Friday, February 20, 2015

Busy start of 2015

It's a super busy start for 2015 for me - Eunice started primary school and with me getting stressed out with all the lunch boxes idea, as well as the "processes" in the school - which are all new to me, and a few information nights/meetings/assessments, and we decided to sign Eunice up for swimming lesson after all the read up & surveying around, later came February for Eunice's birthday, Chinese New Year, etc.

I thank God for His strength for me to have all these finally settled and over, especially for Eunice's school stuff - it's more into the routine now. Even she knows when is the PE class to wear the right shoes, and when is the library day to bring her library bag and library book.

So I've been pretty busy cooking especially for all these events.

For Eunice's birthday, I steamed a chocolate cake for her when we had a dinner in my aunt's house. So it was a early celebration for her with my cousins (her beloved playmates). It was really yummy. I got the recipe from:, it's really easy and you don't even need a blender. The weather was rather warm on that day and we ate with vanilla ice cream, oh it was really very yummy!

Steam chocolate cake

And on Eunice's actual day of her birthday, I got a few of her little girl friends over just for a small party with the children. It's harder than I thought. Anyway I think they still had a good time (I hope!). I made an ice cream cake for the kids. And they loved it! A kid told me it's the best cake she's ever eaten - Wow! I believe kids don't lie. :)

For this cake, I got the recipe from: But I didn't follow exactly. I only mixed a tub of vanilla ice cream with frozen raspberries and chocolate chips, and topped with Eunice's choice of favorite berries. I think it looked fabulous!

A week before Chinese New Year, I got some time off from office and I decided to try the bak kwa recipe that I saw from It was so easy to make and it finished all in a day. However, I didn't make it again because cleaning up (the tray) is too much work. So, I only make it once. :D

Grilling in the oven

Looks pretty good after cutting up!

Chinese New Year is one culture that I'll surely want to keep and instill into my children. I made them say Gong Xi Fa Cai (ended up pretty hilarious with their aussie slang now), and cooked up a storm for our reunion dinner (or a storm was cooking instead). Nah, just being exaggerate. :P. I did cook up quite a bit for our reunion dinner, and we had it with two of our good friends from my hometown as this is their first CNY away from home. It was a good dinner. All the things that I cook are pretty easy - no, I didn't stay in the kitchen for 2 hours to cook all these. In fact, most of them are done quickly, and I still could run around for my errands and take a short power nap!

Roasted chicken. Recipe from:
4 steps:
1) Thaw and dry the chicken
2) Season with salt & pepper (inside the cavity as well)
3) Truss the chicken
4) Into the oven for 200C for 1 hour 15 minutes.

My mum does this for every festive season or celebration.
Just lightly fry the hard boiled egg with oil.
We call them 炸蛋 (sounds like bombs in mandarin).

I got the very fresh banana prawns from the supermaket here. Cleaning them up was most probably the task that took up most of my time. And I used the recipe from my favorite cooking website: Easy peasy and yummy yummy!

This was the first time I bought a whole fish ever since I came Aus. But I was very impressed that the fish from the fish pier outside my house is very very fresh, and it's not expensive too. Well, I just got a barramundi. The girls have not had steamed fish for a looooong time and surely ate a lot of them. Guess this dish will be a frequent dish on my dining table from now on.
5 easy steps:
1) Clean & dry the fish. Julienned the ginger and put on the fish & in the cavity.
2) Steam for 10 minutes (I poured away the water from the fish after steaming to avoid soil smell)
3) Put on fried garlic & garlic oil (pre-made)
4) Mix 1 tbsp soy sauce,  1 tbsp oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and hot water. Pour over the fish.
5) Garnish with chopped spring onions and chili.

Spring rolls! My friend made this so I have no recipe for this.

Lotus root soup with pork ribs by me. Just boil pork ribs (cleaned), lotus root (I bought frozen ones from Asian grocery) and red dates (seeds removed) for 1 hour. Yummy-licious!

Standard stir fried vegetables with scallops by friend.

Our Reunion Dinner

Dishes on our reunion dinner - I was pretty proud of myself!

EG was a happy happy man on the CNY eve. Food was very good and he was full until the next day (yeap, no kidding!). But I didn't put up any decoration or made any CNY cookies this year. I'll surely improve myself next year though he told me it's already very good this year. :). And of course we gave red packets to the children. And I am also impressed with Eunice's school - they have a 1 hour mandarin class on Monday and she told me, "Mummy, it's the year of Goat this year!". :)

So now my major cooking for this year is done - for now! Until the next event comes up. In the meantime, introducing my new member on my kitchen counter!
Introducing - PHILIP AIR FYER!

I am so excited! My friend's mum decided to let go of hers as she hardly used it, so I got it at a big discount. And now, I am looking for recipes to see how this beautiful baby can help me with my cooking, to serve more delicious food for my precious family. :)

Till then,