It's the view from the terrace about a half an hour ago. In just a matter of hours, we will be saying goodbye to 2010. Tick tock.
Friday, December 31, 2010
It has become a habit for me to check what to eat and where, before I travel to some places. This time was the same, Sydney and searching for great places to eat. I came across Mamak at Haymarket as a hot restaurant that serves Malaysian food. There are good reviews all over the internet and I put the name down as one of the places that we should consider.
One evening, upon returning from Blue Mountains, we saw a long line outside a restaurant which turned out to be Mamak. It is merely two blocks away from we stayed and it opened on Christmas day. Twas the day we tried. DH tried to beat the crowd by lining up before the opening time at 11:30, he was there around 10 minutes before and was the fourth in the line. Once opened, people stared to flow in and filled in the place. By the time we finished, a line was already formed.
We ordered the classic Roti Canai (right at he very top picture), A$5, way higher than the price we can get here in Singapore or Malaysia at $0.80, of course. It's delicious and well made, we all loved it. We tried their Chicken curry too, it was A$15. We had a couple of Fried Chicken , at $3.50 each (picture above) and Kangkong Belacan - A$13 -(Water spinach with shrimp paste) below. We also had their Murtabak (A$10.5) and Chicken Satay (A$8 for 6 pieces).
We were really stuffed but we felt obliged (silly!) to try their dessert, Cendol, A$5. It was great too. There were other mouth watering dishes that we wished we could have tried as well, too bad, we did not have any larger stomach capacity. We could only imagine how yummy they could be. Hmmmmh..........
When one takes a trip to Sydney, visiting the Sydney Opera House, in some way, is almost a must. It is for us. On Christmas day, after a morning light shower, the day turned super lovely, the sky was so blue and tons of people headed to the Opera House as most other places that people would go to, were closed. A guitarist that we found playing his musical instrument on Pitt street on other days, also moved to the Opera House area, trying to make money there. It was our second visit to the area on this trip, the place looks as great as always.
Monday, December 27, 2010
We had a late lunch at Eastbank Restaurant on our way to the Sydney Opera House, on our second day in Sydney. The restaurant was merely five minutes away from the Opera House. The restaurant was rather quiet when we were there, because it was already really late afternoon. Our starter was thin bread served with three types of dips. I loved every single dip, including the olive one that nobody else in my company, liked.
We had Angus beef, linguine pasta, beef-battered fish and chips. They portion was too big for us that we had no space for the mouth watering desserts that they had. Too bad.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
We rented a car and revisited the capital city, Canberra. It took us around three hours to go there and another three to come back to Sydney. Yes, the whole day was gone. We went to the usual spots, the above is the Parliament House and below is the War Memorial, taken from afar and from inside.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
We spent hours today, walking to Sydney Opera House and back, because most of shops were closed and that's pretty much what was planned for today anyway, sightseeing and walking. By late afternoon, before dinner time, we passed Andersen's Ice cream shop at Darling Harbour and a quick wrong decision was made, a three scoop ice cream sundae was purchased and most of them were transferred to my belly. There goes the calories that I tried to burned........ The Belgian chocolate and Danish nougat were worth eating, I must mention. Yum.... Merry Christmas to my tummy, that's the gift!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Sydney Harbour Bridge is another iconic image of Sydney that is very well known aside from Opera House. Public are allowed to climb at cost which varies depending on the timing of the climb. We have not done the climb yet, simply taking pictures make us contended so far.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
The Queen Victoria Building or QVB is more than a beautiful shopping mall. First of all, there's a statue of Queen Victoria right outside the building. The old architecture of the building is so attractive too. This is one of the few places that I always go to when we visit Sydney.
I love the shops there and the products they offered. They have many good quality products that I wish I could have. There are places to eat too and good looking, hard to resist goodies there.
The Royal Clock is outstandingly placed in the middle of the building
More about this building here.
The sky was so blue and clear on Tuesday when we took a stroll along the streets of Sydney heading to Sydney Opera House. There was barely any clouds up there. Sydney Tower stood up solemnly while down on the ground it was very busy and noisy with people walking, talking, singing, playing guitar and just simply making noise..... It's now two days to Christmas and we are in the company of lovely weather Sydney.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
School is off, Christmas is coming. It's time to get away, again!
Less than 48 hours ago we left home for our year end holiday. It feels like it's been ages ago since we did. Changi departure area looked really festive, some guys in green costumes - elves?- were distributing some lollies to the kids they saw.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Finally, the time to say goodbye to one of my most reliable partners has arrived. This Maytag washer was bought and brought in, in August 1998 right after we moved to Singapore, to our new home in Singapore. It looked possible for me to keep it around as the machine still worked, but to ensure the smoothness of the operation of the dirty clothes cleaning in this house, I had to let it go.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Christmas is fast approaching and we are so close to the end of the year. We do not have snow here, it's always about sun and rain. Garden is well fed with lots of strong sunshine in the morning and rain in the afternoon or through the night. And that's just what the plants need. Marigolds are blossoming and basil plants that I planted and put as fillers are growing healthily and nicely. Ants and bugs are well fed too. Not related, yet I must say, Christmas is so near again......
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Never mind the appearance of the cookies, it's the amount of fun we had making them that counted. We had sugar cookie cutouts in the shapes of Christmas trees, angels, Christmas bells, and other related Christmas shapes and poured in generous amount of sugary icing on tops and more sugary decorations. It's beginning to feel like Christmas after all, one more small piece of the Christmas feeling has been put in to complete the whole big piece. It's getting closer......
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
We brought back some red colors into our house last Sunday. We were weak and got tempted into spending some unplanned bucks for some potted Poinsettias after seeing many people grabbed them in the nurseries that we went to. Tis the season, to be spending! We also got our compost and gardening supplies that we intended to do, and much more....... Zero day to my MIL's arrival, five more days to Miss P's.
Monday, December 06, 2010
I started off with my intention to make some Nutella muffins. After stirring in 2 tablespoons of Nutella, I was not satisfied yet with the "chocolateness" of the batter, leading me to adding two more and this lady was not yet impressed by the color. There went in, some cocoa powder and some chocolate chips. Happy now. The muffins, which were made using cake method with just one egg, yielded 10 muffins and super yummy taste..... Best for chocolate lovers.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Zuppa di Porcini, that's the fancy Italian name for Porcini Soup. We, i.e. myself and my cooking buddy at home - the one who loves Italian food more than a lot of other things in the world - got around to have Porcini Soup again. It rained, it was cool and it was Saturday, all the perfect reasons to have Porcini Soup. While its look may not be that appetizing to some, it tastes super delicious and tasty! We love it !
Thursday, December 02, 2010
I needed to prepare dinner for my pasta lover, after eating mostly dishes with rice last week. I felt that Cannelloni was a good choice. The filling was ricotta and porcini plus some minced beef. I prepared them in small oven-proofed dishes so that the leftovers were able to be kept neatly and more easily. The base was a spread of tomato sauce and the pasta is covered with more tomato sauce and bechamel sauce. Finally, the dishes were sprinkled with the grated parmagiano and baked in the oven for around 20 minutes or when the top part turned brown. Dinner was ready.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Okay. We have arrived at the last month of the year, soon 2010 will be over and we will be starting a new year again. It's a bit intimidating to me to see the time rapidly passes by. I am going to do the best I can to treasure every single day coming my way. I know it would not be easy, but it's worth trying.
We have enjoyed basil all year long. Our small investment of, if I'm not mistaken, S$7.50 has multiplied by -only God knows- too many times. Has this been a stock that I invested in, I would have been super filthy rich. But I'm talking basil here, so yes, we have saved some bucks from not buying the basil leaves from supermarket anymore. Let me mention also that it gives the convenience of walking a few steps to the garden and just pluck or cut some stems. We have used plenty of the leaves for our pesto, pizza, pasta and countless dishes. We have successfully propagated the plants. The downside is that I am feeding plenty of bugs in the garden too, those that I have not been able to get rid of.
We also have multiplied our Thai basil, which until today, ironically, have not been used in our cooking yet. It is about time to commence using some. I have yet to find recipes using them - in due time, I will.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I have planted some cherry tomatoes, again. Hoping that they would grow and become fruitful. At the start, they grew well, there were plenty of the little ones. Some grew better than the others, but they turned to be skinny plants, they are tall with some flowers and do not look good. I've got a couple of green tomatoes hanging, a couple, meaning two. Only. One of them is in the picture above. I'm not sure if I should keep the plants......
Monday, November 29, 2010
A new and different type of yellow Marigold has blossomed in our garden. I must have gotten this one from the packet of seeds that DH got for me. The flower is larger and it has a very bright vibrant yellow color.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
It happened a few days ago. With a small cake, which was still too big for the three of us that were home on one weeknight and one big candle and eight small ones being lit up and blown, our second-born turned eighteen. Two of them are legal now. Being parents of two adults make it sounds like we are almost legally old and ready for retirement.... But not quite yet. Age is just number, remember that!
The birthday girl brought back a bigger chocolate cake from her friend, a stack of brownies and tons of goodies from her friends. She has to work hard to finish them, the rest of us could only help a little.....
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I used to make these fried flat bread, I can't remember why I stopped making this for a long time. It might be because they are fried and we are keeping distance with fried food. It is also possible that I forgot that this thing exists. I was flipping over some pictures in my old photo album and saw this and I thought it's time to make some.
The process is simple, it is similar to making tortilla, except this one has cheese. I used a combination of ricotta and parmesan with a little dash of grated black pepper.