Friday, November 11, 2011

Another day older, another day wiser

How time flies…. my last post was about DH’s birthday and now it’s going to be a post on my birthday.

I have been so preoccupied lately that I almost forgot that yesterday was my birthday. As always, birthdays are no big deals in our family but it’s always those little things that matters most.

Just before leaving for work yesterday, DH told me not to bother about preparing dinner as it’s my birthday and we will be eating out. Well, of course, I am happy coz the kitchen can take a break and I could concentrate on my online business. Moreover, my 2 younger children are off from school and college. What a great coincidence!

DH surprised me with this when he returned home from work.

Loved it to bits….



Dinner was a simple affair. DS1 could not join us for dinner as  he had a big competition last night in his University. Nonetheless, he did call me to wish me Happy Birthday.

Oh!… there was a birthday cake that DH brought home and hid in the refrigerator.

I had my birthday cake (tiramisu cake) an hour shy of 11.11.11.

PB100602 PB100601 PB100603

To some, this could be a boring and uneventful birthday…

but to me…

(I do not need lavish parties and expensive presents)

as long as the family is together, happy and healthy…

I won’t ask for more….

I am blessed with a loving husband and 3 wonderful children…

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Birthday Longevity Noodles


DH had his birthday recently. In our family, birthday is celebrated by spending quality time together (the whole family) and eating out for that day. Sometimes, I would bake a cake for the occasion.

This year, instead of feasting out, I thought it could be a good idea to have a special meal at home. DH always prefer something simple.

So, I made longevity noodles for dinner and the children got DH a surprised cake for his birthday. Being a Chinese, I grew up to the tradition of eating longevity noodles on my birthdays. It is believes that eating these noodles is auspicious as the long strands of noodles symbolize a long life.

Instead of just cooking a bowl of longevity noodle for the birthday boy (man), I served this to the whole family. 


This is my own version of longevity noodles (using organic Mi Sua)

Longevity Noodles Soup

Ingredients (Serves 5 –we are small eaters)
- 1liter clear chicken stock
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut to thin strips
- 1 Japanese cucumber, cut to thin strips
- 5 hard boiled eggs, halved
- 5 drumsticks
- a handful of wolfberry (Kei chi)
- 5 shitakei mushroom (rinsed and soaked in 1 cup of water for 30 mins)
- 300gm of organic mi sua noodle


  1. Hard boil 5 eggs.To cook perfect hard boiled eggs, place eggs in saucepan of cold water (enough water to cover eggs). Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes, off the flame and cover with lid for about 10 minutes. Rinse the eggs with cold water till they are cooled. Crack the eggs gently with a spoon and remove shell. Cut in half.
  2. Cut the Shitakei mushrooms into half  and set aside. Strain the water from the Shitakei mushroom and set aside.
  3. Add the water from the mushroom into the chicken stock and bring to a boil in a pot.
  4. Add in the drumsticks, mushrooms and wolfberry. Once the broth starts to boil, reduce the flame and simmer till the drumsticks are cooked. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Rinse mi sua in cold water to remove the starch, then cook them in a saucepan of boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, separating the strands with chopsticks. Take out the cooked mi sua and set in individual bowls
  6. Pour the hot broth over the noodles, then place a drumstick, cucumber, carrot, eggs on top.

The Broth The Broth

After the healthy dinner, we had this as dessert.

PA130574 The Green Tea sponge Birthday cake :)

Happy Birthday, DH….

Many more happy returns of the day!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Purple Sweet Potato Rose Mantou


How time flies!!!!

I’ve just noticed that I’ve not been posting anything here for over a couple of months.

Sorry for slacking….

No, I have not abandon this blog…

I have been so busy lately, that I just could not find the time to blog here.

Anyway, I made this a couple of weeks ago, took pictures to post here and totally forgot about it till today.

purple sweet potato rose mantou

No… this is not clay art or play dough… this is edible mantou!!

I found this interesting recipe while blog hopping one morning. Thanks to Wendyywy of Table for 2….or more, I now can have colorful and pretty mantou (without artificial coloring).

I love playing with my dough … so this is just the perfect recipe for me.

Purple Sweet Potato Rose Mantou (by Wendyywy)

Ingredients :

250gm steamed purple sweet potato (I skinned and cut them into cubes and microwaves for 3 mins on High… instead of steaming)
200gm water
500gm pau flour ( I used Blue Key Pau Flour)
1 tsp baking powder
100gm sugar
50gm shortening/Crisco ( I substitute with 50ml Corn Oil as I do not have shortening)
1/4 tsp salt
11 gm instant yeast

Method :
1. Mash sweet potato, or blitz sweet potato with almost all the water to get a fine paste. Purple varieties tend to be firmer than orange ones.
2. With balance of water, mix with yeast.
3. Combine everything except shortening( or Oil) and mix to form a dough.
4. Put in shortening (or Oil) and knead until dough is smooth. Add slightly more flour if dough is way too sticky to handle. If the dough is sticky but can retain its form, like not slacking down, just continue to knead, the gluten just hasn’t form, there’s no need to add extra flour.
5. Cover and let dough proof until double, about 1 hour.
6. Punch down dough and knead for 1-2 minutes.
7. Divide dough into into 2 and shape the dough as follows :

Rose Shaped Buns.(pictorial instruction here)
1. Make small dough balls of 15gm each.
2. Flatten each ball and roll out flat.
3. With fingers, press the sides of the circle to make them flatter and to create ripples (uneveness) .
4. Arrange 6 pieces of flattened dough, half stacking on top of each other.
5. Start rolling from the first piece on the bottom.
6. With a chopstick, saw the roll, it will roll while you saw, creating a fatter center than the sides. Eventually it will break into 2.
7. Place rose buds upright on a piece of paper.
8. Let buns rise to double (it will take about 45 mins) and steam on high heat for 12 minutes.

Purple sweet potato Mantao (proving)Purple sweet potato Mantao (b4 steaming)

Ain’t they pretty… proving (and blooming) for almost 45 minutes.

 Purple Sweet Potato Mantou (ready to eat) Purple Sweet Potato Mantou

Straight out from the steamer… so pretty.. love the smell of the sweet potato.

The 1st time I made them, I had my in-laws over for a family gathering. Received lots of compliments and the roses were wiped out within minutes. I made them again a week later so that I could share my parents and my family.

A lot of time is spent in forming the rose buds. If you do not have the patience to do so, just form them into small balls and prove & steam. :D

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Getaway & Retail Therapy - Korea

I still can't believe that we (me and my 2 friends) went on a trip to Seoul, Korea .. (a spontaneous decision over breakfast one morning). We were casually talking about going on holiday after our workout in the gym and within a fortnight we were off on the plane to Seoul.

On board the Plane - Fiona & Adeline On board the Plane

We arranged for the trip and toured the country where we do not speak their language by ourselves.

In the 5 days 4 night trip, we shopped, savored Korean food and culture without a tour guide (except for a half day tour to visit the Changdeok Palace which we followed a local tour). 

We went to the local markets and shopping areas like Dongdaemun, Namdaemun, Insadong, Myeongdon and shopped till we drop!

In fact… we did all that on foot…. yes … we practically walked to all these places from our hotel. Did not use the public transport as we enjoyed strolling along the way. Of course coming back from the shopping area was more challenging as we were lugging our finds!!!

Anyway, here is seeing Korea from our eyes….

267871_225944487439685_100000724054096_737869_44184_n Vegetable stall in the market

267745_225944600773007_100000724054096_737871_2876516_nDried fishes

2011-07-01 10.50.11 Catch from the sea.... so fresh…..

2011-06-30 09.17.03Korean seaweed and kelp

2011-06-30 09.22.37 Adeline inspecting the Korean noodles and vermicelli before buying some home.

264361_225944704106330_100000724054096_737873_436462_nIn the market place


264889_225946084106192_100000724054096_737905_7516380_n We ate where a local would have their meals....Food stalls in the market place (open till 2 am)

260029_225946254106175_100000724054096_737909_6301500_nWe had our breakfast here twice!

Food we ate in Korea…….


Places we have our meals…….

Changdeok Palace Took  a half day tour to visit the Changdeok Palace

A good getaway from our daily routine as homemakers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011



In the midst of my very hectic schedule (yes! life of a homemaker is HECTIC), I have somehow forgotten about Yoga.


I used to practise Yoga diligently couple of years ago. However, nowadays whenever I am in the gym, I would only be doing cardio and weights.

I finally made it to attend a hot yoga session this morning.

Gosh! I have to admit that my body was so stiff and achieving those simple postures was a real challenge. My muscles have not been stretched for far too long and flexibility is definitely compromised.

Nonetheless, I survived the hour of stretching and came out feeling lighter. Looks like I must not neglect this regimen.

So…. Sun Salutation….

will have to be my daily ritual to keep this aging body from further deterioration.!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stir fried Cabbage with Eggs


As a busy home-maker, I often prefer dishes that are simple and fast to prepare.

One of my favourite dish would be Stir fried cabbage with eggs.


This dish can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes. It taste absolutely divine served with a plate or bowl of steamy hot rice.

Despite its simplicity, this dish is full of goodness. Cabbage is low in calories and rich in fibre. It is believed to be able to prevent cancer and great for weight loss. The eggs (which is nutrient-rich) will provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals required in any diet.

All you need to cook this dish is 2 simple ingredients

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         A bowl of shredded cabbage and 2 eggs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Heat up 2 tbsp of oil and saute some chopped garlic till golden brown.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Add in the shredded cabbage and fry till cabbage turn green and translucent(about 3 to 4 minutes).

Keep things moving in the wok.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Lower the heat and make a well in the center.Crack eggs into the well. Stir eggs with spatula until yolks are broken, trying to keep cabbage out of egg mixture. Allow the eggs cook for about 2 minutes until almost set.Turn up heat to medium. Stir everything together and sprinkle in 2 tbsp of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Stir fry for another minute.


Dish up and garnish with some homemade fried shallots.


Serve immediately,

Yummmy!!! .

Saturday, May 14, 2011



Often… it is the simplest thing that yields the best result.


A simple egg dish could be just the perfect “pick me up” in the morning.

I have been slacking in the baking department again. So, this morning, with no bread/bun on the breakfast table, I whipped up some omelette for breakfast instead.

Omelette is such an easy dish to make. All you need is some eggs, cheese, oil or butter for frying and seasoning. The key to a good omelette is it must be light and moist. Here is how I do it.

Omelette (serves 2)

Ingredients :

3 eggs

a handful of your favourite cheese (grated)

3 tbsp of water or milk

Pinch of salt (to taste)

Dash of coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 tsp of parsley

Butter for frying


    1. Crack the eggs and separate the yolk from the white.
    2. Whisk the egg whites till light and frothy.
    3. Heat a heavy-bottomed non-stick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and let it melt.
    4. Add the egg yolks, water (or milk) to the egg whites and season to taste with salt and pepper.
    5. Continue whisking till the mixture is pale yellow. (You are trying to create as much air as possible into the mixture to yield a light and fluffy omelette).
    6. Gently fold in the grated cheese  and the paisley into the mixture.
    7. When the butter in the pan is hot enough to make a drop of water hiss, pour in the eggs. Don't stir! Let the eggs cook for up to a minute or until the bottom starts to set.
    8. With your spatula, lift one edge of the egg and fold it across and over, so that the edges line up. Cook for another minute or so, but don't overcook or allow the egg to turn brown. If necessary, you can flip the entire omelette over to cook the top for 30 seconds or so. Just don't let it get brown.
    9. Gently transfer the finished omelette to a plate. Garnish with some cherry tomatoes or fresh herbs. if desired.

A simple yet wholesome breakfast at can be whipped up in less than 5mins.



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls


I love having freshly baked cinnamon buns/rolls for breakfast. However I am often put off by the fact that the preparation time is long and that I would have to wake up at least 2 hours earlier to ensure that freshly baked cinnamon rolls can be on the table by the time the family wakes up.

A couple of weeks ago, while blog-hopping (my way of de-stressing and getting inspirations), I chance upon a gem! A quick  and easy recipe for cinnamon rolls.


The dough is prepared the night before and left in the refrigerator to chill overnight. During this time the dough will rise…but very slowly. Then the next morning, you just need to pull out the dough and shape it and off to the oven to bake. All in all, just less than an hour in the morning. For me, I took out the dough from the fridge an hour and a half before the family woke up. While the dough is resting, I took a shower and freshen up. Then, before shaping the dough, I just kneaded it for a couple of minutes. Love the feeling of the yeast coming to life and doing its thing. So, even though the recipe does not call for kneading before shaping,,, I just have to do it to satisfy myself. I added some semi-sweet chocolate chips into the rolls. The cinnamon rolls came out prefect!!! Nothing beats a freshly baked roll for breakfast. Hubby had a couple before going to work and the children finished up the rest.

Everyone was satisfied :)


Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from Reese’s Kitchen)

Ingredients :

280g Bread flour

15g Milk powder

60g castor sugar

1/2 tsp salt

70g water

6g instant yeast

100g fresh milk

50g butter


  1. Mix all ingredients together except butter in a mixer, mix until a dough forms.
  2. Add in butter and knead until you get an elastic dough.
  3. Brush a deep bowl with some butter, and leave the dough to rise in it for 1 hour. (covered with cling wrap)
  4. Transfer it into the fridge and chill over night.
  5. Take out the dough from the fridge and let it stand for 5 minutes, then roll flat.
  6. Brush a thin layer of butter on the flat dough and sprinkle enough cinnamon powder and brown sugar as you desire.
  7. Roll up like a Swiss roll and cut into sections.
  8. Place on a greased pan and let it double in size for 10 minutes. Brush with beaten eggs.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                         (I did not egg wash it, as i prefer the matte look)
  9. Bake in preheated oven, 190'C for 20 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls (4)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA           

Look at the texture…. very fine and sooo soft !!See the texture was unexpectedly soft!

I managed to make 10 rolls from this recipe.

What a great way to start the day!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Banana Choc Chip Cupcakes


There were 3 over-riped bananas in the kitchen this morning.

Thought it might be a good idea to turn them into cupcakes. It’s been awhile since I last baked cupcakes. In fact, I have not been baking much lately. Life as been so hectic for me lately, that I hardly have time to bake or blog :(

Anyway, I found these easy and great cupcake recipes, and decided to try out the one with banana. I threw in some chocolate chips and turned them into Banana Choc Chip Cookies…. yum

Banana cupcakes

The recipe is a keeper… easy yet yielding such wonderfully soft, fine textured and delicious cupcakes. 


Banana cupcakes1

Banana Choc Chip Cupcakes (adapted from Krystina Castella’s)


1/2 pound (225gm) unsalted butter,at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used 3 large banana)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract & 2 handfuls of chocolate chips

Method :

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line cupcake pans with liners.
2. With an electric mixer on medium speed cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs to creamed mixture, and beat well. Add the bananas creamed mixture and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add all the dry ingredients to creamed mixture at once. Mix until the dry ingredients are completely integrated.
5. Add the milk, chocolate chips and vanilla. Mix batter for 1 minute on medium speed.
6. Fill cupcake liners one-half to three-quarters full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

Banana cupcakes - before baking

Banana cupcakes - before baking

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pigs in a Blanket


For a quick and easy breakfast, I made these for my family this morning.

 Pig in the Blanket

I called them “Pigs in a Blanket”.

This is like an easy version of sausage roll.

Took a few slices of bread (wholemeal) and trim off the edges. Spread some butter on the bread and put a cocktail sausage on each slice of bread. Wrap the bread around the sausage and secure it with pandan leaves. (the pandan leaves are freshly picked from my garden).

Pig in the Blanket - b4 toasting

Place them onto a baking tray (lined with aluminium foil) and grill in the oven for about 10 mins. Remove the tray from the oven once the bread is golden brown.

Pig in the Blanket - Close up

Serve hot with a nice cuppa coffee or Milo.
The bread is crunchy and fragrant.

Simple, yet delightful way to start a day….


Yummie ;D

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Handmade Market @ Empire Shopping Gallery


I know…. I am very late …. the event was a week ago!!!

Have been so busy since the Handmade Market that I hardly have time to sit in front of of the computer to blog.

The Handmade has been a BLAST!

Despite the fact that the event was located on the top floor of Empire Shopping Gallery and the crowd was not as big as The Crafty Art Market2….

business had been pretty good for me!!!

Bag N Craft

  My owl keychain pouches were quite a HIT!

By the end of the day, I had only 20% remaining AND there were also a few custom orders. (Now that’s way I have been so busy lately… busy fulfilling the orders by the customers).

I must say that this event gave me some good exposures……

(doing the happy dance ;D )

Etsy Handmade Market March 2011 (handles)   Something new in my booth….

I am also selling handbag handles and accessories from Inazuma, Japan.

I love them… great quality!!!

They are very well received globally.

(Still new in Malaysia, though)