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Saturday, July 28, 2007


An amazing thing happened to me this week. Brandon and I went to Crema Cafe in Pensacola, just down the street a ways from our "beach home." We had been there once before and we took Zoe. This time we wanted to go read, so I bought my "intro to baking" book to get ahead for school. Somehow the manager of the cafe came up to me and asked me what I was reading. To make a long story short, he offered me to shadow his pastry chef this next week. He also gave me a bread recipe using red grapes as the wild yeast instead of the commercial yeast you buy in the stores. So this is day 1 of my wild yeast starter. Hopefully I did it right. I'm a little nervous when I'm around him, I mean this is exactly what I want to be doing so I really look up to him yet he scares the sweat outta me. Phew! So I'm going to get the nerve up to call him tomorrow morning and ask him whether he wants me to come in Monday morning or after my wild yeast has fermented for 5 days. I didn't quite understand when he wanted me to come in. Anyways, all in all it was definitely a blessing. If all goes well, I really hope I can intern with him for school. How great would that be????? Sweet!

Friday, the boys had the day off because there was a change of command on thursday and i guess you always get the next day off. So, we planned to go sailing (not in a yacht mind you, but a cattamarin (?)) with Dermit and Annetta but yeah when we got there the wind had not picked up and basically we would be just sitting in the water all day long. So we headed out to lunch at Crema (they definitely know us by now) and then went to the beach for some fun in the sun with Zoe. Dermit and I, the ones that HATE swimming the most got stung by jelly fish. Man that hurts!!!! Let me tell you, don't bother peeing on yourself. Dermit said it doesn't work. I took it like a woman and let it alone. It puffed up and after 15 minutes died down. I just got stung by tenticles cut up from boat engines but Dermit got 2 stings from live jelly fish. This all happened while Annetta and I were trying to build sandcastles (yes we are 24), and catch the white fish to put into the boys "fish pond." Brandon wants to go scuba diving tuesday...I'm reluctant with all the jelly fish but we shall see. :-/

Emm..I am baking lowfat banana honey oatmeal cookies right now. No butter, just 2 tbs olive oil and a mashed banana as the softeners. We'll see how it turns out. I'm skeptical.

Monday, July 23, 2007


This whole week has been constant thoughts of how irritating it is to have IBS. Sometimes I just have weeks where all that I eat is cereal and veges and yet I am still bloated and totally uncomfortable. I want to see a Dietitian but what could she really tell me except what I already know. Nutritionists have been of absolutely zero help to me, so I really should think about visiting a dietitian but I am so sick of retelling what my symptoms are and what I eat day in day out. BLAH!

I wish I could eat a burger. I've been craving it for over a week now. I love vege burgers they are my favorite but sometimes, and I mean once in a million years I crave red meat. I was bad yesterday and ate alot of baked goods at the church that is a really not a good idea at all. Not only that, but I feel SO pudgey. I have the book Eating for IBS and I was looking through it last night and realised that I could eat alot more variety than what I have been, so I need to try those recipes out when I get back to Milton.

How I feel today: bloated, tired, hungry, pudgey and sick to death of my IBS.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

To fill or not to fill?

I have been itching to get back to the internet this week. To make a long story short, Brandon is stationed in Pensacola for API with the navy which will be the latest till the end of august. The rest of the time we will be stationed here in milton which is an hours drive, so the navy is paying him per diem while he is in API and because of that they are paying for us to stay at an extended stay hotel there. So we are there most of the week, and come back in the weekend. Let's just say, I miss my kitchen, I miss my bed, I miss the fact that it is just home. I mean, I can cook there but it's a small room, anything you cook kinda fills the room up with whatever you cook. There is no oven, so frankly I am all but driving myself crazy. So to celebrate our weekend at home, I just HAD to make some bread. ;-) I decided to try Bialys again. I made them last saturday too but just as I was about to fill them, we had a severe thunderstorm, and everything went out. Lightening hit our cable wire which fell down and the electricity went out. So I could not fill them or bake them. This time, I was determined to fill them.

BIALYS - By Rose Levy Beranbaum of The Bread Bible
2 C flour
1/2 ts instant yeast
Then add:
1 ts salt
3/4 room temp water
Mix in a mixer on low with a dough hook for 1 minute then increase to medium for 7 minutes.
Let dough rise in a clean oiled bowl, cover for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Deflate the dough by firmly pushing it down and transfer to floured counter. Cut dough into 6 pieces and with each piece gently stretch dough and then gather the edges and pinch them closed. Put seam side down on floured baking sheet, cover and let rise for another 2 hours.

Then make an indentation in the middle of each bialy for the filling. I used an onion and garlic filling, sauteed it then filled the bialys.

30 minutes prior to baking, put a sheet pan on the floor of the oven and a shelf on the lowest level. Preheat to 475 degrees F.

When ready to bake, add 1/2 cup ice cubes to the sheet pan and bake for 6-10 minutes.

I made lasagna for Brandon to go along with the Bialys. Yes, I rarely put up pictures of actual culinary dishes because I just suck at them. I'm a baking girl.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tagged down!

I have been tagged (very very delayed response - sorry!) by Sharona

First, before the post, you must know the rules: (1) Each participant posts eight random facts about themselves. (2) Tagees should write a blogpost of eight random facts about themselves. (3) At the end of the post, eight more bloggers are tagged. Go to their blog and leave a comment telling them they're tagged.
8 random facts about moi:

1) I am possibly the only asian who is not good at math.

2) In the asian culture, competition is high especially for school. I brought that thinking with me my first year in school in New Zealand when I was 6 or 7 years old. Everyone stood in their age groups and in each age group there are 2 classes and I did not know that they picked students in order of last names, A obviously being first picked. I was last to be picked and started to cry infront of the whole school because I thought no one wanted me. Shame. Mom went to my first period with me.

3) I almost drowned in a swimming pool when I was 8 or so in Malaysia. I forgot my floatie chicken wings and to save myself I pushed my friends head under to stay afloat. I was saved.

4) My friends at my all girls private school in New Zealand used to time how fast I could run from the courtyard lunch area to the restroom, pee, wash my hands and run back. I think the fastest time was 25 seconds.

5) When I was 13 years old, the navy came to talk to us but my dreams of being in the navy and marrying a guy in uniform was shattered when the lady told me I couldn't join because I had glasses.

6) Then I met my husband in college. I was his RA and he was in ROTC navy. My dream did come true ;-) I didn't have to resort to marrying a mafia guy.

7) I went to college for 5 years to get a General Science Degree, only to realise after all that I really wanted to be in the food industry and now I am starting august 20th!!! WHOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!

8) My husband Brandon proposed to me December 30th 2005 on our trip to Hong Kong. The plan (which was unknown to me) was that my mother treated my sister, brandon and I to dinner at the Spoon restaurant and at the last minute my sister turned down the offer, opting to go to eat with my aunt. I was suspicious because it's my sister. She NEVER turns down a good meal at an expensive restaurant, actually she just never turns down food in general. So dinner was just Brandon and I, all the while thinking he would propose at dinner so of course when we hiked up his HUGE mountain (in high heels at 10pm) I was a little more than fiesty. I wasn't so upset though after the proposal and a ring on my finger!!!!!! HEHEHEHEHE. We were married June 10th 2006.

I have tagged:
Tastes Like Home
Rosa's Yummy Yums
Culinary in the Country
Cake Crazed
La vida en Buenos Aires y afines...
Emilie Eats

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


It's a wonder I haven't literally baked my entire arm off yet! That ladies and gentlemen is a second degree burn resulting from 'I'm too lazy to open the oven door all the way and I end up burning myself again.' This is the third time and the most severe burn I have had. It never fails to be in the same spot either. I feel like a freak, especially when I'm working out at the gym with a big huge bubble on the side of my right arm.

Brandon calls it the arm deformity. This hopefully will be my final lesson that I really need to open the door all the way before taking things OUT of the oven. *shakes head*

It's hard not to want to just pop it but it has to pop naturally.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Bakin my way to school...

Ever have one of those periods of time where you don't bake for a long time and then all of a sudden, say Saturday morning after you lazily get out of bed at 9:30am you bake two loaves without even of thinking of showering first? Saturday morning was one of those days. I can't complain though, it is always nice to break out the books I have and put those recipes to good use. Only problem is...I have good intentions when I bake cause I bake usually for brandon, but it also turns against me cause if I see something good on the counter, HOW can I say no to my tummy? So in honor of getting into Pastry and bakery arts at Faulkner state, I present the Banana Feather Loaf and the Chocolate chocolate chip bread, both recipes of Rose Levys' The Bread Bible.

BANANA FEATHER LOAF - Rose Levy Beranbaum The Bread Bible
Mix 1/2 C + 1 tbs flour with 1/4 ts instant yeast, 1 tbs honey, and 1/2 C room temp water. Whisk for 2 minutes, cover and set aside.
Flour mixture and dough
Combine 1 1/2 C flour, 3/4 ts instant yeast and 2 tbs dry milk.
Sprinkle ontop of Sponge, cover and set aside for 1 - 4 hours.
Add 4 ts softened butter and 1 ripe mashed banana with a dough hook on low speed for 1 minute or till flour is moistened so to form a rough dough. Scrap down dough, cover and rest for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle 1 ts salt and knead dough on medium speed for 7-10 minutes. With oiled spatula scrape down dough clinging to sides of the bowl. Knead in flour if dough is not stiff but it should still be a little tacky.
Use oiled spatula and scrap dough into 1 1/2 quart bowl lightly greased. Plush down dough and light spray oil on top. Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or till doubled.
Use an oiled spatula, scrape dough onto floured counter and press down gently to form a rectangle. Fold dough from all 4 sides to form a rectangle and set it back into a container. Oil surface, cover and let rise till doubled another 1-2 hours.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and shape into a loaf. Place in prepared loaf pan, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow to rise 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F 1 hour before baking with a shelf on the lowest level and place a baking sheet on it and a cast iron skillet on floor of oven.
Toss 1/2 C ice cubes into skillet and bake for 5 minutes, then lower temp to 375 degrees F for 15 minutes and finally to 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through baking.
My thoughts: I love how soft and chewy the loaf is and how nicely it toasts. The crusts gets crunchy while the interior stays soft. Even though my banana was ripe to the point that the whole thing was black, I couldn't last much banana flavor. Sometimes I would get a whiff of the scent but the flavor is definitely subtle. Reminds me almost of the english muffin loaf I made.
CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIOP BREAD by Rose Levy Beranbaum 'The Bread Bible'
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with a shelf in the middle level.
Soft Cocoa Paste
Whisk 3 tbs + 1/2 tbs cocoa with 3 tbs boiling water. Let cool a little then add 1/2 tbs vanilla extract and 3 large eggs.
Mix batter
Mix 1 1/4 C cake flour (I used normal flour), 3/4 C + 2 tbs sugar, 3/4 ts baking powder and 1/4 ts salt for 30 seconds on low speed. Add half the chocolate paste and 13 tbs softened butter and mix till moistened. Increase speed to medium for 1 minute. Scrap down bowl and add remaining chocolate paste in 2 batches beating 20 seconds after each addtion. Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill greased pan with batter, smooth the surface and bake 50-
60 minutes. Tent loosely with foil after 25 minutes to prevent overbrowning.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack
My thoughts: Man, this bread is DELICIOUS! Be warned though, it is very very buttery but OH SO GOOD! It has a very rich chocolate taste but not deathly sweet. Very moist on the inside but has a melt in your mouth crispy exterior.