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18 July 2012 @ 11:23 pm
So I mark today as the day I officially learn German. Before this I was taking on Spanish, Swedish and Norwegian as well, so now I just want to narrow down on German. The foreign language bookstore I patronized in Melbourne gave me a lot of new resources on German, so I have every reason to focus on it. I plan to use this journal to mark my progresses too.

German is intimidating at first, but an Austrian friend advised, "don't fret - over time you will get used to it even though it doesn't make sense". I find it quite true because I can't rationalize Mandarin as well!

Today I can read simple sentences. That's after a few weeks of sporadic reading. It ain't much, but I just need to get past the gender-grammatical form correlations and I should be fine.

I'm moving! To tumblr :) to those who read my entries (just Nat I guess... xD) I'm not sure if you can leave comments or questions on my tumblr site. Still not really familiar with it but it's simple to use and... looks great haha. I have been writing some stuff there for some time already, though not very regularly.

Visit it here :)
17 July 2012 @ 01:51 am

Long food storyCollapse )
Firstly - some photos perhaps?
Music: Minä Rakastan Sinua - Samuli Putro
26 May 2012 @ 02:21 am
A few years ago, Nathalie passed to me a French recipe that featured apples and batter. The only thing that distinguishes it from regular apple-and-cake combinations is a layer of crispy, buttery sweet topping baked together with the cake.

I want to find out more about it so that it can perhaps enjoy the same status as the Viennese Apple Cheese Torte (hereafter known as VACT) if we ever include them in the inventory. Speaking of VACT, I need to find out if it's really Viennese too. Apparently it's not as popular (or as historically acclaimed) as Linzertorte or Sachertorte. Google gives me no answers. How obscure, VACT, you.

Gâteaux aux Pommes means "apple cake" in French, or literally "cake with apples". The name makes no mention to the wonderful crispy topping. Running a search on Google with the words "French" "apple" "crispy" "cake" gives me irrelevant results, or the topping is a caramel or praline instead. I know those are awesome, but I'm looking for the homey Frenchie ones made with creamy butter!

So I decided to search with the French name instead, fully expecting the American styled "apple cake" to flood the results. I was wrong! The French really did give that cake an inconspicuous name. I read a recipe that was in French and the composition of the cream was truly butter, sugar and eggs. Thank God for French lessons.

There's a reason for this longwinded post. Thank you Nathalie for the recipe!! I felt quite special baking the Gâteaux aux Pommes, which was quite like nothing I've ever had. And I get the feeling that this recipe will contribute to our shop. People here need to know about this yummy little cake. I hope you can come to Singapore one day... or I'll go to France/Micronesia!

(sidenote: aux is a confusing word *sob*)

Found another French recipe that I recorded in my computer. Le yay!
23 May 2012 @ 11:25 pm
If all goes well, we will have a shop by the end of the month... and I will finally have a place to experiment on new recipes more frequently!

I gained some weight. I worked rather hard towards it and it's paying off quite well. But last week I had a week of fasting. I excluded meat from my diet because I LOVE MEAT. At the end of the fast I started to prefer starchy food and vegetables much more than I did, and meat satisfied me less. Beef also gave me a bigger bitch of a tummy cramp than it usually would. I was rather worried about losing the weight I gained at first, but my colleague reassured me that as long as I still love my potatoes, rice, pasta, milk, butter and pastries, weight gain wouldn't hard.

I realize I have a bad habit of taking people for granted. It's mean of me, sorry :( my only explanation is that I need my alone time and I can be cranky if I am not left to my devices (that would be non-fiction books). But I will try to be smiley faced as much as I can.

Jun is coming over to my place to bake maple carrot cupcakes. She loves that stuff. As far as I know, I can officially call her a fan.

22 May 2012 @ 12:46 am
A regular banana cake - but with spices typical of Nordic baking. I used a blend of ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cardamom.

My colleagues liked the warm taste of spices with the banana. I felt that the texture could be improved. I actually used the wrong kind of sugar. I also did not mash the bananas thoroughly. And also was slipshod with the measurements because I did not have measuring spoons. I was hoping for a soft crumbly kind of cake but this was denser. Could probably lighten up the batter with aerating the eggs more, using finer sugar and puréeing the bananas into a thick liquid. Can't wait to try this again with the right measurements! But next in line - Kladdkaka, Swedish Chocolate Sticky Cake.

When I buttered the cake tin I realized that I should have lined it with parchment instead as this was going to be a heavier product and thus would stick to the baking pan! Well, I prayed hard and went ahead, but remembering to flour the pan on top of greasing to ensure smooth removal. It came off without a hitch.

Always pray when you work or when you spend some serious time and effort on a hobby. You could get burned out in no time if you exert yourself too much!
15 May 2012 @ 05:16 pm
“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
14 May 2012 @ 12:50 pm
All right so this week is Nordic Desserts week!

Cinnamon Roll √
Nordic Style Banana Cake
Swedish Sticky Chocolate Cake

Cinnamon Roll didn't go so well because I forgot to constrain its expanding area and it expanded out of its roll. Thus my mother cut it up and we served it pretzel style.

Yesterday, too, was the first time I made bread. I had an aversion to yeast. Not because I know it's bacteria of course, but because there's so many types of yeasts available and they seem so delicate. So yesterday I decided to tackle it in my kitchen. Thankfully I've done enough research and thrown out some dead yeast I was about to use.

The next thing I was averse to in bread making was the sticky dough that stuck to everything. I tried not to panic and kneaded it steadily. It became pliable, becoming more bread dough like. I hadn't realized that kneading dough is very therapeutic. May have kneaded it longer than necessary.

The end result was not as soft as I hoped (possibly due to the kneading), but my colleagues raved about the taste and texture. I will try a more traditional soft cinnamon bun recipe next time.

Sorry, no pics cos I was in a hurry to go out this morning. Plus snipped up bits of cinnamon roll isn't that much of a looker. The only picture I have is this:

 It's Canada. 

12 April 2012 @ 02:26 am

In the beginning God had just one rule for Adam and Eve - to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But they broke that rule.

When the flood washed the earth clean God had new rules for Noah and his family as they settled on dry land - particularly

But you must not eat flesh with its blood of life. Otherwise, I will require your blood at the hand of all the wild animals…
Whoever spills the blood of men will also have their blood spilled, because I made man in the image of God.

Man had begun to kill and murder and do deviant things - out of the intention of God. Back then when God gave Adam the authority to rule over the creatures of earth, He did not mention allowing Adam to kill or eat the animals, but since man developed a hunting tendency and a taste for animals, God set new allowances for man to eat flesh, as long as life (blood) is poured onto the ground.

 Jehovah was never a God of laws and rules; rather, these things were forced on Him by the inventiveness and badness of human imagination.

God never intended to enforce laws on us so He can punish us. God set laws in place to contain us and keep us from danger. Imagine if all were free to kill, assault and rob, if there were no laws to protect us from ourselves. People commonly think that God is an angry God who is quick to judge. Our Jehovah, the Jehovah that loves me, and you, is gentle and slow to anger. But several of us have yet to decide that this is truth.

As if it’s not enough that we break His heart with sin, we also find it hard to confess a sin to Him even when we know that He sees right through us. We do not deserve infinite love and grace with our finite selves yet we tend to act like royalty. How much more is needed to lay out bare to convince one that Jehovah is a God of holiness and love?

Then if your sins should be crimson red,
As white as snow [I will make them].
And even if they are like scarlet,
I’ll make them as white as fine wool.

How amazing is our incomprehensible God, He who wraps Himself with light, who removes our transgressions from East to West, who breathes stars, know them all by name and puts them in place?

22 February 2012 @ 07:43 pm

Employed by Bible Society Singapore! Amen!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.