Swedapura Kitchen Adventures

One of the important life skills that I have had to learn since moving here is…how to cook. Up till before I left, I was either eating as much Singaporean food as I can or enjoying my mum’s lunch boxes and the last time I had to cook to survive was more than three years ago during exchange. So when I first moved here, Jens was the one who did most of the cooking but eventually I had to start regaining my confidence in the kitchen.

It has been quite an adventure of having to force myself to eat my own sucky food, burning things spectacularly and overloading on seasoning etc. Thankfully those things didn’t/don’t happen too often and cooking has become quite therapeutic for me. It is really quite satisfying to surprise yourself with a nice meal and also watching someone else enjoy your food (thanks Jens).

So here is a little photo journal of some of the things that has come out of my kitchen. Honestly it is not easy to juggle cooking and taking photos at the same time so kudos to all cooking blogs out there. Anyway, here we go…

Starting out with breakfast: 

Breakfast Chia Pudding

Any chia seed lover out there would probably enjoy this easy overnight soak of chia seeds to bulk up a smoothie. This is my daily breakfast on the go because I can just blend some fruits together, pour it in this jar with the pudding and leave the house. It is usually filling enough to last me till lunch and feels like an early morning “bubble tea”.

Shakshukah

For weekends, when I have the luxury of time, I like to attempt pretentious brunch dishes like this shakshukah. Nice to know that I don’t need to pay $20+ for this hearty mix of eggs, tomatoes, feta cheese and spices.

Bacon Golden Mushroom

For snacks, I am happy that I can easily get golden mushrooms at the Asian store here and make things like this pseudo Japanese yakitori dish. I call this a snack because it is usually gone even before I can complete cooking the main dish.

Basil Tomato Soup

Thanks to my Jie’s recommendation, I got myself a handheld blender and it has been one of my best buys here! I use it not only for smoothies but to make soup and because I really LOVE Soup Spoon’s basil tomato soup, I had to attempt to recreate it here. I kind of go through “phases” with food and have since gone through at least 3 pots of soup myself (since Jens doesn’t drink soup). So I probably have had enough soup for awhile.

Sambal Chicken

Now moving on to mains: When I first started cooking meat, I started out on easy mode using sauces like this sambal sauce my mum sent over.

Thai Basil Beef

Or stirfrying minced beef with spices to attempt this Thai basil beef with egg dish.

I have since “graduated” from easy mode to playing around with different marinades and experimenting with different cooking styles. I wouldn’t say that it is harder but it just requires a lot more patience and time. Like what my mum told me, there are no shortcuts in cooking.

Avocado Bacon Pasta

I am a noodles > rice person and you have no idea how often I think about char kway teow or bar chor mee. So initially pasta was my “comfort food” because it was easy and fast. Here was my attempt at using avocado as the sauce and I mixed it with corn and bacon. So yummy!

Fried Tung Hoon

Just recently, after seeing one too many instagram posts, I had to give asian noodles a go. Here is my fried bee hoon attempt which turned out to be fried tung hoon because I bought the wrong noodles. Yes it is quite unbelievable but I have never bought uncooked beehoon before so I don’t know how it looks like. But thankfully I like tung hoon so all is good, hahaha!

Plum sauce chicken

One of the big differences I feel now versus when I was here on exchange is that…I think about Singaporean food more. Perhaps it is the feeling of being far away from home and having to wait a long time till my next visit home or how food is such a big part of family time/social gatherings in Singapore. I can’t quite put a finger on it but hello to everyone at home reading this, I look forward to catching up with everyone of you over good food in December!

And of course I miss my mum’s food a lot too so this was my attempt at her plum sauce chicken. It doesn’t match up to hers but it will do because it makes my home here smell like…home in Singapore (hahaha).

IMG_7176

I have also been having fun trying out different recipes I read online like this cauliflower pizza where the base is made out of cauliflower, egg and some salt and pepper. Pretty amazinggg!

Jens also introduced the idea of eating fruits with food and I have since used a lot of mango/watermelon/pomegranate in our dinners. Meat and fruit is really quite a good combi I must say! I have also experimented with things like zucchini pasta and zucchini chips…and basically anything that is on sale at the supermarket.

Finally moving on to dessert:
Chokladballs

This is a pretty common Swedish snack you can find at cafes or supermarkets and they had a very offensive name previously but are now just called chocolate balls. Jens always grabbed a pack at the supermarket so I had to learn how to make it myself. It is an easy no bake combination of oats, cocoa powder, butter, sugar and coconut flakes.

Strawberry shortcake

I also try to make “healthy” desserts like this no sugar/flour strawberrry muffin. It has been really satisfying to know that it is possible to get tasty snacks without overloading on sugar. Recently I tried a no bake raw brownie with chocolate ganache that had hardly any refined sugar and it still tasted very much like a brownie. I am still amazed by it, hahaha! Perhaps it may appear in a follow up post?

Lemon Chiffon cake

But of course sometimes nothing beats the “real deal” of baking the classic way and this was my attempt at a lemon chiffon cake. I cannot say that I did a great job with the glaze but Jens still devoured most of the cake anyway. I also tried to be creative the next day and warmed it in the microwave, split it and spread greek yoghurt between the layers. It balanced out the sweetness of the glaze and make it taste almost like a cream cake.

This post turned out to be quite long but hope you enjoyed reading about my kitchen adventures as much as I enjoyed sharing them! I am still learning/experimenting in the kitchen so any recipes or advice is always welcomed.

Till the next time!

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Hello Curved TV

I thought it would be fun to blog about the latest addition to our apartment which is the first big item that is a…non essential. Previously when shopping for the apartment, Jens always reminded me to focus on things that we really needed versus what we wanted. He is really good in that sense because I get so easily distracted by random things.

Now that we have all our “essentials” like our pots/pans, sofa, bed etc in place, we can think about what else we would like in our apartment and I guess a TV was the most obvious choice because we have 100 TV channels included in our rental lease and an empty TV shelf in our living area.

Media Markt

We went to three stores – Elgiganten, Media Markt and Webhallen before we came to a decision. It was good that Jens could speak to the different salesmen and get some advice on which TV to buy.

Samsung TV 3

At Elgiganten, the salesman was pushing Jens to get this “bra pris” (good price) Ultra HD TV but we found that the staff we met at Media Markt gave us a more balanced perspective on what to look for in a TV.

A fun fact for anyone looking to buy a TV is that a lot of shows are not made in Ultra HD yet so you won’t get to enjoy that functionality till that happens.

Samsung TV 1

Thanks to Pricerunner, we ended up going home with a 55″ Samsung Curved Smart TV from Webhallen at the best price and saved about 3000 SEK (approximately 462 SGD)! I think we secured the last piece of this model at the store because I don’t see the deal on Webhallen or Pricerunner anymore so we were really happy about it. It was also really big (and heavy) but I am glad it fit into Jens’s car perfectly.

Samsung TV 2

We were both so amused because we started our shopping trip simply looking for a decent sized TV that displayed good graphics. We really didn’t care for all the frills but ended up with a TV that was full of frills just because it came at a very good price and was in fact even cheaper than a normal, flat, non “smart” TV.

I still don’t quite understand the point of a curved screen apart from the fact that it looks quite cool but no complains really. As you can see, I was more excited by the fact that I could fit inside the TV box while Jens was busy setting up the TV.

3D Glasses

Another fun thing is that it came with these 3D glasses that I don’t foresee us using much.

Samsung TV

So tada! Here it is and here is one of the TV channels that I watch. This is Disney Junior that is dubbed in Swedish and I guess that is where my Swedish level is at right now.

To any future guests, we now have a sofa bed and a huge TV that would make for a rather comfy stay in my opinion. The one person whom I know would probably appreciate this the most is Jean, hahaha!

Anyway, yes I did just write an entire blog post on a TV but only because it is quite exciting for me as my brother was always the one who looked after the electronics at home. I know I called the TV a non essential but now that I have one, I have to consciously tell myself to switch it off or I will end up watching too much.

Till the next time!