Welcome to CYB| Chea-Yee's Blog.

This blog captures the musings and anecdotes of the daily life of a Malaysian who is now living in Melbourne, Australia.


The Awesome Things of Life I have learnt in 2014.


The Awesome Things of Life I have learnt in 2014.

Things that I have learnt about myself in 2014.

1. I can achieve things if I put my mind and heart to it.

2. The only things that can stop me from pursuing my goals is the motivation within myself.

3. I am capable of expressing my emotions and feelings when I choose to, and the world won't fall apart when I do decide to. :-)

4. I am able to bake cakes and pastries.

5. I am able to bone a chicken, fillet a fish, make stocks and soups, and am somewhat capable in the kitchen.
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Beach and Bushwalk to Bundeena Beach.

Last week some friends from the Language Exchange Meetup and my mates from Hope Sydney decided to make a  trip to Cronulla beach and Bundeena beach for a beach walk. For that purpose, I had created a private event on Facebook among our circle of acquaintances.

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The Rendezvous


The Rendezvous

foresee something in the horizon, 
A rendezvous perhaps?

A rendezvous with spring, or summer,
Whichever you may like.

The time doth pass with quick fervor,
Like running months to come.

Yet at times they feel like sand dripping,
Each second a year to come.

What will this summer bring,
A trove of treasures perhaps?

In one blink of the eye,
All changes, to nothing one expects.

One waits with much expectation,
Or maybe none at all.

I cannot tell what, or when or how,
but the days have been a delight.

With glee I wait impatiently,
Yet wait I must do so.

Come, come, the time is come. 
It is time to go.

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Pictures: Cooking Journey (October 2014)

October has now dawned upon us. The weather is warmer, yet a bit of chill remains in the morning and nights are still as cold.

This is also about the same time I arrived in Sydney in 2013 after my trip from Uluru. 

1) At this point of time, unfortunately I'm not gainfully employed neither in childcare nor in hospitality. 

Perhaps I'm not searching smart or persistent enough or perhaps my heart isn't into it? I don't know, but only God knows what this time holds and whether he wants me to achieve some purposes. 

2) I'm currently learning about appetisers, and sandwiches with Chef Veronica.

My class has also started a unit on Rice, Fruits, vegetables and Farinaceous dishes.

3) Somehow I am getting more involved in the groups.. At this time, two of the co organisers from a closely associated group have decided to move on with their lives, hence I've been roped in to assist. 

There is a lot more members in the new group, but I'm still more comfortable with the smaller group, which is the spirit to the whole idea of O Me! O Life! when I first volunteered to organise events. 

I still don't take alcohol, sticking to my refreshing soda of Lemon, Lime and Bitters. 

4) In the midst of the hustle and bustle, I would say I think it's made me a tad more sociable than I normally am without my realising it all happening. 

I've got to the stage where I've been meeting way too many people, some more than others than I realise who seem to enjoy my company, at meet ups. It's also affected the way I've been interacting with classmates at Tafe. 

Is that a good or bad thing?

I've also had to watch my interactions with the opposite gender as not to show too much favoritism.. It's a little tricky when all my organisers are males, and I seem too much of a social butterfly >_>

Some other aspects of my social life have been picking up, but at this point of time, I am taking it a little slow, and only God knows what will happen by the time the year ends. 

Perhaps He's trying to build up my communication skills for a much better tomorrow. Only time will tell. 
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Fudge: Big Hair Raise the Roots

Thank you to BeautyHeaven for allowing me to participate in this product trial. 

This is the first time I am trialling a product from the brand Fudge. 
When I first received this product, and read the instructions on the back, I was not too sure what this product was supposed to do as one if it's functions included 'thicken your hair'.

Initially I thought it was a hair serum for the hair roots. However when I checked on the website, it was only then I realised it was a hair gel the was applied on the hair roots, and works like a hair gel. 

The product seems pretty straightforward to use. It was easy to remove from the paper box it came in, and easy to hold in my hands.
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Update: Cooking Journey (Sept 2014)


Update: Cooking Journey (Sept 2014)

I have not been writing as much since my Stocks class. A lot of things have been happening.. 

So finally,  I managed to squeeze an update.. 
1) I'm in the midst of looking for a new job. Its either in childcare vs one in hospitality. My roster for childcare work seems to be thinning out, hence I realise I better get my arse moving or I am going to end up penniless.  

It seems that trend in childcare centres and companies recently seem to be tightening their budget belt, and looking more for full-timers. Added to the recent increase in tax rates doesnt seem to help matters much. 

2) It's a good thing that I now have my testamur for Cert III in Patisserie, which allows me to be multi-skilled ( meaning more work options). It is also a trade qualification for those wanting to find work in Australia. 

The good thing about having a trade qualification is it allows one to have a jumpstart and as a stepping stone into the world of baking as well as cookery. It doesn't qualify you a "chef" yet, but it just means that you have the training in the basics, and gives you structured understanding of the different aspects into the foray of the baking world. (i.e cakes, gateau, dessert, chocolate). 

It costs me $419 Australian Dollars for two terms in TAFE (six months) as a local resident here to enrol in this program. Trade qualifications generally receive more funding from the government. However from 2015 onwards, funding towards public education in technical schools as well as in universities have been reduced, and all local students have to pay pro-rata and a much higher rate. 

I consider myself lucky to have been able to enrol into the program when funding is still available, and also to take up this program in Australia as you cannot find this sort of inexpensive training even as a resident of Malaysia. 

I heard the starting tuition fee is at least RM15,000 for the hospitality program in Taylors College from TY, my makeup teacher (in KL), whose brother is enrolled there. 

3) I am currently learning about appetizers, salads and sandwiches in class. It is sort of a relief, and a change as in our stocks & soups class, we were constantly making chicken stock from scratch in each class...! 

The thing about making stock from scratch at TAFE is that the ingredients we have used is not economically nor effectively used up as it is in a public institution. (funded by the Australian govt by the taxpayers. >_>)
Anyways, that just means less wash up and cleaning at the end of the class. ^^

4) I've spent a lot more time on the platform ever since I joined one of my drinking friends, Aaron, (I don't drink much, if you are wondering). It is a good experience using this platform to organise outings, and for me, foodie events. Our group is O Me, O Life! 

There is only roughly about less than 300 members in this group, but I think that's a good number to start working with to hone your organising and socialising skills. There are some things that you would like to do, but with my friends (who are mostly in their 30s, and busy with their babies and families, this is not so possible). 

Its also a safer option, as you get to control the numbers as well, and plan the itinerary for the group. Each meetup group has a different culture, and this group is a lot more close knit (I think it is). But I enjoy the role as being an organiser as it allows me to plan and research things and events to do. 

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Stock, Soup and Sauces: Beurre Blanc Seared & Roasted Chicken.

Wednesday was the start of my new unit, Stock, Soups and Sauces. My practical unit started today, but we had an elective apparently started last week. Hence, it is no longer James Collins who is my chef now, but a new guy called Scott H. (Cant remember his last name...)

There was a mix up, but it was all good. Though I mixed today's and last week's class, the chef wasn't too worried about it after I told him that I had come in after completing Patisserie.. (I only have one theory elective to complete, apart from Cost and Menu).

After a while, you pretty know which among the students are new in the kitchen.. seems like I am no longer the one who is the slowest in class. LOL.. My classmates comprised from a range of students who are new, as well to one who is running and managing his own restaurant. ^^

So for today's unit, we worked on making the most basic of white, and brown stocks. Using those stocks, we made our main dish of the day which was Beurre Blanc Seared & Roasted Chicken with Parsley.

Most of the time we use powdered stock.. but making stock the old fashioned way will ensure you have good tasting sauces, finger licking good to the very last drop! (to paraphase Heston Blumenthal....)

washing chicken in water to get rid of impurities.
The first step in making stocks is to ensure that the particular item is free and clean of impurities. The includes soaking and rinsing chopped up chicken bits and bones, fish bones of all  the blood, and etc. 

In making a clear and white stocks, say like chicken and fish, the ingredients used must not contain any browning ingredients, say charred vegetables or charred onions. 
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Produce Meat Dishes: Roasted Pork Belly, Pork Loin Cutlet & Pork Crepinette.

Chef Roux
So last Tuesday, we worked on boning pork. For those who don't like pork, you can always turn away from looking at the screen. 

We had a couple of Muslims in the class. How they got around the issue of touching pork was using the blue coloured gloves when handling pork. 
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Produce Meat Dishes: Lamb Broth, & Lamb Teriyaki

Chef Roux
Today's the first day of a new semester at TAFE NSI. I have new classmates and a new Cookery teacher. 
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So I made Apple Pie! (Attempt 1)

When the apple pie was open, the birds began to sing..

Tafe semester starts tomorrow.. and my holidays have come to an end. 

Tomorrow I will take my kitchen toolbox to Tafe. Hence, since I still have all my equipment today, I decided to make apple pies....  let's see how it went.. 
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Hillsong Conference 2014: (Evening Service) Sharing by Steven Furtick.

Hillsong Conference 2014 started today at Olympic Park (Sydney).

I wasnt aware that it started until one of my friends from church told me about it and she was attending it with a group of Thai people from church. After our Thai lunch in the CBD, we took the train and arrived at Allphones Arena at about 4pm ish to queue up for the evening service.

Ordinarily you'd have to pay about AUD500 for the entire duration of the conference, however the evening conferences are free entrance to the public! Woo Hoo!

Lining up from 4pm onwards. Doors open at 5pm ish. 
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Troubleshooting: Stirfry Cooking Mistakes

The picture above looks okay isn't it? It looks like a gyu-don (beef bowl)...
Well, it was not my initial intention to make a stew... I wanted to make a beef tomato stirfry.
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Zoom Optics: my new spectacle frames and sunglasses.

So what do you think of my new spectacle frames?
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Good Food & Wine Show 2014: Cheese Making Workshop

On Saturday morning, I went for the Good Food and Wine Show. It was held at the Olympic Park this year.

My expo tickets were pre purchased online. Using a special discount code, my tickets came down to $23. RRP was $32. 

Each ticket has a barcode which will be read by the barcode scanner at the entrance of the expo hall.

The expo hall was divided into a few sections like wine, organic food, kitchen equipment, coffee machines, etc. However the area which caught my attention was the cheese section.

I didn't really take that many pictures but here are some. 

Adriano Zumbo is among one of the well know patissiers known for his macarons as well as Tim Tams. 

There was a queue waiting to buy up his desserts and macarons. 
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Retraining Bad Social Dating Behaviour


Retraining Bad Social Dating Behaviour

So recently I've had to deal with bad social dating behaviour with people from the opposite gender. 

There I was supposed to meet this guy today for an ice skating outing. He had confirmed the day, but not the time and place to meet. 

Anyways, I was waiting yesterday evening for at least a call to let me know when and where to meet.  Or text. No such thing.

Then today came. 10am came. Still no contact 

3pm came. Still no contact. 

5pm came. Still no contact. 

Anyways, finally about 6pm ish, I finally received a call. By that time, I had already  reached Maccas and had ordered a McSpicy burger set with large order of fries. 

I decided to just ignore the call. 

I happily bought my one kilo of diced beef from the Asian grocery for 6.99/kilo, bought a bag of carrots on specials  for $1. Then headed on the train to head home. 

All the time, I was telling my landlady (she's very chatty) what happened. 

Later she told me that if I put a female face to this guy and looked at her if he was female, I would not put with such nonsensical behaviour. Probably would have told her to screw herself and find some other girl to screw with. 

(A friend asked for clarification on this paragraph: in essence it means that a lot of girls put up with bad behaviour from guys because they are desperate. However, we do not do that with females and expect better behaviour from gal friends) 

So when I got home, I told him that I was asleep when he called. Then the next time we were to meet, he better confirm the date, time and location. 

Funnily enough after that, he said to me that if I were in the city, I could drop by to his home and use his facilities if I wanted to. 

When my landlady heard that, she got really cross. I was a bit cross too, so I sent him a text (since he was so fond of sending texts) that 'it was not appropriate for a girl to go to a guy's house when she  barely know him very well'. 

My landlady says it's good to let a guy know where your boundaries are from the beginning.

Anyways, my landlady says that each person should at least get three chances. 

When it comes to men, like small children (since I am a preschool teacher) they should be encouraged everything they do the right thing. 

We shall see what happens in the weeks to come.
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Lessons I've learnt in my Patisserie baking classes.

These are among the many lessons I've learnt in my five months through my patisserie classes at TAFE this year.

It applies not just in your patisserie baking, but applies too in commercial cooking kitchen as well.

1. You have to be very organised in the kitchen.

The first thing you need to do before starting your work process is knowing and deciding how you want to go about making your dish.

Planning your workflow is of utmost crucial importance at the beginning of your career in the kitchen.

2. Have your mise en place in place before starting the cooking process. 

mise en place ready not just during service, but cooking at home. 
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My Experience: Porting from Optus to Amaysim

So today I finally decided to make the process to port over form Optus to Amaysim

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Patisserie Cert III: Final completion and graduate!

Here are pictures of my graduating class of PAT 2162. *wide grin* 

Chef Ian 
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Troubleshooting: Macarons with Chocolate Ganache.

It's interesting how so many people are interested in learning to make macarons.

Last year, I wrote on my experience at the Paris International Cooking School on the chocolate macarons.

So on Sunday I brought the ones I made at Tafe to church today. These ones in the pic have sunk in, so I was not very pleased about it, but I didn't realise they have a good amount of 'feet'.
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June 2014: Moving home, and TAFE NSI Gateaux Diary

Sorry, been really busy with TAFE study and all the paperwork in the past few weeks since I returned from Malaysia that I haven't had time to update my blog.

I recently moved nearer to TAFE as our accomodation lease in Rhodes had ended, hence everyone involved had to move out.

Just today I did my exam for Gateaux, Torts and Cakes unit. It wasn't my best outcome, but fortunately I passed. Just a word of caution for anyone who intends to go into cooking school- Chefs are very particular about cleanliness, organisation and how fast you are when working in the kitchen. It's GO, GO, GO from the onset. I also passed my Cakes unit which I had not done so satisfactorily.

After completing the Desserts, and Cakes units, Gateaux was a lot easier as incorporated elements from both units which we had previously completed. If you have been following me on Instagram, you'd have seen the kind of bakes and desserts we had made recently. The following pictures below are from my Gateaux, Torten and Cakes unit from the last 4 weeks.

Cold - set cheesecake
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Baking Diary - Cakes


On today's menu is the Coffee Parfait, choc Molleaux cupcake, Light Tea Cake, and recipe of a white egg cupcake 

Coffee Parfait:

Everything was running almost smoothly for this. The sugar syrup was cooking nicely, and the egg mixture.
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Trial Batch 1: Butter Cake

17th April 2014:
So I baked my first trial batch butter cake. It was supposed to contain canned pears but there is nothing at home but canned pineapples and longan.... Zzz. 
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Trial Batch 1: Genoise Sponge Cake

Batch 1: 
now for this recipe, I made it the same way as the Molleaux chocolate cupcake yesterday. (15/04)

 However I had a bit of problem with it as it didnt turn out soft and fluffy and seemed a little heavy, as well as raw in the middle. 

I am not sure if it was the salted butter or If I had a bit of problem with one of the processes. Will have to try it out again.
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Trial batch 1: Molleaux Chocolate Cupcakes

15th April 2014:
Even being back in KL, I'm still physically tired. Today I went for a Decleor aromassage facial and Decleor hot stone massage. The body massage was sixty minutes and first trial price at Rm125. The facial was part of a package which I had bought from last year.

Anyways, came home and had a long nap... Really needed it! 

But anyways, decided to start on the baking trials today. Unfortunately I only found salted butter in the fridge. I don't know how it will affect the rest of the recipes, but well...for baking in general, unsalted butter is preferable as it allows the chef to have better control of the taste of the cakes.

Outcome and findings:

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What they don't tell you at Baking School!


What they don't tell you at Baking School!

Baking cakes, cookies and pastries seem to be a popular choice of past time for many people. No thanks to the many celebrity chef shows they have on tv like Iron Chef, My Kitchen Rules, and etc. 

However what seems to be a popular notion is however very far from reality. At least that is what I discovered. 

In the last eight weeks, I've spent almost 21 hours in the kitchen each week. These hours were spent standing on our feet for 7 hours each time just learning how to wield a knife, using the different kitchen equipment, as well as cleaning equipment.

What the textbooks or teachers don't tell you at the begining of the course is a lot of students start to have health issues, most relating to back problems and stiff neck quarter way through the course. 

I learnt this the hard way! 

For me, I started having back pain on my waist and stuff neck around the end of the full time three week marker point. 

Fortunately for me, I recently bought a private insurance from Medibank. 

The benefits include a specific yearly credit allowance for physiotherapy, chiropractic services, dental, dietitian, optical, as well as remedial therapies. 

My health insurance cost me roughly 80+aud on a monthly basis. It seems pretty affordable to me, although I might downgrade the plan once I complete my baking course, as I won't have as much need for some of the services then. 

Unfortunately this scheme doesn't exist in Malaysia for whatever reason. 

I've been going to see the physio, as well as some remedial massages which has helped greatly with my back pain!

Today I had to take a day off work as I was advised by the doctor to stay home to rest due to a weakened immune system. 

I attend Tafe for three days a week, and work at childcare for two days a week. Both, highly exhausting choice of activities, coupled with a lack of sleep has left me with a very weakened immune system. 

The thing about working in childcare is that if one has a low bodily immune system, are susceptible to catching an infection from one of the kids. 

I decided to stay home from work to catch up on very much needed rest so that I can be healthy and bouncing again for class on Thursday. 

See you guys soon!!
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TAFE NSI: Making Yeast Based Products

So my class completed our second practical exam about a fortnight ago (15th March).  I've been really busy lately, hence haven't had time to update the blog. 

These are some of the pastries we baked  for this unit.
Gugelhopf, savarin, and Rum Babas (rum drowned cakes... )
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Finding a spouse of good character


Finding a spouse of good character

Recently I had lunch after a church service where I had observed two new sets of parents who were fussing and looking after their individual new born child. Both babies were barely three months old. 

The mothers were trying to finish lunch whilst at the same time breast feeding the babies. After which, the fathers took their turn and pushed the baby prams back and forth in an attempt to rock the babies to sleep.

When I reflected upon this observation with a mate of mine, she stated that I am actually fortunate to have the opportunity in the last few months to have observed both bad, and good examples of couples who have worked together to look after a new born child. 

Sometimes as singles, we look for a partner with probably the thought that having someone who is youthful looking and faithful is adequate. 

Yet when parenthood comes upon us, it reveals the test of character of both partners. This is seen in their looking after the offspring, sustaining the relationship between both partners, and the commitment to do both.

This mate also reflected that for her, she was doing fairly well in her job, didn't have much financial issues in her life, and thought that finding a man who will be faithful will be adequate enough to meet her needs. 

Yet foresight is always better than hindsight. 

An individual who is struggling financially will always try to look for a partner who is able to assist in the household expenses. 

An individual who doesn't have many struggling needs on the other hand may not realise the need for other facets in the partners' character which may make or break the marriage till it's too late!

Marriage is and should be a lifelong commitment. Think deeply and analyse the character of the partner you will choose to be your spouse. 

Let this be a reminder to all those who are still single, and also currently in relationships preparing to move into the next step.
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Making Stuffed Mushrooms, and Yeast Battered Sole Fish.

Today was our last class for Use Food Preparation Equipment.

Crumbed Sole, and Yeast Battered Sole. 
For our final class, we had to make crumbed sole fillet, yeast battered sole, fried chicken and stuff mushrooms.
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Producing Pastries at TAFE Meadowbank

Today my TAFE group had a final practical assessment for our sixth lesson.

It was a 5.5 hours practical assessment where we had to produce 4 pastry items. 

They were namely: 12x vol-au-vent (puff pastry shells), palmiers, 12 x eclairs (custard profiteroles dipped in chocolate compound), and apple pie (short pastry rub in method).

Vol-au-vents (pastry shells made from 3/4 puff pastry)


TAFE: Two weeks into Patisserie Cert III course...

I've been really busy the last two weeks since classes for Semester One at TAFE NSI started.

Here are some pictures of the better looking pastries we've made since Week One of the semester.

Ham & Cheese Quiche: Lesson 2
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18/01/2014 and The Primal Blueprint Eating Guide

I realised I haven't been updating this blog as much recently.

Life has been a lot busier been keeping me occupied with work, as well as building a network of social connections here in Sydney.

One of the sites I would recommend but very under-utilised online sites is Even back in KL before I made my journey to Sydney, I was already participating in activities with both Facebook group, Likemind. This group is heralded by one of my mates, Remus Chong. They generally join up with one of the other Meetup groups when organising events.

Recently I made a number of new mates from the Sydney based Meetup groups, which was an eye opener. Anyways, majority of my mates are still mostly Asians, due to shared interests and values. 

But what I really want to write about in this post is this link to Mark's Daily Apple.

Print Screen of Mark's Daily Apple...
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PICS: Week 7 Sour Cream Mixed Berries Tartlets, and BiarritzPetit-Fours.

This is week 7 of my weekend Patisserie baking class. For this entry, I will be putting up photos of two of the best desserts, which is the Sour Cream and Mix Berries Tartlets, and the Biarritz Petit- Fours.

For this class, I was actually late due to transportation delays.. as such I didnt get to watch the class demo on pastry making.

Use a fork to prick the pastry. Pastry can only be be turned around,
and flattened using the rolling pin, never to be turned back and forth.
It will only break the pastry structure.
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PICS: Week 6 Charlotte Romaine Sponge Fingers, & Dartois Puff Pastry

So this is a belated post of my weekend French patisserie classes.. Work's been hectic, and busy with end of the year celebrations and meet ups :-)

For this post, I will post up some pictures of the Charlotte French Sponge Fingers and Dartois Puff Pastry in progress.

The Charlotte Romaine is a french non baked dessert which contains cream anglaise custard encased in sponge finger biscuits..
Mixing of milk and eggs with whisk.
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