Healthy Meals In A Jiffy

Monday’s dinner was just pork jerky on toast as I was too pressed for time to cook a proper meal. Hubs brought me to Mid Valley Megamall in the afternoon to send my Osim uJolly portable massage chair for repair but I ended up trading in my faulty massager and bought a new one!  When I got home, it was already 4-ish p.m. and with so little time to cook, I toasted the CNY leftover pork jerky sitting in the fridge and toasted some sourdough cheese bread that I bought from Hogan Bakery @ Mid Valley.  Also fried some eggs to go with the open sandwich.

Crispy sourdough cheese toast for the girls…

and flour-free super low-carb organic lettuce wrap for me, washed down with a glass of refreshing lemon + grapefruit juice with raw organic honey…

The girls and I don’t really fancy Chinese pork jerky as we find them too salty, oily and sweet.  Before toasting the pork jerky in the oven, I delegated to Alycia the task of rinsing the pork jerky with water and patting them dry with kitchen towels  😆  Each year, our CNY pork jerky slices sit in the fridge for weeks and months and I always have to find ways to eat them.  Sometimes I add the pork jerky into fried rice and stir fried vegetables, after rinsing them and cutting off all the burnt parts.

Here’s another one-pot dish and with this, you don’t need anything else besides your rice or noodles! It has lots of gravy that goes so well with your noodles or rice. It’s healthy too with protein and fiber. Cook it with celery or vegetables that you like.

Cashew Chicken:

I served the dish with par-boiled rice for the 2 older girls and organic spinach ramen with organic dark soy sauce for Cass.

 

Stir-fried Cashew Chicken is very easy to make and also very forgiving (especially if you use chicken thigh).

Mix the sauce, use a bit to marinate the chicken just for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables (celery/ capsicum / broccoli), hang the laundry and reply some emails 😊

When you’re ready to cook, have everything ready to go because it takes less than 10 minutes!

Sauté garlic and onion (1-2 mins), cook chicken and celery (3-5 mins), add sauce, simmer 1 minute until thickens, serve over rice or noodles.

Ingredients

SAUCE

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch / cornflour
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce , all purpose or light 
  • 3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or Mirin
  • 2 or 3 tbsp oyster sauce 
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • Dash of white pepper

STIR FRY

  • 500g / 1 lb chicken thigh , skinless boneless, cut into 2.5cm/1″ pieces 
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/2 onion , chopped into 1.75 cm / 3/4″ pieces(yellow, brown or white)
  • 1 celery / bell pepper , chopped into 2 cm / 0.8″ pieces
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup roasted cashews

Instructions

  • Sauce: Mix cornflour and soy sauce until there are no lumps. Then add remaining Sauce ingredients and mix.
  • Marinate: Transfer 2 tbsp Sauce to chicken, mix to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes+.
  • Cook: Heat oil over high heat in a wok or heavy based skillet. Add the garlic and onion, cook for 1 minute.
  • Add chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add celery / capsicum and cook for 2-3 minutes or till your desired softness.
  • Add Sauce and water. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until Sauce thickens.
  • Stir through cashews, remove from stove. Serve with rice or noodles.

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Dinner Cooked In Under An Hour

Maria, my part time maid gave me an eleventh hour no-show notice again. She was supposed to come to our house at 5 p.m. but at 4:30 p.m.,  she Whatsapped me to inform that she’s not coming as she felt dizzy.  She’s currently 3 months pregnant but still insisted on working for us.  I understand that she needs the money to pay for her monthly pre-natal check-up at a private clinic in the neighborhood. Can’t blame her, yet I get a tad pissed off that she is giving me too many last-minute notices lately.

Things will get worse in the following months to come when her pregnancy progresses. She will most likely stop working all together, which is comprehensible and expected. So I better start getting used to not having her coming for at least half a year. Somehow, none of the replacement part-time maids that I’ve had can keep up with Maria’s level of cleanliness, thoroughness, attitude and her good work ethics.

With the boneless chicken thighs already marinated in the fridge, I still went ahead to cook dinner but I shelved my plan to cook two other dishes. I quickly thawed a piece of homemade skin-less ‘lap cheong’ aka Chinese sausage (which is reserved for emergencies like this), dumped it into the pot of rice to cook and cranked up the oven to grill the chicken.  I had no time to stir-fry vegetables as I had back-to-back school + tuition + Muay Thai class runs to do till 9:30 p.m. that night.

Here’s my super quick dinner:

Grilled Chinese five-spice powder chicken glazed with coconut nectar syrup (low in GI) with homemade Chinese sausage; chilled organic cucumber and organic red bell pepper. So simple yet yummy.  So glad that I’ve finally trained Cass to eat bell peppers. She never liked them, still doesn’t like them and I told her that she could only eat the chicken IF she eats the bell pepper – two rings of it and she did 🤗

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Izumio & Super Lutein – Super Good Promotion Until 28 February 2019

Cass has been drinking Izumio hydrogen water for 4 years.  I stopped drinking Izumio  last year for about half a year as I wanted to see if stopping it would mean a weaker immune system for myself.  And hell yes, I kept getting the sniffles and sore throat so frequently that I started to drink Izumio again recently. I also increased my Super Lutein dosage from 1 capsule to 3 to 4 capsules a day. So far, all has been well.  That’s all I can to say. I am a very taboo-ish person and won’t say too much of anything good about myself, lest the opposite happens! Can’t help it. I spent 17 years of my life growing up with my late maternal grandmother (who hailed from Guangdong, China) who had a lot of ‘pantang’ and taboos that even up till today, I still think that they exist and practise some of them! 🤫 🤭

I can write an entire post just on my late maternal grandmother’s ‘pantang larang’, I kid you not. Perhaps one day, I’ll just put down a post on it, in remembrance of my very much loved late por por.

Anyway, back to my Izumio and Super Lutein purchase!

If I could afford it, I would still have been drinking a few packets of Izumio a day. Same goes for my 3 girls. I can feel the difference in my health when I was drinking 2-3 packets of Izumio and popping 4-5 capsules of Super Lutein a day.  But now, only Cass gets to drink a packet everyday. The other 2 girls and I would only drink it as and when we feel a little under the weather. Cass had the most difficult babyhood, being exposed to a lot of radiation from a battery of scans since she was an infant and was on prophylactic antibiotics everyday of her life since she was 6 weeks old until around 16 months old. Thus, only Cass gets the privilege of drinking a packet of Izumio everyday to detox her body.

When I saw February’s promotion from Naturally Plus, I immediately signed up for a 12-month package.  What I’ll get in a usual 12-month package is 12 products plus 2 and sometimes 3 free products.  But for February 2019 promotion, we get 5 free products!  Now that’s more than RM1,000 saved!!

My friend was so efficient and sent the products to my door step the next day after I’d made payment! And he even gave me two tubs of CNY cookies.

All these should last me till end of this year and hopefully by then, Naturally Plus will have this free 5 products promotion once again.

The February promotion has been so encouraging that Naturally Plus is extending it to 28 February 2019!

This is by far the best promotion offered by Naturally Plus. If you are interested in taking a package or just want to try out one or two products, do let me know. I can be reached at email shireenyong@gmail.com OR Whatsapp 019-266 4290.

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Growth Spurt

Cass after a Chinese New Year celebration in school today:

Cass used to love wearing cheongsam and princessy gowns to such events in school but she no longer likes them now. Not even an iota. She tells me very often that she hates dresses, lipstick, make-up and high heels and that she will never ever wear any of these when she grows up 😭

What happened to my baby girl? She’s a totally different person now, in every aspect of her. So different that I sometimes don’t recognize this girl living in my house 😰 😱

Today is the 14th day of the Lunar New Year of the Pig and we can sleep slightly later tonight as it’s a school declared holiday at Cass’ school tomorrow (Chap Goh Meh).  I’m so happy that there’s one day of holiday right smack in the middle of a hectic school week!  But it’s school as usual for Alycia and Sherilyn.  I am bringing my best boo to the mall tomorrow, just the both of us for some time to rebond.

About two hours after lunch today, after Cass got out from the shower, she ransacked the fridge and brought out Sherilyn’s birthday cake and took a slice.  As if the cake was too plain to be enjoyed on its own, she fetched the tub of Häagen-Dazs macadamia ice-cream and scraped out a scoop to go with the cake. Oh. My. Goodness.!  She quickly wolfed it down before her Mandarin tutor arrived.

This explains why my 10-year old daughter’s feet are bigger than mine now! 🤭

#myhungrygrowingtween, #growthspurt

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Our Good Friend, Alan Yun’s Wedding

Alan Yun, our close friend of over 2 decades finally tied the knot on 19 January 2019.  Hubs and I have been waiting for this day for so long!

The wedding was held at Zion Lutheran Church @ Brickfields. I was there with Cass and Sherilyn; Alycia had to be in school and was disappointed that she couldn’t attend Alan kor kor and Emily che che’s wedding.

Can you spot the hubs? The most ‘compact’ one haha!

ball gown prom dresses

When Alan Yun saw his beautiful wife Emily walking towards  him at the altar, tears swelled and he tried to control his emotion. But when he had to take the wedding vows before the pastor, he abandoned his attempts as he shed tears of joy at the vision of all the guests in the church. It was a very touching moment indeed. The hubs who was seated at the front seat along with the other ‘heng tai’ (‘brothers’) shed tears too. In fact, Alan Yun made everyone shed tears of joy and emotions. Told you he’s a very good actor!  Nah, this time it’s not crocodile tears but genuine tears.

Can you spot the hubby in the picture below?  No, not the guy wiping his tears. That’s Nelson, Direction of Pensonic, who is a good friend of both the Alans – Alan Yun the groom and Alan Yap the hubs.

https://www.bestweddingveil.com/

A page snapped from the wedding album ~ the couple with Limapulo: Baba Can Cook executive chef John Tan.  Alan Yun and uncle John are the owners of this award-winning Baba & Nyonya restaurant. Limapulo serves one of the best curry laksa and nasi lemak in town. We all love the food there, especially the homemade sambal and curry laksa.

Article from 14 Feb 2019 Star Lifestyle papers featuring Alan Yun and Emily’s wedding:

Halloween Vinyl Photo Backdrops (backdrop roll)

The hubs had to bear the worst brunt of all the ‘chi mui’ (bridesmaids) during the ‘groom receives bride’ ceremony. It’s a Chinese custom where the bride’s ‘chi mui’ aka bridesmaids would set a long list of obstacles for the groom to tackle before he can lift the veil and kiss the bride.  And the groom’s ‘heng tai’ (best men) would come to the rescue by tackling the hardest obstacles.  The hubs, who was blind-folded was stripped off his shirt and had his tits zapped with masking tape by the group of pretty young things. The video of him being ‘tortured’ was uploaded on social media! 🤣

From a young teenager who worked part-time as a waiter for the hubs to a well-known model cum celebrity and now a successful entrepreneur and married man, we are so proud of Alan Yun. He will always be our good friend (the most humble and sincere one), though we are now all too busy with our lives to travel together again.

Heartiest congratulations once again Ah Lun and Emily!  Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness. And may the love you share today grow stronger as you grow old together. We can’t wait for you and Emily to have a baby soon!!

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No Sugar Cravings Anymore

I’m trying to put on a just a teeny weeny bit of weight back. Just before CNY, my weight went down to 44.1 kg. That’s almost my weight when I was a teenager!

It’s a surprise that after my fibroid removal 1.5 years ago, my body just does not crave for anything sweet anymore.  Foods that are greasy turn me off.  It’s as if my body knows that these are toxins which could potentially cause another fibroid to grow in my uterus.

Would you believe me if I told you that I don’t have much food cravings? I used to be a durian lover but not anymore. My throat would sting each time something terribly sweet touches it.  My throat has transformed into a hyper state, where if I eat anything that’s overly sweet or fried with recycled oil, it would burn!  Guess this is a blessing in disguise as I don’t touch sweet and fried foods  as often as I used to. I hardly eat them these days. This is also why I lost some weight when I removed considerable amount of sweet and greasy foods from my diet, but not completely.  We still need a little sugar and oil in our body.

I now have a better ‘allowance’ to work around, meaning I can afford to pop in a few cookies (reduced sugar ones) or a miniscule piece of almond chocolate in the morning 🤗

For breakfast today, I had a small piece of wholemeal bread with organic butter and some cookies, followed by half a packet of organic roasted Korean seaweed.

I recently stumbled upon this Korean brand of organic seaweed at D’ Market supermarket and I’m so glad that it’s sugar-free and low in sodium and oil.  Super happy that the seaweed slices are not salty and oily which our girls and I can munch on guiltlessly! 😊

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Protecting Your Future With Insurance

This post is brought to you by Mason Finance.

I can’t stress enough how important it is for everyone to have insurance to protect their future.  My insurance carrier has taken care of  my kids and my own medical bills far too many times and had I not purchased an insurance in the first place, I would have to pinch from my savings to pay for these exorbitant bills caused by unforeseen circumstances.

A friend of mine who recently lost her husband in a shocking murder case had a huge ‘windfall’ as her late husband (who was an insurance agent) had purchased an expensive life insurance for himself. Thankfully for that huge sum of money, the funeral expenses, their children’s tertiary education and daily expenses are fully taken care of.

group of people attending burial

Some people believe that they can save enough money to replace their assets should anything happen to them. The problem is that, in most cases, the expenses incurred after an accident, the death of a loved one, or a disability are beyond any savings or wealth that a person may have accumulated and it is for this reason that insurance is such an important component of your financial planning.

Buying a life insurance can be complicated but if you understand the different types of insurances, for eg. life-settlement vs. reverse insurance, cash value vs. reverse life insurance, etc., it will be easier for you to decide which type of insurance to purchase to suit your lifestyle.

Advantages of Life Insurance

1.  Life insurance provides an infusion of cash for dealing with the adverse financial consequences of the insured’s death.

2.  Life insurance enjoys favorable tax treatment unlike any other financial instrument.

3.  Many life insurance policies are exceptionally flexible in terms of adjusting to the policyholder’s needs. The death benefit may be decreased at any time and the premiums may be easily reduced, skipped or increased.

4. Permanent life insurance policies accumulate a cash value over the life of the policy that can be borrowed against tax-free. These policies can be used to supplement your retirement if your other investments fall short. These policies often come with fairly high fees, so be sure to compare the costs to those of other investment vehicles.

woman holding baby sitting on green grass field under sunset

Life insurance is essential. It’s a need and not a want. But many of us choose to ignore the reality of what would happen if we were to die unexpectedly without the proper protection. The results could be devastating for your surviving family members, leaving them with a huge bill for your final expenses, or even worse, loss of the family home because they can no longer cover the mortgage.

If you’re wondering why life insurance is important, do give a serious thought on the potentially devastating consequences of not having coverage to financially protect the people that you love.

Start today and shop around online, as well as in person, so that you get several life insurance quotes from different companies before you purchase any type of coverage. Doing this will give you a better idea of what’s available.

 

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Monday, 11 February 2019

After a week long Chinese New Year school holidays, the girls got back to school today. I had to cut short my morning exercise to fetch Sherilyn to school at 6:45 a.m.  She’s representing her school in the athletics event and had to be in the stadium at 7:30 a.m. today.


This is my peace path. I jog on this path at my condo five times a week and find so much solace doing what I love in absolute peace on this path.  It’s my me time. My quiet and quality time where I do a lot of soul-searching and trouble shooting on this path with no interruption from anyone.

Breakfast was with the hubs, just he and I, at Les Deux Garcons (LDG) Patisserie.

I had sourdough toast with mushrooms while he had sourdough toast with scrambled eggs. We have not had breakfast with each other, just the both of us for over 2 weeks as he has been busy with CNY events.

This French almond croissant is the BEST in the world. I don’t like croissants as they are often too greasy and too buttery, making me feel very cloy after eating. But the almond croissants from LDG are my exception. These are the only croissants that I will eat and truly enjoy.  A bite into the flaky, airy and rich buttery layers of the croissant with crispy almond flakes on top will send you to pastry heaven.   Each layer is thin and buttery but never overly greasy or heavy. With each bite, the paper thin layers and butter melts in your tongue, but it doesn’t leave you feeling cloy. It only makes you want more bites!  Our friend whose wife is French commented that the croissants from LDG are the best she’s eaten and as good as the ones from Paris.

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Easy Ways to Put Yourself First

Mothers of young children often put their family before themselves. The children become the top priority, and at some point in time, you forget to take care of yourself. This is especially true when it comes to relaxation. Don’t feel selfish if you need to put yourself first from time to time. If you are run down and tired, you won’t be able to care for others.

Putting God into Your Life
Spirituality is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. Your faith will keep you centered, no matter what religion you choose. If you have the time to get involved with your church’s activities, it can leave you feeling wonderful, but most mom’s don’t have a lot of extra time. Take a few minutes each day to read from the Bible or reach out to christian women’s fellowship online.

Meditation
Everyone needs time to decompress. It helps you avoid losing your temper. Meditation is a wonderful way to take a few minutes to relax and let all of the bad vibes go, but there are other ways that work just as well. A relaxing bath in soft light is ideal for unwinding at the end of the day. Taking a few minutes each afternoon to read is another wonderful way to escape that you can try.

A young woman meditating in nature

Do Nothing
If these suggestions so far sound complicated and time-consuming, keep it simple. Work in ten minutes every day to do nothing. Find that little spot of time while the kids are at school or napping and stop everything. Sit on the porch or stare out the window while you feel your nerves relax.

Putting yourself first is not selfish. In fact, it is the best thing you can do for those you love. If you aren’t relaxed, you won’t be able to do the best job you can. Take a few minutes to calm your nerves and restore your energy each day. It will be beneficial to the entire family.

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Chinese New Year 2019

Happy Oink Oink Year to all my dear readers! 🐷🐷

We just got back from Ipoh today after spending 4 glorious days celebrating the Lunar New Year with family members.  Traffic was rather smooth when we returned to Ipoh on Sunday (eve of CNY eve) and unbelievably smooth when we returned to KL today. We left Ipoh at 9 a.m. and reached KL in under 2 hours, inclusive of one toilet stop. Praise Lord for no reverse exodus gridlock on the highway!

We took hundreds of photos while we were in Ipoh. I’ll let the photos do the talking!

Kids and I tried the egg-balancing act on Li Chun day (eve of CNY) but only Cass got one egg standing. No luck for me this time. The year old twinsies were pretty cooperative with instructions to them not to touch the eggs; they sat patiently and curiously to watch us girls balance the eggs.

Papa whomped up a storm for us on the eve of CNY with a nine course dinner.  I felt so much love and warmth having all my family members seated on the dining table savouring papa’s yummy home-cooked dishes.


Steamed cod fish, stir-fried ‘siew yoke’ with soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine, the Yong family’s special Hakka stuffed dried oysters with fish paste and minced meat with ‘fatt choy’ and braised fish maw with abalone.


Blanched lettuce with fried garlic, steamed chicken, braised arrowroot with ‘siew yoke’ and dad’s yummy dipping sauce for the steamed chicken.


Steamed  homemade Chinese case-less sausage (made by  my aunt) and waxed meat, blue pea Basmati rice, braised pork belly with yam and David Beckham’s Haig Club whisky. Dessert was cherries.


Mum received a set of plates as housewarming gift from one of her friends when she moved in to our very first family house in Moonlight Park, Ipoh but she only unboxed the set of plates and used it for the first time almost 48 years later! And the plates are still in pristine condition!

On the first day of CNY, we had to wake up early to prepare ourselves to reach the Yap’s family house to receive the Lion Dance troupe at 9 a.m.

Lunch was vegetarian.

The girls with their aunt W (hubby’s cousin) who is the same age as Alycia.

When we got home to my parents, we had another round of camwhoring and ang pow giving ceremony with my parents and brothers.

My super duper adorable twin nephew and niece.

For the first time in their lives, the girls and their cousin had the chance to play with firecrackers at their grandparents’ home. They cavorted on the road and squawked each time a firecracker was lighted.   Living in a condo, the 4 city girls hardly ever have the chance to play with firecrackers.  I grew up playing with firecrackers every CNY and even dared to light up those long red blasting Chinese firecrackers.

After warming up, Cass finally had the courage to light up the rocket firecrackers.


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FriYAY, 31 January 2019

After dropping off Sherilyn in school at 7:30 a.m. today, I went to tapau my favorite ‘yong liu’ from the roadside ‘chee cheong fun’ stall.  Sherilyn is representing her school in athletics and needs daily training.  I love it whenever she has to be in school early in the morning.

Back home, I had a relaxing breakfast with absolutely NO ONE rushing me to hurry for my next driver duty. I needn’t stuff the food into my mouth hurriedly and gulp tea to swallow down food lodged in my throat. I could even read the newspapers  leisurely. I haven’t had such a long and relaxing brekkie for SO long and gosh, I am so at peace!!  Gawd, I need this more often!

Stuffed brinjal, winged beans, long beans and bitter gourd and fried fish cake with sweet bean sauce and lots of sesame seeds. My absolute favorite!

After a peaceful brekkie, I popped into my usual nail shop to get my long overdue foot spa and pedicure done, with no one to rush me to hurry up for school run. PEACE!

I cooked Asian Beef Bowl for dinner for the first time and it’s a big hit with everyone!  I followed the recipe from Nagi, my favorite Japanese food blogger from Australia and tweaked it.

 

Also grilled a tray of five-spice chicken drummets and drumsticks for my carnivorous girls.

This Asian Beef Bowl is a brilliant back pocket recipe for busy nights. It’s so easy to cook and takes under an hour including preparation.

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