Baking : Lemon Muffins

If you want to try making these lemon mufffins, just try to Google on the Internet, because unfortunately I printed the recipe but didn't bookmark the url. This is a simple recipe, with just a handful of easy-to-get ingredients and can be whipped up in a jiffy.

fresh out from the oven

cooling on the rack
without icing sugar dustingwith sugar dusting


Masak-masak : Sambal long beans

Long beans has never been a favourite in my cooking menu. But it's good to go with omelette, fried rice, curry etc. It usually sits at the bottom of the fridge until I realise oh-you-are-still-here-and-not-wilted-yet, then I'm forced to think of a way to prepare it.

This time I cooked it spicy style. I added some mushrooms since I had some to spare.

long beans
few stalks of mushrooms
1 tomato
2 teaspoons of cili boh paste
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
salt to taste
1 onion
cooking oil
half bowl of water

Stir fry the onions in the oil. Then add long beans & mushrooms and stir fry. Then add tomato, cili boh paste and water to simmer the vegetables. When the vegetables turn tender, add salt and sugar to taste.

You might have a better way to prepare it, but this is my simple version.


Baking : Lemon Cake

I couldn't think of a gift idea for N's birthday. So I told him I will bake a cake for him since I've been doing some baking projects lately. But I had to bake this cake one day late as we were both working on his birthday. And this is the second time I'm baking a birthday cake for him :-)

I had lemons in the fridge and I love lemons…so I decided to bake a lemon cake.

This is a very simple recipe. And you could substitute the lemons for oranges, or just have both!
I tried to bake this recipe the first time with my sisters, and this time I baked it on my own. The kitchen was a mess but the cake turned out fine with a sweet sourish syrup drenched on the cake top :-)

fresh from oven

lightly toasted almond flakes

decorated cake with DIY birthday flag

N and his slice of birthday cake



Baking : Apple Crumble

I'd a few leftover apples in the fridge. Can't seem to finish them before they turned soft. And then this recipe caught my attention – Apple Crumble! It looked so simple to make with just a few ingredients.

I had too much peanuts and sunflower seeds, so N & I first spent some time to "kopek" the peanuts from their shells. Then I cooked the apples with sugar and water until it turned soft and syrupy. Scooped them up and arranged them in the base of the baking tin.

Then I rub butter to the brown sugar, flour and nuts mixture, and used my fingers to rub them till they turned into rough crumbs. The crumbs were then spread on top of the apples and sent to the oven for baking about 20 minutes. And then it's done!

I think it's a fail proof recipe, try it if you like apples! I suppose you could also try pears instead of apples ;-) http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au/2006/05/apple-crumble-recipe.html

butter, flour, sugar mix

cooking chopped apples with sugar & water

ready for baking

fresh from oven - nice golden brown topping


I think Kiko loves me alot, here's the proof...

Ive always believe Kiko loves me as his mommy, but I have never thought how much was his love for me.

But I think I know, at least he seems to love me more than daddy N.

You see, Kiko has this silly behavior whenever he sees me coming down the stairs in the morning and when I come back from work.

In the mornings, as I walk down the last flight of stairs, he would be eagerly waiting at the last step (since he's too short to climb the stairs). He would be wagging his tail, smiling and jumping up and down. Once Im within his reach, he would sniff out my bare feet, playfully biting my last toe, tagging along as I walk to the kitchen area. Sometimes, he would be bringing one of his soft toys and laying them beside my feet, as if signaling me to play with him.

The same scenario repeats itself when hes let out of his crate once we get home. You see, the usual routine is to let him pee first before he gets to roam around the house. He would not go to the toilet to pee until he gets to sniff me, unless daddy N gives him a stern warning which then he would reluctantly head to the toilet. And for god-knows-what-reasons, he just like to bite my last toe and tag along with me.

The reason I said why Kiko seems to love me more because he doesn't do this to daddy!!! Of course I get irritated sometimes, and his biting can hurt occasionally. But it delights me to see his enthusiasm in my presence.  Though at times, I think its sign of him bullying me because Im usually take a soft approach towards him while daddy will be stricter in comparison.

Tapi aku tak kisahlah dont think theres anyone willing to greet you enthusiastically every morning and evening like a dog does ;-)



Does a dog understand the bedtime concept?

N & I have been observing (and some experiments) for some time if Kiko understand the concept of "bedtime". 

Our routine when it's time to go to bed is to switched off the lights, and calling him to go back to his crate. When he was much younger, a lot of coaxing had to be done, which included carrying him straight into his crate. And on some other nights, he would be reluctant to return to his crate, instead running around the living room and eventually hiding in his favourite hideout "dog house". We had to "extricate" him from the hideout and put him back to his crate. 

Earlier on, there were few nights when we tried switching off the lights, and we went straight to our bedroom without telling him to return to his crate, or carrying him back to his crate. Then we secretly observe him if he would figure out it's bedtime and return to his crate. It was hilarious to observe his reaction! He had the puzzled look trying to figure out what he should do. He stepped into the crate, sat on his pillow, expecting us to close the door of the crate. But after moments of waiting and we were nowhere to be seen, he came out and walking around the living room. After looking at the hilarious but failed experiment, we had to came out of hiding and put him back into the crate. 

Like I said, that was much earlier on.

Last night, we decided to try again. I don't know if it was coincidence, or Kiko could've sensed it. Once we mentioned we were going to test him, and starting getting up from the couch to switch off the lights, that little dog miraculously walked himself back into his crate, and sat himself on the pillow waiting for us to lock him up!

We did not lock him up straightaway, but went into the kitchen where N decided to have a quick slice of watermelon in the fridge. Kiko heard the juicy biting sound, he listened closely while still sitting in his crate, but after sensing that we're not going to bed yet, he jumped out of his crate and straight to the kitchen. He was circling N's legs, hoping to get a bite of his favourite watermelon. What a "tam chiak" (everything also want to eat) dog! 

Kiko did not get any bite, but like any loyal and obedient dog, he still returned to his crate when we switched off the kitchen lights.

Experiment was a success :)


Another winner from bro

I skipped reading the newspaper one day, and then it had to happened on that day that I missed out my brother's winning picture in the Star's thumbnails submission. I was pleasantly surprised when sis shared with me the news during last week's trip back home. I'm pretty sure I would have known it was my brother had I spotted the picture in the newspapers.

N said the picture caught his attention but he didn't bothered to notice the picture contributor's name. *cheh!*

Once back home, I quickly pull out the thumbnails page from the newspapers as keepsake, filed together with my own winning entry.

We now have two winners in the family *smug grin*
- Photo courtesy of thestar.com.my (linked) -


Reading nook

I have been eyeing the small living area on the first floor since we moved in. It was not big enough to be a proper living room or a study area. And you couldn't squeeze in bulk furnitures that will block the corridor. It was always an eyesore to look at the empty space.

We had earlier fixed up the bamboo panels bought from Ikea to screen off the gap of the staircase railings, so that it will create a partition and make the space feels like a room. Then we fixed a ceiling fan. But we still didn't have any idea how to decorate the space.

Since the Ikea sales were on last month and wanting to grab some good deals, I finally sat down and sketched a few plans on my drawing book. I decided we would need some shelves and not bookcase, as bookcase will be "bulky" and we don't have a library of books yet. Shelves would be good to give the "floating" look and we could still put some stuffs below the shelves.

So off we went to Ikea. We decided to look around the display to source for new ideas, and we particularly like one room, where they had put a comfy 2-seater couch against the wall, just below the shelves, and installed two reading lamps on the shelves. The arrangement was perfect for our space!

We had not plan to get any couch in Ikea. But this little 2-seater couch in navy colour caught our attention with it's cheap price (under RM500!) It was small and compact yet comfortable, and the cushions can be pull out to become a bed. Though there was only one colour, we decided to take it. We also got some shelves, reading lamps, a red rug, a plastic plant and a pot as decorative items.

I must say that it was amazing that we managed to transport the 2-seater couch back home in our very own Honda City! It was packed in a big rectangular box, I could still remember clearly it weighed 80kg. And we were scratching our heads, measuring here and there to see if we could fit the box in the car boot. We had thought to pay 50 bucks for the delivery service as the last resort. Not willing to admit defeat easily, we scrutinised the display couch to analyse the structure, and concluded that we should open up the package, and cart in item by item into the car boot. And that was it! RM50 saved :-)

Back home, it took us 2 days to do up the space. I wouldn't say it was the best design, but it fits the purpose, and both N & I are very happy with the results.


The X-mini Happy

Read about this X-mini Happy's product review on CNET. This is a portable music player with an all-in-one design. It is small enough to be portable anywhere, measuring a little more than 6cm when expanded.

MP3 songs can be loaded in microSD card or SD card (with SD to microSD adapter). It also allow connection via the 3.5mm headphones jacks. The navigation control for the mp3 player is not exactly the best you would expect for standard mp3 players, but the sound is loud enough considering its small size.

Too bad the price was not mentioned on the site. Well, not that I've any use for this mp3 player at the moment. But it would be kind of cool to be able to share music on the go. Hey, which means you could party anywhere! On second thought, if it is doesn't burn too big hole in my pocket, I might get one to put in my newly setup first floor family area, so that I can listen to my favourite songs while chilling out in my cosy nook.


First Wedding Anniversary

N & I actually celebrated our first wedding anniversary a day late. Yeah..he actually forgot it on the day itself! Of course I was a bit pissed at that, but my usual self just would not allow me to blow the top. He messaged me the next day confessing his blunder, and promised to bring me out for a nice dinner. I thought probably it's also a blessing as we would not have enjoyed celebrating it on a Thursday night compared to a Friday night.

We had German dinner fare at the Stadt restaurant in Bandar Puteri Puchong. We tried the popular pork knuckles, pork chop, the imported German beer (forgot the name), the green pea soup (which I didn't like), the seafood soup (yummy, I like the tomato base) and a mocktail (also forgot the name :p). The food portions were huge! The pork knuckles were grilled to perfection, as the crispy skin smelled so yummy, just like the siu yok, but much better. I definitely agree with all those food bloggers out there that you just have to get more than 2 persons to sample the food there. The price is reasonable, cheaper than some other German restaurants in KL.

And as a anniversary gift, I get to pick a watch for myself! So this is what I picked - a Solvil Titus white leather bracelet watch, with date display and luminous hands, which I have always wanted in my lady watch.


Behind the scenes...the sleepy dog

I was trying to get a good shot of Kiko in the DIY bib, but he was a reluctant model. Knowing how timid the lil fella is, it then occurred to me put him on the step of the staircase to avoid him moving too much. He hasn't figure out how to descend the staircase.

I think all the flashlights made him blurry eye. I caught him on my camera looking tired and getting all droopy eyes... poor thing... 

The one and only photo of droopy-eyes Kiko. 


DIY puppy bib

I was randomly surfing on ebay and stumble onto pets apparel, and then one thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was looking at this - How to make a dog sweater from a sock. Yup, you read it right.

I was so inspired that I ransacked my clothes drawer and rummaged through to pull out my old pair of old socks which was ages ago since I put them on. I did a few measurements on a reluctant Kiko and armed with the simple instructions, I made a few snips to my sock. Then it was time to test the fit on Kiko...

As if he knew something fishy was going to happen, he tried to avoid me by hiding in his little nook. I managed to catch hold of him, but he was still wriggling furiously in my grip. With much effort, I finally managed to slip the sock over his head. Nope.....a little tight round the neck, so I made bigger slits to fit the fur around his neck. It took me a few tries, before it actually fit nicely on him. As I don't have a bigger size sock, the supposedly doggy shirt kinda fall short of his full torso length and looked more like a bib than a shirt.

Here's some pictures of Kiko in the first DIY "bib".

At first, it was intended to be a "superman" cape.

After running around, the "cape" got turned upside down and transformed into a "bib"!

Notice how Kiko put up a nice proud pose to model his bib :P


Kiko's first professional potrait shoot

Here's a photo my cousin brother took using his DSLR camera during the CNY at his house.
A very first "professional potrait" shoot of Kiko. He looks so photogenic, you can see the fur behind his ears are really growing out.

N & I love this photo!

New floral look

If you have been busy surfing around my blog, you would have notice some changes on the colours, alignment, fonts etc.. It was me playing around with the blogger template, trying to change the look of the blog.

I've chosen this simple floral template, and still trying to fix some of the alignments & contents placement. So please scroll abit here and there to hunt for the usual links.


Making my first Chicken Glutinous Rice (Lor Mai Kai)

This is one of the old draft posts which I never got to it to update and publish it. This was months ago when I bought a new recipe book by Amy Beh. Amy is the featured writer for the cooking conundrums column in The Star newspaper. You can also find her recipes on here.

The original recipe was for a vegetarian loh mai kai. However, I preferred the non-vegetarian version, so I added the waxed meat (lap cheong) and chicken to it. This recipe requires early preparation to soak the glutinous rice overnight, and involves lots of steps.

I recall the glutinous rice texture came out a bit soft, but the flavour was alright.

If you would like to try the non vegetarian version, try this recipe instead. Here are some photos I took of the cooking process.

The recipe
Arrangement of the ingredients in steel bowls 
The seasoning gravySteaming the glutinous rice in the wok

The Lor Mai Kai scooped out from the steel bowl.


I won a hamper!

There was a local event in celebration of the Chinese New Year today. As usual, I try my best to participate, mostly as audience and grab the door gifts :P

The big prize of the day was a big hamper waiting to be won. All that was needed to win was to name the 12 chinese zodiac animals in sequence. The first time the question was asked, I had not raise my hand. I hesitated. But when the question was posed the second time, I thought what the heck, and my arm just shot up! And my heart was pumping hard, I was nervous and thinking "sh*t, what if I can't remember all of them in the right sequence...".

I guess the lucky star was shining on me that day. I was selected to answer the question. I managed to got all right and won the hamper! Yay!!! 

Oh, about the hamper...it was a usual hamper stacked up with lots of junk food, a sparkling juice, some bird nests soup, and some canned food. So I didn't bother to take a photo of it. It wasn't the hamper that gave me the happiness, it was the "lucky factor" and the fact that I won the big prize that made my day! 

I say that's a good start to the roaring Tiger year ! :)

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