Monday, February 13, 2012


Hello folks, I decided to change my platform to wordpress. Cleaner and, though somewhat more difficult to navigate than blogger, works well for me.

Click here.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Do you..

.. take photos of your luggage before you fly off?

Well, I started to develop this habit of mine recently, when I start living in Angola. Just in case they lost my luggage and I need to show proof of what I have inside, in order to get a full/ maximum refund. I purposely show the brands!

After I start living here, I realize the most important thing is not the most expensive items. But my precious beloved items are my DVDs, my chinese cooking wines & dried mushrooms, dried guotiaw, dumpling skins, my 5 kgs cheeses, saucissons and all things that I just can't get it here. Including my sports gear. Tell me, where does one buy a sports bra here?

So if they do lose my luggages, I swear, I will cry till the whole continent can hear me!

Macaroni and (Blue) Cheese

The first thing I do the moment I am back in my kitchen (after touching every single thing in my pantry, of course) is to make macaroni with roquefort. I was inspired by this recipe many months ago and my trip to France has made all things possible. I actually fought tooth and nail with H in order to bring this to Angola. Soft, fresh cheeses don't usually travel well, especially in warm climates.

Anyway, if you're a mac and cheese lover like us, you should try this. Even when the pungent smell of blue cheese chokes you. I'd never look back. Well, at least when I'm in Angola, I shall be contented with the wallet-friendly portuguese version of edam.

It's basically a simple mac and cheese recipe, with caramelized onions and blue cheese. I even added the pine nuts as per recipe, but H doesn't like that. So I'll skip it next time.

* Well, at first, preheat the oven to 175 C.
* Then cook the macaroni. I grabbed my bow pasta, since I have got no macaroni in my pantry.
* Then you brown caramelized the onions, with a bay leaf. Season with salt & pepper.
* Prepare the bechamel sauce: butter, flour, milk, pinch of salt - roux, to the desired thickness.
* In a large bowl, mix the pasta (drained), bechamel sauce, caramelized onions and a large dollop of parmegiano reggiano and diced roquefort.
* Transfer to ramekins or what have you, into single portions, then top with breadcrumbs, and more parmegiano. Add chopped pine nuts if you want.
* Bake for 20 mins or till the top turns into golden crust.

We absolutely love this version of mac & cheese. Though it's a tad too oily than the usual mac & cheese - because of the cheese. But I'll reduce the bechamel sauce & oil when caramelizing the onion next time.

Happy trying!


We're back in Luanda, refreshed, relax and happen to be few kilos heavier. Ah but that is hardly a hefty price for all the goodies we enjoyed. I am also contented that none of our 83-kg-of-luggages arrived safely and sound. We bought so many saucisson and cheese that we're having a french lunch tomorrow.

In the meanwhile, have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

To My H

The man ...
whose cold feet always snug to mine in the middle of the night (and waking me up!)
who always tells me to order whatever I want from the menu
who calls my small eyes and flat nose pretty, and my fingers hobbits
who likes me to put my fingers in between his toes
who is camera shy..

who needs a full 5 mins to study a 4-page restaurant menu before deciding what to order
who often pokes his finger into my tummy saying, "Look, look, my finger disappears!"
who has nimble fingers and give wonderful massage
who gives me 50 euro pocket money to spend while he meets with his banker
who occasionally entertains my craze for Haribo candies
who loves to jump on freshly made bed

to H, l'homme de ma vie, who asks for raspberry tart as birthday cake
and lasagna as the main menu
I look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with you for more years to come. 

Happy Birthday, mon sayang

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fish Rigatoni with Peas and Cheese

The secret of making a great mac and cheese is a sharp, mature cheddar. This is the one you use for the shavings on top, to give that nice golden colour. For the sauce, use gruyere if you can. It's creamy and savory, and yet subtle.

But of course, that is if you live in the utopia, which I don't.

No gruyere? Fine. Take that edam ball.
No cheddar? Really? Fine. Let's try English's cheese, that red leicester please.
No elbow macaroni? Are you kidding me?

And that how my Fish Rigatoni with Peas and Cheese was born.

It's basically a standard mac & cheese, but I used Rigatoni, added left over pan-fried garoupa, peas (for additional texture and colour) and swapped the cheeses entirely.

I opt frozen peas because I hate the muted mustardy canned peas. I don't even like the taste. But when it's frozen, at least it tastes about right. Here you go, sans exact measurement..

Fish Rigatoni with Peas and Cheese 
Preheat the oven to 175 C.

Cook the pasta as per instruction, on the last 2-3 mins add in the frozen peas. 
In a pan, heat up 2 tbsp butter, add in 2 tbsp flour. Whisk.. this is the process called roux.
Slowly add in room temperature milk, while continue stirring. 
Add in some nutmeg, salt and pepper. Taste!
Continue whisking till they thicken and smooth.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the diced/shredded gruyere (or in my case, edam). 
Add in the pasta & the peas.
Add in the left over fish (already cooked. If not, just pan fry with S+P)
Mix and transfer to a baking pan. 
Sprinkle the top with mature cheddar (or in my case, leicestershire)
Sprinkle with bread crumbs. About 2-3 tbsp.
Baked for 10-15 mins till your doneness. 
Don't overbake because else the pasta will become dry and too hard to chew.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter 2012

My one month break is almost over.. It's almost time to go home, but not yet! :) 
Here's how my holiday has been so far..

[ Galette du Roi, to celebrate King's Day ]

[ Fresh Produce, from garden ]

[ Morning walks ]
[ Glamour Monaco ] 
[ Whale Exhibition, Monaco ]
[ Visiting Friends in Nice ]

[ At The Carlton, Cannes ]

[ [the) Opera, from Fauchon ]
and finally...
[ Gong Xi Fat Choi ]
Hope your January has been wonderful!