Wake me up when March ends.

To say I’m overwhelmed with work right now would be putting it so mildly you can’t even imagine.

It’s coming to the end of the financial year for us and over at the office everyone’s trying to finish everything that got stuck in the pipeline because of the implementation of stricter procurement policies.

It’s like firing a gun with a knotted barrel — everything just blows up in your face.

Thanks a lot for the grief, Brompton bikes.

Actually the reverberations of this might very possibly carry on through April. This basically means I’ll be out of the wedding prep scene till after April because I’ll have neither the time nor the energy to do it. I do so much work at the office. The last thing I want to do when I get home is more work: scouting for favours, designing the invites, and all the other things I don’t even know I have to do — yet.

There’s been zilch progress since my last update on the change in photographer, and this scares me. To make things worse, I’m also back to square one with Project Wedding Body, because when I get back from work I’m usually so tired I just crash. After April, I’ll be left with a mere 5 months to achieve my ideal weight and I’ll be counting on my old friend Desperation to get me there. Usually people will only scramble to their feet and come through when they’re desperate, no?

Amidst all this chaos I find that I do have the time, however, to dream up our honeymoon because it feels less like work, and let’s just say I NEED images of the picturesque Nuwara Eliya in my mind to keep me sane at this point.

The only good thing that came out of March was probably the boyfriend’s birthday. I say “probably” because I’m still sitting on the fence about whether I can classify this as a good thing, especially since it’s also a reminder that our biological clocks are ticking.

No fancy schmancy gifts for him this time because we made a mutual agreement ever since we got engaged that we should just save the money for marriage. So what’s there left to do but get creative? The last time, I made him a pop-up card and a video montage of birthday wishes from family and friends.

This year, I baked him a rainbow cake. It was far from perfect as you can see, but he claims it was delicious. Well I can only hope he was telling the truth….

birthday_rainbow_cake

He was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a rainbow cake after cutting it open!

I also had a go at making two other desserts this month: tiramisu and molten chocolate cake. The only reason I had time to make them was because my department chose dessert-making as our team-bonding activity.

Aida_molten_chocolate_cake

No flour was used in this molten chocolate cake because my colleague doesn’t take gluten. The structure didn’t hold well without the flour, causing the centre of the cake to cave in. To salvage the appearance, I filled the cavity with some strawberry jam, raspberries and blueberries.

Aida_tiramisu

Tiramisu was much easier to make. I’d make it again!

Well on my way to being a domestic goddess, you think?

Anyway I really hope the situation at work clears up soon — for Faz as well. Both of us have been so incredibly busy that we haven’t been talking on the phone or meeting up as often as we used to. To better months ahead!


Macaron Mania

I’ve been toying with the idea of DIY-ing macarons for the wedding for a while now. Friends say I shouldn’t be so ambitious and that I’ll be a haggard bride if I’m going to keep up with all this micro-managing. But if you know me, you’ll know I won’t listen….until I’ve proven to myself that I can’t in fact do it.

And so last weekend I tried making macarons.

Macarons are such sensitive desserts. There are 913654546872114579 reasons where your macarons could’ve gone wrong. Of course, I only knew this AFTER I had a go at it. I have Raiza Costa, my latest baker muse, to blame for making it seem so easy peasy!

I mean, just look at her video. She’s having actual fun. I want her kitchen! I love how she dresses up her island with her printed tablecloths, flowers and colourful utensils (KITCHENAID!!!!). She’s so Kate Spade!

That, was of course a far cry from what went on in my kitchen. I started feeling tired halfway through, and don’t even get me started on the state of my kitchen in the aftermath.

I rounded up the better looking ones for a photo, but the best one got to be in the foreground.

My macarons in the end turned out to be something else. Although they were round and did grow small “feet”, the texture was more that of a brownie — dense, moist and chewy. But I probably was most disappointed about how they actually looked. To my horror the surface of the macarons started crinkling in the baking process, making it look not one bit like the dainty dessert that it’s supposed to be.  The taste was good actually (even better after a day or two after the filling somewhat merges with the biscuit), but nope, those still weren’t macarons I made.

The thing about baking is it’s really anybody’s guess how your babies are gonna look when they come out the oven.

I caption this photo “THE REVOLT”.

I’m not deterred! I’m having another go at it this weekend and I’m going to get them to conform! After reading A Macaron Troubleshooting Guide, I think the problem might’ve been in my meringue. And possibly the type of cocoa powder I used that made it dense.

Update y’all then!

p/s: In case anyone’s interested, I used a macaron baking sheet from Mastrad (available at $59 at Tangs and Takashimaya — but I got mine at 40% off during a sale). They’re supposed to make your macarons perfectly round and consistent in size, but mine still wasn’t because I’m a novice piper! I’m very peeved though that the two baking sheets it comes with doesn’t fit the standard oven, so in the end I baked only one sheet a time.  Makes 25 assembled macarons.

p/p/s: I was so inspired by Raiza Costa “living colorfully” that I went on a hunt for cute aprons! I managed to find this cute lil’ red and white polka dot apron that actually looks more like a dress with frills when you put it on  — which I later forgot to wear when I was making those macarons (#facepalm). I came across other really GORGEOUS ones on Etsy by this seller based in the US who goes by the name of “mamamadison”. Here’s one I got really close to buying:

How gorgeous is this?!
Source: Mama and Madison Custom Aprons Facebook page