Black Sticky Rice Porridge

Posted July 15th, 2011 in Food | 4 Comments »

This Asian style sweet porridge is one of my favourite winter sweets.

I normally eat it warm, but it can be eaten at room temperature or chilled.  It is usually eaten with dash of coconut cream.

You can cook this in a slow cooker or in a deep pan, just like making congee.  Adjust the amount of water to achieve right consistency.

It should be thick in consistency.  The chewy black sticky rice is so juicy and delicious 🙂

I added fresh persimmon to it, and the combination was lovely.  With seasonal fruit and eating it warm or chilled, this sweet pudding can be served all year round!

<Black Sticky Rice Porridge>

  • 500g black sticky rice (can be found at Asian grocery shops)
  • water to soak the rice
  • 2L ~ water
  • 3 tbs ~ palm sugar
  • a pinch of salt

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  1. Wash the rice thoroughly and soak in water for about 2 hours to overnight.
  2. Put the rice, salt, sugar and 2 L water in a deep pot on high heat until water boils, then lower it to the lowest heat your stove can do. Stir constantly.  Simmer.
  3. When the liquid is almost gone, check the rice – if it’s still too hard, add more water to it.  Keep during this until it achieve the right consistency.
  4. Serve with coconut cream.

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4 Month Old

Posted July 14th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | No Comments »

Someone says it will be much easier when the baby becomes 3 month old, but in Hiro’s case, it was the 4th month.

He “knows” that night = sleeping time.  Even if he takes lots of nap during the day, after bath time and feeding at 7 pm he fells asleep straight away.  He wakes up around 12am – 1am, then feed, sleep, until 6am.  It’s been like this for last few weeks!

He stays awake longer during the day, wanting to play.  He now rolls over to his back when he is on tummy. (it might be because of his heavy head ?) He makes lots of bubbles and sometimes need to wear a bib.  He used to sleep through in a capsule while we are out, but now he wants to look around people and places.

We went to a Japanese play group with my friend and her baby this week, and I’m glad I did.  As I don’t speak much Japanese to him (I try, but English comes out), I think it’s a good chance for him to get used to Japanese environment.

Other kids were older than Hiro and friend’s baby, so they’re just watching kids running around and playing games.  Hiro was so curious about other little people and kept looking at them.  When he is older he can do things like drawing, running, jumping, reading, and singing!

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Lemon Season!

Posted July 13th, 2011 in Food | 2 Comments »

My friend visited Hiro the other day, with lots and lots of lemons from her yard.  It’s such a nice gift…  I love lemons – they are great for cooking, and also look lovely by just leaving them on a plate in the kitchen.  Especially, in winter, lemons are great source of vitamins!

I’ve got lots of mint leaves in the garden too.

Hot lemon mint tea made with fresh lemons and mint leaves. 🙂  Perfect refreshing hot drink in winter, isn’t it?

Served with hot sweet potato dumplings.

This chewy dumpling is one of my favorite sweets.  I love chewy food 🙂

Mash cooked sweet potato, and mix with tapioca flour, then blanch in boiling water until it floats.  drizzled with palm sugar syrup.  It can be served with coconut cream too.

I love the food which I can enjoy the natural taste of its own 😀


Support Net Niji-no-Kai

Posted July 12th, 2011 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Support Net Niji No Kai is a not-for-profit and non-religion voluntary organization supporting frail aged, handicapped Japanese & other people, and mothers with young children in the Perth metropolitan area.

Niji No Kai did very good job on collecting donation to help people affected by earthquake in Japan.  Their first donation was $23,812.85, sent to Japan Red Cross which was raised at Sunday Market in Karrinyup Shopping Centre in March 20.  The Japanese Association, Perth Express, Nippon Food, Fast Link Cube, Asaka Japanese restaurant in Perth, members at Niji No Kai, and mothers from Japanese play groups across Perth helped raising the money.  The second donation $48,609.00 was made on June 9, sent to Japan Red Cross, which was raised at Friends of Japan campaign on Forrest Place on April 9.

They are still accepting donation to the following bank account until December 2011 :

Bank:Commonwealth Bank
Account Name : Support Net “Niji No Kai” Inc. Disaster Donation
BSB : 066103
Account No. : 10289450

Contact info :0403 530 927 / 0403 530 928

Email: info@nijinokai.com.au

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Baby Rash?

Posted July 9th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 4 Comments »

Rash on his face went clean, but under his chin and ear area stayed all red for weeks and it was getting really worse.  It started bleeding and his ears were cracked. Every time I put cream on the area he cried, as if it’s painful.

I stopped using soap in the bath long time ago, and clean his face and body with soft cloth every day.  I moisturise the rash as often as needed, but he kept wiping it off with his shoulders and hands.  He does this “scratching motion” using his hands/arms since he was newborn, so I thought it’s his habit and is not because it’s itchy.  I just wished his face returns to beautiful baby skin.

But, after the bleeding and the skin becoming dark red colour, I finally took him to GP.  I really should have done it earlier, but I thought it was just normal baby rash.  The skin condition went terribly bad suddenly (in 1 or 2 days).

GP said it’s pretty bad, and told me to put steroid cream on his rash.  Although he is still a 4-month-old baby and steroid cream maybe too strong on his skin, it’s the best way to soothe the rash.  Only a thin layer, twice a day for a week.

The cream worked like magic.  It must be a really strong medicine, yap.  But I’m happy to see his skin being much cleaner.  Hi ears are not cracking anymore.

I don’t know why he got this terrible rash…  Cold air, blanket, saliva, milk, etc etc… there could be many causes, but I hope it doesn’t recur again.

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Chocolate Cake Ball Pops

Posted July 7th, 2011 in Food | 4 Comments »

This bite-sized chocolate cake looks so cute, and is a great finger dessert for a party or a lunch box.

I got this recipe idea from Coles magazine years ago.  The recipe used Coles mud cake, but I baked my own and used it for the recipe.  I didn’t coat the cake with chocolate entirely as the cake is already rich and sweet.  Sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, they turned into fun pops for kids.

What attaches the sticks to the cake is the melted white chocolate.  I got these sticks from Spotlight (sold as “craft sticks”).

The inside is rich, moist chocolate cake.  This is one of the cake I’m asked to bake when friends coming over to my house. 🙂

You should serve this chilled.

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<Chocolate Cake>  makes around 40 pops

21cm Φ cake tin

  • 5 eggs (room temperature)
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 45g corn flour
  • 200g dark cooking chocolate
  • 200ml cream
  • cooking white chocolate
  • hundreds and thousands
  • 40 craft sticks

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  1. Separate egg whites and yolks.
  2. Add sugar to egg whites, and whip until thick and fluffy.  Shift cocoa powder and corn flour into the bowl, and fold in.
  3. Pour the mixture into lined cake tin, and bake in the oven at 180℃ until just cooked (around 20 minutes).  Let it cool.
  4. Heat cream in a sauce pan to just before boiling.  Turn off the heat, and add chocolate.  Stir until all chocolate is melted, and let it cool until spreadable consistency.
  5. Slice the chocolate sponge, and spread the ganache.

<into pops>

  1. Chop up the chocolate cake, and shape into balls using hands.
  2. Melt white chocolate in warm water bath.
  3. Insert a stick to a chocolate cake ball, and spoon melted chocolate around the stick’s root area.  Repeat with remaining.
  4. Sprinkle with hundreds and thousands.


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WeCareJapan: Light / Cotton Blanket x 10000 !

Posted July 5th, 2011 in Japan | No Comments »

A volunteer group in To-hoku area, Japan, is seeking for help in order to support the victims in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi prefecture.

With the rise of temperature, people are suffering from a heavy infestation of mosquitoes and flies – Pesticide, Mosquito Coils, Insect Sprayers are urgently required.

Light / Cotton blankets x 10000 are also required ; The light blankets are required for people in evacuation centres, temporary housing and people staying at their own houses. They have enough warm/wool blankets but they are too hot for summer.

If anyone is interested in sending blankets for those people, please pack them in a box and send to the address below:

〒107-0052
東京都港区赤坂7-4-7 Chez Ireneビル2階
レスキュージャパン
井手口たき
080-3343-8806

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Chez Irene Building 2F
7-4-7 Akasaka, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, JAPAN  〒107-0052
“Rescue Japan”
Taki Ideguchi
phone# 080-3343-8806

They said that there’s no specific rule for the items: e.x. the blankets can be used ones, but I’d recommend to send new ones…  If the box is more likely to be bigger than a normal sized cardboard box, you’d better sending it to their warehouse rather than their office.  Please contact Taki-san at ” taki.ideguchi@rescuejapan.asia “


Happy 4 Month’s Birthday…

Posted July 4th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 2 Comments »

Today Hiro turned 4 month old!!!

He now reaches his arms forward when he is on tummy.  He may start crawling soon…??

And, lots of saliva and lots of eating his fingers (and fist).  He grabs things and triesto put into his mouth.  It has started….

I made balls of chocolate cake – I call them “choco cake ball pops”.  The recipe is for Italian style chocolate cake, so it was very rich and sweet.  The half of them are already in our tummy. (not Hiro’s)  I will post the recipe later.

The air is really cold this morning.  It is winter, yap.  I bought Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer to put in Hiro’s room.  He doesn’t have any coughing or breathing problem, but I wanted the air to be moist when he sleep at night.  This one works good, you can use it without adding the Vics inhalant, and the warm steam makes room warm too.  But, it’s super noisy (noise of water boiling) …. Hiro woke up few times during night because of the noise 🙁

The sun is out today.  We may go out later ! 🙂


HCT French Toast

Posted July 3rd, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

I had some stale bread in the fridge. I was first thinking to make just standard French toast, then I looked inside the fridge again and found that there’re some ingredients for sandwiches too. Like the Croque Monsieur I made with spam, this time I decided to make one with ham, cheese, and tomatoes.

It’s a savory French toast. With cheese and tomato, it became a nutritious snack for kids too.

<HCT French Toast> makes 1

  • 2 slices bread
  • 2~3 slices ham
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced
  • 1 slice cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 1 tbs butter
  1. Arrange ham, sliced tomato and cheese on a slice of bread, and top with another slice of bread. This is one portion. If you are making for 3 people, make 3 batches.
  2. Beat egg in a bowl and mix with milk. Place the egg mixture into a wide, flat plate, and immerse the sandwich in this mixture. Make sure you flip the sandwich around so the another side also absorb egg mixture.
  3. Melt butter in a frying pan. Over low heat, grill the sandwich until golden colored on both sides. Flip around several time to achieve the delicious colour.


Socks for Japan

Posted July 2nd, 2011 in Japan | 4 Comments »

One of Umeboss viewer gave me a link to this website and I just wanted to show it here… (thanks Achan!!)

This website shows a way you could help Japan, directly and meaningfully.  Many of the survivors ended up barefoot after fleeing in a hurry.  Socks aren’t primary support, but a token of care that will last beyond their small mid-crisis comfort.

They have stopped accepting the donation already, thanks to the people outside Japan who have participated in this.  Still, there should be other ways to get involved in volunteering without actually going there.  Any info are welcome…