Thursday, 16 April 2015

What is Impossible With Man

Last year I received a Jamie's 30 Minute Meals cookbook from my daughter. My plan was to attempt to cook the entire whole meal from the book. I am not taking the 30 minute challenge but to go slow and take my time to enjoy the cooking process.

This Chicken Pie recipe is part of the meal taken from the book. In the book, the Chicken Pie is served with French Style Peas, Sweet Carrot Smash and Berries, Shortbread and Chantilly Cream.

The pie was shared by 3 and all of us enjoyed it very much. We like the hearty, smooth and crusty pie and it is really a comforting dish to eat.

Chicken Pie
serves 4
Jamie's 30 Minute Meal

4 x 180g skinless chicken breast (5 skinless, boneless chicken thigh)
a knob of butter
a bunch of spring onions
150g button mushrooms
1 heaped tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons English mustard (Dijion mustard)
1 heaped tbsp creme fraiche (cooking cream)
300ml organic chicken stock
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1/3 of a nutmeg, for grating (omitted)
1 sheet of pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg


  • Put the chicken breasts on a plastic board and slice into 1cm strips.
  • Put a lug of olive oil and knob of butter into the hot, large, wide pan.
  • Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes or so. 
  • Meanwhile, quickly trim the spring onions and wash the mushrooms, then slice together in the food processor (manually)
  • Add to the pan with 1 heaped tablespoon of flour and stir. Add 2 teaspoons of mustard, 1 heaped tablespoon of creme fraiche and 300ml of chicken stock and stir well.
  • Pick the thyme leaves and stir into the pan with a few fine gratings of nutmeg and a good pinch of salt and pepper(to taste). Leave to simmer
  • Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and unroll the sheet of puff pastry. Use a small to lightly criss cross and score it. Take the pan of chicken off the heat. Tip the filling into an ovenproof baking dish slightly smaller than the sheet of pastry (30 x 25cm). Cover the filling with the pastry sheet, tucking it in at the edges. 
  • Quickly beat the egg, then brush it over the top of the pie. Put into the oven and cook on the top shelf for around 15 minutes, or until golden and gorgeous.

Note: This Chicken Pie was done in about 25 minutes. A very fast and delicious meal! I will definitely cook this again, with the suggested sides and dessert to complete the meal.

This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up 'Chicken' hosted by Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe, organised by Doreen of My little favourite DIY and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids.

Jesus replied, "What is impossible with man is possible with God." Luke 18:27

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Jesus Is Lord

Happy Easter to all!

Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday but are now sold and enjoyed throughout the year. These buns had lost much of its religious significance because of its availability outside the Easter season.

Hot cross buns don't symbolise anything to me and the cross on the buns are just decoration. We don't have to eat the buns on Good Friday to remind ourselves of the day Jesus died on the cross.
As Christians, we observe Good Friday to commemorate the death on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul considered it to be of first importance that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3)

Easter is a glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, His victory over sin and His resurrection. Because of Christ's death and resurrection, we have been given victory over death and assurance of future resurrection.

The Bible teaches us in Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Hot Cross Buns
Christine Recipes


350g bread flour
35g sugar
5 g salt
56g whisked egg, plus extra for egg wash
7 g milk powder, optional
125ml milk
120g Tangzhong (ratio 1:5)
5 to 6 gm dried instant yeast
30gm butter, softened at room temperature
100gm raisins
1/2 tsp mixed spice, or to taste

flour paste:
4 tbsp plain flour 2 to 2 1/2 tbsp water
Combine flour and water. Stir to a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag.


  • Add all ingredients (except butter) into a bread maker, first the wet ingredients (milk, egg, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, milk powder, mixed spice, bread flour, yeast) 
  • Select the "dough" mode. When all ingredients come together, add in the butter. Knead until the dough becomes elastic. Add in raisins 5-8 minutes before ending the kneading process. Then let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing in the machine, about 40 minutes, until doubled in size.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper.'Transfer the dough onto a clean  floured surface. Deflate and divide into 12 equal portions. Knead each into a ball shape and place on the baking paper, at least 1cm apart. Cover with a cling wrap, let rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in  size.
  • Preheat oven to 190C.
  • Brush whisked egg on the surface of buns. Pipe flour paste over tops to form crosses. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden.

Best eaten warm with jam.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Do Not Worry

Are these Famous Amos cookies? No. Almost Famous Amos? Maybe. Hmm...I don't think anyone can bake exactly the same Famous Amos cookies. There are many copycats and I have not tried one that tastes like Famous Amos. Some are quite there, more often than not, you can tell they're not the real thing. This recipe doesn't make the closest taste either. But it is good,! Crunchy and very addictive! Thanks goodness, I can make a ton out of this!

Eating these bite sized cookies are like snacking on potato chips. It is hard to stop!This recipe is tweaked to make it less sweet, so there is no need to reduce the sugars if you're baking them. Recipe taken from Facebook baking group.

Almost Famous Amos


80g unsalted butter
50g shortening
1 egg
80g brown sugar
70g white sugar
130g flour
100g oatmeal
170g semi sweet chocolate chips
50g macadamia nuts, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp coconut milk (I used milk)


  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • Bake/toast oatmeal for 10 mins. After cooling off, blend the oats into powder form.
  • Cream butter,shortening and sugars
  • Add in egg,vanilla extract,coconut milk to mixture. Do not over mix
  • Sift in flour, blended oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt
  • Fold in chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Chill the dough for at least half an hour.
  • Spoon the dough and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.

The Answer to Anxiety

Friends, let us not let worries rob us of our strength.  In Matthew 6;25-33 Jesus condemns worry. He says worry is foolish and shows a lack of confidence in the person,character, and ability of God.

"Therefore I tell you,do not worry about your life,what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Saturday, 28 March 2015

But Our Citizenship Is In Heaven

Achar is pickled vegetables eaten as side dish. This nutty and piquant side dish is very popular here, and goes very well with nasi lemak and even Hainanese chicken rice. It is sweet, sourish and mildly spicy, and is very appetizing to eat. It makes an excellent complement to fried dishes like chicken wings.

The good thing about making achar is you decide what you want to put in it. Although I know I have a dependable recipe to follow, I added more of the vegetables which I like especially cucumbers and pineapples. I also added a tablespoon of my own homemade sambal belachan because I like it spicy.

It is not hard to do nor time consuming, I can see myself making another batch very soon because I have received good feedback from my 'kitchen testers'.  Like all home made pickles and chutneys or cookies and jams, achar makes a good gift for any occasions.

Nonya Acar Awak
 Adapted from Guai Shu Shu


300g of cucumber, julienned into 1 inch long
150g  of carrots, julienned into 1 inch long
150g of long beans, cut into 1 cum long
150g of pineapples, cut into small pieces
150g of cauliflower, cut into small pieces
50g of cabbage, cut into small pieces

Rempah (spice mix)

5 shallots
6 cloves garlic
4 bird eye chilli or 2 big chilli
1 inch ginger
5 candlenut, optional
1 tablespoons of dry prawns, soaked
1.5inch of fresh tumeric or 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 stalk lemon grass (optional)
1 inch galangal (optional)
1 tablespoon of homemade sambal belachan


1/4 cup of vegetable oils
1/2 cups of white sugar
1 cup of vinegar
1/4 cups sesame seeds
1/2 cups of coarsely ground peanuts
salt to taste
Additional sugar,salt and vinegar for blanching liquid.


  • Cut the cucumber in about 1 inch long and throw away the centre of the cucumber. Dust about 1 tsp of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar on the julienne cucumber. Toss until evenly coated. Put under the sun for sun dry or in the fridge to air dry for at least one hour. After one hour, you will witness lots of cucumber juices secreted. Squeeze dry the cucumber and set aside. You can either put the cucumber in a muslin cloth and squeeze or use hand to squeeze manually.

  • In a pot with some water, add about 3-4 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoon of sugar and bring to boil. Add in the cabbage, long bean, cauliflower and carrot sticks. Blanch the vegetables until soft which took about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a blender, put all the rempah ingredients and some water adequate to cover the ingredients. Blend until fine.

  • In a wok, put 2-3 tablespoons of oil, put the blended spice mix, use medium heat to stir fry until the colour of the spice mix darkens and oils start to separate from the rempah. Add 1 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of sugar, salt to taste. Bring to boil. Once boiled, off the heat.

  • Add the pineapples, marinated cucumber, blanched vegetables followed by sesame seeds and ground peanuts. Stir until well mixed. However, it is advisable to let it soak for at least one-two hours before serving. If time permits, soaking overnight will yield a more flavourful Acar Awak. Best served as a side dish or appetiser in a Nonya meal.
Note: You can add more or less of the vegetables, and other ingredients. The taste is entirely up to one's preference.

A Tribute to MM Lee

Our founding father, our minister mentor
The nation weeps, your legacy is for keeps

Thank you Sir, the race was won!
Farewell Sir, your labour is done!

Rest in peace Sir, your era is not gone!
Nor this nation you have built will be drawn

By Lian

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly  await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enable him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Delight In The Law of the Lord

I have been looking for a recipe that is close to a popular Hokkien restaurant's Kong Bak Pau which we all love. There the Kong Bak is meltingly soft, and intensively flavoured. Thanks to my friend A who shares this recipe. Her version is quite close to the flavour but not as light and meltingly tender as the restaurant's. But it is good and better than any other's I have tried.

The cooking of this Hokkien braised pork belly are done in 3 steps.  The pork is first boiled in boiling water for 30 minutes, then it is rubbed with both light and dark soy, and deep fried for a short 3 seconds on each side. The final preparation is to slice the pork and steam for 3 hours till soft and tender.

The deep frying of the pork belly is to seal the soy flavours and to hold the pork so that it stays firm. Take extra care when you fry the pork, the oil will splatter! Have a pan cover ready as soon as you drop the pork into the hot oil. When done, slice the pork and arrange on a plate for steaming. After steaming for 3 hours, it is done and ready to serve. I prefer to leave the pork cool, cover and chill in the fridge overnight.

The overnight preparation allows me to skim the hardened fats away. Steam the pork again just before serving. I could also have cooked the pork longer till the fats are melting but I prefer some bite and texture. Moreover, I don't want it to tear apart into two or three pieces when I'm serving.

The buns are bought from the supermarket. I like my Kong Bak Pau with lots of greens and sliced chillies.

Kong Bak Pau


250g pork belly
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
10 lotus leaf buns, steamed for 5 minutes

For the marinade

2 tbsp light soya sauce, or more to taste.
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
20g chopped garlic (I used whole)
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tsp sesame oil
A pinch of 5 spice powder
A pinch of pepper


  • Cook the pork belly in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain
  • Coat the p[ork belly with the 1 tablespoon of light and dark soy sauce.
  • Deep fry the pork belly for 30 seconds until golden brown. Slice the pork belly into 10-15cm thick pieces.
  • Add al the remaining ingredients for the marinade to the pork belly. Coat evenly.
  • Steam for 3 hours.
  • To serve, place a pork belly slice slice and some coriander into each steamed bun.

Note: It is possible to use Airfryer to deep fry the pork.

To be blessed, we must not walk down the road of those who have no fear of God. We must live closely in our relationship with God, delighting and meditating upon His Word.

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1-3
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