Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rabbit Meal

This post is named in-line with that of another flogger's, hahah.
My version is not 100% the same as that of hers as I didn't add in roasted walnuts though I had the intention to, but blame it on my forgetfulness.

The layers of vegetables starting from the bottom were hand-torn red coral lettuce interpierced with the same vegetable in green, yellow capsicum rings and cherry tomato halves. 2 pieces of hard-boiled eggs quartered and a handful of raisins plus a few tiny pieces of dried cranberries, this box was dh's food which I prepared for him with the option of either French Dressing or Balsamic Dressing. He chose the former, thus my life was saved by these useful bottled ready-to-use salad dressing.

He was happy with his light meal, while I'm even happier with the least preparation needed to get it ready in record time. Most of these salad boxes were put together in advance and kept in the chiller till ready for consumption.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bento #058 100129

Yet another speedy bento for this, I just need to scald those greens in chicken broth, then soak them in cold water to retain their colour. Thereafter, I place them in a colander to drip dry a bit before packing them in this bento, topped with a few dollops of vegetarian oyster sauce plus some meat floss for flavour.

At the top right corner was a sushi sandwich which I picked up the night before at Jusco, it comes in a set of 3 different flavours. There are a few choices and the sushi sandwich is named per the middle set, seen here was the Idako version. I can remember there being unagi as well for sure because I've bought that before, apart from other flavours. This idako sushi sandwich was flanked by tuna mayo and crabstick mayo sushi sandwiches on the side.

The side pink silicon flexi cup was holding some slices of sweet mango topped with 2 butterfly party-picks.

This one took me slightly longer to put together, say about 15 minutes if not mistaken.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bento #057 100128

Today's bento contained the leftover fried rice from last night, so packing it was a breeze.
I just heated the fried rice in the ovenette, then packed them tightly in the bottom tier. Decorate with some crispy crabsticks and that tier was done.

While the food was heating up in the ovenette, I wash those fruits for the bottom tier and get them ready. The works were merely peeling the tangerines, coating the two plump Egyptian strawberries with castor sugar before arranging them in this smaller upper tier.
An easy bento that took me about 10 minutes to prepare.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Out Of This World's Fried Rice

I can consider myself quite hardworking this week, preparing almost all the dinners for the weekdays we are home. It might not amount to anything to others, but for me, I think I haven't been diligent for the years we stayed on our own. Let's hope I won't slack off so soon. I might have found my cooking and baking mojo, while my buddy found her blogging mojo.

For last night's meal, I fried rice. Easy one-dish meal with everything in one, good way of clearing the fridge as well, not to mention the freezer. Majority of the time was used in preparing the ingredients -rinsig them under running water and cutting into minute pieces.

I suddenly got the great idea to place those variety of ingredients in a muffin tray, saved me from washing so many containers used to hold them temporarily.
Each row of the tray, from left to right.
Grey tray, top row: Pre-fried chopped assorted mushrooms, overnight rice, crispy silver fish.
Grey tray, bottom row: Egg, char-siew bits, scallions.
Black tray, top row: Diced carrots, cut sweet peas, diced imitation crabsticks.
Black try, bottom row: Diced lapcheong piece, chopped garlic, chopped bombay onion

I used minimal seasoning because the char siew and mushrooms were sufficiently salty on their own. This must be one of those elaborate fried rice that I've ever fried, the only missing ingredients would be corn nibs.

Garnished with some egg strings, red chili and onion crisps, this was well-received by dh with the addition of meat floss.
Ah, now I like my fridge, free from clutter till my next grocery trip.

Bento #056 100128

Finally, the long-awaited scones. But at least it is still within this week, so ain't too bad *consoling self mode*.

I packed 3 buttermilk scones in this bento, accompanied by 2 types of spread. They were thick-cut orange marmalade and pineapple mango preserve. The scones were lightly toasted in the ovenette to heat up and boy had I to exercise great constraint to pop some of it into my mouth. They were fragrant just like freshly baked ones though they had been in hibernation in the freezer for some time.

Two "lantern" yellow tomatoes to brighten up the bento beside the blue container of sweet tangerine with an addition of strawberry for a splash of red. I inserted a stick of twin coloured cherry tomatoes to fill the gap. Idea of lantern borrowed from here. Done with love in 10 minutes or so.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Taiwan Bull at QbM

This is something which we don't normally do, eat at the same eatery two weeks in a row. There's always an exception to the 'rule', right? The rule certainly was bendable since the food was good, so it's a justiable basis.

STAR of the day was this, Beef Egg Rice. It was that good that's why we decided to come back to Taiwan Bull within 7 days. The egg was done so wet, my, I love it to bits, no joke. The stewed beef cubes mixed with the wet wet scramble eggs with plain steaming hot white rice, ah, makes me want to eat it right here right now as I'm typing this posting.

The other must-have for us was the XXL Crispy Chicken, and it must be dipped into the chili condiment next to it (though seen here it was a mount of black what-not). Between this and that offered by ShihLin, we prefer this because of the chili dip and that they cut this up into manageable pieces for easy popping into the mouth. I dise the stand ShihLin took on serving their chicken in such whole large piece with whatever reason they quoted. The best they can do was to tear the piece of chicken into two big piece, and that, made eating such a messy affair, yikes!

The unagi porridge was something new in Taiwan Bull's menu, such a big bowl of gruel at RM15.90. Good that we have tried it, but I feel their noodles and rice are more worth it, though prices had been revised upwards this year.

As for drinks, we ordered their Iced Honey Lemon which was quenching.

Monday's dinner

Another simple home-cooked dinner affair, rice and two dishes. I know this is common in a lot of homes so there's nothing much to shout about, but not in ours as we are not rice fans.

I topped the rice with 2 slices of hard-boiled eggs for added protein because I was afraid the minced meat in the potato dish won't be sufficient for dh.

For vegetables, I scalded the greens and carrots in fish broth, then haul them out from the hot soup. Poured some vegetarian oyster sauce atop the platter, add some pork floss and onion crisp for garnishing, and done, a complete meal.

Bento #055 100126

This was yesterday's bento, none for today because I woke up late because of the cough syrup.
Dh requested scones, but as it was deep within the chest freezer, I told him I will defrost them for today, but ah, the scones gonna be in tomorrow's bento since I didn't manage to get his bento done this morning. So much postponement, keeping fingers crossed he will get his scones bento tomorrow.

In this box were 3 mickey waffles which I pulled out from the freezer stash instead of the scones as they were more accessible. I lightly steam them in the morning to heat up, then leave them to cool so that they won't get soggy cramped into the bento.

These waffles will go with peanut butter and honey, which I packed in a separate container each in the lower right. Some cut strawberries and a tangerine in the top right small box complete with a green ladybird food pick, yet another of my-style bento.

I think this took mere about 10 minutes to pack.


There was a sudden downpour last evening, a rare thing in the past because as CNY approaches, the weather is more towards dry and hot. Of course I welcomed the cool respite, but it also meant that going out for our makan was a hassle. Ya, was kind of lazy to cook as I had just about 4 hours of sleep, plus one hour of siesta, so the total of 5 hours still insufficient to get my internal battery re-charged to the max.

But well, with a growling stomach, I quickly did a stir-fry udon with the different types of ingredients I can find in the chiller. Carrot strips, julienned yellow capsicum and some sweet green peas were some of those vegetables I used besides the slices of a whole onion and some garlic pips. I also hand-torn some grey and white oyster mushrooms into strips since I bought a pack of each during last week's grocery trip. As a source of protein, thin slices of p**k and an egg was used.

This was inspired by the stir-fried udon we had at Sakae Teppanyaki last month, and a deviation from what I normally do at home, which was wetter. This round, I didn't add any water, thus it kind of resembles fried noodle. While I had mine just like that, dh had to have the onion crisp as topping and ate his with some pickled green chili.
Thanks for the rain, I was 'forced' to cook and now able to blog about it. Lesson here is that there's always a silver lining to everything, so try to look out for that.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kim Gary of GP

We got a coupon and voucher to redeem at Kim Gary, so that made our dinner decision on Saturday a breeze. Since the coupon expires end of this month, if we don't redeem it by last weekend, we definitely have to do so by this Sunday, else it gets wasted.

So we went to check GP's Kim Gary outlet, and surprisingly the queue to get a table wasn't long at all. It was helped by the fact that the family ahead of us decided to dine somewhere else, thus we were shown our table almost immediately.

This Popcorn Chicken was FREE, thanks to the coupon. Served piping hot out of the kitchen, they were fragrant but could do with less salt. Hope someone from that restaurant reads this, so that they can improve on it, haha.

My Baked Seafood Rice with Unagi and Abalone at RM16.90. This plate came with one piece of mussel, a single lone idako (the illustration photo showed a pair), 3 thin slices of abalone and a not-so-big piece of unagi. I opted for the New Zealand Cheese white sauce that came with some corn nibs over the other Double Cheese choice.

Good till the last rain, but the photo didn't do it any justice, my bad. Dh's choice was equally awesome, the hot plate ribs. There were 4 short ribs, very tender and went pretty well with the garlic sauce. One thing good about Kim Gary is the numerous choices one can go for, be if for their food downright till the sauces. Kudos to them to give the customers a say in how they like their food to be paired with what type of sauce rather than offering standard fare. The sides were some potato wedges, half a corn-on-cob, half a tomato on a small bed of cabbage shreds plus a broccoli floret. This hot plate was part of a set that came with a soup, drink and dessert, all for the price of RM28.90.

Nice warm food in the freezing cold mall, nothing beats that.

Double Chocolate (Chocolate Chip) Muffins

Just look at these "black" beauties, standing so tall with the dome-top, ain't it eye-catching?
All thanks to the wonders of the internet, the recipe was shared in the cyberspace at 4.12pm, and barely less than 24 hours later, it found its way to my home, not to mention, it reached my tummy as well.
Ya, I wrote that the recipe gave me 9 pieces, but if you count those in this photo, there's one missing, so you do the math.

Credit also goes to a dear friend for the chat this morning that spurred the both of us to bake this simultaneously, though at different parts of the world within the same time zone. It was so fun as we kept each other posted as to our progress. Certainly we can do more of such easy recipe, that was our common understanding after enjoying this project, which I hope, is the first of more to come.

Thank you Peony for sharing so generously, this photo is dedicated to you!!

250g all-purpose flour *
4 tablespoons cocoa powder*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
170g soft brown sugar *
150g semisweet chocolate chips, plus extras for sprinkling
240ml UHT low fat milk
80ml vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon chocolate emulco*

Those items in asterisk(*) denotes those that I altered from the original recipe posted by Peony. Not major changes, more like substitution.

Let me elaborate here:
Original recipe was in cup measurement, but I converted it to metric system to go by weight. Just a matter of preference, I guess.
1 3/4 cup of flour was equivalent to about 270g, but I reduced it to 250g and the difference of 20g was topped up using cocoa powder.
Thus, the initial 2 tbsp of cocoa powder called for was now 4 tbsp because of that.
Whereas the 3/4 cup of castor sugar would be 170g if using the weighing machine, so since I normally use soft brown sugar in my bakes, I maintained the same weight, just a different type of sugar.
I'm not too fond of vanilla essence, so I opted for chocolate emulco. As this was thicker, so I halved the portion to use only 1/2 tsp.

Temperature: 200 degree Celcius
Bake time: 20 minutes per tray
Yield: 9 jumbo muffins

I sprinkled different stuff on top before baking for variety, ranging from raisins (pre-soaked in hot water to plump up), cranberries (same treatment as raisins), walnuts, chocolate chips and peanut butter as swirl.

Sweetness was just nice for me, right decision to stick with the same amount of sugar but increasing the cocoa powder as I wanted a more chocolatey muffin. Initial idea was to reduce sugar and stick with the cocoa powder amount.

Click here to see what my "partner-in-crime" churned out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bento #054 100124

Since it was quite a dull bento, and an almost repeat of Bento #51, I "decorated" this bento with a nice frame. A girly frame with bright flowers as this bento was for myself, how apt, right?

It certainly helped to add colours to this predominantly brown bento, simply adorable!!!

Bento #053 100124

Ya, I know I said I framed up the 50th bento photo to mark the occassions, but but but..I'm still beautifying the rest. Let's just say I got addicted to the fanciful online tools since they were so irresistable, no harm done other than time factor. Well, it made me happy, so why not?!?

This was also a non-conventional bento. All the items were store-bought, starting from the cheapo fried beehoon complete with the crispy beancurd sticks and vinegar-ed green chili, to the chicken breast with tomato gravy downright to the ikan bilis and peanuts dish. Oh, not 100% store-bought also, I cooked the wet scrambled egg in the middle of the right compartment.

I think the food in this box cost about RM4 or so, made up of
RM1.40 for the char beehoon
RM2.00 for the side dishes
RM0.50 for the 1.5 egg omelette (1.5 because I used 3 eggs divided among the two of us)
RM0.10 for the green coral
That was dh's dinner last night, bought on the way home to our own abode.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies by Merba

We wanted to try the cookie some time back, but didn't till now because at that time, the check-out queue was extremely long at Jaya Jusco. Think it must have been one of those Sale day around Christmas period.

Lucky also we didn't buy that then because we found it sold cheaper at GP's Cold Storage. It was not a mere few cents of difference, it was a few ringgit, so we just decided to grab it then.

Definitely worth the price-tag, each cookie (total of 8 pieces per pack @ RM10.99) had generous amount of both white chocolate and cranberry. I know it was still expensive by local standard, but keep in mind the escalating fuel price to take into account that this was imported, I didn't mind savouring this. But the main eater wasn't me, it's the bread-winner of the family, all I did was just a small bite for taste and verdict.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

OTK's Sweet & Sour Chicken Rice

OTK here is Old Town Kopitiam and not that MCA guy, ok? Had this on Thursday night when we went to shop at Aeon Seberang Prai City. We kind of ran out of places to eat at that shopping centre, so most of the time we ended up at this same old eatery. We also almost exhausted all the items in their menu, so this Sweet and Sour Chicken Rice was the only one left that we have yet to try. This was part of their My Dinner Set, think there were about 6 choices for patrons to choose from, each came with a drink and dessert.

The chicken portion was a lot for the price of this set was RM11.90. It wasn't spicy at all, knowing how at times, sweet and sour chicken can have a tinge of chili in the sauce. The chicken pieces, canned pineapple cubes, cucumber bits and onion pieces intermingled in the sauce, went very well with the rice and egg. It was a balanced platter with all the elements of the food pyramid in it, only thing was that I find the sauce on the sour side, a splash too much vinegar if I may say so. Other than that, I'm a happy customer.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bento #052 100122

To mark my 50th bento, I decided to beautify it by 'framing' it. In other words, I just want to have FUN, and I tried to disguise it.

This bento is essentially the same as the previous one, other than being smaller in portion coz it was mine. I added 2 whole mini tangerines in the small triangular compartment and inserted some fancy picks into the core. It looked like a tortoise conquering the globe or was it the orange sun? While on the other hand, the blur sotong was looking out for this tortoise friend of his.

The goma dressing was in the blue car-shaped container sharing the same compartment as the mixed salad.

Bento #051 100122

Decided to do a bento at the spur of the moment for two reasons:
Firstly, I can prepare the salad in advance and place that in the bento which was in turn, kept in the refrigerator to be chilled.
Secondly, more environmentally friendly with less washing up to do as compared to transferring the salad from to a plate for consumption.

Salad was a mixture of whatever vegetables I had in store, namely Red Coral, Green Coral, cherry tomato, "traffic-light" capsicums and tangerine. I just rinsed and cut them into bite-size before tossing together. Goma dressing was added before tucking in.

On the side smaller compartment were 2 German sausages from Jaya Jusco the night earlier, think the lighter coloured one was mushroom cheese while the other was cheese flavoured. I used the word 'think' in the above line because the packet wasn't labelled, so it was a guessing game for us. Since the store was closing, it was on clearance at 30% off with just a general label. I slashed some criss-cross on them before lightly pan-frying to heat them up. Too lazy to switch on the ovenette, and using the pan was much faster.

I love the assortment of colours in this easy fuss-free bento, my style of lazy bento. *wink*

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bento #050 100121

Yoohoo, finally I tried my hands on making the next star of the year, Tiger the Jungle Cat. I used one end of a wholemeal sausage bun as the base and cut a slit horizontally at the top to insert the ears. Those round discs used for both the ears and the nose piece were thin wafers detached from those flowers used for decorating cakes or chinese dishes at restaurants. I had to resort to that because in our household, quail's egg is a rare commodity.

The rest of the details were done using nori, and oh, those orange cheeks were orange-flavoured chocolate chips. This little piece of bun itself took me like a whole 15 minutes to complete as I had to decide on the appropriate puncher to get the suitable-sized round cutouts for the eyes and nose. The mouth was part of a ship anchor design which I nibbed off the top. The rest of the strips for whiskers and etc were done free-hand.

Top left blue container contained 3 pieces of chicken nuggets, then to the right were 5 pieces of mini hash browns stacked together. In the lower left beige container I arranged 6 red plum tomatoes, then 2 yellow cherry tomatoes in the middle and a mini tangerine separated into segments to fill the gaps.

The above looked kind of plain to me, so I appointed some jungle friends to keep the Tiger company, let me introduce the mini tiger cub flanked by 2 of his bear buddies. The made a whole world of difference in brightening this bento, don't you think so too?
As I felt this kyaraben might not be substantial enough for dh, I packed an English Fruitcake as snack, courtesy of Starbucks. The oval container has the combination of sauces for those deep-fried items.
This might conclude the bento making for this week, as dh might be taking a day off tomorrow. But shall see if I might end up doing bento for other meals of the day then.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bento #049 100120

This is the first bento for the week despite today being mid-week, in other words, I had been slacking for the past two days. Blame it on the serious bout of flu and the whole package which includes running nose and cough. Lucky the illness is almost gone, only left with a bit of cough. Hope I would be able to kick the irritating cough away soon.

In this bento were 2 sandwiches. I spread them with sambal udang paste before topping with red coral and green coral each, then two pieces of omelette which I cut using my metal flutted cutter. I had initially fried an omelette using 2 eggs in a medium pan, then fold that omelette into quarters before cutting into 4 circles. The balance bits and pieces of the omelette I hid under the silicon cups of sweet tangerines and plum tomatoes. It helps to elevate the cups as well, how useful.

To the far right were 2 packs of sauces, one of tomato and another of chili for the sandwiches. Oh, forgot to mention the two cuties 'poking' out of the sandwiches to hold the bread and its fillings in place.

By the way, this is another new bento box that I just bought on Monday. It is the navy blue colour one I mentioned for men's collection. Couldn't resist parting with my RM5 as I got bored using the brown-cover one for almost the whole of last week. I know, that's just a blatant excuse, whatodo?!?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fig Soup

Had been running out of ideas what soup to cook, so a quick browse through my collection of cookbooks, I came across this interesting photo. It uses dried figs, something which I haven't tried in my kitchen. A very simple recipe with the minimal list of ingredients, namely dried figs, pork ribs and water, plus salt to taste. Exactly what a lazy cook like me was looking for, but dilemma was that I need to stock up on the dried figs to continue.

Arrgh, I'm not one who would dash out to get something under the hot sun, unless it is really really a dire need. Thus, this recipe was shelved till I went to the sundry chinese medicinal shop one fine day to get a few other things. Lucky the bell in my head reminded me to get some dried figs, and I bought the least that shop would sell, though it was still too much for me. Shall find out how to use up the rest of the dried figs, or if I liked this soup, can still cook it again.

Can't remember how much that packet of dried figs cost, think either RM1 or RM2. I bought some other herbs and as the shopkeeper didn't issue a receipt, I didn't have any record after paying her the total. Well, don't sweat the small stuff, afterall it's just for my own memory, no big issue.

All that was needed to be done for this soup was the usual step of scalding the ribs to rid the scums first, then in a pot half-filled with water, add the ribs and dried figs once water was at a rolling boil. Bring the whole pot to simmer at low fire till ribs are tender and soup is ready. Couldn't be any easier, right?

Verdict? This soup is mildly sweet, thanks to the dried figs. This dried ingredient also lent the soup a brownish tint but other than that, there's no strong aroma. Very good clear soup that I don't mind an encore.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Queen's at Queensbay Mall, Penang

The new makan place to be added to Queensbay Mall located at the third floor, same level as that of the Golden Screen Cinema and the Skating Arena. We welcome this new addition to the list of places for food scouting while at that mall, simply because we had kind of exhausted all the eateries there and on the verge of getting bored.

Not sure when exactly was their opening date, my guess would be around December because there was one period during that month that we were away for holidays, and when we returned to jalan-jalan at that mall after our getaway, we saw streamers announcing this place.

The place looks clean to us so far, as compared to the Arena Foodcourt operated by Jusco which had been around since the mall opened its door, think back in 2006. So it might be because this Queen's is new, that's why the hygiene level is still high. Let's hope that they keep it this way, fingers crossed.

They got quite a number of interesting stalls offering franchised items such as John King's Tarts and this one below called "I Love Yoo!" selling you-tiao, thus the cleverly coined name. As I've tried the tarts before at Gurney Plaza, the focus this time is the cruellers. There were quite a few varieties of the deep-fried dough, each priced at RM1.40. The few of theirs I've tasted so far, namely the long cruellers, the shorter sweet version called ma-jiao (also known as butterfly) and the one with glutinuous rice were so-so to me. Nothing great to shout about, I can get better valued ones from the streets for half that price and crispier one as well. But kudos to them for bringing this snack to the mall, at least I can get them in an air-cond environment, haha. They do have other stuffs like soya milk and soya bean curd plus smooth congee to go with the you-tiao. The soya bean curd is really smooth, thumbs up!!! So silky that it just glides down the throat.

As for congee, they got 2 versions on their menu, but both my visits to Queen's two weekends in a row, they only served one type, which was the Dried Scallop Congee. I wanted to try their Dried Oyster and Peanut congee, but no luck thus far. Shall try to check it out again when I'm there next. The cruellers were great to go with the congee, or one can opt to dunk them in hot soya milk.

Dh had the Nyonya Rice set from another stall called Pandan Rice with Chicken Curry Kapitan. This platter came with joo-hoo-char and a bowl of their assam pedas soup. The rice was greenish in colour and very fragrant, same goes for the curry, very flavourful. The assam pedas was done just right as well.

We ordered a Choon Piah as sides from the same nyonya stall, and this was also didn't fail us. The dipping sauce was authentic, at least it's not some common chili sauce.

This was how the stalls look like. I like the way the place was decorated, especially the metal door that partitioned each stall, brought back fond memories of our old place with had the very same metal 'sliding' door.

On a side note, we had almost similar food during our second visit to Queen's, but that visit was with inlaws, so no photos taken. We tried more food as there were more folks around, but I shall only reserve my comment on those of ours. I tried the Assam Pedas Fish with noodles, that was such an anti-climax. For the price that they charge at RM5.90, all that was in that bowl was one tiny Ikan Kembong and some fish balls. We also tried the lobak from this Nyonya Stall, also of poor quality. Shall stick to their Rice set and choon piah then if we patronise their stall again.
Dh ordered the Nasi Ayam Periuk Besar (Big Pot Chicken Rice) and this was quite yummy. They got something crispy on the sides to go with the rice, can't tell exactly what are they, but I know for sure it's deep-fried because it was oily. The chicken rice set was RM7.90, came with a bowl of clear soup.
So that concludes both my visits to Queens.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

KhunThai Village

Finally managed to pay this place a visit after reading quite a fair amount of review on it. Interesting place with equally, if not more, interesting food.

This restaurant, KhunThai Village, was decorated with an old charm. Just take a glimpse at this old 'oil' lamp, which had been upgraded to one using light bulb instead while still retaining the metal body. Ain't it lovely?

Same goes for this item on display, I think it was a bullock cart that had seen better days of the olden times.
The sauces that accompanied our food, on the left was sambal to go with our Belachan Fried Rice. On the right was the restaurant's own-made thai chili sauce, it will give those commercially produced bottles a run for their money. The chunk of garlic and chili minced together plus the syrupy liquid made this sauce full of oomph!
Our plate of Belachan Fried Rice, something which I saw almost all bloggers who wrote about this place ordered. I especially love the huge chunks of meat atop this, don't really know how to describe this other than one word - YUMMY! And with the price of RM5 for this, definitely worth the moolah, right?
What's Thai food without tomyam, right? I like the fact that this was served with a few pieces of burning charcoal to keep the soup warm (or hot, depending on the speed this was consumed) till the last drop.
This Seafood Tomyam that we had came with a mixture of products from the sea, mainly prawns, squid and pieces of catfish. I think RM18 was a reasonable price for this because there were really lots and lots of stuff swimming in this spicy broth.

Next came a dish called Nameless Chicken, which was small pieces deep-fried till crispy and small bits of onion can be spotted as well. This was very fragrant and good when eaten hot, but like all deep-fried items, once cold they turned soggy and oily.
This Steamed seashells were great tasting, the sourish spicy gravy went very well with the abunance of garlic and coriander. As we were there quite late, they ran out of some seashells, so we had to settle for this instead, called Kempar.

Choice of 2 seatings at this spacious restaurant, the big table with shades or in individual huts made from bamboo just like last photo. Just remember to slap on some insect repellent to ward off those mosquities. Unless one is prepared to donate blog to the Mozzie Bank.

Overall, I simply fall in love for this place, so next round, I might try to go for lunch in order to avoid those pesky insects.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Baked Mushroom Fried Rice

Another lazy meal for the lazier soul, hahah..
Introducing the Baked Mushroom Fried Rice.
I pre-fried the rice with shredded chicken, corn niblets and mushroom first because all of them were kept in the fridge. By adding the stir-frying step, I was able to evenly mix all together and bring out their aroma as compared to only mixing them straight from the fridge.

I also brought the mushroom soup leftover to a boil first before pouring this over the mixed rice. Topped the whole caserole with grated cheddar cheese, I sent it into the oven to bake for about 20 minutes to brown the surface.

That's my easy weekday meals. For weekends, it would mostly be eat out.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Shanghai Rice Cake

Cooked this for Wednesday's dinner, which I had pre-soaked the day earlier. As my fridge was full, I soaked a quarter of the pack of the Shanghai Rice Cake at room temperature and change water frequently, like say every 5 hours till it was soft. Alternatively it can be soaked in water and kept in the refridgerator, of course that would take a longer time considering the lower tempterature.

I just stir-fried it with whatever I have in my cold storage, and mushroom was it. Also some shredded chicken breast from a whole roasted chicken bought earlier during the week from the freezer stash.

Oh, and I made this black pepper flavour to entice dh, else I know it won't appeal to him and I would have to finish all of it by myself. Over-eating is not something I fancy.

Bento #048 100115

So happy managed to finish off the loaf of Coffee Swirl Sandwich Bread with the last two pieces in this bento. Just nice, since today is Friday and we won't be home during the weekends.

Also had some bananas to clear, I combined them both to do the below. As usual, I spread peanut butter on the bread before rolling it with the banana cut at a slant. Oh, I rub the cut surface of the banana with some lemon juice to prevent oxidation.

Accompanying the banana bread rolls was a Rose Apple cut into quarters. I dressed up only 2 of them just for the fun of it. An attempt at kyaraben, I guess. Not sure if I pass? Would wait for dh's verdict this evening when he returns. For sure I had fun toying with those cheese cutouts, nori cutouts and chocolate chips. Yup, you heard me right, I used chocolate chips for those cheeks, think if not mistaken, they were orange flavoured and strawberry flavoured.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Counting down to Chinese New Year 2010

Another four weeks, the Chinese New Year will be dawning upon us. For this new lunar calendar which is going to be the Year of the Metal Tiger, the first day of cny will coincide with Valentine's Day as well. I wonder how eateries are going to cope with this double celebrations, are they going to open for business to bang on the V-day revenue or close for the day like previous years.

Too early to tell, shall adopt the wait-and-see attitude then. In the mean time, let me change my blog theme in conjunction with the approach of cny. What better colour than bright red, as hokkien called it "ang ang" to usher in the roaring year ahead. Cheerios!!

Bento #047 100114

Another simple bento using the Coffee Swirl Sandwich Bread,
this time, I lightly steamed them first.
As it was turning kind of dry, I know that if I were to roll them,
surely they would crack.
The steaming did the trick and the bread was able to roll nicely.
I spread PB on them before rolling so that it would act as 'glue' to stay intact.
Top left container were 4 strawberries,
while the right receptacle were yellow cherry tomatoes.
This was done impressively fast since it was mere assembling.
Took me about 7 minutes in total because
while the bread was in the steamer,
I got the fruits and vegetables ready.
Once the bread was done in the 'sauna',
I just need to trim the sides and half them.
Spread the peanut butter
then get rolling.
Arrange in the bento box and top with some foodpicks, voila!
Note to self: Better to trim the bread before steaming,
easier that way because the bread
won't be too soft and too hot to handle.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chili's at Gurney Plaza

Three days ago, on a beautiful Sunday, we joined the G Club for their monthly ride from G Hotel to Teluk Bahang roundabout. Our first time joining them on that route, but certainly not our first when it comes to events organised by them. It was a good work out to be on the saddle again, this time for a longer ride and hopefully I will be able to make a come back on my two-wheeler. One way took us about 60 minutes, but coming back was longer because my energy level was low and I was simply exhausted.

So starting sharp at 7.30am, we got back at about 10.00am, inclusive of a 20 minutes break for a drink plus regrouping once. Most of those 70 pax who joined that day proceeded to ride up Teluk Bahang Dam but we gave that a miss, don't want to end up too tired and not able to ride back. Shall ride that another day.

Beside G Hotel was Gurney Plaza, so we just had our brunch there after lightly freshening up ourselves. Irony right, rode so much to dispense the calories to end up consuming so much to top the reserves back, hahah.. Only consolation was that we only had two meals that day, brunch and a late dinner.

We started off with Triple Play as starters which came with their signature Chicken Crispers, which is a term copyrighted by them. The tender chicken breast was still juicy despite being battered and deep-fried. This, I give them 10 full points, it was that awesome.
There were some Wings Over Buffalo, in layman terms, that's buffalo wings lah using chicken drumettes. The other player in this plate was the Southwestern Eggrolls, also a delicious creation. The eggrolls were crispy on the outside with generous fillings of beans and cheese within. These three items came with 3 sauces as dips, not to mention the celery stick to clear off the greasiness. Certainly an item worth the while.

We also tried their soup of the day, in a cup. This Beef Rib Soup was quite watery compared to the one shown in the menu, but taste wise, the flavour is full-bodied. Came served with 2 crackers instead of the common garlic bread at other eateries.

Three pieces of warm tortilla and the accompaniments for our Mushroom Jack fajitas, the star of the day. A mixture of 2 cheeses, salsas, sour cream and guacamole to be rolled together in the warm bread.

Our combo Mushroom Jack, simply love it to bits till the last piece. Too good to describe perfectly in words, and also to stop myself from salivating now as I type, I shall let the photo do the talking.

All paid for using these complimentary vouchers, err, actually not all. We only used 4 of them because the total came to about RM93 after plus plus, so the balance we paid by cash.