Friday, 27 February 2009

Villa van Delden, Ahaus

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Just another building to passerby, but to us, this is the place that´s gonna bind us together soon.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Surprise from Mama Else, again.

My future mother in law is a reallllllll sweetie.

I came home as usual today after visiting my regular hair salon, of which I had the shock over my life when the bill arrived ... I shall share you the story another time eh. Anyway, yeah ... I came home, and found a pot of these infront of our balcony door.

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It was only 3 days ago when I showed her the packet of lavendar seeds I bought from the garden centre when she came over to visit. Its difficult to grow it seems as it takes a long time and needs tender care at early age.

And so, my hopes went downhill after having this vision of us waking up in Provencial town in southern France, complete with breakfast in bed.

NOW ... :-)

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Since we are in the topic of flowers and blooms, I´d like to share with you what I bought past weeks. Winter here is drawing to an end (I hope!) and the weather here´s getting warmer by the day. The shops here had started selling spring stuffs too for example the clothes store, shoe stores and more. Its really quite fun to see colors coming back into the streets and our life after the long, dark, bleaky winter.

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Remember my herb pot? Well, the only two plant that made it till now were Rosemary and Dill. The rest such as Basil, Mint, Parsley and Thyme´s gone. Hence, when I spotted these EASY TO PLANT 5 in 1 Pack Herb Seed, I did not hesitate any second. All I needed to do is place the pad on top of the soil and wait for it to sprout out. In it too were all that I need such as Parsley, Basil, Spring Onions, Rocket and Dill. WoOT!

Also picked up a packet of seed for red, hot chillies! Hehe.

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It sure felt warmer when you come home with these welcoming you. BTW, its Mamas.

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I think I will wait another month more to go spring flower shopping. Since this is officially my first spring year in Germany, I have lots of ideas in my mind for our home. Tulips, Baby Roses, Carcus, and sooooo much more available here ....

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Chicken Tikka Masala

I´m sure everyone knows how it feels like being faraway from home, at one point or another and had the sudden crave for anything you´ve grown accustomed too. Well, my crave hit again. But honestly, cooking my comfort food from scratch is near impossible now for our wedding is nearing, and there´s still tones more to do. Hence, I was quite pleased, and immediately scoop up a can of Chicken Tikka Masala when I spotted them in Aldi when they featured them during their Asiatish Wochen (Asia Week Feature).

Oh man ... this must be one of my most comforting meal since ....

Here´s what we had.

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Straight from the can, Chicken Tikka Masala. It was pretty good for a 1.30 Euro can.

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Since I´m cooking rice, which was pretty rare actually, I whipped up Telur Masak Kicap Manis and Stir Fry Cabbage ala Yanna (Thanks Ju for tempting me!) to go with it.

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The meal was fantastic. It sort of remind me of a Nasi Kandar platter where you get everything jumbled up in your plate, let all the gravy intertwine with each other to release its ooooph flavour. I was totally satisfied towards the end of the meal.

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Aahhh .. and of course, sliced cold cucumber to balance off the spicy meal.

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Monday, 23 February 2009

Wedding Invitation Card

In 11 days time, I will be Mrs. Kocks.

Yeap, that´s my future husband´s family name, of which I really have to get use too. Hehe. Don´t laugh.

I will be officially known as Lianne Kang still as as it can get really complicated changing ones name in Malaysia. All the paper work and stuff. We will wait till later to see how it goes.

Life here has been pretty hectic. Our room is still under progress. Some of our papers are still pending marriage registration (keeping our fingers cross that this will be the last time the Judge here makes up her mind what paper she needs. FYI, they can still reject even IF everything is in order. Crazy I know, but what to do). Our wedding ring´s still at the shop. My appointment with the florist is tomorrow, and hopefully she has all that I want. My make up trial session turned out well but she´s fully booked on the day of our wedding, hence I probably have to do it myself. I have no idea what to do with my hair as its a bit too early for me to get to salon, and noooo, there´s no such thing as Bridal Makeover Artist here. Than comes the guest list confirmation whereby my other half´s colleage sort of tripled up its number in attendance! We´re still searching for our photograher too. Than comes the issue of selecting our song to open up the first dance (thankgod we´ve attended dance lesson past few weeks hence all should be relatively easy). After selecting the song, we will than have to meet up with the DJ to give him a brief run down.

A LOT TO DO.

But so far, we´re please with all that we´ve prepared. Especially our wedding invitation card which I designed, and got them printed with our new printer.

The front page is a caricature body of us, with photo of our face attached to it. Above it states that we´re starting our journey together in German. Pretty straighforward message, and we though it would be better than having some words with getting married, or you are invited on the card. I found the border on the internet and love it very much.

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The back page conveys the venue of our wedding registration, which is at a beautiful white Villa here. Dinner will be held in a hotel called Schlosshotel, which is adjoining to the castle here.

We´re really pleased with the invitation card. Loveeee it!

New Bedroom Flooring

After a month of hardwork, here´s to our new wall and floor! Our new floor with Parador laminate looks and feel gorgeous. What I love about it is, its really sturdy and solid, and almost 100% wood like solid.

We spent 2 days putting the laminates together, with my other half measuring the corners piece by piece as we wanna achieve a regular pattern. We then, click them into into its place by sliding them under the prior piece, but not before inserting an object underneath to lift them up a little. Than, place a sturdy flat piece of unused plank on top, and hammer them into place. Quite hardwork if you ask me, but its rewarding.

Our room now is looking better by the day.

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This was the photo I came across way after we´ve ordered our materials from Ralf. I wanted a dressing table to be placed infront of the window. Officially, this will be my first dressing table, for in the past, my dressing table were anything else e.g chest of drawers, work table etc except the real thing. I had in mind a folded mirror of which I fold down when not in use on top of a square drawer underneath. But that would mean that I cannot place any item on top, and if I do, I will need to remove them, fold the mirror down and place them back in place.

Than, Juergen came up with an idea. Extend the length of the table, have the drawers at the side but yet, maintaining the folded mirror concept at the front. Better still, there´s a space for me to insert a chair underneath. BUT, I REJECTED THE IDEA. All because, I could not visualise how it look like until I saw THIS!

The material and the concept is everything to the point. Damn.

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Its too late now.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Sam Sam Cafe/Restaurant, Enschede

Today is the last day of Carnival. For those whom are not familiar with what Carnival is, sorry ah, you have to go google yourself coz mua here, have no clue too! The only thing I know is, it is celebrated here since last Thursday whereby it is also coincidently Women´s Day here. The women in this country will go around snipping off their male colleagues ties in the office or wherever, to proclaimed equality, and according to Juergen, all the males this day will go ransacking for OLD TIES to be worn to office! Hehe. Its also the day where women groups get hold of the keys to Rathaus (Local Council office) if its headed by a male. Just to show power lah.

The celebration continues till the evening, with lots of eating and drinking but not without dressing up in costumes and themes! For this year, a lof of Mamma Mia wannabe were spotted! Hehe. I was suppose to sew my costume with the Stammtisch girls in Ilka´s house last Thursday but since I had to be at the wedding gown shop for the past two Thursdays, I guess I just have to wait for next year.

Anyway, me, Rocio and Debora were suppose to celebrate the Carnival on Saturday (21 Feb) but everything ended up wrong. Me and Rocio went to Enschede anyway after Debora calling in sick and had the plan cancelled. We figured that we can do some shopping after all and have a girly outing instead. Upon getting out of the house, Rocio realised that her boyfriend´s mobile is wth her still, and this spells problem coz she won´t be able to contact him later for a pick up.

We proceeded with Enschede anyway by train. We took a brief walk to some shops, had lots of shopping in mind but decided to check out the items first before deciding which to buy but man, we only realise that all the shops here closes at 5.30pm when we were inside H&M trying on some stuff! We have soooo much more to buy really. Spring clothes, some makeups and perfumes etc ... oh well.

And so, we ended up in a Restaurant/Cafe called Sam Sam to wind ourselves down with two glasses of cocktail. We can´t speak nor read Dutch but the menu looked relatively easy. We were tempted by the cocktail selection. There´s Malibu, Pina Colada and other unknown name of which I settled for a glass of Pisang Embuk (3.10Euro) and Rocio had Malibu (3.10Euro). BUT ....

We got these instead! So much of us wanting to sip cocktail slowly, while enjoying the passerby outside. Hehe.

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For a little snack, I was a bit homesick hence I ordered something called Maleisie (5.70E) and that´s for Malaysia btw hehe. Its essentially chicken skewers with three assorted flavour namely Yakitori, Red Curry and Lemongrass. We both agreed that they were fabulous as the chicken meat were soooo tender, and the flavour of the marinade came through perfectly.

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With a bit more space, and that´s after eating a HUGE piece of Fish at the market earlier, we topped our munchies with an order of Bitterballen (2.75 Euro).

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Bitterballen is apparently a very famous snack here in Holland/Netherland, or which you can find in almost all the cafe´s snack menu here. I would urge you to give this a try as its really tasty stuff. Its a fried item, not oily however, and are essentially mashed potato/flour and bacon mixed in. I love how crunchy it is outside and how soft it gets when you teeth sinks into them. YUM!

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I was on the lookout for the time where the last train departs. But as it is ... WE MISSED THE TRAIN! My man had to come all the way to come pick us up, but thankfully, its no more than 20 minutes drive. However, I was told that finding a carpark is a nightmare and we ended up having to walk almost 1km away to get to our car. After all the huffing and puffing, and me feeling bad having to miss the train ... we finally made it to our car.

Seated ourself comfortable ... than, my phone rang.

We received a call from the waiter of the restaurant notifying us that Rocio had left her handbag there! And so, we huffed and puffed ourway there for another round.

We finally made it home after 2 long hours of in between commuting! Hehe. We had fun nonetheless, and just laugh off the whole incident in the car. Sometimes, things happen as we say it. The only prob was, Rocio´s man were spotting a long face after waiting for her for more than 2 hours infront of our house!

What a day eh.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Brazilian Pyjama Party with Salgados

If you expect to see sexy Brazilian girls dressed in nothing more than thong, I am sorry to dissappoint you guys :-) Its a pyjama party alright but its insane to drap oneself with nothing more than a thong in this kind of temperature here! Hehe.

The girls had, nonetheless strutted their stuff (and yes, I can safely say that ALL BRAZILLIAN CAN DANCE and I had a hard time keeping up with them!). They danced all night without stopping and I was left wondering, again and again, how did they do that?

BACKKKK to food, I didn´t know that Brazil is famous for their snacks. What you see below is apparently available at the beachside stalls where the Brazilians loveeee hangout in. They come in all shapes and sizes and are stuffed with everything imaginable from chicken meat, pork meat, lamb meat, vegetable, potato to seafood.

So here´s to all the SALGADOS (snacks) I ate that night!

First and foremost, something squarish hot from the oven, these are pies or cakes with filling such as beef, mutton, cheese curd or seasoned vegetables called called Esfiha and are apparently known as Arabic Sfiha. It is a Lebanses and middle-eastern dish, despite it being a recent addition to Brazilian cuisine.

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Kibbe (or quibe) is extremely popular, and again, it corresponds to the Lebanese dish kibbeh and was brought to mainstream Brazilian culture by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants. These are one of my favourite of which I ate lots of. Here again, its comes with various fillings, deep fried with a special flour coating but a tad spicier as compared to the rest.

BTW, did you know that Brazillians love their food SUPER SPICY? I was surprised.

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Debora made these during our last outing in Elisa´s house but this time round, someone else made them. This Coxinha (croquette) again, were stuffed with cheese and herb filling and schredded chicken pieces and shaped like chicken thigh. The outer were bread crumb filling with a special textured flour, which later were deepfried. What you get is yummy filling inside, and slightly chewy texture in between and crusty outer. Great Stuff!

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This is called Pasteis. Pastéis are small half-moon shaped pastries with a wide variety of fillings (sometimes also shaped big and in a squared form). Similar to Spanish fried empanadillas, but of Japanese origin (and brought to Brazil by the Japanese diaspora). Not the healthiest of the lot with our Radler, Vodka and Sangria but trust me, this is addictive.

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Healthiest of the lot ... Gerkins and Cheese. Love the gerkins very much, and was especially appetising after having eaten all the fried stuff!

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A little something resembling satay back home which I wanted to dig in, but did not coz its made of beef. Sorry, I don´t take beef for religious reason. Looks good isn´t it?

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3 other Brazilian girls came a bit later with a tray of these and a pot of Cheese Soup! I was stuffed to the max hence I had to forgo the soup tasting. This over here, is actually a sandwich with chicken filling. I find the taste a bit on the sourish side, perhaps due to the olives thrown in. Not so much into them, hence had hard time finishing them.

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Hey ... check out my Sangria!

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Our food spread excluding Fried Noodles, the Sandwich and Soup in the kitchen coz there ain´t any more space here. BTW, far left and the bottom is my Teochew Braised Duck.

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We partied, ate and drank till wee hours in the morning. But there´s still leftover food as all of it came in huge portion and there´s no more than 15 of us. If only my stomach could take more, but again, there´s this thing called `tapau` which I did before I leave.

Naturally, it became our breakfast the morning after too :-)

Monday, 16 February 2009

Luxurious Homemade Pizza

My man is still kneeling at this moment.

Not infront of me though, but in the new room trying to finish up the installation for our wood flooring. Its looking really great and we have been admiring them since this morning, bit by bit as it progress further. And so, like I always do ... while my man is hard at work, I am here blogging :-)

Today, I wanna share with you what we had yesterday. Simple stuff coz the base were bought from the store, but nonetheless luxurious to our standard.

The criteria of luxurious pizza is very simple.

1) First, top them with lots of GOEYYYYYYY Mozarella cheese topping

2) Second, PILE the ingredient up until it cannot take no more

3) Third, DRIZZLE lots of Olive Oil before baking them, and a bit more once its done. It moisten it further and do make a lot of difference.

Here´s the end result *wiping saliva*

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Since its Quad, we both get to choose two types of topping selection. My first was with lots of Chanterelle Mushroom, or Pfferlling as its known here. Sprinkle them with lots of basil , and you´ll get a heavenly woody and herbful flavour in your mouth.

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My man love his pizza, the traditional way. I knew that this will hit his spot hence I opened up a can of pineapple just for this pizza. The rest went into the making of sangria :-) I than, top this pizza with generous portion of chicken slices.

Here´s my man´s Hawaiian Pizza. Drool.

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Salami and Capsicum works really well too. My man again, gave it a thumbs up coz there´s more than 3 huge slices of salami in there.

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Lastly, my Salmon and Caper´s pizza of which I top them with no less than a 250 grams of Salmon slices onto! Every biteful were salmonful! Heavenly :-)

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Well, pizza is not that hard to make (except the dough) and one can let their imagination go wild with the topping and so forth. So instead of ordering a pizza from your nearby pizza provider, try making one today. It sure makes a big difference when one pile them up with lots of goodies.

Needless to say, I pile up the pounds I lost for the past week. But, as how the German says;

`Macht Nichts` - It does not matter

Hehe.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Happy Valentines Day

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We woke up to a yummy french breakfast in bed this morning, followed by a homemade pizza of Salami/Capsicum, Chicken/Pineapples, Salmon/Capers and Wildmushroom. All topped with two huge chunks of Mozzarella. This by our standard, were our most luxurious pizza session eaten.

There wasn´t any gift exchange because we thought it was unnecessary. My man´s word ... Why celebrate our love just this ONE day? We should celebrate them every, other day. Well ...

As I type away and occassionally browsing through the dozens of Valentine Days blog to read, my man is kneeling infront of me (not as what you think!) and is ACTUALLY hard at work since 3 hours ago customizing and laying the wood flooring for our new bedroom.

What a Valentine!

Happy Valentine´s Day everyone!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Morrocon Tagine Lunch

We were invited to Aminah´s place yesterday for a Tagine Lunch. She is a Morrocon married to a German here, and had recently gave birth to their first child, Ryan. I had in the past spoken to her a few times with my limited vocabulary Deutsch but just when I was getting the hang of the language, she stopped coming to class. Ryan, whom is only 4 months old now had no one to care for suddenly thus, she had to stop. And so, we paid her a visit yesterday and had so much fun catching up with each other, eating and drinking at the same time and playing with her beloved angel. Not to mention, she´s a meant cook too.

Here´s the Tagine she´d cooked for us. It was filled with the most tender pieces of chicken I´ve ever eaten simmered with chockful of vegetables such as peas, carrots, capsicums and potatoes. Delicious and yummy to the last bite. The chicken as I was told, were marinated in lemon juice overnight to tenderize them. Good tip!

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We had them with beer naturally, and a good dose of locally made Bailey called Cantory which one can buy for a mere 4 Euro a bottle versus 10 Euro for a Bailey. One can get Cantory everywhere here, especially Aldi stores and mind you, it taste EXACTLY like Bailey.

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This is the plate of seasoned rice to go with the Tagine dish. It was very flavourful and balance in taste from all the ingredients used to cook them. I´m not sure what rice is use in Morroco to cook this dish but the Basmati that Aminah had used was perfect.

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Aminah had also shared us a Moroccon cooking book of which were written in Arabish and French, and had in them gazillion wonderful recipe! I exagerrated the number btw, but seriously, the recipe inside were worth every drool of my saliva. Some of them were very french inspired, their cooking uses a lot of fresh vegetables and had a good balance of appetiser, main course and dessert for selection. If only I can read french, this book will make it to my test kitchen in no minute but alas, I also realise that I can always keep my thick skin on and go knocking on her door from time to time.

But before that ... hehe, they are all waiting for my turn to churn out an eating session. After which comes Brazilian and then, Peruvian speciality from the other two girls but before that, our Pyjama Party will be coming up next this Saturday in Debora´s place. It seems that there will be two Thai friend present as well. I hope they will bring something kickingly Thai that day!

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As for me, I am still cracking my head what to bring this Saturday. Debora had instructed me to bring anything as long as its MALAYSIAN, coz I brought Nasi Belacan, supposedly a Thai specialty the last we meet in Elisa´s place. Haha!

Alright ... I will put on my thinking cap.

Oh btw, this is Rocio, my Peruvian schoolmate with Ryan in hand. He was such a sweetie really, and smiled constantly.

Newly Painted Bedroom

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Now that the room´s wallpaper´s fully removed, wall´s been given the threatment they truly and had long waited for and deserve, we finally finished painting them yesterday.

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With the light cream coloured chosen, the room looks a lot brighter and spacious as compared to before and I´m thoroughly pleased with it. My honey had put in so much of effort after work doing up the place. Not that I don´t want to help, its just that my cough´s really getting into the way at times. But I have my ways to make my man happy nonetheless after his hard day at work before he dooze off, and NOOOOOOOOO ... its not what you have in mind ,-)

Speaking of my recent health condition, there´s this special cough drops that I wanna share with you. It was prescribed to me by our family doctor and boyyyyy, this cough drop were really good! The night before consuming this, I could hear myself snarling away in my sleep due to the heavy cough. But after the miracle 20 drops (and mind you, I actually counted it to that precision), my snarling stopped completely. Sadly though, my cough comes back in the morning and no, I wish I can have this miracle drop the whole day to stop my coughing and more, but the doctor had warned me few times that its ONLY for once a day, and before bedtime only.

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And so, I am still coughing. Darn. Am coughing day in day out, coughing in class, coughing when at home and coughing before going to bed. To stop myself from coughing during class, I have been taking cough drops non-stop and mind you, I think I´ve finished hundred of drops. This has caused my tastebud to deteriorate, but not that I´m complaining coz this means that I´m not eating as much as I use too, but I do miss tasty food sometimes.

Here´s what I recently cooked. A chinese style Stir Fry Vegetables with Mangold! You know what, it actually tasted really good! Mangold is pretty similiar to Bok Choy´s taste and am surprise that its still crunchy even after cooking it for a while. I love this veg.

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I have also asianised the coral trout by cooking them in sweet and sour sauce. Hehe.

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You can tell that I am missing home cook food in Malaysia, don´t you?

Monday, 9 February 2009

Glucklichen Geburtstag Papa!

January and February here is a busy birthday month. It all started with Ilka´s birthday end of January, followed by Tanja´s a week later, Papa´s last Friday, Franciskus the following day on Saturday and lastly, Rainer´s next week. It was unfortunate that I had to miss the inbetween coz of my impending cough. But for Papa, I made an exception not to stay home coz, he is really a sweetie and nothing brings me more joy than to see him enjoy his special day.

As usual, Mama would first have us all feast on some cakes around tea time. But this time round, she bought the cake from the store instead and had them packed in 4 variation. I though this was a great idea, coz Mama had previously baked 3 cakes on her own so that we can have more varieties but we ended up with too much leftovers.

There´s Blackforest Torte, Rasberry Quark Torte, Tiramisu Torte and Vanilla Peach Torte. All of them were delicious and freshly made, hence I had 3 helpings!

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I use to take a lot of photo´s using my camera´s micro function when in KL but had since stopped after arriving here. I, however had the chance last Friday when Mama brought Papa to the toilet in between break and my other half went upstairs to grab some stuff. Quite please with the blurrish results at the background really.

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And the natural light from where we´re seated seems to help a lot too.

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We had a long coffee break, followed immediately with Mama preparing us an early dinner when she found out that we have to adjourn to our dance class by 7.30pm. The original plan was to wait for Dirk to arrive from Dortmund to have dinner together but ... guess, we have to wait for next year than. We adjourne to the dining table in the kitchen from the one in the living room. While Mama was cooking, I tried to snap a photo of Papa when he´s not looking, but HE SEEMS TO KNOW that I´m aiming at him!

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Some bubbly, of which I can´t have much coz I´m under heavy medication.

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This was what Mama prepared us in less than 15 minutes! Puff Pastry Cup with Cream Sauce Meatloaf. The puff pastry were crispy and light, and the filling were perfectly portioned.

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For mains, we had Pineapple and Cheese Pork Schnitzel, Croquette, Stir Fry Mushrooms and Apple Salad for sides.

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We ended our dinner with a light dessert of Red Wine Pudding, but my photo did not turn out well hence, I´d deleted it instead. We had a fun day eating at home, and as usual, overstuffed myself so much that my stomach felt funny later. Well ...