Monday, September 24, 2012


How do you like your coffee or tea?

Black or with 1 or 2 sugar cubes?

As many of us know by now, our cells depend on sugar to grow. Our body needs sugar for the energy. Many mistakenly believe that sugar causes diabetes. Sugar doesn't cause diabetes. But candy and other sugary foods contribute plenty of calories, which can lead to weight gain, and being overweight greatly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Hence,w e should again try to limit our sugar intake if at risk of diabetes.

Similarly with cancer. How many times have we heard it mentioned that sugar causes cancer, that cancer patients should avoid sugar, or that sugar is the favorite food of cancer cells? The truth is, this goes beyond mere hearsay or traditional knowledge; there is actually a large volume of scientific evidence available which shows the link between sugar and increased cancer risk. You can read all about it here. In short: it is true that some cancer cells do grow at a faster rate if fed with sugar. Hence limited sugar consumption is recommended for cancer patients.

Studies have shown that refined sugar is devoid of important nutrients, causes obesity and cavities, and also increases cancer risk.

I have a sweet tooth. I love pastries, cakes, candies, soda, in fact anything sweet. But with the recent developments in the health of family members, I have been trying to cut out my sugar intake.

I find it hard to resist cakes and pastries, BUT when I bake my own, I cut down on the amount of sugar as indicated in the recipe. Also, instead of refined sugar, I try to use raw brown sugar or, if the recipe can take it, honey instead. Baby steps in that area!

As for drinks, such as tea, I used to be a 2 sugar person. But I have been slowly cutting down in that area, first to one and now to half. But for other drinks like soya bean milk, I am now able to have it sugar-less. It was difficult at the start, but where there's a will, there's a way.

So, how do you like your drink?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What did you say?

This just happened.

Somebody said: Sh*t!

Someone replied: Did you say you need to go to the toilet?
(Hmmm, I wonder who she learnt that from?!??)

Me: No, he was just scolding his iPad

Someone: Why?

Me: Because he doesn't like the numbers it is showing him.

Someone: Oh! I thought he said he wanted to sh*t!

Somebody: Someone's trying to be funny here!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mid-Autumn Festival

You know the festival is around the corner when every shopping mall you go to has a huge bazaar at their concourse with stalls from all the top hotels selling mooncakes there.

The Mid-autumn festival is also called the moon-cake festival or the lantern festival.

There are many stories surrounding the festival and you can read about them here

During the mid-autumn festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, chinese families will eat mooncakes, steamed sweet potato and yam (of the small variety) and drink chinese tea whilst the children will parade around with their lanterns. Of course, most will also look up at the moon and comment about how bright it looks that night, hoping to catch a glimpse of Chang Er, or the Jade rabbit.

This year, the festival falls on September 30th 2012.

It's more than a week to the festival, and mooncakes are already presented as gifts to business associates.

Mooncakes come in various varieties. Traditionally they are baked with a lotus paste filling and with salted egg yolks in them. Now we see them with red bean paste, nuts, with green tea and other flavoured lotus paste, with durian and other fruit fillings, and even with a chocolate truffle filling,and can come baked or chilled with a snow skin. It is just the enterprising ways of businesses trying to capture a bigger size of the market share.

Traditional baked mooncakes

Champagne truffle mooncakes

And the boxes of mooncakes even come with a plastic knife and forks included in the packaging.

Lanterns carried in the past were either made of paper or colourful cellophane, and were lighted with a candle placed in it. Nowadays there are even battery operated ones in plastic material, for the younger children, for safety reason. Previously all the battery operated ones played garish music.

At the recent mid-autumn festival at school, we were advised to bring lanterns for the children that were battery operated. My first thought was - "What?!! I dont want one of those with that loud music!!"

Fortunately when I went to the shop I found that they now sell a LED light which you could fix onto any lantern.

LED light

The coloured cellophane lantern with the LED light fixed.

Looks like we are all ready for the festival. Are you?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Old habits die hard

Everyone loves seeing big pots of yummy food. My late paternal grandmother used to do that. Up to 10 extra people can come for dinner unannounced, and there will be no shortage of food.

My mother-in-law is just like my late grandmother. She loves cooking loads. Huge pots of yummilicious food, especially on Saturday evenings when her daughter and the family comes back for dinner and on special occasions.

BUT I hate it!!
Saturdays or not, special occasions or not!

Why? I hate excessiveness!!

For me I like it just right. ok, maybe a bit of left-overs.

You see, MIL's habits die hard. She cooks these huge quantities even on normal days.

There used to be 16 living under my in-laws roof, but now there are only 8 left. Sometime there is only 1 who is really eating all that food me!! Why? She usually cooks different dishes for the kids, and the kids dont eat that much after all. Also, she puts FIL, BIL and herself on a D.I.E.T. She says they are all too fat, and will restrict what they eat. MY hubs doesnt eat much either at dinner. So the only one that eats a normal sized dinner is ME! But she still cooks these huge amounts, like there are 16 huge healthy appetite adults eating!

And you know what happens? I can end up eating the same stuff as left-overs for days on hand. And I think I need something different sometimes!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Hongkong is famed for its shopping and dining.

Well, I was hoping to make a trip to Hongkong this coming year-end vacation, since my husband has a free ticket there. I was thinking that it would make a great family vacation destination since there are activities for all. There is Hongkong Disneyland and Ocean Park for the kids, and food for me and the husband. There are also friends to meet up with, and the winter is comparable mild (8C to 26C). I have also heard that December is one of the better months to do shopping in Hongkong due to the holiday season sales. And we have not been to HK since 1998!!

BUT the kids do not want to go!!

Why? Good question. They have their own reasons.

For the oldest, this home-body would rather stay home, sleep in late than go on vacation. Beyond my comprehension!!

As for my son, it's because he doesnt like chinese food. Dont ask me why. He feeds well when we eat at Chinese restaurant, but he is always against going to a chinese restaurant.

As for the youngest, she is all set to go, as it is on her list of things to do .. she wants to visit all the Disneylands in the world!!

So, with two "nays", I am not sure if the trip will materialise.

Sad, isnt it?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sick? I am going shopping!

Ever been sick and tried self prescribing and didnt recover for a long, long time. And the day you visit the doctor is the day you fully recover?

Well, I notice that happens to my kids all the time.

They can be running a fever for a few days, and all the paracetamol I give them just dont help at all. Or they could be coughing for weeks, just like D now. It's been two weeks since she started this cough that wont go away. I have tried giving her dhasedyl, which was prescribed by her doctor, and he has always told me to buy by the bottle and give it to her if she comes down with a cough. But the cough just doesnt seem to be wanting to stop.

Well, my Mother-in-law has this theory that we just need to make that "donation" to the doc's coffers and the illness will go away. And that seems to have come true for many, many times already. She believes that money that has to be spent must be spent. If not, it will just have to go out of the pocket in other ways. And it usually comes in the form of illnesses where we will have no choice but to spend it and get back our good health. I guess, that is one expenditure many do not mind to spend on.

Well, I told her if that is really true, I am going shopping every month, no make that week, to spend my money to my family's good health! And all doctors will be jobless.

*Another old housewife's belief. Disclaimer: Recovery not guaranteed.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Have you counted your blessings today?

I was groaning yesterday as the last school term of the year starts today. After a week of vacationing, though we didnt do anything much except chill, the thought of having to go back to my rush here, there and everywhere schedule is definitely not something I look forward to.

In addition this last term is usually a stressful one. The little one D, who hasnt really had any school exams for the last year and a half will be having her first real exams in 5 weeks time!! Also, year end exams are just too stressful for all concerned!!

But a friend reminded me that I should deal one day at a time, and enjoy everything that comes along.

True! True! I said. Why groan about tomorrow, when we have so much to rejoice for today.

So I told myself: I will cross the bridge when I come to it. Meanwhile, count my blessings and enjoy each little joy each day brings.

And there is much to be thankful for. If we should count our blessings each day, and we will all end up a little happier.

It's only 9am and I am counting my little blessings for today:
* The kids awoke with little fuss.
* There was no jam on the way to school.
* I am able to enjoy my "me time" alone by myself before the afternoon busy schedule starts.

Have you counted your blessing for today yet?

Thursday, September 6, 2012


The hubs was invited out to dinner one evening. He enjoyed it so much he insisted that we had to go. The restaurant is on Stanley Street, a street parallel to Cecil Street, right in the heart of the business district.

It was a Saturday evening, and the restaurant was full. Thank goodness he made a reservation. This is what we had:

Rolled Wagyu Beef Carpaccio Cannellone Filled with Burrata Cheese, Wild Rocket and Mixed Pickled Mushrooms

Millefoglie of Organic Eggplant with Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese
with "San Marzano" Tomato Sauce
This dish was done to perfection.

Home Made Ravioli Filled with 8-Hours Braised Duck Leg with Meat Jus and Shaved Smoked Ricotta Cheese
Little parcels of delight, would be how I describe this dish.

Roasted Octopus and squid with Vegetables
The octopus and squid were cooked just right.

Mushroom risotto with truffles.
One of the best risottos I have eaten with a very generous serve of truffles.

Baked Pineapple with sorbet and biscotti.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lunch at Enmaru at Ion Orchard

Last Saturday we ventured to Ion Orchard for lunch, and this is what we feasted on: Japanese cuisine

Tamago - Basically its egg, but the Japanese serve them sweet, and its custard like.

Salmon Onigiri - this is a japanese rice ball with shredded salmon wrapped within

Unagi - eel, a food which the Japanese eat during the summer as its supposed to be good for the body given the warm weather.

California Temaki - a handroll with crabstick, egg, avocado, cucumber and tobiko (flying fish roe) wrapped in rice and seaweed

Enmaru Set - this set is a good deal ($24.80). The enmaru roll, is actually a futomaki (rice with pickles in it) covered with slices of salmon, prawn, tuna, tamago, scallop, unagi and crabstick. The set also includes a salad, prawn tempura and a salmon with mozarella tempura, a chawan mushi (egg custard), a stewed dish (of chicken, potato and radish)and miso soup.

I would say their lunch specials are good value!