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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Erica Catarina

This blog is loaded with lots of adorable ideas for felt crafts. Unfortunately, the blog is in Portugese (Google Translate is of no help!) and there's not much I can glean from it other than the author's name which is Erica Catherine and that she currently resides in Brazil.

Erica's blog -
Photostream -

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Soft And Fluffy Dinner Rolls

AT LAST! Cottony soft and fluffy dinner rolls with that "pull-apart" quality that do not give your jaws a work-out!
 I've read somewhere that even for the experienced home-baker, bread holds a certain mystique. After many, many failed experiments at bread making, each unsuccessful attempt resulting in my ego as deflated as the bread dough that collapsed in the oven, I think I've finally nailed it! The secret? MILK POWDER! According to Shirley O' Corriher, (author of BakeWise) dry milk contributes to gluten development and provides protein and sugar for better crust colour and flavour, and therefore keeps the bread moist. The sugar in milk (lactose) isn't digested by the yeast and thus makes the bread sweeter while contributing to a soft and moist crumb.
Buttery, pillow-soft rolls

Here's the recipe to share.

300gm or more bread flour, depending on humidity and temperature
1 3/4 tsp instant dried yeast
3 1/2 tsp sugar
1 3/4  tsp salt
30g unsalted butter @ room temperature
1 egg
2 1/4 tbsp milk powder dissolved in 225 ml lukewarm water
a little melted butter for butter wash

Combine  ½ portion of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Add  the egg, milk and butter into the bowl. Gradually, add the remaining flour, stirring until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Plop the dough on a floured board and knead  until you have a smooth and elastic, but still soft and slightly sticky dough. Don't work too much flour into the dough, only add it if the dough gets too sticky to work with. Shape the dough into a nice smooth ball and transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it rise, in a warm spot, until it has doubled in size (1 – 1 ½ hours depending on the room temperature).
Take the dough out of the bowl, punch it down, shape into rolls and place them on a baking sheet. Cover and let them rise until they double in size again.
Preheat the oven to 200°C and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the rolls turn light brown. Remove from oven and brush with the melted butter while the rolls are still hot.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bird Of Paradise

Sorry buddies, I had nothing else!

I'm not sure, but I think these are cousins of the Bird Of Paradise. They are common in Malaysian gardens and side walks.
“Because the soul is like a flower that folds its petals when dark comes, and breathes not its fragrance into the phantoms of the night.”

― Kahlil Gibran, Spirits Rebellious

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

If History Was Taught in Cookies (President's Day)

Anne of Flour Box Bakery invited 40 talented cookiers to help her commemorate President's Day in a collaborative cookie project. Each person would cookify a President of the United States in celebration of Presidents Day 2013.

Click on the links below and enjoy their creations!

1) George Washington by Sarah of Sweet Surrender Cookie Co.
2)  John Adams  by Nicole of Life’s a Batch
3)  Thomas Jefferson by Sarah of Songbird Sweets
4)  James Madison by  Georganne of LilaLoa
5)  James Monroe by Anne of Flour Box Bakery  
6)  John Quincy Adams by Liz of Arty McGoo
7. Andrew Jackson by Tiffany of TheRedCooky 
8) Martin Van Buren by Jill of Jill FCS – Funky Cookie Studio
9)  William Henry Harrison by Christina of Sweet C’s Bake Shop 
10)  John Tyler by Kim of The Cookie Puzzle
11) James Polk  by Debbie of D&T Designs
12) Zachery Taylor by Stephanie of Ellies Bites
13) Millard Fillmore by Melissa of Simply Sweets by Honeybee
14) Franklin Pierce by Kris of So Cute Cookies

15)  James Buchanan by Lene of Not Your Everyday Cookie
16) Abraham Lincoln by Debbie of Sweet Creations by Debbie
17) Andrew Johnson by Liz of CookiesToGo 
18) Ulysses S. Grant  by Rebekah of Love at First Bite
19) Rutherford B. Hayes  by Heather of Twins Plus One Goodies
20) James A. Garfield by Teresa of Sugar T's Cookies
21)  Chester Arthur by Alyse of B.E. Sweet Treats
22) Grover Cleveland  by Kimberly of Barefoot N Baking
23)  Benjamin Harrison by Laurie of Cookie Bliss

Laurie cookified several interesting facts about Benjamin Harrison

1. Six states Entered into the union while President Harrison was in office:
•Montana (1889)
•Washington (1889)
•South Dakota (1889)
•North Dakota (1889)
•Wyoming (1890)
•Idaho (1890) [Hey! That’s MY state! ]

2. Benjamin Harrison’s signature

3. President Harrison was a Republican

4. Harrison was the first president to use electricity in the White House. However he and his wife would not touch the light switches for fear of electrocution and often went to bed with the lights on as he required the staff to operate all light switches!

5. President Harrison was a “big talker”. He once gave 140 completely different speeches in 30 days!

24) Grover Cleveland  by Kimberly of Barefoot N Baking
25)  William McKinley by Susan of Sweet Williams Cookies
26)  Theodore Roosevelt by Heather of SugarNosh Treats
27) William Howard Taft by Sarah of Sarah’s Sweet Shoppe 
28)  Woodrow Wilson by Cheryl of The Sugared Apron
29)  Warren G. Harding  by Shannon of Artfully Delicious Cookies 
30) Calvin Coolidge by Stephanie of Ice My Biscuit
31)   Herbert Hover by Fumie of A+Kake sweets
32) Franklin D. Roosevelt by Christine of Chris’ Creative Confections
33)  Harry S Truman by Kim of Sugar Rush Custom Cookies
34)  Dwight Eisenhower  by Monica of Cookie Cowgirl
35)   John F. Kennedy by CeCe of The Tactical Bakery
36) Lyndon B. Johnson by Jennifer of One Kookie Cookie
37)  Richard Nixon by Jackie of iBakery
38)   Gerald Ford by Georgeanne of LilaLoa
39)  Jimmy Carter by Jennifer of One Kookie Cookie
40)  Ronald Reagan by Melissa of The Baked Equation
41) George Bush Sr. by Penny of Lucky Penny Cookies
42)  Bill Clinton by Laurie of Cookie Bliss

Cookified facts about President Bill Clinton!
1. Bill Clinton’s signature.

2. Wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

3. President Clinton LOVES to play the saxophone.

4. His first band was a jazz trio in high school named Three Blind Mice.

5. President Clinton is a Democrat.

43)  George W. Bush by Sarah of Sarah’s Sweet Shoppe
44)  Barack Obama by Teresa of Sugar T's Cookies

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Straits Quay

"Turn left, recalculating distance... turn right...", the unrelenting, annoying GPS lady directed us straight to a pond on the right. The classic scenario - we had been driving past the same petrol station 4 times in the last hour but we were still no closer to the quay. The boys were getting restless and my patience was wearing thin but despite our pleas, Hubby refused to stop and ask for directions. And it wasn't some unfamiliar territory we were in - we were in his hometown and we visit his folks regularly. If it wasn't for the need to fill our growling stomachs and an urgent toilet stop, I was sure he was going to drive aimlessly down the same stretch of road another 10 times, cursing and swearing at every vehicle in front of us that was going either too fast or too slow.
At the coffee shop where we stopped to dine, I asked the waiter for directions to the quay, to which Hubby grudgingly noted. Yep, we found the place right away and the waiter's instructions were spot-on but it was already dark when we arrived at our destination and the mall at the quay was near closing time. What's with men and asking for directions? Grrrrrr!!!

Straits Quay is located in Sri Tanjung on the Malaysian island of Penang. It is Penang's first sea-fronting marina.
The brand new marina has 40 pontoon berths with a breath-taking view of the Andaman Sea
Millionaires' Row
Mediterranean-style waterfront villas and luxury condominiums - The most sought-after residential addresses on the Penang island.
The main foyer of the Straits Quay Mall
Interestingly, a new study finds that the average male driver drives 276 miles lost every year! That's a big carbon footprint for time badly spent!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lego Riddles

Celebrating its 55th anniversary, LEGO challenges you with 55 riddles in the form of minimalistic posters that put your pop-culture knowledge to the test.

Mouse over each image for the answer.

More @

How many did you guess right?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chinese New Year Break

This blog is taking a break as we will be back to our hometown to spend the new year with our folks.
Oreo, our pet guinea pig

Happy Chinese New Year to all my bloggy buddies! And may this year of the snake bring you great health and an abundance of joy and prosperity.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Old Lady And Her Cat

You've probably seen these heartwarming pics as they have gone viral for some time now. They are from a collection of photographs by Miyoko Ihara chronicling the ordinary daily life of her elderly grandmother and her beloved odd-eyed cat Fukumaru.
An inseparable duo
Miyoko Ihara began snapping pictures of the extraordinary relationship between her now 89-year-old grandmother, Misa, and her feline companion fourteen years ago.
These charming pics have now been published in a book and the pair  has struck a chord with people all over Japan.
Misa found the cat abandoned in a shed
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