Yelly Eats

Mongo bread!

It has been quite the stressful few weeks.  Mostly because of the changes in my work environment.  When I get really stressed I get really homesick.  And when I get really homesick I bake something that I can eat from home.

I’m really grateful my sister has bought the Goldilocks Bakebook for me.  I have had feedback from friends that the book has been discontinued due to the errors and omissions in the book.  I must agree that the book could do with a few editorial tweaks so that it will read smoother.  The recipes and baking instructions need a little reworking so that the procedures are clear, so that the users and bakers know exactly what to expect from the recipes and the steps.  But I am still thankful for the book.  It has allowed me to bake things that are familiar, things I grew up eating.  It has helped me with the homesickness, because even the act of simply reading the book makes home a little closer.

This weekend wasn’t any different.  I’ve been planning the baking of mung bean bread for a while.  Mung bean is mongo in Filipino (pronounced mong-goh).  Mongo bread is a bakery staple and most local bakeries in the Philippines have a version of this bread.  The Goldilocks Bakebook recipe called for red mung bean and red mung bean isn’t exactly something you can pluck from the shelves of the local supermarket.  I had to go to a supermarket in Chinatown in London to find red mung beans (and even now, I’m not quite certain what I picked off the shelves were actually red mung bean, but hey, they worked!).  So after having purloined the main ingredient, I studied the recipe and made certain tweaks.  After following most of the directions, I have made notes and am ready to try the recipe again with my additional tweaks.  But the first attempt has produced quite a pretty loaf!  Hopefully, when I attempt the recipe again (and post it on the blog!), it will still turn out like the first loaf.  Fingers crossed!

Presenting, my mongo bread —

Mongo bread

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Yelly Eats

Mackerel and vegetables

One of my current favourite supermarket buys is mackerel fillets.  I am thankful that Iceland has frozen fillets for £4 for a pack of 5 or you can buy 3 packs of frozen fish for £10.  It’s a brilliant buy because fish is always healthy.  This isn’t an advert for Iceland mind you.  I thought it would be nice to share my supermarket find!  I used to poo-poo buying things from Iceland but now that they’ve expanded their offerings and the food range is so much better, I always go by Iceland to see what I can get!

Back to the fish, a quick way of prepping the fish is to rub olive oil over the frozen fillet, salt and pepper it and grill for 7 minutes on each side.  I usually have the fish with leftover roasted veg and sometimes, when I want some carbs, I have a few pieces of baby new potatoes (also roasted!).

Mackerel and roasted veg

Yelly Eats

The Owl Cake

I bought over 3 kilos of fondant icing because I intended to make beach huts for a bake off fundraising do at work.

But I think I overestimated my capabilities and my fondant confidence.  So instead of wimping out and wasting the fondant that I lugged all the way back to Harwich, I had to think of an alternative way to use the fondant that I purchased. I wasn’t giving up on the cake with fondant dream!  Besides, it was my birthday and bringing cake would be for a good cause.  So I had a think and regrouped.

I had a brainwave and thought, “Oooooh owls!”  I did a bit of googling and found the easiest way to make owl cake toppers.  I knew the cake would be okay (it was a vanilla sponge with a Nutella filling with a vanilla cream frosting), I just had to make it pretty.

The owls weren’t too difficult to make.  I just needed a round cookie cutter and a smarter way of looking at owls.  I must say, what a treasure trove Google can be!  After doing the cutting and a little shaping, the ingenious use of a fondant embosser and artful food colouring dotting, my owls looked cuter than I thought it was possible!

2015-05-12 23.32.09So here it is, my owl cake!  It was, truly, a hoot to make!

My owl cake

Yelly Writes

Mothers Day

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”- Washington Irving

She held me when I needed to be held, when I needed to feel safe. She dried my tears when my heart broke and told me everything would be okay in the end. She taught me how to read and write and made sure I treasured books so that I would learn, and never be bored on my own. She taught me how to speak so that I would find the right words to express myself. She told me the harsh realities so that I wouldn’t walk the world with rose-coloured glasses, so that I could be pragmatic too. She also taught me that kindness should always be my guiding principle. She walked with me as I grew in faith…it would take me forever to write down how much my mum has guided me and held my hand as I was growing up so that I could be independent when I grew up. I cannot say thank you enough Mama. I love you.

I am glad that I get to celebrate this amazing woman I call “Mother” twice.  Happy Mothers Day Ma!

Happy Mothers Day