“So if love is a collaborative work of art, then love is an aesthetic experience. Love is unpredictable, love is creative, love requires communication and discipline, it is frustrating and emotionally demanding. And love involves both joy and pain. Ultimately, each experience of love is different. … This version of love is not about winning or losing someone’s affection. Instead, it requires that you trust your partner and talk about things when trusting feels difficult, which sounds so simple, but is actually a kind of revolutionary, radical act. This is because you get to stop thinking about yourself and what you’re gaining or losing in your relationship, and you get to start thinking about what you have to offer. This version of love allows us to say things like, “Hey, we’re not very good collaborators. Maybe this isn’t for us.” Or, “That relationship was shorter than I had planned, but it was still kind of beautiful.” The beautiful thing about the collaborative work of art is that it will not paint or draw or sculpt itself. This version of love allows us to decide what it looks like.

Mandy Len Catron: A Better Way To Talk About Love

Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies

I spent my Saturday afternoon baking avocado cookies and totally…creating a recipe. It’s ‘Macros March’ for me and I was desperately craving for desserts. The next best thing my mind decides is why not I make a healthier version of cookies so I don’t feel that bad eating too much. I know they don’t really look the best but hey, Mun Choong approved of it so…ladies and gentlemen, here’s my

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of gluten free flour
  • 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 tablespoons of coconut sugar (you can substitute it with brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups of dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 of avocado (mashed)

INSTURCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line your tray with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, cream the avocado and sugar until light and fluffy with a whisk or a fork.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and egg and mix it into the creamed avocado.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the avocado mixture.
  5. Combine well until batter is sticky then using a spoon, fold in your chocolate chips.
  6. Using a small spoon, scoop the batter and drop it on the parchment paper on the tray.
  7. Bake 12-15 minutes or until it is lightly browned.
  8. Completely cool off the cookies before serving!

 

Voila! Done. It was easy and so fun to make as well. As you can tell, all my recipes don’t take much time to make so feel free to share your feedback after trying this out so I could improve the recipe. I haven’t tried substituting the sugar with agave nectar or honey yet but if you, dear reader, ever do substitute it, do let me know by leaving me a comment at the bottom of this post. I hope you enjoy making this AND eating the cookies as much as I love doing so.

Chapter 2 : February 2017

It is the first day of March and almost closing the first quarter of 2017. I closed February in a way with so much positivity. February had been a month where I ate the most ‘Lou Sang’. For you readers who have no clue was Lou Sang (or Yee Sang), it’s the picture on top. It’s really popular in Malaysia and Singapore. It’s not a Chinese tradition but in my definition, a Malaysian Chinese New Year tradition.

Lou Sang when translated means Prosperity Toss. This dish is to usher in good wishes for the new year. This year, I tossed for happiness. I know, me being a Chinese who wished for happiness and not for prosperity. Well to be fair, people find it difficult to believe that I’m Chinese because I don’t sound like one when I speak and neither does my skin colour pass as one as well. 2 months into 2017 (and now starting the third), I can’t thank God enough on giving me little blessings. It wasn’t all sunshine though and there were times where I hid under my blanket and feel like I just don’t want to face the day.

Then there are days where they beat all those down times. Breakfast with my grandparents, dinners with my family and laughing at moments with close friends. And there were times where my favourite songs will come on in the car on my way home and that itself, makes everything enjoyable. With reminds of Lou Sang where everything in the dish comes in different taste but once tossed/mixed together, it’s delicious. I guess that’s what I learn in just 2 months of 2017.

You got to step back, and be thankful that everything that has been given to you, they all serve a purpose. Just like Lou Sang where the fish, different vegetables and sauces and crackers to top it all off. I wish I could tell you what each colour meant on the plate above but all I know it’s somewhere between the words ‘longevity…happiness…love…luck…health’ and it goes on. So here’s to another chapter of 2017. I don’t know what March will hold but hey March? I look forward to see what you have installed for me.

Maybe that’s all you need ; to pack everything and board that plane. Maybe that’s what you need ; that one way ticket. For what your heart needs is also what your mind, body and soul needs. You’re blessed and loved but there you are. You’re sitting on beach, earphones in your ears and listening to Mozart’s Symphony No 31 in D Major. It is getting late and you should probably drive back home before anyone notices that you were away. You look up at the sky and watched the stars twinkle. You took a deep breath, feeling everything within you.

The exit wounds, the little parts you once mended with terrible sewing skills and constantly beating of your heart. Tears streamed down your face and hugged your knees closely to your chest, burying half of your face. You told yourself that maybe, just maybe if you kept telling yourself to fake it…fake it long enough…you might actually make it. You wiped your tears and muttered to yourself softly,

“Who in their right mind would want to love you when you’re finding it difficult to love yourself?”

When someone is nice to you, you actually question their intentions. You’re so used to being used…so used to be emotionally bullied and you’re just scared. You’re afraid that if you love again, that person will leave ; be it a friend or a lover. You’re no stranger to one of those days where you’re lying in bed with a broken heart, wondering if you can even make it pass the day without breaking down. You’re no stranger to pain. But you are a stranger to when someone is nice to you. You don’t know how to react to it and you even wonder whether you deserve to be treated as such.

Maybe that’s why you built yourself to be bulletproof. You’ve badly fallen apart and you know what it is like to be beyond broken where you hit the rock bottom of hell. And maybe that’s why you built yourself to face anything ; to stand tall. To be independent and to pick yourself back up ; to be selfish. Slowly, you stood up and sniffled. You walk to your car and half way, you turn around and watch the waves gently crashing on the shore. You took a deep breath, almost a sigh. Tucking the little strands of hair behind your right ear, you continue your way to your car ; driving into the night.

Well, you’re not running away from responsibilities or problems. Maybe that’s what you really need…to start a new book while putting back the current one back on the shelf.

Tortellini Recipe.

Last week during lunchtime, as I was walking out of the office for lunch, I had the sudden urge of wanting to eat gnocchi and tortellinis from my favorite restaurant. So then, a thought ran through my mind that went “Why don’t I make my own tortellinis so I could put whatever filling I want in them?!” And…I came home with a bag of flour, eggs, mushrooms and I was on an adventure to make my own tortellinis. I searched for recipes about pasta dough and honestly, they really do remind me of ‘Pan Mee’ except for pasta, it has more eggs  than water in the dough. Rolling the dough was a real arm workout but hey, if the Italians can do it, I believe I can do it too!

As you can see in the picture above, my tortellinis were in different sizes because I didn’t know how to properly wrap it. But fret not for it’s been a week and I’ve been better at making pasta now. Practice makes perfect, right? The best part about tortellinis, you can fill in with anything you want. Minced meat, vegetables or cheese and you can serve it with whatever sauce you prefer as well! Yes, it’s that easy. Even I didn’t expect it to be this easy! I’ll write in the recipe for the filling I’ve made which is mushrooms & herbs.

SO HERE’S MY TORTELLINI RECIPE.

INGREDIENTS (Pasta Dough)

  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (or Tipo OO Flour), plus extra for dusting
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large bowl (or on a clean surface if you prefer), mix the flour and salt.
  2. Add in your eggs and the oil.
  3. So here’s the fun part. You have to rub your palms with oil and start kneading the dough on a flour-dusted surface. Knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your fingers or when it’s smooth and elastic. The dough shouldn’t be too wet or dry so if it’s too dry, tweak it a little by adding water or if it’s too wet, add more flour. Once it’s done, wrap it with cling wrap tightly and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
  4. Use a rolling pin (or a noodle machine) and start rolling your dough. If you’re using a noodle machine, divide your dough into tiny balls to be rolled into the machine.
  5. For tortellinis, roll it to about 1mm thick.
  6. Use a round cookie cutter (I used a metal cup for this) and cut the flattened dough into circles.
  7. Place your filling in the center of a dough circle.
  8. Dip the tip of your index finger into water and brush half of the circle dough.
  9. Fold the circle into half (As shown in the pictures above).
  10. Brush one tip of the half circle with water, and fold it in making it look like a little dumpling.

If you’re not going to eat it immediately, put the tortellinis into the freezer and it will last for 1 week! If you’re eating immediately, boil your tortellinis in salted water for about 10 minutes or more (this depends because it doesn’t necessarily means that if the tortellini is floating, it’s cook. So to be safe, just lift one up and try it first to see if the dough is cook). Serve with whatever sauce you prefer. I love mine with mushroom or chicken soup. If you like yours to be in white sauce or tomato sauce, go ahead 🙂

 

PS : This dough recipe is pretty versatile. You can make raviolis, linguine, tagliatelle and lasagne as well! All you just have to do is cut into the desired shapes that you want and you’re good to go. You can even add spinach or other food coloring if you want. You can make colorful pastas too.

 

Mushroom & Herbs Filling

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 clove of garlic (minced or chopped)
  • 200 grams of oyster mushrooms (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 can of button mushrooms (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 carrot (cubed)
  • 2 teaspoons of Rosemary
  • 3 teaspoons of Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • A pinch of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce (Depending on your taste buds, you can add more if you like)
  • Extra virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a non-stick pan on medium heat, grease it with olive oil and sauté the garlic.
  2. Add in the mushrooms and carrot. Sauté them and add in the rosemary and parsley.
  3. Add the pinch of brown sugar to the mushroom and carrot along with the light soy sauce.
  4. Stir fry until golden brown and serve! 🙂

 

 

 

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.

Simple Chocolate Cheesecake

For the first time ever, I was being paid for this cake. I was excited because if there’s one thing I pride about is the fact I really do make amazing cheesecakes. The rest of the cakes, I’m not that confident but when it comes to cheesecakes, whether it’s non-baked or baked, I’m confident about making it. Honestly, I didn’t start out with measuring anything and I just go with the flow but right now…I’m pretty good with the measurements and believe me, this takes 1 hour tops.

SO HERE’S MY CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE RECIPE.

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 grams of cream cheese, softened (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 cup of whipping cream (or heavy cream)
  • 200 grams Oreos (or digestives biscuits)
  • 5 table spoons of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of melted chocolate (You can use semi-sweet or dark chocolate. I used milk chocolate)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of cold water
  • 20 grams of unflavored gelatin
  • 150 grams of white granulated sugar

INSTUCRTIONS

  1. In a 9-inch springform pan, line it with parchment paper. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs. Combine the melted butter into crumbs until they’re fully coated. Transfer the crumb mixture into the springform pan and press it down using the back of a soup spoon or your hands to form an even and firm crust.
  2. Whisk the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. (I use a small blender to do this.)
  3. In large bowl, place the softened cream cheese with the sugar and whisk it until it’s fluffy and light. Add in the sour cream, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract. Combine the whipped cream and fold into the mixture.
  4. In a small bowl, stir the unflavored gelatin with water. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 1 minute or until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Let the mixture cool down before pouring it into the cheese mixture.
  5. Fold in the gelatin to the mixture as well until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  6. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the springform pan and even out the top with a flat spatula. Let the cheesecake set overnight or for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
  7. Serve when ready to enjoy! 🙂

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.