Friday, January 24, 2014

A Year ago...counting the savory blessings

I have so many backdated posts, but I have so many new upcoming posts as well. While I still continue to filter most of my posts due to their interesting factor, I also had to go through the quality of the photos I had. You see, in the past year, I was too busy traveling for work and most of the time, I relied only on my trustworthy smartphones. That wasn't all, I rarely had time to really spend a lot of time on my photography skills and all I did was just snap and shoot when it came. (Sometimes, I don't even take the photos - yes, I was in a hurry most of the time, and I had an extremely hectic schedule which frequently left me feeling tired).

Anyway, I am sure the quality of the photos are evident in my recent posts, and I guess many may have thought I have deteriorated in my standards - which is not wrong, at all. I wasn't really a pro photographer to begin with, but the photos just did not turn as attractive anymore and I truly apologize for that. What with the blog down for a year and then when she comes back, the photos are just crap - that's just really great for a comeback, huh? I apologize again, and I promise that I will try to scrap those photos from being shared here to avoid those blurry pics. Rather, I would like to focus more on the posts and the newer ones to keep you guys updated on my life.
Let the bygones be bygones~

However, while I want to move on with the newer posts and my more recent adventures, I did dig up some old pics from the last year which were quite interesting, albeit the quality of the photos (again, sorry for that!) which I thought I would like to share just for the fun of reminiscing and nostalgia.
Hope you won't mind, and do enjoy this post as one quick walk down my memory lane from 2012-2013~ It is a way to list down all the memorable savory treats I have had from the year before; all the blessings in the food diary of this picky eater =)

I promise to post better quality photos soon and will make up for all the lost time *winks* ;-)

Jan 2013 - Had these cute little bunch of cookies from my close girl friend who tied the knot at the end of 2012 and being a new wife, she was enjoying experiments in the kitchen, and most importantly developing that relationship with her oven. Whatever it was, I was just so touched with this little array of cookies, courtesy of this awesome friend!~
It was supposed to be a CNY batch of cookies, but it served well as a birthday treat too!~

Feb 2013 - CNY with the Poon Choy (literally means bucketful of food/vegetables). It was the first time we had this as a family on the 2nd day that I returned home to my family.
(According to the Chinese customs, married women usually return to their maiden homes only on the 2nd day of the Chinese New Year as the eve and the 1st day are reserved for the in-laws; or her husband's family).
To be honest, I was never that into the notion of Poon Choy as I just thought it was just too much food at a go, and unappealing. However, gone were the days when the cuisine was just piling on all the types of vegetables to serve a crowd (or perhaps a village?) as the modern version of this is just a luxurious presentation of decadence; not to mention opulence as ingredients now include prawns, fish maw, abalone, scallops, sea cucumber, mushrooms, fortune bags, pork and such, all served with a tasty bowl of soup which was probably boiled for hours before serving.
Needless to say, this did not come cheap either.
(Well, that's the Chinese way of celebration; luxury to usher in more fortune and luck and wealth for the year) - not sure whether I quite agree but then again, it is the culture after all.

Vietnamese Healthy Yee Sang - Another round of Chinese New Year celebration with the family was with an interesting yee sang which was based on fresh fruits and vegetables with generous thick slices of salmon to top it off. I think it cost about MYR60++ but it was a delightful toast to prosperity and a rather refreshing idea!

The following are not in any sequential or chronological order in which they appeared, as they were just bits and pieces from the past.  I will let the photos do the talking~

Spicy Seafood Sukiyaki - Tried this at one of those sushi joints (I just adore Japanese food and it seems like last year was full of them!) It was spicy, yet flavorful - just Japanese food with that spicy mix of Malaysian flavor in it. Perhaps it has been localized to suit the feisty taste buds of the Malaysians who just can't get enough kick of spices in their food.
(Not me though, I am not one for spicy food *blushes*)

Homecooked Grilled Salmon - This is just awesome, my mum just grilled them with a little bit of butter for that gourmet taste (LOL!) and it just turned out yummylicious *thumbs up*
Just writing this post makes me recall the taste and now the craving is kicking in...owhhh...

Homemade Aiyu Jelly - This is something which I like really much, and while many think this originated from Taiwan, this is actually our local fruit/dessert which was not really popularized in her own turf. Anyway, in my humble opinion, nothing beats our local version in terms of the quality and also the taste of this jelly/drink!

Double Catfish Dish
The reason this was called a double catfish was the interesting part of their presentation; in which they will weigh and serve you a whole catfish in two different styles. The fish fillets will be stir-fried according to the style you like. The remaining of what's left of the fish and the bones would then be cooked in a soup with vegetables.
It was a pretty good idea to not waste any part of the fish, and yet get the worth of the price of the fish you paid for (and mutes the thoughts of some who wonders on what happened to the rest of the fish? LOL)
There will be a better version of this if I visit the restaurant another time ;-)

Kimchi pancake - Besides Japanese, I remembered craving for Korean food quite frequently last year and the result? Frequented a few of my personal favorite Korean joints besides discovering a couple of new ones too.
Somehow, this was one tasty and flavorful pancake to relish and it just makes one want to reach for another piece. I know I did!

Homemade Banana Cake 
No, my mum didn't make this, but this was bought from a market from a woman who makes them for a living. She was experimenting to bake fresh banana cakes/breads with real bananas instead of relying too much on the food additives and flavors and it came out good. It was not too bad, and as it was homemade, it was not that easy to find the same version.
However, I did manage to find another stall which sells, which left me wondering, was it homemade or manufacturing? Or perhaps the recipe for this banana bread has spread to many bakers?
I know many baker bloggers who are equally creative in making their own versions of the banana bread but most of you are too far away from me! =(
I will first learn to try not to burn down kitchen before attempting to bake? ;-P

Tortoise-shaped cakes - filled with red bean paste. These were just adorable, and tasty too!
Mum was just so fascinated with them, and can't blame her as the cakes were just such eye candies with their clearly defined lines of a tortoise shell.

Sweet Japanese potato soup 
Mum wanted to get the sweet Japanese potatoes which were orange in color, but she picked the wrong one and the dessert soup just turned out purple!
It was not a bad mistake either, as it was just picture perfect!
A rather unique and interesting mistake, if I may say so~

Mung Bean ice dessert - Had the chance to enjoy this dessert before the shop closes down.
It was sad really, as the shop earlier closed down the year before then came back to action but then they are now closed for good due to the poor response from the local neighborhood.
I am gonna miss my mung bean ice dessert~

Mini dorayaki pancakes - It is getting hard to find dorayaki these days from where I am and it was by chance that I stumbled upon these while on my weekend strolls in the mall.
While they look adorable, I am sorry to say the tastes don't match the appearances!
Too bad, so I will still continue my hunt for good dorayaki pancakes~

Sashimi Salad - Oh ya, this is like, my new favorite these days and sadly, not many Japanese sushi joints serve them or as good as this one! I might share them in my newer posts, so stay tune for this to make its appearance again ;-)

Freshly squeezed juices 
Hubby got a new juicer and he was trying out different juices. I am simple; just give me my fruit juices and I am a happy woman =)

Hunted for a pomelo following my previous post/adventure with the flavorful pomelo salad, and glad it wasn't too hard of a journey though I was surprised by the rates the prices of pomelo have gone up these days. Perhaps I have been conned too?
I remembered telling the guy that I do not want such yellowish pomelo; but he guaranteed that it would be sweet. Anyway, turns out he was right - he's the expert.

There are more on the list; but I have just tried to minimalize as much as possible by just selecting the more memorable ones (also better photo quality ones - can't believe how 'unemotional' my pictures have become; guess that's what happens when one just shoot and go, without that thought and feeling in check).

Still, it was a rather eventful and joyful year and I have learnt a lot of things along the way; while discovering myself as well.
I have just gotten back from a short break, and will be posting more on my blogs with the updates and adventures I had. Also, isn't the scent of CNY in the air already?
Be ready for more food, travel and life sharing stories on the way!~


  1. Just start cooking not long ago and Salmon fish definitely my fav as it is easy to prepare :P

  2. Choi Yen! Missed chatting with you ;-)
    Oooh, we all need to cook soon, with the prices rising like nobody's business :-P
    Hmmm, maybe I should pick up some tips from you expert bloggers ;-)