Friday, September 30, 2005

In The Pink FAQ

Thank you (all of you!) for your interest in this event. Lots of response generally equals lots of questions, and to save you guys the trouble of having to write in, I’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and their answers. If you have questions that are not on this page, please email me and I’ll get back to you personally with answers as soon as I can.

Q: Is In The Pink open to the public?
A: Definitely. Everyone’s invited – and if you know people who aren’t in the know, go ahead and spread the word!

Q: What if I don’t have a blog?
A: I’m really bad with technology, so I’m not sure what to do about blog-less entries. You could try taking Eva up on her very generous offer, but be sure to ask real nice first!

Q: Is it mandatory to post pictures of myself?
A: Nope. If you’re camera shy, just take some nice pictures of your creation(s). Same goes for personal information – don’t feel like you’re being forced to share if you don’t want to. Some of the best food bloggers out there keep their post topics strictly culinary-oriented and are still extremely captivating. Write within your comfort zone.

Q: When is the closing date?
A: It was originally a one-day thing, but was extended to cover an entire weekend (7th to the 9th of Oct.) The official closing date is the 9th, but I will try to accept late entries till the roundup is posted.

Q: When is the roundup going to be done?
A: I’m hoping to have it done by the 11th or sooner, but my poor grasp of technology might cause some delays.

Q: What is the purpose of this event, and are there donations involved?
A: The main goal for this event is to raise breast cancer awareness. I’m not representing any charities, and am not going to be collecting donations. To make a donation, please contact your country’s breast cancer organization.

Special thanks to A., who made that pink ribbon you see in the top right corner of my blog. If you want one too, let me know and I'll post the script for it....the second I figure out how (or rather, the second A. gets around to figuring out how).


Thursday, September 29, 2005

It's About Time We Do Some

catching up, originally uploaded by emily loke.

My first (and heavily procrastinated) Catching Up 2005 blog is up, and you'll find it right here, back dated August 3rd.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Spinach and Cheese Whatchamacallits

phyllo, originally uploaded by emily loke.

I wish I knew what these things were called. (Maybe someone will be kind enough to write in and tell me.) They certainly are good though – possibly made better by the fact that they are the first things to come out of my kitchen in a long while. I blame it all on the upcoming move: my lovely baking pans have had to be packed away, leaving me with only my baking sheet to rely on. Don’t get me wrong – I almost never use my bundt pan…but since it’s been packed, I’ve thought up about 30 different, ornate, gourmet creations that hinge on that very pan. Of course, when I unpack it, all those ideas will be long gone, and my bundt pan (among others) will languish in the back of my cupboard for months on end. As usual.

I wish I had more to say about this recipe, but its isn’t even my own! I got it from A.’s mom while she was staying with us – she was even gracious enough to de-egg the formula so I could eat some. I remember loving it the second I took a bite – gooey and oozing and still warm from the oven, I suddenly understood why A. reminisced so fondly of this dish.

So today, when I saw a package of frozen spinach and a roll of filo sitting in my freezer, I knew just how to get rid of them. Not only are they going to be a warm, comforting treat for us after being out and about in rapidly-chilling Toronto, they’re also meat-free which makes them a perfect gift for our vegetarian friend M. However, whether or not they actually make it over to her depends on A. and his stomach.

I hope she won’t be too disappointed.

Spinach and Cheese Whatchamacallits

1 package frozen, chopped spinach (thawed)
1 cup feta cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
1 brick cream cheese
1 package filo pastry, thawed and cut lengthwise into quarters
¼ cup melted butter

1. Mix spinach, feta cheese, cottage cheese and cream cheese in a bowl and beat till mixed.
2. Drop one tablespoon of the mixture onto the end of a filo strip, and fold filo strip over the filling into a triangle.
3. Place triangle, seam side up, on a lined baking sheet and brush with melted butter.
4. Repeat till all filling and filo is used.
5. Bake triangles in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until tops are browned.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Introducing: In The Pink!

pink ribbon, originally uploaded by emily loke.

I can hear the groans – not another food event to keep track of! – but bear with me. This one really is different: it’s for a good cause!

I’m so proud to announce the birth of In The Pink, an online food blogging event that I’m hoping will raise breast cancer awareness. The premise is simple: make anything you would like (as long as it’s pink, of course!) and blog about it. It’s not mandatory, but you are all definitely encouraged to post a picture of yourself showing your support in something pink, and to dedicate your pretty pink creation to someone if you wish. The most important thing is to have fun though, and to know you’re doing something worthwhile at the same time!

Send me links to your post anywhere between the 7th and the 9th of October via email at (be sure to reference In The Pink in the title of your email). If you have questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment at the end of this post.

Good luck with your cooking - I can’t wait to see the beautiful delicacies you guys will pink up!


Update: There is now an In The Pink FAQ post for those of you wanting more specific information.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hello again.

I realize this entry is long, long overdue. No more excuses, I promise – my blogging resumes from this point on, hopefully never to be so rudely interrupted by life and all its trappings ever again. I know, I know: how dare I take off without a word and leave you on your own for a whole month or more without explaining why I had gone and if I ever were coming back, right? To properly explain myself, I’m going to have to digress from the culinary topics I usually try to keep myself confined to and be very, very honest. I know this is a food blog, and isn’t a dumping ground for my personal problems, but I think you have a right to know.

Everyone’s life is full of ups and downs. It’s not something we really think to complain about for the most part; we consider it a fact of life and accept the downs that come with the ups and relish the time we spend lingering in that happy medium, normality. For some of us however (well, me, in this case), normality fails to shows up to mediate and offer respite between the constant seesawing of life for stretches at a time.

I’m not trying to play the pity card here, I promise: while the downs (one in particular) have been horrible, the ups have been terrific and have kept me going when all I wanted to do was collapse.

Yes, collapse. Collapse and cry and beat my fists against walls.

You see, I found out this summer that my nanny, the woman who raised me from birth, has been diagnosed with a terminal case of cancer. Her husband who also used to take care of me had passed away the year before. I hadn’t known because my mother and I had fallen out of communication when I had moved here to Canada and she had moved to Hong Kong. We only found all this out when my mother called her on my behalf after a dream I had had about her.

As you can probably guess, there is a lot of guilt I’m dealing with right now for not staying in touch, for not being there to say goodbye to someone I loved so much, for not even being able to be in Singapore to spend what little time is left with someone I’m about to lose. Though the depression I feel doesn’t look like it will dissipate any time soon, I’m making progress just by being able to type out these words – a month ago, A. was worried he’d have to lean how to decipher sobs.

A.’s been a huge, huge Up. He’s not only been a shoulder to cry on, but also has been inhumanly patient with me, accepting that when-I-want-to-talk-about-it-I-will and never pushing me to get-on-with-the-healing-process-already. I don’t know how he does maintains his ever-cheeriness about everything despite living with a person who may as well have a storm cloud over her head, but he does.

Another Up in my life was my mother’s visit about a month ago. I’m going to eventually get around to posting pictures of the culinary excursions we made while she was here, so won’t ruin it today for anyone. My mother, who is just as emotional as I am about my nanny, has been super-practical as always about it all, reminding me daily that there are things that are out of my control – something she says everyone has problems dealing with when tragedy strikes (I told you she was practical).

The other Ups that have kept me hanging on may not seem to be monumental, but as we all know: it’s the little things that count. My friends D and M have provided me with a constant supply of girlie humor, fun and activities that have served as much-welcomed distractions from my wallowing. They’re the reasons I’m forced to get out of bed and go to the gym, or to the dog park, or mall or lunch instead of lying in bed all day (which I’d probably do if I could – at no benefit to myself).

After reading through all this personal information that definitely does not belong on a food blog, you’d be happy to know the last Up I’m going to mention here (there are more, lucky me) is a food-oriented one: I’ve finally begun to sell my baking. Before you crack open the champagne, you should know that this isn’t a huge deal for anyone but me (and of course my parents who are deliriously happy that I’m making steps – however small – towards finally supporting myself). I haven’t started a company, opened a store or signed a contract with Starbucks. I’m just casually selling baked goods at a tiny store manned by a guy who is probably allowing me to do this so he gets tax breaks. The $12 I’ve made so far (hey, I only started yesterday!) is definitely nothing to whoop about, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve accomplished something really special.

So there you go: those are some of the main reasons I haven’t been around for a while. I hope you’ll find it in your hearts to forgive me for being so tardy about writing. I can’t promise I’m going to put blogging at the top of my to-do list from now on, but seeing as how good I feel to finally get all of the above off my chest, I’m going to make a point to do it more often.

I hope to see more of you, too.