Have you got a chance in your life where you leave everything that was hanging on your shoulder behind and go thousands of miles away just for a week? And immerse in a world that you once adore so much? I did. Lucky me because I have family that can help me with my kids. Lucky me because my loving husband wants this for us. :) Although partly because there is a matter that require our presence there. :P But I definitely benefit from it, a getaway that I am really looking forward to. Yup, we went back to California for a week. Although i did miss my kids dearly, but I knew they are in good hands. :)
The sunny, yet still cooling summer weather, with plentiful fresh produce and summer sale! I got to do shopping, yes, real shopping in a mall. Sound a little sad isn't it. Haven't done that since February. :P Walking around shopping aimlessly without any time restriction was such a leisure for me...at some point I felt guilty about it! I even got to meet up with an old friend which I too miss dearly. :) Will get to that later...
Although it was just a week (minus all that boring flight time), I was truly grateful for it. At some point, I was hoping I can capture every moment and post it up for all my dear readers to see. But that will be a way too long post and I don't think I have that kind of time at hand. :P So a little summary, just like last time, hope you guys will take a walk back memory lane with me on my journey back to my good old times back in California.
First stop, Mountain View Farmer's Market in Bay Area. It's there every Sunday, packed full of locals and farmers with produces in season. I was real lucky to be there at this peak season where there is a great abundance of summer fruits & vegetables. Look on...
Yes...summer squash! It comes it several cute shapes and colour but taste wise is pretty much the same. It's such a versatile vegetable, grilled, salad, stir fry or even in baked cakes...yummy! ;)
Sweet Bing cherries...they come only in early summer and I love the dark red ones because it's taste is much more intense, almost like tasting cherry wine. ;) I even managed to "smuggle" some home, so you should be seeing some cherry bake from me soon. :)
Doughnut peaches...you see me right, it's like white peaches but in the shape of a doughnut! Aren't they look the cutest? They taste the same as the usual white peaches but much sweeter and juicier then the yellow ones. It's pretty rare in Asia if I am not wrong. :)
One of my all time favorite fruit, sweet pluots (some call them plums)! I actually have a similar specie, which is a plum tree growing in my very own garden inside my California house. When I was there to see it this time, I actually saw it fruiting! Too bad I'm too shy to ask my tenant for some, lol!
Another wonderful fruit/vegetable in summer is vine ripe tomatoes. They are actually sweet tasting and making pasta sauces and pizza with these babies are just super. :) I remember I will make my own pasta sauces and can them during summer so I have a constant supply during winter time. :)
I love fresh mushrooms! I remember I will always buy a pound or so of variety to either stir fry or add into my pasta, yummy!
These fresh cut flowers are such delight too. Buying home a bouquet every Sunday is always a treat for me. :)
Fresh plum blueberries are just so inviting! Don't get me started on the health benefits on eating blueberries! And I love baking with them....yes, I've packed some home too, lol!
Check out the stuff I bought at the market. Don't the berries look good! Some yogurt and I am good! And since they are in season now, they are pretty sweet. It's too bad I can't bring these back to Singapore, else it would be great to bake a trio berry tart! ;) Also got some plum jam and wildflower honey. ;) Might as well bring some jam back since I can't bring the fruits back. ;)
In the later afternoon, my husband and I drove up to San Francisco and went for a walk near Golden Gate Bridge and Baker's Beach.
Doesn't this place look like some place in Europe? Well, it's Baker's Beach in CA. It always takes me away to peaceful trance with the sound of the crashing waves and cooling breeze. You get to see this wonderful view of Golden Gate Bridge at Baker's Beach, so great right! But watch out for the nudist beach just around the corner....not that there's anything wrong with it of course. :)
Sunset at Golden Gate Bridge....really does made it look golden. I swear I can just watch the sunset right there, but its getting freaking cold! Lol!
Check out those steep slopes...it's like that all over SF. Never park your car neutral if you know what I mean. :P But that is the distinct feature of SF, love it! ;)
Perhaps it's the time difference, but me and my hubby were not that hungry that night. So we decided to head over to Ghirardelli Square to our all time favorite ice cream palour. Yup, call us young at heart or sweet tooth, but we love the idea of just having ice cream for dinner, hahaha! Shhhh! Don't tell my girls! Lol! We really had a blast that day....wish it didn't have to end so soon. :P
Think I should pause for now about my journey back to California. Don't want to overload you all with so much stuff and photos at one time. Will post up Part II later on when I have more time. Now, I want to finish this post by sharing with you all my last bake before I traveled, Feather Light Cheesecake from Alex Goh. There are several blogger out there that has successfully bake this cake and I knew I just have to try it out myself. :)
I made this cake for my girls because I know they will miss my baking when I'm away. This is pretty similar to the Japanese Light Cheesecake I made before. My girls loved it....too bad I did not get a chance to taste it myself. :P Here is the recipe for my reference:
Ingredients for Feather-Light Cheesecake:
250ml fresh milk
125g cream cheese @ room temp
50g cake flour
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
80g caster sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder, mixed in 1 tbsp hot water
- In a saucepan, place cream cheese, milk and butter in it and heat at medium heat. Using a whisk and make sure everything is melted and well combined. Place aside till needed.
- Grease and line an 8" round pan with parchment paper.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla into the cream cheese mixture and stir well.
- Whisk flour over into the cream cheese mixture till well combined, making sure there are no lumps in it.
- In another large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites till foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar and continue to whisk. Gradually add the sugar in and beat till stiff peaks.
- Gently fold the whites into the cream cheese mixture in 3 portions till well combined.
- Scoop 1/5 of the cake batter out and mix in the chocolate paste. Set aside till needed.
- Pour the remaining cake batter into the prepare pan and scoop dollops of the chocolate batter over the top. Using a butter knife or toothpick, swirl the batter on top to make marble patterns.
- Bake in water bath @ 160°C for 50minutes or till the tester comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from oven and let cool completely before chilling it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Hope you all will try out this lovely recipe. It's not that hard to prepare at all and you can bake up this yummy cake at your very home. Have fun!