I Baked That Banana Bread

When buying a bunch of bananas, I always knew that I wouldn't be able to finish them up. Over some time, they would blackened and turned very soft. At this stage, lots of people think that they're not good anymore and so they'll throw them out. I'm telling you now: don't ever think of throwing your bananas and instead, make a wonderful banana bread out of it.

The soft, old, over-riped bananas are easy to be mashed. In addition, they're super sweet, so why throwing them out? Combine them with some ingredients that you'll presumably have in your kitchen most of the times: flour, oil, sugar and eggs, and you'll be eating a slice of banana bread the next morning you'll wake up. I baked stuffs a lot of times and I know where to find some good recipes. When it turned out very well, I'll usually stick with it. Banana bread should have that cake-like texture, slightly crumbles with crisp outers when it's freshly baked. Though crusts might go softer after a day or two, but the flavours will continue to develop. The most important part is not to over-mix the batter as it will result in a tough, rubbery bread.
This banana bread recipe has gained some popularity among my families and friends and I think it's time to share it with you. Enjoy!

Banana Bread
(from Joy of Baking)

1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe large bananas (approximately 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread can be frozen.

Makes 1 - 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf.

Cinnamon Roll

Imagine yourself walking passed a place with a strong smell of freshly baked breads and sweet cinnamons. You'd like to have one, don't you? That's what always occuring to me every time I walked out of Great World City's Cold Storage, usually after my grocery shopping. That little pastry stall sells various baked stuffs, with cinnamon as the main ingredient. Their cinnamon rolls have reminded me of Cinnabon, which unfortunately, absent from Singapore. Sometimes I quite miss them, I enjoy baked stuffs with cinnamon a lot and I'm the kind of person who has that sweet tooth.

So that day, I decided to get one for breakfast, the original flavour (there are some with nuts, chocolate and dried fruits). The sweetness is alright, it's balanced between the cinnamon and sugar but they're lack in moisture. Cinnamon rolls
should've been soft, moist and milky, delicatedly sweet without being overly sweet. All I've got here is a simple bland bread roll with some cinnamon sugar. Sigh. It has made me miss Cinnabon even more.

Graze: Table for Three, Please

"There you go, finally we're here!" said my friend I when we first spotted the sign. It was half past eight, no doubt we were very hungry. Walking down the road from the valet-service, the air was full of food aromas, musics and chattering sounds from the cafes along the way.

The lounge seen from our table
It was our lucky day, since there was only a table left available. We didn't mind outdoor seating at all but rather pleased as the weather was supportive that night. Another good thing that I like about the seating's in Graze is the lounge, where you can relax a little bit before or after dinner while watching some classic movies.
The complimentary breads that were gone by the first minutes
I noticed some changes in their menu, the main entrees are mostly replaced by a longer list of some exquisite meals. They're also serving some grilled stuffs and a wider range of pastas, as well as vegetarian foods.
The tiger prawn linguine ($29), with a generous serving of wild rockets, has that subtle flavour of white wine and a sharp garlic taste. I like the simplicity here, less ingredients doesn't always means taste-less.
Just like it's name, the trio of cheese risotto ($27) starred three cheese in the rice: stilton, mascarpone and taleggio. Not that spectacular, but just deliciously smooth and creamy.
This is the star of the day. Taken from the vegetarian menu, this organic pumpkin ravioli ($27) dressed in shallots, hazelnuts and some fresh herbs. The pumpkin fillings was a true winner, very rich in flavour, a little spicy with some chermoula.
Clockwise from the top left: sour soup sorbet, banana fritter with ice cream, bittersweet chocolate tart with banana, Graze black and white puddings with their ice creams, homemade strawberry and honeycomb ice cream, classic afrigado, chocolate creme brulee, apple, pineapple and cherry crumble, and in the middle, pavlova with mango sorbet.
We were stuffed; but I still wanted my dessert. The last time I was here I had the dessert tasting platter ($35) which I found very amazing. Since my best friend I was only staying for a short trip here, I really wanted her to taste it. It's basically a sample of all the desserts on their menu but only in mini portions.
We're really glad that we had to walk back since we need that extra move to get the foods down the throat a little before we sit again. It was a real delectable dinner though, a stunning meal with my closest friends.
4 Rochester Park
Singapore 13921
Tel: 6775 9000

Toast: the Story of Me and Elvis

Being a coffee addict, the morning cup wasn't enough for me. That afternoon I demanded for some more and off we go, to Toast. Some people do not aware of the existance of this cafe by Marmalade Pantry in Ngee Ann City. Is it new? No, it has been there for quite a while, only that the location is a little hidden. Nevertheless, every time I came, there always been some people crowding in. They either munch on some light meals of sandwiches and salads or having their coffee break, like me.
What's a good cup of bitter coffee without some sweets? Today I decided to go for a cupcake, after being spoiled by the choices of various cakes and tarts. That's when I met Elvis. Dressed in a peanut butter frosting and chocolate glaze, he catched my eyes. The combination of salty peanut butter and the sweet, moist chocolate cake has always been my all-time favourite. Desserts are my big, big weakness: I bought some more cupcakes to be brought home. Anyone wants some desserts for dinner?

391 Orchard road
#02-11 Ngee Ann city
Tel: 6733 8489

Riders Cafe: with the horses

This place is cool. I'm not talking about the weather, but rather the ambiance. They said that the greens are good for your eyes, so here I am, in a perfect gate away from the busy city. Rider's cafe is located in Bukit Timah Saddle club, which is famously known for the horses. Sitting here, you can see the horse grazing and even smell them a little as you sip your drinks and have lunch.
The stable seen from the balcony

Have you meet my friends, Mocha and Latte?
It was a humid and sunny day so we had some ice-cold coffees too cool our body down. This authentic building is not air-conditioned. The large windows and high ceilings keep the fresh air ventilated.
The outdoor seating's
Rider's burger ($14)
Chicken club sandwich ($15)
Strawberry shortcake ($10)
Now, this is cute. Unlike the ordinary strawberry shortcake that we've usually bought from the bakeries, theirs is presented in a cup: smooth custards with big sweet strawberries and biscuits, topped with whipped creams and crumbles. I like the sweet berries but since I don't fancy creams at all, it's not going to be one of my favourites.
The foods are usual, nothing really outstanding but I love the place very much. They have brunch available on weekends and the menu is really tantalizing. A simple warm breakfasts to start your day-off at this homely and laid back place, I'll surely coming back soon.

Rider's Cafe
51 Fairways Drive
Bukit Timah Saddle Club
Singapore 286965
Tel: 6466 9819


This is addictive. Anyone haven't tried Yoguru yet?
Regular original yoghurt with almond toppings
Whenever I went to Raffles City, I felt like I have to eat this frozen yoghurt. They only have two flavours: original and yogubliss. My favourite toppings are the nut families, delightfully paired with the refreshingly sweet and sour yoghurt. It comes in three sizes, the smallest one has already be large enough for me but still, I can finish it in one go. Yes, it's that good, and hey, it's healthy too!

Raffles City Mall (Cityhall MRT)

Volcano Ramen

Those were the days where I was demanding for some good ramen after watching "The Ramen Girl" movie. I attempted some in various places that aren't worth blogging for. After a while I remembered a place where I once had a good ramen, Ajisen. Though they don't seemed like those authentic Japanese restaurants that serves their foods in original flavours, they did satisfy me enough.

Spicy Cha-Shu Ramen

Volcano Ramen

A said that the spicy cha-shu ramen was really spicy and hot, but I can't quite agree with him as it's not comparable with my volcano ramen. I think that's where they got the name; it's very spicy that you thought you'll blow up, just like a volcano. For someone who could bear spiciness like me, it's very refreshing afterwards, giving the body another source of energy. It does leave you a hot stomach though, so beware.
We had some chicken karaage as the side. Oh, I really love theirs. Very crispy with not too overly thick coating, the chicken was rich in flavour.

They serve very big portion of ramen that even a big eater like me couldn't even finish them. So much noodles and soup was really filling.

Takashimaya Department Store
B210-2 (basement 2)
Tel: 6732 4873

Chimney Cake

Originally from Transylvania, this Kürtöskalács (translated as chimney cake) is a traditional Hungarian pastry that is wrapped around a spool which then cooked over an open fire. Famously known as Hungary's oldest pastry, this pastry is often served as a street food, usually eaten at Christmas markets and other festive occasions.
1/3 cinnamon sprinkled Chimney cake.

The dough is heavily coated with a sprinkling of sugar, which created a crispy, sugary sweet caramel crust. You can either choose to eat it just like that or coat them with some nuts or cinnamon. The word chimney came from the original process of making this pastry. The dough was said to be wrapped around the chimney pipes.

The hollow in the middle made the shape resembles a chimney.

I was surprised to find this pastry in Singapore. A Hungarian guy has been opening a stall in Takashimaya food fair selling chimney cakes ($3 for 1/3 of it) in 3 flavours: cinnamon, Oreo and almond. In the menu, I saw that they have choices of flavours for the dough too, which might be real at the beginning of their business, but they're using the same dough for any coating now. Though the dough should have been appear thinner, it taste really good, almost like a cinnamon roll.

Jo Napot Bakeries
Takashimaya Square (9th-19th July'09)
Ngee Ann City B2
391 Orchard Road
Singapore 238872

Breakfast at Cedele

For me, breakfast is the most important and the best meal of the day. I can't start my day without it, anything sweet or savoury but not too heavy will do. Though it was already the lunch time, I demanded some breakfast cus I haven't had any. Sadly, most places here offers their breakfast only up till 11 in the morning. But I found an amazing place who serves their breakfast all day, weekdays and weekends.

Cedele by bakery Depot has been known for their healthy organic meal. Their menu consist of a lot of things: breakfast, pasta, sandwich, glutten free dishes, soups, and desserts. Some of them are less in sugar and fat, but still taste heavenly. My orange french toast aren't in exception. The soft breads are rich is orange scent, best when dipped in the yummy maple syrup.

If you choose the big breakfast, you'll get toasts, grilled mushrooms, sausages, bacons, and some eggs. Despite the normal look, the sausages and mushrooms are very delectable! A total comfort foods, I would say.

I will go to Cedele again for their healthy and pleasing meal, or even when I need to fix my cravings for sweets. I heard that they have 14 branches island wide, makes it pretty easy to find them.
#01-01/02 Great World City
1 Kim Seng Promenade
Tel: (65) 6836 1426 Fax: (65) 6836 1427

Wee Nam Kee's chicken rice

Chicken rice, being one of the local's favourite dishes, can be found in almost every eating places in this island. Long ago did I tried Wee Nam Kee's, and almost forgot what it taste like. Since we just happened to be in Novena area at the time, we decided to give it another try.

We ordered half chicken for the four of us, half roasted and half steamed. I never had the steamed version as I always thought it wouldn't taste that good, but actually it is! The chicken is very tender and has less fat compared to those from other places. Eating it with the soy sauce, chili, ginger and the fregrant rice was delightful.

We always eat with veggies and as Indonesians, we savour kang kong belacan. It's not too oily and gravy, with a strong taste of belacan and chili, though it's not fiery enough for me.

The black pepper beef was happened to be a little bit dissapointing. Though it was recommended by them, there's nothing special about this dish. Instead, the gravy was too salty and we could hardly taste the pepper.

The cereal prawn was absolutely the best. Eight giant prawn tossed in sweet and crispy oats. The prawn was very fresh and juicy, not too rubbery or soft. Eventhough it was cooked with the shells, the innards still has that buttery taste. I would certainly coming back for the prawns. You can get nicer and bigger portions for the same prices you paid at other places. Oh, and they're open till 2 in the morning, a better place for a late night supper instead of those fast food outlets.
Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice
275 Thomson Road
#01-05 Novena Ville
Opp Novena Church
10am to 2am daily


What makes a good "nachos"? Crispy, cheesy, and a little spicy corn chips paired with refreshing dips.. Though it didn't came with guacamoles, these nachos ($13.90) from Chili's are superb! Covered with very generous amounts of cheese and spicy seasonings, I was really glad that I picked them from the appetizer's menu. The moment they arrived, I munched nearly three quartered of them down.

BBQ ranch burger ($18.90)

Whenever A sees bacon and cheese burger on the menu, he attempt to order it. It seems that it always looks good to him. Chili's version, however, doesn't satisfy him as much as Relish did. Size wise, it's obviously too big that he couldn't even finish it.

The grilled salmon with garlic and herbs ($29.90) looks great on the picture, but the reality says a different thing. The rice taste very weird, almost like eating foods straight from the can. Nevertheless, the salmon is very tender and I love the way they balanced it with some veggies.
nThough we were exceedingly full, we said yes when the waiter asked if we would like some desserts. Among all the other options, the molten chocolate cake ($16.90) looks the best. But alas, it was totally disappointing. Topped with the hard chocolate shells, the ice cream was too creamy and sweet. We found that the cake was too dry and large. There's no melted chocolate at all; I suspect that it was because of the ice cream. They were using chocolate sponge cake filled with chocolate chunks instead of baking the flour less chocolate cake half-done.
For me, there will be no second visit, at least for the short period of time. We might come again only for the nachos though. This chili isn't that hot.

#02-23 Tanglin Mall
163 Tanglin Road
Singapore 247933