Saturday, December 24, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I was at Tesco awhile back and was in the separate section they have for the pork and other non-Halal items (you have to pay separately for these items including alcohol so when we are at the grocery stores and go into these sections we have to be rung up in two separate places so as to keep the Halal separate from the non-Halal in the grocery stores. It is a bit of a hassle because the act of being rung up at the register in Malaysia sometimes is a slow process!). Anyway, there was actually some ok looking Baby Back Pork Ribs so I picked them up. I don’t remember seeing them before and thought R might like me to make some barbequed ribs.
Pork Baby Back Ribs from Tesco Seremban 23.83RM
American-type Barbeque Sauces that come in bottles here are fairly limited to Heinz and a few other basic BBQ sauces that have a generic BBQ taste. No fancy gourmet BBQ’s in Seremban although I have seen a slightly better selection before at a grocery store called Cold Storage which has a few locations around KL, Selangor and Mid Valley. But even there, they are overpriced and limited.
So a number of months ago I decided to try making my own BBQ sauce, I was trying to get a good American BBQ sauce taste using ingredients available here in Malaysia. The sauce I’ve been making tastes great, rich flavor and just spicy enough for our taste. And because of the special ingredients like the SOS chili sauce there is a very faint Asian taste that I think makes it a special layered sauce.
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it. I use it mainly on oven baked chicken, but I also used it on the oven baked baby back ribs and it was very tasty. I usually cook the meat awhile and then add the sauce towards the second half of cooking so it doesn’t burn.
1 cup Tomato Sauce
1 cup SOS Chili Sauce
1/4 cup Distilled Vinegar
1/4 cup Dark Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Yellow Mustard, like Heinz not dry
1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
1/4 tablespoon of Mexican Chili Powder*
1/4 tablespoon of Asian Chili Powder*
1/4 tablespoon of Red Chili Pepper Flakes**
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
Mix all of the ingredients in a stainless steel saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir regularly. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until it turns dark and thick (about 10 to 15 minutes). Transfer the sauce to a sealable container and store in the refrigerator. It should keep for a month.
*Chili powder here is usually Asian chili powder, a bright red finely crushed powder. Mexican chili powder or what in the US we just call Chili Powder is browner and has a different taste so it is important for the recipe to use some Mexican Chili Powder in addition to Asian Chili Powder. MasterFoods Brand Spices from Australia makes a Mexican Chili Powder available here in Malaysia in the spice section of stores like Tesco or Jusco.
**I think I mentioned before Red Chili Pepper Flakes are hard to buy here, so I get mine from the extra packets that are delivered with Dominos Pizzas. Then later use the packets of Red Chili Pepper Flakes for cooking because cooking with out Red Chili Pepper Flakes at times is nearly impossible! OK Dominos Pizza isn’t great at all but thank goodness they do deliver to my house in seremban when I can’t cook for whatever reason and thank goodness for those pepper flake packets they are like gold in my house!
Friday, December 9, 2011
I snapped these shots at the Sri Menanti Royal Museum (I wrote about the place here). Not sure what kind of Palms these are but the berries are beautiful and would look great in my garden as I am trying to include as much orange as possible.
Monday, December 5, 2011
I was at Family Store buying my vegetables for the week, there wasn't a great selection because it was Sunday and the Family Store by my house gets really busy on Saturday and to a lesser degree Sunday morning. So by the time I rolled in there, the selection was pretty grim. I got what I could and looked for anything else that might be worth buying. I saw this small packet of some cute little greens called Taugeh Hijau so I put it in my basket.
The Taugeh Hijau sat in my crisper for a day or two and then I noticed it and thought I better do something with it before it spoiled. I looked online and found "green bean sprouts" for one translation and on a blog another suggestion that Taugeh Hijau might also mean snow pea sprouts or pea sprouts, that they are the greens for peas. The Taugeh Hijau I bought looked kind of like other pea sprouts images. It seems they are usually cooked in Asia. I didn’t need to look at the recipes, I could tell by the finished products that it’s more of that stirfry-lightly or blanch them type of preparation done here so often in Asia especially Malaysia... similar to the preparation the baby ferns I recently prepared and other greens.
But I was serving cold chicken and vegetable pasta for dinner and so cooking these didn’t appeal to me, I thought maybe I could add the sprouts to the top of the salad raw. I found one entry online that said they could be both cooked or served raw and that raw they tasted good. So I tried a stem. Sure enough, it tasted good. In fact it tasted an awful lot like alfalfa sprouts which I love and aren’t available at family store and are quite expensive when they are available at Jusco. So here I have another sprout alternative! R was skeptical but I cleaned them and placed them on top of the pasta salad. Guess what, he liked them and I did too. Very nice taste and cool texture- a crisp bite in the mouth and it made the salad look pretty fancy.
I’m going to have to get them again and try cooking them too.
Friday, December 2, 2011
I had nearly given up, but finally found something useable from Avalon Light Fixtures in Senawang not far from Seremban. I liked the curved part and the contemporary look. I wasn't sure R would like them so I took a photo and shared it with him first. Surprisingly, he liked them. I was, at that point, prepared to spend some money on the fixtures, I mean not 14,000 RM, but more than I had initially wanted to as I figured they were in an important room of the house. But to my delight they were with discount only 40 RM each!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
While my parents were here we decided to go to the Sri Menanti Royal Museum or as we have been calling it, the King's Palace, located in the royal state capital about 40km East of Seremban . I listed it in my "Places to Visit and Eat in Seremban and Negeri Sembilan" post awhile back here.
R and I had seen photos of it and were really interested to drive more inland towards the middle of Malaysia to see this place. Trying to find out exactly how to get there from Seremban wasn't that easy, all directions were vague. The best way to go, or the way we went, was to look for signs in Seremban town heading to Kuala Pilah on Federal Route 51 going east. Federal Route 51 East takes you from Seremban to Kuala Pilah. The road quickly leaves Seremban and takes you on a breathtaking climb over some mountains covered with trees and palms... really beautiful. Then, still traveling East on 51 you start to get local. You see local stands selling fruits and some grilling meat right there on the road. It's pretty nice. Before getting to Kuala Pilah you see signs to turn right to Sri Menanti on to N29 (south) which takes you to the royal town and then a roundabout towards the King's Palace. The place is pretty surreal and cool. The drive might be better than the actual 'palace' though. But it is fun to walk through. The building was built from 1902 to 1908, there are supposedly 99 pillars each at 65 feet and there were no nails or screws used to construct the place. Climbing to the top level was a steep ladder climb, fun.As seen in the photo above and on the outside of the building, the main color theme here is YELLOW. There are tons of yellow bulbs all over the palace, we would have liked to stay into the night to see it lit up, but we decided to go back up to 51 travel further east to Kuala Pilah which on a quick tour produced not much interest and too much traffic. Maybe another day, because there are supposedly many old shophouses to see that haven't been torn down.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
As I mentioned previously, they came to the house to shoot our home and interview R and I about living in Malaysia.
They shot some of the antiques we had out which are mainly Persian items. It's fun to see these items in a magazine!
Friday, November 18, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I've written a few times on this blog about my Bunga Kantan plant also known as Torch Ginger (the plant's Binomial name is Etlingera Elatior) plant because the plant just keeps fascinating me. It is always in bloom and keeps getting pollinated so that I have what seems like a never-ending supply of seeds. So I have been experimenting on how to plant the seeds as there is very little information online or photos of how to do it. After some dialogue with Autumn Belle over at My Nice Garden I managed to grow some seeds. Then some more. Then some more. The images here are seeds planted on July 22 and the photos were taken about 40 days later. Many more seedlings have sprouted since.
Recently, I decided that I want to grow some more Bunga Kantan to run it along the back side of our house between us and the neighbors and to keep experimenting. Below are some photos I took while planting more seed out in the Wet Kitchen.
I got some fresh seed pods (what I call the things above) from three separate finished Bunga Kantan blooms on my plant (a finished bloom on my plant here). When the blooms start to die they are pink, then they turn green and finally turn brown and get hard. So the pink ones should sprout seeds the fastest because they are the freshest.
I have been planting clumps of fresh seed into containers nearly filled with dirt. I plant alot of them, well, because I have a lot of seed. But also because sprouting is sporadic so the more you have the better chance to get growth.
Lastly, I cover with a small amount of dirt. Enough so that when you water a good amount everyday, the soil won't wash away and expose the seeds. I find that the plants like more water rather than less.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
As for the two windows. One is made of glass blocks so you can't see through it, but the other window is overlooking the side of our neighbors house. The window itself is something like 250cm+ long, so it was hard to find something that would fit the window. Our neighbors have had a custom piece of fabric installed, which doesn't look that great. When I saw that the Ikea panels for the Kvartal panel track were 300cm long, and two panels side to side would cover the width of the window, I chose to use it. We had to have a person install the Kavartal and panels because it required a tall ladder. It took them a few hours and I could hear them complaining about the process (had read online that these are not easy to install). Well, glad it is done, we have light and privacy!!!!