Choices, choices

I had written down this woeful entry about how tired I was, and how I wished I could just go to work tomorrow (as it is 8 minutes after midnight, I guess I should say later!) and just say, I’m going now, toodle pip!  But I’m not a quitter.  I may whine and cry about how hard it is but I try my best to get things done…with a smile on my face.  I guess I’m just feeling the pressure at work and needed a good cry to relieve the tension.  I hit the delete button and trashed the entry.  It’s a good thing to vent, but not a good thing to send out negativity into the cosmos!

In my heart of hearts, I’d love a job where I can read, cook, bake and write.  Does anyone need anyone to do just that?  I’d love to do that, and, because we live in the real world, with real needs and real bills, I’d love to get paid for it too!  But when I seriously consider what I want to do in this dream job of mine, the pesky self-doubt creeps in:  Am I a good enough writer?  Will people want to read what I want to say?  Are my thoughts even interesting enough?  Am I interesting enough?  After I’ve wallowed in my self-doubt long enough for my hands and feet to go all pruney, I go back to my dream job drawing board, not to rethink, but to plan how I’m going to find a way to find that job that lets me do what I want and make money out of it!  There has got to be a way for me to do what I love the most!  But until I figure out how to do just that, I shall go back to the grind!

Now how’s that for verbal diarrhea?

I’m trying to decide which cookbook to write about:  Lorraine Pascale’s Home Cooking Made Easy or Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen.  Any thoughts?

Blueberry Crumble Pie from Edd Kimber


I think I chose the perfect recipe from Edd Kimber’s book.  The book was a gift from Alan (who enables my cookbook addiction!).  I am diabetic which means that I can’t have as much sugar as the next person, so I figured trying a fruit recipe would be the safest bet.  I reduced the amount of sugar by about 50 grams and I was quite fortunate that the blueberries that I bought had a good sweetness and tart ratio!  Also, the crumble topping allowed me to use my pastry mixer (which I called a pastry cutter for ages, but I was told it was called a pastry mixer in bonny old England! yes, me and my Americanisms, eh?)!

Edd Kimber was the first ever winner of the Great British Bake Off.  Mind you I was rooting for Ruth Clemens but it was a completely undeniable truth that Edd had the gift!

The book is lovely and the pictures are gorgeous!  They seem scream out to you, “Bake me!  Bake me!”  Plus Edd’s hands looked really gentle and elegant…soooo different from my chipolata sausage fingers!  But I digress.  This is really about this lovely book!  The instructions are clear and concise and very easy to follow.  I love the way everything was described systematically: what you had to do, when you had to do it, how long you had to do it for.  I also love the layout of the book and how everything looks pristine and clean.

What I love the most is how my pie, seeing that it was the first time I’d made the pie and seeing how I’d tweaked the recipe, looked almost identical to the photo in the book.  I was beaming with pride!  Edd Kimber was happy enough to retweet the photo of the pie I posted on Twitter (yes, it was a fan girl moment, bless my giddy heart!).

You MUST try Edd’s recipes.  I’ve got a challenge set up for myself to try the macaron recipes next.  But if  you want a wonderful fruit pie recipe that’s easy to make and comes out beautifully, this book should become one of your regulars in your recipe arsenal!  It is absolutely YUM!

Cookbook cooking

I started cooking when I was probably 8 years old.  I was left to my own devices one afternoon and I wandered into the kitchen.  I saw green beans.  I saw eggs and I saw pink food colouring.  And voila!  Pink scrambled eggs and crunchy beans were created!  It was horrible.  It had no salt or pepper.  I had no idea that you had to sautee beans with garlic, onions and tomatoes for it to taste nice.  But that was the (disastrous) beginning of my adventure in gastronomy.

My first adventure in cookbook cooking was creating what we Filipinos call “palitaw” which loosely translated means “to float”.  It’s essentially like a gnocchi made from rice flour and water, covered in sugar and coconut and and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.  It was a recipe from my fifth grade home economics textbook.  My parents had gone and bought my books a month ahead of school starting (so that we could cover my books in protective plastic and get me all sorted out for the first day of school).  Being the voracious reader that I was, I couldn’t stop my curious nature and I started looking through the books.  I had finished my English and Reading books already.  I’d read my Science book twice and the Maths, well, I was confident I’d be able to deal with things when school started (I wasn’t too interested in Maths!).  The last book that I hadn’t leafed through was my home economics text book.  It was then that I fell in love with cooking.  I read the recipe for palitaw and then begged my nanny to come with me to the  market so that I could buy the ingredients.  I surprised my parents that afternoon with a snack and coffee when they came home from the office.

And so my cooking journey began.

I rarely looked at books after that.  My mom was an excellent cook, but she was more instinctive and relied on tasting her food, instead of measuring everything out.  Everything I’ve learned, the basics, I learned by watching my mom and following her instructions.

My parents have got several cookbooks but none that I can really say I poured over in the way that I do the cookbooks that I’ve managed to adopt since I’ve moved to England.  I remember my bestfriend Maries having this amazing collection of cookbooks that I secretly coveted.  She cooked coq au vin from one of the books and I thought, wow, I’d love to do that.  Since I moved to England though, I think  To date, I have a collection of 27 cookbooks (which includes Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and  Delia Smith’s Delia’s Complete Cookery Course).  Mostly baking cookbooks as I seem to be better at baking more than anything else.  But I do have proper cookbooks that have recipes for mains and soups and such.

This blogging about food idea came about because of my friend Rhoda.  I talked to her about this book that I was “writing”.  She said why not have the (imaginary) readers of my (so-called) book (in the making) blog about their experiences about using my recipes.  A lightbulb switched on in my head.  Since I’ve got cookbooks, why don’t I blog about my cooking experiences?

And here we are.  I’ve begun this new and exciting journey.  The next thing to do is to decide which cookbook recipe to start with!

Welcome to my world…and my kitchen!

I love food.  I love to cook.  I love to bake.  I love to read books (and, naturally, cookbooks!).  I love to write.  So, I guess it was a naturaly progression for me to write about the things that I love.  And I thought I’d try my hand at writing down my foodie thoughts.

Welcome to my crazy world…and kitchen!  Feel free to pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and put your two pence in the conversations that I have with myself and my kitchen implements!