Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / December 2011

Xmas Eve Party 2011

December 30, 2011 21 Comments

The first xmas eve party that I hosted was all the way back in 2005, which actually didn’t feel at all like it was already 6 years ago, with everyone still talking about Douglas’s epic puke fest after having one drink too many.

After last year’s absence (we spent xmas eve at Suan’s), the 5th installment of xmas eve party at my place resumes, and this time around we decided to have it back to basic – without the buffet line, satay man, or sponsored beer.

A big thank you to everyone who shows up, and even bigger thank you to those who brought alcohol and home made red velvet cupcake (Lainey) to share.

KY's xmas eve party 2011
Horng, Haze, Terence; Aaron, Ruby, Derek; Terence & Celine

Those who came before in previous years:

KY, Haze, Terence, Horng, Suan, Ruby, Eiling, Michael, FA, Ringo, Ginny, Arthur, Yee Hou, Gareth, Kimberly, Huey Fang, Chan, Kerol.

Newcomer this year:

Lance, Melissa, Michael (yep 2 of them), Li Ling, Lainey, Aaron, Zach, Vinn, Pearl, Derek, Celine, Yuki.

KY's xmas eve party 2011
Eiling & KY; Lance & Melissa, FA, Michael & Li Ling; Michael & Ringo

Unlike previous year’s crazy binge drinking style, this seems to be the year where everyone sorta take things slightly more maturely. Everyone was just having a good time, sipping some single malt whisky or having a cold one.

No, there is no beer bong  this year, and if you want to look at pictures of people passing out, I’ll have to disappoint too. Some might say this is a sign of old age, hmmmm…

KY's xmas eve party 2011
Yee Hou & Ginny; Ruby; FA; Lainey; Suan; Haze; Robb & Zach

The gift exchange part tho, was as fun as ever. Every year we had this rule, and I highly recommend that you do the same for your xmas gift exchange. I initially got this from working at Unisys in Cincinnati (man that was over 10 years ago)

  • every participant contribute a gift, and then draw a number from the box
  • smallest number start by picking and unwrapping a gift
  • next number can snatch the opened gift, whereby the person who lost it gets to choose another gift, or snatch another opened gift
  • you cannot snatch a gift that was in your possession before

KY's xmas eve party 2011
Gift exchange was again the highlight of the night – best was the 1kg bacon

In essence, having the last number usually means you get to pick anything that’s opened, with only one unknown gift. However, even the last person can get his/her gift snatched if she (A) snatched B, then B snatched C, but C can actually snatch back A’s gift.

Loads of fun, try it.

The most snatched gift this year was from Lance & Horng – who contributed a whole 1 KG bacon and a small water feature thing. Those gifts exchange hands at least half a dozen times.

The funniest gift tho was from Robb, and drew by Kerol (after what she chose initially got snatched) – two bundle of bananas!

KY's xmas eve party 2011
fire works; Gareth telling stories; bacon; Kim & Michael

I prepared a bit of BBQ (20 wings, some sausages) for those who happened to be hungry, Lainey brought her home made red velvet cakes (super yummy!), and at the end of the night we bbq some bacon too.

And no, this year we did not have any cops coming to end the party. Now that’s a first.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Olympus E-PL3

This post is a little bit late, considering Christmas is actually sorta.. well, over, but better late than never, right?

A couple weeks ago I was invited to probably the biggest Merry Guinness event at Double Tree by Hilton in KL, featuring the winner of MasterChef Australia season 2 – Adam Liaw. Guinness & good food? I can’t resist, even though it meant that I had to braved the KL traffic on a weekday to get to this place.

Merry Guinness with chef Adam Liaw
Merry Guinness with chef Adam Liaw, Kelly Siew at lower right

A kitchen was set up in the main banquet hall, with chef Adam Liaw demonstrating how many of the Guinness infused dishes served for the night is created. While we waited for the dishes to get ready, unlimited rounds of Guinness were being served.

Good life yah?

oysters, chicken and egg terrine, squid, lamb shank pie, graved lax
oysters, chicken and egg terrine, squid, lamb shank pie, gravad lax

As for the food, we were actually served over a dozen different dishes over the course of the night, and yes, I was stuffed at the end of the night. Here’s the menu in two parts:

Chef Adam’s Inspired Menu

  • Farmhouse chicken and egg terrine with Guinness mustard
  • Oyster with Guinness cream
  • Crispy squid with chili Guinness salt
  • Open Guinness lamb shank and mushroom pie with champ with watercress salad
  • Guinness butter roasted chicken
  • Guinness BBQ wings apple slaw
  • Guinness and fruit Christmas pudding
  • Sweet Guinness damper with blackberry maple compote

Guinness butter roasted chicken, Christmas vegetable
Guinness butter roasted chicken, Christmas vegetable

The second part of the menu, Christmas Feast:

  • Gravad lax with dill honey mustard
  • Roast pumpkin soup with julienne smoked duck
  • Roast turkey roulade with chestnut stuffing, giblet and cranberry sauce
  • Christmas vegetables
  • Christmas pudding with vanilla sauce
  • Christmas minced pies
  • Black forest pudding with cream cheese frosting

roast pumpkin soup with julienne smoked duck, Christmas pudding, BBQ wings
roast pumpkin soup with julienne smoked duck,
Christmas pudding, BBQ wings

Many of the dishes were excellent, I particularly think that the sauce for gravad lax and oysters were executed to perfection. Chicken and egg terrine were interesting but tasted slightly foreign to me, and the wings & buttered chicken would perhaps be that much better if served warm (the room was too cold I guess, and they didn’t really serve it with heated plates).

The squid too was perfect as finger food to go with Guinness, but ultimately there were really just way too much food for my stomach that I actually skipped desserts.

desserts & drinks, Nigel, Michael, Wilson, and yours truly
desserts & drinks, Nigel, Michael, Wilson, and yours truly mucking around

This was another rather awesome event by Guinness, and it is a shame that we can’t order some of these creations by chef Adam Liaw anywhere in the country. Perhaps some pub owners will take note and incorporate some of the ideas into their menu (oysters & the gravad lax please!)

And by the way, hope you had a great xmas and Happy New Year!

Today, lets talk about moving your body.

In this post, I will once and for all show that you too can eat (almost) all you want and live a life without being overweight. Something that I practice almost religiously these days.

I have to admit, I did not used to be like this. While my late dad was a very active person who swam & run on an almost daily basis, I was your average slob who would change the TV channel with my feet just to not move away from the couch (the remote broke).

my current weight
my current weight – 59.8 KG, at 5’5

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized this wasn’t the right way to live, I wanted to be active and stay healthy, so I found a few sports I love doing, and have been staying active pretty much since.

Here are a few tips for you to get started on an active life style:

badminton shoes

1. Find the activity you enjoy

While my late dad enjoyed jogging and swimming, they weren’t my favorite sports. After a bit of searching, I settled on futsal, badminton, and mountain biking. Futsal and badminton were fun cos they are group activities, and I found mountain biking more enjoyable than jogging due to the faster pace (see more things in the process) and that it is usually less hot with the wind blowing in your face.

2. Find activities you can do despite the weather

With mountain biking and jogging, you are at the mercy of the weather, but since futsal and badminton are indoor activities, there isn’t any such problem. You want to have at least one activity that can be done all year long. It can be gym, futsal, basketball, badminton, or even running on treadmill.

You don’t want a couple weeks of bad weather for you to lose your momentum.

KY futsal thursday

3. Participate in team sports or find partner(s)

Individual sports offer flexibilities on schedules, but at the same time it also allows the less determined individuals to easily skip the routine. With team sports, you not only foster extra friendship with people you play with, but there is a certain expectation to be there and at least make the number every week. This in turn indirectly forces you to work out, brilliant isn’t it?

A partner to go to the gym or jog together works wonder too.

endomondo screen shot

4. Use an application to track your progress

If you are a smart phone user, there are a number of sports tracking applications available for your usage, and most of them are free too. These applications helps track your progress via manual entry and even utilizing the phone’s GPS to track your biking/running trail. I use Endomondo on my phone and keeps track of every workout I do.

Since mid of June (when I started using Endomondo) till mid December, I’ve registered 77 workouts and spent some 35,000 calories. That’s equivalent to some 64 burgers consumed. :D

 5. Make it your New Year resolution

With 2012 just around the corner, make a new year resolution that counts and stick to it. Your body will thank you.

Good luck and stay fit (or start changing that A between F & T to an I).

P/S: Do tune into 1 Sihat Malaysia to get more health tips on eating habits and healthy living. The program is hosted by Fahrin Ahmad and features stories from the local celebrities. Head to gayahidupsihat.my for more, this post is brought to you by Ministry of Health.

Samsung now completes the line up of their Android devices, from S2, Note, Tab 7, Tab 10.1 and now slotting between the two tablets is the Galaxy Tab 8.9

If you didn’t get what you wanted for xmas, perhaps it’s time to look at this!

This device is perfect for those who thinks the Tab 10.1 is a little too big, and the 7 just a tad too small. At 453 grams, it is also an ideal weight for some especially when you factor in using it as a reading device in bed. The 10.1 is a bit too heavy for me in this aspect.

Galaxy Tab 8.9

Here’s the specification of the Galaxy Tab 8.9, and they are almost the same with the bigger brother, except for the screen size of course.

  • Android 3.1 Honeycomb
  • 8.9″ touch screen display
  • 1 Ghz dual core processor
  • 16 GB internal memory
  • 2MP front & 3MP back camera
  • Supports Wifi & 3G
  • 720p HD video recording

Galaxy Tab 8.9 now with Celcom

While the LCD is smaller, it spots the same 1280 x 800 resolution with the 10.1. Which means that it actually has a higher pixel density. In layman’s term, the screen is actually sharper to look at. Coupled with the fact that this device is slightly cheaper than the 10.1, I can see that a lot of people will favor the 8.9 unless you really do want to have the biggest out there.

Celcom brought in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 (Wifi + 3G version) to Malaysia and you can get it for as low as RM 1,288 (RRP RM 1,699) with Celcom Broadband packages. Check out the table below:

Celcom broadband plan with Galaxy Tab 8.9

Check out more at http://www.celcom.com.my/smartphones/tablets.php for more. Other than the Tab 8.9, you can also opt for Tab 7 from as low as RM 668 or the Tab 10.1 for RM 1,468.

Tablets now it’s like those free t-shirts that only comes in one size. S, M, L, take your pick.

I’ll be the first to admit, this blog isn’t exactly synonymous to healthy living. Most of the food entries in this blog are chosen only based on one criteria – they are tasty. The health aspect usually takes a back seat, or at least not featured prominently.

The good thing is though, you can actually eat healthy relatively easily – and this applies to both eating out as well as having home cooked meals.

There is one very simple rule of thumb – less oil and less fat.

I’m not saying one should avoid eating those sinful oily stuff completely, but toning it down is a good idea despite your age, and especially if you aren’t living a particularly active lifestyle to begin with.

seafood noodle soup and dry version, fried fish cake
fish noodle soup at B & Best, SS 4

There are always choices when it you are eating out, and avoiding having fried items like char kuih teow or mee goreng too often is a good thing. One of my favorites is in fact, fish noodle soup places such as B & Best at SS 4, other healthier choices include lui cha (vegetarian), kampar noodle, and beef noodle. All of which involves very little usage of oil, and aren’t deep fried.

Hing Ket Grill House Seafood, Klang
BBQ crab, lamb, and other seafood at Hing Ket, Klang

In essence, try to choose food that are prepared with as little oil/fat as possible – steam, boil, and even bbq version are usually a lot less oily. Hing Ket grilled seafood at Klang immediately comes in mind, and there are even restaurants that prepares everything by steaming, such as Restaurant K.T.L at  Cheras.

steamed tilapia and steamed egg are the must order items
everything is steamed at restaurant K.T.L.

When ordering stuff that involves frying, there’s always the option to ask for less oil. More often than not, the chef/hawker operator will comply. (same goes with when ordering drinks – kurang manis!)

Other than avoiding oil, having more fruits and vegetable too is another way to get a balance dose of nutrients for your body. Replacing snacks with fruits is perhaps one of the best choice anyone can make. I’m lucky that my company actually provides free fruits on Fridays, but ideally one should have at least a portion every day.

Home cooked food:

For those who cooks at home, it is even easier to have a healthy diet since everything is within your own control. Recipes can always be modified to use less oil by incorporating or replacing it with other methods of cooking that uses less oil. For those with the budget, there are now “air fryer” that uses very little oil for deep frying (80% less). Do check out Philips Airfryer and Tefal Actifry.

For those of us without those fancy fryer, here’s a recipe for yummy watercress soup that is simple to prepare, awesome to taste, cheap, and wholesomely healthy. I used to make this soup when I was in the States and misses mom’s meal.

watercress soup recipe
do wash and and only use the tender part of watercress

Ingredients (to make 2 bowls of soup):

  • watercress (I got this at supermarket for RM 2)
  • 4-5 pieces of pork bones (chicken wings or chicken bones for halal version) for soup taste
  • half a dozen dried red dates
  • 3-5 pieces of dried scallops (optional)
  • 3 bowls of water
  • salt to taste

boil meat/chicken, then add watercress, done!
boil meat/chicken, then add watercress, done!

Instructions:

  • boil the meat/bones in a separate pot for 2-3 minutes to get rid of impurities
  • in the main pot, bring water to boil and add red dates, meat, and dried scallops
  • add watercress
  • keep boiling on low temperature for half an hour
  • add salt to taste

the finished dish - watercress soup, healthy and tasty
the finished dish – watercress soup, healthy and tasty

There you go, a healthy bowl of soup that goes perfectly with steamed rice, ready in 30 minutes, and as homey as you can get. You can perhaps pair this with some steamed fish.

Eat healthy, stay fit, and live longer, happier.

P/S: Do tune into 1 Sihat Malaysia to get more health tips on eating habits and healthy living. The program is hosted by Fahrin Ahmad and features stories from the local celebrities. Head to gayahidupsihat.my for more, this post is brought to you by Ministry of Health.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...