Cherry Pancake

Posted December 30th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Here is the recipe of cherry pancake I made on Christmas day.  You can prepare the mixture ahead and keep in the fridge until needed.  Try adding different fruits instead of cherries for a variety!

<Cherry Pancake>  makes about 6 

  • 1 handful of cherries, pitted
  • 1 egg
  • 25g sugar
  • 150ml milk
  • 30g butter, melted
  • few drops of vanilla extract
  • 150g plain flour
  • 5g baking powder
  1. Whisk egg and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add butter, milk and vanilla.  Mix well with a whisk.
  3. Shift in the dry ingredients and cherries.  Mix with a spatula.
  4. Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat, and spray with oil.  Drop one scoop of mixture into the pan, and cook until the surface is bubbly.  Flip it around, and cook another side.  Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  5. Enjoy with your favorite accompaniments – syrup, whipped cream, butter or icing sugar.

Third Trimester – Week 28~ 40

Posted December 29th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

Believe it or not, I’m on the third trimester already!  I’m at week 29, and the baby can be born at any time now (with lots of help by hospital if he is born now, of course).  People started to ask me when my due date is (finally!) because my belly is obviously big.  

I had the glucose test this morning. I had to drink sugar water (it was like soda) and wait for 1 hour to get my blood taken.  While waiting I felt so sleepy…  too much sugar!  Now, I feel little fainting too.  I think I will eat beef steak tonight to boost up my iron level.

It’s just 10 weeks to go, but I realized I haven’t prepared everything for my baby’s arrival yet.  Time flies…  Am I really going to be ready?  I haven’t applied for the paid parental leave to Centrelink yet.  Am I aware of all the medical expenses?  Am I getting enough exercise everyday?  Is my baby doing well?

On my last visit to my OB, my baby was in a breech position.  OB told me that baby will move around, so I didn’t really worry about it.  But now, I don’t know if he is still in a breech position or in a head-down position.  As he grows bigger he won’t be able to move his body around anymore, and if he stays in a breech position giving birth will be difficult.  Just in case he is still in a breech position (which I will find out on my next visit to OB) I found some tips I can do to help my baby into an anterior position (the best position for an easy labour/birth)  

  • When sitting, make sure your knees are always lower than your hips (My work involves lots of sitting, so I added a couple of cushion on my chair to make my knees lower than my hips)
  • Scrub the floor.  When you’re on all fours, the back of your baby’s head swings to the front of your belly.
  • Move around during the day, and take a good night’s rest
By the way, I thought a maternity cover with private health insurance covers all the cost related to delivery at private hospitals, but it apparently doesn’t.  With my insurance level, it covers 100% on hospital fees for the first 3 days and 100% on OB’s delivery fees, but it doesn’t cover OB’s planning & management fee for a delivery.  There’s some out-of-pocket money that I needed to pay, and I also need to be aware of anaesthetist and paediatrician charges.  
And, there are few things I need to do after the baby is born : I need to do both Australian and Japanese birth registry, need to apply for his Australian and Japanese passports, etc etc.  I write down what I need to do, but am little worried that if everything goes well.  … thinking about all these things makes me have headache. 🙁   I think I’d just better worry about giving birth to a healthy boy at this stage! 

Christmas Holiday

Posted December 26th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Christmas cookie tree.

In the morning of Christmas we woke up with sweet delicious pancake.  I added cherries to the pancake, but D didn’t want any cherries.

After breakfast we sat on a sofa and watched tv for awhile…  It was too hot to go outside!

D started to act weird…  and I knew he was preparing to give me a Christmas present!  We didn’t talk about present until today, and we didn’t even mention about giving a present to each other, but I prepared one and I knew he prepared something for me secretly too.  So, I went outside to get his present ready…

We were trying to act normal, but I couldn’t help laughing.  He gave me a 2011 diary that I wanted!  And, a watch!

A baby bonsai I gave him…  I only prepared one for him 🙁

The wind was still warm in the evening.  It was really tiring day…  I wouldn’t be able to survive without air-con.  After dinner (inari sushi and chicken karaage), we drove to a park near Swan River for walking.  It was 9 PM and quite windy, but the heat was finally off.  It was very hot Christmas…


Cookies for a Christmas Tree

Posted December 24th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Baking cookies is one of the fun activities you can do for Christmas!  You can create them in any shapes, and decorate with your favorite color.

Poke a hole on the cookie dough before baking so that they can be hung on your Christmas tree. 🙂    Make sure the hole is big enough as the hole will go smaller after baking.


<Cookies> makes about 30~40 of 5cm Christmas trees

  • 160g butter, unsalted
  • 120g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 320g plain flour
  • a drop of vanilla extract

<Icing>  makes enough for 60 cookies

  • 1 tsp vanilla yogurt
  • 4~6 icing sugar (adjust the consistency: hard, but soft enough to pipe out)
  • coloring 
  1. Cream butter in a bowl using a whist or hand mixer until whitish color.  Add sugar, and mix until the butter is fluffy.
  2. Add
  3. Mix until the dough comes together.  Wrap in plastic, and rest in the fridge for more than 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out the dough into 5mm thick.  Cut the dough into decorative shapes, using cookie cutters.  Arrange cookies on lined oven tray, and bake at 180℃ for about 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies are golden. 
  5. Once the cookies are cooled down, mix the ingredients for icing and put it in a small piping bag, or plastic bag.  Make a tiny hole on the tip, and decorate your cookies.
  6. Leave until the icing is set.  


Merry Christmas to you all !! (^0^)-☆


Posted December 23rd, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

I need red meat!! Great source of protein and iron.  Craving for chunks of meat sometimes happen to me, especially on Friday/Saturday evenings when I smell BBQ from neighbors houses.

I went to out to a restaurant the other day and ordered steak.  I told waitstaff to make sure the meat is cooked well-done.  But, when I cut the steak the meat inside was slightly pink.  It may be just because of the lighting at the restaurant (the lights were red-ish color which made everything look red).  I wasn’t sure if I should eat it – it maybe ok, but it maybe not.  In the end I asked waitstaff to cook the meat more.  I should have ordered chicken or pork instead of beef, so that I know the meat is fully cooked at least.  From the experience, I only eat steak at home now.

Last night I made yakiniku at home.  It’s one of the easiest meal because what I need to do is prepare meat (and some vegetables, rice and soup to accompany).  This time I marinated the beef with grated pear to give additional fruity taste.  It also softened the meat.

Cook meat in front of you while watching tv, and enjoy the freshly cooked meat with sauce and rice!  Yum.

In Japan, beef and port for yakiniku is normally sliced into about 5mm thick.  You can buy a bulk of meat and slice by yourself too.  It is more economical.  After slicing the meat, marinate in the home-made sauce, and keep in the fridge until you  start your feast.  Don’t forget to cook rice too!

<Yakiniku>  for 2 people

  • 500g beef
  • 40ml soy sauce
  • 10ml sake (cooking wine)
  • 40g pear, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  1. Slice beef into about 5mm thick.  Mix all the other ingredients, and marinate the beef in the sauce for 10~20 minutes.
  • cabbage, capsicum, pumpkin, onion etc 
  • steamed rice / soup
  • sauce (ponzu, yuzu juice with salt, or try making this sauce ↓↓)
<Yakiniku Dipping Sauce>
  • 1/2 onion, medium
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sake (cooking wine)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs miso paste
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbs white sesame seeds
  1. Grate the onion.  In a frying pan, saute the onion over low heat.  
  2. Add other ingredients to the pan, and simmer until the liquid is thicken.
* You can keep this sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge for few weeks.

Word Lens for iPhone … sugoi

Posted December 22nd, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

A new app just hit the iTunes App Store – called “Word Lens”.  I saw the video of this app and it’s pretty cool!  At this moment they only have one language pack though, for translations between English and Spanish.  The app is free to download, but each language pack will set you back $5.99 a pop.

Word Lens creator, Otavior Good, speaks on his company website that once he was in overseas there was a sign he couldn’t read and he thought, ‘Why doesn’t my cellphone do this?'”.  I think it’s one thing that many people would hope when they are traveling another country.

The great thing is, you don’t need internet connection to use this app.  Once you download it on your iphone, it will translate the sign board within a second.  The bad thing is that the font of the sign board has to be something like Centurion or Helvetica.  So, if the words are written by hand or in other unique fonts it can’t be translated.    … Well, it still works!

I can’t wait they launch of other languages!  What language you want this app to translate the most??  Actually the creator’s friend wants there to be one for Japanese.  But, unlike Spanish, we don’t use ABC alphabet – we’ve got four other alphabets that we use.

“There’s Kanji Hiragana, Katakana and Romaji — Romanji uses roman letters, but that’s not very common for the signs in the street.”

Right… but it could be fun though if it could translate Japanese too. Maybe in future.. 🙂


Planning a Homecoming Trip

Posted December 21st, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »


Planning a trip is always a fun thing to me – especially when the destination is my home country!  Imagining what I could do there makes me daydream 🙂

Well, I should be thinking about the birth plan or something related to my baby (I do though) but part of my head is already planning what to do in Japan next year.  As the trip will be a whole new experience to me (first time with a Jr) I know what I can do there is limited.  But, it’s just a plan, and planning is always a good thing to prepare for the trip.


This time, I’m thinking to go driving around Biwa Lake in Shiga.  I always drive Kei-truck (you can read about it here, or my Japan Trip posts here) when I go back, but there are only two seats in the car and three of us (me, D and Jr) won’t be able to fit there.  It’s also very uncomfortable to drive for long distance.  So, I’m planning to hire a car for few days and go driving around the Biwa Lake side road.  

My grand-parents’ house is 50 km away from my house and D and I normally take a train to visit them, but the road between our houses has such beautiful views.  I love driving to their house because I could stop at convenience stores or shopping malls to get a cold drink and snack on the way, and get off the car and walk around the lake shore if I want to.  

Having your own car is very essential in Shiga (same as Perth).  If you go shopping you will need a car to put all the stuff you bought.  We are going to buy many things in Japan for sure, so renting a car is one “must” thing to do.

I don’t think we will be traveling around much this time.  Just within Shiga, I think.  We can do so many things already just in Shiga and I don’t want to take a tiring train trip to other prefectures with Jr.  (Of course I can’t drive there, driving to Kyoto and Osaka is much more stressful than taking a train!)  It’s ok.  D hasn’t explored entire Shiga yet.  There are so many things he has missed out on his last visits!  

If we go there in summer we can enjoy fireworks and summer festivals wearing yukata.  If in autumn we can enjoy the scenery and delicious food.  If in winter we can play with snow!  Still thinking when is the best…


Cajun Chicken Citrus Salad

Posted December 20th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

It’s hot ~ …..  I’m very weak against the heat.   I can just eat watermelon everyday for 3 meals! … if I’m not carrying this cauliflower-sized bub in my belly.  

Now, salad is a perfect dish to cool my body down and it also gives me great nutrition.  This is one of my favorite salad – grilled spicy cajun chicken with citrus and creamy avocado. 

You can also add pitted olives, cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes, capsicum etc etc for extra texture and color.


<Cajun Chicken Citrus Salad> serves 2

  • 200g chicken breast, skinned
  • 1 tbs cajun spice
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/8 red onion
  • 2 handful of green leaves
  • 1 tbs olive oil + 1 ~2 pinch of salt
  1. Slice chicken.  In a mixing bowl, marinate chicken with 1 tbs olive oil and cajun spice for 5 minutes.  (adjust the amount of cajun spice to your liking)
  2. Meanwhile, slice onion very thinly.  Segment the orange (take out the flesh from the skin).  Reserve the juice.  Wash lettuce and drain. 
  3. Place the lettuce, onion and orange segments in a clean mixing bowl.
  4. Heat a frying pan over high heat, and grill chicken until cooked.  Transfer the chicken to the mixing bowl, and pour orange juice and 1 tbs olive oil.  Sprinkle salt, and toss gently.
  5. Immediately arrange on the serving plate.  Top with sliced avocado.
  6. Serve immediately!
* You can use your favorite salad dressing instead.  
* Prawn or squid can be replaced with chicken 

Tomato Chicken Rice with Omelet (Omu-Rice)

Posted December 18th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Besides the traditional Japanese food, there’re Western style food created by Japanese chefs in Japan.  This cuisine is called “yo-shoku” (Japanese Style Western Food) and I had more chances to eat these yo-shoku dishes than traditional Japanese food when I was little.

This dish “omu-rice” (omelet rice) is one of the popular yo-shoku dish in Japan, especially among kids.  The rice is stir-fried with frozen mix vegetables and chicken pieces, usually flavored with tomato based sauce.  Normally the rice is wrapped with omelet completely (like you wrap something with plastic wrap), but placing omelet over the rice is much easier when making multiple omu-rice, and it tastes just as good as the wrapped one.

In some restaurants chefs make omu-rice this way – make soft omelet over high heat, and place on top of prepared rice.  Then, they insert a knife to the omelet and the omelet opens and cover the rice.  I love when the egg is soft and fluffy!  (I’m sure you’ve tasted one of these if you had been to an omu-rice restaurant)

<Omu-Rice> serves 4

  • 200g chicken thigh, diced
  • 1 onion, medium, chopped
  • 50cc white wine
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 400g cooked rice, cold
  • 3 tbs tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbs milk
  1. Heat 1 tbs of oil in a frying pan over high heat.  Grill chicken thigh pieces.  
  2. Turn down the heat, and add onion.  Saute until the onion is almost transparent.
  3. Turn up the heat again, and pour white wine.  Simmer to reduce the liquid.
  4. Add cold rice. Using a wooden spatula, break the rice as you stir-fry.  Add frozen vegetables, then mix through.
  5. Once the rice is all broken down and heated through, add tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix through, and season with salt and pepper.  Turn off the heat.  Set aside.
  6. Break eggs into a medium bowl, and mix with milk and salt.
  7. Heat 1 tbs in another frying pan (clean).  Once the oil is hot but not smoking, pour the egg mixture and stir with spatula or chopsticks to make soft scrambled eggs. 
To serve:
Divide the tomato rice into 4 serving plates, and top with scrambled eggs.
Enjoy with extra tomato sauce ♪

Bagelier is Closed

Posted December 17th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

First, I’d like to say sorry to people who left messages on Bagelier website!  I put the message “close of business” on the website quite long time ago, and didn’t check the message box since then.  Recently, I just opened the website casually to check the admin page and I found so many people had left messages and placed orders since November! (><)

Bagelier is currently closed, and I’m not sure when I will re-open the business, as I’m still working full-time and do something else at home…  It’s bit too much now with my big tummy.   I can arrange some orders depending on the size and my conditions etc though, so if anyone has a question you can directly write to me at

Thank you very much for your support and also reading Umeboss 😀

Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe New Years … from UME xoxo