Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Cakes by Jessica

This is an amazing work of art by a very talented young lady. She is a dietitian by profession, a friend close to the family, who used to work with Gary's parents in the restaurant. This is the second cake I've seen made by her, and again I was mesmerized by her creations! She baked this cake in her very own home kitchen, would you believe?

You would have remembered the wedding that I attended a couple of weeks ago, the gorgeous pair of sugar teddy bears that were stars of the wedding. They were completely handcrafted and completely edible. So are the flowers, each petal skillfully crafted.

The top tier of this cake was an orange sponge with homemade marmalade and chocolate ganache. The bottom tier was a lemon butter cake, with lemon curd and buttercream. It was delicious!

If you are getting married and looking for wedding cakes or cakes for any other occasions, I would highly recommend Jessica! She is definitely at par with the professionals and is committed to creating that special cake to suit your needs and occasion.

For her details, do email me at
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Sunday, 27 September 2009

Lost in Yours

These eyes will have you mesmerized, day after day. And look at those long, thick, black lashes. Aren't you squirming now with jealousy? Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, 26 September 2009


Winners are grinners!

It was such a close game. 5 minutes left, and scores were even. Daddy was yelling out. Mummy was hiding behind the pillow. Then they scored! And then we were all screaming and jumping!

Lucas must be wondering what's going on...

New words today: GO CAAAAAAAAA.... (GO CATS!) and Geyong (Geelong).

Well, loosers must come marching home.
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Thursday, 24 September 2009

Footy Wars

We love our neighbours, we really do. But this week, we are at war!

You see, we are passionate about our footy and being married to a full-fledged CAT supporter is like being married to the Geelong Football Club. We've all been brainwashed. 1.5 year old included.

Our neighbours support the Saints. And coming this Saturday, we'll be playing at the Grand Finals.

Hence, we've declared war.

So we have red, black and white streamers on our garden fence compliments of our dear neighbours, and they have a blue and while flag that says "GO CATS" flapping at their front gate.

And oh, bet you didn't see that little sticker at the back of your car, neighbour! :)

Good Luck. You will need lots of it this weekend. :)

GO CATS!!!!!!

*Photo from the Geelong Best Blogger Tips

Monday, 21 September 2009

A Wedding at Park Hyatt

It was a lovely day, a little overcast with bursts of sunshine, a perfect setting for a garden wedding at the Park Hyatt, Melbourne. E & C tied the knot.

Now, E & C, the two little cute teddy bears that they are, are not exactly completely edible sugar cake toppings (which by the way, are the most amazing work of art by a friend, whose creations are at par with professionals!) They're endearing family members, C is big brother to my sister-in-law who is married to Gary's younger brother.

Their marriage was solemnized in a simple yet elegant garden ceremony, a wedding any girl would dream of. I was truly happy for the cute little couple.

A snapshot of Gary & I, in the gardens just after the ceremony. It was a little chilly, I had my jacket on.

This is one of my favourite, a picture of me and my both sets of parents.


Confit of Duck Leg
with spring rolls, caramelised apple, baby herbs and sweet corn shot

Main Course:

Roasted Top Sirloin Au Poivre
with wild mushroom and wilted spinach

Served alternately with

Grilled Barramundi
with mussel and pepper caponata and preserved lemon couscous


Chocolate Manjari Dome, almond brittle and gold leaf

L-R: Gary, Grace, Guaran, Chai, MIL, FIL, Dad, Mom.
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A Little Hiatus...

Some of you might have noticed my little hiatus from the blogosphere of late, and I can't thank you enough for your emails, kind thoughts and lovely wishes. There are a few things happening right now, the reasons I shall reveal a little later on. Time is difficult to come by.

So keep checking back every now and then. I have a few things coming up, you might not want to miss it!
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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Day Dadda Took Them Swimming

And he survived it.
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Hens Night: Princess & Providore

Last weekend, I was invited for a Hen's Night hosted by a good friend of mine LY and Princess & Providore. The Princess and the Providore is a business partnership specializing in regional Italian culinary classes, olive and hazelnut oils.

This is by far one of the most unique Hen's I've attended, a tasteful and "refined" affair. Not that I was expecting a male stripper or anything revolving around a pole. No really. But olive oil tasting, learning all about taste, cooking with olive oils is really my thing. The closest thing we got to naughty was when the bride to be quizzed us in Italian, what an "Italian Kiss" was, which I shall not write about any further.

The itinery for the night:

Tasting the difference between a good olive oil and everything else not, was a real eye opener. I don't think it will ever be the same again. Really, I didn't know the olive oil I was using on my salad was rancid! The balance of taste and aroma, the fruitiness and piquancy all play an important role.

One last thing worth a mention, the Blood Orange and caramel pie, served with a dollop of chocolate ice cream. Oohh, it was near orgasmic (but only second best to an Italian Kiss!). OK, I was just being a little naughty, it was a Hen's afterall!

*LY and I met at Box Hill Hospital Emergency department. We were both working there as ED residents. We introduced ourselves to each other and having found out that we were both originally Malaysians, we chatted away like long lost friends. And we haven't stopped!

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Saturday, 12 September 2009

Just Me & My Lucas

My parents are here for holidays. They're staying with my brother's family just in the next suburb. One day last week, Lachie wanted to spend some time with them, a house we now call our second home. I happily obliged. Lucas and I went home and did our own things.

Lucas had a nap and I slept too, next to his cot. We slept holding hands. Then we woke up and snuggled on the couch and watched TV. Lucas with his head nuzzled against my breast, I tickled his tummy. We read books. We scribbled on his doodle pad. We stacked blocks and played games. Aahhh... it was a great feeling. I missed spending time with my second born child, just one on one. Just me and my Lucas.
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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Whole Orange and Almond Cake

This cake was a big hit at the Father's Day party we had last weekend.

I remember watching Better Homes and Gardens on TV a couple of years back, Karen Martini made a scrumptious looking cake using whole oranges. I've been wanting to try it out but didn't have a food processor then. So last week, when I was planning the menu for the weekend, I searched the Internet for a recipe like that. I was pleasantly surprised. It looked so simple, just 5 ingredients and the steps looked relatively easy. The process of cooking the whole oranges may seem a little lenghty, but truly the intense flavour of the citrus in the end product is worthwhile. And if you wish, you could always do it in advance and let it cool and then refrigerate for until you're ready to use.

I put together this recipe, from the March 2007 edition of Better Homes and Gardens and a few other recipes from the net. The recipes all vary in the ratio of eggs and almond meal, but the basic ingredients are pretty much all the same.


3 whole oranges
150g castor sugar
250g almond meal
6 eggs
1 tablespoon plain flour (optional)
1/2 tsp baking powder

Note: If you like a sweeter cake, you can put in a little more sugar. The original recipe calls for 300g sugar (and 350g almond meal). The flour gives the cake a firmer, less crumbly texture. This can be omitted if you want a gluten-free cake. Don't forget also to use a gluten-free baking powder.


1. Wash and scrub the skins of the oranges, and place them whole (skins and all) into a pot. Cover with cold water. Place over high heat and bring it to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Drain the oranges and refresh the water and repeat the process again 3 times. This is so that the oranges don't end up reabsorbing the bitterness that has seeped into the water. The boiling process took about an hour, some recipes call for simmering the oranges up to 2 hours.

2. Drain and let the oranges cool to about room temperature. Quarter the oranges and remove any seeds and pith. Place oranges in a food processor and blend until a fine puree. Add in eggs, almond meal, flour (if using), baking powder and sugar. Process until well combined and somewhat smooth.

3. Pour into a lined, 23cm round baking tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees celcius for 50 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean.

4. Cool cake in the pan completely before removing. It is best to leave the cake overnight to allow the flavour to intensify even further.

5. Serve with candied orange peel or an orange glaze if preferred. The cake was unbelievably delicious just on its own. So moist, it's almost like a baked custard or a pudding rather than a cake.

It has definitely made its way to our family's favourite dessert list. It didn't last very long, I had to yell out for someone to take a picture of the cake before it disappears! Best Blogger Tips

Guess Who's Back?

Yesss! Mom's Hokkien Noodles. They're back!
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Sunday, 6 September 2009

Father's Day

This year for Father's Day, I wanted to do something special. What's even more special is that my Father is here with us from Malaysia. I gathered all the dads in our extended family, 6 altogether and a soon-to-be daddy and we had a Father's Day party! When the family gathers round, there's always lots of chatter, laughter, fun and great food, lots and lots of food!

I wanted just a casual, laid back barbie. Just hanging out and eating all day. But since mom is here too (she's a fantastic cook by the way), I thought it's the perfect opportunity for me to request for some of my favourite Malaysian dishes.

On the menu today:


Acar Awak - a classic Nyonya or Peranakan mixed vegetable relish, pickled in vinegar, tumeric and chilli and tossed with roasted ground peanuts and sesame seeds.

Mee Siam - literally translate to "Siamese Noodles", but this version of Mee Siam is also from a Nyonya origin. It's fried thin rice noodles with prawns, bean curd, bean shoots and a slightly sweet, slightly sour, slightly spicy sauce.

Gado-Gado - Inspired by one of my Indonesian friends and cos lettuce from my organic garden, this is a vegetable salad served with a peanut sauce dressing.

Steamed Radish Cake - This was made by my sister-in-law, on my special request. It's a savoury steamed cake or kuih made with grated radish and rice flour, with the loveliest, lightest, soft texture, topped with crunchy fried shrimps and shallots.



Roast Baby Potatoes with rosemary and garlic

On the grill: Steaks, Sausages, Chicken Wings, Prawns


Pandan Chiffon Cake

And a lovely Whole Orange and Almond cake. (This cake deserves a blog post on its own!)

Mmmm... it was a feast fit for our favourite daddies.

Happy Father's Day to our dadda Gary, who always give us his best (and who did ALL of the cleaning up). You are one of a kind and we love you!
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Friday, 4 September 2009

Swimming Scramble

Tuesday mornings, I take the boys swimming. Lachlan goes for his 1/2 hour swimming lesson, while I jump into the pool with Lucas for his tot's lesson. I never really believed in tot's lesson anyways, it's merely an introduction to the water. Something I could do with him without paying someone else to do it for me. But Lachy did it when he was a tot, and I didn't want my second child to feel left out. Hmmm... anyways.

We're a family of sleep-ins, just in case you haven't noticed. 7am is definitely too early for me, 8am is when I wake up and 9am is when the boys get out of bed if I'm lucky. Just imagine what it would be like when they're school age. Oh dear.

So our swimming lessons are at 10am. The boys get up, have a quick bite of breakfast, get changed and we hop into the car. We get there on time. I walk Lachlan to his class, drop him off and the take Lucas to his class. I hop in with him.

10.30am I jump out of the pool with Lucas, grab our towels. Run over to Lachlan's class. Throw him his towel and pretend he knows how to dry himself. Then all three of us titter totter to the change room. We share a shower, with one hundred other moms and kids (OK I exaggerate). We have a quick wash. Then we squeeze ourselves into a tight corner. I try to battle Lucas down to putting his nappy on, drying his toes, putting 3 layers of clothes on (hallelujah winter is over!), socks and shoes, all these while instructing Lachy to dry himself, put his underpants on, clothes etc. Usually he gets to one leg of his pants, trips over, gets his clothes wet, thinks it's oh so funny, rolls himself on the change room floor why not since he's already wet again. It's a battle.

Me? Still dripping wet from my quick shower. But wait, it's not over. Now, when both boys are dry dressed, it's my turn to get dressed. And usually, I have a time limit. Of sometimes a banana or a muesli bar. It's like watching a ticking bomb. When the time is up, Lucas will try and squirm himself off the bench, Lachy will not stop whining for more food. It is mental madness! When it's all over, I give myself a big pat on my back and a huge sigh of relieve. I think it's heroic what I did...

Until I see the lady next to us, with four kids, all under the age of 4! O.o Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Asia Pacific Blog Awards

So, for the first time this year, I decided I might try my luck on a bloggie award. What do you think?

Nuffnang is hosting their first ever, Asia Pacific Blog Awards to honour the best in the blogosphere and also in recognition of their second anniversary. This will be celebrated in true red carpet fashion, a grand gala event in Singapore on the 23rd of October 2009. Nuffnang, along with their sponsors will be giving 400 bloggers and their guests a chance to walk the glamorous red carpet to a glitzy gala dinner at the Pan Pacific Singapore Grand Ballroom. This includes airfares and accommodation for the 3 days and 2 nights affair.

Every time, when the bloggy awards season approaches, I always have a list of my favourite blogs to nominate. Best Parenting Blog, Best Food Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Best Photography Blog, Best Hidden Gem! etc. And I would support them with my nominations and voting. The nominations for the inaugural Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards are now open. Do you think I can make the cut this year?

Well if you do, hop over to the awards page and fill in the nominations! You don't need to register, all you have to do is to provide them with your name, contact number, country of origin and email. Nominate! I promise you a blogful of love and eternal gladness!

Don't I have any shame left in me? ;)
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