MCO Day 20 ~ 6 April 2020

Some of the pet peeves that really vex me during the MCO:

The littlest rascal hoarding my phone to attend online lessons whenever #2 hoards her dad’s laptop to attend her online lessons.

Not only does the littlest rascal hoard my phone, she hoards my desktop PC simultaneously too, as she says she has to submit her online homework immediately via Google Classroom to her teacher whilst they are still engaged in Zoom class.

#2 instructing me to turn off the radio whenever she attends online tuition / classes conducted by school teachers.  She also instructs Cass not to practise the piano whenever she attends online tuition and online dance classes.  Yesterday evening, she instructed everyone in the house to remain as silent as a dead mouse for almost an hour as she had to record a dance move for an online dance teacher in Australia to review.

So what am I going to do when I have no phone, no music, no PC and no newspapers to read?!  And I can’t frigging get out of the house to exercise or dump all the negativity from my mind or indulge in a little window shopping! I can’t even sneak on a Magnum ice-cream without the littlest rascal taxing half of it.

And oh, those nagging from some insensitive people on silly trivial matters, trifling as a smell-less silent fart. Oh. My. Gawd.  I am going bonkers!

When the MCO ends, there’s bound to be an increase in mental cases, domestic violence and divorce (already happening as reported in the papers) and diseases from eating too much processed foods, deli meat and canned food and from lack of exercise.

So when I am about to dial 999 for help, I just lock myself in my room, cuss, swear,  breathe in and breathe out and pray that this MCO and damn virulent pandemic will completely come to an end pronto!

Our MCO day 20 dinner:

Braised pumpkin with dried shrimps and minced garlic, lotus root + arrowroot soup again, 12345 pork ribs, leftover foo pei from lunch and sauteed cabbage with turmeric and fish cake.

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MCO Day 17 & 18 ~ 3 & 4 April 2020

Our condo Management issued a new circular to all the residents yesterday, with some new restrictions added to the already long list of prohibitions at the condo throughout the MCO.  The new restriction prohibits residents from doing all forms of recreational activities within the compound of the condo!  With this restriction, I can confirm that I will go bonkers and can check myself into Tg Rambutan if the MCO is further extended!!

Can you imagine being cooped up in a 1,500 sq ft unit with kids, mil and spouse 24/7 without being allowed to even walk within the compound of the condo?  It can get really depressing on some days.

Today (4 April) I finally got out of the house to our neighborhood supermarket to do grocery shopping. It’s been exactly 7 days since I last went out of the house. Driving my car felt weird and I thought that my car felt bumpy and strange 😆 Thank God my car could start!

Brunch on MCO day 17, 3 April 2020:

Oven-grilled pork chop with Gouda cheese and croissants that our neighbor gifted us:

Sherilyn who is also bored to the core offered to cook dinner. She grilled organic chicken thighs, made a yummy creamy mushroom sauce to pair with the grilled chicken, grilled celery and carrots and made a mash of potatoes, carrots and orange sweet potato.

And grilled gigantic Portobello mushrooms seasoned with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and ground black pepper.

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MCO Day 16 ~ 2 April 2020

Hubs and I went to town on a motorbike yesterday to get some groceries. Under the second phase of the MCO, only one person is allowed in a vehicle when they are out shopping for food and essential items. But we were both on a motorbike, defying the law blatantly.  We were courting trouble and trouble did we court. We were stopped by the police and then all of a sudden, I was left near Dataran Merdeka alone. My mobile phone battery has gone flat and I couldn’t call the hubs. I was waiting for the public bus to get home but the crowd was unimaginable. I didn’t have a face mask or sanitizer with me. I felt terribly insecure without my armor. Suddenly a lorry came to pick up people stranded on the street but I didn’t want to get up the overloaded lorry for fear of getting infected by the Virus. I was scared of humans, of the crowd, of being alone in a sea of people. And my dang phone is now useless. And my dang useless husband left me stranded in town while he went back to his office! I was fraught with fear and anger!

Thank God it was only a bad dream that I had last night!  I was jolted up from my sleep by this terrible dream and got up with a crick in my neck and shoulder blade.

This fear of crowd and going out is so immense that it has gotten into me 🥶 I think this phobia will stay with me and most of us for a very long time. Thank you very much Covid19.

Alycia must have been so dang bored cooped up in her room attending online classes and tuition that she got up early to cook breakfast for us. Never in her life has she done that before! That’s one of the plus points of this pandemic and partial lockdown.  It has pushed a reset button in all of us.

Alycia pan-fried spam meat with eggs. With both my eyes closed, Cass and I shared a piece. Both of us cringed as the spam meat is SO salty.  Imagine the amount of sodium and nitrite used to preserve the meat in the can for years! Why did hubs buy spam?!  Spam meat will only spam our health  😫

I  chugged down a huge mug of hot matcha to wash away the salty after taste in my mouth. So did Cass.  But I am glad that Alycia took the initiative to cook for us.

Fortunately mil cooked pork ribs porridge and the spam meat didn’t taste that salty when paired with the porridge (no salt added).

Dinner was delish Sarawak curry laksa that hubs bought to support his best friend’s Nyonya restaurant, Lima Pulo, Baba Can Cook, during this difficult time where most retailers and restaurants are hit hard by the MCO.

MIL also dished out steamed fish, braised turnip and radish soup.

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MCO Day 15 ~ 1 April 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown in almost three quarter of the world seem to be the biggest April’s Fool Joke for the entire world’s population this year. If only this pandemic was indeed a joke and when we wake up tomorrow on 2 April 2020, things would be back to normal again. If. Only.

Today I watched a viral video on an Indian astrologer’s prediction on the Covid-19 pandemic. According to this astrologer, he was very certain that this worldwide pandemic will be over on 1 May 2020. He was talking about the movements of the planets and how the positioning of the planets caused the pandemic and new positioning of the planets in the days to come would mean that the pandemic will be over.   I know that I can only believe 50% of what this astrologer predicted but nonetheless, I am still glad to have watched this video with such comforting and assuring words in volatile and depressing times like now.

Anyway whether the pandemic will be over by 1 May or continue to no ending in sight, we have to be prepared for the worst. But I try to remain positive everyday. Sitting in front of my PC reading news updates is starting to bore and worry me even more. My eyes sting and get blurry from having too much screen time. So today I decided to do something productive to kill time, like washing air cond filters and wiping the ceiling fans in all 3 bedrooms.  Tomorrow I’m going to wash the balcony floor. Only God will know when Maria, our beloved part-time helper of 8 years can ever come back to help us.

I have not climbed up the ladder to wipe ceiling fans for over 20 years as I’ve always had full-time or part-time  helpers to do this chore.  Actually this will not seem like a chore if you condition your mind to enjoy it as a form of exercise. The thought of  sweating buckets and having fat and calories burnt really got me going  and moving🏋🏼‍♂️

Breakfast was toasted bread with bacon, eggs and baked beans, cooked by my other half.

Dinner of stir-fried zucchini, grilled chicken thighs and leftover Hakka pork.

Today, Ganesh, my bachelor neighbor who stays opposite our unit rang on our door bell and gave us all another surprise — a bag of 10 croissants (super yums!) and a loaf of wholemeal oats bread 😆  According to Ganesh, he bought a few cartons of croissants and bread to help out his friend who is a supplier of bread and pastries during this difficult time. God bless his heart.  Now we really have a goodly supply of bread, pastries and pau in our freezer.

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MCO Day 11 ~ 28 March 2020

This morning I had a craving to eat bitter gourd pork noodles but there was no bitter gourd or fish balls in our fridge. As I’d skipped exercising in the morning, I decided to go to our neighborhood supermarket instead to pick up the items for our bitter gourd pork noodles tonight.

The thought of the SOP for pre and post groceries shopping trip often turns me off going shopping these days. I used to look forward to doing my groceries shopping everyday but now it feels like a chore and a tall order too. And the fear of bringing  the Virus back to my family is numbing.

Before I left the house, I sprayed Sodium Hypochlorite disinfectant water all over my body and grabbed a face mask. The mil who wasn’t convinced that I’d sprayed enough of disinfectant came towards me and slathered more SH disinfectant water on the back of my arms 😆  I think she was more worried than me.  Suddenly going groceries shopping felt like going into the battlefield!

I reached the supermarket at around 8:15 a.m.  I was lucky that I managed to get a parking spot right outside the supermarket the moment I arrived, thank God!  The queue into the supermarket was already building up. All the shoppers had to queue outside the supermarket with a 1 meter distancing from each other. Our temperatures were taken too and hand sanitizer provided.  Each time a shopper exits from the supermarket, a new shopper enters. Even with this controlled entrance, it was still crowded inside, particularly the fruits and vegetables section.

Within 5 minutes after I queued up, I turned back and saw a long queue that spilled onto the road, at least 30 people deep. Thank goodness I was 5 minutes earlier than them!

Once back home with the groceries, I quickly wiped down each item with Sodium Hypochlorite water, sprayed the shopping bags with SH water and wiped the kitchen tops and floors with disinfectant wipes.

Today hubs prepped breakfast of fried eggs and boiled sausages.

Lunch was quiche that hubs bought yesterday.

Dinner was bitter gourd pork noodles with fish balls, fish cakes, ‘fu pei’ and cabbage in anchovies soup.

In the evening our neighborhood pau seller delivered the assortment of frozen pau and siew mai that I ordered to my condo, which I collected at the lobby.  I ordered over RM100 worth of these via Whatsapp and paid via online banking last night.

And again, as per our usual SOP for bringing new food items into the kitchen, I wiped the plastic packaging of all the paus with SH disinfectant water.  It’s so tedious having to carry out this sanitization step on all our newly bought food items every single time.

On my birthday tomorrow, I will eat these paus and siew mai for brunch and don’t know what for dinner and then slog in the kitchen washing and cleaning up 😁 It will be my first time celebrating my own birthday in my beautiful country that’s in a partial lockdown.  Cass will also be celebrating her 12th birthday in similar fashion next month. 😅

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MCO Day 9 ~ 26 March 2020

Today the girls cooked brunch!

Sausages are such a rare sight on HFM’s blogs but since the head of the family is now tasked to do the shopping, he buys not only what’s on the shopping list but also all his happy food items… like chips, sausages and instant noodles 🙄

Here’s our brunch menu today, not the healthiest of food but still better than food delivery, in my opinion:

Sherilyn cooked ramen using Korean instant noodles. She added pork chop, fresh corn kernels, lady fingers, fish balls and onions to her ramen. The ramen eggs aka ajitsuke tamago were made yesterday and left in the fridge to soak in the  marinate sauce.

Alycia was tasked with boiling the sausages and Cass made the scrambled eggs and toasts.

These food safety steps have now become an SOP in our kitchen:

1  The head of the family comes back from grocery shopping. He stands outside the unit and I spray sodium hypochlorite water all over his clothes, hands, legs and shoes.  Sometimes he washes his clothes and shoes before leaving the clothes in the laundry basket for another round of thorough wash in the washing machine. Sometimes he showers.

2  He leaves the groceries on the kitchen floor. I rope in the girls to quickly remove all the items from the shopping bags and bin the bags immediately.

3  Things wrapped in a packet are wiped with antibacterial wipes and canned food items are washed with soap and water and left to dry.

4  Once the groceries are cleared, the kitchen floor is immediately wiped with sanitizing wet wipes.

5  For takeout food, the plastic bags are sprayed with sodium hypochlorite water before placing them on the kitchen top.

6  Fruits are washed with soap and water before the skin is peeled off.

The scene is akin to one at the hospital ER. Everyone works swiftly as though there’s an emergency but our mission is to safe our own lives. 😆

I won’t even let Cass peel the banana skin herself. I carefully peel the banana skin for her, cut off the top part of the banana flesh and squirt the banana out of its skin onto a plate.

It is SO tiring doing all these steps after every shopping trip. But no complaints.  Since our movements are really limited during the MCO, all these crazy activities help to burn some calories, else everyone will be seated at their nest, comfortably hibernating with eyes and hands glued to their devices.  To hit as many steps as I can each day, I have now become an OCD, moping the floors 5-6 times in a day. I. am. so. tired! But this is nothing, absolutely nothing compared to the front liners all over the world saving people. My absolute respect for them.

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Home-cooked Meals By Sherilyn

I was feeling a little under the weather yesterday; was feeling that a cold and sore throat were about to attack me but I think my defense system is fighting those bugs very well. I’m feeling better now.  I had the usual headache, bodyache and slight chills throughout the day. The mil had gone to Ipoh so I delegated the masak-mask task to Sherilyn, who’s still enjoying the last day of SPM-so-no-school holiday.

I told Sherilyn that I wanted to eat ‘clean’ and healthy food as my throat hurts. For lunch, she whipped up something new – Gyeran Mari (Korean egg roll) with chopped carrots, purple onions, scallions and shredded leftover KFC breast meat.

She was supposed to roll up the Korean egg roll with seaweed and rice, to create something like sushi but the rolling part didn’t turn out that well, so the girls had just the egg roll with rice.

The egg roll was so yums that I had quite a big serving.  I only had sugar-free skinny yoghurt with Tualang honey and pistachios for breakfast along with some fruits and was feeling famished by lunch time.

Sherilyn used 9 eggs for the egg roll.

The egg roll turned out beautifully and it’s keto-friendly, delish plus wholesome. Preparation can be pretty time-consuming though, as a lot of chopping is involved.

The ingredients of this Korean egg roll are similar to that of Foo Yong omelette but when it’s rolled up and sliced up, it has a restauranty edge.

For dinner, she Googled for an easy-to-cook chicken recipe and cooked pan-fried chicken drumsticks with soy sauce, Teriyaki sauce, ginger, sesame seed oil and mirin (substituted with rice wine). Another lip-smacking dish and everything was polished off by her sisters and one for Maria, our part-time helper of  7 years.

I felt absolutely blessed that despite feeling shitty the whole day, I have a daughter who was more than willing to help cook two meals yesterday. What a load off my achy body!  Today is the last day of school and for the next 5 weeks,  I am certain there’s going to be lots of activities in the kitchen again! 🥰

By the way, my weight dropped further to 43.6 kg today after just 2 days of not eating well. This is my pre-babies / teenager weight and for once after 16 years, I’ve finally achieved this weight through Intermittent Fasting based on circadian rhythm / Time Restricted Eating and intensified exercise.  The best way for me to lose weight  rapidly is when I’m sick but with the long holidays and festive season coming too soon, I’m sure the numbers on the scale will climb up rapidly again.  Never mind, I’ll exercise more intensely in 2020 😊

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Thursday, 26 Sept 2019

Today I woke up with a burst of energy, raring for it to be unleashed on the tracks.  After 20 minutes of strength training, I ran a few rounds at the tracks but had to truncate my running session 15 minutes earlier to bring Sherilyn to school at 7 :15 a.m.  She’s got another dance performance in school in the morning today and tomorrow.

Love the colors of sunrise this morning after the skies turned grey for two weeks.

After dropping Sherilyn at school, I went to tapau Yong Tau Fu for my brunch, though I don’t eat tofu and soy products anymore now.  Don’t get me started on the health dangers of soy!

My favorite Yong Tau Fu items are stuffed lady’s fingers, bell pepper, bitter gourd, brinjal, mushroom, long beans and lobak.

Still feeling energized, I did a quick cleaning of the house. Then, scanned the freezer to see if we have any uneaten frozen foods as the mil will be back this Sunday and she wouldn’t be pleased to see stuff that was there before she left still sitting in the freezer several months later😏

I found mum’s homemade Gula Melaka ‘lin ko’ (kuih bakul) in the freezer. She made it before CNY this year using her Philips pressure cooker. I quickly made a trip to the supermarket and bought a packet of grated coconut, came back sliced the ‘lin ko’, popped it into the wok, steamed it for 10-15 minutes and voila, I had  steamed Gula Melaka ‘lin ko’ with grated coconut that tastes like a million dollars. My ultimate kryptonite and the girls’ too.

Today I discovered a hack in prepping steamed ‘lin ko’ which is mess-free and sweat-free!

1) First, slice the frozen ‘lin ko’ when it is half thawed.  Slicing is effortless when the ‘lin ko’ is half thawed and still firm and manageable.

2) Then line a steaming plate/tray with baking paper before placing the sliced ‘lin ko’ on it. With the baking paper, the ‘lin ko’ does not stick on the plate like UHU glue.

3) For half thawed ‘lin ko’, steaming only takes 10-15 minutes to produce soft ‘lin ko’ that’s not too mushy and ‘melted’.

4) Turn off fire and remove plate from the wok/steamer immediately and sprinkle with copious amounts of freshly grated young coconut.

I like to enjoy my steamed ‘lin ko’ with some hot organic Osmantus tea afterwards to melt away the fat 🤤

Dinner on Thursdays are always quick and simple as I have endless trips to make to the school and tuition center.  Today I cooked roast pork ribs porridge with red dates and carrots and sauteed cabbage with curry powder.  My part-time helper gave me another eleventh hour notice that she’s not coming today😡

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Tuesday, 24 Sept 2019

The haze situation finally eased a little in KL. Today we no longer smell acrid smog. I finally saw a few speckles of faint white clouds and a few splashes of pale blue and peach colors emerging from behind the grey hazy skies when I did my exercise at 6:30 this morning!  Things like white clouds and blue skies, something that we’ve always taken for granted are now a sight to behold and put a smile on my face this morning 😊

But it’s still sizzling hot and humid here. These days I need at least 4 – 5 rounds of shower a day and 3 fans blowing at me when I’m working at my desk  and I’m not exaggerating.  I’m just a hottie. I mean I get hot and sweat really easily 😅

Dinner today is chicken stew with a glorious kaleidoscope of colours and textures. I started to cook at 2:45 p.m. so that dinner will be ready by the time my 2 hungry piranhas come back from school at 4 p.m.

I love putting loads of colorful vegetables into my stew.  The kids can devour on drumsticks and I’ll be happy with just half a drumstick and lots of my favorite vegetables and tubers.

8 chicken drumsticks and 2 ribs
2 purple sweet potatoes
2 potatoes
1/2 yellow zucchini
1/2 green zucchini
2 carrots
4 tomatoes
1 packet Enoki mushroom
A wedge of Japanese pumpkin
3 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of bay leaves
1 cinnamon bark
Most of the ingredients are organic, including the chicken.

Organic soy sauce
Black pepper
1 tablespoon Lakanto sugar
1 teaspoon organic dark soy sauce
Italian herbs or any herbs of your preference

The hungry piranha attacked the stew the moment she came back from school at 4pm.

And sprinkled mozzarella on her rice + stew. What kind of combo is that?!

I kept these for Sherilyn and the fussy king who will only be back for dinner at 7-ish p.m. and 9-ish p.m. respectively.

After her early dinner, Cass started ‘work’. I paid her RM10 to help me fix a rack that I ordered online from Shopee.  I should have only given her RM5 as I’d already fixed it half way and didn’t have the time to complete it.

By the way, you can get coupons for deals and discounts when you shop at Shopee and other online shopping platforms.  Click here to find out more!

By the way, I am so proud of myself that I managed to fix an Ikea garment rack all by myself this afternoon!  For someone who sucks at fixing DIY stuff, with zero training in RBT or Kemahiran Hidup (Living Skills) in school as I was in the Science Stream, I aced it so well this time. The rack ain’t wobbly this time and I managed to install it in under an hour, albeit drenched in sweat and needed another shower after the job was done! 😬

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Day 2 Haze Holiday (19 Sept 2019)

The haze is still chokingly bad today. It looks and smells worse than the day before. Our windows and sliding door are shut all day and it’s terribly hot and stuffy inside, though all three fans are turned on in the living room.  The girls pretty much stayed home all day but I made 5 trips out ~ first to get them lunch, then as Grab driver and brought Alycia to downtown KL for tuition at 3 p.m.,  at 6 p.m. Grab my way back to downtown KL to fetch Alycia home with bumper-to-bumper traffic on both trips, 7:30 p.m. dropped Alycia at the tuition center and 9:30 p.m. to fetch her home.

Thursdays are always a big mad rush for me in the evening. I start to cook at 4:45 p.m. and only have a max of 1 hour for cooking as I have to leave the house at 5:45 p.m. to fetch Alycia back from school/tuition. Thus, Thursday dinner is fixed with either burgers / sandwiches / porridge.  This time I prepped Sanbanto premium black pig pork burger.

I pan-fried the pork burger and made caramelized onion rings using my Philips pressure cooker (Bake mode, chicken).

Burger fillings:
Sanbanto premium pork patties, organic Japanese cucumber, caramelized onion rings, blanched French beans, egg mayo. Also fried an egg in the PPC.

Someone finished the last drop of mayo and left the empty bottle in the fridge again!!!  I was seething as this is happening too frequently. And I know who the culprit is!  So I had make do with Japanese sesame dressing, which still tasted alright on the eggs, though not as good 😡

So happy I could find Ted Boy burger buns from D Market supermarket:

By the time I finished cooking and mopping the kitchen floor, it was already 6 p.m. and I was late! With the horrendous after-work traffic, it would take me at least half an hour to reach downtown KL. With very little time, I cincai assembled the burger, quickly snapped a few pix and left Cass to help me keep all the food and wipe the dining table as the tutor would arrive any time. Cussing and sweating away, I took a quick shower and zoomed off.

There was no time to butter the buns, slice the tomatoes and find the cheese and Cass happily gobbled down the ‘display’ piece.

This is the life of a work-from-home mum.  So you think working in the office is stressful?  At times I wish I was still in my corporate suits, earning a comfy pay check, get bonus, have annual leave and medical leave and outings with my colleagues.

That’s why I dislike Thursdays. But soon the mil will be back and I can’t wait to hand over the spatula and apron back to her 😬

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Pressure Cooker Pan-Fried Steak And Purple Sweet Potato Mash

Pan frying steaks, fish or chops is something that I will avoid like a plague as I hate cleaning up oil splatters. Thus, I leave this task to the mil and we only have fried fish and steaks whenever she’s around.  But ever since mum gave me a Philips Pressure Cooker (PPC), I’ve become more daring in my kitchen pursuit 👩🏻‍🍳

Yesterday I took the courage to pan fry striploin steak in my PPC. The steaks have been sitting in the freezer even before the mil left for New Zealand 2.5 months ago. I’d better cook them before she returns in two weeks’ time or she’ll be shocked to see the steaks still there after 3 months and I know what questions she’ll shoot towards me  🤐

Ok, back to the steaks! I am so pleased that the striploin beef steaks turned out pretty well. They were so good that my 3 persnickety piranha polished them off, though I had to snatch back the medium rare ones from the littlest one to pan-fry them again to make them thoroughly cooked and safer for consumption.

These look medium rare and perfect for my carnivorous hubs who would devour on bloody juicy steaks but he had to work late last night, so the 3 piranhas whacked them after I re-fried them for a couple of minutes more. After Alycia was down with food poisoning last week after eating Korean BBQ meat straight out from the fridge, I am now very wary of undercooked meats.

This is now almost well done, though I still see a tad pink in the middle.

The steaks were cooked on Bake mode (select ‘chops’) on the PPC.

While the steaks were slowly sizzling in the PPC, I had enough time to cut up a whole pomelo!  With a PPC, I don’t have to stand at the stove to watch the fire. I can wash the dishes, wash the veggies and stir-fry them on the gas stove, etc while the meat is in the PPC. The meat hardly gets burnt as the Bake mode will end after 15-20 minutes. So even if you forget about it (but I doubt anyone will be that forgetful 😆) while you’re busy doing something else, you’re pretty safe as the Bake mode will end after the cycle.

The striplion steaks were marinated with salt, black pepper and Lea & Perrin sauce.

I also made a mash composed of organic purple sweet potatoes, organic orange sweet potatoes, US potatoes and organic cauliflower.

And blanched some organic broccoli and cauliflower in the same pot of water that I used to boil the potatoes.

I was worried that the 3 picky girls wouldn’t accept something so healthy with cauliflower and purple sweet potato in their mash but surprise surprise, they loved it!

Ingredients for healthy mash (just nice for 3 very hungry teens and 1 small eater adult):
3 purple sweet potato
2 orange sweet potato
3 US potato
2 handfuls of cauliflower
2 tablespoon of organic butter, melted in the microwave
1 tablespoon of salt
1 or 2 tablespoon of black pepper
2-3 tablespoon of fresh milk

1. Cut the different types of potatoes into chunks
2. Dump the potatoes, sweet potatoes and cauliflower into a pot of boiling water with salt and boil till soft. Remove from water.
3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the boiled potatoes and cauliflower.
3. Separate the potatoes and cauliflower into two batches and blitz for about half a minute in the blender. Add in milk and melted butter and blitz together.
4. You can eat warm or chilled in the fridge.

How I LOVE the color of Barney in my mash💜.   Have I mentioned that when Alycia was a toddler, she was besotted with Barney?  Till today, more than a decade later, hubs and I still remember the lyrics of Barney’s “I love you, you love me” rhyme❤️

I thought that there will be leftover of mash as it was a very big portion and I was unsure if the fussy girls would accept mash in purplish hue but it’s a hit. I’ll definitely make this again!

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It Takes A Village To Raise A Child

It’s been two weeks since my littlest one woke up and got disconnected from me and angry with me with no particular reason on the first day of school after the third term school holidays. Thank God she’s almost back to her usual self, though I wouldn’t say that her usual self was how she used to be.  I still haven’t accepted the fact that my baby girl is now growing up and she’s no longer a baby; she doesn’t want to be treated like one and I have to treat her like a big girl.  It’s been one hell of a difficult two weeks, having to deal with her cantankerous and grouchy behavior and non-verbal communication with me.  💔 But I just knew that it would soon pass and yes it did.

I used to have a very hard time dealing with Sherilyn too when she was at that age. This is just part of growing up. Growing pains for both the child and parent.  But I finally see her smile and talk to me again.🧡

Some disrespect is a normal part of teenage growth and development, though not all tweens and teenagers are rude or disrespectful.  This is partly because our child is learning to express and test out her own independent ideas, so there will be times when you disagree. Developing independence is a key part of growing up and a good sign that she’s trying to take more responsibility. But she’s also still learning about how to handle disagreement and differing opinions appropriately.

A teenage’s moods can change quickly. Because of how teenage brains develop, our child isn’t always able to handle her changing feelings and reactions to everyday or unexpected things. And this can sometimes lead to over-sensitivity, which can lead in turn to grumpiness or rudeness.  So I just have to accept all the crap of black sullen face, rudeness and disrespect from Cass as part of her growing up.

Over the past one week, this tween of mine seemed to be a tad scattered brain.  On Monday, she had a hard time waking up and woke up 5 minutes late; her transporter left our condo. I had to bring Cass to a half-way meetup point for her to get up the van. The next day, she lost her new eye glasses in school. The following day, she lost her mechanical pencil in school. Other days, she forgot to ask me for pocket money and forgot to eat the bun that I’ve packed for her in her lunch box. She felt bad over losing her glasses and all the inconveniences that she’s caused me with her lackadaisical attitude.  She’s been searching for her glasses in school for the past two days and she finally found it today!  It’s inside a glass display outside the office and she needs to see the assistant principal to claim it back next week.

Sherilyn told me that Cass could be influenced by the character of Elizabeth Allen of The Naughtiest Girl (by Enid Blyton) as this is one the latest books that she’s been reading.  Perhaps?  Cass used to be so obsessed with Harry Potter that almost everything that she said had a little bit of Harry Potter influence in it and she’s still very much obsessed with Harry Potter. She’s still very much influenced by Enid Blyton’s tea time, heavy supper, casserole and pumpkin pasties and often asks me for these English things  😆

I can’t agree more with the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”. In my case, it’s more of taking half my life to raise three children. Why is it so hard to raise children? I must equip myself with more parenting strategies to bust away bad attitude and bring lasting closeness and understanding with my girls.

Something that I learned from parenting sites:

Teenage girls are developing their identity and opinions. And part of that is disagreeing with and pushing back against what they perceive as parental control. Difficult teenage daughters aren’t being difficult out of spite. Rather, they are acting under the influence of intense biological shifts. 

Practice unconditional love. Therefore, parents should never withdraw or withhold their love based on a difficult behavior. Teen girls need to know that their parents will be there for them no matter what.

Thus, despite all that’s been going on, I still tell Cass – I love you, take good care and God bless you on most mornings before she gets into the school van.

Something that I cooked on a busy weekday this week – fried meehoon with homemade fish balls, cabbage, carrots, loads of scallions and garlic and spring onions from the pot on my balcony.  I roped in Cass to roll the fish balls and blanch them and she enjoyed the cooking session with me very much as she got to pop the fish balls into her mouth before her sisters did ❤️

A song for all parents to their precious little ones by Michael Bublé – Forever Now


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Retail Therapy Hump Day

Wednesday is the only day in a school-going week that Sherilyn is free to go to the mall with me in the morning. There’s no tuition in the morning and no librarian duty in school that requires her to be in school in the morning. We normally have our one-on-one mother daughter shopping trip and nice lunch at the mall every alternate week on a Wednesday, before I drop her off in school.  She gets to share a regular cup of Tealife with me, sans the boba and sans any sugar. We normally order classic roasted milk tea with glass jelly with zero sugar.

Today I gave Sherilyn the liberty to choose what she wants to eat and she chose Fish Bowl, the Hawaiian-style poke bowl.  To me, poke bowl is like Japanese + Hawaiian style ‘chap fan’ (aka Malaysian economy rice/dishes).  But to the Gen Y and Z youths, it’s all the rage and style.  Basically, poke bowl is composed of a protein (optional), greens, seeds, condiments and sauce atop white rice/ brown rice / quinoa / greens.  It’s the Gen Y and Gen Z’s version of ‘chap fan’, served aesthetically in a nice bowl at an air-conditioned mall vs ‘chap fan’ served in plastic plates in a kopitiam 😁  Anyone can prep their own poke bowl at home, really – just assemble your fish or chicken along with vegetables aesthetically atop rice  😆

For dinner, I cooked a one-pot dish ~ chicken stew and blanched broccoli.

Chicken, organic purple sweet potatoes, organic orange sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, organic leek, organic tomatoes, loads of big onions and small onions, bay leaves, thyme, Italian herbs, black pepper, organic soy sauce and salt to taste.  How I love the kaleidoscope of colours in this dish and the broth imparted from all these ingredients is just so flavorful and sweet!

Happy hump day peeps! It’s time for me to resume my Ahmad duties and my duty only ends at 9:45 p.m. tonight  😴

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Baking Queen Bakes Pies

Sherilyn played ‘masak-masak’ again yesterday.  This time she baked an assortment of pies. Actually she made the dough a week ago and kept it in the fridge, waiting to find a day that she’d be free to make the pies. She’d also cooked the salted caramel sauce,  sliced the apples and marinated them with cinnamon but after several days in the fridge, they turned bad and I discarded the apples. Yesterday she prepped the apples all over again. What a waste of money!

I’ve invested quite a bit of money for all her ‘masak-masak’ ventures in the kitchen. And I think it’s money well invested. Now she can cook and bake for the whole family.  Who knows, she’ll even be a cafe owner or a restaurateur one day, eh?  😁

As you can see, the each pie spot a different design on top. This girl had a fun time designing the pie tops and creating fillings for them. Some turned out looking professionally executed while some of the pies look a tad distorted 😆 Whatever the design, the pies tasted superb, like they were produced by some upscale cafes.

Sherilyn puts in so much time, patience and care into all her baking projects.  During Sherilyn’s younger days, I suspected that she may have ADHD as she was hyperactive, mischievous and couldn’t sit still and focus in her studies. Baking and dancing have quelled my fears. She can spend hours on end doing things that she loves.


From top clockwise: blueberry pies (filling is made with fresh blueberries and lemon juice), pies with no filling for Cass and me coz we love plain pie crusts, apple pies, pesto cauliflower and pesto tomato pies.

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Mac And Pesto With Baked Salmon

On the day we returned to KL from Ipoh, we were too lazy to get out of the house for dinner. The mil wasn’t in the mood to cook as well after all the unpacking and rearrangement. So the alternative in-house chef volunteered to cook Western food and I left the masak-masak task to her. Sherilyn takes every opportunity to play masak-masak to perfect her culinary skill.  Most times the food tastes so good, sometimes even artisanal, that cooking seems like a total child’s play to her.

Here’s what the chef dished out:

Macaroni with homemade pesto (which Sherilyn made a week earlier), baked salmon with lemon seasoned with dried herbs and grilled tomatoes.

Her two sisters were totally awed with the dish and gave a 5-star rating for the presentation and taste!

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46th Birthday

After I touched the 4 series, I often lose track of my age!  I often have to use my birth year to calculate my age in the current year 🤫 🤭 I wonder whether I’ll still remember my age when I touch the 6, 7 and 8 series.  Do you face the same issue as me?

The original plan for my special day was to go to My Town Shopping Center – a movie for the girls and retail therapy for myself. But late yesterday evening, I received a bunch of writing assignments from my online boss 🤑  So I had to cancel my plan and have been cooped up at home and  writing all day since last night.  But no complaints from me and the girls.  Work comes first. Entertainment has no deadline.  While my fingers were glued to the keyboard, the girls had their fingers glued to their devices. This is what happens when I am busy with work – the girls morph into dopamine-frazzled zombies!

It’s a quiet day at home today. Alycia has gone to her friend’s house to work on a school project and the mil has gone out with her visiting daughter from Hong Kong. I feel no pressure at all rushing off my assignments as I have no driver duty to do, no errands to run and no need to cook today.  I needn’t even have to drive out to buy lunch as Sherilyn settled all my meals!

She cooked broccoli + scallion omelette and sauteed organic mixed fresh mushrooms with butter and cajun. Both dishes were yums and right up my alley!

For dessert, she made salted caramel apple crumble for the birthday mum, with no specific recipe. She assembled the dessert with leftover whipping cream that she used for my birthday cake and the salted caramel apples were for her oats this morning. She whacked several pieces of plain crackers to use as the crumble.

Yesterday Sherilyn whomped up a mango cake for me, in under two hours.

Fresh mangoes were used to decorate the cake into the shape of a yellow rose. The cream is made from fresh whipping cream and matcha powder.

Dinner will be at Stone Nine by Jiro Shabu again, a place that I’ve fallen in love with after our first dining experience last weekend.

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