Friday, 29 May 2020

Mia Bakes: No Knead Raisin Milk Bread

Soft, fluffy bread using just plain flour and absolutely no kneading required at all. You don't even need to touch the dough with your hands, is it possible?
The answer is YES!
So let's get over with the ingredients, so we can get started.

To get 1 small loaf (it'll only fill up 2/3 to 3/4 of a standard loaf cake tin), you'll need: 

150g plain flour
1 egg
25g castor sugar
75ml milk (need not be lukewarm)
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
40g raisin

ps. you can easily double this recipe to get a "standard sized" bread loaf. 

Making this bread can't be any simpler. You just need.... TIME. 
Yes, not elbow grease, but time. 

In a large bowl, add in your flour, castor sugar, instant yeast and salt. Make sure that your yeast is not in direct contact with the salt. Then, crack in an egg and add in the milk (I prefer to add the liquid directly over the yeast's spot to better dissolve them, though I know it's actually not required) and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon. When the dough has some sort of come together with no pockets of flour, add in the vegetable oil and continue stirring the dough for at least 5 minutes (or more, if you can) with the spatula, to help the gluten to develop. 

Now, for other kind of bread dough I would recommend that you mix with a pair of chopsticks, but not for this recipe, because the dough will be more like a batter and using spatula will give a more effective mixing due to the higher surface area. The ridiculously high hydration of the dough is what gives us soft and fluffy bread with no kneading. 

And yup, after you're done with the mixing, scrap down the sides of the bowl to push down the stray bits of batter as best as you can and cover the bowl with some cling wrap. Then, leave it on the countertop for 20 to 30 minutes first before keeping it overnight in the refrigerator (about 8 to 10 hours will be ideal). 

The next morning, take your bowl of dough out of the refrigerator and leave it on the counter for about 30 minutes for it to warm up slightly. Then, add in the raisins and stir with a spatula until well mixed. Then, pour out the dough into your prepared loaf tin (mine is non-stick but I greased it slightly with some non-stick cooking spray anyway to be doubly sure that nothing sticks. you may even line your tin with parchment paper because it's going to be quite sticky), cover it with a damp towel or clingwrap and set it at a warm place for 2nd proofing, until it is at least 1.5x to 2x the size. You can tell by sticking a toothpick into the batter and then using the height of the batter that has stuck onto the toothpick to make a marking on the loaf tin to know where should the batter rise till to be twice of the original depth/height. 
As it was an exceptionally chilly morning, it took me about 1.5 hours for the dough to nearly double in size. If your oven comes with a dough proofing setting, go ahead to use it and it should take you 20 to 30 minutes instead. Otherwise, you can put the tin inside your oven (switched off) and add in a bowl of boiling hot water below the rack to quicken the 2nd proofing process. 

And once the dough has proofed, brush the top of the dough with some eggwash (I used only the egg yolk with some water, hence it's super browned. But you can use the whole egg too) and bake it at 180 degree Celsius for about 25 to 30 minutes until nicely brown. 
Check for doneness by lightly tapping the surface of the bread with your fingertips. If it sounds hollow, the bread should be fully baked through. 
Tadaa~ Super soft, sweet and milky raisin bread with absolutely no kneading at all. 
And because the bread is made with plain flour instead of bread flour, the texture is much finer, closer to our usual store-bought loaf bread, and not as chewy as what you'll usually get with using bread flour. 


Just see how soft and fluffy it is! The bread considerably harden up (went stale) on the 3rd day even though I kept it in an airtight container, so I'll highly suggest that you do a smaller batch and try to finish the bread within 1 to 2 days.

Till then,
Mia Foo

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Intermittent Fasting: 1 Year's Update (IF for Women)

-credits to sgh.com.sg-

It's been nearly a year since my last post on my Intermittent Fasting journey, which means I've been IF-ing for more than a year! So if you happen to be an IF newbie, you might want to check out my 1st post, which will cover what's IF basically about, the different types of fasting methods, and my results after being on IF for just 3 months.

A main reason why I've decided to do an update now is because of the current Covid19 situation, whereby most people are currently on quarantine/lockdown with a drastic decrease in their daily activities plus constantly surrounded by food, may want to jump straight into some hardcore fasting out of desperation to lose or even maintain their weights. 

I will like to say that this update will not be touching on how much more weight (or body fat) I've lost since the previous post, because I've totally stopped tracking (haven't stepped onto the scales for over half a year!) and further weightloss is no longer my goals. 

But just to get it out of the way, here's my current physique update. 
Albeit very badly taken, plus also taken right after a grueling abs workout, hence the muscle definition. 
I DO NOT LOOK LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME (Eg. after a meal).

I'm still tracking calories, because CICO (calories in calories out) is King. It's the very basic of everything related to weight management, be it weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let anybody (cough cough Dr.... cough Fung's.... cough followers) tell you otherwise and believe that 'calories do not matter'. Because if calories really don't matter, we can easily be eating 10,000 worth of calories from the 'right' food everyday and not put on weight. 
Does that sound possible? 
Weight management is simply CICO; but it's just that CICO is not that simple. 

But that aside (and I'm definitely not qualified to tell you more about how CICO is not that simple), the main point of my update is to touch on how IF (16:8 and up) has affected my body, and ladies do take note!
-credits to mindbodygreen.com-

What I've not mentioned in my previous post, was that being on 16:8 (actually it was a range of 15:9 to 18:6 throughout the week) kind of wreck havoc on my menstrual cycle. Just 1 month after being mainly on 15:9, my period (which has been dead-accurate my entire life till then) was late by 3 days. 

"Huh, just 3 days? What's the big deal?" 

Yes, it started with just being 3 days late. But for someone whose period is so accurate that you can even estimate roughly the time of the day it'll start, 3 days is a huge deal. And the delay just got longer and longer over the months, until I'm eventually 70+ days late, and that's 3 cycles late! 
I don't know how you ladies view your monthly periods, although I've came across a few who would gladly lose them for weight loss. But to me it's simple. When your body starts to shut down their reproductive system, it's definitely in trouble and you're no longer in a state of optimal health. 
And sacrificing your health for weight loss just makes no sense. 
In addition, a study (conducted on rats, not humans) has shown that the ovaries of the female rats shrunk after fasting (eating every 2nd day) for 12 weeks.

Many "help" on those Facebook IF groups insist fasting itself is meant to heal our body and so it shouldn't adversely affect my period, and it's probably a drastic caloric reduction that made me lose my period. But I know better, because I've been tracking what I'm eating even before starting IF and so I know, very well, that the only change has been fasting. 
And so I decided to cut back on IF and see how it goes, and went back to 14:10 for 5 days a week and 12:12 on weekends. True enough, just 2 months of cutting back on fasting and I'm back on track (for regular periods), yay!

And just to add on, due to the circuit breaker situation, I've unknowingly increased my fasting hours back to 15:9 for last month and my period, although still accurate, has been cut short by more than half of what's normal for me. So 14:10 is really the sweet spot for me. 

So ladies, do listen to your own bodies and decide what's the best fasting hours for you. You do not have to do 16:8, 20:4 or even OMAD just because your best friend is doing so. Don't get intimidated or pressured to increase your fasting hours just because a random insensitive prick on your Facebook IF group says "14:10 is not even fasting, I wake up, freshen up and it's already 17 hours gone." 
(yes, I've really received such rude judgmental replies from people who don't even know me on some groups, pfft!)
Our bodies are all different and we'll all react differently to the stress (yes, fasting is a form of stress!) inflicted onto our bodies due to fasting. 

Last but not least, if you're intending to start your IF journey now, when you're still pretty much cooped up at home and constantly surrounded by just food and TV shows, I'll suggest that you put it off first. Or you may just start with switching up your diet and start to make healthier food choices instead. I'm definitely no IF guru, but it also doesn't need to take me 1 year to realise that Intermittent Fasting is NOT for the brand new, been-eating-crap-their-entire-life kind of newbies who are constantly craving sugar.  
I have to say that IF itself is NOT a diet, but if you're jumping onto the IF bandwagon to lose weight, then it IS a form of diet for you. And all diets are doomed to fail if they're not meant to be sustainable, and an all-in (or all or nothing) approach to a new lifestyle is doomed to fail. Being pressured to not eat during your fasting hours and forcing yourself to only eat clean (eg. refraining from all "bad" foods even when you're craving for them like crazy) when you can finally eat is definitely not something sustainable.

However, if you feel that you're already quite on track with leading a healthy lifestyle and think that the best time to start is now, perhaps DoFasting App can be of a great help to tide you through these tougher times, not just with helping you to track your fasting hours but also give you some ideas on your home workout routines and delicious recipes with all the calories and macros listed out for you! We all know weight management is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, right?

And just to show off some of my #healthyeating stay at home lunch these days during Circuit Breaker...

Sweet potato pancakes with baked fish and parmesan vegetables

Marmite oatmeal with baked fish, edamame and egg

Prawn Zoodle Pasta

Egg, Ham & Cheese Muffin using a 2-ingredient Banana Flour Bread

Sweet Potato Zucchini Hash with Baked Eggs. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 25 May 2020

Mia Bakes: Ricotta Burnt Cheesecake (Lower Calories!)

Yes, I've done it again! The "Burnt Basque Cheesecake" I've tried a while back, but this time with a BISCUIT BASE! 

And I'm not sure why, but cream cheese seems to be sold out islandwide. I've tried Cold Storage, NTUC Fairprice and Sheng Shiong but there's no cream cheese of any sort (not even the spreadable kind) to be found. Is the whole of Singapore making cheesecakes now? 
I can't even find Cottage Cheese (yes, you can make cheesecake with cottage cheese too, if you don't mind their gritty texture or you can push them through a sieve to smoothen them out), but managed to find a tub of Ricotta in the end. So I thought, why not? 
It also turned out "better" for me in the end, as I found out (after eating the whole cake in one seating with the HB) that Ricotta has about half the calories of cream cheese, hence so much healthier and diet friendly. YAY!

So let's get over with the ingredients, so we can get started:

For the cheesecake (around 5 - 6 inch cake tin):
250g Ricotta Cheese, soften at room temperature
100ml heavy cream 
(I used Lite, as it's the ONLY one I found... So, yay for more calories saved!)
2 eggs
1 tbsp Honey
45g sugar 
(I used icing, but you can use castor too)
10g corn flour 

For the biscuit base:
65-70g digestive biscuits (or any biscuits of your choice)
30g salted butter, melted
1 tbsp (around 20g) low fat greek yogurt 
(add enough yogurt to get your biscuit crumbs to wet sand consistency)

First up, line your cake tin with a sheet of CRUMPLED parchment paper. Just press down the parchment paper along the sides of your cake tin by folding them down along the sides onto each other (so you'll get the distinctive messy folds along the sides of your cake too). Make sure you leave about an inch or two of overhang above the edge of the tin as the cheesecake may rise above the tin while it bakes (depends on how full you fill up your tin). 

In a small food processor, crush up the digestive biscuits into find crumbs and then add in the melted butter and greek yogurt. Pulse until everything is well combined and the crumbs resembles the consistency of wet sand. Then, pour the crumbs into your lined cake tin and press them down firmly to form the base. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes at 180 degree Celsius and then set aside to cool down. 

In a large bowl, add in the soften ricotta cheese and give it a quick whisk to loosen it up before adding in the sugar. Whisk until everything is well combined and there's no more sugar crystals in the cheese, before mixing in the eggs, one at a time. Make sure the 1st egg is well incorporated before adding in the 2nd one. Then, add in the honey and heavy cream and mix until well combined. Finally, add in the corn flour and mix until you get a smooth, homogeneous batter.

Pour the batter over the pre-baked biscuit base and bake them in the airfryer (or other similar appliance, like a convection oven) at 180-200 degree Celsius for 25 to 30 minutes until the surface is burnt to your liking. Do note that the cooking temperature and timing will differ greatly, depending on what type of appliance you're cooking your cheesecake in, and how you'll like your cheesecake to turn out in the middle. 
But one thing for sure, is that if you're baking your cheesecake in a conventional oven (top and bottom heating), you CANNOT add the biscuit base as it'll burn. You'll only want the surface of your cheesecake to burn, not the biscuit base, that's not going to be pleasant. 

As my convection oven is pretty "weak", it actually took me nearly 40 minutes at 250 degree Celsius to get the surface to burn. And of course, the middle of my cheesecake is fully cooked through. 

Somehow, I feel that using Ricotta instead of cream cheese made the cake somewhat, lighter and less cloying, which I prefer. Who knows, I might just stick to using Ricotta for all my future cheesecakes! 

And because my cake tin is actually smaller than 5 inch (they're 4.5"), I got an additional 4 minis, after filling up my tin to nearly 90% full. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Mia Bakes: Steamed Milk Rice Cake

Yup, I've been on a steamed (rice) cake craze these days because:
1. There was a crazy shortage of wheat flour recently (they're back on the shelves now, though) and I ended up picking up a pack of rice flour. 
2. My "proper" oven has officially run its course with me and the backup, 'similar-to-an-airfryer' one that we have in the house takes almost 2x the usual time to bake, even at higher temperatures. 

Plus, steamed rice cakes are also gluten-free (not that I'm on this BS "healthy" trend, but my mum does get bloated easily with wheat bread... but she still eats them anyway) and being steamed and not baked also makes them less "heaty".  
So here goes! To get around 8 steamed cupcakes, you'll need:

170g rice flour
190ml water
10g full cream milk powder
60g castor sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder

Optional: 
1 tsp dried Osmanthus flower

I intended to make this Osmanthus flavour, hence I only added a little bit of the milk powder such that the milky flavour will not overpower the Osmanthus flavour. To make rice cakes with only milk flavour, you can replace the water with milk instead. The amount of sugar is also nearly the bare minimum for you to taste an obvious sweetness in the cakes, so I'll not recommend reducing it any further, unless you don't mind a bland steamed cake. 

This recipe is super easy to make, and you'll only need a large bowl and a whisk. Dump all your ingredients in and mix until you get a smooth, watery batter. But since I'm adding Osmanthus flower, I will need to let the flowers steep in some hot water first. 
So to roughly 100ml of hot water, add in 1 tsp of Osmanthus dried flower and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes, before adding in the remaining 180ml room temperature water. Then, all in all the dry ingredients and mix until everything is well combined. 
Divide your batter equally into your cupcake/muffin moulds that's lined with cupcake liners. 

Once your moulds are filled, steam them at high heat immediately if you wish to achieve the open-mouth, huat kueh look. If you prefer to have your steamed cake with a dome-top, steam them at a low to medium heat instead. 
Depending on your steamer and heat, steam your rice cakes for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Do make sure that your moulds are laid perfectly FLAT for them to open up nicely/symmetrically.

These steamed cakes are best eaten when still warm from the steamer, as they'll harden up considerably when cooled, and the texture will be very similar (though not nearly as hard) to a cold huat kueh. It will regain some softness if you reheat them up slightly in the steamer again, but they'll never be as soft as they were when freshly steamed. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Mia Bakes: 2 (or 3) Ingredients Healthy Banana Pancakes

Craving for some pancakes, but you can't find flour anywhere? 
(well, actually you should be able to find them now, it's the "smaller things" like yeast and baking powder etc that's missing on the shelves these days)

Fret not, you can actually make yourself come yummy pancakes with just two ingredients (or three), and flour is not one of them! 

And it's some healthy, banana pancakes!

To get 1 serving of 2 to 3 pancakes (depending on the size you make them), you'll need:

1 medium over-ripe (spotty/browned) banana (around 120 - 130g)
1 large egg 
1/4 tsp baking powder
(to make them fluffier, but you may omit to keep to a 2-ingredients recipe)

Optional:
2 tbsp Rolled Oats or Green Banana Flour
(and you should be getting a stack of 4 to 5 pancakes)

First, make sure your banana (or bananas, if they're small and you're using 2) is over-ripen and spotty, if not it'll be hard to mash them up and your pancakes will also end up lacking flavour.
So, in a clean bowl, mash up your banana with a fork until you get a relatively smooth puree. Some small chunks are okay, if you wish to add more dimensions to your pancakes (eg. biting into chunks of bananas). Then, to the mashed banana, crack in an egg and mix until well combined. You may add in the baking powder for it to fluff up slightly while cooking, or just leave the leavening agent out completely.

Grease your heated non-stick frying pan lightly with some butter and use a kitchen towel to remove any excess oil. Pour the batter onto the pan and cook on low to medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until you see that the edges are set. Lift the edge to check that the base is nicely browned before attempting to flip. I have to warn you first, that this pancake batter is extremely watery and contains NO flour so flipping them can be a challenge, especially if you make them too big for your spatula, as they'll almost break instantly off the sides of your spatula when you lift them up.
I'll strongly suggest that you make them smaller than usual for an easier time while flipping them.
Cook the pancakes on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes until they're browned to your liking.

And tadaa~
For more satiety factor, I've chosen to add in some rolled oats to make myself more pancakes. And while I've added 2 tbsp of pancake syrup to my pancake stack (of 4 pancakes), I felt that the pancakes are sweet enough (I've used an extremely spotty and soft Cavendish banana) on their own and the syrup was redundant. The subtle banana flavour of the pancakes go really, really well with peanut butter though. YUMS! 

And the 2nd time I made the pancakes, I decided to replace the rolled oats with green banana flour. 
And this time, the banana flavour came out strong. Initially I thought it's because of the green banana flour adding more banana flavour to the pancakes, but after using the flour for other bakes, I realised that the flour actually does not taste like bananas. So I reckon it's because I've used Malaysian banana instead of Cavendish banana this time, which has a stronger flavour. So yup, your choice of banana for this pancake recipe is very important! 

And as I've mentioned, these pancakes go damn well with peanut butter..... And also just for added moist-ness, I've added 1 tbsp of pancake syrup to my stack of 5 pancakes.

Till then,
Mia Foo 

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Send Some Positivity With Farm Florist [Sponsored]

Napoleon Hill said, "if you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way."
And what's a greater way to do a small thing for your loved ones by sending some positivity their way when we're now 2nd week into our 2nd month of circuitbreaker?  


Even though with limited variety of flowers available due to Covid-19, Farm Florist is still delivery daily and even providing free same day delivery with no minimum purchase, with contactless delivery option available! 

With a surprise bouquet as affordable as only $25 and a surprise bloom box as affordable as $39, you really need not break the bank to send some lovely flowers over to brighten someone's day. 

Personally love how gorgeous and convenient these bloom boxes are, you really only need to find the best spot in your house to place them. And it's currently been slightly more than a week since the flowers has been delivered and they're still looking pretty okay! 

In addition, you can also pick up some preserved flower domes from Bloom Studio (previously review HERE) if you fancy something more unique and lasting (for a few months). 

So why not hop over to Farm Florist right now and make someone's day? 
ps. They can even deliver bespoke bouquets and arrangements within an hour! 

Till then,
Mia Foo


Friday, 8 May 2020

Mia Bakes: Healthy Sweet Potato Brownies (74 kcals per serving!)

With the current circuitbreaker situation due to Covid-19, literally everyone is becoming a talented homebaker on social media and flours have been flying off the shelves at the speed of light. Not only that, ready-made cakes and confectionery have become a scarcity and there's absolutely no way to get my sweet treats cravings fixed during my cheatdays....
Or is there? 

Yes, there is!

Not only is this a flourless recipe, it's also a low calorie, healthy version of an otherwise sinful and decadent sweet treat - brownies!

I've previously tried out other healthy, low calorie brownie recipes (77 kcals Brownies & Tofu Brownies) but they all required flour. And also, out of all 3 recipes, I think I'll very much prefer this one, as it's the most moist and fudgy texture. 

So, for 6 servings, you'll need:
1 medium sweet potato (150g - 200g)
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
(or you can replace with maple syrup/honey)
1 medium egg
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Optional:
2 tbsps chocolate chips 
(I used Hershey's Semi Sweet)

Note: calorie count of 74 kcals per serving INCLUDES chocolate chips. And I highly recommend that you add them in!

adapted from Amber Tang's recipe


First up, wash your sweet potato (I used Japanese sweet potato) and cut them up into small pieces. I'll recommend that you leave the skin on, as the skin holds a lot of nutrients as well, and especially if you can make this in a food processor. However, if you don't have a food processor to blend up the sweet potato into a fine puree, you may peel off the skin for easier mashing. 
Either steam. boil or microwave your sweet potatoes until fully cooked through, and soft enough to be easily mashed up with a fork. It's better to mash them up as fine as you can manage, otherwise you might get bits of sweet potatoes in your brownie. 
To your cooled sweet potato mash, add all the remaining ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) and mix until well combined. 
If you're using a food processor, just dump all the ingredients into the machine and blend until you get a smooth batter. 
You may choose to stir in the chocolate chips, or scatter them over the top like I did. 

 Line your mould (I used a bread loaf pan) with some parchment paper and pour the batter in. It'll be a very thick and sticky batter, so it'll take some patience to smooth the batter out.
Then, bake in the oven that's pre-heated to 190 degrees Celsius for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the batter is set and a toothpick inserted comes out relatively clean with just a few moist crumbs.


And there you have it, a healthy and flourless, guilt-free brownie that's moist and fudgy in the middle and super chocolatey. Do note that the 2 tbsp of chocolate chips makes ALOT of difference to the overall taste, by giving the brownie most of the rich chocolate flavour and masking the obvious sweet potato aftertaste. So if you wish to further cut the calories by omitting them, you'll probably find yourself eating a chocolate-flavoured sweet potato mash. Hence, I highly recommend that you do not omit the chocolate chips.

Till then,
Mia Foo

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Mia Makes: Mee Chiang Kueh (Apam Balik)

Mee Chiang Kueh (面煎粿), anyone? 
Growing up, I love LOVE LURVEEE the idea of having 2 (yes, not 1, but TWO) slices of peanut mee chiang kueh for breakfast. The chewy, yet soft and slightly tender thick pancake that's filled to the brim with overspilling (literally) sugary ground peanut filling is just, YUMS!
Well, that's my go-to breakfast until I learnt more about various food and their calorie count. >.<"

But nothing is out of bounds for cheatday, so let's make some peanut mee chiang kueh! Well, I don't like coconut, so.... only peanut. HEH!

Anyway, let's get over with the ingredients so we can get started. To get 4-5 slices (basically a full happycall pan size), you'll need:

Pancake:
100g plain flour (all purpose flour)
30g rice flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sugar
1 medium/large egg
160ml lukewarm water

Filling:
Ground Peanuts, Granulated Sugar (2:1 ratio)
I used about 4 tbsps peanuts to 1 tbsp sugar, and left the other 1 tbsp sugar separated. 

Preparing the batter can't get any simpler. Just add all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, crack in the egg and add in the water and just stir with a whisk until everything is well combined and you're left with a thick and runny pancake batter.
Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel (or cling wrap, pan lid etc) and set it aside to rest for 1 to 1.5 hours.

After the batter is rested, heat up your pan and grease it slightly with a non-stick cooking spray or some butter. Make sure your pan is non-stick. I'm using a happycall pan and this recipe fills it up nicely. You might need to cook your batter more than once to get multiple smaller mee chiang kueh, depending on your pan size and your pancake thickness preference.

So after pouring all the batter into the pan, I kept the lid closed and cooked it over low heat for around 9 to 10 minutes before checking on it. By this time the pancake base is pretty much set, but hardly browned (since I cooked over the lowest heat possible). So I sprinkled the separate 1 tbsp of sugar evenly over the top of the pancake and cover the lid back on, cranking up the heat slightly to medium such that the pancake can brown. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until the pancake is browned to your liking. Then, sprinkle the ground peanut filling evenly over the top of the pancake and flip it over into half and take it off the heat.

Leave the entire slab of mee chiang kueh over a wire rack to cool before slicing them up.

As compared to the other recipes using only plain (wheat) flour, the addition of rice flour gives the pancake a softer, more tender bite. The store-bought ground peanuts were a disappointment though, for they were seriously lacking in fragrance and flavour. My grandma has already warned me previously that store-bought ground peanuts are "useless" (tasteless), and that we cannot try to cut corners when making stuff using ground peanuts, need to roast our own peanuts and grind them. But, too much work lah! xp
I think I would be better off using some Skippy's peanut butter as the filling instead.

Till then,
Mia Foo

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Ume Tonya 梅問屋 Plum Juice Concentrate [sponsored]

Do you know that plums are plentiful in minerals like potassium, fluoride and iron, and other health benefiting compounds such as dietary fibre, sorbitol and isatin? They are also rich in antioxidants, which are helpful for reducing inflammation and protecting our cells from damage by free radicals. In addition, plums are found to be particularly high in polyphenol antioxidants, which have positive effects on bone health and may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes!




And with the current #stayhomeforSG situation to keep ourselves safe from COVID19, I can't be any more glad to receive the Ume Tonya Plum Juice Concentrate from SampleStore.com to give me a healthier alternative to my daily dose of ice-cold sweet drink to beat the unbearable heat of being cooped up at home all day long. 
Oh, did I forget to mention that I do not have an air-conditioner at home? 




Made with preserved plums, the juice concentrate has no added preservatives and flavouring, and is the perfect drink to quench thirst and replenish the salt and mineral content in our bodies during hot weather. And each serving is barely 67 kcals! No worries about this contributing to our ever-growing waistline. 




Preparation can't get any simpler. Just empty the content of 1 sachet into your mug, top it up with cold/hot water and stir till combined! If you'll prefer a lighter taste to your plum juice drink, just add slightly more water to dilute the concentrate (but why would you, 250 - 300ml is perfect!) to suit your personal preference! You just can't mess this up. 




I'm a huge fan of tangy flavours and this plum juice concentrate is right up my alley! It's the right balance of sweet and sour, that's super light and refreshing on the taste buds, the perfect drink to reach for right after a meal. 




And guess what, you can now redeem your free bag of Ume Tonya 梅問屋 Plum Juice Concentrate samples (3 sachets) from Sample Store right HERE
Also comes in a a box of 12 sachets going for only $8.50 HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Mia Makes: 2 Ingredient Yogurt Bread & Cabbage Hashbrown

With the  Circuit Breaker measure ongoing here in SG, it seems like everyone has turned into a social media baking/cooking guru. HAHAHA! >.<
While the flours are flying off the shelves and everyone is trying to make themselves muah chee, breads and... I don't know, tapioca boba pearls (??), I've (somehow) went the other way and tried to find quick and easy recipes with as little ingredients as possible (and preferably lower calories/healthier alternatives). 

And so here's two of the recipes I've found on the internet that is super quick and easy to make, which turned out really well!

The first one is the 2-ingredient dough that was supposedly trending on IG, which I read about on Buzzfeed. 
The ingredients are really simple, just greek yogurt and self raising flour. If you do not have self-raising flour, you can make yourself some by adding baking powder and salt to plain flour, but that won't be "two-ingredients" anymore. 

So, to get yourself 1 serving of this quick bread, you'll need:
1/4 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup Greek (or drained) plain yogurt.
An additional pinch of salt (optional, for more flavour) 

First up, make sure your yogurt is GREEK YOGURT, the thicker the better, for the 1:1 volumetric ratio of this recipe to work. Otherwise, you can use normal plain yogurt, but reduce the amount of yogurt (start with just adding 2 tbsp first and slowly adding more if the dough is too dry) to get a workable consistency. 
Depending on what exactly you want to get out of the dough (bagel, pizza, bread bun etc), tweak the amount of yogurt to add to get the best dough consistency. For example, if you are planning to make a pizza out of the dough, you'll be better with a dough that's still soft but definitely not sticky at all. The lower hydration of the dough also meant that your "bread" will be less soft and fluffy. 
But for me, as I was just making a "English muffin" lookalike bread on the hob out of it, which needs minimal shaping and handling, I could get away with a much more sticky dough, as I could easily just dump the lump of wet dough directly onto my hot pan from the bowl of I wanted to. 
But I didn't, I chose to dust some flour over the wet dough and briefly shaped it into a round muffin shape before cooking it over a non-stick pan on low heat over the hob, with lid on, for around 5 to 6 minutes on each side, until the bread is browned to your liking and when pressed down with a finger, it springs back up.
And yes, I prefer my bread more evenly browned and "toasty".

I used about 3 tbsp normal plain yogurt to 1/4 cup flour and got really soft and fluffy bread. I also added a generous pinch of salt, which gave my bread a delicious salty flavour. YUMS!

And the other recipe I've tried for this meal is a healthier alternative to hashbrown, the cabbage-hash. I first saw this recipe from Erwan Heussaff's video, in which he actually used about 2 eggs to 1 cup of shredded cabbage & white onions. But I found that the overall dish didn't really work that well. Basically the egg and cabbage are pretty separated, and even with my effort to squish them together into a patty while they cooked, the final consistency of this "hashbrown" still tasted more like cabbage stir-fried in eggs to me. 

As you can see, the shredded cabbage and eggs aren't really together

So here's my tweaked recipe for the cabbage-hash:
180g - 200g shredded cabbage 
(you can sub part of the cabbage with white onions if you fancy them)
2 medium eggs
1-2 tbsp corn flour or plain flour
(corn flour will make it crispier)
Seasoning of your choice 
(I used garlic salt and the good old black pepper)

Just dump everything into a large bowl and mix until well combined. So simple!
For me, I prefer to beat the eggs and add in my seasonings first, before adding the egg mixture into the shredded cabbage and tossing them around for abit to get all the cabbage coated with the egg mixture before stirring in the flour to thicken the mixture. 

Then, pour the mixture onto a well greased pan and cook over medium heat until browned to your liking. I cooked my entire bowl of mixture into one huge "pancake" that's the size of my happycall pan, but I'll advise that you make smaller individual hashbrown sizes for easier cooking and flipping. 
Cooking time and heat also varies according to how you'll prefer your "hashbrown" to turn out. Do you prefer your cabbage softer or crunchy? The longer you cook over lower heat, the softer your cabbage will get. 
So just trial and error and get this low-calorie, low-carb "hashbrown" to your best liking! 


And yes, I repeat. DO NOT attempt to cook the entire batter into 1 huge pancake unless you have a happycall pan like I do. I just flipped the entire pan over to cook on the other side. HAHA!

Till then,
Mia Foo
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