Monday, May 15, 2017

LABOUR DAY LONG WEEKEND #2

1/5/2017
MONDAY

This is my "pillow" owl, which I got from myanimalcare.org.    Dr. Chan and her mother sew various bags, blankets etc for their fund-raising projects where they sponsor for some costs of neutering or spaying stray cats and dogs...check out her website and do support them.

A photography exhibition themed "Owls Know Everything" at March Azalea Kitchen in Taman OUG, Kuala Lumpur. I wanted to go for the launch which was held on 22/4/2017 but cannot make it, so on the last day of exhibition, got Sarah and my sister-in-law to go with me.  There was an article in The Star 3/5/2017 with the award-winning  photographer, Shamma Esoof. 

The back portion of the cafe, under the skylight there is a long table  surrounded with these pots of green plants.  The photos of some of owls are strategic placed along the wall so that you can admire them as you eat. 
You cannot help but marvel at the beautiful photos and of course the owls themselves, like this one. Is it sleeping or in deep thoughts?

More owls adorning the opposite wall.
As you look at them and they look at you with their owlish eyes, you can sense their  wisdom and mystery.  We were told that she had personally captured these images at different forest/jungles. 

The award-winning photograph of the "Wet Owl" (centre) featuring a Buffy Fish Owl.

 

Sarah and my sister-in-law.

We had our lunch at the cafe.  It is located in a quiet road in the older section of Taman OUG.   The pretty owner herself is the barista and they served drip coffee instead.  But I ordered this delicious pot of Flower Tea and its very refreshing indeed.
The choices are simple ..spaghetti of course in various styles, 4 egg-bowls (including one with sambal petai!) and chicken/pork chops.  My choice: spaghetti with mushrooms and pesto, though the portion is just right for 1 person, it was delicious.  I like the place as it is clean, bright and not noisy and we lingered for a while before leaving.    

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Picasso's owl.

I just realise that the famous artist used many owl motif in his paintings and sculptures too.  He was given an injured owl by a friend and he adopted it as his pet that stayed in his studio.  









Thursday, May 11, 2017

LABOUR DAY LONG WEEKEND #1


30/4/2017
SUNDAY



Pear and Almond Tart.
I am happy with the result and it's delicious and fragrant and the coarsely ground almonds give it an extra nutty texture. I did not brush any glaze or apricot jam over the tart after baking hence it does not look glossy. 

No tart pastry required, so its back to the freezer for another day. 

I had brought some pears from the market last weekend.   They were a bit too raw and hard and after a week, still nobody wanted to finish them, so decided to use them to bake something.  Saw a few beautiful tarts using pears and finally decided on the recipe from Donna Hay, as the ingredients were available in my fridge and it seemed the easiest anyway.  I also realised that I had 3 packets of almond flakes too!  As I don't often use them in baking, decided to grind them instead as ground almonds is often required in baking.  But had to say that my food processor did not do a good job and the ground almonds were not that fine after all.  The recipe did not require any tart pastry even though I had one in the freezer.  It simple just mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ones, pour them into the greased tart tin.  The tricky part is to slice the pears finely and getting them lay out prettily on top of the cake mixture.    

While the pear tart was cooling, went for a  lunch date with Sarah.  


My Char Siu ramen with tonkotsu broth, hearty and flavourful, and nearly finished all the soup.  We were informed that the ramen is make from scratch on the premises itself.   

Interior of  Torazou Ramen in Kuchai Lama.  The brightly lit graphics along the wall reminded me of the cafe that we went in Japan.   The cafe is located towards the rear of the business hub of Entrepreneur's park.   The Sanuki Udon is located just next door...could they be related?  If you ask me, my choice could be ramen, soba and then udon in this order.  

The last birthday dinner for the month of April for my brother.  We met up again at Dynasty Restaurant as their promotion of 30% discount also ended on 30th April.    



Sunday, May 7, 2017

weekday dinner #2

17/4/2017 to 21/4/2017


Miso Salmon, Kabocha Salad and Stir-fry greens.
Here are just a few dishes that I cooked for the week.  My little grand-daughter Alexa had flew back to Sydney with her parents after a short holiday with us.  As usual, when they left, it was not only fond memories that was left behind, but also some of the food items as well. 

There were 2 pieces of salmon and half a pumpkin leftover, besides 3 boxes of soft tofu.!
The salmon were marinated with some miso paste and sake for 30 minutes, then a quick grill to cook them. The Kabocha Salad recipe is from JustOneCookbook.  The pumpkin are peeled and sliced (instead of dice for faster cooking).  Then they are steamed till cooked before mixing together with the Japanese cucumber While steaming the pumpkin, sliced the cucumbers and season them with about a teaspoon of salt briefly before rinsing it off and squeezed dry.  The bacon are fried till crispy and cooled before tossing together with Japanese mayo.  Its so tasty, easy and  yummy as well.  Instead of rice, I served some boiled quinoa as well (super grains!).

Another dinner:  Fried tofu with sweet sour tomato sauce.  The tofu is sliced and pat dry before frying till golden brown.   Heat wok and saute sliced onions till soft and add dice tomatoes and mix in  a sweet sour sauce. Return the fried tofu to the wok and let it simmer till soft.   A dish of long bean stir fried with carrots and black fungus complete the meal with  no rice as the girls are on low carbo diets. 

All time favourite when I scratch my head on what to cook, Chives Omelette and Cauliflower Stir-fry with some beancurd stuffed with fish paste.  I always have a packet of ready made ones from the market and keep them for emergency case I have nothing else to cook or for addition to instant noddles. 

Wintermelon soup with "Monkey Brain" Mushroom and Shitake Mushroom. 

Claypot Chicken Rice to complement the soup.

I have always been "scolded"  by the girls for cooking "too much" and there will always be leftovers.  Guess I have been groomed by my mother to cook large meals to feed everyone and it is really difficult to cook for just 3 of us.  

Happy weekend.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

APRIL BIRTHDAYS

25/4/2017
TUESDAY

Dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. 





The month of April has the most birthdays in our family and this is the time we are on a eating binge.  One birthday dinner after another and its a headache to think of presents to give as well especially when they were younger.  Nowadays, its better to give them angpow  so that they can get what they like. 

Birthday dinner to celebrate Sarah's birthday at the Dynasty Restaurant in C180 Cheras.

"Ching Long" vegetables with fresh lilybuds and mushrooms. 
We were comparing prices of this veggie... in my area market, its RM6.00 per bundle while my sister told me that she can get it for RM2.80 per bundle in CK hypermarket....what a difference! 

Smoked Chicken... the cold lettuce in light dressing nicely complements the slightly salty smoked chicken. 

Wanton noddles braised with sliced mushrooms, chives and taugeh....too watery..

Braised pig trotters and tendons.... yummy though fattening..

We all loved this Fry Glutinous Rice with waxed meats.

The restaurant was having a 30% discount for members and we took the opportunity to dine there again for my brother-in-law's birthday 

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We have Peking Duck .. first served with the thin crepes, then Salt and Pepper stir fry duck meat. Prawns in Soya sauce, a cold serve Chicken slices with jellyfish, braised Vegetarian dish and Fry Noddles.

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We celebrated his birthday while we were in Tokyo last year.





Thursday, April 27, 2017

EASTER WEEKEND BAKES

16/4/2017
SUNDAY


Gorgeous eggs for Easter painted by my brother-in-law's mother who is 80 over years old.  She picked those leaves from her garden and stencilled them onto the eggs.... hope that her craft will not get lost in time.

For me, the tradition is to bake some Hot Cross Buns.  
This year, I follow the recipe from www.guaishushu1.com.  Its easy to follow and produced such soft buns.

a peek inside the texture of the buns. I had some raisins soaking in rum on standby and I used about 100 gm of it.  The raisins were soft and moist and the full of the aroma of rum when you bite into it.  

I did not apply the sugar glaze on the buns, but instead just rubbed some cold butter over the buns when they came out of the oven. 

coffee time with our french press coffee.
My little Alexa and her parents came back for a short holiday. It was indeed a wonderful and joyful week for all of us to get together.  It was too soon before we said goodbye to them and  we really missed them immediately.  There were foodstuffs left behind that Alexa could not finished and one of them were some over-ripe bananas.     

First try- Banana Chiffon Cake, recipe from Bake for Happy Kids and it really good... tall, soft, moist and aromatic as well. 

 Could not wait for the cake to cool properly before unmoulding it from the cake tin...hence the broken pieces.

Last but not least, some baked chicken pie. 
I had some leftover water/oil dough after making egg tarts during their stay.    Just simply cooked some simple chicken with mixed veggie filling.   

The crispy pastry and the savoury filling are a good combination.  In fact, when making these, it reminded me of my late sister Jennifer. Together with her, we had made these pies and curry puffs for sale on weekends when our kids were young.    
maybe now they are grown up, and with free time, I can do that again. Any one wants to order?

Our BIG breakfast at Strangers @ Forty Seven, PJ. after church service. 
My former classmate invited me to attend her church for Easter Service and what a small world, meet a lady who was formerly working in the same building with me who happened to be her sister and another of her friend who happened  to be my neighbour's daughter!  

Simple dinner for Easter... Kimchi Fried Rice with 

some Thai style Fish cake... again using leftover fish paste and minced meat and baby french beans and some fresh chillies and garlic. 

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

PICNIC IN THE PARK

26/3/2017
SUNDAY

First to Grandpa's ...my brother preparing the altar for prayers. 
The yearly picnic took place on a Sunday a week before the actual date for the Tomb-sweeping festival ie 4th of April this year.  

While the ladies were getting ready the altar for prayers and offerings, the men were chatting under the shade.  Nowadays, it is not necessary for them to do much tomb sweeping as the area had been cleared of weeds by the cemetery association.


Grandma's tomb at the Kwang Tung Cemetery.   Vast improvement since the brothers have re-built the tombstone, no more flooding and muddy space, all clean and bright now. 
Next we visited our parents, both urns placed in the Kwang Tung pagoda.  The pagoda is currently under renovations and they have built a bigger space for offering and prayers. We also took the opportunity to visit my late sister Jennifer's resting place too and usual it was a solemn time for all of us, missing her....

That wraps up our outing and we made our way to the New Sek Yuen Restaurant for lunch,  and we were just in time before they closed for lunch. 

The hot weather made us all sweaty and tired so we ordered some fried noddles, green veggie and a roasted Pipa duck.  While we were having lunch, it started to rain and the staff very kindly allowed us to wait  out the storm while they closed and took their rest.