During my 2.8 years in the U.S., I'd met people who willingly helped me and other international students without asking for any form of reciprocity in return. These great people stood by us all the time ... sort of like our guardians! Kudos to them! I really admire their kind-heartedness. I'm questioning myself whether I've been influenced by this virtue of sharing ... And, whether all us private bakers and cooks are that willing to share our fruits of labor with others, including those who don't bother about learning but are more than happy to eat our hard work!? I still can't convince myself that I actually handed out the rest of my stuff to someone else without even giving it a second thought! Gosh, am I going crazy?
And for reasons, I've been feeling down and stressed the whole day. First, I can blame my lack of sleep for the crabbiness I've been having lately. Second, it's due to some "accidents" at work. Third, as a freshie who just started off her career, financial insecurity has started to creep into my life. This is by no means saying I don't want to share my fruits of labor with others outside of my family. Just like you, I need to work to earn a living to help support myself and my loved ones.
Sorry ... But, I've settled on this with a policy: I'm going to start reducing free material and labor services. If you'd like to have a taste of my hard work, please give me what I deserve in return at least, be it financially or materially. I feel I've been taken advantage and stripped of my own dignity. Friendly treat once in a while is OK. But, please don't take others' kind offers for granted; I'll cherish you just as much as you'd cherish me.
To me, blogging is definitely a way to share what I've learned with people alike who share the same passion and interests. I seriously don't mind this kind of act as I personally see food blogging as a huge reciprocal cycle. With that said, I'll keep blogging as long as I can despite the concern I've voiced out above. Here's to thank, once again, fellow food and photography bloggers for generously sharing what they know and believe that are good with others out there. I'm totally inspired by you guys! Thanks for leading me to the realization of my true passions, resulting in the birth of my blog and Flickr photostream. Kudos to y'all, too! =)
Earlier this year, I stumbled upon another great blog Bitter Sweet Flavours by fellow Malaysian tracieMoo. She's been kind enough in sharing her kitchen experiments and interesting episodes in traveling with us. Here's to thank Tracie for passing me the awards below. I truly appreciate the encouragement, gal! Keep up with the good work yea?
Though I don't do a lot of tagging, I'd still like to take this opportunity to pass on the awards to other fellow bloggers who, I think, really deserve recognition. Because there's a restriction, I can only share them with 15 out of the tons of great, great bloggers out there. =( So, here they are:
- Helene from Tartelette
- Aran from Cannelle et Vanille
- Béa from La Tartine Gourmande
- Florence from Do What I Like
- HHB from Happy Homebaking
- Youfei from Loving Baking
- Angie from Angie's Recipes
- Lee Mei from My Cooking Hut
- Aunty Lily from Lily's Wai Sek Hong
- Jo from Sugar & Everything Nice
- SeaDragon from Corner Café
- Bee Yinn from Rasa Malaysia
- Kevin from Closet Cooking
- Siu Kwan from Siukwan's Kitchen
- MH from My Home Kitchen
I actually attempted these when I was still in the U.S. In fact, I still remember that I made them on a Monday morning for breakfast before heading off to watch a baseball game with my family friends LOL! The recipe for these banana cupcakes was a rage in the Asian food blogosphere sometime in 2007 or 2008. Amanda from Held by Love, Baked from Scratch was very kind enough to share the recipe handed down by her friend's mom. Though she's not been updating her blog lately, I'd still like to thank her for sharing this with us.
I'd say this recipe somewhat incorporates the sponge cake, or genoise, method ... except there is no use of cooled melted butter. As mentioned earlier, they're best served warm if you want them to be at their lightest and fluffiest. But for me, I simply threw them into my mouth even when at room temperature because they were just as good when cooled. Most importantly, I could actually taste the bananas! Strong enough for you to feel their presence and yet, not overpowering. What was best was that they tasted oh-so-natural! You definitely can't compare these side-by-side with those made with artificial banana flavoring. Geez, I hate fake banana flavor! (More story on artificial banana oil soon.)
Why wait? Give this banana appam a shot because they're ridiculously easy and quick to be prepared--and yet, the result is unbelievably good! In the meantime, stay tuned for the next recipe that's made with a totally different method and with a totally different result!
Steamed Banana Cakes (Adapted from Amanda's from Held by Love, Baked from Scratch)
Makes about 6 large muffins or 8 regular-sized muffins
150g self-rising flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
200g (approximately 2 medium-large) overripe mashed bananas
- Combine (A) together and sift once, set aside for use later
- Beat (B) together till you've had it reached ribbon stage, i.e. the mixture should look pale, thick and sticky--and by lifting up the whisk/beaters from the mixture, you should be able to "write" the number "8" ... the "8" should stay there for about 30 seconds before it disappears before you
- Gently stir in the mashed bananas to the egg-sugar mixture till just incorporated; then, gently and alternately fold in the flour mixture and oil to the banana mixture till just combined--careful not to deflate the air in the batter as sponge cakes, or genoise, are made this way
- Divide the batter among the lined muffin tins, then steam over high heat for 15 minutes or till test done, i.e. toothpick comes out clean when taken out after being inserted into the center of the cake
- Remove the cakes from the steamer. Wait for a bit to serve them either warm or cooled
How much do you know about bananas? You can know more about and make full use of this rich tropical fruit here: