About Me

STP_4359When I was a kid, I would hover in the kitchen while my Grandmother, aunts and mom cooked. To get me out of the way, I would be bribed with chunks of sugar cane or pieces of dried radish to gnaw on. I accepted the bribes, naturally, but nothing could get me to get out of the kitchen.

Everything about the kitchen fascinated me. I loved watching my Mom and various other female relatives chop up meat or fish or what-nots on the chopping board, add stuff to them and cook them. I was lucky because I got to witness the women-only rituals where huge batches of traditional food were made: bak chang, peng kueh, soon kueh, mackerel fishballs, curries, pineapple tarts…

I remember once, when I was about 5, I stood at the stove to watch my Grandma fry fish. I love fish, and I love the noises and the splattering of oil when the fish hit the oil. In my excitement, I must have gotten too close to the wok, for a huge glob of oil came shooting at me and hit me on the right collar bone. I screamed in pain, and I had a HUGE blister that hurt for days after. But still, that did not deter me from hanging around in the kitchen.

I am really fortunate because I have a mother who was, and still is, really supportive of my love for cooking and baking. Growing up, I could simply take over the kitchen and cooked meals or bake when I wanted to. Now, I discuss recipes with her and we learn from each other.

It was only when I started my teaching job, I think, when I realised that many of my colleagues could not cook. I remember feeling a little baffled when I was asked how to cook really simple dishes – “THIS IS SO EASY, WHY DO YOU NOT KNOW??”

As I talked to more people over the years, I realised that many people do not cook or bake because they find the experience daunting. There are words or terms in cookbooks that really do not mean much to novices – words like julienne, ban marie, water-bath or folding. A friend said to me, “I know the batter was supposed to be light and fluffy, but how light, and how fluffy is right??”

I guess the main reason for writing this blog is to demystify some of the myths that people have about cooking and baking. I try to include as many pictures as possible of each step of the process, and use the simplest words in my descriptions. I also hope to encourage more to pick up the spatula, or the whisk and make something in their kitchens! In addition, I think it is a great way to log the recipes that have been passed down to me, and those that I have picked up and tweaked myself over the years.

While I mainly blog about food and bakes, I occasionally include entries of my family – my very, very supportive husband, the LAM (aka The Lord and Master), and our two little whirlwinds, Aden and Jadelyn, as well observations about motherhood, friendships and life in general.

Day 21

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This is a blog of all things I love and am passionate about.

I am Diana Gale, and welcome to my kitchen!

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4 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Diana Gale , I just tried to make Pandan chiffon cake from your recipe but I had to substitue castor sugar with cane sugar … so the cake didn’t really turn out … I used Koepoe Koepoe brand originally from Indonesia but I could hardly taste it … just the color only is it possible to put more will it effect the cake ??? my memory of pandan cake back in indonesia tho’ had a lot of flavor !
    oh one more question how do we know to stop beating the egg white ? I think I beat it too long that’s why my cake didn’t turn out … it raised in the beginning then it fell ls it bc I looked at it ? LOL
    thanks for your recipe again I really need to learn how to cook ! are you from indonesia btw ? which part ? myself I am from Jakarta … name’s Monica

    • The Domestic Goddess Wannabe

      Hi Monica castor sugar is fine and can be incorporated into cakes easily which is why we use this instead of the heavier cane sugar. Over beating of the egg whites will certainly affect the texture of the cake. You can add more pandan paste but over adding will result in a cake with bitter taste. Maybe you can try a recipe which uses fresh pandan juice instead? This is afterall, a recipe that uses paste and although this brand of paste is the best I have used thus far, it is still dependent on individual taste. I am from Singapore 🙂

  2. Hi Diana. I love your blog. I just wanted to ask (and I’m not sure if asking this on the comments section is ok, I hope it is) if, except for muffins, all other pastries that require mixing should be done using a stand mixer? When should I use an electric/hand/stand mixer and when is it okay to just mix by hand? Thank you!

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