Monday, 25 May 2009

Will be away

For the next few weeks.

See ya in a bit.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Sorry la

Very busy these days. I'm still cooking but my camera run out of battery a few days ago and I can't find the charger anyway ;)

Life:
Projects
Presentations
Dinners with friends
Balls (2 balls within 2.5 weeks of each other..uck.. have to buy dress. Shopping is a pain when you're a flat-chested Asian girl).
Work
Birthday (what shall I do for my birthday?)
Exams (I am so dead.)

Bye

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Dinner

yesterday:

Steak (garlic and mushroom sauce), tomato paprika potatos and salad with yoghurt dressing



tonight:

Pasta with aubergines

Monday, 11 May 2009

What A Bloody Waste



They look quite nice, don't they? I can tell you first-hand, they don't taste good. They're not BAD (you can actually eat them) but they do not make you feel happy. I didn't think "WOW", I didn't even think "hey, this isn't bad". I just thought "BLAH, BORING..All the fuss for NOTHING?".

This recipe is pretty famous as it combines elements from famous chocolate chip recipes. It's said to be the perfect chocolate chip cookie around. I beg to differ. I even aged the dough according to the recipe.

You can find the recipe here:

What a waste of my precious Valrhona chocolates.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Brussels



One of my favourite things about Europe is that many countries are just a short drive away. Dutchman has a lease car so we drive to Germany, Belgium or just to another city in The Netherlands quite often. This time, we drove to Brussels (2+ hours).

Brussels is surprisingly pretty! However, it's also quite expensive. We had lunch at the Grote Markt and had to shell out 40 euro (1 beer, 1 cappuccino, 1 toast and 1 Americain Frites)!! That's quite a bit more than what you'd pay in Amsterdam. What we got wasn't very tasty anyway (although it wasn't bad).


Another surprising thing was how close the tables are to each other. I know the Dutch place a lot of importance on privacy so thought it was sort off cute that people just 2+ hours away have a need for less personal space;)

Cath├ędrale Saint-Michel or Sint-Michiels Kathedraal


There are a few things Belgium is famous for : waffles, chocolate and bad roads - all of which we experienced in the few hours we were there haha.

I didn't get to buy the bon bons I wanted because Dutchman was terrified the authorities would shut the streets (tomorrow is car-free day in Brussels and the police had already put up barriers at many places) but we did get these strawberries dipped in milk chocolate (mine) and white chocolate (his).They were super yum!Price: 3 euro each.


Waffles- also very good! Price: 4.00-4.50 euro each




We trudged through the whole city looking for this little man...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Hainanese Chicken Rice


My mother is Hainanese. When I was younger, I'd ask my mother to take me to grandma's - not really because "Ah Poh" (Grandma) and I were very close but because hanging out at the babysitter's 5 days a week got boring after a while. Ah Poh was a nice person but unfortunately she couldn't speak English and I couldn't understand Hainanese. I spent my days there catching butterflies, cutting the grass and collecting flowers from their garden.

Mum and her siblings didn't care much for Hainanese Chicken Rice- probably because Ah Kong (Grandpa) is a man who loves routine (he's still alive, over 100 years old, eats a half-boiled egg for breakfast everyday and so forth) which means that Ah Poh probably made chicken rice quite often for dinner. Ah Poh made the best chilli sauce to go with it!

Dinner yesterday was Hainanese Chicken Rice with beansprouts(forgot to buy cucumber mah).

Istanbul Day 3

Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures. It was terribly cold and it rained halfway through the day.

We woke up early for the ferry to the Asian part (and of course got scammed out of 25 euro by an unscrupulous taxi driver).

I can't remember if the photo below is of the Asian or European side


To be honest, we didn't do much there. Actually, to be COMPLETELY honest, all we did was use Wi-fi at a Starbucks! I know, I know..what a waste, right? It was cold and windy and we were quite tired.

At Kadikoy, we had a fish sandwich(only 4YTL each!) for lunch. It was good! They should de-bone the fish though- crowding round a trashbin with 6 people picking bones out of their teeth is not a very elegant thing to do;)


The Lonely Planet guide said the stuffed mussels have more bacteria than a petri dish but it looked good and come on, I have a strong Asian stomach, right?! 2 stuffed mussels for only 1YTL! They were good but not at all like what I thought they'd taste(you couldn't really taste the mussels;)).

Photo below is from http://www.turkeycentral.com


I don't remember what else we did- probably nothing remarkable (or I'd know!). Dinner was a doner kebab (the 200 euro spent on cabs severely depleted our food budget.....).

All in all: Istanbul was nice but my favourite city is still Prague. Would I go to Istanbul again? Probably. I am considering doing my study abroad there. I wouldn't mind living there.

I love Turkish food and thought I'd make some "Karniyarik" (stuffed eggplants) for dinner last night. I should've bought some bulghur and Turkish peppers but I was too lazy to walk to the ATM ( Turkish grocer doesn't have a debit-facility)for cash so I served it with bread and cacik(kind off like a tzatziki but yummier!)

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Istanbul

was fun but more expensive than we expected!

Our plane was overbooked and we were offered 500 euro cash or 800 euro voucher but we declined (which I regret! 500 euros is 500 euros!). Malaysians do not need a visa (WOOHOO)and Dutch citizens can buy one for 10 euro upon arrival. I strolled through immigration and waited for Dutchman (who was at the back of a loooongggg line at the visa counter, only to realize that :

i) I have his wallet
ii) I also have his mobile phone

Oops.

I wasn't allowed in again so I peered through a glass wall til I saw Dutchman's grumpy, tired face huahua. We weren't allowed to pass each other anything so we had to walk right to the end of the hall where I was permitted to hand him his things.

One of the perks we got from the hotel was a free pick-up from the airport. He drove like a madman but hey, we survived.

After resting, we checked our guidebook to see how we could walk around. Well, got conned and apparently we're in the middle of bloody nowhere(certainly not in Sultanahmet!)so we had to spend extra for cabs the whole time (most taxi drivers in most countries are a bunch of thieving bastards but Dutchman says life is hard for them so they have to try! I agree to a certain extend).

The cab sent us to Taksim where we got tugged into a touristy restaurant. I ordered the 'imam bayildi' (the imam fainted) and the Dutchman started with mixed mezes. I didn't quite faint form my 'imam bayildi' as it was cold and the cheese had congealed but it wasn't bad either. My main dish was much better (some lamb stew thing on a sizzling stone plate). All in all, dinner was about 60+ euro (including one bottle of red wine).

Day 2

We woke up, ready to conquer Istanbul. Istanbul is seriously crowded (13 million residents and shitloads of tourists). We had to pay 20YTL per person for the Aya Sofiya.


The Aya Sofiya (also known as Hagia Sophia)was the largest cathedral in the world before it was converted into a mosque (and is a museum now). It is thousands of years old.While it is beautiful, the amount of people in it means we couldn't quite enjoy our visit (constantly herded like sheep and no, we weren't with a tour). There was just too many people and perhaps our expectations were a little too high.

One thing I can't complain about is how pretty the city itself looks with colourful tulips (Holland should be ashamed!).


Entry to the Blue Mosque cost another 40YTL(20 YTL per person). Like Aya Sofiya, it was crowded.



As we were tired, we stopped at a lovely, relaxing cafe -attached to a hotel called YesilEv- where we had wine, sandwiches and cakes. The one remarkable thing we had was this chocolate cake with pistachios and almonds:


Last touristy stop for the day: Topkapi Palace! Lovely gardens but it's very spacious so the buildings by itself, weren't terribly impressive (ie. library- one bulding, sultan's quaters- one building, wives quaters-another building, visitor's room -one building and so on!). It had some pretty gorgeous views though!



Tired from all that walking and "oooh aah"-ing, we decided to stop for some awesome Turkish desserts. Dutchman ordered a strawberry tart and I ordered some kind of pudding (not the famous rice pudding) with what I think was rose water and pistachios. It is truly the most amazing thing I've ever tasted (the kind where you eat a spoonful and think "OMFG, this is bloody amazing!"). I don't know what it's called, unfortunately (it had some Turkish name but I didn't write it down). The cafe is close to the Cisterns. Picture below!


Wow, writing this made me realize how much we did on our 2nd day 0_0. We're not the kinds who do much (more of the see one thing ,then laze at cafes the whole day haha).

People fishing along a bridge


We were quite tired by then as we'd been searching for a bookstore (seriously hard to find!)and we both desperately needed to pee;)

Anyhow, we decided to have dinner at what was once a British jail, called the"Galata House". It's run by a husband-and-wife team of architects. The man is Turkish and the wife is Georgian (or something like that anyhow!).It was just so cute seeing these 2 old people,pottering about attending to customers. Food served there is mainly simple Georgian fare.

Starters



Main: Cakapuli - Georgian Lamb Stew (we both ordered the same thing)


Dessert
Chocolate Meringue Cake


Blancmangewith cognac sauce


Dinner cost about 85 euro(including one bottle of red wine and 2 cups of coffee).

More photos later. This entry is long enough!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Back

I promise to update soon. I'm terrible at blogging, aren't I?;)

Would do it now but must run for dinner with A and M.