Saturday, 27 February 2010

Bangkok´s Shopping Haul!

I think one of the things I succeeded really well during my recent Bangkok trip was coming home with a great haul.  To think of it, I don´t think anyone ever came back from Bangkok dissappointed, eh.  Things in Bangkok is DIRT CHEAP, especially now that I am spending Euro ... and not that I have a huge budget to spent with (only 300 Euro), I came back really, really satisfied. One of the item I was truly, truly happy about was this Freshwater Tahitian Inspired Black Pearl. I had been eyeing one for a while, and nearly got them in Langkawi but thankgod, I did not coz this cost me 250 Baht / 25 Ringgit / 5 Euro only!  Comparing them to 200 over ringgit in Langkawi, what a biggg difference!  What I loveee about them is, each of the pearls (if you look close up) is irregular and one can see its ridges. This is what made them authentic and real.  And of course, brushing two pearls together to feel its texture.  If its rough, its real.  I got one for Mama and she was speechless when I presented it to her.  Alas when I told her its only 5 Euro, she thanked me prefusely again and again and quickly wore them on!  All I can say is, I don´t think any of my girlfriends here will ever pay few hundred Euros for freshwater pearls in Germany in the future anymore. Better grab a 600 flight ticket to Bangkok from now on with spare to shop further!  I got these in Chatuchak market.

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Pandora and Tiffany fakes are found abundantly everywhere in Bangkok.  Pandora, a local German brand (more well known internationally than Thomas Sabo) cost quite a bit when it is fully assembled like the ones showned here.  Perhaps in the region of 500 Euro each bracelet but I am happy to bring 4 back with nothing over 400 Baht each.  And that´s like 8 Euro???!  Besides, it is pure silver.  If I am not mistaken, this brand is available in Singapore and Hongkong in Asia region only hence ...

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Bought some summer tops for myself, and two dresses for my nieces.  I have been told again and again to hit Pratunam Mall for wholesale price clothes.  Most of the tops you see here cost no more than 100 Baht /10 Ringgit / 2 Euro per piece which was crazyyyy isn´t it?  I absolutely adoreeee my oversize Volkswagon T-Shirt with print back to back which I pair with leggings and a ballet shoe.  Super comfy and cooling especially during HOT, CNY period.

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I also brought home Asian homeware to further asianised my German home.  Some cute Japanese and Chinese Wooden Dolls (from KL though), a Japanese Teapot Set which matches perfectly to our livingroom´s vases, Silver and Green Silk Tablerunners and Tablemats, with matching chopsticks and something not asian related but I thought I´d post up too - a gorgeoussssss Feld Hat which I have no idea where I am going to wear them to.

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One of the things hubby had been telling me not to bring back again and again from Asia are counterfeit products.  I had problems smuggling my Pandora bracelet in but I figured, if in the event they confiscate them then heck it.  It is not that important after all.  But there´s one counterfeit item that I absolutely adore and it is my 1500 Baht Leather Slingbag which happen to be a Mulberry brand counterfeit.  I got them coz it is made of beautiful leather and the workmanship poured into it is worth every single Baht paid, and honestly, I don´t give a damn about that logo.  And so you can imagine how it is like when I lugged them back via Frankfurt airport - which happen to be notoriously known for stringent immigration control.  It was quite an experience really and thankfully, nothing happened.  Phew! Two pairs of Flats came back with me too.  They not only look good, they are very unVincci which means, pretty good quality for a 250 Baht shoe!  I wore them immediately and felt at ease with it instantly.  And oh, the Two Colourful Belts are for my sis.

Likes?

Friday, 26 February 2010

Reunion Dinner This Year ...

I started the prep work a day earlier.  Cleaning the fish and all.  I know fish are meant to be fresh and bought the same day as consumption but with the rate how mothers snaps them up at the local market, I don´t think I´d stand a chance to grab a fresh one on reunion morning anyway.  We had quite a feast the night before our journey back to Mum and Dad´s hometown in Kulim. To us, our Grandma´s Secret Soup recipe is a must.  Without it just felt different  It is a rich soup with all the expensive ingredients thrown in.  Ingredients such as Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Prawns and stuff, but if you are blessed with further $$$, I guess large juicy scallops, sharksfin, abalone etc will not hurt.  But we like them the authenthic way how Grandma prepares them.  The soup base is from two Roasted Pork Knuckle, than later laced further with sweetness of Dried Cuttlefish.  For the kids, fresh, springy fishballs always does the trick.  Cook the soup for a good 2 hours and just before serving, a drizzle of fried garlic in oil vamps it up. It was so good that not a drop was wasted.

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This year, I tried out a new Prawn recipe.  Speaking of prawns, Tesco´s XXL prawns at RM16.99 got snapped up like it was free and so, I made my rounds in Giant just to check out but only to be dissapointed by its mediocre size being offered.  But thankfully, Section 17´s fish stall stocked up a pretty good size but was not cheap at all. For the sake of satisfying my craving, sis treated me to this 80 Ringgit per kilo prawns.  Thanks sis!  I fried them quickly, actually it was more like my sister´s maid came to my rescue after seeing me getting splashed by the hot oil (ouch, ouch, ouchhh!)... and later topped them with fried garlic and dried shrimp topping.  If this menu sounds familir to you, well you have probably read them in one of the bloggers´s review recently in one of KL´s top restaurant.  Not very difficult to do but oh-sooo-satisfying.

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I love ducks.  Especially when its done right and its meat tender to the bite.  I found the recipe to my grandma style´s Lou Ap few years ago in a Singapore Cookbook and had eversince cooked them during every reunion (well, except for last years which I was not home).  There´s always two huge pots eyeing for attention in our home kitchen for many hours. One is for the soup and one is for the duck. But I ain´t complaining since no stirring whatsoever is required.  I bougth some Siu Yoke from the morning market too and later stir fry them quickly with some soya sauce and garlic.  It is very Penangite style and I like this way as it taste better the longer you keep them.  The other usual suspect for our dinner was Steamed Kampung Chicken which Rina prepared.  It was gorgeously done with perfect texture.  She also did a mean version of Ju Hoo Char.  Indonesian maids nowadays, can cook better than locals. You probably notice that fish is missing in this picture.  Well, it was a bit difficult to capture a photo as, as soon as the fish is ready from the steamer, it went straight into everyone´s stomach. But I guess you can imagine how a Grouper looks like, don´t you? It is my first time buying Orange Grouper (around RM28.00 per kilo, not cheap).  I was initially skeptical if I should deviate away from our regular Pomfret but alas, we all loved the firm texture and it tasted fresh!.  I steamed them simply as it is and later drizzle soya sauce over with sprinkles of chinese parsley.

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The other memorable feast we had was in Ashleen´s grandma´s house.  Her lobak (she is Penangite and we had these in her house) was to DIE for!  I made a mental note to go hunt for authentic Penang Lobak this trip but realise there isn´t any good ones I know off in PJ or KL.  But thankfully, her lobak came to the rescue.  I am now satisfied to the core. Her Chai Buey with Sea Cucumber and leftover roast meat hit the right spots too.  sour and decadent ....I loveeee Penang Style cooking.  And Penang style Gulai ... who can beat that?

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Chinese New Year Shopping in Bangkok

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This year´s Chinese New Year which happen to fall on Valentine´s Day will be a bitter sweet thing for me.  Though I get to fly back to Kuala Lumpur to celebrate them with my family (7th - 24th February 2010) after a short shopping trip (5th - 7th February) in Bangkok, hubby will be in our Germany home, alone.  But nevertheless, I look forward to the Gong Xi Fa Cai soon!  Aufwiedersehen Deutschland, Sawadeekaaa Bangkok and Home Sweet Home Kuala Lumpur!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Day Fourtenth´s Lunch : Chicken Soup Noodle

The stove was working hard yesterday boiling a huge pot of chicken stock under slow fire for several hours.  The stock came out really delicious on its own and the best part is, no preservatives or stock powder were added.  Just fresh chicken meat with a bit of fat/skin, leeks, carrots and celerie.  I put them on a reboil a while ago for my lunch.  Nothing spectacular but just few pieces of fresh mushroom added in, some brocolli, a hardboiled egg - although I must add that it is technically 90% hardboiled egg and a portion of egg noodle. I didn´t enjoy the egg noodle very much but the rest was slurped down in a jiffy.

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Well, I have achieved what I earlier wanted too.  Loosing 2.5kg and I have one more day to play with for a bit more grams.  :-) Shall I proceed?  Oh yes, I think I will ... just for a day more.  My old cheongsam fits me like a glove again, and I am thrilled.  Some mission accomplished eh.

Here´s the usual report :
Breakfast : Suppliment Drink
Lunch : Chicken Soup Noodle
Snacks : Apple, Kiwi
Dinner : Suppliment Drink
Exercise : Lots of packing, and repacking, ironing up some clothes, unload the dishwasher, did the laundry and perhaps, head to the store later to grab some last minute food stuff for my beloved niece.
Weight Lost Today : 0.4kg
Total Weight Lost till Date : 2.5kg

Monday, 1 February 2010

Day Thirtenth´s Lunch : Steamed Chicken with Chinese Herbs

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In less than 72 hours, I will be flying off to Bangkok.  Woohoo!  No more cold, cold winter, white fluffy snowwww and slippery roads but instead, I will be greeted by Mr. Sunny and Ms. Humid.  Haha.  But really, I think I better enjoy the snow here while it last before I leave because by the time I return here to Germany, it will be Spring than and though I am excited over that, imagine having to wait one whole year to see snow again ... bah.  Not that I am missing it right now anyway, haha.  What am I talking about???

So anyway, I was in town today for doctor´s appointment regarding my asthma.  Since I will be thousands and thousands of feet high up in air soon, it is best for me to consult my doctor if my medication is good enough.  If I am not mistaken, I had an attack on air before.  A mild one and that was before I came to know its actually Asthma.  My visit to the hospital in Kuala Lumpur did not help at all.  They found nothing, NOTHING, NIL ... and after that, I started getting disillusion over the state of my country´s healthcare system.  It is a top hospital in KL btw, so they should know what they were doing.  But the one whom attended to me here, Dr. Lüh Kombacher ( I wanna jot it here to give her due credit and also, incase I forget her name haha!) was SUPERB.  She´s not only friendly and warm, she put me onto this machine for testing straightaway and a report came out like .... within seconds!!!  All the nurses were top notch and efficient, and I can say this is far better than all the top private hospitals in KL that I´ve been too and the one I am visiting is just any normal clinic btw.  Nothing fancy at all.  To top it all, my consultation was FOC! Coz I´d already paid for it earlier this year and that fee covers a good 3 months period.  I have to pay for my medication still though but it was nothing really.  5 Euro or something like that.  I don´t have to go there personally to make an appointment but instead just a phone call away and when I mean on appointment, means it was right on the dotted time that she saw me.  How great is that?  Today was my second visit and she is as helpful as ever.  Anyway, the other jeez of the story why I saw her again was, I had attack almost the whole day yesterday.  Also, it had been recurring almost daily after taking the Swineflu Jab last Monday.  So now I am on something stronger, something that I have to inhale in every morning and night before I go to bed, and my first inhaler for inbetween needs.  Oh gosh, I do feel so helpless with my new condition :-( No fun at all until it goes away ... But fret not ... I am seeking alternative treatment the moment I come back from KL and this treatment surely excites me because it involves travelling and hobby too! Haha! Details shall be revealed later ... I promise. Wish me luck!


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My stomach were growwwwling when I reached home.  Something to do with the harsh weather and all the walking ... Anyway, I already knew what I wanted to cook for lunch so preparing them was easy peasy.  Chop up 2 thighs, and season them generously with salt before putting them into a steamer with lots of red dates, wolberries and some roots (no idea what its called but taste ohhhh soooo good!).  Let it do its magic for 20 minutes and lunch is ready.  My lunch today was really, really deliciousssssss ... really satisfying even if it was eaten just liddat. Haha.

So here goes the usual thingy ...

Breakfast : Suppliment Drink
Lunch : Steamed Chicken with Chinese Herbs
Snacks : 2 Amicelli, 1 Apple
Dinner : Suppliment Drink
Exercise : I think I did a 4km walk today to/fro from town.  Apart from that, the usual Making the Bed and Toilet Cleaning.  I think I will stop there today coz I am kinda tired today from yesterday´s late night.
Today´s Weight Lost : PLUS 0.3kg (due to last night´s drinking and snacking in Ilka´s birthday party)
Total Weight Lost till Date : Back at 2.1kg

I think I am happy to get ride of another 400 grams before I fly off this Thursday.  Possible?  Sure yes! Wish me luck!