Sunday, February 24, 2008

Finally found

Roti pan fry - dry is best. Better still with curries... yummy!

ROTI CANAI!!! muahahahahaha.... Was suppose to get basmati rice from this Indian/Sri Lankan shop nearby. But the lady boss (she lived in S'pore for some time) asked me out of the blue if I'd like roti. My eyes lilted up and said; you have them? She told me that they got them just recently.

Happy birthday papa! We love you!

I was really happy to find something so familiar and taken for granted at home. Even though its frozen, its really better than not having them at all... :) And besides, it was hubs' birthday. So I made dhall curry (my veggie not spicy version) and also pork curry. So you can say its curry nite!

70% dark chocolate with butter is..... Heaven....

But what about dessert? Well, no birthday ever feels complete without desserts right? I made chocolate fondant cake à la française. Not bad for the 1st try. It looks like what the Americans call "lava" cake; you know where the centre just melts in the mouth types? Well, this one melts in the mouth but unlike the lava cake, one has to pop it in the fridge once its cooled from baking. And let me tell you, the wait was horrible!!! This is one cake that needs time to "blend in", sort of like tiramisu. The kitchen smells so nice of chocolate and I really (REALLY) wanted to eat it right when it came out of the oven.... But after eating it, it just "stays" in the stomach!!

Results in this..

Chocolate fondant cake is one cake that I would make may be twice a year. Reason being its too heavy on the stomach for anything else. Would not make this during summer time either. I so really wanted to make something Owen could eat for his 1st birthday this June. I saw some really cute and nice jelly cakes online. But its only sold back home! I might wanna try to make one of those but I doubt that I'll be any good at pouring the colours into their proper "places" in the mold.... You see, I got of of those Winnie the Pooh silicone mold (small ones) to try out. It did however de-mold easily but with minor colouring mixes accident(at least I tried!) . It doesn't look easy to keep the colours from mixing with each other. I really wonder how they could did it....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

So how was your Valentine?

Pretty orange bunch

It was Valentine's day on Thursday. What I did on that day? Hmmm... Let see.... Well for one it was our laundry day. We aren't allowed to install our own washing machine here - as per the landlord. So we had to use the common washing machine - which was ok considering the fact that there's two machines with 6kg capacity each, plus we have our own timetable of who uses it and when. But its not free - goes by a "cash card" system. Anyways, even if we have our own machine, its not "free" as well - who's paying the electriciy and water needed to run the machine? Just the sake of convenience.

Hubs and I agreed that we won't make a big hooha about Valentine's. So we're pretty proud to say that we didn't! Why? Has anyone notice the price tag for a flowers (especially RED roses), chocolates or anything that has everything to do with Valentine's day? YUP! The price is soaring like the price for oil these days. Its really a scandal when these item seems to "go back to normal" right after Valentine's day... :p How about a special Valentine's menu in restaurants? Well these "specials" I can tell you is sometimes not really that worth it - again for the prices and the quality versus quantity question.

Its not that we want to prevent people from celebrating this special event. Its just that it somehow no longer seems to be special from being comercialised actively. What happend to old fashion small everyday gestures for our loved ones? Is it no longer special to us? I wonder. But if one want shower their beloved with expensive gifts and what nots, why not? But I would LOVE to see if they could do it every other month, not only on Valentine's day. Aren't we suppose to show/celebrate love everyday and not only on that specific day? Hmmm..... I wonder.

Anyways, with us there's no really a "celebration". Hubs got us a bunch of orange roses at the very last minute from our neighbourhood supermarket. Why orange roses? I think its a very pretty colour and its not red! ;) No chocolates or any special dinner. And no, we didn't go out just the two of us. No babysitter - well basically its virtually IMPOSSIBLE to get one last minute during this time of the year any way. So our Valentine's was spent at home as always, with just a bunch of none red flowers! So how was your Valentine?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Of nuts and dates look alike

Dates look alike

Some time ago, mum was telling me about the virtues of Gingko nuts. Me being ignorant brat, didn't know what on earth gingko even looks like! That is until I was set out to live in a country deprived of Asian herbs and foodstuff. Unless I'm willing to pay for the exorbitant prices of certain available Asian groceries here, which is often the case, I'm left without typical ingredients like buah keras, proper curry powder etcs.

The nuts

Well these recent years abroad, I've found gingko trees just by the roadside!! The trees are actually HUGE! And as usual, only the females produces fruits. And mind you, we Chinese would be jumping for joy when we find free gingkos - these "babies" costs alot! I'm not too sure about the prices per kilo or grams but they are sure expensive.

The smelly gooy stuff....

I think must be from the fact that the fruit itself smells soo.... HORRIBLE!! Its like rotten meat or poop! And cleaning it, is really a challenge. The nut itself is covered in this apricot coloured mush (once the fruit ripen) and one have to wear gloves to pick them. Why? Cause if you don't, the thickish residue and its "latex" seems to stick to the skin like a 2nd skin!!! And to some, it'll even causes skin rash. But since there's no skipping in getting rid of the mushy and really smelly stuff to get to the nut, scrubing the leftover mush is another must. We want to make sure that its really clean and also the get rid of the smell as well once its dried.

Another fact is that, mat sallehs will try really hard to avoid planting the female tree, thus there's fewer females around for the nuts. AND there's fruits only during winter time.

Now every winter hubs and I would go collect these smelly fruits, and we're being looked at as wierdos!! Once there's even a lady that almost ATE the fruit while I was collecting them. Lucky that it didn't reach her mouth, coz its the fruit that's poisonous AND SMELLY!! YUCKKYYY!!! So next winter, I'm looking foward to collecting them again with Owen. Well he'll have to just stand (or sit in his buggy) for the moment until he learns to hold (or stand still!!) the plastic bag....

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Bakin' Sunday

Pineapple rolls....

Today is the only day which I've not held Owen for at least half the day. The reason? Was busy bakin'! :)

Hubs was out in the morning for his weekly tennis sessions and it was time to look after Owen while I busied myself doing mis-en-place for baking. What I did today; Pineapple rolls and Peanut cookies. Was suppose to do Chocolate chip cookies as well, but I was DEAD TIRED after all the baking, cooking (lunch & dinner) and then cleaning up.... :p But I was really satisfied with the way the tart came out.

It was my 1st time try and am happy to say that the pastry and jam turned out really well. The jam I made a day earlier and popped them in the fridge (as adviced by mum, thanks!). Appearently some people mix in milk powder and some custard powder. But mum said, its up to personal preference. So I added Owen's milk powder into it and you know what? It tastes great! hehehehehe....

Oh, both of us were a little bit sick; runny nose, slight fever and body ache. So that's why I said I was DEAD by the time I finish the whole cleaning up. And I kinda miss him after awhile - actually the whole day. Since I'm missing him already for a single day of not holding him, I really doubt that I'm NOT GOING TO MISS him, if we left him with my mum for a holiday; as sugguested by mum!! Hmmm.... May be when he's alot older. Make that when he's 30! LOL! I think all mums will have to agree that some of us share the same feeling for each and every children we have.

Dream getaway- Bora-Bora Island.... picture from

But a holiday, as suggested by mum, would be nice for a change. Just the 2 of us; hubs and me, out in an island some where.... Ahh...... That would be so nice indeed. You see, we've not had our honeymoon. The reason? We were thinking everyone has honeymoons, its just so the norm. Why not go some where nice every now and then. And at the same time save up some money just to go to some where really, really far and dreamy; the French Polynesian Islands, Male Maldives, Hawaii or even the Caribbeans perhaps? I'll be heaven when the day comes! :)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Chinese New Year coming soon.....

Its almost a week away from Chinese New Year, which falls on 7th Febuary 2008. And this year is the year of the Rat. I for one don't like rats that much and read some where that this year would be a roller coaster ride for us.

Well whatever ride it is, we'll just have to live through it no? Anyways, I am so looking forward to try out baking this Sunday; Pineapple tarts (made the jam yesterday), peanut cookies (or may be cashew nut?) and chocolate chips.... Its really been awhile since my last baking - X'mas! I so miss kuih kapit and the other CNY goodies at home...... *sigh

I so miss my family come every CNY. I could still remember my mum would gang up with our neighbours to make CNY goodies. Aunty A would bake pineapple tarts, Aunty B would make muruku etc.... May be I just miss the way the house and entire neighbourhood would smell so lovely from all the baking and cooking that is going around.

Which reminds me, mental note: spring clean the house on Mon or may be Tues. Ah... Spring cleaning time.... Cleaning our house back home is like torture for us kids... Since mum was busy working and baking/cooking, sis was lazy bum (don't even clean her own room), so the task was left to me, alone.... That time I really (REALLY) hate house work. And I still detest house work now, BUT have to do it since Owen is crawling around and "tasting" every thing he could put his grubby hand on..... But now I think I'm a bit lucky since we're living in an apartment and not a HOUSE. Cleaning a house would take me at least 1 whole day of simple cleaning. I could imagine spring cleaning; 2 days.... Now it takes me 3 hours max IF Owen doesn't kill the "cleaning groove".

Will post some pics and update of my baking "situation" next...