I’m still very much alive and kicking, although these days I’m sure my legs are much too tired to kick too high. In the past year I’ve moved back home, and gotten a full-time job – which has taken over about 90% of my conscious time. It’s predictably in the food industry although there are many days (days when people are challenging and frustrating), that I wonder if I’m on the wrong side of the restaurant.
That said, I enjoy my job despite its challenges and I think I’ve finally found myself in an industry that I feel 1000% comfortable in. Its opened my eyes to the opportunities and variety of manner with which I can choose to pursue this rather unideal passion of mine.
I have grown up in so many ways this past year, and yet I’m constantly discovering new things to learn. The hours are tough (I’m finishing up my 74-hour work week ie. that’s 74+ hours ON MY FEET for all you people whining about having to work Saturdays- boo-fucking-hoo, princess), the clientele is challenging but the laughs you share with your colleagues, the bonds you form through solidarity, and the pleasure you get when you stumble upon rare, gratuitous customers makes everything worth its while. It also makes you a much more humble, respectful and gracious customer btw!
I have not forgotten this blog, but every intention I have of updating it, paying someone to redo the layout, actually pouring devoted hours to giving it some proper structure has fallen to the wayside. I am so doggone tired on my days off that I either just want to mimic a lump of clay, or do the things I love, which still involves standing on my feet for hours whilst slaving in front of a hot stove.
I’ll be back. (Just don’t time me!)
I am ashamed to admit that the last few times I’ve even logged onto WordPress was to remove spam comments. It’s also the most traffic action my blog has seen lately. I feel a rant coming on about these stupid comments and what I can do to make them disappear but I’ll save it for another day. Although, if you have any advice on how to handle this pest problem, feel free to share.
I wish I had a more solid excuse as to why I’ve been MIA but between two major festive seasons (Christmas and Chinese New Year), finishing up my studies, relocating back home and just taking a break from real life, I can’t say I’ve been up to much. I’ll admit I’m getting a little bit stir-crazy without much purpose in my life, which is probably why I’ve decided to tiptoe back on here and update. Thankfully for you (and me!), I have lots of backlogged pictures. I pretty much never stay out of the kitchen for too long anyway so that’s never going to be a problem.
I think there was a time when I was watching way too much Top Chef and got really fixated on making a Bouillabaisse. Of course I’d never had it before in my life but what does one do in this instance? Use Epicurious!
I stumbled upon this recipe and with some augmentation, like the omission of the lobster, I pretty much got everything I wanted.
You will really appreciate having a fresh loaf of baguette to go with this amazing hearty soup. I may have gone a bit crazy with the butter that was spread on the baguette too. Sooo good. Surprisingly, it was very, very filling and we ended up with so much leftovers that we froze the rest up to be had later.
If you’re wondering what on earth that round lump thing in the soup is, it’s the rouille and this is the thing that elevates the soup to a whole new level. I beg of you, do not forgot this important component to the dish!
And if you can’t already tell from the pictures, I kind of overcooked the fish. By the time we reheated the soup to have again the next day, most of the fish had dissolved. Oops. I am horrble at cooking fish. Just as well I’m not too crazy about them.
A while back I had this minor obsession with French Onion Soup. I just needed to make it. The first time I did, I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, which was delicious.
That was the outcome. Mine turned out a whole lot darker for some strange reason.
Then Ruhlman wrote about it here and he doesn’t use stock, just water. I was keen to try that, too.
You have no idea how much I teared chopping those onions up.
I think I actually prefer Ruhlman’s recipe. The cheese is meant to be a lot more brown but I got impatient (I was hungry!) so I popped it out of the oven pretty early.
I froze it so I actually still have a little small portion of it left in the freezer. I also currently have a loaf of baguette sitting on my counter. Coincidence? Nay, fate.
The last time I made Cinnamon Buns, my friend Karen pointed out sticky buns to me. Apparently it was exactly like cinnamon buns, but on speed. Or a sugar high. I read about how it had a sticky caramel glaze with pecans and I pretty much salivated all over my keyboard. True story.
If you want, the recipe is right here. I didn’t bother hunting down dark corn syrup (I used glucose instead) and I reduced the sugar a fair bit because I really don’t like overly sweet things. Even then, I still found the buns really sweet.
I went a bit crazy with the pecans, as you can see. And that’s the sticky caramel glaze. It smelled AMAZING. I used a springform caketin for this and my only advice if you’re doing the same is to double foil the base of the tin and put it on a deeper tray because that glaze is going to find a way to seep out and if you hate cleaning your oven as much as I do, you’d heed my advice.
Fresh out of the oven and it smelled divine. I was dying to pick away at it.
Flipped over with all the glazed goodness oozing everywhere. It was seriously one of those silent foodgasm moments when I had a fresh out of the oven piece. Yes it was really sweet but oh goodness was it ever sticky and the pecans added the crunch I so loved. And the scent of cinnamon that lingered in my apartment for the next 24 hours? Major perk.
As usual, I made a few augmentations due to what I lacked in the pantry. I omitted the dill and sugar snap peas and went for chives and green beans instead. I can’t recommend this dish enough. It was so delicious and so healthy!
The pistou was what did it for me. It was crazy how fresh and addictive it was. I ended up using the leftovers for wraps that I would make for lunch or even just snacking on it by the spoonful. I know, it’s bizarre but gosh darn it, it was good.
Actually, I have a feeling I’ll be making the pistou again. It just goes with everything and it’s so flexible that I could just mix and match the ingredients as I pleased. I could use pine nuts or pecans, I could swap the herbs for thyme or parsley, I could put shallots and garlic in there as well. The possibilities are endless!
(Yes, I’ll be posting more now! I have so many backlogged entries!)