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Archive for December, 2009

I’m still alive and kicking, though the hubs and I have both been ill these past few weeks. He caught the cold first, and then I caught it, hacking cough and all.

Our Christmas was a quiet one. We didn’t put up the Xmas tree or any decorations for that matter. I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate, PLUS the house still has got boxes around, so no point to add more clutter in the house. Last Xmas, I made roast lamb for our Xmas dinner, and this year, the hubs wanted seafood, so seafood it was. I could have just had a sandwich really 😉

It was surprisingly easy to make. Baked mussels, seafood stew and pan fried scallops.

Scallops

 

Baked Mussels

 

Seafood stew

 

Our X'mas Dinner

 

I forgot to take a picture of the scallops, but you can see it on the plates, beside the bread. The hubs made the garlic butter ;), in the bowl right beside the candles. The wine was very good, a bit too good actually *chuckles, inside joke*

A few days before Xmas, hubs had a potluck thing at his office, just for his group. Yours truly was flustered as to whattttt to whip up. He insisted on buying some snacks a.k.a. junk food but I wouldn’t hear of it. Later everyone else bring canggih food, how? Malu only. So I made Deviled Eggs.

Deviled Eggs

 

Hubs came back home just before lunchtime to collect it, and I was soooo worried that the eggs would slide/turn turtle in the aluminium container while being transported. The lettuce leaves I placed wasn’t meant for garnishing, but to prevent the eggs from sliding about in there. Turns out, it looks pretty nice too. Thankfully, it reached his office safely.  And guess what, apparently EVERYONE else brought tipu/easy/cheapo foods such as popcorn(!!!), chips, bought pizza, junk food. And only one other person made something, and that was Tiramisu (no need to cook also :P). But if he tells the truth, the hubs said that it was a hit, and people kept asking him what was in it. 😉 I hope they liked it.

Modena too was hit by the bad weather that had been circulating in Europe. One day I think it even went down to -16 degrees. The first 1-2 days it snowed, it was pretty, and I had a nice time stomping around in the snow. Then it became a nuisance, turning into slush, and making the roads all icy and super slippery.

Snowflakes

 

View from our room

 

The garden of our condominium

 

Kid toboganning down the slope

 

Leaves looking like baubles on trees

 

 And in the blink of an eye, another year dawns upon us. I hope 2010 will be a happy, healthy, fruitful one for us; I would like to leave 2009 behind. 2007 and 2009 were awful years for me. Here’s wishing you a Happy, Healthy 2010!

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OMG where has the year gone???? I almost can’t believe that 2010 is just around the corner! Felt like it was just yesterday that I moved to Italy. This time last year I was grumbling about the cold. I guess you need a little time to get used to the cold. Yesterday it was about 1 degree outside, and somehow, I feel like I’m getting accustomed to the cold. Let’s hope I don’t jinx it and get ill later on!

Anyway, the hubs and I have been so freaking busy, you have no idea. It’s the house that takes up most of our time and energy these days. Coupled with the fact that I have more classes to teach these days and also classes to attend, I practically am out of the house from morning to night. When I come home, I whip up dinner, have dinner, have a shower and then collapse in bed. And the next morning, the cycle repeats itself. And ironically, these workers who come to our house LOVE coming at 8-8.30 in the morning! That’s still not too bad. What’s worse is when they SAY they’re coming at 8 and then turn up at 10. Gah I hate that. Wake up so early and waste a few hours of precious sleep waiting for them to arrive. Oh well, at least I see the light at the end of the tunnel. The final work;  touch-ups of paint around the house is being done as I type this. Once that’s done, we can remove more things from the boxes strewn all over the house. The kitchen part is done. I took ONE FULL DAY to organize my kitchen items & ingredients. And I thought I’d need like 2-3 hours at most >____<

Anyway, once the boxes are out of the house, we can get our new sofa delivered, and then have the housewarming party. Which leads me to my recipe of the day 😉 I decided to try out this particular recipe to see if it works well, and whether it would be good enough to serve to the guests. The thing is, I want to make something that’s Malaysian. But what IS Malaysian food? I can only think of Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Char Kuay Teow. But OMG, the Italians are so very, very unadventurous with their food. Most of the Italians I know do not like Asian food. So what do I cook for them? I can’t exactly be making pasta coz that would be akin to having an Italian cook nasi lemak for me. It just doesn’t seem right. So, like it or not, I’ve decided to make some Indian and Chinese food for the party, BUT I’ll stick to the mild ones, hence my dish below; Tandoori Tikkas.

Tandoori Tikkas

 

Tandoori Tikkas

 

How, nice or not? 😉 I know that self praise is no praise, but the tikkas sure tasted good 😀 The only thing missing was the mint raita which I had planned to make. The supermarket had run out of mint leaves, so we had to do without the raita. I substituted with some cut cucumber and a piadina. After my failed attempt at making chapati, I figured that it would be simpler to jut buy some piadina. It looks like chapati but tastes different, just slightly.

Here it is, the recipe for Tandoori Chicken Tikkas

 

Ingredients

500g boneless, skinless chicken thigh – cut into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup yoghurt

5 tbsp ginger & garlic paste

2.5 tsp tandoori masala

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 green chili (or to taste), minced

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)

Salt, to taste

A packet of bamboo skewers – soaked for at least 2 hours

 

Method

1. Wash chicken and cut into bite sized pieces.

2. Add lemon juice to chicken and let it rest for 5 minutes

3. In a smaller bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Taste whether it is to your liking (esp salt).

4. Add chicken to the marinade and mix well.

5. Leave it to marinate in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably overnight.

6. Thread the chicken pieces onto the bamboo skewers.

7. Place skewers on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil and greased.

8. Place in oven on BROIL or GRILL mode for about 10 minutes on one side and 8 minutes on the other OR till the chicken pieces brown / caramelize at the sides.

9. Remove from oven, garnish with onions, cucumber or lemon wedges and serve with mint raita.

 

 

And oh, I am a happy girl 😀 We went to Ikea and I got myself a pestle and mortar to replace the tiny, fragile one that the hubs had (that one couldn’t even pound one onion!)

Ikea Pestle & Mortar

 

Pestle and mortar from Ikea, made of marble. Don’t play play ok. Now I’m gonna pound everything and let the stupid neighbour beside us complain however much they want. 😀 *GLEEFUL*

 

 

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