Thursday, 28 February 2013

A Man Reaps What He Sows

I seldom make agar agar and can only do simple and easy agar agar like talam agar agar. So this jelly is the furthest I can go. Not that this is complicated, in fact pretty straight forward. I just like the idea of using fruit hull to mould jelly. Love the skin color too!

Dragon fruit Agar Agar


1 dragonfruit
1 tablespoon agar agar powder
50g sugar
200ml milk, low fat UHT
300ml water

220g dragon fruit flesh
1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Cut the top of dragon fruit horizontally, scoop out flesh carefully and mashed. Keep the hull for later use.

  • Boil milk,water and sugar till sugar dissolves, stir in agar agar powder. Stir and add in dragon fruit flesh and bring to simmer. Leave it to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Pour into the hull until full. Chill in the fridge when it is set.
Health note: Dragon fruit has a good source of anti-oxidants which help to prevent the dangers of free radicals which can cause cancer. Dragon fruit is high in vitamin C and also has lots of dietary fiber of almost 1g of fiber per 100g flesh. Dragon fruit also contain B vitamins such as B1 for better carbohydrate metabolism, B2 for cells repair and B3 for reducing bad cholesterol.  There are also minerals in dragon fruit.
One dragon fruit contains approximately 8.8g of calcium, 36.1mg of phosphorus and 0.65 mg of iron.
I am using low fat UHT milk to make this a healthy dessert.

I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food".      Genesis 1:29

This is God's blessing to earth. In spiritual law, the bible also says a man reaps what he sows. We must not be led astray, for we will face natural consequences of the path we chose.

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the spirit will reap eternal life".  Galatians 6:7-8

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


These mushroom pies are so quick and easy to make and taste so good that I am going to make them again. These are perfect for an afternoon tea.

Mini Creamy Mushroom pies
Adapted from BBC GoodFood
Makes 6


25g/1 oz butter, plus extra for greasing (15g)
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely sliced (minced)
1 garlic clove, crushed
350g/12oz mixed mushrooms, sliced (200g, white button)
100ml/3 fl oz single cream (50ml)
A small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
375 packed ready-rolled shortcrust pastry (Pampas brand 1 ready rolled sheet)
a little plain flour, for dusting (omit)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp caraway seeds (black sesame)


  • Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and fry until soft. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms, season and cook for 5 mins until the mushrooms are soft. Stir in the parsley and cream. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Heat oven to 200C. Grease a 6 hole muffin tin with butter, then line each hole with a long thin strip of baking parchment. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and stamp out 6 x 10 cm circles. Press a circle into each hole to line. Roll out the remaining pastry and stamp out 6 x 8cm circles.(I used disposables and cut out is 8cm and 7cm(lid).
  • Divide the mushroom mix between the pies. Brush the pastry edges with a little egg, top each with a pastry lid and carefully press the pastry edges together to seal.
  • Brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with caraway seeds.(black sesame). Bake for 25-30 mins until golden. Allow to cool in the tin slightly before serving, or cool on a wire rack and keep in airtight containers for up to 1 day. Reheat before serving.


I started reading the Bible before I first stepped into a church.  I was about 11 years old then and was captivated by the parables told by Jesus in the Bible.  Though  parables are short and simple stories,  I enjoyed reading them again and again.  I did not know there are spiritual and moral lessons in parables nor did I understand why Jesus chose to tell parables. Jesus told his disciples that not everyone would understand his parables. He told his disciples:

  "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, "though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand."
                                                                                                                     Luke 8:10

Jesus spoke his parables to tell people the truth of God. But often we are so lost in sin that we resent hearing God's Word and turn away.. Our pride, arrogance and prejudice prevent us from understanding and accepting Jesus' teachings.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Rose of Sharon

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"  Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare.

I like to imagine this picture as a shy bride peeping through her partly opened veil. These cookies are just as sweet and pretty as the bride. I like the smell of roses. It reminds me of people I love and cherish. The scent also makes me feel sensuous and feminine. What does the smell of roses remind you of?
To make these cookies, you have to peel the petals and sepals, a long process which I did while watching a Korean drama, a sad, sad love story.....

Cranberry Rose Cookies


50g icing sugar
100g butter
180g cake flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup dried roses
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp rose water

  • Beat together butter, icing sugar until creamy.

  • Sift combined flour and baking soda into the butter. Add in the rose water, dried roses and cranberries. 

  • Fold batter into a dough and chill for an hour. Bake at 170C for 20 minutes.

Rose of Sharon

"I am the rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys."  Solomon 2:1

Jesus Christ is often symbolically referred to as the Rose of Sharon, perfect in love, beauty and grace.
Christ is a Rose that never fades, he remains in his  full beauty and glory throughout all generations.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."    Hebrews 13:8

Thursday, 21 February 2013

All the Way My Savior Leads Me

Clam Chowder is my favorite soup. This soup is made even more delicious, more flavorful with added saffron. I also used fresh clams bought from the market, so you can imagine the sweetness of fresh clam broth in this soup. I did not have bacon so I substituted the bacon with homemade 烧肉 (crispy pork). You can add more or less of the vegetables and use all clam juice for the soup.

Clam Chowder with Saffron
serve 2


150g clams,flesh
1 cup clam broth
25g butter
30g bacon, diced (crispy pork)
50g onions, minced
40g celery, diced, parboiled
25g carrots, diced, parboiled
100g potatoes, small cubes,parboiled
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cream or milk
2 tablespoon flour
Black pepper to taste


  • Wash and soak clams(500g) in salted water for at least half an hour. Add one cup of water to cook the clams. 
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Fry the bacon with the onions. Add in the vegetables. Stir in the flour and cream. Add in the clam juice and chicken broth.. Heat, but do not boil. 

  • Add a pinch of saffron and stir in the clam flesh. Stir the soup until the it reaches the right consistency.

  • Cream Soup is done with the right consistency when a thin film coats the back of a soup.

A Farewell

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,  for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."    Psalm 23:4

An elderly member of my AG group went home to the Lord last Saturday.  Pastors and church members have been visiting him since he was hospitalized for cancer treatment. The late Mr L accepted Christ in 2011.
Despite being a new believer, Mr L was faithful and believed in God's promises till his last breath. On our last visit to the hospital, we sang his favorite hymns, "I Don't Know About Tomorrow"  and "All the Way My Savior leads me". There was no fear of death in Mr L. He had a calm and serene demeanor. He was ready and waiting for his Savior to bring him home, to the Glory Land.

At his wake, his sons delivered a touching eulogy about him being a good and loving husband, a caring and supportive father, a kind and doting grandfather and an officer and a gentleman (The late Mr L served in the navy).  The son also read an email he had received from Mr L. The son was working in Manila then when Mr L had just accepted Christ. In his email addressed to his children, he urged his children to receive Christ, and reiterated that it was not a rush decision he made to become a Christian. He had understood perfectly the key verses of the book of Romans after several sessions with the church pastor.

Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jews, then to the Gentle"

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus"

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according his purpose."

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Abundant Life

 This is a an appetizer of Smoked Duck Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Walnuts. Though I prefer it with pomelo, mandarin oranges are just as nice. You can easily prepare this within 15 minutes, and chill in the fridge before your guests arrive. You can buy ready cooked frozen smoked duck from supermarkets.

Smoked Duck Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Walnuts
Serve 6


200g smoked duck
1 large lime
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 big red onion, sliced
1 chilli, seeded and sliced
a big bunch of coriander, chopped
spring onions, sliced
1 mandarin orange, remove pith, seeded
20g walnuts, roughly chopped, toasted
Baby lettuce


  • Thinly slice the smoked duck fillet on a diagonal, leave the layer of fat on. Pan fry without oil on both sides for about a minute. Dish and drain on absorbent paper.

  • To make the dressing, combine lime juice, fish sauce and sugar in a bowl. Add in onions, chillies, chopped coriander, spring onions and mandarin oranges.
  • Arrange lettuce and duck slices, add dressing and sprinkle toasted walnuts.

I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover

Chinese New Year Visitation 

Every Chinese New Year, we visit our unchurched SS children at their homes. We also bring a Chinese New Year goody bag to them. We are always warmly welcomed by their families, I look forward to such visits because I get to meet,  and know their parents, some grandparents better. These children usually take the Sunday School bus to church and we communicate with the parents via telephone or newsletter.
During the visits, we invite the parents to Sunday Worship service, and also our church events, like the Family Night, Church Family Day Outing, Parents Night and Christmas Outreach. Some of them came to these events.

God works in His will, way and time,  A few had come for worship service and catechism class, and were  baptized in the the church.  It is wonderful to see the parents and children worshiping the Lord together as a family unit,  experiencing His love and enjoying His blessings.

Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  John 10:10

A promise by Christ to have spiritual abundance and prosperity, to enjoy His grace and blessings because Christ lives in us and we in Him.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Good Shepherd

Do you like couscous?  I know of many people who do not like it.  In 2011, couscous was voted as the third favorite dish of the French. It is a traditional dish made of North African semolina and is cooked by steaming. Couscous is a type of pasta and not grain, has its origin in Morocco. It has a festive element to salads and is a perfect side to many grilled dishes.
If you have not tried couscous, I like to share this dish with you. As I have so many mandarin oranges at home, I added two to this dish.  You can't go wrong with oranges, cranberries and toasted walnuts. This couscous is just so delicious and refreshing, you got to try it, to believe me.  It looks so festive as well, you can make this for Chinese New Year too.
When hosting a dinner party for a large group or on a budget, couscous is ideal because it is so economical. One box of couscous can feed more than 20 people.

Couscous with Mandarin Oranges,Cranberries and Walnuts
8 serving

1 cup couscous
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp curry powder
1 tablespoon of orange zest
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 tablesppon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of orange juice
40 g dry cranberries
50 g chopped walnuts, toasted
Chopped parsley
2 mandarin oranges, cut segments into halves, seeded


  • Stir the couscous,cranberries,curry powder in a heatproof bowl.
  • Bring chicken broth to boil and pour it over the couscous. Add the juices.
  • Cover the bowl tightly and let it stand. Stir once or twice until broth is absorbed and couscous is tender. 
  • Fluff up the couscous with a fork Add in walnuts, parsley and mandarin oranges. Stir the couscous until everything is well mixed.

I made some fish,prawns,mushrooms and chicken kebabs to go with the couscous. Soak skewers for at least half an hour before grilling.

Chicken:       olive oil,lemon juice,paprika,coriander powder,cumin powder
Fish:             olive oil, Masterfoods Lemon Pepper seasoning
Prawns:        olive oil, chopped garlic,seasalt
Mushrooms: melted butter, black pepper

I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover

The Good Shepherd

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."    John 10:11

The Lord Jesus Christ is full of goodness, righteousness. He is the shepherd of the sheep (we are like the nature of sheep, have the tendency to wander off and get lost) .
Jesus Christ is our good shepherd who protects, guides, and nurtures His flock.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Go, Eat Your Food With Gladness

Beef stew is one of my favorite comfort food. But I seldom cook it because the kids do not like it very much. I have tried a few recipes, but all ending in more or less similar taste. So now if  I cook beef stew,  I just add whatever of the vegetables, herbs, and liquid that are available. I also prefer to use the crockpot.
This Irish beef stew was done just like that, adapted loosely from Simply Recipes.  For exact ingredients and cooking method, refer here.

Irish Beef Stew
Serve 6

Prepare all ingredients and season beef with sea salt and cracked black pepper

Pan fry beef(800g) and set aside

Sweat onions, add in celery and mushrooms

Pour in a cup of red wine,and let alcohol evaporates

Add in a tablespoon of flour to thicken the mixture

Add in a can of stout

Add the rest of ingredients, One can each of stewed tomatoes and tomato paste. 2 cups of beef broth and a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce

Add two teaspoons of thyme and 2 bay leaves. Transfer to a crockpot and let slow cook till beef is tender. Sal;t and black pepper to taste.

Garnish with chopped parsley, but I like it whole. Eat with rice or bread. A very flavorful and comforting meal on a rainy day.  Simply Delish!

For my friends in Melbourne, don't miss to visit Cannings Free Range Butchers where they have the finest, ethically farmed and sustainable meat and seafood. They have home delivery service too. Visit their online Home Delivery page for a product list. Why wait? Check it out now!

"Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do."          Ecclesiastes 9:7
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