Monday, August 31, 2009

Blueberry Pound Cake

In a matter of hours, three quarters of 2009 will be over. I am constantly amazed at how fast the time goes and I never thought that we would be at we are right now. Things change and we, in most cases, are the drivers in charge of those changes. What we accomplished, is a result of what we worked on. We are the ones that make the difference in our lives.

I have grown to love blueberries more and have been more willing to part with $9.40 for merely 12 oz of frozen blueberries. The latter is the harder. But I just try to enjoy it, since I get so much fun from making all sort of edible stuff that we consume anyway.

Here is the blueberry pound cake to end August. See you all in September.!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Packing Has Begun...

I have started it in small way... I have begun the cleaning up and the clearing up, gearing everybody up towards our move in about six weeks. I bought some small and medium boxes early last week so that little things can be put together nicely while waiting for real packing to take place. I love these IKEA boxes, got them all in plain simple colors like black and creme.

Things we do not need, we give away. Things that can't be used anymore, go to the garbage bin. It's almost like Spring Cleaning all over. I am stressed out but am happy to get rid of things that we simply do not need. It is so refreshing to say goodbye to the clutters we 've built up.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Parmesan Cream Crackers

It's nice and refreshing for me to wake up on a Saturday morning and to feel the coolness around. We barely get much of that here. I am longing for cooler weather....

Here is something easy and quick to do and the result is still great. It's a matter of mixing together flour, salt, parmesan cheese, butter and cream until they become one good dough.

Roll the dough until it becomes thin and score lightly.

Slip them on for 10 minutes in the hot oven.

Cool them a bit before you start munching them and let me tell you, once you pop, it is going to be hard to stop!

Really. Try it! They are really good!

Recipe from Mark Bittman, The New York Times, click here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Doing Bacon...

Bacon lovers, go and check this out, right here, 100ways to use bacon. No, I did not think that you need more ideas on how to serve bacon as we, bacon lovers, love bacon the way it is.... But if there are more ways.... why not?

Speaking of the bacon, this was what I came up the other day, bacon wrapped chicken. It's a quick-simple-yummy-put-in-the-oven business as usual.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One Red Bike

Many bikes were parked along the railings by Singapore river, the red one caught my eyes first, of course.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dutch Apple Cake

I was craving for cake, haven't had it for a while and haven't got the chance to bake one that I like for a while. Discovery channel started showing Rachel Allen's Bake! for a few weeks now and I saw this recipe on one of the episodes aired here. Just thought it would be one of those that I would try when I had time to.

The recipe was a plus to me because it merely uses two eggs and also it has apples on it. Talking about being small and healthier, just good for us!

It just couldn't be any better to have a slice (or two) on a cool afternoon, which hardly ever be the case, with a cup of hot tea, without sugar.....

Dutch Apple Cake (Adapted from Rachel Allen)


2 eggs

175g caster sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

85g butter

75ml milk

125g plain flour

1/2tsp ground cinnamon

A dash of grated nutmeg

2¼ tsp baking powder

Two small or one medium cooking apple

A separate 15g caster sugar


Preheat the oven to 200ºC, Gas Mark 6. Grease, and line with parchment paper, an 8"x 8" square tin.

Whisk the eggs with the 175g caster sugar until the mixture is thick and mousse-like and the whisk leaves a figure '8'.

Melt the butter with the milk and pour onto the eggs, whisking all the time. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold carefully into the batter so that there are no lumps of flour. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

Peel and core the apples and slice into thin slices.

Arrange them over the batter. Sprinkle with the remaining 15g of sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180ºC, Gas Mark 4, for a further 20 to 25 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.

Cool in the tin and serve warm. Can be served with cream.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Afternoon Delight ...

Fresh fruits are always good, I like the sweet ones. The kids like them better in smaller edible forms than the whole fruit that sometimes a bit too hard to finish at one go. I like fruit salad with a little bit sugar and a hit of lemon juice for a hot afternoon snack or for breakfast. Mint leaves will be nice too. If only the prices of blueberries and other berries were not so high, I definitely would put more into the mix. But then, I could live without and still experience the great taste of what's more economical around here.... Cheers to that!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Children Playing ...

Children were seen playing along the river, not far from Cavenagh Bridge... Not too worry.! They are just statues and they are quite eye-catching. Years ago, my second daughter took a picture of this when she went on a school trip, but this is the first time I saw the statues with my own eyes, after living in this country for nearly 11 years...... Hmmh???

Sunday, August 23, 2009

By The River...

Saturday morning ... and we arrived reasonably early by the river. Our intended destination was the museum nearby.

The sky was beautiful blue and there was still calmness along the river. A tourist boat passed by quietly... and gone....

As the sun rose, more boats and more people came about. It was the usual sights by the Singapore river.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Highest One?

On the spur of the moment, I decided to use the portobello mushroom we had as one of the toppings of our pizza. A deep dish one and of course, we used some of our mini plum tomatoes and threw in some sausages too.

Cheese is an absolute must and we finished up our gruyere cheese and topped the pizza some grated mozzarella. Now, the pizza looked tall and heavily topped with.

Upon the sprinkling of the pizza was done, my youngest daughter said contently, "This is the highest pizza made in this house!" Well... maybe, it could be true. It looked tall. it was helped by the fact that the pan was tiny. Naturally, it all came down a bit after baking anyway as the mushroom and the tomatoes lost their water contents and we had almost regular pizza again.

Surely, we'll make a taller and bigger one next time in our new house when the time is right and there are more people around. There were only three of us last night, it was more than enough this time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I've Lost Daddy

My heart would have dropped to the floor or I probably would have fainted if it was really what could be. But I chatted with "daddy" a few minutes earlier so I could gather the courage to read the email sent by my dearest first daughter in Virginia last night, with a subject: "I've Lost Daddy" to find out what really was said. I believed he was not lost.

Here it said " Mum I can't find or contact him!"

To this second, I still have not really found out what really happened, but I did pass the message on the spot to DH, who was in Virginia too, that his daughter was looking for him (and maybe was burning in madness, because in her immediate subsequent email, she wrote: I've been waiting and looking for so long.) No exclamation marks whatsoever.

I am sure that they found each other very soon and I hope they communicate better so they know where to meet when they apart. I knew, I should have been there!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Walking Down....

A little walk down the memory lane. This picture was taken around 13 months ago in Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Missing It...

School begins and normalcy returns. That's when the kids are not home, but safe and I am able to see the pillows on the sofa remain where they are supposed to be, untouched - for many hours 'til their return. I know it is back to routine when one called to tell that she forgot her schedule and asked me to email it to her account. I am not a sad momma who got beaten down by a quiet house, I need that sometimes too. I could use that for sure.

With them being away for a few hours, I was able to work, practically, in peace. I have so much to catch up and works to follow up. But even with that, I, somehow, felt something was different. I felt like I missed something. I did not feel I had a complete summer. My summer is normally filled with tons of traveling, moving from one city to another, driving in the car and finding direction from GPS that sometimes goes crazy at times. One hotel to another. Packing unpacking, packing unpacking and again..... This time, the traveling we had was rather short.

I miss Kathy's house in Michigan, I miss her and miss being there and looking at her Campbell's collection. I came across these pictures that we took when we were in the USA and Canada in the Summer of 2004. We covered many places including British Columbia and Toronto and Quebec. We drove from Toronto down to Michigan and all the way to DC and New York. It was exhausting but fun.

Statue of Liberty, Capitol Hill, tunnels in Pittsburgh, streets, highways, trees and fast food chains everywhere... my summer is just not the same without a road trip in the USA.

PS: I miss going to Target, Walmart, Macy's, Crate & Barrel and William and Sonoma too, just to name a few........

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We'll Work On These...

We heard from the two in DC, they were walking to White House and they IM-ed me to let me know what they were doing.... Later on in the evening, or afternoon in DC, I heard from the proud owner of the new Blackberry Bold..... ((sigh...)). The beauty of internet indeed, and what money can buy too!

So, it was all planned, we still had some blueberries and we I were was going to bake some wholemeal blueberry muffins this morning. The two kids were still asleep, enjoying the last Sunday morning sleep before school starts next week.

Muffins are really simple to make, very straightforward, but still delicious. I am not a big fan of muffins, but I am willing to have one or two especially healthier ones, like them, those with wholemeal and fruit included.

Wholemeal Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1 1/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup plain wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
grated rind of 1 lemon

1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
¾ cup milk
1 cup blueberries


Preheat the oven at 200°C
Combine dry ingredients.
Melt butter and mix with egg and milk then add to dry ingredients.
Mix only enough to combined, fold through blueberries, and spoon into well greased muffin pans.
Bake for 10–12 minutes of until well risen and golden brown. Serve warm.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We'll Finish These ...

My two kids here were somewhat heartbroken facing the fact that their big sister must go away for college, they knew it was coming. So was the big sister who must leave. They all talked about it from time to time, we all did. They put on brave face, yet when the time came, bidding adieu was tough and it still hurt that separation was unavoidable, ....thousand smiles away. This time was different than the previous little trips made before. It's not going to be 2-3 weeks anymore.

I know for a fact, that everything is going to be alright. We will see each other again in no time, October of maybe December. See..? That's not bad at all. Besides, everyone has so much on the plate in the coming months. From DH with his (God bless) projects, our house move, one starting college, one has preparation courses for Sacrament of Confirmation and the start of IB program. I can be sure that the level of stress will be high, everyone will be very occupied. Time will fly before we know it.

We have been taking about making blueberry waffles for breakfast in the past days. I halved the recipe down to accommodate the three people with not so big appetite and in the end, the three of us had a good size breakfast and nearly cleaned up the batter made. It was a nice, calm Saturday breakfast .... before the school begins.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mineola Mandarin

I came across these Meineola Mandarin oranges yesterday at the supermarket. I had never seen them around before and decided to get a couple for a them to try. Their unique physical characteristic is the knob-like formation on the stem end.

I have also read that this is a cross between grapefruit and mandarin orange. While some suggested that they are really sweet, the two that I bought just could not fall into that category.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

First Daughter Goes To College

The day has arrived for our first born to leave for college, some ten thousand miles away from here in a different city, different country, different continent, far far away from home. We have prepared her for life and the time is now that she flies there to start experiencing living away from home and to pursue an excellent higher education. I know it for certain that she will be fine. She is an independent young woman who has been looking after herself really well. My prayer for her, that she is safe and healthy and knows to choose the right things to do.

I am here, we are here, merely a phone call away, just an email away and only a text away. Skype me, IM me, check me out on the webcam.... how technology change the meaning of communication. A click on the blackberry and we will hear from each other. (Things have absolutely changed from 25 years ago when I went to college for the first time. The best communication technology back then was telephone, which I only used once a month.....)

But with all the conveniences, nothing yet can't transport one to another place in a second. With that, we won't lose the classic feeling of missing each other with the beauty and appreciation that come out of it. I am letting her go so that she is no robbed of her experience going to college. This may be longer that the three weeks she spent alone in Cambridge when she was 15, or three weeks in South Africa when she was 17 ,or a couple of weeks in Switzerland recently without us. But in the end, we hope it's all worthy the financial and non-financial costs that we pay for. This is life. And life must goes on irregardless, we'll talk to her in no time, we will see her in no time too.

All the best to you P. Have a nice and safe flight and enjoy the business class seat you will be sitting on with daddy and I am sure you are excited of starting college as much as, if not more than, getting a new blackberry and a new ipod too.... TTYL baby! Auf wiedersehen for now. See you really soon!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This picture was taken a while back when we visited Malaysia. A small grasshopper on a leaf, barely visible, good thing my daughter told me of that. It'll be good if I could have this ability too, there are times when I want to be less visible and just blend with things around me.....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Meeting

After having a long weekend, which I did not truly feel as summer holiday is still on, my Tuesday was rather intense. Morning was busy with setting up the house to get going for the week and off the meeting with our interior designer and contractor, both of whom were 20 minutes late. In another meeting, the first guy was about one hour late and I have talked to him about his tardiness. And today was just the same. Our meeting was just around this lovely pool. It didn't help much, but the pool was - lovely -. Another progress on our project was made.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Getting Closer

It's the last week before school starts, holiday is nearly over. Where has the summer gone? We have three more days before the US trip as our new college girl is busy getting herself ready and packing up things that she want to bring to her new place. She is excited to begin a new chapter in her life and so are the rests of us.

We have been doing a lot of cleaning lately and I am astonished at how much stuff we have amazed over the years that we do not need. Some little things we decided to keep for memory sake, but most others we give away. It is such a good lesson for everyone that a lot of times we buy things that we do not even need or use. We have learned it.

We had another nice lunchafter church yesterday, notably this shrimp coated in mayo and served on little bread ring. They were so good... but I have to stop eating shell fish and crustacean family related food before my cholesterol shoot up high. Give myself sometime before returning to those yummy food again. I will. Because I should.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Reward Me, Please...

Summer holiday, traveling, the kids being around - my eating habit spun out of control. Yes, I blamed it on them, my clothes are tighter now than before.... arghhhh... So more green leaves need to be consumed.

We had lunch again with my intern daughter, it was her last day at work and I also needed to check out some furniture for the new house. It was Friday, no meat day, so headed to Fish n Co. I opted for mushroom salad and nibbled some fried calamari, which was delicious -yum, while the kids had fish and chips.

Sadly, despite the salad, the bathroom scale fail to show a better number for me.... Got to keep on going green....