi (the mung bean fritters selling at most Goreng Pisang stalls). 
 HAHAHA!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Sunday, 20 September 2020

BestInSingapore's Shepherd Pie's Delivery [Sponsored]

 

Sometime last year, I've mentioned about trying the yummy chicken shepherd's pies from Shepherd's Pie Singapore. Back them, they only had beef and chicken shepherd's pies available on their menu and now I'm happy to find out that they've expanded their menu (mac 'n' cheese, pasta, lasagna, burgers)! 
Not only that, but they're also rated as one of the best 5 pie delivery in Singapore by BestInSingapore

And to comfortably feed 5 adults for lunch (although I have to say my mum's appetite is more like a bird), I got a medium lasagna and a massive mac 'n' cheese shepherd's pie! 
First up, this time round the delivery was actually delayed by 45 minutes and the food just mere lukewarm. But it's probably due to the crazy downpour happening right at the hour of my stipulated delivery time; so can't blame them either. It's more of my lack of luck, I reckon. 

Why choose between the creamy goodness of cheese and the spicy kick of black pepper, when you can have both with our new Mac ‘n’ Cheese Black Pepper Chicken Shepherd’s Pie! Delicious Chicken Mac n Cheese with a generous serving of cheese and our special Black Pepper gravy. If you’re craving for some Mac n Cheese with Black Pepper Chicken, you can’t go wrong with this!

As compared to their standard Shepherd's Pie (which has a layer of baked mashed potatoes), the Mac 'n' Cheese Shepherd's Pie comes with a top layer of Mac 'n' Cheese (duh?!) instead. However, as mentioned earlier, the food came merely lukewarm, hence the cheese has considerably harden up when we tucked into the food, which was definitely a shame! And they're actually also rather generous with the cheese, so we really had some slicing work to do with a sharp knife to cut up the solidified melted cheese. 

The harden mac 'n' cheese aside, the black pepper chicken filling was so good! Instead of minced chicken they've previously used in the standard Shepherd's pies, this time round it was big chunks of well flavoured chicken meat! Love the savoury and subtle spicy kick of the black pepper, which definitely cuts through the heaviness (and would-have-been) creaminess (if the cheese was still melty) of the Mac 'n' Cheese to make you want to go for seconds. 
If you're a fan of Mac 'n' Cheese, and at the same time, want something meaty to "complete your meal", then this is your jam! 


DELIVERED: Pia's Homemade Lasagna (Medium) 
WITH BEEF & NOT VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY 

Sigh.... I was quite stumped for words this time round. My family and I (except for my HB) do not eat beef due to religion, hence I chose the vegetarian friendly version of their lasagna. But it ended up being OOS on my stipulated delivery date and they sent the BEEF VERSION without informing on the order being OOS and checking with us if it's okay to switch to the beef version. 
My parents actually ate the lasagna, thinking it's 'minced mock meat' and I dare not tell them the truth after finding out that they've actually sent us beef. *facepalm*
I can only say, the ignorant is not guilty. :(

To check out Shepherd's Pie Delivery expanded menu, visit their website HERE
Also, do check out BestInSingapore for more lists of the best of what Singapore has got to offer!
All food-styling photographs with credits to Owari Photography 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Friday, 18 September 2020

Mia Bakes: Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

 

And so, after using unsweeten applesauce in my protein pancakes for nearly forever, I decided to try using mashed pumpkins instead when I realised my neglected half of a butternut pumpkin is nearing the end of its shelf life.
Will it work? Let's find out! 

For 1 serving of 5-6 small pancakes, you'll need:

25g whey protein powder (I'm using My Protein Impact Whey Isolate)
10g oat flour 
18g oat fibre (about 2 tbsps)
120g raw pumpkin
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

First, wash your pumpkin clean and cut into thin slices. Steam for 10 to 15 minutes until it's fully cooked through and mash it up with a fork. Set aside to cool.
Crack your egg into a small bowl and separate your egg yolk and white. Place the egg yolk in a large bowl and add in the cooled, mashed pumpkin. Mix thoroughly to combine. Then, add in all the other dry ingredients (if your protein powder is not flavoured, add in 1 to 2 tsp of sugar to taste) and mix until just combined. 
Lastly, add in the egg whites and lightly stir until there's no more obvious snotty gloops of the egg whites. This trick is to ensure that you get thick and fluffy pancakes!

Cook the pancakes over medium heat on a lightly greased non-stick pan. Always remember to wipe away all excess oils on the pan before you spoon in your pancake batter to get a pretty, evenly browned surface on your pancakes. Cook for roughly 3 to 4 minutes on one side, until bubbles start to appear on the surface, before flipping it over. Then, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the surface springs back when you press down on it, indicating that it's fully cooked through. 
Pancakes made from whey protein tends to be rather dry, so always make sure to not overcook them. If not, you'll end up with a stack of cardboard. 

And tadaa~ These pancakes are thicc! 


As compared to the applesauce version, these pancakes are significantly denser, slightly mushier, and has a subtle pumpkin sweetness to it. Not exactly the best stack of protein pancakes, but it'll do when I run out of applesauce or when I need to finish up my half-eaten pumpkins!

Till then,

Mia Foo

Thursday, 17 September 2020

My Humble Journey: Replacing Disposables with Reusables

 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. 
As per the solid waste reduction hierarchy, it's always best to reduce first, reuse as a second option, and then recycling as the last resort. 
We're slowly poisoning the planet with our undesirable, wasteful habits. There are five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean. Dead zones are expanding. And by 2040, our environmentally destructive habits will put the Mother Earth on an altered course of history that she won't be able to turn back from. 

Couple of years back, our family very belated starting our 3Rs journey, but mainly stuck to recycling (always separating recyclable wastes from non-recyclables) and reducing (albeit for more the cost factor). And while my family's current participation rate of reuse is still stuck at my mum's prized collection of tupperwares, lock n lock, random 1.5L ice cream plastic containers, glass jam jars, and a never-ending supply of plastic carriers to be used as rubbish bags, I've actually went on to explore further on this 2nd "R" that has been very much neglected all these years. 

So here's my humble list of items that I've made the switch from disposables to reusables (and loving it!). I'm not going to show the photos of my actual stuff, because.... well, you'll see. 

1. Water Bottles


Using a water bottle is probably our very first step into adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle (of reusing), albeit we all probably started off by trying to reuse the disposable plastic (PET) bottles until research studies started telling us not to (as they may leach toxic chemicals and DEHP). 

-credits to water bobble-

Out of so many brands of water bottles I've used all these years, my favourite is probably water bobble, not really for the personal water filter feature, but for the overall lightweight and simple yet ergonomic design of the bottle. Although not very easy to clean, I'll still prefer my water bottle to have an easy-to-drink suction screw on cap instead of having to screw the lid open and drink from the rim like a cup. The former type is so much easier on my water breaks in the gym!

2. Lunch Boxes

As I always pack my breakfast (pre-intermittent fasting days) mid-day snack and part of my lunch (the starchy carbs) to work, imagine how much plastic waste I'll be generating if I didn't choose to use reusable lunch boxes. Will definitely prefer these boxes with separated compartments for my used-to-be-breakfast-and-now-afternoon-snack, which typically consist of either a hardboiled egg, weetbix biscuit and fresh fruits, or a PB&J sandwich with fresh fruits. Having mushy weetbix biscuits due to moisture from the fresh fruit is a definite turn-off for me. I love my weetbix absolutely DRY and CRISPY. 
As for the starchy carbs (typically brown rice or sweet potatoes, but sometimes quinoa or multigrains too) for lunch, I will prefer to keep them in a food jar tumbler instead. It doesn't really keep them warm until my lunchtime, and I don't need my complex carbs to be warm either (eating your starchy carbs cold increases the resistance starch). It's more for the ease to carry it out for lunch that matters. 

3. Reusable Grocery Bags

I got my first reusable grocery bag from my mum (when she received a few during Teacher's Day) a couple of years back and it has been in my bag ever since, where ever I go. The few times I've accepted a plastic bag for my purchase was because I went totally crazy with snacks-shopping and my purchases can't fit into my reusable bag. HAHA!
But I have to say, our eco-friendly culture/awareness is really not there yet. Many times, I need to specially request (and strongly insist) that the cashier place ALL my purchases (regardless "dry" or "wet") into my grocery bag, and some of them even insist on placing the "wet" stuff in their plastic bag before putting it into my grocery bag. *facepalm*

4. Coffee Cups/Tumblers

I used to get a cuppa kopi-c kosong from Toast Box every single working morning, until the kopi xiaodi (I reckon he is at least a couple years younger than me?) will automatically proceed to prepare a cuppa kopi-c kosong the very moment he sees me stepping into Toast Box, just in time to place it right in front of me on the counter, sometimes even before I made my order. 
Yeah, quick service is definitely an understatement here. 
Do you know that the take-out paper cups are not recyclable due to the plastic lining added? So, to all you fellow coffee addicts out there, it's really high time you bring-your-own-cup when getting your daily coffee-to-go. 

5. Metal Straws


I don't think I need to tell you anymore about the notoriety of plastic straws. There's a few types of reusable straws in the market right now. Metal, glass, silicone and tritan. Apparently, tritan tends to get cloudy upon frequent contact with citrusy drinks, so if you're an orange juice lover, you might want to consider other materials instead.  

6. Cloth Pads & Period Underwears
(the reason why I'm not showing actual photos. HAHAHA!)


-credits to modibodi-


-credits to thinx-

I own a few pairs of thinx and modibodi, and while I can't really feel much difference between the two, in terms of their function as a "sanitary pad" (eg, quick absorption, odour control etc), I do prefer Thinx over Modibodi as the former somehow fits better and is more comfortable to wear. 
However, there's always a fear of leaking due to heavy flow (we can't possible bring another piece of underwear out and change out of a used pair, right?), which got me exploring cloth pads! 


As cloth pads do not rely on adhesive material to stay on our underwear, I will not fear damaging my (not very cheap) period underwears if I choose to "layer on" an extra protection on my heavy flow days. But after switching to working from home, I've tried relying on just one heavy/overnight flow underwear for the entire day and they actually hold up! 

Contrary to popular beliefs, keeping your used cloth pads sitting around in your bag for half the day will NOT stink out your bag because the used pad typically will not emit the horrible "period blood" stink like those disposable pads do. Apparently, it's the material of those disposable pads that develop the smell upon long hours of contact with our period blood, so do not worry about experiencing the same with cloth pads! However, do expect some smell (though not as bad as disposable pads when worn for the same time) from the period underwear due to much longer hours of wearing (eg. mixing in with perspiration etc). 

7. Food Grade Silicone Covers
(Reusable "Cling Wrap")


This is something that my mum and I has abandoned after trying out a set I've purchased on taobao. Not exactly sure if it's because I chose a badly made one, or are they just not supposed to easily fit all sorts of bowls/containers like cling wrap does.
If you've a set that works well (eg. really do stretch out over the bowls easily), do let me know in the comment section below! 

8. Reusable Cotton Pads/Facial Puffs



Initially, I just chose to stop using cotton pads to put on toner, using my hands instead. That kinda worked out fine, until I switched to micellar water (from Pond's Cold Cream) as my make up remover. It's IMPOSSIBLE to use micellar water make up remover without a cotton pad, and that's when I decided to get one. I actually chose the fluffy facial puff (1st picture), not because they look prettier, but they can also double up as a face cleansing "brush" in the showers. And with a hanging hook already sewn into the side of the puffs, air-drying them out is so much easier compared to the smaller cotton pads. 

And so, here's the 8 (or 7, actually) things that my family and I have (almost) completely switched out from disposables.
How about you?

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 14 September 2020

Getting cakes at your doorsteps in 1 hour with Cake Delivery Singapore

They say money can't buy happiness; but we can buy cakes and that's kind of the same thing. Happiness is a piece of cake, literally. 

 
And look, I've got TEN pieces of cakes, delivered right to my doorsteps on a rainy day, all thanks to Cake Delivery Singapore!


Every baker from Cake Delivery Singapore has gourmet baking experience of more than a decade, having worked at high end bakeries and hotels, and most of them educated at some of the top culinary institutes in Europe. 

Unlike your average brick and motar cake shop, Cake Delivery Singapore not only has a full refund (or re-delivery)1-hour delivery promise, but also offers after hours delivery from 10pm to 6am for those planning a surprise midnight birthday party! 

Not only do they offer an impressive selection of cakes and sweet treats, you can also expect to find healthier choices desserts such as reduced sugar or vegetarian brownies, vegan eggless chocolate cakes and keto carrot cakes! There's also local flavours such as Mao Shan Wang, Ondeh Ondeh, and Orh Nee Yam cakes

And here's what I've got.
A 1.5 kg cake made up of 10 individual slices of cake, with 8 different flavours to choose from (subjected to availability): New York Cheesecake, Burnt Cheesecake, Oreo Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Truffle Cake, Biscoff Cheesecake, Blueberry Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cake. 

Yup, definitely sounds like the perfect choice for a cheesecake lover. 
There were only 4 flavours available for my BYOC, so I simply went for 2 slices of each flavour and added on 1 extra slice for the Chocolate Truffle Cake and Biscoff Cheesecake. 
I mean, chocolate truffle and biscoff, who doesn't adore them?! 

And can you guess the flavour of the 1st slice I went for?

Yup, Chocolate Truffle Cake, I choose you!

Combining the best of both worlds, the Chocolate Truffle Cake has a rich, oozy chocolate ganache centre that's surrounded by fluffy, moist sponge cake and coated with cocoa powder to showcase the roasted flavour of their premium cocoa beans. 

As with most other cakes (chocolate, especially), always remember to leave it standing on the counter for a good 15 to 20 minutes for the chilled cake (if you keep it in the fridge) to de-chill before eating. And, knowing that melty chocolate taste even richer, I left mine to considerably soften up for over 30 minutes before eating it and IT WAS SO GOOD! Truly decadence in every bite! Even though it's not overly sweet, as the chocolate flavour is strong, it did get a little cloying for me towards the last few bites of the slice, even though I'm a chocolate fanatic. 

No prize for guessing the 2nd flavour I chose to try. Welcome to my tummy, Biscoff Cheesecake!

Crunchy Biscoff biscuit crumbs and luxurious creamy cheesecake, the perfect combination! The unique spiced caramel notes of the Biscoff cookies cut through the richness of the cream cheese, providing a fragrant, delicious mouthful. The hints of cinnamon and brown sugar are sure to make your mouth water! 

I've made my own biscoff cheesecakes before, but definitely nowhere comparable to this decadent masterpiece. Rich, creamy and dense cheesecake that's both FILLED and TOPPED generously with crushed biscoff biscuits to give you the addictive caramalised flavour in every bite. I meant to share a slice with the HB, but somehow I just went on auto-pilot mode and finished up the entire slice of cake before I knew it. HAHA! 

And then, it's Burnt Cheesecake!

With a perfectly charred exterior to add a smokey depth to its flavour, and an oozy melty centire, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The crispy, slightly bitter burnt ends cut through the cheesiness and enhance its flavour. 

If you're typically not a fan of cheesecake as you find them too cloying, give the burnt cheesecake a try! The whole "burning" process not only added a nice caramelised flavour to the cheesecake, but also gave it a slight hint of the bitter charred flavour that cuts through the cloying heaviness of the cheesecake. 

Never a fan of Red Velvet, and it wasn't any different for this one. 

Fluffy and moist with just a hint of bittersweet cocoa powder, and frosted with rich savoury-sweet cream cheese, this is one addictive dessert. 

Ate a small bite (fork down the very tip of the slice) and left the rest to the HB, who loves Red Velvet to bits. Sorry, Red Velvet, it's not you it's me. I reckon it's the cream cheese frosting that totally puts me off, every single time. 
Even my parents, who knows nuts about cakes, commented that the Red Velvet is good after they shared a slice. 

For more information on the sweet treats Cake Delivery Singapore has to offer, visit their website or FB page

Till then,
Mia Foo

Friday, 11 September 2020

Mia Cooks: Honey Garlic Sriracha Shirataki Noodles Stir Fry

Yup, I've been obsessed with sriracha sauce lately and I'm not gonna lie. I've been adding it to literally everything I eat these days, even salads (salad dressing recipe here)! Another ingredient I've been crazy about these days is the shirataki noodles. Not only are they super low calorie, but I love the chewy, bouncy mouthfeel of the noodles that great resembles glass noodles. 

So let's combine these two together for a quick, 1 pan lunch! For 1 LARGE serving (in terms of volume, not calories), you'll need:

200g shirataki noodles
100g shredded cabbage
1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
1 king oyster mushroom (around 50 - 60g), sliced
8 peeled shrimps (around 70g)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce (replace with light soy sauce if you don't have)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sriracha 
1 tsp sesame oil
pinch of salt, garlic salt, ground ginger

optional: zucchini, sliced. 
I had just a bit leftover (around 40 - 50g) in the fridge so I just added them in.  

First up, boil the shirataki noodles. There'll be a strong fishy odour when you pour it out of the packet. While there's some who claims that the fishiness can be rinsed away, I always prefer to boil mine for a couple of minutes along with a clove of crushed garlic and a pinch of salt and ground ginger to be safe
Then, drain the noodles and set aside. 

In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, sriracha and sesame oil together until well combined and set aside. 

In a heated non-stick pan, grease it with a little cooking spray and stir fry the onions until they turn slightly transparent. Then, add in the chopped garlic (I actually reused the boiled garlic from pre-boiling the noodles, but you can use two fresh cloves of garlic instead) and stir fry for a while more until fragrant. Then, add in the cabbage (and zucchini) with a pinch of garlic salt and cook until the cabbage are slightly wilted. Add in the mushrooms, shrimps and noodles. Give it a quick stir to combine, before pouring in the sauce mixture. Give it a good toss to make sure that everything is well coated with the sauce. Continue stir frying until the shrimps are fully cooked and it's done! 

I served mine along with some frozen chicken gyoza that I've steamed, but you can just have the stir-fried noodles on its own. It'll make a decent portion, hearty lunch! 


Best of all, everything (gyoza included) is barely 350 kcals! Super diet-friendly!

Till then,
Mia Foo

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