Monday, May 02, 2011

Cooking, cooking, baking, baking

This weekend, 30th April to 2nd May, 2011, with a public holiday (Labour Day) falling on a Sunday, we got ourselves an extended weekend!

It’s been so long since I could enjoy an extended weekend what with so much work at the office. So, I was really looking forward to a weekend where I could have more time to take care of the house, cook some of my favourite food and do some crafting.

However, it was not possible for me to have the whole weekend to myself and with the family, doing our own things, as we had two weddings to attend, and Aiman has his usual Saturday classes. We also needed to do some grocery shopping. But, still, I am thankful for the extra time to take care of the house and do some cooking. I even managed to bake!

Usually, on Saturday mornings, we would have breakfast outside and then proceed to send Aiman to his Saturday Art Class. But, as I had missed watching the Royal Wedding of Wills and Kate on Friday, 29th April 2011, as I had to work, and it just so happened that they were running a repeat of it that Saturday morning, we decided to have breakfast at home.

It was breakfast of instant Chapatti, Dalca, and Sambal Ikan Bilis which I had bought at a Pasar Tani in Putrajaya on my way back from a meeting in Putrajaya on Friday. We also had Mutton Curry which I had bought at a Mamak Bistro next to my office on my way home on Friday.

It was instant, simple, yet it was delicious!

While Aiman was in class, my hubby went to the gym and I sat at Starbucks with a nice tall glass of Iced Caramel Machiato and went surfing and answered my 100s of emails as I have not been able to go online much in the last week or so due to my hectic schedule at work (like, yeah! What’s new! LOL! *grin*) .

After picking up Aiman, we went for lunch before we proceeded to do some grocery shopping. I had many plans to do some cooking during this extended weekend, and so bought quite a number of things meant for what I intended to cook.

We came home and had a short nap before it was time for us to get ready for a cousin’s wedding in Selayang at this place called Ideal Convention Center. Heard of it? No? Neither did we, but we found it, thanks to the GPS on my phone, which I fondly call Cik Kiah as she “speaks” and my handphone being a Nokia (the Kiah coming from the word KIA in NoKIA). *grin*

End of Saturday.

Sunday morning, with it being a public holiday, the weekly maid was off too, so, I took my time getting up, but not later than 7.00am as I wanted to catch The Ultimate Cake Off and Cake Boss on Astro. Really love these two shows! Very inspiring!

I was watching both programmes in between making breakfast, and doing the laundry! LOL! Talk about multi-tasking! LOL! *grin*

After breakfast was done with, I sat about to cook dinner as we had another wedding to attend in the afternoon, and I know myself that once I am out of the house, I could end up being tired or lazy to do anything else after that.

My mum wouldn’t be too pleased to know that I had "cheated" when I cooked this family favourite dish of Kuzi Ayam. I had used this pre-mixed rempah (herbs) by “Yes Halal Rempah Ustazah”, all packed up and ready to cook. All that I needed to do was to add evaporated milk, water and chicken. But, it was the only way I could have this dish with the limited time that I had on my hands and my mum is too far away for me to ask her to help me cook it. So, I guess this “cheating’’ is acceptable? LOL! *wink* I also added chicken giza, raisins and almonds to make the dish taste even closer to the original.

Nothing taste better than mum’s cooking, but, beggars can’t be choosers, so, I guess this alternative is anytime better than no choice at all. Honestly, this pre-mixed herb wasn’t too bad. It tastes almost the same as the original, though nothing could replace mum’s original recipe. *smile*

I cooked enough to serve for two meals.

Also from “Yes Halal Rempah Ustazah” is a soup mix which I made and served for lunch on Monday, 2nd May 2011.

The taste is also not bad. It was quick to do. All I needed was to just add water, chicken and potatoes, and when serving, add the coriander leaves and bawang merah goreng (fried shallots).

On Sunday, after coming back from the wedding, I managed to catch DC Cupcakes at 4.00pm which inspired me to try out some cupcake recipes with the help of my son who was just as eager to help out with the baking as I am eager to try out the recipe.

We tried out this very simple Chocolate Cupcakes which I got the recipe off the internet. It was pretty easy and quick to do. It tastes great too! Not too sweet. Just the way I like it, and I just love the chocolaty taste!

Before I set about making the cupcakes, I first put in the ingredients for a basic traditional white bread using my bread machine. Alas, my bread came out not well risen and a little hard. *sob*

I was very sure that I had measured everything correctly, although I had to substitute bread flour with all-purpose flour as was recommended by a few websites, since I could not find any bread flour at the shops I frequent. I also omitted the dry milk powder and replaced the plain water with fresh milk as recommended by a few websites since I did not fancy buying a big package of dry milk powder but only to use a little.

I am very pleased with the way the cupcakes turned out, but I am a little disappointed with the bread. I am certainly going to try making the bread again. Maybe I should try looking for the bread flour asked for and buy the dry milk powder. I also probably need to get a few new packs of yeast although I am pretty sure the pack of yeast I bought last week has not yet expired.

Oh well! We are still having the hard as a rock and not well risen bread for breakfast on Tuesday to be eaten with the Kuzi gravy *grin*, which I think might just be the right combination. We also still have plenty of the chocolate cupcakes, and we will be having that for the next few days! *grin*

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