Monday, August 31, 2009

Productive but tired weekend

We started our Friday night tearing out carpets so that the hubs can tile the floor that weekend. Saturday morning we attended Uncle Richie's mom's wake/funeral which was supposed to be at 9am but we got there at about 9:30am but it was no big deal because apart from Uncle Richie and Aunt L there was only a couple of people there meaning even her own children was late for her wake/funeral. Everyone got there at about 10:30am because the funeral was at 11am. It was a nice but lively service (Southern Baptist Church). When everything was said and done it was almost 1:30pm. I've never met Uncle Richie's mom before that but as a sign of respect we felt that we needed to attend to funeral. Uncle Richie didn't mind if we didn't attend the funeral but I'm brought up to attend because some how we should at least go for Aunt L to make sure there is a representative from her side of the family. SIL has seen his mom and family member but was not there which I find it weird but then we are brought up differently so I'm not sure if it's normal.
After the funeral service we (Uncle Richie, Aunt L, Hubby and I) decided to head over to Babins for lunch. The food was pretty good and the price was a little higher not the usual casual price but it was not outrages. We were so hungry by the time we arrived at Babins hence stuffing our face with food. Everyone came home to take a nap but hubs just lay around playing on line. When I woke up from our nap we hung out a little while longer and started tiling the floor. We got quite a lot done and called it good at about 9pm. Uncle Richie and Aunt L came over for a little bit and asked if we could watch the dogs while they were gone on Sunday night (They were suppose to go Mexico but had to cancel obviously)because they wanted to go out of town for a night. I don't mind watching (basically just letting them out do their business and let them run around for an hour or so before locking two of them up) the dogs as there is nothing much to do just making sure they are fine and they have food and water.
Sunday morning we got up ate and started cleaning the tile we laid from the night before. Then hubs took out the last bit of the carpet in the living room while I went to the store to buy some groceries. When I came home hubby was done cleaning and clearing out that section. We (him mostly because all I did was pass him the tile) started laying the tile and was done at about 5:30pm. I quickly made dinner and he finished up the mortar he had by cutting some corners that isn't tiled yet. We then washed up, showered and decided to make a trip to Starbuck with the dogs at about 9:30pm. Hubby wanted his double chocolate chip frappuccino so I suggested we drive to Starbucks with the dogs just to go for a drive. Everyone had fun just taking a short drive. Somehow we didn't get to bed till midnight.

It's been a tiring weekend for us moreover hubby's still sick. He's been swamp with work because one of the guys at work is out with a knee injury so the guys has to cover his area too. He's been so wiped out that I feel so sorry for him. I was saying that I barely did anything and I'm so wiped out I can imagine how the hubby is feeling plus being sick. I think we need to go out of town somewhere to just relax. We are planning to go somewhere but I want to do it when is cooler so that the dogs can come with us. I don't want to plan on going anywhere this coming weekend although it'll be a long weekend because of labor day but I'm pretty sure it'll be pack everywhere and is still hot out so we decided that we'll go later. Hopefully we'll go somewhere and rewind real soon. We need a vacation bad!

So how was your weekend?Hopefully it was more relaxing than ours.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Sunshine (most of the time anyway)

They are not pure breed or the cutest dog out there but to me they are perfect (mostly). I love them because they love me, sincere and innocent. They don't require lots of attention and can occupy themselves. All they do is nap anyway.

Here are some funky positions when they take their naps. Stanley is more willing and don't really care when I take his pictures whereas Milo he'll move as soon as he hear me move. Very difficult to take picture of him. It's easier if I ask another person to take the picture of Milo because as soon as he hears me move he's moving too so if I ask others to do it he'll just stay where he is.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I've not been really worried about the H1N1 virus every since the commotion started. I started freaking out about H1N1 virus when the hubs became sick and have been sick for more than 3 weeks. Coincidentally a guy that works in the same company with hubs was diagnosed with H1N1 virus. He was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and the had to be put in ICU because he was so very sick. It's been almost 2 weeks and he's now still in ICU and had to be put in coma (I'm not sure the reason why) after being diagnosed positive with H1N1 virus. Another guy hubby works with daughter was just tested positive for H1N1 virus two days ago so when Aunt L heard that the hubs was sick she made sure that he went to see the doc ASAP because she was worried that hubs might have the H1N1.

So when I was waiting at the pharmacy for our prescriptions to be filled I went ahead and walk around the store too. I quickly bought 3 bottles of the antibacterial wipes. I have a bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse and also a bottle sitting on my Kitchen counter. I am thinking I should buy a few more bottles to put it around the house. I didn't dare to buy a few more bottles yesterday when I was at the pharmacy because I was afraid that everyone might say that I'm paranoid moreover I bought the wipes already so I figured it would enough meantime.

Now we have H3N8 virus. This virus has nothing to do with humans but dogs. Younger and older dogs can die if they are get this virus. I just heard about this in the news this past few nights. They said that as long as the dogs don't have any contact with other dogs they should be fine but if us human has any contact with other dogs outside we might be able to bring back the virus and when we touch our dogs they might be able to get the virus. We have been thinking of taking the dogs to the dog park I guess now the dogs is not going anywhere anymore. I don't want to take the risk of getting them sick. The solution to this problem is taking them in to the vet to get shots but I don't want to have to put them both into this torture.

The wipes and the sanitizer will work real great. We are going to have to wipe our hands with the wipes or use the sanitizer when we get home after we go out. Hopefully this method will keep any virus out of my house! Do you reckon that I'm paranoid to stock up all the antibacterial wipes? I feel that this is better safe than sorry.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fun Filled Day? NOPE

My skin flares up pretty bad once in a while with acne. I've been meaning to see a dermatologist for quite some time now. I've been complaining but not do anything for a long time and finally Uncle Richie and hubby made me make an appointment to see the dermatologist. The first one I called that Aunt L goes to will be going to war soon so I had to look for another one. We went on our insurance website and found a few so I called and made an appointment. That was two months ago. I was finally able to see the dermatologist after waiting this long and was actually getting excited because I hope that he can help me with my acne.

On the other hand, hubby's been sick since for quite some time now. I initially made an appointment for him to go see a doctor the first week of next month because we wanted to get a referral so he could do some test to see if he had sleep apnea. Anyway since he was coughing so bad I was freaking out that it might be H1N1 so I called again to bring forward the appointment to Friday because that's when he has a little time since he's busy at work. This morning I got a text from Aunt L asking if the hubs is still not feeling well. I told her that he's still not feeling well and this few days is getting worst but I've already scheduled him to see a doctor on Friday. Aunt L and his other bosses at work were freaked out because they are afraid that he might have H1N1 too and she immediately told me to reschedule his appointment and see if hubs could go in today if not he should go to urgent care to see what's wrong with him. So I had to call the doctor's office again hoping that they could reschedule him for today and thankfully they had openings.

My appointment was at 10:45am and his appointment was at 10am. I was not able to go to the appointment with him because I needed to leave the house by 10am (thankfully I did because that place was a cluster!construction every where and limited parking) to get to my appointment on time. I could not reschedule because I don't know when would I be able to get in again if I did(when I was at the dermatologist office I heard October!). When I finally able to meet the dermatologist I think then spend less than 10 minutes with me after I waited for him for god knows how long..argghh...He seems pretty nice and everything but I just felt like he's a freaky nerdy looking type however he's still nice and I should not judge him :P (says hubby). Anyway I am not sure what to think about him. He told me to tell him a little about myself and he didn't even ask me what product or make up I'm using. He just prescribed me some topical solution and recommended Sun block for my face because I asked him to. I am not sure whether he's that good at his job that he just needs to look at me and prescribed me the solution or that he's just not that competent. What ever it is hubs and Uncle Richie thinks that I should use the topical solution (I think I've used something this before when I was in Malaysia but different brand) so I guess I'll just wait and see what happens.

Hubby on the other hand thankfully did not have H1N1 he however has bronchitis. The doctor prescribed him some strong antibiotic and inhaler (like for asthma). I guess the doctor is not worried about the hubs getting H1N1 at all. Hopefully the medications will help me heal faster. I went to the Chinese Herb Store last Sunday after Dim Sum and got some herbal stuff to boil for hubby to drink and surprisingly hubby don't mind them and is drinking it when told.

After everything said and done for me and hubs we went out for lunch so that I could get his prescription for him and fill it since I'm going to have to fill my prescription anyway.

I think we are also done eating out for a long time because we've been eating out everyday (we ate out last night too) almost every meal for the last 5-6 days. I told hubby that we need to eat at home for the next week or so because it does get costly after several meals.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chicken Mushroom Rice/Yau Mei Fan

There are days when I have trouble thinking what to cook for dinner. I run out of ideas sometimes but a lot of the time I want to cook something yummy and hubby would actually eat. Hubby wanted to have pizza Monday night while I didn't want to eat that. So I decided to just cook something simple for myself because I'm lazy :p.

Chicken Mushroom Rice

Handful of chinese mushroom (Washed and soaked with a tsp of sugar for at least 4 hrs)
Chicken pieces
Chinese Sausage - optional
Salted fish-optional
1 TBSP Oyster Sauce
2 TSP Dark Soy Sauce
1 TBSP of soy sauce
1 TSP of chicken stock powder

1. Wash rice and drain. Add enough water from the mushrooms.
2. Put chicken pieces, Chinese sausage, salted fish and mushroom on rice.
3. Pour seasoning over.
4. Steam until rice and meat cooked.

* I'm lazy to cook the rice first so I just dump everything to cook. You can cook the rice in the rice cooker. Stir fry the chicken with the seasoning and put in the the rice cooker when the water from the rice dries.
**Some use claypot to cook this dish too. This dish is actually similar to clay pot chicken rice.

I omitted the salted fish because I didn't have any and I skipped the Chinese Sausage too just in case hubby wanted some and he don't care for Chinese Sausage. Another simple low budget meal. I froze some left over so I can just heat it up when I'm by myself.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chicken wrap

Last Saturday I asked hubby if he wanted to eat rotisserie chicken for dinner since I didn't know what to make for dinner. I saw the advertisement for Krogers that they have rotisserie chicken for $4.99 which is such a good deal because it normally cost like $7.99 and the kiasu me thought that I could get that for dinner and use the left over chicken for something else like enchilada or chimichanga. Anyway when we got to the store we saw that the rotisserie chicken was so small. I think I could eat the whole chicken myself and we decided to buy their garlic and herb colossal chicken instead. Well it looked almost like the rotisserie chicken but just bigger and cost more.

We decided to come home and make some french fries (which was really yummy and will share the recipe the next time I make it again) to go with our colossal chicken. We were so disappointed when we dug into our chicken. The chicken was dry and tasteless! We didn't care for it at all but thankfully we had our fries to fill us up.

Hubby has been getting sick and tired of eating cold deli meat for lunches lately which I don't blame him because I would have gotten sick of them the first week. He's been eating out a lot lately and I think that fast food is not healthy for him plus it gets costly when he does it everyday. I have been trying to make different kind of sandwiches for his lunch so he doesn't get sick of them.

With the leftover chicken that we barely touched I decided to debone them and use half of the chicken to make some Chicken wrap for him for his lunch.

Chicken Wrap

1 cup of shredded chicken/2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained and flaked
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons fresh salsa
salt and pepper to taste
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
12 lettuce leaves

1. In a small bowl combine the chicken, onion, mayonnaise, salsa, salt and pepper. Mix together.

2. Line each tortilla with two lettuce leaves, then divide chicken salad mixture evenly among each tortilla and roll up, or 'wrap'.

* I used homemade salsa which we love very much. I normally make a big batch of them and freeze it so that we can have salsa anytime we want. I will share the recipe the next time I make the salsa again.

Hubby liked his chicken wrap. He gave the rating 8.5/10. I am glad that he's enjoying the different sandwiches that I'm preparing for him. Hopefully I won't run of idea so soon and by the time I run out of idea he can go back to his deli meat I guess :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chocolate Cake

I've been having craving for some chocolate cake for the past couple of days. I've been meaning to try the steamed chocolate cake but then I didn't make that. Oh well I'll try it some other time. Instead I went online and used the recipe that I used to make very first chocolate cake almost 7 years ago. Over the years I've changed it and adapted it to suit my taste and my waist line :)

Chocolate Cake adapted from Hershey

3/4 cup sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 apple sauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water + 1/2 cup boiling milk

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water+milk (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
milk-enough milk needed for the consistency
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.

This recipe is very easy to put together and I'll have most of the ingredients needed. I've been meaning to try different recipes but I don't have some of the items needed for different recipes that I've been meaning to try plus I'm really lazy to drive out to the grocery store to get the items to try another cake so I just go with this recipe.

Although the cake would be more moist if I used the full amount of sugar but since we don't like our cake so sweet we would deal with it. I knew that the frosting would balanced the sweetness of the cake. Overall everyone loved the cake with no complain :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Steak Dinner

I was going to make hubby take me out for dinner but then it looked like it was going to rain heavily later so I decided not to instead searched my refrigerator and my freezer to see what I can whip up. I also was on a roll on thinking that I would cook the whole week instead of eating out but who am I kidding I know we would go out and eat at LEAST once a week. I then figured is only Wednesday so we should eat in instead of out and eat out later of the week.

I managed to find some steak that I marinated before putting it in the freezer. I don't even remember what cut is this steak since hubby was the one who bought this steak. The steak was tough and hard and I'm not sure it is because I cooked the steak in my cast iron pan on the stove or because of the cut of this steak. This is part of the reason why hubby and I don't really cook steak at home because we don't really know how to make yummy steak. I figured if I eat it in the restaurant I they are more professional hence would make better steak than me.

Apart from steak I stir fry some onions, green and yellow peppers and mushrooms with some butter for our side dish. I also sprinkled some garlic salt and garlic powder to the veggies. I wanted some garlic bread to go with our dinner so I quickly took a bun that I made the same day and put some garlic spread to make the garlic bread. Apart from the steak a tad tough everything else was pretty yummy. I'm so glad we stayed home last night to have a relaxing dinner instead of the hustle and bustle of eating outside and rushing home because is getting late. What did you have for your dinner?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Homemade Garlic Bread Spread

One of hubby's favorite food is homemade meatballs and spaghetti sauce. If I make homemade meatballs (I'm surprise I have not posted the meatballs recipe yet. Will need to remember next time when I make it) I will definitely make the spaghetti sauce all together if I have all the ingredients in the pantry or I will freeze the meatballs. I will sometimes make extra meatballs so when I am making pizza I can slice them up and put it on the pizza too.

Anyway I defrosted our last batch of meatballs and spaghetti sauce the other day for hubby so he can have that for dinner. The only missing for him was garlic bread. Since he was having spaghetti last night I made him some garlic bread with some homemade bread. This garlic spread is so yummy and so easy to make that today I decided to make a jar of it so that we can have some anytime we want some garlic bread.
Homemade bread with my garlic spread

Garlic Spread

1/2-3/4 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
1-2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic (I used about 7cloves of garlic and chopped it real fine)
2 teaspoons dried parsley or 2 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/3 grated Parmesan cheese/Mozzarella cheese/Cheddar Cheese (you may increase slightly if desired)
1 pinch seasoned salt (or to taste)


1)Mix the above ingredients in a bowl or in a container.
2)Leave garlic in the refrigerator until ready to use.
3) Spread garlic spread on french toast or any bread you are using bake at 350°F-375°F about 15minutes. I try to broil my toast about 2min on low.

*You can make this spread ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator or if you are not going to eat it anytime soon then in the freezer.
** If you are going to make the spread and keep it for later use I strongly suggest using a disposal container or those old margarine/butter container so that you can throw it away after use because the smell from the garlic would stay in the container.

I wanted to eat some garlic bread but I did not feel like eating spaghetti and meatballs like hubby so I took out my homemade spinach noodles and open a Jar of Alfredo sauce to make spaghetti Alfredo. I sliced some of my Ranch Parmesan Chicken to top of my spaghetti. I normally make my own Alfredo sauce but since this is last minute and I didn't have heavy cream I decided to just use my Prego Alfredo sauce which has been in my pantry for ever anyway. For some reason my hubby doesn't care for Alfredo at all so every time when I want to make Alfredo sauce I got to make sure I make something else for the hubs. What to do the hubby so picky then make something else for him I guess.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Homemade Bread Crumbs and Ranch/Cesar Parmesan Chicken

On Saturday we went out for dinner for hubby's birthday celebration and since we ate out on Saturday we decided we wanted to chill out at home and work on the flooring or mow the lawn etc (We actually spend all day Saturday tiling the floor and we have almost half the living room done tiling now we need to grout and seal the tiles) on Sunday.

Anyway my initial plan for dinner was to make beer chicken on the grill since we have not tried this yet and we bought the rack to put the beer and the chicken a long time ago. It started raining on Sunday off and on and we decided that we should not grill out (We should not grill at at the beginning anyway since hubby is still a little sick). So I decided to bake the chicken instead (which is as bad as grilling therefore I made hubby drink extra glass of herb drink and eat water melon :P). Since it was a last minute change of plan on how to cook the chicken I needed some bread crumbs to bake my chicken and I only had a handful of Italian crumbs left thus I decided to make my own breadcrumbs. I rummage through my freezer and found some odds and ends bread and started making my breadcrumbs (I normally put my odds and ends bread in the freezer to make croutons or breadcrumbs).

Italian Breadcrumbs

1 cup plain bread
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1. Put bread int he food process and blend till fine, toss the rest of the ingredients to blend thoroughly.

2. Store in an airtight container and use in any recipe calling for Italian breadcrumbs.

After making my breadcrumbs which only took about 5 minutes; I proceeded to preparing my chicken. I had to cut up the chicken before I could start coating my chicken.

1 whole chicken
1 cup dry Italian/Original breadcrumbs (even better, use panko breadcrumbs)
1/4-1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 Old Bay Seasoning
1 cup prepared ranch salad dressing or Cesar dressing (use bottled salad dressing, you might need a bit more dressing)
1/4 cup melted butter (no substitutes) *optional

1. Set oven to 400° degrees (set oven rack to lowest position).

2. Put a cooling rack on top of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

3. In a shallow bowl mix together the dry breadcrumbs with Parmesan cheese, seasoned salt, black pepper, old bay seasoning and garlic powder.

4. Dip the chicken into the ranch dressing to coat both sides (allow any excess to drip off).

5. Coat in the breadcrumb mixture.

6. Place in a single layer onto the cooling rack.

7. Lightly drizzle the melted butter over each breast (for low-fat option omit the butter or use a diet alternative) * I skipped this part because I don't like my chicken to be oily*.

8. If desired you can sprinkle black pepper over the chicken pieces .

9. Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked).

Everyone loves this dish including me but I think is a little too salty for me(I've adjusted the salt on both the chicken recipe and breadcrumbs recipe to reduce the salt but if you like your food saltier you could increase the ratio of the salt a little). I normally try to cook with what ever I have at home when I'm lazy to go out and since I had very little Ranch dressing left in my house I decided to use some of the garlic Cesar dressing I had at home.

Even though hubby is not a fan of Ranch or the garlic Cesar dressing but he still gave thumbs up for this dish. Amount of breadcrumbs and ranch dressing needs to be adjusted depending on how much chicken you have.

We made some onions potatoes and some steam mixed vegetables as our side dish. We finished off dinner with hubby's birthday cake. Sometimes yummy meals don't really have to be really complicated to prepare :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hubby's 2009 Birthday!!

I've been baking hubby a cake ever year for his birthday even since we started dating. I even made his a cake when hubby's bro, girlfriend at that time and us went on a vacation out west to Yellow Stone etc. Some years hubby gets two cakes but sometimes just one. Every year I've been able to leisurely make the cake during the day and wait for hubby to come home at night/when we were dating to go over to my apartment and cut the cake. This year since hub's birthday fell on a Saturday I had to make the cake on Friday and thankfully our relatives stays by the side of us hence I was able to hide the cake at their refrigerator.

This year I was a little nervous about the cake I was going to bake because I was going to bake sponge cake. At the beginning of Spring I tried making swiss roll once and it turned out to be a disaster and I knew that sponge cake would be the similar to making sponge cake but I still wanted to make sponge cake because I want a lighter cake for us especially I knew that we were going to be full after dinner anyway. I wanted to use whipped cream as frosting so that it won't be too heavy to eat after dinner compared to using butter cream frosting.

Determine to make it I went and bought the stuff I needed on Monday. I actually had to buy back up stuff in case the sponge cake didn't work out I would quickly whip up a chocolate cake:). Anyway I got up at about 8:30 am on Friday(which is pretty early for me) and started preparing and making hubs cake followed by Milo's cake. I had to start early just in case the sponge cake did not work out I would have time to make a chocolate cake before hubby gets home from work. I finished making and decorating both cakes at about 3:30pm. Most of my time was used on making hubby's cake because Milo's cake was super simple to make and decorate.

Strawberry Sponge Cake adapted from HHB


4 eggs, bring to room temperature
1oog caster sugar
4g salt
140g cake flour
30g vegetable oil
30g fresh milk

filling & frosting:
300ml whipping cream
250g strawberries


  1. Sift cake flour, set aside. Grease and line a 20cm round pan, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 180degC. Position rack at the lower bottom of the oven.

  2. With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar & salt on HIGH speed for about 5 to 7mins, until the batter double in volume and is ribbon-like (the beater should leave a ribbon-like texture when the batter is lifted up). Turn to LOW speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 mins. Whisking at low speed helps to stabilise the air bubbles in the batter.

  3. Add sifted cake flour into the batter. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour until well blended.

  4. With a spatula, mix about 1/3 of the batter with the salad oil in a separate bowl. Fold in this mixture into the remaining batter. This method will help to ensure the oil will be fully blended and at the same time will not deflate the batter.

  5. Add in fresh milk and fold in gently with spatula.

  6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 35 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmold and cool completely.

Assemble the cake
  1. With an electric mixer, whip the whipping cream with two tsp of sugar and a tsp of vanilla essence until still stiff.
  2. Slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place one of the cake layers cut-side down on a cake plate. Spread the whipped cream over the layer.
  3. Arrange rings of strawberries to cover the whole layer.
  4. Fill with some more whipped cream. Top with the other cake layer, cut-side up.
  5. Spread the whipped cream over the top and side of the cake. Decorate as desired.

As usual my decorating skills is not the greatest. I think I over whipped my whipped cream it because watery later or I had it out too long I'm not sure about that. My red colored whipped cream actually bled on the white whipped cream again maybe because it was melting from being out or I over whipped it.

When I took out my Wilton Caddy tool box I realized that I actually have so many tools to make a nice cake. I only take this tool box out about once a year to use some of the stuff in there so I don't remember what I have in there. Anyway I am thinking of enrolling myself for the Wilton Decorating classes that is offered. I don't have any lesson on how to decorate a cake. All the cakes I decorate is not really presentable I think. I want to be able to make a yummy cake that looks nice too.

Overall the cake was a satisfactory. When the cake turned out I was worried that it would not taste good. One worry after another. Anyway hubby loves his cake because is not too sweet and is light and fluffy I even like the cake myself. Uncle Richie didn't care for the cake because he don't care for white cake but hubby said oh well since is not his birthday :P as long as hubby likes it I guess. Maybe I can try and make a swiss roll again ;).

Milo's Birthday!

Milo is going to be celebrating his 2nd birthday with us this year. This is our first year celebrating his birthday with us and to celebrate his birthday I decided to make him, Stanley and Aunt L's 3 dogs (Gracie, Peanut and Bailey) each a cup cake.

Pooch Birthday Cup Cake

1 Cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter (optional)
1/4 cup apple sauce/cooking oil
1 cup shredded carrots
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup honey (optional)
1 egg

1. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients and mix quickly.
2. Bake in cup cakes mold at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
3. Frost with yogurt.
4. Store in the refrigerator.
My little baby with his cake and candle

According to the vet she estimated that Milo's birthday is around the 5th of August 2007 but since the hubs birthday falls on the 8th of August hubby said just say that his birthday is on the 8th for convenience.

I am thankful that hubby found Milo. I'm thankful that he's with me because he's such a sweetheart (most of the time) and I love him so much. He's just a little baby that wants to be attached to me all the time!He's like my little side kick goes where I go :) (Expect when he's busy play with his kor kor Stanley)

I do feel a little bad because I didn't make a cake for Stanley during his birthday with us the first year but this year and from now on I'll try and make cakes for both of them because is really simple and quick. I will make it up to Stanley some how. Stanley got all the new toys and all the attention when he we first got him so I guess in some where it makes it fair (just so I feel better :p) but anyway they both will get a cake hopefully every year from now on.xoxo

I hope that the dogs liked the cake. They did gobbled up the cake except Milo. He normally takes a really long time to eat anything therefore Stanley "helped" Milo finish half of the cupcake because Milo was taking such a long time and he was just playing with his cupcake.

Mummy and Daddy hoped that you had a great day on your birthday. Mummy will take you to the pet store later this week and pick up something for you. Many happy returns Milo!Mummy, Daddy and Kor Kor Stanley will always love you.muahhhh

p/s: I was going to take a picture of all the dogs with the cupcakes but then except Milo none of the dogs would be able to sit still for a picture in front of the cupcakes.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Steamed Eggplant with meat sauce

I mentioned before that I love eggplant and I only know how to cook it a few ways but I still love to eat it. I bought 3 eggplant last weekend because I wanted to eat some and my homegrown eggplant only produced small eggplants apparently and so far it has only produced 3 small eggplant! Anyway I found out that someone else loves eggplant too and she's got some wonderful eggplant recipes that I could try. Since I had eggplant that I needed to use up I decided to try this recipe.

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Snippets


2 Japanese/Asian eggplants
1 piece chicken breast/or any type of protein – minced
2 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
2 shallots - sliced thinly
2 small red chilies (I used chili padi) – sliced thinly
1 tbsp of fermented bean paste (tau cheong)
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of dark soy sauce
2 tbsp of soy sauce
½ cup of water + 1/2 tsp of cornstarch
2 spring onion – diced small

1. Clean and cut the eggplant into 1” length. Season with some olive oil and salt and steam on high heat until soft.
2. While the eggplant is steaming, cook the sauce. Heat up a tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan, stir fry garlic and shallots until fragrant and lightly brown.
3. Add in the fermented bean paste, stir-fry for a few second and add in the meat and chilies. Continue to stir-fry until the meat changes color.
4. Add in all the seasoning and the water. Bring it up to boil and cook until sauce reduce and thicken. Check seasoning.
5. Pour sauce over the steamed eggplant and sprinkle the top with some spring onion. Serve warm.

I like this recipe because is so easy to prepare. Eggplant is notorious for absorbing oil when cooking and with steaming them this way you can reduce the oil that the eggplant absorbs hence when eating it doesn't taste oily when eating them. I only had a handful of ground pork so I sliced up some liver I had in the freezer that I wanted to use up. I also added more chili because I like mine spicy yummy...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cooking a storm

Hubby had to stay home from work on Monday because he started being sick on Sunday night. I am pretty sure he is heaty (Chinese believe) and to make things worst he had curry for dinner that night.

Monday morning when I got up I knew that hubby was not going to go to work because he was coughing all night and he didn't sound good. He was so tired too and he looked like he didn't have any strength to do anything.

I went downstairs to the kitchen and started preparing his porridge/congee. I used ground pork and I added some carrots for extra vitamins. I quickly made some red dates drink for us too.

Red Dates Drink

Handful of Red Dates
Handful of Black Dates
Handful of Kei Zhi
Rock Sugar
1) Clean dates and put it in the pot. Then add Kei Zhi
2) Put enough water and boil.
3) When is boiling add Rock Sugar and sweetened to your preference.
4) I boil mine for about an hour and put it in the thermal insulated pot after that for it to cook by it self.

I make this drink all the time. Is simple and I have all the ingredients on hand. I normally boil a big pot and then pour it into water bottles and put it in the refrigerator and drink it like I would drink water. Hubby is not a great fan of these but since he's sick I forced him to drink a big glass of it. Technically if you have honey dates it would be better than red dates but I cannot find honey dates in the Asian stores here. My mum said that she would get me some when ever she comes or when I go home next.

For me the thermal pot is like GOD sent from heaven. I love my thermal insulated pot is so handy and it saves me time and gas/electricity to cook the food. Well for my case is not GOD sent is actually my parents that bought it for me :P. It is not cheap at all the one that they bought me cost them about USD150 and I've seen it in the Asian grocery store for the same price. I love it so much that I'm think of getting another one but at this moment I don't need another one and hubby would ngam ngam cham cham (grumble) if I buy another one! If I ever work full time I might consider getting one more. We'll see if/when I start working full time.

*this is NOT an advertisement*

In the afternoon I decided to leave the hubs so he can rest while I did some grocery shopping. After I came home I decided to make some yogurt Popsicle because I knew hubby is going to want to snack on something hence I want to make him healthier snack.

1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup fresh fruit or frozen fruit, your choice of blueberries, strawberries, cherries, etc
2 tablespoons honey
4 wooden Popsicle sticks or plastic spoons
4 paper cups, 5 ounce size
aluminum foil

1. Place the yogurt, fruit (slightly thawed if using frozen) and honey in a blender.
2. Blend to desired consistency (some kids like the fruit chunky and others like it smooth).
3. Pour into paper cups, filling them 3/4 full.
4. Cover the cups with foil. Make slits in the center of the foil covers and insert the Popsicle sticks.
5. Put in the freezer for about 5 hours or until frozen solid.
6. When ready, peel off the paper cup and eat.

*You could use plastic Popsicle mould like I did if you had them too. I would suggest getting one from the dollar store or something because is so handy and you can use it many time also it is better for the environment.

This time I used the frozen strawberries that I had in the freezer. I am going to make some mango ones soon. I don't think hubby would eat the mango Popsicle hence it would only be for me. When he's done with the one in the freezer I will make more strawberries one for him because I still have some frozen strawberries in the freezer. If you have kids or even adults you could make this for them especially in this hot summer days.

Since hubby still had a bowl of porridge left from the morning I decided to cook myself something to eat in the evening.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp adapted from My Asian Kitchen

2 medium bowl jasmine cooked rice(overnight preferred)
20 medium shelled and clean shrimp
1 ct ripe pineapple ( remove the flesh,eyes and left the hollowed out shell)(I used about 3/4 can of pineapple)
1/1 lb bean sprout,clean
2 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
4 eggs
1 large onion,peeled and diced
1 cup green pea (I used frozen mixed vegetables)
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
3 tbsp cooking oil


1:Heat wok or large skillet at medium heat with oil.When wok is hot enough crack in eggs and scramble for 1 minutes,dish out set aside.

2:Use the same wok,then drizzle some oil,add in diced onion and shrimp,stir -fry for 30 seconds or until shrimp curl.

3:Add in rice,mixed vegetables,seasoning and pineapple.Toss the ingredients at high heat for 5 minutes,then add in scramble eggs and bean sprout. Check the taste.

4:Dish out and place in pineapple shell.Serve warm.

I've been meaning to try this recipe ever since I saw it because I love pineapple fried rice. I even bought a whole pineapple but I'm waiting for it to ripe to make this fried rice but I have half a bag of sprouts that needs to be used up soon so I decided to just use can pineapple instead. I did not have a lot of prawns/shrimp in my freezer hence I only used what I had therefore you cannot really see my shrimp in my rice.

This was really good but like other recipes that I've tried it doesn't taste like the ones in the restaurant because we don't use MSG like them however it was still good and it's a healthier version for us to eat.

I decided to make some sambal to go with my fried rice because I'm a typical Malaysian that cannot eat anything without chili.

Sambal Belacan adapted by Lily


5 fresh red chillies - cut small
2 chilly padi(optional)
1 sq inch x 1/4 inch thick raw belacan or 2 tsp belacan powder.
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar
lime juice.

1. Grill raw belacan until it is dried and fragrant. (i will wrap with paper kitchen towel and microwave 1 minute at the time until it can be crumbled)

2. I do not own a mortar so i use the chopper. Chop everything up except the lime juice.

3. Serve with lime juice. adjust the taste as some belacan can be very salty.

I am very fortunate that my mom fried a bottle of Sambal belachan for me therefore I have one bottle that is ready to use. When I was living up North I had no way or frying the belachan without making the house stink and I did it once when I was living alone. It was summer at that time and it also attracted a lot of flies. I never did that anymore therefore my mom decided to cook the belachan for me first. I can actually make my own now because beachlovekicthen actually thought me and gave me idea to cook the belachan outside on the grill. So when I'm done with the batch of belachan my mom made for me I'll try her method instead what more I'm not living in Houston and the weather is not always that cold outside.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I've been meaning to blog about food that I've been making these past week but I've just been so busy. Two weeks ago Hubs and I started biking about 7 miles around our neighborhood weekends we would bike about 10 miles. Last Saturday the hubs, Uncle Richie, Aunt L and I biked 13.5 miles and then in the evening the hubs and I biked another 6 miles. Sunday we were planning to go biking again but we decided we should go check out flooring for the first floor of out house. We've been talking about changing the flooring even before we bought this house but we've not done anything. Finally we went to the store and found some tiles and bought a few boxes of tiles, mortar, and what ever needed to install the tiles.

L-Hubby cutting the tile for the corner R-The corner of the living room hub started to work on

We didn't get home until about 3pm hence the hubby wasn't able to work on the flooring a whole lot. If you are wondering people here in Houston usually have tiles/carpet for the flooring. I am not going to go with carpet because we currently have carpet and is just gross plus we have two dogs so is not wise to put carpet on the floor again. We could use hardwood flooring but we are planning to use hardwood flooring for the stairs and upstairs so we are not going to use hardwood flooring downstairs too. I am hoping that once we are completed with the flooring floor cleaning would be easier instead of the gross carpet.

Anyway I didn't help hubby with the flooring as I was getting hungry so I went and prepare dinner. I've been craving for some curry for a long time but have not made it so Sunday morning I told the hubs that I was going to make Apple Curry Chicken because I had some apples in the refrigerator that I wanted to use it up.

Recipe adapted here


1 whole chicken, cut into cube
1-2 fresh apple, cut into small cube (depending on the size of the apple)
2-Carrot,2-Potato, 1- big onion,2-eggplant (I used my homegrown and one from the store) , cut into cube
1bulb- Garlic (I love garlic!)
2 TBSP curry powder
1-1/2TBSP chili powder
1TBSP turmeric powder


1) Mix the curry powder, chili powder and turmeric powder with water to form into paste.

2) Saute garlic and onion until fragrant, add in meat, carrot and potato.

3) Add water, then add own mix curry paste.

4) Simmer for about 15 minutes

5) Tasted with salt.

6) Add apple and eggplant

5) Cook and simmer for another 15-20mins.

I love this simple to prepare recipe! I might consider using yogurt, milk or coconut milk if I had in on hand instead of water. Even with the amount of chili powder I used hubby was able to eat it but then it was a tad bit spicy/hot for him. I guess that's one of the reasons why he got sick on the same night!

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Roku Player

Hubby and I have been trying to watch the latest movie in the cinema more ever since we came to Houston because there is someone else to go watch it with us therefore it's a fun night out. Going to the movies can be expensive for example we went to the movies to watch Public Enemies last Saturday and it cost us about $25 for the tickets, one medium pop corn and a medium coke. Last weekend we went to a cinema that serves food and drinks like a restaurant and that costs us almost $40.

Today I happened to find Roku digital video player instantly streams high quality movies from Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand from the Internet -- directly to your TV. The Wall Street Journal, CNET, WIRED, and other publications have given the Roku player overwhelmingly positive reviews.

How cool is that! We don't have to waste gas and time to go to the cinema. We could just watch it on our TV in our pajamas and have homemade pop corn which would be much cheaper than buying it from the cinema.

I think I'm going to tell hubby about this and order me one so that I can catch up on my TV episodes too! :)

RokuCode Of Ethics

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I currently stay at home full time. Some people call me housewife, homemaker but I'm certainly not a Stay at home mum (not yet anyway) . I stay at home because of the economy, because I'm currently not able to find a suitable job for myself. I don't really enjoy staying at home but I don't mind it. I do have chores to get done and I have to watch the dogs which is not a big deal but they do need some of my attention.

When we were living up North I feel like I didn't have that much chores. Our room was on the first floor so we didn't really go up stairs. I didn't really have to clean up stairs because is barely used. The only time we used upstairs was when my parents and relative came and visit me and to attend our wedding reception here apart from that we have not used upstairs at all. Now all the rooms are upstairs and we use upstairs and downstairs all the time so I have to not only clean one floor but both floors.

We even have more laundry to do here. When I was living up North in winter I don't wash my sweater every time I wear them because I don't sweat and is not good to wash the sweaters all the time. Here since is so warm we sweat all the time. We change our clothes all the time hence I have a lot of laundry to do. It is only hubby, me and the two dogs but I do laundry all the time. Sometimes I do laundry everyday but if I'm lucky is alternate day and if I'm really lucky I only need to do laundry once a week.

I use the dish machine to do dishes when we have tons of dishes or when we have guest over if not I hand wash my dishes because it takes too long for both of us to fill up the dish machine.

I cook/bake all the time. That is what I enjoy doing and I don't mind doing. When I'm cooking/baking I like to do dishes on the way. I'm not those people to actually wait till I'm done before doing the dishes. I cannot stand looking at the dirty dishes in the sink hence when I have time in between cooking/baking I would quickly wash some of the dishes.

All these chores I have to do and I don't even have any kids. I cannot imagine if I have kids how much more chores will be waiting for me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Homegrown Eggplant

I had a decent size garden the few years that we had our own house up North. I didn't have a garden last year because we had plans to move down here to Houston middle of Summer hence we were going to sell the house therefore decided on not starting a garden. We were not going to have a garden here when we moved down last July because we were renting and we had no time to care for a garden. I tried planting some chili padi plant but it didn't work.

This year we also don't have a garden because I didn't feel like dealing with a garden just yet and I don't know where I want my garden to be. I started a bunch of vegetables in door but the only one survived! I am so horrible because I didn't bother to take care of it. The only one that survived because I potted my tomato plant in a pot. I then planted some chili padi which is growing but is not producing any chili. I bought two egg plant from the store and managed to kill one of them ( I don't know what's going on with my ability to grown vegetables this year; I wasn't that bad up North!). Last month I was getting desperate because my chili padi plant is not producing anything therefore I when I was at Lowes I decided to get some chili plant. Not chili padi but plants that I'm hoping will produce some fire hot chilies.

Anyway the ONE egg plant that I have has been really good to me. It produced ONE eggplant for me a couple months ago but I didn't pick it because it was so small. Anyway when I decided to pick it and ignore the size it was so old hence I just dump it in my decomposing bin. Thankfully the plant decided to produce more eggplant.
My two tiny eggplant. Better than nothing right? I'm pretty proud of it although the plant hasn't really justify the price I paid to get it. I could have just bought the eggplant from the store and save my time and effort to plant it. Hopefully there will be more eggplant coming to make my money worth.

My ONLY tomato plant has flowers but not producing any fruits. I read somewhere that they sprayed some sugar water and the bugs/bees helped germinate the flowers. Hopefully I will get some tomatoes soon. *fingers cross*


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