21 Feb 2012

hello breakfast

It seems I have made a rather flat looking smoothie. It's okay, I've already been told they look more like milk than a smoothie. Thrice, in fact. If there were bubbles, it would probably look like I blew them in my milk. Very much like a child if they were given a straw or two at breakfast. Here's another smoothie recipe, just in case banana doesn't rock your boat. I have yet to try combine the two together! Perhaps in the near future. 

18 Feb 2012

this one's a keeper!

Lalarhs* requested to come over to study the properties of a cake in the making (and most importantly taste the experiment!). I selected a simple butter cake; a recipe given to me by one of my grandma's good friends that has been used for many years. The piece of lined paper ripped out from an old exercise book is gradually becoming more yellow each year, but the black ink is ever so strong.

It is certainly not a sophisticated cake and I am sure every household has their own version of butter cake. But perhaps adding a little something and a light dusting of icing sugar can make it a wee bit special. The one we made had the rind and juice of a lemon, lime and orange. And just because I had some poppy seeds, in went one heaped tablespoon. 

Another tried an tested variation is to finely ground one tablespoon of your favourite loose leaf tea (Assam for me) into powder and fold in with the sifted flour and powder. Mrs. Roddick and I took turns grinding the leaves in a pestle and mortar late last year. It took us a while, but it was well worth it. Serve with ice cream!

*P.S. If you are reading, thanks for stopping to eat to be my free hand model! (・ω・)

9 Feb 2012

did you make a wish?

Earlier in the week, a little celebratory lunch with Leia. It was supposed to be for her graduating and admission into university, but we were busy year end and I was overseas during January. A simple full course lunch was postponed until her birthday week.

I was actually kind of worried when she told me she was not really into eating sweet food. But what is a birthday without a cake? In the end we still wanted cake. I made a basic strawberry shortcake with honey whipped cream. I tried to make it like the ones we were used to seeing in manga and anime but my frosting still needs a lot more improvement! I asked her to bring her beloved Fiddy earlier and after she gave him a bath, we completed it with a generic "happy birthday" sign and a blue candle.

A series of dialogue before we lit and cut the cake. 

Leia: Are you going to light the candle because I'm scared of lighting matches.
Grub: Hahaha, I was going to ask you to do it!

Leia: *blows candle out*
Grub: Did you make a wish?
Leia: Umm...no? (´・ω・`)
Grub: *lights candle again* DO IT AGAIN!! (`Д´)9

I'm glad she was able to eat it and even asked more more!
I hope you have a great birthday my friend! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

6 Feb 2012


Here are the rest of the photos taken over the last two weeks during my stay in Malaysia. The majority of the photos are from our family road trip to Penang with a few from elsewhere. During our stay in Penang, we drove pass most of the heritage buildings in George Town, rode up Penang Hill and went "temple hopping" (see notes under). We also went on a buggy ride around Penang's Botanic Gardens and a nursery that sold carnivorous plants. We thought the hawker food in Penang were smaller portioned and less spicy compared to KL.

My favourite place in Penang was definitely the snake and reptile farm (they had other animals too) in Chor Soo Kong Temple. The man in charge was a happy chap and taught us a lot about snakes. The way he trained his monkeys were cool too. Another was the nursery garden! This was not a tourist place but the gardener brought us around the back to look at the seedlings, myriad types of monkey cups and venus fly traps. He very passionate and had the patience to explain about the plants even though we were not intending to buy anything - I admire people like him.

① Part of Grandma's garden

②→③ A noodle store in Ipoh

④→⑥ Snake and reptile farm in Chor Soo Kong Temple (Snake Temple)
⑦→⑨ Thai Buddhist Temple (the one with the reclining Buddha)
⑩→⑫ Restaurant; you get to choose how you want them to cook your seafood next door
⑬→⑮ Apom manis; sides were crispy, the white bits were soft and spongy
⑯ Lanterns at Kek Lok Si Temple
⑰→⑲ Penang Hill
⑳→㉑ Hawker centre in Penang. I had Ipoh chicken and bean shoot rice (haha)
㉒→㉔ Nursery (This was next to a batik shop and near Taman Kebun Bunga)
Taman Kebun Bunga (Penang Botanic Gardens)
㉖→㉙ Hawker centre by the seaside
㉚ View from the serviced apartment
㉛→㉞ Breakfast at the hawker centre. I had an awesome bun from a food truck. Meat floss wrapped in an egg omelette with long yuk sauce in a warm soft bun

㊱→㊲ Sate eating in Kajang. Since when was the rice in plastic pockets?!

㊳ One of the many home cooked CNY meals (and my favourite Hakka kau yuk, I only like the taro though)

2 Feb 2012

tell her i made cake

I can't believe how fast the first month of the year passed by! One evening I was sipping teh ais and eating sate ayam in a mamak store in Kajang and the next thing you know, I was plane bound back to my humble abode.

After figuring out where things were located in my grandma's kitchen (sugar and flour were under her gardening hat!), I found myself in a pickle when I went home to mine. I must have walked in and out of the pantry quite a few times just to find some flour!

She acquired one of those fancy thermomixers and used it like a blender for her lui cha (blends faster she says). Following the recipe book, I started making batches of steamed buns and lemonade. I made stir fry ginger garlic chicken too, but we thought that stir frying it with a wok would be more efficient and tasty. Too many things to wash too.

Before flying there, I asked if she could teach me how to make a sponge cake after my many failures (really!). In the end we ended up consulting the thermomix recipe book and taught me the correct technique to fold the flour in. The sponge rose a great deal in the oven, but we came to a conclusion that it was rather dry. It was time to look for a different recipe.

The recipe which I currently use can be found on this blog post.