Nuffnang Ads

24 July 2009

Birthday Lunch at D’Italianies Kitchen

12 Jul 09

The food served at the Italian restaurant near my office is excellent. My office had held numerous luncheon there too. One Friday, my sister asked me "When are we going to have lunch at the Italian restaurant near your office?

Since both of my sister and her husband's birthdays are in the month of July, I answered "Why not this weekend? Is my treat to you and your hubby".

I like the simple and clean design of d'italiane kitchen, which is owned by an ex-accountant. I like the bowls, plates, glasses, etc used by this restaurant. The owner told me he picked and choose these from a few different places.

My brother in-law jokingly said I need not booked the entire restaurant for the celebration. This is because we were the only customers there then. As the restaurant in located in an office building, the restaurant is quiet on weekend but not on weekday.

For starter, we ordered Mushroom Cream Soup (RM8.90) and Sauteed Foeste Mushroom Platter (RM16.90).

The soup was creamy and the mushroom platter was tasty. We always like the mushroom soup at The Italianies and since we've tried this mushroom soup at d'italiane kitchen, we like it better here. At this stage, my guests were happy to have found this restaurant.

My sister ordered Roasted Garlic Lamb Cutlets (RM49.90) which was good too. The meat was juicy and tender.

My brother in-law ordered Alle Vongole (RM21.90) which was disappointing. The taste was a little blend.

Hubby ordered Risotto Con Pancetta Beef (RM23.90). The first time that I tasted risotto, I never like it. Risotto taste like in between rice and porridge but Hubby loved the risotto that he ordered.

As for me, I ordered their famous Sicilian Seafood Pizza (RM26.90). The crust was thin and crunchy with generous portion of seafood.

We had a pinch of each other food and get to try a variety of food of the restaurant. We were so full by the end of the main course.

The cake at d'italiane kitchen looked yummy. Since we were so full, I proposed to share dessert.

We ordered Galbani Tiramisu (RM16.90) which was disappointing. The portion was so small and the taste was unlike the traditional tiramisu.

Luckily, the two caffe latte (RM7.90 each) were good ... thick, hot and had a good aroma smell.

Total bill came up to RM201.40. We had a satisfying meal and good moment, with the restaurant all by ourselves and full attention from the staff. My sister and brother in-law were impressed with the food at d'italiane kitchen. The only disappointing ones were the pasta and tiramisu which we gave the feedback to the staff there. Hope they will improve on it.

23 July 2009

My Ass was Kissed Again!

4 Jul 09

My ass was kissed again … for the 3rd time!

I’m referring to my car. I was on the way to pick up Hubby and Jared from music school. I stopped at red traffic light and after a few seconds, there was a BIG BANG came from behind and hit my car rear. My car’s rear number plate broken and there was a few inches of crack on my car bumper.

I always drive very carefully on the road especially after the major accident in 2006 when I was in my 2nd trimester pregnancy. Somehow, the BIG BANG sound is still very clear in my mind. Hubby always complains that I’m a passive driver and it’s very dangerous to the driver. I was hoping that over a period of time, the fear would go away. This recent accident does not help.

I hope accident will stay away from me or I may stay away from accident. But then again, we can never plan or prepare to avoid any accidents.

Accident … please stays away from me!

22 July 2009

Jayde’s 1st Birthday with Pink & White Teddy Bear Cakes

27 Jun 09

Time really flies. I still remember attending Jayde's full moon party last year. A year passed in a blink of an eye and I received a sms from Susan inviting us to Jayde's 1st birthday party.

Susan ordered these "home made" lovely cake and cupcakes. Its a pink and white teddy bear cakes, with pink stars stamped with "Jayde" name.

Apart from the cute birthday girl, the cake was the center of attraction. The guests admired the teddy bears, the stars and the pink and white balloons too.

Jayde dressed in a white lacy dress with matching hair band. Its like a princess birthday party with the pink and white cake, the white lacy dress and the pink and white balloons.
Susan prepared temporary tattoos for the kids and party packs which were personalised with kids' name. The kids had a great time at Jayde's birthday party.

19 July 2009

Daddy & Mommy

Today, I was calling my hubby "Hunny, ...".

Jaden heard it and say "This is not Hunny, this is Daddy!"

At night as we were putting Jaden to sleep, I asked him "Who is Hunny?". He pointed it at Daddy and said "Daddy!".

Then, I asked him "Who is Darling?". He pointed at me and said "Mommy!".

He is just 2 years old and yet he is so cheeky.

14 July 2009

Jaden’s 1st movie - Transformer 2: Revenge of the Fallen

25 Jun 09

Since the long awaited Transformer movie started the premier screening on Wed, 24 Jun 09, we decided to catch the movie in the afternoon of weekday to avoid the weekend crowd. Hubby went to GSC 1 Utama to buy the tickets a few days ahead. I took a day off and spend some time with the kids.

Transformer is a famous movie and the crowd from the premier screening was awesome. My parents didn't like the idea of us going to crowded place with kids, especially contained in theatre during this H1N1 outbreak. I didn't think of this earlier and was quite worry about H1N1. Tickets bought and the excitement in Jared built up. We went ahead with the movie and brought masks along.

In the cinema, I didn't see a single person wearing mask. So, discarded the idea of wearing one. Instead, I made sure we use hand sanitiser ... as we got inside the theatre, before popcorn, throughout the movie, etc.

It is Jaden's first movie though the movie was not so appropriate for his age. He was so cool about it, especially when we walked in to the theatre. Though it was dark, he was calm and anxious of the surrounding. He looked around and point at the light from the projector and said loudly "Light". The person sat in front of us turned over and look at him.

My 2 big boys (Hubby and Jared) really focused and concentrate on the movie. You couldn't talk to them. The movie was long ie from 2pm till 4.40pm. Jaden got bored and we had to carry him out of the theatre to get fresh air. After a few rounds of walking in and out of the theatre, Jaden fell asleep on me. It was such a nice feeling to have him lean on me and held him tight in my arms.

After the good review and great response from Transformer 1, the expectation on Transformer 2 is higher and many found it not as great. I found it hard to focus on the robots as there were just too many of them.

After the movie, once we got into the car, I gave another round of hand sanitiser for the entire family.

11 July 2009

Shark's Fin Soup

Hubby and I was watching a TV documentary on shark's fin soup today. It disturbed me very much that I need to talk about it here.

Shark’s fin soup is a Chinese delicacy that has been a popular item of Chinese cuisine usually served at special occasions such as weddings or banquets. Consumption of shark fin soup has risen dramatically with China's growing economy and the middle class becoming more affluent.

The high price of the soup means that is often used as a way to impress guests at celebrations as a luxury item, a symbol of wealth and prestige in Chinese culture.

Sharks' fins is derived from fins cut from living sharks called Shark Finning. The finless and still-living sharks are thrown back into the sea as shark meat is worth much less and more room is available on board the ship if only the fins were retained. When returned to the ocean, the finless sharks are unable to swim and sink to the ocean bottom and die. The process has become highly controversial and the practice is brutal.

Due to the good demand for shark's fin and the margin restaurateurs are getting, it is hard to scrap off the delicacy from its menu. The abuse in shark-finning industry and the damage it is causing to the oceans ecosystems. It is a primary contributing factor in the global decline of many shark species.

We didn't serve shark's fin soup during our wedding dinner. Hubby is against the brutal action. I agreed with him but I was concern over guests' remarks as serving shark fin's soup was a luxury thing to impress guests. I'm glad that I went with hubby's idea of not to serve shark's fin soup and replace it with herbal chicken broth.

Some people said the shark is already die anyway. If we don't eat, its worse for what the shark has sacrificed. It is a chicken and egg process. If there's no demand, the supply will stop and shark finning will stop too.

Do you support the serving of shark's fin soup at wedding or banquets?

05 July 2009

Tarts and Tartlets

21June 2009

Hubby has attended cooking workshops "Pasta from Scratch" and "Steaks, Roasted Beef and Sauces" by Cuisine Studio. Hubby's interest is in cooking, whereas mine is in baking. So, he occupies the wet kitchen and I occupy the dry kitchen and we have different interests in different part of our kitchen.

I attended "Tarts and Tartlets" workshop two weeks ago and we learned to make chocolate, lemon and strawberry tarts, inclusive of making almond and chocolate shortcrust.

Chocolate tart in chocolate shortcrust
On Friday, Hubby said he wanted to taste the tarts that I learned and I tried making this yesterday. As I was rushing to serve this for tea for the professionals ie Architect, Interior Designer and Mechanical Engineer at home, the ganache had not set in and cocoa glazing was not fully chilled. The cocoa glazing flowed down from the tart. The presentation was not great but they liked the tart.

I chilled the balance of the tart and had it as after dinner dessert at my auntie house. It looked better and taste better too. I like the orange zest taste and smell which blended well with the chocolate.

Lemon tart on almond shortcrust and chocolate shortcrust
I had hands-on experience in the rolling techniques for this shortcrust. It was a great idea to use the rear of the baking tray to make this tartlets. It looked like a small sauce bowl.

Today, I used the balance of yesterday chocolate shortcrust to make this lemon tartlets. I did not have the tartlets tray and used small spoon as replacement instead.

We had our aunties from Kluang at home. My auntie complemented that the lemon tartlet was nicer than yesterday's chocolate tart and they were very presentable too. They liked the fresh and sourish taste of the lemon tartlets.

Strawberry tart in almond shortcrust
Another favourite with delicious garnishing.

I love the idea of having 3 different types of tart and tartlets using the same shortcrust, either almond or chocolate shortcrust. The best part is we can make the shortcrust pastry in advance, chill it and use it batch by batch. They were easy to make too.

02 July 2009

Farewell to Nina

After working with us for 3 years, Nina went back to Indonesia for good on Sun, 21 Jun 09.

I still remembered the first day I saw her at home on 24 Jun 06. She held my hand and greeted me “Mam”. At that time, Jared was only 2+ years old and Jaden wasn’t born yet.

9 months later, when I came home from hospital after delivered Jaden, Nina was so excited to welcome Jaden home. I was surprise to see the happiness in her. I thought she would be sighing having additional member to take care at home. After I delivered Jaden thru C-section, the place that I had the operation cut grew pimples and had discharge. She is the one who did the dressing of my operation wound on daily basis until the wound recovered.

Nina had been a very good helper, especially in taking care of our 2 boys. She reminded Jared on his homework, Kumon, practice music, his spelling and Ejaan and also reminded us to pick up Jared from Krista and Kumon. She followed through the flash cards and puzzled that I started off with Jaden, sing along songs with him, etc. She performed above average for expectation from a maid. She was our Nanny at home.

Nina was my baking partner or baking helper as she’s the one who washed up after I messed up the kitchen from baking.

It’s not that Nina was so perfect that we do not have any complaints about her but nobody is perfect and those were insignificant compared to what she had contributed to our family. Though I paid for her Raya new clothing, she would not buy any if she did not see any that she like or she would not choose expensive clothing just because I was the one paying for the bill.

Though we wish Nina could extend her permit and continue working with us, we are happy for Nina to return home to her family, especially to her 8 years old boy. Once she told me that every time she had good food in Malaysia, she would think of her son’s 3 main meals at home. When we coached Jared on his homework, she would wonder if her son did his homework. She first came to work for us due to financial issues and debts. Over these 3 years, she has settled her debts, bought a house and PS3 for her son and with some savings. Hubby and I advised her to be careful with her hard earned money.

Before Nina went back, I asked Nina if she has anything to buy back to Indonesia. I asked her to follow me to Ikano. While I was having my massage, I asked her to go for shopping for souvenirs for her family. She bought a pair of Bata shoes for herself, a pair of shoes for her son, Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 and Transformer T-shirts for her son. She told me that she was not comfortable wondering alone in shopping complex.

It was hard for my 2 boys as Nina had spent 3 years with them. During the transition of the old and new maid, when the new maid (Makcik) fed Jaden’s meal, Jaden said “Kakak’s turn”. He wanted Nina to feed him.

Jared was very sad though he didn’t express it. He gave a big hug to Nina just as we bid farewell to her. He didn’t say much, just kept on hugging Nina tight and didn’t want to let her go. Jared told me “If I be a good boy, will Kakak come back?” So sad :(

At LCCT departure hall, Nina said “Mam, ingat makan ubat, ya.” I found it so hard to bid farewell to Nina.

Nina called us upon her arrival in Indonesia. She was with her husband and son, on the way back to her home.

The other day, I asked JadenMakcik put you to sleep, ok? Jaden replied “No, thank you”

Last week over dinner, our new maid boiled soup with carrot. Jared had a sip and said “Makcik put the carrot in the wrong soup”. Hubby wondered what he’s complaining about. I had a sip of the soup and I got it. The new maid boiled winter melon soup which we usually boil it with red dates, etc and not carrot. Nina used to include carrot in ABC soup and not winter melon soup. Jared was so sharp and picky.

Ok, life has to go on for all of us. Nina, please take good care of yourself and … we miss you dearly!