Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cute & Interesting stuff

I can't help but took pictures of it when I saw these stuff at my office the mall the other day.

Sanitary Napkins & Pregnancy Test Kit vending machine inside the ladies restroom

It's not FREE but at least made available! 

With all the restaurants, cafes & ice cream parlors here, it helps to have this machine! Well, just incase you want to reconfirm how overweight you are! :-) hehehe

Incase the eating and shopping gives you hypertension, no worries... you can always check your blood pressure here!

Well, this kaugummi (chewing gum balls) dispenser is soooooooo cute!

I'm totally addicted to this moreLomo apps! 

Monday, October 04, 2010

My quest to learn to cook

Those of you who knows me well, knows that I love to eat. However, when it comes to cooking, that's another story all together! I'm not saying that I can't cook at all. I can. Simple food that is! The kind that you will not find in any recipe books. I just cook according to what I feel like cooking. Salt and pepper are my only secret ingredients. And I must be doing something right because my husband's plate is always clean! Oh yes, prepared pastes that you can easily buy at the supermarkets are my besties too! 

Well, that's about to change. Having moved to Pattaya a month ago, I met a new friend. She's from Indonesia and loves to cook!

She agreed to teach me how to cook some of her favourite dishes. So, the first dish that I'm going to learn is Beef Rendang.  According to Wiki, this dish originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia. 

The preparation leading up to the cooking day deserves a paragraph to say the least! One of the ingredient is candlenut. I went to every supermarkets in Pattaya to look for this nut and no luck in finding it. I even went to Bangkok looking for this nut and still no luck. I was roaming Pahurat street (it's like little India in this street) and still couldn't find it. They have all the nuts, beans and spices that you can think of but NO CANDLENUT! The vendors told me that no one sells it there. They even suggested to use macadamia nut as substitute. I also met an Indian lady from Singapore who told me that she has been going to Pahurat for years to buy her ingredients and she has never seen candlenuts. Not willing to give up easily, I continued my search for this nut at the supermarkets. I went to the top three supermarkets in Bangkok and still couldn't find it. In the end, my friend had to call her Indonesian friends to ask if they have any. And luck was on our side this time. We managed to get some. So, if you are coming to visit me, please bring a kilo or two of candlenuts! :-)

Below are the ingredients. Please note that the amount used was base on our personal taste! We like it extra spicy! 

BEEF RENDANG

Ingredients
5 kg of Beef ( I prefer Tenderloin, cut into chunks)
3 pcs Tumeric Leaves 
6 pcs Kaffir Lime Leaves (finely sliced)
3 pcs Dried Buah Asam Gelugor 
6 tbsp Cooking Oil
2 tbsp Sugar
4 pcs Lemongrass (white part only)
2 cups Fresh Coconut Milk
1 cup water
Salt to taste

Spice paste
2 kg Red Chillies (discard the seeds)
250g Cili Padi (Bird's Chillies)
12 pcs Shallots (medium size)
10 pcs Garlic Cloves
2" Galangal
2" Ginger
2" Tumeric
A handful of Candlenuts

Method
1. Chop the spice paste ingredients and blend it in a food processor until fine
2. Heat the oil in a stew pot, add the spice paste
3. Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 3 minutes
4. Add the coconut milk, water and buah asam gelugor. Simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked.
5. Add the kaffir lime leaves and sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat
6. Lower the heat to low, cover lid and simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the gravy thicken
7. Add salt to taste, stir well for another 3 minutes
BEFORE

AFTER and ready to eat! 

However, I was told that rendang is best eaten the next day. So, let it cool and refrigerate. When re-heating the next day, add half a cup of coconut milk (you may add more if you prefer to have extra gravy).

Thanks Shinta for teaching me to cook this recipe! NO MORE rendang paste packets from the supermarket! :-)

p.s. This 5 kg of rendang was nicely divided into 3 households that feeds 6 adults. Each household kept 2 extra servings in the freezer for rainy days! hehehe

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm NOT a Shoe-Aholic!

When I was still in primary school, going barefoot was the norm. During the rainy season, I will wrapped my white canvas school shoes nicely with plastic bag and will only take it out to wear once I reached the classroom. 

BATA was the only brand that I knew then. I think every kid at that time had that white canvas shoes. I never cared much about shoes then. I'll wear whatever mum bought for me. At one time, I think I even got so hooked to wearing that black kung-fu shoes. You know, the one that Bruce Lee's wore in all his movies.
   
*Picture googled!

It was only when I was studying and living in Switzerland that I became interested in shoes. The birthplace of Bally. As a student, I could not afford to splurge on expensive shoes. Whatever money my parents gave me, went towards paying my school fees and living expenses. So, "admiring from a distance" was more like it at that time!

And then, the time came when we have to do our practical training. My application at the Swiss Hotel in Zurich was accepted. And the best part was I am getting paid and provided with free accommodation. During my first month in Zurich, I went to Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich's main downtown street and one of the world's most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. I could spend hours there window-shopping. Admiring all the shoes on the window display. 

So, it was only natural that I bought a nice pair with my first pay!

Sentimental value :-)

The window shopping continues for a while. It was only after I came home to Malaysia and when I was earning a good salary that I started to splurge on shoes. My favorite working shoes then was Bally and Bruno Magli. In the past few years though, I like Celine.

Sometime not just the shoes but also 
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hehehe :-)

My dear husband thinks I only have about 30 pairs of shoes because he unpacked them for me when we arrived here in Bangkok. I think he was curious just how many pairs I have. What he doesn't know yet is that there's actually another box of shoes in storage! :-)