Shepherd’s Pie

Another simple and yummy recipe to share.

This is a recipe Ivan found some years back. We have tried it a few times and it works all the time.

We have not done this for quite some time. Since Xinyi was coming for dinner last week, we decide to do this one-dish meal which is pretty wholesome as well.

And as always, it was yumz!

shepherd's pie

Cooking – my new interest

Cooking is my latest hobby – thanks to the cooking programmes and being stuck at home during the Jun hols due to the Daniel’s illness and the haze.

Have been watching lots of cooking programmes on We channel due to the lack of interesting shows to watch while doing the mundane chore of folding clothes. Prob got inspired to cook in the process and decided to try out during the Jun hols. Ivan and I also love watching this Australian series ‘My Kitchen Rules’ which is a cooking competition hosted by two renowned chefs who are the judges.

I realised that cooking however, involves quite a bit of labour. For someone like me who is quite lazy, likes it fast, convenient and hassle-free, I must say I faced quite a bit of resistance when it comes to cooking. The time and effort that goes into preparing a meal is something that I am still getting used to. Of course for experienced homemakers (like my mil) putting together a meal may be quite simple. But for a newbie and working mum like me who only has time to cook during school holidays and weekends, every cooking experience is like a project. Firstly, the planning stage where you plan the menu and go research online how to cook the dishes. Secondly, you need to check what ingredients you need and go supermarket shopping. Finally, the cooking stage which involves chopping, seasoning and cooking. There is still one final stage actually – cleaning up and washing dishes after the meal. Sometimes, when I think of all the effort involved, I think that it is so much easier to just walk out and dabao or walk to the hawker centre across the road for dinner! Moreover, after all the effort, the dish may not turn out to be palatable.

What motivates me to overcome my resistance to cooking then? I like good, wholesome and yummy home-cooked food. I get tired of eating out. I grew up on home-cooked food. My grandma was a great cook who cooks really delicious food. She had a wide repertoire of Chinese, Malay and Peranakan food. I have fond memories of the food she cooked while we were growing up. She would cook dinner for us every night. During weekends, she would cook something special like mee siam, gado gado, satay, popiah, bobo chacha …. and the gravy was all made from scratch! During the Chinese New Year, we got to enjoy home-cooked Peranakan fare …. and I must say her Peranakan food is the best I have tasted. Better than those at our local Peranakan restaurants.

Besides grandma, I am also inspired by my mother-in-law and mother. My mother-in-law is a homemaker so for her dapaoing and eating out is not the norm. She whips up a decent meal almost effortlessly. My mum is a working mother, but since she stopped work several years back, she makes an effort to cook dinners, though not everyday but quite regularly. And for a working mum who has clocked lesser ‘cooking hours’, I think she has done a great job! She even tries to replicate some of the stuff my grandma used to cook and has done a pretty good attempt with some of them. Hence to me, an intrinsic part of being a mother is being able to cook.

Cooking is actually quite enjoyable once I manage to overcome the resistance. I love shopping, so I really enjoy the grocery shopping step. I find cooking quite a creative exercise too and get some fulfillment out of sourcing for recipes, creating and putting together a dish. If I am not in a rush for time, it is in some ways quite therapeutic. I also love the smell of cooking in the home…. makes it feel like a real home. Cooking to me is also an expression of love ….. when you cook with your heart for the ones you love 🙂 So I do try to cook during weekends nowadays. Don’t want to lose the momentum. I realise that the more I cook, the less resistance there is. There are hits and misses of course, being so new to this. But practice makes perfect!

An interesting and meaningful National Day

KDF Outreach

On Fri, we were up early as we had to be at KDF Bishan by 830 for our outreach. We were all decked in red in the National Day Spirit. Spent a heartwarming morning reaching out to the patients and encouraging them. What a meaningful way to spend National Day. Was really blessed to be able to be a blessing to the community. Great too that we were able to participate in this as a cell group.

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Steph’s birthday celebration

After that, we proceeded for lunch at Bishan Park. Found this restaurant called ‘The Cornerstone’! We had tried making reservations at ‘Grub’ and ‘Garden Canopy’ but was not successful. Food was not too bad 🙂

After lunch, we went exploring around Bishan Park. It was my first time at Bishan Park and it was quite a lovely find in this part of the island which I hardly explore. It is quite a big park … we were only in Bishan Park 2. It was a pretty sight to behold … with the ponds, shrubs and river plains. Too bad Daniel wasn’t with us…. but he had his own exciting programme with grandparents  today – zoo and NDP!

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Movie date

Since Daniel had his own programme with grandparents, it was a great opportunity for Ivan and I to go on our own date. We wanted to catch the last few showings of Indespicable Me 2. Unfortunately, tickets were sold out. In the end, we watched Smurfs 2. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it. Thought that it was a nice movie with themes that I enjoyed – identity, family and the father figure. Ivan found it boring and said he almost fell asleep!

What a day! Nice to be toddler-free for a day 🙂

Sat morning splash

Decided to bring Daniel for a swim at my parents’ place on Sat morning since it has been a while since he went swimming.  Was quite a last minute, impromptu decision. Weather was good and Daniel was well. Swimming very much depends on weather and state of health!!

Ivan dropped me at my parents place before going for worship rehearsal. I was pleasantly surprised to find that everyone was at home that morning. Everyone was just having a slow start this lazy Sat morning.

Daniel was initially hesitant about going into the water as he had not swam for such a long time. When he first went in, he was clinging to me. After 5 min, he progressed to just holding my hand. And after 15 min, he was comfortable enough to let go and swim around on his float by himself. Daniel sure enjoyed his swim!

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Mum’s birthday dinner @ Chui Huay Lim

August is sure a month for birthdays …. seem to be celebrating one birthday after another since the month started! Decided to have family dinner at Chui Huay Lim Teochew  Cuisine since mummy likes Teochew food. Was recommended by a friend but have not had the opportunity to try it yet. Turns out that everyone enjoyed the food. Some of my personal favourites for the night was the Fried Mee Swa and the Orh Nee. The Orh Nee is really the best I have had for a long time…….yumz 🙂 We decided we would return to try out some other dishes that looked good too …….Steam promfret (they were out of it tonight) and the oyster omelette. Must thank my friend for the excellent recommendation.

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Happy Long Weekend – Kids Amaze

It was definitely a weekend that everyone was looking forward too and certainly a long-awaited break in the middle of a busy term for me.

On Thurs, we wanted to take Daniel to Jacob Ballas gardens, however, due to the wet weather, we settled for some indoor fun at Kids Amaze at Safra Toa Payoh. Spent a good 2 hours there with Daniel. It is a pretty big playground with lots of structures to climb and a cool ball area. The highlight of the ball area is definitely filling the basket hanging overhead ….and when it reaches a certain point, it will tip. All the kids will  then scream and scramble to lie in the ball pool to wait for the balls to fall and rain down on them.

Definitely an enjoyable place for kids. Daniel loved the place so much and didn’t want to leave. One of the nicer indoor playgrounds we have been too. I love the many structures, tunnels they have and the size of the playground. There’s lots to explore. I did lots of climbing myself, going up and down with Daniel. Daniel was sweet. He waited for me to slowly climb and offered me a hand from time to time 🙂

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A cosy Sunday evening

Spent a relaxing Sunday evening last week with good friends Angeline and Jianquan at Pasir Ris Park. We met to celebrate Angeline’s birthday. Was also a time of bonding for Daniel and his godparents.

We started the evening at Gallop Stables. It was a little disappointing though. There was only one pony out and 2 others that were giving kids rides. There was a long queue for the pony ride. Hopefully there will be more horses the next time we come back.

Daniel wanted to go to the beach to play with sand so we took a leisurely walk to the beach. Enjoyed the sand, the sea, the sunset and the company 🙂

Ended the evening with a delicious dinner at 5 Rabbits Bistro. Loved the food here the last time we came, so decided that it was a nice place to celebrate Angeline’s birthday. I had Char-grilled chicken and Ivan had Ox tail stew. Too bad the yummy banana crepe was sold out.

Gallop Stables

   Gallop Stables



Cute rabbit balloon from godpa and godma

Cute rabbit balloon from godpa and godma

Daniel wanted to get a balloon for godma. Sweet!
Daniel wanted to get a balloon for godma. Sweet!

Lovely sunset

Lovely sunset

Fun with sand

Fun with sand

Our creation

Our creation

Good food and good company

Good food and good company