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Archive for January, 2010

Angel

I made this angel the other day for my boyfriend.

Just in case.

And now I’m granting him permission to protect you too.

So no worries, you are safe now.

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I have always wondered what a thing like this means – an old rusty pot on a wooden pole.

Have you ever seen it?

Well, you might have, especially if you ever happened to find yourself in the country.

I suppose that a thing like this might be a tad more difficult to spot in Singapore or New York.

But there’s something else that haunts me.

What is it good for?

I remember I used to see this interesting pot-pole combination in some old movies on TV.

There were these old fences made of wooden poles and pots like these were stuck onto their tops.

Were the pots protecting the wood from rain water?

Could be.

I don’t know for sure (not that I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep without this information).

But what I know for sure is that it looks very nice in a picture.

And it absorbs various color shades perfectly, see?

Violet – no problem!

Little bit of graininess, way more contrast with some darkened edges here and there and it’s perfect – just like an old picture.

But still, why – WHY is it there?

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These squares are truly heavenly.

Especially for banana and pudding lovers like me, for example.

So if you feel like something delicious like this, here is the recipe…

~~~

To prepare the Heavenly Banana-Pudding Squares you need:

1 package (400 grams) puff pastry

4 ripe bananas

1 1/2 packets (180 grams) sponge biscuit rounds (or lady fingers)

1 packet  powdered vanilla pudding (without sugar)

1 packet powdered banana pudding (without sugar)

12 tablespoons sugar (for the pudding)

4 cups (1 liter) milk (or any amount the two puddings call for in their instructions)

confectioner’s sugar to sprinkle on top

~~~

1. Let the puff pastry thaw according to the instructions on the package.

2. Preheat an oven to 350 F (175 C).

3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to twice the size of the baking pan you are going to use (we need one layer of the puff pastry for the bottom and one for the top of the pie).

Using a knife, cut the rolled out dough into two equal parts.

Transfer the first sheet onto the bottom of the greased pan.

4. Now we are going to need the sponge biscuit rounds. They are soooo yummy – I grew up on them.

Place the biscuits over the puff pastry layer.

Nice!

5. Take 4 sweet ripe bananas.

Cut each of them into two halves…

… and then into slices.

Just like this.

6. And onto the biscuits they go.

7. Now it’s the right time to prepare the pudding (follow the instructions on the packet).

Mix the vanilla pudding with the banana pudding and prepare them both together.

Mmmmm… – this already smells heavenly.

8. Pour the pudding over the biscuits and bananas…

… and spread it with a spoon until everything is nicely covered with the pudding.

9. Cover the pudding layer with the second part of the dough.

The pudding is going to release steam while baking so it’s fine to help it a bit by creating these little steam vents.

(Since the pie tends to rise while baking I recommend placing a piece of aluminium foil right underneath the baking pan – onto the bottom of the oven – just in case a few drops of pudding overflow. The aluminium foil will catch any spills and you can remove it from the oven easily.)

10. Bake for about 35-40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let set and cool.

Sprinkle with some confectioner’s sugar if you feel like it.

Oh, and cut into squares of course.

Store in a refrigerator and – most importantly – ENJOY Dear Friends!

(There are many more lovely posts for you to see here.)


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Love From The Forest

The forest behind my parents’ house is sending you some love.

Some warm winter love – just for YOU to enjoy.

Although we are having true winter here,  there are days filled with sun – oh, can these be beautiful.

Just go on – feel it!

Feel the LOVE!!!

Feel the rich verdant love going your way.

Because the forest never sleeps.

Though it’s good at pretending.

But…

We can see more!

We can see the romantic love going on between the sun and the resting branches.

Wherever you might hide it – we find it, dear forest.

Because we like your forest love.

(Had nothing special today – just ordinary stuff plus strawberry yogurt – in case you wondered how I lift my spirits.)

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Do you still remember this yumminess?

And this?

Or this one?

Yeah – this was one of the sweet days of last summer when I decided to prepare these lovely and delicious Strawberry dumplings.

And do you still remember their story?

I will reveal that again (just in case) – they were not even going to be filled with strawberries.

Only because my boyfriend had eaten all the plums in the house.

And that made me think really hard about what to fill them with…

Now you are probably wondering why I am telling you all that again.

Well, the reason is that this recipe is very lucky.

And I mean VERY lucky.

Because… because… BECAUSE … – it has been chosen to be among other lovely recipes featured in the ‘iPod Application on Strawberries’.

Because there IS such an application!

And it’s awesome!

It consists of 50 mouthwatering recipes made with strawberries by various chefs and bloggers all over the world.

But hey, there’s another side to the story…

That was actually my first day of using a digital SLR camera.

More precisely – that was the first day of me stealing my boyfriend’s digital SLR camera.

And even more precisely – that was when a love triangle had formed in our household.

Me – loving my boyfriend and the camera.

My boyfriend – loving the camera and not loving me so much for stealing the camera.

Well, you can’t have it all, I guess…

(If you’d like to download the application for free to your iPhone or iPod touch it can be found here: http://bit.ly/8LANJo.)

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Left Alone In Wonderland

A Wonderland – that’s the most precise word coming to my mind when I want to describe this unbelievable scenery.

A wonderful wonderland.

My heart is singing with joy when I look at this picture.

We were lucky to see all this beauty during our yesterday’s trip – the one of the “let’s-just-go-somewhere” kind.

Me, naturally, being armed with a camera – like a true blogger should always be.

And when I noticed the wonderful scenery emerging in front of our eyes I demanded my boyfriend to stop the car – right there, right then.

Which turned out to be not so smart…

Because no matter how hard my sweet darling was trying to make our car move again – the slippery snow was against him.

So he decided to… to… I wasn’t so sure actually what he decided to do.

All I heard was something like: “Can’t go… must go… down.”

And then I saw this…

And this…

And this.

Bye-bye my lovely sweet red car – you were cozy and warm inside.

Bye and have a nice life… without me!

So there I am standing – alone in the silence.

Silence – except this one strange sound coming from a nearby forest.

The only thought in my head being – was that a bear?

‘Time for some action,’ – I told to myself – ‘let’s suppose my BF is waiting for me somewhere down the hill’.

So down I went…

After a while I see him going up – but, of course, not stopping to pick me up.

What kind of a wicked game are we playing here?

Ha?

So up I went  – hoping my boyfriend was not punishing me for all the bad stuff I had done to him so far.

Luckily, there’s this special and very precious thing about me that I really love.

It always saves me when I find myself in a stressful situation – which is like every five minutes.

That highly valued thing being my unbelievably short attention span.

It makes the thoughts in my brain change at the speed of light.

Believe me!

So worried or not – there was this wonderful branch that I started to admire.

Which left no more space in my head for anything else.

And then there was this.

Do you see that magical church framed by the branches?

Amazing!

Oh, there he is!

He is the dearest, he would never leave me here.

‘HEEEEY!’

‘I am HERE’ – I started to scream running up the hill.

‘Wait for MEEEEEE!’

‘Don’t leave me here alone, PLEASE!’

And he did (leave her there).

Not!

He picked her up so that they could live happily ever after.

The End.

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We like our dough grated here at zoom yummy.

We’ve tried it and we like it.

For example here – our Grated Cheesecake – has been a huge success.

So why not try another delicious grated dough recipe.

This time – Grated Squares with a Plum Jam muhu (the ‘muhu’ meaning ‘filling’ in Swahili – not that I know Swahili or the word muhu but I’ve just read it in the dictionary, so …, ehm … sorry) and a Chocolate topping.

So let’s go!

~~~

To prepare The Grated Squares with Plum Jam you’ll need this my dear friends:

3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour (plus some more for a working surface)

1 cup (230 grams) butter, cold (plus some more for a baking sheet)

2 egg yolks

1 cup (115 grams) confectioner’s (or powdered) sugar

1/3 cup (100 ml) sour cream

a pinch of salt

1 cup (about 250 grams) plum jam

6 ounces (180 grams) sweet chocolate

7 tablespoons milk

~~~

1. First we need to prepare our dough and let it freeze for a few hours (best overnight).

We start with the flour – place it into the bowl of your electric mixer.

2. And now the butter – cut it into smaller pieces and into the bowl it goes.

3. Mix the flour with the butter until crumbs have formed.

4. And by the crumbs I mean something like this.

5. Now we are going to need two egg yolks, the confectioner’s sugar, the sour cream and …

… a pinch of salt (it might look like a lot in this picture but it’s really little).

First add the egg yolks and mix together.

The batter should resemble this after you’ll have done that.

Still crumbs – not much of a change yet.

6. Then the powdered sugar joins the party.

Mix, mix, mix.

7. Add  the sour cream and mix again.

8. And, while the mixer still doing its job, add the salt.

9. Look – the batter has undergone a significant change.

That’s for sure.

Now it deserves to be called a dough.

10. Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on a well floured surface and form a nice ball out of it.

If it’s too tacky keep adding flour.

Then place it into a bowl with some plastic wrap in it, …

… cover it with the plastic wrap and into the freezer it goes – for at least 4 hours (overnight is best).

The dough is going to be grated – that’s why it needs to be kind of hard and firm.

11. After the aforementioned time has passed preheat an oven to 350 F (176 C).

12. Remove the dough from the freezer and cut it into two parts – 3/5 and 2/5 of the dough.

Place the smaller part back into the freezer because it gets soft very easily. Like in NO time. Trust me – the person who hadn’t put it back is just talking to you – and that experience had cost that person a lot of time waiting by the freezer for the other half to get firm again.

13. Grease a baking pan with some butter…

14. … and grate the bigger part of the dough into the pan.

15. You can adjust the grated dough with a fork to cover the bottom of the pan evenly.

16. Spread the jam over the dough. Plum jam – yummy yum!

17. And NOW (and not before) remove the other part from the freezer and grate it over the top.

Bye, see you in about 35-40 minutes dear sweet pie.

18. And here we are – out of the oven – beautifully golden and fragrant.

Let cool for about 20 minutes.

19. Now onto the lovely chocolate topping.

Mix the chocolate with about 7 tablespoons milk and place into your microwave oven to melt.

The mixture needs to be liquid because we are going to pipe it onto the top of the pie.

But not too liquid – it should keep the shape of the pattern we want to create.

So if you find it too thick add some more milk.

(I used semi-sweet chocolate here – but with the sweet one it could taste even better.)

20. Using a spoon or a pastry bag, create some nice pattern over the top of the pie.

You can go really creative here, no worries at all, any pattern is acceptable.

Let cool and cut into squares afterwords.

And most importantly – Enjoy!


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