Words of Wisdom

In life, we have to choose between the jeans and the cookie jar. Liz Hurley chose the jeans and I chose the cookie jar

~ Nigella Lawson....(on women's body image and her own voluptuous body)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another German fix........Königsberger Klopse

It's that German fixation moment again for me ;-)

Trying to self-teach myself German so far has not produced any good result despite trying since 1998. So, let's see what I can do in the culinary department.

I have always been a little wary of trying Western food especially European ones as the taste is usually too rich and heavy for my Asian taste bud. But a little bit of something wouldn't hurt.

I decided on this recipe. Koenigsberger Klopse. German food, as I have noticed from poring through recipes has similarities with many Eastern European recipes. I think it's the history which goes back to old and even ancient times. These meatballs are named after the formerly German city of Koenigsberg which now belongs to Russia (Kaliningrad). So, there you go.

I first saw this on YouTube (about 2 years ago I think) when Bill Kaulitz declared that Koenigsberger Klopse was his favourite food. That boy sure has a strong willpower when he gave this up to turn vegetarian. Been wondering what the dish must taste like as I believe he wouldn't eat something if it wasn't appealing to his taste.

Yes, he's a vege now.

I do have certain challenges when it comes to cooking International dishes as I am restricted by religious dietary requirement. So, I have to adjust the recipes a bit to suit my 'halal' and non-alcoholic rules.

You can find good guidelines for alcohol substitutes here on and here on What'

After searching for many recipes, I settled for this one I found at by user BecR.

Koenigsberger Klopse Recipe (My non-alcoholic version)

My Könisberger Klopse
I served mine simply with boiled potatoes and parsley :-)


3 lb ground meat (I used ground beef. BecR mixes sirloin, pork and veal)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 cups fine plain breadcrumbs (I used plain white bread shredded and soaked in milk, BecR uses Progresso plain breadcrumbs whereas her grandmother used a ground up hard roll)
1/2 cup milk (to soak the shredded bread in)
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 lemon, zest of, finely chopped
1 lemon, juice of
3 tablespoons capers, chopped
3 tablespoons anchovy paste or crushed anchovy fillets (Alternatively you may use sardines or herring. I'm a Malaysian, so I used ground 'ikan bilis'. That's the Malaysian anchovy! Now available in powdery granule form.)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt (any salt will do really)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Flour (for rolling the meatballs)


1 (32 oz) box chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup cider vinegar (I used apple juice as that was what I had in my storage)
1/2 cup good quality dry white wine (I used sparkling white grape juice)
10 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons capers


The remaining broth after simmering the Meatballs
1 lemon, zest of, small finely chopped
1 lemon, juice of (extract the whole juice)
1 cup good quality sour cream (I replaced this with evaporated milk. I mean, fruit juice, lemon and sour cream? How sour do you want this to be?)
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley, for garnish


For the Meatballs

1. Shred the bread and soak in milk. Then add to the ground meat.
2. Mix the rest of the ingredients (except the flour) to the meat.
3. Mixture should be sticky.
4. Shape into balls and roll in the flour.
5. Carefully place the meatballs into the simmering Broth (DO NOT BOIL! The Meatballs will fall apart)

My German meatballs

You can see the a few look better. The breaking ones were cooked a little bit too high on heat. The good ones were simmered on the right medium heat.

For the Broth

1. Heat all the ingredients in a pot.
2. Simmer over medium heat.

For the Sauce

1. Take the remaining Broth after cooking the meatballs.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients for the Sauce
3. Simmer and stir gently.
4. Pour over the Meatballs

Serving suggestions

Garnish with parsley
Serve with Potato Dumplings (if you have too much time in your hand) or simply boiled potatoes (if you're too lazy to make dumplings....xD)
Normally served with Rotkohl (Braised Spicy Red Cabbage)

So, my verdict?

Not bad.

I won't eat the Meatballs without the Sauce honestly. After all, the lemon juice made them a bit sour. Sour meatballs don't taste very nice to me. With the Sauce, the Meatballs tasted good.

However, I was a bit disappointed that after all the PRICEY ingredients I put together for the Meatballs, they actually tasted a bit like our CHEAP Malaysian 'chekodok bawang' or 'onion/anchovy fritters' which is a recipe for breakfast we make when we don't have that much money. Just flour, water, salt, dried anchovy and sliced onion. Fried and eaten with chili sauce.

Overall, I can still understand though why Bill Kaulitz raved about this dish and Ingo Schwichtenberg was proud to be a German homeboy.

Proud of their homeland and the food :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Whoah! Am I trying to be a tongue-twister writer here?

Nah! We used to just call them SONY but in a management reshuffling move, they are now known as SOEM.

Opened the email this morning to find a notification from the Admin people that I, along with a colleague, had been invited to a VIP meal at the 'conference room'.

Oh, dear*sigh*, I'd been dreading this day since they emailed me about it last week. The SONY people again. It would be another presentation for the running blu-ray model. They have a thing for 'grilling' you with questions after questions till they're satisfied with your Quality performance.

I went with ZERO preparation. Like 'd normally say it in my native tongue "I bring my body only". No, there's nothing sexual about that idiomatic expression. It is a sarcastic way of saying 'not doing or taking any preparation'. So, you basically go as nothing more than your 'body'.

I knew that there would be that special Japanese dish SOMEN, the cold noodles they like to eat in the hot Summer months to cool the body down. Since Malaysia is basically 'Summerland' all year round with some 'monsoon showers' towards December, the Somen can be enjoyed here any time they want.

Let's talk about the presentation first. It was so humiliating as I had to present the 'old data' from last presentation when it is obviously already 2010. So, "bring my own body" next time, huh? It was so embarrassing when they asked "Can you show the latest Data?" and I had to turn to my colleague for help. Thank the Almighty as the SONY people were not interested in dragging the presentation and were content with the fresh hard copy Data we frantically told our Technician to take from the cabinet way back at our Division office.

Now about the SOMEN, I didn't eat it as I discovered last time that the dark sauce they use has wines listed on the label. I used to eat BOWLS and BOWLS of Somen before I read that label before. Muslims aren't allowed any alcohol in food and drinks.

But I did manage to make my own Somen at home using Light Soy Sauce and Apple Juice. Here's the picture:

My Japanese somen - cold noodles

My 'non-alcoholic' version of the Japanese Somen. Hey, not bad. Similar to
the real thing :-)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Half an hour sketching.......sorry Chris DeGarmo

Not being a laptop owner does have its drawback when traveling. I thought long and hard about what to do at night in my hotel room as I packed my bag on Wednesday.

Thought about bringing some clippings from my old metal mags but decided not to for fear of the stuff losing at the airport. So, I made quick colour copies of the pages I wanted on my printer.

Then, I remember a pencil drawing that my new friend Natsumi from Japan emailed to me. She said she did it in an hour.

Ingo Schwichtenberg fast sketch by Nitsumi
My new Japanese artist friend Natsumi sent me this Ingo Schwichtenberg sketch because she knew I love Ingo.
One hour sketching. Wow. See more of her amazing work here.

My sketching things

So, I packed my pencils, sketch book and colour pencil set wondering how close to that could I come up with in 1 hour.

It had been a long time since I last did a proper sketch of anything. It was tempting to draw Ingo but I needed a proper drawing session for him as I want to present him as beautiful as I can. One hour in a hotel room is NOT that time.

So, I moved on to another charming man. Propped on the hotel comfy bed, I sketched the face of a man I have long admired for his distinctively masculine super sharp angular features....Chris DeGarmo.

Chris DeGarmo sketch done at Cititel Hotel Room 1524 Penang
Chris DeGarmo sketching. I made him look like a girl!
This is 1/2 hour work. Natsumi's is way better.
It's Chris DeGarmo with his old permed long locks. I didn't finish the hair making him appear like a blond here.

Sorry Chris. I'll try to finish that drawing properly. For now, you kinda look a little feminine.

Penang.....the 'pearl' island

Just got back from my trip to Penang. Fab place!

First of all, there's no 'pearl' in Penang. It's just a nickname to describe what a treasure the state is. Apart from the much higher cost of living over there, in most other aspects, Penang is very much a close cousin of my home state Melaka. Especially the old Chinese shophouses and the way of life there. Except you can't find people driving Ferraris or Porsches in my home state.

Me and a colleague went there for a business trip but what I have always looked forward to the side activities we would do once we get there in every trip.

Penang trip - ready to take off
I'm a sucker for window-side seat.

Penang trip - view from KLIA Airport
I don't know why ALL my plane seats are at the WING side!

Remember Final Destination first movie?
Those at the wings were supposed to die first. Freaky!

penang trip - i'm always at the wings
But every time the plane is taking off (my favourite part of flying), I'll be exhilarated again


I will think of this man......

Chris DeGarmo HITNF 1(600dpi median)

...... my favourite pilot in the world......Mr. Chris DeGarmo ♥

Penang trip - mighty nutty at swensen's
Got my taste of a very tall ice-cream combo at Swensen's in Auto-City.
I don't remember the name. Might Nutty or something. I couldn't finish the bottom bits. What an indulgence this was.

Penang Trip - waffle ice cream at Swensen's
They also sell this waffle ice-cream combo. Wahey!

On the way the hotel, I saw a shoe shop and the secret Carrie Bradshaw in me reared her head.

My new dancing shoes from Penang
I bought this beautiful pair of dancing shoes.

Is this the shop owned by Jimmy Choo's first shoe-making teacher? I know his teacher is a Penangite and still makes custome-made shoes and dancing shoes which he once showed on TV here.
I hope it IS his shop. I cannot afford a Jimmy but getting a pair by his teacher is a huge step ahead!

What did I do to keep myself occupied in the hotel room?

Penang trip - reach for my artist's tools
Brought my artist's tools with me ;-)

My colleague had his laptop. Well, this is what non-laptop-owning people do. This was my Wi-Fi for the night :-)

2010.......I'm going green with 'Green Bags'

Yup. That's true.

I know that this resolution thing is somewhat a clichè now. Everybody wants to have a resolution every new year which they end up not following till another year comes.

However, the subject of 'green bags' has always been dear to me since my childhood. I LOVE seeing those paper brown bags that people use for grocery shopping on American TV shows back in the early 80s. In fact,when I was a kid, grocery shops used to have stacks of paper 'bags' to fill in the goods bought by the shoppers. Sometimes, I got to see the shop owners make their own from old newspaper. Oh, I miss those days.

I hadn't been very active in 'participating' in the green bags movement admittedly. My first 'green bag' is from Jusco shopping centre. Then, Tesco. Bought the bags but always forgot to re-use them when I went shopping there.

However, this particular bag from Tesco changed my mind to really get serious. This would be the only designer bag I could ever afford, I must tell you xD

rizalman tesco green bag
This bag is PERFECT.
The blue colour combo is fab!

My green bag from tesco by Rizalman

That's the most beautiful 'r' alphabet I have ever seen.
Oh butterflies 'r' beautiful.

Designed by renowned Malaysian designer Rizalman. His blog here (it's in Malay though) and his Official site here. Famous for designing fabulous one-off dresses for local celebrities and the rich. What seems to set him apart from most Malaysian celebrity designers, to my eyes at least, is his ability to create rich opulent designs AND simple elegant ones. Most designers are either one or another.

Rizalman's bags' available quantity is limited to 50,000 pcs only. Oh, I have got to grab more.

My green bags

So, here's my collection of 'green bags' so far. Jusco, Cold Storage and Tesco.

Here's to 'greener living'..... :-)