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Happy New Year!

The best thing about the new year is that we get to review our goals and blessings and set new one for the new year.

I have been quiet for the past week, taking the time to enjoy our families and just being with each other (and working!). It allowed my mind to be still for just a while, to think back and to set new goals for the next year.

Last year, I wrote about the life highlights and cooking/baking enjoyments. I spoke about some of my goals for the year of 2011. It struck me that this is a good space to re look at these goals and reflect the growth that occurs in many ways. Time seem to just fly by so quickly, more so when I started working and life responsibilities set in.  Life should not just slip by and every year should be treasured.  What else is a better way than to set life growth goals and grow in them!

and counting every single blessings that God has provided. In the midst of challenges in the year, He knows what we cannot handle and can. This account is a true reflection that even through the midst of dark times, there are still so much joy.

Highlights of 2011

  • We started building our home sweet home! 
  • We attended one of my best buddies’ wedding. 

  • We went to busselton and was at the Micheal Buble’s concert. 
  • We headed to Melbourne with a few friends. 
  • I took up boxing, zumba, body balance and pump classes, which resulted in a stronger, healthier, better coordination (those who know me know that I trip when I walk!) and a happier daphne. I found muscles! 
  • I am learning and still trying to relax obsession of the weighing scale and just learn to love who I am more. 
  • I achieved another milestone in the area that I am working in. Developing and leading a team has made me more humble as a clinician than ever before.
  • I have a fringe! 🙂 
Cooking and Baking Highlights? 
  • I made curries!!!! 

It has been a blast of a year.

Goals for 2012 

  • Attempt to make creme brûlée again. First, I have to locate some butane for my torch! 
  • Definitely more ice-cream making. I have my eyes on making vanilla bean ice cream and rum and raisin! 
  • Embrace my roots and make more home styled asian dishes. 
  • Be kinder to myself, to praise the Lord for creating us and loving my body. 
  • Continue with my gym workouts (haha, I know you are thinking I have broken the last goal already but it is to be healthier!). Being stronger and tone within. 
  • Working hard in being even another step closer to our dreams.
  • On top of respecting my husband, but also to speak kinder and be more generous with my words.
  • Enjoy the process of moving into our new home. 
  • To pray more.
Wishing you a HAPPY NEW YEAR. Whatever your goals were, or challenges you went through, it’s time to take a deep breathe and move forward! May this year will take you greater heights or grow as a person within greater than before. 



Happy New Year!

The year 2010- another year full of memories and life lessons. I thought a good way to sum up the year is to have a look at the all those beautiful moments and capture them in a post.


  • Started the New Year in Paris (plus Pierre Hermes’ macarons)!

  • We survived one year of marriage!! Woohoo!
  • Attended and be part of the bridal party for my closest friends. 
  • Emcee for the first time at a dinner banquet for my best friend. 
  • We bought sand land and will be building our home in 2011.
  •  We had the BEST road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne.
  •  Headed to Sydney and tried Guylian Chocolate Cafe and saw the Blue Mountains. (although my tummy felt really ill after the chocolate, the pain was worth it!)

  •  And officially on 30th of Dec 2010, achieved a milestone in my career. A goal that I have been aiming for since year 2000 when I arrived in Australia. 

And my cooking and baking highlights? 

Goals for 2011:

  • To continue to make changes and improve the appearance and accessibility to content of this blog.
  • Try making curry!! (from scratch!!!)
  • Ice-cream making perhaps. 
  • Continue my quest to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. 
  • To create more beautiful memories with my family and friends.
  • Accelerating to our dreams. 
  • To live more, laugh louder and breathe deeper when challenges cross our paths. 
  • Looking forward to the building process of our new home. 
  • To be even more respectful and loving towards my hubby. 
  • A closer journey with God. 
Wherever you are, here is wishing you a FANTASTIC NEW YEAR.  May each step you take in the New Year bring you closer to your dreams.


Happy Tiger Year!

Gong Xi Fai Cai!

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! What a lovely year it was and now we have approached the Tiger year.

I kept this recipe for more than 2 years now. Finally this year, a chance to try it out! Golden Pineapple Tarts.

Sure enough, it lives up to its name of being hard work. Yet every second was worth it. The night before, I cooked the pineapple filling. Soon after, the kitchen was filled with lovely scents of cinnamon and star anise.

On Friday, I quickly tapped away on my computer, completing all my paperwork before 2.30pm! SCORE! Time go home and make the dough.

Truth be told, the dough wasn’t difficult to make. It was, however, encasing the pineapple filling into the dough that was tricky. Mine started out huge, then it became slightly more manageable.

Finally, an unglam picture of the hubby. It was the moment of truth when he bite into it.

He was kind and finished every bite of it. I found the dough/short bread to be too thick and wish I could have practice more to put more filling in it. Having said that, we both agreed that the filling was lovely and wasn’t as sweet as commercially bought ones.
Thanks to the inspirations of Rasa Malaysia and Fresh from the Oven. It is the generosity of such great food bloggers who shared their secrets and kitchen knowledge that allow a novice like me to learn so much.

Here is wishing everyone a Prosperous New Year filled with happiness and joy. Not forgetting the most important one GOOD HEALTH!


Traditional Mooncakes Take 2

Bored of mooncakes yet? I’m still at it! This is my 2nd batch which I made yesterday (yes, all my other posts are delayed now!!).

I used the wooden mould this time. The pattern is more distinctive isn’t it?
My only complain and DOH moment was that I think I over baked it by 5 minutes which resulted in some of them looking slightly dry and cracked.

Having said so, I think the size of the mooncakes are definitely more even than the previous post!
And I’m slowly getting the hang of it … I think!
Then I tried to make the large ones… and the poor lion. We can barely see his face.

We cut one up yesterday..and AR said it tasted better than my first batch. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be… So hopefully that means it is an improvement!

Traditional Mooncakes

So after my attempt in making Snowskin mooncakes, I decided to roll up my sleeves and make traditional ones! Surprisingly, the dough for the traditional ones was easier to handle then snowskin ones.

I found out that the imprint wasn’t as clear if I use plastic moulds. Also, you can tell it was my first attempt because all the mooncakes were out of shape! hehehee. Duck eggs are really expensive in Perth-and I can’t even find decent ones! What we have are cooked ones imported from Taiwan. I suppose it is better than nothing.

I was called away for an emergency just as I was about to put these little gems into the ovens. So I just quickly draped a wet towel over it. When I return, the mooncakes looked a little….hmm..moist? I think it’s the heat that caused the dough to “melt” contributing to the disfigurement.

You can hardly see the words.
Disfigured mooncake?
A little better perhaps?
Too brown?
I can see the flower finally!
Innards. See the little egg yolk? =)

I was pleasently surprise by the differences between freshly made ones and store bought ones. They do taste different. The fresh one doesnt leave a oily feeling. The store bought ones are obviously better in presentation!!
Traditional Mooncakes (12 mini ones and 2 huge ones)
200 grams plainflour
60 grams peanut oil
130 golden syrup
1 tsp of alkaline water (I used bicarb soda mixed with warm water)

300 grams lotus paste
salted egg yolks

Egg glace
1 yolk
1 tsp water
drops of soya sauce

1) Heat Saucepan. Place a heatproof bowl over it. Mix peanut oil, syrup and alkaline water in the bowl. Stir till combine and warmed. Set aside till cool slightly.

2) Sieve flour into a mixing bowl. Make a well and pour syrup mixture int to the flour. Mix till dough is formed. Cover mixing bowl with wet toel and rest the dough for 30-45 minutes.

3) Divide dough and filling into require size of your mould. I just estimate…

4) Wrap filling in dough. Coat it lightly with flour. Dredge wooden mould with flour and put mooncake in it. Flatten it with your palms.

5) Dislodge mooncakes by hiting it. GET the ANGER OUT! =)

6) PLace mooncakes on lined pan. Spray with some water. Bake at 180-190C for 10 mins. Cool for 5-10 minutes and glaze it. Return the mooncakes to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

7) Store mooncakes in air tight container and serve only after 2-3 days. This seems to even out the surface.

Snow Skin Mooncake – My journey

The mid-autumn festival is approaching again. Last year, I was wowed by the display of mooncakes by bloggers all over the world. Especially my aunt who enticed me to the world of making mooncakes at home. However, I wasn’t able to locate the materials and ingredients in Perth then, hence did not attempt to make any.

My grandmother heard of my interest in making mooncakes at home and bought a couple of mooncake moulds. On my most recent trip back to SG, I made sure I packed those mooncake moulds in my luggage back to Perth. Now, because they are made of wood, I decided to place them in my hand luggage (see how precious they are?) so that I can easily declare them. Funnily enough, the Singapore customs stopped me and wanted to have a look at it after x-raying my bag. The Chinese guy didn’t even know that was a mooncake mould! Maybe they thought it was a weapon. LOL.

Back in Perth though, the customs officer took it out of my bag and said “AH! Mooncakes! Oh yes, it’s nearly that time of the year again. I see that you are going to make some yourself at home?” Yup, that’s right. An Australian officer instantly knew what it was. Perhaps the Singaporean officer only ate store bought mooncakes, hence he no longer know that mooncakes can be made at home too! Obviously with the growing number of Asians in Perth, the mooncake mould must be something the Australian officer see often.

Back to my attempt. It took me the whole of a Sunday afternoon to make this. I wasn’t too happy with the large snowskin mooncake and had lots of difficulties with them. Soon afterward, I decided to stick on mastering the smaller ones first…Knocking the mooncakes out of the mould was my problem. I realized quickly that you need to coat it with cornflour first so that the mooncake fall out of the mould easily.

Certainly I’m going to be trying the traditional ones next. Given the price of snowskin mooncakes in Perth (2 small ones for AU$6!!!!), I think I saved heaps this year….

You can see that the mooncakes gradually looked nicer..Compare the big one withe small ones!

1st attempt
Looks odd!
Excess skin at the bottom.
Too much filling! It’s nearly bursting there.
Slowly getting it.
One of the last ones. It’s pretty! And I can see the flower pattern on it now.
One of the innards of the mooncake. The skin is slightly too thick.
Much better?

Snowskin Mooncakes (1 huge one and 18 small ones)
115grams Hong Kong Flour steamed for 15 mins and cooled
115 fried glutinous rice flour
190grams of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of butter or shortening
5 tablespoons of cold water*
2 tsp of pandan essence
2 tablespoons of hongkong flour mixed with 2 tablespoon of water (paste).

350 grams of pure lotus paste

1) Sieve fried glutinous flour with hongkong flour. Add icing sugar. Make a well and add shortening/butter, pandan essence, water and hot paste. Knead till smooth (may take 5-10 minutes). Roll dough and wrap lotus paste.Dust it lightly with corn flour. Press into mooncake mould. Knock mooncake out from mould and chill. Serve with tea.

*I used more than 15 tablespoons of water!!! I think it might be the humidity of the countries? The air is alot drier in Australia, hence more water is needed?

Mid-Autumn Festival

It’s the time of the year again… to stuff ourselves silly with mooncakes! Lotus paste wrapped in golden casing of sweetness, or perhaps you would like the less-traditional version of durian mooncakes? Either way, enjoy enjoy enjoy!

Mooncake, Lantern, or Mid-Autumn Festival Three different names but in Chinese, they mean the same (Zhong Qiu Jie) thing. On the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calender, the moon is the shiniest and most beautiful. As a child, dad used to recount the store of “Chang Er” where an Emperor ordered an archer to shoot 10 suns. When the task was accomplished, a goddess gave the archer a pill that promises immortality. His wife took it instead and flew to the moon.

But the story that I really dig and the one that I think contains more truth is the war story. China was going through a tough civil war. Mooncakes were used to smuggle secret messages to the troops and to co-ordinate responses. Obviously the troops won-if not, we wont be celebrating it! :p

Whichever story you believe in or perhaps don’t believe in at all, mid autumn festival is a fantastic time to sit down relax, have Chinese tea and just admire the beautiful moon. Afterall, it is God’s creation we are admiring!

Let’s start by admiring the box of mooncake that we bought.I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t have a chance to try making mooncakes this year. I couldn’t find the mould here =(. Oh well, granny bought a few for me in SG already so there is always NEXT year! We are lucky enough to have these beautiful imported mooncakes from Malaysia Overseas restaurant. So far, we tasted 2 and they were lovely… yummy delicious. The one that is feature here is Emerald Mooncake or one made using Pandan Paste. The other one that we ate so quickly… was the Durian mooncake! Something different I supposed.

Tonight? I’m going to have the fruit and nuts one! Oh! and not forgeting the traditional lotus paste one. Favorites!!!!! If only we have snowskin mooncakes….*Dreaming*