Sunday, 24 April 2016

到香港公干


四月十八日到香港公干几天,其实最放心不下得是家中的长辈。还好有Naw在家。Naw是我们请来的帮佣,已住进我们家5个月,母亲也逐渐把厨房里的大小事务交给她。今天午餐一桌菜都是Naw煮的。回国后在家好好与家人吃一顿饭,也是种简单的的幸福。

在香港W酒店做conference,一切都非常顺利。酒店的员工都很专业。多年来在新加坡、曼谷、河内、巴厘岛都host过conference, 我对曼谷的Mandarin Oriental服务的评价是最高的。目前觉得W Hong Kong可以媲美。

在conference的前一天抵达香港,中午checkin 后便一直呆在房间里工作到下午三点多,忽然觉得好饿哦!酒店楼下是圆方(Elements Mall), 便下去”正斗“吃了碗云吞面。我点的云吞面是小份的:半个面+4颗云吞。那样的话,还可以尝尝蛋挞仔。大份的云吞面则是整个面+6颗云吞。


明晚的晚饭定在丽思卡尔頓酒店(Ritz Carlton Hong Kong)102楼的天龙轩(Tin Long Heen),所以务必先探索一下。金碧辉煌的米其林二星餐厅。 我们定了三间private room。 Minimum spending 是HKD30,000。


空前绝后的view。


然后回到W继续苦干。从房间内可以欣赏夕阳。





晚餐也在圆方里解决了。独自享受了一整只“桃花源”(Tim's Kitchen)的烧鹅脾,够奢侈吧?



开会咯!我为同事们安排了好多好吃的。



Conference的最后一天,眼看还有一小时便要结束了,心想这几天都过得还蛮写意的 (暗地里偷笑)。不料我们的Global CEO这时才给我发了个难题:要我在会议结束以前弄来24只招财猫!

我临危不乱,使命必达(握拳)


一切都归功于W 的Concierge。年轻的职员为我上網查询,写了地址,还打印了地图。我迅速地搭德士前往,然后又迅速地把猫儿们带回会议室。All done in under an hour.

会议结束了,告别甲级的W,搬进油麻地的Cityview Hotel。缺了WIFI, 多了点私人空间。好好享受下午茶:花园街兰亭咖啡阁新鮮出炉鸡批 and 无敌蛋挞。


因为时间的关系,都没跟在香港的朋友联系。抱歉呐!下次一定约你们出来吃饭。

Saturday, 23 April 2016

BROWNIE POINTS



Everyone is so busy these days but my cousins made a special effort to visit us this morning, definitely scoring brownie points with my parents.

When your most favourite people in the universe is coming around, serving them something home-baked seems like a hospitable thing to do. Something like these Walnut and Double Chocolate Chip Brownies. 

I baked a tin of this classic brownie last night and once it's cooled, I put it in the fridge to chill.  This morning, it's nicely firmed up and so much the easier to cut.  I placed a few slices into the oven to be warmed up just before my guests arrived. They're rich, chocolatey, and moist without being overly dense.  I wish I remembered to buy some ice-cream!

ONE-PAN WALNUT AND DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP BROWNIES
Adapted from a recipe by Belinda Jeffery in the March 2007 issue of delicious magazine 

Makes one 23-cm square pan

250 grams salted butter
180 grams good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
385 grams caster sugar
1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 eggs 150 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams walnuts, roughy chopped
50 grams milk chocolate chips
50 grams dark chocolate buttons

Preheat your oven at 180 degrees C. Line a 23-cm square cake tin with foil. Butter the foil lightly. 

Put butter and chopped chocolate into a heavy-based saucepan over very low heat. Melt them, stirring from time to time. Take the pan off the heat when the butter is nearly melted and give it a good stir so the mixture is smooth and shiny. Set aside to cool for about 8 minutes. 

Add sugar and vanilla to chocolate mixture and use a balloon whisk to mix well for 20 seconds or so. 

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one is added so it is completely incorporated before you add the next. 

Tip in the flour and stir until just combined. The mixture will look lumpy. 

Don’t overdo the mixing or the brownie will toughen as it cooks. Gently fold in the nuts and chocolate chips and buttons. Scrape the batter into prepared tin. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. 

Cool completely in the tin on a wire rack. Once it’s cool, chill the brownie in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so to firm it up so it’s easier to slice. When you’re ready to cut it, grasp the foil and carefully ease the whole brownie out of the tin. Invert onto a chopping board and gently peel away the foil.

Enjoy!



Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Saturday, 20 February 2016

PHOON HUAT WAREHOUSE SALE

May Seey and I made a date to check out the first ever Phoon Huat Warehouse Sale today.  We must've arrived a little after 11AM in her car.  There were at least 200 people waiting in line ahead of us.  Mayz was quick to observe that most of the folks who exited the building came out empty handed.  It didn't take long for us to discover why.  

Apparently, we were expected wait in line (for about an hour) just to obtain a Q number, whereupon you will be advised by the Phoon Huat staff to return at 3PM (or 4PM, depending on how far behind you were in the Q).  

The opening hours were 10AM to 6PM.

Did Mayz and I wait?  Of course we didn't.

And from the feedback on Phoon Huat's Facebook page, it wasn't exactly a sale worth waiting for.  

Badly done, Phoon Huat.  Badly done.



Sunday, 10 January 2016

Friday, 1 January 2016

SPEEDING DOWN



It’s hard to believe an entire year has come and gone. The older I get, the faster the they go. 2015 was hectic and eventful but with the recent installation of a new domestic helper, today I’m finally able to slow down and savour a quiet afternoon. 

A trusted recipe from my repertoire - rich buttery shortbread cookies with tangy cranberries and a kiss of orange. May you always find the time for slow living. Happy New Year! 

CRANBERRY SHORTBREAD COOKIES 

Makes 40 cookies 

250 grams all-purpose flour 
40 grams rice flour 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
225 grams good quality unsalted butter, room temperature 
60 grams icing sugar 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
2 tablespoons diced candied orange peel 
100 grams coarsely chopped dried cranberries 

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, rice flour and salt. 

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract and zest. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in the dried cranberries and candied orange peel, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the dough. 

Form the dough into a log, about 5-cm in diameter.  Wrap with plastic and refrigerate overnight. 

When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven at 180 degrees C. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough log and, using a very sharp knife, cut the chilled dough into slices no thicker than ½ cm. Place the slices on prepared baking sheets, spacing them well apart. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are lightly brown. 


When the cookies are baked, rest them for a few minutes to firm up a bit, then transfer to wire racks. Allow the cookies to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 

Enjoy!