Chefology x McCormick: Lemon Garlic Salmon with Green Bean Quinoa Salad

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Due to the process of house relocating over the last month (the lack of a functional kitchen space), our waistlines have definitely suffered. The constant eating out means we couldn’t eat as healthy as we wanted to and as you can imagine, a less than ideal diet actually also leads to cravings and bad habits. Suppers, extra desserts, snacking… you name it.

Needless to say, we decided enough is enough and kick started our clean eating routine this week. Good thing is, the new condo that we are staying also have a beautiful gym and swimming pool. So the two of us are going to look fabulous by the new year, hopefully.

Anyway, this also means I get to play around the kitchen more and create more low carb high fat recipes to keep our diet interesting. It’s easier to stay on the wagon when you still enjoy the ‘diet food’, am I right? And just a couple of days ago, I’ve introduced a new ingredient to Kevin’s diet: Quinoa.

Quinoa was all the rage years ago when it was dubbed as the new super-food. The idea of super-food however, does not appeal to a certain type of people who might have the preconception that all healthy stuff tastes horrible. Kevin belongs to that group and I might add, it did take a little convincing for him to try this out. But I think I’ve successfully converted him.

So over the hectic weekend (nowadays weekends are packed with furniture shopping), I made a super simple meal, again with the Chefology Pan and my McCormick collection. Simple it might be, but it’s huge on flavours! Let’s break it down here.

Lemon Garlic Salmon with Green Beans Quinoa Salad

Salmon Steak x 2
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
Handful of Green Beans, cut into bite size
1 Lemon, halved
1/2 cup Quinoa
Half a small onion, diced
McCormick’s Oregano Grinder
McCormick Sea Salt Grinder
McCormick Black Peppercorn Grinder

First to make the Green Beans Quinoa Salad. Rinse Quinoa under water for a minute, then cook with double amount of water for around 20 minutes under low heat. Turn off the heat once the water is all absorbed and leave to rest.

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In a pan, heat olive oil add onion and half of the minced garlic, cook til translucent and stir fry green beans for a couple of minutes. Fluff the Quinoa and add to the vegetables. Season with sea salt, black peppercorn and half a lemon. Turn off heat and add a final splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Serve immediately or on room temperature (it’s great as a salad too!).

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Season the Salmon with salt and pepper, then pan fry on high heat for 1-2 minutes each side. The way I usually is season one side first, place the seasoned side down on pan then season the other side while it’s cooking. If you have the cutlet type make sure you also stand it on the sides to cook the skin.

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Remove fish from pan, leaving the oil (rich source of Omega 3, don’t waste!) in pan. Add garlic, oregano (I’m loving the McCormick Oregano Grinder, adding extra freshness to the dishes) and juice of half a lemon and mix til thick. Pour over the fish and serve.

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I think typing this out actually took longer than the cooking process! I love how the pan gives the salmon a beautiful golden crust. Effortless cooking at its best.

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Do give this a try at home and show me your best version of Salmon!

Other salmon recipes I’ve posted in the past:

Lemon and Herbs Baked Salmon with Dill Yoghurt Sauce

Vietnamese Rice Noodles Salad with Pan Fried Salmon

Sarawak Laksa with Salmon

Pan Fried Salmon, Spinach Quinoa, and Mango Salsa

Poached Salmon in Coconut Milk with Greens

Pan Fried Salmon with Garlic Lemon Mustard Sauce, Potato Galette and Buttered Green Beans

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Cooking with Chefology x McCormick: Japanese Hamburg

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After the Chefology x McCormick Bloggers Event, we each took home our very own Chefology pan along with a range of McCormick Herbs and Spices for us to have some fun at home. And of course it didn’t take much convincing for me to switch over to the Chefology pan. It’s a 24cm frying pan which is great for small household and it definitely came at the right time as we have recently moved and needed an upgrade of the kitchen.

So the first recipe I’ve rustled up was Japanese Hamburg Steaks with a bit of a twist, utilizing the McCormick products that I’ve got.

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McCormick Black Peppercorn Grinder, Sea Salt Grinder, Grill Mates Vintage Smokehouse BBQ Sauce, Oregano Grinder and Ground Chili.

The Japanese Hamburg, or Hambagu is basically a hamburger patty served without burger buns. There are many variations; the sauce, the toppings and the sides can vary as it’s very much a home-cooked dish. The patties almost always has a mix of pork and beef (for the extra moist factor), and generally the ratio is 3:7. In Japanese supermarkets you can find that particular mixture even, called Aibiki Niku. As for sauce, it can be soy based with some grated daikon (oroshi), teriyaki sauce or a demi-glaze (often served in a restaurant). My version would be a bit of a mixture here. Let’s get to it!

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Japanese Hamburg Steaks (Serves 3)

Patties
200g Minced Beef
100g Minced Pork (I know it’s slightly off the ratio but close enough lah)
1 Small Onion, finely diced
4-5 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Egg
1/4 cup Panko
2 tablespoons of McCormick Vintage Smokehouse BBQ Sauce
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Ground Chili to taste

Toppings and Sauce
1 stalk of Negi (Small Leek), sliced
2 tablespoons of McCormick Vintage Smokehouse BBQ sauce
Grated Daikon Radish

Mix all the ingredients for the patties together and work it together by hand until mixture is gluey and sticky. Divide mixture into 3 and toss each patty between hands to knock the air out and then slowly form into oval shape. Once done, made an indentation in the middle with your fingers (the patty will expand during cooking so the indentation will disappear) and set aside until needed.

Heat up the pan and add a bit of olive oil (don’t need too much for chefology pan… guarantee it won’t stick). Add the patties one by one into the pan and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the surface is nicely browned.

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Then flip over carefully, add a generous splash of water and turn the heat to medium low then cover with lid. Cook like this for 4-5 minutes to ensure the inside is cooked through. Uncover the lid to let the liquid evaporate, then transfer the patties to individual serving plates.

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We are not done yet here of course! Add another splash of water to deglaze the pan (or wine, if you prefer) then add in the sliced leek, and more of those bbq sauce. Simmer til thicken, then pour it out into a small bowl to serve.

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Top the patties with grated daikon and some raw leek, and serve with your favourite side dish. We opted for some braised Red Cabbage this time.

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The BBQ sauce here is quite rich and smoky, which is why I chose to pair it with Negioroshi (Leek and Daikon Radish) to lighten up the dish. This meal is low carb and full of flavours and not to mention very nutritious. Love how the Chefology pan keep my patties nice and juicy!

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A closer look.

So there you have it, a recipe to start off the week! Have an awesome one and I’ll be back with another recipe soon.

Mr Lens Online Contact Lenses Store

Shopping online is definitely a norm these days. Things that we can buy online nowadays range from clothes, furniture, home appliances and even groceries and ready-cooked food. But did you know that you could order contact lenses and glasses online too? I’ve only recently found out about MrLens, and have been kicking myself for not being in the know earlier. Turns out, not only it’s convenient to order contact lenses online, it’s also a lot cheaper!

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MrLens.com.my is currently Malaysia’s largest online contact lenses store, offering a wide selection of major brands of contact lenses, prescription glasses, sunglasses, branded and designer frames for both men and women. The price is very reasonable, and you can be assured that the products come directly from manufacturers or distributors. The lack of a physical store means that they can sell the products a lot cheaper, which is great news for all of us!

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Unless you wear some extremely obscure brand of contact lenses, you most probably can find what you normally wear on the website. Their products include daily, weekly and monthly lenses and colour contact lenses from trusted brands as Acuvue, Air Optix Aqua, Freshkon, Blincon, Biomedics, Magic, Igel, Focus Dailies, Freshlook, SofLens and Proclear for comfort and clearer vision.

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The website is easy to use on both desktop and mobile; and being on the go most of the time I, of course, opted to order through my phone. Plus point for being so mobile friendly!

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I’ve been recommended to switch over to daily lenses by a friend because my eyes generally get very dry wearing contact lenses, so I’ve ordered a bunch of Freshkon Color Fusion to try out(oh ya…. my degree is super high). Each box comes with 30 lenses and costs just RM90, what a steal!

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Once my order was placed, I waited eagerly for the arrival of my parcel and they sure didn’t disappoint, as it took merely 3-4 days for them to deliver.

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Tada! Let’s take a look at my lenses!

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I’m a happy girl! There are a few more other types I bought too.

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These are the daily lenses. From now on I can order refills anyday, anytime! Shall end this post with a picture of me wearing the lenses.

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So…. Do head over to https://www.mrlens.com.my/ for your next contact lenses/glasses order!

Year End Promos at Just Heavenly, Bangsar Shopping Centre

Yeah, you didn’t read it wrong, it’s another post about Just Heavenly. The hospitality here is so fabulous I just keep going back! Well, this time, I was there to try out some of their new dishes and got to know the new promotions they have rolled out just before the festive season. So let’s get straight to it!

Cakes are the true MVP at Just Heavenly. But sometimes it can be a guilty pleasure to just buy a piece of cake. What if I tell you, that you could offset the guilt by adding a salad? That’s right, the Saint and Sinner promotion here does just that. You buy a slice of cake and get 50% off any salad! Here are the options:

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Chicken Char Siew Salad. This one is popular.

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Tuna and Pasta Salad. Slightly on the more substantial side due to the carb.

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My favourite was the Quinoa and Pumpkin salad, with medley of greens topped with some feta cheese. The garlic oil just brings all the flavours together so well.

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Some of the cakes we got to sample, including the new Black Velvet. Instead of the usual chocolate sponge, it’s made with Black sesame for that surprisingly savoury touch. Yum!

Just Heavenly serves just as delicious savoury dishes as their cakes, shame that not a lot of people know about this. Which is why they’ve decided to introduce the rice plates as their lunch special. Another great option for office lunch or just lunch meeting at Bangsar Shopping Centre. Because…. let’s face it, there aren’t exactly many cheap dining options there. With a price tag of RM17 (with Ice Lemon Tea or upgrade to coffee for another RM5), it’s pretty good value for money.

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Butter Marsala Chicken. Their take on an old favourite. The curry looks fairly rich but surprisingly tasted quite light to me. Which is perfect because we don’t want it to be too cloying right? The curries are all made from scratch here you can even taste the freshness. One thing I would say though it’s a little on the healthy side as I think they use mostly chicken breast.

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On the other end of the spectrum… if you love all things deep fried, try the Tempura plate. You get fish fingers, sizeable prawns and vegetables all coated and deep fried properly so it’s nice and crunchy, served on a bed of sweet and sour sauce, done with just enough of sweetness but plenty of piquancy to cut through the richness of the fried stuff. All the rice plates come with a refreshing side of pickled vegetables too which I enjoyed.

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Last but not least, the Chicken Katsu Curry. It might be Japanese in origin, but the curry tasted more Malaysian, which is interesting. This was the crowd favourite with perfectly fried chicken and generous serving of vegetables. Extra satisfaction mixing the egg yolk into the rice before devouring it. 

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The highlight of the night though was the sizzling Koji Rubbed Rib Eye. What’s Koji, you ask? Well, we Foochows should be familiar with this ingredient. It’s a type of yeast normally used to make the Foochow Red Wine. Turns out it can tenderise meat and add a touch of umaminess to the meat. Well, you learn something new every day! The beef is “marinated” for 3 days before a quick sear to perfect doneness (medium rare). The meat is quite tender indeed and very flavourful. I could definitely taste the Koji, which lends a unique depth to the beef. Complemented by a lovely mushroom sauce, it just can’t get better than that! RM80 for this, including coffee too.

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And as if that wasn’t enough, I was given a choice to pick another cake as a prize for guessing the ingredient right for the mini sniffing test Nigel got us to do. Well, I do have a slight advantage as I actually have used Koji at home before. Anyway, the Lemon Meringue Pie here is fabulous! Light Meringue complementing the super tart lemon curd. If I were to nitpick, I would probably prefer a thinner and more buttery crust. Otherwise, it’s near perfect!

Thank you once again to Just Heavenly for having me there!

Spice Up Your Kitchen with Chefology and McCormick

It’s always a great pleasure to be invited to a cooking workshop because it means that I could get out of my comfort zone and cook at a foreign, often-more-equipped kitchen trying out new recipes with other people. Few days ago, I attended a bloggers’ meet and greet with Chefology and McCormick. McCormick I’m quite familiar with as I use a lot of their herbs and spices at home, but Chefology is relatively new to me.

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This was me arriving at the event not knowing there’s a competition awaiting us. Calm before the storm, indeed.

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Some of the McCormick herbs and spices on display, how many of these are in your kitchen?

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The heavyweights: McCormick Grill Mates BBQ Sauce. Thick, flavourful and excellent as a sauce, dipping, marinade and glaze, comes in 3 different flavours: Vintage Smokehouse, Brown Sugar & Chilli and Pepper.

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The event kickstarted with a few words from McCormick’s Patricia and Chefology’s Jaden Teoh (small world, we met earlier through completely different circumstances, I was performing at one of his outlets).

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The Chefology Nature Series is a collection of 5 cookware items, designed for the comfort of cooking in the kitchen. The cookware is made of die-cast aluminium, with a six-layer coating, ensuring a safer cooking experience.

This new series of cookware has a highly durable marble ceramic non stick coating (fancy) and a few important points:
– It’s durable and scratch-resistant.
– The pan features ergonomic stainless steel long handle for solid grip
– Ensures even heat distribution with minimum heat loss

Best still, they can be used on all kinds of stove including induction!

We then had Chef Charming, I mean Chef Collin Edward Lim demonstrating his dishes using the Chefology pans and McCormick products.

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He first made a Braised Beef Short Ribs, using the sturdy looking Chefology pot. Then he also demonstrated the 2 recipes which we were supposed to cook as well. So let’s move along to the main event!

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We were grouped into 3s and I was paired with ciklilyputih and also my new friend Mei Mei. Without wasting anytime we got straight to cooking!

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Marinating the Chicken boobies with McCormick Salt and Pepper. Love the grinder, ensuring freshly grounded salt and pepper everytime. I shall also mention that the bottle is airtight, so the pepper will always smell amazing. We also added the McCormick BBQ sauce for a full flavour boost.

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ciklilyputih prepping the vegetables like a pro.

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Our chicken, after pan frying on stove, then sent to the oven with a sprinkle of cheese. Looking awesome!

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Not forgetting to smile for the camera while cooking.


We also made a dessert. Here’s Mei Mei pouring the crepe batter into the pan.

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Adding the finishing touches: a last sprinkle of salt onto our crepes.

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And we are done!

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Our Grilled Cheesy Black Pepper Chicken Salad with yoghurt dressing (I added a but of cooking juices from the chicken too for extra flavour). The presentation is a little sloppy on this haha.

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Basil Crepes with Caramelised Bananas. This looks much better, but of course we had the help of our creative director, Kevin.

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We had to present our dish to the judges to be tasted. That’s me putting on my game face despite the burn on my hand (yes, I touched the handle of the pan after it came out of the oven…. clumsy as ever).

The dishes tasted quite good, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the chicken breast was cooked (not a second over). We didn’t end up winning the mini contest though (think our presentation still wasn’t good enough haha).

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Thank you Chefology, McCormick and The Cooking House for putting together this fabulous event! I will be posting some recipes soon using my new Chefology pan and the McCormick herbs and spices!

I have to put this photo in as blooper:

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Epic RBF when I thought I wasn’t on camera. LOL.

Stay tuned for my recipe posts!

All Photos shot by Kevin Loh, he shall be my designated photographer from now on!

Effortless, Bouncy Curls with Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler

As an entertainer/performer, I have to make sure I always look the part on stage. For many years, my hair has gone through a lot of changes but one thing is for sure, it can never be boring. Now that it has grown long again, the easiest way for it to look good is curling it for that extra pizzazz.

Unfortunately, a clumsy girl like me has never learnt to use a curling tong without hurting myself, even with many years of practice. If it’s not my neck, my fingers, then it’s my ears (ouch). Every. Single. Time. Because of that I’ve started looking out for safer (and quicker) options too. There are quite a few curling tongs which has automatic functions out there, and I’ve tried them a few, but have never been truly happy with the results.

And that is until I meet the new Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler. Launched just a couple of weeks ago, this fabulous tool is designed to let woman achieve salon-style curls without stepping out of the house, or even when on the go. The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler comes with breakthrough technology for hair curling that not only produces the ultimate curl but also is safe and non-damaging to hair. Great news!

At the launch event, we got to experience the Auto Curler for ourselves, but first we were treated to a mini fashion show with the models all spotting hair curled with the Auto Curler!

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Look, our very own Miss Intercontinental 2017, Sanjna Suri!

Mr Muhammad Ali Jaleel, Country Manager of Philips Malaysia, who launched the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler delivered his speech: “All over the world, women’s self-concept of beauty has changed over time, as we have ascertained through the Global Beauty Index[1]. Today’s women have a deeper sense of their own beauty. From the survey, we have learnt that their key motivation for looking beautiful is wanting to look their best for themselves (54%), with 70% of respondents also believing that beauty is something you define for yourself and not decided by someone else. By further developing conversations on beauty based on these latest insights, Philips aims to better understand the needs and desires of women across the world. Indeed, with 89% of women believing that there are lots of ways to be beautiful, we are motivated to further deliver meaningful innovations that meets these needs,”

“The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler is precisely the type of innovation that offers women a boost in their styling regime beyond what was available previously. We recognised that curls are now a much coveted hairstyle for women everywhere, and many women want to achieve this look without a salon visit. With the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler, women can now achieve just the curls they want, at home and on the go,” said Ali. “However, creating consistent curls from the front to the back of your head can be challenging, as women don’t have the same field of vision or length of reach when styling their own hair, compared to using a stylist at the salon. Hence, the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler is a great tool that can help women overcome this challenge. The innovative features such as a longer curling barrel and smart curling guards help women create bouncy, uniformly-shaped curls that last, for a professional, salon-style look.”

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Getting the Ultimate DIY Curl

The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler possesses a number of unique features such as a longer curling barrel, two smart curling guards and an open vertical design. Combined, these features make perfect, lustrous curls an effortless reality.

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A little demonstration on stage by Sahil. Even a non-hairstylist can produce perfect curls!

To use it, switch on the curler to warm up, section out correct amount of hair and hold the curler with the front facing. Insert the hair into the curling chamber starting from the back of the appliance. Make sure you stretch out the hair strand before pressing and holding the curl button. The hair will be slowly wrapped around the curling barrel to be curled. The curler will beep slowly, then followed by a series of faster beeps telling you to release the hair, and voila! Perfectly styled ringlet! Continue with the rest of your hair until you look like a bombshell! Hehe.

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What the curling barrel looks like.

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And the curling button.

Increased curling surface

The new Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler features a longer barrel with 113% more curling surface than previous devices. This enables women to style twice as much hair in one go, creating the perfect hairstyle in just minutes! My whole head only takes me around 10 minutes, even I’m impressed with myself.

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Innovative open design

The innovative new open design of the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler has been shaped vertically so that it follows the natural flow of long hair. This means there is less chance of the hair becoming trapped in the device, enabling women to style confidently and effortlessly, while knowing that the health of their hair is being protected. No more fried hair!

Smart Curling Guards

The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler also features two smart curling guards. These ensure that the section of hair being styled is perfectly wrapped around the curling barrel of the device, therefore creating perfectly uniform curls.

Here’s a video of me experiencing the auto curler for myself, or rather learning to use it.

Happy Reunion with our fabulously curled hair!

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Pricing and availability

The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler is priced at RM629 and is available at the Philips Brand Store in Publika Shopping Gallery and The Gardens Mid Valley, both in Kuala Lumpur, and in Sutera Mall, Johor Bahru; at Philips Experience Stores in Menara Axis, Petaling Jaya and in Penang; at retail partners and distributor stores nationwide, and online via the Philips Online Shop at  http://www.shop.philips.com.my/

For further information, visit http://philips.com.my.

[1] The Philips Global Beauty Index is an extensive international study on women’s perceptions on beauty. Held annually since 2015, the 2017 study surveyed the opinions of 11,132 women aged 18 and above in 11 countries (USA, UK, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Turkey, China, Japan, Korea, and India) to provide insights into current beauty industry trends, perceptions and needs across continents.

For further information, visit http://philips.com.my.

I will be posting a video demonstration next time when I use the Auto Curler too to give you a more detailed “tour”, so stay tuned for the announcement on my social media!!

Mid-Autumn Mooncakes at Dynasty Restaurant,Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Are you a fan of mooncakes? In this day and age, the art of mooncake making has become so creative that everyone is introducing new and never used before flavours in their mooncakes, hoping to stand out from the crowd. We had a chance to visit Dynasty Restaurant at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur to sample their mooncake selections.

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Dynasty Chinese Restaurant at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival with an array for their handcrafted mooncakes which are available for purchase at Dynasty Restaurant from 29 August to 4 October 2017 and at Mid Valley Megamall from 14 September to 4 October 2017.

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The restaurant will be offering a selection of 12 types of baked and snowskin mooncakes using pure and natural ingredients, for classics such as the Pandan lotus paste with single salted yolk, low sugar White lotus paste with single salted yolkBamboo charcoal green tea black sesame and Red bean paste.

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Traditionally made of lotus seed paste embedded with a salted egg yolk, look out for some new flavors this season include Red pitaya lotus paste with mangoHoney lotus paste with chocolateYam paste with single egg yolkAlisan tea paste with green tea and Chinese chestnut paste with egg yolk.

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Amongst their Snowskin Mooncakes, personally I enjoyed their Alison Tea Paste with Green Tea. The tea aroma is quite prominent, with just the right amount of sweetness. The Yam Paste is pretty unique too. I don’t personally eat durian, but its smell is super strong and according to the others the taste is quite intense too.

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I also enjoyed their baked mooncakes, and the Pandan lotus paste with single salted yolk stood up with its distinct flavour.

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The Red Pitaya lotus paste with mango is surprisingly pleasant with its slight piquancy.

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Besides the conventional baked mooncakes and the snow skin ones, Dynasty is also offering a range of baked mini mooncakes. The mooncakes are packaged in signature boxes with any choice of 4 pieces of traditional mooncake, 6 pieces of baked mini mooncake or 6 pieces of mini snow skin.

Discounts and Specials:-

  • Free delivery to one (1) location (within 5km radius of Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel) for purchase of 20 boxes and above. Additional charges apply for locations outside 5km radius.
  • All pre-paid orders of minimum 10 boxes before 16 September for pick-up between 14 September to 4 October 2017 will receive a 25% discount.
  • Selected credit card discounts apply.

To place your order or for more info, call 03 2771 6692 or email rhi.kulrn.fb@renaissancehotels.com

MOONCAKE MENU

满福楼月饼系列

Traditional Mooncake – 4 pieces per box
Baked Mini Mooncake – 6 pieces per box

Regular Mini
玫瑰豆沙月Red bean paste RM27nett
香港白莲月White lotus paste RM27nett
竹炭绿茶黑芝麻月Bamboo charcoal green tea with black sesame (low sugar) RM28nett RM20nett
單黃白莲月White lotus paste with single salted yolk (low sugar) RM28nett RM20nett
火㔫芒果月Red pitaya lotus paste with mango RM28nett RM21nett
上海單黃月Shanghai lotus paste with single salted yolk (low sugar) RM28nett RM21nett
單黃翡翠玉环月Pandan lotus paste with single salted yolk

满福楼迷你月饼系列

Mini snow skin mooncake (6 pieces per box) 

 

RM29nett RM20nett
高山绿茶月Alisan tea paste with green tea RM18nett
柠蜜莲蓉朱古力Honey lotus paste with chocolate

 

RM18nett
粟子單黃月Chinese chestnut paste with egg yolk RM18.50nett
單黃芋蓉月Yam paste with single egg yolk RM18.50nett
風味榴槤月Durian paste RM19.50nett

Maui Jim Sunglasses x Malaya Optical

Thanks to my severe Myopia, I’ve been in and out of mostly healthy relationships with numerous Optical shops everywhere. Though being invited to a Sunglasses event was the coolest and the least un-nerdy experience. Such experience was given by Malaya Optical at Damansara Uptown, thanks to the Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers. We were there to check out the new range of Maui Jim Sunglasses which landed on our shore not too long ago.

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Maui Jim started out in 1980 as a small company selling sunglasses on the beach in Lahaina on the island of Maui, which is part of the Hawaiian islands. Maui is one of the lushest, most vibrant places on earth. Yet its intense sunlight can be quite harmful to the naked eye, which in the long run could hide the beauty of the island.

And so Maui Jim developed their revolutionary PolarizedPlus2® lens because they recognised a blue ocean market for technology that could combat intense glare and harmful UV while bringing the brilliant colours of the island to life. These lenses provide provides greater colour, clarity, and detail, while shielding your eyes from glare and harmful UV.

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Maui Jim’s patented multi-layered lens design allows more usable light to be transmitted to the eyes, resulting in unrivalled visual acuity, contrast and colour are the exquisite results. This allows the user to experience deeper, more saturated colours and higher levels of contrast in any environment.

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Maui Jim sunglasses are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV filter for the eyes and surrounding skin because the patented PolarisedPlus2® lens technology can eliminate 99.9% of glare and blocks 100% of harmful UV rays. It is the only premium sunglasses brand carrying the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of approval.

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Available in four lens colours, Maui Jim® offers an option for every level of light. The Neutral Grey lenses offer contrast and the highest available glare reduction and are suitable for all light conditions, especially bright, direct sunlight. The Maui Rose® lenses offer the sharpest contrast and image resolution. They are excellent for fast action activities, overcast or foggy days. There are HCL® (High Contrast Lens) Bronze lenses, which offer enhanced contrast and are ideal for hazy and low light conditions. The new HT™ (High Transmission) lenses are perfect for variable and low light conditions, haze, fog, or overcast days and feature a flattering palm tint without a distracting yellow cast.

Today, Maui Jim offers over 125 styles of sunglasses, 100% of which are polarized and protect from 100% of UVA and UVB rays, with Polarizedplus2® Lens Technology for brilliant colour so every detail is crisper and cleaner and without glare or harmful UV.

For more info, head over to http://www.mauijim.com

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Malaya Optical only hires qualified optometrist who will examine not only examine, but also advise on the condition of patients’ eyes, and are trained to recognise diseases of the eye, such as glaucoma and cataract, as well as general health conditions such as diabetes.

Optometrists in Malaya Optical especially in their HQ Damansara Uptown are aided by many state of the art instruments such as Slit Lamp with Optical Digital Zoom Camera by Nikon (to examine contact lenses fitting and cataract),  Non Contact Relax Tonometer by Reichert (to examine Inter Ocular Pressure, IOP or Glaucoma),  High Definition Digital Retina Imaging by Canon (to examine Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration  or Retina Atrophy), Zeiss iProfiler Occular Wavefront Aberrometer, Autorefractometer, Atlas Corneal Topographer, and Keratometer (to examine Refractive Errors to 0.125 Diopter and also Corneal Curvature for better fit of soft or RGP contact lenses), Zeiss Relax Vision Terminal (to examine pupillary distance and multi-focal precision fitting height) and more.

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Apart from Maui Jim, the boutique carries a huge range of eyewear collections from designer frames to branded sunglasses such as Swiss flex, Wolfgang Proksch, Mykita, Coppe Sid, Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs, JF Rey, Calvin Klein, Whiteout & Glare, Blackfin, Less Than Human, Unodstrial, Tag Heuer, Oakley, Markus T, Moschino, Lafont, ByWP, Parasite, Boz, Round Frames, Retro Frames, Anitque Frames, Aha, Benetton, Burberry, Bywp, Coach, Emporio Armani, Fendi, Giogio Armani, GF Ferrer, Haus Marke, John Richmond, Max Mara, Miu Miu, Moschino, Nike, Prada, Paris Hilton, Robert Marc, Romeo Gigly, Rudy Project, Sama, Victor Rolf, Vivien Westwood, Zero Rh, Andy Wolf, Bevel, Blackfin, Boz, Byblos, Coppe + Sid, Derapage, Derek Lam, Dun, Dutz, Eco, Envisu, Face Font, Ferragamo, Frank Kids, Free Form Green, Gotti, Hana, Lotto, Metzler, Modo, IC Berlin, Parasite, Noego, Paul Smith, Perfect Number, Plasta, Ultem, Superdry, Staffan Preutz, Synergi, Spvvyi, Salt, Carbon Fiber, Undostrial and many more.

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Thanks for having us!

Malaya Optical outlets are located at:

Damansara Uptown
71, SS21/37 Damansara Uptown, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-7728 0228/03-7710 8550
Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10.30am – 9pm, Sunday: 10.30am – 7pm

Subang Jaya
C5, SS15/4d, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-5631 3328
Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10.30am – 9pm, Sunday: 10.30am – 7pm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/malayaoptical
Website: http://www.malayaoptical.com

Just Heavenly Cafe at Bangsar Shopping Centre

Just a couple of months ago, we attended the launch of @the5tory and we had a little taste of what Just Heavenly Cafe has to offer, and it’s more than just heavenly cakes. In fact, the menu here is rather extensive so I guess that’s why Nigel invited us back for a proper foodie get together so we could eat til our hearts’ content.

And feast we did, though not without a little game of ice-breaker in the form of writing a short story which turned out to be a psychology test. Ah…. Nigel, always one to make the party interesting. Anyway, there are many dishes to get through, so I best not digress.

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We started off with this gorgeous looking Char Siew Chicken Salad (RM21). Oh yeah, Just Heavenly is pork free, but fortunately, this chicken char siew was done quite well, with a bit of fatty stuff to make it nice and juicy, good contrast with the grassy green bits.

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Something a little more common, the Caesar Salad (RM23), which comes with either beef bacon or smoked salmon and a cling wrap poached egg perched on top, nice touch. Good thing is this is dressed very lightly so you don’t accidentally consume too much calories in the process.

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Can’t say I’ve ever tried Salmon Spring Rolls before. This is a little Japanese inspired perhaps? Priced at RM17 for a good portion. Interesting bite over a chatter.

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The Fish Fingers come from the Special menu, and these definitely did not come from a box (ahh… the stuff that got me through uni). The flesh is lovely flaky with super crispy crust. I’d gladly have more of these.

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This is one of the nicest pumpkin soup (RM17) I’ve had lately, full of the natural sweetness of the pumpkin, thick, creamy, and that garlic toast is something else! So good.

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We then moved on to the main, with this glorious BLT Burger (RM30), made with Prime Aussie Beef, chunky mushroom sauce, lettuce and tomato on toasted sesame seed served with chunky chips and salad with feta cheese. A good classic tasting burger which will definitely fill you up.

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The Lamb Burghini (love the name) is Greek inspired. I love Greek Food, but unfortunately, I don’t eat lamb so I had to skip this.

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The Curryeggy (RM26) looks the most interesting. Egg, Flaky Puff Pastry, Chicken Filling, Curry Sauce. A very hearty combo, best to be shared. Love the crispy curry leaves for that aromatic bite.

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The One That Got Away is another item on Special. Made just like the proper Fish & Chips in Australia/UK. I think they used Cod for this but my memory is failing me so this is a wild guess.

And it’s not the end yet! We were fed few more dishes in the form of pasta.

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First the Crab Aglio Olio (RM32). The angel hair is a touch soft for my liking, but the flavours were spot on.

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Here the Carbonara is served with Penne for a change. Comes with plenty of mushrooms and beef bacon, this is quite creamy and cheesy. Definitely the ultimate guilty pleasure.

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I saved the best for last. The Linguine Pesto (RM30) is delicious! I’m also slightly biased because Linguine is my favourite shape of pasta. But the pesto here is delightfully aromatic, and I like how they top it with plenty of greens.

Finally, with what little stomach space we had, it was time for desserts.

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A high tea set! I’m fully stuffed at this point so didn’t try everything.

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The Play it again Sam, which we also had last time. A tribute to the late Samantha Schubert, Malaysian Actor and Model, this cake is a delicious triple decker melange of Bananas, Strawberries, and Chocolate all topped with fresh cream.

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The Rainbow Cheesecake is fun to look at, with no compromise on taste. Thanks to Kevin I rarely get to savour cheesecakes and I definitely appreciated this.

Phew! That was a lot of food! I’m hungry again looking at these pictures and I think I need to return for some of those Linguine Pesto (and the Curryeggy) Thank you, Nigel, for the fantastic hospitality once again!

Just Heavenly Cafe
3rd Floor
Bangsar Shopping Centre
Jalan Maarof
59000 Kuala Lumpur
10am-10pm daily

Jaya One branch
10am-8pm
Genting Skyavenue
10am to 10pm

Siew Yoke (Roast Pork) with Panasonic Cubie Oven

There is something innately appealing about crispy food. Perhaps it’s because we associate crispy with great tasting food: generally crispy food is a product of the Maillard reaction, which leads to more intensely flavoured and savoury food, or maybe it’s the whole sensory experience of hearing that tantalizing sound of crunch and the texture. For me, the top 3 crispy food would be 1: Fried Chicken, which I have to cut out of my diet to protect my voice; 2. Tonkatsu (Japanese Deep Fried Pork Cutlet), which is another thing I have to eat sparingly of; and 3. Siew Yoke! Luckily this one I can eat whenever I want. Good news is that it’s also pretty convenient to make it at home.

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You, glorious thing.

With the gadgets I have at home, there are no shortage of ways to make this delicious treat. The convection oven is the standard, Airfryer is super convenient and foolproof, and now I have the Panasonic Cubie Oven too which can achieve the same delicious result.

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The Cubie in action.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, the Panasonic Cubie Oven has a few interesting functions, and you can read about its performance of steaming here. Today, I’d like to talk about the Healthy Fry function. Basically, akin to an airfryer. The oven circulates hot air to cook the food, so you can crisp up your dish without using much oil (or none at all if the ingredients are naturally oily). I’ve decided to try using this function to make my Siew Yoke. And did it work? It sure did!

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Before we get to that, let me also tell you that I’ve tried using just the Convection oven mode as well and while it can also produce a decent siew yoke, it does require a much longer time and as a result the skin is a little less crispy than the healthy fry version and the meat ended up a bit too dry.

Anyway, let’s get to the recipe then. The basic Siew Yoke requires only a few essential ingredients:

Pork Belly (obviously)

Generous amount of Salt

Pepper to taste

1 teaspoon 5 Spice Powder

1 tablespoon Vinegar (or Lemon Juice).

The salt, pepper and 5 spice powder are used in combination to marinate the meat side while the vinegar or lemon juice is combined with salt for the skin to draw out moisture. But it’s the preparation that makes a world of difference for the crispy skin.

1. So, first, you take a whole slab of pork belly and blanch it well, for around 15 minutes, making sure it’s cooked all the way through. Then, drain and pat it dry.

2. Next step is absolutely crucial. You must poke hundreds of holes through the skin. How do you do that? Either with a fork, a skewer (takes ages, trust me), or a spike meat tenderizer that looks a little bit a torture device. Do it over and over again until you are satisfied that every surface has been covered. Then wipe the skin dry and apply vinegar and salt. It’s also time to apply your salt/pepper/5 spice marinade on the meat side.

You might have noticed that the first and second picture look slightly different, it’s because I decided to score my skin the second time for easy cutting later.

3. Once you’ve done that and properly worked up some sweat, leave the pork near a window to air dry for a few hours. Wiping the skin dry occasionally if needed. If the weather is humid, you might even want to consider using a hairdryer to dry it for a minute or two.

4. When the pork belly is almost ready for the cooking, turn on the cubie oven to healthy fry mode and let it preheat (the preset temperature is 190 and it’s fixed). Set it to 60 minutes and put in the pork belly, skin side up. Make sure the slab sits evenly so the skin will cook evenly.

5. Check the pork in the last few minutes, if the skin hasn’t bubbled up, add another 15-20 minutes and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get burnt. For this batch, I also applied a miso/honey baste at the end for added flavour. It was such a good idea!

So the end product…. super crispy skin!

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Tasty, juicy meat, perfect crunch. Just watch them disappear in minutes!

For more information on Panasonic Cubie Oven, hop over to their website, or check out Panasonic’s facebook page.