Saturday, 31 December 2011


was a great year.

i) Got engaged
ii) Passed my internship with flying colours and then almost failing it because my boss felt slighted over my report (the comments were frankly nothing..something like "while I wish the internship could've been more challenging, I do not regret having chosen for this company". School laughed like mad about it and passed me anyway.
iii) Got a new member of the family (the cat)
iv) Dutchman got a new job
v) Parents' visit (last time was 3 years ago)
vi) Got legally married!

2012 will be challeging as I'll have a new job and will be navigating through life as an adult (job, etc.) but it could also be very fulfilling and I know I'll enjoy wedding planning, hunting for our first home and all that stuff;)

All the best for 2012!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Nyonya's Christmas/Sinterklaas Rocky Road

150g 70% dark chocolat, broken into small pieces
250g milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
175g butter, sliced
4tbs golden syrup
150g amaretti, crushed into various sizes
150g pepernoten , crushed into various sizes (I used mine whole as they were pretty small- the ones from the AH bakker)
150g pink & white marshmallows, cut into small pieces or just use mini marshmallows
100g glacé cherries
50g dried cranberries

1) Melt the chocolate and butter (bain marie). Add the syrup.

2) In the meantime, prepare your amaretti and pepernoten (basically just crushing them with a rolling pin). Please make sure that you don't crush it too finely- you want them to be in bits and pieces. Cut your marshmallows with scissors. Chop the cherries into smaller pieces (if preferred. I used mine whole).

3) When chocolate mixture has melted, mix to combine evenly.

4) Add the crushed pepernoten and amaretti into the chocolate and mix.

5) Then, add everything else.

6) Pour mixture into a (I used Pyrex) pan and leave it in the fridge to harden (about 2 hours). Slice with a strong, sharp knife and sprinkle icing sugar before serving.

P/S: I think the quality of the chocolate isn't very important in this case. I used Valrhona which is quite expensive (about 23 euro for this recipe) but couldn't taste the difference!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Turkish Airlines Saga Continues....

Turkish Airlines initially offered us 300 euro compensation (EU regulations= 600 euro) but we said we wanted 400 euro as the Danish passengers who were bumped off the flight as well, received 400 euros (yes, the 24 +hours we spent together means we had enough time to exchange contact details). Turkish Airlines called the Dutchman on Friday and confirmed. They asked when we could pick it up. We agreed on 3p.m. Saturday at Schiphol Airport.

So today, we left at 1.30p.m. to arrive there at 3p.m.. Guess what happened next?! Arrived at the counter and the Turkish Airlines employee says....

"We have no cash with us at the moment. Perhaps you should come back on a weekday as more people buy tickets then"

We were like WTF!?!?! We had an appointment at 3p.m. to collect the compensation! We drove 1.5 hours! We had to pay 8 euro for parking! We wasted our time! It's a Saturday, ffs!

This is seriously the shittiest airline of all time. Unbelievable.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Beef with Ginger & Spring Onions

I was talking to some Asian ladies the other day and it struck me that Dutchman and I do not eat Asian food very often. We eat pasta, roast chicken, fish, steak, stews etc. instead. I love Asian food but it always seem kind off fiddly to get the taste right and fake Asian food is the most disgusting thing in the whole world( which is why I never buy the Westernized Asian pre-packaged stuff). Anyhoo, last night, I made beef with ginger and spring onions. This is a simple dish- the kind you eat at home at least once a week together with (in my family anyway) stir-fried greens, clear soup and fish.

Fresh ingredients
300g beef, sliced thinly
5 spring onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2-inches worth of ginger, sliced

1 tbs Chinese oyster sauce
1 tbs ShaoXing wine (maybe a bit more, generous splash heh)
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp corn flour
some pepper

1 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs ShaoXing wine
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp corn flour
2-3 tbs water

1) First, marinade the beef for at least an hour. Combine the ingredients for the sauce before you start cooking.
2) Then, in a saucepan, saute the ginger in the hot oil until soft. If you like, you can also add the white part of the spring onion at this time.
3) When the beef is almost done, add the sauce and the green parts of the spring onions and cook until done. Do not overcook this or the beef will be tough. If you think that the sauce is too watery, you can add some cornflour.

Serve with white rice.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Never Fly With Turkish Airlines

This matter has brought me out of my slumber.

A few months ago, we decided to take a chance on Turkish Airlines. In The Netherlands, Turkish Airlines is probably most famous for crashing next to a highway near Schiphol Airport but heck, it was the 2nd cheapest (cheapest was Egypt Air which sounded a bit dodgy to us) and we really only had to fly for 3 hours on an actual Turkish Airlines plane (codeshare).

That totally did NOT pay off. Our nightmare had just started. Checked in at Dusseldorf Airport and thought it was strange that we did not get our boarding passes for the Istanbul-KL leg (normally, they give all of it to you) but when we asked, the ground staff said that it is policy that we would get it there (LIAR! If you ever face this, don't even believe them!).

Well well..guess what happened! We arrived at Istanbul 3.5 hours before our flight to KL was scheduled to depart and immediately headed towards the counter within the transit hall. Turns out, there was a 'computer problem' so we weren't on the flight. I am not stupid - some of my family members work in the airline industry. This means they are overbooked (which they later admitted).

Was very nice the entire time (me, not them). Told them nicely tat we had booked and paid for these tickets months in advance and that it wasn't our problem if there was a problem with their system or not. Ground staff barely understood English. They told us to come back 1 hour before the flight to check. Fine, came back, was told that we were officially bumped off. Madly pissed as had a wedding to attend and shitloads to do upon arrival (tailor, hen's night etc.).

Assholes at counter then made us wait on the floor whilst they find a connecting flight. Well, assholes couldn't have been the most efficient people as it took them 4 freaking hours (literally) with us sitting on the floor and hanging at the counter (they kept saying "10 minutes, 10 minutes"). Finally, Dutchman and a Swede (who was also bumped off the same flight) barged into the private office, sat next to one of them and got a flight- apparently the only one left which was scheduled to leave at about midnight (to Shanghai and then to KL) so yes, that was a good 12+ hours doing nothing but WAITING for a flight. They did put us in the lounge but no real food (just some lousy dry bread). I freaking hate eating bread for dinner. It makes me feel like Oliver Twist.

Finally, got on the flight. An hour later, captain says someone on board has had a heart attack and we'll be returning to Istanbul. Fine, I guess that's not something they can help and probably cost them heaps of money as well. Plane grounded for 3-4 hours. Arrived in Shanghai, scheduled flight already departed but ground staff at Shanghai were EXCELLENT. They got someone to meet us in the arrivals hall, arranged priority check-in (for the next flight and passport controls) and everything. Got us on the next flight (Air Mauritius) to KL. Finally, we arrived in KL at like 4a.m. a day later (22 hours delay).

Now, this is the part which annoys the shit out of me. Yes, we were shit ass tired. Yes, we were crazily stressed (because missing and then not knowing when your next flight will be when you have shitloads to do when you arrive). Yes, we spent some extra money (calling people from the plane, midnight fares etc.). Yes, our holiday was ruined. Yes, the staff at Istanbul were useless, rude and dumb.

But MOST OF ALL, Turkish Airlines didn't want to compensate us and they were so SNEAKY about it. See, if they had told us about the delay at Dusseldorf (EU), we would have been entitled to 600 euro per person compensation (delay of more than 4 hours, EU Regulation) but they purposely dragged us to Istanbul because Istanbul's not part of the EU and they wouldn't have to compensate anything!  And they call themselves "Europe's Best Airline" HAHAHAHA.

I am going to make it my mission to ensure that everyone knows what a shit airline Turkish Airlines is. I'm going to make sure no one I know ever flies on it again. Certainly, no one will want to -unless they don't care if they arrive as scheduled or not.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Wedding + Food Blog

As much as I love food, wedding planning is what takes most of my time these days. Negotiating is something I am absolutely horrible at but I've learnt a lot the last few weeks. Thanks to tips from a former bride, we managed to get the location we wanted but thought we could not afford. I hadn't bothered to bargain because the difference was HUGE- we are talking like RM60 000 worth of venue hire charges which now has reduced to just a few thousand (like really little, not even 3k!) so ladies, don't forget to bargain! Unfortunately, I didn't get the prices I wanted for the rest (ie. same as her) but I just didn't feel like bouncing emails back and forth just for a few hundred here and there. Plus, I think she had more to bargain with- my wedding is about 15% smaller so that makes it fair, right? :-)

Weddings in Malaysia are cut throat. You book your venue a year in advance (more if it's a popular date), your make-up artist, your photographer, florist, band (if any) immediately after and you pay through your nose- much more than I would pay in The Netherlands. Heck, an unknown make-up artist in KL actually dared to quote me RM3000+ flight+ 2 nights accomodation+ RM600 outstation fee. Er.. hello?! RM4200 (1000 euro) for 4 hours worth of work (incl. waiting) is just mad. If I'd known make-up artists could make that much, I would've gone to some kind of beauty school instead of going to uni. The famous one actually gave me a very reasonable quote- much better than the newbies and semi-famous. Weird, right...

Back to food: not much happening on this front although I will be entertaining a small after-dinner party tomorrow. Must try to remember to take photos. Haven't actually made pastry cream since 2006 or so, so I desperately hope my tart will not have to be binned.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Had An Awesome Holiday

There was a wedding, a centurion birthday and a massage-filled holiday in Bali. We ate- oh boy, did we eat! One thing about belonging to a food crazy family, you get dragged along to eat all the yummiest food within 100km from where you live. We had the most amazing non-halal Thai food, nasi lemak, Ipoh Sar Hor Fun and my beloved ikan bakar. In Bali, we had the infamous babi guling and overpriced seafood (280 euro for 4 people and it wasn't even good! Nor was it a fancy restaurant :( ).

 The good thing about Bali is the amount of villas they have available for rent. We paid just 200 euro a night for a gorgeous 1-bedroom villa with a small private pool in Seminyak. Food here was awful but I wish we could live here forever!

Tegalalang Rice Paddies. Somewhat touristy but still VERY pretty!

Wedding Stuff: I tell entire family is wedding-mad. All they talk about is the wedding. They are incredibly excited about it. At that time, I didn't even know where we were going to get married but they already wanted to know the theme/colours/etc.  so that they can start making dresses or whatever! They've booked their flight tickets- even their accomodation (take note I'm only getting married in 11 months). I haven't even bought my own flight ticket to my own wedding LOL. Still, I am very happy they are excited - rather them be happy and excited than completely disinterested!

Oh and we changed our venue! Now, we're getting married in the venue of our dreams;-) I am so happy. Eek excited. Problem now is deciding on colours. Ugh I like everything.

Friday, 8 July 2011

I have been happier

since the cat joined our family. She is easy to care for, dependent and just so sweet.

In 2 weeks, we will leave The Netherlands for a short 2-week holiday to Kuala Lumpur and Bali. Will be meeting plenty of people I haven't met for years. Dutchman can stock up on his button shirts. In fact, Dutchman wants to get his wedding suit made in Malaysia.

Our wedding is slowly shaping up. We have decided on a venue and theme but I cannot decide on the colour(s)! I like everything! Help, anyone?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Hey guys,

I will try to update one of these days . I haven't been cooking/baking anything nice lately nor have I been out for dinner to new restaurants; just the regular ones which I've probably already covered at some point or other!

I have a new hobby/toy/ thing to love haha and I spend almost all my time caring for it;-) Meet my new baby:

Because this is a food blog, I should probably try to include something about food- even if it's not the kind humans consume. The cats eat Orijen, which consists of 80% meat (the best you can find). I do mix Royal Canin Kitten 36 because we still have 2 small bags left (the kitten definitely prefers this but it only has over 30% meat and grains-which is bad for your cat-). For wet, we feed a combination of Bozita, Animonda Carny and Carnibest (which was not a success but I think that's because the only flavour left at the store is the most unpopular amongst cats). For a snack/treat, they get Gimpet Baby Tabs, some dried chicken breasts (free, actually meant for dogs:-P ), some smelly kitty bits (which they love, also free), Gimpet Grass Bits and the occassional piece or two of raw chicken (their most favourite thing in the world!).

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Salmon & Watercress Quiche

Hello girls!

Exams start tomorrow. Ergo, this blog will be updated again;-)
Recipe (adapted from BBC Good Food, May 2011)

350g plain flour
1tsp salt
140g cold butter,cubed
4 tbs cold water

1 bag/bunch watercress, chopped
200g smoked salmon, shredded to bite sized pieces
2 tbs dill
5 eggs
100ml full fat milk
250ml cream

1. Sift flour and salt and rub butter into the mixture until it looks like a crumble. Then, add the water until the dough sticks together into one big lump. Leave in fridge for 15 minutes.

2. Then, take the dough out and roll and line in ramekins/ cupcake tins/ disposable cupcake liners (or just 1 large tart tin) and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes in a 180C oven. Then, remove the baking beans and bake for another 5 minutes at 160C until golden. If you want a professional looking tart, trim your pastry now.

3. Spread the watercress and smoked salmon evenly on your pastry. Then, whisk the beaten eggs, dill, milk and cream together with some pepper. Don't bother adding salt into the mixture because the smoked salmon is salty enough!

4. Pour mixture into the pastry cases and bake (again, at 180C) for about 35 minutes (until top is golden brown and set).


I'm not really a quiche person but this is great as picnic food or when you have to feed a mixed crowd.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Procrastinating Again

3 big reports due this week. Another 2 a week later. And 1 the week after that. Exams at the end of this month. ARGH. I hate school. Working is less stressful.

That explains why I've been baking quite a bit again!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Gorgeous Weather

-gorgeous, gergeous flowers! a present from the Dutchman-
Not spring-y at all! Instead, it's been summer in NL the last few weeks. We even had a barbecue on Easter Day. Last year, we were still wearing our winter coats.

Easter was relatively quiet for me. Honestly, I suffered through what could possibly have been the most boring dinner of all time with my in-laws. Most times, dinners and meetings are OK but sometimes..... this is one of those times. I could not wait to go home, I was yawning every 30 seconds or so. Tried not to do it so publically but I couldn't help it- it kept coming. :-( Later in the car, Dutchman and I looked at each other and said "Wow, that was boring!". Haha

Right, this is a food blog so I should probably tell you what we prepared for Easter. Food is one thing my in-laws and I don't agree on. My family..we love food. On festive occasions, the house almost bursts open with various dishes, cookies and drinks. My family is a big believer of "too much is better than not enough". My in-laws on the other hand don't really like cooking (for a crowd, which in our family means 10 people) so special occasions dinners tend to be very simple. Like this Easter, they actually wanted soup and bread for dinner. I'll be honest with you- I like soups but I HATE only soup for dinner. Luckily, Dutchman hates them even more than I do so he immediately veto-ed the idea and told his mum to have a barbecue as that is just as easy. Everyone brought something. I made some simple pork & chicken skewers and some store-bought chipolatas. I actually wanted to bring some proper meat (rack of lamb or a slab of steak) but Dutchman said that's 'showing off' (I only wanted to bring food I like.. food which you Easter-ish! If it's just 'normal' food, it's not a special occasion, is it?). Oops.

Some things I prepared last week...

Monday, 25 April 2011

Getting Depressed

I don't know what it is but The Netherlands gets me down. I've lived here for about 5 years now and I still don't like it. Sometimes I think it's OK and I definitely see the good sides but it's just so empty. It is so boring. I don't have a life, just an existence. I've never really felt like this about any other country before and the whole time, whether I'm in the bus or when out with people, I just want to shout "THIS IS A SHITHOLE, THIS IS A SHITHOLE AND I AM LIVING HERE ONLY BECAUSE MY BOYFRIEND IS DUTCH, NOT BECAUSE IT'S A BETTER LIFE!".

I just don't know what's else there is for us. And for me. It's like OK, general unhappiness and crabbiness but I have 'things' to do- finish school, get married, have babies, grow old. But what else? Dutchman is doing exceedingly well in his career now and he's such a kampung (village) boy who doesn't really want to move abroad. If we move elsewhere, same thing- only this time, I'm happy and he isn't.

What a dilemma;-) Hope I stop harping on this soon.

Thursday, 21 April 2011


you're wondering why it's been quiet here, it's because exam period is over and I don't have to study and therefore need to procrastinate by baking/cooking.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Fried Chicken

I love KFC. I know it's bad for me but always go back for the hot & spicy chicken wings and sometimes the crispy strips. They are ALWAYS eaten with Malaysian/Indonesian garlic chilli sauce. The last year or so, I've only had them with "sambal asli" which is a kind of garlic chilli sauce, not as sweet as the usual ones and a definitely spicier.

Why I don't like KFC: it is somewhat expensive, the ques are long and service is ridiculously slow (if there are 3 people in front of you, expect to wait 30 minutes). Also, for some reason, this place always gets something wrong. They forgot my fries and/or coleslaw about half the time. Sometimes, I only get 5 chicken wings out of 6 or they'll forget to include cheese in Dutchman's burger. We'll discover these things after arriving home and I suppose it makes more sense to check our order upon receiving. Oh well.

-first recipe: my own-

To cut the long story short: I fried chicken twice (2 different recipes) last weekend and I can't believe how yummy and easy it was! I have bad memories from the nyonya fried chicken a few years ago when oil splattered every fucking where (ceiling, floor, walls, me) and I still have a burn on my arm sustained from that day. This time, it didn't splatter AT ALL. :-)

The first was one I made up myself based on what I had in the house at that time. The second is by Jamie Oliver. Honestly, I prefer mine because Jamie Oliver's was slightly "sour", probably because of the amount of lemon juice and buttermilk. It was however, more crunchy. All in all, I would make either again. I don't think I'll ever go back to KFC :-D

Monday, 4 April 2011

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

225g butter
4 eggs
2 cups A/P flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp vanilla essence

1) Whisk flour, salt and baking powder.
2) In a separate bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Then, add eggs one at a time and cream for 1 minute after each egg. Add vanilla.
3) Fold in flour mixture into the wet mix.
4) Finally, fold the chocolate chips into the mix gently.
5) Bake for 35-40 minutes at 180 degrees

Recent Dinners

Wedding Talk

The wedding is only in 2012. In the 2nd quarter of 2012.

We are the ones getting married but other people seem to be so much more excited than we are. I don't get it and it's actually iritating me quite a bit.

I hate that some people invited themselves. I hate that some people are assuming they are invited. I hate the fact that both sets of our parents invited some random people we never met before (take into account, there will be a separate reception for my parents' acquaintances) or people whom we have met maybe once or twice. People don't seem to realize we have our own preferences and our own budget to balance.Every additional guest costs 100 euro. If it's a family of 5, it will be 500 euros. And it will be guests we don't know and it will spoil the atmosphere.

We want a small, intimate wedding with people we are close to and we want to indulge them. That would make us happy.

I have stated it very bluntly to my parents. Specific instructions etc. but my parents just disrespect me by saying "we'll pay for those extra people" . ARGH like WTF! It's not only about the money, it's a SMALL, INTIMATE wedding. How many times must I repeat myself. *sigh*

-flowers of the week-

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Earl Gray Torte

I am totally blown away by this cake. It is so light, yet so rich. It's like eating expensive chocolate with a hint of Earl Gray. The texture is amazing- it's like eating a cloud. This is not a cake a child would love but an adult would relish this with a nice strong cup of coffee or tea.

Adapted from BBC Good Food

200g unsalted butter, diced
140g ground almonds
250g 78% dark chocolate
6 eggs, separated
2 tea bags of Earl Gray Tea
200g caster sugar
100ml milk
1/4tsp salt

1) Microwave milk until almost boiling. Add tea leaves (cut the tea bags) and stir.
2) Melt the butter, chocolate and salt in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water.
3) When it has all melted, add the ground almonds and then the egg yolks and milk mixture.
4) In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and then add the sugar. Whisk for an additional minute or so. Then, turn on your oven and heat to 180 degrees celscious.
5) Finally, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and pour mixture into baking tin.
6) Bake for about 30-35 minutes.
7) When completely cool, dust icing sugar and cocoa powder on top.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Dinner at Basiliek

Basiliek is a cute restaurant, with 1 Michelin star, in the even cuter town of Hardewijk. As it partipates in a bi-annual event called "Restaurant Week", we were able to dine there for just 37.50 euro per person (3 courses, everything else to be paid separately). Of course, we took that opportunity! Basiliek was only our 4th visit to a starred restaurant and if I'll be honest, it was probably the worst (although it was NOT AT ALL bad) amongst the 3 starred places we dined in.

We started off with a glass of champagne and then moved on to the amusés which were quite tasty. I especially liked I enjoyed the amusés, especially the apple chips with a herring mouse (the green cones).

This was lovely. A boullion from eekhorrnsbrood (a kind of mushroom). Delicate tasting but just full of flavour. I could drink quite a few more of this one hehe.

First course: Tartare of mackeral with apple, yuzu and what-not. It was OK. Fresh, quite good but didn't blow my mind.

2nd Course: we paid an additional 10 euro p.p. for this. Razor clams with a garlic froth, spinach etc. This was really tasty but I think I ate more celery than clams.
 Main: Braised beef. Very well-done. Considering it was braised, you wouldn't think it would still be rare and yet so tender. Would have liked slightly more vegetables though.

Palate cleanser: An Apple & Pear (plus probably some liquor) sorbet

Desser:Mango- 4 ways with coconut cream . Was OK. Not too heavy which is great.

Coffee & Friandises
This was OK. Friandises were nothing special. I was quite disappointed as the friandises we had at other starred restaurants were better (more innovative, not just mere chocolates). Also, it cost 9.50 euro p.p. for coffee and 5 pieces of chocolates/sweets.

All in all, not bad but I wasn't totally impressed. There were some issues with the service which I thought was not befitting for a Michelin starred restaurant. For example, they dripped olive oil on the table clothes (when pouring it , for the bread), they couldn't remember who ordered de-caf and who ordered normal coffee, my 2nd course as you can see was plated dreadfully (didn't wipe the plate and you call this a Michelin restaurant??) etc. Also, at times, they seemed somewhat money-minded, like the fact that friandises were included when not everyone wanted it (and was priced quite a bit as well.. The amazing friandises we had at another Michelin starred restaurant was just 6.90 euro), they poured champagne and wines were topped up (and charged for) even when you didn't want anymore. 

Bill for the 2 of us : 186.80 euro (Dutchman did not drink)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Salsiccia & Savoy Cabbage

This was SO good. It's technically a stew but really resembles a soup more. I ate so much of this last week. The broth is absolutely gorgeous. I used good salsiccia from the organic butcher. They were quite expensive (I paid about 10 euros for 500g) but it's well worth it, especially because I couldn't find Italian sausages anywhere else.


500g salsiccia, squeezed out of their skins. skins are to be discarded.
2 onions, 1 sliced, the other minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
325ml white white
150g canned/jarred haricots blanc (white beans)
1 savoy cabbage, chopped
1 liter chicken stock
500ml water
2 bay leaves
parmesan/gruyere/ old gouda cheese
1 small bunch parsley, chopped

1) Brown salsiccia in a pot. When done, transfer to a plate/any kind of container.
2) In the same pot, saute the minced onions and garlic and saute until all the lovely smells start to come out. This should take about 10 minutes. Don't do this on high heat, do it slowly to draw out all the juices.
3) Then, add the wine and beans and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
4) Add all the other ingredients (EXCEPT the cheese & parsley) and bring to a boil. Then, simmer for 45 minutes.
5) Serve soup/stew with some cheese and parseley sprinkled on top.

I cannot recommend this recipe enough. I love it and will be making it many more times!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Potato & Leek Soup

Simple but tasty! Eat it plain, sprinkle with cheese, top with creme fraiche or herbs. Yum either way.


2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
1.5 l chicken stock
0.4kg potatos, cubed
0.5kg leeks, greens and bottom discarded, white part sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 large onion, sliced

1) Saute carrots, onion, leeks, celery and garlic with olive oil for about 20 minutes over medium heat.
2) Pour stock, add potatoes and bring to a boil.
3) Then, simmer (covered) for about 30 -60 minutes.
4) When done, use handmixer to puree everything.
5) Season with salt & black pepper

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Apple-Lemon Yoghurt Cake

This is so easy and relatively healthy. GREAT texture. Dutchman loves this. He is not a cake person but he ate the entire loaf (minus 1 slice) within 2 days! While I love how this cake looks, how easy it is to make and the gorgeous texture, I found this cake lacking (I like my cakes rich so when there is no butter, it just falls flat). This would be perfect as a treat for your kids.

For the cake
1.5 cups plain flour
1 cup plain full fat yoghurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
zest of one lemon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 large apple (I used Jonagold), chopped into 1cm blocks

For the glaze
juice of one lemon
powdered/icing/confectioner's sugar

1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder.
2. In another bowl, beat everything else needed for the cake. Then, whisk the flour mixture gently into the wet ingredients (only until incorporated).
3. Fold apples in (again, do it gently).
4. Bake at 180 degrees celscius until done (about 50 minutes). If it browns too much, you can cover the cake with some foil while it bakes.
5. When cake is done and cool, pour glaze onto cake. To make glaze, mix icing sugar with lemon juice until thick.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

What Would You Do

if you live in country A but want the experience of living and working abroad ?

Country A
i) Great salary
ii) Great working conditions (30 hours a week but with a salary people in country B,C,D,E,F can only dream off, good employee rights & welfare)
iii) Boring

Country B/C/D/E (not talking about Malaysia here)
i) Bad to OK salary (good for those countries but no comparison with great salary in Country A)
ii) Bad to OK working conditions (40 hours or more, difficult to take weeks off in a row, worse employee welfare)
iii) Interesting (because it's new) culture
iv) May be closer to my family
v) Friendlier locals
vi) More representation of your ethnicity (so you don't stick out like a sore thumb all the time)

Friday, 18 February 2011

More Food Pictures

I'll be honest here, guys...  When I have nothing much to write but feel it's been a bit too long since my last entry, I'll post some photos of meals I've had. Most times, there are meals eaten at cafés or restaurants because I am terrible at taking photos after cooking. I really should find my camera again. It's probably in the spare room, might even still be in the suitcase haha.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Proposal

I guess I haven't actually told you about my engagement yet. It wasn't anything special and having lived together so long with marriage planned in 2012, it shouldn't be a surprise but I was anyway!

It was a very normal day, really. The Dutchman and I decided to have dinner (I made the reservation), he brought champagne from The Netherlands. We ate, conversation was OK but nothing special. If I were to be honest, I was wondering why he barely spoke and thought "pfft, this is kinda boring" :-P Dinner itself was yummy though.

Then, after that, he asked if I wanted a cocktail. I didn't really want to, it being not a particularly fun evening but said yes. We went to a gorgeous little house which is the cocktail bar next to the restaurant. It was dark and we were alone. No staff, very intimate, cute little place. After we got the drinks, the waiter turned on the music which coincidently was about being reunited again after a long-distance relationship. The Dutchman said "Nyonya, I have to ask you something". Now, this sounds ridiculously obvious and I considered it but didn't think this was it. I'd always expected him to ask me in the forest or something in the autumn (not my perfect proposal but it was his). Another guest came in so nothing was said for a while and when she left, Dutchman repeated "Nyonya, I have to ask you something", got down on his knees and presented the ring (which I couldn't see at all because it was so dark!);)

It was a pretty middle-of-the-road proposal but I was sort of crying and felt really happy hehehehe. Later, when I could actually see my ring, I thought it was really nice:D It's a ring I would pick myself. It's quite big though so it's in the process of getting resized.

We're both really looking forward to the wedding but a part of me is considering just eloping to Hawaii or something. Weddings are so expensive. After some asking about, the ceremony we want (very simple, the expensive part is the food & drinks), will cost 10 000 euro in Malaysia. In addition, my father wants a Chinese wedding dinner as well (another 10 000 euro but he'll pay for that). 20 000 euro for a wedding sounds like a crazy amount of money. I'd rather he saves that for his old age or go on holiday with it or something. Our ceremony on the other hand, is facing quite some opposition from my extended family because it's an hour flight from KL. Strangely enough, Dutchman's family are fine with flying 15 hours to get to it;-) For me, it's like I'm going to invite you because I like and value you but if you don't want to come, fine. My parents insist we should pay for accomodation for everyone. Considering that we are paying about RM400 p.p. for food and drinks and are actively refusing angpows and gifts, we thought it would be quite fair for guests to pay their own flight and other misc expenses (which would probably be less than the RM400 p.p.). *sigh*

Maybe we should just sail into the sunset and forget all those other people;)

Monday, 7 February 2011