Home-made Meat Patties / Burger

Since it was a public holiday yesterday, I decided to embark on a little project that’s been long sitting in my bucket list ~ making burgers. The girls LOVE burgers ~ Burger King and Mac Donalds especially but this is an occasional holiday food.  We only eat burgers when we travel back to Ipoh by ETS as these two giant fast food chains are so conveniently located at KL Sentral. We normally grab burgers for a quick bite before boarding the ETS back to Ipoh.

I’ve always wanted to make my own burgers and let the girls eat to their hearts’ content without any guilt but I’ve always put off this project due to time constraint.  I only have an hour to spare for prepping dinner from Monday ~ Friday before I rush off to fetch Drama Queen back from school.

It’s actually pretty easy to prep the meat patties. It is rolling and shaping the meat patties and then pan-frying them that’s time consuming.  With Drama Queen and Cass around to help out yesterday, it was really fast.  The big princess who avoids the wet kitchen as much as she can was happily working out at the gym for over an hour. When she came back, she was pleased as punch to see burgers on the dining table.  Haiz, this princess with royal fingers better get herself a high-paying job or marry a rich man in future so that she can afford to hire helpers to cook her dinners.

I taught #2 and #3 the art of shaping the meat patties and they rolled out 12 pieces.  I oven-grilled 4 pieces and pan-fried 8 pieces, just to see which tasted better.

#2 and #3 thoroughly enjoyed shaping the meat patties.

Can you tell which ones are oven-baked and which are pan-fried?

The 3 pieces on the right are oven-baked.

Verdict: both types taste almost the same.  We can’t really distinguish the difference, except that oven-baked ones get slightly burnt on the sides.  I managed the pan-fried ones better as I kept flipping them, so the colors are more uniformed. Taste wise, they are YUMS!

Drama Queen stuffed cubes of Kyubu Japanese nacho cheese into her meat patties and the outcome was pretty good.  The cheese gives out pops of salty creaminess to the meat.

Drama Queen gave tutorial to Cass on how to fry wallet eggs.  And this teacher is so garang!  Cass told me quietly that her 2-che was bossing her around in the kitchen, hahaha!  Check out the teacher’s hand impatiently hooked on her waist…

This tomato ketchup is sweetened 100% by veggies, made in Auckland and couriered to us from Hong Kong by the sil.  The mil got this for us from New Zealand and sent it back to us along with other goodies when she reached Hong Kong recently. She’ll be in Hong Kong for another month.

I sauteed shimeji mushrooms with miso, garlic, home-grown scallions and black pepper as one of the sides besides cucumbers, tomatoes and grilled sweet potatoes, carrots and cherry tomatoes.

This is Cass’ DIY burger. She shaped her meat pattie into hearts.

This is Chef Sherilyn’s creation.  She prepped the grilled vegetables under her own steam and initiative.  The grilled veggies were seasoned generously with olive oil, mixed herbs and black pepper.

And this burger is meat-free, specially prepped by Drama Queen for kakak Maria who does not eat pork. The girls adore our part-time helper who has been working for us for almost 5 years.

Recipe for the meat patties:
Ground meat. We used organic pork.
Chopped onions
Chopped garlic
Chopped scallions / green onions / spring onions
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Salt
Organic soy sauce
Bread crumbs. As we didn’t have any bread (other than the buns), I used corn flour (about 2 teaspoon)
Lea & Perrin sauce
1 egg, beaten

Method
Season the ground meat with all the ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Shape the pattie using your hands and gently press / flatten the top.
Find a flat tray and spread cooking oil on it. Place the shaped meat patties on the tray.
You can pan-fry or oven-grill these meat patties.

Cooking is one of the best ways for a family to bond. The girls (except the big princess) love cooking and we always have loads of fun cooking and bonding, despite leaving a big mess, including oil splatters (OMG!!) in the kitchen.  Just don’t sweat over the mess when the kids help out in the kitchen but focus on the fun and end product 😉

The skies were cloudy after a downpour on 31 Jan 2018, the day of the super blue blood moon’s appearance. Thus, we didn’t get to see any moon that night. But the next day, we saw the moon, big and bright, though it was a tad cloudy.

Picture above was taken with my Huawei Mate 10 phone with dual leica lenses at around 9:30 p.m. on 1 February 2018.

Scott’s Champions Children’s Curiosity Through Learning Experience at KidZania Kuala Lumpur

Hey parents, sharing is caring. Today I am going to share with you how you can redeem a pair of tickets to KidZania, for 1 adult and 1 child. Read on…

As part of their ongoing ‘Bright Little Explorers’ programme, Scott’s is championing curiosity by giving kids a chance to experience grown-up jobs for a day at KidZania Kuala Lumpur.

Every parent knows that as their child grows, they become more and more curious about the world around them. Scott’s Malaysia (Scott’s), part of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare Sdn Bhd, wants to champion children’s curiosity and help support their development by giving them a chance to have a fun, learning experience at KidZania Kuala Lumpur.

A household name amongst parents across Malaysia, Scott’s is well known for its range of DHA (DocosaHexaenoic Acid) products such as the Scott’s DHA Gummies. DHA is an Omega-3 fatty acid which plays an important role in brain development, function and healthy vision (*1,2). This is particularly crucial as research shows that 90% of a child’s brain development takes place before they are six years old (*3).

“As children grow older, they are continually asking questions as a way to fullfil their never-ending curiosity. It is this curiosity that helps them learn new information and spurs their imagination. At Scott’s, we understand the importance of providing children with new fun and educational experiences as a platform for learning to enhance their development,” said Venaig Jegou, Area Marketing Director, Oral Healthcare and Nutrition, South East Asia.

“Scott’s ‘Bright Little Explorers’ programme aims to trigger children’s inquisitive nature through on-ground activities that not only encourage them to be curious, but stimulate their development as well,” she said.

“We are delighted to collaborate with KidZania Kuala Lumpur as part of this programme, and hope to give kids an opportunity experience being a ‘grown-up’ for a day. We are confident that through this experience, kids would be able to experience real-life occupations and learn to be independent, work in teams, as well as develop life skills,” she added.

the-concept

role-play

“We often find kids being curious about the adult world and what they do. At KidZania Kuala Lumpur, kids will immerse themselves in a complete adult-like experience. They can take on any role they want and experiment first-hand what it’s like to role-play different professions including firefighter, chef, doctor, TV and radio host, to name a few.” said Shahrul Nizar Ahmad, Mayor of KidZania Kuala Lumpur. “KidZania Kuala Lumpur is proud to participate in the Scott’s ‘Bright Little Explorers’ programme. We believe the purpose of the programme shares the same belief as KidZaniain which is to provide kids with opportunity to be inspired and the platform to fuel their curiosity and be empowered to learn and grow,” he said.

From November 2017 until February 2018, Scott’s is giving parents an opportunity to redeem One Adult ticket and One Child ticket to visit KidZania Kuala Lumpur. Parents will have to collect six stamps in total (RM35.00 = 1 stamp) to redeem the tickets.

For more information, kindly visit Scott’s Malaysia’s Facebook Page.

*Reference:
1. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies. EFSA Journal 2014;12(10):3840.
2. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies. EFSA Journal 2010;8(10):1734.
3. Berk LE.Child development. Boston: Pearson Education. 2013. p186.

DIY Art Glass Paperweight

The hubs brought back a transparent rectangular shaped water bottle that a friend gave to him. While I really like the shape of the bottle, which is pretty unique for a water tumbler, it is not practical to use it on a daily basis as cleaning it is a torture. Note the small opening and narrow neck of the bottle.

 

So I had an idea. I decided to transform it into an underwater / aquarium-themed art glass paperweight.

Together with Cass, we shopped for golden dust and hunted around the house to look for underwater ornaments.  Cass took a few Hebrew Cone shells that her uncle Richard collected from Ebeye Island (some where in the Marshall Islands) to put into the bottle. She also found some colorful crystals and water-proof confetti in multiple shapes hiding in her ‘treasure box’.  What’s missing now are tiny sea animals, which we are still hoping to find to add into the paperweight bottle.

The result is amazing. I find it therapeutic to shake the ‘aquarium’ and watch the shells, gold dust and ornaments slowly whirl and drop to the bottom.

I’ve promised Cass that I will buy a few more unique shaped transparent bottles and ornaments and her next school holiday project will be to fill up the bottles with ornaments. These paperweights make very pretty and inexpensive DIY gifts.

 

Cute Hand-Crafted Key Chains

Despite having to sit for an exam in a few days’ time, Cass still prefers to indulge in craft vs. poring over her school books.  Several days ago, despite having a stack of homework and test papers to do, she pushed them aside. Instead, she crafted a homemade gift from scraps – a mineral water bottle made from thin plastic.

She made a cube box by cutting the plastic mineral water bottle with a pair of scissors. Inside the box is a macaron key chain which she made some time back using magic clay from my online store. The ring for the key chain was bought from Daiso. Then she ransacked my cupboard and fished out a red ribbon to tie it on her gift box… and tadaaaaa….


The pretty macaron key chain in a transparent gift box, all hand-crafted with precision and love from my baby girl.


This yummy cake key chain is also hand-crafted by Cass, using magic clay and Daiso-bought key ring.

I asked her if she’s going to gift these key chains away but she said she will collect them all.

On a side note, yesterday was just not my day. The moon and stars were not aligned like they should. After I parked my car outside the school to send lunch to Cass and Drama Queen, the battery went flat.  It was the first time in my 27 years of driving that I experienced a flat battery when I was out of the house.  I made a quick call to the hubs for SOS and he called his car technician over to his office. They drove to school and the technician changed my car battery. What a way to start my Wednesday!

 

Weekend Getaway In A Jungle

In  under an hour’s time, we will be off to Ratu Rening (near Genting Highlands / Batang Kali) for a weekend getaway with our usual group of buddies and their kiddos. Hubs and I have been friends with these group of friends since we were teenagers. Our girls and their kids have been friends since they were infant. Our girls look forward to this ecological retreat in a forest reserve very much. Errr, but not me. I used to be a sucker for the jungle, camping in the wilderness, swimming at the waterfalls, bathing in the streams and rivers but ever since having kids, I have morphed into a clean freak haha!  Well, guess it’s time to un-morph myself back to what I was when I was a kid. Who knows I’ll love the wilderness and adventurous life once again. I’ve stashed away bottles of lemon grass essential oil, tea tree oil, lots of mozzie repellent and band aids in our bags for our jungle adventure! ha ha ha!!

 

 

 

School Holiday Activities

Since yesterday, Cass has been spending hours on end learning how to sew. I have been too busy to teach her sewing and grandma isn’t feeling well. But so determined is this little fella to learn how to sew that she asked her grandma for old cloth scraps and rummaged through her drawers to hunt for worn out clothes and socks and then learned how to sew on her own.  She cut out shapes (hearts and circles) from the old cloth scraps, then sewed them together to form it into a cushion / bag like structure. Then she rummaged through my drawers to find cotton wool to stuff inside  before sewing them up. She made a miniature heart shape cushion, a little bean bag and even sewed up her torn skirt.   I asked her how she did it and she nonchalantly replied “just sew up and down only la, to close all the gaps.”  She used the big head needles that I bought from Daiso on Sunday.  And I think she went to You Tube for tutorials too.  Not bad at all!  When I have the time tomorrow, I shall take pix of her sewn products. I am mighty proud of my baby girl. When mummy is too busy, she can be really independent and learned a new skill on her own, which is a survival skill for her in future.

Holiday Activity – Cookie Baking

This idea was entirely Drama Queen’s.  And I entrusted her with the entire task as I knew she could handle it pretty well.  Except for helping her with the oven and checking on the doneness of the cookies, Drama Queen enlisted the help of her 2 side-kicks on this holiday cookie baking project today.

She got the recipe from her favorite You Tuber – LaurDIY, which is sugar-free banana chocolate chips cookies.

The 3 girls had a whale of a time in the kitchen. I was too busy with work to supervise. And they were so glad that I wasn’t there to poke my nose in their job.

Cass – I am so happy that this whole thing is WITHOUT adult supervision! Shoo shoo mummy!  We can handle this!

The outcome of the cookies was not bad.  The cookies were crispy on the outside and slightly soft in the inside. It’s like eating crispy banana muffins.  Weight watchers will love this cookie as it is sugar-free and made from organic unbleached flour.  The sweetness comes entirely from the ripened bananas.  I must say that it’s pretty good, coming from 3 girls under 13 years old who treated this as a real life child’s play masak-masak.

Even the girls’ favorite kakak Maria has 2 jars of cookies to bring home today 🙂

 

Hari Raya Holiday 2016 – Day 2

Our 2nd day Raya holiday was spent at the mall.   Since 1 week is too short for a getaway (we would avoid the highways at all cost during major festivals), the next best way for the hubs to make everyone happy was to bring us all to the mall. The kids are always content with a movie at the cinema, the gourmand hubs is pleased as punch when surrounded with food and I am easily fulfilled with a does of retail therapy. We’re a family that’s pretty easily content with life 🙂

Breakfast was dim sum at Han Room…

After breakfast, the hubs and our 2 older girls watched Independence Day: Resurgence. As usual, Cass and I toured the mall and bought stuff that we liked, while burning loads of calories… and my wallet.  Shopping is still my best hobby, and it doubles up as a super entertaining way of burning calories while flexing the muscles.  I can walk and shop from 10am – 10pm and not feel a wee bit of weariness.  I used to do that with my friends before the kids came along. I kid you not.  How I miss those days of shopping like there was no tomorrow!

After shopping and a movie, we had a late lunch at Alexis.  The nasi kerabu was delish with superb tasting sambal.

Since we were still pretty stuffed from a late lunch, the girls wanted something light for dinner.  They wanted to play masak-masak at the  kitchen.  The big princess who hates wetting and dirtying her royal hands was in a mood to fry stuff on the pan!!  What good way to train her to like this feminine hobby that’s a true survival skill.

Below – the big princess trying her hands out on the pan with caramelized bananas and caramelized onions for their sandwich with direction from Drama Queen.  There’s bound to be a lot of laughter and commotion  each time the girls want to whip out something in the kitchen. I know I am going to miss this when the girls leave the nest one day.

Chopping of onions and avocado was done by Drama Queen. I chopped and sliced the mozarella cheese, capsicums, tomatoes, cucumbers and pineapple.

Below – grilled bread with low-sodium and preservative-free Mozarella cheese from Arla.

The girls’ grilled sandwich, piled high up with such healthy ingredients as scrambled eggs, mozarella cheese, caramelized banana and onions, avocado, cucumber, tomato, capsicum, pineapple and a squeeze of mayo and tomato ketchup for the more-ishness.

The girls enjoyed their scrumptious sandwiches as much as they did playing masak-masak in the kitchen 🙂

 

School Holiday – Day 6

Yesterday was a maid-less day yet we did quite a bit at home. Since it’s a school holiday and I have been getting sufficient sleep, I had the energy to clean up and wash up after cooking breakfast and dinner.

After a day’s outing, we got home and the girls spent the entire evening helping grandma to make dumplings (kau ji).

Grandma’s dumplings are Alycia’s absolute favorite and for someone who hates dirtying her ‘royal hands’ with flour and oil but willing to spend hours rolling dough and wrapping them, the dumplings must be really dang good and worth her ‘royal’ time.  Yup, this ‘tai siew che‘ behaves like a princess at home.

 

Today the girls spent another day in the kitchen and this posting will be for another day. I better continue packing our stuff for our trip up North.

 

Secret Garden Adult Coloring Books Craze

As we bid bye-bye to Rainbow Loom and welcome  Secret Garden into our daily lives, I can’t help but wonder how long the Secret Garden adult coloring book bubble will last before it bursts!  My girls were crazy over Rainbow Loom for slightly less than a year.  I don’t know what to do with their once precious collection of colored rubber bands now.  Give them away perhaps? I can’t keep them too long as they will turn sticky over time.

Cass has now turned her radar screen on Secret Garden adult coloring books. Yesterday, she bought 3 pieces of Secret Garden from her school bookshop at only 30 sen each.

Perhaps you already know about the coloring books craze; you might be one of the 1.4 million people who’s bought Johanna Basford’s “Secret Garden.” Published in 2013, it continues to float among Amazon’s bestselling books — currently it’s at No. 10, two spots ahead of Kim Kardashian’s “Selfish” — and is the online retailer’s most-wished-for book. Basford’s followup, “Enchanted Forest,” is almost as popular.

 

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

The books feature intricate patterns and designs that are far too sophisticated for a child’s hand. But Cass can handle it pretty well, as you can see below here. She did the coloring during her free time in school. I took a snapshot of these while I was in school waiting for her to finish her story-telling competition yesterday afternoon.

 

But for adults, they’re a way to engage creatively with a relatively low barrier of entry: Coloring is easier than most crafts like, say, learning to knit.

Has the magical flora and fauna of Secret Garden grown in your very own garden yet? Let me see when the flowers will shrivel in my kids’ garden….

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, 😀

 

 

 

 

Indoor School Holiday Activity In Ipoh

Alycia who loves reading the newspapers (and just about any reading material, EXCEPT her school books!) found an interesting word search game (Wonderword) from The New Straits Times papers today. In KL I only buy Star newspapers but in Ipoh my parents subscribe to both NST and Star.

Alycia then challenged Sherilyn to compete with her in the word search game. And I told them that the winner gets a prize which is a…….. err, an ice cream potong muahahahah!

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After an exciting half-hour word search competition, Alycia emerged the winner. She is now hooked on Wonderword and has requested that I buy NST papers too every Sunday.  No problemo as long as it is an educational hobby.

 

 

Activities In Ipoh

Today, the girls helped my mum in the kitchen.  They helped to chop onions for the sardines filling for the sandwiches, mashed the sardines and eggs and buttered the bread before the sandwiches were put into the sandwich maker.

Later, they helped granny to make ang koo kuih.

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As I am typing this post, the ang koo kuihs are now in the steamer and in about 15 minutes’ time, we will have them for tea-time 🙂

Happy weekend to all my dear readers 🙂

 

Little Kitchen Helpers

The girls helping koong koong and granny in the kitchen yesterday, in preparation for our Dongzhi festival dinner at home in Ipoh…

helping in d kitchen 22 dec 2013 -2

helping in d kitchen 22 dec 2013

The girls helped to scrape arrowroot skin and to remove peanut skin. While they were helping, granny fed them with  papaya haha!  I have made it compulsory for the girls to eat fruits everyday, even when we travel.   They normally eat fruits in the morning, on an empty stomach but in Ipoh,  I relax a bit and they are allowed to eat noodles, fish balls and other food before eating fruits much later 😉

 

Home Activities During The School Holidays

Some of the activities that I have planned for the girls during the school holidays include :

1) Doing Math exercises every other day. It’s tough to get rascal #2 to complete a unit of Kumon Math equations.  Tons of nagging and threats are needed everyday.  The moment I’m out of her sight, this fella will be up to mischief!!  So my rule is “no TV, no snacks, no play and no dinner if your Math is not finished!”. It works on my hard-headed girl and sometimes tears shedding happens too.  Just last night, I didn’t allow her to eat her dinner when she took 3 hours to complete 1 page of Kumon subtraction.   She finally finished them all and I allowed her dinner at 8pm.  *evil mum but I’m doing her good *

2) Doing other subjects like BM, English and Science for Alycia. I bought some very good worksheets for her from a book store that specializes in primary school worksheets and workbooks in Ipoh.

3) Playing educational games and reading from the laptop that I had newly bought for my 2 older girls

4) Reading a book everyday.

5) Swimming, drawing and even getting them to massage me as I am having aches and pains all over my body as a result of lifting too much weights in the gym haha!

Here’s Alycia reading a BM story book. My mum got her this book from Tesco and it only cost a few ringgit. There is a collection of more than 10 famous fairy tales, translated into BM in this story book.