Crock Pot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks

I stumbled upon this recipe at skinnytaste.com while searching for some recipes to dish up. Chicken drumsticks cooked with maple syrup and dijon mustard in a crock pot seems pretty easy and delish. Best of all, not many ingredients are needed for this dish.  I was excited and very eager to try out this dish, so  off I went grocery shopping for maple syrup (this ain’t cheap ok!) and dijon mustard.

I adapted the recipe (can’t help it. I am too adventurous when it comes to cooking!) with an oriental touch by adding a few tablespoons of organic soy sauce and some freshly cut garlic.

As you can see from the picture, the chicken literally falls off the bone and is so delish! Kid-friendly, healthy and very easy to prepare too.

I hate Mondays as they are hectic for me. I need to pick up the Drama Queen from the enrichment center at 5ish pm, then cook, serve kids dinner, send Drama Queen for hip hop dance class, dinner myself and fetch Drama Queen back from dance class. So this dish is easy and fast enough for me to dish up on a maniac Monday. I started preparing at 3pm. Preparation only takes about half an hour. Once the drumsticks are cooking in the crock pot, I am free to do other stuff.

The fried rice was cooked by the girls’ grand aunt.

Crock Pot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks
Recipe from Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

8 skinless drumsticks
1/4 cup pure Maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp garlic salt
Fresh cracked pepper

The above is the original recipe from skinnytaste and I adapted it by adding some honey, soy sauce and garlic. I also seasoned the chicken with garlic steak seasoning. No marination is required.

Directions:

Season chicken with garlic salt and pepper and place in slow cooker. Combine maple, balsamic, and Dijon in a small bowl and whisk until smooth (I only used a spoon to mix all the ingredients). Pour over the legs, making sure the chicken is covered.

Left to right: Dijon mustard, balsimic vinegar, honey, organic pure maple syrup, pepper and the combined mixture in the bowl.

 

The original recipe uses garlic salt but since I only had garlic steak seasoning, I used whatever that I have.

 

 

Before cooking…

 

After 3 hours in the crock pot in high temp setting…

 

 

Do give this recipe a try. It is easy to prepare and perfect for a weekday dinner. You can dump  the drumsticks into the crockpot and set in low temp before you leave the house for work in the morning. By the time you are back in the evening, your entire house will be wafting with the sweet aroma of chicken, waiting for you to dig into :)

No. of times viewed = 45

Our Sunday, 20 October 2014

My Sunday yesterday was no different from any weekday as I had to be up from bed at 5:30am.  Alycia had to attend a team-building camp in school and had to be in school by 7:30am.

Breakfast was pretty light and healthy. You can see from the picture below that we had sugar-free yoghurt, sweet corn kernels and orange + coconut water smoothie (with chia seeds sprinkled for the extra health boost!).

 

Miss Drama Queen and Cass lazed their Sunday morning away at the dining table.  Cass was looming away with her Rainbow bands and Miss Drama Queen was consumed by her iPad.

 

We later went to Avenue K for lunch at our favorite Japanese restaurant, Bankara Ramen, after which was retail therapy for moi :D

While I did my little therapy, hubs brought Miss Drama Queen and Cass for an LRT ride!  It was Cass’ first ever LRT ride.

 

 

 

Back home, everyone had to do their share of house work.  After dinner at home, I delegated Alycia and Drama Queen to take turns to revise with Cass.  Cass will be having her final exam soon.   My condition  for the TV to be turned on was that everyone had to do their fair share of house work and to help Cass revise too *grins tiger mommy*

My camera-shy Alycia was pissed with me for snapping this picture and refused to have her face exposed :D

 

 No. of times viewed = 52

Of Bushy Eyebrows and Light Eyebrows

I have always wished that I have thicker, more refined and more shapely eyebrows. My brows are very light in color (and sparse), as are my hair color (which is brown) and my skin color. I have very fair skin and I guess God has made my eyebrows light colored to match my overall color coordination.

Despite my light colored hair and eyebrows, my 3 girls are born with dark and thick eyebrows and I am very thankful for that. I always tell Cass that I wish I had her bushy eyebrows as I am so tired of drawing my brows.   I am just so over drawing my brows and have been eyeing on some eyebrow embroidery jobs. Eyebrows are a major part of our face and a pair of seductive eyebrows accentuate the eyes and overall features of our face.  You have to agree with me on this, don’t you?

Many of my friends have had their eyebrows embroidered and I think they look great with more shapely eyebrows.    Well, most of them look better with embroidered eyebrows, except for a handful who now look as if they are some Chinese oprah singers with thick and gaudily drawn eyebrows. This is what one of my friends commented as regards fake eyebrows and she discouraged me from having my eyebrows tattooed or embroidered.  She scared me with stories of how the brows may swell after the job and the many trips I will have to make to the beautician to have touch-ups.  The hubby is also against my idea. He says tattooed eyebrows look very fake and outrageous. Besides, there is no guarantee by the brow impressionist that she can make me look prettier with my new brows. They may even make me look hideous that I need to hide away from the world! The hubby has never liked women with fake and thick eyebrows for that matter. And I am scaredy cat too of a botched job, which may ruin my looks forever!

While shaping up my eyebrows with an eyebrow blade last night…

Cass – mummy, who do you even have to shave your eyebrows huh? I thought you like to have bushy eyebrows like mine?? (asked in a satirical manner)

Me (on the verge of LOL on hearing her sardonic comment!) – that’s because I want my eyebrows to have a nicer shape. So I need to shave off straying hair on my brows.

Cass – yeah, but you said you want to have bushy eyebrows right? So don’t shave it la! Just let it be and they will grow thicker! Just leave your eyebrows alone ok mummy? Then you will have bushy eyebrows! (This 6.5YO can sometimes sound like a woman trapped in a little girl’s body I’m telling you!)

My baby girl sure cracked me up last night and gave me a good laughter therapy.

Back to the topic of eyebrows. I am still very, very tempted to have my brows embroidered. Should I or should I not? Hmmm….

 No. of times viewed = 105

Wednesday Night Dinner – Healthy Fried Rice

My part-time maid, M screwed up my day again yesterday.  I have always reminded her that should she be unable to come in for work, she has to send me a text message latest by 12 noon so that I can start doing chores myself.  But she just can’t seem to take instructions well and only messaged me at 5pm again yesterday!  What is wrong with her flipping mind?!  So at 5pm yesterday, I quickly started to work myself up like those hourly paid maids, rushing to complete every single freaking chore within 2 hours.  Thank God we have a small yet cozy condo unit that is pretty fast to clean up. Within an hour, I  accomplished quite a bit from sweeping and mopping the floors, washed 2 bathrooms and ironed a few pieces of clothes.

I could not decide yesterday whether to go ahead to cook fried rice or to eat out.  I had planned to cook fried rice, thinking that M would come to help me clean up.  But Alycia who is revising for her exam did not feel like going out.  So just like Nike’s tagline (which I like), I  ’JUST DO IT’  and whipped up Alycia’s favorite food – fried rice.

So here’s my healthy fried rice with garlic, tomatoes, cauliflower, sweet corn kernels, crackling minced pork, lots of scallions and eggs.

 

I added 2 big organic tomatoes and sweet corn kernels into my  jar rice cooker just when ‘holes’ started to form on the rice.  By doing so, the rice will be more aromatic and the skin will peel off effortlessly from the tomatoes when in contact with heat.   I mashed up the tomatoes and mixed everything  well before dumping the rice et al into my wok of garlic + minced pork + cauliflower.

 

The minced pork this time was crackling and tasted like bacon bits (brown meat bits in the below pic). This added intense flavor to the fried rice.  And the secret to getting crackling bacon-like minced meat?  Just fry it long enough in the wok and make sure the minced meat does not get burnt or stuck to the base of the wok.

 

Seasonings used for fried rice are a few dashes of Lea & Perrin sauce, few dashes of organic soy sauce, pepper and garlic steak seasoning.

 

Composition of Mc Cormick garlic steak seasoning: salt, onion, garlic, sugar, black pepper, mustard flour, ginger, bell pepper and parsley.  I love to add a few shakes of this seasoning to marinate meats and fried rice – adds so much flavor to my food.

 

Raw of the day was alfalfa and radish sprouts and cucumber slices.

 

Salad dressing used was tangy Citron Sesame sauce from Japan.

 

I was totally knackered by 9pm after a hard day’s work slogging in front of the computer, chauffeuring the princesses and sweating it out in the kitchen.  All the hard work put in to dish out the fried rice was worth it when my three rascals commended how tasty it was.  And Miss Drama Queen gets to bring a portion to school for recess today :)

 

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 147

Monday Nite Dinner

Dinner whipped up in a jiffy yesterday – fried organic spinach noodles with minced pork, meat balls, garlic, a whole head of Chinese cabbage and 5 eggs (free-range ones).

 

We had dinner at 6pm yesterday, which was earlier than usual as the girls had an extra Mandarin tuition class for the tutor to help them revise for their exam.

I used a packet of 6 organic spinach noodles.   As it turned out, there were more ingredients than noodles.  Next time, I will add in 2 more pieces of noodles since the girls seem to love the noodles more than the trimmings.

 

My most critical and finicky eldest daughter commended that the fried noodles were very yummy and helped herself to 2 bowls!   The drama queen as usual, full of drama, quickly ‘chop’ and kept some noodles in a tiffin carrier for her to bring to school tomorrow.  This morning, she woke up 10 minutes earlier to reheat the noodles in the wok, poured them into her lunch box and  put the lunch box into her new thermal lunch bag.  Full of drama and fiercely independent, this drama queen can do anything if she puts her heart into it.

The remaining noodles will be for our lunch today. My 3-in-1 yummy noodles were good for 3 meals – yesterday’s dinner, drama queen’s snack during recess today and lunch for today.  Good to the last strand! :)

 No. of times viewed = 119

Our Sunday, 12 October 2014 – Eve Of Final Exam

On the eve of Alycia and Sherilyn’s exam, I should be at home to do revision with them today.  But as in previous exams, we were pretty relaxed and went to Mid Valley Megamall to have brunch at Sushi Zanmai *feeling guilty*!

 

 

 

 

After brunch, hubs suggested to have some cakes and coffee at Alexis.  Hubs is always the very indulgent and easygoing daddy, who hardly puts any pressure onto his daughters to excel in their studies.  I am always the bad marshal and law enforcement officer at home – in short, the bad guy who pours cold water into all the fun :D

Check out the decadent cakes from Alexis.

We ordered a slice of tiramisu, cheese cake and my favorite orange almond cake.

 

I think Alexis has one of the best tiramisu cakes in town.

 

Back home, we did some eleventh hour marathon revision on BM.  I am glad that this time round, Alycia can revise on her own pretty independently.  But I can’t say the same for the drama queen.  Long story cut short, I am now having sore throat and a real raspy voice from too much of talking and screaming. And I think my blood pressure has elevated a few notches up.  I really don’t understand why the drama queen has to give me so so much drama!  And she really has to assemble her brain that’s scattered everywhere!

In the evening, we were waiting for our Dominoes Pizza to deliver our pizza to us but 15 minutes after our phone order, they called us to say that it will be delayed to God knows when due to the thunderstorm.  I waited for half an hour but the rain did not stop. I called Dominoes Pizza and cancelled the order.  And off we went to the Japanese restaurant downstairs to have dinner instead.

Back home, the drama queen dilly dallied again. I hollered again till I gave up and felt like throwing myself onto the bed and cover my head with my duvet.  Really wanted to give someone the no eye see treatment but…. I persevered and pulled the drama queen next to me and went through a few more harrowing hours of going through the Tatabahasa list with her. *vomit blood*!!   Thank God, my eldest has been very cooperative and independent this time. She even helped me test Cass on her  Ting Xie list for tomorrow.

 

 

All the best in your BM test tomorrow girls.  I pray that you will remember all that you have studied.

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 121

Chinese Writer App by Molatra

Today is the eve of the eve of Alycia and Sherilyn’s final exam and I am only starting to revise with them today.  Can you feel the heat and pressure I am feeling now?  I am reeling from the  exam fever heat *wipe sweat from forehead*!   It does not help that the weather for the past few days has been hot and humid with no rain. As I am typing this post, I have fans blowing at me from my right, left and top, I kid you not!

To distract Cass from being the attention seeker while I revise with her sisters (this rascal can be a brat at times, fighting for attention), I downloaded a new app into the iPad to keep her entertained.  It is a Chinese Writer app by Molatra.

Molatra is one of the best Chinese Writer apps for those seeking to learn Chinese. You have to write the Chinese character according to the correct order of the strokes (pit soon). If not, you will not be able to proceed to the next character. One can check the strokes order at the practice section. The character will be read out clearly too. There are speed levels for beginners to advanced learners. Cass and even Alycia love this app and find it challenging to beat the time to complete writing the characters correctly.

 

 

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 131

Urban Playz @ Mid Valley Megamall

As promised, here are the pictures of Alycia, Sherilyn and Cass tackling the Urban Playz climbing walls at Mid Valley Megamall last Sunday.

Cass started the wall climb first, followed by Alycia.  When Cass and Alycia did the wall climb, I was shopping with Sherilyn.  Sherilyn later joined them.

My monkey girl finally got the chance to prove her climbing and hanging prowess, ha ha ha!  After her 3 climbs, I asked her if she was scared but my daredevil was as confident as ever and said “not at all!”

 

Sherilyn attempting the Tetris Wall Climb.

Urban Playz consists of three climbing walls: Tetris Wood, Speed Track and Nine Cross. Each wall is structured differently and is fun to climb!  Looking at my girls climb the walls at a height of 20 feet did scare the living day lights out of me. It also brought back lots of fond memories of my camping and rock-climbing days in Lumut and Pangkor Island during my teenage days.   Rock-climbing and wall-climbing are an entirely different sports.   Rock-climbing requires much,  much more endurance,  perseverance and a brave heart.

 

 

Currently there are three walls available for your climbing pleasure: Nine Cross provides many possibilities to get to the top, one has to spend some time thinking them through. Tetris, as the name suggests, is a wall based on the popular arcade game Tetris.  Speed Track gives those speed demons and junkies out there a run for their money, giving them an opportunity to see how fast they can get to the top.

Sherilyn atop the Tetris and strategizing how and where to place her legs..

 

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There were no pictures of Alycia climbing the walls taken as hubs and I videoed her climbs instead.

All in all, I think the 3 walls were pretty simple for my 3 daredevils to conquer.  To them, it’s a piece of cake!  Perhaps hubs should bring them to do the real McCoy – outdoor rock-climbing!  I’ll know who the real daredevil is from there!

 

 No. of times viewed = 104

Molding and Sculpting With Blue Tac

The hubs is hooked on blue tac sculpting! Since Saturday through today, he has been molding  fruits, pastries, flowers and cartoon characters out of blue tac whenever he had the time. And Cass is the happiest kid in town to have daddy playing blue tac with her! :)

Check out what he churned out from Cass’ colorful blue tac, with strips of colorful blue tac, a blade, a toothpick and a ruler.

 

Check out the green rose with intricate details. Can you see the ‘stalk’ spiraling all the way down so neatly to the end of the toothpick? And the garoupa fish too. It looks so real with curves at the right places and has patterned fins and tail.

 

In case you missed my ancient time posts on hubs, let me tell you again that he is one very creative bloke who is artistically talented. And one of the reasons why I fell for him was his bunch of cards, art and crafts that he made to woo me many, many moons back, when I saw still a teenage mui mui jai, :D

 

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 163

Our Sunday – 5 Sunday 2014

We had breakfast at Antipodean @ Mid Valley today.  This is Antipodean’s newest outlet in the Klang Valley.  As with their outlet in Bangsar, the one at Mid Valley is just as crowded.  We wanted to have breakfast at this outlet yesterday but the wait list was too long.  We were slightly luckier today and got a table pretty quickly.

 

 

We tried their ginger maple syrup cake with brandy butter today.  Not too bad but not my kind of cake.

 

After breakfast, hubs and I went separate ways.  He brought Alycia and Cass to Professor to get  Alycia another prefect skirt.  Sherilyn and I had a one-on-one mother-daughter bonding time doing what we love best – retail therapy!   I bought her stuff she likes and I can sense that her emotional bank is now full to the brim with love :)

While I was shopping with Sherilyn, hubs did something that I have always protested against.  He brought Alycia and Cass to do some adrenaline-pumping activities at Urban Playz – to do some heart-stopping climbing activities.   This always happens when I am shopping and he is with the girls without me!   I shall put up a separate post on the girls’ gung-ho climbing experience at Urban Playz in my coming post.  I still can’t believe that all 3 girls climbed the Nine Cross, Tetris and Speed Track without a jot of fear.  The sight of them climbing up the obstacle walls scared the living daylight outta me.  I kept getting flash back of my school mate falling from a 2-storey high flying fox structure onto the ground 25 years ago at a girl guides event in school.

 

After shopping and climbing, hubs dragged us around to find more food!  We finally settled for Amarin Heavenly Thai. This man gets his emotional bank replenished via food, I tell you.  Should anyone of us give him any hint of negativity and rejection when he is all geared up to dig into food, we better be prepared to face the wrath of an angry  dragon with balls of fire spewing out of the mouth from a rumbling tummy!

The girls and I had to be seen enjoying our food so that the hungry dragon is subdued and placated.  All will be peaceful and happy when the hungry dragon is fed well in the company of his queen and princesses, muahahaha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Told ya… when the man is happily satiated with good food, good mood and happy vibes are all around us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

To spend our day doing all these when the girls will be sitting for their final exam in exactly a week’s time,  now I have really been too indulgent this time.   Tomorrow will be homebound day for us, all the way until 17 October 2014, the last day of their final exam for this year!

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 197