Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What's In a Name?

Although some people may think that a name is not as important, I still think it is. As a parent, I think a name is a wish for my child, the person I hope he will be, the things that I hope he will have. Therefore, we took naming our son seriously, hubby had already have a great name for him, I went through a book about name meanings before I decided his middle name. The result is a name that we really hope he will live up to it. I've written about this in our old blog , but that one doesn't have the chinese character of his chinese name.

The name is Abraham Raynard. Abraham means Father of all nations. Raynard means wise. We want him to grow up into a man with a great capacity to lead, moreover, to lead with wisdom. For me, it's not just a hope, I do believe that my son will grow up to be that, and we are raising him to be that.

His chinese name was given by my brother in law. The name is Liew Jian Yu. The meaning is building the universe. In principle, the meaning bears the same hope, it's for him to be a great leader. I've been wanting to post the picture of the writing since a long time, but my brother in law wrote it down on a small piece of paper and I forgot where I put the paper. I found it folded in my compact mirror in my purse. Here it is.


So, what's in a name? a hope your parents make that you will be someone better than them, have a meaningful life for yourself and others.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A travelling Note

It's been a long time since the last time I update this blog, this is due to the craziness of my new job, I've just got a job in a newly set up company, so I do everything around the office by myself. Hopefully I can get help in a short time before I run out of energy.

With all the work keeping me occupied, I find myself choosing to relax during the weekend, that means I haven't been doing any baking lately. However, I started a sewing project a few weeks ago, but still haven't finished it yet until now.... =p

But one thing I quite like about this new job is that I get to travel quite often. Being someone who actually like travelling (but don't have the time and resources to do it often), it really helps me to not feeling bored with the work.

I travel back and forth to Singapore a few times , and this time I got an opportunity to travel to Shanghai and Wuzhen, China for a meeting. This was the first time I ever travel outside South East Asia.

Shanghai is a quite good city to visit, it's clean, not so polluted as Jakarta, the traffic is not too bad. It's just that the people don't really care about politeness :) You can expect people spit on the street, in front of you, with a loud sound that can make you sick....
There's also the language, I only know some words in Mandarin so it's impossible for me to understand or try to talk in Mandarin, and due to my chinese descent, I have a very chinese face, people assume I speak Mandarin and it was quite embarrasing to say , repeatedly, "sorry, I can't speak Mandarin...."
But, despite the language, it turns out that the people who sells the souvenirs can speak a bit of English :D
We only spent 2 days in Shanghai because the meeting was held in Wuzhen, about 1-1.5 hour away from Shanghai. We did a river cruise in Huangpu river and I managed to go to Nanjing Road West to do some shopping. Too bad that I couldn't go to the East side of the road, that's where all the 'fun' shops, but when I got there it was late and the 'fun' shops already closed.
I stayed in Oriental Riverside Hotel, it is right next to the Oriental Pearl Tower and there's a large Aquarium (like a seaworld) nearby that can be reach via a tunnel from the hotel. In the tunnel there are some souvenir shops & I also did some shopping there.
One thing I learned here, you need to bargain when shopping! I thought the souvenir shop in the tunnel is an official shops of the Aquarium , so I thought the price was fixed. But, when I wanted to buy a Cheongsam, it turned out that I can bargain! I even bargain less then half of the given price! Argh..... before that I had bought a bag that was overpriced without bargaining...... T_T





The hotel and The Oriental Pearl Tower



The Huangpu River



Shanghai street



Nanjing Road


Wuzhen is an old town, it is a small water town, the houses are still made of wooden and the streets are of stones. it's beautiful and unique. You can read more on wikipedia or ask Mr. Google about it. The town only has one main street and we stayed at a hotel on the end of the street. To enter the old town you have to pay an admission fee, inside the town there are lots of hotels and I think the locals do not live inside the town, I think they live outside. To get to the main street you will be taken by a boat from the entrance. We also did a boat tour here, the boat took us to the very end of the town and we walked back to the hotel which was on the other end.
This is a great place to take some beautiful photos. If you like to do photography, this is your place.


The Entrance



The boats to take passengers from entrance to main street




Stone Pathway



A quiet morning

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Birthday my Toddler

This is the cake I made for my son's 3rd birthday. This is a GFCF chocolate cake. Will post the recipe later.
The cake was simple, I didn't have much time to work on it, the birthday was on Monday, I did the baking on Saturday and the decorating on Sunday.  I was planning to do a FBCT of Barney and friends, but my buttercream failed, I tried a recipe that's got a lot of praises but I must have done something wrong during the process of making it, it didn't freeze at all. So, I couldn't use it. Here is the planned FBCT, it took me the whole day to do it, since I was doing it while looking after my son, unfortunately it failed.... really disappointing...



Since I don't have anymore time to do any decoration (and no more buttercream or whipcream either), here's the best I can do....



I know my son didn't understand, but I still feel bad for making his birthday cake looked unattractive.... :(


Update Oct 18,2011
The full recipe :
 Ebony & Ivory
Source : Cake Coklat Populer by Ambarini

cake pan 22x22x7 cm, lined with parchment paper, butter the paper.

6 eggs
150g castor sugar
60g butter, melted

sift together:
25g cocoa powder
110g flour (I used Arrowroot flour)

Preheat oven to 175C.
Boil some water on a small milk pan. Turn off the heat. Put eggs and sugar to a mixing bowl, put the mixing bowl on top of the boiled water pan, mix them with medium speed until the eggs are warm.
Remove the mixing bowl from the boiled water pan, continue mixing with high speed until ribbon stage.
Add in dry ingredients in 3 batches, fold with a spatula, careful not to deflate the egg.
Add in the melted butter in 2 batches, fold until mixed thoroughly.
Bake for 35 minutes or more.

Assembling :
Divide the cake into 3 layers, give a white chocolate ganache for the first layer and dark chocolate ganache for the second layer.
Splash the layers with simple syrup first.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hello Oven!

This is September! That means.... birthdays! Yes, we'll have 2 birthdays this month,my son's and mine :)And that also means.....cake!!! yippieeee! Hello.... my lovely oven! Haha.
I've been so busy with work that I couldn't find time to bake, it's been months since the last time I make a cake. So with the birthdays coming, I have a reason to bake again!

Someone posted a gluten free rollcake recipe at the milist a few time ago, I had the ingredients so I thought I would try the recipe to see whether I could bake it for my son's birthday cake.

The recipe uses arrowroot flour and cornlour and there's no milk ingredient, so it's perfect for GFCF diet.

Arrowroot Chocolate Roll Cake
original recipe by Fatmah Bahalwan
modified into GFCF by Lusmi

A : 4 egg yolks
      3 eggs
      130 g castor sugar (I think it's too sweet, so maybe 120-125 g would be enough)
      8 g emulsifier (I didn't use it)

B : mixed and sifted :
      75 g arrowroot flour
      10 g cocoa powder (I use a regular cocoa powder because my son's GFCF diet isn't too strict)
      10 g cornflour

C : 75 g butter, melted
      1 tsp chocolate paste

For 26x26 cm jelly roll pan, butter the pan, layer with parchment or wax paper. Pre heat the oven at 200C.
Beat A till thick and reach the ribbon stage. Add in B, mix well, a mixer with low speed can be used, no need to be afraid of over mixing because the flours don't have gluten in it (that's why I like gluten free flours :D).
Add in C, mix with low speed for 1 or 2 minutes until it looks incorporated into the batter, use a spatula to check whether there is any butter left on the bottom of the mixing bowl or not.
Pour to pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cake done. I took longer to bake it, seems like my oven wasn't too hot. Make sure the cake surface is dry.
Take the pan out, wait until a bit cool, turn the cake over a clean kitchen napkin, spread the filling (I used Nutella), roll the cake.

I did 2 batches of the cake because my pan was smaller than the required pan. The first cake was failed, I didn't wait long enough so it was still very soft, I couldn't spread the Nutella properly because the cake was lifted off as I smear the Nutella. And I didn't dry the surface with the upper heat, the skin came off here and there when I tried to roll it.


But it still looked great (and tasted great!) with the Nuttela :)


The 2nd batch was better, I baked it longer, I think it was almost for an hour, and I dried the surface. The skin didn't come off when I rolled it and the Nuttela didn't lift off the cake when I spread it, but I ran out of Nuttela so I only spread a bit on the middle and a bit here and there. There are also a few air bubbles on the skin, I should've tap the pan a bit before baking it.


It didn't look appropriate for a birthday cake I think, but it sure was great for snack! My son loved it that he ate most of the roll cake himself :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Busy... Busy... Busy....

I'm back! :D
After a change of job, a 2 weeks holiday, an orientation at a new job, finally I have the time to write something here again....

So, we went for a holiday before I started the new job, we visited my sisters in law in Penang for 2 weeks. It was more like a culinary travel, we didn't really visit much of places of interest since we weren't really interested in those places anyway. haha.

We ate at a lot of places which I can't remember. One place I remember is a Bakuteh shop in Gurney street called Zealand, it sells bakuteh only in the morning, at night it sells seafood. It was the first time I ever eat bakuteh, it's because I thought bakuteh was more like a medicine so I thought it would taste like medicine instead of food. But this Zealand bakuteh didn't have a strong medicine taste to it, that was why I liked it. It smelled like herbs but the taste wasn't too strong.
Another good dish in this place was the Char Hor Fun, it looked like Kwetiau Goreng (Fried Flat Rice Noodle) in Indonesia and also tasted quite similar.

From Penang, we went to Kuala Lumpur on the weekend. Another great food here (and has become my favorite) is Chilly Pan Mee. It's noodle served with anchovies, a half-cooked egg, fried shallots and minced pork. Being a noodle lover, this is a big LIKE for me! Just look at the food.... how can it not be delicious??


It should come with the egg but since I'm limiting cholestrol, I asked not to add the egg, too bad, because the egg makes this dish more wonderful! We also should add the chilly to this, hence the name, if you like spicy food you can add a lot of chilly, but I'm warning you, the chilly is burning hot! If you have a weak stomach then you should add just a little, otherwise you'll get stomach ache.
The shop we went to was in Kepong, I don't know what other shops serve Chilly Pan Mee but my brother in law always go to this shop, he said this one was the best tasting.

Here's the shop. The name is Super Kitchen, at Batu Road, Kepong.


Most of the shops we went to were hawker food shops, but we did eat at a restaurant at a mall in Penang, the restaurant is called Kim Gary. Me and hubby were window shopping at Gurney Plaza and we saw this restaurant was really crowded on lunch hour, we also saw the restaurant branches at other malls and those ones were also quite crowded. So we decided to try the food. We ate baked rice and steak (don't remember what steak) and I think it wasn't bad. My son and me liked the baked rice. And the price wasn't too expensive, still worth it.

Too bad my camera was broken and we didn't have the chance to buy a new one before we left to Penang, so I don't have the photos of the food we ate....

After the Penang holiday, I started the new job and had a chance to go to Singapore for orientation. My husband decided to come, so we went there from the weekend before the orientation days. This was my 2nd time to Singapore, the first time was with my friends 4 years ago, one of them knows Singapore very well so she was the tour guide. This time me and my husband didn't have a tour guide, but my friend told me not to worry since Singapore is a small country, she said we wouldn't ever get lost. And that was true.

My husband fell in love with this small country. It is clean, well-organized, informative and the public transportation is easy to use. We went around by MRT, we also got the street map on our hands
, and if we got lost, we just looked for people in uniform and asked, they would always happily help.
This time, it wasn't just a culinary travel, we visited the places of interest such as the Bugis street, Orchard Road, Universal studios, the Science Center and Snow City, my husband also visited Little India and China town while I did my orientation. We did lots of shopping too! Though food is more expensive, I found the clothes are cheaper. However, one thing that I find a bit annoying, there's a price for everything, well... I guess they do need to fund all the hospitality we get :)




In my opinion, Singapore is great for shopping and entertainment, but not too good for the food, I prefer Indonesian food, not because the food tastes bad, but because there isn't much variety, most of the good food are seafood.
We ate at a shop on Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, called Just Acia, the food was great, and it was quite cheap, we got free flow of drinks and ice cream for every main course.



Another nice food was at the Science Center 3D theater. And we also found the astronaut's ice cream here, I think it tasted more like meringue than ice cream, but it was pretty cool to try out the astronaut's ice cream :).







Those were the good food, we did find the bad food. I think it was the worse I've ever eaten , I wonder how can a food like that be sold to other people?? The restaurant was in Sentosa Island. The food looked good but tasted terrible!




I will still have to go back to Singapore due to work, surely I will visit Bugis street again to finish my shopping :D

Monday, May 16, 2011

CHIFFON

My mission for conquering chiffon has finally done, I've managed to bake a great chiffon, it passed hubby's QC test :)
The last chiffon I made came out pretty good but not perfect, the surface wasn't dry enough and it had waist. So I tried another recipe, I don't remember where I found this recipe, probably from here, but I did take a note of where the original recipe was from, it was from here. You can check the original recipe there, but it's not in English, not in Indonesian, I think it's Mandarin? I'm not sure, it comes out as squares in my laptop because I don't have the needed software installed.

It was a Pandan Chiffon, I didn't have any Pandan leaves, so I replaced it with Pandan paste. I had coconut milk, but I needed it to cook something else so I couldn't use that, I replaced it with full cream milk. Just to let you know, if a recipe calls for coconut milk and you don't have any, you can subtitute with full cream milk, it will be less creamy of course, but it's good enough. Make sure it's full cream, full fat milk, not the diet milk, or less fat milk.

Cooked Pandan Chiffon
by : forbidden garden
modif by Lois


5 egg yolks

I replaced these with 110 cc full cream milk and 1/2 tsp pandan paste :
70g coconut milk
40g pandan juice (take a few pandan leaves, blend with water in food processor or blender, sift, put in the fridge in a covered container, take the juice on the bottom of the container, you will see that this juice is the thickest in color)

50g butter (I used margarine)
90g flour
5 egg whites
80g castor sugar (I used regular granulated sugar and blend it in a blender)

in a saucepan, cook coconut milk, pandan juice, butter until the butter melts.
slowly pour the coconut milk mixture into the flour, mix well. I waited until the mixture was not too hot before I pour it into the flour, and sifted the mixture afterwards to make sure it was smooth and without lumps.
put in the egg yolks one by one, mix well.
in a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until bubbly, add the sugar, beat till stiff peak.
meanwhile, keep the coconut milk mixture warm, I put a hot water in a big bowl and put the coconut mixture's bowl on top.
put in 1/3 of the egg whites into the coconut milk mixture, stir untill well blended. put another 1/3 of the egg whites, fold in gently. put the last 1/3 of the egg whites, fold in until all the egg whites are copmpletely blended with the coconut milk mixture. Be careful not to deflate the batter.
Bake 170C for 10 minutes, then 150C for 35 minutes in a 20cm diameter chiffon pan.
when it is done, take it out of the oven, turn the pan upside down, let it cool that way. the outer side of the pan should come off easily even though the pan isn't greased. use a sharp and thin knife to take the cake off the inner pan when it's cool to the touch.

I added another 3 minutes in the oven to dry the surface, using only upper heat, I guess I should've just add only 1 or 2 minutes, it was a little burnt on the top.....


There was no waist, that 'wrinkle' on the near bottom was because I got impatient during the 'turned upside down' part and pushed the cake down to remove the outer side of the pan, because the right part of the cake was already sliding down  from the pan, I thought I should give a little help to the left part and pushed it down.....



Monday, May 9, 2011

Sweet Sticky Love

Sweet potato. I saw some japanese ones a few days ago and immediately remembered that I wanted to try something that my MIL said as I was making this. The one that I made didn't really have the texture I like, I wanted a firmer texture and my MIL said to use the ratio of 1:1/4, for each of 1kg of sweet potato used 250g of tapioca, so I thought I should try that.
And she was right! I had the perfect texture, not too soft but not too hard either, it was perfectly chewy.

As I planned the making, I pictured the balls of chewyness and stickyness and thought, dang....that's boring....
So I picked up the bag where I put my cookie cutters and saw the lovely heart shaped one, I was feeling full of love so I would make them full of love too! They were sweet, anyway, and sweet goes well with love, right? :D
I didn't make too much because hubby doesn't like the snack, so I used 125 grams of tapioca and 500 grams of sweet potatoes. I rolled them and cut with the cookie cutter, the dough was a bit fragile, it didn't stick together perfectly like a bread dough, but it wasn't a problem to cut with cookie cutter.
Next step was to boil them in palm sugar syrup, which was almost a disaster because I didn't have enough palm sugar :) . So I boiled them in batches, after one batch done, I took them out of the syrup and put another batch in. I should probably start to do kitchen inventory check up every now and then to know whether I have enough ingredients to make something....

But they looked lovely anyway :)


 
I also made some kue mangkok for my son snack at school . This time I used the correct mould. I got 30 kue mangkok, 15 were beautifully laughing, another 15 were too excited, they ROFLOL (roll on the floor laughing out loud). hahaha

the laughing batch, and you can also see the mould




the ROFLOL batch :) two of them were actually had their petals fell off because they blossomed too much.