Monday, November 26, 2012




Wednesday, November 21, 2012


This must be one of the easiest dish  to cook and yet I have not been cooking it for a very long time.  This time I used fresh prawns instead of dried prawns.  A very light and tasty dish. 

The main ingredients: 1 cucumber (deseeded and cut into slices); fresh prawns (lightly season with salt and pepper) some chili flakes, minced garlic.


1. Heat oil in wok and add minced garlic.  Saute till fragrant
2. Add the prawns and cook till it turns pink.  Dish up and set aside
3. Add the cucumber to the wok and add a bit of water and  keep stirring. (unless you prefer cucumber soft, add more water and cover and let is simmer till soft). I prefer the cucumber a bit crunchy.
4.  Return the prawns to wok and adjust seasoning.
5.  dish up and sprinkle chili flakes on top.
Another economical dish is Steamed Taufoo with salted egg  and century egg.
Ingredients: fresh  soft taufoo from the market, 1 salted egg  (cooked and mashed), 1 century egg (diced), 1 small tomato (skinned, deseeded and diced).
Mix the topping together and pour onto of taufoo.  Steamed over high heat for just 3-5 minutes.  I need not even add any seasoning as the flavouring comes from the salted egg white and diced tomato.
Lastly the Ikan Bilis soup with spinach and some fish paste.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


This is a guest post from my sister, May. She is in the Cardiac Theatre, Royal Children Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.   Enjoy reading!

Epitome of a Cardiac Theatre Nurse
The night is over without a call
Rosella has done well without a fall
A good hearty breakfast, I am told
Or else you will be left out in the cold
Patient sent for? Someone asks
Everyone nods without a fuss
Theatre prepared, the scene is met
With camera, lights and action soon to be set
The patient is eventually under…
But you may start to wonder
How come it takes so long?
Surely nothing can go wrong?
Time out done, patient prepped
Blood pressure down, anaesthetist yelps
“Crack the chest –
bypass now!
Call the surgeons somehow
In come Christian waltzing like a breeze
Followed closely by our Yves
And Igor telling everyone…
Zomething please …. Someone
Purse strings, snuggers, divide the lines
Go on bypass, patient’s fine
Shaking like a leaf, I perform
With the speed of lightning, I conform
Crisis over, time to breathe
Recollecting is just what I need
“Well done” a comment made
Fear and panic eventually fade
Thankful to the team, I share
h the tough training, I won’t despair
The confidence instilled paid my grief
The support I get gives me such a relief
So friends and colleagues all alike
My cardiac journey is such a delight
With many happy endings and the sad
I share with you, the great humour one must have.

Monday, November 19, 2012


 The latest addition to the Chan family - my grand nephew Lim Yong Ze is one full month old.

"Now that I am full, I want to sleep- do not disturb"

Happy mother, contented baby.

"Yay,  just as cute as I was"

Traditional food - pickled ginger and red coloured hardboiled eggs done lovingly by the Great Grandmother.
Kueh Angku - these resembled the tortise which is symbolic of  longevity in Chinese culture!

The 4th generation - Chester smiling: "Now I am not alone - it will be 2 against 3"!

DIY Ais Kachang
 The Appetizer table-

We had a good time together with old friends  and family.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


My Aunty and her daughters operated a coffee shop in Jinjang village way back in the sixties.   They made and sold paus for breakfast in the  morning and later wanton mee in the afternoon. Everything was handmade by them, the eldest daughter in charge of making pau, the second daughter made wanton mee and the wanton, the 3rd and 4th daughters were in charge of the dimsum- only siew mai and loh mai kai.
We loved to visit them during our school holidays - something to occupy us as well as free paus and dimsums! However even without the school holidays, my aunty would always brought the unsold paus for us whenever she came down to Petaling street to buy her ingredients for the next day. She is my mother's eldest sister and our family adviser in matters big and small.  

Jinjang Village had undergone a big change since then and she and 2 of  my cousins had already passed on.
So to get homemade Char Siew Pau, I had to make it myself.

(Recipe adapted  from:The Nasi Lemak Lover's blog)

The ingredients require:  500 gm  pau flour, 2 1/2 teasp  instant yeast (this gold label is very good), 100 ml  lukewarm water, 125 gm caster sugar; 5 tsp shortening, 1 1/2 teaspon double action baking powder and 1/4 teasp salt.
My method of making the dough:

Mix the instant yeast with the lukewarm water and let it sit still it turns forthy (maybe 5 minutes)

Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together in a big bowl

When the yeast mixture is forthy,

add to the dry flour mixture
Use hand to bring the dough together.  Turn it out on to the table surface and knead well. Use the heel of your hand to push the dough away and then fold it back to and fro.

after about 5 minutes, add the 5 teaspoons of shortening and knead it into the dough.

You will have to knead around 10-15 minutes to get a smooth and elastic dough. Roll it into a ball and place it in the bowl and cover with a tea towel for about 1 hour (sometimes, I leave it overnight in the fridge too).

After the proving, the dough will double in size.
Take it out of the bowl and gently push down to expel the air.

Divide the dough into 40 gm each and roll them into a ball.
Rest for 15 minutes before filling them with just 1 tablespoon of char siew filling.
Rest the paus for at least 30 minutes or till double in size before steaming over boiling water for 8-10 minutes.   

I had some of Lotus Paste left and use them to make these mini Lotus Paste Paus (25 gm dough and 10 gm Lotus paste).

My version of the Char Siew filling, I usually buy the Char siew and always ask for the  packet of  sauce.

1.  Dice the Char siew finely.
2. Minced garlic and shallot
3. heat wok and add oil and saute garlic and shallot till fragrant
4. add the char siew
5. add the packet of sauce and dash of dark/thick soya sauce and enough water to cover.
6. let it simmer till char siew is soft.
7. adjust seasoning, salt and pepper
8. thicken with cornstarch solution
9. set aside to cool before using.

Nothing beats these homemake paus. 

I also made the meat paus with a quarter of egg  (Sang Yoke Pau)

 Filling - pork, turnip and a wedge of hardboiled egg.

Hope you find the recipe useful and happy pau-ing!.

Goodbye Cherry 18/11/2012

Thank you for the joy and happiness you have given us,
We love you and you will be miss.
May God keep you till we meet again.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Cherry  has been sick for almost a month now.  The hole in her mouth is not getting better.  We still have to feed her through the tube attached to her throat.  She is very weak and cannot walk up the stairs to the toilet to pee or poo (yes, she was that good- do her business in the toilet upstairs).  As all of us are not at home during the day, she had no choice but to sit in the wet papers till we come home to clean her up. So during the weekend, I prefer to give her a thorough hot bath.  After that she enjoy being left out in the sun to enjoy the fresh air and light.  

Glazing out at the garden and remembering her freedom to roam and sit in the sun.

Catching the final rays of sun..

Suddenly Chu-chu appeared "what is this strange creature with the neck brace?".

Toto quickly came forward and kept a protective watch over Cherry.

Warning: "Don't you dare touch her"

Chu-chu moved closely, still staring intently. "wait till I get my paws on you"

Another bodyguard has stepped into the picture.

Phow-Phow and Toto do not disturb Cherry in the house.
Cat and dogs can be friends too!
Cherry will be looking forward to her bath and the sunshine again this weekend.



I met 2 lovely volunteers from BCWA during the recent OYL carnival that we attended.
Both of them were asking whether it is possible to bake our own bread without a breadmaker machine and request for a simple recipe for manual kneading.

Here's my favourite recipe for a Wholemeal Flaxseed bread for you to try.

Recipe adapted from The Batter Baker.
Ingredients are:-

125gm lukewarm milk,
35 gm sugar,
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast,
10 gm milk powder
100 gm wholemeal flour  )
140 gm bread flour         ) 260 gm total
20 gm grounded flaxseed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
60 gm butter

Method (my way):-

I prefer to mix the instant yeast together with the warm milk and let it froth (around 10/15  minutes) before adding to the dry ingredients- as you will know that the yeast is still active.

Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl and pour the yeast mixture in and egg.

Bring the dough together and place it on the table surface, lightly floured. Start kneading, adding a bit more bread flour, if necessary. Push away dough with the heel of your hand and pull back dough for about 5 minutes.   Then add the soft butter and work it into the dough and continue kneading for another 10-15 minutes until you can get a smooth and elastic dough.   

Roll the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl to prove/rest for an hour. (1st proofing) 

Normally, after about 30 minutes, I will cover it in a big plastic bag and leave it in the fridge overnight and bake it the next morning- nothing like the aroma of fresh bread in the morning! 

It will double in size. Gently take it out of the bowl and press out the air ie flatten the dough.   

Roll the dough up like a swiss roll and put it into a greased  loaf tin.  This is a Pullman tin- close the lid and let is double in size again, another 30 minutes or so.

After the 2nd proofing and ready for baking now. It has again double, the tin is a bit too big for this portion.  

Bake at 200C for around 30 mins.  Open the lid for the last 10 minutes if using the pullman tin. Remove from oven and immediately turn it out on to wire rack to cool.   I like to rub a piece of cold butter over the crust as this will give a soft crust otherwise just leave it if you prefer a hard crust.

Store any leftover bread in the fridge and it will keep for at least 3-4 days.
Clean, healthy,  preservatives free and easy to make bread. 
Bake and Enjoy your weekend!