Friday, September 18, 2020

Covid-19 Food Trend - Basque Burnt Cheesecake from

As we stay at home more during the Covid-19 pandemic, a few make-it-at-home "comfort food" trends have gone viral as people cook up a storm in their kitchens. Things like Dalgona Coffee, Pancake Cereal, Cloud Bread, and more recently, the Basque Burnt Cheesecake

The Basque Burnt Cheesecake is not a new thing actually. Apparently, it was first created nearly 30 years ago by the owner of La ViΓ±a, a bar in Spain, and follows a ridiculously simple recipe of just cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour. It is a crust-less cheesecake that is cooked at very high heat.  

Fresh out of the oven, the beauty of a burnt cheesecake likes in its rustic, imperfectly-cracked, almost-burnt-but-not-quite crown and custardy texture that remains dense and slightly rare in the middle.  

Some say it's the unofficial cake of choice during this stay-home period, and it's not difficult to see why. 

Every bite you take of this savoury-sweet treat is decadent but oh-so comforting. It will definitely sweeten up any miserable day you might be having due to the current Covid-19 situation. 

Seeing so many of my friends on my feeds eating this delightfully sinful and no doubt, high-calories cake, I caved and decided to try the Signature 8" Burnt Cheesecake from Cake Delivery Singapore

Their award-winning cakes are very competitively priced and there is free delivery for any orders above S$80 {9am - 10pm daily}. They are also the only cake delivery service that offers same-day, midnight and overnight delivery to anywhere in Singapore.  

When it arrived, I was thoroughly impressed that the cake arrived in a big box but it was 100% intact and not squashed in any way at all! 

I usually loathe having cakes, cupcakes or pastries delivered because they usually tend to arrive destroyed somehow. However, as you can see in the above picture, I reckon that my Burnt Cheesecake looked even better than if I hand-carried it home myself actually hahaha... 

Cake Delivery Singapore's version is not as scorched up like other burnt cheesecakes I've seen, but it still offers a rather indulgent respite with a light brown caramelised surface. 

It is freshly baked and the 8" {20cm} cake weighs around 1.5kg. Good enough for at least 10 servings. I shared this cake with my family and friends and they all gave it a thumbs up. 

The texture of this cake is not as dense as the American cheesecakes, but also not as light or fluffy as Japanese cheesecakes. 

It is, however, beautifully creamy and rich with a soft middle. Absolutely melt-in-your-mouth goodness!

I love cheesecakes but I couldn't finish a standard serving by myself as I got full pretty fast. Which is kinda good as it prevents me from over-eating it all by myself??? hehehe... 

There is a subtle hint of smokiness in every bite and I liked the balance of sweet and savoury. 

The crispy, slightly bitter burnt ends cut through the cheesiness and enhance its flavour. If you don't like cloyingly sweet cheesecakes, you should definitely give this a go. 

Very pleased with our first try of Basque Burnt Cheesecake (*^▽^)/

Cake Delivery Singapore also has many other classic cakes like the Carrot Cake, Tiramisu Cake, Pandan Chiffon Cake etc. and innovative flavours like Mao Shan Wang Chocolate Fudge Cake, Ondeh Ondeh Cake, Bubble Gum Cake, Orh Nee Yam Cake etc. They are very popular though and are often out of stock so #fastestfingersfirst

The next one I'd like to order from them is the Pistachio Rose Cake... but then the Yuzu Citrus Osmanthus Cake also seems nice???!  

Argh... if you can't make up your mind like me, you can also try to build your own cake by choosing any available 10 cake flavours to form a 8" cake with 10 slices.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Travel Earphones with Bluetooth Flight Adapter and Active Noise Cancelling - Sudio Elva + Promo Code

Sudio is launching a new set of travel earphones, the Sudio Elva, which comes with a Bluetooth flight adapter and active noise cancellation {ANC}

If you're sick and tired of those complimentary airline headphones that don't fit comfortably, especially for the kiddos, this is for you as now you can use your own earphones or headphones on the plane. 

I know, I know, we probably can't travel freely again until maybe a year {or two??} later but that doesn't mean we can't dream and plan for it... right??

Where's the first place you would fly to when you can? Mine would probably be Japan.  

The Sudio Elva set comes with everything you need to get started, even the charging cords. This includes the Sudio Elva neckband earphones, Sudio Flyg Bluetooth flight adapter, charging cords for Sudio Elva and Sudio Flyg, 5 pairs of ear tips variously sized, owner's guides and warranty card.

I do wish that they came with a carrier pouch to keep the earphones safe and clean.

Admittedly, neckband-style earphones aren't as compact as wireless earbuds, but I like them though and they seem the more practical choice if you want to bring them on the plane. 

Instead of the usual small wireless earbuds that could easily drop and get lost, especially when you take them in and out during flight, the Sudio Elva hangs over your neck with wires attached to the earbuds at the end without tangling.

It weighs just 28g so don't worry, you'd barely feel it. 

Sudio Elva may not be compact compared to the earbuds, but the design is definitely minimalist and chic

The neckband has a flat silicone cover and sits around the neck comfortably without sliding off. It also has magnetic rubber nodes that attract one another and "close" the loop. These nodes can be adjusted up and down the cable according to your preference and style.

When you want to rest your ears, just take out the earbuds and let them hang loosely around your neck without fear of it dropping off somewhere, getting lost in the seats or the sea of flight blankets and pillows. 

As Sudio Elva is IPX5 water-rated, which means that it is dust-protected and water-resistant to sweat or water projected from a nozzle, this pair of earphones is suitable for use during exercise as well. 

Note: Sudio Elva comes in black or white. I suggest buying white, like mine, if you do plan to use it for traveling as white is obviously more visible than black when you've to rummage through so many things on the plane or in your carry bag. Also, do note that Sudio Elva's white is more "cream white" than "snow white" like you see in my pics. 

For the uninitiated, active-noise cancellation {ANC} means that the earphones make use of the materials they are made of to reduce unwanted ambient sounds {passive noise cancellation} and take one step further to reduce unwanted sounds by creating their own sound waves. 

This is especially crucial when you travel as the right kind of earphones / headphones can make all the difference in whether you are able to sleep through the wails of a crying infant in front of you, or the chatter of the couple next to you. You'd definitely want ANC in your earphones / headphones then.

The ANC mode on Sudio Elva works. When it is on, the overall volume seems louder and the music seems clearer. However, general environment noise is not eliminated completely which I feel is mainly due to the fact that earbuds are used, rather than headphones, so passive noise reduction is limited but Sudio Elva's ANC technology works fine. 

The earphones are comfortable on the ears, fits snugly {I use the standard ear tips given} and like I mentioned earlier, on the neck, even when I wear it for a few hours listening to music and attending to calls at work.

A full charge takes around 2 hours and playtime is around 10 hours which would definitely last you for a flight to Bangkok, Korea, Japan and even Australia. 

When you need to charge it, just detach the hidden charging port that is at the end of the 3-button controller on the left and connect it to the given USB cord. 

The 3 buttons are used to power the earphones, control the volume, play the music, answer calls etc. Double-clicking the middle button will switch to ANC mode and holding the middle button for 7 secs will initiate the Bluetooth pairing with any Bluetooth enabled device, like your mobile or Sudio Flyg.  

Sudio Flyg is a Bluetooth 5.0 audio transmitter that allows you to connect Sudio Elva, or any Bluetooth wireless earphones / headphones really, to any audio device e.g. inflight-entertainment, stereo equipment, or TV.

I know some parents prefer their kids to use headphones instead of earphones. Personally, me too as I'm quite icky about Lil Pumpkin sticking things in her ears. 

With Sudio Flyg, basically this means that even if we don't use Sudio Elva earphones on the plane for our kids, we can still use Sudio Flyg and connect it to their own personal wireless headphones for a more enjoyable flight #yay  

Sudio Flyg has 2 foldable connectors. You'd use both to plug into an in-flight entertainment system, and just the main pin if only one output is available. 

The Bluetooth range is up to 10m and it takes around 2 hours for it to be fully charged. Once it is, the battery life is about 12 hours which is pretty long. 

Sudio Elva earphones set cost S$199 and is available from Sudio's official website and retailers like Shoppee, Lazada, Courts etc.

Sudio Elva earphones are not sold separately from Sudio Flyg but looking at Sudio's collection, I think they would be priced slightly more than Sudio Tretton, another neckband-style earphones. Sudio Tretton already costs S$149 but does not have ANC or IPX5 technology, so I think Sudio Elva might be worth around S$169?

By itself, Sudio Flyg already costs S$69.90, but it comes bundled together with the high-quality Sudio Elva earphones and makes this set even more attractive with the cost savings

Also, don't forget about the promo code for extra discounts!!!

Promo: Quote "wireless15" for 15% OFF store-wide at Sudio's website. Valid until 14 Mar 2021.

*Disclosure: This is a review for Sudio Sweden. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

P5 Parenting | Her First Featured School Chinese Composition

Last week, Lil Pumpkin gleefully showed me this and told me that it was shared by her school Chinese teacher as one of the θŒƒζ–‡ or model essay answers for this semester's Chinese composition weighted assessment. 

Wow! She sure surprised me with this!!

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that one of Lil Pumpkin's Chinese compositions would ever be featured by her teacher as a θŒƒζ–‡. Honestly, I'm usually just happy whenever she can write a complete one with a proper start and ending without failing!

It's not that I'm looking down on her abilities, but if you know us, you'd understand and see that Chinese is not one of Lil Pumpkin's strong suits. In fact, I reckon out of all her subjects, she struggles with this the most and definitely dislikes this the most. So for her to achieve something like this is especially meaningful.

Sometimes, getting her to study Chinese is like pulling her teeth out... #notkidding

Perhaps receiving an Edusave Good Progress award earlier in the year motivated her to work harder. Or it's the boy tutoring her in Chinese or maybe it's my incessant nagging and scolding haha... but Lil Pumpkin has definitely come a long way from someone who didn't even recognise her Chinese name, or say a single word of Chinese.

You could tell that she was really pleased with herself too. Her eyes twinkled and she couldn't stop grinning (*^▽^*)

I am so so proud of her and happy for her too. I know some days she feels that Chinese for her is a "lost cause" but now finally, there's this opportunity whereby she can see for herself that putting in the work day in day out, even when she doesn't want to or feel up to it, reaps rewards. It may not come immediately. It may not come in months or even years, but the hard work will eventually pay off ( ᐛ )و

Hopefully, this mini achievement will motivate her to go even further and study even harder for herself. 


For more of  Lil Pumpkin's Primary School journey:

For tips on P1 preparation:

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Fitness Diary :: Probiotics Benefits for Athletes - DUOLAC for Gut Health

I learnt a health tip from the boy some time back when I just started training more seriously...

If you frequently experience digestive problems or sub-optimal recovery, there's one simple thing you can do to resolve them better: consume more probiotics! 

Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in your gut and in fermented, raw and living foods. They're very important for health and wellness, but their benefits are especially important for athletes

For everyone from young to old, healthy bacteria are crucial to optimal gut health, which is extremely important for overall wellness. It's the gateway through which nutrients affect the body.

We need a healthy gut for a healthy digestive system where food is broken down completely, absorbed efficiently or eliminated properly.  This leads to many benefits such as boosting of your immune system, healthier skin complexion, regular bowel moments etc.

If we don't digest our food properly, harmful substances may invade our blood stream and cause inflammation, lower immunity and hurt our overall health. 

Especially during this Covid-19 period where we may not be as active as before, or succumbing to unhealthy sugar treats to deal with the stress more often than we like, probiotics is important to support a healthy digestive tract and immune system to keep us safe and stronger to fight against the disease. 

For both competitive or recreational athletes like hubby and I, what we do outside the gym is just as important as what we do inside it. A good training program doesn't just focus on the "training" aspect, but also on recovery and diet to really reap the rewards from training and perform to our best ability.
Probiotics have the added benefits of improving recovery by firstly increasing antioxidant absorption. In the process of exercising, our body generates more free radicals from our increased metabolism which can impede muscle growth and development. We need high amounts of antioxidants in recovery and throughout the day to fight the free radicals and prevent them from causing damage. 

Secondly, interferons are powerful proteins that are the body's own frontline defenders against viral invasion. Probiotics can support immune function in athletes by promoting higher levels of interferons, a natural virus fighter, which is decreased in fatigued athletes. When you have a low level of interferons, it's easier to fall sick. Some studies have shown an increase in interferons in fatigued athletes with the supplementation of healthy bacteria has led to a decrease in illnesses. 

Thirdly, we need to be able to eat well to train well. But no matter how healthy or nutritious the food is, if the nutrients cannot be properly absorbed by the body, it is useless. Eating right is only half the battle. What we absorb from digestion is essential so, probiotics is important to us as it improves digestion by increasing the bioavailability and absorption of proteins and fats to give us the energy and nutrients we need to reach our fitness goals. It also helps with intestinal inflammation bloating and nausea, which are common complaints among athletes during and after training.

I make an effort to get more probiotics in our family's meals by including natural, fermented food like Greek yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkrauts or kimchi {try out my Buta Kimchi recipe!} almost daily. 

However, the dose of probiotics needed daily is not easily obtainable through just diet {you'd need to eat between 2-25 servings of probiotic-rich food products daily!} so we need to supplement with probiotic pills to get the core benefits. 

There are many probiotic pills in the market but I think one that you can trust, and which we are currently taking now, is DUOLAC from Korea

Made 100% in Korea, what makes DUOLAC unique is its technology that's patented around the world in countries like USA, Korea, Japan, China etc.  The dual coating ensures 100x higher survival rate of lactic acid bacteria in the intestine compared to uncoated probiotics that are easily killed by gastric acid and bile salt upon consumption. 

This coating also enhances the stability of lactic acid bacteria during processing, storage and distribution of the products. 

Note: All of their probiotics in Singapore are  halal-certified, gluten-free, and do not need to be refrigerated (*^▽^*) Each package is 1 month's supply.

The DUOLAC range includes 7 types, including specific ones for travel and children, and I'd highlight a few below. Depending on the product, they come in a variety of probiotic strains but all contain at least 4 strains that work synergistically for their health effects.  

I've read that multi-strain formulas are more effective than single strains but do note that currently, there is no consensus on what strain or dose is the best ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

DUOLAC Care is the signature product for adults to maintain balanced intestinal microflora for a healthy gut. In capsule form, it contains 6 probiotic strains with a dash of Vitamin C. The pills are very slim and easy to swallow. We like that they come individually packed in light packets which makes them easy to bring out for travel. 

DUOLAC Family is suitable for both kids {2 years old and above} and adults. It also has 6 probiotic strains, and it is fortified with prebiotic, which are compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms. You don't need to take prebiotics for probiotics to work, but taking them together might make your probiotics more effective. 

DUOLAC Family comes in a bottle of vanilla-flavoured chewables. For those that have trouble swallowing pills, this might be a better option for you. Personally, I prefer to swallow pills compared to eating chewables, so I'd still swallow these together with the rest of my daily supplements at night haha.  

DUOLAC Yam Yam Plus (Kids) is the one that Lil Pumpkin is eating now. Good for kids aged 2 and above, this chewable bear-shaped tablet comes in a yummy yoghurt flavour that kids enjoy. It promotes gut health, bone health and immune support for kids. This supplement contains 5 probiotic strains as well as calcium, zone and Vitamin D for healthy growth and development, while maintaining a healthy immune system. Lil Pumpkin takes one in the morning before school, and one at night before she sleeps.

Babies are not left out as there's DUOLAC Baby. These are special powdered probiotics that easily dissolve in water or milk to help keep your babies' intestinal health balanced. Recommended for babies aged 3 months to 2 years, they contain 5 strains, prebiotics, Vitamin A and Vitamin D. 

Since including more probiotics in my diet years ago, I think that my bowel movements are more regular and I feel less bloaty. Even on days that I feel extra bloated, like after a heavy buffet meal haha, if I take probiotics immediately after, the feeling goes away pretty fast. 

If you'd like to try out DUOLAC probiotics, the entire range is available on which currently have some bundle deals. Limited product range is available at Guardian pharmacies and Watson's stores.  

* Disclosure: DUOLAC probiotics was provided by DUOLAC Singapore for review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own. The content is not presented by a qualified healthcare professional and is for informational purpose only. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please seek medical advice first before trying.