Thursday, November 29, 2012

Belated Thanksgiving, no senior moment

My good friend, Diana, shared a video with me and it is so hilarious (but true) that I have to share with you all, especially with friends that are around my age.

I had a good laugh watching the video and I believe you would too. Be patient with the first two minutes.After seeing the video this is what I wrote to my friend Diana.

“Good morning. What a hilarious video to wake up to and thanks for a good laugh. Jokes aside, there were so many things she mentioned that I have done before and I am only 57. Just a few days ago, I was clicking and clicking my car remote in front of a white car and wondering why I can't open the door. I said out loud to myself in a VERY irritating voice, "What's WRONG with this stupid remote?" Then I heard a man's voice behind me and said, "Aunty, I think you got the wrong car." Then I heard, "toot toot" and the car door was opened. I am sure you can imagine the rest of the story yourself. LOL! Oh Lord, where can I find a Home Instead Senior Care in Malaysia?”

Before I let you all go, I would like to share with you our Belated Thanksgiving Dinner with our good friends, John & Diana Ishii last Saturday. Oh, it is not that we forgot that the actual date for Thanksgiving was the Thursday before, no senior moment on this one. We had to defer our dinner two days due to the water service at our house being off for eight hours on Thanksgiving day. 

Quay Po had a tsunami in the kitchen before Quay Lo cooked up a tornado and the result was all these dishes we enjoyed and would like to share with you virtually.

A welcome drink prepared by my Quay Lo
Cranberry Martini to start the evening

Perfectly roasted turkey by my Quay Lo. I will get my Quay Lo
to share this recipe with you in another post.

It is a neccessity to have cranberry sauce to go with the roast turkey. 
Homemade cranberry sauce made by Quay Po.
I will share the recipe with you in another post.

Stuffing made by my Quay Lo - This stuffing is SUPER delicious and 
I will ask my Quay Lo to share the recipe with you all in another post.
This photo does not do justice to the dish because it was taken with my iPhone.

Brussels Sprouts with hazel nuts -This is a recipe from 
my friend, Wendy of Table for Two or More. 
Sorry for the low quality of the picture. 
Photo was taken with my iPhone.
Click on the photo to get the recipe

My Quay Lo hand carried this bottle of wine back from the U.S.
and kept it in our small wine chiller  for 9 years
He shared it with us ... Awesome!

Apple tarte tartin made by Quay Po. Please click 
on the either photos to get the recipe.

Triple Chocolate Brownies made by Quay Po. The best brownies recipe which
I will share with you in another post.

We had so much fun and laughter. Another fond memory for us to look back to in the years to come.  I give thanks for  whatever I have, and also what I have not, for we need the latter, so we will not take the former for granted. I also give thanks for having all of you riding along with me on my culinary adventures and all your tips, and help along the way. Stay tuned for my Quay Lo's recipes on roast turkey and the stuffing. If you make it for Christmas, you will surely WOW your guests. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Up close with Anna Olson

Both my Quay Lo and I love to watch Anna Olson’s shows on Asian Food Channel.  Her recipes are simple and easy to follow yet yield beautiful bakes. I never thought I would see her show live! My thanks to Asian Food Channel for bringing her to Kuala Lumpur.

Anna Olson is a  professionally trained pastry chef with over fifteen years of experience in the culinary field. She has, or has had, her own cooking shows such as "Bake with Anna Olson", "Sugar" and "Fresh with Anna Olson".  All her shows have been aired on the Asian Food Channel. 

I was the first person arrived at the event because I remembered the time wrong. It was 2.30pm and not 2.00pm. 

It was a blessing in disguise because I got myself a seat in the front row very near to the demo counter. So, I could see Anna more clearly. LOL!

Before Anna's arrival at the demo room, I met her husband, Michael Olson. 

He is a big guy like my Quay Lo and he too has that million dollar smile. Michael was busy getting everything ready for Anna's demo. When Anna finally arrives, she was briefed by by him. This is truly a husband and wife team.

Finally, after a long wait, the emcee, Will Quah announced the arrival of Anna Olson and gave us an introduction. 

By sheer coincidence Will is a friend of my son's and they have performed on stage together. Will is well known in the local entertainment scene as a fluent emcee. So I was happy to say hello and grab a shot with him.

After the introduction, the demo started and the first thing Anna made was Tourtiere.

Cooking the filling for tourtiere

Rolling out the pie crust

Placing the crust into the pie tin and put in the filling

The final product
Each of us get to taste one of the mini tourtieres.
 I did not eat mine but brought it home for my Quay Lo to taste.

Tourtiere's (pronounced tor tee ays) are savoury pies made with spiced meat, including beef, lamb, and pork (in other venues),  especially in French Quebec Canada, where they are popular as a snack around the Christmas holidays.

Next, Anna went on to make pumpkin crème brulee tarts.

I would like to thank Lach of  Alice George Communication for the invitation to the Anna Olson baking demo, and a very BIG thank you to my friend Evelyn of Missyblurkit for passing my contact to Lach. I enjoyed the chance to see one of my inspirations up close.

I am not sure if I can share with you the recipes but once I get the green light to do so, I will. I would especially like to try making the pumpkin creme brulee for Christmas. Pumpkin is not particularly at the top of my favorites list, but in this recipe I think I could be pursuaded.

For now how about making the traditional creme brulee instead.

Please click on the picture to get the recipe

Thursday, November 22, 2012

US Potatoes Dinner

Since my Quay Lo and I came together, potatoes are available in our home at all times. There are many dishes I have made with potatoes as an ingredient. As you might expect, these have been either an appetizer or more commonly as a side dish to the main course.  So when I received an invitation to attend a private dinner at the Le Meridian hosted by the United States Potato Board (USPB) last Friday, I accepted, wondering how would it be possible to make an event out of this standard workhorse of carbohydrates that, along with bread, mark a distinction between our household's two food cultures.  Little did I imagine that I was setting off to rediscover an ingredient of seemingly boundless variability and culinary application.

The meal was prepared Le Meridian’s Executive Chef Antoine Rodriguez.

When the guests arrived at the dinner, we were greeted with a room decorated with a large variety of potatoes on display and, though I understood that this root vegetable came in multiple variations, it was still very impressive to see them all together. Based on that alone, I sensed that my regard for the lowly potato had been raised a notch or two. To a cook, whose culinary background had little to do with potatoes, except for an occasional treat of french fries, just walking into the room was an eye opener. 

I would never have thought of using potatos as the center piece of a table setting. "What a great idea" I thought, and "isn't this fun, I am seeing something new to me"!

Before the presentation and cooking demostration started, we were served with potato canapés.

Vichyssoises, best described as a cold potato soup, and 
featuring 3 varieties of U.S. potatos

U.S. Blue Purple potato dumpling filled with spicy
coconut and prawns

US Round Red Potato case with chicken
rendang in this delightful fusion of East & West

US Potato Chawanmushi

Mr. Chris Rittgers the US Agricultural Trade Attaché  gave a welcome speech..

followed by a presentation by Mr. Eddie, a local representative for the sponsor, about the different varieties of U.S. potatos, the history and growing characteristics, the nutritional values, and how the potato became a mainstay crop in the U.S.

This was an informative part of the evening. I was surprised. I mean, after all, if someone suggested that you spend your Friday evening learning about U.S. potatos, would you even consider it? I was glad I had done so. Mr. Eddy had lots of observations to share. For example, we learned that 40% of the utilization of U.S. potato production is for frozen potato products.

After the Eddie’s presentation, Miss Carina Lipold, Health and Wellness Expert spoke about the nutritional values of potatoes.

Not surprisingly, the potato is a power pack of admirable nutritional value.

I was surprised, however, that 100 gms of white potato has a lower kcal value as compared to pasta, rice, or banana.

Next was the cooking demo by Chef Antoine Rodrigues which we were all eager for. 

Chef showed us how he made these yummilicious appetizers from potatoes.

US Russet potato and US Blue Purple potato cake with Garlic and Chives Cream Sauce

Roasted US fingerling potato, Provencal fresh herbs, garlic, chili flake, olive oil


US Yukon Gold potato and cheese croquette with Chili
tomato smoked dip

After the cooking demonstration dinner was served:

Chunky long white US potato & clam chowder served with sweet corn, grated cheddar cheese and ciabatta bread crouton

Seared sea scallop, truffle mashed US Round Red potato with parmesan wafer

US Red potato cheese cake and US Blue purple potato chips with  compressed turkey terrine served with cranberry jelly, “jus tranche”

US Russet potato chocolate cake

If you are interested to find out more about U.S. potatoes you might want to visit the United States Potato Board website. 

I would like to thank my friend Shannon of Just as Delish for passing my contact to Jay Mee of EverQuest Sdn. Bhd. so they could send me the invitation. A big Thank You to USPB and Jay Mee for having me and giving me an opportunity to learn so much more about potatoes. Now, I feel I could come up with lots of new delicious and healthy dishes with all kinds of potatoes as an ingredient. 

I will share with you all the recipes of the above dishes in my next post. Stay tuned!