Saturday, March 30, 2013

Weekend Menu #46: The cooling gourd soup

It has been very hot in Kuching.  Too hot till what ever you dry under the sun, before the noon time comes, everything will dry out. 
We have been spending more and longer times in the pool, dipping in the water.  Even the kids already get used to going to the pool on weekend as they will automatically get ready in the swim wear and holding their floats, ready to go without us telling them twice. Lol!
So for today, I cooked some bittergourd soup for lunch.  Bittergourd has a cooling property and it is great to be taken on such hot day. Besides loving my bittergourds with stir-fry in salted eggs or black bean paste, I also enjoy them in soup. 
My stuffed bittergourd soup.


1 bittergourd, sliced and emptied the middle part of the gourd
Minced pork
4 - 5 Chinese mushrooms, soaked and minced
2 tsp dried prawns, washed and rinsed
Salt to taste
1 - 2 tsp light soy sauce or to taste


1. Mince the minced pork together with Chinese mushrooms and dried prawns.  Add some salt to the meat mixture and continue mincing.
2. Soak the sliced bittergourd in water, mixed with a pinch of salt for few minutes.  Rinse.
3. Stuffed the meat mixture into the middle part of the bitter gourd.
4. Heat up a pot of water.  Once the water is boiling, lower the heat and add in the stuffed bittergourd.
5. Add some salt and light soy sauce to taste.  Cook for 15 minutes.

Voila!  A nice bowl of cooling bittergourd soup!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Peace and quiet

It is how I describe my house now.  I like it when the kids are away and no one disturb my daily routine.  But today it was slightly different because I did something that I rarely do!  A morning nap! 
I did not sleep much lately.  Not that I take any afternoon nap but last night I could not sleep well.  And woke up before 6am.  So I started my day early.  Prepare breakfast for the family.  But by 9am I was too sleepy that I dozed off on the sofa.
Luckily I sent the kids off to baby sitter's house or they would not let me sleep in peace.  I slept for almost 3 hours and I felt better after I woke up!!!  And I was hungry when I woke up.  Luckily got some leftover chicken soup and rice, so that was my lunch today!!
I cooked ginseng and kiam chay chicken soup last night.
The kids would not be bored in baby sitter there because we bought a lot of exercise books for them especially my girl.  I was complaining to my hubby that the syllabus are tougher for our kids in Primary schools than when we were younger.  I don't even remember that we were taught all those stuff when I was in Primary One!  Lol!

Poor kids!  Really a tough world!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend Menu #45: The missing carrot in my stew

Hubby has been nagging me to cook lamb stew for many days so I obliged to his request yesterday afternoon.  I have some lamb shanks in the chiller, so I bought some potatoes to go with them.  I thought I have some carrots but not to my knowledge, hubby has finished them up for his juice few days ago.  So as you can see, I have no carrots to go with my stew but never mind.  The taste would not be so much different.
Actually I learnt this recipe from an old friend of mine.  She cooked some lamb stew on Christmas Day and I instantly fall in love with it.  It tasted wonderful and the lamb was so tender without that lamb smell at all.  So after getting her recipe, I tried cooked it twice.  First time I used lamb shoulder and second time was with lamb shank.  I still think the lamb shank tasted better in stew. 
So yesterday was my 3rd time cooking lamb stew, minus the carrot.  For lamb lovers, do give it a try.
My stew does look colourless and boring without the carrots.  *wink*

1kg lamb shanks/lamb shoulder; cut into pieces
1-2 tsp McCormick Mixed Herbs
Few potatoes (4 to 5 pieces), cut into cubes
1 carrot, cut into small pieces
1 big onion, diced
Beef broth, enough to cover the meat
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking oil
1. Heat up and add cooking oil in the saucepan or saucepot, depends on which you want to use to cook this dish.
2. Brown the meats once the oil is heated up.  Remove the meat.
3. Add in big onion.  Fry for a while before add in potatoes and carrot.
4. Add in the McCormick Mixed Herbs onto the vegetables.  Then add back the meat into the pan or pot.  Add beef broth into the pan or pot.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover with lid and turn into lower heat.  Let the meat simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours till the meat is tender. Occasionally check on the broth level and if the meat is still not tender to your preference, add some water to the dish.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Do your beds packed of pillows??  Mine does!

My girl's bed has 4 pillows, in different sizes.  One is for her to put on top of her head and another for her head while other 2 are just scattered around her bed.

While our bed is pack with at least 4 -5 pillows and every day we would wake up with one or 2 pillows on the floor.  Luckily we do not have bolsters otherwise more stuff in the beds.  Sometimes I wonder how we sleep with all those stuff around.  Lol!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

As of today

We are having warm spell now in Kuching as it was hot sun every day except light shower in the evening.  It makes me lazy to go out and usually I will buy my groceries once a week.  Buy all the meats and vegetables and stock up my fridge. 
I also bought some DVDs last Saturday morning, so I have been catching up on some dramas for the past few days.  It is a great escape from the daily chores and I get to enjoy doing something I like.  *wink* But still, I will never forget my chores as I stick to my schedule every weekday.  Cleaning the house on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, especially sweeping and mopping.  Other days will be more on dusting and arranging the shelves etc.  Like this morning for instance I cleaned up my kitchen and living room windows.  The last time I did it was before CNY!  So it has been more than a month!!
I climb on ladder to clean the windows as they are pretty high.  Well, my friend advised me not to climb and instead should rest more!  I am the type that cannot stick and stay still.  So for me, as long as I am comfortable, climbing ladders and doing house chores are no problem. *wink*
Do you really follow those "pantang" during pregnancy?  It depends for me, see whether they are ridiculous or realistic and as long as I feel comfortable.


Took a picture of my tummy this morning.  In my 13th week today. Tummy still not so noticeable unless I wear something tight.  Going for my check up in 2 weeks time.

Cooked one of my comfort food for lunch later.  White porridge!  Just when I do not feel like eating anything fried or do not have much appetite, white porridge is a comfort to me.  Since hubby is not coming back for lunch and dinner today, so I just whip up something simple for my lunch.  Haven't think of what to have for dinner, maybe have a takeover with my kid tonight.  For my porridge, I have some prickled lettuce and black bean fish.  My girl will have some fried noodle and a croissant for her lunch.  She already ordered her lunch menu with me before she went to school this morning! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I am preggie!

Yes! I am glad to shout here that I am pregnant! 3 months pregnant to be exact.  So if those of you remember that I did mention I have "close factory" for another baby last year I have to take back my words.  God has its plan and we are blessed to have another baby on the way.

I am doing fine, just a bit tiring.  I was mostly sick during the 1st 2 months, with cough and tonsilitis and being a preggy, doctors do not recommended antibiotic to me.  So I have a long time to recover from my sickness.  Age is also catching up.  Lol!  Both hubby and I were "chua-kia" (snake kids) as we were born in the Year of Snake, so another "chua-kia" in the family is great.

I feel more nausea in this pregnancy. Unlike my 2 previous pregnancies, this time is more tiring.  I do not have much appetite and I have some mild morning sickness.  But like the previous 2 I only feel nauseatic when I am hungry.  So need to feed myself fast before nausea becomes worse.  Each pregnancy is different.  In my first pregnancy, I enjoyed food the most, eat and eat non stop. And every night I must have my supper.  Exactly 9 pm because my tummy would grumbled and I could not sleep well at nights.  As on my second pregnancy I were more relaxed because I quitted my job and rest enough. 

So I am going to enjoy my pregnancy again.  Need to bring out my maternity clothing soon, because I could not find in some of my clothing now.  Although I did not put on weight (up to now) I could feel my tummy is growing. So more pants and skirts do not fit me.  Luckily I did not give away my maternity clothing.  And I still have lots baby stuff and clothing around.

Initially plan to go to Thailand in June this year but that have to be postponed; maybe next year.  Instead planning to go vacation to Hong Kong end of the year.  Hope it works out there.

I am going for my next checkup during 16th week.  Maybe by then we would know its gender.  When asked my eldest, she wants a baby sister since she already has a brother.  But we do not mind any since we already have both.  As long as the baby grows healthy like the sister and brother, is good enough for us.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend Menu # 44: Easy potato dish

Besides baked potatoes and mashed potatoes, I also love fried potatoes.  I learn this stir fry potato dish from an old friend when we were studied in Nilai back in 1998.  Since then, I enjoy cooking this dish and serve to my family.
Usually I will just stir fry my pre-fried potato slices with some oyster sauce. But this round, I stir fry it with some sliced bacons for different flavour.  Very yummy dish and the kids love it too.
Fried potatoes with bacons
4 - 5 potatoes, peeled and sliced into smaller slices
Minced garlic and sliced shallots
2 bacon slices, sliced into smaller pieces
2 tbsp oyster sauce
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
1. Fry the potato slices in 2 batches in hot wok under low heat.  Once they are browned, dish them out and drain.


2. Add 2 tbsp oil in a wok.  Once it is heated up, add in garlic and shallots.  When they are browned, add in sliced bacon.  Stir fry for a minute then add in the fried potato slices to the wok. 

3.  A quick stir then add in the oyster sauces and salt.  You can add a bit of water if the dish is too dry.  Dish out and serve with rice.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Weekend Menu #43: Stewed meat with vegetables

When I am lazy and could not think of anything to cook and eat, I will go through my cabinet looking at the canned food.  Other than spam, another favourite canned food that I enjoyed is stewed pork. 

I prefer my stewed pork with other vegetables like kai lan, and baby bok choy.


A can of stewed pork; discard the white fat on top of the meat
Green vegetables (I prefer kai lan or baby bok choy)
Salt to taste
Minced Garlic
Sliced shallot

  1. Heat up the wok with oil.  Once oil has heated up, add in minced garlic and sliced shallot.  Saute till fragrant
  2. Add in the green vegetables.  Cook till cook then throw in the stewed pork.  Add salt to taste.
  3. Simmer for a minute then dish it out

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Closer bond

As I grow older I tend to be closer to my mum.  As I am married and have children of my own, I understand how my mum felt sometimes and why she behaves and thinks like this and that. 

Since I have my own kitchen, I am learning to cook like my mum.  Or I should re-phase, I am trying to cook like my mum.  But my cooking will never taste like her cooking.  I guess practice makes perfect and my mum been cooking for some many years, her food sure taste great. 

There are some Hakka dishes that I would like to master from my mum, namely Braised Duck (Lu Yak), and braised vinegar pork trotters.  I have tried my hand on kacang ma and Hakka stuffed toufu which are very easy to prepare.  They does look difficult but once you get your hands to doing it, they are very easy.

Now both of us no longer working and have more times to spend in each other company.  Few days in a week I would bring her to market to buy groceries and have breakfast while other days she will go to my house and have good mother-daughter time.  She teaches me how to cook and gardening while I offer to drive her around to where she wants to go.  It is time for my mum to relax and enjoy life.  She has been working hard almost all her life and now it is giving back time.  Hopefully one day I can bring my parents for a family vacation together.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weekend Menu #42: Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

On a lazy Saturday, I cooked spaghetti lunch for the family.  Actually my first attempt cooking spaghetti since I am not a big fan of spaghetti or any Italian dishes.  But once a while I would crave for some savoury and/or cheesy flavours.
So yesterday I prepared Spaghetti Beef Bolognese for lunch.  Not that difficult when put my hands to preparing it.

Serving: 2 pax


250g or less Vermicelli
San Remo Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce, 250g

1 big onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped into smaller cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped into smaller cubes
1 Maggi Beef stock cube
250ml water
200-300g minced beef
2 tbsp tomato sauces
Salt and pepper to taste
30g butter
Parmesan cheese, grated


1. Cook beef stock.  throw 1 beef stock cube into 250ml water.  Bring to boil and make sure the cubes dissolved.
2. In a sauce pot, melt the butter.  Then fry celery, carrot and big onion till browned. Then add minced beef.  Brown the meat, then add beef stock into the sauce pot.  Add San Remo pasta sauce, tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste.  Let it simmer for few minutes.
3. Prepare spaghetti.  Once water is boil in the wok, add spaghetti.  Cook till al dente.  Remove from the boiling water.
4.  Toss spaghetti into a plate. Pour sauce on the top of the spaghetti.  Sprinkle some parmesan cheese.