Feed the Mommy——Lentils Soup

 photo lentils_zps1jpzpazb.jpg
Red lentils

I like to try cooking new stuffs when it specifically being introduced as quick and simple cooking! That's what a lazy person needs.

I've been eyeing on lentils for a while but never bought them until I read that red lentils cook pretty fast. FAST, okay I need that. So I make a mental note to get them during one of my groceries trip and hence the experiments started.

First, I try lentils soup.

 photo Photo 13-5-15 2 21 09 pm_zpstndlp75p.jpg
Lentil soup with toast

Ingredients (one pax serving):

  1. 4 tbsp of red lentils
  2. 1 small potato
  3. 1/2 a carrot
  4. 1 or 2 stalks of celery
  5. 1/4 of yellow onions
  6. Sage leave
  7. Approximately 500ml of chicken stock
  8. 1 tbsp of plain or Greek yogurt
  9. Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste

  1. Sautéed chopped onions and celery until they're soft.
  2. Add sage leave, chopped potato and carrot and red lentils, lightly fry them.
  3. Add chicken stock to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer the soup for 20-30minutes, or until the soup gets thicken and potatoes get soft.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with yogurt and sprinkle or extra virgin olive oil (truffle olive oil makes it better).
  6. Serve alongside with a toast :)

I wasn't very adventurous with the yogurt in the beginning, I have my doubts but some websites recommend it. The first time I cooked the soup, I ate it without adding the yogurt till there was a quarter of serving left. Then I added the yogurt, turned out I really like it. Yay! Then the second time, I tried adding the truffle olive oil, it's adding the flavors, I like it!

 photo Photo 22-5-15 12 27 13 pm_zpszsegluxr.jpg
Lentils and chickpea curry

I also tried cooking lentils and chickpea curry. I kinda throw everything together without really thinking through properly. No good recipe to share here, even thought it didn't suck but it wasn't the best. Maybe I'll try to make it better when I have time. But serving lentils curry with Japanese rice is kinda weird though.


King's Day at Westerpark

 photo orange09_zps2mvpaz0m.jpg
King's Day

I was excited and at the same time anxious about celebrating King's Day in Amsterdam during our trip. Excited because I got to see how people celebrate one of the biggest holiday in their country! And the holiday wasn't X'mas or New Year which are celebrated across the whole world, I like to experience something different. Anxious, because celebration and party on the street sound like trouble in the making to me. I was worried if I am putting my baby in danger. I have my doubts, but we went on anyway.

Never try never know.

King's Day didn't go out as I planned. Most of the things don't when we're on the road, the beauty of free and easy travel. I planned to go Vondelpark, where it seems like one of the biggest celebration in the town. But we ended up too tired after almost a whole week, and not wanting to go too far from where we stayed. Besides, public transport service within the city was ceased during King's Day, to make way for street celebration. We really didn't want to walk.

I checked and got to know that Westerpark, where we stayed, have their celebration too. So we decided to stay put around our area. Besides, I've been wanting to go Westerpark for many days! It's 5 minutes away from where we stayed.

It's supposed to be a lazy day for us. We prepared ourselves, taking our own sweet time to get ready, and had simple breakfast at home before we headed out.

The moment we reached Westerpark, I fell in love with this place, immediately.

 photo orange01_zpsfzhklyxa.jpg

 photo orange02_zpsqmsmta9g.jpg

And how could you not.

Westergasfabriek used to be gas factory until 1960's when natural gas was found in North Sea, and gas factory became obsolete. The gas factory was then converted into cultural park, with cinema, independent art shop and galleries, restaurants, cafes (Best latte), pubs etc. That's my kind of place.

 photo orange06_zpsmjdp9vso.jpg
Some restaurants in Westerpark

 photo orange07_zpseznxmcyi.jpg

 photo orange08_zpsggzsab4k.jpg
I wish I had all day

I wished we had come to Westerpark before King's Day when everything is open. I wish! It's such a lovely place, I could spend a whole day here.

On King's Day however, most shops are not open except for some cafes and restaurants. But fret not, there are stalls and food trucks at the park selling finger food, hotdogs, sandwiches, herrings, beers etc.

Besides, the highlights are for the kids. On King's Day, kids accompanied by their parents sell their second hand toys and books in the parks. It's really cute! We think it's really a good experience for the kids. The Man suggested we should come again when baby grows older.

 photo orange03_zpszohozaka.jpg
Tiger and his toy cars

 photo orange05_zpsojchaiej.jpg
The supportive parents and their kids

In case you didn't notice, almost everybody wear orange on King's Day. It's the official colour. It's not like people will go after you to kill you if you're not in one, but it's just really nice to fit in to wear the festive colour.

We took a stroll in the park, and eventually walked out of the park to Harlemeerstraat. We walked pass Harlmeerstraat almost everyday during the trip. And on those days, it's quiet, peaceful. But on King's Day, it's totally different! It's crowded, everybody's dancing on the street, including us! Shops are not open, but temporary food stalls are everywhere! I have concerns that we may not have anything to eat on King's Day, you can't imagine how relieved I can be to see all these food stalls!

And the canals are full of parties! Boats after boats of overloading party people, exploding their not so nice party music, parading the cities. And of course, they're all holding the booze.

 photo orange11_zpsxic885kw.jpg
A boat full of party girls

It's really interesting to be in Amsterdam on King's Day. There's something for everybody.

If you're party kinda person, go to bars and pubs, or rent a boat like these people!

If you're family kinda person, with kids wanting to sell off their toys, go on and set up your stalls in the park.

If you just want to make some money, open a stall, sell some finger foods.

If you like concerts, there are plenty! Check them out and book your tickets early!

If you're like us, just want to soak up the mood, go on, walk the city!

Turns out, parties on the street doesn't mean chaos. It's fun, I didn't feel unsafe at all. Everything is in control. Besides, I saw something really interesting.

 photo orange13_zps2j2ybeti.jpg
See the red stall in front of ABN-AMRO? It's a mobile toilet for the men! Sorry strangers, it's just really interesting I have to take a snap!

Will I really be back again like what The Man suggested? I don't know... After all, I may, because I really like Amsterdam.

Things to take note on King's Day:

  • Most of the shops are not open. Even if they are, they may only be open for a few hours. Do check with the shops before King's Day.
  • Most attractions are open on King's Day, i.e. Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House. But do expect CROWDS! But still, do check the attraction on their opening hours prior visiting to prevent disappointment. 
  • Even supermarkets are not open all day on King's Day. If there's a need to stock up, do it one day earlier.
  • Try not to buy your plane ticket to leave or to arrive Amsterdam on King's Day, because there will be no public transport or taxi available in the city. If you do, you have to walk to your hotel or lodging.
  • Wear orange.
  • Be happy and dance :)

Feed the Mommy——Salmon Miso Soup

I didn't use to cook a lot, only a couple of times a week.

When I stayed with my housemate years back, she always cooked so I always got to eat :) 

I always joked that I'd marry her if we're lesbians or if I were a guy. Haha! Well, obviously that didn't happen, but one simple dish that I've learned to from her, and always been cooking after we moved out, is this salmon miso soup. Well, we didn't really have a name for the dish, I just kinda name it anyway I like it.

It's simple because everything happen in one pot. And it's healthy and nutritious because you've got everything you need in one meal. 

I love everything that happens in one pot! Especially now that I have a rolling baby in the living room!

 photo misosoup_zpszguxmezf.jpg
Salmon miso soup with rice topped with furikake


  1. Cabbage
  2. Carrot
  3. Enoki mushrooms (optional)
  4. Tofu
  5. Salmon
  6. Smoked bonito flakes
  7. Miso paste

  1. First, prepare the stock. Add bonito flakes into the boiling water and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Cook your rice at the same time. If you do not have bonito flakes, you can also cook them in chicken stock.
  2. Fish the bonito flakes out.
  3. Add cabbage, carrot and miso paste. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Add salmon, cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Add tofu and enoki mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle furikake on the rice.
  7. Serve.
Simple and quick, and most important of all, healthy and nutritious! Good for a lazy day :)


Best Gu Bak Kuay Teow (Beef Kuay Teow) in Penang (moved since 2015, new address available in post)

Penangites are pretty obsessed with "The Best" when it comes to food. A bunch of good friends might argue over "Which is the best Char Kuay Teow in Penang?", they might flip the table, stay away!

Just like how we argue with our dad which is the best beef kuay teow in Penang. All the three of us say undoubtedly, it's the one opposite balai! That's how we called it all the time. When we say we're going to eat gu bak kuay teow, we never question, where? We only make envy sound, "aiyer....I also want!"

There was a period of time (when I'm still single without a baby!), I request to eat gu bak kuay teow almost every home trip. Almost. But now things changed, the last time I had it was when I was pregnant!! That was a year ago!!!

I was so glad that my brother was around the last time I went home. My parents wouldn't want to bring baby out with us because they claimed it's too hot, so we went out on a short half day foodie trip with our cousin.

 photo gubakkuayteow_zpsbdrvadng.jpg
As delicious as ever

Everything is perfect in this bowl. The soup is the best of the best, it's fragrant, the after taste was perfect in my mouth. I always finish the soup till the last drop! And the "liao" are all very generous, well, because I paid RM7 for a small one! But beef is getting more expensive nowadays, other stalls are selling at this price too! So RM7 for this is definitely more worth than any other stalls! The big bowl is selling at RM9.

Besides gu bak kuay teow, we always order oh chien (fried oyster) too! There are two types of oh chien commonly. One being wet and slippery, another being dry and crispy. I like the crispy one. And that's how they do oh chien here!

 photo ohchien_zpsbnyseg28.jpg
The crispy oh chien!

So where is this legendary delicious gu bak kuay teow? I supposed you can say "opposite balai" like us. Or to be more precise, it's Kedai Kopi Lam Ah, at the junction of Beach Street and Chulia Street. For youngsters who go cafe hopping, it's along the stretch of China House.

They're only open for lunch, be early to avoid the lunch crowd.

They have moved to a new location since 2015
New Address: No. 156, Carnarvon Street, 10100, Pulau Pinang


Best Latte in Espressofabriek

Of the days I drink coffee in Amsterdam, the latte I had in Espressofabriek is truly the best I have had in the whole week. Maybe, best latte I've ever had! BEST!

Outside Espressofabriek on King's Day
Of the days we stayed in Westerpark, we've only managed to visit Westergasfabriek on King's Day, the second last day of our trip.

As usual, when the wind gets strong and the temperature drops, I always find some excuse to go into any cafe in sight to have a cup of coffee. And I glad I did, because Espressofabriek truly served the best latte. It's milky, but the coffee is still strong, and kicking! Unlike a lot of latte, sometimes the only thing you taste is milk.

The Man wanted a cup of hot chocolate, but that wasn't on the menu. I simply ordered latte for him too, forgotten the fact that he didn't really like latte, because it's too milky. He complained a bit, but later on, praising the quality of the latte. And supporting me to buy a bag of coffee beans from them :)

I still miss that cup of latte...


Best meal of the trip——Cafe in de Buurt

The last few days of our trip were mostly spent around Leidseplein and Museumplein of Amsterdam. The day before King's Day, we decided to visit Rijksmuseum. As it's supposed to be a relatively relaxing day for us, we decided to wait for baby to wake up before we make a move. Therefore, by the time we went out, it's already lunch hour.

Our plan was to have lunch in Castel, which was recommended by The Man's friend, for very good pork rib. But we only found out it was only open for dinner. It was cold and windy, we need a place as soon as possible, and we spotted this very cozy looking, comes with free WIFI, Cafe in de Buurt.

 photo buurt01_zpssxglqbjz.jpg
Cafe in de Buurt

 photo buurt02_zps0dkwtscj.jpg
Inside the cozy cafe

As it turned out, that was one of the best meal we had in Amsterdam for this trip.

The kitchen was run by two young men. And there's another guy at the bar to serve the customers. Everything is made from scratch, I especially like the fact that they made their fries from real potatoes! I love it.

The guy at the bar is really friendly. It's really too bad they weren't open on King's Day, else, who knows we might end up having our meal here on King's Day too! Hehe...

I ordered a Philly Steak Sandwich, while The Man ordered a Chicken Satay (As the dutch conquered Indonesia, Indonesian influenced food is everywhere, and satay being the most common ones)

 photo buurt05_zpsdn23ojd1.jpg
Philly steak sandwich

 photo buurt04_zpsoxcamjtz.jpg
Chicken Satay (such a huge satay, it looks more like a chicken chop!)

And, the food I love most was cheese sticks! I really really really love it! It's so good I actually didn't bother to take a proper photo of it, I just want to eat them before they all ended up in The Man's stomach! Hahaha!!!

 photo buurt03_zpsjuzre3zt.jpg
On top of all these, I ordered a cup of latte and The Man had a glass of beer. The lunch cost us Euro 34.60.

After visiting Rijksmuseum, we tried our luck at Castel. However, the restaurant looked more like a bar than a restaurant, it's really narrow and small and very very dark. It didn't feel very family friendly. Besides, the waiter didn't bother to entertain us at all!

And that's how we ended up in Cafe in de Buurt again!!! For dinner we ordered onion soup, risotto cheese balls, pork ribs, cheese sticks (because I love them too much!) and two beers. I didn't take photo because before we started the dinner, little baby decided to poo and both of us were too busy figuring out how to change him in the very small toilet. At the end we took a chair into the toilet and managed to change.

We were too tired to take pictures, we just stomach everything.

For the dinner, we paid Euro 43.

Recommended! Good food and friendly service :)

We were lucky to get table for both meals, they seem to be pretty crowded at times, especially as it gets later. So you can also consider to make reservation with them.


You Should Visit Amsterdam At Least Once in Your Life Time

 photo amsterdam01_zpsido3bfur.jpg

These are the Whys you should do it!

1. Amsterdamers are friendly!
Amsterdamers are so friendly, I really love them! It's not easy to encounter such friendliness especially when you're Asians. Discriminations towards different skin colour is still a real thing whether or not you'd like to admit. But in Amsterdam, you hardly have this issue. People are friendly and willing to help.
I've encountered strangers talking to me on the bus and introducing and explaining the town to me. Not something you'll encounter when you go France for sure. (In France, you'll be delighted they ever answer your questions.)

2. They speak English!
Language is not a barrier in Amsterdam! If you're not a very brave traveller, always afraid of people not speaking the language you speak. Fret not, Amsterdamers speak very fluent English. No issues on signboards, no issues on asking for routes, no issues on ordering food...

3. It's baby friendly!
Yay! I have my concern before we flew to Amsterdam. Yes I've been there before, but without the baby and stroller. I've never took any notice on how easy was it to board a bus or a tram.
Well, now that we've traveled with a baby and a stroller. I can safely tell you, Amsterdam is not that hard to travel! Boarding trams and buses are not that hard because the stairs are relatively low, you can easily carry the stroller. And usually, other passengers would offer help too!
On diaper changing issue, well, you've got to be very creative. Washrooms are really small in most of the restaurants. Most of them have got no diaper changing station. We tried bringing chairs into the toilet to change the baby. If the weather is good, just change the baby outdoor on a bench or on stroller, it's much easier.

4. Museums museums museums~~~
There are plenty of museums, from important museums like Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum. To smaller museums like handbags museum, cheese museum, tulips museum... You will never get bored!

5. Inspiration to decorate your house
Amsterdamers are creative, most of them. Decorations in houses and shops are really cute, loud, daring, cozy, unique... You fall in love most of the time, first sight. By paying more attention, you can also get more ideas on how to decorate your house too!

6. Trains are really convenient!
Trains are really convenient to travel from Amsterdam to other smaller towns nearby, i.e. Haarlem, Delft, Alkmaar, Leiden... Most of them within an hour of train ride! They're great because they're less crowded than Amsterdam and still plenty to do.

7. Tourism information and packages easily available
Preparation and homework before your trip to Amsterdam is rather easy, unlike travelling to France and Spain. Websites are in multiple languages. Trains information are clear. If you ever have any questions, email and ask, they always reply within a day!
Besides, there are plenty of cards provide discounts to tourists, for example I Amsterdam card. The only headache is, which card suits you the most!

8. Wifi~~
When we were in Spain and France years ago, Wifi is really hard to get. We always have to make sure we have all the information required before we go out from hotel.
In Amsterdam, we're not afraid, we can easily get connections from cafe and check the required information.

9. Pots are legal!
If you're party kinda person, Amsterdam is your place. They even sell cannabis seed, plant your own when you go home.

10. This place is simply beautiful~

Book your tickets and fly to Amsterdam~