Monday, February 28, 2011

If It Wasn't for Harold Crick, I'd Never Have Tried Cookies and Milk

There are lots of cookies in this world, and having overactive imagination, I sometimes like to ponder, how would A taste paired with B, hence me concocting this weird cookies. But if I die tomorrow and have to choose my last cookies, without a doubt, I'll pick the ol' chocolate chip cookies. Back then, when I wasn't allowed to use the oven (ehm, actually I was too scared to go into my parents' kitchen, lots of rats!), my favorite chocolate chip cookies was Chips Ahoy.

Believe it or not, I'd never had cookies with its loyal companion of all time, milk, until I watched Stranger than Fiction. Harold Crick, the IRS agent, fell in love with the baker he's auditing. I don't recall the whole detail, but there was this one scene where Ana Pascal offered him a plate of cookies and told him to dip em in milk. I used to think it was just a cutesy thing to do, that serves no real purpose whatsoever. It wasn't bad, and actually I'm liking it. This means a lot, coming from someone who cannot drink milk as is (don't like how it tastes, somehow it induces vomit). I think that's why I'm so short.... The milk lends buttery taste to the cookies. The icy cold milk and warm cookies create the hot-and-cold sensation. Sometimes if you leave the cookies long enough in the milk, it absorbs the liquid, filling the airy holes in the cookies with it. And kinda like it.  I drink milk as an excuse to eat cookies.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Power of Bread

You're having a bad day, things don't go the way you wanted them to. What do you eat to make you feel better? My son would want chocolate chips to fix his "owie". My husband would want a can of beer to cure his headache. I want bread with softened butter slather on top. I love carbs so much, I sometimes wonder how it'd taste to eat carbs on top of carbs on top of carbs (imagine, french bread topped with risotto, topped with fries. Gross? Maybe..)

At times, simple french baguette is enough to satisfy my bread cravings. But my favorite must be brioche. Buttery bread, eaten with some more butter? It sounds good to me. Of course too much of it makes me want to go for a nap. Leftover brioche is perfect for making french toast.  

Shitty day becomes better with a slice of brioche. The power of food is amazing, yes? Having to deal with annoying people? Eating brioche will not make them less annoying, but I think the butter helps me calm down. Brioche is my beer goggles. It makes me less profane too.  

Another day is saved, thanks to bread!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My "Beef" with the Fast Food Nomad, Just Because I Want Him to Live Longer!

From where I came from, fast food is the quintessential of American food. To us, KFC is the golden ticket to feel "Western". Your $1 burger worth so much more back there. With so many other food vendors, while I can't say they're very hygienic (just don't drink the water), selling better tasting food, it is ironic we still crowd the fast food joints. In United States, I understand, because price wise, these places are way much cheaper than let say, Serious Pie. But in Indonesia, with food vendors being literally every where you go (they cost way cheaper too), why would we flock to fast food joints? My mom said "Well, fast food is much more trendier than your usual food vendors".
Tell me this looks better than the $1 burger..
My husband is an avid fast food consumer. I nickname him "fast food joint nomad", which he hates by the way, since he practically jumps from one to the other. It's weird how he complains about me overspicing food considering how salty fast food is? I still don't understand until today. My biggest wish right now, is for him to cut down his fast food intake. I'm not a controlling bitch, but I just want him to be healthier. And also not looking forward to the day our son could question "why don't we eat McWhatever burger, but Daddy does?" I am not a saint myself, I have my own share of junky food. Obviously, once every now and then, enough to make me feel so guilty.

Everyone can make fried chicken, if they don't mind deep frying
The other day I was so pissed. We went to the baby's 4-month checkup and on the way back, hubby wanted to grab some fast food. It being around lunch time, of course it was packed as hell. He kept on offering our son "do you want some burger from XYZ?" And I was so glad my son said "No, I want roast pork" (We had roast pork the other night). While waiting for the other cars to move forward, he asked our son again "So you want some?" I don't know, perhaps it was me being super hungry or PMSing, but I was pissed. Didn't say a word after that, just let our son decides for himself, right? And still glad he declined. After 20 mins at the drive thru, we went home and I heated some of the roast pork and sauteed some spinach. Voila, all done in 10 minutes. I crossly said "Faster than Jack". Although I was trying to make a point, I regret being so frivolous. *Disclaimer: I love my husband so much, but not his food choice*
Brined roast pork with lemon
I just hope that slowly (we've been together since 2006, and I've only seen a little progress) he'll eat healthier. That is all. Am I selfish for wanting him to live longer? He loves to complain about how he feels bloated (uh, DUH? The cheezburger did it). And plus, these food from fast food joints isn't so fast anyway. But to make the change easier, I've been making stuff that fast food serve, but with wholesome ingredients.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day!

Some people think we're against Valentine's day just because we don't celebrate it like most people do. Nope. Actually I think it's cute. An excuse to do something special with my son. He's not in preschool so I have to come up with ideas to keep him occupied every day. I admit, sometimes I let it slide, and let him watch tv longer than he should. But most of the time, I will find activities we can do together. See, I can't do arts and crafts for the life of me. I tried, but we ended up not having fun. Fortunately, he loves helping me in the kitchen.

Yesterday, after making a simple Valentine's card, we settled to baking pink cookies. The first batch went ungraciously inside the trash. As much as I hate wasting ingredients, it was awful. Too much rose paste, it left a perfumey aftertaste. My son said it tasted like soap. The second batch were good, but didn't taste like something special. Our goal here was to make something "special-y". Then I remember we had a tub of homemade green tea ice cream. I crumbled some of the pink cookies on top, it tastes okay, but lack of the "special-y" taste.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Samu's Cookies, "It's Not Yummy, but They Look Pretty"

It's funny how as kids get older, they sleep in more. I remember those days when my son would wake up at 6am or sometimes 5am, waking me up so I would play with him. He stopped doing that the moment he turned 3. But this morning, he woke up at 8am instead of his usual 11am routine. Guess why he woke up so early? Because I promised him that we can bake chocolate chips cookies if he wakes up early. I didn't even remember until he reminded me this morning.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stuffed Bitter Melon Pyramid, No Wonder He Likes It

I can't believe I used to hate bitter melon. The bitterness is actually so natural now, I can't have enough of it. Funny how my son loves it, although it's not his "favoritest" food, he doesn't show repulsion (like I did) at all. Kids nowadays are so picky, I'm glad mine is not!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Get to Know It More, and You'll Love It

Have you ordered food at a restaurant, with high expectation, but it turns out to be a flop?

We were shown a duplex unit in Ballard, and loved it. It was within our price range, on the ground floor (we have a stomper here) 2 bedrooms, bigger than our current rental and it has washer and dryer in unit. It felt too good to be true, and it was. The next day, the agent said that the owner decided against renting it and wants to sell it. That was like the flopped dish. You were expecting it to be so good, it makes you moan. Turns out it makes you moan out of disappointment.

But then, have you ever had food that looks so-so if not unappealing but it leaves you sated and happy?

Yesterday, we stumbled upon this ads for a rental in Greenlake. It's an apartment complex with more than 5 units on premise. We felt iffy because for one, most resident managers look at us as nuisance (thank you kids) and for two, it might not be the first floor (it wasn't mentioned in the ads). For three, more neighbors to deal with (not that we don't like our neighbors, but our current neighbors on the left hand side are bad enough to make us worry).

When we were met by the resident manager, I was relieved. She loves kids! Of course she didn't say that, or it might be an overkill. But we can sense it and it feels sincere. Also she said that there are other kids in the building, slightly younger than my son. And then she walked us to a ground floor unit, I was pretty much so happy at that point, I grinned from ear to ear (yeah, I haven't mastered the art of hiding my feelings). Yes! The one available is the ground floor unit! And the neighbors? That part, I don't know yet but it's a corner unit so nothing much to worry. So far, it has everything we need. With 2 kids, it's a necessity to have washer and dryer in unit.

We sent in the application and hopefully we passed and get it (I think we should.. unless they have other people who applied before us). So right now I'm just crossing my fingers! 

That Greenlake apartment is like the food you expect to flop, but turns out to be the one that makes you feel sated and giddy with excitement.

That kind of food looks like this.

Ham hock is not appealing at all, thank you Mother Nature. But it's oh so good when cooked to perfection. The meat falling off the bones, with the chewy yet tender skin. Stewed for so long, you can taste the deep, dark soy sauce and garlic in every inch of the meat. Coupled with crunchy chopped red chilies. What is not to like?

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have second.

You need to get to "know" it more, and you'll love it. ps: Eat with your hand (whichever you prefer) for maximal pleasure.