Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Sunday's Soupe Auvergnate

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We had exactly THIS last Sunday (the day after Christmas) after all the heavy eating but how come my version of Soupe Auvergnate looks retarded? It tasted marvelous nevertheless, especially with freshly baked Ina Garten´s Gougeres and hubby´s freshly baked bread. We even had a glass each Riesling wine which we ordered not long ago, along with Pannacotta for dessert. Now, this is what I call a Sunday Meal :-)

Monday, 28 December 2009

My Christmas Presents ...

I know Christmas season is about giving and all, but honestly, I get excited each time receiving any presents. Especially Christmas present as this culture is so new to me. The though that goes into it is unparallel and speaks so much about what the giver think of you. Don´t have to be anything pricey but meaning gifts. We had lots of fun this year exchanging present downstairs with Mama and Papa. As highlighted in my earlier post, Mama and Papa was utterly pleased with theirs and so, it was such a heartfelt experience for me.

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Here´s what we and I got! From top left : A Balloon Ride Experience from Mama and Papa which Mama tied its voucher cheekily with a real Balloon each and got them hung onto their Christmas Tree. Hehe. Next was a gift from hubby which is Trip to PARIS in March! Totally unexpected coz he was never a fan of Paris. This means that there will be again quite a bit of travelling next year. Wee! Mama also slotted in a Guide Book To Paris upon noticing hubby´s gift. Fast woman. In addition to the Balloon Ride, Mama and Papa gave us a Bread Machine with an accompanying Bread Recipe Book too so now, we can enjoy freshly baked bread as and when we want! Yum! Hub did not just stop at the trip, but instead ... got me one of my favourite perfume Be Delicious! His huge gift box also came with a lovely, Diamonte Shawl. What else can I ask for more???!!!

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Errr ... can fix the lights in our wardrobe Lou Kung??? Haha!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Kocks Family Christmas Tradition

I remembered that day well. The sun was out, and the snow were beginning to melt away. It was just few days ago when the snow fell like there was no tomorrow and I though, great! We will have a white Christmas this year! I gave up hope that morning as soon as I see Mr. Sunshine smiling so happily. Oh well. But, it turned magical. As soon as we sat down for our little coffee session around 3pm, snow starting drizzling lightly from the sky. It was quite a sigh. To add to the effect, it became windy suddenly and what happened next were four of us starring out from the window at the snow blowing towards us. It was magical.

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We requested Mama to take it easy on the food preparation part. Afterall, she has Papa to take care of and it ain´t easy at all. This year, we decided to join effort in our Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day preparation. It was a good decision, coz instead of slaving away in the kitchen, we spent quality time together. We listened intensely while Mama recited a story she wrote few days ago about her family´s Christmas celebration. It is through her insightful that we get to know her brother Willy´s mischevous character better. It is through her story telling that we get to know about how hard life was during WW2 in Germany, and how her mum made her a doll as Christmas present from scratch. Though Willy and Mama´s parents were no longer around, we felt their love and spirit around us.

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Mama made us a traditional dessert called Kalterhund (Cold Dog) with pieces of biscuits hidden underneath the thick, decadent layers of rich, couverture chocolates. It was really, really good. The Donauwellen were store-bought, but were equally delicious with layers of Cherries enveloped within. I have always enjoyed having my cakes with light, cold cream on top and Donauwellen seems to be a good choice to balance the richness of Kalterhund. After two hours or so coffee session and after much nudging from me towards hubby, he finally went upstairs to pick up Mama and Papa´s Christmas present. It´s pressie time and I cannot wait to see their reaction. The moment came when Mama lifted up the wrapper to their gift. PEEP! said the Budgie! I recall Papa´s eye growing BIG and excited, and enough said ... they loved the bird. Papa whom is usually quiet responded instantly when Mama asked him to name the Budgie. And so, this little bird is our Hanze from now on.
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Dinner was kept simple but delicious. It did not take long before the timer indicated that the Hawaii Schnitzel were ready in the oven. Not more than 20 minutes, and just about time for Mama to chop her mushroom and paprika up for a quick stir fry. The side rice were kept simple too, just lightly toasted with butter and herbs to fragrant it up. This year, Mama brought out a bottle of Champagne from another producer instead of Piper Heidsick or German Sekt. I like them better as it was not too sparkly. Sad to say, my tummy´s kinda sensative to good old German Sekt. Later that evening, we had a serving each of Pannacotta. We had more food the next day. Schweinbraten, Boiled Potatoes, Steamed Vegetables with Red Wine Pudding. All prepared with love from Mama Kocks. This is our Christmas.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

What luck .. not snowing today and tomorrow but I guess we can say that its a White Christmas still from the leftover snowfall earlier this week ...

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I took the chance to built a mini snowman from the snow accumulated on our balcony few days ago! Merry Christmas from Mr. Snowman here, all the way from Germany yáll! Like my Hermes???

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With our tree all litted up outside, and a mini one in the livingroom, plus all the FOOD and DRINKS stocked up (gosh, you won´t believe how much we have in the house just for the two of us!). Not forgetting the pressies all wrapped up too!

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We are ready to celebrate Christmas and usher 2010 with the ones we love! And to you all whom had been frequenting my little space here, thank you very, very much for dropping by. Have a blessed Christmas and New Year everyone and see soon!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Week Before Christmas ...

It snowed, snowed and s.n.o.w.e.d. Temperature went all the way down to MINUS 14 yesterday, and it was only beginning of winter season! If not due to fact that many of us have to go hunt for last minute gift or stock up food for Christmas, staying in under such weather is really not a bad idea.

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There´s also the extra responsibility of shoving ones walkway before 8am and around the same in the evening. Just incase someone trips at your property compound and sues you. Not so nice after all. This is apparently the unspoken rule here in Germany. I am curious, is it the same in your part of the world when it snows?

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Every year, we have only a few gifts to prepare. One of Mama and Papa, and one more for Dirk and his girlfriend Carola. As for me, finding the perfect gift for my other half was not so difficult except that the online store just informed me that they are able to deliver the goods only in January! Fret not. I already have a gift prepared. This one is an extra on top of the first. Anyway, anyway ... here´s what we got for Mama and Papa!

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We figured, they have EVERYTHING, literarily except that Mama sometimes wishes it is not so quiet in the house. Papa lovesssssss watching animal programs on TV too, hence we figured this might be a good gift. Also, not so difficult to maintain lah, as compared to a cat or a dog which I know they love. What do you think of this Wellensittiche or Budgie as it is internationally known? Pretty isn´t it? Bringing him back to the house was such a challenge! Apart from Mama nearly spotting us with the bird on the way back, I accidently left the brochure at her doorway too! Luckily, hubby spotted it quickly and brough it up. Also, we had to make sure he stays silent all the time and as the result, we have been closing all our doors shut in order for his noise not to travel downstairs where Mama and Papa lives. So far ... so good. I think.

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So, Christmas Eve is only 4 days away. What are your plans? Will you be staying home to celebrate them with love one or going somewhere? If you´re staying home, what´s cooking this Christmas? As for us, I am only planning now. Not so much this year as Mama and me will be sharing some cooking chores. I will be baking some cupcakes this year and hope to get it all done up festively. Wish me luck! BTW, hub baked a batch of Coffee cookie two days ago and it was really nice. And without a recipe too, which was so unfair because I can´t even do that. I need my recipe book, search through the net and everything to get the exact measurement and he just did it like that? How can? I finally put up a bit of Christmas decoration on our dining table - which we hardly use btw coz its so big, and can seat eight person and there´s only two of us in the house so whats the point, really. But for the spirit of Christmas, I did it. Not finish yet as I have some ideas still with some twigs, and spray and all. Anyway, back to the cookies ... I want to highlight to you this Mini Stollens I bought from a local discounter here call Aldi. I have tried LOTS of Stollens back in KL and never had I once liked it. Its passable, but nothing fabulous but this one here is so, SOOOO good! It had the right amount of sugar, sweeten candied fruit, not so dense and oh-sooooo-HIONG! This pack was suppose to be for Christmas Day but I already finished up half the pack (oh goshhhh .. calorie girl, the calorieeee) So, I better go SAPU more from the counter before they all vanish. The other great thing about it is, it is cheap. Something like 60 or 80 cents a packet or something. AMAZING HUH!

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So here´s what had been happening this week ... and perhaps, I will squeeze in another entry more before the final day if I have the time. We will see. Just incase I am not popping in here again, I would like to wish you all once more a Merry Christmas YÁLL and Be good!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A Well Thought Present for Christmas

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Very well thought off gift from Ilka during our gift exchange session last weekend! All I can say is, I was one lucky girl to be selected to receive them! It came complete with a detail instruction on what to do with the gifts, in a particular order! And here´s what comes within ...
  • A cute Christmas Mug complete with teabags and coffee packets
  • A pair of Winter Socks
  • A Candlelight Holder with a tealight inside
  • A Bottle of Homemade Liquor
  • A Can of Whip Cream (to be served with the homemade liquor)
  • And a Christmas Poem!

Now, now ... I can´t wait for Christmas Eve to enjoy them. Praying for snow now :-)

Monday, 14 December 2009

Munster Christmas Market Visit with Stammtisch

Tradition is a way of life in this part of the world where I live. Once a year, our group consisting of 10 men and their respective partner will celebrate new years together for a week in a holiday home somewhere. Once a year too, someone would come out with an idea of a 35km bicycle tour to a remote town to welcome spring, which I would like to add, is not necessary at all but hey, who says tradition are always nice? Just last Saturday and once a year, the girls charged their energy for the week to go visit a Christmas Market for some major Xmas shopping, eating and what not before the year ends. So here are the once a year Christmas Market visit photo ... enjoy!

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It was more than a Christmas Market visit this year :-) Thanks to Gabi and Marion whom organised everything from A-Z (even transport back to our respective home at 1am!), VIELEN, VIELEN DANK!

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It was my first time bowling in a discotheque style bowling centre with two huge MTV screens BLASTING out yummilicious International and European videos! Haha! To add to the fun, we had unlimited serving of Kir Royale, Martinis, Wines, Beers, Softdrinks, Coffee apart from our decadent dinner of Duck in Orange Sauce, Salmon in Cream Sauce, Turkey with Curry and Pineapple Sauce, Schnitzels, Roast Lamb and many more ...
Nice :-)

Wine, Wine, Wine!

Yippee!
Our wines which we ordered all the way from wine village Pünderich, smacked at the foot of the Marienburg between Koblenz and Trier (photo below) in South West Germany is finally here!

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Here´s our premium selection of 2003 Riesling Auslese with Half Dry (14% sweetness) content. Heard this is really good so gotta drink them sparingly :-)

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Our other orders were for table drinking. A few bottles of 2008 Rotling, half dry with 24% sweetness in, 2008 Riesling Classic Qualitätswein with l 4,50% sweetness and some other variety. Hubby enjoyed one last weekend and sang praises of it while I recuperate from my bad cough ... tsk, tsk, tsk ...

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Patience, I must have ...

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

One Icicle Night ...

Sniff, sniff ...
Cough, cough ...

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It was one of those nights where all I needed was some rice, some homemade pork & fu-chuk stew, icicle lights, candle lights and very much nothing else ...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

An Unforgettable Dinner in Bora Asmara ...

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Before I start my festive post here, I shall clear my backlog for 2009 - an important and memorable one too if I may add just before I though my year is going to pass by as it is, but yes, something´s gonna happen isn´t it? Well, this post is officially about my last meal with my buddies back home (home being Malaysia here) for 2009 that is, and just when I though, oh suck ... this is it, better enjoy it to the max as it will be months before we meet again and there I was, feeling sentimental and all, and a bit uneasy actually ...
It was the eve of my flight back to my home (Germany in this case).
Roll forward the following morning (Tuesday, 17th November 2009) in the cybercafe just outside my condo to go print out my boarding pass in KLM´s website. Keyed in my booking code, and danggg ... unsuccessful. And than, again, and again with a funny error code. At this point, I was cursing and swearing at KLM for their inefficiency - not that they are, but just to let go steam you get what I mean. Alas, I came to my senses to ring them to check and it is than that I found out that ...
OMG!!! I MISSED MY FLIGHT!!!
The departure is suppose to be 16th Nov (Monday) and NOT 17th Nov (Tuesday)!
I knowwww, I knowww .. I should have checked my ticket date and all, but anyway, its too late, it HAPPENED and there was no turning back :-( The aircraft left without me when I was enjoying my dinner with the girls with teary eye and all ...
After the discovery, I quickly made a call to hubby whom was on his way to go pick me up in Amsterdam. He of course, PANICKED upon noticing my Germany´s mobile number appearing on his handset screen at first. His first though, which I later found out was `What the hell is my wife calling me from midair for? Did someone hijack the plane? Is there an emergency situation?` and all sorts apparently, crossed his mind. Sorry Lou Kung for the bigggggg boo-boo :-( I promise that it will not happen again ...
Anyway, anyway ... I started searching for an alternative flight in Malaysia, with hubby searching from Europe´s end too. My heart sank when I found out that there´s nothing much I can do about my tickets. Its gone, WEG. A quick check with KLM quoted me an exorbitent 3.5K for a one way flight back! *faint* Anyway, to cut the story short ... E, one of the oysterettes manage to pull some contact in KLM to get me a flight back by paying penalty charges. It surely is handy when one knows someone from the airline eh :-) Thanks E for the help!
In the end, another friend offered me her KLM group´s mileage point - which was about to expire in exchange of our hospitality in her upcoming Germany visit next year. Great! Thank GOD and finally, able to wipe the sweat from my forehead.
And so .. this was the unforgettable dinner which I felt uneasy about. I can sense that something was not quite right but somehow, can´t quite pinpoint ...
After that incident, I spent the next few days lazing at home with my nieces and MOST IMPORTANTLY, checked and checked my next flight details.
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As for the dinner in Bora Asmara, it was a hit and miss affair but at times like these, its the company that matters.
Thank you girls for your help, from the bottom of my heart. Especially to E and H whom helped me through my panic mode that day and your kind offer :-) Also to the McCutie whom rides her brand new Vespa with her pink Helmet in the car park of her condo coz no motorbike LESEN kekeke, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for your miles!
I owe you one babe! We shall see again soon! Me and hub are expecting you here next year!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Alejandro Sanz Featuring Alicia Keys - Looking for Paradise (Official Music Video)

I found this song from a dear friend´s recent add in Facebook and boy, it surely is cheery for winter season now :-) Thanks Paula! Muchos, muchoosss gracias Paula for the Viking Costume! And, and ... wow, what happen to Alejandro Sanz? He surely looks good here!

I owe you a bigggg lunch when I come down to London :-)

Huff, Huff, Puff, Puff ...

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To do list by this week ...
  1. Get hubby to fix the tires on my bicycle tires otherwise, my form submittion to Finanzamt will be forfeited!
  2. Start baking Xmas cookies. All the ingredients except for Almond Powder is ready. Gotta go pick it up too.
  3. Finish up the Bar. It had been three months since but only 80% painted. A bit more Ms. Kang :-) Finish what you started ...
  4. Remove the masking tape from the staircase. Also, wipe the white staircase CLEAN. Gosh, I am not sure if white colour was such a great idea after all now that winter is here.
  5. Xmas decor, my way. Hub did his round by decorating our Advent Candle platter but I have tonnes of ideas still. Since our living room is green and grey, I have been thinking of introducing some glittery blue into the decor. Found some gorgeous ideas on the net like above. What do you think?
  6. And presents, presents, presents ... Hub´s one is tough. I know what he wants but prob is, it will cost me quite a bit to get it. Should I, or should I not? Hmmmm ... Mum and Dad´s one is solved. All I have to do is call up this friend to ask if her dad has the supply. If all goes well ... we will have an extra companion in the house soon :-) As for Hub´s brother, we are thinking of getting him a case of this very, very lovely wine. He and his GF is such a wine freak so why not eh ... In the process, it is also time for us to stock up ours. So here we go ... another 2-3 cases to add to our tiny, little space but I guess, we have to soon make use of our cellar space at the lower ground floor.

Okay peeps ... gotta run!