Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Romona's Surprise B'day Dinner Do

I went with Barry to a surprise birthday dinner for Romona.

Romona was as classy as ever and even more glowing with the pregnancy - She and Andre make a beautiful couple.

Actually, I was the one who ended up being pleasantly surprised with a near-fine dining restaurant at SHAH ALAM!!! An 8-minute drive from our home.... I still can't believe it.

It's called Eat Workshop...and it's right at our backyard..

I had :

Starter : Salmon Tartare (very nice!)

Mid-course : Squid ink pasta with pan seared scallops topped with feta cheese (was yummy but a just tad too well-done)

Main : Pan seared sea bass with risotto pancakes in grapefruit butter (the sea bass was very good, so were the rice cakes but I would have reduced the amount of grapefruit butter as it was too overwhelmingly tart in such huge quantity for the delicate fish)

Barry had the beef steak with mushrooms for mains - I tried some - excellently juicy and of great flavour!!

All in all, it was a very great evening - the people, the food and drinks (though you may want to prepare your own wine and such as they do not serve alcohol because of licensing restrictions - the Shah Alam factor? I don't know).

But, I will be back for sure!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Our L'il Family.....

We were at Lisa and Ruben's wedding dinner last night and feeling guilty for leaving schmoop behind, spent quite a bit of time cuddling her when we came home....

She likes to kiss though; that explains Barry's grimace..Oh, her poopy breath...can knock one out!!!!

Of Stuffed Chillies and Mushrooms...

I had quite a bit of chillies and button mushrooms left in the fridge...and didn't feel like having lunch as Barry whipped up a yummy meal of potatoes, eggs and toast for breakfast (and I don't normally have breakfasts unless you count hot chocolate as breakfast).

And I happened to have minced beef in the fridge too!! Perfect for stuffed chillies and mushrooms.... and Mike is over too for Xbox games - so, everyone gets to snack!

It's so easy to make.

Ingredients :

10 button mushrooms (remove the stems)
6 chillies (cos spicy) - cut a slit lengthwise in each and remove seeds
100gms minced beef (weight watchers' type)
1 egg
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp soya sauce
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
some cracked black pepper
2 tsp sesame oil
Oilve oil

1. Mix all ingredients except the mushroom caps, chillies and olive oil.
2. Chop mushroom stems finely and mix into the minced beef mixture.
3. Preheat oven to 220 deg C. Oil a baking pan.
4. Stuff mixture into chillies and mushrooms.
5. Brush with olive oil.
6. Bake for 25-30mins (depends on size of chillies and mushrooms)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Stuffed Eggplant

After drooling over the pictures of Stuffed Eggplants in Cream Puffs in Venice's blog, I just had to try them out.

So, I made them with some modifications (with apologies to Cream Puffs in Venice) :

1. 8 Japanese eggplants - no extra big eggplant needed
2. Steamed the eggplants for 1/2 hour in a steamer
3. Omitted the parsley as we are not a fan
4. Substituted Crotonese cheese with just 1/2 cup chopped matured cheddar mixed into the eggplant/breadcrumbs as I had quite a lot of that in the fridge
5. And I coated the stuffed eggplant with breadcrumbs to prevent the melted cheese from flowing out into the oil.

My picture is nowhere near as Cream Puffs in Venice... Since I moved in with Barry, I have been reminding myself to take my plates and bowls out of the carton boxes.

Though they look unappetising in picture, they taste very good.

And being a Malaysian, I love a little kick in my food - so I had it with chillie sauce. I dare say I was appeased!!!

Two Nites in Bangkok 22-24 August 2006

I was in Bangkok for work for 3D/2N and managed to squeeze in some time for food - no massage though...was either food or massage and naturally being crazy about food, I chose the former.

Highlights :

1. il cielo Restaurant at Dusit Thani Hotel

My guest and I shared the 'il cielo' Salad :
Italian Lettuces with huge thin slices of Parmesan cheese, Pan-Fried Duck Liver on a slice of baguette, Grilled Rock Lobster, Parma Ham and Artichokes - all Tossed in il cielo's House Vinaigrette

I made the choice as it has all of my favourite stuffs. I was actually quite full by the end of it. And I made the wrong choice of having the Mixed Grilled Seafood - it was just OK.

BUT, dessert was divine! I had the Tiramisu - very light. Thumbs up from a non-coffee fan.

2. Baan Khanitha

We went to their latest restaurant at South Sathorn Road - I can proudly say I have dined at all their outlets.

Complimentary Appetizer - Mieng Kam (I love it!) It's actually lime cubes, cut lethal little chillies, dried shrimp, ginger cubes, shallots, toasted coconut flakes and peanut wrapped with betel leaves and topped with a sweet dressing.

We had chicken and prawns with pomelo salad, crispy fish in red curry and fried river prawns with garlic and basil leaves... As usual, was as stuffed as ever.

I love glutinous rice balls with black sesame in ginger soup. So, we had that - see the steam coming out? The ginger soup is great for flatulence. Haha!

And, I even had space for the mango with glutinous rice dessert - came with a scoop of coconut ice-cream.

I was a happy camper......

Warm Lamb, Beetroot and Chives Salad

Lamb is our perennial favourite meat. So, I was thinking of different ways to have our lamb from the usual roast, curry, BBQ and such at the same time, to use up the stuffs in the kitchen purchased over the weekend. Since it was for just the two of us, I have decided to make a 1-dish meal with protein and fat from lamb, carbohydrate from bread (I did go crazy when I went to Hiestand, the Swiss bakery by getting poopy seed, multigrain, foccacia and onion buns + an onion bagel for Barry) and vitamins & minerals from veggies. So, lamb salad it is. Ingredients : 250gms Lamb leg chops - season very slightly with Maggi Seasoning 4 cloves of garlic (minced) 1 bundle of chives (with flowers) - cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths 1 tsp olive oil 1 beetroot (size of a fist) some olive oil to coat beetroot
Dressing (mix all) : 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic clove, minced (or roasted then mashed) 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp honey 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1/2 cup raw walnuts

Feta cheese, crumbled (I like Lemnos; the goat cheese version - though in picture I used cubed cocktail feta) Salad leaves mix/plum tomatoes for garnish 1. Wash and top beetroot. Coat with oil and wrap with aluminium foil. Bake for about 45mins to 1 hour till tender at 200 deg C. Cool and peel and cut into wedges. 2. Season lamb with Maggi Seasoning and minced garlic. 2. Heat a non-stick pan. Cook lamb chops till cooked. Remove and leave to cool. 3. Continue to heat pan and add 1 tsp of olive oil. Add in chives and 2 tbsp water and cook till wilted about 3 mins. Remove and set aside. 5. Cut cooled lamb chops into 1/2 cm slices. 6. Place salad leaves onto 2 plates. 7. Place lamb pieces atop the leaves followed by chives. Place cooked beetroot on the sides around the plate.

8. Sprinkle crumbled feta(watch the amount as it is salty) all over salad followed by chopped walnuts. Drizzle the salad dressing all over and garnish with plum tomatoes.

Enjoy with bread. *Updated 8th June 2007*

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken Salad

We had Balsamic Vinegar Chicken Salad as starter for dinner tonight followed by a medley of beef, bell peppers and mushroom for main course and finished off with toasted blueberry Pop Tarts.

Very low carbs - we wanted a light meal.

Am not proud of the beef as I had left it to warm for far too long while waiting for Barry who was playing chess at the pool with our neighbour, Tim.

Anyway, here is the recipe for the Balsamic Vinegar Chicken Salad which I made - enough for 2 person. Should have used my plain white plates - didn't intend to blog about it...


Chicken :
1 boneless and skinned chicken breast (cut criss-cross on both surfaces)
Extra virgin olive oil (I like Colavita)
Coarse black pepper

Dressing (shaken in a screwtop jar) :
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard (I like Maille)
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (I use Borges)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
coarse black pepper

Salad leaves (butterhead, mizuna, baby romaine, lollo rossa, red chicory)
Cherry tomatoes
Teardrop tomatoes


1. Marinade chicken with just a wee bit of olive oil, salt and pepper for about an hour.
2. Brush some dressing on the chicken before grilling in a pre-heated oven at 250 deg C for 10 minutes. Remove and turn the chicken pieces. Brush dressing again and grill for a further 5 mins.
3. Cut chicken pieces when cooled to 1/2 cm slices.
4. Arrange chicken slices on a bed of cold salad leaves. Decorate with cold halved tomatoes.
5. Brush some dressing onto the tomato halves and drizzle the balance all over the leaves.

The dressing went well with mushrooms, bell peppers and beef too!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Business Trip to Singapore

Stressed from cranking budget figures past weeks.... finally finished today (hopefully all is OK).

Anyway, went to Saint Julien Le Restaurant with the boss and another 2 colleagues for a little "celebration" for good results.

I had Foie gras de canard poele et sauce aux morilles et Cognac (Pan seared duck liver with morel mushrooms and Cognac sauce) as appetiser and Bisque de homard et Saint Jacques a l'aioli et croutons (Lobster bisque soup with sea scallop, garlic aioli and croutons) for mid-course followed by grilled wagyu rib for mains (I wanted scallops but they had this rib so huge that it is for a table of four person and majority wanted to try the beef..Oh well.).

Finished off with a warm chocolate cake dripping with rich chocolate sauce, strawberries and vanilla ice-cream (see pic) ...a beautiful creation.

For drinks, we had a bottle of Ruinart champagne to go with the French raw oysters Fine de Claire - Brittany - No. 3 (never knew they had names and code numbers for oysters) and Château Beau-Séjour Bécot Saint Emilion 1989.

Upon arrival at KLIA, I do get the occasional bottle - kinda hard to decide as we don't drink much except socially but it's such a pity not to buy tax-free when there are so many people dying to get a cheaper bottle.

So, I got myself a bottle of Choya Ume Liquer - cos it came with a free mini bottle -I am sucker for freebies - and it is pretty with 7 ume swimming in it. The free mini has a tiny ume in it.

Apparently, I can mix it with champagne (maybe sparkling wine as champagnes are too precious) - Ume Royale anyone? Or mix with 1 part water and some ice.

I drank the mini bottle mixed with some water before I slept - very nice - a bit like lime juice with a zing from the alcohol. Ran out of ice....

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Keep Swimming!

I had a request for quotation for my products a few months back from Singapore but I haven't closed any deals yet with that company. One thing nice though is that I get inspirational messages every now and then via my email from the guy who enquired.

I received another email this morning. I just want to share with you this story which I have just read; of 2 frogs which I remember hearing a long while back before....

Too many people give up just before the tide turns. Like a man dying of thirst in the desert, who lays down to his final rest before seeing the oasis just beyond the crest of a sand dune.

How sad it is, to have thrown in the towel too early. What a waste! And to think salvation was so close!

Here's a poem about two unfortunate frogs and how a determined will to survive saved one of them.

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl.
One was an optimistic soul.
But the other took the gloomy view.
"We'll drown," he lamented without much ado,
and with a last despairing cry, he flung up his legs and said "Goodbye."

Said the other frog with a steadfast grin,
"I can't get out but I won't give in,
I'll just swim around till my strength is spent,
then I'll die the more content." Bravely he swam to work his scheme,
and his struggles began to churn the cream.

The more he swam, his legs a flutter,
the more the cream turned into butter.
On top of the butter at last he stopped,
and out of the bowl he gaily hopped.
What is the moral? It's easily found...
If you can't hop out, keep swimming around!

How easy it is to just give up, to see the world through a doomsday screen and abandon it. Courage and faith are required to persevere and make the best of every situation.

If only the other frog had known how simple it was to get out, I'm sure he wouldn't have given up so easily. But life is such? we never know how simple some things really are, though they seem impossible to achieve.

It is only our faith and optimism that helps carries us through the most seemingly insurmountable odds.

Written by Eugene

Rick Chua

Thanks Rick, for the inspirational message every now and then....

It's amazing that we as individual has the ability to encourage or to discourage another...and it is my hope that I will be able to encourage with my words and actions.

Have a great day, people.

Lots of love.

Monday, August 07, 2006


We were having so much fun staying together past 3 weeks - like hubby and wifey and baby - Awww...(did I sat that out LOUD??!) until we were itchy enough to want to make the place better - change 3 doors, a toilet bowl, change 3 marble tiles which cracked and patch up the parquet floor.

In comes the contractor - who promised to finish everything in 1 day. The 1 day became 2 days and then 3 days and now a week long project.

Contractors - can't live with then, can't live without them.

I have been having difficulty in breathing since they came - not because of their BO. But from the dust of the woodworking and cementing and such. Dust is everywhere, from my dressing table to the chest of drawers, to the towels nicely rolled up in te bathroom, the floor, the bed, on Barry, in my get the drift.

And they took the old toilet bowl away and left us with a hole in the toilet for the weekend. I have been smelling shit the whole time - yea, it's my imagination. I daren't even open the door to that toilet.

And I hate to wear shoes at home - so, have been walking on my tippy toes - I swear my feet are much broader now. Bummer.

Am feeling moody - it's that time of the month again and with home in disarray, it's driving me mental.... Be nice, Karen, be nice...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Food Pics

Irene and I were talking about one of our favourite food, foie gras last Saturday after dinner and I promised to upload some pictures - I lost some of the earlier ones which I had stored in the laptop which was stolen.

Foie Gras at Pataques, Paris

Foie Gras on top of Wagyu Steak at Las Carretas, Kuala Lumpur

Anyway, some non-foie gras food pictures too to remind me to count my blessings...especially the times I have with the meal time companions. Some of the pictures are blurry though... must be the shaking hands before meal times due to hunger.

Poppers - SPICY PEPPERS!!!

Tender Braised Lamb Shank with Tagliatelle

Shrimp and Banana with Curry Sauce - It was actually very GOOD!

Mushrooms Bourgogne

Swordfish with Fries

Lobster Salad

Grilled Sole

Grilled Lamb Rack

Crevette Gris Croquette

Le Moelleux au Chocolat - The best dessert I have had EVER!!!!