Thursday, 28 June 2007

Trully Johor

While we were in Switzerland last couple of weeks, we managed to spoke to the Ambassador (who happens to be a childhood and a family friend of my mum), and he invited us to his charming, elequent home in Bern, 1.5 hours drive from Zurich. I really ought to write something about this humble, warm man, as he captured our hearts with his voice and later when we met him with his heart. i will write about him and our trip to switzerland in my other blog soon.

Well anyway, we arrived at his home, 1 hour late, after stopping over at Lindt the cocolatier factory. His housekeeper greeted us with umbrellas as it was raining and welcomed us. he specifically asked his cook to make lodeh, being a johorian himself. and it was one hell of a dish cooked by the 23 year old cook!! we havent had lodeh for a very long time. back in malaysia, it was my family signature dish prepared during Eid, alongside, rendang daging , fried chicken, kuah kacang (peanut sauce), and sambal kelapa (coconut sambal). and let me tell you - what a day, to be enjoying this delicacy, on a rainy day!

It was superb! and not to mention the humble host too! we didnt quite get enough of it and so we asked dad and mum if they could kindly do their famous lodeh!

To those who are not familiar with it, you might ask what lodeh is. lodeh is most popular in the southern state of malaysia, Johor and parts of indonesia. it is something like a vegetable stew, where the method is actually stewing the veges in coconut gravy. usually, south east asian cooking is seldom vegetarian but this dish is an exception.

At the verge of a boil, carrots, string beans and cabbage (in that order, since carrots take a notoriously long time to cook) are plonked into the fragrant curry thickened with coconut milk to make the broth translucent. it should then simmer until the vegetables starts to lose their crunch.

Fried tofu squares, tempe (fermented soy bean) , softened su-un (glass noodles) and soaked dried tofu skins are added towards the end. We malays add our nasi impit (pressed cooked rice) which is then being cut into small squares to the stew.

I'm not sure everyone has patience for this, thus that was why i asked mum and dad to do it for us!

Thank you Dato for a lovely metting at your humble home, and compliments to the chef. thank you mum and dad for a wicked meal!!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007


I love all kinds of boxes. at one point i even collect shoeboxes - the really good ones. there are simply too many nice wrapping paper these days, you'll get attracted to them easily eventhogh you have no presents to wrap! what i do is i'd wrap the shoeboxes up with those nice wrappers and store my old photos and cards, whatever you fancy. most of my boxes are back at home now, but i'm starting to collect them again.

This is currently my gem. saw them at "blokker" and i just had to get them! i think i have 7 or 8 of them, with different sizes. who knows, they might come handy one day. i'm currently using them to store my ribbons, my flowers, my coloured papers and cards, all my itsy bitsy things.

The things i collect!!

Thursday, 21 June 2007


My favourite italian classic which still remains a frim family favourite. i'd never thought it'd be this easy! and to my mind, it is not worth making in smaller quantities. why? cause it freezes well and it will be handy when you have no time to prepare any food, just get it out of the freezer and put them in the oven. so if you have a small household, you can make them into two small baking dishes and freeze the other one for later.

I normally serve mine with bread and dips, foccacia and balsamic, but this time, i've run out of them, i only had normal wit brood, to which i spred some olive oil, crushed garlic and herbs and pan grill them. i later cut them into long slices.


Minced Beef
Lasagne Sheets
Olive Oil
Onions (chopped)
Canned Plum Tomatoes
Tomato Puree
Beef Stock
Ground Black Pepper
Fresh Parsley (chopped)
Parmesan Cheese or Mozarella Cheese (grated)

1. Preheat oven to 200c
2. Heat frying pan with olive oil. Add onions, garlic, minced beef. cook meat till browned, breaking it up as the meat cooks.
3. Add canned plum tomatoes. stir well.
4. Add water and beef stock.
5. Add tomato puree to thicken the sauce.
6. Season well with salt, black pepper. chuck those oregano and fresh parsley in the pan.
7. Blanch one or two sheets at a time in boiling water for 3 mins, then plunge into cold water.
8. Plce a layer of the sheets on the bottom of your ovenprrof dish, pour the white sauce, and the meat mix over the lasagne.. repeat the layers until all the sauce and lasagne are used, finishing it with a layer of the lasagne sheets and topped it with parmesan or mozarella cheese.
9. Bake for 45 mins or untul cooked through.


I'm sure they have those bottled, ready made white sauce at the supermarkets. but you can try this if you have plenty of time in the kitchen.

50g Butter
50g plain flourr
600 milk
fresh ground black pepper
200g grated cheese (optional)

1. Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. cook over low heat for 30 seconds
2. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in milk
3. Return pan to a low heat and stir constantly, until sauce thickens.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper
5. Stir in cheese, keep stirring until the cheese melts.

(p.s:, dad still prefers yours!)

Sunday, 17 June 2007


I love this vegetable. we call them prei over here. i put them in my chicken soup, vegetable soup, stew, pasta sometimes.. and i've just found out that i can stir fry them too (where have i been!?) no fuss therefore its a must - for all to try!

Its a beautiful vegetable, i'm sure you'd agree. i'm still looking for more ways to cook them, as a main dish.


Oyster Sauce
Sesamee Oil
Maggi Ikan Bilis )(anchovy) Granules or Udang Kering(dried shrimps)
Cooking Oil

1. Heat oil in wok
2. Saute garlic
3. Add Leek and stir fry for 2 mins
4. Add in Oyster Sauce and a little bit of water
5. Sprinkle the granules
6. Add a dash of salt
7. Add 2 drops of sesamee oil

Sunday, 10 June 2007


Next time you see those rounded rondos used as a coaster, grab it! provided that they arent any stamping on them saying this hotel, that hotel. but if you see them being sold anywhere, dont think of it as just a coaster! there's so much you can do with them!

I glued it using a serviette coat on the lid of a plain wooden box. my intention was to paint the round box first but i didnt have the paint in stock. so i indulged into my boxes and found these strings i bought some time ago.

I plan to do slightly more than one, fill them up with coloured mints, and have personalized name tags as my party favors!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Pandan Chicken

What do you do when you have pandan leaves? the first thing that came to my mind was, pandan chicken! it's amazing that we use these leaves for so many things. to name a few, rose syrup for for a cooling soothing drink to bunga rampai, or malay 'pot pourri', slicing them very very thinly and adding them with rose petals and some other flowes at malay weddings.

This was what i did last week. my first try. i wasnt quite sure of what to marinade the chicken with, and so i marinade it with just the things i had in the kitchen. turned out o-k, not great, far from sedap corner, jb, or cozyhouse, kl but it still made my day having had done this myself and my husband simply cant quite get his hands off it.



Chicken Breasts (cut into thick chunks)
2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
3 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Honey
1/3 cup Coconut milk

1. 4 Cloves of Garlic
2. 3 Shallots
3. 1/2 inch - 1 inch Ginger
4. 2 Lemongrass
5. 2 Red Chillies

1. Blend and marinade chicken together with all other ingredients for at least 1 hour
2. Wrap one piece of chicken one at a time and secure it with a toothpick
3. Fry them in hot oil for about a good 8-10 mins
4. Put it in the oven for another 5 mins on 180c (optional)

Anyone knows how i can improve mine?

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Sure CAN-ed!

Didnt have much in the fridge and freezer. most i had was canned - canned tuna, canned tomatoes, canned tomato puree, black olives...

It was almost 5pm and my husband will be arriving home soon.

All it takes is just good presentation, and for sure you'll impress him and hopefully satisfy his tastebuds. surely CAN-ed!

And if the pasta didnt work, well.. at least we've got some bread!


Olive Oil
3 Cloves of Garlic - finely chopped
1 Small Onion - finely chopped
1 tbsp Crushed Red Chillies (bottled)
1 can of Tuna
1 Can of Plum Tomatoes
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
Black Olives
Any sort of pasta

The simplest how-to:
1. Heat olive oil in pan
2. Saute onion and garlic
3. Add in crushed chillies
4. Add plum tomatoes
5. Thicken with tomato puree
6. Add tuna (the chunky it is the better)

(it did work! try it and see if it works for you too!)