A dunking discovery

I am quite fond of the dunking concept. It is an art! You have to get the technique and the pairing of drink and biscuit right. And yes, when dunking is concerned, it is usually biscuit with tea or cookies with milk. Frequently some sort of biscuit dunked into a drink.

This will be my regular dunking pairing:

  • McVitie’s digestive with Milo (a chocolate flavoured malt drink)
  • Rich Tea biscuit with tea
  • Biscotti with coffee
  • Cookies and Oreos with milk

Surprisingly, having most the common dunking combination on hand, I used none of them. That is because I had a morning struck of brilliance!! With the availability of my day old brioche, which would usually be toasted and spread with some butter, I dunked the plainly toasted slice of brioche in orange juice!! It works! It is a lovely combination; brioche soaked in orange juice with a light crisp of the toast! Heavenly!!

Toasted brioche cut into a decent dunking size with a cup of orange juice

Toasted brioche soaked up with orange juice

A smile in return

As I was going to work, walking up hill and cutting across the residential area as usual, I looked up and saw a lovely old lady with her all white, short and wavy hair walking towards my direction. She has a very friendly face and a slight smile on her face. She looked at me and I flashed her with a smile. She returned with the sweetest, most sincere smile ever. This lady reminds me of my late grandmother who has the kindest eyes and most contagious smile ever…

It makes me think about the simplest things money can’t buy that makes a good day. A simple smile does it! Even if it does not last the whole day, it would have at least made your morning. A clear blue sky with random white fluffy clouds does the trick too. Even when someone opens the door for you, a smile and thank you in return makes a difference. It is equally the same when a colleague makes tea for you when they are making one for themselves.

…the simple things in life…

Peanut Cookies

(fah sang peng)

Since the Chinese New Year treats are not as widely available here as the mince pies during Christmas, I decided to make some to increase the festive mood just in time for our celebration on the eve. My mates love them and could not stop eating. They had practically finished the whole box before we even had dinner. Mmm…

This cookie is easy enough to make and is a real indulgence for a festive treat. Pack them nicely in a box with a lovely ribbon to be given away or stack them up on your cookie tray for when your guests arrive for open house. Just make sure not to put all of them out on display cause once your guests tried one, they would not stop popping the next one into their mouth. Gosh.., they melt in the mouth!

Happy Chinese New Year to all and hope you have a roaring start!!

Peanut cookie recipe

  • 600g peanuts (skinless)
  • 600g flour
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 500ml peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 big heap tbsp of peanut butter
  • 10g grated dark chocolate (I used 85% cacao) [optional]
  • Egg yolk for brushing
  1. Toast the peanuts until fragrant. Be careful not to burn them.
  2. Ground or blend the toasted peanuts until fine in a food processor.
  3. Mix the ground peanuts, sugar and salt.
  4. Add in butter and peanut butter then lastly the flour. Mix well.
  5. Pour in oil and blend until it becomes a dough.
  6. Roll them into balls and place them on a greased baking tray.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 175ºC for 18 minutes.

* Be careful while handling them as they break easily. This recipe yields about 6 takeaway plastic boxes so you can half the recipe.

English is French!

“French is English pronounced differently!”

That is to quote my professeur de français on our final week into the Elementary I French class. That came up when he was explaining to us about verbs.

You will know why he said that when you see the verbs below. You would definitely know what they mean even if I did not provide translations to them.

  • danser = to dance
  • organiser = to organise
  • continuer = to continue
  • préparer = to prepare
  • utiliser = to use
  • adorer = to adore
  • arranger = to arrange
  • considerer = to consider
  • générer = to generate
  • participer = to participate

…and more…

Pineapple tart

With Chinese New Year approaching this sunday, my craving for some CNY treats is increasing. My usual must haves are pineapple tart and kueh kapit. My mum makes one of the best pineapple tart and my aunt, amazing kueh kapit. It makes me sad not to be able to have my favourite homemade festive treats this year, being 6,000 miles away from home. I have been asking my mum for her recipes and her lack of computer knowledge means I might not get them in time. So the first thing that came to me was to search for it on my favourite Malaysian cooking blog, Rasa Malaysia and I found the recipe in the sister blog, Nyonyafood instead. The tart in the picture below (taken from the nyonyafood blog), reminds me so much of mum’s homey pineapple tarts.

Pineapple tarts. Please click here for recipe.

Frozen in Time

It is the time of the year when it’s so cold, that the puddle of water on the road is frozen by morning, the pavements, grass and bushes are all frosted. Even the usually muddy walkway through the field has turned into a crispy surface.

No wonder dutch designer Weiki Somers’s recently inspired collection for Galerie Kreo, is the fall of freezing rain.

This exhibition will be the first thing I see this Saturday if I am in Paris. If only…

Closeup of the frozen spring lamp

Frozen carafe

Detail of frozen vase

Frozen stool

Detail of frozen stool

Gendered words

I wouldn’t say I’m a lover of languages but I’ve always been curious. Curious of how some languages sound more beautiful and romantic than some which turns out sounding harsh. Is it the people who speaks and interprets them? Or is it the language itself and the way it’s pronounced? Maybe it is culture that has transformed a language.

As curious as I can be, I am recently learning a new language, French! A complicated language, I would say. Words are pronounced not as they are seen or read in its alphabetical form but with its nasal sounds and swallowed or muted letters of certain words. And every noun and adjective are ‘genderised’ (don’t think this word exists). This shows how one’s able to create a new word with its understanding and interpretation of a language. If this newly innovated word is used often enough / passed down from person to person, growing in numbers of people who uses that word, it might finally make its way into the English dictionary. Maybe that was how words were created and compiled into a collection of vocabulary.

It seems like I’ve swayed away from my initial purpose of mentioning how French has categorised its nouns and adjectives into groups of masculine and feminine words. I understand that its European counterparts i.e. Italian and Spanish have nouns with genders too. Does it make the nouns more personal when given a gender? Do you feel closer or more attached to the noun by referring to them as a he or she rather than IT? And is that why they seem to be more of a romantic or is that just a perception from an outsider? Hmmm… I wonder…