Friday, August 31, 2012

Ooh-la-la pavlova

This is the last  of the "FASCINATING" bake challenge.. baby pav! Another luscious delight guaranteed to thrill! (^^)

Pavlova is a super easy and super yummy dessert that baby (and big) loves! And it's an expensive (?!) store-bought dessert that is totally unjustified due to the minimum effort and cost of making/assembling it!

It's also a dessert that baby classifies as "FASCINATING".. ???!!! (^^)

Well, I guess pavlova (with all the works! ^^) does give off a sexy and elegant vibe.. think cool.. chic.. melt-in-the-mouth.. ooh-la-la luscious.. (^^) See call me cupcake's pavlova post to get the real deal on sexy pavlova.. my pictures are as usual a bad reference point ^^||.

Pavlova (recipe from call me cupcake)

4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp white vinegar

400ml whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
Fruits, fresh or canned, diced or sliced.. up to own preference   

1. Preheat oven to 175C.

2. Beat egg whites till foamy, and add sugar a little at a time till stiff peaks form. Mix in cornstarch and vinegar till well combined.

3. Trace a circle (size of own preference.. otherwise don't bother and do it freestyle! ^^) on a baking paper, and fill up with meringue. Make a well in the middle or have slightly higher sides.

4. Turn down oven to 100C, and bake for 1 1/2 hours. When done, LEAVE IN oven to cool completely (I didn't see this ^^|| but no harm done, I think ^^)

5. For topping, beat whipping cream with sugar till soft peaks form (do not overbeat). Prepare fruits just before assembling.

6. Serve pavlova chilled with a generous topping of whipped cream and fresh fruits. Enjoy! (^^)

Another winner ^^! Best served CHILLED with lots (I really mean lots!) of whipped cream and fruits! This is necessary, just in case you're extremely sensitive to even the merest tinge of egg-iness.

A simple, yet sexy and luscious dessert! WE LOVE (^^)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sublime double caramel cupcake

I'm not quite sure why.. but baby pig has a thing for all things with caramel!

So I knew for my "FASCINATING" bake challenge, baby's cupcake would have to have some caramel somewhere! (^^)

The only caramel cake I ever made was banana caramel cream cheese cake, which I remember baby enjoyed.. Alas, my bananas are not ripe and I do not have cream cheese either.. So change of plans.. go without.. which made things far more simpler (and more to my liking ^^). But then I had to come up with the brilliant idea of making swiss  meringue buttercream for frosting! Aaargh... more work!!!

That's why this cupcake is called double trouble ^^ no, just joking.. it's so named because of the caramel and sweetness is times two in this recipe ^^||

Double caramel cupcake (adapted from piggyscookingjournal and previous post)
120g sugar  
2 tbsp water
6-8 tbsp whipping cream (depending on the consistency that you like)
* keep about 6-8 tbsp of caramel sauce for frosting

250g unsalted butter (use best butter, ok)
100g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence (get darkest, thick essence possible) 
230g self-raising flour, sifted
6 tbsp fresh milk (fresh milk only!)
6 tbsp whipping cream (this came from daily delicious' recipe.. interesting!)
4 egg whites
70g caster sugar

1. Prepare caramel. Let sugar cook in a saucepan. When you see the sugar on sides of the pan melting, drizzle water all over sugar slowly. When syrup turns into amber color and caramelizes (see david lebovitz's step by step), remove from heat. Stir in whipping cream (if cream curdles, just strain before use). Set aside, and keep 6-8 tbsp for frosting.

2. Preheat oven to 180C.

3. Beat butter and 100g sugar till light and fluffy (don't overbeat!) Add egg yolks one at a time and mix till well combined. Add vanilla extract or essence.

4. Sift flour, and fold into butter mixture in 3 batches. Mix in fresh milk and whipping cream. Batter should be nice and smooth now.

5. Beat egg whites till frothy, and slowly add in 70g sugar. Beat till thick and glossy. Medium-soft stiff.

6. Fold in egg whites gently into cake mixture in 2 batches.

7. Add caramel fudge sauce and mix well.

8. Bake as cupcakes for 25 minutes, or in a 7 or 8" round/square tin for 40-55 minutes, or till the skewer comes out clean.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream 
3 egg whites
100g sugar
100g unsalted butter, diced small

1. Beat egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pot of boiling water (do not let bottom of bowl touch boiling water). Continue to whisk mixture till sugar is dissolved (check by rubbing some mixture on fingers.. if no residue, that means it's ready). Remove from heat.

2. Beat egg whites mixture with electric whisk for about 8 minutes.

3. Slowly add diced butter (bit by bit) to mixture and beat for about 5 minutes. If it curdles, just continue beating.. don't give up! It always comes back ^^

4. Pipe or put frosting on cooled cakes. Drizzle caramel fudge sauce (be generous and you will be well rewarded! ^^) over frosting. And bon apetit!

There really is SOMETHING about caramel! These cupcakes tastes so, so exceptionally good! So, so moist and luscious ^^.. Top TOP marks from baby pig! Big too! And chubby and me too! (^^)

Oh, yes! did I mention I found and used Lescure butter for my "FASCINATING" bakes? I really think it made a HUGE difference to how my cupcakes, double trouble and (almost ^^) white kisses, turned out ^^!
Believe me (us!), these double trouble cupcakes are truly sublime!!! (^^)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Indulgent white chocolate with cookie bits cupcake

Chubby pig likes white chocolate.. especially hershey'' kisses cookies n creme ~ white chocolate with cookie bits.

So when I saw daily delicious's white chocolate and macadamia cupcake post, it was just the perfect thing for my "FASCINATING" bake challenge! Because I wanted to make one perfect cupcake just for chubby and another just for baby. (^^)

I was planning to follow daily delicious' recipe.. but I couldn't get hold of good imported white chocolate (blessing in disguise! ^^). So I decided to use chubby's favorite hershey's kisses instead.. which was a perfectly brilliant idea! And I omitted the macadamia nuts too.. because chubby and baby no-like nuts!

And here's the recipe to (almost ^^) white kisses..

White chocolate with cookie bits cupcake (adapted from daily delicious and see previous post)

250g unsalted butter (use best butter, ok)
100g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence (get darkest, thick essence possible) 
230g self-raising flour, sifted
6 tbsp fresh milk (fresh milk only!)
6 tbsp whipping cream (this came from daily delicious' recipe.. interesting!)
4 egg whites
70g caster sugar
160g hershey's kisses cookies n creme, chopped (use more if like.. and keep some shavings for frosting)

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Beat butter and 100g sugar till light and fluffy (don't overbeat!) Add egg yolks one at a time and mix till well combined. Add vanilla extract or essence.

3. Sift flour, and fold into butter mixture in 3 batches. Mix in fresh milk and whipping cream. Batter should be nice and smooth now.

4. Beat egg whites till frothy, and slowly add in 70g sugar. Beat till thick and glossy. Medium-soft stiff.

5. Fold in egg whites gently into cake mixture in 2 batches.

6. Add chopped white chocolate with cookie bits and mix well.

7. Bake as cupcakes for 25 minutes, or in a 7 or 8" round/square tin for 40-55 minutes, or till the skewer comes out clean.

300ml whipping cream
30g icing sugar
Some shavings/crumbs of hershey's kisses cookies n creme

Beat whipping cream with icing sugar until firm peaks form (be careful not to over beat). Pipe or put frosting on cupcakes and sprinkle with white chocolate shavings/crumbs.

And voila! (almost ^^) white kisses cupcakes! These are absolutely scrumptious and indulgent! Moist and so very luscious too!

We love! love! love! Definitely a yummy-licious FASCINATING bake! (^^)

Fascinating? Exciting? Who, me?

Couldn't be.. ^^|| Not me.

I like things simple and straightforward.. always. Fascinating, exciting.. isn't something that people associate with me.. Predictable, boring would be more like it (^^||)

I stick to the tried and tested like a leech! Always choosing simple, singular and familiar foods over other "interesting" choices. And this is reflected in the food and bakes that I like to eat or make ^^.. mostly more of the same, unadventurous stuff (^^||).

So when baby pig said that my bakes were "not fascinating, but perfection" (I was quite certain I heard imperfection, but baby insists it was otherwise ^^), it really hit the nail on the head! My bakes are never fascinating nor exciting because I always bake simple, straightforward stuff! Things that I like.. with the usual ingredients that I like ^^||.. which screams BORING in every way! (^^)

And to nail the door on the cofxxn, chubby pig presented me with 4 baking books, the very next day! (^^||) Talk about timing! Sigh! (^^) Anyways, I love the books, chubby! Thanks a million! xoxo   

Guess it's time I upped my game (at least for once) for piggies' sake! So today I baked and toiled cupcakes and pavlova.. and I present you double trouble, (almost ^^) white kisses and baby pav! Watch out for the recipes soon..

The cupcakes and pavlova are ooh-la-la scrumptious and delicious!!! And definitely FASCINATING!!! Full marks from all my piggies! (^^).. just don't be put off by my pictures ^^|| it's taken at night by an amateur (me!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A popular korean bbq restaurant chain rolling.. downhill

It's really sad when nice (once a upon a time!) restaurants start going downhill.. on their servings!

I can truly understand that businesses need to make a profit or cover costs.. so if they need to increase their prices when the cost of ingredients/labour go up, I can accept it.  I can even understand when they downsize on the portions. But what I don't understand is what makes them think they can replace with obviously different/inferior ingredients??!! And short changing the customer, big time!

You must be thinking what brought this on? Well, I'm upset that we were short changed at a popular korean bbq restaurant! Over a bowl of rice! Yes, rice! You know how I take my rice seriously! Especially when I have to pay like 3-4 times for a bowl of fluffly, sticky short-grain rice (korean/japanese/sushi rice)! And instead of getting that, they short-change us by giving us a bowl of common long-grain rice (it's not inferior in this case, btw.. it's just different and technically costs a whole lot less!) thinking that we wouldn't be any wiser!!!

I'm sure most customers wouldn't even have noticed.. but we have been patronizing korean restaurants, namely this particular chain, since they opened their first restaurant way back in 2005 or 2006! Of course we would have noticed! We noticed when you downsized the portion of dishes and banchan.. and we noticed that you don't immediately serve the banchans.. holding back till the first dish is ready! We noticed, ok??!! But we chose to close our eyes.. and continued patronizing your outlets.

But what makes you think you can get away with the rice, DAORAE???????!!!!!!!

I can't even label this post nor can I add any smileys!!! I'm upset.. and sad, that it's come to this. You just don't mess with my rice!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Succulent steamed spare ribs with black beans

I'm no cook.. and it's not like I'm good at baking, either.. a "half past six" (neither here nor there!), as my elderly aunts would say in mangled english! (^^||)

Well, you may have realized by now, that one of the reasons I remain terrible at cooking, is that I'm simply lazy (^^||)! So meals at home means it's usually some super easy one-pot meal or minimal cooking/ingredients dish. Occasionally, I do get inspired to cook by other bloggers' beautiful works and put a little more effort in my cooking! But most times I cook with whatever ingredients I have in the fridge. Other times I avoid cooking ^^||. Then, there are times I cook, when an ingredient just happens to fall on my lap! As the case with the fermented black beans ^^.. (a little far fetched but almost true ^^)

sorry, I forgot to drizzle some sauce over (amateur at work).. it should look more succulent ^^

Hence the "inspiration" to make my very first steamed spare ribs with black beans.. a really popular dish at dim sum restaurants. Fatty hubby's wild about them (?!).. I'm not.. at least not crazily so (^^)

Steamed spare ribs with black beans (adapted from hungerhunger and steamykitchen)

400g pork spare ribs
1 tbsp whole fermented black beans (give it a quick rinse before use)
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp grated ginger (optional)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
salt and pepper to season
red chillies, sliced finely (optional) 
spring onions/scallions, sliced finely (optional)

1. Mix and marinade spare ribs with black beans, garlic, ginger, sugar, sesame oil, rice wine, cornstarch, soy sauce (if using), salt and pepper (and some finely sliced red chillies too) for at least 30 minutes (or longer) in the fridge. I thought the fermented black beans were salty enough, but they weren't.. so a dash of soy sauce or a pinch of salt was necessary.

2. Steam in a heat-proof dish for 20 minutes or till cooked. Serve with some garnishing of spring onions and red chillies, if you like.

I don't know why, I've always thought this dish as difficult to make.. It's not. Really. If a klutz like me can do it, anyone can! It's super easy and super delicious too! You can even steam this dish on top of your rice using the rice cooker. Just pop in the marinated meat just as the water in the rice stops bubbling. Close the lid and let it cook with the rice. Do not open lid immediately after rice is cooked.. dish up after 10 minutes or so.

Fatty hubby and piggies enjoyed the spare ribs even though they were a teeny-weeny bit chewy/tough. (^^||) I think I really should make it a point to get those soft spare ribs part after all ^^. Me, I actually like them kinda chewy (^^)

Guess who's happiest today? (^^) Ze fattest pig of all, of course!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Delish homemade IKEA swedish meatballs

Who doesn't like meatballs, hands up? A-ha! I bet no one raised their hand! ^^ Everyone loves a good meatball, right!

And one of the most popular meatballs around, would definitely have to be the swedish ones from IKEA (well, at least on this part of the world ^^||). It was love at first bite for me ^^ We sometimes visit IKEA not to shop but just to have meatballs! (^^)

But a year or more ago, I noticed that the meatballs in IKEA were getting really fake/weird.. Though beefy-ier tasting and smelling (I bet it's just beef extract and flavoring).. it is less meaty and you can tell they've been adding more starch or something.. that it feels/tastes more like beef-ball (think fish-ball)! It has also magically shrunk too! Sad, no?

Anyways, I came across a recipe for IKEA swedish meatball in iamafoodblog a few months back, and I've been meaning to make it... but somehow never got to it ^^|| But here we are at last!

IKEA swedish meatballs (adapted from iamafoodblog who adapted from

1/2 pound (227g) minced beef
1/2 pound (227g) minced pork (I used minced pork belly ^^)
1 egg (???! I missed this totally! ^^||) 
2 small potatoes
2.5 tbsp yellow onion, diced (I used a big whole yellow onion.. yums!)
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to season
1/4 tsp allspice (I didn't have any.. so I used a pinch of mixed herbs.. otherwise just omit)

1. Peel and dice potatoes into small chunks. Put diced potaotes in a pot of boiling water and cook till soft. Drain water and mash them up while hot. Set aside.

2. Fry diced onions with some butter till brown and set aside.

3. Mix minced beef, minced pork, egg (I so totally missed this ingredient! but honestly, I felt it made no difference to the outcome ^^), mashed potatoes, onions, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to taste and allspice (I personally think this is optional ^^) till well combined. Shape meat mixture into rounds or balls (I had no problem shaping/"glue-ing" the meatballs despite not adding egg.. it didn't break apart at all ^^)

4. In a non-stick frying pan, heat the rest of the butter on MEDIUM heat and fry meatballs till nicely brown and cooked. Don't leave it too long without turning! Turn, turn, turn! (You know I'm a hopeless "fry-er", right? So is it any wonder I burnt my meatballs too???! ^^||)

5. If you can't fry (like me), opt to bake your meatballs at 200C for about 15-20 minutes! You'll be happy you did that! Just don't forget to grease/line your baking dish. And if you like, spray/brush the meatballs with some butter/cooking oil. (^^)

I cannot tell a lie.. the meatballs are DELICIOUS!!! And yes! they taste just like the ones from IKEA!!! despite my forgetting to add the precious egg and omission of allspice ^^ It tastes REAL and exceptionally GOOD! (^^)

Just for the record, the pan-fried meatballs tastes slightly better (despite my burning them) due to it being browned and crispy all over compared to the baked ones. Anyways, if you prefer the baked meatballs a little bit more crisp, you could do a quick pan-fry just before serving to get them browned. But if you are planning to add the meatballs into spaghetti sauce, the baked meatballs are absolutely perfect! (^^)

Well, I never expected meatballs to be so easy to make (except the frying part ^^||) and it turned out really well too! We love it! This is an absolute keeper! (^^)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

hot weather, cold noodles?

I live in the tropics. Hot (and the occasional rain ^^) weather is a given 365 days of the year. That means it's summer all year long here!

Since there's hardly any seasonal change (if you consider rain as seasonal), we do not have special foods to mark the seasons. Also berries do not grow on trees here ^^||.. Anyways, whatever we lack, we are blessed with an abundance of other stuff.. sunny weather (^^||).. cheap and good food, fruits and produce.. stability.. food.. did I mention food again? ^^ I count my blessings every day ^^

Anyways, despite the heat.. I mean sunny weather, we don't normally take our food cold. Though we enjoy our ice-creams and drinks icy-cold, we generally prefer our mains hot. So it is interesting to note that the koreans (the japanese too) enjoy cold noodles during summer.. and even better, they like them spicy ^^

So when I saw sook's spicy nengmyon sauce, it really piqued my interest.. especially when it's made from scratch with lots of fruits! and no cooking required! I knew I had to try it out!

Spicy naengmyeon sauce (recipe from sook ~ heartmindandseoul

1 korean melon/ asian pear or 1 cup pineapple chunks (I used a mix of pear + pineapples)
1/2 green apple, remove skin (I used a whole red apple) 
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup korean cider or sprite/7-up (I used sprite)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
2 green onions (I used green onions + 1 yellow onion)
1-inch ginger piece, remove skin

1/2 cup gochugaru (chili powder)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
a pinch of salt
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil (I used the usual sesame oil)
sesame seeds to garnish (optional) 

1. Process the fruits, water, cider, soy sauce, garlic, green onions and ginger till you get a smooth mixture.

2. Pour fruit mixture into a big mixing bowl. Add gochugaru, sugar, honey, salt and sesame oil one by one to the fruit mixture and mix till well combined. 

3. Serve cold with cold soba/noodles.. topped with julienned cucumber/pear, hard-boiled egg and sliced meat, if you like.. and enjoy ^^!

* see sook's post for the step by step of making this sauce and yummy pictures!

My very first made from scratch sauce!

Though I did find this cold noodle with spicy fruity sauce yummy and refreshing, I still prefer my noodle sauces a little bit more savory and robust. However, this could be just the thing for you! And for some strange reason, me and papa pig find this dish tasting a lot like the rojak mee we have here (minus the peanuts) (??!)

Anyways, I really enjoyed making the sauce.. it felt very wholesome.. and right. (^^)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

End of the road..

It's been one happy roller-coaster month of endless, delicious food and sweets! And I've probably piled on quite a few "unhappy" pounds ^^|| Now to work it off.. by baking! *gulp* just joking! (^^)

To bid adieu, here's some rustic malay sweets/desserts to feast your eyes on.. simple, honest to goodness stuff (^^) And also a picture of my all time favorite finally, a mini version of kuih bakar.. the pistachio-colored, well-burnt and caramelised cake, right in the middle. The other two sweets are new discoveries this ramadan, a gummy-spongy cake with pineapple filling and a mung bean kuih.

Now, don't you think that this is the ugliest kuih/cake/pudding ever?! Yucky color.. dark, murky, mouse-y brown! Definitely not something you'd pick up when there's so many brightly colored cakes to choose from! I was not convinced when the seller said that this sweet is "SEDAP" (delicious).. it's so plain and ugly.. nice try ^^||. But I gave it a shot anyways.. and I was hooked.. mmm, sedap! This mung/green bean jelly/pudding-like sweet is an acquired taste, I think. But if you don't mind the "green" taste of mung bean, you'll love this! (^^) I love it! Fatty hubby too! I'm going to miss this a lot.. 

sweet and savoury delights galore

my favorite food stall ~ meat, fish, curries, veggies ~ i like them all ^^

Well, my happy (ramadan) run officially ends today (><). But I made good while the sun shined! And I'm thankful for the one whole month of delicious food ^^.. and not having to cook! (^^)

Now I need to work my fat ass off! Selamat hari raya aidilfitri, happy holidays and happy weekend, everyone! (^^)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

an apple banana crumble.. an evening of shakespeare

If baby pig wants apple crumble, he shall have it.. if it's sashimi he wants, he shall have it too.. I'm super proud of baby and big ^^

Over the weekend, big and baby, together with eight other home-schooling friends, braved the stage to perform Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice to 3 sold-out shows! They (and their friends) were amazing!! I thoroughly enjoyed my evening of shakespeare! (^^)

Oh, did I mention Big initiated the idea, directed, acted and coordinated the production? ^^ Yes, he's that special ^^.. Kudos to baby too (I love your Salerio and Duke of Venice, and for persevering with the horrible pokey wig!) and all their friends (and moms) for their sterling effort! (^^)

So to mark the occasion, a yummy-licious apple banana crumble, as requested by baby some 2 weeks ago ^^

Apple banana crumble (adapted from MWW April 2006)

4 small apples, sliced thin
5 medium bananas, sliced (so yummy, need to put more next time)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon sugar
250g flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder, sifted
6 tbsp instant oats
180g caster sugar (too sweet! need to use less, maybe 150-160g next time)
200 cold unsalted butter, diced

1. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon sugar over apples and bananas. Mix till fruits are well coated. Spread on ramekins or a large baking dish.

2. Mix flour, baking powder, oats and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add diced cold butter into flour mixture. Use a knife to incorporate butter into the flour.

3. Rub butter pieces coated with flour with your thumbs and fingers till they resemble rough breadcrumbs. Top fruit mix with crumble mix.

4. Bake in oven at 200C for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of ice cream ^^

A super-duper easy dessert. And yes, it's good.. it's thumbs up good from baby! Big too! Mama likes! So do I (^^) A proud weekend.. and many happy days! la-la-la-la..

p.s sorry for the bad apple banana crumble pics.. was rushing to serve them warm to piggies ^^

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Light lunch.. an embarassing situation.. and a little idea

You should know I haven't been cooking.. or baking much, lately ^^|| It's quite obvious ^^

Well, there's plenty of yummy food to choose from at the pasar ramadans.. and fatty hubby has been busy "buka puasa" (breaking fast) with his customers every other day (he eats more during ramadan than he does during chinese new year!!!).. so there's no point cooking for one! Besides, fatty hubby loves the food offered at the pasar ramadans as much as I do ^^ But mainly because I'm a lazy cook who avoids cooking whenever I can! ^^

Anyways, since I have some leftover rice courtesy of MIL, I decided to "cook" lunch.. fried rice with minced beef in japanese curry (from god knows when.. ok, I know when.. but you wouldn't want to know ^^||) and scrambled egg. Not the most balanced of meals.. no veg (forgot that I had frozen peas, etc).. but light enough, so I don't feel woozy after. An easy meal you don't even have to cook if you have a microwave to heat up the rice, curry and cook mix veg.. toss everything together.. and voila, you have a meal ready! (^^)

The other day, I read an interesting post in the little kitchen on her newly refurbished kitchen.. and I think it's amazing what small changes ie. replacing old kitchen appliances with new ones.. can do to make an old kitchen look sleek and brand new! But she had problems with organizing her open-space pantry.. and I could identify with her problem.. so I bravely left a comment. Today, since I wanted to share my thoughts on her pantry woes, I had a look at her post again. But I didn't see my comment.. so thinking that there may have been a tech-glitch, the comment didn't go through, blah blah.. I re-posted.. and THEN I SAW the earlier comment and also the same "new" comment! Aaargh.... so  embarassing! And there's no icon for "delete"!!! I wanted to die! Lesson learnt: Never re-post a comment again! Even if you were just trying to be helpful!!!

not perfect.. but definitely a little more organized ^^

Now back to organizing an open-space pantry. I want to share this little idea with you too ^^.. I find these kitchen racks really helpful, thanks to mama pig's tip. They are available at 100yen/RM5 a piece at Daiso.. otherwise, I suppose you could order them online at daiso japan. They have them in different sizes. You can stack them up further if your cabinet space is really high. I like that my open-space cabinets looks a bit neater and more organized now. (^^)

And if you lack drawers, or have more open shelves than you care for, like I do.. get plastic boxes in various sizes to organize your utensils and cutleries and what-ever-nots. I find the clear plastic shoe boxes a good deal for this purpose. Again I bought the plastic boxes cheap at daiso ^^. I like daiso.. I always end up poorer, yet happier (?!) after a visit! Shopaholics beware! (^^)

I hope you find the ideas helpful. Have a nice sun-shiny day! (^^)

p.s the blue flowers/patterned bowl/plate is also from daiso ^^ it's really pretty.. i noticed many bloggers have/like them too ^^ 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pasar ramadan everywhere!

It's that time of the year again! The fasting month observed by muslims before they celebrate Hari Raya or Eid.. and THAT means lots of pasar ramadan (food bazaar) everywhere offering a myriad of goodies in the afternoons for a whole month! Yay! (^^)

fried rice, fried noodles, chicken, fish, veg.. a buffet spread of almost every malay/asian food you can think of!  

beef or chicken murtabak, anyone?

In my neighbourhood alone, there's at least 3 food bazaars nearby! Albeit on a smaller scale ^^ As such, there's really no need to cook dinner these days! For the past few days.. ok, maybe a week.. or two ^^|| (save for the day where I was inspired to make nami's honey pork belly, using chicken), I've been feasting on my favorites.. ayam masak merah (loosely translated as chicken in red sauce ~ which tastes sweet, spicy and tomato-ey) and deep-fried catfish with sambal.. and some.. almost everyday. (^^||)

grilled marinated squid and fish wrapped in banana leaf

grilled squid .. yums!

And there's always new sweets to discover at the pasar ramadans! There's hasn't been any need to bake at all these days! A whole new world of sweets has opened up and is available daily just round the corner! (^^) And one of my best finds, is akok. Well burnt and caramelized all over, it's a luscious, gorgeous little sweet/dessert originating from kelantan.. think soft kuih bakar and wobbly portuguese egg tart minus the crust. So so good ^^!

a new favorite ~ akok ^^

How can one not lose one's mind at the pasar ramadan??!.. there's so much to choose from.. everything looks and smells fascinating, appetising and delicious! No sane person can leave unscathed!

And well, I lost it today! I was "enticed" into buying 3 mini kuih bakar (burnt cake?) (sorry, no pictures ^^|| ate all up on the drive home).. mixed noodles with beef curry.. rice with ayam masak merah and vege.. a piece of catfish.. and a piece of deep-fried chicken (sorry, bad pictures!).. for a ONE-person dinner! You must be thinking if I've gone mad? Yes, that probably explains it! I'm kicking myself as I write this (^^||) Lesson learnt: NEVER visit a pasar ramadan when you are hungry!!! Looks like most of tonight's dinner will be tomorrow's lunch!

mixed noodles (beehoon + kway teow) with beef curry wrapped in banana leaf ~ so so bad for my arteries!

But you know what? Some habits die hard. When I do visit the food bazaars again.. I most probably will not remember any (regrets?? who?? what??) of this ^^.. and splurge!!! It's like being let loose in a candy store, or a buffet, or for some (like moi), a baking supplies store ^^! Yes, I love this time of the year! (^^)

p.s you don't need to be a muslim/malay to enjoy these delicacies.. food is color blind ^^