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CNY Celebrations

>> Feb 17, 2010

As I mentioned in my earlier posting, I took some nice shots and hope to share with you what I saw and feel and hope you’ll enjoy them too.

(Here's hoping Tsai Sen Yeh or God of Prosperity bringing you prosperity & money luck to your home)

Having started Primary 1 in a Chinese school, the kids were encouraged to participate in CNY-theme art work, and here is one of Max's.


Traditional Lou Sang (Yusheng), normally included in CNY Dinner but have since been included at least a fortnight earlier in most Chinese dinners. Many companies hold thank you dinners for their staff or suppliers or valued customers in appreciation for the support the past year with Yusheng. I’ve had my share too…this was one of the dinners.



(This was taken just before another 8 pairs of chopsticks appeared!)

This year, I only went to one shopping mall, just 2 weeks before CNY. The celebration air was lukewarm …there’s no frenzy shopping yet then…moderate scale decorations at mall compared to previous 2 years…things, admittedly are pricier with prices of basics like flour gone up and recently the price of sugar too!

These were taken in Mid-Valley Megamall and the Gardens, an adjacent mall.


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Spring is here and everywhere and I love the colours of new year...



Hah, the labour of love...CNY cookies from my kitchen. ta-da!






Candy tray with sweets and chocolates to sweeten the year J.And, to sweeten the mouth of everyone who visit, may all words be sweet-sweet....hahaha lol!


Happy Valentine’s Day! I made these cute cupcakes for Hubby and my little prince and brought a tray over for my Mom, nieces and nephew.



I saw this in Anncoo’s Hobby and decided to give it a try. I have a previous recipe that a friend gave me, quite similar, with a little more icing sugar and with added almond flakes which I found kinda difficult to mold or cut. This is lovely and melts in your mouth. It's vegan, I like it very much. Thank you my dear friend for sharing a lovely recipe. (Thumbs Up). Anncoo’s Almond Cookies is a definite keeper.

(Anncoo's Almond Cookies)

I started off like this, cute, sweet dainty heart-shaped ones…then, it ended up like this… well, it was 2am in the morning J.



I didn’t make these. Bought them as they are “must-have”…what is CNY without pineapple tarts (rolls), traditional kuih bangkit and addictive arrow-root chips! 






I hope you have enjoyed these pictures. Do visit again as I'll be posting some recipes later on.

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Chinese New Year 2010

>> Feb 16, 2010

We are into the 3rd day of Chinese New Year…and we are still eating-eating-eating. Hahaha! Don’t you just love Chinese New Year? We do!


As usual, I’m always in a rush. And, as usual I’m short on time, preparing for CNY and having fun. I have managed to get some nice pictures to share with you. Largely on food, of course! J Please do excuse the picture quality, as the photographer was too busy, the fill-in photographers may not know exactly what is wanted J.

This year made history…hehehe…we hosted the Annual Family Reunion Dinner which is normally prepared by my mother-in-law (MIL) in their own family home. As MIL has not been well, I offered to cook this year’s Dinner. A true challenge considering my level of expertise, but I took on the task with much gusto, preparing the menu 2 weeks ahead. Getting the stuff and raw ingredients…and beautify myself (I forgot to put on lipstick and varnish my toe-nails!...eeeeeekkk)…to feed 18 (including kids).

We had Sushi Platter in place of the normal CNY Lou Sang (Yusheng). So thoughtful of my brother-in-law to get this ‘Take-Away’ to be included as Starter. Something different!


What I cooked and made, ... an 8-course dinner...including a cold dessert. (Unbelievable!)
Oyster “Fatt-choy” with Chinese Cabbage Soup. I think everybody likes this very much. Warm and brings good meaning. Oyster, means good things and Black Moss (a type of black hair-like algae) which means “getting rich” J.


The soup was finished before the photographer remembered to take some nice pictures.

BBQ Pork or Char Siu. Pork belly marinated 2 days ahead, grilled in the oven…sweet and finger-licking good!
  

Bacon Roll, this is a Western and Asian fusion, everybody’s favourite!


Stir-fry Colourful Vege. I love this colourful stir-fry but not all’s favourite! …these guys are probably taking a break from vege! Lol!


 Chicken stew with mushroom. Something for the kids. Goes well with rice.

Fragrant “Laughing” prawns. A must have for all Chinese Reunion Dinner, means HA, “Haha…laughters”.



Steamed Fish. Another must have, which means abundance. I couldn’t get pomfret which was terribly pricey but settled for Golden Snapper.

Pineapple Jelly. A sweet dessert to round up the Dinner which also brings good meaning…welcoming good luck.

Hahaha…Year of Tiger should be a good year…I’ve included so many stuff with good meanings J.

I’ll be posting some of the recipes later on when I get some time to set it out. Thanks for visiting and I hope my friends you have had a wonderful time celebrating CNY with your family and friends. I hope you had a restful weekend too.

Just thinking : As I reflect back, this is a good opportunity to right wrongs, to forgive, to do good deeds, to foster better ties, to catch up on family news, to meet up with old friends. The past year has not been particularly good, with so many acquaintances, family and friends sick, hospitalised, passing on... I will try to do my part and my best.... I'll do better in the kitchen too, family too...ok, garden too! Hahahah, lol!

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Gong xi fa cai, Gong xi fa cai

>> Feb 15, 2010

Wishing all my friends and readers a very happy Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Today is the 2nd day of Chinese New Year in the year of Tiger. The Tiger symbolizes bravery, strength, determination and energy and I hope that like the Tiger, you will have the strength of mind and spirit and energy of the Tiger to meet any challenges that may be ahead and may you emerge victorious!

May the roar of the Tiger brings good luck, good health, prosperity, peace, love, calm and success to you and your family. Here’s wishing you “chut-yap-ping-onn” (Keep safe always), “shen-thai-keen-hong” (Good health always), “ma-tou-kung-seng” (Success), “pou-pou-kou-xing” (For those who are working, may you climb the corporate ladder with great success) and “sum-seong-see-sing” (May all your wishes come true).


I hope that this holiday also gives you the opportunity to foster better ties with your loved ones, family and extended family and relatives, your neighbors and friends too. It’s a great time to catch up with friends and old school-mates.

Have a blessed new year and stay safe.


As this year’s Chinese New Year also coincides with Valentine’s day, I’ll like to wish everybody a very Happy Valentine’s Day. Chap Goh Mei (the 15th day of CNY is on 28th Feb), it’s also the Chinese Valentine’s Day… don’t despair if you have missed the 14th Feb, there’s always the 28th Feb… J


Have a great week, or rather fortnight J.

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Butter Cookies

>> Feb 8, 2010

An all-time classic butter cookies that is buttery, tender yet slightly crisp and practically melt in your mouth. I’ve been searching for months and tried a few that left me even more determined to find a better one… till I stumbled on one but this was quite a few years ago. The ingredients are simple. I can’t remember the source but I’ve since adapted it, adjusting the sugar amount.

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Sad sad news...

>> Feb 5, 2010

My uncle, who has been an Alzheimer patient for a number of years, passed away yesterday. It is so sad to hear the news from my cousin. 


He died of pneumonia and multiple complications. But I guess enough is enough for him. He had been bed-ridden in the last few years and his condition has slowly slowly deteriorated. He was 75. He had not been able to respond either in speech or gesture, neither could he indicate recognition when he saw anyone.


It was difficult for me to see him suffer so much in his old age. I sometimes try to imagine how it must be like...but failed miserably. Perhaps God has been cruel to be kind, he has taken him away from his family but his sufferings have ended. I know he is in good hands.


Sigh!...


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Stuffed Mushrooms

>> Feb 3, 2010

Making this dish brings back memories of my childhood. I remembered my Mom making Stuffed Mushrooms during Chinese New Year and it was a hit with the family.

("Hung bao" - Red packet)


Now, I serve this during Chinese New Year as well as some family gatherings. This is my recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms.

10 pcs dried Chinese black mushroom (soaked in hot water to soften a few hours before cooking)
125g fish paste
½ tsp Shao Hsing Hua Tiao wine (optional)
A dash of pepper
1 tsp of fatt-choy (soaked), (optional)
10 slices of carrot

Sauce
½ tsp soy sauce (or to taste)
½ tsp cornflour
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp oyster sauce
A dash pepper
180 ml water
½ tsp sesame oil


1.      Soak dried black mushroom with hot water for 3 hours till soften. Remove stem.
2.      Mix in Shao Hsing Hua Tiao wine with fish paste (optional) and softened ‘fatt choy’, add in some pepper, mix well and set aside.
3.      Dust some cornflour into the inner cap (gill-like side).
4.      Stuff the mushroom caps generously with fish paste.
5.       Top with a small slice of carrot in the middle. Hah, looks pretty, right?
6.      Place stuffed mushroom on dish and steam for 20 minutes.
7.      In a small sauce pan, heat the ingredients to make gravy.
8.      Place steamed stuffed mushroom on serving plate and pour gravy over the mushroom. Serve warm.

("Fook" - Prosperity)

By now, you would have gathered we love mushrooms… J


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Yu Chuk Herbal Soup

>> Feb 2, 2010

I boiled Yuk Chuk Soup last weekend, one of our favorites. According to my Grandma and my Mom, boiled soup is soothing and nourishing.

Hubby likes soup very much and the little guy has also developed a fondness for soup. He always ask for second helpings, isn't that nice... :-)

1 handful of yuk chuk
4 pcs of Bei Qi (astralagus)
120-150g pork ribs or lean meat
2 litre water
Salt to taste


1.  Bring to boil 2 litres of water, add in yuk chuk and bei qi
2.  In a smaller pot, fill with water and bring to boil. Add in pork ribs or lean meat and  boil for 10 minutes. Drain and dish up.
3.  Add cooked pork into the boiling soup and lower the flame to small and let it boil for 3-4 hours.
4.  Add in salt to taste and serve warm.


I like the soup which has a slight sweet taste from the Yuk Chuk and quite clear. Mostly, we enjoy the herbal soups for its taste, rather than remedies.

Do check out the benefits of these herbs, if you have the time.

Bei Qi, also known as Astralagus helps promote blood circulation and lowers blood pressure. It is remedy for general weakness and nervous exhaustion.

YUK CHUK also known as Yu Zhu (Solomon's Seal Rhizome, Polygonatum) nourish yin, moisten dryness, lung and stomach dry heat with cough, dry throat, thirst, irritability, steaming bone disorder, excess hunger, constipation, clear wind, nourish sinews – moistens sinews, spasms, dizziness.

I hope the above is helpful.

Enjoy.

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