Should I set up another blog?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Looking at my recent posts, I seem to be documenting my exploits in the kitchen more often than not…which has set me thinking…

There are several people I know who maintain more than one blog. They compartmentalise different facets of their lives and journal them separately on different blogs. This approach has its benefits since it allows each blog to have its own distinct flavour with a sharper focus, thereby attracting a more targeted group of readers.

I am contemplating grouping all my recipes into a separate blog. It will certainly be neater and more reader-friendly. People who are into meddling around in the kitchen may not necessary be interested in the tidbits of my life. While friends interested to know what is going in my family may hardly be bothered with what I am cooking/baking, unless of course they are coming over for dinner.

On the other hand, one more blog means double the effort in upkeep and double the discipline and diligence in posting regularly. Otherwise, one of the blogs will most definitely be neglected or left to collect dust somewhere in cyberspace.

Sigh…I have yet to decide so I will probably chew on the idea some more. That is until either impulse on the spur of the moment will push me over and I set up my recipe blog tomorrow or I procrastinate long enough till the idea dies a natural death.

Steamed Sponge Cake (鸡蛋糕)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I saw this on my sister-in-law’s recipe blog. What caught my eye were the incredibly little amount of different ingredients required and the few steps needed to arrive at the end-product.

I still have not bought an electric mixer and so, the beating was done the old-fashioned way – by hand. My arm felt ready to break by the time the mixture was deemed ready to be poured into a tray for steaming. But then again, this would be classified as a labour of love :)

Steamed Sponge Cake 2

Steamed Sponge Cake 1

Steamed Sponge Cake (鸡蛋糕)


200 gm self-raising flour
200 gm sugar
4 eggs


1. Beat eggs and sugar together till ribbon stage is reached and the mixture is pale yellow in colour.

2. Gradually fold in the flour till well-mixed.

3. Pour the mixture into a baking pan and sprinkle sugar across the mixture into a + sign.

4. Steam on high heat for 25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Reference : Live Life & Live It More Abundantly


Thursday, March 26, 2009

I think I have become addicted to the euphoria of a recipe turning out fine on its first try. Not that I profess to be great in the kitchen or anything like that though. For a family with some picky eaters, the indication I use for a dish turning out fine is when it gets finished up with no fuss.

Hubby has been requesting for Tiramisu and finally I found a popular recipe that seems do-able for a novice like me.

I did not follow the recipe to the dot. Blur me only realised that I had forgotten to buy fresh milk when I was about to begin. I decided to risk it with instant milk reconstituted from the powdered milk we take instead. The taste was still fine, although I would make sure fresh milk was available the next time I make this again. Since liquor is not something we enjoy, I decided to forgo that and use black coffee as its substitute instead.

Tiramisu Whole

In my household, the domestic helper usually does the daily mundane cooking. So, the satisfaction of knowing that you possess the ability to contribute something different and tasty to the table keeps me going.

Tiramisu Slice

As the saying goes : The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, Hubby’s smile as he spooned the last bit into his mouth says more than what he verbalises.


44-48 lady fingers
pure cocoa powder

180 ml water
180 ml milk
180 ml liquor (cocoa or coffee)
50 ml rum
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp melted chocolate or chocolate syrup

450 gm mascarpone cheese
450 gm liquid whipping cream
200 gm castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
30 ml liquor (cocoa or coffee)


1. Roast the lady fingers in the oven at 160°C for about 5 minutes.

2. Beat very well the whip cream and 100g sugar until sugar is dissolved. Do not overbeat as whip cream can turn to curds.

3. Beat very well the cheese and 100g sugar until sugar is dissolved.

4. Combine beaten whip cream and cheese with vanilla essence and the liquor. Place in the refrigerator.

5. Place all the ingredients into a measuring cup and warm it for 30 seconds in the microwave.

6. Place a layer of lady fingers on the bottom of the baking pan.

7. Using exactly half the liquid, sprinkle evenly all over the lady fingers.

8. With a tea strainer and teaspoon, powder with cocoa all over the lady fingers.

9. Take 1/3 of the cream and place it in the middle of the cake. Push the cream towards the sides of the pan until it touches the walls. The cream must touch the walls all around, and make sure the cream is well-spread with no holes communicating with the lady fingers below.

10. Place next layer of lady fingers over the cream. Sprinkle the rest of the syrup, followed by the cocoa powder. Place the rest of the cream on top of everything.

11. Level well and sprinkle with plenty of cocoa powder.

12. Refrigerate overnight.

Reference : Sweet Decadenze

Chocolate Cornflake Treats

Monday, March 23, 2009

When my ex-maid left, I took the opportunity to clean out my kitchen cabinets. There was a stack of mini paper cake cups stashed all the way to the back of the cupboard. That was 3 months ago and I still had not used them.

Since I just bought a new box of corn flakes, I might as well put those paper cake cups to use. Big Buddy loves a snack when he wakes from his afternoon naps and this will be something fun and crunchy for him.

Chocolate Cornflake Treats

Chocolate Cornflake Treats


100 gm plain Corn Flakes, lightly crushed
120 gm dark chocolate
10 gm toasted almond flake/hundreds and thousands/raisins


1. Double-boil the dark chocolate over a pot of simmering hot water until melted or you can put in the microwave on high for 30 second. Stir and repeat the process until the chocolate is fully melted.

2. Add the corn flake into the melted chocolate and stir well using a spatula.

3. Spoon the coated corn flake into cake cups or ring mould then flatten the top with a spoon.

4. Decorate it with some almond fake or colourful chocolate bits. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to harden before serving.

Source : Cuisine Paradise

Pizza Bread

Sunday, March 22, 2009

At a simple mass workshop organized by my church, I learnt how to make this in 15 minutes. It was so easy peasy that the children in the group managed to make theirs with minimal adult intervention.

I tried it at home today and treated my family to some homemade Pizza Bread.

Pizza Bread

Pizza Bread


15 slices of bread
1 can tomato paste
1 can button mushrooms, drained & sliced
1 can pineapples, drained & sliced
ham, diced
1 packet
mozzarella cheese


1. Boil tomato paste with a pinch of salt and sugar. Remove from stove and set aside to cool.

2. Preheat oven at 180oC.

3. Flatten each slice of bread with a rolling pin.

4. Spread tomato paste on the bread with a spoon.

5. Place mushroom, pineapple, ham and mozzarella cheese on bread.

6. Place pizza bread into the oven and bake for 5-8 min or until the cheese melts and the crust is crispy.

7. Remove from oven and serve.

Book Review : Black Order

Friday, March 20, 2009

Black Order

I love this book. It has all the elements of suspense, intrigue and action to hold you spellbound to the novel, gripping you in its page-turning pace as it brings you from the tops of the mountains to the depths of the earth.

To my pleasant surprise, James Rollins has thrown in a bit of romance in this one and it has its tender moments as the main character grapples with his fragile humanity. Black Order is a winner, juxtaposing the brash with the soft and the horror with the triumph.

Verdict : 9/10. I would read it again!

A bugging minor problem...and its solution!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The cyberspace is like a cavernous storehouse of information with more being continually added. With the vast amount of information (and disinformation) churned out every second, I have no reason, and am also not so swell-headed, to believe that my 2-cents’ worth of ramblings on my blog is captivating enough to generate a massive fan club.

However, in a bid to generate more traffic here and to meet new friends in the virtual space, I have been using Ping to widen the reach of my blog. It has been really simple, write my stuff, make a post and then do a Ping to inform that you have something new up on your blog space.

However, since end February, my posts have not been Pinging and various attempts based on my limited technical knowledge to fix it, have been frustratingly futile. It is a minor issue but yet it bugs me that Ping has worked well previously and the issue developed out of the blue.

It was a God-send when I came across this today. In desperation, I followed the steps and hey presto! works without a hitch!

So I am back to Pinging happily again.

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken & Grilled Honey Chicken

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My sister-in-law shared an interesting recipe for cooking chicken on her blog and I thought it might be fun to try it at home.

I did not have fish sauce at home and decided that it was too bothersome to warrant a special trip to the supermarket just for that, so I chose to omit it. Also I tried out this recipe with a toaster-oven instead.

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken

Bearing in mind that children will be part of the dinner group, I took a portion of the chicken wings and prepared Grilled Honey Chicken too. I was not sure if the distinctive taste of lemongrass will go down well with Big Buddy and decided to play it safe.

I felt the Roasted Lemongrass Chicken was not fully infused with the aroma of lemongrass. It might have been sufficiently marinaded as I had allowed it to sit for 4 hours before cooking. In future, if I am pressed for time, perhaps I will extract the juice from the lemongrass for marinade instead of using chopped bits.

Grilled Honey Chicken

I must say the Grilled Honey Chicken proved to be a bigger hit. All were polished off before I could swipe a piece from the serving plate to taste.

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken


12 chicken wings
3 stalks lemongrass, bruised (for brushing chicken with oil)
2 tbsp cooking oil

Marinade :
2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
125 ml water

Garnish :
some cooking oil for deep-frying
2 stalks lemongrass, finely sliced


1. Cut chicken wings to separate drumlet and midjoint.

2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add all ingredients for marinade and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover saucepan with a lid and leave until completely cool.

3. When marinade is cool, transfer to a mixing bowl. Place chicken in to steep in the marinade. Leave overnight in the refrigerator.

4. Preheat oven at 220 deg C.

5. Arrange chicken thighs on a baking tray. Brush chicken parts with some oil before placing in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, heat some oil and deep-fry finely sliced lemongrass until crispy and golden brown. Set aside to drain well.

7. Remove chicken from oven and place on a serving plate. Drain drippings from baking tray and serve as a dipping sauce. Add garnish and serve.

Reference : Live Life & Live It More Abundantly


Grilled Honey Chicken


3 chicken wings
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dark soya sauce
1 tablespoon light soya sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce


1. Cut chicken wings to separate drumlet and midjoint.

2. Combine all the ingredients and marinate for at least 3 hours.

3. Grill chicken in a bread-toaster or oven for 30 min, turning over after 15 min.

4. Remove the chicken and transfer to a plate.

5. Pour the excess marinade and juice from grilling the chicken into a saucepan. Bring to a boil to reduce the quantity. If necessary, add cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce.

6. Remove the sauce from the heat, pour it over the chicken and serve.

Boys at play

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today is the start of the 1-week school holidays and Little Buddy is just ecstatic that his big brother is home to play with him.

Both boys had their batteries recharged after their afternoon naps and decided that it was time for a boat trip. Big Buddy emptied one drawer of the toy cupboards and turned it into a boat and brought Little Buddy for a boat ride.

The loud chuckles and squeals bore testament to such enjoyment that I had not the heart to stop them though I know the marble flooring will suffer from their role-play.



Who says heroes must be superhumans?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Several years ago, I got to know a young lady through some friends in church. My first impression of her was someone with more grey matter in her brain than she chooses to let on. She was quietly confident, without a need to shout out her presence in large groups.

My contacts with her over the subsequent years have been brief and sporadic. She was an acquaintance but yet somehow she never strayed far from my mind. Perhaps it is due in part to how she chose to conduct herself in situations that most would have responded in the extreme opposite way. Over time, I discovered that she was jovial without being boisterous, talented without being boastful and kind without making a big deal out of it. Instead of the proverbial “an eye for an eye”, she chose to let go and let her talent and tenacity speak for her.

Today, she is one of the anchor teachers at Rus Art Studio, an artist with hundreds of paintings sold all over the world and recently, a business owner of her newly opened shop at Crown Centre #02-15. Take a peek at Artokoro and be refreshed by a whole new perspective of what art is.

My friend is Chun Wee Ping – an accomplished artist, a passionate teacher and an inspiring cancer survivor whose story has been published several times. She is a role model to her students, an inspiration to many and a strong testimony to the world of God’s faithfulness and goodness.

Thank you Wee Ping, for touching my life with your bravado and inspiring me. God bless you.

You dare call yourself a doctor?!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Last Friday, Big Buddy’s fever rocketed upwards and my instinct told me that something was not right. What with him being ill for close to three weeks with a runny nose and phlegmy cough.

Actually he just went to the pediatrician last Monday with the same symptoms but the pediatrician was adamant about not prescribing antibiotics. I was fine with that decision that time as I am not particularly into dosing young children with antibiotics unless it is necessary

The first thing that irked me on this repeated visit was the counter staff. Big Buddy’s medical records were misplaced. I tried to help them narrow their search by informing them when my son last visited the clinic, thinking that perhaps the attending nurse that fateful evening had stuffed it into some allocated cubby hole that they could then check. The response was a frosty stare, along with a casual instruction to her colleague to prepare another blank folder for my son.

Was I being impertinent? No, I did not think so. My tone was polite enough without a hint of accusation. I did not like her nonchalant attitude but tolerated it as Big Buddy really needed his medication.

When we finally went into the consultation room, I gave the pediatrician a factual run-down of Big Buddy’s condition since there were no medical records to refer to and finished by expressing my concern over the prolonged period of illness. In the next instant, I was totally shocked by the pediatrician’s reply.

He said that he does not trust what parents’ tell him, that parents tend towards over-dramatization of symptoms and he will usually disregard what parents tell him. All this said in a high whiny voice in imitation of how parents must have sounded to him, with hardly a hint of apology but with lots of eye-rolling and a smirk on his smug face.

I was incredulous and utterly disgusted with his holier-than-thou attitude. Granted that some overly-anxious parents do paint a worse picture about their child’s condition, but should he not understand that it probably stems from worry more than anything? As a trained physician, should he not have sifted out what he perceived as facts and at least maintain a professional image by not offering his biased views? Finally should he not seek to reassure patients and their parents rather than belittle others and make known his obvious disdain?

This is not the first time I patronize this clinic because it happens to be the pediatrician nearest to where I stay. Friends of mine and I have groused over his lack of bedside manners but this time, he has really gone overboard by displaying a total lack of respect for others. Coincidentally, this pediatrician is located in E**** Mall, the same place where another terrible doctor practises. What is it about this mall that attracts less-than-desired doctors?

Since last Monday, I have brought Little Buddy to another pediatrician. Her charges may be higher but at least, she, along with her staff, offers assurance along with medical intervention and none of the rudeness of the former!

Book Review : The Whole Truth

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Whole Truth

Hubby introduced me to David Baldacci’s books and from the first book of his that I read, I fell in love with his style of writing. I would eagerly trawl the library bookshelves, searching more new titles to feast upon.

I love the way he fleshed out his main characters. Most action thrillers tend to confer their heroes near-superhero status, but Baldacci chose to make his more human-like, with strengths and weaknesses.

The Whole Truth brings the reader to a world of spies, espionage, murder, mayhem and like while spinning a tale of how events unfold at the strings of a master puppeteer.

Verdict : 8/10. A wonderful read.

Avocado Milkshake

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Avocado Milkshake Glasses

I first discovered the goodness of avocados when I began introducing solids to Big Buddy. Excited about it, I spooned some freshly scrapped avocado onto Hubby’s serving of ice-cream. His reaction to the taste of avocado could easily be read off his face and he never asked for it again.

Recently, to my surprise, Hubby shared with me how much he enjoyed an avocado shake he had at a hawker centre's fruit stall. This fired up my imagination and I concocted this version to share with my family today.

Avocado Milkshake Individual Glass

Avocado Milkshake


1 ripe avocado
3 tbsp of
gula melaka syrup
500 ml of fresh milk


1. Cut the avocado into half. Remove seed and scoop out the flesh.

2. Blend avocado with gula melaka syrup and fresh milk.

Reference : Moms4Moms Forum

Book Review : Deep Fathom

Monday, March 2, 2009

Deep Fathom

This is another book by James Rollins, one of my favourite authors. I picked up Deep Fathom with confidence that it will be just as good a read as another book of his that I finished not too long ago.

Sadly, I was a little disappointed. While the theme of science-cum-history-cum-action is perpetuated, somehow the plot seemed a little too simple and not sufficiently convoluted to generate a sense of intrigue and suspense. The eventual fate of the enemy also seemed too conveniently resolved and hardly did justice to the hero’s abilities.

Perhaps this being one of Rollins’ earlier works, it might have been a exploratory journey as he honed his writing skills.

Verdict : 5/10.

Coke Pork Ribs

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Coke Pork Ribs with Garnish

Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs (排骨王) is a perennial favourite in my family. It is a pork rib dish marinated in a sweet and tangy sauce. We love it so much that it is a frequent dish on our table whenever we dine out at Zhu Chao (煮炒) stalls - cheaper version of Chinese restaurants.

Four years ago, I saw a recipe for this version of pork ribs and gave it a try. It was a hit then and I cooked it again for tonight’s dinner with some variations to the original recipe.

If you prefer the pork ribs to be of a tantalizing dark brown colour, you can add an additional ½ tablespoon of dark soy sauce to simmer with the coke.


Coke Pork Ribs


500 gm prime pork ribs, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce (李镜记叉烧酱)
½ can Coke
½ tbsp Hua Diao Jiu (花雕酒)
1 tsp dark soy sauce
some pepper


1. Wash and pat dry the ribs. Marinate with Char Siew Sauce, Hua Diao Jiu, dark soy sauce and some pepper.

2. Mix till well-combined. Set aside in fridge and let it marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

3. Pour the marinated ribs and coke into a non-stick wok or pot. Simmer on low heat until the liquid dries up and thickens.

Reference : Cuisine Paradise