Variations of pan fried fish fillet

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Started my maternity leave this week so that I can make some last minute prep for the BIG DAY and also get myself mentally prepared.

To ensure a balanced and healthy diet these last few days, all my lunches and dinners are home-cooked. Fish is an apparent choice and of all fish, I love salmon, cream snapper and cod fish the most :d~~ Somehow, I'm more inclined towards the western style of pan frying fish with olive oil and seasoning with salt, black pepper and herbs than the chinese way of steaming and seasoning with light soy sauce, ginger and spring onions. Probably coz I'm bored with chinese style cooking since the other chicken and pork dishes I cooked for dinners are mostly chinese style.

These were eaten over 2 lunches, another variation can be found here and recipe found here.

Besides pan fried potatoes, can also try mashed potatoes with herb butter or the Jap-style potato salad.
Hopefully I'll have time to cook for the next few months (except during confinement of course) and explore new recipes!

Steamed chicken with mushroom and sausage

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最近买了尤今老师的最新创作“螃蟹爬上树”。从中学时代就偏爱尤今老师的著作,无论小说,散文,小品,尤其是游记。她的旅游分享总是充满丰富的描述,每每让我特别向往。

这是一本叙述尤今老师“炊烟心情”的散文。透过经历的爱情,家情,亲情,国情和旅游情所勾画出的一篇篇饮食故事。每一篇故事的料理虽然简单,却有着一种让人感动的浓浓情怀。

尝试烹调了其中一篇的“彩虹鸡”。材料和做法非常简单,看似简朴但色香味俱全哦。

[材料]
鸡腿肉 3-4只 (原本材料是嫩鸡 1 只斩成小块)
冬菇 10朵 (泡软去蒂)
腊肠 1条(切片)
姜 1块 (切成6-8片)

[腌料]
花雕酒 2大匙
酱青 2大匙
盐 1小匙
糖 1小匙 (我没放)
蜀米粉 1小匙

[做法]
1。将鸡块以腌料腌半小时以上。
2。把鸡块排在盘子中央,冬菇摆在鸡块上面,切片腊肠和姜片置于冬菇之上。
3。水煮沸后,将(2)放进蒸锅里,隔水蒸20分钟或以上(看鸡块的大小)。

This is a recipe adapted from a book written by a renown local chinese writer, You Jing. Been reading her novels, articles and travel books since secondary school years and always captivated by her anecdotes and stories.

This book is not exactly a recipe book, rather a sharing of her life experiences in relation with food and food she has grown up with or encountered. Most of the recipes included are really simple and humble but nonetheless wholesome and delicious.

Attempted one of the recipes "Rainbow Chicken".

[Ingredients]
Chicken leg/thigh/drumstick 3-4 pieces (original recipe calls for 1 whole chicken cut into small pieces)
Dried mushroom 10 pieces (soak and cut away stem)
Chinese sausage 1 piece (sliced)
Ginger 1 piece (sliced thinly into 6-8 pieces)

[Marinate]
Chinese cooking wine HuaTiao 2 Tbsp
Light soya sauce 2 Tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp (I omitted sugar)
Corn flour 1 tsp

[Steps]
1. Marinate the chicken pieces for at least 1/2 hour.
2. Place chicken pieces in centre of deep dish plate/bowl (must be deep dish as there will be natural broth from the chicken during steaming), place mushroom on top of chicken, then place sausage and ginger on top of mushroom.
3. Boil water in wok/steamer, place the bowl into steamer and steam for 20 mins or till chicken pieces thoroughly cooked.


The broth is full of goodness with the essence of chicken, combined with mushroom, sausage, ginger and chinese cooking wine (no water is added at all). Goes very well with rice.

Baby's Nursery

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Counting down to the arrival of the little fellow... the nursery is all set, I think =D

Hope baby will like the painting, cot and musical mobile that daddy and mummy spent much time trying to decide.
Hope the smiley animals and soothing music will make baby happy.
Mr Ducky here, baby's sleeping companion. A gift from Uncle WH.

Healthy Lemon Cheesecake, The Conscious Choice

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Had a New Year gathering with a group of close friends at my place and hubby specially ordered this healthy lemon cheesecake that is gluten-free, wheat-free and sugar-free from The Conscious Choice Cakes so that I can eat :)

Been dessert/sugar free for 3-4 months already so it is exciting to discover this online shop that sells a variety of cakes and cookies catering to people with allergies and certain medical conditions.

Couldn't make up my mind between carrot and walnut, chocolate, sticky date or lemon cheesecake... I want to eat all of them!!! Finally selected lemon cheesecake as I do miss a nice slice of dense and creamy cheesecake with a tinge of lemony taste.
The cake may look humble but don't judge it by its appearance. It is certainly rich, dense and creamy yet not overwhelming. Even those who don't fancy cheesecake found it acceptable for their palate. As for me, I'm relishing every morsel of my single slice (yep, no over-indulgence allowed) :d~~

There are other healthy options offered by The Conscious Choice Cakes such as egg-free, low-carb/high-protein and etc. I thought it is a brilliant idea to have such options so that people with allergies and medical conditions may still have their cake and eat it too; people these days are also opting for healthier menu choices without the guilt.
The only gripe, the shop sells only whole cake so I couldn't possibly order them often unless Í have large gatherings. But then again, very soon I should be able to eat normally again... *fingers crossed* I promise to be good and will definitely not over-indulge like I used to. Looking forward...
The Conscious Choice Cakes

2009 - closure. 2010 - a brand new year ahead

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It's time once again to reflect on 2009. A year gone by, strangely I couldn't recollect most part of it, probably due to my baby brain which is clouded with many thoughts now. I just know that it was an eventful year, challenging, stressful and emotional. Don't even know where and how to start...

Started the year extremely busy with work, a project that spanned from 2008 till 2009 which I was unfortunately being arrowed (by matter of fact?). A project that started due to some egoistic reasons by some people. No doubt a big project which I learnt a lot, but suffered and sacrificed equally as much. At the end of it all, it was a tremendous success but to me it was just relief and nothing else. And the hard work wasn't even recognised tangibly. Wonder if this place and the work I'm doing is really worthy. Passion is one thing but the faith has eroded without the anticipated due respect and returns. I am truly disappointed. Well, it is getting tougher by the day and seriously gritting my teeth over all the nonsense as well as some people. In a nutshell, 2009 was a year I want to forget and move on in terms of work.

There was then the demise of my father, which still puts a heavy weight deep in my heart whenever I think about it. Yet about the same time the elatedness of learning about my pregnancy. I thought I was ready mentally, but I guess one could never really be ready ready about the realities of pregnancy, having a baby, a child. Having spent more than half of 2009 being pregnant and counting down now, there is much anticipation and anxiety. May be sharing some of the pregnancy journey slowly after the birth but will see how I'm coping with motherhood first.

With all the happenings, much regret that I didn't manage to blog much and have accumulated lots of backlog. Hope to find time for more blogging but with a new baby, I'm not so sure, will try.
Baking and attending workshops continued to be a way of stress relief and I'm really really looking forward to baking and in fact cooking more in 2010.

Being pregnant also means that travelling was somewhat limited. Before pregnancy, managed a Bangkok trip in Feb, Koh Samui in Mar , Tokyo in Apr. Was in Switzerland in May for a whirlwind 48hrs before rushing back due to family emergency and then I'm pregnant. During first and second trimesters, managed a few road trips to Malaysia and the final short haul trip was to Koh Samui in Oct. Well, if not for my baby, I guess hubby and I would have been somewhere in Japan from Christmas till now enjoying a white winter... oh well. Anyways, hoping that baby would be wanderlust like us and be good to travel with us in 2010.

With the closure of 2009, certainly anticipating a brand new year ahead, with the arrival of my baby, and bless him to be healthy and strong. It will be a steep learning curve and but I must stay strong for his sake. The option of being a stay-at-home-mum for a while is very tempting as I believe nothing beats the joy of watching my own child grow up day by day.

Here's to a better 2010! Happy New Year!