Thursday, 25 February 2021 MCO Lunner – Homemade Sukiyaki

We had a sumptuous lunner of Sukiyaki prepped by chef Sherilyn today!

The Sukiyaki sauce is made from scratch and it’s actually very simple. Only 3 ingredients are required: soy sauce, mirin and sugar. We omitted sake as we don’t have it.

This is really delish and not salty, unlike super salty ones from restaurants.  Will definitely be cooking this again as it’s my kind of dish with lots of veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, Napa cabbage, carrots, leek and lots of onions) and eggs 😋

We used shabu-shabu beef.

Our chef chillaxing with Haru after cooking.  Haru loves watching videos too with her sister 😹 😻

No. of times viewed = 8

MCO Day 221 ~ Saturday, 16 January 2021

Alycia had a Zoom meeting with her teacher and classmates yesterday for the announcement on when the SPM Trials and actual SPM will be held.

SPM Trials will be held in school next Wednesday for 10 days, after which the  SPM exam will be held 2-3 weeks later, towards the end of Chinese New Year.

Today’s Covid19 cases hit a high of 4029, the highest recorded in a day in our country ever since the pandemic struck early last year. Alycia is feeling jittery going back to school as we’re in a Red Zone with positive cases shooting up everyday.   Her high school is very huge and there will be over 1,000 SPM candidates.  This is excluding the teachers.  Can you imagine what will be in the minds of all the SPM candidates?  Jittery caused by both the exam and fear of being infected by the Virus by asymptomatic students and teachers.  I’ve been sounding like a naggy mom, drumming into Alycia’s head not to get close with her friends and face mask must always be worn except when she’s eating. I hope she’ll remember the first SOP. I know she’s not the type who likes hugging or holding her friend’s hands but some of her friends can get very excited when they see her and will forget about the Covid SOPs 😯.

Anyway, we have to learn to live with Covid19 as it’s going to be around just like how German measles, SARS and other infectious diseases are still around and we have to take precautionary measures to prevent them from turning into a pandemic. We can’t be locked up forever. It’s damaging to a kid’s mental health to be devoid of social interaction. While some kids can manage isolation well during the lockdown, not all kids are the same.  I can see the negative effects social isolation has on Cass during the MCO and how happy she is whenever her friends video call her. She was so happy during our small Christmas party last December  and also when I brought her to the mall for shopping after her eye checkup at ISEC.

This is what Sherilyn cooked for lunch on Friday:

Oven grilled salmon (seasoned with black pepper, salt and lemon juice), sauteed buttered mushrooms with onions and Kongnamool (Korean Soybean Sprouts).

No. of times viewed = 13

MCO Day 218 ~ Wednesday, 13 January 2021

On our 1st day of MCO 2.0 today, Sherilyn was in the mood to go Japanese. She’d thawed some salmon yesterday to make sushi but she didn’t get to do it coz we had some extra Nasi Kerabu from hubby’s shop.

Lunch menu today:
1. Sushi with oven grilled teriyaki salmon, homemade tamagoyaki and kyuri
2. Reverse sushi roll
3. Tamago nigiri
4. Okonomiyaki (cabbage, egg and shabu shabu pork) aka Japanese pancake

This girl has a magic wand in her hands. She can turn inexpensive ingredients into yummy grub that tastes like a thousand dollars 😁

Chef at work:

Sherilyn is now very adept at making sushi and Gimbap.  She doesn’t even require a sushi bamboo mat to roll the sushi. A piece of plastic cling wrap would suffice for her to roll up the sushi. What she requires is a good and sharp chef’s knife to cut the sushi. And that’s the reason why she’s always shopping for knifes. Her friend even gave her a knife as a gift 🤭

Ingredients for the sushi:

Egg rolls can be quite tricky to make but for Sherilyn, it’s a no-brainer.  She cooks it using a rectangular pan specially for making egg rolls that her grandma bought during one of her many trips to Japan.

No. of times viewed = 79

CMCO Day 215 ~ Sunday, 10 January 2021

Everyone is waiting with bated breath for our PM to announce tomorrow whether the country will go into MCO 2.0 to bring down the Covid19 infection rate.  Many people have predicted that it will be another lockdown. For us, it does not matter  anymore whether it’s MCO or CMCO or CMCO with tightened SOPs.  Hubby’s business has been going up and down like a roller coaster from MCO to CMCO to RMCO to CMCO again and now a possibility of another MCO.  I’m all geared up for MCO 2.0 though this time, I did not stock up on toilet papers or any grocery.  We still have some canned food in our larder bought during the first MCO in March last year. We already know the drill very well. Just bring it on and lock us down for a few more weeks to flatten the curve.

News of close friends getting infected, news of condos in our neighborhood with positive tested residents are getting more frequent the past one week.  Besides going out to get groceries, food and to hubby’s shop, I’ve not dared to venture out to anywhere else the past one week.

The other day I was sneezing and had nose block and I was dead worried. I kept checking my temperature and imagined feeling ill.  Yes I’m  hypochondriac!  The fear of being infected is getting stronger each day as I hear of close friends getting infected but they were asymptomatic.  Just today, hubs informed me that his friend’s kids got infected when the private tutor came to his house. All 5 kids got infected. I’ve just told Alycia to inform her tutor not to come to our condo anymore but to conduct the tuition via Zoom.

I know that another lockdown will kill more businesses (and possibility even ours if the lockdown is prolonged) but if there’s no lockdown, people will happily be crossing borders for holidays and having gatherings during CNY next month. A painful few weeks of lockdown may be the only way to stop the infection from spreading. I’m now more terrified than ever before of stepping out of the house to the supermarket or shop to get food, much more fearful than the first wave in March 2020 as this 3rd wave is made out of super spreader virus!  The virus has reached our community and our neighborhood 😱 😨 😰

Yesterday our chef Sherilyn made Hainanese chicken rice and it was superb! It was so good that her super critical dad and grandma had to say that the dish passed with flying colors! 😁

Both the ginger and scallion dipping sauce and chili sauce were made from scratch and they tasted awesome – as good as those from expensive Chinese restaurants.

No. of times viewed = 21

Effects of Prolonged Home Quarantine on the Girls & Homecooked Meat-Free Dishes

While I can’t wait for the girls to return to school on 20 January, I’m also worried about their safety while they’re in school. My girls are pretty obedient when it comes to following the Covid19 SOPs. They’re always wearing their face masks the moment they step out of the house and they’re always sanitizing their hands.   But not all the students and teachers obey the Covid19 SOPs dutifully and fearfully. I’ve seen teachers and students with face masks pulled down and without keeping a distance from each other.

Keeping the girls at home for prolonged months is damaging psychologically. I can see that they’re losing focus and interest in their studies.  Even during online classes, their minds stray from their Zoom classes to other more interesting sites.  Alycia who’s sitting for her SPM is super chillax and does not look like she’s about to sit for her SPM in two months! Even her school teachers can’t tell her when the SPM Trials will be in the light of the worsening Covid19 situation.

Cass has been affected the most by the prolonged home quarantine.  She doesn’t look happy being cooped up at home all the time and not being able to see her friends.  She keeps telling me that she can’t seem to fall asleep at her usual bed time and will only go to bed at 1-ish a.m;  and this leads to her not being able to wake up by 9 a.m. the next day for online classes.  What saddens her the most is that she couldn’t even have a proper farewell to all her classmates, many of whom she may never see again as they will all be going to different high schools this year. Coupled with many other issues, especially those related to her health, it pains me to see Cass feeling dispirited throughout the MCO and CMCO.  Thus, I really hope that the girls will be able to go back to school soon. I want their minds to be kept busy with new knowledge, problem solving questions, quizzes, homework and extra curricular activities (but this will have to be on hold for another half a year I think) and not left idling.   An idle mind is the devil’s playground!

Only Sherilyn finds something productive to do at home with her baking and cooking, albeit this is hurting our wallets. These are some of the new dishes that she tried over the past 1 week and they’re all superb and comparable with those from restaurants! With her creativity, passion in cooking and baking, competitive edge and a fearless front, this girl has the potential to be a Masterchef yo!

Eggplant agebitashi

Agedashi tofu

 

Meat-free green curry, using the leftover frozen green curry paste that she made from scratch about a month ago. This dish is so flavorful and delish that I won’t mind having it everyday!  If Sherilyn could dish up such delicious meat-free dishes for me everyday, I could turn vegan any time and give up on meat!

 

No. of times viewed = 22

CMCO Day 188 ~ Monday, 14 Dec 2020

This is our dinner today crafted by our teenage chef:

1. Butter poached salmon with homemade Aioli sauce and wakame salad
2. Japanese tofu salad
3. Grilled mackeral with Chef S’ homemade teriyaki sauce
4. Onion omelette
5. Blanched broccoli

Dish #4 and #5 were prepped by the mil.

Today’s dinner is slightly costlier than our usual dinner as the salmon and mackeral fillets are expensive. Two small pieces cost over RM50.  Sherilyn has been dishing out chicken dishes for 4 days straight and we had KFC last week on the MIL’s birthday.  And then there extra chicken curry dishes from hubby’s shop.   We’ve all had too much of chicken and now cringe at the thought and sight of a chicken dish  😆.  I told our chef that we’re not going to have any chicken dish for at least a week. Thus, we had fish cooked in two styles tonight 😄

 

No. of times viewed = 17

3 December 2020 Dinner ~ Keto Lasagna

As we had a very costly abalone hot pot dinner last night coz the in-house chef opened our expensive can of extra large abalone without asking my permission, I told her we’re going to have cheap vegan dinners for the next few days to counter-balance our budget 😆

So chef Sherilyn cooked a meat-free lasagna from scratch.  The pasta sheets are replaced with two zucchinis (which are selling pretty cheaply at the supermarket lately).  Lots of tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, herbs, spices and egg plants go into the sauce.  This is such a flavor-intense and healthy meal~ my kind of meal 😋

Charred brinjal for the Baba ghanoush, one of the sauces (to replace cream) in the lasagana sauce.

At a glimpse when I walked into the kitchen, I thought she’d grilled a lobster😆

This is a dish that I won’t mind eating several times a week. It’s inexpensive yet bursting with deliciousness, flavors, antioxidants and nutrients. And it’s super low in carbs and calories too.

No. of times viewed = 18

RMCO Day 175 ~Tuesday, 1 December 2020 (Thai Green Curry and Chili Garlic Tofu Bites)

It’s Thai fare for dinner on the first day of December! And we’re again happy guinea pigs to Chef Sherilyn’ new dishes ~ Thai green curry made from scratch and Chili Garlic Tofu Bites. An inexpensive dinner yet seriously yummy and impressive!

Looking like a traditional Thai cook – pounding the fresh spices on the floor, using a traditional mortar and pestle 😆

With half a bottle of green curry paste left, it’s enough for another round of Thai green curry chicken. I can eat this everyday as it’s rich in flavor and texture and not spicy.  This dish just pushes all the right buttons.

Chili Garlic Tofu Bites ~ this crispy tofu is SO ADDICTIVE, like a bag of crispy snack that you just can’t help popping into your mouth one after another 😋. The tofu bites are coated with panko crumbs and shallow fried to a golden crisp.

A lot of love, passion, thought and time were put into these two dishes. Everyone looks forward to dinner these days as we have a new dish or two to tickle us pink  every day 🥰. This is one of the  simple things in life that lifts us up from our doldrums throughout the partial lockdown.

No. of times viewed = 21

Dinner ~ Saturday, 28 November 2020

Our teenage chef cooked a big pot of kimchi soup that was so spicy that everyone was left gasping, breathless, dribbling with goo and gulping down cups of cool water 😅 .  I went grocery shopping with Sherilyn yesterday morning and she chose a new brand of chili powder, which she didn’t think was so hot!  Though there was so much kick from the super hot and burning chili, all of us kept helping ourselves to the delicious hot pot of kimchi soup with fresh fish balls and fish noodles that were delivered to our condo from Tg. Sepat in the morning.

Sherilyn also made Gimbap which she aces in. She can make really delish Gimbap in a jiffy.

 

She loves going grocery shopping with me so that she could get the ingredients that she wants to cook what she likes 😁

No. of times viewed = 11

Home-cooked Korean Dinner ~ Thursday, 26 November 2020

It’s Korean for dinner again, by Chef Sherilyn!

This time she cooked Bulgogi pork and pork ribs, kimchi soup, black fungus salad, home-made kimchi and home-made pickled radish.  The last two dishes were prepped a couple of weeks ago.

The pork and pork ribs were marinated with fresh pear and kiwi juice, red onions, scallions, garlic, ginger, soy suace, pepper and sugar. The marinate is basically a smoothie of fruits and roots.  Everyone was super happy and satisfied with the  dinner which is comparable to those from authentic expensive Korean restaurants!

Pan-grilled Bulgogi. It’s super delish ~ tender smokey meat that’s very well marinated and flavorful. This dish just pushes all the right buttons!
Black fungus salad ~ seasoned with Lee Kum Kee rice vinegar, sugar, chopped garlic, chilis, scallions, sesame seed oil and soy sauce.

Life just got a little sweeter and easier when there’s a very earnest junior chef who loves eating and trying out new recipes 🥰.  We have about 6 more weeks to be her happy guinea pigs before school resumes in mid 2021.

No. of times viewed = 30

Monday Dinner ~ 23 November 2020 (Tung Por Yoke / Dong Po Rou)

Our teenage chef whipped up braised Tung Por Yoke (Dong Po Rou) for dinner tonight.  And we were all her willing and happy guinea pigs again. She’s been wanting to try this recipe for a long time but we kept getting food from hubby’s shop, thus she had to postpone trying out this recipe umpteen times.

For a first timer, this dish was very well executed – it’s a mouthwatering bold and bright reddish brownish oink oink dish with the red colouring coming naturally from red rice yeast.

The 5-layer pork is first simmered in the sauce for about an hour, in low fire. We used a clay pot for this step.   She tied the pork block with the recycled hemp strings from the bak zhang that we had for lunch 😬

Then the pork is transferred to a Staub cast iron pan and steamed on a bamboo rack on high heat for another hour.

Give in to temptation! This Dong Po Rou is mind-blowingly delish. Even the foodie hubs who’s very stingy with praises gave the thumbs up.

We also had zucchini omelette and cili fish from Catermate.

No. of times viewed = 13

CMCO Day 166 ~ Sunday, 22 November 2020

Hubs has bento box prepping at his shop in the morning, followed by a private kitchen event attended by celebrities in the evening. Since I have some free time on a Sunday, I went to his shop to help him with the photography to post on Catermate’s Facebook page as I’m helping him to manage the page.

Today’s lunch is chicken ham spaghetti from hubby’s kitchen and Yomie’s purple rice x yoghurt.  Funnily, I didn’t really like this beverage the first time I tasted it. However, during the first MCO when hubby’s friend treated us to this yoghurt with chewy purple rice, I got hooked to it.  Sherilyn and Cass find this combo bizarre and don’t like it.  Well that’s good news to me as I don’t have to buy 4 cups for the 4 of us. It’s pretty expensive at RM13.90 a cup.  And to be fair, I alternate between Yomie’s and Tealive / Gong Cha for the girls.  Last week Sherilyn and Cass had Gong Cha, so this week we’re having Tealive. Next week we’re having Tealive again.

Do you know the reason why I’m ordering milk tea and Yomie’s every week? I can feel my stress and anxiety melt away as I sip the drink down my throat🤭 .

Ever since Cass did a Cycstoscopy procedure under GA two weeks ago, I’ve been having anxiety. And I’ve been swamped with work the past two weeks. The stress is causing me heart palpitations and I just needed to do something to de-stress.  My daily morning run under the blazing 10 a.m. sun works wonders.  Since my fortnightly retail therapy is no longer feasible and safe now, I get the high whenever I order milk tea and Yomie’s 😁.  And I order food from random Facebook home chefs too to support them, just like how so many people are supporting my hubby’s food delivery business now.

Dinner is Yin Yang Kimchi fried rice by Sherilyn, using the kimchi that she made.

Dessert ~ cutesy coconut jelly from hubby’s shop.

No. of times viewed = 14

Tonkatsu And Hiyayakko Tofu

Our teenage chef dished out Tonkatsu and chicken katsu with Japanese curry for dinner on our Monday. There’s also a side of Hiyayakko tofu (Japanese chilled tofu)  and deep fried wakame. Our dinner was super oishī!  Everything that Sherilyn dished out that night was superb and comparable with the ones from the expensive Japanese restaurants that we used to go to.  Everything that this girl dishes out is always so good.  And to think that this girl used to give me a terrible time every evening when she ate her dinner, she’s really come a long way.

When Sherilyn was about 3+ years old, all through she turned 6, she would sit at the dining table from 7pm through 11pm struggling to finish her plate of dinner. On most days, she fell asleep with food still in her mouth. I was too busy with a sickly baby Cass and Sherilyn didn’t get along well with Dyah, our ertswhile live-in Indonesian helper. And my mil used to be overseas most of the time. So she was always neglected. My poor Sherilyn.  She’s now a foodie, just like her dad 😁

Our evening got even cheery with a huge double rainbow in the sky just before rain bucketed down but the storm only lasted 10 minutes 😊

Can you see the double rainbow?

No. of times viewed = 12

CMCO Day 158 ~ Saturday, 14 November 2020 (Homemade Chicken and Pork Roulade with Ajvar)

We’re happy guinea pigs again today 😁. Our teenage chef tried  two new recipes for lunch – chicken and pork roulade and Ajvar (Serbian Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce) to go with the roulade.

The stuffing for the chicken and pork roulade is sauteed minced King Trumpet mushrooms with garlic and champagne. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed our specially curated meal for lunch. Sherilyn planned to cook Tonkatsu with Japanese curry again but we got home late after she dropped off a gift to her friend and we ended up having KFC for dinner.  Our KFC meal was bought using vouchers that Sherilyn won in an online English quiz organized by Yayasan Johor Corporation recently.

Ajvar (Serbian Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce) with a nice smokey flavor to go with the roulade.  Our chef roasted the bell peppers on a non-stick pan over the stove before blitzing them.

Sauteed minced King Trumpet mushrooms with garlic and champagne as filling for the roulade.

Chef Sherilyn plucking some organic Chinese parsley from the balcony pot to decorate the dish:

It’s not easy to capture picture perfect photos of food.  The most important thing is natural lighting (not too bright or dim) and the only place I can get clear photos is at our balcony, at certain angles and at certain timing of the day. And for this, I need the girls to help me.

Today I discovered another talent of mine — I can do a pretty good job as a hair dresser! I managed to cut my super persnickety Cass’ hair. She has been bugging me to allow her to cut her hair herself (she doesn’t like to go to the hair dresser) and I told her that I will do it for her instead.  It’s my second time cutting Cass’ thick, frizzy and curly hair. I think it’s pretty easy and it took me less than 20 minutes to chop off about 20cm of her precious locks.  This time, Cass is super pleased with the outcome  😁.  While I was cutting Cass’ hair outside our unit, our Japanese neighbor came out, saw what I was doing and told me that today his wife cut their two sons’ hair too.  We mothers are multi-taskers and multi-talented 😊

No. of times viewed = 18

CMCO Day 146 ~ Monday, 2 November 2020

Today’s lunch had a little drama to it when Sherilyn made hand-pulled Biang Biang Shaanxi noodles and tomato eggs. Part way through cooking the noodles, the smoke detector alarm in the kitchen was triggered. This girl had heated up a pot at high heat with oil in it and it produced a lot of smoke and activated the alarm! Gave us all a scare as we thought something was on fire in the dry kitchen 😅

Biang Biang spicy noodles with Taiwanese style tomato eggs for lunch:

Smoke detector that got triggered by the intense smoke from the hot pot of oil 😱

This ain’t the first time the smoke detector was triggered when our girls cooked.  Last year Alycia heated up a pau in the microwave oven when I was out with Cass at the music school. And this girl played with her phone and forgot all about the pau.  The pau got burnt inside the microwave oven and the intense smoke from the microwave oven activated the smoke detector.  Thank God I got home just in the nick of time to turn off the microwave oven before it exploded!!



No. of times viewed = 17

Our Talented Teenage Chef

Alycia and I realized that our dear in-house chef has a special preference when it comes to cooking. She seems to really enjoy making sushi/Gimbap and egg rolls. And everything Korean and Japanese!  With whatever she can find in the fridge, she has the Midas touch to transform all the ingredients into some very appetizing and aesthetically pleasing sushi, Gimbap and egg rolls in a jiffy, like a professional chef.  Her grandma and I can already hang up our aprons as we have such a talented and earnest chef at home to take over this chore.  And my very persnickety and critical MIL is starting to love what her talented grand daughter could dish out  😊

But we can only enjoy her cooking and bakes during the CMCO and holidays. Once school resumes when the CMCO is lifted, she’ll be back to her hectic life again.

Yesterday Sherilyn dished out these yummy egg rolls for lunch, as there was still quite a bit of leftover egg whites in the fridge after she used the yolks to make Frangipane tart and orange curd.

Fried spam and carrots in the middle, followed by seaweed, pan fried egg whites and lastly pan fried whole eggs. These keto egg rolls not only look alluring, they are really scrumptious.  I wonder where she learned to make all these from!

Lovely craftsmanship of artisanal food!

In the evening she prepped these Gimbap/Kimbap in a jiffy again because everyone else had Yomei’s purple rice yoghurt and this fussy girl finds it yucky to be chewing and gulping down rice with cold yoghurt 😬

Such a LOT of work goes into her Gimbap – the julienned carrots were sauteed, the sweet potato leaves were blanched, then seasoned the Korean style with sesame seed oil and soy sauce, egg strips and SPAM were pan fried before these were rolled with rice in a bamboo sushi mat.  But for someone who loves cooking, the entire preparation is a joy, though very tedious.

Alycia and I  thoroughly enjoyed our Yomie’s purple rice yoghurt for dinner and Cass had melon yoghurt. I think it’s quite a well balanced drink with protein from the yoghurt, and carbs and fiber from the chewy and addictive flavorful purple rice.  The fresh yoghurt and purple rice blend give the beverage a viscous and creamy consistency, while not being overly sweet.  These drinks are filled with beneficial probiotics and many people consume this drink as a meal replacement or diet drink.   Even the mil approved this drink as a meal for dinner! 😆



No. of times viewed = 25