Catching A Crocheting Bug :D

Finally I have got a WIP.

The realisation of being an aunt has suddenly given me that feeling of… aunt-hood. If that makes sense? I just wanted to make something for the  niece I have never met. I have seen the photos though, and she is one adorable thing.

I found this cute little hat pattern for newborn from ravelry, but after I followed the link the pattern was made for worsted weight or aran yarn. I don’t have that particular yarn, especially not in that colour.

I mean…

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I cannot make a panda with pink yarn, can I?

So, I tweaked it, and made my own basic hat pattern so I can use baby/ DK weight yarn (which I have in abundance in our home), and I am happy to say that it has turned out alright.

Now I am not sure how big a newborn baby head is, but I managed to make around 42cm in head circumference. I hope it fits… We can only see if it does in a week.

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Gosh… a week?

x ❤ x

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This Little Piggy and Her New Toy

Yes, I bought a candy thermometer from Amazon. It is definitely made in China kind of product, and since it is shipped from there as well, it took ages to finally arrived to our mailbox. It is cheap though… very cheap. You can obviously find a better looking, and ones with faster delivery there, but… I wasn’t in a rush, it’s just a minor inconvenience having to wait for few weeks for that thing.

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the thing…

What for?

Well… i wasn’t sure when I bought the thermometer. It was… you know… an impulsive purchase, because it popped up in my “you might like” section, and it was really cheap. Have I mentioned that it was incredibly cheap? I mean… less than £2, it’s obviously a bargain…

Anyway, it arrived, and it’s working. So, I better make use of it.

And… I’ve decided to make my own homemade yogurt.

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First step is to pasteurise it. Some source said that if I use milk from an unopened bottle I don’t need to do this, but I found out that this is actually a very important step to guarantee a thicker, creamier yogurt…

Now I don’t have a fancy yogurt maker. I don’t fancy buying it too. Yogurt is something that people has made in the past for many many years successfully without yogurt maker, so it is a clear evidence that we don’t need yogurt maker to make yogurt.

All I needed was a pan, and a rice cooker. Yes rice cooker, the one that looks like a small slow cooker. You can use slow cooker too. We have one of those, but it was stored way back in the larder, and wasn’t going to make a big batch… so.. Rice cooker would do. But no, Sir, I’ve made my point, and am not going to be tricked to buy a yogurt maker.

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After adding the starter, the milk mixture is wrapped, and let snuggle comfortable in the pre-warmed rice cooker. See the thermometer? Yep!

Especially because you don’t need so much effort to make a good homemade yogurt too. Seriously. With bread, I can see the appeal of having a bread maker. The idea of not having to break my back kneading the dough, and the minimum mess it’s making can be quite appealing. But yogurt is much easier, you just stand and stir, and if you have an oven you can sit, and occasionally check how’s your bacteria doing…

It is really easy. Especially if you have a thermometer… like me 😀

A quick google search and I was in the kitchen making yogurt.

Okay… I lied. I tried to make yogurt BEFORE i had the thermometer. So, making yogurt without thermometer is definitely possible. You would have to rely on your sense of touch, and visual clue. My yogurt turned out okay, albeit slightly slimy and runny. And this is why i believe thermometer would make a difference.

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it is very thick… you can see how it makes lumps when it is moved to a jar. If you want greek yogurt though… you can strain it and remove the whey. I use the whey to make bread 😀 Waste not!

My second attempt of yogurt, I got everything… i mean everything measured. The timing, the temperature… And the result? Creamy, tasty, healthy, and cheaper yogurt (I am tight, I know)… Definitely won’t need any more yogurt from the store.

x ❤ x

P.S. I did some calorie calculation for the plain home made yogurt vs plain low-fat store bought yogurt. The homemade yogurt, made from semi skimmed milk (that’s 2% by the way) is significantly lower calorie while having a thicker and creamier texture. I suspect it is because in store bought yogurt, it was either runny and then strained (so gram per gram it is more calorific), it used cornflour as a thickening agent, or added sugar.

I Am Officially An Auntie :D

Well… I was an auntie before this, because my DH has a nephew, but you know what I mean…

My sister just gave birth to a beautiful little daughter — the first in my family. Both the mother and the baby are healthy, and in an excellent condition. My parents are over the moon for their first grandchild.

I am so overjoyed, but at the same time feel a bit sad that I am not the only one who are not there with my sister to give support. Seems like I am the only one missing the celebration in Indonesia 😦 Not happy about it 😦

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Anyway…

So, I decided to just celebrate it myself here with my husband, by baking a cake 🙂 Obviously we don’t need any reason to bake a cake, but it feels slightly more special when you attach story behind a bake…

And here you go…

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Whoopsie… Forgot to take photo before sliced it :p

 

Cocopandan Cake with Gula Melaka topping.

Yes it sounds foreign, I know. But I feel like I want to make this one because it reminds me so much of home. Cocopandan is basically coconut and pandan (fragrant leaves, very popular in Indonesian desserts and beverages), and gula melaka or gula merah is how we call palm sugar in that part of the world.

It tastes wonderful. A wonderful cake for a wonderful day 🙂

Pastry Week at The Great British Bake Off

Do you watch The Great British Bake Off? If you are in Britain you probably do, but if you’re not in Britain, Bake Off might sound not too familiar. You could google it, but basically it is a baking competition… clue is in the name.

However, Bake Off is a completely different cooking competition to ones I have seen before. It is not Top Chef, it is not Masterchef… it is not anything you’ve seen before. It is a very friendly, homely kind of show, with a bunch of lovely contestants, an unlikely pair of judges, and a pair of comedian as hosts. There are no hostility towards competitors, no bad mouthing, no sabotage etc — just a good old baking.

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I made croissant for bread week, not knowing that it is actually for pastry week… woops!!

So… I was flabbergasted when I heard BBC has to let GBBO go to Channel 4. Yes, ladies and gentlemen — it is a headline news in the UK.

I have been following the weekly themes and making my own stuff… A cake for cake week, biscuits on biscuit week… you got the picture. Only last week, when they released the news about GBBO move, I couldn’t make myself bake for batter week…

But I am back now… And although I am slightly disappointed that Val is going (just right after Kate! Two my favourites in a row!), I am ready to bake again.

So for this week theme: Pastry week… i present to you: Tarte Aux Pommes:

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Should have keep an eye for that slightly burnt edge 😦 And I forgot that I didn’t have apricot jam for glaze… oh well 😦

My neighbour has extra apples from her daughter’s apple tree at home, so she insisted I took it. I thought it would taste wonderful in a tart. Why not apple pie, you ask? Because… frangipane. Enough said…

Did my DH like it? Pssh! Sweet pastry with frangipane? He could scoff the lot in one sitting :0

x ❤ x

I Think Summer Is Over

Or at least, I hope so…

I know… I know how ungrateful that sounds for so many people. I realised that in this country people likes the sun, and the warmth and everything, so I know that hoping the summer to be over is not very… British — as how my DH would put it. Oh well…

But still. I am glad that the last couple of days it was cooler, even borderline chilly. I was happy that it was raining too, for so many many many reasons.

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Happy Poppies

My plants are happy with a little weather change there, my tomatoes, poppies… everything just so happy that finally they are not overheated. I am happy that with the rain, there were no football games either.

Pssh… Doesn’t matter how often my DH told them to be careful where they kick those balls… I really wish next year we can move somewhere where we could have a proper garden and better neighbour…

Anyway… I just realised I haven’t written anything for a month! And how rude of me to just barge in and rant about the weather and the neighbour and all that. Apologies.

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where are the red tomatoes?

I have to say that it had been way to warm for me to knit, but I did some progress though — in cooking, baking and especially gardening. I harvested my tomatoes, and they’re wonderful in salads and food. And boy do they taste wonderful.

Not only that they’re fresher (just picked that very morning), and pesticides free (because I don’t use any of those). It is also very satisfying to see them grow… just for YOU! Wonderful isn’t it?

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they are here! harvested, and ready to be cooked… and eaten

Since the summer is almost over, I started to collect some seeds from my flowers too. I imagine that next year, whether I will stay in the UK, or sent back to Indonesia, I would be able to grow these wonderful flowers again.

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Anyway… Does anyone know how do you harvest poppy seeds? I quite like the flowers…