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Mee Siam Recipe

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I’m not great at holding off the first bite before taking a picture but I couldn’t resist. It was that good!

I though about it. If I should reveal what to me IS the most sacret recipe of all time. When I was searching for someone who could teach me, I found no one who would be willing to reveal their most prized secret to me. It was hard enough to find someone who made a mean plate of Mee Siam let alone someone who made a mediocre place and was willing to share their recipe.

The reason why I’m sharing is because I learned this recipe from the most unlikely suspect. My late Grandmother’s Helper. What’s better still she’s not from here. She’s actually from Myanmar. How she learned this recipe beats me but I’m sure glad she shared it with me and even took the time to help prepare each ingredient for me so that I could have a look at the what the quantity of each was before she loaded it into the pot. So here goes, Mee Siam recipe from Belle to me to you:

 

Ingredients

  • x1 can of Knife brand Salted Soya Beans – Blended to a paste
  • x2 Onions
  • x6 Garlics
  • x1 Packet of Garlic Chives (aka Kuchai)
  • x1 Small Packet of Malabar Chilli Paste (This is not as spicy but gives a nice red chilli color without overloading on the spice)
  • x3 Tblsp Dry Chilli Paste (In accordance to your spice preference) ~ Click here for recipe
  • Eggs (x1 per/person) – Hard boiled
  • Bean Sprouts (your preferred amount)
  • Lemon (sliced in half for serving with)
  • Fresh Tofu, cut into cubes and shallow fried
  • x1 Packet of Bee Hoon. Soak in semi-hot water (prevent it from getting too soft) and set-aside
  • Salt + Sugar (to your taste)
  • x1 Tblsp Assam Paste (Look for the brown version not the black) – Mix with a little water and extract the assam juice
  • Coconut Milk – about 1/2 cup
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Knife Brand Salted Soya Beans

 

Garlic Chives
Garlic Chives
Malabar Chilli Paste
Malabar Chilli Paste

Method – Dry Frying the Mee Siam Noodles

  1. Heat oil in wok or frying pan
  2. Add in x1 Onion + Garlic – Fry until caramalised
  3. Add in 4-5 tables Chilli Paste + x3 tblsp Dry Chilli Paste
  4. x2 Tblsp Salted Soya Bean Paste
  5. Add little Salt & approx x2 Tblsp Sugar
  6. Add in 1/2 the Kuchai + Beans Sprouts
  7. Add in the pre-soaked Bee Hoon (drained) – You might need to cut the Bee Hoon if you find it too long

Method – Mee Siam Gravy

  1. Heat gravy pot with little oil
  2. Fry balance onions and garlic
  3. x2 Tblsp Chilli Paste (the non-spicy one)
  4. x3 Tblsp Spick Dry Chilli Paste (or to your preference)
  5. Add balance Kuchai
  6. Add Soya Bean Paste and fry it all together a little longer
  7. Add hot water
  8. Add assam juice
  9. Add the Sugar (to your preferred sweetness)
  10. Add x2 Tblsp coconut milk

…and there you have it. Mee Siam. I hope that you try it out and leave a comment letting me know what you think of this recipe and/or if you made any modifications to it to make it better.

Love,
Sheila x

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Grandma’s Farewell

We had to deal with the loss of a family member last week. It was the first time where I watched someone take their last breath. The reality of this was surreal that I had to take perspective to what I was witnessing. As she took her last breadth I saw beauty as she lay there on the hospital bed, with her children beside her touching her face, hands, head and hear and down by the foot of the bed are some of her grandchildren, touching her feet, legs. Weeping but at same time saying goodbye to this beloved woman who spent all of her life raising her 14 children.

I always thought that my grandmother was an amazing (crazy!) lady to have had 14 children… and at that time she never had baby monitors, breast pumps, food processors, bugaboo prams and pretty cots. No none of that. My Mom’s early memory of her mother was that she always had a baby in her and one on her at all times. Not to mention she could converse in 4 different languages and till her 93rd Birthday she enjoyed long conversations on the phone.

But the biggest appreciation for her came to me during the days of her funeral. The days after her death brought together 4 generations of families. I look at what my Grandmother sacrificed raising 14 children, which meant no chance for family travel, no fancy restaurant meals, no pretty furniture and comfortable quiet peaceful home, no time to her self…  but when I look at at my children I can see now who the real benefactors are.

My Grandparents blessed us with the most precious gift in the world which is the gift of Family. We have family spread out into so many countries around the world. Seeing them all come together to pay their respects their mother and Grandmother I can’t help but notice how amazingly vast we have spread ourselves but at the same time we are all still part of One.

When I brought my children to the wake I was humbled by how my Aunties instantly took on the role of Grandmothers, cousins took the role of Aunties and Uncles and my Nieces and Nephews took the role of Brother or Sister to my kids and vice versa. That is the beauty of our existence and truly God’s blessings for us to understand the vastness of what Love is.

So embrace the people in your family. Give them a call and get complete with each and every one of them. They might be completely different in personality to you but is just a small stone in the ocean to the amounts of benefits

FarewellGrandma

 

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GRIT – By Angela Duckworth

GRIT Angela Duckworth

I honestly do not know how I managed to finish a book in less then a month. I tend to think that I do not have any time to read a book let alone finish it. So clearly I am pulling time from the sky and making it happen. Goes to show that you do make time for what you feel is important. I believe reading should be one of them.

If you are in the business of following your passion. Then this book IS a must read. I think I got a whole lot of nuggets from here. I don’t tend to run the highlighter onto my books, (primarily because I borrow most of my books from the library now and therefore that would be wrong) but what I do though is write a whole lot of post-it notes and stick them all over. When I’m done I pull out each note and read them over again because I seriously can’t absorb information just by reading it once (hands up if you can relate).

With this book, I not only read back each note but I made sure to document it for easy reference. In a nutshell this book Grit is not about success though being talented. Yes, some people can acquire success with their talent but for the rest of us, success is achievable through this simple thing called effort. As Will Smith put it quite clearly:

“Die on the treadmill. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things. You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple.”

Find your passion and stick to it, work hard at it. Don’t use set-baks as poof that it doesn’t work for you. Banish that thought from your head forever. Instead replace it with the word GRIT! It’s a cool word and you don’t hear it being used very often. Think to yourself that this is the word that you would like be associated with and push forward with effort…. and GET this book! x

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American Sponge Cake ~ Success!

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This sponge cake recipe is full-proof! I have made it twice already and both with wonderful results!
This is from someone who hardly bakes. Great slices of cake to pack into kids lunch boxes as a special school tea cake to have them thinking of their Mommy. 😉

Taken from The Cake Bible ~ Rose Levy Beranbaum

Ingredients (all in room temperature):

  1. 2 tablespoons water
  2. 1/5 teaspoon vanilla
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  4. 1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 6 large eggs, separated yolks & whites
  7. 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a small bowl combine water, vanilla & lemon zest
  • Remove 1 tablespoon of the sugar and reserve to beat with the whites
  • In another smaller bowl which together the flour and 3 tablespoons of the sugar
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the yolks and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar on high speed for 5minutes or until the mixture is very thick and ribbons with dropped from the beater.
  • Lower the speed and gradually add the water mixture. Increase to high speed beat for 30 seconds.
  • Shift the flour mixture over the yolk mixture without mixing in and set aside.
  • Beat the whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.
  • Beat in reserved 1 tablespoon sugar and beat until very stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.
  • Add 1/3 of the whites to the yolk mixture and with a large skimmer or rubber spatula fold until incorporated. Gently fold in the remaining 2 batches.
  • Pour into the pan. (It will a little more then 1/2 full)
  • Run a small metal spatula or knife though the batter to prevent air pockets.
  • Back for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and the cake tester comes out clean.
  • Suspend the pan tube opening over the neck of a wine or soda bottle well above the counter to allow it to cool completely. (think might take about 1hr)
  • Loosen the sides with a long metal spatula. Invert onto a wire rack or serving plate. Wrap airtight

This stores for a good 5-6days in the refrigerator or frozen for 2months.

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The Art of Relaxation

 

I’ll tell you the truth. I’m not a fan of writhing blog posts but I love posting and editing pictures. I used Photoshop Elements (and I’m still learning) to create this collage of photos. Not overwhelming you with the hundreds of photos I took during this holidays. I’m still debating very hard wether to get the new iPhone 7+ or to invest in a fancy smancy camera. Would love to take more photos to add to my blog and to my children’s private blog page. Any suggestions are welcome. There are so many photo filtering Apps that works well with the iPhone but now with Photoshop Elements I’m practicing fine-tuning some photos myself on my computer.

What have I appreciated most about this holiday… Is quality time with the family. We stayed at the beautiful Seclusions by the Bay. (<— Check out the link). I enjoyed the simple things like making breakfast together as a family, letting Garth tend the manly barbecue for the meats in the evening. Even washing the dishes while listening to spottify (‘your favourite coffeehouse’ playlist) not worrying about planning for the next day. Because the next day will be there and we are still on holiday and therefore no concrete commitments to plan for. Think that was the best feeling ever!

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International Women’s Day

What do we celebrate on International Women’s Day?

  1. Feminism?
  2. Sisterhood?
  3. Women’s Rights?
  4. All of the above???

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Starting from my mother, aunts, grandmother, cousins and girlfriends. They were my first influences, boys were not relatable except for my Dad but he was basically my hero. But these women were my first and primary influences growing up. They were ALL amazeballs! They kick ass especially my mom who worked but yet managed to be there for her family. She was the rock we all sat on in the middle of the shark infested waters ~ Ala Blake Lively in that shark movie. However I grew up a very insecure girl, why? Because society said I wasn’t good enough.

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Why are women never treated equal I will never understand. I think it has a-lot to do with insecurity of men. Maybe it’s the same reason why women don’t take stronger stands with supporting one another.

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Internation Women’s Day to me is all about women empowering other women. Sharing stories about your struggles doesn’t make you weaker, it makes you human and COURAGES. It opens the door to empathy which then leads to connection.

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I’m reading this awesome book by Brené Brown, get your hands on it if you can with a good highlighter. There’s lots of good nuggets in there.

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I’ve planted a photo here of my Grandma, my dear friend Chrissie and my Mom. *Note to Self: Take better photos with people’s faces fully in frame!* On that note I’m going to leave you with good thoughts of Love and Kindness.

Onwards and Upwards,
Sx

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Homecoming

We’ll it has been a year long hiatus but I’m back! Urban Kandy is now back in business after a long soul searching, praying, contemplating, procrastinating… etc. etc. I really had to detox and re-think my direction. Sure children had been the biggest excuse.. and why not? I’m a mom and I have made them my priority. Now… I’m thinking these kids might soon turn into little spoilt brats if I don’t step back on the mothering and leave them to sort themselves out once in a while and I go for Yoga!

Anyway, I’m SO happy to be back and blogging.

Love, Sx

FamilyC

 

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Happy 2016!

 

Happy 2016!
Already back in the grind and smelling the coffee each morning reminds me that the holidays are finally over. I felt a little upset un-decorating my tree but I also felt a sense of excitement to start the new year. I am against resolutions but I do want to take into play all that I’ve learned in 2015 and apply them to this New Year and basically putting one foot in front of the other this time a little wiser then before.

A few things. I have learned:
1) Creating Possibilities.

It is as easy as it sounds. Nothing else is holding me back except for myself. With that in mind I can create anything knowing that nothing external can hold me back. Onward and Upward!

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2) Relationships are to be cherished

Despite how different I am from someone else. Understanding that someone’s personality is derived from their life’s circumstances and who am I to judge.

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3) Never feel guilty for taking “Me” time

I have this thanks her for this.

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4) Practice Being Present

I have come to the realisation that that voice in my head isn’t really me or who I am. So now I can be present to it and learn to control it.

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5) Don’t sweat the small stuff

Keep taking the calculated big leaps first then worry about the safe stuff later. I have always avoided the bigger decision out of fear of the unknown. Practice keeping to the integrity of the possibility I’ve created

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6) Read more romance novels

As cheesy as some of these stories are it does the trick to help me gravitate to being a more loving wife.

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Easter Entertaining

Following-up from our Easter Decorating post, I’ve been looking through some blogs and images for entertaining ideas.
We’re having a neighbours only get-together barbecue in our backyard, I’m thinking maybe a simple Easter themed table setting will set the right mood for a fun evening.

Here’s some ideas that I liked and would like to share.

EggPlaceCards

This idea is simple and easy if you pretty much have a printer and toilet rolls oh and of course a few egg.
This can double up as a egg painting activity among your dining guests too!

From a great blog called Our Vintage Home
From a great blog called Our Vintage Home

BunnyNapkinFold

This bunny napkin fold is just adorable and it’s EASY. Instructions can be found here…. Or here.

EggAlpha

Yes simple and easy, yet not too overwhelming.

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Decorating Easter

Some of our favourite crafts with the kids you can try this Easter.

Yarn Eggs2

Check out this DIY craft from Six Sisters Stuff.
You could even try putting some candy treats into the balloon before popping it to dispose.

This is a cool idea from From Six Sisters Stuff
This is a cool idea from From Six Sisters Stuff

BunnyHouseBasker

Why not make it larger and create some really cool egg shaped baskets! You’ll have to use a more yarn in this case but we love the finished product! This is one I’m surly looking forward to making, another easy outdoor activity to do with the kids.

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Egg Painting by Sassy Dealz
Egg Painting by Sassy Dealz

Egg painting is always fun, who knew, yet another clever use for toilet rolls.

Martha Stewart German-Style Paper Cutout Easter Eggs
Martha Stewart German-Style Paper Cutout Easter Eggs

Something a little out of reach for children but it’s makes a beautiful centrepiece.

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Afternoon Tea

There’s a line I heard just today that got me in front of the computer nodding my head in total agreement with.

It goes,

“Do you want to know the diet for America, the one diet that would work… Eat anything you want, just cook it yourself.”

Well right now I want Double Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker

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Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 to 6 ounces dark chocolate chips or chunks

coarse sea salt, for topping (optional)

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat for 1 minute more.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the butter and egg mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined.

Stop the mixer and stir in the chocolate chunks.

Scoop dough using a small cookie scoop, or by rolling dough by the heaping tablespoonful. Place on cookie sheet, leaving about 2-inches between each dough ball.

Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until cookies are just done. It’s even ok if these cookies are slightly under baked. Try your darndest not to over bake them. Allow to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool before storing. Cookies are best within 3 days of baking.

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Why I Love Instagram

I LOVE Instagram and I have to say a little addicted to it now. Facebook and I are kind of in an open relationship now. I mostly use it to browse and share eye opening videos from the internet that completely make me rethink our capability humanity. (I hope my friends don’t start thinking that I’m an introvert activist… I’m not really). I just do my bit and “share” these videos to pass on the gilt so I can clear my mind and feast my eyes on these Instagram Hotties!

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Mug of Sunshine

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Just wanted to give a shout out to my friend Yan Ling for these hand made manly imperfect mugs. My husband and just love using them. They are un-identical with it’s quirky “imperfect-ness” that can only be done by hand. Appreciate the time and patience you put into making these warming earthy mugs for us. With the bamboo spoons they are just perfect for your many sips of tea/coffee or my personal preference of hot beverage at 10pm – Hot Chocolate ~ Lots of it!

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Mug1

These little mugs of sunshine are from her little pottery business called Euphoramics.

Bowls

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All images from here

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Designer Focus – Janet Lin

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Here’s a little bit of information about Janet Lin, designer / artist of our featured hand painted dinner plates.

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Bud

I’ve gotten to know Janet many years ago and was taken in by her soft spiritual demure. She lives with her son Andy along with her well looked after cat. Every time I visit her bright apartment (top floor)I remember her wide open windows welcoming a soft breeze that constantly uplifts her home make it very welcoming. She offers me slippers, traditional Chinese tea and biscuits every time, sometimes a little gift to bring home for the kids. A true warm hearted lady.

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Frog

Janet takes pride in her hobbies. She comes with an artistic background, later finding herself in Singapore as an art supplier bringing in unique pieces of art from her home country Taiwan.

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She soon took to her hobbies making them a lifestyle and now a business. She paints, makes jewellery and does pottery. Her skills in creativity and concentration is something I feel is spiritual as she puts in a lot of passion and time in her art. This is the main reason how this collaboration came about and why I hope that this would last for many more projects to come.

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Resolutions

I’ve been contemplating posting this for a while. Probably a little embarrassed to expose such simple resolutions but since it’s almost already February and so far it feels like my life is improving keeping up with these new year challenges. It’s non-intimidating, so it’s quite a refreshing change.

So here we go!

Cycle
Getting back on my bike after 6years is accomplishment on it’s own. Getting over the insecurities of cycling in a city where it’s actually quite hazardous cycling on public roads is another thing. What’s surprising is noticing when you start doing what you enjoy you find others doing the same.

WorkingHours
Blogging and digital marketing especially which I’m pretty rubbish at. But also to incorporate more travel for this year,and hope to explore the region a lot more. Focus on online sales / marketing strategies. Hope to get comfortable with this side of business this year. Easier said then done.

Me time…
Me
…because just looking after yourself is it’s own therapy

YOga
This is a big one. I’ve tried many times to motivate myself to loose weight and get fit. I’ve come to realise that it boils down to what kind of exercise I enjoy most and to keep at it.

GentleHands
I don’t mean moisturising. A touch of a hand can mean so much. An hard grab, a spank, a tickle, stroking hair or even a hug can mean so much even without words. This year I want to practice using my hands more lovingly, especially with my children.

Explore
Because nature is too beautiful to not explore.

All images from Modern Hepburne

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Urban Kandy Dining

I can’t believe we’re a week away from it being February already. Where are the days going?!?

Very exciting time for us though as we unveil our latest range of Dinner Plates exclusively within Urban Kandy.

What’s so special about them?
Each piece are individually hand painted by our very talented local artist Janet Lin. More about Janet Here.

Table Setting

We were very excited to “break” them in (for display purposed only) during our formal Christmas dinner party.

At the moment, we have 20pieces of 3 designs. This are our Palm Tree motif plates.

Palm Tree

…our Fern Leaf motif

Leaf

…and our Flower Bud motif.

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Flower Bud Motif

Palm Leaf Mofif

Palm Tree Motif