Monthly Archives: March 2012

It was a beautiful weekend but the weather has definitely gotten colder.  I can always tell the change in seasons from the produce at my local green grocer.  It’s the end of Summer and the start of Autumn and I’m seeing the ends of stone fruits as well as the first of the pumpkin and sweet potatoes.

I love roast pumpkin.  And I love ketchup. So why not combine the two?

You can see that I left the skin on the pumpkin.  It’s partly because I’m lazy and partly because I think the skin is delicious.  The Homemade Ketchup is easy peasy.  All you have to do is put everything in a jar and shake it up.

Homemade Ketchup

300 grams organic tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
5 drops stevia

  1. Put all ingredients in a jar and shake until mixed through.
  2. Will keep in the fridge for 1 month.

Pumpkin “Fries”

1/2 buttercup pumpkin
1 tbs coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 175° C.
  2. Cut pumpkin into 1 cm thick crescents.
  3. Melt coconut oil. (I use a cast iron skillet).
  4. Coat the pumpkin crescents with the melted dripping and sprinkle on the salt.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes until cooked through and crisp on the outside.


ImageImageI’m currently planning my next vacation which is coming up in April.  This year, we’re going back to California to visit my family but also spending a week in New York City.  I can’t wait!  But I thought it would be fun to reflect on my big trip last year when I spent a month in Malaysia and Vietnam.  It was a pretty crazy trip.

I kept a diary and here is an excerpt from my second day in KL.

28 March 2011

We’re up at 6AM or 11AM NZ time.  We shower and get dressed.  I’m famished and I want some food and more importantly, I want some coffee.  The guard at the hotel tells us to go down an alleyway to get some “Malay” food.  There is a small number of street food restaurants open but it’s not really Malay food.  We keep walking but soon realize that it’s just too early and nothing else is open.

We head back to the street food restaurant.  The lady has short spiky hair and eagerly takes our order.  D orders a black coffee and I order an iced coffee.  She shouts “Kopi-O” and “Ice Kopi” loudly to the kitchen.  I have a simple breakfast of steamed bread and a boiled egg.  D goes all out and orders Mi Goreng which is a noodle dish.  The lady also talks us into a Malay dish which is rice wrapped in banana leaves.  The coffee is surprisingly good and really strong.  But it’s sickly sweet.  I don’t know how D can stomach noodles so early in the morning.  But I do taste the Malay rice dish which is delicious.  

After breakfast, we keep walking.  Our goal is to walk to the twin towers as it’s a good way to see the city.  We get to the twin towers only to realize that they are shut on Mondays.  We walk back and catch the mono rail back to Bukit Bintang.

We find another street cafe and order an iced coffee and juice.  Free Wi-Fi is good.  I quickly check my e-mail and facebook updates.  I look up to see a guy sweeping the street.  I love people watching.  I can’t get over the fact that everyone manually sweeps the leaves off the street using an old school broom.

Lunch is at an Indian restaurant with a selection of meat and vegetable dishes.  This is the best Indian food that I have ever tasted.  The roti is flaky and warm.  I peer over and see the locals eating next to us using their hands.  No cutlery required.  They scoop up the curry and rice with their hands and skillfully into their mouth.

After checking out a few more shops, we head to Chinatown for dinner.  The markets are crazy and bustling.  I buy a cheap knock-off wallet to use for the trip.  Dinner is a steamboat with meat and veggies.

We find our way back on the monorail to the hotel.  I’m exhausted.  It’s been a long day.