>Thai Beef Salad and Plum & Peach Crumble

>Ah.. Starbucks, internationally known coffee label, it’s everywhere and it’s loved by all. We had a lovely Saturday at Dubai Mall, after a few hours of pampering, we sat down to relax and rest at one of our regulars, I had a sugar free vanilla latte and my husband had a white chocolate mocha. We spent a few moments chatting on the updates of Nivea Haus and enjoyed the atmosphere, it was just lovely and oh so relaxing. We both felt refreshed and anew, it was such a nice feeling. Who knew that a few moments of pampering could feel so good? We will do this again for sure!

Starbucks is located at the front middle area of Dubai Mall, amongst the Health and Beauty area, giving us a quiet, intimate feeling where it isn’t too busy or noisy with shoppers. The layout of the cafe is open and cosy and is one of our favourite spots, away from the hussle and bussle of what is Dubai Mall. The mall have already started putting up Christmas decorations (elegant and delicate) and I am waiting for the Christmas tree to be up in the centre of the mall, being the tallest indoor Christmas tree in the Middle East.

We spent the rest of the day in the mall, purchasing several items, including coveted items for both parties, one made of leather and the other made of metal with signature brown, black, red and white tartan from a luxurious English label. We both came home utterly satisfied and happy.

On Friday, we received our long awaited red card which allows us to purchase alcohol freely in this country. The alcohol tax above the retail price is 30% which is alright as we will only be purchasing wines and beers, spirits are cheaper Duty Free. We will be stocking up on our way back from NZ in 2days time! YAY! So this is our collection from our weekend purchase, a mixture of red and white wines, a Rose and a Gewurztraminer. We opened the Gewurztraminer and it is lovely, to have it with our Thai Beef Salad we enjoyed last night for dinner. Read on to learn of our gastronomical dinner adventures!

On Friday, my husband had a friendly game of golf to attend and I had time to myself with several cups of Starbucks coffee. He came home with a belly full of food and so wasn’t hungry for a full dinner. So I decided to make a plum and peach crumble for a dessert dinner, topped with whole almonds which roasted to perfection.

For the Plum & Peach Crumble:
1 large peach, cubed
6 medium plums, cubed
1 cup oats
1/2 cup wheatgerm
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup whole almonds

All we did was cut up the fruits and put them in a baking bowl, whilst the dry ingredients were being measured and put together, mixing them well and then sprinkled evenly over the fruits. Then the almonds were just spread on top and baked in the oven, over 190degC heat for about 30 min till done. My husband had it with toffee custard, which took the sourness of the fruits away but I enjoyed the naturalness of the fruits, sourness and all. It was a nice difference to the normal dinners that we usually have. I finished off my dessert dinner with a glass of Gewurztraminer and my husband finished his with 2 cold cans of Carling beer. We had a carefree night, chatting about our upcoming trip which we are both so excited about!

Speaking of different dinners, last night we enjoyed a different dish again, Thai Beef Salad. I was aching for some thai food, basically craving for sweet, sour and hot which is what thai food is all about. This dish has:

400g of tenderloin beef, cooked and sliced
2 birdeye chillis
2 stalks of celery, sliced
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, sliced
2 handfuls of peanuts, crushed
5 khaffir lime leaves, chopped and sliced
handful of coriander, chopped
handful of mint, chopped

And of course the secret dressing:
2 tsp of sesame oil, fish oil, soy sauce, lime juice (each)
2 tsp raw sugar
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, crushed

Just mix the dressing together first, let it marinate and combine together. The dressing is made to taste so you can add more later on. Pan fry the beef fillets till well done and leave aside to cool down. Then chop up all the fresh vegetables, slice up the fillets to strips, stir in the dressing and toss till well mixed. Taste it, if the dressing is too faint, then mix up more dressing and stir and toss together evenly. Simply gorgeous, tingling all the tastes of the tastebuds. What a lovely end to the day, of course with a side of cold beer and more Gewurztraminer.

It drizzled today, and it’s gloomy and cloudy outside. Welcome autumn/winter! Finally, some rain!