Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010 Dinner

Merry Christmas all! (There's 12 days, remember? :p) I've been meaning to write this earlier but unfortunately I fall sick, had meetings in between and some errands to run. I'm now back in Kuching for a short break!

I just did a full medical check up yesterday in Prince Court Medical Centre and boy was it weird to have my breast touched by a woman! Lol. I think I'll stick to men. Thankyouverymuch. Eh wait, I'm not supposed to know if it's not weird when touched by a man. Heh. *cough* :p

Back to the Christmas dinner! It was more like a supper for us. Hah! We were stuck in the jam and when we reached home, it was already 8.30 p.m. By the time we're done with the cooking, it was already 10 p.m! The food pictures didn't turn out so great cause I wasn't using my own camera and really, by then I was too hungry to even bother what setting the camera were at.

Despite our hungriness, we did prepare a plethora of food to feast on! First was the finger Vienna sausages which I pan fry them with butter and chilli flakes. The sausages were from Farm's Best, a local brand and it's quite cheap! Half the size of a normal sausage and make a great finger food.

Then we also had garlic bread. We didn't have an oven so we have to make to do with the frying pan! Well, there's a funny story behind the garlic bread. We were choosing the bread for about 15 minutes in the bakery before I decided that dinner rolls would do. When we came home, we realized it wasn't dinner rolls that we were getting, it was red bean bun! FOL! So we had to use bread instead. It was hilarious though. Lol

My favourite dish of the night was actually the stir fry Portabellos. I fry it with home made garlic butter and some parsley. That's all! But the mushrooms were really fresh so it tasted great despite the simplicity of the dish.

The main dish for the night was Lamb in Brown Sauce. We managed to get some nicely thick cut lambs and it was really delicious, tender and uhhh so good. I shouldn't be waxing lyrical about all the dishes since it was all home cooked but really, can't help it for the lamb. :P

As if all the meals weren't fattening enough, we also made potato salad. It's the easiest salad to do but also possibly the most fattening salad. And like they say, fat food are happy food :D

Like every other cholesterol and fat laden meals we have, we just have to have a plate of greens to make us feel better. hehe. That night, we prepared a simple Romano salad and added some smoked black pepper salmon. We also had butter broccoli actually but the picture is too blurry to salivate you. hehe.

For drinks, we made mojitos! There was a debate of whether the leaves we were using was the right one. We bought spearmint but apparently it was suppose to be peppermint. The spearmint leaves were rather mild but we didn't have any choice as a lot of places were out of these herbs. Everyone's making mojitos at home on Christmas eve! :p

The night ended with tequila shots, and tequila shots and more tequila shots! I got really tipsy - nay, more like quite drunk but I was happy! It was a bad idea though cause the next day I ended up nursing a terrible hangover.

I did however recalled myself saying 'I love you' three times before passing out. Even though it was said with me under the influence of alcohol, but I really meant it. :)

Hope you all had a great Christmas dinner like I did. And can you believe 2010 is coming to an end? This year totally flew man. Ahh.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bing! Coffee - Kuching, Sarawak

I always tell people I just met one thing, "I'm a very boring person by nature." Out of well, probably courtesy they would tell me, "No, No, you're not!". Haha. But it's true my normal daily activities involves me spending most of my time lounging in a coffee joint, either with friends or me alone.

Even my idea of a great date is boring! I just had a perfect date and would love to write about it - just so you would know how simple my expectations are and I can have more guys asking me out here. Hahaha!

Something I do acknowledge is that my readers are not usually from Sarawak and I feel very obligated to write about Bings!, a place I really enjoy back home. It's a famous local grown coffee chain (Yes, we do have Starbucks in Kuching in case you're wondering -.-) that is doing reasonably well in Kuching with three outlets under their belt.

Even though it is local grown and is not obligated to any franchise royalty, the prices here aren't exactly cheap. Well, they can't be charging half of what Starbucks is charging for one reason. Their coffee are brewed using illy's coffee beans, an Italian blend with qualities at par with the one Starbucks is using.

I can't possibly write and comment each and every drink I had there cause well to begin with, the knowledge I know about coffee is too little to be commenting and next I don't think I have a long list of adjective to describe coffee. But two of my all time favourite drink from Bings! are Ice blended Tiramisu served with a sponge finger and the espresso machiatto. (both pictured below)

The interior of all three Bing's outlet is of Balinese inspired and while I am not a fan of the Buddha paintings and the likes, I love the couches there. The dim lighting also made the place perfect for an intimate outing with close friends. It's nice to laze on the couch and I have a thing about reading in low lights - I know it's bad for my eyes. :p

All the hot drinks here are served with an almond biscotti and a cookie. The biscuits are nothing much to write upon - I usually just leave them.

If you're not a fan of anything coffee, fret not! They do serve non-coffee drinks. There's flavored tea if you don't mind paying RM 8 for a tea beg. It's obviously not ordered by me - hell, would I pay so much for tea. Lol.

The Ice Blended Chocolate Blueberry is good too for a change. Generous Blueberry! It's slightly sweet so if you're diabetic, this is not for you. :p

Their Tiramisu is by far the best I've tasted. It's very rich and I don't think it can ever be finish by one person! Best of all, it's only RM12.90! Beats Alexis' famous and expensive (RM 17 per slice, not to mention half the size) Tiramisu anytime!

I've also sampled their carrot slice. Having worshiped meat all my life, cakes made of vegetables are not something I am fond of. Lol. But this was ordered to share with my friend and If taken at small portion, it's actually quite nice. :)

The ironic thing is that I'm also writing this from a coffee joint! Was in Starbucks Great Eastern Mall (staying nearby, come visit me!) since 8 this morning. Finished reading Escape before I started blogging.

Ah, pleasures of life is to read a nice magazine (not Cleo with a good cup of coffee. Love!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winter Solstice

How was your Winter Solstice last night? I cooked the balls with sugar syrup and it was served with jelly and soya bean. It was awesome, we're thinking of making them again tomorrow! :D

Was meaning to blog this yesterday night after dinner ended, but was too tired and dozed off.

We had guest over and I cooked a feast! For the first time in my life I cooked a whole chicken! The Hainanese Chicken Rice were the main dish and to accompany the chicken, we had garlic fish and stir fry asparagus.

T'was a good night. But no pictures, cause I forgotten all about the camera when the guest came. ;p

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How to prepare Christmas Turkey with Stuffing

If you've read my blog long enough, you would know that I am one who is not fascinated by any festivals. The only one that I get really thrilled is the jolly Christmas! Partly because it comes with really awesome food and it's also the only time I get to eat to eat turkey. It's not that its of much difference compared to chicken but I love the preparation!

Last year was actually the first time I had a hands-on experience on preparing the turkey. My parents were away for holiday and they gave me the responsibility to prepare the Christmas dinner. :P

The turkey price ranges from RM 95 - RM 150 depending on size and has to be defrosted thoroughly before marinating it. The turkey is marinated overnight with minced/blended garlic, black pepper, worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, salt and MSG. Marinating it overnight will also ensure the meat to be tender and moist.

For the stuffing, finely diced onions, fennel, button mushrooms and sausages. Try not to used the local frozen sausages as they tend to be quite soft. I used Vienna sausages where you can get it at Cold Storage for roughly RM 27 - a pack of five.

The diced potatoes and carrots are to be pre-boiled to cook. Let it cook for about 75% only though. You don't want them to be slimy and soft once the turkey is cooked.

Then you also have the streaky bacon. It's pre sauteed so that the caramelized fats of the bacon would add flavors to the stuffing.

Mixed all the above ingredients together with italian herbs, black pepper, salt and MSG.

Before you start cutting the vegetables and what not, remember to soak the bread in the milk first. White bread soak faster but I used wholemeal loaf so it take a while to fully soak. This is added to the stuffing so that the stuffing would be slightly creamy (not the liquid kind of creamy but you get the idea right?) and at the same time won't be all lose and scattered.

Once the bread is soaked thoroughly, mixed it with the other stuffing ingredients. It should look like this before being stuffed into the turkey.

There's actually no "engineering" to stuffing the turkey. Just stuff it till it's full, then stitch it. Remember not to cut away the skin at the upper breast - if you do, then you have nothing to cover your stuffing. I'm sure surgeons or doctors are good at this. Lol.

Rub butter on the turkey skin and arrange rolled streaky bacon the side. Bacon are like magic in cooking. They always add flavors to any cooking especially the fat streaky ones! hehe.

Roasting the turkey takes a long time so if you have guests coming, you should at least have five hours grace. The turkey should also be put on room temperature at least an hour before roasting.

To avoid it from being too dry - as it will be roasted for a couple of hours, glaze the turkey skin with butter and the oil that ooze out from the turkey itself every fifteen minutes or so.

Once the temperature thermometer is all popped up, your turkey is done! Serve it with sides of your choice. :D

If you're not too tired after all the turkey roasting, you can also prepare espagnole sauce to go with the turkey. It's very easy!

Melt about five tablespoon of butter (They say Christmas is when you put on weight :P) with about three tablespoon of flour.

Then add the turkey goodness - stock from the roasting! :P

Stir in a very low heat cause you don't want it to curdle, and you're done!

Serve the espagnole sauce with the roasted turkey. Bon Apetit!

This is actually a post I had been wanting to write for a year. I didn't wanna blog right after I prepare it cause I didn't see the relevance of writing about how to prepare turkey after Christmas. A year has passed and now Christmas is just less than a week away from today, so I hope this post comes in handy.

Feliz Navidad everyone! ;D

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nasi Kandar Pelita, Penang

It's true when they say Penang spoil your taste buds. Anything you've tasted in Penang, you just won't find the same food tasting as good as it had in Penang. This especially applies for Nasi Kandar. I didn't actually visited much Nasi Kandar joints in Penang but just this particular one nearby where I used to stay in Penang is enough to make me think the ones in anywhere else is a joke. :P

For the uninformed, Nasi Kandar is very much like nasi campur except they consist of mainly curries. I love curries so this was actually one of my loyal dinner when I was still in Penang.

On top of the curries, most joints also usually have beef soup - from all parts of the cow to choose. They're usually ordered by men as it is believed to "make men stronger." I do think it's true in a way as it is really heaty but whether or not it makes your bed sessions better is something I cannot justify. I also don't know if it works on women and the few times I had it, I was alone. Plus, I don't have any bed sessions experience. *cough!cough!* :p

And of course, you have the roti-s. I am not a fan of any of the flat pastry though. Always felt like they're made too oily for consumption. :p

This is my usual plate of Nasi Kandar. One piece of ayam madu and one vege (usually go for the spinach), on top of a bed of rice with kuah pedas. Just typing this has got me salivating!

I also really enjoyed the tandoori chicken. Now, the picture doesn't really do much justice to the taste but I can assure you it's very good, juicy, well spiced and tasty! It's eaten with some lime juice and you would be surprise how the tangy lime could go so well with the slightly charred tandoori chicken! The naan was however just mediocre.

Funny how food like this only goes well with teh ais or teh O ais. :P I usually go for teh ais though.

On an unrelated note, my long time boyfriend - Lenovo is infected with spyware again. Our relationship has been on the rocks of late. T.T This entry is posted from an Acer - I couldn't wait as I was really excited to blog about this after coming across a number of "funny looking" Nasi Kandar in Klang Valley. :P

P/s : Lenovo is back and I am RM85 poorer!

Oh and and ... today's the father bear's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Dy. :)