Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tiddalik the Thirsty Frog at the Melbourne Museum + Giveaway!

Product Talk by Nuffnang.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid sponsored post.

During the school holidays, we were given complimentary tickets to the Melbourne Museum to check out a performance featuring a Victorian aboriginal creation story, Tiddalik the Thirsty Frog. This was a live stage performance by the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre in collaboration with Ilbijerri Theatre Company.

I was excited! This was my first ever true taste of aboriginal storytelling. Having grown up in Malaysia, I know just very little (if anything) about the Australian history and culture. I must admit, I was nervous at the start. My own children will be starting school, and soon there will be endless questions to answer! My husband was born and bred in Australia, but he has NEVER heard of Tiddalik.....(gulp).

I packed all three kids in the car, nearly 2, nearly 4 and nearly 6 years old and explained that we were going to the museum to see Tiddalik. And as I was going to explain who and what it is all about, my nearly 6 spilled out EVERYTHING he knew about the thirsty frog. He learnt about it at kinder the year before. Now, I'm glad someone was paying attention!

Tiddalik tells the story of the Gunai people of Gippsland, Victoria. It's about a greedy frog that has drunk all the water in the land, all by himself, leaving the other animals and plants dry and withering. They needed to find a way to get the water back. It sends an important message about water conservation.

Uncle Herb played his gum leaf. There were lots of dancing, laughing and clapping.

The stage set up was bright and colourful, and the actors were so lively and engaging! The kids sat through 20 minutes of it all, with lots of laughter, dancing and clapping!

Now, if you would like to see Tiddalik, you have to be at the museum RIGHT about now. Unfortunately, today is the LAST day for the performance as part of the school holiday program. So I could not offer you a free ticket to watch Tiddalik. BUT. There are JUST SO MANY things to see and do at the Melbourne Museum. So if you would like to win a free adult pass to the Museum worth $10, (kids enter for free!) do read on.

The Melbourne Museum is one place you would bring the kids back again and again. There's just so much to do, and always too little time. Every little space has so much to explore. The dinosaur walk was one of the highlights of our trip.

Whooaahh dinosaur bones!!

The kids also checked out the dynamic earth, evolving over 600 million years in funky 3D glasses. It was such a stunning exhibition, they were immersed in the formation of the earth, and surrounded by active volcanoes!

Then it was off to the children's gallery, where there were just SO much to keep the kids entertained both inside and outside. The kids played hopscotch, hula hoops, stacked up blocks, skipped ropes and so much more. Now this is the one place you have difficulties getting your kids to leave!

It was such an enjoyable outing and I am sure we will be back for more in the near future.

Give Away – 1 Adult Entry to Melbourne Museum

Thanks to Nuffnang and the Melbourne Museum, I have an additional pass for an adult entry to the Melbourne Museum, valid until 30th of June 2012. To enter:

  • Leave a comment below and tell me what kind of dinosaur you would like to be and why.
  • The giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
  • If outside of Melbourne you must be able to use the pass by 30th of June 2012.
  • You may only enter once.
  • Entries close at 5pm AEDST 12th Feb 2012.
  • Good luck!

Fine print:

Excludes special exhibitions and events.
Not valid with any other offer. Not redeemable for cash.
Open daily 10am – 5pm (closed Good Friday)

Cost: Additional entry prices to Melbourne Museum – Adults are $10, children and concessions are free!

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Saturday, 28 January 2012

Perfecting the Pasta Recipe and Making Fresh Egg Noodles

Hubby says that I have to use the pasta maker attachment 500 times to make it worth while. So I am nearly 1% there. I am honestly in love with this little extra helper in my kitchen. I don't know, there's something about playing with flour and dough. Seeing all that transform into silky smooth sheets of dough and long oodles of noodles. So I am happy. 500 times? Oh yeah, we'll get there some day.

Having tried and tested a few basic pasta recipes, I've settled on one from Gary Mehigan and George Colambaris' book: Your Place Or Mine?

200g Strong Plain Flour (00)
2 large eggs
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Water

And this will feed 2 people. A nice and easy recipe to remember.


As a child growing up in Malaysia, on the first day of Chinese New Year, I would wake up to a cloud of sweet warm heady aroma of garlic fried in oil and tumble out of bed to a breakfast bowl of steamy heart warming mee suah soup - delicate, silky smooth strands of fine wheat noodles for longevity and health. And each bowl has a red egg, a symbol of luck and prosperity.

Now having children of my own, I am trying my absolute best to uphold and honour this tradition. Long oodles of noodles for longevity! It may not necessarily be mee suah (some noodles are better store bought!), one year it was spicy Taiwanese noodles and the other year it was Maggi 2 minute noodles (only joking grandmother!). And each bowl MUST have a red egg in it.

So this year, we had home made egg noodles in a clean chicken broth, shredded chicken breast, shittake mushrooms, fried garlic AND a red egg.

(Funnily enough, I did not take a photo of the CNY noodles.)


My sister in law suggested we made yet another type of noodle, Pan Mee or some call it Mee Hoon Kueh. We ate this as little kids in hawker centres back in Malaysia! So we googled the recipe online (after trying to decipher her mom's recipe over the phone - a pinch of this and a handful of that!) and we came across this (click click). The dough recipe works and I'm keeping it for next time! I used this exact same recipe for the egg noodles too. It's pretty similar to mom's.

Mee Hoon Kueh
Adapted from Cooking Crave

Dough Recipe

250g plain flour
1 egg
100 ml
1 tbsp cooking oil
pinch of salt

I threw everything into the KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook on and let it mix for about 10 minutes or so. Then I took it out and knead gently with my hands and shaped it into a ball. I wrap the dough with some cling film and let it rest for about an hour.

You can read the rest of the recipe HERE.

I hope you are all enjoying your holidays and eating lots of yummy Chinese New Year goodies! Enjoy the weekend!

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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Happy Australia Day!

Australia celebrates its National Day today. And so did we. Nothing says it better than some good ol' snags on the barbie (except hubby didn't feel like cleaning the barbie, so we did it on the stove!), cold beer and thongs. And oh, pavlova of course!

Zucchinis from the garden. Scroll down to see where it came from!

Brown sugar pavlova with fresh cream, raspberries and coulis.

And here's a bit of weirdness from the garden. The zucchini that we ate for dinner today was part of this giant monster. Just over 3 kgs, it weighs just about the same as Lily when she was born and half a meter in length! Crikeyyyy!

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Something I Made...

Photo A Day|Day 25

This is a dolly that I made some time ago. Look at Lily, she was sooo tiny then! And can you see how contented she was with her little dolly friend? Anyways, this little dolly has found a new home and I promised Lily that I would make her another one......

3 other dollies came and went. Didn't think they would be SO popular!

(Look! She's got the same mohawk!)

Hush little baby go to sleep... mummy will make you another dolly someday.

(I did not buy a sewing machine to just make 4 dollies.... or did I??) Best Blogger Tips

Reflections: The year that went by...

Cunningham Pier, Geelong Waterfront.

Year 2011 was a BIG year for us. It was eventful, challenging, emotional and life changing.

In February, we moved homes. It was one of the most arduous and challenging tasks yet. Packing up our lives in boxes, moving and then unpacking. 3 kids in tow...

In April and May, we celebrated ALL 3 kids' birthdays all within a week of each other. 3 birthday bashes, 3 birthday cakes. Just the thought of April creeping up is enough to make me shake in my boots!

June: we started renovating our kitchen and dining area. We ripped up the old and tired slate tiles, sold our existing kitchen on eBay, laid down new floors and got myself a brand spanking new kitchen. Yeah, baby!

My father in law was diagnosed with liver cancer in September. It was a tough battle, no doubt a short one. He passed away in November. It was an emotional roller coaster ride for the entire family. We missed him so dearly!

December was such a busy month. The boys started swimming lessons again, there were kinder breakups, school transitions, orientations, concerts and parties. Christmas and New Year whizzed by in a few blinks. It was quiet...but peaceful.

In just under 2 weeks, my biggest baby will be going to school. What a milestone! And my 2nd baby will be at kinder twice a week. Lily, it's you and me babe, we are going to do BIG things together!

2012 awaits us... bigger and bolder dreams, greater challenges. Bring it on! Best Blogger Tips

Monday, 23 January 2012

Reunion Dinner 2012

This year, Gary and I are honoured to host the family Chinese New Year reunion dinner - a Chinese tradition, where family members gather round to eat and usher in the new year.

We started dinner with lo hei – which is a celebration where everyone gathers around a special salad called yu sang. Everyone uses their chopsticks to help toss the salad, lifting up the ingredients as high as possible, as a symbol of great prosperity in the new year.

Then came the feast, a home made banquet that was really sensational! It was a joint effort, between my mother in law and myself, my dear sister in law Ching Mei and brother Kelvin. We had abalone soup, braised sliced abalone and sea snails (hmmm... an Asian delicacy??), braised shitake mushrooms with oysters and fat choy, curry chicken, sang choy bao, roast duck, roast belly pork with a crispy crackling and pan fried prawns. It was delicious! We ended the night on a sugar high: a lychee dessert plate - Lychee and white nectarine salad on a frangipane tart, home made lychee ice cream, lychee jelly and lychee macarons.

We ate and ate - until our bellies hurt and our hearts deliriously happy.

Here's wishing my dear family and friends, my (Chinese) readers near and afar a Happy Chinese New Year! May the year of the Dragon bring in to you all good fortune, good health and prosperity. Gong Xi Fa Cai!!

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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sweet As...

Day 19|Sweet

Pistachio Cream Macaron

I haven't got a picture for today but I thought I'd point you back to one of my favourite post. It's one of the rare occasions that they actually turned out not bad!

So click click HERE to read the whole post.

With the Chinese New Year lurking around the corner, I have my egg whites separated and I'm thinking... NO pineapple tarts this year, but how about some pineapple macarons?

Citrus and Candy has some serious sweet eye candy, as well as some heart throb dessert happening, so why not hop on over that way and tell her I sent you?

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Cookbook Junkie

Day 18|Confessions of a cookbook junkie...

There are things that I can't live without and cookbooks are one of them. I have such a soft spot for recipe books and can never EVER resist buying a book that I like. And whether I've outgrown them, or exhausted their lines, they still sit comfortably on my shelf, holding pages full of sweet and delicious memories.

Do you know that you can publish your own recipe books nowadays, at the comfort of your own home? And it's dead easy...

Check out Photobook Worldwide's Readybooks, they are free to download, and it has all the templates and designs ready. Just insert your favourite recipes and pictures!

Will you buy my cookbook if I have one? Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

34 degrees...

Day 17|Water

It has been hot these past couple of days. The swimming pool has been a real treat. Boy am I glad that the theme for today's photo challenge is "Water". Because we did play with a lot of water today.

(I think I shall skip Day 16|Morning... I am obviously not a morning person. Mornings {on a school holiday} are for sleeping in...)

If you are wondering what all this is about, Chantelle over at Fat Mum Slim is hosting a Photo A Day Challenge for January. And I thought it would be fun to join in. If you are doing this challenge too, feel free to leave your link here. I would love to hop over to have a peep at your photos... :)
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Monday, 16 January 2012

Happiness is...

Day 15|Crepes with homemade strawberry ice-cream, strawberry coulis, fresh strawberries and cream.

I was at the shops the other day, wanting to buy some fresh strawberries to make ice-cream. Yes, home made ice cream! The ice-cream maker was my other evil post-boxing day sales splurge. Anyways, I digress. Strawberries are in season right now and they are so cheap at the shops. I couldn't help myself to a box of strawberries for $6! There was at least.... 6 kilos in there.

So, what did I do with the box of strawberries? There was plenty for ice cream. I made strawberry jam, strawberry sauce, strawberry and white chocolate muffins (that I forgot about, left in the oven for an hour at 200 was burnt to a crisp!), the kids ate bowls after bowls of strawberries (they had strawberry poo...yuck!). And there's still some left in the fridge. We are all strawberry-ed out!

I declared love at first sight with these crepes, one of Poh's recipes from her book Poh's Kitchen.

I love the texture of the gorgeous folds of thin silky crepe, even more luscious paired with the ice cream and strawberry coulis. Heavenly! I've declared that I love them more than regular pancakes now. The batter is quite thin, not too floury and you only need one small dollop at a time. Makes it all OK to have more than one crepe in the one serving! And the vanilla hit...mmmm. It goes so well with the strawberries.

Crepe batter (makes about 8 crepes)


40g plain flour
2 large free range eggs
190ml whole milk
pinch of salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
butter, softened to grease the pan

1. Pop a non-stick pan on low heat to begin warming.

2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk until silky smooth.

3. Ladle about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan, greased with a little butter, roll it around to cover the surface of the pan. When the edge crisp up and turn a little golden, it is perfect to flip it over to cook on the other side, just for a few seconds.

4. You should end up with crepes that are about 1mm thick and a little translucent.

Let Lachie show you how it is best eaten!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
(Adapted from Cuisinart website)


3 cups fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 cup sugar, divided
1-1/4 cups whole milk
2-3/4 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours. Strain the berries, reserving juices. Mash or purée half the berries.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, reserved strawberry juice, mashed strawberries, and vanilla.

3. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved sliced strawberries and let mix in completely.

4. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Strawberry Jam
Adapted from


  • 3kg strawberries, hulled, halved
  • 3kg white sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon


  1. Wash and sterilise jars and lids. Place strawberries in a saucepan and stir through sugar. Leave for 1-2 hours while sugar softens the fruit.

  2. Add juice then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fruit is soft.

  3. Remove 1/3 of fruit. Set aside. Cook remaining mixture until fruit is mostly dissolved and jam coats the back of a spoon. Divide reserved fruit between the jars then fill with jam. Allow to cool,then seal with lids.

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