Monthly Archives: August 2011

It’s Finished!

The basement renovation completed on Tuesday, hurrah! We now have a TV and play area, a bathroom, a laundry room and a study in our basement!

I’m sure I was excited that day but I was also anxious about the cleaning up and re-organising work that’s awaiting, much like moving into a new house but on a smaller scale! We would also need to be creative in moving all our ‘stuff’ (currently sitting in our living room and the spare bedroom upstairs) back to the basement as we now have less storage space.

So it was a welcomed distraction when my neighbours, Rich and Ange, invited us to join them for a BBQ dinner that night. They wanted to thank me for always sharing my baked goods with them. 🙂

This was what I last shared with them – Dorie Greenspan’s Florida Pie – a key lime pie with a layer of coconut cream. Sweet and tangy! My meringue was overbeaten though, sigh! I’m just going to whisk the egg whites by hand next time.

For dinner, Rich grilled these delicious, juicy burgers and prepared a condiments bar with sweet sautĂ©ed onions, bacon strips, relish and tomato slices. I made Potato Chip Tortilla, from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, as an appetizer to snack on while waiting for the burgers.

Potato Chip Tortilla – a Spanish omelette made with crushed potato chips (I used tortilla chips instead) and green onions.

Next week is the last week of the summer holiday! Time flies! Hope to bring the kids out somewhere since they have been home with me so much watching the renovation.


Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Baking, Cooking, Food, Life


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Update and Birthday

This is the final week of the basement renovations. I really can’t wait for it to be over, I’m starting to get cabin fever from being in the house so much! The rooms are finished and the floor’s going in.

Elsewhere in the household, there was a birthday. Little Guy turned 5! We had a little celebration yesterday with cupcakes and play buddies over. Daddy’s over at Nova Scotia this week for work so we’ll wait till he’s back for a proper birthday cake and a second round of celebration.

These chocolate cupcakes, from, are good. They’re moist and has a mild chocolate flavour from using Dutch-processed cocoa powder. I used Fry’s Cocoa Powder, which is the only Dutch-processed cocoa powder I could find in the stores. The frosting uses unsweetened chocolate. It’s quick to make and easy to pipe too. I halved the recipe and got only 5 of these cupcakes. Click here for the recipe.

Trying not to get frosting on his face…

Lunch at a Pizzeria


Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Baking, Food, Life


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Update and Anchovies (Ikan bilis) Fried Rice

The basement work is halfway through now and the dust level has dropped. My kids have learnt to walk on the edges of the protective paper laid down on the floor for the workers to walk on or leap over it to get to ‘clean territory’. We ‘borrowed’ some clean paper from the contractor’s roll and put a layer over at night so we can walk about normally and roll it up in the morning before they arrive. I should be able to show you a finished picture by the end of next week. The men work hard and fast. During the first week of work, we thought we’ll be able to sleep in on Saturday but at 9am, the doorbell rang!

For dinner tonight, I made ikan bilis – salted and dried anchovies (in Malay) – fried rice. I brought them back from Malaysia already gutted and cleaned, and store them in the freezer. Before using them today, I gave them a wash and put them in the toaster oven at 200 degrees F for about 1.5 hours till dry and almost crisp. I then fried them in hot oil till brown and crunchy-crisp. They crisp up in no time because they’re already so dried. The fried rice is cooked the usual way and the anchovies are mixed in at the end. Great with sambal!

By the way, my new computer arrived but it’s a Mac. I’m still posting with my phone until I learn how to import and manage my photos!

Fried anchovies draining on paper towels.


Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Cooking, Food, Life


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New Interruptions

Another reason for not posting recently – my basement is being finished! It doesn’t affect my kitchen but it does affect me – I’m not relaxed I can’t relax! Also, having workers in the house means I can’t leave the house for long periods so I haven’t been able to properly grocery shop for food hence, no meals to blog about. Oh well, it’s just going to be three weeks. I’m looking forward to the end result! 🙂

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone


Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Life