Chocolate Fruit

A friend of mine has a YouTube channel, Under 300 Calories, on which she posts nutritious recipes. Her most recent post inspired me to follow her instructions and make my own chocolate fruit:

I purchased ripe cherries and baking chocolate as well as fresh strawberries. I decided to take the opportunity to cover some of these berries in chocolate as my daughter does love eating them like this.

My friend melts her chocolate in the microwave but I prefer melting mine in a bain marie on the stove. I feel I have more control over the chocolate this way – and I have less chance of burning it!

I washed my fruit carefully before drying each piece with a paper towel. I decided to take the pits out of the cherries and followed the advice given in the video.

Using the technique described by my friend, I covered the fruit in chocolate. I lay the pieces straight onto the pan as I did not have parchment paper. Next time, though, I will have to purchase a roll as it would make it easier to take the cooled down chocolaty fruit off of the pan.

As expected, the chocolate covered strawberries were a delicious treat after supper. But the cherries were even more so. This is definitely a treat worth taking the time to make – and I will certainly make them again.

Do you enjoy chocolaty fruit treats?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge on differing perspectives)

Some Plant Colour

Four years ago my family gave me a beautiful flowering plant (name unknown) for Mother’s Day. The plant has not flowered since, but I have enjoyed seeing its beauty everyday in my living room.

About a week ago, I noticed a little red amongst the green and was excited to see that my pot plant was about to show a little colour.

The flower has unfurled and is small – smaller than the ones the plant had when it was gifted to me. However, I am excited to see that after so long, the plant finally has bloomed.

As I sit on the sofa or at the dining table, I look over and cannot help but smile at its presence.

I am not sure how long the flower will last – or if another one will eventually show. What I do know is that I will enjoy it for the time it is present.

Do you have any flowering pot plants?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge on differing perspectives and Trent’s Weekly Smile.)

A Mouthwatering Dinner

My daughters love roti. The few times we ate it while they were growing up, I had bought them from the supermarket – or we had taken an hour bus ride to buy it from the store that sells homemade ones. During the imposed COVID-19 isolation, my husband tried to make some but he did not get it quite right. Now that I am on a school break, I decided that I would try to remember how to make them (before marrying, I used to make them all the time). After checking ratios with my mom, I set about mixing the flour and butter with water to make the dough. After rolling the dough and cutting it into small pieces, I set it aside for a while before frying.

As I rolled out the dough, I tried to remember how hot the plate should be for cooking. I tried different levels until I realised that a medium-high heat is perfect.

I made the balls for the roti small as my frying pan is not large. The small size fit perfectly and I knew that the entire surface would be browned. Once all the roti were cooked, I set them aside and handed the kitchen over to my husband to make the curry.

The chicken curry he made with the right blend of spices was absolutely mouthwatering. And my roti? With some more practice, I will unlock all my memories and make them perfectly flaky. They did taste good, however, and were deliciously soft.

Or dinner last night was perfect even though we didn’t have quite enough roti to eat. Next time I will definitely make more!

Do you enjoy eating roti with curry?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge on differing perspectives.)

Baking Biscuits

Since I made the decision to bake my own biscuits (cookies) instead of buying them, I have spent a few Saturday afternoons in the kitchen. The baked goods that I make are not as sweet as the factory-made ones – and they are definitely more interesting as I attempt to make the biscuits that people I know have shared with me.

This weekend, I attempted to recreate the ones made by a friend of mine. She had explained to me what to do and I tried my best to follow her instructions.

I began with a shortbread base and then, after baking the biscuit for 10 minutes, I covered it with the trial mix my husband buys. Once the base was covered with nuts, raisins, cranberries, and seeds, I poured a can of condensed milk over the covering.

Once the topping had been poured on, I placed the baking tray in the oven for another 10 minutes. The condensed milk bubbled, showing me that it was baked and ready to take out.

I cut the biscuits into small pieces and, when they had cooled, placed them in the mason jar that I have dubbed ‘the biscuit jar’. The treats are now available to anyone who wants something sweet with their tea for the rest of the week.

According to my husband, I haven’t quite got the taste right – it needs to be a little more creamy. I think I need to work on my shortbread mixture and make sure that I have added the right amount of butter to my dough. But that will improve, I think, the more I bake.

Do you enjoy baking?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge on differing perspectives.)

Bullet Journal: July 2020

This month I could not think of any theme ideas for my journal so I turned to some YouTubers I follow for a little inspiration. I liked the simplicity of using the kiwi fruit as a theme so I put my own spin on it and did not recreate the pages exactly as is shown in the video.

I chose a different quote to the one the YouTuber, Art n Foxes, used because I like linking mine to reading. Reading is one of my favourite things to do and I enjoy linking it to another hobby of mine.

I am pleased with the way the monthly calendar came out: the layout gives a different perspective to what I usually create. I may not be filling the calendar with much this month but at least it looks pretty.

I love my creation of the mood tracker. All those kiwis will look cute, I think, when they are coloured in with different colours – they will definitely give a fun perspective to the tracking!

I tried a dutch door for the first time this month (the videos explains very well how to make one). I like it and I’ll be sure to use one again. I was hesitant at first to make one but now that I have, I can see what fun they are.

My bullet journal this month will be used more as a diary than a planner but I still enjoyed the creation of it.

What theme are you using this month for your journal/planner?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to The Escapist Colouring Club and Becky’s Square Challenge on different perspectives.)

Yarn Haul

During the COVID-19 isolation period, I spent a lot of time crocheting – I completed one afghan and have almost completed the second. Yesterday my cousin offered to take me to Michaels and do some yarn shopping and I jumped at the chance as I have a couple of projects in mind that I would love to get started on.

Some people may think I am crazy – I came out of the store carrying 34 balls of yarn! But from my perspective I know that I have saved myself a few trips to the craft store. These balls will get me started on my projects even though I know I may need to go back if I haven’t bought enough.

I love the colour combinations I have chosen both for my own blanket and the one I will be crocheting for my cousin.

I have stored the yarn in the box I keep under my bed for that purpose. I look forward to picking up my crochet hook once the heat wave has broken and I am able to get creative once again.

Do you enjoy shopping at a craft store?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge on differing perspectives.)

Two For Tea

It had been a long while since I had visited my cousin due to the COVID-19 isolation period. As part of my social ‘bubble’, I was able to visit him this past weekend for tea and a chat.

I brought with me some of the biscuits I had baked – a remnant of our childhood as our mothers used to bake these often. As we bit into the shortbread, our taste buds took us back to a time in the past.

We drank Cinnamon Chai Rooibos – another tea that we grew up on. This tea is one of my favourites and I enjoyed sipping the cooling liquid while we chatted about the past and the now.

As we were chatting, the air conditioning unit cooled us a bit. We are currently experiencing a heat wave so we were not keen to sit outside on the balcony.

We did not stop talking for two hours until I had to leave to go home! Seeing a person face-to-face is a much better connection than talking to one another on the phone.

I enjoyed my visit and I am sure we will get together again before the summer is over and I have to get back to my work schedule. The visit buoyed me a bit and I look forward to connecting with others in the upcoming weeks.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge on differing perspectives and to Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Green, White and Lilac

One of my favourite things about walking in the neighbourhood is seeing the flowers in everyone’s gardens.

I loved these (name unknown) and enjoyed looking at them every day that I passed by while they were flowering.

The lilac ones, of course, were my preferred colour.

They both looked stunning, however, lining the fence of the sidewalk. The flowers are no longer there and the greenery has taken over. The lush green of the plant has its own beauty, though, to admire.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge on differing perspectives)

Book Covers

As part of my participation in the bookstagram community on Instagram, I often take pictures of book covers. I take these pictures outside sometimes so that the background to the book may look a little interesting.

I take these photos no matter what the weather:

Sometimes I take them at home and surround them with silk flowers:

Or I place the book next to my potted plants and pair it with a snack,

a candle,

or even a drink.

Sometimes I photograph the book with only the potted plant accompanying it, showing off its green leaves

and sometimes its flowers.

From time to time, I pair a book cover with some of my students’ work:

Recently I have taken to listening to audiobooks during the social isolation period and have even shared these tops with the community.

I enjoy opening the covers of the books I read and often try to think of ways in which I can show off the work created by the artists who designed them.

Do you enjoy looking at book covers?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. During the month of April, we are challenged to share photos featuring #squaretops)

Broken Tree Tops

On my morning walks, I pass by many trees that are still uncovered, their branches reaching strongly towards the sky. I have noticed, though, that some trees have had their tops broken off.

This does not matter, though, as I am sure growth will surround this stump in a few weeks.

Have the trees in your neighbourhood unfurled their leaves yet?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. During the month of April, we are challenged to share photos featuring #squaretops)