Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Long absences and infrequent posts spell trouble for my blog. It's been despairingly neglected.

We've had guests over for dinner a couple of evenings. Between that, I've had to get my darling husband to show me the way to the new JLSM center. I have no idea how to get to Jalan Ipoh and it took three trips before I could find the place. *grin*

My dear friend Alice who moved to Japan permanently was back for about ten days and was facilitating an Obento class and we had scheduled to meet then. I really enjoyed her class and the company. It was fun meeting other 'students' passionate about cooking Japanese food.

I forgot my camera and had to use my hand phone camera. Obviously not a good option! I tried turning the picture around and saved it but it kept coming out on my post this way! Hmmmm...

Japanese vinegared egg yolk with crab stick and spinach

Simmered fried sanma fish curry

Strawberry and red bean roll

There was a second session in the afternoon but we were against time because some students arrived late. We were rushing and I forgot to take pictures. *sad face* Overall, both the sessions were interesting and new skills and tips were adopted.
Thank you Alice for the wonderful fellowship over lunch.

Below was lunch after my husband bought a bunch of petai from Pangkor Island. Yummy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Home made Pasta

We eat a lot of pasta at home. It's easy to finish 6 boxes of 500g of pasta in a month, sometimes more even. I've tried making pasta a couple of times but never left me wanting to do more.

I was reading an old magazine and came across a simple recipe.

600 g high gluten flour

5 medium eggs

Mix and knead.

Allow to rest for at least 25 minutes.

Roll flat and wide.

Roll them together and cut to the size required.

Nicely falls over the knife when lifted up.

Nice pile of Fettuccini.

Made some Lasagna sheets too.

Freshly cooked Fettuccine. Fresh pasta took less than 5 minutes to cook till al dante.

Can't wait to try the Lasagna sheets!

Nothing tastes better than fresh pasta!
I think Barilla just lost a loyal customer.


Since I was still on a Spanish or Hispanic (from #2) dish experimental journey, I tried my hand at Paella. I Googled for Paella and found this recipe.

It looked simple enough and I did have a Paella pan which I had not broken into yet.

To break into the Paella pan, I first washed with soapy water and then dried it. Heated it over medium fire. After that I poured in some oil and rubbed it in. Heated it through for about 5-7 minutes and allowed it to cool down, then washed off the oil with warm soapy water. Ta-da! Paella pan ready for use.

Saute-ing the onions.

In went the red and green peppers.

The chicken cubes with salt and pepper.

In went the rice and liquids.

Added the prawns and crab meat (I improvised a little).

Okay truth be told, it wasn't as great as it should have been. Being first time doing this I thought that I had to cook it the way I cook our local 'one pot rice' and so I ended up with a little burnt bottom. tasted pretty good or so from the feedback from my husband and #2. #1 wasn't very excited about it and opted to eat the optional white rice I cooked for 'just in case'.

Next time round I won't worry about 'cooking down' the liquids! I would also add more seafood and meats because my paella pan had 2 cups of rice and had a wee bit too little seafood and meats. One more thing, I like my peppers with a little crunch, perhaps they should also go into the pan later and with less saute-ing time. Till the next attempt...Buen provecho! (Bon Apetite!)

Monday, July 12, 2010


Tomorrow night my two elder girls complete their 3 month Spanish classes at UTAR.
To celebrate, the class and lecturer decided to have a little fellowship. Obviously the theme is "Spanish food".

I searched for ideas on the internet and found "Bread with Mushrooms and Alioli", a tapa.
The recipe seemed simple and making mayo actually is my forte.



Heat the olive oil in a pan that has a cover. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms, salt and sherry. Cover, and lower heat. Cook until liquid is released from the mushrooms, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Toast bread slightly, just to dry it out a bit. Spread with alioli and top with mushrooms. Broil for about 30 seconds or until alioli starts to bubble.

I did some research on the internet for alioli and eventually concoted my own method.

This stone pestle
is an "ancestral heirloom". It was my grandmothers and then passed to my mother's second sister and then my mother and finally became mine. It's a 'giant' of a stone pestle. I have 3 sizes and this is the largest.

There are about 10 garlic cloves in there.

The pestle is huge and heavy. *pound, pound, pound*

The first few drops of Extra Virgin Olive oil mixed in the crushed garlic.

Adding spoons full of Extra Virgin Olive oil.

Mix, mix and mix!

Managed to yield two bottles of Alioli.

Tastes fantastic! Can't wait to cook the mushrooms tomorrow now that the Alioli is done.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bento 300

So I reached my 300th bento today. Thought I should take a break and buy my favorite meal instead. Lui Cha is basically lots of chopped veggies fried in dried prawns and garlic. Makes a healthy and hearty meal. Love the mint and basil concoction of tea leaves, peanuts, sesame seeds, etc.

Busy weekend ahead.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bento 299

I was free mid day because classes were going to be long today. I made myself a bento.
Clockwise: Tonkatsu topped with mayo and tonkatsu sauce, steam rice, some more fried gyoza with dipping sauce and finely shred ginger and garlic tossed French beans and cherry tomatoes. Wow! What an awesome lunch!! The gyozaaaa...was delicious beyond words!!!

This Chicken and five vegetable dish was packed in a side dish. It's got lotus root, mushroom, carrrot, delicious Burdock, daikon and Konnyaku.

The Burdock is so, so delicious!!!

Lunch again

I brought home two boxes of Strawberries and before I could use them, almost 70% went soft and couldn't be used. So sad!!

The five I salvaged were wrapped with home made Anko for Mochi. I halved the strawberries and managed to yield 10 mochi.

The mochi was served as dessert for lunch yesterday.

Friends enjoyed a meal of Cha Soba and home made fried Gyozas.

Good friends and good food makes good company.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bento 298

My internet was down yesterday so I had to do without indulging in my favorite pastime (or waste time as some would say).

This was #3 tea bento yesterday. A simple ham and Ciabatta sandwich. Nestled in between are some peanuts in a cup and surrounded by some cheese biscuits. There was a bottle of Yoghurt drink packed together.

This is the view of the closed box with a transparent cover.

Monday, July 5, 2010

No Charaben today, just lunch!

I feel stifled by limited ingredients and confined taste buds!
Charaben isn't working for me because it takes a whole lot of time for the same purpose.
The kid needs to have more variety if she wants to have Charaben!

I made Zaru Soba today. Boiled Japanese buckwheat noodles, made a dip and fried some Korean dumplings and crab cakes. Notice the ice-cubes? Didn't plan ahead so had to make do.

#2 and I enjoyed a simple lunch.

Roasted Bell peppers

This basket of Bell peppers cost RM5/= (US1.55) in Cameron Highlands. I decided that I should roast them before they get rotten. I love roasted bell peppers with sun dried tomatoes and pasta.

I halved them and rubbed some oil on each half and placed them on the oven pan. The seeds I set aside for planting.

After 15 minutes in the oven at 250 deg C. It smells sweet and smokey (heavenly too!).

I scrapped the roasted peppers into a metal bowl and covered it with cling wrap for it to self steam so that the skin will tear off easier.

Skin removed from the roasted bell peppers. The flesh is tender and sweet. Still smells smokey and tastes delicious!!! YUMMY!!

RM5/= worth of bell peppers yielded a whole bottle of roasted pepper. I filled the 680g bottle with Olive Oil to keep the freshness of the roasted pepper.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bento 297

Confession! Trying to pack charaben bento is no simple task! It takes time, lots of effort, mind boggling bento accessories for mind boggling shapes. But the effect to my kid is just AWESOME! #3 keeps bugging me to continue to pack cutesy food for her. She's been eating everything I pack (also because it's within the confines of her palate choice).

I got this idea from a burger bento from Yum-Yum Bento Box.

This was yesterday's 3.00p.m. meal. Home made beef burger patty.

I had a challenging time with the 'face' because they wouldn't stick to the bun! Anyway there were some home made cookies and some jewel skewered seedless grapes on mangoes.

I used this Hello Kitty box because I didn't want the 'face' on the hamburger crushed.

#3 loved this and said that I must keep packing her cutesy food. Geeezzz...I don't know how long I can do this!


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