The Fake Cake

>> September 29, 2010

One of the things I want to learn in food preparation is baking. I always fancy baking but unfortunately, I lack the knowledge to do it right, plus I have very little time to spare to learn it. But it's always nice to take your first step. I was thinking to just have Mark get us some Krispy Kreme chocolate cake (my latest addiction) for our dessert, when I saw a box of pancake mix. Light bulb!

- a pack of pancake mix
- a can of fruit cocktail
- 2 tbsp. butter
- confectioner's sugar and whipped cream

1. Put the pancake mix and all ingredients it requires (water, milk) when you do a normal pancake in a mixing bowl. Add the butter.
2. When it is ready, pour it in an oven friendly dish.
3. Drain the canned fruits and pour it on top of the pancake mix and even it out. You can put as little or as much as you want. I used about half of the can.
4. Bake it in the oven in about 200 C for 20 mins. Check regularly to make sure that you are not burning it.
5. When cooked, let it cool down.
6. Slice a piece and sprinkle confectioner's sugar on top. Then top it off with whipped cream.

I'm no expert in the oven heat so I'd suggest that you go with the temperature you are comfortable with. You can test if the inside is cook by taking it out and sticking toothpick on the pie. If the toothpick is dry, then the inside is cooked.

I posted it in facebook describing it's a fake cake - because I was aiming to make it look like a cake although it wasn't really a cake :P. I should say it tasted more like a pie. It may not bring you food orgasm, but it does work :) Mark and I both like it.

I love experiments!


Veggie Thurs : Tofu in Veggie Tomato Sauce

>> September 17, 2010

It's veggie Thursday once again. Despite the crazy workload this week, I'm happy that I can still manage to take care of our dinner, rather than having it delivered. Tonight I did a vegetarian version of the dish that kesa (my roomate) and I called "budget meal".

Photo taken using Panasonic Lumix GF1.

- 3 pcs sliced tomatoes.
- 1 medium sized white onion, chopped.
- 1 pack (block) of Tofu.
- 3 stems of celery, with leaves, washed thoroughly.
- 1 cup of tomato sauce.
- 1/2 cup water.
- 1 tsp. sugar
- salt and pepper to taste.
- veggie meat (optional)

1. Slice the tomatoes and onions, set aside.
2. Cut the celery stems sideways, bite size.
3. Chop the celery leaves. This adds flavor to the dish.
4. Cut the tofu in to four parts and fry it. You can refer to this blog entry to get my technique in frying tofu.
5. After frying tofu, blot it with paper towel to remove excess oil. Then chop it into small cubes/bite size.
6. If you have veggie meat, you may add about 200g of it, also cut in to bite size.

Cooking Proper
1. Heat oil in a pot or wok.
2. Saute onion for a bout 1 minute. Do not over cook as you would like it to be crunchy.
3. Add (veggie meat) tofu and celery stems, mix together for a minute.
4. Toss in the tomatoes and continue mixing for another minute.
5. Add tomato sauce and water. Let it simmer.
6. Toss in the celery leaves.
7. Add about 1 tsp of sugar to lessen the sourness of tomato sauce.
8. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Remember, you may put as much sugar as you want, or you may not add it all. It depends on your taste. This also applies to the amount of salt and pepper. Customize it based on your taste preference.


Homemade Chips Salsa

>> September 14, 2010

I have prepared salsa several times in my cooking life, but it was never this spectacular. My previous attempts weren't bad - but it certainly lacked a distinct flavor. It cost me a plane ticket to realize what's missing and how to do it right, this time, for chips. Thanks to Glenn Windhouwer, our good friend in NL, who shared this awesome salsa recipe!

- 6 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 medium sized white onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp coriander, finely chopped
- 1 pc jalapeno, finely chopped
- lemon or lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste

I used a manual chopper (not sure what it is actually called), my latest kitchen gadget, to finely chop everything. It's very handy and it made my salsa experience less laborious.

1. Put the tomatoes, onions, coriander and jalepeno in a bowl.
2. Add a pinch of lemon, or 1 tsp of lime juice.
3. Sprinkle salt and peper to taste.
4. Mix them very well and refrigerate for about an 30mins to 1 hour to give the flavors enough time to settle in.

Note : My usual ratio for tomatoes and onions is 3:1, but that will depend if you like onions. If you don't then just put as much as you want. Same goes with jalapeno. I get pickled jalapenos, and use about 4 slices as I don't like it too spicy. If you like it spicy, feel free to add more. Be also careful in adding coriander as it has a very pungent taste. I love coriander, but if you are not a coriander person, I would suggest to do it little at a time until you get the flavor you prefer.

I guarantee you, it's a block buster! It's the ultimate party food! My friends love it and I was overwhelmed with joy every time I hear them compliment the salsa ;)


The September Outrage

>> September 9, 2010

We have been dealing with different sources of stress ever since we came home from our vacation in the Netherlands. Everything seemed to conspire against us. We moved in to a new place right after we arrived in the 3rd week of August. I was hoping that after we surpassed all the shits we had to deal with to make our daily living normal again and finally is settled, I could take a break. But September came and the stress level didn't change much. In fact, it's worse. I thought my expensive months were over, but it continued this month. Plus, I have so much career shaking experiences that is really highly exhausting, and is continuously shaking me at this very moment. I am sorely tired of all the shits going on here and there. I'm tied up to my chair working all night. I'm sleep deprived. I am not normally a pessimists, but it feels like everything sucks right now. I can't find time to cook. The house stinks. Cat furs everywhere. Laundry's piling up. Dust is piling up. I couldn't even find time to cut my own nails. It sucks.

The biggest pressure right now is my main job. But it has every right to demand from me. I swear when this update gets released and successful for once, I will enforce reforms in everything that caused me pain in the ass in the past 4 weeks - both personal and career wise.


Bubble Blahs

I work and live at night time. I am a person deprived of natural light. I rarely cook in the morning as I'm almost always asleep, else busy with house chores. As much as I love natural light in my photography, I'm afraid I don't usually have that luxury, unless I sacrifice my sleep, or make an effort to stay up longer during the day to do a cooking + photo session. So I depend on my flash, and sometimes, available light from my fluorescent bulbs. Although, in my opinion, nothing beats the natural light, I am, so far, satisfied with my shots using my flash that I learned to love.

I always look forward to the weekends for some sunlight.

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