Wednesday, 28 July 2010

How I Prepare Steak

Both the Dutchman and I love red meat. It's unhealthy but we don't care. When we go out, we generally order steak (if there's a choice between fish and beef). In general, fish in The Netherlands tend to be uhm.. un-fresh which is weird when The Netherlands does have a coast or maybe I'm just spoilt from all the still-gasping-when-you-buy-them fish in Malaysia.

We (or rather I) also cook steak quite often. There are generally 3 kinds of steak at the supermarket- normal, organic/biological and premium. The best place to buy meat is obviously the butcher's but it is most times, more expensive and as a foreign person, it is difficult to find a really good butcher's. I actually found a great one along Steenstraat but it's organic and very expensive. I once paid over 14 euros for 8 drumsticks (at the supermarket, they'd cost less than 3 euros). The cost makes it unfeasible for normal dinners.
The premium range was on sale last week and I bought a pack of entrecotes (2 pieces). Entrecote's are easily identified by the thick slab of fat. I'm no expert when it comes to cuts of beef so I googled. Apparently, entrecotes could be sirloins or rib-eyes but strangely, the supermarket actually has separate packaging for rib-eyes and sirloins so I have no clue exactly which cut the ones I bought are. All cost the same per kg (22.90 euro). Premium steaks (termed "biefstuk" or beef steaks are slightly cheaper). The premium steaks from this supermarket are ripened for at least 28 days.

To cook a steak, you need to pat them dry. Then, heat up your pan and add in a lot of butter. Let it melt and froth. It's ready to receive your steak when the butter has turned to a clear brown-ish colour and isn't sizzling (although the heat is turned up high).
Then, put in your steak and leave it on each side at high heat for 1-2 minutes per side.

Then,lower the heat for an additional 2 minutes on each side. This will give you medium steaks (this would obviously depend on how thick your steaks are).

I do not usually serve steak with gravy/ jus unless it's a bad cut of meat or if I accidently overcook it.


Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Being typically Asian, I always ask friends and family what they want me to bring along when I go back to Malaysia. Initially, I would bring all sorts of rubbish as no one knew what they liked from The Netherlands. I brought rookworst (smoked sausages), cheese, cookies and of course, loads of chocolates. These days, my family and friends know exactly what they want. I always bring:

i) Milk chocolate peanut clusters (loads of them, about 1.5kg)
ii) Stroopwafels for friends (they love them. My family hates them. 20 packets which I kid you not, is 8kg!)
iii) Nuts for the family (bloody expensive, 4+ euros for a tiny box and I hate eating them. I buy about 1,5kg)
iv) Bonne Maman no-added-sugar jam for my diabetic uncles and dad (about 4-6 jars each time)
v) Martell Cordon Bleu XO for my dad (standard request but only if it's cheaper than the duty-free stores in Malaysia). Think my dad is collecting them for my brother's wedding or something.
vi) Small amount of chocolates (the family goes to Australia quite often so have loads of chocolate. Also, Malaysia sells pretty much the same brands as supermarkets in NL)
vii) Small amount of cookies (not this time though)
viii) 1-2 bottles of wine each time (usually rosé  as that's harder to get back home). That said, truth be told, the Dutchman and I usually end up drinking all of it.

Luckily, all I ever need to wear in Malaysia is shorts, t-shirts and some bikinis....

What do you usually take home for your friends/family?

What I baked yesterday:

Carrot Bundt in the shape of a rose, topped with cream cheese icing

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Anzac Cookies

These cookies are seriously yummy, very easy to make and relatively healthy.

What you need (recipe from BBC Good Food):

100g butter
100g caster sugar (I use brown)
85g oats
85g dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
100g plain flour
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bic. of soda,mixed with 2 tbs boiling water

Mix dry ingredients. Melt butter and add golden syrup and the baking soda mix. Add the wet mixture to the dry and voila! Bake at 160C (fan oven) for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Cheese Cake

Baked this the other day and it's pretty good. It keeps well too as I only ate it for the first time yesterday (baked this on Monday oops:-P).

Oreo Citrus Cheesecake (Recipe: Seri Nyonya)
20 Oreo cookies (= 40 pieces of cocoa cookies), icing scraped off and cookies crushed
70g butter
600g cream cheese
200g creme fraiche
1 tbs vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 tbs plain flour
200ml light brown caster sugar
1 orange, sliced thinly
5 tbs marmalade
2 tbs boiling water

(Pre-heat gas oven to 160C if necessary)

1. Melt butter. When butter has melted, add the cookies and mix. Line pan with baking paper, press the mixture into a loaf pan and chill in fridge.
2. Then, beat cheese, creame fraiche, vanilla and sugar until combined. Add the eggs one by one and mix.
3. Fold in the flour and pour mix into your loaf pan.
4. Bake at 160C for 10 minutes before reducing the temperature to 100C for a further 80 minutes. There will be a slight wobble but that's fine. When cake has cooled, chill it in the fridge.
5. When you want to serve, arrange the orange slices on the cake. Mix marmalade with the boiling water (add more water if necessary but you want a nice, thick syrupy sauce) and pour it over the orange slices.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Price Tag Shock

The Dutchman and I plan on getting married in 2012 (if I were to be completely honest, I am feeling so lazy and I feel that a wedding is going to be so pointless although I AM looking forward to the pretty dress and party...) . Yes, 2012 is ages away but we have to give our Dutch friends and family 1 year notice so that they can save and go to Malaysia for our wedding. We would have to save for the wedding and finally, in Malaysia, wedding venues get booked up pretty quickly.

Due to us not wanting a typical Chinese wedding dinner,we will have to foot the bill ourselves (at Chinese weddings, the couple will get "angpows"- packets filled with money). My parents will probably throw a Chinese wedding dinner for their friends and family so I think it's only fair they keep all the money for that as well.

We thought +- RM50 000 (+- 10 000 euro, depending on the exchange rate. This figure includes the dress, decoration, food, wine.. basically everything besides the flights + accomodation) would be enough for a maximum of 50 people. But no, it would cost a lot more than that in a hotel in Langkawi. Who would've thought Malaysia would be so expensive?! If it were up to the Dutchman, we'd have a Dutch-style wedding with soup, deep fried snacks and everyone drinking out of a plastic cup, but that is just something I CANNOT stand. I wouldn't even throw a birthday party with just Unox or Honig soup.. Ugh.

Dinner at this hotel will be RM400 per person. No drinks. No wine. Decoration : from RM8500 on wards. Worse still, they require you to book 8 rooms for  minimum of 2 nights. One night is at least RM2000 per room. Unfortunately, we don't have any rich friends or family so doubt anyone will want to do that.

OK, I guess this one's out of the window for now.

Monday, 19 July 2010

2 more weeks

We lost the final match but the Dutch team deserved it. They played terribly and I found it a very boring match. I didn't watch it at Museumplein so didn't bother taking pictures!

I don't have school anymore and I worked for the last time (in NL) last week so I am truly free til next week! Can't wait for our vacation next week. Not really looking forward to the separation with Dutchman at the end of August but also quite excited about my internship.

Unfortunately, there will be no pictures of food we had last week because I just updated my iPhone without backing up and all my pictures since my last back up disappeared. Very lazy about cooking so we'd have lots of lousy deliveries (Food delivery services are very limited in Arnhem- they all sell pizza and crap like shoarma) and also a dinner at the Fushion Food Cafe. Starter was OK but the mains were very disappointing. We both had beef (Dutchman had steak with chorizos and I had Creole-style Tournado's) and his in particular was very, very tough. I just couldn't stop laughing because I had a bite and had to chew on that piece of meat for 20 minutes. Ridiculous. Plus, it wasn't exactly cheap as well- 70 euros for 2 mains and 2 starters.

Dutchman's not very busy this week so I'm guessing we'll be drinking lots of rosé at the park and barbecuing on the balcony. Might as well have a nice time- this is pretty much the only private time we are going to have this year because our trip to Malaysia, Cambodia and Hong Kong will be accompanied by in-laws, parents or friends.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Hup Holland Hup

World Cup finals tomorrow and what better to commemorate than  this:

Carrot Cupcakes with (watery-did not add water btw) Cream Cheese Icing

with tulips;)

A very simple dinner - Sausage and Broadbean Pie

Hope we'll win the world cup for the first time tomorrow! Everyone is so excited here;-)

Friday, 9 July 2010

Give Up

I give up. Forget the bikini.

Bought a swimsuit today.

 Flowers of the week

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

We Are In The Finals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woooooooohoooo! We won ! HUP HOLLAND HUP!

Made a nice dinner earlier, very simple but also fun, pretty and tasty. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures- was to embarassed whipping out the camera to take photos of the food I made in front of my guests...

Tacos accompanied by salsa, guacamole, cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos etc.
Insalata Caprese (this is my stand-by, pretty, 'impressive-looking' salad)
Dutch salad (bought from the supermarket, like it quite a lot as I love pickles)

To Drink:

Nigella Lawson's Slut Red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly (which was OK, had a bit of trouble with the setting, will probably not make it again. It was really quite expensive , 15 euros, and to be honest, didn't taste all that amazing).

Next celebration:
Sunday when Holland wins the world cup:p

Saturday, 3 July 2010

This Heat

is killing me.