Christmas Pie By Chef Sher

Drama Queen was itching to bake a Christmas pie so that when our guests arrive on Christmas Eve, they could have it during tea time.  She dragged me to bring her to the supermarket to buy the ingredients this afternoon and once back home, she got down to work immediately.

After spending many hours in the kitchen preparing the dough, resulting in a very messy and dirty kitchen, the dough was finally ready. Gosh dough making is SO tedious and time consuming. Next time, we’ll get ready-made frozen dough to save my delicate hands from having to wipe the kitchen tops and floor over and over again! Though our dear part-time helper was around to help, we had to do some of the cleaning too.  With a kid playing ‘masak-masak’ making dough, I am sure you can imagine the mess! Oh I hate the buttery dough and flour everywhere on the kitchen top and floor! In fact, we have both just finished cleaning the kitchen and it’s almost midnight now!


All the hard work we all put in was worth it. The Christmas meat pie was perfect. It stacks up to overly charged gourmet pies at cafes and pie shops.

We’re going to save this pie for our VVIP guests tomorrow when they arrive from Singapore and Ipoh.

 

Last Day Of School & Pie Baking

I received a little good news yesterday when Drama Queen came back from school. As she walked into the house, Drama Queen announced the news to me melodramatically, “and so the principal announced that we DON’T have to go back to school for UPSR tuition anymore during the holidays, YAY!!! Muahahahahahahahah!”

I was overjoyed to hear the news as that would mean a real holiday for me without having to wake up at 5am for 2 weeks during the school holiday. That being said, I wonder why her school has decided to cancel the originally scheduled extra classes. Other schools are still going ahead with the UPSR extra classes for the first 2 weeks of the school holiday. Could it be that the Government’s proposal to abolish the UPSR exam is now a step closer?  Perhaps it would be abolished as early as next year? Oooh, I am feeling hopeful!!

After lunch of homecooked porridge, Drama Queen quickly helped to wash all the dirty dishes including the pots and pans. This dawdler ain’t a dawdler when she sets her mind to do something that she has passion in. She has planned to bake a pie yesterday. She always has the itch to bake in the kitchen and spends a lot of time watching baking tutorials on You Tube.

After clearing the dirty dishes, she started to prepare the dough for the pie. I did not supervise her at all in the measurement of the ingredients. While I went out with Cass for an hour, she stayed home alone to work on the pie crust. Her maiden pie. We have both never baked a pie before so I could not offer her any advice. I only advised her not to turn on the oven or the stove while I was away.

She attempted to use her grandma’s new cake mixer but I told her NO NO NO!!  Coz we both have no clue on how to operate the machine.  Her grandma will be back from Hong Kong this Sunday and coming home to find a spoilt new cake mixer is the last thing she wants to know. With lots of creative juices flowing in her, she  found an alternative – by using an egg beater to mix the flour with the butter. Gawd, that is SO time consuming and I have zero patience for this. But this girl patiently mixed the flour and butter until a smooth dough was formed. All in, it took her over an hour to get the dough perfected.

When I came home with Cass, I cooked the pie filling, which is minced pork with tomatoes, julienned carrots, Bunashimeiji mushrooms and lots of chopped onions and garlic. I seasoned it with some leftover Baba’s rendang powder mix, some dried thyme, dried basil, ground black pepper and organic shoyu.

The ‘chaplang’ fried minced meat which turned out to be really delish.

Drama Queen putting the final touches on the pie with egg wash before it goes into the oven to be baked for 40 minutes at 180C.

Fresh out of the oven and baked to a tee!

After the pie was all done and all of us savouring the yummylicious pie, Drama Queen told me that she ‘simply tembak’ with the measurements of some ingredients and replaced several ingredients with what she could find in our kitchen and fridge. I am still amazed with how the pie could turn out so well despite her not following the recipes strictly.  Cass commented that her 2che’s pie tastes better than those from some expensive cafes.

By observing intently each time both her grandmas bake, Drama Queen has picked up basic skills needed to execute simple baking. She’s pretty good with baking cakes and now she has learned how to bake a savoury pie.

Drama Queen and Cass loved the pie so much that we skipped having breakfast of pork noodles at our regular Saturday coffee shop this morning. Instead we noshed down the delicious leftover pie.

Alycia, if you are reading this post now from Penang, take heart that we have kept a slice of pie for you in the freezer!  Can’t wait for you to come home to savour it 😉

 

My Healthy Colorful Dishes

I love colors – bright, neon and happy colors.  They make me happy. Naturally, I love colorful food too, natural colors that is. Most of my dishes are colorful, consisting of red, orange, green and yellow.  I love adding tomatoes, carrots, sweet corn kernel, scallions, kafir lime leaves and loads of garlic and onions into my dishes.  These are not only colorful, they are bursting with antioxidants and disease fighting phytochemicals. They are also natural sweeteners and flavor enhancers. No need to use oyster sauce (it contains MSG) and MSG which only cause insatiable thirst and are unhealthy.

Here’s one of my colorful dishes – Colorful Fried Rice with sides of green vegetables and braised pork ribs with radish and egg.

My fried rice always has more colorful vegetables than rice. It is often meat-less.  Here, I used grated and julienned carrots, sweet corn kernel, baby garden peas, kafir lime leaves, scallions, onions and garlic.

And added 4 free-range chicken eggs for the protein.

I love my colorful healthy fried rice. I only use parboiled rice which is low in GI and starch, so I eat sans the guilt 🙂

Next is my colorful pork bolognese angel hair spaghetti.  The sauce is cooked from scratch with organic tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, onions, garlic, Portobello mushrooms and lots of herbs.

 

Since I don’t like spaghetti noodles, I added organic oats into the bolognese sauce. My oat pork bolognese was simply delish and guilt-free too!

I always cook an extra portion so that the girls can have them for lunch the next day. This was Alycia’s lunch last Saturday, after she got back from school. Fruits for her were orange, avocado and raw red capsicum.  I love my colorful healthy meals 🙂

 

Dinner on 27 November 2015 – Braised Spinach Noodles

Dinner for tonight…

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Braised curly spinach noodles with minced meat, julienned carrots, baby bok choy, lots of chopped garlic and onions, diced Chinese dried flower mushrooms and eggs.

Seasoning – pepper, organic soy sauce, dollop of dark sauce and premium abalone sauce.

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See the plant in a unique tone of matte green at the foreground? That’s the cotton plant that Sherilyn planted with cotton seeds that her Science teacher gave her a few months back. She showers this cotton plant with a lot of TLC every single day but the big problem that we are facing  now is where do we transfer it to now?  There is no way it can survive in a tiny flower pot on a squeezy balcony of our condo. How now brown cow??

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I cooked an extra portion so that lunch for tomorrow (Saturday) will be just a touch of the microwave button away! hehe…

Happy weekend world!

 

Sherilyn Cooked Chicken Curry

My drama queen helped to dish up chicken curry one evening, just a few days before school reopened….

I would say she did 90% of the job! I helped to put the oil, poured in the curry paste and later poured in water. She did the rest!  She was mighty proud of her achievement and so was I.

Later, she arranged her rice and all the dishes  onto a plate and asked me to photograph it!

 

Apart from chicken curry, I also made a steamed minced pork with watercress, grilled saba fish and blanched some ladies fingers.

Having someone to lend a helping hand in the kitchen sure made my hectic weekday dinner preparation stress fly away.  Besides, the yummy chicken curry tickled everyone’s fancy. The girls are big time fans of curry 🙂

 

Mommy’s Simply Whack Pizza

This is my simply whack homemade pizza for lunch today…

 

 

I used Mission wholegrain wraps as the crust and it turned out to be very crrrrrrispy!

Sauce base is tomato paste for Alycia and homemade pesto sauce for Cass.

Toppings are fresh button mushrooms, sweet corn kernels, juicy sweet cherry tomatoes and Emborg Natural Cheddar Cheese Slices.

 

Preparation time = 15 minutes

Baking time in oven at 160 degrees Celsius = 15 minutes

Alycia and Cass loved this simply whack, cincai pizza. I think this is anytime better than store-bought pizzas! 😛

 

Healthy & Yummy Tuna Sala / Bread Spread

The celebrity chef wannabe pleaded with me to let her make tuna salad for us last weekend.  I have been working at full steam for the past 2 weeks (pre-CNY orders are normally high), so I said OK but she has to handle everything herself.  What do I know? The girl spent about an hour in the wet kitchen peeling and chopping cucumbers, slicing cherry tomatoes and peeling and chopping onions (I was surprised that the onions did not make her tear, muahaha!)

After the girl was done with all the peeling and chopping, I helped her open the can of tuna.  Then I toasted some pumpkin seeds in the oven and heated up the tuna in the oven as well. Then added ground pepper, mayo and chia seeds and tossed everything together.  The salad was delish and tasted just like hotel ones 🙂

tuna salad1

 

The girl then spread the tuna salad on bread to make sandwiches for everyone and that was our dinner last Sunday, after a heavy lunch.

Delish and healthy, yums!  Will definitely prepare this salad / bread spread again, if I have volunteers in the kitchen 😀

 

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Saturday Dinner – 30 November 2013

We had a very simple dinner of home-cooked fried rice at home today. The hubs has been busy this week, thus unable to have dinner with us this Saturday night. My kitchen is usually closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Five days of cooking is enough for me. I had wanted to bring the kids to the Japanese restaurant at our condo to have dinner today but the thought of eating the same old food again did not appeal to me. Plus the thought of paying 15% service tax totally put me off! So I made fried rice for the girls and they loved it!

fried rice

 

My fried rice composed of Basmati rice, fresh sweet corn kernels, minced pork, a pack of fresh baby shrimps, sausages, eggs, scallions and loads of garlic and small onions. The only seasonings I put were a few shakes of soy sauce and pepper.   I love putting generous amount of garlic and onions to cook my food as they impart flavor to my food, without the need to use much seasonings. Plus garlic and onions are potent roots known to have medicinal properties.  As I used Basmati rice, which is low in GI, I ate a few spoonfuls of fried rice as well.  My dinner is usually very light and I try to avoid carbs in the evening.  I cook for my kids and I only nibble on the dishes.

I cooked a little extra fried rice tonight and kept a portion in the fridge, so that the girls’ dinner will be settled tomorrow.  Sunday is my rest day and I ain’t going to slog in the kitchen and get oily all over 😛

The baby yau mak veggie was oil-blanched, which saved me the trouble of stir-frying. Veggies briefly blanched with oil and a pinch of salt in the pot of water are very palatable and my kids have no complaints eating them.

fried rice3

I am sure many of you are already on vacation or simply having a staycation. For us, we will stay put in KL for another 2 weeks, before our trip to Singapore.

Have a good weekend everyone!

 

 

Char Siew Bread Pizza

Bread Pizza is one of the girls’ favorite home-prepared ‘fast food’.  This is an excellent way to get the girls to eat capsicum, something which they do not normally fancy. I normally top my bread pizza with lots of chopped antioxidant-packed capsicum (red and yellow ones), vitamin-packed cherry tomatoes, power-packed big onions, super mushrooms, protein-packed roast chicken or char siew and calcium-packed cheese.

This time I used lean char siew and all those ingredients that I mentioned above.  I cleared all the frozen wholemeal bread that the mil baked before she went to Hong Kong.

Pizza bread  is so easy to prepare that my almost 10-YO Alycia can help me with it.

Once all the toppings are spread on the bread slices, I baked it in the oven for 7-8 minutes (pre heated).

This is our delish bread pizza. It is SO tasty and even yummier than Pizza Hut and Dominos, so said the girls!  And way healthier too.

The crust/bread was pretty crispy too.

I will add in some fresh pineapples and fresh button mushrooms the time I prepare bread pizza, which will be next week!

The Big Girl’s Meltdown

The big girl had a major meltdown this morning from 6am right through to lunch time!  I had blogged that her fever had subsided yesterday but at around 6ish pm, her temperature shot up to 38.6 degrees Celsius again but she was not feeling uncomfortable. She felt pretty normal and had pretty good appetite.  Only her body was very warm, which was partly aggravated by the melting hot weather with a temp. of 35 degrees yesterday.  So the hubs forbade her from going to school.

This morning, when the hubs stopped Alycia from going to school, he unknowingly opened the Pandora’s Box!  Alycia threw into a horrible fit of rage!  She sobbed and wailed and pleaded for us to allow her to go to school.  But the hubs said “NO” and no means no, period!  The big girl bawled uncontrollably which made her daddy angrier.  Thank goodness there is always the indulgent grandma to ‘sayang’ the big girl and pulled her back to her bedroom and tried to comfort her.  The brouhaha this morning was something that is happening pretty often of late.  I had blogged in one of my earlier posts that lately, this big girl is having a hard time managing her emotions and the manner in which she talks to us.  Long story cut short, the big girl went back to bed and cried herself back to sleep. When she woke up, she was still angry with all of us and put on the longest, sulkiest face ever *facepalm*!!

After sending off rascal #2 this morning, I jogged to the mobile market to get a packet of yee mein and prawns to prepare the big girl’s favorite noodles dish for lunch.

A mother knows best. After this delish lunch of yee mein cooked with prawns, squids, fish balls, chicken fillet, veggie and egg sauce, the big girl’s mood was lifted up instantly!

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and I think this adage holds true for kids too! 😉