Dog Fever

Cass and I have been bitten by the dog fever! So bitten and so smitten by the pups at this pet shop next to Cass’ music school that I am now seriously contemplating owning a dog in the near future. Never mind that we live in a condo. I can deal with that.  Cass, Drama Queen and I are quite ready to have a dog. We are planning to have a small dog suitable for condo living. We have in mind either a Corgi, Shiba Inu or Beagle, though what we really, really love to have is a Samoyed. But Samoyed can grow really big (like a bear) and they are really fluffy and fury. They need lots of space to run about and are extremely people friendly dogs. Sadly, living in a condo, we just cannot accommodate a Samoyed.

Cass and I were overcome with excitement when we walked into the pet shop on Saturday and saw a new Samoyed pup! The owner has imported another beautiful Samoyed, with a choking price tag of RM8,500!!

So so so ‘geram’ looking at this ultra cute Samoyed pup who was just as excited when it saw how excited and happy we were. Looking at it helps to melt away all the stress that’s bottled up within me.

Cass and Drama Queen are voting for a Corgi (picture below) while I am rooting for a Beagle.

Welsh Corgi Pembroke races de chien

Did you know that the Queen of England may be the world’s most famous Corgi owner? She owns several at a time and has often been photographed with them.

Queen Elizabeth Covers Vanity Fair with Corgis and Dorgis! (A dorgi is a corgi-dachshund mix.) Photo by Annie Leibovitz.

Welsh Corgi #corgi Just another reason to love corgis - the Queen and Queen Mum do

Making Crispy Meat Floss With Bread Maker

During my stay in Ipoh over the Deepavali holidays last week, my mum showed me how to make crispy meat floss using her bread maker. She had recently given me a Tesco bread maker.

It’s pretty simple to make this crispy meat floss using  the bread maker. According to the recipe, cooked meat (pork or chicken) from making soup is used. But mum bought fresh chicken.  The next time I boil soup, I will save the meat and ‘recycle’ it into good use.

First she steamed the chicken until cooked. Then she enlisted the help of Cass and Alycia to shred the meat. You can use lean pork, fish and beef too.  Don’t discard the essence from the steamed chicken. You can use it for cooking.  We used the chicken essence to cook the ingredients for chicken pie.

The pile of shredded chicken meat:

Next, marinate the shredded chicken meat with soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame seed oil and sugar. Then place the marinated shredded chicken into the bread maker and choose ‘Jam’ function. My mum’s bread maker is Empress brand.

After 3 rounds of ‘Jam’ function, the meat floss is ready.  Do wait patiently as you see the white color of the chicken meat slowly but surely turns into a beautiful golden brown. 1 round of ‘Jam’ function did not bring about the crispiness and golden brown color yet. For my mum’s Empress brand bread maker, 3 rounds were required (about 3 hours).  For super crispy type, 3 rounds were required. For the traditional soft type of meat floss, only 1 or 2 rounds of ‘Jam’ function are required. No dark sauce is needed to enhance the color.

1 pound of chicken breast meat yields 5 medium size bottles of super crispy chicken meat floss.

I tasted the crispy fish floss that mum made a few weeks earlier and it tasted exactly like sate fish, so yummy!!

Here’s the recipe:

Pancakes And Hakka Noodles To Die For

And these are available right smack in my hometown of Ipoh, a few minutes drive away from my parents at an unassuming coffee shop named Kedai Makanan dan Minuman Taman Timur.

Whenever we are back in Ipoh, we, especially the hungry big man often gorge ourselves silly like a glutton. It’s as if our metabolic rate went on an overdrive. I will put my army strict diet and exercise regimen on hold and sacrifice my svelte figure in exchange for some short-lived hedonistic pleasures.

Everyone in our family look forward to at least a pigging out session at this coffee shop. Our favorite delights are Hakka noodles, crispy Chinese pancakes, curry noodles and fish noodles.

The day before we left Ipoh, we had our cravings satisfied at this coffee shop – just the 3 girls and me.  We had these:

Curry noodles at only RM4.50 a bowl. What a steal and it’s so yummy too. In KL and PJ, the cheapest for a bowl of basic curry noodles is RM6.50.

Hakka mee with fish balls and meat balls. I ordered 20 balls in the first round but they were not enough for my 3 hungry piranhas, so I ordered another 10 balls after we were done eating the noodles. It’s pretty addictive popping the balls dipped with special chilli sauce and pickled garlic into our mouths.

The Hakka noodles stall:

A trip back to Ipoh will not be complete for Alycia if she does not get to tuck into Tomy Crispy Pancake.  I ordered three types of pancakes in the first round and as expected, someone did not get enough of the pancakes and I ordered another 2 pieces minutes later.

Tomy Crispy Pancakes have super thin and crispy crusts with filling of crunchy peanut, grated coconut, fresh banana slices and melting corn oozing out at first bite. One bite will send you to paradise. *Swoon*

There are many other ingredients like cheese, egg, crabstick, ham, pineapple, etc. that you can mix and match to create your favorite pancake. The stall owner is a lady who has a slight resemblance of Hong Kong superstar Karen Mok. I’m not sure though if her name is Tomy.

This time we did not overeat. Neither did we have food wastage. Had we gone there with the foodie hubs, he would have ordered everything double or triple the quantity.

I can’t wait to go back to Ipoh again soon to tuck into all our favorite hawkers delights.

Deepavali Holiday (Ipoh – 20 Oct 2017)

Activities on the 3rd day in Ipoh:

Cass helped around the kitchen. She peeled a pile of pink Barlotti beans for making soup…

… and helped her granny  bake an Ogura pandan cake.

It was the first time my mum baked Ogura cake in pandan flavor and it did not turn out as well as she had expected it to be like when she baked the original flavor one. Nonetheless, the cake was very, very yummy and cottony soft. The beautiful green color is pure pandan juice, extracted from pandan leaves grown in the garden.

Feeling challenged and determined to bake a perfect Ogura pandan cake for us, my mum  got up at 4:30 a.m. today to bake another Ogura pandan cake. That’s truly a labor of love, from the best mum in the world, thanks mummy!

And the cake turned out beautifully this time – no burnt top and no dampness on parts of the cake. She cut the cake into slices and placed them into containers so that we could snack on them in the train.

To beat the 38C heat, we chilled at Ipoh Parade @ Uniqlo and Popular book store:

While waiting for me to shop, Cass worked on her Crossword Puzzle book, her latest obsession.

 

Dad cooked our favorite dishes for dinner:

Braised chicken with homegrown sand ginger, braised pork ribs with wood ear fungus and carrots in claypot…

Pan-fried turmeric fish with curry leaves, ginger and onions and blanched ice-berg lettuce with garlic oil.

Trip Back To Ipoh (18 Oct 2017)

I got up at 4:45 a.m. on a very lovely Wednesday today. We have a mission and that’s to reach the KL Sentral station by 8 a.m. to have breakfast before catching the 8:30 a.m. ETS to Ipoh.

After 2 rounds of laundry and some house chores, I woke the girls up to get them ready.

I could not resist the magnificent colors of sun rise splashed on the sky and snapped a couple of pix. Can you spot the crescent moon and star? The moon and star are aligned beautifully for us today.

 

Thank God we were on time and managed to hop onto the train at 8:28 a.m.  The train departed at 8:30 a.m. on the dot.

We were warmly greeted  by my dearest papa and mummy who were already at the train station half an hour before we arrived.

My papa took us to Thean Chun @ Ipoh Old Town for lunch.  This part of Ipoh is the most popular place in Ipoh where tourists and locals flock to savour the best ‘ngar choi kai’ (bean sprout chicken) in the world.  Bean sprouts from Ipoh are the crunchiest, freshest, fattest and juiciest in the world.


Beef balls, beef belly with radish, satay, ‘kai si hor fun’, bean sprouts…

 


Wanton mee with chicken fillet (best in the world!) and ‘sui kow’ (meat dumplings).

Beads of sweat were dripping down our head and body while we tucked into our piping hot bowls of ‘kai si hor fun’.  The weather today has been scorching hot and the sea of people at the coffee shop and the entire stretch of road made me dizzy. It’s definitely not a good idea to visit this place during public holidays.

After a satisfying and sweaty lunch, we adjourned to Concubine Lane, located just opposite Thean Chun coffee shop. It was our first time visiting this  tourist hot spot.

Concubine Lane on Lorong Panglima is known to locals as ‘Yi Lai Hong’. Rich Chinese tycoons in the past were known to have kept their mistresses on this lane.

Image may contain: 3 people

Concubine Lane is a 120-year old lane in Ipoh Old Town. It is part of Ipoh Heritage and one of the icons in Ipoh. Concubine Lane is most vibrant on weekends and public holidays where many pop-up stalls sell souvenirs, candies, desserts, refreshing drinks, toys, handmade crafts, etc.

Below – Drama Queen shopping for souvenirs of cute pencil cases for her school’s upcoming canteen day.

Below – dream come true for Drama Queen and Cass when they came across a stall selling DIY dream catchers.

Below – the ever indulgent koong koong bought these fruit popsicles for his precious grand daughters. At RM8 each, these ice fruit popsicles sure don’t come cheap.

Below – I spotted this concubine wannabe walking down the Concubine Lane.

Below – Cass and Drama Queen checking out drinks packaged in light bulb bottles. And no, I did not succumb to Cass’s plead to me to buy her one bottle to try.

 

Handy Girl

Thank God I have someone who is pretty hands-on with fixing and installing stuff at home. When daddy the handy manny is not around, I can always rely on Drama Queen. She is always ever willing to help me install electrical gadgets and DIY furniture.

The hubs bought me a new micro hi-fi audio system but I was too busy to get it set up. I’ve got a complex about meddling with complex stuff. I just do not have the patience for such stuff.  And thank God for good daughters!

After an hour or two on the floor with full concentration and with all the components and instructions manual scattered, the micro hi-fi system was good to go. Though she did monkey around and made me furiuos, I am nonetheless very thankful that Drama Queen took the initiative to help me set up the audio system.

Friday, 13 October 2017

So finally today is the last day of final exams for Alycia and Cass.

For Cass, it’s not all over yet. After the 1-week Deepavali holiday, exam continues with Moral and Physical Education on 23 Oct 2017.  But at least the core subjects are all over and done with for this year.  Moral and PE marks are not included in the calculation of class and standard positioning.

But this is enough for a celebration!

Best yet, I can finally sleep in for the next 9 days and chuck the alarm clock inside my wardrobe. So happy!!

Today has been a super wet, wet, wet day from morning through evening.

Though we had 2 huge brollies, we were still wet when we got down the car to get to the supermarket. It was raining cat and dog shit. The mil and I had brunch together at at cafe inside the supermarket:

Dry curry noodles and black glutinous rice dessert

Today our house is turned into a makeshift laundry shop with 5 fans (3 ceiling fans and 2 stand fans) spinning at full blast to blow dry our wet laundry and dishes.

The best news that I received today is from Cass. The moment she alighted from the school van, she excitedly announced to me that she scored a 100% in her Science test paper!  Three other boys in her class scored full marks. The news was totally mellifluous to my ears.  The other papers will be given back after the week long Deepavali holidays. I know Cass didn’t fare too well in her Chinese language. With a B (perhaps even a C) in Chinese, she may not make it to remain in this class next year.  She also did not fare well in the second term exam. And to be able to be the top 36 students in the elite class of a Chinese high prestige school (SBT), her Chinese language must be very strong. Sadly, Chinese is her weakest subject. The hubs and I are total yellow bananas and we are unable to help her with her Chinese.

I am having a medley of emotions now. A part of me wishes for Cass to remain in the elite class and yet, a big part of me secretly longs for her to be out of this ‘torture chamber’. The pressure is too much for me to bear.  However, exams and competition mean nothing to Cass.  She still loves going to school to see her friends and teachers. Exam days do not mean much to Cass, except that at times, she feels extra grouchy and stroppy from revising. Cass loves her novels and exchanging novels with her besties in school.  She loves school, her friends and teachers. And I think that’s more important that achieving a string of As but feeling exahusted with competition.

To the tune of “Reunited and It Feels So Good” by Peaches & Herb (my all-time favorite R&B) ~~ today Cass finally ‘redeemed’ her favorite ‘The Land of Stories’ that was confiscated by the growling Tiger Mom last week >.<

A Better Florist – Singapore’s Best Flowers

I’m rarely obsessed with a florist, as much as I am right now with A Better Florist. This unique, modern flower shop is the best destination for luxurious, beautiful flowers that are just right for your budget. It’s the luxury you need in your life, without having to break your bank.

First of all, they aren’t called the best florist in Singapore for nothing. Their beautiful arrangements are peculiar and different, and really grab your attention. They’re put-together with greatest attention to all the details. They come wrapped in burlap wrapping or a mason jar, and with a thoughtful card, you can personalize for your friends and family.

A Better Florist’s The Madelene

Among the gorgeous flower stands and arrangements, you can find a ton of gift options as well. They offer fruit baskets, which I never even knew could be this grand and beautiful, hampers, which is the most common gift for Chinese New Year, bundles of flowers and funeral flowers. They seem to have a flower or a gift for any event, whether it’s a fruit basket for Mother’s Day or a baby shower gift, but they really go out of their way to have it all.

My friend recently purchased a get well soon hamper, that he customized for his friend, and I can say that it was even more beautiful than what they have on their website right now. If you’re looking for a flower delivery Singapore has, that can cater to you every day all day, then A Better Florist is the best choice.

 

Sample products from A Better Florist

Along with these magical designs they put out, they really do have the best flower delivery in Singapore. Not only are they available 24/7, but they also deliver on the same day you place you order, within just 90 minutes. I tested their delivery several times, and they always deliver on time, and it’s because they have several locations around Singapore, and can easily distribute each order to the right one, or better yet, the closest one to the destination of delivery. I haven’t yet heard of a flower delivery Singapore has that can do that.

I rely on their delivery during the holidays, especially on Christmas and Mother’s Day. They really are the  best florist in Singapore for that, because you can trust that they will do the job, with no excuses. Since I’m a frequent A Better Florist shopper, I’ve found out that they have recently expanded, and now have several shops in Hong Kong and Dubai. I am sure that they will offer the best Dubai flower delivery and the best Hong Kong flower delivery, so to everyone who is reading this and isn’t in Singapore, you just might be in luck.

Here’s an idea. Order from their website in Hong Kong and rely on the best flower delivery in Hong Kong to deliver flowers or gifts to your cousins and family out there. You don’t really have to leave Singapore, and yet you know that the best Florist in Hong Kong will take care of it for you.

I’m sticking to their flower shops in Singapore, but I have no doubt that whether you’re looking for the best Florist in Dubai and Abu Dhabi or right here, that they are the perfect choice for all things flowers related. Visit their website right now and see for yourself what I am talking about.

 

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.

My Breakfast – 10 October 2017

On a rare school day morning, I skipped exercising today. For those who know me well will know that I hardly ever skip my morning exercise, unless I am feeling really debilitated like a chicken with the pip. My morning exercise is my jam, a time where I do my soul-searching and meditation. It wasn’t because I was lazy or demotivated. Blame it on the rain and a slight headache I got since yesterday. My body must be working hard to fight off the bugs that Drama Queen had picked up from school.  And because of the rain, I found a very valid reason to crawl back onto bed after sending off Cass and Drama Queen to the transporter and took an hour nap thereafter, complete with dreams, hehe!

After I got up from my nap, I did some house chores, then had my main breakfast. My first breakfast of the day has always been apple cider vinegar with honey and psyllium musk, some fruits and a glass of decaff coffee with skim milk.

My main breakfast today consists of bitter gourd omelette with a squeeze of Zoosh 1000 Island Zingy Tomato Cocktail dressing, a mug of Marmite soup, a packet of Izumio hydrogen water and half a wedge of Musang King durian snowskin mooncake from Dureeca.

Pocotee & friends Musang King durian frosty mooncake from Dureeca –  sweetness is just right, snowskin is super soft with melt-in-your-mouth texture and the Musang King durian filling is generous. The second you sink your teeth into this luxurious mooncake, the durian filling made from real Musang King durian flesh and tastes 99% like fresh durian will ooze out from the snowskin *swoon*

The box of Dureeca Durian King mooncakes are packaged beautifully in a classy box that comes with a limited edition gold cooling bag.  Click here to find out where you can purchase this indulgent Frosty Musang King Mooncake

And my confession of the day: I wolfed down the entire durian mooncake yesterday.

Dear skies, you better not rain in my parade tomorrow morning for I am hell-bent on running 40 minutes to melt away those Musang King durian swooshing in my tummy.