Sunday, June 27, 2010

Of Macarons and Curry Chicken

Been a very long while since mummyji last posted here... blame it on facebook.. :P

well, guess it's about time to return!

and when better than today, when mummyji succeeded in making macarons! YAY!!!
These babies were the 2nd batch made... the very 1st attempt was a flop, which after some internet researching, mummyji joins fellow bakers in blaming it on the recipe, which called for 3 egg whites. Way too much fluids there, and then, one can also blame it on her own impatience, for not having beaten the meringue to a stiff mix.

Anyway,the first batch ended up looking like flat cookies, which is what they're being passed off as right now, hahaha...
they're quite nice added to mascarpone cheese and fig jam though... the flat almond meringue cookies serve as deco as well as added some nice crispy and chewy bits to the dessert.. great with a cuppa freshly made macchiato!

so anyway, Mummyji did quite a fair bit of surfing and found many good souls who had made many a batch of macarons and who were selfless enough to share their experiences online... these angels are mummyji's champions.... they made mummyji see the light, that macarons are divas, and one has to be meticulous with their preparation..

so off Mummyji went, in search of a basic kitchen scales, to weigh the egg whites, then adjust the rest of the ingredients according to the ratio

1.3: 1.6: 1: 0.8 (Almond meal: sugar powder: egg white: castor sugar)...

this was gleaned from a lovely website providing terrific information

and it worked!! Mummyji sat in front of the oven like an anxious mum, and the babies did not disappoint... they developed their pieds dutifully, as they should...

So they aren't exactly perfect, like the professional things, but they're Mummyji's first successful batch!! Woohoo!!

and you know what? 'tis true when all the other chefs and bloggers say to leave the macarons for 12-48 hours before eating them.. for they were pretty crunchy cookie sandwiches when freshly made, but after a couple of hours of being stored in an airtight container in the fridge, they actually have the chewy centre that the REAL macarons ala paris have!

Hopefully they'll be even better tomorrow.. ;)

And today too, was the day mummyji actually tried her hands in cooking curry!
Double woohoo! and right from scratch too, mind you, no store-bought curry powder or any instant stuff here...AHEM!

mummyji's got a book from the library, a brand new release actually..
Miss Masala by Mallika Basu...

Well, mummyji was so inspired by the author's kitchen exploits and masala experiments that she just had to cook a pot of Kerala Chicken Curry too!

so off we went to the supermarket to hunt down the list of spices:
Chilli powder- checked
coconut milk - checked
turmeric powder - checked
coriander powder - checked
chicken - checked
onion, tomato, garam masala, ginger and garlic - stuff we have at home

The curry leaves and fennel seeds had to be sourced from the wet market though... can't believe the supermarket didn't even stock those! And it's called a Hypermart, for what, Mummyji asks?!!
'Twas a truly claustrophobic experience there at the hypermart...seriously, trying to navigate through the throngs of people and trolleys finding all the stuff on the shopping list was no simple feat! You would think that the entire population of AMK had decided to have a day out at Fairprice today... Sheesh!

Ok, enough complaining...
so back home, after the success with the macarons, mummyji happily pounded the ginger and garlic into paste, and went on with her curry cooking which would be our dinner..

there were some tweaking of the recipe, as usual, like instead of skinless and boneless chicken thigh fillets, mummyji used drumsticks and mid joints, with skin and bones all in...

however, mummyji stuck true to the rest of the recipe, with the exception of adding in 2tsp of chilli powder instead of the very meek 1/2 tsp Ms Masala recommends... in fact, Mummyji's just thrown in 2 cut chilli padi to the rest of the pot, since the babes had complained that mummy's curry wasn't spicy enough.
so here we are, Chicken Curry Kerala, as cooked by Mummyji...

a hearty pot of curry, cooked with lots of love and not too much sweat... this is a recipe for keeps!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Can you ignore this?

there's this comic strip in the sunday times which pokes fun at all things singaporean.... Mr CC Lee, the talented creator of this popular cartoon, had some time ago included a link to his blog, telling us to help a disabled orphan toddler.
Mummyji's always been meaning to check the blog out, but alas, blame it on the old failing memory, she's never gotten around to it till today...
Today however, from out of the blue, mummyji was struck by a brainwave which probably got dislodged from the recesses of her possibly-atrophying brain and finally, FINALLY, got to checking the blog out. And man, what a heart-wrenching story it is........

After reading about Thien Nhan and looking at the pictures of the bright and innocent smiling toddler, mummyji is now filled with a desire to spread the word, and help Mr Lee in his quest to rally for more donations to this kid. And for little Manh too - he's the bigger boy who was disfigured in a fire at home.

My friends, we are indeed privileged to be where we are, and be blessed with all we have.
Let's join hands and help this brave kid in his quest to look and be normal (as much as is scientifically possible) soon! You may have beaten me to Mr Lee's blog first and already donated, but perhaps you'd care to give some more? There's quite a sum raised already (lots of kind people out there) but they really need a lot more.... the operations are performed in the States and the expenses are high. Furthermore, such procedures must surely be highly complicated and not easily resolved by a nip and tuck and be over in 1 sitting. So every little bit counts!

Mummyji's read this quote a few time afore- "I complained about having no new shoes until I saw a man with no feet"... but it's easily forgotten..
In fact, Mummyji had just gone shopping and bought herself a swanky pair of new shoes only yesterday, straight after she'd cleared out the shoe cabinet the day before....oops...... it's really a timely reminder, isn't it? Not such a coincidental "out of the blue" brainwave after all. More like a slap in the head from the Guardian Angel, it seems!

So, now will really be a good time to give thanks and praise to God for the countless blessings we enjoy.. and for the gift of a complete normal body.
And to donate!!
Cheers all! ;-)

Monday, September 7, 2009

A quote by Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It never was between you and them anyway.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

So adorable

Little Miss IJ Bear... cute, isn't she?
S should have added shoes for her, then she'll really look like she's all ready for school, hahaha..

Friday, February 6, 2009

life as a Tricenarian

Today marks the last day of mummyji's 39th year in this world.

Looking back, it's been a great life.... Thank GOD!!! ;-)

The babes think being 40 is really old, sigh.... but who can blame them? they're not enough half that age yet, and well, mummyji was that age before too.

One thing that mummyji's decided long ago, when the babes were born, was to make the effort to keep in touch with the girls' feelings and emotions. Like try the damnedest to remember what it felt like as a tween... first day of secondary school, making new friends, etc..

of course, back then, we had no PCs, cable tv, internet or handphones.....let alone Facebook or youtube.

But one would think if we'd had all these back then, we too, would probably be too caught up trying to catch up with all these than simply sit in a corner to read a book. Instead of a boring phone conversation or monologue (depends on who you're talking with), now one can chat with almost all of your friends at the same time!

Back then, there was a period when Mama-ji and us girls were totally addicted to HK drama serials on video. We'd all be glued in front of the tv, watching video tape after tape, sometimes way past midnight!!.... but we were always limited by the speed of delivery of the next video tape, which could take up to weeks, since everything was manual.

Mummyji also had a Game 'n Watch when she was in Primary school, a reward for topping the whole standard in the exams. It was an Octopus game and we (the sisters n mummyji) will fight for our turns to play, trying to beat each other's high score and it really was addictive.
Even now, mummyji and the babes (and the sister too!) are trying to beat each other's high score in online games, LOL.
and all of us are now on FB....

So who can blame the kids now for watching the very latest clip on youtube, for staying glued to the computer in this digital age when everything is almost instant?

So, as parents, we have to remember to pull the plug somewhere, put in some restrictions....

Mummy and daddyji have had to draw the line, stand firm and we'd cancel our disney channel subscription with the babes screaming like it's world's end.... it's tough, but necessary.
In any case, we've also promised to re-subscribe during the holidays, that is provided they do not return with dismal exam results.

Now that mummyji's beginning her life as a Quadragenarian (Boy, that sounds really ancient!!), mummyji hereby firmly resolves not to let her heart and mind age. And to continue to walk with the babes, by their sides, instead of pushing or pulling them forcefully. But of course, there will be the occasional necessary nudge to keep them grounded on the right track, hahaha.
"The drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence, but by oft falling.

So it is with this thought in mind that mummyji prays for continued divine guidance in being a good and patient mother, as it's definitely no piece of cake.

Speaking of cakes, here's the birthday present, and a matching one for CNY, both from the sweet daddyji.... it's a precious gift of love which mummyji'll treasure, always.

Thank God for this precious husband of mine!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

giving thanks

Ok, mummyji has many things to give thanks for...and is well aware of that.
But the one that is at the fore right now is to thank God for helping her decide to shelf Mumbai as our vacation destination, finally choosing Tokyo, cos it didn't require too much braincells to plan for. Mumbai would have required more research and detailed planning, which at that point in time, mummyji didn't have the luxury of time for..
Really really feel so sad for all those involved in the bloodshed.
We pray for world peace!!

Another very pressing thing to give thanks for - the family.
Mummyji's really grateful to have a loving and beautiful family - the hubs, the babes, mum, dad, the siblings and their families, the ILs...
Right now, mummyji's praying for a good friend, that he finds peace in his heart and with his family, and that he doesn't lose faith, ever...
Perhaps mummyji should remind Friend of one of our favourite hymns..
can't ever forget the lyrics of this one.

"He can turn the tides, and calm the angry sea
He alone decides who writes a symphony
He lights every star that makes the darkness bright
He keeps watch all through each dark and lonely night
He still finds the time to hear a child's first prayer
Saint or sinner call, and always finds Him there
Though it hurts Him much to see the way we live
He'll always say, I forgive...."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


the present daddyji got for yours truly - of course, it was chosen by moi and it would have been the one with a detachable heart charm if not for the fact that it was from the Cruise 09 range, not out yet in the paris stores (sigh...)............but the fact is, on his only day off after a week of presentations and meetings, the first store he went to was the Gucci @ Rue St Honore. He might possibly have been the first customer of the day.... so mummyji's really touched, and mighty pleased with it. THANK YOU, SAYANG, LOVE U!!!
This sac is from fall/winter 09, and it's really lovely, a joy to behold - so aptly named. ;-)