Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Nikon Camera

Went to LA flower market and arrange some flower for baby showers. 

Potstickers from Dean Sin World

Friday, October 12, 2012

Brentwood Farmer's Market Dinner

I had to make dinner for one last night and last weekend I went to Brentwood Farmer's Market Dinner and bought a bunch of vegetables, specifically some corn and cauliflower.

Have you guys been to Blue Cow restaurant in Downtown LA? Food is pretty good but what is memorable is the Singaporean Roasted Curried Cauliflower. It comes in a brown bag and it's kind of like a popcorn cauliflower. I've been trying to recreate this dish for months but unsuccessfully. I do find one that is pretty tasty here. 

Roasted Curried Cauliflower Recipe

Serves 2-4
  • 1 large cauliflower (or several small ones), ~2 lbs
  • Curry powder
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Break cauliflower into medium-small florets and place into large bowl or baking pan. Be sure the pieces are as evenly sized as possible, or they will cook unevenly. The smaller you make the pieces, the quicker they will cook and the more caramelized they will become, which I consider a good thing.
Drizzle cauliflower pieces generously with olive oil and season well with salt and curry powder. Distribute evenly in a single layer at the bottom of a baking pan. If necessary, use a second baking pan to be sure the pieces aren’t too crowded.
Cover the pans with foil and place into the oven. Roast, covered for 10-15 minutes. The cauliflower should be slightly soft and start looking translucent. If not replace foil and cook another 5 minutes.
When the cauliflower has finished steaming, remove the foil and toss with tongs. Continue to roast, stirring every 8-10 minutes until the tips of the cauliflower begin to brown and become crisp as pictured. Approximately 30-35 minutes. (It only took me 15 minutes of turning it around instead of 30 minutes).
Adjust salt to taste (you will probably need another sprinkle) and serve.
Another simple recipe I did is a super easy roasted corn from here. 

Garlic Corn on the Cob

12 ears corn, husked and cleaned
12 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup garlic powder
1.Preheat grill for medium heat, or preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Place each ear of corn on a separate square of aluminum foil. Place 1 tablespoon of butter on each one, and sprinkle with garlic powder. Wrap ears tightly with the foil.
3.Place ears of corn on the grill or in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning over occasionally.

 The very important thing to note is just oven at 350 degrees F and corn for 20-30 minutes. I just added garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper.

Voila dinner is ready!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Bought some dahlias from the Brentwood Farmers' Market. Two bunches for $4. They don't last as long though mm... may have to look into other flowers next time.

Banana Bread with Walnut from Tyler Florence's Recipe

I have some sad looking bananas in the pantry today and because I'm bored, I started to browse for a banana bread recipe.

This one from Tyler Florence for banana bread pops out because it seems easy and it is easy! So the banana bread is yummy but I only had 3 bananas when it required 4 bananas and I think that is why mine came out a little bit dry. I substituted Walnuts for Pecans since I was out. Noticed also how my photos are coming out great ;) Arthur gave me a Nikon D3100 camera that I am trying to use more and more.

Give this recipe a try and tell me what you guys think!

Banana Bread with Pecans

Total Time:
2 hr 50 min
25 min
1 hr 10 min
1 hr 15 min
1 loaf


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don't get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that's no mistake, it's typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning.
Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Toast the slices of banana bread, dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Easy Steamed Egg recipe

Found a great and easy recipe with a nice consistency of the steamed egg here. I want to make sure I don't forget it so I am putting it down below:

Korean-Style Steamed Eggs (Gyeran Jjim)
Serves 1-2
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water, plus more for filling pot
1/2 scallion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Combine the eggs, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a heat-safe ceramic bowl, such as a ramekin or small ddukbaegi. Whisk until well combined and foamy.
Place the bowl in a pot. Fill the pot with hot (not boiling) water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Cover the pot, preferably with a clear glass lid so you can easily watch the water and eggs. Cook over low-medium heat for 12 minutes, making sure the water stays at a gentle simmer.
Sprinkle the scallions and sesame seeds on top of the eggs and continue to cook for about 3 minutes or until the eggs are set. They should be firm but jiggly.
Carefully lift the bowl from the pot and serve.
Some variations:
• Add chopped vegetables like red bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, or onions to the egg and water mixture
• Add gochugaru (red pepper) along with the scallions and sesame seeds
• Substitute brined baby shrimp, fish sauce, or soy sauce for salt
• Substitute stock for water

Friday, June 15, 2012

Easy recipe: Nobu Black Cod Miso

Back story: i dont like to cook.. I dont find it relaxing but since I am not working and Arthur is working triple jobs, I try to cook more... Unfortunately I dont follow recipes well so here are a list of recipes that you can make super easy and obviously if I could do it.. you won't mess it up. And of course I also do not follow recipe to a T.... so my experimentation will be beneficial to you (to know if it failed miserable or if it is okay to not get out of the house and buy that stupid sake/baking powder/etc etc ..)

Recipe grab from here

Picture from Google Image

Recipe: Black Cod with Miso (Miso-marinated Black Cod)
Adapted from Nobu: The Cookbook

2-3 black cod fillets (about 1 lb)
For the marinate:
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
4 tablespoons white miso paste
3 tablespoons sugar
  1. Mix the marinate ingredients thoroughly in a plastic container (with lid) and set aside. Save some for plating purposes.
  2. Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels and put them into the plastic container with the marinate. Cover the lid and leave to steep in the refrigerator overnight or for 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
  4. Preheat an indoor grill at the same time.
  5. Lightly wipe off (with fingers) any excess miso marinate clinging to the fish fillets but don’t rinse it off. Place the fish on the grill and lightly grill on both sides until the surface turns brown.
  6. Transfer the fish fillets to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add a few extra drops of the marinate on the plate and serve hot.
Cook’s notes:
  1. You can substitute black cod for see bass or salmon or any kinds of flaky fish fillets.
  2. There are many different kinds of miso (red, brown, white, and more). Make sure you get white miso.
  3. I like my miso cod more intense with the flavors of sake and miso, and that being said, the marinate sauce might be too watery for plating purposes as one of my readers pointed out. Heat up the sauce to thicken it if you wish to use it for plating. Or if you like, you can reduce the amount of sake and mirin to slightly less than 1/4 cup each.
  4. Use 5 tablespoons miso if you prefer a deeper miso flavor.
Ivana's easy way out:

Didn't have sake at home and lazy to buy, I doubled the mirin and it  tasted fine. I also only marinated for 4 hours and it taste ok, just make sure you have enough sauce to glaze it :) I also did not grill it (ARGGH... I know i know... I am lazyyyy) and I just pan fried fish instead of grilling it and then I move it to oven......

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Coton de tulear dreaming

Not only Paris love to use the pillow..he also likes to dream and whine...

Two Weeks of Chilling

Two weeks ago I got laid off from work.. I didn't really expect it so it came as a shock.. i do know that it was about time for me to leave since I have been looking for new opportunity for a while but nothing seems to solidify. In a way getting laid off was a good kick in the ass to start something and also with a couple months severance, I can get paid while working on my business idea...

The first week (scratch that, the first day), I was just sad...... not so much for losing a job.. more so that I am sad that I won't get to see my co-workers much, on that note I didn't really get to say goodbye to them since I took off pretty quickly. But afterwards, i got on the groove on becoming the next Real Housewives of Brentwood (woot woot woot.. ok fine West LA but i am practically 3 blocks away from Brentwood so I'm migrating myself)..

The thursday after I got laid off, I pretty much spent the rest of the day and the week... watching Bones. Seriously the show is addicting!! and I love seeing the chemistry between Bones and Booth.. I got netflix so I am pretty much glued to the TV.... I was also itching ITCHING to travel... but no one seems to want to travel with me. ok because they are working and I am not.. BOOOO......... I wanted to go to hawaii on my own but it will cost $1000... which i dont want to spend.. I want to go to cabo.. but no one want to go..

oh well so after 2 weeks (make it 1.5 weeks) Arthur gave me a kick to start working on my business idea.... it's in the works... but it will be a social entrepreneurship that will empower Indonesian women. I've always been a little bit of feminist (notice how I did not change my name..) and obviously being raised by a successful businessMOM definitely shape me to be this way. I am also forever grateful for the fact that I got a scholarship to study to Singapore when I was young, and without that experience I doubt I would have been here in Los Angeles, a world away from Indonesia. My mom always told me how many obstacles she had for starting her own business just because she was a woman and thus this is why I'd like to start a social business that empowers women.

I am also reading Blake Mycoskie's TOMS "Start Something that Matters" book which is inspiring and obviously in line with this social entrpreneurship thing I am working on .. so stay in tune!! I will be posting some survey link for ladies so ping me in the comment if you want to get involved.. Can't divulge much but it has something to do with this gorgeous Indonesian batik scarf... Seriously how beautiful is this piece.. one of my favorite

Anyway I'd like to still travel somewhere soo anyoneee??

I've been spending most of my time doing yoga..... farmers market.. you know typical brentwood housewives type.. I figured if I am going to be unemployed , I better be a hot unemployed type.. right? I know.. i have this duality of wanting to be a brentwood housewife and the other side that wants to start a business to empower women. You can have it all, no?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rainy Sunday in LA

Since both our parents don't live in LA... Arthur & I want to try to spend as much time with our brothers as possible.. More reason why I love our new place .. it's gigantic and lets us host get together with our brothers..

The menu this weekend is BBQ! Only problem is that we picked a day where it rains (like probably 0.1% chance ever in LA).. in any case we started bbq ing at 11.30 (ok really Arthur started bbq ing) and we have the bbq in our balcony with some slight rain coming into our bbq.. a little extra seasoning never hurts..

We are also lucky that on Saturday, we went out with Nicola + Bo, Giuseppe + Federica and Nicole gave us his family made, home made salami (!!) His family actually rears the pig, butcher it, prepares the pork meat and dry cure it for 1 year... it is amazing!! we finished it in two days.. yum.. sad that this is not something we can just pick up in the store.. maybe we should ask Nicola to smuggle in more salami from Italy the next time he returns home..

 Arthur has prepared two special types of burgers for us.. The first is a more fancy burger with garlic butter + baby spinach, the last is a traditional bacon burger with cheddar.. I only managed to eat the traditional burger since I stuffed myself with salami and baked brie, cheddar, pepper jack.. (Ohh boy there goes the diet)...

I had also gone to the Brentwood Farmers market earlier, it's in the corner of Gretna Green Way (1 block west of Bundy ) and Montana Ave. Despite the rain, I had an inkling to buy some flowers and manage to find some good priced and great flowers!! about 2dozen ranunculus for $6!! it's probably about the same price as when I went to LA Flower market.. I also noticed many vegetables are sold really at an affordable price at the farmers market.. not sure if its because of the rain, but i plan to return to the brentwood farmers market every Sunday morning now :)

you see those gorgeous OPEN ranunculus.. it was not open when i bought it.. i put the ranunculus on my dining table, next to some fruits (banana) and they open up really fast.. usually it takes much longer for the flowers to open up..

Tips : when you buy flowers, you want them to be slightly close so they last longer.. the vendor told me the close ranunculus last 10 days while the opened buds last 5 days..

Lo and behold.. i had though the sugar i put into the water cause the flowers to open up..... turns out it's the BANANA!! banana emits a certain type of gas that speed up the opening up of the flower buds.. so if you want your flower to last long don't put it next to fruits/banana... boooo it definitely helps to open up the very closed buds but now my red ranunculus probably will only last me 5 days.. will report back..

Another tips : put a 1/2 teaspoon of bleach into your water in the vase to kill bacteria and make the flowers last longer, change the water every day and obviously cut the stem (under running water they say but i have not been doing so) to make the flowers last...

And lastly this amazing flowers come from the last flower vendor (right by san vincente on gretna green way)...

Paris' Skin Allergy

Ever since we moved into our new place in west LA (which we loooveeee!!), Paris has not had a good experience in the new place.. Namely because as you can see in the sad sad sad pictures, he's been having allergies (to what i don't know) and has been chewing his fur (and skin raw)... :(

 We have gone to the vets twice.. to no avail.. because every time the vet just prescribed him on steroid but does not really know what cause the allergy.. A couple weeks ago Paris' allergy got worse and he basically chewed 1/4 of his back fur off.. I am losing hope on the vet and decided that I need to take him to a specialist.. That's when I stumble upon this animal dermatologist, who is basically next door to my current vet yet I never know they exist!
Animal Dermatology Clinic
13286 Fiji Way Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 822-3376

 I called them up and they informed that they are only open on weekdays.. and on Mondays they work until 9pm (i believe) According to yelp, their superstar vet is Dr Kirby , but I was desperate and Dr Kirby was booked.. so i set up an appointment with dr Wilson. The receptionist kindly told me that the first consultation is $160 for 1 hour long !! not including medicine.... I couldn't decide if i want to take paris in or not , but finally cave in.. the night after I made the appointment, Paris had made a bigger scar on his skin and the wound is bleeding :(

 I went to my appointment, dr Wilson asked a lot a lot of questions, took Paris back and did some examination on his skin and his infected ear.. She thinks that paris is allergic to flea and his food.. because he chewed around his tail area, he doesn't like to eat his food as much, he is a lil gassy .. we have changed his food recently.. she prescribed Paris on twice a month flea medication instead of once a month and prescribed him to eat Kangaroo/oat kibbles... yes KANGAROO! zzz....

paris seemed to be better.. our only problem is he is supposed to be on a strict kangaroo diet and nothing else.. but he always managed to find ways to get to our food (that breakfast pastry on our dining table - yup gone.... the night i forgot to put the trash can away.. yup trash can rampage...) ZZZ... he was on that trash can rampage yesterday and today he is all itchy.. but he is off the steroid medication today (the steroid medication is put on tapered schedule so he doesn't become tolerant to it) the poor boy is all itchy...

i wish to say that HE LEARNT FROM HIS LESSON AND WILL NEVER AGAIN RAMPAGE THE TRASH CAN.. but of course.. that is my inner hope and not his thinking... so that is the journey of Paris' skin allergy... and yes the vet's bill cost an arm and a leg, and Arthur declares that I can't eat sushi until June (!!!).. Lets just say thank god i have my own credit card.... :p

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sneak peek Indonesian wedding details

Unfortunately I have no pictures of the Indonesian wedding reception, but here are a couple from our florist.. which is more of the details and flower shots

Honeymoon Part II: Bali

We flew the 30 minutes flight from Lombok to Bali on a smaller airplane.. After relaxing in the quaint and less developed Lombok, Art was surprised at how developed Bali was. Our first stay in Bali is at Komaneka Tanggayuda in Ubud. They have 3 locations in Ubud itself and we picked the most secluded one, which also is farther than the central Ubud, but with that view and amazing outdoor pool and outdoor bath tub and tea time in the afternoon and your own comfortable PJs... I am in heaven!! This is the best villa i have ever stayed in, granted that I have not stayed in many villa and more hotels. But service is amazing, the manager greeted us when we arrive, write hand written welcome and thank you note... I really really really loveeee this villa. i will be back for sure...
We also did a bike tour which was harder than we thought.. UGH! Arthur actually got into a minor fall while riding the bike.. I chose to be the last one in the group (really like 5 minutes behind everyone) to avoid crowding of the bikes and really because I couldn't catch up to them UGH..
The following pictures are our visit to Uluwatu temple.. it's such a big temple right by the cliff... We watched the Kecak dance (which is where a group of men will make circle and sing and make up the 'stage' where other dancer will act on a Hindu story).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Honeymoon Part 1: Lombok

I've never been to Lombok before even though I travel to Bali a lot.. Lombok was more raw and undeveloped than Bali.. but what Lombok lacks in its isolation and undeveloped places, it wins exactly at that same note too. We stayed in a nice ocean front villa called Qunci villa. It's actually rainy season but we got lucky since the 3 days we were in Lombok, it didn't rain. Lombok's Kuta Beach (not to be confused to Bali's world famous Kuta Beach) is gorgeous!!! See picture for case in point. Our tour guide took us to a more secluded area where there aren't as many people. There were a total of six people including us (not counting the store owners) when we were there. For those white sands and no waves, it's like having a natural pool but on the ocean.. The waves stop breaking probably 50 meters out because of some rocks formation there. It's insanely gorgeous. I didn't find any beach as pretty as Kuta Beach Lombok in Bali (ok partly also because it was raining so much in Bali we couldn't go to the beaches). Next time if I go to Lombok, I'd prefer to stay around Lombok's Kuta Beach, but not in the touristy area. In Lombok, we also went to a village that still lives traditionally. The women made scarves/ clothing and they are ornately designed, they're called sasak clothing , i believe. See picture below of me trying to do it, it's hard work because one big cloth is made out of lines and lines of thread... It takes one month to make one finished piece. Pictures paint a thousand words.. so here goes..
A side note also on food in Lombok. Our first meal Lombok was some old dingy dirty restaurant, with no air conditioning and flies around. Lets just say the place will fail LA's restaurant inspection and we were nervous about whether we'll get stomachache eating there.. The food, however, was delicious! It's grilled chicken and grilled fish with a side of chili sauce. and I love how surprised Arthur was to experience Indonesian's tolerance to chili. Our tour guide said the chili served in this restaurant is not too spicy and it's sweet, when Arthur tried it... he said it has some heat, he hates to know what spicy would be like for our tour guide. Unfortunately, other than the food below, the rest of our meal in Lombok is less than spectacular, bordering taste like frozen food.. Potentially because our tour guide keep on bringing us to some fanci-er looking restaurant that serves western food.. UGH! I want my indo food darn it.. not some failed attempt to create western food.. I'm in Lombok afterall...