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8 Red Hot Picks & Recipes this National Day

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8 Red Hot Picks & Recipes this National Day

With Singapore’s birthday just around the corner, show our Lion City some love with these National Day nosh! Invite some friends and family over and dig into these red-and-white-themed dishes, prepared using our recommended kitchen tools and equipment that will make it a breeze from prep to cook!

1. Apple Pie

This homemade Apple Pie is a classic, from a scrumptious filling to the flaky pastry crust – homemade goodness at its very best! Use the Nordic Ware Stars & Cherries Pie Top Cutter to fashion stars for your pie top, and they’ll be a show stopping dessert at your National Day dessert table!

Recommended equipment: Nordic Ware Stars & Cherries Pie Top Cutter

2. Spaghetti alla Singapore with Prawns and Tobiko

Carb-lovers, unite! Tuck into this Spaghetti alla Singapore with Prawns and Tobiko this National Day to satiate that carb craving! Chef Felix’s recipe allows the ingredients to speak for themselves, using fresh tiger prawns and Italian parsley. Not a fan of tobiko? Swap it out for chopped Ikan Bilis for an extra kick to your pasta!

Recommended equipment: Jamie Oliver Pasta Essentials Set, Red

3. Chocolate Mocha Bundt Cake

This chocolate mocha bundt cake makes use of the gorgeous spiral tin, and you really need very minimal decoration, as the design should be the masterpiece here. Bring it up a notch with fresh fruit like strawberries, raspberries and more to make them look extra special for National Day!

Recommended equipment: Nordic Ware PLATINUM Heritage Bundt Pan

4. Chili Crab with Mantou

Dive in with your hands with this national favourite! Stir-fried in a delicious gooey gravy on sweet, savoury tomato and chili sauce, this finger-licking good recipe will leave you wanting more. Remember to mop up the gravy with mantous!

Recommended equipment: Zyliss Seafood Cracker

5. Sous Vide Wagyu Beef

There’s nothing quite like slicing into a tender, succulent piece of beef that has been cooked to perfection. Indulge in this all-star, easy-to-make Sous Vide Wagyu Beef that melts in your mouth thanks to the Sous Vide method of cooking! Serve this with a side salad, mashed potatoes or just on its own for guests to pick on!

Recommended equipment: Primo Sous Vide Water Bath, Red

6. Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

What’s not to love about a delicious whoopie pie, especially when they’re in a lip-smacking red velvet flavour? This National Day, try your hand at these red velvet whoopie pies to celebrate with your loved ones, family gatherings and parties. The mildly sweet dough complements the cream cheese frosting perfectly – these are the ultimate decadence in little packages! Rope in the kids to spread the frosting and sandwich the whoopie pies for the perfect weekend bake-out!

Recommended equipment: De Buyer Black Steel Baking Tray with Oblique Edge Black

7. Black Sesame Macarons

Forget store-bought macarons, try these Black Sesame Macarons for a delightful local twist! This recipe by Chef Mimi teaches you to bake the perfect macaron that is light and airy that sandwiches the fragrant Black Sesame Custard Filling.

Recommended tool: Silpat Silicone Macaron Mat

8. No Bake Mini Matcha Cheesecakes

If you’re like most Singaporeans, you’re probably gaga over matcha! Try these No Bake Mini Matcha Oreo Cheesecakes – creamy and sweet, mini Matcha cheesecakes with an Oreo cookie base! Make these ahead of your party and take them out just a few minutes before serving for the ultimate dessert!

Recommended equipment: Nordic Ware 3-Piece Prep & Serve Mixing Bowl Set

Guide to Place Setting for a Formal Dinner

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Guide to Place Setting for a Formal Dinner

Formal dining settings are usually done with such opulence and grandeur that few would dare try at home; the thought of setting up an entire formal dinner at home without professionals can be quite daunting if you don’t know where to begin! Fret not, setting for a formal dinner can be done easily with the right cutlery and fine china. Knowledge of the correct position of all the flatware would also ease the process of setting the table right. Here are some tips on how to host the perfect formal dinner at home effortlessly!

Table Setting
This will set the tone for your guests, so it is important that the details are immaculately cared for. Firstly, continental flatware is commonly used for formal dining. There are numerous themes of flatware including artistic, modern or classic which can be a reflection of the host. Choose the theme which matches the ambience you intend to portray to your guests to enhance their entire experience. Keep in mind that your menu will also affect the kind of flatware. For example, if seafood is on the menu, specialized flatware should be present in your setting.

Here is a basic illustration of how a formal table setting for dinner should look like:

*All items featured above can be found at ToTT Store.

Napkin: Can be folded at the side or creatively folded on the dinner plate. Napkin rings can be used as well.

Forks: The fork that is used for the earliest course should be placed furthest from the dinner plate. All flatware should be positioned one inch from the edge of the table.

Spoons and Knives: Positioned similarly to the forks, the outermost ones are for starters and guests will work their way in as the courses proceed.

Charger or Service Plate: This plate is only for decorative purposes and the actual dinner/dining plates will be served on this plate.

Wine glasses: All drinking glasses to be used for the meal should be set before the dinner starts. The water goblet should be placed right above the knife, and the wine glasses should be lined in order in which they will be used.

Maintenance of Flatware 
After acquiring all the items you need for your formal dinner, it is important that your flatware are polished and glassware pristine. For convenience, get all your cutlery and glasses with a dishwashing friendly logo. Even after washing, double check to see for any minute stains before presenting on the table. Aside from flatware, fresh and ironed linens are important as well.

Click here to read more about maintaining different types of flatware!

Menu
The key to a perfect formal dinner lies in its simplicity and elegance. While it is easy to come up with extravagant ways of cooking, do take into consideration the capacity of your kitchen while planning how to execute the menu. For example, if you have one oven, it might be better to prepare only one dish that requires the use of the oven.  Refrain from focusing on only one type of cooking method as this will allow you to continue cooking the other dishes smoothly and not be bottlenecked by one piece of equipment. Cooking methods such as sautéing, steaming and double-boiling can produce plenty of creative dishes! Countertop spaces in most kitchens are limited – do plan your prep time for all dishes accordingly and avoid cluttering precious space.

We hope these tips will help you in your next formal dinner party! Most importantly, remember to enjoy your guests’ company and relax after putting in all that hard work!

8 Berry Recipes for Summer

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8 Berry Recipes for Summer

The quintessential summer fruit, berries are chock-full of anti-oxidants and a wonderful way to brighten up drinks, dessert and mains. Here are 8 of ToTT’s favourite recipes from around the web!

1. Very Berry 

First, let’s kick things off with this tangy Very Berry Spritzer by Deliciously Sprinkled. Perfect for summer parties, this concoction combines the tartness of lemon-lime soda and sweetness of berries beautifully.

2. Summer Berry Smoothie

Craving for something more decadent? Look no further than The Messy Baker’s Summer Berry Smoothie. With bananas, an assortment of berries and added protein, you’re basically getting breakfast in a glass. This highly customisable recipe can also be made vegan by replacing cow’s milk with nut or soy milk.

3. Nuts About Berries Salad

Who said berries were only meant for dessert? This delightful recipe from I Heart Nap Time tosses berries and fresh spinach together for a refreshing salad. Topped with homemade cinnamon sugar almonds and a light poppy seed dressing, this salad is sure to please.

4. Grilled Chicken with Blackberry Sweet and Sour Sauce

Reminiscent of turkey and cranberry jam, this dish by Jaden at Steamy Kitchen will make you feel like you’re celebrating Thanksgiving in July. Featuring fresh blackberries and cognac, it’s great for weekday dinners, yet fancy enough to impress guests. Best of all, you can cook it in under 30 minutes.

5. Blueberry Yoghurt Cake

If berries and savoury dishes aren’t your thing, whet your appetite with this wholesome Blueberry Yoghurt Cake by Simone’s Kitchen. Greek yogurt and lemon zest complement the natural sweetness of blueberries perfectly, resulting in a dense loaf that’s rich in colour and taste.

6. Roasted Berry Sauce With Cardamom

Psst, we’re going to let you in on a secret. Did you know that berries taste even better when they’re roasted? Emily Caruso of Jelly Toast Blog claims that roasting berries brings out their sweetness and intensifies the flavour. With such a convincing recipe, who’s to disagree? Have it drizzled over ice-cream, pancakes or s’mores.

7. Yogurt Ice Pops With Berries

What could be better than a popsicle on a sweltering day? A yogurt ice pop of course! We love how simple and foolproof this recipe by Fany Gerson is. Perfect for an afternoon with the kids.

8. Berry Mascarpone Almond Tart

Did you really think we’d end this list without a classic berry tart? We reckon nothing encompasses the spirit of summer better than this stunner by What She’s Having. A sight to behold, this tart is as delicious as it is beautiful.

Here are some items from ToTT for your berrylicious adventures!

Zyliss Smart-Touch™ Salad Spinner

The award-winning Zyliss Smart Touch® Salad Spinner features fast-action pump dry technology, bringing fun and ease to salad preparation while cleansing greens, berries, and herbs of dirt and other impurities. The easy to use one-pump lever creates a smooth spinning action while delivering speed and yielding quick, effortless results. Eliminate watery salads and keep produce fresher and longer, with the use of this precision engineered and high-performing Zyliss Smart Touch® Salad Spinner.

PERLE Salad Servers 2-Pcs Gift Set

This PERLE Salad Servers Gift Set from Regent features generous bowls for serving salads, as well as a variety of other foods. One of the bowls in this set has soft-edged prongs, creating a fork-like design. Made of high quality stainless steel with a high gloss polished finish, features a simple and elegant design that will mix well with your existing flatware pieces.

Plastic Ice Lolly Moulds, Set of 4

Keep the kids cool this summer with this wonderful set of eight ice lolly makers. Just add your favourite juice, fruit or yoghurt for a delicious and healthy snack that the whole family will love.

Pro Form Quiche/Tart Pan

Makes lovely tarts and quiches with a self-crimpled edge with this 10 inch quiche/tart pan from Nordic Ware. This pan has removable bottom, which makes for easy release and serving.

Tips and Tricks to Buying Cookware

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Tips and Tricks to Buying Cookware

Buying a brand new range of cookware can be a daunting task with so many options available.  To ease the conundrum, consider your cooking needs, level of cooking and how much are you willing to spend. It can be tempting to simply purchase a complete cookware set since it will include everything a kitchen would need. Unless you are a professional, owning a couple of basic pots and pans will suffice for most recipes. Your money is better spent on fewer quality wares that are durable.

1. Basic cookware to get you started

Skillet: A medium size skillet (approx. 10 inches) can be use for sautéing and stir-frying meat and vegetables.

Saucepan: A heavy bottomed 1.5L saucepan will be ideal for making sauces, steaming vegetables and cooking small quantities of pasta or potatoes. This is one of the most versatile cookware in the kitchen as it can handle both solid and liquid recipes.

Stock pot: Depending on the number of servings, stock pots generally range from 6L to 10L. You can make a larger batch of soup, pasta or even cook an entire lobster.

2. Things to consider when choosing your cookware

Heat conductivity: In terms of cookware, heat conductivity refers to the ability of the cookware to heat the food fast and evenly.

Durability: Stainless steel is a good example for durability as is can maintain its original state for a long period without much maintenance.

Reactivity: Some material reacts with certain foods. Aluminium, for example, reacts with acidic ingredients meaning that the food can absorb a small amount of metal. This is an important factor to note.

Price: The amount you are willing to pay will most likely determine the kind of cookware that is purchased. Always buy the best that you can afford.

Maintenance: Some materials have higher maintenance than others. Copper and cast iron usually require more work to be done compared to stainless steel. Individuals should think about the time they are willing to spend on maintaining their cookware.

3. Comparing different cookware materials

Aluminium
Despite being an excellent heat conductor, aluminium can get scratched and dents easily. It is usually treated through a process known as anodization. This process places a layer of aluminium oxide onto the surface making it scratch-resistant as well as ensuring that it does not react with foods. Aluminium cookware is often finished with a non-stick coating to ensure food remains unburned. Also, most aluminium cookware is relatively cheap in the market.

Heat source: All heat sources except induction, otherwise stated.

Copper
Cooper cookware is commonly used among professionals as it is an excellent heat conductor which means better temperature control when cooking. A heavy gauge copper pan will respond almost instantly to the heat source as it is switched on or off. With such great conductivity, you can cook with low heat. Copper is sometimes found wedged in between stainless steel to minimise its reactivity effect. The downside would be that copper needs to be regularly polished to maintain its surface and usually commands a premium price.

Heat source: Gas, radiant, solid plate and solid fuel hobs.

Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a durable material that is generally easy to cook with and easy to clean. Most stainless steel cookware is made from 18/10 stainless steel – that is 18% chrome to prevent rusting and 10% nickel to prevent tarnishing.  However, stainless steel is a poor heat conductor. Most stainless steel cookware has a layer of highly conductive metal at the bottom and some lined throughout the cooking vessel for better heat distribution.

Heat source: Gas, electric and solid fuel hobs and some specifically for induction.

Cast Iron
Cast iron is an extremely durable material with good heat retention. This metal is so efficient that these pans only need a low to medium heat.  Never heat a pan that is completely empty.  Avoid sudden changes of temperature such as putting cold or warm water into an empty hot pan, or by placing a hot pot on a cold surface. Like copper, cast iron cookware needs constant maintenance. This is generally done by lining a layer of oil on the cooking surface after cleaning the cookware and heating it over small heat until a wisp of smoke can be observed.

Heat source: All kinds