Monday, January 12, 2015

My Xmas 2014 & New Year 2015

Hi everyone!
OMG, I finally blog again! :)

As some of you know, my mum lost her battle with cancer and passed away after some complications in early November - without regaining her consciousness after spending a week in ICU
She has been fighting for 5 years, we always wished for the best but we have to surrender to God's will
I, my sister and brother were devastated. We're always very close to each other and constantly in touch. She's just 67 years and we still have so many plans ahead
I felt like my whole world came crushing down, I felt like doing nothing but crying and mourning for her passing. Last Christmas, was one tough time to go through, as we're usually together celebrating
This is really the darkest time in my entire life. Something that I usually only watched in the movie happened to me, it took a while for me to accept it

I am thankful to have my big family member so close together, strengthening each other. I also appreciate and feel so thankful for many support I got from many of you - you know who you are :) Emails, messages, sms-es, calls, and even your presence. Thank you!

I am glad now I can write about this and share with you all without making my face soaking wet in tears, even though my eyes is now still full of tears. Just like the saying, only time can heal - which I started to find the truth in it
I believe my mum is now in heaven, happy and pain free. And I know she wouldn't want me to let myself drown in sorrow for long

I have been have actually started cooking and doing some baking too since the last couple of days in the month of December to welcome New Year, but I still don't find the mood to blog. I tried but each time my fingers and mind just froze
Until today, I really kicked my butt and told myself to better start now. It's New Year after all :)

Okay, just to share the food I enjoyed on Xmas day in my sis' place. Her DH was the chef of the day and I brought tiramisu and chocolate pudding for dessert
I made a mistake on making the tiramisu this time. I froze the mascarpone cheese, it ended up giving me grainy cream in the dessert eeewww... But aside from that, the taste is as great. Luckily my sis and her DH didn't find it disturbing while I grumbled in every bite I took LOL


Here is the yummy spread... Shrimp & smoked salmon bruschetta, meatballs, stir fry chicken with cashew nuts and pineapple, homemade egg and tomato noodles and blanched greens. Fresh watermelon juice and other tetra pack juices for the drink. Of course we have beers and coffee (not in the picture) LOL



The picture below is the more complete version, see the chicken bitterballen (bottom centre).. yum yum..



Chocolate, authentic Dutch meringue, candy canes and Port :)

 
 
We were so stuffed that day we couldn't finish it and I brought back some home :P
Thanks to the chef for feeding us well :)
 
We had some gift exchange too that day :)
 
 
Such a great time we had :)
 
 
Coming to New Year, this was what I cooked on the eve at home..
 

 
 
Super easy roasted chicken I ever made on Xmas two years ago.
You may view HERE for the recipe
This time I was really happy with the result, how it looked like. Believe me, do not skip the pan searing part. I skipped that last time, and it didn't look pretty :)
My family liked it so much it's only left bones in no time. My kids enjoyed eating the crisp and tasty skin we were left with naked bird after they tore the skin apart and munch them LOL
 
 
Another thing I made was this...
 
 
 
Somehow I felt quite guilty for not baking anything for Xmas, so I baked this simple yet yummy swiss roll and covered them in chocolate buttercream to resemble log cake. Just a simple one, but it's really loved by the whole family :)

 
 
Below is the picture taken the next morning...

 
 
This delicious cake used recipe from Anncoo Journal
 
Here's the recipe...
 
What you need:
 
70g cake flour
20g sugar
4 egg yolks
30g oil (I used rice bran)
30g fresh milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites
50g caster sugar
 
Method:
  1. Prepare baking tray (I used 10"x 12"), line and grease. Preheat oven to 170degC
  2. In a bowl, mix egg yolks, vanilla extract, sugar, oil, milk and mix well with hand whisk
  3. Add in sifted flour, mix again
  4. Beat egg whites til foamy, add sugar gradually and mix til smooth peak form
  5. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into egg yolk mixture and fold in the remaining egg whites
  6. Pour on the tray and level the surface, gently knock on the tray and bake for 15mins
  7. Turn cooled cake on a plastic sheet. Peel of baking sheet and invert so skin facing up. Trim one end 45deg and the other end too
  8. Spread filling (I used Nutella) and roll (place a tea towel underneath to prevent plastic sheet slip)
  9. Wrap with cling wrap and chill for one hour
 
I used recipe from Brown Eyed Baker for the chocolate buttercream:
 
What you need:
 
227g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar (original recipe 2 1/2 cup which I find is way too sweet to my liking)
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g semi sweet chocolate chips / chopped dark chocolate
 
Method:
  1. Beat butter with mixer on medium high speed for about 5mins, scrape the bowl once or twice
  2. Lower the speed to low and add in icing sugar, mix well
  3. Increase speed to medium high and add in vanilla extract, mix well
  4. Add in melted chocolate and beat about 2mins til light and fluffy
The buttercream tastes nice but I don't really find the colour dark enough and texture was a little too runny (I guess it's because I reduced lots of the icing sugar) but it's still manageable
Perhaps I should have added some cocoa powder for the colour and texture, let me try next time :)
 
 
After taking photo of the swiss roll the next morning, it's gone during breakfast time LOL
 
So, that's what I had during the festive season last December
My first Xmas and New Year without my mum around, but I'm sure she's watching over us celebrating from up there with a big smile...
 

2 comments:

  1. Hi Alice! Nice to see you back :) All the food looks great especially your roasted chicken and log cake! I believe God is giving you and your loved ones the strength to carry on in your mum's absence. Take care, Alice!

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  2. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. Losing my mother was the hardest thing in my life too. Every dish I cook and everything I bake, I'd think of her. We still talk about her often and how good her cooking was. Only time will heal. Stay strong, Alice.

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