Ways to use a Dutch Oven

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Ways to use your Dutch Oven

A good Dutch Oven is a kitchen essential, heavy and thick enough to conduct and retain heat; deep enough to handle large cuts of meat and quarts of cooking liquid. Its heavy-duty construction and versatility make it one of the most useful pieces of cooking equipment, and one that every home cook should have in their cabinet. Here are 6 ways to put your cast iron Dutch Oven pot to work:


Who doesn’t love a freshly baked loaf of bread? Bread baking in a Dutch Oven is the perfect vessel for making artisan-style loaves. The lid traps in moisture and steam released by the bread, creating that perfect crispy crust. To get a better crust, preheat your Dutch oven before adding in the dough and line the interior with parchment paper. Follow this classic homemade recipe from Tasty .


Traditionally, people cooked these over a campfire, but don’t pull out your flint and steel just yet. You can make these treats indoors thanks to your modern oven and have your cake without the campfire.

Make this Cinnamon Rolls for a delicious breakfast or dessert!


Nothing beats a hearty bowl of soups, stews or braise, especially on a raining day. Dutch Ovens particularly excel at simmering and braising as it keeps heat consistent during cooking. Additionally, it retains heat long enough for at least 30 minutes after it is removed from the stove.

Try making this Dutch Oven-worthy recipe – Pumpkin Soup

Frying can be a daunting task — and a messy one. The key to fright-free deep-frying is using a pot with tall sides, it helps to cut down on oil splatter as the cast iron handles very high heat without burning. If you’re looking to fry something unique and tasty in your Dutch Oven, try out this Fried Chicken recipe from Food Network


When placed inside an oven, Dutch Ovens conduct heat and transfer it to the food inside from all directions. The ability of the cookware to hold this heat means that less energy is required for long, slow cooking methods. The ovenproof lid helps retain moisture and prevents drying during long cooking times. This makes Dutch ovens perfect for slow roasting meats or vegetables.


The versatility of a Dutch Oven to be transferred from a stovetop to inside an oven makes them the perfect tool for casseroles. Meats or aromatics can be sautéed in the Dutch oven while on the stovetop, and then the casserole can be assembled and baked in the very same pot. You’ll be surprised at how well-textured, juicy, and flavorful the result is.


Lava Enamelled Cast Iron Round Casserole 28cm 6.7L

Lava Cast Iron Cookware is suitable for use on all types of stovetop cooking surfaces  – in the oven or your outdoor grill.

With three coats of beautiful porcelain enamel layered onto premium cast iron and fired twice for maximum beauty, it has lasting durability and superb cooking performance.

LAVA enameled cookware are dishwasher safe. Comes in six vibrant colours to choose from.

Available at ToTT stores.

Inspiring Kitchenware for Kids

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Kid-Friendly Kitchenware for Kids

Pique your little ones culinary interest by involving them in the kitchen and help them discover the world of cooking and baking with these must-have kitchen tools!


Improve those fine motor skills with this kid-friendly knife and let your little one help in the kitchen by cutting up their own food and prepare meals together. Use this gem in the kitchen to teach kids on healthy eating and inspire them to cook, bake & host. Made with German high-quality Stainless-Steel blades, it features a rounded-tip blade to keep young hands safe without accidents.

Available at ToTT stores at $13.40


What’s better than whipping up your own ice cream or frozen yoghurt at home in just 20 minutes or less! The fully automatic Cuisinart Frozen Yoghurt Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker let you turn ingredients into a delicious and healthy frozen treat with no fuss and mess. Simply add your ingredients to the bowl, press ON, and the machine does the rest! Oh, and did we mention that it can serve as an educational opportunity to learn about science – turning regular milk or cream into a cold and tasty treat!


This cute and quirky silicone mould by Lex Living is ideal for cooking or baking with kids. Skip those nasty preservatives and make your own treats like chocolates or even fruit flavoured jellies – a great kids party idea. Easy to clean, flexible and easy to release, simply pour your favourite recipe into the mould and let it cool completely. Once it is ready, turn it upside down and with a little push from the bottom – pop them right out.

Let the fun begin!


Are your kids obsessed with waffles? Get the family together in this fun activity and let the little ones whip up the batter and decorate freshly baked waffles with their favourite toppings. Worried about not having enough space in the kitchen? The Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker compact design makes it great for small spaces and it truly excels at turning out consistently delicious, fluffy waffles that are just as crisp at the outer edge as in the center.


Tired of arguing with your kids about having their greens? Involve them during the preparation process, with the Zyliss Easy Spin Salad Spinner. Allow your little one to work their muscles by getting them to spin the vegetables and share the benefits of having them in their diet.


This Cookie Cutter is the perfect kitchen gadget for baking and decorating cookies with your kids. With 6 cookie cutters in different shapes, kids can independently shape their cookies with ease with no more broken edges.  In addition to cutting cookies, it can also be used to cut pancakes, cheese and more, the only limit is your imagination.  The perfect tool for crafts, activities and play.


School’s Out and Fun’s In with these cooking and baking classes.  We have prepared a series of Junior Chef Classes and Culinary Camps that will turn your children into mini master chefs.

Full ToTT Junior Chef Classes listing here.
Full ToTT Drop Off Culinary Camp listing here.

BTO Kitchen Essentials

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BTO Kitchen Essentials

Now you are almost all set to settle in but wait did you forget about your kitchen essentials? Having the right kitchen tools and appliances can help simplify and speed up your cooking process so here’s a list of 6 essentials for you to create your dream kitchen.

  1. Epicurean Non-Slip Series Wood Fibre Cutting Board Brown

Gone were the days when your cutting board slips while you are preparing your ingredients for that hearty comfort stew. The Epicurean cutting board comes with removable silicone corners that will help grip countertops to prevent slips and slides. No more mishaps on the countertop with this lightweight, durable and functional piece that is perfect for both preparing and serving food.

2. Cuisinart Nylon Cooking Utensils Set, 4Pcs Set, Light Blue Pearlized

Mismatched kitchen utensils no more!  The Cuisinart Nylon Cooking set includes 4 must-have favourites that every kitchen needs: Nylon Slotted Turner, Solid Spoon, Ladle and Pasta Server. Not only are these gems kind to pots and pans that are non-stick coating, they are heat resistant up to 215°and dishwasher safe too!

3. Nachtmann Crystal Vivendi Champagne Flute Glasses, Set of 4

Hosting a housewarming party? This elegant and contemporary set contains 4 Champagne Flute Glasses that are perfect for any occasion. Made from fine Bavarian crystal, the range is designed to offer maximum enjoyment of Champagne and sparkling wines.

4. KitchenAid Stand Mixer

If you love baking or even making your own homemade pasta Bolognese, you must have the KitchenAid Stand Mixer. With over 10 stand mixer attachments, you can create vegetable spirals, ground meat for making breakfast sausages and more. With so many colours to choose from, you will definetly be spoilt for choice.

Available at ToTT stores from $599.

5. Eko 12L Morandi Motion Sensor Bin with Soft Closing


Minimalist, ergonomic and slim, the Eko Morandi Motion Sensor Bin is unlike your usual traditional trash bin. With its intelligent sensor mechanism, it makes trash-throwing easy, hygienic and efficient. The soft-close design creates a noise-free environment and will keep your home odour-free.

6. Cristel Mutine Stainless Steel Frying Pan

Perfect for small kitchens or if you are trying to maximise space. The stackable pans and removable handles will come in handy in the tightest corners. Switch out the long handles with the side handles and the pan turns into a serving dish. A must-have in any modern kitchen

Available at ToTT stores from $194.90 – $270.90

10 Baking Hacks to Make Your Life a Breeze

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10 Baking Hacks to Make Your Life a Breeze

Baking can be a delicate affair – especially when half a cup of butter could be the difference between a show-stopping cake and a kitchen disaster. So make your life a breeze with these 10 baking hacks carefully selected by us that’ll make you feel like the best baker in the neighbourhood!

1. Get icing sugar from regular sugar!

Time for the finishing touch of dusting icing sugar over your baked goods – but you only have regular sugar! Don’t worry, you can just use your regular sugar by putting it into a food processor and blending at high speed until they reach the consistency of powdered sugar.

Get the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Processor for a portable and hassle-free appliance to do just that!

2. Juicy lemons in 10 seconds!

Need to get juices out from your citrus fruits as one of the ingredients? Instead of getting cramps squeezing them with your hands, simply pop them in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds to get the juices flowing!

3. It just won’t come off!

Trying to add in honey or molasses into your baking mix but it just won’t come off your bowl or spoon? Just coat them with a non-stick cooking spray first! It’ll come right off and the ingredients you measured will be super precise!

4. Cut Perfect Slices of Brownies!

Always making a crumbly mess when cutting brownies? Run your knife under hot water for several seconds, dry it, and watch how cleanly your knife cuts through them! Pop them into your fridge to keep them fresh and re-heat your brownies when needed and you’ll be getting perfect slices of all your baked goods in no-time!

5. Make Instant Buttermilk!

If you want to make soft and fluffy pancakes, you’ve got to use buttermilk! Not many of us keep buttermilk readily available in our fridge, but here’s a hack to make instant buttermilk from just regular milk and lemon juice! Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or vinegar) in a 1-cup measuring cup and fill the rest with milk. After letting it sit for 5 minutes, you’ve just got a fresh batch of buttermilk!

6. Have the hazelnuts peel itself for you!

It can be a nightmare getting the flaky skins off hazelnuts – especially when you are making some delicious homemade Nutella cream!

To make it a cinch, roast the hazelnuts in an oven until hot then place them in a damp kitchen towel and gently rub. The combination of heat and moisture will let the hazelnut peel itself for you!

7. Control the temperature of your eggs!

You are baking happily when the recipe suddenly calls for room temperature eggs – oops, guess who forgot to take out the eggs an hour beforehand? Fret not! You can regulate the temperature of your eggs back to room temperature by immersing them in a bowl of hot (but not boiling) water for 5 to 10 minutes!

8. Ripen Bananas Quickly!

Here’s a time-accelerating trick for those who want ripe bananas without the hassle of waiting for them to ripe naturally!

 Place them on a baking sheet and bake them at 300°F for about 40 minutes – you’ll get perfectly ripe bananas for you to use in your delicious banana bread and cakes!

We recommend this Jamie Oliver Non-Stick Baking Sheet that is both sturdy and reliable!

9. Get perfectly flaky biscuits and crusts!

The key secret in getting those perfectly flaky biscuits and pie crusts is making sure pieces of butter are evenly distributed inside your dough. The best way to do this is to use a cheese grater and grate the butter into the dough for easy stirring!

The Boska Stainless Steel Trio Formaggio Cheese Grater is perfect for the job!

10. IG-Worthy Cakes with a Floss!

Ever wondered how pastry chefs achieve getting those perfectly sliced cakes in their photos? It’s simple! Get unscented dental floss from any local convenience store! A taut dental floss slides through soft and doughy items with much better precision than any standard kitchen knife!

Hosting The Perfect Easter Party

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Hosting the Perfect Easter Party

Easter is right around the corner, and we’re super egg-cited! Usher in the long weekend with a delicious Sunday brunch, Easter egg hunt and share your delicious recipes with everyone – because let’s face it, who doesn’t like eggs?!

To make sure you are ready for the perfect Easter weekend, we’ve prepared a list of pointers that’ll teach you everything from menu choices to tips on decorations and games!

  1. Egg-citing Brunch Recipes

Be the ultimate party host and make sure you nail it with some of the best recipes. Whether you’re looking for a delicious entrée, a savoury main or some decadent after-party desserts, we’ve got you covered with 5 recipes for the perfect brunch.

2. The Most Egg-squisite Decorations

Get yourself into the festive spirit by decorating your Easter party with Meri Meri’s Peter Rabbit tableware collection! Stun your guests with a Peter Rabbit Wonderland party theme that will knock their socks off with a 16” table centrepiece, beautiful plates & cups and a cake stand overflowing with adorableness!

The best part is, we’re having an Easter sale where you can get all these at 30% OFF! Head down to our stores or shop online at ToTT @ Redmart now!

3. Egg-ceptional DIY Napkins

You’ve got a fantastic menu and table decoration in place, why not step up your Easter game further by folding your napkins into adorable bunny ears?

So if you want to leave your guests even more impressed, check out this video by Better Homes & Gardens on how you can DIY your own bunny napkins with just a few easy steps!

4. Egg-splosive Devilled Eggs

We love quick and easy recipes that look delicious and taste even better! Watch this step-by-step #QuickBites Video tutorial from us, and you’ll be able to make these adorable chicks with just eggs and a few other ingredients. Decorating them is easy as 1-2-3 too!

5. Egg-travagant Party Treats

Be sure to fill up the stomach of all your guests with a variety of Easter party treats! We recommend these 5 recipes that include a Singaporean favourite – Durian Cream Puffs that will add a local twist to the party!

6. Easter Games That’ll Make Everyone Egg-static!

Whether your activities and games are fun or exciting can make or break your party! Fret not, here’s 20 tested and proven Easter games from The Spruce that’ll be sure to leave everyone wanting for more.

From running those calories off with a Jelly Bean Race to having some good ole’ fashioned Easter Pinata fun, even the adults might not want to leave your party!

If you’re planning to sign up for cooking or baking classes, we’ve got you covered here as well 🙂

Planning on getting new tools for the kitchen? Be sure to check out our March Madness Sale below!

Cooking the Perfect Steak!

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Cooking the Perfect Steak!

There’s nothing more impressive than being able to cook a mouth-watering and juicy steak for your sweet valentine! Cooking an elegant piece of beef steak can be quite daunting for a beginner, especially when just a difference of a minute can determine whether your meat will come out rare, medium-rare or well-done.

Fret not, we’ve got you covered with this guide! So beat the queues this coming Valentine’s Day with a romantic home-cooked dinner with your special someone.

1. Selecting the Prize

With many different parts, it can be challenging trying to recall the differences between each type of cut. As a general guideline, you should keep these pointers in mind no matter what you are buying:

  • The meat should be in good colour (not pale) and appear moist but not wet.
  • The edges of the meat should be evenly cut instead of ragged.
  • If it’s pre-packaged, avoid those with tears or with liquids at the bottom of the tray.
  • It should also feel firm and cold to the touch.

If you’re looking for a quick cheat-sheet on what are the best cuts, here’s a summary:

Most Tender:

The Beef tenderloin (aka Filet Mignon) is your top choice. This is cut from the mid-loin of the cow and while it is not the most flavourful, it is undisputedly the part that is most tender.

Special Occasions:

If you don’t mind breaking your wallet a little, the Top Sirloin (the most premium cut amongst the loin), the T-Bone and the Ribeye are amongst the richest, most opulent steaks you can buy.


Beef steaks are awesome for the grill! Not only are all the above-mentioned meats great for grilling, the flank, skirt and tri-tip cuts are also good (marinate them beforehand for best results.)

2. Don’t immediately cook the steak!

When you first take a steak out from the fridge, the inside of the meat tends to be much colder than the outside. This means that any cooking done will be uneven as the outer layers of the meat will cook much faster with the interior being undercooked.

A good way to make sure that the steak is of even temperature before cooking is to let it sit on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes. This will bring the steak up to room temperature and will allow you to cook it with more precision! Finally, before you throw your steak onto the grill, remember to dap them with paper towels to get rid of excess moisture.

3. War Preparations

First off is to choose the right tool for the job. Ideally, you’ll want a cast iron pan or skillet. This is because they are naturally non-stick, great at retaining heat and the materials give a better sear than stainless steel pans.

Don’t have a cast iron pan yet? Check out the LAVA Cast Iron Grill Pan with Handle at our Redmart store!

Next off, instead of using oil, we prefer to add a knob of butter onto a hot pan. Yes, remember to ensure that you heat the pan till it’s very hot before you cook the steak too! Next up, sprinkle salt, black pepper or your favourite go-to seasoning right before you place the steak on the pan.

 The timing of this is crucial as salt will suck out the moisture of the meat if you add it too early.

4. Onwards, to the great sear!

Now add the steak to the pan, make sure there’s a loud sizzling noise else it means the pan is not hot enough and you should immediately remove the steak and heat the pan higher and longer.

While steaks of different thickness have different cooking times, on average, a 2cm-thick piece of steak should be cooked 2 – 3 minutes each side for rare, 3 – 4 minutes each side for medium-rare to medium and 5 – 6 minutes each side for medium-well to well-done.

Remember, turn the steak only once as the steak will dry out if you keep flipping your prized meat. Always use a tong so that you don’t pierce the meat and let the juices escape.

A trick to find out if your meat is currently at the right doneness is to touch the beef with your finger. The texture of the meat can be compared to the same texture of touching the area of skin below your thumb, at the different tension points as illustrated below.

Illustration courtesy of lifehacker.com

5. The spoils of war

Always rest your steak before serving! This isn’t because your steak is tired but it’s to make sure it’s as JUICY as possible!

Rest it on a plate for the same amount of time you’ve cooked it, giving it ample time for the juices to redistribute throughout the meat like a sponge. If you had to make some adjustments to the cooking time for whatever reason and can’t remember how long you’ve cooked it, 10 minutes is a good benchmark.

If you’re planning to sign up for cooking or baking classes, we’ve got you covered here as well 😉

Planning on preparing the perfect candlelight dinner? Be sure to check out our Valentine’s Day sale below!

Be the Greatest Potluck Host – 6 Items That Make Any Potluck a Breeze!

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Be the Greatest Potluck Host –

6 Items That Make Any Potluck a Breeze!!

A potluck is a great way to catch up with your friends and family. While it can be quite challenging to cook up the perfect dish given our hectic schedules, here are 6 items we recommend that will ensure you are able to prepare hassle-free delicious meals for your loved ones!

1. Casserole

What’s a potluck without some piping hot casserole? Whether you’re planning a pasta or meaty dish, having a good Casserole pot is paramount in transporting and displaying your dish! We recommend a cast iron casserole as its tough, durable and helps preserve the heat for a longer period of time.

Recommended Kitchenware: Lava Cast Iron Round Casserole (Available at ToTT Store)

2. Sous Vide Controller

Struggling to find time to cook with the perfect temperature? Look no further! With a Sous Vide controller, you can simply plug and play with your existing rice/slow cookers. Not only will you achieve precision in temperature control; you can simply set the timer and go about your daily activities, returning home to a nice evenly-cooked gourmet meal! So if you are thinking or cooking up a storm, this nifty gadget is a definite must have in your kitchen!

Recommended Appliance: Grant Uno – Sous Vide Controller

3. Ice Cream Maker

A potluck is never complete without some tasty desserts to tempt everyone’s sweet tooth. With the warm weather in Singapore; what better way to end off your potluck than with some ice-cold ice cream, gelato, sorbet or even yoghurt? It may be daunting at first to think at how long one might need to freeze the necessary ingredients, but with an ice cream maker, you can do it in just 20 minutes or less! Simply throw in the ingredients, switch on the maker and the machine does the rest!

Recommended Appliance: Cuisinart Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker

4. Cake Stand

Part of the fun of a potluck is laying out everyone’s favourite dishes on the table; and a good cake stand goes a long way in displaying prop a decadent birthday cake or even smaller pastries like cupcakes and brownies! We recommend this chic and beautifully hand-painted stand from Jamie Oliver to help up your show-casing game to another level.

Recommended Kitchenware: Jamie Oliver Embossed Cake Stand

5. Bartending Tools

What’s a party without some Gin & Tonic or Sangria! With Quench’s first ever 10-in-1 bartending tool, you no longer need to be a pro mixologist in order to mix up your favourite cocktails. This affordable set of tools come with a muddler, knife, reamer, stirrer, channel knife, corkscrew, jigger, strainer, zester and bottle opener. Looks like having a margarita at the next potluck won’t be so far off after all!

Recommended Tool: Quench Bar10der (Available at ToTT Store)

6. Cheese Board

From Cheddar to Mozzarella; cheese lovers would be absolutely delighted to see it at a potluck! A bona-fide cheese board is not only a great way to lay out your cheeses; it’s also made from carefully selected wood that ensures undesirable flavours from permeating into the cheese. Aside from cheeses, you can even use it to display appetisers or petite pastries on it!

Recommended Tool: Boska Geneva Cheese Board

Now that you’re equipped with these tools, you’ll suddenly find yourself on-top of any potluck! If you’re looking for even more items to complete your arsenal, you can visit us online at Redmart, Lazada or simply just come down to our stores at Century Square & Suntec City to take a look around!


5 Essential Kitchen Tools for Every Cook

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5 Essential Kitchen Tools for Every Cook

If you’re new to cooking, or looking to improve your culinary game, using inadequate kitchen tools can be unnecessarily frustrating. Quality tools perform better and seldom need replacing: think stainless-steel measuring cups, wooden cutting boards, cast iron cookware and forged knives. Choose wisely now, and more than likely, you will have also chosen well for later. We have a chat with Chef Andrea Lim, F&B Director of 5 Senses Bistro at ToTT, and he shares with us his absolute must-have tools in the kitchen. Let’s get started!

1. Cast Iron Skillet

Just about anything you want to do—searing, sautéing, baking, frying, braising—performs best in cast iron cookware. A reliable cast iron skillet works wonders in the oven or on top of the stove. From delicious Steak with Herb Butter to a decadent Nutella Skillet Cookie, your cast iron skillet is the true workhorse of the kitchen. Contrary to popular belief, taking care of a cast iron is not that diii

Contrary to what many people say, taking care of a cast iron pan is not all that difficult. Once you’ve cooked with it, rinse it under hot water while scrubbing with a brush. Soap isn’t necessary, unless you really feel the need to. Most importantly – never, ever leave your cookware to soak in the sink! Instead, dry it immediately, then put it on the stove to let any moisture evaporate. Once it’s fully dry, add a few drops of oil (use one with a high smoking point) and massage the oil in with a towel until you’ve rubbed all excess oil off the pan.

Chef Andrea recommends: Lava Cast Iron Round Skillet, available at ToTT Store
(Usual Price $57.40 – $113.40, Now $45.90 – $90.70*)

2. Non-Stick Frying Pan

A non-stick coated frying pan is definitely a useful tool to have on hand for perfect eggs, pancakes, frittatas and the likes – basically, dishes you don’t want to get stuck to the pan halfway through that chef-like flip of the pan! Unlike your cast iron skillet, a non-stick pan should never be heated up till it’s smoking hot or your risk the non-stick finish vaporising. And it goes without saying that you shouldn’t use metal utensils on non-stick surfaces 😉 Ready to try out some recipes with your non-stick frying pan? This Dutch Baby Pancake will make for a perfect breakfast!

Chef Andrea recommends: De Buyer Aluminium Non-Stick Frying Pans, available at ToTT Store
(Usual Price $33.40 – $95.50, Now $26.70 – $76.40*)

3. Wooden Cutting Board

Along with a good set of knives, a good cutting board is one of the most essential and most often used tool in your kitchen. While it may seem straight-forward, there is a lot that goes into the making of a quality cutting board.  Since you will be using your board almost every single time you cook, take time to research and invest in a durable, high-quality cutting board that will last for years to come. Check out our quick guide to cutting boards to make an informed decision.

Chef Andrea recommends: Epicurean Wood Fibre Cutting Board (3 layers), Serving Series, available at ToTT Store
(Usual Price $51.90, Now $41.50*)

4. Chinese Wok

Whether you’re stir-frying or not, a wok is one of the most versatile cookware you can own in the kitchen. It is probably the best vessel for deep-frying – its wide shape and ability to hole large volumes make it easy to do a big batch of deep fried food with minimal contact and oil use. The wok’s larger surface area also helps to produce that deep, smoky wok hei flavour that we are all so familiar with!

Chef Andrea recommends: Zebra 5-Ply Stainless Steel Chinese Wok with Lid & Steamer, available at ToTT Store (Usual Price $215.50 – $325.50, Now $172.40 – $260.40*)

5. A Large Casserole

A casserole is meant for both cooking, baking and serving straight to the dinner table – hence it should be both functional and aesthetically-pleasing. A good casserole (or large baking dish) will heat foods evenly, and store that heat so that your food stays warm throughout dinner. A high-quality glazed ceramic will also make it easier to clean up!

Chef Andrea recommends: Lava Cast Iron Round Casserole available at ToTT Store (Usual Price $133.60 – $179.60, Now $106.80 to $143.60*)

*The above promotional prices are only valid from 8 – 17 September 2017, at ToTT @ Dunearn & ToTT @ Suntec.


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.

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!

6 Magical Things Your Food Processor Can Do

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6 Magical Things Your Food Processor Can Do

The humble food processor is one of the most magical and versatile appliance you can own in the kitchen. Unlike a blender, it doesn’t require any liquid to chop up its contents, which means you can grate up pretty much anything! If you don’t have a food processor already, try the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Processor. From the main course to healthy desserts, it’s incredible how much one appliance can do! You’ll definitely want one once you see the 6 amazing ways you can use it below!

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1. Perfect Buttery Pie Crust

Need to cut butter into flour to make that pie crust? Let your food processor do the work! Even, flaky, buttery crusts in half the time! Here’s a Chicken Pot Pie recipe that will be a dream to make!

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2. Smooth & Creamy Pesto 

Say goodbye to over-priced, mediocre store-bought pesto!  Believe us – you’ll never be reaching for those again. All you need is a handful of ingredients, throw them all in your trusty food processor, and blitz them all up! Here’s a quick and easy recipe that we like to use:


  • 1 cup Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 4 cloves Garlic (more if you like it garlicky!)
  • 4 tbsp Pine Nuts
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


 Add all ingredients (except olive oil and salt & pepper) into your food processor. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified to your desired consistency. Season to taste!

Toss your pesto into pasta, or serve it with steak, like this Grilled Steak with Pesto!

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3. Homemade Nut Butter

 What can we say? Nut butter is too easy not to make your own at home. Customise it to your heart’s contents and you will never have a dull breakfast! With a simple jar of nut butter, you can spread it on toasts, turn it into peanut sauce, and even use it in salad dressings! The possibilities are really endless. You can also mix and match – if you have a few handfuls of different nuts, try blitzing them together to see how they taste! Here’s how: Add your nuts into your food processor, along with a good pinch of salt and any flavours or sweeteners if you’d like. Shredded coconut or maple syrup maybe? Pulse to combine, taste and season to your liking!

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4. Gluten-free Flour

On a quest to healthier baking and eating? Try substituting plain flour with oat flour. Not only are they more filling, but they’re high in fibre and protein! A great alternative to highly processed flours you get from store-bought flours.  We recommend using this oat flour in pancakes and muffins. Since it’s gluten-free, bear in mind that it will not have the same binding ability that white flour provides in baked goods such as bread and cakes.

To make your very own homemade oat flour, simply pulse your steel-cut/traditional rolled oats into your trusty food processor till the oats resemble fine crumbs/flour. Try it with our Blueberry Pancakes recipe this weekend!

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5. Fresh, Homemade Baby Food

Using a food processor to make baby food at home allows you to control the quality of food your baby eats. In addition to having the ability to guarantee the freshness of your child’s meals, you can also save money by eliminating the extra costs of buying pre-packaged foods. Start by steaming your fruits or vegetables of your choice. Separate the liquid that the foods produce during the cooking process. Begin pureeing the fruits and vegetables in your food processor and add in the liquid that you set aside to your desired consistency!

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6. Cookie Crumble

You can now have your own cookie crumble in a matter of seconds! Use it as a foundation for a delicious pie, or sprinkle over ice cream, froyo or your other favourite desserts! Simply add your favourite cookies into your food processer, hit pulse and you’re done! Try using your cookie crumble with our recipe for a delicious No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake!

About the Cuisinart Mini-Prep® Plus Food Processor:

The Mini-Prep® Plus is the perfect little helper for small food preparation, from chopping herbs or bread crumbs, to finely grinding hard cheese. Its versatility lies in the special Auto Reversing Smart Blade™, which makes it easier to process both soft and hard foods. Designed in Italy, the Mini-Prep Plus’ sleek touch pad controls afford easy cleaning and an elegant look.


  • 250-watt food processor with 3-cup plastic work bowl
  • Chops and grinds with patented reversible stainless-steel blade
  • Simple push-button control panel; durable, yet lightweight plastic body
  • Dishwasher-safe bowl and lid for quick cleanup; spatula included

Get yours now at ToTT Store!