Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thank you, Abba Father

Our Abba Father is indeed amazing.

A few days ago, I came under attack for my religious beliefs. It was not easy for me because the source of attack was from a known source. This has not been the first time that such an incident has happened to me.

However, I believe that our Abba Father wants me to know that I should continue to stand firm in what I have faith in and I am on the right track.

I was checking my blog today when I noticed a message in my chatbox which was posted on 29 November 2008. The sender of the message was "Cyberanger". The message was "Take a look @"

I do not know who Cyberanger is. However, out of curiosity, I checked out the link and was surprised to see that my post of 23 November 2008 had been awarded "Best Christian Blog Of The Week". I am honoured and humbled.

At the end of the day, I believe that no matter which church we attend, what is more important is our faith and what is in our hearts.
We may start out with faith as small as a mustard seed. But plant it on solid ground and what do we realise after some time? The seed has grown into a plant.

It is not about how much we love the Lord. It is about how much the Lord loves us. For this, I am awed that God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins on the Cross. At the Cross, Jesus took upon Himself all the curses and the punishment so that we can receive the blessings that God had for Jesus.

When we face trials and tribulations, we should not look towards ourselves. In and of ourselves, we can never solve our problems. Have you ever wondered why sometimes, when we are going through difficulties, if we simply "let go and let God", things somehow fall into place? Is that of our own doing? The answer is "no".

I have discovered that the more I try to solve problems through my own efforts and works, the less the problems get solved. Our God is a very gracious God - if we insist on doing things our way, He will not force His way on us.

It is a choice that we all make. For me, I believe that the Lord loves me and that He will always carry me on His shoulders. I have lost count of the miracles that have happened in my life. I believe that there is such a thing as "right time, right place". However, I believe that this does not happen by chance. Our God has put us in the right time and the right place.

We are all human and we have human imperfections. I do not deny that it is often difficult to "let go". "Let go and let God" is an advice that I have given friends and loved ones when they are going through difficulty but I know from personal experience that it is easier said than done. How, then, do we increase our faith? Faith comes by hearing the Word. We believe and we speak.

For some people, they find difficulty sitting down in a quiet corner and reading the Bible. If that is a challenge, then they may want to avail themselves of Christian sermons and Christian worship songs. You will be amazed that how inspired worship songs can be. I have found that when I am listening to grace-filled worship songs, a sense of peace comes over me and suddenly, life becomes less burdensome and we can face our lives with gusto. I am an anxious person by nature (I worry too much) and there have been times (especially at work) when I have realised that my heart is beating at a rate faster than it should. Something special happens when I put aside what I am doing and I listen to worship songs that lift the Lord - my heart slows down and a sense of well-being fills me.

Some people have remarked that there are people who attend church every sunday but the minute they step out of church, their countenance changes and they become hypocritical and behave like a "typical Pharisee". It is true that people in the early Church sometimes did not even have the opportunity to attend Church because of, for example, persecution of those who believe in Christ. However, we go to Church to sit at the feet of Jesus and to listen to the Word of God, not to "see and be seen". We should not bother about the behaviour of others who attend Church regularly but whose day-to-day behaviour belies their claim that they are a child of God. This is about you and God. It is not about what others see in you. Why? No matter how nice a person you may be, there will always be someone who has an axe to grind with you. The more blessed you are, the more the devil will try to come against you and to plant seeds of doubt in your mind as to whether you are truly the beloved of the Lord.

When we face difficulties, let us look towards the Cross and tell the Lord, "Father, I offer up to you this challenge that I am going through. I do not know what to do but I know that You know what to do. I leave this in Your hands and I thank You that You have overcome it. I may not see the manifestation of the victory right now but I believe that it has been achieved. For before Jesus gave up His spirit, He cried out, "It is finished!". And it indeed is. Thank you, Father, for your blessings. I am truly Your beloved.".

Reject the false claims! We are blessed and we are children of God. If a mortal father will give the best to his children, how much more our Abba Father will give us His best! There is no one more perfect than Jesus Christ and yet, He gave up his blessings and He took on our curses so that we can walk freely in the blessings of God.

Thank you, Abba Father, for all that You have done for my family and me. I know that You will always be there for me and I can turn you to in good times and in bad. I know that trials and tribulations in my life did not come from You but You will carry me through and bring me to triumph. All praise and glory to You, O Lord. My family and I have indeed been blessed and I know that we will continue to be blessed.

I wrote the above post this morning. When I attended church late this afternoon, the message that the guest speaker, a Pastor from the United States of America spoke about was believing and speaking our faith. At that point in time, I felt that the Lord affirm what I have written in my post. Thank you, Abba Father, for showing me a sign that Your Word is true. I believe and I speak forth. I have victory through You.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Life is good

I believe that the Lord wants us to live a carefree life. Look at the lilies in the field - they do not toil and yet there is no one clothed more beautifully than them.

When the weekend comes, we have a precious 2 days to take a break and to enjoy time with our family and loved ones.

This morning, I made my way to The Adelphi located at Coleman Street after a quick breakfast at Qi Ji at Raffles Link. Da had to work in the morning so I had a few hours to myself.

When I arrived, I looked up at the building. Hmm... looks like the building needs a new paint job. Earlier in the year, some of the subsidiary proprietors had broached the subject of a collective sale of The Adelphi. However, there was an unexpected market downturn and given the fact that the real estate industry is current "not moving", perhaps the subsidiary proprietors have put their collective sale plans on hold for the moment.

For me, I would be happy for the building to remain where it is because the beauty salon that I patronise is located in this building. The team of therapists working for the lady boss is experienced and well trained. They are also interesting to converse with. The lady boss is a lovely lady whose thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated by her clients. Being in the service line myself, I can understand how difficult it can be to be in the service industry. Not everyone is cut out for such work. Whilst we may encounter unreasonable or difficult clients, at the end of the day, we need to remember that we are there to serve and we should not take things personally. When we walk out of our office/shop, we should focus on our families and loved ones.

After a relaxing therapy session and interesting discussions with the therapists about various topics, I went to my office to clear some work while waiting for Da to finish work.

I received a text message from Da to meet at a bus stop along Robinson Road at 2 pm. He would take a bus from his office, let me know what bus number he has boarded and I would board the same bus when it approached the Robinson Road bus stop.

We had not eaten at one of the Hainanese coffee shops located along Purvis Street for some time, so we decided to eat at Chin Chin Eating House.

As we had already decided to continue with tea time almost immediately after lunch, we ordered 2 dishes at Chin Chin instead of our usual 3 dishes. Today, we ordered the claypot mutton stew and sliced bittergourd with sliced fish. The food did not disappoint, as always.

This sounds very greedy but the coffee shop that we wanted to adjourn to was located next to Chin Chin, so after we lingered at Chin Chin to chat (and to digest part of our lunch!), we got up and "went next door" to Y Y Kafei Dian ("Kafei Dian" means "coffee shop").

What did we have for tea time? Our usual, of course! 1 coffee (with evaporated milk), 1 tea (with evaporated milk), 1 doughnut and 1 toasted bread bun with peanut butter. Thoroughly decadent but absolutely divine! Hey, life is short - enjoy the simple pleasures in life!

Goodness me! We were so full after our tea time that we had to take a walk! As such, we took a long walk to Tekka Mall (now known as "The Verge") via the National Library and Bugis area. We had heard that the shops formerly located at The Concourse (yes, those shops selling wrapping paper at S$0.20 per wrapper!) had moved to The Verge.

However, when we arrived at The Verge (all drenched in perspiration), we were disappointed to see that the building was still under retrofitting.

As we slowly made our way back to City Hall area (to board the bus to Da's office where he had parked our car), we came across 3 shops next to each other along Middle Road. The banner at the top of the shops claimed that these shops were formerly located at The Concourse.

We browsed all the 3 shops before purchasing a packet of Christmas wrapping paper. Each packet contains 50 pieces of wrapping paper.

Although I had worn a comfortable pair of walking shoes, I must admit that by then, I was feeling very hot and humid in my jeans. My steps slowed and I could feel myself dragging my feet. When we arrived at Capitol Building at City Hall area, we made a quick detour to Shop In Department Store Pte Ltd. We had 2 purposes - (1) enjoy the air-conditioning and (2) I wanted to buy a pair of shorts / bermudas to change into.

I finally found a lovely pair of shorts. It is what is known as a "hipster" in that it is meant to be worn at the hip area and not waist-high. The cutting was perfect for me because I am pear-shaped and whenever I find a pair of pants that can fit my hips, the pants would be too loose at the waist. As such, I was happy to find a pair of pants that "had no waist area".

Da's mobile phone rang. It was ET, informing us that he had cooked laksa for dinner. ET is an excellent cook. En route to the home of The Three Musketeers, Da and I bought some pastries from a confectionery at Tanjong Pagar area.

Ordinarily, the after-dinner activities at the home of The Three Musketeers would be plenty of screaming and shouting while everyone is watching an English Premier League ("EPL") match. Tonight, however, there were not very interesting matches for the EPL games (the Red Devils are playing their game tomorrow!) and as such, we decided to play mahjong instead. Supercute and Tau Suan had never played this game before. Goodness me! They are fast learners! It is believed that playing mahjong keeps one's mind active as this game involves a lot of thinking and strategising. This is why the elderly are encouraged to play mahjong.

Time for a break! Calla Lily had arranged the pastries on a big plate and Tiki suggested taking photographs of the plate of pastries placed on top of the majong tiles. Lovely! Nining enjoyed the egg tarts tremendously.

It was a good and relaxing saturday. I look forward to tomorrow.

Friday, November 28, 2008

And the two shall be as one

He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts.
Rest assured this troubador is acting on His part.
The union of your spirits here has caused Him to remain
for whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name there is love.
Oh, there is love.
[source: lyrics from "The Wedding Song (There is Love)"]

Today is the wedding celebration of RT and HD. Congratulations to the two of you!

RT is the brother of SC, my "old" friend for about 23 years.

I am acquainted with all of SC's siblings. When SC and I were in school, Xiao Bai and I used to go to SC's home. When I was younger, I used to associate SC's mother with:-
(a) Sun Rider lemon tea; and
(b) AMC cookware.

There are 3 parties in a marriage. Did you know that?

This is because Jesus is at the centre of a happy marriage. If a couple were to rely on each other, the imperfections in the other party may sometimes cause conflict, strife, misunderstandings and quarrels. However, the couple should look to the only One who is able to hold them together - our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hi RT and HD, on the occasion of your wedding, I wish you wedded bliss. Life is not perfect and there will be ups and downs. But always remember to look towards the Cross and believe. May the Lord bless your union always.

And now, I dedicate the following song to the two of you:-

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rest in peace, daddy

(photograph source:

Today is the 16th anniversary of the death of my daddy.

My brothers and I had a strict daddy but he had a heart of gold and only wanted the best for his family.

My daddy was a maestro in his field of work - the real estate industry. I remember that in the early 1980s, he single-handedly sold / leased out all the units in an industrial building on behalf of a client. The client was so happy with my daddy's service that my entire family was given a paid holiday to the United States of America in the summer of 1981. At that time, a buffet breakfast at Circus Circus hotel in Las Vegas cost only US$4.

I have the opportunity to meet my daddy's ex-colleagues and ex-business associates in my line of work. I am amazed that they still remember him and I enjoy listening to them recollecting incidents involving my daddy. One common thread in their stories is how good my daddy was in his line of work. Had he lived, I have no doubt that he would have been mentor to many younger colleagues. Recently, I learned that a client's wife was my daddy's ex-colleague and the client also knew my daddy! What a small world this is.

He was also an amazing carpenter. The living room and dining room in my parents' home is of split level. Resting on the bannister between both rooms is a wooden divider with elaborate and complicated design made by my daddy. If you were to look closely at the divider, you will notice that it is not held together by any nails. It is simply a work of art.

My daddy's life was cut short at the young age of 47 when he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. The cause of death was congestive cardiomyopathy.

Thanks to my parents' influence, my brothers and I learned to appreciate music of different genre, such as oldies, country & western music, classical music, etc.

I am very blessed that till today, my family remains close-knit.

Daddy, I miss you very much. I know that you are walking on streets of gold in heaven and enjoying the peace that you so greatly deserve. May you remain the shadows of His Almighty always.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

baby blessings

The blessings upon my family and loved ones keep pouring in.

We have been given the wonderful news of the birth of SAN at 3.50 am today (Melbourne time), weighing 2.71 kg.

SAN is the firstborn of my cousin, AN and his lovely wife, DD who live in Melbourne, Australia.

Congratulations, cousin! I cannot wait to hold the little one. Who does she look like? (At this juncture, as my friends would know, I am very tempted to say that the baby looks like me, of course.... heehee...)

Life is full of ups and downs but one thing is for sure - have faith that at the end of the rain, a rainbow appears. Better yet, a double-rainbow.

Little SAN, your Aunty Pebbles would like to hug-hug-kiss-kiss you in person! We look forward to meeting you when your daddy and mommy make a trip "back home" in May 2009. In the meantime, MWAH! MWAH! We look forward to receiving plenty of photographs of you.

post-script @ 14 March 2009
I must be a seer! My cousin HL sent a multimedia message to my mobile phone on 14 March 2009. In the message are two photographs of SAN. Guess what? She does look like me!

Happy birthday, AT

Aren't the flowers in the photograph above absolutely stunning?

They are one of two bouquets of flowers that were given to AT for her birthday today. The other bouquet is shown below:-

I have known this lovely and petite girl for several years and she is fun to "hang out with".

She greets you with a very charming "harlo" instead of "hello".

Her voice is low and mellow - perfect for crooning r-o-m-a-n-t-i-c songs at KTV sessions. Speaking of this, hey KTV gang! When is our next KTV session?

On the occasion of your birthday, AT, I wish you very many happy returns of the day. May you remain youthful and charming. Be happy, girl and let go of your worries in life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Watch the Lamb

(This song is dedicated to the family of my penpal, JMC. Hi JMC, this is the song that was sung during the Easter Service at your Baptist Church in South Carolina, United States of America in 1995.)


Walking on the road to Jerusalem,
The time had come to sacrifice again,
My two small sons, They walk beside me on the road,
The reason that they came was to watch the lamb.

Daddy, daddy, What will we see there,
There's so much that we don't understand,
So I told them of Moses and father Abraham,
Then I said dear children watch the lamb.

There will be so many in Jerusalem today,
We must be sure the lamb doesn't run away,
And I told them of Moses and father Abraham,
Then I said dear children watch the lamb.

When we reached the city, I knew something must be wrong,
There were no joyful worshipers, No joyful worship songs,
I stood there with my children in the midst of angry men,
Then I heard the crowd cry out
Crucify Him.

We tried to leave the city but we could not get away,
Forced to play in this drama a part I did not wish to play,
Why upon this day were men condemned to die,
Why were we standing here, Where soon they would pass by.

I looked and said, even now they come,
The first one cried for mercy, The people gave him none,
The second man was violent, He was arrogant and loud,
I still can hear his angry voice screaming at the crowd.

Then someone said there's Jesus, I scarce believed my eyes,
A man so badly beaten, He barely looked alive,
Blood poured from His body, From the thorns upon His brow,
Running down the cross, Falling to the ground.

I watched Him as He struggled, I watched Him as He fell,
The cross came down upon His back, The crowd began to yell,
In that moment I felt such agony, In that moment I felt such loss,
Till a Roman soldier grabbed my arm and screamed,
You! Carry His cross.

At first I tried to resist him, Then his hand reached for his sword,
So I knelt and took the cross from the Lord,
I placed it on my shoulder, And started down the street,
The blood that he'd been shedding was running down my cheek.

They led us to Golgotha, They drove nails deep in His feet and hands,
Yet upon the cross I heard Him pray
Father, forgive them.

Oh, never have I seen such love in any other eyes,
Into thy hands I commend my spirit He prayed
and then He died

I stood for what seemed like years, I'd lost all sense of time
until I felt two tiny hands holding tight to mine,
The children stood there weeping, I heard the oldest say,
Father please forgive us, the lamb ran away.

Daddy, daddy, What have we seen here,
There's so much that we don't understand,
So I took them in my arms, we turned and faced the cross,
Then I said dear children watch the Lamb.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm back!

Finally! My medical leave for sore eyes is over. In my post on 16 November 2008, I mentioned my visit to the Accident & Emergency Department of a hospital (for more details, please refer to A&E).

After a week of staying at home and driving my colleagues up the wall with my constant checking of office electronic mails via webmail from home, I went back to work today... to continue driving my colleagues up the wall, this time face-to-face.

To all my loved ones and friends who wished me a speedy recovery, a very big "thank you" to you. I appreciate your concern for my well-being.

What are sore eyes? "Sore eyes" is a common term for an inflammation of the thin covering of the eyeball and the inner eyelid brought about by a viral infection which may be highly contagious. Conjunctivitis (commonly called "Pink Eye", "Red Eye" or "Madras Eye") is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids), most commonly due to an allergic reaction or an infection (usually bacterial, but sometimes viral).

Signs and symptoms of sore eyes will peak in about 3 to 4 days, and the person with sore eyes will usually recover in about a week.

(photograph source: Wikipedia)

Sore eyes can spread by contact of contaminated hands with the eyes (hand to eye contact) or through touching of eyes with hands which got into contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. It can also spread through droplets from a person with sore eyes who also has a runny nose or cough.

Redness, irritation and watering of the eyes are symptoms common to all forms of conjunctivitis. Itch and the closing of the throat is variable. Acute allergic conjunctivitis is typically itchy, sometimes distressingly so, and often involves some lid swelling. Chronic allergy often causes just itch or irritation. Some symptoms of sore eyes include the following:-

(a) redness of the eye

(b) eye discomfort

(c) vision is usually normal

(d) pain on the eye on exposure to light

(e) water-like discharge causing difficulty to open the eyes in the morning

(f) runny nose and sore throat

I was advised to observe the following in order to aid my recovery:-

(a) Frequently wash hands with soap and water. Eeks! I cannot imagine my utilities bill for this month.

(b) Use clean tissue to remove discharge from eyes and wash hands afterwards.

(c) Dispose used tissue in garbage bins.

(d) To prevent irritation of the eye and possible scarring, do not use contact lens while one has sore eyes. Thank goodness that I have already had lasik done on both my eyes, so this is not a problem.

(e) Do not wear eye make-up until the problem has been resolved. Again, this is not an issue as I do not wear eye make-up at home anyway.

(f) Use antibiotic or antiviral medication only upon prescription by the doctor. I was asked to keep my antibiotic eyedrops refrigerated. I had a near scare when my vision got a little cloudy around Thursday last week and I was concerned that it was due to the eyedrops. However, my vision seems to have cleared up since. Phew!

(f) If drops or an ointment is prescribed, the applicator tip and infected eye must never come in contact with each other. I have to admit, though, that the ointment that I was prescribed was very oily and very difficult to apply onto my inner eye-lid. Also, after application, it was almost impossible for me to see.

(g) Especially for persons with sore eyes with runny nose or cough, stay in a separate room or away from other family members or co-workers. Yes, some colleagues threatened to quarantine me if I went back to work before my medical leave was over, so I guess the problem of staying away from co-workers did not arise in my case.

I am very thankful that my sore eyes problem was diagnosed in its early stages, so I did not suffer as much as other people who sought treatment at a later stage.


(1) Wikipedia

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No more judgment

Through Jesus is preached to us the forgiveness of sins. The gospel has power. It is not about how bad we are. It is about how wonderful He is. All we have to do is believe. Long before we believed, God loved us and sent His Son to die for our sins on the Cross. Long before we believed, the grace of God was with us.

The forgiveness of sins is not subject to the ebb and flow of human circumstances. It is as eternal as the One who made it sure at the Cross. We have forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace. Everyone who believes is justified from all things from whom we cannot be justified by the law of Moses.

It is not by the merits or works. Our human merits and works do not play a part. It is by grace. It is through His worthiness and His perfections. God sent Jesus to show us how merciful our Healer is. God will confirm His Word with signs and wonders.

God is that good. We are that forgiven. Forgiveness of sins is the Mother of all blessings. Let us forget not ALL His benefits. We have been forgiven under the eternal blood of Jesus Christ. Because His blood is eternal, our forgiveness is eternal.

We receive the spirit by the hearing of faith. God is constantly supplying the Holy Spirit to us and working miracles among us. We have a God who works miracles and He is not subject to the world's economic situation. He performs miracles by the hearing of faith. Believe the gospel of grace. As we are listening and believing, God is supplying the Spirit and God works miracles (even physical, mental, financial and marital miracles).

Jesus came to give us peace that the world cannot give. When we believe this, it does not make us want to sin. In fact, it makes us want to do right. It produces true love for our adorable Saviour.

He is our shield. Do not be afraid. We are protected. He is our exceedingly great reward.

Declare the glory of God. The devil does not know everything about us until we open our mouths and say that we are afraid. The devil comes to us, spewing judgment. We have a rainbow around us, saying, "no more floods, no more punishment; it is all taken by Jesus on the Cross".

When we come to God, there is a rainbow around His throne. There is no more judgment. God swore that He will never be angry with us again.

Let us have a rainbow around our head. See the greatness of His love for us and faith will take care of itself.

We are the reason that He gave His life. We are the reason that He suffered and died. In a world that was lost, He gave all He could give, to show us the reason to live. He was cut off from His loved ones so that we will always have our loved ones around us. All judgement has passed. All punishment is gone.

All of God's anger was exhausted in Jesus Christ. Through this Man is preached to us the forgiveness of sins. By Him all who believe are justified from all things which cannot be justified by the law of Moses.

We can receive forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour forever. He is all glorious.

Postscript #1 - To my friends and loved ones who attended the 3rd service in church today, did you see the sun shining in the photograph that was shown on the screen? I was so awed that out of a still photograph, our Lord and Saviour is showing us a sign that His countenance will always shine on us and keep us safe. Abba Father, I believe... and I thank You for all that You have done for my family and me. Amen.

Postcript #2 - Thank you, Hungribunni, for sharing with me about the rainbow that appeared above Suntec Tower 4 in the afternoon of 23 November 2008. I believe that at the end of the day, no matter which church we attend, what is most important is our faith and what is in our hearts. Take care and be blessed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

ABBA fever

We have caught the ABBA fever!

But more of that later in this post....

Da and I celebrated TGIS (Thank God It's Saturday) by going on a little excursion to People's Park Centre, which is a shopping centre in the heart of Chinatown. The shopping centre has four floors of retail shopping and a pair of towers which are used for office space and residential usage. The shopping centre is located at the junction of Eu Tong Sen Street and Upper Cross Street.

(photograph source: Wikipedia)

As we arrived at the shopping centre around lunch time, we decided to have our lunch at the food court in the basement. Da ordered Bi Bim Bab from the Korean stall.

I ordered the yong tauhu. I was very pleased to discover that the stall offers unlimited cooked beans - you simply scoop the amount of beans you want into your bowl.

It is amazing how time flies when one is browsing around the shops! All too soon, it was time to adjourn to the home of the Three Musketeers for dinner.

The family has started preparations for Christmas! They have not put up a Christmas tree yet but they have put up colourful light bulbs and arranged them to resemble the outline of a Christmas tree. It is delightful to look at.

When we arrived, ET was teaching Calla Lily how to cook Chinese food. You can see the preparation process in the slideshow at the end of this post (I am sure that Tiki will also be posting her own slideshow, so do check out her blog as well). I must say that the pig stomach in its un-cut state looks rather gross. Once cut, though, it looks like pig stomach that you can find at kway chap stalls or pig stomach soup stalls.

Dinner time! We brought along some belinjo snacks that we bought from a mobile stall at Amoy Street. For the uninitiated, gnetum gnemon is a species of gnetum native to southeast Asia and the western Pacific Ocean islands, from Assam south and east through Malaysia and Indonesia to the Philippines and Fiji. Common names include belinjo (Indonesian language). It is a small to medium-size tree, growing to 15-20 m tall. The seeds are ground into flour and deep-fried as crackers. The crackers have a slightly bitter taste and are frequently served as a snack or accompaniment to Indonesian dishes. (Source: Wikipedia)

The fish was steamed with home-made Thai sauce. Although lemon-grass was not added to the sauce, the sauce had a pleasant tangy flavour.

We are all more health conscious nowadays and as such, the steamboat had a lot of vegetables in it. Blackninja and I try to limit our rice intake to 1/2 a plate of rice each.

The more interesting food would be, naturally, the after-dinner snacks! The Hello Kitty design shortbread cookies were very tasty.

We also enjoyed a large plate of cut fruits comprising persimmon, longan, rambutan, fragrant pear and peach. Nining in particular enjoyed the longan.

Da and I had actually bought some sushi from Amara Shopping Centre to be eaten at dinner. However, as there were sufficient dishes for dinner, we decided to eat the sushi after dinner with coffee and the cinnamon apple raisin cupcakes that I had made. I declined to eat the sushi and Supercute ate my share on my behalf.

As promised, here is the slideshow.. enjoy!

So, where in all this does ABBA feature? Well, ever since Nining watched the movie MAMA MIA (a few times, actually!), she has caught the ABBA fever. Throughout dinner as well as after dinner, she kept saying, "I want Mama Mia!". She is not even 3 years of age but she can already sing ABBA songs. (Actually, she can also sing "Way Back Into Love", the theme song of the movie starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.)

For the benefit of the little ones who have never heard of ABBA (shame on you! They are one of the best pop music groups ever, next to Bee Gees. Oops, you have never heard of Bee Gees either? tsk, tsk...), ABBA was a Swedish pop group active between the early 1970s and the early 1980s. The band comprised Benny Andersson (from Sweden), Björn Ulvaeus (from Sweden), Anni-Frid Lyngstad (from Norway) and Agnetha Fältskog (from Sweden). They topped the charts worldwide during their reign. The name "ABBA" is an acronym formed from the first letters of each of the group member's given name (Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid).

(photograph source:

For the benefit of Nining (and also because we were all walking down memory's lane), a VCD of ABBA music videos was played. As each music video was shown on the television screen, everyone sang along. It helped, of course, that the lyrics were shown on the screen, much like a karaoke session, I guess.

Such a pity that ABBA disbanded in the 1980s. Even till today, their songs are evergreen and even though two generations have gone by, even the current generation of children are able to enjoy their songs and sing along.

Some music groups arrange for a reunion tour. If ABBA were to ever have a reunion tour and to perform in Singapore, I would definitely not miss it! So, here's to ABBA!

Friday, November 21, 2008

carrot cake pudding / pudding sauce

I have ever sampled bread pudding at buffets. They can be served hot, cold or warm and are best eaten with a pudding sauce (which can also be served hot or cold).

I was chatting with Tiki recently and I told her that I was thinking of baking a cake pudding. Cake puddings are similar to bread pudding, the difference being the amount of sugar and spices used. If you were to use a cake as a base for the pudding, you would naturally need to add less sugar and spices to the pudding as the cake in itself is already sweet.

Here is a simple recipe for a carrot cake pudding. By "carrot cake", I am referring to the cake type of carrot cake and not the Chinese version of "cai tau kueh".

Ingredients (carrot cake pudding)

enough carrot cake (sliced about 1 to 1 1/2 cm thick) to fill the bottom of a 9" square cake pan (for the carrot cake recipe, please refer to carrot cake)
1 1/2 cups grated apple
1/2 cup chopped dry fruit
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3 cups milk
3 eggs
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Method (carrot cake pudding)

1. Grease a 9" square cake pan and line with greaseproof paper.

2. Fill the entire bottom of the cake pan with a layer of the carrot cake. Top the cake with a layer of the grated apple.

3. Sprinkle the chopped nuts above the cake.

4. Sprinkle the chopped dry fruit above the chopped nuts.

5. Beat the milk, eggs, brown sugar, salt, ground cinnamon and lemon juice thoroughly and pour the mixture into the cake pan, making sure that the cake, nuts and dry fruit are covered.

6. Bake at 175 degrees celsius for 1 hour.

7. Serve with a generous serving of pudding sauce.

The carrot cake pudding can be served hot, warm or cold.

Ingredients (pudding sauce)

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
2 teacup milk

Method (pudding sauce)

1. Cream the sugar and butter.

2. Add the ground cinnamon and eggs.

3. Boil the milk and turn it, boiling hot, over the mixture smoothly, stirring all the time. This will cook the eggs smoothly.

The pudding sauce can be served hot or cold.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

carrot cake

Whenever Da and I host a gathering at our home and I do the grocery shopping before the gathering, I tend to buy carrots. No matter what the theme of the gathering is, I seem to use carrots in my cooking. For example, I use carrots in the following dishes:-
(a) pasta
(b) lasagne
(c) curries
(d) stir-fried vegetables
(e) steam boat

I like the young carrots from Australia sold in a packet as they are generally sweet.

As such, I invariably end up with unused carrots after the party is over. Whenever this happens, I will try to make a carrot cake so as not to waste the unused carrots.

Set out below is one of my favourite recipes for carrot cakes. Not only is it easy to make, the inclusion of ground cinnamon in the recipe makes the cake very flavourful.


1 1/3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup castor sugar
1 cup peanut oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated raw carrots
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup ground hazelnut
1/2 tsp salt


1. Grease a 9 inch square cake pan and line with greaseproof paper.

2. Sift the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and oil. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the grated carrots, chopped nuts, ground hazelnut and salt.

4. Fold in the flour mixture and stir until mixed.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

6. Bake at 165 degrees celsius for 1 hour.

7. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

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