Monday, April 28, 2014

In the Kitchen with Kak Joe

Hmm.... This title has a nice ring to it. Maybe I should start a new blog dedicated to only my culinary achievements. But then again, I suddenly remember someone having a 'food blog' with his 'friend' and I decided that's not what I want to do. Anyway, back to the subject title.

It all began after I was diagnosed with having major depression and acute anxiety. Being a therapist myself, I knew that in order for me to manage my condition, I need to get myself involved in something that is truly engaging... something that will force me to get out of my head and focus in the here and now.

Pinterest sparked some ideas in me. I love how it made any form of information or knowledge regarding almost anything so easily accessible. I created several boards and among them was entitled Fabulous Food. That's where I pinned all the kitchen projects that I want to try. I started out with making chocolates and the easiest I found was making fresh strawberries covered in dark chocolate.

 Followed closely by fresh blueberries covered in milk chocolate.

And then came Peanut Butter Cups and it's twin sister: White Chocolate Cups with Mixed Fruit Swirl.

 One weekend, I walked into Borders at The Curve and found Star Trek chocolate molds and I made these gems, with blue coloured mint fondant filling.

And I also tried out this very delicious recipe for Cream Cheese Truffles.

 After a while, I got tired of handling chocolates in this hot humid weather. I moved on to baking. And the first thing I did was pay homage to my 'hometown': Swansea, by making Welsh Cakes. And these babies sold like... hot cakes! Hahahaa!

Well, this year is full of firsts for me as far as making chocolates and baking are concerned. I became a little more ambitious and made a double layer Moist Chocolate cake for Jazelia's 22nd birthday. This is how it turned out!

 ... and how it looked on the inside.

 And upon request from another birthday girl, I made moist chocolate cupcakes for her. I think Laton and her family loved them.

When I got called in to volunteer for the MH370 mission, I knew immediately that I needed to clear my head and prepare myself for the challenge. So, I made up my mind to handle yeast for the first time by making Nutella Cinnamon Rolls. They turned out gorgeous and delicious that I got the affirmation I needed to know I was ready to go.

 After 105 hours of volunteer work, I then needed to unwind. So I went back into the kitchen to bake my mom her favourite cake: Walnut and dates cake.

But I didn't just stop there. I went on to make my own version of fairy cupcakes.

Pretty soon, I grew tired of making sweet cakes and desserts only. I decided to try making something savoury and I made these Savoury Muffins with fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, beef, grated cheese and potatoes in them. They were so delicious! 

 And on the same day, I made hubby's favourite dessert: English Bread and Butter Pudding served with custard.

 Soon after, I was invited to a friend's 40th birthday party and I decided to go the extra mile. I made a 2 layer Mississippi Mud Cake, complete with chocolate ganache frosting. I think I did fairly well decorating it.

 On the next day, still high on the adrenaline of the day before's achievement, I decided to make my late grandma's steamed fruit cake. Another Ace for me!

I even dared to try making Red Velvet Cupcakes!

And yesterday, I made English Shortbread...

 and Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies.

In between, I've also dabbled in several savoury dishes such as Beef stew in the crockpot

 Kefta Tagine

 ... and Chicken Tagine with green olives and lemon.

 So! There you have it! My kitchen expeditions and achievements. I am proud of myself for being able to manage all the above projects. And its good to know this cooking and baking therapy works for me. I'll post more achievements as and when it happens. Meanwhile, please remember: this is NOT a food blog page.

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