This has been one hell of a week. First the Sunday Fiasco … ( i must take take this chance to thank you all once again for your comforting and kind words … u cant imagine how nice it made me feel ), then continued by Cops all over the house, through out the week. I caught my house maid stealing, a 18 yr old girl who joined me only 2 months back, stole from me over that time 2 mobile phones, about 700 US$ , my exp undergarments ( can u imagine !!!!), my hubbys T-shirts, my Jewelery … and i don’t even started on the regular pinching of things from my kitchen. I had noticed things going missing earlier and had warned both my house girls. Hoping they would not repeat it i did not call the cops. And in spite of that the little one stole again. This time she took 100 $ , but i knew right away as things in my wallet were re arranged and that to badly. Definitely cant be me , so right away i called her n asked her if it was her . She denied it. So we had to call the cops. I’m going to spare your all the details but i had cops in and out of my house for the rest of the week. They did recover a few of the things but the money was all spent. My jewellery was broken down to pieces and destroyed so she could sell it , the mobile phones were kept by the cops for their services to us and my clothes … don’t even want to know anything about them. So basically i lost everything. But since she was a young girl we dropped all charges against her as i did not want her to go to jail. Just warned her and hope that she learnt a lesson from it and will not do it again. Such is life !!!
However there was one great piece of news that more than made up for everything. Yesterday my hubby finally said the magic works I’ve been waiting to hear for so long … “honey we’re going back home – confirm our tickets” !!! YaY !!! Finally after 5 months of Africa i get back to my beloved Hong Kong. Instantly my mind was running in a million different directions. Have to do so many things before we leave. My store room and freezer are loaded with food stuff and I will have to with immediate effect stop buying anything more and start using up all my stocks. Hehe so i think over the next couple of posts i’ll just be sharing recipes that use up ingredients lying around. In a way thats a good thing … challenges you to make the best of what you have. And trust me i do have a lot of stuff. My friends and neighbours are going to like this as i’ll be sending everyone a lot of things to eat now 🙂

To start with i made flapjacks as i had all the things needed. I got a little fancy and used some dried apricots and toasted dessicated coconut. Never used them before in these, but i must tell u they taste fantastic. I made one batch chewy and the other crispy. Perfect for your tea n coffee breaks. They turned out so good that I’m gonna have to pass this recipe on to my grandchildren 😀


  • 500 gms box of Quaker instant oats
  • 260 gms unsalted butter
  • 175 gms organic honey
  • 200 gms golden superfine sugar
  • 150 gms toasted dessicated coconut
  • 75 gms walnuts – chopped
  • 20 dried apricots – cubed
  • handful seasme seeds
  • 3 tbsp apricot honey + 1 tbsp water

Preheat your oven to 180 C . Grease 2 shallow baking trays and keep ready. Mix all the dry ingredients together – oats + coconut + walnuts + apricots . In a bowl mix together the sugar, honey and butter and microwave it 30 seconds at a time & stirring it, for 2 mins or till everything has melted and combined. Now pour this over the dry mixture and mix it really well. Use your hands, i love using my hands – connects you to your food, and go on and taste it. At this point if u need more honey or anything else you can add it , as if you don’t like it now, chances are you wont like it later. But I’m sure u will love it. The mixture is sticky and moist – thats how u want it to be. Equally share them between both the trays and pat them down with the back of a metal serving spoon. Now on one tray sprinkle the seasme seeds and pat it again to make sure they stick in there and don’t fall off later. U are ready to bake them. Allow it to bake for 30 mins till the side are golden and a little soft in the center. Remove the plain flapjacks if you want them to be a bit chewy. Keep the seasme ones for a bit longer as those taste better crisp. They will harden as they cool down so don’t over bake them. Now melt the jam and water together and brush it on the flapjacks and with a pointed serrated knife lightly cut the squares and fingers. This will make it easier to remove them later. Once cooled down transfer to a air tight container.

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Comment : (Sultana)

Oh my Goodness, you have a heart of gold to let that girl get away with what she did. I NEVER would have done the same, shed be behind bars if it were me! I dont even know how to say sorry to you for what was lost material wise, mustless the smashed to bits “trust” you had for this girl!

Sadly this story you have told happens ALOT..Its happened to my husbands family as well…but with a far worse ending…

Im VERY ready to see all your clever ways of using up your stock of food! Congratulations that you will be bringing your homesick heart back to Hong Kong 🙂 Thats great news for you! It is a beautiful place to live and raise a family I think.

Anticipating your recipes!

sultana 🙂 (Kate)

Hey there Sultana …that was really quick 🙂
I figured its best to let her go, its Allah’s forgiveness that she needs not mine. We tried to talk some sense into her and gave her a copy of the Holy Quran to read. Inshallah she will become a better human being.
I’ve had worse experiences, one of which was when i was freshly married and went to Ethiopia for a while and my maid stole all my diamond jewellery which i got made for the wedding. From that i learnt never to carry very precious things with me, really sad when someone does that people do that to you.
I hope your in laws losses weren’t too much.
I am indeed very happy to be going back. I just hope i don’t end up making crappy dishes just to use up the stuff ..hehe ..D (Mango Power Girl)

Yayy, you need some R&R after all that stress…and these look like a perfect way to do so.
Those girls stealing stuff is a nightmare, but that is wonderful of you guys to give them another chance, but I hope they learnt a lesson!

These flapjacks look like such a simple & fun treat that I am sure your grandchildren will proudly enjoy them as they read this blog post 😉 or perhaps a cook book from their grandmother.
You = Grandmother ;-D

Anyway, love the simplicity of this post in all the mayhem you had, and it’s a really nice way to use the leftovers. Enjoy packing for HK/India and I can’t wait to see more from there!! (Nabeela)

Oh Kate, I am so sorry to hear that! I wish this world was perfect and nobody hurt anybody else.
It was a very nice thing on your part to let the girl go…and especially about you giving her a copy of the Qur’an. I hope she sets her ways right.
As for the flapjacks, you certainly know how to get yourself out of a funk 🙂 They look absolutely delicious…and if they’re worth passing down generations I think I better bookmark this recipe! (Alanna)

Wow, your flapjacks are beautiful! I absolutely love the photo, and I’ve been meaning to try something like this for a while — now I finally have a recipe! Thanks 🙂 (Sharmi)

that looks yum! inspired by your toffee tart recipe I made some fruit tarts:) (che ledarney)

Love the oat meal in these! (Anh)

Kate, what a story! I do hope that people learn lessons in their life!

And I hope these beautiful sweets can help you cheer up. It looks really nice and I love the setting you have! (Rachel)

hey kate..such instances happen at my place too..and they think it gets unnoticed…

hey you can send some food over to my place too!!! (Victoria)

I have never had flapjacks before. They seem alot like muesli bars… They look really yummy! I love all things with lotsa bite. (Kate)

Mo …yes i do hope they learn or maybe next time they will not be spared.
n hahaha…not yet honey….long time to go before u can call me grandmother 😛

Nabeela , me too i wish the world was better and everyone was nice and sweet.It was my my hubbys idea to give her the Quran , i was scared she would disrespect the book as she was not of the faith, but i guess she must’ve read it.
Yes these are really good , i passed some around and the response was good. Now u make ’em and be the judge.

Alanna , thanks , i do hope you try them 🙂

Sharmi .. i know i saw ur blog … ) they look fantastic.

Nolan … they really add texture o the cookie.

Anh … i sure hope too !
These flapjacks are very addicting and i keep running to the kitchen to pick another piece. And the sugar of course always keeps me happy !

Rachel … yeah whatever makes them think that !!! Well but God punishes those who do wrong so each one is for them self !
And sure i’d love to send some over 😛

Victoria, flapjacks is an English name for Museli bars , so yes basically they are the same.These days museli bars are healthier but here i’ve been liberal and used butter here. (Deborah)

OH my goodness!! What a week!! I am truly sorry – it must be hard to realize someone you trusted could do that.

But on the positive side, these flapjacks look delicious!! (Cakespy)

Wow, these are some good-looking flapjacks. I know they didn’t make up for the bad week, but it looks like they helped. Comfort food! (piccolina)

ouch , that stealing story is bad !! i’m so so sorry for that sweetie inshallah you won’t face such a thing again , u lost lots of stuff ! that was bad !
i’m so happy that u r going back home , WOO HOO lol going home is the best thing ever !!
i wish i was near coz i’d be super happy to get food from such a great cook like u:))

P.S i made a cooking blog
still new but trying to make it better and i guess i’m gonna need a new cam for better pictures 😀 (Patricia Scarpin)

Kate, sweetie, I have been through something similar and I know it’s awful!
My maid stole my checkbook and forged my signature and bought a lot of things!
She’d been working with me for 3 years, it was a mess! (Mishmash !)

So sorry to hear all that shocking story but what was more shocking to me was “the mobile phones were kept by the cops for their services to us ..” !!!!!!!! Really ?? Unbelievable. Good that you let the girl go. hope she doesnt repeat the same! (Kate)

Deborah … it was tough …i was so angry at first i was definately going to punish her. But later as i cooled down , i realized that it would teach her a lesson ! life’s like that !!!

Cakespy …. hehe they sure did ! thanks 😀

Piccolina…congrats… i ‘ve really been waiting for your your food blog. Cant wait to chk it out.
And thats for th ekind words…. i ‘m sure i’m not such a good cook , but i know i can be one.

Patricia …OMG !!! that is so terrible. Were u insured ? Did u recover anything ? Did they catch the girl ?? Why do people steal….oh i just hate it so much !!!

Mishmash … can u believe it , and some money to the cops too, and an envelope to the big cop to close the case.They also took money from the girls mother to release her after they took her from my house. It sucks but thats how it works ! (Victoria)

Hey Kate,
Just a quick reply to your qns abt xantham gum, it’s made from fermented corn i think, used to help create the sticky gluten structure in g.f. foods. I think with the pudding it’s optional though! =) (Homesick Texan)

Wow–what a week you’ve had–but what wonderful news you get to go home! (maninas: food matters)

oh my god! what a time you’ve had… i can imagine the disappointment, too. it was a good idea to try to teach the girl a lesson. i hope she did learn something from this. (Anita)

so sorry to hear about your troubles…you are indeed a very generous and openhearted person to forgive her…I hope you can move on and look forward to better things!
I will in HK for the second half of December so if you are there we will definitely have to meet up! (Kate)

Homesick Texan …yeah it makes up for everything !!! i’m so happy !

Maninas … i hope too 😀

Anita … God is watching everyone …so i can only try n be good myself and hope that others try too !
And i’m really excited abt meeting up. Just pray everything goes as planned ! (PROUD ITALIAN COOK)

That was nice of you to let her go, maybe she will learn a lesson from your kindness!!! Congrats on going home!! (Maryann@FindingLaDolceVita)

Our blogs are going “nuts” and sometimes the world seems like it is going nuts..but you are going home, so hooray for you 🙂 (Kelly-Jane)

It was good of you to let her away with a warning, I do hope she takes it in.

Terrific news that you are going home! Love your biscuits too, just my kind of thing =) (Kate)

Proud Italian Cook , i hope so too 🙂

Maryann ..,hehe true …hooray to me going home 😀

Kelly -Jane …God willing …she will 🙂 … The flapjacks are really good. I just ate one piece, i love them 🙂 (Amanda at Little Foodies)

Thanks for your comment which led me here. So good that you’re going home, especially after all that has been going on. I hope you enjoy your remaining time there and have fun using up your store cupboard ingredients. I’ll check back to see what you make. (Kate)

thanks amanda , it was a pleasure visiting your blog and seeing those wonderful home grown chillis. I having a tough time using everything gup …there is sooooo much stuff 😛 (Nora B.)

Hi Kate, I can related to your frustration. Back in Singapore, we had a few house maids who stole from us (one even used my make-up, etc, yucks!) and we just had to keep changing, it was really difficult to trust any maids after having such bad experiences, but we still needed one to help with caring for my aged grandma.

I am soooo happy for you that you are going home!! x nora (Nigel)

Good lord – what a week! You’re a very forgiving soul it would seem, and a dab hand in the kitchen too! Keep it up! (Elle)

So sorry about the stealing, but fantasitc about going home!
This recipe looks really delicious and something that my Sweetie would love…he is quite fond of all of the ingredients, especially the apricots. Glad I found your blog…it is lovely. (Asha)

So sorry about the theft and the Sunday fiasco too! What a week it has been for you Kate! You need a hug! Glad you will be back in your own turf!:)
Flapjacks look delicious! What a great snack to munch on!:) (Chris)

Oh my! I am so, so sorry about the Fiasco. You’re a better person than me – I don’t know if I would have been so generous.

Your snack looks divine! (nicisme)

You really have been through the mill. I don’t know if I would have been so forgiving.
That’s great news that you are going home. (maybahay)

how unfortunate, to have to go thru something like that. i hope you have a smooth move back home.

these nibbles sound great. thanks for the recipe. (Annemarie)

Sorry to hear of all the stress you’ve had, and do hope a bit of baking and cooking is helping ease the situation. I love flapjacks like this; my mother-in-law dumps anything healthy into hers, and I’ve always loved in when she had some apricots to throw in. (Kate)

Nora …even i’ve had so many maids come n go and 3 out of 5 steal …Its sad but like u said …we need the help ! …thanks

Nigel …thanks 😛

Elle i cant wait to get home ! ….the apricots go really well in there. Thanks for comming by 🙂

Asha … aw that is soo sweet 😀 …thank you soo much !
they are a gr8 snack. I’ve gt excellent feedback on these ones from my friends who ate them.

Chris …i’m sure u would’ve !:)

Nicisme … maybe if u were in place and saw that girl you would change your mind. They afterall poor…i now thats not an excuse but its difficult being poor as well.

Maybahay …thanks…i’m so excited to go back.

Annemarie ….baking always helps releaving the stress. Do you know desserts is stressed spelt backwards !!! Make the connection 😛 (Garrett)

Awfully nice of you not to press charges. Hopefully she learned something from you. (eliza)

my oh my, what a story indeed! aren’t you really really glad that you’re coming back to Hong Kong? i’m really sorry to read what had happened to your things. this type of story is very typical back in Indonesia, somehow in another part of the world it’s the same. now I’m ready to read your stories about all the food you have to use before leaving! 🙂 (Kate)

Garrett 🙂 …i pray she does !

Eliza ..oh i cant be happier 😀
I’ve had Indonesian girls also stealing frm me in HK …video camera, brand new sneakers, again underclothes ( dunno why they like flicking fancy bras !)and things here n there. Luckily got it all back as she had come thru and agent so i pressurized her. Always have to keep and open eye when u have house help. The Indonesian girl i have now in HK is luckily a good one.
Am having a crazy time finishing all the food, and gaining insane amt of calories 😀 (M&Ms...)

Ooh..not so nice situation but you handled it well! Congrats on the move back…am most likely going to be in HKG in a few weeks. Have to see what it’s all about :). (Kate)

m&m’s thank you, i was hoping i did the right thing. I am praying i get to be in HK this time for 6 months…not willing to settle for anything less, but lets see how it goes. (Extempore)

Oh, I got to agree, it is really very good of you not to press charges. I don’t think I’d have been able to do it.

On a slightly tangential but not unrelated note, I was wondering if you’d do a photo post on making a pie crust. I’ve been trying with fruit pies and dessert pies and I just don’t seem to be able to get the hang of doing it. 🙁

Your Banoffee tart cases looked so perfect! So how about it? 🙂 (Kate)

D , babe …. forget pressing charges , in the end i had to pay the cops to let her go !!!
And … anything for u , but u have to gimme some time, gonna be crazy busy these couple of weeks, but i’ll defi get u that step by step demo 🙂 (Extempore)

Tank you, tank you, muchly appreciated, I say! 🙂

I have one more request. Do you know where I can buy baking parchment in Bombay? And don’t say Crawford Market… I already tried! (Kate)

Welllcum huh ! haha
well have you tried Santracruz market. Just at the beginning of Hasinabad lane . (Belinda)

Oh, I love the sound of oatmeal in flapjacks…good thinking! 🙂

What a terrible ordeal to have been through with that thief, Kate! Bless your heart…what a horrible feeling to have someone you’ve trusted to work for you turn out to be so dishonest and immoral. I’m so happy for you though to hear that you are going home. I know you’ve been homesick from reading your posts, so that is some wonderful news. 🙂

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