Thursday, April 30, 2009

tuna and egg casserole

The next time that you have leftover bread that you have kept in the refrigerator, instead of warming up the bread and eating it on its own, why not create a new dish using the leftover bread?

We had some leftover onion focaccia in the refrigerator. As I had baked a fresh batch of focaccia, I decided to use the leftover onion refrigerator and make a tuna and egg casserole.


olive oil (for frying)
2 potatoes (diced)
1 large onion (diced)
2 sticks of celery (sliced)
1 carrot (diced)
4 pieces of mock crabstick (sliced)
1 rectangular fish cake (sliced)
1 can black pepper tuna
4 sliced leftover bread (I used onion focaccia)
1/2 cup water
5 eggs
1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
grated mozarella cheese (topping)
bacon bits (topping)
dried parsley flakes (topping)


1. Fry the potatoes until golden brown. Set aside.

2. Stir-fry the onion, celery and carrots until they have softened.

3. Add the mock crab stick, fish cake, tuna and bread. Fry until the ingredients have cooked.

4. Add the water and continue frying for about 5 minutes.

5. Arrange the ingredients on a casserole dish.

6. In a bowl, beat the eggs and add the dried rosemary leaves, dried thyme leaves and grated cheddar cheese. Mix well.

7. Pour the egg mixture over the ingredients.

8. Cover the dish with the grated mozarella cheese and sprinkle the bacon bits and dried parsley flakes.

9. Bake in an oven preheated to 175 degrees celsius for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My marathon friend

I had lunch with my friend, Tian Bao (天宝) today. Although he works in Raffles Place area while I work in Shenton Way area, the dear boy thoughtfully agreed to have lunch nearer my office.

We arranged to meet at 12.30 pm at the lobby of my office building today. When I met up with him, I noticed that he had lost some weight. He has recently been hooked on marathons and his facebook profiles are full of updates of marathons that he had participated in. Gosh, my lifestyle is so sedentary as compared to his.

I suggested that we eat at Cafe Denis. It is a cozy cafe located near my office. Next to the cafe is a karaoke. I have been to the karaoke several times with my karaoke gang and it was only last year that I started patronising the cafe. The food sold is reasonably priced and each order of main course entitles you to free flow of soup and dessert. Each day, there are four types of soup and one type of dessert available.

When Tian Bao and I were perusing the menu and deciding what to order, I recommended the fried rice. It comes with a large piece of fried chicken cutlet, 4 prawns and a bulls-eye egg and it costs about S$7-80. Just as I was telling him that "the fried rice is not bad", a female customer seated at the next table happened to tell the people that she was dining with that "the fried rice is not bad". Tian Bao and I looked at each other and grinned. No prizes as to what we both ordered for lunch... fried rice!

It was a very enjoyable lunch. Tian Bao and I have not seen each other face-to-face for some time. We have, however, been communicating via facebook (ah... the wonders of modern technology) and electronic mail. It was only today that I learned that his girl-girl (that is, his wife) is a colleague of his. Tsk, tsk... talk about office romance! *grin*

At the end of a pleasant meal, I passed my Cafe Denis discount card to Tian Bao (who paid for the lunch).

Thank you for the lunch treat, my friend. Let's do this again. The next meal is on me! Do send my regards to your mummy and your girl-girl.


I am chatting online (via msn) with Eddy at the moment. He has just informed me that his right leg which was dislocated recently has now fully recovered. His last review was on 24 April 2009. Praise the Lord! I am so happy for you, Eddy! This is what he said about how the injury happened - "I jumped high enough to do a slam dunk and I lost my balance and fell on the floor. My right ankle was in 90 degrees." Ouch! I am so thankful that he has recovered.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Secretaries' Week!

Due to a mix-up by me, I had arranged for Secretaries' Week lunch to be held today instead of last week. A thousand apologies to my wonderful team in the office!

The day started with some showers of blessings bringing forth much needed rain. By noon-time, the rain had stopped and excited voices of "Let's go, we're late!" could be heard. As prior arrangements had been made for car pooling, everyone grouped together and made their way to lunch.

In my workplace, it is customary for the staff to be given a lunch treat during Secretaries' Week. I would usually include not only the secretaries who work with my boss and me but also some of the non-secretarial staff whom we work closely with and who are of invaluable assistance to us. In the working world, we should never forget that many a time, we get a lot of guidance from staff who may be less qualified than us but who are a lot more experienced and have a wealth of knowledge to share.

When I first started work, I tried to share the cost of the lunch with my boss. However, being the generous person that he is, my offers to bear part of the cost of the lunch are always graciously turned down. As such, the tradition that has evolved is that my boss will pay for the Secretaries' Week lunch while I will pay for the flowers and gifts (usually goodies such as cookies) for the staff as well as make the arrangements for the lunch. This year, 17 staff were invited to lunch with us. I wanted to bake cookies and gift-wrap them but I figured that given the fact that I am using a table-top convection oven, my new oven would go into early retirement by the time I finished baking 17 batches of cookies.

Each year, it is sometimes a challenge to plan the venue for the lunch as I try to bear in mind the taste buds of the staff. For example, I know that some of the staff prefer non-spicy food, some of the staff prefer buffets, some of the staff are flexible whether to have a buffet or not but would prefer oysters and prawns, etc.

This year, I had arranged for an international buffet lunch for 19 persons at the River Garden Coffee House located at River View Hotel. My grateful thanks to Da's sister (GN) for her suggestion as to venue. As one of the invitees was unable to make it for the lunch, the 18 of us were allocated seating arrangements in the form of a long table (comprising many small tables). As UL and AL sat at each end of the table, I could not help grinning as I thought of the king and queen seated at the two ends of a long table with the rest of the dinner guests seated opposite each other between the two hosts.

It was a very casual lunch and laughter could often be heard from one end of the table to the other end. It is not often that we get to have a meal together in such a large group. It is also relaxing not to have to talk about work all the time to each other.

As I am new to pet society in facebook, some of my colleagues were merrily coaching me how to play some of the games in pet society. If you do not have a pet society account yet, do check it out. I have only just learned how to play two of the games in pet society and I can sense that this can be very addictive.

All too soon, lunch came to an end. Two of my colleagues had the River View hotel privilege card, which entitled us to a 15% discount off the cost of the lunch. Wonderful! It was a very enjoyable meal and I am thankful that I am blessed with capable and efficient staff who have team spirit and who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and brave any storm together. May the camaraderie continue for many more years to come and may the favour of the Lord be upon all of you.

Gosh... I have just realised that the staff took so many photographs of the flowers using my digital camera. So as not to waste their efforts, may I present to you.... beautiful flowers (er... and some food from lunch!).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday blessings

This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice in it! What a blessing to be alive and to be able to smell the roses!

I had earlier arranged with my brother-in-Christ, NN to meet for lunch at 12 pm today. As such, Da and I decided to have breakfast at home instead of eating out for breakfast. Fortunately, we happened to have available some home-made bread and muffins. We toasted the bread and added black pepper ham, cheese and lettuce - delicious!

Hi NN, my breadmaker was a wedding gift from my mother in 1998. At that time, it cost around S$300+. If you are interested to buy a breadmaker, I think you can buy the Bluesky breadmaker from Carrefour for about S$70+. Do check it out.

Last week was Secretaries' Week. However, due to a mix-up by me, I had arranged for the Secretaries' Week lunch with my colleagues for tomorrow, 28 April 2009. Each year, I would also arrange for a floral arrangement (with a box of goodies, eg. cookies) to be delivered to each of the staff who are on the invite list for the lunch. When I went to the florist on friday, 24 April 2009, he asked me why I was arranging for Secretaries' Week flowers to be delivered today instead of last week. I had to explain the mix-up by me.

The flowers were delivered to the office this morning. There was a sudden buzz of activity as the staff gathered at each other's tables to admire each other's floral arrangement. This is the first time that I have arranged for a floral delivery by this florist for Secretaries' Week. I have used their services before for Mothers' Day floral delivery and I know that they have beautiful floral arrangements. I was not disappointed today as well.

At about 11.50 am, I "sneaked out of the office" to meet NN for lunch. Our official lunch hour is from 1 pm to 2 pm. I am very blessed because my management is quite flexible with us and it is okay with them if I were to go for an early lunch or a late lunch. However, I am not used to going out so early for lunch and I told NN (when we met up) that I felt like I was "eating snake" (that is, playing truant). We had a good laugh about it.

NN asked whether I had any preference for lunch venue. I was flexible but requested if we could go to a place that was not so warm. Yes, the weather was hot and humid again today (despite the heavy downpour yesterday). He suggested an Indian Muslim cafe near Amoy Street that he patronises. We both ordered the same thing - fried chicken with biryani rice, papadum and lemon juice. The portion was large and I am thankful that NN did not order a side dish of vegetables.

It was a very enjoyable lunch that we had. We have known each other since 1988 when we were in junior college (that is, Grades 11 and 12).

All too soon, it was back to the grinding stone. I got back to the office at 1.30 pm and decided not to wait till the end of the day to blog. I am feeling on top of the world at the moment!

We are indeed blessed to have family and friends whom we are close to. I thank the Lord that NN's and my friendship has endured all these years and I look forward to more good years.

Have a blessed week ahead!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

hot, hot, hot!

Gosh, the weather has been very hot and humid lately. When Da and I met my mother, my brother (LG) and LG's girlfriend (ZT) for brunch at our favourite coffee shop at Jalan Tua Kong, we were perspiring throughout the brunch. It did not help that before I could order a cold drink for myself (which is a rarity because I generally do not drink cold drinks), the drink stall lady looked at me and said, "You want your regular drink, don't you? Hot tea without milk and with less sugar and a fresh lime?". Sigh.... my family and I are such regulars at the coffee shop that often, the stall holders place the order for us before we can even open our mouths.

When we finished eating, we saw that the sky had become quite dark. My mother commented that rain was long overdue as it has been too hot lately. Shortly after that, there was downpour. It was so heavy that everyone was drenched as we made our way to our respective cars, even though we were carrying umbrellas.

As the roads were very wet and visibility was poor, Da drove slowly as we made our way to church. We were a little late for church and as we entered the car park of the building where the church was located, there were many drivers circling the car park, trying to locate a car park lot. I said a quick prayer and thanked the Lord that we will locate a car park lot soon. Lo and behold, Da suddenly said, "This is an available lot, isn't it?". As always, the Lord had come through for us. Right at the section where we usually park our car was one available car park lot. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Just as Da was reversing our car into the car park lot, a driver behind us tail-gated and drove so close to our car that Da had some difficulty manoeuvring the car and reversing into the car park lot. I appeal to all drivers out there - please do not tail-gate. It is dangerous and it can inconvenience other drivers.

When we arrived at our destination, I thought that we may have to sit on the floor as the premises looked packed. However, to our pleasant surprise, an usher informed us that he had two available seats. When he led us to the seats, my smile widened. Not only were the seats nearer the front, we had direct view of the screen. How wonderful our Lord and Saviour is! He saved good seats for us.

The guest speaker today was Kenneth W. Hagin, the pastor of Rhema Bible Church. His father, Kenneth E. Hagin, was a renowned preacher who passed away in 2003. It was an awesome church service, filled with the spirit of the Lord. As children of God, we need to remember that Jesus has defeated the devil and the devil's devices. Some of these devices include sicknesses, financial challenges, conflicts with others, etc. God took care of everything when He sent Jesus to die for us at the Cross. By His stripes, we are healed. By the shedding of His precious blood, our sins have been washed clean and we are now righteous by faith. Let us cast our cares on the Lord and He will take care of everything for us. God wants us to live an wonderful life and to live it abundantly. However, we cannot live an abundant life if we are constantly full of worry and stress. Lord, I cast my cares on You. I believe the Word of God when He says in the Bible that He has taken care of everything for me. I do not know how my miracles and breakthroughs are going to happen but I know that You do. I rest in Jesus and I place my faith in His finished work. Amen!

When the church service ended, Da and I decided to go home first to rest. We were still a little full from brunch and the weather was too warm to do any gallivanting. Closer to 8 pm, I sent a text message to my mother, LG and ZT enquiring about dinner. We decided to order pizza home delivery from Canadian-2-for-1 pizza (that is, if you were to order a pizza, you will get another pizza free of charge. The two pizzas need not be of the same flavour.).

After dinner, everyone shared the dessert wine that Da and I brought. I found an unopened box of chocolates in my mother's refrigerator and we all ate the chocolates as well. Yummy!

My mother mentioned to me that the winner of India Idol 2009 is a girl who looks Chinese. As such, we logged onto youtube on my mother's computer. The winner's name is Sourabhee. I watched some of the youtube videos of her performances on India Idol. She is very good!

As my mother and I were enjoying the youtube videos, I was prompted by the computer that I had two instant messages on msn. One of the messages was from LSD (Hi girl! Do send me photographs from the wedding dinner that you attended last night. Which drop-dead gorgeous gown did you wear?) and the other, surprise, surprise... was from Auntie SH (no, she is not one of my aunts. She is a friend whose nickname is "Auntie". Oops... I can almost imagine a speculative look on BD's face. Yes, Ah Di, it is her.).

All too soon, it was time to go home. Blogging awaited me!

I will end this blog and leave you with two songs by Susan Boyle, a contestant in Britain's Got Talent 2009. She is a 47-year old lady from a village in Scotland. You would never have imagined that when she opened her mouth to sing, the most beautiful voice came forth. What was so amazing about her performance of "I dreamed a dream" on Britain's Got Talent was that when she stood on the stage (before performing) and talked about her dream to be as famous as Elaine Paige, the camera honed in on the skeptical and scornful faces of some members of the audience. By the middle of her performance, she had received standing ovation from the audience. When the judges gave their comments, Piers and Amanda admitted that they (and the audience) had judged a book by its cover and it was such a humbling experience. I think that a bigger lesson can be learned from this.

(a) We should not judge a book by its cover.

(b) When we have made a mistake, admit the mistake.

(c) Apologise for a mistake that we have made.

(d) Say words of edification and praise to others.

It is not just about the amazing voice that Susan Boyle has. School teachers may want to show the youtube video of Susan Boyle's performance and the judges' comments to their students so that they can teach the students the bigger lesson.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bonding with food

Saturday... a day for food, food and more food. Da and I would usually have dinner on saturdays in the company of family or friends (sometimes both, such as the times when Da's cousin (MT) and the family of the Three Musketeers came to our home for dinner).

We had arranged last night with ET to go to his home for dinner today. As Da had to work this morning, we went to our favourite coffee shop at Jalan Tua Kong for breakfast. At the same time, he dropped off our car with GroomWorks (located a few shops away from the coffee shop) so that our car could be groomed by Yong's men this morning.

As we ate our breakfast, I saw an elderly gentleman approach one of the stalls in the coffee shop. He looked familiar and I thought that he might be my client. This client does not speak English. Whilst he has some understanding of Mandarin, he speaks only Hokkien. I speak Mandarin and although I do not speak Hokkien well (due to lack of practice), I do understand Hokkien when it is spoken. As such, whenever we have meetings with this client, he will speak to me in Hokkien and I will answer him in Mandarin. Somehow, we manage to understand each other all these years.

As I was not certain whether the elderly gentleman at the stall is my client (I do not meet that client often), I called out a tentative "Mr Ng" as the gentleman walked past. No response. Hmm... either that gentleman is not "Mr Ng" or my voice was not loud enough for him to hear. I did not want to call out his name too loudly in case it was not Mr Ng and it would have been embarrassing. *grin*

I was home alone this morning. I have come to appreciate not working on a saturday. I generally do not sleep in late on saturdays as I find that there is so much to do around the house. Actually, more often than not, I end up baking or cooking.

When Da came home, we decided to eat in. As such, I warmed up in the oven the sardine curry puffs that a colleague gave me yesterday as well as some of the baked goodies that I had made. Complement this with a mug of hot coffee or tea and you have a winner!

Before Da and I left for the home of the Three Musketeers, I packed a container of baked goodies for the three handsome young boys who live on the same floor as Da and I in our apartment block. I was rewarded with a shy smile from the youngest of the three boys, who happened to be at his front door when I walked over to their home. He is about the same age as Nining (the daughter of ET) or perhaps a little younger, and his favourite phrase when speaking to us is "Hello, Uncle Aunty!". He can repeat this phrase several times in a conversation. Other than this, he and his two brothers like to update me on their activities. It is such a joy to chat with them.

Goodness me! The traffic on the road was very heavy tonight. What should have been no more than a 15-minute drive to the home of the Three Musketeers took us about 50 minutes. When we arrived, I quickly handed to ET the lemon cheesecake that I had made today so that he could refrigerate it.

Nining was very sleepy and decided to skip dinner in favour of some zzzzzzz. The rest of us sat down to dinner and enjoyed a plate each of fried bee hoon (rice vermicelli) that was full of ingredients. Tiki had tossed a fruit and vegetable salad and it was very popular with everyone. It was a good meal, not just because of the food but especially because Supercute and Tau Suan sat at the dinner table even when they had finished eating and chatted with everyone. This is how a family meal should be - a time of bonding and catching up. In some families, the minute the child finishes his meal, he scoots off to his room and has his eyes glued to the computer screen for the next few hours. Half the time, the parents do not even know what is going on in the child's life nor what the child feels about this or that. Hey Supercute and Tau Suan, we enjoy your company and your insights into various issues. Continue to linger at the dinner table after meals to chat, okay?

As usual, I over-ate and had to ask for some enzymes for indigestion. ET is an excellent chef and his food is always mouth-watering.

After dinner, Supercute showed me how to use their ice shaver. It was a lot of fun! When Tiki requested for iced coffee, Supercute made a hot mug of latte before pouring it into a large mug that was filled to the brim with shaved ice. I asked him why he filled the entire mug with hot water instead of merely dissolving the coffee granules in some hot water and then topping up the rest of the mug with cold water (which is what I normally do when I make iced coffee at home). He replied that it affects the taste of the iced coffee. Interesting. I shall have to remember this. Very often, out of the mouth of babes comes words of wisdom. It would be good if adults could pay more attention to what the younger generation is saying. Many a time, we have set ways of doing things but we have to remember that many roads lead to Rome and there is sometimes more than one way of doing something and the alternative method may even be better or more efficient.

Supercute and Tau Suan were hooked to their computer while Da and I watched an English Premier League match on television. ET and Tiki were in another room watching what was supposed to be a horror movie ("Chucky" or something along those lines) but which ended up being more like a comedy. This reminds me... in 1995, I visited my penpal JMC in South Carolina, United States of America. As JMC's sister was married and had moved out of the family home, I slept in her room. She had a Chucky doll in her room and I had difficulty sleeping at night because of the doll. I was fearful of nightmares.

Dessert time! Would you like a slice of lemon cheesecake?

We had a good time at the home of the Three Musketeers. Supercute taught me how to play two games in pet society (in facebook). According to him, when I log onto pet society, the first thing that my virtual pet should do is to kiss all the other pets in my friends list so that I can get points (oops... I am not sure if I got this right. Do I get points or do I get coins?). I asked him to help me change the name and colour of my virtual pet but I was told that I do not have enough virtual coins as I would need to "pay" for this. Oh well... slowly but surely....

Friday, April 24, 2009

Purpose driven life

Rick Warren is an American evangelical minister. He is also the author of several books, including "Purpose Driven Life". He is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church in California, United States of America. He said the prayer during the inaugural ceremony of Barack Obama as President of United States of America.

In an interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:-

"People ask me, "What is the purpose of life?".

And I respond, "In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop and that will be the end of my body - but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practise on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness. This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems: If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centredness, which is "my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her - It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before.

I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72. First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases. Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call "The Peace Plan" to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation. Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, "God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better".

God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.""

My dear loved ones and friends, may the Lord bless you always.

Thank You, Abba Father, for loving me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

blueberry muffins

There is something very addictive about the smell of muffins being baked in the oven. You are very tempted to boil a kettle of water immediately and prepare your mug of coffee or tea in anticipation of biting into a warm muffin.

To bake blueberry muffins, you can either use frozen blueberries or fresh blueberries. If you use frozen blueberries, remember to thaw them first and add them only when they have reached room temperature.

The recipe in this post yields about 12 medium-sized muffins.


1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup blueberries
chopped almonds


1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

2. Line the muffin pans with muffin cups.

3. Sift the plain flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon in a large bowl.

4. Add the sugar, olive oil, egg and milk into the flour mixture and stir well. The mixture will be lumpy.

5. Add the blueberries and mix well.

6. Fill the muffin cups with the batter till about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds.

7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the muffin comes out clean.

8. Let the muffins cool thoroughly before storing them in an air-tight container.


If you use canned blueberries instead of fresh or frozen blueberries, drain off the liquid before you add the blueberries to the batter.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy baking!

Every now and then, I will share with my colleagues the cakes, muffins or cookies that I have baked. This practice started from the days when I was a trainee in the company. I used to spend my weekends baking and each monday, a box of baked goodies would appear in the pantry for my colleagues to enjoy.

As the years went by and my workload increased, I did not always have the time to do baking during the weekends. A few years ago, it reached the point where I hardly baked and our breadmaker went into early retirement.

In the past, Da and I would go out during weekends, either to watch a movie at the cinema or to do some window shopping. Nowadays, Da and I prefer to spend our free time relaxing at home or visiting relatives or friends. It is probably due to the fact that as our workload increases with our seniority in the workforce, we treasure our free time and we prefer to relax at home or in the home of a relative or friend.

As a result, I have managed to resume my hobby of baking. My breadmaker (a wedding gift from my mother in 1998) is no longer kept in the cabinet and is now always placed on the tabletop, ready to be called into action. In fact, the more often I use the breadmaker (which is still in good working order after all these years), the better the bread turns out.

Last night, I was reading the blogs of relatives and friends at home when I suddenly felt like doing some baking. It was 10.30 pm at that time but deciding to give in to the whim, I proceeded to the kitchen and started preparing the batter for mini yoghurt doughnuts. The preparation time was only about 5 minutes and the baking time per tray of doughnuts was only 7 minutes. As such, in less than half an hour, Da and I had piping hot trays of doughnuts on our dinner table. Unable to resist the temptation, we ate a few of the doughnuts. Yummy!

When the doughnuts had cooled down, I packed some of the doughnuts into a container for Da to bring to work today. I also packed a container to bring to work, which container I handed to my secretary this morning for her to distribute the doughnuts.

The next time that you suddenly feel like doing some baking at night, why not considering baking mini yoghurt doughnuts? They are easy to make and very delicious.

Happy baking!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chocolate cheesecake

Doesn't the photograph above look tempting? *grin*

This chocolate cheesecake is very easy to make, trust me! The more tricky aspect to slice the cheesecake evenly. The trick, according to Da's niece, is to freeze the cheesecake and cut the cheesecake cake using a hot knife. It seems that this is the way to cut an ice-cream cake as well.

You could, of course, make the biscuit base from scratch using 227g digestive biscuits and 115g butter. For this, you will need a 9" loose-bottomed tin. Put the biscuits in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin until they are finely crushed. Melt the butter (in a microwave oven or a saucepan) and add the biscuit crumb, mixing well so that all are nicely coated. Press the mixture into the base of the tin. Flatten it down and make sure that the base is evenly covered, taking the mixture up the sides just a little.

Alternatively, you can do what I did - buy 2 Ready Crusts. The recipe below is sufficient for 2 cheesecakes, so if you only intend to make 1 cheesecake, simply halve the recipe.


700g cheese (mixture of cream cheese and cottage cheese)
100g chocolate biscuits (crushed) (I used whatever chocolate biscuits I found in the refrigerator when I made the cheesecake, which in this case were oreos and tim tams)
227g castor sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence


1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.

2. Whisk the cheese, chocolate biscuits, eggs, sugar and vanilla essence until you have a smooth mixture. If you use cottage cheese, the mixture may be a little lumpy - this will even out during the baking process.

3. Pour the mixture onto the biscuit base.

4. Bake at the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 45 minutes by which time there should just be a hint of wobble about the centre of the cheesecake. Turn the oven off, leaving the cheesecake inside to go completely cold. If you leave the oven door ajar during this time, your cake will have a creamier, less dry centre. It also helps prevent cracks forming.

5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before removing the cheesecake from the tin.

6. If you add topping to the cheesecake, refrigerate for 8 hours before eating.

7. Serve with fresh strawberries.

Topping (Option A)

Cover the cheesecake with a layer of *whipped cream and fresh fruit (slices of kiwi, peaches, grapes, strawberries, etc).

* As whipping cream tends to be sold in 1 litre packets, you can whip the entire packet and save the unused whipped cream to be added to your coffee. To whip the whipping cream, whisk the whipping cream at the highest speed until soft peaks form (do not overwhip - underwhipped would be desirable). Add 2 tbsp of sugar and finish whipping by hand.

Topping (Option B)

Mix 200ml sour cream, 1 tbsp castor sugar and 2 tsp lemon juice and spread over the cheesecake.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Lord loves me

To my dearest and most wonderful Lord,

Grace is unearned, undeserved favour. By Your grace, I am who I am today. You use my weakness and infirmities to Your glory.

Jesus, You are my redeemer. You came down to earth as a man, You are rich and You are willing to redeem me.

Your Grace causes me to labour more abundantly than others. I no longer labour because I am relying on my works to bring me blessings. I know that Your Grace brings me blessings. Grace is Your power unto my salvation. Your righteousness is revealed in the gospel. The righteous by faith shall live.

I know that before my faith can flow like the rivers, I have to curse self-righteousness and remove it from my life. It is because of Jesus that I am enjoying the favour of God. I am forgiven not just because of God's mercy. It is because of God's righteousness because He cannot punish my sins twice. Jesus has already been punished for my sins at the Cross. My sins have been forgiven not because I have escaped but because they have been judged on the body of Jesus Christ. God is faithful and just.

I believe that You died for us and as us. Today, God's righteousness is on my side. God is for me, so who can be against me? I put my eyes on Your love for me. As I keep my eyes on that which is constant, even though things may be moving around me, I am stabilised, immovable and unshakable.

God loves me! I have faith in that love. I believe the love that God has for me. God is no longer judging me based on who I am but based on the perfect Man at His right hand. Christ is acceptable to God and is pleasing to the Father. As You are, so am I in this world! Perfect love casts out fear. Your love for me is perfect. I love because You first loved me. For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son (John 3:16). God's love for me is constant. Hallelujah!

The law cannot make me perfect. The law condemns. The 10 Commandments are not evil but they are like a mirror and show up our imperfections and how much we need the Lord. We can never keep the 10 Commandments perfectly.

The Lord loves me and I am filled with the goodness of God. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that I can ever ask or think. Just imagine - even when I do not say out loud the desires of my heart, God answers! When God restores, He restores more than what I have lost. Good things happen to people who know and believe that God loves them. Amen! Our self-esteem is on unshakable ground. Good things happen to me, for me and in me because I am the one whom You love. When I boast of Your love for me, I will be used by You mightily. The more I feed on Your love for me, it will strengthen me to lead a powerful life.

Jesus loves me, this I know... for the Bible tells me so.

In Genesis 22, God asked Abraham to offer up Issac (the son whom Abraham loved) as a sacrifice to God on the mountain. As Abraham was about to kill Isaac, God stopped Abraham and He provided a ram (which happened to pass by!). This is a picture of Jesus. God is telling us that He will give up His only Son, the Son whom He loved, for us.

When I labour to please You, I am heavy laden. I come unto You and You will give me rest. The Cross changed everything. At the Cross, You received my "bad" and I received Your "good". Jesus, You are an overpayment from God for my sins. That is why there is much more left over. You love me and You gave Yourself up for me. I am blessed because I know how much You love me.

He who spared not His own Son for us all but gave Him up, how will He not with Him, also freely give us all things (Romans 8)? God will not withhold any blessings from my life. I am a blessing wherever I go. I am God's beloved! Temptations cannot be successful when I have a sense that I am God's beloved. I am precious and valuable. God loves me perfectly. The Son of God who loved me gave Himself for me. I am the one that Jesus loved. Every day, I have a sense that I am Your beloved. I keep my eyes on that which is fixed. My life has been radically transformed by listening to radical preaching of Your Grace.

Lord, Your love becomes more and more real in my life every day. You have stripped the devil of all his weapons. It take someone who knows that he is beloved to knock down the devil.

With people, is is more blessed to give. With the Lord, it is more blessed to receive. You love to give. You want to serve me, minister to me, give to me, wash my feet and bless me. The more I take from You, the more it delights You and it refreshes You. Grace is taking from You, Lord whereas law demands that man give.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). I have faith to believe that I am right with God by the blood of Jesus.

Lord, You have been good and gracious to me. I believe that there is more in store for me and I will take some more from You! Thank You, Jesus. I give You praise.

I am personal to You, Lord. I am special to You. At the Cross, You rested Your head. You found Your rest in redeeming me, saving me, healing me and loving me. You find your food in loving me. I find my food in feeding on Your love. I feel Your love and it makes me strong. I am more than a conqueror. Praise the Lord for He is good; for His love ensure forever. I boast of Your love for me.

I am a child of destiny. God loves me and You have a purpose and destiny for my life. On the Cross, Jesus bore all my judgement, shame and sin so that God will righteously make me righteous in His sight. When Jesus cried, "It is finished!", God tore the veil in the temple into two. The same blood that removed the veil will also remove my sins. Every blessing that I have received and will continue to receive from God was made sure at the Cross. God wants to take me from death to life and have life more abundantly.

Jesus, You are my Saviour and my Lord. I am Your beloved. My sins have been put away by Your precious blood. I receive You in my life and You will give me rest. Amen.

The daughter whom You love,
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