Thursday, December 25, 2008

Fruits of Borneo Island: Asam Embang

Asam Embang or Mangifera PanjangAhhh...I am puckering my lips right now while writing this. Asam Embang, is what we call this almost prehistoric looking fruit, one of the mango family, with its scientific name, Mangifera Panjang. It is found almost everywhere in Borneo and in Kuching, Sarawak, you can find this at the market. The brown almost scaly skin is almost half an inch thick and the only way to get those juicy fibrous flesh is by scoring the skin about quarter to half an inch with a knife in sections. Just be careful with the sap that comes out of its skin, as it will burn your skin a bit. (click on image for a bigger view) The skin of this fruit is edible. The yellow flesh is sweet and sometimes a bit on the tart side when not completely ripe, and can be eaten either raw as is, into mango relish or added in your dish to add the sweet sour flavor of the fruit. Either way you have it, is good.

My favorite is like how my mother and grandmother did it to keep us quiet. Chopped the flesh of the fruit and add water and a bit of sugar and pour it cold into a glass especially when its so hot outside! Yeah, that will keep us quiet and content when we were kids, chewing the fibrous sweet fruit and drinking at the same time.

Then, when we are able to stand the heat in food, the relish is served. Made by, again, chopping the fruit small, add it into the sambal that is of shrimp paste, chili, a bit of anchovies pound together. This is eaten with warm rice. Ahhhh..divine!

Adding this to a fish dish made of a mix of crushed lemon grass, dried chili, a bit of turmeric, half of an onion, cut in wedges, crushed garlic, fish of your choice, I prefer white flesh fish, or better yet, dried smoked fish and sliced Asam Embang. All these ingredients into a pot with water just enough or a bit more covering all the ingredients makes all the difference. Simmer away. yummmm...

The Sambal Asam or Mango Relish with the Sweet Sour Fish and Hot White Rice, a sunny day, a soft breeze and coconut trees rustling in the background is a beautiful imagination in my head when the truth is, its cold and white outside my window right now.

A Merry Christmas, everyone!

As of now, I am still in a quest of finding another mango which most called the Asam Binjei or Binjai. White Flesh Mango! An opposite texture to this Asam Embang, white and silky smooth, but oh so good!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Feastication V. The Ultimate Rice Salad: Nasi Kerabu

Nasi Kerabu or Nasi Ulam
Nasi Kerabu or Nasi Ulam to some. One of the many rice dish offered by multi-cuisine Malaysia and is one of the food on a must have list when I got back home during my last vacation. The first time I had this was in college during Ramadhan and I have not stop any chance I can get on these interesting, colorful multi-textured and flavored, delicious dish. The blue rice, the fried fish, the Solok Lada, the never ending list of vegetables julienne, the gravy and sauces that goes with this dish just entice your taste buds with all the texture and flavor it has to offer. And the Keropok.

This dish is originally from Kelantan, Northeast of Peninsula Malaysia. Before I get into details, if you are ever in Malaysia, especially Kelantan and Trengganu, go to where the lines are long, that's where you get the best Nasi Kerabu. Then again, you can always get them anywhere in Kuala Lumpur and I still go to smaller food stalls or restaurants for the best. I would stay away for the commercially flashy, contemporary restaurants, just because the food don't taste as good as it is suppose to. Sad.

I will be breaking this down. Drool at your own expense:) Here goes.

The Blue Rice - the version I like. This captured my attention ever since. It seems that they have different version, blue, black, red and or simply white. The tinted rice are done by using different herbs that produces the color. The blue rice is tinted with dried Bunga Telang, in English, the Blue Pea or Clitoria flower.

The Ulam or the Salad. Raw vegetables like cabbage, long beans, Kangkong (water spinach) and herbs such as Bunga Kantan ( Torch Ginger Bud,) Daun Kunyit (Turmeric leave,) Daun Kesom ( Vietnamese Mint,) Daun Selasih ( Basil) among many herbs were jullienne with added bean sprout for more added crunch!

The Sambal Kelapa. Coconut Sambal, a condiment. Pan fry with finely chopped black pepper, onion and fresh ginger which is then ground for another time after all have been toasted.

The Sambal Ikan. Fish Sambal. Another condiment that made this dish. It is made of grilled Ikan Kembung (Indian Mackerel,) finely ground onion and ginger. These ingredients are mixed together and pan fry till toasted.

Solok Lada. Stuffed chilli. This was made with again, Indian mackerel, ginger and onion, ground finely and added to grated coconut, stuffed into the chillie and boiled in rich creamy coconut milk till the coconut milk dries.

Writing this makes me drool. I don't have the patience to do this, but I love, love, love, this dish.

Then, the ingredients to this did not end there.

There's more fish. Deep fried and coated with turmeric powder, rice flour , a bit of salt and lime water.

Last but still not the end of condiment's list, Sambal Budu. Fish sauce sambal. This is another must, to me, in this dish. Made with dried chilli, red onion, garlic, ginger, all finely ground, with crush lemongrass, sugar, coconut milk and tamarind juice. the coconut milk is first boiled then added with rest of the ingredient and boiled again till thick.

What did I say about enticing of the taste bud. This alone has created one group of flavor that dances around those teenee taste buds. Its salty, sour, spicy and sweet. All in just this one condiment.

Oh how could I forget, the Keropok! The Fish Cracker. The magic cracker, as I call it! Crunchy, slightly salty goodness made of Fish, flour, salt and some added spices, mixed into a dough, boiled, thinly sliced, sun-dried and packed for us to use. Most keropok would be packed in plastics and all you have to do is fry them like you do chips but, this frying only takes seconds as the small dry compact slices blooms into a huge dessert plate size crackers. That's why I call it the magic cracker!:) You may want to try with one small chip first and see the magic transforms! I play with my food:)

The above picture was taken when I had my lunch in Section 18, Shah Alam, Selangor with my two lovely couple, Nizam & Ziela, my very long time friends from college whom I have not seen for more than 13 years together with their 2 lovely daughters and my sister & my nephew, Mumble:). It is so good. Added to it is sliced grilled beef. I cannot say more but one word. Yummmmy!

Good company and good food.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Feastication IV. The Art of Cake Layering

kek lapis sarawak1Kek Lapis Sarawak or its translation, Sarawak Layered Cake.
Roll over and/or click on images for more hd visual:)

If you said you have seen layered cake, you have not seen enough just yet. These cakes you see above are a well known art by cake bakers from Sarawak, Borneo. I would say, its the Art of Constructing & deConstructing Layered Cake. They are not only beautiful, but deliciously moist and flavorful. These are only a few of many you can see during festive seasons all across Sarawak, Malaysia.

I have experienced the painstaking detail (to me) and its tedious process of making this type of cake. Mixing the ingredients, eggs, lots of them, butter, sugar, flour, then comes the spices or color, depending on what you will flavor your cake. The lists are endless. Then come layering it, one at a time making sure the cake is not over baked or over steamed. yes, some of the recipes requires only steaming. yummm...

Now, the even more creative professional bakers made it even more complicated, like one you see above. As for me? I just layered them plain. Nothing special at all. Blah! They, the professional Kek Lapis bakers, will be constructing it like as if they would weave a mat. I bet Martha Stewart have not seen anything like this yet!:) Making these cakes was, I think a few baking experience that I have not done for a long while.

Those in the pictures above and below, no, I did not make those. These pictures are taken from one of my sister's house during the Eid. I have to ask my sister what they named these cakes, yes, they have names, as creative as the cake itself. All of them, are oh so yummy! Just watch your weight as these cakes do not skim out on ingredients. No, M'am! Eat at your own risk as you can never stop. These are serious cakes! Seriously!:)

kek lapis sarawak2
Layered cakes were first introduced to Sarawak by the Indonesian who layered their cake with ground spices, which was introduced to the Indonesian by the Dutch during its colony. Spekkoek. A Thousand Layer Spice Cake.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

BananaRama- I run for bananas!

Pisang Keling aka Pisang Rastali
Pisang Keling aka Pisang Rastali Pictured above are Pisang Keling or Pisang Rastali.

Pisang. Banana in English. These are fruits that most love and some may not like. I love, love bananas. I started to learn the different names when I was a "banana runner" for my late Great grandmother. She would ask me to run to the small stall to get bananas just for her. Hmm...I love running errands for my mom, running back and forth just for for fun of it. As a 7-8 year old, what the heck. My mom said to obey the elders so I did. In my mind, I would get my "fruitful" reward:)

My great grandmother says bananas. I run! To the stall of course. She would say, "Get me Pisang Madu" - Honey Banana, a small pinky finger sized banana that is super sweet. As sweet as honey. Hence the name. Or Pisang Keling (Pisang Rastali in Bahasa Melayu ) a dark dotted banana which is almost with a slight tartness to it, my other favorite, or Pisang Embun (Embun is Dew in Malay) the closest to most banana species sold in most supermarkets around the world. Then there is Pisang Otel (Pisang Lemak Manis in B. Melayu with English direct translation as Creamy & Sweet Banana) my true favorite. It's small & sweet. Smooth yellow skin, when ripe with a green tip and almost has its own sweet fragrance.

Pisang Pisang.
This banana mostly use for baking, is very good for Cekodok Pisang - fried banana dumpling. Made with just flour, mashed banana & a pinch of salt fried to perfection & Lepat Pisang - a banana kueh, made with mashed ripe banana with flour and a bit sugar and sometimes with grated coconut, wrapped in banana leaves, steamed till cooked. Yes, Add a pinch of salt to enhance the sweetness of this fruit.

Pisang Nangka
- A banana species that taste like that of Nangka - Jackfruit. Interesting enough. Pisang Tandok (Plantain) - Tandok/Tanduk is Horn in Malay as most of these bananas are the size of a water buffalo horns. It is mainly use for cooking, frying will be best. Fried ripe plantain, where its sugar caramelized when fried, oozing through the crunchy fried flour batter. You can see small stalls selling these in the afternoon near roadsides and do ask for Pisang Goreng (Fried Banana.)
Pisang Mas - Sweet but not as good as Pisang Otel to my taste bud, also known as Baby Banana in most Western supermarkets.
Pisang Kapok
(Pisang Kapas in B Melayu & kapas is cotton in Malay) Like that of Plantain and Pisang Pisang, this is best for cooking and be made into fried banana.

There are about 9 names of bananas that I knew and can differentiate when I run banana errands for my late great grandmother. I thank her for this knowledge she had given me, yet I know, even after all these errands, she do not like me much. I assumed of my mischievousness :)
Pisang Otel aka Pisang Lemak ManisPisang Otel aka Pisang Lemak ManisPictured above are Pisang Otel or Pisang Lemak Manis.

Feastication III: Fruits & more Food.

Roll over and/or click on images for more:)
Day 11th. Eid 9th day. Thursday. I was browsing real fast yesterday at the Market when I spotted these. Chempedak. So I thought. Opened them up and oh how I cannot wait to get my hands on these big succulent fruit! Sweet and juicy! hmm..its a bit different but who cares. Its good! Shove it to my sisters face to let her get a taste. she is not too keen on chempedak unless its made into a fritter. Fritter or fresh, I am diggin' it! She got a taste and said, " its Cenangka. A mixture of Cempedak and Nangka."
Delicious mix breed of Cempedak and Nangka - Cenangka"Oof..whaaaa?!Wahaaaat?! hmm..oh yummm....whatever! its good anyway you name it " The aroma of both this super sweet fruit was as mix as the breed. Cempedak is known to be mushy but sweet and Nangka, very sweet and crunchy. a mix even made it better:) I cannot complain. How do I describe this fruit? It almost have an aroma of Mango when its ripe with an almost a mix of vanilla and mango. The fruit itself are amazing. How it holds all those fruit within a fruit and what I meant is that the fruit holds the fleshy (the part that you eat) covered seeds in a casing that should be an inspiration for most fragile product packaging design. Click on the image for a more detail picture and drool:)

Brunch at Sri Shan Curry & Such.
Sri Shan Curry & SuchThis place screams Yummy Good Food! Indian food to be exact. Ahhh...Putu Mayam. My, how I long for this dessert cum breakfast food:) Clean noodle created from rice flour steamed and sprikled with fresh grated coconut and sugar. Oh, how my sweet palette dance with glee. It is such a delectable dessert. Next come Vadai. A fritter made of Dhal - yellow lentilof the legume family, mixed with chilli, cumin, onion and other goodness and spices.

Then, Thosai or Dosai to some. A flat almost crispy yet soft bread served with coconut chutney and curry. My father & I went with the plain. My mother didn't come along as she is fasting today. Bummer:( My sister with something that sounds more interesting than mine. Dosai with Planta (margarine) and sugar. Then my other sister, Dosai Vege. What? did I miss all the goodness? Those two are so good! Anyone who orders Dosai, do the Vege and Planta & Sugar. Oh so good! Even dipped with Curry! Fish Curry to be exact. Man...I miss so much all these time.Wash this all down with Teh Tarik! hmmm...should I write more or let you discover this yourself. This place offers more than what I wrote above.

Sri Shan Curry & Such
No. 383, Persiaran Ban Hock,
93100 Kuching
Sarawak, Malaysia.
Tel: 6082-244118, 6082-421008

Feastication II: Food & more food!

Mee Jawa at Syn Nam HuiRoll over and/or click on images for more:)
Day 10th. Eid 8th day. Wednesday. Its Mee Jawa time. One of my many favorite noodle. How it came to be a well known Sarawak or Kuching dish to be exact, I have to find out more, but I know the source to this noodle comes from Island of Java, hence the name " Mee Jawa - Java Noodle." Indonesian who had resided in Borneo, brought with them this wonderful sweet, savory and a bit on a spicy note to its gravy.

How should I describe more of this unbelievable mixture of Noodle meet Satay? Its yellow noodle with boiled eggs, Chinese celery, sliced fried tofu, fried onion, sliced chillies as garnishing & gravy to die for! The gravy made with base of sweet potatoes or yam, to some part of the globe, that makes this gravy different from most. It is a little bit spicy with a slight light curry taste but not crazy too spicy to kill your appetite for this delicious sweet & savory, exotic dish. Topped it with Satay, a sweet & savory, spiced, herbed, grilled marinated chicken or beef on a stick or both and you can have them on the side, if you like. When I said, topped with satay, meaning, the satay sauce (peanut sauce) goes with it, mixed with the Mee Jawa gravy. Oh yummm..should I describe more or should you get it yourself?

My favorite place and also to most who knows this is one is Syn Nam Hui on Main Bazaar, in Kuching. Across Kuching Waterfront close to the Big Chinese Temple. You won't miss it. You do have to be patient as it is the best in town, unless if anyone else knows of one that I may not.

Grilling SataySatay is serve here and this goes fast and you too have to be quick to order! Patience is key to happy tummy! This place is happening! I really think this is the place my friend Jean was saying:) Thanks Jean:)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Eid "Feastication" at Home, Oct 2008.

Roll over and/or click on images for more:)

Caught your attention, Did I?:) - Fleshy Durian. Yummy!My excitement started the day I got my ticket to fly home. That was about 1 month before my 24hrs flight to Malaysia. uuurgh..that's the only part I do not like. long flights, but my anticipation of being back home overpowered my tiredness.

Day 1. touchdown in KUL at 11.47pm Sept 28th. My 5th sister startled me from behind at the luggage area covering my tired eyes. Slept only a few hours from Friday night. Too excited to sleep. I can't help tearing happy tears seeing very familiar face. Gave her a good hug.

Got at her place, showered, rest up a bit before leaving early morning at 7am, left for KL to do some document before my real vacation.

Day 2. Left for Kuching the next day the eve of Eid, the day all Muslims celebrate the holy month of Shawal after the holy month of Ramadhan, where fasting is observed, from sun up to sun down.

Oh, how I miss the air, the humidity, the aroma of food cooked for the feast in the morning. Mmmmmm.

Day 3. Eid 1st day. Wednesday.
Family & Food. There's emotion, happiness & sadness all in one on this very day. meeting them after so long was truly an event for me to absorb and observe.

Day 4. Eid 2nd day. Thursday.
Family, Friends, Food. Met my old classmates, Jean, Angela and Rita. Oh how good they looked! Reminiscing the high school days! Then my closest friend and ex colleague, June came, and I went to my first house visit, an old colleague, Azlan, a fellow schoolmate too!

Day 5. Eid 3rd day. Friday.
My 2nd sister's housewarming. Food prep - Lontong. That was one of the best I've tasted. More family! more FOOD! No images taken as I am helping prep & absorbing my many, many food experience that I forgot my camera!

Day 6. Eid 4th day. Saturday.
Aaaaah...a breather. Had KFC. yup..I got KFC. just because:) they have the new lime flavor. yumm. with my 7th sister for a haircut. Ooof! the hairdresser is not listening, doing his thing!

Then at nite, more FOOD!!! this time, the ones that I have longed for. the ordinary food, nothing fancy, but dang good! Dabei - an olive like fruit, oh so good, so creamy almost taste like avacado and Engkalak - a pinkish, soft flesh fruit , both prepared with just pouring hot boiled water, when soft, drained and sprinkled with salt. Oh so good! Both only found in Borneo. Had salted fish with hot rice. Heaven! Sorry, no images here as I am so engrossed with Food I have with my mom!

Images from Sunday Market in KuchingDay 7. Eid 5th day. Sunday.
Sunday Market! my favorite day when I got to go to the local Farmers market.Pictured here from L to R, Top to bottom are Kedondong, Purple Yam, Okra (aka lady finger), Tapioca, buah kepayang (local only to Borneo), fresh Bamboo shoot, Asam Macang, Kacang Botol, Red chillies, Rozelle, Engkalak, Papaya, More chilies, Curry & Kefir Lime leaves and Jering. Click on the images for a bigger view. Drool:).

Mee Kari for Sunday breakfast at Kaya & Toast
Had Mee Kari ( Curry Noodle) for breakfast! yes, breakfast! went with Mom, my eldest sister, my three brother-in-laws at Kaya and Toast. I must say, that is very good Mee Kari! oh yes, with Teh Tarik.

Got back to help my 2nd sister get ready for another open house. Sorry, no images (which I should have taken as its Laksa Kedah made by my 7th sis! ) here either as I was helping to prep for her big day and also heading out after all is set with my schedule is so tight!
Then off I go. My girlfriends, Idah, Has and Elon picked me up for my other friend Madinah's for the Eid visit. Upon arrival, all of us became high school girls again! screaming and giggling talking about old times.

Durian from Pasir Pandak, BorneoIt is also today, at night, on my full swing schedule, that I had my first Durian Feast after 3 long years! ooohh...come to Mama!

Zul, The Durian tree ownerThe owner of a tree who bears this fruit, my eldest sister's husband's buddy, Zul. I am not shy but JUMP to the invitation with just one word. DURIAN. Thank you Zul, for those delicious Durian and Rambutan!

Rambutan, a hairy but deliciously sweet, almost Lychee-like fruit, indegeneous to Southeast AsiaI managed to have a taste of these sweet Rambutan at his house.

Day 8th. Eid 6th day. Monday.
Another personal thing I need to do.
Lunch at my 6th sister's place. Man, its Jering, Kacang Botol ( direct translation, Bottle Nut - yet it doesn't look any like a bottle) Oooh...tiger prawns, Yam leaves with another rare family eggplant, Terung Asam or Terung Dayak as we called it, which I only saw and found in Borneo. Pictured here from L to R, Top t bottom, are Sambal Udang, Sambal Halia with Jering & Kacang Botol, Engkalak with sprinkled salt..yummm, Sayur Keladi, Udang Galah ( Tiger Prawn), Pisang Otel aka Lemak Manis, Mussel, Ikan Tongkol (local Tuna) with Terung Asam and more Jering.

Look at these babies!Well, actually, its Durian again, but I am having dessert before main meal:)

The infamous Sarawak Mee KolokDay 9th. Eid 7th day. Tuesday.
Pick up my renewed passport. Bought and made eyeglasses and lunch - Mee Kolok* - oh so good!, ABC** [air batu campur] and CucurUdang*** (shrimp fritter)!

Taken with my eldest sister's blackberry camera phone and in her own words. -
Local breakfast fare - the infamous kolok mee, authentically Sarawak Chinese dish, which some Singaporeans don't mind to fly home with kilos of them. Oh, of course to other overseas destinations where there are diaspora of Sarawakians, regardless of their race.
More of this will continue in another blog entry.

Laksa Sarawak DinnerRight now as I am writing, its Laksa Sarawak at my 6th sister's place for another dinner. Tell me if this is not feastication!:) Pictured here are Udang Galah; in row btm to top, cilantro, kalamansi lime, small shrimp, sprouts, shredded chicken, jullienne egg omellette ; Laksa Sarawak Gravy, on other serving plates; Lamb with cumin, more buttered shrimp, and potatoes. Drooling yet?

My trip didn't end there just yet. To be continued...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Petronas Raya (Eid) Ad - The Seven Sons

First time when I saw this Ad, I was laughing so hard that I was literally crying! This Ad was on Malaysia airwaves during the Eid, a celebration after the fasting month of Ramadhan, about the love of seven sons who would go all the way to not hurt their mother's feeling, following the sayings, "For Heaven lies at a mother's feet."

I will be breaking down the shots and you will understand why. Kudos to the brains behind this Ad.
- “For Heaven lies at a mother’s feet."

Note: 1 catty is equivalent to 1.323 lb or 600 gms (*Catty is the English word for a traditional Chinese unit of mass called a jīn)

Petronas Merdeka Ad 2008

Petronas never failed to make me laugh and cry at the same time in one Ad. Enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Coca-Cola: Bird's Nest" Olympic TV Ad

My friend, colleague and walk buddy, Linda told me about this and I quickly "Googled" it. This is too cute! Sports not only brought the athletes together but brought great Ad minds on worldwide platform, doing what they are good at.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beauty & the Beast

Whoooaaa! What humongous horns you have!

what are you looking at?!

leave me alone...I'm eating here!

What you see is Watusi*:)
Then...these. Its breathtaking...sigh...

090808: Was at Domino Farms today to look for a beautiful sight of sunflower fields and we came across those beautiful animals! Just got an info that those animals above were *Watusi, a rare breed from Africa and looks almost like Texas Longhorns. Enjoy!

Friday, August 8, 2008


080808 - A day most would want to be associate with. more to go for my 080808 icecream:) hehehe.

Ahhh..its pistachio at Stucchi's today:)m-m-m-m-m:) felt like taking these pictures for old friends who misses Ann Arbor:) I'm pretty sure that these are their path to school and eateries. Its a gorgeous night.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My dad's cat named Girl & the Anniversary Cake

My Dad loves to send short message (sms) from his cell and tell me about the happenings back home and the latest that just melts my heart was about Mom & Dad's 48th Anniversary celebration.

Before I continue, in his sms, he said that the celebration will be at my eldest sister's house and the so called cake would be made of *lemanta' which he said also known as **Tumpi' , which makes me smile when I read it, groggily , will be serve, glazed with baby prawns and special meat gravy and all delicacies and drinks from palms such as coconut and ***nipah juice. ("oh how is my sister going to produce this?" I thought.)

, he said, feeds him growing up during the WWII.

He said that he had invited his friends... (O-Oh! wait till my sister finds out because he had said to her, a family affair only...oooh my! ) ... his message continues, "including my cat named Girl" who waits for him outside the bathroom door when he shower or getting ready for his prayers, and runs out the door when she hears his motorbike outside. - Ooowh...

I must say, Tumpi' is one delicious delicacy to me till now. How my mom and my late grandmothers would make it is with Sago and shredded coconut with a bit of salt. Mix together and lay the ingredients flat on a flat pan. No oil. Coconut produces enough fat so the flat cake would not stick. My mom would put a banana leave on top of the mixture, then , another flat pan or a kettle to press it down. Almost like the panini press technique.

I smiled when he sms me this. That was about 1.30 am last July 30th, 2008.

*Lemanta' - pronouced as luh-mahn-tak (silent the "k" ) ; aka. Sago flour, can be substitute with any starchy flour, eg., tapioca or corn flour, Tapioca would be closest.
**Tumpi' - pronounced as 'toom-peek' - again with no emphasize on the letter "k"
***Nipah - pronouced as 'nee-pah' - a Nipah palm that produces juice from its sap. Sweeter than coconut juice.

Below are pictures of Piper and Zeus, Naomi's cats she got from the Humane Society last month.
Piper, the active one, trying to reach my phone and sitting at his spot behind Naomi's laptop.

Zeus ( below) at his 2 favorite spot, Naomi's bag and his CatCouch.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

oooooh...Come to Mama!

Chocolate Goodness, by Katie Moon.

Chocolate Cake! yummm! I was writing about healthy food, eating them and as I was doing so, my door bell rang and there stood an angelic face of my neighbor with what I see as food in her hand. I was already smiling. Nothing looks like that than Chocolate Cake! Yummy, glistened shiny chocolate frosting see through from the container. oh my! She ask me if I would like to have some chocolate cake!!! "PINCH ME!" I told her:) Thanks Katie! oh I am so running/cycling/walking this weekend and I don't care! It's worth every bite!

I can't wait. Not to even put in on a plate. here's a few seconds damage I have made.

No mercy!
Yumm! That is a serious cake! Smooth, Chocolaty and Super Moist!! leave me alone now:)

Katie is my neighbor whose kids I go play with whenever I hear their voice outside. They have been my remedy of my missing my nieces and nephews at home. Bless those kids. We exchange food a lot, which I also do to my other long time friend and neighbor, Naomi:)

Yang, if you read this, there might be or not be any left:) heheheh. Its mine..all mine...muuuahahahahahaha!

Turmeric Pepper Chicken Salad®

Turmeric Pepper Chicken Salad®

I have been eating good lately. I am gonna make some of my friends who read this drool:) you know who you are:) Its healthy, cheap and so yummy. I call it clean food. [ substitute any greens according to your region]

I miss my mom and her cooking especially fried fish marinated with turmeric and salt. I can eat a plate of just that.

Its cut chicken breast about half inch thick, marinated with turmeric powder, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Sometimes a squeeze of lemon juice. That's the short marinate. The long marinate, my fav chef, Alton Brown would soak chicken with salt water with a few peppercorn and overnight it in fridge. I love this technique. Your chicken is so moist and flavorful when you cook 'em. I would soak the whole chicken breast before cutting it.

Pan fry chicken with a bit of olive oil in pan . 5-7 minutes on each side or like I do, I would flip it if I see the one side all caramelized:).

Once cooked, I let those good eats rest a bit. That is if I can stand it. I'll have romaine and iceberg lettuce with chopped parsley. A mixture of the lettuce creates the crunch factor, then come the cut into cube chicken. Sprinkle with raisins. Yes, raisins. Anti-oxidant, sweet and scrumptious, a contrast in taste against the salty goodness, crunchy almost tasteless vege with aromatic parsley. No. I did not forget the dressings because I don't use dressings in this one. may think, "R U nuts? Salad without dressings???" Trust me. Enjoy the taste of just the cold raw vege against warm or even cold chicken, with sweet raisin and aromatic herb, is enough to tease your taste buds:) let it dance, let it dance:) yummm. Well, if you still want dressings, squeeze some lemon and drizzle olive oil:) m-m-m-m-m:)

Try it, cooking is an art, not science;) Baking is. Just watch your salt:)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Li'l Teddy chillin' on a Big bike*!

Last Saturday, we spotted and saw this on the highway and I thought that this was the cutest thing! A very cute teddy bear riding as a passenger on a beautiful big bike* ! oooowh ...:) My cameraphone did not do justice, but I'll share it with you anyway:) click on it to see more.

* my brother-in-law, Boh, who is a bike aficionado, whom at this moment in a diving chamber, told me its a Japanese bike, which I thought was a Harley:) Thanks Boh! shows how much I know about bikes:) Boh, you have to come here one day:) bring your girls!

Dive Safe, bro!

click on the images to enlarge

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I stopped, stared & analyzed. Ann Arbor Art Fair 08

My recent asthma prevented me to walk and enjoy what I have been waiting for the last few months and today, the weather cooled down. I went. As I was in my zone, "Beep!", my camera phone's says low battery:( I wish so much I got a high res DSLR right then:( Words could not express what I saw. I went to their website, nah, that didn't help either, the images on their site, I would say, did not do justice to what you would see with your own naked eye. What I can tell you, if you ever get to know if these artists are coming to a nearby art fair, you go! Don't think. Just Go! You stare and analyze then wonder why they are who they are. Nah, not talking about that one you see here. those are pre-dead phone battery. but those are fun ones. - Bug'ems (pic above) & glass work seen in the art fair.

Below are list of art pieces that stopped me. Since I am camera-less, I am linking their websites with their art piece displayed. Remember, I did speed browsing as I only have a few hours and usually it would take me at least the whole day to finish.

Paper Expressions by Hetty and Norman Metzger of Florida. This one truly gave me goosebumps. The detail that these two artists had done were remarkable. So detail, all paper boxes well aligned with beautifully coordinated colors. I had a chance talking to Hetty Metzger, and how amazing her paper weave was. No, not ordinary weave, its paper fringe weave. "Oh my, how did you have the time?", I asked. An amazing lady patiently described her pieces. huhmmm..I am speechless. If I can recall..its something to do with Gators. So, so good!

Another was a metal art piece that just caught my attention. Lacosse Design by Scott & Victoria Lacosse of Sanford, Michigan. It takes true artist in my point of view to make hard metal looking so smooth and soft. I don't see it being a hard material but looking it almost like another soft textured medium. The treatment that was put into each art piece was so well thought of, colors are so well blended with its contrast of not just shapes, but the hues that interplay with each other, then a sudden copper wire and black steel ties each piece giving it a contemporary feel.

Frogs singing:)

Next three sites are for those who love textile art and how I adore these ones. Like I said earlier, their websites did not do justice to what you would see with your own eye.

Mimi Design Chicago displays beautiful modern quilt technique done from raw white textile and dyed each piece or section then sewn.

The next artist was Sierra A. Cole of Grand Rapids, Michigan, whom reminds me so much of my friend June, whom made me love textile more than anyone. Back to the artist. Her color choices are so beautiful, warm, cold and neutral colors. It would remind you of all the spring, summer, fall and winter colors in cold Michigan winter. Her fresh designs sticks in memory chip:)

Last but not least, was Susan Levi-Goerlich from Columbia, Maryland who did gorgeous silk collage using felt technique. No sticthing. She basically "paints" her pieces with silk collage. Its so amazing how it was done. I wish so much how I have a micrcospic eye where I can see each strand of material flows into each layer. too bad, she says she needs to take a year break, meaning I won't see her in the next Art fair:(

I love Art Fairs, especially Ann Arbor's. If you ever are in the area, come sometimes every 3rd week of July each and every year.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Anthony Bourdain and the King of Fruits! Hah!

I salute you Anthony Bourdain! Saw him on No Reservation Indonesia episode, he ate the King of Fruits! - the Durian. Pronounced as [doo r-ee-uhn, -ahn] Duri, in Malay language means thorn.

durianThe only thing is that, someone needs to teach Tony the exact way to extract, what most westerners think as stinky fruit, those delicious sweet, heavenly, custard-y flesh. He whacked the poor thing in the middle, diagonally. A no, no!:) The fruit, ( I am so passionate in opening this fruit ) nature had divided into compartments:), sections. If you look carefully, there is a line, what I call a river running through the thorny valley (always in my fantasy world with thorny jungle) - tweak the top that usually cracks when ripe. ooolala!- you will find, what we call the sleeping cat, the best of all. Meaning, in a compartment, resides one, not two nor three, but one cuddly looking, fluffy, sweet, yummy goodness which, most of the time with a very small seed. Tell me how else can you describe this. Oww..I cannot think! How I miss this fruit!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

April Fool's Fest '08

Images taken at Main Street, Ann Arbor FestiFool's Fest. A festivals where volunteers of all ages make huge humongous papier-mâché puppets and parade all of these beautiful artwork in downtown Ann Arbor.