Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sunday Kitchen

Last Sunday was a little hectic in our kitchen to say the least. Scott insisted we make chutney with our tomatoes surplus which is fine by me other than a) we dont have a working oven so sterilising jars have to be done the old-fashion way, which I don't even know if it's completely fine! (we shall find out in 3 months when the chutney is ready for consumption), b) he also decided he wants to cook beef rendang from scratch for our sunday dinner (!) Err….does he not know how time consuming it is to make the rendang paste and the amount of ingredients we need to get? And what this would mean to our kitchen space with him needing the pester and mortar, food processor, chopping board, a million bowls for each ingredient (I believe all men cook like this!). So where does this leave me with my tommy chutney?

OK I love a good rendang and him showing an interest to make it from scratch is admirable cause even I never make rendang from scratch. There is something called ‘Brahim’s rendang sauce!’ which is just as good to me. He is a guy on a mission so we got up early enough on a Sunday to get to the farmers’ market and stock up

On a side note, him trying to decipher an asian recipe is highly amusing

Scott (baffled): Rick Stein says to grate the coconut then soak it in hot water…
Me: Hello? Why are you following what Rick Stein says….who is da Malaysian here eh? Just leave me alone and I will get you the coconut flesh AND coconut milk.
Scott: But I don’t need the milk…I bought a can for that. Don’t squeeze the milk out or the coconut will become dry and lose the flavor
Me: huh?

It was actually a pretty good rendang once we got over his preference to use can vs fresh coconut milk - by the way, fresh coconut wins the day!

We had to reduce down that chutney to about half its content = 2 hours of stirring!

Rendang looking promising

Nasi lemak on the menu for Sunday dinner. The rendang taste like rending but need more chillies…I think he is pleased



1st Flat Anniversary!!

1st flat anniversary! 2

1st flat anniversary! 1

Today marked the day we moved into this flat a year ago.

OK I agree the pictures make it seem as if we have not done anything to the flat since we bought it. Yes yes, the wall is empty but that's because we are still (but very close to) deciding on what we would like to have on it as it. What we want to display is not something we can pop into Ikea to get hence the tortoise pace we go at decorating some of the walls in our flat.

I remember walking into our flat for the first time after getting the keys and looking at it without any furnitures and thinking 'f£$%, what have we done!!?! Why have we bought this!!??!! Without any furnitures, we started noticing all the small flaws we missed - tired looking carpet, peeling wallpaper, hairline cracks on wall, damp mouldy bathroom. It is fair to saw we had our job cut out for us. We wanted an old flat with characters and we accept it comes with a lot more work / flaws that buying a new built. We grafted at it for a good 3 months, goodbyes to weekend and holidays and scrubbed, painted, striped (wallpaper, not ourselves!), plastered, rewired and sweat buckets and we finally moved in 3 months later.

1 year on...we are still doing the odd jobs here and there (it is never ending!) but we won't change it for any other. Happy 1 year flat anniversary! Bring on the next!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010




Old Brown bottles
All these for 99p - are you freaking kidding me!

Everyone collects something at some point in their life. The stuff you collect says something about you at that point in life and also often represents something. I vaguely remember collecting stamps, looking through letters that were never mine to nick the colourful stamps for my collection,being precious about soaking the stamp in water and slowly removing the stamp for the envelope without tearing it.Heck, I was even close to putting my name up in one of those teenage magazine looking for penpals so I can receive letters and stamps!

Then there is the need to collect everything and anything Take That related. Partly to feel like I belong to something, partly to not miss out really. That was an expensive teenage phase. Those VHS, CDs and magazines all amount to more than my daily pocket money!

Now with a flat of my own, I love collecting glass bottles. Old bottles with embossed letters, medicinal bottles with vertical ridges, clear/ coloured/ stained bottles, there is always a reason behind the style and colour. Some are cheaper than others, some are probably not worth the money I paid for but regardless, each one is valuable to me. It is often small and light enough to search out and buy them whenever I travel. I have also been known to buy beer for Scott so I can keep the bottle! (Maybe that's why he tolerate my 'junk'). My personal favourites are anything chemistry related - beakers, test tubes....hmmmm......strange but it's true!

I would like to think it references back to my geeky engineering background but worryingly, I think this bottle obsession do run in the family!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


hmmm....guess what?

I think you are starting to get an idea of what I am talking about!


toms in hands

freshly harvested tomatoes!

We harvested loads and loads of tomatoes. Cherry toms in various mini sizes and shades of green to red - beyond cute! Greatest garden success alongside our still growing cucumber plant! We are going to make some tommie chutney as soon as we get a new oven (damn stoopid oven has gone to 'heaven' so chutney has to wait)

on a side note....check out our huge-ass squash! So so exciting. We weren't sure if we should keep it going as pumpkins and only harvest in time for Halloween but we got too excited.Need-to-learn-patience...


Giant Robot

Saturday brunch is always a lovely feeling. Late start, no work the next day and often one tend to stroll vs. brisk walk on a Saturday. We ended up in Giant Robot, partly cause we are craving pancakes and partly cause I own a EC1 card (hurrah!), giving me money off for brunch. Sold!





OMG blueberries pancakes...must try!


Cotechino Hash - freshly made hash brown (so yummy), arugula, poached egg, salsa verde. We also had sausage patty and extra poached eggs. Such glutton so no pics!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh Sweetie

oh sweetie wallpaper

In love with this wallpaper by Kate Usher, aptly called 'Oh Sweetie'. Its the old jars that are pulling at my 'aww' string. Would have bought it and plaster all over my kitchen without sense but the price woke me up (£150 per roll for 10m!). I will stick to 'aww-ing' as my desktop wallpaper!

When life gives you (too much) chillies...






...Make chilli jam

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Dinner



When Scott is on cooking duty, this is the type of food we sometimes have for weekday dinner

--> Salmon en papilote with ceviche of salmon and lime. There are 4 parts to this dish.

Salmon en papilote, in simpler terms mean salmon wrapped in paper with white wine, black pepper and coriander, baked in the oven. Sorry not shown, as I got excited and took the pictures before the baked salmon is ready.

ceviche of salmon = cured fresh salmon using lime, onions, crack of black pepper, olive oil and dressed up with grated boiled eggs

boiled new potatoes seasoned with huge whack of butter (hallelujah!), garlic (hallelujah one more time!), pepper plus coriander

and finally...lime mayonnaise (made fresh using eggs and white wine vinegar and a load of other stuff in it)

Just our usual Monday dinner....only when Scott cooks