Saturday, 18 April 2015

Easy Peasy Mango Milkshake

The weather's been pretty crazy lately isn't it?  I open up the fridge and feel like drinking the coke, green tea and even beer!  So long it's chilled and ice-cold.  Noticing the ripe mangoes in my fridge earlier, I decided to be slightly healthier and made mango milkshake.  Honey mangoes from Thailand are in the season now and every fruit store and supermarket is selling it.

Mangoes are fruits rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  If you start googling about the nutrition benefits of mango, you will find that they are also a good source of copper, fiber and folate.  But again, some Chinese (I think so) believe that mangoes are "heaty", thus be careful not to overdose else you might end up feeling sick.

Nothing beats a cold mango milkshake on a hot day…  What's more it is that easy!

Mango Milkshake
(3 cups)

500ml chilled fresh milk
2 ripe mangoes

Cut mangoes into sizes that fit the blender.
Put both mangoes and milk into a blender and blend till smooth.  Serve!

It's that easy!  Alternatively, you may freeze a few cubes of mango before blending them.

Ripe mangoes are very sweet these days.  There is no need for any sweetening.  My kids were asking for more!

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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Have you heard of Huai Shan?

Huai Shan also known as Chinese yam or Shan Yao, is a type of root vegetable.  In both fresh or dried forms, they are known for its benefits in treating the kidney, lunch and spleen.  I suppose they do not exactly treat the problem but like the saying goes, you are what you eat, it probably aids in the support of certain functions.

The weather has been pretty horrible lately… hot sunny mornings with a drizzle in the afternoon.  E and I were starting to cough and thus, I bought the fresh Huai Shan to cook as a soup as I have always been told it helps to "stick out" the phlegm.  True?  Well, I am unsure but no harm right?


200gm Huai Shan
2 small carrots
250gm pork ribs
6 red dates
Salt to taste


1. Cut the root vegetables into chunks.  Note that Huai Shan is very slimy and some people react badly to it and will itch.  Thus, either wear a glove or process it fast.
2. Parboil pork ribs.
3. Fill a pot with all the ingredients except salt and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 1.5 - 2 hours.  Season to taste and serve.

If you put the Huai Shan at the same time with the rest of the ingredients, it will become very very soft, breakable upon taking it out.  Alternatively, you may put in the Huai Shan in the last 20 mins and it will be slightly more crunchy.

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Monday, 13 April 2015

Yong Tau Foo!

While we were at Telok Kurau looking for the supposedly original Katong Laksa, which we did not find, we chanced upon this very "unmodern" restaurant nestled in one of the shophouses.

It was lunchtime and there was a queue after we were done.  There were a few big round tables and if you are eating in 2s or 3s, please share table…

We ordered their specialty yong tau foo and raw fish.  Note that they do not serve rice or noodles.  Jiak liao ma eh ba (hokkien) meaning eating the dishes will also make one full.

Loving the fish-paste-laden yong tau foo.  It's pure fish meat ok…  Very different from those we eat at food courts, hawkers etc where flour is added...

The very fresh raw fish, just with lots of spring onions and some red chills, in a mixture of flavorful oil.

I bought a serving of the abacus seeds (suan pan zi).  Abacus seeds are not easily found these days as they are very tedious to make.  I ate it after about 2 hours and it still tasted fine. 

The 6 items that they sell, not many but it's the quality, not the quantity that matters.

If you are in the East area, it's worth a pop-by for lunch:

Goldhill Hakka Restaurant
299A Changi Road
Tel: 6842 4283

Opening Hours: 11am – 4pm
(Closed on Mon)

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Saturday, 11 April 2015

A Morning at Upper Peirce Reservoir

One early Saturday morning, we went Upper Peirce Reservoir for a walk.  

One can jog, walk or drive there.  However, if you do drive, you may wish to note that there are opening / closing times for main entrance gate.

The Upper Peirce Reservoir Park is a tranquil park just next to the Upper Peirce Reservoir.  We probably learn in schools (I think I did previously) that this reservoir, together with the MacRitchie Reservoir, the Lower Peirce Reservoir and the Upper Seletar Reservoir, bound the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. 

Guess who we spotted?

We love how quiet the place is.  A very good place for the kids and even us adults to look far, considering how much time we spend on near items and computer screens, be away from the hustle and bustle of "city" life and enjoy the nature.

And yes!  We spotted a monitor lizard in the waters (another on-the-go learning for the boys as we discussed about monitor lizards and why and how they swim).

Getting some Vitamin D from the morning sun as we walk, run, scoot along the walkway and playing some games.

And as we drove out, with the wind in our face, we spotted monkeys.  What an "adventure"!

Upper Peirce Reservoir Park
Location: Along Old Upper Thomson Road
More information on National Parks website
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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Cooking Frozen Salmon! You Heard Me Right!

Have you ever came to a point such that eating out on weekdays is getting frustrating?

For weekdays dinner now, we try to cook and eat at home.  Reason being, we think it is healthier to cook our own food and we know what we put in the food we cook.  Another reason being we got kind of sick of eating out, not knowing what to buy (fish ball noodles, chicken rice again?!) and we can't be eating those all the time right?!  

I started to find recipes that are quick to cook.  I'm just lazy…* LOL* and found out…

Do you know that you can cook frozen fish?!  YES!  I'm not kidding you…
Do you know you do not need to thaw the frozen fish?  It's true, you don't!

Cook It Frozen is a website that shows the different techniques of preparing and making delicious seafood meals in as little as 15 minutes.

We tried one of the recipes listed and true enough, we had our delicious and healthy dinner in…… you guessed it, 30 minutes!

Alaska Salmon Penne with Grean Beans and Vinaigrette
Adapted from CookItFrozen
Serves 4


250gm penne (or other pasta shapes)
100gm fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
1/2 carrot, julienned
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon / lime     
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 portion wild Sockeye Salmon, frozen from TAG (Read about the benefits of wild salmon here!)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parsley (garnish)
Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 8 minutes, or according to package instructions, until al dente.  Add the green beans and carrots to the water during the last 3 to 4 minutes of cooking time.  

Drain pasta and beans, reserving 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, then return pasta, beans and reserved liquid to the pan.  Add the lemon/lime zest, lemon/lime juice, sea salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Rinse the ice glaze from the frozen salmon (it's cold!!)  Look at the color of the Sockeye Salmon
While pasta cooks, rinse any ice glaze from frozen salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel.  Heat a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Brush both sides of salmon with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Place salmon in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned.  Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking.  

Turn salmon over; cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium.  Cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes for frozen salmon.  Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.  

Break salmon into large chunks (removing skin, if any); add to pasta.  Cook and stir gently over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish and enjoy!
Have you joined our giveaway?  If not, click here and join the Rafflecopter for your chance to win a 1kg Salmon Sampler and have a go at the recipe above for a quick and healthy meal!

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Wild Salmon - A Recipe & A Giveaway!

Salmon - I like salmon sashimi but dislike cooked salmon until I had my first taste of wild salmon.  Read on as I explain why…  :)

Many of my family members and friends know I can be quite imm jin aka fussy / picky about the food my children eat, especially those that I buy or cook.  Of course, I am not that unreasonable in that all caregivers follow my way because as long as they are eating well and not given destructive food forever, I am okay.  Really okay as I  feed them fast food, fried stuff, they eat chips and sweets and chocolates at times too… But please do not take this as a go ahead to indulge them in destructive food!

Though I dislike cooked salmon, I make it a point to buy and cook salmon for the boys in the house because we all know that salmon is prized for its health benefits.  Salmon is a nutrition powerhouse.  Being me, I started googling / researching about salmon and came across articles of wild salmon and the benefits of wild versus farmed salmon.  

As I researched, I became increasingly curious about wild salmon and why it is not easily accessible.  Those we see commonly at supermarkets are farmed salmon and how do I know?  The flesh.  The flesh of wild sockeye salmon is bright red.  Wild salmon are also very lean, which means that the fat marks - those white stripes you see in the meat are very thin.   If the fish is pale pink with wide fat marks, the salmon is farmed.  And most of our salmon are Norwegian salmon - Atlantic salmon farm-raised in Norway.

Look at the chart on the nutrients between wild salmon and farmed salmon.

What caught my eyes were the last 2 paragraphs regarding contaminants and also what some others refer to as PCBs.  No, I am no expert in this but most articles I read mention about farmed salmon being higher in contaminants.  Though deemed safe, I think the risks are far fewer in wild salmon, especially if you are cooking for young kids.  

With that, I searched for places that sell wild salmon (not Many!) and chanced upon The Alaska Guys (TAG).  Through Kevin, I learnt a fair bit regarding wild salmon.  He told me, "once you have tried wild salmon, you will not want to go back to farmed salmon".  Well, true to his words, I began eating cooked wild salmon.  Wild salmon tastes totally different - there was no fishy smell, no yucky aftertaste and for someone who is that particular on cooked salmon, I was blown away…

TAG has an online store and they carry a range of wild seafood from Alaskan crabs to the different kinds of salmon and cod at what I think are priced reasonably.

I used the Coho salmon portions to make a sweet and savoury Salmon with Blueberry Balsamic Sauce.  Coho salmon, the second largest of the Alaska Salmon species known for its orange-red flesh, has a firm texture and is perfect for roasting.  The family was very pleased with the outcome.  B, who do take farmed salmon mentioned that he can taste the difference…  and without saying, I finished up my share of the salmon. *Slurps*

TAG is generously giving away a 1kg Salmon Sampler consisting of both Sockeye and Coho salmon to 1 lucky winner.  Join the giveaway via the Rafflecopter at the end of this blog post.  

To get a taste of the goodness of wild seafood, you may either purchase online or visit TAG's shop at:
201 Telok Kurau Road
#01-05 Kurau Court
(S) 423910
+65 8356 8944

Salmon with Blueberry Balsamic Sauce
(serves 3-4)


    • 2 portions wild salmon, skin on from TAG
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 60 grams blueberries
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon butter

Potato salad
  • 3-4 medium potatoes 
  • Japanese mayonnaise 
  • lemon juice 
  • spring onions


Potato salad
  1. In a large pot, bring potatoes to a boil in salted water over high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and cool before cutting into pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice and spring onions. Add potatoes and toss to combine, adding either more mayonnaise or lemon juice based on preference. Season with salt and pepper.
  1. Rinse the salmon and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut into smaller portions and place on baking tray / sheet sprayed with oil. Drizzle 1 tablespoon melted butter.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  3. Bake / roast the salmon till cooked through, about 7-12 mins (depending on thickness)
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced by a third. Add the blueberries and maple syrup. Cook for a minute and stir in the butter.

To take part in the giveaway, please complete the Rafflecopter:

Giveaway ends 11 April 2015, 12 am.

Please note:

- Winner will be chosen at random.

 - Item is not exchangeable for cash.

- The giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.

- Winner will be announced on blog, Facebook and notified by email.  Please respond within 48 hours, failing which, a new winner will be chosen.

- Winner is to collect the prize from The Alaska Guy's shop at:

201 Telok Kurau Road
#01-05 Kurau Court
(S)  423910

Good Luck! 

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Disclaimer: This post was made possible by The Alaska Guys.  No monetary compensation was given and all opinions expressed here are my own.