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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Happy 2nd Birthday, “Petite Patissiere”!

I’ve been so consumed by what’s been happening in my life that I’ve completely forgotten to do a celebratory blog post for my website’s 2nd anniversary! (Not that it is crucial but I do like celebrations.)

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for the month of May, it was an unplanned one but I decided to just let it flow. Some things happened in my life which distracted me from baking on the weekends but it is all good now! 

The “tart” pictured above marks my return in baking on my days off and I’m happy to say that it feels great.

What I can say for now is that you really do have to do the things you truly enjoy to be able to feel motivated and happy about yourself everyday. That’s not to say it solves all the problems. Sometimes courage and timing both need to coincide to enable things to happen and passion definitely makes it slightly easier. 

Happy belated Birthday, PetitePatissiere.com. Thank you for being a great platform for me to share my thoughts and ideas. Thank you for helping me meet one of my closest friends through blogging. 

As for all of you who are reading, thanks for all your support for the past two years! I apologise for my on & off hiatus but sometimes unpredictable things happen in life so I am grateful for your continuous readership! 

I have grown and changed together with my website and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for the both of us. Sounds so cheesy but it is true. 

🙂

Making: Almost There Triple Caramel Tart

You know the thing with baking? It can take you anywhere.

It always starts with an idea, and then it plays out and you never know where it’ll take you until you’ve completed the whole product. This isn’t always the case since baking is a science and everything happens according to plan if you follow a recipe, but if you’re creating something as you go, then it is interesting to see where an idea can take you.

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A couple of Sundays ago, I had an idea in mind – I wanted to make a tart. I didn’t know exactly what tart to make but I knew I wanted to make a tart for sure. I played with the idea of making a raspberry chocolate tart because that is a flavour combination that I was familiar with and also had the ingredients for, but as the day went by, my ideas changed and this “Almost There Triple Caramel Tart” was born.

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Smiling my way through the kitchen

Smiling is good. Laughter is said to be great for your health and most of the time, people like associating themselves with happy people because it makes sense – being with someone happy will give you good vibes!

not the most flattering photo but this is what I look like when I laugh

You can choose to smile and be positive about bad situations or you can choose to frown and be upset – so why not choose the happier path? This is really cliché but I personally think it’s true. 

What I have realised recently is that, a smile on your face actually makes a huge difference in your mindset and attitude towards a stressful situation. It’s something simple but a study has shown that smiling actually does help!

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Making: Quick (Lazy) Apple Tart

You know the thing with Friday nights? It’s usually the last working day of the week. Now, I really enjoy my job but I always feel liberated when I walk out of the doors of my workplace because I’m always excited to be able to do what I want to do, at my own pace, for 2 whole days! Yes, there are the boring daily chores as well but… Friday night! Weekend! I have really come to appreciate the weekend ever since I started work about a year ago because it usually means home baking time! (No partying for me)

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A couple of Fridays ago, I came home and I felt really energetic, which is unusual because I’m usually exhausted after a long day of standing and running around at work. I wanted to bake something really badly but it was late and I didn’t want to stay up too much. So again, I had a look around my kitchen and just made do with whatever ingredients I had on hand to make something really simple.

Frozen puff pastry, apples, eggs, almond flour, sugar, butter… done!

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Making: Variations to the original chiffon cake

I love a good chiffon cake – light, fluffy and yummy. They’re not hard to make once you master the basics of whipping the egg whites to the right consistency, folding it in properly and then ensuring your oven temperature is correct.

A few months ago I posted my trial of a Gula Melaka chiffon cake recipe that I found online but I commented that it didn’t turn out as well as I expected it to be. After making a few more chiffon cakes after that, I feel that it isn’t my skill that was the problem, I think that perhaps the recipe did actually need a lift from baking powder due to the heavy nature of some of the ingredients (coconut milk & gula melaka).

lemon chiffon cake 2

Since then, I’ve tried out a vanilla chiffon cake, a lemon chiffon cake and an Earl Grey chiffon cake and I would like to share the simple ways you could try to modify a basic chiffon cake recipe!

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New Year, New Me?

Happy February, everyone! How have you all been in the past month? I hope everything has been well and that 2016 has been kind to all of you.

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When I decided to go on a blogging-free month, I had such high hopes for myself in terms of the work that I would be doing to this website behind the scenes. There are so many things on the backend that I would have liked to change but it just did not happen. For one, I simply do not have the expertise in making the changes. Html and the relevant knowledge regarding migrating websites and such are not part of my interests. Therefore, it was harder for me to concentrate when I read FAQs and tutorials online. So, nothing much happened.

What was within my skill set though, was to change the About section on this website. I feel that I have grown & therefore the website has also evolved over time and it is only fair that I updated that section. Small steps, small steps.

Anyway, I did think about my plans for petite-patissiere.com, and how I want to proceed from here for 2016 at least and here are my plans.
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The Beginning of a New Year

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Happy new year, everyone! I hope all of you have had a good break over the holidays (if applicable) and are all refreshed and ready to face the new year.

If you have been following my blog, you would have noticed that I’ve slowed down a little in terms of updating towards the end of last year. That is mainly due to work getting a lot busier at the end of the year and it will continue to be hectic in January.

Other than that, my family have started their holidays in Malaysia so I’ve also been busy spending time with them over the weekends. Throughout the year, my family members are all scattered around the world so I do treasure the times when we are all together in the same country (or region) at the same time.

I have decided to take a break from blogging in January because of the above reasons, and to also take a step back and think about my plans for this website in 2016. Hopefully I will come back in February with more fresh ideas to share with all of you!

Life 101: “Anything can happen, at any time!” 

  
“Anything can happen, at any time… What do I do now? Should I be doing this to avoid that?” 

The quote in the title may seem blatantly obvious to you about how life works, but at a point in 2014, this was my mindset and it really affected me negatively. I felt so uneasy and paranoid that I just couldn’t live properly. In one of my sessions with my psychiatrist back then, I shared it with her and she said to me, “yes, May Ling, that is true”, but there are different ways to look at that phrase. 

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Learning: Korean Buttercream Flowers – Nana Class

Edit: I have since been practising and made a short video on how to pipe roses!

I am always on a hunt for new ideas and Instagram is the first place I go to get some inspiration. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of buttercream flower cakes and they’re very pretty! After a few YouTube videos, I decided that I needed a proper class to master the basics. 

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One of the Instagram accounts I always swoon over is NanaCake’s. Her photos are beautiful, flowers gorgeous and arrangement are always amazing. She also does classes all over the world so I was keeping my fingers crossed for when she would announce a Singapore or Malaysia class!

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