Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blurry eyes...

Landed at 5 something in the morning, in Bangkok, the land of smiles.  2 hours of sleeping on the plane = no matter how warm and sunny their smiles are, they will be greeted with a grunt from me....

It's 6.30am, and our next flight is at 8am.  I feel kind of jetlagged... but it's Bali!  YAY!!  Can't wait to head to the hotel... and... SLEEP!!  but that will be another 8 hours flight or so.  Oh God..   Why do we have to live on the other side of the world.

Still, I can't wait to get this pasty looking skin of mine into the sun and soak some glorious glorious UV ray.

Have a lovely week all.. ;)


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My first unsupervised little fascinator.. hehe

Guess what???

Yes, I'm busy packing again...  For our trip to Bali this time, where I was hoping I could soak in a bit of sun, eat a bit of food (ok, a lot!) and have a lazy lazy time (I know, not really anything different from what I have been doing here in Stockholm, except the sun part!)

I've just checked iPhone's weather forecast and it shows thunderstorm all week in Bali.  Really?  Seriously?  But I really shouldn't trust it too much as it's not always accurate as it predicted clouds on Sunday in Stockholm and it turned out to be such a beautiful sunny Sunday!!

So, I've been throwing in dresses and such into my luggage.  Yay!  I'm leaving a little space for a few packets of mi goreng (that's my shopping list for Bali!!).  Sad I know, but I can't find them here and I'm DYING for them!!

Oh!  Before I forget, here's some pictures of what I have been up to.  I've managed to finish up my little hat for the wedding.  This is to match my red and white dress.  I wanted to add a 1/2 cream veil at the front, and S firmly told me, inappropriate no?  cos it's not my wedding.  Sheesh.  Spoiltsport =(

On another hand, I have to remember not to show anyone my unfinished product.  Made the mistake of showing my sister via Skype my unfinished hat and she was making fun of the feathers so badly, that I decided to trim it..  I'm not sure how it actually looks now.. hmmm..

Silk rose on top of Sinamay hat with wired straps as well as elastic.  Double secure.. It wouldn't blow away on a windy day ;) - Yes, I made the base.  It's all 100% handcrafted

The feathers at the top..  hmm..

3 two coloured roses.  They are all brooches as well as hair clip.  I've used about 2.5meter of ribbon for the top left and approx 1meter for the top right and 1.5meter for the bottom.  They are really thick and heavy.  They are all wired edged, so if they get squashed, you can always reposition the petals..

My handcrafted collection of brooches/hair clips.  Tee hee..

I didn't forget headbands as well.. So, here's one..  Simple and sweet I guess..

A bit of sparkles, and all discreetly stitched...

This is a bit of a mad hairband..  with a big ribbon and fluffy feathers and sparkles

Last four pictures aren't as good quality as I used the computer to take the pictures....  Please excuse my mugshots.. *blush*
This is the original feathers.. I actually quite like it..  What do you think?

Then I decided to trim it.  Not as dramatic anymore I guess.. *sigh*

That's how it sits on the head..

Opinions would be greatly welcome..  bad and good =)



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tarte au Citron Meringuee Recipe

Before I forget, here's the recipe for the Lemon Meringue which I learned at a Swedish meetup with a few French girls.  Please be aware, we did not bother trying to be too precise with measurements.. hence the 1 cup and a bit etc ;)  The meringue still turned out just fine!

Cookie dough (pate sablee)
250g of flour (1cup and a bit)
125g of softened butter
50g of icing sugar
1 egg yolk
30g of cold water (2 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Lemon Cream
4 big lemons (doesn't have to be fresh or you can buy bottles of it from the shop!)
100g of white sugar (slightly less than 1/2 a cup)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of corn flour

Meringue (This is the soft meringue)
4 egg white
100g of white sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

Step 1:  To make the cookie dough, cut the butter into small cubes and gently mix it with the flour.  (Just like the picture above!)

Throw in a smile or two at the camera! ;) 

Add the icing sugar, egg yolk, water and salt and mix gently until the sablee takes form and then stop mixing immediately

Put the dough in a plastic film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes

Step 2:  The Lemon Cream (at this stage, I forgot to take pictures, as I was in charge of making the cream)

Put the lemon juice in a saucepan and add corn flour and sugar.  Mix well and put on a low heat.  Beat the eggs separately and pour them into the lemon mixture once it starts to get hot.  Turn the heat up a little and continue mixing until the lemon mixture thickens.

Now, preheat the oven to 200 degree celcius.

While we wait for the oven to warm up, here's our next step:

Add a bit of flour and start rolling out your dough

Make sure you don't put too much flour!

Once you have rolled out the dough (make sure it's not too thin as it'll break nor is it too thick as it takes too long to bake), cut them into the shape of your pastry holder

Put it in and poke little holes in the dough with your fork

Total concentration from our kiwi friend! ;)

Step 3:  The Meringue - Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt

You'll need to beat it fast and furious.  At this stage, I think myself and her decided to make do with the hand held beater ( =P).   Once the egg white becomes thicker, add the sugar and the baking powder.  Whisk again until they are hard..

He seriously made better meringues than all of us.. ;(

Last step:  When the dough is ready, take it out from the oven and let it cool.  Then put a dollop of the lemon cream on top.  Add the meringue on top of the lemon cream and put it back in the oven at a lower temperature of 170 degrees for around 15 minutes..

Then, Voila!!  Our meringue

My ugly disfigured one ;)

They came in all different shapes and sizes..

Tasting the lemon cream ;)

All our handiwork..  That's a LOT of lemon meringues!!  I don't think they'll win any beauty contest... but I was mighty proud of them!! =D

Oozing with goodness..  Have it with a cuppa!! =)  The tart is delicious, but the lemon cream was tooo tangy for me after a while.  Still delicious though! =)

There you go!!


London for a few days last week - Maximini Chinese Restaurant

... and did I mentioned S & I will be off to Bali next week for a wedding?!...

Anyhow, London was fabulous last week, was all sun (unlike Sweden.. Sigh!).  I was wearing short sleeves in the day time and only a thin cardigan at night.  Considering I just came back from grocery shopping today (in Stockholm), layered with 3 long sleeves. (a long sleeve t shirt, a hoodie and a water/wind proof long sleeve jacket) Cold, anyone??

A friend of mine mentioned that Jimmy Choo (yes, the shoe designer) had just opened a new Chinese Restaurant, called Maximini, so we decided to have a taste.  Surprisingly the dishes were pretty tasty as there were a mixture of Malaysian and Chinese dishes (Jimmy Choo is originally from Penang, Malaysia)

31 - 33 Sussex Place

Complimentary starters - peanuts and some pickled dish

Yes, that's me with my too bright red lipstick =P

The menu

The interior

Our tea - I can't remember what it is but vaguely I do remember lemon grass in it..

Our starter - Satay Chicken Skewers x 6 - £6.90 (quite satisfying..)

Left is the curry chicken - £8.90 and to the right is the kangkong belacan (a typical Malaysian dish!!  This was GLORIOUS!!!) - £8.10

Dinner companions..

Beef Rendang - £9.30 

Ayam Masak Merah (Red Cooked Chicken - consist of aromatic spices e.g. cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and cardamon pods.  The spice paste which is in powder form consists of coriander, turmeric, cumin and fennel).  It sounded impressive, but IMHO, I thought it tasted just like sweet and sour chicken *blush*

Lots of food, but we went home happy!!

Ahh London..  Always fond memories of food...  If you know where to look that is ;)

Monday, October 17, 2011

From Crayfish to Steamboat... Welcome to our humble home..

August this year has been busy, with Crayfish season, hence there's an excuse to have Crayfish Parties.   We were having crayfish (1 - 2kg) practically every weekend.  (You can buy them frozen or fresh - they are salted and boiled) Let me tell you, by the end of September, I was so scared of any form of shellfish!

When crayfish season begins, it's a much anticipated event, where friends gather along the table, eat boiled crayfish, have a bit of salad, enjoy some Vรคsterbotten pie (strong and cheesy) and of course, let's not forget the shot of snaps (usually Akvavit - which is 40% alcohol)!

As peeling those tiny critters is quite time consuming, imagine how much alcohol consumption could be digested at this party.  Also, traditionally, there's 'drinking' songs being sung in Swedish before you take a shot of the snaps!

We of course threw one at our place.  We had ours in the beginning of September, which means daylight hours were slowly getting shorter:

We had ours outside our courtyard, but please excuse the scaffolding in the background ;)

As you can see lots of crayfish! and the pie on the left side...

 I think someone's already majorly hammered at this stage..  Too much beer or snaps?!

Camera shy! =D

October month has been pretty cold.  We decided to start throw a steamboat (depending on where you are, some places call them hotpot) party which is excellent to keep away the chill!  So far this month, we had 2 steamboat parties at our place.  As we know, steamboat is not Swedish (heh!!) but it's something S & myself have always enjoyed when living in Asia as well as in Australia.  

All I did was boiled the stock the night before (2 chicken carcases, 2 stalks of spring onions, 3cm ginger and about 5 cloves of garlic).  Most people tend to start with just water, as when we throw those meat/seafood/veg etc into the water, the soup will tend to get tastier by end of the night!  You can make the soup quite spicy if you like or keep it mild as I have done as not many people here can eat spicy =)

Our table setting

Condiments to go with it.  I love the chilli oil and the bamboo shoots!

Noodles - you can use any type of noodles.  I tend to use vermicelli as it's a lot lighter and with so much food, you don't want your guests to get too full on the noodles

Seafood (prawns and octopus) and mushrooms

Welcome to our humble abode =)

Tofu (deep fried and soft) on the left top, chicken and pork slices (sliced finely) on the top right and all types of balls at the bottom (beef balls, fish balls, octopus balls, lobster balls, cuttlefish balls and even pieces of deep fried tofu stuffed with fish paste).  You can buy all these from your asian supermarket!  Yes, even in Stockholm! ;)

Let's not forget the vegetables.  Again, you can find all these at your local asian grocery.  I tend to use 2 - 3 different types of vegs, to give it a bit of variety..

This is traditionally not use for steamboat, but we had to make do with a rice cooker.  Here we put through all the food (it depends on which cook faster, you put them in and lastly put in the vegs as they cook quite instantly) into the pot, and let it sit a while until it boils...  That's when you serve and start tucking into your food

Couple of our guests

Here we are, waiting for our food to cook.

Let's say we don't let our guests go home hungry.  We just had a steamboat on the weekend, and guess who is left slowly eating all the leftover food.. *cries*

Happy Autumn! =)