:ART:LIFE:FASHION: by sonia leong...
The diary of a Manga artist of many hobbies

Weaning recipe by ME!

Kris is loving his solid food now that he’s 8 months old, so here’s something I made which is healthy, quick and easy to rustle up!

Sweet potato and spinach mash with chicken

Ingredients:
1 small sweet potato
Some cooked chicken meat (ideally some bits from a freshly roasted or boiled chicken for the rest of the family)
A handful of spinach leaves

Skin and chop up the sweet potato into small pieces so you can boil it in around 8 mins and keep it well hydrated. Once cooked, mash with a fork.

Finely chop up the chicken and mix into the sweet potato.

Wilt the spinach leaves (either on the hob with some boiling water, or in the microwave for a minute) and finely chop and add to the mix.

Add in a very small knob of butter and a dash of milk, and (IMPORTANT) some boiled water to make it wet and smooth enough for it to be easy to eat.

ENJOY! It’s super tasty :3

Food adventures part three! These are photos taken at my family home in Thailand and consists of home-cooked food or takeway/delivery.

We’re a Chinese-Malaysian family, but we like many types of food. The main thing is great taste and LOTS of it. People who have been amazed by the amount that I can eat: be very scared, as I’m the smallest eater in my family :P

Bamboo sticky rice is glutinous rice mixed with red bean or other sweet gloopy things and steamed. It was a gift to us from my little brother’s friend, he sent it over as a tea time treat! I like the red type more than the white type.

Mee Siam is a Malaysian favourite - a spicy, fried, thin noodle dish with shredded egg on top and beansprouts. My sister loves this shit.

Khao Muk Gai is the Thai version of Indian Chicken Biryani essentially - saffron-coloured rice cooked together with chicken in one big pot of spices and served with raw greens. I actually cook this at home in Cambridge for my friends quite often, as it’s an all-in-one dish that I can easily prepare and cook in large quantities.

Sour vegetable soup is a craving I had recently for hot, sour, turkey/ham bone soup :3 In Thailand, we were able to buy some gorgeous freshly made tofu from the supermarket before it sold out! So yummy and sweet with the hot soup!

Suki, or Hot Pot, or Shabu Shabu involves cooking your food at the table! It’s a family favourite as it’s so interactive, but with our family, it’s difficult to fit all the raw ingredients on the table at once! Lots of lovely, marbled, thin slices of beef steak. Mixed seafood like squid, cuttlefish, fish balls, fish cakes, prawns, salmon, seabass. Tofu blocks and mushrooms. Assortments of greens like kale, spinach, Chinese cabbage. And big, fat udon noodles at the end (accompanied by squeals as there will be some inevitable splashes of hot stock when you deal with those). Then at the end when the soup stock has been fully flavoured by all the yummy things you’ve been boiling in it, you crack an egg in and drink it up :)

Pokke is Hawaiian raw fish salad, usually made with tuna and spicy, red sea salt. Chopped up raw fish with salad bits (like onions/shallots, herbs) is known as Tataki in Japanese. This is Thai style = SUPER SPICY. Many birds eye chillis chopped up finely, minced garlic, lots of lime juice and soy sauce. This plate had raw tuna, salmon and octopus :3

Saint Etoile is a sub-brand of Yamazaki Bakery, a popular Japanese chain of bakeries. Frickin’ love their stuff, it’s so soft, sweet and fluffy :3 We buy back bags full of of their various treats. You can just about make out a soft cheese cake on top, and sweet buns with mayo/crab salad, bacon/cheese, and a sliced loaf of Honolulu bread (one of my favourites, a buttery, soft mix with potato flour, soooo nice to eat, even on its own).

My dad brought back a beautiful duck the other day for our lunch. It’s more braised than roasted - this isn’t the crispy type of cooking, it’s a very moist style with lots of spices rubbed into the skin. The gizzards are to the side - I love duck or chicken hearts, myself! Served with a dark, sweet soy sauce and/or chilli sauce and plain, steamed rice.

Amor Bakery is a recent discovery of ours - we’ve tried MANY crepe layered cakes from many bakeries, but this one is extraordinarily good. Just try counting the layers! So light and fluffy, a joy to eat, especially when you add the raspberry sauce!

Ootoya is a Japanese chain of home-style cooking restaurants, and they do home delivery in Bangkok :3 This is a pork hamburger bento set I ordered for myself. At the restaurants, I love the pork belly salad and their freshly made tofu milk pudding.

Christmas traditions in my family are a little different to UK or US ones. We throw a MASSIVE party on Christmas Eve, minimum 30 people. This year, we had over 40 guests :) So typically, my mum cooked enough for 55. Then at midnight, we all open a few gifts (because none of us can wait). Christmas Day is lazing about eating leftovers XD

Mains and starters - We had TWO turkeys (NO ONE makes a better turkey than my mother, everyone who has tried it agrees. The breast is ridiculously buttery and moist - she uses a 30 year old convection microwave oven and adds extra chicken fat to baste the top. I have NEVER asked for roast turkey breast more than when my mum cooks). Leg of lamb. Smoked salmon. Several types of pate. Two joints of ham. Salad greens with vinaigrette. Potato salad. Spicy pasta salad. Smoked meat canapes. Lots of home-made gravy with mushrooms and onions and stuffing. 

Desserts - two crepe cakes, two cheesecakes (one of which is my mum’s home-made), forest fruit crumble (made by my little brother), chocolate dipped fruits (brought by a friend). The crazy sweets table is hilarious - lovely things brought from all around the world! Thai bean sweets (shaped as fruit and veg), Malaysian and Indonesian agar-agar/kueh/jellies, American Hershey’s kisses and chocolate sweets, mixed nuts, Swiss nougats, Arabic baclavah, Maltese mixed fruit/nut brittle, mixed nuts and home-made chocolate mint cookies (by my little brother, again!).

I hope you guys are all feeling hungry for dinner now… XD

My next post will be all about my family’s favourite private island retreat :)

Food adventures part two! Some photos taken whilst going out to local restaurants not far from where we live in Srinakarin road, Samutprakarn (just south of Bangkok).

Sukishi is a Japanese/Korean chain of restaurants which we frequently go to in many of the shopping malls in and around Bangkok.

VT does great Vietnamese food, in Soi Bering, just 10 or so minutes drive from my house.

Tum Tum is very close to VT, and is a cute little restaurant and cafe that specialises in my favourite Thai dish, green papaya salad or som tum, and Isaan (North-eastern Thai) food.

Je-nghor is a family favourite, a Thai-Chinese seafood restaurant just down the road from our house. We go there lots for great quality seafood in multiple courses.

The past five days in Thailand at home with my family has been well documented with food photos (and a few others)! I can’t put everything into one post, so I’ll start off with what I eat at home ^^

There’s six of us at head table at the moment, so there aren’t as many courses, but the eating is still good! We’re a Chinese (mostly) family, so we usually have rice with main meals and typically there is a soup of some sort to accompany the dishes, which will always have a vegetable, a fried thing and a not-so-fried thing. Fish regularly pops up, as well as another type of meat. There are always leftovers straight after, but that is usually snapped up for lunch the next day, or by the help around the house :)

More extravagant house dinners will come once more family arrive back home in time for Christmas! And look out for my next post on dinners and lunches we have out and about.

I’ve been getting up earlier these days and working until late, but napping during the afternoon. This means that I now find myself having breakfast a lot more.
I had been hankering for some fresh vegetables and a more German-style continental thing, so walked to my local farm shop and picked up some nice tomatoes and cucumbers to have with a little bit of celery salt, with some Fleischwurst slices and a bit of Leerdammer cheese. I’ll have a bit of toast afterwards, maybe with honey :3
So simple but it just looks so pretty though!

I’ve been getting up earlier these days and working until late, but napping during the afternoon. This means that I now find myself having breakfast a lot more.

I had been hankering for some fresh vegetables and a more German-style continental thing, so walked to my local farm shop and picked up some nice tomatoes and cucumbers to have with a little bit of celery salt, with some Fleischwurst slices and a bit of Leerdammer cheese. I’ll have a bit of toast afterwards, maybe with honey :3

So simple but it just looks so pretty though!

  • Me:

    Raspberries are weird... they look like they're alive or something...

  • Matt:

    What do you mean?

  • Me:

    Like... little caterpillars. Kinda of soft and semi-furry...

  • Matt:

    But they're fun to squish!

  • Me:

    That's just it! They're weird to handle, they feel funny...

  • Matt:

    What, like testicles?

  • Me:

    YES! THAT'S IT! RASPBERRIES ARE LIKE TESTICLES!!!

I’ve been heading in and out of London a lot this week for business and pleasure, as I had some meetings and events, but also family visiting. It’s lovely to see them when I can as they (apart from my little brother Simon of With Ether http://www.youtube.com/user/WithEther/videos) are usually at least 3000-6000 miles away, so I only see them 2-3 times a year.

In the photo on the left is me with my sister, Stephanie, who has the most ridiculous food blog ever (http://jellyrowls.blogspot.co.uk/). I’m wearing what I call my “My Little Pony” outfit XD Actually, the colour of my tunic reminds me of Rainbow Paddle Pop ice creams I used to have when I was a kid, in Malaysia and Australia. Tunic is Ellos, leggings eBay, shrug eBay, bag Chanel, shoes Faith, glasses Bulgari.

On the right is my “Zara Poster Girl” outfit XD Blouse and snake-print trousers from Zara, belt Accessorize, shoes Jeffrey Campbell, bag Chanel, glasses Bulgari. This was just before we went into Bar Ciao to stuff our faces with cute ice cream concoctions made to look like main meals XD

With this hot weather and my mint shrubs needing a trim, what better drink to make than Arabian lime/mint?
Pick a generous handful of fresh mint leaves and throw into a glass, top with lots of ice. Then roll a lime until it softens, cut in half and juice it in. Put in 1-3 dessert spoons of sugar or sweetener to taste, then top up with either water, lemonade, coke, or weak tea (tea made with mint is a bonus!). Mix and muddle so the mint leaves really release their flavour. Put your best sunglasses on and enjoy ♥

With this hot weather and my mint shrubs needing a trim, what better drink to make than Arabian lime/mint?

Pick a generous handful of fresh mint leaves and throw into a glass, top with lots of ice. Then roll a lime until it softens, cut in half and juice it in. Put in 1-3 dessert spoons of sugar or sweetener to taste, then top up with either water, lemonade, coke, or weak tea (tea made with mint is a bonus!). Mix and muddle so the mint leaves really release their flavour. Put your best sunglasses on and enjoy ♥

My 30th birthday meal at the 2-star Michelin Midsummer House in Cambridge last week!

Apologies for the delay in posting this and write-ups of my other actitivies, it’s just been so busy! My actual birthday was on the bank holiday Monday, but we went on Tuesday. We chose the Market tasting menu of six courses and an accompanying flight of wines from around the world. Extremely decadent and amazing.

Starters of red pepper foam, olives and savoury cheese-filled choux puffs. Vichysoisse with smoked haddock and quail eggs. Caramelised veal sweetbreads, with onion cinnamon puree and wood sorrel. Stuffed and crumbed red mullet, with confit lemon, roast artichoke, olives and Iberico ham. Ballotined chicken with spinach and popped sweetcorn. Fennel, lemon and olive jelly with caramel. A selection of artisan cheeses, including my favourites Epoisse and Reblochon. Raspberry and tarragon roule with white chocolate cookie dough. Four different wines to match each large course. OMG.

Midsummer House holds a special place in my heart, as it was where I got married nine years ago. In keeping with that, I thought I would wear my wedding jewellery - white gold, diamond and emerald earrings and necklace, which I designed and had made bespoke for me. The rest of my outfit - Chanel jacket and chain handbag, Prada glasses, Massimo Dutti blouse, Zara ruffle skirt, Irregular Choice shoes.