Monday, November 30, 2015



First of all a very Happy Birthday to my son Jeremy.  May God be with you always!

We are not celebrating his birthday as he is over in Sydney enjoying his lunch date with his wife.  We are at home and at the girls' request, I am cooking Big Breakfast for them.

How much should I charged them for this?

Juice to start the day: Blended frozen blueberries (which my sister brought from Australia, don't ask me how she did it long haul! And she even got me a bag of frozen cranberries and mozzarella cheese as well too-Thanks a lot dear Sister) with Yogurt drink.  Usually I would blend watermelon with natural yogurt for them on my market day which is Saturday.   

Vinaigrette dressing for the salad... lemon juice, EV olive oil, salt, pepper
Starter: Mixed Salad of Avocado, cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper (I always prefer to roast the peppers before cooking) and lettuce.   This was easy to prepare- dice and cut the avocado, half the cherry tomatoes, julienned the roasted red pepper and sliced up the lettuce. Put aside in fridge till ready to eat. The dressing is pour over the salad and toss together only when ready to serve. 
BTW Hero Supermarket opening on 27/11/2015 at Cheras Sentral (formerly it was Jaya Grocer)  and for signing up as new members (free membership),  a free lettuce was given.  Good promotion!  

Sauted Garlic Mushroom. 
1. sliced fresh shiitake mushroom and  finely minced garlic.
2. Melt butter in pan (it has to be BUTTER and I find that butter really makes the difference in flavour for this) and add garlic and mushroom saute till soft.
3. add a splash of white wine (yes early in the morning!)  
4. add the herbs, season with salt and pepper and dish up 
5. Using the same pan, fried some sausages too.

Bacon and hash browns 
I used some (no, I finished the whole small bottle) maple syrup (gift from my sister) to glaze the bacon. The taste is good, balance of sweet and salty.. yum!  This time I decided to grill the bacon and the hash browns instead of frying them (not so oily).  While they were grilling in the oven, its was time to cook the scrambled eggs which are done in minutes.   
Then its a matter of plating up and trying to get the best  photo-shoot before digging in.

Well I did not actually count the costs because there are still leftovers of sausages, bacon and hash browns. Besides what about the time factor as there seemed to be numerous things to prepare! 
So don't think I can do this every Sunday, not only the money and time factor but think of it health-wise. 

Steamed Black sesame paus 
I bought a packet of black sesame paste and lotus paste intended for making mooncakes.  Well Mooncakes Festival had come and gone and now I have to make use of them in some other ways.  So decided to make some steamed paus later in the evening. Good thing this time, none of them "open mouth" (I opened that particular one to show the filling).  Such soft hot steaming paus on a rainy night. Even the doggies cannot resist them!  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015



Very well said, Mr. Chong. 
We shall keep reminding ourselves to preserve our culture and history. He told us about the eviction by the developer and the legal struggle that took place.  The Developer had won the first court action and the 1st phase of the kampong had been taken over and most of the houses were demolished.  Now they have organised these walks to introduce people to Kampong Mantin and hope that more people will support them to fight against further demolition and to preserve this area as a Heritage site. 

Bright sunny morning, time to get out of the house..

along Lekas Highway,  it was a breeze to drive along this highway..
so few cars and great surrounding view as well.

Our destination for the day trip.. a heritage walk around Kg. Hakka, Mantin

the meetup point at the Sekolah SJK Chi Chi, Mantin, Negeri Sembilan.  
From here, we made our way towards the kampong.
along the way, saw this one and only "sundry shop" in the village but not many merchandise for sale. It was more of a gathering place and there was already a table of mahjong game going on! 

Rakan Mantin. Check them up on facebook and please support them 

This meeting place actually belong to Mr. Chong great grandfather. 

Briefing before the walk ..

the honest truth about eviction and hopes for acknowledgement of  heritage status from the government, after all this place is over 100 years old. 

walking as those "early immigrants across rivers and up mountains"...
(only that was a flooded part of the road because of the heavy downpour last night!)

some of the derelict houses

the dilapidated houses and sense of  abandonment and time gone by.. 

most of the houses are vacant and closeup

As explained by Mr. Chong, those plaque above the houses would actually tell you what is the name of the family residing there.  These 2 characters are the surnames of that family eg Chan or Wong etc. 

the primary school  since 1954.  
The sun was getting hotter  and soon we finished our walk and headed back to the meeting place. It was time to introduce us to some Hakka food preparation...

Hakka Yong Tau Foo
Fish paste, minced port, salted fish, minced garlic and shallots mixed together and season with 5 spice powder, salt and pepper and Aunty said, of course a weeny bit of MSG!

getting my hands wet..... they do not remove any tofu for the stuffing instead a cut is made on the tofu and slowly the stuffing is put inside the slit! 

Finally a piece perfectly stuffed without breaking the sides.

The chef in charge of Mantin Kitchen
 she was busy the whole morning preparing our lunch.... 

Hakka Herbal kueh using Ramie leaves 

These shrubs are growing ardently around the kampong and this uncle very kindly pluck a shoot for me to take to grow.

Hakka Chai kueh... vegetable fillings.

These refurnished bicycles were once used by the villagers as they go rubber-tapping.  Now  you can ride them around the village but mind you they are heavy.

Meet the oldest resident of the kampong. She is 90 over years old yet she still cook her own meals and clean the house herself.

She even showed us her wedding photos. 

Lunchtime... yummy and wholesome Hakka flavours..
If you are interested to join the walk, look up Kaki Jelajah Warisan on the facebook. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015



Beautiful double rainbows - I managed to get only this big arc in the photo) 
A promise from God that everything will be fine....after the "double whammy"  in our family.. the sudden demise of my husband and my sister within 2 weeks of each other.  

So after settling all the matters, it was time for my 2 sisters to return back to Melbourne. They graciously treated everyone in the family  for a farewell dinner at the Imperial Tai Thong on Sunday and on Monday nite, it was another homecooked dinner. 

Braised Yam with Roasted Pork. 

Braised Soy sauce tofu and eggs.  This was the third time, I am using the pot of braising stock and the flavour just get deeper. 

Last minute baked some Matcha Egg Tarts

Ingredients for the pastry. 

the butter and sugar were beaten till fluffy before the eggs were added

then the flour with the matcha powder were mix in. 

the tart shells were blind baked before filling with the egg mixture.  
However, the pastry seemed a bit soft instead of flaky.  The next time, I would try with the flaky pastry instead. 

The ingredients for the egg mixture.  Milk and sugar were boiled together till sugar dissolved.  Add the matcha powder. The eggs were added gradually to slightly cooled mixture and passed through the sieve before filling the tart shells.  I steamed the remaining egg mixture and it was very creamy and soft.

Eleven minus one

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Hi, I am back.  This is a backdated post.

Banana Pancake  with salted caramel sauce. 

Salvaged this mini frypan from Jeremy's rubbish bag..
Make perfect round pancake!

Basic pancake recipe from Nigella - How to be a Domestic Goddess.
Just add in extra mashed bananas.  

Torta All Gianduia - Nutella Cake - recipe also from  Nigella How to be a Domestic Goddess

Yes, the last  reminder of my Paris Trip.... the last bottle of nutella bought from Paris.... 

Butter and nutella are mixed together before adding egg yolks, ground hazelnuts and melted chocolate.

Add in the stiffly beaten egg white to egg yolk mixture. 
This is a flourless cake ... only ground hazelnuts  

The cake shrink upon cooling. 
Suppose to have a chocolate frosting with toasted hazelnuts  which I omitted...too rich for me. 

Though these look dense, they are not instead moist and soft.
Its delicious and so addictive that I finished the remaining half cake myself the next day :D

After all the baking and cooking, its time to take a bath and sit back and relax while waiting for Sarah to serve dinner..

Easy Grilled chicken wraps...

Chicken marinated with paprika, cajun seasoning and  grilled

Wholemeal Tortilla wraps lightly toasted 

It was a ladies night.... 

with a bottle of limited edition of Guinness Stout...complimentary from my niece Wuei Yunn