Wednesday, December 30, 2015



Its the end of the 2015.  Just to re-cap what this year meant to me with my family and my favourite baking/cooking photos.

9 December 2014 - Trip to Borobudur Yogja... the last trip that my sister, Jennifer made with us.

After the year -end festivities and wedding, it was time for new school term and also time to get ready for the Chinese New Year 2015. It was a tight schedule to bake all the pineapples and cookies for our customers.

Finally after all the hustle and bustle, I had the opportunity to learn how to cook Hainanese food for the Chinese New Year at Thean Hou Temple.

January 2015
Chinese New Year 2015... so many "meh-meh" (goats)  this year!

Our last reunion dinner with my husband...

February 2015

Teaching Sarah to make Red Eggs

My 60th birthday and my motto:  "age is not a  problem"  still young at heart! A scrapbook made by my girls

March 2015

Another family trip to GK Organic Farm and the heart-breaking news of my sister cancer.
We rallied around her and supported her throughout her chemo sessions.  It was a wake-up call for the family to take care of our health and love and treasure those around us.

Sweet Potato Chicken Pie 

April 2015 Memorable Family Trip to Seoul, Korea

My trip to Seoul/Jeju Island, Korea with my family.   Such a wonderful  and marvellous trip..I heart Seoul!

I love the Sakura,  the culture and history, the "red hot" foods, heritage visits to Jeju we are warm and enjoying hot fried Korean chicken and soju while wind was howling outside and rain was lashing at the windows!

First time making burgers.....using Pork Katsu with Brioche 

May 2015-
Colouring therapy is very popular nowadays  and this much treasured picture was done by my daughter Sarah for Mother's Day.

Cheese and Bak Hwa Bread 

Attended a Yoga Workshop and came to know Chris Su, not only handsome young man, but very warm and sincere teacher.

June 2015- mid year and time to refresh and relax..

21st June 2015 was International Yoga Day.  Went for a Yoga Retreat at Janda Baik on 20/6/2015. Meet many wonderful yogis!

July 2015-
 Celebration of my grand-nephew Lucas 1 year Safari theme Birthday party.

Steamed Black Sesame buns

August 2015- it was still 7th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar.... 

Went for a Butoh dance show, The Coffin is too Big for the Hole.. 

Had this delectable Creme Brulee @ Aku Cafe & Gallery 

September 2015- celebration of Mid-Autumn Festival....

.....making Yam Mooncakes, Shanghai Mooncakes and latest Dragon Fruit Jelly Mooncakes with Sarah.. I am very glad that she show an interest in baking and cooking.

Started my sewing project-!

October 2015 
This was the most stressful month... going in and out of the hospital daily until ....

the demise of my husband on 26/10/2015

the demise of my sister on 8/11/2015

but still have our signature food to comfort and nourished and sustained us through this time.

November 2015.. time to pick up the pieces and life goes on....

getting to know the plight of the villagers to get back their land and culture  

Matcha Egg Tarts..

Finally, it end year and with the celebration of the Dongzhi - another year wiser  

Glutinous Rice Balls with Sweet Potatoes

I don't know what the new year will bring, but I pray  that there will be love and hope with my family and God's strength to carry all of us  through another year.

and life goes on...... our precious Christmas gift from God! 

Monday, December 28, 2015



Pavlova and 
more and

more pavlova......all done by daughter..

Nothing was planned for tonite as  she was busy working on her deliveries. As you know each pavlova take a long time to finish baking and cool down before assemblying them with.....


and lots of strawberries, blueberries and kiwi fruit

However after all work has been done, she decided to cook our own Christmas Eve dinner ......

Candlelight tete-a-tete dinner for two of us - Korean homecooked meal..... grilled BBQ pork with lettuce wraps and Korean Pancake- all down with a bottle of ice-cold Soju.  We forgotten to include the most important Korean food item - kimchi... 

Silent night ....... 

Monday, December 21, 2015


Hasselback Potatoes -  top with cheese and crispy bacon bits (sorry photo missing!)
I had wanted to try this recipe a long time, but with the girls cutting back on carbo and calorie counting (yes, I think it must be any fitness addict's nightmare) did not have a chance to do so.  The potatoes which I had previously bought purposely for this recipe, always ended into something else esp in ABC soup (now that's their favourite one pot meal).    

To slice the potato without cutting through... I placed it against edge of my tabletop but there were a few missed hence the odd slices which fell out.  Next, season with salt and pepper and brush with butter and olive oil and get into each slices if possible.  Roast in oven till golden brown and edges are crispy.  I took them out of oven and stuff the cheddar cheese and fried bacon bits in between the slices (they should have fanned out slightly now). Return to oven and grill till the cheese have melted and serve hot.  

Even though, there will be one or two "white poached chicken" in the menu for the dinner, I decided to cook my version of Chicken Parmesan. (see original recipe from Kitchen Flavours).   I marinated the chicken with salt, pepper and some of the leftover spaghetti sauce overnight.  The chicken are then pan fried till slightly brown and set aside. 

Into the pan, add some diced cherry tomatoes and garlic. Add a splash of  white wine.  Add a can of whole tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Season to taste and pour sauce over chicken. 

Bake in oven @ 200C for around 20 minutes. 

Remove from oven and top with grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Return to the oven and grill till cheese is melted and brown.  Best to serve hot.

As Christmas is drawing near and this year I could not be organising any celebration,  I decided to bake this Mixed Fruit Christmas Log as gifts for each family. (recipe from Guai Shu Shu).

Ingredients for the cake: Mixed fruit which had been soaked in rum overnight; eggs; corn oil, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon powder (I added a teaspoon of all spice as well) and condensed milk

Whisk egg yolks with brown sugar and condensed milk. Whisk egg whites separately till stiff peaks. Add sifted flour and then mix in oil.  Take a small portion of batter and mix into the mixed fruit before returning the the fruits to the batter.  Mix well and pour into tray and bake at 180C for 10-12 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately turn over onto a piece of greaseproof paper and set aside to cool

The swiss roll was supposed to be filled with cream cheese frosting.  As I did not have any cream cheese, I whipped some thickened cream and added my lemon curd.  In the end, this is not a Christmas Log but a Swiss Roll.

Dinner time.. 
and Happy Dongzhi 

Sunday, December 20, 2015



Wishing everyone a heartwarming  and happy Dongzhi (22/12/2015)

Sweet Potato Tong sui with Glutinous Rice Balls filed with black sesame paste

The Malay lady at the market had a variety of sweet potatoes for sale on Saturday.   So I bought a piece each of the purple, orange and yellow ones intending to cook them as "tong sui".  The vegetable vendor was selling packets of the pre-mix glutinous rice paste as the Dongzhi Festival falls on 22/12/2015.      
Why not combine the two into 1 tong sui...

I realised that whenever  I cook the trios (purple, orange, yellow)  in the tong sui, the syrup could ended up a murky colour. This time I wanted to have a clear syrup.  Instead of cooking them in the syrup,  I decided to steam the sweet potatoes beforehand (just diced and steamed over high heat for 10 minutes). Set aside  to cool. 

Next prepare the syrup using rock sugar, pandan leaves and a large piece of ginger.The aroma of the boiling syrup was wonderful.    Boil for around 30 minutes and leave aside to cool... yes, cold syrup as I remember this was the way my Cookery Teacher taught me in school.  

The wet glutinous rice paste bought from market. Instead of having them plain, decided to fill them with some black sesame paste.  

Round one, according to my sister-in-law, it is best to make sure that rice balls are quite dry.  So roll them and let them rest on paper towels.   

You can see that paper has absorbed some of the water from the rice balls. 

Round 2 - to fill the rice balls with the black sesame have to do this patiently... too much black sesame paste, you get a messy rice ball. Soon I realised that you have to mold the rice balls like a tiny cup and then spoon a just less then a teaspoon of the filling before sealing properly and rolling GENTLY.   

A few messy ones otherwise pretty satisfied with the result.

Ready to cook them 

Bring a pot of water to rapid boil, drop in the rice balls and the rice balls will float to the surface once they are cooked.
Again, following the way I was taught, have some cold water ready and ladled the cooked rice balls into the cold water.    This way the rice balls will remain chewy ("QQ").

When ready to serve, combine the sweet potatoes and rice balls in the syrup. (see clear syrup!... happy).

Have a wonderful Dongzhi.