Thursday, December 29, 2011

another year end?

I've meant to blog since ages ago but I was too distracted with other activities around me. 
This whole 2011 has been filled with ups and downs....


canon A95 by melmok
I finally got myself a compact camera to replace my old, dying faithful camera Canon A95.
My dear old camera has served me well for the last 6-7 years...  Yes! It was that long. 
My very first camera and I've fully utilized it. It finally said goodbye at the beginning of this year. 

Got myself a Canon S95 with some sponsor from KY. I was eyeing on the new S100 but at the end, 
my emotional (impulsive buying + lack of patiences) got control of my brain. 
I got persuaded by the sales guy and my patiences of waiting for the launch of S100 was running low. 

My enthusiasm of using my own DSLR is extremely low this year. I think I'm hook to my department's DSLR. Who can blame me huh?
own = Canon 350D 
office = Canon EOS 5D Mark2
like .... *duhhh*


food by melmok
Been cooking more this year. Been trying to bake with the small toaster over as well. 
Can't wait to get my hands on an oven or a convection oven. 
Guess with the lack of space and $$, I would be getting a convection oven. 


india by melmok
This year, I got to experience cheap snow, green white mountains, hills and survive the COLDNESS at Manali, Himachal Pradesh. See the magnificent Taj Mahal, Agra and experience diarrhea at Delhi all in India. The whole journey was immortalize in a book.


au naturel by melmok
Went au naturel in a pool. IT WAS NICE!. As usual I couldn't stand the cold and the weather was cold... 
The sun did not come out as it should have!


brandy by melmok
After talking about it for years and delaying it due to timing and worrying about the effect on her after the operation. We finally brought Brandy (the dog) to spay. It's been 2 weeks now, and she's back to her old self. 
In fact, she was back to own self on the 3rd day after the operation. 


I've discovered natural ways to clean and scrub the house and myself. :)
I've been using all natural skin care product for a year now and I'm feeling good about it! 
Even tried DIY my own shampoo.
Once a while, I would use the off the rack sheet mask. 
That's when I realize that I would have break outs here and there the next day.
*need to pass the unopen sheet mask to friends*

The whole year has been filled with turmoil of emotions... good..... bad..... happy..... sad..... 
There are times when my 'chill pill' works and there are times when it doesn't.
Am grateful for all the things that I have now and like people always say, there is always HOPE.


Thursday, October 13, 2011


Made another round of cheese cracker with a proper oven during my stay at Subang.  It came out perfect at the beginning...  Then me and my itchy fingers, left it 'slightly' longer in the oven.  So some turned out a bit over burned.  I think I didn't leave it to chill in the fridge long enough. This round, the crackers was oiler then before.  The "mister" said that he prefers the new batch.

crackers by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

After finishing with the baking of the cheese cracker, I did the rosemary cracker.
It smells wonderful, and I love it too! Didn't add the sesame seed and the dried onions flakes. But I'll definitely add it in the next round.  I'm going cracker crazy.....

I can't wait to try out the rest of Ellie's cracker recipe!
While I was hunting for some cracker recipes, I stumble to her Cheese Cracker recipe.
Then I got excited with her Rosemary Cracker cos i loovveee..... rosemary...

note to self: need to cut my crackers nicer and evenly.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

cheese cracker

cheese cracker by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.
Made some cheese crackers with the little toaster oven. It's a real challenge, trying to bake with the little toaster oven. The crackers was suppose to puff up but as you can see from the picture, it's either over bake or really flat. Of all the crackers, only '2' puffed up....


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Homemade chicken pot pie

** Oh my... I just realise that I still have this post with me in my phone.

I was suppose to post this up last weekend but I was over excited with pot pie and the "un appealing" image taken with my phone. **

Attempt #1 : chicken pot pie with a few strings of spaghetti.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

crispy bacon

Last weekend, I stumble upon Lisa's blog and I couldn't help by trying out some of her recipes. Since I have a bag of bacon chips in the freezer, I did a trial batch of Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon (without the spice).

I added more sugar before I placed it in the toaster oven.

crispy bacon by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

crispy bacon by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

Made more with the idea of storing it for snacks but in the end.....
hubby and I finish it less then an hour. It was addictive...!!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vom Fass Aceto Maletti

I'm saying bye bye to commercial vinegar and H.E.L.L.O to VomFass's vinegar.

aceto maletti - 16 yrs by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr

Who would have thought that I would get all excited about vinegar.

I've never tried a vinegar that tasted so delicious before. I wanted to get all types if $$ was not an issue. So I got the 16 year old balsamic vinegar. With the price i could have gotten at least 3-4 bottles of the commercial balsamic vinegar.

Money well spend for good quality vinegar!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

semi braised seafood/chicken

I love this dish. Once a year, during chinese new year I'll get a chance to eat this. It will be pack with all the expensive ingredients like, sea cucumber (yum yum), abalone, fish maw, scallops and oysters.

I find that this dish is the one of the easiest dish to cook since it does not take much of cutting,cleaning or frying. 

What I did was, I soaked the dried mushrooms, oysters, scallops the night before and left it in the fridge. I wanted to do just one dish for that night, so I substitute the sea cucumber with chicken drumsticks. 

In this dish I have :-

an inch of ginger (julienne)
a clove of garlic
dried mushroom
dried scallop
dried oyster
chicken drumstick
straw mushroom
asparagus mushroom
frozen scallops
1/4 can of abalone clams and liquid
green beans
black moss / fat choy (hubby wants it, i don't know why....)

ingredients by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

ingredients by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr

Julienne an inch of ginger, fry it with 1 tbsp of oil. 
When you can smell the aromatic of the ginger, put in the chicken drumsticks.
Fry it for a couple of minutes, then pour about half a cup of water and the rest of the dried ingredients (which has already soaked overnight) + gingko + garlic.

Simmer it till every thing is cook and soft. I waited till the garlic was soft before putting the rest of the ingredients. I use the garlic as a guide... :) Of course the chicken has to be well cook as well. Lastly add the black moss.

Initially, I was using the slow cooker pot. But then the sky was getting dark and our stomach was growling louder...

So I transfered everything in a pot to cook the rest of the ingredients.

ingredients by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

Hubby and I was really hungry by then. So food presentation was out the window. lol....

semi braised seafood by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Testing from my phone

Just downloaded the app for my phone. Lets See how this works... Then I can ramble stuffs from where ever I go...

Monday, September 5, 2011

sambal prawns

Two weeks ago, I had the craving for the Ikan Bakar at Petaling Street. 
It's been a while since we went there for food. 
Usually, we had to wait for about 30-45 mins just for our food. To our surprise this time around it only took 25 mins. I guess it was our lucky day cos as we started eating, the crowd at the place grew.

The pics does not do justify to the how good the food is. 
We ordered clams (non spicy) and stingray fish (normal spicy).
3 plates of rice and the bill came up to RM 23.00

Then the other day, I attempt to recreate the dish without the foil and the grilling.
I think it turned out almost similar but something was missing though.
I should have grind the ingredients longer (my patiences was running low).
It was also less watery cos i did not wrap it up with foil.

Next trial would be with banana leaves and more patiences with the grinding...

sambal prawns by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

sambal prawns by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

sambal prawns by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

sambal prawns by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

stir fry leeks with prawns

I respect the patience of a food blogger!
I never thought that taking pictures and cooking at the same time could be so stressful.

Last weekend I tried to juggle the camera and cooking at the same time.

Making sure I got some 'nice' shots and that camera is oil 'free' from my hands.
That itself was stressful. I gave up after 1 dish.

stir fry leeks with prawns by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

stir fry leeks with prawns by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

stir fry leeks with prawns by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

I haven't eaten a leek dish for ages so when i got hold of some of leeks,
I decided to stir fry some prawns with it.

heat up some oil, fry 1 tbsp of chopped garlic.
add in the prawns , add in 1 tbsp of oyster sauce and a bit of water.
then the chopped leeks.

The last time when I ate this dish was years back....


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunday's homemade chicken rice

basic ingredients by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

Had craving for chicken rice last weekend and I wanted to fine tune the previous chicken rice that I have made a month back.

This time around I added some chinese dried mushroom and yellow ginger.

basic ingredients by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

Well, the yellow ginger was by mistaken. I accidentally slice the whole yellow ginger and didn't want to waste it. So I decided to julienne the whole piece and add t to the pot.

homemade chicken rice by melmok
photo by melmok on Flickr.

It turned out well....  I should have added more ginger to it though. Then I would have been superb. :)


Sunday, June 26, 2011

using soapnuts

soapnuts - soapberries by melmok
photo by melmok
I was at Tropicana Mall recently and stumble upon to another alternative for natural detergent.
I can use it while waiting for my fruit enzyme to ferment.
It's soapnut / soapberries!!
These little things are from berries grown in india and nepal. (i could have walked pass these little things without realizing it in india.. argh..)

I was told that it has been used for centuries ago. the soapiness or the saponin is from the shell of the berries.
So far i've been using it for my laundry and as hand wash liquid as well.
I just put 6-8 berries in a muslin bag. (my 500pc of muslin bags have a purpose now....) i do 2 rounds of laundry with it. After that i soak them to use as hand wash.
Once the soapberries turn into pale colour i just put it in the garden for it to compose.
Easy Peasy...

i was told by the lady who sold this berries that if you have sensitive skin, doing laundry with these berries can help as these soapnuts have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbia properties.
Basically what the fruit enzyme cleaner can do, these little soapnuts can do as well.

The difference is just the $$$...
Fruit enzyme cleaner = FREE = 3 months to ferment
Soapnuts / soapberries = 200gm/RM12 = on the spot


Sunday, June 5, 2011

all natural eco fruit enzyme

My second batch of fruit eco enzyme cleaner is not turning too good..
But my 3th, 4th & 5th batch is fermenting well thou. :D

I was too eager to start my second batch and I think i did not add enough of fruit peel
cos i was just estimating on the quantity of the fruit peel.

Gave my mom the recipe for her to try. she loved it and she's making her 4th batch now. 
My dad even tried using it to clean his belt and it turn out squeaky clean.

You can use the enzyme cleaner to mop the floor, wash the dishes, car, clean your vegetables & fruits,
wash your cloths with it and it's a natural insect repellent.

You just have to dilute it to ratio of 
• 1 part enzyme to 10 parts of water to mop the floor or to wash your car.
• 1 table spoon of enzyme with vegetables and fruits
• add 1 table spoon of enzyme with your normal laundry
• 1 part enzyme to 5 parts of water to use to spray as insect repellent. i do it for the irritating ants in my toilet wall. 

If you feel uncomfortable by just using the enzyme to wash the dishes, you can also add a bit of your normal detergent. But make sure you dilute your enzyme

Hey, you're saving the earth, it's chemical free and you're recycling your waste(fruit waste).

Here's what you need :
3 liter of water
300gm brown sugar
900gm fruit peel
big plastic bottle

What i do is i save up all my fruit peel and store in the freezer.
You can use orange, apple, kiwi, lemon, mango or banana. But i wouldn't advice you to use banana cos my mom's first batch was with a mixture of different fruit peels but mostly from banana skin. it turn out milky dark and the smell was a bit of a turn off. But it still works! it's just not as nice smelling like mine thou(citrus smell). ;)

Anyway, save up your fruit peels. Make sure you clean it first. 
Pour in the sugar and water, mix it well.
Then add in the fruit peel and shake it really well.

fermentation process by melmok
fermentation process, a photo by melmok on Flickr.

All you need to do is release the cap bottle everyday for the 1st month. If you don't, the bottle would explode. 
There was on time when i skipped a day and when i release the cap the next day, the cap pop up in the air and i could see the gas coming out from the bottle...
So make sure when you loosen the cap to release the gas, do it slowly. 
After that just shake the whole mixture and release the gas again. 

For the 2nd and 3rd month, you just need to shake and release the gas every fortnight.
You can then start using your enzyme cleaner on the 4th month.
You just need to strain the liquid out and transfer it to a smaller bottle.
You can also use the remaining of the fruit peel as fertilizer for your plants.

enzyme cleaner by melmok
enzyme cleaner, a photo by melmok on Flickr.

The longer you keep your enzyme cleaner, the stronger the enzyme gets. 
The gas still builds up in my smaller bottles.

Now and then, i'll release the gas from my ready made enzyme cleaner.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

food post that is a quarter way

Recently, my dad celebrated his 60th birthday at Hakka Restaurant at Jalan Raja Chulan.
To be honest, this is my first time trying out Hakka food.
I was suppose to take a pic of each and every dish.... but then i got side track with the food...

There was 12 dishes, 15 pax and the bill came out to RM587.
We had 4 pork dishes ( 2 of the same kind as everyone love the "pancake pork with salted fish"), 3 veggie dishes, 2 fish dishes,  2 chicken dishes, 1 dessert.

The food was good... It was something different.

IMG_0372 by melmok
by melmok on Flickr.

IMG_0376 by melmok
by melmok on Flickr.

IMG_0374 by melmok
by melmok on Flickr.

IMG_0377 by melmok
by melmok on Flickr.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last Weekend's Lunch

Sunday Lunch by melmok
Sunday Lunch, a photo by melmok on Flickr.
I like!

A whole chicken leg, with steam rice, asparagus and coriander...


chemical free

Once while i would side track from my natural chemical free beauty products.
A girl can't help it when a huge word "SALE" or "Promotional Sets" or "Promotional Offers" appears every where you go.

Last weekend i went to the mall to do some window shopping. Since i was there, and since i've heard and read about a certain product and thought to myself *maybe i should check it out and give it a try*.

It say all natural chemical free, but when i look closely at the ingredients... i found a chemical in it. 

So i have to ask myself.. can i just close one eye with that one particular ingredient?

I found that helps a lot.
You'll understand what kinda of chemicals that is used for beauty products and what to avoid.
Basically, i totally avoid
• anything with PEG
• Parabens or anything with the end "-paraben"
• Fragences

I find that EWG CosmeticsGuide is pretty useful. It's a basic guide to let you know what to avoid. i got this from pureskinblog.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Glycerin, Hydrosol, Clay N extra

I've finally gotten my stuffs - glycerin, hydrosols and clays that i've order.

I've been using the hydrosol as a toner every morning because i was feeling really uncomfortable with the alcohol content in the toner. 
I was at the verge of making my own hydrosol few weeks back but then where am i going to get pesticide, chemical free flowers here? hmm..

So i had to replenish my Rose Geranium hydrosol as i ran out of it.
I also got my self Witch Hazel and Helichrysum hydrosol to mix it up and to use it together with my clay mask as well.
Got my self some vegetable gylcerin to use it as a hydrator... 
Let's see how my skin would take it. 

I was presently surprise to find that there's a small little bag of Burts Bee scrub.

At first i though it was a face scrub that maybe i could temporarily replace with my dearest suki face exfoliater. 
but when i google it, i found out that it's a body scrub.

i guess i'll be trying it tonight.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Borderlinx / VPost

I've meant to blog about my purchase with Borderlinx but as usual, i totally forgotten about it.

I thought of trying out another shipping service and found Borderlinx. Saw a few promo that was link with Citibank credit card users.
Signed up with them and started to stock up my Suki products and my ingredients to make my own shampoo.

Yes, i'm making my own shampoo now.. been using it 2-3 times a week. so far so good.

Anyway, as i was about to enter my promo code for Citibank credit card users. the site rejected the code.
*crap!*... the total shipping cost for my purchase was USD47.12
I was counting on the promo code with USD20 rebate to help me out with the cost of the shipping.

You see, i've been using VPost for my shipments and i always take advantage of the promo shipping code to save the extra $$. yes, i'm a cheap skate.

After chatting with Alicia on live chat throu their website.
I found out that i had to register my Borderlinx account directly through the Citibank link in order to be eligible for the promo code.
So i had 30 days to store my packages free of charge before they start charging me USD5 per day.which is a good news, comparing to Vpost.

I googled and googled for other promo codes that i could use.
Finally found the 'First to use it, first to get the discount!'.
Just had to follow them on twitter and be the first to use the promo code.
I was glue to my computer and my twitter updated for a week before i manage to be to be first to use it.

Lesson learn. Always read the fine print....kekeke

It took 4 days to arrive after i made my payment. By DHL i may say.
The main reason i use Borderlinx was because i needed to buy my supplies from different stores and Borderlinx has the consolidate service.
Vpost doesn't have.

Overall, i prefer borderlinx service. it was hassle free.
After purchasing from My packages reached my borderlinx address and all i had to do was pay for the shipping cost.

As for Vpost, i had to email them the invoice and details of my purchases. But the plus point for VPost is that the US address that they have is at Portland, Oregon, which is a tax-free state.
So i'm free from paying tax for my items.

For now i have about 6-7 months supply of suki's facial cleanser.... happy me...