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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Foggy Mountain

So excited that finally I will have opportunity to get away for a holiday on the mountain this weekend. Have been waiting to breathe in fresh mountain air and indulge in the glorious mountain scenery for a long time. Sometimes I feel very blessed staying in this country that owns so many exciting holiday destinations, either mountain or sea. We can just pick from a long list of beautiful destinations and go shortly on weekend. Or else if we fancy a longer stay we might need to wait until the next public holiday or take a few days off at work.

T’s colleague takes care of the itinerary, and we will be going in a group of 6, an adequate number of people to interact and have fun with. Our destination is Khao Koh National Park which is famous for its beautiful scenery. It is going to be an enjoyable trip because it will involve camping on the cliff overseeing the biggest cabbage farm in Thailand. I imagine the air would be so cold and that vegetable scent will be all over in the air. I can’t remember the last time sleeping in the tent and admiring the sound and serenity of nature, or looking out to the night sky full of stars.

And our mind just go wild knowing that most of us are game to cook and prepare our own meals right outside our tents. We agree we should be cooking something simple of which ingredients could be easily retrieved from the nearby market or even Seven-Eleven.

And before I forget, I should definitely mention about the fog. It is anticipated that we will be seeing lots of fogs in the morning and even the daytime. The view is guaranteed to be extremely remarkable. 4 from 6 in the group have prepared to bring cameras, and guess what, we all are fans of Canon :-)

Want to see the pictures? Well, you just need until we are back…. And I promise to take many pictures for the next post, okay? Allright, I hope you have a great weekend too, like I and all of us will. Cheers and enjoy this fabulous Lemon Cheese Cake topped with Caramelized Cumquats!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' Doughnuts

Doughnuts? Just fancy this challenge. Have imagined it as a straight-forward exercise or practice that opens to many decoration possibilities. Going through the posts in the forum, I have come across many variations of doughnuts in terms of filling, topping, shaping and finishing. Some would prefer a classic hollow-in-the-center creations, some enjoy just rounded shapes and chose to fiddle around with the topping instead, while others have come up with inordinary shapes like squares, flowers, or just about anything under the sunlight.

I was familiarized with doughnuts since my young age, just happened that my auntie picked up baking and occasionally fried doughnuts for everyone in the family. Then as I grew up besides liking doughnuts from the local markets, I patronized Dunkin Donuts. It was the brand that teenagers and office workers would go to spend their free time with friends. DD was and still is famous for its comfortable seating outlets and very delicious croissants and hot cocoa. Some of the outlets are in fact so comfy that youngsters spend long hours chatting with friends while spending minimum on a glass of carbonated drink.

Many brands have come and gone competing with DD and not many have succeeded in maintaining their existence. Can’t really remember any brand that could quickly relate to doughnuts in an instant second like Dunkin Donuts. In present time countable doughnut shops emerged slowly and established a wide range of of selections either in flavors, topping, and textures. In Thailand we have Mister Donut, Daddy Dough (my favorite), and the latest Krispy Kreme.

Just a few days ago, T was commenting about the long queue at the only recently opened Krispy Kreme outlet at Siam Paragon. And we both reminiscing our good time having very soft and delicious doughtnuts at J.Co during our last holiday in Jakarta.
Well, to Lori of Butter Me Up... thanks so much for this wonderful challenge. Love this comfort food and have developed a few varieties from this marvelous Bomboloni Recipe..

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious. For detailed challenge recipes please click here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In the Neighborhood

Another bazaar just took place in my neighborhood last Saturday. Regardless of my fear of the rain and no one would be available to assist me, my positive thinking fuelled my determination to participate. I regarded it as a good opportunity to improve my baking skills, meet face-to-face with my previous bazaar costumers and get to know new ones.

The experience of meeting customers always amazed me. From the second they came into my sight until the second they left my booth, I had learnt so much about them. It was interesting to notice that some came decisive - they basically dropped by spontaneously and instantly pointed their fingers to their desired cakes without even addressing any single question about the flavor of the cakes they chose. These were my best customers! (wished that all my customers would have such confidence in my cakes but unfortunately it was not always the case)... To the opposite extreme, they were those who walked away empty-handed after a long session of questioning every single detail about the cakes.

Nevertheless, I loved selling cakes in the bazaar. Despite the lack of sleep a few nights before had induced drowsiness while I was standing at my booth, I forced myself to stay alert and communicate with my customers. Obviously my neighborhood consists of people from all walks of like. Some bought without asking about the price while others left after presenting startled faces when told about the price of my cakes.

And of course the rain did pour as I had worried about, and I and T had to carry our cake boxes under the rain, plus other discomfort happened such as T had to leave to his seminar soon after helping me settling up my booth, but still the whole selling experience was fulfilling and satisfactory. 75% of my 7 cakes were sold out!

And yes, before I forgot.... in case you are curious... the 7 cakes were 1 Sacher Torte, 1 Coconut Cheese Cake with Butterscoth topping, 1 Coconut Cheese Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Almond Decoration, 1 Capuccino Cheese Cake, 1 Blueberry and Strawberry Cheese Cake, 1 Fresh Fruit Chocolate Whipped Cream Cake, and 1 Fresh Fruit Blueberry Whipped Cream Cake.

I did hope my customers enjoy what they bought... And I would definitely take part in this bazaar again next time!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oia and My Dream


Santorini, Athens, Delphi…. I have been to these wonderful places…. in my dreams. The eternal dream that revives and keeps me anticipated of joy, beauty, and the excitement of traveling has always been about one same place…. Greece. As a teenager I had watched “Summer Lovers” in a theatre and being instantly introduced to one of the most beautiful place of the world: Oia, Santorini. The mesmerizing scenes of white washed houses, blue domed churches, steeples, bells overlooking the deep blue Mediterranean Sea have been staying in my mind ever since, and have never been replaceable or comparable to anywhere else in the world.

Well, I don’t mind waiting. In my dream, I want to go there when everything is right and I have my loved one to share this trip. I don’t mind working and saving money for years and yet wishing that one day I will eventually go to Greece. As I have set it as my utmost destination for so many years, the thrills have been greatly accumulated and in that way, I constantly look forward to it.

So when recently I stumbled into Kalofagas – Greek Food and Beyond blog. I spontaneously felt hooked. Peter, the blogger has described so much about Greece and its food and culture, and revealed that “while Athens is the capital city and heart of Greece, Thessaloniki is the belly, feeding Greece with its sophisticated and diverse cuisine…” (Source: So this piece of information put Thessaloniki as the Greek food exploration spot in my Greece itinenary.

Peter also included Koulouri and shared its recipe in his post. Apparently this very delicious- looking white-sesame-coated bread ring is the typical breakfast ritual of many Greeks who want a quick bite on the way to work in the morning. And appreciating the photos in his blog was not good enough, I had to bake these rings and tasted them on my own. At least I would have an idea how a Koulouri might taste like.

Meanwhile, I am delighted for winning DMBLGIT September 2010. Thanks to Harini of Tongue Ticklers for hosting this great event and many gratitudes to judges: Thorsten Kraska of My2Penn'orth, Veronica of Edes es Keseru, and Karen Low of Citrus and Candy.

So without any delay, I printed the recipe and baked with high enthusiasm. Well, if you understand the baking mood that I had in that moment, you would fully comprehend why on earth I had come out with a variety of coatings. For all of you who are into Greek food and culture, don’t miss Kalofagas!