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.

No. of times viewed = 42

Chicken Pongteh Cooked In Philips Pressure Cooker

We had a belated CNY gathering with our usual group of Ipoh friends at Overseas Restaurant @ Jalan Imbi yesterday as we could not find the right timing to have one during CNY. As usual, we chatted about everything under the sun but guess what the hottest topic was?  College and university for our kids!

It wasn’t too long ago when we were all holding our little babies and all we talked about back then was everything about our babies. That was 16 years ago and I can still remember vividly when our friend had her first baby and she and her hubby brought their baby out in a baby carrier when the baby was just a month old. I even remember where we had our dinner that night.  Now, we are talking about finding for the right college and university for our eldest.  And whether we should all do a colonoscopy together and ask the doctor for a group discount! 🤩 🤔

Ok, back to foodie talk!

The next few homecooked dishes posts that you’ll see will be my last few as the mil will be back from Hong Kong today! So glad that I can pass the spatula back to her 😆 though the kids mentioned that they will miss my cooking. They miss grandma’s cooking too. There are some dishes that I can never seem to cook just like hers. She cooks the tastiest fried rice, fried noodles and fried fish. Till today, I can still not pan fry a fish nicely.  She puts in a lot of effort, time and perfection into each and every of her dish while for me, I always find short cuts and rush off the cooking for all of my dishes before school and tuition runs in the evening.

I have not cooked Chicken Pongteh for almost a year and that’s how long the mil had not gone overseas. I almost forgot about this dish until I stumbled upon it while I was watching some cooking channels on You Tube.  I used to cook this dish with the wok and it’s a pretty simple and straightforward dish. You can use any part of the chicken but for best results, use drumsticks.

With a pressure cooker, it is even easier to cook this dish. First, the oil does not splatter out onto the kitchen counter top when the chicken is being seared in the pressure cooker, unlike the conventional wok.  Second, when the chicken is being seared, I can do other stuff like prep other dishes or wash the dirty dishes. Third, the meat of the chicken is tender and juicy. Lastly, it is easy to wash the pressure cooker pot, which is light and does not stick.

 

 

You can find tons of recipe on this dish from the internet. I like to go to You Tube as it’s always easier to remember the steps if you watch a video of the cooking.

You just need basic ingredients like tau cheong / taucu (fermented soy beans), dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, Gula Melaka (palm sugar), potato, mushrooms, carrots, garlic and shallots. For me, I used organic miso, organic dark soy sauce, organic shoyu, organic Javanese coconut sugar and palm sugar syrup.

Total time needed on the pressure cooker is around 10-15 minutes  for searing the drumsticks and another 10 minutes for cooking under pressure.

Juicy seared chicken drumsticks with a quick braise, smothered in the most incredible Gula Melaka and miso / taucu sauce that go really well rice or noodles, this is a brilliant back pocket recipe for busy week nights!

No. of times viewed = 16

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.

No. of times viewed = 19

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 🤗

No. of times viewed = 13

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.


No. of times viewed = 30

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.

No. of times viewed = 19

Simple & Wholesome Dishes For Busy Moms

For the past one week, I’ve been sitting in front of my computer typing away from morning till night with short breaks in between to cook and chauffeur the girls. Since early last week, I’ve churned out over 30 articles, most of which must be submitted to the advertiser within 24 hours. On some days, I have to dish out 5 articles in a day on topics that I have no frigging knowledge on like motorbikes, hybrid bikes or truck claws and snow chains  😂  That’s when I have to do a little research and reading. I told the girls that this feels like doing a short thesis  😄 I love it that after I’ve submitted a post, I gain new knowledge as well.

My brain is half fried. I’m burnt out to a crisp and stressed out. But it’s good stress and I’m not complaining. It’s God’s blessings. I am very thankful that I am still able to earn in USD during such times when the global economy is bleak. This is the eleventh year that I’m still blessed with something that I love to do. I love it that at the end of each month, I multiply my earnings by four when I convert the earnings from USD to RM!  Praise God.  The earnings are not a lot but enough for me to buy what I want every month and keep some for savings. And no, I don’t mean Chanel bags and pink diamonds ok.

OK, back to kitchen talk!  Thankfully I now have a Philips Pressure Cooker (PPC) to help lessen my burden and cut cooking time.

Lunch on one of the week days last week ~ minced pork porridge with cabbage, dried oysters, carrots and sweet corns, seasoned with scallions, seasoned Korean seaweed and my favorite Marmite:

Porridge was cooked in our jar rice cooker.

That same night, I cooked braised chicken in soy sauce and Chinese spices in the PPC:

Sauteed organic cabbage with garlic, a dash of English curry powder and eggs:

I love it that while the chicken drumsticks are cooking in the PPC, I can stir-fry the cabbage in the wok on the stove.  More time is saved.

The girls loved the braised chicken drumsticks!

I cooked enough chicken so that Cass could have it for lunch the next day. I just needed to blanch some organic spinach ramen to go with the braised chicken:

Fruits for Cass. Despite having so much to do, for a moment, my hands felt itchy and I started to carve out flowers from the kiwi fruits 😁

No. of times viewed = 19

My First Dish Cooked With The Philips Pressure Cooker

The very first time  I used my new Philips Pressure Cooker (PPC) was last week. I was a nervous wreck as I was worried that I would cause an ‘explosion’ and scar my pretty face (ahem!) if I release the pressure regulator at the wrong time.  I have heard of horror stories on  ‘explosion’ while cooking with the PPC.  Well, accidents do happen.  Even with the German made very very expensive TMX, freak accidents happened too.

Throughout cooking this dish, I had to video call mum on Whatsapp to ask her for instructions, HA HA HA.  Don’t laugh ok.  I can’t afford to be hospitalized. The mil is overseas, hubs is super busy with pre-CNY functions and if I am injured, no one will care for the girls.  Ok, I know I sound a tad exaggerated here.  I just can’t be dysfunctional. Period.

Anyway, back to the dish, which is Taiwanese Lu Rou Fan.  After a nerve-racking half an hour, the dish turned out superb!  My persnickety girls with an ‘atas’ tastebud just like their dad had only praises and commented that it tasted like the ones sold at restaurants!  What a consolation after going through a nail-biting moment in the kitchen 🤭


Sauteing the pork, shallots and garlic in the PPC under Bake mode.


Once sauteing is done, press STEW (20 minutes),  and SEAL the pressure regulator.


Once STEW cycle is done, add in the eggs and press WARM, then let the pressure release automatically.

The meat is super tender and juicy! What I love about pressure cooking is that meat will always turn out tender despite a short cooking time.

Basically the ingredients needed are pork belly, soy sauce and dark soy sauce (key ingredients and I use organic ones), rice wine, oyster sauce (optional) fried shallots (fried separately), five spice powder, chopped garlic and shallots and sugar. I only use organic and non-GMO soy sauce and dark soy sauce.

There are plenty of recipes for Lu Rou Fan on the internet and You Tube which you can Google for. I followed a few and then tweaked mine.

This dish is a stunning show stopper yet easy to cook with basic ingredients from the kitchen. Kids and adults alike will surely love it.

Happy trying!

No. of times viewed = 29

Thursday, 10 January 2019

The mil left for her 1.5 months long vacation in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan yesterday.  Her departure means lesser time for myself and more hectic days ahead for me as I will have to be in charge of  cooking the children’s meals.  For those who read my blogs long enough, you would have read umpteen times on how I lamented that cooking is like a chore to me.  It’s a chore as I have too much on my plate, from being the driver to the tutor, the financial controller, the PA to the hubs and mil, the cook, the wife and the mother on top of having to work from home.  This year I have more trips to make daily chauffeuring the girls around for tuition and activities.  Give me a live-in maid, bring on the cooking! I don’t mind cooking (sometimes love it too) but I find all the prep and washing up too time consuming. We do not have a dishwasher at home simply because we cannot possibly find any space in our tiny kitchen that can fit in one, unless we put it outside our unit!

Here’s my first  homecooked dinner for the year. I always start off with the easiest to cook, which is a one tray baked dish and the girls love this sort of dish to bits.

Baked chicken, potatoes, garlic and onions; blanched broccoli and braised arrowroot pork (leftover from yesterday dinner). No rice for dinner and everyone was so happy.  When the mil is around, rice is a must on the dining table every evening.

Wait till the cooking momentum swings smoothly and I’ll venture on to more exciting dishes!

 

No. of times viewed = 16

Potato And Cabbage Salad

Cass and I worked on this little project in the kitchen on our Sunday evening yesterday while Alycia and Sherilyn continued shopping with their grandma at Mid Valley Megamall.

In the car, on our way back from Mid Valley, Cass and I were discussing what to have for dinner. We could not settle on anything that’s healthy (not salty, not oily, no MSG) that’s restaurant / store bought. So I suggested homemade Japanese potato salad, which is Cass’ favorite salad but I had a condition ~ she had to help prep the dish.  Cass was more than eager to help!

What’s needed (makes 3 servings):
2 large USA potatoes
One large handful of organic cabbage, thinly cut. Lazy me used a pair of kitchen knife to cut.
5-6 small onions, chopped
1 organic cucumber, cubed
1/2 a carrot (optional), cubed
2 hard-boiled eggs, mashed
Sweet corn kernels

Seasoning:
Black pepper
Salt
Japanese mayo

Method:
~ Cut potatoes into 3-4 wedges.
~ Boil until soft.
~ Mash the potatoes with a fork but not until smooth like mashed potatoes. Leave some bitey chunks unmashed.
~  Season with salt, pepper and Japanese mayo. I did not have enough mayo and used Uncle Jeff’s Creamy Parmesan Caesar Dressing (from the Beerenberg family farm in Australia). This salad dressing is my favorite.
~  Add in all other ingredients and mix well

Cass did most of the work from peeling to chopping, mashing to seasoning.

The remaining plate of cabbage is all mine. I love raw cabbage with Uncle Jeff’s salad dressing.

How to remove hard-boiled egg shell effortlessly

Cass wanted to try out this kitchen hack that she watched from You Tube to see if it really works.  It requires putting a little water in a bottle together with the hard-boiled egg and then shake the bottle vigorously. Remove the egg from the bottle and zap off the egg shell effortlessly in just one peel. It worked!

This salad is so good I can eat it everyday. It tastes even better the next day. For those on a diet, you can add more cabbage and eggs and reduce the potatoes. It’s a pretty complete meal too with carbs, protein, fiber, iron and vitamins!

No. of times viewed = 3

Yummy Home-cooked Dishes

After more than a week of having dizzy spells from Vertigo, the mil felt much better  two days ago.  So glad that she’s feeling better as we get to have proper home-cooked dinners again 😬

Not that I am totally not made for the kitchen, but chopping garlic, onions and raw meat just ain’t my thing. And all the washing and chopping. The odor of raw garlic, onion, butter and raw meat that lingers on my hands after 10 rounds of washing just turns me off. Not to mention smelling like onions after cooking! If we have a live-in maid like we used to for over 10 years, I really don’t mind baking and cooking as I do not have to clean and wash up after the aftermath. Speaking of which, I really do miss having a live-in maid. I am spoilt like that.

Back at my parents’ in Ipoh, I don’t have to do any cooking. My papa will do all the cooking and mum will bake. My papa even washes the dishes. He wouldn’t let my mum wash the dishes either.  Bless his heart. I just help with mopping the floor after they cook.

These are the dishes for our dinner yesterday:

Crispy pan-fried fish eggs and steamed pork with ‘mui choy’. All my favorite dishes!

Much as I love fried fish eggs, I have to resist myself from popping them into my mouth as they are super high in cholesterol! Just to recap, I have genetic high cholesterol though I eat pretty healthily with portions small enough for a toddler.

The fish eggs were scraps from a gigantic mackeral fish. We were at the fishmonger’s van to buy fish yesterday and an old lady didn’t want the fish eggs after she paid for the fish. She said we could have the fish eggs as she dared not eat them for health reasons. I guess she has high cholesterol too.

No. of times viewed = 40

Two Teeth Extracted

After a wait of five months for all her major exams to be over, Alycia finally had the first two (of four!) of her teeth extracted  yesterday. For aesthetics / braces purpose. It was a walk in the park for her.  Praise the Lord!! But her mum was a nervous wreck.  I did not even had the guts to watch the whole process of the dentist yanking off the 2 good teeth. I walked out and chilled on my smartphone after the dentist administered the numbing spray on her gums 🤦‍♀️

Perhaps it was the 3 weeks nightmarish stay in the hospital with Cass 9.5 years ago when she was 13 months old that created the phobia in me of watching my own child being handled by a doctor. I can’t bear to watch them being in pain.  I’ll never forget that freezing rainy night in mid May 2009 when Cass was rushed to the Procedures Room at Gleneagles Medical Centre, Penang for a nasal tube to be inserted from her nostrils right into her throat without any sedative — twice not once.  The nurse screwed up the first time and had to call the surgeon back to the hospital to perform a second insertion.  The shock, pain and trauma on Cass’ face were just too much to bear for me. She was shivering in pain and fear;  immediately she ran a temperature and I had to climb onto the baby cot, contort my body  to be next to her to soothe her the entire night.

Anyway, back to my brave Miss Cool Cucumber.

The mil cooked a big pot of dried scallop + sweet potato porridge so that Alycia could swallow down her dinner but this stubborn girl who loathes porridge sulked at the sight of the porridge when she came home from school 🤢

But I enjoyed the porridge with ‘Tau Kok Lup’. I mixed a teaspoon of Marmite into my porridge and savored it with the ‘Tau Kok Lup’.  I could down bowls of plain porridge with just Marmite or Bovril when I was a little girl. It’s  a comfort food that’s cheap yet yummo.

It was totally unexpected that Alycia felt little to no pain when the dentist gave her the LA jab before the two teeth were extracted. Even after the LA wore off, she felt no pain other than the annoying numbness on her lips and mouth.

When everything was over, I asked Alycia if she was scared, she said “why should I be? My friends said no pain at all!”

Wow! I can’t believe her bravery. I would have been quivering throughout the procedure.

Alycia even wanted all 4 teeth extracted at once so that she only needed to go through the pain once like what her friends did but our trusted dentist advised against it.

The remaining two teeth will be extracted one month from yesterday. Hopefully the second extraction will be a painless experience again!

No. of times viewed = 0

One Pot Porridge For Three Meals

Dancing Queen is feeling a little under the weather with a slight fever and on the verge of losing her voice.  But she insisted that she wanted to go to school yesterday as she has to rehearse for a drama. Told her to call me if she could not hold on anymore.  Her classroom is not air-conditioned (unlike her primary school) and being in the afternoon session, her classroom can sometimes transform into a sauna on a hot afternoon, which ain’t very good for someone running a temperature. Thank God after downing Izumio and Super Lutein and sleeping almost the entire morning, she was better today.  This is one of the perks of being in an afternoon session. And she has another year of honeymoon next year before she goes back to the morning session.

While Dancing Queen slept like a baby until 10-ish a.m., I quickly made a pot of  porridge in the rice cooker, then made a quick trip to the supermarket to get some minced pork for the porridge. I had about 2.5 hours to get the porridge ready for the sick girl to eat before she goes to school.

This bowl of goodness is composed of minced pork, carrots, kombu and a piece of dried shell fish (I have no idea what it’s called but the mil bought it from Hong Kong); seasoned with sesame seed oil, salt, pepper, organic soy sauce, coriander and seasoned Korean seaweed.  We had this for lunch and dinner.  Cass says she wants to have a bowl for breakfast at 5:30 tomorrow morning before going to  school and there is still another small bowl for my breakfast tomorrow. What a convenient and economical dish this is that can last us for 3 straight meals. And it’s yummo too!

No. of times viewed = 13

Exam Fever

Thai cave boys fever is over, so is football fever. In comes exam fever now and this fever takes years away from my life, prematurely!

This girl is a vomit-blood inducing kid.  I kid you not.  She wasn’t like this when she was much younger. She was the cute as a button, obedient, angelic little girl who could melt my heart instantly, now transformed into a life-sucking devil in disguise of a petite 10-year old girl.

One moment I would feel like strangling and slapping her, another moment, she can be the sweet little girl she used to be, massaging my temples, feet and shoulders and saying sweet little nothings to me. Tween hormones raging to be blamed? Maybe.

She seems to have lost her mojo and focus when it comes to revising. All her mojo and focus have shifted to her novels.  She is still pretty disciplined when it comes to doing her school homework (thanks to her class teacher who seems to be able to do a little magic in motivating her) but anything beyond homework, it’s a torture for her and me.

These days, she needs to sit next to me when she does her homework, with her hands, legs and body touching mine, as if to get her inner batteries charged from having bodily contact with me. Like I’ve said before, she is like my twin. Three years of breastfeeding this rascal has created a very special bond between us.  Not that I like someone snuggled next to me when I am doing my work on the computer. It is already super hot in the afternoon. With someone leaning on my side, that’s something that annoys me.  But a mother’s sacrifice has  no boundary. I let her snuggle and lean next to me, with 3 fans blowing at us at full blast 😍

After an hour of revision, she gets to claim her screen time but she’s not totally free in front of the idiot box. She has to help to peel garlic skin 😀

My lunch yesterday (Sunday, 15 July 2018) was spent with only Cass and Drama Queen. Alycia stayed home to revise for her History test, the hubs was at work at Cyberjaya and the mil was away in Ipoh. After sending Drama Queen to a BM talk at the tuition centre, I spent my afternoon doing chores and revising BM with Cass.

I can’t tell you how suffocating it was for me to revise with that stroppy pre-teen. It didn’t help that I was PMS-ing and was feeling extremely short-fused and hothead.

Lunch at PappaRich:

I bought 3 boxes of takeaway chicken + cha siew rice and grilled jumbo Portobello BBQ mushrooms for dinner.

This time I delegated the task of prepping the mushrooms completely to Drama Queen.

We all love this grilled super juicy and meaty jumbo Portobello. Prepping this dish just takes 5 minutes:  rinse and dry the mushrooms, grease a baking tray with olive oil, sprinkle chopped garlic and butter at the back of the mushrooms and grill for 15 minutes in the oven at 170C.

Once removed from the oven, season the mushrooms with freshly ground black pepper and scrape a little rock salt on them. Drama Queen tried her hand at carving patterns on the mushroom skin and it looks awesome!

I put an eraser on the mushroom as a comparison to show how huge it is.  At RM13.90 for a punnet of 4 mushrooms, it is a tad expensive. But it’s A-OK, mushrooms are superfood loaded with nutrients and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, they are delish and most of all, minimal cooking is required to prep a yummo dish which I can delegate to my 13-year old 😉

No. of times viewed = 2

Chinese Egg Fried Rice / Golden Fried Rice

On the eve of GE 14 today, it’s school off  for Alycia and Drama Queen.  Alycia gets 3 days off  and Drama Queen gets 2 days off as their schools are used as polling station.  Cass gets only one day on 9 May. Poor her and me. I was anticipating for an off day for Cass too so that I could sleep in for 2 days. But no such luck. I still have to wake up early tomorrow to prepare for voting, my first ever. I’m so excited! 😁  Hopefully Thursday and Friday  or Monday and Tuesday next week will be declared a public holiday, as promised by the respective Parties should they win.  So, who do you think will win? 😉  I can’t wait to find out!

Since I have all morning to myself  today without having to do school and tuition runs, I did what I love best ~ retail therapy, all by myself.  Bliss! My most favorite  past time to destress is to go shopping alone with no one breathing down my neck for this and that and no one rushing me to quickly finish up and go home.

At Uniqlo, I saw this SPRZ NY top that is SUPER light and feels like I’m not wearing anything.  Was tempted to get it for myself for traveling as the material drys up super fast.  I thought I could share this with Alycia but after Whatsapping her the picture, to which she said “NO, I DON’T WANT IT, DON’T BUY IT!!”, I put the top back.  This is not something that I would wear often. My wardrobe only has sleeveless tops and dresses 🤭  and jackets. And I added another sleeveless bra dress to my collection  👗

Back home, Drama Queen  made two batches of pancakes. The first batch was a flop.  She tried to be creative and made blue pancakes using blue pea flower tea and wholemeal flour but the batter churned out starchy pancakes. The second batch was cooked to a tee ~ fluffy, pillowy and soft.

For dinner, I cooked Chinese Egg Fried Rice / Golden Fried Rice. This is by far the most perfect Chinese fried rice that I’ve dished up!  In future, I’ll stick with this recipe for the ultimate Chinese egg fried rice.

And what’s the secret?

The secret is by coating the cooked rice with egg yolk and separately frying all the ingredients.

Method:

First, separate the yolks from the whites. There are several methods of doing it. You can separate it with a spatula with drainer, by scooping the yolks up with half the cracked egg shell, sucking the yolks up with a water bottle, separating the yolks upon cracking the shell and by using your bare hands. Check out this video to see which method suits you best. Drama Queen and I prefer scooping the yolks up with the cracked egg shell.

Beat up the egg yolks and in a large bowl, mix the egg yolk with the rice evenly. Make sure that every grain of rice is coated with egg yolk. If the egg yolks are not enough, prep more.  I used Basmati rice and brown rice.

Heat up wok with sesame seed oil and olive oil.  Fry the rice coated with egg yolk until the rice is dried up. You will hear ‘popping’ sounds when the rice is dried up. I added a little Chinese sausage into the fried rice as it’s leftover from the previous night dinner. Season with salt and pepper and a little soy sauce if you wish but do not add too much as the soy sauce will cause the rice to be wet and the wok to turn brown/burnt.   Remove the fried rice from the wok.

Next, brown the garlic and onions. Then remove from the wok.

Brown the minced pork until you hear ‘crackling’ sounds from the wok or when the minced pork is golden brown. Add in the chopped long beans and carrots and fry till cooked.  Season with salt and pepper. Remove from wok.

Then fry the egg whites. As egg white tends to stick to the wok very easily, be sure to keep scraping the egg whites off the base of the wok to prevent them from getting burnt / stuck to the wok.

Finally, add in the fried rice, meat and vegetables and the chopped spring onions and stir well.

Ingredients:
1. Cooked rice. I didn’t really measure as I had some overnight cooked rice and I cooked another 1 cup of rice.
2. 6 eggs ~ yolks separated from whites (use more if necessary)
3. 1 bulb garlic
4. 2 bulbs red onion
5. Protein of your choice ~ I used organic minced pork
6. Vegetables of your choice ~ I used 1 packet organic long beans and 1 carrot
7. Chopped scallions / spring onions
8. Salt and pepper to taste. Soy sauce is optional

Instructions:
1. First, separate the yolks from the whites. There are several methods of doing it. You can separate it with a spatula with drainer, by scooping the yolks up with half the cracked egg shell, sucking the yolks up with a water bottle, separating the yolks upon cracking the shell and by using your bare hands. Check out this video to see which method suits you best. Drama Queen and I prefer scooping the yolks up with the cracked egg shell.

2. Beat up the egg yolks and in a large bowl, mix the egg yolk with the rice evenly. Make sure that every grain of rice is coated with egg yolk. If the egg yolks are not enough, prep more.  I used Basmati rice and brown rice.

3. Heat up wok with sesame seed oil and olive oil.  Fry the rice coated with egg yolk until the rice is dried up. You will hear ‘popping’ sounds when the rice is dried up. I added a little Chinese sausage into the fried rice as it’s leftover from the previous night dinner. Season with salt and pepper and a little soy sauce if you wish but not too much as the soy sauce will cause the rice to be wet.   Remove the fried rice from the wok.

4. Next, brown the garlic and onions. Then remove from the wok.

5. Brown the minced pork until you hear ‘crackling’ sounds from the wok or when the minced pork is golden brown. Add in the chopped long beans and carrots and fry till cooked.  Season with salt and pepper. Remove from wok.

6. Then fry the egg whites. As egg white tends to stick to the wok very easily, be sure to keep scraping the egg whites off the base of the wok to prevent them from getting burnt / stuck to the wok.

7. Finally, add in the fried rice, meat and vegetables and the chopped spring onions and stir well.

No. of times viewed = 1

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

It’s day two of Cass’ first term exam and she sat for her Chinese Understanding, Chinese Writing and Moral papers today. Chinese has always been the toughest subject for Cass, so is BM. She hardly reads Chinese and BM novels. She barely ever talks in BM,  does not attend BM tuition and the only practice that she gets apart from the exercises from school is from the exercises that I give her from the BM workbooks that I bought from Popular Book Store. Before exam, I do some intensive exercises and revision with her for her BM subject and these sessions always jack up my blood pressure reading many notches up.

Breakfast for Cass was a slice of wholemeal bread spread with butter, avocado and hazelnut chocolate bread spread. And Izumio.  Lunch box for school recess is hot cross bun with herb cream cheese spread and avocado.

My brunch with the hubs at Good Taste:


While enjoying my bowl of sui kow, at the corner of my eye I spotted something black flapping its wings behind a packet of bread. I turned to my side and oh. my. gawd. I saw my no. 1 enemy on the wall and it was huge! It was flying towards my side. I told the hubs and he told the waitress who then nonchalantly put on a disposable plastic glove on one hand,  chased after the huge roach, caught the fler, squashed it maybe (I don’t know) and then dumped it into the big bin at the side of the restaurant. By then, I had already lost all my appetite and the hubs walloped the rest of the sui kow. What a terrible brunch I’ve had!

Thankfully the mil dished up a big pot of aromatic and colorful fried Basmati rice with curry leaves, French beans, traffic light colors bell peppers and diced pork and I had that for lunch.

Cass tends to be overly confident with her English papers and I usually do minimal revision with her. An hour max of going through English Grammar with her and giving her  some handy last minute reminders and pointers.  Tomorrow (Wednesday) will be English Paper 1 & Paper 2 and RBT.

I’ve done my utmost best and now it is all on this girl’s effort in self-revising and her memory retention power. I’ll see…

No. of times viewed = 0