Mainland Egmont Cheese

Cheese is a staple in my fridge at all times of the year.

I always have to keep a healthy supply of it – ready to use whenever I have a craving or recipe that calls for it. It’s that practical long-lasting, easy-to-use ingredient that brings life to boring everyday ingredients, and quite often the center piece of many indulgent recipes!

With so many dairy & cheese brands in the market, which one do you automatically gravitate towards when shopping in a supermarket? Perhaps it’s their minimalist yet eye-catching colorful packaging, or just the fact that they’ve got a wide range of different and delicious cheeses available.. Mainland has been the brand that I’ve been purchasing and using for my home cooking since first discovering it a few years ago.

“Established in the pure and natural goodness of New Zealand, Mainland has been crafting premium specialty cheeses for over half a century. The cheese making tradition is retained and the process is never rushed. The slow natural aging of the finest cheeses give Mainland its unique rich and authentic tastes. Mainland cheese symbolizes craftsmanship, superior quality and authenticity.”

Of course you know where this post is going already.

I’m going to share with you two recipes you can re-create at home with Mainland Egmont! It has a semi-hard cheddar-like texture, with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that is mild enough to suit most Asian palettes. An excellent choice for cooking and baking, Mainland Egmont melts smoothly, making it versatile for use in various recipes such as pastas, omelettes, savoury tarts, quiches, baked rice, and any cheesy recipe you can think of!

The first recipe I’m about to share is one I know a lot of you are going to love for its flamboyance and decadence. It’s also been highly requested in the past, and here you have it now!

Truffled Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients: (serves 3-4)

  • 100g grated Mainland Egmont cheese
  • 300g mixed mushrooms, sliced (I used portobello, white and brown button)
  • 1 cup / 200g uncooked, unrinsed risotto rice (short and fat grained)
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 60 grams unsalted butter
  • 60ml white wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, black pepper, truffle oil / mousse to taste
  • optional: bacon or other meats of your choice for a protein punch


  1. Sautee onion, garlic, sliced mushrooms together in a large pan until mushrooms release juices. Drain the mushroom liquid into a bowl, and set aside both solid and liquid contents separately.
  2. If you have a meat choice, cook it in the same pan, then set aside for later use.
  3. Using medium heat and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, toast the rice grains evenly for 2 minutes while stirring vigorously to make sure it does not stick to the pan or brown too much.
  4. De-glaze the pan with white wine. Once the wine has been mostly absorbed by the rice, add in chicken stock 50ml at a time, stirring constantly.
  5. Keep adding chicken stock to the pan a little bit at a time, always making sure to scrape through the bottom of the pan and to use medium heat. The stock will slowly but surely be absorbed by the rice. This should take around 500ml of chicken stock and approximately 20 minutes for the rice to cook thoroughly.
  6. Once your risotto rice is cooked to the right onsistency, stir in Mainland Egmont cheese, butter and cooked contents (mushrooms, onion, garlic and choice of protein).
  7. Serve immediately and garnish with more Mainland Egmont, herbs and truffle oil / mousse!

If your heat is too high, you run the risk of running out of stock before your rice is adequately cooked. If you run out of stock, you may use the mushroom liquid or some milk to substitute. The texture of good risotto should be thick, sticky and chewy. A firm bite, with no uncooked bits or overly mushy texture. If you have any soupy or burnt bits, you did something wrong.

If you like it simple, you could eat it like this on its own. It’s honestly more than good enough to. But what’s now good… could be turned great with just a few extra ingredients. And I like to go all the way. We’ve already got Mainland Egmont mixed into this deliciously creamy risotto, but because I’m a cheese addict, there’s no such thing as too much! ;)

The full package – with more Mainland Egmont, parsley, truffle oil / porcini mousse, spring onions for garnishing, bacon pieces and cracked black pepper. Magnifique!

Why pay what’s usually more than $25 per small serving in high end restaurants, when you can do it yourself at home with a little tender loving care over your pan for 30 minutes? I believe this is a dish that even amateur home cooks can attempt, as long as you don’t let the rice burn or overcook, it’s a simple process that simply takes up a bit of your time. There’s no particular science or skill involved.

The amazing thing about risotto is that despite how creamy it is, I didn’t have to add a thickening agent or cream to the rice. It’s the natural starches breaking down that gives it that signature sticky chewy bite. This is the sort of magical meal you’d cook for your boyfriend to convince him to marry you. One bite is all it takes! ;) As a person who cooks, let me tell you that the way to ANYONE’S heart is through their stomach!

A risotto ain’t nothing without good cheese. While some like to use parmesan for their risottos, I find parmesan a little strong for everyday dishes and in contrast, appreciated the subtle sweet flavor Mainlang Egmont offered. It was easy to grate because it’s semi-hard, yet at the same time, the cheese melded into the rice mixture effortlessly within seconds. Baking this cheese would be a dream!

Very soon, this theory will be tested and proven.

On days you don’t feel like you’re up to making risotto, you can also use Mainland Egmont in a 5 minute recipe. The kind of recipe you go to for the quickest lunch in the world, or when you need a fantastic side dish to accompany your mains! I’d also do this for an afternoon snack any day of the week. This time, I’ve grated Mainland Egmont into a finer and more delicate size because it will be sprinkled over a small surface area, this way, it will stick to the surface better!

Cheesy Cajun Corn On The Cob


  • Mainland Egmont
  • Corn on the cob, de-husked
  • Melted butter
  • Cajun spice seasoning
  • Choice of herb – I recommend fresh dill, parsley or spring onions
  • Cracked black pepper


  1. Prepare a baking dish, pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Soak corn in cold water for 10 minutes prior to baking. Dry thoroughly, then lay on the baking dish.
  3. Brush melted butter all over corn, turning to cover the different sides.
  4. Pop into the oven to bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until you’re happy with how it looks. Some like it a little more charred, and others a juicier yellow piece of corn.. I like mine still juicy with nicely browned bits here and there.
  5. Remove from oven, immediately generously top the baked corn with Mainland Egmont, cajun seasoning and the rest of your garnishings, then eat while it’s still hot!

My idea of good corn. Melted butter, salt, and corn – yeahhhh.

My idea of EPIC corn.    …..YEAHHHHHHH!!!!

Look at that Mainland Egmont shamelessly lying seductively atop that juicy golden corn. They weren’t kidding when they said its usage is awesome for both cooking and baking purposes!

The cheese gives the corn a whole new dimension of flavor, amplified by the cajun seasoning which is a little spicy.. you have yourself a perfect combination that will have your taste buds positively break dancing in glee. I didn’t need to add any salt to this recipe because the cheese and cajun seasoning already contains enough. But of course, feel free to amend this any way you like to your own preferences. This will be a definite hit at dinner or potluck parties, when you need something easy to prepare that’s easy on the wallet, and everyone will be dying to know the recipe because you took an extremely ordinary ingredient and turned it into something pretty extraordinary! In that event, please direct them to this blog.. thank you. :P

Small in buck and effort, but huge on taste.

If corn is “just corn” to you, then you obviously ain’t never had something like this! Corn, will never be just corn again. You’re welcome.

Before I go, I want you guys to know that every single recipe I put up on here, I genuinely want you all to try because I think you’ll LOVE it, not because it is a promoted product. Like I said earlier, I’ve been using Mainland cheeses for years now – their full range includes Vintage, Tasty, Epicure, Gouda, Edam, Swiss and Gruyere cheese. Tasty is another one of my favorites!

I’d love to see you attempt these recipes. Remember to hashtag #mainlandcheese on social media if you do so I check out your yummy posts!


Air is the new oil with the Philips Airfryer

Cooking, is without a doubt, one of my favorite past-times!

Not only is it a hobby or interest of mine, but an actual way I sustain life. I know not many people in Singapore around my age group cook a lot, but I’ve been actively cooking since I was 19 because I believe in the importance of home cooked food. Ever heard of the saying.. A family that eats together, stays together? That’s proven to be true for me! Cooking at home is just so much better than dining out sometimes, in terms of both quality and pricing! It may not necessarily compare to the best restaurants in the world, but what could be more heartwarming than coming home to a lovingly home cooked meal at the end of the day? Only when I started to take a real interest in cooking did I actually start appreciating food properly! So much planning & consideration goes into a good meal. From the prep work, to the actual cooking process, and then finally presentation. 
Having said that, while I enjoy whipping up home cooked meals, there’s nothing I love more than a fuss-free dish. Time is precious, time is money, something you can never get back no matter what you do. So when there’s a smarter, easier and heathier option to cook food with the Philips Airfryer, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be taking full advantage of it!!!
I was first introduced to the Philips Airfryer at Cookyn Inc, where we had a cooking challenge going on that day, and that was to use the Airfryer to whip up intermediate food dishes for judging within a certain time limit!

While listening to the nice people at Cookyn Inc talk about the product, we were fed appetizing quiches made with the Airfryer!

Both MissTamChiak and I were competing against each other to guide our respective teams towards victory. Maureen and I have known each other personally prior to this event, having gone overseas together once before, so thankfully it was a very friendly competition! 

My team hard at work to create recipes they’ve never even seen before that will hopefully impress the judges! Thank you to my very game friends, Xavier, Peggy, Byrne and Sam for joining me in this activity. I know I have your support in everything I do!!! Nawww.

While anxious to win, we did not let that get in our way of having fun the whole time.

Look at what my pal Byrne carved out with a little knife to earn some brownie points in the presentation department!

Turns out the Airfryer is amazingly convenient and easy to use, my friends who don’t even cook ended up churning out dishes so tasty, I would’ve sworn they were restaurant quality had I not seen them prepare it from scratch before my very eyes!! I am SO proud of them, and the rest of my team! They showcased good teamwork and impressive learning skills, resulting in these beautiful dishes:

The Airfryer was used for every thing you see above: grilled eggplant, roasted chicken, baked gratin and even dessert – cherry pie!!!

I was honestly blown away.

Although we did not win the 1st Prize despite our best efforts, we did receive nice consolation prizes from Philips, and I speak for everyone when I say we had a jolly good time regardless of the outcome! I also got to bag home the Airfryer at the end of the day, much to my delight.

I started imaging and thinking up all the different types of food I’d make with this genius machine as soon as I got home.

Meaningful Innovation with Air
The Airfryer emits hot air from the top which is circulated rapidly and evenly within the device to cook the food. At a temperature of up to 200C, the air moves quickly and forcefully within the device, adding a perfect crisp to the exterior of foods being cooked.
With the unique star-shaped design of the base, the heat is propelled, guaranteeing a fast and even cooking session to deliver deliciously fried food that has reduced fat and oil content. Powered at 2,100W, the Philips Avance XL Airfryer HD9240 is now 30 percent faster.

Some of the notable highlights the Philip Airfryer boasts include:

Rapid Air technology
Airfryer’s unique Rapid Air technology enables you to fry, bake, roast, and grill the tastiest snacks and meals with up to 80% less fat than a conventional fryer! Its unique combination of fast & precise circulating superheated air, starfish design, and optimal heating profile allows you to fry a variety of delicious fried foods in a fast and easy way with no oil**. With Rapid Air technology you also get less odors than traditional frying, making it is easy to clean, safe and economical for daily use!

Digital touch screen
With the digital touch screen you can control the time and temperature of your cooking in an easier and more precise way. Enjoy your favorite food, prepared at the right temperature and time for the best result!

Versatile cooking
Not just great for frying, the innovative Philips Airfryer with Rapid Air technology also lets you grill, bake and even roast your favorite dishes all in one

1.2kg cooking capacity
1.2kg Capacity to feed up to 5 people. Now even larger families can enjoy the Airfryer experience with an additional 50% extra capacity

International recipe booklet
This recipe book created by culinary experts gives inspiration for a variety of low-fat fried food that you can cook in the Airfryer. It also introduces you to recipes that showcase the versatility of the appliance so that you can grill, bake and even roast food healthier, quicker and more conveniently.

Let’s see how it fares in my own kitchen, shall we?

Recipe: Baked Portobello Mushroom Bites

Ingredients: (2 servings)

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms de-stemmed
  • A bunch of spinach leaves
  • A handful of diced onions & garlic
  • Sundried tomatoes / minced bacon or sausage bits (optional)
  • 80g mozzarella or tasty cheese


  1. Stir fry the diced onions, garlic, spinach leaves and your optional meat (bacon / sausage bits) together over medium heat in a pan until the spinach no longer oozes water and meat is cooked
  2. Lay out the mushrooms on the airfryer grill, salt & pepper the mushrooms then top with ingredients previously cooked in pan
  3. Finish off with a generous sprinkle of your favorite cheese
  4. Bake in Philips Airfryer for 8 minutes at 180 degrees or until mushroom is cooked (timing depends on size of your mushrooms)

And there you have a simple homecooked meal whipped up in only 15 minutes, including prep time!!

Leave out the meat bits for a vegetarian version. I would advise to go easy on the salt because the cheese and sundried tomatoes already provide some sodium content.

The portobello shrooms are still juicy and tender. The cheese is all melted with some crisp edges. The spinach and other ingredients remain soft and at the perfect consistency. Perfect. How easy was that?

To get that beautiful color on your baked cheese, just add a dash of paprika powder to achieve the same effect! I guess I could make this with a traditional oven, but then I’d have to wait for my oven to pre-heat, prepare an extra baking pan lined with baking paper.. and probably bake it for 15 minutes instead of 8 minutes in the Airfryer. All those extra minutes I save will add up to be a significant amount of time over days of cooking! Although some people recommend that you preheat the Airfryer, I have not found it to be an important step. It heats up very evenly and ridiculously quickly, that it makes no big difference whether you preheat it or not.

Inspired by the chicken dish we made at the Cookyn Inc event, I wanted to grill some at home too!

The outcome was absolutely stunning.

Even though the chicken steak was pre-marinated, I added NO oil, but the airfryer worked its magic so all of this glistening glorious madness is natural fat aka chicken jus from the meat itself! Look at the beautifully charred bits on the side!!! 12 minutes at 180 degrees. Just pop the chicken in, then take the chicken out. I can honestly say that to achieve this with a conventional grill or an oven would not be an easy task at all. But the Airfryer did it so effortlessly. I. am. sold. (and smitten.)

So we know the Airfryer is good at baking, roasting, grilling etc. But just how good is the Airfryer at, well…. frying? Would my fries still be sinfully crispy and addictive?

To complement my chicken, I decided to test how well the Airfryer would cook my waffle fries. Which are, by the way, the king of fries to me. I never say no to them.

And I definitely did NOT say no to this.

Crispy? Yes. Delicious? You betcha. Did I have to get splattered by a pan full of hot oil to enjoy this texture of fries? NO!

I would be lying if I said it tasted exactly the same as a deep fried version. That would be factually incorrect, anyway. It’s much crispier, and without the greasy taste. It works well for most fried items. If you want the taste of oil so bad, nothing’s stopping you from pouring some truffle oil into a bowl and then shaking your fries around to thinly coat them. No more patting fried food in kitchen towels before serving to drain unhealthy excess oil because it’s just guilt-free pleasure from now on.

Mmmm mm. Look at my tantalizing meal prepared entirely with the Airfryer, waiting to be devoured! All in all, it took me less than 30 minutes for this plate of yummyness.

I can see why the Philips Airfryer is so highly raved about! It has proven itself to be convenient, quick, easy to use and most importantly to me, improve the quality of my food and life by making it easier. I am most impressed by its versatility because it does what my grill, frying pan and oven can do, but better and quicker. There’s endless food possibilities to be explored, and hassle is kept to a minimum for your maximum enjoyment.

To learn more about the awesome Airfryer or other Philips gadgets, why not check out their range of appliances and products here? If you’re not entirely convinced yet, perhaps these reviews by other users will seal the deal. For a more visual understanding of what the Philips Airfryer can do, watch some intriguing demonstration videos of the product live in action via this link.

Thanks Philips for revolutionizing the way I cook at home! Goodbye grease, and hello to tasty, healthier air fried dishes at home!


Guy Laroche Timepieces

“Gaining time is gaining everything in love, trade and war.” - John Shebbeare

I’m not usually a girl who wears watches. But I think Guy Laroche has single-handedly changed that for me.

I picked out a classic yet slightly vintage looking stainless steel watch, along with another rose gold tinted mesh piece from their newest collection and I couldn’t be more pleased with my choices. While not necessarily the most outstanding or different of watches, I do think they complement me perfectly. These two watches basically go with every outfit I throw on, and they’re subtly glamorous, adding just the right amount of bling without being too in your face. I prefer to keep my accessories rather understated, collecting individualistic items that will take me through the years rather than partaking in seasonal trends that come and go.

These gorgeous timepieces will stay with me for a long time to come!

As seen: L47901 (top), L5004-07 (bottom)

It’s difficult for me to decide which is my favorite between the two, but I guess I’d have to lean towards the L5004-07 from the new Guy Laroche “Soiree” collection because I instinctively fall in love with just about everything and anything rose gold in color. It’s the right blend of classic and contemporary for me! The pieces in the Soiree collection are elegantly contoured minimalist-style watches for the practical working lady, but adding a subtle touch of glamour with Swarovski crystals embossed on the four-indices dial, taking you from work to play.

If you’d like to get one of these stunning watches from the European designer brand yourself, quote “Guy Laroche with Shiberty” to enjoy a 20% discount on any regular priced Guy Laroche Timepieces at OG Orchard. Follow @guylarochewatches_sg on Instagram & like them on Facebook so as not to miss out on upcoming watch promotions and special watch giveaways!

Photography by Ace Chia.


Gly Derm Stretch Mark Cream

I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

However, having said that… I do not think anyone in this world could actually find stretch marks attractive… Right?! A great number of women have them, and I believe I speak for all women when I say, we absolutely want to banish them from our bodies. but are most likely to appear in places where larger amounts of fat are stored. The most common places are the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, underarms, back, thighs (both inner and outer), hips, and buttocks. They pose no health risk in and of themselves, and do not compromise the body’s ability to function normally and repair itself. But my goodness, they sure do look bad. I would know, I’ve got them all across my hip area!

Obviously, I haven’t been through pregnancy, so my stretch marks around my hips were caused by rapid and severe weight gain (over 15kg). I’m lucky in the sense that they are at a usually hidden spot, I don’t bare my hips often, or at all! I like to keep them hidden because I’m often mortified by how bottom heavy and pear shaped I am. So most people who know me, will not know my stretch marks exist. But I do.

Every time I happen to see my reflection in the mirror when I’m having a shower, I would notice those bright reddish purple stretch marks that stuck out unpleasantly. After some time, they itched, and after even more time, they faded away.. but not completely. Till today, they’re still quite visible to the naked eye, and they are definitely high up on my insecurities list!

When I first heard about Gly Derm Stretch Mark Cream, I was obviously excited – to my knowledge, there aren’t many creams that will help diminish stretch marks in the market, so this was something I welcomed with open arms!

Key Benefits of Gly Derm Stretch Mark Cream

1. It is specially formulated with Tri-Derm actives that help in rebuilding collagen and regaining skin elasticity
2. Improves skin colour and reduces the size of unwanted stretch marks
3. Initial results may be seen in just three weeks of usage
4. Continued usage is required for a more complete, long term effect
5. Dermatologically tested
6. Clinically proven
7. Preservative free
8. Fragrance free

Gly Derm Stretch Mark Cream should be applied 2 times a day, morning and evening, for at least 2 months. It sits on my sink counter with my other daily routine products so that I don’t forget to use it. It’s hard to miss such a striking tube of pretty cyan!

It is best applied on moist skin after bathing. Gly Derm should be regularly used to maximize results, and initial differences may be seen as early as after 3 weeks of usage. However, continued usage is required for a more complete, long term effect.

I started using this a month + ago, and I’m excited to share the progress of my results so far, with a Before & After shot side by side!!!

Be forewarned: The photos below may be slightly off-putting. They’re stretch marks after all!!!

This is so close up that you can see my pores and fine little hairs on my hips! Eek. You can pretty much see that my stretch marks are all over my hip area. Do note that the circular yellowish bruising is from my TCM cupping sessions and are not actually stretch marks.

What you should be looking at is the other darkened pigments, particularly the streaky bits on the left and right side of the picture. It’s quite interesting to note that the stretch marks on the left are pretty much completely flat and light in color, whereas the ones on the right side still do have a slight indentation and difference in skin level, making it much more prominent. The stretch marks on the left are much older, hence they have faded more.

For slightly under 2 months of usage, I’m very impressed by the results as seen. My skin looks slightly more moisturized, and the overall tone is definitely more even looking!

The texture of Gly Derm Stretch Mark Cream is much like a lotion, so it also benefited from its hydrating properties, since I do not have the habit of applying body lotion. Apart from that, my darkened streaky marks have also appeared to have lightened quite visibly.  I was kind of surprised myself when I compared the Before & After photos. I never knew how badly discolored my hip area was until I took such a close up photo of it.

While my stretch marks have not disappeared, I’m still happy with the progress because I’m optimistic about continued usage over the next few months.. maybe one day they will be totally unnoticeable!!! What I like most about it is that it feels and smells just like a normal body lotion, which makes application easy and fuss-free. I have this thing whereby no matter how good a product is, if it smells bad, I won’t end up using it in the end…. Thankfully, I don’t have that dilemma with Gly Derm Stretch Mark Cream!

For your information there are three different stages of stretch marks..

Stage 1
Early stretch marks will appear pink in colour, and may also be itchy. The skin immediately around the stretch marks may also look ‘flattened’ and ‘thin’.

Stage 2
Gradually, the stretch marks will enlarge in length and width, and changes its colour to reddish or purple.

Stage 3
Once the stretch marks have matured, they lose their reddish/pink hue. In the months after pregnancy, they will start to fade and become pale white or silver. They may also appear slightly depressed and irregular in shape or length.

Mine are mostly of Stage 3, however, I would advise women of Stage 1 and 2 to start doing something about their stretch marks while they’re new so that you can prevent further damage!

If you feel ashamed of the stretch marks on your body, don’t be. They occur naturally for reasons usually difficult to prevent. While they’re not the prettiest sight, the good news is we can actually do something about a situation we might have felt hopeless about before! Gly Derm Stretch Mark Cream is retailing at $14.90 and $23.90 for 60ml and 125ml respectively.

Goodbye stretch marks!!!!!! I will apply Gly Derm Stretch Mark Cream diligently twice a day until I see you no more. It’s time for you to leave my body. It was not very nice knowing you, and I’ll make sure we never meet again.

…At least, until I get pregnant lah. Then bo bian already. Just spam this cream again.


I love being weird with you (feat. Pixioo Photography)

As Augustus Waters had recently taught me, the world is not a wish granting factory. 

5 years on… I realize that no couple was made perfect for each other, and no relationship is without its threatening problems, no matter how great your attraction and affection for each other may be. People just try their darnest to love, and to be loved. Hopefully, that is enough. 

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love.”

Thank you Samuel from Pixioo Photography for capturing us in our essence. It was a last minute, quickly put together sort of thing that happened so quickly… but I think the spontaneity of the situation turned out well, because he managed to capture us being totally silly, which is what we are whenever we’re together. We had so much fun running around Marina Barrage completely drenched in perspiration underneath our heavy and thick unicorn / dinosaur onesies. Despite the strange looks we got throughout the evening, I couldn’t stop grinning the entire time.

Quote “Shiberty” to get 10% off all Pixioo Photography services!

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