Wednesday, 26 January 2011

My mum's day

So here are some photos from my mum's 60th reunion birthday party last night.  We all had a brilliant night, thanks to my ever so thoughtful step dad and my closest sis' Yvonne for organising it all.

The birthday bunny herself

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

My favourite winning recipe

Just in case any of you didn't notice the recent 'Reader's recipe challenge' way back last autumn in the popular British women's magazine Prima, one of the runners-up was indeed moi !!    I submitted it because it's my favourite dish to cook for the family and it's simple & healthy too.

Chinese-style pan-fried rainbow trout with root ginger and spring onions

1tbsp olive oil
3 spring onions, shredded
1 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and shredded
290g pack boneless rainbow trout fillets
dash of soya sauce
dash of sesame oil

What to do:
1. Heat a large frying pan and add olive oil. When hot toss in spring onions and ginger and fry gently for 1 min. stirring.
2. Add fish fillets to pan and cook on a moderately high heat for about 5 mins, tossing fish over to cook other side once it has turned a peach colour..
3. Now, splash over soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve alongside some boiled rice.

This sort of recipe is typical in my style of cooking, ie. I tend not to spend too long on it.
Root ginger and spring onions also feature quite commonly in Chinese cooking.
Other recipes I can do 'easily' are as follows:
Szechuan aubergines, Chicken fried rice (easy peasy), Chinese dumplings, stir fried broccoli, homemade potato/vegetable soup (my sister and son loves this) and chicken stew.  So, readers feel free to send in any recipe requests for any of these meals via the comments form and I would love to share it with you.

The latest.....

Well we managed to get that piece of furniture  for my study - a 7 feet tall bookcase that came as a flatpack and took us 30 minutes to put together.   Luckily I checked the instructions leaflet, and followed it through.   A bookcase is simple enough...(don't think I could've built anything else in double that time).

Disaster!   My mother found out about her birthday surprise tonight and she wasn't a happy bunny.
Normally people when they find out they're getting a surprise party would be overjoyed , no not my mum.
Actually she is a very private person although she is easy going and laid back in her personality, she is also a workaholic.     The surprise was , in fact,  arranged by my step dad & sister,  who paid for flights for my uncle, auntie from Hong Kong to come to the UK, and also for some relatives to fly over from England.   To cut a long story short I could see why my step dad and sis were doing this (to show my mum they care and also maybe to show her she needs to take a break) but I guess it was also sort of going against my mum's will - as she'd specified that she didn't want any 'big parties' with this upcoming birthday being her 60th.
She'd suspected something like this may happen - I felt trapped in the middle.  But I hope my mum is alright 'bout it & sees sense.  My granny's ashes are waiting to be taken back to HK and this would be the perfect opportunity for my uncle & auntie to do so.  The ashes are currently at my mum's.
Talking about the deceased/all matters related to death,  I have been thinking of writing a will. Not that I have a huge estate but nobody is 'guaranteed tomorrow'  and although I'm not even 40 , I am realistic and know that anything could happen.   To be truthful, I don't want my savings going to the government or bank when it could go to my partner and son. So, I emailed a solicitor yesterday to find out more about it.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


I miss Mongolian Hotpot. I had it two weeks ago..and the time before that was 15 years ago. My dad used to cook it all the time when we were all younger. It's a Chinese thing, kind of like a social get-together especially in the winter.        Thinking back to the days of the Hong Kong serials that my parents used to watch, I remember Shanghai Bund (with Chow Yun Fat) , The Shell Game (Liza Wang), The Return of the Condor Heroes (Andy Lau) just to name a few. These serials were like Eastenders/the excitement of the X factor & great acting  ALL rolled into one.     They formed part of my childhood memories with haunting theme tune melodies.   How could I forget?  More recently, there was the serial 'Songbird' by Nadia Chan, it was based on the true life story of a famous Chinese actress and singer in the 1940's - 1950's named Zhou Xuan.  The actress Nadia Chan portraying her life story does it very well and she has a good voice too....

Click here for Nadia Chan's video ; see bottom of page for more Chinese melodies.

Surprise 60th coming up....

My mum is fast approaching 60 years of age and I must say she looks more like 45 most of the time..
My step dad , sisters and I have arranged a surprise for her on her special day...I won't say what it is 'cos I don't want her to find out as some friends/relatives might be reading this blog. What I can't wait is to see the look on her face when she gets it....anyhow I am looking forward to that day.   She deserves a bit of spoiling.

Two nights ago my son had a fever. He has been off school for two days but is a lot lot better now.  He has got most of his energy back.  I hate seeing him sick.  You worry as a parent, especially when things like swine flu are on the forefront of the news, I tend to panic even more and imagine the worst.   Those who know me well would define me as a worrier!!     I guess that is my job as a parent!   
We are going to B & Q tonight; to look for a sideboard/cupboard type unit for our study.   I have decided to declutter and see if anybody will buy my cross-trainer.    It has been sitting in our spare room since we moved to this house a year and three months ago...I'm a strong believer in the practicality of things and if something can't be used it has to go!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Christmas Day 2010

Family time!

Toys galore!

The table is set........

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

I am about one third of my way through my Latin course now...with it being an intensive home study course, I've had to keep myself motivated to actually do some serious swotting...the first assignment I got 92% , an A grade. I hope I can match that in my next one which is due January the 21st.   

Happy new year to everyone who knows me (and to those who don't). I always never used to bother with New Year's resolutions before but on Monday my sister and I enrolled ourselves on an aerobics class at my local leisure centre. I'd anticipated some sore muscles afterwards and I was neck was stiff too, so much so that I found it hard to look sideways & I thought to myself..   what damage have I done??

A new year , a fresh start.  So I have been decluttering my life...letting go of friendships and material items  that no longer serve a purpose as far as I'm concerned...Decluttering is supposed to have a soothing effect on the mind.   You're supposed to be able to think better after doing the deed.   And I have done it many times.
So sorry for neglecting this blog for the past few months, as well as studying & entertaining my son I just haven't been able to find the time to update this third blog of mine....I know there really is no room for excuse.