Saturday, April 7, 2018

Dusting the Cobwebs

Look at the cobwebs over here. Geez!

As you know, time is always of the essence and there's rarely enough time for me to spare for this little blog of mine. Granted, I do miss scribbling my flyaway thoughts but gawd, I do not have the patience to wait for my laptop to start up and for this page to load. 

Instead, I prefer to bury my nose in a novel whenever I can. I love the libraries here ... the books are in great condition and I don't have to buy them anymore! I don't have any space on our bookshelves now that Brendan's occupy 1/3 of it. I've stashed my favourite books into boxes and they're hiding in the closet of one of the spare rooms.

Such is my love for my son. :D

So, books. And library.
I get to borrow up to 40 items and books can be borrowed for 30 days. It's really such a good deal. I've renewed several toddler books twice and that's me hgging the book(s) for up to 3 months. Gosh. 

Well, just this 1 book. 

Image taken from

He's a bit Thomas-obsessed at the moment. I'm not sure how long it will last, but he likes looking at books in general. Thank goodness for that. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but when he was younger (before he was 1 years old), he didn't seem keen on books so I was quite disappointed with his lack of interest.

Now I'm a secretly proud mama. :D

OK, back to me, before I go on and on and on and on about the love of my life. Brendan, not the hubs, mind you.

Last year was spent dedicating most of my time to B. This year, I hope to regain control of my weight and fitness.

My 1st event is coming in 2 weeks and I haven't trained as much as I had hoped. B and I fell sick after we returned from Malaysia last month, and we spent 2 weeks on the mend. It's funny how the unexpected happens, and now I'm rushed for time to get back into shape.

A 10km distance still needs some form of training.

When I first signed up for it in January/February, I had a goal which was to set a personal best (PB). Now I know that it's NOT going to happen. Argh!

Seriously, running 10km today was SUCH a struggle for me. I hope I won't suffer too much on race day.

Anyway, I don't really want to talk about running. Let's talk about food.

Once upon a time I used to judge people who had their freezer packed with frozen food. Now I understand WHY there's a need to indeed stash your freezer with some form of convenience. 

While I'm chopping meat of veg or preparing food to cook for dinner, my son would come to me and ask me to play cars with him. With such hope in his eyes, I do my best to spend a few minutes in between food prep to play with him. I can't deny him just a little bit of attention. Because it's not nice.

I do try to cook 1 pot meals or have the food prepared while he's napping. 


I've made 'claypot' chicken rice in the rice cooker twice because I really like the convenience of it. It was also because I still had some leftover Korean sesame oil my neighbour had given me - it is REALLY good.

Its aromatic fragrance is more intense than say, the Malaysian ones we're so used to. I am sorely tempted to purchase a bottle (and use it sparingly) as the Asian grocer nearest to us has 1L retailed at $18. My neighbour says that's quite expensive.


Dry chilli pan mee was a almost a disaster for me. I used dried SMALL chillies for the chilli and boy, the heat was ridiculously intense that our heads were perspiring! The only saving grace was my first attempt at making noodles from scratch. They were nice and bouncy. 

The only problem I had was cutting the dough with a pizza cutter and then stretching them a little, before dusting them with flour (to prevent sticking) was a very time consuming job. Dinner was served late, it was almost 8pm when we started eating.

If I'll have to make them again, I'll have to start in the morning!
(Or buy a pasta making machine ...)

Oh gawd. It's time to prepare dinner.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Anak Anak Malaysia Taste Of Malaysia

Saturday, 26th August 2017

In conjunction of Merdeka Day on 31st August 2017, Eco World Group hosted the abovementioned event in South Yarra that day, inviting people to pop in for free Malaysian food.

What's not to love about free food, eh? :)

We arrived at the venue at noon and found the place backed with mostly Malaysians and Singaporeans. 

Upon entry, we were given our ticket cum food voucher which allowed us to select 4 items from each category. I thought it was pretty generous, hehe, but it might not be enough for some to have a full meal.

The choice of satay gave us 2 sticks and they were really delicious. The small square piece of murtabak was paled in comparison. As the satay was made on the spot, the stall always had the longest queue.

The kuih was a hit and miss. I was informed by the stall owner that the rainbow coloured kuih lapis was the Sarawak one but honestly, I don't recall Sarawak kuih lapis tasting so artificial. Perhaps it's due to the amount of colouring used for the kuih.

For the mains, we had the Mamak Mee Goreng and Curry Mee (not stated in the voucher) and both were good. We took home the Mamak Mee Goreng and had it for dinner. :D

I was pretty excited to spot Diana Chan, Masterchef Australia 2017 when she appeared to officiate the event. She held a cooking demo in the developer's office (indoors) so I wasn't there. I never knew she was so tall!

Later on, everyone had an opportunity to have their photo taken with her. We took the chance and I don't think I managed to say anything meaningful to her besides, "Congrats on your win!"

Screenshot of photos from Yarra One Apartment's Facebook page.

Brendan was very mesmerised by her. Diana did try to cajole him to smile but all he could do was look at her with googly eyes. :D

As for me, sigh, why didn't anyone tell me I needed a haircut and better fitting sweater?!

Right after the event, WH and I popped into Zumbo. We practically drooled over the selection but after deliberating for almost 30 minutes, we walked out with a very small purchase: 2 pieces for me and 3 for her. :D

The cheesecake looked really good!

I opted for the passion fruit tart (based on raving reviews) and salted caramel tart. I was sorely tempted to buy a piece of brownie as well but had to force myself to walk away.

The passion fruit tart turned out to be just so-so. Hmmm, I honestly can't remember how it tastes now, perhaps it wasn't tarty enough with passion fruit flavour. The salted caramel one was much better, but hehe, I'll have to say right now that the taste of Bibelot's salted caramel tart is the one that is stuck in my head right now!

Zumbo Patisserie
18 Claremont St
South Yarra, VIC 3141

285 - 287 Coventry St
South Melbourne, VIC 3205

Friday, September 22, 2017

Red Curry Paste Recipe

Ah, I found the curry paste recipe for the Thai Red Curry (for Roast Duck). It was scribbled in my notepad, amongst other recipes I've copied from the Internet. I am old-fashioned as such, I find it easier to refer to a notebook than the IPad. ;)

Red Curry Paste

1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp salt
10 large dried chillies (or 20g), rehydrated/soaked in warm water for 30mins, finely chopped
1 tsp grated galangal
1 stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped
6 coriander roots, washed, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp shrimp paste
8 red birds eye chillies, seeds removed

1. Dry roast cumin, coriander and peppercorns over medium heat for 2 mins until fragrant. Cool.
2. Grind them until they become powder. Add remaining ingredients and pound until a smooth paste forms.

Alternatively, which I did, add 1/4 cup of water to all ingredients and blend until smooth.

I'm sorely tempted to make the paste right now but it's too warm to be eating spicy food today!

So sorry for the last post - I was too sleepy to end it properly. I was trying to make a list of some of his current favourite books and ask anyone some suggestions for new books to try.

I am excited about going to a books warehouse sale tomorrow - I really hope I snag some good bargains. The best thing about it is that, I'm hoping to get children's book and none for me. HAH!

For me, borrowing books from the library is so much better now as the bookshelves certainly do not have space for both Brendan and my books. :D

It's Time To Sleep You Crazy Sheep

... is Brendan's all-time favourite book and we don't know why.

Could it be the rhymes or the illustrations?

We've I've read it so often (at least twice a day: before nap and before bed) that I've memorised the first two pages. If I can memorise the whole book, that would be great - I'll just recite the whole book in the dark while he settles himself to sleep. Ha!

I thought our trip to the library on Wednesday was fruitful, with 9 books for him and 4 for me, but I realised later that night that 1/3 of the books were related to colours. Boring!

This book isn't too bad, although I try not to be bothered by the American spelling. :D

Except that I'm still trying to get him interested enough to read/go through the whole book! 

One of his other favourite book is called Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas and it's a pretty entertaining book. It was a birthday present and he happily shrieks "Nana!" when he sees the cover, although I do wonder if he's referring to the banana or the piranha.

I'm looking for more books to buy for him, although he's stopped flicking through a few of his Sandra Boynton and Dr Seuss ones. Noooooo ... I can't wait for him to be able to read so we can go through them together! :)

My little bookworm back in April. *heart*

I just nodded off for a second here!

I think I better get to bed ... zzzz

Friday, September 15, 2017

Recently Tried Recipes

One of the hardest things I've yet to accept is the lack of time to do the things I want and long to do. Sometimes it gets me down, and I do the unthinkable of blaming it on B, but most of the time I've given up on getting things done ASAP, but choose to spread the work to be done within a few days. Hahaha!

For example, the Serunding Daging (Beef Meat Floss). It took me almost 5 days to get it done because I didn't have time to shred the meat as finely as I wanted it to be. [Tried in August 2017.]

Ironically, despite my attempt in shredding the meat as finely as possible before cooking it, they clumped together during the cooking process. Ha! I shouldn't have invested THAT much time. ;)

The recipe from Fried Chillies I referred to uses coriander seeds, cumin and fennel seeds. I'll probably find another recipe to try out as I didn't enjoy tasting the coriander seeds in my mouth. I picked out as many seeds as I could but alas, guess what? I've still got a container of the floss in my fridge as I haven't picked out as many as I am hoping to before consumption! :D

Nevertheless, it was good eaten with rice or even pasta! It's very useful to have some at standby should you need to have a quick meal to get out of the way.

Hoping to try the Chinese version one day. ONE DAY when I believe I have all the time in the world, haha!


Angku Kueh (Red Tortoise Cake)

This is one of my favourite childhood snacks to have. My paternal grandmother would bring over tons of it when she visited and the ones with peanut filling were always quickly snapped up. I haven't tried making the peanut filling yet, but like mentioned above, ONE DAY I shall!

Initially I thought it was hard work, but after getting the hang of it the first round, the second one was a breeze. Well, I had the hubs helping me out as we were rushing to have food ready for Brendan's 1st birthday party. :)

Recipe from Nasi Lemak Lover. Tried in May 2017.

Hmmm, I wish I could have some right now. *tries not to drool* It turned out to be a huge hit with my Malaysian and Singaporean friends - and thank goodness there was enough for them to bring some home with them. :)


Mee Hoon Kueh [July 2017.]

One of my friends was always sharing photos of this dish on Facebook and yes, it seems like most people know this dish as Pan Mee. The hubs said the same thing when he saw it the first time.

Recipe from Nasi Lemak Lover.

I believe they're the same thing, especially when Pan Mee condiments are added to this broth of pulled dough pieces. I made it plain the first time, like how my grandmother did it - just spinach and dough in broth. That was it.

The second and third time I made it, I added Pan Mee condiments of minced meat and mushroom, and fried anchovies.

In all honesty, as much as B loves the dish (he loves his carbs), it is quite time consuming to prepare it as a meal. Letting the dough rest for at least an hour before pulling it and cooking it in boiling water can take a while. Zzzz

Just last night I threw away the rest of the dough I didn't finish using the day before. :(


Lei Cha [Tried in July 2017.]

I first ate this dish in Ipoh, when the hubs and I were still in an unmarried relationship. His father advised me that not everyone liked this dish and there were two ways of eating it, drown your rice and condiments with the broth, or eat your rice with enough broth as you please.

It turned out that I enjoyed the dish very much. I would request for it whenever we were in Ipoh for the weekend. Later on, we found a coffee shop in Kepong serving it, and some of our friends loved this dish as well.

The recipe I tried is from The Star Online with some of my own condiments. It's extremely hard work and the taste was 90% to what we were used to. The broth is heavy in terms of flavour but it looks watery in the picture. I'm not sure how I'd tweak it should I attempt the recipe again.


Pumpkin recipes - Steamed pumpkin and radish cake.

I replaced a portion of radish with pumpkin instead, curious to see how it would turn out. Pumpkin, as you know, is mild tasting, so you couldn't tell that it was one of the ingredients in this dish.

Pan-frying leftovers are always so much tastier. I love the colour, if not disappointed in the lack of taste. :)

Pumpkin No Churn Ice-Cream

I was so excited to discover that you can make ice-cream without the need of an ice-cream maker!

I soon realised that unfortunately, I could mostly taste the cream in it, no thanks to pumpkin being mild flavoured, remember? It gives you a gorgeous colour, no doubt about it, but taste wise, it was a bit of a disappointment.

But it didn't stop us from finishing it, especially when you want something cold to end your meal. 

I'm hoping to try another flavour and see if it'll stand out. :)


Roast Duck Curry [Tried in July 2017.]

OMG ... I LOVED the curry paste!

The hubs had brought home some leftover roast duck he had for lunch with a colleague. He commented that the duck was lean and wasn't very appealing (in taste) so could I please make it better?

I could only think of curry and had to find a recipe I thought suitable. The thing is, I can't recall where I took the curry paste recipe from. *ponders*

The curry was delicious, but would have tasted so much better with lychee and eggplant, both of which I didn't have. Grapes and mandarin just made it weird.

Nevertheless, I wish to emphasize that the curry paste was da BOMB.

Now where the heck is the recipe??


Kuih Bangkit. [Tried in May 2017.]

I had cravings in May 2017. I was desperate to taste the creamy coconut in my mouth that I trawled the internet for a recipe I could follow.

Whilst they didn't look anything like kuih bangkit as I didn't have the mould, they tasted like it. I was so happy. I asked my friends to try it during Brendan's birthday party and made them take some home, too, otherwise I would devour everything. 

Now that I have the mould (thanks to the BFF for bringing them over), I shall make them again!
But one fine day!

Because, I shouldn't.
If I'm on a diet and all ... :D


Laksa Johor [Tried in August 2017.]

I've only eaten this dish once, and it was a homemade version of it.

I loved the thickness of it, and the use of spaghetti that the dish just stuck in my head since ... 10 years ago?

For the first round, I blanched the diced french beans as I thought they would be too hard to chew. For the second round with leftover gravy, it was raw and it made such a huge difference. It brought out the flavours of the gravy and the dish was altogether whole.

There are plenty of recipes out there that will tell you what fish should be used (mackerel, tuna, parang or sardines) but I used sardines and they tasted good enough for me.



The pictures are making me hungry as I relived my cooking moments.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Spring is springing

Why, hello!
It's been a while!

I'm here because I'm wondering how long will it take for a tray of brownies to cool down before I can dig in. I'm also wondering if I should bake some cookies while waiting.

Or prepare dinner instead.

Betty Crocker's Triple Fudge Brownies - first time trying a brownie mix.

I can't believe it's September and in a few months, it'll be another new year. I dread the new years as they remind me of how old I'm becoming and how fast B is growing up!

There has been some progress in some of his skills and thought process that sometimes surprise us. I'm probably not like some mums who keep tab on every single achievement but should I?

August 2017 - He finally knew how to stack them. Almost brought tears to my eyes. :P

Just last Friday, I was chatting with another mum when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed B going down the plastic kiddy slide on his tummy. The fact that he was sliding down head first wasn't what surprised me (he's a bit of a daredevil, me thinks), but the fact that he had managed to climb up the 5 steps on his own and I didn't get to witness it the first time. Oh, man!

Mr Sociable wanted to be friends but the kid wasn't pleased to be interrupted
from his playing.

He's very keen on being friends with other children and it's hard to rein in his excitement and friendliness. When mums of the other children aren't around to guide or advise their children on how to react to B's attention, I try to steer him away, just in case the other children/mums don't really like it. 

B has a few friends at playgroup who are used to his attention by now. He likes handing over toys from the containers or anything, just to be friends. But now that he's a bit more aware of his surroundings and he is 15 months plus now, he is at that stage of wanting to play with the toys that other children are playing with. Oh gawd, I have to tell him to either share or wait for his turn, and sometimes drag him away, telling him that the other kid does not want to share the toy.

It's the truth, and I might be handling it all wrong but hey, it is NOT easy to deal with the situation, mmkay.

I know a mum who once told me she had tears in her eyes when she observed her son playing on his own while she was preparing dinner. She was imagining how lonely it was to be an only child. 

Yeah, I sometimes feel the same way, too, when I see B bored and alone with his toys, as if in need of some company. I tell myself that I need to bring him out as much as possible for play dates so he can play with the other little people like him. :)

But sometimes I want to do my own things, too ... and housework. :D

Neighbour's chilli was so spicy! I thought they'd harvest it so I left it there but they never did!

I am trying to get myself back into running and it's hard work when you have to push the stroller at the same time. It's a good workout, I have to admit, but my runs are pretty dependent on the weather. The weather is kinda crummy this week, and the sun peeks out from the clouds during B's afternoon naps! Hah!

Anyhoo, I need to post some recipes here before I forget them. I'd like to think that I've cooked up a storm for the past few months I haven't updated this blog but I don't think I've been that productive. 


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Autumn is here

This post was drafted last week and finally completed the day this post is published!

One of the things I love doing is looking back at old photos of my little koala, and chuckling to myself, amazed as to how much he has changed. Heehee. It really tickles me.

Now that B is almost 11 months, I can see his developments progressing bit by bit, from improvement of his motor skills and expressing himself better. There's a lot of baby babble and hand pointing and I nod and respond accordingly, pretending to understand him when I only understand 10% of it!

One of my daily struggles involve preparing his meals. While I wish I was one of those super health freaks who insist their children eat only the best organic food, I can only be partially bothered. *guilt-stricken*

Breakfast are the toughest. I used to feed him some yoghurt when we were in Malaysia but I stopped, fearing for its sugar content. Right now, I alternate between oats with pieces of bread and fruit, and Cerelac with pieces of bread, as well as a piece of bread to keep his restless hands busy (so he'll feed himself) while we watch Sesame Street on tv.

I try to stay away from processed baby food but having Cerelac and some baby rice puffs (for snacks) readily available at hand is very convenient!

What a mess!

I dread cleaning up after his meals, I really do. Well, the hubs does, too. It's hard work!

Sometimes I prefer to feed him to limit the mess but it helps to have some finger food available when he insists on feeding himself.