Bucket list

  1. Start a blog
  2. Eat a coconut macaron
  3. Make macarons (doesn’t look like an easy task but I can’t wait to try it!)
  4. Pick a coconut off the tree with my bare hands (who knows when that will happen)
  5. Make a fondant covered cake from scratch
  6. Make kimchi
  7. Make pho
  8. Meet an iron chef. Preferably Morimoto. (Not a fan of Flay’s attitude)
  9. Meet Jamie Oliver (this list is looking very ambitious, I know. But you gotta dream big!)
  10. Eat something from “The Best Thing I Ever Ate/Made” (WARNING: Do not watch this show at night, or you’ll be wiping saliva off your face before you even fall asleep)
  11. Master a rockin’ mussels dish (without the need to turn it into a pasta instead)
  12. Participate in a cook-off (hit me up if you’re down for a challenge!)
  13. Open a bakery

JUST DO IT

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I’m done exams, time to bake!

It’s my first day back at it after exams. It felt SO nice to be able to unwind again in the kitchen. No more flipping through endless notes, drinking what seemed like a bottomless pit of coffee and yet still somehow managing to walk around like a zombie. I lost 6lbs and haven’t done any type of physical activity for over a month! (do we really burn calories from straining our brains?) Except walking to the library, to my exam, and back to the library from my exam.

What actually gave me that kick-start in the kitchen again was the idea of combining pumpkin and coconut as two main ingredients. I can never get enough of coconuts. Whether it is used in curry, hand lotion, scented candles, or just drinking pure coconut water. It is definitely a fruit that hits my soft spot every time. I love the aroma, the subtle sweetness with a creamy aftertaste. Nothing can compare. Pumpkins on the other hand, can be repulsive looking and smelling when raw but I quickly learned that once it is used in baking, it could be transformed into something impressive. Not to mention it adds a moist texture, which is preferable in some types of baked goods, such as muffins. Okay, here’s my experiment.

Keep in mind that I had no recipe to go by, just blindly mixing ingredients together.  You’re probably seriously questioning my baking skills right about now (or lack there of) judging by that big clump of mess in the photo and the fact that I am using a pair of chopsticks to mix that batter; “did you lose your whisk!?” you might ask. I cannot explain that ugly chunk of dough because as great as it FEELS to be back in the kitchen, I am rusty as a nail. Now, with the chopsticks…

I think this was at the point where I started to realize my batter was too dry.

*tick tock tick tock*

I don’t even want to get into how long that took me

The last bit of it. *chucks whisk over shoulder*

Moral of the story: do not underestimate chopsticks. A lot of times I prefer to use them when I’m cooking (less often when baking) instead of other utensils. I can stir/mix with them, I can easily pick stuff up with them, it doesn’t make an awful scratching noise at the bottom of pots and pans, it doesn’t get too hot to touch after a while AND it’s impossible to lose (how irritating is it when we let go of a spoon or fork for a second and it drowns in the pot of boiling soup?).

Let’s just see how this turns out. Topping each muffin (or icing-less cupcake if you will) with frozen berries. Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries oh my!

Ready for the oven!

Looking non-disastrous so far. By the way, I really need to get a muffin tray that has smaller sized holes so that they do not expand outwards as much in the oven.

…The aftermath

My muffins bled and tasted too bland. E for Effort…?

Deedee’s “redemption”

You can probably sense a little bit of frustration, eagerness, with a hint of perseverance from this photo. When the chopsticks failed, I had to bring out the big guns.

Although the second batch turned out slightly better than the first, it was a taaaad too moist for my liking. Having experienced both ends of the spectrum in terms of moisture content in today’s amateur baking session, I have gathered -and learned- several points about muffins:

#1: Wet ingredients go in one bowl. Dry ingredients in another. Add wet to dry.

#2: Think “fold” rather than “mix” when adding wet ingredients. Don’t over-mix. Walk away even if you see clumps.

#3: Pumpkin and coconut do not go well together. Perhaps a lime coconut experiment next time!

#4: I have a LOT to learn