Monday, October 29, 2007

Another tag

This is the one I've been totally dreading to get. A super super long one. 'Thanks' Daphne. ;)

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?

Hmmm... did I laugh last night?

2. What were you doing at 0800?

Checking my emails.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?

Watching my daily dose of Chinese drama serial.

4. What happened to you in 2006?

Nothing super interesting.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?

Just finish reading those 2 books and go to sleep. No playing!

6. How many beverages did you have today?

I only drink water.

7. What color is your hairbrush?

Black and silver.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?

The taxi fare home.

9. Where were you last night?

At a kid's birthday party.

10. What color is your front door?


11. Where do you keep your change?

In a coin purse

12. What’s the weather like today?

Cool and breezy - weird for Singapore

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?

So many... but my favourite is Cookies and Cream or Chocolate Overload from Gelare

14. What excites you?

When my bakes or stuff I cook turn out great.

Preparing for my girl's birthday parties, or any party for that matter. I just love planning and seeing the results.


15. Do you want to cut your hair?

I just did. ;)

16. Are you over the age of 25?

Erm... ya

17. Do you talk a lot?

Sometimes, but like Daphne, with the right people, can talk a lot.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?

Er... no

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?


20. Do you make up your own words?

Not very often

21. Are you a jealous person?

It all depends, but not usually.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
Alison :)

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.

Karen! (My bestest friend!)

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?

My papa

25. What does the last text message you received say?

"Ya maybe wed I go too. Eh got yr noodle cum muffin boxes in red and green, for christmas! Small ones 2.37 for pack of 5." (from my cousin Jill)

26. Do you chew on your straw?

Hehe, occasionally

27. Do you have curly hair?


28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?


29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?

Hmm... in my life? Can't remember.

30. What was the last thing you ate?

Sausage bun

31. Will you get married in the future?

Nope, hope not.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?

Haven't seen a movie in the past 2 weeks.

33. Is there anyone you like right now?


34. When was the last time you did the dishes?

About 4hrs ago

35. Are you currently depressed?


36. Did you cry today?

No Korean dramas to watch, so no.

37. Why did you answer and post this?

Hmmm... I didn't want to be a spoilsport. Hehehe (sinister laugh), and so that I can 'torture' some others. Hehehe.

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.

1. The Singapore Housewife

2. HK Choo - You think I'd leave you out of this?! Think again! (you fu tong xiang, you nan tong dang - I must figure out how to do Chinese characters in here)

3. Miz Young - I love you too much to want to torture you, but I know yours will be fun. ;)

4. East Meets West

5. Cooking Momster

Brrr.... it's cold

It's a very windy, chilly morning. I mean, it's unusual for Singapore to experience such a low temperature morning (25 deg C). I had to hug princess real tight while waiting for the bus, more to keep myself warm (haha) as she had a cardigan on.

Just hope it's not going to be a super wet day today. The sky was extremely dark at 7, but it seems to have cleared off a bit.

Right, on to the birthday party yesterday. It was great fun at XR's party, and there wasn't even a need for games as the kids just found their own fun around the house with toys that were lying around and also with the trampoline and the in-house swing. Although, it was rather nerve-wrecking to see the kids swinging so high and the possibility of them swinging themselves out of the balcony window. 8 levels is a long way to go down. I shudder at the thought.

B & hubs, CC, have a wonderful house. Really lovely, and I'm sure all the adults agreed on that. Big and spacious even though in an apartment building, so although there were many of us, it didn't seem like it. There was a lovely patio and an enormous balcony and the weather was excellent, with a nice wind blowing all the way through. A very open concept apartment. It was great also as the kids got to play outside of class and were able to have fun not within the constraints of the school environment. And also a Happy Birthday to B who shares the same birthdate as her son. Well, many of us didn't know, and I believe most still don't. ;) But it was a success, B, so it was well-worth your effort. Thanks for the lovely goodies.

MIL sent over these - the first is my favourite toy catalogue from Dublin, hehe, I just love browsing through the wide selection of toys. They only have them twice a year - Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. And she remembered that I like to dabble in a little cross-stitching. Nothing fanciful, not like what the Dutchess does, just small little projects for cards etc. She came across this magazine at the news agent's and sent it over to me. Thanks mum.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Schmooze Award

Hmmm.... why is it called a Schmooze Award? I don't know what schmooze means really, but the purpose of the award sounds good. Thanks little corner of mine for bestowing upon me this honour.

" The POWER OF SCHMOOZE AWARD is the award for bloggers who effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don't limit their visits only to the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship." and so I would like to pass this award to:

1. East Meets West
2. My Culinary Journal
3. HK Choo's Jottings of Life
4. Wok and Spoon
5. Oh for the love of food


Have a couple of hours free before we have to leave for a birthday party. I have been rather 'silent' the last few days. Just been tired and not wanting to do much. But we were invited to a Halloween party last evening at a friend's, and I was busy baking on Friday, both for the party and also baking a little cake for my grandma's birthday. We couldn't make it to her birthday dinner as I had already agreed to the Halloween party weeks ago. So, sorry Ah Ma. Hope you had a good dinner.

So yesterday saw me decorating the cakes and preparing a dish of stir fried pasta as it was a potluck party and everyone was to bring a dish.

This is for Ah Ma - a simply decorated chocolate cake.

These were the cuppies that I decorated with help from my little princess, as well as the 'big' helpers - the ready icings, gummies, and sweeties. I got ideas from a kids' cake decorating book which had all these lovely designs. Also made little bags for 'trick or treat' filled with eyeballs, and gummy worms, plus some rice crispies marshmallow melts which I had made earlier.

~ Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat some worms. Big, fat juicy ones, long thin slimy ones, itsy bitsy, teeny weeny worms. First you bite their heads off, then you suck their guts out, see how they wriggle and they squirm... ~

Thank you Sam & your extended family for inviting us to join your gathering. Princess had loads of fun, especially the dancing part, but she still says the dance part was 'boring' as she preferred the games. Thanks Uncle A for being her wonderful partner. You rock, by the way. ;)

Before we left home, hubby was asking, erm, what is this party for again? I said 'halloween', and he said, 'oh, any excuse to have a party'. Haha, I agree. We don't celebrate Halloween but Eurasians being Eurasians love a good time and a good party, so even though we were all Christians there, it was all for the fun of it, getting to dress up and have a good time. The food was good too, especially the curry chicken, oh so shiok, with the baguettes.

Thanks for a wonderful time, and to the organizers who set everything up so well, I'd like to say 'great job!'. Thanks also to a talented Sam who so kindly sewed and donated the halloween bags for all the kids for their treats.

I have to say you (Sam) chose the perfect location for the party, and it sure was spooky with the resident bats flying around, and not to mention the cats which I hope G was not joking, but she said 8 live there??? The bats don't spook me! It's the cats.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Chilli Tapioca Crisps

My mouth just waters at the sight of this. It's one of my favourite snacks. And would you believe, it's princess' too? Can't imagine, right? But she really loves it and it's one of the 2 chilli things that she'll take. She'll take sips of water in-between bites of these but she'll still ask for more. The other chilli thing she loves is Indomie's Mee Goreng. That's her favourite instant noodles. I guess that started because she saw mummy eating it and she was tempted so always asked to try the noodles and even though was spicy she still put up with it cos she loved it. Hahaha. Why is it that all kids love instant noodles?

So when she saw me eat the chilli tapioca the first time, needless to say, she wanted to share them too. And from there, I started her on mild chilli. I told her that if she can take the tapioca, then she can try other chilli stuff. So one day, we attended a friend, Hani's, wedding. And Hani, being a Muslim, served spicy food. It so happened that Nasi Briyani was served that evening, and I had not fed her before going. It just totally did not occur to me to do so, and that there might not be suitable foodstuff for her. Oh, so what to do? She had to eat it. And even though was spicy and she was downing cups of water interspersed with grapes, that were on a little plate on the dining table, she still finished all of the rice and chicken. Bravo to her! But she will never ever forget that dinner. Till today, she reminds us every time we talk about spicy food.

I'm so proud of her and I would continue to train her up with chilli and spice. Hehe. I mean, how can you live in Singapore and not enjoy chilli? ;)

By the way, thanks to my lovely aunt who so kindly got us 3 packets of these so we can indulge in them. She knows we love them. ;)

Argh!! I've been tagged!

I've always kept my fingers crossed when a tag comes along, that it not be my turn. Alas, the day has come. I can't escape now. Beau Lotus of East Meets West has so 'kindly' tagged me with the Meme.

5 Things :

A. Found in my Room
  1. Bookshelf full of books
  2. Dirty clothes
  3. PSP
  4. Wedding candle
  5. Waterford crystal tabletop clock

B. I have always wanted to

  1. Travel on a longhaul flight on Singapore Airlines in 1st class
  2. Visit Japan
  3. Live abroad (temporarily)
  4. Eat lots and not grow fat
  5. Be cured of my arthritis
C. Found in my Bag
  1. Umbrellas (1 for princess, 1 for me)
  2. Camera
  3. Mobile
  4. Tamagotchi
  5. Tissues
D. Found in my Wallet
  1. Credit card
  2. Loyalty card for Ichiban Sushi
  3. Driver's licence
  4. ATM cards
  5. Receipts

E. I am currently into

  1. Blogging
  2. Planning my bakes for grandma's birthday, Halloween at friend's and for school, and end of term at Cathechism, all happening this weekend except the school one (yikes!)
  3. Typing out my stack of handwritten recipes and compiling them on the pc
  4. Preparation for little one's birthday in January (I know I'm kiasu but I love to plan way ahead)
  5. Thinking of what to do for Christmas this year

5 Candidates to Tag :

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Busy busy

Was a busy day today. Picked little one from school before classes ended to rush down to the paed before the clinic closed for lunch. Made a big 'donation' to the paed but what to do, hopefully this will sort out the problem of her cough. The GP had suggested that if she still wasn't well after this round of medication, that she should go for an x-ray. Huh? Is it really so serious? We decided to go to the paed instead. The minute we saw him he diagnosed it straightaway as an allergy. He asked if she coughs after a run, and yes she does. Also she coughs straight after eating ice-cream. I guess that's what you pay for. It's the experience that they have. Even if it's way more than the cost of seeing a GP, it at least answers my questions. I don't think it warrants an x-ray. I mean she's had it before and we went for TCM after western medication didn't help. Well, it eventually tapered off, but I really pitied her that time. Had to force her to down the yucky chinese medicine (I doubt I can drink that myself), but after threats with cane, and the buckets of tears every time, we finally found a solution, that was to add honey to it and she drank it much better (I was really so proud of her), but always accompanied by some preserved plums. :) She loves them. That is so Chinese. I think her Chinese genes are much stronger than Irish. And I guess living here in Asia contributes to that as well. She loves noodles and tofu more than potatoes or roasts.

So for the next 7 days we have to do this inhaler thing. It was a lot to absorb at the paed's. Goodness, must remember all the steps etc. So we have to get up a little earlier in the mornings to get it out of the way before leaving for school. Sigh. Then after 7 days have to report back to paed and continue for another 3 weeks. Mega sigh. But he says it works better than liquid allergy medicine. And also thank God it's not the nebulizer or it would have been more costly to rent the equipment etc.

Note to self - No pineapple/orange juices, berries (basically acidic food), no nuts. No green kiwi, golden kiwi is fine. Can take apples, papaya.

On a happier note, the tooth fairy visited for the 2nd time this month. The tooth has been bugging her for ages since the 1st one came out (they were both shaky together) and the poor child couldn't eat the last 2 days and the 1st thing she said when it dropped while she was eating papaya was, 'Yay! Now I can eat!'. Hahaha. The greedy child. She was really happy. This time the 'tooth master' decided that the tooth fairy should give the little princess $10 instead. Woohoo!! We woke up all happy this morning when we found out what the tooth fairy brought us.

This funny thing happened before she went to bed this evening. She mentioned that she could smell brownies, hmmm, they smell so yummy. I said I didn't smell anything. But she did. Oh well, weird, considering I was planning to make some brownie muffins after she went off to sleep. Haha. Hmmm... 6th sense??

This is for you, Peony...

Chocolate Brownie Muffins

Ingredients -

2 cups (300g) sr flour
1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
60g butter, melted
1/2 cup (95g) chocolate bits
1/2 cup (75g) chopped pistachios (optional - I omitted, or you can substitute with other types)
1/2 cup (125ml) Nutella
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
1/2 cup (125ml) sour cream

Method -

1. Grease 12 hole muffin pan.

2. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl, stir in remaining ingredients. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.

3. Bake in moderately hot oven about 20mins (I used fan-forced 160 deg C). Makes 12.

Note - The muffins were really light and soft with a lovely crusting on the top when eaten freshly baked. However, this morning, it's gone heavier. Maybe a quick zap in the microwave for a few seconds will make it warm and soft again? I have not tried.

Also, special thanks to inspiredmumof2 for kindly offering me the loan of her baking book where I got this recipe from. Can't remember the title and publisher.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Egg moulds and Mee Rebus

Mum got me these egg moulds a few days back. Little girl is not into hard boiled eggs but I should be able to find some use for them. I saw them in Daiso too, but mum didn't get them from there. She got them at OG.

Other than the morning, the rest of today was good. Princess got a lift to class with a classmate, XR, whose mum came to borrow some stuff from me. Thanks B, for giving her a lift.

Then after class, hubby picked her up and together they went for dinner. This is what they brought back for mine - mee rebus. There is a stall in the basement food court of Parkway Parade and they specialise in Mee Siam and Mee Rebus. They serve them in such huge portions, a normal person won't be able to finish all of it and it can be shared among 3 small eaters at least. I have not had it in ages and just felt like having some today. But of course, I couldn't eat the entire portion... Notice it's missing all the green garnish and green chilli? Well, I don't like those. ;)

Fried Rice Paradise

I spent the better part of this morning waiting at the clinic to see the doctor. 2 whole hours! I didn't want to walk to the clinic, get a number then come home and walk over again, so we got a number and went to the market, playground, 7-11 and still had to stand around waiting for another 40mins. Goodness! I don't like sitting in the clinic as you can pick up all sorts of germs and you might go in with a cough but come out with worse things. If it's not for the fact that I am lazy to send my girl to school tomorrow morning, I wouldn't have bothered to wait. It's much easier to go down earlier tomorrow to get a number and be the first in the queue, but even so, the doctor doesn't come in till after 9am and the clinic opens at 8.30! She completed one round of anti-biotics but the cough is still persistent. She's got a very dry and itchy throat and still coughing every few seconds!

So while awaiting our turn, we went over to the market and took a slow walk, bought some char siew (bbq pork), fishcake, imitation crab bits and I had cooked the rice before I left the house so that I could come home and fry some rice for lunch.

Fried rice is such an easy yet versatile dish to prepare. Anybody can do it. It helped that I had gotten the stallholder to cut up the char siew into small bite-sized pieces for the purpose of frying rice. It's nice that they accommodate that request. Why is fried rice easy? Because there are no recipes to follow. You put in whatever ingredients you like. It could be spam, peas, shrimps, ham. Anything you fancy really, but dice them into bite-sized bits.

You season it with soy sauce or salt, white pepper and some sesame oil. Voila! Meal complete!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Orange Chocolate Muffins

Have been feeling out of sorts the past 2 days and got up this morning not wanting to go down to get breakfast so decided to make some muffins. I have a list of 5 items I want to make this weekend. Have made two of them, one of which was lemon curd. It's for some lemon cupcakes which I plan to do tomorrow or on Monday when I feel better. This 'orange chocolate muffins' recipe has been on my to-do list for ages. I made sure I had to do them. And I did want some muffins for brekkie this morning. Boy, was I rewarded! The muffins were lovely.

Orange Chocolate Muffins (slightly modified recipe from

Ingredients -

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup orange juice
6 dsp milk
2 tbsp grated orange peel
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 squares (1oz) bittersweet chocolate

Method -

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream, orange juice, milk and peel. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and grated chocolate; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fill paper-lined muffin tray or baking cups 3/4 full.

2. Bake at 400 deg F (200 deg C) for 15-20 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 mins before removing from pans to wire racks.

This I made for princess' lunch yesterday. Just to satisfy the curiosity of what a 'haw cake' is. It isn't really a cake. For those who know, it is san cha, or haw flakes. It's those little round reddish snack which most of us liked when growing up. Well, I still like them now. ;P

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chinese Radish Cake or Chai Tow Kueh

A real quickie post before I have to shower and rush over to school to pick up little one. Made this today, just in fact. Was sifting through all my pieces of papers containing jotted down recipes as I intend to type them out and file them nicely, and came across this recipe.

I cannot even remember whose recipe this is. Either my grandma's or her helper's. It was written so long ago. Anyway, here it is. I will make some amendments the next time I do it as it was quite hard, I don't mean hard hard but I would like it a little softer. I also saw it on another blog. Lily's recipe calls for 4 cups water whereas mine is only 3.

Here's what a Chinese radish looks like. Click on the link to read more.

Chinese Radish Cake
Ingredients -

1 radish (grated) - squeeze out excess juice
2 bowls of rice flour (chinese rice bowls)
3 bowls of water (mix this well with rice flour) - I will use 3half to 4 bowls next time
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt (you'll probably have to add more if adding water) - taste it and see

Optional ingredients (you can use either one or you can use all of the following) -

chinese mushroom (cut into strips)
lean meat (cut into strips)
chinese sausage (sliced)
dried shrimps (soaked in water to soften)

Garnish -

spring onions
cut chilli

Method -

1. Fry shallots till golden and remove. Next, fry chinese sausage and remove. Fry the dried shrimps (which have been removed from water and pat dry). Set all these ingredients aside.

2. Fry radish, add salt and pepper, then add flour. Add the above ingredients together and fry till well mixed.

3. Pour out into a round cake tin and steam for 1/2 an hr.

4. Remove from steamer and garnish.

Peace at last

You must be wondering why I have been rather quiet since the steamboat post, but I had no mood at all to post anything. Firstly, I was busy working on princess' blog which has more posts now (or people will be bugging me about why it's not updated!). I was facing lots of problems trying to do the images, not forgetting touch ups etc. And secondly, little one has been home the last two days and I just couldn't take all the noise anymore yesterday and just had to get out of the house. It was really doing my head in. I was so stressed and easily agitated, everyone got it from me, from the officer (read story below), to my daughter. They all got it good and proper. Today is a busy day too as have a lunch appointment with friends, one of whom is leaving us to go to America to begin her new life there with her new husband. Sob sob. And then there were two... Two of us left from the original group of 4. Well, at least we both will still be here with no plans to move anywhere. :)

I can hear a pin drop. Seriously. I finally have peace at home today. The little one has gone back to school so no coughing sounds every 2 secs (literally), and even the dog is behaving today. The dog? Which dog? No, I don't have a dog. But the neighbour's dog has been annoying the hell out of me, barking incessantly every few minutes for the past month and a half or maybe even two, right from when the owners leave the house in the morning at 7.30am and up to when they get back home in the evening. I have made numerous calls to the office in charge of our area but nothing has been done. It is still barking! Although, it has improved just a little. It barks now later, around 8am or so. Today it was 9am. Gosh, the last few days my stress level was mega high with the kid being at home and demanding attention every few minutes, on top of the coughing, I just let it all out to the officer-in-charge when I finally got a call back from him yesterday about the noisy dog! He claims that each and every time he comes he doesn't hear it!!! After I had lashed out on him and calmed down enough, we discussed how we were going to solve this problem. He said to call him once I hear it and thank God, praise God, when I called him this morning, he actually heard it through my phone, or he'd think I'm some nutcase finding fault with nothing.

There is some renovation works being done in some unit nearby but even that is not dampening my spirit. Peace at last.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Steamboat for dinner

A mega full day it was for me today. Did quite a lot of things in the morning then sent little one to school. Went to do some grocery shopping and was having a 'headache' what to cook for dinner. I go through that every single day. Decided to buy some ingredients for steamboat but as couldn't carry too many things, only ended up with mostly fishcakes, fishballs etc. I love this set below. It comes with a packet of stock but I don't use that. I prefer to boil my own, although today, I did it with a little help. Haha. Swanson's ready chicken broth. But I also boiled some ikan bilis and soya beans together with it. And also I like to cook some chicken rice to go along with the food. For the instant chicken rice, I used Chng Kee's. It's so easy, just a spoonful of it in the rice to cook. I found this brand of suki sauce which is quite nice, not particularly spicy but rather sourish, to use as a dip. Must be loads of vinegar in it.

My little helpers today...

Here it is, all ready and waiting... I made some wantons too as had some minced pork in the freezer. Unfortunately was just plain meat. Still, they tasted nice. I usually add prawns, water chestnuts, some spring onions but I didn't have them.

I picked a really appropriate day to have this. It rained the entire afternoon and rainy days are the best days for steamboat. So shiok!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Selamat Hari Raya

I would like to wish my Muslim friends (Hani, Lin, Zarina, etc) a Selamat Hari Raya. A month of fasting, now a month of feasting. Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gifts from Japan

Today seems like my birthday. Haha! My bakes turned out well, got an award, as well as some gifts from Minako-san. Arigato Gozaimasu.

She got a Cinnamoroll bento box which is kawaii (cute)! And a Hello Kitty toothbrush set. Princess can't wait to use it.

I did ask her to pick up a couple of things for me when she went back Japan to attend her brother's wedding, primarily the shaped nori. Ever since I saw them on Peony's blog, I thought they were super cute. I know my girl will go nuts. Coincidentally Peony too had just posted on her lovely new bento box today and some new 'toys' of hers from Japan.

So sweet of her to get Hello Kitty shaped macaroni. I bought them before in Hong Kong. And hooray for the nori as well as the rice mould.

I have a weakness for all things Sanrio. I don't think I will ever outgrow them. I remember in the old days when my school was in Victoria St diagonally across from MPH Stamford, I would save my money and make trips with my little friends to the big bookstore and pick out little things such as stickers, hankerchiefs, etc from the Sanrio section, and thus began my lifelong affair with these loveable characters. I love Hello Kitty but I also love My Melody, Little Twin Stars, and there used to be a Patty & Smith or something. I know Patty had these little pig tails, so cute. Can't remember the last one. Lots and lots of other characters who have not been resurrected. I have to search for my collection of stuff, not sure where to begin in my too full house.

Just a lovely end to a wonderfully blessed day. Good night everyone.

Rockin' Girl Blogger Award

Can you imagine me, the boring housewife with a 'Rockin' Girl Blogger' award? Hahahaha. I can't believe it. I will graciously accept it and thanks very much to Bozo who so kindly gave it to me. I'd like in turn to pass it on to the following, as Bozo always says, 'things are meant to be shared', and especially good things.

My Culinary Journal (Peony) - I think she is a smashing rockin' granny.

Hut of Cranberry - For all her wonderful bakes.

The Dutchess - I think she is way cool, I just love reading her stuff. I'm not sure if she's ok with the award as she's pretty low profile.

Paw Paw - Her photography skill is awesome.

More than words (Daphne)
- Love her posts as a student living it up in Perth.

The artist aka the princess - And of course I have to pass this award to my darling girl. What is mine is yours.

Lots of bakes

My day started at 6.30am as usual. Got little one ready for school and daddy took her down to wait for the school bus. As we're meeting some friends for tea today, I decided to do some baking. My plan was to make cream puffs, but as I saw the sunlight streaming in through the kitchen window, I got excited as it meant it was a perfect day for proving bread. So I quickly looked for bread recipe and found it. I don't know the source of this bread recipe but when I find out and get approval to post it, I shall add it here. It's my 3rd time making bread. 1st time it was ok but very yeasty in taste. 2nd time, the dough did not rise and I had to throw out the whole lot. :( Today, I felt confident enough that it was going to succeed. And it did! I did not have anything I could make nice buns with, such as sausages and ham but I did have chocolate chips and cinnamon so that's what I ended up with. I took advantage of the sun as well as the heat emanating from the oven and my bread dough actually rose, unlike the last time. I had started my bake day with a tray of chocolate chip biscuits which I had gotten from Daphne's blog. I made them the day before so the dough was sitting in the fridge and I wanted to use them all up. I added some cocoa and raisins to the original recipe so that's why mine are brown and hers are golden. They aren't as chewy as those I like but they are nice, more like a soft cookie. So if you like those you got to try this recipe. I intend to give them away as a birthday gift tomorrow so that's one present sorted. I thought of initially baking a little cake, also an excuse for me to practise on my buttercream, but I had a booboo in the kitchen while cooking lunch so now I have a very painful blister on my right index finger. Sigh.

When the tray of cookies was out of the oven, I left the oven door open and let the yeast benefit from the heat and slowly when it wasn't burning hot, I let the bowl of bread dough sit on the oven door. It rose beautifully.

In the midst of all the baking I had forgotten about lunch. Haha. So after princess was home, I quickly set about preparing a simple lunch. Made a fried udon for her and a treat of 2 little cream puffs. Of course when I went back into the kitchen to prepare my lunch, the puffs promptly made their way into her mouth even though I had reminded her that she was to eat her udon first. What's a mother to do??

I had bought some fresh yong tau fu yesterday from the market and was supposed to make a curry yong tau fu for dinner but we had dinner out so I couldn't let them go to waste. Used a little of ready rempah (blended spices) which I had gotten from the market, it's really so convenient and had a yummy lunch ready in a jiffy.

So it was at this time that I was boiling the udon, I decided to remove the cinnamon rolls from the tray as the buns were cool by then, and not realizing that the flame had heated the tray, I left my little finger against the side of the tray and I could feel a burn right away. Ouch!! I now have a blister and dabbing my blister on the icepack as I type this post. It relieves the pain for a few seconds then I have to dab again.

Here are the cream puffs all ready and filled. Have to rush off now, but just a little note. Thanks very much to Bozo for sharing the recipe and I will try it again but it needed quite a bit of wrist work so I doubt I'd be doing them often, maybe for a special occasion, but the custard was gorgeous, I'd have to add. I didn't like the first lot of puffs as much, that is the darker brown one with icing sugar on them. They turned out very crispy. The second lot of puffs I made, I put on the wrong temperature as I was baking bread in-between the 2 trays and it turned out really well, like the texture as what you get in Chin Mei Chin kind, all soft and lovely. Alright got to ciao, off to tea.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Instant toxics

I unashamedly borrowed this post from fellow blogger Bozo. I think it's something worth sharing since lots of us eat lots of instant noodles. It's good to be aware.

"I was shocked to read the following about cooking instant noodles in an email sent by a friend. Imagine how much toxics we have consumed even though we have followed the instructions on the packaging of the instant noodles?

Normally, we cook the instant noodles by putting the noodles into a pot with water, throw in the powder and let it cook for 3 mins. This is the WRONG method of cooking the instant noodles. By doing this, when we actually boil the ingredients in the powder, normally with MSG, it will change the molecular structures of the MSG causing it to be toxic.

The other thing that you may or may not realize is that, the noodles are coated with wax and it will take around 4 to 5 days for the body to excrete the wax after you have taken the noodles.

So the CORRECT method, to cook the noodles are as follows:-

1. Boil the noodles in a pot with water.
2. Once the noodles are cooked, take out the noodles, and throw away the water which contains
3. Boil another pot of water till boiling and put the noodles into the hot boiling water and then
turn off the flame.
4. Only at this stage when the flame is off, and while the water is very hot, put the ingredients with
the powder into the water, to make the noodle soup.
5. However, if you need dry noodles, take out the noodles and add the ingredients with the
powder and toss it to get dry noodles.

Hope this piece of information is of importance to your health in relation to eating instant noodles and please apply this cooking method with immediate effect."

Our dinner

Another coincidence. I bet the canteen lady is out to annoy me, cooking same stuff as I do! Sometimes I wonder why I bother?! Having cooked macaroni soup, I was told by little one that they also had mac soup for snack! Arghh!!! Plus on top of that I had given her 2 slices of strawberry cream cheese bread to take to school, so I didn't want to overload her with food. Thankfully I hadn't added the macaroni to the broth yet or it'd all have been wasted. So I kept it for dinner. She loves tofu so I added tofu, spinach, meatballs and fishcakes (courtesy of her godma) and also used abc pasta which she loves as well. I love the little piggies! Aren't they super cute??

Sometimes it's nice to read other blogs and see what others cook daily. I do get sick of thinking up what to cook for dinner. Another inspiration from littlecornerofmine - stir fried veg with fried tofu and scallops. I also made spinach meatball soup and kungpo chicken with sauce I made up. This dish was because of packet of dried chilli which I picked up from Daiso and so wanting to use it. :)

Kungpo Chicken (recipe for 2) - the sauce is something I made up. I don't know what the actual ingredients are to make this dish.

Ingredients -

1 chicken breast (cut into cubes) - seasoned in a little light soy sauce,
white pepper and bit of cornflour
7-8 pcs dried chilli (soaked in water)
4-5 slices ginger
1 clove of garlic (sliced thin)
cashew nuts (approx 1/3 cup)

Sauce - (mix in a bowl)

1 tsp dark soya sauce
1 tsp sugar
Few drops of sesame oil
1 tsp water

Method -

1. Drain chilli and pat dry. Heat wok and add oil. Then fry chilli. Remove and fry ginger then garlic. When fragrant, add chicken cubes.

2. When chicken is browned, add sauce and stir fry till cooked. Add cashews and mix well. Then turn off the flame. Dish out and serve with white rice.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Strawberry Butter Cake

Been wanting to try this recipe but since was waiting for the arrival of the Kenwood, decided to keep it for today. I've never baked a strawberry cake before but having bought like 2 punnets of strawberries over the weekend, I wanted to do something nice with it and it so happened that littlecornerofmine had just baked a strawberry cake.

The batter in the mixing process smelled heavenly and my house is all sweet-smelling now from the fragrance of strawberries. The cake turned out nice, a little oily but otherwise was lovely. Had a wonderful aroma. I cut down the sugar to 3/4cup and it's not too sweet. Wonder if I can cut down some butter too. Notice that the bottom of the cake is a bit moist? Hmm... got to work on that. And the top cracked too. Sigh. But most important is that it is yummy. :P

It's here, it's here!!!

It's Christmas come early!! Dear hubby so kindly got me this Kenwood beauty on Sunday. Been very patient waiting for it to be delivered. It just arrived! :)))

Was meant to be for Christmas but decided to buy it on the spot as it's usually out of stock at most places. We were lucky to spot it at Carrefour.

I didn't think it wise to spend almost a thousand to get one (I know that's what the KitchenAid would cost). I'm just a simple homebaker, not by any means professional. The only grouse is that this particular model doesn't come in silver. But I can live with that. The thing that attracted me was the cover over the mixing bowl. This way my batter doesn't splatter everywhere. You know me and my problems with them creepy crawlies (yeeks, just thinking of them gives me the creeps).

It comes with a liquidiser which attaches to the top of it and you can buy accessories to add to the basic set such as mincer, juicer, etc. I think it's time to do an auction on Yahoo! to get rid of some old stuff. ;) By old, I don't mean all dirty and overused. Most of the items are rather new and very rarely used.

The extension cable is very cleverly designed to be kept in a compartment on the back of it. No messy cables.

Monday, October 8, 2007

A simple bowl of porridge

Dear princess is not feeling too well, sounds kind of sexy with her low voice. She's having a sore throat. Poor dear. Hope she feels better soon. Made her some porridge with codfish and carrot. Used ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and soybeans, as well as dried scallops to make the stock. She said she had porridge in school as well and her porridge at snack is nicer. Errr... I don't think so. I don't think they even do a stock to cook it in plus only carrots and bits of chicken. The only reason she says that is because she doesn't like fish. I have to force her to eat it. It's great when she's distracted and doesn't know what she's eating. Hehe. But not today, so I ended up eating the other half of it.

Made her some konnyaku jelly and cut up some strawberry to add in. Looks lovely made from my Daiso moulds. ;)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Lau Pa Sat

It was an extremely disappointing dinner. I mean, you take an overseas visitor to a well-known tourist place for dinner and the food sucks. What kind of an impression are we leaving the tourists with? Or is it the fact that our Singaporean palates are too pampered with plenty of good food? It's been donkey years since I last visited Lau Pa Sat, ok maybe around 8-9years ago when the in-laws first visited Singapore. I mean I don't remember the standard of food being so terrible then. Ok, the satay was pretty alright, and so was the white carrot cake. Other than that, the Mee Goreng (Indian syle fried noodles) and Indian Rojak were both horrible. The mee was super dry and the rojak had some items which were super hard and a fishcake which had gone bad (it tasted sour). Goodness knows how many days they've been sitting there. Horrid. Well, it's the last time I'm ever going to visit there. When we first arrived, it felt as though a swarm of bees were heading towards us. The touters were everywhere. Luckily, the others had arrived ahead of us and gotten a table. Or else we would have been bugged all the way. Uncle from Sydney wanted a simple plate of Tauhu Goreng and it turned out to be a Thai-style tauhu, not at all like the ordinary tauhu with peanut sauce that he was looking forward to.

Oh well, lesson learnt.

The humble chicken pie

Was flipping through an old issue of Donna Hay magazine yesterday (a gift from a friend a few years back), and came across the recipe for Basic Chicken Pie. Decided to give it a try since I had some Pampas puff pastry in the freezer. However, the base of the pie was supposed to be in the form of short crust pastry. Anyhow, you can use the same puff pastry to do it, but as I was in Carrefour this afternoon, I chanced upon the Carrefour brand of ready rolled dough. Whoopee! I love them actually and I think they are so much easier to use than Pampas.

So having prepared the filling last evening, it was very easy to assemble. Popped them in the oven for approximately 20-25 mins and they were done. Yummy!

Basic Chicken Pie (taken from Donna Hay's magazine issue 16)

Ingredients -

1 tbsp oil
1kg (2lb) chicken thigh fillets, chopped
1 brown onion, chopped
3 tsp thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tbsp plain flour
1/3 cup (2-1/2 fl oz) water
1/2 cup (4 fl oz) chicken stock
1/2 cup (4 fl oz) milk
375g (13oz) block ready-prepared shortcrust pastry
375g (13oz) block ready-prepared puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method -

1. Preheat oven to 220degC (425degF). Heat a large non-stick saucepan over high heat. Add the oil and chicken, cook for 3-4mins. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the onion, thyme and garlic and cook for 3-4mins. Return the chicken to the pan. In a small bowl, combine the flour and water. Add the stock, milk and combined flour and water. Cook for 10mins, stirring until thick. Set aside to cool.

2. Roll out the shortcrust pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper to 3mm (1/8 in) thick and line the base of a 20cm (8 in) round metal pie dish with the shortcrust pastry. Spoon in the cooled chicken mixture. For the pastry top, roll out the puff pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper to 3mm (1/8 in) thick.

3. Place the pastry top on the pie. Cut a small round in the centre of the puff pastry as an air hole. Press the edges of the pastries together to seal and trim the pastry. Brush the top with a little of the beaten egg. Place on a baking tray and bake for 25-30mins or until the top is puffed and golden. Serves 4.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Carrot cake

Have been busy the past couple of days as cousin is down from London, so been having family dinner, lunch etc. Was so tired last night I even slept at 9.45pm which is virtually unheard of. Finally got to stay home one whole day today and hubby was very kind, washed up after lunch and then in the evening took little one downstairs to have a ride around the estate on her bike, played some frisbee in the field, and now they're on the xbox. It's past her bedtime, but I can't be bothered. Let them go sort it out themselves.

I baked a carrot cake this afternoon and with the leftover mixture, I put them into little cups, to make cupcakes.

Had a little trouble with the baking as I usually bake with the fan on. However, the outer part of the cake rose quite well except for the middle which sank. Oopsy! I then turned off the fan and did normal baking and thank God it turned out fine. The cake also did not dry out.

The texture of the cake was just right, not too dry, neither was it too moist. Only thing is I'm not sure if there is a difference between wholewheat flour and wholemeal flour but what I had was wholemeal flour so you could taste the little grains in them. It's like eating wholemeal bread with the little grains. I don't mind it. It's quite nice. The sweetness was just enough, no need to cut down on sugar and it sure does taste healthy as the name suggests. I guess the fatty part would be the topping as I couldn't get any light cream cheese. But what is carrot cake without the topping, right?

Ah yes, would like to recommend this product below. I don't know how many of you have tried it but we're addicted. :0 Lovely on a slice of white bread and great to pack to school for snack time. There are real strawberries in them, you can tell by the seeds. ;)