Day 1 (Home Remodeling)

Praise God. The weather was sunny even though the forecast was not. Thanks for praying for us.

This is a challenging project because it is 3 stories high.


Simple dishes that I managed to make this afternoon. One of my friends, after seeing my blog asked me if I cook fancy dishes every day. The answer is No. Some days, we go out for dinner. Other days, my husband barbecues. And for days like today, when we cannot leave the house because we are doing a remodeling, I heat up my well seasoned wok and cook this simple one pot dish that has protein and fiber.

I even had some spare time to make a dessert and an appetizer. The dessert was inspired by WMW’s article.

I used the same short-cut pastry for the skin of both the Egg Tart and Siew Paos.

Here’s the recipe for the Egg Tart filling. Beat 2 eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup milk and strain this beaten mixture into each tart. Bake in 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes in the middle rack.

Click here for Siew Pao recipe.




Filed under Asian Snacks, Desserts, Stream in the Hip Desert 新沙漠甘泉

18 responses to “Day 1 (Home Remodeling)

  1. wah, the egg tarts look very pretty bulging out like dat.

  2. wmw

    That’s the nice part of being a good cook. See a photo, and cook/make it from scratch. Your family is so blessed :o)

  3. The eggs tarts look so yummy. Do you mean you use those ready-to-use pastry from store? My DH loves egg tarts but I don’t know how to make good pastry, so if ready-to-use pastry can be used, that will be great!

    By the way, I always wanted to buy a wok here in the States but have no clue what to look for. Any recommendation?

  4. You are very hardworking. I don’t know if I can be bothered especially knowing that one part of my house is being ‘messed’ around. 🙂

  5. I want to eat your egg tarts and siew pao!! It’s amazing that you can still find time to do all these cooking amidst a house remodelling. 🙂

  6. I like simple one-wok dish like that – the meat, and vege all in there. 🙂 …The kitchen is “free” while your hse undergoes a remodelling?
    Hey, I like the baked siew pao too…look so yummy.

  7. Jonzz,
    Thanks for coming by. The egg tart will sink after a while. It’s “bulged out” because it just came out of the oven.
    I just came back from visiting your blog. If you have time, I recommend that you read (Ecc. 2:17-26).
    There is a time to be sad. And there’s a time to dance. (Ecc.3:4.)

    Dear WMW,
    I am especially inspired to cook or bake when I see your photos, not just any photo.

    Dear Crazymommy,
    Thanks for the egg tart compliments. They do look good especially when it first came out of the oven. After a while, as I mentioned to Jonzz, it does sink in the center. I like the egg tarts in WMW’s photo because it sink so gracefully, with symmetrical lines all the way around, as though it was intentionally created, and perhaps it is.
    The ready-to-use pastry is called pie crust mix. And all you need to do is to add water and stir until it forms into a ball. Then put some flour on your hands and the surface that you want to work on and start to roll out the pastry dough. I like to use the pie crust mix as opposed to premade shell because (1) flaky taste (2) semi-homemade feel. A few years ago, my friend bought egg tart premade shells from Costco in Vancouver B.C. I was there a year ago and I wasn’t able to find any.

    I have always purchased non-stick pots and pans until recently. I have switched to either stainless steel or cast iron. The reason is explained in one of my articles. The wok that you see in this article is a cheap wok from Target (it is NOT non-stick). I don’t think it is more than $20. If you buy this wok, you need to wash it in soapy water first. Dry it well. Apply a thin coat of oil on the surface of the wok, both sides and heat it under low fire. Repeat the last step about 4 times. This process is call seasoning your wok. The wok comes with instructions on how to season as well. The only drawback for this inexpensive wok is that it does not come with a lid. Since I use my wok mainly to steam buns it worked out well for me. My oversize bamboo steamer which sits on top of the wok perfectly comes with a bamboo lid.

    Crate and barrel also sells Chinese wok. It was a little more expensive about $30 or so. It comes with a lid (and some other accessories like a pair of chopsticks, etc.) However, it comes in a box that requires assembly. Another kitchen store that I like to shop is William Sonoma. They have a larger selection of high quality woks. I did not buy it there because I know that a cheaper steel pan from Target would work for me. However, I did buy my coffee machine from there because William Sonoma guarantees the product they sell. They told me that if I ever have problems, I can bring it back to their store.

    Dear Judy and Mandy,
    I hope I did not come across as showing off. Thank God the part of the house that they are remodeling is on the outside. Although men come through the house to access the balcony, most of the time, they keep out of the kitchen. They did enjoy the siew pao and egg tarts. They even showed up on time this morning! I think it is true that when you feed your men with good food, they will be more encouraged to do the tasks at hand.

    Dear Tigerfish,
    Thank God, the kitchen is not affected by the remodeling, just some dust from the outside. Since I am constantly in the kitchen mopping, it is still a fairly hygienic place to work in. I am glad that you liked the siew pao. Your char siu pastry looks good as well, just like the ones in the Dim Sum restaurant. I remember your first comment on my blog was, “I noticed you have a food blog, I have one too.” These days, your comments are much more friendlier. I guess once you know me, I am not a person right?

  8. V

    Nice dinner and well-seasoned wok. I also love your short-cut idea for the pie crust. Must try. Thanks!

  9. Dear V,
    Send me a note when you try the short-cut pie crust mix. Last week, Safeway was selling it at a sale price for $2 a box. Remember to check the expiration dates on the box.

  10. Mmm…I like your siew bao and the short-cut idea!

    Btw, did you put tiles floor on your balcony?

  11. Oh the food looks good and yummylicious! I have always wanted to try making egg tart and I love siew pao. And house remodelling for a 3 storey home, wah, not easy! My back almost break after laying floor boards for my whole house 3 years ago and that was only one storey!

  12. Dear Little Corner of Mine,
    I really cannot take the credit for short cut idea. If you read my article for Siew Bao, the idea actually comes from R.M. My Siew Bao does look good doesn’t it? I am quite proud of it. The trick to getting the shine (which I think you probably already know), is to beat an egg yolk and brush gently on the siew bao after it has been in the oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and voila, a siew bao from Malaysia.

    p/s Our balcony used to have tiles. However, tiles are porous. Over a long period of time, water seep through and can damage the wood underneath. Hence, the remodeling. We are replacing the tile with a system that is waterproof. More photos and explanations to come in the later posts… Thank God, the process has been smooth so far.

    Dear Priscilla,
    If you try Egg Tart and Siew Pao, let me know how the recipes work out for you. Three years ago, laid floor boards for your whole house? No wonder your back “almost break”. It must be nice to have the whole house in floor board, right?

    Thank God, we have 4 strong men helping us. And there will be a different crew coming, in the coming weeks. And the remodeling is only done on the top floor which is on the 3rd floor.

    p/s Welcome to my blog! I hope your baby is not “behind bars” while you were writing this comment. 🙂

  13. Kenny Mah

    Wow, your home looks lovely. Especially the trees on the outside… what lovely colours! I can’t wait to get a place of my own, as in actually owning my home and being able to do all the renovations/decorating to it the way I want it.

    With renting right now, even though I love my place and feel lucky I’m able to afford it and have a decent landlord for once, there are still so many things I can’t do, like repaint the walls or install certain furnishing.

    But in good time. I consider myself blessed to have what I have right now. Thank you for sharing your home remodeling with us, dear. Can’t wait to see the final results! 😀

  14. Kenny,
    We have been blessed with a beautiful home. Have to remember to praise God for His blessings.

    The photo shows our backyard. Since the house sits on a slope, only one floor is visible from the front of the house. The previous owner/builder had beautiful landscaping before we moved in. We did not have to do any planting.

    It is good that your current landlord is nicer. One day, you will have a place of your own, a place where you can decorate or remodel as you wish.

  15. lily ng

    lee ping

    i too just made some egg tarts but the pastry is not so light and flaky like the dim sum restaurant. so, will be looking for one which will be difficult to handle as the fat content must be high for it to be light and flaky.

  16. Dear Auntie Lily,
    It takes a lot of work to replicate the pastry in the Dim Sum restaurant. The different layers is achieved by rolling it out, sprinkle with flour, fold and repeat the process again. I agree the fat content must be high in order for the pastry to be light and flaky. Perhaps unhealthy fat content can be reduced by substituting with a vegetable shortening? It will be interesting to find out what you come up with.

  17. Hi, it’s me again, Mrs HBT. I have trouble with the pie crust thing (can’t get the box type here), as I want to make the crust from scratch as My Other Half doesn’t like the store-bought pie dough (pre-rolled and refrigerated). Do you have the egg tart dough recipe from scratch? If not, I’ll try to look it up from or elsewhere. Thanks.

  18. Since Other Half is away for two days (and not here to complain about store-bought pastry), I made your lovely egg tarts using the ready-rolled-out short-crust dough.

    Your recipe is exactly enough for 12 tarts, and I used the 1-cup measuring cup to cut out the rounds of pastry. To give it the homemade flavour, I generously buttered the muffin pans with semi-melted butter. I also lessened the sugar by 1 tsp and added 2g of vanilla sugar instead.
    Your 20 minutes’ baking time is also exactly right. Yummy! I’ve eaten four already (this is dinner!). Thanks very much, genius Mrs HBT.

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