Thursday, March 5, 2015

Chap Goh Mei!

Today is Chap Goh Mei ... the 15th and final day of the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

It is so quick ... just a blink of the eyes.

Coincidentally my Aussie Boss is in town today.  It is what I call an Office Day ... a day when my entire team of freelancers gather at the office to work and bond with one another.  Most days we work from home.

So today we're going to expose our Boss to the art of 'Lou Sang!' ... the tossing of Yee Sang for increased business opportunities, better health, more wealth, safe travels and good relationships among the team members and clients.

A plate of Yee Sang usually consist of julienned white radish, carrots, turnips and key-lime leaves with red pickled ginger, sun-dried oranges, chopped Chinese parsley, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds along with a packet of crispy crackers and some spices to mix them all up.  There are other combinations offered in the market though. This dish is eaten with treated raw fish such as salmon, abalone od jellyfish.

Been a great year working with my Aussie Boss and the team.  Here's looking ahead to more successful years together.

Gong Xi!  Gong Xi!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Welcoming The Lunar New Year 2015!

Another year gone by, another year begins with new hopes and aspirations.

Today is the Chinese Lunar New Year with millions of Chinese around the world celebrating and ushering in the Year of the Goat ... the 8th animal in the Chinese Zodiac.

Wishing everyone ... family, kins and friends ... near and far ... GONG XI FA CAI!  A year of peace, prosperity and merriment!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Third Time's A Charm!

After such a rocky first attempt, I put another try to get my homemade loaf looking and tasting more decent than before.  Second cry had a slight improvement but still quite difficult to be eaten.  So it ended up into something else ... a bread pudding!

2nd Attempt Loaf
Frankly bread pudding just ain't my thing but it does taste good though for a first try.  It took 2 days to finish. All the extra calories just to recycle my not-so-successful loaf.

Bread Pudding
Just made my third attempt last Saturday and this time it turned out right.  Third time's a charm!
Now I guess I've passed baking my own bread ... a baguette at that!
Finally ... 3rd's a charm!
Next I want to try baking buns ... yup next try my sis' special 'Siew Pau' or BBQ Pork Roast Buns!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My First Loaf ...

My lo kong is not the type to insist that I must cook up his favorite food.  However, many a times he did suggest that I should try baking homemade bread for a healthier diet.

As quick solution, I had thought of buying a breadmaker.  But on second thought, lo kong might be right that it will end up as a decor item ... much like most of my other kitchen utensils.

With a bad hand at baking, I had put off baking my first loaf for a very long time until recently when I found a simple to follow recipe which was demonstrated by a 4 year old.  Yup ... you heard right!

So, how can I go wrong when a 4 year old can do it right?

Since I had all the ingredients in the kitchen, I followed the recipe and steps to the T.  Next was to allow it to stand overnight so that the yeast will activate.

Each time I popped into the kitchen, I'd peer into the mixing bowl to check for any reaction.  Hmmm ... nothing.  Next morning ... still nothing.  Why???

After almost 24 hours and despite my gut feel that the dough will not work, I still popped it into the oven.  Naturally, there was no bread for the day. 

My first loaf is a rock!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Another First ... Nike We Run KL!

I seemed to be rolling out many firsts to my start of the year 2015.

Coinciding with our Kuala Lumpur City Day on Sunday, Nike's We Run Race Series reached our shores.  On its 6th anniversary, this global running series started off in August 2014 in Prague aimed to attract more than 200,000 runners in 18 races around the world.  Nike We Run KL also featured its first 21km race to challenge Malaysian runners to run faster and further.

This was actually my first time running this race and my first local 21km road race.  To top it off, it was also the first time our entire family ran in one race and same distance.  Wow ... 3 straight firsts in a row!

Despite the route being flat as compared to the hilly route of my recent Gammon China Coast Half-Marathon, I struggled.  Yes, it was a struggle not only due to my knee pain but for whatever reason, I had stomach cramps that threatened to turn into diarrhoea halfway through.  I was so scared that I was going to faint at the 18km mark.  Thankfully, lo kong who had completed his race under 2.5 hours had ran back to accompany me to my finish.

The last 3km was a real spirit-breaker.  I am grateful I managed to finished the race in less than 3.5 hours ... a satisfactory allowance before the cut-off time of 4 hours. 

Nick who did not train at all and having played badminton the evening before managed to complete the race within the cut-off time too. 

Based on post-mortems on the race results ... everyone registered running at least 1km more than the race specified.