Tag Archives: baking

When Life Gives You Bananas Instead

20 May

Recently the pandemic SOP restrictions for travels and visits have been lifted. So we visited my aunt and cousin – it was a fruitful visit, literally. We came home with papayas and bananas. So wonderful! It wasn’t a case of getting lemons and making lemonade, but bananas and making a bunch of yummies!

The papayas tasted very different from those from our garden, but nice nevertheless. We couldn’t figure out what species was the bananas, so we had to wait for them to ripen. And when they did, we still couldn’t pinpoint the species. Lol! Oh well.

We discovered the banana tastes best when combined with something. Eating it on its own does not taste as good. So what do you do or make when there are so many bananas?

First, there was the banana smoothie, which was so good and filling. I used lactose intolerant milk so that I could drink the smoothie too. Then there’s the banana bread baked by hubby. Delicious! After these two efforts, there were still a lot of bananas left, so I made a banana sorbet, which tasted simply heavenly.

Banana galore!

It’s such a simple recipe that I found online using just three ingredients. Bananas, which we had plenty of, and lime and honey! Blend them several times to be as smooth as possible, then freeze. Best eaten during hot days. So now you know, when life gives you bananas, make bread, smoothies, and sorbet!

The Year That Wasn’t Again

31 Dec

The never-ending year 2021 finally concludes today. I look back, and what a year it has been! I feel history has repeated itself, with the year being another year that fell short of expectations like 2020 because the pandemic has dragged on.

When the nation went into lockdown again in May, we were short-changed for several months to have a good year. And the lockdowns implemented under the Movement Control Orders (MCO) had so many versions, I lost track of it all.

But life goes on. With what we had experienced in 2020, we handled 2021 a little better. We became more accepting of the situation and were more productive, and the hobbies picked up in the year before continued. We also got vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, and it was our passport to venture out (if needed) without hassle.

Towards the end of the year, I picked up another new hobby – felting. What fun this turned out to be! Felting is immensely enjoyable and therapeutic when I am not carving or crafting miniatures as it is a short and fast activity to complete.

Looking back, being home this time around wasn’t so bad because there’s so much to do at home, and I love it. There is no rush or fear but simply comfort and ease. As long as there is good time management, the days go by quickly.

M2 came back for her Summer holidays, and it was great to have her home. My cooking skills improved from last year, and there were many great mealtimes together at home as a family since we couldn’t go out at all.

Then M1 came home for good after completing her Master’s degree, and both of us are very blessed to have the family as a complete unit. But soon after, M2 returned to Ireland, and M1 started working. By the third quarter, we were juggling work, albeit not much, and playing golf when the country reopened to more activities.

But just when we thought things were improving with vaccination and economies opening everywhere, the world saw a new virus variant! The Omicron. The pandemic management globally was sucker-punched with this new development. Travels, activities, and economies were restricted once more, and many countries faced fresh lockdowns. When will this onslaught of the unknown ever end?

So we start 2022 with uncertainty again. I see no point in toasting the New Year for better fortune and goodness. Just brace yourselves to stay negative (Covid-wise) in a positive way, stay healthy, and stay safe. Goodbye 2021, I wouldn’t say it was the best, but we survived. Happy New Year, folks!

The Other Baker

19 Nov

It looks like hubby is not the only person who bakes in our home. M1 is quite a baker too. I supposed this came from her lockdown periods when she was still in the US. With nothing much to do, baking was an outlet to keep busy.

But our other baker bakes adorable stuff. She baked these cute little bear cookies not too long ago. Pretty to look at, delicious to eat too. I hope she will continue to indulge in this whenever she has the time.

Want some bear cookies?

A New Gardening Project

13 Aug

The lockdown this time is endless! So much so, we have decided to do sustainable things, like recycling used items and growing our food. Besides having hobbies to keep busy, we have embarked on a new gardening project to complement our baking and cooking endeavors.

The pandan leaves, chili, and curry leaves are not sufficient to make a meal, for they only complement the flavors. Only the bean sprouts can make a meal or two. The new papaya tree has just started fruiting, while the pineapple patch still has a long way to go. So we decided to grow some vegetables that can make a meal.

Recent harvest of chili and papaya

The planter boxes, seeds, and garden soil were purchased, and we started a mini nursery to get started. A few days later, the okra sprouted. How exciting! Eight out of the nine seeds made it. The next thing we have to do is ensure enough nutrients and sunlight, and proper care to deter the snails from coming at them. So far, it is rather rewarding to see some results.

The latest gardening project

The other seedlings are taking slower to sprout. We will have to monitor to ensure success with them. And when that happens, the sense of reward will be even greater. I can’t wait!

Practical Recycling

26 Jul

During the various lockdowns since the pandemic started, we discovered daily to-be-discarded things that we can recycle. It is good to give the unwanted one last purposeful usage before throwing them away in the trash.

Last year, we started recycling eggshells from baking endeavors for the garden as a deterrent for snails. They double up as a calcium nutrient for the plants as well. We have continued this practice until today.

This year, I found that the garden squirrels don’t mind rancid walnuts and apple cores. Something better than nothing to feed the hungry. I remove the apple seeds, of course. The recycling list can go on.

Recently hubby discovered (from YouTube, of course) that milk cartons make a great container to grow bean sprouts. All you need is some mung beans and an empty milk carton. A one-third cup of beans to the size of the carton is enough to yield a carton bursting with crunchy bean sprouts after five days!

He has been timing the bean sprouts growing process. So whenever he bakes and finishes the milk, the cartons are saved for future use. And when we want to have bean sprouts on the menu, a five-day notice is given.

One should consider doing this because it’s pesticide-free food and practical recycling!

A basket of homegrown bean sprouts!

Doing Something, Part 2

25 May

Our doing something during this lockdown is the daily baking and cooking; throw in the daily efforts on the DIY project and chipping in the garden is not sufficient to pass the time. And we don’t sweat enough but end up eating more instead because of all the food efforts.

We decided to work on the garden again, focusing on the area at the side of the house. The plan is to convert a tiny plot to become a vegetable patch.

But before we could sit down to work out the idea, we jumped ahead and made another area into a pineapple patch!

Our pineapple patch!

Hubby relocated all the pineapples to one plot instead of being in pots and scattered around the garden. I think they look good being there. Furthermore, the plot is easier to protect from the squirrels. Remember that one time, the rascal of the squirrel ate our pineapple right in front of our eyes?

We look forward to the day the pineapples are ready to be harvested for our consumption.

Doing Something

14 May

We decided to take the days by the horn and keep busy. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Hubby would bake while I worked on my DIY project are the given.

We even started chipping in the garden, trying out the various wedges that we have. And we experimented with new menus for our meals.

The no-cheese pizza was simply delicious last night and the pancakes this morning were so satisfying. Now, if we can keep up the variety and activities, we shouldn’t worry about the remaining MCO days ahead.

Keeping busy with activities and food!

Doing Nothing

10 May

I feel this round of MCO is taking its toll on us. It is only Day Five, and we are restless. Although hubby did bake, and I did work on my DIY project, it is not enough. At times, we feel as if we are doing nothing.

Thank goodness for my Apple Watch and the Activity monthly challenge. Without this, I would have been an assured couch potato. The Activity challenge keeps me on my toes to exercise and stay fit.

The days better hurry to go by quickly, for we can’t wait to go back to interacting with people, playing golf, and having more productive days.

Here We Go Again, Part 2

7 May

As anticipated, MCO 3.0 was enforced for six districts in the state, starting from 6 May until 17 May. Here we go again, homebound but two days shy of the usual two weeks.

A day before the official start, I didn’t go to the office and was bored to tears. Time went by so slowly. Oh dear, will I be able to handle this round of staying at home? We will find out.

The next day, I kept busy with house chores. And when there was a window of opportunity, I got down to working on DIY project number 13 or 12A. I must say there was good progress and I’m pleased. Hubby also got down to baking. If we keep these activities up to pass our time, we should be okay.

Piecing everything together!
A quarter was gone before the cake even left the cutting board!

A Balancing Act, Part 2

26 Apr

Lately, I have been eating a variety of things that I’m not supposed to. And because of the lack of willpower to stay disciplined, I suffer the consequences because of my Endometriosis.

Chocolate is one food I cannot resist. I find that regular milk chocolate does not bode well with my tummy. But dark chocolate is okay, and I find myself indulging almost every night! My waistline has expanded as a result of this weakness.

Dessert is another food I cannot resist when it comes to sweet tooth indulgence. When hubby made some coconut pandan jelly recently, it was hard to resist despite knowing I am courting trouble. Like milk chocolate, my tummy cannot agree with the coconut milk ingredient. I’m just wondering whether it is my Endometriosis that’s giving me problems with this natural ingredient?

Jelly is something that one does not eat a piece only. You have to have several. So when the intake is more due to indiscipline, the tolerance level is compromised, and pain will kick in soon after. Sigh. It’s a balancing act to maintain without suffering any painful consequences.