Saturday, February 28, 2009

House visit

I finally managed to eat the McDonalds' McGriddles breakfast this morning after a long break! This time, though, I had difficulty finishing the McGriddles after I ate the hash brown. Oh, but I savoured every bite.

En route to meeting Da for lunch today, I had a lovely chat with Miss Southampton. Hi girl, it is good to hear from you again. Da and I usually attend the 2nd service or 3rd service in church on sundays. However, we are usually seated at the main auditorium or the overflow room on Level 4. I hope to see you in church soon!

Lunch was an all-vegetarian affair. Da and I met at People's Park Centre and proceeded to the food court. We both ordered organic brown rice with 3 vegetarian ingredients per plate. Each order of vegetarian food comes with a complimentary bowl of soup that contains beans, carrots and potatoes. We displayed a typical Singaporean habit, that is, "share-share". Yes, we swopped some of our ingredients so that we ended up sampling 6 ingredients each!

After lunch, we went home to rest. I also took the opportunity to bake a chicken pie that I had made. We brought the piping hot chicken pie to the home of the Three Musketeers.

ET had extended a dinner invitation to MT (Da's cousin) and us, which the three of us accepted. There was a feast awaiting us when we arrived:-

(a) duck soup with salted vegetables - I am not keen on duck (although I admit to having a weakness for peking duck!) but the soup was very tasty

(b) steamed fish - the fish meat was very sweet

(c) fruit and vegetable salad - I could not resist the salad made by SY. It was excellent!

MT brought a tub of ice-cream while we brought some deep fried prawn crackers.

Not only was dinner enjoyable and the conversation interesting, we were entertained in the background with a DVD of a concert by David Foster where many international singers performed. I particularly enjoyed the performance by a young Filipina named Charice Pempenco. I was told that she is only a teenager. Goodness me! She had a very powerful voice and she sang two Whitney Houston's hits effortlessly. In fact, her performance was so stunning that she was given a standing ovation when she had finished performing! (I was not able to find a clear youtube video of Charice's performance at David Foster's concert. The youtube video below is Charice's performance of "I have nothing" in another show. It is as powerful as her performance of the same song at David Foster's concert.)

Before we could digest our dinner, Part 1 of the after-dinner snacks was served. The bowl of canned longan with almond jelly was very refreshing.

With Part 1 of the after-dinner snacks out of the way, Nining invited everyone to the family room where we sat down to watch television. Tau Suan had a fun time trying to coach Nining to be more ladylike. However, she did not take her "lessons" seriously and kept making monkey faces while attempting to demonstrate ladylike mannerism.

Part 2 of the after-dinner snacks followed shortly. The plate of goodies that you see in the photograph below comprises ham bun, banana chocolate chip muffin and baked yoghurt doughnut that I had made and brought to the home of the Three Musketeers.

Nining's eyes lit up when she saw the muffin. She could not resist sampling a muffin and she gave the thumbs up. The little princess has a sweet tooth.

Is there more? You bet there is!

Part 3 of the after-dinner snacks consisted of aromatic 3-in-1 coffee mixed with hazelnut syrup and some walnut cookies that I had baked.

For a girl of 3 years of age, Nining loves coffee. She drank a cup of coffee, then proceeded to drink SY's cup as well. Nining told SY that she would drink a cup of coffee on behalf of SY because SY has a cough and should not be drinking coffee!

When it started raining, Supercute and I sat in his room and had a lovely chat while enjoying the cool breeze. Nining joined us shortly and delighted in telling us about her boyfriend in nursery school! Soon, a little gathering had formed in the room when SY and Tau Suan joined us.

It was an enjoyable evening. Thank you for the invitation, ET.

Friday, February 27, 2009

老地方 (old place)

Thank God it's friday! This has been a very long week for me.

Life is full of challenges and we are often surrounded by naysayers. At times when it is essential that we not be under any stress, the evil one deliberately throws situations and people in our way in an attempt to add to our stress. What do we do at times like this? We turn to the Lord because the battle belongs to Him.

I am elated that I have added three books to my Christian book collection. All the three books bought from Tecman at Bras Basah Complex. Two of the books were written by Joyce Meyer (one of which ("How to hear from God") was recommended by Da's cousin, MT). The third book is about the remarkable women of the Bible and the lessons we can learn from them. For example, the story of Ruth in the Bible is a very good illustration of how God can put us at the right time at the right place. I have just started on "The Battle Belongs To The Lord" by Joyce Meyer and it has been enlightening.

Da and I have a dinner date with Da's parents today. Before we left the house, we gave a plate of home-made goodies (all made by me) to the three handsome young boys who are our neighbours.

(ham bun, walnut cookies, banana chocolate chip muffin
& baked yoghurt doughnut)

The venue for the dinner? Da's parents' usual haunt - Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant at Eastwood Centre.

As MIL is Cantonese, for her it is a must to have a bowl of soup with every meal. As such, we ordered a koo kee soup (it is a plain soup with koo kee vegetables and egg). I am not sure what is the English name for koo kee vegetable but it is a green leafy vegetable which does not have a bitter taste. We also ordered a steamed fish, stir fried string beans and venison stir fried with ginger and spring onion. I gave FIL half of my plate of steamed white rice as I find that the portion is too much for me.

As food sold at Chinese restaurants tends to be oily, I ordered a glass of Chinese tea (which I shared with Da). FIL and MIL shared a glass of warm home-made barley drink.

After dinner, we gave FIL and MIL a lift home.

The weather was very breezy and perfect for a midnight stroll. I gave it a miss, though, as I found it a little chilly. As such, we all took a lift to Da's parents' home (which is on the 18th storey of the condominium block where they live).

We stayed a while at Da's parents' place before we left. I was a little restless as I wanted to go home to blog. *grin*

I hope that you had a good week. Have a restful weekend and stay blessed!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

In a pot

Da and I decided to eat out for dinner today.

As it has been a cold and wet day today, I had in mind to eat the mini hot pot with dry noodles at Siglap Beer Garden (a coffee shop located at Upper East Coast Road).

En route to Siglap Beer Garden, we were side-tracked by several eating establishments and many pubs. Da suggested that we try somewhere that we had not tried before and I agreed.

We parked our car at Burnfoot Terrace and walked to Upper East Coast Road (which was parallel to Burnfoot Terrace). Hmm... pubs, pubs and more pubs. We saw many "sarong party girls" there as well. There was a very slim, tanned and petite Asian girl (wearing a dress that was extremely short) who was practically latched onto a much older Caucasian man outside a pub. They were sharing a cigarette.

Then we chanced upon a cafe called "Claypot Cuisine".

The cafe did not look very crowded (but then again, it was almost 9.30 pm), so we decided to give this cafe a try.

The menu looked rather old. Perhaps this cafe used to be a Vietnamese cafe because the name of the food establishment at the back of the menu was a different name ("Le Viet") and a "Claypot Cuisine" label seemed to have been stuck to the front cover of the menu.

Be that as it may, we decided to order the "house special" claypot chicken rice. We also decided to "go green" and we ordered:-
(a) broccoli fried with mixed mushrooms; and
(b) sliced bittergourd omelette.

When the food arrived, I took a bite of the claypot rice. It tasted so much better than the claypot rice that Da and I ate at a coffee shop at Joo Chiat Road shortly after Chinese New Year this year. Of course, as my Uncle T would say, nothing compares to the Kampar claypot chicken rice in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia!

The broccoli was stir-fried with three types of mushrooms - dried Chinese mushrooms, button mushrooms and straw mushrooms. Broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables, so I had no complaints about this dish.

The bittergourd omelette was nicely fried although I prefer the bittergourd omelette from Chin Chin Eating House or Y Y Kafei Dian, both of which are located at Purvis Street.

As we were about three quarters through our dinner, suddenly I heard the sound of water dripping. I looked up and realised that one of the air-conditioner blowers near our table was leaking at two spots. Fortunately, there was no table located just below the blower otherwise the diners seated at that table would have a very wet dinner! The staff were quick thinking and placed a large pail below the two spots where the water was leaking. They also mopped the floor.

I commented to Da that I expected to see more diners. Although it was not during the peak hour of dinner, I would have thought that there would still be many diners, finishing up their dinner at 9+ in the evening. However, this just goes to show that the current financial crunch has hit many areas of commerce. Perhaps more and more families are opting to eat home-cooked food instead of eating out.

Interestingly enough, as we were eating our dinner, I realised that more diners were starting to arrive and the business seemed to be picking up. Have you ever been in a situation where you enter a shop that is not very crowded and not long after you arrive, the shop becomes more and more crowded? As sons and daughters of the Lord, we are all blessed to be a blessing wherever we go. Thank You, Abba Father, for looking after Your children.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's all within the family

We have dinner guests tonight. They are none other than Da's parents (FIL and MIL) and Da's cousin (MT).

MT (who lives in Brisbane, Australia) will be going back to Australia soon. Are you sure that we are not able to persuade you to stay a bit longer, mate?

Dinner was originally scheduled for 8+ pm today. However, as MIL had to attend an Ash Wednesday church service, FIL and MIL informed Da that they would be a little late. When MT arrived shortly after 8 pm, we brought out a bowl of snacks for him to munch on while waiting.

Ding-dong! FIL and MIL arrived at about 9.30 pm. They brought a box of prawn crackers that were deep fried by PL (Da's grandfather's domestic maid). It was fried to perfection. Delicious!

Dinner started with some focaccia that I had baked today.

The bread complemented the pumpkin soup that I cooked. To add oomph to the taste of the soup, we added plain yoghurt as topping and mixed it with the soup.

Next up... chicken pie. This is my first attempt at making chicken pie (including the pastry) from scratch.

I also made a tuna and egg casserole which was topped with grated mozarella cheese and baked in the oven.

For dessert, I made doughnuts.

Conversation was light and easy-flowing. FIL, MIL and MT all have very good sense of humour. MIL, in particular, tells jokes about the after-life with a straight face. Did you hear the joke about the man who visited heaven and also hell when he first passed away and he chose hell because he was presented a scene that was like paradise but when he entered hell, he realised to his horror that hell was different from the sneak preview that he had been given? He asked the devil why this was so and he was told that the paradise was only an advertisement billboard that he saw.

MT commented that each time that he has a meal at our place, the menu is different. Now that I think about it, everything that I cooked for dinner tonight was a first attempt. I am very thankful that it all turned out fine.

Now... where are the Eno salts to relieve over-eating?


(1) My friend, SC, has just undergone a surgery. There was something pressing against her nerve at her spine which caused pain in her leg. Take care, girl... and get well soon!

(2) Hamtaro has informed me that Eddy fractured his leg in school and his leg is now in a cast. Rest well, my dear boy and all the best for your Primary School Leaving Examination this year!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yesterday once more

Date: 24 February 2009

Time: 7 pm

Venue: Akashi Japanese Restaurant at Vivo City

Agenda: to reminisce about the good old days

I met up with my friends BW, RT and DDT for dinner today. We were schoolmates in junior college (Grades 11 and 12). DDT's wife (TT) joined us for dinner as well.

I am not familiar with Vivo City as I rarely go there. The few times that I have been there have been with my family. Whenever my family meets for a dim sum buffet lunch at Dragon Gate Restaurant at HarbourFront Centre, invariably we would end with coffee at Gloria Jean's Coffees at Vivo City (which is next door to HarbourFront Centre).

As I was running late for the dinner appointment, I hailed a taxi. En route, the taxi driver could be forgiven if he mistakenly thought that I was a big time busy businesswoman as I took several calls on my mobile phone. Other than a lovely chat with Hamtaro (who had queries about SC's recipe for homemade pizza which I posted in my blog on 27 July 2008), the rest of the calls were work-related.

When I arrived, RT, DDT and TT were already seated. DDT and TT were merrily snacking on the soybeans that were served as appetizer. I offered them some cinnamon doughnuts that I had made today.

Shortly thereafter, BW arrived. She had parked her car at another section and had a little difficulty locating the restaurant.

It is amazing how some friendships can weather all seasons. Although we were schoolmates some 20 years ago, I thank the Lord that we have remained good friends. We had a wonderful time of fellowship, catching up, reflecting and gossiping. When it was past 10 pm, from where I was seated, I could see that the waitresses kept looking in our direction. They must have been thinking, "Goodness me! This group has been here for hours. When are they leaving?" *grin*

I had a great time, my friends. Let's do this again soon. Oh... and all the best for your driving test, DDT!

Monday, February 23, 2009


When Da and I hosted a Valentine's Day dinner at our home this year, the theme of the dinner was Japanese. As such, I decided to make chawanmushi for the dinner.

I searched the internet for chawanmushi recipes. However, I had difficulty selecting a recipe that suited me because some of the recipes contain ingredients that are not easily available at our local supermarket or are too complicated in steps. When I bake or cook, it is important to me that the baking or cooking process is simple. I work long hours and I only have the weekend to rest and to indulge in one of my favourite hobbies - cooking / baking.

In the end, I decided to improvise and create my own recipe. I made the chawanmushi for the Valentine's Day dinner and I was relieved that it turned out fine. The only regret is that Da and I were not able to find any chawanmushi cups when we browsed the shops on the night before Valentine's Day. As such, I had to make do with coffee cups. We shall have to extend our search for chawanmushi cups to shops in other locations.

In the meantime and as requested by SY, here is the recipe for my version of chawanmushi. I used miso soup for the stock. If you do not have miso soup on hand, please see my tips at the end of this post for alternatives.

This recipe serves four and you can vary the recipe accordingly if you are making fewer or more cups of chawanmushi.


Part A:
50g mushrooms (I used a mixture of dried mushrooms and a variety of fresh mushrooms) (sliced)
80g chicken fillet (sliced)
4 pieces of crab stick (sliced)
100 ml miso soup
dash of pepper
8 ginko nuts

Part B:
4 eggs
400ml miso soup
dash of pepper


1. Scald the mushrooms, chicken and crab stick in 100ml of boiling miso soup. Sprinkle a dash of pepper and mix well.

2. Strain the ingredients and distribute them among the chawanmushi cups. Add 2 ginko nuts to each chawanmushi cup. Set aside.

3. Using a fork, lightly beat the eggs and mix with 400ml miso soup and a dash of pepper. Strain the mixture and pour the mixture into the chawanmushi cups. Skim off any bubbles that appear on top of the mixture.

4. Boil some water in a steamer. When the water has boiled, cover the chawanmushi cups with cling wrap and place the cups in the steamer. Steam for 20 minutes or until the chawanmushi has set.


If you do not have miso soup on hand:-

(1) For Part A, you can marinate the mushrooms, chicken and crab stick with some salt before lightly scalding them in boiling water.

(2) For Part B, you can substitute the miso soup with 400ml water, 1 tbsp concentrated meat stock (eg. chicken stock), 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp light soya sauce and a pinch of salt.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A family affair

This post is a continuation of my post of yesterday on what to do during weekends in Singapore.

What do you do with your family on a lazy sunday? Here are some suggestions.


Sleep in late! It is, after all, a sunday. Yawn... goodness me! It is approaching mid-morning. Crawl out of bed sleepily, brush your teeth and arrange to meet the family members for brunch at your favourite coffee shop.

Of course, no family meal would be complete without side dishes. Fried fish sounds tempting. Better yet, order two types of fish and share them.


Be a good samaritan and rescue a dog who has somehow escaped from her home. The strange thing is that the gate is closed and there does not seem to be a gap in the fence. How did she manage to get out? She seems to be unused to the world outside her home and is brave enough to try to run across the road when there are cars approaching with no sense of danger at all. Unfortunately, her Papa and Mama do not seem to be at home. The doorbell has been pressed numerous times and the windows and front door to the home are open but no one is answering the doorbell.

Gosh! It is now raining. What can be done? She does not have a collar and it does not feel right to leave her by the side of the road (outside her home). She may run off again and worse still, in the direction of oncoming vehicles. There does not seem to be any option other than to take her home for the moment, bathe her and feed her before sending her home when the rain has stopped. Doesn't she look like a doll after a nice warm bath? Such a beauty.


Spend some time listening to the Word of the Lord. In the very area of our weakness, God's undeserved favour can flow. When we are in the grace zone, right happenings will happen to us. The Lord will grant us success (right happenings) and show us kindness. He will put us at the right place at the right time. Jesus loves us very much and our miracle is on the way.


What better way to enjoy a time of bonding with loved ones than to have a snack together? Cheesecake, curry puff, rum ball, hot lemon tea, milk tea, coffee... these are truly life's simple pleasures.


Make full use of the deep fried anchovies that you bought from the coffee shop in the morning by having the entire family meet for dinner for home-cooked nasi lemak. All you need are a rice cooker (to cook the coconut rice), a conventional oven (to bake the finger food) and a microwave oven (to cook the frozen otah and to heat up the canned braised peanuts).

Of course, before everyone eats, a portion of the dinner is first set aside for Boy-Boy. He waits with bated breath while watching his dinner being prepared.

The little prince dives straight into his dinner the minute that his bowl is placed on the floor. He enjoys every morsel of his food.

In the meantime, everyone sits down to enjoy dinner. It is such a blessing to be able to have meals with one's family.


Time to watch some television or to catch up with the rest of the family. It is also play-time with Boy-Boy.

Today, however, Boy-Boy seems a little down. Perhaps he is missing his new girlfriend (who has since gone home).


End the day on a sweet note with doughnuts from Donut Factory. Make a hot pot of Chinese tea and sit back to enjoy the end of the day. May tomorrow bring forth a fresh beginning with the unearned, unmerited and undeserved favour of God.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pergi mana? (*Where shall we go?)

What can one do in Singapore on a weekend? Unlike countries like Norway, United States of America, Canada and Australia which are big and there are plenty of little getaways that one can embark on during the weekend, Singapore is small and invariably, our lives revolve around food, food and more food.

Here are some suggestions for a lazy saturday....


Put your baking skills to good use! Scones are easy to make and they are ready to be eaten piping hot from the oven before you can blink your eye. Scones are best eaten warm with fresh cream and jam. If you do not have fresh cream and jam at home, butter / margarine and peanut butter are good alternatives.

How about trying your hand at apricot and oat muffins? They are healthy and they complement a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea. The baking time is only 25 minutes.


As weekends tend to be gastronomical experiences, go for a light lunch (because there will be tea-time coming up later on in the day). In a small cooking pot, cook some udon noodles with ingredients for your family. It does not have to be a complicated lunch. I would recommend that you add some gyoza, baby butthead lettuce and kamaboko fish cake, all of which are available at the supermarket. This dish keeps everyone's tummies full and happy.... for a few hours till tea-time.


Give the family a treat for tea. Take the family out for local goodies such as mee rebus and lontong. I would recommend Glory Catering at East Coast Road.


Spend some time with the Lord. Attend a miracle and healing church service at Lighthouse Evangelism at Tampines Street 82. Jesus is with us and the Lord wants to give us blessings beyond our imagination. Thank You, Abba Father. You know what we need and what we want. Your supply far exceeds our needs and wants.


Put aside your healthy eating for the week and be a little wicked. Bring the family for a fast food dinner! Nowadays, you can find 24-hour fast food establishments in Singapore. Who knows? You may also "get lucky" and catch sight of a famous ex-local footballer whose children (who are adorable and very well-mannered) politely request if you could "swop tables" with them so that their extended family could sit together.

Before I end this post, happy birthday, Xiao Bai! Enjoy your life in the United States of America and I hope to see you again the next time that you are back in Singapore for a vacation.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin