Wednesday, July 18, 2018



My baked  no-knead bread - recipe from King Arthur's Flour. I managed to get 2 long loaves from one recipe.  Besides eating it with our favourite cheese there is still leftovers and I realised now that you don't need throw away stale bread.  Go make some bread pudding....

This is a sweet bread pudding with blueberries and dried fruits.  Cut the bread into square pieces.  Grease the pan generously with butter and layer the bread around the pan to fit.  Top with some of my rum-soaked dried mixed fruits.  Pour over the egg custard mixture (eggs, egg yolks, whipping cream and sugar) and press down the bread to soak them evenly.   Dusted some cocoa powder over and cover and leave overnight in the fridge. 

Bake at 180C for around 20 minutes or till top is golden brown and the custard has set.  Top with more fresh blueberries after baking.  Best served warm with ice-cream! 

Then there is the savoury bread pudding with bacon and spinach. 
Method the same as above.  Saute the bacon, add the sliced onions and lastly the spinach (which I had blanched and squeeze dry).  Season the egg mixture with salt, pepper and mixed herbs.

Pour egg mixture over, press down evenly and leave overnight in the fridge. 

yummy lunch! 

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Image may contain: sky, mountain, ocean, outdoor, nature and water
The Three Sisters @ Echo Point
According to the Aboriginal legend of this rock formation, three sisters in the Katoomba tribe fell in love with three brothers from the neighbouring tribe.  As tribal law forbid them to see each other, the brothers caused a large battle.  To protect the girls, a witch doctor turned them into stone to protect them from the battle with the intention to reverse the spell upon conclusion of the battle.  However he was killed during the battle and as a result the three sister were forever frozen in time.

I remembered my first visit  was somewhere in the 1983/4. We took a bus tour then and I didn't really enjoyed then. The weather was cold and trip was so  rushed.  However, I thoroughly enjoyed myself this time.  Weather was sunny with a bit of chilly wind and the whole place looked so different and clean.  We took the train from Sydney Central to Katoomba which took around 3 hours, stopping almost every stops.  From the train station at Katoomba, we walked to the bus stop and  took the bus to Echo Point.     

Image may contain: sky, mountain, tree, plant, outdoor and nature
The Blue Mountains

Image may contain: 4 people, including Sarah Chen and Koze Chen, people smiling, people standing, mountain, sky, outdoor and nature
The Three Sisters Bake @ The Three Sisters

Image may contain: 2 people, including Koze Chen, people smiling, people standing, sky, mountain, ocean, outdoor and nature

There are many amazing walking trails around the Blue Mountain National Park.

But we took a shortest walk just around Echo Point ...

Image may contain: 3 people, including Koze Chen, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Image may contain: 3 people, including Sarah Chen, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Image may contain: one or more people, tree, sky, outdoor and nature
under the canopy of these Eucalyptus trees.  

Image may contain: 1 person, tree, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

If you are interested to hike/walk then its preferable either to stay overnight.  We took our light lunch (my beef pie again)  at the Milkbar at Echo Point before taking the bus back to the train station.  

We did a stroll along the town of Katoomba... some pretty old shops

Katoomba Train Station.

Image may contain: Koze Chen, smiling, standing

Image may contain: Koze Chen, smiling

Image may contain: outdoor

quiet carriage, so obviously  no loud talking and listen to music with your ear phones only.

By the time, we reached home, Eunice was busy cooking up some delectable korean cuisine for us. Its our farewell dinner as we were flying to Melbourne tomorrow morning.

Its bonding time with Alexa before dinnertime.. 

too short time with her...

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eating and sitting
Smiling for the camera...this is her pose whenever we ask her to smile for a photo!!hahaha

Image may contain: food
wrap your own dinner.

Image may contain: food
Our favourite korean food again..thumbs up!

Our farewell dinner @ Jeremy's house.

good dental practice starts from young...LOL 
A piece of food got stuck between her teeth and she insisted that daddy remove it immediately.  She does her flossing and brushing every night too!
After dinner, it was time to finish our packing as we were leaving by the morning flight. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018



Little super model. 

Saw an interesting event at The Story Book @ Desa Parkcity. So we signed up for the Book Talk and Recipe Journaling. It was raining all the way but we finally made it before the event start...

Enter all and let the magic begins......

The Story Book ...
"where stories live" through interactive activities like drama, songs, performances as well as story telling .
They host events/workshops based on difference genres/themes each month. For June is food and health. Check their website if you are interested to be a member which entitles you to special discounts. 

This self-published book by the authors "is a collection of Malaysia stories and home recipes that shows when we make food, food make us too".  They even visited an Orang Asli settlement and recorded the ways they prepared a feast for them using naturally sources of fish, plants and even rice which they grow.  They related how the livelihood of the Orange Asli have been affected by modernisation/industrialisation that threatened their crops and foraging in the jungle.  

the authors - Foong Li Mei (left) and Szetoo Weiwen (right)
Both were classmates but each went their different ways after college. Ms Foong  is a free-lance journalist contributing to business magazines while Ms Szetoo is the owner of Stickerrific.  We were shown a video of Ms Foong's husband sharing how he cooked the traditional Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe passed down from his grandparents while Ms Szetoo's showed us the video how her parents cooked bottles of  Achar for their families, friends and neighbours. 
Our workshop - to create our own recipe journal.
When we record down recipes, we are also marking down memories of the food and time spent with our family and friends. Often with the demise of our loved ones especially the one who cook and feed us, one regret we always have is that we cannot replicate that particular taste of the dish cooked by him/her.  Some particular dishes of the past era  may be lost through the generations.  For example, in my family, we cannot cook like our father's Steamed Carp with ginger and scallions or my mother's Steamed Pork with Tung Choy.   Simple dishes yet evoking fond memories of our childhood and our parents as well.        
Recipe journalling also record the different stages of our lives and how it affect the way we cook and/or partake different foods.  When we were small, its our parent's comfort food, when we are single working adults, it would be more eating out at our favourite restaurant and when we become parents ourselves, its more healthy cooking for our own children. 

Ms Szetoo shared  how she journal her recipes, using doodles, packages, photos etc.  She showed us her a few of her beautiful recipe journals.

While, I think Sarah did a better job at it...

this is my style... never the artistic one.... the way I cook is "agar-agar" (estimate) or according to my taste. But once in a while, I will follow a new recipe to the dot. Of course baking is a different ball game, you follow the recipe or else be prepare that nobody would want to eat that piece of cake!. 
The event ended with some group photos.

my brunch at The Hermitage @ Plaza Arkadia, Desa Parkcity. 
What prompted me to order this? Homemade salted egg yolk butter.  How does it taste? Rather bland, butter with bits of salted egg yolk.   This was served with 3 mini croissant and a mini fruit compote comprising of bits of oranges, grapefruit, pomegranates and watermelon.  

Saw this tree painting outside one of the cafes. 

Monday, July 2, 2018




Cheerful in the morning. 

playing doctor with Aunty  Esther again while we get ready to go out.
Eunice had pre-booked the tickets for the visit to Wild Life Sydney Zoo, an enclosed air-conditioned wild life park located at the Aquarium Wharf in Darling Harbour.  There was a long queue to collect the tickets too.  It was officially opened in 2006. 

The open-air enclosure of the Butterfly Tropics...

The Koala's Encounter...

the walk-through habitat of the kangaroos..

Image may contain: 2 people, including Koze Chen, people smiling, people sitting

finally ....
face to face with the Kakadu Gorge Crocodile,  he is a 5 metre long saltwater crocodile that you can see eye level in the glass enclosure...thrilling.. 

resting under the bridge while Eunice attended to Alexa's nappy change. 

Lunch at Pancakes on The Rocks... 

this is serious study (of the menu)  

Pancakes as big as her face!

After lunch its siesta time for Alexa.  While Eunice looked over her,  we continued our walk around Darling Harbour right up to Paddy's Market which was happened to be closed today.. 

Image may contain: 1 person, sky, cloud, bridge and outdoor
Behind is the world's oldest swingspan bridges..Pyrmont Bridge across Cockles Bay. This is a swingspan bridge which was opened in 1902 and its main purpose was to provide transport between the CBD to the surburbs of Pyrmont but nowadays its mainly for pedestrians and bicycle transport only.  The swingspan bridge open to allow tall vessels to pass through Darling Harbour.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor
Outside the  International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney @ Darling Harbour.
It consists of  a ultramodern ICC Theatre with its plenary  8000 seats, the ICC Exhibition Centre that has a floor space equivalent to 26 Olympic swimming pools and the ICC Convention Centre with its crystalline facade and largest ballroom. 

happy-go-round .. she got her free rides!  

Time for coffee recharging @ the Rocks  

Dusk @ The Rocks..we  managed to get some photographs before the sunset.

Before leaving us to wander around The Rocks, Jeremy told us must  see the magnificent night view of the Opera House from the rooftop of Hotel Glenmore @ The Rocks.   So,  we went up the Argyle Bridge, found the hotel and took the stairs up to the rooftop bar of Hotel Glenmore (with nobody bothering with us as we went all the way up).  It was truly amazing view!  Initially, we thought of having our dinner here but the place was packed with diners/drinkers!  My sister squeezed right up to the edge and got a quick photo before we departed. 

photo from the website.
The Glenmore Hotel was built by Brews Tooth & Co. in 1921 and has been an Aussie icon ever since.  It is one of the last surviving pre-Harbour Bridge buildings and is heritage listed for its traditional colonial old English charm.

So as we were walking back towards the train station, we passed this signage.

and this.... yes, what we need... beer!

The memorial stone in front of the cafe - "blessed by Archbishop Michael Kelly on 3/5/1914". The building was formerly a parish hall that belonged to the St. Patrick Presbytery.  

We stole a peek inside  and was amazed by this view....

the glass floor beside the foyer... you can see the sandstones architecture and artifacts of 1830 below
There is a small picture gallery relating the history of this building.

The long bar was calling us to come in for a beer!

the high ceiling

We decided to have our dinner as well as to celebrate Sarah's birthday.

We ordered a Leffe Brune, a dark brown (almost black) ale with its slightly bitter caramel taste..very good and a Victoria Bitter, which is one of Australia highest selling beer.  Leffe is a premium Belgium beer brand owned by InBev Belgium.  The brewing tradition which began in 1240 by Belgian monks from the abbey of Notre Dame de Leffe.      

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others, for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness and for Poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."- Audrey Hepburn

With so many choices, we definitely need some good advice from the handsome bartender.

gleaming leather stools...

happy with her choice

Hoegaarden Beer Battered Fish and chips 

Flemish Beef pot pie with mash 

Chicken Vol Au Vent

Image may contain: drink

Actually their house speciality is a pot of steamed Mussels served with Belgian Fries.  These Kinkawooka mussels cultivated in the cold clean water of the Creat Southern Ocean are cooked the traditional way with white wine, parsley, cream and garlic.