Steamed black cod fillet with egg white custard & ginger sauce

Makes 1 serving

1 cod fish fillet (80g)
Salt, to taste
2 tsp rice wine
20g minced ginger
Whites of two eggs
1 tsp (5ml) sesame oil

1. Sprinkle cod fish with salt, and rub it into the meat evenly.
2. Before steaming, drizzle rice wine on the fish. Next, place some of the minced ginger on top of the fish. Place fish in steamer and steam for 6 minutes.
3. In a bowl, add a dash of salt to the egg white. Beat until frothy and remove the foam on the surface. Steam for 3 minutes over high heat, until the egg white thickens on the surface and turns opaque.
4. Just before the fish is done, heat the sesame oil in a pan until it begins to smoke. Pour the hot oil over the fish upon taking it out from the steamer.
5. Place the fish on top of the egg white custard and serve hot.

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Stir-fried egg and tomato

Serves 4.

I first got to know this dish when I visited my friend in China. She went there to study for her degree and this was the first dish she cooked for me. Yummy!

6 large eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 scallions, finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
1 tsp sugar

1. Beat eggs with 1/2 tsp salt until smooth but not frothy.

2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add eggs and cook, undisturbed, just until a thin film of cooked egg forms on bottom of skillet but most of eggs are still runny, 5 to 10 seconds. Immediately scrape eggs into a bowl. Wipe out skillet.

3. Heat remaining tbsp oil in skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add scallions and stir-fry until just softened, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring and turning occasionally, until juices are released and tomatoes are slightly wilted but still intact, 4 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle sugar and 1/4 tsp salt over tomatoes and stir to combine. Return eggs to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggs are just cooked through. Serve sprinkled with reserved scallions greens.

* I added cucumber in it.

Lemony Risotto with Asparagus and Shrimp

Serves 4.

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
3/4 Ib (340g) aspagarus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
11/4 cups Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 Ib medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Bring broth and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add asparagus and simmer, uncovered, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop cooking, then drain. Keep broth at a bare simmer, covered.

2. Cook onion in 2 tbsp butter with 1/4 tsp salt in a 4-qt heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed.

4. Stir in 1/2 cp broth mixture and briskly simmer, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy and tender but still al dente (it should be the consistency of a thick soup) about 18 minutes. (There should be no leftover broth mixture).

5. Stir in shrimp and cook until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Stir in asparagus, zest, remaining 2 tbsp butter, parmesan, parsley and pepper to taste (thin risotto with some of remaining broth is necessary).

Source: Gourmet, May 2009.

The waiting game or a race?

There are two races worth mentioning reminding myself of so that I won’t sign up for them again. One of them is the 2008’s Nike Human Race which caused a lot of hype for its publicity and which my gfs and I queued up for 4 hours just to get the race pack. The race course was super narrow and it’s not a pleasure running at all. The other is yesterday’s Sundown Marathon whose planning was really altrocious.

When one signed up for an event such as this, one of the reasons was to gauge how well he has trained for the past few months and to assess where he was in terms of timing and to see if he could set a new PB. Of course, the participant could have organised his own run but in a real race, he gets a taste of having to weave in and out of fellow runners and running with the drink in hand, among others. All these require training. And we pay a premium fee for all these logistics and a race experience.

My experience yesterday was really terok. What was meant to be an enjoyable run with my gfs turned out to be a nighmare. We were an hour earlier to take the shuttle bus to the race site. By the time we got there, there was a long snakey queue. The bus didn’t come as often as stated in the race booklet and we had to wait for half an hour before we could hop onto the bus, leaving behind a longer queue of disgruntled participants. The ride to Changi Exhibition Centre was not without trouble. There were jams along the way and particularly near the turning point to the entrance. By then, our category had started.

The start point was ghostly. You wouldn’t have the mood to race anymore. So it’s us, threesome and I had made up my mind to enjoy the run with them. 2.24km into the course, Sha and Boon urged me to go ahead which I eventually obliged. Speeding up, I overtook runners and wondered to myself how I would have really fared if I had started running from the beginning. The pace was good, the legs were light. There was much space which allowed me to overtake with ease. Along the way, you saw volunteers cheering the runners and some of them obviously having their own amusement by making fun of the female runners.

I have something to say about volunteers. I mean, I wouldn’t expect much from them. They were volunteers after all, freeing up their time to help out. But seriously, if they were in charge of the drinks station or first aid, they should really be more professional and seek to do their best. Maybe they were not runners and have not participated in a run such as this before and couldn’t understand the frustrations runners have during a race. If they wanted to play and have a jolly good time with their peers, joking and monkeying around with one another, then for goodness’ sake, don’t come into the race and volunteer! Go back home!

Anyway, I came in in bad timing, the worst of all runs. I wasn’t dampened in mood by the timing because I have resolved that this run was a fun run for my gfs and I. I was distressed by all the waiting and big boo-boo of the race. Following the run, to get back to civilisation aka Pasir Ris Town, we had to wait about 1.5 hours for the shuttle buses. The roads were closed for the first 2 half marathoners to come in and in return, the organiser felt that participants could wait for the buses to come in their thirsty, hungry and exhausted state? What a joke! I later found out that even if you were driving, you couldn’t do much because the roads were closed anyway. The drivers had to shut their engines and WAIT!

Oh my! Oh my! We reached Pasir Ris MRT station at 11.30pm and the last train was gone. Our saving grace would be the taxis. By the time we reached home, it was past midnight.

For a 10km run which takes about an hour, we had to play the waiting game for 5 hours.

I wish I could say that I empathise with the organiser and to think that they were working around constraints, trying to improve the races every year. But I couldn’t. It was really bad organisation this year and I have to be upfront about it. The planning committee, I don’t know what you were thinking of actually. Are you a novice in this area?

Such a letdown. Period.

I think Ken was a poor victim. He was with us the whole time and he was infuriated from the start and at the end of the trauma, he was all black-faced. I’m sorry that he had to go through this experience. Last I know, he was typing furiously on the keyboard. I think, a complaint letter has gone up.

Sigh! Why in the world did I sign up for this?

You should have read the fan page for the sundown marathon on facebook. It will make your blood boil even more.

Packing season

May is ending and June is roaring its way in!

It’s time to start thinking what I should be packing.

First stop: Facial products. Poor them. They have been stored in various places and now when I gathered them, I realised that I have long forgotten about them. Thankfully they are mostly samples given by counter girls or looted from hotels and I could willingly throw some away due to expiry date.

What a mess, right? So I have packed them according to the three trips from June onwards. The big headache could be the clothing.

Happy Thursday!

Happy because we finally got to use the gym! During our stay in this campus, we have been wishing for a gym so that we could at least do some workout in the afternoon indoors. One fine day, it was finally set up and I was impressed by the facilities. It wasn’t anything grand, with a few machines but simple is good. We were thankful already!

On the way to gym, I was contemplating whether I should call to ask D to buy cupcakes from Marmalade Pantry but decided against it. Better not eat so much but what a surprise when she got back to office? Two cupcakes from Marmalade Pantry so that I could try them! Yup! I have not really tasted cupcakes from any stores and this is so apt! What’s even better was the fact that everyone was so giving in nature. Always wanting to share, share, share!

I’m happy! Happy!

Freaking hot!

It’s so HOT! Everyone’s mood wasn’t that good today. I was really afraid that I would step onto people’s toes. Everyone was black-faced. Hey! What’s up?

Hubs was easily irritated too with work and to add to his problem, the application of visa. He had tried thrice, so he shared at the end of the day while we were on our way back. Some of the questions they asked made me wonder if they have any good brain cells. It’s so DUH. *shakes head* Anyway…

Today we went for blood donation again. My second time, I was rather concerned that I might not pass the blood pressure test. It was at 103/68, barely passed the mark. Phew! A colleague went for her first time but fainted after donating. Thankfully everything was ok soon after! SMILE!

I’m using my new netbook now. Woohoo! I’m so preparing myself to go off soon! Yea! 84 more days!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprints

(from Martha Steward Living)

Makes 40

11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup caster sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raspberry jam

1. Preheat over to 180C. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat peanut butter and butter with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add sugars, and beat until pale and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.

2. Scoop level tablespoons of dough and form into balls. Roll each ball in caster sugarm and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.

3. Bake until cookies are puffy, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and make indentations in centres by pressing with the handle end of a wooden spoon. Return to oven and bake until edges are golden, 6 to 7 minutes more. Transfer sheets to wire racks, and let cool completely.

4. Heat jam in a small saucepan, stirring, until loosened, about 3o seconds. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon into each indentation. Cookies can be stored in a single layer for up to 1 week.

Popiah Party

Koko (Ken’s aunt) organised a popiah party for Dad to celebrate his birthday. As usual, when Koko cooks, you will most definitely go home with a super full stomach. This time round was no exception. As one can see, the ingredients are all prepared by Koko, even the popiah skin (it’s egg pancake!). Oh man! That’s a lot of work and effort! This is excellence at work!

The ingredients

Father & daughter

It was popiah, followed by home-made avocado drink and then cake. I had never liked avocado drink after having a few sips to try when friends ordered it. It was rather bitter and I don’t understand why anyone would love it. But when I tried Koko’s avocado drink, it tasted heavenly – smooth and the thickness just nice!

Upset at the mess...

Ken made a mess out of his popiah and then gave an explanation why kueh pai tee was invented. To paraphrase him, the Kueh Pai Tee cup is to contain all the bangkuang that falls out of the popiah skin. O_o Oh well, that was a good attempt.

Getting emotional

Dad was very passionate and emotional when he talked about Dr Goh Keng Swee. No wonder he always supports PAP. So, there is no doubt that he stayed on to watch the state funeral on TV.

Koko, the chef.

I love this family whose love for one another is so strong. =)

Great beginning to a working Sat!

We would have dragged our feet to perform our duty for the Family Day at the Zoo if not for a quick pick-me-up prata brekky at Springleaf Road. The food ( I had egg masala with mushroom cheese thosai) was good and the company great. It’s good to have the year 1, 2 and 3 officers mingling. I think I will miss such times with them when we leave.

So a good start to the morning continued to lift our spirits throughout the course of our duty.

And back home, we received the mail from Boston about visa, health insurance and his orientation. Apparently, we are getting the J1 and J2 (dependents) visa which possibly allows me to work! =))

Farewell

We bade farewell to a dear colleague who had been with the branch for the longest time (among the EOs). He is always there when you need help even if the duty is not his concern at all. When we asked him for info, he would make sure that he explained till you are clear and he’s always around when we need someone to help solve a problem.

He goes the extra mile. He’s authentic. He’s loyal.

Such friend and co-worker is really a gem. Can we have more of such people?

Need we say more?

=)

Personnel called me up today. “Mdm Lee (Wah…first time people call me using this…sound so old now), I understand you have applied for no-pay-leave for your husband’s studies. But according to our record, you still have not claimed 2 of your VL. Do you intend to take?”

Wah. I was surprised to get a call from PED and also advice from the officer. So, I have to take all my leave before they proceed to approve my No-pay-leave if not they will void the existing number of VL that I have left. Of course I will take, I told her happily and I sensed a smile from the other end of the line.

I proceeded to ask her of LDS and realised that it is an entitlement to me and I could actually use up all of the amount regardless of how long I work for that year. Woohoo! “Please go shopping before you leave Singapore,” she advised. Of course I will!

So netbook, here I come! This is really a bonus! Hubs let me use his to buy the accessories for the camera and now I can use mine for more geeky stuff! Yahoo!!!!

Thank you Lord!

yipee!

I got myself conversion lens! They are extensions (as EK called them) to the existing lens for my DSLR, both macro and wide-angle lens! Yea! It was reasonable, half the price of what I intended to pay for for a normal macro lens. Thankfully, I hesitated to buy on Saturday, having to consult Ken. I’m glad I did not rush! These lens are also rather compact and great for travelling.

The drawback is that I have to increase ISO since less light goes in with the additional lens.

And of course, I got myself a flash too!

Happy!

Every man a son

Ah Bao went for a seminar by Dr Josh McDowell on Saturday and thought it would be good to share with all! The following is what he shared with the CG…

In the second session, Josh spoke on the 7 As of Building Relationships that Transform.
Before he began with the list, he started with three points
– It’s never too late to start building these relationships.
– There is no guarantee that these pointers will cause your relationships to succeed. (But they help…)
– There are such things as ‘children that are hard to raise’.
He cited possible chemical imbalances that make up ADHD or perhaps autism.
Later I found out that Josh himself has hypoglycemia (he gets cranky if he doesn’t eat due to low sugar levels)…

BUT, don’t stop building that loving relationship!

Before I start the list, I’d also like to add list two other pieces of advice that Josh mentioned that I thought was meaningful.
– Lead out of influence, not from your position (of authority). If you need to appeal to your position, you’ve already lost it.
– Don’t (just) quote scripture, live it!

Anddddddddddddd, that brings us to the 7 As…

Continue reading

Tea with gals

Meeting up with the gals, the full strength today and I thought I should bake since they have not tasted my cupcakes before!

I made chocolate cupcakes with coffee buttercream icing. So mocha we had for tea today! I cut the amount of sugar for the cupcakes since I intended to add the chocolate ganache in it. Overall, I like the espresso smell! and thank you, dear hubs for washing up so that I could go out with the gals!

Sat, I’ve learnt that…

– TCC’s coffee is pricier than Starbuck’s.
– Ebony & Ivory cake from Ms Clarity Cafe is too dry.
– There’s a baking supplies store @ 33, Seah Street.
– I’ve no interest in buying clothes, shoes or bags (this isn’t me…what has happened?)
– I think twice, no thrice, before forking out money now.

Most times, I love my work at HQ.

Because…
my colleagues are great! And sometimes jio me out for brekky at 6.15am! And if I cannot make it, yum yum would be delivered to my workstation.

my colleagues are so well-acquainted with food and recommend only the best ones to us.

my colleagues will willingly cover one another.
my bosses value work-life balance.
my favourite colleague has become my best friend!

Cherishing the remaining days at work.

Monday thoughts…random

I spent a part of the early morning surfing Le Cordon Bleu and the courses offered at the various campuses. This came about when I was thinking of what to bake for breakfast for the coming branch meeting and KL’s farewell. Of course, I was also curious about the lives of those who enrolled in the renowned culinary school and wanted to read up on them (unlike hubs who loves Sci-fi and fantasy & likes to send me Star Wars’ youtube links at which I could only roll my eyes). Then I came across a website about a chef and her story portrays the lives of many who turned to cooking/baking after a few years in their jobs – the hidden passion that is waiting to erupt.

I wish I have started early and that I have an oven to work with in my younger days. I found joy…and pain in cooking but more so in baking. Yesterday, I baked muffins but it turned out to be a total disaster and I was really sad for the rest of the day which affected hubs, so I was told (fact is, muffins are so easy to bake and to fail in it is totally unbelievable). But I was all the more eager to try again, but maybe not muffins (something is wrong with the proportion yesterday) as yet. =p

So I surfed. The course at Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo would cost about S$22K. Seems reasonable. But then I thought again, I have to learn Japanese and French since the classes are taught in these languages and living expenses is high in Tokyo and that option is really out of question.

Continue reading

What’s in my bag?

I’m feeling a little boh liao. Let’s take a peek into my bag.

Hmm. I have got Okashi’s baking book, 2 LeSportSac’s pouches which contain my cosmetics and electronic stuff respectively. Of course, my beloved iphone sits among them and my Lumix camera too! My white LV epi leather wallet has turned yellowish due to careless handling from the owner. Sigh!

Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Makes 12-15 cupcakes

400g carrot, peeled and grated (not too fine nor coarse)
150ml whole milk
150ml canola oil/ vegetable oil
3 whole eggs
240g caster sugar
300g plain (all-purpose) flour
20g baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees
2. Set aside cupcake casings on a baking tray.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated carrot, nilk, oil and eggs.
5. Mix with a whisk to combine.
6. Add in the sugar and nix briefly.
7. Add in the flour mixture and mix well.
8. Scoop the mixture into the cupcake casing up to about 3/4 full.
9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18 – 20 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
10. Remove from the oven, place it on a cooling rack and let it cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese at room temperature
60g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
2. Spread frosting on the cupcakes as desired.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12-15 cupcakes

100g unsalted butter
180g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 whole eggs
200g cake flour
60g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
220ml whole milk

Steps
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Set aside 12 cupcake casings on a baking tray.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Set aside.
4. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy at medium speed. Scrape down the batter in the bowl once in a while if necessary.
5. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
6. At a slow speed, alternately fold in the flour mixture and milk. Stop the mixing process.
7. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared cupcake casing no more than 3/4 full.
8. Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rck for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
9. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Chocolate Ganache

250g dark chocolate couverture
250g freshing whipping cream

1. Simmer the fresh whipping cream until it begins to start a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and pour the hot content into the bowl of dark chocolate couverture.
3. With a spatula, slowly stir the hot mixture until well combined.
4. Leave it aside to cool completely before using.

* To put the chocolate ganache filling in the cupcake, use a small knife and cut out a small circle int he centre of the cupcake. Fill the cupcake with ganache and cover back the cap of the cut out piece to the centre. Frost the cupcake with the buttercream recipe as below.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

250g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar
90g dark chocolate couverture
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Melt the dark chocolate couverture in the microwave or under hot water bath. Set aside.
2. In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl once in a while, if necessary.
3. Add in the melted dark chocolate couverture (make sure it’s not hot) and continue to beat until just well combined.
4. Buttercream is ready to use.

Coffee Buttercream Icing

150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
2 tsp instant espresso powder, dissolved in a small amount of hot water
350g icing sugar, sifted

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, milk, espresso mixture and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar to produce a buttercream of a creamy and smooth consistency.

Support this sustainable livelihood project!

Recently, Sharon shared with me about supporting a livelihood programme by purchasing a set of 100% handmade recycled paper greeting cards. This is to respond to the diverse needs of poverty & wholistic outreach to needy families in Southern Yunnan, China. The work provides employment & dignity for the needy & marginalized Hani minority womenfolk, & is a worthy cause. This tedious & labour-intensive recycled paper making & greeting cards making processes currently employs 8 workers. In the long run, the program aimed to employ more womenfolk in the remote villages, where the work can be brought over to the villages for them to work on.

Some of these women are widows, single mothers, or sole-bread winners, who are often abused/beaten by their husbands.

At $25 for a set of 12 cards (Thank You/Happy Birthday/All-Purpose), it comes with hand-pasted envelopes and nicely packed in a 100% Handmade Recycled Paper box.

While we are using e-cards more, there are definitely occasions when we still use the conventional greeting cards. If we do some mathematics, each of the handmade card costs about $2, much cheaper if we buy the commerical ones.

I don’t see why I won’t support.

If I am still teaching, I would use the cards to teach procedural text – the process of making recycled paper. On top of that, it’s also a great lesson to teach/learn about another culture, a minority group in Mainland China. Maybe when I go over there, I would take their pics and write about them, if this is permissible. It would be wonderful if they have their own folklore and that we could help them translate into English to create more awareness about this group of people.

If anyone of you is interested, you may order through Sharon at sleongsm@yahoo.com.sg or just contact me!

Our purchase of these green products will help these needy & marginalized women begin their journey from poverty to dignity.

=)

Hello! We’ve survived this week! Yahoo!

It was Bao’s birthday on Saturday and I thought the completion of the Kairos course was a great gift – knowing God’s heartbeat, our roles in His masterplan and the steps forward. I asked Bao a few nights before how he wanted to celebrate his bdae. No idea cos he didn’t feel that it’s any more special than other days. I concurred, coming from a background of not celebrating bdae, I don’t see why it is any special except for the fact that it brings about the realisation that I am a year older. So, in the end, after the course and a brief stay in the office for him to catch up on some work stuff, we went to 2am: dessertbar for Tiramisu and their potato chicken croquette (expensive). We decided to give the performance at the Botanic Gardens a miss, thinking it would rain since the sky was overcast and our souls were weary after a day of course. A pity though as it was a gift from Bao’s sister who wanted us to have a good time at the concert. =(

Carrot cake

Ingredients
500ml sugar
375ml vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
625ml all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups (500ml) grated carrots (approx. 4 large)
1 cup (250ml) golden raisins
1 cup (250ml) drained crushed pineapple (save the juice)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 13 x 9 inch (3L) cake pan with parchmentpaper.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together sugar and vegetable oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
4. Put grated carrots, raisins and drained pineapple in a large bowl. Fold in egg mixture until well blended. Fold in flour mixture until well blended.
5. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or unti la tester comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan.

Icing

Ingredients
125g cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
500ml icing sugar
1 tbsp (15ml) reserved pineapple juice

Steps
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add butter and continue beating until well blended. Beat an icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is smooth, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Add up to 1 tbsp pineapple juice to thin icing slightly.

Source: Trish Magwood’s Dish Entertains

=)

Lord, I commit today unto your hands. Grant me the strength, pls. It’s gonna be long. Help me through this day.

This was my prayer as I drove out from office for the school visit at 9am. 12 hours later, I’m thankful that He brought me through.

I’m tired. Perhaps more on the mental side. It didn’t help that the monthly affairs began its act today which caused me to be tired as well.

Thankfully, dad called and informed me not to visit mom in the afternoon as the relatives caught news of mom’s hospitalisation and planned on visiting her. I think I had better cancel my PM leave so that I could complete more work. I’m thankful that my boss had graciously allowed me to go off a little earlier to visit her in the evening. And after fetching dad from the dialysis centre, I was thankful that I survived the day.

I’m thankful that hubs was with me throughout this period, as with other situations. I wonder at times how life would be better for him if he had not married me. I had with me a plethora of problems and a lot of time was spent on them. He would be better off being by himself, going home after work and relaxing before the screen. 

I have to repeat – I’m thankful for his company. If not for him, I would really be awfully burdened, dwelling in my self-pity. At least, now, I have someone to share the burden with, a physical being. He has never, not even once, complained but lifted my spirits always. I’m not sure if I could call all these a coincidence but they came when I got together with Ken (Oh no! I’m not saying he brings bad luck!! ;p). The Lord must have known better. The timing… so apt.

I know my God supplies all my needs and He will continue to do so for eternity. And I know He will look after my family. Thank you, dear Lord.

I heart this Sunday!

It’s been a long time since I had my massage and after service, I went for it.  A new guy served me and his technique was different. He felt my neck and shoulder and exclaimed, “Wah! Very stiff! I am going to use more pressure and tell me if you cannot stand it.”

Unfortunately for him, I could. “Couldn’t really tell that you can tolerate the pressure by looking at you. So thin. You should eat more. You don’t have enough nutrients.”

I told him that I actually ate a lot but the weight didn’t go up. Stress could be the cuplrit so he said but then pointed out to me that I may have a big frame thus it was rather deceiving. But as a tui-na masseuse, he felt that  I was thin and then my body was just bones to him and not much of flesh/ fats (whatever).

Then he asked,”Do you have giddy spells?” I was surprised and told him I had a few such occasions and he revealed that my passageways were all clogged resulting in slow release of oxygen to the brain. Ohhhh…I see! And for the whole session, he was telling me that my shoulder was really stiff and that if I do not take care, I would end up like him who suffered from a numb shoulder from too much computer work which resulted in him quitting his desk-bound job so as to receive treatment. Ok. Noted.

So after the massage and a subsequent facial, I went out of the shop, intending to have lunch. There before me was hubs, grinning at me! Ah yo! He had been waiting for me! Actually I half-suspected he would come as he asked me a lot of questions about the timing of my massage and facial and receiving 3 text messages from him. In his hand was a straw. What the??? So childish. Hold straw for what? Then he fished out a can of coke from his pocket and presented to me! Oh my! (heart melted).

Japanese for lunch!

So hubs made this Sunday very pleasant indeed and to celebrate his birthday, I bought him a pair of running shoes which he used immediately when we ran at ECP for 10km. Sweltering! No joke running in such a weather!

I thought I should record the sweet things hubs, family member or any friend would do to us because we have a forgetful nature (esp for me). It’s so easy to dismiss the good things that they have done but strangely always remember the unpleasant incidents. Oh yah! Dad rushed to buy me coffee in the morning after knowing that I would leave for service soon. Very nice gesture. I’m touched!

Lynn, be grateful for little acts such as these and return all these kindness.

ham & mushroom muffins

3 1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup whole milk
1 egg
2 1/2 oz. smoked ham, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Makes 12 muffins

Steps:
1. Preheat oven 170 degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then fry onion and mushrooms until cooked. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
3. Put the flour, baking powder, and cheese in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and egg together, then pour into the flour mixture and beat with a handheld electric whisk.
4. Stir in the onion, mushrooms and chopped ham with a wooden spoon until evenly dispersed.
5. Spoon the batter into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until deep golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let the muffins cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Source: The hummingbird bakery cookbook.