Friday, November 16, 2007

One special sistah!

Once upon a time, about 22 years ago on this day to be exact, a human being was born into this world. I met her for the first time on my parents' bed and I remember being amazed how anyone can exist in such a small body, peer through such teeny weeny eyes and grasp so tightly with such chubby, short fingers. She's my sister :)

I used the Indonesian slang word "gemas" to describe her. It doesn't have an exact English translation but it's along the line of "adorable", "huggable" and "scrumptious" at the same time. Don't worry, it didn't even cross my mind to eat her! Growing up, I remember her wanting to follow me and emulate me all the time. As any older sister can tell you, I found this immensely irritating in a cocky big sister way.

We spent a lot of our formative years apart. I started school in Singapore at the age of 7 while my parents and sister lived in Indonesia. She came to Singapore when she turned 11 and I left for college in Chicago a few years later. Despite the short time we had together, I had beautiful memories of growing up with my sister. We used to listen to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata in our room while peering out the window, admiring the sunset. I also recall the fun we had organizing a surprise birthday party for our cousin.

It certainly helps to have a sibling who totally understands the unique, crazy family that surrounds us. A sibling is also useful sometimes to diffuse the nervous energy or attention that parents sometimes have for their children. I'm especially grateful that despite the physical distance between us most of the time, we have managed to grow up together. I'm also very happy that we've grown closer and closer over the years. I can't imagine having grown up without my sister and can only wonder how horrible life would be without her.

So when she said she wanted homemade oatmeal raisin cookies for her birthday, I immediately rolled up my sleeves and baked the best oatmeal raising cookies that I've ever baked. The secret ingredient? A little bit of honey and a whole lotta love! Haha! Corny, I know but true!

These cookies turned out to have crisp, thin outer layer while remaining chewy inside. They aren't excessively sweet and they're relatively good for you. Hey! Raisins contain a lot of antioxidants and oats are very fibrous! Try out the recipe below :)
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So, I want to dedicate this post to the one I love: my dear little sister. I want to wish her a healthy, happy, wonderful year ahead. And I look forward to more years of growth (and gossip!) with her!

Recipe for the best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies ever!

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teasp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 cup AP flour (can substitute up to half with whole wheat)
1 teasp. baking soda
1 teasp. ground cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

Cream room temp. butter with brown sugar until smooth. Stir in eggs, vanilla extract and honey.

Sift flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir dry ingredients into creamed butter mixture 1/3 at a time. Stir in the oats and raisins until just incorporated.

Drop dough by the teaspoon onto cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of spoon if you like flatter, crisp yet chewy cookies. You can leave the dough rounded if you prefer fluffier, cakey cookies. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cookies start to brown.

Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes before enjoying with a mug of piping hot tea or a tall glass of ice cold milk!

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