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July 24, 2011

Charlie Brown on Sukhumvit 11

Mexican food had been the subject of conversation for many months among my circle of friends. There is one place foreigners frequent on Sukhumvit Road so Mags suggested we go. Due to our schedule differences going Mexican with every one in our group seemed impossible.

Then came the big day, the 13th anniversary of Mag's 25th birthday. Figure that out! It didn't take much convincing when Mags said we  celebrate it at Charlie Brown Mexican Restaurant on Sukhumvit 11. The six of us went.

We were greeted by David, the manager of the restaurant, as we arrived. The tables were booked. We were told. We didn't know that booking was necessary before going there but the manager was kind enough to give us a table. We were ushered to our seats after David and a waitress put two tables together.

We ordered drinks and while sipping them, we busied ourselves discussing what to eat. After a long conference, we hailed a waiter to order.

Nachos were served first. Only after a few moments of munching nachos, there came the parade of the entrees. People looked in amazement when our orders arrived.  All main dishes were served with Mexican rice and refried beans.

 A toast for the birthday girl!

July 19, 2011

Cheesecake House

July 18 was national holiday in Thailand. Unlike my sister who gets loads of holidays due to the nature of her job, I seldom get holiday at work. That's the catch of being a chef. So when my supervisor at work informed me Monday was holiday, I was delighted. I took advantage of my one day break by going to a garage sale with my sister, friend and her daughter. A friend of a friend is moving out to a new apartment. She wanted to get rid of some stuff she might not need at the new place.

After our purchase, we said our goodbyes and headed back home. We were just half a mile away when all of a sudden my sister proposed we have our afternoon snack at Cheesecake House. We were already in the area so why not maximize our time there. My friend was quick to make a U-Turn. The next thing we knew , she was pulling over in front of an old building which housed the shop.

As we entered, the shelves of cookies, pastries and cupcakes greeted us.

July 14, 2011

Spectacular Space

Still months away but my sister had already came up with a theme for her summer class at NIVA International Kindergarten. This year's theme was Spectacular Space. I was pretty sure she would ask me to make a cake that would present the concept of her topic. She did! But imagine my surprise when she demanded a cake with all the planets on it. How would I do that?

So we surfed the web, checked the recipes and design and after some thoughtful discussion we agreed on one design that I used as a model. She let me decide on flavor. I opted for a chocolate chiffon cake. I doubled the recipe so I could have 2 layers. I spread chocolate mousse filling on each layer of the cake and masked the entire cake with black buttercream.

The decoration took a while as I had to mix 9 different colors for the sun and each planet. To ease the trouble in drawing the planets, I piped the buttercream spirally. I used tip number 8 for the sun , number 6 for bigger planets and small tip for smaller planets. Had I known that the sun didn't look like how it was supposed to look like, I would have piped the buttercream using the star tip.

It was kind of difficult to get the right hue of black but I managed to arrive to the closest shade by mixing black with blue and adding a bit of brown. Using only black dye would turn buttercream into grey color.

  The inscription said Spectacular Space.