Best cookie recipe like…. ever!

I was once like you, right now, reading blogs from blogs in pursuit of the best cookie you could possibly bake. Yes. Ever since I got married and have a cute little son, I have never been so meticulous in looking up recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks! (I don’t even cook or bake before marriage!) 

After all the research and experiments of making cookies, after all those burnt and uncooked ones who sacrificed themselves for the greater good, I finally found the recipe for the best cookie ever! I just made some adjustments here and there and fired up the oven.

Why I love this cookie recipe?

It’s crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. This is exactly how I want my cookie – so addictive!!! I was never a fan of those hard crispy cookies or even the cakey ones. That is why I tried so many recipes from the internet, and experiment on what works best for me – crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside! This cookie is a hit too for our visitors so I always make sure I have some kept in an airtight container.1

You can make this as your base recipe and feel free to experiment on the mix you want to put in. This recipe here is a dark chocolate chip cookie but I also love making it these with raw almonds! Sky is the limit really. One time I used Oreo cookies instead of the chocolate chips and it was heavenly!

I’m not going to make this post long. Below is how I make my chocolate chip cookie!

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick/110gm of unsalted butter(room temperature)
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ cup of all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips (I always prefer dark chocolates. It somehow balances the sweetness.) * You can replace chocolate chips with any other mix you want like almonds, walnuts, etc. 

Procedure:

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light using a mixer or just a wooden spoon
  2. Add in the egg and vanilla extract
  3. In a separate bowl, mix in all purpose flour and baking soda until its evenly combined.
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the the flour is combined (do not overmix). I usually just mix them with wooden spoon. 
  5. Around this time, you can add chocolate chips and just mix them in.
  6. Scoop about at least a tablespoon, roll the dough using your hand and place them on the baking tray lined with baking paper. Make sure there is a gap between each dough, at least 2 inches apart, as they will spread out.
  7. Bake them in a preheated oven at 190°c for at least 7 to 10 minutes or until the edge of the cookies started to turn brown.
  8. Take them out of the oven and let it sit on the tray for few minutes before transferring them to the cooling rack.
  9. Best served with milk! Yum!

Take note: The common mistakes beginner (literally beginners) cookie bakers do: the cookies will still be soft when you take them out of the oven and that’s how it should be so don’t be alarmed. It will harden as it cools down.

PS: I prefer eating my cookie the day after baking. I am not sure why they taste better the next day but in my experience, the flavor seems to come out beautifully overnight. 

 

After Marriage; What next?

I honestly have no idea what lies ahead after the wedding. Married life starts, they say. What is married life? Or is it too soon to tell?

When I was younger and full of dreams of rainbows and butterflies, I knew at the back of my head, that someday, I will get married and start my own family. It’s like no matter what happens to your career, as a woman, it’s like a fulfillment when you finally found your one true love and get married. Just like in fairytales. But we can’t always depend on happy endings, can we? So I tried to be a normal girl, finish my studies and eventually get an exciting job. I worked on a cruise ship and there I met the love of my life, my better half. We went out for couple of years before we decided to get married. He is so adorable and I love him so much!

Since we are of different nationality, I have to basically stop working to sort out papers for us to stay together and that means time. I cannot obviously commit to another contract on the ship because paperwork demands time and that’s what I did.

The wedding was simple and intimate. Only close friends and relatives were present and it was the most magical moment of my life!

So we were officially married! I overheard one of his friends asked him, “How does it feel?”. He meant being married, and so I wonder. Am I supposed to feel any difference now that I’m married? Should I? Or shouldn’t I, just because we’ve tied the knot? I asked myself the same question. Does it say in the book that you have to feel different? Am I missing something? Surely that golden ring means something. Commitment, vows, promises but I already knew that and I am wholeheartedly committing myself to him.

It does feel like we are still boyfriend-girlfriend-bestfriend relationship but is it bad that I don’t really feel that much of a difference? Do we have to act sweeter in public than we already are?

Until I slowly came to realization when we had a small argument about something. Now that we are married, we became one. We became a family. A family that no matter how hard it gets, you will keep it together, I noticed I had longer patience, I let the small things go because it’s a waste of energy for both of us to argue about it. Unlike when we were boyfriend-girlfriend, you’d think about giving up and breaking up when things get messy or out of control. I would look at that golden ring and I will be reminded why I married this guy in the first place and that upon marrying him, I’ve accepted whatever shortcomings we might have and that being together is all that matters.

(Sigh), I never thought I’d be this matured. Marriage did change me I guess.

What I feed my 1 and a half year old toddler

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A lot of mommas out there would probably say that feeding a toddler is a struggle. I’d say that sometimes but what I find more difficult and stressful is the meal planning!
That’s right! A baby/toddler eats on an average of 10 minutes, maybe more if they are in the mood for sitting in their highchair longer than they normally do. I’m pretty sure there are perfect moms who never had this kind of problem but I guess I am one of those mommas who spend more time making a mess in the kitchen preparing than feeding my little one (I am not comfortable giving him store-bought baby food unless we are traveling). Most of the time I am tempted to prepare him the same food that he had the previous days just because my mind couldn’t really come up with a new recipe that is healthy, tasty and easy to make.
So I am going to share the list of what I usually feed my son. It’s either I give it to him as a meal like breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack.

For breakfast:

  • Banana oatmeal pancakes with strawberries on the side

I mean who doesn’t love pancakes! This is what he normally have for breakfast – almost everyday. I find it super easy to do and recipe is not complicated. Well, I try not to complicate it so I could prepare it as quick as possible! I use 3 to 4 ingredients; egg, banana, rolled oats and milk for adjusting consistency. Now you can add whatever fruit you want.

  • Scrambled eggs, banana, strawberries, muesli/oatmeal

I know what you’re thinking. The ingredients are exactly the same as the above but hey, at least this is a different way of serving them. These foods still have all those healthy stuff your baby needs. My little one never finish the bowl of muesli or oatmeal though but that’s alright because oatmeal and muesli are very filling especially when you serve them with bananas.

  • Toasted white/brown bread, blueberries, scrambled eggs

These are very easy to prepare. Just toss the bread in the toasted and cut the blueberries ( to avoid choking hazards if the berries are too big) , cook the scrambled eggs and voila! Healthy breakfast
I normally just play around with these foods, mix and match then serve.

For lunch:

  • Toasted bread with avocado

Avocado is super healthy. It is undeniably the healthiest fruit I’ve known. Sure it is fatty but it’s all healthy fats. According to some research avocados have more potassium than bananas. And they are packed with vitamins and minerals and a good source of fiber too. It’s a miraculous fruit!
Again, very easy. Just smash the avocado and spread it over the toast. My son loves them

  • Toasted bread with peanut butter

He loves peanut butter! I only get the ones that are 100% peanuts and no added sugar or whatsoever. I tried it myself and it was meh but it’s somehow healthier, I guess, compared to the normal ones that I got used to when I was growing up. Luckily he does not seem to be allergic to peanuts or any nuts for that matter.

  • Toasted bread with hummus

Another variation of bread spread. Hummus is also healthy ofcourse. I make it myself sometimes, otherwise, I’ll get a ready ones from the supermarket here. They make really good ones!

  • Greek yogurt with fruits or apple sauce

I love this meal. It is so easy to make. Well I make my own applesauce and my little one loves it. I will normally make a huge batch, feed him some and the rest are kept in the fridge. Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium and healthy fat for babies and toddlers. Sometimes I give it as a snack in between lunch and dinner.
When I have time , I’ll prepare him some mixed rice with scrambled eggs, peas, carrots and meat like (chicken/beef). Most of the time he will only have 3-4 spoons of the rice and he’s done!
For dinner

  • Mac and Cheese

This is super easy and super yummy! Now, you can serve this as it is but I always try to give complete meal like with meat and veggies. to make it healthier, I mix in pureed spinach and chicken or minced beef. It is filling though so sometimes, he will just eat a few spoonful.

  • Spaghetti meatballs/ pesto

I had to serve him spaghetti a few times before he actually ate them. I think he is not that crazy about it. At least I tried. There are a lot of variation in spaghetti. I use beef, sometimes chicken, or some cooked salmon, whichever is available.

  • Chicken Noodle Soup with rice

He loves this soup-ish, rice-ish meal. It’s also packed with vegetables like celery, carrots, and whatever vegetables I can put in it.

  • Chili con Carne

But without the spicy flavor. I, myself, love Chilli con carne. It’s rich in fiber, protein, iron, folate and zinc. It’s very nutritious for toddlers, especially the beans. It’s low in cholesterol and good for the heart. I also find it easy to cook – just mix all ingredients together (my version), boil and voila! – adjust the taste to your liking, of course.

  • Pumpkin soup with bread on the side

Another healthy meal for my little one. I’ve always been told when I was little that pumpkin is good for your eyes. My mom and my aunts would always try to scare us that if we don’t eat pumpkin we’ll wear glasses or we won’t see clearly or worse, go blind. Tough huh? But hey, they are absolutely on point! Pumpkin soup is so yummy. I can serve him this plain but I like adding some other vegetables in it to give an extra flavor. I love mixing it with parsnip and/or sweet potato but I’m sure you can mix it with other vegetables or even fruits. I haven’t tried anything yet aside from those two.
Now, I could go on and on but I am going to stop right here. This list is the easiest and most convenient for me to make without sacrificing the nutritional value of my little one’s food. The other food I make just so I could stay in the kitchen longer (so I could have that I-need-a-break time) while my husband look after my super active toddler!
So please, I’m begging you. If you have some ideas how to make my life easier, do share some quick toddler recipes!

If you want a hassle-free, no-drama and very quick way of whipping out toddler friendly meal especially pancakes (which is my son’s favorite), try this Vitamix blender that I really love to use!

Terminologies and Words you should familiarize with when you’re on board the cruise ship

As soon as you board the ship, everything suddenly becomes nautical and for a first timer, it might take days, or even the whole trip to at least know what these officers and crew members are talking about.

This photo was taken while we were sailing through the inside passage of The Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska. View from the open deck.

I have written down some of the common words you will encounter when you get on board a cruise ship. Very few terminologies might differ depending on the cruise company – usually in the hotel side.

 

  1. Port/Starboard side – This terminology, I would say, is one of the most important words that you should remember. Port side means the left side of the ship and Starboard side means the right side of the ship. When you ask for directions, crew members and officers will always refer to left as port and right as starboard. You will hear them use these words in most announcements such as which side to look when there is sighting of whales etc.

 

  1. Forward and Aft – Another important terminologies. Forward (obviously) means the direction towards the front of the ship and Aft means towards the back of the ship. Now these words and the ones above are the popular ones as you will definitely need to know the directions around the ship and whenever you ask for one, you will be hearing these. Like for example, during port days you will hear announcements such as.. “For those who wishes to get off the ship, Gangway is located Forward, Starboard side.”

 

  1. Bow – the very front of the ship. You know, where Jack and Rose from Titanic had their moment. But please don’t do that on a cruise ship. You’ll probably get a warning, or worse, they will ask you to disembark the ship and that is totally a bummer! Good luck!

 

  1. Stern – Back part of the ship. Nothing special. Oh but if you like staring at the sea water being pushed by the propeller and get lost in it because for some reason, it’s just so calming and relaxing, go ahead.

 

  1. Deck – It means floors, e.g. Deck 1, Deck 2, Deck 3, etc Nothing special really. It is just plain term used instead of floors. Not all Decks are labeled by numbers though. They have A Deck, B Deck and so on.

 

  1. Gangway – Now , you have to know what this word is otherwise you won’t be able to get in and out of the ship! It is the Entrance and Exit from the ship especially when you’re docked/anchored. You really need to pay attention to the announcements though because the gangway doesn’t stay in one place. I mean sometimes they change the location of where you can get on and off the ship so If you get off in Deck 2 and you get on in Deck 3, don’t be surprised. Due to the changes in the tide that they change the gangways. The higher the tide is, the lower they’ll set the gangway and the lower the tide is, the higher deck the gangway will be located. Always pay attention to the announcement so you don’t waste time looking for the gangway.

 

  1. Lido – This is one of my favorite words. This means food – well not exactly. Lido is a place where they usually serve breakfast, lunch and dinner (buffet style). This is like the casual restaurant where you can gain 1 pound per day (at least that’s what they say when you’re on a cruise!). For first timers, This is the main restaurant where you can just walk in and get stuffed! You don’t have to pay to dine here as this is included in the cruise. Some cruise ships have specialty restaurants where you will have to pay in able to dine in.

 

  1. Showroom/Mainstage – Basically the theatre where the shows and other presentations are held. Every night, there’s a show going on in the mainstage. Whether it’s the cast members performing or a super cool magician, special performers, and what not, this is the place where wonders and magic takes place!

 

  1. Cruise Director – The one in charge of the shows and programs happening on the ship. You would probably see  him walking around the ship saying hi to everyone and reminding you all about what is happening around the ship. Good guy.

 

  1. Tender boat – When the ship is anchored, tender boats are used to bring the passengers from and to the shore side. There are some ports that aren’t big enough to accomodate big ships. Mostly the ship will drop its anchor somewhere where I assumed is safe of course, and tender boats are used for transporting people. Sometimes it could be a bit of a struggle to board a tender boat especially when the current is a little off.

 

  1. Galley – The main kitchen of the ship. This is like the centralized kitchen like in hotels. All the food go through and prepared in the galley. Then brought up to its respective satellite kitchen such as the Lido and the other specialty restaurants

 

  1. Stateroom/Cabin Room – This is basically where passengers and crew members stay. It’s your room. Staterooms, just like in hotels, have different types. Staterooms ranges from totally closed like without windows – they call it the inside cabin – to suites with balcony. Oooh I love what you can find in the suites’ minibar!

 

  1. Shorex – short for Shore Excursions which means the department that deals with activities ashore. Their desks are usually found in the main lobby probably near the front office.

 

  1. Bridge – this is the navigation room where you will find the controls and the steering wheel of the ship! Well it’s not a big one like we usually see on pirate movies but you get what I mean. This is the working place of the captain! Whenever you hear the Cruise Director or officers or even the Captain speaking and wonder where they are, guess what? They’re speaking from the Bridge.

Now, I’ll stop right here before it gets complicated because after all, you’re on vacation! There are a lot more ship terminologies from where that came from but these are just the basics. I will let you find out the others when you get on board. Try to talk to the officers and crew members and ask them if you don’t understand some words and I absolutely sure they will be happy to enlighten you!

Happy sailing!

P.S. What other ship terminologies have you learned during your cruise? Let us know by leaving some comments! Keep us updated!