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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Just words

When comes to express one's feeling or showing affection to another, I tell you I am bad. Some people like to speak up or by drawing to convey their messages. Whichever way that make them feel comfortable. How bout words? Yup... words can be very powerful, and probably work best for me, yet my writing is sucks...ahhahaha.

I am slowly learning to step out to communicate beyond my comfort zone, not only limited to words but more on talking to my kids. I wish I can share more about myself with the girls just like how I want them to share with me so I can hear more of their inner voice as they grow up.

People will tend to ask why is it so hard for you to say, 'I love you'..Honestly, is not hard. Some people are just not good in expressing them out. Call me a conservative person, I still love to write it out.ehehhee..

This morning I left a message on the white board before the girls off to school. I didn't expect them to notice it because I was rushing them to get ready. When my turn to leave the house, only I realized they actually read my message...leaving replies to me 'OK'. Hahahah..words can't describe how much I feel being loved.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Lego Princess' Friday Thoughts

'Sometimes the strongest people are the one who love beyond all faults, cry behind closed doors and fight battles that nobody knows about.'

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day 2015 Celebration with lots of LOVE

Happy Mother's Day to all super mom!

It was another great celebration with lots of love last weekend. First, I received lovely cards from the girls. I would say this is priceless because I don't know how many more years I will be getting this kind of hand drawn card from them.

Being the eldest, she always keeping it simple and straight forward with her customized hand drawn emoji icon.Haha

While the small one prefers more colors.

Sweet Mamarazzi must know I have been craving for nasi lemak. (I have not been eating this for almost a month)...and she drove to my house to send over some warm breakfast. She gotten us 3 packets of rice and I happily nom nom 2 packs myself..*burp**. Thanks Kat!

Being the thoughtful man as always, HB gotten me some sweet treats. It's Garrett’s Chicago Mix (sweet Caramel Crisp with savory Cheese Corn) popcorn nicely packed in a lovely Garrett Blossom Tin. He knows I will keep the tin.Haha

That's not all, he also ordered e a Haagen-Dazs ice cream cake for me and the kids.

Haagen-Dazs Double Chocolate Royale - sounds even more premium when this cake is entirely made of pure ice cream.

We would not be able to chomp down the entire 1kg of chocolate ice cream cake without him, leaving us to skip eating our dinner as our stomach is filled with this sinful chocolate ice cream cake. Yummmms!

We plan to eat out with my parents and brothers next week knowing restaurants might be full, somehow my dad rang us to go out for an early dinner. That's how we celebrated mother's day.Thanks to HB for picking up the bill too.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

3-course home-cooked dinner with premium New Zealand produce

New Zealand has a reputation for having amazing ingredients. The best butter, the most flavorful lamb all year round, and the freshest seafood. I had a bag of premium New Zealand produce and roped my better half in (sous-chef of the day) to create a delicious 3-course menu during the long Labour Day weekend.

Baked Mussels with Creamy Garlic Butter Sauce

- Talley’s Greenshell Mussel
- Tatua Whipping Cream
- Anchor Pure New Zealand Butter
- Garlic (chopped)
- Chilli (chopped)
- Spring onion (chopped)
- Coriander (garnishing)

This appetizer uses Talley’s Green-lipped Mussels as the hero of the dish. This New Zealand Greenshell Mussel is unique to New Zealand’s pristine waters and contains a plethora of nutritional benefits and a veritable laundry list of irons, protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also very fresh, having being flash-frozen within hours of harvest, as we found out.

The gigantic mussels came on the half-shell and I just gave them a quick rinse and patted dry before preparing the butter garlic cream to go with it. I sautéed some finely chopped garlic together with some spring onion and chilli before adding Tatua Whipping Cream (about 1/2 cup) and a dollop of Anchor Pure New Zealand Butter to make the basis of the sauce.

I lined a baking tray with the mussels, drizzled the butter garlic cream on top and baked it in the oven for a couple of minutes.

Viola! They came out perfect and we both loved the juicy mussels with the garlic cream sauce. New Zealand has the best green-lipped mussels in the world and you can taste the quality of the molluscs, they have that distinctive straight-out-of-the-water freshness.

We got a loaf of crusty bread and ate it together with the tender baked mussels. I also had the bread dipping in the creamy sauce. You would not waste every single drop of the rich sauce.Delicious!

Roasted Lamb Loin with Pistachio Crust

- Pure South Lamb Loin
- Anchor Pure New Zealand Butter
- Pistachio Nuts (raw, unshelled)
- Dijon Mustard
- Olive Oil
- Thyme
- Salt and Pepper

I entrusted this dish to my better half. I’m not very good with lamb, since I don’t cook it much. However, my dear did his high school in Christchurch, New Zealand when he became a Permanent Resident at 15 so I reckon he knows a thing or two about lamb.

The Pure South Lamb Loin was patted dry with a fresh kitchen towel before being seasoned with salt and pepper. I also “planted” some thyme into the lamb loin by sticking the stalk of the herb down into the fat layer with a fork.

The lamb loin was browned in a skillet (1 minute on each side) by using a pair of kitchen tongs. Using kitchen tongs allows you to get the Maillard reaction on the top and bottom of the lamb loin without disturbing the meat too much. It’s then slathered with Dijon mustard for the pistachio crust.

We bought a bag of pistachio nuts from the grocery in preparation for this dish. It was RM 25 for 250 grams for raw, unshelled pistachio nuts (couldn’t find any other kind). I think we spent close to 15 minutes shelling the pistachio nuts, but it was totally worth it.

The raw nuts were dry toasted in a pan before being blitzed in a food processor. They smelled simply amazing and we couldn’t help but to eat some of the toasted nuts while preparing the crust.

The pistachio nut crust is bound together with Anchor Pure New Zealand Butter and a dash of olive oil. The Dijon mustard acts as a glue that allows you to pat the pistachio nut crumb onto the lamb loin.

Pop the lamb loin into the oven (preheated to 200C) and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

The lamb loin came out perfectly pink and rare, just as HB likes it, and the pistachio nut crust added a whole lot of texture and toasted goodness to complement the pure, clean flavors of the lamb. It was a wonderful main dish!

Caramelized Apple with Peanut Butter Oats and Crème Chantily

- Rockit Apples
- Tatua Whipping Cream
- Anchor Pure New Zealand Butter
- Pic’s Crunchy Peanut Butter
- Rolled Oats
- Cinnamon
- Powdered sugar

This is my piece de resistance, a wonderful dessert that I made three days in a row due to requests from my dear and the kids. The combination is pretty awesome and you can find the perfect snack sized Rockit Apples from higher end markets like Jaya Grocer.

Pic’s Crunchy Peanut Butter is one of the best tasting peanut butter I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. It’s made with fresh roasted Kingaroy Nuts and New Zealand salt and sealed within 15 minutes of roasting!

I mixed Pic’s Crunchy Peanut Butter with an equal amount of oats before drying them in the oven. I wanted to get a “soil” texture out of it. I wouldn’t go so far as to call this “PB & Oat Soil” or something with modernist cuisine pretensions but it did have the crunchy, roasted texture I was after. :)

It takes about 20 minutes in the oven (preheated to 170C) to brown the mixture, it’s meant as stuffing for the baked apples.

I carefully cored the Rockit Apples and stuffed it with the peanut butter and oats mixture before coating the entire apple powdered sugar and some fine shreds of cinnamon rind since I did not store any cinnamon powder at home.

I added a dollop of Anchor Pure New Zealand Butter on top to help achieve the perfect baked apple and chucked it into the oven to caramelize. Bake the apple in the oven (pre-heated to 170C) for about 20 mins or till fully caramelize.

The baked apple is served with a bed of peanut butter and oat soil and Crème Chantilly. The Crème Chantilly is made with Tatua Whipping Cream and powdered sugar. Mix both together and whisk until light and fluffy. If you have vanilla bean at home, do add into the cream for a better flavoring.

 I thought the diminutive size of the Rockit Apple makes it perfect for showcasing in a large Scotch glass.

It tasted so good that we had it several days in a row!

The 3-course home cooked dinner was perfect. It’s quality time spent with my better half in the kitchen, doing something we both love. We spent almost the entire day in the kitchen and thank goodness he helped me on the aftermath clean up. **almost faint in the kitchen**

It’s a good thing we didn’t go anywhere during the long Labour Day weekend coz we had a lot of fun cooking with premium New Zealand ingredients. We discovered new tastes and superb flavors that we loved and we’ll definitely be using a lot more NZ produce in the future!

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