Monday, October 26, 2009

Crazy Over Bread.......

Hot bread just out of oven............

After eating freshly baked bread made by Dr Azlinda at her house last week, I decided to dig out my breadmaker sitting like a white elephant in one of my kitchen cabitnet to make some bread. Its so nice of her to share with me the recipe which consists of healthy ingredients. So I have been baking a few loafs of bread since yesterday. So everybody watch out! Bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner til you drop......

Bread dough rising to twice its size...........

Make this sandwich with homemade chicken burger for son R who is working nightshift......

Here is the recipe for a healthy wholemeal bread:

2 1/2 cups high protein flour

3/4 cups wholemeal flour

1/4 cup multi grain or any nuts or seeds of yr choice

3/4 cup potato flakes

1 1/2 cup water

2 tbsp olive oil

1 -2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

4 tbsp milk powder

2 1/2 tsp dry yeast

Put all ingredients into the breadmaker to knead. It will take 1 hour for the dough to rise. Then bake it til golden brown. (take about 1 hour to bake)

Sis Karen help me buy the ingredients from Baker Paradise @

K.H. Tan (Ah Huat)

Contact no. 012-4310049/ 012-4902477

Store 18, Batu Lanchang Market,

11600 Penang.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gordon Ramsay's Malaysian Chicken Curry.....

Wondering how Gordon Ramsay could do justice to our Malaysian curry chicken, I decided to try out his recipe from his book 'Sunday Lunch'. And suprisingly it turn out quite delicious and my sons giving the thumps up for it. It is not too spicy and with the addition of fish sauce and soya sauce it brings out a sweet salty flavor to the curry.

Here is the recipe to share:

Curry Paste:( Ingredients A)

5 cloves garlic - chopped
4-5 red chillies, trimmed and deseeded
3 lemon grass, trimmed, outer leaves removed and thinly sliced
5 cm piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped ( I use lengkuas )
4 large shallots. peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground tumeric
2-3 tbsp oil

French beans.............

1 kg skinless and boneless chicken thigh- cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp oil
2 onions peeled and thinly sliced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
400 ml coconut milk
100ml chicken stock ( I use water)
1 tsp palm sugar or soft brown sugar
2 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
some green beans or potatoes.

Blend A in a blender to a smooth paste. Heat oil in pan or wok. Tip in the curry paste and stir over medium heat for a few minutes til fragrant. Add onions and cook stirring frequently for 5 mins til soften. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and stir to coat them with the spice paste. Add the lime leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, stock, sugar, soy and fish sauces and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook gently for 30 to 40 mins til chicken is tender.

I add in the coconut milk last as I do not want the milk to curdle up. No salt is added as the soya and fish sauces gives it the saltiness. I use water instead of stock and put in a tsp of chicken stock granules for flavoring. For a healthier curry I sometimes replace the coconut milk with low fat milk or yorgurt.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis..

This coming Sunday is World Arthritis Day and I would like to share another post on RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) to bring awareness to all my readers about one of the most painful auto immune disease you can find on Earth. I think only RA sufferers or their love ones will know how much agony, pain and change of lifestyle we have gone through to understand this disease. For a clearer picture see some of the notes and videos which I enclosed here........

I Still Am- by Great Granny an RA sufferer......

"I look at photographs from years ago, and I remember her. I remember her boundless energy and the things she accomplished. She was active and so full of life; mother of two small children, full time and part time secretary, board member, community volunteer, student, writer actress, sister, confidante, friend.

She walked almost everywhere, not because walking was good exercise, but simply because she liked to walk. She’d walk five miles to the rec center, swim for a couple of hours, and walk home again. Or she’d walk 10 miles to the mall and 10 miles home without ever having set foot in a single store.

And as I look at photographs from years ago, I’m saddened. I’m saddened because the woman I see no longer exists. The once slim, athletic body is now a shapeless blob, puffed up by an abundance of steroids. The sturdy legs that carried her on long walks to the rec center or to the mall can barely get her down the stairs. And on some days she literally crawls to the bathroom and prays that the powerful arms that used to propel her through the water at the rec center have enough strength to pull her up off of the floor.

The boundless energy that allowed her to be a mother and work two jobs, volunteer, serve on boards, and take classes has been replaced with a weariness that scarcely allows her to function. Cooking a meal for her family leaves her too exhausted to sit at the table and enjoy the fruits of her labor.

I’m saddened that the smiling, healthy young woman in photographs from years ago is a woman far too old for her age who lives life in four hour increments when she pops pills to ease pain, reduce swelling, minimize bone loss, boost vitamin levels, lower blood pressure, increase thyroid enzymes, alleviate depression, and allow her to sleep.

I’m saddened because when I look in the mirror, I see no remnants of the woman I see in photographs from years ago. I thought I’d be young and agile for much longer than I actually was. I always knew there were two options to life: get old or die. I just didn’t expect to get so old so soon and I didn’t expect to be this ill at this age. And as I look at photographs from years ago, I can’t help but indulge in a moment of self pity. I long to be who I was before pain visited my body and, like an uninvited guest, refuses to leave.

And then, when I stop feeling sorry for myself, I realize that I didn’t lose my self; I merely lost the ability to do certain things. There are still days when I laugh so hard I cry (and almost wet myself). I still write, though not as much or as often as I’d like, but as often as I can. I still act, though no longer on stage before hundreds, but for much smaller audiences every time I pretend not to hurt in order to make others feel more comfortable.

And my heart continues to grow more and more in order to accommodate the infinite love I have for my grand children; a love that multiplies exponentially every day. They may not be able to climb on my back for piggy back rides or on my knee for horsey rides, but they can climb on my lap for the best hugs that I can give. I didn’t know what a great kiss was until I was kissed by my sticky-faced grand child who whispered, loud enough to be heard from across the room, “I love you, grandma.”

I savor the things I’ve learned to do differently. And while I sometimes still mourn the loss of the things I used to do, I remind myself that I still am aware of who I am and where I am. I still am able to function without the use of a wheelchair or an electronic device that speaks for me. I still am able to think for myself and, most of the time, I still am able to tend to my personal needs. I still am loved much more than I ever thought I could be by my family, friends, and a God who has never left or forsaken me.

And as I look at photographs from years ago I am reminded that I am much more than the things I used to do. I still am me. And with the precarious nature of life, I am just grateful that I still am."


Some links here for yr info......

Arthritis Foundation Malaysia

In conjuction with World Arthritis Day, AFM will be organising a talk related to arthritis in Ipoh on 11th Octber 2009. Here is the programme of the forum from RASG chairperson, Ding Mee Hong.

Osteoarthritis -Evidence based Arthritis - Dr. K.L. Loo

Rheumatoid Arthritis & Anti CCP Testing - Dr. SS Yeap

RASG casual gather to reach out again....

Tea and Lunch Provided...

9 am to 1pmTower Regency Hotel Ipoh

11th Oct 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mooncake Jelly- 2009

Verdict:- My mooncake jelly did not turn out too well this year 'coz of the quality of the agar agar powder used. It is too mushy and soft. I still prefer the Happy Grass brand which I could not find here in Penang. Almost half of it has its skin sticking to the bottom of the mould. Will remember to use a good brand for making the skin next time.

Its been a couple of years I have not been making these little desserts for the mid-autumn festivals due to ill health. But this time I am adamant to make it eventhough I am not feeling very good lately due to my RA. Not to miss another year of sharing my pretty jellies in the form of mooncake or rather to satisfy my cooking instinct I dig out some lotus seeds from my fridge to make some delicious lotus paste for the fillings. It takes some time to cook the paste but worth the effort as I used olive oil and honey to sweeten it for a more healthy paste.

After making the paste, I blended some frozen leftover durians and some mangos to make two kinds of fillings. The past years I make fillings with cream cheese but this time I try using lotus paste which is just as nice. Would love to share with readers my recipe.

Lotus paste:-

200g lotus seed
150g sugar
150ml olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp condensed milk
a pinch of salt


Soak lotus seed for about 30 mins. Then cook in pot of water til soft and tender.(about 30 mins). Strain and leave to cool. Blend it with some water into a smooth paste. Melt half the sugar in a wok or pan to caremelize it til golden brown. Add in blended lotus paste, olive oil and remaining sugar. Stir fry over medium heat til paste is smooth and does not stick to side of pan. ( about 30 min ). Stir in honey and condensed milk and mix well til well blended into paste. Cool and its ready to be used.

Lotus seeds........

Stirring the lotus pastes in wok...........

Durian fillings:-
120g mashed lotus paste
400ml santan (2 boxes low fat santan)
80ml water
120g blended durian flesh ( I blend it with a little of the santan)
1 tbsp agar agar powder
1/8 tsp salt

100ml milk
1/8tsp durian essense (optional)
few drops of yellow coloring


Mix A and bring to boil then add B and mix well. Strain mixture into a square patty tin of 20cm square or round tart moulds if you are using large jelly mooncake moulds.

Cooking durian fillings......

Pour fillings into pan to cool, then cut or mould into desired shape...

For the mango fillings the method and ingredients are the same except use blended mangos instead of durians. For mango add in mango essense.

Using a cookie cutter to cut out the fillings to fit the round mould.

Mooncake jelly in mould........

Mooncake Skin:-

1 tbsp agar agar powder
500ml water
4 pandan leaves, knotted
80g sugar
2 tbsp condensed milk

Mix the above and bring to boil. Add in the color of your choice.

For the method of preparation please refer to my other jelly mooncake posting here and here.