Saturday, June 29, 2013

Announcement: It's a Cookbook!

To purchase your copy, please click here.

You know what happens with food bloggers who suddenly blog a lot less or go MIA? They are either having a baby or they are writing a cookbook. In my case, it was the latter although having laboured over it all these months, it does feel like I just had a new baby!


Hot off the press and officially launched today at KK Women's and Children's Hospital! Read on for more details.

Mid last year, KK Women's and Children's Hospital asked if I wanted to work with them on an antenatal cookbook, as part of their 155th Anniversary celebrations. Of course I said yes - are you kidding me? - because it would be so awesome to be published and do my bit for a worthy cause. You see, this is a charity cookbook. All proceeds from its sales go towards helping the needy patients of KKH Health Endowment Fund. Who on earth turns down a collaboration like that? Immediately, I put my name down and work began.

Now, writing a cookbook was truly an eye-opener, but having 2 clinical dietitians as co-authors only made the experience even more interesting.

Over several weekends, I had hospital dietitians and staff come over to my kitchen so that we could test and taste the dishes together. As the dietitians needed to make nutritional analyses on the recipes, every ingredient - even a clove of garlic - had to be weighed to the last decigram. Sometimes, they went one step further and weighed the ingredients with/without skin and before/after cooking. It was both fascinating and painful to watch.


My kitchen, my 'lab': (L) Now you know - 3 cloves of unpeeled garlic weigh 25g; (R) Adding one grain of barley at a time to get the perfect number. All this meticulous prep work before cooking!

And me? I cooked and cooked. At the end of the day, when my back threatened to give way, I knew I was not cut out to be a lady iron chef. No, siree. On average, we were on our feet for 7 straight hours without a break. How we did it is still beyond me, but I attribute it to wonderful team spirit. It was a pleasure working alongside those lovely ladies.

Oh yes, the washing up. You have no idea how fast the dirty pots, pans and plates piled up by the minute. We'd take turns to clean up and dispose the trash, and then proceed to evaluate the recipes. Afterward, it was the entire weigh-prep-cook-taste-clean-evaluate process all over again ... greasy hair and all. Nope, we hardly channeled our inner Nigella while we were at it.

Once the recipes were tested, I was on to the second phase - styling and photography. This turned out to be the most challenging part of all. I had 35 dishes to shoot, and being a full-time mum meant I had to work around my children's schedules. As such, my window of good, strong light was very small. Throw in the fickle weather at that time, and I ended up having to re-cook and re-shoot many dishes. Exasperating, that was!

And so it was a mad rush every single day, weekends included, trying to get my photos done. Blog? No way. Looking back, it must have been hilarious for my kids to see their frazzled mother at work - dashing in and out of the kitchen with hot food, arranging and re-arranging the tableware, climbing onto a tall stool with a camera dangling around her neck (the neighbours across can stare, I don't care!). Yesterday, when my daughter pored over my book, she remarked, "Oh my, I actually remember the days you shot these dishes!" Yup, so do I, darling. Every single one.

When we eventually came to the third phase - layout and content editing - I was all pumped up again. I knew it was the homestretch and I could not wait to see the finished product. In fact, for so many months that I had been working on the book, I did not see it taking shape ... until I was handed the draft copy. It was a surreal moment to say the least, not unlike the first time you see your baby's ultrasound pictures. I took a moment to let it all sink in.

And here we are today, with the cookbook in my hands. It's hard to believe all the months of work have finally come to fruition. What a ride it has been!

Here is a sneak peek of some of the dishes in the book:

Healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive! The recipes may have the expectant mother in mind (specifically, to increase the intakes of certain vitamins and minerals required during pregnancy), but certainly, anyone who wants to cook healthy, delicious everyday meals can totally do with a cookbook like this.


Important information
This cookbook is officially launched and goes on sale today at KKH's 2-day public forum titled "Parenthood - an amazing journey". Each copy is priced at S$20 (if purchased directly at KKH’s Patient Education Centre, Admissions Office and Retail Pharmacy) and $25 at major bookstores (available by the end of July). As I mentioned, all proceeds go towards helping the needy patients of KKH Health Endowment Fund, so please support this charitable cause.

TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY VIA KKH, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Last but not least, I want to thank some people who helped make this cookbook happen.

To KKH: Thank you for letting me be part of this meaningful project. It is nothing short of an honour and privilege, and I feel very grateful for this opportunity. Special thanks to Team Cookbook - Vincent, Xian Hui, Jaffri, Christine and Nehal.

To my wonderful bunch of close friends: Your constant stream of encouraging words made all the difference. Thank you for being more excited than I am!

To my blog readers: Thank you for supporting The Little Teochew through the past 4 years.

To Brad: Of all people, you helped me the most on this journey, and I thank you for your friendship and generosity.

To my precious family: Truly, everything is nothing if I did not have you to share this with.

And to my beloved Daddy: Wherever you are, know that you still continue to inspire the ones you left behind. I hope I gave you something to smile about today. 

57 comments:

  1. OH MY GOD!! You finally did it!! Congratulations!! Muack!!

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    1. Thank you! Appreciate your kind words! :) Muack back! :)

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  2. congratulations! I'd like to buy this book for my pregnant friend. Unfortunately I do not have time to go to KKH this weekend. Is there any way I can buy it from you and have it posted to me? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Stella, thank you! You don't have to go this weekend specifically. It will be available everyday *starting* this weekend. :) Unfortunately, I do not keep stock (the sale of the cookbook is solely handled by the hospital), but if you prefer to buy it at bookstores, it will be available come end July. Thanks so much for your support! <3

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  3. Congrats!!! A meaningful project to help the less privilege and at the same time work on something you have passion in!

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    1. Thank you so much! It truly is for a good cause and I had a great time doing my part. :) Thanks again!

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  4. Wow! What a fantastic and heart-warming achievement! The photo snippets look great, and I'm sure your recipes taste even greater! Thanks for the insight into the meticulous cookbook-writing process! very interesting =) Congratulations, Ju!

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    1. Hi, thank you for your sweet comment. Writing about the entire process was a great way to remember (very fondly) the journey it took to get here today. :)

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  5. Congratulations Ju!
    I am an avid follower of your blog and always refer to your recipe index for inspiration on cooking for my young kiddos and family.
    *thumbs up*

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    1. Hi, I really appreciate your encouraging words. Thank you for reading my blog and for leaving such a lovely comment! :)

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  6. Well done, lady, that's an impressive achievement and all for a good cause, too! Congratulations.

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  7. Hi Ju, I've been a quiet reader/follower for 3 years. You inspired me to continue baking despite being bad at it. Congrats on your first cookbook, and many more to come! :)

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    1. Wow, thanks for walking this blogging journey with me over the years! I feel very fortunate to have readers like you. :) Thank you for leaving such a sweet comment.

      PS: No one is really bad at baking, it just takes practice. Spoken from personal experience ;)

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  8. I am standing up clapping my hands giving you a standing ovation with tears of pride in my eyes.
    xxx

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    1. Merci beaucoup, Monique. To be able to share it with wonderful friends like you makes it all the more special. Love you. xoxo

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  9. Hi Ju
    Your hardwork finally pay off and congratulations to you. I have this post with excitement as what I can feel you have done with great achievement. Well done.

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    1. Hi Mel, thank you for leaving such a lovely comment. Appreciate your kind words! :)

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  10. 恭喜!恭喜!What a meaningful and fulfilling project this is! Any idea how I can buy this from Sweden?

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    1. Hi Sylvia, 谢谢! 谢谢! :) The hospital is working on international shipping at the moment. ;) Thank you for the support!

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    2. Please give me a nudge once international shipping is available. Teochew nang must support Teochew nang! *thumbs up*

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    3. Kam sia, kam sia! :) Appreciate the support!

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  11. Congrats. It must be a wonderful experience, filled with sweat and love. Will get a copy as soon as it is available in the book store. :)

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  12. Congratulations! I am a silent reader of your blog and love your recipes and stories. I am sure the book will be a pleasure to read if your blog is anything to go by. :)

    Simi

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  13. Wow! This is wonderful Ju! Congratulations, I wonder if your book is available outside Singapore? Would love to get a copy :)

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    1. Hi Phong Hong, thank you so much! :) It can be ordered via the hospital. I will share the link in my next post. Thanks for the support!!

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  14. Congratulations! I'm quite new to your blog (less than a year) but have loved and is still loving your recipes!! Will go grab a copy!!!! Thanks for inspiring me to cook healthy food for my family!

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    1. Thank you for your support!! Appreciate it! :)

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  15. Congratulations on your new cookbook, from the photos I see here, I am sure it is going to be a hit...:)

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  16. i always love cookbooks produced by our own ppl who lived in SG. Cus i can be assured that ingredients are readily available ( no foreign looking names etc) and the dishes most probably are healthier version or local delights. Very much loved!

    definitely will support you and CONGRATS!

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    1. Thank you, Yulian! Really appreciate your kind words and support. :)

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  17. Congrats ... I love your recipes.

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  18. Well done, Ju! This is something I hope to achieve in the future too!

    It's not easy for a full-time mum to complete this project and you have my respect! I will be getting a copy of your cookbook soon! What about an autographed copy?

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    1. That's great, go for it! Thank you for your support! We'll find a way to get it autographed. ;)

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  19. Congratulations! The cookbook journey is indeed tiring but the satisfaction is indescribable. Moreover, your cookbook is for such a worthy cause!

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    1. Thanks so much, HL! You would know exactly what the journey's like. :)

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  20. Hi Ju,

    Such awesome news! And for a worthy cause too. Congrats!!I spy with my eye some yummeh everyday recipes anyone could use. Definitely getting the book! :)

    From:
    You-left-out-the-egg-in-Banana-Rum-Cake-Carrie

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  21. Congrats, Ju! It must been bitter sweet experience! :)

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  22. I salute you !..for coming out with your cook book and for doing a good cause. Congrats Ju

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  23. what a journey! congratulations on putting together this cookbook - which, from the looks of your usual recipes shared here - would be really easy to try out. I hope more people come forward to purchase the cookbook and support this cause :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! :)

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  24. Fantastic ! What an accomplishment, congratulations !

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    1. Thanks, Terri! :)
      PS: I think your daughter is really awesome! ;)

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  26. Hi, is this book available in popular bookstore?

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    1. Yes, it is but not all outlets. Better to buy from Kinokuniya. :)

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  27. Congrats! It's not easy, but the hard work is worth.

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