A Little Joy of Mine

Stretch marks cover my belly

Reflecting your perfect growing –bigger, stronger

At many nights I wake up and feel your soft breath in my veins

Sometimes you twist around like a ballerina

I count the days to be able to hug you,

kiss every parts of your tiny being,

caress   your delicate skin,

taste the sweetness  of your breath

 

You would be the first to teach me how Love is beautiful, unselfish, forgiving, always giving, patient and enlivening

My weariness becomes my strength

My worries turn into my joy

 

Expecting  you…

My heart beats in an endless awe

In no time you would be in my arms

I would trace your every moves,

record every piece of  your laughter,

save each drop of your tears,  

and treasure every single line of your smile

I would clothe you with comfort, warmth and love that is everlasting

Advertisements

Struffoli . Let’s make Christmas a bit longer

tvnKA78jYo7MMh_-P-4k9OSHUbEhBi06Akvx865RfHw

History has been my favorite thing since I was a kid. And I really love food when it comes with its history ; where does it originally come from, when do people cook it, how do they cook it, etc, etc.

I found this little sweet one and just knew about it by the time I made them. The name Struffoli is generally believed to come from the Greek word Strongulos, meaning round in shape ( oh, forgive my not-all-round-in-shape-ones ). According to tradition, Struffoli are considered good luck because of the small balls are a symbol of abundance. Apparently they are served during Christmas in Naples . I guess it’s connected to the meaning, since Christmas is followed by New Year, so people wish for an abundance in everything in their life for the coming New Year ( this is my interpretation ).

I think making Struffoli in January is fine . I think any day is fine as they are easy to make, sweet, fun and yummy.

This is the recipe ( adapted from Laura Vitale )

1 ¾ cups of Flour
3 Eggs
Zest of 1 Orange ( I omit this as I don’t have it in hand )
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 Tbsp of Sugar
Small Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp of Limoncello or Orange Juice ( I used Orange Juice )
1 cup of Honey
Vegetable Oil for frying

Process,

1) In a large bowl, mix together the flour, eggs, orange zest, lemon zest, sugar, salt and  orange juice  (dough will be very sticky) .Dump dough onto a floured surface and form into a ball (add more flour as you pull it together so it’s no longer sticky ).

2) Sprinkle a little flour in a small bowl and set the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes.

3) In a deep skillet , add enough oil to get up to about 3 inches. Heat over medium high heat until the oil is about 370 degrees when tested with a thermometer. ( I don’t have a thermometer so I just tested the heat by slipping in a  dough ball to see if it gives off  a lively sizzle ) .

4) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour, set aside, also line another baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.

5) Once the dough has rested, place it on a floured surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a thin rope shape and cut ¼ inch pieces. Roll each piece into a round ball and place them on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.

6) Fry the struffoli carefully in the hot oil making sure to constantly turn them around as they fry for even cooking, once they are deep golden brown, remove onto the paper towel lined baking sheet.

7) Heat the honey in a small pot until slightly runny, add it to a big bowl and add in the cooked struffoli, toss them well for a few minutes or until they are well covered in the honey. Sprinkle over some sprinkles and let them sit for a wile before serving.

Naked Simplicity

YU615fK3kZe9m3oRfBT3euS5rXKoCJ2ZnHy0Z3JP55A

The title. I know. This is just a simple Spaghetti Aglio e Olio in the making. The name popped up in my mind when I was thinking to post it here. Pop. Just like that. I guess it’s because this yummy Spaghetti contains all the simple ingredients, plain simply. It only takes the olive oil , garlic, parsley, salt and of course the Spaghetti to create a plate of scrumptious lunch or dinner for you. Honestly, I have had  it for two days in a row for my lunch and dinner. I cannot help how it danced in my mouth. So tasty.

Its simple ingredients are 1/2 cup of extra virgin Olive Oil , 225 gram Spaghetti, pinch of Hot Pepper Flakes ( I add two cut chili padi ) , some cloves of Garlic as you like, sliced them ( I use around 20 cloves as I love fried garlic ) , a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped Parsley.

Here in the process ; Fill a large pot of water and sprinkle in some salt, bring to a boil and add the pasta, cook according to package instructions, meanwhile work on the sauce.

In a skillet, add the oil and garlic, turn the heat on low and cook for about 5 minutes or until the garlic is lightly golden, add the hot pepper flakes  ( and the cut chili ). Remove from the heat and set aside.

Drain your pasta and place it back into the hot pot, pour in the oil mixture and the parsley, toss everything together so that the oil coats every piece of the pasta. Place it on a serving platter.

Spicy Instant Noodle Pancake

Rk-XyV_jfk-z0JWdhHSGbtXuT7LMBVqQbvm6iiWW5eU

Instant Noodle has been a part of our local cuisine, especially the students who live far away from home and have no time for cooking. We jokingly say that it’s the students’ best friend in any seasons. The reason is it is affordable and easy to make. You just fry it or boil it, put in the dry ingredients that come with the noodle and voila ! You get yourself a quick breakfast, a lunch             ( sometimes ) and a dinner.

Well, actually, I am not a big fan of instant noodle. I would eat it when I am in a deep mood for its taste and luckily the mood doesn’t strike me often, hehe. We believe that the instant noodle has its own way to get someone into its fatal addiction, ok, just omit the ‘fatal’ word.

There is this new flavor in the market that I wanted to try , but then I thought to cook it as a pancake and add some vegetables and more chili.

zWhFwswYNwv3NioQX3UtJ6cVbbS0vmD2fvIVwAICM1M

This is the flavor that I cooked

So here comes the recipe :

2 packs of fried instant noodle

2 eggs, beaten

1 medium carrot, cut into small cubes

1 medium spring onion, fine sliced

Some chili flakes ( the instant noodle comes with few pieces of dried chili )

Procedure :

1. Cook the noodle in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Put into a drain bowl to get rid the water excess.

2. Beat the eggs, pour the seasoning ingredients  that comes with the noodle and mix with the carrot, chili flakes and sliced spring onion.

3. Add the noodle, combine well then pour into a 8 inch frying pan to make a pancake shape. Cook the noodle for 2 -3 minutes on each side. Serve it with additional chili sauce if you like. I ate it with sweet soya sauce and cut chili.

Selamat Makan ! ( bon appetit )

Paczki

x-1X3bv97ZJiTA5LDdL0-X2OuqEM389vJE9U65Qvgn0

Bread is one kind of food that ever since I learnt to make it, I’ve never failed. I am not saying that I have mastered making it, just that the result is always good. Also, I found out that  homemade bread lasts longer in room temperature than the store bought bread. That’s why homemade cooking is always healthier than eating out, I believe this.

This is the first time I baked Paczki and I just love their taste. Paczki are Polish doughnuts . They are actually fried doughnuts but they can be oven baked as well. I did the oven baked ones. Traditionally they are filled with strawberry jam but again, you may fill them with any fillings you like. I went with vanilla custard and strawberry jam.

Every country may have this kind of doughnuts with their unique names .  In Indonesia we call it Donut Goreng . But according to the history of this beautiful doughnuts, in many parts of Eastern Europe, Paczki are eaten on the last Thursday before Lent which they call it Fat Thursday.

Ingredients.

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2/3 cup 1% milk – warmed to 120°
  • 3 Tablespoons oil (canola or extra light olive oil)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • about 1/4 cup extra flour
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar for coating

Methods.

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Let it stand until creamy, about ten minutes.

2. Place flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.

3. Stir in warm milk, followed by oil, egg yolk and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes in high speed.

4. Stir in enough flour till the dough holds together.

5. Place dough on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Cover with plastic and rest till double in size. I leave it for about one hour.

6. Roll dough 1 cm thick and cut circles using a 7.5 cm round cutter.

7. Place mound on baking sheet. Cover with towel and let rise in a warm spot for about 45 – 60 minutes

8. Pre-heat oven to 190 C and bake the Paczki for about 10 minutes.

9. Brush the hot Paczki with melted butter and roll on a plate or a plastic bag to coat with sugar. Shake off excess .

10. Fill the Paczki using a pastry bag with a long slender tip, pushing into the side. Serve immediately. You can do the filling when they are not too hot. Since I just have the pastry bag but didn’t have the piping tip , I used a plastic straw as the piping tip. It worked wonder as well with a little bit patience.

Making the vanilla  custard :

In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup sugar + 1 Tablespoon cornstarch. Slowly stir in 1 cup fresh milk + 2 egg yolks. Bring to a boil & cook about a minute, stirring constantly, until thickened. Transfer to a bowl and let it stand to cool. You may refrigerate it if necessary.

Empty

The room echoes your odor
a mix of cinnamon and clove.
Ruffled linen paints your figure
with a face crumpled on the Mac.
Faded carpet on the stair
tells the stomp of your strong steps.
Used Earl Grey , hangs on the rim of a cup
blows a sweet kiss of yours.
The door makes no noise
utters an empty scene of you.
Till next  Summer break
days at home will lack of your energy.

Black Glutinous Rice Cake

iGa75kMYZ0VKuOGugIDB3xMEuWd_kGmiJkIJS0xKRqg

Mostly we make porridge with this black sticky rice like the white rice . It’s believed to be safe for gluten-free diets. It has a purplish black color and when you make cake , it’s like you are using black cacao. Normally I make a pound cake with this but today I just want to bake it into muffin cups and garnish it with topping to my like.

Here is the recipe.

You’ll need :

200 gram black glutinous rice flour

50 gram all-purpose flour

200 gram unsalted butter, melted

4 eggs

5-6 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoon powdered milk

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Method :

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C

Spray muffin tins with baking spray or grease with butter and sprinkle with flour.

In a bowl, combine the rice flour, all-purpose flour , powdered milk and baking soda. Set aside.

Beat the eggs and sugar till fluffy , about 10 minutes.

Pour the wet ingredients into the batter, whisk well. Add the melted butter. Whisk again until the batter is smooth and silky-looks.

Divide the batter into the muffin tins and bake each batch for about 10 minutes.

Serve it immediately with your desire toppings. You may add anything from cheese to Nutella or even Oreo on it. I put the Oreo on half way of baking. They all taste good.

wpid-20150110_105430.jpg

wpid-2015-01-10-16.37.30-1.jpg.jpeg

Choco Red Bean Ice

jz7PyjNDIjNnAAMSBlaEE0pQdKVGAlQQHMdzc_iMENc

This red bean ice can be easily found at a local cafe or cake stall in my home town, an eastern part of Indonesia. In Jakarta where I live now, I have had it at some restaurants that serve Asian food, but I think the recipe I got from my aunt is the best one, especially the sweet and softened red beans which I didn’t find at the restaurants. Another different thing is that the restaurants use shaved ice while our recipe doesn’t.

And as usual, I re-create a bit the recipe I got from my aunt. Here is the recipe of my own.

Ingredients

250gr dry red beans

500ml water

2-3 tablespoon sugar

3 plastic cups

6 tablespoon dark cacao

3 tablespoon chocolate condensed milk

600 ml hot water

4LyqAietwFihTXiTw6xB_iNc24YupxJbpyrYdHvj0-4

Method

For the red bean 

Soak the red beans in a bowl of water for about one hour.

Drain the red bean and pour it into a pot, add the 500ml and cook it until softened . It may take one to two hours of cooking. And you may have to add more water into the boiling. Stir occasionally.. Once they are half softened, add the sugar and cook it till you get a reduced lightly-thick water in it.

Remove from heat. Refrigerate it soon as it’s completely cool.

For the chocolate ice

It’s like you make a cup of hot chocolate.

Pour 200ml hot water into each cup. Add 2 tablespoon of dark cacao and 1 tablespoon of the milk into each cup. Stir immediately. Once they are cool, put in the freezer for about one hour. ( I usually make it in the evening and the next day it’s already done )

By the time you want to eat the ice, put the plastic cup in hot water for two minutes to make it easier taking out the ice from the cup. Slide it into a bowl and crush it with a fork to make it looks like shaved ice.

Let the red bean sit in a room temperature before you get busy with the chocolate ice. This will serve you a softened red bean like you just take it from the heat. You don’t need to re-heat it .

You can always pour some more condensed milk into the ice to make it sweetener .

Enjoy.

silence

sound bumps around the mind   
seeking the way out to the sense
wide open are my eyes
indulge the words  that are dancing on the stage  of the lips
tranquil  beauty I meet  
in a mere silence
I am not deaf
I’ve just decided to shut off
the voices of my sight