Apr 27, 2017

20 The Beefanator

Char kueh teow (fried flat rice noodles), wat tan hor, chee cheong fun  and the likes - that's our kind of food. It's rare that we step into a fast food restaurant like Wendy's, but when we did, Hubs went all out with a takeaway of two RM25 sets of Beefanators.

What's that?  A beefanator - the ultimate meat burger with two beef patties, chicken strips and cheese slices. No greens except for a side of coleslaw was included. It was packed with a drink and an additional side dish of our own choice - we chose chilli con carne.

The unveiling of the takeaway in the comfort of home:

Wendy's Malaysia - Beefanator

Do I hear OMGs?

I read the story of how Wendy's hamburger was born. Dave Thomas, the founder, was a man of integrity who believed in not cutting corners. Hence, the square hamburger!

We don't cut corners ~ Dave Thomas

I enjoyed this meal even if it took me awhile to finish; best eaten when extremely hungry. That said, I was craving for a plate of vegetables after. Haha .. I'm a stickler for a balanced meal! 

Tell me, have you tried Wendy's beefanator and did you like it?

Apr 25, 2017

18 The BedRoom Gets A Paint Job

You'd think that after so much painting done over the years, I'd be a pro at it. But ... no major improvement here. I think it's because I just enjoy getting it done. The feel of rolling the brush up and down with the radio on is therapeutic. The crooked paint lines along the wall corners? It's no skin off my back.

Sharon Paints The Bedroom

My standard reply for anyone spotting these flaws are - "It's artistic, an expression of myself and how I view life." Lol. Life is meant to be lived ..and lived happily. There are things we should fuss over, there are things we should let go and let be.

" Life is like a blank canvas. It's up to you how you want to paint it. "

I spent some weeks moving boxes of stuff and small furniture out of the bedroom. Then, it flowed into a major spring cleaning exercise with bags of things being given away to whoever wants it and lots of washing being done. I sneezed myself silly through it all with watery eyes. It almost looked like I was having a cold. Bah! My sensitive nose!

I'll not go into how the skin on my was nose was peeling by the end of it all. The colours hubs and I chose for the room were grey and light green. It was navy blue and turquoise before.

We picked a Sunday for our painting adventure and had gotten about three layers done on two walls, when we realised that we didn't have enough paint. So, we took a break and left the room alone for a couple of days.

Runs Out Of Paint - Didn't Panic

When fresh paint arrived, I picked the roller up again only this time without hubs because it was a working day for him. I completed the walls leaving the edges near the ceiling aside; Hubs wasn't too keen about me climbing up the ladder for that. My hero, I say. I was happy to give it a miss because I remember all too clearly how my poor neck felt after I painted the bathroom ceiling. Looking up for longgggg periods is, can I say - 'a pain in the neck?'

This is how the newly painted walls look like in dim light and when it's bright.

Freshly Painted Walls

I am so pleased with it.

Check out my past painting projects here:
~ A New Look For My Guest Room
~ I Paint Not The Canvas
~ My Little Paint Project

That's that on my April. I can't believe May is up next week.

Apr 21, 2017

16 Ayam Brand™ Sardines On Savoury Crackers

Savoury crackers are my go-to teatime snack. If I'm glued to a book, I would have it plain or simply slathered with kaya; I love the sweet-salty combination.

When I'm entertaining friends at home however, I make a little more effort with an easy topping like the one below -- mashed sardines; its flavour balanced out with the crunch of chilled zucchini, the hint of spiciness from a bird's eye chilli and the vibrant taste of fresh dill.

Ayam Brand™ Sardines On Savoury Crackers

This is easy and quick to make. There's no cooking involved. That's right - no need to pull out that frying pan. Do I hear yays? Here's how I made these lovely treats.

Ayam Brand™ Sardines On Savoury Crackers

- 1 120g can Ayam Brand™ olive oil and chilli sardines
- 10pcs savoury crackers (2 inches in diameter)
- 1 small green zucchini (sliced) / yellow zucchini (optional)
- 2pcs brined pitted black olives (sliced)
- 2 red bird's eye chilli (sliced)
- Fresh dill

1) Remove the chilli from the sardine can. Slice thinly. Set some of the sardine oil in the can aside for later use (optional). Mash the sardines, with the sliced chilli mixed in.
2) Assemble in this order - Place zucchini slices on top of savoury crackers, followed by mashed sardines. Finish with with a pinch of dill, a slice of black olive and one bird's eye chilli on each one.
3) Plate and drizzle the remainder of the sardine oil over the crackers.

Top : Ayam Brand™ Sardines In Olive Oil and Chilli
Bottom-Left : Zucchini, Black Olives, Crackers, Bird's Eye Chilli, Dill
Bottom-Right : Mash The Sardines

Best enjoyed with friends and family!

Ayam Brand™ Sardines On Savoury Crackers made exciting with
Zucchini, Black Olives, Fresh Dill and Bird's Eye Chilli

This is a sponsored post, where I was provided with some products to try out.
That said, this piece is wholly written by me and all opinions are my own.
Please read the Disclaimer for this blog under Policies.

Apr 18, 2017

21 How Ayam Brand™ Came Into My Life

Through mom, of course. She swears by it and now, we do too. Ayam Brand™ has been around for more than a century and has helped many working mothers like my mom put a decent meal on the table after a long day at the office.

In our household, Ayam Brand™ Sardines are a regular on our marketing list. Come to think of it, never in my life have I not seen it in our kitchen cabinet. Never. It was always there for the taking.

Mom's favourite way of cooking sardines is with curry. She taught me how to whip up a mean version when I was in my early teens. I have often wondered where she learned the recipe considering we didn't have the internet back then and were living on a small island with little contact with the outside world, other than through the TV and word of mouth. It wasn't an era of cooking shows either.

We lost mom suddenly due to illness last year. There are many little things that remind me of her as I go about my daily life - Ayam Brand™ being a fond memory of our time together in the kitchen.

Anyway, this arrived at my doorstep last week. I was ecstatic to see it - a box full of Ayam Brand™ goodies!

Ayam Brand™ Goodies

In it --
1) Sardines in olive oil and sardines in tomato sauce. This is what I made in 2012, a healthy sardine wrap using Ayam Brand™'s Sardines in Olive Oil & Chilli. Easy peasy! I blogged about it here.

Sardine Wrap

2) A 2017 table calendar which I had failed to get a copy of earlier in the year. You must be wondering why I'm excited about it - well, I love it. It has neat little boxes where I can jot down my daily activities and plans. Every year, I look out for an email from Ayam Brand™ just to get the calendar. Nobody understands my obsession. I don't either. It has often made me laugh at myself.

3) A Fish and Olive Oil recipe book. I actually own a copy of this already. In 2013, Ayam Brand™ gave out free copies on their facebook. I had shared this information to our cooking group and weeks later, several of us home-cooking enthusiasts were lucky recipients. It's a happy feeling that's hard to forget!

4) Alce Nero Pasta!

My friends and family have been using Ayam Brand™ for a very long time. It runs through three generations for some of us!

Ayam Brand™

Ayam Brand™ Sardines are available in tomato sauce, olive oil with chilli and extra virgin olive oil. It is priced from RM4.03 to RM10.28 (inclusive of 6% GST).

I would love to hear your story if you have one to share about how Ayam Brand™ came into your life. It would be interesting to read!

Follow Ayam Brand™ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AyamBrand.Recipes, on instagram at @ayamdbrandmy and subscribe to their mailing list. You won't regret it! They run so many fun activities for their fans.

This is a sponsored post, where I was provided with some products to try.
That said, this piece is wholly written by me and all opinions are my own.
Please read the Disclaimer for this blog under Policies.

Apr 15, 2017

16 I Scream For Magnum Red Velvet Ice Cream

I told you how Magnum ice cream puts me in a place of wonderful.

I also told you how competitive my family is when it comes to new releases.

Magnum Red Velvet

It is no joke. When Magnum released the red velvet edition , I knew I had to get my hands on it and quickly, before the rest of the family does. So I made my way to the mini market, rummaged through the ice cream display freezer for the best looking wrapper and paid for it with a wide, smug grin on my face as I imagined my cousin crying out, " No fair ..! " and my relatives drooling enviously.

Magnum Red Velvet Packaging

As excited as I was, I still waited until the next afternoon before indulging in one. Ice cream is, after all, best enjoyed in hot, sunny weather or with a group of friends. I am picky about when I choose to eat my Magnum ; sounds crazy but I believe in deriving maximum pleasure out of it.

The packaging design to the the ice cream of toned down red, covered in white chocolate -- it shouts sultry decadence and fun.

Mmmm... Creamy Magnum Red Velvet

How did it taste? .... Oh, I loved it! The ingredients itself were tantalising -- cocoa ice cream, cream cheese sauce, Belgian white chocolate. It was smooth and delicious, had a well-rounded deepened flavour ; its sweetness subdued, not falling into the cheapness I usually find in candy loaded with plain, white sugar.

We're having a ladies' night at home soon -- my fridge will definitely be stocked with Magnum Red Velvet for effect.

Apr 11, 2017

14 Cheng Beng : It's Tomb-Sweeping Day

Cheng Beng aka Tomb-Sweeping Day is still largely practiced by Malaysians of Chinese descent. We were in Penang the weekend before, Hubs to carry out his filial duty and me to take photographs of the event to be shared in a private online album that holds our fondest memories as a family. It's our way of connecting to relatives living far away.

Cleaning The Grave on Tomb-Sweeping Day

The rainy weather made it a 6-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur to the island. A Saturday. I'm happy we didn't have to deal with exhaustive traffic jams too - the flow was pretty good. We stopped at several RnRs along the North-South Expressway to stretch our legs and usually take short naps in the car before continuing but not this time; Hubs was tied up with customer queries and was busy following up with staff at various work sites on the to-dos. I admire him for his toughness and hardworking nature. It seemed ironic that he was born in the Year of the Pig. Just saying, with a lol and no seriousness.

We woke up in the wee hours that Sunday, showered and made our way to the cemetery with the rest of the family. 6am in, we were the first car to arrive. Although the sun had yet to rise, the morning wasn't as chilly as I'd anticipated it to be. It would have been eerie to be here at this time - with trees in utter blackness looming over us and rows of shadowed tombstones stretching across the dark hill. Thriller, anyone? But I felt only excitement as I looked forward to seeing crowds that would soon be spread across the area fulfilling their Cheng Beng duties. 

Honoring Deceased Family Members With Food and Material Offerings

We were waiting for another relative to arrive. They were delayed as they had to collect roasted meats from another location before coming over. Soon, the morning bird started to call out signaling that it was almost 7am, "Ko-oohH!, Ko-oohH!" it went, louder than the morning alarm on my clock, as though it was using a megaphone. "What bird is that? " With a little googling, I discovered that the cry is from an Asian Koel.

We made our way to the tombstone of our ancestor after everyone had arrived, carrying bags of food offerings, joss sticks, spirit money and paper replicas of material items like clothes, shoes and a car. The grave was already clean - we'd paid the caretakers of the cemetery to keep the grass neat and green too.

Grandpa Needs A Car Up There

First thing up was displaying the food, tea and joss sticks in front of the stone. Then, we wait for the ancestors to eat whilst each relative kneeled and offered a short prayer. The rest proceeded with planting colourful flags, placing joss paper and burning joss sticks on the grave. This year, coins were tossed in too. A male relative brought a small, cute square radio along for music adding good vibes to the already vibrant scene. You could say that there was a little party going on at our place.

Food Offering - The Ancestors Eat

Roast Meats For Cheng Beng

Joss paper, spirit money aka hell money and paper material items were burnt in a huge pile. We waited until everything was gone. The cemetery was alive with people honoring their ancestors by then. I noticed a group far away enthusiastically tossing joss paper into the air - it was the first time I had seen this done. Each family has their own Cheng Beng practices.

Burning of Spirit Money and Paper Replicas of Material Goods

Finally, we tossed a coin to determine if the ancestors are done with their meal before packing the food back into containers to be brought home.

QingMing Festival - Colourful Flags on a Grave

A More Toned Down Way of Honoring the Deceased At Another Grave

The food was later distributed amongst family members. We headed back to the capital the next morning.

Apr 4, 2017

0 Ayam Brand™ Celebrates 125 Years of Being Part of Malaysian Families

Ayam Brand™ Celebrates 125 Years of Being Part of Malaysian Families

Shah Alam, February, 2017 – Ayam Brand™ is celebrating 125 years of being part of the South East Asian region, and especially Malaysia. The brand announced the theme of ‘We Care, We Are Family’ to mark its quasquicentennial milestone.

Established in 1892, Ayam Brand™ is easily recognized by its rooster or ‘Ayam’ logo. It is one of the oldest continuously produced consumer brands in Asia with offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, China, France and Japan and is available in more than 30 countries, worldwide.

Today, Ayam Brand™ produces over 60 million cans annually.

Famed for its wide range of high quality, no-added preservative and no added MSG, healthy and convenient canned food, the brand is a household name in Malaysia and in much of the South East Asian region.

Growing up, many of us would remember the familiar red and yellow can with the proud rooster of Ayam Brand ™ sardines, that was a staple for a quick and satisfying meal, and a firm favorite for sardine sandwiches and sardine puffs for picnics and parties. Ayam Brand™ was and continues to be an important part of many Malaysian families’ fondest memories, and an important part of their daily culinary lives.

Ayam Brand™ has come a long way from its early beginnings as a specialist in sardines and mackerel. It now has a much more extensive range that encompasses tuna, cuttlefish, coconut milk, baked beans, green peas, fruits and desserts with more than 300 store keeping units (SKUs) from combined markets across the region, while still being synonymous with its sardine and mackerel products.

After 125 years, Ayam Brand™ understands fully that its family of users want ready-to-eat convenience, quick and easy meals, and superior taste; without added preservatives or added MSG. This is why many Malaysians turn to Ayam Brand™ to create meals for everyday and for special occasions either from treasured family recipes or from the brand’s wide library of video, online and print recipes.

Ayam Brand™ products are certified ‘Halal’ giving Muslim consumers full peace of mind in consuming them.

Innovation keeps Ayam Brand™ current, fresh and delighting new generations of fans. Being ahead of the curve, Ayam Brand™ has on-going efforts to provide healthier options with reduced sugar, fat and sodium content via its ‘Lite’ range, a growing organic selection, variants that suit a plethora of taste from mild to super spicy, while innovating in terms of packaging.

To celebrate the 125th anniversary, consumers will be further informed on the health benefits of Ayam Brand™ key products through print media advertisement, radio commercial, social media engagement and from its website from time to time. Consumers also can see promotions in conjunction with the product of the month as well. Meanwhile, they can be among the first to taste Ayam Brand™ new products through sampling activity at selected outlets.

Ayam Brand™’s Marketing Manager, Mr. Nicholas Nyeow, Ayam Brand™ said that the brand’s longevity was a testament to the close relationship consumers have developed with it over the years, built on trust, innovation, commitment to quality and a shared history of memories.

“For many customers only Ayam Brand™ will do, they won’t choose any other brand. The Ayam Brand™ family recognizes quality, taste and innovation. In return the brand gives them the assurance of healthier food choices, quick and convenient to prepare, without added preservatives or MSG. Over the years, we have built up a high level of trust, by staying true to the founding principles of the company, while innovating in products, packaging and services. We care for our consumers, because to us, they are family. Likewise, they share Ayam Brand™ products with their families, because they care. It is a cycle that we are proud to be part of for the past 125 years,”Mr Nyeow said.

He noted that Ayam Brand™ 125th anniversary coincides with the 60th Merdeka Day and the Lunar Year of The Rooster, adding even more significance to the milestone.

“Malaysia has from the time it was the Federation of Malay States, been our heartland. Even our name ‘Ayam’, is the Malay word for rooster. Malaysians have grown up with Ayam Brand™ for at least five generations – we’ve definitely become part of the family over this time, sharing in the celebrations, and the lean times too! That this milestone coincides with the Lunar Year of the Rooster makes it even more prosperous and symbolic!” Mr Nyeow added.

Aside from winning the hearts of Malaysian consumers, Ayam Brand™ also won numerous prestigious recognitions over the years. The brand is placed in top 10 for past three consecutive years in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as Malaysia’s most chosen FMCG brand ranking list according to Kantar Worldpanel’s Brand Footprint Study.

Show your loved ones that you care, and that they are family with Ayam Brand™, doing it right for 125 years.

For more information on Ayam Brand™ 125th anniversary, please visit [www.ayambrand.com.my]

About Ayam Brand

Ayam Brand, a household name in Malaysia and Asia for 120 years, is famed for its wide range of quality and healthy canned food.

Ayam Brand is placed in top 10 for past three consecutive years in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as Malaysia’s most chosen FMCG brand ranking list according to Kantar Worldpanel’s Brand Footprint Study.

In 2009, Ayam Brand was awarded “The Brand Laureate Awards 2008-2009” (the World’s Best Brands in the Asia Pacific).

For two consecutive years 2006 & 2007, Ayam Brand was ranked top Asian brand of canned food category in a consumer survey by Synovate Research (Asia’s Top 1000 Brands) commissioned by Media Magazine Hong Kong.


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