Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Short Lived Poppy Flower and ...

Our garden is blooming with another new addition.

This time round, it is none other than Mohn or Poppy Flower but the none illegal kind. I marvelled at it since days for its not only striking and bold, it is a huge flower too.

Photobucket

According to Mama, they have very short life. They last only a few days on the ground, or no more than three days in vases. They also strive on sunny weather with the exact temperature, hence ... if it goes a bit higher or lower, thats it.

And soooo .. I took the opportunity to admire them yesterday. Again. I reckon, I will only get a chance to see them again next year as when we return, its season will be over.

Photobucket

Mama ... oh Mama. She´s a real sweetie. She knows I´m growing fond of Poppy Flower lately and surprised me with three stalks yesterday afternoon. In her limited English she said .. enjoy the bloom today and tomorrow before you fly off. Ahhh ...

Photobucket

So here it is, sitting in one corner of our bedroom. They are quite a stunner isn´t it?

On another note, we have been busy clearing our fridge before we fly off. Fresh vegetables, fruits and the likes. Hub and I have been eyeing something in snack drawer. They are super addictive, traditionally made since 1905 - 31% butter content French Biscuits called Gallette and Roudour. There´s also the famous French Nougat too, and a packet of Truffel Praline I picked up weeks ago.

Hmmm .... to clear or not too clear?

Photobucket

Monday, 18 May 2009

LOVE STORY (Taylor Swift) meets VIVA LA VIDA (Coldplay) - Piano Cello - by Jon Schmidt

Something for everyone back home ... I am starting to pack for my upcoming 3 weeks vacation to home sweet home in Malaysia! While at it ... I have been watching this video on and off and I find them totally amazing, especially the transition part to Viva La Vida songggg ... its sooo cool! Meet these two genious combining the classic piano and Cello in two song rendition. A MUST SEE!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Mille Crepe and Erdbeere Bowle For Mother´s Day

Photobucket

Finally, I am releasing this few days old post when everyone on the blogsphere had somehow or another blogged about something for Mother´s Day. Too late but still something eh.

Well, our Mother´s Day preparation started off with a headache. Not as what you´d imagined it. You see, hubby was at Stammtisch drinking session the night before with his buddies and got him drinking till 3am. Me on the other hand, threw a Sushi Party the same time but was pleasantly surprised when my guest had each turned up with a bottle of Bubbly and more, and had us drinking till 1am the following day. So imagine our reluctance to crawl out from bed when our radio alarm went off and all I can remember was the splitting headache and WE ARE SUPPOSE TO PRESENT A CAKE TO MAMA BY 3PM panic! Note : Remember not to drink so much before a big event.

Dirk will be joining us too. Pressure No 2. But luckily, hubby saved the day. I cleverly told hubby the day before I will manage the Mille Crepe on my own but knowing very well that I suck in crepe making. My other excuse for him is, he´s better at handling hangover than me since he´s had more years of training than me :-)

Anyway ... lalaaaalaaaa ... all went smoothly during preparation and hubby prepared the major chunk of the work (thank you lou kunggggg and you are the BEST *biggg kiss*), we are also glad to report that no other unidentifiable-yellow-out of the mouth-substitute were present before and during the making of the glorious Crepe. Ewww ... but you get the jeez eh.

Session One, In The Kitchen
I am so glad to report that everyone loved the Mille Crepe. BUT, yes ... there was a BIGGG BUT. The fact that my Chocolate Fanatic hubby were beside me when I was sandwiching the crepes with the creme, and him telling me SO OFTEN to spread more cream, moreeee spread, MOREEE (arggggg!), the Mille Crepe ended up perfect in taste BUT was hard to handle. It was slippery to slice even when we pre-sliced them upstairs before bringing them down and needless to say, it was quite a task using our dessert fork to break them up into biteful pieces when eating. A knife came into rescue. One rotating knife shared by 5 of us mind you and we´re happy as can be. The Mille Crepe were a bit thicker than usual too but I must give credit to hubby for saving my day really. Instead of the fame 21 layers, ours were only 16 layers. But it was good nonetheless. Moreover, luxing them up with Vanilla Pod versus Essence sure does make a difference! Also, smear the top further with leftover Pastry Cream and sprinkle them further with Sarotti Dark Chocolate Curls. Its wicked as hell and there´s nothing you want more. And how do you tell if the cake was a hit? When everyone goes hmmmmmm, and more hmmmm and ate in silence. That made my day.

If you´re intrique to try out the recipe, do click here for Gordon Ramsay's Just Dessert Crepe and here for Pierre Hermes Chocolate Pastry Cream recipe. I promise you´ll never regret it.

Session Two, In The Garden
She´s up to her mischief as usual and loves a drink or two. Mama loves getting high with bubbly apparently and I wonder where hubby learned that from? Hehe. No celebration is without bubbly when Mama is around and on this special day, she surprised us with Erdbeere Bowle (Strawberries Wine Punch), a traditional cocktail drank here in the month of May. If you wanna look flushed like summer berries, try this! Soak Strawberries in Waldmeister for a good two hours (even the fruits are not spared!), place them in a huge bowl and pour in a yummy bottle of Sekt (German Champagne) and a good bottle of Riesling. Guranteed Summer Look!

Session Three, In The Garden
It was around 7am when we fire up our grill! The sun was shining happily still when we started and continued so until 9pm (and the sun was still shining happily!). It was a good choice that we decided to have a BBQ session in the garden versus cooking and eating indoor. Nothing beats Al Fresco Dining when the weather´s gorgeous!

While hub did all the difficult part ... kekeke, I brought down the Salad and the Grill Meat. Incase you wonder if I´m a hubby bullier, let me explain. Our pit is an electronic pit hence not so much to do lah. Besides, our pit is as heavy as my bottom and its easy peasy for my hunky-chunky hubby to lift, really :-) But today´s an exception. Hubby has extra task to do. Our beloved grill died on me the night before apparently and I was like ... OMG! How are we going to grill the next day? Hubby being The-Master-Of-All-Trade got it tested, CLEANED THEM ALSO coz ahemmm .. we had quite a celebration the night before resulting in a few spills here and there :-) anyway, towards the end ... hubby happily report that the GRILL is in working condition and ask me to Stay Calm. Es ist NICHT Kaputt Liannemaid means it is not spoilt lah. And I was like ... PHEW!!! Our pitt apparently, though simple looking and does not do a mean grill like the charcoal ones, are indeed quite the smart lah. It will power off automatically when the water level below the griller sinks lower than indicated. To protect the grill from burning apparently. Quite smart hor.

Anyway, anyway ... Hubby also took care of the plates and cutleries while I brought down the Gurkin Salad which I´d prepared earlier. Did I mention that I have a super hubby? Hehehe I must remember to buy him a Superman T-Shirt when I see one! As for the meat, we had Pork Cutlet, Pork Sausage with Schinken Wrap and Chicken Skewers in Paprika Marinade. It was yummy but I was truly stuffed and high for heavy eating. Oh btw, Mama surprised us further with her freshly Baked Bread. Wow, I wish I can bake like her but first, must buy a Bread Machine. And so we ate, and ate and ate ... and yakked, and yakked and yakked.

Later on, we packed the leftovers and all the kacang and headed upstairs. Thankgod its only a few steps away. I was tired as hell but were reminded that I don´t have to attend school anymore hence FREE as a bird! But hubby, poor him huh coz have to work the following day. Nonetheless, it was a pleasure seeing Mama and Papa enjoying themself sooo much and was indeed happy with the surprise we gave them and got Mama talking about it STILL everyday since Sunday!

And that ... I felt is worth every single effort spent with people whom mattered.

Happy Belated Mother´s Day to all Mothers Out there!

May 13, 2009 went like this ...

Photobucket

  1. 6.30am wake up call from hubby´s kiss before him zooming off to work.
  2. Lazed in bed till 7am. Radio alarm goes off.
  3. Grabbed myself a Senseo cup of coffee. Had 2 slices of warm toast with Apricot Marmalade for breakfast. Browsed back issues of UK home decor Magazine.
  4. Watered herb pot next to our breakfast table. Happy coz growing well.
  5. Brushed teeth and took a long shower with Sebamed. Love the fresh smell. Gave my hair threatment with latest Schwarzkopf´s hair treatment range. Towel dry it and smoulder it with leave in conditioner and hair wax.
  6. Change to my favourite grey pants and baby pink t-shirt.
  7. Made the bed.
  8. Spoked to event manager in KL for upcoming dinner. Must get back to her on flowers.
  9. Checked emails and blogged for an hour. Decided; Orchids.
  10. Went shopping for souvenirs. Came home with Sandorn/Tea Liquor set, apples, apricots, yoghurt chocolate sticks, a cute post card and 4 decorative item (95% off) for my Inspiration Board.
  11. Made Teriyaki Salmon for lunch. Had an apricot too.
  12. Went downstairs for gardening. Tomato is growing well. Happy. Salad, Brocolli, Paprika and Rohlkohl seem to be stagnant. Not happy. Check out Mamas strawberries and Cherries plant. Happy.
  13. Mama offered me two pots of rosemary. Remember to pass her two pots to transfer over.
  14. Set the dish washer to work. No more glass cleaner liquid. Remember to buy.
  15. Read inspiration blog. Redecorated living room´s candle platter and arrange apples, kiwis, apricots and pears on platter. Placed in living room. No more junks for late night, reminder.
  16. Dishes are done. Unload them.
  17. Need fresh air. Did more reading on balcony. In love with Tschibo´s brochure with Picnic and Garden merchandise. Remember to show hubby Picnic Blanket, Garden Boots and Tea Lights.
  18. Hubby came home. Yakked. Had coffee and two toast. Finished hubby´s salami. Guilthy.
  19. Watched cooking competition on TV. Klaus called, need hubby´s help. Alone again.
  20. Watched TV alone.
  21. Hubby´s home after an hour. Offered to make me dinner. Had vegetable Soup with extra Cauliflower. Had extra peach and pear when tummy rolled again. Yakked.
  22. Spoke to Lillian about meeting coming Sunday. Have not decided to meeting in Baden Baden or Strasbourg. Have to talk to Andrew on Saturday to confirm.
  23. Spoke to Auntie Mary whom flew in from KL Received transit tips within Heathrow.
  24. Watched TV. Hungry again. Snacked on 200 grams Nachos. Guilthy.
  25. Showed hubby Tschibo brochure. Hubby doesn´t like the strawberry design. Dilemma but going ahead.
  26. Brushed teeth. Bedtime. Tried sleeping but Nachos were flying in my head. Must throw the snacks away tomorrow.
  27. Slept.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

What´s in my Bag (May 2009)

Photobucket

I need to get rid of a few things in this picture now that school is over. First thing first, the bag must go. I don´t need such a chunky bag to carry my flask and what not around anymore hence ... Perhaps, something feminine and softer for upcoming trip home but just as roomy so that I can squeeze in my summer hat. Argg ... the flask really must go isn´t it? So as the many pens, pencils, eraser (and that´s a damn expensive eraser I tell ya) but maybe I shall just keep one very good pen and get myself a nice lit black diary for me to jot down memories during our upcoming 10 days honeymoon in Langkawi. Sadly, the dictionary is still indispensable at this moment.

Whats in your bag?

Schweinhaxe (Grilled Pork Knuckle) For Lunch

Photobucket

Apparently, pork knuckle taste even better grilled than the usual roasted ones thats found in most Bavarian style restaurant. There isn´t any Roasted Knuckle available in this part of Germany but this grilled type TOTALLY made up for it. Its flesh within are juicy to the MAX! Yum, yum! Only set back is, I prefer its skin ala roasted for its crispiness rather than chewiness.

This huge chunk cost me a mere 4 Euro. Not bad eh.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Celebration Party with Sushi and Bubbles!

Photobucket

Finally, my German Integration Course came to an end last Saturday.

With that, we welcome our life now with free days to do whatever we want without being held down by 4 pages of homework EVERY SINGLE DAY (yup, that happened to us for the past 6 months!). No more slogging thru the new language and its meaning, or how its grammatisch defers so much from our mother tongue and why everything just don´t make sense at all. Not too mention, the test we have to endure every Monday ... just to make our life a bit more interesting. Its over, finally ... ALL OVER!

Soooo ... what´s the best, most saint thing a girl got to do? Throw a party! :-)

I invited a few friends over - buddies from school such as Debora and Rocio together with usual group I meet on-off for dinner such as Michelle, Jennifer, Elisa, Vaum, Cecilia and Jo. While I prepared Caprese, Sushis, Agar Agar, lots of Beer and Radler ... they each surprised me with a bottle each of Bubbles and more. Debora even came armed with a basket full of gorgeous Brazilianish Marinated Lamb, Beef, Chicken Wings and Pork Loin meat.

We karaoked with hubs ONLY two Karaoke DVD, but nonetheless enough to survived us to the nights. We blasted the music till our livingroom´s music player got a bit cranky and resulted in me having to bring out our Ipod and its JBL speaker to save the day. We marvelled at the talent of Marcello (Cecilia´s son) when my Wintersports Game CD came into action in our Playstation.

Even Mattheus and Andrea (Elisa´s two angels) whom usually are a bit shy, had fun with the little pond located on our balcony and was amazed with this huge BIRD figurine we placed in it to supposedly scare off ONE identified BLACK bird whom LOVESSSSS taking a splash in it every single time after he´s through with his sand-playing activity downstairs in Mama´s garden, AFTERWHICH (which we had observed soooo many times) would fly off to the neighbour´s roof to sun-tan himself! The thing is, the bath session´s not too bad if the adjoining windows are kept as it is. Clean. Back to the kids, especially Andrea whom were only two. He made my day, really with him occassionally reporting to me in his portugese baby language on what he saw in our home. I guess he was trying to tell me that he spotted Kermit, Ernie, Bart and Bear Bear, of which all ... ahem, belong to hub. My lou kung. :-)

One thing I must mention. Debora´s marinated meat were sooooo yummy! I never knew that our lil electronic grill can produce such gorgeous meat. I guess it helps that her chosen cut contains quite a bit of fat to produce the succulency, which sadly, the locals here prefer not to have. Not so healthy, it seems. But I suspect that´s not just it. Perhaps, there were some secret Brazilianish herb mix in? There´s also hint of Paprika with it which went really well with most of the meat type. Whatever it is, I will bug her for the recipe and keep you posted when I get them.

My sushi were surprisingly not bad. Its my first time making them and its not difficult at all. Everyone `Prost`with each single bite to signify their approval, which again, made my day and to that ... we drank ourselves past midnight and more until our tummy cannot take it anymore and finally, having to hail a taxi to go home coz drinking and driving here is a BIG no no.

What a night.

Zee Avi , A Fellow Malaysian with Bitter Heart Single

Something I found today. Love her voice and the simplicity of the tune and lyrics. Enjoyyy, fellow Malaysians.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Brain Empowering Time ...

Photobucket

German Dialog Exam, German Migration Test, B1 Test ....

The first two went smoothly and one more to go this Saturday. This is the major one aka TOUGH and everyone´s sweating over it now. Its amazing too to hear some fellow classmates popping special suppliments, eating more fruits and vegetables, taking special juices etc just to maximise their brain power. Wowwwww .... as for me, no exception lor but not to that extreme. I have been eating more comfort food and taking more vege and fruits to detox away. Also makes me more energetic as compared. Anyway, this is it ... I can only do one thing from now till Saturday. That is ... bury myself in revision!

So, have a good week everyone. I shall resume blogging once its all over.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Bicycle Tour & Ranch-Style BBQ

Photobucket

It was the Mels family´s turn to organise this year´s Labour Day activity. Although I hesitated to join in initially as I had lots of things on my mind (2 exams coming up, wedding preparation, and Dad whom got admitted to hospital a day ago but thankgod discharged), I caved in for this is my first time experiencing this special day with the group.

The bicycle tour thingy is not new. Infact, its a tradition here for everyone young and old to hit the bicycle lanes connecting the towns here with friends and family. To embrace the beginning of life, so to speak and with that, a small tree branch were quickly planted in between the edges of my bicycle handle to signify this day.

Photobucket

We rode a good 12 km that day. All 9 adults and 11 children rode with our own bicycle (including Leandra whom adorned a pink riding suit, along with pink riding helmet and pink bicycle! Awwwww ... it was a sigh to behold, really) except for Mikael whom were only 3 and had to ride with daddy. Oh btw, did you know that its illegal to carry a passenger behind your bic here in Germany?

We had a lil picnic underneath an Oak Tree in one of the Victim´s of WW1 & WW2 Memorial place. Arianna baked us a yummy Butter Cake but I was too late to capture them. Silvia prepared Cappucino and Coffee, Tanya brought Berliner (local donuts) and we ... a tin of the yummiest Danish Butter cookies I´ve come across! I must buy this for Mum and Dad to bring back home!

Photobucket

We had a few hours more to spare before the BBQ session at the Mels ranch. Silvia gave riding lessons to some of the kids there while I happily watched them. I wanted to volunteer, but I think I would look like a fool riding her shorter than usual Horse Species and besides, I don´t think the horse can take my weight :-) Nonetheless, playing with Lil Arabella was a bliss. Coming from KL city, born there and lived there all my life sure does make me feel anxious and excited when it comes to getting in contact with farm animals. I also spent a good hour watching the guy´s attempting soccer butting, kicking and bouncing. Hilarious, I tell you.

When night fall (we started around 8pm and it was still bright), we feasted on the best cut of meat from the local butcher here with their Coal powered BBQ pit. Back to old style, and it sure does make a difference to the taste and flavour! The meat were super, duper juicy and everyone feasted like a beast. Gregor´s homemade bread, made from wholegrain only were a hit too. He not only baked a batch in the oven to start the ball rolling, the kids later rolled the bread dough onto wood branches and had them baked over a camp fire later! As for us, we figured that Fresh Salad ala Caesar Salad comes handy when everything else there is pretty hearty.

We shared jokes, laughter, stories, thoughts and sang around the campfire in the middle of the ranch after dinner.

It was indeed a great Labour´s day spent and looking forward to next years.