Saturday, December 24, 2011

Jolly Jelly Candy Mushroom Xmas Tree Ornaments

I have been busy art & crafting with kids. This year we are decorating our Christmas tree all white and some candy ornaments using jelly candies. My daughter loves this project.

Click on this link to view a video to wish you a Happy New Year....enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Spaghetti in Sausages (Literally)

Not long ago I saw this idea at

And then recently, I saw  a different photo with the same idea circulating in Facebook.

I couldn't help but attempting to try it. My kids think the idea so appealing they wanted to try preparing this themselves.
It was such a funny idea. Couldn't agree more that it might not taste better with the spaghetti speared through the sausages but it certainly is fun!

It was fun cooking.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Spicy Fish Puttu

Fall denotes the fall of leaves from trees. It is poetically melancholic to many. Imagine having to face the grey skies and accept the confirmation of summer ending. And to embrace chill of the winter in the short future.

But the coloured foliage of trees depicts another picture. So colourful, so fiery. Just like a dish I cooked borrowing a recipe from DH Easthouses' blog 

I really enjoy this. The flavour and the heat was fiery. The colours warm like the autumn foliage. And yet it is light that I didn't feel that I became mentally inward and blue (usually after eating a heavy meal in the cold and dark winter)

It was good even for the following day's snack.

In the other gardens
And all up the vale
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ceramic Jade-Hope

I do feel guilty of not blogging for a long time. Bad bad blogger.

I have not been cooking or baking either. I have been busy with ceramic. Ceramic is like magic sometimes as I have no control of the outcome and the result is always a surprise.

After "baking" this particular object (bowl/cup)  it turned out to have a  jadeite tone. As jade is always a symbol beauty, nobility and perfection I am happy with this result.

Even though this is not jade, I hope it would do no less than ensure good health, good luck and banishes evil spirits like what Asian believe what jade could do.

I am not hoping this object has the ability to bring abstract definition into physical reality but sometimes the very belief in the possibility instigated a transformation. So why not hope and think positive!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Passion, a gift.

In the summer on my birthday this year, my 9 year old son bought me some colour pencils which actually work as watercolour. I carried it everywhere I went, while we were on a vacation in Tuscany summer this year. It was so easy to use, I just needed to dip them into some very little water to moisten the tip and voila, watercolour. It was a very thoughtful gift. 

I made some paintings with just a few pencils and some water from the pool.
And of course, Tuscany as my inspiration.

I still remember the time when I explained to my kids to pursue a career in their future base on passion and not anything else. Not money, not fame and not power. Passion... They looked at each other with question marks on their faces.

I explained passion is something that you love doing. And not get tired or bored of doing it. And you would not expect a reward from it because by just doing it , you are satisfied, happy and peaceful.

And then my son said to my daughter, " Oh! I get it! She means hobby!".... (!?)... I wanted to explain more but left it as that.

This fall my son turns 10 and wanted to collect money as presents as he was saving for a DJ console equipment for junior and an iPod. Suddenly, he is interested in mixing his own music. I am not a fan of such music. I decided to leave the decision to him. I am actually happy he knows what he wanted.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Apple Pie

I should be talking about pumpkin actually as it is October. But I really want to blog about September. As usual I am always late with everything. I like to talk about apples. Although this October many millions of people did talked about Apple. But I am going to talk about a different apple. The kind that grow on trees.

On the 17th of September, it was the national apple picking day here in Netherlands. Since living here, we would make it a ritual to visit the apple farm.

We plucked different sort of apples this year. Elstar, Jonagold and Goudrenette.



This particular sort is called Goudrenette. Which is good for cooking and baking.

I never had to learn how to bake apple pie as I am surrounded by apple pie experts in Netherlands. My mother-in-law for example would bake apple pies whenever she is free and store them in the freezer and ready to serve whenever she has guests visiting her. This year as we plucked so many Goudrenette apples I decided to try for the very first time baking an apple pie. And of course, I have to use my mother-in-law aged old recipe. I find this particular apple pie  very unique as the apples are grated instead of sliced.

Whenever I look at this photo I have to laugh. As I was baking this apple pie and decorating the apples on the pie, I thought to myself " The apple slices formed a pair of very nice water lily flowers!". And then I thought maybe I go next door to my 70 year old neighbor's fish pond and steal one on the pretty lily flower and complement this pie in the photo.
 And then, what do you know? My neighbor rang the doorbell and handed me this particular Lily flower! She said, "I remembered you like this lily very much and as I am going away for vacation I want you to have this". Isn't she sweet? ( Thank goodness I don't always do what I am thinking!!) I like to share this apple pie with her but her doctor advice her to stay away from anything sweet.

Of course, one good thing about mother-in-law is, they are never short of tips and advice. It turns out that whenever I grate the apples I should not grate it with a back and forth movement or else the apples would be too watery. The reason Goudrenette  apples are suitable for apple pie is they are not too sweet and too soft and watery. AND when kneading the dough for the crust do not knead too long or else the result will be chewy instead of a shortbread-liked broken crust. Make sense, right? (I am not going to argue with her, especially when  I need to borrow her recipe)

              At the apple farm was some pears too.

For the first time this year, my very own apple apple tree bear some apples. And they are pretty!

And delicious too.

***note : I said "grated apples" and it should be "shredded apples", don't want your apples turn into baby food ( Thanks Serena)

Moving on to pumpkin project soon.
 Or maybe not.