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Moodboard

Mood Board | Stoneware

Angela and I been falling in love with getting these beautiful stoneware home. Especially those handmade ones, but the small artist.

Stoneware home decor is a great way to bring texture and color into your home. It can be done in a number of ways on both large and small scales depending on how much you trust yourself with the fragile material.

The great thing about vases is that they look great both on their own and with flowers in them. Ceramic vases are extra nice because the stems of flowers can’t be seen through them. The super simple minimalist pale yellow ceramic vases look great both on their own and as a set.  Stoneware with a glossy finish and in muted colors add a little something extra to the dinner table.

xoxo, Joe.

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Red Mushroom

 

Red Mushroom

You can see this bright red mushroom at the show Alice in the Wonderland. I never get to see one before in real life. However, I always love painting them as they are bright and colorful. I don’t think it is edible but it is good for an imaginative story like Alice in the Wonderland.

Do you know the story of Alice in the Wonderland? I like the story since I was a young little girl. As it is full of imagination and the event can only happen in dreams.

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

xoxo, Joe.

Drink

Cherry Sparkling Mocktail

One thing I absolutely love creating is beverages. Whether it be cocktail, mocktail or homemade liquor – beverages are just so much fun for me. So I thought I would bring you all this delicious Cherry Sparkling Mocktail that the whole family can enjoy. It’s only four ingredients and this mocktail recipe is amazing!

I don’t know about you – but cherry flavored anything tops my list of favorites. Do you love cherry flavored recipes or candies? I’m not normally a fruity sort of person – but something about cherry really gets my attention. I love making beverages, simple no-bake treats using homemade cherry pie filling, tasty parfaits for breakfast & of course – homemade jam.

One thing I really like to do is create both a cocktail & mocktail version of the drinks I make so that they can be enjoyed by all – no matter the preference or age. It seems people are always looking for mocktail recipes!

This is definitely a favorite in this house. We make it for game day, race day & festive holidays. It’s versatile & works great no matter the season.

This Cherry Bomb drink is simple with only four ingredients for the mocktail version. But if you want to jazz it up you can add a few ounces of rum when mixing for the crowd. Personally, I’m enjoying it with rum this summer.

I’m done having babies and nursing, so I’m going to celebrate by having the adult version. However, I still have friends that are in that phase so I’m sure I’ll be whipping up the mocktail recipe too.

Ingredients |

  • Lemon-lime soda
  • Cherry Jam
  • Lime
  • Maraschino cherries

Method |

Grab you pitcher and combine the soda, cherry jam, and lime juice. Give it a big stir to mix it up!

Pour over the rocks or ice ball in law ball glass then garnish with cherries. If you want to make it a cocktail add 2 tablespoons of rum during the mixing process!

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe.

Moodboard

Mood Board | Kura Bed

Ever since I’m a kid, the bed is like my little area where I kept all my things at. The bed is my little corner where it’s only used by me. I also gain my responsibility by learning to keep my bed clean and tidy.

The KURA loft bed has earned its cred and its staying power. It’s cheap, ideal for small homes and, as you’ll see in these twenty examples, offers endless opportunities for customization. Paint, wood, fabric: choose your medium and make your KURA your own with a simple colour upgrade or a full-on hack.

Adding a little roof to this loft bed, it seems like you are at your own little house which nobody can disturb you.

xoxo, Joe.

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

Craft

Cheese that you can’t eat

I don’t have a lot of experience making soaps, so when it came to creating this DIY, I was surprised to find how relaxing and fun it was to create different colors and combinations for these soaps. At first, I was going to go with just the rectangle silicone mold and then hand slice facets to create a gemstone look. However, I got this crazy idea at the last minute to find a round mold making it into a cheese shape, I couldn’t resist! I just love how each one came out unique and beautiful.

I used a combination of clear and opaque soap base and mixed in various soap colorants to create the colors I liked. This part is really the creative part. Have fun mixing up colors and using different soap bases for a beautiful variety. I found that using the same color and pairing it with the opaque or the clear gave me a totally different look.

Ingredients |

  • melt and pour soap base in clear and opaque
  • soap colorants
  • favorite essential oils
  • knife
  • round mold
  • glass pyrex pitchers
  • silicone spatula
  • disposable plastic cups

Method |

To create the different colors that you’ll need for your soaps, first create 6-9 solid colored soaps. To melt down your soap base, simply (and carefully) cut away small cubes of your melt and pour soap and pop a handful in the microwave in a pyrex pitcher. Use your spatula to mix the base until it’s completely melted. At this point, you’ll add in your desired essential oils and colorants.

Mix together and pour your color into a plastic cup. You’ll repeat this for each color you want to create. Let your soaps cure before moving on to the next steps.

Once your colorful soaps are done setting, take them out of their plastic cups. Next, slice up your soaps into various shapes and sizes. Set aside. I started adding the slices of colors into each mold. Make sure to use colors randomly in order to get really unique looks.

Melt a block of an opaque and clear base in two separate glass pitchers. I started with the clear base and slowly poured it over each mold and finished it off with the opaque base filling it to the top. Let your soaps sit overnight or in the fridge for a few hours.

Peel your soaps out of their molds. I loved this part! It was so neat to see how each one turned out and the variations. Again, each one ended up looking totally different and so beautiful!

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe.

Healthy Breakfast Our Table Stories RECIPES

Kitsune Udon

Whether you feel under the weather or just really cold from the weather, I can’t recommend enough cooking this bowl of hot Kitsune Udon (Noodle Soup) (きつねうどん).

The rich broth, the chewy noodles, the fried tofu – everything just comes together so nicely in the bowl that you just want to hold your face above it and let the aroma envelop you.  It’s the ultimate Japanese comfort dish.  And it’s quick to make, so there is no excuse not to try it!

Kitsune literary means ‘fox’ in Japanese. When Angela told me this, I am why doesn’t it call fox udon instead?

Anyway, Kitsune udon consists of chewy thick udon noodles, clear dashi broth, and aburaage seasoned well with soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Kitsune udon is served as a hot noodle soup, but in the steamy summer months, it is also served chilled with a little bit of dashi-based sauce poured over the top.

To make the perfect bowl of kitsune udon, you need high-quality ingredients, starting with these three – dashi, udon, and aburaage.

I can’t stress enough about having a good quality dashi. The dashi broth gives the dish that rich, umami flavor that will have you sipping up the last drops. Spend the extra 20 minutes to make a super tasty broth – trust me, it’s worth your time, and it’s easy to make!

We head to our local Japanese market which carries frozen udon noodles or packaged udon noodles that say “Sanuki”, try one of those options.  They are chewier, and won’t easily break into pieces, unlike refrigerated udon noodles that fall apart and just don’t have the right texture.

Living abroad (outside of Japan), it’s interesting to realize that raw ingredients can be harder to find than prepackaged foods. In this case, I’m talking about the aburaage (deep fried tofu pouch) and prepackaged inariage (seasoned aburaage shown below). You can easily find inariage – packaged or canned – because we use inariage to make Inari Sushi/Inarizushi.

Ingredients |

  • 2 pkg Udon noodles
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp of usukuchi Soy Sauce (light color) (or regular soy sauce)
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 Inariage (seasoned fried tofu pouch) (See Notes for homemade recipe)
  • Narutomaki (fish cakes)
  • 1 green onion/scallion

Method |

In the saucepan that already has dashi, add 1 Tbsp mirin, 1 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and ½ tsp kosher salt and bring to boil.  Once boiling, turn off the heat and set aside.

Squeeze excess liquid from the inariage (or you can keep it as it is).  Cut the green onion into thin slices.  Slice the Narutomaki fish cake into 1/8 inch (3 mm).

Bring a large pot of water to boil for udon noodles.  When everything is ready, start cooking udon noodles.  Frozen udon noodles (my favorite kind) takes only 1 minute from putting into boiling water.  If you use dry noodles, follow the package instructions.  Heat up the noodle soup.

Serve udon noodles and soup in serving bowls and top with inariage, narutomaki, green onion and sprinkles of shichimi togarashi.

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Angela.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Wild Mushroom

Wild Mushroom

Mushroom collecting is one of the most widespread activities. In a movement to discover local sources for food that is growing in popularity nationwide.

For people who enjoy foraging for food in the wild, there are plenty of mushrooms to choose from — several thousand fleshy species in North America. Of these many different kinds of mushrooms, almost all are “edible” but too fibrous or insignificant to consume. That still leaves a considerable portion of mushrooms as consumable and either “fair, good, or choice.”

While those numbers put the odds of picking an edible. Rather than a non-edible mushroom heavily in the favor of foragers, experienced mushroom growers are quick to point out that foraging for mushrooms should never be thought of as a game of chance.

xoxo, Joe.

 

Moodboard

Mood Board | Smeg in style

Smeg has been around since the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that their retro-inspired fridge designs took the world by storm. For people used to utilitarian stainless steel-style fridges, this curved design classic had people taking notice.

I always want to have the classic smeg fridge for my kitchen. The design language of an enamel-coated stainless steel body, elegant control knobs, and the iconic retro logo make the pieces look fabulous together. When you are a minimalist like me, the Smeg fridge is an art piece for the kitchen.

The retro-style Smeg fridge becomes part of the display console in the dining area. Its lovely mint hue also complements the attractive colors of the dining chairs. A mainly white background, paired with splashes of pale Tiffany blue on the wall and in a highly covetable Smeg fridge, sets a fresh contemporary look, while wood tones cozy up to the spaces.

xoxo, Joe.

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

Our Table Stories RECIPES

Karaage | Japanese Fried Chicken

For those who love Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) like us, don’t worry at all. They might look difficult to prepare but actually, they are not. We decided to make it simple and therefore you will definitely love the post we share this week. It is not just a dish for your dinner but also a great choice for a summer picnic.

We would like to share with this recipe step-by-step as simple as the baby steps. You will make it at ease for any occasion.

Both Joe and I have been debating – do we share more our home recipes or things we would like to try or create. After a long debating, we are going to do both. However, lately, due to our packed schedule, we decided to share more of our daily recipes that are simple and easy to cook. It’s surely some time-saving recipe.

Cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces, make sure each piece is about the same size so it takes about the same amount of time to deep fry. Dry every piece of the chicken using a kitchen towel.

We then start dipping the chicken into the seasoning. Make sure every piece are covered entirely by the seasoning. You can also marinate the chicken in the Ziploc bag and rub the chicken well with hands. Keep it in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 3-4 hours.

In a wok, add oil to about half full and heat it on the medium-high heat. When you put a chopstick in the oil and bubbles start to appear around the tip, the oil temperature is now around 170C and ready for deep frying.

When the oil is ready, take out the Ziploc bag from the fridge. Place each piece of chicken separately into the oil. Do not overcrowd the wok, fry maximum 5 pieces at a time. If you put a lot of chicken in the oil, the temperature will drop quickly and chicken ends up absorbing too much oil.

First, deep fry for 90 seconds. Then transfer the chicken onto a wire rack (if not, paper towel) to drain the oil for 4 minutes. Lastly, deep fry again at 180C for 45 seconds, or until golden brown.

Transfer the chicken onto a wire rack to drain the oil. Please make sure you skim/remove leftover crumbs from the oil in order to keep it clean before you start the next batch. And here you go, the well seasoned and crispy fried chicken! Squeeze some lemon juice to it and you are good to go. Having them when they are warm is the best decision you ever made.

Ingredients |

  • 5-10 skin-on chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup potato starch/cornstarch (Please adjust if necessary. If you use 10 chicken thighs, probably about a ½ cup)
  • neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method|

Pat dry the chicken with paper towel. Cut each chicken thigh into 2-inch pieces (so that deep frying time is about the same). Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put the chicken in a large bowl or Ziploc bag.

Combine the chicken and all the seasonings in the bowl (or Ziploc bag). Cover with plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

In a wok, add oil to about half full and heat it on the medium-high heat. When you put a chopstick in the oil and bubbles start to appear around the tip, the oil temperature is now around 170C and ready for deep frying.

When the oil is ready, take out the Ziploc bag from the fridge. Place each piece of chicken separately into the oil. Do not overcrowd the wok, fry maximum 5 pieces at a time. If you put a lot of chicken in the oil, the temperature will drop quickly and chicken ends up absorbing too much oil.

First, deep fry for 90 seconds. Then transfer the chicken onto a wire rack (if not, paper towel) to drain the oil for 4 minutes. Lastly, deep fry again at 180C for 45 seconds, or until golden brown.

Transfer the chicken onto a wire rack to drain the oil. Please make sure you skim/remove leftover crumbs from the oil in order to keep it clean before you start the next batch.

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Angela.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Button Mushroom

Button Mushroom

Hello August, time will passes so fast that it’s kind of hard for me to keep track now. This month I decided to paint my favorite ingredients – mushrooms. Button mushroom; the one I always add them to my pesto pasta. There is the time I have them in Roasted Mushroom Panini or even a Beef Guinness Stew Pie. However, when I am lazy I have them as their own – Creamy Mushroom with dill.

Mushrooms prefer dark, cool, moist, and humid growing environments. Mushrooms grow from spores – not seeds – that are so tiny you can’t see individual spores with the naked eye. However, with the right growing conditions and acquiring or making mushroom spawn, the mushroom grow beautifully (and tastily).

Sometimes, I feel that I am so small that what I do is meaningless. I am so small to even be seen or find out by people. At times I will always compare why I couldn’t achieve what people did. However, when I research about mushroom I then understand it maybe cause I didn’t use the right way to grow myself.

Although I have yet an answer on what I can do, but I know someday I will find them out.

xoxo, Joe.

 

Moodboard

Mood Board | Little Bee

Everyone either could be an artist, a scientist or a scholar – however, all of them is a creator first before it category. While, I love to make self-declaration – and I’m in love with this “Bee” style these days! I don’t think that the name of the style but who cares. I decide it and I’m in love it.

The mood board I shared it featured the hues, the shapes, the texture of everything of a bee. It’s bright for a kid room surely, it’s a unisex colour as well. It makes it simple sweet and sugary, however, due to it earthy shade, it creates a warm feeling for any kid room or even your room. Allow one to stay comfortable with the lights shine through – you will feel your room even brighter.

Having some beehive and honeycomb elements make the room far more interesting with just a touch of colours.  It creates an excitement of storytelling, this allows the kids to roam freely in their space. Always remember to plan what you wish for your space before getting the rest of the element. A small tip for you is to decide on a theme like we do, it doesn’t have to the bee but anything else.

As for me, lately I’ve been thinking if I have a child in the future, I will call him/her “little bee” as a nickname. In this generation equality is the most important message that we want to deliver so we never judge them by them through their gender. That why the week mood board is for my future reminder.

xoxo, Angela

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

 

Our Table Stories TRAVEL

Summer Picnic in Style

The picnic has always been our favorite activities, as it is an event we can enjoy the food that we have made at the same time having a great time together. So when it’s summer it is the best season to have a picnic.

I was really impressed with the produce section (tons of fresh, pre-packaged fruits and veggies, trays, salads, and more–ideal for picnics!), fresh cheeses made in-house, a great selection of just-baked bread–I’m not exaggerating when I say it was easy to go crazy in there.

Are you hungry? Because you’ll want to bookmark these great picnic ideas and recipes.

We started our picnic with this yummy Japanese bento. When watching anime, looking at the character having the cute bento I am all jealous about it. Thus we ended making our version too!

In our bento, there is Inariage Sushi, sweet and savory tamagoyaki, Karaage (Japanese fried chicken) and baby octopus sausages. We added a bit of vegetable and fruit to make it healthier. On the side, we made a few onigiri as it is good to hold on hand and have a bite.

We prepare the tamagoyaki overnight as leaving them in the fridge help them keep in shape. You just have to cut them into slices and add them to your bento. For my main dish, I decided to make a Karaage (Japanese fried chicken). This fried chicken is the juiciest and tender one I have ever have and they are really simple to make. Using the pot of sushi rice that we have made, using what we have onigiri and Inariage Sushi.

There is so much you can make for your bento, but tips for us keep the liquid away from your bento as the food will turn sour in no time.

 “Family, sun, sand, and sea, that sounds like a summer to me.”

It is not the end of the day yet, we ended up prepared cheese platter, Champagne ham cheese panini, and dips for the second part of the picnic. As we always made a different pot of hummus and keep them in the fridge, thus it doesn’t require us to do much preparation.

We have an enjoyable ladies day with our beautiful mom today. Finally, our mom gets to have a break away from the daily chores.

Grab your little picnic basket and your throw over and enjoy the beautiful day! Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe.

 

Our Table Stories

Roasted Cherry Cheese Cake

Just like you see  – it’s a Roasted Cherry Cheesecake. You might not care but we are kind of excited to celebrate National Cheesecake Day! To honour the day we love to share with you our preferred Cheesecake – definitely one of my favourite!

Unlike Joe, I’m more to a savoury person, she baked and make amazing pastry. For me, my proudest pastry would be Cheesecake. I remembered that when I start to learn baking – Cheesecake is my first succeed pieces of work.

We decided to choose Cherry as the main ingredient for the Cheesecake. Cherry is the best fruit this summer – it’s sweet and tasty in every bite.

Unlike non-baked Cheesecake, the baked cheesecake required eggs to get it firmed up. We always have so much fun as cracking eggs, as we love to practise our photography skill with the shutter speed. Sadly, the time around we didn’t capture it well as we have so much focus on the cake.

We got get carried away with the biscuit base – we highly suggest to crush it with hands rather than the machine. Allow the biscuits to be in uneven and rough texture. Letting the Cheesecake to have a rustic texture.

Juicy, sweet, and slightly tangy, Roasted Cherries make the perfect topping for Classic New York Cheesecake. Fresh cherries are sprinkled with a little sugar and roasted until their flavor sweetens and intensifies. They come out of the oven shiny and glistening with just the right amount of syrupiness.

Making the cheesecake is easy, however, there are some rules you need to take note of. Let’s start by mixing the ingredients. We all know it is a bit hard to beat the cream cheese by hand thus a mixer is always our good friend. However, if you are inexperienced like us, you may overbeat your mixture which is something you didn’t want it to happen. As this process will help to introduce lots of air to the mixture, which will cause the cheesecake to rise fast and in the end, it sinks. Thus we suggest you fold in the other ingredients, rather than whisking it too much.

Well, the starting procedure is important, the ending procedure is important as well. Remember to cool the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 6 hours before removing it from the baking pan. This step is to ensure the crust and the cream firms up. Removing it right after baking will break the crust.

Now you know the important points to take note of, let’s us get started!

Ingredients |

Biscuit base:

  • 50 g of butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 250 g of digestive biscuits
  • 2 tbsp of golden syrup

Cheesecake:

  • 200 g of white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 675 g of full fat cream cheese
  • 75 g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 200 ml of double cream
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225 g of British cherries, stalks and stones removed
  • 250 ml of carton full fat crème Fraiche
  • 175 g of British cherries

Method |

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly butter a 23 cm (9 inch) springform tin. Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or blitz in a food processor. Melt the measured butter in a saucepan with the golden syrup, stir in the biscuit crumbs, mix well then press over the base and two thirds of the way up the tin sides.

Bake the biscuit crust for 5 minutes then take out of the oven and lower the oven temperature to 300ºC/Gas Mark 2.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Take off the heat, stir briefly and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl with an electric whisk or in a food processor. Gradually beat in the cream until thick once more than beat in the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth before adding the next one. Stir in the melted chocolate.

Scatter the stoned cherries over the biscuit-lined tin then spoon the cheesecake mixture over the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the cheesecake is firm around the edge and just beginning to color while still slightly soft in the center. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly and leave to cool completely. Chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.

When ready to serve, loosen the edge of the cheesecake.

Make this dish, it’s definitely a show stopper! Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Angela.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Fargo Seashell

Fargo Seashell

Unfortunately, I can’t hide that I have a Seashell Problem. Friends get worried when they see me walking on the beach. Why keeping the eyes on the ground instead of contemplating waves and horizon as is the custom? “Have you lost something?”

Fishermen watch too. They wonder what profitable business the foreign woman is in. Crab hunting? Our anchorage neighbors would like to ask what we are bringing back to the boat in that mysterious net bag every morning. Lobsters maybe.

xoxo, Joe

Moodboard

Moodboard | Pinkholic

It has been a while since I wrote any post – I have been swamped with my new job scope ever since I’m back from my last trip. It is very exciting to work on projects for different brands and exhibition. Thus, I have not once neglected any production side of our blog. I’m grateful to Joe, my sister aka co-writer for helping to share our stories all the time. We truly hope that you folks have been enjoying the post that we preparing and created.

Are you a pinkholic? This week we would like to touch on this empowering colour pink. All girls love pink and who say that a girl who loves pink cant be the boss. It doesn’t have to be black to be a boss, pink is a language to tell everyone that a feminine girl can be powerful in every way. You don’t have to be shy to love this colour, as they are not girlish at all. It is a colour full of personality. Pink is the new black.

xoxo, Angela

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Cone Seashell

Cone Seashell

Happy Saturday readers! It has been a lazy week for me after all the tiring work. Been trying to do some painting but don’t know what should I paint. Thus it will be great if you could leave me some suggestion or comments on what to paint next.

Taking seashell as an example, one cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few. Thus I am trying to focus on what’s on my hand right now. Always thought that I am a multi-tasker but I’m not. Nevertheless, it is never too late to find out.

xoxo, Joe

Our Table Stories

Alfredo Chicken Fettuccine

This classic Italian dish includes fettuccine tossed with butter and Parmesan cheese, and it’s quick and easy to make. Whatever your choice, with three simple steps in our chicken alfredo recipe, you’ll have a hearty dinner on the table in no time.

So we know that weekends are *supposed* to be the time to splurge, but to be honest, why the hell would we want to wait until a Saturday afternoon to eat my body weight in carbs and crispy chicken skin. When really Monday through Thursday is a much more stressful time period and more deserving of a major calorie situation? Also, it’s summer and weekends are for outdoor trips thus we want to have something filling before we head out.

Depending on your ability to consume noodles, this thing serves 2 – 4. I’d say it’s perfect for two to enjoy as a decadent date night in, but we slop some of the extras into our parents’ plates or a second serving for us. Check out the full recipe below.

A little tips for you before we get started. The pasta will not coat the noodles very well when right away, but after resting, you’ll have a creamy but light alfredo sauce that coats the noodles perfectly.

Ingredients |

  • 500g of Chicken Breast
  • 500g of Fettuccine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3 1/2 cups half and half (or use 1/2 milk and 1/2 heavy cream)
  • 2 cups of parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Method |

Cook fettuccini in a large pot of salted water (4 cups of water with 1 tbsp of salt and olive oil) according to package instructions then drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, thinly slice chicken breast into strips and season all over with salt and pepper. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium and saute chicken until lightly golden and cooked through (5 min). Remove chicken from the pan and cover to keep warm.

In the same pan over medium, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter. Add onion and saute 3 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Then add half-n-half and simmer over medium 5-7 min, or until just barely beginning to thicken. Add chicken back to the pan, along with 1/4 cup parsley and season sauce to taste.

Add cooked pasta and stir to combine. Heat another minute until warmed through then turn off the heat, cover and let pasta rest 10-15 minutes then stir to combine and serve.

Make this dish, it’s definitely a show stopper! Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

Moodboard

Mood Board | Bohemian

Some might wonder what Bohemian style is. Although it embraces a sense of flowing liberty in décor choices and can be associated with eclectic style, Bohemian style is more than that. The word “Bohemian” comes from the French word for “gypsy,” and it applies to those who live unconventional (usually artistic) lives.

Bohemians are a laid-back bunch, with a distinct sense of style. Bohemians are to fill every space. With an eye toward variety and diversity in color and form, choose objects that you love and use them to fill every visual and physical spot in the space. Think outside the box in layout, and think of each plane as an open book for you to fill.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Murex Seashell

Murex Seashell

There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is a rapture in the lonely shore, there is a society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.

It has been a long week and I am glad that we are going to do something exciting this weekend. Although we would be heading to the beach and pick up all the beautiful seashell. Still, it will be an awesome weekend. Thus stay tuned to our Instagram for the exciting news.

xoxo, Joe

Our Table Stories RECIPES

Cabbage Pork Potstickers (Gyoza)

Growing up in a very Chinese household, we had homemade potstickers at least once a month – steamed, fried, boiled, mushroom filling, shrimp filling (you name it). So it’s no surprise that we always have to order a plate of potstickers when we eat out at an Asian restaurant. But at the end of the day, nothing will ever beat homemade potstickers.

The best thing about homemade potstickers is that it’s so easy to put together and you can completely customize the fillings. We’ve made shrimp potstickers before so we tried something a little different with a pork filling with tons of cabbage. But feel free to use your favorite kind of protein, although we’ve found that pork really creates a more tender filling than any other kind of ground meat. You can even add in your favorite veggies that you have on hand!

A little tip for those who use cabbage in your potstickers. This step is crucial to perfect potstickers – salt the cabbage to draw out the water. Cabbage contains a lot of water, and the cabbage releases the water when it cooks, which makes the potstickers soggy (and prevents crisp bottoms.) The salt will draw out the water, later we’ll squeeze the cabbage and discard the water.

Add a little salt to the cabbage. Give it a good stir and let sit for 7-10 minutes while you move forward with the rest of the recipe.

When filling in your potstickers with the skin, start by pinching the middle tight. While my sister likes to work right-hand side first, I prefer starting with the left. Not sure why! Either is fine. Pleat the outer edge towards the middle. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 pleats on this side. Then pleat the right side. Make 3 pleats towards the center. A final step, pinch the entire edge tight.

You can even make a huge batch of potstickers and pop them right in the freezer – that way you can indulge in your Asian food cravings whenever you want! Just be sure to freeze them on a baking sheet first before throwing them into a freezer bag. When you’re ready to eat, you can toss them right onto the skillet without thawing, although cooking time may be longer than usual.

So there you have it – easy homemade potstickers with customizable fillings that you can make ahead of time and freeze. Now, who still wants store-bought potstickers?!

Now when it comes to cooking them. Start by heating up the oil in the non-stick pan. When the oil is heated up, start lying your potstickers evenly in the pan.

Let cook for 1-2 minutes. While they are browning, get 1/4 cup of water and the pan’s lid ready – you’ll need these at your side shortly. Peek underneath a dumpling to give it a look. Not brown yet. Cook a little longer!

Check a couple of different dumpling bottoms – sometimes your pan can cook unevenly. When the bottoms are browned, grab your 1/4 cup of water in one hand, and the lid in the other. Carefully and slowly pour in the water (it might splatter a bit) and immediately cover with the lid to trap the steam.

Let cook for 2 minutes. Then, open the lid. There should be lots of water bubbles as the water heats up and steams. The steam cooks the dumplings on the inside. Keep the lid off and let the water continue to cook and evaporate.

Cook, uncovered until all water has evaporated and the bottoms are now crisp and browned. Isn’t it easy, let’s get started!

Ingredients |

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 36 won ton wrappers
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil Soy sauce, for serving

Method |

In a large bowl, combine pork, cabbage, garlic, green onions,  ginger, sesame oil, and white pepper.

To assemble the dumplings, place wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potstickers in a single layer and cook until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve immediately with soy sauce, if desired.

Make this dish, it’s definitely a show stopper! Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

Moodboard

Mood Board | Swings in Style

When visiting the playground during childhood, the first place we always ran to is the swings. The feeling of swing high is so exciting and fun when I was a kid. When we pass by some playground now, we still want to have some fun with the swing. However, we can’t be snatching the swing with the children.

Thus, we have a severe love for swings in the home. They just seem to provide the right amount of playfulness, making anyone feel like a kid again. We are, however, completely jealous of those with enough space to pull the look off. However, we found some inspiration on how to pull off the long even with a little amount of space. With this swings, you could create more leg space for the room.

xoxo, Angela

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Scallop Seashell

Scallop Seashell

When visiting the beach when I was young, the first thing I do is to find some seashell. They are so many different shape and color. The seashells are all uniquely beautiful. I always thought you are able to hear the sound of the sea if you put your ear near the shell.  I want to collect them all but in Singapore beach, you can’t find any at all. Well, this means I only can collect them by painting them.

So this month of July, I am going to paint a series of beautiful, colorful seashell. The first seashell that I am going to paint is the one we dream of having a pearl in it – Scallop Seashell. This is also the seashell that little mermaid sleeps in. Isn’t it pretty?

xoxo, Joe

Our Table Stories RECIPES

Pineapple Cream Cheese Hand Pie

Every summer, mom would buy a batch of fresh pineapple. When we were small, instead of appreciating this fragrant homemade treat, we fought to buy jelly-like readymade jam. A bright red “mixed fruit jam” was my favourite. We don’t even dare imagine what went into those jams.

We always thought that jam-making was a tedious process. But over the past few years, we’ve learned that there’s really not much to it but the results are so delicious. Do check out my recipes for Homemade Orange Marmalade. Ever since we started our recent love affair with pineapples, I remembered the pineapple jam of our childhood and was eager to make some.

A large pineapple makes a lot of jam, so we decided to use some in a dessert. Pies came to mind. But we rarely make large pies or tarts. Something about the crust rolling and shaping gets me every time. Shortcrust pastry is actually pretty easy to make, but you can easily use refrigerated pie crust too. No shame in that. And instead of one large pie, we decided to make these cute mini pies.

We made a simple filling with my pineapple jam and some cream cheese. We decided to shape the pies like in round shape. Using pre-made pie crust is an easy way to make hand pie, either savoury or sweet. Once you cut out the shapes and make the filling, making this pineapple hands pie is super easy. Brush with an egg wash on top and sprinkle some coarse sugar on top before baking.

These little pastries have a soft flaky crust which is my favourite part. The only sweetener is fruit preserves, which means they’re not overly sweet. With the holidays coming up, these will be your new favourite dessert!

Ingredients |

Pineapple Jam
  • 3 cups of Pineapple, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of Caster Sugar
  • 2tbsp of Lemon Juice
  • pinch of Nutmeg
Pineapple Cream Cheese Empanadas (Hand Pies),
  • 1 cup of Pineapple jam
  • 1/2 cup of Cream cheese, softened
  • 2 pack of Readymade pie crust
  • 1 Egg, for egg wash
  • 3 tbsp of Coarse sugar, to sprinkle on top

Method |

Pineapple Jam: Mix together pineapple, sugar and lemon juice in a deep, thick-bottomed pan. (Use 1½ cups of sugar if the fruit is very sweet or more sugar as needed).Bring the mixture to a boil on medium-high heat and boil for 5 minutes.

Now reduce heat and cook till jam comes together and the mixture is reduced. Stir in between and mash some (but not all) of the fruit pieces with the back of a ladle or a clean, dry potato masher. (See notes for checking the doneness of the jam.) Sprinkle nutmeg and stir well. Once done, remove from heat immediately. Spoon jam into clean, sterilized glass jars, cool completely, cover tightly with lid and refrigerate.

Pre-heat oven to 350 deg.F. Line a couple of large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. In a bowl, mix together the jam and cream cheese to make a creamy filling. Lightly flour the working surface and roll out the pie crusts. Cut out circles of 3″ diameter. Re-roll scraps and use. Place 1-2 tsp filling in the centre of each circle. Lightly moisten the edges with water, lay over another piece of circle and seal. Crimp edges with a fork. Make a couple of small slits on top.

Make an egg wash by whisking the egg with 2 tsp water. Brush the tops of shaped empanadas with egg wash. Sprinkle some coarse sugar on top. Bake for 15-18 minutes or till golden in colour. Remove from oven and cool before storing in airtight containers.

Make this dish, it’s definitely a show stopper! Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

Moodboard

Mood Board | Coat Room

Catch the drips – You don’t want the drying room floor to turn into a pond (or worse, a skating rink). Here the owners have custom-made trays that sit under the skis – this stops water dripping on the floor from the melting snow that invariably works its way into the binding crevices of boards or skis after a big day.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Sushi

Sushi

Today, it comes to an end of the month of June. There are so many Japanese foods to paint and eat, however, the first and last food that comes to everyone mind is SUSHI!! Sushi is one of the food you will never get tired with as there is so much variety. I love it with fresh seafood especially belly salmon. The rice is so hard to paint, so I ended up did it briefly.

I keep my diet simple by sticking to mostly fruits and vegetables all day and then having whatever I want for dinner. I end up making healthy choices, like sushi or grilled fish, because I feel so good about eating well.

xoxo, Joe

Our Table Stories RECIPES

Yasai Itame

Last week Don Don Donki open its second outlet at Singapore. And so lucky that it is near my house, thus I and Angela decided to head down for a look. At the vegetable section we straight away pick-up these bean sprouts. It looks so fresh and the price is reasonable, we pick it up without thinking about what to cook.

Due to our busy schedule for work, we almost forget our bean sprouts. However, after a week they still look fresh and crispy. We are so lazy to head back to the market thus we gather the ingredients we have at home and made Yasai Itame, Stir Fry Vegetables. Nobody really uses recipes to make Yasai Itame, thus it is perfect for us. Yes, Yasai Itame is left-over vegetable mishmash or hodgepodge food (a lot of the time anyway).

Typical vegetables used for Yasai Itame are cabbage, onions, bean sprouts. In addition to those, anything is fine.  Pork is the meat often used in the dish, but beef, chicken, or even shrimp will work too.

To enjoy the crispiness of vegetables and avoid water seeping out from veggies, cook fast at high heat.  This is a very quick dish to make, so it is great for weekday dinners.  Yasai Itame could be a wonderful side dish but also works as a main dish if you add more meat (or not).  Our Yasai Itame recipe is very basic, so enjoy changing ingredients as you like.

I put together a list of the things I do when I make stir-fry dishes.  Hope these tips will be helpful if you are new to stir-fry dishes.

  • Prepare all the ingredients and seasonings before you start cooking.  You won’t be able to stop in the middle of the stir-frying process, so don’t try to chop vegetables as you cook.
  • Either wash your ingredients ahead of time or remove the moisture before cooking.  You don’t want to add moisture to the stir-fry dishes otherwise the ingredients get “steamed” and lose their crispiness.
  • Cook thicker and harder vegetables first as they will take a longer time to cook.
  • Keep stirring and tossing so that all the ingredients are evenly cooked.
  • Make sure the rest of your meal is ready to serve or on the table already so that you can enjoy the stir fry dish immediately after cooking.

Ingredients |

  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • sukiyaki meat (optional)
  • 1/2  cup of onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2tbsp of soya sauce
  • pinch of salt and white pepper

Method |

Cut carrot and onion into thin slices. Put oil, and garlic in a wok, and heat at medium heat. After the wok is hot, add pork and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring until brown. Add vegetables, turn to high heat, and cook stirring constantly until vegetable wilt (but do not overcook). Add salt, pepper, soy sauce to taste, mix, and remove from heat to serve.

Make this dish, it’s definitely a show stopper! Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

Moodboard

Mood Board | Kitchen Inspiro Vol 2

Angela gets anxious when our counters get too cluttered and her OCD side takes over. And we always clear everything off the counters to start fresh. Trying to wipe all the surfaces down really well and only put back the minimum to keep the kitchen looking clean and simple. Ahhh, we can finally inhale again.

However, sometimes it still ended up in a mess. Thus we found out actually trays are a great way to contain clutter on counters and keep the kitchen organized. There’s lots of different kind of trays, and the one that I am sharing today is my favourite. When there are a lot of round or soft features in the space, a tray with harsh edges could provide some nice contrast to switching things up. This white marble tray is the best example for this situation.

Trays in neutral colours are the most versatile so you can always move them to another space if you want. As it compliments kitchen wares that are in heavier textures like wood, glass or even plastic. However, when you have kitchen wares in softer texture like marbles you could use a plastic tray instead.

To add little fun elements, we recommend adding no more than 2-3 decorative items to it and keeping plenty of negative space available. You could add items like herbs pot or even your cooking books. Just be sure to keep everything balanced, purposeful, and complimentary of each other.

For a more dynamic look, vary the heights of your tray décor and incorporate colour and texture. The most important part of decorating a tray, though, is to have fun and make it your own!

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Gyoza

Gyoza

Gyoza is one type of dumpling in the world, and it is also one of my favorites. Juicy on the inside, crispy and golden brown on the outside, these Japanese pan-fried dumplings, Gyoza, are popular weeknight meal as well as a great appetizer for your next dinner party.

It may look difficult to make Gyoza at home, but the method is fairly simple once you know how to prepare them. I think part of the fun of making homemade gyoza is the process and the room for creativity. You can experiment with different ingredients for the filling based on your preference. They also taste better when you can engage family or friends to make gyoza together, making it an enjoyable activity.

We just make our very own version of gyoza, stay tuned for the recipe!!

xoxo, Joe

Our Table Stories RECIPES

Seafood Paella

We made us a big skillet of awesomeness. And I did it all in one pan… without even heating up the kitchen. As we moved our kitchen to our garden. Ok, so the paella.

Can you believe we made this whole thing on the electric stove and dirtied just one dish, one cutting board and one knife? I was so happy about the minimal mess since lately cleanup around here has been a 2+ hour project and the thought of cleaning even one more dish, or vacuuming up another crumb or wiping more stickiness up off the floor is pretty much daunting.

Clearly, not only the flavors of this dish were welcomed with open arms, but also the simplicity of this dish! Bring on more easy clean-up meals… please!!!

Making paella on the electric stove is really just the same as making it on the stove. You simply need to try to keep the heat of your grill a consistent temp and you’re good to go. Bonus, you also get a little smoky flavor from the grill as well!! We are impressed by the electric stove, as it works better than the stove top. Well don’t worry, you can totally just make this on the stove-top. Works exactly the same ways.

For my paella, we used a mix of chicken, chori, o and seafood. You can do all three like me, pick your favorites or leave them out completely and make a vegetarian version. It’s totally adaptable to your personal taste buds. For the seafood, I used a mix of a jumbo tiger shrimp, clams, conch, and mussels. It was the perfect combo if you ask me and made for a really pretty dish too!!

If you’re out to impress someone, finished my dish off with a drizzle of truffle oil. We planned to do it but ended up forgetting as we were so hungry. But we definitely will do so on our next try. A little tip that Angela learned during her trip to London. When you are cooking the paella cover the skillet with a baking paper to prevent it from overflowing!!

Ingredients |

  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soak in water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 1/4 cups Bomba or arborio rice
  • One 12-ounce package cooked chorizo, sausages halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • 8 large head-on shrimp
  • 1 pound littleneck clams and conch, scrubbed
  • 1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup olive, for garnish

Method |

In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken stock and crumbled saffron and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a 15-inch paella pan or large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. After that the garlic and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Lastly, the rice and cook, stirring, until it is evenly coated in the oil, 1 minute.

Add the hot broth and stir the rice once to evenly spread it in the pan. Cook over moderate heat, without stirring but rotating the pan for even cooking, until half of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.

Nestle the chorizo and shrimp into the rice. Add the clams, cockles and mussels hinge side down and cook, turning the shrimp halfway through, until the shrimp and shellfish are cooked through and all of the liquid is absorbed about 20 minutes. Scatter the peas on top and let stand for 5 minutes.

Garnish with olive and serve.

Make this dish, it’s definitely a show stopper! Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

TRAVEL

A Day in London what to do | London

A day in London could be satisfying without spending many pounds with friends. I recalled that it was a perfect Sunday – it one of my favourite day during my trip to London. I could never forget about the beautiful Sunday while I was travelling alone as well as with great companies.

11:00 am – Buckingham Palace

I start the day by heading out alone to Buckingham Palace. The crowds were massive but get to watch the exchange guards from far which is very blessing. The day before – Saturday was super cold after snowing. Thus the Sunday was very cold, due to the cold weather my hand is freezing. I passed by several places like the St James Park.

My plan was to head down to Kensington but end up I found myself at Trafalgar Square and I even got myself a glove for about 9£ (which I don’t care the price for that moment). Was hungry and craving for fish and chips but due to St Patrick day everywhere, were packed! Still, I am not going starve myself, I grab my lunch at a cafe and warm myself up.

12:00 pm – Leicester Square

Find me toward Leicester Square to beautiful seven dials around convent garden. I just randomly discover my way down to The British Museum. When I thought that I will be searching my way for a bit fo time. Anyway, I was 45 mins early but I can’t be bothered as I just want to hide in the Starbucks before Laura (my Instagram friend where I am going to meet) arrived!

2:00 pm – British Museum

We finally met, and it’s just natural all time. It’s not too strange to meet new friends via Instagram at all now, maybe we have been chatting long enough to feel easier. The trip to British Museum was amazing, the artifact is massive and both of us are in awe! This is the first time she came in 3 years time.

We just simply walk through all rooms and amazed with the artifact, especially the Egypt sectors. We spend great few hours inside and the moment we head out we were both shocks with the sudden snow!

I got to do a shot photo of the beautiful lady in the snow and each image turn out great! Definitely, a place to create pictures and memories.

5:00 pm – Convent Garden

Well, what to do when we are hungry? We went to Homeslice Neal’s Yard at convent garden for dinner. They served fresh pizza from the wood-fired oven. We order a whole 20-inch which is enough to feed us two just right. They’ll even let you have more than one choice of the topping selections if you ask nicely.

8:00 pm – Oxford Street + Carnaby Street

A dinner is never great to end the day. Thus, we went to an old English bar with great music. Had supper at Shoryu Carnaby. They offer a huge range of rich, cream pork-broth ramen and amazing sides. It’s a great place to chill and chit-chat with your friend, this is what I did.

11:00 pm – Hampstead

Home sweet home/

“Despite the snowing, the Spring is coming!”

“Local bar was fully packed due to St Patrick day”

“I love this shot of Laura (@elepunto) the most, don’t you find she adorable.”

Homeslice Neal’s Yard (Seven Dials)
13 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP, UK

xoxo, Angela.

LIFESTYLE Moodboard

Mood Board | I Catini

After a long day of work, we will be heading to the bathroom for a relaxing bath. The bathtub or shower is important. However, we always forget the importance of the washbasin too. I believe having a clean and warming bathroom is compulsory for every home.

Recently, I discovered this collection I Catini by Cielo, the purity of contemporary as the interpretation of memory. I really love how it came in different size and shape, where it can accommodate different people and houses. They also come will my favorite pink and blue pastel color, matching them with a marble base is just unimaginable. The suit it with their round and oval black framed mirror which is so classy.

Therefore, never I can imagine a washbasin can be such amazing. The collection features a clear design using high-quality materials. It is an expressive overall concept that is well developed.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Sakura Mochi

Sakura Mochi

Wagashi are Japanese sweets with fascinating flavors and designs, intended to embody the four seasons. My favorite will the sakura mochi, especially during the spring. Sakura and pink are both my favorites, not only during the spring season. As it is hard to find Sakura during the summer, thus I am only able to enjoy it during the spring.

Sakura Mochi has a nice balance of the taste between the salty pickled leaves and sweet red bean paste. The texture of the chewy sweet glutinous rice with sweet Anko filling is simply delectable. Mix in the aroma of cherry blossom and the experience is simply amazing!  Make some green tea and enjoy the mochi with it.  Happy Saturday!

xoxo, Joe

Our Table Stories

Chrysanthemum Tea

This is less of a recipe and more of a post about some of the health benefits of Chinese chrysanthemum tea. I’m no expert or in any way technically qualified to give health advice, but I was once a very very grumpy chrysanthemum tea drinker and have since become a pretty strong and zen believer in its abilities to ward off various ailments!

My mom says you should drink chrysanthemum tea if you are feeling stressed out or experiencing anxiety. If you have a headache or a migraine, it is good to clam you down. Moreover, when you want help with digestion after a heavy meal it will be a good choice.

In this recipe, we used Tai Ju Hua for this Calming Chrysanthemum Tea. If it’s hard for you to look for them by name, try to look for closed or half-opened flower buds when purchasing your tea, as fully opened flowers (while pretty) have already lost much of the flavors and effectiveness! This kind of  Chrysanthemum is suitable when you just want to dip them in the hot water for a quick drink instead of boiling them.

In terms of the taste? Well. When people see me drinking chrysanthemum tea and ask me what it tastes like, suffice it to say that it tastes just how you think it would taste: like dried flowers. Adding a bit of sugar or honey can improve the taste if you prefer!

But I find the flavor to be incredibly pleasant when eating strongly flavored Chinese dishes with lots of spice, and it takes on a richer herbal flavor the longer it steeps. It can also have a more subtle flavor the more times you refill the teapot with hot water. Serve it with ice in the summer, and it will have you feeling cool and calm in no time.

Plus, with so many different kinds of chrysanthemum teas, feel free to experiment! We hope you give chrysanthemum tea a try! It may just be nature’s elixir for whatever problem you’ve currently got.

Ingredients |

  • 0.2 ounces (about 5 grams) dried chrysanthemum tea
  • 3 cups water, and more hot water until the tea completely loses flavor

Method |

Place your tea in a teabag or tea strainer of your choice. Due to the nature of this tea, the petals can really get in the way of your drinking experience, so best to tie up the tea in a tea bag or cheesecloth, grab a tea strainer, or use a teapot with a built-in strainer.

Boil 3 cups of water, and pour over the tea. Let steep for 3 – 5 minutes.

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

TRAVEL

36 hours in Batam | Indonesia

What would be the perfect getaway if you get the choice? There were short trips, staycation and the list go on. For me, it would be isolated from the crowds. Many know that both of us are thrift spender so we love to eat at home, create things and travel far distance instead of having many short trips.

The last two months have been real difficulties at home and with works. We overcome the pain of losing our grandma and also the completion of the deadlines. Therefore, we decided to go on for a 2 Days 1 Night trip to Batam, Indonesia. It only takes you a 45 mins ferry ride to travel from Singapore to Batam.

What is better when you could do it over the weekend or simply just a day trip. We want to stay overnight so that it wouldn’t be in a hurry. Here we are to share our 36 hours in Batam.

We took on the ferry ride at 9:50 am, the ferry had a delay, therefore, we reached Batam at around 10:00 am (Indonesia is 1 hour behind Singapore). The whole trip was amazing except the experience of taking transportation in Batam. Unless you drive otherwise the only transportation is Taxi as Grab or Uber are illegal in the city. Thus, taking Uber or Grab is definitely much cheaper than Taxi, at least 50%. Still, after our only experience, we decided not to put our lives at risk.

In Batam, we pretty much eat, shop, sleep and massage while everything is so cheap and valuable. Although it wasn’t as exclusive as Bintan and Bali we still enjoyed the laid-back trip.

We only spent $320 in total for accommodation, transportation, meals, and shopping. You can’t believe how much we enjoyed the trip, Joe was sharing that a short trip is much memorable than a month long Europe trip. Maybe there were too many things to recall where we human memories have too little capacity to keep all.

A&W is always my childhood favourite, and we have it there!

“delicious cheap seafood that never burns your pocket”

xoxo, Angela.

Moodboard

Mood Board | Arcadia

 

This is one of Angela favourite colours, she always loves the hue of green family. She says peace will be found in her, she always feels calm and peaceful in the fresh colors. Indeed, I love green as well especially Arcadia.

You may think of Arcadia as another mint colour but you are wrong. Arcadia is less pastel and more elegant than mint or teal. It gives your room a more classic and refreshing look. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way. However, slightly more neutral core elements of furniture lend themselves well. Such as to changing out the accents (pillows, rugs, lamps) more frequently so you don’t break the bank.

Designing should be a fun and stress-free project that takes the whole space into consideration and builds from the floor to the ceiling. Don’t let yourself get bogged down by one element, but instead open your eyes to how that element can relate to the bigger picture.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

 

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Taiyaki

Taiyaki

Happy June! It’s already half of 2018 and I am kind of feeling sad as I been feeling unaccomplished recently. Thus in order to cheer me up the only way is eating all the delicious food. One of my favorites is Japanese food, thus this month I am going to paint my favorite Japanese food.

Like fish? Like ice-cream? Ever wondered what would happen if you combined the two? No, we’re not talking about fish-flavored ice-cream. We’re talking about Taiyaki ice-cream cones! They’re o-FISH-ally awesome!

Taiyaki is one of Japan’s most beloved cakes. The cake is made using waffle or pancake batter. And it is fills with my favorite sweet red bean paste. With The tail hides a surprise filling of either red bean or custard. I’m gonna catch a fish for myself now!

xoxo, Joe

Our Table Stories RECIPES

Seafood Cioppino

After the visit in Melbourne, I fall in love with the seafood there, especially the Mussel Pot there. Even though we do not have an abundance of fresh seafood and produce compare to Melbourne, we still decided to make our own version. It was amazing to be able to enjoy a melting pot of food! I’m so excited to share this healthy seafood cioppino recipe with you. There wasn’t a drop left in our bowls! If you are a seafood lover, this one is for you friend.

It’s all about the base! I’m talking about adding just the right combination of vegetables to build the stew flavor potential to it’s maximum. Garlic, onions, bell pepper, serrano chili peppers for heat, thyme and bay leaf add aromatics and earthy flavors to the broth. Some white wine and lemon juice add acidity to brighten the flavors of the stew.

It’s time to choose your main ingredients, the seafood. You can use any fresh catch of the day you like! I chose a green mussel, clam and conch trio because they all have unique tastes and textures. Each cook fairly quickly so keep an eye on the time to prevent overcooking is crucial.

Moist heat cooking, specifically steam in addition to the hot broth temperatures help to cook each piece of seafood. When you cover the pot, the water reaches it’s boiling point and eventually builds up enough energy to create steam to cook the ingredients quickly. Make sure to discard any unopened mussels. It indicates the mussel was not fresh.

A little small tips for you to store the seafood that you purchased. After you purchase live mussels from the market, you want to keep them fresh until ready to serve. Store them loose in a bowl or unsealed container. Cover the bowl of mussels with a damp paper towel or cloth. They can be kept for a few days and still smell like salt water from the ocean. When you’re ready to cook, make sure to drain any water that collects at the bottom of the bowl.

If you like an extra crunch, you can heat your baguette in the oven for 5 minutes beforehand. I found a nice crusty sourdough baguette from the market. Little did it know that I would soon be transformed into toasted edible spoons to soak up all of the broth!

When a dish is made with love, it shows! You’ll be delighted and surprised to see how easy it is to prepare an elegant gourmet meal made right at home. If you’re having family and friends over for a wholesome supper, this Seafood Cioppino needs to be on the menu. Cheers!

Ingredients |

  • 1 cup yellow onion 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic, (about 8 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 serrano chili pepper seeded and minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 whole tomato, quarter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf dried
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pound mussels, clam, and conch
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Method |

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and minced serrano chili peppers. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and cook 3 minutes. Add the wine, stock, water, lemon juice, thyme, bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer on medium-low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf.

Clean and remove the beard of the mussels and clam. Discard any seafood that has broken shells or do not close when tapped. Heat the cioppino soup over medium heat. Insert the seafood, evenly spread across the pan. Turn heat to medium-high, cover and cook another 3 to 5 minutes, until the seafood is open. Discard any mussels that do not open.

Taste soup and season with more salt and pepper as needed. When ready to serve, ladle soup into serving bowls, add seafood, and garnish with chopped parsley and more thyme.

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

Moodboard

Mood Board | Rattan

Lately, I’m sick with Angela taking all about crocheting and knitting. Her obsession with natural and rattan bags are beyond your imagination! Therefore when we have this conversation about bringing it to the home. I realised that it’s not as crazy as I thought it would be. It’s back to natural routine and simple but fancy as well.

There’s something wonderfully organic about rattan that makes it the perfect material for that outdoors indoors look. Beautifully pliable yet supremely durable, rattan is experiencing something of a renaissance in the interior design world right now.

Riding on the same in vogue wave are synthetic fibres such as rope and weave. This means that it is equally versatile and long-lasting.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

Healthy Breakfast RECIPES

Banana Muffin

Lately, my craving for Banana Muffin increased. Especially when I discovered that my darling bakery no longer selling any of my favorites. If you found any amazing Banana Muffin, do share with me as I didn’t find any good ones around.

Thus, for those who yearn for Banana Muffin like us, you would enjoy this muffin recipe! We have tried tons of time, failed and finally come out with the ideal equation for the recipe. These Banana Crumb Muffins are loaded with banana flavor that’s only heightened by the addition of a sweet and cinnamon-y crumb topping. They’re perfect for breakfast, a mid-morning snack, or in my case – last night’s dinner.

I love bananas; however, as soon as the slightest brown speck appears, they’re dead to me.

Needless to say, I end up with quite a few inedible bananas on my counter. And although brown bananas make me twitch a little, I just can’t throw them away. So instead, I do what any responsible banana eater should do – I make banana desserts!

A hearty loaf of banana bread is an excellent way to use up a pile of leftover bananas, but sometimes you want a lighter option. These tender banana muffins are crowned with a delightfully crunchy cinnamon crumb topping that lends to their addictive nature. Let’s us get started!

Ingredients |

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts (optional)

For the Topping:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter

Method |

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a muffin tin. Combine the first nine ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well blended. Lay your muffin sheet and spoon batter into muffin tins about 3/4 full.

In a small bowl mix the flour and brown sugar for the topping. Cut in butter with two knives until uniform.  Spoon topping over muffins and press lightly into batter. Bake for 22-24 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean and topping is golden.

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Angela.

Moodboard

Mood Board | Chili Oil

Do you like spicy reds? Maybe a burgundy or maroon colour with an exotic vibe? Then, you might want to take a look at Pantone Chili Oil. It’s one of Pantone’s chosen colours for Spring 2018. I’m already cooking up great ideas for working this earthy red into my own interior design projects. This colour has a knack for looking sophisticated yet casual all at the same time. Which makes me love it even more!

A sliding barn door and a mounted trophy may be trendy right now, but these wall colours are as classic as they come. With the door open, the peek-a-boo red wall functions almost as a large-scale piece of art.

We love matching Chili Oil with Coconut White, Coconut White the classic mainstay of a white adds flavourful definition to the room with Chili Oil. Even just an addition of a throw over or an armchair it brings up the texture of your room.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Kiwi

When I first see kiwi, I ask my mom why is this fruit so hairy? On the outer, it sometimes looks like a hairy monkey when I cut it open I am surprised with this green color fruit. I guess my mom is bad to choose kiwi, whenever I have them it is sour thus I hated it so much when I’m young.

During a trip to a kiwi farm, I tasted my very first sweet kiwi. And I discover it is the only fruit that contains vitamin E. Not only does it contain vitamin E, but a serving contains more than your daily requirement of vitamin C.  Kiwi also contains potassium, so if you don’t like bananas you give kiwi a try instead.  The kiwi contains actinidain, which is a protein-dissolving enzyme like the bromelain in pineapple.  If you’ve had a heavy meal containing meat, you might accompany or follow that meal with kiwi to help your body digest all of that protein.

xoxo, Joe

RECIPES

Tuna Salad Sushi Bowl

I’m a huge fan of salad – it’s the most simple and yet possible complicated taste of food on the planet. At least I feel that way.

A mixture of greens occasionally matches with choices of fish or meat it tastes amazing. By combining sauce, it became magical to your taste buds. This week, we would like to introduce one of the kinds that are healthy but also an addictive salad. With making your sushi into a salad could be satisfied, don’t you agree?

Despite its pretentious name, this Tuna Salad Sushi Bowl has a lot to offer. It’s loaded with a variety of highly nutritious ingredients you should eat, at least once in a while, and it’s delicious enough to make the whole scenario pleasant and enjoyable.

‘You might get this variety of diet in an eatery these days. Hence spending 15bucks per bowl why not make yourself, easy. A complete flavour from a bowl. It’s really good to kick-start a healthy lifestyle.’

Ingredient |

  • 1 cup cooked Mixed Quinoa
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 250g of canned tuna in oil
  • mixed vegetables (we used carrot, cucumber, and zucchini)
  • 1/2 purple cabbage
  • bean sprouts
  • mayonnaise for drizzle

Methods |

While mixed the cooked quinoa and shaved broccoli in a bowl and leave it aside to cool. Simply, serve the quinoa mixture in a bowl and then top with filling (we top it with carrot, zucchini, bean sprouts, cabbage and canned tuna). Lastly, drizzle your favourite sauce and enjoy it.

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Angela.

TRAVEL

Natural History Museum | London

When we talk about London, one of their highlights would be their museums.  Most of them are free entry and it is the place you want to visit if you are on a budget constraint. You don’t have to spend a lot to visit London.

For an art and architect lover like me, other than the St Pual Cathedral, Natural History Museum is on the top of my bucket list. Until now, I remember how astonished I was when I saw it in person. With a closer look, it’s not just beautiful but magnificent. I do not understand why a 137 years old building could be so elegant and distinct. For a visitor who spent 2 weeks in London, I have wasted almost whole afternoon there but with no regret. National History Museum was so large that you need at least 5 hours to finish it. It located along the Exhibition Road surrounded with a lot of museums and concert hall. Is a place that I would want to spend my whole day with. Wistfully, my soul, have forgotten herself within the golden-lit structure. I didn’t really explore the area but I can’t wait to go back and this around will be the first place to visit!

It was crowded even on a weekday so I highly suggest you to spend at least whole morning museum (I was sick so I went slightly in the noon) while the rest of the rest day in the area – Kensington and Chelsea.

Even though I barely hang out elsewhere that day but it was the day I ever had. I ended my day with a lovely meal at Convert Garden. After that went to the infamous, The Lion King Musical show. What’s better than that?

it’s hard to describe in words. the building is magical, while the sunbeams on the building and you will see the dynamic impression from the structure. 

Polpo
6 Maiden Ln, London, WC2E7NA, UK
www.polpo.co.uk

Lyceum Theatre, London
21 Wellington St, London WC2E 7RQ, UK
Purchase The Lion King ticket online, you might grab cheap, well seating in advance.

xoxo, Angela.

Moodboard

Mood Board | Rocking Chair

Remember when I was a child when we are still staying with our grandmother. In our house, we have this rocking chair. Our grandmother loves to sit and rock on it while watching television. When grandmother was not on it, it was never empty, everyone would always race who gets to sit in it first. These memories warm my heart and I always dream, that when I will have my home, I will own one of these chairs in my living room.

All of these chairs feature a comfortable seat, a wooden or metal frame and plain fabrics that harmonise nicely with contemporary and modern environments. Perfect for story time or snooze time, these rocking chairs have a fresh, modern designthat works well in any living space. This type of seating can be used as a comfortable and cozy spot for nursing, napping, reading, knitting, watching TV, or cuddling with your newborn. Take a look at our choices and have a wonderful Monday!

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

 

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Durian

Durian

Durian who is also known as the king of fruits, it usually could be only found in the tropical country. It is one of my favorite fruits that I can’t enjoy them at home as Angela hates them. If you are good at choosing them (whereas I am not good at it) you will taste the heaven. It was one of the fruits I like to enjoy with my grandmother.

You could smell the durian from afar, and for most people it the smell sinks. When I first eat them when I’m young I couldn’t take the smell. But after a few tries I fall in love with it. After enjoying the durian I was taught to drink water with the shell. It will get rid of the smell in my mouth and the heartiness. Didn’t know who my grandmother learn it from but it always been a habit for me now.

xoxo, Joe

Healthy Breakfast

Classic Chickpea Hummus with Peri Peri Sauce

I believe I have declared my love for Hummus – days I question why I only appreciate such a taste just now. This week we would like to share this Classic Chickpea Hummus with Peri Peri Sauce recipe we came out with.

It’s the improvisation of the Homemade Hummus we shared last May. Even Joe love this recipe as we added our favourite spicy sauce to it and it simply adds the favour of the Hummus. Many have eaten Nando – the Roasted Chicken franchise! Even though I’m not a chicken person but unquestionably I’m in love with the sauces!

And yes, we have it garnish with Blue Cornflower. Upon, travelling at the Borough Market, London during March, I got back quite a few dried flowers and herbs. I thought it would be interesting for food preparation or new recipes. It just perfects the hummus. Blue Cornflower is pretty trending these days. They are the absolute ingredient for natural food dye. They have a slightly sweet to spicy, clove-like flavour. this added on flavour for the Hummus.

Ingredients |

  • 2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp ground paprika, or to taste
  • 1 tsp of peri peri sauce
  • dried flora leaves for garnish

Method |

Put everything except the flora leaves in a food processor and begin to process; add the chickpea liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree.

Taste and adjust the seasoning (I often find I like to add much more lemon juice). Serve, drizzled with the olive oil and drizzle with more peri peri sauce and some dried flora.

Share with us do you like it. Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Angela.

Festivals TRAVEL

Mother’s Day X Tulipmania 2018


Just last week, we have pre-celebration with our Mother before Mother’s Day. We went to Garden By the Bay, Tulipmania for a date! Since our Mom reloves love plantation and gardening lots… To cheer her up we thought it will be a treat!

While there are so different ways to call our mother(s) and I have at least 5 different versions! “Mom”, “Mummy”, “Mother” and some in Chinese, Japanese and even dialect … My mom is my spirit animal. Always tell me that I could be whoever I want to be and will always do her proud. She could be over-protective but she also wants me to get out of my comfort zone. Despite we have the differences like many other mother-daughters, we live, think and behave almost the same way. We argued but deeply I love her the most.

Mom, thank you for being such an amazing mom and superwoman in my life! Raising problematic children like my sister and me with lots of opinion in daily-days life! You handled us well! You showed me ways to fight and survive in the cruel world as you know that it hurts you badly. Thanks for the years of caring and loving the brat like me! I love you, mom!

Here are my promises to you, mom; for your love of cactus, I will bring you to Arizona desert. For your love of tulip, I will bring you to Holland soon!

Honestly, while I was taking the photo this guy just walked to my mom and stood beside her that closely. I thought they are having a conversation but truly, they didn’t.

 

I especially love this Winnie the Pooh and Piglet statue. The moment is beautiful.

Despite the Tulipmania event was over but there is a Singapore Garden Festival coming up. For those who are coming to Singapore, you can get your ticket online.

xoxo, Angela

Moodboard

Mood Board | Ice Cream

Who doesn’t love ice cream? When I go to the ice cream store the colorful ice cream just brighten up my day.

Ice Cream colors are going to be a huge trend in both interiors and fashion this year. However, there’s no reason to wait until spring, start investing in key pieces now and get ahead of the crowd. Choosing your favorite flavor of ice cream can be a bit like choosing your favorite paint color.

So why only choose one when you can have them all, in a perfect palette of ice cream colors. You can even mix up paint colors to suit your tastes and match accessories by using in-store color matching technology. Introduce these pretty colors on a single wall or multiple if you feel brave, and accessorize with pastel-hued vases, dining chairs, and tableware.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Watermelon

Watermelon

Watermelon is one of my fruits during the humid weather. As they are juicy and easy to eat. Other than eating them just as fruit, I also love to make them into juicy. Watermelon is also the first fruit that I painted as the color is just so beautiful.

Life is like eating a watermelon, you know you’re going to get some seeds; just spit them out and take another bite.

xoxo, Joe

Our Table Stories RECIPES

Mother’s Day Breakfast in Picnic Basket

An ultimate guideline to pack an outdoor (it works well for the indoor as well) breakfast for your mom on the Mother’s day. Instead of making Mom wait until dinnertime to enjoy a meal made just for her, treat her to a special morning treat of breakfast in bed. Deliciously easy to make in a hurry, pancakes are a no-fuss dish that both grownups and little ones crave. Moreover, they can be as simply or elegantly prepared as you like.

You may compare the taste and texture of boxed mixes with the light, fluffy from-scratch pancakes. (that’s what I used to think) When I pass-by Don Don Donki the other day, the pancake mixer that I picked up is unimaginable. It is light and fluffy just like the store made. Not to say boxed mixes may indeed be convenient on hectic weekdays and tasty at the same time.

We decided to match the pancake with some whipped cream, strawberry jam, and strawberry. As strawberry is always our mother favourite fruit, at the same time it is the season of strawberry. Why not!

However, when it comes to whipped cream I loved to have them freshly made then get them in the store. As it is always too sweet for us, don’t worry you can prepare them the night before too. Our mom ended up drizzle over her favourite honey to this pancake. Customize to your mom likely, you could even add an egg or bacon over.

Don’t forget a cup of tea or coffee (but tea is always the better choice). If you are heading out to prepare a thermo-flask some warm tea – as for us we prepare hibiscus tea. If you are serving your mom in bed, assemble them in a basket or a tray and you are good to go.

Ingredients |

  • 200g of JN hot cake mix
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150ml of water
  • 100g of heavy cream
  • 20g of sugar
  • strawberry
  • strawberry jam (option)

Method |

Mix the pancake mix, egg yolk and water well in a bowl. Heat up the pan and drizzle oil on it. Using a measuring cup, pour the mixture into the pan ensuring each pancake is around the same amount.

To prepare the whipped cream, combine the heavy cream and sugar in a bowl. Using a hand whisking machine, whisk it to the high peak.

Now serve the pancake with the whipped cream, strawberry jam and halved strawberry.

We are glad that mom really adores what we did, and we believed that your mom will love it too. Share with us do you like it. Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

TRAVEL

St Paul Cathedral | London

Every country I been to, I definitely would visit the local churches and train stations. I love places like these – sites I could squat for long hours and find myself in place. Therefore, how could I ever miss visiting this amazing historical architect – St Paul Cathedral.

Since the day I reached London, this is one of the places I can’t wait to spend time in. Despite some hiccups and I couldn’t finish the whole tour for the whole structure but I was able to complete the 1056 steps up and down to the top of the dome. While you start with a spacious geometric staircase that resembles the one in Harry Potter movies. It starts to get harder, narrower when you reach upon the whispering dome. It could be the most exhausting stair steps I ever attempt, in fact, I got scared when I reaching the last portion of the steps.

There is no way to return back to the ground without reaching the top as it is a one-way exit. If you intend to try, suggest you prepare a bottle of water and wear something comfortable. For those who are afraid of height, just stop at the whispering dome and it is fine! Between the whole building is so fascinating for you to explore.

“If you do not want to regert, always plan in advance to any attraction.”

For those who want to plan your visit to St Paul Cathedral, do book your ticket online in advance as it is very popular locations for visitors. Besides, it will be cheaper by 2 – 4 Pounds if you’re to purchase online.

St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD

There are many guides on that day itself, therefore, I couldn’t take many images with my DSLR. Pardon for the low-quality images from my phone as it doesn’t do any justice to the actual building. Times like this, it’s a loss when you carry such a big gadget around. 

St Paul Cathedral faces directly opposite Tate Museum.
You can trace your view along the street to the millennium bridge.

Many would say that the entrance fees are expensive but it wasn’t. It is a donation for the Cathedral and you could enjoy a year-long of entry. For the tourist like us surely it doesn’t make sense but a donation for the historical building. It’s a small amount of contribution. The next time I travel I would still pay and visit again. Feel free to drop us a text and we hope we will answer your questions for any enquire and recommendation. Have a great week ahead!

xoxo, Angela.

LIFESTYLE Moodboard

Mood Board | Hammock

I would say that I stress up lately. Usually, I don’t admit it but the thing has built up over the months or maybe years. I wished that I could stay motivated whenever I’m at home. Especially, since I work from home, I want to stay relax whenever I could. Hence, not to be worried about the space and works when I don’t have to.

Therefore lately, both Joe and I were discussing ways to revamp the home for a fresh look. That comes with a suggestion whether to have Hammock at home. For busy souls like us, it’s great to have something that could loosen up and infuse merry spirit in the home. What’s better than a hammock right? It is a great way to replace the soft bed and it brings joy to the room.

It’s definitely a great idea for anyone if they have an empty space without things area. As you are hanging the hammock in the air, you will never use up any floor space. Which won’t make your room messy at all. It always good to take a step back to chill out after all the burning out at work and the general rise in stress levels. Isn’t it?

xoxo, Angela

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

RECIPES

Nacho Pie

Yeah (I think I feel like I’m winning a football match)! It is my favorite occasion of the month – guess what it is Cinco De Mayo day! Unlike last year we didn’t organize a gathering but instead baked a Nachos Pie for a mini Movie Party! Nachos is one of those universal foods that everyone loves, whether health conscious or not!

You can be as generous as you want – or not – with the corn chips. With a dish like this, 6 or so corn chips per serving seem to go a long way and that is a LOT less than the 30 or so I’d ordinarily scoff down for Nachos! It’s also surprising how far this recipe goes. We used to think it was just for 4 – but really, it serves 6 quite generously. Or even 8 for ordinary people.

We filled out the beef filling with mixed beans but you can substitute with any type of beans you want. Or you could even cut down the amount of beef in this even further and add other vegetables – corn, diced zucchini and bell peppers (capsicum) would be fabulous in this!

You will find the filling very saucy. The reason is that the extra sauce is used to top the final layer. The alternative is to make the filling and a separate sauce, but to us, that’s just too much effort for midweek! So we make it all in one pan then use a slotted spoon to scoop out meat for the layers without too much sauce, then pour the sauce over the final layer.

SO TASTY!We could eat this every night. We just adore Mexican food (real and Tex-Mex!).

We specially made a Pico de Gallo for this recipe and the juiciness it amazing. Simply, combine ingredients in a bowl. Toss and adjust salt/pepper to taste.
Ingredients |
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1 large tomato, deseeded and diced
  • 1/4 Spanish (red) onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Using avocado here give the nacho a buttery texture, making it less dry which means allow you to eat more of them. Remember to deseed the tomato here as you don’t want the Pico de Gallo to be too wet.

Ingredients |

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 400 g ground mince beef (use lean!)
  • 28 g packet Taco Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 700 g tomato pureed canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 400 g canned mixed beans, drained
  • 3 – 4 soft tortillas (flour or corn) – for layering
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I used mozzarella, but any melting cheese is fine)
  • 70 g corn chips
  • Sour cream to serve

Method |

Preheat the over to 350F/180C. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook until translucent. Then, cook them by adding in the beef, breaking up into pieces, until browned. Lastly, with Taco Seasoning and pepper about halfway through browning the beef. Add the tomato passata, water, and beans. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened but still very saucy. Remove from heat.

Lay a tortilla in a pie dish (24 cm / 9-inch diameter). Use a slotted spoon to top with just under 1/2 the meat. Try to avoid using too much sauce so sort of “shake” each spoonful to drain out the sauce. Top with another tortilla + torn/cut pieces of another tortilla to cover completely. Adding the remaining meat, again avoiding the sauce. Lastly, with remaining tortillas, then pour over all the sauce (and any residual meat).
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. If you’re worried about overspill, place it on a baking tray. Remove from the oven, cover with corn chips then scatter with cheese. Bake until the chips are a bit golden and the cheese is melted – 10 to 15 minutes. Serve, topped with Pico De Gallo and Sour Cream on the side if using.

Share with us do you like it. Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Angela

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Avocado

Avocado

Time flies and it’s already May. If you’ve been here a while, you’ll know that my earlier watercolor paintings were a lot of experimenting with style and techniques. Although I can paint extremely realistic paintings to really loose ones, I enjoy the latter.

I have painted fast food, flower, donut and, traditional kueh for the past month. And this month I was thinking to paint something I have almost every day. Which are fruits!

________

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo and one of the ingredients that are commonly used in their dishes is avocado. I am not a fan of avocado compared to Angela but I would say that do taste good. I especially love them when they are made for Guacamole, sometimes I like to put them in my salad and toast.

xoxo, Joe

LIFESTYLE

Yeah, Fiesta! : Cinco de Mayo Ideas

It’s almost Cinco de Mayo! Thus, today’s we will be having a #throwback post and it is the Cinco de Mayo Edition, with all the Cinco de Mayo Ideas! Cinco de Mayo is only days away. Last year we have our very first official Cinco de Mayo celebration, time really does pass fast.

one/ DIY Taco Party

Fiestas aren’t just for Cinco de Mayo! A south-of-the-border party theme is a great choice any time you want to kick back with a pitcher of margaritas and good amigos. Snag our ideas for decorations, cocktails, appetizers, main courses, and desserts.

two/ La Fiesta Flower in Can

Flowers would be the most beautiful table centerpiece you would ever have. They’re elegant while it can be fun at the same time. During the period of spring, blossoms will be part of our everyday life. It’s something you won’t want to miss seeing in your house, especially you are hosting a party.

three/ Homemade Classic Guacamole

Do not underestimate the green little devil! Avocado could make all kind of dishes and drinks. While we would love to share one of our favorite – the guacamole dip. It’s a must to serve along with the wheat chips when we having a movie night every Friday!

four/ Welcome Message with Waterpaint card menu

Cinco de Mayo is all about the fun and bright colors. Thus we also set out a colorful tables set for our guest! Start by making an invitation card for the guests to your Cinco de Mayo bash with these festive cards – a flower wealth water painting card.

With the same flower water paint, we did a menu to highlight the different dishes that we have made for the party. Leave us some comment if you want the template for this printable.

five/ Mango Salsa Beef Taco

This is by far one of my favorite Taco recipes. The combination of mango salsa and beef Taco is just extraordinary. We bet this mango salsa would be fantastic on fish tacos or just about any fresh, Mexican-themed dish, really. We can confirm that it goes well with chips, guacamole, and black bean tacos.

Share with us your version! Take a photo of yours, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see yours!

xoxo, Joe.

TRAVEL

Brixton | London

The first time I’ve come across Brixton was through a crime scene mentioned from Sherlock, the same title BBC drama. Following by, a group of lovely residences that lived in London. As well as my lovely friend, Laura who stayed there mentioned it was a place to stay in. A lively, multicultural area with a down-to-earth vibe – you can see from their architecture.

While Brixton is located the south of London, it’s accessible by train and buses promptly. It is a lovely neighbourhood easily to reach out to. We travel down to Brixton on a Monday afternoon, we were welcomed with the red bricks and heavy crowds from the neighbour. We head off to the Brixton Village but sadly nothing was open on a Monday I supposed. It’s pretty fun to see how the area behaves differently from Hampstead.

The weather was so cold that we need to hide in this lovely cafe – Parissi with a friendly owner that baked everything with his crews. Also not to forget to mention Pop Brixton, I would say it is like the Art Box at Bangkok. They have great food and spaces in containers even though with limited space. Highly recommend visiting this area apart from the usual tourist locations.

Parissi, lovely cafe located at Brixton
76 Atlantic Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8PX, UK

Feel free to drop us a text and we hope we will answer your questions for any enquire and recommendation. Have a great week ahead!

xoxo, Angela.

Moodboard

Mood board | Geometrical

Geometrical was one of the biggest trends last year, however, it was mainly on cushions and rugs. This year it’s all about tiles, wallpaper, and art. The Bright Oversized Geometric Wall easily hits the sweet spot with its vibrant colors and sharp angles. This wallpaper mural shows off large geometric cuts that carry vivid colors, projecting a relaxed yet modern-looking image right in your living room, hallway, or study area.

This geometrical wall is easy to recreate as you only need tape and paint for it. Using you are able to create that straight light and shape that you want. These geometrical walls give your house a bit more 4 dimensional compared to those single colored wall. You should give them a try!

xoxo, Joe

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Pulut Inti

Pulut Inti

It is hard to determine the origin of this dessert. Many of the kueh native to the Malay culture have been adopted and improvised by the Nyonyas. In this particular dessert, the Malays usually leave the steamed glutinous white rice. The Nyonyas like to streak the glutinous rice blue with blue pea flower a natural food dye.

Pulut Inti is can be hardly found in Singapore compare to the rest of the kueh and desserts that I last painted. However, the first time I tasted it in a Nyonyas restaurant I fall in love with it. Especially the coconut, it bring a sweet taste to the glutinous white rice.

I love painting the wrapped banana leaves, however I make a little mistake from painting more of the coconut than the rice. Well who doesn’t more of it as I taste soooo good!

xoxo, Joe

RECIPES

Roasted Chicken Quesadilla with Spinach Tortilla

Mexican food is such a great guilty pleasure. After all, it’s very often deep fried and loaded with cheese—and when you visit a hole-in-the-wall restaurant (the best kind). It’s likely also swimming in oil, butter, or lard. To save us all a few calories, we came up with this roasted chicken quesadilla recipe.

One of my favorite things to do is wrap up leftover chicken in tortillas and cook them it in different ways with different spices. Tortillas cook very fast and are also great for taking to work or eating as a snack.

We love using flour tortillas for a ton of things. We always have a few bags in my freezer so we will never run out of them. We get all different sizes for tacos, fajita, burritos and what not but never actually end up using the right size for the food we’re making. We usually switch it up a bit in order to make smaller or bigger servings.

Thus we ended up making our very own homemade spinach tortilla after awhile. It save more freezer space and at the same time, we get to enjoy fresh tortilla. Using it for this dish, making it tastier and healthier. The spinach tortilla that we made add a little flavor to the quesadilla than the usual store tortilla.

These quesadillas can also be made on an outdoor grill. Just cook over high heat directly on the grates until the cheese is melted and the bottoms start to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. You’ll need to make guacamole and salsa before you begin.

Ingredients |

  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 300g chicken breast
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • cilantro for garnish
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 small or 4 large flour spinach tortillas
  • 1 tbsp. butter (or spray butter)

Method |

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken breast until browned and shred using two forks. Add seasoning. Add pepper and onion. Cook until softened. Add lime juice and cilantro; stir.

Lay out half of the tortillas, top the tortillas with half of the cheese. Add the chicken and vegetable mixture and then top with remaining cheese. Place remaining tortillas on top and spray or brush the tops with a light coating of butter

Fried for 10 minutes, carefully flipping after 5 minutes and lightly coating the other side with butter. Serve topped with cilantro garnish and sour cream, if desired.

Share with us do you like it. Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

TRAVEL

Brighton | East Sussex

Continued from the previous post – Day trip to Seven Sisters Cliff. We took an express bus from Eastbourne down all the way to Brighton. The trip was about an hour but the scenery just covers it all. The express bus has lesser stops compared to the usual bus routine, it worth spending 4 pounds for the trip.

The morning was bright and shinning, we left our host at about 10 am. I would say the weather is unpredictable in the UK as you never bet against the sudden change of temperature. It was cold the moment we reached Brighton despite we were welcome on a sunny morning.  Thus, the town simply warms us up shortly with great food, lovely pebble beach and beautiful streets and store.

As it’s Winter, many stores at Brighton pier were closed therefore it is sad that we couldn’t enjoy any bits of it. Thus, I promised myself to visit again during another summer, it’s must be pleasant! I do really love Brighton – it might be a gloomy day when I arrived but everything just put in order when we spent our day there. Looking forward to going back with Joe as she definitely will love it!


“It might be the first time I came across with a pebble beach – simply love it!

“Actually, I don’t know what this for in the middle of the sea?”

 

“Let’s fill this town with artists”, and truly. 

The reason I like enjoying walking street in the UK – everything is beautiful.

Not just Notting Hill, British love pretty doors.

More stories to come, stay tuned for more London trip post! Feel free to drop us a text and we hope we will answer your questions for any enquire and recommendation. Have a great week ahead!

xoxo, Angela.

Moodboard

Mood board | Fringe

Fringing, it’s here for this season and you’ll see it on cushions, wall hangings, throws, rugs, and accessories.This fun new trend is not so mainstream yet but it’s on its way make no mistake. Interiors always follow in the footsteps of fashion, where fringing is a huge deal for 2018. This is the trend if you want to be ahead of the crowds. This trend will add a wonderful handmade quality to each room.

The fringe mirror will help to spice up your entryway, bedroom, or hallway with a bold statement piece that’s sure to mesmerize and beautify. The blush pink fringe is the perfect pop of color, and the sleek shape has “chic” written all over it. The fringe mirror is easy and fun to customize on what is already in your home now.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Tu Tu Kueh

Tu Tu Kueh

Seem like I have a lot of nonya delights that I like. Most of them are my favorite since I was a child. I love the Tu Tu Kueh when everything is handmade. The grated coconut filling is roasted with Gula Melaka. While the peanuts are pounded by hand before a dash of sugar is added. Even the pandan leaves are cut by hand.

Best consumed fresh from the steamer, the perfect tutu will inundate your nose with three scents – that from the rice, filling and pandan leaf – while the crunchy insides contrasting against the slightly sweetened soft shell is satisfying.

xoxo, Joe

RECIPES

Spinach Tortilla

It officially springs now here in Singapore, it has been pretty sunny the last couple of days. Moreover, spring means that we get to enjoy a lot of variety of vegetables. Last weekend we went there and I got a lot of fresh produce including spinach. I love spinach and I am sure you guys already know that. In fact, I was just thinking that I have shared quite a variety of spinach recipes from spinach based curries to dips to Mexican recipes and much more! Yeah, I clearly love my greens.

So with the spinach, this time I made spinach tortilla. The tortilla is very similar to Indian roti. We make roti with whole wheat flour only whereas tortilla is usually made with all purpose flour but of course can be whole wheat or corn too.

Making tortilla at home is really simple if you keep practicing it. I mean it was very easy for me because even though I don’t make tortilla every day I do make my roti and paratha almost frequently and they are basically the same. So if you are used to rolling the dough, this is super easy. Just try to roll the dough as thin as possible, makes it so much easier to roll the tortilla when you use it for burrito or wraps.

You could easily make your favorite wraps, quesadillas if your tortillas are ready by your side. I always follow this quick recipe hack. I keep tortillas ready well in advance so that whenever my kid wishes for a tasty breakfast, I can surprise him. Just like me, in order to make this recipe healthier, you could add spinach to your tortilla.

You need to simply add the puree of spinach to the usual ingredients of tortilla nothing else. The entire recipe remains the same.

A little small tips for you to make every tortilla the small size. Roll the dough to make an approximate circle. Then use a lid and push it hard on the dough circle to make a circular indentation. Take out the excess dough from the sides and voila! Your round same sized tortilla is ready.

Ingredients |

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder, optional
  • pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
  • 3.5 oz spinach
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, and more to brush the tortilla
  • water, as needed for the dough

Method |

Bring water to boil in a pan. Once the water starts simmering, add fresh spinach leaves. Cook for 2 minutes till the spinach just starts to wilt. Remove pan from heat, drain the spinach and wash under cold water. Puree to a fine paste using your food processor. I added 2-3 tablespoons of water while pureeing the spinach. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add flour, salt, baking powder and cumin and cayenne pepper (if using). Now add oil to the flour mix and rub it into the flour using your fingers. Add the pureed spinach to the flour and mix.

Add water little by little to knead to a soft and smooth dough. If the dough feels too sticky, apply some oil on your hands, you may also add more oil to the dough. If the dough feels too dry, add more water. Basically, by the end of it, you should have a smooth and soft dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

Once the dough has rested, divide it into 6 equal parts. Meanwhile, put a pan on medium-high heat. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a circle of 8-10 inches. Try to roll as thin as possible. Use dry flour while rolling it if the dough is sticking to your rolling pin. Transfer the rolled spinach tortilla onto the heated pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or till you see these brown spots. Remove from pan and brush the tortilla with oil. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

Share with us do you like it. Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

TRAVEL

Seven Sisters Cliff Photo Journal | East Sussex

I would say, times flies. It has been a month since my solo-trip to London. Before the trip to London, the only things that I’ve research were both Doven White Cliff and Seven Sister Cliff. While comparing which to visit I have decided to go with Seven Sister Cliff at Sussex. My friend and I planned a 2 days 1 night trip to Eastbourne down to Brighton.

Since my friend and I don’t drive, we took a morning train ride from London to Brighton and from Brighton to Eastbourne. The day was delayed by the train transit at Brighton, we reach to our host at later noon. She shared with us the course of seven sister cliff, although it is slightly different from what I have researched. After 10 minutes of walk, we come to the end of the road from where we stay, at the coast. We grab lunch package from a local mini-mart owned by an old couple. The store is really popular with locals.

The hiking begins thus it comes to an endless walk from the bottom of the hills to the top… After an hour or so, we finally saw some student and realised that we are on the right track toward the Beachy Head. That’s correct! Instead, we begin from Seven Sisters Country Park we walk the other round.

The wind was extra strong at the top of the hill but the lovely scenic view was just stunning. The only bad side of the hiking was the bright sun as it was really bad for any photographing. It’s exhausting also it’s really satisfying, however, I can’t complete it with my buddy for the trip!

If you go by hiking, I really recommend you to go really in the morning and pack a lot of food with you. As from Beachy Head to Birling Gap we spent 4.5 hours. Therefore if you want to finish the whole trail toward Cuckmere Haven and  Seven Sisters Country Park, I believed you need at least 8 hours or more. For those who could drive, I highly suggest you go with that as you can visit more viewpoint and see all the scenic view within a day!

“All the journey made mistakes; just like life and we discover other happiness”. 

That’s the thing about a road trip, you will crave for more and hoping that it never ends. I can’t wait to go back again and to see the best view of Seven Sisters Cliff. Feel free to drop us a text and we hope we will answer your questions for any enquire and recommendation. Have a great week ahead!

xoxo, Angela

Moodboard

Mood Board | Tatami

So much could be said about Japanese design and their aesthetic. Japanese sense of style is much loved and copied the world over, often fused with other elements and styles. But nobody quite knows how to do Japanese design like the Japanese. Funny that, innit?

The approach is about finding beauty in the simple, natural, authentic and imperfect. The aesthetic is pared down to the barest essence, which creates pure and uncluttered outcomes. To create a space which is harmonized and balanced without any visual clutter (that isn’t actually boring!) is not easy to do.

Using tatami flooring for room helps to create a warm and safe environment, especially for the kids. Not that you know tatami help to keep dust away, isn’t what that’s everyone need. With these little details, it also helps to add some culture element to your house. Bringing bits of stories of you to the environment around you.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Fortune Cake

Fortune Cake

Growing up in a native Cantonese home, both my grandmother and mother make lots of yummy Cantonese food. It is Chinese people’s custom to using this Fortune Cake for prayer during an important festival for our ancestors and god. After the prayer, we loved to reheat this beautiful blossoming steamed cake and enjoy them.

The cake is steamed and when properly made, the top should split open into a “smile”. Although it’s not a real smile since it is supposed to split into four sections.  Fa has a meaning of prosperity/ fortune, hence the name prosperity cake and the reason why it is eaten during Chinese New Year to bring luck.

xoxo, Joe

RECIPES Weekend Brunch

Spicy Kale Chip

The first time I made kale chips I remember thinking, “Should they taste burnt like this??” The easy answer is no. I’ve come to find a nice balance between crispiness and chewiness without any burnt edges. Yes, this is very serious business, this kale chip business. When baked properly, they really do make the perfect base for a satisfying chip alternative.

Techniques you’ll be well on your way to kale chip bliss. Or maybe you already are, in which case, feel free to skip ahead to my All-Dressed Baked Kale Chip recipe below and get crunching!

Ok, here are my top tips for baking the perfect kale chips. No dehydrator required.

Remove the stems and tear leaves into large pieces. The first time I’ve a Kale, I didn’t know the steam is hard and woody. I’m sure you won’t be a fan of chewing through woody baked kale stems. You can remove the stems very quickly by grabbing the base of the stem with one hand and pushing outwards along the stem to slide off the leaves. Works like a charm!

Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves before beginning. If the leaves aren’t properly dried, the water can “steam” the kale chips while baking leading to soggy chips! We used cloth and hair drier to dry them but if you have a salad spinner you can use them too.

After drying it’s time you season them. “Massage” the seasoning into the leaves to ensure all the nooks and crannies are coated. Adding oil in the seasoning also helps the spices stick to the leaves.

For the seasoning other then the usual oil we make a spicy nut spread. With the walnut and sunflower seed it just upgrade the flavor of the kale chips.

I used to dump all the kale into a very thick layer on the baking sheet and hope for the best, but doing this tends to lead to soggy, unevenly baked kale chips. I’ve learned to be a bit more patient and spread them out into a thinner layer on each baking sheet. Be sure to rotate the baking sheet half-way through baking. There’s no real need to flip the chips unless you have the patience for it.

The key of crispy kale chips is baking them in low temperature like baking meringue. Basically you would like to dry them making sure it does not scorch it into smithereens! This will vary based on your oven, but it’s a good starting off point!

Like meringue, we’ve found that waiting just 3 minutes allows the kale chips to crisp up even more once they are out of the oven. Just like baked cookies or roasted chickpeas, kale chips really firm up even more when cooled. Those 3 minutes will feel like hours though. We won’t lie.

Ingredients |

  • 200g of walnut
  • 150g of sunflower seed
  • 80g of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of sweet paprika
  • approx. 1/2 bunch kale leaves
  • salt and pepper to seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Method |

Preheat oven to 150C. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove leaves from the stems of the kale and roughly tear it up into large pieces. Compost the stems (or freeze for smoothies). Wash and spin the leaves until thoroughly dry.

In a blender, blend the rest of the ingredients till mesh. Add kale leaves into a large bowl. Massage in the seasoning until all the nooks and crannies are coated in them.

Spread out the kale onto the prepared baking sheet into a single layer, being sure not to overcrowd the kale. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 12-15 minutes more until the kale begins to firm up. The kale will look shrunken, but this is normal. I bake for 25 mins. total in my oven.

Cool the kale on the sheet for 3 minutes before digging in! This really makes all the difference! Enjoy immediately as they lose their crispiness with time. Repeat this process for the other half of the bunch.

Grab the kale and start baking them now. Share with us do you like it. Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

TRAVEL

Penang Photo Journal

I have been dividing my time between catching with works and recouping my energy these days. Therefore, I will stop posting “A Paint Portrait” for awhile till I have more time for it. In the meantime, I hope that my travel stories will make up for that!

As a city girl sometimes you’ll crave for a non-city life but definitely not for long. A short trip from Singapore to Penang, Malaysia might answer your request. Penang is located north-west of Malaysia. They are infamous for their tasty food and culture. Spending a long weekend (roughly 4 days 3 nights ) there is really satisfying. Nothing fancy but you could simply eat all day, walk all day and to be part of their Peranakan culture.

As I remember it was warm summer than, surely I brought along my camera but I took fewer shots. Thus somehow I’m still able to put it as a post to feed your eyes.

 


xoxo, Angela.

Drink RECIPES

Strawberry Gin Smash

What could be finer than this summery Strawberry Gin Smash? This wonderful recipe comes from my favorite the Kitchn with its brilliant ideas. According to to the Kitchn a ‘smash’ is a ‘thing’. It is a cocktail involving herbs, sugar, fruit, and booze – which ones seem to be up to you. This pretty drink speaks for itself, with it’s the super tasty mixture of lime, sugar, strawberries, and gin, and a fashionable mint sprig garnish.

Try my Smash recipe as your Friday Cocktail, or feel free to fashion your own creations.

The Strawberry Gin Smash ingredients are very simple, you can get them anyway at your home. Grab some strawberry and you are good to go. We used the leftover to make some Strawberry Cakes.

Like the julep smashes have come to include all sorts of fruit, and this one showcases sweet, ripe red strawberries. You can choose your spirit — rum, brandy, whiskey, and gin (my favorite!) all work. Add lemon, lime juice, or bitters to muddle with your sugar, or skip the sugar and top with a spritz. Basil and lemon balm, as well as the traditional mint, have made their way into smashes, too.

Ingredients |

  • 3 Strawberry, sliced
  • 2 tbsp of Gin
  • 250 ml of Tonic Water
  • 1 tbsp of caster sugar
  • Juice from a quarter lime wedge
  • Sprig of fresh mint to garnish

Method |

Take a big tumbler and add the teaspoon of sugar. Squeeze the quarter of lime onto the sugar and give it a stir. Slice 2 of the strawberries and add them to the sugar and lime. Give them a slight muddle with a teaspoon then add a handful of ice. Pour on the gin, top up with tonic water, stir then garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Guzzle this refreshing drink at your leisure.

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Ang Ku Kueh

Ang Ku Kueh

Hello April! It has been a tough week for my family. Our beloved grandma passed away last week – it is such a heartbreaking news for us. There is a lot of reflection and guilty. However, I ended up choosing to think of the goods. Therefore, I remember how much my grandma loves to eat all the traditional delights. This month I decided to paint the delights my grandma loves.

Ang Ku Kueh, aka red tortoise cakes! They are shaped to look like tortoise shells. A popular local snack in Singapore, it is also one of me and my grandma favorite traditional delights since young.

I remember my mom will always get me a box of Ang Ku Kueh after my visit to the Chinese clinic. As the medicine is always too bitter for me, the Ang Ku Kueh is the best treats for me. The sweet mung bean filling and soft chewy skin melt in my mouth. However one of my favorite flavors will be the yam filling. Both I and my grandma loves yam a lot, it is one of our go to ingredients for desserts.

I feel like having one of the Ang Ku Kueh now, but I know it breaks my heart knowing my grandma will not be eating it with me now. I miss you, grandma!

xoxo, Joe

TRAVEL

Thailand Travel Journal | Bangkok


When life gives you a lemon you return them with lots of happiness as revenge. Just embrace the little things of life before regretting about it! While what’s more than taking a short trip singing and laughing with a lovely friend together.

Well, I didn’t go to Bangkok lately but I was thinking to share this set of photographs taken out from my hard disk. There are so many interesting photographs just hiding without knowing.

The trip was dated back in late 2016 which I know it’s overdue for a super long period. Having this trip is my second time to Bangkok and it’s much interesting compared to my first trip there. I got to go to different cafe hopping and embracing their street and art life. Unlike the tourist impression, Bangkok is pretty actively trendy with their arts, food and youth culture. You will discover new thing each day on the street and their food in a cheaper manner. I hope you enjoy taking on a visual journey with me.

 

xoxo, Angela.

Credit | All shots used are taken by us.

Moodboard

Mood Board | Little Bit

Every little bit of details will change the mood of a room, in any part of your house. Adding little fun factor to the wood, marble or metal surface simply will spark up some glow to the environment.

When you think of a palette of wood and white, a sleek environment might come to mind, or even a modern sunroom. But this neutral and serene pairing can also be a winning combination for the bedroom as well. White adds a clean, calm feeling to a room, while the warm tones and organic textures of wood create depth and visual interest, particularly against a white backdrop.

Therefore to speak for yourself, made your room with your voice. Find and decorate with your favourite pieces of artwork, choose interesting fabric for your cushion or even pick up a little pot of plant on a weekend market. All little things that you choose and the display tell a story – your story.

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

xoxo, Angela

Healthy Breakfast

Rainbow Quinoa Sushi Rolls with Wasabi Mayo

Happy Good Friday, how is the planning of Easter Day doing? It’s has been a busy week this year thus we didn’t do much to celebrate Easter Day. This holiday we make a Rainbow Quinoa Sushi Rolls to treat our stomach.

This sushi is similar to the one we have previously, Tuna Broccoli and Quinoa Sushi but it contains more vegetables that it. It tastes more simple and refreshing than the Tuna Broccoli and Quinoa Sushi.

It’s simple, elegant and delicious. Quinoa adds a faint crunch that rice doesn’t, and the nutty flavor really makes the other ingredients sing. I chose tuna because it’s the easiest sushi grade fish for me to find, but this would also be delicious with salmon, yellowtail, shrimp or even grilled chicken.

To cut that perfect slice of sushi, start by placing uncut nori rolls in the refrigerator for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting. Use a wet knife to cut for clean and even cut sushi. Remember to clean your knife every once or twice you slice the sushi.

Ingredients |

  • 1 cup cooked Mixed Quinoa
  • 3 Nori Sheets
  • 1 carrot, zucchini
  • 1/2 purple cabbage
  • 250g of canned tuna in oil
  • bean sprouts

Method|

Slice the carrot, zucchini, and cabbage into thin slices. Prepare fillings and set aside.

Line one end of the nori sheet with quinoa and broccoli mixture then top with filling (we top it with carrot, zucchini, bean sprouts, cabbage and canned tuna) all the way across one edge. Gently fold filling end over on itself and continue rolling to form a tight cylinder.

Gently cut through the roll with the sharp knife using very little weight and a back and forward motion. Cut into bite-size pieces (approximately 6 pieces per roll). Leave in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before serving (sushi holds better when chilled).

Serve as is or with soya sauce and wasabi for a dipping sauce.

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Galaxy Donuts

The Galaxy is so big that things happen is a snap second, sometimes you can’t even realize it after it is over. Moreover, people always will seek the ends of the galaxy to avoid that which they need most. This galaxy teaches me one thing, too precious every second of life.

The galaxy is always too big for us to discover. The only way is to spend every second that I could to learn them. But first, let’s have a donut as you will need that extra energy to go through.

“Never apologize for burning too brightly or collapsing into yourself every night. That is how galaxies are made.”
― Tyler Kent White

xoxo, Joe

Craft LIFESTYLE

Simple and Sweet Pom Pom Flower for Easter’s Day

Easter is almost upon us and I love seeing all of the adorable Easter decors; the bunnies, chicks, and carrots are all just too cute! I spent a few minutes this weekend making some adorable Easter pom pom chicks! With the leftover pom pom I make them into the simple and sweet pom pom flower pot.

For those, we don’t have kids at home but want to joy in the fun of Easter day? This is the best craft for you. Moreover, for the flower lover, you can actually brighten up your apartment with flowers without actually using flowers.

I googled around and found a number of tutorials, including several that use the cardboard donut method, which can be found herehere, and here. Unfortunately, I’m impatient and not particularly coordinated, so cardboard donuts were flying everywhere. My favorite method is found in the pom pom tutorial at Bella Dia.

This method makes slightly more yarn scraps, but you can recycle the scraps by using them as stuffing for craft projects, or you can put them in a small fabric pouch and add a few drops of lavender, rose, or another type of essential oil to make a drawer sachet.

After making the pom pom glue them onto a stick and now you will have your pom pom flower. We leave them in this jar we got from Ikea, isn’t it beautiful?

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

SISTOLOGY

We’re Two!

Yesterday marks the second year since we launched Le Plain Canvas.

Surprisingly, we’ve found that writing for it has often been the high point of our week.

Do you have a favorite post? I have many. Indeed, I probably like all of them, but sometimes one or another holds special meaning. One of the best is indeed all the travel post since that’s the best activities I ever like.

Sometimes we re-read old blog posts. They’ve helped us track the trajectory of our second year, and we love looking at the pictures and reading the comments.We sometimes wonder what prompted us to delve into a particular theme, often reminiscing about the spark—a conversation with a staff member, a painting at an exhibition—that led to a specific post.

As we mention in our during our first-year anniversary that we are two individuals and leading a different lifestyle. However, this year we improve the way we communicate and become more organized. Although there are times there is still disagreement but we believe it will only get better.

To celebrate our blog the second anniversary we baked a cake and have a little mini celebration within us. This earl grey cake is both of our favorite (comment down below if you would love to have the recipe). We have a bite of cake and some tea and share our views on what we want to do with the website.

You have been there for us, nurtured us, and fed our soul in more ways than you will ever know. For that, we are eternally grateful.

xoxo, The Sisters (Angela and Joe)

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Bagelnut

Bagelnut

There are the different type of donut, not only in term of flavor but also the shape. The popular one is usually the round one with a hole in the middle. However, recently I came across this that looks like a bagel.

Usually, I’m not a fan of eating one as it’s too tough for me. Thus when I have a chance to have one “bagel” I never want to lose my chance of trying it. Would you rather reach for a bagel or a doughnut in the morning? Hard decision, right? Both are delicious in unique and equally life-changing ways.

xoxo, Joe

RECIPES Weekend Brunch

Tuna Broccoli and Quinoa Sushi

Store-bought sushi is one of those “easy to grab” lunches that most think of as a “healthy” option. But did you know sushi rice contains sugar? Most sushi fillings also contain some kind of food allergens such as gluten and soy (found in soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, deep fried crumbing), dairy (found in Japanese mayonnaise) and preservatives and sugar (found in marinades).

Why not make your own quinoa sushi that is full of fresh and unprocessed ingredients for a simple, nourishing lunch. These sushi rolls are a great lunch for at home or to take in a packed lunch. Kids love these sushi rolls too. In this recipe, we substitute starchy white rice for high protein quinoa and blended broccoli but you can also make these rolls simply just with protein and vegetables.

There are a lot benefit for these sushi roll, let’s start with just three simple one;

  • Quinoa Sushi contains healthy protein, slow-release carbohydrates and fiber providing you with a satisfying and filling lunch or snack. Quinoa is a high protein, gluten-free alternative to rice that provides a healthy source of slow release carbohydrates.
  • Nori (edible seaweed) is rich in iodine needed for a healthy thyroid function. Nori is also a source of the minerals calcium, iron and magnesium.
  • Choosing quality protein options such as cooked fish or canned salmon, tuna or cooked chicken adds extra protein and nutritional content to your rolls. We choose canned tuna in oil.

Instead of quinoa, you can use ‘cauliflower/broccoli rice’. To make cauliflower/broccoli rice simply grate cauliflower/broccoli florets and steam or pan fry until just tender. However, instead of choosing just one we combine both together – the broccoli and quinoa.

It’s simple, elegant and delicious. Quinoa adds a faint crunch that rice doesn’t, and the nutty flavor really makes the other ingredients sing. I chose tuna because it’s the easiest sushi grade fish for me to find, but this would also be delicious with salmon, yellowtail, shrimp or even grilled chicken.

To cut that perfect slice of sushi, start by placing uncut nori rolls in the refrigerator for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting. Use a wet knife to cut for clean and even cut sushi. Remember to clean your knife every once or twice you slice the sushi.

Ingredients |

  • 1 cup cooked Mixed Quinoa
  • 3 Nori Sheets
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1 cucumber
  • 250g of canned tuna in oil
  • kale

Method |

Prepare fillings and set aside. We slice the cucumber and soak in hot water for a minute and dried the kale leaves. Place nori sheets on a flat surface and run wet fingers along the edge.

Line one end of the nori sheet with quinoa and broccoli mixture then top with filling (we top it with cucumber, kale, and canned tuna) all the way across one edge. Gently fold filling end over on itself and continue rolling to form a tight cylinder.

Gently cut through the roll with the sharp knife using very little weight and a back and forward motion. Cut into bite-size pieces (approximately 6 pieces per roll). Leave in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before serving (sushi holds better when chilled).

Serve as is or with soya sauce and wasabi for a dipping sauce.

Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

A Paint Portrait DESIGN

Week 29 | Project 52

Title: Zachary
Instagram’s account: –

Don’t you think he is adorable, maybe I haven’t painted the cuteness of him yet? My family and friends] said that I’ve already smitten by him since all the time when I spoke of him my eye spark!

I’m not that good with children despite my love for kids. But believed me that there is something about him that I really enjoy all the time spent. With him, I realised that happiness is actually found in simple things, such as spending time with my nephew around the room space is more than enough. His laughter just make me forgot all the trouble and stress in life! Do you have anyone around you just simply bring you some laughter?

xoxo, Angela
Illustration | Angela Leong

Moodboard

Mood Board | Wooden X Marble

We’re someone who’s not generally into using a lot of bright colors to decorate our home. And one of the main things we grapple with is how to use muted shades without my rooms looking bland. To add interest to a largely neutral home is to embrace the beauty of different materials. Which brings us on to our current obsession: marble and wood!

The combination of these two materials makes the kitchen looks very warm and inviting to me. Moreover, the wooden cabinets go very well with the black handles and the marble countertop and splash guard. We like the combination of open shelving and top cabinets against the wall as well. It makes for ample storage possibilities, but also an area to display your nicest things (like the lamp, plant and pretty cups in this case).

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Melonut

Melonut

Watermelon is one of my favorite fruit other than banana. There is time I wondering what does it feel like when combining fruit and donut together.

Heck, they don’t even have to taste like watermelons (although they could if you’re into that sort of thing). You could make them cotton candy if you wanted (in which case you’d get extra awesome foodie points for REALLY messing with people).

Now I can’t wait to make my painting a reality. What do you think?

xoxo, Joe

Drink RECIPES

Watermelon Soda

During the summer we have some leftover Summer Tea Melonade. Thus we decided to make the most simple drink we ever have for the hot weather. You will not only love it but it’s also a great conversation starter.  Trust me, people will have a million questions for you. In fact, it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes.

It will be a nice drink when you want something refreshing for the spring. You can use soda water or sparkling water for this drink. For me, my favorite is ice cream soda as adding cubes of “ices” I just simply create a new drink. For those, who don’t love gases in there drink you can add them to your water, do spice up the bland drink.

Ingredients |

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of white tea
  • 3 tablespoons  of fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups frozen watermelon cubes
  • spring of mint, for serving
  • can of soda water

Method |

Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add sugar; stir until dissolved. Add tea bags and steep 4 minutes.

After the 4 minutes, remove the tea bags and press gently to release liquid. Let cool completely before refrigerating until cold. Blend mixture with lemon juice and watermelon cubes until smooth. Pour the mixture into the ice makers, freeze it to ice. Serve the watermelon cube with soda water.

Grab a water melon and mix the drink, share with us do you like it. Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!

xoxo, Joe

DESIGN Project 52

Week 28 | Project 52

Title: You are Star!

It has been 4 weeks since I pen down on my Wacom. I’m really bad at keeping track on my schedule these days. February we were busy with all the preparation for Chinese New Year and celebration. As it is really huge for our family tradition with all family and friends gathering together.

While right after the festive season, I was so busy and catching up on all works and ongoing project. I even have to refuse a few projects that I’m keen to work on. I won’t said all is done now but I’m going to get some break this couple of week for a trip. It’s uncertain but exciting I guessed especially I’m going to my dream city London!

Sorry for the being side-track all the time, this week this portrait is dedicated to all of our readers. Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. Quoted by Harriet Tubman

You are Star, Superstar yourself!

LIFESTYLE Moodboard

Mood Board | Nerd Chair

We have been searching that perfect chair for our working desk for too long. And this time we came across this Nerd Chair by David Geckeler. With seamless integration of the back and seat rendered in wood, the Nerd Chair is both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. With its unique classic Scandinavian feel condensed into a design.

Have you noticed the lovely shades of rich green floating? That green hue will be the perfect color for our working desk. What do you think?

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

 

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Sweet Berry Donut

Sweet Berry

It’s the second week of March, which is time for my second donut – Sprinkles Berry. Since I’m in the spirit of adventure lately, I decided to try a little doodle. I did a quick pencil contour sketch and then dove right in with watercolor. My sweet tooth immediately made me think of donuts and little else so this was pretty much inevitable. Seriously, I can’t think of much else and I’m wondering if the donut shop nearby is still open.

As a kid, I liked a bit of frosting or sprinkles, but as an adult, I’m rather enamored with the simplicity of this variety. However, it always good to have some of this yummy sprinkles. It’s still full of too many calories to count, but it’s so incredibly worth it!

But, I’ll show some restraint, like I did for today’s sketch. Just a few colors and quick washes to get the idea across. A rather appropriate approach to something that is just an illustration of a dream.

xoxo, Joe

Healthy Breakfast RECIPES

Roasted Nuts with Raspberry Jam Waffle

Ah, waffles! Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside – a delicious, sweet breakfast! Waffles are definitely more of an American thing (and a Belgian thing, I guess!) That’s not to say us don’t enjoy a good waffle you just don’t see them as much here.

I’m not really a big breakfast person in general, I love breakfast foods I just tend to eat them later in the day (I know, I know I should eat breakfast every day but I don’t)

Previously we made Banana Toast with Macadamia butter and chia seed along with this waffles. As there are times we prefer sweet food in the morning when we will be having a long day. These waffles are just what we needed. The waffles are usually a little tangy but the jam sweetens it up, and the raspberry jam can be interchanged with any sweet fruit jam or preserves.

Ingredients |

  • 2 slices waffles
  • 1 tablespoon natural raspberry jam
  • ½ tablespoon chopped pistachio
  • maple syrup (optional)

Method |

Toast waffles spread ½ tablespoon raspberry jam on each slice. Top with chopped pistachio nuts. Drizzle maple syrup on it. Enjoy!

Share with us your version! Take a photo of yours, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see yours!

xoxo, Joe

 

Moodboard

Mood Board | Chinoiserie Chic

When it comes to Chinoiserie Home, Navy Blue and White always comes to my mind first. Using a fondness for Chinese and Peranakan motifs, and an art collection, you can create an understated look that did not feel too maximalist or cluttered.

With wooden floors help bring the rich hues of the furniture and accessories together. A plush curved sofa, clad in blue velvet, is the highlight of the living room. Moreover, with sparkling glass chandeliers added a bold, contemporary touch to the Oriental-style painting and cabinets in the kitchen area.

You might think of chinoiserie as heavy and garnish, but it can be refreshing and even light too. Such frames your plates collation to the wall as an “exhibition”. It can be an enjoyment.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

Our Table Stories RECIPES

Almond Basil Pesto for anything, everything

We all know how easy a pesto paste could be made. If you don’t, just simply follow our method. We shared Fresh Herb Pistachio Pesto Paste before however if you preferred something even with high level of health benefit. You got to try this – Almond Basil Pesto! You eat it with anything and everything you like. It tastes way better than the guacamole!

Actually, people around us asked what do we usually eat! Especially me, I’m quite concerned with food I eat therefore I always will search for food that brings health benefit to us. We love almonds! It contains lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. You could name everything you search from the internet that is good. Almond oil and milk have been the trend these days. While the health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels and etc. They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss. That’s the reason why we been indulging and even have it in our pesto!

Ingredients |

  • 2 cups of green vegetables (we used basil leaves and baby spinach)
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Almonds
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • season with salt and pepper

Method |

Toast the almond in a small pan over low heat with no oil and butter – stir and shake the pan until the almond is fragrant and toasty. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the almond pesto and pulse until mostly smooth.

Share with us if you like the taste of it! Take a photo of yours, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see yours!

xoxo, Angela.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Choco-mint Donut

Choco-mint Donut

Hello folks, it’s a new month – March which means we are going to have a new theme for #themooninsight. This month I will be painting different kinds of donuts. There’s a saying “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy donuts. And that’s kind of the same thing.”

I am not a fan of chocolate mint but if it’s on the donut it will be a dream come true. We have these weapons of mass destruction on every street corner, and they’re called donuts, cheeseburgers, French fries, potato chips, junk food. Our kids are living on a junk food diet.

xoxo, Joe

Moodboard

Mood Board | Kids in Style

It is no surprise that children spend a lot of time in their bedroom. Used for sleeping, playing and working, it follows that their space should be a reflection of their little personalities.

When it comes to children’s decor, my eye is always drawn to white, airy rooms with playful details to add warmth and color. There’s space to let him play unrestricted, with stylish storage boxes to tidy away any clutter afterward.  To find a balance and you can do this by adding more soft tones. Moreover, textures such as wooden accents, a fun wallpaper or contrasting prints.

Stylish, practical, fun, cozy and comfortable. Our selection of children’s bedroom decorating ideas will keep the kids happy from toddler to teen and all ages in-between. Time to release your inner child.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

RECIPES Weekend Brunch

Roasted Mushroom Panini

After having the Panini at Animal Orchestra and making our very own version of Champagne Ham & Cheese Panini we have fallen in love with it. During the month of spring with all the rain and wind, all we need is some comfort food. Thus we decided to recreate the Panini again and this time in mushroom flavor.

This time we made our version of Walnut Basil Pesto as we believed the best food comes from fresh ingredients. You must be thinking we waste time making them when you can buy it. I can promise you it is different!

With the homemade pesto, this panini tastes nuttier than the previous one we made. We are loving this much as even bites you will taste the juicy mushroom and chunky nut at the same time. Having it with the caramelized onion, mushroom, and Swiss melt it was heaven! Moreover, this would be a great lunch option or a delicious dinner with a soup on the side! Omg, yes!

With much experience in making them, we don’t make our mistake like last time. Moreover, we discovered more tips for it.

  • When using the toaster oven, and you are worried about cheese oozing out onto your toaster oven’s heating element (the burnt cheese smells horrible), then place on a baking sheet. Toast for 3 minutes, then flip over and toast 1 minute more. You can also make this on a panini grill.
  • Advance preparation: You can assemble this sandwich and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to a day. Toast when ready.

Ingredients |

  • ½ pound mushrooms (white or cremini), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 slices whole-grain bread
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons minced chives
  •  Handful of arugula
  • 3 tbsp of grated Gruyère cheese

Method |

Preheat oven to 200 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Toss mushrooms with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and thyme leaves and spread in an even layer on the baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until mushrooms are bubbling and moist. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

If desired, rub one side of each slice of bread with the cut clove of garlic.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the cheese over 1 of the slices (on the side you rubbed with garlic). Top with half the mushrooms (use the other half for another sandwich or another recipe). Sprinkle chives over the mushrooms and top with a handful of arugula and remaining cheese. Top with remaining slice of bread (garlic-rubbed side down) and press down firmly. Drizzle remaining olive oil over top slice.

Glazed it with olive oil, grilled it on the pan with a pot press down firmly on top. Grilled it for 3 minutes and flip and do the same on the other side.

Hope you try some of these bad boys! Share with us your version! Take a photo of yours, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see yours!

xoxo, Joe

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Sun Flower

Sun Flower

It’s been a while since I spend times with my friends. Years pass and every one of us has grown up, we have our jobs and family. Which means we have lesser time for each other.

There are times I felt that growing up is never easy. I always hold on to things that were. You wonder what’s to come. However, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come. The thing is, we didn’t have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves for growing up.

However, I always know that no matter how old I am my friends will be there for me and I will.

“True friends are like bright sunflowers that never fade away, even over distance and time.” – Marie Williams Johnstone

xoxo, Joe

Moodboard

Mood Board | Blossom Red

In the month of February, it’s a month of romance, passion, family and loved. It’s a month for Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year. And to use a color to describe this festival, it’s red.

The red family goes hand-in-hand with dramatic settings to set the perfect stage to stun your guests and stop them dead in their tracks. Adding an accent color of red, magenta, and royal purple, brings a sense of play into a room and allows for enriching bland decor with a pop of bold intrigue.

Not to mention a vibrant accent wall brings in a sense of modern flair by adding a major focal point. Add some red element for the house create a warm and welcoming entrance. It stylish entrances shout hospitality, happiness and positive. We are certainly a fan.

xoxo, Joe

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

Festivals TRAVEL

Chinatown Night Market Photo Journal

Before the Lunar New Year, we all anticipate for the festival to arrive. Just like the Thanksgiving and the Christmas, there is a long preparation before-hand. However, unlike the western, on the eve there are still a lot of people working to earn the last bit before going home. As many business-men will self-declare themselves for a long 15 days holiday to have an annual rest after a long year of work.

While Singapore, Chinatown it has the longest history of having night markets during the festive season. Many would only head down to enjoy the lively vibes a couple week before the Lunar New Year. While some would also head down to Chinatown for the countdown on the Lunar New Year eve as well. Therefore, many Chinese(s) only feel like the year started only after the Lunar New Year.

This year, both Joe and I decide to go to the night market to do the last minute shopping on the Lunar New Year eve. As every year we will join the crowds for some cheap bargain as you would be unable to believe how cheap it can be. We simply stuck in between the human traffic and couldn’t take more photographs.

red and orange lighted up the streets 

the street flooded with shoppers

everyone is selling at half price or lower to get home for the reunion dinner

xoxo, Angela.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

So every year we have two new years, one during the first day of the year and one during the first day of the Chinese calendar. This year is very different than usual, usually, on the first day, it will be near to empty around my house (as people are busy visiting). However, this year it’s still very crowded on the streets.

Since I wasn’t visiting, so I end up practicing baking at home. Please stay tuned for more amazing recipes.

Anyway, it’s always nice to have some holiday. Wishing year one great health and a Happy Lunar New Year!

xoxo, Joe

Our Table Stories RECIPES

Totoro Pineapple Tart

Over the past few weeks has been super insane, we are busy with preparing for Lunar New Year! It’s so significantly important for the Chineses, just like Christmas for the Caucasian. We have been doing a lot of shopping, cooking, and preparation. This year both Joe and I decided to make some goodies to give away – pineapple tarts.

Totoro is an Instagram character that people love too put on their food. Because of its distinct color and shape, it is always easy to make them into food. There Totoro Pineapple Tarts takes longer to make then the usually ones as  there is lots of details to take note of, however the final product is worth it.

Pineapple tarts are basically a cookie with a pineapple filling, in a buttery and crumbly pastry. They are mostly referred as pineapple tarts in Malaysia and Singapore.

The filling is from fresh and juicy pineapple, which is cooked and reduced to a golden-color pineapple jam filling. No words can describe just how awesome they taste, and I can’t think of any, any, cookies that would top this. Simple as that!

We have always wanted to make pineapple tart for the new year, however, we always didn’t have the chance to. With lots of try and error, these time will finally, successfully make them.  To make them start by making the pineapple filling ahead to let it cool.

Ingredients |

  • 2 whole pineapples (8 lbs / 3 1/2 kg) or 5 lbs (2 1/2 kg) pineapple flesh
  • 1/2 tablespoon cloves, optional
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups (250 – 300 g) sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method |

Cut the stalk off the pineapple and follow the skin. Make sure all divits are removed. Slice the pineapple flesh into pieces and blend in a blender until they become the puree. Add the pineapple puree and cloves to a non-stick pot and cook on medium heat, constantly stirring to avoid burning.

When the pineapple is almost dry, add the sugar and lemon juice, stir to combine well. Lower the heat to simmer and continue to stir until the pineapple filling turns golden in color and becomes very sticky. Transfer the pineapple filling out, remove the cloves and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks butter (350 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 oz (100 g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 18 oz (500 g) all-purpose flour or plain flour’
  • black and white food coloring

Method |

Cream the butter and condensed milk until light and fluffy. Add in the egg yolk one at a time, and beat until well combined. Mix in the flour slowly to form the pastry dough. The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your hands. Take 1/5 of the dough and colored it with white coloring, and the remaining using a bit of black coloring.

Divide the pineapple filling and dough into 100 portions. Roll them both into balls. To wrap, use your palms to roll each dough and then flatten it.

Add a pineapple ball in the middle and fold the edges of the dough up to cover the filling. Finish it off by rolling it into a round ball. Shape it into an avocado shape, add in the details of the tummy and ears.

Place the pineapple cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the back of a paring knife, cut the inverted “V” shape on the cookie. Repeat the same until all ingredients are used up.

Bake in a preheated oven at 330F (165C) for about 20-22 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Transfer them out and cool on a wire crack before storing in an airtight container.

Hope you try some of these bad boys! Share with us your version! Take a photo of yours, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see yours!

xoxo, Angela.

A Paint Portrait Project 52

Week 27 | Project 52

Title: Heart

I don’t paint people every day, sometimes I do paint randomly. Mixing brushes and colours and it could be where your creatives begin. That’s what I believed in as an artist and a creative.

We are sending this hear to everyone, today wasn’t a day just for lovers but everyone we want to appreciate they love for. There goes, “be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.’ John Wooden

Happy Valentines everyone!

xoxo, Angela
Illustration | Angela Leong

Our Table Stories RECIPES

Conversation Hearts Cookies

We figured Valentine’s Day would be the perfect opportunity to get wordy on some heart-shaped cookies, so these Conversation Heart Sugar Cookies were born! We went a little hog wild making up phrases or putting our favorite lyrics on them. 

For the basic sugar cookie recipe, you’ll need one that makes for a firm cookie that won’t spread at all as it bakes. This recipe held up like a champ! Start with that to create your plain dough.

Once your dough is made, separate it into as many sections as you’d like different colors of cookie. We separated into three sections. Color each different section of cookie with some food coloring. We colored each part differently with these drop amounts:

  • bright pink = 6 drops mauve
  • yellow = 4 drops yellow
  • tael = 4 drops tael

Drop the coloring onto the ball of dough that you’re working with and knead it until the coloring is evenly spread. Do this with all colors. Once the colors are mixed, lightly flatten each dough ball and wrap it in its own individual plastic wrap. Chill all dough for at least 1 hour; we let ours chill overnight.

Once the dough is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator about 5 minutes before you plan on rolling it out to soften a bit. Prep your baking pans with a bit of nonstick spray and set your oven to 350. Flour your surface and rolling pin generously.

Roll one color of dough out to about 1/4″ thick. Cut out your cookie shapes and place them on the baking sheet. (We strongly recommend putting them on the baking sheet before stamping the letters into them!)

Then go to town with your cookie imprinting set and make them say whatever you want! This would actually be a super fun thing to do at a Valentine’s (or Galentine’s!) party. You could do it with kids, too — set up the cookies and let them stamp words to their hearts’ content. Stamp out all of your messages and place the cookies in the oven to bake!

The recipe calls for 8-12 minutes in the oven but we baked ours for about 6 minutes. Just keep a close eye on them, as they’re pretty delicate and will burn easily.

Ingredients|

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • Zest of 2 lemons, divided
  • 2 tbsp of lavender buds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 egg yolk

Method |

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. In a large mixing bowl, mix the lavender and lemon zest in the granulated sugar. Leave it for 20 minutes for it to infuse.

Start by mixing the flour, baking powder, and salt evenly in a food processor. Then add in the soft butter, beat the mixture it until looks like a coarse sand before adding in the sugar mix. Lastly, add egg yolk and vanilla extract, mix it until the dough comes together. Wrap using a clear wrap and leave it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

When it is done, on a lightly floured surface roll out shortbread until 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes and transfer to a baking sheet.Imprint the text of yours on the cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Hope you try some of these bad boys! Share with us your version! Take a photo of yours, send us an email, tag us on Instagramtweet us, anything. We love to see yours!

xoxo, Joe

Moodboard

Mood Board | Fairy Lights

There is a madness trend out there all about fairy lights. Moreover, fairy lights are no longer reserved for outside barbecues or the Christmas tree. Take inspiration from these beautiful Pinterest post and use them to make your bedrooms look completely magical.

Whether you call them rice lights, fairy lights or string lights, it would be rare for you to find a home without these. You could just string these along with a wall or you could dress them up a little for a more mature look. A little string of them, it can blink up your room when you didn’t want to use the main light or lamp.

Sometimes, the intensity of fairy lights can be a little too bright. One way of handling this would be with a dimmer switch. Another way to soften the brightness of fairy lights is to hang it behind a sheer curtain. Use this to define an accent wall or to create a headboard a part of your bedroom décor.

Do you love this fairy light?

xoxo, Angela

Credit | All shots used on the mood board via our Pinterest boards.

DESIGN The Moon's Insight

The Moon’s Insight | Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

People honor their love for one another by spending time together and sending flowers. The ritual of expressing love and affection goes far beyond the courtly love of Chaucer’s time. He may have been the first person to link the Catholic Saint Valentine with romance, but today Valentine’s Day is a time to show appreciation for family and friends as well.

Since my grade school days, I’ve likely passed around candy hearts with Valentine’s Day messages. Now that I am older and muValentine’s card list is smaller, thus I have more time to fully express myself.

Other than sending the message on to the things people love to receive is the flower, especially roses. There are lots of meaning when it comes to the color and number of roses you give. When it comes to loves red color is the one you go for. Guys out there be careful of what you buy. However, for me, the best flower are those that are still in the soil.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

xoxo, Joe