Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Sarah turns 10 with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake





My little princess turned 10 on the 17th of February. I cant believe how fast time has flown. With the 17th being a Monday and as such a school day/working day, we celebrated her birthday with the family over lunch on Sunday. The usual suspects were invited - my parents, my mom-in-law, both my brothers and family, my borther-in-law and family and Sarah's Godparents. Unfortunately her Godparents were away and so it was just the immediate family. My elder brother couldnt stay for lunch as he had a prior engagement but he did pop round for a bit.
Deciding what to cook for lunch was a long discussion with The Lovely Wife. Sarah didnt know what she wanted although she knew that she didn't want rice and curry. So we decided to go down the Western route. My son wasn't very helpful as each time we suggested something, he would cheekily reply "It's not MY birthday."

So anyway, after tossing up a few ideas, we decided to on the menu. Shepherds Pie, a spicy Bacon Aglio Olio and a Salad. It was also then that The Lovely Wife declared that I was cooking. All of it....



Ever since my son started Secondary School, our weekends are rather jammed packed. This particular Saturday, The Lovely Wife had my daughters Parent Teachers Meeting. My son was supposed to have a replacement Saturday school day but it also coincided with a full day Band Practice at school. With The Lovely Wife at her meeting and my son at school, Sarah and I proceeded to do the grocery shopping.

We both had a lot of fun together shopping for meat, vegetables and ingredients for the cake. We got back home and unloaded the groceries and then relaxed and waited for The Lovely Wife while we watched TV together and I planned my recipes. We were having so much fun that we forgot that Sarah had her Tae-Kwan-Do class at 1.30pm and only realised it when The Lovely Wife came home and asked us why we hadn't had lunch yet! As it was already nearing 1pm, Sarah decided that she would skip her Tae-Kwan-Do class and we all went out to but some lunch.

I started on the cake late afternoon by making the cake base - from the tried and tested Cake Boss Sponge recipe. I baked the sponge and then left it to cool while I went to get my son from school. Later in the evening, I made the cake filling. My princess loves Hersheys Reese Cups and so I thought I'd make a cake version of that. A simple sponge cake with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse. To jazz it up a little, I added a layer of Feullantine.


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Carbonara revisited - this time with egg yolks!





Yesterday, The Lovely Wife was away and the kids and I went out early in the morning to get some shopping done. My son needed a new belt for school as well as a spare pair of shoes. The kids also had some activities that they had to go for at 1.30 in the afternoon and I was leaning toward eating out and then dropping them off at their activity. As were were driving into the shopping centre, I realised that we had been eating out a fair bit and we were all somewhat tired of it. I asked the kids if they felt like some pasta for lunch and I was met with a resounding yes!

My little princess excitedly asked what pasta I would make and I said, something simple and quick since there wasnt much time. I told her we'd buy some bacon and I'd make a Carbonara. She then asked me if a Carbonara was the creamy pasta and I was about to say yes when I remembered that an authentic Carbonara doesnt use cream....

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

My boy turns 12 with a Caramel Machiato Chocolate Mousse Cake




Friday, 15th November 2013 marked by son's 12th birthday! It also marked his last day in primary school and coincided with his School's Prize Giving Day. So indeed it was going to be a busy day indeed!

Both The Lovely Wife and I had taken the day off and my son had asked that we celebrate his birhtday that night with the family as he wanted to have a party for his friends the next day, being a Saturday and all.

He also wanted a cake to cut with the family on his birthday dinner but being a big boy now, he didnt want to cut a cake with his friends for his party. He also specifically asked for "Something nice Dads, something with Chocolate". When pushed as to what cake he wanted, he smiled and said "Surprise me!"

So anyway, as per usual practice, we woke him up on the morning of his birthday after hiding his presents under his bed. He had had his eyes on a pair of Nike sports shoes but being the good boy that he is, he remarked that they were way too expensive. To put things in context and perspective, the week leading up to his birthday had been immensely busy. On Tuesday, 12th November, he sat for his Grade 3 Drum Exams. Then on Thursday, he got his UPSR results. (UPSR is the Standard Six government exams) He did extremely well and obtained the maximum 5A's!

So, in recognition of his good results and his birthday, TLW and I decided to splurge and get him the pair of Nike Air Max shoes that he had his eyes on! Boy was he happy! He also got a Lego Technic set, a Lego mini figure from his sister and a Crayola Secret Message Pen set. I also got him a Dinosaur skeleton mini kit akin to a lego mini figure just for kicks since he has always loved dinosaurs! The dino skeleton was pretty crappy though but Michael did like the thought nonetheless.
So, presents opened, hugs and kisses all round, shower and change and I took them to school for the Prize Giving Day while TLW went to pick up both Grandma's as well as a shoulder of Pork I was supposed to roast later for dinner.


Friday, 13 September 2013

Birthday Take Two




The week after TLWs birthday, the market was back to being normal again. I told TLW that I'd make her another fancy meal but this time using Cod! You could almost see the sparkle in TLW's eyes.

Since TLW was taking her mom to the market, I asked her to get the cod as well as some asparagus. She asked what I was going to make and suggested that I make a Steamed Cod with Soya Sauce but I hushed her and told her to just go get the cod as well as some asparagus.

I've mentioned before that Cod is rather expensive but we all so love Cod and it's not often that we indulge. TLW came back with 4 nice and thick slabs of Cod and I couldn't wait to cook it let alone eat it.

Once again, my daughter insisted that I plate the meal nicely and so I pandered to her request. I have to admit that a nicely plated meal does look so much better and somehow it tastes better too!


Saturday, 7 September 2013

Birthday Dinner at Gastro Dharmus





Yeah I know I'm late and I'm slacking on this blog but it's not easy finding the time. Anyway, August 10th 2013 was The Lovely Wife's birthday. The day coincided with the wedding of one of my cousins so we couldnt celebrate her birthday. Fortunately, the preceding Thursday and Friday were Public Holidays due to Hari Raya so we decided we would celebrate TLW's birthday on Friday night instead.

Initially I had planned on taking TLW and the kids out for a fancy dinner. Then I thought why not make her a fancy dinner at home instead. After all, unless I took her out to a really swanky restaurant, I would only end up humming and hawing about the food and especially the dessert. By cooking at home, I would save everyone from listening to my hums and haws...

The plan was to make TLW a seafood dish. TLW likes cod and I had grandiose plans of Grilled Cod with Prawns. I would serve it with a side of Pumpkin mash and a citrus honey salad. That was the plans but sometimes the best laid plans go awry.

On Friday morning, the kids and I went shopping for groceries. TLW had some errands she needed to run so that fit us just perfectly. When we reached the market in Bangsar, we ran into the first problem. Being the second day of Hari Raya, the usually active morning market wasnt at its full service. The fishmonger was sorely missing so that meant no Cod. Aaargh! There was no Cod in TMC (the nearby Supermarket) and Village Grocer (another Super) was closed as well. Things were not looking too good. Fortunately the flower lady was around and we bought a whole bunch of flowers for The Lovely Wife. We bumped into my father while buying the flowers and he insisted on paying for them.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Tapas for dinner - not Antipasto!






Just last week we were wondering what to have for dinner. We had been eating out quite a bit and The Lovely Wife and the kids were quite fed up with going out to the same local eateries. I was too but sometimes it's just quicker and easier especially when we've been having rather busy weekends.

My son asked if we could just stay home and not go out and all four of us were tossing up what to have for dinner. I decided to make it into a little bit of a fun event and I bundled the two kids into the car for a trip to the local supermarket. I said the plan was to have lots of different things to eat and we'd sit and chat while we enjoyed the food - kind of like a Tapas meal.





Before going to the supermarket, we popped in to the local bakery where we bought some Ciabatta and Rustica breads. In the supermarket, I picked up some fresh prawns, then while glancing in the Frozen Food section, I remembered how I used to love fish fingers when I was young. The Kids hadn't had fish fingers in the longest time either so I picked up a pack. We all love sausages and I tossed in a pack of Victoria Crest Lamb and Beef Merquez sausages. My mind was visualising the platter of food and I decided the platter needed some garlic mushrooms as well as some Salami.

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