Wednesday, December 29, 2010


To celebrate every Chinese festival, my brothers would take turns to host a dinner for all the family. I have been told to go to SS 2 for the Tong Yuen Festival- Winter Solstice. To the Chinese this festival is consider more important than Chinese New Year.

I was in for a surprise when I arrived. They had cleared the living room and put up the Christmas lights- plain but beautiful white lights with glittering snowflakes. Most magical.

My sisters-in-law had been busying preparing the foods.

The Menu:-
Mushroom Soup
Spaghetti with choice of meat/tomato sauce and a creamy mushroom sauce.
Roasted Pork Knuckle
Glazed Ham
Fried Chicken
Salad- cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery, carrot, edamame
Blanched baby Choy sum
Of course Tong Yuen - those glutinous rice flour balls in ginger syrup.

Most of the foods are store bought- but it is the thoughts that goes into buying them and getting them on the table.

When we all started to get the table ready, the atmostphere suddently transformed. Never mind, that those are plastic tables covered with plastic sheet. Never mind that we sat on plastic stools. Never mind the tableware were mismatched. We became very merry and we were all excited - just like children getting ready for our first sit down Christmas dinner together! Candles were lit and lights were dimmed. Music in the background - mind you its more of classic music (thanks to Amanda) rather than the usual jingle bells!

We just sat back and relaxed. The tinkling of the cultery, the laughter, the food and the wine - this is truly a magical moment - a whole family eating together - just like the Tong Yuen- a complete circle of hope, joy and happiness.

We later sang a birthday song to my Sister-in-law.


Time flies. I find it especially fast too and its the end of the year 2010.

Its time to ask myself what have I done and achieved in 2010. Its also time to give thanks.

I am thankful that I am still been able to work. Most people when they reached 55, they wonder whether the company will still retain them or they have to retire. After so many years of working, I am happy now that my job is less stressing and I have the time to do this blog!

I am thankful that all my family members are safe and healthy. There are wedding, new birth and new jobs and new faces in the family and these are very much welcome. These are times of joy and happiness for us - the caring and togetherness has always been of utmost importance to me. Its truly God's grace and mercy that we can all gather together without strife and laugh and sing too- during the many festivals and birthday parties!.

Health is wealth. I am glad that I am able to keep an exercise regime everyday and along the way meet new friends.

I am very happy that throughtout this year, I am able to cook dinner for my girls. This is something that I had missed doing when they are growing up. My Sister-in-law had been feeding them on my behalf. Thank You Evon. Nowadays however, is my chance to introduce them to foods and different style of cooking. I believe that food unites and food also delights -not only our tastebuds, but also our minds. This is something that I enjoy doing -cooking and baking anyway.

I pray that the next year will bring greater joy and happiness to all.


Monday, December 27, 2010



When I am sick, I will be told not to eat rice, but porridge. When I am tired of cooking, I will cook the simplest porridge. when I crave for something hot and comforting, its the porridge. There are a lot of ways to cook porridge and it is the main meal to some people. But there is one style of porridge that is easiest to cook, suitable for old and young and it can most simple or complex depending on the accompanying side dishes. It is the Teochew style of porridge- plain smooth porridge served with any variety of side dishes.

The rice is just boil with plenty of water till they just "open" ie the grains burst. And the texture of porridge depends on individual taste. I like mine- smooth and thick- not too watery.

I normally serve this with the following side dishes-

1. Chau Lup Lup-a dish of stir fry of diced long beans, diced sweet preserved radish, dried prawns and Chinese sausage(optional) and topped with roasted peanuts for crunchiness;

2. fried preserved (pre-cooked) ikan kampong for crispiness and saltiness

3. fried eggs wih dark soya sauce or a preserved radish omelette;

4. jar of pickled lettuce- from the fridge - its cold and crunchy

5. Preserved Fish with black bean- this is a favourite

These are the usual accompaniments that I would serve with porridge. Of course, salted duck eggs and chinese sausage are also good alternatives.

One of the dishes which lately have not been included is Luncheon Meat because of the bad feedback on this can of meat. But this time I had included it and it was zapped up!

The more elaborate varieties include Braised Duck in Dark Soya sauce, Sour Vegetables, Braised Mushroom with Chicken feet etc. In fact, the choices are limitless and you can serve this plain porridge with anything that you fancy.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I love Egg Tarts. My kid also like them. When you say Egg Tart, a lot of people would automatically thought of Tong Kee Egg Tarts. My kids and family have grown up with these tarts. They originally used to cost only 50 cents and now escalated to RM1.20 per piece. I heard that the recipe is closely guarded secret.

Recently I managed to make my own Egg Tarts from a recipe taken from Lily Wai Sek Hong.

The result is flaky pastry filled with eggy smooth custard.
Well you have to remember not to be greedy to fill up too much of the custard into the tart shells, otherwise they will overflow and stick to the tart shell which makes removing difficult. As you can see a bit of broken crust.

I have some leftover of the custard and I used them into STEAMED EGG CUSTARD- just like those small bowls of egg custard which were sold in Pudu Market. I remember Mother telling us that Steamed Egg custard is good for ladies- makes our skin/face fair and smooth. So do remember to eat more.

Sunday, December 19, 2010



Today is my niece Wai Yee's birthday. I know I should have make this at least a day before, but I had forgotten and only remember this morning. Well, I console myself that its better late than never. I had originally planned to use the mascorpone cheese however, I must have overbeaten it and the cream separated. In the end, have to resort to cream cheese for the filling.

I made 2 - a square and a round one. I wanted to make a spiral deco but somehow just could not get the paper cutting right and as a result it ended as a spider web. For the square just cut the wavey strips to place across the cake, dust with cocoa powder. I was too impatient and lifted off the paper too fast and as a result, some of the cocoa powder fell back. Now I know that I have to lift it off slowly- piece by piece. Well, patience is not my virtue.

But I am glad that the cake is moist and favourful. I like it especially with the Irish cream liquer- yum.

Happy Birthday Wai Yee May God be with you always.



Ever since I saw an episode of Bob Blummer making these Cupcakes using ice-cream cones, I wanted to try my hand at it. I had bought the ice-cream cone in anticipation of making them. Frankly, it is difficult to get flat bottom ones - I have asked McD - you know their ice-cream, but they are not selling the cones and cannot let me know where to get them. Hunted around the supermarkets -most of cones are cones- you know conical. but finally manage to get these flat bottom ones and they have been lying in my fridge since then until the last weekend. By this time, when I opened the packet, 2 of the cones have been broken.

So make the cake mixture - no problem there- easy. Putting the mixture in the cone- also no problem. Getting the cones to stand upright is the problem. So very very slowly, I managed to get the pan into the oven. Heave a sigh of relief.

The time to bake these are around 20-25 minutes. After 20 minutes I can still see the cake not quite cooked through when tested. Then the problem started - when I tried to turn the pan - they toppled and splashed over. I was really cursing myself for being so stupid - should have just leave them to cook till set.

The rest of the scenario is real fast - remove the pan immediately- scoop batter back into the cone and pop it in the oven to re-bake.
Well after a makeover, they looked pretty.

The centre of the cake is still soft and sticky with the melted chocolate pieces- just like eating an ice cream. The cone is crisp but got soft the next day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



Ho, Ho, Ho, Santa Claus is coming to town.

Have been busy recently doing Christmas shopping and doing very little baking. I like Christmas shopping -choosing something which I think the receiver will treasure or at least like it and it must be useful and practical. Of course for the kids it's always something that makes them go "wow" when they open the present (hopefully). But then again, kids nowadays are so lucky and they seems to have practically everything- toys, clothes, oversea trips (no, I am not giving that), thus making this task very difficult each year.

While Christmas is coming around the corner, Chinese New Year is approaching fast. Today, got a call from a customer asking whether I will be making pineapple tarts. Pineapple tarts are a "must have" food item during the Chinese New Year. It means "good Luck come" and every Chinese wants good luck for the coming new year.

Of course, I will be making them with my sisters. This has been a family tradition since 1997, I am grateful for my sister-in-law who taught us the trade. The first year that we started to go on the market was really full of stress and tears. We were so ignorant that we kept opening the oven door and this resulted in the tarts being not cooked well. The tarts could reached the top of the tin and the next day the tarts collapsed. We were really at our wits and thankfully, my sister-in-law corrected our mistakes. We have to rope in almost every family members to keep us coped with the hugh orders -yes even my dear Mother helped to roll the jam, those who can drive would helped with the delivery and I am glad to say that we have more or less perfected our Pineapple Tarts now.

They are our bestseller every year. We cooked the pineapple jam ourselves - none of the commercial pineapple jam which is too sweet and which definitely comes with preservatives as well. Each piece of tart is handmake and homemake and you can be ensure of its freshness and authencity.

Beside the Pineapple Tarts, we also make Mamakaries too- little biscuit top with almond and Chocolate ganache.

This is also one of our signature cookies.

Any orders, please contact me at

Thursday, December 9, 2010



I always like making bread - the kneading which I find is the most stress-relieving exercise; the wonderful smell of freshly baked bread - even though they don't taste good as most of the time the texture is too hard and everyone is so used to the commecially made bread that is so so soft.

I have tried sour dough (which eventually was thrown out); foccacio, doughnuts etc.

However the more I read about bread making, I am challenge. It seems that to get the bread nice and soft, it is better to let it slowly ferment in the fridge and little kneading is required.

Well, I had made Cinnamon roll before but the result was not satisfactory- the texture is hard. But this time, I am glad to say- "I have at last succeeded".

The bread created such a wonderful aroma when its baking. The texture is wonderfully soft and its not too sweet even with the butterscotch topping .

I have made the dough on Sunday and left it in the fridge to slowly ferment. Took it this morning to bring it back to room temperature before completing the process.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle shape. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar (I use brown sugar) and then the cinnammon powder.

Begin to roll towards you - as tight as you can get.

Grease the pan with melted butter. Cut the roll into 1 inch slices and put into the pan and let to rise for another hour before baking.

I can't stop myself and finished up 2 rolls almost immediately.

Definitely will be making more. Recipe taken from The Pioneer Woman