April, You were MENTAL!

Hey guys! It has been a while since I wrote as…. School has started!!! Hooray!!! School started in the middle of the month and it has been really good so far. I made many new friends, cheeky ones and most importantly learning what I love, Baking and Culinary!

I gave myself a pep-talk the night before school started, telling myself that making friends is the very first priority as I was going to a new school without any classmates or close friend accompanying me. It was daunting at first but I managed and I am now friends with loads of smart and lovely people! IMG_1628  IMG_1684

 

Next thing I told myself was no matter how difficult the modules or lessons are, I have to keep in mind that I am so so fortunate to be able to learn and expand my knowledge on food.

April was a milestone totally daunting and exciting, however I am looking forward to the new routine of May and the rest of the year. It is the start of something big… 😀

Oh! And in the month of April, I did bake a little and I hope to be squeezing some time to write about that soon.. So, till then, Ciao~

It's Strawberry jam Swiss Roll!
It’s Strawberry jam Swiss Roll!
Strawberry Fruit Tart
Strawberry Fruit Tart

 

Having Fun!

I have various ideas of fun!

Number 1. Playing/Preparing Food! Once I set my mind on cooking a certain type of dish, the fun begins. It starts from visiting supermarket to late nights in the kitchen. Though I do not really enjoy the cleaning up part but that’s not what I am here to talk about. Someone once told me if you are unhappy while cooking, the dish would not come out yummy or beautiful. I barely agree with that statement, but I believe to always put your full attention to whatever you are doing and it would come out just fine; it might come out wrong at times, but if you are having the time of your live, you would not mind correcting the mistakes!

I once made failed eclairs but it did not seem like I failed because the process was fun!
I once made failed eclairs but it did not seem like I failed because the process was fun!

Number 2. Music. I know it is a cliché subject but it is a fact! Music instantly puts me in a great mood. After a long day in school, the first thing I will turn on in my room is the radio! However sometimes the choices on the radio disappoints me but nonetheless there are other channels like Spotify or my very own playlist! Secretly in my room, I would dance to the music playing. Smiling and moving around like in a dance-club. A pretty shameless thing to admit but hey, I am having fun.

Lastly, Number 3. Being with the right company. The right company can be with my friends or family or even family friends! With the right company, my spirit lights up, especially with family friends! Endless jokes and glorious food is what kept us at the dining table for hours. Basically, laughter is key!

My cheekbones would hurt whenever with them. And I meant the 'laugh-non-stop' hurtful...
My cheekbones would hurt whenever with them. And I meant the ‘laugh-non-stop’ hurtful…

I think life is just about having fun. You live in the present and why waste it with anger, hatred and sadness, put your life in a positive energy and live it happily and wisely! I have shared my thoughts of having fun, what is your idea of fun?

{Travel Adventures}: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The Conclusion! Part III

Despite the insanity of traffic in all corners of this bustling city, it has treated me fairly well for the 4 days. Weather was warm and you be showered in sweat as soon as you walk out of your hotel. But you would not mind the perspiration because drinks vendor would be all around to quench your thirst.

Throughout the 4 days I was there, I learnt a new culture, met kind and good souls and ate delicious food. I am very blessed to be able to embark on this journey in 2015, making it my very first adventure of the year.

It was such a good trip. Vietnamese were very friendly and they did not mind repeating directions when asked over and over again. The architecture of the city is gorgeous. Food are relatively safe to consume, though I had an upset tummy on the day I was set to go home… But I had my fair share of good food.

So without further ado, below are some pictures I took from the trip. Enjoy!

IMG_1268A quick history lesson in the War Remnants Museum. I do not do very well in such places where they exhibits pictures of sufferings and mass killings. I dislike the vibe and instantly, a chill would travel down my spine… Nonetheless, I visited the museum to find out about the history!
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Wet market in District 1.
Wet market in District 1.

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A lady making rice paper.
A lady making rice paper.
A family on a boat on Mekong Delta.
A family on a boat on Mekong Delta.

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A market along Mekong Delta.
A market along Mekong Delta.

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A man selling bananas on Mekong Delta.
A man selling bananas on Mekong Delta.

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I hope you have enjoyed this short post and my apologizes for being absent this whole week as I have started school! Therefore it might be an issue updating this blog, however I would try my best to post something at least once a week. Please understand the situation I am in and continue to browse the blog! Thank you! Till the next time or next adventure (winks), Ciao~

Fat, Creamy Cream Puffs!

I set myself up for a challenge to do some cream puffs. Now why I said challenge you might think, well, it is because I do not have any experiences making profiteroles and my family loves cream puffs, therefore the pressure is luring above me. But I thought “Let’s just try it once, and if it does not work, try again next time. But if it is a success, GOOD FOR YOU!” And I began…

My recipe is from a Youtuber from Japan. The channel’s name is Cooking With A Dog. I have been watching this Youtuber for a while now and the products that they cook looks and feel amazing. They use quality produce and they cook really professionally.

So I stumbled upon their cream puff recipe and I decided to give it a shot!

Making the choux pastry was a rather tedious process, however seeing them raise in the oven gave me a true sense of satisfaction.

Firstly, Melt the butter in a pan with water.
Firstly, Melt the butter in a pan with water.
The outcome of flour with melted butter and water.
The outcome of flour with melted butter and water. 
The product of the flour mixture with the egss.
The product of the flour mixture with the eggs.
Time to pipe these little rascals out on baking tray with a parchment paper.
Time to pipe these little rascals out on baking tray with a parchment paper.
Flatten the tips by dipping your finger in water and pressing gently onto the tips of the pastry.
Flatten the tips by dipping your finger in water and pressing gently onto the tips of the pastry.
Then, whack them into the oven and let the magic happen!
Then, whack them into the oven and let the magic happen!
The cooling process...
The cooling process…

While the puffs are cooling, I made the cream! The filling for the cream puffs are the combination of pastry cream and whipped cream.

Warm milk with vanilla pod and sugar. Want extra vanilla in your cream? Add vanilla essence to boost it's flavour!
Warm milk with vanilla pod and sugar. Want extra vanilla in your cream? Add vanilla essence to boost it’s flavour!
Whisk egg yolks and sugar till pale while the milk is warming...
Whisk egg yolks and sugar till pale while the milk is warming…
Gently temper the warm milk with the egg yolks bit by bit. Once all are combined, pour the mixture back onto the heat and whisk it till it thickens.
Gently temper the warm milk with the egg yolks bit by bit. Once all are combined, pour the mixture back onto the heat and whisk it till it thickens.
Thick, pudding-like custard is formed. I placed it on an ice-bath to make the chilling process speed up, so that I could store them into the fridge as soon as possible!
Thick, pudding-like custard is formed. I placed it on an ice-bath to make the chilling process speed up, so that I could store them into the fridge as soon as possible!
Oh! And remember to cover the custard with a cling film/plastic wrap.
Oh! And remember to cover the custard with a cling film/plastic wrap.
While the custard is chilling, I whipped some cream up to incorporate it into the custard cream to give it a smoother and lighter texture.
While the custard is chilling, I whipped some cream up to incorporate it into the custard cream to give it a smoother and lighter texture.

Next, it was time to fill the bad boys up with the yummy goodness! Silly me, forgets to capture a picture of the cream filling… But here’s the end product! IMG_9971

For the steps and recipe, Please go to Cooking with A Dog, Cream Puffs recipe! I have been following their channel for a while now, and I am constantly amused with the dog, Francis, for always resisting on the visually delicious food the owner is whipping up. Like how can he resist those?!? Do check out their channel and you might find one or two favourites there!

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe as much as I did, although it was the most tedious but interesting recipe I ever baked. Stay tune for the next post as it would be my last post about my recent trip to Vietnam! Till the next time, Ciao~

{Travel Adventures}: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. My foodies dream, Part II

I did not spend a long period of time in HCMC, but I believe I managed to take in most of the city during my trip to Vietnam. One of my favourite thing about the city is that food is accessible everywhere. There are many small cafes along the road or little makeshift store that sells noodles or snacks. During my time there, I was never hungry.

One food item you have to try before leaving Vietnam is Banh Mi. It is a baguette sandwich with meat of your choice. Store vendors would stuff the baguette with either chicken, beef or pork with pickled vegetables and fresh herbs. It is affordable, delicious and filling! I had a chicken sandwich for dinner and I was stuffed through the night!

We chanced upon a small local eatery and decided to dine like a local that evening.
We chanced upon a small local eatery and decided to dine like a local that evening.
The kind store vendor making beef sandwich.
The kind store vendor making beef sandwich.
The chicken sandwich was made with shredded chicken with pickled vegetables and fresh herbs. I found the sandwich really dry, therefore I added the sauces that were available on the table.
The chicken sandwich was made with shredded chicken with pickled vegetables and fresh herbs. I found the sandwich really dry, therefore I added the sauces that were available on the table.

The food scene in Vietnam is vast. You could get thick ice coffee to refreshing coconut everywhere, in the market you could find a piping hot bowl of pho to fried bugs. You also can find international cuisines in the city. We chanced upon many Japanese and Korean restaurants, it is purely the city of food.

Assorted nuts and spices sold in the market.
Assorted nuts and spices sold in the market.
Dried fish for sale. They hold a very pungent smell, but it gives great flavour to dishes!
Dried fish for sale. They hold a very pungent smell, but it gives great flavour to dishes!

We decided to indulged to American BBQ on our last night in HCMC! We googled and researched and settled on a casual restaurant called Quan Ut Ut. They serve American BBQ, burgers and beer! Seems very casual and worth the eat! The meal costed less than 50USD!

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You would not miss the diner as their sign is pretty attractive and the place was buzzing throughout the night. Certainly a spot for gatherings and messy family dinners!
The interior of the diner has a very chill and country vibe to it, which made it very authentic.
The interior of the diner has a very chill and country vibe to it, which made it very authentic.
Buffalo wings that were generously coated with hot sauce.
Buffalo wings that were generously coated with hot sauce.
We ordered a sharing platter which consisted of grilled corns and okra. The mains are pork sausage, ribs and cuts of pork.
We ordered a sharing platter which consisted of grilled corns and okra. The mains are pork sausage, ribs and cuts of pork.

By the end of our meal, we were too full to walk. It was that good! A great way to end my trip to HCMC!

And this concludes all the delightful eats in Ho Chi Minh City. I think I gained a little weight but, weight can be shed, so fret not and just eat on! The next part of the trip that I would love to share is the city itself. I walked for hours during this trip and seen many! So stay tune for the next part to view the bustling city of Vietnam! Till the next time, Tạm Biệt~! (Goodbye in Vietnamese)

Quan Ut Ut is located in District 1,168 Vo Van Kiet | Phuong Cau Ong Lanh. 

March, You have been an amazing month!

So here I am, April 2nd, reflecting on March.

March went by fairly quickly with many events happening within. It was a very exciting and challenging month. Exciting that I made many new experiences , gained so much knowledge and exploring. Challenging was that I had to balance family, work and friends. Many milestones within March…

I started off March with a hearty meal. I tried a cafe that everyone was buzzing about but to my disappointment, the food was not up to expectation. Nonetheless, it was a hearty plate of food!

Eggs benedict with prosciutto!
Eggs benedict with prosciutto!

The rest of March was pretty much filled with food. I am very guilty of consuming all those food now, but I did enjoy them then! 😀 IMG_0831

The concept of these sushi is east-meets-west. Something new and different, Good stuff!
The concept of these sushi is east-meets-west. Something new and different, Good stuff!

Oh! And I made homemade sushi, which was a rather successful attempt.  https://peigeeatbigonfood.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/i-made-sushi/IMG_0909

The highlight of the month was watching One Direction and Ed Sheeran perform live! Nothing beats those days… I wrote a post regarding the One Direction concert, https://peigeeatbigonfood.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/my-thoughts-after-meeting-one-direction/

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For Ed Sheeran’s concert, I could not believe I was watching such a talented guy perform. He is crazy talented, extremely charming and gifted with such an angelic voice. His stage was nothing fancy, just a guitar with a massive backdrop with graphics. He performed for 100 minutes and those minutes were heavenly. He is truly such a good performer! IMG_0827Oh! One more highlight of the month was getting to go Vietnam! I would be updating my Vietnam adventures very soon, so stay tune for that, but for now, here are some pictures I took during the trip! IMG_1274 IMG_1268 IMG_1064 IMG_1138

So basically, March has been filled with adventures and soulful music! It was such a good month and it was bittersweet bidding it goodbye. However, there are many exciting things happening in April and therefore I am welcoming it with arms wide open! Here’s to another good month!

 

{Travel Adventures}: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; My foodies dream! Part I

Hi all! Today I am back with another travel adventure! However for this post, it is only concentrated on the food! But I would show you the bustling city in another post to come, for now, lets all enjoy the food. One disclaimer, I only tried handful type of food, therefore it might lack a little content, but I would try my very best to make the most of all the food I have eaten!

When we think of Vietnam, pho and banh mi (baguette sandwich) comes into mind. So indeed, I tried them both! I tend to stay away from the tourist recommended areas as the prices and taste could vary a little and I want to eat like a local.

Exploring HCMC is pretty easy and convenient, but the language barrier is the issue, therefore know where you are going and have the address and store name written down for easy reference and it be easier to ask for directions. That is basically what I did for the entire trip! I searched for various Pho stores that seems interesting and I wrote the address down on a notepad and brought it to Vietnam!

My very first meal in Ho Chi Minh was at Pho 2000. It is a place for tourist as Bill Clinton apparently had pho there. We went for lunch there as it was located near to our hotel, so we decided to give it a try. My cousin and I walked from our hotel to the store and it took about 20 minutes. It was great fun though, walking along the streets of Vietnam. We got seated immediately upon arriving the restaurant and ordered 2 bowls of beef pho and spring rolls. As the weather was warm, we also ordered 2 coconuts to quench our thirst and refresh ourselves for the meal. The cost of our meal was about US$13. IMG_1266

In Vietnam, pho dishes would be accompanied by a plate or basket of fresh herbs. It is up to you to add them into your piping hot bowl of pho!
In Vietnam, pho dishes would be accompanied by a plate or basket of fresh herbs. It is up to you to add them into your piping hot bowl of pho!
Spring rolls. They were really crispy and flavourful. Fried to perfection!
Spring rolls. They were really crispy and flavourful. Fried to perfection!

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Another Pho store we tried was eaten by the locals because when we arrived at the store, the only customers there were Vietnamese, so I assumed we found local eats! We settled down and soon realised we had a language barrier, but the kind lady figured what we were there for and she quickly whipped up 2 bowls of beef pho!

The store is located at the corner, opposite a canal.
The store is located at the corner, opposite a canal.
A bowl of beef pho with a basket of fresh herbs. And we casually ordered jasmine ice tea unknowingly. :)
A bowl of beef pho with a basket of fresh herbs. And we casually ordered jasmine ice tea unknowingly. 🙂

And that was the end to our pho eating. We only ate pho at these places. We went back to the local eatery for pho on the last day, It was good and cheap and oh!so!worth it! It costed for only about US$5 for 2 bowls of beef pho and 2 glasses of jasmine ice tea.

The warm weather and scorching sun would make you thirsty very soon. So along the way, there are small makeshift drink stores. Now, you might think is it unsafe to drink or consume, honestly, you are just thinking of quenching your thirst, no more thinking if it would give you tummy ache, unless you brought your own water. So along the way, we decided to stop for a cup of ice coffee from a street vendor. Vietnamese ice coffee consists of black coffee and condensed milk. The coffee was so thick and sweet. It was not my type of coffee but at least I tried! And a cup of ice coffee cost less than a dollar! IMG_1280

She would mix the condensed milk and coffee first before adding the ice!
She would mix the condensed milk and coffee first before adding the ice!

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Our next and last encounter with coffee was at a small little cafe, where the locals have their lunch or tea-break. We sat in short wooden stools and tables that were as low as our knees. It was adorable and very relaxing. I asked for traditional vietnamese coffee that I have been searching for days and lucky us, we found the right store!

Coffee powder are placed into the metal cup with a filter intact in it. They pour hot water into the cup and hot coffee would drip into the glass below.
Coffee powder are placed into the metal cup with a filter intact in it. They pour hot water into the cup and hot coffee would drip into the glass below.

The whole coffee process was really cool and I am so glad I managed to find the coffee store before leaving Vietnam. I was a happy girl!

And this conclude My Foodies dream Part 1! Stay tune for more Vietnam adventures, till the next time, Ciao~ Or should I say Tạm biệt (Goodbye in Vietnamese).