Thursday, February 28, 2013

What's cookin'?: Potato and carrot soup

This simple yet scrumptious soup has got to be everyone's favorite. I learned to make it from my dear housemate and fell in love with it instantly.

You need:
Chicken stock
Ground black pepper


1. Boil carrots and potatoes with chicken stock (I used one Maggi Chicken Cube) with just enough water to cover all the carrots and potatos
2. Cut shallot finely, fry till golden
3. After carrots and potatoes are tender, blend them together with the water
4. Pour the mixture into a pot, and heat it up on the stove
5. Cut shrimps into small pieces and put in the pot
6. Add ground black pepper and salt to taste
*You can adjust the thickness to your own liking

So easy right???
I had it with homemade foccacia bread, which I will share the recipe later :P

Bon appetite!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Passion fruit.

Entry pasal passion ni memang dah sebati dengan Nur Adilah. Kalau tak kat blog, kat Twitter. Membebel lah sorang-sorang pasal passion. Truth is, I think it will bother me until I have found my true passion. Every time I see somebody being/doing so good at something, I can't help to feel a little envious, in a good way of course. Kadang-kadang rasa macam adakah aku tak bersyukur sebab Allah dah kurniakan something for me to do (i.e. do PhD), but still I feel uncontented and envy orang yang buat benda lain yang macam lagi seronok je tengok (i.e. buat business out of the passion/hobby/something they really fond of ). Jumpa plak kat Twitter the other day orang put up that quote above. It got me thinking, 'Am I living the life I'm capable of living?' I felt so small. Rasa macam I haven't contributed enough to my family, my community, those in need, and most importantly myself. 

Erin gave me an article to read not too long ago about how rich people think. I found one that is the most outstanding, almost everyone knows what it is:

'Average people earn money doing things they don't love. Rich people follow their passion.'

Some people they know what their passion is and make a living with it. For example, the ever so famous Vivy Yusof. She knows she's into fashion and boom! there you have it FashionValet. Her right-wing woman Asma' Nasaruddin, the Head Buyer of FashionValet, those cakes she makes are such eye candies! A lovely lady I know from the blogosphere, ShilaShower, she has a day job but at night she is the lady behind those yummy diaper cakes. Another sweet mommy blogger, HanaFedora, who's currently doing her PhD in London (I think it's Imperial College), launched her shawl business L'adorn late last year, juggling between writing her thesis, taking care of her cute baby Wilwil and managing inter-continents business (she's in London but her business is based in Malaysia). What I respect about these ladies is that even though they come from well-off families, they not only have one job, but they are juggling two jobs! I am not sure if Vivy still work with her dad's company but at some point she must have had two jobs.

I am 'tangan bangku' (peribahasa I made up for 'orang takde seni'). So I give up doing arts long time ago. It's always 'tiru' and 'tekap' when it comes to art. I make edible food just enough to stuff my tummy. I can sing in the shower, and that's about it. I don't collect stamps, but I do keep shopping bags. See, I can't think of any passion of mine. Can you consider studying a passion? Am I pursuing my passion? Nah I don't think so. I am pursuing my DREAM because I've always known I want to have a PhD at some point in my life. A passion is something you can't wait to wake up to. There are times when I feel so lazy to wake up because I feel so down that my research is not going anywhere. Having a PhD and later being a lecturer would be my job no.1. But the greedy me wants to have that job no.2. 

But after all, we must believe in Allah's plan. There is a reason Allah put me here today and not baking in an all-pink cafe or signing autographs at a book launch or singing to cute little kids in a kindergarten. I hope one day I can update in here about my other job, other than teaching Immunology to some scientist-to-be in USM. InshaAllah.

To you readers who are currently pursuing your passion, I am still envious of :P (in a good way okay?) and I wish you all the best in your future undertakings. Let's make the world a better place to live no matter what we do, ey?

Till then.

**Updated: It's not about the money, it's not about being rich. Well if the passion comes with money, that's a bonus. Those people I mentioned above, they turned their passion into money, which is good. It's a bonus for them. But in my case, I can't even tell you what I'm passionate about. That's what the entry is all about. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Portuguese Custard Tart

The other day I saw my friend Hana put up a picture of the tarts on her blog and instantly I said 'I have to make them!' So dayssssss after I saw the picture, I finally made them on Tuesday.

I followed (with some modification of course) this recipe I found online.

3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
400 ml full cream milk (alternatively you can use 230 ml cream and 170 ml full cream milk)
2 tsp vanilla extract (I used less)
Puff pastry sheet

1. Pre heat oven to 200C (UK Gas Mark 6)
2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar, then add cornflour. Whisk again.
3. Add milk/cream, mix until no clumps
4. Place mixture over medium heat, stir until mixture thickens and comes to boil
5. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract
6. Cover with cling film (to avoid formation of 'skin'), set aside to cool
7. Roll puff pastry sheet, cut into circles, and place into muffin tray
8. Add custard mixture (3/4 full)
9. Bake for 20-25 mins (top turns brown)

They are supposed to look like that okay! I did not burn them :P