Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bento #18

Daughter #2 is a food connoisseur. She enjoys eating. Her dream is to operate a music school and a cafe side by side. That's a tall order because she wants to both teach music and cook! I just allow her to rattle on as she shares her hopes and aspirations with me. Who knows what is in store for the future?

She's been eying the packet of potato tortilla and couldn't resist asking for a tuna roll for this morning. It's very easy to make, just butter the tortilla and spread cream cheese or just lay two slices of cheddar cheese on the buttered tortilla. Top it with some salad/vegetables (whatever you have in the fridge), carrots, cucumber and tuna. Finish with mayonnaise and tomato sauce. If you want to make it a gourmet roll, just fry and omelet and add on the base. This is an all time favorite with my kids. Even my 8 year old picky eater loves this!

Today's bento, I added some freshly steamed corn mixed with a blob of butter. To fill the gaps, I added some brownies and marshmallows.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bento #17

Today, Daughter #1 stay back at school up to 3.00p.m. I need to pack some substantial food for her to last half the day.

Clockwise: In the yellow paper 'Glad' bag is a croissant, in the pink box is rice crispies in two colors. The box in front contains a hard boiled egg and some salad and strawberries. A small tub of Thousand Island and Salad cream and a box of last night's 'claypot chicken rice' and fried chicken.

Today is Daughter #2 second day of PMR trials. I was Isetan, KLCC yesterday and I saw more Daifukumochi and it looked much nicer. I bought another two boxes.

Daughter #2 told me that yesterday's bento was 'very nice' when I went to fetch her from school. "Could I have the chicken again?".

Okay, make my life easy and have repeat orders. Makes me happy too because I don't have to think of another item for the bento.

Sometimes when I'm planning their bento I am at wits end what to prepare for them. I want them to enjoy their bento but I don't want to give them too much processed food. At the same time, I don't want to end up slogging in the morning to get their food ready. I marinate the chicken ahead of time and freeze so that's easy!

This morning Daughter #2 was up before me and already revising her books. When she saw her 'shaped egg' she was trilled! I gave her the bear face one and the simpler one for her elder sister.

Her whole bento is packed with most of her 'happy food' so I hope she doesn't get so stressed up with the exams.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bento #16

Today, is the first day of PMR trials for Daughter #2. Last night, before she went to bed, she asked me not to pack any carbohydrates for her bento this morning. Carbo make me very tired mum, I'd like protein in my bento if it's okay. Of course it's okay! I would have gone to the ends of the earth to prepare what she requested. That's what we mothers tend to do, go beyond our call of duty for the love of our family.

This morning I decided to prepare some 'happy food' for her. Daughter #2 loves Japanese food, so last night I went to Jusco @ 1U to purchase some stock. I saw some Daifukumochi and immediately bought a pack. Daifukumochi is a type of glutinous rice cake stuffed with 'anko' (sweetened red beans made from azuki beans). I was sure she'd love it and I was right, first thing this morning when she opened the fridge she exclaimed "can I have the mochi, please?". Okay, my 'happy food' set her in the right mood already.

In the left box, more happy food and proteins; marshmallow, fried chicken de-boned, two types of fish balls with wholegrain mustard.

In the right box, blanched baby corn, broccoli and heart shaped carrots. I topped it with mayo and Parmesan cheese. To completely fill the box, a Mandarin orange for desert.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bento #15

Yawn! Rise and shine! I was looking forward to packing my kid's bento because I've missed the early morning excitement.

Right box - filled with sushi rice mixed with some kewpie mayonnaise. Topped with (from bottom): crabsticks, simmered mushroom, kyuri, tamagoyaki, blanched carrots and kampyo. This is my own concoction and it's delicious. You can just chop up any of your sushi filling left overs and do the same. I dusted some sakura denbu on top before I closed the box.

Left box - Brownies, blanched sawi vegetables and sliced orange.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Party, party!

Last night, we had a party for some youths from our church. There were about 40-50 guests.

The youth leaders co-ordinated and managed the party themselves. The food was marinated by their mums and it was a huge success.

Remember the cocktail molds I posted on Aug 19? Some people were asking what they were for. Well, it came in real handy at last night's BBQ! One of the youths asked for a knife to 'score' the sausages, I remembered my molds and took out 3 for them to use. It was a hit with them.

See the top picture, you can see my favorite guys 'clamping' the molds on the sausages. It saved them so much time.

Everyone enjoyed themselves. The lamb was 'out of this world', it was marinated by one of the mums and was among the first to finish.

I made 4 packets of spaghetti and my own concoction of beef bolognaise sauce and that went as soon as the 'makan' started. It was supposed to supplement the BBQ but the youths just 'attacked' and by the time the rest who came later, there was nothing left! Next time I'll bring the spaghetti out last!
I was very busy and just managed to make a platter of mixed vegetables, thousand island and salad cream. That finished too!

My maid leaves tomorrow and there were lots of last minute things to deal with so I could hardly whip up anything. We were eating meats and I had to provide 'real' plates and steak knives. Luckily I pre-washed the service in my dish washer, otherwise ah, die!

Once we went for a BBQ and the host used disposable plastic knives and polystyrene plates. I leave you to imagine how the meal went.

It was a long day of preparation for me and I was grateful to the youths who managed the cooking as well. After all the 'makan' there was a time to get to know each other and then there was dancing. Who said youths can't have good, clean fun? God bless them!

Entertaining daughter #3 with Amos?

I bought a box of Japanese playdoh for daughter #3 from Isetan, KLCC. There is only one legible word in English - "Amos".

It comes with 7 tubs of playdoh, a catalogue with pictorial instructions and accessories.

I thought it was very good because it was very simple and all she needed to do was to follow the pictures. They even show you how to mix colors in the pictures.

The best thing about this is that my 8 year old needed no supervision, almost no assistance (very minimal) and no 'entertainment' by mummy. This is the best 'present' I've ever bought for her!! The accessories comprised of magnets, springs, glitter, paper clips etc. When the shape is formed, after several hours it hardens. The dough cannot be plied into another shape once it hardens.

This was money well spent because it gave me enough time (without all the whining) to prepare for the party on Saturday night.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Quick fix - Sushi for dinner

Tonight's dinner was a quick fix because Friday nights we are always in a hurry. We go for activities in Church and always have to rush through dinner.

We had Inari Sushi, Futomaki and Natto loaded maki for dinner. Finished almost all the 6 cups of sushi rice, left a small container only.

I posted the Inari sushi tofu pockets recipe in an earlier post if you want to try it.

Futomaki on the right. Filled with tamagoyaki, kyuri, blanched carrots, simmered shitake mushrooms, simmered kampyo and sakura denbu.

Futomaki on the left loaded with kyuri, tamagoyaki, sakura denbu and a whole box of NATTO!!
I declared at the dinner table that the Natto was excellent and 'first class food', daughter #1 declared back and said that she's doing just fine with her 'second class' futomaki and that daughter #2 and I could go on enjoying our 'first class' food! Hubs added that we were welcome to FINISH the NATTO and not leave any for him and daughter #1. Sigh.... but he was nice enough to take the picture of the Natto maki for me. He even reminded to put the green grass divider. Lol! Looks better than the top two pictures which I took. Real sweetheart!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Matcha ice-cream, pizza and daughter #2

Daughter #2 made Matcha ice-cream again. She's really good at this. Saves me a lot of money now coz no need to order it for desert after a Japanese meal. I think Matcha ice-cream in the Japanese restaurants are over priced.

This recipe was given to her by the owner of 'Chikuzen' in Aman Suria which has since closed down. I shall ask her for the recipe and post on my blog soon. Jessica, one of the owners was formerly working with the Tropicana Japanese restaurant since inception and has had over twenty years of experience in the Japanese food business. I heard that she had gone to England to stay with her daughter.

Jessica was very fond of daughter #2 because she had known her since we patronized the Tropicana Japanese restaurant for many years and when she opened her own outlet, we supported her regularly.

Jessica gave daughter #2 the recipe for the Matcha ice-cream and some other tips for her favorite dishes. I used to get a lot of my Japanese supply from her. Sadly, now I have to look for new suppliers.

Daughter #2 had acquired a love for Sashimi since she was ten years old. That time when we try out new Japanese outlets and Daughter #2 orders her Sashimi, for sure the waitress would reiterate that (read in Cantonese: mui mui, hai Sang Yee ah) 'it's RAW FISH" little girl! "Yeah! I know" (read in Cantonese: hai lah, ngo chee ah) would be the answer. We would all quietly laugh and jib her that "it's RAW FISH, little girl".

Well, she's grown into a wonderful young lady of 15 and still loves Sashimi, my partner in crime where Japanese food is concerned. She loves food and is able to cook a fair bit.

I was very busy this afternoon preparing for a party tomorrow. I left a pot of tomato based sauce (for spaghetti or pizza) in the kitchen and when she got back from music class, she made two cheese pizzas. Daughter #3 and I were ravenous when we got back from shopping and helped finish the pizzas. I thought for a first timer, it was pretty good. When she got the pizzas out of the oven, I heard loud 'Ooooo's and Ahhhhh's' because she took the whole grill out from the oven and burnt her fingers. Well, a lesson well learnt. There's no learning without the pain.

Daughter #2 is an accomplished pianist. At fifteen she's doing her Diploma, ABRSM in music performance. At the age of 13, she'd already decided to pursue a career in music. I'm quite happy she's found her niche in music and if music is what she wants, that's fine.


Today I was still giggling over the funny Japanese man who was trying to teach the people passing his exhibition booth how to pronounce O-ko-no-mi-ya-ki!

I decided to try out the recipe from the flyer I managed to get my hands on before Lavender dragged me off.

100g flour
1 egg
100ml water
100g Cabbage (cut into fine strips)
Optional: Fillings - Octopus, shrimp, squid, beef or anything you like! After all, Okonomi means "your choice" so just add whatever you like.
Okonomiyaki sauce (Japanese Worchester sauce)
Kewpie Mayonnaise

1. Beat raw egg and mix with water.
2. Stir shredded cabbage and flour in another bowl and add (1) and stir lightly.
3. Heat frying pan until quite hot and oil it. Pour (2)
Fry it till brown and flip to the other side and do the same.
4. Serve on a dish and load with Okonomiyaki sauce and Mayonnaise.
5. Sprinkle with lots of katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes).

My #1 daughter doesn't like the strong flavour of the Okonomiyaki sauce so I diluted it in water with a ratio of 2:1, 2 water to 1 Okonomiyaki sauce. It turned out very well and while eating it for dinner, I taught my daughters to pronounce O-ko-no-mi-ya-ki!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

FHM2007 - KLCC - 22-25 Aug

I visited FHM2007 with my friend, Lavender, yesterday. It was huge with over two hundred participating companies. The participants came from all corners of the world, Egypt, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Germany, Australia, Malaysia and lots and lots of countries.

The Exhibition was the 9th Malaysian International Exhibition of Food, Drinks, Hotel, Restaurant & Food service Equipment, supplies, services and related technology. The exhibition was housed in 5 halls.

There were more than half dozen coffee exhibitors. We sampled the famous illy coffee which was at it's best, then we tried Bon cafe which was pretty good too. Then we had latte, it was really very good - unfortunately we didn't notice the brand, by the time we saw coffex, we were spewing coffee out our ears and noses. We were so caffeine intoxicated that we were feeling queasy because we had too much coffee on an empty stomach.

Initially, we thought that we'd have a quick run through the exhibition and go for lunch, we were shocked at the mass of exhibitors. Every turn was something exciting, every stop was food sampling, every corner was something new to learn. Wow! What a gastronomic journey! We never expected to 'learn' so much about the different types of food, equipment, raw cooking material, cooked foods, etc, etc.

We were very excited over the Japanese cooking demonstration. The Japanese chef demonstrated 'Spider roll". It's maki sushi rolled inside out (like the California roll) filled with fried soft shell crab with it's 'legs' sticking out of both ends of the roll. Usually, Japanese restaurants roll the rice in sesame seeds or Ebiko, but at FHM, they introduced a new product - Konbu sheet. It's thin and fine like the nori but it's nothing like nori. It is pale yellow in color and has pattern akin to tiger stripes. There was plenty to go round for sampling and it was delicious. By the way, just for your information the konbu sheet is nothing like the seaweed that we use for cooking miso soup or stewing.

The chef then made a futomaki and rolled more than half a dozen ingredients in it. That was delicious too. In fact we spent most of our time at the Japanese exhibition area.

We sampled Matcha tea - green tea made from matcha powder which we thought it's consistency was too weak. Then we sampled Sake - had a fresh fruity flavour, actually it was excellent. Even my friend Lavender who's resided in Japan for many years commented that the sake was excellent.

We went on to sample Maguro which is bluefin tuna (sashimi style). It only took a dip of shoyu
to enhance the fresh and delicious flavour of the Maguro. There were a group of students from Taylors college (T-shirt) who were enjoying the Maguro plate after plate. The Japanese exhibitor just continued to dish them out. They were very hospitable and polite. Lavender and I took their catalogue to place orders because the prices were cheap compared with those sold at the supermarket.

When we reached the end of the Japanese booths, we were offered O-konomiyaki, a type of savoury egg pancake. The Japanese man was mouthing the word O-ko-no-mi-ya-ki and teaching everyone who passed his booth to pronounce the word O-ko-no-mi-ya-ki!! I thought he was very funny and wanted to stay on to observe but Lavender quickly dragged me away.

By the time we finished visiting all the exhibition booths Lavender and I were so, so full that we decided not to go for lunch, which was supposed to be part of the day's agenda.

I realized that I'm not a true blue blogger yet because I didn't bring my camera with me. I could have used my phone but....I didn't want the hassle of my phone lagging because I chose to be trigger happy for the day. Oh well...this is a very wordy blog....what can I say....I've now decided to bring my camera everywhere. I've learnt my lesson, after all, as they say pictures paint a thousand words!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Holiday Breakfast #3

Daughter number 2 came to me last night and sheepishly asked if she could have a repeat of Monday's breakfast - pancakes and gourmet mushroom sausages.
"I love the sausages mum". How could I say no?

Since she loved the sausages, we'll have sausages but only this time it's going to be with waffles!! Hehe!

Basically the platter is the same except that I made waffles and added cinnamon sugar on top of the banana. If you haven't tried cinnamon sugar on top of ripe banana, please try it ASAP! It's the nicest tasting 'gourmet' banana you can get. You can see from the picture, I dusted icing sugar on the waffle.

Look at Daughter number 1 platter. She likes her food plain and simple. No fancy Kiwi fruit or wholegrain mustard or icing sugar. Cinnamon sugar on banana and gourmet mushroom sausage is fine, plain waffle with butter and Maple syrup is the staple.

So fussy and yet so easy to please. No frills and no trills?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dinner - Hot Japanese curry

I cooked Japanese curry tonight. During the Japanese fair @ BSC two months ago, I bought two boxes of Japanese curry sauce mix.

The two boxes has been 'staring' at me from my store cabinet and tonight cannot 'tahan' anymore. Must cook!

Just follow the instructions at the back of the box. It is so easy!! No need to 'tumbuk, tumbuk' the onions and all the other ingredients, like what mum does. I can never figure out what she puts into her fantabulous curries.

Eh! But now I also can cook curry. This is pretty good because it's really easy and it's flavour is quite localized. I bought the 'hot' sauce, there are milder ones which I was told is too mild for the Malaysian taste buds.

I took lots of photos and total time of cooking was about 45 mins of simmering. I just follow instructions and turn the timer on and go to my blog to update. If only all the cooking I do is so easy.

Delicious pot of Japanese beef curry.


I was blog hopping when I came across "I'm making notes", blog which is authored by Rita Ho. She posted "AC-CENT-TCHU-ATE the positive by Bing Crosby. I love this and want to share it with you. Thank you Rita!

Check out "AC-CENT-TCHU-ATE the positive by Bing Crosby on my side bar! Click on the title to view the lyrics. ENJOY!!

Holiday Breakfast #2

This morning, I felt like having poached eggs. I made two styles, one Eggs Florentine and the second, Eggs Benedict.

I set out to fry the bacon. Then I started cooking Hollandaise sauce over a Bain marie.

Hollandaise sauce needs delicate handling and takes patience. One thing I have learnt about cooking Japanese food is you really need PATIENCE! The patience I've acquired has helped me in many situations and come in very handy this morning.
Get ready a pot of hot simmering water, add some salt and half a teaspoon of vinegar. The vinegar is believed to 'coagulate' the egg white.

Stir the pot of water (this prevents the egg from sticking to the bottom). Drop fresh egg into the whirlpool of water. Poach for a little while and lift with a slotted spoon or a flat sieve, like the one I used.

Toast two slices of bread, butter it and lay some spinach on one and some bacon on the other.

Place a poached egg each on the ready 'base'. Serve Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce.

Eggs Florentine is served with Mornay sauce but I was running late and just served with Hollandaise sauce - quick fix! Hehehe!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Japanese spring rolls

Fried about thirty of these for dinner. They were a hit!

I just cut carrots, cucumber, crab stick and added a blob of kewpie mayo and some sesame seeds.

Rolled them up in these 'popiah' wraps and deep fried them. The original recipe also has bell peppers but my kids don't like so I don't put.

Fancy Sushi

I made fancy sushi for lunch today. Occasionally, I would surprise the children with some fancy sushi. This requires a lot of time and skill.

This one I made is considered simple. My 'sifu' from PJ Hilton 'rolled' a Japanese word - it was awesome!

I used sakura denbu for the color of the peach blossom.

I had to first roll the five 'petals' and then re-roll all the five 'petals' on another nori spread with white rice.

School Holidays?

Was up early to send Daughter number 3 for a computer workshop in school. It's Mon - Thurs, 8.30a.m. - 10.30 a.m.

Since I was already up and hubs gone to work, I made pancakes for my two elder girls. I cut some bananas and Kiwi fruit. The gourmet mushroom sausage was topped with some wholegrain mustard.

Pancakes were served with Maple syrup (not shown). Basic Pancake recipe from the reliable and almost full proof Martha Stewart.
Check her out @:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wine markers

Whenever we entertain at home and serve wine, we tend to forget which glass wine belong to us and then there is a need to use more wine glasses than needed.

It's a nuisance! So I decided to make my own wine markers today. At least I know when I next entertain, I don't have my guests' trying to figure out where they left their wine glass or which one is theirs.

*Happy, happy*

Up for swap

Anyone want to swap these food dividers and cocktail sausage molds?

Drop me a line if you are interested.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Bento #14

I think I need to improve my photography skills. Lately the photos are getting really 'cacat'.

Today's bento is really too Yellow!
On the left is Pita bread with butter and Strawberry Jam. Some Japanese biscuits.

On the right: I friend the balance of the leftover spaghetti with soy sauce, pepper and top up with fishcake, cabbage and egg.
Packed the bento into this polka dot bag. Added a pack of Japanese Strawberry biscuits and the very 'potent' Sabah chilli.

Japanese Language Festival 2007

My friend Alice is attached to the Japanese Language society of Malaysia, in KL. She sent me this invitation and informed me that there would be a Japanese Language Festival held on September 8th and 9th, 2007 at University of Malaya. There are short sessions of language workshops. There will also be Ikebana, Japanese foods for sale and lots of interesting Japanese culture to be exposed to.

For those who are interested to par
ticipate, please fill in the attached form and fax it back to JLSM or submit the application form by hand by 1st September 2007.
* Participants are limited to 300 persons only.

Please click on the top form for a larger view to see the program for the two days.
To register for the Japanese classes and workshops, please click
on the bottom left side form for a larger view.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Japanese Restaurant promotion

My daughters and I go to this Japanese restaurant very regularly for lunch because it's fairly cheap and the food quality is edible.

They do not have a Japanese chef (all local chefs) but the food is of a decent standard except for the cawan mushi. They tend to overcook it and it's hard and sometimes the texture looks like honeycomb. Dn 2 says that the recipe is just not right. And in her opinion, her mother (yours truly) makes it much, much better. HeHe! Other than that it's ambiance and design is nice and the toilet is also very clean and (lol!) cosy.

Dn 2 and I were there for lunch today and I had their Bento while Dn 2 had their Raw fish salad. The Bento had a piece of Saba shioyaki, tempura prawn, brinjal, pumpkin and beans, There were about 8 slices of sashimi and some salad.
Each set meal came with a bowl of rice, cawan mushi, miso soup, pickles and fruits. The bill was just under RM40/=.

They are having promotion from today for one month - 20% off Ala carte items. I think it's ridiculously cheap so I thought I'd share this information with the local people staying around PJ.
The name of the restaurant is: "Onsen". It is situated at Lot: B-G01, Block B Jalan Persiaran Surian, Palm Spring @ Damansara.
Kota Damansara. Tel: 7801 5366.

If you know where the Chinese restaurant, Damansara Palace is, Onsen is on the same row.
I don't think the restaurant owner or it's staff know that I'm blogging about them or it's promotions. I thought it was too good a deal to keep to myself. Happy eating!

Sorry the pictures turned out 'yellow'. I was a little embarrassed to take the photos so it was a 'quick shot'. I have to learn to take food pictures in public and not be shy about it. Yeah! This will be one of my new year's resolution.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Learn a WORD a day!

How's your spelling?

Your Spelling is Perfect
You got 10/10 correct.

Your spelling is excellent. You also have a great memory and eye for detail.
You Are Cilantro
The bad news is that there are some people who can't stand you.
The good news is that most people love you more than anything else in the world.
You are distinct, unusual, fresh, and very controversial. And you wouldn't have it any other way.