Narcissism is Necessary - Page 2 of 534 - Tried, tested, and proven.

Making egg-less meringues with chickpea water or aquafaba – first attempt.

I make meringues quite a lot for fruit mess, which is one of my signature desserts whenever I’m entertaining at home. Although it only requires at minimum 2 ingredients (eggs and sugar), it’s a pretty technical dish that requires egg whites with no trace of yolk, absolutely clean utensils with no trace of grease, just the right amount of beating, etc. You can check out my post on making meringues here.

I have always thought that egg whites is irreplaceable in meringues. There’s no known ingredient that could whip up stiff like egg whites and then dehydrate beautifully in an oven into beautiful, crunchy, airy, sweet biscuits.

Back in May, I read an article on New York Times about aquafaba and I was just completely and utterly mind-blown. WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS SORCERY!?

# – Aquafaba on NYT.

Aquafaba is basically water that has been cooked with legumes such as chickpeas and canellini beans. So, that water that you drain off from a can of chickpeas, that’s aquafaba. For some reason, it has the ability to mimic the properties of egg whites and this was only discovered in 2015 by some dude named Goose Wohlt. So yeah, it’s a pretty new thing and honestly I am surprised I’ve only heard about this a year later.

After reading the NYT article, I knew I was going to attempt it. I know it sounds silly for somebody who cooks and bakes pretty regularly, but I really hate separating eggs. For some reason, I am horrendous at it. It’s one of my most hated things in the world and so to be able to make meringues without having to separate those evil eggs?

SIGN ME UP, BUTTERCUP!

# – I am so bad at separating eggs I actually bought this piece of shit that does not work. Maybe it’s still just me.

Anyway, back to present time. Today I finally got a chance to use a can of chickpeas for lunch. So, I made sure to reserve the drained liquid from the can and I was like, I am putting this aquafaba meringue thing to the test!

# – So I poured the liquid into my mixing bowl.

# – Put my beaters to it, and started beating.

OMG, it’s foaming up!!!!! It foamed up so easily, even easier than egg whites?

# – Getting to soft peak.

# – I sprinkled some icing sugar and continued beating until stiff peaks.

OMG,I could pipe it out!!!!!

# – These are my uncooked eggless meringues made from aquafaba and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from regular meringues. It tasted vaguely of chickpeas. Stuck em into my preheated oven of 130 degrees.

I was so excited by it all, I was updating dayre the blow by blow account of my aquafaba meringue making adventure. I tasted victory and glory. I couldn’t wait to eat my eggless meringues tonight with a pile of whipped cream and sweet yellow kiwis.

# – Showing off on Dayre.

I even shared my dayre post to Facebook cause, hell yeah I felt smuggggggggggg. And just right after sharing it to FB, I went to check the oven and this greeted me:

WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE AQUAFACKA IS THIS!!!!??????

I had to choose between removing this flattened, dead mess from my oven or delete the damn smug dayre post from my Facebook. I chose the latter.

And then I took the aquafailure out of my oven and cried. Okay I didn’t cry but I was really DULAN lah.

That is why, I am filing this post under Cooking Failures (go on, read it you probably need some laughs on Monday) and I could only speculate that the reasons to this messed up experiment were two:

1. My oven was too hot. I rechecked all the aquafaba meringue recipes and they’re all between 110c – 120c. My oven was 130c.

2. Not enough sugar. This was most likely it, as I don’t know why I just kinda of sprinkled and tasted the batter instead of measuring out the sugar LIKE I NORMALLY DO. Likely too little sugar -_-

If anyone has any inkling on where I went wrong, please do enlighten me.

Anyway, I’m not about to give up on aquafaba. I’m on a mission to make completely eggless meringues. Just you wait.

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Our story of trying for 2nd baby.

I think some of you know I have been trying for a baby for a while now. I have been feeling broody since middle of 2015 and if I remember correctly, I think we started trying around late September last year, not long after my period returned.

Liam was conceived on the first attempt so naturally I expected the 2nd time would be just as easy.

I was wrong. First, I followed my ovulation app on my phone and did the deed on supposed fertile days but that didn’t work. Then we increased the horizontal baby boogies to cover more of the days before and after fertile period according to the app and still none stick.

By February, I was feeling slightly down already. I had so many theories as to why I wasn’t conceiving, still breastfeeding, luteal phase defect, app error, stress etc.

I decided to get serious about nourishing my body the traditional chinese way. A friend told me she conceived her 2nd daughter after drinking “bazhen” soup, a chinese herbal soup concoction that many chinese women are familiar with. You’re supposed to drink bazhen a week after menstruation as it’s supposed to nourish the womb after a week of bleeding so many of us grew up knowing about this soup.

So, I got many packets of bazhen from the neighbourhood chinese herbal shop and started making soups for myself. Although bazhen was supposed to be drank once a week after menstruation, I drank my soups a couple of times a week as I was determined to over-nourish my body…I didn’t even mind nosebleeds. I also ate a handful of Brazil nuts everyday which a friend gifted me. Apparently, Brazil nuts contain a lot of selenium which aids conception.

# – These are just some of the other herbal concoctions I got besides bazhen. The bazhen herbs come in a box like this, just dump in a pot with meat and boil for a couple of hours.

I was beginning to suspect that my mobile app is not charting my luteal phase properly so I got ovulation test kits from the pharmacy too. They didn’t work at first, as no lines ever appeared. Later on I figured it was because I was still relying on my mobile app when to use the ovulation kit, which in hindsight was pretty stupid.

Then, I decided to ditch the mobile app and just followed what my body told me. When I had the eggwhite-like discharge (sorry, TMI) and one side of my abdomen got dull throbbing pain, I tried the ovulation stick and what do you know, this time the stick showed positive line! So what else, we got to working lah!

I suspected I was pregnant about 2 weeks later but all the previous times also I suspected I was pregnant, but then hello Aunt Flo :(

In my head I didn’t know if I was pregnant or it’s just my hopes playing tricks on me. Anyway, as usual I whipped out one of my dozens of pregnancy test kits and I tested a few days before my period was due because I am an impatient knobend like that. Nothing.

I tested the next day again and the day after all the way till my period was due and still, no double lines. I was exasperated, why is there no period but also no lines??? Gahhh!!

Then I remembered one time, my period was late for a week and I thought I was confirmed pregnant already but then red wedding FML. So I thought this time must be also the same.

Everyday, I was expecting to see red. Anyway, just before the week of my supposed period ended, I rummaged through my bin to look for used pee stick (sorry, gross) from 11 April and I thought I saw a shadowy 2nd line. I showed my mummy friends the 11 April stick on Whatsapp and they all said they could see a faint 2nd line.

I don’t know if you could see the faint 2nd line in the 11 April stick.

# – Pee sticks from 11 April and other days before.

However, Google said is evaporation line cause it’s been so many hours already. I was hopeful and encouraged nevertheless, so I tested several times again on that day after that and everytime, I believed I saw a faint 2nd line.

# – And then on 12th April, my dream came true!!!! A proper 2nd line appeared!!!

I showed hubs and we hugged! Felt like a burden had finally lifted from our shoulders.

# – The next day, on 13 April I tested again and still got a 2nd line :)

I was on cloud 9. From that day onwards, I tested everyday with the cheap Guardian pee sticks. It made me happy to see the 2 lines everyday.

I wanted to use Clearblue, a much more expensive pregnancy test kit, which I have, but hubs said no. He sait to wait for a bit first cause, it’s expensive lol #kiamsiap

I waited 6 whole days to use Clearblue ok!!! Finally, got to use this baby and yissssssssss the word “pregnant” appeared and it looked so nice and welcoming :)

# – PREGNANT!

We set an appointment with my obgyn on 27 April to confirm stuff and make sure everything’s in order since we’re going on long trip to Europe in May.

It’s great to see the woman who received Liam and I sure hoped she would be the same person to deliver my 2nd child. Anyway, I climbed up onto the examination bed, she squeezed out some cool gel on my abdomen and then she placed the ultrasound stick on my belly.

Doc: You’re a bit dehydrated, so your bladder is not full enough to push your womb out so I have to push down a bit harder ok?

Me: It’s okay.

I saw a distinct sac on the screen and I smiled to myself.

Doc: You’re definitely pregnant.

Then she rubbed the stick a bit harder and I saw a second sac and thought to myself, wow is that the placenta? Why is it floating in the womb?

Then I heard the husband.

Husband: Ha ha, are those twins?

Doc: Hmm….they certainly look very twin-nish.

Doc: Congratulations, I think you guys are having twins!

Me: WHAT!???????? NO THIS IS NOT REAL!!!!!!! I can’t digest this right now. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!? (I sound rather coherent here but I believe I was in hysterics).

All memories of Liam’s preterm labour and NICU time flooded my brains. I was like, shittt I cannot do that again. NO. NO. NO.

# – The look of abject terror.

I held in my tears but as soon as I left my doc’s room I started sobbing.

I had the worst thoughts, man. Dark shitty thoughts. I was wishing to miscarry and then try again for ONE baby. I was hoping the other twin would absorb its sibling. I was hoping that one twin would somehow disappear. We read that there’s 30% chance of a disappearing twin and I was like wow, please happen to me.

Sorry babies. Mummy was in shock.

Thank goodness for hubs who was my pillar of strength and positivity. He was in shock too but remained calm and most importantly, happy.

He very clearly clarified our next course of actions ie: registering at a government hospital just in case we needed NICU so our finances won’t be decimated, that we have always wanted 3 kids anyway and now we could have 3 before he hits 40 year old, and many other comforting words. By the end of day, I was quite looking forward to be mummy of Liam and twins :)

This was also the period we realised that Charlie had to go to a new family. It was hard to deal with him being aggressive towards Liam and we don’t think we could deal with him being aggressive towards the twins. Also, with no hired help at home, he will most certainly be neglected when then twins arrive. And so we made the hard decision and fortunately found him a well-to-do and loving family. Charlie left just before we went to Europe. Talk about good timing.

I was slightly worried as to how I would be able to get through most of my first trimester in Europe but I did surprisingly well. I did not puke once and now, I suspect my previous morning sickness with Liam was really due to the prenatal pills I was taking.

This time I am taking a tablet type prenatal pill (no oil), supplemented with fish oil capsules, additional folic acid pills (cause twins) and calcium pills. Other than feeling a tad more tired than usual, I feel normal.

# At MIL’s house, my bump at end of 10 weeks. Probably a food baby lol

After we got back from Europe, we went for another scan. The twins are confirmed. They’re so far of good size for 11 weeks with strong heartbeats. I am grateful.

# – Latest 11 week scan.

So one of the questions that we received a lot is, do we have twins in the family?

At first we were sure we don’t but after thinking hard we realised we both have twins on both sides, 2 generations ago haha.

Both are fraternal girl/boy so we are hopeful for that combo too. Firstly, cause I want a daughter and secondly I would love to see how Liam’s brother would look like. But really, all I care for are healthy babies that I can hopefully bring to full term. Not asking much, 37 weeks also I am happy already (Liam came out at 32 weeks).

Thank you everyone for your well wishes and congratulatory messages. Appreciate everyone of them!!

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Free Video Streaming All Day Every Day!

When I first heard about this free video streaming 24 hours a day everyday from U Mobile called VIDEO-ONZ, naturally I was sceptical. It sounds like something straight out of a dream.

Could something that sounds so good be true? Well, I went to the launch of VIDEO-ONZ and yes, it’s definitely real.

With 11 content partners to choose from on VIDEO-ONZ, you will be spoilt for choice on what to stream. They aren’t just some obscure content providers as well, I mean we are talking about folks like YouTube, HyppTV Everywhere, Viu, iflix, Astro on the Go, tonton, Youku Tudou, ErosNow, HeroTalkies, ONFM and Pocketimes!

As long as you stream from these 11 partners, your existing data plan with U Mobile remains untouched! What is this sorcery?

According to U Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Jasmine Lee, VIDEO-ONZ was conceived when they noticed that there’s a spike in data usage for video streaming during the time they offered free YouTube and tonton streaming for off-peak hours back in October 2014.

In fact, there was a 14 times increase in data usage for video streaming and with that in mind, U Mobile decided that the next course of action was to create something that will enhance all of U Mobile customers’ experience. Lo and behold, VIDEO-ONZ was born.

I just love how customer-centric U Mobile has always been and still is :)

VIDEO-ONZ free unlimited content streaming is available (based on standard definition video quality) for all customers on P70, i90 and i130 postpaid plans while for customers on prepaid, other postpaid and broadband plans, they will receive an extra 100% free data for VIDEO-ONZ. On top of that, all UMI customers get to enjoy free extra 1GB of data until 30 June 2016!

To find out more, visit here or hang out at http://www.fb.com/umobile

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