Life Update


So. A lot has happened since my last post.


  • gone to university
  • got a job that I love
  • moved away from home (albeit temporarily)
  • learnt more about myself
  • decided I need to eat healthier.

So, I’m moving my blog-worthy thoughts over to this site. If you feel like reading them, feel free to come over and take a peek into the crazy world that is my over-thinking mind!


Love, Lidya x



Food., no bake

Do you remember when I said we have way too many grapefruits in the backyard? Yeah, we still have way too many grapefruits in the backyard.

Google gave me a few suggestions like grapefruit salad, but hey, why have salad when you could have curd instead?



I used the curd in a few recipes, including the pancakes and next week’s recipe [you would have to wait to find out what it is], but one of the best ways to eat it, is spread thickly on warm wholegrain toast. So good!


adapted from here.

-130g [8] egg yolks

-275g raw cane sugar

-3 grapefruits, juiced

-1 tbsp grapefruit zest

-pinch of salt

-1 13g unsalted butter, cubed


Firstly, reduce the juice down to 140g/133 ml, then set aside.

Beat the yolks and sugar together until smooth and blended, roughly a minute.


Temper the reduced grapefruit juice into the yolk mixture slowly.


Place in a double boiler or a metal bowl over simmering water and stir, cooking it until it coats the back of a wooden spoon.


Remove from heat, strain and stir in the zest. Add the cubed butter one by one, stirring and allowing each to melt completely before adding the next.


Cool the curd with plastic wrap covering the surface to prevent a skin from forming.


Place it in the freezer for an hour and then the fridge for 2, or in the fridge overnight.  Store in an airtight container/jar. Keeps for 2-3 weeks.






Food., no bake

I love the hotcakes from McDonald’s. I used to get them whenever I had the chance, slathering twice as much butter and syrup than you’re supposed to. Needless to say, I don’t do that anymore.


But I still CRAVE pancakes so bad, and my mom believes in the fuss-free breakfast motto: If you can’t make it within 15 mins without making a mess, that’s no breakfast.


TECHNICALLY, most of the time it takes to make these is from the previous day, so this counts right? I don’t see her complaining and I don’t nitpick either ;)


inspired from here.

– 2 eggs

– 1 cup buttermilk [or 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp white vinegar/lemon juice]

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 2 tbsp veg oil

– 1 1/2 cup self-raising flour [or 1 1/2 cup a.p flour with 3/4 tsp baking powder]

– 3 tbsp sugar

– 1 tbsp baking powder


Mix all the wet ingredient together. Whisk the dry ingredient together. Add the dry to the wet and whisk till just clump-free. Stick it in the fridge until the next morning/when you need it, heat up a pan over med heat with some oil and make yourselves some pancakes!


You can add fruit, syrup, jam, curd, anything. I did a little combination of homemade syrup, bananas and lemon curd (:






baking, Food., savoury

Really, it’s as simple as it sounds. Cut up some potatoes and sweet potatoes, if you wish. Place them on aluminium foil and wrap it up. Bake at 200 degrees Celcius for 30 mins. Sprinkle cheese on it and bake at 250 degrees Celcius for 10 mins and serve!

DSCF3419 DSCF3423DSCF3423

Sorry guys, I’m kinda out of it cause I got into a minor car accident, and I reallllllly don’t feel like thinking. See ya next week!





baking, DIY, Food.

UGH. EXAMS ARE OVERRR! Well, at least I have 40 days until they start again. And I passed most of my exams?

And I’m blaming this on my exam-stress and PMS-ing, but I am soooo hungry like all the time. Like really 24/7, unless I had stuffed myself silly to the point where I needed to throw up. This is not good. This is binging. And I need to stop. [P.S this paragraph was more for me to stop myself reaching for junk food to snack on. Blimey, I just had breakfast and I’m still insanely hungry.]


On a more positive note, I’m starting to realize the importance of coffee, even though caffeine doesn’t really have a effect. Sugar highs do xP so when I saw this, ohhhyeahh. Making that. that. very. instance.


adapted from here.

1/2 cup butter

1/2 + 1/8 cup raw cane sugar

1 egg

2 tbsp instant coffee

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup a.p flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt


prep work: combine the egg, coffee and vanilla fully; add the dry ingredients together.

Cream the butter and the sugar and then slowly add the egg mix.



Add the flour mix 1/4 cup at a time and mix well until fully combined.


Chill for more than an hour. Roll out to roughly 1 cm thick and cut out cookie shapes.

DSCF3375 DSCF3376

Bake for 8-10 mins at 177 degrees Celcius until the cookies feel slightly firm but still a tad soft.





baking, DIY, Food.

I recently just realized how much bread we eat, and how many preservatives are in store-bought bread. So why not make my own?


adapted from here.

2 tsp active dried yeast

1 cup water, room temperature

2tbsp sugar

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup milk

1 tbsp salt

6 cup all-purpose flour


Mix the water, yeast and sugar and stand for 5 mins or until it foams.


Melt the butter in the microwave and add milk and salt.


Add one cup of flour, whisk in the yeast and mix well.


Add 4 1/2 cups of flour gradually, mixing well.

DSCF3314 DSCF3315

Turn out on a floured surface or use a dough hook and knead, adding the remaining flour if needed, until it is smooth and not sticky to touch.


Oil a bowl and put the dough in, leaving it to rise till double its size, roughly an hour. Turn it out and divide into 2, shape into loose balls and let it rest for 10 mins.


Grease 2 loaf pans and shape the loaf by flattening the dough slightly, folding it into thirds and pinching the seams shut. Place into the pan seam down and rise for 30-40 mins.

Preheat the oven at 220 degrees Celcius. Slash the top of the loaf and bake at 190 degrees Celcius for 30-35 mins or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you knock on it.


Bon appetit!




DIY, Food., no bake, savoury

Quick. Simple. Easy on the wallet. This is the basic fried rice.

I find that with actual meals [not the desserts that I do] I tend not to follow a recipe. It probably stems from my mother’s style of cooking. Freestyle and improv plays a major role in our kitchen under her reign. She would make this amazing dish and the next month, she won’t be able to replicate it. She doesn’t write notes and she doesn’t follow recipes, most of the times.

That is the woman I learn from. So when it comes to cooking [not baking, which needs an exact science to it], it’s all up to touch, taste, smell and sight.

side note: I’m trying to minimize the number of photos I post due to upload limits :/ but think of it as taking the essence of the recipes. Depth not breadth ;)

side note 2: exams are coming soon, so my posts are not going to be long and I’ll still try posting weekly but no promises :x

Rice is a staple in our house. Not a day goes by without us eating in some form: plain cooked rice, rice porridge, rice noodles, etc. And sometimes we get fried rice. Now this version is a basic version, but honestly, for fried rice, anything goes. As long as you have rice, egg, salt and some veg or meat to add into it, you can make fried rice. The versatility of the dish makes it so different every time you eat it.

But we’re talking about the budget-friendly type here. So here I have leftover rice from the previous night’s dinner. It’s advisable to use leftover rice as most of the moisture has dried out and makes it easier to saute. Drizzle some sesame oil over it if you want, it makes it easier to break up.


Chopped up some spring onions/scallions/whatever you call them to add a bit of green…




And some frozen corn goes in the pan, just to add some veg.


As the corn is reheating, whip up an egg and season it with salt and some black pepper.



Pour the egg in with the corn and when it is 70% set, add the rice and spring onions in.

DSCF3300 DSCF3302



Saute the rice until the egg is cooked and everything is evenly mixed. Then serve up! I added some olives to give a bit of colour (:

golden fried rice on a budget






baking, DIY, Food.

Wait. Lemme pop some of these in the oven before I start typing this post.

I’ve been craving some of these ever since I made them and now, I have an amazing habit of making large batches of cookies and freezing them so snacks ALL DAY EVERY DAY [waddup YouTube vlogger reference, which exact one I forgot. I think it was Samika DLV?]


So about my week. I’m sorry about the late post, but I left the house at 9 am and got home at 11 pm soooo… NZCF Big Sing 2k14 is officially over. My last choir competition/festival, unless I join a uni choir next year. Main takeaways: it is just not the same if you don’t stay in a hotel and honestly, it doesn’t matter what we got, what matters is that we did our best and gave our all (:

I have been massively sick since last Sunday and you don’t even want to know what came out of my nose/mouth/eyes. Gross. But words of advice, nasal flushing can save your life. I am over my massive cold that could have took weeks to go away in 4 days. Why didn’t I take my choir director’s advice earlier? And it doesn’t hurt! It’s just a tiny bit tickle-y.

And since I am well enough to indulge in my chocolate cravings again, choco chip cookie galore!


adapted from here.


-1 1/3 cup AP flour

-1 tsp cornstarch

-1/4 + 1/8 tsp baking soda

-1/4 tsp salt

-115g unsalted butter

-3/4 cup raw cane sugar

-1 egg

-1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

-2/3 cup mini choco chips


First, melt the butter and beat the sugar in.


Add the egg and the vanilla, mix well.



Combine the dry ingredients and slowly spoon in, mixing well between each addition.


DSCF3323 DSCF3325


[It kinda looks like peanut butter at this stage, yum.] Stir in the chocolate chips.

DSCF3326 DSCF3327

Scoop 1/2 tsps and roll into balls. You can stud the cookie dough with more choco chips if you want [of course you do]. Bake at 177 degrees C for 5 mins.

Leave on the baking sheet for several minutes [if you can resist it] and then transfer to wire racks to cool.







baking, DIY, Food.

I have never had grapefruits before I came to NZ. Well, I’ve had a taste when my mom brought one along when she came back to visit. And I don’t really get the hype around it. Yeah sure, it helps burn fat and raise metabolism, but they are so sour I can’t even eat half of a grapefruit by itself.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate grapefruits. I just don’t love them. I’ll eat them, but they won’t be my first choice of fruit. Or second. Or third. You get what I mean.

In a dessert however, it’s a completely different story.


We have a grapefruit tree out in the garden and it grows fruit like crazy! There’s only so much grapefruit a family of four can eat, and people CAN get tired of you trying to give them box fulls of homegrown grapefruit. My mom asked me to try and do something to deplete our grapefruit pile [albeit for the short amount of time before more fall] and so I turned to trusty Google

This is what ensued…


Adapted from here and The Complete Basics of Baking.

for the pie crust:

-140g all-purpose flour

-pinch of salt

-62.5g cold cubed unsalted butter

-62.5ml cold water

-1 tsp grapefruit juice

for the grapefruit custard:

-3 tbsp all-purpose flour

-1 cup raw cane sugar

-1/4 tsp salt

-3 eggs

-4 tbsp melted unsalted butter

-1 cup + 4 tbsp grapefruit juice

-1 cup heavy cream

– 2-3 tsp grapefruit zest



In the pictures I’m making a double batch to freeze and save for another day.

Sift the flour and salt together. Rub the butter into flour until it has a crumbly texture and no piece is bigger than a pea.


Mix the water and juice into the flour and mix to make a dough. Knead well.


Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the grapefruit custard.

Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well in between.


Whisk in the butter, juice and cream.


Strain into a large pitcher and add the zest.

After the pie crust has chilled sufficiently,  roll out onto a floured surface to 3mm thick and ease into prepared tin, trim and poke holes in it.

DSCF3228 DSCF3230 DSCF3231

Line the crust with aluminium foil, shiny side up, or use baking beans. Bake at 200 degrees C for ~18 mins in the lower 1/3 of the oven.

Take it out of the oven and pour the custard into the hot crust and bake at 163 degrees C until the sides are slightly puffed and the center is wobbly, not watery, ~ 45 mins. Do not overbake. [forgive the overpuffiness, this is what happens when you forget to prick hole in the crust :/]



And if there are extras, you can always make mini pies!


Cool completely and chill for a couple of hours before serving. Keeps for 3 days refrigerated.