'Tis Almost The Season

Thursday, November 29, 2007

For raised blood pressure, sleepless nights and copious clumps of pulled hair (mine) trying to figure out this year's Christmas dinner(s), the tree and house decor (both in and outdoors), who gets what gift and how to get it, if I can get it and what to wear.

To lay out a delish Christmas spread, decorate the tree and house, buy and wrap gifts for family and friends, pick out the perfect outfit for that evening. All with grace and finesse.

As if by magic.

As if.


The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 12:06 pm

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Tag - You're It!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I got tagged by Honeymeow last week:

W H O . W A S . T H E. L A S T . P E R S O N

1. You hung out with?: The Hubby
2. Saw you cry: The Hubby
3. Went to the movies with you?: The Hubby and Sonny-boy
4. You went to the mall with?: The Hubby
5. You went to dinner with?: The Hubby
6. You talked on the phone to?: Some sales person
7. Said ‘I love you’ to you and really meant it?: The Hubby
8. Made you laugh?: Sonny-boy

W O U L D . Y O U . R A T H E R?

1. Pierce your nose or tongue? Ewww... neither!
2. Be serious or be funny? It depends on the situation.
3. Drink whole or skim milk? Again neither - I'm borderline lactose intolerant.
4. Spend time with your parents or enemies? Parents

D O . Y O U . P R E F E R.

1. Flowers or candy? Candy
2. Gray or black? Black
3. Color or Black and white photos? Colour
4. Lust or love? Love
5. Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise because it means I have a new day ahead to go do (hopefully) fun stuff.
6. M and Ms or Skittles? Skittles.
8. Staying up late or waking up early? Staying up late. Especially when everyone's asleep and everything is so still.

D O . Y O U . P R E F E R.

1. Sun or moon? Sun
2. Winter or Fall? To be honest, none of them. I'm more of a Spring/Summer sort of person. But if I have to choose the lesser of the two evils, I would pick Winter as it doesn't rain as much as Fall, if at all. I hate rain.
3. Left or right?: Right
4. 10 acquaintances or having two best friends?: Two best friends - I'm into quality, not quantity.
5. Sunny or rainy?: Sunny.
6. Vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream: Both!

A B O U T . Y O U

1. What time is it?: 11.39am
2. Nickname(s): Dutchess
3. What is your birth date?: 9 June
4. What do you want?: Happiness and good health. I know it sounds cheesy but really, I do. If you're referring to things and stuff, I don't really want anything at the moment. Hubs has just about covered all the bases.
5. Where do you want to live? In a beach front house.
6. How many kids do you want?: Just one. I'm not very maternal.
7. You want to get married? I am happily so.


1. Nervous habit: Picking at my cuticles.
2. Are you double jointed?: No, but maybe it's erm, interesting?
3. Can you roll your tongue?: Yes
4. Can you raise one eyebrow?: Yes
5. Can you cross your eyes?: Yes
6. Do you make your bed daily?: Yes
7. Can you draw? Yes, and very well too, if I may say so myself.


1. Which shoe goes on first? Right
2. Ever thrown a shoe at someone? What?! And risk ruining my babies? The horror!
3. What is your craziest experience ever? Bringing Sonny-boy, then a baby, to a tattoo palour where Hubs and I were getting birthday tattoos?


1. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? Twirl
2. Have you ever eaten spam? Yes, and deep fried too.
3. Favorite ice cream: Don't have one.
4. How many kinds of cereal are in your cabinet? Just one - oatmeal.
5. What’s your favorite beverage? I've got two - plain water and tea.
6. Do you cook? This is a food blog and I call myself the Dutchess of COOKALOT. Enough said. *heh*

IN . T H E . L A S T . M O N T H . H A V E . Y O U ?

1. Bought something: Yes and it doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon. Yikes!
2. Sang: Every night when tucking Sonny-boy to bed
3. Been hugged: Yes, the Hubby and Sonny-boy
4. Felt stupid: Actually, no. Thank goodness.
5. Missed someone: Nope, but I will be missing Hubs this Saturday when he goes away on business for 2 weeks.
6. Danced crazy: No
7. Gotten your hair cut: Yes, to get rid of the dry ends.
8. Cried: No
9. Lied: Yes, when I told Sonny-boy to behave or Sintaklas and Zwarte Piet won't be leaving anything in his shoe on 5 Dec.

And to the following ladies: TAG, you're It!

  • Chicchicbaby

  • East Meets West

  • Walk With Me

  • Daily Affairs

  • Stukje bij Beetje
  • Labels:

    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 11:23 am

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    Tomato And Leek Soup

    We enjoyed Mother-in-law's Tomato and Leek Soup so much the last time round, I had to make some of our own. Before leaving, I asked her for the list of ingredients and committed them to memory.

    This is my attempt, albeit with one minor change. Mother-in-law loves cream in her soup so she puts in a generous dollop before serving. Well, (unnecessary) cream is to me what garlic is like to Dracula so if I can skip it without sacrificing taste, I will. And that's what I did here.

    Tomato And Leek Soup

    You need:

    1 tbsp butter
    1 stalk leek, halved lengthwise and finely sliced
    1 packet of cut tomatoes in sauce (I used Heinz)
    3-4 cups of fish boullion
    Salt and pepper to taste
    small strips of raw or smoked salmon

    How To:
    1. In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium flame. Add in sliced leek and stir fry until slightly limp and transparent.

    2. Add in tomatoes, mix well before adding fish boullion. Stir.

    3. Bring to the boil for a few minutes before lowering flame. Close pan and simmer for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    4. Arrange the small strips of salmon in serving bowls. Pour the soup over it. Serve hot with crusty bread.

    Note: This is a tangy soup. For extra kick, I added a good pinch of ground chilli powder which got us all snivelly nosed during dinner. Perfect for the current rainy, cold nights.

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    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 9:53 am

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    Oilily Teapot

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    After lusting over it forever, I finally laid my manicured hands on this beauty. I can't tell you how faint I felt with all the blood rushing through my head while queuing up at the cashier. Ilsa, my stone cow, approves too.

    This whimsical looking confection is specially designed by Oilily (incidentally a Dutch fashion company) for Douwe Egberts, the tea and coffee specialist. Although available online, nothing beats going into the store proper and fondling the various teapots, cups, and what not in real life.

    Anyhow, there were only two Oilily teapots on the shelf and faster than you can say 'Oi', I made a grab for one. And two tea cups. And two saucer thingamajigs for teabags, cookies, chocolates.



    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 10:37 am

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    Roasted Pork With Spiced Marmalade Glaze

    This is a variation of a recipe found in the December 2007 issue of Olive. The original recipe uses raw ham on the bone. As luck would have it, the supermarket and butcher were all out the day I wanted to try this. No matter, I'll just substitute it with pork instead. You see, I was very keen on finding out if the marmalade glaze was any good or not, never mind if it was raw ham or pork. A pig's a pig. And no, I'm not talking about the male of the species.

    The glaze didn't disappoint - I love it. It even got Hubs' stamp of approval. Now, to try it on a goose or duck...

    Damn, I just made myself hungry.

    Baked Ham (or Roasted Pork) With Spiced Marmalade Glaze

    You Need:

    2 oranges, thickly sliced
    20-30 cloves
    1 tbsp black peppercorns
    2 onions, thickly sliced
    Whole raw ham on the bone or pork loin (I bought about 800g as we are only a family of 3)


    1/2 jar marmalade (get the darker ones)
    2 star anise
    4 tbsp muscovado sugar
    2 tbsp dijon mustard (I skipped this)
    2 tsp allspice

    How To:
    1. Heat the oven to 160C. Put the oranges, 5 cloves the peepercorns and onions in the bottom of a large roasting tin. Pour in the water to come up to about 4cm. Sit the ham / pork loin on a trivet in the tray then cover the whole thing tightly with a double layer of foil. Bake in the oven for 4 hours. (Yes, you read it correctly, 4 hours)

    2. To make the marmalade glaze, put all the ingredients in a pan and heat gently. Add a splash of water if the glaze is too thick. Bring to a simmer then cool slightly.

    3. Carefully remove the skin from the ham, leaving a decent layer of fat. Score the fat and stud all over with cloves.

    4. If you are using pork, disregard the removal of skin and go straight for the scoring and studding.

    5. Brush the ham / pork loin all over with the glaze then put back in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush on more glaze halfway through cooking if you like. Let the ham / pork sit for 20 minutes before carving.

    Note: This keeps for days in the refridgerator and can be reincarnated in the form of sandwich filling or salad topping.


    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 9:06 am

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    A Tale Of Two Museums

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Hubs and I went on an outing today. Just the two of us, to Amsterdam.

    After dropping off Sonny-boy at school, we drove to Sittard to catch the train. The journey takes roughly two and the half hours, about the same time if we were to drive, but without the hassle of traffic jams and exhorbitant parking prices, assuming you find a spot in the first place.

    Hubs makes for a good travelling companion, he listens while I talk away about this and that. And when I got tired of yapping, I pulled out my crochet and worked on it while Hubs perused his copy of Top Gear.

    On today's program were two places: The Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank Huis (House).

    We went to the Rijksmuseum first.

    There was the Masterpieces exhibition going on featuring great Dutch painters like Rembrandt and Jan Steen. The highlight of it was Rembrandt's painting of The Night Watch. It was amazing. Photography was not allowed as usual.

    It also showcased the Netherlands in the 1600s, known as the Dutch Golden Age. It had artefacts and paintings from and about the Dutch East India Company and West India Company. I have two favourite parts of that exhibition: i)the Chinese porcelain and Delft Blue collection; ii) the dollhouse collection.

    After a quickie lunch at a nearby cafe of teriyaki chicken on french bread,

    we walked to our next stop, the Anne Frank Huis. It wasn't too far, just twenty minutes by foot. We could have taken the tram of course but we thought we'd soak in the local atmosphere, not to mention the air pollution as well. The Anne Frank Huis is situated along the canal so it made for a rather pleasant walk. On the left of us, we got an eyeful of the canal. On the right, we had windows of various stores, restaurants and businesses to look at.

    The Anne Frank museum was certainly impressive. Not so much the size of the place per se, but rather, the history and reason behind it. We climbed right up to the Secret Annexe (steep, potentially neck-breaking small stairs typical of so many dutch houses) where the Franks and another family hid from the Germans for two years during World War II. I was rather surprised at how spacious (in context) the hidey hole was. I always had the impression, from reading Anne's diary when I was about eleven, the Secret Annexe was a very small place with all eight people falling over each other in terms of space. Well, I was wrong. With the two floors put together, it's about the size of a two to three room apartment. It even had a small kitchen area and flushing toilets. However, a prison is still a prison, no matter how large or relatively comfortable it is. I felt a mixture of awe and sadness moving from room to room.


    It had been an extremely good day for the Hubby and me. A little taxing on our minds because we were bombarded with so much information visually and mentally but nontheless, a pleasant, couply day of museum crawling.


    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 11:20 pm

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    Sunday Stroll In The Woods

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    The sun was out in full force over the weekend.

    This was warmly greeted by us, having been starved of decent sunlight over the last three weeks or so.

    Not wanting to waste it, we all decided to go for a walk in the woods. Parents-in-law included. We drove to a little village called Groesveld where they had nothing but farmland and forests, parked the car and began our trek. We decided to take the Green Route and followed the green markers placed at intervals. This took us up a fairly steep hill, round it and down again. The ground was muddy and leaves slippery wet from the previous rain. Many a time I had to cling onto the Hubby's arm for support even though I was wearing rubber soled suede boots.

    Watching Sonny-boy enjoy himself - running, chasing a tennis ball Mother-in-law brought along, poking around the leaves and collecting sticks and branches - I couldn't help but think how lucky he was to be surrounded by all this nature.

    Speaking of nature, it got abit too au natural for a city bred girl like me. At one point, we saw a teeny, tiny field mouse rustling among the leaves. Everyone, save me, was going awwww, zo leuk, so cute etc. I literally took off running, hands over my mouth to silence my screams. It's bad business to be screaming in quiet forests unless there's a perfectly good reason like say, being attacked or discovering a corpse. Or something. Being deathly afraid of rodents just doesn't classify as A Good Reason.

    After the walk, we went to a nearby cafe to thaw ourselves out with a spot of hot coffee and tea. It might have been sunny but temperatures were a frosty 5oC with a rather nippy wind thrown in so we don't forget it's almost winter.

    To round up the pleasant day, we all trooped back to the in-laws' house where Mother-in-law had promised us dinner earlier on. She decided on a typical Limburgs winter farmer fare.

    To start, we had a bowl of Tomato and Leek soup. This had bits of salmon floating about and it was so good.

    For the main meal, Mother-in-law put out a spread of smoked pork rib carbonade, sausages, sour cabbage with pineapples, creamed potatoes and a vegetable salad. Your everyday, honest to goodness home-cooked meal. Lekker!

    I also noticed Mother-in-law using the tablecloth I stitched for her some five years ago. Needless to say, I was super pleased. Come to think of it, she almost always has it on the table when we come round for dinner. *beams*

    And how was your weekend?

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    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 9:01 pm

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    (Almost) Made In Italy

    This was my holiday take-along craft project to Florence. I would've finished it on the way home too if not for the fact I lost my entire set of hooks. Somewhere in Florence, someone is enjoying a brand new set of Clover Soft Touch Hooks, complete with travel case et al. Yes, they were new. *sob* I thank my lucky stars for bringing an old pair of embroidery scissors because it got lost with the hooks as well.

    When we arrived home, I couldn't get on the computer fast enough to order another set. They arrived a week later and voila, I finished my shawl in a day. Initially, I wore it like this, draped and pinned at the shoulder.

    After two hours, I switched to this as it was getting in the way of housework. *heh*

    I now need one in black.


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    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 9:39 am

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    Nasi Briyani

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    This is specially for A, who enjoyed it so much at last Sunday's party she wanted the recipe.

    Nasi Briyani

    You Need:

    55g ghee
    1 tsp ginger, peeled and chopped
    1 tbsp garlic, peeled and chopped
    4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
    5 cm cinnamon quill
    15 cardamoms, whole, lightly crushed
    10 cloves
    500g basmati rice, washed and drained
    3 cups of water
    1 cube chicken stock
    Salt to taste
    1 tsp yellow food colouring
    1/4 tsp rose essence
    4 tbsp water

    You Do:

    1. Place ghee in a wok and heat. When hot, add the ginger, garlic and shallots and fry until light brown.

    2. Add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and fry briefly.

    3. Add the rice and mix well.

    4. Transfer rice into a medium sized pot, pour in the water, chicken stock and salt. Cook covered using medium heat until done. During cooking, pour in additional water if needed.

    5. Combine yellow food colouring, rose essence and water.

    6. When rice is cooked, remove lid and sprinkle the yellow colouring mixture over rice.

    7. Cover again and let rice sit for another 10 minutes, keeping flame at the lowest point possible.

    8. Remove from heat and fluff the rice, mixing the colours evenly. Serve hot.

    Note: Ghee is clarified butter. In the Netherlands, it is available in most asian stores but if you can't get your hands on it, butter is an acceptable substitute. Do bear in mind however, when using butter, the rice will lose some of its oomph. Still can't find ghee but don't want to sacrifice taste? Make your own then.

    Nasi Briyani is traditionally served with meat or chicken curries but I find it bodes well with European style stews as well. It also makes a good side dish with steaks.

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    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 8:24 pm

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    Parents' Night

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    This evening was our slated appointment with Sonny-boy's form teacher. It's common practice at his school for parents to meet with their child's respective teachers to discuss said child's report card grades. These are given out a week later so this appointment is a sneak preview, if you will.

    I get a tad nervous on such meetings. I feel as if it's ME getting my report card. In a way, I do feel it's a reflection of me as I see my son as an extension of myself.

    Sonny-boy didn't disappoint - he scored straight As in the tests and is generally good academically and socially. I am so relieved. Hubs was extrememly pleased too. You see, we are not pushy parents (by Singaporean standards) when it comes to studies. Not yet anyway. I'm very strict on getting homework done on time while Hubs vets through all completed homework before Sonny-boy hands them in. And that's about all we do. In a way, I'm glad Sonny-boy is in the Dutch school system as opposed to the Singaporean pressure cooker environment. His teachers aren't just concerned with grades, they also emphasise on other aspects such as character and social development. So much so, there's a special category for it in the report card.

    Oh, and lest you think Sonny-boy is an angel, he's not. We were told he's got a penchant for inappropriate words, some in Dutch and some English. No hardcore swearing or anything like that but 'bad' enough to warrant some attention and a ten minute detention.

    Time to go parent a certain seven year old boy...


    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 9:39 pm

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    Blogger's Choice Award Nomination

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    My site was nominated for Best Food Blog!

    Holy smoking wok!

    I just found out I'm in the running for Best Food Blog in the 2008 Blogger's Choice Awards. Thank you, Xtralicious for the nomination. It came as quite a shock, albeit a pleasant one. I've never thought myself as a fantastic cook, just a housewife messing about the kitchen trying or rather, pushing her luck with recipes. I've been fortunate so far - I haven't poisoned anyone yet. Or they never lived to tell the tale. Whichever.

    In all honesty, I know I have about an ice cube's chance in hell of being a finalist, let alone the winner, but I'm going to be shameless now and ask everyone who reads this blog and likes it, to please vote for me. My dear husband has already shown his spousal support; it was that or the couch for the night . *haha*


    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 12:38 am

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    The Cheat's Guide - Bearnaise Sauce

    Last month, I made an entry on Bearnaise Sauce but somehow, forgot to put down the instructions.

    So here it is, in all it's simplified glory.

    Bearnaise Sauce

    You Need:

    1 package of Hollandaise sauce. Not just any kind. After several experiments, I found it only works with this brand of sauce. For best results, choose this or similar:

    Tarragon, a pinch or according to taste.

    You Do:

    1. Empty sauce into saucepan. Heat gently.

    2. Add in tarragon. With a whisk, stir for dear life, making sure that all this time, the sauce, while gently cooking, is not boiling furiously. You don't want that to happen as the fat will start to separate and you get a lumpy mess.

    3. Serve hot on steak or fish.


    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 12:12 am

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    The Hubby's Birthday Do

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    "Keep it SIMPLE," implored the Hubby.

    "Yes, yes, I will," said I.

    "No, really. Keep it simple," reiterated the Hubby.

    "Okay, okay. So shall we have both beef and salmon filet steaks?" I asked.

    He gave up.


    For the record, I did accede to the Hubby's request. There was no big culinary production this time and I even bought some of the items and didn't make them from scratch like I normally do.

    We said 3pm in the email invites and most of the guests (only family this time) trickled in after 3.30pm. To start off, we had the customary coffee and confectionery. Hubs didn't want a birthday cake either (damn! there goes my excuse for baking) so I bought cream puffs and Baklava. There were four sorts of puffs available: plain, chocolate covered, chocolate covered nougatine and hazelnut and Belgium chocolate filled ones. I couldn't decide and bought all four assortments.

    I had initially wanted to make the Baklava and even bought the ingredients for it. However, the Turkish grocer had a fresh new tray on the counter. I succumbed and took the easy way out. " 16 stukjes, alstublieft." I bleated, feeling guilty about the package of phyllo, butter and pistachio nuts in the refridgerator at home.

    After everyone got warmed up with the coffee and pastries, Hubs and I brought out the harder stuff. Enter bottles of bordeaux and tapas. For the munchies, I filled little plastic cups of olives, feta cheese and peppers.

    In addition, I put out a plate of tapas which consisted of serano ham and fried quail's eggs on slices of toasted ciabatta bread.

    For the main meal, I decided to have beef and salmon filet steaks. And herein lies the twist. Madame suddenly had it in her head that the steaks should be grilled. On the barbecue pit. Never mind a tiny detail called Winter. And that's how Hubs found himself huddling outside, grilling pieces of meat and fish under 7oC conditions. He had his 'rude' David apron on too, which, caused a few lewd comments. *snigger*

    Using my cheat's guide recipe, I made a Bearnaise Sauce to go with the meats. The in-laws thought I spent ages whipping the ingredients over a bain Marie, which is technically what you're supposed to do. Anyhow, my short-cut recipe must be working because they never knew the difference. I did 'fess up though. I can't take credit for what I did not do.

    The accompanying dishes were just as simple. I made Ratatouille and Nasi Briyani. A tad strange on account of the Briyani but the tastes melded well so that was good. For the cold dishes, there was the usual salads, tinned fruit and assorted breads.

    Nasi Briyani

    This is a very horrid pic of my salmon filet, so lovingly grilled by Hubs *snigger again*. I simply love char-grilled food and this time, he'd outdone himself. The skin was crisp and the flesh, succulent and tender.

    I took photos of the steaks too but they turned out even worse than the salmon ones. This was because of the lighting. We had on spotlights, candlelight and even had a fire crackling merrily away in the fireplace. All this makes for good ambience but crappy pics.

    Everyone had good fun and we shooed bid our last guests farewell at 10pm. P, A and V, if you're reading this, know that I say it with affection. Also, Christmas is round the corner...

    To my dear Husband, thank you for being so sporting about the barbecue. I love you and I hope you had a great birthday this year.

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    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 9:50 am

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    Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd get a rush over cutlery.

    I suppose people change over time and here I am now, feeling so pleased with my latest kitchen puchase. I scored these last Friday and showed them to the Hubby. He wanted to know why I needed yet another set when I already have four lying in the drawers. I patiently tried, the operative word here being tried, to explain these zippy looking things were for casual dining and they were calling out my name.

    Men don't get it sometimes.

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    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 9:39 am

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    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Just finished playing hostess (hopefully with the mostess, *chuckle*) an hour ago. Occasion? Hubs' birthday party do.

    I'm so, so, so tired. Not from the actual cooking and preparation but from standing on my feet the whole day (and most of the evening). Four and a half inch stilletos kind of do you in like that. I risk aggravating my wonky slipped disc but I swear, the shoes - patent leather burgundy-brown pumps with an embossed baroque print all over - were worth it. Plus, I don't feel so much of a midget amongst the in-laws, not to mention the Hubby.

    Pictures and write up to follow soon. Right now I just want to be Dutchess of Sleepalot.


    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 10:48 pm

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    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    People get inspired by art, nature, architecture. A role model, perhaps. Me, I get inspired by Remy, a cartoon rat. This inspiration drove me to spending a few hours in the kitchen stewing over a pot of Ratatouille.

    As this was my virgin attempt, I thought I'd start by doing things the traditional or usual way. I found this recipe and it turned out much better than I anticipated. Hubs who detests vegetables with a vengeance, had not one, but two huge helpings and kept saying how good and delicious it was. The compliments kept flowing here and there for the next hour or so after dinner. Needless to say, I was chuffed. I never thought the way to a man's heart was literally through his stomach. I always had the impression it was lower down south.


    Ratatouille is fairly simple to make. The only tricky thing about it is that it's time sensitive where the vegetables are concerned. As such, you must pay a bit of attention to it. You do that and you'll be rewarded with a succulent, juicy vegetable stew.

    That evening, in addition to the Ratatouille, I grilled a couple of steaks and toasted some onion bread smeared with cream cheese. It wasn't elaborate but it sure hit the wintery spot.

    Next stop: Remy's prettied up version of Ratatouille. Do stay tuned.....


    Note: In the recipe I used, there is a choice of three cooking methods. I picked the Common Method. Initially I had wanted to try out the Traditional one but balked at the amount of pots and pans I had to use. Never mind the washing, I've got a dishwasher to take care of it. What I can't stand is a cluttered kitchen, especially when I'm working. And when I'm not, only the bare neccessities are standing on the counter tops.


    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 10:12 pm

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    Tea Time Magnets

    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    Stitched these up over the weekend as a birthday present. I hope a certain someone likes them.


    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 12:00 pm

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    Beef Stew Pie

    How to make a Beef Stew Pie the Dutchess' way:

    1. Defrost a portion of beef stew you made earlier on. Here, it's Irish Beef Stew from about a month ago. Yes, it does keep if frozen as quickly as possible once cooled. If you don't have any frozen stew, tough luck, you need to make one from scratch. No matter, choose your favourite recipe and away you go. Once done, proceed to Step 2.

    2. Preheat oven at 200C or follow the instructions on your puff pastry package. Put beef stew in a pie dish or suitable substitute.

    3. 3. Roll out the puff pastry till about 0.5cm thick. Carefully cover the beef stew with it. Trim excess pastry and seal the edges. If you feel like it, crimp and pleat the edges. If you really feel like it, cut out fancy pants shapes with cookie cutters to decorate. I chose the heart shaped one that day as I was feeling especially lovey dovey - the after effects of a smashingly good holiday.

    4. Brush the pastry with egg wash and pop it into the oven until pastry is golden brown. For a deeper colour, give the pastry another coating of egg wash halfway during baking.

    5. Serve hot. Tell your nearest and dearest that it was made with love and you would be very 'disappointed' if it wasn't polished off. Threaten if neccessary.

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    The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 9:08 am

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