How my love of cooking started

Cooking was never my forte. Being the fourth child in the family, I  was never interested. Washing the dishes was my main job. I only knew how to cook fried eggs, fried fish and boiled rice. Since I got married, I was very determined to learn so I can feed my family and so I spend most of my time watching cooking shows, surfing the internet for simple and healthy recipes. My mom-in-law was the one who taught me a lot about cooking. From showing me different types of herbs, cheeses, flours, pastas and a whole lot more. It was so fun!

It was not an easy journey. I shed tears and went to our room the first night I cooked for my husband’s family because it was a disaster. I could not face them. However, they gave me words of encouragement, and from then on I said to myself that I should learn from it and if others can do it I can do it as well. Now I can say I am confident in the kitchen as long as I have a recipe. Lol! I wish I can create my own dishes. It will happen.  I have learned that if you really want something, you put your heart and mind to achieve it.

One day, I would like to have a restaurant or any food-related business back in my home country. I am learning as much as I can now, attending classes and watching heaps of videos to gain more knowledge about cooking.

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Pork Katsudon

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Osso bucco with risotto milanese ( a labour-intensive dish but very delicious)

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Tuna with cannelini beans, onion and rocket

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Goat’s cheese, tomato and caramelized onion quiche

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Vanilla pannacotta

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Christmas jelly slice

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Eclairs

These are some of the dishes that I made that have become the favorite in our household.

Thank you for taking time to visit my page and may you have a blessed 2017. Xoxo

 

Bridge run

Sydney bridge run held was a couple of weeks ago. On the day of the event, I woke up very late and thought of not joining as rain was on forecast and I felt so tired. I finally decided to go, put my running bib on and then asked my husband to drive me to the train station. I only had 50 minutes before the race started and the travel time to get to Milson’s point, the starting point of the race, was 45 minutes away from our place. I was so anxious on the train feeling silly for staying up late the night before. When the train was approaching Milson’s point station, I saw my group started running already. I felt terrible. I squeezed past other runners for different category and just run to the starting point and thankfully there were so many of participants in our group that I was able to be with them.

There were so many participants. My friend who convinced me to join did the half-marathon run which was 21 kilometers started very early. She was very religious in her training and was also able to finish the race well. Though, she found it disheartening to see the top runners only a few kilometers away from the finish line. I am very proud of her achievement. One day, I will try to run for 21 kilometers but I really need to be diligent with training. Wish me luck!

The marathon started in 2001 as an event from when Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympics. Fifteen years on and it is now one of the best marathons in the world with breath-taking view of the Sydney Harbor.

Running with people from different walks of life, age, race, and raising funds for different charities was a great experience. I was on Skype to my boys when I ran across the Harbour bridge. It was wonderful! Helicopters hovering above us, cameras everywhere and people cheering us on while ran on our way to the finish line.

I would definitely do it again the the future. The next time might be with my boys or could be the half-marathon, who knows. Or maybe the ever-doable 9 kilometer-bridge run.

I am happy to be a part of an event that raise money for different charitable organizations that also in return made me do training to prepare for it. I am looking forward to joining the next one. Though I did not take the training seriously, I was still able to reach the finished line with a good time result. I only ran for 9 kilometers across the bridge, which only close for motorist once a year for this particular event, but I was sore the next day. Lol!

 

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So happy to have my second commemorative medal from the run. I did not win by the way. Everyone got a medal. The race winners got medals and cash prizes.

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About to cross the bridge. Yey!

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St. Mary’s cathedral onto our right. Beautiful!

6th birthday

Our first born is turning 7 in a few days and I thought of sharing with you what we did for his birthday last year. It was a big celebration with family and friends. I was brave to do the party at home, prepare everything from scratch and of course it is with the help of my family and friends. This time, we will just be going to a party place as I have also preparing for my husband’s party.

The party’s theme was Avengers. Friends came dressed up in their favorite costumes and I loved it! They looked so adorable! Preparing the food was easy as most of them are the food we usually eat at lunch. It was lunchtime so kids who needed to have an afternoon sleep were able to have it when the party finished around mid-afternoon.

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This is supposed to be Thor’s mjolnir. Lol!

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Fruit platter. I was so happy that I was able to cut the pineapple properly. It was very tricky!

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This was a big hit with the kids, as always.

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Asparagus dip with crackers. This is my children’s favorite afternoon tea.

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I learned how to do this from my mother-in-law. But I was able to find a nice pastry recipe. Yes, the pastry is home-made.

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This is my mom-in-laws very old dish. The recipe was given to her by a friend and it is so delicious! Well, now that I am used to it. It took me a while to love this. This is called salmon mousse.

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Pork spring rolls. I should have made a lot as it was also a huge it for everyone, not just kids.

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The children’s table. You can imagine what it looked like after they had their lunch. Wink!

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One of the recipes I saw at Australian Masterchef. Very easy to make and delicious. The mint is from our garden.

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Chicken and asparagus sandwiches. Another recipe from MIL.

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Pork and veal shumai. They looked like money bags. Ahahahaha! Easier to make and most of the juice from the mixture stays in the wrapper. From MIL again. She is so good, isn’t she?

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Prawn canapes with egg and dill. So easy to make. And guess where I got the recipe from?

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Avengers jelly. I thank google for this. Lol!

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One of our cutest guest. I love the costume!

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Iron girl. She is the sister of the one in Hulk costume. I very much appreciate their effort to dress up.

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Hopeless with fondant I am. Eheheheh! But my son loved the cake so I am a happy mommy.

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The safest pinata game. Just pull the strings and out comes the toys and lollies. No bats needed to hit it open that pose danger to people around it.

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Most children had a go at this one. Even one of the adults played too.

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Our darling! A sweet, loving son, brother and friend. We are very lucky to have him. He is growing so fast and almost as tall as me. I am one proud mommy!

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Some of the birthday cards our son received.

The celebration was a huge success and I thanked my husband for all the help he gave me. Our son was very happy that a lot of his friends came to join us in this celebration. I enjoyed the preparation and seeing my son happy and healthy are good enough to make me happy too!

 

 

 

 

 

South Korea Part 2

After a restful sleep and a sumptuous buffet breakfast, which cost a fortune as we had it in the hotel- it was not really a good move as we only have cereal, milk and toast in the morning, we were ready for another day of exploring the beautiful city of Seoul. This time we did not take a bus but just walked across Mapo bridge to Yeouido, which was celebrating a festival for some flowers and cherry blossom trees. I was in awe looking at the pretty trees. They were so beautiful! There were close to 2, 000 cherry blossom trees along a few kilometers stretch of the road which they closed for people to really enjoy the beautiful trees. It was such an amazing for me and I really had a closer look at the flowers. We were fortunate to go that day as it rained a few days later.

Lotte world was our next destination and we took a taxi to get there. It was a bit expensive as we could have taken the train but it was the first and the last taxi ride we ever had in Seoul. Their subway is one of the best I have ever seen. It is fast, clean, and affordable. Just grab the map and off you go, rest assured you won’t get lost.

Lotte world was packed when we got there. The queue to take the fun rides were long but we waited in the hot-air balloon like ride as it seemed fun to be up so high inside it. It was fun indeed! We could see everything from where we were and the people down below us looked so tiny.

We could not be any luckier as the Mask Festival was also on and there was a parade. A lot of people stopped to witness it. The performers were great!

Beautiful day to walk across Mapo bridge to Yeouido

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and my dream to be able to see and touch this tree came true. ahhhhhh…so pretty!

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It was starting to get packed when we got there and we had to be quick in taking photos. Hubby did a great job.

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I forgot what this one is called but it was delicious.

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Crown inside Lotte World Mall

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Here we are. Let the fun begin..

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Breath-taking view

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Hubby and our eldest son paddling in a duck-like boat while I had to stay back with our little love as he was to small to go on this ride. Very sad it was!

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I was a bit apprehensive to ride this thing but I did it in the end. It was fun!

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We were up in the ceiling while this performance was on. I had to zoom it in to take this photo. They were good!

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Look how small everyone looked like from where we were.

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Mask parade

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Our children were amazed watching this but had to cover their faces once when one of the performers approached them.

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After a very fun and exhausting day, we got back to the hotel and had this Fish cake skewer soup. My husband and I enjoyed this but was too spicy for our boys that their cheeks turned red. Had to order something else for them.

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The very popular ” chimaek” which is  chicken and ” maekju ( the korean word for beer). Beer was in hubby’s hand. Where else can it be?

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We took the subway to get back the hotel. If my memory serves me right, we only paid 3000 won for myself and my husband. At our destination, we just had to insert our tickets in the Refund Deposit machine and we have 500 won deposit back. These coins were saved as we used them for when we did the laundry at the hotel. The kids and hubby went for a swim while I went to the shops to buy cereal and milk for our breakfast. Anything to save money.

It was exhausting but fun day for all of us!

 

 

 

 

 

South Korea Part 1

For so many years, I have dreamed about travelling to South Korea. Firstly, I watch Korean dramas. Secondly, I love their culture, their history is very interesting and I have lots of Korean friends. So when the opportunity came that we could travel overseas, I suggested South Korea to my husband, to which he agreed.  And so we went via Singapore, and that will be blogged about later.

One thing I must say is that you don’t need to learn the language if you go there. I forced myself to learn some phrases  but when I started talking to Koreans in the few words that I have learned, they talked more and more and I could not understand them anymore. Lol! Most people understand basic English, especially the waiters, sellers and people who are catering tourist’s needs and wants. So don’t stress yourself about communication. You will be fine.

Because we stayed there for 10 days I will write about our experience into a few blog posts. I hope you get to enjoy the blog as  I take you to our beautiful journey in South Korea.

We stayed in a place called Lotte City Hotel Mapo. It was a lovely place as the subway, restaurants and shops were just below the hotel. Very handy indeed. Now photos time to give you a good perspective of how we enjoyed our holiday there.

Thank you! And we are glad to be here.

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Living room where the children enjoyed watching Korean cartoons even though they did not understand anything at all.

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Our home for 10 days. My husband and I loved watching football here while the children were watching cartoons in the other room.

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That is the hotel at night. Just to the left of the hotel is where we had our first dinner. We had Italian food. Lol!

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Italian food on our first night in Korea. Lol! Seafood marinara and pizza  were served to us.

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Pool is a must for our trip if we want the children to be happy as well.

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We were on board a bus in this one on our way to Gyeongbukgong palace. Very exciting!

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You are not mistaken. There were cherry blossoms everywhere as we went there in Spring.

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Tadaaaaa…the majestic Gyeongbukgong Palace. My favorite palace out of all the palaces they have. It was the main royal palace of Joseon Dynasty and was built in 1395.

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The drum that is used during change of guards.

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The king’s throne. We just settled in listening to some interpreters as we did not get one. Wink!

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Beautiful isn’t it?

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I so love this part. It seemed endless. Our boys loved running up and down this area.

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Just in front of this was a man painting this view. I would have loved to buy if I had some money. Oh well, I am sure it would have been very expensive.

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This is situated at the back of the palace

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There were fishes in the water. We were not allowed to go near that structure. So we just settled in watching the fishes.

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The guards outside the front gate. I was doing some silly poses with them but I was reprimanded. So just a friendly reminder guys. Don’t do silly poses with the guards! I apologized by the way.

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This place is called Gwanghamun square. Just right across the palace where the statues of King Sejong and Admiral Yu Sun-Shin were located.

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The statue of King Sejong ( The fourth King of Joseon Dynasty).

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The statue of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin ( A naval Commander who fought against Japanese navy during Joseon Dynasty and came out victorious.)

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Our couple of days exploring Seoul ended here. We caught a train back to the hotel for an afternoon rest, then we had a swim in the pool and enjoyed our sumptuous Korean food dinner. At last!

So that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed reading the post and looking forward to the next one.

Thanks for dropping by!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Barrenjoey Lighthouse is situated near Palm Beach in New South Wales. It is quite a walk to reach the top and with a 5 year old and a 2-year old, it was very brave of us to go there. The path we had to follow was so steep that we had to take turns carrying our youngest son and that is with break around five minutes in between. Yes, it was challenging but the view when you reach the top is spectacular. It was worth all the hardships. The photos below are some of the photos I took. See for yourself.

Our car is one of the cars parked on the right side of the screen. Oh yeah, we started from there.

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Slowly, slowly walking our way to the top

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Halfway there

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We have reached the top. Yay!

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There is it. The Barrenjoey Lighhouse which was built in 1881

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This is my favorite view

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Poor trees were burnt where there was a headland fire in 2013

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There is our little darling happily exploring the place.

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So beautiful to look at

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My boys looking down to the water as some people were kayaking

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There they are. I might try to go on a kayak in the future..

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It was a very lovely experience especially it was with my boys. We would do it again one day but in the afternoon as we would like to stay until the sun sets.

Thanks for dropping by!

Nice to be back

Yay! I am back in the blogging world after years in hiatus. I have started blogging in 2011 which I really enjoyed but having two young children just occupied so much of my time and I just stopped blogging.

I have been wanting to blog again but unfortunately I have lost my domain as it was subscribed by another  blogger. Anyhow, now I am back and would be sharing anything about travels, food and everything there is to write about.

I am looking forward to gaining friends and read interesting blogs again.