Archive for August, 2008

Homemade Nasi Lemak Special

My Nasi Lemak Special using brown rice – clockwise from top – achar awak/nyonya vegetable pickles, hard boiled egg, cucumber slices, crispy fried ikan bilis/anchovies, fiery sambal, curry chicken πŸ˜€

Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

I am in one of my weird moods again πŸ™„ – this time round, I have a craving for homemade spicy food and for the past fews days, I have been literally cooking a storm up in my kitchen, spending hours there to make some really traditional food all from scratch and my reliable blender was put to good use, whirring away with lots of spices, shallots to grind. πŸ˜†

Some of the dishes that I cooked was Nasi Lemak (picture above) , Nyonya Achar Awak and Laksa Lemak (pictures below) –


Nyonya Achar Awak/Spicy Vegetable Pickles –

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My Laksa Lemak Special / Thick Fresh Rice Noodles In Yummy Spicy Coconut Soup –

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Because we were having so much “heaty” foods, I had also boiled (simmered over a small fire for 4 hours) a giant pot of red sugar cane with whole, unpeeled water chestnuts and a packet of candied wintermelon as a cooling drink to balance the heatiness –

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Putting the ingredients together for the fragrant coconut rice in the rice cooker

How to cook Fragrant Coconut Rice aka Nasi Lemak (posted on 31/08/08)

I learnt the recipe of cooking a really tasty and aromatic Coconut Rice or Nasi Lemak from a Malay colleague when I was working in a bank more than 10 years ago, and my family are really happy with this recipe – hope you will like it, too πŸ˜‰

Ingredients –

*** 5 cups rice (I used brown rice this time for healthier reasons), washed

*** 1 cup thick coconut milk (santan pekat), straight from a can or a UHT packet, plus enough water that you usually use to cook your rice to the preferred consistency

*** 1 stalk lemon grass – used the bottom 5 inches and bruised or smashed with the flat of a knife to release its aromatic oils

*** 2 slices fresh ginger

*** 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

*** 3 pandan leaves, tied into a knot

*** 1 !/2 tbsps salt (the rice should be slightly salty for better flavour)

Method –

1) Put all ingredients together in a pot or rice cooker and cook as you would normally cook your rice.

2) Give the ingredients a good stir at the beginning of cooking, as well as a few times when the rice is boiling (this is to make sure the flavours and santan are well infused into the rice), and then leave the rice alone to finish cooking.

3) Just before serving, use a pair of chopsticks to loosen the rice granules.

Enjoy your Nase Lemak steaming hot with the yummy side dishes, and enjoy the aromatic smell of the coconut rice! Bon Appetit! πŸ˜€

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The accompanying curry chicken was cooked according to my late mother-in-law’s recipe which can be found here

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Wow, this sambal (in picture below) turned out to be the most spicy that I’ve ever cooked – on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most spicy, this sambal was rated a 15 by my family! 😯 It got everyone running for lots of ice-cold water but it was very delicious –

Recipe for my Fiery Hot Sambal For Nasi Lemak (posted on 31/08/08)

Ingredients to be blended with a bit of water –

30 dried chili – washed and soaked in hot water until soft

10 cili padi or bird’s eye chili

1 inch knob of fresh turmeric, peeled, or 1 heaping tbsp of turmeric powder

10 shallots – peeled and washed

2 stalks lemon grass – use the bottom one inch only

2 tbsps of toasted belacan/shrimp paste

Other ingredients –

3 large onions – peeled and sliced thinly

1 tbsp salt

3 to 4 tbsps sugar (I like my sambal sweet)

2 tbsps of tamarind paste mixed with 1 cup of water, seeds removed

1 cup oil leftover from frying the ikan bilis/anchovies

Method –

1) In a hot wok, pour in the leftover ikan bilis oil.

2) Fry the blended chili paste, stirring often for about 5 minutes.

3) Add in the sliced onions, salt and sugar and lower heat to cook until the onions are soft, about another 5 minutes, If the paste gets too dry, do add in a bit of water first just to get things “moving”

4) Add in the tamarind water, mix thoroughly and adjust taste.

5) Cook a bit longer to your preferred sambal consistency, adding more water or ikan bilis oil, if necessary.

Serve hot or cold with Nasi Lemak. Extra sambal can be frozen in batches and cooked with prawns or squid or petai later. πŸ˜‰

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I have an older post on Nasi Lemak last year but I will update you with the recipes for this Nasi Lemak tomorrow as now, I am happily exhausted from all that cooking and I am going to put my tired feet up and catch up with a few movies on DVDs with my family. Everyone was much satiated and happy with the spicy foods…as the spiciness of them simply got all our 5 senses stimulated – hot, cold, sweet, sour, tongue & mouth burning, sweat pouring from foreheads, etc. ….. well, you know the “sugar rush” when you indulged in too much sweets? Well, you could consider us as having a “spicy chili rush” ! πŸ™„ πŸ˜†

However, I will be adding the recipes onto this post tomorrow, and if you would like to follow up with the recipes, just come back to this page, okay? πŸ˜‰

I wish you a blessed and restful weekend! πŸ˜€

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A Favourite Yummy Easy Baked Potato With Toppings Recipe

Baked Potatoes With Corned Beef & Cheese Topping

Good morning, dear friends πŸ˜€

Potatoes are a real favourite in my home, especially with the kids – french fries, German Potato Salad, Potato Skins, Potato Chips, Stewed Chicken with potatoes….well, you get the idea! πŸ˜†

I have seen many versions of potatoes cooked this way, but I first learned about this recipe from my dear Romanian friend, Rose. and her recipe had cheese and ham. For me, I just varied the toppings and worked with whatever ingredients I had at that time.

Although I called it Baked Potatoes With Toppings, in actual fact the potatoes were steamed until cooked, when a knife can be easily pierced through them.

Here is my recipe for the potatoes that I had cooked for my Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony mini party. Hope you like it – I know kids will. πŸ˜€

Baked Potatoes With Corned Beef & Cheese Topping

Ingredients –

2 kg potatoes (any amount you like but I would suggest you make a lot of these as they go very fast and they keep well in the fridge for the next day’s snack)

Some grated cheese (I had mozzarella then, but cheddar or parmesan would work nicely, too)

1 can Corned Beef

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

salt and pepper

2 tbsps of oil

* Optional – chopped tomatoes or tomato salsa and green onions for garnishing

Method –

1) Scrub the skin of the potatoes until clean and steam them until they are done, about 20 minutes over medium heat. You can boil them, too, but with this method, you will have to keep an eye on the potatoes to make sure that they don’t get overdone and burst from the skin.

2) While the potatoes are cooking, in a non-stick pan, heat up the oil and cook the chopped onions for aboout 2 minutes.

3) Add in the corned beef and stir thoroughly to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.

4) Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius or 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

5) Cut the potatoes into halves lengthwise and place them onto a baking tray.

6) Rub a little salt onto the top of the potato halves.

7) Top with some grated cheese, followed by the corned beef and then a good shake of pepper.

8 ) Baked for about 5 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted and slightly brown.

Bon Appetit! πŸ˜€

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My Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Dinner

Hi there, dear friends πŸ˜€

I love any reason to cook up something special for my family and so, when the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony was being telecasted live at 8pm on 08/08/08, I couldn’t help but use that as an excuse to have a mini party for ourselves! It was fun to have all the goodies laid out on the coffee table right in front of the TV and we were eager for the opening ceremony to start for the Beijing Olympics as well as to tuck into the food! πŸ˜†

Different types of food with party plates laid out on the coffee table….Yummy! πŸ˜€

What we had were –

Hot Dogs complete with sweet & mustard relishes, mustard, ketchup and chopped onions

Buffalo Wings with an extra splash of barbeque sauce…

…and Tabasco Hot Sauce, celery and carrot sticks, sour cream

Baked Potatoes with Mozzarella Cheese, Corned Beef, Tomato Salsa and Onions toppings

Nachos or Corn Chips with Guacamole, Tomato Salsa and Sour Cream

A mixed fruit salad of apples, oranges, and honeydew cubes coated in a cinnamon flavoured sugar syrup

Hehe, I was a bit late in writing this post seeing as the Olympics will end tomorrow and I have been having some ideas on what to have for tomorrow as we watch the closing ceremony. Thus far, I’m thinking of cooking Lamb Hamburgers, homemade large french fries, chicken kebabs … πŸ˜†

Have a wonderful weekend! πŸ˜€

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Easy Yummy Pandan Leaf Fried Chicken

My version of Pandan Leaf Fried Chicken


Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

For quite some time, I have been avoiding cooking fried foods because the weather is really hot these few months, and eating fried foods in this kind of weather will surely cause heatiness (sore throats, headaches, heaty cold/coughs, fever) in our body. But then, fried foods are really more aromatic and tastier and I decided to cook my family’s favourite fried food – Pandan Leaf Fried Chicken. πŸ˜€

I would like to point out that this recipe is nothing like the Thai version of Pandan Fried Chicken (which is actually little triangular parcels of boneless chicken meat wrapped in a pandan leaf) but it is more like a Malaysian Fried Chicken being made more aromatic with the pandan leaf! Nevertheless, I assure you that this is very delicious as it is also the most favourite fried chicken dish for my family! πŸ˜†

Anyway, my family prefer to have bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs as the meat is more tender and juicy, and most of the time, the Pandan Fried Chicken that we had at the Thai restaurants are too dry and hard.

Here is the recipe for my Pandan Fried Chicken –

Ingredients –

7 whole chicken legs, separated into thighs and drumsticks

14 pieces pandan (screwpine) leaves

14 toothpicks


Marinade –

5 shallots, peeled

5 pips garlic, peeled and pounded or ground with the shallots

3 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsps salt

2 tbsps sugar

1 tbsp pepper

3 tbsps oyster sauce

3 tbsps cornstarch or tapioca starch


Oil for deep frying

Method –

1) Marinate the chicken pieces for as long as possible, overnight is best. It is best to keep them refrigerated and make sure they are at room temperature before cooking. If there is no time to marinate, then just massage the marinade into the chicken pieces for a good 5 to 10 minutes.

2) Just before cooking, give another thorough rubbing of marinade into the chicken.

3) Wrap each piece of chicken with a pandan leaf, and skewer the leaf to the chicken with a toothpick.

4) Heat oil up and deep fry chicken pieces with the skin-side up first for about 4 to 5 minutes, then turn chicken over with the skin-side down for 3 minutes or so until chicken is thoroughly cooked. This way, the side with the chicken skin will look all nice and golden, and not burnt, as cooking time on the skin side is shorter.

*** Note – Be careful as the oil will spatter a lot when you fry these due to the moisture in the pandan leaves

4 pieces of pandan leaf-wrapped chicken frying in my deep wok

5) Serve hot with some sliced cucumbers to balance the heatiness of this dish. πŸ˜‰

I hope you will like my easy but yummy version of Pandan Fried Chicken.

Bon Appetit! πŸ˜€

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Bone Density Checks For Osteoporosis

Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

If you are around my age (mid 40’s) and perimenopausal, you should consider getting a bone density check or bone mass measurement done. One of the effects of menopause if we are not opting for any HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is the higher risk of osteoporosis, whereby a slight fall may result in some serious fractures in our bones. Osteoporosis is a disease when the bones have become thin and weak.

I have read of one woman in her 40’s who had fractured her arm in two places from the mere act of her arm banging lightly into a wall. Her bones were that porous then due to a severe case of osteoporosis that she never knew she had. However, 5 years later, her bone density improved tremendously due to her picking up Qigong (healing exercises involving the improved circulation of Qi or Chi throughout the body).

Anyway, lately, I have been worrying about the condition of my bones as I only had condensed milk, instead of milk formula, when I was a baby because I didn’t quite take to milk formula. Also, I can’t drink milk (I don’t like the taste of it πŸ™„ ) and I seldom consume cheese (which I actually like if they are not the strong types).

For the past 3 years, the osteoarthritis of my knees have been getting progressively worse and the glucosamine supplements that I am taking does not seem to work anymore. I have been recommended to take Alterni’s (a natural food and herbal supplement company) BoneX Gold, a calcium extract and collagen drink formulated in Germany. I have been taking this for 10 days now and while I am testing this calcium supplement, I have intentionally stopped taking my glucosamine supplements to see how effective BoneX is

Thus far, I am seeing very good results with BoneX whereby half my knee joint pains are gone. Prior to taking BoneX Gold , if I forget to take glucosamine for a few days, I would immediately feel a worsening of pain in my knee joints when I go up and down the stairs.

Last week, I was offered a free bone density test at Alterni and I’m glad the results show that my bone mass is normal ===> my reading was -6. But sadly, a friend who took the same test with me and whom I thought is in excellent health found out that she is having “osteopenia”, a stage where her bones are below normal and she is nearing the osteoporosis stage ===> her reading was -1.5.

Here is how the T-Score of the bone density test works –

1) T-Score of above -1 would mean your bone density is considered normal

2) T-Score of between -1 and -2.5 is a sign of osteopenia, a condition in which bone density is below normal and may lead to ostroporosis

3) T-Score of below -2.5 means that your bone density shows you have osteoporosis.


A person is likely to need a bone density done if the person is

– at risk of osteoporosis

– is near menopause

– has broken a bone after a modest trauma

– has a family history of osteoporosis

– uses steroids or antiseizure medication

– has had a period of restricted mobility of more than 6 months

Below is a picture of a bone density test being done at the ankle using a peripheral device and although this method is not as accurate and indepth as the CT-Scan or Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA), it is less expensive and it provides us with a preliminary reading of our bone density. Should it show that we are in the osteopenia stage, then it is highly recommended that we go for a CT-Scan or DEXA next.

Now, I am trying to get my husband and other similarly-aged friends, especially women, to go for this bone density test to know exactly their present bone condition, rather that finding it out the sad way after a fall or accident, to that preventive measures can be taken to prevent osteoporosis from happening. πŸ˜‰

I wish you good health always! Like the famous saying these days – “Health is Wealth”

choesf πŸ˜€

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Letting Go Your Emotional Clutter – Decluttering Part 3

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Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

You may not believe it but we also have emotional clutter, or more commonly known as “emotional baggage.” There are times that we may have been hurt, felt ashamed, felt guilty or angry in the past and sometimes, these memories do get stuck in our mind and we accummulate these “baggages.” In a way, this is causing us to live in the past and we are not able to let go to move on with our life. Emotional clutter is a form of interfering in our life.

Below is Part 3 of the Decluttering FAQ which has been reproduced with the kind permission of Master atan, from ww.dhealing.com.

Learning how to β€˜let go’ is the cornerstone of cleaning emotional clutter. It can be one of the most empowering experiences of your life. As you let go, you free up space to expand. While eliminating the cluttered emotion, or baggage, it’s important to face the reasons why you hold onto your feelings.

Emotional clutter is a form of interference. When a river is blocked with trees, logs, bushes, etc. the water doesn’t flow easily. The river begins to stagnate. So many people ask me why their lives are so difficult, why they always feel stuck. My answer is based on this same principle of the river being cluttered with debris.

Our emotional debris is like deadwood in the river. The more you remove and eliminate the deadwood, the better the flow. Generally we hold onto emotional clutter because there is fear, and often shame as well. When we finally make the decision to clear the deadwood, or debris, it means facing the fear and doing it anyway.

If your inner landscape is cluttered, your outer landscape may reflect that. Often people with emotional baggage collect material baggage in the form of clutter in their homes. Clearing the external clutter is marvelous, but unless you also clear the emotional clutter, you may be doomed to repeat the cluttered house over and over again.

You may think that hanging onto things keeps you secure, so you don’t feel loss and scarcity. In fact, that is far from the truth. We hold onto things because we already feel loss and scarcity. It only amplifies the feelings.

One of the first rules of manifesting abundance is to pay yourself first and to tithe 10%. Give it away, even if you feel you don’t have enough. This is the act of trust. It shows faith in the knowledge that abundance will come back to you ten fold and there is abundance for everyone.

Holding onto clutter and emotional baggage may be the way you feel worth, or self confidence. It may be a false sense of strength and security. Remember, these are the times when you alone are holding the deadwood in place to block the river.

Many people are afraid to cry. They fear that if they simply let go then they will be washed away in an uncontrollable flood of tears. The truth is, once the dam is clear, there is an initial surge of water, eventually slowing to a steady flow.

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Declutter Part 2 – How Clutter Can Harm You

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Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

To understand why decluttering is very important to us, we must first understand the importance behind it, how clutter can harm us in some ways.

Earlier this year, I have written here about how the various compass sectors in our homes are equated with certain aspects of our life. For example, the SouthWest sector of our home represents the Love, Relationship or Marriage of our life, and when we have clutter in this sector, then our love and relationship tend to exhibit some problems, like blockages, etc. So, to activate and energise this aspect of love and relationship, all we need to do is just do a light decluttering of that area, and soon after, you will notice a difference in your love relationship! πŸ˜‰

So, if you want to energise the Career or Business aspect of your life, then you do a light cleaning and tidying of the North sector of your home.

Please bear in mind that you home may be absolutely spotless but it will still be good to move things around a bit, sort of like moving the energies there. For example, move out the couch in the living room, give the floor or carpet there a good mopping or vacuuming, push back the couch and feel the difference in the chi or energy there!

Here is Part 2 of the Declutter FAQ, which is reproduced here with the kind permission of Master atan at http://www.dhealing.com

Having Clutter Can Make You Feel Tired and Lethargic

Most people who have clutter say they can’t find the energy to begin to clear it. They constantly feel tired. But the stagnant energy that stacks up around clutter actually causes tiredness and lethargy. Clearing it frees up the energy in your home and releases new vitality in your body.

Having Clutter can Keep You in the Past

When all your available space is filled with clutter, there is no room for anything new to come into your life. Your thoughts tend to dwell in the past, and you feel bogged down with problems that have dogged you for some time. Clearing your clutter allows you to begin to deal with your problems and move forward. You have to release the past to create a better tomorrow.

Having Clutter Can Affect Your Body Weight
A curious fact I have noticed over the years is that people who have lots of clutter in their homes are often overweight. I believe this is because both body fat and clutter are forms of self-protection. By building layers of fat or clutter around yourself, you hope to cushion yourself against the shocks of life, and particularly against emotions you have difficulty handling. It gives you the illusion of being able to control things and prevent them from affecting you too deeply. But this is an illusion.

Having Clutter Can Confuse You

When you live surrounded by clutter, it is impossible to have clarity about what you are doing in your life. When you clear it, you get fewer colds, you can think more clearly, and life decisions become easier. Being clear of clutter is one of the greatest aids I know to discovering and manifesting the life you want.

Having Clutter Can Affect the Way People Treat You
People treat you the way you treat yourself. So if you value yourself and look after yourself, people will treat you well. If you allow the junk to mount up around you, you may attract people who mistreat you in some way because subconsciously you will feel that it is what you deserve.

Having Clutter Can Make You Feel Ashamed
Perhaps you have reached the stage where your home is so cluttered and such a mess that you are ashamed to invite people over and positively panic if anyone turns up unannounced. You can live in lonely isolation with your junk, but wouldn’t you prefer to have a good clear-out, repair your self-esteem, and regenerate your social life with confidence?

I wish you a Happy Decluttering! πŸ˜€

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