Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Hello Everyone! Today will be quite different as I will not be a Review Sunday on the blog. Basically over the weekday, I was nominated by Sarah Jane Gonzales from misscraftychef for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Make sure that you go check her blog out for some fun food and travel posts!

The rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you with a link back to their page
  • Put the award logo in your post
  • Answer the questions the blogger has sent you
  • Create 10 new questions for other bloggers to answer
  • Nominate 10 new people to participate

Questions for me:

What is your favourite childhood memory?
I myself don’t remember this but my mom told me that when I was little, I would put all my toys in the fridge and that I would play with the onions instead. I would take the onions and roll them across the narrow hallway into the bedroom that was directly opposite from the kitchen. Apparently this was my idea of fun.

What is the biggest compliment you have ever gotten?
“I’m going to help you review your cover letter and your portfolio, and make sure that it is the best because you deserve to be employed by the best.” This was probably the biggest and latest compliment that I got from my boss from my last internship; it’s nice to have someone believe in the work that you do.

What do you do first thing in the morning?
Well if it’s the very first thing in the morning, that would be picking up and wearing my glasses. If I were to skip a few morning routines following that event, then it would be to make breakfast, or brunch depending on what time I get up in the morning.

List 5 things you are most proud of?

  1. First of all, I am proud to finally be a graduate of a Bachelors Degree in Design (Graphic and Environment/Spatial Design) from the University of New South Wales
  2. Secondly, I am actually quite proud of my cooking skills and how I’ve improved so much over the course of 4 and a half years. Basically, when I left home and started university, I barely even cooked, now I can pretty much tackle any recipe I want to
  3. I am also very proud of my blog and how far it has come. There is definitely more room for it to grow, but I am proud that I have been able to keep up with my blog over the past year and a half
  4. I may not look like it, but I am quite proud of my physical fitness. I may be curvy in some areas, but I can hike and go climbing for several hours. I think the best I’ve done to date is 18.69km in 5 and a half hours with an equivalent of 82 floors climbed.
  5. Lastly, I am proud of the continuous support from my family and friends that surround me. They have encouraged me to follow my dreams and not let the jealously and negativity of others put me down.

What is the best thing about blogging?
In all honesty, I started my blog out of pure procrastination because I did not want to do my uni assignment during that time over the Easter break. Now that blogging has grown out of a procrastination, and is more integrated into my daily routine, the best things about it is that I get to meet new people through my blog no matter where they are in the world. Even though we’ve only met in the virtual world, I hope that someday we can get in touch with each other and meet in person whenever we are on each others side of the world.

What music do you listen to when you blog if any?
Sometimes I don’t listen to music when I blog, but when I do, I have a playlist of songs that I just play in the background throughout my day, whether in the shower, cooking in the kitchen, or just need to play music in the background when in a quiet room by myself. My playlist consists of music from various artists such as Fall Out Boy, George Ezra, Sam Smith, I Prevail, Breaking Benjamin, Milky Chance, and Hozier – I know, quite a range of genres.

What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
As cliché as this will sound, I don’t think I will be able to live without food. I mean, of course people can’t live without food, so I guess more like the idea of not being able to cook the food that I love. Yes, that’s probably what I couldn’t live without.

Is there anywhere you really want to visit?
I am an outdoorsy kind of person, and I don’t mean the sight-seeing type, but more like getting in touch with nature, and hiking kind of girl. So places like the Grand Canyon, or even just National Parks in the NSW region or anywhere in the world would be my cup of tea. However, I would also like to visit South America, the Caribbean, and Europe, especially France, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.

What would you like to achieve by the end of 2015?
I would like to be employed before the end of 2015, more specifically a job that can integrate both graphic design and my love/passion for food. That would, ideally speaking, be my dream job.

Describe yourself in 3 words
Designer, Eater, Explorer.

My questions:

  1. What does a perfect day look like to you?
  2. What was your dream job growing up?
  3. What is a skill that you would like to learn and why?
  4. If you had to choose to live without one of your five senses, which one would you give up and why?
  5. What is your perfect pizza?
  6. What is your most embarrassing moment?
  7. If you could live forever, how would you spend eternity?
  8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  9. What’s your greatest achievement and how has it shaped you?
  10. How would your friends describe you?

I nominate:

Marissa: maiyummy
Yana: theusualingredients
Serena: rusticplate
April: thethinkitchen
Olga: oceanviewkitchen
Jane: janespatisserie
Geri: springtomorrow
Grace: treatyourselftoday
Jhuls: thenotsocreativecook
Diana: heycakes

Hope you ladies don’t mind the nomination and hope can find the time to answer the questions above 🙂

– Ally xx

Vermont Maple-Pecan Cake

Vermont Maple-Pecan Cake

Hello Everyone and welcome to a very special post as today officially marks the 1-year anniversary of my food blog! I started up this food blog exactly a year ago during spring break, and instead of slaving away on the many assignments/projects I had at that time, I decided to spontaneously start up a blog, out of pure procrastination really. Since it was quite spontaneous, I didn’t quite put much effort into it in the beginning, as in I wasn’t bothered to purchase my own domain name, and buy a theme and customise it. I wasn’t sure of how long I’d be able to keep up with this blog (because I have tried many times and failed). I am happy that I am able to finally keep one up and running, posting 3 times a week, almost.

Vermont Maple-Pecan Cake

For the next few months or so, I will work on developing an aesthetic and a colour scheme for my blog that reflects who I am as a person – not just one who loves to cook and is passionate about all things food, but also my personality and my design style. The pink and brown was sort of a “yeah that will do for now” because it fit the default theme that I picked (which was more like “I prefer this theme that the others I’ve seen”). Anyway, so to celebrate my blog turning 1 today, I decided to bake a cake for this occasion. I wanted to bake a citrus poppyseed cake at first but for some reason, lemons were nowhere to be found in every supermarket and market that I went to. Instead, I found another recipe that stood out to me – Vermont Maple-Pecan Cake. Why I chose to attempt this cake was because I already had maple syrup in the fridge and CREAM CHEESE; like who could say no to cream cheese?!

The quantities from the original recipe that can be found on Taste of Home, makes two 6-inch round cake layers, but since my baking pans were about 8.5-inches, I decided to double the recipe until I realised that I should’ve tripled it when I poured the batter into the pans; they barely filled halfway. So I made another batch to top them off. Therefore, the quantities below have been tripled from the original to make two 8.5-inch round cake layers. Once again, Happy Anniversary to Amcarmen’s Kitchen!

Vermont Maple-Pecan Cake Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the cake batter

  • 2 & 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 170g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

For the frosting

  • 1 package (250g) cream cheese, softened
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 & 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • Toasted pecan halves, to decorate

*I could not find any buttermilk at the supermarket, so I made my own by using a tablespoon of white vinegar for every cup of milk. Set it aside for about 5 minutes for the milk to react to the vinegar. You can also substitute the vinegar for lemon juice.

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4).
  2. Grease two 8.5-inch cake pans with a little butter and set aside
  3. For the cake batter: Combine the plain flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, butter, syrup, and vanilla, and stir into dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chopped pecans.
  4. Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans to wire racks to cool down completely.
  5. For the frosting: Using an electric handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup in a small bowl until smooth. Then beat in the confectioners’ sugar.
  6. Assembly: Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread with about 1/2 cup of frosting. Top with the second layer of cake and frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with toasted pecan halves and store in the fridge before serving. Enjoy!

Vermont Maple-Pecan Cake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com