Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone........my first blog about Christmas 2009


We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas, And a Happy New Year!!! gosh, I just love this song, I can sing it over and over again in the car, in the shower, in my heart when I'm doing my work, and almost anytime of the day.......I just love Christmas. No wonder people and songs used to say that "Christmas is the best time of the year........no matter you are young or old, you'll just love this season.
When I was a kid, I love Christmas so much because of the amount of presents I'll get under the Christmas tree and anxiously waiting for the clock to strike 12 midnight on the 24th Dec to open it. Then, now as a mother, I passed this tradition down to my 4 kids, telling them stories of Santa Clause and his reindeers  delivering their presents on Christmas Eve on a sleigh...... if they behave well that year, they'll get presents under the tree, and of course they have to get to bed early before midnight on the Eve of Christmas, or else Santa won't come. To tell you the truth, sometimes I feel bad telling them this story, but well, seeing them waking up really early in the morning and running down to check on the Christmas tree the next day ......those happy faces and giggles, and how satisfying they are when they opened up those presents and found that Santa actually replied their letters. Well, I hope one day, they will understand the true meaning of Christmas.........as I guess all mothers in this world wants only for their children to celebrate the joy of Christmas like every children in the world celebrates.
Well, as this is my first Christmas blog, I celebrated Christmas this year with my kids at my brother (Anthony) and SIL(Celine)'s house, with my nieces (Aline, Lenice, Iris, Sheryl and Gillen) and nephew (Daryl), my eldest sister (Annie) and BIL (Tony) and some other friends. As for Hubby, this is the busiest day for him at work.
A week before Christmas, I had already made some sugar cookies for the kids to decorate and they had so much fun piping the royal icing on those cookies. We made ginger breadmen, christmas trees and some stars, flooded frosted with royal icing. For those of you who would like to make some sugar cookies,  here's a reliable Sugar Cookies recipe that I used for this project and I got it from Joy of Baking and it works really well, as it doesn't spread when you bake them in the oven. It's crispy stays for at least 2 weeks if you store them in an airtight container.......but do remember Tip # 1: Only start frosting the cookies when it's thoroughly cool down and Tip 32 : Stack your frosted sugar cookies on layers of parchment papers so the icing won't stick to the other cookies on top and lastly Tip #3 : Cover your royal icing mixture with a dampen cloth or cling wrap when not in use, to avoid it from getting hard. Happy Sugar Cookies Baking.....^-^
So, here's wishing you all, "Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings!! God Bless you all!"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Birthday Cakes for Two awesome people

December month has always been the month of celebrations, parties, birthdays.......what I meant is that, this month particularly has the most of all these celebrations. In my family itself, I have 5 persons celebrating their birthday in this month. For friends, I think I have more than a dozen of them celebrating their birthday in December. That's why, I have always like this month, because most of all December is the month of Christmas.......the joyous and most wonderful celebration of the year.....I just love Christmas, ever since I was a little kid.

So, this December, besides my 5 family members celebrating their birthdays, I have 2 very good friends that I have met in early 2009, and in a very short period of time, we became very good and close friends. We basically share the very same interest and that's how we became so, so close. Sometimes, when I think about it, it's like I have known them for ages already. I'm really glad that I have these 2 ladies as friends, as they have brought a lot of laughter and joy to my life and that has really made my life more colourful and more fun. Being with them, I don't have to pretend, and I felt very comfortable and what I like the most is.........we just love to EAT!! Hahaha....

Both of their birthday falls in December, Joanne's on the 19th Dec and Winnie 's on the 20th Dec. Since this year I have started to bake, they have always teases me in my baking. I decided to bake a personal birthday cake to both of them as a surprise and a token of my love to them. It never occurred to me what I wanted to make as I was so clueless in making birthday cakes. The idea just came around and that's what I came up with........LOL......Hope you like it girls! Happy Birthday to you TWO, you girls are the best thing that ever happen to me in 2009!! Love you both! xoxo

This one's for Joanne - 'Fresh cream Sponge Cake with Longan topping'.

This one's for Winnie - 'Fresh Cream Sponge Cake with Peach topping'.

Coffee Meringue Cookies

As you all know, I'm a coffee lover and an addict too, I must admit.....hehe. Whatever recipes that I saw that has something that called for coffee or chocolate, I will be very delighted to try it out. Same goes to this recipe that I saw in one of my MiL's cookbook, it's called "Coffee Meringue Cookies". Well, as some of you would know the meaning of 'meringue'....it is a type of dessert made from whipped egg whites and sugar. This would be my first attempt in making a meringue. I got very a very good advice from my sister in KL telling me that whenever you need to whisk egg white and sugar, always make sure that the mixing bowl and the beater are free from oil. If not , the egg whites will break up and you'll never get the level of 'peak' you need.
Therefore, Tip # 1: I rinse my mixing bowl and the beaters with hot water and air dry it before I start to whisk Tip #2 : When seperating the egg white from the egg yolk, do not let even a single drop of yolk fall in to the whites, this will also affect the whisking process....aiyo, you must be wondering what a 'prima donna' egg white I'm dealing with........LOL
So, with the main 2 tips given, I'm sure you will be able to achieve the 'peak' that the recipe called for.........as to be frank with you, meringue is actually a very easy cookie to make.....the kung-fu is all in the whisking of the egg whites and sugar. I followed every single steps the food called for, as it is quite straightforward and easy to understand................and the end result, my kids, especially Ian and Angelica, who just adores coffee as much as their Mummy, loves it so much ^-^ . During the baking of the meringues, the whole kitchen was filled with coffee aroma and the kids just can't wait for it to come out of the oven.......what's more, there is a 'cooling off - period' of another hour after the baking time is up.........LOL, "percubaan" (testing of patience) I call it. These cookies are so, so light and airy.....I meant really light in weight and airy inside, it just melts in your mouth....hmmmm
So, pick up your whisk and get started.......Happy Meringue Baking!


COFFEE MERINGUE COOKIES ......FOR THE LOVE OF COFFEE 
This recipe is adapted from my MIL 's Y3K Cookbook - My Secret Recipes Series Vol.9 

Ingredients
(A) 3 egg whites
(B) 50 gm caster sugar and 120 gm icing sugar (I would suggest you cut down as I find that it's a bit too sweet, maybe 20 gm for caster and 100 gm for Icing sugar)
(C) 1 Tbsp coffee essence
(D) 1 Tbsp cornflour

Method
  1. Beat egg whites in a mixing bowl with a handheld electric beater til it foams. Fold in ingredient (B) in several small batches. Add in ingredient (C) and (D) and beat well till soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
  2. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with nozzle no.22. Pipe meringue onto a baking tray lined with non-stick parchment paper, all speced apart.
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 100~C to 120~C for 1 hour or more until the meringues are dry and crisp. Cool quickly and store well.
Tips: Always bake your meringues in a very slow oven. To ensure meringues hold its shape after baking, switch off the oven, leave the meringue in the oven with oven door ajar for at least another hour......hehe, testing your patience ^-^, as there will not be a sudden change in temperature, the crisp touch of the meringue will remains better.

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    It's good to be BACK!

    Hi there everyone! I'm back.........hehe, from my niece wedding and also from my holidays in KL with the kids!! My blog must have been so, so quiet for quite sometime.....hehe, luckily I didn't see any mushroom growing here yet, LOL.
    Anyway, here's wishing you guys "Happy Holidays" and as Christmas is just around the corner, I'm sure you guys must be very busy shopping for presents, and those who loves to bake, will be busy baking cookies for this wonderful season. I'm back and haven't been baking for the last 2 weeks. The last baking that I did was  that batch of cupcakes for my dearest niece's wedding. Like I said, I'm back, so does the baking, hehe.
    Today I will start to refill back the pages of my blogs and this will be some pictures that I have taken during my niece wedding and also my holiday with kids in KL and also Genting Highlands.
    It's been a great wedding and a great family bonding time, those love and laughters that I have missed, are all back again and the holiday that I had with my kids, were a really great one, though my Hubby was unable to join us. I hope the next family holiday, he will be able to join in, me and the kids will be looking forward to that day to come.

    28th November , 2009 – My Niece Wedding Day















    Cupcakes that I made for Siew Yee's wedding 














































    4th -12th December, 2009 -Holidays in KL and Genting Highlands with the kids