Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tick Tock, Tick Tock...

Widget says, " Only 21 days left before trip to Malaysia."

Why does that feel like an eternity...and yet, when I think of all that I need to do before I leave...not?

Anyway...Wishing all off you a Happy New Year and all the best of things to come in the year 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

If My Head Was Not Attached To My Body.....

This was one of my father's favorite sayings when I was a child.....unfortunately, it still applies today. True, I am slightly better organized and do lose things a LOT less (it gets a little painful when you start paying for your own possessions), I still get a little scatterbrained sometimes and "misplace" things. It's not really lost, but just...misplaced...the irony of which is that said "lost" item appears a few months later when you least expect it and have bought another replacement. Yes, I do my part to keep the flagging US economy going....and no siree....I don't do it on credit! See, mom and dad, I did learn something from you, after all.

Okay, so...the currently misplaced item is my battery charger for my digital camera...gasp! I know, this is why I have been unable to blog my home cooked meals lately. And I have been cooking a lot more because I am currently on a health kick. Funny isn't it, that my "health kicks" always coincide with an upcoming trip home to Asia? You see....eating healthy does have the wonderful added side effect of weight loss for me. So, in anticipation of people back home that have no shame saying..."Wah...U.S food it so good ah? You so fat already!" or "Your face is so round, you look so...prosperous." And more, the completely shameless and clueless ones will start pinching your cheeks or even worse...tummy flab roll. Stop already! Being a size 2 in the US means NOTHING in Asia where skinny, anorexic looking girls are the norm! Well still, to give the haters their due, I am usually seen stuffing my face in Penang and eating twice the normal portions of food so I can why they cannot resist the applying the adage, it takes a village to raise a non-obese child.
*Scratching head, wondering how I got from misplacing camera's battery charger to this rant*

Anyway, I'm making Asparagus Stir Fried with Tiger Prawns In Chili Paste today. Sounds good and it's unbelievable simple. I'll post a recipe and pics when I find a solution to said problem above. However, don't hold your breath.

On a completely different but more important note, please support the Menu for Hope 4 that ends December 21st. It's a charity fundraiser organized by the fabulous Pim of Chez Pim that supports the UN Food Programme.

This year, they are raising money to feed the hungry schoolchildren of Lesotho. Since I am a big proponent of keeping kids in school, I entered the raffle too and did my part. Ya gotta walk the talk, honey! So I am a little late, since the raffle ends on Friday but it only takes a few minutes of your time and it's unbelievably easy. The hard part is picking out the amazing prizes. That took me a while. So don't wait any longer and get to Firstgiving and start donating! They have raised $45, 520 at posting time. Results will be posted at Chez Pim on January 9th.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

3 AM Food Craving

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

Why do I do this to myself? I come home from work at 3 AM and what do I do? I sit in front of the computer, read food blogs and then look through my archives of Penang food pics and then suffer. I am craving this right now with a capital K!!!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Penang cuisine ( well...probably not many.. because the 4 people who read my blog already are familiar with it), it's a dish called Chee Cheong Fun, Pig Intestine Noodles would be a direct translation. The moniker is derived from the rolled up appearance of the rice noodle which resembles intestine and not because it's made from pig parts. It's actually harmless white rice noodles, steamed in sheets and then rolled up after being oiled. The rolls of noodles are stacked up in a glass case, usually until a portion is ordered by a customer and then it is steamed and then cut into bite sized pieces.

Then the seller ladles on prawn paste, tee cheow (hoisin sauce), shallot oil, chili paste and then tops it with toasted sesame seeds (Bamming Emeril style optional) and serves it up with a flourish.

I always ask for the noodles to be unfurled prior to saucing because I like my noodles to have maximum surface exposure to the delicious sauce prior to stuffing my face. As children, my brother and I took utmost delight in unfurling each rolled up piece of noodles slowly and then stirring it into the sauce, to the dismay of our dining companions, the adults. Can you imagine how long it would take us to eat a plate?

A morsel in your mouth reveals a tangy, sweet and fiery taste, all at once from the amazing sauce. The soft chewy and silky noodles are an amazing canvas for the delicious finger and plate licking good sauce.

We like to eat this dish in the morning at MaCallister Lane in Penang. Can anyone help with the exact location of this stall? Update: Thanks to Tine who says this stall is very hard to miss because it's located near the junction as you turn into MaCallister Lane.

Now going to bed, very frustrated.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Godsister Should Love This

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

Oh boy... I just microwaves 2 peeled bananas in a bowl, mashed them with a fork, added some brown sugar (no gula melaka, alas) and a pat of butter. Stirred it together and ate it all up. It's 4:53am. the mighty have fallen.

Just occurred to me that the addition of a drop of pure vanilla extract may not be amiss.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Witty Repartee...NOT!

I was walking down the hall leading to the emergency room last night when I passed two nurses in their winter coats, in the middle of their shift (obviously going out to smoke cigarettes). We exchanged hellos and as we were parting ways, I said playfully, "Hey, you know, smoking is bad for you."

To which one replied, "Yeah, so is being a bitch"


I was so stunned because that comment came out of the blue that I could only call out, "Hey, that was uncalled for!"

In my fantasy world, without missing a beat, I would have immediately volleyed back, "Then you'd better quit, shouldn't you" or "It takes one to know one" or better yet, "Oh fancy that, a talking female dog!"

In the real world, I fumbled...hahaha...not that I would have been that rude anyway. My father has always said, "You do not have to sink to their level to fight them," an advice that I've taken to heart. Still, I sometimes wish that I did have a quicker, wittier tongue.

UPDATE: I went to work today and was told by said nurse above that she meant that being a bitch was not good for her.....not me. A fellow colleague had asked her about our little exchange and suddenly realized that her comment could have been perceived as insulting to me and apologized. Since I smiled at her as soon as I saw her today (even before hearing the explanation), she realized that I had no hard feelings. Alles gute!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dear Anthony Bourdain..

Dear Mr Anthony Bourdain,

I have been a big fan of your wonderful show and acerbic wit ever since I stumbled upon No Reservations 2 years ago. I loved the fact that you've shown us that eating well does not necessarily equate to paying exorbitant prices. Unless of course, you're talking about El Bulli, for which I would gladly sell my left pinky toe to finance the meal. I am extremely fond of all my toes, I mean, how else would my Manolos fit properly...ok, who am I kidding, I don't own any Manolos...but I digress....

You have brought the art of gastronomy to the street level and have used street food as a conduit to exploring and understanding a foreign culture. I do salute you!

I could barely contain my excitement when the episode of No Reservations: Malaysia aired. As a Malaysian, I am inordinately proud of our cuisine. Where else in the world can you find food with Malay, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese, English, Thai and Indonesian influences, often along the same street or square, reflecting the multi ethnic population of it's citizens?

However, to my horror, I barely heard a mention of Penang Island during the one hour episode. This is an outrage! Penang is famous for it's uber-delicious food. It's one of the best states in Malaysia to eat in. Forget the wild pigs in Borneo. You will weep at the first taste of Char Koay Teow. I fear that you may never forgive yourself for missing out what may have been the best hawker food and seafood that you have ever tasted. I therefore must insist that you recount the votes...I mean, visit Penang Island and gorge yourself with the amazing array of gastronomic delights that awaits you. I will volunteer to be your guide. Consider yourself invited!

Yours sincerely,

p/s Offer valid only from Jan 20th to Feb 24th. Airfare and accommodations not included. Sponsor is not liable for any gastronomic related illnesses (ie overeating,unintended weight gain, elevated cholesterol, depression after leaving Penang).

Sunday, December 09, 2007


He left for Penang, Malaysia yesterday.

My Widget tells me that I have 41 more days to go.
It just seems like a loooong time.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!!!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
And a fire would be delighful,
And I can't go anywhere, I know,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

It doesn't show signs of stopping,
And in fact it's also sleeting,
Driving visibility is way down low,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

I will actually have a good night,
Because I don't have to go out in the storm;
Not going to work tonight,
Thank God coz I'll actually be warm.

I know the ER will be busy,
Full of drunks and crazies,
But as long as I don't have to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.........
(sung to the tune of Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow)

Milwaukee is currently experiencing temperatures of -1°C with gusting winds up
to 45 km/hr, which makes it feel like -7°C. We are being hit by freezing rain and heavy
snow right now but looking at the Weather Channel's doppler map, I know ice is coming soon. Aren't YOU glad you don't live here? My fridge and freezers are stocked up in case I can't get out of the house..hehe

P/s Will update picture when possible.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cashew Chicken

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

I was reminded two days ago that real bloggers actually update their I took the opportunity to test out Rasa Malaysia's Kung Pao Chicken recipe that had me almost drooling onto my keyboard. For years, I've heard of Kung Pao chicken in Chinese-American restaurants and thought that it was a made up dish....kinda like Chop Suey. However, after reading RM's blog about cooking authentic Kung Pao Chicken, I realized, "Hey, my grandma makes this dish!" It was similar to a dish that my grandma calls Cashew Chicken and does NOT in the slightest bit resemble the Americanized version of Kung Pao Chicken.

The pleasant memories flooding my tastebuds prompted me to make this dish tonight. I adapted RM's recipe, substituting cashew nuts for peanuts, added sesame oil and oyster sauce to the dish. I also cheated on the steps and cooked it all at once instead of cooking the chicken and sauce in two steps and then combining them.

Cashew Chicken

5 pieces of boneless & skinless chicken thighs
1 large handful of roasted and salted cashew nuts
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 stalk diagonally sliced scallion

8-12 small dried red chillies
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 thumb sized knob of thinly julienned fresh ginger
1/2 of a small yellow onion, sliced

Chicken Marinade:
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoon ShaoXing wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Pinch of black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3-4 tablespoons water (depending on how thick or runny you'd like the sauce)
1 tablepoon corn starch
1 tablespoon ShaoXing wine

  1. Prepare marinade and sauce in separate containers.
  2. Clean chicken meat, pat dry and cut into 1cm cubes. Place in container with marinade and mix well. Set aside for 1/2 hr.
  3. Heat the cooking oil in a large pan/wok on High setting until the oil is smoking. Add garlic and fry till golden brown.
  4. Add scallions, ginger, chilies, onions and cashew nuts to pan. Fry together until the aromatics are soft and fragrant.
  5. Add the chicken meat and cook until all of the pieces are cooked through
  6. Pour in the sauce and stir-fry until sauce thickens and coats the chicken pieces well.
  7. Add a pinch of sliced scallions "Emeril" style after plating for style and drama.
We ate it with steamed jasmine/long grain rice. It was GRREATTT!!!! The bf gave it two thumbs up :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Dream of Blue Skies, Warm Seas and Good Food

Sitting in a cold lonely room,
Wishing for some sunshine and warmth,
Reminiscing about lovelier times,
Can you blame my longing heart?

I will return to you one day.......Greece, I love you....

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Murtabak Fever

I just can't help it, I want to eat this dish so badly!!! According to the countdown clock on my dashboard, I have 94 more days to my Malaysian trip. This is going to be one super exciting trip because I am :

a)Going home to see my parents and grandma. Always a pleasure.
b)Going to be a bridesmaid to my bestie, Tine.
c)Finally going home for Chinese New Year (Feb 7th 2008) after missing out on the ang pow action for 7 years.
d)Going to take a short family vacation to Perth to see my brother. Tried to squeeze Melbourne into the Australian trip but it was too much for me to handle. Yes, I am wimpy. You try sitting on a plane (and in airports) for 32 donkey hours from the US to Penang and see how well you handle it.
e)Going to eat Murtabak...with curry and the red onions (See dish above). It's a large piece of pulled dough that is stretched paper thin and then filled with a mixture of minced meat, seasonings, onion and garlic folded into a mixture of beaten egg before being folded like an envelope to seal in the filling and griddle fried until golden brown.

And wash it down guessed it..... Teh tarik!

Watch how they make it here. What's not to like?

Friday, October 12, 2007

What City Do You Belong In?

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique soul like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.

Ya know, I would have guessed Paris. I suppose I am a little colonialist at heart.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Beautiful Ending To A Beautiful Day

The bf and I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and went for a walk last week. we were awed by this beautiful scene. I can't believe I live here!! This picture was taken at Lake Drive, Milwaukee.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Finish this sentence...

I don't usually do memes but I was inspired to do this one from MayNi, ingenuously sent via email:

1. I've come to realize that my last kiss was.... going to have to last me 2 weeks until he returns again...sob
2. I am listening to... Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley
3. I talk... like I have verbal diarrhea
4. I love.... eating and dressing up to go out.
5. My best friends are.... more precious than the rarest gems...John,MayNi, Christine, Lia, Doris, Anastasia, Georgia, Ming, Jamie and Wans
6. My Car is... a beautiful Honda Accord that was the biggest purchase of my life....and I love it!
7. My love life.... is blessed. And also very private :)
8. I hate it when people ask.... me why I speak English so well? or why don't I have an accent since I'm Malaysian or my personal favorite...How can you be Malaysian Chinese? I always reply, "Have you heard of African-Americans? Chinese-Americans? Polish-Americans? Do I need to continue?"
9. Love is.... what keeps me going. I am a hopeless romantic.
10. Marriage is... what you make of it.
11. Somewhere, someone is thinking... why is smoking not banned yet? Ok, I confess, I'm the one thinking that.
12. I'm always... running late. It's a disease
13. I have a secret cheesy crush on..... Colin's the damn English accent
14. My cell phone... is my constant companion. It's my phone, alarm clock, calculator, calender and sometimes camera.
15. When I wake up in the morning... I snuggle deeper into the sheets and blankets.
16. When I go to bed at night... I call the bf.
17. Right now I am thinking about... what to eat for lunch. I hate going to work at 11am because I never know whether to eat breakfast or lunch.
18. Babies are.... especially adorable when you can give them back to their parents at the end of the day.
19. I get on myspace.... ?
20. Today I... go to work and think positive thoughts. Okay, maybe I'll pray at work. Constantly
21. Tonight I will... sleep well after I hit the gym
22. Tomorrow I will... clean up my house...I have said that everyday for the past week :p
23. I really want to... learn French, move to Europe, exercise more, ride horses, sing soprano, travel the world and love my job.
24. Someone that will most likely repost this is... Christine..because I am tagging her to do this on her blog.

Christine, you heard're it!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thank You Christine !!!

Oh for those of you who are admiring my new blog design, the credit should go to my bestie Christine, whom despite wedding preparations, visa applications and work stress had kindly offered to chng (pimp) my blog. I'll try to work hard and blog more so her efforts aren't wasted on a lazy blogger like me.

Kudos to Tine and thanks so much.

It's WARM out!!!!

It's in the eighties today and I am going OUTSIDE!!!!! I am so excited for the last hurrah of warm weather this week that I can't wait to go out and enjoy the day. My friend, G and I will be going out for some good eat in a few minutes. Since we are in a month with an "R" in it, we are going to the Milwaukee Public Market for some nice, plump oysters and mussels. That's right.....I have finally found the seafood motherload.

The seafood vendor, St Paul Fish company recently expanded their stall to include an oyster bar and grill. Needless to say, I was overjoyed at the prospect of not having to go to some atas restaurant to pay $15.95 for a plate of mussel appetizers. I am going to go this time, armed with my camera so I can take some pics of the lovely food we'll have. Oh dear....I hope G brings her appetite.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Banana Attack!!

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

I was rummaging through the kitchen when I spied 4 bananas that had somehow eluded my notice when they were optimally yellow and now, they were just 4 sad brown bananas. I thought briefly of chucking them in the trash but the notion quickly discarded by the heavy sensation of guilt that settled upon my shoulders. I was after all, brought up in Asia where it is a SIN to waste food. "Think about all the starving people in Somalia," my mother used to say.

Imagine my horror when I finally met some Somalians in college who turned out to be the biggest food wasters that I had ever met (until I lived in America, that is. Marquette dorm students take the cake). Luckily, these days, she never has to push us to eat. In fact, she's mostly telling me to stop stuffing my face!

So, I decided to make banana bread. I found a bunch of recipes online but alas, a quick survey of my kitchen revealed baking powder, no lemon juice, no walnuts, no mixer and loaf pan. Somehow, my pan mysteriously vanished.

Anyway, I did the best I could and adapted a recipe that I will share, because the final product turned out awesome. It's simple,quick and does not require a mixer....just needs some elbow grease :) Instead of a loaf pan, I used an 8x8 pyrex pan. I call it the puddingcake because of the resulting dense, creamy and moist texture. Try it out, it's pretty much foolproof.

Banana PuddingCake

4 very ripe bananas
2 handfuls of California raisins, soaked in water or rum
2 heaping tbs of Greek yogurt
3/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
4 oz (1 stick) softened butter
4 eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add sugar, butter, vanilla extract and salt. Mix well
  4. Beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add half the egg mixture and half the flour, mix well and repeat with remaining ingredients. I used a whisk.
  6. Stir in the yogurt and raisins and then pour the batter into a well greased and floured 8x8 inch pan.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the puddingcake.
  8. Allow to cool and then dig in.

Personally, I think it would be kick-ass if served a la mode with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Damn, no ice cream!

Friday, September 21, 2007


For the past few days, my photo editor software has been psycho and decides to have an "error" whenever I try to save edited work. Yes, edited photos that I have been working on for 10-30 mins. Isn't that incredibly frustrating? I spend precious time working on my pictures with nothing to show for it. Well, I guess that I'm lucky it didn't wipe out my original photos.

I WAANNNT Photoshop......even if I have no idea how to use it. Camedia Master from Olympus just doesn't cut it anymore and iPhoto is almost identical....except that it has the "retouch" option so I can ch'ng my pimples imperfections away. you get to hear me whine today but have nothing to look at. Sorry :P


Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Breakfast of Champions

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

Growing up, I have always been lectured about the importance of eating breakfast. It's touted to kick start your body into full gear and feed your brain, so to speak. I remember a teacher in high school rambling on and on about needing to eat breakfast, even going as far as having those who did not confess to eating breakfast that particular morning singled out and ridiculed. Yes, I am talking about Miss Ang.

And speaking of breakfast, nobody does it as well as Malaysian. We are champion breakfast eaters. Where else in the world would you find people who eat everything from nasi lemak (coconut steamed rice with anchovies and boiled egg) to curry noodles to chee cheong fun (steamed rice noodles with fermented shrimp paste, sesame oil and chili paste)?

One of my favorite things to eat for breakkie is Hainanese French Toast with Malaysian Kopi. The sugary sweetness is enough to induce diabetes but it is oh so good....and actually quite okay to eat once in a while.

I like the sweet aroma of Malaysian roasted coffee (with margarine, salt, sugar and sometimes chicory) paired with creamy condensed milk bright and early in the morning. It gives me a reason to get out of bed.

The French Toast was completely soaked through with the egg-milk-sugar mixture and tasted delicious. My only complaint was that the surface was not crispy enough.

Msian coffee+French Toast, by their powers combined=Simply delicioso!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Summer's Over

My mom complained that she is tired of seeing my feet whenever she logs onto my blog. Summer's over and so should the hiatus......but I feel so lazy after NOT blogging for several months. Besides that, I am swamped with work and life while makes it really difficult to find time to sit in front of the computer for hours at a time. Yes, actually takes me hours to compose the post and then edit the pictures. Now try doing that after 10 brutal hours at the ER, being abused by screaming get the picture.

Yet, I love my blog too much to just let it rot. So, my solution is to make a little compromise. I will continue to write mostly about food and I will include interesting things that I come across during my daily life and travels. Of course, you get to hear my rants as well :)

This way, I can continue to keep updating my blog more frequently and you get to hear all about my life. You have been warned!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Hi dear readers,
Summer is officially here and it's BBQ season. Finally we have consistently warm weather, although it was in the 60s last weekend (go figure). Anyway, it's too beautiful outside and we can finally sit beside the pool to cookout, have a party, swim, bike, picnic and have long walks by the lake. Thus, my blog has been suffering from abandonment. Knowing it's Wisconsin, the nice warm weather only lasts a few months and I do not want to sit and blog when I can be doing a billion things outside. I apologize to those who do read my blog daily but I'll be back in full force when it's cooler outside....believe me, it won't be long.
Wisconsin summers are very short and we are only warm (in the 80s) for a few short weeks but we take full advantage of the warm days. We have Summerfest, Jazz in the Park, Farmer's Market, Bastille Days and many more events going on every summer. If you're in the vicinity, do check out some of the event. You won't regret it.
Oh....we are going to Six Flags on the 21st!!!!!!!! Wheeee!!!!!!

View of the McKinley Marina from my apartment. Ah.......summertime.......I love it!!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A ShoutOut To My Wonderful Friends

It was my birthday last Thursday and since it was a weekday, we or rather, I did not have any celebratory plans. At the most, the bf and I were going for dinner and then, I was planning to go to Jazz In The Park with the bf for some socializing. Hahaha.....someone once said something about the best laid plans.....

I think I once mentioned to the bf that you HAVE to have at least a birthday cake to celebrate the anniversary of your birth. Since I came to the US in 2001, I have not had a birthday cake and I really, really missed having one. The wonderful bf remembered and this year, after dinner at Coast (because the last attempt to have dinner at Coast went awry--long story that deserves another post), he told me that we have to go to a friend's house to drop off an Ipod car kit adapter. Innocent enough.

Then, when I walked into my friend's apartment, I saw a cake (not just any cake, it was a STRAWBERRY cake) with lit candles and balloons in the air and the best part of all, my closest friends!!!! They were all shouting "Surprise" and "Happy Birthday". And this is, was one of the best birthday's ever!!!!

To the mastermind: I love you very much!!! Thanks for so many wonderful years together.

To the rest of the party planners: Thank you very much for planning this. I am very touched by your effort and grateful that you are my friends. My friend, L once told me, "At home you rely on your parents, outside the home, you rely on your friends." You guys are definitely people that I can count on through thick and thin and I am so proud to call you my friends.

Thanks again.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Happy Happy Birthday!!!!

To my dearest friends, and in birth order: Tine, Misery and Wans

Wishing all of you a very Happy Birthday from me. I am so honored to be your friend and to have shared such an awesome experience in Sec School. I know distance has kept us apart for several years but I still cherish our friendship. May each of you achieve your dreams and goals in life and find everlasting happiness. I miss you all very much. After all, where else can you find a bunch of friends who are all both Monkeys and Geminis?

Photo source:

Milwaukee Downtown Dining Week-Yanni 5/31/07

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

The bf and I went on a double date with another couple for Downtown Dining Week (DDW) to Yanni's Restaurant. I've been to Yanni's several times for dinner and have always been impressed by the quality of their food and service. Thus, when I found out that they were participating in the DDW events, I immediately called to make a reservation. Let's just say that we were very happy with our dining experience.

The service was excellent, as usual and our waiter was very attentive. Since, I already had planned out my meal one week in advance, it didn't take long to take our orders....yes, usually I am the one holding up the table with my indecisivenes.

I had the crab cake for my appetizer, beef tenderloin for my entree and the chocolate ice cream Jubilee. The bf had the soup, the fish and again ice cream. Our other dining partners each chose something different and we all shared.For 20 dollars, you get to choose 3 items from the menu below, one from each category:

- Soup du Jour -- Chef's inspiration

- Wood Stone Baked Crab Cake -- Single jumbo lump crab cake with spicy dijonaise and remoulade sauces

- House Salad -- Mixed greens, radishes, cucumbers, eggs, grape tomatoes, carrots, croutons and choice of dressing

- Beef Tenderloin Tournelle -- 5 oz. petite fillet of beef served with sauteed spinach, truffle potato croquette and shiitake Madeira sauce

- Mahi Mahi -- Served baked with steamed vegetables in a champagne garlic lemon herb sauce

- Chicken Trio -- Three chicken breasts, marinated and sauteed with fresh herbs, garlic and spices, and served with sweet potato mash, sauteed spinach and three individual sauces: lemon cream, Madeira and apricot

- Ice Cream Jubilee -- Vanilla or Chocolate ice cream topped with a cherry jubilee sauce

The waiter brought out the bread basket and we all dug in. The bread was served with several kinds of flavored butter and a dipping oil. My favorite was the strawberry butter. I totally pigged out on the butter and bread more than intended.

The bf's soup of the day. I can't even remember what it was but I was too busy enjoying my crab cakes and didn't really pay attention to his appetizer. The other couple also had the crab cake.

The absolutely scrumplicious Wood Stone Baked Crab Cake. It was served with 2 different sauces, a Dijon mustard sauce and a remoulade sauce. I liked both sauces equally but the Dijon sauce seemed to bring out the flavor of the crab meat better compared to the remoulade. I really took my time rolling the briny crustacean meat in my sounds gross but tastes like heaven. B, my friend appeared to have immensely enjoyed her crab cake as well.

Now for the entrees:

The bf had the baked Mahi-Mahi in a lemon sauce preparation and liked it very much. I had a small bite of his dish and discovered that the fish was very fresh and did not have a "fishy" smell or taste to it. I think the lemon sauce did help to mask the original smell of the fish and made the dish more palatable. Those of you who know me know that I do not like fish, ...well... except for, you know, sushi. B's bf also had this dish and have it his stamp of approval.

B had the Chicken Trio, a serving of 3 generous pieces of grilled chicken breast, accompanied by 3 different sauces. It also came with a portion of mashed sweet potatoes, topped with sauteed spinach. The dish was so generous that she was unable to finish it alone. Even after some help from us, she had to box it up to go.

My entree was absolutely a treat. It was a perfectly grilled 5 ounce beef tenderloin cooked to medium rare and came on top of a potato croquette. The sauce was slightly sweet and very can definitely taste the Madeira and the woodsy mushroom in the sauce. I loved every bite of the tender meat that melted in my mouth.

I was not impressed with the dessert at all so I didn't even bother to take a picture of it. I've never had ice cream jubilee before but I am so never ordering that if I had a choice. After the magnificent appetizer and entree...the dessert was rather...boring and disappointing. What can I say, I am an ice cream snob, after all. Yanni, I did expect better.

All in all, we had a wonderful time up to dessert and the company was great. B and M, lets do this again.

540 E. Mason St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Sun: Closed
Mon - Fri: 11 am - 2 pm
Mon - Thu: 5 pm - 10 pm
Fri - Sat: 5 pm - 11 pm

Friday, June 08, 2007

Lessons (NOT) Learnt from History

My dad has always said that we learn history so that we can learn from the mistake of others made in the past. Thus, we do not have to make the same mistakes twice. But then again, do we really learn anything, or do we just memorize enough to regurgitate the answers on an exam sheet and then conveniently wipe it from our memories. I'll let you decide after watching this video:

Sad, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Milwaukee Downtown Dining Week

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

I just wanted to announce that May 31-June7 is Milwaukee's Downtown Dining Week. I know, I know, it's almost over but it's still not too late to go out and catch an impromptu lunch or dinner at some of the participating restaurants. It's a week when many fine dining restaurants offer a 3 course lunch for USD 10 and dinner for USD 20. What a steal!!!! You don't even have to make reservations for lunch but dinner reservations are recommended lest you arrive at the restaurant disappointed.

Here's the link to the Downtown Dining Week website. You can see the list of participating restaurants and their offerings. I generally look at the menu and then decide on the restaurant. This way, I'll be guaranteed to like the offerings. Two hot tips: Yanni and Coast. I'll blog about my culinary adventures soon.

What are you waiting for....go out and eat, Milwaukee!!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Curry Mee

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

I found a bunch of pictures of Malaysian food that I had took during my last trip home and so I'll slowly post them up. Here are two pics of Curry Mee(curry noodles) from my favorite stall in Penang. It's located on Dato Kramat Road, in the little corner coffee shop next to the small Chinese temple/Convent Datuk Kramat. Ask the locals :)

This couple's stall sells Curry Mee, Koay Teow Th'ng and Kai See Hor Fun. All of the dishes are sooooo GOOD, but it's the Curry Mee that always has me salivating.

The curry broth is utterly scrumptious and just lemak (creamy/rich) enough without leaving a jelak (how to translate taste in your mouth.

This stall also makes their Curry Mee old-school style, meaning it has see ham (blood cockles), jew-hoo (rehydrated cuttlefish) and too-huik (congealed pig's blood). Aww....don't gag people... it's absolutely delish! Honest!'s also an acquired taste and I've been eating this stuff since I was a child.

Looks good doesn't it? I would kill for a bowl of good Curry Mee, here in good ole Wisconsin.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Funny Comedian/singer

I was just browsing around You Tube and found this guy. He is seriously hilarious!!! Just click on the link play and listen. When I get smarter, I'll hopefully learn how to post the video directly on my blog. Anyone willing to teach me? A big shout-out to Tine for teaching me how to do this. You rock girl!!

Just for the record, Pachelbel's Canon in D is one of my absolute fav piece of music. So, lovers of Canon in D, don't kill the messenger.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Korean Delights at Seoul Garden

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

The bf and I were filling up my car with gas on Prospect Ave, when we happened to glance down the street and saw that a new owner had taken over the former Han Kuk Kwan, a Korean restaurant that we were not very impressed with. So unimpressed were we that we had never gone back after eating there once.

When I lived in KL (Malaysia's capital city), I had these two Korean friends who would either cook kickass Korean food (do they just call it food in Korea?) or take me to great, authentic Korean restaurants. I became spoilt. I mean, I remember going to a restaurant in the middle of a bunch of nondescript office buildings where nobody on the wait staff spoke a word of English and the utensils were made of solid stainless steel (old school, man). If you didn't go with someone who spoke Korean, you were reduced to pointing at pictures and gratefully eating whatever they put on your table. Yes, the food as THAT good. Now, I cannot remember the name of the restaurant and have lost contact with my two friends but the taste of what constitutes as good and authentic Korean food has been permanently burned into my taste buds. Needless to say, I have been searching for a good Korean restaurant since moving to the US but have been unable to find one....until now. The name to remember is Seoul Garden.

The restaurant is situated in a little building where Ichiban used to be before they moved into the bigger, nicer building next door. The decor has changed but the cozy setting of the dining space has not. I still love the coziness of the space and especially find the tiny little nook that serves as a semi-private dining area (only fits 4 people, I think) very adorable. But the spectacular. It's homemade (cooked by the owner's mother and brother), flavorful, authentic and delicious. Most, importantly, it's non pretentious. The owner confided to us (the bf, a friend and me) that she had asked her mother to cook up something different (think fusion) to make the food more acceptable to mainstream American diners and her mother had replied, "I don't know how to cook that. What you get from me is authentic Korean food." Wow!

Seoul Garden serves a buffet lunch from 11:30 am to 2:30pm on weekdays. I think it's USD 7 something per person. The bf and I have been there several times to eat and the buffet remains mostly the same with the exception of 3 dishes that is changed daily.

View of the buffet. The rice cooker is being blocked by the plant.

The far end of the buffet contains pickles, kimchi, lettuce leaf of a sort of wrap and sauces.

These two dishes are my favorite: Top-Bulgogi (beef), Bottom-Jeyuk (pork). I can't even begin to speculate what the seasonings are for the two dishes. I can only say...I likee a lot!

You can even use the lettuce leaf to wrap up the meat, add the sauce, (I recommend the fermented soyabean paste on the far right), roll it up and stuff it into your mouth before the darn thing falls apart. You think that after years of eating lettuce wrapped bang-kuang char, I'd be able to do this with finesse but noo....I still suck at it. Mine fell apart so I had to improvise (see pics below) You can also add a small dollop of rice to the roll but I was having technical and mechanical problems so I skipped the rice.

This was also the first time that I had tried barley tea. It's just brewed barley pearls from what I gathered and is served unsweetened. It's not bad but I prefer green tea. To me, a barley drink has to taste like good old barley-peng from a kopitiam (typical coffee-shop in Malaysia). This bland drink, I was not crazy about.

My first round at the buffet. Will only show the first round because to paiseh (embarassed) to let you know how many times I went back.

The bf went hunting and gathering next and came back with this.

Remember the lettuce roll that I was talking about earlier? It's called ssam and is supposed to look like this, pre-wrapping/rolling. The disaster comes with the rolling/wrapping part.

The bf attempting to properly assemble a ssam. Note that there is significantly more leaf than there is filling. That's just not good eats :)

Finally fed up with my crappy assembling skills, I made modified ssams and just spooned them into my mouth. Yummmy, less of the lettuce leaf and more filling. Ya gotta think outside the box!

I went back to the buffet table and put together this plate, which I proceeded to devour. After taking a few pics, of course!

Close up shot. Isn't that absolutely scrumplicious looking? It tastes even better than it looks. Like a little bit of heaven.

I am so happy to have found this little gem of a restaurant. And the service was absolutely wonderful. We went there late for lunch once and the waitress was supposed to get off her shift but she stayed to serve us and was as nice as can be despite the circumstances.

If you live in Milwaukee, you need to try this treasure of a restaurant out. I promise you'll like it. They also have dinner but that's another post.

Seoul Garden
2178 N Prospect Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Drugged and Drunk

I came home from work this morning at 4 am and saw the bottle of Nyquil that I had asked the bf to get for me sitting on the kitchen table. I picked it up and thought...hmmm.....I'll get some sleep tonight. I then took the recommended 30ml (had to read the label because it was my first time ever taking Nyquil, I usually let my body battle it out with the virus) and got ready for bed. head started pounding, my face felt tingly and flushed. I shifted uncomfortably in bed and held my breath....yes, my heart was racing and I began to feel nauseated.....oh crap, what was in the damned Nyquil? I finally made my way back to the kitchen and read the label. Oh shit! Alcohol is listed as the first inactive ingredient...alamak!

I can't process alcohol......

Was passed out till 2 pm today

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Arrrgghh......I fell victim to the evil cold virus that is circulating out there....and now in my system. I thought my immune system was at it's peak from being exposed to so many types of bugs and viruses at work but it suddenly lost the battle yesterday...just as I was going to work. Then, I spiked a fever at work and it was all over....the virus took over. I started sniffling, having hot and cold flashes, stomach cramps, the shakes (yeah, I found that one new symptom AS I was suturing up a patient's face), a headache, I can't hear out of the right ear and my throat is KILLING me.


Anyway...I was craving for some comfort food but my body was aching too much to cook. So I sat in front of the computer for an hour, then finally had enough caffeine in me to move. This soup based dish is really simple to make if you have the right ingredients in the kitchen already. Since mine is always stocked to survive a famine, I didn't have to drag my body to the grocery store.

Mee Suah or Tang Hoon Soup

  • Half a package of Mee Suah or Tang Hoon (dried)
  • 2L of Swanson's Chicken stock
  • One can of baby straw mushrooms (drained)
  • An assortment of meat balls, fish balls, squid balls etc
  • 4 stalks of baby bok choi, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of soy sauce
Cooking method:
  • Put stock into pot to boil.
  • Add the assortment of meat/squid/fish balls and cook until they float to the surface.
  • Add the straw mushrooms, baby bok choi and the mee suah or tang hoon.
  • Season to taste.
  • Consume.
Simple and most importantly, minimal work.

Enjoy...pic coming, no energy to edit.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Guilty pleasures: Coach bags

I kept telling myself, cannot spend money frivolously, cannot, cannot, cannot!!!

And then I saw it, looking back at me from the display case....calling my name...and I knew. I had to have it.

Isn't it gorgeous? It reminds me so much of springtime and flowers and sunshine and rainbows!!

I stood in the store for quite a while and was mentally tallying up the damage to my credit card and finances. Then, I thought, "I shouldn't make an impulse buy, I have to really think about this." After all, I was in Naples, Florida and I was about to board a plane in 2 hrs. How to carry so much baggage? I was rather proud of myself as I walked out of the store without making a purchase.

Then, I landed in Milwaukee and went to the Coach store the next day and burned some plastic...hehe :)

And then, I saw this other baby.....and thought, what the heck, if I'm already burning plastic, may as well make it MELT!

I am so in love with my new bags. *Mentally calculating how many extra shifts I have to work*

Do you love bags?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bah Kut Teh

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

I made Bah Kut Teh (pork bone tea soup, for the uninitiated) last night but didn't even get a chance to take pictures of it before it was devoured. I was cooking this delicious soup meal for a fellow Penangite, S.H who was visiting the bf and I from New York after suddenly being struck with homesickness.

I was puttering around the kitchen from 7pm last night, trying to recall how to cook the dish. Mom and Dad conveniently neglected to answer the frantic phone calls that I made to them to ask for advise. Thankfully, S.H was a big help in the kitchen and we managed to get the pot going.

After I announced that dinner was ready, I went to grab a quick shower and walked out to discover that they were on helping #2 already!!!! I didn't get any pics for my blog, needless to say but here's the recipe for those of you who may be homesick for the dish. We had stopped at the chinese store and even bought some Yew Char Koay (fried cruellers). Man, it was delicious!

Bah Kut Teh recipe: a word of warning....all these measurements are agak-agak (a rough guess-timation). My philosophy, just add stuff until it tastes good. And have Pizza Hut or Dominos on speed dial.

  1. One packet of A1 Bak Kut Teh Spices (should have 2 sachets inside)
  2. 2 plus pounds of cut and cleaned pork ribs with bone. I asked the butcher to cut it into short rib pieces for me.
  3. Three or four pieces of Tong Kwai.
  4. One whole head of garlic-peeled and smashed.
  5. One package of pork/beef balls (I bought the ready made frozen kinds from Vietnam)
  6. Five stalks of baby bok choy....cleaned and separated from the stalk.
  7. 10-15 cups of water. I just fill up my pot to almost 3/4 full.
  8. Freshly cracked peppercorns (I like using the white peppercorns)...use one heaping tbs.
  9. One cube of Knorr's pork bouillon.
  10. One can of Golden Mushroom (Kim Chiam Koo), well drained and separated.
  11. One packet of ready made Yew Char Koay
  12. Two tbs of thick soy sauce
  13. Three tbs of oyster sauce
  14. Three tbs of normal soy sauce
Yeah...the preparation is so hard. I am a fanatic and will spend a lot of time stripping fat and skin away from the meat. The soup is a lot healthier and leaner but of course, the oomph factor is a little compromised. What the heck, it was still good. So good that the boys just continued to eat and eat. They each ate 3 full servings!!! comes the easy part. You still have to stand in the kitchen though and watch the pot. But if your kitchen has a little bar area that opens up to the living room, you can also relax and watch TV at the same time. I was watching House.

To Cook:
  1. Put the pot on the stove and boil the water on High.
  2. When the water is really bubbling, put in everything else, starting with the meat EXCEPT for the beef balls, baby bok choy, mushrooms and Yew Char Koay.
  3. Boil in High for 3o mins, then turn the heat to Medium and cover. Stir occasionally.
  4. After 1 1/2 to 2 hrs (whenever the meat is soft enough to just fall off the bone), turn heat to high and put in beef balls, mushrooms and then blanch the baby bok choy in the boiling soup.
  5. Remove baby bok choy and serve on a platter. Place cut up Yew Char Koay on a serving platter.
  6. Dish up soup and dinner is ready.
  7. Do I have to tell you to cook white rice as well??? This one is a no brainer.
  8. Oh....word of warning...don't leave the food undefended to take a shower. No good can come out of this.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Down on My Knees......Begging Please..

You guys have really done it.

I check my blog daily with puppylike enthusiasm to look out for any comments and I am always disappointed. I am now reduced to begging people to comment, comment, comment please on my posts. I need some feedback to see how I'm doing and so far...I am only relying on word of mouth info and data from And sitemeter tells me that you guys are reading my posts.

So guys, if you are reading my blog and like it, let me know. If you hate it, keep it to yourself! I am kidding, I'll always welcome constructive criticism.

To the bf, the god-sister, sweetcontemplation and Misery, thanks for being such loyal supporters and leaving comments. I love you all for that. Ok, not just only that but other things as well.

A special Easter shoutout to all my family, friends and readers. May you have a wonderful Easter this year, surrounded by the ones that you love. May your days be filled with joy and laughter always.

I was going to write an Easter post on a magnificent buffet brunch at Westmoor Country Club but I was operating on only 2 hrs of sleep after a 10 hrs stint last night in the ED so I boo-booed and forgot to take any pictures of food...or the Easter bunny. It took a huge amount of make-up this morning to look as though I was not wearing any (ironic isn't it) and I was concentrating on trying not to look dead at the brunch table. As tired as I was though, it was still nice to spend quality time with family and I had such a wonderful time.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Naples, Florida. Part Deux: Sunsets

Every evening, at sunset, a large crowd would gather along the beach-front and on the beach to watch the sunset. By 7pm, people would start milling around the swimming pool and beach bar of the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club. It's a great time for people to mingle, chat and relax after a long day of.....A) laying on the beach, soaking up the sun (lazy-bugs) or B) long medical lectures and workshops (me...super hardworking). Alright, I managed to do a bit of both every day.
When the sun starts sinking down towards the horizon, the crowd will migrate towards the beach and stare at the great ball of fire for what seems like hours. When the sun finally sets, you eyes are temporarily blinded from staring for such a long period of time and you literally see stars (and not only the ones in the sky).

I had the pleasure of watching the sun set with friends for a total of 5 nights and each night's show was completely different. This was also a time when the dolphins would come close to shore and play, so we also spent a lot of time scanning the horizon, hoping to see dolphins. It was really a beautiful and enchanting time of day.

Being the doofus that I am (as a result of absorbing too much UV rays), I had forgotten to bring my camera to capture pictures of the first 4 sunsets. Luckily, on my last night there, I brought my camera along and was able to get these shots.

I shot hundreds of pictures and almost blinded myself in the process. Looking at an LCD screen with sub-optimal light is a bitch, I tell you. There were lots of oohs and aahs of appreciation as the great golden ball of fire finally touched down on the horizon. It was absolutely fascinating to watch it sink, and sink and sink. Then you suddenly realize that the air is getting cooler and cooler and every strand of hair on your arms is standing at attention because you are still wearing a tiny bikini, sitting on the beach, shivering without the sun's rays to warm you. Not to mention the fact that you have family and friends that live part time in Naples but no one has advised you to bring a sweater.....

And then you hear it. It starts out as a single clap....then more clapping... and then the whole crowd joins in the applause at the magnificent display of nature that they had just witnessed. I have never heard or seen such a thing...applause for a sunset. Then I shrug and join in. What the heck, if you can't beat them, join them. what's for dinner?