Sunday, December 30, 2007

Almost the New Year

Wow, the past weeks have been extremely hectic! Both with planning and going for get-togethers with our families, coliks and church frens.

Don't you just love this time of the year? Everyone's in a holiday mood (read: daydreaming during work), traffic is clear in the mornings, shoppings malls with beautiful christmas decorations, grocery stores filled with chirstmassy puddings, cakes, gingerbread men, the list goes on!

Of couse, these are not the true meaning of Christmas but I'm glad to see that people relate Christmas as a time of giving and sharing :)

I had grand plans of baking brownies and giving them away as gifts. Grand plans they were but when the time came, I was just too exhausted. Sigh. Well, I hope I'll be able to do it next year *wink.

We just hosted a farewell dinner for E & J yesterday. I spent, oh ok, WE (hubs and I) spent the whole day cleaning and cooking. Boy! I really underestimated the number of people who would turn up. AND, most people came on time!

Anyway, I've blogged about most of the food I prepared in the farewell dinner but here's something refreshing after stuffing ourselves silly with rendang and pulut.

A Colourful Salad
Cherry tomatoes
Salad leaves
Pine nuts (toasted)
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice

Salads are fun! As long as you have a good mixture of colours and fresh ingredients, you won't go wrong! For my version, start with salting the tomatoes. I read that this will bring out its flavour. Just halve them, rub with salt and leave for about 20 mins. Mix everything together and serve chilled.

And here's another pix for E & J. No goodbyes but a happy see-you-soon wave from Mr. Frumps and us! We're planning a holiday in Kuantan right this moment! Heh :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mushroom Caviar!

No this is not something the beluga fish layed after eating mushrooms - that is if fish ever knew how to enjoy this delicious fungi.
I was looking for different ways to cook mushrooms besides the usual olive oil and garlic combo. Found this recipe from Simply Recipes here. and was pretty impressed with the term Mushroom Caviar. Go to this site for the full recipe. For my lazy version:

White button mushrooms - or your preferred choice
White wine
Olive oil
lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Wheat crackers

I omited sour cream as its not a usual ingredient in my fridge, shallots as I don't quite like onions, (gimme more garlic any time!) as well as pine nuts simply becoz i forgot! arrggghh i have a whole tub in my fridge and they'll just dry up before i ever remember to use them. sigh.

Anyway, heat up the butter and saute the mushrooms till tender. Add garlic, salt and pepper. saute for another 5 mins. Stir in the white wine and cook for another minute. Squeeze the lemon juice when it has cooled down.

Its suppose to be served chilled but being a typical Malaysian, I couldnt bring myself to eat cold food. Unfortunately after I was done taking more than a dozen pics, the mushrooms were already cold.

I spread the 'caviar' onto the wheat crackers, munch munch... and thought... Hmmm a lot of improvement needed. I don't know why but it doesnt taste as good as I thought it would. Perhaps its the wine that I used or because I used white button mushrooms? (I usually prefer Shitake).. hmmm

I'll have to try again with Shitke and maybe some oyster mushrooms.. Any ideas?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

crabs, Crabs & more CRABS!

Go fly kite! In Malaysia, that has a pretty nasty meaning... so practice care when you want to invite ppl to go fly kites here.

I laughed when I saw my CG leader's sms- lets go fly kites! Haha. On one of the Saturday's back, our cell group organised an outing to fly kites somewhere around Kepong area. (The park is situated on the left side of MRR2, headed towards Bandar Sri Damansara or Manjalara). Flying a kite requires lots of patience. I saw a girl pulling and running in circles trying to get her kite to fly higher. Then she just collapsed in a heap of laughter coz she realised how ridiculous she must have looked. And she saw me laughing at her too.

You'll see all sorts of kites there, from the big flashy ones to the tiny humble kites that somehow seem able to do a better job. As soon as you hit a certain height, it will be quite steady and you won't have to keep pulling and nudging your kite to catch the wind. Hmm.. an interesting hobby which i may consider in future :)

Anyway, the highlight of the day (for me) was dinner! I didnt know my CG leader had booked dinner at a seafood restaurant. Woo hoo! i have not had crabs in agesss..

De Foodland in Bandar Sri Manjalara, Not a new place, just that i have not been there. When you have been deprived of these tasty morsels... the place I believe, may not matter so much. Just as long as I get to crab and claw my way into its flesh.

Creamy butter crab (one of the recommended choices). The sauce was really good though some of us felt the crab wasn't really fresh as the meat was too soft and not firm and succulent.

Pepper salt crab. Now this is what i'm talking about. Sweet juicy crab meat flavoured just right with 2 simple seasonings. This. was. good.

Crab with salted egg yolk. My all time favourite style. Also one of the recommended choices here. Talk about cholesterol - this is THE works.
Not bad as well but I had a better version at Tak Fook (yet to blog about this place).

Pork ribs with Guinnesss stout. Swoooonnnn. So absolutely delicious! What a winning combo! I am going to search for the recipe and try cooking it one day!

Meal was FOC as my CG leaders paid for 'em. Thanks E & J! Prices here are slightly expensive and helpings are not very large though.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Kung Fu Chao at Alexis

My idea of unwinding is either to glue my eyes to the laptop and watch movies or to have a satisfying meal at a place with good ambience. After our US trip, Hubs and I have been on a more watchful mode and are trying not to spend too much on meals. When i was not paying for my own home and bills (ie staying with parents) I didnt think much of forking out RM50 for a good meal. Well, things are different now ...

However, the past few weeks at work have been horribly hectic and stressful. Our company had a recent restructuring exercise and I ended up with double my current portfolio. So all i remember from the past few weeks were running up and down, solving issues, understanding the flow of the new products, meeting up with even more suppliers and basically just moving along from one day to the other without really knowing wat went on. Who wants to work like that?

Anyway, complaining about work is something everyone will have a say on. This blog is meant to be an account of my happier times so i shan't rant here.

Hubs ended up as runner up for one of his company's presentation 'competitions' (?) so he got rewarded and what better way to spend that money than on his wife? muahaha.

So here's how we ended up at Alexis and broke our solemn vow of spending less on food.

Truffle pappardelle with cep. Tastes like Kung fu chao. hmmm I havent tried this sort of pasta before. Pappardelle reminds me of kuey tiow. Flat ribbons of pasta -smooth but they all kinda stuck together in clumps. The truffles were deliciously juicy and i think they were soaked in wine and the light cream sauce complemented the pasta well.

Hubs had a simple linguini with pesto. Tasty and well done.

Dessert - For me, Alexis's classic cake, the Tiramisu (RM12). I love Alexis's version of it. The best! Sponge cake generously soaked in liquor, cheese filling was delicious and had lots of chocolate rolls in it and the cake was topped with crunchy bits of toasted nuts and glass candies.

Hubs had a brownie which came nice and warm with lots of fudge and a dollop of ice cream. (RM12)