BookSale Finds

I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned this before: I’m a sucker for second-hand books. Sunday’s Greenhills date would not have been complete without checking out BookSale. We walked out of there with almost a thousand pesos worth of reading material. Haha.  I’ve said it before, with the books we have in this house, we would be wise getting into business to sell used books.

Apart from this pile, we got one for the boyfriend, and a PC Utilities magazine too. That last one turned out to be a good find but I’ll blog about it more some other time. Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors, the last one of hers that I read is Quentins.

I was excited with this particular find:

And I almost didn’t get it. After all, I still haven’t really baked anything out of The Pioneer Woman Cooks which I finally got back in February, and it’s been a long time since I took out my Field Guide to Cookies. And then there’s also my Hello, Cupcake! book that’s sitting in a dark cabinet. I just don’t want this one to meet the same fate. Besides, it’d be a waste of money to buy something and not use it.

But I opened it, and well, couldn’t put it back on the shelves:

Could you have resisted these? The Cupcake Deck has 25 cupcake recipes in individual booklets. No need to copy the recipe onto an index card. 🙂 The photos are great too. The deck makes for a nice gift. The box I got isn’t mint condition though (2nd hand remember), it’s breaking apart at the seams, but I don’t mind.

Baking Books

As I was Entrecard hopping today, I hopped through Pinay Backpacker’s blog about Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets. It’s a book available at the National BookStore, about the many  wonderful places to dine in and around Metro Manila. I was at the NBS Quezon Avenue branch sometime last week and I saw this on the shelves. You see, I love browsing through the baking books section, and it shares the stands with cookbooks and other books on restaurants, wining and dining.

I had been tempted to get tear this book open, and checkout the restaurants they were suggesting. It has a map somewhere there and I checked out their recommendations for QC, my city. There were only two! Is this for real? Maybe I didn’t check hard enough? But it is quite interesting. Go buy the book, then lend it to me, okay? 🙂

But I’m mentioning this today, because seeing Pinay Backpacker’s post reminded me of what was going through my mind while I was browing through that section. I had wanted so badly to learn more about baking. There were so many baking books there that looked so attractive to me. But I could not justify the cost of buying any one of them when I still have not gone through The Art & Soul of Baking, which the boyfriend gave me for Christmas last year. Only when I finish through it, I told myself, would I allow myself the pleasure of another baking book. I also have The Field Guide to Cookies, and Hello! Cupcake.

I saw these two on the racks, and I got even more inspired to devote time for baking:

the professional  chef

favorite food network recipes

The second isn’t really just about baking, but a cook book. I don’t cook. But looking at cookbooks just makes me want to start learning. Seriously.

I don’t know if anything will come out of this really, even the boyfriend sorta doubts that I’ll really learn to cook. It might seem easier to build a house, than to get me to cooking. Haha. Yeah, only if you get a manufactured home (something that also always fascinates me, think Brad Pitt and his Make It Right/The Pink Project). But who knows. It’s never too late to learn a new skill.

Cinnies 2

Finally, here are the photos of my second (and successful) attempt at making cinnamon rolls! I made these last night, and there are only about three or four pieces left. These really were perfect. The bread was soft and tasty too.

The first step was to warm the milk, sugar and vegetable oil mixture. Last week, I think I overdid this part and there was some curdling going on so I made sure I watched it closely and transferred it to a bowl to cool:


Alfred was with me at that point, but he was already growing impatient and wouldn’t agree to wait 45mins to an hour for the mixture to cool down. Next step is to mix in the yeast, and then to add in flour after a minute or so. This is how the dough looked after leaving the dough to rise for about an hour:


Doesn’t look much does it? That’s because I only made half the original recipe .

Flash back to my attempt last week. Here’s how the dough looked after mixing, and after an hour:

cinnas1 cinnas3

At that point I’d already punched it down and mixed it a bit. But take a closer look and you’ll know that the dough overflowed!


Next was a bit of kneading and then rolling out the dough. This is a challenge because we don’t have a decent countertop for this purpose. This turned out to be my work area:


I used a cookie sheet. This turned out okay but I couldn’t roll the dough thin enough because the rolling pin handles would hit the sides of the pan. Which explains why my first try is quite thick:


I knew at this point that it was a success. First time I tried this, it didn’t look this way. It was too soggy then!


Here they are before going into the oven, having had about 30-45 minutes time to rise. There were two more trays after this batch.


Here they are, straight from the oven. I had already glazed these with the coffee flavored frosting leftover from last week’s attempt. I didn’t drown them with it though.  Let’s take a closer look shall we?



If you can’t imagine how this tastes, imagine how heavenly the smell was in our kitchen. 🙂 I’d make these everyday if I could!

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