School Holiday, Day 2 (1 June 2016)

This morning I was interviewed by a Caucasian professor from an Australian university at a cafe in my neighborhood. The topic was on social media ‘micro celebrities’ who are also parents. It’s for his research paper. It was an eye opening experience for me.

While I was away, Cass and Sherilyn attended Mandarin enrichment class at home.  The mil spent the entire day making dumplings (‘bak chang’).

The last time she made dumplings was many, many moons back.

 

In the evening, the girls played badminton, football and skipping rope at the pool area, with me having a watchful eye over them from my air walker in the gym.

 

Our dinner was dumplings with 2 simple dishes of blanched mustard greens and steamed egg with minced meat.

The mil’s dumplings are suitable for the health conscious.  They are bursting with mung beans, minced dried shrimps, salted egg yolk, mushrooms, chestnuts and pork. They are not oily, not salty and not cloy. Very yums!!

Tomorrow the mil will be making more dumplings. I guess we will be having dumplings for lunch or dinner everyday until the supply depletes 😀

First Half Of May 2016 – Random Things

I have always been very wary of the month of May.  If you follow my blog, you would have read that the month of May is never kind to me.

Well, this year’s May started off well. I was thinking the ‘May Hex’ has probably ended. Not until the past few days when the jinx started to creep out creepily!

Yesterday, I had a bad fall at the toilet of our condo. After sending the girls  off to their school vans, I went to the toilet before my jog.  Just as I was getting out of the cubicle, my right leg was inadvertently hooked to the long hose of the bidet lying on the floor. I fell flat on the toilet floor BAM! Thankfully the floor wasn’t wet. I thought I had broken my left leg and hands. Everything happened in a flash. It hurt like hell. A blue black bruise and bump formed on my left knee immediately.  Thankfully I could still limp out of the toilet to start my jog cum brisk walk at the walking trek.  My hands and legs felt sore today.

Today is Sherilyn’s turn to ‘phook kai‘ (in Cantonese it pessimistically means slumping on the street).  After alighting from the school van in the afternoon, she tripped and fell, hitting her face on the sharp edge of the stairs, when she was walking up the stairs to the lobby. I didn’t see her fall as I was waiting for Cass to get down from the van.  When I saw Sherilyn, she was trying hard to stifle a cry.  This drama queen is usually very mettlesome and hardly cries when she hurts herself. This fall must be really hard and bad.  She asked me if her right cheek just below her eye  was bleeding.  I got a shock. There was a blue black bump there, as if she just got punched.   And the shin of her leg had a long graze mark and the skin was yanked off.  OUCH!!!!  She had an ice cube compress on her cheek back home.  Thank God she did not hit her eyes or nose!!

Back home, Cass told me that she stepped on some dog or cat poop in the school field during PE session today. OMG, I flipped when I saw her shoes and socks. And the stinky odor, GAWD!!! The OCD in me just flew into a rage!!  I ordered her to remove her shoes and socks immediately while I quickly grabbed a plastic bag from the kitchen for her to dump the shoes and socks inside. Then I threw them in the refuse room outside our unit.  When I went back inside our unit, Cass was standing on the part of the floor where she just stepped her pooped laced shoes. I went ballistic and unsavory words flew out of my mouth in a rage.  I hollered at her and asked her how she could be so dumb to stand on the floor that she just stepped with her pooped laced shoes.  After cleaning up Cass’ feet and flooding the floor with Sol-U-Guard disinfectant and Sol-U-Mel odor remover, I scrubbed her clean in the bathroom before she is allowed to have lunch.

At the height of my vexation, Cass asked me this question, with an ignorant look in her wide eyes, “mummy, which is worse – step on poop or fall down and hurt yourself?  Which one do you prefer? I rather step on poop.  Tell me mummy, tell me which is worse!!”

I had to stifle my chuckle upon hearing that innocently hilarious question thrown to me by Cass.  LOL!

And my answer to her? You guess.

Cass has always looked at the glass as half full. Never half empty. And I admire her optimism in life despite the challenges thrown at her repeatedly.

Life with kids is ALWAYS dramatic. Never ever a dull moment.  I never asked for all these problems, heart attacks and drama.  But I did ask God for children when I could not have any 16 years ago.  So yeah, I will just write all my rants off in my blog.  And pray that  the remaining days in May will be pleasant and uneventful with NO MORE DRAMA, please God!

I will have to learn to master the job of motherhood until I have them down cold and laugh off each drama instead of sulking over them 😀

Here’s our healthy, wholesome and yummy home-cooked lunch for today:

Pumpkin porridge with pork ribs and sauteed lean pork slices with big onions and ‘jar choi’ (preserved veggie). YUMS!!

 

Thursday Home-cooked Lunch – 14 April 2016

Today I had a battle within myself – a mind over matter over what to eat for lunch 😀

After paying Cass a visit in school (to ensure that she pees and to bring her Izumio), I shopped for some groceries at our neighborhood supermarket.  I could not decide whether to cook lunch for Cass and Sherilyn or take the easy way out – take out.   There were many eateries near the supermarket. I walked to the Indian restaurant and was really tempted to get a portion of chicken curry, fried vermicelli and spiced pumpkin.  But the weather has been so hot lately. We should be avoiding spicy and heaty food.  Plus spicy food would only stimulate Cass’ problematic bladder.  With a heavy heart, I left the Indian eatery.

Then I walked next door to the bakery. I was tempted to get a cake or some buns for the girls.  But I heard my inner voice shouting out “processed white flour products!  High carbo and high sugar too! Get out of here!”   I left the bakery and drove off.

So what should we have for lunch?  I could not decide. I seem to have a problem with decision making at times.

I was craving to have some Mee Siam for lunch as we have not had it for more than a week. I knew that Cass and Sherilyn would love Mee Siam too. I was about to make a right turn into our favorite cafe to get Mee Siam when again, I heard the inner voice screaming out to me “meehoon is carbs and it’s fried with sambal.  Sambal is heaty and it would stimulate Cass’ problematic bladder. It has not much nutritional value too.  Another high carb food!”.  Ok, the inner voice won the battle. I drove straight home.

After unloading and keeping the groceries, I went straight to the kitchen and took out the green tea noodles and buckwheat noodles. I blanched the noodles, cold bath them and seasoned them with sesame seed oil, black and white pepper, a few shakes of organic soy sauce and Japanese Furikake.

Next, I boiled eggs and sliced some cold kyuri.  Squeezed some Japanese roasted sesame seed dressing on the eggs.

I was already sweating buckets by the time I spent 15 minutes in the kitchen that felt like a furnace in this heatwave.  Temperature today was 38 degrees Celsius in the afternoon.  I took my second shower for the day.  I had 4 showers today!

The girls had this yummy bowl of Japanese green tea and buckwheat noodles for lunch.  Cass liked it very much and had the same thing for dinner.  She even requested to bring it to school for recess tomorrow.

 

Delightful Home-Cooked Dishes

Here are a few more  wholesome and delightful home-cooked dishes that the mil wok-ed up this week…

Below – Braised chicken with dried sand ginger, shallots and tomatoes.

 

Below – braised chicken with dried tofu sheets (fu choke) and mushrooms.

Below – pan fried prawns with soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine.

I am so thankful that I do not have to slog in our uber hot kitchen during this El-Nino heat. If ever I have the moolah to get a bigger house, I am so going to install a uber big ceiling fan plus a misty fan in the kitchen!

And let’s all pray and hope that the predicted heat wave on 20 March 2016 will be blown far far away by some strong winds!

It’s the last weekend before school starts again. Am I happy? Yes and no. Yes that I get to swim again during pre-dawn and I get back my ME TIME. And NO to waking up at  ungodly hours again.

Happy weekend everyone 🙂

 

Home-cooked Dinner – 3 March 2016

Yummy home-cooked dishes for dinner last night, lovingly dished out by the mil…

Stir-fried baby sweet potato leaves with garlic, vegetarian ‘cai’, blanched lady fingers and crispy fried baby pomfret fish with tomato + onion sauce.  Cass who has just recovered from high fever had pretty good appetite last night. It’s a joy to see her enjoy her food again 🙂

Soup of the day – watercress with carrots, Chinese almonds and lean pork.

She also cooked porridge (pork + peanuts + dried oysters + salted egg + century egg) for hubby, who is still nursing a badly inflamed tonsillitis.

Life gets much easier and sweeter when you have someone living with you who loves cooking. I am going to enjoy this before she goes away again! 😛

 

Healthy Homecooked Dinner – 21 February 2016

My healthy low in cholesterol, low in fat, low in oil and high in fiber dinner yesterday 🙂

Bitter gourd soup with carrots, red dates and lean pork with 4 tablespoons of organic oats…

Sauteed organic spinach and braised arrowroot with roast pork  and ‘nam yue‘.  I singled out only 3-4 small pieces of lean roast pork and that’s my ration of meat for the day.

Arrowroot is usually seen in wet markets and supermarkets a few weeks leading to Chinese New Year. I cherish eating arrowroot as we only get to eat it several times in a year, usually only during Chinese New Year. We like braising it with roast pork or steam it alongside Chinese sausage. I used to like munching on deep fried arrowroot (‘ngar koo’) but I have ditched  all deep fried foods a little over a year now…and feeling good 🙂

If you think arrowroot is just carbs, you’ll be surprised to know that it is chock full of nutrients and health benefits! 🙂

arrowrootinfo

Photo credits : OrganicFacts.net

 

Light And Healthy Meals

These days, I have very light meals – light in meat and light in portion. 80% composes of greens / fiber and 20% meat or eggs.

This is my breakfast this morning – a bowl of pork soup from the pork noodles stall with lots of bitter gourd and a little minced pork sans the noodles and egg. This is an ideal low carb + high protein + high fiber meal.

Bitter gourd is used to treat various stomach and intestinal disorders including gastrointestinal (GI) upset, ulcers, colitis, constipation, and intestinal worms. It is also used  for diabetes, to lower cholesterol, kidney stones, fever, a skin condition called psoriasis, liver disease and to start menstruation.

Below – my dinner yesterday was a bowl of anchovies soup with organic veggie (home grown), egg drop and several tablespoons of organic oats.  Everyone else ate roast duck.  Thankfully I do not fancy duck 😀  Duck is high in fat and cholesterol.

You should try to go meatless once or twice a week. Going meatless several times in a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.  And you may live longer too if you reduce your meat consumption 😉

 

Fried Minced Meat & Potato Curry

To all my Muslim readers, this is a non-halal post. Apologies!

Two nights ago, I created another new dish for my curry-loving kids – minced pork curry with potatoes and tomatoes. And it was so delish!

You can also use minced chicken or minced beef to cook this dish.

Direction for Minced Pork Curry:

1) Heat oil in wok. Shallow fry cubed potatoes. Once there is a tinge of brown on the potatoes, push them aside of the wok. (I used 3 washed potatoes)
2) Saute minced garlic and onions until fragrant.
3) Add minced pork and fry till aromatic. Add salt.
4) Add in cubed tomatoes (I used 2 medium size organic tomatoes)
5) Add in 2 tablespoons of curry paste. I normally buy Tean’s Gourmet Chicken Curry Paste or Mak Nyonya Curry Paste. If you want spicier, add more curry paste.
6) Add about 1 cup of water.
7) Add sugar (optional). I added 1 teaspoon of brown sugar.
8) Cover wok and simmer contents for about 5 minutes.
9) Plate up contents and decorate

 

Fluffy Korean rice cooked with pandan leaves to go with the curry dish.  Today’s rice is cooked with pandan leaves as I had plucked extra leaves in the morning to cook it with red bean sweet soup.

Nourishing soup of Chinese Yam (Wai Shan) + Solomon’s Seal (Yuk Chuk) + Carrots + red dates + goji berries + 2 pieces of Sakura chicken ribs.  I did not intend to put carrots into the soup but another packet of chicken ribs that I bought from the supermarket in the morning smelled really foul, so I binned them.  With only 2 pieces of chicken ribs and definitely insufficient, I threw in 2 Australian carrots for the sweetness. The soup turned out to be really sweet and tasty. It’s salt and sugar free. I’m going to boil this soup again on Monday.

I deliberately cooked an extra portion of minced meat curry for the girls’ lunch the following day. The next day, I cooked rice and blanched a head of organic broccoli.

While the girls had rice, I paired my curry dish with broccoli and Korean kimchi.

This will probably be the second last dinner that I need to cook. The mil will be back from Hong Kong on Monday and the role of chief chef will hence be relegated back to her, finally!   LOL!

 

Babi Pongteh / Pork Pongteh

I had a sudden craving to eat braised pork belly with soy sauce and star anise the other day.  But I found out that my bottle of organic soy sauce in the fridge wasn’t enough to prepare braised pork belly. Plus, I had some carrots, tomatoes and eggs that had been sitting in the fridge drawer for over a week already. With all these ingredients on hand, I had a brainwave and switched menu to Babi Pongteh / Pork Pongteh instead!

Babi Pongteh is a Nyonya dish, just like Ayam Pongteh.   It is best cooked using pork belly with its strips of fat in between the layers of meat. But I’ve never been a big fan of pork skin or any fats but I still buy them as this dish needs the fattiness (collagen? lol!) to give it the nice thick stew consistency for the sauce.  I’m happy with eating just 30% of the lean pork.

My Babi Pongteh consists of pork belly and pork ribs. Cass has a phobia of seeing thick fat pork or chicken skin, thus I bought some ribs just for her.

For recipe of Babi Pongteh, you can follow my recipe for Ayam Pongteh, which I cooked just a week ago. The only difference is that I did not add potatoes but added hard-boiled eggs. I stewed the hard boiled eggs with the pork for about an hour, in low flame.

I also added unchopped garlic, in addition to lots of chopped garlic and onions. I love eating stewed whole garlic, which is soft and aromatic.

With the left-over Babi Pongteh from dinner, I blanched some vermicelli and veggie and boiled some eggs for the girls’ lunch the next day…

Above – Babi Pongteh with vermicelli. Smoothie of the day – black grapes + orange + pineapple.

And it tasted even better the next day. This dish is heaven! It goes really well with just about anything — rice, vermicelli, instant noodles or bread. Try it and you’ll love it 😉

Home-cooked Dinner – 7 January 2016

Here’s our home-cooked dinner on a busy Thursday night, on the first school week of 2016 🙂

  1. Tomato omelette ala Fong Lye Taiwanese Restaurant
  2. Grilled fish cutlet with curry paste, topped with potato curry sauce.
  3. Chicken soup with green radish and organic cabbage and ‘foo pei’ (fried bean curd skin)

This is the first time I prepared grilled fish with curry paste and it’s yummeh!

I had wanted to cook something fiery but just too lazy to dish up a tedious and messy curry dish. Thus, I came up with this idea. It’s super easy and fast too.

Directions for grilled curry fish:

1. Marinate fish with curry paste and soy sauce in the morning. Put in ziplock bag and keep in fridge for at least half a day or longer.
In the evening…
2. Wrap fish in aluminum foil and base it with some oil to prevent sticking.
3. Grill in oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes
4. Unwrap aluminum foil and grill for another 5 minutes or until you get a nice glossy golden brown color on the fish.
5. While fish is being grilled in the oven, heat up non-stick pan with oil. Brown some chopped garlic and onions.
6. Add cubed potatoes and lightly fry for about 5 minutes.
7. Add in the leftover curry sauce used to marinate the fish into the pan and mix well.
8. If you prefer your sauce to be spicier, add more curry paste. Add some water.
9. Remove fish from oven and transfer onto a nice plate.
10. Pour potato curry sauce over fish and decorate.
11. Whip up camera, snap pix and quickly share picture via Whatsapp, Instagram or Facebook to boast about your new creation 😀

This dish is perfect for a busy weekday.

Happy trying!