Sunday, July 5, 2015

BACON AND SPINACH PIZZA

27/6/2015
Sunday


Life is therefore so uncertain.  There were 6 of them in the group but overnight one passed on.  Happily it was her first visit to Malaysia but she suffered a stroke and died on the spot in a hotel in Langkawi. My brother immediately flew over to help them with the necessary arrangements besides being their official translator.    After that night, it was a few stressful days for the rest of them to get over the official requirements to send the body back to Guangzhou and then to carry on with their holidays.   On Friday night, we meet up with them for a farewell dinner at the Sam You Restaurant in Petaling Jaya.    
This really is a wake up call for me... in order to travel I have to be in tip toe health condition and always treasure/enjoy  our holidays.  Anyway this was one of life uncertainties.... 


Kneading the pizza dough,  therapy to take the stress and unhappiness over this sad  episode,  
But just remember a pizza dough does not need to be kneaded as in a bread dough.  This is a rather sticky dough, as I might have added more water than necessary.   Recipe from the King Arthur's Blog. 

Put on the shower cap and let it rest till double. If you want to make pizza later, can leave it in the fridge up to 12 hours. 

Ingredients for the topping:  cheese,  bacon and spinach.    
After browning the bacon, I cooked the sauce.  Pour a can of whole tomatoes and carefully break up them up.  Add some chopped garlic and let it simmer till thick.  Lastly add a teaspoon of brown sugar and  the dried herbs provence.  

Gently deflat the pizza dough and cut into 2.  Grease the pan with some olive oil and carefully stretch out the dough. If the dough spring back, leave it to rest for another 15 minutes.  Prick the dough over  with a fork and bake  in pre-heated oven 220C for 10-15 minutes (depending on thickeness).  Remove from oven and you can then arrange the topping. 

Sarah then spread the sauce all over the pizza

Next the bacon and   

the spinach evenly over the pizza

Grating the cheese over .. "chicken hand and duck feet".. left hand...

well got to use the hand to distribute the cheese around the edges. 

voila, dinner is ready in 5-10 minutes ...bon apppetit!

Double boiled Snow Pear with White Fungus .... a sweet ending 


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

HALF YEAR PASSED

1/7/2015
WEDNESDAY

The 1st day of the second half of the year.
Things that I have done and things that are awaiting to complete.
Happiness and sadness
Trials and celebrations
What will the next half year be?

Our dinner:-
Stir Fry Chicken with Kimchi.
I use boneless chicken thighs. Dice and season lightly with black pepper and soya sauce.   I did not marinate them with the gochujang (korean chili paste) as Esther cannot tolerate spiciness.  Brown the chicken and dish up and set aside.  Saute 1 sliced onion till fragrant and add minced garlic and chopped kimchi.  Return the chicken and toss till combined.  Add water just enough to cover the ingredients and let it simmer for around 10 minutes.  Can add some spring onions and red bell pepper too.    

Stir-fry asparagus with carrot and fresh "wai san"  - just salt and pepper seasoning...
the wai san was very crunchy... yum.

Again it's Fried Cauliflower Rice - with pumpkin and  black pepper luncheon meat...
Bought a can of Black pepper luncheon meat from the market.  Diced the meat and pan fry them first (without adding oil) Dish up and then add oil and saute minced garlic and pumpkin till fragrant. Add the cauliflower and toss/fry on high heat till tender.  Lastly add the luncheon meat and season to taste. 
We love this "fried rice"  and the beauty is that there can be so many ways to cook it!






Tuesday, June 30, 2015

DAY 10- THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL TRIP

5/4/2015
SUNDAY
Finally its time to say goodbye.
After breakfast, we checked out the hotel and took the airport limousine bus to the airport.  As I mentioned earlier the bus stop is just opposite the hotel and come every 25 minutes. The driver is very efficient and the interior of bus is clean and seats are spacious... but I cannot recall how much we paid for the fare.



One more family photo. 
We met up with them at the airport and proceeded to check in together as they are on transit to Malaysia before flying back to Sydney.    


The airport is vast and we thought of getting our tax refund but then seeing the long queues, we just gave it up.  




It has truly been a fantastic trip and a big thank you to Mr and Mrs Lee for their time and effort to plan such an interesting itinerary for us. The beautiful sights, and the marvellous, mouth watering  foods that we sampled will forever be in my mind. Thank You once again my dear Jeremy and Eunice for such a memorable birthday present.    


Monday, June 29, 2015

LEMON POPPY SEED CHIFFON CAKE

27/6/2015
Sunday

My sister's lemon tree in full bloom on  8/6/2015 in Melbourne.
This citrus really bloom very well in winter time. I remember that  I brought back over 20 lemons during  one of my trips!   And over here, the market is selling RM1.00 per lemon!
  
My neighbour went to Australia for holiday and gave me these  home-grown lemons from her friend's garden. The recipe only use around 2 lemons.. for the zest and 50 ml of lemon juice. The recipe is adapted from No-frills Recipe blog.       

I added about 2 tablespoon of poppy seeds to the egg yolk mixture. Egg white is whisked to a stiff peak before folding into the egg yolk mixture.


Bake at 170C for around 45 minutes.  The aroma of lemon filled the house while baking.
 I took  a quick photo before inverting the cake  upside down to cool. 

The cake  was tall - no shrinkage at all !

The cake crumbs looked fine and it is actually very light and soft.  Taste? citrusy, very refreshing and not too sweet.  Definitely a keeper....

This morning we went for breakfast at Tommy Le Baker ......  

Since our last visit in February, they have moved to this new shoplot... just behind or is front of the old place. The premises is more spacious with  more seating and bigger workplace behind the counter.  

I asked about the flour and the staff told me that they used Malaysian Atta flour.. emm shall I try it?


As we were in the vicinity of Sentul, after our breakfast Sarah drove us to visit d7@Sentul East and the Capers, the twins building......"the curvy design was inspired by nature where nothing ever conforms to a straight line"  and the buildings are "positioned from afternoon sun and also from each other" which offers more privacy."  but I did not manage to get a good photo of them..


Courtyard in  d7 @ Sentul East ....... 

Sunday Art Jam at the Refinery....



Sunday, June 28, 2015

FAMILY TRIP TO KOREA 2015- DAY 9

4/4/2015
Saturday

Today would be our last day in Seoul.  Its free and easy today.... chance for the girls to sleep in while I took an early morning walk around the hotel.

Interesting street art.. the Koreans loved their baseball...this is the Nike Baseball Store opposite the hotel. 

Sculptures along the street in 

Dongdaemun shopping center... 

alien spaceship.....Dongdaemun Design Plaza 

futuristic architecture ... tunnels leading to the garden and underground.. 

Don't ask me what's his name....  


white magnolia... gently perfumed the the morning 

We took  a quick tour of the many designers' exhibition halls
cutie "rabbit" sofas 
rest your feet ... its a long and winding walk up 

sitting down to rest  whereever and whenever.... 





Around the corner of Hotel Ibis is this Fortress.... 


Seoul is surrounded by a city wall that has a total of 8 gates including 4 main gates set up in the North (Sukjeongmun) , South (Sungyemun), East (Heunginjimun) and West (Donuimun) which correspond with the 4  virtues of Confucianism: "In" (generous) "Ui" (righteous), "Ye" (Politeness) and "Ji" (wisedom) and last but not least "Shin" (Reliable or trust).   There are 4 smaller  gates and this is one of them..
  
Fusion of modern and old......Part of the Seoul city wall and church behind. 
the guardians figurine on the rooftop of the fortress...

We have arrange to met up with Eunice and Jeremy for some last minute shopping.  But first to the market... 

the Gwangjung Market- a 100 years old  market with its vast  


food street - traditional Korean foods.... ....  

mayak gimbaps aka "drug gimbaps"  because they are mini size and very addictive... err... yes they do provide "tissue papers" for you..:D

Sundae anyone?
Not the usual sundae you expected.... but a kind of "blood sausage... these are pigs intestine stuffed with sweet rice and sweet potato noddles and steamed and glistening piles of braised pigs trotters too...yummy    

hot, greasy bindaetteok .... mung bean pancakes.......
the mung beans are soaked and grounded/milled  on the spot and the paste then mixed with other ingredients and fry.  

the sweet and hot hotteok, I think...... the longest queue here. 

So we squeezed ourselves down on the heated benches  and ordered a bit of this and that to sample.... except the squirmming  hands and legs of the cut octopus of course!.

  
This market is also very popular for Korean couples who are planning to get marry.
Here you can find all sorts of "yedan" (wedding silks presents), beddings, comforters sets and last but not least,  beautiful hand sewn  hanboks for weddings (as well as for funerals) There were also numerous trays and baskets of colourful and carefully arrange ibaji foods which a newly wedded bride takes to her in-laws after her honeymoon..These normally consists of  variety of rice cakes, snacks, relish and red dates.     

Now I understand why I was given .....
this and this 
were brought to KL by Eunice parents for the wedding in 2013....

There is also a vintage clothes section located on the second floor which we did not visit.

one last photo with Candice before we finally say goodbye at the Seoul Station. 

We took the train back to Dongdaemun and went for more last minute shopping and souvenirs hunting. 
After so many days in Korea, we had not tasted the famous Korean Samgyetang aka Ginseng Chicken Soup.    
This is the shop we went for the popular soup. .. climbing up 3 flights of stairs  

to reach this restaurant.... and.... there were no other customers except us!....not sure whether we were too early for dinnertime  or does it mean something else..
This is a franchised restaurant and the Jiho family were the early inventors of the Samgyetang who personally breed the chicken to ensure the best quality for the soup and they also add various herbs to enhance the soup.

the various herbs use for the Samgyetang listed and mounted on the walls 
So, we sat down and were given a menu (in English) to order.  

Samgyetang . Ginseng Chicken Soup. 
This nourishing hot soup is traditionally taken during the hot summer in Korean to offset the heat as well as to energise the body.  But for me this heart-warming soup is just the comfort tonic for a cold night and our tired bodies. 

Ginseng Chicken porridge for the soul.. 

found this packet of herbs in the soup.......

and finally found...... the tiny piece of fresh ginseng..hahahah

I cannot remember the total cost of the dinner.  When we came down we came across a group of Chinese tourists mobbing a handsome Taiwanese actor, which we don't recognise.  We slowly walked back to our hotel and finished up our packing.