Sunday, November 28, 2010


Yes. I've finally bought my equipment (i think the baking pans could be better though) and curiousity got the better of me... And so i've begun trying my hand at making the Diva Biscuits, aka the Macarons. The instructions looked easy enough. I soon found out it isn't about the steps. It's the technique.

I'm a fan of these sweet little monsters (you'll see why i call them monsters soon). And when i say i'm a fan, i really mean a slobbering, shifty wide-eyed, hyperventilating creature with a maniacal smile plastered all over her face, whenever i see macarons in the distance. Ask Gem if you don't believe me. I'm quite adept at shapeshifting like that.

Won't say too much, and let the photos do the talking.

Macarons have infinite ways of going wrong. Out of 2 trays, only 1/4 of them can be known to survive. My heart gets broken often by these tyrants. But i think my oven is partly to blame too.

Flat, porous, feetless pancakes. Friend says they look like japanese crackers. Too true!

More japanese prawn crackers. Meh. These were hollow, feetless and porous.

These miraculously had feet, but were sticky, flat and altogether just ridiculous.

After many tries, these macarons were born... Orange blossom with lemon curd filling, and rose with white chocolate filling.
Did them the italian meringue way which i will stick to for the moment since i've had some success with it. Making macarons the french meringue way has resulted in 100% failure rate out of the three times i have tried it! But i WILL get down to making them at some point in time.
Right now, i'm going to use the italian meringue method to experiment with different flavours. I think it's going to be green tea and white chocolate soon. And i so need a macaron flavour directory right now. Whoopee!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time to get my act together, i.e., write that dissertation. But before that! Photos of oven and stove adventures while i was/am stuck at home fighting a flu bug. I wasn't feeling too great but new gadgets/cookbooks/ideas just flirt and tempt me to the point of submission.

So here's my first attempt at making lemon meringue kisses. They turned out light, crisp and sweet! Just the way it should be... Except that they also turned out tanned, which uh, i would prefer on my skin but not on theirs. Sandwiched in between is lemon curd which i made a few hours before and refrigerated. The recipe came from my The Australian Women's Weekly Macaroon and Biscuits book that Gem bought for me. :)

Verdict: Delicious, but FULL of sugar. You need to already be able to eat handfuls of sugar without going into a hyperglycemic fit or coma to enjoy this one. Okay, i kid, but you get my drift. And because my oven is extremely unreliable, i need to ensure that i have 1 hour of my life to spare sitting in front of the oven and regulating the oven temperature. I guess making this is best suited to when i have time on my hands or when i'm already working in the kitchen handling other stuff.

My poached egg! Granted, i didn't loop off the extra wispy egg ends because i couldn't bear to waste it. But I ACTUALLY POACHED AN EGG! With the whites surrounding the yolk all pretty like that.

Yolky goop. Narm. Best on top of an english muffin with smoked salmon.

My absolute fail rose macaron. It might look like something familiar, but trust me. Although this one was the prettiest of the lot, it doesn't meet "macaron standards". The others were flat, cracked, stuck, feetless and just downright ugly that it was both funny and heart wrenching at the same time.

Verdict: It tasted nice. Well, sort of. It had that rosy flavour i love, thin, crisp layer on top and chewy insides. But most of it was stuck to my wax paper anyway. This lucky one was atop my new Silpat baking mat (love!).


Now that i've purchased an oven thermometer (following Alton Brown's advice, though i bought the one he dislikes since i didn't have any other choice), I now realize how redonk my oven is. It explains quite a lot now!

Friday, November 19, 2010

There's something i'm definitely missing out on right? What is the world keeping from me?!?!

Why do Singaporean girls have such smooth, even skin while my skin is lumpy, pimply and uneven and discoloured like the MOON?!?!?! It's not fair! ROAR!

Please tell me what the secret is, puh plleeaaasssee????

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is a picture of my little furry angel, Jed. You don't see much of him here because he's so black, just maybe the outline of his black pointy ears. It amazes me how perceptive he can be. To most people, he's just a yappy, crazy inconsiderate dog, but to me, he's my precious 4-legged family who can be extremely human sometimes.

There's a story behind this photo of course. I had apparently eaten something wrong at lunch time on monday and got food poisoning. So i spent pretty much the whole of monday and tuesday in bed.

And true to being man's best friend, he kept me company. He would hop onto my bed every chance he got when he found me lying there, find a nice tight corner beside me and cuddle right in. All day while i was in bed and all night, for the 2 whole days/nights. On other nights, he might wander from room to room, but this time he was constantly by my side.

Somehow, he could sense that i needed some extra love, some extra comfort and quiet company. And his loyal K9 heart didn't fail to deliver.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Grumpy at having to wake up early, grumpy that i was running late because i woke up late and had to ensure that the dog was fed, leaving the house later than i should have, knowing that I was going to be inevitably late for the first day at a workshop at the office, meant that I was not in the best of moods.

So happened that i had also chosen to try a new bus route to work in hope that it would be shorter than my usual 1 hour 15 min route.

As the bus pulled into the road with my designated bus stop, as i was unsure of the route, i hesitated and didn't press the "Stop" button. And i was like, "ARGH! Now i have to spend more time figuring out how to get back! Am i going to be late!". I stared out the window in utter despair watching my bus stop pass right on by...

But wait! HANG ON!

For some unfathomable reason and without warning, the bus was already halfway past the stop when the bus driver suddenly swung the bus into the bus bay and stopped with a considerable jerk. Good thing it wasn't crowded or you'd have a bunch of rather disgruntled passengers.

I figured the driver thought that someone at the bus stop wanted to board. But not a soul did.

This took me by surprise, but at that moment it occurred to me that i should be getting off. So i sheepishly pressed the button to let the driver open the back door for me to alight and i hopped off as silently as i could.

The strange thing was, i thought i saw a caucasian lady at the stop who looked like she wanted to board the bus, But when i got off, she was nowhere to be seen.

I messaged Gem to tell him what happened and he said, "haha, maybe the bus driver was possessed by the Holy Spirit and stopped the bus...". You know, i might jolly well agree.

I saw God's grace that morning... and then remembered how it started. Remember miss grumpalofogus earlier that morning? Well, i did leave my home grumpy, but when i was waiting for the bus, i just started to thank the Lord for the beautiful morning, my able body (you know, to run across, uh, i mean jaywalk), and for just every thing that i had in my life. I also started to sing, in my head, a praise song that we've been playing in church recently. I'm glad i chose to change the way i started my day. From a heart of unrest, to a heart of praise and thanksgiving.

It's these funny little instances that God tells me that he knows his daughter needs a hand, and extends it down to her. I love it that He shows me He cares in my everyday living. :) God shows up beyond just church, for sure. It also goes to show and remind me again that God is in control all the time, and that He can always turn a bad situation around for good, and when i share about it, it's for His Glory.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

It's no fun being stuck: I can't write my literature review because i haven't read enough, and I can't read enough because i keep fallin' asleep while readin'! It's so annoying! Despite my nerdy-nose-always-in-a-book kind of face, sorry, me and Books ended our relationship since junior college and university. Academic reading killed the reading star.

I did love reading, i did. Past tense.

So, if you've ever let me borrow a book of yours out of sheer goodwill to share knowledge, I'm sorry you haven't seen it in a while...

I ought to start a self project, to pick up a book and begin enjoying a good story, for a start.

On a completely different note, and for the sake of having pictures in this post, here are two REALLY PRETTY DRESSES! Plucked them off Inspiration for a wedding dress. :)

Love the blend of cool, calm, flowy colours, like water and the sunset sky coming together into one canvas. And the overall structure of the dress. Too bad I lack long legs. Meh.
Love the print, colours and structure.
(Photos courtesy of, from the Monique Lhuillier Spring/Summer Collection 2011)