Thursday, July 10, 2014

BE HAPPY DON'T WORRY

11/7/2014
FRIDAY

GOOD MORNING AND HAPPY FRIDAY ......4 more days to go ..
Everybody wants to be happy and everyone has different methods towards achieving happiness in their life. Well,  I will leave this topic of achieving happiness to the experts but I can recommend you one place to go and be happy which I did......
Welcome to HAPPYOLOGY....    

Cute cafe/bistro located in Bandar Mahkota Cheras.  They occupy a 3 storey shoplot. We were there at lunchtime.  A long banquette occupies one side of the ground floor  with the kitchen and bar at the end with more dining spaces upstairs. It  was busy but can see the staff moving very efficiently and smoothly among the tables. The menu is rather extensive and they do sell all day set breakfast and set lunch (cheap only RM9.90 each)  as well..... and most important no MSG is used!

There were lots of motivational quotes on both sides of the walls.

 
My niece ordered a Kiwi juice and the half-filled jug that came was surprisingly more than enough for 2 persons. I ordered a flower tea (refillable)  recommended for eye care  for both Esther and myself. 


Esther ordered a Cheese Baked Rice with Salmon. This was served in the pan and hence it was hot! The portion was generous and even with the sharing among us, we were not able to finish it.  The salmon was done perfectly and most important, fresh!

Really cheesy. 

My niece also ordered a Cheese Baked rice with seafood... and as you can see the scallops and prawns are big and succulent. 

I tried their "Must Try" Oyster Porridge and I really love it, though the porridge was more watery as I was expecting a bowl of smooth congee.  However there were plenty of fresh plump oysters and diced chinese sausage and the coriander adds a very aromatic flavour to the porridge as well. ... yum. 

The last dish we ordered was this Spaghetti Carbonara with oysters (again!) and this did not disappoint us with its creamy and cheesy sauce. 

The cafe has been operating for more then 7 months and judging by the crowds that keep arriving you know there is something worth coming back for. Let's just hope that they will maintain the standard of the food and their service.  

Lastly, they also serve us complimentary ice-cream, even though its just a scoop, this finishing touch is a  very good sales tactic but  much appreciated by the diners, I am sure.    



Enjoy yourself and be happy.
Thanks for visiting my blog.  I will be on leave till after Hari Raya. 
So an early  "SELAMAT HARI RAYA" greetings to all. 




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

FOOD FOR YOUR EYES

9/7/2014

I am looking forward to my trip  .... 6 more days!  I have never thought that I could visit London and now my dream comes true!  So many beautiful sights to see, taste to know and experience.  Must take time to care for my eyes now..hahah.. I saw this TV programme where Madam Wong invited her friends for a dinner date and the theme was eye care and of course the most popular item used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine is the "gei zhi" or wolfberries for the eyes.     

Did my best to re-create the recipe and here's my version of Steamed Glutinous Rice with Dried Scallops and Wolfberries.  It is simple and easy to cook and taste delicious as well.  I like the combination of sweet flavour of the wolfberries and the savoury chewiness of the dried scallop.  


Remember to soak the glutinous rice at least 4 hours (I soak them overnight). Drain and put into rice cooker with about a cup of the water/chicken stock which has been used to steam the dried scallops.
Cook till the light switch off. 
Meanwhile prepare the flavouring sauce: soya sauce, pepper, sesame oil, sugar and just a tablespoon of ginger juice + cooking wine.   She give this useful tip: minced ginger and add a tablespoon  of cooking wine, mix them together.  I reserve the minced ginger and use it for stir fry vegetables.   
  
When the light switch off, add the prepared dried scallops 

and the sauce and mix well.. 

lastly add the wolfberries.
Cover the rice cooker and press to cook for 2nd time till the switch pop up again and just let it rest for 45 minutes before serving. 

Warm and heartening rice..... you can see the rice is not soft and lumpy but can clearly each grains individually..... yummy.

One of her guests also suggest daily taking wolfberries immersed in hot water drink. Another recommended looking at more green and calming views eg looking at the fishes in an aquarium and of course, always wear your sunnies outdoors and less playing on computer and/or mobile phone! 

Oh, yes must remember to pack my sunnies too!  




Monday, July 7, 2014

EASY MEATLOAF

6/7/2014
SUNDAY

I am excited....... in a week's time, I shall be able to see Sarah and give her a BIG HUG. I really miss her a lot.    So it is time to start clearing my fridge for the 2 weeks trip.

What do I find in the fridge... 2 pieces of pork loin and a piece of pork belly.  Sometimes just keep buying that's where it ended up in the freezer.    Search through the pantry and thought better use that last can of tomatoes even though the expiry date is early next year... hey time pass so fast and its just another 6 months to next year. 

So decided to make a meat loaf for Esther's lunch.  She has been asking for homecook meals for her lunch as around her office mostly mamak stalls,  besides any leftovers  can keep just in case she is too lazy to eat out while I am away.

Recipe was taken from Kitchen Flavours- Old Fashioned Meat Loaf.


Ingredients: ground beef (I used pork), chopped onion, rolled oats (I used my pre-mixed oatmeal), egg and can tomato.  Mix all the ingredients together and season well with salt and black pepper. I added some cayenne pepper as well and some breadcrumbs (as I find the mixture a bit wet).  

For the glaze/topping: tomato ketchup, mustard (I used wholegrain mustard) and brown sugar mixed together.  


Put the mixture into a loaf tin and level the top.  Spoon the glaze over the meat ( I reserve some of the glaze to brush over the meat half way through the baking). Bake at 160C for around an hour.  

The meat loaf is very moist and tasty.    It was so easy to make and cook..... just leave it to bake in the oven.

Thumbs up indeed!



Monday, June 30, 2014

AND I CAN SEE THE MAGIC AFTER ALL

27/6/2014 SUNDAY

MAGIC CAKE..... this cake is getting my attention.... saw a few bloggers posting on this cake.
Well read the recipe and the ingredients are just simply sugar (both icing and caster sugar) milk, flour, eggs ... that's all.   Since I have not been baking regularly, it is time to try something different to rekindle that spark of baking in me.
I followed the recipe from The Bake for Happy Kid. I like following her blog, she not only share a lot of tips and the results are always satisfactory. 

I whisked the egg whites manually but use the mixer to whisk the egg yolks and icing sugar together.
Trying to be gentle as the egg white get mixed into the egg yolk mixture.  The batter is then pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes (covered with foil) at 150C and another 30 minutes with foil remove. The oven temperature is then up to 160C for the last 10 minutes.

Voila! ... only a small crack at corner. 
Testing my patience as I waited the cake to cool completely and I left it to chill further for around almost 4 hours before unmoulding.

Can you see it?! 
However I can see only 2 distinct layers... the custard layer at bottom and the fluffy spongy layer on top. 

Taste wise.... yummy, eggy, spongy and smooth thick custard.. truly magical. 
Definitely will be baking more of this

Time flies and half the year had passed.  Time again to clear the fridge. Saw some bacon and remember the bag of cheese which my sister brought back.  Time to try things- savoury muffins! Frankly I haven't bake these before because I always had this notion that muffins should be sweet!   But then again when I saw the recipe on Kitchen Flavours blog, I decide to give it a try at least once! 

The main ingredients: bacon chopped and crisp (not totally crispy as I don't want them to dry out during the baking), fresh corn (which I substituted with cream style corn), diced spring onions, cheese, eggs , flour and milk. Mix dry ingredients together ...

and add the combined wet ingredients .. last minute decided to add more black pepper besides the cayenne pepper as flavouring. 

spoon into the muffin tray... learnt from my mistake, tha tit could be preferable not to line the tray as the muffin tend to stick to the liner. So just make sure to grease the tray well.  

Golden beauties... cheesy and deliciously savoury muffins. These could make nice light meal for lunch or even breakfast.  Simple and easy to make.
Enjoy!


Give Thanks Always for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  


Thursday, June 26, 2014

CARAMELISED BANANAS MUFFIN

22/6/2014
SUNDAY

Well, it is not all about cats and dogs over the weekend only.   At last, I did some baking as it has been a long time.

Baked the Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake ... again.. I loved this cake moist and crumbly and it definitely tasted better the next day. 

As you can see, I did not managed to grease the bundt pan properly this time.. the cake  broke again as I unmould it- always seem to be a problem with this bundt pan... maybe time to get a better quality one or maybe next time should just use the normal round cake tin.

Crispy mini "Seremban" siew pau..

Recipe taken from Elinluv's blog. I used pre-bought char siew from the market. Diced it finely and fry with some minced garlic. Add the sauce and some frozen green peas. Simmer till sauce is reduced and finally thicken sauce with some cornstarch slurry and set aside to cool.  I can only managed to get around 12 mini siew paus and with the rest of dough, I used some leftover red bean filling to make the Red Bean pau. So we have both the sweet and savoury paus as well. 

I purposely asked for overripe bananas from my sundry shop to make this Caramelised Bananas Muffin- my style.  Actually the recipe requires to make the caramel and then add the bananas.  Instead I used my leftover caramel sauce to mix the sliced bananas. 


Actually the recipe says to make the caramel and then add the sliced bananas in the pan. Instead I used my leftover caramel sauce and mix the sliced bananas with it. Weather was too hot so why slave over the stove to cook the caramel when I still have some leftover salted caramel sauce in the fridge.


Recipe require to cream sugar and butter but  I was too lazy to wash up so many items and in end I used this one bowl to mix everything..  Beat the sugar and eggs together.

Add the rest of ingredients: flour, baking powder milk and melted butter and mix till combined. 

Scoop one tablespoon of the batter to the muffin liner and then add the caramelized bananas.  

Top with another tablespoon of the batter.  Finally  add a slice of the banana to decorate.  Bake at 200C for around 15-20 minutes till golden brown. 

Here we are: the texture is dense crumb yet not dry and the filling is lovely.

Have a wonderful weekend! 




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SHE'S A BIG GIRL NOW

21/6/2014
Saturday

It was a hectic weekend for me and its all about my cats and dogs.

First meet my Bebe (Baby)...
Picked her up from the side of the drain .. all wet and dirty.  No mother cat came forward, so took her back and started to "nurse" her.  Isn't she cute,  yes, she can hold the bottle herself when its milk time.  Since our cat Cherry passed away more than 2 years ago,  it is wonderful to have a cat to play around minus of course the headache of cleaning up after her.    

Bebe is now more than 6 months old and she like to wander outside the backdoor.  I have so far been able to catch her back each time, but its time to let her go.  The  time has come  to have her spay so that she can gain her independence and freedom to roam.   So took her to the vet last week and just got back this weekend.

After a hot bath, she  immediately wandered outside to explore ..........

......and fell into the drain!  This is the drain at back of my house .. at least 5 feet deep! 

I am not sure whether because she was so home-bound that she does not know how to climb up the ladder or just plain dumb!  Finally we used the old trick... food... to get her up.   Hope she had learnt her lesson well this time. 

Playing hide and seek with uncle Toto.. both of them can get along well.. she drinks from his bowl and he eats her leftovers!

This is Browny.  He is a tiny fellow and must be bullied by the other cats at the back.  He fell into the drain not once but twice and the last time, his leg was injured but the vet says it is not in alignment. So I am fattening him up before releasing him.   

Next, my daughter and me got hold of Becky (Blackie) a female stray puppy and took her for spaying.  I did not take any photos of her when I first noticed her around my neighbourhood.  She must be someone abandoned dog as she was wearing a blue collar.   She was scavenging for food around the rubbish bins.   Then she suddenly disappeared for more than 2 weeks before I saw her again and I was shocked... She was a  skeleton of her former self, patches of skin visible in her fur and limping badly too- must be due to an accident!  So that's when I started to feed her and since then she had grown to a pretty little woman now and its time to get her spay before any more "accidents" happen.  She is up for adoption as I cannot possibly keep another dog (I already had 3 in the house).  Photo will be posted later. 

Finally, we noticed that Phow-Phow would suddenly become aggressive whenever we try to leash her.  Upon inspection, saw that there was a bite mark below her neck and the area around it had become swollen.  So quickly took her to the vet and was told probably she was bitten by some unclean teeth.  Now, it is impossible to be JuJu as he dotes on her and treat her as his darling. So the culprit must be Becky!  Jealousy fight for JuJu's attention? hahaha.. 

Anyway it was infected, so she got a jab and have the abscess removed and on medication now.

In between the vet's visit, we took time off to have our lunch at Niko Niko Onigiri cafe.   They have just re-located from Taman Len Seng to Taman Segar. This is Sarah's favourite cafe!

Bento - DIY Onigiri . RM10.00 

Esther's Onigiri set. RM8.90.

There is also a breakfast menu and of course, take-away too.  Clean and simplistic cafe with efficient and prompt service. We will be back.. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

MALACCA TRIP #2

8/6/2014

We must be very tired last night or is it that homely-feel of the house that made us all slept so well.  As usual I was the first one to wake up and took the time to explore the neighbourhood.  

Lovely pre-war houses with those beautiful cravings along the roof.. Most of the houses along this road has been renovated and turned into boutique hotels, cafes or souvenier shops while maintaining the ancient facade 

As you can see the houses are built right up to the roadside...

Traffic were still  closed to allow for the marathon runners  

The Red House- nothing to do with the Stadthuys buildings,  sell all sorts of  traditional paper cutting and wedding paraphernalia.  I was informed by the lady that his son did all these paper cuttings personally and I am pleased that this art has a craft master.     



The Baba and Nyonya Museum


Traditional Nyonya shoes are handmade here... exquisite bead-works on these shoes, the cheapest pair starts from RM198.00 onwards 


Came across this antique flea market...well someone's rubbish is another treasure.... 

Retrace my steps back to the house to wake them up for breakfast at this place..... 

Heeran House hotel upstairs and downstairs the cafe 

Set breakfast RM15 each... free flow orange juice, coffee and toast. 

After breakfast, its time for last minute shopping 

Nice paper craft 


handmade original clogs.... but the owner was not so friendly. 



Lovely mosaic tiles  

For our homestay, we were given discount vouchers to purchase from this shop- Joe's artisan handcrafted jewellery..  

We met up with friendly Mr. Joe, an interesting personality... he is also a tour guide and has some wonderful tales to tell us.....

some of his magnificent handcrafted jewellery... limited edition each.  Are you wondering what is the crab shell doing here?   Look at the shell and observe ....it is a very interesting historical event and miraculous fact  that he was relating to us. If you want to know more, you can contact him at the shop for a guided tour..

After visiting him, I realise that there are actually a few specimens of his handcrafts in the homestay..like this skylight in the master bedroom...


this  beautiful chandelier on top of the staircase 

the tabletop lamp at the corner of the living room..

even this light near the bathroom.... 

and of course this delightful fish mobile above the aquarium.

We went for an "early" lunch as we saw that there were only a short queue outside the Famosa Chicken Rice shop.  But alas,  I found the food  here were overrated and overpriced...so no photos at all.   It was getting hotter ...

so we decided then to go for our free coffee at The Calanthe Cafe.. 

already getting excited at the entrance.. something is beckoning us to go inside...

what a wonderful interior....

  ... like stepping into someone's living room ......even with the black and white TV..

cupboard full of Mr. Joe's trophies collected during his Boys' Brigade days... how I know?... because my son and nephews were all former BB boys of the 1st KL Company..

great place to sit back and enjoy! 





We did enjoyed our dessert here...... warm chocolate brownie with ice-cream and bananas with chocolate sauce......
New York cheesecake....

After lingering here its time to go back home... ie KL .
Before we left we went to the Baba Charlie Nyonya kueh, but they are all sold out already. Last try to look for satay celup... found the restaurant but only open for business at 4 pm.  So next time then.
The journey back was not too bad and we managed to reach Kl after 6pm.