Nice Cream..?

I've been craving ice cream lately... And when I crave something, I mean intense, i-need-this-now-or-i-feel-like-my-life-will-be-over kind of cravings. Sure, I can't get everything I want when I want it all the time, and a lot of the time I just ~ride it out~ or try to sleep it off and the craving will subside. But it's not a foolproof method.

I still wake up imagining the taste of said craving in my mouth, the smell, the flavours dancing in my mouth... It's painful, sometimes. The other day, I went downstairs to the minimart just to buy a tub of ice cream because I was craving it that badly. It was a tub of red velvet ben and jerry's, which by the way, is better in Singapore than in the US?? I don't know why but I remember excitedly buying a tub in San Francisco before they brought red velvet to Singapore and I was so underwhelmed by it. In fact, I distinctly remember it tasting like raspberries, whereas the one here actually tastes of red velvet. It's even got chunks of red velvet cake inside!

Unfortunately, I can't eat ice cream everyday (well, I could, but) - it isn't advisable to; everything in moderation right? So with that, I thought of this alternative that I've been seeing around on the internet quite a bit - nice cream!

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Touted as a "vegan", healthier version of ice cream, nice cream is basically frozen bananas that has been blended or put through the food processor until it reaches a creamy consistency. It's quick, simple, and actually healthy!

As you can (probably) see, I didn't blend my nice cream very fully and this has resulted in me having some frozen banana chunks in it, but I think I like it that way c: To top it off, I also blended in some frozen raspberries and strawberries to turn it into a berry nice cream! It's berry nice, trust me.

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I suppose things as simple as this don't really require a recipe, as a lot of it is about trusting your instincts and adding more or less of stuff as you wish. But here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Do remember to freeze your bananas the night before! Peel and cut them up into little chunks before blending them. This will also save you the trouble of cutting off frozen banana peel the next day (I'm speaking from experience here). And as always, the riper, the better.
  2. About one medium/large frozen banana will do for one serving, or two small bananas.
  3. When it comes to mix-ins, the world is your blender. If that makes sense. Just add whatever, really. Cinnamon, oreos, BERRIES, watermelon, vanilla extract... Sugar if you would like added sweetness, but bananas are already sweet on their own.
  4. If necessary, add a splash of milk to keep the blending process going. If you find it getting too thin and you would like to thicken it up, blend in some ice cubes as well. c:

Enjoy x

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Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

Life is full of hits and misses and sometimes, you have to take a shot in the dark.

And you never really know how those turn out. It's a lot of risk-taking and finger-crossing and internal prayer-saying - and if you're lucky, you get a hit. Hopefully in your life you have more hits than misses, but if anything, I'd hope the hits are always worth the misses.

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I had a hit today!!

Oh, happy day. I had initially planned to go for a run at 730 and then come home, make some pancakes and do some work. But how often do plans turn out the way you want them to, anyway. I woke up at 10 and went out for coffee with my mommy instead, at Dutch Colony - a favourite haunt of ours. I love our morning coffee runs, and a jolt of caffeine is one of my favourite ways to kickstart the day. Gets my mind going, brain cells working. A buzz of energy. Also, time spent with mommy is always time well-spent. Good mornings, indeed.

By the time I got back, it was time for brunch... Lunch... Whatever. I'm sitting at the dining table typing this out as my parents are eating their lunch (traditional "popiah") and eating... Pancakes. Pancakes all day, everyday, no?

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Gonna blog the recipe down, so I know where to find it in the future. I hope it hits you as well as it did me. The original recipe calls for low-fat milk, but I substituted this for buttermilk so that I would have fluffier pancakes, pancakes with a little more rise. Also, a shoutout to my friend who bought me a lovely bottle of maple syrup from Canada - thanks to him, I've got the real deal. (It's amazing, by the way!)

Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

recipe adapted from here

Ingredients:

  • 95g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp buttermilk
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • 20g melted butter

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder.
  2. Mash the banana in a small bowl. In a measuring cup, measure out your buttermilk, pour in the egg, vanilla extract and banana. Whisk it all together.
  3. Add the buttermilk mixture and the melted butter to the dry ingredients, fold in until just combined. The batter will be thick, lumpy and slightly wet. It's ok.
  4. Heat your griddle over a low-medium heat, and melt a pad of butter over it. Ladle your pancake batter onto the griddle, and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Depending on the size of your griddle, you can cook more than one at a time. Efficiency!
  5. Top with sliced bananas, maple syrup, whatever else your heart desires. I added some granola for a bit of crunch.

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P.S. I got a Townske account, and I'm currently working on a few guides for Singapore - most of which have to do with food and cafes, do check it out sometime! You can check it out here:

http://townske.com/trufflebeth

P.P.S I just watched Taylor Swift's Bad Blood music video, and I am in LOVE.

A week in stuff

In hopes of not losing touch with my life and forgetting what I've done (in pictures), I'm going to try to upload some pictures of stuff that goes on, on a weekly basis.

Also to keep this thing alive. Been trying to get my baking spark back, but time is always a constraint! Funny how I thought I had so much time to do things with this break, but time is actually running out... At a really fast pace...

Lunch at Equinox with Mommy

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Walking around the CQ; Havelock area

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So daddy came back with two blocks of chocolate cream cheese one day as they were on sale and expiring soon... I tried to bake something with them - it was a little hard and I was honestly quite afraid to as I had never even tried chocolate cream cheese for myself before.

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Chocolate cheesecake with salted caramel & bananas on top

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And the next day, I made cinnamon rolls!!

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Initially, I added waaaaaay too little flour to the dough (I misconverted the cups-to-grams thing as I didn't convert it for bread flour), and essentially messed the whole thing up. So, I had to start again from scratch. Going to try baking these (or at least, a variation of it) again, sometime this week! Will share the recipe once I've worked the kinks out. Really happy with how these turned out, though! Especially for a first attempt.

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Cinnamon Rolls

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Solo lunch trip to The Bravery after collecting my passport one morning, makes me wonder why I don't do this more often

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Went for a walk with mommy at Hort Park one morning, walked to Gillman Barracks where we had breakfast at the Red Baron (a new cafe!!) 

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Post-lunch surprises with the best friends at Rise and Grind Co - another new cafe! 

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xx

Artistry x SAM

What was meant to be a regular brunch turned into a rather artsy-fartsy day. We met at Artistry, one of our favourite cafes where I waited for about half an hour for his arrival (but it's ok because he brought a portable charger which had juice for me hehe). Had a nice chat with Sue and Gerard while waiting, though! The Artistry staff are really lovely people, and this is just one of the many reasons why I love this cafe so much.

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They had only just started doing this piece of art the day before I came, but it looks great already - I can't wait to see the finished product!

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And of course, I had their Peanut Butter & Jelly french toast! I had been craving it for ages, and it was an amazing feeling to be able to satisfy my cravings! This is definitely one of the best french toasts in Singapore, no doubt about that. The layer of peanut butter and jelly in the middle is simply divine, yet the toast itself retains its moist, eggy texture. The berry compote is a great accompaniment, as is the vanilla ice cream and the speculoos crumble. I just wish that ice cream didn't melt at such a rapid pace in our hot and humid country.

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Darryl had the baked eggs which were oh-so-spicy but also oh-so-creamy-and-good. I should have let it cool a bit before taking a bite though, for I could practically feel smoke coming out of my mouth because it was so hot.

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Raspberry-and-mint-infused water!!

Had a great chat over food and coffee, and we went to buy some dance stuff for Darryl before heading to the Singapore Art Museum (SAM)!

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We also visited the new exhibition at the Queen's Street branch of SAM, Imaginarium! It was mostly about children and their imagination, and it really made me miss my childhood quite a bit. Although I was never quite the imaginative kind, it was nice to look at these artworks and draw bits of inspiration from them.

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One thing about my childhood though - I never did learn how to ride a bike properly. Like, the two-wheeled ones. Ooooooop. I do wish I didn't have to rush off for an interview that day, but no matter! Darryl also told me about a few more art exhibitions around Singapore so I might take a day to go and visit all of them.

Soon, soon.

Photos from the West Coast

I was clearing some photos on my phone today, and found all these photos from my trip to the West Coast of the USA in 2013! For some reason, not all my photos were there but here are some of the nicer ones that I've managed to find and import into my laptop. On this trip, I went to San Francisco, Yosemite National Park and Monterey, California. Unfortunately, however, my Yosemite photos are missing from my phone so I guess this will be a (somewhat awkward) collection of part 1 and 3 of my trip! Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset IMG_0330

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A distinct feature of San Francisco is its hills - there are hills everywhere, or slopes - whatever you'd like to call them. I'm just thankful that my parents decided to rent a car for the trip, although climbing these hills on a daily basis would do wonders for my fitness (albeit temporary).

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Made a trip to Blue Bottle Coffee, but unfortunately this was before I got into coffee...

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City lights bookstore! If I'm not wrong, it has appeared before on a buzzfeed list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, and I'm really glad to have been to at least one of them so far. Hope to go to more in the future!

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Day trip to Stanford University.

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Bits and bobs -

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Monterey Days

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Visited the loveliest crepe shop - if I'm not wrong, the name was crepes of brittany and the crepes were fantastic. One of those things when you just remember how amazing the taste of it was but you've forgotten too much to be able to put it into words.

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 Other things

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 We celebrated my sister's birthday in Monterey, and my mom baked a lovely cake!

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The beautiful house that we stayed in -

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 Oh, how I wish that I could go back there sometime soon. It's such a beautiful place. I've recently been hit with a bout of wanderlust - maybe it's seeing people travelling everywhere and the pictures that make me just want to go somewhere. I just finished a month-long internship at a law firm (which explains the lack of bakes recently), which was a great experience and I met some awesome people. But I kind of want to take some time off and fly somewhere and um, eat. Or explore. Something, anything.

Coast and Company x FatCat

So today, Alex and I went all the way down to the East to strike off two places that have risen quite high on our to-go lists!! My transport luck was terrible this morning, though. First of all, I missed my bus - the only direct bus to that part of the East for me, and although SG NextBus said that the next one was coming in four minutes, it never came. SO. I decided to try out an alternative route, but I got off a few stops too early and had to re-route. On the way to my new bus stop, I saw the bus that I was supposed to take leave. So I hopped onto a random bus for a few stops before I decided to take a bus to an mrt station that I kind of knew my way around (Kembangan), and find my way from there. Well, I made it in the end - after a lot of walking from Kembangan. Sigh, the East. The journey is never well.

That being said! The food at both Coast and FatCat was worth it - although I was pretty sad to see that the sour cream toast had been taken off the menu, for Alex and I were both really looking forward to trying it. Instead, we had the smoked salmon brioche toast and almond peanut butter toast, both of which were pretty darn good.

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The coffee was ace as well. Which was a relief, because I was so afraid that the amount of walking I did would not be justified by a substandard cup of coffee. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.

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After a good first brunch and chilling session, we made our way to FatCat Ice Cream bar - somewhere that had been on our to-go list ever since it opened because of all those darned Instagram photos of those charcoal waffles drizzled with salted egg yolk sauce and the myriad of ice cream flavours available ranging from the classic to the mysterious.

(Seriously though, there is a 'Mysterious' ice cream flavour - Alex tried it and it's truly a FatCat mystery, for she cannot tell you exactly what it is after tasting it)

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We were first in line. This was the queue as we were leaving, and we left at like 12:50 (the shop opened at 12). We got there at 11:30 due to our earlybirdiness (is this even a word) and by the time 12 rolled around, there was a really long line of people waiting (even more people than what you see in the photo above) and we were so proud of ourselves for being the first. We even took a selfie to celebrate.

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Anyway, the Gourmet Waffles - yes, they deserve that capitalisation. They're that fantabulous. We had ours with butterbeer and hay-and-honey ice cream.

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The wait - and the journey - is worth it. The fifteen-minute wait for our Waffles was probably one of the most agonising waits ever, as we were so excited to try this special thing and well, our expectations were surpassed. Isn't it lovely when you look forward all year to try something and it ends up being even better than you imagined?

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I think half-eaten shots are our signature photos.

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Everyone can do with a little bit of salted egg yolk sauce in their lives. The sauce was very grainy, much like those found in liu sha baos (which are truly some of the best things ever). I think my terrible pouring skills didn't manage to cover the whole Waffle in that sauce very sufficiently - thank goodness there was a generous amount of caramel surrounding the Waffle, with some of the most delicate bits of lavender. Truly Gourmet food.

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(Not gonna lie, we kind of went crazy with the photos.)

Cafe-hopping mornings with Alex are the best mornings :'))) The ambience at the two cafes we went to were actually quite different - pretty interesting. Coast and Company was incredibly chill and peaceful, while FatCat was bustling with people right from their opening - they've really become so popular in such a short span of time. The only gripe I have with FatCat is that there seems to be no 3G in there...? But it's not quite their fault! (Singtel please). I would love to go back to FatCat sometime soon - I actually thought it was a lot more accessible than Coast and Company, for the walk to the main road is a lot shorter, thus making it a lot more convenient.

Anyway, we've got our next Eastventure planned out already, and I can't wait.

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