Embracing the past, appreciating the present, looking forward to the future!

“Ups and downs”

I know that is normal in life but for me, they are often magnified and blown out of proportions in my head.

I don’t think I am ill anymore, but it is just something that I will need to continuously work on in order to improve the way I handle situations in life.

It is in me to feel like I’m responsible for everything, it is in me to feel that everything is urgent, it is who I am to cry over things that I feel attached to, it is also sometimes in me to feel like disappearing will make all the problems go away.

I know “…but that’s who I am!” is not an excuse because we grow as a person after every single experience. However, I also know that evolving something fundamental takes time.

I’ve been told that I am too harsh on myself, and after quite some battle, I think I finally agree.

It doesn’t matter what title I give myself, a daughter, a girlfriend, a friend or a chef, I am still human, and it is normal to be able to feel emotions and be affected by them.

So I guess at times where I feel overwhelmed by something, I should:

  1. step back, look up and appreciate the fact that I am still breathing;
  2. calm down, think logically and see the big picture; and
  3. know that it is okay, because I can only get better from here.

🙂

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Time to stop overthinking too much

I have this tendency of overthinking.


It is very much under control these days and I don’t go crazy anymore (haha), but it is inevitable to have doubts, fears and uncertainty. 

I guess I can say that I’m constantly discovering and rediscovering myself. Like I mentioned before, I like planning & routine. However, life does not happen according to any rigid plans. 

There are moments where I am more conscious about myself than other days – my mind is clearer, my work is better, and I am happier. 

However, when life gets overwhelming, I lose track of what I learnt, momentarily, struggle a little, try too hard to normalise things, and then I get a little upset with myself. 

It is then that I need to always remember to breathe, step back and re-prioritise. This is when yoga comes in for me. The practice really helps clear my mind and I wish I have more time to go more often. 

I shouldtrust my instincts and just do it sometimes… Otherwise I’ll never know what the outcome will be. This applies even more when I’m scared because it means that I’m learning and stepping out of my comfort zone!

Anyway – this post is just yet another reminder for myself to really live properly and not be clouded by the impurities that can come with all the adventures and challenges in life. 

🙂 

My Macaron Story

Macarons are incredibly beautiful to look at. They are such dainty treats that I feel satisfied by just looking at them. Eating them is a different story altogether, so many factors affect whether a macaron is good or not that oftentimes I am disappointed by store bought macarons. My ideal macaron needs to have a slightly crispy outer shell, slightly chewy middle with just the right amount of delicious fillings.

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Making macarons is not easy, it is always a challenge for me because so many things can go wrong even if everything remained the same. I always get macarons with feet but that doesn’t mean everything. They could be hollow, too crunchy or under baked and every time there is slight failure, it makes me want to bake them again even more.

When I started making macarons, I was at a cross road in my life. I think I might have already graduated from one of my degrees at that time and was deciding what I should be doing with my life.

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My Battle with Choux Puffs

I have never taken any interest in making choux puffs before. However, I was assigned the very task of making choux puffs at work recently and it’s been a very frustrating journey yet! Prior to that, I attended a class on choux pastry 2 years ago and have never made them since then so I was quite nervous.

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They are not as unstable as macarons but they’re not easy to master either. My success rate so far has been 70%, the 30% of failures has pretty much been unexplained but I suspect it is due to the amount of evaporation, egg content and the oven settings. There are so many factors which affect whether something goes well in a bake that one really needs to invest the time to study in order to obtain an answer.

There are pressing deadlines at work so I really don’t have the luxury of time to figure things out bit by bit, so we recipe hop until we find one that works. That being said, I think I am getting closer and closer to the answer.

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Life 101: 5 Things that I’m Grateful for Today

Happy Monday! I woke up today feeling positive and happy so I thought I’d share this positive energy with all of you.

Things didn’t go so smoothly for me last year, especially towards the end. So now that I am feeling “normal”, and really happy again, I feel that I should document the 5 things that I am really grateful for on this blog as a reminder to myself to always be happy and positive.

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Happy 1st Birthday to Petite Patissiere!

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Hello everyone! PetitePatissiere.com turns one today! I can’t believe I’ve been blogging on this site for one year already! So much has happened since I started this journey.

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Personal: Living with Bipolar

It came as a shock to me, that I have bipolar disorder. At the time where my doctor pinpointed my manic stage, was exactly when I felt like I was getting better because I could then do things without worrying too much, and I was more confident than ever about my abilities. 

Maybe that’s when it’s the most worrying for everyone involved, because I felt invincible. I felt like I was doing things that I wanted to do most, saying things I meant 100% and just confident in everything I did.

But then there were signs. I was constantly working, and never stopped. I never felt tired and didn’t sleep very much. I was doing things that I wouldn’t have otherwise done have I not been in the manic stage, e.g. talking to strangers, saying a bit too much. I had unlimited energy. I used a lot of energy during the day but I couldn’t sleep properly. I woke up early and everyday it seemed that I was just getting better, from depression.

It is true, I was getting better from depression, because the opposite of depression, was mania. But perhaps I was becoming too well that it started to concern those around me. 

It took a toll on my body. I was physically shaking. Then came the crash or the downside of this, depression. It is as if I’m two different persons. I didn’t want to leave the house or see anyone or do anything. Polar opposite of what I was like before. Luckily for me, mine was controlled and that I am feeling a lot better now. Hopefully normal life resumes soon.

TIPS: Interpreting the “tests” for chocolate tempering

*disclaimer: This post is written purely from my past experience and current knowledge of chocolates. I am not a trained chocolatier so please read it with a grain of salt.

I have been making 100 chocolates for 3 nights now and I can safely say, “I don’t know anything!” about interpreting the tests* that we use in tempering chocolates.

I have made hundreds and hundreds of chocolates before (i.e. once during Christmas 2013, once during Jun/Jul 2014 – ‘hundreds’ each time), and therefore I thought I have already mastered the ‘skill’ of reading the test that is so crucial in telling us whether our precious chocolate is indeed tempered after all the stirring or tabling or seeding and more stirring. But I was so wrong. Chocolate will always ‘set’ in the layman terms if the temperature is cold enough, but it doesn’t always ‘set’ in the tempering terms even if it is ‘set’ in the normal way.

What do I mean?

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