Monday, 20 October 2014

=(

hate how the inner thighs are rubbing against each other today....
can totally feel the rashes forming....
but nothing can be done...

perhaps a price to pay for not jogging/walking often now...

with the haze ard, I rather stay indoors...

but srsly, will there be a day I no longer have to worry about inner thigh rash?

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

My Fav Stray Kitty @ Marine Parade

This post is sort of like a tribute.  Ok, maybe not a tribute coz the kitty whom I called it 'Ginger' is still alive as of this post.  I just want to share with everyone this cute little (not exactly little in the sense) kitty beneath the block.

My family and I thinks it is a stray as we see it most of the time below the block.  Not sure if it was left behind when the family at the block shifted or were they still staying there.  Bottom line is that he's always hanging out below the blk.  Lets just assume its a stray.

This Ginger is one of the friendliest stray cat I have seen and came across.  He is not afraid of strangers I think coz he certainly was not afraid of my family members.  Maybe coz he was constantly fed from time to time by my parents.  Yes, my parents actually bought a packet of cat food to feed Ginger each time they went out or came back from work.

He also responds to the sound of the keys when I shook my bunch of keys in the past.  He would dash out from nowhere and appear but when I tried it last Friday, there was no response.  I wonder if age is catching up on him coz it has been a long long while since I went home.  Not sure if my parents still feed the cat now judging from the atmosphere at home. 

The first time I saw the Ginger, he was already a full grown cat so I believe he is in fact very old in cat age by now.  I am just going to picture spam this post and also I actually took a video of him during one CNY when I was back home for a meal gathering. 

Back in 2012, during CNY, one raining afternoon
 
 
Went back upstairs to grab another handful of cat food....
 
 
Feels like he is standing guard in front of me
 
 Starting to roll around
 
 
 
It was a bit cold due to the rain.  So I suppose that's why he was soooo cuddly and constantly rubbing against me.  He did not leave my side during the time I was downstairs
 
 
 
 
 
Paying attention to whatever noise heard
 
 
 
 Last 2 shots before I went back home.  He must have been quite surprise to see himself on my hp screen
 
The said video.  Pardon me I was talking and entertaining myself by talking to Ginger.  Did not exactly know the gender so I was like talking in a mix of he and her.  Female or male, I don't really care.

26/09/14 around late afternoon
Went home to grab a few baking items from the cupboard and saw Ginger at the back of the block.  Grab a handful of cat food (no idea if its expired or not) and fed it before going back to old airport road.

 
 
 
Still as friendly and cuddly.  Have to direct him back to continuing his food a few times by pointing to the ground
 
 
When he was done with the food.  He came by me again and sat down next to me.  Gave it a couple of strokes and chatted with him.  May him be as healthy the next time I see it.
 

I am a cat person.  In particular Ginger coloured cats.  Really seem to be fated.  Apart from this cat, I once rescued a ginger coloured baby kitten in the middle of the road where I believed he was knock down.  I picked him up and walked towards my block and he peed along the way.  It was damn funny back then cause it was so sudden and to avoid staining myself I position his ass in front. 

I then manage to call SPCA and while waiting for them, I actually notice he was bleeding by the nose.  Poor thing.  Must have had internal injuries.  He seem to be alright then  coz he was still able to walk beneath the block and I actually have to stop him from moving around by placing him on my lap.  Its strange coz he was lying in the middle of road when I spotted it. 

I thought it was dead when I was crossing the pedestrian path until I was near it and notice a faint breathing sign.  Despite the traffic, I went towards it and picked it up.  The bus driver must have seen what I was going for and avoided the kitten.  Thank god for that SBS bus for avoiding the kitty and me. 

Too bad no idea what happen to this kitten cause SPCA does not update on the status of the animals rescued for the reason they are afraid that people are attached to the pets and will feel very upset if the animals did not make it.  I hope that kitten made it thou.

Back at old airport road, they were quite a number of cats as well but none as friendly as Ginger from Marine Parade which made me quite sad.  LOL!  but I am still as happy seeing them lazing around on the way to work and back so all is good!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Chef Rain: Kueh Salat (Kuih Salat / Kueh Seri Muka / Kuih Seri Mula)

I have no idea what came over me with the sudden craze for Malay/Nyonya desserts and kuehs.  For the past months I have been trying and tasting and trying and tasting... ok, you get the idea...  Once I start, I can't stop.
 
So far from pulut hitam to kueh dadar to onde onde and recently bubur cha cha, all these are my favourite desserts.  I have no idea how you make them in the past because we are surrounded by food centres and all and it is easily bought.  Now I have done them, I realise it really takes a lot of patience in the preparation process and the focus in making it. I shall stop my old grand ma nagging and just move on.
 
This next kueh I am making is Kueh/Kuih Salat a.k.a Kueh/Kuih Seri Muka.  There were many recipes online, they each differs on its own possibly according to the maker's taste.  Yet the end product looks similar.  For the recipe of this kueh salat attempt, I adapted and made modifications to cater to my preference from Lydia.
 
Well, the end product looks almost the same as the kueh salat in stores so that's half a battle won. Haha.  By the way, this is my 2nd attempt coz the 1st looked very horrible.  Refer to the pictures right at the bottom.

Lets take a look how I did this.  I will combine pictures taken in the 1st attempt and this 2nd attempt.

Ingredients:
(makes 1 - 7" size square cake tin)

250g glutinous rice (soaked overnight or about 4-6hrs) 
1/4tsp salt
4 pandan leaf (wash & knotted)
125ml (1/2 cup) of coconut milk
50ml of water
 
custard/kaya filling:
375ml of coconut milk
150ml pandan juice
(10-12pandan leaf blended with 150ml of water and strained)
135g sugar
1/4 salt
2 large eggs
100g plain flour
3 tbsp. tapioca starch/flour
 

Method:
 
1. Wash and drain the soaked glutinous rice and transfer onto a plate.  Mix salt with coconut milk and pour over the rice.  Also pour in the water and stir to mix it evenly with the rice.  Place knotted pandan leaves on top and steam over medium heat for 25mins. 
 
 

 2. In the meanwhile, prepare the pandan juice and set aside.  Refer to kueh dar dar post at the bottom for instructions.

3. To make the custard filling, beat the eggs and sugar till well combined.  Add in pandan juice and coconut milk and mix well.  Lastly, add in the both plain flour and tapioca starch.  Stir well and break up lumps of flour if any till its a smooth and thick mixture.
 
 
after adding both flours. break as much lumps as possible to have a smooth mixture.
 4. Remove rice from steamer and throw away the pandan leaves.  Fluff the rice up and continue to steam for another 5more minutes.  While waiting, strain the mixture and let it settle for a few minutes.
 
 
5.  Transfer the rice to a square cake tin (lined with plastic sheet or baking paper) and packed it firmly down.  Gently pour in the custard filling and try to keep it a smooth surface by breaking up any air bubbles.  Steam in low heat leaving lid slightly ajar for about 30mins or when the custard filling is set.  Test by inserting the knife and if it comes up relatively clean, it should be done.
you could steam it another 5mins if you want in the cake tin, though this step is not necessary if the rice is cooked.
 
 

 6.  When done, turn off heat and let it cool down completely before cutting it and serving.  May want to place it by the window to cool it faster.  If you line the tin across like I do, run the knife along the sides without the paper to loosen it for removal.
 

DONE~! and the pic spam begins
(taken with my galaxy note 1: no filter with just natural sun light and lighting) 

the side without baking paper
the side with baking paper. to make it presentable, you might want to cut away a thin portion away
 
 
 
 
 
 
I think my camera lens was oily. I mean I make, cut and take pictures myself
cutting it up for my mum to bring home

After:
Because this dessert calls for coconut milk on both rice and custard, I actually thought of cutting down the amount used for health reasons.  I actually reduce the coconut milk from 170ml to 125ml for the base and replace with additional 50ml of water.  For the custard instead of using 400ml I reduce it slightly to 375ml and increase the amount of pandan juice from 120ml to 150ml.  To be honest, there was not much difference in the taste on the overall.

Texture wise, custard was a bit soft and the taste was just right which meant it was not very sweet.  May want to adjust the sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste.  Got to note that because I steamed it a low heat to keep it a smooth surface, it took longer than normal.  I actually had to steam it again after it cooled down coz I did not do the test with the knife and my middle portion was still slightly wet.  May also want to allocate more time for steaming the custard.  I will try it for one last time and will make adjustments if any to this post soon.

Glad my mum, aunts and aunt's friends who tasted it finds it nice.  Remaining half of the battle won.

To note:
 
1. When steaming the rice, make sure there is sufficient water in the wok/steamer.  During the 1st attempt, mine dried up and the kitchen smell of burnt metal coz of the steaming rack being over heated.
 
2. If the rice is still not cook after 30mins, you might want to sprinkle a bit of water over the rice and continue steaming till cook.  Mine was done in 30 minutes.
 
3. Its not necessary to sift the flour/starch before adding into the egg mixture.  However, there is no harm in doing it as additional step if you wish.
 
4. Pouring in the custard at a lower height may help to prevent pockets of air being trapped inside.  I actually lightly tap the cake tin like I would during baking to remove excess air pockets before steaming, thou not sure if this step was necessary but I did it anyway.
 
5. The rice should be hot or warm when the custard is poured over.  I read on blogs that heated rice helps to bind the custard more firmly together.

6. REMEMBER to steam the rice and custard over low heat as too high a temperature will result in the custard to boil creating uneven surface like the picture below (during my first attempt).
 
Results from 1st Attempt 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 so... get what I mean by steaming at low heat? even if it takes a long time to get it done. 

 Hope you enjoyed it! 
 
❤❤❤