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Sunday, February 28, 2016

So Where Were You At That Time?

I got up at 5.00 a.m. to find rain pouring incessantly. I got ready, had my breakfast, and was going to go to work at 7.40 a.m.; We were having a meeting at 8.30 a.m., and I thought I wanted to be there early.

At 7.15 a.m., my colleague, S called to tell me that she was caught in the floods. Her car stalled at Tabuan Road and wouldn't start, but assured me that help was on the way. She also told me to stay home, lest I be stuck like her. In my mind, I started to plan my route to get to work. I'd avoid Tabuan Road, I thought. I would get out from Chawan Road and head straight to Ellis Road before turning in to Central Road. 

Just a little while later, a few of my group chats became active. Friends were sharing about the road conditions, and a few more were caught in traffic jams all over town. Only then did I realise how serious the situation was.

But what should I do? I still had to get to work.I drove my car to the main road and found that the drains had overflowed and the road was being submerged in water. So I turned back. My little toy car wasn't fit to be driven in these conditions. I'd change car. I went home and drove out Dad's SUV, which was a higher vehicle. I headed out again .... and still I hesitated to navigate through the flood waters.

The main road as jammed .... people were hesitating to drive through the flooded road, and some turned back. I waited at the side of the road before returning home.

So again, I turned back and waited. Text messages came in as people shared the situation they were facing. I waited for the meeting to be postponed. But no such notice came. We were still expected to get to work.

It was already 9.00 a.m by that tme, and I decided to head out again. The water at the main road had subsided .... and I managed to get to Chawan Road but dared not drive through the knee-deep water. So I waited at the side of the road. 

The Sekama-Ellis-Mendu-Chawan intersection 

There were people who attempted to wade through the water to get the primary school nearby, but even they changed their mind and waded back. 

Cars turning back 

I waited for about 15 minutes before turning back as well. I decided to take an alternative route. I managed to exit to Mendu via Manggis, and head to Jalan Batu Lintang before turning into Bampfylde Road. I reached my work place at 9.45 a.m. to join the meeting. Phew!

I was actually driving in fear ... worried about untoward incidents like a careless accident or the car skidding or being stalled. It was sure a stressful drive! Another worry was whether my colleagues and I would be able to make our way back home after the meeting. Thankfully, the water had subsided by then .... and I took the same way home. I was just glad to stay home and stay safe for the rest of the day.

This was probably my first encounter with the flood! Meanwhile, keep warm with chicken soup, homecooked with no salt and msg, served with some vermicelli.

Yummy

Today, I used yellow wine ... and I kind of liked the result very much! Will definitely reprise.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tempoyak Chicken Soup

And so I got myself Unifi-ed a week ago. I've been anticipating it and so when I got it, I was so busy catching up with K-dramas. Hence, yes, I was cooped up at home most of the time. It was a wet season here in Kuching, after all ..... a perfect excuse to stay home. Lol.

CNY Pot Bless 

We had a CNY Pot Bless dinner at C's the other night! And I had to tear myself away from the computer screen to attend the get-together. Lol!

Early in the morning, I braved the cold and the torrential rain to go to the market; I knew I wanted to make Papaya Salad .... and I knew just where to buy a green papaya. Back home, I grated the papaya while watching Mask - last year's SBS drama starring one of my favourite actors, JJH. I'd not watched him for a while ...... so I was really amazed by how his acting skills has improved by leaps and bounds! Well, he really sucked in Princess Hours (his first leading role where he was so stiff and expressionless) .... but now, I can see that he has developed much as an actor and grown to be so confident on screen. JJH even got an award for his performance in Mask. Happy!!

And so I spent quite a long time grating papaya while watching my drama. But it was worthwhile as my friends found the salad to be really appetising. Happy! Except for the 2 dishes of chicken, all the other food was homecooked and really delicious ... 

Tempoyak Chicken Soup .... 
It was especially cooked for me by S because she knew I liked it so much! Savoury, rich in taste, with the very subtle flavour of fermented flavour, this soup was really yummy. 

I had 2 bowls! S tells me it's really easy to cook, as ingredients were minimal. She used only ginger, lemongrass, turmeric leaves, chicken and oyster mushroom. Hmn ..... next durian season, I'd experiment with making tempoyak so that I'll be able to cook my own tempoyak chicken soup! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

My CNY Celebration

So how's life and how's everyone doing? And so I went to KL to join my parents, my brother, sil and my little nephew, Berry for CNY.

Homemade and handmade by me :))
I brought 3 jars of cookies for my family in KL .... 
London Almond, Salted Egg Cookies which were trending on Instagram, and Pineapple Nastar Rolls; glad that everyone loved and enjoyed the cookies; next time I'd make MORE :)) 

Our reunion dinner this year ... 
This year, we had a homecooked meal, prepared by Mom and Sil. Only 6 dishes, yet ... we could not finish the food because there were so few of us.

Pineapple Fried Rice 
On the first day, I cooked Pineapple Fried Rice for everyone for brunch; glad that everyone found it palatable. Even little Berry had a plateful! :))

KL was all quiet during CNY for many have gone back to their hometowns for the celebrations or for short getaways ... 

I watched the lion dance performance at Midvalley Mega Mall one evening ....  

On the third day, my family and I headed to Muar ..... that's where Sil's grandpa is staying, so we paid him a visit. We were treated to a meal at a seafood restaurant at Parit Jawa.

Here, we could look out to the sea - apparently the Straits of Malacca  

We put up at KSL Hotel and Resort ..... 

Entrance to the Dinosaur-themed Water Park
Little Berry enjoyed playing here ....

I managed to buy a pair of hot pink Nike at the Ayer Keroh R & R .... 

Little Berry said my shoe was "not nice" and asked me to "put back". Lol. But I didn't listen to him and bought it anyway. Because I had my shoe, Bro and I hit the gym at the hotel! It's been a while since I worked out, so I quite enjoyed it.

I didn't go to many places ..... Bro brought us to Country Home, a huge developmental project at Danga Bay. I love the landscape here.


Looking out across the straits of Johore. Singapore is right across!

Many restaurants were closed during the festival, so we managed to have a meal at Ah Koong's Pure Fishball Restaurant.

This deep-fried fish cake is a signature item here. I loved its bouncy texture lots!

Dry-tossed Mee Pok
Aromatic & tasty noodles, with bits of deep-fried pork rind for extra flavour

The noodles were served with a bowl of soup, loved it too!

The next day, we had lunch at Restoran Pekin. I was quite impressed with the food here. Among some of the items we had were .. 

Lemon chicken 

Buttered Prawns 

Yam Basket 

Stir-fried Asparagus

After lunch, we headed back to KL. Of course, we stopped by JPO on the way. I bought 3 blouses at Esprit. The drive back was rather smooth, as we reached KL by dinner time. Dinner was at Sushi Zanmai at IOI City Mall. I loved this Wafu Salad with the house dressing .... 

Yummy! I'd order this the next time I visit Sushi Zanmai! 

I flew back the very next day ....

Brunch on at 10.50 a.m. flight ....
Looked sorry, right? I had a few bites and gave up. I did not like it. 






Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year 2016

Well, this year, my family isn't celebrating, as a mark of respect to my late Grandmother's passing las May. However, we did make some usual CNY goodies for our own consumption.


After making the nastar pineapple rolls successfully, I decided to make more, experimenting with the recipe by Indochine Kitchen. I referred to this very useful table whom Bake For Happy Kids had kindly produced ....

Source : http://www.bakeforhappykids.com/2015/01/searching-for-best-nastar-pineapple.html

But somehow, the pastry dough was too soft. Though I could pipe it out, I couldn't roll it without breaking the pastry. So in the end, I decided to make them into balls ....

Taste wise, the pastry was very yummy - it had the melt-in-the-mouth texture. Looks wise, hmn ... I baked for about 20 minutes ... and it looked a bit browned. I really need to dilute the egg mixture I used for the egg wash.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Salted Egg Yolk Cookies

Many of my colleagues have been busy baking for CNY. Pineapple Tarts. German Cookies. Melting Moments. London Almond. It's been so crazy that every morning without fail, there is a tasting session at the workplace. A's Pineapple Tarts. B's Melting Moments. Lol! It's quite fun,though.

With the success of the London Almond that I baked the other day, I too felt compelled to bake further. Yesterday, I made Salted Egg Yolk Cookies. I used this recipe by Bake For Happy Kids. Check out the ingredients and measurement on the blog. I followed her exact measurement. 

Salted Egg Yolk Cookies 

The dough was really soft, and after half an hour in the fridge, it was manageable, thankfully. I was quite happy with the result in the end. The cookies were crisp, and melted in the mouth. And none of them broke too!

This recipe only yielded about 60 pieces of biscuits, not even enough to fill one container! And certainly not enough for my colleagues to try them. Next time, I'd double the recipe!

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