Posts Tagged ‘ToTT’

Interesting Christmas Presents

Was at ToTT the other day, and I saw some interesting stuff which may make good presents aside from the usual Crabtree & Evelyn or BodyShop gifts?! Seriously, while I do know of a friend that loves the cookies and teas from Crabtree & Evelyn, I tend to have this impression that these 2 stores are the de facto places to go to where you have no idea what to buy and yet still want to buy something presentable. But the queues at Crabtree & Evelyn, have you seen them? The time spent queuing would be much better used by doing some research online to find out good gifts to give for Christmas!

Here are some gifts you can by from ToTT (Tools of the Trade by Siah Huat) for your baker wanna be friends!

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How about an X-mas cupcake kit?

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More cupcake kits… love the pretty cupcake cases! When I see pretty cupcake cases like these, I always have the urge to buy. After my wedding I guess, when I have more time to bake.

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Cupcake cases for boys or the astronomy loving types…

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Happy Birthday to ME!

Happy Birthday to Me Cake

Happy Birthday to me….. I made this chocolate birthday cake because no one else wanted to buy a cake for me. I know how because BITC taught me how. Valrhona chocolate on the inside, Ghirardelli chocolate on the outside. I think it looks quite okay, if I say so myself. It could have been better but I didn’t have a turntable and I had to use the plastic plate as a makeshift base instead of a proper one. I made this at home last night, iced it this morning, and brought it to Il Lido restaurant for my birthday lunch. I wanted to pipe rosettes but there wasn’t enough time. Il Lido kindly provided a little candle plus the white plate.

Happy Birthday to Me Cake slice I ate the ME slice of course…

I celebrated my birthday with my parents and The Partner at Il Lido today. Yesterday, I had a pre-birthday celebration with The Partner at The Prime Society in Dempsey. I had the most fantastic piece of meat I have eaten in a very long time, perhaps ever to date. It was SO DELICIOUS it was almost unbelievable. It was a Wagyu Tri-Tip. More about that in a separate post.

Next week, the celebrations will continue as The Partner will take me to Guy Savoy. Looking forward to that, although I may have to postpone it to space out the rich food. Oh and Restaurant Week’s at the end of March and my friend is taking me to Brasserie Les Saveurs at St Regis. It’s good food galore. Man I love celebrating my birthday like the King of Thailand (ie month long….)

AND, The Partner is taking me to the Tott Store to pick out a kitchen gadget as my birthday gift. Can’t wait!

The Partner’s Cooking

This is a post showcasing the Partner’s cooking, my way of showing my appreciation for his hard work. In this way, maybe I can escape doing the dishes…. But seriously, I love it when he cooks because firstly, this means I get to enjoy healthy home cooked meals tailored to our tastebuds. Secondly, cooking is always cheaper than eating outside, if you know how to cook properly and don’t waste ingredients. 3rdly, I get to enjoy all these in the comfort of the house, without having to travel outside, endure crowds and inefficient service!

Grilled crumbed chicken

Grilled crumbed chicken with veges and rice. Very tasty and juicy even though it’s grilled, meaning it’s very healthy! Don’t you think the chicken looks like it’s from KFC? That’s a good thing cuz I love KFC. Now I just need him to crack the 11 herbs and spices secret.

Bruschetta Bruschetta (2)

Bruschetta. Toppings courtesy of my cooking class at ToTT. Bread courtesy of Bakerzin at myVillage! I realise, I don’t like vinegar in my bruschetta toppings.

Garlic Bread (3)Garlic Bread (2)

Garlic Bread for lunch. Yes it’s healthy as long as you put lots of garlic and don’t overload on the butter. I know you can already see distinct garlic bits on this garlic bread, but for me, I think I need double the amount. I love the zing of the garlic when it comes to garlic bread!

Click on Recipes at the top of the screen to see the good stuff that the Partner has been dishing up and stay tuned for more! BTW, he does the hot kitchen stuff (ie main course). I do the cold kitchen stuff (desserts).

ToTT Cooking Class– Knack with Knives

The other day, I chanced upon a contest on ToTT (Tools of the Trade)’s Facebook. In order to win a free “Knack with Knives” class, all one had to do was to write about a close shave with knives and lessons learnt. I thought, hey I can do that, so I entered the contest. Bam, done in less than 5 minutes. And guess what, my efforts paid off and I got a golden ticket worth 98 bucks!!!

Photos all taken with the iPhone since I figured wielding a knife together with my trusty DSLR would be a tad cumbersome…

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class (5)

The knife in the picture is what is known as a Chef’s Knife. This is the knife that will be used for most of your slicing activities. Another knife I would highly recommend buying is the serrated knife. It has a ridged blade to cut through food with skin such as bread. We never used to have a serrated knife in our kitchen, but during the period when I was fervently baking lots of bread, we bought a serrated knife as it was a pain to cut the bread with the chef’s knife. I usually ended up flattening the bread because a normal chef’s knife just wouldn’t slice through the tough skin!

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class (9)

Chop chop chop, dice dice dice. There is a nifty way to cut onions such that you won’t cry. Chop off the top, chop the onion in half, then kind of flay it without cutting through the bottom. The bottom still holds all the pieces in tact, which then makes it easier for u to dice the onion. According to Chef Ming, the bottom holds the highest amount of tear causing chemicals, so only cut that off last.

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Tomato condiments for the bruschetta we were making – onions, tomatoes, basil, garlic

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With a serrated knife, you can slice up the bread really thinly.

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Voila, the finished product!

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Chef Ming from Jam explaining the ins and outs of using knives.

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Chef Jeremy from Jam slicing and dicing

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Other participants. Btw, I really want to get myself one of those wooden island trolley thingies. It’s so convenient to be able to chop wet food near the sink or dustbin, and after that wheel it to the cooking stove. Anything that cuts down preparation time for me is fantastic.

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class

Coffee and tea for the participants. Not that you have time to drink it once the cooking gets fired up.

The class was totally worth my having to wake up at 8.30am! I really enjoyed myself very much. Although I still feel that $98 is very steep a price to pay for a 2 hour hands-on class, unfortunately cooking classes, especially hands-on ones, are pricey. The affordable ones which are less than $50, held at the Community Centres, tend not be hands-on. If you have spare dough and have entertained the idea that you might like to learn cooking, I would highly recommend doing it. Just take at least 1 class to get your adrenalin pumping. After that, you can rely on cook books if you are self-motivated. I assure you the dividends will pay off when you enjoy the fruits of your labour in time to come.

As a proof of how much I enjoyed the class, I went back home and diced up all my asparagus, mushrooms, onions and garlic for dinner. This would normally have been done by the Partner, while I disappear somewhere and pretend to be busy.

See my previous review on the Tools of The Trade Store as well as the ToTT Bistro.

ToTT Store

896 Dunearn Road 01-01A
Singapore 589472
Store Operating Hours:
Mon -Sun: 10.30am – 9.30pm
Tel: 62197077

http://www.tottstore.com

http://www.oooh-jam.com

ToTT Store (Tools of the Trade) – Review

So I did make it to ToTT over the weekend. It was mighty cavernous I must say. It was so spacious as compared to the Sia Huat Store in Chinatown. Everything was laid out nicely and neatly shelf after shelf, complete with name labels and prices.

I was hoping to find a Pantry Magic lookalike but on a larger scale, but it was not to be. There was very little cutesy, colourful spatulas, spoons, bowls, baking moulds and stuff. The things are also not cheap, so it’s not like an outing to Ikea where you can just indulge in buying items you know you’re probably never going to use. It’s still basically what Sia Huat sells at Chinatown except it looks a bit more sophisticated. The place would be great for business owners who want to find kitchen equipment such as a huge rice cooker to cook rice for 100 people. But if you ever require any particular kitchen equipment or cookware, your best bet is still to go to Sia Huat, but it would be a very utilitarian looking version of it. I don’t think they have that many cookbooks for sale either. If it’s cookbooks you’re after, you’re best going off to Borders, MPH or Kinokuniya.

ToTT’s still worth a visit though, especially if you live around the area. For one, they have this really interesting concept where you buy some cookie dough, decorate it and bake it there and then in the special kitchen. I was there and overheard the kids commenting on just how strange it was to be doing baking there.

Then there’s also the cooking studio, and the Bistro. We had lunch at the Bistro while we were there. Prices were pretty affordable. The Bistro looks like the Ikea canteen, but let’s just say that I don’t think Ikea will be fretting over lost business in the cooked food department. 

ToTT - Salmon

Baked Salmon – So So.

ToTT - Baked Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

 Baked Chicken – The chicken was quite nice, even if a little dry. They were also very generous with the mushrooms in the mushroom sauce. I liked the amount of raisin put within the coleslaw, and I liked the crunch of the slaw.

ToTT - Egg drop soup with Quail Egg

 Egg Drop Soup with Quail Egg – This was definitely a let down. Even the staff knew that and were recommending the mushroom soup. There was a surprise hardboiled quail’s egg in the soup so that was a nice touch. And they certainly are generous with the seaweed too.

ToTT - Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup – This was very nice for a $2.50 soup. It was creamy and thick. Only issue, it was not hot, but I suppose that boils down to teething problems at all new places.

You can order these under the ala carte menu, or you can get the set menu where you choose a mains, soup and free flow soft-drink. You can only choose soft drinks if you take the set menu, which we thought was a bit dumb. We wanted coffee, and coffee is $1, while soft drink is $1.50. Go figure.

ToTT Store

896 Dunearn Road 01-01A
Singapore 589472
Store Operating Hours:
Mon -Sun: 10.30am – 9.30pm
Tel: 62197077

http://www.tottstore.com

http://www.tottstore.com/files/Bistro_menu.pdf

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