First ABL Match For The Girls

After dinner with my parents last night, the hubby dragged everyone along to the MABA stadium to  watch an ABL (Asean Basketball League) match between Malaysia Dragons and Vietnam.  It was the girls and my parents’ first time watching a life basketball match.  The hubs had on hand some VIP tickets, thus dragged everyone along.

 

 

Players as tall as Yao Ming and as fast as lightning charging the court and displaying their sheer competency.

 

Check out how TALL the Malaysia Dragons player is!  My parents and girls look like midgets standing next to him!

 

My parents obviously enjoying the game.  The girls are seated next to Roy kau fu.

 

This burly and lanky Malaysia Dragon player swept Cass off her feet! She commented that he was as sweaty and slippery as an eel and smelled ewwwwww!  LOL!

 

It was indeed an eye-opening experience for the girls.  They now look forward to the next ABL match!

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 37

Crispy Beef Taco

Alycia had been bugging me to get some taco shells ever since she saw a taco recipe at her daddy’s Flavors magazine.   Taco shells are not as common as pasta, spaghetti or tortilla chips where you can easily get them from mini marts and supermarkets.  They can only be found at places like Jaya Grocer or Village Grocer.  I finally got a pack of taco shells and her wish was my command, I whipped up a crispy beef taco, about 2 weeks ago.

 

 

The girls wolfed down the crispy beef tacos like some feral dogs.  I think each of the girls devoured at least 3 tacos and I was left with only one!  One of the pros of having kids with ravenous appetite is that you eat less, thus have a svelter frame :D

 

It is pretty simple to dish out crispy beef tacos.  Just toast the taco shells briefly in the oven or toaster.

The beef filling is cooked ala bolognese.  You can cook a big batch of beef bolognese and store them in containers in the freezer.  You could use them for crispy beef tacos, spaghetti or for wraps.   Deep-freezing beef bolognese is very handy for busy weekday dinners.  Just defrost the container of beef in the morning.  In the evening, pop it into the microwave oven or pan, boil some pastas or toast up some wraps or bread and you’ll have a great dinner in a jiffy!

 

 

 

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 44

Holiday Mood

Someone is getting an overload of TV and all the i-gadgets since the Deepavali holiday started on Wednesday.  For the weeks of studying hard, she deserves a good break now.  After all, she did pretty well this time. If this was her actual UPSR exam, she and I would be the happiest persons on earth.  She is a straight As student this time.  For all 9 subjects, woohooo!!!

Now the girls are counting down to 5 December 2014 as this is the day that they will be flying to  New Zealand with their grandma.  Alycia will be celebrating her 11th birthday in the air, how memorable that is huh? Cass, the hubby and I will follow suit a few days later.

 

And to add to their excitement, koong koong and granny will be visiting us tomorrow!   They can’t wait and have been making cards and Rainbow Loom bands to welcome them :)

 No. of times viewed = 143

Hidden Hints Game

A few days ago, another surprise awaited the girls at home.  It was a box of mystery word game called Hidden Hints by Learning Resources.  The girls’ angel had sent them another mystery gift woohoo!

Hidden Hints Game Box

 

Since it was the last day of Alycia and Sherilyn’s final exam, they could start playing this game, yay!!

Hidden Hints is a game that develops reading comprehension and vocabulary using context clues.

Targeting ages 7-12, players practice making inferences and drawing conclusions based upon context clue question cards. While proving their word-sleuthing skills, players earn chances to solve a mystery.

The publisher, Learning Resources, describes the game this way:
“Wrangle your way through word-sleuthing challenges to earn a shot at solving a mystery. Figure out what words mean by clues in the text around them. “
Basically, the game reinforces vocabulary a player might already know and challenges them to learn new vocabulary. Reading comprehension cards are also a part of stretching the player’s contextual understanding.

Hidden Hints can be played by 2-4 players and includes:
43 double-sided context clue question cards
7 double-sided game play cards (take an extra piece, lose a turn, etc.)
40 self-checking hint cards
16 game pieces
1 activity Guide with answer key
1 durable cardboard briefcase with handle and latch

This game is just perfect for my girls – aged 6 1/2, 9 1/2 and almost 11.

They spent their night yesterday playing with this game.  I was really surprised that Cass being the youngest could answer most of the question cards, except for some synonym cards that contain pretty hard vocabulary like defunct, insidious, etc.

Hidden Hints™ Mystery Word Game
Overall, I think this is an excellent learning game for kids. It is fast moving, interesting, and challenging. The girls’ vocabulary bank has grown a little by picking up a few new words from this game :)

Thank you very much Applecrumby And Fish once again for this wonderful game :)

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 86

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 = 252

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 = 117

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 = 186

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 = 257

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 = 220

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 = 187