Hola! Spanish Bread!

this baking project has been loooooong overdue! i wasn’t even pregnant yet when i promised my husband that i’ll bake spanish bread for him. then came july and he gave me a rolling-pin as a birthday gift and it only ended up sitting in the dark cupboard. haha!

BUT NOW I’M BACK. my energy is in full swing and i’m ready to reign the kitchen once again. hohoho!

so here’s my first bread baking project, the spanish bread. that’s how we call it in the philippines. but i don’t even know why it’s called as such because there’s nothing espanyol about it. this reminds me of the french fries from belgium.

ingredients:

a) for the dough
2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs

b) for the filling
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup sugar

breadcrumbs, white sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla

breadcrumbs, white sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla (optional)

buttermilk, salt, yeast, brown sugar, butter

buttermilk, salt, yeast, brown sugar, butter

instructions:
1. dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water let stand for 10 minutes. if the mixture doubles in volume then yeast is active.

add yeast and sugar to lukewarm water

add yeast and sugar to lukewarm water

2. in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, sugar and salt.

mix the dry ingredients - flour, sugar and salt

mix the dry ingredients – flour, sugar and salt

3. add the wet ingredients – milk, melted butter, eggs, and yeast to the dry mixture and combine well.

mix the wet ingredients - yeast mixture, eggs, milk and melted butter

mix the wet ingredients – yeast mixture, eggs, milk and melted butter

4. on a clean surface dusted with flour, knead the mixture into a smooth elastic dough. add more flour, if necessary. omg buhay panaderya!

5. let the dough rest in a bowl greased lightly with oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until the size doubles, about three hours.

keep calm and it will double the size

keep calm and it will double the size

6. divide the dough into two equal parts. shape each part into a log and divide into eight equal parts.
7. flatten each piece and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and sugar. then roll them making it oblong in shape.
8. sprinkle or roll the rolled dough with more breadcrumbs and sugar and place the pieces with the seam-side down on a greased baking sheet.

sprinkle or roll the dough in breadcrumbs and sugar

sprinkle or roll the dough in breadcrumbs and sugar

10. preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. once oven warms up, place the rolls and bake until golden brown for 15-30 minutes.

verdict:

finished product!

finished product!

my official taster a.k.a “the husband” said that the bread tastes good and soft (weh!? sinabi lang nya ata yun para not to hurt my feelings – haha). once it gets cold, pwede na syang ipang kalso sa kotse. just reheat it in the oven for a minute to bring back its softness and freshness. the only downside is that i should have put more filling inside the bread to make it really taste like a spanish bread. i under estimated the amount of filling i put on the dough so after baking them, the bread turned out thick and good but it lacks the filling inside. i was hesitant to make it too sweet because i’m regulating my sugar intake. i think this project turned out more like a “pan de sal” project rather than a spanish bread. wahaha! anyway, i’ll do my best next time. i think what matters most is that it tastes good and it’s edible. lol!

21 weeks: Prams

i didn’t know that searching for a pram or a stroller would take lots of serious consideration. initially, i thought that as long as you like a certain design then it would be enough. now, just like buying a major appliance, furniture or a car…you would need to make a lot of research to be able to find the one that suits your budget, lifestyle and most important – baby’s safety.

my husband and i started canvassing and buying the things we need for the baby. not that we are doing a major shopping splurge though. every month, we target to buy something major so we do it in a ‘slowly but surely’ way. it’s hard walking around the shops when tummy grows very big so we do it now while i’m still capable. as you may know, it’s not a joke buying a brand new baby item. having a baby is sort of making an investment too, making sure that our purchase will be for a long-term and can be use by the next child. in the philippines, oldies usually advise that parents must start buying on the onset of 7th month.

investPram

prams are investments

but since i’m far from home and i don’t believe in old wives tale anyway, we started doing it on the 5th month. i don’t know if that’s too early but see, i’m already halfway through the pregnancy! my mantra is always look at the glass half full rather than half empty. haha! besides, i am not the superstitious type of person. i just pray that everything goes smoothly during the pregnancy so i don’t entertain negative thoughts. the physical aspects of being pregnant are stressful enough and i don’t want to make it hard for myself thinking, “what if something happens?”. as advised by my midwife, all i need to do is to relax and eat healthy and she’ll take care of the rest. ;-)

going back to prams, i’ve been in a constant search to find “the one”. there’s soooo many to choose from and i’m getting more confused as i see more designs when i check the online stores. the thing is, the type of pram that i want doesn’t coincide to the budget i want to release! lols! i didn’t know that prams could range from $500-$1000 so as an alternative, i also look in trademe, an online buy and sell website here in nz. this is where we got our crib by the way, but save that for another post.

prams or strollers are in different shapes, sizes and functionality depending on the person’s lifestyle. it could be a 3-wheeler or a 4-wheeler, it could be single or double purpose especially if you have twins or 2 kids on it. it could have plastic wheels or a rubber, fit for a smooth surface or on a terrain and there are jogger types of prams which can be use by mom’s post birth to get back in shape.

if you ask me about my dream pram, this is what i want – a bassinet pram.

bassinetPram

dream pram (source: pinterest)

i’m dreaming i’m walking at the park with this, back to my pre-baby weight (college weight to be more aggressive – hehe asa!) wearing my wide-brim hat with sunglasses, pushing the pram and smiling to my baby. i’m no longer working in IT and i just spend my daily life walking at the park, getting sunshine blah blah blah…

hello! but in reality, this pram will cost us as much as a $1000 bucks and would just accumulate dust once baby starts to walk…a total waste of money. also, the bassinet pram will only be good for 0-3 mos and after that, baby is very curious to look around and would rather face front instead of looking at me. as baby grows older, he will start fidgeting and this pram is not practical at all. :(

so i have to reconsider and think of another option. eventually, these are some tips i read online when considering buying a pram.
– make sure it meets the safety standard
– check it has foot breaks and harness to strap the baby
– make sure there are no loose parts, sharp objects or protruding parts that may harm or choke the baby
– locking mechanism for the baby
– stability. make sure it doesn’t tip easily
– consider functionality and lifestyle. prams should be reclined flat for baby’s under 3 mos. after that, should be changeable to a semi-reclining position as baby gets older
– a foot rest so child can avoid injury when trying to touch the ground
– consider cover up for the baby like a large canopy, a rain cover and a foot cover for small ones
– storage underneath to store baby items or any shopping items
– make sure it’s compact, easy to fold and will fit the trunk of the car

long-term, multipurpose and functional

long-term, multipurpose and functional (source: pinterest)

having said that and add my own requirements (a 3-wheeler, 2-way facing pram that i can use in rapaki track) and the “budget”, i wish and pray that the pram angels will guide me to find the perfect one. some friends told me that they don’t like bringing prams/strollers since they’re bulky and would rather baby-wear. i’ll surely baby-wear too but here in nz, prams will be very useful especially when going to parks and mountain trails. we are an active family after all. :)

biker mom

biker mom (source: pinterest)

skater mom

skater mom (source: pinterest)

19 Weeks: PutoToy;-)

my puto has a putotoy and is a boy. woohooo!!!

finally, we were able to find out the gender from this week’s anatomy scan and we couldn’t be more happier having a boy for our first baby. oftentimes when people ask us what we want, we always say we prefer a boy as a first baby though of course given a girl, we will be very happy still because girls are a lot more exciting to dress up and as long as they are healthy and well. hubby wants a boy so that there will be a ‘kuya‘ to look after the small ones. imagine this, “isusumbong kita sa kuya ko!” hahaha! in-laws are wishing for a boy too because they already have twin girls around. from my side, no preference at all because baby is the first in our family so everyone is very happy. :) taking care of my husband is a challenge. having another boy at home will be a different story. i can just imagine having two boyfriends around, oh boy it will be a mess!

putots_bumpdate

now that we know the baby’s gender, we can start preparing stuff for the baby while i’m still flexible to roam around the shops and check for a massive sale. lols. we already started looking for the major items such as cot, breast pump and pram as these are the more expensive items and we are on the look out if stores will have a major clearance sale. i now realize how expensive it is to start a baby. i’m in a stage now where i am confused whether to buy a brand new item because it’s the first baby and we surely want the best for him. then, there’s the budgetarian me who’s thinking of buying good quality 2nd hand items instead because baby will eventually outgrow the items and i’d rather save the money for him and be practical.

so far, here’s what i found out:
a brand new cot/crib will cost $300 to $1000…
a brand new pram will cost $400 to $700…
a brand new capsule, car seat or booster seat will cost $100 to $500…
a brand new electric double breast pump costs $300 to $600…
a brand new manual breast pump costs $100 to $300…
a reusable cloth diaper will cost a minimum of $10 a piece. do the math for a baby which needs to wardrobe change for 12 times a day and building a back up stash in case someone’s too tired to do the laundry, it could range from $100 to $300…
and not to mention the miscellaneous items like baby carrier, bottles, sterilizer, clothes, wraps, blanket and the list goes on.

ow-em. gee. the hard-earned money that i waited for a month, can be easily spent in one single day. *sigh*

One Hanami Day

hanami in japanese culture, means flower viewing particularly the ‘cherry blossoms’ during spring. people usually go to the park or gardens to have picnic under the beautiful cherry blossom trees with their families, friends or colleagues. japanese sometimes wear their traditional kimono or yukata during the hanami festival. it has always been my dream to go to japan and see the sakuras in bloom.

springchch_2014

springchch_2014

but dreams of travel and jetsetting are a reality miles away…

so last year, when i found out that the japanese community here in christchurch organizes a yearly hanami festival, i got so excited and vow to attend the event. no need to go to japan at all because my cherry blossom dreams will now become a reality here in christchurch! spring officially starts from september until november, but the best time to see the sakura is during the early part of september as the flowers are very vibrant and in full bloom.

springchch_2014

springchch_2014

springchch_2014

springchch_2014

compared to last year, this year’s event is better because there are food stalls available showcasing a variety of japanese delicacies such as rice cakes, sweets and gyoza. i tried one of the rice cakes which is similar to our bibingka but with a sakura topping on top. it was good, not too sweet. but the best-selling item during the hanami is the gyoza. check the long queue, everyone wants a gyoza on a good sunny day! for $6, you will get 6 pieces of gyoza, choose from pork or lamb flavor. :) we bought 1 flavor each, yummers!

springchch_2014

springchch_2014

springchch_2014

there’s also a tea ceremony booth at the far end area of the park. a few women garbed in kimono were doing a traditional tea ceremony while the audience enjoy a cup of hot tea and a rice cake.

springchch_2014

around half past twelve, the drum show started and the people assembled and find their seats. the show run for 30 minutes.

springchch_2014

springchch_2014

springchch_2014

springchch_2014

all these japanese stuff brings back good memories of my japan trip few years ago. :) if there’s one country i want to visit again, japan is on top of the list and most likely I will spend the days just eating ramen, sushi and more rice cakes. *nom*

springchch_2014

Wellington: The Sunday Creatures

on our second day in wellington, we started the day by attending the sunday mass at st.john’s presbyterian church along willis street. due to earthquake repairs, sunday mass is temporarily held here until the catholic church is already safe to use. after the mass, we started looking for a place where we can eat our lunch. despite being called a city and the capital, most restaurants and establishments are closed during sundays making the city look dead as a ghost town. we must have spent 30 to 45 minutes walking around until we end up in a turkish eatery which i didn’t find satisfying at all.

after that, we went to weta cave studio. to go there, we rode bus #2 from the city central going to miramar.

so what is weta cave studios all about? it’s a shop where they sell souvenir items from the movies ‘the hobbit’ and ‘lord of the rings’. visitors can also enjoy a short film viewing inside the store, as well as a mini tour at the studio next door that explains how props and costumes were made for the movie. due to the ongoing production of ‘the hobbit’ movie series, visitors weren’t allowed to take photos inside the studio. hmm, fair enough to keep the secrecy of how things were being made. there’s nothing much to do inside the store aside from buying stuff and taking photos, so we joined the tour which costs us $NZD20 each. well, i’m not a fan of anything fantasy related so i think the workshop is just ok, but the husband likes it and finds it very interesting.

weta cave

weta cave

welly_weta

welly_weta

here are some of the photos we had that day. i did not upload most of them in fb because as you know, i am pregnant and i had photos with the not so good-looking characters and the parents and in-laws were panicking when they saw my photo with gollum and the lurtz. lololol. and you know how the oldies believe in old wives tales, pamahiin and urband legends right? they told me not to look at them or else baby will come out ugly-looking. hahaha! i really appreciate the concern and all but i find it very stressful, especially for me who doesn’t believe in pamahiin at all.

welly_weta

 welly_weta

welly_weta

welly_weta

welly_weta

so this is the highlight of our second day. not much to see in wellington on a sunday to be honest.

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