I have redefined retirement at age 23. I have a lifestyle where I do the things I like, with the time I have and still get paid for it. I designed my freedom these two decades, traveling to more than 40 countries. I run a successful business doing consulting works as a Corporate Writer, Corporate Emcee, Event Producer and a Workshop Facilitator. I am also a talk-show host on an Internet Radio station with two programs "A Course In Miracles for Work-Life" and "Freedom Speaks". Life is Healthy, Rich & FREE! You can design this lifestyle according to your willingness. I hope mine will inspire you to achieve that freedom too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sacred prayers in Lourdes, France

Recent week, we got a lot of news from the Vatican where the Pope went to Lourdes in France for the annual pilgrimage where Bernadette saw Mother Mary's apparition 150 years ago (1858). I was there once, and I was totally enthralled by the grotto. I don't why, I am drawn to sacred places like this without actually knowing about it. Other "Christian" pilgrimage places I have been led there were Fatima in Portugal and Mount Sinai in Egypt. I think I have got more, but these are the 3 most significant. And also, I remember I went to Virgin Mary's holy house in Turkey where she spent her last remaining years. Cool eh...?

You can see in the pictures that pilgrims drink the water from the grotto. They made the tap very easy to reach and drink from. Then, some will take the water in containers and big tub to take home. In that little town of Lourdes, they even made small Mother Mary figurine as plastic water container for you to take water home too.

It was a very serene and peaceful place. I prayed with all my heart in the chapel up above the catheral.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bing! **A Very Starry Cafe in Kuching

I have been to Kuching before, but most of the time was mainly for traveling and visiting national parks and beach resorts. These 3 years were different, I added business to my leisure pursuit, so meeting friends, closing deals and also continue to enjoy the leisurely swing-along lifestyle down-under.

One place to hang out, where you MUST go, really, MUST - is a to a cafe called Bing! Everytime I am in Kuching, I can't help it but drop by in Bing! for a cuppa and chat with friends. Sometimes for lunch, then we left, and I will come back with other friends for coffee and cakes till evening. Dehyana, Jaime and Jennifer were there with me once and for 3 days we were in Kuching, we dropped into Bing! everyday for 3 days.

My friends and I loved Bing! because of its ambience, big leather 3-seater sofas with ottomans, and huge borneo hardwood coffee table, designers stand lamps and table lamps, cane-weaved arm-chairs and most of it, they have the most funny, bubbly, outrageous, friendly, laughing and caring maitre'd (waiters and waitresses). One of them I always like to talk to is DeDe! He makes one of the warmest smirk, likeable, charming and fun, you will definitely like to know him. When you are there, say "HI" for me.

I was there again last week, and DeDe had the most shining hair-do, straight, no-nonsense, but shines like satin-silk. I told him when he put down his hair, he looks so gorgeous. I can't help but to take a picture to show you his great looks.

In the photos, the top one was Chiew Chin and Mariam (this photo taken about 2 years ago), where we had fruits smoothies (blackberry and strawberry) and their famous melt-in-your mouth tiramisu.  And also, my pic with DeDe 2 years ago, his hair was shorter then.

The bottom pic was Hian Ling, me and DeDe just last week, we had their new coffee concoction : the Rhumba - chocolate cookies blended with coffee and chocolate topped with choc bics

I can't resist, I got to order the Oreo cookies cheese cake, OMG, I was in choc-heaven!! 

Friday, September 12, 2008

Kuching Food you can't get in KL!

I took some pictures of some foods I had in Kuching last 4 days. These are some you may want to try the next time you are there :

3 layer teh c peng

Yes, it is called such and spell this way too. It is special because the bottom-most layer is palm sugar (maybe same as gula melaka), the next layer on top is milk and then tea is added later. When it is served, you will see 3 layers until you stir it. And it taste natural gula melaka and strong white tea. Very natural taste for those who like gula melaka. Some even serve 7 layers, you can try that and let me know.

Curry mee Kuching style

Very simple, like the curry we had in KL but it has some special spice we may not get here, will try to find out what they are the next time when I am there.


Mary bought me some ba-chang (glutinous rice wrapped in triangular shape with leaf). Notice the ba-chang leaf is fresh, not the sun-dried ones we used to wrap here. And the ingredients are ground nuts and minced meat, and lots of condiments.

Sarawak has very unique plants/vegetables where even the names baffles me. They have bidin, looks like our paku-pakis but softer in texture, cooked with belacan too.

And their Sarawak laksa is every Kuchingites favorite recommendation. I totally immersed in its laksa, love it. Will get some pics to show next time.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Lemongrass Chicken

This is a very easy dish to make for dinner.  Look like a lot of work, but it is not.  My cooking is about feelings, so if you really ask me how much to put into a dish, I really don't have a perfect measurement.  Pastry and cakes, we need to be accurate with the measurement, but when it comes to Asian cooking especially for dinner with rice or noodles, I play it up with my feelings.

It is like how many stalks of lemongrass I use for this dish?  Depends on how sweet the smell I would like for this dish.  So, my advice is, be in a great blissful mood when you cook, and you dish will turn up according to your mood.  Really, believe me!  It works for me anyway....that is why cooking is so easy and simple for me and I truly like it.  

If I am ever going to write a cookbook, I may as well call it Agak-Agak, because all my Asian Delights, apart from sweets and desserts, are all according to my feelings and yes, I always agak-agak (estimate) the amount of ingredients I need.

Lemongrass Chicken

Serves 2 or 4 with other dishes
Preparation time : 20 mins
Cooking time : 20 mins (longer if needed for tenderness)

Ingredients :

1/4 Chicken - cut to bite-size pieces
Oil for cooking
Lemongrass - 8 stalks or more (roughly chopped)
Shallots - about 10 or more
Ginger - how big? up to you!!
Belacan - powder, about 2 tsp
Turmeric powder, about 2 tsp (next time I should use fresh Turmeric)
Chili paste - up to your palate
Star anise and clove - up to you!!
Water - how much? depends how thick the gravy you want

Blend lemongrass, shallots, ginger, belacan, chili paste and turmeric powder until it becomes a paste.  Add a little water if it is too dry, especially if you use chili powder.

Add star anise and cloves to the hot oil for flavor. Add in the blended paste. Fry until fragrant. Add in the chicken. Fry until the paste has covered all chicken pieces. Add water to your preference. Leave to boil. Then, turn to medium heat and continue boiling until chicken is soft. Season to taste.

Note : if no shallots at the time of cooking, you can use onions. Next time I cook this dish again, I may want to try with other spices, like leaves, such as daun ketumbar and other daun-daun and see how it taste.