Wednesday, August 19, 2009

H's Cute-sies

You know I've got serious blogger's block when I'm featuring H's toes. Or you might think I have some pertaining issues.
Well, these toes are kinda cute and make me laugh. So maybe they'll make you laugh too!
But seriously..this is what we do. No, I dont always draw on his toes..but we get up to childish behaviour when it's just us two. H insists its me who brings it out in him. But I think it takes two hands to clap. I guess it just natural for us to show our real identities as time goes by- definitely a far stretch from our first date!
And the reason for me telling you all this?..I haven't quite figured it out. But I think I draw toe cartoons quite well. Don't you??!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mum's Pandan Cake Recipe

*Note: Kindly omit cakes crumbs from your vision as the very lazy amateur photographer had a keen tummy. Thank you.

My mother isn't a big fan of cakes. She doesn't eat them much and she doesn't bake much either. Instead, she's told me- You only have to master a few and forget the rest.

My mum has definitely mastered her chiffon cakes. In fact, it's pretty much the only cake she bakes now. Her daughter on the other hand -aka me, hasn't mastered any and most probably tried a few trillion recipes to say the least.

So finally, I took on my mother's chiffon recipe today. My first chiffon. My baby..ahh..

Pandan Chiffon Recipe

(24 inch chiffon cake pan)
10 egg whites
10 egg yolks
6 oz plain flour (you can also use cake flour)
8 oz fine sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking powder
2 oz coconut cream (Ayam Brand) mixed with 2lbs plain water
1 tsp pandan paste
8 Tbspn oil (I used olive oil)
Pinch of salt

1) Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius. - Some ovens may require 180 degrees. Kindly adjust.
2) In a dry and clean bowl; add egg whites, cream of tartar and pinch of salt. Beat until foamy and runny, add in half the sugar. Beat until egg whites are stiff. (Kenwood model level 12)

3) In a separate bowl, place egg whites. Gently fold in the flour (I didnt sift it cos I was plain lazy) , baking powder, remaining half of sugar, coconut mixture and pandan paste. Making sure each ingredient is mixed evenly before adding the next one. Finally add in the oil.

4) Turn the beater to a slower level (Kenwood level 2) and gently pour the yolk mixture into the white mixture. Alternatively, you can gently fold the yolk mixture into the white mixture. Make sure it's even.

5) Place into oven and bake for one hour.

6) Cool upside down so cake doesn't fall back down.

Yippee! Done!

..And since I'm very good at showing what a clumsy mess I am, I thought I'd show you this. Parts of the cake had quite a few air bubbles and I presume it's either I mixed it for a tad too long with the baking powder or my weirdo method of pouring. Ahwell. Ohh..and as always, i fail to cut it nicely because I'm too tempted to eat it [and remove the crumbs for beautiful photos]- someone stop me! But trust me, should you try this recipe yours will turn out nicer than mine. I promise.

  • Use normal chiffon pan and not the non-stick type. I reckon the non-stick type won't allow it to rise as much as the cake batter has nothing to 'grab' onto whilst baking. Hence wont be as fluffy and tall.

  • Make sure all utensils are clean and dry.

  • Coconut cream can be replaced by coconut milk. If so, don't add water and use 4 oz of coconut milk. Coconut cream tends to be a little dense/heavy and can inhibit the chiffon from rising.

  • The sugar has been reduced. If you'd like a sweeter taste, use 9 oz of sugar instead of 8 oz.

  • Using cake flour instead of plain flour helps it raise. Cake flour is lighter and quite fine in texture.

Friday, August 14, 2009

4 Years, 5 Balls and some green paste

Who knew these takoyaki balls..

and this wasabi paste could trigger me into wanting a new camera? And not a normal one. I want a big one..professional one with all the tech savy stuff - of which I know nothing about!


No prizes for guessing where we were dining- the black sketchy fish with a red crown shouts Sushi King!


All ears?...

We were celebrating our fourth anniversary- nothing really to boast about, just that we needed some time together and alone. This year we really wanted to chill and take it easy- so much has been happening.

So as usual, during lunch I started to take some snaps while waiting for the food to arrive.


Dear something's wrong with the camera, it doesnt focus even on macro.

You've most probaby got your settings wrong, here... [H grabs the camera from my hands]. ..

After a few minutes of fidgeting with the camera he passes it back to me and says

Nothing's wrong..try again.

I did. And when the takoyaki balls came, the whinger in me told him the same thing

Dear, something's wrong. Its not doing what I want it to do.

What do you want it to do then? H asked.

I want to zoom in closer, you know- like those magazine shots where I can see the texture and the dots. I want the wasabi to fill up the whole picture, and I want the tako balls to be zoomed..- I explained whilst fumbling through the just-taken shots to show him.

H laughed and simply stated- When did you go crazy about cameras? Those need another lens. I didnt know my wife needed to be all professional for blogging?! Should I be getting worried?

I paused. Then laughed. H has never said anything about my blogging..except for the occasional - Can you please don't blog about this? [when something embarassing happens and his lovely wife threatens to blog it!]

Anyways...Yeah. When did I have the obsession with food blogging and taking nearly-edible pictures? ..Hmm...

Hence..enter my new whimsical spur-of-the-moment must have- A new camera. Let's hope this one subsides. Soon.


On a separate note..[which is totally unrelated and I'm sure you'd love to know..] I ruined the rest of the day by falling sick and having a bad migraine- which subsequently ended our massage and spa plans...grrrr....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Something Crafty

Forgive my absence in crafting. Life has been hectic and now that I'm married, my craft supplies are all over the place- its in boxes at my mum's, in my home and even in my office. Reason? I dont have a official craft area anymore and I'm putting up with it 'cos I'm waiting for my house to be done. I forget what I have sometimes and I've misplaced alot of things.

Lets not digress.

This card was for my mum's birthday. Just let me mention that :-

a) Forgive my weird 'happy birthday' writing because I couldn't find my proper pen. Did I tell you my things are in boxes?

b) I had to do this card really fast because I was using my parents study room to do a card for my mum!

Next on the agenda was a handmade gift for H. I had promised myself years ago- with every anniversary I'd make H a handmade gift. Last year it was a bucket complete with a photo book. This year its just..a plain book. Theres a twist though...since I'm his wife now..he ought to do some work too right?

And...just let me mention this too:-

a) Forgive the letters that are nearly dropping off..the adhesive obviously didnt work despite me Modpodging it later.

b) Try not to look too cutting was atrocious because I couldnt find new blades. grr.

Now that thats done..did i mention the drooping and now wonky letters??..

It was a little story book where he had to fill out the details. I wish I had more time on my hands so that it could of been coloured. Ahwell. Time flies.

The fill-in-the-blank parts were like: dates that are important, or how we know, all the mundane stuff that girls never tend to forget but guys miraculously lose their memories after dating! Anyhows...since its four years, I though he should pen it down so he never has another excuse to forget in the later years -Aren't I smart? Yee haa!

And yes..just had to reinstate I made it myself.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Best Chef

Here's my mum. In my world, she's the best chef. Amoungst all the food frenzy i'm in recently and all the cooking classes I go to, I think she's the one I learn the most from. Her cooking fundamentals are simple- throw in ingredients according to your taste and instinct.

Unlike her daughter [aka me], she doesnt have a tonne of cookbooks. Yet her dishes have remained deliciously flavoured ever since I can remember. She also doesn't have much hand written recipes too. All her recipes are in her head.

Here's my first and only photo of her cooking. Blurred I know- but she's really hard to keep up with! But I love it. Its just...her. My this instance, cooking one of our family favourites: Five Spice Duck.

Her duck is awesome. I'm not bias. But it is the best I've ever tasted. I'm sure if my sis gets a load of this she'd wish she was here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Tale of Two Cheesecakes

Currently, baking classes consume my weekends- and then I consume the bakes. Fair, no?

This week: Marbled Cheesecake & Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake.
This is the final product...tempting isnt it? The cuts are so precise too.

Guess which is my swirly marble? Far right. That was fun with a satay-stick thingy. Yes. Arent I precise with my descriptions?
FYI, the chef made the one on the bottom. Stinky poo! He was annoyingly accurate with his chocolate loops complete with a radius measurement I reckon. Mine on the other hand, looked more like egg shaped swirls..hmph.

..And this is what happens when you don't hot-dip your knife 'cause you're[ok, ME!] just desperate for cheesecake! Notice all the yucky jagged edges and oh-so-not-professional cut.

Then theres me making cookie balls. White and dark chocolate cookie balls. Once again, I would of taken a photo for you to see the outcome, but I was too busy eating- hey!- you gotta try your food right?

..After baking..

And once again, cut with a cold knife by yours truly. -The chef better not see this.

Personally, the cookie cheesecake takes my heart. I love the combination of textures and tastes.

Ps. Has anyone decided to accompany me to a culinary school yet? I promise I won't eat your share of cooking. Promise. Cross my heart.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Humpty Dumpty meets Teenage Mutant

I meant to show you some pictures of my very-slow-but-ongoing house construction. I really meant to. And you'd never of guessed why I didnt end up doing so. But I feel like telling you anyway since I'm very good at mocking myself.

You know what Humpty Dumpty did right? And you know where Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live right? I havent quite decided which one I want to be, so for now i'm a trans Humpty-Mutant. Nice.

I fell. As in plonk fell. Fell into a drain. On Site. In front of lots of people. In front of my house. Soaked with dirty site water.

And to make matters worse, H (yes, thats what my hubby will be from now on) brought his friend over to see the house and ofcourse show-off his now extremely embarassing wife. I'm really presentable.

I was such a sight. Imagine soil run offs, bright yellow on my blue jeans and black shirt. Beautiful contrast of colours I might add. And then imagine me, having to be lifted out of the drain. Lifted. Did i mention lifted? Because the soil and water totally drenched me and I felt like a elephant.

Simply because I stepped over some wooden planks that decided NOT to support me that day.

(I hate wooden planks now and have since befriended concrete blocks.)

But on the bright side, atleast the drain hasnt been used yet and my foreman has fell before too.

..And tomorrow I'll tell you what I baked before I mocked myself.