All my life, I've had a weird obsession with eating porridge. Chinese porridge is my favourite and my Mom makes the best porridge ever!
However because she doesn't really cook anymore, I have to resort to searching the city for good restaurants.
Recently I bumped into a lovely little place called I Love Yoo! It's a franchise chain of outlets which sells my favourite mix of porridge, yau char kwai (You Tiao) and Tau Foo Far!
It's also located at 8 different locations and the prices are cheap!
RM 3.90 for a delicious bowl of piping hot porridge and a large piece of yummy You Tiao. Is that a steal or what?
The newest outlet is located at the Lower Ground Floor, LG-36 right opposite Cold Storage
You can find out more about them at their website http://iloveyoo.com.my

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Some years ago architects developed the Ice Hotel- now the Treehotel in Harrads officially opened for business on July 3rd.
The treehotel in Harrads is a new concept based on a cooperation between well-known designers and architects around the world to blend hotels into nature.
 
Hotel rooms in the canopy of trees create a new and exciting perspective for holidaymakers. Created with nature in mind, these "Green Hotels" are in harmony with the ecological values favoured by patrons nowadays.

At the moment there are six uniquely themed "Tree Houses" which even come with sauna facilities.

Created by five separate architects. This will be the first Tree Hotel in the world with a Sauna and five star facilities.
 
The rooms are 15 – 30 square meters and between 4-6 meters away from the ground.  Set up in beautiful Pine Trees with views to die for, the Tree Hotel will definately me an unforgettable experience.

Prices for each Tree House: 360 Euro per night, single 190 Euro per night, both prices include breakfast.
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INGREDIENTS
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup pineapple preserves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pretzel rod, broken in half
Dark rye bread, red bell pepper, black olive slices and fresh parsley
Assorted crackers
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Step One
Beat cheeses, pumpkin, preserves and spices in medium bowl until smooth. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until cheese is firm enough to shape.
Step Two
Shape mixture into round pumpkin; place on serving plate. Using knife, score vertical lines down pumpkin. Place pretzel rod in top for stem.
Step Three
Cut bread into triangles for eyes. Decorate pumpkin, using bread, pepper, olives and parsley.
Step Four
Cover loosely; refrigerate until serving time. Serve with crackers.  
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Ingredients
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup grape jelly
1/4 cup hickory smoked barbecue sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
48 frozen meatballs
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Step One 
Combine all ingredients, except meatballs, in large bowl; stir until well blended.

Step Two
Place 12-inch skillet over high heat until hot. Add meatballs and salsa mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened. Serve with toothpicks, if desired.

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I'm thinking of throwing a little Halloween party and these are some of the recipes I'm going to try!
Try them yourself and let me know how it went for you!


Monster Mini Burgers

Ingredients 8 assorted round and oblong sandwich rolls or mini burger buns
16 to 24 slices assorted cold cuts (salami, turkey, ham and/or bologna)
6 to 8 slices assorted cheeses (American, Swiss and/or Muenster)
Butter (plain or herb/garlic)
1 firm tomato, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced thinly
Assorted lettuce leaves (Romaine, curly and/or red leaf)
Cocktail onions, green and black olives, cherry tomatoes, pickled gherkins, radishes, baby corn and/or hard-boiled eggs
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Step One
Cut rolls open just below center; spread with butter.

Step Two
Layer meats, cheeses, tomato, cucumber and greens to make monster faces. Roll "tongues" from ham slices or make "lips" with tomato slices.

Step Three
Use toothpicks to affix remaining ingredients for eyes, ears, fins, horns and hair as desired.

Note


Remember to remove toothpicks before eating. Or substitute preztel sticks for the toothpicks.

  
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Okay, Hari Raya has come and almost gone. Everybody has had about as much bad satay as they can handle. I on the other hand am totally in love with Lemang!
What is lemang? one might ask?

Lemang is ubiquitous amongst Malay communities and commonly eaten to mark the end of daily fasting during the annual Muslim Malaysian holidays of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji. The aboriginal communities of West Malaysia (Orang Asli) also practice cooking rice in bamboo. (Wikipedia)

How To Make Lemang:
What You'll Need
1. THREE pieces, cut bamboo about 16" long each
2. Young banana leaves (Puchok daun pisang)
3. 600 g pulut rice
4. ONE coconut  

Step One
Insert the banana leaves into bamboo and fill the bamboo with the pulut. Do not compact the pulut.

Step Two
Tie banana leaves round open end of bamboo to seal it. Cook pulut by placing bamboo horizontally over a slow charcoal fire. (Like in Picture Above)

Step Three
Re-cover open end and continue cooking the pulot over the charcoal fire until cooked. Cooking time takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours)

You can add flavour to the pulut or colouring and try adding stuff like corn and kidney beans to make it interesting.

Lemang goes VERY VERY well with Rendang
 
Ingredients for Rendang

1½ lb beef cut into 1½ to 2-inch chunks [tougher cuts of beef is suitable]
4 cups thick coconut milk
1 cup fresh coconut [meat], finely grated [Substitute: unsweetened desiccated coconut]
2 stalks lemongrass, slightly crushed [cut to fit in the wok or pan]
2-3 turmeric leaves [daun kunyit], [Substitute: kaffir lime leaves; or the zest of 1 lime]
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
4-5 tbsp chili paste
1½-inch fresh ginger, peeled, sliced
1-inch galangal [lengkuas in Malay], peeled, sliced
1½ inch fresh turmeric root [kunyit basah in Malay], peeled, sliced
2 tsp coarse salt
       [Items in red are to be ground or blended]
 
To Prepare :

Step 1
Season beef with salt and pepper, marinate for at least 30 mins (longer the better as meat get nice and tender)

Step 2
Using a mortar & pestle or blender grind galangal, ginger, turmeric root, chili paste and kosher salt into a spice paste

Step 3
In a dry heated pan, toast the finely grated coconut [meat] over low heat, keep stirring until golden brown. Allow to cool, then using a mortar & pestle, pound into a paste [called kerisik in Malay]

Step 3
Heat wok on high, stir-fry spice paste 2-3 mins, add coconut milk, reduce heat and slowly bring to a gentle boil; stir often

Step 4
Add beef and simmer for 10 mins
Add lemongrass stalk, turmeric leaves [or kaffir lime leaves; or lime zest], sugar and season with salt and pepper
Reduce heat to low, uncovered, simmer for 1-1½ hrs; stir often with a spatula [be sure to 'scrape' the bottom of wok], add a little water if it starts to dry up too quickly]
Add the toasted coconut paste [kerisik] during the last 30 mins of cooking
When the beef is very tender - the gravy, thickens and oil starts to float on top - remove from heat and discard the lemongrass stalks and turmeric leaves

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 When you have both items prepared you can eat them together!!! If the lemang recipe is too hard for you to make yourself, try and get some from Tescos or check out the many stalls selling lemang along the roadside.

My favourite 'Lemang' man sells Lemang Jagung, which is an interesting mix.

My favourite way to eat Rendang? I like to put it with maggi mi sup kambing. Yes !!! It almost tastes like my favourite beef noodles from Chiang Mai!

Enjoy!