Sunday, September 21, 2014

Slow-braised lamb with black eyed beans

This was the first time I served lamb to my 23mo toddler. I didn't actually intend to make this dish for him. This was made more for my hubby cos I was going out for dinner with the girls and the in laws weren't around, so I decided that I would prepare dinner for the hubby and the little fella before I leave, so they can dine peacefully at home and settle for an early night. 

I was afraid that the taste of lamb would be too intense for the lil' fella and the texture would be too tough for him. However, after the dish was made, I was pleasantly surprised of how soft the lamb had turned into. I let him tried the lamb. He loved it. He actually finished up quite a big portion I plated him. This is quite an easy and convenient one-pot dish. Just chuck in the veg and meat and any sort of beans you have at home, it's a nutritious and delicious meal on its own. I prepared this dish in the morning and just heated it up and plated it for dinner in the evening before I left home. 

I just simply googled for a recipe for lamb stew and I stumbled upon here. I adapted the recipe using whatever I have in my fridge, the results were superb. 

Here's my recipe, adapted from Jamie's Homecooking Skills
  • about 800g lamb steak, diced to cubes 
  • 2 slices of ham or streaky bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onions
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cubed or 1 potato, peeled and cubed 
  • handful of fresh brown button mushrooms, cleaned
  • handful of cherry tomatoes 
  • Half a medium carrot, cubed 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 500g tomato juice (organic tomato juice in a bottle, with no sugar nor salt added) *
  • Salt and pepper (according to taste) 
*If you dont have tomato juice, you could probably use half half of stock and tomato puree.
  1. Heat up 2tablespoon of cooking oil in a casserole pan/ pressure cooker (I prepared this dish using a pressure cooker). 
  2. Stir fry garlic and onion till fragrant. Then add in diced beef, ham and all the mixed veg. When all is slightly brown (in about 3-5min), pour in tomato juice. 
  3. Simmer on low heat for about 15min, then put on the lid for pressure cooker to work. (without a pressure cooker, this dish may takes 2-3hrs to cook on low heat). 
  4. Serve with cooked pasta or mashed potato, or in my case, both :) 
My gf and I had a great time out when hubby took good care of the lil one. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

{Foodie Review} Nijyumaru Japanese Restaurant 二重丸, Taman Sutera (Johor Bahru)

This is a long belated post. But I told myself I must post it, cos' I really liked this place. 

We came to Nijyumaru for dinner to celebrate (1) my hubby's birthday (ya.. we celebrated it over a few dinners) (2) my bro's studies advancement in Japan. This time we called ahead to book a table. There were about 10 of us. The first time we came here, which was my trip back to JB in CNY, we just walked in, and it was a bad idea, we were basically rejected entry, they didn't even have the option for us to wait cos they were that full. 

This time, we were given a low table in a cosy room on the second floor, and that was good, especially that we have the little fella with us. He gets to roam around the room with all of us at his height (cos we were all seated at the low table).

Basically we were so busy chatting and when the food came (despite the almost packed restaurant, the food came quite fast) we were busy tucking in.. I forgot to snap photos afterwards. But all of us was quite happy with the food. The sashimi was good! And we loved the soft shell crab roll too. 

There were actually a lot more on the menu. They do have a pretty extensive menu. But because the parents were not especially adventurous when comes to sashimi, we just chose the safer options. We'll probably be back again to try the other stuffs like urchin and others. 

My lovely family in JB <3 
Verdict: Good, worth a try. 
Price: A good steal for the good food and extensive menu. 
Ambience: Good. Request for a room if you have a crowd of about 10. 

Nijyumaru Japanese Restaurant 
94, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/4 
Taman Sutera Utama
81300 Skudai, JB 

Tel: 07 558 9818 

{Foodie Review} Koi Sushi Japanese Restaurant (Sandakan)

New Kids On The Block 

Oh ya.. there's a new Japanese restaurant that just opened here in Sandakan. Its name is Koi Sushi Japanese Restaurant. It's situated at the new shop lots in IJM Mile 5 and is on the same block as Anakku. 

Hubby and I decided to try it out, yes, we love trying out new stuffs, especially Japanese. Prior to going there, I checked with my friend if it was okay, here's what she said, 'yea.. OK lo.. just like Kyoto (FYI, I did a review for Kyoto some time back, here), the menu are pretty much the same with some additions probably, but the tables and chairs are VERY small'. She placed heavy emphasis on the 'small' tables and chairs. I couldn't visualize what she meant. You would perhaps do once you get there :p 

We actually popped by there twice. Hahaaa.. not that we ate there twice. We had to turn back when we arrived the first time, realizing that they haven't got their credit card machine set up (as of 13th Sept 2014). Probably not a good thing when people don't bring much cash around these days and it isn't cheap to have a nice Japanese meal. 

Yakiniku Don RM18

Soft Shell Crab Roll RM25

Niku Enoki RM16
Here's what we have ordered and eaten. You must be wondering what small tummy we have. Ah! That's because the yaki udon (stir-fried udon) that I ordered wasn't actually heard by the attendant. By the time I realized that,  I was already full eating the stuffs here and I'm not a patient person. So, lesson of the day, make sure your orders get repeated. 

My hubby is a big fan of soft shell crab. He was quite happy to see that there is spyder roll (soft shell crab roll) on the menu. The presentation was lovely. But the tastes of the crab was kinda overwhelmed by the sauce. Anyways, no big deal, we just scrapped off the sauce and eat them as they are. 

All in all, it was a good and filling lunch (despite of the forgotten yaki udon). It's worth a try if you're in a mood for Japanese. And it's new. Everyone loves trying out new stuffs in town. We went there for lunch, and the place was not packed. I'm not too sure if you'll need to reserve in advanced if you are there for dinner. 

Verdict: OK lor... room for improvements. Still worth a try. 
Price: $$.

Have a good weekend, xoxo, Jen. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

{Foodie Review} My Liberica Coffee (Johor Bahru)

We were in JB earlier on this month. That day was my hubby's birthday. We were supposed to make a day trip to Singapore to check out Gardens by the Bay. Yet, maybe just maybe, we were 'fated' not to go, as we were heading out, my SIL's car tyre got punctured. It wasn't the usual easy stuff to get the tyre out (some complications there .. ) so we just cancelled our Singapore trip and stayed in JB and chilled out. Perhaps that was a blessing in disguise. It was a nice chill-out day for us as we checked out this cafe late afternoon and had our tummy fed well at night at a nice Japanese restaurant. 

We got to know about 'My Liberica Coffee' from the internet. It has gotten quite good review, so far. And we weren't disappointed. The drinks and food did not fail to impress. They didn't have extensive menu, but good enough. The thing I like about their menu, they have a selection of sweet and savory food. Most of the cafe serves mostly sweet food but some of us aren't sweet-tooth. 

Their croissant sandwich was nice. It was just a simple sandwich, but the croissant had that crusty bite which gives it a thumb up. We had an early brunch and was already hungry when we were here, about 2pm ish, so all 4 of us plus my lil' fella shared one croissant sandwich and we ordered a second helping cos we felt it was good. 

If you're a fan of good coffee, you should check it out. It serves a few unique drinks that is worth a try. My sis in law had the iced drip coffee, which I saw them having the coffee dripped through the filter at the coffee bar. Windy had the Aromatic Rose Coffee. It has a layer of rose syrup at the bottom of the glass. Both myself and hubby were the ultra 'safe' type. We just go went for our usuals, I had an earl grey tea and he went for hot chocolate to share with the lil' fella. 

They also serve some beautifully layered crepe cakes. We ordered Earl Grey Crepe Cake. As most of us were not big fans of sweet cakes, we thought it was okay. Not too sweet. 

It had a cosy and lovely ambience. 

Its menu.

Crepe cakes, RM9.90 each

Earl Grey Crepe Cake, RM9.90

Smoked Chicken Croissant Sandwich RM12

Aromatic Rose Coffee RM15

Hot Chocolate RM9

Earl Grey  RM9.90 (heheee.. yes I love my Earl Grey)

Iced Drip Coffee RM12

Check out the cafe. And see who's the happy bunny here? 

Date visited: 31 Aug 2014

My Liberica Coffee
No. 73, Jalan Molek 3/10
Taman Molek
81100 Johor Bahru

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mini mulberry scones

I had some really nice organic mulberries available for sale at my shop. I bought some home myself and made lots of nice goodies, including these - mini mulberry scones. I'm really into scones lately. They are so easy to make. I made them again for our breakfast this morning. The good thing about making them in mini size - (1) they take shorter time to bake, about 15min for this size (2) felt less guilty popping two at one go .. LOL! 

Check out how dainty they are
Here's the recipe, it's actually a recipe that I have used many times, blogged about it a few times too.

  • 250g all purpose flour, sifted 
  • 1.5tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp icing sugar 
  • pinch of salt 
  • 100g frozen butter, grated 
  • 1/2 cup raisins and fresh mulberries 
  • 120ml cream or half half of cream and milk
Glaze - 1 egg, beaten with 1tbsp milk. 

  1. Preheat the oven to 190degC (fan forced). 
  2. Combine the flour, icing sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in the cold grated butter. Mix in the cream. Combine until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. 
  3. Gently mix in the raisins and mulberries. 
  4. Lightly knead a few times. Press into 2-3cm thickness dough. Cut into round shape scones. 
  5. Place on the baking tray and brush with egg glaze. 
  6. Bake for 15min or until golden. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cornflakes crusted french toast

I have been so lazy lately. Haven't been making proper breakfasts for the little fella. We just have the simple and easy overnight oat. It's seriously the most fuss-free breakfast ever. Felt a little guilty about it when I saw mommies in the Healthy Food For My Baby group on FB making nice breakfasts for their little ones, and I came across a mom who shared about this, cornflakes crusted french toast, thought I should make it for my lil' fella. He loves cornflakes, he should love this. How wrong am I. It turned out that he wasn't big fan of the french toasts. He picked up the cornflakes from the toast and ate them. Meh... 

Anyway, I'm still sharing about it, cos I loved it myself. One tip, serve it and eat it when freshly made. The cornflakes weren't as crispy after left out for some time. 

Here's how you make it. It's pretty much like making the normal french toast, with an added step of dipping the egg-soaked-bread in crushed cornflakes.

  • Few slices of bread 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoon of milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt 
  • Knob of butter for pan 
  • 2-3 cups of cornflakes

  1. Crush the cornflakes in a ziplock or sandwich bag. 
  2. Beat together eggs, sugar, milk, cinnamon and salt. 
  3. Heat up a pan, add a knob of butter, swirl around the pan until it melts. 
  4. Dip both side of bread into the egg mixture, coat thoroughly with the crushed cornflakes mixture. Press lightly so the cornflakes stick. 
  5. Place the crusted french toast on the pan until it cooks to golden brown on one side and repeat with the other side. 
  6. Serve immediately. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mulberry and chia smoothie

Mulberries are very nutritious and is famously known as a superfood due to its high antioxidant content. The moment my organic fruit supplier passed me some of these little gems, I immediately whatsapped a few of my close mommy-friends to inform them of this. These beautiful fruits will definitely do lots of wonder to the health of their little ones. 

Mulberries tastes sour-ish on their own. So I have been having them combined with other sweet fruits (like this), I have baked buns with them, for recipe, refer here, and I have also turned it into a beautiful looking smoothie for my lil' fella who loved it! 

Other than its high antioxidant content, mulberries contain alkaloids that activate macrophages, which then stimulate the immune system, putting it on high active alert against health threats. They are great sources of protein, vitamin C, K, fiber and iron. So hurry up, chuck in some mulberries in whatever you're baking or eating today. 

Here's the recipe for this beautiful and nutritious mulberry and chia smoothie: 
  • 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds soaked in 1/2 cup milk for 5min (for a toddler I used full fat fresh milk) 
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey or Rin Enzyme 
  • 8 fresh organic mulberries 
  • 3 tablespoon plain yogurt 
Instructions: Using a blender or food processor*, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.

*I have been using this baby bullet for all sorts of my toddler's food and drink/ smoothie for about a year. I love it because it is small and convenient especially in terms of cleaning. 

Baby bullet is available from 9months maternity in Kota Kinabalu. They are available at 
  • Suria Sabah 088 487 966 
  • City Mall 088 486 966 
Alternatively if you're in KL/ Selangor, try drop by Happikiddo.  They sell everything you possibly need. Both the owners are parents, they work hard to bring in some premium quality products into the store, with an attractive selection of healthy food and snacks, toys, baby- and kids-safe products suitable for every parent or parent-to-be. 

Superfood smoothie for the super hero boy. 

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