Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!


So, what are you up to this Halloween? Are you dressing up for a party or are you like me…….just staying at home? =) After 2 years of playing semi-dress up ( we only buy wigs) and partying at a friend’s place…..we staying home this year. We are however inviting our usual suspects over for dinner and we do have some candy ready just in case someone rings our door bell! Oh, I do hope somebody does.. I badly wanna give away candies!!

Happy Halloween and have fun trick or treating! And Be Safe!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chicken Salad Sandwich

I had some yummy Chicken Salad Sandwich at Finale Desserts and was inspired to make one for hubby’s lunch the next day! Since I have a whole Rotisserie Chicken, grapes and celery…. it was just perfect timing! I’ve had celery in my chicken salad before, but not grapes. The addition of the grapes were just brilliant!! I simply love the combination of flavors and texture. Sweet, salty, crunchy and soft? =)

My version here is almost like Finale’s… minus the onions and pecans. I don’t like nuts in my salad! You could serve the chicken salad in between 2 slices of bread or perhaps over some shredded lettuce! =)




  • 1 Cup Chopped Rotisserie/Roasted Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1/2 Cup Quartered (Red) Seedless Grapes
  • 2 (Heapful) Tablespoon Mayonnaise
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • 4 Slices of Bread
  • 2 Pieces of Lettuce (*Optional)


Add the first 4 ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Season with black pepper and salt. Place a piece of lettuce on one side of the bread and pile half of the salad mixture on it. Cover with the other piece of bread. This should give you 2 sandwiches! =)


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Boston Market $1 Meal!

First of all, big thanks to Charlene for sharing this deal on her blog. I love grilled/roasted chicken and I love Boston Market. Paying just $1 for a meal that will usually cost about $6 is surely a deal! =) This offer ends November 1, 2009. Hurry Up! Print the coupon HERE, find the nearest location and enjoy a delicious $1 meal!!

RealChickenMealPS: Please note I’m not affiliated with Boston Market. Just love sharing great deals! The website might be slow/down due to overwhelming traffic. Email me, and I’ll be glad to email you a jpeg of the coupon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

MH Apartment Liceo @ Barcelona Spain

IMG_0170 (Large)We booked this apartment through and paid close to USD 200 per night for the 4 of us. This was where we stayed at for the 4 days, 3 nights in Barcelona. The reservation and all was no hassle, no problem unlike my experience with with the apartment in Florence, Italy .

Allow about an hour to get to the apartment from the airport by train and Metra and vice versa. That will cost about Euro 4.50 each way total for the train (about Euro 2.80) and Metra (about Euro 1.35)to and from the airport. Take the train from the airport (I think the train leaves every 30-40 mintues or so) and get off at Passeig de Gracia stop. From there, switch to a Metra and take it to Liceu. The apartment is just about 5-10 minutes walk from there.

We walked once we got off from the Airport Shuttle train at Passeig de Gracia stop to embrace the city, yup with our heavy backpacks, and got lost along the way! =). We arrived at the door only to find out that we needed to call the office. The staff were however friendly and within 10 minutes somebody came and met us at the door. He showed us the apartment, explained some stuff and gave us some paperwork to sign and the keys!

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The apartment is compact but functional. The apartment has a one bedroom with 2 beds, a bathroom, kitchen, dining area and living room with pull out sofa bed to fit 2. The apartment was nicely furnished and equipped with everything you need; kitchen utensils, pot & pans, fridge, stove, oven, microwave, washer, cd player, etc. It was perfect! Towels and linen were also provided at no extra charge (unlike in Florence where we had to pay!).

The apartment is less than 5 minutes from Las Ramblas. Even though it’s located on a quiet side street of Las Ramblas and there were graffiti on some walls, it was quite safe early in the morning and late at night. There were even cafes right across the apartment and a few doors away from it. There’s also a grocery store that closes about 11pm – 12 am which offers a limited but sufficient amount of groceries (Beer & wine too!). Prices were surprisingly very decent! And you want a fresh produce and other stuff head to the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria just about 10-15 minutes on Las Ramblas. Port Vell is also about 15 minutes from the apartment. =)

I’m glad we chose to stay at this apartment during our visit to Barcelona!! Two thumbs up and I will definitely return to this place, if we’re ever in Barcelona again!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bee Koh Moy (Black Glutinous Rice Porridge)

IMG_0881Bee Koh Moy (Black Glutinous Rice Porridge or Bubur Pulut Hitam in the Malay Language) is hands down my #1 favorite Chinese dessert/tong sui! Bee Koh Moy is a thick, creamy, nutty dessert made with the simplest ingredients; Sweet Black Glutinous Rice, Water and Sugar. Just before serving, you can opt to add a splash of creamy coconut milk and you’ll have a yummy treat!

I’ve always wanted to share the recipe for this easy yet yummy dessert. However, it always took me a very long time to cook it and lots of water to boil the rice until it’s soft! I always lost count of the amount of water I’ve added and the amount of time I spent cooking it! I guess it might be the type of Sweet Black Rice I used or something!

I made some of my favorite Bee Koh Moy the other day. This time, I added some red beans to cook along the black rice and tapioca pearls towards the end of the cooking. It was delicious nevertheless. I will definitely repeat this recipe in the future. Hopefully, I’ll be able to remember the amount of water and cooking time need to make this yummy treat! Perhaps, I should also start with buying a new bag of black glutinous rice? =)


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Eating in Barcelona

Here’s compilation of some of the stuff we ate during out 4 days 3 nights stay in Barcelona, Spain. We could definitely live here….permanently!

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This was the best sit down meal we had in Barcelona. I’m not 100% sure how authentic everything was (we realized despite the Spanish name, everyone working there was Indian), but they were definitely delicious. The best thing was we paid Euro 10 per person, and even though I think we had to pay VAt of 7%, it was still worth it.

Restaurant L’oficina is located near Port Vell. There were many other restaurants on the same strip as the one we picked to have our meal. For Euro 10, you get an appetizer, bread, paella, sangria and dessert. Who could ask for better deal?? Seyda picked Calamari Rings (Top Left) which although was a little heavy on the batter, the calamari were thick and yummy. Hubby and Rob picked Fish Balls (Top Right), which was totally different from the Chinese version of Fish Balls. It was light, fluffy, slightly fishy, yummy but was a tad salty.

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I ordered Salted Shrimp with Salas (Top Left). The shrimp was a hassle to peel, but it was so good! Naturally sweet! Yums!! Our yummy Seafood Paella (Top Right) came soon after we polished our generous portions of appetizers. They were again very generous with the serving and the seafood! There were tons of mussels, clams, langoustines, and shrimps. I definitely fell in love with Paella that day. It was my first time having it and I’m glad it was a pleasant experience! =)

On top of the yummy food, their Sangria was delicious too. You could really taste the wine, and the alcohol and it’s definitely not watered down! Dessert was a cuppa ice cream each. Nothing too special, but it was definitely appreciated!!


And here’s the expensive cup of coffee we had as mentioned in my post HERE. Euro 3.50 for cafe + milk + big mug = Rip Off Latte!! =) As I mentioned, if you order cafe/coffee in Spain or Italy…expect to get a small cup of espresso shot! If you want the regular large cup of coffee, my friend said to order “Caffe Americano” = Espresso + Water.

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We got ripped off twice in a day. This time it was at a cafe (Top Left) near Park Guell. We got hungry after walking around the park exploring Gaudi’s work and decided to rest our tired legs and fill up our rumbling tummy! We stopped by this cafe (which unfortunately I forgot the name) on our way to catch the Metra. The Cafe is a small place probably a mom and pop business.

Hubby ordered Cannelloni (Top Right) which looked better in the menu than the actual stuff cost about Euro 4-5. It was probably some commercial frozen food and baked before serving. I hated the smell of it……don’t get me wrong,..I love cheese, but hubby’s meal was a turn off…the smell and the look!

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Rob ordered Bacon sandwich/baguette (Top Left)…. it was just as it said it was on a menu..and was about Euro 3-4. My Omelet with Ham, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich(Top Right) was about Euro 3-4. Now, here’s the kicker…… there wasn’t any Omelet! I tried to ask the wait staff (who speaks some English)if my order was right and she said yes. I decided not to argue.. but where’s my omelet?

We ordered coke with our meal to save some money and later found out that a can of coke was Euro 2.30…. A can of beer was Euro 2.80. Should have drank beer instead! When we paid too, we found out that there were a service charge of Euro 1 per person and the stale bread which was served to us wasn’t free! =P Lesson learnt!

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I’ve had Tapas in Boston before and I love it. But this was better!!! You enter the Pintxo/Pincho bar, grab a plate and pick whatever Pincho you like. The only difference between Pintxo/Pincho and Tapas is that Tapas comes in a small portion for sharing. Pintxo/Pincho on the other hand are arranged on slices of bread.There were so many different kinds of Pinchos to choose from, we don’t know where to start!!

At this Sagardi (Top) which I finally found the name after relentlessly googling for it online, they practice honor system. I bet it’s the same with many other Pintxo/Pincho Bars in the area. We got in there, grab a plate, picked the Pinchos we wanted to try and instead of paying for it there and then……they ask us to eat them first. Take more if we like and order drinks from the bar tender if we want to. After we’re done, bring the empty ate and the toothpicks to the staff. They will then count how many toothpicks you did not throw away or chew up on your plate, ask if you drank anything and tell you how much you owe them. At Sagardi, every toothpick was Euro 1.80. No frills, no tax, no surprise. We paid the exact amount of toothpick we had! One little note, we ate standing or you could choose to sit at the bar. There were also outdoor sittings with ala carte menus and well dressed wait staff to take your order.

Some other bars charges about Euro 2-2.20 per Pincho and did not have as much choices and the ones we went to. I’m glad we stumbled upon this one and gave it a try! IMG_0573 (Large)

We had such a wonderful dinner the first nite, we decided to hunt down more Paella meals. This time we looked on Las Ramblas. We soon found out that the outdoor restaurants on the pedestrian strip on Las Ramblas where there are souvenir stands and street performers were pricey and did not have great deals on meals. That’s what you pay for the atmosphere and people watching. These outdoor restaurants have a indoor seating which were across the street and in the building, still on Las Ramblas. If you choose to forgo the bustling scene dining outside, there are better deals to lure customers to seat indoors.

We picked this restaurant which if you sit outdoor, prices were higher and you would expect to pay about Euro 20 per person. If you sit indoor, there was a set meal for Euro 11 – Euro 13. We Paid Euro 13 for portions of Tapas, Paella, and Sangria. Euro 11 if you chose the Pizza instead of Paella. The portion of the Tapas (Top Left) were tiny, but delicious. The tuna pasta was yum! We ate so much tuna in Europe! The anchovy and red pepper was ok. The potatoes with hot sauce was also YUMS!!!

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When the Paella (Top Left) came, I was a little disappointed. It did not look as good as the ones we had the day before, and they were a little stingy with the seafood. Maybe coz it was Chicken and Seafood Paella. The taste was also average, definitely not as good as the first one we had. The Pizza (Top Right) did not look very special and I did not try it. A huge disappointment especially since this restaurant on the popular, touristy Las Ramblas…. I guess it was a Tourist Trap and we were surely one of them! =p.

The one thing that we never really got to try was Chocolate dipped Churros. The closest thing I could get was Churros from a pastry shop and that wasn’t fresh. =(. I’m not sure if we did not look hard enough, but we surely did not see any shops at Chocolate dipped Churros to-go as we did not want to sit down in a cafe just to have Churros! There were many places selling gelatos, waffles, kebabs and other food on the go……. But no one was selling those yummy Churros to-go! I see a business plan here! Haha!! =)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chicken Teriyaki

Hubby and I love Chicken Teriyaki especially the ones from Sarku Japan. I have tried to recreate it previously and it turned out good, not great! It was a little too oily and dark.

This time, I was bought boneless and skinless chicken thighs and was careful with the amount of soy sauce I added. I thought the color were quite close this time. Flavors were good too. It helps that this time, the dish weren’t as oily as the last time I cooked Teriyaki Chicken.  Hubby thought it was good, but not quite similar to Sarku Japan’s Teriyaki Chicken. Maybe next time, I’ll buy me a portion of Sarku’s Teriyaki Chicken, bring it home and try to figure out how to get it exactly the same. That’s if I do not finish the chicken first! I wonder if it was because my teriyaki chicken had a bit more gravy?

Anyway, here’s my version of Chicken Teriyaki which I opted to have a little more gravy to drench my rice in. =) Just omit the water if you prefer a drier version .




  • 1 Lb Boneless & Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 Tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 Tsp Sesame Oil
  • Dash of White Pepper
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Corn Flour
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, Minced
  • 1/4 Tsp Sesame Seeds (Optional)
  • 1/4 Cup Water (Optional)


Cut chicken thighs into strips of about 2” x 3/4” and put them in a bowl. Add 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, dark soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, white pepper and corn flour to the chicken. Marinate chicken for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Heat oil in work over medium high heat. Add garlic and stir fry till garlic turns slightly brown. Add chicken and stir fry chicken for about 5-10 minutes. Add sugar, remaining soy sauce and continue cooking for about 5 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked and slightly charred. Add sesame seeds if desired.

At this point you could scoop it up and serve with some white rice. If you prefer your chicken to have a little more gravy, add water and let sauce thicken before transferring it onto a plate. Serve warm!

Deal from Panda Express

I don’t think there’s any Panda Express near me, but I used to frequent them when I live in Chicago! Stumbled upon a freebie deal (with purchase) from Panda Express. Go check them out and find the nearest location HERE. Coupon expires October 27, 2009

PS: I’m not affiliated with Panda Express. I’m just passing along/sharing a money saving deal whenever I see them! =)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sightseeing Barcelona – Oct 4, 2009

We walked so much the previous day before, we did not set our alarms and thought the rising sun will wake us up from our sleep. WRONG!! SO WRONG!! Hubby and I woke up to a dark room to realize that it was not 7am, it was like 10 am plus! We quickly woke up the rest and got ready and started our day……..late! I forgot if we even had breakfast! From that morning onwards, we always set our alarm clocks the night before! =)

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Since the husbands were nice to let the wives planned out the whole trip, we thought it would be nice for them to visit Camp Nou/Barcelona Football (Soccer) Club. The huge stadium is a little out of the way away from where most attractions are, but is reachable by Metra (Still in Zone 1) and a bit of walking. And since we started the day late, the guys were anxious that the place will close by the time we got there. The stadium closes early on Sundays.

Camp Nou (Top) is where football (soccer) matches are played and is home to the Barcelona team. Entrance fee to visit the stadium and museum is a hefty Euro 17 per person. Personally, if you’re not a huge football/soccer fan…… it’s not worth paying that much to see a soccer field. If you’re a fan of the sport like the husbands, that you’ll get giddy and excited! =) Camp Nou according to Wikiepedia is the largest stadium in Europe and the 11th largest in the world with a capacity of 98, 787.

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The Champions League Trophy..I think (Top) was also on display. Hubby (and many other guys) got all excited….. I had no clue what the deal/excitement was. =P

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We then took the Metra to Montjuic Mountain area in hopes that we’ll still be able to get into the Barcelona National Museum. We arrived in the Montjuic area to be greeted by two large pillars (Top Left) and many exhibit/convention halls. The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya Palau Nacional (Barcelona National Musuem) (Top Right) was so grand, so breathtaking, so unexpected. I did not expect the building to be that huge and that palace like! Entrance to the Museums are free on the first Sundays of each month (that’s why we chose to go there then) but it also closes early on Sundays! We missed that by a couple minutes! Boo!

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Since the Barcelona National Museum is located on Monjuic Mountain, you therefore get a nice view of Barcelona (Top Left) from the entrance of the museum. We walked around the museum to appreciate its architecture (Top Right) and headed to the Olympic Village where the 1992 Olympic was held in Barcelona. No pictures of it as we got tired of walking towards the Olympic Village and decided to walk towards the Spanish Village which was on the other direction instead.

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Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) built in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition in order to provide an insight into the wealth and diversity of Spanish cultures. This is an open-air museum of architecture, featuring replicas of 117 buildings, streets and squares from the Spanish territory. This village was supposed to be torn down, but due to the overwhelming response they got from tourist, they decided to keep it and it remained open till today.

Entrance fee is Euro 8.50 per person. And this was worth every penny. I have to admit I was at first skeptical of the place will offer after reading about it from Seyda’s notes. I was glad we decided to go in to the Village which was built to represent the different areas in Spain. There are restaurants, craft shops with life demos and museums in the village. You can see at first hand a variety of crafts workshops such as ceramics, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, painting, glassblowing, and performing arts workshops.

Happy Birthday, Father-In-Law!

Thank you for everything! Hope you have a wonderful celebration tonight!

Happy Birthday, to my special Father-in-law! XOXO

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sightseeing Barcelona – Oct 3, 2009

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Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (Top Left), large public market in Barcelona which is also one of city’s foremost landmark with an entrance from Las Ramblas. There were cured meat shops (Top Right), fruit stores, bakeries, pasta stores, seafood stores, poultry stores, meat stores, vegetable stores as well as a couple eateries in the market. It’s open 8am – 8.30pm everyday, Monday thru Saturday. I guess I got the wrong information as I thought it was open at 7am….that explains why the market was just opening at 7.15am.

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Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família or more commonly called Sagrada Familia (Top) is a privately funded Roman-Catholic Church that has been under construction since 1882 and is expected only to be completed in 2026. This was another spectacular work by Antoni Gaudi (1852–1926). Entrance fee is Euro 11 to see the church up close. As impressive the structure is, I’m not sure if it was worth to pay to go in as there weren’t much to see in the inside. Many tour buses just stop on the outside and let the tourists take the pictures from the gates. We got the combo ticket (Euro 13, save Euro 3.50 if you get it separately) which gives us entrance to the church and Casa Museu Gaudi (Gaudi Musuem)in Park Guell. It wasn’t worth the savings (or in our case extra Euro 2) to go into the Gaudi Musuem.

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Some random yet cool architecture/house? (Top Left) we saw on our walk up to Park Guell. Without a great map, we took the longer and more “zig zag” to the side entrance of the park…..Of course we only found out we went to the park thru the tough way after we saw a different bigger, grander entrance upon arrival! Park Guell (Free Entrance) is also designed by Antoni Gaudi. Yes, you’ll see his name is everywhere in Barcelona! The park is about 20-30 minutes from the nearest Metro stop.

Casa Museu Gaudi (Top Right) is where Gaudi once lived is now a museum with various theme rooms and furniture from obtained from the places Gaudi designed. Entrance to the museum is Euro 5.50 if you buy the ticket separately. If you buy it with the Sagrada Familia entrance pass, you save Euro 3.50. Nothing too interesting in this small museum. I would definitely advice not to pay to go in there. Save those Euros for some desserts/pastries later!

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Park Guell (Top) is filled with whimsical interesting sculptures/architectures. All cleverly designed by Gaudi. Each part of the park is intriguing, each more than the previous. We probably spent at least an hour in the park discovering each different design.

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Casa Mila or better known as La Pedrera (Top Left) is another building by Antoni Gaudi completed in 1912. Entrance is about Euro 10 to see the amzing designs in the apartment as well as the different odd structures on the roof top of Casa Mila. We had a little too much of Gaudi that morning, we decided to take a pass and just observe the building from the outside!

Assorted pastries (Top Right); these were some of the delicious pastries we saw in the many pastry shops. Who could resist these yummy treats? =)

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La Seu (Barcelona Cathedral) (Top Left); before the church was built, there was a Roman temple then a mosque. Construction of the church began in 1298 and completed in 1448. The site where I researched this attraction said that entrance was free. When we got there, a fee of Euro 5 was imposed to enter the cathedral. We decided yet again to skip! Yes, we were cheap frugal!

Palau de la Música Catalana (Top Center) is a concert hall designed in the Catalan modernista style. We stumbled upon this building during our walks around Barcelona.

Random fountains (Top Right) are easily found around Barcelona. Some of these fountains have unique elaborate designs, some just plain. We stumbled upon this drinking fountain which during our walks around Barcelona. I forgot if this drinking fountain was working or not…. we stumbled a few non-working ones.

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Arc de Triomf (Top Left) was built for the 1888 Universal Exposition/Exhibition which took place at the Parc de la Ciutadella. It served as the exhibition’s entrance.

View of the Arc from Parc de la Ciutadella (Top Right). This park is Barcelona’s most central park with a zoo, lake, musuems and water fountains in the park.

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