Saturday, June 30, 2012

Korky the Cat at the Coronation and Overnight Oats

Dad and I bonded over a common love when I was a kid: Beano and Dandy comics and I loved the old school characters the best: Korky the Cat, Jonah. He read those when he was growing up and every now and then, my copies of the Beano and the Dandy would mysteriously disappear and end up in his room instead ;)


I found my old the Beano and the Dandy 50 Golden Years compilation the other day and seeing that it's the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth, I was tickled to find this Korky the Cat comic strip depicting her coronation 60 years ago.


The weather has been so hazy lately that I wanted something refreshing for breakfast. I've been trying to have more healthy food on the go (cutting out the nasi lemak and roti canai from the office canteen, delicious as they might be) and didn't fancy the idea of hot oats so after Googling, I found the perfect solution: overnight soaked oats in yogurt served with chilled rosemary baked pears and a sprinkling of almonds. The pears and honey added a nice flavour to plain oats and I loved the crunching into almonds.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Weekend Stay Over

We'd a free night's stay at the E&O over the weekend so we checked ourselves in for a lil rest and relaxation. I've always a soft spot for the E&O mainly because of its old world charm.

 
 

Checking in was quick with a welcome cocktail and wet towel provided and we'd lunch with my family at Sarkies to celebrate my Dad's birthday. That's Dad in his trademark heavily starched blue shirt (it's so stiff, I swear it could stand on its own), Cempedak and my brother-in-law.


Flashback to the 80s: wearing a scarf print dress. I remember my Mum owning loads of scarf print tops back then; it's now come full circle that I'm a mum and I wear scarf print!


Bubs and I were fascinated with the room key. Bubs loves all keys, jangling them around in his hands, refusing to return them back. I found it cool that the E&O still has room keys instead of card slots.

 
 

The room was nicely done - loved the dark wooden floors, intricate rugs and of course, the long bath that we'd many soaks in. 


Mum and my baby brother checking the cupboard for any boogey monsters. Can I tell you again how much I loved all the dark wooden furniture?


 For any staycation, it's practically a must to explore the pool. Especially if it's a salt water pool and offers you the prettiest view of the ocean.


Hubs and Bubs put on their swim gear and made the most of their afternoon splashing around in the pool.


I lounged around, reading a book, snapping pics, but mainly feasted my eyes on the beautiful surroundings, savouring the beautiful sunshine, the warm breeze. This is the life!


Bubs thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of spending the day in somewhere new. He had so much fun exploring the room, clicking the remote control nonstop to change TV channels, flicking the lights (that were his height) on and off and brrrrrommming his little toy 4 wheel drive all over the room. He got to eat in bed, bounce and jump on the bed, soak around in the bath tub, it must have been toddler heaven for him :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Zara Colorblock Sandals


These Zara colorblock sandals (as seen on chic chef) are perfection! I love how fresh the mint and royal blue are *hearts*

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rice Dumpling Festival

Did everyone pigged out on rice dumplings or watched any dragon boat races? I'm not the biggest fan fan of sticky rice dumplings mainly because I find them too rich and heavy to digest but I don't mind the occasional one. I always get raised eyebrows from people when I tell them that I like to eat bak zhang (meat dumplings) with a sprinkling of white sugar like how Dad taught me. There's the satisfying crunch of the sugar followed by the sweetness balancing out the saltiness of the meat and glutinous rice.

Mum-In-Law makes rice dumplings specially for Hubs because he's really picky about the stuff inside rice dumplings, he doesn't like chestnuts or tiny dried prawns and a gazillion other stuff. Fingers crossed that Bubs doesn't end up being such a fusspot with food. 


Mum always gets me thor tau zhang (peanut dumplings) instead, the sticky rice is white because it's not salted with soya sauce and there's a sweet, peanut filling inside instead.


None of my relatives make their own rice dumplings so I was fascinated when Dragon I had a mini display for rice dumplings. Bubs had a naughty glint in his eyes when he spotted the containers full of beans and rice so I'd to steer him away from them.


The durian sago cream dessert at Dragon I is the best thing ever! Hubs complained that the scent of the durian was overwhelmingly strong but I loved every single bit of it. It is so luscious and creamy.


Can you actually see Elmo against the bright red table cloth? Doesn't take much to amuse a toddler ;) 

I've a thing for patterned pencil skirts ... the colour and florals make this seem a bit vintage, which makes me wonder, can an 8 year old skirt be considered as vintage?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ah Seng Char Bee Hoon

Economy char bee hoon (stir fried rice vermicelli) is one of the food I find the most fascinating - originally deigned  as a quick meal for the financially strapped, it has evolved to become one of Penang's best loved hawker stall offerings. KL folks often get their friends here to tah pao (take away) packets of this to KL on road trips. 



Ah Seng Char Bee Hoon at Kimberley Street is something of a Penang institution. The stall has been there for years and gets a steady following of customers. It's all takeaway and everything is ready cooked to perfection so there's hardly any wait time.




You get a choice of bee hoon (rice vermicelli), mee (yellow noodles) and koay teow (flat rice noodles) which allows many permutations of yummy mix and matches. My personal favourite is bee hoon mee. You're even allowed to choose the type of chili: sliced pickled green chilies or sambal like red chili sauce - if you're feeling frisky, you could always add both at the same time.



What makes Ah Seng char bee hoon a standout is that he adds a sprinkling of tek gah kee (fried bean curd sticks). These things are the best ever! They're crispy and crunchy, adding a nice bit of contrast to the soft noodles. They're so much in demand that if you request for extra tek gah kee, you get charged an extra 50 cents which to me, is very much worth it. Mmmmm ...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What to do with Lemons


You could wear them ... I love how cheery this lemon yellow DVF Gap Kids t-shirt dress is! I initially wanted the blue one but my Mum said the Gap store in Singapore only had the yellow one left so she got this. She got confused at first when I asked her to go to Gap Kids to get me a dress, she was wondering why was I making Bubs wear a dress, LOL.



You could use them for the best brunch ever ... Rye toast with avocados, poached eggs and wasabi mayo. This has to be one of the quickest and healthiest brunch I've ever made.

Ingredients:
Lemon juice
Wasabi paste
Plain yogurt/cream
Avocado
Pepper
Toast

1. Poach eggs - this is the trickiest bit and mine were a total failure! 
2. Cut avocado in chunks, squeeze a dash of lemon & add pepper
3. Mix lemon juice, wasabi paste and yogurt (or if you're feeling decadent - cream)
4. Serve the eggs with wasabi mayo and arrange avocados on top of toast
5. Tuck in!

Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Water Table & Daddy's Day Lunch

I tried making Bubs a water table after seeing a few DIY posts online, the concept seemed relatively simple, just a container of water set on a low surface and a couple of strainers/ladles/floating toys.






I couldn't find a low, flat container or tray so I got the next best thing: a RM39 inflatable mini pool from Toys R Us and for some extra fun, a RM5 bag of colourful plastic balls from Daiso. It was a breeze to set up by placing it on top of an Ikea kids table out on the balcony and throwing in a handful of ladles and empty containers. The water table was a little too high for Bubs and he kept having to stand on tip toe to reach it. Apart from scooping up the water to pour over the potted plants and fishing out a few balls, he didn't want to play with it.


Which brings me to Plan B. Put the inflatable pool in the shower and let him play in it with all the toys. Now this he had a ball with (pun intended)!


We celebrated Father's Day with my family with a buffet lunch at Cititel. Cempedak and my brother are so addicted to their gadgets. I thought my Mum's dove gray beaded top was fantastic.


I wore my MNG tweed sleeveless tulip dress (fully lined!) that I got for a bargain 50% off. It's still available on the sales racks the last time I saw.


Bubs checking out his reflection at the Cititel lobby and clearly liking what he sees. He does this hilarious pirouette like bouncy dance.


I went a bit overboard at Tesco - currently loving their balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil for a dip with bread. I've also included their flatbread with a wedge of cheese and some dried fruit for the dreaded 3pm week day office munchies.

The recent haze has been awful with our allergies acting up. Hubs and I are sneezing non stop and Bubs has gotten his eczema back again despite us using Moogoo wash religiously on him, daily vacuuming (thanks Hubs!) and special detergent for our washing machine. Hubs begs me to let him apply cortisone cream over the patch of rashes that Bubs scratches so badly that he leaves marks on his skin. I have mixed feelings over steroids for his eczema treatment :( I keep telling him that cortisone cream only masks the symptoms but it's no use unless we can fix the root cause, which we've no idea what it is but I blame the hazy weather and heat wave for it. I've resorted to applying Tesco Finest Tuscan extra virgin oil after his shower to moisturise the skin. It smells so yummy that I'm so tempted to get some bread to mop up the excess oil to eat!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pulau Tikus Market Lok Lok and Mid Year Sales

The Pulau Tikus night market hawker stalls are one of my favourite eating spots, chiefly because of the lok lok  stalls. Lok lok is communal dining at its best - forget those stylised long tables in chic cafes, this is the real deal: little round steel tables crowded with plates of raw food on skewers, sitting elbow to elbow with strangers, sharing what limited space you have on the table with them, oh and did I mention the vat of boiling water in the middle that you use to cook everyone's food in together?


A plethora of food: assortment of fish/meat balls, various shellfish, squid, tofu, veggies. You pick what you want to eat, put the skewer in the boiling vat of hot water to cook, take out the skewer when it's cooked, spear off the contents onto your plate with the aid of a little fork and slather your food with peanut sauce provided. 

You do need a pretty strong stomach to disregard the occasional fly buzzing around the food and when the uncle comes to refill the platters on the table, watch out for the dripping raw juices of the skewers that he carries ;) 


My staples are always Siam laksa, lok lok assortments and a bowl of ice kacang. Again, remember what I said about the limited table space? This is what's left of the table space after all the plates are there. I didn't want to risk an upset tummy for Bubs though so I brought along home cooked food for him. 


For some weird reason, Bub's feet look bigger than Hubs's. I was lucky enough to score free Birkis for him from Cempedak that had outgrown them *grins*


Has everyone been doing their bit to boost the retail economy? I went a bit overboard this round during the midyear sales. A few close friends are expecting dragon bubs soon and I got some gifts from Gap Kids that was on sale - I'll say it again, shopping for little girl dresses is so much fun (and I didn't know that they came with matching underwear!). I got a shirt for Bubs because I felt guilty I was getting pressies for everyone else's kid and again, more stuff from Dorothy Perkins (the 2 tops pictured above). Also found a tweed mini dress from MNG that I'd been eying and was delighted to find at 50% during the sale. Yippee for bargains!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

How to Apply Fake Eyelashes, A Lunch Date and More Elmo

There are 2 school of thoughts when it comes to fake eyelashes: those that know how to apply it themselves and those that don't. Follow my steps for a quick and easy guide.

Step 1: Gather your materials.


Eye Putti recommended by Sue.  It's really meant to be a double eyelid adhesive, comes complete with a scary looking (yet pink!) mini pitchfork meant for creating a fold above your eye.


Other good-to-have tools but not essentials are mascara, eyelash curler and eyeliner.  You use these to try to camouflage your natural eyelashes so they blend seamlessly in with the fakes ones. I just realised all of my eye makeup stuff in this picture are Japanese: Deja Vu Fiberwig mascara, Sheseido curler and Majolica Majorca eyeliner.

Step 2: Yell for Hubs and persuade him to help stick on the fake eyelashes :D I'm a complete klutz so he always (grudgingly) helps me stick them on.

I met up with Shian for a belated birthday afternoon tea. Unfortunately no pics as we were too busy eating, chatting and window shopping! Shian, I'm so sorry I broke your water tumbler :( I promise I'll get you a new one for your birthday.


And if you need proof on how toddlers are easily entertained, all you need is a ball point pen and a steady hand. Hubs sketched out Elmo on Bubs's leg which delighted him to no end. He even bent over to kiss Elmo good night during bedtime.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mee Sotong at Esplanade and a Thai Food Discovery

The mee goreng sotong (fried noodles with squid) at Esplanade is a hit amongst locals. Come lunch time, the entire food court would be filled with people, waiting with an expectant look on their faces.  Every time the mee goreng guy walks by with plates of steaming hot noodles, you can see their bodies tensing, heads looking up, hoping that it's theirs.

Bear in mind that there is at least a 30 min wait, so it's best not to go when you're too ravenous. The other highlight there is the coconut shake: a delicious concoction of coconut water blended with vanilla ice cream. It is also the first time at a food court that I'd to wait 30 minutes for drinks to be served as there were soooo many orders before us :(

 

After what seemed like an eternity, both food and drinks arrived. Hubs kept whining for me to snap the photos as fast as possible so he could wolf them down. And was the wait worth it? The noodles were good and a bit on the dry side which I really liked. The best bit was the sotong curry, it was incredible! Sweet and immensely spicy, I was glad I didn't ask the guy to tambah pedas (make it more spicy) as I was already sweating buckets while eating it. The creamy cold coconut shake was the perfect complement to the noodles.





With our appetites satisfied, we could now appreciate the crumbling beauty of Fort Cornwallis when we walked back to the car park. It was an immensely hot, sunny day and there were many tourists walking around the area.  


I have this fascination for really old stone walls of buildings and can't resist the urge to go over to rub my fingers against the age weathered bricks. It makes me feel really connected to the past, the idea of how so many people before me walking past, touching and feeling the exact same building that has stood there throughout time.


We found a stall at 1 Stop selling yummy Thai desserts. The coconut ice cream definitely got a huge thumbs up from me - the ice cream had a very strong coconut-y flavour and was layered with peanuts, sticky rice and some kind of bread/bun/soft crouton. Hubs is a huge fan of mango sticky rice and can never pass it up. It's priced very reasonably at RM5 for a huge portion.
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