Friday, December 30, 2011

HAPPY 2012!!! :)

As the curtain closes down for the year 2011 (trying to be very gempak with my words now...) and before I go off for a long new year weekend which I hope would be exciting-er than expected, let's do a quick New Year's blog post!Check out my new hairstyle and new hair colour! I'm definitely loving it RED!

A summary of my year 2011...
1) I'm glad because I'm growing to love my job and some of my colleagues more.

2) I'm happy because everyone in the family are healthy.

3) I'm excited because Deardo and I have officially bought a house and are expecting to get the key by next year. *fingers crossed~*

4) I'm not very happy that I have not cut down weight (in fact I might have put on some weight).

5) I'm a little sad because there isn't any overseas trip with my Deardo...

So, the year 2012, although rumoured to be the end of the world, should be a more exciting year that I'm looking forward to very much! Especially our Perth trip! Wooohoooo~~~!!!Eating nice and fancy-looking food is part of my job! See, there is a reason why I put on weight! Arrrhhh...

Of course, I intend to make the year 2012 a fantastic one by setting these new year resolutions...
1) Stop shopping so much and save enough for the renovations of our house.

2) Work harder towards investing in stuff like properties to earn more money.

3) Work harder in terms of ideas at work so that I can earn increment and more bonus(tell you, people are often motivated by the BONUS!!!)!

4) Be braver at work!

5) Be braver in life (some of you should know what I'm talking about...)

6) Cook more healthy and varieties of food when we have our own kitchen (seriously can't wait!)!

7) Try harder to get a balance between work, love and blogging (oh yes for blog's sake!)!

8) Be nice and nicer to my parents.

9) Ok lar I'll TRY to tell you when is the big day coming (which is obviously not too soon lar of course) but it really depends on someone you know, the someone who needs to propose you see... *hint~~hint~~~*(very beh pai seh...)

10) VERY IMPORTANT: LOSE WEIGHT!!! Targeting at least down to 55kg(yes I am heavier than that, bloody hell)!

Even typing these make me so damn happy, for some unknown reasons!
2011 was good, but 2012 should be better!!! :)


Thursday, December 29, 2011

We Bought a Zoo

Being a super fan of Matt Damon, I wouldn't want to miss this movie, not especially when the trailer was already good enough to make me tear!
Based on a true story, We Bought a Zoo talks about Benjamin Mee (played by who else if not the extraordinary Matt Damon?), a middle-aged man with some middle-aged crisis in life and decided to start fresh by buying an unwanted zoo and how he managed to overcome all kinda obstacles to actually successfully opened and managed the zoo.
Well the story itself is inspiring enough, especially when it actually happened in real life. But what made the movie more worthwhile to watch are the added 'spices'... The touching and sad love stories, the father-son relationships, the animals love, the fun of dealing with animals... These elements made me cry and smile throughout the movie. Such real and nice movie, especially to share with your loved one and family during this festive season!
Benjamin Mee isn't so much a challenging role for Matt Damon, but I see no other people more suitable than him to play the role. I've read that Ben Stiller was once considered for that role and I totally can't relate him to Benjamin Mee. Ben Stiller probably better off playing the main guy in Zookeeper. Matt shows his versatile acting skills from what you know of him as a young man in Good Will Hunting and Saving Private Ryan till the action guy you see in the Bourne series, till now a loving father (of course also because of age lar). I definitely love him in this movie as he seems to be into the character so comfortably! Scarlett Johansson also made it so believable as a country girl in the movie, which surprises me a lot! And you'll be in love with the other casts too, trust me!
I have absolutely no bad comments about the movie seriously! Although it wasn't a super fantastic blockbuster movie, it is certainly one of the most inspiring movies seen recently! And for this movie, I beg you to visit the cinema to watch it!!!

"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." - Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Extraordinary Christmas!

This year's Christmas was a very unique one. Nothing to do with any fancy Christmas celebration of Christmas dinner or whatever, it was perhaps, more meaningful than that. I'm loving the colour of my Baju Kurung I bought this Raya!
Yeap, one of the three musketeers got hitched on Christmas this year! It was Lina's engagement party! I think Rev and I were pretty excited about not only because it was Lina's engagement party, but also because it was our first Malay engagement party (well if I'm not mistaken, I've attended one before too but I was very late when I arrived at that person's house). Lina's bride's kebaya was wooohoo gorgeous and sexay~!
One with the bride before the ceremony starts~!
After a while accompanying Lina in her room, we went down to join the crowd as the ceremony started. Urm... Quite an eye-opening, really... We both thought it would be a very religiously done ceremony with loads of praying and stuff, but it turned out to be both sides sort of having a chat over the offering (hantaran). It actually sounded more like having a sit-down comedy. Well we kinda enjoyed it you see. :pWe were sitting right in front of these people who joked about the engagement... Hahaha...
Very modern, and very Lina's set-up. I love it a lot too!
The hantaran...
Lina and her mother-in-law!!!
How? How's my wedding photography skills? :p
The couple!
Lina and her lovely family...
The ceremony was done in a blink, surprisingly! What we got to bring home as a souvenir is this cute little cookie with a polka doted ribbon!
Of course, during the ceremony Rev actually told me about her guy whom she is planning to wed in 2013! Woohoo~ Absolutely exciting and I'm really happy for her too! :DBride's best friends also need to touch-up, okay?
After lunch, we managed to grab the bride and groom to snap some pictures with us before leaving Lina's house...Here we go~!
Our usual 1Malaysia picture, but this one even more meaningful than that stupid slogan lar!
With the happy bride!
Honestly, I have not attended any close friends wedding (eh ehm... Because they all refuse to get married yet! Hello??? Guys???) yet, until Lina's engagement party (her wedding is to be followed in June next year). Because the ceremony was a bit shockingly short, so I've not have much feeling about how touching and how sweet the party was. But deep in my heart, I know I'm really happy for Lina (and Rev too in a way)! I couldn't wait any longer to attend my other friends' wedding! Can't wait to play 'Ji Mui' for the first time and torture the guys! Bring it on guys! Kekekekeke...

P/S: I didn't have a special Christmas with romantic dinner like you will expect me to have but I did get a Christmas prezzie from Deardo Wong!Bling bling bling blingzzzzzzzzzz... :D

Monday, December 26, 2011

C & N lunch @ Truffles Restaurant

One thing that keeps me moving at work is when my students win awards or medals at competitions. Although I'm not the one who train them, there is always a sense of pride when I see them winning stuff. Deardo always say I'm so patriotic about my company, but the truth is, I'm actually very proud of the students, not the company.
So I've decided to tell you guys about this very interesting lunch date I had with some colleagues from other departments the other day. It was a lunch at Truffles Restaurant, the usual restaurant where the students cook and serve their customers like us. But that day we went because it was the Advanced Diploma class, which means these students are the ones who concentrate in cooking a lot, which also means food they serve should be better than the rest lar! Basically I jumped into the opportunity once I heard there were lobster served that day! :p
Let's see the dishes on the menu...Our appetizer which I forgot what they are called...
The Garlic Soup.
Deconstructed Lobster Thermidor with Nicoise Salad.
Beef Wellington, Vegetable with Confit Garlic Bernaise Sauce and Beef Juice.
Ocean Trout in Butter Sauce with Polenta and Confit Onion.
Apple Sorbet with Brittany Prune Castard.
Basically the class has a theme where the meal was inspired Chef Paul Bacuse, a French Master Chef. So obviously those were French dishes, which you and I might not really used to. I mean, first thing I saw in the menu... Garlic Soup? Er... Wouldn't it be very smelly? Well surprisingly it doesn't give you any bad breath at all! It was really smooth and comforting to the stomach! Then the lobster salad really blew me off! Ignore the green salad at the side (which was quite a normal salad), the baked lobster was surprisingly fresh and tastes really mama mia~!!! :D Then we were given a choice of beef or salmon as our main course in which I had the salmon, which was yummy but a little oily. I can actually see them enjoyed the beef more actually, although I can see some of them are a bit overcooked... Hey they are students lar, they are allowed to do mistakes, okay? As for dessert, I love the apple sorbet but I'm definitely not a fan of the prune custard... Er simply because I'm not a fan of prune perhaps?Macaroons to go with tea and coffee.
And then we had macaroons to go with tea and coffee! For your information, our own Chef Karam is the one chef who is super famous with his macaroons! And that day the pistachio macaroons really drove me crazy! Not only the texture remains chewy yet not sticky to the teeth (which is basically my perfect standard of macaroons), they weren't too sweet to my liking too! NICE~! :DSay hi to Evelyn who likes to do funny stunts and Vivien who looks at her awkwardly...
The ladies who enjoyed their lunch.
Even for the Advanced Diploma class, we only need to pay RM10 for all that amount of food!!! How cool is that, right? And I'm seriously not promoting the hospitality, tourism and culinary arts school here in my blog because the restaurant isn't open to the public yet and I actually gave my honest thought about the food. I'm just sharing my extraordinary experience of having such fine-dining lunch with you guys! Of course, if you are dropping by to visit me one day and want to try-out our students' work, I'm more than happy to have lunch with you at the restaurants too! Advanced reservation is a must though!!! :)


I've not stepped into a cinema for a long long time, perhaps the longest time ever since I know how to visit the cinema myself! While I still have some hopes to catch some Christmas and New Year movies, I've watched these movies at home...

Our Idiot Brother
The title tells it all, the movie talks about a brother who always create disasters because of his good intention to help people around him. Well of course, he ruined his three sisters' life indirectly and they all disowned him at one point before finally realising how important the brother is to them!
Well I love the entire idea of the movie. It is funny yet full of meaning and lessons of life. But I will have to be picky on how the movie presented the part where the sisters finally realised how important their brother is to them. To me, it was a little too rush and you know... Like you can't really feel them yet! So yea, not touching enough lar. Love the soundtrack too!
I must say it's quite a complete perfect cast too! Paul Judd as the idiot brother, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer as the three sisters were quite good in their performances respectively.
It's the kinda light movie you wanna watch for relaxing purposes, although it doesn't really leaves a very huge impact in your memory...

The Change-Up
Another comedy about two friends exchanging bodies. They used to admire and prefer each other lives, until they switched bodies... It's all about growing into a better person too through other people's life. But it is also not a fresh idea anymore, especially in comedies.
I thought the movie reached its objective of telling people a lesson of life but then in a very normal and boring way because this isn't the first time we've seen movies with such body-switching idea. I actually like Jason Bateman a lot ever since Horrible Bosses but I think both him and Ryan Reynolds weren't allow to show their real talents in the movie, which is sad...
I did enjoy the movie as a comedy but the creator could have done a better job in presenting the entire movie, maybe in a different way.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Shirlexia goes Spanish - Chickpeas with Chorizo

As you may already know, I've started to loan books from the company's library and damn I love the selections of recipe books in there! So much of varieties!!! Getting ready to Spanish it up~! Uno Dos Tres!
So the other day I got this recipe book which talks about nothing but Spanish dishes and tried out one of the recipes in there which looked very tantalising in the book! And that was really my first try at Spanish food!
So what you need are...Canned chickpeas, Chorizo sausages (Spanish pork sausages, you should be able to find them at Cold Storage or Jaya Grocer, not cheap though >< ) cut into cubes or chunks, tomatoes, canned button mushrooms (this wasn't in the recipe, I added in just because there was a can of them sitting in the kitchen), chopped English parsley, chopped garlic and red onions. Salt and black peppers to taste(I didn't follow the exact amount of ingredients stated in the book too, just go according to my liking. :p

How to make this interesting dish...
1) Obviously in the book they use this Spanish pan or something to cook the dish, but I only have a non-stick wok so wok it is!!! Heat it up and then heat up some olive oil too.
2) Stir-fry the garlic and onions until they are a little brownish.3) Then add in the Chorizo sausages and fry them a little.4) Until the sausages are almost done, add in the parsley and tomatoes. Smash the tomatoes a bit to let the gravy flows into the dish.5) Next, add in the chickpeas and stir.6) Throw in the mushrooms and add in sufficient amount of salt and ground black peppers to taste.And that's it!

The wholesome dish tastes really delicious because of the Chorizo sausages which have Paparika in it and that spices up the dish a lot! We had the dish as the only dish for dinner and it filled us right and I was very happy with my very first try on Spanish food! :) According to the recipe book, chickpeas has fibre and iron while tomatoes has Vitamin C that helps in the absorption of the iron! That means this dish has a balance of everything=healthy but also tastes fantastic!!! Oooohhh yeah!!!Our super yummy Spanish dinner!!! Salivating yet???

Little note: Do not defrost the sausages too much. In my case they became very soft and it was really hard to cut as all the meat just came out of the tube. But I'm not all sure too cos the Chorizo I got from the supermarket don't look exactly the same as the ones in the book. So good thing to figure out when I try my luck on getting them from other supermarkets next time. *wink~~*

Didn't I just shared a recipe that you can possibly try out for the coming Christmas dinner?


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

German dinner @ TJ Haus

I had a short catch-up dinner with Yve Vonn few weeks back and knowing that I love to eat and I blog about food, she brought me to a new place called TJ Haus, a restaurant specialised in German food.
Located at second floor of a shoplot unit, the restaurant looks pretty small, with very European homey feel decorations. I especially love the small flower pots they put on each tables. According to Yve Vonn, the owner cum chef of the restaurant is a German origin who opened the restaurant with his Malaysian partner.
(I'm sorry for forgetting to snap a pic of the exterior of the restaurant because it was too dark and late at night when we came out from the shop it wasn't safe to stand and take a picture)The interior of the restaurant looks more like you are dining in a German family house.
We ordered most of the dishes which were specially recommended by Yve Vonn. So here's what we had that night...Prawn Cocktail to start. RM13.
Cordon Bleu served with rice and poached vege. RM24.
German Crispy Duck with Purple Cabbage and Potatoes. RM 26.
The prawn cocktail was certainly refreshing as a light starter before we proceeded into our main courses. I had the Crispy Duck and I thought it was just average. It could be better if it wasn't so dry I think. I tried the Cordon Bleu too and I think I'm in love with it, very much! Unlike other Cordon Bleu you see outside, this one comes with a special gravy which tastes a bit like curry plus cream. That gravy is simply to-die-for! And unlike other stuffing you get outside, this one comes with squid! How cool is that? Next time I visit this place, I will surely order this!!!Homemade Cheese Cake. RM12.
We also had the Homemade Cheese Cake highly recommended by Yve Vonn as dessert. The cake was not too bad but perhaps because I was too fulled, I didn't really enjoy it so much... Loads of updates and gossips were done over the catch-up dinner with my ex-college mate! :)
It was quite a nice and satisfying dinner with very reasonable price!!! I mean, where in KL can you find real German food at that kinda price??? Thanks for the recommendation Yve Vonn! Will definitely go back one day!

TJ Haus
27, 1st Floor,
47500 Subang Jaya,
Tel: 03-5636 4508

Thursday, December 15, 2011

COOL weekend getaway~!

Courtesy of 3e and Uncle Thong, Deardo and I spent a night at Avillion, Port Dickson and were surprised guests of their 25th Anniversary as a married couple! Avillion stay was cool, but 25 years together? That's super duper COOL!!!Romantic dinner for five, please!!! :p
So... I've decided to start this blog about the 25th Anniversary dinner at the Crow's Nest Restaurant at Avillion. It was a five-course Chinese ala fine-dining dinner. Interesting...Tea Smoked Seafood with Honey Mustard Mesclun Salad, Olive Oil and Balsamic Reduction. No idea why is it 'reduction'? I'm not a chef...
Braised Shark Fin Soup with Dried Scallop.
Tossed Prawn Mayo with Grated Nutmeg stuffed Chicken Roll with Seaweed and Crabmeat.
Crispy Duck with Young Mango Salad, Poached Broccoli, Garlic Fried Rice.
Double-boiled Snow Jelly with Ginseng in Coconut Shell.
The food were better than expected really. I especially love the entree and the dessert! And to present Chinese cuisine in a fine-dining way was really cute too! Food and wine make a happy foodie~! :)
3e and Uncle Thong! Awwww~~~ So cute~~!!!
What's even cuter was the fact that this was a total surprise to 3e! She only went to Avillion thinking of having a short weekend getaway just like us and only to find out it was a little celebration for their 25th anniversary as we reached the dinner table! After the dinner, Uncle Thong demanded that we go to this cafe downstairs and there the staff served up another surprise! An anniversary cake! Us enjoying the cake and the songs!
At their age, they certainly look like a couple who are still so much in love with each other! And the surprises made Uncle Thong such a sweet and romantic husband! I can only feel the sweetness looking at them and I hope my future hubby is like him! *hint hint hint~~*
There was a wedding dinner with a Hong Kong couple going on at the private beach that night too!

It was my second visit to Avillion after almost 10 years! I remember vividly how much I love that place even though it has been years! Although the Port Dickson beach isn't fantastic, the resort itself is to-die-for. The water chalets especially were simply too cool to forget! It's like you're staying in a floating house!
Hence I was so excited to be there again! Our room as we arrived at night...
The very cool toilet with an open air shower!
The little bed next to the window is one of my favourite corner of the room! Imagine looking at the stars there at night!
The cool shower and the sea water you can see right below the shower!
It was raining quite bad in the morning so here went our balcony...
After a morning sleep... *Yawn~~~*
Uncle Thong and Deardo Wong enjoying their beer at the balcony of 3e's room!
Well I must say some of the furniture in the room are already quite old by now, but other than that, wow, the room is still nice! And the little balcony facing and just above the sea water! And and the open air shower! Woohoo~~!!! Still love the room a lot! :D

Because it was only a short weekend getaway, we didn't go anywhere out of the resort. We spent our time sleeping, eating, walking around and using the facilities available at the resort itself. So here goes...We went to the animal feeding farm where Deardo did this when feeding the little peacock. :p
You know what, I looooooveeeee peacocks!!! They are the most gorgeous animal on earth!
That's why I demanded to take a picture with him, even when he is so high up on the roof!
We swam a little at the big pool only for adults...
And a little at this general pool where kids are allowed...
And we met Tongkat Ali and Kacip Fatimah and the Spice Garden, standing next to each other!
The garden chalets. A cheaper choice but I think they are not too bad a choice too!
Then it was very hot in the afternoon and we couldn't have fun at the beach... :(
See... The walkway to our room! Cool right?
Avillion has an award-winning spa and we were there!
Of course it was only for members only but 3e brought us in anywayz!
Very nice and comfortable deco and colour!!!
And no... We didn't go for the spa or the coffee... We were just getting ourselves amazed and snapping loads of pictures!
How could we miss a chance to take picture there??? That place was simply fantastic!!!
Jan Yi, 3e, me and Deardo took a group picture before leaving that place unwillingly... :(
It was a very short but fun getaway and I must thank 3e and Uncle Thong for that! I think Avillion is still a very nice place for people who need to relax and do nothing at all! I mean, the room itself is so fun to stay in that you wish that you wouldn't need to leave the room!

Can't wait any longer for my next holiday~!!! Er... When is that? Hmmmm...