Saccharine Irony

This site is a compilation of fluid thoughts, a collection of poetry, random glimpses of humor and tragedy, spontaneous notions of an extremely sensitive mind.

Who would have thought… October 9, 2010

Filed under: Food — Aimee @ 4:54 am
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that I could bake bread from scratch, dough kneading and all, and actually get decent, edible (LOL!) results? For the longest time, I wanted to serve fresh bread for breakfast, with jams or eggs or cheese, and more than anything, I also wanted to knead dough on my own. During my baking class last year, we had to do this sweet roll recipe by groups, so the effort had been more or less collective. And since then I’ve wanted to try the recipe again, except that I never got around to buying yeast and never got the time and the audacity to try baking bread on my own.

 

these rolls are made for eatin'

But I tried, and I baked, and now there are about two dozen fresh sweet rolls in the kitchen! They taste good, with the cheese and the butter, and the egg wash making them all nice and crisp and golden, but next time I plan on adding more milk, to add more moisture and softness to the dough. But this first, single-handed attempt at baking bread and serving them for breakfast the following day is already a feat for me. Yay. Today I wish I had a pizza oven so I can start making home-made gourmet pizzas. Daydreams! 🙂

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Muffin Lurve October 5, 2010

Filed under: Food — Aimee @ 1:50 am
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So what is it about bananas that’s got me so hooked lately? Or more precisely what is it about bananas and chocolate that makes me want to camp out in the kitchen all day? Chocolate is best paired with almost anything – strawberries, pancakes, mallows, etc. But when paired with bananas, the taste and aroma are almost orgasmic.

Okay, okay. So last weekend I decided to try out a new recipe for banana chocolate chip muffins. There was a reunion due on Sunday and Mom was bugging me to make another loaf of soft and fragrant banana cake for some weekend grub, so how could I say no? Nowadays, almost anything will serve as an excuse for me to head out to the baking supplies store and shop for chocolate chips, butter, and some new flower-printed muffin liners.

I’ve never had a banana chocolate chip muffin before so I did not know how the muffins would turn out. Surprisingly they came out really good and tasted heavenly! I should have known; after all banana and chocolate had always been one of the most quintessential culinary pairings.

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these muffins are to die for, no exaggerating 🙂

 

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The lovely muffins got rave reviews at the reunion where I brought a dozen, and most of my lovely friends found themselves asking for seconds. Of course, this pastry chef wannabe is flattered, and has even made the foolish promise of bringing some chocolate cherry cupcakes for the next reunion, due on early November. Now banana is ubiquitous this side of the planet, but cherries? And the recipe calls for Morello cherry jam.

Time to hit the groceries and go hunting for the best substitute for Morello cherry jam. I now have a reputation to uphold you know. :-p

 

Going Bananas! September 27, 2010

Filed under: Food — Aimee @ 2:20 pm
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soft and moist and fragrant and delish!

Blame it on Under the Tuscan Sun and Frances Mayes’ knack at creating some of the best recipes from whatever is available in her Italian kitchen. Blame it too on one Facebook app that had me baking and selling pastries and desserts in my humble virtual cafe: Cupcake Corner.

For the past weeks I’ve been attacking the kitchen and giving in to my baking inclinations like I’ve never done before. First I got to baking two layers of beefy lasagna topped with dried thyme and rosemary for my brother’s birthday, and then I took out my loaf pans and muffin pans a week later for some carrot-pineapple loaf cake and carrot-pineapple muffins.

Last Sunday, I was restless and staring at the PC did not cheer me up as usual, so I headed to the kitchen again to try my hand at baking a banana loaf cake for the first time. Some 45 minutes later and a very messy sink, my banana cake came out from the oven looking and  smelling like heaven. The cake was moist but firm, fragrant, and absolutely delicious. I added about six to seven ripe lacatan bananas to the flour and oil mixture, so I guess that explains the aroma. Everyone at home loved it of course.

I have been wanting to bake bread for a long time, hence the planned fresh sweet rolls with cheese, but I haven’t been able to score some yeast, yet. And I’m actually leaning on the possibility of making moist chocolate cake with ganache frosting next. So it will be yeast, butter, loads of baking chocolate bars, and some milk on my next grocery shopping trip. And yeah, some super-ripe bananas and chocolate chips too, for my banana-chocolate chip muffins.

Oh, the kitchen is making me go bananas and I’m so not complaining! 🙂

 

Carrot Pineapple Muffins and Some Lovin’ September 21, 2010

Filed under: Food — Aimee @ 1:28 pm
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So today I gave in to some baking frenzy and hit the kitchen just after lunch. The recipe on the agenda: carrot pineapple muffins. I baked a carrot pineapple loaf cake as well, but I just couldn’t resist using those yummy-colored muffin liners I have sitting inside some drawer, so I decided to bake some muffins too. Well, they came out perfect, in all their orange-tinged glory, with the pineapple giving them a palpable sweetness that’s full to the bite.

muffins! now, some coffee please!

Got this recipe from my baking class last year, which essentially just consists of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, baking soda and baking powder. And I added a dash of salt as well, a teaspoon of vanilla, and then lots of love. The last ingredient I think is very, very important. You can’t make a cookie, a cupcake, or a muffin come out perfect without some lovin’. 🙂

Next on the baking frenzy list, perhaps a week from now, are some sweet rolls, which I’ll be making with one-part all purpose flour and one part cake flour, mixed in with generous amounts of milk and topped with pats of butter and lotsa cheese. I can almost smell the rolls just by talking about them! I cannot wait for breakfast tomorrow. And some muffins and coffee and conversations with family.

It’s just Tuesday but why do I feel like it’s already the weekend? 🙂

 

Coffee Shop Dreams September 15, 2010

Filed under: confessions,Food,Saccharine thoughts — Aimee @ 11:24 am
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One of my favorite places in the whole wide world is a coffee shop. Put me anywhere in this country and I will instantly feel at home in any of these three places: a bookstore, a church, and a coffee shop. The bookstore part is obvious. Books are one of the earliest collections I’ve ever owned. The church part is obvious too. It’s the one place I go to when everything else is crazy and chaotic, and the peace that I get from staring at the altar and humming my prayers is not one which I can easily get anywhere.

But a coffee shop is something else. It’s pretty obvious that I love coffee, but sometimes I take tea and just desserts at coffee shops too. They have become like sanctuaries to me, where I can read my favorite novel, flip on the latest issue of Wedding magazine without thinking, or people watch as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Coffee shops allow me to live inside my head, if only for a time.

So if I had a few millions, I’d probably open my own coffee shop. Since I’m for the homey, cozy feel as opposed to the sleek, dark ambiance some city coffee shops are known for, my future baby will probably look something like this:

Brick walls, wooden floors, wall lighting, comfy divans, lamps. Bookshelves should line some of the walls, very much like my favorite coffee shop in Malaybalay — Bukidnon Brew Cafe. Since I love paintings, I would also love my future coffee shop to have a few creations from my artist friends (if they’d be so kind to donate :p), and hopefully, to have some of my worthless doodles included in too, that is if the interior designer thinks it a smart idea.

And now that I’m crazy about gourmet cooking and adding fresh and dried herbs in and on almost everything, I also want my future cafe to have a balcony window for fresh herbs, so my fellow coffee-bookworms can sip their lattes and smell in the scent of fresh basil, thyme, and rosemary.

Pastries are my second love – well, more on making them than eating them. I have a special love reserved for baked sweets, cupcakes specifically, so if I had my way again I’d open a patisserie or a simple pastry shop (if I never get to learn baking French sweets). But before that, a full course on baking and pastries from some decent culinary school. I finally got my certificate on baking and pastries from the local government last year, but a diploma from some elite school won’t hurt. :p

Coffee should not be a solitary pleasure after all. A platter of pastries and a cup of coffee is one of the best marriages there is.

 

My Recent Trip to the Bookstore Got Me This: March 18, 2010

Filed under: books,Food,Women — Aimee @ 6:07 am
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The Little Black Apron: A Single Girl’s Guide to Cooking with Style & Grace.

The book’s title is a playful twist from the quintessential Little Black Dress or LBD, and this book is created for the single urbanite female who does not know anything about the kitchen, save for the fridge and the microwave. Well, I’m a far cry from the pampered princess who’s completely clueless about the kitchen, having been trained at an early age (say thirteen or fifteen) by my Mom (who’s an excellent cook, by the way) to prepare a decent meal for the entire family on days that she’s running late. Also, I’ve gotten a certificate course last year on baking and pastries, so that leaves me quite adept at the kitchen, compared to the completely clueless single urbanite. But this recipe book on the shelf was just too cute, too pretty to let pass. And with it being on sale, really, how can I walk away empty-handed?

The book’s  pink and black theme is just so feminine, and well, I fancy anything that’s pink and black – from my favorite Nike runners to my lace undies. This compilation has about 246 pages of healthy recipes (from pastas to meat to salads to cocktails and desserts), a quick course on culinary vocabulary, a list of all the essential herbs for cooking, some health and diet tips, party and dinner suggestions, and finally some funny one-liners sprinkled all over the pages like chopped cashews on chocolate ice cream. This book is perfect for every girl who wants to master some cookery skills and perhaps to entertain a few guests at her lovely apartment with real gourmet food, and not just beer and chips.

According to Ellie Krieger, TV chef and host of Healthy Appetite at Food Network, The Little Black Apron is a “spirited guide to making you feel as comfortable in your kitchen as you are in your ballet flats. Every savvy single should have one on her bookshelf.”

I’d always liked to think I’m savvy but what I’m most sure of now is that I’m single.

Hence, The Little Black Apron.

:>

 

Coffee and Muffins and Some Thoughts on Marriage March 15, 2010

Filed under: confessions,Events,Love,Strange Men,Women — Aimee @ 4:52 pm
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Mocha Espresso. Yum.

What a full day I’ve had. I woke up today and blogged about going down with the flu but now it’s almost 1 a.m. and I’m still wide awake, having just arrived home from Bo’s after a long evening over espresso and muffins. I think the flu has subsided a bit, thank heavens, after taking lots of Vitamin Cs and loads of water.

My aunt who’s now married to an American and already based in the U.S. arrived at the house this afternoon and will be staying for a few weeks or so while visiting friends in the city. I got myself two white leather handbags and some makeup as pasalubongs, which is great because I’ve been planning on buying a really nice white bag for the summer and some eye make up for impromptu parties. And tonight she’s decided to treat us out for coffee and muffins because she cannot stand the 5-hour rotating brownouts for the entire evening. Of course I would not want to be left home while the power was out so I slipped into my jeans and top and kind of looked forward to coffee.

While we were at Bo’s some friends of my aunt came to sit with us at the table, and one of them jokingly asked me and my sister if we were already married. We politely replied that no, we are still in our mid-twenties and not at all planning on getting hitched very soon. But the old man was quite in the mood for kidding around, and opined that now is the best time to get married and that marrying when you’re already thirty and up is a huge, huge mistake.

Really? I’m 27, single, having the time of my life, and not at all wanting to settle anytime soon. Well, okay, stability is a huge factor, and at this point, my savings are not anywhere near impressive, so perhaps that is one huge reason why marriage is the farthest thing from my mind right now.

Perhaps, a year or two from now, if that someone proposes to me, I’d gladly say yes. If. A huge IF. But anytime soon is not at all possible. So whoever says I should get married now will do well to shut up. You don’t get married because it’s the right age, you get married because you have the right person in your life at the RIGHT TIME.

Who cares if you get married at 35? At 40? Hello. At this time and age, not every girl is lucky to have a decent man just when their cheeks are at their rosiest and their ovaries are at the pink of health.

But tonight I did not shut the old man up. He was fortunately too funny for that. 🙂