Friday, August 28, 2015

Simple Breakfast Pancakes

Wow! I certainly received quite a number of emails requesting for me to share my pancake recipe. Thank you ladies, those emails certainly make me feel like a domestic goddess. If only you knew how I really am in the kitchen! *ppfffttt*

Simple breakfast pancakes and frozen waffles. (I cheated by buying frozen waffles! *giggles*)

These pancakes are really easy to make, I swear you can make them with your eyes closed. *exaggerating* I have always been using Martha Stewart's recipe for our breakfast pancakes. They only need simple everyday ingredients, and you can whip them up in less than 30 minutes. However, I noticed that they don't turn out so well over fire. Perfectly edible, but not as fluffy and golden brown as when you make them over the electric griddle.

Easy Basic Pancakes Recipe by Martha Stewart:

1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
2 tablespoons sugar (I used normal daily kitchen sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil (I used 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for frying (my electric griddle did not need any oil)
Assorted toppings, such as butter, maple syrup, confectioners' sugar, honey, jams, preserves, sweetened whipped cream, or chocolate syrup

Method of Preparation:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter (or oil), and egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine).
  3. Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.
  4. For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).
  5. Cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  6. This recipe will yield 12 to 15 pancakes. Serve warm, with desired toppings.

Carried this electric griddle all the way from Houston to Malaysia. Such a cheap buy too! It was only USD18, times 3.2 (not current currency) and tax, equals ~RM64! 

Pretty bubbles on the pancake.

Flip it over, and you get beautiful golden brown pancakes. *drool*

Best served with honey, maple syrup or chocolate sauce. Scrumptious!

As for the Cuisipro batter dispenser, I bought this from the US through the same lady that purchased my KitchenAid. (I wish we have stuff like these in Malaysia!) It is extremely simple to use. Simply turn the dispenser upside down, pull the plunger up until fully extended, unlock the bottom cover, fill up with batter and close. There is also a lever at the top which enables you to control the amount of batter it dispenses so you can control the size of pancakes you get. The dispenser is meant for pancakes, waffles, madeleines and muffins but I'm pretty sure the dispenser works for cupcake batter too! Dying to try that out! Also, the batter dispenser comes with a drip free valve so you don't have to worry about drips and spills after each squeeze. Just make sure you squeeze the handle quickly and firmly for even dispensing.

Simple to fill, and simple to clean too.

Excuse the sorry looking pancake on the left. It wasn't really easy juggling the dispenser and a camera all at the same time.

I bet you're looking forward to the weekend to try the recipe out. Certainly gives you a perfect start to your day. Let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment below! Good luck!

Tip of the day: For fluffy pancakes, as soon as you see small bubbles on top of the pancake, immediately flip it over. It will rise beautifully. Do not wait for the bubbles to enlarge. When cooking over fire, keep the fire small. While waiting for the next batch of pancakes to cook, you can stack the pancakes on a plate covered with a tea towel so that they will stay warm and moist.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Celebrity For A Day?



Ever wondered how it feels to be known, to have random strangers greeting you by your name, or feeling conscious that everyone is looking at your every move? You know, the kind of attention that celebrities get?

Well, I got my dose of fame (and attention!) last week at the Friso Gold media launch. And I am soooo not kidding. It was such a surreal experience that after it all ended, all I wanted to do was to go back to my engineering job. Hahaha I'm so not cut out for Hollywood!

Mind you, this is not a bragging post so if you've read this far and you feel like I am bragging, please feel free to scroll downwards to my other blogposts. (Hahaha bukan menghalau tau!)

So anyway, back to my train of thoughts. The Friso Gold Say 'Yes' To Experiences Media Launch was organized to introduce the Yes Experiment to the media. And as one of the lucky mommies who got subjected to the 5 week experiment, I was invited to share my journey with them. Not only did Friso Gold invite TV reporters and newspapers journalists, they invited bloggers too! And coming from a pool of bloggers who had attended similar events, I knew the press release would have been circulated earlier, prompting the bloggers to view the videos before the event.

The event was due to start at 11am but my stated call time was at 9am! Silly me thought that I would have time to go to the salon at 10am to blow my hair and get to the event by 11am. But no such thing okeh! So I ended up blowing my hair the night before, rolled it into a tight bun to maintain the curls and slept on my tummy so as not to squash them. Aaahhh the things I do for decent pictures.

And so I arrived just five minutes after the stipulated call time. To my surprise, Serena C was already there. Waaahhh such an experienced emcee and she arrived even earlier than me. *amazed* I guess what they say about discipline in the entertainment industry is true. It's what makes and breaks them. Anyway, Serena was super duper friendly. We then sat down with the PR & Event agents and went through the entire flow of the event on paper. Yes, I might as well declare that I was given an on-stage guide script to be 'recited' on stage, but honestly, they were mostly cues and come the actual stage interview, I ended up using none of them and just rattled off stuff that came into my head! *grin* After that, I was allowed to take a break so I went strolling around the hall taking pictures.

The event was held at a beautiful gallery by the pool bar and grill of Le Meredian Hotel. 

Ian's favourite milk - Friso Gold Step 3!

Product presentation at the back of the hall.

Photos with my PR & Event agents and of course, the emcee for the day - Serena C.

While I was busy snapping photos, a lady walked up me and said "Hi Liz!" Wow that was shocking. Random stranger acknowledging me by name! Thankfully my years of talking to strangers at work paid off and we started chatting. She was very friendly too! She raved about how it was great to finally meet the lady in the video, and I finally deduced that she worked for Friso. Our great chat got interrupted by the media agent, who wanted to introduce me to some big shot in Friso. Wow! Second shock - people making an effort to introduce you to influential people! At work, we struggle to get close to people who run the company, to create an impression. But this time, I'm being introduced freely to one! Oh the power of fame! *chuckles*

The other thing that was interesting for me, was that people had predetermined assumptions about me. I guess that was the effect of the videos which portrayed me as an over protective mother. I'm not saying that assumptions are bad; for instance I know some people at work tend to assume I'm a 'firm' project engineer hence I play it to my advantage. But this parenting assumption was completely new to me! They also asked how Aiden was enjoying his pet, whether Ian was liking his new found freedom... It was quite impressive to see how a few videos can tell people so much about your family.


The stage in the hall. They were playing my Friso Gold videos on a continuous loop throughout the morning. Erk... I was quite self conscious about it!

Two screens flanking the stage. *hides face*

Then I got dragged to do a photo shoot for the product. I was told to pose... Shoulder up, chin down, hair to the back, hair to the front... Uhuh easier said than done. If this is stardom, I really miss my fire retardant coveralls and safety boots!!! *chuckles*


The beautiful glass gallery by the pool. Several activities booth were featured here, many which were the brainchild of mothers who had embraced saying "Yes" to their kids.

Creative outdoor experiences. 

10am rolled in and Yuen, the other mother from the experiment arrived. (You MUST know Yuen from her fame in 3R... even I am a fan!!!) And as I expected, she was super nice! She even said "When I watched your video, I felt like I've known you forever!" I didn't miss the opportunity for a photo with her too. To record the first time the 'Yes Experiment' mummies met!

First photo for the two 'Yes Experiment' mummies!

Later after I had warmed up to her, I asked her nervously. "Will the stage interview be exactly the same as the script?" To my dismay she answered "No!!!" An anxious me retorted, "Yuen, you're not helping!" And she said "Just answer what comes to mind!" Ooookayyyyy! Well she is definitely a pro at this cos throughout the time before the event, never once did she view the stage script given to her. I guess she didn't need it at all because she did so well on stage too.

The good thing about having a 'celebrity' as a companion throughout the event, was that I learned so much from her. I was observing her all throughout the event and picked up oh so random things:
  • Say thank you. All the time. As a celebrity you are expected to be nice and courteous. 
  • Phones away as soon as the event starts. I was still fiddling with my phone when the Friso folks were giving the welcome speech, not because I was not interested nor replying messages but because I was reading my script cues! (Which was a waste because the minute I was on stage I remembered nothing anyway and did all of it impromptu!) Until I noticed that Yuen had chucked her phone in her bag and placed it underneath the chair and was listening enthusiastically to the speech. Then I realized. With so many cameras trained your way, a picture with you fiddling with your phone would not be nice for your sponsors!
  • That being said, smile! You never know when some reporter is taking your photo. 
  • Pose well. You won't get a chance to retake your photo, and the reporter won't bother showing you the picture to see if your smile is acceptable to you. And if the reporter wants a picture of you at level with the product, take off your shoes!
See, this is how the pros do it!

Heh - I think I looked like a tunggul kayu if compared to the sifu on the right.

  • Make an effort to greet the media and bloggers. Even better, remember their name! One trick that I noticed from two celebrities from previous events - when someone from the floor asks a question, remember to approach the person later and comment, "That was a great question!" Or "Thank you for participating". Stuff like that. Make them feel appreciated. 
  • Never give interviews without your agent saying okay. Well don't be rude about it too, but at the very least check what the ground rules are for answering questions. I made the silly mistake of entertaining a reporter as I was making my way back from the ladies to the event hall, and she ended asking me about something unrelated to the event. Thank goodness my agent spotted me, waited patiently by my side and later asked the reporter to kindly delete the recording. 
  • That being said, unless you're a complete pro like Yuen - practice your interview cues... in BOTH languages! I went through my cue cards a couple of times before the event and practiced my lines. But unfortunately, I failed to realize that AFTER the stage interview, the media would approach you to record a live interview. Coming from Bulletin Utama, RTM and Astro Hlive, all of them wanted interviews in Malay! And it was at this point that I realized that I couldn't answer interviews in Malay to save my life! Oh I struggled like crazy to speak smoothly in formal Malay... My mind was so busy trying to translate English words into Malay and unfortunately my panic showed! 
  • Here's one big boo boo that I did during the event... when you are invited to go up on stage, make sure everyone is already on stage before you sit down! To my embarrassment, I had plonked my backside on the very comfy chair on stage before realizing that Yuen was still standing, waiting for the Consultant Paediatrician and Corporate Nutritionist to walk up, and then sit simultaneously with them. I was absolutely mortified! *cue red face*
  • Be prepared to give your phone number/email details to be reporter after the event. They may want to ask for additional quotes for their article.

Anyway, I did not manage to snap any photos during the actual stage interview as I was busy on stage (duh!) but I managed to get these shots from Instagram. Do check out #yestoexperiences for more pictures!

The onstage chit-chat session led by Serena C, and media photography session at the end of the session.

Product photo shoot and interviews.

Before I end this post, thought I should share an anecdote of something that happened to me at the end of the event. As I was waiting for the lift down to the hotel lobby (to go home), suddenly two ladies, who were obviously from the media launch, joined me. Usually, the introvert part of me would just pretend not to see them or I would act busy on the phone just to avoid having to make small talk. However, I got so conscious about the fact that they knew who I was - hence I made the effort to tegur them. Oh my... I bet this is how celebrities feel all the time - torn between wanting to just do your own thing but worried that fans would label them as sombong if they don't play nice.

But I'm glad I did say hello to them because they were very friendly. We parted ways at the elevator, and the warm feeling of knowing that I did the right thing, stayed with me.

Tapi, cukuplah sehari jadi 'celebrity'. I'm happy to stick to my job as an engineer. I don't think I'm cut out for the high heels and glamour. Coveralls, safety boots, and sweat; those are still what I'm most comfortable with.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

School Registration

Yesterday marked a huge parenting milestone for both Hubby and I. We registered Aiden at 'big boy school'!!! (We haven't made the big decision of going public or private, but we agreed to just register for public and then decide at the end of the year.)

It felt like just yesterday that I was choosing a pre-school for him. I remember stealing time from my lunch hour to visit numerous play schools. And then in just a blink of an eye he's going to primary school. Like seriously??? *cries*

Hubby registering Aiden, with Danya's daddy... while the mummies take pictures!

Okay, now that the registration is done, it's time to start stressing out on entrance exams, orientation, school uniforms and such. What's all this business about sewing school badges and name tags? What happened to the iron-on stuff I grew up with???

Big boy school.

They grow up too fast, don't they? *sigh* Now excuse me while I bawl my eyes out...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Breakfast Aidilfitri

Breakfast Aidilfitri!

Last Sunday, we invited a couple of close neighbours, my BBGS gang and the Real Kids gang over to our humble home, for a small breakfast get together. Although technically last Sunday was the first day of Zulkaedah, we still called it Breakfast Aidilfitri to keep to the spirit of Eid.

Why breakfast you ask? Well, after the whole fiasco of having to fulfill seven simultaneous open house invites in a day; we decided to make it easy for our guests by inviting them for breakfast instead of the conventional lunch or tea. Furthermore, with the rainy season, we wanted to play it safe and stay away from the afternoons when it would usually pour cats and dogs.

We wanted to go with the whole hotel breakfast buffet kinda theme, so here was what we served that morning:

Chalkboard menu.

Since our guest list was so small, we decided to just confine the makan-makan around the vicinity of our house - no external tents, tables and such. Hence, we made our dry kitchen area into a buffet line. We served a fusion of Asian and Western food. For Asian, we had nasi lemak, roti canai and kuih melayu, while for Western we had buttermilk pancakes, chocolate chip waffles, sausages, potato wedges, cereal, assorted pastries and bread. 

However, pancakes and waffles are best served hot, therefore instead of making them for our guests, we made our guests prepare their own food! *giggles* During our last trip to Houston, we bought an electric griddle from Walmart (cos Aiden the anak melayu insisted on having nasi goreng for dinner and an electrical griddle was all we could use to cook in the hotel)... so I pre-made the pancake batter and frozen pancakes, and simply asked my guests to cook them on the electric griddle!


The buffet line.

Okay, so let's start with this corner. The nasi lemak corner! Below the dry kitchen table, I placed a nifty trolley that I bought from Ikea and used it to store plates, platters and bowls. Mimpi la kalau nak ade plate warmers ala hotel, kan? In hindsight, not sure whether the trolley was such a good idea because Ian kept pushing it all over the house, until we had to tie the trolley down and stick the wheels to the floor!

The nasi lemak corner and the chinaware trolley. Can you see the rope and sticky tape on the trolley? *grin*

We had ayam goreng rempah, sambal ikan bilissambal sotong and paru goreng - all served in Le Creuset cookware!

Fluffy nasi lemak served in daun pisang from our garden.

Ayam goreng rempah fried with daun kari from our own garden.

Next up, the corner by the TV. Loved Hubby's idea of placing a decorative lamp on the countertop. It certainly gave a certain glow to the roti canai! *chuckles* We bought fluffy roti canai from our favourite mamak, MMZ. MMZ has the best dhal ever! In the same corner, we also served assorted pastries, kuih melayu and homemade strawberry tarts. For the kids, we had cereal (Koko Krunch and Honey Stars), cocktail sausages and potato wedges.

The kids wiped their food clean! However, the roti canai went quite slow. Most of the adults preferred nasi lemak for breakfast.

We placed the electric griddle by my KitchenAid mixer. Love the mess-free batter dispenser, seen here with the pre-made pancake batter. Here's a dear neighbour with the batter dispenser in action.

Beautiful golden brown pancakes *drool*

Homemade strawberry tarts, homemade kek sarang semut, koci (came in four variants - biasa, pulut hitam, labu inti kelapa and labu inti kelapa durian), and assorted pastries (Pain au Chocolat and Peach Danish).

On the dining table, I served strawberry tarts and loaf bread with assorted mini fruit preserves.

The only countertop area by the water dispenser, without any food on it! You know why???

Because we also made our guests make their own coffee and tea! *giggles* We provided instant sachets of coffee, latte, hot chocolate and tea, and apple juice.

Oookayyyyy enough of food pictures and let's move on to the house. With the absence of tents, I knew I had to make sure I had enough seats for everyone. So we placed carpets everywhere so people could sit picnic-style!

Moved the daybed to the patio to create more space in the living hall. I also placed an additional carpet by the door.

Daybed and carpet at the patio. 

Moved the garden furniture into the garden. Here was where the men hung out sambil fogging halau nyamuk. *smacks forehead*

And of course, a bouncing castle for the kids!

Our first guest arrived promptly at 930am. More guests started trickling in at 10am, which was more like brunch instead of breakfast. Each gang started finding their own spots in the house, and soon the house was buzzing with people gossiping and kids playing. 

The beauty with having such a small guest list was that I could actually make meaningful conversations with my guests! In all my previous parties, as host, all I could manage was "Hi" and "Bye!" plus some occasional photos and sore feet. This crowd was so much more manageable and enjoyable too!


My SPK girls!

Gossiping without me!!!!!!! *hhmmpphh*

The BBGS childhood friends.

Biggest crowd of all - the kindy moms.

Our kids were nowhere to be seen in this photo cos they were so busy playing.

Here they are in Aiden's room.

Look at those sweaty heads, from all the running around!

The only girls from the kindy gang.

The kids with a formal pose.

And of course - the freestyle pose. Aww... I hope these kids remain friends even after graduation and moving on to different schools!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...