Monday, April 26, 2010

Back and busy

#2 is on a short Semester break and we were away for the weekend to Mount Kinabalu. Weather was wonderful and so was the local food and amenities.

Picture taken from our cabin balcony in Kinabalu Pine Resort. It was a nice break from all the hustle and bustle of the daily routine back home.

(No we didn't climb the mountain and we don't intend to *grins*)

We're back to the grind of things rushing around before we leave for Sarawak this weekend for an exciting experience.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


There was Tiramisu for dessert at last night's meeting. I had made it a day ahead so that it could set properly. I'm fussy and particular about Tiramisu, and because it's one of my favorite desserts I have experimented with many versions and recipes.

This one in particular, I like very much because it's just simply delicious. Every time I make this, compliments pour in non stop.

Below, whisking egg yolks with sugar and Mascarporne cheese.

Dipping sponge fingers in double strength coffee, sugar and Khalua.

Lining the sponge fingers for the base layer.

Spreading the cheese mix and whipped egg whites on the first layer of coffee laden sponge fingers.

Beginning the second layer.

The recipe yielded a second bowl of Tiramisu. *grins*

Sponge fingers should NOT be dipped through. The center should be like this, dry and clean of coffee.

The first bowl of Tiramisu dusted with Chocolate powder.

The second bowl of Tiramisu.

This is how it look from the sides over night from the fridge.

Another side view.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spam Musubi

I hosted a meeting at my home tonight. I made an array of food stuff. Amongst them was Spam Musubi.

I posted the recipe about a year ago and recently I tried a different recipe which I read from Adventures in Bentomaking. I tried looking back to find the specific post but couldn't find it. Anyway I remembered the recipe for the sauce which said half cup sugar, half cup shoyu and half cup water. The best thing was, her recipe recommended 'boiling' the spam in the sauce instead of frying the spam. (saved all the splattering)

Picture below shows the 'boiled' spam.

This is the final outcome. The spam musubi was delicious. I liked it. After I opened the cling wrap, I drizzled some kewpie mayo on the sliced musubi before serving. I liked the added flavor.

For method and more pictures of my previous post, click here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

#3's lunch

Just posting a picture of #3's lunch today. It's her favorite sushi with sakura denbu and kewpie mayo. That's the only way she eats sushi. When we patronize Japanese restaurants, we have to specially order specifically this or she will not eat.

Every where we eat, most chefs know who they are cooking for when 'her order' goes into the kitchen. Oh No! It's nothing spectacular, just unusual and out of the ordinary. LOL!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bento sabbatical and my Moussaka

I'm taking a sabbatical from posting bentos for #2. She had her braces fit last Friday and has not been able to eat anything other than juices, smoothies, soup and more juices.

She missed a hi-tea party on Saturday because her teeth hurt too much and missed my Uncle's 90th big birthday party last night too. Not only does her teeth hurt, she's in the midst of finals as well. #2 has really been good, complained very little and has been juicing up all her own meals.

I literally filled a fridge full of fruits and vegetables to be at her disposal. I tried to cook some porridge for her but it didn't appeal. Oh well, exams end on Wednesday and she's on term holiday for a fortnight and then back to college. As usual, her holiday is already packed to the brim with activities.

I made Moussaka today. It is something like Lasagna without the pasta sheets but with lots of vegetables. It was delicious but took a long while to make.

This is the ready baked Moussaka hot from the oven.

A view from the side of my glass dish. Visible are the layers of vegetables, beef and cheeses.

The pictures were taken in a hurry because we wanted to dig in and this was the only portion which we managed to capture before it went into the stomachs! Verdict? Delicious, textured, light flavored vegetables and flavorful cheeses drove the taste buds wild!

Yeah! #2 couldn't resist and managed to eat two servings of the Moussaka. Her first proper meal in three and a half days.

This is quite a huge portion so half it if you're trying it for the first time. I made a full portion because we love this!

Eggplants (Brinjals) - 500 grams, sliced slanting 1/4 inch thick
Zucchini - 1 kg, sliced slanting 1/4 inch thick
Pepper and Salt to taste
EVOO as required
3 tsp of chopped garlic
50 grams of fresh basil leaves - torn in bits
1 box of fresh button mushrooms - slice
500 grams ground beef
1 can of crushed tomatoes
Cheddar cheese as required
1 box 250 grams spreadable cottage cheese

1. Salt the zucchini and eggplant with generous amount of salt in a large container for 40 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, add two tbsp EVOO in a pan and saute the garlic over low fire to soften.
3. Add the ground beef to cook and then add the sliced fresh button mushrooms.
4. Throw in the torn basil leaves and pour in the can of crushed tomatoes.
5. Bring to boil and slowly cook down for about 20 minutes until it gets dry.
6. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
7. Pre-heat oven to 230C.
8. Once times up for the zucchini and eggplant, rinse out well and dry well. Coat vegetables with 3tbsp of EVOO.
9. Lay all the vegetables by slices in a large oven tray lined with wax paper. Put into oven and roast for 20 minutes until soft or brown.
10. Once ready, begin layering a 9 by 11 inch oven proof dish. I used a glass dish so I can see the layers cooking.
11. Layer vegetables first and then the meat and top with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. Begin the second cycle with the same layering method of vegetables, meat and sprinkling of cheddar cheese until it tops with a meat layer.
12. Give the spreadable cottage cheese a good mix in it's box and spread it out on the top meat layer. Sprinkle generously some more cheddar cheese.
13. Bake for 17 minutes and broil and cook for 3 minutes to brown the top. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before cutting to serve. Enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010


I spend a lot of time conversing with my kids whose age range from 11 to 21. Lately I hear a lot of 'stories' which really are 'gossip' from some form of speculation formed from eavesdropping or by sight and thus drawing random conclusions.

When I hear these type of topics surface from our conversations, I am adamant about 'terminating' such frivolous talk. No, I'm not a self righteous goody-goody primp. I just think that it is my responsibility as an adult and parent to discourage young people in entangling themselves in such talk.

It is so easy to gossip about other people to create speculations from impressions when one is on this side of the fence. What if one was the subject and center of gossip and speculation? How would one feel? Such irresponsible and 'free' speculation lead to hurt, tears and sometimes end up even with suicides.

It takes discipline and even will power to avoid and to END the gossip when it reaches us. It needs a brave heart and a compassionate heart to trust that the gossip needs to end not only by my not repeating it but also to share with the one who 'informed' me why it should not continue.

Sure, it feels good to be in possession of some juicy gossip and it feels powerful to be the one who spreads it. But...can we really be responsible for it's consequences? Sometimes a lost friendship, a devastated loss of trust, even a potential suicide on our conscience?

Laugh at my face and say I'm calling bluff and I only have this to say, when you are young and the world is at your feet you have the privilege to make choices, thus make the right ones. END gossip now.

Bento 289

There's a great similarity in #2's palate and mine. We like strong cheeses, Natto and a whole lot of food that #1 and hubs dislike.

Right now, blue cheese rides high on our fave food list. #2 and I were at Sid's Pub in TTDI, two weeks ago for a drink which later led to an order of blue cheese and mushrooms and a brownie. The blue cheese and mushrooms were absolutely awesomely delicious. The brownie was 'biasa lah' (normal tasting, nothing spectacular).

I'm one who likes to be adventurous and so I indulged a little and bought a block to try experimenting. It's been two days in a row where blue cheese and mushroom spaghetti appears. #2 wiped clean the balance sauce which was in the fridge.

The bento below doesn't need description but if you want the recipe, it's after the picture.

2 cloves of garlic - sliced
5 button mushrooms - sliced or cut into chunks
1 cup of cream
1 tbsp of blue cheese

1. Add one tbsp of EVOO into a pan.
2. Toss the sliced garlic over low heat to soften and NOT brown.
3. Add the button mushrooms and saute.
4. Pour the cream and add the blue cheese.
5. Mash the blue cheese into the cream (it will easily soften and mix into the cream).
6. Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
7. Once bubbles appear, switch off the fire and serve with spaghetti or toast.

Don't say I didn't warn you, this dish is not for the faint hearted!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bento 288

I'm still packing bentos, actually more than I can handle now. This year, #3 has extra classes daily and school ends after 3.00p.m. I pack one box for #2 and two boxes for #3.

Recently, I registered #3 to a day care to help her cope with her homework and tutor her with her weak subjects and being her, she didn't want the day care lunch package. So mummy has to send the third food box over.

I'm excited and look forward to packing more bentos, only problem is #3 is picky and fussy about her food and it's a routine limited to a dozen or less variety. This is a challenge and I'll have to see how to deal with it.

Today's bento for #2 is a mix of broccoli and cauliflower for veggies and two nests of spaghetti coated and topped with a delicious blue cheese and mushroom sauce.

This box has a mix of peas and tuna mayo and half an orange.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bento 287

Today's bento was easy as usual. The bottom box had some sliced sesame seed bread from The Loaf. I concocted a new pasta and veggie mix which was light and tasty.

Grapes surrounding some sliced button mushrooms and tofu fishcake.

Bento 286

This was a quick bento for Saturday. Another 3 hours at a SASA event.

A quick and simple take away box of fruits, some sliced bread and pudding from The Loaf at Pavilion. Greedy as we were, we finished all the cheese cakes before the pictures could be taken. I still like the Durian ones. *yums*

Interesting read:

How to green your lunch: Top 5 tips

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Daiso outlet

I was at 1U yesterday trying to buy some essentials when I saw a new outlet of Daiso. I don't know how long it's been open but that was the first time I've seen it since my last trip to Cold Storage at the new wing.

I told #1, let's have a quick tour first before we move on to shop for our other stuff okay? She looked at me and said "Huh! Quick? You...mum?". Yeah! That's the reaction I get from my kids when there's a Daiso or 100 Yen store around which I want to have a 'quick' browse. *sigh*

But...I did have a quick browse (just to prove #1 wrong) hehehe...

Anyway, for those of you who don't know yet, the new Daiso outlet is next to Cold Storage in the new wing of 1U. It's packed with the same stuff as in the Curve. For me it's more convenient because I prefer to shop at 1U and for those of you who live around there, have fun!!

Bento 285

This was yesterday's bento. Today is Good Friday so it's good ole "Hot Cross Buns".

There are some fried 'ikan bilis' and a mixed salad in some salad cream in the top box.

Left over spaghetti Aglio Olio and some seedless grapes.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bento 284

Just practical food for bento again. A can of mackerel from Daiso and some papaya for desert. The top box has some Adventist 7 grain sprouted bread to go with the mackerel and some fried chives.

Simply packed...


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