My delicious 21st Birthday Soiree – Wrap up!

Aunt’s Kitchen Aid

My 21st birthday soiree on friday was a blast. Everyone had a great time and they all had only praises for the food. I’m really happy it all went well! It was seriously tiring but worth it.

I wish I could say that I got a gorgeous KitchenAid as a present…


alas, that didn’t happen. The kitchen aid you see above belongs to my youngest aunt, WT. She is one heck of a baker – she doesn’t buy bread but rather, bakes her own. Mind you, she bakes more than 5 batches at a shot.

Okay, I had better stop digressing.

Anyway, about the mixer – yes, I used it to bake my brownies for the party.

I actually borrowed my aunt’s home for the party because it’s much bigger and I love the ambience.

At the same time, I made use of her Kitchen Aid and her fantastic Brandt oven:

Brownies baking in oven

can you see my two batches of brownies baking quietly in the oven?

I didn’t bring my baking pan over to my aunt’s place, so had to improvise and use a glass baking dish too.

The brownies were served to my guests after dinner, with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate syrup. They were a hit. I’m glad there were enough to go around!

Brownies aside, here’s a sneak peek at the feast served at my party:

Big Feast

Everything looks so yummy don’t you think so?

I’ll now give you a brief lowdown of each dish:

Cold Pasta

I made this simple cold pasta without following any recipe. What inspired me was this similar pasta dish I had in my university canteen a few days ago. It tasted very refreshing and seemed simple enough to ‘copy’ so I decided to make my own version. Dear aunt WT. helped me out too. She recommended that I use Apple Cider Vinegar, dijon mustard, honey to dress the pasta. And I added herbs too, of course – dill and oregano. I added some jap cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, ham and cheese too. I really like how this dish came out nicely. It was quite a breeze. It finished rather quickly!

Chickpea Stew

Made some chickpea stew. This was the third time trying it out. Didn’t use canned chickpeas this time – actually boiled my own. So I think the peas weren’t soft enough. Nonetheless it was okay and there were none left at the end of the party. So I guess it’s a good sign? haha.

Dad’s Devil Curry

My dad’s Devil Curry. Awesome. I literally grew up on this stuff I tell ya! As I’ve posted before, my dad is an amazing cook and his curries are the best. I wanted him to cook ayam buah keluak but there just wasn’t enough time. For the uninitiated, Devil Curry is actually a Eurasian dish with Portugese and Malaysian influence. It certianly lives up to its name. A seriously fierce and hot dish, the rempah (paste) contains ingredients like tumeric powder, mustard powder, vinegar, candlenuts and PLENTY of chillies. It’s usually cooked with chicken or pork. It’s one of my most favourite curry. Didn’t I say I love spicy food? The spicier the better! And I do think my dear guests agreed because the lapped it up real good…

Dad’s Sambal Sotong

Another of my dad’s speciality – sambal sotong. Okay, this picture is a bit blur, took it in a hurry and I stupidly took only 1 shot. Never mind. This was also a popular favourite and so was his ‘kong bak’. Kong bak (not pictured here) is actually pork marinated dark soya sauce. It’s usually eaten with this white semi-circle-like kong bak pau (bun) that usually has a red dot in the centre. You actually slit it into two and insert thin slices of kong bak and eat it with chilli. it’s damn shiok (satisfying)!


I wrote about my fifth aunt’s corn crostini before. It was so yummy that I kindly asked her to cook it for my party and she did. Together with some shui jing bao (crystal dumpling).

Crystal Dumplings

These dumplings were stuffed with turnip, mushrooms, dried shrimps. It’s a familiar feature on most dim sum menus. Fifth aunt does them really well so I roped her in to cook some for my party. They taste great with sweet sauce or chilli.

Mushroom Puff Pastry
mushroom puff pastry

Shepherd’s Pie
shepherd’s pie

Bacon Chesnut
chestnuts wrapped in bacon

The three dishes above were all cooked by my Godma, who’s also my fourth aunt.

Everyone loved her shepherd’s pie. My friends also found her chestnut bacon dish very interesting and equally tasty. Now you know why I roped my aunts in to help cook for my party! They’re seriously talented cooks! That is why I always look forward to any family gatherings/dinners that we have. Because I know that these aunts of mine will def. bring great food as always.

And I have to say that the highlight of my party was the food. It was my intention to provide my dear friends with a gastronomical experience they won’t forget. And I do believe I achieved that. I’m really happy with this virgin attempt to host a party! I’m sure it won’t be my last.

All right, now, I’m sure you’re waiting to see the birthday cake! Can you guess if it’s homemade or storebought? Don’t scroll down yet. Just have a look at the cake pictures and make a wild guess!

My Birthday Cake
Kiwi Cake
Kiwi Cake Cross-section

I know, you’re wondering why I’m showing you two cakes aren’t you? Well the cakes were NOT bought. My fifth aunt baked them and she was so sweet to bake two cakes. She was worried that one wouldn’t be enough. But I chose the peach one (square shaped one) as my ‘official’ birthday cake.

Yea, and I did the whole ‘make a wish and blow out the candles’ procedure. At this moment, I felt so touched – at the fact that some of my aunts took the day off to help me cook some of the dishes you see here, and that my friends were there at my party to celebrate this blessed day with me. I really felt so loved and it was a heartwarming moment. I made known my appreciation and teared a little! Quite embarrassing but unavoidable.

Those who turned up, if you are reading this, I want to say a Big Thank You for taking time off to be at my party, and for your valuable friendship. I love each and everyone of you!

Now that I’ve finished giving you the lowdown about the food, let’s go on to the presents.

I’m really not one to rave about my presents because I’d rather give than receive, most of the time. I don’t think birthdays are about the presents. In fact, that’s the least of my worries. I don’t usually expect gifts from people. As long as they remember that it’s my birthday or even come up to wish me, I’ll be sincerely touched.

Okay, so I shall not post about all the presents I received but only the ones related to food =)

I must say that my friends are good gift givers. Every gift I’ve received is of great use to me – very practical stuff I’d actually use/wear/eat.

Here’s some examples:

Cookbook presents

Cookbooks! Some actually bought cookbooks for me! Notice how they’re all dessert oriented? Well I have no complaints. I was ecstatic when I opened them up! I’m already flipping through them, choosing which ones I’d try out first. The pink one there was given to me by my best friend Cheryl and the other two, by Jules and Darren, my beloved friends from Amplify ministry.


Will you just look at that! A flan tin, cake decorators, chocolate sundae syrup and a biscuit cookbook. I couldn’t stop smiling. These were given to me by the Seet sisters – Melissa and Charissa. Thanks babes, I love this gift alot!

Assorted Belgium Chocolate
Belgium Dark Chocolate

And…. CHOCOLATE! don’t you agree that chocolate makes a great gift? Haha.. yes, my friends know how crazy I am about chocolate and Em, Paul, Gavin and Jane gave me a box of assorted Belgium chocolates and this bar of 70% dark chocolate! (i do highly suspect that they read my post about dark chocolate… !) Thanks guys, I’ve opened the assorted chocs and tried some. They’re gorgeous.

And for my parting shot, here’s a photo taken with my dearest classmates from secondary school. We literally grew up together and they’re an amazing bunch of madhats. hehe… they’re as crazy and insane as me. We always have plenty of laughs, squeals and fun when we meet up! I don’t think I’ve ever posted a picture of myself before. Care to guess which is me?

Sec Sch classmates

Not sure how obvious it is. But ya, I’m the second one from the left. The only one in a bright summery skirt. To my left is my bestest friend Cheryl Anne, yes I’ve talked about her before. The other lady in yellow sitting next to me is May, and the other two are Adeline and Carrie. Dearies, if you are reading this, thanks a mil for coming and i love you all. Hugz.

Oh boy, this has been a rather long post. I think I shall sign off here.

All I have to say is that I’m glad I had this party, it was a great chance to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while and well, it was also a great opportunity to let my friends taste the food I grew up with and to enjoy my brownies and my culinary skills. haha…

And… that’s a W-R-A-P! The party was a success and I’m now 21-years YOUNG and I’ll continue doing what I do best – bake and write and be the happiest baker/writer on earth. cheers!

Posted on 31st Jul 2005 in Uncategorized


There Are 17 Comments


Fat Fingers commented on July 31, 2005 at 2:35 pm

wow! so many nice dishes!
the devil’s curry looked so yummy!!!!


Stephanie commented on July 31, 2005 at 4:20 pm

What a wonderful party!

I agree; for me, parties are about providing my guests with lots and lots of good food, stuffing them to the point of exploding, then rolling them out the door…

I may have to ask you for a few recipes: i know Matt would be interested in a few of those dishes, especially that curry!

Congratulations on a wonderful night, and enjoy this time…


Julia commented on July 31, 2005 at 5:44 pm

Wow, it’s great to know that you had a ball, Cheryl! And all that fabulous food. I’m so sad I couldn’t make it for your party. It was really nice of your aunts and dad to prepare such a feast for your birthday party. They are truly talented cooks, especially your fifth aunt. And your friends do know you well! 🙂


sari commented on July 31, 2005 at 6:56 pm

Gosh!! This is my fav post!!! Babe!! Yr one sexy chickadee manz!! Woohooo, wonde rhow u can still be so slim with so much baking.. mine relaly made me piled on pounds! Hahaha, I love all da food, and wished I was invited too!! Hahaha.. I love yr dad’s curry!! Looks sooo good!!! and the pasta salad.. and those homemad ebirthday cakes—gawd, yum!!! I love everything.. sambal sotong too!! I love spicy stuff… yum!!!!!


boo_licious commented on July 31, 2005 at 10:00 pm

Great party! All the food look so yummy that I am hungry.


dimsumdolly commented on August 1, 2005 at 1:30 am

Happy 21st! Wah, everything looks so good! Glad you had such a memorable 21st birthday!


Hobbes commented on August 1, 2005 at 12:52 pm

wow! Looks like a feast fit for a Queen!
Happy Birthday & God Bless!


Nic commented on August 1, 2005 at 4:32 pm

Happ Birthday Cheryl! That is one amazing array of party food. I’m making notes for my next celebration!


gwenda commented on August 4, 2005 at 12:38 pm

happy birthday cheryl! what a feast! you’re so blessed to have aunts like these!


Makan Kings commented on August 4, 2005 at 6:25 pm


Happy birthday! Your party looks to be a very good one. What with all that food and all.

-Makan Kings-


Anonymous commented on August 5, 2005 at 3:20 am

hi cheryl,

wow, you look really nice and trim despite all the scrumptious- looking food you regularly churn out. so envious!*

i love looking at the pics of your dishes. do keep posting.



the baker commented on August 9, 2005 at 1:33 am

dear all,

thanks for all your encouraging comments! it was a first for me, organising a birthday party and co-ordinating the food and what not. I’m really glad it turned out to be a success!

haha and for those who think I’m trim, well I think I have to attribute that to my love for sports. i run alot as well. you gotta find some way to keep fit when you are obsessed about food as i am! =)

Thanks once again for all your well wishes dear friends!


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