Sunday, January 30, 2011

Leftovers

Recipes for tarts always yield more than enough dough, and I end up freezing the leftovers for future tarts (although I tend to forget about them for quite a while, and by the time I get to them, the dough has turned slightly dry when baked...). What do I do with the leftover dough I had from making my recent lemon tart? I made little tartelettes. And I didn't freeze them this time, I just baked them all at one go. Haha. Abundance of tarts in my kitchen that week. ;)

Peanut butter banana and Nutella banana tartelettes

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lemon tart

It's been a long time since I last ate a lemon tart, so I decided to make one to indulge. I reused an old recipe that I had made before, just to see if the recipe was still as good as I remembered.

Lemon tart

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ah Ma

It's been a very long week, and I've just been too overwhelmed to actually sit down and talk about it. Now that a week has passed, I think that I am just about ready to process matters.

Exactly a week ago, it was just like any other Thursday. I had made plans to go to the blood bank with my girlfriend to donate blood, and had set my alarm earlier, for about 845am. But little did I know that things weren't going to happen as I had planned.

At 8 in the morning, Daddy woke me up with the words "Wake up, Ah Maa's gone already". I leapt out of bed instinctively, my mind still not yet fully awake to process the words.

My paternal grandmother (my Ah Ma) had been staying with us for several years already. Her health wasn't very good, she had diabetics and kidney problems, and pills and injections were a constant daily affair for her. About a year ago, she had a stroke that left her in a comatose stage, and we brought her back to our house. She couldn't speak, nor walk, and basically, was in a persistent vegetative state. A civic ambulance had to be called to bring to a private dialysis centre three times a week as she could no longer walk down our flight of stairs herself as she used to do so.

From a robust 60-70kg when she was still reasonably well a few years ago, she had been gradually losing weight in the recent years. In fact, within this one year, she lost so much weight that she was really boney and her weight was actually just 40kg. You can imagine how sad it is to see her be in this state when one remembers how plump she used to be.

Everything happened so fast as there were so many things to be done for a funeral. I had to ring my Sister, who had just left for Vietnam on Wednesday (a day before my Ah Ma passed), and arrange her flight details to come back immediately. Family had to be informed. Arrangements for funeral preparations had to be made. There was never a silent moment as my house, for the next few days, was packed with so many relatives, friends, and associates.

There was also family drama that was so unbelievable. In fact, it had seemed that the drama ensuing was even more drama-fied than the dramas one watch on television. Thank gosh that everything turned out fine in the end. I can only hope that there wouldn't be a big drama again in the future...

In a way, perhaps, due to the stroke she had a year ago, we were given a year long to prepare ourselves mentally for the time when Ah Ma will pass on. Thus, after the initial shock on the first day, most of the family can gradually accept Ah Ma's demise. After all, she was suffering for the last few years of her life, and her passing on means an end to her pain?

I've always believed that Ah Ma was the pillar of the family that supports and holds everyone together. Now that she's gone, my place just fill kinda empty. Like something's missing.

As a granddaughter, I couldn't converse much with her except for the basics, "Have you eaten?", "How are you today?", "What did you do today?", "Ah Ma, I bought your favourite XXX, later you can have some for tea!","Ah Ma, I'm going out to XXX now.","Ah Ma, I'm home!". My Ah Ma can only converse in dialect, and my Hokkien was not very good, I mean I can speak Hokkien, but I'm certainly not fluent in the language. Now that she's gone, I've learnt things that I've not known about my Ah Ma from cousins who can speak the language better than me, and I regret that I did not put in more effort to learn the dialect better to know more about my granny.

I'm fine now, just that perhaps, I need time to fully comprehend her death and come to terms with the fact that perhaps, my life will just be a little bit different from now on.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Matcha brioches

I have several food blogs that I love perusing periodically. Fanny from Foodbeam being one them. She has a really gorgeous food blog, and lately, I saw her repost her matcha brioches recipe. I think I had bookmarked them some time back, but never got around to making them. It's been a while since I've baked any breads, so I decided to try my hand at these pretty buns.

 Matcha brioches

Monday, January 17, 2011

House @ Dempsey

I started the New Year with a lovely brunch. Does a good meal on the first day of 2011 represent more of such good stuff to come? I certainly hope so.

I have just started using a new camera - Canon EOS 550D (my old one was its predecessor, the Canon EOS 500D) and I really like how the clear the lighting is in my photos now. That and the sharper LCD screen. But of course, I still touch up the photos minimally using Photoshop...

Starting off 2011 with brunch at...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Caramel banana ginger crumble panna cotta verrines

Since my last post on caramelised bananas, a little voice in my head was constantly chanting "caramelised bananas...make caramelised bananas!" It's akin to a non-stop chant that goes on in my head...that would not stop till I fulfill the whining that goes on...all inside my head, of course.

Caramel banana ginger crumble panna cotta verrines

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vis-à-vis

This must be one of the best meals I had in 2010. Serious. And it was in a restaurant less than ten minutes away from my place. I've been staying in my area for like ever (since I was a toddler really), and that's almost twenty years, and it's the first time we dined at the place. Like, seriously, seriously? Why did we wait so long?

Vis a Vis at Chun Tin Road

Monday, January 10, 2011

Inarizushi (稲荷寿司)

I was thinking of what to make for lunch, and remembered I had some inari (fried tofu pouches) in the freezer. I love Japanese food, and the preparations for inarizushi is really a very simple process.

I simply defrosted the inari pouches in the refrigerator the night before I made my lunch, and the next day, I cooked up some rice to fill the inari pouches. While inarisuzhi can be filled with just rice alone, I like to top mine with meat soboro and iri tamago, which are pretty simple to prepare too.

A simple lunch at home...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Cranberry white chocolate lime tart

Two weeks ago, packets of fresh cranberries appeared on the fruits aisle. I've yet to seen fresh cranberries before. I'm more used to seeing its cousin, the dried cranberries. I like dried cranberries and have always added them to my granola whenever I make granola. I suppose with Christmas approaching, everyone was using festive related ingredients to make goodies and treats (- think cranberries, eggnog, gingerbread, peppermint). Well, as for me, as the label on the bag of cranberries says, "Buy Two, Freeze One", that's exactly what I did!

Cranberry white chocolate lime tart

Monday, January 03, 2011

Kki (revisited)

With only the few pâtisseries in town, it's inevitable that I'll be revisiting the nice ones to try out more of their cakes. I was back again at Kki for the third time, with the Sister this time, to try my luck at obtaining a Mont Blanc. Alas, the Mont Blanc was not available at our time of visit, so we settled to share the Little Red Riding Hood and Emily.