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Twas Bry’s birthday this past Thursday. He turned treinta y tres. (Which, coincidentally and unrelatedly to this post, is also the name of a little town in Uruguay…)

Here is a rehash of what we did that day, along with some pictures from the little b-day celebration for him…

Breakfast: Bagels!!! Thanks to my baking session with Maya and Teresa in San Diego, I realized that bagels were really simple to make!

bagels

Lunch: Flower Drum Restaurant in Melbourne City – one of the finest Chinese restaurants we’ve ever been, thanks to a big treat from one of Bry’s friend’s parents from SoCal who were in town. The Peking duck was, oohlala, so succulent, tasty, and had some delicately crispy skin…MMmm I’m still salivating just thinking about it!

Dinner: BBQ lambchops with mint leaves, garlic, and olive oil dip; saffron and cumin seeds rice; potatoes with bay leaves, stir fried bak choy and broccoli; and SODA!!

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Dessert: (Which wasn’t ready till the next day; LOL!!) Blueberries with NY style cheesecake, one of Bry’s favorite cakes. It was also my first attempt at baking a whole cheesecake (I used to make little cheesecake tartlets), and was a little nervous. Thankfully, it came out great; I was especially delighted by its smooth creamy texture along with its delicious crispy crust! Recipe from joyofbaking.com.

cheesecake

And now we need to start exercising…!!

Here is something I’m gonna attempt to make today to spread some lurve: late summer peach with blueberry, cream cheese, and thyme leaves cupcakes. Check out this recipe here. Or click here to view other tempting cupcake recipes here.

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Have a wonderful day! Will be back to post later.

Who said pineapple tarts need to come in the round fluttery form? Here are my indie looking tarts…

For those who know what forms pineapple tarts traditionally come in: Don’t Laugh!! They look mas o menos but they taste pretty close to how they should be; and hey I couldn’t find the right cookie cutter at the time I wanted to bake them…;)

Gonna make rolled oats cookies tonight to bring to this Chinese New Year reunion dinner at my cousin’s friend’s place (a.k.a. Nicholas’s parents’ place) tomorrow evening. That should hopefully turn out more conventional. Hee.

pinapplecookies

Went shopping this morning @ around 8 for food to make @ our Christmas dinner , and GOSH was the Vic Mart packed full of people rushing to get their orders for their feasting sessions. Thereafter, went to a friend’s place to bake gingerbread men cookies. They were so fun to bake and decorate…and to eat! 🙂 I might try making oatmeal cookies tomorrow, too, if I have the motivation. I love the holiday season!

gingerbreadmen2

It’s gonna be a busy week ahead…we have Christmas eve dinner @ my cousin’s, then Christmas service at church on Christmas morning, then possibly lunch @ some church member’s house…and then we host our own Christmas dinner @ our place.

Finally got a Christmas dinner menu!

  • Garlic bread (because we ❤ bread AND garlic)
  • Broccoli and cheese soup
  • Roast chicken with wild mushroom and bread/rice stuffing (from the success I had at Thanksgiving!!)
  • Beans casserole
  • Cherry pie
  • Apple crumble (per request of a guest)

And sometime this week (before Thurs) a friend and I are gonna bake Christmas cookies together. YAY! I am gonna try baking gingerbread men, some rolled oat cookies, and maybe some cherry spiced cookies if there is such a thing (to use up my cherries!!).

I love the Christmas season! Let the feasting begin continue!!! And of course let us not forget the true meaning behind the season…the birth of our Savior. 🙂

Not wanting to pay for ridiculously overpriced Halloween pumpkins going for $6/kg at the Queen Victoria Market, I decided to, instead, buy a Japanese pumpkin (only $1/kg) and put it to some kind of use. It might be quite a waste to carve this pumpkin typically used for cooking, so I am going to try making this delicious sounding pumpkin spice recipe from my favorite baking site, http://www.joyofbaking.com.

I just baked half the pumpkin and pureed it. It smells and tastes heavenly! Can’t wait to use it in the cake!

Baked squash reminds me soo much of the fun fall times I had in San Diego with ex-roomies who made squash dishes, and those lovely memories just triggered a flood of other fun times I had with all the amazing people I’m friends with in SoCal. Here’s a shoutout to all you dear friends out in beautiful SoCal: HAPPY HALLOWEEN, Y’ALL!! You don’t know how much I want to be with you guys especially during fall with all the fun festivities comin’ up!

Anyhow…back to baking: photos of the cake – if presentable – will be posted later.