A little about myself – Michelle

First of all, welcome to our blog! My name is Michelle, also known as Mish or Mishy, and I’m the younger one. I have lived in New Zealand for about 5 years, a place that I call home now. I’m a university student studying a planning degree. Not wedding planning or family planning, but TOWN PLANNING. Although I enjoy planning a lot and want to be a planner one day, I have a more ambitious dream. I really really realllllllyyyyy want to open my own bakery/café.

I love food, and I probably daydream more about food than my boyfriend. When class gets boring or when I’m on my bus ride, I often think about what to eat for lunch or what to bake when I get home. I certainly enjoy sweet food more than savory; and I certainly enjoy baking more than cooking. Sometimes I tell people that baking is very therapeutic for me, as I stress too often and it helps me to de-stress. Last summer, I went crazy with my baking and one of my sisters in Christ got so concerned and asked whether I was feeling okay.

I bake no matter what mood I’m in and no matter how busy I am. It’s just something too good to miss!  But if I really can’t bake, I will substitute it with food videos, and this is also how I gained most of my skills and my inspirations. Some of my friends tell me that they can’t bake and they are ‘jealous’ of me, but seriously people, you sure can if you put in the time and heart.

Let me tell you a little story about how I started baking. Back when I was living in Hong Kong with my sister (Joyce), baking wasn’t really a big part of my life. However, it was certainly growing in Joyce’s life. She started baking from time to time, and I would take a peek or sometimes I would tried to help (but more like making a mess).  This was also how our household started getting fresh, yummy baked goods. She would bake fruit tarts, Japanese cheesecake and even tofu cheesecake! Man I miss those days so much! Unfortunately, when I was in Year 7/8, Joyce went to study in the US and I no longer got to taste those yummy food. Instead, I started baking myself. However, most of the time I failed. It would either be too sweet, too dense, undercooked, or a total failure. I didn’t bake too often, as life was seriously way too busy in Hong Kong and our kitchen was too small.

A few years later, I moved to NZ to pursue a better education and a better lifestyle. And of course, kitchens here are WAYYYY bigger and I had WAYYYYY more free time. Hence, I baked more often! Still, I failed most of the times and the failed products either ended up in the bin (I’m sorry!) or in my family’s poor tummies. I would be too ashamed to share it with anyone. Yet, I didn’t give up. I watched online baking/cooking videos, I asked aunties from church to teach me, and I practiced. As a result, my food turned out better and better, and I started creating my own recipes and learning to decorate. I was no longer scared to share my food with others and I took pride in the food I made. And soon later, I came out with my own baking principle: turn simple ingredients into yummy food and bless others! I also developed an interesting habit: I pray to God before I bake! And TRUST ME friends, while you think my food look fancy, they are all made out of the simplest ingredients plus a few tricks to make them look GOOD. But of course, some are a bit trickier than others :P.

Let me share with you the green tea and red bean cake I made recently. I got the green tea powder from Japan Mart and it worked much better than the powder mom got me from Hong Kong. The flavor and color were much stronger. I also got the red bean paste from Japan Mart. I would have preferred to use whole beans but I was too lazy to cook it myself and I couldn’t find any ready-made. Thankfully, the paste was a good alternative.

Difficulty for this cake is probably a medium. I didn’t take photos of the process so I probably won’t post the recipe for now. Maybe next time! 🙂

Green Tea Red Bean Cake

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