Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sweet Secrets with Anna Olson

If you are a fan of AFC like me, then you must be no stranger to Canadian celebrity chef Anna Olson. Best known for her delectable desserts on the tv series Sugar, AFC is now showing her current series Fresh. I love her easy going personality and handy hints in Sugar. I must say I have not watched much of Fresh. Top Chef has taken over my life. Anyway, never would I have thought that I would be meeting Anna Olson in person! AFC has brought her to our shores! The 2-day sugar extravaganza is this weekend 28 & 29 November and only costs RM330++ per person. And it includes a sit down lunch and free flow Mumm's champagne. Sugar and champagne, what a perfectly hedonistic weekend!

I was lucky to be invited to the media preview of Sweet Secrets with Anna Olson at Le Meridien Hotel yesterday where we were treated to a sneak peek of whats to come over the weekend. In 2 hours, she demonstrated 3 recipes, gave very useful tips, fed us sugary treats and made us feel like we were old friends. All in 2 hours. I absolutely loved the butter tart. Aren't you just quivering with delight just at the sound of "butter" and "tart". No, its not actually a tart with butter filling but its just as wonderful and rich as it sounds. It is an intense kind of sweetness that almost makes your scalp itch. Its a good itch! She also demonstrated how to make Maple Walnut Ice Cream which looked surprisingly easy. Alas, the ice cream machine was not working but magically like on tv, "heres a batch I made earlier!" It was surprisingly not very sweet at all and there was a lot of crunch from the walnuts. In between she shared very helpful hints from how to crack an egg perfectly to why one needs to relax glutens. I'm sure she will sharing many more tips this weekend. Our last treat was an Apple Date and Cheddar muffin. I think most Malaysians would love this combination of sweet and salty. The muffin has a lovely moist texture but it was just a tad too sweet for me. I think I will omit the dates when I make it next time.

Anyway, there are still some seats left so hurry up and log on to the website right now!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Meat Cravings at Prime

1kg prime rib - meltingly tender
So I went to the gyne on Tuesday and guess what? I've put on 3.5kgs since my last visit which was only 2 weeks ago. And the best part is, the baby has only gained 300 grams. Wonderful! The other 3.2kg would be me then! My gyne looks at the screen and says "Hmm, your baby could do with some weight gain. Eat more meat and less chocolate and ice cream". Gasp! How did she know?! I just haven't felt like eating much meat. I've been craving mainly carbs. Anyway, I went and bought more Anmum, Enfamama and Mamamil after that guilt trip my gyne gave me. And its started already hasn't it? The pressure to be a good mum. Blaaaah! Anyway good thing Mikael and I were heading to Prime at Le Meridien for dinner that evening. Its been awhile since I last visited and the great thing about Prime is that they always have new beef on their menu. To start we ordered the lobster bisque (RM45++) and prawn and lobster cocktail (RM65++. I've been having cravings all week!). For mains, we ordered the 1kg prime rib (RM480++) that comes with your choice of vegetables, steak-cut fries and sauces to share between the four of us. It says for 2 people but really, its a mountain of beef! Hunky's lobster bisque came with a puff pastry hat. I wasn't keen on the pastry but the bisque itself was quite lovely! It was full of flavour without being cloyingly rich. My prawn cocktail salad was kind of dismal. Serving it flat on a plate probably didn't help. A thin fan of prawns and avocado slices with two very tiny slices of lobster hidden beneath some leaves. Sad. The prime rib was superb! The meat was nicely charred and oh so tender! Meat cravings fulfilled! I was very disappointed to see that they had removed pecan mud pie from their dessert menu. It was the best dessert there! Instead we had to settle for crepe suzette and hot chocolate cake with stracciatella ice cream and warm chocolate sauce. They were okay to end the evening with but mud pie would've really hit the spot! Yum...

prawn and lobster cocktail - spot the lobster
deliciously creamy and smooth lobster bisque
For more information, visit Le Meridien

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Hunky

Tim's Nuts by FBB - deliciously moreish!
Not to blow my own horn or anything but if there ever was a "Best Wife" contest, I think I would definitely have a good chance of winning the title. At least thats what I keep telling Hunky. Think of it as brainwashing. Say it often enough and he will start believing it! With only 4 weeks left to baby arriving, I figured I'd do something special for him before our social lives become officially OVER. And my god, when did I lose my glow and sport some bloat instead? I suddenly put on another 2kgs and noticed my ankles have started to swell. Oh dear... I really hope what they say about breastfeeding is true. I need to lose the kgs quick! Anyway, back to Hunky. I organised a indoor golf party for him at City Golf in BSC last night. He had no clue but getting him to go to City Golf was challenging. He kept asking me why I wanted to go have a look. Anyway, he was surprised and very happy. We played 9 holes on St. Andrews course. Even the simulator was difficult so I can only imagine what it must be like playing for real. I blame my bump being in the way. We had delicious cake by FBB. Thank you FBB for making it on such short notice, love you! It disappeared very quickly but thankfully asians being asians, everyone stopped and left us just under a quarter of cake. Phew! What would we eat for breakfast otherwise?

Today is his actual birthday and I decided I would make beef wellington. I only decided this morning and who bloody knew it takes quite a bit of fiddling! I only started at 5pm. Bloody mushrooms took forever to reduce. And then at 6:30pm I read the instructions on the store bought puff pastry that it only takes 20 minutes to cook. WTF. The beef would be too bloody rare! So frantically wrapped the beef in foil and bunged it in the oven for 30 minutes. Let it "cool" for 10 minutes before slapping on the mustard and chicken liver pate. Wrapped it up faster than an origami master and after a quick brush of egg wash, off it went into the oven for 20 minutes. Phew. Just nice! I was pretty happy with the results. The bottom did get soggy as expected but everything else turned out pretty nicely. I don't think I will bother with the chicken liver next time. It was overpowering the duxelle which was a shame because it was really lovely and aromatic. Served it with some blanched beans tossed in bit of butter, roasted potatoes and carrots baked in foil with wine. So much for for 2.5 people. Guess we will be having roast beef sandwiches for the next few days!

Happy birthday my dearest Hunky! Am I the best wife or what?!!