Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pretty Fruit Tart

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

We picked up this absolutely scrumplicious strawberry and kiwi fruit tart at Whole Foods Market up the street from our apartment for dessert. I kept staring at it on the way home coz it's so pretty. I took tons of pics but due to the bad lighting (and poor cameraperson- my dad always said that a bad carpenter blames his tools) this is the best picture.

And then, we ATE IT!!! Yummo....the sweetness of the strawberry and custard balanced out the tartness of the kiwi slices. The pastry shell was perfectly made, able to hold up it's shape, despite of the moisture in the custard and when placed in my mouth...melted into a mass of buttery goodness.

Wouldn't you like a fruit tart for dessert tonight?

Monday, March 19, 2007

My First Meme

I got tagged by SweetContemplation and decided to try my hand at my first meme. Here goes:

[A is for age]:
26 plus. My mom has been yelling at me for being too honest about my age, "Where got people so proudly announce that they are 26 one???"
[B is for booze of choice]: Alamak, cannot drink at all. Lacking an enzyme called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase....makes me turn red, sick in the stomach and then puke...without the benefit of getting high first! Supremely unfair, kan?
[C is for career]: Physician Assistant in an inner city ER
[D is for your most dreaded]: Flying cockroaches. Euuww!! Can't think of anything worse than this, Tine.
[E is for essential item you use everyday]: Cellphone-also doubles up as camera, alarmclock and mp3 player. Love it so much!!!
[F is for favorite song at the moment]: How To Save a Life by The Fray.
[G is for favorite games]: Twister. I remember the good old days in high school playing that game.
[H is for Hometown]: The sunny, beautiful island of Penang.
[I is for indulgence]: Laying in a hammock on the beach of Redang Island, looking out to the beautiful, crystal clear water and reading a romance novel. The is a warm breeze stirring about and the sky is completely cloudless as I look up. And a hot guy bringing me a cool, tall glass of watermelon juice....paradise.
[J is for favorite flavor of juice]: Watermelon
[K is for kids]: None=Tadak
[L is for last hug from husband]: Tadak also
[M is for years of marriage]: Not married yet
[N is for name of your crush]: Hahaha...most of my CGL cronies know this one. Man, I was so obsessed with this guy until I met him socially for the first time, then....big letdown.
[O is for overnight hospital stays]: Tadak
[P is for phobias]: I am claustrophobic.
[Q is for quote]: "
SHUT UP! Enough already, Ballstein! Who cares about Derek Zoolander anyway? The man has only one look, for Christ's sake! Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigra? They're the same face! Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! I invented the piano key necktie, I invented it! What have you done, Derek? You've done nothing! NOTHIIIING! And I will be a monkey's uncle if I let you ruin this for me, because if you can't get the job done, then I will!" Mugatu from Zoolander
[R is for regret]: Not pursuing a career in mass media and broadcasting. I played it safe and choose medicine, a stable career instead. Sometimes, I daydream about being on TV. Would love to be on a food/travel/leisure tv show like Samantha Brown or Rachel Ray.
[S is for status, married or single]: Still single.
[T is for time you wake up]: When my alarm tells me it's time to get up. I have weird shifts and get up at weird times.
[U is for underwear]: Sloggies from Triumph.I love them...have to stock up everytime I go home to Msia.
[V is for vegetable you love]: Kangkung=water convulvus. Majorly need some belachan kangkung right now.
[W is for worst habit]: I grind my teeth at night. Very bad for jaw.
[X is for x-rays you’ve had]: Chest and back. Hahhah, it's sounds like T&A
[Y is for yummy food you make]: Blush...hopefully everything is yummy lah.
[Z is for zodiac sign]: Gemini. Hmmm...a Gemini who is born in the year of the's like a double whammy, isn't it?

Not really sure who to tag because not sure who reads my blog on a regular basis. Anyone offering to be tagged?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Real Pulut Mango

I took a picture of a Thai dessert called 'Pulut Mango' at my favorite Thai restaurant, Chok Dee when I was back in Penang but somehow misplaced the file. I found this today and thought that this would be a good time to let you guys know what the real thing looked like, following my post about sticky rice dessert. Doesn't it look scrumplicious?

I had to jilat (lick) my spoon and scrape my plate clean after eating the absolutely fabulous dish at the restaurant. Yeah, sorta was an embarrassment to my parents because all sense of shame fled my body as I claimed the half-full plate of pulut mango for myself. My fellow diners were complaining of being full after the meal.

Man, I can't even begin to tell you how sweet and juicy the mango slices were, combined with the steamed, sweet, sticky and chewy glutinous rice. I was transported to a Thai paradise at that instant when the first bite made contact with my tongue. One minute, I was sitting in a crowded noisy restaurant in Penang and the next, I was lounging on a chaize on a pristine white beach on Phi Phi Island in my bikini and eating a delicious juicy mango. Just like in the movies.....

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Making of Sticky Rice Dessert

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

I made this sticky rice dessert because I was craving Pulut Mango (a sweet coconut cream glutinous rice dessert with fresh mango slices) in winter. Obviously, there were no mangoes to be found in the dead of winter...way to go, taste buds!! I thought to myself, make the rice first and worry about the topping later.

I used sweet glutinous rice from Thailand and soaked them overnight. My mom had once tried to make Loh Mai Kai (Steamed Savory Glutinous Rice with Meat and Mushroom) without soaking the rice and spent hours (plus a whole tank of gas) steaming a dish that was never going to cook.

Then, the rice was drained well and placed in a stainless steel shallow pan for steaming.

Some people use fancy bamboo steamers or a rice cooker but I just used a big pot, added 2 inches water at the bottom and suspended the stainless steel pan over a wire rack. I have a very small apartment with a tiny kitchen so I have learned to be creative and not need so many specialized equipment. Just cover the pot and turn on the stove. I put the heat on High and steamed the rice for 30 minutes, regularly checking the level of the boiling water and topping it up when the level runs low.

After 30 mins, the rice is ready and turns transparent. I like mine chewy but you can obviously tailor the texture of the rice to your taste by either shortening or lengthening the cooking time.

Meanwhile, I opened a can of coconut cream...also imported from Thailand. Seriously, you can get anything here in the Midwest nowadays, unlike 20 years ago.

Just spoon 3 tbs of coconut cream onto the rice, add a dash of salt and some sugar and incorporate well into the cooked rice. I mixed the ingredients in a little mixing bowl before adding it to the rice.

I substituted fresh mango slices with Kemps vanilla ice cream. I could have used Haagen Dazs but it would have over powered the humble steamed rice.

Three scoops of Old Fashioned Vanilla on sticky rice and I am good to go!! Enjoy with a good book or a loved one. I did both :)

It doesn't photograph that well but I assure you it was scrumptious. Mmmmmmm.....