Friday, December 21, 2012

Cars Smarties Candy Dispenser vs. moi

Help! 
Does anyone have this Cars Smarties candy dispenser? 

Do you know how to open the contraption to use the dispenser? Its a year now since I got the thing for the boys, I still don't know how to do it, and no one I ask knows either. Just had to throw out a whole packet of the mini Smarties, they expired in waiting, and I am refilling with mini M&M I got from Candilicious last weekend.
I don't remember the other dispensers to be this complicated!


UPDATE : I finally figured it out, thanks to an anonymous commentator. It's so simple that it made me feel so dumb for not figuring it out earlier. Hope this will help others having the same problem. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

giggle.and.sob

I wish 
I could drown 
this sob underwater
so the echo won't resonate 
within my soul
and shatter 
this half pound of heart
deadening the ache
of this so called life of mine
while I keep the mask on
smiling and giggling

laughter or hidden tears
which would you rather?

my giggles or sobs?
14122012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

got my 'delicious' fix

After our 3rd bad experience at Delicious Straits Quay, I have officially put the place on my banlist.


The problem is, I have always loved the food at Delicious, counting the days for them to finally open in Penang. But one year on, their food and service has gotten from bad to worse, serving desert that has gone bad and claiming that that's how its being served. Always out of key ingredients for a dish but still going ahead to serve.Hence we have forgo the place for quite a bit. 


And today while on my quickie 15 hours day trip to KL, we decided to have lunch at the One Utama outlet.


Zz had Mama's Beef Bolognese Spaghettini
with Meatballs and Parmesan while I went for the
Spicy Crabmeat Linguini tossed with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Arugula, sprinkled with Pine Nuts. Desert was Peach and Banana Crumble Slice with Vanilla Ice Cream.


I pronounce cravings fixed.

(Left to right) Mama's Beef Bolognese Spaghettini, Spicy Crabmeat Linguini, Peach and Banana Crumble.

note : this entry is written on the North-South Highway, somewhere between Trolak and Sungkai while I am sitting in an Aeroline bus heading toward Penang. 21 Jump Street is on the tv, bleargh...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

for the love of cooking and the day I chased the wolf

just the cookbooks

These are some of what I managed to grab at the Big Bad Wolf Sale 2012 last friday/saturday. We were there from 10:30pm and left the checkout counter at 4:30am. If anyone were to ask me if they should go, I'd say they are crazy not to, considering the prices (most are at 80% off current retail price!) and the choices and varieties of topics available.

Yes, I went there with the intention of getting cookbooks mostly. I have been waiting for this sale for almost a year, and cookbooks are indeed the major part of the loot. Most of those on my wishlist from Jamie Oliver & Nigella Lawson was indeed on sale at 20% of it's original price, so what was I to do but to grab whatever that caught my fancy. 
 
  • MEDITERRANEAN FOOD OF THE SUN
  • THE FOODIE HANDBOOK
  • WAGAMAMA WAYS WITH NOODLES
  • GORDON'S GREAT ESCAPE: SOUTHEAST ASIA
  • AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY : FAST LOW-FAT MEALS
  • AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY : EASY ENTERTAINING
  • AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY : CASSEROLES
  • AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY : QUICK & EASY CURRY
  • AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY : OLD FASHIONED FAVOURITES
  • AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY : CHOCS & TREATS
  • THE MIDDLE EASTERN KITCHEN
  • THE JAPANESE KITCHEN
  • HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS
  • NIGELLA FRESH
  • NIGELLA KITCHEN
  • NIGELLA EXPRESS
  • NIGELLA BITES
  • NIGELLA LAWSON FEAST : FOOD TO CELEBRATE LIFE
  • FOREVER SUMMER by NIGELLA LAWSON
  • THE NAKED CHEF TAKES OFF
  • JAMIE'S AMERICA
  • JAMIE'S FOOD REVOLUTION
  • HAPPY DAYS WITH THE NAKED CHEF
  • THE NAKED CHEF
  • JAMIE AT HOME
  • JAMIE'S KITCHEN 
  • SUGAR AND SPICE by LAUREN CONRAD

Apart from all these, I got books for the two boys - Scholastic Reading Series, Little Men, Malay novels & sudoku books for mom and some fictions, mostly spy-thrillers by Robert Ludlum & crime fictions by Micheal Conelly. Plus some chick-lits, though I couldn't get as many as I wanted to, I had planned to numb my brain in between cooking sessions with those in the year 2013. Couldn't find any of Lee Child either. Nor any books on poetry. Most prolly they are out there, I just didn't see any.

I doubt I even covered 20% of the whole sale, so many sections was missed or rather I had to give a miss due to lack of time and energy running really low by 2am. I didn't even get to go down the aisle for Self-Help, Biography or Art & Photography. Lucky for me I came across some gems while lining up to pay, these are unwanted books left along the way on the tables between the lines to the checkout, other people's rejects are priceless to me. While I wish I could go again, to really take my time and slowly go through what BBW has to offer, I think I'll give the next sale a miss, and be back at the one in 2014 - unless I can get more bookcases, I really appreciate what I thought was a sarcastic remark by Zz about going to IKEA next to get new book cases next (he said that while we were heading toward the checkout with 2 trolley worth of books between the 3 of us)turns out to be a sincere suggestion. And yes we did get a new 25 cubbies Expedit plus a new work chair for me :)

The sale is on from December 7 to 23, 9am to 9pm. Don't forget to bring your own trolley or trolley bag as lugging around your selections will be a murder eventhough they do provide 'storage' service for your shopping so you can keep going back for more, remember to wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to spend at least 3-4 hours there. While drink and food are not allowed into the sale area, there's a mezzanine floor where refreshments are being sold and they even have massage chairs for your tired body and feet.

Now everyone, go to the Big Bad Wolf Sale! Time to feed your mind people, stretch your imagination, after all most books cost less than a cup of latte.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

hotchickspicysalt ideas : pan grilled fish fillet on blanched spinach

Season the fish fillet with 1/4 tsp of crushed Hot Chick Spicy Salt.

Heat non-stick pan until really hot. Sear the fillet for 1 minute, then turn to the other side, cook for 2 minutes. Repeat flipping if the fillet is thick.

Wash and clean baby spinach. Put in a bowl, pour ove boiling hot water, blanch for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water, squeeze excess liquid. You may season the vegetable with more spicy salt if you want more zing and flavor. Or a dash of nutmeg will taste wonderful with the spinach.

Place spinach on a plate, top with the fish fillet. Serve with rice, pasta or boiled potato  and a side of Greek-style yogurt and salsa verde.

Hey, did you notice absolutely no oil were used in this recipe? Proves that oil free food can be scrumptious too.

Variant : Works well with chicken fillet too.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

hotchickspicysalt ideas : Sunnyside Up with Grilled Tomato and Cheese for Brunch

Just sprinkle the spicy salt on your sunnyside up breakfast eggs and grilled tomatoes. Try a dash on your half boiled egg for that extra zing to awaken all your senses so that you are ready to face the world. Tasty on omelets too.

Bon appetit!
 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hot Chick Spicy Salt debuts


Hot Chick Spicy Salt will be available for the first time ever at the Charity Garage Sale @ Bangunan BAKTI Siti Hasmah, TTDI KL, from 13th to 14th Oct 2012. 2pm - 6pm. 

For all those who's been asking about the spiced salt, here's your chance to get some of the scrumptious salt at the bazaar while contributing to the Youth Of Hope & Teach For The Needs programs that's raising funds for orphans.

The salt is available in 150g square jars, and during this charity bazaar, each jar comes with a pretty wooden flower tag & ribbon, not only it will look great on your kitchen counter, it makes great gift too.

I'll update with some menu ideas on how to use the Hot Chick Spicy Salt in your dishes.

I welcome stories, ideas & photos on your culinary experience with the spicy salt.

Bon appetit! 


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

m.a.g.i.c.w.a.n.d

i wish i have a magic wand
that i can wave your way
to take away all the pains
perhaps even making them mine
so you will suffer no more
and go back to shining lives
like you are always meant to be
like you have always been
a star litting up my darkest night

12:27am
d.jaya

Monday, October 01, 2012

d.r.e.a.m

and he succumbs to the call of dreamland
hoping for a glimpse of her
while she waits for him in her dream
like starstruck lovers
always waiting
forever dreaming
eternally cursed
to be not in the same dream
for daring to desire
for hoping to dare
the dream
1:31am
damansara jaya

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

forgetting



choosing what
to remember
remembering that we forget
memories and forgotten
my life
my reality
my existence
~9.25.12~




The first time I heard the song 'Forgetting', I wept. 

I wept hard. Then I wept some more, wishing that it had been me writing those heart-rending soulful lines. Wishing it had been my story being told. Such simple lines, yet such intricate stories, exquisitely beautiful. Every forgetting revealing a story, every stroke of the piano key narrating a history.

This is what composer/writer had to say about writing the song. 

"...we choose to forget most things. Most of the times because life would be just too painful if you had to sort of just remember just how painful life is for so many people and the fact that your existence is propped up on this incredible  pyramid of down-trodden masses or whatever it is. Every step of the way you can question life. And it's basically you just draw a shutter down, and that makes live tolerable" - David Gray -


'Forgetting' by David Gray

 Crawling and walking
And running and sweating
Forgetting

Lying and cheating

Aiding and abetting
Forgetting

And itching and scratching

And punching and hitting
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting

Reminding rewinding

Removing regretting
Forgetting

Your smiles at the wake and

Your tears at the wedding
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting

Spellbound and hellbound

And caught in the netting
Forgetting

Wiping it clean

Minute Armageddon
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting


Crawling and walking
And running and sweating
Forgetting

Lying and cheating

Aiding and abetting
Forgetting

And itching and scratching

And punching and hitting
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting

Reminding rewinding

Removing regretting
Forgetting

Your smiles at the wake and

Your tears at the wedding
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting

Spellbound and hellbound

And caught in the netting
Forgetting

Wiping it clean

Minute Armageddon
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting
Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting
Forgetting



Monday, September 24, 2012

The day I conquered them pancakes


Pancakes is a big favorite in our household. For years I've been making them using the store-bought premix like Aunt Jemima and Pillsbury, they taste great but the problem is they cost quite a bit and you are always out of the mix whenever you want it. 

Buttermilk Pancake with Blackcurrant Preserve and Clotted Cream with Vanilla
I haven't gotten to making them from scratch because I always get intimidated whenever I see buttermilk in the list of ingredients. Buttermilk was another challenge, my home made version always taste like vinegar chalky water. Well, that is until I figured I need to use full cream milk to get great buttermilk. Buttermilk is now big in my cooking and baking list.

And so last Saturday, when Zz asked for a slice of the red velvet cake for breakfast (again!) I offered to make the much missed pancakes instead. I quick search on my mobile for a buttermilk pancakes resulted in this giant serving of pancake recipe. A few tweaks & scaling produced the recipe below. An easy to make pancake that serves at least 4 voracious pancake fans, and can be made in under 30 minutes.

Leftovers can be frozen with a layer of baking paper between each pancakes. Just zap it in the nuke box for a minute on high, voila! You have instant pancake. And oh yes, you can make waffles using the same batter.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients

(A)


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

(B)

1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted


Directions



  • Combine all dry ingredients (A) in a large bowl. Beat together buttermilk, milk, egg & melted butter in another bowl/jar. 
  • Remember to keep the liquid & dry mix apart until you are just about ready to make your pancakes.
  • Heat your griddle or frying pan on medium heat. It’s hot enough when you flick water on it and it sizzles immediately.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry mixture, and mix until just blended together, DO NOT over mix. Yes, we want those lumps in the batter. Mixing is best done using wooden spoon or cooking chopsticks.
  • Brush the griddle with butter; pour ½ cup measure of the batter for each pancake. Cook until they are golden brown around the edges, then flip over to cook the other side. Approx. 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • Keep the pancakes warm while you cook the rest by stacking them on a plate and cover with a clean moist kitchen towel.
  • Serve with butter & loads of syrup.

  Variations



* If you want to make the recipe egg-free, replace the egg with ¼ cup of buttermilk.

* Add flavors if you wish to, my favorite are to use vanilla bean or cinnamon powder. Let your taste bud & imagination be your limit. 

* If you are adding fruits to the pancake, dust them with a bit of the flour so that the fruits won’t sink.

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Buttermilk & Cottage Cheese

I owe a few people recipes. Quite a few actually. And most people, especially my friends will not buy my excuse of being busy. So here’s a couple of basic recipes to pacify them while I attempt to find time to sit down and write the rest of the more complicated ones.

p/s: this post is dedicated to a friend whom I once shared a joke about laban or buttermilk with. Here's to never spilling laban again.



Buttermilk

250ml fresh milk (UHT works too, but don't use lowfat, you won’t get it right, believe me I tried)
1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar

  • Add vinegar to the milk, stir well. 
  • Leave about 10 minutes, the buttermilk will thicken slightly.
  • It’s ready for use now.




Cottage Cheese 

1 liter of milk
2 tablespoons of lemon juice /white distilled vinegar
Salt to taste
 

  • Heat milk in a pan until hot but not boiling, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  • Cool the milk for a few minutes then add the lemon juice/vinegar.
  • Stir & let the milk separate into curd and whey. Whey is the watery liquid while the curd is the milk solid that has reacted to the heat & acid.
  • Line colander with cheese cloth/muslin, strain when cheese has cooled to room temperature, saving the whey if you are using it for your baking, otherwise just discard.
  • Squeeze out as much as the whey as possible from the cheese while it’s still in the cheesecloth and rinse under running water for a couple of minutes.
  • Salt the curd to taste. Voila! You have your home-made cottage cheese that’s almost always taste better than the store bought ones.
  • For richer and creamy cottage cheese, add cream to the cheese, you’ll get taste and texture similar to ricotta cheese.
  • You can further flavor the cottage cheese with freshly cracked pepper, chives or any other herbs or spices.