The Faults in My Cooking and Baking…

I have never been a very organised person, but ever since I started baking, I began to be organised more often. However at times, I would become the old clumsy me, and I tend to forget this ingredient, set the wrong  oven setting  and the lists goes on.So for this post, I would like to share my faults in my cooking and baking.

  1. Lacking an ingredient or 2… I started baking only a few years ago. I was not very sure of the procedures, ingredients and the organisation. I just started baking bluntly with all the ingredients yet to be measured and oven not preheated. There was once that I laid most of my ingredients out on the kitchen top before baking. I accidentally left an ingredient out as it was not at sight. And guess what the item is…?? It is milk. I left the milk in my fridge as I did not need it immediately and thought that I would remember to add it later when it is needed, however due to my forgetfulness, I forgot.. I remember the end product was not as bad as the product baked with milk and I really was relived and from then on, I made sure that I MUST be organised for all my future baking adventures.
  2. Wrong oven setting. At home, I consider my mum A GREAT COOK! Her food that she produced are heavenly. I am sure I would miss the food whenever and wherever. As the oven in our house is a multi-purpose oven, she uses it for grilling and I uses it for baking. I do not have the habit of checking the oven setting before baking. So one day, I was blindly baking my cupcakes, then popped them into the oven and about 10 minutes later, my cupcakes got burned. The oven setting was set at the grilling setting and it has a higher temperature than the baking setting, therefore my cupcakes got burned. I was pretty upset with myself as I did not check the oven setting and it resulted in burnt cupcakes. I told myself TO ALWAYS CHECK THE OVEN SETTING BEFORE BAKING from then on.
  3. Inaccurate measurements in cooking… I love to eat healthy and I love cooking my food. But when I cook, I do not follow a recipe or a cookbook unlike my baking. I would just toss in whatever there are in my fridge and stir-up something. So whenever I toss something into my pan, I tend to put in more than I can consume and in my thought, it is a pretty bad habit that I could not break till today. I am always left with leftovers and they would just be put into the fridge and eaten the next day or sometimes, forgotten. Therefore these days, I tend to cook with lesser amount of food to prevent such wastage!
  4. Splattering oil. My most dreadful part of cooking is the splattering of oil. The sound of oil popping, the splatters they made and the pain they gave when they land on your skin. Ouch! I had an incident when I was 10, where I had to cook lunch on my own as I was at home, alone. I was ambitious to whip up a meal for myself. So I gathered all the items I wanted to cook and began. I wanted to have chicken in my dish, so I wash, slice and I was ready to cook the chicken. I heated my oil and drop a chicken into my pan. The commotion I got from the pan really freaked me out. The oil started to splatter, louder and louder. I was still a beginner in cooking then, and I did not know what to do. I started to panic a little as I dare not reach to turn off the stove because of the vigorous splattering of the oil. I ran to call my neighbour for help. I was so grateful that they were home and was very helpful with turning off the stove. After the splatters subside, I laughed it off and had to prepare a new set of lunch. Now I know that I have to dry all my food before placing them into the pan of hot oil!

There! The faults in my cooking and baking. I could say that I really great adventures cooking and baking and I cannot wait for more to come! And I am sure that you could create fun and memorable adventures during cooking and baking! Good Luck & Have Fun!

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SUPER FOOD!

I am 17 this year. I love to eat, I love to travel and I love to live life to the fullest. But all these comes with calories and saturated fats, I want to avoid that! So I consume, what I like to call my ‘Super Food’, they provide me with all the nutrients, energy and vitamins. I would make an effort to eat these food as I do feel a little happier and more lively after. And they have little or no calories! So without further ado, here are my SUPER FOOD!

  1. Greek Yogurt! Greek yogurt are a little thicker and creamier than natural yogurt. It gives a fuller stomach when I consume greek yogurt than natural. They are packed full of protein and they keeps my stomach full throughout the morning. I love to make smoothie with greek yogurt. For example, half cup of bananas, blueberries and greek yogurt. That’s it! That’s all you need to make a breakfast smoothie! Or, I would consume greek yogurt with granola. The dish has so many different textures and again, it fills my stomach easily.
  2. Bananas! Bananas have carbohydrates which makes bananas my source of carbohydrates because during my meals, I tend to eat more vegetables and meat and this does not provide me with carbs, therefore I would eat bananas! And I love to have a banana alongside with bread for breakfast. As they keep me energise for school and I would tend to feel fuller and not have a tummy grumbling throughout lessons.

    My all luxurious weekend breakfast! Top left: Toast with banana slices on jam.  Top right: Blueberry and banana smoothie Middle: Greek yogurt with granola, blueberries and bananas!
    My all luxurious weekend breakfast!
    Top left: Toast with banana slices on jam.
    Top right: Blueberry and banana smoothie
    Middle: Greek yogurt with granola, blueberries and bananas!
  3. Bread! Wholemeal, wholewheat, brioche, baguette and many many more. Bread is also another source of carbohydrates in my diet. Therefore I ensure that on school days, I have bread for breakfast. They are low in saturated fat and high in dietary fiber. Insoluble fibers move solid wastes out of the body quickly to prevent constipation and some gastrointestinal diseases. Fiber can also delay hunger by creating a feeling of fullness. Fiber may prevent weight gain by providing calories that are not absorbed and displacing high-calorie refined foods.
  4. Tofu! Tofu are low in calories and are vegetables protein. I could eat all kinds of tofu, firm, silken, soft, egg tofu, you name it! Except I do not have the courage to try stinky tofu… During my vegetarian days, I would consume mostly tofu.

    Mushroom salad with tofu.
    Mushroom salad with tofu.
  5. Mushrooms! I realise that many people dislike eating mushrooms but I cannot figure why because mushrooms are beautiful and delicious. They can replaced for meat in my meal as mushrooms are hearty and filling. Preliminary research suggests increasing intake of low-energy-density foods (meaning few calories given the volume of food), specifically mushrooms, in place of high-energy-density foods, like lean ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after the meal. 
  6. Orange! I started eating orange for the juice but now, I realise it’s more than the juice. They are pack full of Vitamin C, which is also vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system, is good for preventing colds and may be helpful in preventing recurrent ear infections. I could have orange after every meal and I would never get tired of eating it. The juices that splatter after your first bite, the sometimes sourness that comes with it makes it so much interesting eating it. 

TA-DA! Here are the list on my super food! Please note that this list is base on my eating experience and not through some strict diet that is provided on the internet.

Everyone could have their own super food, just be mindful that fast-food are not super food. Super food needs to make you feel healthy and happy. You would want to consume food that gives you the satisfaction after eating them, right? Therefore create you own super food and be happy and alive and healthy! Good luck & Have Fun.

Source: Orange- http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=37
Bread- Dietary Fiber -http://caloriecount.about.com/dietary-fiber-facts-nf291
Mushrooms – http://mushroominfo.com/benefits/

Stress Buster!

As you guys may know, I am currently having my mid-year examinations. Therefore stress is written all over my face. With added pressure from teachers and parents, I had to find a way to ease the stress during studying and revision.

Thus HERE ARE 8 WAYS TO EASE MY STRESS DURING REVISION! Please try it out and see if it’s effective for you!

  1. Environment! The place that you pick to study is very important. I see many people heading to fast food stores to study. In my opinion, fast food stores such as MacDonald and KFC are among the worst choice to study. It’s a place for people to dine, not to study. It’s constantly noisy, you can never concentrate with such environment. However if you are studying there because of your friends , do you and your friend a favour and persuade them, to study at a better and more conducive environment, like the library or at school. Those places are much better than a fast food store, it’s less greasy and noisy. In my case, I love to study alone at home. I made a special space for my revision; quiet, spacious and comfortable. That way I make sure I get some productive studying done!
  2. Set your mind straight! You do not want to start studying without knowing what to do. So create a mental list of the subjects you plan to revise. That way, you would not be clueless and dumbfounded when you start studying. Make sure to allocate ample amount of time for the subjects.
  3. Readiness! Prepare all the materials you need to revise that day. You do not want to study with insufficient materials and you might probably feel bad borrowing materials from a friend. So, set your revision materials aside a night before or hours before. I usually bring notes or worksheets as I thought books were really heavy and most of time, my notes cover everything I need to know!
  4. NO DISTRACTIONS! In the world we live in today, everyone has a cellphone/smartphone on them. You could excess to the Internet anytime and anywhere of the day. Hence, just for that few hours of revision, sacrifice the use of technology. Don’t just leave your phone on silent mode or place it 1 metres away. It is useless. Ask your parent or friend to safe-keep your phone or leave your phone somewhere safe and away from your revision area. Without technology, you do study better. Your concentration is 100% on studying and not on Twitter or Instagram. Trust me, been there done that! I have gone about 3 to 4 hours without technology during my revision and it really helps. The information does penetrate into my brain better!
  5. Music… Up till today, I have no idea if music helps you study better, however, I tend to study without music when I am alone. When I am with my friends or outside my home studying, I would listen to music while studying. In my point of view, it is probably better to study without music as you would not get distracted with the song or rhythm or busy changing the song you rather not listen that day.
  6. Companionship. I see a lot people studying with friends and for this, it is your preference. You might enjoy a company while studying, while others prefer solo work. For me, I am a solo worker. I think having friends around while studying is a little of a distraction, therefore I studying alone.
  7. Asking for help! Clarifying your doubts during revision is the MOST important part. As I study alone at home, without technology beside me, I would leave my doubts aside  and clarify them in school the next day with my teachers, that way I get the sufficient knowledge and help for exams.
  8. Last but not least, Determination! You might think that ‘Oh! This is a cliche point that everyone talk about…’ Well, you are not wrong! Your determination to ace examinations is the drive to your revision. Therefore set your goals straight, strive to get that! For me, I have seen myself working harder this year than last year. Thus, I hope hard work pays off!

There you go! My 8 steps to ease stress during revision. Hope it is useful as it is pretty effective for me and Good luck and Have Fun studying!

My success story.

Hello! This is the second essay I have posted on my blog. I just wanted to share the essay that I’ve been working on. You might probably think ‘Why am I posting essays and not food?’ Exams are here and basically my main focus are on studies. So pardon me for this period of time. Oh! And for the next week, I would be on studying mood, hence I would not be posting anything for the following weeks. My apologies for the inconvenience. But for now, enjoy this essay on my success story! It’s a little lengthy but ENJOY!

‘Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it comes naturally.’ –David Frost

Everyone have his or her great success story. My definition of success is an accomplishment of one’s goal.  So here is my great success story…

2013 was a breakout year for me. I was taking my national examinations. The stress level was high and disappointment was not an option. Aside from the revision and school, I wanted to find a stress-reliever. So I decided to bake. I did not take much interest in baking during my primary school days but when I entered secondary school, I find baking very interesting and therepeutic. When I first started baking, it was about setting my emotion and stress aside and focusing only on baking the product. However as I got more involved in baking, I developed a passion for it. A passion whereby I would want to break out from my comfort zone to try out challenging variations and plunged into the world of baking. As my passion for baking grows, people around me are my guinea pigs. Whenever I bake, their stomach would be filled in no time. I gave the fruits of my labour to anyone and everyone who wants them.

I wanted to spread my love for food and baking, therefore I created this blog. Big On Food. I never had any experience in blogging nor writing, other than the essays I am told to write in school. However I just type whatever flow through my mind about food. Blogging got a lot more interesting when I found out people   viewed my blog, it gave me a little more drive to express myself on this blog. When I surpassed the amount of views I never expected to get so soon, I was motivated. Motivated to share and commit to blogging.

Then words spread like wild fire about me blogging and it travelled to my aunt’s ear.

One mundane Saturday morning, I received a call from my aunt. Unknowingly, my baking activities reached my aunt’s ears. She conducts private art classes.

She spoke through the cellphone with a hint of excitement and it got me curious with the content she was going to spill in a matter of seconds. She was wondering if she could purchase two dozens of red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting by the following week for her art class. I was thrilled by the idea but decided to give it a thought before making empty promises. I thought it through and well and accepted the order. I got down to the task that following as I could ensure that the cupcakes would be fresh and delicious.

Firstly, I researched for a suitable red velvet cupcake recipe. Coincidentally, I bought a recipe book filled with all kinds of different cupcakes weeks ago. They even provided the cream cheese frosting. It was a sign of relief to have the recipe found so soon. Next were the ingredients shopping. I checked through the entire kitchen to make sure that I do not purchase the same ingredient that I already have at home. Purchasing the materials was an easy task as I was familiar to with the supermarket. It certainly made things effortless. I got home later that evening with arms with bags of eggs, flour and butter. I freshened up and got myself prepared for the long night ahead of me. I neatly arranged the equipment and ingredients on the kitchen top and was all set to make a wreck in the kitchen in the middle of the night. By the time I was done, it was already two in the morning. I ensured that the cupcakes were covered properly and insect-free before hitting the sack.

The following afternoon was the collection of the cupcakes. I made an effort to rise early to frost the cupcakes. I made the frosting to the right consistency, thick, sweet and creamy, and piped the cupcakes. Then packed them into boxes and await for the arrival of my aunt. I personally handed her the two boxes of cupcakes and watched her took her leave and did not hear from her ever since till the following night. She sent me a text, claiming that her students and herself loved the frosting and the cupcakes. I was on cloud nine. Not only did I manage to do what I love but managed to spread to people who are foreign to me. It was certainly a great success.