Posts tagged Food For Thought

Mother’s Day Gift Idea Roundup

Mum and me

With Mothers’ Day just around the corner, I thought it might be a good idea to have a quick Mother’s Day gift idea roundup! I know how hard it can be to get Mum that perfect gift, but there are some ideas that can come pretty close, so I hope these ideas can inspire you like they inspire me!

Saturday Morning in a Box
From Make the Best of Everything

Mums usually don’t get to relax and sleep in on the weekend because they pick up the slack when the rest of us are taking the time off. So, why not give your mom an experience in a box? It doesn’t have to be Saturday Morning in a Box, but you can always add all of your mum’s favourite things for a relaxing morning – and then give her the morning off!

Edible Flower Pots
From Flour Arrangement

These uber cute rose cake pops are only made cuter by them sitting in ice cream cone flower pots!!! They look so simple to make, and definitely could be a part of a breakfast in bed for mum.

Rose and Vanilla Tea


Speaking of roses, I do have to toot my own horn. =) I made this Rose and Vanilla Tea infusion for my mum this year, gifted in a cute thermal cup. With black tea tips readily available, why not experiment and make your own infusion for mum? Maybe with some freshly baked scones for breakfast?

Glass Jar Photo Frames
From Rikki Hibbert

Photos for mum that bring back old memories are always a great idea, so how about this nifty way of reusing different glass jars to make unique looking photoframes? So simple and quick – the hardest part is deciding which photos to print out. 

Mothers’ Day Envelope
From Cherished Bliss

If you’re the card-giving type, how about a personalised envelope? With some twine, fancy borders and a bit of creativity, you can give mum a lovely card inside of a lovely envelope. Not keen on a card? Why not use the envelope to contain gifts, like tickets to the theatre for her and dad?

Tetris Cookies
From Sweet Explorations

For the mum that loves Tetris – I know that there are many. I’m looking at you Cayte! What better than some Tetris cookies to snack on while you and/or your siblings valiantly volunteer to do the housework while she puts her feet up?


I hope that these ideas help you out like they’ve helped me. What are you giving your mum for Mothers’ Day this year?

Stories From My Childhood, Part 1

Happy Lunar New Year y’all!!! (And happy Valentine’s Day if you celebrate it!) Chinese New Year has always been a tasty and food-filled tradition for me and this year hasn’t been any different. Most of my childhood memories are closely associated with food, and growing up in a food obsessed culture, it’s not hard to see why.

two pictures featuring both the soup and dry versions of beef kway teow, a local noodle dish.
From top: Beef Kway Teow in soup, with tendon, tripe, meatball and braised beef pieces, and Beef Noodle in thick gravy, with salted vegetables and braised beef pieces

Every Sunday afternoon my mom would bring me to music class, and on the way there, there used to be a really popular Beef Kway Teow stall which had queues going around the block. As the class was at 1pm, we would often visit that stall for lunch, and I would always top off my Beef Noodles (dry) – with it’s thick gravy, fragrant toasted peanuts and crunchy salted vegetables – with extra chilli sauce with its tangy undertones and capsaicin kick, and cinchalok – which is an incredibly tasty condiment made of salted krill, chilli, shallots and plenty of lime. A taste bud explosion, I love the combination of the silky noodles drenched in thick gravy, textured with tender pieces of beef, and punctuated with the high notes of chilli and cinchalok.

A layout of two pictures featuring a busy hawker centre scene on the top, and brilliantly lit fluorescent signs of the food these stalls offer.

Hawker centres are often a crazy maze of people driven by hunger. Besides the dozens of stalls – some selling similar food – vying for your attention, you have to navigate getting a table, not losing your dining companions, and making sure that your table does not get commandeered by other, louder groups.

So why go to a hawker centre? Often the food is wayyy better (and cheap! $3 is often enough to get you a meal), and really, isn’t good food meant to be paired with the appropriate atmosphere?

From top: Chee Cheong Fun, Fried Yam Cake, Fried Carrot Cake
From top: Chee Cheong Fun, Fried Yam Cake, Fried Carrot Cake

Although these lovely morsels aren’t anywhere near to all of what hawker centres in Singapore have to offer, these are certainly some of my must-haves when I visit home.

When I was little, my mother used to put me in a pram and take me for a walk to Seletar Market. There, there was a friendly matronly lady who, upon seeing that I liked the Fried Carrot Cake (Cai Tow Kuey), used to have a plate ready whenever my mother wheeled my pram to a table. Fried Carrot Cake is so named because of the little pops of diced salted radish that give the dish its characteristic taste. Add in fried egg, and diced rice cakes and there you have it! It comes in a white version and a black version, with the black version having the addition of dark soy sauce and sweet soy sauce. Unfortunately the market has since been torn down in favour of high rise apartments, but I still remember it fondly as a big part of my childhood.

When I was older, I attended a kindergarten that was part of the childcare programme organized by my mother’s workplace. The building that my mom worked in was located conveniently near Amoy Street Food Centre, where a middle aged man with a round belly and a white singlet dished up the first food that I was truly addicted to – Chee Cheong Fun. A rice flour mixture is first steamed into thin sheets of noodle, then rolled. Usually served with a sweet, thick sauce, I now prefer to unravel the rice noodles and toss it in a mixture of soy sauce and sesame seed oil. The silky noodles carry the hint of salt from the soy, and the fragrance from the sesame seed oil. These plain rice noodle rolls are sold in most Asian stores in Australia as well, if you fancy steaming them and dressing them yourself at home. =)

Food, to me, is a great conveyor of memories, and these are foods that give me constant (and enjoyable) flashbacks.

What are your childhood favourites?


daiso lemon squeezer

Super cute lemon squeezer from Daiso!

We are turning Japanese as we crack the perfect soft set egg, go for a train ride and find our inner zen garden. We learn about Onsen Eggs, Sushi trains and watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Download the audio file here (6.2MB, 12:28), or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

From the Frypan – We’ve cracked it! (00:21)

This week it’s more about the water urn than the frypan. I finally get the Japanese Onsen eggs right! It’s been awhile, but the rewards are so tasty.

Waka Waka – Planes, Buses and Trains (04:09)

In Waka Waka this week we take a ride on three different sushi trains in the city. Which is your favourite?

From the Ice Box – I dreamed a dream… (07:33)

We watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi and get inspired, and are loving this lemon tap (pictured above) from Japanese chain Daiso!

And don’t forget to tune in to our Trivia of the Week. Full of essential nutrients and vitamins.

Queen Make-At-Home Gelato Kits, Part 1

Layout 1

From left: Lemon and Chilli Sorbet, Chocolate Gelato with salted butterscotch sauce

I absolutely LOVE receiving things in the mail, and this time it’s Queen Make-At-Home gelato kits!!


Summer has rolled around in a BIG way, and that’s just put me in the mood for ice cream – meaning that these kits have come at the perfect time. I received 3 gelato kits and 1 sorbet, and I wanted very much to do something special with them. I know that being someone who constantly craves variety and surprise, I simply could not just have your run of the mill gelato flavours. But what to make?

Well, the lemon was the easiest to figure out. Something that I absolutely love with my acid, is the burn of chilli. I just love how the citric acid in lemon makes my tastebuds ring like the bells of Notre Dame, and then the capsacin in the chilli just blaze right through, setting them all on fire. Of course, I didn’t want my gelato to make people reach for a glass of water, but I did want it to bite back. And so…

Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice Sorbet

It was simple, really. Lemon sorbet churned with just a touch of good chilli jam. Is there anything more simple? The sorbet turned out refreshing, and yet tantalising at the same time! We had it topped off on lemon-juice-and-maple-syrup-soaked crepes. Because the chilli jam wasn’t knock-your-socks-off spicy, it provided a slight warmth in my throat following the first tang of refreshing lemon. A match made in heaven.

The chocolate gelato was just slightly harder to pair. I wanted something that wasn’t too traditional, but it was a little harder to match unconventional ingredients to a chocolate gelato – in my opinion – as the rich, luxurious texture and deep flavour of the chocolate will just dominate. Yes, it can definitely be argued that there are many different things that can be done with chocolate, but I think that chocolate gelato is a very different beast. You’re not just dealing with the texture, flavour and mouth feel of pure chocolate, but also of the frozen creaminess of the gelato. (And I already used the chilli idea for the lemon.)

But thinking about the creamy texture and luxurious flavour made me think, “Why not just push luxuriousness and decadence to the next level? Surely more of a good thing can’t be bad?”

The answer? Salted butterscotch sauce.

Butterscotch Cocoa

Butterscotch is a relatively simple thing to make. Supposedly you’re meant to use actual scotch in it, but I don’t happen to have it around the home. The recipe seems to work well enough, and can be used to top off any number of desserts.

Salted Butterscotch Sauce

125g Butter
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup cream
Coarse Salt/Sea Salt Flakes

In a shallow pan, melt the butter and whisk in the brown sugar. Once the mixture has come to a boil, add the cream in slowly and whisk to combine. Continue to cook the sauce over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly. Sauce will continue to thicken upon standing. Once cooled, fold in sea salt flakes, careful not to let them fully dissolve into the sauce. Alternatively, sprinkle the salt on just before serving.

I would strongly recommend a small serving of the ice cream and sauce. I’m a person who loves any amount of decadence and hedonism, but even I felt that this was a truly rich combination. Immensely satisfying in small amounts. And given that it’s so easy to make, you can have frozen desserts to last you through those 40C days to come!

What I really like about these kits are that they are so simple, and allow you to concentrate on adding your spin on it without having to worry about things like infusing a particular flavour into the ice cream custard. These flavours are just so basic that you can add any multitude of things to it, and just create your own!

Of course, with great creativity still comes things to look out for, and these are my top things to look out for when making these gelatos:

  • Make sure that you add the liquid component slowly and in parts, whisking to combine before adding the rest. If you add all of the liquid at once, it can be hard to ensure that all the powder dissolves into the liquid to make a homogenous mixture, resulting in a wonky textured ice cream. 
  • Anything that you wish to churn into the ice cream should be somewhat fluid but still of a syrupy consistency. When I added the chilli jam to the first batch of ice cream, I added it straight out of the jar and all the jam just sunk to the bottom. Heating it gently and then allowing it to cool to room temperature helped to ensure that it would mix into the lemon sorbet entirely.
  • If you want to swirl the butterscotch sauce into the gelato, you can, but make sure that the gelato has churned to a thick enough consistency, or the sauce will settle eventually into the bottom of the container.
  • In the pre-cooling process before churning, DO NOT put the gelato straight into the insulated bowl of the churner and put that in the fridge. You will end up with rapidly frozen edges that will cause the paddle of the machine to not turn and following that, very disturbing noises from your ice cream machine.
  • That being said, the pre-cooling process of putting the mixture in the freezer for 20 minutes really helps you get the thick ice cream consistency when you put it into the machine to churn. Otherwise, at the end of 40 minutes of churning you get a semi-frozen tasty soup and is wayyy too thin to swirl flavours through.

But the best part is that these mixtures are so forgiving. You don’t have to worry about overcooking or curdling a custard. Even when I wasn’t able to make a completely homogenised gelato/sorbet mix – I was too eager and put all the liquid component in at once – the gelato still froze to a creamy consistency and was delicious nonetheless.

What are your favourite delicious gelato combinations?

Note: Tammi Kwok of Insatiable Munchies was given Queen Make At Home gelato kits by the nice people at Queen Fine Foods and Beyond the Square Communications.

Trick or Treat!

Picture from Peter Moxom

This week on the podcast we get passionate about curd, we go slightly cuckoo, and get all nice and toasty! We talk about the simplest recipe for passionfruit curd, Coco Cubano at Rouse Hill, novelty toasters, and the mythical Turducken.

Speaking of Turkey, do you have a favourite Turkey recipe? If you do, I’d love to give it a try! Just drop me an email or leave a comment below!

Download the audio file here (4.6MB, 9:12), or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

From the Frypan – Fruits of the Heart (1:21)

What did we get up to the kitchen this week? We share a simple delicious recipe for passionfruit curd, or in fact any sort of fruit curd you’d like to make!

Waka Waka – Cuckoo for Cocoa! (3:04)

This week’s gluttonous adventure comes from the depths of the amazon jungle…or so we like to think. We talk about the new Coco Cubano in Rouse Hill, and ask the question: where can you find the best hot chocolate?

From the Ice Box – Mythical Creatures from the Deep (5:00)

How do you like your toast? In this week’s From the Ice Box we talk about novelty toasters and the mythical Turducken. Can it be done? What other cool things can you do with a Turkey?

And don’t forget to listen to the end for the Trivia of the Week!

Now in Surround Sound!


Photo by grfx_guru

I’m so excited to announce this new project that we’ve been working on in the Insatiable Munchies kitchen!!!! I present to you the Insatiable Munchies podcast, where every week we – Giles and I – talk about our food adventures and musings.

It will be available to subscribe to on iTunes soon, but in the meantime, feel free to click on the link below to have a listen! If you’d like to jump to parts, I’ve also got handy links that will allow you to listen to select sections within the podcast.

This week we search for liquid gold, eat with our hands and are all tied up! We talk about the perfect soft boiled eggs, the best ribs in town, and the japanese art of furoshiki.

I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to drop me an email/comment with any feedback you might have! =)

Download the audio file here (6.6MB, 13:15).

From the Frypan – Liquid Gold (1:12)

From the Frypan is where we talk about what we’ve got up to in the kitchen. This week it’s all about that eggy perfection – how do you like your eggs?

Waka Waka – From Adam to Eve (6:28)

If you are a purely eating foodie, then Waka Waka is the section for you. Inspired by that ever so cute noise that Pac-man makes, this section is all about the sheer ecstasy of gluttony. This week we talk all about ribs and that on the bone experience.

From the Ice Box – All Tied Up! (9:09)

We like all things nerdy and cool here at Insatiable Munchies, and From the Ice Box is where we discuss our cute gadgets, funky fresh events and just generally all things fun! This week we’re all tied up with the Japanese art of Furoshiki. Our packed lunches never looked so good.



As we all know, I have a thing for soft boiled eggs (oh Mappen how I love you!). But rather than making a trip into the city every time I want a soft boiled egg fix, I decided to conduct my own experiments regarding how to get that perfectly soft boiled egg at home. 

Everything I’ve read about soft boiled eggs had processes that were very involved. There were very specific steps that you had to take — the eggs at to be at room temperature (which room are we talking about exactly?) and when you left the eggs n hot water to cook n the residual heat (but how hot did the water have to be exactly?), there were differing times. Surely you could do all of this without gadgetry and extended steps. How do mothers do it in the morning to feed their children? I know that my morning routine simply cannot accommodate a fussy egg cooking process, but I don’t feel like nicely cooked eggs should only be part of a leisurely weekend breakfast.

Out of all the instructions I’ve found online, Heston Blumenthal’s seemed immediately doable. It was simple, and when Heston says that it works every time, then I’m happy to trust him. He said to cover a room temperature egg with just enough cold water and bring it to a boil fast, over high heat. After that, turn the heat off and leave the egg to cook n the residual heat for 6 minutes. Slightly involved, but it sounded doable.

The other method that I tried was one that has been working for me every time. Bring a pot of water to the boil, then take an egg out of the fridge (which is where most of us keep them for convenience sake) and put it in the boiling water and reduce the heat to low so the water is simmering, for 6 minutes.


The results? Heston’s method seemed to produce a really nice hard boiled egg, but hard boiled nonetheless. My method produced a hard boiled white, but with a runny yolk.


I’m not too sure why exactly, but I think the going theory at the moment is that the eggs were too small — I used medium sized eggs, the smiley faces on them got to me! — and maybe too big a pot, because that meant that the water took longer to get to a rolling boil. My method got a consistently runny yolk, but I’ve been experimenting with decreasing the boiling time and increasing the resting time to get to a soft, just-cooked white as well.

I’ll keep you updated on the eggy eggsperiments, but I’m absolutely open to suggestions! What are your secrets to a perfectly set soft boiled egg?

Victor Churchill, Woollahra

Have I gotten your attention? Yes indeed, that is the Anthony Bourdain! Some of you might know that I’ve been all atwitter about meeting him, and it definitely has been the highlight of my week.

But before I tell you about that, let me first share with you why I’ve been so quiet; why I’ve been neglecting my poor blog.

Read More