Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday, Saturday & Sunday In Pictures

Short of time but have a nagging need to update the blog.

Last run up Genting for Ramadhan. Started by 10pm. Ran up with a whole big group.

Dino, Doc, Yip, Rashid, Me

Senn and Me welcoming the participant, MH style!

Thanks Senn for the pics.

Extremely proud of myself for able to run until the final 2km of the route. Did not stop moving forward and managed to clock sub 3 hours to finish the run at the top.

The wind were stronger than expected and with a body all drenched in sweat, the chill was bone deep.

Damn happy with the run. Next up is to run all the way up, no stopping.

Well done to all that has surpassed their own limit. Genting is not easy as you are dealing with a minimal 8 degrees of slope all the way up..and it only get steeper after KM4.0


Had a good 4 hours of sleep and were awaken by Ryan's constantly asking for his granma. Had a headache, most probably due to sleeping with a wet hair (time to get a haircut!) and Ryan's cries.

Wifey managed to make one of her speciality cake while i was in office trying to sort out more work. it has been pretty stress-full weeks for me and the pressure doesn't seems to wane off.

Carrot Cake!

By the time i sliced to have another piece, it was only a quarter left...good things goes fast.

Moist, Nutty, Carroty, Perfect

I then spent the rest of Saturday helping my sis to source for a 300W power supply for the 7 years old PC at home. What used to be RM40 (Enlight, mind you) is in excess of RM100 now. Unacceptable!

Dinner was again, home cooked. And this week, Wifey bought 2 slab of beef to marinate and grill...

Marinated with garlic, basil, sesame, shallots and teriyaki sauce

Overcooked :(

I over estimated the cooking time and instead of getting a medium well piece of steak, we ended up getting a well done...perhaps, too well done pieces of steak.

It was a tough dinner, really. But not one to waste anything, me and wifey gobbled down the whole dish. Nothing was left to waste.


Work through the night to get more work done. With a blurry eyes and even blurier mind, it was a task. I was dealing mainly with invoicing and it wasn't funny trying to figure out the figures. But somehow, i managed to do so. THe invoices to be done has now reduced to a single digit. But, i know more will come, especially on those reimbursables claims. Luckily client is on leave for her Raya. But I've already clocked more than a day's work by Sunday.

The rest of the day was spent baking.

L-R : Apricot, Strawberry, Blueberry and taruk all you want fillings

It was deliciously delicious. I'm having two now (while blogging about this)

We made porridge for dinner and i lightly pan fried 3 fresh tofu and added a dash of sesame oil and some fried shallot. The porridge has salted eggs, dried oyster and braised peanuts.

That wrapped up the week.

Now, back to craziness. 3 Meetings slotted in for today. 8 more invoices to go. And that is just for one country.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The One Where I Fell

It is confirmed. Running up Genting or cycling to Temerloh are way safer than running along the roadside in Klang Valley.

My plan was to run from home towards TTDI, cut into Pencala Link, turn to Mutiara Damansara, follow the road to the former Sony HQ, Run along main road back home.

Distance should be circa 12km i supposed.

The run went well. Infact i was averaging a 5:19 pace for 2.5km when i stepped on uneven drain culvert cover and took a fall, rolling along the road next to 1 Utama besides the flyover.

Cars stopping at the traffic light and people getting down from buses to get to 1Utama to work witnessed the fall.

I picked myself up faster than the fall itself (it is true, when we fall, everything was in slow motion - i actually had time to turn my palm in and braced the fall with my knuckle, as i was holding the ipod on my right hand) and continued running across the road towards TTDI.

it wasn't until 2km later near the hidden trees at the T junction of TTDI to Pencala Link that i stopped and accessed the damages on my shin.

Not too bad la. Just bruised on the knee and shin. Minor bruises on left palm and right knuckles.

Later that night...doesn't look that bad anymore

Blood wasn't trickling down but sort of dried up on the surface. Salt from the sweat gave endless eye opening and teeth clenching run for the next 8km.

The adrenalin wore off after i turned into TTDI and every step i took was painful, but as they say, the show must go on.

Needless to say, i managed to finish the 11.5km in 1:14...pretty ok time, considering my ego was bruised.

Or was it because i was just too embarassed and running faster was the only solution?


Weekend Cooking Madness

My weekend started on Friday last week as i took the day off to bring Nadia for her monthly check up.

She is now 6.5kg and a good 45cm(or was it 55?) tall. Just like her brother, she hardly bulged when the needle from the triple antigen and prevnar sunk into her thighs.

Just a yelp and lasted for a good long 3 seconds.

Me and wifey decided that cooking/baking would be the best use of our weekend time. We get to do something together. We get to bond as family. And it sure beats the hell out of walking aimlessly around the mall and loading up on those heavily MSG-laced food outside.

Not that we don't have our vices such as drinking 100 plus and Kickapoo, but we try to balance out what we eat/drink.

More so, with Ryan reaching 2 years old, he is a bit of a handful. He could almost make a full sentence when he talk. It is not unusual now that he could ask for something with a please and your name at the end.

"Bina(ribena) pleaseee, papa"

"granma, (where) are you?"

"ah kong, Makan ah?"

"Mummy, Nadia, cry"

"papa, ai (want) nen nen (milk)"

Don't get funny with the last one ok!

Anyway, over the weekend, we did a few things. We shopped for baking materials/hardware in Old Town PJ; that include an industrial weighing scale which my sister call "Jual ikan scale ah?" (Fish monger scale). some 8 inches and 9 inches round tin, some baking trays, some stainless steel mugs and some other items which we thought would be nice to have. It took us 4 years of living together to buy a proper sieve, so, last weekend spree on those kitchen ware were a big improvement.

With those, we made Orange with Poppy seed muffins. Seriously delicious.

Poppy Seeds and orange peels and a dash of lemon skin

We then made a sponge cake. And this cake was the highlight of the day. We managed to get it light and fluffy and full of air. It was almost like those commercially available sponge cake baked by some bakeries...only better!

Can you imagine how soft it was...the mix only reaches half the round pan and the end results rises way above the pan!

Melt in the mouth

It went damn well with a cup of aik cheong coffee with condensed milk for tea yesterday.

Just as tea time ended, Mum In Law and wifey suggested we prepare dinner. They bought some chicken thigh from the market and decided to make some chicken chop.

Instantly, i had my mind racing as how to marinate the chicken.

So, in goes pestled cloves of garlic, chopped up shallots, onions and fresh basil leaves. It was then generously rubbed onto the chicken and lightly salted. Cover the chicken with teriyaki sauce and some L&P sauce. It was left to marinate for the next 4 hours.

Throw in sliced carrot and sliced potato and sprinkle onion rings generously

Set the oven to grill the chicken thighs and was constantly watched as to ensure no parts are burnt. At the same time, some fresh mushroom was chopped and added into the can of mushroom soup to compliment the chicken. Some french beans are steamed to go with the chicken.

By 7.30pm, dinner was ready.

Lim & Har's Kitchen

The marinate did permeated the chicken flesh, maybe due to the poking of the raw meat and beating it to further tenderise the chicken thigh.

Caramelized onion and sauted vegetable, lying precariously on a piece of succulent sweet slightly spicy chicken thigh immersed in garlic and basil smell

Served with steamed french bean on teriyaki sauce

Thank goodness i ran 12km earlier in the early morning. :)

Making Your Own Tahini and Hummus

Now, before you guys start to ask me what Tahini are (i believe most girls would know, hence, me asking guys this question as the opening sentence to this blog entry) let me just put it in simple word - ground sesame seeds.

Such fancy name for something that simple eh?

You wanna tahini with ini?

Tahini could be used for cooking, or even to replace peanut butter as bread spread.

They are expensive (those sold in supermarket) and they are nothing more than grounded sesame seeds.

So, when i found out that it wasn't any special ingredient needed to make Tahini, i decided to make some myself.

Grab a mortar and pestle and proceed to sit down and relentlessly grind and pound of 'em sesame seeds until they are of some paste consistency.



Just add a lil water to make the paste smoother in texture. It helps.

Compared to the Tahini that wifey bought, it was in more "watery" consistency, meaning, they are more finely grinded/pounded and might has more liquid in them. As usual, nothing beats home made, eventhough the texture is not as fine/smooth as the one we could get in the market.

My Tahini(lighter colour) vs. the Prepacked Tahini(darker)

I admit, my Tahini doesn't looked as appetising, but rest assured, both taste the same. Both carries the slightly bitter taste of sesame seeds (eaten in large volume).

Now, what do you do with Tahini? Wifey learnt from Auntie G that Tahini can be used to make Hummus (pronounced as Ha-Mos), a middle east dip or spread made by combining chickpea (Kacang kuda), garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt.

The ingredient are mashed and mixed together and the end produce is something tangy and goes with anything. We love it with sliced carrot and salad.

We made one big tupperware load of the Hummus and it was since eaten on the Garlic Cheese bread we made over the weekend and basically even as dip for the papadam we microwave-fried. Simply delicious and healthy i must say.

My apologies if my entry ruse a few empty stomach during this fasting month. Like i say, it wasn't done on purpose, but somehow, all these cooking bug came upon me when Ramadhan started!

Wait a minute, the hummus make good Iftar dip!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Info About Egg Sizes

Got this from Mr. Chicken Egg-IM09 hopeful himself. Thanks bro!

Grade AA = 70 grams and above
Grade A = 65.0 - 69.9 grams
Grade B = 60.0 - 64.9 grams
Grade C = 55.0 - 59.9 grams
Grade D = 50.0 - 54.9 grams
Grade E = 45.0 - 49.9 grams
Grade F = 40.0 - 45.9 grams

Feel free to use the guide for your next baking session!

Muffins Holiday

I did a morning run yesterday as i need to be in office to get some stuff done. 5km was all i could afford and it was a miserly 5k. But i tried making the best of it by pushing it all the way. I was 29 second short of my PB for 5K (of 25:30)

I tell you, i was almost dead. Not at my fittest at the moment (or should i say when WAS i even fit to start with?) and that 5km sort of exactly what i need to jolt the body out of it's boneless state. I've gained a few pounds (maybe Kilogram, i don't know, i've decided not to keep track, it's futile) and while IM09 is about 160 days away, i seems to be taking things easy.

Right after the run (yes, i got into office at 6.50am and left about an hour later - urgent matters to attend to) i went down to take my new IC.

I looked pale in the new IC. I don't like it. Much prefer the old IC.


New - and dissappearing eyes

What say you?

For lunch, wifey decided to make her own pesto sauce. Fresh basil and pine nut was crushed with extra virgin olive oil (whatever that meant) in a pestle and mortar. It was then mixed with some spagetti and was devour as fast as it was served.

No Excuse not to eat your greens

might not look appetising, but try it and you will be hooked

After lunch, we decided to go over my parent's place, which i've not been to since i started to manage the workload in the office. Decided that i should just surprise them with something they would last expect. Here's a clue:


Needless to say the house smelt of my favourite fruit for the later half of the afternoon, in the car and in my parent's home!

We went easy on the durian cheese cream...lets not over do it, shall we?

Later at night, we decided to be more adventurous, So, we got some banana, chocolate chips and walnut bits and made more muffins.

With real banana bits and slices inside!

That complete my holiday yesterday.

This morning, the home still smell of the muffin...the banana triumph over the durian (in terms of smell).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Magical Sponge Cake

It's a little wonder what 250grams of flour mixture,a tablespoon of vanilla essense, 65ml water, 65 gram butter and 4 eggs could do with as little as 30 minutes of baking at 180 degree celcius.

But of course, the most important step is to ensure that the mixture is properly mixed up until light and fluffy and the butter folded into the mixture.

zero minutes

30 minutes

And how fluffy and "loose" the texture was? Lets say that it's softer than my kid's butt.

Golden yellow, soft and nice

We made 2 sponge cake yesterday. Both were almost finished faster than it could be baked. THe second one got more adventurous treatment when we decided to half it horizontally and spread some blueberry filling...

Then, it became soft, sweet and nice!

Ramadhan Special : Genting Night Run #1 - Report

What a run.

It was easier to cycle up than to run up.

My very ambitious plan to run up and down did not materialise and i was jeered by some of them.

Running up from 1800 feet to 5700 feet takes a big strain on those miserly calves of mine. Dealing with incline in access of 8 degree all the way up was not one way to "enjoy" the run.

Up Hill all the way...almost

Hats off to Yip for running up within 3 hours and running down again within 2 hours. He made it looked too easy.

My respect to a Yusran, Kar Yan and a few others that ran all the way up and made it looked like their usual 20K run from Bukit Aman to Hartamas and back.

Special mention to AJ, which ran up without ANY water.

And of course, congrats to all the first timer that did it and successfully finished it. That would be a lot of people, and yes, we are that crazy, if not any closer to being insane.

Also, to Bandit, for knowing his limit and finishing the run to Goh Tong. Many (like me) would just hide behind our own ego and suffer all the way up.

Genting from KM 15

Thanks for the great Friday night/Saturday morning run guys and girls. Don't forget, there will be anohter session this coming 19th September, same place. same time!

Here is my miserly run stats:

My Average speed was a slow 5km/h. That's as fast as walking and i thought i was running until KM6.1 (to Genting)


less worthy

Master Ultra Mutant Sifu

Sitting in Starbuck, but not drinking/eating anything


I think i overdid it with my gears. Running up with 1 Camelbak, 3 liters of water, 1 GPS, 2 Handphones, 1 rain jacket, 1 change of clothes, 1 Ipod, 3 blinkers and 1 headlights; i was technically ready to survive ala "Man vs. Wild".

Inspector Gadget...some says! It was more for my journey down actually, which never materialised. I guess i found my limit on Friday night. Being too eager to do a full marathon (or more) with no training and getting all excited about the blisters finally healed wasn't the best idea. In Arif's word...TAKE IT SLOW bro!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chocolate Walnut Cup Cakes

Simply Devastating.

The obscene usage of chocolate chips and walnut bits in this cupcake was simply utterly unacceptably sinful.

We've found the secret to moist juicy melt in the mouth cupcakes...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ramadhan 2008 Special : Genting Run#1

Venue: Genting Sempah R&R carpark (Infront of McD)

Time: 2130hours start. End circa 0100hours at the top, or 0300 if you choose to run back down.

Distance: 21km up to Genting Starbucks, 42km complete back to Genting Sempah

Attendance: More than 20 people.

Compulsory : BRIGHT clothings. Own hydration. Blinkers. Christmas Tree lights optional.

Support Vehicles : Yes. But only on the way down. You run up yourself, or choose to roll down if can't complete the first 21km.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Love Me Tender - Some Scanadivian Band

This video made my day. Hope it made yours too.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Butter Cake Weekend

This is not intentionally done to entice my fasting brothers and sisters

500gram of Butter cake mix
250 gram butter
5 Sized B eggs

Since this will be our first butter cake, we decided that we will use the most expensive butter there is. What else but SCS?

It was sold at RM7.50 at the local hypermarket and almost RM8 at some baking shop. But i managed to find one place that sell them for less than RM7.

First step is to cream the butter. I was given the task to whisk it until it become fluffy and light. A big task when the food processor you have is only 210W maximum. It took me a good 30 minutes to cream that butter. FYI, i've not tasted SCS butter before, because it's expensive. I don't recall ever tasting SCS butter.

250g SCS Butter in that mixing bowl

I can't help but think how unhealthy this cake will be...250gram of butter...hmm...

But it's SCS, right?

Back to the process:

Once the butter has been creamed, the Eggs and Flour mix must be inserted alternatedly. The Eggs we have is sized C (Tesco ran out of A sized they can sell C sized for RM7.99/30 and call them and the recipe called for 5 Sized B. So, to compensate, we decided to put in 7 sized C eggs.

Seven Eggs - each for one deadly sins

We sieved the flour to make sure that the texture will be smooth and not lumpy as well.

Sieved flour mixture

Since i am not an expert in "folding" flour, wifey showed me what she knows.

Foldin' it in

Taking the lead, i continued to fold in the remaining eggs and flour.

Greatly handicapped with no proper baking utensil, i found myself folding in with those flexible whatchamacallit plastic knife. It's tedious. I could feel lactic acid building up in my forearm!

Can la...

The folded mixture was further folded until the mixture was of a creamy consistency and pour that into whatever aluminium baking tray we have (and it's a square one).

The mixture was then placed into the oven at a pre-heated 180 degree C and set to bake for an hour.

Zero Minutes

30 Minutes

We then noticed that the middle was rising higher than the sides and immediately turned the temperature down to 170 degree C. We don't want any eruption of any surface breakage on the cake, won't look appealing!

One Hour!

The cake above might not look appealing initially, but once we removed the cake from the pan, what we saw was some moist, soft not too browned surface which had my saliva flooding the mouth. Sinful!

The initial plan was to cut the cake horizontally and swipe some delicious looking strawberry jam in between. But because the cake looked too delicious, we decided to forgo that process...

And the results?

Golden Yellow. Moist. Sweet and Savoury. Soft. Butter. Cake

And i packed some for myself for breakfast/lunch. Can't help but to top it off with some Hersey's choc syrup...

Melts in your mouth, and hand

He has not tasted it yet, but expect this when he does - i hope

She can't eat yet, but the smell makes her saliva in her dream of butter cake world - i hope!