Friday, July 27, 2012


My sister and her husband came back from their holiday to Melbourne and I received these thoughtful gifts from my sisters, May and Vicky.

BIG organic lemons from her garden- yes, time for me to try out the recipes for Lemon curd.
2 rolls of  baking parchment paper
Cupcakes liners. - just in time for my grand niece's birthday next month- my sister (the grandmother) had requested that I baked her cupcakes and a cake for her party at the kindergarden. How lucky the children are these days!

Vanilla bean paste- must really find a good recipe to use this. I had the nasty habit of hoarding expensive items till they are past the expiry date. Hope this will not be the case!

More "teapot"  for my collection- cute doggie teabags holder and a new brush for the doggies' bath time. Guess she is missing the bathing time with the doggies- when she came back she help me to bath the dogs too!
Thank you very much, May and Vicky.

I made fresh pasta again.  The pasta dough is made with semolina flour;  ratio : 100 gm semolina flour  to 1 egg.

However,  I still was  not able to get linguini or fettuccine from my manual pasta machine.   I can only get thin spaghetti. So  at the nagging from my daughter Sarah, I took the machine  back to shop for repair. And you know what, they cannot repair it and gave me a new one! Lesson: Be assertive in your consumer rights.
I pre-soaked some porcini mushroom  and  I also had  a packet of fresh Shimeji mushroom for the sauce. From the corner of the larder, found a can of Prego Herb and Cheese sauce- luckily it has expired.

Cooking it was easy peasy.
1.  Blanch fresh pasta cook in boiling water just around 2-3 minutes.
2.  Saute the diced onion in butter and olive till soft
3.  Add in the porcini mushroom - do not throw away the water, add it in as well.
4. Add the fresh mushroom and then the can of sauce.

Already at this stage, the aroma is so tantalizing!  

5. Add the cooked fresh pasta and combine together. Add some pasta water if sauce  is too thick. 
6. Adjust seasoning. Dish up and serve hot. 
Yummy fresh pasta with porcini and shimeji mushroom- always a winner with my girls!

The pasta was accompanied with a bowl of Baby French Beans Salad.
1. Quickly blanch the baby french beans in boiling water.
2. Remove and immediately place them in ice-cold water to stop them  from  further cooking
3. Pan fry some pine nuts till golden brown.
4. pan fry some bacon till crispy (for vegetarian - omit this)
5. mix french beans with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper.
6. top with toasted pine nuts, bacon crisp and some tomato wedges.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I know this is a belated greeting - Selamat berpuasa to all Muslim friends.
I have taken photo in the early morning on my way to my office. 

There was a recent photography Exhibition at the Annexe Gallery at the Central Market. The theme of this exhibiton was "Stories without Words"    One of the photographers - Mr. Steven Goh had taken put up pictures of Furry Friends Farm.

For the past week since the news of Sabrina Yeap's death, I have been feeling moody and desolate at the loss, worrying about the future of the furry kids! However from the facebook, I know that they are going to be  in safe hands- there are numerous offers of help - monetary as well volunteers. Thank God for these kind persons!

It is actually through the works of  Sabrina Yeap's  and Dr. Chan Kah Yein that opened my eyes to the plight of the stray dogs.   I promise myself that I shall  try my best to give more time to my own dogs, Toto, Chu-chu and Phow-Phow  and my Cherry the cat as well ! 
In memory of Sabrina Yeap, I baked these doggie biscuits for my dogs.  I had some leftover bacon and some cheddar cheese. Got the recipe from The Red Gingham.    I left out the garlic powder and the herbs.

Cheese and Bacon Doggie Biscuits- adapted

2 cups wholemeal flour
4 tbsp bacon drippings (obtained from cooking 4 slices of bacon)
1/2 cup vegetable oil.
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 eggs.
some chopped bacon bits

Mix all ingredients together to form a pliable dough.  Rest for 5 minutes before rolling and cut with your favourite biscuit cutter.
Bake at 180C for around 20 minutes or till they are golden brown.

To my furry kids, Toto, Chu-chu and Phow-Phow with love.

What's better to work off those moody feelings than to make bread. Kneading the bread  is so therapeutic! I  felt the release of my own negative energy as I kneaded.  I also began to feel elated when I saw the dough rising and most of all the euphoric feeling when the loaf of bread comes out the oven- well risen and  yet  fluffy and soft inside.   

My sons bought me 2 packets of the dried cranberries and before the expiry date, decided to make full use of them.   In fact over the weekend was clearing my fridge and gosh I was shocked at how many bottles of the jams had expired.  I felt so wasteful throwing them away, but I did kept back one or two of the pretty bottles. Lesson: Do not hoard!    

I baked this Wholemeal Cranberry Loaf. Recipe was taken from the Flavours Magazine. I half the recipe to make 1 loaf.  Simply delicious 

I tried my hand at baking Chiffon cake again.  After my 1st attempt (not that pretty) this time the Matcha Chiffon Cake was pretty satisfying!  I resisted the temptation to dig it out of the pan but waited it to cool completely.  I could not rest the pan onto of a bottle as suggested- maybe my pan was too small.  The aroma of the green  powder was a bit strong - this green tea powder is from Taiwan so next time will have to reduce to 10 gm instead of 15 gm as stated.  I also noticed that it is not feasible to reduce the sugar content as the cake was a bit bland. Cakes should be sweet as my sister-in-law always tell me.  But my dentist told me that I have been eating too many sweets (who me! impossible!) that's why I am suffering  this toothache now! haha. Recipe adapted from Peng's Kitchen. 

 Should have baked it longer to get the brown crust outside.

It is the same cake, but different lighting I guess! These pictures were taken from my handphone as I bought the whole cake to my brother's house.
I think I need some lessons on taking good photos.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012


It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this.  

Most of your would have heard/read  about Ms Sabrina Yeap.  The saga of the over-population of stray dogs from Pulau Ketam  that were abandoned off the island to fend for themselves had made headlines in the newspapers in 2009.  Sabrina bravely  led the mission and together with her volunteers to rescue and re-home these dogs.  Some of the dogs that were rescued later succumbed to the stress of abandonment and later passed away.    

This is  when I learnt about her untiring work in rescuing stray dogs and giving them a sanctuary in Kundang, Selangor- "where every furry kid has a name and a place to stay"!  These dogs each had a name- could you imagine that closeness and love she had for the dogs.   It had a great impact on my life- someone who so effortlessly give her time  to care for these dogs.

She had started the Dr. Dog programme to help the sick.  She has done much for the animal welfare - getting signatures for the petition to the Government to amend the Animal Act.  

I had volunteered at her farm once and it was an eye opener.  The dogs were so friendly and welcoming. There are so many of them - about 350 dogs yet  they can stay together at one place.  This tell you about the nature of the dogs- they are so forgiving and loving inspite of what hideous cruelties that some have been through. 

She had passed on but life still goes on at the Farm.

You can visit their website/facebook to see how you can contribute to enable these dogs to have a happy home for the rest of their life till they meet their Founder at the Rainbow Bridge. 

Rest in Peace, Ms Sabrina, you may be  gone but you works and love will  not forgotten.

This is my personal appeal for the dogs.

Monday, July 16, 2012


We did it!
We- being all the 2000 over participants, both young and old,  in a  largest  Yoga practice at the same time.

Did what- entered The Malaysia Book of Records- this event marked the largest participation in a Yoga Session.

The Yoga For Life event that took place on 15/7/2012 (Sunday) was orgnised by Great Eastern Life Assurance  at The Strand, Kota Damansara. The proceeds for events goes towards the Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA)  and being a new member of this association as well as a Yoga instructor, I wanted to contribute and  immediately signed up as a Yoga Facilitator for the event.

Registering ourselves before the briefing. We were given free T-shirts and a notebook designed by Ms. Melinda Looi.

We had our briefing at the Great Eastern Mall on 14/7/2012.  We were told that this is first time that such a large Yoga session will be held and first time for Great Easter Life to organise this "live" programme.  The company wanted to do more for the masses besides the usual health screening and one of the ways is to promote healthy living, to get people to get  live better and longer!  There will be hosting another event in November - Live Great Run - so do look out for this. 

The lovely and cheerful Ms. Shiao Fong

We were taken through the sequences of the programme for tomorrow by the lovely and cheerful Ms Shiao Fong.  She also briefed us of our duty to look out for any mishaps or accidents.  

We also get to meet the Yogis from True Fitness who will be leading the yoga session and they graciously gave all the facilitators a demonstration of what they will be sharing.

"Smile you are on candid camera!"
Sunday dawn - not so bright, in fact there was a small drizzle on the way to BCWA, Jalan Utara, Petaling Jaya.  My friend and I had decided to get a lift from them to The Strand as both of us were not sure of the way.  It was so nice to meet some of the members. All of them were so cheerful and jovial and most of them are cancer survivors. They were setting up a booth at the venue - to promote the awareness of  breast cancer and early detection as well as sale of their merchandise.  

There were already a large crowd of participants registering themselves.  We got our goodies bag as well as  a packed breakfast.

The minute we arrived, the members quickly set up the booth and straightaway, we had some customers. Later the booth  also helped to sell the t-shirts for the day.
My designated area - facilitators were placed among the participants.  

Sea of Pink- waiting patiently for the event to start.

Pink Ribbon, colour pink is associated with the Breast Cancer Awareness. It is nice to see the men in pink too!

The DJs for the day were MYFM's Wan Wai Fun and MIXFM's JD and Dilly. They certainly liven up the occasion.  There were some contests - including saying the word Yoga for Life and holding it for the longest time; holding a yoga pose for the longest time.

 Petite and lovely Wan Wai Fun
Finally after the speeches by the Director and CEO of Great Eastern and also Ms. Ranjit Kaur, the CEO of BCWA, we were ready to start.

First the warm-up exercises

A few of the basic poses.

All too soon the Yoga session ended and it only  lasted  around 45 minutes. 

 My friends, also yoga instructors

Ms Ranjit Kaur CEO of BCWA

The final figure that goes towards the BCWA

Certificate of Participation.  Oh what's in the goodies bag- towels from Great Easter and some discount vouchers from the other sponsors.

It has been a great day - great sense of fulfillment that at least I had contributed (only a very very small part) towards something that might change the lives of more people. 
Great day - because the event has been successfully entered into the Malaysia Book of Records.
Great day - as I can see Yoga has been accepted as a very good form of exercise regardless of age and colour - as seen by our muslim participants too - in fact the very first participants that registered 0001 for the event is a malay lady! (shy- mine was 0669).
Great day - because of the generosity shown by the participants towards the BCWA.
Most important - Be active and alive.  Go find a Yoga class.

Friday, July 13, 2012


This phrase is literally translated from a Chinese saying.  To get the devil to eat taufoo  is to tell a white lie and hope that people will believe you. Correct me if I am wrong. 

Now what has taufoo got to do with the devil?  I really don't know, but I recall during the Hungry Ghost Festival, my mother  would throw bits and pieces of  food together with the burning the paper incenses and these could include white taufoo, meats and fruits as well. 

However taufoo could also be translated to mean wealth- ie  " foo" sound. I was introduced to this dish by my mother-in-law when I moved into my first apartment.  She bought the ingredients to cook this dish for the first dinner at the place, saying that it will bring wealth to the new abode and its residents.  Thank God that so far though we have not become millionaire, we are "rich" in health and together as a family. 

A very simple and tasty dish to cook- suitable for the old and young.

The main ingredients - soft white taufoo, minced pork and prawns, spring onions and minced garlic. 

Mix the minced pork and prawn together with salt, pepper, sesama oil and cornstarch. 

Heat oil, add minced garlic and the white part of the spring onions and saute till fragrant before adding the minced pork/prawns.

Add the taufoo and lightly mash them.  Add seasoning- some oyster sauce, salt and pepper.  Add some water and cover and cook for just 2-3 minutes.

Thicken with some cornstarch solution, if necessary.  Lastly add the diced spring onions.

This is good with rice or just as it is. Good for those on a low carbo diet.
So I asked Sarah whether she can remember this dish. 
Her response:  I almost grow up on this!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Remember how our parents got the bread for our breakfast table?
Thanks to these "Roti" men! They are always rounding the neighbourhood with "pei put-pei put" sound regardless of rain or shine!
My favourite then was the Brown bread wrapped in waxed paper from Federal Bakery as well as the round loaf bread. Nowadays these are not available any more.   

Sarah is very busy with her assignment throughout this month.  So I am again stuck in the house during the weekend.  Well, never mind there are plenty of things to do around the house - which I am too lazy to start doing.  There  is gardening(weeding) to do- but it is too hot to stay outdoors. Lame excuses all. And there are plenty of recipes to try -yes this one I will do.

Well at least, I have cleaned out the old shoe cupboard to make way for Phow-Phow's new home (cage).   Finally Esther has bought the cage back. The dog  has been lying on the floor outside the house and of course she loved being inside the house - lying on the cool marble floor especially in the hot afternoon while we are at home, otherwise, I think it is on the hot floor  outside while we were at work.  During rain or thunderstorm, she would rushed into the house and really "stick" very closely  by us.  Now she is happy to have her  own space!

She is always "camera-shy"!

I am still in the "bread-making craze" mode.   So it is another day of preparing the starter dough for a Raisin Bread (Flavours Magazine) and Honey Wholemeal Loaf (recipe from HoneyBeeSweet's blog).

The Raisin bread was not that successful.  Though the texture was soft and fluffy and flavour was good, but the bread tends to stick in-between the teeth! Definitely a no-no for me. Besides it just took too long! And I was starting to feel a bit feed up with the whole process!

Whereas the Honey wholemeal loaf was very good. I managed to get 8 Tuna Buns (from one can of tuna chucks) and one mini loaf from the recipe.

I also tried the recipe of Char Siew Soh (recipe from Through The Kitchen Door Blog) and the pastry was very good - can see the layers and the filling - well I cheated a bit and used the char siew sauce that came with the char siew but it was very tasty.

While waiting for the dough to proof, I decided to try out a Steamed Chocolate Cake as I had some leftover evaporated milk from making the Tomato Rice. (Recipe from

Put together the evaporated milk (200gm), butter (180gm) and sugar (i reduced to 180gm) and mix till they are melted.
Add in 2 lightly beaten eggs when mixture has cooled.

Stir in the sifted dry ingredients - flour (100gm), cocoa powder (50gm), baking powder and banking soda (1/2 tsp each) and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Pour batter into cake pan and cover with foil.
Steam over medium/high heat for 45 minutes. (remember to have a kettle of hot water standing by to refill if necessary).

At first I was rather sceptical about this cake but I was totally won over with the texture and the flavour.

This picture does not do justice to the texture of the cake (it was taken with my mobile phone).  The cake is soft and moist and very chocolatey (?) even without a hint of chocolate used!

So in the end I am happy with my weekend  - did someone say that chocolate is a "happy" food.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Every now and then I could brew some glutinous rice wine or raisin wine. I learnt it verbally from Aunty.
She is my sister-in-law's mother and she is a very good cook.  Her Assam Laksa, Achar and Tomyam are some of her repertoire which are very popular with our family.

My homebrewed rice wine is not perfect all the times.  There are times that the wine has a sourish hint.  So more often, I prefer to make the raisin wine instead.   This is much easier and faster and defnitely taste sweet most of the times.

My present stock of rice wine (with residue at the bottom) and raisin wine (darker colour).  These are for my niece who will be giving birth in October. It won't be enough and I will be making more for her.
My  mother-in-law is a Hakka and she  also is popular among her relatives and friends for her homebrewed rice wine.   Her  popular Chicken in Rice Wine dish is a must at every festival and New Year.  She would add some of this Ginger Wine too besides the rice wine.

This Stones Ginger Wine was bought back from Australia and I am still waiting for the occasion to open it.

Chinese believe that rice wine is good for the body during the confinement period. I had the opportunity to help my sister in law during her confinement 2 years ago in Australia.  We could not get any home brewed rice wine over there.  But I managed to get this bottle of rice wine for her use.

This product comes from China.   There are rice residues inside as well and it taste very good. 

So when I saw this while in Guangzhou, I bought a bottle back (regret- should have bought at least 2 back because I cannot find them here).

So the first dish to cook is of course, Chicken in Rice Wine.  I made this last week and it was so good to the last drop.  I skipped the ginger as Sarah does not like the ginger besides in this hot weather it may be too potent for our bodies!

When I steam prawns,  I would  use my raisin wine.  Again it was so delicious - the sweetness of the fresh and succulent prawns (even though it is only medium size ones)  mingled with the sweetness of the raisin wine was perfect.  The aroma and taste was "just like the restaurant" commented Sarah!

Enjoy your weekend= don't get drunk!