Monday, March 7, 2016

I'm Back! What Have I Been Upto?!

It really has been a long time. Things had been pretty crazy lately and must say time is really gold. My baby is now 9 months! If I could just pause and make him not grow up so fast. So, a lot of things had happen since my last post... I gave birth, my brother's wedding and my baby's baptism. I will post about those stuff soon (crossing my fingers that I get to find time). Anyway, so what's keeping me busy lately??? Well, aside from the new baby, I am now starting to prepare for his first birthday, we will be doing a lot of DIY stuff and I would like to post them here too once I start, and what else... I get to do my long lost passion in baking. Well, first off, I am no expert, but I am a good researcher (of good/great recipes), and I know how to follow directions (hah!). I have a sweet tooth, actually a very very sweet tooth so you will be seeing mostly sweet stuff and oh I am sweet too (lol!). 

My first try would be my all time comfort sweet food:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These goodies were from Sally's Baking Addiction, a favorite food blogger that I follow. 
We do not have here everything on her list like the bittersweet disks or fèves but regular semi sweet chocolate chips did just fine, or more than fine for me, I couldn't even stop munching on the batter. But like what she said, you need your patience here as this has to be refrigerated at least 24 hours. I tell you, the waiting time is so worth it. 


Here are the ingredients:
  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter (*almost room temperature, see notes below)
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds semi-sweet chocolate chips OR bittersweet disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (from the original recipe)
  • Sea salt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Sift the bread flour, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl, set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugars together until light, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until combined about 5 to 10 seconds only. Add and fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Press a plastic wrap or cling wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. The dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick/silpat mat, set aside.
  5. I made this batch into regular sized cookies using 1/8 cup and made mounds of dough (the size of ping pong balls) and laid onto the baking sheet, I pressed the dough a bit to flatten it (but not too much). You may sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake before it turns golden brown but still soft for 10-12 minutes. Transfer parchment sheet with the freshly baked cookies into a wire rack for 10 minutes, then then transfer again onto another rack to cool a bit more until at room temperature and store in an airtight container, these will be good upto 3 days. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerate upto 3 days for baking at a later time.

*Notes:

We have a very hot and humid weather and it doesn't take very long for butter to melt after being taken out of the refrigerator, thus I use the butter just before it reaches it's room temperature or I will have a very very sticky even a runny dough.
I use my 1/8 cup measuring cup for the cookie dough and it gives me a regular sized cookies with my desired thickness. Since I lessen the size, I reduced the baking time too, I baked them in 3 batches starting at 15 minutes which got too crunchy for my liking, the 2nd trial I baked it for 12 minutes, this was good but the best batch I had was when it was baked for 10 minutes.
I used just the regular semi-sweet chocolate chips and they turned out just great, I also learned to add them last. I had one baking session where the chocolate melted and totally incorporated into the batter making it just a plain chocolate cookie, I probably mixed or folded too much.






Friday, March 27, 2015

A Big Thanks to All! My Pregnancy and My Baby Shower!

Sorry this is a late post already, I just want to share what transpired a couple of weeks ago, March 14th.


Yes, indeed we are having a BOY! And as I write, I am 7 months, 2 weeks + a day pregnant!

I hope it's not to late but I would just like to give you a glimpse of my pregnancy. My first trimester was tough, I was on bed rest for more than 2 months due to bleeding. The nausea and vomiting was endless and I was in that state not just in the morning but throughout the day, it was nothing like my first pregnancy. I lost a lot of weight because my stomach just couldn't take anything but plain soda crackers and water. Oh well, to each his own right? My little bump was making his BIG entrance that time! Fast forward to today... I am a lot lot better and a lot heavier ha ha! We are so excited to meet this little man inside me! Sometimes I day dream about him, forgive me, I know some expectant moms do that and not just me, riiiight???

We had a hot air balloon themed shower, my sister-in-law and her friends made it all possible, we had a few fun games and the day was just perfect! Thus, I would like to send my THANK YOU to everyone! And to my favorite person in the world - my husband, you are such a great cook, I love you so much! To all those who came, relatives and friends, you made this day really special to our little one and us. Thank you soo very much too for the presents and the love!




Monday, February 2, 2015

Spanish Beach Party

I can clearly remember doing this project for Ms. Patty of Sweet Treat Stands, she sent me photos of her mom and boy she is beautiful. Here's what we were able to come up with for the party....

The invitation


The Food labels


Need more inspiration? Visit Kara's Party Ideas to view the rest of the photos of the party or Bella Paris Designs.

Need printables and ideas for your party? Visit my Etsy shop Pink Paper Trail.
Hope to see you there!