Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chameleon Cameron

Last year at this period of time I was in Japan , but this year I didn't go abroad as I didn't plan any trips . Therefore , at the last minute, I managed to visit a local holiday destination which is Cameron Highland.

I felt disappointed as there are lots of uncontrollable logging and deforestation on the way up to the highland . Not only that , initially I tought a sweater would bring some relieve from the coldness but the temperature there is too hot for me to wear . We used the new road which is from Simpang Pulai to the highland , first we stopped at Tringkap to visit the Bharat tea plantation. As the sun shone on us , the fiery hot sun really made us feel hot instead of cool. Even though the breeze was soothing but if you stand under the hot sun ,then you will feel the heat.

There are lots of self-plucking strawberry parks around Tringkap and Brinchang . Last time , there are a few limited farms but now there are lots of it . It really made me lost the interest in going to one as it was not special anymore. Stalls along the roadside are selling strawberries and the price is not competitive enough . The price of the local and the imported ones are almost the same . The local strawberries are much sour than imported ones.

One thing worth mentioning is the yogurt strawberries with honey at the Big Red Strawberry Farm which is besides the Cactus Valley at Brinchang. The fresh sour strawberries with the sweet taste of honey and the creamy yogurt made a perfect blend of mouth watering dessert . Freshness of the strawberries is incomparable with the imported ones as it was plugged directly from the plants.

We have wasted most of our time in the traffic jam, around 2 hours . The congestion started from Tringkap to Brinchang . Approaching markets or farms , there will be a slow down. I hope the local authority can limit the traffic flow to the highland . So beware to go on holiday season, as lots of people will make the place congested and made your holiday a painful memory .

Anyway , it was a wonderful place to relax if minus the stress in the jam .

Thursday, December 25, 2008

First time Experience

This was the first time in my life that I was stuck inside a flight cabin for almost an hour . This is due to some technical glitches on the aircraft. When I first enter the sky bridge after walking out of the waiting hall , I was surprised to see an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer entered the aircraft . At first I thought he was going into the aircraft and travelled to Penang. I didn't aspect that it will become that serious until the flight was delayed .I was supposed to depart at 1540 but it flew at 1620.
And I arrived at Penang International Airport at 1705. After taxing , I reached the terminal around 1715.

This was the first time in my life that I was stuck inside a flight cabin fo
My boarding pass with TOD written :1540

TOA display at Penang International Airport :1705

Initially, I was happy to be given a window seat (F)which is on the No. 8 row . As the aircraft being towed from the bay to the runway ,I thought the engineer had gave a green light to the pilots . But then I was wrong . I , with the sweater on had a difficulty to cope with the hot cabin . After taking off the sweater , I coped better but still not up to my expectation.

After the seat belt sign was switched off when the aircraft was airborne, I was delighted to be served with a treat , more than the usual orange juice and peanuts. The box consisted of a piece of fruits cake, a sweet and spicy peanuts, two pieces of Ferrero Rocher chocolate and a cup of orange juice.

This is first time I am seeing this kind of meal box . And usually we get the salted peanuts but that day I received the sweet and spicy peanuts for a change.

The meal box

Inside the meal box

The usual Salted Peanuts given onboard

I really appreciate the kind and generous hospitality given by the airline . I am not bias in anyway because it is fair to treat the customer after a long time of waiting .

If next time you are travelling on a Boeing 737-400 aircraft , I would like to advice you to request for a seat from row No. 1 to No. 8 in order to have a perfect view of scenery .
And if you can avoid taking row No. 11 to No. 14 because that few rows are near the emergency exits which is not so convenient .
Don't take the last row of economy class which is No. 27 because you can't incline your seat .

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pork chop with Red Wine Sauce

I got the inspiration of making this dish through a cooking website, I have a 2007 Cabernet red wine which left half a bottle therefore to be a bit different I use the wine for cooking. Most of the web site reported that you shouldn't use the wine which you dislike for cooking .So , I hope this will enlighten someone who would like to cook using red wine in the future.

Most of chinese cooking will put a few tablespoon of cooking wine which is totally different from the wine used for English cooking style. But the ultimate aim is to intensify the fragrance of the dishes.

2 pork loins
3 tablespoon of ground pepper
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of chicken stock
1/2 red apple
3 tablespoon of oil
4 tablespoon of red wine ,eg.Cabernet

1. Preheat oven (set it to high). Whisk together flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl; set aside 2 tablespoons.
2. Sprinkle remaining flour mixture over pork chops, turning to coat; shake off excess.
3. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
4. Add pork chops, and brown well, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
5. Transfer pan to oven; roast pork chops until they are cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
6. Transfer pork chops to a plate; cover to keep warm.
7. Place pan over high heat; add wine, scraping up browned bits on bottom.
8. Whisk reserved flour mixture into stock; pour into pan while whisking mixture in pan.
9. Stir in diced red apple. Continue to cook until sauce has thickened and fruits are tender, about 15 minutes more.
10. Season with salt and pepper; serve sauce over pork chops.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Curry Mee Hunt-Down

After having heard of the famous Curry Mee at Lorong 100 Tahun near to the Anson Road market , I have not tried it even once as I am not a real curry mee fans . My parents once told me that the Curry Mee at Lorong 100 tahun is not so fragrant compared with the curry mee at the Hin Leong Coffeeshop along Macalister Road.

Upon reaching the coffee shop of famous Curry Mee at Lorong 100 Tahun, there is no other stalls except curry mee and Loh Bak .I ordered the Loh Bak but it was served only with chili sauce and no 'loh'. It is a standard for Loh Bak seller to prepare both chili sauce and 'loh' in Penang. After waiting for around 5 minutes , the food is served . At first there is no chili paste on the spoon but the lady who served us brought us a big bowl of chili paste which is different from any chilies use in other dishes .

The curry mee fragrant is there but it is not to my expectation. The most important of the taste curry mee is not the coconut milk in it but the chili paste .

After eating the curry mee , I headed to the Macalister road , Hin Leong Coffeeshop which is located at a junction of Perak Road ,Barrack Road and Macalister Road . It is easy to miss the shop if you didn't pay attention to the location of the coffeeshop. The coffee shop which has highlighted by The Star saying that it is a vintage coffee shop with tasty hawker food. I love the environment of the coffee shop which is hard to find in KL , the setting is in the 60's but still maintain its cleanliness . There are other hawker food other than Curry Mee which are Wan Tan Mee, Chicken Rice,etc.

As the title of the entry , I continued on my hunt and i ordered a bowl of Curry Mee . The chili paste given was little compared to the previous which you can take as much as you like. But the fragrance in the bowl is much better than the Lorong 100 Tahun's. And one more thing to highlight is the price of Curry Mee here is cheaper compared to the previous.

Try both if you want to know the difference! After all , famous hawker food sometimes will be not as tasty as it seems .

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Carrot Oatmeal Cake

The Carrot Oatmeal Cake

The above title I called it a cake rather than cookies is because the cake is too soft to be called a cookies. I should use a metal tray rather than a glass container to be baked in a toaster oven.

I came back from KL for the weekend and I think that I have to fulfill my promise of making the cookies which i have made previously . Last time , I used chocolate drink powder to be the main attraction in the cooking . But , I wanted to try something different because if I can use other ingredients in my cooking then I will invent another type of speciality . Therefore I tried to use soya milk , carrot , crushed soda biscuits . Besides , I used sugar , chocolate chunk and instant oatmeal which I also used in the previous chocolate cookies.

Below is the ingredients:

15g of fine sugar
3 tablespoon of soya milk (Ensure , Enacal) can be replaced with other types of milk
9 tablespoon of instant oatmeal
3 pieces of crushed soda biscuits
2 tablespoon of butter or margarine
4cm long of carrot ,finely chopped
5 pieces of bar chocolate (any chocolates will do)

Preparation steps:

1. In large saucepan, combine sugar, margarine or butter, milk and carrot.
Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Continue boiling 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Remove from heat for 5 minutes. Stir in oats and crushed soda biscuits until all is covered.
3. Let stand until firm after pouring into a tray.Spread evenly .
4. Bake in a toaster oven for 10 minutes on medium high .
5. Meanwhile, put pieces of chocolate into microwave for 2 minutes on high mode .
6. Overturn the baked cake into a flat plate .
7. Use a spoon to spread the chocolate onto the surface of the cake.
8. Put the cake into freezer for 5 hours .
9. Ready to be served and cut it into pieces.

Serving size : 6 pax

Put it to a boil.

After baking the mixture in a toaster oven.

Overturn the cake onto a flat plate before spreading the chocolate on it.

Using the melted chocolate to spread it on the cake.

I found out that before you place the mixture to the tray for baking, please oil the tray to prevent the cake from sticking onto the edge and the bottom of the tray.

The taste and crispy of the chocolate toppings make a plus into the cake . Although it is soft inside , the taste is not too sweet and too tasteless for everyone to savour .

Put some effort in trying it and you will be rewarded with a Carrot Oatmeal Cake .It is perfect for a tea break .