Sunday, May 25, 2008

Of mothers' day, mango muffins, cheesecake brownie

Haven't posted for a while.. Mummyji's been kinda busy and was rather overwhelmed mentally the past weeks. Anyways, here's what's been happening in the kitchen...

A batch of citrusy muffins, made with the last of Mama's CNY kumquats..
said plant has 3 flowers now, hopefully they'll blossom and bear more fruits!

And this is dear Latte in his new resort, which he is not likely to break out of... No, Latte's not in the kitchen, but just outside of it, perched on the water feature, in which he gets some cardio exercise whenever we clean out his tank.

Breakfast in Bed
This was Mummyji's breakfast in bed, prepared lovingly by Daddyji and the offsprings.. Forgot to snap photos before tucking in, so touched was Mummyji,.....hence this picture of an empty plate and glass. The plate had a couple of heart-shaped pancakes topped with orange marmalade, and the glass had held some freshly-squeezed orange juice.
See the lovely handmade cards and sweet flower pot. The little yellow box on the right's from Daddyji..
... in which was this lovely freshwater pearl ring!

The weeks then passed quickly..
Now this was taken just yesterday, when the first born and her friends were gathered in school, waiting for the bus to take them on their Combined IJ schools Malay Learning Journey.

That's S, excitedly waiting to start her trip to Negri Sembilan. We can't wait to have her back tomorrow! Z, in the meantime, is enjoying the privileges of being the "only child" this weekend.
Just out of the oven and cooling right now, the cheesecake brownie for dessert tonight... 
It's also to welcome S home tomorrow night!
mango muffin for tomorrow's breks
Mummyji found a couple of very very ripe mangoes in the fridge and since nobody seems to want to claim it, Mummyji decided to bake something out of them.
The mangoes were so ripe that they were really mush when cut, so mummyji found an apricot cake recipe and tweaked it to produce a batch of mango muffins.
Really easy peasy actually, and here's the recipe for the record.
1.5 cup self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
125 g unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup greek yogurt
1 cup mango mush
Sift the flour, make a well in the centre of the bowl. Add the pinch of salt.
Melt the butter and sugar in a pan over low heat, then set aside to cool a bit.
Mix the eggs and yogurt with the mango.
Add the egg mixture and butter mix into the flour and mix in with a wooden spoon, until just incorporated. 
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C.
This recipe makes 16 muffins.

Daddyji's just had one for his teabreak and it was well-received! So this recipe's for keeps... ;-)
cheerios now, we're gonna play some basketball before dinner. (we're having roast chicken)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Of Bread, liver pate and turtles

Today being sunday, mummyji n daddyji visited our favourite market in AMK. The stalls have been relocated to a temporary site after the original got burnt. The new place is really quite claustrophobia-inducing, so it's a matter of choose, pay and go - no browsing or contemplating what to cook with what, unless you wanna be squashed by aunties with loaded trolleys.
Anyway, while daddyji was paying for some squids, mummyji was being stared at by some bright vermillion goldfishes in the next stall. They were pretty adorable, and mummyji contemplated getting a couple for the water feature at home. Somehow, in a twist of events, we ended up getting 2 little turtles instead.

So back at home, these 2 little fellas got into the water feature and did some laps around, like 2 happy kids in a pool.

Soon they latched onto the pipe and tried to climb out of the water, but kept slipping down back into the water again, quite a comical duo to watch.
The lil fellas were named Cafe (the darker one) and Latte (lighter coloured one, obviously) and after watching them swim around, we left them alone and got on with our own stuff.
Z had a bout of nose-bleed (3rd time in a few days) so daddyji brought her to the clinic while mummyji stayed home with S for science revision. 
Mummyji went to look at C and L, and found C doing this.

about an hour later, both were no where to be found!! Red Alert!!
mummyji searched every nook and corner of the little pond, then S thought, "maybe they swam to the back through the little opening" and looked behind the water feature. Lo and behold, the little fellas were there, with L the braver and more athletic one, perched on the ledge.
Mummyji wanted to grab it but it fell back into the water, so we just left them there, hoping they'll swim out of the narrow space by themselves.
Meantime, Z came back from the doctor's - $22 for the doc to advise her not to dig her nose too hard or it'll bleed... advice which all of us have been doling on her. (Ok, so for the $22, there was a bottle of nasal drops too, which mummyji had too, in her stash of meds)
After a yummy lunch of steaks and potatoes, mummyji decided to bake bread, so that we can mop up the gravy of tonight's clams and squid marinara sauce.

Bread dough proofing.... 
then mummyji whacked the chicken livers which daddyji had lightly fried in butter and onions into the blender, with 1 half-boiled egg and blitzed the lot into pate.
Creamy Liver Pate lovingly scooped and packed into a glass jar...
and lightly drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. 
Said jar is now perched proudly on a refrigerator shelf, waiting to be spread onto toasted baguette slices... probably tomorrow..

and then just when mummyji was about to take a break, she spotted a little spot of green behind a pot of pandan plant next to the water feature.
Latte's done a Mas Selamat!
Escaped turtle, Latte 
- swam to the back of the water feature, managed to squeeze through the tight space there and clawed up to the ledge. When spotted by mummyji earlier, he'd jumped back into the water. Later when all was calm and the owners were lulled into thinking that he was safely stuck in the tight spot there, he found a window of opportunity and made his jump to freedom, ala Singapore's most famous fugitive.
Alas for Latte (unlike Mas Selamat), his freedom was short-lived for Mummyji quickly picked him up and plonked him right into old Kaiser's round bowl. (Kaiser's our late fish)

All this while, Cafe was still paddling behind the water feature.
Mummyji decided that some action was required, for while Cafe may appear not to be as bright as Latte,  it could very well be but a show. We must not slip in our judgement of these turtles' intelligence. So daddyji, the hero, jumped into action and squeezed into the back precariously, fished Cafe out and plonked him into Kaiser's bowl too.

Fugitive turtles re-captured and placed into smaller space. 
We are hoping that the roundness of this bowl will prevent them from clawing their way up and out. Till we get a proper turtle tank, that is. Looking at Latte trying his utmost to claw up, Mummyji felt really bad about keeping them "locked up" like this. Would they be better off in the wild? Were they born in captivity or were they poached from their mother? Sigh, was it wise to have purchased them at all???

On a happier note, the bread turned out fragrant and did a great job of mopping up the sauces.

This is a somewhat focaccia, with wheat and organic plain flour, and a teaspoonful of Herbs de Provence mixed into the dough after the first proof.

Well, this was the last picture of the 2 little fellas taken today. Let's hope they'll behave themselves and stay in the tank. Just to be safe, tomorrow morning, Mummyji'll definitely check on them before she starts preparing breks.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Normally, Mummyji doesn't snack on store-bought chips, much preferring self-cooked ones. But these are different, they look and taste home-cooked. And it was truly "love at first bite", so much so that there is a tray of cut potatoes tossed in dijon mustard and honey roasting in the oven right now.

These make for a satisfying bite when mummyji's feeling peckish, which is all so often, especially when we're indoors all day, cramming for the mid-year exams (or aka Semestral Assessments, as they are called now).

Can't get over the "No Stuff" disclaimer on the back of the package. "No trans fat, no MSG, no artificial whatchamacallits"...LOL!!

Ok, gotta spin some salad now while the babes are working on their vocabulary exercises (assessment books), tomorrow's the English paper for both.

Before signing off, mummyji will end with this apt quote found the other day...
“Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four
pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the
pieces.” – Judith Viorst.

It so applies to yours truly!
(but only for dark chocolate, and not just any old brands...)