When The Wind Brings Warmth

Cheesecake Pot

This wasn’t what I wanted to do with my brand new mixer, but alas, I overwhipped my cream (yes, again even with a stand mixer) while I was trying to figure out whatsapp, instagram and what have you. I’m so not a multi tasker. So my grand plan to make a Mont Blanc failed miserably. Not giving up, but I will keep it for another day. Mont Blanc isn’t usually done with sablé breton, a crumbly pastry from Normandy, but I like to mix and match stuff. And try everything at least once.

I like to think I’m pretty familiar with dough and I’ve done pâte sablée (another crumbly pastry) few times but this sablé breton is just way too moelleux, way too soft that I wonder if my eggs are too big, hence disrupting the liquid to dry ratio – see, I won’t have this problem in Angola. I would complain that my eggs are not yellow enough or just too small.

Sable Breton

It pains my heart to see the dough thrown away or unused, so I bake them as cookies. H has been munching them non-stop. They are indeed great cookies: crumbly, sweet peppered with crystal salt. But I wonder what else I can do with it.


This is what happened. (more…)


Unchartered Water

This business of moving to a new place is an oxymoron. Exciting yet daunting. Hopeful yet stressful. I never quite get the hang of it. It is frightening every single time. From wading through the traffic and unknown street, deciding when to cross the road when the cars don’t seem slowing down for you to searching the right hair salon and where to get stuffs, to finding people you want to hang out with for the rest of your life. Even between H & I, we need new tactics. What worked for us in Angola is not working for us here.

The last couple of weeks have been about moving from one place to another. But this week onward is going to be about establishing some routines, setting some goals and getting into the swing of things. It’s time to take the steering wheel back.

Bresaola with Ricotta & Arugula
The supermarket here has soooooo many things that I don’t even know where to begin. Filling the fridge with TV dinners is way too easy. I still don’t really know what is in season right now, besides that strawberries are abundant but not exactly sweet yet. (more…)

Milk Maid

If there’s ever a race “World’s most impatient person of the year” I will be within the top 10. Heck, that’s an understatement. I will be within the top 3! Have always been.

So if waiting for Saturday to come before I can buy the necessary ingredient is Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly, waiting for hours for the ricotta to pass through the coffee filters is Eminem’s Till I Collapse. I was on the edge, irritable, couldn’t concentrate on any single things and refusing to be cuddled and coddled. Why he married me, well, that’s a good question.

Before the first hour ended, I have transferred the ricotta cheese twice. From coffee filters to paper towel to finally cotton cloth to strain the liquid. Nothing is fast enough. David said 15 mins, mine even after 1 hour is still very watery.

This is me cleaning the pot with baguette. Half a baguette, standing by the stove, 2 mins top. Lick ’em dry.

This is me trying to be a little smarter.

This is four hours later. Yeah 4 hours, and still pretty runny. Sigh. I should really get those cheese cloth next time. Overall, it wasn’t disastrous, but it wasn’t a ricotta cheese that would fly with flying colours too. But I guess, it’s not too bad.

I changed the recipe a little because the cream sold here comes in a little box of 200ml.

(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

3 1/4 cups whole milk
200 ml cream
1/2 tsp coarse salt
3 tbsp lemon juice

  • Mix all ingredients in a pot and let it slowly boil. Once it boils, remove from heat. Let it sit for 5 mins before pouring over cheese cloth (I used coffee filters, the paper kind).
  • Let the whey sift through for 1-2 hours (depending how firm you want it to be). It is said that the cheese will firm up as it cools, so do not judge by what you have on your cheese cloth.

Last word, do NOT throw away the whey (the liquid coming out of your ricotta). Use it to make chicken soup (to replace chicken stock), to replace water when making bread or cooking rice. You can also use it for sports recovery drink from what I read.

Read Simply Recipe/ David Lebovitz here for different permutation to make ricotta cheese.

Update: Despite the ricotta looking watery, after transferred to a box and stored in the fridge, the ricotta is just perfect: it turns much denser after couple hours.