Category Archives: Baked goods

Point Defiance Zoo & Cake That Reminds Us of The Trip

After months of sun deprivation, of course we were ecstatic to know that we would be having a sun-filled weekend. We went to the zoo on Saturday. While we love the Woodland Park Zoo, we were just there few months ago, so we decided to visit Point Defiance Zoo. Yes, it’s quite a drive to Tacoma from where we live. But it’s worth the trip. What I love about this zoo is, the animals are more active and easier to spot.

The kids were well-behaved, no one complained about being tired or hungry or sleepy or bored. That classifies as a good day. We saw all the animals (except the red wolf), soaked up all the sunshine and went home happy.

He loves the sandbox, telling me how it feels like sugar. My reaction? “He better NOT put it in his mouth“.

The next day (Sunday), we made a cake that will remind us of our trip to the zoo. We practically toss things into the mixing bowl, without any recipe. But we did jot down the measuring of the ingredients, in case we want to make it again next time. Lucky for us, it did turn out well. The butter reminds us of the bright, yellow sun. Brown sugar resembles the sand in the sandbox. And the chocolate.. uh.. let’s not elaborate.

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Dark Chocolate Truffle Shortbread Bars

I’ve been feeling down lately, due to the weather and delay in schooling. I try not to whine about it, but sadly, I have to wait until next year to go back to school. While I’m disappointed, our decision is the best for our family. Talking about, isn’t it spring already? Why does the fall/winter weather linger around, I do not know. Whenever the weather is icky, I feel icky too. I’m much happier during summer time.

We, human, have no control over Mother Nature. If only we could prevent natural disaster, if only we could change the weather. Sadly, we can’t. Don’t be discouraged. One thing we can control is ourselves. So to cheer us up in this gloomy weather, and trying to cope with news of natural disaster, something as simple as chocolate shortbread bars could help. I won’t say that it’ll cure our heartaches or make us forget all calamities. But it does help. It makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside.

His Favorite Cinnamon Buns

Between March and April, we’ve been to IKEA for copious amount of time. With each visit, my 4-yr-old son would ask for their $1.25 cinnamon bun. He loves it so much, sometimes waking up, the first thing he asks is “did you make cinnamon bun today?”

He loves helping me in the kitchen, but the only thing he helps me with from start to finish is cinnamon bun. When making other treats, halfway through, he’ll announce that he’s bored and would rather do something else. Eminently, when it comes to this puffy sweet bun, he waits for the dough to rise, even reminds me to check on it every 30 minutes. Roll the dough up with his tiny hands and tell me whether I cut them too thick or too thin. He wants to make sure it comes out perfect. While he prefers savory food, dark chocolate and anything-cinnamon-flavored top his favorite snack list.

We’ve been using the recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and he loves it so. “It’s better than IKEA’s cinnamon bun”, he says.

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Bread-That-Was-Supposed-to-be-Ciabatta with Shredded Pork

Couple days ago, Danielle from Runs with Spatula gave me an award, thanks Danielle! It sounds like a fun thing to write but to be honest with you, I don’t know what to write when it comes to 7 things about myself. I will try…

  1. I’m a bookwhore. My husband hates how I leave books all around. Trip to bookstore is always filled with temptation.
  2. My yearly new year resolution is to be less profane, somehow I haven’t succeeded yet.
  3. I get all happy and excited when I go grocery shopping, and spend less than I expected. Then I will show the receipt to my husband and yap about it for a good 15 minutes til he tells me that “I don’t really care how much you save”. Ouch.
  4. Socially inept. It’s really hard for me to start a conversation. But after 5 minutes of talking, usually things go smoothly.
  5. I cannot live without chilli sauce. Or chilli itself. We buy the 136oz huge jar and it’ll be gone by the end of the month.
  6. My husband is 11 years older than me, but sometimes I look 5 years older than him. Life. is. not. fair.
  7. My right thumb nail is deformed, has been that way since I was 14. Don’t know what’s wrong with it. Anyone?

Back to food, last week I made two huge loaves of ciabatta from Peter Reinhart’s book, Bread Baker’s Apprentice. It was good but definitely not ciabatta. It doesn’t have huge airpockets as it should be. I love eating ciabatta just as is, without any adornments. Unfortunately, this bread-that-was-supposed-to-be-ciabatta (BTWSTBC) is too dense to eat as is. So I decided to slowcook a piece of pork shoulder butt with ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, paprika, garlic and dried chilli flakes. And shredded it by hands and top the BTWSTBC with the shredded pork.  Continue reading

If It Wasn’t for Harold Crick, I’d Never Have Tried Cookies and Milk

There are lots of cookies in this world, and having overactive imagination, I sometimes like to ponder, how would A taste paired with B, hence me concocting this weird cookies. But if I die tomorrow and have to choose my last cookies, without a doubt, I’ll pick the ol’ chocolate chip cookies. Back then, when I wasn’t allowed to use the oven (ehm, actually I was too scared to go into my parents’ kitchen, lots of rats!), my favorite chocolate chip cookies was Chips Ahoy.

Believe it or not, I’d never had cookies with its loyal companion of all time, milk, until I watched Stranger than Fiction. Harold Crick, the IRS agent, fell in love with the baker he’s auditing. I don’t recall the whole detail, but there was this one scene where Ana Pascal offered him a plate of cookies and told him to dip em in milk. I used to think it was just a cutesy thing to do, that serves no real purpose whatsoever. It wasn’t bad, and actually I’m liking it. This means a lot, coming from someone who cannot drink milk as is (don’t like how it tastes, somehow it induces vomit). I think that’s why I’m so short…. The milk lends buttery taste to the cookies. The icy cold milk and warm cookies create the hot-and-cold sensation. Sometimes if you leave the cookies long enough in the milk, it absorbs the liquid, filling the airy holes in the cookies with it. And kinda like it.  I drink milk as an excuse to eat cookies.

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Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day!

Some people think we’re against Valentine’s day just because we don’t celebrate it like most people do. Nope. Actually I think it’s cute. An excuse to do something special with my son. He’s not in preschool so I have to come up with ideas to keep him occupied every day. I admit, sometimes I let it slide, and let him watch tv longer than he should. But most of the time, I will find activities we can do together. See, I can’t do arts and crafts for the life of me. I tried, but we ended up not having fun. Fortunately, he loves helping me in the kitchen.

Yesterday, after making a simple Valentine’s card, we settled to baking pink cookies. The first batch went ungraciously inside the trash. As much as I hate wasting ingredients, it was awful. Too much rose paste, it left a perfumey aftertaste. My son said it tasted like soap. The second batch were good, but didn’t taste like something special. Our goal here was to make something “special-y”. Then I remember we had a tub of homemade green tea ice cream. I crumbled some of the pink cookies on top, it tastes okay, but lack of the “special-y” taste.

Samu’s Cookies, "It’s Not Yummy, but They Look Pretty"

It’s funny how as kids get older, they sleep in more. I remember those days when my son would wake up at 6am or sometimes 5am, waking me up so I would play with him. He stopped doing that the moment he turned 3. But this morning, he woke up at 8am instead of his usual 11am routine. Guess why he woke up so early? Because I promised him that we can bake chocolate chips cookies if he wakes up early. I didn’t even remember until he reminded me this morning.

The baby was still sleeping, so he could have mommy all for himself. I helped him put the cookies into the oven and take them out when they’re done. The rest, he did it himself, following the recipe from Sesame Street activity book. Halfway through, I realized that we ran out of chocolate chips. I know, should have read the recipe carefully before making it. So, we raided my husband’s stash of candies and found a bag of M&Ms. And hey, isn’t that leftover macarons from last week? We crumbled the leftover macarons into the dough, and topped those cookies with M&Ms. Off into the oven they go. Continue reading