Do things that make you happy.

2014 have been nothing but a crazy journey. Many ups and downs have happened but I am still surviving healthily and happy. And there are some certain things that made me extremely grateful and happy about life.

  1. Family. I was able to see how supportive my parents are when I was in need of a support and help. I might have neglected them a little during my busy days during examinations, however this holiday season, I would give them all my time and share laughter and joy with them. I am really fortunate to have them as my family. IMG_7708 IMG_6234 IMG_4054 IMG_4030
  2.  Friends. It is probably a really cliche topic, however they are the people I share my happiness and sorrows with. It has been a tough year for them as well, however it was lovely to have them by my side throughout the year and I sincerely hope that these people would stick with me for a very long while in the mere future.
    A message from a classmate on the last day of school...
    A message from a classmate on the last day of school…

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  3. Lastly, Me. Within this year, I am slowly finding out what I want to become in the future. I am starting to have a clear image of what I want to be doing and what I would be doing. It has been a bittersweet year… Many happy memories and also, countless sad moments. I would say that I had a balance of good and bad happenings throughout this year. And with that, I am constantly growing and maturing and I have to say, even though there are countless bad moments, I am content with what I have in life right now. And I believe, always surround yourself with happy people. A lovely family, amazing friends that would chose to stick with me through bad times and an exciting 2015 awaits me. It is a good life.

IMG_2913 IMG_2848 Doing what I enjoy most.. Baking.  IMG_4119

Admiring my labour of work..
Admiring my labour of work..

Then cooking…

IMG_4302 IMG_7284 IMG_7700 IMG_7761 Revealing the happy moments throughout the year…

All in all, do stuff that excites you, those that bring joy and happiness. If you have yet to find those, look for them slowly. No need to rush. Life is about finding out who you really are and it does not happen overnight. I am lucky to have found my interest and I hope one day, you will too.

I hope I have brought you closer into my life, this is a small reflection of everything that had happened this year. It is a fruitful year but I am also ready to make 2015 a more fruitful and exciting year! Till next time, Ciao~

 

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Do you love oatmeal? Because I do!

Most of my friends do not really enjoy oatmeal. I think they associate it with ‘old-people’ food. However, they can call whatever names they want, because I enjoy every single bit of oatmeal. It’s coarse texture, rustic taste and creamy flavour are the reasons why I love oatmeal. Another thing I love is cookies! So why not corporate both ingredients into one! It is a win-win solution!

I got down to search for oatmeal cookies and I found it! It was not hard, Google assisted me. 😀 I was actually spoilt with choices, after looking through all the amazing recipes, I decided on soft oatmeal cookies. One that would go well with milk!

The ingredients required were almost what I had at home, so there is no need for grocery shopping.

This was a relatively easy recipe to follow. Basic steps such as creaming butter and sugar, adding eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and lastly, the dry ingredients.

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I spaced them apart because while the cookies are baking, they would spread and I do not want interlinked cookies. Baked them for 12-13 minutes, rotate the baking tray halfway through the baking time. And TA-DA! You have yourself a tea-break snack. These oatmeal cookies goes well with milk, tea or coffee. A perfect excuse for tea-break.

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As you can see, I ate mine with milk! Just like the good old days…

Without any further ado, here is the recipe for the oatmeal cookies!

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Salted Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3 cups Old Fashioned Oats

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand mixer) beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each one.

Mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium sized bowl. Add it into the creamed mixture in 2 to 3 batches, mixing it until just combined. Mix in the oats until just combined.

Use your preferred size cookie scoop (or a regular spoon) to drop portions of dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, spacing them a couple inches apart. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until dark and chewy. If you’d like a crispier cookie, just cook a little longer!

Let them cool slightly on the pan after removing from the oven, then transfer the cookies onto a plate for serving.

* Note: Add 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts to the flour mixture if you’d like a nutty flavor and crunch.

(This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. I adore her recipes. Most of the recipes are homey and comforting. Cannot wait to try another recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/08/brown-sugar-oatmeal-cookies/ )

I hope you have enjoyed the oatmeal cookie recipe and I cannot wait to start sharing Christmas recipes with you. It is my favourite season and I am eager to get my hands dirty with flour or ham! So, till the next time, Ciao~

I baked again!

Just a few days, I saw some overripe bananas hanging in the kitchen. So I thought “Let’s not waste this beautiful bananas and so, I decided to put them into good use!” I baked Banana bread!

This following recipe I have done a post before in June. This time I want to share my thoughts through this baking process because I did notice something different from the last time I baked this. So sit back and enjoy~

I notice my bananas at the corner of the kitchen, looking gorgeous and bright yellow, so it meant to either eat it or toss it away because it would be very acidic once it becomes more ripe. I looked at it and thought, why not bake them, instead of wasting those bananas! So I checked that I had sufficient ingredients and I got down to baking.

I laid all the ingredients I needed and got to work!IMG_8058

I did not use the whisk to mix the batter, I used a wooden spoon instead. After I added all the ingredients, it was a very dense and heavy mixture. I was worried that it would not bake well and might cook throughout. However, I did not want to add excess liquid, as that might jeopardise the whole bread and the cooking time. Therefore, I went ahead and poured the mixture into 2 loaf tin. The recipe only asked for one, however like I mentioned earlier, it was a dense mixture, therefore I minimize the possibility of having a rather raw bread.

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I checked the banana bread multiple times. At the last few minutes, I noted that the top had already brown beautifully, however the middle was still rather raw as I checked it with a skewer and it came out moist. So I placed a sheet of aluminium foil on the top of both loaf tins. This is to prevent the top of the bread to burn and still be able to cook the middle of the bread.

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Time’s up and I took them out of the oven and they looked good! I let them cool and rest at room temperature and then I did a taste test. It was surprisingly moist and airy in the inside, not dry and heavy. I was relieved that all went well!

So here’s the recipe for easy reference.


Banana bread

3 cups of flour

1 cup sugar

1\2 tsp salt

1 1\2 tsp bi carb soda

185g butter

2 bananas

1 1\2 eggs

1 1\2 tbs water

1\2 cups walnuts

Methods

Mash bananas

Throw bananas into flour, sugar salt, bi-carbonate soda, eggs, walnuts, water, and melted butter

Give it a good mix! Into thick pancake mix like.

Grease loaf tin

175C, 45 mins . Skewer comes out clean. Good to go!


Oh! And again, I did not add walnuts because I did not have it at home and also, I knew that it would not affect the taste, texture and appearance of the bread. Although it would add different textures to the bread as the crunchy walnuts would crunch to the bread. I think I also realize why the batter was thicker and denser than before. I added 3 bananas instead of 2. Luckily, all went well and nothing major happened.

It felt amazing to be baking again and to see the product coming out like how you expected it to be. I believe this is one of the reasons I kept baking. The joy and excitement you get when all the whisking and mess produced a product you are proud to show and share with everyone. It is amazing. And one other thing that is amazing that I get to share my experience on this blog. I cannot wait to be sharing more experiences here, so till next time, Ciao~

 

 

Sometimes all you need is a friend.

Life can be cruel to you sometimes. At times, there are too many bumps at once, and with that you cannot handle. Or some other times, you are just walking that life journey alone. You get bored, lonely and mentally tired of life. This is when you seek help. From people around, people who love you or generally, people. I believe no one can walk the journey alone. It is just too tough and dreadful. There is always that someone there to rely on and help you up when you fall. There is a saying “Maybe we do die alone, but that does not mean we need to live alone.”

2014 has made me see a lot of things in different perspective. For instance friendship. What one would show when they are not in the nice and calm environment. It overwhelmed me a little but I chose to accept that this is indeed a fact in life I have to embrace. A lesson I learnt is not everyone around you is willing to stay with you throughout. There are only a handful or limited people around who stays by your side through thick and thin. And those are your true friends.

My definition of true friends is one that mutually agree on things, one that appreciate the effort the other has put into the friendship and lastly, making efforts mutually for time together.

Over this year, I have seen the ones that are truly my friend. I have to say it takes time to observe and know whether one is a true friend. But I take it as an experience, not a regret. This is life we talking about, it is all about experience and exploration. It is your choice on how you want to view the people around you.

I think I have matured a lot through this process, but I am still learning and I will continue to do so in my next phrase in life.

Well… It was certainly nice to write something a little personal to you. This post was just some thoughts and I decided to write to you. It is indeed out of food topic but I just wanted to share a little something to you. Till the next time.. Ciao~ 

 

Healthy Healthy Coffee-Chocolate Marble Cake!

It would not be fair if I didn’t share my favourite recipe for my marble pound cake. I searched for this recipe because I was craving for some pound cake. So I searched. Then I found this recipe that I’m going to share below. It’s a healthier alternative as it uses yogurt rather than butter. As you know, marble cake is a creamed cake. It would use half fat (butter) to flour, therefore this recipe is a much healthier alternative, as it uses vegetable oil and yogurt for fats. It does have guilty and yummy marble but that would not do much harm, I guess! 

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So I start putting out my ingredients and started measuring the items. It was quite mundane and boring till… I had to separate my batters for the coffee and vanilla. I separated it then it’s time to pour the batters into the moulds. It’s up to you to pour the coffee at the bottom or on top. In my case I poured the vanilla as the base. I alternate the batters and thus, my coffee batter is on top.

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Chocolate batter on top, Vanilla batter at the bottom!

I popped it into the oven and let it do it’s magic.

When I was checking my cake, it was a little difficult to check if I’d burnt my cake as the layer I could see is brown. So a note to note is that if you want to check your cake easily, pour the vanilla batter last. I had a few cracks on the surface of the cake, but it was cooked perfectly and it was soft and moist inside. 

Oh! And I did not add chocolate into my cake. Instead I used purely coffee flavouring and essence for just the coffee flavour in my cake. It is up to you if you prefer chocolate or coffee, in my case, coffee! So to stop all the anticipation for the recipe, there you go! 

Healthified Coffee-Chocolate Marble Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup(s) flour, cake, sifted, or 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup(s) yogurt, fat-free plain
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar, granulated
  • 1/2 cup(s) oil, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup(s) egg substitute, fat free, thawed
  • 1/2 cup(s) buttermilk, low-fat
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup(s) cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoon espresso, instant, or instant coffee crystals
  • 1/2 cup(s) water, boiling
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon espresso, instant, or instant coffee crystals
  • 2 teaspoon sugar, powdered, and/or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cooking spray

Recipe Tip:

92% les sat fat- 60% less sodium than the original recipe–see the comparison.

Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan; set aside. Set aside 1/2 cup of the cake flour or all-purpose flour. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups cake flour or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2.  In another large bowl, whisk together yogurt, the 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, the oil, egg product, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture; beat with a wire whisk just until combined. In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder and the 2 tablespoons espresso powder. Add half of the yogurt mixture (about 2 cups) to the cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth; set aside. Add the reserved 1/2 cup flour to the remaining yogurt mixture, whisking just until combined.
3.  Spoon half of the white batter evenly into the prepared pan. Carefully spoon half of the chocolate batter atop the white batter in pan in an even layer. Repeat layers with remaining batter.
4.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Place cake on a wire rack set over a sheet of waxed paper. Using a long wooden skewer, poke cake in several places all the way through to the bottom.
5.  In a small bowl, combine the boiling water, the 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and the 2 teaspoons espresso powder. Stir until sugar and espresso powder are dissolved.
6.  Slowly pour coffee mixture evenly over top of cake. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and/or cocoa powder.
Recipe with courtesy from :Everyday Health, http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-recipe/healthified-coffeechocolate-marble-cake-.aspx
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When the cake is still in the mould

The inside of the cake...
The inside of the cake…
A different perspective of the cake!
A different perspective of the cake!

And so this concludes today’s post! I do hope you have enjoyed reading and drooling over the cake that it makes you want to bake it! I did enjoy myself while making this marble cake and I cannot wait till the next time I bake it again! And something I really love about this cake is that is it so versatile. You can have it for tea-break, breakfast, as a birthday cake with icing poured over the cake. Many many different possibilities. So with that thank you for reading and till next time, Ciao!

I Met…….

About 2 months ago, it was my birthday month. My friends and I went out for a meal on the weekend of my birthday. We had pizza, we laughed, we talked, we enjoyed ourselves very much. We were having our dinner at the town area of Singapore and coincidentally, it was the Formula 1 weekend as well. There were major road blockage and it made our evening quite difficult to travel around. So we decided to head down to Marina Bay Sands via the MRT train.

Goofy me during dinnertime...

 

We stroll along the Singapore river and slowly made our way to the Marina Bay Sands shopping mall. We just wanted to get away from the rather humidity evening air… Once again, we strolled aimlessly around the mall, looking into the shops and just joking around. It is not until someone caught my friend’s attention. He was tall, wearing a black t-shirt and busy conversing with other guest in a restaurant.

“Hey! Doesn’t he look like Gordon Ramsay, The one on Masterchef ?” My friend spoke. And that instantly got my attention. I immediately turned to my side and saw him. Indeed, he was Mr Gordon Ramsay. I was stunned for a second and practically what got into my mind that very moment was, “Oh My God! THAT’S GORDON RAMSAY! HE IS HERE IN SINGAPORE!” I got a little too excited because I am a huge Masterchef fan and his shows are always playing on my television.

My friends and I walked towards the side of the restaurant and we decided to take a chance and see if Mr Ramsay were to leave the restaurant and if we could get a picture taken with him. I waited anxiously and I was literally shaking and thinking that I am so lucky to be able to meet Gordon Ramsay on my 17th birthday weekend. I kept reminding my friends to not let Mr Ramsay spill away. I just wanted to get a picture taken with him. It would be such an honour. So, we waited. Then finally…

He walked out of the restaurant. Very fortunately we were the only one that decided to wait for a picture, so there was not a queue. When we walked up to him, I took in on his tall height, strong build and rather wrinkled face. We asked if we could get a picture and it seems like he was in a hurry but, he still took that minute or two to smile for a picture.

Mr Ramsay and I with my friends

He was incredibly tall, he has a very firm hand while shaking my hand and Wow! He was not very intimidating, very nice and kind. Such good luck I had!

After that I found out from my parents that he actually came for Formula 1 and since he is opening a new restaurant here in Singapore, he came down to take a look.

So yes, I met Gordon Ramsay and I am so darn happy that I met him. And I guess that’s it for my post! I hope you enjoyed my experience with Mr Ramsay. And for the next time, I do hope I still retain some luck for Jamie Oliver!!! 😀 Alright, till next time, Ciao!

Hello November!

I’m probably a few days late to the welcoming of the month, however Its NOVEMBER!  And today. I am blogging to you because I am left with the last paper of my National examinations! I have never thought this day would come so soon but… Here I am! And I am glad to say that I will start blogging more often now as I could resume my baking habits and eating habits!!!

It has been such an interesting experience to go through this examinations. The determination and strength I see from everyone’s eyes during this examinations is unfamiliar. I always see playfulness, cheekiness and a laid-back attitude in them. But during the month of examinations, everyone became serious and had a ‘no-joke’ look. It was unusual.

However, with all being said, the examinations are coming to an end and Wow! It has been a journey! Throughout my 5 years in secondary school, I have meet many amazing people, made lovely memories and had my joy and fun there. It is pretty daunting to realize that I would have to adapt to a whole new environment and get to know different kinds of people, but also I am excited to be going through this stage of life.

Back to the current topic, I have decided to change a few arrangement on this blog. I would be posting a certain type of different food that I cooked or baked on certain days. There maybe even a theme. I have not come to a conclusion yet but here are some things I have planned for the upcoming month, plus December.

  1. I would try my very best to blog at least twice a week. One might be some thing I have cooked. And the other, I baked.
  2. These are the few recipes I might be blogging. Pandan cake, some kind of tart, pies and macroon.
  3. As I would be traveling during November and December, I would be more than happy to blog about my travels.
  4. As I am very eager for Christmas, I would love to share 5 blog post on recipes that my family and I enjoy during Christmas!

And I think that would be all! I cannot wait till I am officially done with my examinations and I cannot wait to get my hands into flour and eggs! Till then, I hope you would be looking forward to the further blog posts as I think I am going to have so much fun writing them! Till then, Ciao~!