Wednesday, October 31, 2007

123 Sandwich

Lunch today was a, what I call, 123 Sandwich. Reason being that its super easy to eat and even easier to make. I discovered this recipe one afternoon when I thought I had better finish up the spinach and basil sitting in the fridge. Looking into the cupboard for inspiration, I decided to use that tin of tuna that I conveniently forgot about. I am generally not a fan of tuna fish but I surprised myself with this totally experimental sandwich. The tuna I used today was soaked in mineral water, much cleaner tasting than when I discovered this recipe with tuna soaked in olive oil. I highly recommend the olive oil version because it was really really good but I think the basil was the winning touch. Love love LOVE basil. :D For that extra crunch, add sliced cucumbers!

Topped with a sprinkle of oregano or multi-purpose herbs and a generous dash of black pepper. Mmm mm!

I gave some fish to Sugar because I know she would love it. But I made sure I rinsed off the salt first!


I can't say this enough. I LOVE cooking. Had fun making a simple dinner last week. My first attempt at "tze char"-ish dishes conprising of Black Pepper Beef, Kang Kong with fermented beancurd and Ma Po Tofu, served with brown rice. For the greater part of my life, we only used white rice but in the past 6 months or so, my mother slowly replaced it with brown rice. I really like it; its more exciting than white rice. The mild nutty flavour and "oaty" texture is interesting. Besides, its really good for you because its got loads of fibre and vitamins that aren't stripped off. Apparently its got similar amount of carbohydrates as white rice, but the high fibre content slows down the carbo absorption so your blood sugar level is controlled. So yes, I only have brown rice and wholemeal bread at home. Of course, I also have chocolates and chips and jelly shots.

I used beef cubes (which I sliced) and it came out pretty tough. I guess it would've been better for stews than stir fry. The ones that were meant for stir fry had streaks of fat in it and I refused to get it. Next time I will use tenderloin instead. I was missing the green peppers for colour so tried to make do with some big red chilli instead. Usually in a Ma Po Tofu dish, minced pork is used but I substituted with chicken instead because The Husband and I had been eating quite a bit of pork lately. The dish came out rather wet because of the tofu and also because I didn't have corn flour to thicken up the juices, but overall, I guess it was okay. Tasted much like the Zha Jiang I made previously though.

The kang kong was the most satisfactory. The flavours were as I expected and the gravy that was left tasted really good with the rice. It was also the easiest to cook since vegetables generally cook quite quickly. And it seemed the least pretentious.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

In the Hood

After posting the entry about Sugar's new hiding place, I very randomly googled "cooker hoods" and found some that were to die for! Ok.. most people "die for" things like bags/shoes/jewellery/iphone. I guess I am quite the "Domestic Goddess" my friend says I am. :P But seriously, wouldn't you want this in your kitchen too?

OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH... Gimme gimme gimme! And it comes with a remote control! The Husband would definitely say its form over function because it will definitely be a b*tch to clean. But its so nice!!!! And they make great conversation pieces.

Here's more funky cooker hoods to wish for.

All images taken from

Hide and Seek

An episode of drama. It goes a little something like this...

Sigh. Just as I said that Sugar isn't hiding in place anymore, she totally disappeared from sight on Wednesday afternoon. I was on half day leave to receive the repairman for our fridge and I managed to squeeze in doing laundry and other chores. Suddenly, I noticed that Sugar was nowhere around and I started panicking big time when I couldn't find her. My immediate fear was that she had leapt out of the window at the wash area. I had opened it to let natural light in and stupidly forgot to close the door. I couldn't help but imagine the worse because I had a good friend who's cat died aftering falling 10 floors. But I looked out the window several times and found nothing. Phew.

I kept calling The Husband and wanted to scream each time he didn't pick up. But after he found out, he was most quick to call the guards at our place to look out for Sugar. Nothing. Great news!

Still worried and in a daze, I continued to mop the kitchen floor. When I cleaned under the kitchen counter, I thought I heard her bell. 'She's in the cupboard!', I thought and quickly opened it to check. Nothing. At this point I thought I was going mad. Then as I slammed the cupboard door (most grouchily), I heard it again. So I kept slamming the door to get a better listen. Suddenly, out she crawled from UNDERNEATH the cupboard! No wonder she had been so gritty even though I showered her recently. We've since blocked up the gap from UNDERNEATH the cupboard and I put a box there so there is no way she can crawl in again. Sigh.

One silly cat she is. Always pulling such acts that sends me into a frenzy. Yesterday The Husband found her new hiding place. Right ON the top shelf above the cooker hood. So now I have 2 choices: to clean the top, or close the kitchen door... Well of course its easier to clean the top... But it's ok, I will just close the kitchen door.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I have resolved to cook more often, now that we're on our own. I jump at the chance whenever we have no plans for dinner and The Husband is usually up for it ( I don't make him do the dishes, by the way). It's great fun to cook and I want to do it as often as possible so that I can be Super Chef! Recently I have been very enthusiastically searching online for recipes of Asian cuisine. I think Asian food is so much more complicated. Too many steps and too many sauces/spices/ingredients. It's relatively easy to whip up a western fare, especially Italian with sauces readily available in supermarkets. I prefer to take that extra step and use tinned tomatoes with tomato puree, but we'll leave that for another time.

Last night I surprised The Husband with an Asian flavor - Minced Meat Noodles aka Zha Jiang Mian. I found a couple of recipes and decided to combine them and improvised along the way.

Simple ingredients of minced garlic and ginger (surprise!), sliced chinese mushrooms, minced pork and shredded cucumber and sliced spring onions to garnish. Also, a little something extra: sliced eggplant.

No man or animal was harmed in the making of this meal.

Heat up garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add mushrooms, eggplant and marinated mince pork and stir fry until the meat loses most of its pinkness. Add Shao Hsing wine, hoisin sauce (I sustituted with oyster sauce) and bean sauce (I used a spicy version so I skip the step of adding chilli).

Top with a bunch of shredded cucumber and sliced spring onions. Woohoo! Dinner is served.

The Husband aproves of it. Yay!

I had to make some substitutions like using oyster sauce over hoisin sauce. I used a type of Japanese noodles (which turned out to taste like 'mee sua') because I couldn't find 'la mian' in the supermarket. But all turned out well anyway. We were so starving by the time I finished cooking that we slurped up the extra portion! I couldn't achieve the consistency and texture of those found in restaurants because it wasn't saucy enough. But it was definitely healthier with the lean pork and low sodium content. Maybe there should be more Shao Hsing next time! :P

Monday, October 15, 2007


We recently moved Sugar (also known as Kitty, Baby Kitty, Sugar Pie, Kitty Cat, Keeni) over to our new place. We've finally moved ourselves and it was time for her to join us too. She seems to be settling in much better this time (we've brought her over once, before we officially moved in); she isnt going and hiding in corners and under the dining chair as much. Then again, it could be the catnip. I've read that it can take a cat up to 6 months to get used to a new environment, and Sugar is one neurotic cat so I was pretty worried. But I am most pleased to see that she is eating fine and poo-ing fine as well. 

I have decided to deny her entry into our bedroom, which The Husband is most concerned about. He keeps asking me why not and where is she going to sleep etc. Even though her cries break my heart every night, its for the better that she sleeps outside. It's nice to have her snuggle up at night, but breathing in her litter dust and fur isn't. So JTB!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


The first entry here was 9 months ago. I actually thought it'll be the last as well. But I am motivated today (thanks auntiead!) to keep this going for as long as I can. So to kick things off, I shall start by sharing on a small celebration I had with The Husband recently for our FIRST WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. It was not so long ago that we exchanged vows; the memories are still fresh and I still can't help gushing about it. I want to do it all over again. Call me psycho, but I would get married again in a heartbeat. Only to The Husband, of course. 

Anyway, The Husband took me to a nice restaurant at Duxton Hill, without first throwing me a red herring. You see, before we got married, we've always celebrated our anniversaries at another restaurant at Duxton Hill. I was excited, as the sticky date pudding there is to die for. But, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the other Duxton Hill restaurant also doubles up at an art gallery with some great pieces by a famous Indian artist.

The Husband had made arrangements and we were seated at a very private corner of the restaurant, which was good since it's been a while since we had a "romantic" dinner like this. We ordered the set dinner and the menu went something like this:

Appetiser (on the house)
Seared cube of tuna and grilled cube of lamb on a bed of apple sauce. Not a fan or either but tried the tuna and promptly offered The Husband the lamb.

The set came with lobster bisque, which I don't fancy so I swapped for a mushroom soup made of salt. It was lip-shrivelling salty. 

Pan Seared Foie Gras with Banana coulis 
Hello heaven. Goodbye collar bone...

Scallop and King Prawn Risotto
Yum. But the scallop could've been a bit more grilled.

Ribeye steak with medley of vegetables
It was alright. Meat was a bit chewy though.

Flourless molten cake with Vanilla ice cream
Hello heaven. Goodbye waist...

Extremely sinful dinner. I loved how they combine bananas with the foie gras instead of the usual apples or pears. YUM. Sorry. Dessert was just too delicious. We might return to try the ala carte items. But I do hope to return to the "original" restaurant at Duxton Hill for a sticky date sometime soon.