Sunday, July 31, 2011


My sister commissioned me to make some cupcakes for her granddaughter's birthday. She will be 5 years old this year. She is attending kindergarden and will be celebrating her birthday party with her friends. It seems to be the trend nowadays. What does 5 years old kids like? Of course candies, chocolates and sweets.

I baked some Dark Chocolate Cupcakes and some Vanilla Bean Cupcakes. I used a whole vanilla bean and has to remind my sister that those black dots are not dirt but the seeds of the vanilla bean. The extra batter was baked as a mini cake.

I used Buttercream for frosting the cupcakes and then decorate them with all types of candies, sweets, M&M, marshmallow etc.

May God Bless little Lim Sze Min always. Enjoy your party!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunday Breakfast

Sunday is the day for catching up on our sleep. By the time, we wake up it too late for breakfast and too early for lunch. So for brunch, I decided to make this - don't really know what to call it- bread pie or bread tart?

I had made these ages ago when the kids were small then. Sarah reminded me the other day and asked me to cook them again. Time really flies, but I am glad that she can remember the way it was done and most important, I think it is the taste of the food that reminded her. This is what I call family tradition recipes - in the back of their minds they will remember the way the dish looked and recall the taste! Just as I can remember certain dishes which my mother used to cook.

The filling is simply ingredients which are readily available in most homes. Milk, flour, butter, frozen mixed vegetables, onion and cheese. I added some diced chicken thigh fillets too.

Make a roux with the butter, flour and milk. Add diced chicken, onion an frozen mixed vegetables and lastly grated cheese. Set aside to cool.

You can used any leftover bread. Cut with biscuit cutter and place them into muffin tray. The tart/bread shell done this way is shallow and can take around just 1 tablespoon of the filling which is just perfect.

The other way is to cut away the crust and cut at 4 corners of the slice and then overlap the corners to fit into the muffin tray. The tart/bread shell done this way will be deeper and hold more filling.

Bake them in pre-heated oven at 180C for around 10-15 minutes till golden brown.

Serve them immediately.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Jacob's Walk of Life was held for the 3rd consecutive year on 17/7/2011. I went for the first year and missed the 2nd one last year. This year urged by my niece, Wei Yunn, I went along with her. Her company was one of the sponsors for the event. She had pre-registered for us and we donned on the yellow shirts and were all ready to walk.

Pretty maids in a row-

We reached Taman Botani, Shah Alam and it was already crowded and cars were already randomly parked along the road. My niece got a VIP parking and we went straight to the event grounds. For once, I appreciate being a VIP!

The ambassadors for Jacobs- Radio MyFm DJ- Jack Lim (left) and Gan Mei Yan (right).

There was a huge crowd -the MC mentioned around 10000 people! There were usual speeches by the sponsors followed by some warm-up exercises lead by instructors from Fitness First.

The flag off- sea of Yellow shirts!

Now even though I was way at the back from the starting point, I managed to walk past those shuffling behind and reached the middle all the way back.
The route meanders around the park- its uphill and downhill in some places. There are lots of trees along the way, so I don't really feel the heat. The uphill track was tiring and taxing.

Some ran the way, but I take it easy and maintained a steady pace all the way. I wanted to challenge myself. I was surprised that my knees were not giving me any problems/pain and I have the stamina once I started to walk. I am glad and happy that I can finished the 6 km walk without any hitches.

Met Mr. Jack Lim and Ms Gan Mei Yan at the finishing line. They were so friendly to pose with me.

We left the park before as the crowds were still lining up for their goodie bags and was able to get out without getting stuck in any traffic jam. We meet my brother KK and the rest of the family for breakfast in Subang Jaya.

This coffee shop has been selling Fish Ball Soup since 1982.
I found it so-so.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tiger Stripe Cheesecake

I try out this recipe which I saw on the internet. It reminds me of a modified version of Catherine Lau's Bulls Eye Cheesecake. There is no flour mentioned in this recipe but I added just 2 tablespoon of cornflour to the mixture.

The base of the cake- mixture of oreo and digestive biscuits crushed and mix with melted butter and bake.

The cheese batter divided into half- the melted chocolate batter with rum added.

The other half with lemon juice added.

Start with a ladle of plain batter from the centre, then alternate with a ladle of the chocolate batter and keep alternating till all the batter is used up.
I baked the cake in a water bath as it was not mentioned in the recipe too.

I kept the cake overnight in the fridge. More practice needed to get even concentric rings

The cake is dense, very creamy and taste like Chocolate rum ice cream with a hint of lemon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Today, its tour of Guangzhou city itself. We had been here before but the previous time, we visited the ancient tourist attraction eg the Chan Clan Museum and the Bai Yue Garden etc. But this time, we were taken to view the latest addition in Guangzhou since the Asian Game. I think they are very proud of being the host for the Asian Games and the effort they have put in.

Our first stop was to the Science Center. It is located in the vicinity of the Guangzhou University.

Lots of Panda welcoming us.

The Museum -very interesting exhibitions going on. One of them on inkstone.

Inkstone is one of the 4 treasures of the Chinese literary/study world- the other 3 being the brush, paper and ink/inkstick.
This is one of the famous purple inkstone which was used by the Emperor.

Next stop is the Asian Games Stadium. This stadium is on an island.

Entrance of the stadium.
Behind is the stadium and the seats.

The sails and the boat. In front you can see the swimming pool (brown colour). It is empty now but at the switch of a button the water will flow in and out from the Pearl River.

We went into the stadium and sat down at the seats just to get a feel of the moments at the Games.

After lunch, we went up the Canton Tower (in chinese they call it "Siew Man Yew") (small waist)
The tower is encased within the steel rods and not totally enclosed by them so that the winds can pass through. It is able to withstand earthquake as well as typhoon. There is a water tank in the middle to balance the movement/tilting.

Its 108 floors up

Sticking to the solid ground. I was too scare to stand out on the glass floor that juts out from this floor.

Gotcha- this is only a 3-D effect

Our last stop was to the renovated ancient village of Li Chee Wan.

The facade of these houses have been refurbished by the Government. Mostly are shops now.

The river cruise along Li Chi Wan -
There is platform for Chinese opera along the river as well. This is for the community here.

After wandering around the park, it is time to say goodbye to our guide and the tour ended here.

We had dinner at the 6th Floor of the Lido Hotel in Beijing Road. The outside of this restaurant is not impressive but the food here very good.

Quail - they costs only RMB 4 each.

Sticky caramelised pork ribs

Blanched fresh prawns

Scallop with minced garlic

steamed "Wan Cheong" Chicken with salad of peanuts, black fungus

Seaweed soup

Pork balls and oyster mushrooms in milky soup

I think this is limpets- type of abalone?

This is the shell- there are 9 holes in each shell.

Fried Milk-

crispy skin and smooth and custardy inside

Hakka Taufoo - stuffed with minced meat.

Claypot eels

Cold platter of roasted meats including some smoked fish

the smoked fish

Finale- Fried Rice in omelette. There are actually around 20 dishes including the dim sums.

Desserts- Ginger Jelly- strong ginger taste but sweet

Milk tarts

"Polo" Buns

There were much toasting and the farewells were said at the end of the dinner.

I felt a bit sad as they have taken so much trouble and care to ensure that we had a good time here- not forgetting their precious gifts for us to take home. It has been a most memorable and unforgetable trip. Ku Che and her family will always be in our thoughts.

All I can say is a Big Thank You for all that you have done and till we meet again- take care and God Bless you all.

Monday, July 4, 2011


It is the last day of our visit to Shaoguan. We took our breakfast at the resort. There is no dimsum and we were served with the normal Chinese breakfast. After breakfast we check out from the resort and departed for the last tourist attraction - NANHUA TEMPLE.

The temple faces Danxiashan and the Abbot of the temple is the 6th generation of China's Buddhism. His remains are in this temple. The guide led us through the temple explaining the history of each prayer halls till we reached the back of the temple. There is a mountain spring for us to wash our hands and face (and don't wipe your hands instead put your hand in your pocket together with water - pocket your luck home!) before going back to the prayer halls.
Entrance of the Nanhua Temple

The worshippers here discourage from burning/lighting the incense/joss sticks in the prayer hall itself. You say your prayers with the unlit incense and then leave them outside on the table and the monk will collect them and burn them later. This help to preserve the image of the deities in the hall and besides this is not irritate the eyes of the worshippers. No photography is allowed inside the temple halls.

There is a big Bodi tree in the center of the temple. Buddha was enlightened under the bodi tree. It is believed that going around the tree in a anticlockwise direction will bring blessing and enlightenment and peace.

So going around 3 times - praying for peace and harmony.

Somewhere in this big temple, we find a small altar for a Chan family. The story is that the whole land belonged to a rich man whose surname is Chan. The Abbot has perceived that this place is ideal for a temple and had on numerous occasions requested Chan to sell the land to him. Chan was a very arrogant man and told the Abbot that he will not sell but can give the land to him if the Abbot can win him in contest. The Abbot won the contest and Chan had to honour his pledge. So he asked the Abbot how many acres he wanted. The Abbot told him that as many acres as his shawl can cover the land. So Chan looked at the Abbot's shawl and thought how big can the shawl be? He agreed. The Abbot tossed his shawl up towards the heaven and the shadow of the shawl covered the land where the temple now stand. However there is the hole where the hook held the shawl in place and that hole is this place not covered with the shadow of the shawl. So this tiny altar belonging to the Chan family remains in the temple to this day.

Moral of the story: Is it what you sow is what you reap?

The golden bowl outside the temple. If you toss in a dollar it will multiply many many times. It is not as easy as you think- see the hole on top of the bowl. Well, it all depends on God's will.

There are only 4 of these tress in the temple grounds. It does not look big and yet it takes 5 grown men to circle it.

Any leftover incense will be burn in the urn outside the emple before you leave.

Pots of Pickled Bittergourd and Snakes in Wine for sale at the restaurant.

Pork belly braised with Mei Choy (left) and Steamed fresh taufoo (right)

Fried Julienned Potatoes in Chilli oil. A bit spicy and crunchy. Another way to cook them is with Rice Vinegar.

Green chillies fried with fish paste. Very tasty.

After lunch, we visited the Yao Minority community in the province. This is the usual dances and stunts by them. There is a young man burning his arms with a lighted torch and another one standing on two sharp blades. You are invited to participate in their dances and a mock wedding was staged with their girls.

The slippers dance- its a matter of co-ordination

We had a good laugh when my brother-in-law's trousers kept dropping!

Its time to say goodbye and returned by bullet train back to Guangzhou.

The arrival hall of the Bullet Train Station- very huge and almost every 15 minutes there is a train coming in from somewhere.

We were met with heavy rainfall - the typhoon coming to town and after office hours jam.

We met up with our cousins again for dinner at a famous Resturant in Li Chee Wan.

The courtyard of the restaurant and there are actual lychee trees growing here.

The view outside our dining room. Food was good here. Some of the items:

Braised Char Siew and Taufoo

Thicken Taufoo Soup(kang)

Steamed grass carp with preserved black olives. The chinese olives is very salty and is an acquired taste.

The desserts finally made their appearance. The pastry chef is a renowned old master. You can see his exquisite workmanship.

Tiny pretty birdies- filled with custard pudding.

Fluffy white rabbits - its prawn dumplings

Tiny golden piggies - with curry meat fillings.

The happy trio- waiting to be eaten.

We were rushing through our dinner as we had to join the Pearl River Cruise at 8.30 pm. Thank God the rain had stopped. This is a popular night cruise along the Pearl River which runs through Guangzhou. One of the famous river in China besides the Yellow River. The Mayor of Guangzhou had done a very job to clear up the river and beautify the surrounding areas for the Asian Games. My camera would not do justice to the beautiful night scenes but my cousins were busy taking photographs for us and with us. But I know I can only see those photographs the next time I visit Guangzhou. It was a memorable and relaxing cruise with the cool breeze after the rain.