Thursday, February 19, 2015

Welcoming The Lunar New Year 2015!

Another year gone by, another year begins with new hopes and aspirations.

Today is the Chinese Lunar New Year with millions of Chinese around the world celebrating and ushering in the Year of the Goat ... the 8th animal in the Chinese Zodiac.

Wishing everyone ... family, kins and friends ... near and far ... GONG XI FA CAI!  A year of peace, prosperity and merriment!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Third Time's A Charm!

After such a rocky first attempt, I put another try to get my homemade loaf looking and tasting more decent than before.  Second cry had a slight improvement but still quite difficult to be eaten.  So it ended up into something else ... a bread pudding!

2nd Attempt Loaf
Frankly bread pudding just ain't my thing but it does taste good though for a first try.  It took 2 days to finish. All the extra calories just to recycle my not-so-successful loaf.

Bread Pudding
Just made my third attempt last Saturday and this time it turned out right.  Third time's a charm!
Now I guess I've passed baking my own bread ... a baguette at that!
Finally ... 3rd's a charm!
Next I want to try baking buns ... yup next try my sis' special 'Siew Pau' or BBQ Pork Roast Buns!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My First Loaf ...

My lo kong is not the type to insist that I must cook up his favorite food.  However, many a times he did suggest that I should try baking homemade bread for a healthier diet.

As quick solution, I had thought of buying a breadmaker.  But on second thought, lo kong might be right that it will end up as a decor item ... much like most of my other kitchen utensils.

With a bad hand at baking, I had put off baking my first loaf for a very long time until recently when I found a simple to follow recipe which was demonstrated by a 4 year old.  Yup ... you heard right!

So, how can I go wrong when a 4 year old can do it right?

Since I had all the ingredients in the kitchen, I followed the recipe and steps to the T.  Next was to allow it to stand overnight so that the yeast will activate.

Each time I popped into the kitchen, I'd peer into the mixing bowl to check for any reaction.  Hmmm ... nothing.  Next morning ... still nothing.  Why???

After almost 24 hours and despite my gut feel that the dough will not work, I still popped it into the oven.  Naturally, there was no bread for the day. 

My first loaf is a rock!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Another First ... Nike We Run KL!

I seemed to be rolling out many firsts to my start of the year 2015.

Coinciding with our Kuala Lumpur City Day on Sunday, Nike's We Run Race Series reached our shores.  On its 6th anniversary, this global running series started off in August 2014 in Prague aimed to attract more than 200,000 runners in 18 races around the world.  Nike We Run KL also featured its first 21km race to challenge Malaysian runners to run faster and further.

This was actually my first time running this race and my first local 21km road race.  To top it off, it was also the first time our entire family ran in one race and same distance.  Wow ... 3 straight firsts in a row!

Despite the route being flat as compared to the hilly route of my recent Gammon China Coast Half-Marathon, I struggled.  Yes, it was a struggle not only due to my knee pain but for whatever reason, I had stomach cramps that threatened to turn into diarrhoea halfway through.  I was so scared that I was going to faint at the 18km mark.  Thankfully, lo kong who had completed his race under 2.5 hours had ran back to accompany me to my finish.

The last 3km was a real spirit-breaker.  I am grateful I managed to finished the race in less than 3.5 hours ... a satisfactory allowance before the cut-off time of 4 hours. 

Nick who did not train at all and having played badminton the evening before managed to complete the race within the cut-off time too. 

Based on post-mortems on the race results ... everyone registered running at least 1km more than the race specified.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Fluke Shot Success!

I can cook but I'm no baker!  9 out of 10 times ... end results does not go down well with the taste buds.

Frankly I know where my weakness lies and it's because I'm so lame at following the measurements.  I'm one who searches for the simplest of recipes with the least of ingredients.  I guess that way if I fail ... I won't feel the pinch when all of it goes straight into the dumpster.

9 out of 10 and that one successful round of Oatmeal Cookies has had lo kong bugging me for more.  An additional request was that I'm to help him finish his chiaseed by adding them to the cookies.
Just like cooking ... baking too must not be a drill. 

So yesterday, while waiting for lo kong to reach home after work, I decided to make Chiaseed Oatmeal Cookies.  I had found an easy to follow recipe and I had all the ingredients on hand.  With a little tweak on the method, I managed to bake almost 40 pieces of cookies just under 1.5 hours.  It was just in time to pop a sampler into lo kong's mouth as he walks  in through the front door.

Lo kong gave his thumbs up followed by my other hero, Nick.  I'm personally proud of it as this batch has the best result.  The cookies crunchy, flavorful, healthy and it tastes like my favorite IKO Oatmeal Biscuits.  

9 out of 10 ... this is a fluke shot success but I'm confident I'll still get this right again the next time!