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Author Archives: Life is Full

R.I.P. Coffee Maker

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My coffee maker, which is less than 6 months old, died yesterday. I killed it. :( In a blur careless moment, I stupidly absentmindedly plugged it into the 220V output of the step up transformer in the kitchen. I had meant to plug in my 110V hair dryer, which I was using these few days after my regular hair dryer decided to give up the ghost, but grabbed the wrong 2-pin plug instead. The moment I flipped the ‘ON’ switch on the transfomer and heard a sound like a thud, I knew I had done something wrong. Yup, I shot my coffee maker and it fell down with a thud. The fuse and possibly something else must be short-circuited. I haven’t found someone locally who would repair small appliances. Also, the labour cost must be $$. A new one costs $80, so fix or burial??

Notice the shiny, new looking glass carafe? It’s new looking because it is new! I got this replacement carafe just a week ago because I had, in yet another  distracted state  one of those moments, turned on the wrong heating element on my stove and melted the carafe which was sitting on it. I don’t even usually leave the carafe on the element but just that day, I thought I’ll leave it there instead of putting it back on the coffee maker warming tray. And that day was the day I put on a pot of water to boil for pasta but turned on the wrong heat. :( There was a fire even and the good thing that came out of it was we know our smoke detector works.

In the meantime, there will be no coffee until my Bodum french press new parts arrive in the mail. Yes, I have a spare coffee maker. which I remembered after the carafe accident, but the parts have rusted so I have to replace them. By the way, if you own a Bodum french press and if the long plastic nut part which holds the 3 pieces together on the shaft (they call it a shoulder nut) needs replacing, email them and they’ll send you one free. The new ones are made of metal. I’m still waiting for mine but it’s in the mail.

This morning I decided to give myself some therapy so I bake a Devil’s Food Cake from Anna Olson’s new ‘Bake with Anna Olson‘ show and also write a blog post. Now that this is done, I have to go and face my kitchen…. And I hope I won’t have any more of these ‘OOPS!’ stories to tell!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Life

 

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One of those moments…

I had one of those moments where I did something stupid. I accidentally inserted the camera’s memory card into the CD slot! Tried to get it out but instead pushed it in all the way. It just dropped in and vanished!

Fortunately, hubbie was home and he managed to get it out. He rotated the Mac and somehow (I wasn’t watching!) got the card out. Phew! My hero!!

Well, that’s enough excitement for today but it also took whatever time I had to write a blog post. Pizza’s on the menu tonight (no cooking!) so I thought I had time… Will try again another day!

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Life

 

Coffee Cake

This Coffee Cake is adapted from Pioneer Woman’s Food from my Frontier cookbook. The recipe is also on her website. It’s made with lots of instant coffee in it so it’s really a Coffee Cake, not the plain type of coffee cake. The instant coffee you use in this cake really influence the flavour so it’s best you use one that you like. I used UCC Instant Coffee Blend No.117 left behind by my parents which has this sour-ish aftertaste (which is why I don’t like drinking instant coffee!) and it didn’t impart a rich coffee flavour to the cake.

I halved the recipe and made the cake in a 6″ round pan, and I’m not sure if that has any impact on the texture of the cake but I’m not crazy about it. It could also be due to the one-bowl mixing method.

The coffee icing is a new update to the icing she used on her blog post. She creamed the butter in that one while this one the butter is melted. Again, I halved the recipe but used only 1/4 of the powdered sugar as it was too sweet when I tasted it. I had to add unsweetened cocoa to make it less sweet and that’s why my icing is darker in colour compared to hers. (The second sign that her sweets recipes will be too sweet for my taste is from her latest blog post where she said she found Starbucks’ lemon poppyseed ‘delightful and delicious’ while I found it too sweet with the icing to finish!)

Coffee Icing
(From Food from my Frontier)

3/4 cup butter
2 T instant coffee
4 T half-and-half
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add in the instant coffee. Stir it together, then add the half-and-half and whisk to combine. Turn off the heat and add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Whisk till the sugar has dissolved and the icing is smooth. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle the icing over the cake.

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What I think of the cookbook? Well, I wouldn’t buy it as I found three of the recipes that I would make from it on her website. She also gives more instructions there as she’s not restricted by space. However, if you’re a fan of Pioneer Woman and you’re always making her recipes, this cookbook will be convenient. She has included new recipes as well as updates to some of her old ones. This Coffee Cake, for instance, has been updated with a creamy (cream cheese) filling between the layers and a different icing. There are also awesome pictures of her family and farm throughout the book with humorous captions. If you love PW, you’ll love it!

 
9 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2012 in Baking, Food

 

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The Pioneer Woman’s in the House

UPDATE just minutes after hitting post: 

Wait a minute, this is her second cookbook! I thought I was checking out her first book! So does this make my library cool after all for being so quick to get Ree’s book? ;-)

(The first cookbook is still not available, by the way!)

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Back in the summer of 2010, I searched for this book in my local library but it wasn’t available. I submitted a purchase suggestion. Late Winter 2012, I did a spontaneous search for the book and behold, it was on order and I could submit a hold request! Second day of Spring 2012, I picked up the book and brought it home. Ree Drummond is obviously not high priority to the library (although her novel was available before the cookbook was) but I still love my little town.

(Yes, I know RD’s second cookbook is out!)



 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Life

 

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Pseudo-Pineapple Fried Rice

Just like the Western casserole is great for using up leftovers, so is the Asian fried rice! In my version of Pineapple Fried Rice, there’s a cup of crushed pineapple left over from a carrot cake recipe, two white mushrooms left over from cooking a green curry dish, and leftover rotisserie chicken from dinner the night before.

‘Pineapple Fried Rice’ 

4 cups cooked rice, preferably day-old rice
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp chicken stock granules
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
2 eggs
1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashew nuts
1/4 cup raisins (I left this out as hubby doesn’t like them)
1 cups crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup frozen green peas

Mix the fish sauce, chicken stock granules and sugar in a small bowl, set aside.

Heat up the oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion and garlic. Add in the mushroom and stir-fry till softened. Add in the chicken and stir-fry till warmed. Make a well in the middle of the wok and crack in the eggs. Scramble the eggs. Make a quick stir of the ingredients in the wok.

Drizzle in the sauce, pouring around the ingredients so it sizzles when it hits the hot wok. Add in the rice and break up large clumps by gently pressing down with the flat side of the spatula. You don’t want to crush the rice. Add in the cashew nuts, raisins, pineapple and green peas. Stir-fry to combine until the rice is hot and ‘pops’. Taste for seasoning.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Cooking, Food

 

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