Monday, May 31, 2010

Food Paradise, Here We Come!

We were excited, very excited, at the thought of having ... Roti Prata, Fishball Noodles, Chicken Rice, Bean Curd, Butterfly in 30 hours' time! Yes, we are flying back to Singapore for a three week holiday!

The boys were briefed on how we were getting back to Singapore :
3-hour Coach to Chicago, 17-hour flight to Narita Airport, Japan, and another 8-hour flight from Japan to Singapore! There was no complaint from the boys when I woke them up at 1.30am. They would be missing out 9 days of school, and were looking forward to meeting their grandparents. They were all excited the moment they woke up!

We were blessed with good weather ... there was no rain!
I couldn't imagine standing at the unsheltered bus stop, in the rain with two kids and two suitcases at 2am, waiting for the coach with the wild wind blowing *Teeth Chattering*!

The ride to Chicago was smooth and we arrived safely at Chicago O'Hare Airport Terminal 1. We didn't alight at the International Flight Terminal. ANA's International Flight check-in was done at the domestic airport ... very strange indeed. I was glad to have done my homework beforehand, or we would have to pull our suitcases and travel from Terminal 5 to Terminal 1. We might have lots of time to spare at the airport before checking in, but it was always unpleasant, at the start of a trip, to find that you had arrived at the wrong terminal!

I thought all went well, until boarding time.

Police security started random questioning and all passengers had their passport checked twice! Some passengers were picked to have their hand-carry checked, just outside the plane entrance! This sudden checking caused a flight delay, and it didn't help that there was a thunderstorm. Our flight was further delayed. We were hungry, and sleepy. I was glad I had some museli bars with me, to feed the hungry boys!

It was a smooth flight from Chicago to Japan. We arrived in Japan in the afternoon, and saw the sun setting on the way from Japan to Singapore! The sun looked a huge egg yolk, dropping down behind the clouds faster than I thought! It was beautiful! The last time I saw something as beautiful, was 12 years ago. I was on the flight to Nepal, and my jaws dropped when I saw Mount Everest "hanging" in the air .. you must be sitting on the "correct" side of the plane to enjoy this awesome view.

Well, it was 11.35pm, June 1 when we arrived in Singapore!
We enjoyed the food on board ANA, the inflight entertainment, and the friendliness of the service staff. But we didn't quite enjoy the tight space. On the whole, it was a better flight experience when compared to our flight to the States two years ago =)

My dear pal, Jean, was at the airport to welcome us. Not only did she send us home, she brought along a Pandan Cake and some "ZhongZi"! Yum! Thanks a million, Jean!

It felt good to be HOME!
We went to bed at 2am, tired but happy!

... Sweet dreams ....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The weather in the woods has been crazy.

When we thought that Lady Spring had finally arrived, we went out in our short sleeve T-shirt and a light jacket, only to find ourselves grabbing for a thick coat the next day, as Old Man Winter turned around to say HI!

As we moved from one week of long sleeve shirts to another, we suddenly found ourselves baking under the hot scorching sun, perspiring as I sat in front of my laptop surfing the internet, with the thermometer reading went up to 32degC. Short sleeve tees, shorts and sandals is the way to go.

After baking in the heat for the last few days, I decided we needed some cooling soup, as darling son KW had started coughing slightly from the ever changing weather. I must be crazy, to be cooking soup and baking in the heat, that's everyone says to me =)

The recipe was adapted from 小小米桶的写食厨房. This soup is definitely a keeper! The subtle sweetness from the pears, topped with the sweetness from the dried figs ... wooooo ... It is plus that it uses only three ingredients! It's suppose to be "rehydrate the body", especially when the weather is dry and hot 。。。 清热润燥 。。。YUMMY!

2 Pears
12 Dried Figs
2pcs Southern Style Spareribs
1 litre Water

1. Blanch the spareribs and rinse them under cold water.
2. Wash the dried figs and pears.
3. Fill a pot with one litre of water.
4. Cut and remove the core of the pears. Do not remove the skin.
5. Put all the ingredients into the pot of water.
6. Bring the water to a boil.
7. Lower heat and simmer for another 1.5 - 2hours.

I only added a litre of water, as the pears were very juicy. The soup was very sweet, due to the sweetness of the pears, as well as the dried figs added. Mmmmm .... I want more!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I love cream cheese, and I love eating cakes!
Cream Cheese Pound Cake ... to the rescue!

The recipe is adapted from Little Corner of Mine. Thanks for sharing the recipe! The recipe is definitely a keeper! Subtle taste of cream cheese, soft and cottony .... hmmm ....

1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) Butter, Softened
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 pkg (4 oz) Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs (Large)
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Grease and flour a 8 1/2" x 3 1/2" loaf pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter till soft.
4. Add sugar and continue beating till light and fluffy.
5. Add cream cheese and continue beating, about 1 min.
6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
7. Add vanilla extract, mix well.
8. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
9. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
10. Beat until well blended.
11. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
12. Bake for about 40 minutes or till done.
13. Let stand in the loaf pan for 5-10 minutes on a cooling rack.
14. Remove from pan and cool on rack.
15. Cut and store in an air-tight container.

This cake will be a regular on my table .... love that I just need to put everything into the mixing bowl and let the mixer do the work =)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I love preparing this drink for hubby dear, in a thermos flask, for him to bring to school in winter. This drink is sweet, and when consume after lunch on a cold winter afternoon, helps in keeping one warm. Wolfberries are supposedly good for your eyes, and 党参 is supposed to improve the overall wellness of the body ... 补益中气。This drink is made regularly, not only in winter, but on days hubby dear needs to stay up late into the night to work/study.

2 drinking cups of hot water
Handful of sliced 党参
2 soup spoonfuls of Wolfberries

1. Wash the 党参 and wolfberries.
2. Put the ingredients into the Thermos flask.
3. Pour the two drinking cups of hot water into the flask.
4. Let stand for a couple of hours before consuming.

However, do not consume this if you are ill, like when you are having a flu. It's still best to see the doctor to get the proper medicine to help your body recover.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pork Floss Sushi

Remember the pork pieces I use for cooking soups?
I used them to make sushi for the kids' lunchboxes!
Since the pork/chicken floss was fried the day before, all I needed to do in the morning was to blanch/microwave the vegetables ... broccoli and carrots!

1. Mix the blanched/microwaved vegetables with the fluffed rice.
2. Add sushi vinegar and mix well.
3. Cool the rice a little before using.
4. On a rolling mat, place a sheet of nori, shiny side down.
5. Spread the rice on the nori sheet, covering 3/4 of the sheet.
6. Spread the pork/chicken floss onto the rice.
7. Roll tightly and cut.
8. Pack or serve.

Alternatively, if you don't like broccoli or carrots, you can use spinach!

Blanch the spinach, drain, let cool, and squeeze out the excess water. Cut the blanched spinach into smaller pieces. Store in an air-tight container, keep in the refrigerator for use the next morning. Simply mix the refrigerated spinach into the fluffy hot rice, add sushi vinegar, mix well, and let cool the rice before using. You don't even need to blanch any vegetables in the morning! Just mix, cool, and roll!

I prefer chicken floss to pork floss, as I find it easier to cut the sushi "log" . Either one, it is a good way to use up the meat in soup. YUM!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Garlic Butter Noodles

My elder boy loves noodles, any kind ... egg noodles, fat yellow noodles, flat noodles, soba, spaghetti. Usually, the sauce I use for the noodles will either be soy sauce mixed with some sugar and sesame oil, or ketchup with oyster sauce and sesame oil. However, I can't be using the same sauce for my noodles all the time! Even spaghetti sauce has a variety of taste!

I was searching for a new taste when I chanced upon The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook ... Garlic Butter Noodles! Simple and readily available ingredients! I had to give it a try!

3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
2 teaspoons of soy sauce

1. Heat a frying pan.
2. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
3. Heat up the oil.
4. Add minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
5. Mix the brown sugar, soy sauce and oyster sauce in a small bowl.
6. Add the sauce to the pan of garlic oil.
7. Give the sauce a quick stir and turn off the heat.
8. Add the cooked noodles. Mix evenly with the sauce.
9. Serve warm.

I love the taste of this sauce! A little sweet, a little salty, plus the buttery and garlicky flavor ... hmmm..... Instead of using the sauce for noodles, you can also use the sauce over raw spinach! The spinach is softened a little by the sauce, but yet retains a little crunchiness. Awesome!

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