Archive for March, 2010

Yesterday, the hubs and I had the most horrible experience in a restaurant, ever. We took a walk in the city center, and decided that we would have pizza for lunch. We decided on this particular restaurant called Ristorante Uva D’oro situated at Piazza Mazzini along Via Emilia in Modena.

At 12 noon, we sat down at one of their tables outside, waiting for someone to take our orders. After some time, no one came, and we thought that perhaps no one had seen us. So we stepped inside, and this waitress, about 25 or so showed us to a tiny table at the corner. Now bear in mind, the restaurant was TOTALLY empty and we were the only customers in there. Was there a need to seat us at the tiniest table in the room? The hubs is quite tall at 185 cm. Obviously, he found that little corner too tight for comfort, and we thus requested for a change in table. The waitress, who by now, did not look too happy showed us to yet ANOTHER tiny table in ANOTHER corner of the restaurant. This was a tad better, but still very cramped. We were given two menus, one in English and the other in Italian.

A few minutes later, the same waitress came to take our orders. There was no smile, no courteous words whatsoever. And it wasn’t because she couldn’t speak to us, because the hubs was ordering food for us in perfect Italian. After we told her the type of pizzas and drinks we wanted, the hubby added that we would like the pizza to be “tirata” @ pulled/thin-crusted. This waitress had the GALL to purse her lips, raise her eyebrows and told us in such an unpleasant, rude manner that “you should have told me this before I wrote this down”. WHAT THE HELL?????

It wasn’t as if the pizza was already made. It wasn’t as if she had left our table and we changed our minds. She was STILL taking our orders when we told her that! Was it so hard to add a side note to our orders???? OMG, I freaking flipped. Never in my life had I done this before, but I immediately grabbed my bag and told the hubs that we’re leaving. We stormed out of that restaurant and just before I opened the door, I shot her a look and said “You are very rude” in English. Only because I was so angry and couldn’t find the words in Italian.

We were so damn pissed. The hubs who is the most patient guy you can imagine, the gentlest person who wouldn’t kill an ant was also riled up. That says a lot. After we calmed down a little, we decided that it would probably have been better had we spoken to the manager or owner. But then again, we were so upset and insulted that we didn’t have the foresight to do so.

We walked to another restaurant and had lunch there with courteous, polite and smiley staff. The next time we decide to go for a pizza, I think we’re just gonna stick to our favourite Pizzeria Nelson at Via Barchetta 84. It’s a very ordinary looking place but with great pizzas cooked with firewood and FRIENDLY staff.

Ristorante Uva D’Oro at Piazza Mazzini, Modena, I’d rather eat sand than go back to your restaurant!

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed here are entirely based on my own experience and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of others.



Read Full Post »

Cornflake Cookies

Cornflake Cookies

I made these cookies during the Chinese New Year week when I was alone at home and the hubs was away in Malaysia and Japan for work. There were no celebrations here, understandably as Modena doesn’t even have a tiny China Town.

This recipe was adapted from RasaMalaysia and I would have forgotten about blogging about it if it hadn’t been for the gentle hints from The-Missus-Blogs Hehe. I am humbled that she wants to use “my” recipes. 😉

There are many versions to Cornflake Cookies, and I’ve tried many versions too. There are some no-bake versions that doesn’t use flour and are basically cornflakes moulded together with syrup. This version is the version that uses flour.


200 g butter
150g sugar
2 eggs
300g all-purpose flour
60g cornflakes or Kelloggs Frosties (coarsely crushed), or enough for coating
1 tsp vanilla essence
30g corn flour/corn starch



1. Beat butter and sugar till pale and creamy.

2. Add vanilla essence.

3. Stir in the lightly beaten eggs.

4. Fold in the flour mixture including corn flour. (Mixture must not stick to hands when touched.)

5.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out about 1 teaspoon of the cookie dough and roll it into the crushed cornflakes.

6.  Transfer them to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes at 175 degrees celcius or till golden brown.


I tried two versions of this cookie, one with regular cornflakes, and the other with Kelloggs Frosties. Although I don’t consider myself as having a sweet tooth, I enjoyed the version with the Kelloggs Frosties better. It really isn’t too sweet, and the light sugar dusting on them will caramelize when baked, and you get a really nice flavour.

I also used more than 60g of the recommended cornflakes. What I did was to eyeball the amount needed, crushing more cornflakes as I went along. This way, I get a nice even coating of cornflakes on all my cookies.

Don’t forget to check the expiry date on your corn flour. The first batch I made come out tasting weird, and when I checked with the hubs (whose existing kitchen ingredients I use since I moved here), his corn flour was, I quote, “Uhmm….I think seven years old”.  The horror! I chucked out that batch and immediately whipped up another batch that tasted just yummy. I always splurge on the butter and get the better stuff. None of that “spread” or “almost butter” substitutes. It makes all the difference, trust me. My mum has always said that the Golden Churn brand was tops, back in her days. I’m sure its still as good. Look for the gold cans, usually in the bakery aisle.

I wonder when if I will ever get my Kitchen Aid mixer. I have SO MANY recipes I am dying to try, but darn it, it’s just so hard without any mixer around. Perhaps, say, this particular guy in my life, maybe, you know, is feeling perhaps, a little generous. *coughs*

You know what they I say, A Happy Wife Maketh a Happy Life 😀

Read Full Post »


The hubby had been away for 2 months and he got home last week. He was in Malaysia and Japan for work, and next week he flies to Malaysia for work again. The lucky bugger.

I had emailed my mum a long list of goodies I’d wanted from Malaysia, 90% food related. The hubby kept grumbling saying that my mum had given him A LOT of stuff, but I took it with a huge pinch of salt, as the dear guy has a penchant for getting stressed up easily, him being law-abiding and all that 😉 Actually I can see him getting stressed out already, reading this LOL 😀 He called me from the airport and said that his luggage was overweight by 8kg! He was travelling on Business Class and was entitled to 40kgs, and it ended up being 48kg. Then again, he had some heavy tools too. When the hubby got home and unpacked, I literally burst into a fit of giggles and was giggling away even in the bathroom, with tears literally streaming down my cheeks. So.much.stuff. There was A LOT of goodies, it was better than Christmas, no kidding. The pictures below do not include some nice pajamas, tops, Nose sandals, bag that mum/sister bought.

Malaysian Goodies - Pacific Clams, 2 bottles of acar, Asam!


I just love the juxtaposition of the picture above. I was thinking how the placement of the food genuinely reflects the Malaysian me – Malay, Chinese and Indian deep inside. There’s kicap manis, Bah Kut Teh herbs, Kuah Masak Merah, Sambal Tumis, Linghams chili sauce, Ghee Hiang sesame oil, cencalok, and that partly hidden bottle with the blue cap contains……


Fried bittergourd @ pavaka


Boy oh boy do I miss this. I never fail to order it together with banana leaf rice. The hubby has never seen nor tasted this before, so I’m gonna cook some curry tonight and have this. Yums!

I realized that there aren’t any pictures of the leafy goodies my mum gave; pandan, curry leaves, kaffir lime leaves. I’m already thinking of what else to “order” as the hubby leaves for Malaysia again next Monday. Apart from galangal and lemongrass, I can’t quite think of anything else. Hmmm. Must.go.brainstorm now 😛

Read Full Post »


Yes, I passed the test 🙂 For those of you who were wondering, it was the theory test for my driving license. I have been going to classes and practising the test sheets since December. Its not as easy as one may think. Firstly, the rules and regulations here are different, but that wasn’t my biggest problem. The difficult part was that I sat for the English version of the test. And boy oh boy are the translations WEIRD or what!

For example:

only cars in lane c can turn left…
cars in lane c can only turn left…

They have totally different meanings, and are translated wrongly!


A question referring to the yellow and black “no parking” markings on the curb; the Italian version will say “giallo e nero” and in the English it will say “white and black” or vice versa. Totally wrong!

Anyway, I learnt that to be absolutely sure, one must read both the English and Italian versions. No easy feat if you’re new to the language.

It didn’t help that the morning I was supposed to sit for the test, there was a blizzard in town, and supposedly the town hadn’t seen that much snow since 1918!! Just my luck huh? The entire town was thrown into chaos, and the hubby had a tough time trying to get his car out of the knee-high pile of snow. We drove through ice and snow and I was praying that we’d get to the driving school in one piece, and that the hubby reaches his office safely.

We got to the driving school safely, and they brought us to the “Motorizzazzione” (Traffic Authority) for the actual test. There, I waited for about 3 hours before I got to take the test. And of course, out of the many computers in there, mine wasn’t working. By that point, I was sure that the Gods were against me, and I was going to fail for sure. Snowstorm, 3 hour wait (and me wanting to use the bathroom badly, but was afraid to go coz I was sure they were gonna call my name at any time), and the darned PC not working. I raised my hand and the invigilator brought me to another PC that was finally working.

I put in my magnetic card into the slot and after some explanation by the invigilator to the whole group of students in the exam room, we began the test. I didn’t get any tricky questions, and the hard topics which I had memorized for (insurance rulings, car maintenance etc) were nowhere in sight. We are allocated 30 minutes for the test. I finished the test in about 5 minutes and spent the next 10 minutes checking my answers against the Italian translation. Once I felt confident enough, I confirmed my answers and handed in my card to the invigilator and I left the room.

Exam room at Motorizzazzione Civile

I waited another 15 minutes or so (STILL wanting to use the bathroom!) for them to call us back in to announce the results. The invigilator read out our names off the sheet in alphabetical order. Those who passed got an IDONEO remark (meaning eligible/fit/pass) and those who failed got a RESPINTO remark along with the number of errors. One is allowed a maximum of 4 errors out of 30 questions. And phew, thankfully I passed. 🙂 I hurriedly took the picture above with my mobile phone, just for fun.

I will register for the practical driving lessons hopefully this week. It costs a freaking 13EUR for only 20 minutes. I hope that it goes well, and that soon I will be able to take the practical driving test and get my license and not have to trudge through rain, sleet and snow to get to places when the car is parked just outside our apartment!

Related: Driving in Italy, Part 1

Read Full Post »

Crossing my fingers

I have a Very Important Test coming up soon. Haven’t been blogging as I’ve been spending most of my time studying. Stay tuned to hear me grumble about it if I flunk (CHOYYY!!!!) or better still come back soon to hear me say that I’ve passed! *crosses fingers*

Read Full Post »