Monday 30 August 2010

Cottage Pie

This is my first attempt in making a cottage pie. Usually people refer this as shepherd's pie but I used beef as base, therefore, it is a cottage pie instead of a shepherd's pie. To make a shepherd's pie, the ingredient has to be lamb instead of beef. that's what I gathered from the internet during my search for recipes.

I used a very basic ingredients : minced beef, onion, carrots, tomatoes, mashed potatoes, butter and milk. Did not add any savoury gravy to the beef mixture which I planned to do initially but I forgot all about it during my cooking.

I tried this recipe with our gathering in mind. We will be having a Merdeka Day gathering at Angie's new home, thought of bringing a cottage pie as part of my contribution, but suddenly I remember one of our friend, Vivien, does not take beef. So I will be bringing Orange Swiss Roll instead (bought from shop).

Meantime, back to my cottage pie.

The basic ingredients
The cooked beef mixture is ready to be covered by mashed potatoes
Ready to the oven
It's done!

Clet said it taste good!!

Sunday 29 August 2010

Weddings we attended in August 2010

We attended 2 weddings in August 2010.

My colleague, Rosalind married to Jehezkiel on 7th August 2010. I brought Crystal and Pearl along with me to the dinner reception at Shangrila Tanjung Aru Resort.

Rosalind & Jehezkiel

Just last Friday, 27th August 2010, we attended Clare and Fynn's wedding reception at Dewan KDCA Penampang.

Fynn & Clare
Taking a photo in front of the wedding car with hands holding the key chains, the souvenirs taken from Lynn and Clare's wedding. They like the key chains so much that they wanted them to be fixed on their school bags.

Friday 27 August 2010

Hong Kong Pulls Po Chai Pills because of Health Risks

I received this message in my inbox this morning, don't know how true it is, as it has been spreading around the net there must have some degree of truth....

Po Chai Pills is a very common medicine in most of the Chinese household since many decades ago. We used to and still popping a bottle or 2 of Po Chai Pills into our mouth to treat stomach disorder. Believe it or not, I have been carrying a bottle in my bag for emergency used, if it is true that it contents dangerous substances that's mean I am carrying poison in my bag all this while, gosh...!!!

Here is the email message I received:

One of the most commonly used Chinese herbal pills in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia called, "Po Chai" (see images below) have been banned in Singapore. They are also being recalled in Hong Kong. In addition to two dangerous chemicals (phenolphthalein and sibutramine) found by the Singapore Govt., it's also discovered that mercury is a component used in the manufacture of the pills! Mercury can cause serious brain damage: Hong Kong Pulls Po Chai Pills because of Health Risks, Morning Post Says 2010-03-25 01:49:27.289 GMT By Frederik Balfour March 25 (Bloomberg) - Hong Kong 's Department of Health has instructed traditional Chinese medicine maker Li Chung Shing Tong (Holdings) to recall Po Chai pills after they were found to contain banned substances in Singapore, the South China Morning Post said.

The pills, popular among sufferers from digestion problems, were found to contain phenolphthalein and sibutramine, substances that can lead to serious side effects, according to a department spokesman, the newspaper said.

refer here for further information.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Simple but well accepted

Last night, when I told Crystal I am going to prepare her sandwiches for her recess time today, she said no, not again... I guess it was not because of my sandwiches no nice, I knows she prefers more solid food, like rice or noodles, that kind of food, just like me.

So to make sure she eats her food during recess time, I asked her what she would like to have, I will tapau for her. She said "Huh? The same old food again?" she has been having fried rice, meehoon from school's canteen for the past eight months, I understand how she feels, boring with the food there already.

"I want the mee you cooked." She said. "That's mean, you want mummy to wake up very early to cook for you?" I told her. After thinking twice, she said "Why other people can and you cannot? If really can not then never mind la mummy!" Goodness, she is challenging me!!

As I know she had enough of the canteen's food, I made a point to get up earlier this morning (just happened that Clet has to catch and early freight to Sandakan). After he left, I quickly cooked up a simple mee with dried shrimps and egg for Crystal.

On the way to school, I told her I have cooked the mee she requested and do expect it to be less tastier cos it's mummy's cooking, always less salt and seasoning as much as possible, if she doesn't like it then she may buy food from the canteen.
Curiously, I asked her how is the mee when I fetched her from school just now, I was very surprise to know she loves the mee and so does her friend whom she always have tea break with. She asked whether she can have the same again tomorrow "__", that's means I have get up much earlier again la... Will try *O*.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Home baked molasses wholemeal bread

I tried to use molasses as sweetener instead of white or brown sugar in this bread recipe. The result -- it did not affect the texture of the bread besides being very much browner than usual, at first I thought my bread is burnt after one night of waiting and baking in the bread maker (I used delay mode, set timer to finish baking at 5am this morning).

In a morning rush, I managed to prepare 2 tea break meal boxes for Crystal & Pearl this morning, just to ensure they can have freshly baked bread than the normal canteen bought food. I also put in some honey stars in their meal boxes as additional.
The lesser portion is for Pearl, I am sure she will share her honey stars with her little friends in schools. Will have to ask them whether they finish their tea break treats or not later today. ;D

Saturday 21 August 2010

Minnie Mouse Cake

I made this cake just for fun and practice this morning. I bought this Mickey Mouse edible image more than 2 weeks ago thought it would be time to use it before it turns bad. Furthermore, Pearl would like to have princesses cake instead of Minnie Mouse for her birthday next month, she also requested her birthday cake to be in purple, she love purple colour because her nick name is "Pearl Pearl" sounds like purple, that's why *_* !!

For a long time I haven't been cooking proper lunch on Saturday, since Clet has gone outstation, we will have to stay home probably till he comes back then we can go for BIL's birthday dinner tonite. I boiled a pot of peanuts with pork soup (peanuts soup is said to be good to boost the height of growing children, it would be good for Pearl, I want her to grow taller, :D), so we had our lunch with some fried fish and salted egg. Both of them also crazy over salted egg, they can eat the salted egg like normal chicken egg, *@*. They asked for more in their next meal, hmmm....

Sunday 8 August 2010

A trip to the state library

Our girls love to visit the book shops whenever there is one in the shopping complex, they usually pick a number of books from the shelves and sit themselves down on the floor in the book store, Crystal would start reading and Pearl usually flipping through the pages as she doesn't know how to read yet. They always treat the book store like library.

So the library is the best place for them to do so, they can read as many as they like and borrow some home as well. The state library allows its family card member holder to borrow up to 20 books at one time, it is sufficient for each of us to borrow some books home each time we visit the library.

Nice to see them reading booksI picked some books and sat down with them as well, my choices are mostly on baking, cooking and health.

Clet would soon becoming a Castor farmer, he chose some journals on planting

The books that we borrowed from the library recently

Wednesday 4 August 2010

A birthday cake for Albert

To follow up with my previous post, here is the belated birthday cake that I baked on Saturday for my youngest brother's birthday, I am so absent minded that I always forget that his birthday is actually on the 30th and not 31st. I will have to refer back to this post should I forget again. *0*.

Crystal was helping me to stick the smaller pieces of edible images to the side of the cake. Pearl helped out as well.

I would say less decoration work is needed with the use of edible images on the cake. I ordered this piece of sport car edible image from on line without knowing there are many on sale at the local ingredient shop, the price is much cheaper.