A Dedication Video To My Daughter On Her 21st Birthday

She has finally grown up. Just yesterday she was in my arms, such tiny little bundle of 2.2kg.

Be well my Daughter and remember you climb the mountain because it is there. Remember that we will always love you.

Be The Best of Whatever You Are
by Douglas Malloch

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill Be a scrub in the valley–but be The best little scrub by the side of the rill; Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass, And some highway some happier make; If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass– But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew, There’s something for all of us here. There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do, And the task we must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail, If you can’t be the sun be a star; It isn’t by size that you win or you fail– Be the best of whatever you are!

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Home Made Vanilla Ice Cream

This was my first attempt at making home made vanilla ice cream. I have no ice cream making machine but had seen a few of my friends make them. I didnt want anything too sweet or using too much sweetener as some recipes called for condensed milk. I wanted to use either the gorgeous organic vanilla pods I have or the extract and make comparison in terms of taste.

Thanks to my friend, Ally who is a foodie too, she gave me her own recipe. I have somewhat cut down on the amount of sugar and egg yolks. The sugar was organic brown sugar and organic eggs.

As I waited for the ice cream set to set in the freezer, I could not resist but to scoop out a couple of spoons of the almost frozen ice cream. It was so delicious, aromatic and gorgeous!

Awesome.

Beautiful Preserved Lemon

I love lemons. They have beautiful, happy colour and smells great! Tastes good if you have the right amount of lemon juice for lemonade and they make great flavour enhancement when grated onto food.

 

I make my own preserved lemons which in turn will be used in my Mediterranean style dishes, or tomato based pasta. Thinly sliced preserved lemons make great, refreshing flavour when added in salad.

This batch was made with love about 3 weeks ago. I have used the first few slices a few days ago in my spaghetti bolognese and today a few slices were added in my kerabu perut (cow’s intestine salad….)

 

There. The kerabu perut is the dish on the right hand side. It isnt that disgusting as it sound. Really! It is basically cow’s intestine, cleaned properly and boiled for hours to soften it. The cooked intestine is then cooled before being sliced thinly. Other ingredients include minced garlic, sliced Bombay onions, chopped mint and coriander leaves, a small amount of pounded bird’s eyes chili, a few dash of fish sauce, salt and sugar to balance off the taste. In addition to this, I have added grated ginger, pureed torch ginger and slivers of preserved lemon.

It was a burst of texture and flavour in the mouth. Sweet, sour, salty, spicy….Beautiful.

Hot Shots

I am always on a lookout for a good coffee place. Sometimes you might end up with a nice place with good food but the coffee sucks. The beans are over roasted or the taste is flat that you lost the top note just when it passes your lips…in some places, they do not check on their milk when making latte. I have had some bad experiences with mild food poisoning due to milk gone bad.

A new coffee place was recently found in Solaris Dutamas. Aptly named Hot-Shots, this small of a wonder gem has a simple set up with a minimalist deco and coffee machines both for home and food service lining up one side of the wall. Beautifully, sexy, shiny machines from Spain and Italy (errr…yes, I tend to get really emotional when talking about machines like these….) looked inviting enough for you to look at them closer. There is a long utilitarian looking table in the middle of the place with high stools lining it up. However, this set up is fantastic for that coffee-moment, sipping your latte and admiring the sexy machines….Menu in Hot-Shots is rather limited. There are perhaps about 4-5 items including a sandwich.

Highly recommended and reasonably priced coffee. The coffee, IMHO, tastes much better than “the coffee place” where George likes his coffee.

Hot-Shots is located at A2-UG1-07, Solaris Dutamas.

One Of Them Trips To Historical Melaka (Post Holiday)

Our room has a balcony with sunlight and shielded away from the noises of the busy street by green plants and tall bamboo trees. Pretty. Check out Pergola Hotel, Melaka.

Part of the alleyways of the famous Jonker Street.

Moi with the famous Malaccan artist, TiTi at his gallery in Jonker Street. We always stop by at his place each time we visit Melaka. He is well known for his contemporary art pieces. I so love his “Cat” series, a series of ink on paper depicting cats of various sizes and positions. A few pieces of his artwork adorned our walls and display cabinets.

A must visit – the Limau Limau Cafe in Hang Jebat Street. Very artsy cafe with old chandeliers adorning the ceiling. Serves simple, hearty meals with good coffee. Funky wall decor, warm and cosy. Owner is a cat lover and a rescuer too, hence the kitty pictures framed prettily on the wall.  

Can’t resist taking picture of this old-school bicycle. Reminds me of an uncle who used to work as a sawmill guard for years. The mill was a good 20 miles and he cycled to work on a similar bicycle like this. His tiffin carrier snugly placed at the back of the seat. My uncle worked for many years with the mill, hardly missing a single working day, ever.

George chilling by the Melaka river. Way behind him is the old water mill.

Vegetarian Food That Actually Tastes Great!

We have been most impressed with the meals we had so far with Secret Recipe’s latest outlet in Tropicana City Mall. It is an all-vegetarian menu with enough bite to satisfy any cravings for a good meal especially if you are not a vegetarian. The servings are generous, delicious and even the spicy dishes are spicy enough for my liking. We had been there at least a few times and have tried out several dishes.

Today George decided to have his pizza again. It was cheesy enough but he craved for a slightly tomatoey taste which is usually associated with a tomato  based pizza. It was good though. The “meat” was actually dried mushroom.

My meal was delicious. I ordered sambal assam ikan (assam fish) with petai and brinjal.  The “fish” was made from taufoo fashioned into sliced mackerel complete with the dark skin of the fish. It was spicy and sour enough to tickle my tastebud. The taste of torch ginger was strong enough. A beautiful dish that I ate with a serving of brown rice.

More Of The Kids @ Home

This is Athena (as in Athena The Goddess Of Wisdom, war, the arts, industry and skill. The favourite daughter of Zeus The Greek God. Ok, ahem, it is a bit of an over kill here…hehe)

Her usual script when she comes back home sounds like this, ” Meow”. (Mom? I’m hungry. Is there food?”). Or, like this, “Meow, meow”. (Love me, love me). A true blue street cat with an ability to follow me whenever I go for my walk around the housing area like a little puppy without missing a single step, and a leash.

One of the seniors, Bubble. Favourite quote of the day from Bubs- “Meorrrrwww….!” (Dont touch me!)

Prince, the kitty who adopted us. Does not meow, only squawks like a bird. A prime example what a kitty may look like if they have enough food and sleep – a 6kg heavyweight. Dont ever let him jump on your chest or you wont be able to breath afterwards.

Rexton The House Diva. The most senior in the house, 12 years old and going strong.

Uncle Kucing, the guardian of the house and my body guard when I step out from the gate. Even counter attack two dogs when they chased me one night. One of the cats that got into the dragnet in Petkode’s case. Amazingly fearless boy with the most lovable tender heart towards the younger kids. The companion to Athena when they are out to protect me taking our garbage or cleaning the pathway outside. It must be a big, bad world out there…

Sandy aka San. Look at that pink nose….a rescued kitty from the foodcourt in Uptown Damansara Utama. One night, Lyn brought home a tiny kitten that was so skinny, full of fleas and full of traces of new and old cigarette burns. Too pitiful. But that was 3 years ago. She’s a good kid and pretty.

 

Zeus lazing at one of his favourite spots. The other spot is next to his food bowl where on any good time of the day you can see him stuffing his face in. Mama’s boy.

I Remember

As we lay quietly in bed enjoying the quiet coolness of the darkened room, I could hear the windchimes which were hanging in the garden chiming ever, so gently. There were the sound of rustling leaves and we could see the flash of lightnings behind the closed curtain.

I told George that that evening reminded me of my childhood days when sometimes the family would spent the nights in the wooden made “pondong” (a small hut)  in the middle of the big paddy fields belonging to my grandparents. The pondong is usually built on a small raised earth usually planted with herbs or fruit trees around it. Due to its small size, you cook outside of the pondong and sometimes the amber will still burn throughout the night that you could smell it from the inside.

I could hear crickets, birds of the night, the gentle rustling of paddies in the fields and sometimes frogs croaking. In between the wooden planks and the zinc roof, I saw the jewels of the night – beautiful, crystal clear moon and bright stars across the night sky. Such beautiful memories.

Recipe For Green Pea Shooter And Tiger Prawn

I really liked the green pea shooter with tiger prawn which was featured in my recent blog that it makes me hunt down for its recipe.

Found a few interesting one on the net but think this one looks promising enough to yield similar result to the one I had. Called Chilled Green Pea Soup Shooters, it doesn’t feature the tiger prawn but I supposed you can always lightly grilled one and stuck it on the shooter glass.

Here’s the recipe:

Chill shot glasses or espresso cups in the freezer until icy cold.

Ingredients

• 1 bag (1 lb) frozen green peas, thawed
• 1 cup vegetable broth
• 2 scallions cut into 1-in. pieces
• ¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves
• ? cup crème fraîche or sour cream
• ½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
• Small dollops crème fraîche or sour cream and small mint leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions

In a blender, puree peas, broth, scallions and mint until very smooth. Scrape the mixture with a rubber spatula through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl; discard the pulp in the sieve.

Whisk in the crème fraîche, salt and pepper until smooth. Refrigerate soup until cold (can be made up to one day ahead and refrigerated).

To serve, fill cold shot glasses or espresso cups with soup, about ¼ cup per glass. Garnish each with a tiny dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream, and a small mint leaf, if desired.

This recipe was from www.elledecor.com