Malaysian Monday 98 : Cornflake cookies and Lunar New Year celebrations

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

   Hello friendsss. Wissshing all of you a happy and prosssperouss ssstart to the lunar New Year. In case the hissing hasn’t yet given it away, this is the year of the Snake according to the Chinese Zodiac.

 Snake lantern in Singapore's Chinatown

   The new year officially started on Sunday, but as I’ve mentioned before, celebrations last for 15 days so it’s not too late to wish your friends a Happy New Year. You could impress them even more by saying “Gong Xi Fa Cai”  ;).

Things have been pretty exciting round these parts in the lead up to the new year. Stalls selling all manner of clothes, decorations and food popped up in the local shopping area. Red decorations festooned buildings and every supermarket I walked into seemed to play the same upbeat new year music. (I’m not kidding about the repetitive music - the MCs had even picked up on it and would happily belt out the chorus, in Mandarin, when out and about.)

After being away from this part of the world for so long, it was wonderful to see the familiar new year treats start appearing around the neighbourhood. I no longer had to make my own “new year cake”, I simply had to pick some up at a local bakery!

The excitement became so infectious I even ended up baking some cookies although we don’t “officially” celebrate lunar new year in our household. These cornflake cookies were a very familiar treat when I was a kid. It didn’t just appear at New Year, it frequently made the rounds during the Hari Raya celebrations as well. In fact, when I went hunting for a recipe in mum’s handed down cookbooks, I found two! However, they both made enormous quantities of cookies and as we weren’t expecting any visitors, I searched the net for more manageable ratios.

I found a simple recipe over at Aunty Cheah’s blog, No Frills Recipes. Her recipe still makes  quite a lot so I divided the recipe and made 2/3 of the given measurements. This solved the problem of measuring out one and a half eggs too (I just used 1 egg). I also removed 1 oz of plain flour from my 2/3 measurements and replaced this with 1 oz of cornflour instead. This ingredient was mentioned in one of mum’s recipes. The cookies seemed to keep crisp for a long time and I think the cornflour helped.

Hope you’re all enjoying your week wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. I’ll leave you with some photos of our visit to Chinatown.

 Market stalls in Chinatown

 MC Senior contemplates sparklers at a stall

See you soon!

A little love

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dear friends,

Happy rather belated new year!

How have you been? It feels like it’s been too long since I sat down and paid attention to this blog. Somehow other things just kept getting in the way. Last year I managed about 32 blog-posts. The year before I produced 102. That’s an almost 70% reduction in productivity levels!  Feeling demotivated, I’d even come close to pulling the plug a couple of times but Mr. Kitchen Hand stopped me (smart man). He knows how much I still enjoy “escaping” into this little world no matter how infrequent. He sees the buzz I get from interacting with all of you, my dear readers.

So here I am. Again.

But this time, I’m going to be kind to myself. I won’t stress if I don’t post as often as I think I should. I won’t stress when I miss Malaysian Monday deadlines (which are totally self imposed anyway). Instead, I will come here because I want to. Because I enjoy it. This year, I want to fall in love with my blog all over again. And if you visit, I hope you find a little love here too.

Speaking of love, I’d like to share some scenes from our trip home at the end of last year. Sydney in summertime (when the weather cooperates) is pretty hard to beat. We caught up with friends and family, ate at some new places and had a generally awesome time. It has been a bit difficult getting back into routine here in Singapore but whenever I need a lift, these photos do the trick.

Our local beach had been visited by guerilla knitters.

We spent an afternoon at Palm Beach, catching up with friends over a long leisurely lunch at The Boathouse. Great food, wonderful conversation and views. It was a magical afternoon.

Fish and Chips

 Seafood platter (more than enough for 2 to share)

 After lunch, we headed over to the The Cook's Larder in Avalon, where I met this gluten free pistachio, fig and chocolate cake. It was so rich I took half of it home and had to share that with Mr. Kitchen Hand. If anyone knows the recipe for this, I would be in your debt!

And of course, we couldn't leave without a macaron or three

Actually, my photos don’t really do justice to the beauty of our favourite patch of Sydney. If you want to see some truly amazing photos, have a look at this blog/ website . We were lucky enough to have some photos taken by my friend’s husband Stephen. Go check out his photos and be awed by his talent.

Take care and see you all real soon.