I don’t know why but this seemed easy to me. I was set on making Choux au Craquelin (Cracked Cream Puffs)!
I mixed 1/4 tsp of Salt with 1/2 Cup Sugar and 1/4 Cup Corn Starch and 2 Egg Yolks and 1 Large Egg. I whisked it until the Yellow Mixture turned into a Light Beige (it’s noticeable).
Then, I heated 2 Cups of Milk in a Sauce Pan and added 1 tsp of Vanilla Essence and let it simmer for a few minutes. Next, I poured some of the Milk into the Egg Mix (gradually, so the Egg wouldn’t cook).
Next, I placed the Egg + Milk Mix back on the fire for 5 minutes. Afterwards, I added 4 tbs of Buttah! With the fire off, I stirred the Butter in.
Then, I used a Strainer to strain the Vanilla Pastry Cream into a separate bowl which I covered with plastic and placed in the Fridge to cool.
Next, was the Crackle Crust which was even easier and faster to make! I melted 3 tbs of Buttah on the stove. Then, I mixed 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar and 6 tbs Flour, in a separate bowl and poured the Melted Butter on top, added 1/4 tsp of Salt and mixed everything together.
Then, I rolled it into a ball and flattened it out into something similar to a rectangle using a Rolling Pin, covered it up in plastic and placed it in the Freezer.
In another pan, I mixed 1/2 Cup Water with 1/2 Cup Flour and 4 tbs Melted Butter and let it simmer while I continued stirring until it formed the Dough. Then I added 2 Eggs to the mix.
I emptied out the Dough into a plastic sandwich bag and cut a tiny slit in the corner so I could use it as a Piping Bag and piped 8 Puffs on a Baking Tray (already lined with Parchment Paper).
Next, I got out the Crackle Crust from the Freezer and removed the plastic.
I got the round lid off one of the containers to cut 8 perfectly round Circles in the Crackle Crust Dough then placed those Crackle Crust Circles on top of the Puffs, to sorta’ form Hats lol and popped them in the Oven.
After that, it was just a waiting game.
Once they were done and cool enough…
I dipped the the bottoms in Melted Chocolate.
Then, I took the Vanilla Pastry Cream out of the fridge, cut little slits in the sides of the Puffs and filled them up with Vanilla Pasty Cream (using the Piping Bag) and voila, Choux au Craquelin (Cracked Cream Puffs)! Simple, no?
I loved the crispy crackle crust on top! The vanilla cream in the middle and the chocolate on the bottom complimented each other beautifully! All in all, so good!
Since I got the process down, I figured it would be fairly simple to make other similar Pastries.
I melted 1/2 Cup Butter in 1 Cup Boiling Water and added 1/2 tsp of Salt and 1 Cup Flour and mixed everything until it formed into a ball of Dough.
Next, I removed it from the fire and added 4 Eggs and mixed everything together. Then, I emptied the mixture into a plastic sandwich bag and piped Eclair shapes onto a Baking Tray and popped them in the Oven.
While that was in the Oven, I poured 1 Cup of Boiling Water in a Separate Mixing Bowl. Then added 1 tsp of Instant Yeast and then another 1/2 tsp of Instant Yeast and let it dissolve for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, I took the Eclairs out of the Oven.
I cut them in half (horizontally) and spooned leftover Vanilla Pastry Cream into them before closing them back up again.
Unfortunately, I ran out of Vanilla Pastry Cream so I had to make more halfway through lol Basically, it was the same process that I used when making the filling for the Cracked Cream Puffs.
Back to the bowl of Yeast, I added 1/4 Cup Sugar and 3 1/2 Cups Flour and 2 1/2 tsp Salt and 6 tbs Butter and covered it with plastic and let it rise for 2 hours.
While I waited for the Dough to rise, I worked on the extra Vanilla Pastry Cream and piped it into the Eclairs.
Next, I worked on the Chocolate Icing and iced each Eclair, accidentally burning my finger.
After that painful experience, I quickly learned how to properly ice Eclairs lol
Once I was done with the Eclairs, I went back to working on the Dough for my Croissants.
At regular intervals (every 30-60 minutes) I’d take the Dough, roll it out and pop it in the fridge (for 15-30 minutes).
After a certain point, I got 2 sticks of Butter and sliced them in half (length-wise or horizontally) and placed them on Baking Paper. Then rolled them flat and placed them on the Dough and folded the Dough over the now flattened Butter and place the Dough (with the Butter in it) in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
After what seemed like an eternity, I finally cut the Dough into little Triangles, which I would then roll in on themselves to make Croissants, except you’d have to place the Cheese (or whatever else you wanted) in the middle before beginning to roll.
I placed my Cheese Croissants on a Baking Tray and lightly brushed each of them with an Egg Wash, before placing the Baking Tray in a warm place for an hour (for them to rise). Then I let them bake in the oven for 25 minutes and voila, Cheese Croissants!
I made Italian Focaccia Bread which looked pretty, but in reality was like eating a deep-dish Pizza.
I’m more into thin-crust Pizza so this was not for me lol I liked the Tomato Sauce (for dipping) that I made to go with it though.
My nephew was born on August 8, 2008 so his 12th birthday was coming up. I couldn’t decide on one dish to make for him… so I made a few.
First I made Teriyaki Beef which was quickly becoming a fan favorite at my home! I let it marinate a day before and then we grilled it the next day.
As for the Desserts, one was basically layers of Digestive Biscuits with Vanilla Pastry Cream as the filling and a top layer of Chocolate Frosting. I used everything that I’d learned in the past few days (from making the Cracked Cream Puffs and Eclairs and Croissants) to make this dessert and called it Eclair Dessert (even though technically it wasn’t). I figured I’d make it a day ahead, so all the flavors would sorta’ mix together while it was in the fridge. It was surprisingly a huuuge hit with everyone!
Next, I had some leftover Dough (from earlier) in the freezer so I made more Cheese Croissants. Those were gone pretty quick too!
I also made a Chocolate Cake from scratch and used my special Rose Shaped Cake Pan! Everyone loved this as well too!
Lastly, I made an honest-to-goodness Peach Pie. I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning working on this thing. I made the lattice top and everything! Unfortunately, while it looked great, it also looked too intimidating. Nobody touched it :/ I did get a lot of comments on Snapchat though (“It looks just in the movies when someone moves into the neighborhood” lol).
The Chocolate Cake was being iffy (refused to separate from the pan) so I decided to make a boxed Vanilla Cake (Dreem) at the last minute and cover it with Cream Cheese Frosting and slice a layer in the middle and cover it with Cream Cheese Frosting as well.
Thankfully, the Chocolate Cake eventually separated from the pan but kinda fell apart in places… which I glued back together using a Chocolate Frosting I hurriedly threw together on the spot. The staff were all clapping for me towards the end lol
Then, because it seemed like I’d made too many Desserts, I figured I’d whip up a quick savory snack using Rice Krispies and Cheese. They were kinda’ like Cookies except they were Cheese Crackers lol
Even though I told them not to, their parents brought a Strawberry Cake :/ Regardless, I was pretty proud of my my mini feast. I mean, I kinda’ overdid it but whatever lol
Also for my nephew, I got him a bunch of toys from Fantasy World. I got him and an RC Leading 2.4G Remote Control Music Dancing Car and D-Dart Rapid Fire Compact Blaster and Jupiter Creations Spinforce Globe Game and Banzai Smash n Bash Boxing Gloves and WHAM-O FRISBEE DYN-O-GLO DISC all from Fantasy World and a Glow-In-The-Dark Water Bottle from CentrePoint (to match his sisters, except his had Planets and whatever on it).
I made a Belgian Chicken Stew (just because I like the way it sounded, Vaterzoy) which my younger brother loved and asked me to make several times afterwards!
I made home-made Sirloin Steaks from scratch and popped them in the fridge for the next day.
I worked on the Risotto and Mashed Potatoes to go with the Sirloin Steaks.
Then, Cook and I took turns grilling the Sirloin Steaks (I hate babysitting any food while it cooks).
My mom and my sister and my sister-in-law (basically all the women in my family) told me that they had enjoyed the meal! Meanwhile, the men in my family preferred the Belgian Chicken Stew from day before lol
Afterwards, my younger brother and I watched Parasite in the Cinema Room. I loved it! So far, all the movies that we were watching (without the kids) were pretty bomb!
I made an Orange Cake with Apricot Jello and Orange Juice Frosting (all made from scratch) because I was in the mood and wanted to use up certain ingredients.
You can see the Orange Veining which I achieved using the “Poke Cake” method that I mentioned at the start of this post.
I made Baklava.
It was so stressful because you had to be very precise with the peeling and placement of the Filos Sheets. As for the taste, it was nice enough on its own and the Syrup was overkill lol
Honestly? Never again (so stressful) lol
I’d rather make the 6 hour Carrot Cake then this thing. Worse still, not everyone was enticed by it. After all that hard work, even the kids were like “we’re good” lol
I made Saudi Arabian Kabsa which I’m pretty sure is near identical to Kuwaiti Chicken Machboos.
The Chicken part was pretty much the same as when I made Saleeg earlier (here). Boil them for a bit then roast them in the Oven.
It was a huge hit with the fam, obvs.
I made Chocolate Cake with Frosting, mostly because I wanted to experiment with Frosting lol
I made Kimchi!!!!
I’ve always wanted to try that stuff (ever since I saw it on Korean Dramas way back in the day) and that little bit you get in the Chicken Burger from that one place deffo’ wasn’t enough.
So, I got the huge tupperware from taw9eel.com (they even sold tupperware!) and bided my time until I had all the fresh produce and exotic sauces ready and here we are!
For Lunch, I made Greek Style Shawarma for everyone (the Sauce consisted of whatever I could find in the Kitchen lol) which really hit the spot!
I made Swedish Meatballs on a bed of Fettuccine Pasta. Basically, I bought a manual Pressure Cooker (so dangerous lol) from Taw9eel.com and wanted to use my new bebe!
Every time the lid popped up and it hissed, everyone in the Kitchen at the time would yell and jump backwards in fright lol
The Swedish Meatballs were pretty good (if I do say so myself)!
I made Soy Sauce Eggs which were so easy to make and tasted good!
I also made a Korean Egg Sandwich (more in another post) which was the yummiest thing ever!
That day, I finally convinced Mera to go walking in Shaheed Park. We went in Dresses lol
It was our first actual outing in public (not just a drive-by) since the pandemic began!
I was not surprised to see plenty of people all walking and some even jogging at Shaheed Park. Even funnier was that while Mera and I were in Dresses, everyone else was in Workout Gear.
I think they started herding people out of the park at 30 minutes to closing time (I wanna’ say they either closed at 7pm or 8pm because of the national curfew, so just 30 minutes before that).
Mera enjoyed it so much that she wanted to go there every day after (ugh).
Mera came over again and brought a Party Pack from Pick. Thankfully it wasn’t more Pizza from Ceasars again (which she’d polish off half the box before showing up anyway lol)
We swam, had lunch together and played in the Pool, up until 6:30pm which is when we got out, showered and wore our Sneakers and went to Shaheed (in our Dresses lol).
She whined so much about wanting to go to Starbucks that I finally caved (covid was still a thing and I was trying to be cautious). We ended up going to the Starbucks at Shaheed Park (before they opened up the second part) and I got a Hot Chocolate which she gave me a hard time about… again.
Mera came over… again.
We swam up until 5pm which is when we got out and showered and dressed and went to Five Guys to have dinner across from Shaheed Park and then went walking in Shaheed Park.
While waiting in line at Five Guys, she was fixated on this kid (she’s the one in the yellow dress) and kept telling me “The way this guy is eating so slowly is infuriating! He eats almost as slowly as you.”
At the time, I laughed it off and told her that I enjoy tasting my food rather than just inhaling it (like her). In hindsight, she was constantly throwing plenty of little digs like that at me.
Mera came over again and I told her I wanted to try out Vermlion so we went in her car and got the infamous Black Gold.
I got some for my younger brother and the kids.
My sister-in-law was pregnant so I had to get her another flavor though, because apparently the Charcoal could have a negative effect… or something.
Since I was paying for everyone, I figured I’d treat Mera as well (which was what I’d been doing from Day 1).
Back home, we swam with the kids (my 2 year old niece and my 10 year old niece and my 12 year old nephew and my soon to be 14 year old niece). Afterwards we had the Black Gold Ice Cream by the Pool. It was sooo good!
Thankfully, the Ice Cream didn’t spoil anyone’s appetite and we all had a huge Dinner before Mera toweled off and went back home.