Belated Post on Mama’s Day 2011 Lunch

The reason why I have been able to post about my cooking adventures so quickly, is because these past few posts were written in a span of 3-4 months i.e. I copied and pasted them here, with minimal formatting xD haha what happened was I got really annoyed with blogger’s templates! So I decided to give wordpress a try. Thus my posts came at a pace of 1 per day! Or even more in the case of today. In hindsight, 9 posts for 3-4 months work of cooking attempts seems to be rather little…can’t help it I’m really ‘busy’ trying to prepare myself for this year’s A levels! Sigh…this is the last post that I’ve ‘copied’ and ‘pasted’. From here, posts shall appear at a snail-like pace~

ANYWAY! This is yet another occasion for me to get ‘legal’ permission to cook! You see, my dad’s super against me cooking. He refuses to stay at home when he knows I’m gona cook. And he’d also stopped me from cooking more than once per month. Muahahaha but occasion’s like these are the perfect excuse! HE CAN’T SAY NO.

For Mother’s Day this year, I decided to try something different by cooking instead of buying gifts! I mean, whatever I get would be repetitions or variations of past years’ presents unless my mother specifically requests something. Presents do get boring after a while…according to my mum. So food it is! You can’t ever get bored of that.

Right, I decided to cook my first four course meal!! Of course for a first attempt, I failed (once again) in part of my plans sigh…my four course meal consisted of:

  1.    Pan Seared Scallops with Arugula in Green Apple Sauce
  2.    Three Pastas: Seafood Linguine Diavolo, Pesto Fuscilli, and Aglio Olio Spaghetti
  3.    Lemon and Herb Baked Chicken
  4.    Apple Crumble Pie with Gelato

The scallops were rated 10/10 by my family! But I thought it could do with some improvements. As you can see the scallops don’t look very pan seared-ish…rather more like poached ones. Failure on my part cause I added a tee weeny too much butter. Didn’t like the apple slices too cause they look too chunky and un-pretty for my taste! Might shred it the next time round. The apple-butter sauce tasted great! I’ll double the amount of apple juice the next time round and chill it before serving though.

Ugly looking scallops

The next course were then my three pastas! These were a real killer to prepare, both because of the timing and the ingredients required. For the Aglio Olio, I required a pan; for the pesto, I required another pan; the seafood linguine was the best: I needed a pot AND a pan. Hmmm let me see…that sums up to about 4 stoves? The problem is I only have three. Ah…I ended up doing everything at superhuman speed in order to get everything prepared in time! Oh wait I haven’t mentioned the preparation behind all these food! Oh my god. The pesto was a killer. I didn’t know where to purchase pesto, and I’m not a fan of purchasing ready made sauces anyway, so I made mine from scratch. Thing is I don’t own a food processor either. So I ended up sitting on the floor with my mortar and pestle, grinding and smashing for a good whole hour. Amazing. I think I’ve toned some lean muscles.

Anyway the pesto turned out great. The fam loved it. The Aglio Olio ended up tasting a tad too salty though. That’s probably because I spammed salt when frying the garlic, olive oil and chili because I couldn’t taste the salt! Now I’ve learnt that I’d probably should’ve added the noodles before seasoning…the linguine was the steadiest cause I’ve made it twice now. Only annoying thing is that the linguine was a little softer than preferred. No one thought so except me, but I’ve always pride myself on my superior tastebuds *BAH!*

This, is the third course: the chicken. It doesn’t look very flattering cause I didn’t bother taking a picture after taking it out of the oven. It looks just the way it does now in the oven – white. Tasted fine though I would have liked more of a lemony taste.

The saddest thing was that by now, fam was full to the brim. They ended splitting their chicken into halves to save it for lunch the next day! So the fourth course was inexistent…my failure of the day: inability to properly portion the courses. I guess what made it an awesome meal to my family was that I made all the sauces from scratch. You can feel the love literally oozing out of my food~

But what’s Mother’s Day without cake? NOTHING. So I ended up baking a ‘simple’ vanilla cake with lemon glaze. The good news was that it turned out really edible and cake-like. The bad news was that it could do with lesser sugar, and that the cake wasn’t sponge cake-ish soft. It was more like…apple cake? A little crumble? Not what I expected, but it definitely tasted good. Would perfect this for sure!

Happy Mother’s Day! ❤

Basil Pesto (makes 3/4 cups)

2 tablespoons coarse-chopped walnuts/pine nuts (I used almonds)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan

1. Blend nuts and garlic. Then add in the olive oil, leaves, cheese, then salt. A food processor will be best here, but I don’t own one, so I had to use the mortar and pestle to slooooowly grind them pfft ><

Simple Vanilla Cake

2 2/3 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
170g butter, cubed
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.

2. Beat in the cubes of butter, then the eggs and sugar. Slowly pour in the milk, then the vanilla extract. Bake at 160C for over 45 minutes.

I drizzled some lemon glaze over the cake, but I forgot to write down the recipe! 😦

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