Tuesday, April 14, 2015



 Just came back from a family trip to Seoul, Korea.

We booked this trip a year ago when my son decided to give me a 60th birthday present.   Of course, we also got to meet up with his in-laws and their kindness, generosity and time shown to us was indeed much appreciated.   It has been a joyous, wonderful and  heart-warming trip even though the temperature was below 15 C.

getting real close to the delicate white/pink sakura and 

brilliant splash of canola flowers fields  too

Once the photos had been sorted out, I will share them with you all.

But first I want to share this brioche which I baked for breakfast.  
Recipe from Rachel Khoo.

freshly baked brioche

Our dinner that night was pork katsu.   I used pork tenderloin and had them  thinly sliced by the pork vendor at the market (their knife is much better than mine).  Before cooking, season with just salt and black pepper. Dip into beaten egg and then coat with breadcrumbs.  I pan fry them till brown on both sides, and as they were thinly sliced just a matter of few minutes and as a test for readiness,  use a chopstick to poke the meat and which should go through easily if cooked.   
I served the Pork Katsu with some Japanese curry sauce.
As there were a few pieces leftover, I decided to make burgers for breakfast.  

Pork katsu and tomatoes only 

I had never baked any burger buns before!  Just the right time to start now since I had earlier got a recipe for brioche which I had wanted to try. 

The dough is very very wet and I was hand kneading it, so imagine the unslighty sticky  mess on my hands and on the tabletop.   It was de-stressing therapy and good exercise though.  But I would recommend using the stand mixer instead.  The dough was left to rise at room temperature for an hour before leaving it overnight in the fridge.   

Next morning got up at 4.15 am (yes,  now I know the hard work of the professional bakers) to finish the 2nd proofing and baking.  And by 5.30 am the freshly baked brioche came out of the oven and its fragrance filled the  whole house.... so good.  
I am surprised that the wet dough produce such a lovely soft bun and leaving it overnight makes it easily to shape the dough the next morning.   The buns are still soft and fluffy on  the 2nd day.     

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I am taking a break from blogging.   
This is a crucial time  for all of us in the family. 
My sister has undergone a surgery for pancreatic cancer.  However, sadly the tumour could not be removed and we will be going for plan B which is chemo and TCM which will be a long uphill battle but she is not doing it alone, her husband, sons, daugther-in-laws and my siblings and families are all behind her, beside her and through it with her.  And we believe that God will work a way....

So, thank you for reading my blog  and if it does not trouble you much, do say a word of prayer for her. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pi DAY 2015


Yesterday 14/3 was celebrated as the "Pi day".
Now all who have study Mathematics or Add Maths in school know what that symbol  ie three digits of π, or pi, which is 3.14.
"the exact proportion between the diameter and the circumference can never be expressed in numbers.  Hence it needed its own symbol to represent it" wrote William Jones (1674-1749) in 1702 in his seminal work.

I baked this  pi(pie) using up the remaining of the bacon, 3 leeks, 1/2 brown onion and the organic sweet potatoes which I bought from the farm.  

Look at that royal purple colour of the sweet potatoes and they are wonderfully sweet! I boiled them till they are soft and mashed with some butter and milk.  Meanwhile, saute the bacon (cut into strips) and add onions saute till soft.  Add the leek and splash with some white wine, cook till the alcohol has evaporated and dish up and set aside.

Into a bowl, beat 4 eggs, add around 1 cup of whipping cream, salt and pepper to taste and mix well together. Place the filling into each greased ramekins.  

Sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese on top of filling

Slowly pour egg mixture into the ramekins 

Finally spread the sweet potatoes mash on top of the egg mixture. 

Bake in pre-heated oven 180C for 20 minutes till center is set
Best eaten warm.... enjoy !

Monday, March 9, 2015


It is a new year and a new beginning.... to treat ourselves better, healthier and happier.
There was no big feasting for my birthday, instead I have decided to take my family to an organic farm and hopefully introduce them  to a healthy lifestyle.

After the rain last night, came the bright and shiny Sunday morning. Nothing can dampen our spirits this morning.  We are going farming today.  Everyone was punctual and soon we were on our way.. and its a breeze driving in the morning and soon arrived just in time.

Listening attentively to Uncle Gan as he explained organic farming ..
 "if you are young, you sit on the floor and all over 70s  can sit on the bench" ! 

Time to do simple yoga stretches...... testing  your own flexibility and whether you need to exercise more.  

sweet appetizers after the stretching....

Everybody getting ready for the farm walk....don your hats, apply your sun block and discard your shoes, we are going barefooted....to discharge the negative energy in our body and spare the crawlies their life -though some of us were bitten by the ants in the end as we must have disturbed their nest!

Uncle Gan . can you guess this plant? 

the herb garden.... most of these are used for the farm's cooking ... 

We were together with a group of Japanese families as well and the kids sure have a swell time. 

Hanging garden of long beans...Uncle Gan explained that to protect the long beans from being infected with the worms, most farmers would be spraying pesticides from the day the flowers bloom right up to the day before harvest!!! Here they have the birds and bees to protect the blooms.

Time to get our hands dirty....planting sweet potatoes  

Gotong-royong- young and old together, more hands easier task...  

After the planting comes the harvesting...more dirty hands and happy faces as they revealed their diggings...  

After that we were lead back to the wakaf and told not to wash our feet yet as it is important to keep our feet warm as sudden cold water may cause our body to lose heat and thus in long run (if we always make our feet wet and cold) can cause rheumatisim. Remember always to keep body warm... drink warm water and eat warm foods.  

After demonstrating the making of his organic cough mixture, its tasting time....

Little boys and girls ....

and the "big girls" and 

"big boys" as well....

Brother KK: "Long time anyone  feed me medicine" 

And finally its lunchtime.... food glorious food!

Sunday, March 1, 2015



Wishing everyone a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous "Goat" year from the Chan clan.

sheep design angpows packets.... 

another "happening"  year with my doggies.... sorry Toto (inside the house because of the doggie rivalry)  we have to take photo without you... 

These are the only CNY decorations which the girls bought.... "ong mali"

Meanwhile over in Sydney, Jeremy and Eunice's day out.... 

And in Melbourne, my sister Vicky and Bill open-house lunch....  

all decked up and ready ....
Among the dishes which she cooked .... 

Assam Fish fillet 

HAR HAR SIEW - Prawns with lemon and soy dipping sauce

Platter of mixed vegetables and 

also not forgetting her upside-down Pineapple cake.

My late mother's favourite flowers for CNY.

Our CNY's eve steamboat dinner- simple and save time and cooking!
I liked the idea very much but again still too much leftovers...

Both of them volunteered to get these foodstuffs for the steamboat too.... yes I know that now I can hand over the household to them .... :D

My sister-in-law's blooming Lotus Root .

getting and yee sang ready ..

Some of the dishes for the 2nd day of CNY... 

Prawns with salted Egg Yolk, Kerabu chicken feet, steamed  chicken, waxed meats.

we are ready for the Loh Hei!