Monday 30 December 2013

Joyful 2014!

The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.Psalm 126:3.
This is my New Year wish, A Joyful New Year. I do not want it to be happy, for happy is only a fleeting moment, a temporal moment depending on circumstances and other people.

The word Joy comes from the Greek root word chara which means to be exceedingly glad. The bible says in James 1:2,"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds," Everyone of us, rich and poor, has trials in our lives. There are  much sadness,bitterness,betrayal and anger in our encountered trials, but why God wants us to consider it all  joy?
James 1:3-4 gives us a clue,"Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."This deep abiding joy comes when we persevere trials with God's help and our faith matures and is strengthened.

Joy is true contentment that comes from internal factor like our faith. So even in the midst of our lives of many ups and downs, joy is still present, giving you peace and contentment.

       A Joyful New Year to One And All!

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. This seems like a rude thing to do in a restaurant. Almost everyone was doing this in this famous roast goose restaurant. I don't think it helps to disinfect the cutlery but we did it for some fun while waiting for the food.

Sham Tseng Chan Kee Roast Goose (深井陈记烧鹅)

One Dim Sum(一点心)

Teochew style soon kueh

Mango and coconut roll

Mak's Noodle(麦奀雲吞麵世家) 

Hing Kee Claypot Rice (興記煲仔飯)

Oyster Pancake

Chicken and Sausage claypot

Australian Dairy

Scrambled Egg and Toast

Cold Egg White Pudding

Kam Wah Cafe

Chicken Wings

Flaky Egg Tart

Bo Lo Yau



 Garlic Prawns

Tai Cheong Bakery

Buttery Egg Tart

Eating good food is Happiness. Eating with our loved ones is Joy.  The joy of having eaten good food with our loved ones is cherished in our hearts forever.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

No Room For A Saviour

Gravlax is a Nordic dish of cured salmon and can be easily prepared at home. Many people will be so super impressed with you if you serve them a platter of this pretty and sophisticated hors d'oeuvres.  The steps are easy and quick to prepare, with minimal equipment and inexpensive ingredients.

Get a piece of freshest salmon you can find, rub equal parts of salt and sugar, any spices you like and add plenty of chopped dills. Wrapped in cling wrap and leave it for two to three days in the fridge.
Rinse the salt and dill off. Slice thinly and serve with a dressing, eat with rye bread or crackers. That simple, but so amazingly delicious. Good as sides with scrambled eggs or on salad too.

Do check out my other gravlax recipes here and here

Adapted from Bill Granger redon.line


3 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp white peppercorns
2 tsp black peppercorns
3 tbsp sea salt
800g side of salmon, with skin, trimmed
large bunch of dill, roughly chopped

Mustard dill dressing

1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
125ml light flavoured oil, such as sunflower (canola oil)
2 tbsp dill, chopped


  • Dry-toast the coriander and peppercorns in a frying pan over a medium heat, until fragrant.
  • Transfer to a mortar and pestle, and grind to a powder. Stir in the salt and sugar

  • Put the salmon, skin-side up, in a wide, shallow dish. Scatter with a third of the spice mix. 

  • Press a third of the dill on to the skin.

  • Turn the fish over and scatter with the rest of spice mix and the remaining dill.
  • Cover fish tightly with clingfilm and weigh down with a baking tray and some heavy tins.

  • Put in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, turning every 12 hours.
  • Unwrap the dish and brush the dill off the fish. Place salmon, skin-down, on a chopping board and carefully cave very thin, diagonal silvers of pink flesh.(rinsed)
  • For the dressing, whisk the mustard,sugar,salt and vinegar until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Whisk in oil, pouring it in a thin stream. Stir in the dill.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the salmon and serve with rye bread(crackers) 

Linking this post to Cook Like A Star 'Bill Granger' hosted by Zoe, Mich and Yen

No Room For A Saviour (Luke 2:1-8) (Expository File)

Luke records an important historical event that took place during the days of Caesar Augusta. Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem because it was time for enrollment. There was someone else that went with them that day. Mar was carrying the world's Saviour inside her. The city was crowded because many had come to be enrolled and there was no room in the inn for Joseph, Mary and our Savior.
today, the hearts of many are like that little inn of Bethlehem; crowded with sin; crowded with worldly cares,pleasures,prizes and pursuits; and crowded with human wisdom; so much so that they have no room for the Saviour in their lives. Jesus said,"Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any may hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).
Will you open the door of your heart and give the Saviour room in your life?

Thursday 12 December 2013

The Heavens Declare

I thought I am so over Bill Granger but no I am not. He is too good to be forgotten. Here is another one for you, Sticky Five Spice Pork Ribs.
This was shared by Yen and Amy too in Cook for A Star Nov/Dec.

These ribs were seasoned three days ago meant as dinner for three but never make it on the dining table. Now, I am roasting it as I am writing this post. The house is filled with a wonderful roasting aroma and I can't wait for it to be done. This is going to be a late lunch, not proper lunch per se. Just ribs and no sides. 

The ribs are done, they look good with nice colour and charred  bits, Ok, maybe slightly burnt colour, possibly from longer seasoning? Oh, they fall off the bone too! I kicked myself for not cooking some rice. These ribs are Asian flavoured, nice to go with rice.
I had 3 of these ribs above, kept the rest for dinner. I would rate this as good, consider the little effort done . Another keeper for tray bakes, Thumbs Up!

Sticky Five Spice Pork Ribs
Bill Granger

2 kg rack of pork ribs(1.2kg)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablspoons freshly grated root ginger
125ml soy sauce
125mlhoisin sauce
60ml honey
1 tsp five spice powde
2 tablespoons mild-flavoured oil, such as sunflower oil (didn't use)


  • Put the pork ribs in a baking dish then place all the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth, or simply stir together in a bowl to combine.(stir)
  • Pour all but a few tablespoons of this marinade over the ribs and rub well in then turn ribs meat-side down ready cooking. Put ribs and marinade in a bag and refrigerate in fridge.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C, and bake the pork ribs for 40 minutes, then turn them over. 
  • Brush with the reserved marinade before increasing the oven setting to 220C and cook for a further 10 minutes, or place on the bbq for the final 10 minutes to finish.

Linking this post to Cook Like A Star 'Bill Granger' hosted by Zoe of Bake for happy Kids,
Mich, Piece of Cake and Yen, Eat Your Heart Out.

I had an enjoyable holiday in China last week. Love the rustic villages, stunning mountains, beautiful valleys, magnificent gorges and, last but not least, skilful traditional folk arts.

The heavens declare the glory of God;the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

Thursday 28 November 2013

I will Praise God's name in Song

There is the Cantonese classic salt and pepper squid, and there is also the Mediterranean salt and pepper calamari. Both versions are hugely popular with diners all over the world. This version by Bill Granger from his book BIll's Basics is more to the Mediterranean style in taste and presentation.

I hardly do deep frying, and I loathe a greasy kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised there was no splattering when deep frying the squid.

 The trick to keep the squid tender is to coat in light batter and cook it quickly at a very high temperature. The deep fried cut chilli adds a nice touch and taste to the squid. You can also cooked fish, prawns, mushrooms or vegetables in this method. I used Swiss brown mushrooms together with the squid.

Salt and Pepper Squid
Bill's Basics
serves 4


180g cornflour
170ml soda water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
light flavoured oil for frying (sunflower)
500g squid, cleaned, cut into 6cm pieces and scored in a crisscross pattern(2 large frozen squid, 450g)
5 swiss brown mushrooms
1 red chilli, finely sliced
Lime wedges to serve (lemon)


  • Mix together 120g of the cornflour and the soda water to make a batter. Season the remaining cornflour with the salt and pepper.
  • Place a wok over medium high heat. Heat 5 cm oil in the wok until very hot.

  • Dust the squid in the seasoned cornflour and then dip in the batter. Fry in small batches until golden and crisp. Add the chilli for the last few seconds.

  • Drain on kitchen paper and serve the squid with lime wedges, fried red chilli and lots more sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve immediately. This was gone fast!  We enjoyed it very much, exactly like those in restaurants everywhere.

Linking this post to Cook Like A Star 'Bill Granger' hosted by Bake for Happy Kids, Piece of Cake and
Eat Your Heart Out.

This will be my last post for November Cook Like A Star 'Bill Granger'. I will be away on holiday starting today, and will be back for a short break before more travels around Christmas and late January.
Compliments of the season to all!


This is thanksgiving season, and God is the reason for our Hearts to be filled with Thankfulness.

I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

Monday 25 November 2013

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Aromatic almond fragrance wafts out from the kitchen and permeates the whole house as these tarts are baking in the oven. A very heavenly smell that makes you want to put the kettle on and make a cup of tea  regardless the time of the day, to enjoy these tarts. It has buttery crust, soft moist filling and nutty taste. Simply irresistible!

I was licking the spatula clean of the almond paste when I made the paste. The almond paste ingredients are processed in the mini food processor and later chilled in the fridge. I got this recipe many years ago and can't quite remember where was it from. I like this recipe because it yields a very soft and pliable paste. Any left over paste can be kept frozen for months.

I would prefer to use raspberry jam for its tart taste but I have only strawberry with me. I always use Dalfour brand of jam for all my bakes. I like that it is not too sweet and runny.

I made a mistake of filling too much, and it didn't look visually appealing as I think it  resembles a short coffee cake rather than a tart. I borrowed Lena's idea to add chopped  pistachio which is very nice, and if I were to make this again, it will be less filling and with extra pistachios.

Italian Almond Tart

1 rolled-out round of tart dough
1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 lb (225g) almond paste, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup sugar (1/8 cup)
2 eggs
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup raspberry,plum or cherry jam ( strawberry jam)
1/3 cup sliced almonds


  • Fold the dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9 1/2 inch tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom.
  • Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. 
  • Trim off any excess dough by gently running a rolling pin across the top of the pan.
  • Press the dough into the sides to extend it slightly above the rim to offset any shrinkage during baking.
  • Refrigerate or freeze the tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375F.
  • Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw short-grain rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then lift an edge of the foil.
  • If the dough looks wet, continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes, until the dough is pale gold, for a total baking time of 25 to 30 minutes. 
  • Transfer to a wire rack.
  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and reduce the heat to 300F.
  • In a bow, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a whisk, beat the butter until smooth. 
  • Add the almond paste, one piece at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. While continuing to beat, sprinkle in the sugar.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour.
  • Spread the jam evenly over the bottom of the partially baked tart shell. spoon in the almond paste mixture and spread evenly over the jam. Sprinkle the surface evenly with the sliced almonds.
  • Bake the tart until the filling is golden and the middle is firm to the touch, 35-45 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and let the tart cool completely. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, let the sides fall away, then slide the tart onto a serving plate.
  • Serve at room temperature.
Almond Paste

2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 egg whites
56g unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons almond extract, optional (did not use)


  • Add all ingredients in the food processor and processor until the mixture forms a soft ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Basic Tart Dough

1 egg yolk
2 tbs. very cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes.


  • To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour,sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.
  • To make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, stir together the flour,sugar and salt in the mixer bowl.. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together.
  • Transfer the dough to a wok surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.
Makes enough dough for one 9 1/2 inch tart, six 4 inch tartlets, twelve 2 inch miniature tartlets or one 133/4 by 4 1/4 inch rectangular tart. I made  three 5 inch tarts and two 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 rectangular tarts)

Linking this post to Bake- Along #55 hosted by Lena of Frozen Wings, Joyce of Kitchen Flavours, and Zoe of
Baking for Happy Kids.

Totally Transformed! Sunday School Children's Camp Day 3
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14)

The Lord Jesus does not like it when people are proud of their achievements and status. He does not like it when people are self-righteous and look down on others. He tells that everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Jesus was directing the parable at people who were self-righteous and looked down on  everybody else. They thought of themselves as better than others. In the parable, the Pharisee thanked God he was not like the robbers, evildoers and adulterers.. and even the tax collector who was also praying in the temple at the same time. In his prayer, the Pharisee bragged about he fasted twice a week and gave a tenth of all he has. While the tax collector recognised and acknowledged his sin and he humbly asked God for mercy.
Let's humble ourselves and be TOTALLY TRANSFORMED1

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted Luke 18:14

Saturday 23 November 2013

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Coq au vin is a classic French dish. It is chicken cooked in wine. The chicken is typically braised in red wine, lardon, mushrooms and shallots. It is a slow cooking rustic dish, and I had this once in a cafe in France. Although this dish is typically cooked in red wine, many regions of France have variants of coq au vin cooked in local wine.

Australian chef Bill Granger has cleverly adapted and twisted this classic to his style of cooking, simple and straightforward.  I highly recommend this dish to you if you like tray bakes like me. This cheat version has all the flavour of a classic coq au vin though the taste is different. This is a dish you want to cook for a fuss free entertaining at home.

You eat this with baguette to sop up the juices and it is good with potato mash. The Creme Fraiche Mash, also by Bill Granger is another mash recipe you might want to try. If you never whip your mashed potatoes, you ought to try whipping it with hot melted butter and milk.  The mash is so much lighter, smoother and creamier.

Coq Au Vin
Saturday Kitchen Best Bites
serves 4


For the Coq Au Vin

1.5 kg chicken, jointed  (2 thighs and 7 drumsticks)
150g diced bacon or lardons (100g bacon)
10 french shallots, peeled (local shallots)
A few thyme sprigs ( 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 rosemary sprig
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
3 tbsp olive oil
250ml white wine
small knob of butter
350g mixed mushrooms (300g oyster,shitake and swiss brown)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
small handful chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

For the Creme Fraiche Mash

800g potatoes, peeled and chopped
150ml milk
25g butter
110g creme fraiche or 110ml single cream
sea salt to taste


  • Preheat oven to 220C. Arrange the chicken pieces in a large roasting tin and scatter with the bacon,shallots,thyme,rosemary and chilli flakes. 
  • Season to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Drizzle the contents of the roasting tray with two tabelspoon of the olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

  • When the chicken has been roasted, add the wine to the tin and cook for another 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  • Heat the butter and remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for 33-5 minutes. 
  • Tip the mushrooms and garlic into the tin and scatter with the parsley.

  • Meanwhile, for the creme fraiche mash, boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water until tender.
  • Remove from the heat, drain well and return to the hot pan.
  • Mash the potatoes until smooth.
  • Heat the milk and butter in a smal pan over a medium heat, until the butter has melted (do not allow the mixture to boil). Beat the hot butter and milk into the potatoes, then fold in the creme fraiche or cream.
  • Season to taste, with sea salt.

Linking this post to Cook Like A Star 'Bill Granger' organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids,

Totally Transformed! Camp Day 2
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:21-35)

Peter had asked the Lord Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who has sinned against him. To answer his question, the Lord Jesus told the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.
"I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." Matthew 18:22

The king showed mercy to his servant who owed him a huge debt, but the servant was unforgiving of his fellow servant who owed him a small debt. God commands us to forgive our brothers seventy times seven (countless). We must forgive others as God has forgiven us. We must forgive them again and again, just as God always forgives us when we confess our sins to Him.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

As Christians or followers and disciples of Jesus Christ, we are a forgiven people;we have experienced God's forgiveness for all our sins ;we must therefore be forgiving to others. If we have experienced God's mercy and grace; we should then experience a transformed heart that is full of mercy and grace to others. That is why we must be forgiving towards those who have done us wrong and hurt us; that is why we must keep on forgiving them. That is what it means to be transformed by God. So let's forgive others and be TOTALLY TRANSFORMED!

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