Monday, February 28, 2011

Roasted Beef and Vegetables.

One Saturday afternoon when I was rummaging my freezer looking for stuff to cook I found a container filled with beef. I had no idea when I bought them and how long it has been in the freezer. Since we also bought some beef that morning, I thought of quickly using up my surprise find. Googling for a recipe I decided to try a roast beef recipe. I also bought some sweet potatoes at the market, so I roasted the sweet potatoes and some cauliflower.

I roasted the cauliflower first since they were the easiest to prepare. I just tossed them on the baking tray with some sprinkling of salt, pepper and dashes of olive oil, oh and some grated cheese.

The Beef.

Once the sweet potatoes were ready to go into the oven, I placed them next to the cauli.

The beef were first browned in the pan with some salt and pepper and in olive oil.

Then the beef were removed. Proceed with sauteing onions in the fat that is left in the pan.
Once the onions softened, add the beef, add beef stock, a tablespoon of flour. 

Remove from heat and roast the beef in the oven.
I turned the beef halfway to ensure that they're evenly cooked.

The sweet potatoes, took a little longer to cook, so I scooped out the cauliflowers first.

The cauliflower is served garnished with some parsely.

The yummy sweet potatoes.

Roasting goodness.

All done, self sauced roast beef.

Lunch is served.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kids Eat Right With NATUREL - Bento Workshop

 As a working mother of 3 children (aged 10, 7 and 3) I am always faced with a challenge when preparing meals at home. I need to ensure that what I prepare first and foremost would “look” appetizing in their eyes but of course contains all the nutrition required by growing up children and well balanced, and not to mention does not take forever to prepare.

When I got the invite to attend a NATUREL Bento workshop at Bayan Indah with the knowledge that there would also be a Consultant Dietician who would be discussing Eating Right Meals for Kids I was estatic. Firstly, it would not be my first experience at Bayan Indah and cooking “with” Rohani Jelani (read: learning to cook with RJ). I attended a bread making workshop at her lovely home about 4 years ago, and fell head over heals in love with her whole house, especially the kitchen and pantry.  Therefore, an opportunity to join a cooking workshop at her place, I would be crazy to say no, wouldn’t I?  Secondly, it’s a BENTO workshop, bearing in mind I had no clue whatsoever what BENTO is, apart from a tray like boxy meal that I have come across in food courts at the mall. I’m guessing something Japanese! I like Japanese cuisine, so yeah sure why not. Finally, since there will be a discussion thrown in about ensuring cooking the right meals for kids I was ready to have a wonderful learning experience last Tuesday… and learned I did (with loads of fun and goodies brought home)!

The lovely  Indra and  Rohani Jelani with us the early birds:  yours truly and Pat (of

I was the first blogger to arrive, hi!hi! That’s enthusiasm for you… plus I also checked out the location of Bayan Indah 2 weekends earlier to ensure that I would not get lost on that day! Since I was early, I had a good look around at Bayan Indah, after 4 years, a lot has been done to the place, I even managed to say hi to RJ beforehand and to declare to her I’m a returning fan to find out from herself  the major upgrades that has happened to Bayan Indah since I was last there. So, the kitchen just got bigger and jaw dropping better, and the pantry just left me speechless!!! She has also turned what was previously her living quarters upstairs into a B&B (as she modestly put it), but it’s a resort standard for your information!!! Right, for those who are not familiar with RJ, she is a food consultant & founder of the Bayan Indah Culinary Retreat. She has been writing recipes for publication for over 20 years. After graduating from the London Cordon Bleu Cookery School in the mid-eighties, she worked in commercial kitchens as a pastry cook before pursuing a career in journalism, cooking for and styling the food pages for a leading English language women’s magazine. Now, RJ provides recipe consultation and food styling services to food companies, restaurants and magazines.

This Bento workshop is a product of RJ’s collaboration with NATUREL, where she has designed some creative but simple (read: simple yet divine J) recipes to provide solution for mothers to help children eat right through a healthy and balanced meal.  NATUREL Blend Cooking Oil is a blend of canola and sunflower seed oils. It contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) that cannot be produced in the body and must be obtained from food. EFA is essential for normal growth in children, and in aiding regular cardiovascular and neurological function. The food prepared using NATUREL oils (NATUREL Cooking oil, NATUREL Olive Oil and NATUREL margarine) do not lose its taste and texture even when kept refrigerated for a few days. This makes it ideal to help mothers (like me) to prepare hassle-free meals.

Before we started the hands on cooking session, there was a 30 minutes interactive presentation by Indra Balaratnam, a consultant Dietician who touched on “ Healthy Eating Habits, Meals and the right portion sizes for kids”. Indra currently runs her own dietetic practice, based in Kuala Lumpur which she started 10 years ago. She specializes in dietary counseling to patients on how to improve their diets to better manage their chronic diseases and she also undertakes special projects consulting multinational food companies, industrial caterers and private schools on nutrition quality and menu planning. Indra stressed on the importance of good nutrition for kids which are :
1) for energy 
2) for physical growth and 
3) for mental development .

Essentially mothers like me should ensure our children also have a balanced diet (in the right portion sizes) that consists of a variety of different food from the 5 food groups as presented in the The Malaysian Food Guide Pyramid as shown here in order to get the most vitamins and minerals.

NATUREL worked with Rohani Jelani and Indra to come up with wonderfully simple yet divine recipes NATUREL-ly using NATUREL cooking oil that we had a chance to prepare during the workshop. The recipes that we tried were Baked Doughnuts, Prawn & Spring Onion Omelette with Rice Cakes, Rainbow Cake and Pasta bows with chicken and tofu patties.

Rohani briefing us on the recipe that we will be working on before
we started our culinary experience in her kitchen.

This is her lovely open plan kitchen, only a portion of it.
You must try one of her cooking lessons at Bayan Indah one day.

My Workstation - all manners of kitchen gadget and essentials to work with.

NATUREL cooking oil and NATUREL Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Our key ingredients for our meal preparation.

I am preparing the prawns for my Prawns and Spring Onions Omelette – Bento Style.

My cooking partner Shasha – preparing the batter for Baked Doughnuts.

Rohani giving us tips and tricks to preparing our recipes.

This is the way you prepare the omelette – slow and easy.

The omelette is then place on a bamboo (sushi-making) mat, to roll the omelette in.
Let the omelette cool before cutting into slices. 

Leave the omelette to cool before cutting into slices.

Like so...

My NATUREL Bento done!

Shasha’s finished doughnuts… yummy!

Even though, each person prepares one dish, we all get to take home
some dish prepared by others.
All neatly BENTO-ed in these lovely Rubbermaid food containers.

Group picture at the end of the cooking session.

NATUREL-ly I had a divine time at the workshop learning lots of new things, getting new ideas about meal preparation for my children and not to mention making new blogger friends. Bringing home a huge goody bag was of course a welcomed bonus – NATUREL-ly!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I got lazy one day

so I prepared this for dinner!

Roasted some capsicums and zucchini.

Filled and Baked some leftover pie filling into pastry sheets like so.
Looks awful doesn't need? It tasted damn good though! Muahahaha! 

Trying out this new sundried tomatoes.
(Not that good, wouldn't buy this brand next time).

My salad ensemble.

My mixed salad - I kept the shredded chicken and pasta on the
side just in case anyone in the family do not wish to eat them.

My Beef Roll-Over as in Martha Stewart would take one look at this and would roll her eyes over and over at such an unsightly dish!

Simple Dinner Menu.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I hope I have been a good person to you!

Something happened that makes me question my EBA with everybody around me.

Have you heard of the concept of EBA/ Emotional Bank account?

According to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People programme, an EBA is a metaphor for the amount of trust that exists in a relationship. Withdrawals breaks down and lessen trust in a relationship. You may read up more on this in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits book: In a nutshell, for those who think I am not writing in English…

For one to have a strong EBA:

- we are told to remember the 5:1 rule that is it may take 5 deposits to make up for one withdrawal

- the other person’s “currency”: What constitutes a deposit to one person may be a withdrawal to another

- to be sincere and consistent in your deposits. Small deposits over time build large account balances.

I hope I have been a good person if not a friend

- that if you bump into me at the corridor you’d lift up your head to say hi, instead of trying to look occupied and trying to be concentrating on your non-existent new emails on your BB

- that if I have not reached the office by 9, you’d text or leave a message on my wall asking where the hell am I, don’t I know it’s a work day!

- that if you’d think of somewhere to go during your lunch break and you need company you’d look up for me

- you saw me passing by looking like I’m about to faint you’d stop me and ask what’s wrong

- that if you saw me sitting down on the floor in my office even if my chair is just a foot away, you’d knock on my door and ask if everything is ok

If you will not do any of the above for whatever reason,

- do let me know now why I repulse you that badly for I am consciously trying to improve myself as a person and I do welcome your honest opinion.

I’m praying hard right now that I don’t make anybody feel that way and my presence in your life has made your life quite pleasant, if not at least no major impact until you’d hate me so.

*** I’m writing this as a reminder to myself to be a good friend, a good colleague, a good neighbour and a good human being to all. This is a lesson learnt when at the office the other day somebody was found to be almost fainting and nobody bothered to ask what was wrong. Somebody at one point even found her/him on the floor of her/his office even though she/he had a chair a foot away, but dared not ask what was wrong. The question is are the people who saw her/him in those conditions that bad of a human being and so insensitive to others in need. Or has she/he not deposited enough in the emotional bank that people do not have the heart to care. I surely do not wish to be like this. So again I’m asking if my emotional bank account is in the negative in your books do let me know. I shall start depositing now.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

National Craft Day 2011

Dear KLites, feel like a spot of shopping?
How about heading down to the Craft Complex at Jalan Conlay, KL.

It's National Craft Day with all sorts of hand crafted goodies from all over Malaysia. Lots of great stuff here, I know cause I went there yesterday in support of my ex-class mate Suzy.

She has a booth showcasing lovely batik designs, all the way from JB.

If you ever get yourself get, do drop by Suzy's booth, if she's there let her
know that you read about her booth from my blog ok! Remember the name, Batik Chic at booth BSL19!

Here are some of her stuff on sale.



Clutch bags/dinner bags.

Zippy organisers.


Lovely head bands for around RM30-RM45.

Tote bag in metallic gold material and batik motif.

More choices of trendy handbags.

Off-shoulder tops with sequins and beads detailing.

Ready made baju kurung.

Wonderful batik tops with beads and sequins detailing.

Another off-shoulder top with a modern batik print design.

An over-coat tunic.

Vests with batik prints.

I also dropped by at my friend's sis accessories shop. She makes wonderful little trinkets out of gold and silver plated copper wires. There are also some pearls and crystals accessories.

Kak Lela at her booth.

There are so many more booths here, so if you are free do come by and support our local entrepreneurs.
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