Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New Job

After a long week of contemplating, browsing for a new job that suits my needs better, I finally found one. But with only 7 days in a week, all are occupied with working my butt off, I need to quit one of my jobs. I'd be lying if I said I'm totally happy at my previous job. I like the people I worked with and the job itself is really easy. And THAT'S the problem. It's so easy, I didn't learn anything. I crave to learn more than what I already know (which is not much). And this job didn't involve a lot of cooking. 

So after numerous working interviews I went to, there is this one kitchen crew where I feel that I belong. They're opening a new dive bar on Capitol Hill. I finally find a mentor and a group of people I enjoy working with. No matter how crass our banter can be, when it comes to working, no one makes me feel stupid for asking how a savory herb looks like. No one laughs at me when I told them I'd never portioned cod before. No one treats me like a dumb-ass, even though they've worked in the kitchen of Seattle's top restaurants before.

I still work as prep cook for one of the famous food trucks of Seattle. And I love this job, too. I love how the people that work in this company, have so much love, passion and energy to share their love of food with customers. 

Fried assorted mushrooms

Good news too, both my jobs are within walking distance! :D I only have to walk 7 minutes to the dive-bar-job and walk 20 minutes to the taco place.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rotiboy, One of Our New-found Lo(a)ves

I've heard so many good things about rotiboy, but had never had one until my recent trip to Jakarta. As someone who's so crazy about coffee and butter, this bread is like a perfect marriage between them two. The strong coffee coat, soft and fluff bun, with the oozing salted butter in the center, is to die for. I've been trying to describe it without sounding like an intro of a porn video, but fail miserably. Hence, the lame description above. One thing for sure, it's still not better than sex.

After days of jet-lag, both Samu and I were craving for rotiboy. Unlike Jakarta (where you find rotiboy quite ubiquitous), we can't find any in Seattle. We can't just go to the counter, give the guy Rp 7,500 and grab the warm bag of rotiboy. That means we have to make it! So I went to google and found few recipes. This was the one I ended up using. The only change I made was using salted butter for the filling. The result is awesome, although I still think the real rotiboy is far superior than this version.

Elle ate one and a half in one sitting (mind you, she's a 16-month old little girl), and Samu ate two. I guess, they think it's better than storebought rotiboy.

Does anyone know why it's called rotiboy? Why not rotigirl? My theory is, because it's filled with oozing white, salty, buttery fluid.. But hey, that also applies to girl! Okay, sorry.

Once again, if you want to try the recipe, click here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's Been Awhile

It's been awhile since I last posted. Too many events, both good and bad, had happened since then. We had to make an emergency trip to Indonesia, due to my dad's poor health condition. I am so glad we visited on time, my dad got to play and had tremendous time with his grandchildren, he had 2 weeks with them before he was wheeled in into the hospital. When we lost him, it felt like I've lost a part of me. Without him, we won't be who we are today. He taught me to love food. Although he didn't cook, he knew what good food is. I remember those days when he would literally dragged all of us in the middle of the night to try some new food. Or brought us to the restaurants he enjoyed when he was still courting my mom. It was he, who told me to go for it, to pursue my passion, whether it's a "money-maker" kind of career or not. He was supportive, never shot down our ideas when presented to him. He might not be the greatest person in the world, but he was our dad. Instead of us being sad, I bet he would want me to talk about nice things, and food. That was his fave topic, second to music.

Elle, shopping for vegetables.

Dimsum with my dad.

Meatball within meatball.

My mom's kiosk.


Bakmi Acang, lunch date with my dad.

My old school cafeteria. All fancied up now.

Kue pukis.

Chocolate martabak.

Sate Padang, my dad's fave.

Kol nenek.

Samu, fooling around with his grandpa.

My fave snack as a kid.
I choose not to write too much, because even after more than a month, it's still tear-inducing. Can't believe we will be back to Seattle in less than 2 weeks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rendang Padang, and My Rant...

I feel so lucky sometimes, to find out what I want to do with my life. People ask me, why do I love to cook, and to be honest, I can't answer that. Do I cook stuff so I can post it on the blog? Not necessarily. My reason to cook goes way beyond that. My blog is just one of so many ways to kill boredom. Do I cook because I have to? Not really. I'm at the point where what I cook at home, doesn't satisfy my passion anymore. I want to do something more. Something beyond my knowledge. Something totally new. If I get to choose what I want to do with my life, I want to be in the kitchen 24/7, with several potty breaks when needed. (Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point) I cook, simply because I like it. Strange, I know. But I'm the kind of person who does shit just because. I wish the question "what inspires you to cook?" could stay unanswered. If you want something that resembles an answer, how about this, I'm blinded by love.

I've been talking about going back to school a lot, up to the time it feels like I'm just bluffing. Well, it's quite hard for middle-class family like us who are still improving our life. It's just sad that we're too poor to afford childcare, but yet we make too much to get childcare benefit. This has been worrying me for the past couple years, I've decided to stop overthinking shit and make a move. So I applied to culinary school and applied for the financial aid. Just wish me luck.

With so many instant spices available, what I could've done was bought the rendang instant spice package and cook it. But I hate shortcut. Not because, "Ooh, shortcut is for loser blahblah. I'm fancy. I'm cool, that's why I make things from scratch. Shortcut doesn't taste as good as homemade." Nope. It's just because I like making things from scratch, it's for personal satisfaction. I just love the act of cooking. It makes me feel good. This is my vice.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lemon Bars

The weather has been lovely. The kiddie pool is out, actually used as a pool with "real water" instead of a makeshift tent with blankets and pillows. Time to ditch the jackets and the boy is so happy he can finally wear sleeveless shirts. Somehow, summer days make me think of lemon bars. Perhaps it's the lemon, with its yellow, sunshine-y color, resembles an oval sun. Or it's just me trying to find an excuse to share this lemon bars with you through my blog...

I'd never thought I would love fruity baked goods. But lemon bars are different. To me, it's like eating sour brownies with shortbread base. Darn it, you know what? I'll just be honest with you. I love the shortbread base so much, sometimes I scrape off the lemon curd, save it for later, and just eat the cookie part. Not that the curd isn't tasty, I'm just that kind of a weirdo. I will also say, that the curd is so chewy, I wanna marry it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rhubarb Curry

I've seen rhubarb in both farmer's market and grocery store but honestly, I wouldn't know what to do with this red, celery-lookalike vegetable. The first time I tasted it, it was at the rhubarb potluck Brook from Learn to Preserve invited me to (thanks, Brook!). While I'd had never cooked with rhubarb before, I offered to bring some pandan cake. They had this spread of all rhubarb goodies, and my favorite were the rhubarb ketchup and rhubarb jelly. Enjoying rhubarb with some of the nicest people in Seattle was a blast. I went as a rhubarb virgin and came home as a rhubarb lover.

Then out of nowhere, I started to imagine how good it would be to have strips of rhubarb in red curry, instead of bamboo shoots. Went home with one mission, to try this brilliant idea of mine (most ideas are brilliant until proven silly). Well, lucky for me, I liked it. The tartness of the rhubarb, spicy curry and cubed chicken complements each other so well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fun with Pho

When we used to live in Beacon Hill, we went out for pho at least once every 2 weeks. One of the perks of living in south Seattle is the abundance of Asian grocery stores and eateries. Actually, I still shop for groceries there. I don't know what stop us from going out for pho, but we haven't been out for pho in the longest time. The joy of eating pho at home is we get to choose whatever we want. While I like less noodles and more herbs, my husband is the otherwise. I think that could be the reason why we haven't been going to pho restaurant.


Most people associate chicken soup with being sick and needing nourishment. That's how we look at pho. When Seattle's weather isn't being kind to us, we like to have a bowl of pho. The cinnamon scented broth and the noodles cooked just right, with slightly cooked beef slices and crunchy beansprouts, that must be better than medicine, yes?

 We love pho so much, we even made this pho cake, made out of cake and fondant.