Sunday, 31 January 2010

A story of Pasta, Prawns and the holy Trinity



Just a week ago at the market, my little princess batted her eyes at me and asked me if we could get some prawns. Although a tad expensive, I acquiesced to her request as I know how much she loves prawns. I then had to figure out what I was going to make.

For the longest time, I have had the itch to make Jambalaya - not quite knowing what Jambalaya actually is. I knew the song pretty well though, you know,

jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo
For tonight, I'm a-gonna see my ma-cheri a mi-o
Pick guitar, fill fruit far and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou


I knew that Jambalaya had something to do with Creole and Cajun cooking but that was about it. A quick check on google showed that Jambalaya was akin to a Paella. Not really as exotic as I thought it was. So I shelved the plans for a Jambalaya.

Reading on though, I learnt that the Holy Trinity doesn't only exist in Religion and Theology...




If you will permit me to digress a little, The Holy Trinity in Christianity is basically the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - all in unity of the Godhead. One God though manifested in three. Although born and bred a Christian, I still find this concept hard to explain - but I guess that is what faith is all about.

Hinduism has its own Trinity as well, Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu, the Preserver and Shiva, the Destroyer. Not terribly removed from the Christian trinity - thus emphasising my own religious belief that ALL religions are equal and there is at the end of the day, only ONE God.

That brings me to the Culinary holy Trinity. Apparently in Cajun/Creole cooking, especially in Louisianna, the combination of onions, celery, and green bell pepper is known as the holy Trinity. That was enlightening to me and seeing it a few days later on an episode of Jamie's America where he visits Louisiana and joins Leah Chase in making Gumbo, proved that it was a term in real use and not just something made up.

So now you know all about the different Trinities and I learnt about the Culinary Trinity and I was intent on making sure I used it!

I decided that I would use the holy Trinity in a Pasta dish with Prawns, Mushrooms and Spinach. I'd also use some chilli flakes to give it a bit of bite. This is what I did:

Ingredients
3 Bay Leaves
5 cloves garlic
2 tsp oregano
3 tsp chilli flakes
1 large onion - chopped
1 stalk celery - sliced thinly
1/2 capsicum - chopped (reserve the other half for garnishing)
200g button mushrooms - sliced
200g spinach leaves
400g large prawns - deveined
500g Spaghetti

Method
Fry the bay leaves and oregano till fragrant. Add in the garlic and chilli flakes, mixing well. Add the holy trinity (onions, capsicum and celery) and cook till soft adding a little water if needed. Add in the mushrooms and cook till juices come out and then add in the spinach leaves, cooking till just wilted. Add in the prawns and cook till nicely pink. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in cooked pasta, mixing well.





This dish turned out to be really tasty with the holy Trinity providing a lovely base of flavour. My parents came over for lunch and it was enjoyed by everyone. This pasta dish is a definite winner and I think the next time I might try it with chicken or even bacon. Or maybe prawns again!



I'm submitting this to my friend Ruth over at Once upon a feast for her 149th edition of Presto Pasta Nights! She's looking for guest hosts too so pop on over and see how you can help!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Tarka Dhall



Lentil based dishes are a staple food in Indian cuisine. I've previously posted about Sambar which is one of my favourite dishes as well as Channa Dhall which is a chunkier Dhall dish.

Lentils are an amazing source of protein and can be a dish all on its own. Tarka, also known as Tadka, is the technique where spices are fried in oil or ghee to bring out the essential oils and flavour from the spices before being poured, together with the oil, into a main component of the dish - in this case the Dhall.

The recipe for this dish, made by The Lovely Wife, comes from 30 Minute Indian by Sunil Vijayakar. This book has yielded many a good recipe and although I scoffed at her when she first bought this book, I have to admit that it has provided some very good recipes and we have all enjoyed her exploits from this book.

This is her take on the recipe.


Ingredients
250g red split lentils
1 litre hot water
4-5 large tomatoes - chopped
2 chillies - chopped
1/2 tsps turmeric powder
2 tsps fresh ground ginger
4 Tbsp fresh coriander - chopped

Tarka
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic - sliced thinly
1 dried red chilli - cut into pieces
Method
Soak the lentils in boiling water for 10 mins. Drain and put into a large saucepan together with the 1 ltire of hot water. Bring to the boil and spoon off any scum that floats to the top. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes or till soft and tender.
Drain the lentils and process in a food processor. Return the puree to the pan together with the tomatoes, chillies, turmeric, ginger and coriander. Season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer gently.
Make the tarka by heating the oil in a separate pan. Add in all the ingredients for the tarka and fry until fragrant, stirring constantly. Remove the tarka from heat and add into the Dhall. Stir to combine.





Dhall goes really well with rice and also flatbreads - I've probably said that before but its worth repeating. This Dhall is the sort of dish that you can never seem to get enough off and after one serving of rice, I had another smaller one and then another after that! The Lovely Wife didnt stop me from stuffing my face with this Dhall as after all, it is such a good source of protein and healthy, healthy, healthy!




The only complaint that she had was that I had a little too much fun with my princess where I would call out "Takda" and my princess would reply "Dhall" repeatedly like this...

Takda! ...Dhall
Takda! ...Dhall
Takda, Takda, Takda!... Dhall!

You can understand why The Lovely Wife was irritated. I do wonder how she puts up with me sometimes...

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

BloggerAid Culinary Olympics - Ayam Goreng Sri Wangi (Fragrant Fried Chicken)





The Malaysian Flag is raised at the Culinary Olympics 2010 hosted in Canada...


If there is one thing that symbolises Malaysia, it would be its veritable assortment of food. Assortment doesn't quite give you the right picture though. Think more along the lines of multifariousness, multiplicity, mélange, potpourri, mishmash, range, variation and you get more of an idea. With three main cuisines of Malay, Indian and Chinese, interspersed with Portuguese, Dutch and English, you get an idea of what true Malaysian food is. Throw in a fetish for Japanese, Italian, French and German cuisine and Malaysia is a melting pot for all kinds of food. Want a foodie holiday? Come to Malaysia! Sadly, the same can't be said about our sporting prowess.

That brings me to the BloggerAid -Changing the Face of Famine Culinary Olympics. This cyber event is being held to coincide with the Winter Olympics in Canada. The aim of this event is to promote food (might they make it an official sport?) and BACFF's mission to actively promote the alleviation of World Hunger. This event is only open to members of BloggerAid Changing the Face of Famine (BACFF). Since I am a member of BACFF, I have decided to take part in these the inaugural Culinary Olympics!




Malaysia only ever takes part in the Summer Olympics - for obvious reasons. However Malaysia has never won a Gold medal at the Olympics. We've won Bronze and Silver (for Badminton) but that is all. Our Football (soccer) team hasn't made it to the Olympics since the 80's and our Hockey team, once sure bets for the Olympics, have failed to qualify in recent times. Sad, sad indeed.

Never mind about the Olympics though, we STILL have the Worlds Tallest PAIR of Buildings!! It used to be the Worlds Tallest Building but that has long been superceded most recently by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Good thing we built the towers as a pair...



We also have the Sixth tallest Communication Tower in the World in the form of the Kuala Lumpur Tower.



In deciding what dish to submit, I wanted it to be something distinctly Malaysian as well as something that is well liked in our household. I'd already posted about Satay previously as well as Nasi Lemak. Then it struck me. One of The Lovely Wife's favourite dishes to make and that we all love to eat, comes from Malaysia's very own Chef Wan. I had photographed this dish quite a while ago and so decided to finally get the writeup done for the BloggerAid Olympics!




The recipe comes from Simply Sedap by Chef Wan and this is how it goes:


Ingredients
4 Chicken breast fillets - cut into strips
2 stalks lemongrass (serai)- finely sliced
1 torch ginger bud (bunga kantan) - finely sliced
10 birds eye chillies (Chilli padi)
2 Tbsp Tom Yam paste
1/4 cup water
1 tsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise
3 kaffir lime leaves - finely sliced

Marinade
1 1/2 Tbsp Oyster sauce
1 medium egg - beaten
3 Tbsp cornflour


Method
Combine the chicken with the marinade and set aside for at least 15 minutes. Deep fry the chicken until it is golden and crisp. Drain
In a separate pan or wok, heat a little oil and saute the lemon grass, torch ginger bud, chillies and tom yam paste until fragrant
Add in the water, honey and chicken. Mix well. Remove from the heat and stir in the mayonnaise. Stir in the kaffir lime leaves.



This chicken dish is rather spicy what with the addition of chilli padi as well as the tom yam paste. It goes really well with rice and although it is piquant, you sort of keep wanting to eat more and more...and more still!



Members of BACFF have also been asked to do a little promotion for the BloggerAid Cookbook, available online. All proceeds from this book will go to the United Nations World Food Program. One of my recipes is also featured in that book and I received my order of the book just a few weeks ago. So do what you can for a good cause.

All entries for the Olympics will be posted on the BACFF website on the 5th March so don't forget to check out all the awesome entries!

And when are you coming over to visit this wonderful country of mine?

Monday, 25 January 2010

Tau Miu with Garlic


This is a super easy dish that is really tasty, nutritous and is wonderful when you need a quick vegetable dish. Tau Miu is some kind of sprout. A search on Google produces different answers - and different spellings too (Tau Miew) but that is only to be expected when Tau Miu is really the Chinese name for this vegetable.

As I mentioned earlier, it is some kind of sprout/shoot and I think it is the Snow Pea sprout or at least some kind of pea sprout.



As I mentioned, there couldn't be anything simpler than this as all it takes is to:



Chop up some garlic, fry it, toss in the sprouts, give it a quick stir fry and then season with a little soy sauce and/or oyster sauce.





This dish is a favourite in many local Chinese restaurants. Try It!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

A gift of Cheese and a Pasta called Primavera



I'm trying to clear up my backlog of outstanding posts or drafts that I have done where I've uploaded pictures but not the text or worse still not even the recipe! This post goes way back to October 2009 when a close friend, Naomi, came to visit and brought along a slab of Pecorino Cheese for us.

I've never sampled Pecorino before so the gift of cheese was most welcome. My little princess loves her cheese and as soon as she heard that I had some new cheese, she wanted some of it. We ate a little of it with crackers and the cheese was a little strong but very, very tasty.




A few days later, The Lovely Wife asked me if I could make this Pasta dish that she had seen in the California Pizza Kitchen cookbook. The secret to this dish, according to the book, was the roasted garlic sauce. As I never follow recipes to a tee, this is my version of Spaghetti Primavera inspired by the CPK cookbook. Apparently Primavera is Italian for springtime and that is why this pasta is made up of a variety of vegetables and herbs.




Ingredients
1 bulb garlic (about 8-10 cloves)
1 medium onion - chopped
3 stalks fresh oregano - leaves removed and chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
200g button mushrooms
1 red capsicum - sliced into large pieces
1 orange capsicum - sliced into large pieces
1 zuchinni - sliced
2 stalks celery - thinly sliced
200g cherry tomatoes - halved


Method
Cut the end of the garlic and then place the garlic bulb in a small dish. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil over it and roast in a 200C oven for about 20 mins till soft.
Meanwhile, fry the onion, oregano and thyme together till fragrant. Add in the mushrooms and cook till tender. Add in the celery and zuchinni and mix well. Add in the tomatoes and press them lightly as you stir the mixture to get the juices out. Reserve a few tomatoes. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables as you want them slightly crunchy.
Squeeze the cloves of garlic out of their skin and process together with the reserved tomatoes to make a nice paste. Add in some water if necessary.
Add in the garlic paste to the mixture and cook well. Finally toss in the capsicum and cook till slightly tender. Toss togehter with pasta of your choice.

A most delicious meal and very, very healthy! I grated some of the Pecorino Cheese and sprinkled it over the pasta. The cheese went really, really well with the pasta and The Lovely Wife said she really enjoyed the dish. Who would have thought a vegetarian pasta dish could taste so good!



Thanks for the cheese Naomi - told you I would put it to good use!

I'm also sending this in to Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights. I haven't contributed anything to PPN for a while and this is my first one for 2010! This time around, PPN is being hosted by Sara of Cupcake Muffin. So pop over to her blog on Friday to see the roundup!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Simplicity is Corn on the Cob



I've mentioned before that my kids love Corn - especially my son. His favourite though is corn on the cob, the kind that you find at restaurants that accompany a steak or chicken chop. Juicy, crunchy and packed with goodness!

I recently bought The Lovely Wife an electric steamer and ever since then we've been steaming corn on the cob for the kids ever so often. While Christmas shopping, I stumbled upon a set of corn skewers that were also shaped like corn on the cob and I bought a set as a gift for The Lovely Wife from my son.

The skewers certainly make eating corn on the cob a lot easier - and also a lot more fun!


Making corn on the cob is really, really easy. I normally cut the corn cobs into smaller pieces rather than whole corn as it is easier to eat smaller cobs and there is less wastage. How to make Corn on the Cob? Simple!

Ingredients
Corn on the Cob - as many as you like!

Method
Remove husks and cut each corn into three. Steam for at least 30 minutes until kernels are tender. Toss in butter and season with a little salt and pepper.

Have you seen such a short or simple recipe? Anywhere??



What could be easier or simpler than that?? It's a great way to eat corn, it's filling and its healthy. So what are you waiting for? When are you going to make Corn on the Cob?

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Happy 101


I just received this award from Elle over at Feeding My Enthusiasms. Just like her, I've received a few awards in the course of my blogging that I have neglected to post about. Time sometimes just gets in the way although the intent is always there.

This award asks the recipient to list 10 things that make them happy. Now I found it difficult to list 10 things - not because I am an unhappy person but more because it was difficult to limit it to just 10 things or people! Anyway, this is a list of 10 things that make me happy, and by no means is this list exhaustive!

1. The Lovely Wife
2. My two kids Michael and Sarah
3. Arsenal FC - especially when they win!
4. Good Food and drink. Making good food for The Lovely Wife and kids to enjoy is happiness. Finding out new ways to cook things and making new delicious recipes is even better!
5. Good Friends. Sharing good food and drink with good friends is cause for happiness!Making new friends through blogging is another source of happiness. Getting positive comments and knowing that my posts have somehow made a difference in your life makes me happy too.
6. Good Music. I'm sure many of you have many songs that instantly bring a smile to your face! Khe Sanh from Cold Chisel ALWAYS transports me back to my Uni days and I smile as I remember my mates and I standing huddled in a circle, stomping our feet and singing this song while on a bus from Melbourne to Brisbane! Happy Days!
7. Watching a really good movie
8. Reading a really good book
9. Chilling out at home and sleeping. Yeah, I can be a lazy sod!
10. Realising that you don't need lots of material goods to make you happy is happiness in itself.

I'm supposed to nominate 10 bloggers too but most of the bloggers I want to nominate have already been nominated. So, I'm going to take an unorthodox method and ask that if any of you want to take part in this award, just follow the rules as below:
1. Copy the award image into a post
2. Then list 10 things that make you happy
3. Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day
4. Put in a link to their blogs
5. Notify the award receivers
6. Award recipients must link back to sender's blog - that's Me!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

A Cake for my Mother – Baked Choc Mousse Upside Down Cake



Both my mother and my father are the same age with my father born exactly a week before my mother. While my Dad likes to celebrate events with aplomb, my Mom is more the quiet kind who prefers a minimum of fuss and is more than happy to celebrate her birthday quietly at home with the immediate family.

That was exactly what we did for her 75th Birthday on the 13th on January 2010. The family gathered together at mom and dad’s place for a pot luck dinner. Some food was cooked and some was bought. On the menu was Tandoori Chicken, Satay, Hokkien Mee, Chicken Curry, Sambar, Kai Lan and Rice. My contribution was a cake for Mom.

I wasn’t sure what cake to make for her but I knew it had to have some element of chocolate in it. I also wanted something relatively quick and easy since I would need to make the cake after work. I decided on a slightly modified version of my Baked Chocolate Mousse.



The last time I made this, I neglected to line the tin and so this time I did. This time I also added a teaspoon of baking powder to see if the mixture rose more. I also didn’t use a water bath this time around. I don’t think there was much of a difference either way. One big change that I did was to add almond flakes to the bottom of the pan. I knew that I wanted the bottom of the cake to be the top and I figured it would be a good idea to have almonds embedded all over the top. So I guess this makes it a little bit of an upside down cake!

For decorations, I made a strawberry rosette by placing a whole strawberry in the centre and thin slices around it. I used the leftover sugarpaste letters from my fathers 75th cake to spell out he words Happy Birthday Amma.

We actually used 7 large and 5 small candles for the cake to signify 75 and it blazed up quite nicely!



Everyone enjoyed the cake and most of all, Mom was very happy!

It's kind of hard to imagine that both my parents are 75 years old. That only means that I am getting along in age as well. I'm just glad that I've been able to bake cakes for them to enjoy and in some small way, give them something back for all they have done and continue to do for me and the rest of the family.



Happy Birthday Amma!


Sunday, 10 January 2010

75th Birthday Cake for my Father with a few problems



I had the honour of making the cake for my father's 75th Birthday. He turned 75 on the 6th of January and just last night, we had a dinner party for him at my brother's place and I was asked to make the cake for the function. Coming up with ideas for birthday cakes for children is much easier than for adults but the trick is to always link the cake design to the interests of the person.

Finding something to define my father wasn't going to be easy. That's not entirely true - finding somethine that defined my father that could be translated into a cake was the challenge. He's not big into sports and neither is he big into cars or material goods. What does define the man however are his strong values and his family. Now if I could only make a cake that would resemble the family, that would really take the cake (pardon the pun)

I had initially thought of getting a sugarpaste print of a family picture or even of himself and then sticking it on a cake designed to look like a photo frame. However, I learnt that it's not considered good to cut a picture of yourself or the family. So I threw that idea into the bin. Then I hit upon an idea.

Dad not only loves to read but has authoured a few books on the Malaysian economy and even his own autobiography. He still loves to tackle issues of social and national interest and is constantly giving advice to everyone - especially his children and grandhildren. A book! I would make him a cake book. A book that would look like something he had written.



Then came the 'task' of deciding what to call the book. The Lovely Wife suggested A Purpose Driven Life - one of his favourite books - but I didn't want it to be a copy of something he had already written or read.

Many nights were spent pondering with The Lovely Wife about what to title the book. Many nights were also spent agonising about how to decorate the cake. Keep it simple or make it a little elaborate? What size cake would be needed? Vanilla Butter Cake or Chocolate Cake?

I decided on Chocolate Cake as it could also serve as a dessert. I also decided that I would have to make my Chocolate Icing a little thicker to allow for the decorations as my usual icing is a little fudgy and sticky.

For the white pages, I decided on Royal Icing - a new found skill learnt from the Daring Bakers Gingerbread House challenge. True, I had never made Royal Icing before that and I learnt how quick and easy it was!

The cake was starting to form in my mind and I paid a visit to the local Wilton store to see what stuff they had that I could use. The lady at the store tried to sell me the idea of using their open book cake pan but I wanted to make a closed book. I bought some sugarpaste letters to use for his name and things were starting to look good!

I needed to make two large cakes (each 2 kilos) and what I usually do is to make them separately. I was a bit short on time though and I checked my Kenwood Major manual that said the machine was capable of handling 4.5 kilo mixtures. So... I thought I'd just whiz up two batches together and then bake them at the same time.

Not A Good Idea! REPEAT. Not A Good Idea!

Firstly, the butter and eggs didnt emulsify together as well due to the amount of batter. So I emptied the batter into another bowl and used my hand mixer to mix it up but it still didnt aerate enough - not as much as what I am used to anyway.

Next, after I had poured the batter into two tins, I realised that the tin was too big for my drip tray. I have one wire rack and one drip tray in my oven and whenever I bake two cakes at once, I usually use smaller pans. The cake pan wouldnt fit on the bottom drip tray. Being in a rush and not completely thinking straight, I pulled out the drip tray, placed a cooling rack on the bottom of the oven and shoved the cake pan on top of it. Brilliant I thought to myself. Bloody brilliant.

Bloody Stupid more like it! I should have put the cooling rack on the drip tray to form a flat surface and THEN put the cake pan on it. As it turned out, the pan was too close to the bottom of the oven, causing uneven heat distribution and a little burning. I was not happy.

Fortunately, it wasn't too bad and a little trimming here and there salvaged the cake. I still wasnt happy though as the cake didnt rise as much as I am used to. I muttered and cursed under my breath. The Lovely Wife questioned why I had changed my Standard Operating Procedure of making two cakes separately - especially for such an important occasion as this. The only answer I had to that was that I was Bloody Stupid. Yes, say it again. Bloody Stupid!

I was tense. I was irritable. I was grumpy.

Ater the cake cooled, I mixed up a batch of Royal Icing and used it to ice the sides of the cake as pages. I've never used a crumb coat before, but this time I wished I had. When I applied the royal icing on, some crumbs started to stick on to the icing. Grumpy. Tense. Irritable.

Then The Lovely Wife stuck her pretty nose in and quietly commented that she thought I would ice the top of the cake first before the sides and wouldnt that be a better idea. No! Not a better idea. This was how it should be done. This was what I had in my mind. Don't bug me!

Grumpy. Tense. Irritable.

I mixed up another batch of royal icing and spread it on. Then I used my cake comb to make lines in the icing and it was starting to look good. I let the cake rest for a while and then mixed up the chocolate icing - making sure it was nice and thick. I then piped chocolate icing around the cake to resemble to outline of a cover. The cake was starting to take shape and I snapped a picture of the cake with my handphone and sent it to The Lovely Wife who was out at Sarah's kindergarten having a parent teachers meeting. She called to say the cake was looking nice and I started to feel a little better.



She pointed out to me that the middle of the cake wasnt quite that even and I had to agree with her. I contemplated just leaving it be but I decided I'd better fix it up. When she came home later after the meeting, she asked why there was a bit of a raised knob on the middle right of the cake (where the pages are). I mentioned that that was where the two cakes joined and the knob was the royal icing over some filled in cake. There wasn't really anything I could do about it at this point since the icing had already hardened and quite frankly I didnt dare mess with the cake anymore. I told her it was a sign that the book was well used and well read. She didn't buy it...

It was now time to pipe in the rest of the icing and I used my Wilton stencil makers for the words and the borders. For the 75, I used some cookie cutters that the children reminded me I had so that came in really useful. The Lovely Wife decided on the Title as my father has certainly had a full life and there are many lessons to be learnt from him. I decided on the added touch of Volume 75 to signify his age as his lessons are always ongoing...




I have to say I was rather pleased with how the cake looked and the only concern I had was how it was going to taste. Fortunately, the cake tasted fine although it was a little drier than normal. My Mother said I was too critical of myself - there's a reason mothers are mothers!

The Birthday Boy was delighted with the cake and that made it all worthwhile.

Happy 75th Birthday Papa!



Monday, 4 January 2010

Chocolate Chip Muffins



Before the christmas spirit dies off, I'd like to share with you one of the favourites in this household - a favourite that is baked all year round that I can't believe I haven't posted about it before!

My son loves Chocolate Chip Muffins. In fact, anytime he is a little peckish, he will look at us pleadingly and ask if her can get a Choc Chip Muffin from the local Coffee Bean. I have to admit that the Coffee Bean Choc Chip Muffin IS really nice and so I had to make my own version.





These muffins are quick, easy and very delicious. It's no wonder that they get eaten up so quickly - maybe gobbled is a better word!

Sometimes, during christmas, I will bake up a batch and give some out to friends and neighbours. Other times, they just get finished up by the kids although we did invite some friends over to share these but only one was able to make it...

This is what I do.

Ingredients

250 g Butter
220 g Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
4 tbsp Milk
1 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp Vanilla
250 g Flour
3 tsp Baking Powder
200 g Chocolate Chips

Method
Cream butter and Sugar till light and fluffy
Add beaten eggs a little at a time and continue beating
Fold in Sifted flour and baking powder
Add in Honey, Milk and Vanilla. Mix Well
Fold in Chocolate Chips ensuring it is well mixed
Fill muffin cups ¾ full and bake for about 20 minutes or till done in 190°C oven


I usually make these to rise just enough to fill the cases but since my son likes the 'muffin caps' of the Coffee Bean muffins, I decided to put in a little extra batter and bake a few in a muffin pan to get those lovely, slightly crisp caps.


It's not only the kids that love these muffins as both The Lovely Wife and I can never stop at one either.


The kids couldn't wait to start eating these muffins but they were very good in letting me take my photos first and even agreed to pose with the muffins in front of the christmas tree!

This batch was polished off very, very quickly and the few that were left over were finished off the next morning for breakfast - by the kids!


Saturday, 2 January 2010

A New Year... a new blog banner....

Happy New Year everyone. It's hard to believe a decade of the new millenium has already gone by. When I was in the 20th Century, I could hardly imagine how people lived in the 1900's, 1910's, 1920's, 1930's...

I knew that the great depression happened in the 30s, WW2 happened in the 40's, I was born in the 60s and then came the 70's, 80's and 90's. My own kids will be old and grey by the time the year 2060 comes around and I will off course be long gone - or maybe a ripe old 90 something! 2060 will be the '60s to my children and I wonder how much more advanced we will be by then.

Anyway, life goes on and we get older day by day. Live well, live happily and be thankful for all that we have. That is what I have learnt and what I will try and practice this year.

With the coming of the new year, I make a little cosmetic change to my blog with a simpler and brighter banner. There will probably be more changes as time goes on but then again, maybe not. Who knows.

I'm going to try and blog more regularly this year and catch up on all the old photos that haven't been posted yet. Try being the operative word - no promises! I'm not going to start of the year with making promises that I can't keep. Matter of fact, I'm going to keep to that train of thought and just keep trying - day by day, taking one day at a time without making promises. At least not promises that I cant keep!

So blessed New Year Everyone and I raise a glass to you and yours in the hope that nothing but Peace, Love and All things good come your way. Above all, May the Blessings of God fill your lives in every way.

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