Saturday, November 30, 2013

Recipe: Strawberry yogurt smoothie

We love eating strawberries, but only when they are sweet and juicy. Sometimes, they can look pretty deceiving - red and plump but they can turn out to be pretty sour. So what do you do with sourish strawberries? Make smoothies!

Simply place the strawberries in a blender, with some milk, yogurt and honey to sweeten it. Maybe buying a box of not-so-sweet strawberries once in a while is not so bad afterall ;)

Strawberry yogurt smoothie

Strawberry yogurt smoothie
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves 1

5 strawberries
1 tbsp natural yogurt
200ml fresh milk
1/2 tsp honey, or more to taste
Mint sprig, to garnish

1. Place strawberries, yogurt and milk in the blender and blitz until smooth. Add honey, to taste. Garnish with mint sprig and serve.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Recipe: Thai Yellow Curry Chicken + PSA: Stop Hunger Now (WORLDFOODS)

I still had a jar of WORLDFOODS Thai Yellow Curry Paste, so it was put to good use on one of those busy days where I wanted to cook a quick yet nutritious dinner for my family. This curry paste is described as medium hot, fragrant yellow curry paste spiced with turmeric and various Thai spices and herbs.

For this curry, I used chicken breast which is cut into bite-sized chunks. We also just harvested some long beans from our garden, so this also went into the curry. Usually for Thai curries (kaeng), coconut milk is used but I substituted with regular cow's milk, something which I started doing in the UK as it was slightly harder to source for fresh coconut milk. In this instance, we were just too lazy to drive out to get some freshly grated coconut.

Thai Yellow Curry Chicken

Served with a bowl of rice, this was extremely good - creamy and mildly spicy. The kids surprised us when they asked for more after the first spoonful. I asked them if it was spicy, and they replied "A bit but it's yummy!".  Most of us ended up "tambah nasi" (having another bowl of rice) to soak up the lovely curry sauce.

Thai yellow curry chicken
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes
Serves 4

1 jar (200g) WORLDFOODS Thai yellow curry paste
500g chicken breast, cut into small chunks
2 tbsp cooking oil
350-400ml milk
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, cut into 1/8ths
3 long beans, cut into 1 inch lengths
1 red chilli, sliced thinly

1. In a wok, heat the cooking oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 1/2 minutes until lightly browned. Then, add the onion and stir fry for a further minute.

2. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the chicken pieces are almost (90%) cooked through. Add the Thai yellow curry paste and fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the long beans, red chillies and milk, and simmer over medium heat until the milk is very hot. Once hot, taste and season with salt as necessary and add more milk if you find it too spicy. Serve immediately with white rice.

*I am submitting this to Cook-Your-Books #6 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and to Asian Food Fest #2 Oct 2013 : Thailand hosted by Lena from Frozen Wings.

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For Christmas 2013 WORLDFOODS wishes to give something back to those in crisis.

Stop Hunger Now is a charity that aims to end world hunger in our lifetime, a cause which is close to WORLDFOODS Global Business Director May Foong’s heart. WORLDFOODS wishes to help feed the poor, who can’t feed themselves.

WORLDFOODS will be implementing a Christmas Charity campaign in which they look to match the first 5,000 “Likes” they receive on their Facebook page with a donation of $1 (per each new like) to Stop Hunger Now.

What will the money go towards? In 2005 Stop Hunger Now launched their meal packing programme perfecting an assembly process of small meal packets that contain essential vitamins and minerals and have a 2 year shelf life. These cost only 25 cents. This means that a $1 dollar donation from WORLDFOODS will feed four hungry mouths. 70% of their meals are provided to transformational development programs such as school feeding, vocational training, early childhood development and orphanages.

Stop Hunger Now has also provided 1.6 million Meals to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

All you have to do is to go to the WORLDFOODS Facebook page and LIKE it. Remember, every 1 like will feed 4 hungry mouths. Thank you :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Gary Rhodes Menu @ Colonial Cafe, Majestic Hotel KL

Gary Rhodes is well-known as an ambassador of British cuisine, with unique mastery of the Great British Classics. Chef, restaurateur, celebrity and author, he has a constellation of Michelin stars under his belt and often referred to by his peers as "The Chef's Chef".

In conjunction with The Majestic Hotel KL's first anniversary celebrations, diners can indulge in a 3-course menu specially crafted by Michelin-star chef  Gary Rhodes at Colonial Cafe. The Rhodes menu is priced at RM90++ and is available for both lunch and dinner from now until 8th December 2013. 

Salmon terrine

Gary Rhodes

Colonial Cafe

Our lunch started off with the gorgeous smoked salmon terrine with sweet lemon asparagus salad. The smoked salmon was layered with cottage cheese and garnished with delicate dill and capers. Light and delicious - absolutely loved this.

The main course of roast duck breast and crisp duck pancake was also excellent.  We were happy that the roast duck breast portion was substantial, and the meat was cooked to perfection. So juicy and tender. This was served with a confit potato, braised cabbage and red wine and blueberry sauce.

The iced lemon fool served with raspberries was a fantastic end to what has been a great lunch. Tart and refreshing. Coffee and tea is also included.

Gorgeous ambiance

The Rhodes Menu

Verdict: Great menu, perfectly executed by the Colonial Cafe kitchen team. Good value for money.

You can read my previous post on Colonial Cafe here.

Price: RM90++ for 3-course Rhodes menu. We dined here as guests of Majestic Hotel KL.

Location: Colonial Café, Majestic Wing, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2785 8000


GPS Coordinates: 3.139059, 101.692617

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Recipe: Homemade Cereal Bars + Granola

We have been eyeing this recipe on Great British Chefs "Cooking with Kids" app, and since we still had some leftover organic rolled oats, we decided that we should finally give it a go.

This cereal bar or better known as granola bars in the US has all of my children's favorite ingredients. Granola is a popular breakfast and snack food  containing rolled oats, nuts, honey, and dried fruits which are baked until crisp. It can also be pressed and made into a granola bar.

A really easy one to make and you can get your kids to participate. This recipe is supposed to produce cereal / granola bars, however not all of the mix stuck together, so we got half granola bars and half granola, but that is no matter, as it was still very nice to eat. My kids loved munching it on it as their evening snack. These are not too sweet, and pretty addictive. Do store them in an airtight container in the fridge as it helps them hold the shape better.

Homemade cereal bar, also known as granola bar

To those who wish to attempt this recipe, you may need to increase the amount of honey you add in to successfully create the granola bars. I followed the original recipe, and did not want to increase the honey too much in case it was too sweet, but maybe I should have to get better looking granola bars. Most other granola recipes I have seen uses quite a lot of sugar and honey. If you have any other tips which you wish to share, do let me know in the comments below. Appreciate it!

If they don't hold their shape well, don't worry - just have them as granola. Tastes just as great!

Homemade Cereal Bars + Granola
Recipe adapted from Great British Chefs - Adam Gray
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Makes 12-15

120ml of rapeseed or canola oil
5-6 tbsp of clear runny honey
200g porridge / rolled oats
25g pumpkin seeds
110g walnuts roughly chopped
50g almond flakes
90g of dried apricots, roughly chopped
20g dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (no fan). Line a 24cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper and set aside.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and the honey, stir until the honey is hot and remove from heat.

3. Add the oats, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, stirring well to ensure the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.

Mix the ingredients well

4. Once mixed, make sure it's sticky enough to hold together by pressing in your hands, if not add a little more honey. Scoop the mixture into the lined baking tin, pressing down firmly.

5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges turn a golden brown colour.

6. While still warm, score into 12-15 individual bars. Leave the cereal bars in the tin to cool completely, then serve or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. (Note: Due to Malaysia's hot climate, we keep this in the fridge to keep them firm as they tend to go too soft when left in room temperature)

*Your child can help mix the ingredients (Step 3) as well as pressing it into the baking tin (Step 4).

*I am submitting this to the Little Thumbs Up "Oats" event organized by Bake for Happy Kids, my little favourite DIY and hosted by Vivian Pang's Kitchen. You can link your oat recipes here.

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MasterChef Australia Season 5 Set Dinner @ The Apartment KLCC & The Curve

Do you love watching MasterChef Australia on Lifetime (Ch709 on Astro)? From 26 November 2013 to 6 January 2014, you will get a chance to taste the dishes that you see on MasterChef Australia Season 5 through an exclusive partnership between Lifetime and The Apartment. During this period, The Apartment will be featuring a total of three 4-course dinner set menus on rotation over a period of 6 weeks. 

Dining with us at the media review was Assistant Marketing Manager of Chaswood Resources, Wouter Schepers. When asked how the selection of dishes was made for the special menus, he explained that it was based on the dishes popularity on the show and website, as well as the desire to provide a varied menu for their diners. The 4-course MasterChef Australia set meals are available daily from 5pm onwards at The Apartments outlets at KLCC and The Curve, ranging from RM98+ to RM138++ depending on the choice of main course.

Pumpkin soup with a twist

We sampled the first dinner set menu, which is available from 26 November onwards. The first course is the pumpkin soup with a twist, recipe from one of the MasterChef Australia judges, Matt Preston. The pumpkin is first roasted in the oven, then added to chicken stock and pureed. The soup is garnished with fried sage leaves, candied bacon and pumpkin seeds. The Apartment's version is smooth and creamy, with a peppery aftertaste.

Next, is the appetizer of lamb and goat's cheese croquettes, served with a corn puree and corn salsa by one of the guest chefs, Brendan Platt. The croquettes were both crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The corn components offer a nice contrasting texture to the dish.

Lamb and goat's cheese croquettes

For mains, diners can choose from three main course, the eye fillet with onion jam (RM138++ for the 4-course menu), pan fried duck breast with parsnip puree and chips (RM128++) and death dish risotto with braised mushrooms, hazelnuts and parlsey (RM98++).

Out of the three mains, my favorite was the eye fillet with onion jam by one of the contestants, Lynton Tapp. Loved how nicely presented it was on the plate. The Australian grain-fed beef at The Apartment has been pan seared rather than sous vide (in the show), and sits atop a delicious cauliflower puree and further garnished with baby turnip, radish, thyme, chestnut mushrooms and onion jam. For me, one of the most interesting aspect of this dish is the onion jam, which I would love to try making in the kitchen next time I serve steak at home.

The pan fried duck breast with parsnip puree and chips was another great main course to try. This recipe is from Gary Mehigan, one of the judges. The duck meat was succulent and paired nicely with the creamy parsnip puree and crispy chips.

The death dish risotto is a cheat's risotto recipe by judge Matt Preston. The risotto is cooked in salted water until al dente then topped with braised mushrooms, orange zest, hazelnuts and chopped parsley. This was slightly too dry for my liking, as I prefer my risotto on the creamy side.

For dessert, we had the chocolate chilli tart, a creation of one of the contestants Christina Batista. The tart itself was on the crunchy side, but we liked the chocolate chilli filing, which left a spicy aftertaste. This was served with praline, whipped cream and candied chilli slice.

Price: 4-course set dinner priced between RM98++ to RM138++.

Location: The Apartment KLCC, Ground Floor, Lot 139, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2166 2257


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Afternoon Tea & Orchid Conservatory @ The Majestic Hotel KL

During our recent staycation at The Majestic Hotel KL, we indulged in their English afternoon tea with a Malaysian twist. Afternoon tea is served daily between 3-5pm and guests can choose to have it in 4 locations - The Tea Lounge (RM48++), Atrium at Colonial Cafe (RM48++), The Drawing Room (RM68++) or The Orchid Conservatory (RM88++).

The afternoon tea is served in an elegant three-tier stand and includes 11 sweet and savoury items and a pot of house-blend tea (BOH). You can also opt for Ronnefeldt tea, at an additional cost of RM30++ per pot.

The Tea Lounge in the Majestic Wing features an old-fashioned grid ceiling with classic cut-glass lighting and an array of comfortable arm chairs with subdued lighting from table lamps. A pianist performs here daily except Monday. Because we were having our afternoon tea with the kids, we were seated at the atrium in Colonial Cafe. Tea in the atrium is served in an ordinary white porcelain teapot and not the fine bone china teapots and plates.

The atrium at Colonial Cafe

The Tea Lounge

The Orchid Conservatory

Ronnefeldt teas

The selection from the afternoon tea is excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Two types of scones are served - plain and raisin, served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Sandwiches include smoked salmon, tuna, roast beef and my favorite being the foie gras terrine. So sinful! From the sweet side, there were madeleines, red velvet cake, fruit tart, custard tart and chocolate eclairs.

The waiting staff returned with another tray of hot items, which included cheese balls, fish cake and scotch eggs, all which were impeccably prepared.

Hot items

Enjoying their afternoon tea experience

Scones with clotted cream and jam for the lil one

Love the beautiful bouquet centerpiece at The Tea Lounge

The Orchid Conservatory located in the Majestic Wing, is a place of beauty. The Majestic Hotel KL is the first and only hotel in Malaysia to boast a dedicated orchid conservatory, featuring Phalaenopsis orchids. It is a special glass atrium measuring 28ft by 50ft and holds many orchid plants in full bloom. The Orchid Conservatory is open to guests having afternoon tea here or can also be booked for intimate lunches or celebratory meals.

Our butler (from our stay at the Majestic Wing) kindly arranged a visit to The Orchid Conservatory for us upon request. Phalaenopsis happens to be my favorite breed of orchid, so I had a great time admiring and photographing the beautiful flowers in the conservatory. Enjoy the photos!

Verdict: One of the best value afternoon tea around. My preferred venue for the afternoon tea would be the Tea Lounge or for a unique setting, try the afternoon tea in The Orchid Conservatory. 

Reservations recommended.

Price: Afternoon tea is served daily between 3-5pm and guests can choose to have theirs in 4 locations - The Tea Lounge (RM48++), Atrium at Colonial Cafe (RM48++), The Drawing Room (RM68++) or The Orchid Conservatory (RM88++).

Location: The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2785 8000


GPS Coordinates: 3.139059, 101.692617

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Read here on their new Afternoon Tea Box, launched in October 2015.
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