May 22, 2010

Chilli in my Rojak Part 6

Music Video of The old hymn, sung by the late Mrs Vestal Goodman.

There is a fountain(Hymn)
William Cowper, pub.1772
with reference to the Holy Bible, Zechariah 13:1

There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in His day;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.


I still remember in our early days of courting, Benny was a non-believer. I use to bring him to the church I grew up knowing God and studied the Bible with my friends. Where my dad used to conduct Bible studies there.

Because he had to work on weekends, our church had just started Sunday night service. It seems the wisest thing to do was to bring him for it. He accepted Christ as his personal Saviour in early 1987..about 6 to 8 months after we dated.

There was no turning back since then. While being his girlfriend, then later his wife and the mother of our children, all the things we did together, the children we raised were Christ-centered. Just like my parents did with me and my sister..just like my ah Ma and my Gong did with all their grand children.

It was like living the dreams of my late have Christ the HEAD of our household. A 'ritual' you might say. But its been our family tradition that God is not there just on Sundays but in every breath we take, every moment...

So this Chilli in my Rojak is my God, the Christ in me. Who is and will forever be, the life giver and the One who guides my path. That everywhere I go, every step I take, and everything I do, its to bring Glory to His name!

Make Christ the head of your household. In everything you do, the love you spread to others, even in the food you prepare. Let the love of Christ in you be tasted and loved and witnessed by all.


May 20, 2010

Mocha Madness

Benny doesn't like cakes. Who cares whose is the best. But recently I started selling a particular brand of concentrated paste from Germany, there was a flavour I wanted to try. That's Mocha, under the Pastarom brand.

It started to be something I wanted to do for my mother in law's birthday which we celebrated with her over dinner last week. But Benny said, his siblings already brought a cake he said "leave this at home".

So I did..and have to slice it and give a quarter to my mom, to my maid to enjoy and the rest, we ate just for fun.

Then out of the blue, Benny said "This cake is nice..very fragrant and not too sweet. I like it. Can you bake another one for me to bring to the office?"

And so, I did. The first cake is the first version I did with just fresh cake. The red sides are just food colouring.

The 2nd cake I did was for his office. And that was made only last night after we closed shop. The things I do for his office!!

The 2nd cake's topping was Mocha Mousse..not fresh cream. It tasted like coffee ice cream on top. Now I am regretting that I didn't make this mousse topping in my first cake.

This is the paste I used. Pastarom Mocha Paste(imported from Germany)

Selling at KC store at S$5.50 per jar of 100g

Here's the recipe for all..
Mocha Sponge Cake
Recipe by Gina Choong

Ingredients A

150g Top flour (or Cake flour)
2.5 tbsp Mocha Paste(Pastarom brand)
100ml Dairy whipping cream
5 egg yolks

Ingredients B
7 egg whites
120g fine sugar

1. Beat egg yolks with whipping cream till creamy and fluffy. Add mocha paste and stir till well blended.
2. Fold in flour with egg yolk batter and set aside.
3. Whip egg whites till foamy then add sugar until it peaks.
4. Mix the 2 batters together until its well combined.
5. Pour into cake pan.
6. Bake at preheated oven 170 deg C for 25 mins. Remove to cool before removing from pan.

Ingredients for Cream
150ml non dairy whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp mocha paste(Pastarom)

1. Add all together in a mixer bowl and whip till it peaks.
2. Store in the chiller till ready to use.
3. Decorate on the cake only when the cake is completely cooled.

Mocha Mousse
Recipe By Gina Choong

Enough to cover a 9 inch cake with 2 inch height
250ml Thickened Cream(at least 35% Fat)
3 tbsp Mocha paste(Pastarom)
4 tbsp icing sugar

1. Add all the ingredients into a mixer bowl and use a balloon whisk to whip till it peaks.
2. Store it in the chiller for at least 2 hours before using.
3. When the cake is baked and completely cooled, pipe or simply covered it with the Mocha Mousse topping.
4. Sprinkle with Valrhona Cocoa powder on top or mini silver dragees.
5. Chill the cake before serving.

The leftover Mousse can be piped straight onto hot Coffee without sugar or cream. The mousse will melt when its in contact with hot coffee and will sweeten the coffee.

Keep well, chilled for upto 3 days.

May 12, 2010

Man Eating Shark!

Image Copyrights to Disney ® This is Bruce, the Shark from Finding Nemo, animated movie.

Good..I caught your attention.

But take this topic in a different light and perspective. Its more like Man eating the Shark..not the Shark turn into a man hunting predator.

Benny bought a couple of shark steaks from the supermarket recently. I decided to have it pan fried and cook this for lunch today. Here's what I did. You can use other types of fish. In case you feel squeamish about having Shark on your dinner table.

Shark Steak Curry
Recipe by Gina Choong

Serves 2

2 pcs of Shark steak fillet
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp Garlic powder

200ml Evaporated milk
1 tbsp Fish curry powder(I use Baba's)
3 shallots, sliced

1. Seasoned shark with salt and garlic powder.
2. Heat up a griddle pan with olive oil and pan fry the shark steak for 10 mins..5 mins on each side.
3. The meat will look like burnt.
4. Turn heat down, add shallots to fry on the side.
5. Mix milk with curry powder and pour into the pan to slow cook.
6. Leave it to cook over low heat for another 10 mins till curry thickens.
7. Turn off heat, serve with warmed rice.

May 10, 2010

Chilli in my Rojak...Part 5

Its been a few days since my last post. I was really busy with several little projects on the side. Which I cannot talk about until it finalizes in due time.

I once saw a beautiful art piece printed on a post card. I bought the card, scanned the art into the computer and use it to create a mini picture frame with it.

I made this and kept several copies of it. Then I would pick to give to the people whom I think would need it the most. People who are friends of mine. People who, at one point in their lives needed some assuring words. Words that cheer them on. That the things they do for others are meaningful and well thought of. Even though it was never seem to be appreciated by the receiver.

Because your heart is the happiest when it beats for others.

One of the people I gave this to was Su-Chzeng..yes, her again. The person who was my boss, my friend in need and also indeed.

Soon after I wrote the last entry about her, I email Su to tell her I dedicated one post to her. She had to go online just to read what I have written. Without wasting time, she immediately rang me..just to say "Thank you" and also to tell me I was like an angel to her. Giving her the assurance she needed to affirm that what she is going through now is all worth it.

Its not easy to be be away from family and close friends and to spend all your time working. This is what Su-Chzeng is doing now. Working, travelling, giving talks and coaching corporate companies.

It can really take a toll on you. Physically, mentally and even spiritually. Su-Chzeng says :

"Gina, thank you for this. I really REALLY needed this. As a reminder that there is Life outside all these. Sometimes I am just so tired. And wondered if this is what I should do for the rest of my life."

In return I said :

"Su, yes it is. It always is. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be what I am today. I didn't know what to do, how to do it. I will still be in my comfort zone. Doing the same boring things I did when I left school. You create a NEW me. You taught me to re-discover myself. To find my inner fears, to search my soul. And you showed me how. You gave me a chance to try new things. To make mistakes all the time. And you gave me time to improve, to make better of things gone wrong.

If you stop what you are doing now, the world would come to a standstill. So please, don't stop what you are doing."

And soon after, I was reminded of this card I did for her:

And it was also with her I found the things I loved doing but stopped doing because I followed the norm of things. Making money, feeding families, raising our girls. I stopped doing many many things that makes me happy.

I have always enjoyed ART..drawing it, painting it. With the new age of computers, I use it to re-create Art. When I was working with Su, I get to re do all these again. And became an 'ICON' in our regional office due to the work I do. During one of the projects I needed to do for the department, I was stressed by the multitude of art work I needed to do. To de-stress, I took an photo from chinese opera and use one of the photos of Su Chzeng and merged them together.

I did this out of fun. When I show it to Su, she told me she always had this dream of being a Chinese opera singer.

In the years of working with her, I found that both of us have similar interests. We read the same books, and watch the same Musicals. And both of us loved poems by William Wordworth. I remember a time when Su needed to employ Editors to work with us. I was ask to vet thru tons of application letters for her. And I told her I won't know who to shortlist as I am not an Editor. My English is half-past six..!

And she said:

"That's easy, Gina. Just read the opening letter by the applicant. If it appeals to you, it appeals to me. If it is boring, then just throw it out"

So Su made this easy for me, and fun too. I just read the first 3 lines/sentences of each letter. If it appeals to me, I continue reading. If it doesn't I really threw it away.

And it seems that my pile of "throw aways" are getting higher. While my stack of "Let's meet" didn't get anymore than 5 letters.
But Su assured me and said that finding a good Editor is like finding the ideal mate. A person with whom you can work. Because the world of editing English and text for the work we do can be extremely boring. And words said or written must be seen through the 'seams' of life. If you cannot agree on simple things, you cannot work together.

It is through this simple task, I realised how Su picked me over the many she could have ask the HR Department to get for her to work with her. She had to sure. That this someone she picked was someone she could relate to. Someone she can tell silly things to, someone who can understand.

It is this skill she imparted to me through my work with her that helped me all these while.

One particular applicant that stands out among the rest was a gentleman who was working as a freelance editor with a lifestyle magazine. In his opening letter to Su, he wrote this:

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again...."

Immediately, I just took this letter and placed it on the "Let's Meet" stack. And wrote a tag to Su "This is really interesting".

Well, Su did meet him. And she came out from the interview room and said to me

"He was Good..You knew what I wanted to find. But I cannot take him. Because he is too young..had too many ideals. And have much 'world' to conquer. He will be bored down with the work we do here. And it will kill his spirit. But I will help him to find an editing job to fulfil his dreams"

You know, you don't get to choose the people you meet each day. With Su, I always believe that she was a God-send.

So how can a person like Su, stopped what she was doing? Her heart was the Happiest when she Beats for OTHERS!! Even though she couldn't offer him the job, she wanted him to grow and be inspired.

Hey, Su, I may not be working for you anymore. But always, in my heart, I am your Forever Staff, and you are my Forever Boss.

ps..Why did I pick his letter..what does that sentence mean?
If you read the classic novel "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier, you will understand what I mean.