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December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve Dinner

New Year's eve  was so much fun than the previous year. My sister and some friends came down to join me in welcoming the New Year. We ditched the traditional midnight feast (media noche) we Filipinos do to accommodate my wish. I had a really long day at work. I only had bits and pieces to eat so I could finish and set up  all desserts for the resort's NY eve gala dinner before I go home. I was famished.

The girls had just got back from the beach. They had late lunch but I needed to eat immediately. Deciding a place to go took us a long time. It's New Year's eve. I wanted to treat myself to something different that night. If only my favorite hang out place was closer. Well, it only takes 15 minute drive to get there but I had no energy left. A friend suggested we could go back to the same Thai restaurant they were at. It's only a few hop away from where I live. Well, I couldn't afford to travel anymore but I was really up for some adventures. We finally agreed to spend the evening at the Thai restaurant where they had lunch earlier.

December 30, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake

One of the highlights of the Christmas brunch was this cinnamon-spiced apple cheesecake. It took some time to make. The procedures were long (imagine how tired I got with the tedious task of peeling and slicing the apples!),  but it was well worth the effort. It was delicious. It was a big hit among the over 200 guests who showed up for the event.

December 29, 2014

Christmas Cake

Being in a tropical country at Christmas time means one thing - no white Christmas for me yet again. I miss the wintry feel associated with the holiday season. I long for a Christmas complete with real trees and snow! All these nostalgic Christmas celebrations in China made me decide to make my own winter wonderland on the Christmas cake. It's the closest I could do to get a white Christmas feel in  sunny Thailand.

December 27, 2014

Christmas Yule Log

Desserts for the resort's Christmas brunch was same as last year. I was relieved knowing that I wouldn't go through the same painstaking process when I made the treats for the first time. This cake was a favorite at our Christmas brunch last year so they requested I made two extra logs this time, totaling to 8 logs.

Doing my daily workload and the Christmas treats aint no easy. I could only get everything ready in time for Christmas if I start working on it early.  I made the ganache a couple days early. I baked the chocolate sponge cake a day before Christmas. I spread the ganache, rolled up the logs and iced them the same day. I added the decorations right before serving. And just like last year, this cake was a winner!

December 25, 2014

My Very First Gingerbread House

I was in full holiday baking mode during Christmas. On top of all the holiday treats I made for the resort's Christmas brunch and in-house guests, I also decided to have a go on gingerbread house. It was my first attempt and the result was a resounding success. I plan to do it annually using different decorations and see how my ideas and  decorating skills change through the years. It's gonna be loads of fun and I cant wait til next Christmas comes!

December 24, 2014

Gingerbread Stars

I don't mind going the extra mile . It's Christmas season and I thought of treating the resort's guests to some Christmas spirit with these gingerbread stars.  I was thinking of  a Christmas tree or a gingerbread man but all I could find was a star cutter. I could have ordered the cutters but waiting for them to arrive would set me back. 

These were the trimmings of the gingerbread house. I doubled the recipe in case I made  mistakes but luckily enough I managed to make the gingerbread house with no hassle. I used the remaining dough to make enough treats for our in-house guests. I had spare butter cream after decorating the Christmas cake so I opted to use it instead of royal icing. It was good all the same.

December 19, 2014

This Was So Last Minute

Imagine just having a little more than an hour before you finish for the day. It's quiet. Not a lot of craziness going on so you know you could leave early. You look forward to going home and yet you get a request for a birthday cake the last minute. I wasn't mentally prepared to do the task that day. I knew that if I rush it, I would be able to finish  before  time but being an OC myself, I was unable to resist the urge to make a beautiful creation. I took my time. I visualized the cake and I came up with this design. It's simple but the color combinations were strikingly good!

December 15, 2014

An Afternoon Well Spent

Brownie Cheesecake

My friend and I had a busy late afternoon a couple days before she left for Japan. We had meal together one more time. We went shopping, got our massage  and hit up the cafe she'd been telling me about. We were there for different reasons. For her, she needed to satisfy her sweet tooth. Oh yes, she's addicted to anything sweet.  For me, I was more interested to see the design of the cakes than to taste it. I am new in the baking business so a trip to a bakeshop would  help me come up with fresh  ideas on cake decoration.

December 10, 2014

Light Meal At Coffee Club

I convinced my friend  to get her last Thai massage before flying home. We went to the center to look for a good but cheap place to get a massage. But first we had  to find food before all  the pampering as she hadn't eaten anything. She suggested The Coffee Club. I had just had lunch but I joined her anyway. Had I not gone, I would not have discovered that CC serves quesadilla.

I browsed the menu but nothing seemed interesting. I didnt want to eat a lot because I was saving room for dessert later.It took me a while before I decided to get pasta in cream sauce. I wasn't hungry at all. I just wanted to have something to munch while I wait for her. The waitress took our orders and left.  She hadn't gone long when I spotted the picture of quesadilla on a table menu. I had a quick change of mind, called the waitress again and asked her to change my order to quesadilla. It got me excited.

December 8, 2014

Farewell Dinner at DARA Samui

I'd been going out a lot lately. A friend was returning to her country for good. It would be long before we meet again so I took the last chances I could have to spend time with her. A few days before she left, I decided to use the Dara Samui gift voucher I got at our staff party in November. It's for Thai set menu good for 2 people.  It would be a perfect going-away dinner for someone who loves Thai food. I called the resort to make a reservation. The resort has two restaurants, one along the main road, the other on the beach. I requested for a table on the latter as we wanted to enjoy the night in peace and quiet.

Dinner would be served 7ish I was told. We were both excited that we arrived half an hour early. We were not the first customers to arrive. We saw a couple having drinks when we got there. I presented my dinner voucher to the man in-charge and we were led to our table. It was a few hop away from the beach. We could feel the  breeze and watch the sun set in the horizon. It was a perfect setting.