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Sweet Saturday

>> Dec 16, 2010

Tropical Pineapple Jelly

This is a very simple recipe.

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Peach Butter Cake

>> Nov 28, 2010

I’ve always wanted to make a Peach Cake after practically drooling over the pictures in “I love Butter Cake” by Kevin Chai. I didn’t know there could be that many types of butter cake.

Even the picky little one likes it.


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Deep-fried Wontons

>> Nov 27, 2010

I like making wontons, fried ones because I can hide prawns in them. Picky little Max just refuse to eat prawns, shrimps, crabs because these crustacean friends are just too cute to be consumed!  He has seen them swimming in the ‘live’ sea creatures tanks in Chinese Restaurants and have liken them to Sebastian the crab in the Little Mermaid!





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Baked Cheesy Rice

>> Nov 23, 2010

I made this a few times at the request of my Hubby and little Max. It's simple and good for quick weekday dinner before sending the lil'one off for his weekly music lessons.


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Quick Pear Tart

>> Nov 16, 2010

I’ve been on “MIA” for the last 5 months. I have to apologize to my friends and blog-friends. Many things have happened and I’ve been short on time. There were a million things to look into. Sadly, I’ve pushed blogging to aside… :-(

I’ve been walking my friend’s dog ;-)
I’ve been hibernating
I’ve been dreaming

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Apple Muffin

>> May 26, 2010


This was one of the few first recipes I tried when I began baking. It was the success of this muffin that gave me the courage to continue baking…I’m glad I don’t always produce disasters in the kitchen! J

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Happy Mother's Day

>> May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to all my friends.


I dedicate this Tiramisu to all of you.and I hope you have a wonderful day with your family and loved ones. Moms these days, juggle a career and family successfully, have time with their friends, blogging to stay in touch with the friends far and wide...and still be beautiful inside and out. I salute all women & supermoms.

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Pumpkin Soup (Low-fat)

>> May 8, 2010

I was told that pumpkin has loads of nutritional value a Chinese Medical Practitioner and is favored by many vegetarians. It’s a great vegetable and is one of the needed ‘variety of vegetable colors’ that we needed to include in our daily diet. In “The Antioxidant Miracle” by Dr Lester Packer, we are encouraged to consume vege with strong colours, not only green…as each individual vege contain different antioxidants which help in some way to prevent cancer.


I’ve tried pumpkin stir-fry with dried shrimps but can’t say I’m fond of the mushy heap :-( and neither did my hubby nor my little one till I tried to make into soup.

But, I’ve got request for 2nd helpings for this pumpkin soup.

4 pips of garlic, chopped
1 pc onion, sliced
1 tsp of vegetable oil
1200ml fresh chicken soup

450g pumpkin, cubed
200g potato, peeled and cubed

Generous dash of pepper.

1.       Remove seeds and cut into cubes.
2.       Place pumpkin and potato cubes in a plate and steam for 15 minutes till soften. Remove and let cool.
3.       In a pot, heat up oil, add in garlic and onion, stir-fry till fragrant and add in chicken soup.
4.       Bring to boil, remove from flame and let cool for about 30 minutes.
5.       Add steamed pumpkin and potato cubes.
6.       Blend soup and cubes with a stick blender. (Be careful, make sure soup is cool before blending or it may splash out if still hot)
7.       On low flame, bring soup to a gentle simmer.

* If you do not have ready chicken soup, you may use chicken stock granules or chicken stock cube. Substitute home-made chicken soup with boiling 1200ml water and 1½ tsp chicken stock granules.
I've adapted it and eliminated the use of milk or cream.

Serve warm.

You may want to know some nutritional benefits of pumpkin,

For your information:
“A raw pumpkin per 1 cup serving has only 30 calories, 0 fat and cholesterol, 1 gram of dietary fiber and only 8 grams of carbohydrates.  

This low calorie food offers lots of vitamins including vitamins A, B6, C and E.  They are high in magnesium, phosphorus, iron, folate, niacin and thiamin.  The list goes on and also includes beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

So how do all these great ingredients benefit you?  Well the lutein and zeaxanthin can help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduces the risk of macular degeneration.  The beta carotene can help prevent night blindness and other eye problems.  It also helps enhance your immune system, and protects against colds, flu and infections.  It is also believed that it can also reduce risk of cancer.  

And then there’s the benefit of magnesium.  Magnesium can help strengthen the formation of teeth and bones.  Magnesium also helps your heart by helping stabilize the rhythm of your heart and prevents abnormal blood clotting.”

Antioxidant Rich
Beta carotene---The rich orange color is a dead give away to the nutrients present in pumpkin. Research shows that people who eat a diet rich in beta-carotene are less likely to develop certain cancers than those who fail to include beta-carotene-rich foods in their diet.
Loaded with Potassium---Studies show people who have a potassium rich diet lower the risk for hypertension. Potassium rich foods include bananas, broccoli, avocados, pomegranate and many others.
Zinc---Not only is zinc a major boost for your immune system, it also aids in bone density support for people at risk for osteoporosis.
High in Fiber---Diets rich in fiber may prevent cancer, heart disease and other serious ailments.
Health Benefits
Prostate Cancer
There have been many stories linking the pumpkin seed to a healthy prostate. But what is so special about these little green seeds one might ask. The protective compounds present within the seed of the pumpkin, called phytosterols, may be responsible for shrinking the prostate. They also contain chemicals that may prevent some transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT are associated with enlarged prostate.
For BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or enlarged prostate) prevention, eating a handful (about 1 ounce) of shelled pumpkin seeds three times a week is recommended.
Anti-Inflammatory Benefits in Arthritis
Unlike the widely used anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin, pumpkin seeds do not increase damaged fat levels in the lingus joints, a common side effect associated with indomethacin which contributes to the progression of arthritis.
Great on your skin
Pumpkins contains lots of anti-oxidant vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and alpha-hydroxy-acids which helps to reduce the signs of aging.
Whether age old remedies have ultimate healing powers or not the nutrients present in just one serving of pumpkin are a testament to the health benefits of this timeless fruit.
Here are the stats on what's in one cup of pumpkin puree:
Pumpkin Nutrition Facts (1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt)
·                                 Calories 49
·                                 Protein 2 grams
·                                 Carbohydrate 12 grams
·                                 Dietary Fiber 3 grams
·                                 Calcium 37 mg
·                                 Iron 1.4 mg
·                                 Magnesium 22 mg
·                                 Potassium 564 mgZinc 1 mg
·                                 Selenium .50 mg
·                                 Vitamin C 12 mg
·                                 Niacin 1 mg
·                                 Folate 21 mcg
·                                 Vitamin A 2650 IU
·                                 Vitamin E 3 mg
Pumpkins are 90 percent water!!

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Bacon Roll

>> May 6, 2010

I made these for some potluck parties some time ago and I made them again for CNY Reunion dinner tis year. 

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Hot Hot Hot

>> May 4, 2010

Spring brings hot-hot-hot weather… and it’s not even summer really, there are some thunderstorms in the late afternoons which provides some reliefs but at times the humidity level can be quite unbearable!

The average day temperature is on the high of 32-37°C. Getting a tan is not a problem here! Haha… Snow White I’m not but I’d rather stay indoors with the air-con full-blast…and preferably a tall glass of refreshing fruit juice with ice cubes filled to the brim!

But, I still remember my Mom’s words that drinking ice-cool drinks will make one feel warmer, an after-effect, actually. So, it is advisable to consume ‘leong-cha’ or cooling herbal tea.

I made this soothing sweet drink to keep our throat moist in this hot weather.

100g Dried dates (dried candied dates, )
100g (In Cantonese, “Fung thong” or )



Just boil the above with 2 litres of water for 15-20 mins, cool and serve. It can be served a 'tong sui"

Enjoy....

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Chinese Mustard Green Soup

>> Apr 23, 2010

Ah, another of my favourite soup, Chinese Mustard Green Soup (in Cantonese,“tai-kai-choy” soup)!

It has been a long time favourite of our family. The Chinese Mustard Green has quite a distinct bitter taste but taste great when boiled with chicken and red dates. It's very tasty.


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Mango Pudding

>> Apr 22, 2010

I love Mango. I think they are just the most juciest tropical fruits.


Generally, they are sweet and except for some species which are sour. Some have soft or firm flesh and have sweet or strong smell.

However, some have fibrous texture flesh which may be a put-off for a truly pleasurable experience of the sweet fruits.

I bought some nice plump Chukanan Mangoes and thought it’ll be nice if I can make Mango Pudding. The bought ones in the plastic cups which many children likes are overly sweet, so I figure I’ll try making them, less sweet and low-fat.

250ml low-fat milk
250g mango, diced
200 ml water
50g fine sugar
1 ½ tbsp gelatine powder
4 tbsp water

  1. Soften gelatine in 4 tbsp water in a small bowl. Let it sit in larger bowl of hot water, stir till gelatine powder dissolve well.
  2. Peel Mango. Dice flesh and put into blender to blend with water. Strain to remove stringy fibers.
  3. Dissolve sugar in milk over low heat. Cool.
  4. Stir mango puree with gelatine, add in milk and stir till well mixed.
  5. Pour into 6 jelly molds or glasses.
  6. Chill in fridge overnight.
Serve chilled.
 

 

If fresh mangoes are not available, don’t despair. I have also tried with Mango juice (your favourite from the shelves) from the carton, yes…when I’m craving mangoes and there aren’t any available, ...not even on my neighbour’s tree!!! … hehe J


With the same recipe as above, substitute mango puree with Mango juice (300 ml).

The good thing about Mango juice from the carton is, no need to strain! There’s no fiber to catch between your teeth!

Enjoy the smooth chilled dessert this hot summer… well, it’s always hot in the afternoons here. 

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Fortune and Lucky Fruit

>> Apr 20, 2010

I'm so proud...it's 2 months and this is the size now, approx. 15cm (fruit only, minus the crown), of my fortune and lucky fruit!


Hehe...I juz can't remember its species but I knew it was pretty sweet then. That's why I decided to grow my very own pineapple, an organic one. I'll bet my MIL (Mother-in-law) will be very happy... she was smiling as I told her I was going to try planting one.

I'm going to keep 'em doors open wide...to welcome fortune and luck...

Next project will be ...

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My Healthy Breakfast

>> Apr 19, 2010

My annual blood test is scheduled for next month and I balked at what it’s gonna reveal about my diet the past few months L.

So, obviously I need some action plans… starting with regular healthy breakfast, oats daily with dried fruits, raw nuts and seeds. Since CNY, I've been indulging myself...quite unhealthily actually forgetting my "daily oats" regime...but I guess I need to forgo my favourite butter-kaya toast, nasi lemak, roti telur for the next few weeks till my the 'draculas' draw my blood...for test, of course.


4 tbsp of instant oats
200-225ml boiling hot water
½ tsp of ground black sesame seed
1 tsp of ground walnut
1 tsp honey

Serve sprinkled some chopped almond, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed and chopped dried apricot or if you don’t have ground walnut then use chopped walnut. You can also add raisins if you don’t have dried apricots.


Barring any cravings for high fatty food, prawns ands sweets these few weeks, I think I should have a reasonably ‘non-worriable’ report J. Meantime, I shouldn’t be biting my fingernails and increasing my stress level and inevitably raising my LDL levels unnecessarily!”

Here’s some info and quick links I’ll like to share with you… on the health benefits of seeds, nuts and dried fruits.
Source :



Some of the excerpts,

“Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers calledlignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.”

“...Nuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They are rich in fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and selenium. Nuts are also high in plant sterols and fat - but mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 - the good fats) which have all been shown to lower LDL cholesterol."

"... FDA only approved the heart health claim for almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts as these nuts contain less than 4g of saturated fats per 50g. However that doesn't mean you should restrict yourself to these 7 nuts only. In addition to nuts, seeds such as flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds may offer the same heart health benefits. Again moderation is the key - limit your intake to 1 to 2 oz of unsalted nuts per day.”

"...Just five portions of nuts each week can help cut heart attack and cancer risk. They're rich in calcium, phytoestrogens and omega-3 fatty acids needed for healthy brain cells. Know your nuts, though, as each has it's own blend of nutritional benefits.

Both are concentrated sources of energy and protein.

What's good about them?
· Eating five or more servings of nuts per week may lower heart attack risk (but as they are high in fat and calories they should be consumed in moderation).
· An almond rich diet can lower cholesterol levels - they are also an excellent source of calcium for vegans.
· Brazil nuts are an excellent source of the antioxidant selenium, thought to protect against cancers (especially prostate cancer) and heart disease risk.
· Walnuts are a good vegetarian source of omega-3s.
· Peanuts (though they are legumes rather than nuts) are an excellent source of manganese.
· All nuts are rich in vitamin E and contain iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and copper.
· Seeds are a great source of energy and vitamin E.
· Pumpkin and sesame seeds contain phytoestrogens, which may be able to ease menopausal symptoms.

“Nutrients in apricots can help protect the heart and eyes, as well as provide the disease-fighting effects of fiber. The high beta-carotene content of apricots makes them important heart health foods. Beta-carotene helps protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which may help prevent heart disease.
Apricots contain nutrients such as vitamin A that promote good vision. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, quenches free radical damage to cells and tissues. Free radical damage can injure the eyes' lenses.
Dried apricots The degenerative effect of free radicals, or oxidative stress, may lead to cataracts or damage the blood supply to the eyes and cause macular degeneration. Researchers who studied over 50,000 registered nurses found women who had the highest vitamin A intake reduced their risk of developing cataracts nearly 40%.”

“Raisins are one of nature’s sweet treats. They provide 70% pure fructose, fat free, cholesterol free, low in sodium, and supply a good source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, iron, potassium, and calcium.
Raisins are said to help with bone density, healthy gums and teeth. The key ingredient in raisins is phytonutrients, mainly olenolic acid, protect from gum disease, and cavities. They are also beneficial for your eye sight just as carrots. Use raisins in your oatmeal, or sprinkle on your salad, or in your cooking and baking.”

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Little Beethovens ♫

>> Apr 18, 2010



I made some small Nutella Cupcakes for some little Beethovens ♫ (Max attends Music class) a few weeks ago for their class concert. 


 


I've made them a few times as we simply like Nutella. Here's the recipe from my previous posting.

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Old cucumber soup

>> Apr 16, 2010

This is an old favourite, a classic soup but I've simplified it.


 700g (approx.) Old cucumber
300g chicken breast
2L water (2000 ml)
15 pcs Red dates (stoned)
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
a dash of pepper


(Optional) 1 pc of medium-size dried squid

1.   Peel off skin. Cut into 4, remove seeds with a large spoon.
2.   Then cut into chunks of 3.5cm x 3.5cm.
3.   Bring water to boil in a medium soup pot or 2.5L Vision pot
4.   Add in chicken breast (fats trimmed) and let it come to boil.
5.   Add in old cucumber chunks, let it come to a boil and turn down flame to low.
6.   Boil for 2 - 2.5hrs.


7.   Salt and pepper to taste.


Serve hot.

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Curried Potato and Mutton

>> Apr 15, 2010

A few weeks ago I decided to revamp my blog, make some changes here and there… and sigh!...found some viruses, do some clean-up and encountered some technical glitches.


I was getting frustrated, unable to access some of the pictures, unable to start some programs… and in this ‘foul’ mood, I forgot to take some nice pictures of my baking and cooking…sigh!...is there anything that went right! 


Anyway, that’s when I decided to take a short break from blogging… to see if the ‘technical issues’ can give me a break too…


I managed to get some of these pictures and here it is,


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Herbs Tonic for Women

>> Apr 14, 2010

It’s that time of the month again! My Mom insisted that we, young girls including herself need herbal tonic after menstruation is over, ie to nourish qi and blood and helps to regulates menses after the loss of blood and to help keep our womb ‘warm’.

My Mom and my Grandma are firm believers of Chinese herbs with its healing properties and I try to do the same now. I still remember their advice and hope to pass on the message to my women friends. My Grandma promised that these herbs if consumed regularly every month will keep women looking young and energetic with healthy complexion, skin and rosy-cheeks always…hmmm…anti-aging secrets! J

My Grandma probably hoped her words will have the desired motivation…’cos I’m consuming these bitter herbal tonic drink voluntarily… hehehe!

I’ve boiled this herbs for 5 hours using my slow cooker, with 1 pre-packed packet of “8-chen” 八珍(8 type of herbs) (of which Angelica Dang gui root is the primary ingredient) and 3 bowls of water (about 750ml).

It is best consumed at night just before retiring for the day. I’ll get 1 bowl and slightly more of the herbal tonic after boiling for 5 hours, which is thick and black with strong ‘dang-gui’ or ‘tang-kwei’ aroma.

Some info. on health benefits of dang-gui or tang-kwei.
Chinese name: Dang Gui or Tang Kwei
Very highly praised and widely used in the Orient. It is known to be an excellent blood tonic and, though beneficial to men and women alike, is considered to be the ultimate women's tonic herb.  Angelica root nourishes and regulates blood and therefore assists women with their menstrual cycle. 
Meridians: Liver, Heart, Spleen & Kidney
Flavor & Energy: sweet, pungent and warm energy
Actions: To replenish blood, to invigorate blood and stop pain, to moisten the intestines.

Hehehe…wishing you all youthful looks! J


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Mom's Pork Chop

>> Apr 10, 2010

I’ve been taking a break from blogging. I realize blogging is hard work J…and sometimes I forgot to take the shots for postings…sigh!...then I gotta wait till I make them next. 

Here’s my little guy’s lunch! He polished off every morsel on the plate…and said, “Mom, can you make this for tomorrow’s lunch and remember to make more for Dad!”  So, I guess he likes it then.

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Taking a break...

>> Mar 17, 2010

So sorry for the MIA (missing in action) again!

My sincere apologies, please bear with me while I revamp the blog. Been meaning to do this during the CNY break, but I was so busy 'eating' and catching up with my old friends. I'm making some changes to the outlook and layout which I hope is better.

Thanks for visiting and I hope to get things done very soon.

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Prosperity & Luck knocking on my door?

>> Mar 4, 2010

Is “prosperity & luck” knocking on my door?

I found this beautiful ‘pineapple flower’ or ‘pineapple crown’ in an attractive shade of red amidst thick, long, hard and thorny leaves in my garden on the 1st day of Chinese New Year. Hehehe! … I think it’s good omen!

I planted this in my garden over a year ago from the leftover crown after my hubby devoured the yellow juicy flesh of this tropical fruit. And, I watered the ‘touchy’ plant (you can’t get too close! ) faithfully for 398 times, (no, actually I didn’t keep count but 398 seems a very auspicious number and it’s more than 365 days a year, lol!)… and treated it some hi-grade organic fertilizer.


Pineapple in Cantonese means “welcoming good luck or glory is coming” and Chinese likes stuff which symbolizes and carries good meaning. Thus, a ‘must-have’ for many Chinese homes here, it’s normally placed on the altar as one of the offerings to their ancestors especially during Chinese New Year. But I don’t have one at home. L

Nevertheless, I hope it’s a sign of forth-coming good luck and prosperity in the year of Tiger …hehehe!

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Going down memory lane...

>> Mar 3, 2010

Hello again! I know I’ve been missing for a while…
(Source : http://www.greetings.ca)

I’ve been busy lazying lol! J, feasting and catching up with friends/relatives, giving out ang-pows and visiting during the 15 days of CNY celebration over here. I always look forward to CNY as it’s a time to catch up with them at least once a year especially if they have moved overseas for work or migrated and only get to come home once a year or every few years.

I’m so happy I got to meet some of my kindergarten, primary, secondary school class-mates and some college-mates as well recently. It’s unbelievable and I can’t imagine meeting them again after all these years.

Most of us haven’t changed much, just a couple of lines more (alright, we’ll call it wrinkles, I’m sure we’re mature enough to accept the term! Lol!), a couple of kilos more (that’s called ‘prosperity’ in Cantonese), if we hold our breath, I’ll bet the spare-tyres would vanish too, but we’ll attribute them to the eating sprees this festive seasons and some even sporting a few silver strands which could be the reflection of lights and some with a dust of white hair which we termed as ‘experience’! Lol!

It’s great fun remembering the time we had in school, our teachers who must be in their 60s or 70s now, the pranks we pulled in school, our mischievous deeds … we’re quite convinced we didn’t study much back then! It’s amazing how we got to where we are now… hahaha! J

Most of us are parents now except for a few who are convinced marriage is not for them… mmm, now I know why their neat jet-black hair has not lost its natural colours. Lol!

For my friends who celebrated CNY, I hope you have had a wonderful time too, just like me. :-)

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