Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sincere friendship is the best gift

To me, there is one precious gift that friends can give to their friends, their sincere friendships. (I hope I did not confuse you with this sentence. LOL!) Today I want to share with you the true story of how two strangers had become friends. I stumbled upon this blog, "Still crazy all these years" just a few months ago and enjoyed his space. From reading all his posts, I knew he is a sincere, humorous and down to earth person. Not only that, I like that he takes time to reply his readers' comment and his reply often times are wittingly hilarious. His posts always put a smile on my face and his reply to my comments never fail to give me chuckles!

We visited each other’s blog often the past few months. We are not just leaving comments on each other's posts, we actually communicate and enjoyed our interaction. Recently, we were connected through facebook as well. As you can see, we have progress from from blogger friends to facebook friends. When I learned that he and his family are coming to Kuala Lumpur, I told him I would like to meet them and I wanted to cook a meal for them but being considerate, he did not want to trouble me. He suggested that we meet at his hotel for coffee. An appointment was made and we finally met last Sunday. I cannot believe it when he gave me two bags of the special rice from his hometown and a bottle of special cooking wine because they are heavy stuff to bring. I really appreciate his thoughtfulness. I can’t wait to taste the rice and find a dish to cook with the wine. Thank you again, Arthur for the gift and for your friendship.

I was thinking hard what bakes or food I could prepare for Arthur and his family to try. I finally decided to let them try my macarons with butter chestnut filling and a new Christmas cookies. When I was baking the macarons, I not only have my fingers and toes crossed, I had every single blood capillaries in my body crossed. If you are my regular readers, you should know that my macs don't always come out right. Thank God! that they came out perfect that time. I cannot be more happy. It is an early Christmas gift for myself!

We had a wonderful dim sum brunch and I was glad he and his family enjoyed the food. 

I got feedback from Arthur that they love my macarons. It means a lot to me when the it came from a foodie like Arthur that my macs were delicious. YAY!! I am looking forward to his comment on my Christmas cookies. These chewy cookies have an old spicy flavor. Isn’t Christmas all about flavors? I believe eating these cookies will trigger one’s nostalgia. Want to try making some? Here is the recipe. I hope it is not too late for those of you who wanted to try making this for Christmas.

Molasses Sugar Cookies
Adapted from with modification

1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt

Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool.
Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well.
In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight.
Form into walnut-size balls. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8.5 minutes.  Store in an airtight container.

Every oven behave differently so you might have to find out whether 8.5 minutes works for you or not.  

If the cookies do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I am not a Foodie, I am a Food Blogger

Have you seen penne casserole with sambal belacan tomato sauce and served with chilli padi?  That is the beauty of fusion food. My Quay Lo made this penne casserole with my sambal belacan tomato sauce and served it with chilli padi for me!  Even when we dine out at restaurants that serve Western cuisine, I am not shy to ask for chilli padi or even sambal belacan. I have received a blank look on some of the waiters or waitresses’ face but I don’t care what they think about me, I still want my chilli padi or sambal belacan! When I am lucky, some waiters or waitresses were kind enough to get the chilli padi or sambal belachan from the cafe or Chinese Restaurant in the hotel for me.  In that sense, Quay Po can never said to be a real foodie. To me, real foodies have brains in their taste buds. Normally, when they eat, they don’t add something like sauces that changes the taste of a dish. They are also very objective and won't let their judgement of food served to be influenced by how many Michelin stars a restaurant has, or how famous the celebrity chef is in the kitchen. From an article I have read, the author (forgot his name) said:

"Real foodies:
 don't indulge in pretentious smiles and nod bullshit based on how much something costs versus how it tastes.

Even when they are eating at a high end restaurant, they are objective about what is good versus what is mediocre rather than letting social halo effects override their biological response.

Don't eat at a restaurant primarily for the purpose of posting gastro vanity pictures just to show that they have been there.

Experiment with a lot of different places and foods from different cultures and geographies to develop a well calibrated sense of taste.

Pay very little attention to the service, decor or food presentation at a restaurant and emphasize food quality above everything else. They can appreciate good food at even a hole in the wall restaurant.

Don't eat at a restaurant out of obsessive compulsive completionism to be able to write an online review.

While I am not a foodie per se,  I do know if fusion food is done well.  Fusion cuisine truly can be excellent and innovative. Good fusion cuisine combines ingredients and cooking techniques from several cultures and creates a new fresh dish, even if the dish is simple like the one below that Quay Lo and I made together. All cultures have their own culinary traditions, and combining these cooking traditions can result in breath taking dishes. Fusion in the new modern cities of Asia is almost in a class of its own. Some of these creations, by bold and adventurous chefs, can be quite complex.  Still, somehow, I feel like Quay Lo and I are "down in the trenches" of this movement and doing so with simple dishes.

Fusion Penne Casserole

This recipe was featured on The Asian Food Channel (Official) 
Facebook page on 6 December 2012

1-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
½ cup Quay Po fusion tomato sauce
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta; toss with Quay Po fusion tomato sauce. Spoon the mixture into a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheeses. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through. 

Quay Po fusion tomato sauce 
(click on the pic to get the recipe)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My first time!

First time participating in a contest that needed votes. Would you vote for me? If you would, please click on the first picture you see here (Grilled cod with orange sauce in an orange) and it will bring you to a page where you can click “like” for my blog to vote for me. Do leave a comment here to tell me you have voted so that I know. Many thanks! MUAX! MUAX!

I would like to thank you in advance for your support with a tasted and tested dessert recipe. This definitely can earn itself a place at your Christmas table. 

Last night I had dinner with my high school classmates and I brought this dessert with me to share with them. It was a happy and fun evening as always and I was SO HAPPY to meet again one of my high School classmates, Sally. We have not seen each other for 40 years after we left school. Isn’t that AMAZING to be connected again? She lives in Australia now and came back for a holiday. 

Here is the dessert I made for them and I was thrilled that they all loved it! The sweetness of the peach combined with the real tart flavor of the cranberries gives this dessert a nicely balanced taste. The cinnamon and nutmeg enhance the flavor with their fragrance. When this is served with some vanilla custard sauce or a dollop of vanilla ice cream, it is divine!

Peach and Cranberry crumble

1 cup julienned fresh peaches
¾ cup fresh cranberries
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
120g flour
¼ salt
60g cold butter, cut into small cubes
25g castor sugar
Place (A) in a pot and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes all till the fruits are a little soft and the sugar is melted. Set aside to cool. When it is cooled a bit, transfer to a baking dish. Sift flour and salt and then add butter. Rough mix with your fingers till the mix resembles fine bread crumbs. Lightly toss in sugar and sprinkle over ((B) over (A). Bake in a preheated oven at 200C or 400F for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream or vanilla custard sauce.

Note: I am submitting this to 

Aspiring Bakers #14: Creative Christmas Bakes (December 2011) hosted by Hankerie

I am submitting this to the Christmas Giveaway in The Sweet Spot

Monday, December 5, 2011

Join the White Christmas Challenge by Very Good Recipes

Get into the Christmas mood and join in the fun of the White Christmas Challenge organised by Very Good Recipes. I am one of the 10 judges. 

This month's theme is: White Christmas.


There is always a magic feel in the air when snow is falling on Chritmas Eve. Not eveyone lives in a region where snow is usual during winter, but everyone can try to recreate this magic in the kitchen!

What dish do you think of when you hear "White Christmas"? You can of course cook with white ingredients such as white fish, white chocolate, white asparagus, white truffles, white vegetables, chicken, cream, coconut milk etc. But your recipe does not have to be all white! It needs to be festive and have a "snowy" feel. You can be creative and imagine a snowy presentation, for instance sprinkling snow crystals (drops of cream, petals of white edible flowers, and a lot of other ingredients) or trying to create a snow-covered landscape one can eat!


The challenge is open to everyone, whether you have a food blog or not.
In order to participate, you need to enter a recipe on the theme of "White Christmas".
  • If you have a food blog registered on Very Good Recipes, you just need to publish your recipe on your blog with a link to the challenge page in the text of your recipe. It will then be automatically listed on this page. (if you don't see it after 30 minutes, please email
  • If you have a food blog (or a blog with a recipe category or label) but are not yet registered on Very Good Recipes, you can register in 30 seconds.
  • If you do not have a blog, you can participate by sending an email to with your recipe and one or more pictures. He will publish your recipe on Very Good Recipe's blog so that it can be displayed on the challenge page.


  • There must be at least one picture in your recipe, and both the recipe and picture need to be your own. If your recipe is inspired by another, please mention it in your recipe.
  • You cannot use an already published recipe to participate in the challenge, you need to publish a new recipe (otherwise there's no challenge!)
You can participate from Monday December 5th 2011 until Monday December 26th included.

Please put a footnote in your post that you are participating the challenge via Quay Po Cooks and stand a chance to win a prize from Quay Po. Winners of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th prize who participated via Quay Po Cooks will receive a ROSEVELT's (my son's band) album on top of the prizes from the Sponsors.

Click on this Album pic to listen to one of their songs - Moment

Check out the attractive prizes from the Sponsors by clicking on the badge. I look forward to see your entries, the more the merrier!

To launch the Challenge, each judge will have to publish a recipe in line with the White Christmas and here is mine.

White Chocolate White X'mas Cupcakes
Adapted from Baking Bites with modification

Make 18 medium size cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4-oz white chocolate, chopped
1 vanilla pod
1 cup plus 1 tbsp milk (low fat is fine)

Preheat oven to 325F. Line muffin pans with 18 cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the chopped white chocolate by heating it in 30 second intervals in the microwave. Stir well with a fork between each interval and cook only until the chocolate is smooth when stirred. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by melted white chocolate and vanilla extract. Working in two or three additions, alternate adding in some of the milk and some of the flour mixture, ending with a final addition of flour. Mix until just incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake at 160C or 325F for 20-23 minutes until a tester comes out clean or the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Cool on a wire rack. Use your own choice of frosting and exercise your own creativity to decorate the cupcakes for the appropriate occasion.  I used plain butter cream frosting.

Plain Butter cream frosting
Please click on the photo to get the recipe.

Note: I am submitting this to 

Aspiring Bakers #14: Creative Christmas Bakes (December 2011) hosted by Hankerie

I am submitting this to the Christmas Giveaway in The Sweet Spot

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I am more excited than the Band!

Today is my son, Nick’s band ROSEVELT’s big day!! It is their first Album launch. The launch is held at Club Neverland, 1, Jalan Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur from 3 – 6 pm. I can’t wait to be there! I want to share my joy with you all! Also, I want to thank those of you who had voted for them when they were competing to be selected to open the concert for their musical icon, INCUBUS in July. Your votes are all worth it! 

Rosevelt opened the concert for Incubus at Stadium Negara

After Nick finished his high school, he decided to pursue Performing Arts. I remembered I was not very glad about his choice because like most parents, I worried that he may not be able to earn a decent living if he was to become a performer, a musician or an artist in our country. It will be a hard and rocky road for him. It will be like living from hand to mouth. My Quay Lo on the contrary said that we should let him choose his own path and pursue a course that he likes and be supportive. He said if one does what he is passionate about, he will excel in it and most of all, he will be happy. I guess that’s true, Nick told me that he is happy even when he is doing his music full time as a singer songwriter and had to eat bread with water for weeks. He did that for a year before he got a day job.  It did not stop him for pursuing his dream. 

After Nick and his band mates formed the band ROSEVELT in 2009, they all worked very hard to produce this first Album and they did it!! These boys did it without financial help from their parents, they did it on their own. I am very proud of them. I hope their story can inspire other young people to pursue their dreams against all odds and like them, never let others tell you, you can’t do it!



Extracted from ROSEVELT website:

##The band climbs up, plugs in, tasting the buzz in the charged neon gloom.  And with an amplified whine, detonates the moshing masses with a rush of Rosevelt. Indeed, that night, all the world's a stage and the stage is theirs.

Opening for their musical icons in July 2011 is a long way from Rosevelt's humble college roots, back when Incubus was the spark that ignited a dream. Now with electrifying effects, frenzied beats, and mind-bending bass lines,wrapped up in intense vocal refrains, Rosevelt has made this recipe for rock
into their signature sound.

Alternative Rock, Hard Melodic Rock, whatever you call this assault on the auditory senses, those who have tasted it often developed a curious case of chronic headbanging.

Erupting from their public debut at Indie Youth Fest 2009, Rosevelt exploded among local music festivals, including Rock the World 2009 and 2010, YOUTH '10, Urbanscapes 2010, and Asian Music Festival 2011.

Their contagious energy has set aflame live venues such as Laundry, The Library, and Urbanattic, as well as events including Fly FM Campur Chart, Guinness St. Patrick's Festival 2010 and Arthur Thursdays 2011.

Debuted in June 2010, Rosevelt's single *Madicine* hit #1 at Cravecharts for eight weeks, #1 at MET 10 for two weeks, #4 at TRAXXfm Upstage, and Top 25 at XFM Underground.

Nevertheless, while Rosevelt's hopes were in the heavens, their feet were firmly on the floor and they paid their dues as campus circuit darlings:

University of Nottingham Malaysia, Sunway University, Monash University, TAR College, HELP University College. In return was a nomination for *BestCollege Act* at the Voize Independent Music Awards 2010

That is how Rosevelt is perfectly embodied in a single word: grassroots. Since breaking into the local music industry, they have been a champion of all talents Malaysian and indie, from music mavens and duds designers to shutterbuffs and architects of art. Rosevelt is local like that.

With that same personal touch, Rosevelt shows are all about crowd connection. It was no strange sight for the band to be constantly touching base with their fans as they rocked Penang, Kelantan, KL, Selangor, Pahang, Malacca, even Singapore. At the core, their essence is a single idea: have
music, will travel!

Rosevelt is currently on the verge of their album debut set in December 2011, having self-produced a mini-album in 2010.##

Rosevelt's Album is sold at RM25.00 at n price but at RM20.00 today at the launch. If any of you would like to have a copy, please let me know. I will have the copy signed by the band and mail it to you.

Click on the Album pic to listen to one of their songs - Politics

They also have their T-Shirts and Jackets on sale at the launch.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I feel sad before I could feel happy

Braised short ribs
Adapted from

6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of brocolli
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 cups tomato paste
2 cups red wine
2 C chicken stock
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
2 bay leaves
1 tbs brown sugar

1 tbs salt
1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp mustard powder

1 tsp ground cumin

Season each short rib generously with salt chilli powder, smoked paprika, mustard power and ground cumin. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pot and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Preheat the oven to 180c or 375 degrees F.

While the short ribs are browing, steam cauliflower and brocolli till soft and set aside for garnishing later. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pot. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pot with fresh oil and add the vegetables. Season the vegetables generously a pinch of  salt and sauté till soft,  approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add the red wine and then the tomato paste and bring to boil. Return the short ribs to the pot and add 2 cups chicken stock or until the stock has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pot and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid and garnish with steam cauliflower and brocolli.

Footnote: My Quay Lo says "two thumbs up"

Note: I am submitting this to the Christmas Giveaway in The Sweet Spot

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New rules for 2012 from my Quay Lo

Can you believe that we are now in December 2011? Another 30 days, we will be entering into 2012. So here are the new rules that was sent in an email to me from my Quay Lo. I think finally after 15 years of living with this "hard to live with" Quay Po aka "Lucy", he finally speaks up! LOL!

Here are the new rules:
Wives like to set the rules of the house. Now here are the rules from the husband's side. These are our rules! Please note these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE! That’s because they are all equally important.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If you find it up, then put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us crying about you leaving it down.
Quay Po’s answer: How about renovating the bathrooms so that you get a “He” and I get a “She” bathroom?

1. Birthdays, Valentines, and Anniversaries are not quests to see if we can find the perfect present yet again!
Quay Po’s answer: For a Chinese Quay Po, no need to waste your time searching for the perfect gift, GIVE LAH Ang Pau (money in a red packet), BIG BIG one! hahaha

1. Sometimes we are not thinking about you. Live with it.
Quay Po’s answer: Ok lah, just remember, turn-about is fair play.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.
Quay Po’s answer: I am not a shopper and if I shop, I prefer to shop alone so this is not a problem at all.

1. Crying is blackmail.
Quay Po’s answer: No it is not, it is being a woman! Live with it, I cry easily and all the time. I am a cry baby but not "Big Cry Ten" (Tai hum sup - in Cantonese usually used to describe someone who exaggerates) LOL!

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
Quay Po’s answer: I think with you it works.. I hinted a lot of things and I always get it. I will not give up hinting because it works in your case.

1. We don't remember dates. Remembering them is not a test of our undying love. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar. Remind us frequently beforehand.
Quay Po’s answer: Ya, that is for sure, no worries, I will remind you. Given your early senility, I think I will lose out if I don’t. LOL!

1. Most guys own three pairs of shoes - tops. What makes you think we'd be any good at choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look good with your dress?
Quay Po’s answer: I think you owe more pairs of shoes than me. You have good taste and offer your opinion most of the time and I appreciate it. Don’t stop doing that.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
Quay Po’s answer: That’s the problem with men, everything you tell them, they want to fix it for you, they do not know how to listen ONLY!

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.
Quay Po’s answer: Oh ya? Sorry we women keep it for a thousand years. Just get use to that!

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
Quay Po’s answer: What?! You want me to retune my ears after fifty-six years?

1. Let us ogle, we will anyway. It's genetic.
Quay Po’s answer: Same with us women, we ogle too! Fair and square. (p.s. I like broad shoulders)

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. We suggest that if you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
Quay Po’s answer: Of course lah, besides, if I waited for you I've learned it won't get done. Who fixed the the kitchen faucet last time?? Hmmm?? :D

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during the commercials.
Quay Po’s answer: That’s why I am on my computer when you are seeing TV. I can’t keep my mouth shut, so I type it out.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.
Quay Po’s answer: Scratch all you like, knock yourself out! (ps When I say that here, it does not sound so annoying as when you say it):P

1. We are not mind readers and we never will be. Our lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.
Quay Po answers: Point taken, I will try to speak my mind. Make sure you can stand it okay?. hehe

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
Quay Po answers: No, you don’t. You always want of to find out why. You are such "Gay Po Chi" (busybody)..hehe

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really.
Quay Po’s answer: I think that’s true. That is because I have good taste and what I wear usually makes me look good. Wahahaha!

1. By the way, I am in shape. ROUND is a shape.
Quay Po’s answer: I love ROUND shape so you are fine.

1. It isn’t that I don’t want you to use the remote control. It’s just that …it’s mine.
Quay Po’s answer: You can have it, I don’t care!

1. Thank you for reading this; Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know I really don't mind that, it's like camping.
Quay Po’s answer: You sure? Oh but your Quay Po is very kind, she will not do that to you. In fact she will reward you for speaking up honestly with your favorite dessert. I would like to thank you for still loving me the same despite sometimes your "Lucy" can be a "BIG B"!

Rhubarb strawberry Galette

Adapted from Laura Calder with modification

1 2/3 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
About 2 to 4 tbs ice cold water

1/2 c ground almond, lightly toasted
1tbs flour
1/4 C sugar
3/4 lb strawberries sliced
3/4 lb rhubarb, cut into small chunks


Mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and work with the fingers to a mealy texture. Mix with the fingers to crumbs. Mix the water in quickly until the dough just holds together. Pat into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate half an hour.

Heat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Mix the almonds, flour, and sugar. Roll out the chilled dough into a circle and set on a baking sheet. Spread the almond mixture over, leaving a 3-inch/7.5 cm margin. Toss the strawberries and rhubarb with the sugar and arrange on top. Fold the edges of the galette dough up over the berries and bake until the crust is crisp and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream, flavoured with vanilla or cinnamon.

Note: I am submitting this to the Christmas Giveaway in The Sweet Spot