Apple Kefir Butter Cake

CMCO Day 12 – Teatime: Apple Kefir Butter Cake

Another Sunday of baking experiment with the 2nd attempt of Apple Kefir butter cake. This time, the cake is much nicer with texture that is soft, fluffy and nice crusty outer layer.

Apple kefir butter cake is not a common cake sold in bakeries and cafes. I first tried this cake in Yin’s Sourdough when our lunch took longer time to be served during lunch busy period. The sweet lady from Yin’s Sourdough offered 2 slices of this cake complimentary to us while waiting for our lunch. We told her 1 slice will do. We ate, loved it and wanted to ask if we may have the 2nd slice back 😁. So yummy, healthy and refreshing.

During this CMCO, I missed eating this cake and placed delivery order for 5 boxes of this Apple kefir butter cake to share with family and friend to cheer everyone up during this CMCO.

This is my feedback on Yin Sourdough’s Apple Kefir butter cake, as posted by them on their IG stories.


  • 113g (1 stick) of unsalted butter
  • 115g of castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 120ml of milk kefir at room temperature to prevent soggy cake bottom and allows good bacteria to grow for airy texture. May substitute milk kefir with sour cream or 30ml of milk mixed with 90ml of
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 190g of cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 60g of raisins soaked in rum or apple juice
  • 3 cored, peeled and thinly sliced crisp apples
  • Topping: 50g castor sugar mixed with 1 tsp of cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Line the bottom of a 8” (20 cm) round tin with removable base or spring form tin with parchment paper. Lightly grease sides and apply thin layer of flour or spray with non-stick baking spray.
  3. Core, peel and thinly slice apples and place in lightly salted water, or lemon juice, to prevent them from premature browning
  4. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
  5. In a mixing bowl, add in butter and sugar. Mix it on low speed until the sugar disappear. Then increase to medium speed and mix for 15 minutes, until the butter is white, light and fluffy.
  6. Add in eggs, one by one and mix until the yellow eggs disappear.
  7. Add milk kefir and vanilla extract. Continue mixing for another 3-5 minutes.
  8. Add in the sifted dry ingredients and raisins and fold together until just combined.
  9. Pour half the batter into the baking pan.
  10. Place a layer of sliced apple on top of batter and sprinkle with thin layer of sugar and cinnamon.
  11. Pour the balance half of the batter into the baking pan.
  12. Place sliced apples on top of batter
  13. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over top of apple layers

Bake for 55-60 minutes. Test the cake using a cake tester. Cool the cake on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar (optional).

The taste of milk kefir is natural and infused with probiotic. The addition of kefir to this cake will make the cake extra soft, airy and lighter texture.


Top: 2nd attempt, Middle: Bought from Yin’s Sourdough, Bottom: 1st attempt

Pantry Organisation

I always know my pantry should be more organized. And that’s was it. Nothing done for a long time.

Until this MCO when we couldn’t go out but to stay at home, I wanted to do a few mini projects so that by the end of MCO and CMCO, those days were not wasted but filled with memories and a few projects accomplished.

One of the few mini projects that I have on my list is pantry organization. I spent a lot of time over the long Hari Raya break browsing on internet and watched lots of YouTube to get some ideas on how and tips to organize pantry.

I saw few things that I like and also things that I should avoid, what suits my kitchen cabinet and practical to use. I want clear and transparent containers, with no prints and design, no other colours except white. It has to be in square shape to save storage space.

  1. I measured my kitchen cabinets, its length, height and depth and looked for products that fit into those measurements.
  2. I browsed through the products online in Lazada and Shopee and read the review on the products and sellers.
  3. Follow the seller. You may get seller vouchers and notified of seller promotion.
  4. Check on bulk purchase discount. I bought 4 items from the containers seller as they offered 13% discount for purchases of 4 items and above. It turned out cheaper that just buying 3 items.
  5. Get delivery voucher for shipping fee discount as most items were shipped from China. The shipping fee is quite costly.
  6. Check on credit card promotion. There are promotions with Citibank, CIMB, Maybank, etc.


1st Phase: Spice Jars

Since I have to cook during this MCO, I used these items more frequently now.


I wanted standard, clear bottles for spice storage and I bought these 12 pieces of square glass spice jars from Lazada. It came with proper packaging.

Caps and airtight lids to keep spices stay fresh longer.

Wash and dry before use.

I’m getting quite a number of questions on these spice jars since I posted it in my IG and FB. My friends love them too. I bought it from Lazada under seller “PickEgg”. This item has been sold out, replenished, sold out and the last I checked, it was replenished again.

Filled with my favourite spices.

For easy assess to these spice jars, I also bought rotating tray to put these spice jars as I will not be able to reach those at the back of my kitchen cabinet.

I can turn and easily assess to all of the spice jars but the turning is not very smooth.

High up on my kitchen cabinet.


2nd Phase: Dry Food Containers

I am right. I’m getting more questions for this. Before buying, I suggest the following:

  1. Open up your kitchen cabinets and list the items that you have.
  2. Categorise them and decide which items to be placed in wet kitchen and dry kitchens.
  3. Note down the contents volume so that you know how many containers of each sizes that you need.
  4. Measure your kitchen cabinets, height, depth and length.

I shortlisted 2 designs but I chose these albeit this is more expensive than the other.

I like this clear, clean, simple, neat looking design, made of BPA-free, durable plastic.

The containers stack well on top of each other due to the lids design. The height of the containers was also perfect for my kitchen cabinets.

There’s rubber at the bottom of the containers that are anti-slip and made them very stable. This seller was also having 13% discount for 4 items and above.

I saved almost $200 from seller promotion and shipping fee discount

The hard work results. Satisfaction. Stood there and admire it for awhile, love them so much. The kitchen cabinet is so much neater now and I can see in a glance what I have and what I need to stock up.


I bought the following labels to label my containers.


3rd Phase: Sauces and Bottles

Whenever I need to use sauces, I have to pull out the basket to reach the sauces. Sometimes, I need to move my hand around to reach those at the end row.

I saw this rotating tray. Just what I need and I bought it.


All these organisations will make cooking more enjoyable and life a little easier. I am very happy with the entire pantry organization results. Jaselyn said I’m very Auntie. Things like this ie organizing pantry, make me so happy. She must be thinking I’m such a boring Auntie.

Next on my list is to organize my fridge. I’m waiting for the items to arrive.

I’ve Lost Over 10kg

Finally, I shed some weight and achieved one of my 2020 resolution of weight <50kg.

Losing weight has been in my mind for more than a decade and in my resolution for many years. Somehow, I couldn’t achieve it or probably I didn’t take it seriously or take action to achieve it.

I signed up for gym membership and went for Bodyjam, Body Combat and Body Balance classes and Group Training. After classes, I was always hungry and had dinner past 9pm. I used to think since I’ve worked out so hard, burnt lots of calories and sweat so much, it’s alright for me to eat.

My weight kept on increasing and when I saw this photo that I took in June 2019 in Lucerne, a very beautiful place, I felt worried. I noticed I looked so bloated and put on a lot of weight.

After 2 weeks in Lyon, a city of gastronomy and Switzerland, I really put on a lot of weight, hitting 60kg. My family told me the same thing and asked me to watch out on my diet and weight. My favourite breakfast were nasi lemak and fried meehoon that I used to pack on the way to work, with a cup of coffee with creamer.

My sister invited me to the Nutrition Club and I decided to join the wellness program. I have a personal weight management coach to guide me through the program. I have a better understanding of the value of good nutrition, healthy eating habit and active lifestyle. She also guided me how and what to eat before hitting gym and after classes to replenish lost muscles.

With coach Catherine Chua and my sister, Catherine Koh. The 2 sweet ladies and supportive coaches.

My biggest takeaway from this coaching is, not only we have to know our body weight, we should be aware of the composition of our body. What’s the fat %, muscle %, water %, visceral fat rating and body age. I was so worried then as my metabolic age was older than my age.

With the patient and knowledgeable coach, Natalia Lai.

This is my weight progress tracked from Fitness First boditrax from the day I started weighing myself till the last reading just before MCO.

Snap from 18 May 2019 to 9 Mar 2020

The 12 months development. Didn’t lose much weight in Dec 2019 and Jan 2020 due to Christmas and Chinese New Year celebrations with lots of gatherings and feast. I told myself to enjoy the process, don’t stress out, I don’t have deadline to meet and to have cheat days as and when I like. This is to ensure sustainability.

Finally, on the last Saturday after 2.5 months since the last time I went to the Nutrition Club due to MCO, I could go back and get my body composition analysis done. I lost 12kg, dropped body fat % and visceral fat layers, increased muscles % and water % and my metabolic age is younger by 19 years!

Funny encounter during this journey:

  • At security registration to sister’s house, the security guard looked at my driving license and asked me “Dulu gambar Mam gemuk. Sekarang kurus. Ada gambar lain? And he is not the first one who commented that.
  • A friend when he saw me told me “Wah, you lost weight. I thought you used photo filter on your photos to look slimmer on Instagram”.
  • When I did presentation at office Townhall, rather than paying attention on my slides, my colleagues whispered “Sawleng lost a lot of weight”.

I lost my double chin and round, chubby face. It is so good to feel lighter, healthier and more energetic. It boosts our confidence too.

During this MCO, I cleared my wardrobe based on KonMari method, segregating piles of clothes to be given away, to dispose and asked my Mom to alter for those clothes that bring joy to me. I cleared more than half of my wardrobe, I couldn’t wear most of them.

I recently bought the following Yellow and Pink size S camisoles from Uniqlo. I used to wear Size L AIRism camisole but now I am wearing size S, down 2 sizes. Happiness.

Top: Yellow and Pink new Uniqlo camisole size S Bottom: Black and White old Uniqlo camisole size L

I am just happy to live healthier, losing fat and gaining muscles. Looking good is the bonus.

Chicken Fajitas

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 72
Lunch: Chicken Fajitas

Chicken fajitas, a classic Mexican recipe that is easy to prepare and a flavorful meal. I marinated the chicken yesterday so that the chicken is seasoned well and I could cook it fast for lunch today since it’s a working day, the usual WFH.

We ate it 3 different ways ie with quinoa, wraps and butterhead lettuce. Top it with avocado and a dollop of sour cream. So yummy and healthy.


Ø  Fajita Seasoning

  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Ø  Chicken Fajitas

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halves the thickness
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 bell peppers , thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lime

Ø  For Serving

  • Tortillas
  • Butterhead lettuce
  • Sour cream
  • Pico de gallo
  • Avocado


  1. Add the fajitas seasoning ingredients to a small mixing bowl and stir together.

2. Season the chicken. Generously sprinkle the fajita seasoning on both sides of the chicken and use your fingers press it into the chicken.

3. Cook the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and lightly coat it with a drizzle of olive oil or avocado oil. Sear the chicken breasts for about 7-8 minutes on each side.

Then remove them from the pan and let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.

4. Saute the bell peppers and onion. While your chicken is cooking, cut the bell peppers and onion into thin slices.

Once the chicken is removed, saute the bell peppers and onion in the same skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently until caramelized.

5. Mix together. Add the chicken back into the skillet, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice (A must as squeeze of fresh lime adds a punch of flavor) and stir everything together.

6. Wrap it up. Serve immediately with tortillas and extra toppings such as sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole.


Spicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup (Jjamppong)

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 71
Lunch: Spicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup (Jjamppong)

I still have 2 stalks of dae-pa that I bought from Korean grocer. Not wanting it to go to waste, I checked on internet what I can cook with it and found this from my favourite Korean chef, Maangchi’s Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup.

Another new Korean recipe. Sourish, spicy and sweet seafood noodle soup.



  • 1 daepa (large green onion), or 4 green onions, cut into 2 inch length
  • 100g leek, washed and cut into ½ x 2 inch strips
  • 100g ounces bok choy, washed
  • 85g / 3 large cabbage leaves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 100g onion, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch strips

Seafoods and meat:

  • 4 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 100g squid, just the body with guts removed and sliced into rings
  • 8 mussels (optional), scrubbed, debearded, soaked in salted water for a few hours, and washed
  • 24 small clams (optional), soaked in salted water for a few hours, and washed
  • 100g of thinly sliced pork belly (or beef or chicken)

Noodles and seasonings:

Bought this from a Korean grocer, $17.20 for 6 servings.

  • Fresh or frozen jjajangmyeon noodles, thawed if frozen, and uncoiled
  • 5 tbsp gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


Make the hot pepper flakes mixture:

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of hot pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil in a small bowl.
  2. Mix with a spoon until well incorporated. Set aside.

Make jjamppong:

  1. Heat a large wok (or pot) over high heat. Add the vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, and stir about 20 seconds with a wooden spoon until the garlic starts to turn a little crispy.
  2. Add the pork and stir until slightly cooked.
  3. Clear a spot in the wok by pushing the garlic, ginger, and the meat to the side. Tilt the wok so that the excess vegetable oil slides into the cleared area. Put 3 tablespoons hot pepper flakes into the hot oil and stir and mix with the wooden spoon for about 1 minute, until it creates a smoky flavor but not long enough to burn. Then stir everything in the wok together into the hot oil.
  4. Add green onion, leek, cabbage, and onion and stir for 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables are wilted.
  5. Add 6 cups stock and all the seafoods and bok choy. Cover and cook 7 to 8 minutes until the mussels and clams are open and the shrimp and squid are well cooked.

6. Stir in the fish sauce, kosher salt, and the reserved hot pepper flakes mixture. Cover and let it simmer over low heat.

We added too much of anchovy stocks that the broth is a little diluted but the taste is still nice.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and stir a few times so that they don’t stick to each other.
  2. Cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes until tender but still chewy.
  3. Strain and rinse the noodles in cold running water to make them nice and chewy.

Put it together and serve:

  1. Heat up the soup over high heat.
  2. Divide the noodles into individual serving bowls. Add the soup over top and include cooked seafood, vegetables, meat over top of the noodles. Serve right away.

Chicken Wrap with Cinco de Mayo Salsa Cruda

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 70
Lunch: Chicken wrap with Cinco de Mayo Salsa Cruda

Today is already the Day 70, also the 3rd day of Hari Raya and public holiday. Usually, we would have gone out for house visiting or having coffee chat with friends. But now, we are staying in, finding interesting thing to do before we die of boredom.

For me, I have been cooking far more than the total cooking I’ve done for my entire life prior to this MCO. I’ve tried lots of new recipes, inclusive of meal prep and then, take lots and lots of photos and post them on Facebook, Instagram or/and my blog. This blog is active again during this MCO, it was left idle for a few years with only 3 posts in 2016, 1 post in 2017 and I stopped blogging in 2018 and 2019 and moved to Instagram. During this MCO period, I’ve posted more than 20 posts in my blog and contributed 8 posts to Club Tefal Facebook!

2 days ago, I received the sweetest message from Wendy “Sista, I just want to drop u a message that I am happy to see ur FB posts. The old Saw Leng is back to cooking, baking, writing and sharing. Glad ur confidence are back. Lots of hugs”. Hug, hug you back. Tight, tight, Wendy

Using the salsa that we made yesterday, we add in chicken and hard-boiled eggs for protein and wrap them for our lunch today.

Yesterday, on Hari Raya Day 2, since it’s not a working day, another opportunity to explore new recipe. This recipe was shared by my niece, by Chef John from allrecipes.

A simple recipe of mixing everything together but be prepared with lots and lots of cutting.


  • 300g cherry tomatoes, diced

I used mix of orange and red colours of cherry tomatoes to add some colours t


Use small serrated knife to cut cherry tomatoes into small dice pieces. Let it drain over strainer to remove liquid from cut tomatoes.

Onion, minced finely. 1/2 cup.

I couldn’t find jalapeno and serrano chili pepper in both of the groceries shops that I went.

Using normal green chili and Korean Cheongyang pepper that I have at home

Minced finely.


Add 2 cloves of garlic mince.

Pour 2 tbsp of lime juice over the top.

Stir in dried oregano, cayenne, pepper, salt and sugar


Chop finely mint leaves

Just learned that Cilantro is also called Chinese parsley or Coriander.

Chop finely Cilantro leaves.

Stir in mint and cilantro.


Mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour to let it set. Season with salt to taste.

This salsa goes so well with Tortilla chips



Pan-fried Seabass with Lemon Garlic Herb Sauce

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 68
Lunch: Pan-fried Seabass with Lemon Garlic Herb Sauce

I ordered 4 Seabass from my favourite TTDI Market Seafood Auntie. She fillet the fish for me and return the bones for me to cook fish soup noodle.

Today, I tried out this new recipe for Seabass. I like the sourish taste with the fragrance herbs smell. It goes really well with the Seabass and baby spinach.


  • 700g sea bass, cut into fillet
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine, ie savignon blanc
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock/broth or water
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp each of fresh oregano, thyme and parsley (or any herbs), roughly chopped
  • lemon wedges, for decoration/serving


  1. Pat fish fillet dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a shallow dish, mix together flour, salt and black pepper.
  3. Coat each side, the entire surface of fish in the flour mixture and shake off excess flour.
  4. Using a non-stick frypan, melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium high heat and add olive oil.
  5. Cook fish in the frypan for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  6. Remove fish to a plate.
  7. Turn down the heat to low. Add white wine to frypan to deglaze and continue heating until almost all the wine has evaporated.
  8. Add one more tablespoon of butter to the frypan. Once it’s melted, add the minced garlic and fresh herbs and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  9. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  10. Turn off heat and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  11. Serve sauce on top of fish.

We had the fish with quinoa rice and baby spinach.

And I forgotten to use these lemon slices to serve with the seabass.  Cooking is tiring, from planning to browsing on the internet, getting the ingredients, preparing, cooking and washing up. And it’s Sunday, which is also weekly cleaning day. 😕

Really happy to have Max. My best investment during this MCO.

When the house is finally cleaned, I can relax and enjoy burnt cheesecake from sister.

For today’s dinner, I had my first Hokkien mee during this MCO. TQ to my foodie friend for the recommendation. I have quota for cab. Must eat good one only. It was worth the drive and wait. Craving satisfied.


Spicy stir-fried Pork and Green Onion (Dae-pa Bokkeum)

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 67

My foodie friend who once lived in Seoul for few years inspired me to cook this Bokkeum. He saw I have been trying out Korean dishes during this MCO.

I browsed a few videos on how to cook it. I scribbled some notes and the ingredients to buy. While I was busy doing it, the doorbell rang. My sister delivered these burnt cheesecake again. How to stay on diet?

I couldn’t get green onions and Cheongyang pepper. I went to a Korean grocer and found them. Not cheap.

Korean large green onions, which are sweeter and more aromatic, cost $10.20.

Cheongyang pepper cost $19.50.


  • 300g pork belly, cut into bite size pieces 1/8 inch thick
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced into thick pieces
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 medium size onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks green onions sliced in half and cut into 5cm pieces.
  • 3 Cheongyang peppers (green chili), roughly slice diagonally
  • 1 tbsp coarse red pepper powder (gochu-garu)
  • 1 tbsp fine red pepper powder
  • ¼ cup hot pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 1/3 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds



  1. Heat up a large pan over medium high heat.
  2. Put the pork belly on a pan, sprinkle flavoring salt and pepper, roast over medium heat.
  3. Once the pork belly is cooked, add garlic.
  4. If too much oil has come out from pork belly in the pan, take out some oil.
  5. When garlic is golden, add sugar and stir-fry.
  6. Sprinkle soy sauce around the edge of the pan and scorch to give a smoky flavor.

7. Add the green onions, coarse red pepper powder, fine red pepper powder, and stir-fry till the pork is fully cooked and juicy and a little crispy.

8. Add water to make sure ingredients blend well.

9. Sprinkle black pepper and sesame oil and mix before the green onion softens.

10. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle ground sesame seeds.

We had it with rice and kimchi pancake.

May eat with lettuce, ssamjang and side dishes.

My Dae Pa Bokkeum is not red enough but its spicy with the Cheongyang pepper. Next time, I will use more fatty pork belly so that the meat is juicier. Overall, the taste is good and we finished the entire plate.

Spicy Rice Cake (Tteokbokki)

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 62
Lunch: Spicy Rice Cake (Tteokbokki)

Another first attempt, another Korean food.
I made some twist from the cooking direction on the hot sauce packet. I didn’t use water but anchovies stock. My foodie friend told me Korean food is best to cook with anchovies stock. I am so glad that I did it.

This is like our Chee Cheong Fun (Rice noodle roll) that commonly served as snack or light meal.

As we had it for lunch, I added hard boiled eggs and fuchok roll. I also added cabbage which tasted like kimchi after cooked in the hot sauce and onions to give some flavor to the stock.


  • 2.5 cups of anchovies stock
  • 250g of rice cake
  • Toppokki hot sauce – ready made or combine in a small bowl
    • ⅓ cup hot pepper paste
    • 1 tbsp hot pepper flakes
    • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 green onions, cut into 2.5 inch long and some for garnishing
  • Optionals:
    • Cabbage – sliced into bite pieces
    • Onions
    • 2 hard boiled eggs, shelled
    • Fish cake/Fuchok roll

If use frozen rice cake, thaw it out and soak in cold water to soften it before cooking.

Make hard boiled eggs and let it cool in cold water, shelled.


  1. Boil anchovies stock.
  2. Add rice cake and Toppokki hot sauce

3. Add green onion, cabbage and onions

4. Add hard boiled eggs and fish cake/fuchok roll.

5. Stir gently with a wooden spoon when it starts to boil

6. Keep stirring until the rice cake turns soft and the sauce thickens and looks shiny, which should take about 10 -15 minutes. If the rice cake is not soft enough, add more water and continue stirring until soften.

7. Remove from heat, garnish green onions and serve hot.

I only used 1 packet of the hot sauce as it was quite spicy.


Shrimp Aglio Olio

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 60
Lunch: Shrimp Aglio Olio

Can’t believe it. We already survived 60 days of MCO. Throughout this MCO, I have journaled every day on my Instagram of my thoughts, special memories and mostly food that I cooked, some for the very first time since we cant eat out during this special time. The one special thing is, the boys used to tell me “Mommy, can you please don’t cook?”. Now, Jaden would come to the kitchen and asked what did I cook that smelled so nice or he would add on his food serving. This is for me to read years in future of how we survived this pandemic and why 2020 is so special to all of us. Treasuring memories.

My favorite pasta is Aglio Olio and also one of the very first pasta that I tried cooking. It’s easy and I was told to think of the colors of Italy flag. White for garlic (lots and lots of garlic cooked with olive oil), green for parsley and red for tomatoes.

When I was buying parsley, I had the option of getting a packet of Italian parsley at $2.50 or a parsley plant at $6.50. It was the only parsley plant standing there and surprisingly, it looked healthy. I decided to get the plant as the Accountant mind told me if I can use it 3 times, it’s already cheaper and I don’t have to keep on going back to Village Grocer to buy. I am really challenging myself if any plant can survive in my hands. I don’t have green fingers.


  1. Pasta – 250g (about 85g to a person)
  2. Olive oil – 1/2 cup
  3. Anchovies in can – 1
  4. Garlic – 6 cloves, thinly sliced
  5. Chili flakes (1/4 tsp) or chili padi (2 red, halved and seeds removed)
  6. Shrimps – about 5 medium shrimps per person
  7. Cherry tomatoes – 12
  8. Fresh Italian parsley – 1/4 cup, chopped


  1. Put 2.5 litre of water to boil, add salt
  2. Once boiled, gently put pasta into the pot of boiling water.

3. Let it cooked for about 10 minutes or follow cooking instructions on pasta box, stirring occasionally.

 4. While pasta is cooking, add olive oil into wokpan.

5. Put anchovies and its oil

6. Add garlic slices and sauté until golden brown and fragrant. Add chili padi.

7. Add shrimps and cook for 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimps.

8. Add tomatoes

9. Add cooked pasta and parsley and mix them evenly.

10. Add a little of water from pasta pot, if it is dry.

11. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with some parsley and serve warm.

You may sprinkle some grated parmesan, if you love cheese.

The 3 beautiful colors of Italy flag.