Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Remember the pretty scary looking friend  who married a pretty fugly girl who sniggered at us saying "at least our children will be tall"... ?

They had a kid and it looks just like daddy... Look who is sniggering now... 

Ok.. That's not very nice of me.. Bad May!! *sniggers*

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Being a fabulous guest!

When you are invited to someone's place for tea/party/lunch/dinner, do you bring a little something for your host as a 'thank you for having me'? Do you thank them again afterwards? Do you reciprocate and invite them over to your place in return?

Being brought up in an Asian household in the western world, I've been instilled from young to always bring a little something no matter how small and no matter how much the host protests otherwise.

Living here in Stockholm, you meet many expats from many different cultures, and sometimes I am quite amazed by the different etiquette or courtesies some individuals have...

I love inviting people over for catch ups and regularly throw fikas/parties/dinners/lunch. I love a mixture of people gathering together exchanging thoughts and life stories. Sometimes I'll invite someone I've just met and would like to get to know more of or just 'I'm not sure but I'll give you a try'. Those that I like and whom I think have lovely manners, I'll definitely invite over again and again but for whatever reason when you don't get invited back again... Welllllll............  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying my parties are that greeeeat, but hey!! I'm a fabulous host, darling and trust me, you'll never go home hungry and if you are one of the last few to leave, you'll be bringing home loads of extra food ;)

So, here are some pointers to start you off for being a fabulous guest:

* always ask if host wants you to bring something for the event 

* always always bring a little gift, no matter how small as a 'thank you for having me'. Don't rock up empty handed just because the host said not to bring anything. It's always so lovely to get a little something, it's a lovely thought don't you think?

* when host requests a plate of something, please don't come with half ass plate of food (a plate of veggies) just enough to feed yourself or one other person or two (when everyone's baking, cooking or bringing wine) or rocking up with 4 little buns from the local grocery store and proceed to eat all the other food everyone else brought. 

* nobody likes a sponge. No matter how generous someone is, nobody likes a sponge

* if someone graciously invite you to their home, it's always nice to return the favor. Don't come up with excuses like,'my place is too small' 'it's too far' 'I'm not working' 'it's not my home' 'it's too messy'. Again, you are being invited into their home, obviously it is your company they sought after, so, it is always lovely to be invited back into your home, no?

* bringing wine to a party and leaving with your half finished bottle. It is just weird and so rude. I had friends back at university doing that which is understandable. We were poor then but we are adults now. Big difference there. 

* bringing cheap alcohol, drinking your hosts alcohol and bringing back your cheap alcohol. So cheap ;p

* thanking them for hosting and being such fabulous host before you leave is of course expected but thanking them again after, have you thought about that? Trust me, saying thank you is free and it's always nice to get it again after as well. (Especially those leaving with boxes of food or those who stay from Fikas to dinners)

* remember, nobody likes a sponge ;p

* have I missed anything, more comments please ;)

So, hoping to see some of you again in 2014!  More fabulous catch ups over a cup of tea or over a plate of food..

For those I kept inviting over and you are always here for some free chow, but I've yet to be invited over to your place for free chows... Well... No pressure... ;p

Until next time, keep staying fabulous!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffle Recipe. So deliciously creamy and smooth!

Can you believe it's already December??  Christmas is fast approaching.  December is a fun month, filled with baked goods, presents and laughter.  Since moving to Sweden, December evokes memories of warm glögg, hot spiced chocolate and loads of food!

Anyway, in getting into the spirit of Christmas, I have been busy in the kitchen last week.  I made my first batch of gingerbread men cookies which turned out great and salted caramel chocolate truffles which if I was mighty pleased with..  They turned out so damn creamy and gave me the big "O"!  *faints with pleasure*  If you love dark chocolate, this is definitely something you'll enjoy.  If you hate dark chocolate.. Well.. skip along then!

Anyhow here it is!  Recipe actually call for 300g of chocolate, but unfortunately, I could only find blocks of 200g cooking chocolate, but I think the truffles tasted rich but soooo deliciously smooth!

Ready to eat salted caramel chocolate truffles
Chopping up my blocks of chocolate
400g of finely chopped dark chocolate sitting in a bowl.. yum yum
Sugar slowly dissolving on medium heat.  Keep dragging sugar with a silicon spatula, from edges to middle to dissolve evenly
Once sugar is fully dissolved, it should have this delicious dark golden brown colour
Pour in half the cream (slowly), vanilla extract and light brown sugar.  It'll boil furiously, so be careful
Boil boil boil!!  Once boiling has subsided, add the remaining cream
Smelling heavenly!  Once caramel is smooth looking, add butter and sea salt.  Stir gently to combine
Pour hot caramel over chocolate
See the green box in the background? That's the falksalt I use =)
Man!  The combination sure smells good!!
Stir gently to combine.  Looks smooth and creamy!
Then, chill in the fridge until it's firm enough to form into balls.  I had to leave mine in the fridge for at least 2 hours

Ganache mixture rolled in cocoa powder and put back into the fridge to chill!  I added a few flakes of salt onto each truffle for the extra salty kick
Add with my homemade gingerbread men cookies, these make perfect Christmas gifts =D
I managed to make 40 of these little beauties!
Christmas Gifts! =D


*  300 - 400g of dark chocolate (make sure it's at least 70% cocoa solid), finely chopped
*  1 1/2 cups of caster sugar (I didn't have caster, but used granulated sugar instead)
*  300ml of double cream (vispgrädde) - 3DL
*  1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
*  20g light soft brown sugar (less than 2 heaping TSP)
*  20g of unsalted butter
*  1/2 - 1 tsp flaked sea salt
*  cocoa powder for dusting

Make 40 delicious and creamy salted caramel truffle balls


1.  Chop chocolate finely and put them into a medium sized heatproof bowl and set aside.

2.  Pour sugar into a medium sized saucepan on medium heat and let sugar dissolve and caramelise around the edges.  Using a silicon spatula, drag the dissolved sugar towards the middle.  This will help it dissolve evenly.

3.  Once sugar is fully dissolved and turned a dark golden brown, pour half the cream in (slowly), vanilla essence and light brown sugar.  It will boil up furiously, so, pour your cream in slowly.  Once bubbling has subsided, add the remaining of cream*.  Once mixture is smooth, add butter and sea salt.  Stir gently to combine.

4.  Pour hot caramel over chocolate and stir gently to combine**.  Chill in the fridge until firm enough to form into balls.  Mine took at least 2 hours

5.  To make the truffles, have a small bowl of cocoa powder ready and a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Take a large teaspoonful *** of the ganache mixture and roll mixture in the cocoa powder and set on the baking tray.  Chill truffles in fridge until needed

*  If caramel is lumpy, put over low heat and allow to melt
**  If the ganache splits when you add the caramel, use a hand blender to bring it back together
***  I used two teaspoons to scoop the ganache and form into balls (as mixture was still slightly wet and it was 4am and I needed to sleep!)

Monday, December 2, 2013

For all the women out there, how well trained is your partner domestically?

After over 10 years together and nearly a year of marriage, I'm starting to question myself.  Why didn't I train S when I first had the chance.  Living here in Stockholm and watching my expats friends and their partners, it never cease to amaze me that the men here are very domesticated.

When having dinners or lunches at their place,  it's always the men who gets up to bring the food out or to clear the dishes while the women sit there chatting with the guests.  Me?  My man sits there on the couch like the king while I had to slave away in the kitchen, cooking, bringing out the food and later, clearing up.  Help with preparation of food beforehand?  You can well forget it!

We had so many dinners and parties here at our place and I have just come to realised, not once has he ever offered to help in anyway unless I made a fuss or bitch about it for hours.

I could only dream....

I remembered a reason 'pot luck' dinner he threw for his work team mates where I'm supposed to be doing minimal work as everyone will be bringing a dish... and on the invite specifically it states:  My wife and I will be making entree and dessert.  errr.. My wife and I?  Making?  Really?  Try The wife will be making everything while I sit here on my ass.  So, again I had to prepare and on the night of the dinner, while I was making things in the kitchen, while trying to yell for the Maharaja to come help, he send his 'teams' to the kitchen to help instead...  Yep.. The women!  Seriously =P  I think by this time I was just about to give up.

To be fair, when you ask him to do something, he'll do it, but if you don't give him any directions, he'll sit there and watch you clear the dishes.  Or when I yelled "S!  Can you help please?!?"  He'll jump up from his seat, shouting excitedly, "Yes! Yes! What can I do?" while looking quite lost.

This is an even better dream...

I believe all this starts from home.  Observing him at his parents from very early on, he'll eat and leave all his dishes in the sink expecting the cleaning fairy to magically clean up after him.  You'll be lucky as that's the only thing he'll do.  The rest of the dishes on the table.  You can forget it.  Someone else will of course clear the table, wipe and wash the dishes.  Which means that will be me helping his parents as I have to help out when I'm at his parents or I'll come looking like an unhelpful slob ;P

Even now, here at home, he'll finish his dinner, get up and recline on the couch, leaving his plate sitting on the dining table.  After having yelled at him numerous times, he's now a lot more helpful.  He'll at least move his dishes into the sink.  Washing up though is going to be hard.

Last night, he looked like he was cleaning up.. and I was actually quite impressed... But when I woke up this morning, dishes were waiting for me and the sink was filthy.  It looked like he was on the verge of cleaning, but something else caught his attention and he forgot about what he was doing and wandered off.  *sigh*

I guess the fault lies in me.  Moving here and not being able to work, I always thought it was my job to cook and clean since he works.  So, however much of a slob he was, I had to grit my teeth and pick up his dirty socks all over the floor, in different rooms, washed his clothes,  clean the place and make sure things are 'sort of' tidy and a hot meal waiting for him when he comes home.  As long as he doesn't bitch at me about not bringing in any income, I shouldn't really harp on about having to clean up after him right?  Really?

I would love to hear him say just a handful of times,  "Let me cook and clean while you sit there and relax, my precious"  "While you are sitting there, should I hoover and wash the clothes as well?"  It's not too much to ask right?

The men and women are so equal here in Sweden.  Both partners work and both help each other out domestically, no matter who brings home the most income.  But I've been to an expat friend's place and her partner obviously is the bread winner but he cooks and cleans more than mine ever would.  So, thoughts, anyone?  It'll be most welcome!

The purrrrfect house hubby!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chinese food craving in Stockholm? Pop into Waipo!

Authentic Chinese food is hard to come by in Stockholm.  We used to frequent Restaurang China for the 1/2 price Peking ducks on Mondays, but the last few times we went, the Peking duck were greasy and soggy and the soup were watery and bland and we haven't been back since.  Then my other half kept raving on about how authentic the other Chinese dishes there were, and I went back..  twice... Food were subpar and most of them had the same type of sauce and full of peppery taste.. I know it's a Szechuan Restaurant, but hmm.. I think I can cook better Chinese food at home! ;P

Thankfully, we found this restaurant, Waipo (Which means Grandma in Chinese) which is the sister restaurant to Pong (all you can eat Buffet).  This is slightly higher class than the "All you can eat buffet" at Pong and the price were pretty decent when Bookatable had their promotion all month in November -  295Kr for 5 dishes of food.  The serving size are quite decent.  If you are looking for service though, you can forget it as like most service orientated places in Stockholm... Well.. there is none ;P  To be fair though, one waitress has started to recognise us by face as we have been here many times.  She is quite friendly!  I think I have been here 3 times in the last month or so...

Not surprisingly, they won the Asian Curry Award, UK for Best Chinese Restaurant in the International Category (2013).  Surprisingly, Pong also won the 'Best Buffet' Restaurant.  Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, there seriously aren't many good Chinese Restaurants around here ;)

I've been meaning to write up about this place and still haven't, after eating there 3 times and always coming out sooooo full and happy, I thought I've better write something nice about it.  So, here it is.. Pictures of the food are from different times we have eaten as well..  Now, I don't want to hear anyone complaining about no decent Chinese food here in Stockholm!

Waipo (just a stone throw away from T-Centralen)

Drottninggatan 25
11151 Stockholm
Tel: 08 – 21 13 01

Very Asian setting but it looks very nice.  There's a bar and comfy couches on the other side.  Most tables have an iPad where you could select your dishes

Bok Choy with enoki mushroom - 65kr .  Very small serving but quite decent taste

Snow crab salad - 65kr.  Strips of fake crab meat stir fried with sliced green beans and oyster sauce?  Not too keen.  Too salty as well
Waipo Cho Fan (Waipo Fried Rice) - 50kr  You'll need some form of rice to eat with all the accompanying dishes and this were pretty decent
Mapo Tofu - 75kr .  Supposed to be very spicy (it wasn't) beancurd with minced pork.  The girl who had it said it wasn't too bad.  but hmm I can't seem to see any minced pork..  Maybe underneath? ;)
This is the comfy section.  See those comfy chairs in the background.  They are HUGE and very comfy! ;)
Piao Xian Ya (crispy duck) - 95kr.  This is quite a nice dish.  The duck are cut into strips.  The skin is crispy and the meat is moist and tender.  It comes served with small pieces of red and green capsicums with a chilli and peanut sauce.  All served on top of a lettuce leaf.  Yum Yum!
That's my Kim Chi Doll Face blowing kisses at her food.  Guess she's happy with hers ;) 
Stir fried sweet potato noodles with thinly sliced vegetables - 65kr One of my favourite dish =)

Two of my favourite dishes which I keep ordering when I'm here..

Jin Si Xia (Prawns coated with deep fried sweet potatoes with a wasabi sauce) - 95kr .  Comes in 2 and they look big and delicious
3 scallops with oyster sauce? with the same sweet potato garnish.. - 95kr The scallops were tender and juicy, but I'm not too keen on how they have set them onto the left corner while drizzling some crappy sauce all over the plate

Why waste so much space?  
Stir fried seasonal mushrooms - 80kr.  Very tasty and definitely a winner
Squid with the same dressing as the crispy duck (they do tend to recycle their sauces unfortunately...) - 85kr The squid were tender, but I wouldn't order it again if I'm ordering the duck.  Why have the same sauce on two different dishes?
Lamb racks with chilli sauce - 95kr.  Reminds me of those yummy lollipop chops!  Really tender and juicy!  Definitely a winner!

Waipo Tian Dian - 85kr.  Yep!  Never too full for dessert!  Here we have red beans, sago, mini rice balls and grass jelly with coconut milk, top with freshly cut strawberries and mangoes and whole raspberry and blackberry.  Quite interesting mixture.  I still haven't decided if I like it or not hehe..

My lovely Asian 'kaki', patiently waiting for our food.  These girls make the days brighter and warmer here in Stockholm =)  Xx

Cornbread Recipe, courtesy of my lovely friend, Shelah!

I know next to nothing of Thanksgiving except it's HUGE with the Americans and when I was attending a Thanksgiving dinner, I had to bring some sort of dish.  *Major panic mode*  I actually thought I'll make a Mac & Cheese dish..  What?  Not very thanksgiving food?  *Even more major panic mode*  Thankfully Shelah came to the rescue and provided me with her cornbread recipe.  Funny thing is, she's not an American but a Filipino, and I thank my lucky star for her as both bread were quite moist and tasty.

My first loaf was made at a friend's place and I accidentally bought polenta instead of cornmeal Whoops!  It was slightly grainy but was still quite tasty! hehe.  The mixture turned out quite watery but once baked it looks fine.   But if you want it thicker instead of 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk, you could just use 1 cup of buttermilk

Mix, Mix, Mix..  Hmm.. so watery!
Chopped corn kernels!
1st loaf baking in the oven
My loaf pan is too long, hence my bread is really low in height!
Time for me to get a shorter loaf pan =P
Looks pretty nice and golden colour! 
2 different shaped cornbreads

This one is higher..  Check out the corn pieces =)

Cornbread Recipe


* 1 cup cornmeal (majsmjöl)
*  50g of melted butter
*  3/4 cup of all purpose flour
*  1 TSP sugar
*  1 1/2 tsp baking powder
*  1/2 tsp baking soda
*  1/4 tsp salt
*  2 large eggs (I used 3 average sized eggs)
*  1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
*  1 small can of corn kernels

1.  Set oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
2.  Mix Cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt together in a bowl.
3.  In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the buttermilk and melted butter.
4.  Pour in the cornmeal mix and fold until smooth.  (I had to stir as my mixture was really runny)
5.  Bake for around 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown (Insert a toothpick and if it comes out dry, your bread is ready)
6.  Eat and enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving from Sweden!! ;)

Thanksgiving came and went and left a mark in my heart...  I've never experienced Thanksgiving until I moved to Sweden.  My first thanksgiving was last year, which I thought was quite a lovely experience.

This year, I had my thanksgiving which was hosted by a Chinese Swede and attended by people from the States, Canada, French, Australia, Korea, New Zealand and of course Sweden.  You can't get anymore diverse than this!!  I just love multiculturalism!

Everyone brought some form of dish while the hostess roast her a massive turkey which was so moist and tender!  I even managed to takeaway the carcass home.. SCORE!  *blush*  I'm so bloody asian aren't I? ;)  She also made the stuffing from liver, bread, nuts and all sort of other ingredients and truth be told, I've never enjoyed stuffing this much!  The stuffings were made and roasted in the oven, not inside the bird.. which is good as I hate those wet and soggy stuffings.. *shudders*  Bring me back to my childhood where I was forced to eat stuffings from chickens even when I did not want to.  What's with evil Asian parents who kept saying it's a wastage to throw away food.  I guess I was their dustbin =P

There's potato mash and bread sauce (WTF is bread sauce anyhow?  I've never heard of it, apparently it's British?  I've never had that while leaving in London hehe.  But it's quite interesting and it's thick with the texture of mash potato).  Lots of people brought side dish such as green beans, carrots (whoever brought the carrots was a bit of a tightass, I am sorry to say.  Zero effort and probably just enough to feed 5 mouthful.  Ok.. Enough cattiness for today ;)).. There's even wine and some delicious desserts!

I am extremely thankful for the lovely friends I've made which made life here in this cold dark country bearable and of course my gorgeous, albeit grumpy other half of nearly 1 year!  Cheeeers!

Top cornbread accidentally baked with polenta and bottom with maize flour ;P  They both taste yummy!
Yep!  I'm all ready to rock about town, courtesy of hubby..  ;P 
2 different loaves of cornbread

Cornbread made by moi!

The turkey was enormous..  The picture looks small.. but so moist and juicy!

That's me, enjoying my turkey leg!

There's even a makeup class happening in the corner ;)

Lovely chocolate cake and pumpkin pie!

My.. What do we have here? ;)
Ding Dong!!  Kinda reminds me of Wizard of Oz.. hehe.. in this case, the hostess lies there with exhaustion!
Picture stolen from the hostess!  Group view of everyone! =)

Until next time!