Many moons ago, I was the happy recipient of 2 blog awards, both in the same week! And then I was off to Ireland to watch U2, try black pudding and search for spice burgers. With all these distractions, I almost forgot to thank the two amazing bloggers who gave me these awards.
First up, I'd like to thank my good friend Kenny from Chic Eats, who gave me the One Lovely Blog Award:
I first met Kenny through our shared love for century egg - he left a comment on my blog suggesting I try century egg with coca-cola (a perfect match, much like wine & cheese). And if you think that I eat weird food, check out Kenny's blog for some really crazy stuff, like goose barnacles and pig intestines! But don't get me wrong, Kenny is a lover of all good food, and I must warn you in advance that reading his blog will definitely make you hungry!
Over the last few months, Kenny and I have become great friends. He even sent me 5 cookbooks all the way from Hong Kong (incurring insane shipping charges in the process):
And yes, that is indeed a cookbook from Hungary, Kenny sent that for Hubby Kris, who's proud to be 1/4 Hungarian. I'm waiting for cold weather before I try my hand at Hungarian ghoulash but I've been dying make some of the Chinese home cooking and Taiwanese street food recipes. There's only one problem - sourcing some of the rare Asian ingredients (does anyone happen to know where I can find Taiwanese licorice powder aka 'kam cho' or preserved prune powder?)
But I still wanted to make something from one of these cookbooks to show my gratitude to Kenny, so I started with an easy recipe, a Chocolate Lollipop from "Fine Desserts with Less Sugar" by Fung Wa Ching. At least I thought it would be easy to make cute little heart lollipops from buttered popcorn, white chocolate and macadamia nuts. This is what it was supposed to look like:
And this is what I ended up with, a congealed popcorn mess (major FAIL):
But it still tasted pretty good, like a DIY white chocolate macadamia moose munch.
Thank you Kenny, for the award, the cookbooks, and for always putting a smile on my face :)
I also want to thank Heavenly Housewife, From Donuts to Delirium: My Life as a Housewife, for giving me the Kreativ Blogger award:
I'd like to think that I have a lot in common with Heavenly Housewife, but in reality she is way more FAB-U-LOUS! Yes, we are both completely obsessed with food, but she is the expert I look to for advice in everything posh. Her name says it all - she is ultimate lady of leisure, having mastered the art of spending hubby's hard earned money (every girl needs at least one designer bag, daaaahhling) and Dolce Far Niente. She's also my unofficial travel agent, an endless fountain of suggestions for what to eat in my next destination. If not for her, I probably wouldn't have stopped for afternoon tea at a fancy Dublin hotel to have my first taste of clotted cream (transcendent), nor would I have ever known to try a white chocolate Magnum bar (addictive):
As a tribute to my glamorous friend Heavenly Housewife, I am making one of her delectable recipes, BB's Style Cherry Coconut muffins. Let me just preface this by telling you that I'm not much of a baker. I don't like to measure things and I've learned the hard way that this approach is generally not conducive to baking. And I also tend to substitute ingredients. Even worse, I usually try to cram stuff I have to bake into my toaster oven. The only good news about me baking is that if I can get a recipe to work, then it's virtually dummy proof!
So in true Phyllis fashion, I substituted the glace cherries (hard to find unless it's fruitcake season) with maraschino cherries (no stems, liquid drained, cut in half) and used superfine sugar (all I had in the pantry) instead of regular sugar. But I'm proud to say that I did measure every single ingredient with proper measuring utensils and even sifted all the dry ingredients! However, since I do not own a water sprayer (to spray the sugar top to get it uber crispy), I had to resort to flicking water on to the muffins with my hands (Heavenly Housewife, please forgive me). And yes, I baked them in my toaster oven.
Despite all of this, the muffins came out delicious (dummy approved!), crispy sugar top (thanks to my water flicking technique LOL) with a moist buttery crumb! My muffin-top bows to the muffin queen!
Thank you Heavenly Housewife, for the award and for always inspiring me :)
Oh yeah, as part of this Kreativ Blogger award I'm supposed to disclose 7 facts about myself that other people might find interesting.
1. I love Star Trek. I own a uniform (original series science officer blue) and a fake 'communicator' (TNG). I have forced my husband to endure 8 hours at Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton, including the behind-the-scenes backstage tour. I also own all 178 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD (my birthday present in 2005).
2. I am deathly afraid of sharks (parents, do NOT take your children to see Jaws, Jaws: 3D or Jaws the Revenge). Consequently, I have never swum in the ocean. Despite my fear, I still love and have great respect for sharks and have watched Shark Week on Discovery Channel every year for as long as I can remember. If you care about sharks as much as I do, please sign Ocean Conservancy's petition to end the practice of shark finning. Save the Sharks!
3. I am addicted to karaoke. I have my own karaoke system at home with a library of close to 3000 songs. Whenever I go out for karaoke, I only invite friends that are microphone shy, thus allowing me to be a microphone hog for the entire night. Sometimes I'll even leave hubby behind because not only is he a mike hog, he tends to sing loudly enough to drown out everyone else, even when it's not his turn. And there's no point telling you about this unless I have some embarassing footage right?
4. Country music was the only music I listened to until I was 9 years old. My favorite song was 'Islands in the Stream' by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers. My cousins eventually had to stage an intervention to introduce me to Madonna, Michael Jackson and Wham!
5. I didn't become a decent cook until a few years ago. The first dish I ever made for Hubby Kris was called "peanut butter beef". Disgusting, but he still ate it because he didn't want to hurt my feelings. Now that's true love!
6. I adore Hello Kitty. I have a closet full of Hello Kitty memorabilia and I even decorate my Xmas tree in a Hello Kitty theme. Last year, I made a Hello Kitty diaper cake for a friend's baby shower.
7. Hubby Kris and I were engaged within 3 months of meeting each other. We've been married now for 8 years!