Friday, July 31, 2009

Random shots

Okay, okay... I admit that I took some photographs using my Panasonic Lumix digital camera yesterday and today, and I want to "show off" the photographs in this post!

Yesterday evening, I received a text message from ZT (girlfriend of my brother, LG) asking me whether Da and I would be going to my mother's home for dinner. I replied to inform her that Da and I would be working late but if they are cooking dinner, to save some food for us. After checking with the Grand Lady Chef (ZT's and my latest nickname for my mother), ZT informed me that my mother would be cooking fried rice for dinner.

Hi GP, I know that you like fried rice. Remember I told you this evening about curry power? Well, my mother added curry power to her fried rice last night.

This afternoon, my colleague and I attended a meeting outside the office. When we entered the building from the car park and took a lift to Level 1 to have a quick lunch at the food court, we were amused to see this:-

No, my colleague and I did not make a quick detour to the karaoke lounge after the meeting, much to our regret! However, we did detour to a shop nearby that specialises in soya bean drinks. I bought a hot soya bean drink each for my colleague and myself. I also bought some piping hot Portuguese egg tarts for my staff and an extra portion for my family.

This evening, my brother (LB) called me. He was at my mother's home and she was frying rice vermicelli (bee hoon). Fried rice vermicelli is one of my mother's specialities and as such, I asked him to request my mother to fry an extra portion for Da and me. The fried rice vermicelli today was extra tasty because my mother added a can of chicken stock. Yummy!

Doesn't the dish in the photograph below look mouth watering? It tasted as good as it looked!

I have a friend's wedding dinner to attend tomorrow. It will be held at a resort on Sentosa. The dresscode stated in the wedding invitation card is "formal". Hmm... does "formal" mean that my evening gown has to reach the floor? Well, to "play safe", I rummaged through my wardrobe just now and pulled out a sleeveless full length blue satin gown. I have more elaborate evening gowns but I better not outshine the bride tomorrow.... *grin*

Have a restful weekend!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

No mistake

This morning, I overheard a man telling a woman that everyone makes mistakes. I did not pay much attention to their conversation until the man went on to tell the woman that even God makes mistakes.

I sat upright when I heard this and I shamelessly eavesdropped on the rest of the conversation. I wanted to listen to the man's elaboration of his statement.

He went on to explain that God made a mistake when He sent His Son to this world because His Son "ended up being crucified".

With respect, I disagree with this person's view. God is almighty and He knows everything from the beginning to the end. God does not make mistakes.

The fact of the matter is that God is a just God and He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. As such, because He loved the world so much, He sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins and to die for us at the Cross.

Did Jesus know that He came to be "sent to the gallows"? Yes, He did. Jesus said that He came to do His Father's will. God's will was (and still is) to bless us with righteousness and the gift of grace.

Jesus willingly laid down His life for us. By the stripes on His body, He took away all our sicknesses and diseases. By the shedding of His precious blood, all our sins have been washed clean.

It saddens me when I hear of people who have such a view of God. If believers see God in this light, then how can we bring non-believers to Christ and to know the love of God? It is such a blessing to be a child of God and to know that when we abide in the shadow of His wings, He will always carry us on His shoulders and no evil that is formed against us shall prosper.

Jesus, I bow my knees at the Cross where your blood was shed for me. There is no greater love than this. You have overcome the grave and Your glory fills the highest place. Nothing can separate me from God now. Thank You for your sacrifice. You are God's perfect offering. Amen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grand lady chef

This evening, I received two text messages on my mobile phone - one was from my mother and one was from ZT (girlfriend of my brother, LG). Both messages were of similar content and asked whether Da and I would be joining them for dinner today.

I replied to ask whether the "young lady chef" (that is, ZT) would be cooking dinner today. ZT replied that the "Grand lady chef" is the head chef for tonight.... *grin*

Ah... so my mother has decided to display her culinary skills again.

I met up with Da after work and we took a bus to my mother's home. When we arrived, we could smell the delicious aroma of a nasi lemak dinner.

As per our family's custom, finger food is a must to accompany the dinner. Hi Uncle T, do you see the Muar otah in the photograph below?

We had an additional side dish today - baked beans. However, when I took a bite of the baked beans, I tasted chilli. ZT grinned and said that they are spicy baked beans.

The nasi lemak chilli given to us on 26 July 2009 by the stallholder at our favourite coffee shop at Jalan Tua Kong came in handy today.

Some after-dinner drinks for you? How about a cup of Nescafe and a cup of Chinese tea? Wait a minute... what is the lovely swiss roll in the photograph below?

It is oreo swiss roll! I bought it from a stall at the Amoy Street hawker centre during lunch time today. Gosh... the swiss roll is so soft! My mother gave ZT "the look" when I told Da that I am inspired to bake an oreo cake in the near future.

Boy-Boy asked to have a slice of the oreo swiss roll. However, as it contains chocolate, sorry darling... not for you, kiddo.

On the topic of swiss rolls, hmm... I have not baked swiss rolls before. Perhaps I should give this a try.... *grin*


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


One of my mother's signature dishes is 炒饭 (that is, fried rice). It is full of ingredients and each scoop of rice contains more ingredients than rice.

In addition to generous amounts of ingredients, some other little secrets to a delicious plate of fried rice are as follows:-
(a) fry the rice with good quality black sauce; and
(b) add chopped "chai por" (that is, preserved radish).

For today's fried rice dinner, my mother added eggs, mixed greens, chai por (preserved radish), luncheon meat and back bacon to the rice.

Even Boy-Boy was tempted and he waited patiently for dinner to be served.

More little secrets to a mouth-watering plate of fried rice.... garnishing and side ingredients! In the photograph below, the fried rice was garnished with baked peanuts, fried anchovies and fried shallots. Boiled sausages were also added as a side ingredient.

A concoction of vodka (Absolut Mandarin) with pink guava ends the meal on a sweet note.


Monday, July 27, 2009

The young lady chef

A young lady chef served up a scrumptious dinner today at my mother's home. She is none other than ZT (girlfriend of my brother, LG).

When Da and I arrived at my mother's home, we could smell the delicious aroma of food waffling from the kitchen.

As I stepped into the kitchen, I saw finger food baking in the oven.

A pot of spaghetti noodles with sliced button mushrooms and cut young corn was boiling over the stove.

The lady chef ensured that the spaghetti was al dente before she ladled out the noodles, mushrooms and corn.

She then cooked some clam chowder before adding the clam chowder to the noodles.

Ta-da! Dinner is served!

Add some freshly ground black peppercorn and sprinkle some bacon bits, and you are ready to enjoy your pasta.

The lady chef has perfected the art of baking finger food in the oven. The baked finger food is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Delizioso!

Boy-Boy had his rice dinner in his bowl but he ignored his food and waited at the dinner table for some treats. He was rewarded for his patience when ZT gave him some cuttlefish balls.

Boy-Boy was in the mood for a w-a-l-k (shh... I cannot say the word out loud else our little rascal will run to the main door in anticipation of going on his w-a-l-k) but it had just rained and the ground was wet. As such, we had to harden our hearts and ignore the meaningful looks that Boy-Boy gave us. Sorry, darling, no w-a-l-k for you today. Let us see how the weather is like tomorrow, okay?


Sunday, July 26, 2009

meh meh jia (translation from Teochew: "eat quickly")

I spent today doing what I love best - sitting at the feet of Jesus and bonding with Da and my family.

Da and I met my mother, my brother (LG) and LG's girlfriend (ZT) for an early brunch at our favourite coffee shop at Jalan Tua Kong. Da and I decided to order nasi padang (Chinese style) today while the rest of my family ordered "one-dish-meals" from the "zi char" stall. The food was delicious, as always. Best of all, we managed to order two containers of freshly fried anchovies. We wanted to order some last weekend but due to a mix-up in the order, we left without our order. This time, we requested for "double portion" of fried anchovies in each container. I am rubbing my hands in anticipation as I type this post - just imagine the number of anchovies cookies I can bake with a double portion of fried anchovies.

The large plastic container that you see in the middle of the photograph above contains the pumpkin butter cake that I baked last night.

In the afternoon, Da and I went to church. There was a guest speaker today, a Pastor from a church in Seattle, United States of America. Even though the Pastor looked to be in his thirties, nuggets of wisdom filled with the grace of Jesus peppered the entire sermon. Who is Jesus? He said, "I am who I am". He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is our Saviour, our brother and our friend. It is not enough to pray or to go to church every sunday just because it is the right thing to do. We pray and we go to church because each time we do so, we come boldly into the throne of grace and feed on Him. Everything that we need is wrapped up in Jesus. He said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest for your soul. My yoke is easy and my burden is light". Let us therefore cast our cares on Him. Jesus, we love You and we taste Your goodness every day.

LG and ZT had a dinner appointment with some friends today. Da had arranged with YK (the husband of Da's sister, GN) to attend a soccer match between Liverpool Football Club and the Singapore team. Da is not a Liverpool supporter but it is not every day that you get to watch a live match involving an English Premier League soccer club, so when the invitation from YK came to Da, he accepted the invitation. That left my mother, me... and a dog named Boy-Boy.

My mother contacted my other brother (LB) who came with his wife (MF) to take my mother and I out to dinner. Realising that he could not join us for dinner, Boy-Boy reluctantly settled for his own rice dinner.

We were toying with the idea of having our dinner at Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant at Eastwood Centre (hi GP, I took your suggestion!) or Cafe Cartel at East Coast Road. LB suggested the Crystal Cafe at Orchard Grand Court Hotel. As we had not eaten there for some time, the rest of us agreed. This cafe is known for their Teochew buffet.

During dinner, peals of laughter could be heard at our table as my mother, LB and I tried to speak in Teochew. MF is a Teochew (in fact, so are Da and ZT) and MF was greatly amused at the way my mother, LB and I mangled the dialect. It was only when a client pointed out to me some time ago that I realised that when I use dialect words, I use a mixture of Hokkien and Teochew and my pronunciation is more Teochew than Hokkien (which often leads to clients mistaking me for a Teochew). Perhaps I have been learning Teochew by osmosis (that is, listening to Da's family speak Teochew).

The cut fruits served at the buffet today were sweet, especially the pineapples. I am not a big fan of pineapples (as I have eaten one too many sour pineapples) but I could not resist a second helping of the sliced pineapples today as they were very sweet.

As always, it was "share-share" time when it came to the cakes. The mango cake was very moist and soft! Yummy!

The dessert in the buffet spread changes daily. On sundays, they serve glutinous rice balls (that is, "tang yuan" (汤圆)). Hi AJ, on saturdays they serve tau suan, your favourite dessert!

Ooh... we overate, as usual. Back at my mother's home, I added to LB's and MF's waistline by scooping some home-made durian ice cream for them to share.

I hope that you all had a restful weekend. I pray for the Lord's blessings upon all of us this coming week.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

One main dish... and many thereafters!

It has been some time since the family of the Three Musketeers came to our home for dinner. Little Nining likes to swim at our swimming pool. With no dinner invitation forthcoming, the resourceful little girl tried to hint to me recently that a visit to our home was long overdue. She chatted with me about nothing in particular and in between, she slipped in words such as "your home", "swimming", etc. Needless to say, I caught the hint. *grin*

Da had to work today. By the time he came home and we went to our favourite coffee shop at Jalan Tua Kong for lunch, it was about 3 pm. One of the stallholders at the coffee shop smiled when she saw us and informed us that earlier in the day, my mother had eaten her lunch at the coffee shop. The stallholder must have wondered why we went for lunch in batches.

If you ever eat at this coffee shop, I would recommend their beef fried rice and their chicken fried rice. You can request the stallholder to fry the rice with sambal if you prefer.

Da and I had just started eating our lunch when the stallholder (whose stall we had patronised) came by our table carrying a plate of stir-fried green leafy vegetables. It was "on the house"! My family and I are regulars at the coffee shop and this is the first time that we have received a complimentary side dish. This is indeed the favour of the Lord! We are blessed everywhere we go.

Earlier today, I had bought a thick slice of pumpkin from a convenience store near our home. I debated what to do with the pumpkin and decided to bake some pumpkin cookies and a pumpkin butter cake.

My colleague had recently taken orders from the rest of us for sausages, bacon, ham, etc. As I had ordered some cheese sausages, I baked some sausage rolls. The sausage rolls are so easy to make that Da's and my three godchildren (whose ages range from 5 to 9) had no difficulty making them when they came to our home for a baking session on 17 June 2009.

I decided to keep dinner simple - one main dish only. Mind you, this is a big challenge for me because those who know me will tell you that I do not know when to stop. Anyone who eats at our home leaves with a very full stomach. Recently, my family and I had our dinner at Pasta Mania at Parkway Parade. My brother (LG) had ordered cabonara with linguine noodles. That gave me an idea. I decided to cook some linguine noodles and cook a large pot of hearty cabonara to accompany the noodles. Erm... by "hearty", I mean that I used whatever I had available in our freezer (bacon, ham, cheese sausages, regular sausages, grated mozarella cheese, etc), our larder (clam chowder, chick peas, button mushrooms, etc) and our refrigerator (enoki mushrooms, fresh mushrooms, eggs, heavy cream, etc). Yes, I think that you can probably guess how hearty the cabonara was.

No pasta meal would be complete without garlic bread. As such, I baked a loaf of onion and cheese bread. After I sliced the bread, I spread my homemade garlic spread on the bread and toasted the bread in the oven.

Before the guests arrived, I packed some of the goodies that I had made today and gave them to the three handsome boys who live opposite Da and I in our development. Little Hng Hng gave me a bashful smile as he greeted me.

Ding-dong! The guests had arrived! After they had an invigorating swim at our swimming pool, the eating session started with some Japanese snacks that Da bought from a shop near his office.

As promised, a simple dinner:-
(a) cabonara with linguine noodles
(b) garlic bread
(c) sausage rolls

Gasp! No finger food? No lasagne? Is this all that Pebbles cooked? Hang on... the "thereafters" are coming up....

Nining was in a playful mood today. Not only did she tie her towel around her head like a scarf, she went around taking photographs of just about anything she came across.

ET and Da drank a bottle of Tiger beer each.

I prepared several cups of hot mocca and hot green tea for the guests.

I tried a new cheesecake recipe today. This recipe was given to me by my friend, JS. Actually, she only gave me the list of ingredients without telling me the steps. I had to figure out the steps myself! Fortunately, the baked cheesecake turned out fine. The top of the cheesecake had cracks in them but the fault lies with me - I did not "steam bake" the cheesecake as I used a springform pan. The next time that I bake this cheesecake, I shall remember to use a regular cake pan instead. The other problem I faced was that as the cheesecake cooled down, the centre portion sank a little - I shall have to check with JS as to the reason for this. Other than this, everyone gave the thumbs up for the cheesecake. Thanks so much for the list of ingredients, JS!

By this time, everyone was extremely full. However, who can say "no" to homemade mocca ice cream? I made the ice cream last night for today's dinner.

I have a friend's wedding dinner to attend next saturday (while Da will be meeting up with WC and SC for dinner that day), so there will probably not be any photographs of food in next saturday's post. Hmm... unless I can sneak a camera into the wedding reception. tsk, tsk....


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