Monday Lunch – 17 July 2017

Lunch today was cooked at the spur of the moment.  I had wanted to get takeout lunch but when I was looking at the fridge planning what to cook for dinner, I had this craving for something light and easy since we had spicy Korean food the day before.


Our lunch at Oiso Korean Restaurant on Sunday.


Minced pork porridge (marinated with organic soy sauce, sesame seed oil and pepper) with carrots and sweet potatoes seasoned with chopped scallions, garlic oil,  pepper and salt.

Porridge lover just like her mummy, Cass couldn’t wait to dig into her bowl of porridge the moment she stepped into the house upon return from school. And just like me, she only likes porridge cooked with a motley of her favorite ingredients and never plain white porridge. Never thick and gooey porridge.

After digging into a big bowl of porridge while still in her school uniform, Cass finally washed up and changed; next course was her fruits (dragon fruit, purple grapes and orange), another half bowl of porridge (what?!) and a packet of Izumio hydrogen water.

Cass is always extremely hungry each time she comes home from school. The moment she drops her school bag, off she goes to the kitchen to see what’s for lunch. Without even washing her hands, she then stuffs food into her mouth.  This reminds me that when I was her age, I was also super hungry after school dismissal. I remember very vividly that almost everyday, I would feel so famished that I felt nauseous during the car ride home. In the car, I would be wondering what my por por (maternal granny) had dished out for us.  I loved all her dishes.  My por por was a fantastic self-taught cook who, during her teenage years, escaped poverty in China to work in the then Malaya. She was a very well loved and respected Amah who worked for a British expatriate for many years.

Wednesday Night Dinner – Yee Mee With Braised Minced Pork

Yesterday’s dinner was a quickie as Alycia has Math tuition to attend at 8 p.m. every Wednesday.  This means that I have to start cooking at 4:30 p.m.; then eat at 5:30 p.m.; dinner over at 6:30 p.m.; give her an hour to shower and dilly dally before her friend’s mum comes to pick her up at 7:30 p.m.

I cooked yee mee with braised minced pork and wood fungus (mok yue).

I prepped a big pot of meat sauce so that Cass and I could have it for lunch the next day.

I used spinach yee mee bought from the organic shop.


Cass having her lunch of yee mee with braised minced meat today while enjoying a good book. Smoothie of the day is orange + apple + passion fruit + lemon + raw honey.

Cass to me ~ “mummy, the number one thing that I can’t live without in this world is book. I love story books. Err, nope. Number one is you. I can’t live without you. And number two is story books”.

If only she could say the same about her SCHOOL books.

Turmeric Roast Chicken

The first dinner that I cooked after the mil left for Hawaii two days ago is roast chicken. For the next one month, cooking meals for the family will be my responsibility.  After half a year of hiatus in cooking and feeling really indolent now, I need time to warm up with simple dishes before my culinary skill springs back into action in full force. As I have mentioned before, cooking is just not my thing. I cook for the love of my girls and for the OCD in me.  I love the convenience of eating out. However, the OCD in me screams out in horror each time I taste outside food laden with salt, oil, sugar and MSG.

I always start the first dish with roast or grilled chicken after a long absence in cooking. It’s the easiest to whip up and is almost fool-proof. This dish will never gain any objection from the 3 fussy girls.

This roast chicken is marinated overnight with black pepper, turmeric powder, salt and rosemary.  I roasted it with lemon, olive oil, bay leaves, big onions, garlic, tomatoes and lots of potato, sweet potato and carrot (all cut into strips like French Fries) in the oven for an hour at 180C.   Drama Queen helped me to slice all the tuber. It’s her idea of wanting the tuber cut into French Fries like strips.

 

I bought a whole organic Keesong chicken and got the supermarket staff to half it for me. With 3 growing kids with humongous appetite, the entire chicken was walloped over dinner.

I love prepping roast chicken for dinner. The beauty of roast chicken is versatility – you can use whatever spices you have in your kitchen.  You can have roast chicken five times in a week and yet feel like you have 5 different dishes everyday as you can use different spices to marinate the chicken and roast it along with different bits and bobs each time.

 

 

Post Laproscopic Myomectomy Surgery

I got my period yesterday – 9 days after the laproscopic myomectomy surgery.  My surgeon had warned me that the flow will be very heavy  this time but subsequent periods will see a normal flow.  Though my Aunt Flow is quite heavy this time, it pales in comparison with the periods I’ve had during my fibroid days. There are no ‘feels like dying’ abdomen cramps and no chunks of blood clots. Thank you God! I pray that period cramps, blood clots and super heavy flows will be behind me now.

I am still pretty much holed up at home, except for brief trips to the coffee shop for breakfast and supermarket to get groceries. I have been enamored with love from my papa, mum and mil with lots of TLC and yummiest home-cooked confinement-like dishes. I am having such a cushy life now, with nice meals served to me and not having to do much of house chores.  All these will come to an end soon when the mil goes to Hawaii early next month, for a whole month. That’s when I have to take over the kitchen and the girls’ meals everyday *gasp*

The typical meals that I would have each day ever since I was discharged from the hospital 9 days ago consist of rice wine chicken with ginger and wood ear fungus (I can never get bored of this confinement dish), mugwort omelette with ginger strips, boiled red dates + black dates + tong sum tonic, double boiled chicken essence (2-3 times a week), lots of meat and lots of green vegetables. Pretty much like confinement dishes. Each time I pour out the warm red dates tonic from a flask, it reminds me of my confinement days.


Chicken cooked with rice wine and ginger wine, ginger and wood ear fungus strips, fried fish, stir-fried red spinach and blanched ladies fingers.


Sauteed young lotus root with pulled pork, char siew and roast duck.

I didn’t touch any of the duck though as it’s considered a ‘tuk’ (poisonous) food for the Chinese and I don’t fancy eating duck anyway.


White bitter gourd omelette with homegrown basil leaves and fried fish.

Have you ever seen white bitter gourd? It looks like an albino bitter gourd to me 😁.. but it tastes like the regular green ones. Bitter gourds / melons are superfood. They kill cancer cells, prevent gout, diabetes and have a whole lot more of health benefits.


Minced ginger (with skin) + sesame seed oil omelette and blanched ladies fingers with roast sesame seed dressing.


Steamed brinjal with fried garlic oil and soy sauce. This dish is SO easy to prepare and insanely addictive.


Onion omelette, sauteed siew yoke and roast chicken (leftover) with ginger, garlic, sugar, wine and soy sauce.

With SO MUCH ginger, wine and meat that I eat everyday with no exercise, I am surprised that I am not feeling heaty. Must be the Izumio that I am drinking that’s helping to cool down my body. The weather these days is crazy. I am sweating buckets everyday and need the ceiling fan and stand fan blowing at me at full blast and yet need at least 3 showers a day. I don’t even need to cover my body with a blanket in an air conditioned room at night.  Can’t wait to rest for another 2 weeks before I start swimming and running again!

Healthy Meals Before Surgery

Four more days to go before the long awaited day! Bring it on!

These days, I am very careful with what I put into my mouth. I make sure that what goes into my body is not ‘tuk‘ (poisonous in Cantonese) and is low in sugar. I try to eat more iron-rich foods, more fruits and vegetables and more Izumio.  Prawns, peanuts, dried shrimps, seafood (except fish) are considered ‘tuk’ foods and I avoid them like the plague.

My breakfast this morning:


Salted gula Melaka granola from Amazin Graze with toasted sunflower seeds, toasted almonds and walnuts, cranberries and banana.  Amazin Graze’s granola is the best in the world!

Lunch today:

Minced beef ‘mee suah’ with fish balls and mustard greens. Soup base is chicken stock.   Dessert is red bean + black glutinous rice ‘tong sui’.

My little bookworm all soaked up in her Enid Blyton novel.

I made a big mug of chilled lemonade with raw honey for the girls. It’s super refreshing on a sizzling 36 degrees Celsius afternoon.


Fruits of the day for the girls – red dragron fruit, apple, organic tomato and kyuri.

My Tuesday – 23 May 2017

Five more days to go before I go under the knife.  The clock is ticking away….

This will be my fourth surgery, of which three were C-section deliveries and one was a laproscopic ovarian drilling.  The laproscopic myomectomy surgery that I am scheduled to go through will be performed at the same hospital that I gave birth to our 3 girls to.  I have also requested the same anesthesiologist who is a family friend to administer the GA on me.

The past few days seem like a blood-chasing marathon for me again. I’ve been forcing myself to eat red meat at almost every meal, which is quite a torture for me as I am not quite a meat lover.  Can everyone please pray for me that my total blood count goes up and shows a reading of at least 8? If it does, then I can avert a blood transfusion on the eve of the surgery.

My lunch today is beef + purple sweet potato porridge with our favorite ‘tau kok lup’.

My mid morning breakfast was 2 guinea fowl eggs with organic blackstrap molasses and pepper.  Yesterday, a relative gave me a crate of guinea fowl eggs to ‘pou’ (nourish) my body.

Guinea fowls are relatives of pheasants and chickens. Guinea fowl hen eggs are smaller (weighing about 45 g), but richer in content of dry matter, lipid, vitamin “A” and carotenoids. The eggs are pear-shaped, smaller than chicken eggs, with thick and strong light brown shell, have large yolks  and taste similar to chicken eggs. Guinea fowl eggs are very nutritious and the content of vitamin A, D3, E and group B exceed that of chicken eggs almost twice.

guinea fowl sitting on eggs
Guinea fowl

Dinner was beef porridge again. This time, my thoughtful mil minced the beef with a chopper as I commented that the meat was a tad tough 💗


Tonight’s homely dinner of minced beef purple sweet potato porridge, cooked with love.

Today has been a pretty good day for me.  I felt  a burst of energy and optimism during my pre-dawn exercise.

When Cass got back from school, she told me what all mothers love to hear most. She did  well in her recent school exam with a top 10 position in the entire standard 3 😊💟

Later, my insurance agent Whatsapped me to inform that the insurance company will be approving my claim for the upcoming surgery and a Letter of Undertaking has been issued.  That’s RM30,000 saved, praise the Lord!

In between, there are a couple of good news too.  The stars have definitely aligned with the moon today.  Drama Queen got up at 5:30 a.m. this morning and told me that she saw a big sparkling star next to a crescent moon on a very clear sky. What a pleasant sight to behold.

 


The batch of cinnamon, pandan, walnut and  chocolate chip rolls that the mil baked today for the girls’ snacks box and breakfast tomorrow.

 

 

Random Matters – 5 May 2017

Today marks the 8th anniversary of my 3-week nightmarish stay at GMC Penang with Cass. She went in for a Uretheral Reimplantation surgery on 5 May 20o9. Something awfully awry happened during the surgery. There was a complication and she was operated on 2 weeks later, after many X-rays, ultrasound scans, a CT-Scan and a Fluoroscopy failed to show the kink at the end of her guts.  My poor baby had to endure all these harmful scans and she was only 13 months old then.

The month of May happens to be a month of bloodshed and pain. May has never been too kind to me. Whether coincidental or jinx, May has always been unfavorable to me. Maybe it is in May that the stars and moon don’t align well for me. Dang it! This end May, I will be going for a surgery.  You can read it at my other blog.

The mil is away in Ipoh for a few days and as a matter of course, I am tasked with cooking dinner.  The thing with cooking is that once you lose the momentum, you lose the mojo and inspiration to cook. You will dread walking into the kitchen.  The mil knows cooking is not my forte (though I can whip up a real mean meal, he he!) and she pre-prepared the ingredients for me the day before from de-shelling the prawns to mincing the pork done from scratch on the chopping board. This morning, she removed the skin of the leek flowers and cut them.  How very thoughtful of her eh?

But the mil didn’t have time to finish prepping all the leek flowers this morning. After Drama Queen got home from school and finished her lunch, I tasked her with completing the job 😆

Steamed eggs with minced pork; sauteed leek flowers with baby shrimps and sauteed ‘yau mak’ vegetable. Simple dishes yet the girls scoffed down each plate of dish 😉

The scene at the dining table today.

The big girl pored over her Sejarah (History) textbook throughout dinner. She’s sitting for her Sejarah paper tomorrow and the last two papers of Chemistry and Chinese will be on Monday.  And the other 2 girls pored over their novels 😁📗📘📙.  Someone will surely see red to see this during dinner if she was around!

Home-cooked Dinner – 25 April 2017

Our cozy weeknight dinner at home with simple yet yummy dishes:

Sauteed organic broccoli with garlic, fish balls and carrot slices; tomato omelette; Happy Call Pan-fried ribeye steak.

On the foreground are pork ribs and ‘phang kor’ from the soup. ‘Phang kor’ is a seed that looks and tastes very similarly to ginkgo and it has an outer layer of dark red velvety shell, which is removed prior to cooking.  The seeds can be steamed and eaten as it is or cooked as one of the ingredients in a soup.  ‘Phang kor’ are grown on trees and the red fruits hanging all over the tree are really a sight to behold.  Sorry I don’t know the name of this fruit/seed in English. One may find these trees grown outside the compound at housing estates. They are easily obtainable from the wet markets back in my beloved hometown of Ipoh. Oh, this post is making me miss my beautiful hometown now!

Home-Cooked Food For School

Drama Queen likes bringing home cooked food to school. This year, she has to stay back in school every day for UPSR exam preparation classes. When there are extra dishes and rice from dinner, she will keep them in the fridge. The next morning, she will wake up 5 minutes earlier to reheat the food to bring to school. When she’s in the mood, she will cook something up in the evening, for school the next day.

Below is the turmeric fried rice that she cooked on her own without any help form us adults.  The ground turmeric oil is from the turmeric chicken that we had for dinner. As there was quite a bit of ground turmeric and shallot oil left on the platter, she used the oil to fry some rice, along with some chopped carrots, long beans and 2 eggs.  The fried rice was not only aromatic and yummy, it’s very healthy too.  The fried rice was enough for her and Cass to bring to school.

Homecooked Lunch – 6 March 2017

“What’s for lunch today?”  This is the question that the mil and I would ask each other every morning. Whenever we  shrug our shoulders implying a non-verbal “no to outside food”, she would be quick to suggest home cooked food. Then she would stride to the kitchen to defrost meat and hurriedly whip up a few simple yet most tasteful dishes. Thank goodness she finds so much pleasure cooking unlike me, who finds cooking a chore 😖

This is our lunch today, which the mil efficiently whipped up in under an hour:

Sauteed pork strips with homegrown basil and jar choy (preserved vegetable) and sauteed leek flowers with fish cakes. Cass’ bowl of rice has so much dishes that  the rice is  hardly visible. Her appetite is always voracious and it’s such a joy to see her nosh down her food.  She washed down her lunch with a packet of Izumio 👍

Image may contain: food

 

Image may contain: food

Fruit of the day for today is papaya and guava. She eats her fruits before the main meal.

Image may contain: food

What do you usually  have for lunch? Home cooked or easy way out takeout?