Monday, July 27, 2009

A Masterchef Moment

Ok..not really. Atleast I wanted to feel like one. So does that count?

There's all this buzz about Masterchef and I want to be part of it too! -Or maybe the domestic goddess has struck?!

I enrolled myself into a baking class with a pastry chef. I always wanted to go to baking classes. The bonus? Hubby thought we'd go to this class together, like a baking date- since we havent had much time alone recently. And I loved every single moment of it - come on!..baking AND Hubby together!

We got really excited and started thinking about our Masterchef moment. I boasted that My tiramisu will turn out better. He boasted his will. Yes, we're extremely childish in these things. But to be completely honest with you, they both turned out lovely!

The best part of learning from a pastry chef is that you get all the tips and hints cookery books don't tell you. You also get to see all the nifty gadgets that professional cooks use. -Like the beater I can most probably fit my nephew in or the oven that can make a million pizzas. No exaggeration!

Guess who was dreaming of KitchenAids after that session? C'mon! The chef recommended it. Its a must have.

And guess who proclaimed she should study in a culinary school later AND change professions? hmm..

So, many eggs and a complimentary slice from the chef later..

I present to you Tiramisu.

Sponge fingers totally soaked in coffee mixture with the lightest cheese...Oh..i'm melting. ..

The other bonus? I'm going again this weekend...I'll show you what I whip up then!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hello Housewife!

I've succumbed into total domesticity. Not the glorious type mind you.

I'm the dag. The dag with clips in a never-ending mess of hair, big frompy shirts and shorts.

So I apologise if you saw me last night dashing for the shops in my unsightly attire. Out of all the days, I was wearing my sooo-1980's bike shorts. Great look! I prayed that no one I know will see me and I'm sure if someone I knew did see me, they'd pretend they didnt know me. I'm so embarassing.

'Cause seriously?..if I took another glance at the mirror I'd think I ran into a mock. I looked like all the other 50 year old ladies. -Not that I'm saying there's anything wrong with 50 year olds...but when you're still in your 20's [ok..late 20s] and you dress like 50s..theres most probably something seriously wrong and you need to go to Oprah for a major makeover. speak for all the shorts/bike shorts/leggings/ over sized tees and whatever domestic fashion comes- these are super comfy. I cook and clean without worrying about anything and if I dirty it, so be it.

Look, I know there are pretty housewives that do all that and stay immaculate. -I really envy them. But I'm just not that type. So if you come to my place out of the blue and you see a really daggy me, just be thankful I dont have curlers in my hair and a shower cap over that.

..Well...if you do see that sight its because you really dropped in at a bad time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Doughnut Muffins

Obviously my last post didnt work very well.

I didnt go to a bakery store after that..but I decided to bake myself some Doughnut Muffins. Yes, you heard me- muffins that taste like doughnuts!

Basically- I was craving cinnamon. Why on earth Cinnamon? I dont quite have a answer for that. But I was dreaming of cinnamon sugar on warm soft stuff. Oohh...Stuff. Can you smell it already?!

Blogs do me good. I found the perfect recipe to satisfy my craving. Something that wouldnt be too much of a hassle and could keep well. I got inspired from Lori -a food critique-writer based in Philippines and heads a blog called Dessert Comes First . I later got the recipe here.

I altered it a bit- really to my convenience and not because I thought there was anything wrong with it. Then I did a few test runs to make sure my cinnamon tasted right. Yes. This was what I was looking for- you know how you expect something to taste a certain way and you want it to taste exactly how you imagined it? Well..I go through that..and this time it worked.

Cinnamon. Cinnamon. I love cinnamon. Notice how I even had exta cinnamon by the side!

They taste really good warm, though I'd like it to be a tad more moist. They're doughnuts minus frying [and the hole in the middle] so that should make you [and me] feel heaps better.

So now I have another 20 odd doughnut muffins sitting in my freezer so that when the kiddies [and me] need some snack we'll just heat it up and dip it in cinnamon sugar.

Arent I the perfect example of a healthy household? Sugar infused household.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Note To Self

Dear Liya,

If you are on a sugar and carb high, please do NOT, I repeat do NOT run into the bakery store.

I know all morning you've been craving for some sugared foods and didnt think much about your waistline and your oompa-loompa butt..but for the sake of your future-possibly-could-be-squashed-by-grandma-grandkids, please kindly retrict your butt size- atleast so it can still be contained within a Air-Asia plane seat.

I know this..

and this..

look really good. But it just aint doing wonders for you. The oompa-loompa you.

So next time when you're back on cravings, please read this entry again. AND refrain from going into bakeries. Woman, you just dont have much restraint.


Sincerely, lovingly yours:
The now sugar and carb drenched Liya.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Foodie Blogs
* The above pic was taken from Tasty Kitchen's website. Doesnt it just beg for you to eat it? Even if it makes you have a oompa-loompa tummy with a oompa-loompa butt?...Ok..moving on...
Food and I- Me and Food- Food + Me..whichever is grammatically correct. We're just buds. Best Buds. So naturally, I steer to food blogs.

I do love the old recipe book- I can flip through these over and over again. But with this techno-savy time, I love a good food blog too.

I love how food blogs refer to something they've made, or they've tried. It's more personal. And most of the time, the recipe comes from someone's kitchen. A mum, baker, sister, grandma, dad, brother, kiddo, oldie...whomever, from wherever. It doesnt have to be a great chef from somewhere exotic. Its another person loving food. Just like me.

So these are a few more foodie blogs I love, I'll add them to the side bar soon so they're easier to find. Have fun, and hope you dont broaden your waistlines like me:-

Dessert Comes First-

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Video-ed Card

A few weeks ago I made Kee Sitt & Sharon of Wedding Story a thank you card. I wrote about it here when they posted our wedding highlights video online.

Being professional videographers and photographers..they ofcourse made a nifty little video and took nicer pics too [look above]! I've never seen a video of a card..they made it look so interesting. Have a peep on their website!

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Previous Life

A few years ago I decided to pack my bags and leave Perth for a new challenge.

At that time, I didn't like how my life was heading and knew I had to do something about it. I guess I was a new graduate, just came out from a bad relationship and was pumped with adrenaline for some major life move.

After a few interviews, I decided to go with a architecture firm right in the middle of the city. It seemed as though they had some interesting projects and the firm looked established. Maybe this was one of my biggest mistakes.

Deep down, I wanted to go with another firm. This other multi-architecture award winning firm in the surburbias. The boss that interviewed me seemed really humble and loved my hand-drawing skills. The people there seemed nice. He showed me the projects they were doing and I fell in love. The problem, the office was kind of in the middle of nowhere and the surroundings didnt look as safe for a single girl new to the city.
After a long deliberation, I chickened out of one of my dream architecture firms and instead opted for one that I seemed capable to manage. I was wrong. So wrong. I was young.

Physically, I looked like I had everything. I lived in the heart of the city and had a great studio apartment. My office was in the ump-teen story of a high rise building and the firm had huge projects. My relative and friends brought me out every weekend. Every morning I walked through KLCC park..

..this is where I regularly shopped [not the least bit economical mind you]. It all looked great.

But mentally I was drained. Leaving the office at 5pm was impossible- Leaving the office earliest at 10pm was the norm. Every night. Then I'd walk back to my studio apartment and had dinner waaay too late only to wake up early the next morning and start the same routine- Alone. It was exhausting. I was lonely. My body was stuffed up. It took any curiosity I had for architecture away from me. I chaired meetings with ridiculous contractors, the engineers had changed numerous times and office hours were spent labouring over a million letters that seemed somewhat unnecessary. My boss was terribly ill-tempered and sometimes violent. Most of my colleagues were pretentious. But I told myself this was all my choice.

By the end of the year I couldn't take it anymore and resigned. I was diagnosed with depression and sleep anxiety. I was given sleeping pills. I couldnt let it go on. It was effecting me badly. My parents knew it took my persona away, people around me witnessed my deteriorating health and I knew I was fast becoming a person I didnt like. I became overly protective of myself; I became selfish; I became obnoxious because if I didnt protect myself who would?

Everytime I go to Kuala Lumpur I'm reminded of the life I use to have. But looking back, it wasnt all bad. It made me grow so much as a person and moulded me at the right time. It made me treasure my family even more and allowed me to meet a guy who's now my husband.

Today I lead a much happier life. And whenever I am faced with any hurdles, I remind myself of my previous life- a life that has made me a better person.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shoes with a capital S!

If you go beyond staring at my stumpy fat toes, you'll notice I have a thing with shoes. Ahh shoes.

If you see me everyday, you'll notice my shoe of choice are flip flops-Currently Fit Flops to be exact. They're suppose to make my legs work harder AND firm up my bum AND was on Oprah's favourites list ok? But bleh..dun think I do enough walking for that.

I wear heels to the office but change immediately to my flip-flops until my clients notice how daggy I am. On weekends I basically live in them too.

So why do I still buy shoes that I dont really wear? Thats a mystery I'm yet to solve. They just seem to shout 'Buy Me! Buy me!' in the shops. -Yes, I have that strange little voice in my head that follows me to the shops.

These ones? Make me feel like Cinderella.

These ones are ooh so comfy.

And there's the black pumps u saw in the first pic too. It's all too hard for me, so I decided to buy two of them since the black and gold ones were a tad big. [They were on sale...and thats a very magical word]. is so difficult isnt it?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

KL Food

I'm pretty consistent with Kuala Lumpur food- I tend to eat at the same places since I know its gonna be good.

I always go to Dragon-I (Pavillion KL). They've got good Xiao Loong Baos, custard buns and noodles. I also love their salted egg prawns. On average, Hubby and I go there atleast twice in one trip. I blogged about them here before.

Another one I always go to is Madam Kwans (Pavillion KL). You've got to try their Nasi Bojani!-For the tenth millionth time. The bonus this time? We got to meet Madam Kwan in person, but I was too chicken to ask her for a photo. Instead I just waved good-bye.

Ahhh..and we dont miss going to Tony Roma's either. It's all around the world, but somehow we really like the KL one. They had this 13-inch rib promotion going on and even had a competition for who ate the fastest! -Ther winner got one year of free dining in Tony Romas. Geeze.

Here's a newbie..Bavarian Bierhaus. I definitely had a good Bratwurst with sauerkraut. It was a accidental discovery since our hotel was nearby and it looked busy. Busy = good food no?

And sometimes the simple things are the best. Fresh Strawberries. They're hard to come by over here, and super expensive even if they are available. In KL it's a tad cheaper. Love them.

I know I'm missing out alot of other great stuff in KL..but you ought to know I was kind of time and transport constrained. I HATE public transport in KL. I mean HATE. My inner demon has unleashed to deal with taxi drivers before and the KTM has stopped on me before.

Someone should offer me a job to try food all around the world, ofcourse they'd have to hire me a personal trainer too...offers anyone?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Design Forum, Datum & Archidex 2009

I was in Kuala Lumpur a few days ago for the 10th annual architecture exhibition and convention.

What do you get when theres a sea of architects, designers, tradesmen, suppliers and other people related to the construction field?

It kind of goes like this: Code black for architects + designers, Code Colourful for all others.

I dont know why exactly. We just like being in black. Theres the occasional white. Maybe we think we look more designer-ish though I wouldnt know why.

The forums ran over three days and it was so humbling to see what other architects are achieving. Inspirational. Totally overwhelmed.

Guess who I went zonkers over? Two guys really.

Winy Maas from MVRDV. Come on, it's MVRDV! Everyone knew them from school. Infact, my first architecture book was written by them. In my wee-little days, I told my art teacher I wanted to be a architect [geez I was ambitious]. So when I won the art award, he presented me with SMLXL. Cool huh?

Anyway..lets not degress....

Well, Winy -like i REALLY know him.....sigh. Besides being immensely insiprational and totally wow-some, he's super funny. What's not to love about this guy? Come on, who would show slides of pigs making love in a architecture convention? In a Muslim country?..Get my point?

His approach really re-examined the forum topic of Basic Design. The way he talked about his projects used basic ideas that translated/tranformed later into quite artistic expressions. Way cool. I'd like to live in that blue house on top of a roof!

And Zhang Ke? He's from Standard Architecture in China. He's brutally honest and way funny too. So I have a thing for funny guys. I loved how his approach to architecture always related immensely to the site.

And as you can tell, I was trying to zoom in on both guys- failing ofcourse. Too bad I was sitting right at the back. battery is charged. Ready for another year.

ps. Sorry about the blurred images. No excuses. Just bad photography.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Something-Don in Highschool

I had this for lunch the other day. It reminded me of the Katsudon bentos I had during highschool.

Those days, I was allowed to go to the city on the weekends, and somehow always ended up in a Japanese restaurant with my friends - I think it was called Sumo..and doesnt exist anymore [correct me if i'm wrong.]
Come to think of it, they didnt have alot of choices, its was either something-Don or some soba noodles. But it was a novelty. The novelty of eating Japanese food in a small shop tucked in a corner of some city mall and going a place where everybody went.
After this I went through the Jaws phase- another Japanese restaurant that had a revolving sushi track, a bubble tea phase, a Korean food phase and a dim sum phase.
I'm still having food issues.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

House: Another Roof

My house isnt big, but I've got a tiled roof, a glass roof, a concrete roof and a metal roof. -Sounds like a mess really.

All construction and drawing issues aside, my metal roof is getting put up. When I took the photo, they had just put the metal frame up and haven't done the corners properly, hence theres a huge gap between the two metal C-channels.
As you can see, the base coat is being painted too. After my last house post, I had quite a few people asking me [with rather shocked faces] whether I would really paint my house with those colours. No. Not that I have anything against colours, but its just not me.

And yes, construction has been pretty slow. We've been short of workers and they cant do much even if I rush them. I don't like rushing them unless I have to- because it means the workmanship fails and I get unsatisfied at the end.
I can't wait till everything comes together. Its like a puzzle thats yet to be completed.