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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Cookie likes to chew.....and bite!

Cookie loves an oral sensation....and has a leg fetish! ;)
He's quite the little rascal!  Don't believe me.....look!

He likes loves to chew on wires of all things.  When I googled this habit, it seemed it's quite common, almost natural, among cats.  No wonder he likes to play with things that's long and thin and shaped like a wire.

They say cats chew on wires coz they're bored or just want to play and (I read somewhere) that the oral sensation of chewing on wires is somehow pleasant to them.

Cookie:  This is so much fun (better than any of my toys).....it's mine, mine, mine! ^o^

His favourite chew.....my laptop wires!  He likes to do that when I'm busy doing some blog writing.

Cookie:  Oops....."tercabut liao" (disconnected already)! ;D

You see this....it's my "weapon of choice" aka my squirt bottle...muahahahaha! :D  When all things fail and I can't get him to stop, I have no choice but to use it.  A little squirt of water and he'll be off and running (though I try my darndest not to use it).

Nowadays, I don't even have to squirt, the sight of the squirt bottle alone sends him scurrying away for dear life! :D  Not necessarily the best method but it's the most effective, I tell ya.

They say one way of making them stop chewing wires is to wipe or spray them with anything that's citrus in flavour, like lemon juice or vinegar, or rub them with citrus peels.

Besides this annoying habit of chewing wires, he has another one...he likes to bite my legs....either that or he has a leg fetish! >.<

It seems cats bite and lick to communicate or as part of play.

It's not like a forceful bite, just a soft bite but I do feel the gentle press of his teeth against my flesh.  This (I read) can be a sign of affection or a request to be left alone.

But the thing I hate most about his gentle nibbling, it's always a sneak attack...it startles you when you least expect it.  He likes to sneak up on you from under the chair when you walk past.  Or when you're engrossed with writing your blog or watching your favourite show on TV.  Suddenly, you feel this little nibble at your feet and your first reaction is to let out a scream or move your leg...and that in turn startles him....and the gentle nibbling may turn into more than a nibble! :(

But, in the end, the cute factor always wins....and you can't stay mad for long! ^_*

Monday, 26 September 2016

Just One Food - Domino's Fabulous Four

It was a day when there was an early EPL match at 7pm that I wanted to catch, so food delivery looked like the best option for our family dinner.  

I noticed a flyer in the newspapers just days earlier that promoted Domino's Fabulous Four, so this was as good a time as any to try it out.  After all, it's been a while since I've last had Domino's Pizza.

The new Fabulous Four Promotion comes with 2 Pizza Deals....2 Regular Pizzas for RM30 (usual RM26.80 for one), 2 Large Pizzas for RM50 or 2 Xtra Large Pizzas for RM70.  So, we ordered 2 Regular Pizzas @ RM30 and the Fabulous Four Box @ an introductory price of RM19.90.

We paid RM49.90 in total!  What a deal....coz for just under RM50, this can easily feed 3 rather-hungry people (you may even have leftovers) or 4 smaller-stomach-sized people! ^o^

Now, as the name implies, you get four of your favourites in one easy-to-share yummy box...a mouthwatering mix of three savoury treats and one sweet delight.

The first of which are 4 roasted chicken drummets that's tender to the bite with just enough of flavour in the meat.  At least you won't have to fight for which part of the wing you want....hehe! ;D

Next, you have 4 cheesy mozzarella stix with molten, hot and melty cheese inside (which I didn't have any, of course) which turned out to be my son's favourite.

Then, there were 8 garlic cheese onion rings with a soft onion ring embedded within a golden and savoury breaded batter (that's barely hanging on unfortunately)...and not quite as crispy too but still edible.

Finally, the only sweet treat of the box were 8 mini cinnadots that were like tiny bite-sized squares of bread that's been dusted with cinnamon and sugar (I think) but not sweet at all.  I don't know what that white sauce is accompanying these mini cinnadots but I know I didn't like it.

This Fabulous Four promotion comes with an order of two pizzas, so we went with Aloha Chicken of shredded chicken and pineapple.  I actually called it Hawaiian Chicken when I made the order....oops, I think that's what Pizza Hut calls it but, hey, it's a name synonymous with chicken and pineapple, so I guess that name is universal....hehe! ;)

Whether you want to call it Aloha or Hawaiian Chicken...it's still one of our all-time favourite pizzas coz we love the fresh and juicy pineapple chunks! ^_*

Our other pizza was the Beef Pepperoni.  Look at the abundant beef pepperoni slices!  When I first started eating Domino's, I always went for their thin crust pizzas...what was I thinking? >_<  I remembered them being crispy but I sometimes they're so overly crunchy it was like eating a hard biscuit.  I now prefer their classic hand tossed crust, soft and pliable when warm....a little bit more jaw-exercise when cold.

A regular sized pizza is 9 inches and yields 6 pieces, so you do the math...12 slices for 3 pax means each person has to eat 4 slices...that's more than half a pizza each (and with sides)!  That's why this is a value deal which can feed up to 4 persons.

Another reason why I like to order Domino's and not Pizza Hut is because we have a branch in our housing area. That means the pizzas arrive hot...and on time (in fact, in less than half an hour) or you get a free pizza the next time.  I've never gotten any free pizza coupons from Domino's but quite a few from Pizza Hut (which I've never claimed) and I've since stopped eating Pizza Hut's pizzas altogether.

Of course they aren't as good as those wood-fired fresh and made-to-order pizzas we get from pizza specialists and/or restaurants, but (seriously) where can you get a whole 9-inch pizza for RM15 nowadays...delivered right to your doorstep....and for that Domino's pizzas are a pretty darn good option for TV nights! ^.^ 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Toast & Roast @ SS2 PJ

Toast & Roast @ SS2 PJ has long been known (since 2009 from what I gather) for its awesome "char siew" (BBQ pork) and it was for this very reason that we came for a long overdue visit one Sunday morning.

When we googled the place, it showed 101 Jalan SS2/6 as the address...only to find out when we arrived that it was not the right address.  I should have followed the address given in most of the blogs (which was SS2/72)...haiz! >_<  A check later on their Facebook revealed that SS2/6 will be their new location (which is currently still under renovation, so do check their Facebook for further updates as to when they will officially move to their new location).

Having finally arrived at the right place, it was crowded but we managed to find a table almost immediately and got down to ordering.  Looking at the produce hanging at the front of the shop, you can pretty much guess what's the most sought after item here...rows and rows of char siew but only like 3 or 4 chickens! ;)  The first thing I noticed is that their char siew is in short strips (of about 6 inches each) which is quite different from the long strips I usually see.

Of course, we had to order their no. 1 best seller....their premium char siew.  Well, that's what is stated on their menu, the word premium is there to probably 'soften the blow' and 'get you ready' for the exorbitant prices of their char siew...haha! :D  [#Hint: For a more wallet-friendly meal, stay away from ordering the char siew a la carte and go for a more reasonably priced plate of char siew rice @ RM7.20.]

This is a medium portion of their Premium Char Siew @ RM22 (RM11 for small & RM33 for large)!  Looking at the plate, I'd say we got about 2 1/2 short strips of char siew...and based on the number of thickly cut char siew pieces, I'd say it comes up to about RM1 a bite...ouch! O_o  But my, oh, my, what a divine bite!!  It was juicy, tender and nicely charred at the ends (that's probably why they do them in short 6-inch strips, so that there are more caramelised ends...amen to that!).

Although I ordered a "pun fei sau" (half lean half fat) cut, the foreign worker got it wrong as I later realised (from the receipt) that he put down an order of "less fat"....Grrrr! >_<  Even so, this less fatty cut still had enough fat to make it juicy and tender (and I actually don't mind a less fatty cut as long it's not totally lean) although I'd usually order pun fei sau (since my family outvotes me for this cut...hehe!).  A less fatty cut will have a bit more bite to it except it'll be missing a more charred exterior (which I love) and also a bit of that melt-in-the-mouth feel that some seek (like my husband).  Next time, I'll make sure I get the right cut!

The other thing that scored a point with me was that the char siew sauce was served on the side.  For good charring and caramelisation to happen, you need two things...fat and/or sugar! >.<  That's why I find that well charred and caramelised char siew is usually on the sweet side, so not drenching the char siew in more sauce is certainly welcomed.  This way, we can control the sweetness outcome...just dip a little (for me) or dunk (for those who prefer it sweeter).  Although the char siew may be a tad sweet for some taste buds, I think it was still less sweet compared to some I've eaten.  I couldn't help but dip my char siew pieces into the very robust sweet and salty sauce provided.  I got this somewhat delish smoky flavour from the sauce, which I liked very much, that's unlike any char siew sauce I've tasted before.

Now that I've gotten the main attraction out of the way, let's get to some of the other things we ate.  Two in our eating party had the "Siew Yoke" (Roast Pork) Rice @ RM7.20 since we've already ordered a plate of char siew for sharing.  Though the siew yoke wasn't the star here and no where near as good as some of those I've eaten, it was still pretty acceptable.

The other two of us went with the Hakka Original Noodle with Minced Pork @ RM7 since this was one of their signature dishes (you can also choose to have the noodles with char siew @ RM7.40, siew yoke @ RM7.40 or plain @ RM4).  My Hakka noodles came topped with minced pork, chopped spring onions and crispy fish flakes (that some might mistaken for crispy pork lard....ya, you wish!).  These crispy fish flakes (additional topping @ RM1.60) were the best thing in the bowl for me! ;)

The noodles were firm and springy alright but was rather bland tasting for me (even with the minced meat).  It was then that I had the brilliant idea of drizzling some of the char siew sauce on the noodles....and that made it much easier to down.

We had a side order of Crispy Fish Roll @ RM7 featuring three rolls of fish paste wrapped in "fu chuk" (bean curd skin) and perfectly fried till super crispy.  I enjoyed this very much.  Other side orders here include "sui kow" (dumplings) and wantan (fried or soup), pork meatball soup and vegetables (bean sprouts and choy sum).

I got a packet of Chicken Rice @ RM6.50 for take-away (for lunch later) since I didn't get to try the rice.  The chicken was ordinary but I liked the flavour and texture of the well separated grains of rice.

Their chilli sauce also turned out to be one of my favourites with refreshing hints of garlic, ginger and lime juice coming through.  One of the better chilli dips I've come across from a BBQ meats place.

My glass of refreshing and zesty Sour Plum Lime Juice @ RM3.50.....perfect to round up my meal and cut through all that meatiness....hehe! ;D

My Personal Opinion

You may have to spend around RM20 per pax for a meal here if you order their char siew separately by portion sizes.  If you find the prices too steep, then go for a more reasonably priced plate of char siew rice.

Though this place has been around for 7 years now, I don't know if the standard is still the same as when they first started (since this is my first visit) but it definitely has a place (in my books) among some of the top-notch char siew I've had over the years.

We tend to eat at the same places or close to where we live and I'm only discovering some of these places since I started blogging about my food experiences among others.  I guess I should have come sooner but better late than never, right?  It'll be interesting to see what's in store at their new place.....new additions to the menu perhaps?  I shall return! ^_^

Toast & Roast
No 20 Jalan SS2/72
47300 Petaling Jaya
Selangor
Tel: 03-7733 9972

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Secret Garden #3 - Love Actually

After my first two coloured pieces, Enter My Secret Garden and Tree House, here comes my third piece which I shall call "Love Actually" (it's a title taken from a film)! ^_*

This piece by Johanna Basford is more abstract in nature compared to the previous two that were closer to real life art with stuff like tree house, leaves, flowers, cat, birds, etc....so my approach to colouring this was slightly different.

Blank Canvas

Work in Progress #1

Tip #7 - I think there are two ways you can approach this...one, by using the actual colours of flowers, leaves and stalks or two, by using colours that are complete opposites of their common colours which one can do for a more abstract piece...like what I chose to do....red and black.

Work in Progress #2

Tip #8 - When colouring very thin lines (like the stalks and outline of the flowers and leaves) which are quite difficult to do, I don't use a colouring motion but instead use a motion of drawing lines to try to fill the tiny gap with colour.

Work in Progress #3

Work in Progress #4

Tip #9 - I went with the symmetrical form of colouring as well this time (again for consistency and balance) but the only difference I made was I chose dissimilar colours for the corresponding similar parts.

Work in Progress #5

I decided to change it up a bit in the colouring of the flowers in the centre but still keeping to the same colours without deviating too much.

My piece called "Love Actually" is completed!

You'd be surprised when I tell you that I've only used a total of six colours to churn out this piece...two shades of red + one pink and two shades of grey + one black!

I was pleasantly amazed too that I could get a decent coloured picture with just 6 colours....so, you don't really need a box of many colour pencils to come up with your masterpiece.

Onwards to my next piece! ^_*

Monday, 19 September 2016

#ewew cooks Prawns in Dark Soy

I'm a lover of seafood, prawns especially, and there's this "kon cheen har lok" (dry-fried prawns) dish that we'd sometimes order when we dine out.  But with skyrocketing prices of large prawns these days, this can be quite a costly affair.

So, to satisfy my craving for this dish, I'd rather cook my home version of kon cheen har lok or what I'd call Prawns in Dark Soy.....for only about half the price (these prawns cost me RM27)! 

Ingredients:

500g (or about 15) large-sized prawns*
10 - 12 shallots
4 stalks of spring onions
1 tbsp dark soy
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt

*Note:  Make sure you get the right prawns....try to get those white prawns with thin soft shells (from the wet market) and not those black-looking ones from Aeon with hard shells.

Preparation:

The most tedious and time consuming part of this dish...is to prep the prawns (the actual cooking takes no more than 5 minutes).  Using a pair of scissors, cut off the tip of the prawn head.  Then, make a shallow slit at the back of the prawn (but do not butterfly the prawn) and devein.  This dish is usually made with whole prawns (with shells intact) as it's more presentable that way but I'm quite particular about removing the dark vein (aka intestinal tract) as I'd prefer not to eat shit (to put it more bluntly) if I can...haha! :D  Plus, splitting the back of the prawn allows it to absorb the flavours of the sauce and makes it easier to peel at the dinner table.

As I needed a fair amount of shallots, the 'lazy me' decided to buy these ready peeled ones (RM1.20 for this packet).  Just slice the shallots and cut the spring onions into 2-inch sticks.

Method:

Once the prawns are prepped, season with 1/2 a tsp of salt.  This is just to get a bit of flavour through the prawn during the frying process.  Heat oil till hot and fry your prawns until almost cooked.  You'll need a fair bit of oil to do this (I use at least half an inch of oil) as this will seal the prawn juices in.  As it takes only about a minute or two, I fry them in batches in a small deep pan (to minimise splattering if the prawns are not dried well).  

Once the prawns turn orangy, remove the seared prawns onto a plate.  It's alright if the prawns aren't fully cooked through as they will be twice cooked later.

Leave a little oil in the pan to saute the shallots over low heat.  Cook until shallots are soft and transparent but not caramelised.  You can add some chopped garlic, ginger and red chillies (if you like) but I'm all about keeping it simple, so just shallots will do fine for me.

Put the almost cooked prawns back into the pan and add the dark soy and oyster sauce.  If you're not comfortable with the prawns being so dark, you can always reduce the amount of dark soy.

Drizzle about three tablespoons of water and do a quick toss until the prawns are well coated in the sauce.  Do not cook for too long or the dark soy will turn slightly bitter.  Throw the spring onions in at the last minute and do a quick stir and it should be done.

My Prawns in Dark Soy is done....this is my take on kon cheen har lok.  It may not taste exactly the same as the ones I ate in restaurants but it's good enough (I think) for a home-cooked version (and cheaper too).

The oyster sauce brings savouriness to the dish....while the dark soy adds a hint of sweetness to the prawns.

The key ingredient of this dish (besides the prawns, of course) is the shallots.....and you need lots of it...the more, the better.  The shallots bring out the sweetness in the prawns and the sauce.

Let me show you one close up....is that yummy or what? :)

And since we did a shallow slit on the back of the prawn, deshelling it is a breeze.  I don't even need to use my hands, just a fork and spoon will get the job done nicely.

But don't throw the prawn shells away immediately...do that only after you've licked (or sucked) every last bit of the sauce off the prawn shells....kekeke! :D

And the prawn heads are the best parts.  They're good for sucking and you get loads of flavour and juices from them (I'm sorry...but sucking prawn heads is a very 'Chinese' thing)! *wink wink*

These prawns are best eaten with rice....om nom nom nom! ;D

It's a mouth-watering dish that you can put together with just 3 main ingredients.....prawns, shallots and spring onions...and at a fraction of what it'll cost you at a restaurant! ;)  Do give it a go...and I hope you'll be pleased with the results :-)

Serves 3 - 4 (as one of the dishes on your dinner table)

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