Saturday, 29 November 2014

My Birthday 2014




Late, late, late! I've been so late in all my posts but I'm trying to catch up. Today is already the 27th of January but the date on this post is 29 November just to coincide with the actual date of my birthday.

So Saturday, 29th November, 2014 was my birthday. The Lovely Wife had initially suggested spending the weekend away but we then realised that my son had Band Practice on Saturday morning so I said we'd just take it easy at home.

I woke up bright and chipper early on Saturday morning to wake up my son. There's nothing like a birthday to make you wake up bright and chipper! This didnt go unnoticed by The Lovely Wife either who remarked to the kids something to the effect that "daddy is so chirpy on his birthday but on normal days grumbles about waking up early!" The Lovely Wife and kids wished me happy birthday and I then went to have my shower and get ready to drop my son off at school.
After my shower, I got the smell of frying bacon and when I went downstairs, I found TLW and my princess in the kitchen - but they quickly shooed me away, saying the kitchen was out of bounds. I proceeded to sit in the lounge and watch some TV while the smell of bacon teased me!



Finally, they brought out a plate consisting of bacon, sausage, mushrooms, an egg sunny side up and a slice of toast together with a small salad. I love my bacon and eggs and it's an inside joke that even when we go for a holiday and there is a full buffet breakfast, I will still have my bacon and eggs. The breakfast was lovely and what a wonderful way to start my birthday!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

A Cake and a Meal for a Belated Birthday Celebration




Although we didnt celebrate my sons birthday on the day itself, I still wanted to make him a cake. I love Nutella and when I saw that Matt Preston had a recipe for a flourless Nutella cake that he had showcased on MasterChef Australia, I was rather intrigued. I planted the seed of suggestion in my kids but they didnt seem to enamoured by the thought of a flourless cake. I wasnt too sure either since the recipe called for only two ingredients - Nutella and Eggs.

I tossed about the idea of making him a decadent dessert cake but the more I looked at recipes, the more appealing the idea of the Nutella cake became. I asked The Lovely Wife to get me a bottle of Nutella when she went to the market but didnt check the amount required and told her that a small bottle would be enough. Actually, the small bottle held only 200g of Nutella whereas the recipe called for 240ml. I decided I would just add in some cocoa and also flour as I wanted the cake to be more like a cake rather than a pudding.

I decided I would use self raising flour so that there was some leavening agent.The eggs whipped up beautifully and then I added in some of the Nutella and then the flour and cocoa. The eggs started to deflate rapidly but I put it in to bake nonetheless. It was a disaster!

The cake didnt rise at all and was thick and rubbery. I let it cool and cut out a small piece. It tasted okay but the texture was just too rubbery. My daughter had a bit of a laugh and made a face at me. Was I crushed...

Monday, 17 November 2014

A quiet 13th Birthday celebration





So as I said in my previous post, my son was away at Band Camp on his birthday so we couldnt celebrate it with him. He texted us when he was nearing KL and we picked him up from school around 6.45. He had a good time at Band Camp so that was really nice. We had decided that we would take him out for dinner to celebrate his birthday as we had a lunch to attend that afternoon and we didn't have time to cook.

We got home first to unload his bags and allow him to shower. We had hidden his presents under his bed as usual but didn't tell him anything and he didnt seem to notice. We went for dinner at S.wine at Publika - a place that we had always wanted to try but that always seemed to be packed out with no place. This time, since it was a little later in the evening we managed to get a place although there was still a bit of a wait.

We shared a pork chop and pork ribs, both of which were rather good. The kids weren't too impressed with the Pork Chop although I thought it was quite nice. The food is a bit overpriced though and the place is really crowded. Nonetheless, it was quite a nice dinner.

After dinner, we headed home and I told Mike to go "check under his bed." He grinned and said that he had noticed it earlier while 'sitting on the pot' before taking his shower. He didnt say anything though and pretended that he didnt know about it all through dinner!



We got him a few items as usual. He got a set of Minecraft Handbooks that basically teach you how to build spectacular structures in Minecraft, a set of Lego Mixels and a Lego Mini Figure from Sarah. We also got him a book from the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan that he enjoys. The proverbial icing in the cake was an Adidas Chelsea t-shirt that he liked very much. To top it off, we went downstairs to find his final present in the freezer - a tub of Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream!




Both Mike and Sarah like the 'dirt cup' a dessert at Tony Romas that is basically a kind of chocolate pudding topped with crushed Oreos.






As I didnt have time to make dessert, I took the easy way out and bought two ready made choc puddings, crushed some oreos and served it to them.




It wasn't nearly as nice as what they were hoping for but Michael liked the idea anyway as was very happy! After all some kind of dessert is better than no dessert!

So that was our quiet birthday celebration for my boy who is growing up way too quickly. Happy Birthday Son!


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Mike turns 13 but No Cake Today

I"m sure many of you have popped round to see what I've made for my son's birthday. Yeap, regular readers/followers of this blog would have watched my little boy grow up on this blog. Today he turns 13! But, but, wheres the cake??
Well, there is no cake today as my son has more important things to do than celebrate his birthday with us. This is his first birthday where he is not at home to celebrate with us - my boy is away at Band Camp in Melaka!

So there are no presents to hide under his bed this morning, no cake to make and no special dinner or meal to cook for him today.

Indeed he is a big boy now and being away from the family is all part of growing up I say.

Happy Birthday my dear boy!

Monday, 11 August 2014

TLW's Birthday 2014

So it was The Lovely Wife's birthday yesterday and I actually offered to cook her dinner. However she said that she'd be more than happy with just my Tiramisu and we could go out for lunch instead and try some place new. So that's what we did!

The day started off with Church in the morning and then sunday school for the kids. After that we headed to Pavillion in the city and roamed around the shops and worked up an appetite. We had lunch at La Boca Latino Bar in Pavillion. The Lovely Wife had gone here with a few friends a few weeks earlier and she really enjoyed herself.

We shared three dishes among the four of us. We had the Ceviche where we opted for Salmon, the Nachos Rancheros with Chile Con Carne and Cordero Estofado - a Chilean stew made with lamb.




It was the first time I've eaten Ceviche and it was quite nice albeit a bit limey. The Nachos and Cordero Estofado was really good and very filling. We thought both the Chile and Cordero Estofado was perhaps a bit heavy on the cumin. After lunch, we headed home and cut into the Tiramisu that I had made the previous evening. The Lovely wife had 3 servings! Yes, she does love her Tiramisu.

Later that night, we all went out again to Village Roast Duck. The kids especially like roast duck and they like this restaurant as they serve a free soup and free black herbal jelly for dessert! After coming back from dinner, it was Tiramisu time again for The Lovely Wife.

Good thing I made a large dish of Tiramisu....

Happy Birthday TLW!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Sarah turns 10 with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake





My little princess turned 10 on the 17th of February. I cant believe how fast time has flown. With the 17th being a Monday and as such a school day/working day, we celebrated her birthday with the family over lunch on Sunday. The usual suspects were invited - my parents, my mom-in-law, both my brothers and family, my borther-in-law and family and Sarah's Godparents. Unfortunately her Godparents were away and so it was just the immediate family. My elder brother couldnt stay for lunch as he had a prior engagement but he did pop round for a bit.
Deciding what to cook for lunch was a long discussion with The Lovely Wife. Sarah didnt know what she wanted although she knew that she didn't want rice and curry. So we decided to go down the Western route. My son wasn't very helpful as each time we suggested something, he would cheekily reply "It's not MY birthday."

So anyway, after tossing up a few ideas, we decided to on the menu. Shepherds Pie, a spicy Bacon Aglio Olio and a Salad. It was also then that The Lovely Wife declared that I was cooking. All of it....



Ever since my son started Secondary School, our weekends are rather jammed packed. This particular Saturday, The Lovely Wife had my daughters Parent Teachers Meeting. My son was supposed to have a replacement Saturday school day but it also coincided with a full day Band Practice at school. With The Lovely Wife at her meeting and my son at school, Sarah and I proceeded to do the grocery shopping.

We both had a lot of fun together shopping for meat, vegetables and ingredients for the cake. We got back home and unloaded the groceries and then relaxed and waited for The Lovely Wife while we watched TV together and I planned my recipes. We were having so much fun that we forgot that Sarah had her Tae-Kwan-Do class at 1.30pm and only realised it when The Lovely Wife came home and asked us why we hadn't had lunch yet! As it was already nearing 1pm, Sarah decided that she would skip her Tae-Kwan-Do class and we all went out to but some lunch.

I started on the cake late afternoon by making the cake base - from the tried and tested Cake Boss Sponge recipe. I baked the sponge and then left it to cool while I went to get my son from school. Later in the evening, I made the cake filling. My princess loves Hersheys Reese Cups and so I thought I'd make a cake version of that. A simple sponge cake with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse. To jazz it up a little, I added a layer of Feullantine.


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