Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quay Po's FIRST Cooking Class

I would never in my wildest dream thought that I will be invited to conduct a cooking class. I would like to thank Tania of Pantry Magic for giving me this opportunity.

Before last July, don't ask me to cook or bake, I was not interested. It is only when I started "Quay Po Cooks" to document my mum's and my Quay Lo's recipes that I began to pay attention to cooking and baking. Oh, and blog? What do I write about that anyone would want to read? I am not even a good writer. How would I know that in the process of seriously learning cooking Chinese cuisine from my mum and Western cuisine from my Quay Lo that it now became a second passion for me? My first is still dancing. What kept this passion for cooking and baking is actually the whole package. It is the result of delicious food,  the nice food photos, the positive comments and support I received from my family, friends, my blogger friends and my readers and the opportunity to meet some great friends all over the globe who share the same passion. I am here because of your continuous encouragement and I have to say “Thank you” again and again to you  for your friendship and being with me on my culinary journey. 

A shout out to those who do not know how to cook or bake but want to and are afraid to. DON'T talk yourself out of your interest!  Go into your kitchen and start now and you will be so happy you did. You will find yourself entering in a new world of self satisfaction. If Quay Po can do it, anyone can! It takes only a little time to start understanding the basics.

I am eager to share with you my experience of conducting my first cooking class in Pantry Magic, Bangsar last Sunday.  The morning before the class, I was rather nervous. I was afraid that I would not be able to deliver a good demontration. To my surprise, it went very well. I was much relieved that the “Lucy” in me was in hiding (wipe forehead with a sigh). If you are a new reader and wonder who “Lucy” is, read this old post of mine).  What is more I had my blogger friend, Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover there to lend moral support and help me. Finally, I was very fortunate to have extremely friendly, nice people who attended my class.  It was more like a “Sunday hang out” rather than a class. We were chatting and laughing like old friends.  While waiting for the food to be ready, my  new friends were chatting amongst themselves and enjoying the little treat I brought for them. I made some “Maca-rights” the day before and brought with me to the class.. Yes, there were those with my roasted chestnut filling.  

Everyone commented that they were delicious and all noted that they liked them because they were not so sweet. Everybody who has tasted my macs with the roasted chestnut filling (including those who did not like macs due to their normal ultra-sweetness) said they enjoyed this combination. Sonia’s daughter loved it so much, she ate two! Click on the picture if you want the recipe. 

Points made by my attendees that I needed to take note of were what they liked about my class. They liked that I shared with them all the “Dos and Don'ts” and that I highlighted the useful tips on each recipe. They felt by knowing that, they were better equipped to try the three recipes on their own at home with a better chance of success. 

Although I was not familiar with the kitchen tools and the behavior of the oven at Pantry Magic, the food came out perfect and received positive comments from all the attendees.  Come to think of it, it is quite a good deal to attend classes in Pantry Magic. You only have to pay RM150.00 to learn three recipes and you will receive a RM50.00 discount vouchers (valid for 1 year) from them. You get a delicious meal and got to take home some delicious meat loaf, mashed potatoes and chocolate chips cookie dough. Also, you get to meet nice people. Isn't that worth it?

Both Tania of Pantry Magic, and especially the attendees, were very happy with the class and they said they looked forward to another in the near future.  That was so awesome! By the way, if you are somewhere in Bangsar, you might want to pop into Pantry Magic. The shop is a haven for those who love cooking and baking.  Here is the link to their website and you can browse through the products they carry. It is indeed a cool place and there is not one item there I don’t want to own.

One of my attendees, Tina Muhd is a Pilates Instructor. She said I should organize another class on baking and she will teach us how to stretch while waiting for the bakes to be ready so we will not feel so guilty. LOL!  She is so cute.  If any of you who reside in Kuala Lumpur, would like to take private Pilates class with her, you can contact her at her mobile 0162393923 or by email at  From the short encounter with her, I find her to be a friendly and warm person and fun to be with.  If I were to take up a private class in Pilates, I would definitely go to her.

As I was busy conducting the class, I had no time to take any photos. I'm so grateful to Sonia who took some photos and she has shared her experience at my class and the photos in her blog. Click on "her blog" to go check it out. Here is group photo taken by her after the class. 

Thanks so much for your help Sonia. I so very much appreciate your presence and your help. MUAXXX!!  I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed yourself and it was great to see your daughter enjoying the food so much.  She is living up to the reputation of a Food Blogger Mummy's daughter! LOL! I am looking forward to see your post on the class and all the other photos that you have taken.

Here are the three recipes that I shared in my class last Sunday, which I would like to share with you today. I have posted two of the recipes before but here are the improved versions.  The improved meat loaf recipe was given to me by my Quay Lo but he could not remember where he got it so he could not give credit to the source. He said he had made some modifications to the original recipe. This one is to die for because the meat came out SO flavorful! For the mash potatoes recipe which was adapted from Linda Larsen, I have made further modification to it to get a more even silky and smooth texture. Lastly my late mother-in-law's American chocolate chips cookies, this too, I have changed the portion of white and brown sugar and the oven temperature to yield an even more chewy texture.

Pardon me for using the old photos for the recipes because I did not take any during the class.

Classic Meat Loaf

1.5 kg ground beef
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions chopped
6 cloves garlic minced
1 green pepper finely chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
3 eggs beaten
120 ml cream
150 g soft breadcrumbs
4 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp brown sauce
1 tbsp chilli sauce
1 tbsp paprika (preferably smoked paprika)
2 tsp salt
½ tbsp ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C or 375F, or gas mark 4. Heat the frying pan and add the oil. Put in the onions and let them cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, the green pepper and the garlic. Stir it all together and cook until soft. Then remove from the heat. Transfer the softened vegetables onto a tray and allow to cool for a few minutes. Place the beef into a large bow and add the ketchup, the HP sauce, the chilli sauce, the beaten eggs, the cream, the breadcrumbs, the paprika, the salt and pepper. Use your hands to combine it all together, squeeze and fold to ensure that everything is thoroughly mixed. Then add the cooled vegetables and mix them in thoroughly as well. Take handfuls of the meat mixture and press them down into the loaf tin. Continue to fill the tin until all the meat is used. Finish off by molding the top into a loaf shape. Place the meat loaf into the centre of the preheated oven and cook for approximately 1hr – 1hr 15mins. After this time, remove it from the oven. Allow it to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before cutting. Once the meat loaf has been removed from the tin, place it on a cutting board and cut into thick slices, using a large knife. It can be served with mashed potato, accompanied by horseradish sauce, mayonnaise, mustard or your favorite brown or cream sauce.

Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs of russet potatoes
1 tbs salt (to put into the water)
85 gm unsalted butter
1 C warm milk
salt and freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste

Place the potatoes in cold water. Bring water to boil on medium heat. Lower heat to low and let simmer and cook potatoes until fork tender or about 25 to 30 mins. Drain potatoes and return to the same pot and let the residual heat in the pot to dry out the potatoes. Transfer to the mixing bowl. Melt the butter in a sauce pan with 1 cup of milk. Add the butter and milk potatoes in mixing bowl and mash them with a masher, potato riser or electric mixer. Add salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste.
Useful tips:
1)  Start with cold water to allow for more even cooking.
2) NEVER use a food processor to mash potatoes. 
  While it  seems like a good idea to make short work of the job, the extremely high speed at which the blade spins literally smashes the starch granules, and what you end up with is a gluey, starchy, nasty mess.
3) If you want lighter mashed potatoes, whisk them or use a mixer. If you like dense, smooth mashed potatoes, use the ricer. The texture of your mashed potatoes are really all about the tool you choose to use.

American Chocolate chips cookies

2 eggs
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter soften
1/3 C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 ¼ C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1 C packed brown sugar
½ C oatmeal (raw)
2 tbs corn flour

Put (A) in a bowl and mix well and set aside. Put (B) in a blender and blend till fine. Beat fine blended mixture (B), butter, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl with the mixer until creamy. Add eggs and beat well. Gradually add mixture (A) mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and mix well. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill in the freezer for 1 hour. Just before baking, preheat oven to 160C or 320F. Cut dough and form into golf ball size and place onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 18 - 20 mins or until lightly browned. (Note: this depends on your oven, mine was perfect at 18 mins)  Cool slightly and remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely before taking out of the baking sheet.

Note: Keep cookies in an air tight container and store in the fridge for balance not eaten. It becomes more chewy the next day.


  1. Veron...Congrats on conducting your 1st cooking class and coming ones :) Can see you have lots of fun together with the attendees. Thanks for sharing this classic meatloaf, mashed potatoes and the mouth-watering cookies ...came in time for thanksgiving :)

  2. Veron, You are most welcome! I'm so happy that you let me to participate your 1st cooking class and my honour to assist you and record the whole process..You and your students look so gorgeous in the photo!! Thanks again for the invite.

  3. Congratulation on your first cooking class! You are always so generous to share everything and I am sure the class got more than they bargain for!

    I cannot wait to try yr meatloaf and chocolate chip recipe!! :0)

    Waiting for your next clss schedule...

  4. Sounds like it was a fun experience for everyone, and great to hear that everyone enjoyed your cooking class. I'm sure you'll have many more coming your way :) Great recipes too!

  5. Congrats, Quay Po for conducting your first cooking class~~ Hope there's more of your classes :D

    I've never done mashed potatoes before, usually will grab one from KFC. I guess homemade one would be healthier and I better go into my kitchen now.

    Start with the simplest recipe, kekeke!

  6. Oh, how fun!

    How lucky for people to take a class with you!

    The chocolate chip cookies look so nice - corn flour? Nice touch! I always add oatmeal to mine, too.

    Here in America people often use the chocolate chip recipes on the bag of chips, but to my taste the cookies turn out too greasy and flat.

    Yours look so nice!


  7. Can I call you Chef Lucy now? Wow! From non cooking to a chef in slightly over a year?! That's an amazing achievement! I'd be shaking so much if I were in your position and making a wobbly jelly would probably be the best! :D I'll be checking out Pantry Magic real soon. Looks like I could spend many hours in there and many bucks too!

  8. Congratulations on conducting your first cooking class! Pantry Magic looks so lovely, you and your attendees must had enjoyed the whole cooking session!

  9. Congratulations!! That is soooooo exciting!

  10. Congrats CHEF ;D !!! I'm so happy for you ;) Those students were so lucky to have you ! I hope Pantry Magic will sponsor some awesome giveaways in your blog *wink*wink* hahahaha

  11. Cool! U conducted a cooking class! That was fun. I remember my mum attended cooking classes years ago. She enjoyed a lot. But the class somehow closed down and she did not look for another one.

  12. that was great and the meat loaf is wonderful,, I've copied that down

  13. Great cooking! Always so generous in sharing recipes, spreading friendship through your passion for cooking. Well done!

  14. Congrats on your first cooking class!! I am sure everyone have enjoy the cooking class very much and there will be more classes to come,right...All the best!

  15. How I wish I can attend to your class..... congratulation and I bet you must be proud of your achievement.

  16. How exciting! Congrats and maybe soon, you'll have your own TV series =D

    Cool Bean Momma

  17. Wah!!! Congratulations!!! Bet you're beaming with pride from ear to ear... So after this, publishing your own recipe book (Can I have an autographed copy? I can help edit FOC - just fly me to KL, hotel and meals provided. Hehehehehe!!!!)...and a spot on TV (Please! Please! Can I sit in the audience? I promise I will behave!)?

    Hmmm...anything like this going on when I'm in KL? Would love to go and watch (but mainly to sample the goodies! LOL!!!).

  18. RM150 per participant? *faints... Muahahahaha!!!!

  19. Congratulations Quay Po ! 加油!

  20. Congrats, hope 1 day I can join the class :P

    PS: Is the cookies something similar with the Famous Amos one? I love their cookies!

  21. Congrats!!! I am sure it was a very memorable experience for you.. to cook/bake with an audience... my first passion is singing.. but cooking? hmmmm.. i think i have yet to uncover my skills.. hahahaaaaa...

  22. wow, veronica, well done! i cant wait to try making your meatloaf.

  23. How I wish there was such cooking classes in my place? I will be the first to register myself. I am a person who need to go to class to acquire good cooking skills.

  24. Congratz on conducting your first class. I can feel your nervousness before giving the class, I'm very often in this position when I'm giving talks and seminars of my research. I'm glad that Sonia was with you.

    Looking at the ingredients for your meatloaf, looks so comfy. Congratz again! Have a nice day.

  25. Congratulations Quay Po! What an exciting thing to do. The recipes sound great, I shall certainly borrow some of them; I think my husband would love the meatloaf for sure and I know my young grandson would help him polish off the cookies!

  26. WOw, congrats! you're on the way to becoming celebrity chef. :)


  27. Kudos to u, Veron! Simply awesome experience & I'm glad it all turned out well. Of course, I've no doubt on your ability at all.

    The prices for the class sounds attractive & you'll get to learn 3 recipes. Cool! Here's wishing u success in everything u do, dear :)

  28. PLs keep me in the loop on ur next class. I want to attend. I want to learn! thanks

  29. Congrats on your first cooking class! That is so very exciting! :) I'm sure we'll be seeing you on TV soon :)

  30. Congratulations for your first cooking class!

    You build up a nice meal! Thanks for sharing it.

  31. Arhhhh! I wish I was in your class! Congratulations on your first cooking class. I bet it's not only fun and delicious but it was a heart-warming class taught by you! Sonia is a sweet heart too. :-)

  32. well done in your class!! all 3 recipes looks amazing so lucky people who attended!!

  33. It was nice meeting you there, your macarons look so yummy! Wish I had known and can "curi" one from you. :P

  34. What a fun opportunity! I would have been sooo nervous as well, but it sounds like you are a natural!

  35. Congrats on your first successful cooking class! I'm sure there'll be many more to come and perhaps a recipe book too one day! :)

  36. Congrats on your first cooking class! You are brilliant with your cooking and presentation and no doubt that you will do a good job teaching your students!

  37. Congratulations, that is fast progress. Wish I was there to have that meal, followed by those cookies.

  38. Btw, can I use pork for the meat loaf? Bcos my family doesn't eat beef.

  39. Big Congrats to you Veron!! I wish I can be there to watch you cook :))

  40. congrats veronica! you did it girl!!!

    wish i could attend your class! and thanks for sharing these family recipes. they are the best!

    pantry magic definitely looks cosy to conduct a class. what more, one can easily have access to a hoard of baking or cooking items! definitely my kinda cooking class! :)

  41. Huge congrats on your first cooking class, Veronica! I'm so happy for you that it went so well and that Lucy didn't come out. Haha. Even if she did, I'm sure your students would understand. Everybody makes mistakes, Lucy is just your human half ;). Keep on rocking it and enjoying blogging.

  42. Oh this is so nice Veron! I wish I was there too. Looks like such a good time with great recipes!

  43. Who would've known that you were once not interested in cooking or baking before last July. Look at you now such an expert! I'm sure this cooking class is a start and there'll be many more to come..:)

  44. My BIG Big congrats to you, Veron! I'm sure your cooking is going to bless lots of people there in M'sia. I wish I was there to attend! The meat loaf looks too tempting and the cookies too. The mashed potato looks so creamy and delicious...mmm. Love the pictures. All the ladies look so sweet! Sonia sure did a wonderful job with all the snapping! :D Hope you are having lots if fun! MaryMoh at

  45. How exciting that you got to teach a class! I love your apron - Betty Boop is a favourite of mine. I am also a fan of meatloaf - I could tuck right into that one.

  46. This is really a celebration to call for. Veronica, you have done us proud.
    For the mashed potato, what gravy did you use? I notice it is brown gravy.

  47. Oh so cool!!! I know the feeling on conducting first baking class, but is indeed fun. Can you let me know when is your next session? I will be there to support you too if im at Malaysia. Good job!! Congrats to u!

  48. I am so excited for you!! What an awesome experience and it sounds like your class went fabulously.

  49. sifu!!! you are now a sifu!! it's such nice to hear you're conducting a class..i mean not everyone can do it and you're there to share your knowledge, it's a wonderful thing. I saw those photos at sonia's blog a while ago and i thought you look a bit like amy beh...but much slimmer!

  50. Congrats on your first cooking class!! Hope to see more classes conducted by you in the future ^_^

  51. You are so brave! I would be too busy getting stage fright to cook lol! I must check out the shop when I am within that vicinity, everything looks so nice!

  52. Veronica-Congratulations, conducting your first cooking class! Everything looks so delicious! A perfect choice of all-American feast! Well done:DDD

    You look so cute in your BettyBoop apron, and all your friends, as well.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely photos, and your heartfelt always. You are such a good friend, I really admire you, and love you!

  53. Wow great job! Congrats on your first cooking class and more to come. :)

  54. @Elin
    Thanks, I am glad I pull it off without blunders:D

    I should thank you. Luckily I got you there with the cut finger. hehe

    @Food Dreams
    Thanks. I love sharing what I know, it gives me joy. will keep you guys inform if there is a next class:D

    @To Food with love
    Hopefully, I enjoyed teaching and sharing and meet new friends.

    Thanks. Haiyah, no more KFC, try my recipe ok? hehe

    It is so nice to hear from you again. Yes, I think it is easier to use the recipe on the bag of the chips. More simpler with I am with you. I find that the cookies too flat too.

    Oh please don't call me chef Lucy now but when I start a local "I love Lucy in the Kitchen" show on TV, then you shall chef Lucy. LOL! Aiyah what chef, I am just a self taught cook and just want to share those recipes which are tested and tasted and worth trying. I did not shake much because I am quite used to doing presentation in front of a crowd when I was I was a Sales Manager when I was still working in the Corporate world. With my past experience acting in Chinese Opera show with my mum at a very young age, I kind of immune to stage fright. As regards to PM, I don't know how much I spend there already. LOL! Go in never once get out without buying something.

  55. @Ah Tze
    Thanks. Yes, we all enjoyed ourselves

    Thanks. It was exciting for me.

    Thanks. Ooo please don't call me chef lah. Well, the next time I see Tania of PM, I will check with her:D

    I think I will enjoy cooking class myself too. Have yet to attend one.

    Oh Laurie, you have to try this meatloaf recipe. It is truly awesome.

    Thanks, happy to.

    @Yee Ling
    Hopefull there will my dear:D

    @Nancy and Vijay

  56. @Rachel
    Thanks. Yes, I am going to do a TV series called "I love Lucy Quay Po in the kitchen" soon. Just kidding! hehe

    Thanks. I will be lying to you if I said I am not. If I ever publish my own recipe book, you will sure to get a signed copy and I remember what you said, you will edit for FOC, no backing out. Can can, I can fly you to KL but not staying in a hotel, you will have to stay with us and sure meals will be provided. A spot on TV also can but not as an audience, you can wash the dishes for me while I cook so that I know you behave yourself!! wahaha

    Thanks. I will definitely work harder not to disappoint you.

    Thanks. Anything first time would be a memorable experience. So you like to sing? If you happen to come KL, buzz me, let's go karaoke. I also like sing.

    Yes, try please and let me know your opinion.

    @Sheoh Yan
    You can go to Pantry Magic, is it that far from you place?

  57. @Victor
    Thanks. Yes, I am glad I had the experience of giving presentation in front of a crowd so I was nervous but I was not shaking during the demo. hehe

    Thanks. Yes these cookies are very popular with kids.

    Thanks. Too far away still:D

    Thanks. How about coming to KL for a holiday and we weave in a cooking session together?

    If you are interested, sure I will keep you posted. I love to meet you in person.

    Thanks. I think to see me on TV, you got wait very long.

    Thanks. This is a simple and yummy American meal.

  58. @Nami
    I wish you were too:D

    Thanks. I am the lucky one to have so nice people as my attendees.

    @Baby Sumo
    Nice meeting you too. Aiyah, why didn't I think of that. I should have let you try my macs.

    It was easy because I had nice people attending my class.


    Thanks. I am ready to do more classes because it was really fun to share and meet new friends.

    Thanks. I don't feel like I am teaching, I feel like I am sharing and hanging out with my new friends.

  59. @Three-Cookies
    Thanks. It would be nice to have you and Ping together on the same table for a meal. I think I will be filled with laughter.

    Thanks. It would be very nice to have you there.

    Thanks. I wish I can be there to watch you bake as well.

    Thanks. Yes handed down recipes are the best, just like those of your mum. Come to KL and give me a buzz, we go makan, makan.

    Thanks. Oh but mistakes that Lucy makes are very embarrassing lah:D

    I think if we were cooking together, we will joy ourselves very much. Hope someday we will meet up.

    That surprise me as well. I am not an expert but still lots to learn.

  60. @Swee San
    Thanks. Long time no see. Now Empire is opened, will you be there?

    Thanks. Yes Sonia is a good photographer. hehe.. I wish I can come visit you someday. I am still jealous of LeQuan being able to taste all your yummy food.

    Haha. I am a big Betty Boop fan. That apron was a gift from my step daughter. It came all the way from USA! I LOVE this apron.

    Thanks. At home for the mashed potatoes, I usually use a simple garlic creamy milk gravy. Just saute the minced garlic till fragrant, add some milk, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and thicken it a bit with rue. That's it.

    Wow, Thanks in advance. I will keep you posted. I sure will enjoy hanging out with you

    Thanks. Yes, it is a wonderful experience to be able to share my recipes with people in person.

  61. @Swee San
    Thanks. Long time no see. Now Empire is opened, will you be there?

    Thanks. Yes Sonia is a good photographer. hehe.. I wish I can come visit you someday. I am still jealous of LeQuan being able to taste all your yummy food.

    Haha. I am a big Betty Boop fan. That apron was a gift from my step daughter. It came all the way from USA! I LOVE this apron.

    Thanks. At home for the mashed potatoes, I usually use a simple garlic creamy milk gravy. Just saute the minced garlic till fragrant, add some milk, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and thicken it a bit with rue. That's it.

    Wow, Thanks in advance. I will keep you posted. I sure will enjoy hanging out with you

    Thanks. Yes, it is a wonderful experience to be able to share my recipes with people in person.

  62. @lena
    Look at all the wonderful food you cook and your fabulous bake, you cannot call me sifu. I look like Amy Beh, really?

    Thanks. I would be please to have more classes. A chance to share more of my recipes.

    You must check out PM, I bet you will not walk out empty handed.

    Thanks. I love my Betty Boop apron. It is a gift from my step daughter. I am sharing American food so I thought this will be a appropriate apron to wear. LOL!

    @Little Corner of Mine
    Thanks. Hope so too.

  63. Making the 1st step is really hard but after that will be easier if one's passion doesn't change! Your story about cooking has really inspired me now.I only opened my food blog in this Sep.B4 that, I only cook because my family wants to eat. Never paid too much of love in there till after opening the blog.It gives me a big push to keep doing this better and learning from the others.Go the ladies, we can do it!

  64. Oh Veron, how very exciting...congratulations! Looks like a magnificent class that you put together and with such success :)Would love to have been there...wishing you many more successes :)

  65. @Jessie
    Yes You CAN do it my dear:D

    @Magic of Spice
    Thanks. It will be wonderful if you were there so I can meet you in person. I am sure we have have lots to chat about.

  66. Owh man I miss this!!! It is at 13th November lmao

    I wish to join in and snap photo like no buddy business :P jk jk

  67. @Kian Fai
    If I have another class will inform you early. If you can snap photos for me, it will be great!!:D


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