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Monday, May 30, 2011

The Modern Confinement according to Me

I haven't deliver yet. My water level's not that good. Doc's not letting me wait past my EDD, which is June 1. Which means, Mr R is coming out to meet the world by hook or by crook on Wednesday morning. I'm in perfect health, no blood sugar, no hypertension(instead I used to have hypo), no swelling, placenta's good, everything good! Just the water level. Sigh!!!

I'm praying hard that he'll be like his Lyanne Cheh-cheh who came out on her own on the day I was supposed to be induced. Lyanne was huge so doc won't let me past my EDD more than a week if I wanted natural birth. Perfect health as well. I hate being induced. It's super super super painful, leaving me with no time to breathe in between contractions.

 Well, each pregnancy, I'm always at the brink of having not enough amniotic fluid, and this time, it's kinda really low. So, maybe now you know why my weight increment is not that great. Still at about 3kg, haha! With the baby at 3.1kg now, last scanned on Saturday. I never have any water retention problem, no leg swelling, or whatsoever swelling. No increment of any size of anything on my body. Haha, yes. Just my belly.
It's not that I don't drink enough water, I don't have constipation problems, I just never retain liquids in my system. Even If I drink a mugful of water each 30 minutes, I'll go to toilet every half an hour and drain them all out.

Each time after deliver, I go through confinement. For those of you who have no idea what is confinement, it's a Chinese tradition of which after delivery, the lady stays home, rest and gets fed well, with lots of rules and regulations to ensure a proper healing and recuperation. Confinement 坐月子 is not only practiced by those from Chinese descent, but Malays, Indians and some other people from Asian countries. Engaging the same confinement lady, CL each time. It's not because she cooks well, but I like her attitude and her ability to shoot up from sleep and doze off with a count to 3. It makes us relieved to know that she is getting enough rest that she won't drop my baby off her arms due to sleeplessness. Good child care is more important than food.

This time around, as usual I prepared a weekly menu for my CL. I don't like to eat redundant things and it makes life easier for others, like MIL who will be doing the marketing for me. The last confinement (Lyanne's time), my CL made certain mistakes that I'll make sure she doesn't do that this time. I translated some of recipes on my blog in Chinese for her. I want some of the things cooked my way. She is the type of person who will take in suggestions and listens to us, her employer, rather than insisting in her own ways. An attitude suitable for modern confinement.

There are few things that I will love to talk about. You might disagree or laugh about it with me, but no matter what, it's 100% my personal opinion.

1. Confinement is old fashioned.
- Well, depends on how you look at it. Why reject a month of relaxation? It's a month where the mother gets to rest and eat well to recuperate. It should be the time to bond with the baby, with someone else taking care of other things for you, like chores. Why not? I believe that if one does not rest well during the 1st month, the 2nd month will be a nightmare when the baby starts to wake up more and throws more tantrums. There will be no time for rest, or even to catch quality sleep, not until many months later. The first month is a lot of sleeeeeping. So, why not sleep when the baby sleeps and think about nothing else. The best part is sleeping throughout the night.......... quality sleep for 30 days after 40 weeks of twisting and turning on the bed with a heavy belly and constant bathroom visits. The CL won't stay with you forever, it's just the crucial first month, so enjoy yourself.

2. No bathing
-Yucks!!! There's no winter here. It's summer whole year long. If red dates can be kept at room temp in China without any problems, try keeping your red dates in your cabinet. You'll see them growing fungus very soon. Imagine your body growing fungus and you are carrying the baby in your arms. Yucks!!!! The weather and climate here is absolutely different. My grandaunt (1903-1996) who came from China told my mom to bathe, and said , " You think this is China ah?" Grandaunt said, babies in China do not bathe. So, if you bathe your baby daily, why won't u bathe yourself? Yucks! If you really worry about "wind", gosh, there are bathing herbs, sold for few bucks per pack at Chinese herbal shops. They don't smell weird, but smells like herbal tea. I won't mind drinking them if they were sweetened. If tradition says no bathing, then why are there post partum bathing herbs? For watering plants meh?

3. One shouldn't touch unboiled water. Bathe, wash hands and gargle with cooled cooked water.
-Hey!!! Which century are you living in? Are you using river water? Well water? Gosh no! It's chlorinated pipe water. River water or well water may contain nematodes, parasites, germs and even traces human waste. So, if you don't boil it, chances are the wound down there might get infected and that's the last thing you ever want. But hey hey hey, we are using chlorinated pipe water now. So, do you think that is applicable now?

4. No drinking of plain water.
- Gosh. Since when plain water is bad for you? All red date teas or rice tea are infused with plain water. When they get into your body, it still gets separated as water and nutrients, so what's the difference?
Not enough water = constipation = chances of getting haemorrhoids

5. Wrap head and wear socks.
-Huh? In tropical Malaysia? Got to be kidding me. I don't want to perspire and carry my baby. That's the last thing I want to do. I don't want to smell like a dumpster and get athlete's food.

6. Not wash hair for a month.
-I don't really believe this, but to console my mom, I try my very best to wash after a week. And I make sure I get my mane cleaned before I go for my 10th day check up. I don't want to walk into the clinic as a stinking bomb. (the nurses do tell me many are stink bombs the moment the post partum ladies walk in for that checkup) It's embarassing! It's not that we are in China (again!!) that the weather is dry and cold. It's hot and humid here. And dirty hair grows germs and whatsoever.

7. Refrain from vegetables.
-As believed, vegetables are cooling, except for a few types like KaiLan. For me, I do not believe so. I need the fibre to get my bowels going. I don't want to have haemorrhoids just because I didn't eat enough vege during this month. I'm lucky to have a confinement lady, mother and mother in law that supports a healthy dose of vegetables. But I refrain from raw vege, and taro. I was told that taro will cause itching and hey, sometimes taros really does do that, even if one hasn't delivered a baby. I don't want to be scratching here and there. Not eating taro for a month won't kill me, but not eating vege for a month will.

8. Consume lots of expensive herbs.
- I don't believe in splurging on herbs. As long as I eat healthily with a balanced diet, I don't believe I have to down 38gm of Angelica (dang gui) daily. Somehow I feel herbal shops likes to say, "If you don't 'bou' now, old liao then you know". Cheh, who knows what will happen when I'm 50 or 60. Can they guarantee if I take 2kg of angelica throughout my confinement I'll be free of sickness when I'm 50. That's BS to me. To them, this is the best time to cut your throat, asking you to buy this and buy that, scaring you about the future. My mom said, "I never ate any of those, but hey look at me, I'm fine.". My mom ate a lot of black fungus of which is believed to help with expelling dirty blood from the body. No expensive herbs. Not to say that I do not consume any herbs, I do, but moderately. I still believe I need the extra nourishment besides a balanced diet, but not to splurge thousands of $$ on all the future predictions that no one can guarantee.
My aunt said, "Nowadays it's unlike the olden days where there were no supplements during pregnancy. It really feels weak after delivery, but if you consume every pill that your doc tell you to take in, the difference is 100% obvious. I know cos I was diligently popping pills for the first and last pregnancy and was lazy for the middle 2 babies. Lazy to pop pills and you'll suffer the consequences later." True story from my big aunt who believes in a balanced post partum diet.

9. Not going out for 1 month, lest you get "headwind".
-Errr... I do believe this to a certain extent.
*2 weeks after delivering Lydia, I brought her to a playground opposite my mom's place and sat on the swing. The late afternoon cool breeze was blowing while I was there. Just for 15 minutes. That night, I had mild headache.
*2 weeks after delivering Lyanne, I went to the balcony to hang the laundry as the confinement lady washed the clothes before she slept. I never like leaving the clothes in the machine overnight as it will make the clothes really crumpled. The night breeze was blowing. I had mild headache that night too.
*But for both babies, I drove to the hospital by myself to have my 10th day check up and even went shopping for baby necessities. I drove my mom to the market, went to herbal shops to get more dates and got stared at when they knew I was in confinement. Nothing happened, because there was no wind during all those times.
So, in my case, I believe when the breeze or the wind is there, get into the house. Go out to run errands if you must only during the day time when it's hot. After delivery, our pores are opened and can be susceptible to "cold wind". It could be and I'm telling you from my own experience. I'm not someone that has headaches all the time. I could count the times with only my right fingers. So far including these 2, I had only 4 headaches so far, with 2 already stated here. But I have the fan and aircond on at home throughout my confinement, not natural breeze :) It's indoors of Malaysia!!!

10. Drink lots of liquor, like DOM 
-No I don't.
Somehow I believe that in China, where it is really cold, liquor is one way to warm the body. Just like how Russians use Vodka as a body warming aid. It's so hot here, do we really need that much of warmth from liquor?
DOM which is the ultimate confinement liquor, haha, is hardly consumed. I don't like the sweetness. I could only finish half a bottle each time. With a few bottles as gifts each time, I had to think of ways to manage them later. I breastfeed, therefore I don't consume raw liquor. I use them cooked each time. And they taste absolutely sweet when the alchohol has evaporated. I know DOM is good for the post partum lady with all the herbs infused in it, but too bad, I'm no drinker.
I don't like rice wine Chicken, I don't know why, I just don't like it. Don't talk about red rice wine. Worse.
The only wine I could tolerate lots of it in the cooking is Korean ginger wine. So far, I don't feel weak now without DOM. Sigh, don't talk about 30 years down the road. No one knows. I'd rather take in saffron, thyme, angelica, cinnamon in its natural form than to derive them infused in DOM.


When this month has passed, I'll be back on my feet, and hell will begin. But I'll be glad that I rested well during the crucial times post delivery. I'm sure my wound has healed well and I'm well nourished to face the next few months. Getting sick is no small matter when you have a small infant, a toddler and a kid to take care of. That's the last thing I want. So, get on with confinement, but with some rationale. Don't be blind to follow whatever you're told. It's a good practice that shouldn't be put aside and be regarded as something of the past.

I won't be MIA for a month. Confinement postings coming up when I've delivered and am feeling much better.

See you in my next post with pictures of Mr. R.
 Haha, I like the way Elin calls him.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mustard Green and Oyster Soup - Brassica Trio # 3

Days are hot. I’m boiling herbal drinks almost every day to cool down.

Mustard greens taste bitter. It’s the only bitter veggie that I consume, and not only consume, you can say I’m like crazy for it. I won’t be able to resist any dish with this. Be it the “rubbish vege” that we do with leftover dishes, or the banquet dish of Mustard Greens with Mushrooms, or just a simple stir fry of Mustard Greens, I can never ever resist the sight of it. I must eat and eat a lot of it. I'm insane for it.

When my saw some mustard greens at Tesco, my mind immediately remembered this soup that I’ve bookmarked for a quite a few months. My MIL said, “Won’t this be too cooling if made into soup?”. Well, to me, isn’t it perfect for this crazily hot weather? We definitely need something super cooling.
But then, just in case it’s too “cool”, I left the red dates unseeded. If you want it to be very very cool, then remove the seeds.

Mustard Green Soup
Recipe source: Foodie’s Kitchen

750gm mustard green
400gm pork soup bones or ribs
150gm carrots
20gm/4 dried oysters
4 shitake mushrooms (mine were was big as Marie biscuits when soaked, use more if yours are smaller), soaked
30gm/15 red dates
2L water

1. Bring water to boil.
2. Meanwhile, peel and cut carrots into slanting chunks.
3. Rinse oysters put them into the pot.
4. Score the red dates and put them in
5. Separate each leaf from of the mustard green and wash to remove sand. Separate the petioles(the hard crunchy parts of the leaf) and the soft leaf parts. Cut the petioles into chunks and tear the soft leaf parts into smaller pieces.
6. When water has come to a boil, put in pork ribs and bring back to a boil.
7. Put in mustard petioles and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Reduce to a simmer for 1hour.
8. Put in soft mustard leaves and bring back to a boil. Simmer for another hour.
9. Season with salt and serve.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Broccoli Cheese and Salmon Soup - Brassica Trio # 2

This is one very very very delicious soup.
I wanted to try making broccoli soup, and it so happened that I have a salmon steak in my freezer. Salmons are very sweet. They make everything they swim in (well, they’re dead in the pot of course) extra tasty, extra sweet. And when my hubby saw me use the salmon he told me to buy few days back in the soup, he said, “Then what porridge shall I eat later??”. Haha, he intended the salmon to be for his favourite porridge, his salmon seafood congee.
There was no need to throw in any stock cubes or anything. It’s very very very flavourful on its own. With each spoon that my MIL downed, “Oh, this is fattening, but this is good. “ and took seconds and thirds. Hahahaha!!! She was surprised that my FIL the veggie hater, finished his bowl of broccoli soup too.  It’s good to puree veggie and hide it in his diet.
 This soup has cream, butter, cheese…. Fat fat fat!!! But then it’s what makes me love this soup even more. *evil grin*

Come on, I don’t drink this type of soup even once a month, ok!

Broccoli Cheese and Salmon SoupRecipe refered to get the general idea: Kitchen Bitch  Major modifications made my WendyywyServes: 4-6 depending on portion size
250gm salmon (1 large steak)
4 cups water
500gm broccoli(2 heads), stem peeled and chopped, florets cut small
2 Tbsp butter
1 onion (about 100gm), chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and generous amount of pepper
¾ cup cream
1 heaped Tbsp all purpose flour +1/4 cup water
3 slices of cheddar cheese
1. Bring water to a boil and put in salmon steak, turn heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes, lid covered. Turn off the heat and fish out the salmon. Let the salmon cool down for flaking later. Save the broth, do not discard it.
2. In another pot, on medium heat butter until melted and put in garlic and onions and cook until translucent. Turn heat to high
3. Put in broccoli stems and cook for 30 seconds and then put in the florets. Cook until the broccoli is well coated with the butter and smells good
4. Pour in half of reserved salmon stock and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes after it has boiled, until the broccoli is tender, but not mushy.
5. Let it cool down for 5 minutes before you blitz it with an immersion blender or a jug blender. If using jug blender, make sure you have an opening in the lid, if not it’ll pop open when you turn on the blender and everything will be in a mess.
6. Meanwhile, flake the fish. Be careful and remove all bones, especially the “side” bones
7. Bring blended soup back to a boil, add in balance of salmon stock. When it has boiled, add in cream.
8. Thicken it with flour mixture and season the soup with salt and pepper.
9. Put the flaked salmon back into the pot and turn off the heat. Put in cheese slices and stir to melt.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Braised Taro with Kai Lan - Brassica Trio #1

Brassicas or Crucifers are a group of vegetables that include stuff like cabbages, choy sum, radish, daikon, mustard, brussels sprouts, cauliflowers and broccoli. Brassicas are good for you as they are high in vitamin C, soluble fibre and contain multiple nutrients and phytochemicals with potential anti-cancer properties. Most of the vegetables we consume are from this family, even Wasabi is.

Kailan is a member of the Brassica family. It has leaves that seem to have a layer of bloom over it. When I was a kid, I was scared to eat it, because I was told by my “smart” brother, that whitish silvery layer contains mercury. Well, up until today, I don’t think I still believe that, but then again, I don’t know how much truth there is to there. Haha!

When I saw this dish on Elin’s, I knew I just got to try this. It’s so special. I think she used the same type of kailan as I did. Or maybe she really did use baby kailans as I can’t really see from the pics. FYI, baby kailans here are really miniature kailan, that really looks like a kailan with long petioles, a stem but in miniature form. The stem is just anywhere 5mm-8mm thick only. But it’s long, up to 6 inches in length. Hong Kong kailan is about the same length, but the stems are fatter and leaves are thicker. But looks wise, similar. Regular kailans can have stems with similar width as Hong Kong Kailans but much larger, up to 1 ft in length. But then again, feel free to use whichever kailan you prefer.

Braised Taro with Kailan
Recipe source: Elin Luv Tidbits

250gm taro (cleaned weight), cut thumbsized
2 Tbsp dried shrimp
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste
2 cups water

500gm Hong Kong Kailan
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil

1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
2. Put in salt and oil. Blanch kalian for 1-2 minutes (I like mine not too cooked)
3. Remove from water and rinse with cold water. Set aside. (Or you can do step 1-3 while you braise the taro, if you have more than one available stove)
4. In a wok, heat up and put in 2 tbsp of cooking oil.
5. Put in garlic and dried shrimp and fry until fragrant.
6. Put in taro and cook for 1 minute. Put in water and simmer on medium low heat until taro turns soft and the gravy looks creamy. (Remember to check water once a while)
7. Put in salt, sugar and pepper.
8. Return blanched kailan to wok and toss it around. Cook until the kalian warms up again.
9. Dish up and serve.

*It's a bit sad that my taro is not that creamy, no matter how long I braise it. Buying taro is sometimes like buying lottery. Haha. Even Thai taro may not give me favourable results each time. But the overall dish is indeed nice.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake - Cheesecake Trio #3

This is my first time trying fresh local passionfruit. Somehow it doesn’t taste like those commercial flavours. It’s very much like Cosway’s Markisa Juice. And after doing some reading up, the local variety available here is indeed markisa. The skin’s pinkish rather than purplish or yellowish. So for those of you who is yearning for some passionfruit bakes but find it hard to get the pulp or fruit, head on to Cosway and get your bottle of markisa cordial. I’ve baked a chiffon with it few years back and it works.
 *** I’m not a Cosway member ***

With Mother's Day just 2 days away, I was thinking of visiting my mother on the day with a cake. She's not expecting me, as she was more worried about me being at 36 weeks (that time). I had no idea what to make for her until I rumaged my fridge to look for ingredients. I saw the pack of almost forgotten fruits. (I had been busy moving) The passionfruits had been lying in my fridge for 6 weeks, wrinkling by the day. The passionfruits seems to have taken on some mould. I washed away the mould and they looked ok. I cut them open and phew, absolutely ok. The skin’s really thick and I didn’t see any penentration of blackish, grayish or greenish stuff on the inside.The inner skin was just plain white and pretty. And they still taste pretty nice, but sourish. If you want to know where I bought them, it's at Subang's Jaya Grocer at Empire. Hahaha, do I live in Klang Valley or in KK, hahaha, take a guess.

I’ve been baking very much without a recipe nowadays. Throwing in whatever I feel like. Not trying to brag, but just to share. When the inspiration comes, I just try to imagine what I want and go about with that. It’s fun!
Oh yeah, I tried out my new oven with this cake, actually it's the 2nd cake as I baked a sponge just before this cake. Baked 2 cakes consecutively and the cheesecake must be the last as it needs to be cooled in the oven. I'll talk more about my oven next time.

To those of you who think I really cincai taruk (simply put in),NO, there still are rules to go by. Like ratio of gelatin to liquid is always 1 tbsp to 500ml liquid (but I might do adjustments accordingly at times). And the rest, is just reasoning. If one likes it creamy, then use some cream, if one likes it lemony, then use some zest and not the juice. But if you like it tangy, then use the juice. If you prefer it better aerated then beat the whites. It’s up to you!

Does this cake look familiar to you? I’m creating this cake based on Secret Recipe’s Raspberry Yogurt Cheesecake, which is Lydia’s favourite. It is not similar, in texture and taste but the inspiration is from there.

Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake
Recipe source: Wendyywy

Cheesecake base
250gm cream cheese, room temperature
50gm sugar
2 egg yolks
100ml whipping cream
½ tbsp lemon zest
20gm corn starch

2 egg whites
1 tsp lemon juice
40gm sugar

1. Prepare an 8 inch round spring form pan. Refer here. Prepare some boiling water. Preheat oven to 150C (bottom heat only, if that is not available, wrap top of cheesecake when cake gets too brown. I intend this cheesecake to have a pale top.)
2. Beat cream cheese until smooth (no need to be fluffy), put in sugar and egg yolks and cream until combined.
3. Pour in whipping cream, corn starch and lemon zest, and mix until smooth. Set aside.
4. In another clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy and put in lemon juice. Beat until soft peaks and gradually add in sugar and beat until medium stiff.
5. Fold egg whites into main batter and pour into prepared pan.
6. Bake for 1 hour. Let cake cool in oven with door slightly ajar for 1 hour. Then remove cake from oven and remove base pan that contains water and let cake cool down completely. Chill in fridge (still in pan) when cake has totally cooled.

After chilling cake for at least an hour (or freeze it for 15 minutes for express chilling), prepare yogurt layer

Yogurt Layer
500gm plain yogurt
1 ½ Tbsp gelatin
50ml water
100ml whipping cream
70gm sugar
Extra sugar if needed (due to different level of tanginess of the plain yogurt, especially natural yogurt which is rather sour)

1. Put water into a heat proof bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let it bloom and then zap it in microwave on high heat for 30 seconds (or place bowl over some hot water to melt the gelatin). Let gelatin mixture cool down to room temperature.
2. Beat cream with sugar until soft peaks and mix in plain yogurt. Taste. If not sweet enough, add more sugar.
3. Run mixer on low and pour gelatin mixture into yogurt mixture.
4. Pour mixture over chilled cheesecake.
5. Place cake into freezer for 15 minutes.
While the cake is going through express chilling in the freezer, prepare the topping.

Topping layer
½ cup passionfruit pulp (derived from 400gm of passionfruit, weighed when still fresh and unwrinkled)
1 tsp gelatin
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp sugar

1. Place gelatin into a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over and let it bloom for 1 minute.
2. Zap in microwave on high for 15 seconds or melt over hot water.
3. While gelatin solution is still hot, mix in sugar and stir. It’s ok if it’s not fully melted.
4. Mix in passionfruit pulp and mix until sugar is fully dissolved.
5. Remove cake from freezer and touch the surface of the yogurt. It should be wobbly but should not stick to your fingers.
6. Gently spoon passionfruit layer over yogurt. Chill for at least 5 hours before serving.

*If using Passionfruit/Markisa Cordial, then prepare half cup of slightly oversweetened cordial (mix the cordial with some water until sweeter than what u'll usually drink) and mix with the melted gelatin. Skip the sugar, of course, as the cordial is sweetened. Do step1,2, add prepared cordial and then 5 and 6 only

The cheesecake base is not as heavy and creamy as Secret Recipe's but quite light by comparison. Well recieved by everyone, including my not-so-cake-loving brother, who loves passionfruit and kept on nagging on how I wasted the fruit by making this cake. He also bought some passionfruit the same time as I did and ate his fresh weeks ago after wrinkling them.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Marble Cheesecake for my Colleague - Cheesecake Trio # 2

My colleague ordered this cake for her daughter few weeks back before I moved.
I used Alex Goh's recipe and as always it always crack in my oven.
I didn't whip the cream, and instead used sour cream, still it cracked.
Hated it.

So, I hid the cracks with some make up
And here's the cake

Pn Tan, Hope your girl and your family loved the cake

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hannah's 2 Minnie Mouse Birthday Cakes - Cheesecake Trio #1


I made 2 cakes for my dear niece to be cut n day 1 and day 2 of Chinese New Year.
She requested for a Minnie Mouse cake and gosh, a Minnie Mouse cake? She must have caught the bug on her trip to Disneyland last Nov. I turned down her request as I can't figure out how to do that just before CNY. As you all know, fridges are stuffed so so full during this period that keeping a cake with cream in a stuffed full fridge is CRAZILY difficult.

But I felt so bad letting her down. Really felt so so bad. So I googled for Minnie Mouse cake and then I got the idea of instead of making Minnie's face, I could just use her trademark, polka dot ribbons as my deco theme. And use chocolate cut outs to make the Minnies. The cut outs have no facial features, but with those ears and ribbons, no one couldn't recognise it's not Minnie. And further more, she has told me before she loved my Strawberry Mirror Cake and would want to have it again this time, and I also turned her down because I don't want to make repeating cakes for the same person. Well, this request was 2 months before the Minnie request. So, I made up my mind to make 2 cakes for her. One oreo cheesecake to be cut at my mom's and the strawberry mirror cake to be cut at my sis in law's parent's house, since they've never had this cake before. A pink cake is perfect for Minnie. Both are gelatin set cakes, as I didn't want to do frosting and worry about getting them smudged when I shove them into the stuffed fridge. Cake rings are there for a purpose. : p

I went around town scouting for suitable ribbons. It was only at an old shop that I could get it. Those popular fast moving art and gift shops carry only the latest designs and these polka dot stuff are infact, quite old. I've been seeing them around since my school days!!! I finally found one that is suitable.

For the Strawberry Mirror Cake, instead of having the mirror on top, I set the mirror on 2 separate pans.
When they were set, I half froze them. Then I made the bavarian cream filling and sandwiched the mirror layer between the bavarian cream. So altogether there was 3 layers of cake and 2 layers of mirror sandwiched with bavarian cream. Haha, if you have no idea, this is the layout from bottom to top:
Cake, Cream, Mirror, Cream, Cake, Cream, Mirror, Cream , Cake, Cream.
I planned to do white polka dots for the cake, Minnie's trademark, but then I was too tired to do that step. A choc cut out is good enough, Haha

I can't get a picture of the interior as the I didn't see the cake being cut. But the reviews I got was that it was fabulous! Yeah with almost 1kg of strawberries in that cake, how can it not be fabulous! Haha. But the actual fact is that, it's not a common cake. The relatives on my SIL's side have never eaten such a cake, and some of them requested for the recipe.

Ok, now about the Oreo Cheesecake. Well, don't know why I came up with the idea of using Oreos and stacked them to make the cake. But then, initally, I wanted to do a dome with Minnie's ears and ribbons on top. Which was why this cake was so short. But in the end, I ran out of cream. I didn't want to do an empty dome, was worried it'll soften and collapse during the 1 hour journey from KK to Kampar, so, no cream, no filling, no dome, no Minnie ears and ribbon. In the end, I made cut outs and hand sewed the ribbons. I didn't have proper Minnie cookie cutters and had to make do with my bear cookie cutter. The ears where smaller than Minnie's but no one realised it until I told them, it's actually a bear's cut out, not Minnie's. It was totally acceptable for those who saw the cake. Hahaha!! That means, the ribbons did a very good job in portraying Minnie.

I concocted my own formula for this cheesecake, threw in whatever I fancy and used lots of oreos for some stacking effect. I could only do 3 layers as that was all the batter that I have. If I used a smaller cake ring, then I could do more layers.

Oreo Stacked Chilled Cheesecake
Recipe Source : Wendyywy

250gm cream cheese, softened
100gm sweetened condensed milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
300gm whipping cream, cold
1 Tbsp + 1tsp gelatin
50gm water
3 tubes of Oreo (more or less)

1. Separate oreo cookies. Discarding all the cream except for 25 pieces of halves.
2. Finely mill the 25 pieces of cookie halves with cream.
3. Press the milled cookie crumbs into a cake ring on a cake board /springform pan. Keep chilled.
4. Put water into a heat proof bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the water. Let the gelatin sit for 2 minutes. It will bloom. Then melt the gelatin either in the microwave (30 secs on high) or over another bowl of boiling water. (method seen here). Let it cool down.
5. Beat cream cheese until smooth and put in condensed milk and vanilla and beat again. Beat in gelatin solution until just combined.
6. In another clean bowl, beat cold whipping cream until soft peaks.
7. Fold the half the cream into the cream cheese mixture using a large whisk. Repeat with balance of cream.
8. Put in slightly more than half cup of cheese mixture into prepared pan. Spread it out. Arrange oreo halves (no cream) all over the cheese.
9. Repeat step 8 twice. You’ll have 3 layers of cookies.
10. Gently pour all the remaining cream cheese over the cookies and level the “cake”
11. Put into fridge to chill for at least 5 hours before unmoulding.

The Minnies were all ripped off by the kids.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm back!

Sorry for being MIA for so long.

Initially I thought, I'd be moving, I mean, moving major stuff the following week after my announcement. But one of my contractors delayed me for a week, and then finished off the job 2 weeks later (he said he'd complete the job within 4 days, but took more than 2 weeks to do so). During this time, I was running to and fro the old and new house many times in a day and it was very tiring. I only started sowly transfering my stuff over when the cabinets were finally completed. The old and new place were just 10 minutes apart, but going few times in a day during 3rd trimester is no fun.

I was lucky to have my in laws helping me clean up the new place. My FIL did my garden for me and most of the drilling. My MIL did most of the new house cleaning. If it's not for them, I'll be dead meat doing all these. Where's my hubby? Haha, diligently working of course and becoming my driver. He didn't allow me to drive much during this pregnancy. Well, I've been having mood swings this time and it sure does scare the hell out of him, hahah!

I finally moved in and had my first night in the new place on 30th April. It sure does feel good that I can finally rest assured that I won't be stuck at my old place when my baby arrives. It's not that I don't like my old place, but it's so bare in the end, and my butt was still there was what scared me. It's no fun sleeping in an almost bare place, with only necessities like my kid's milk supply, TV, Milo and biscuits. We didn't move everything but only the smaller stuff which is like 90% of what we owned. The new place's big stuff were mostly new, like major electrical appliances and furniture, as we have already anticipated to move since 4 years back.

After I moved in, only then I started preparing for my baby's arrival. I packed my hospital bag, collected baby clothes from my cousin, washed them, dried them, folded and kept them in a clean plastic drawer. It took a while to prepare the temp baby room(for confinement lady and baby) as I needed to wait for the tiler to do something there and then get some of the old stuff moved in. And it's finally done now. Another moment of relief.

Now, it's the time to do final arrangements in the house, with all the excess in the store room, still in bags, boxes or whatever to be arranged and put at the right places. I can slowly do this part as there's no rush for it.

Relieved, yes I am. And I can finally blog again....but my laptop is not in good condition now. I had to do a repair thingy everyday before I could luckily turn it on. Hubby's planning to get me a desk top. Well, actually it's an excuse for him to get a desktop so that he can start his games again. LOL. He hasn't been playing much computer games since he got laptops for himself and I.

Last Fri, I went to see my doc and my baby. He's at 2.6kg now. At 38 weeks, it's quite small. Small in comparison to my girls. Lyanne was almost 4kg when she was born! Yikes! So far, I've gain only 3kg. Yes. 3kg ONLY. The least so far. Both Lydia and Lyanne's time were like 5kg only. Yes, only 5kg. Haha. I'm weird, where people gain weight and size during pregnancies but I shrink. I have always been heavy, yes, very heavy. And during pregnancies, one can see my arms and thighs shrinking. My family and friends have always found this to be humourous. Some even like to look at my still deep belly button and laugh at it, saying "Oh, u still have belly button". LOL. Whenever I go to buy herbs for my confnement, I always get asked, "Why buy so early? You still have a long way to go.", But I'm oredi in my 9th month!!! So, you can actually guess how I look now. I only look like 5 months preggers, according to most ladies telling me.

Ooohhh... I've been talking so much. Maybe it's been so so long since I've shared anything.

We only finalized our boy's name lately. The Chinese name was selected by my hubby with the middle name following the family's poem. And the Christian name was shortlisted by me and selected by Lydia.


Now, a little fun.
Correctly guess the name of my boy and I'll send u something. A can of Nestle Dulce de Leche (only for Malaysians as postage is very expensive) or 3 pods of Tahitian Vanilla Beans (anywhere in the world).  One gift for the first correct answer for each name.

Christian name starts with "R"
Chinese name has less than 7 strokes. The middle name is 尚. Ask your friends if u know NO Chinese. It's a common word that is easy to write.

If u get both names correct, you get 2 gifts from me.

Happy guessing and the answer will be given when you see his face on my blog :)

Simple rules to the game:
1. Giveaway is open to anyone from anywhere.
2. Two Chinese names and one Christian name per person. Any extra guesses and the whole submission will not be counted.
3. Absolutely anonymous guesses will not be counted. Leave me a name.
4. Closing date is.... before I announce the answer.

I won't be posting daily anymore, but I'll try my best to post weekly trios.
I promised pics of my new kitchen, that'll have to come later, I've not fully settled everything.
 : )


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