Stir Fry Beef with Red Wine

The last time I tried a stir fried beef with red wine, it failed miserably so it was with some trepidation that I experimented with this one. Clearly, I wasn’t particularly hopeful because I didn’t even bother to take a picture (not that there was much to look at). As it turned out, all three boys approved so we will add this to our cookbook.


  • 300g beef, sliced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • Dash of white pepper
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 100ml water


  • In a bowl, mix garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornflour, pepper, and water. Set aside.
  • Heat some oil in the wok and stir-fry the beef until cooked.
  • Add in the wine.
  • Add in the mixed sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve.


  • I modified our stirfry beef a little by adding some baby spinach and sliced brown button mushrooms right at the end so we have a more complete meal (no need to make a separate veggie dish).

Easy Family Dinners

Stir Fry Choy Sum with Minced Chicken

Dinner tonight was Stir Fry Beef, Steam Minced Meat Egg Custard (steamed over the rice in the rice cooker), and this stir fried choy sum with minced chicken dish… Very simple and all done in one hour (plus/minus) – just the kind of dinner I like to make. Best of all, it came with a standing ovation from hubby and G2 – two out of three. It would have been better if all three gave it the thumbs-up but since G1 was never going to approve given his recent change in flavours, I’ll settle for two. Green leafy vegetables are always a challenge for G1, so a lack of gagging at the dinner table is also another plus. Yes – I take whatever I can get. Baby steps…

Chinese cooking


  • 150g choy sum
  • 150g mince chicken
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger (or you can slice up a few pieces of fresh ginger)
  • Dash of white pepper
  • 100ml water


  • In a bowl, mix garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, pepper and water. Set aside.
  • Heat some oil in the wok and stir fry the mince chicken until cooked.
  • Add in the choy sum.
  • Pour in the mixed sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve.

Steamed Chicken with Bok Choy and Ham

The hubby often complains that I never try anything new, so I gave this one a go after my MIL said it was his favourite. The original recipe uses kai lan, Chinese ham, and Chinese cooking wine. I didn’t have those, so I used bok choy, black forest ham, and red wine. So this is my east-meets-west version…


  • Main:
    • 4 pieces of chicken thighs
    • 250 g bok choy
    • 1 slice of black forest ham
  • Marinade:
    • 1 tsp ginger powder
    • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp red wine
    • dash of pepper
    • 2 tbsp water
  • Sauce:
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • dash of sesame oil
    • dash of pepper
    • 100 ml water


  • Mix the marinade ingredients together and marinate the chicken thighs for 15 minutes.
  • Place the chicken onto a steaming dish. Cut the ham into four quarters and lay a piece on each chicken thigh.
  • Boil water for steaming and steam ham and chicken for 45 minutes (or until cooked through). Remove chicken from the steaming liquid and place on a serving dish.
  • Heat another pot of water. Add oil and salt. Blanch the bok choy and drain well. Arrange the bok choy around the chicken and ham.
  • Add sauce ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and ham. Serve.

Verdict: I got three thumbs up for this so I think it’s a keeper. Even the vegetables were eaten mostly without complaint – that’s got to be a winning sign for sure!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Choc Chips and Marshmallows

Okay, so there’s nothing particularly healthy about this snack except for the fact that it is home-made with mostly organic ingredients. Then again, home-made trumps store-bought and since the boys haven’t been too fond of my “healthier” cake options, I’ve decided to take a break from them.

August 2016

Since we have one boy that likes marshmallows and the other who prefers plain chocolate, I made cupcakes with two different toppings.


  • 125 g butter, softened
  • 160 g molasses sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 35 g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 cup milk


  • semi-sweet choc chips
  • marshmallows cut in half


  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and changed in colour.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared cup-cake tins.
  • Top half the cupcakes with marshmallows and the other half with choc chips.
  • Bake in oven for 20 minutes.

Nutty Chocolate Brownie Cake

Made an easy dessert to go with our steak dinner the other evening and felt like Martha Stewart with half the effort.

Chocolate brownie dessert with cookies and cream ice cream



  • Melt butter, chocolate and sugar in a saucepan.
  • Cool the contents a little and stir in nut powder, flour and eggs.
  • Pour into a prepared pan (25 cm round cake tin).
  • Bake in 160 C oven for 50 minutes.


  • The first time I made it, I misread the ingredients and used plain flour instead. It turned the cake into a nice brownie which worked perfectly with a side serving of ice cream.
  • The second time around, I ran out of Walnut and Hazelnut Powder so I swapped in Earth Organic Almond Powder and got the following texture with self-raising flour.

Nutty chocolate brownie cake

It turned out beautifully for such an easy mix cake – the kind that makes you want to pat your own back for a job well done.