Monday, 21 July 2014

I am moving...

Hello friends! How's everyone doing? I hope you are all well and eating deliciously...

I am taking a quick break from packing and this time it's the big suitcase that I need to pack because I am moving... 

A couple of months ago I applied for a job which I thought suits my passion and it also sounds like a great opportunity for me to continue growing and learning.  After waiting for few days, I was thrilled when I received a feedback regarding my application so quickly. They wanted to know more about my working experience which I happily explained; and a couple of correspondence later, I was invited for an interview... 

The interview was done over the phone... I was so nervous that day, waiting for that phone call. Finally it's 9PM my time. For the interviewer it was the morning because of the time difference. The interview itself went really well but still I didn't want to get too sure that I was gonna get it.  I mean, I've been to a job interview before where I thought it went extremely well and ended up not getting the job. 

After the interview, I waited for few days... don't you just hate that feeling of waiting... Just tell me already please... I checked my email constantly, refreshing the inbox on my phone like every fifteen minutes... until that email came. I went into my room, I took a deep breath and I opened that email which says "...I would like to go ahead and offer you the pastry cook position...". I was over the moon happy. 

For the past few weeks I've been doing all the paperwork for the working permit and travel documents and it's finally all done last week and I am ready to go and I can tell you where I'm heading to. Next week, I'll be boarding the longest flights in my life... a total of five flights and an approximately 38 hours journey. From Medan to Singapore and up north to Taipei, then cross the Pacific ocean to LA then to Houston where I'm going to take my last connecting flight to my destination at Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. 

To say that I am excited is an understatement. Not only I am excited to see parts of the world I have not been before, but also of course, for the job and the new adventure. And I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all :) 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Parmesan Shortbread with Smoked Paprika and Black Sesame Seeds

Happy Sunday friends! How is everyone doing?

I am currently taking a break from packing and I want to share with you a little something tasty for your next dinner party. These Parmesan shortbread are so good to pass around for nibbling with pre-dinner drinks/cocktails. And I do love to nibble before dinner, you know, little bites to whet the appetite.

I often make this 'plain' with just the Parmesan, but the addition of smoked paprika gives the shortbread a bacon-like flavour... and as Ina Garten would say, how bad can that be?! If you want some heat, you can also add a little cayenne pepper. And I chose black sesame seeds really just for aesthetic purpose. You can omit that if you don't want to risk having black sesame seeds stuck between your teeth, especially when having a party.

The shortbread dough is incredibly easy to make and the great thing is, once the dough is made, you can roll it straightaway without having to chill it in the fridge first. You can also make this a couple of days in advance and they keep well in an airtight container. Just be sure to keep them away from sight because they won't last long :)

Have a great day everyone!   

Parmesan Shortbread with Smoked Paprika and Black Sesame Seeds

150 gr butter
1 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/s tsp ground white pepper
1-2 tsp smoked paprika, depending taste
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
175 gr freshly grated Parmesan cheese + extra for sprinkling
250 gr plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten for brushing
2 tbsp black sesame seeds

In a bowl, using a free-standing or a hand-mixer, cream the butter, sugar, salt, pepper and smoked paprika until light and fluffy.  Add the one egg and one egg yolk and mix again to combine, followed by the Parmesan cheese.

In another bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Now, using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients into the buttery cheese mixture until it becomes a dough. 

You can roll the dough on a well floured surface, but I find it easier to roll it in between two non-stick parchment paper.  Roll the dough to the thickness of half a centimeter. Cut it with a knife into bite-size rectangles or use a cookie cutter. Arrange the shortbread on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Preheat the oven to 160 C.

Brush the shortbread with the lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with extra Parmesan and the black sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let the shortbread completely cool before storing in an airtight container.