Relationship Goal

It was my wedding anniversary! Again! Just like last year…

It wasn’t how I imagined, or wanted it to be though. The food didn’t come out right. I was not feeling well… And, hubby was incredibly grumpy because of work related issues.

Not that I wanted a lavish celebration or something like that. We are not used to celebrating things anyway. But I was thinking of making something for us yesterday. DIdn’t happen. Oh well…

But at least one thing came out okay:

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Mickey and Minnie gingerbread biscuit…

PS. Do you know that Mickey and Minnie have been together since 1930’s? Well that’s your new relationship goal, isn’t it?

x ❤ x

Pancake Day!

Alright. I have been in the UK for over 2 years now, but yesterday was my first ever pancake day.

I always missed it in the past, but yesterday… I did it!

Pancake in the UK is different from American pancake. This pancake is thin, and the batter is quite runny, like crepes. It is very easy to make, with very simple ingredients… yet incredibly tasty.

Especially when you eat it the traditional way (my husband taught me how to do it “properly”): squeeze the lemon, and sprinkle some sugar on it. YUM!

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However yesterday evening my husband had his overtime, so he went home a little bit later than usual. That’s why I had time to make even more pancakes… so I made mille crepe.

I made one few years ago before we had this current oven hob. In fact, it was my first ever cake made for my husband’s birthday (I didn’t know how to bake back then). But the cake was too rich for him at that time, so I made less layer, and used different filling for it too…

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Ah anyway…

I still have some of them left… Guess what I am having for lunch?

x ❤ x

The Twiglets…

I started noticing Twiglets since I am in the UK, but I am haven’t really tried it up until last year. My husband introduced it to me, after he found out that I actually enjoyed Marmite. Marmite is… I actually am not sure what it is, but it is a kind of thing people here use in their toast to make it very tasty…

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Twiglets are basically a type of crisps, taste like Marmite. If you are from Australia, my husband said that it might be something that reminds you of a stronger Vegemite.

I thought Twiglets are popular in any western country — means everywhere else that is not Indonesia. But apparently I was wrong.

Anyway, I got hooked after I tried this twiglets thing. They are much better than potato crisps, and some swears that they are even healthier. I know… I know there is no such thing as healthy crisps, but if there are any, it must be twiglets.

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However, Twiglets are rarely on sale on supermarket, so I have to be very cunning in storing them. Like — for example — when I found them in poundland (it’s like one dollar store, but in poundsterling…). Yes, I stash them. Same thing happened when I found Guinnes flavoured potato crisps…

And no… I don’t feel guilty stashing crisps at home.

Away from the nibbles… I just realised that the photo I uploaded last time was from the wrong side. How bizarre…

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Here… the right side, and a bit of progress 🙂

x ❤ x

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.

From Farm To Fork…

Well.. in my case it is actually from Garden to Gut, but that doesn’t sound pretty, does it? I harvested the young leaves of my Bok Choy, or Pak Choi — I am of Chinese descent but I still am not sure how to pronounce this Asian themed vegetable.

Some of the leaves were munched by something, and I am not sure what has munched my leaves. Some said that slightly munched vegetable leaves means it is free from pesticides. But… still I am not happy about my something eating my veggies without my permission. That’s thievery…

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After washing them out, I am left with beautiful fresh looking baby Pak Choi leaves. Not a lot to start with, but I wish it will change in the future (next harvest). I decided to make something out of it.

Tada…

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Stir fry is one of the most common way to cook things in our culture. My grandmother basically stir fry everything. I think she believes that stir frying things is the best way to keep the nutrients in the food, because the meat — in this case I had chicken, will be cooked first, and the vegetables would be flash cooked (so quick, it didn’t even realise that it’s actually being cooked).

Sooo excited. Especially because of my courgette is start flowering too. Really can’t wait to harvest this one too. Eek!!

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x ❤ x

Courghetti or Zoodle?

Yes, courgetti is probably the British version of American zoodle. Since in the UK we call this particular vegetable as courgette, and as far as I know it is called zucchini (is it the correct spelling, though? My spell check refused to acknowledge the word, unfortunately) in the US.

I have heard about it and have noticed the trend of people making courgetti to substitute pasta in their pasta recipe. An interesting idea… especially for someone who would like to reduce the calories intake like myself. But of course, I don’t have the spiraliser — the almighty tool that allegedly could turn everything to noodle-like shape.

I said “allegedly” because I haven’t got them myself. And I am so overly jealous with people who have it. Please don’t flaunt your magical kitchen tool in front of me — I am offended. (Why not? People could get offended by the silliest thing in the world, couldn’t they?)

So, after postponing the courgetti for months, I decided to go on anyway. Google “how to make courgetti without spiraliser”, and youtube is your friend again. A bit of a chore really, especially I don’t have the knife skill of the kitchen goddess I thought I was. And was it worth all the trouble?

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Well…

Uh…

Not really.

I have never had problem eating vegetables. I don’t need to hide or disguise the vegetables into a pasta to enjoy it. It might be a good idea if you have a child who is a picky eater. But for someone who could enjoy vegetable as it is… well, it is a bit of a chore really.

Would it be a good replacement for pasta? Definitely. But I don’t need to eat pasta anyway. Spaghetti shaped courgette tastes the same with cube shaped courgette — delicious, by the way. If I chop it and cook it as I would do pasta… I mean, what’s stopping me?

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Maybe one day, when I have bought my awesome spiraliser (or mandolin, even), I might make these thing again… just for the sake of variation. But until then, I would be having cube shaped courgette.

Anyway… have you tried this?

x ❤ x

My First Ever Harvest

It is definitely worth a celebration. My little vertical garden is now start producing. Not much, obviously — as I am just started as a gardener (wow! Can I call myself that?) not so long time ago.

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Oh wait… Haven’t I told you what I just harvested? It is the lettuce.

Yes. I know the lettuce looks a bit weird. But it is my fault for not doing a lot of research before doing the lettuce. Basically I just put a whole lot of seed in a hole, and now they are crammed in one pot. I tried to separate them, but apparently I couldn’t do that without killing them.

Oh well, so I could have baby lettuce leaf, and it would be as tasty as any other lettuce. Salad leaf. That’s it.

Tada!!

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I was so happy. And so was my husband who ate some of the lettuce leaf with his sandwich for his pack lunch. Ahh!! Excited…

x ❤ x