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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

My boy turns 12 with a Caramel Machiato Chocolate Mousse Cake

Friday, 15th November 2013 marked by son's 12th birthday! It also marked his last day in primary school and coincided with his School's Prize Giving Day. So indeed it was going to be a busy day indeed!

Both The Lovely Wife and I had taken the day off and my son had asked that we celebrate his birhtday that night with the family as he wanted to have a party for his friends the next day, being a Saturday and all.

He also wanted a cake to cut with the family on his birthday dinner but being a big boy now, he didnt want to cut a cake with his friends for his party. He also specifically asked for "Something nice Dads, something with Chocolate". When pushed as to what cake he wanted, he smiled and said "Surprise me!"

So anyway, as per usual practice, we woke him up on the morning of his birthday after hiding his presents under his bed. He had had his eyes on a pair of Nike sports shoes but being the good boy that he is, he remarked that they were way too expensive. To put things in context and perspective, the week leading up to his birthday had been immensely busy. On Tuesday, 12th November, he sat for his Grade 3 Drum Exams. Then on Thursday, he got his UPSR results. (UPSR is the Standard Six government exams) He did extremely well and obtained the maximum 5A's!

So, in recognition of his good results and his birthday, TLW and I decided to splurge and get him the pair of Nike Air Max shoes that he had his eyes on! Boy was he happy! He also got a Lego Technic set, a Lego mini figure from his sister and a Crayola Secret Message Pen set. I also got him a Dinosaur skeleton mini kit akin to a lego mini figure just for kicks since he has always loved dinosaurs! The dino skeleton was pretty crappy though but Michael did like the thought nonetheless.
So, presents opened, hugs and kisses all round, shower and change and I took them to school for the Prize Giving Day while TLW went to pick up both Grandma's as well as a shoulder of Pork I was supposed to roast later for dinner.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Birthday Take Two

The week after TLWs birthday, the market was back to being normal again. I told TLW that I'd make her another fancy meal but this time using Cod! You could almost see the sparkle in TLW's eyes.

Since TLW was taking her mom to the market, I asked her to get the cod as well as some asparagus. She asked what I was going to make and suggested that I make a Steamed Cod with Soya Sauce but I hushed her and told her to just go get the cod as well as some asparagus.

I've mentioned before that Cod is rather expensive but we all so love Cod and it's not often that we indulge. TLW came back with 4 nice and thick slabs of Cod and I couldn't wait to cook it let alone eat it.

Once again, my daughter insisted that I plate the meal nicely and so I pandered to her request. I have to admit that a nicely plated meal does look so much better and somehow it tastes better too!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Birthday Dinner at Gastro Dharmus

Yeah I know I'm late and I'm slacking on this blog but it's not easy finding the time. Anyway, August 10th 2013 was The Lovely Wife's birthday. The day coincided with the wedding of one of my cousins so we couldnt celebrate her birthday. Fortunately, the preceding Thursday and Friday were Public Holidays due to Hari Raya so we decided we would celebrate TLW's birthday on Friday night instead.

Initially I had planned on taking TLW and the kids out for a fancy dinner. Then I thought why not make her a fancy dinner at home instead. After all, unless I took her out to a really swanky restaurant, I would only end up humming and hawing about the food and especially the dessert. By cooking at home, I would save everyone from listening to my hums and haws...

The plan was to make TLW a seafood dish. TLW likes cod and I had grandiose plans of Grilled Cod with Prawns. I would serve it with a side of Pumpkin mash and a citrus honey salad. That was the plans but sometimes the best laid plans go awry.

On Friday morning, the kids and I went shopping for groceries. TLW had some errands she needed to run so that fit us just perfectly. When we reached the market in Bangsar, we ran into the first problem. Being the second day of Hari Raya, the usually active morning market wasnt at its full service. The fishmonger was sorely missing so that meant no Cod. Aaargh! There was no Cod in TMC (the nearby Supermarket) and Village Grocer (another Super) was closed as well. Things were not looking too good. Fortunately the flower lady was around and we bought a whole bunch of flowers for The Lovely Wife. We bumped into my father while buying the flowers and he insisted on paying for them.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Tapas for dinner - not Antipasto!

Just last week we were wondering what to have for dinner. We had been eating out quite a bit and The Lovely Wife and the kids were quite fed up with going out to the same local eateries. I was too but sometimes it's just quicker and easier especially when we've been having rather busy weekends.

My son asked if we could just stay home and not go out and all four of us were tossing up what to have for dinner. I decided to make it into a little bit of a fun event and I bundled the two kids into the car for a trip to the local supermarket. I said the plan was to have lots of different things to eat and we'd sit and chat while we enjoyed the food - kind of like a Tapas meal.

Before going to the supermarket, we popped in to the local bakery where we bought some Ciabatta and Rustica breads. In the supermarket, I picked up some fresh prawns, then while glancing in the Frozen Food section, I remembered how I used to love fish fingers when I was young. The Kids hadn't had fish fingers in the longest time either so I picked up a pack. We all love sausages and I tossed in a pack of Victoria Crest Lamb and Beef Merquez sausages. My mind was visualising the platter of food and I decided the platter needed some garlic mushrooms as well as some Salami.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Father's Day 2013

It's Father's Day morning here in Malaysia. I know not all countries celebrate Father's Day on the same day. After waking up, the kids surprised me with a 3 presents, brought in one by one for me to open. Each one had a card on it and this was the sequence.

DADS - yes, we all know that the kids call me Dads with an 's'. A gift of Arnotts Teddy Bear Biscuits and Snickers Bars - my favourites! And the card says : Happy Father's Day to the most awesome Dads!

How sweet is that.

Next up was this:

A set of ceramic baking beans for me to use to Bake Blind. Lots of times I complain about having to use rice or red beans to line the pastry to bake blind. Now I have reusable ceramic baking beans! The card reads: Ur Cakes Rock, love Michael and Sarah.

The Third gift was this, from The Lovely Wife.

Its a special grater to grate chocolate into curls. The attached card reads: Happy Father's Day to my favourite Chef.

Awwww, so, so sweet the kids and The Lovely Wife are.

Put all the cards together, and you get

Dads, Baker, Chef - the title of this blog!! Now how truly awesome is that!

Happy Father's Day to everyone!!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Ben's Backyard BBQ - an idea for Father's Day

This blog has mostly been about my own recipes. Sometimes, there is a smattering of me trying out a recipe from the blogosphere and some other times, I rant and rave about something or another.

I don't think I have ever done a review about a restaurant or talked about an eatery before or done a 'plug' on this blog. I guess that is about to change. You see, on Thursday, 13 June 2013 evening, I was invited to a BBQ Sampler at Ben's in Publika. I didnt know I was expected to blog about this so I didnt bring my camera along. All photos below courtesy of Fatboybakes and Lynn from BIG.

For those of you that don't know, Ben's is part of BIG also know as the Big Idea Group. BIG has a large collection of restaurants, cafes, bars, retail food stores and concept supermarkets. The outlet in Publika is one of the restaurants in their stable.

It was a really fun night and the kids, The Lovely Wife and I enjoyed the BBQ sampler. The meat was was laid out uncooked and I actually had the pleasure of cooking some of the meat myself. The BBQ Sampler included prime cuts of beef, nice lamb cutlets on the bone, chicken wings and chicken sausages.

There was also an ample array of side dishes that included a potato salad, eggplant salad with chicken and even fried parmesan! Oh, and there was also a Seafood skewer that had scallops, prawns and squid on it.

The beef and lamb was tasty and I was pleasantly surprised that the cuts of meat were really good quality and very tender. The sausages were large and although rather tasty, they weren't my cup of tea. I prefer sausages that are chunky and meaty. Apple Crumble was served for dessert with chunky pieces of apple covered in a rather crispy crumble.

On Saturday, 1th June 2013, which is the eve of Father's Day, Ben's Publika will be hosting the Ben's Backyard BBQ party. Give your father a treat with Burgers, Steaks, Corn-on-the-cob, root beer floats and more. The festivities start from 12pm all the way up to 10pm. There will be performances from finalists of the recently held Publika Live open microphone competition as well. Sounds like good family fun.

Coupons for Ben's Backyard BBQ Party at Ben's Publika are available in booklets of RM50 and can be bought on the day itself. So if you fancy BBQ, get into the spirit and head down to Ben's at Publika on Saturday!

Best part of the BBQ Sampler at Ben's was meeting up with old and new friends that included Ciki from ccfoodtravel.comtogether with her lovely parents and my old friend Fatboybakes with his kids. I also had the pleasure of meeting Carole and Lynn, both of whom do some work for BIG. If you want more info, get in touch with yilynn.chan@thebiggroup.co - and yes, it is co and not com.

It was really a lot of fun doing this review and plug and I hope I get the chance to do some more!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Pasta Salmone

It's actually quite amazing that I've never posted this recipe! This was made a long long time ago - Christmas Eve Dinner 2010 to be exact! I had noted down the recipe as a draft and even uploaded the pictures but never got round to doing the writeup.

Salmon Pasta has always been something I've wanted to try and make. In restaurants, Salmon Pasta is not only rather expensive but they are often stingy with the Salmon. So when making it at home, I made sure I wasn't going to be stingy with anything!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Final Article in NST - Desserts

This is the final article commissioned by The New Sunday Times. This time I write about Desserts.

It's been a lot of fun writing for the NST and here's hoping everyone had fun reading the articles. Who would have thought when I started this blog that I'd be approached to write for a national newspaper!!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Sausage Rolls

I've always liked sausage rolls. In my time as a student in Oz, Sausage Rolls were always a keen snack or even a meal. It didn't quite rank in the heights of a good old 'Four n Twenty Aussie Meat Pie' or a 'Burger with the Lot' or even just a simple Rissole but they were good anyway.

The Lovely Wife took a fancy to Sausage Rolls when she was on a short trip to Sydney back in early 2012 - yes, this post is quite late. If I recall correctly, she enjoyed the sausage rolls so much that she had them for every second meal!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A Princess turns 9 with a Pear and Nut Crumble Cake

Sunday, 17th February 2013 marked the 9th Birthday of my (not so) little princess. I cant believe how the time has flown and how quickly she has grown up. As per tradition, we woke her up early in the morning and she looked under the bed for her presents.

This year she got a nice stash that included a set of headphones, a Faber Castell paint set, a clay art and craft set and a Litte Miss key-chain. She also got DrawSomething - a game that all of us can play together since she loves boardgames so much.

It being a Sunday, we went for the early Church service and while the kids had Sunday School, we rushed back home so The Lovely Wife could cook lunch. It was going to be a vegetarian lunch since the kids have given up meat for Lent.

The Lovely Wife, with some help from her Mother, cooked up a whole bunch of vegetarian dishes that were really tasty. The menu this year consisted of Vegetable Briyani, Stir Fried Ladies Fingers (Okra) Tomato Chutney, Yoghurt Curry, Tarka Dhall, Baji and Stuffed Taufoo (tauhu sumbat). Very Yummy indeed!

The kids had a lot of fun stuffing the Fried Bean curd with cucumber and turnip and topping it with chilli sauce.

Lunch was really delicious....

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Lemon Frosted Lemon Cake with a sad snake...

Every Chinese New Year for the last few years, we have been invited over to Ms Lor Siak Por's for lunch. Ms LSP always provides a lovely spread of food and this year was no exception

As has been the 'tradition' I bake a cake for her and her guests to eat. Except for the first year, when I managed to pipe on a Chinese character on the cake, the last 2 years have seen me trying to feature the Chinese Zodiac animal on the cake.

Trying is the operative word as my Zodiac Animals never seem to turn out well. Two years ago, I attempted a Rabbit Cake but the rabbit turned out looking more like a hamster or maybe a rat. Then, last year, I attempted a Dragon Cake but alas, said dragon turned out looking more like a fancy prawn.

This year, being the year of the snake, I attempted a Snake figure for the cake. Well, it kind of looks like a snake but perhaps a rather sad snake. As my little princess said, I should have just gone for a 'cartoonish' kind of snake in 2D rather than trying to be fancy. My son said that the snake made the otherwise lovely looking cake look scary....

He said I should have taken a picture of the cake first without the snake. I wish I had done that too.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

New Sunday Times again...

Another article in the New Sunday Times - I think this is article number 5. This time I feature some Chinese Food that The Lovely Wife cooks up. Pity the editors decided to replace occurences of The Lovely Wife with 'my wife'..

Link to Another article in the New Sunday Times


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