Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baking Curry Puffs

I helped Mom to bake some curry puffs this afternoon. First we made the filling. We had onions, chicken, potatoes stir-fried in curry paste.

Then Mom made the pastry dough. There were 2 layers of pastry. The first layer was a mixture of flour, sugar, spry and boiling water. Mom called it the water pastry. The second or inner layer was just flour and spry.

My job was to roll both pastry doughs into little balls. Then I had to flatten a ball of water pastry and stuff it with a ball of inner pastry.

Mom then took those balls, rolled them out, filled them with curry filling, folded into a half-moon shape, and sealed the edges.

When done, we brushed the puffs with beaten eggs, and popped them into the oven. We baked at 180 deg for 30 minutes.

Let the puffs cool for a little while.

And then eat! Yum .... ;p

Monday, January 24, 2011

Breakfast @ Yakin Food Court

One thing about going to Yakin Food Court on a Sunday morning is that you will tend to meet people whom you know. With all the friends and acquaintances that we bumped into, it seemed like half of Miri was there! Lol. It's an exaggeration, I know. But just humour me, k.

I had my Laksa but it now costs RM7.00. Expensive, huh? I'm not sure if it's worth eating anymore.

A popular stall here is the one selling you tiao or deep-fried crullers. When we placed our orders, we were warned that we had to wait 20 minutes.

Fresh from the wok, the you tiao was of course quite nice. It was crispy on the outside, and then chewy on the inside. I would prefer my you tiao to be slightly saltier, as it would definitely enhance the taste of the pastry.

Dip your you tiao into the rich and fragrant egg custard or kaya, and appreciate the sweet flavour of the custard and the savoury, chewy pastry.

This morning also I got to try 2 items from Stall no. 7.

The first dish was the Stir-fried Bai Guo 炒白粿, RM4.50.

This dish had black fungus, pork slices, prawns, and some greens stir-fried with bai guo and eggs. It was really moist and tasty, except that we found the bai guo too soft and starchy.

The other dish that I tried was the Ding Bian Hu, RM4.00.

Ding Bian Hu is made by ladling a thin layer of rice flour batter onto the side of a heated wok and subsequently scraping the cooked floury paste into a meat or seafood stock which would already be boiling in the wok.

Here at stall no. 7, the ingredients used in the Ding Bian Hu were fish balls, meat balls, black fungus, and dried daylilies 金針. The broth is rather clear and the whole dish taste refreshingly light.

Well, lots of other stuff to try here at Yakin Food Court, but guess people just have to bear with the huge breakfast crowd, especially on a weekend.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bread rolls

A former student came to collect a document from me today, and in turn blessed me with these :

Bread rolls

It was white bread, flattened and rolled together with roasted nori and some floss. It was a simple gesture on his part, but it still took effort to make them. Some students are really angels. And P** really made my day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

iPads In The Classrooms

The Straits Times
Jan 15, 2011
iPad enters Singapore classrooms

SINGAPORE - IF OPRAH can do it, so can schools in Singapore. Four schools in the city-state have begun handing out Apple iPads to students, relieving them of the need to carry satchels full of bulging text books and notes.

Nanyang Girls High School has spent $135,000 to buy 150 iPads for 140 students and 10 teachers in a pilot project. Users connect to the Internet using the tablet, and download books and course material. They can take notes on the iPad, and use worksheets.

'It's much more convenient,' said 14-year-old Chloe Chen, sitting in a classroom with her iPad in front of her. 'Teachers can just tell us to go a website, and we can immediately go and do our work.' Last year billionaire talk show host Oprah Winfrey gave staff at her magazine an iPad and a cheque for US$10,000 (S$12,900) each.

Ms Seah Hui Yong, dean of admissions at Nanyang Girls school, said the iPad was chosen because it complemented a new method of teaching under which students are given more freedom to learn themselves, instead of relying solely on the teacher in traditional classrooms.

'It's not so much about the iPad,' she said, adding that if some other better device comes along, the school could switch. 'If you talk to the girls you will realise that they practically don't need training. I think if anything, the joke is the teachers are probably taking a little bit longer getting used to it.'

Safeguards are being put in place as well. 'There will be some concerns - making sure that the girls are going to appropriate websites, also making sure that the girls don't get addicted to the device and use it too much,' said Physics and Information Technology teacher Mark Shone. -- REUTERS

Wow. So cool. And at my school, I still insist my students lug their heavy dictionaries and exercise books to class, while us teachers fight over the limited LCD projectors available. It really makes us seem so pathetic!

Lor Mee @ Thian Ho

Thian Ho at Pujut Corner has a new signage. It looks kinda classy, imo. So if you drive past Pujut Corner, do remember to look at the sign.

Other than that, this modest little shop is still the same. The service is still so darn slow as there were scores of diners, even on a cold rainy evening. To my annoyance, I waited some 30 minutes before my food arrived. By the time it came, all my friends had finished theirs. Hmn.

Anyway, I ordered Lor Mee the other day.

Thian Ho uses thick yellow egg noodles for this dish. The gravy is starchy, but I quite like the sour taste due to the generous use of malt vinegar. Somewhere in this bowl of noodles is some pork slices and two or three prawns.

I don't care much for the noodles, so in the end, I drank up the gravy and left the noodles behind. Lol.

Well, I don't think I've had much experience with Lor Mee. The only other time I'd eaten it was at Good Taste. Hence, can't say that I'm crazy over noodles cooked in this manner. ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just A Simple Dinner

There were many of us that night who had not eaten our dinners. And so we headed to Lou Wai Lou at Pujut 5 for a simple meal.

These were what we had ...

Creamy Corn Soup
It was only nice with lots of malt vinegar

Specialty Tofu
The tofu was yum if you nibble on it bit by bit. Cos then, you can experience the combined flavours of meat, tofu and mayo.

Ginger Pork
This tasted rather light, as I would prefer my pork to be cooked in more ginger and wine

Midin in Red Wine
The wine was not of the sweet variety, so it affected the tastiness of this dish.

Spinach in Three Eggs
Many of my friends found this dish to be too salty. Lol. But I loved it.
The spinach was tender and the gravy was rich with the taste of eggs. I ate lots ;).

Well, the meal came to RM81.00 for 6 of us inclusive of drinks. We thought it was rather reasonable.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Old Town Instant White Coffee

I need a cup of hot coffee to start my day. And now that it's been raining endlessly, coffee is a must. There's just something about a hot cup of coffee on a cold day. It makes me feel warm and comfy.

And for so long, I've been drinking Cafe 21, so now I'm a little bit bored. I mean, I still like Cafe 21. But it's just that I'm kinda bored with drinking the same thing every day. Plus, my stock has run out. It is not sold at Ta Kiong that day when I was there. So I have yet gone to other supermarkets to check it out.

Anyway, when we talked about coffee the other day, Aunt recommended me Old Town 2 in 1 White Coffee.

Each sachet is 25g and is supposed to be diffused in 180ml of hot water. Whilst each Cafe 21 sachet is only 12g, to be diluted in 150ml of water. Nescafe Gold, on the other hand, is packed in a 20g sachet and to be added to 180 ml of water.

The point here is that, an Old Town sachet certainly makes a thick cup of coffee that gives me instant gratification. Compared to Cafe 21, Old Town 2 in 1 is slightly sweeter, due to the glucose content in the creamer. Hence, there is no need to add any sweetener.

Price wise, Old Town is of course more expensive. I bought a 15 sachet pack at Jusco Maluri for RM11.90. In Kuching, the same pack sells for RM13.90. But here in Miri, the price ranges from RM13.90 to RM14.60. That makes it almost RM1.00 per sachet.

Well, I am sure glad to have found another brand of instant coffee that I like :)).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Desserts @ Dessert Master

Since when did Dessert Master open? Heck, I did not even know the existence of this shop. For those who do not know, it is opposite 100 Yen at Boulevard Commercial Centre. The place sure looks good - clean and modern.

Hence, the gals decided to drop by for desserts after their shopping spree at the nearby mall. We had ...

Bubur Cha-cha .. RM3.00

Green Bean Sago Soup ... RM3.00

Six Flavour Soup ... RM3.00
The soup is dark in colour. I can't make out what is used to make the soup. I thought it's the luo han guo 罗汉果, but W** said it's dried longan tea. The ingredients are also quite obscure, but I know for sure there's sago and dried winter melon bits in there. It is served cool.

Glutinous Rice Ball Soup ...RM4.00
Each glutinous rice ball has got red bean paste inside, the clear sugary syrup has been infused with ginger. This dessert is served warm.

And then we ate ...

Blueberry Cheese Cake
It was rich and moist, sweet an a bit sour. Highly recommended.

An Egg Tart and a Cheese Tart.
They were alright. The cream cheese filling was really rich. But the egg tart can't hold the candle to the ones I've had in Macau.

Mango Pancake ... RM6.00
This pancake is quite yum. The pastry is rather soft.

The pancake is filled with cream, and fresh Mango slices. I like this pancake.

We were given some creamy pastes to try. There was almond paste, which tasted really like cough syrup, and then the peanut paste which was nutty and fragrant, and finally the black sesame paste which I thought was slightly diluted and sweet. Lol. So I may be a bit biased as I liked the peanut paste more compared to the other two.

Well, I think I cannot stomach too much sweet stuff at one time. Cause after that, I feel really bloated and uncomfy. Lol. Too much of a good thing is not good, eh?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Good Taste Bak Kut Teh

It's been raining forever in Miri!! Hence, nothing beats a good bowl of soup to warm the stomach up. On a cold day such as this, A**** and I headed to Good Taste Bak Kut Teh, located at Centrepoint.

What I like about the Bak Kut Teh here is that you can pick the type of meats you prefer in the herbal soup. You could have pork ribs, pork belly, lean meat, or any offals you like such as as kidney, intestines, livers and so on.

Today, I ordered a mixture of pork belly and lean meat in my soup. I was lazy to eat ribs, and I did not really like offal.

My serving

Besides the meats, there were other ingredients in the soup. There were button mushrooms, black mushrooms, beancurd sticks, tau pok, and a leaf of lettuce.

See the pork belly slices ... ;))

The soup of course was really tasty, and the taste of herbs wasn't too overpowering. And because it was served in a claypot, the soup was tongue-burning hot. Love it!!

I also love to eat the deep-fried crullers dunked in the soup. At Good Taste, the Bak Kut Teh is served with onion rice.

Today, I found the rice slightly hard. However, if I poured lots of soup over the rice, it was downright edible.

Lunch was sure a hearty affair today ;).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Homemade Quiche

I love pastries, and I know it when I've eaten a good one. All 10 of us praised T**** for the quiche that she baked for us.

The pastry was soft, crumbly and buttery, while the filling was really rich. T**** used fresh chicken, button mushrooms, chopped onions and diced capsicums cooked in fresh cream, butter and eggs. It tasted heavenly. There wasn't enough to go around as everyone wanted a second helping. Lol.

Anyway, thanks T****. You're an angel!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Golden Beach Roasted Anchovy with Honey

I'm a person who needs to snack. Cheezels. Twisties. Pringles. Lays. Chachos. Tong Garden. Whatever it is, you name it, I'd love all of them. One day, at the local supermarket, I came across the Golden Beach Raosted Anchovy with Honey.

Yellow - Golden Beach Roasted Anchovy with Honey & Sesame Seeds
Red - Golden Beach Roasted Anchovy with Honey, Extra Spicy Flavour

I bought one packet without hesitation. And once I'd tried it, I went back to buy more. Lol. Soon after, I recommended it to my friend, and she too got addicted. Both of us literally bought the store out. After that, we could not seem to find this snack anywhere here in Miri.

Well, Golden Beach Roasted Anchovy is manufactured in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. So perhaps it hasn't been widely marketed here. I bought some from Ngiu Kee Centrepoint in KK last September when I was there. But last week, I found it being sold at Ta Kiong Supermarket. I was so excited that I bought 5 packets at one go. Each 70g packet costs RM3.90. It's really not cheap, imo.

So why do I like it so much? Well, it's crispy, slightly sweet (cause it's honeyed) and spicy - tastes something like Satay Fish, if you know what I mean.

Once I start eating, I can't stop. Lol. Well, Golden Beach Roasted Anchovy comes in a few flavours - original, sesame seeds, extra spicy, and also curry. Do try it if you can ever get your hands on a packet or two!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mee Kolok @ School Canteen

We've had the same canteen operator at school for the third year already! For one thing, with this operator, we are assured of food to eat for breakfast and lunch every school day, though the menu isn't that creative.

Just to share with you, there was one year that we had a really unreasonable operator, who charged exorbitantly and sold stale food at times. That year, I had to wake up early daily to prepare food to bring to work. Either that or starve the whole day because I refused to eat the pathetic food at the canteen.

Anyway, the current operator has a fixed menu for breakfast. It's Mee Basah on Monday, Mee Kari on Tuesday, Mee Jawa on Wednesday, Mee Bandung on Thursday, and Laksa on Friday. It's fixed. Boring. We'd been telling them to change the menu for two years already. But it seems to be in vain.

So this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find a new addition to the menu, that is Mee Kolok. Needless to say, it was pork and lard free. Lol.

The cook used shallot oil to toss the noodles, and then, the garnishing included fish slices, minced chicken, some blanched beansprouts, fresh spring onions and deep-fried shallots. The noodles tasted alright, but many of us found it to be too dry. The noodles also came with a small bowl of clear broth and a blended tangy chilli sauce.

Well, I appreciate the canteen's effort to add variety to the menu. I hope they will continue to surprise me when I go for my breakfast daily.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Eating Sago Worms ...

Over breakfast yesterday, my colleague, M****** told me that he bought some 2kg of sago worms during the weekend. A discussion about the worms ensued and ended with me urging him to cook some for me. You see, I had never eaten them before, and I had always wondered what it would taste like. He promised in good sport. Lol.

Indeed today, he came with a Tupperware container of sago worms cooked in soy sauce, chillies and some sort of a leaf. At lunch, I was invited to sample them. I shrieked looking at those worms swimming in the dark coloured gravy. I felt a bit fearful, and at the same time, I was really curious.

After a while, I braved myself, picked up a fat but slightly deflated piece of worm and popped it into my mouth.

Well, it was chewy and juicy, and the head was crunchy. But if you ask me what it tastes like, I can only tell you that I am not certain. It did not have much taste, really, and I could only taste the soy sauce. I was a bit disappointed, maybe because I had expected it to taste rich and buttery.

M****** said he cooked it this way so that I would find it more acceptable to eat them. How thoughtful of him. In actual fact, he preferred to eat them raw or rather, alive. Yikes! Another colleague, L*** said that she liked the worms deep-fried or roasted. She said I had to eat them that way to really appreciate the taste and flavour.

Lol. I ate 2 pieces of worms today and they tasted just fine. I had this lingering thought in my head that I was eating worms. Hence, it just felt a bit icky. Lol. Well, I know after this that I would be brave enough to sample more of these wriggly creatures that many consider a delicacy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lunch @ X Cuisine

S**** wanted to eat pork, just in case she had to give it up in future circumstances. Hence, we ordered a Teriyaki Pork.

To me, it tasted more like Miso pork. Though drenched in sauce, the pork was still a bit crispy on the outside.

While S**** had her favourite fish porridge, I had the prawn dumpling soup.

The broth came rather milky. It did not look appetising at all, but a spoonful proved my impression wrong. It did taste rather umami. Quite nice.

There were about half a dozen prawn dumplings. They were bouncy and firm to the bite.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Claypot Chicken Rice And Other Things

Say Claypot Chicken Rice, and I picture steaming hot white rice cooked in a claypot and garnished with marinated soy chicken, slivers of chinese sausages and salted fish.

However, when the claypot was set in front of me the other day at Ming Xin Cafe at Jalan Hilltop, I realised that I had misinterpreted the menu. Lol.

Claypot Chicken Rice

Apparently, here at Ming Xin Cafe, Claypot Chicken Rice refers to pieces of chicken, button mushrooms and assorted vegetables stewed in a claypot, and served with a plate of white rice. I was disappointed that it wasn't what I expected it to be.

The best thing about the stew was that it was boiling hot, so it was quite easy to stomach. The gravy tasted of soy & oyster sauce. The stew was alright, really.

We ordered a small plate of roast duck to share. It was rather tough and I chewed till my jaw ached. Lol.

Roasted duck

For vegetables, I opted for a portion of Stir-fried Cangkuk Manis. It did not look appetising, and tasted rather ordinary. The vegetables were a bit hard too.

Stir-fried Changkuk Manis

We were served with a small bowl of creamy egg soup. The soup was nice.

Creamy Egg Soup

Well, that was a quick lunch for us the other day, before we went back to busy ourselves with work.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Eastwood Valley GCC Chinese Dinner

When I found out that dinner was going to be at Eastwood Valley Golf and Country Club, I cringed. Why? Well, we had 3 different functions there end of last year, and I was sick of the food which was massed produced and then served buffet style. Not again, I thought.

Nonetheless, this time, we had a sit-down dinner, and I was quite impressed. I don't know why. Perhaps it was the bright lighting in Meranti Hall, which made the food looked more appetising. Lol.

This was the menu.

And these were how the dishes looked like.

Unexpectedly, fruits was served first. Each one got a fruit cocktail. I loved the presentation.

This was the Hot and Cold Combination.

On the platter were pandan chicken, a deep-fried beancurd roll, a green shao mai in a creamy egg sauce, and baby octopus or chuka lidako served on a bed of cucumber strips. Among the four, I liked the baby octopus, and the deep-fried beancurd roll. Inside the roll were strips of chicken frankfurter and surimi stick. It's not great nor gourmet, but I just liked the combination of flavours.

The braised Assorted Seafood and Beancurd Soup was ordinary, in my opinion. Adding malt vinegar did not make it taste better.

Nor was the Yong Chow fried rice authentic, but the rice was nice to eat with the dishes that came along with it.

The best thing about the Steamed Eight Treasures Chicken was that it was served piping hot. The chicken was tender, and I liked the taste of herbs in the gravy. Yum to eat with the rice.

I liked the Deep-fried Fish in Mango Sauce too. The fish was fresh and crispy, the sauce spicy, sweet and tangy. Coat the fish in sauce, and then eat it with the chopped celery and julienned sour mango which garnished the dish. The explosion of flavours were exquisite.

By this time, I was too full to appreciate the Stir-fried Beef In Black Pepper Sauce. Lol.

I forgot to take a photo of the Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables with Bean Tendon. When I remembered, this was what was left of it. Lol. Anyway, there were brocolli, carrots, baby corn, assorted mushrooms, and bean tendon in the dish. I really liked the bean tendon as they were soft and chewy. Yum.

Well, I did enjoy myself that night, even though I did not look forward to it at first. :)


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