Health Freak Mommy

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Prawn Noodle King, Taman OUG, KL

Prawn noodles fans, be prepared to swoon. One of the famous authentic Penang prawn noodles stalls located at Macalister Road, Penang has landed in OUG, KL.

I heard that the owner of the decades old stall at the hawker center has retired and a KL guy in the Food and Beverage business bought over this 37-year old recipe and opened a small air-conditioned eatery at OUG, KL.  Prawn Noodle King at Taman OUG, KL was officially opened on 23 September 2017.

The foodie hubs brought us to sample the prawn noodles last Friday (the day before the official opening) after he saw videos of how much prawns are used to prepare the prawn broth. The moment we stepped into the eatery, what greeted us first was the strong aroma of cooked prawns wafting in the air, followed by the the warm and friendly owner.

In this eatery, only prawn noodles are served. At the time when we were there, there wasn't any individual menu yet except for a gigantic poster like menu on the floor and only these items are served at the moment:





I ordered mantis prawns with vermicelli:




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Picture taken from the Prawn Noodle King Facebook page.



The hubs ordered yellow mee + vermicelli with pork ribs:




The hubs also ordered two extra large prawns and a bowl of roast pork (not in pic) as add-ons:




Refreshing 'loh hon guo' drink to bring down the heatiness after lapping away the spicy prawn broth. It's served cold and hot.  The hot ones are served in classic enamel mugs.








Verdict: This is the real McCoy.  The broth is da bomb! It is packed with flavors from prawns and bones. It was so good that the foodie hubs chugged down all the broth in his bowl of noodles and continued to quaff down the broth from the bowl of  add-on big prawns.  This is a classic Penang prawn noodles recipe and may be a little spicy for those who can't stomach spicy stuff.

Down side is after enjoying our shrimp noodles, we left the eatery smelling all shrimpy and the after-taste of shrimps lingered in our mouths for hours.  Will definitely be making another visit to Prawn Noodle King again!


Prawn Noodle King
4 Jalan Hujan Rahmat 3
Taman OUG
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Call 013-734 2323

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Kris Jenner Chocolate Brownies And Mung Beans Dessert

Today is a school declared holiday for Drama Queen and Cass. We had brunch at 10-ish a.m with the hubs and mil.  By 12 noon, our stomachs were growling already.  While our pot of mung beans + stinky grass + sweet potato 'tong sui' (sweet soup) was brewing on the stove, Drama Queen quickly baked a Kris Jenner (Kim Kardashian's mother) chocolate brownies.

Our tea-time consists of mung beans + sweet potato + stinky grass + palm sugar 'tong sui':





And chocolate walnut banana brownies baked by Drama Queen:








Our 'stinky grass' herb. Its scientific name is Ruta / Rue.  This herb pairs very well with mung beans. The Chinese old folks use it to eliminate toxins  and heatiness from the body.  Rue has a very pungent yet very pleasant smell. While some may get offended by the smell, others love its aroma.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ming Yue Confectionary Mooncakes

I am not a fan of traditional mooncakes as I find them too cloy and sweet for my palate. Except for the assorted nuts mooncake and jelly mooncake, I have no interest in others. I won't mind at all if I don't get to eat them during mooncake festival. Some mooncakes are so nauseously sweet that I have to spit them out. I  really mind having these empty calories in my stomach. That would require me to run extra rounds to melt away the fat.

What really turns me off about mooncakes in general is the price. The prices of mooncakes are steadily skyrocketing by the year, no thanks to costlier imported ingredients and GST.  The other day, the foodie hubs bought a piece of traditional mooncake from Hilton Hotel which cost a freaking RM38++ each! And it's smaller than regular size mooncakes. The mooncake was so small that it was chomped down in just 2 mouthfuls.

The only mooncakes that I like are the ones from Ming Yue Confectionary in Ipoh. They are  by far the cheapest ever mooncake, almost half of those with big brand names. While Ming Yue's mooncakes are cheap, the quality and freshness are definitely not compromised.  The mooncakes are baked at the shop and sold there. Packaging is minimal and no-frills, no fancy plastic wraps, stickers and tins. However, the mooncakes must be consumed within a week for they are not vacuum packed. This is not an issue for us as Ming Yue's super-hyped mooncakes are so good that they are usually all wolfed down the moment they are cut.

My favorite from Ming Yue is their assorted nuts mooncake, which has a thin layer of crust, is not overly sweet and is chock full of nuts and seeds. Considering that nuts and seeds are expensive imported ingredients, Ming Yue's assorted nuts mooncake only costs RM9 each.





Below is the 2017 mooncake price list from Ming Yue Confectionary vs. one from a well-known big brand:


Ming Yue price list.



Big Brand price list.


RM3.50 each for a red bean paste mooncake from Ming Yue, seriously? And this is why my dad had to queue up for 45 minutes to get 2 boxes of mooncakes to bring to Singapore for my brother and his family recently.  Thankfully for us in KL, a friend of the mil works at Ming Yue and getting the mooncakes has always been a breeze for her every year. Her friend would help her buy the mooncakes and then wait for another friend to transport them to KL for us.  Right now, we have 3 boxes of mooncakes to savor πŸ˜€

No fancy schmancy bakery but a humble brick-and-mortar shoplot in Ipoh:



Check out the queue:
People queueing up to buy mooncakes at Ming Yue Confectionary in Taman Kampar shortly before noon on Monday.


Ming Yue mooncakes packed in paper boxes the traditional way where there is no individual wrapping.


Besides baking mooncakes a month before Mooncake Festival, Ming Yue specializes in sesame peanut brittles, their other signature item, which also happens to be the best in the world 'fah sang tong' aka peanut brittles or some call it peanut candy.  Other bakes include rice brittles (also very addictive) and an assortment of traditional Chinese biscuits and cakes.

Peanut Brittles

After one bite of the crunchy, finger-sized delight you will be in utopia, then you'll end up walloping the entire packet, if not half. It takes a lot of determination to stop munching on these babies.

A scene from last night:


The hubs who is a yellow banana, like yours truly and could not read the Chinese prints on the Ming Yue mooncakes had to summon his princesses to help him read πŸ˜„  He is a big fan of mooncakes with quadruple egg yolk *face palm*

What's your favorite mooncake?



Monday, September 18, 2017

Saturday, 16 Sept 2017

Today is the eve of Drama Queen's UPSR Chinese paper, which is the last UPSR paper for Primary 6 pupils from Chinese primary schools. For National schools, the last day of UPSR was on Friday. This girl is already feeling the big heavy sack taken off her shoulders. She's acting really nonchalant, as if her exam is already over.

After church, we had lunch at Oiso, our regular Korean restaurant opened by a Korean guy - just the girls and I. The hubs was down with food poisoning, thus hibernated at home all day.



When I got back from lunch, I started to have pangs of queasiness which got worse over time. The sight and smell of the Korean food that we doggie bagged back just made me squeamish. Drama Queen in her usual dramatic fashion pulled me aside and asked this cheekily, "err... so mum, are you pregnant?" **roll eyes**

When I got up from my siesta, I darted to the bathroom to hug the toilet bowl. Every single morsel was upchucked out with all my energy. Oh how I hate puking! And how I hate to be down with food poisoning!

Just yesterday, Cass was down with diarrhea and was feeling nauseous the whole day. She had little appetite for food except for cucumbers. When everyone went out for dinner, for once Cass said she wanted to stay home and eat nothing. After downing 2 packets of Izumio hydrogen water, 2 capsules of Super Lutein, lots of cucumbers and a cucumber + tomato + meat floss sandwich, she felt better on Sunday.

My dinner on Sunday:

Half a bowl of millet + quinoa + rice porridge cooked with dried scallops and seasoned with half a wedge of 'fu yi' (fermented bean curd).

Funnily, each time I feel nauseous, the only food that I have appetite for is fermented bean curd! I was craving for this when I was down with really bad 24 hours morning sickness when I was pregnant with Alycia.

And the culprit for causing us the food poisoning was the overnight coconut water that I kept in the fridge, bought a day earlier. It's not the first time that we drank overnight coconut water. I guess it's contaminated.





Friday, September 15, 2017

Restoran Yang Kee Beef Noodles And D Cuppa Coffee Bar @ de Market, Taman Desa

This week's food hunt with the hubs while the girls were at school landed us at Restoran Yang Kee @ OUG for beef noodles yesterday (Thursday) and D Cuppa Coffee Bar @ De Market, Taman Desa today (Friday).

Thursday, 14 Sept 2017

When the hubs suggested having brunch yesterday, I was a tad reluctant to go as I'd just eaten breakfast of bread and a mugful of Marmite soup.  Naturally, when the beef noodles arrived, I wasn't overly excited or hungry.  But after one nibble of the beef ball and a slurp of noodles, my hungry mode was automatically switched on.

The bowl of dry beef noodles was dressed with a generous topping of minced beef.  As an extra, the hubs ordered two large bowls of beef balls, super tender beef strips and beef innards in clear soup, fried wanton and 'foo pei' and Yong Tau Fu.  I love the achingly tender beef strips in clear beef soup.




A seriously tasty bowl of noodle goodness with extra bowl of minced beef sauce and bowl of divine bovine balls + meat for the gourmand hubs.


Hubs also ordered a bowl of braised beef with radish and innards. The herb-tinged broth is umami-rich but not overpowering. Love the aroma of star anise in the thick broth.







Deep-fried wanton and 'foo pei' and Yong Tau Fu 'liu':






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Our little feast for 3 persons including take-away of noodles, 30 beef balls and tender beef strips came in south of RM100.

Verdict:  Love it. I think Yang Kee is almost comparable with Yung Kee Beef Noodles @ Pudu, another super famous beef noodles in KL.

After tucking into a divine bovine brunch, the mil and I melted away the calories walking up and down the long road of morning market just outside the coffee shop under the blazing mid morning sun (and sweated buckets) and bought some fresh perishables.

Yang Kee Beef Noodles
52, Jalan Hujan Rahmat 2
Taman OUG
Jalan Klang Lama
58200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-7971 8034
Closed Mondays


Friday, 15 Sept 2017

After breakfast of meat floss sandwich at home, the hubs asked me to have brunch with him an hour later. So off we went to D Cuppa Coffee Bar @ de Market Supermarket, Taman Desa.

We had yet another carb-heavy brunch today and I am corroded with guilt now!


Sinfully delish and smooth Teluk Intan Chee Cheong Fun and Mee Rebus  with lots of brown cuttlefish.




Curry noodles (very delish), Fried Cucur Udang (Malay style prawn fritters), Hakka mee with super crispy deep fried wanton, and a bowl of nourishing 'Pak Kor Yi Mai tong sui' (gingko barley dessert). 


The gingko barley tong sui with lots of gingko was so good that the hubs another bowl coz yours truly quaffed down almost the entire bowl, heh!  I also guzzled down a tall glass of iced Teh 'C', which is not in the picture. I know Teh 'C' is not the healthiest of beverage (unless good quality tea is used) but it is my kryptonite, especially from this cafe as it is made with generous amount of Carnation evaporated milk. My Teh 'C' is usually less sugar or sans sugar.

D Cuppa Coffee Bar @ de Market
1st Floor, Podium Block,
Faber Towers, Jalan Desa Bahagia,
Taman Desa,
58100 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +60 3-7972 7606
Operating Hours: 8.30 am - 10.00 pm

After a heavy brunch, the mil cooked a big pot of crab porridge with our favorite 'tau kok lup' for lunch. We will never starve when the mil is around.




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ways To Boost Your Memory

While mental exercise is very important for brain health, that does not mean you never need to break a sweat. Physical exercise helps your brain stay sharp. It increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise also enhances the effects of helpful brain chemicals and reduces stress hormones. Perhaps most importantly, exercise plays an important role in neuroplasticity by boosting growth factors and stimulating new neuronal connections.

Besides yearning to maintain a svelte body for as long as I live, the other reasons why I force myself to exercise five times a  week in the morning are to keep diseases and aches away as well as to prevent my gray matter from slipping away.  Having my quiet ME TIME in the morning where I  exercise before sunrise is something that I could not trade anything for it.  It is something that I look forward to every morning.

As I was flipping through the newspapers a few days ago, I came across an article that I would like to share with my readers:




Just as I have always exhorted in my blog posts, exercise is just as important as healthy eating. If I could wake up  at 5 a.m. to exercise when I had two under-two toddlers and still holding a full-time job, so can you. Some sacrifices have to be made. For me, I sacrifice TV time. I  do not chase Korean dramas like many of my friends do as I have to sleep early to wake up early to exercise the next morning.




Besides physical exercise, these are some tips that may help you improve your memory:


1. Don’t swallow it whole
When someone gives you a phone number, use ‘chunking’ as a way of remembering it. When given a string of numbers to remember such as 123957001066, break it down into 12 39 57 00 10 66 or even 1239 5700 1066.

Try to chunk numbers according to something you find meaningful, like the age of someone you know, an address or a famous date (1066 Battle of Hastings) then they form a story to help you remember.

2. Quit smoking
It can cause significant damage to your memory, say researchers at Northumbria University. When 69 students aged 18 to 25 were asked to memorise a list of tasks, those who had never smoked did best, remembering to complete 81% of the tasks. The smokers – on an average of 60 cigarettes a week – managed to get through only 59%.

A separate study at King’s College London found that middle-aged smokers performed less well on tests compared with those without the tobacco habit.


3. Give us a cue
If there’s something you have to do every day at a specific time and often forget, a technique called 'implementation intentions' is very simple.  For example, say to yourself ‘whenever I have my first cup of tea in the morning, I will also take my pills’. Or ‘when the lunchtime news finishes, I’ll do my exercises’.

I have tried using this tip to remind myself to do important things and it always worked!

4. Use imagery
One type of mnemonic – or memory aid – relies on imagery rather than words. “A classic way of remembering a person’s name is to try and imagine it (or something associated to it) on the person’s face,” says Dr Moulin. So, if you meet John Bridge – imagine a bridge on his face. Psychologists have found that the more bizarre and vivid the image the better it works.

I am also using this technique to teach my girls to remember things. For eg. I tell them that 'synonym' means same meaning. The 'S 'in Synonym = 'S' in Same meaning.

5. Drink green tea
Chinese researchers say regularly drinking it could improve your memory and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease thanks to its key ingredient – the organic molecule EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate), an antioxidant that protects against age-related degenerative illnesses.

6. Eat like our European friends
A Mediterranean diet – low in red meat and dairy and high in omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish and nuts – can help preserve memory and reduce dementia risk, say US researchers. The study, in the journal Neurology, studied the diets of 17,478 people with an average age of 64. Those who followed the Med diet were 19% less likely to develop problems with memory. 

7. Watch your food intake
Eating too much can double the risk of memory problems in old age, according to US research.  Studies found a high-calorie intake can substantially increase the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, characterised by memory loss, which can precede dementia.

8. Say it out loud
This is the easiest of all methods for remembering everything from where you put your car keys to what you need from the shop to revising for a test, say memory experts. Studies found that by saying out loudly what you want to remember or even mouthing it – will help with recall.

9. Get enough sleep
The less you sleep, the more your cognitive abilities—including your memory—will suffer, concludes a study from Finland. Some recent research from the University of LΓΌbeck in Germany has also suggested that sleep is a time when your brain sorts and stores new memories. If you're sleep-deprived, your brain won't retain or recall information as well as it normally would. And no amount of catch-up sleep will bring back those lost memories, the German study authors say.

10. Seek out novel experiences
If you're not challenging your brain with new places and information, your memory suffers, shows research from University College London. Familiar activities allow your noodle to laze into autopilot. But novelty—whether you're exploring a new hiking trail or taking up Sudoku puzzles—can stimulate your brain and memory, the UK study (and plenty of others) shows.

11. Challenge your brain
One study from Scotland found people with jobs that require lots of high-level, complex brain processes (architects, for example) tend to have better memories later in life. But what if you don't have one of those jobs? Dissecting the information you encounter in top-down, effortful ways can keep your memory sharp, indicates research from the University of Texas, Dallas. For example, after you watch a TV show, try to distill what you just saw into its parts. What was the point of the episode? What growth did the characters experience? Make your brain work, and you'll keep your memory sharp.

12. Laugh And De-stress
Stress and everything that goes along with it (inflammation, poor sleep) have been shown to mess with your memory. Laughter not only counteracts stress, but also improves your short-term memory, shows a series of research efforts from Loma Linda University. Just 20 minutes of watching a funny video was enough to bolster short-term memory, the researchers discovered.

laughing-child-1

13. Get your vitamin D
The past few years have seen a big surge in research linking vitamin D to all sorts of health benefits. Several of those studies drew connections between the "sunshine vitamin" and both brain health and memory. One, from Oregon Health And Science University, linked higher vitamin D levels to improved verbal memory scores. Another study, this one from the UK, hinted that D may protect the brain from dementia.

Woman With White Sunvisor Running


And I like the last one...

14. Daydream!
Several recent experiments have found that mind wandering may allow your brain to better catalogue and store memories. One study in the journal Neuron suggested daydreaming actually helps improve your memory in ways similar to sleeping or napping.

But I have to cut down on multitasking though!
On the other hand, multitasking—that is, switching quickly from one task to another without a break—may actually harm your brain's ability to recall information, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.



Friday, September 8, 2017

Homegrown Herbs

What do you do when your herb plants grow so tall that they could almost touch the ceiling?  This is what's happening to our Cuban Oregano  (Indian Borage / Mexican Mint / 'Por Ho Yip') plant. We had trimmed the plant and it re-grew at an amazing speed. I didn't know that this herb grows so well in a pot, using organic soil and watered with washed rice water and regular tap water.

Below - picture on the left shows our Cuban Oregano plant, sprouting high and mighty.  Cass calls it the "Jack And The Beanstalk" plant coz of its unusual height in comparison with other plants in our garden.  Next to Cuban Oregano  is kafir lime leaves and on kafir's left is an herb that boasts many medicinal properties. I don't know the name of the plant though. The mil recently bought it from a nursery.  There's also a 'stinky grass' herb plant in our balcony garden that the mil loves boiling mung beans with, which is touted to be a good detox herb.




It's such a waste to see the Cuban Oregano plant growing so tall and unutilized.  So I have been plucking a few leaves once a week to chew on them, treating them like salad leaves. The leaves are minty and has a pleasant taste.

Health Benefits of Cuban Oregano:
If you are suffering from a cold, a sore throat, congestion, a stuffy nose, or painful sinuses, you can chew on the leaves of Cuban Oregano or brew a tea from the leaves. The compounds contained in the herb act as a powerful expectorant to eliminate mucus and phlegm from your respiratory tracts and clear out your sinuses. This can also help to boost your immune system by preventing bacteria or other pathogens from lodging and developing in your tracts.





Below: there's also a sand ginger plant (Galangal) in our little garden (in elongated pot, picture partly hidden below left). We got it from my parents' garden in Ipoh but it's not growing very well here. It grew so freely like weeds at my parents' garden in Ipoh but sadly not when it's replanted here. Guess it misses its home ground. My dad can whip up a very delish chicken dish using the leaves and root of sand ginger.



I love my parents' garden in Ipoh the most. The garden has a thousand and one types of herbs and spices growing in it that have medicinal properties to treat almost all types of ailments. Well, on the healing claim, I am not sure whether these herbs can indeed heal diseases and ailments.  I guess one would have to eat a lot of herbs to see a significant improvement.

If we ever move to a landed property, I'll fill my garden with lots of pandan leaves, herbs, spices, vegetables, fruits trees and flowers.  And definitely a dog too! ;)


Battling Depression

One of the most debilitating experiences that an individual might struggle with is depression. In addition to compromising self-esteem and impairing work performance, depression can adversely impact physiological function and lead to several debilitating diseases that compromise the quality of life. Unfortunately, many people have to deal with the enervating, life-zapping effects of depression on a daily basis. If someone in your life is currently battling this condition, it's important to know that there are multiple strategies you can deploy to help them deal with it more effectively. Here are some of them:

1. Educate Yourself
One of the best ways to help a schizophrenic dealing with depression is by educating yourself about the condition. This strategy is immensely important because if you don't understand the basics and intricacies of the disease, you'll be less effective in providing your friend or family member with helpful advice, resources, and motivational encouragement. Luckily, there are hundreds of free online resources you can utilize to educate yourself about this condition. As noted by the National Institute of Mental Health, there are multiple types of depression. Some of them include:

• persistent depressive disorder
• perinatal depression
• psychotic depression
• seasonal affective disorder
• bipolar disorder

In addition to gaining basic information about the different types of depression, make sure that you take the time to learn about what treatment strategies proved effective for other individuals struggling with the condition. As noted in Health magazine, celebrity Ashley Judd was able to recover through strategies like helping less fortunate individuals with charity work.

ashley-judd-dep


2. Maintain A Non-Judgmental Attitude
Because we live in a society in which many people operate according to the ideology of rugged individualism, there is widespread belief that when a person "fails" or experiences a substantive personal problem, it is her or his fault. This is a very judgmental approach to issues such as mental illness, and it can have a profoundly negative impact on the individual who is trying to deal with the disease and recover. In light of this reality, make sure that your loved one understands that you do not judge her or him for feeling depressed. Maintaining this non-judgmental attitude will ensure that your friend or family member won't avoid interaction with you and thereby miss an opportunity to attain authentic love and motivational support.

3. Provide Your Loved One With Valuable Resources
Individuals who struggle with depression need to know what types of resources they can access to limit or eliminate their disease. Luckily, there are many of them. For example, being able to refer your loved one to the right counselor can provide her or him with access to the encouragement and professional advice necessary to cope with and overcome the condition. Also note that the children of individuals with depression may struggle with a wide range of issues, including behavioral disorders. If this is indeed the case, you might refer your loved one and their child to an Applied Behavior Analysis Tallahassee FL company such as Engage Behavioral Health.

Start Helping Your Friend Now!
If you have a friend who is currently struggling with depression, it's important to know that there are many things you can do to accelerate and optimize the recovery process. Four of them are listed above. Start implementing these strategies now so your loved one can put depression in the past and begin leading a life of love and light!


Finding Good Seafood

My family and my husband's family are two seafood lover families, from the youngest right up to the oldest. In fact, both our families love food in general.  Food bring family members together.  At every celebration, there will be good food, in particular seafood placed on the dining table - from the humble fish to the stunning tiger prawns, cray fish, Geoduck, et al

What's not to love about seafood? They are simply delicious, nutrient-rich, serves as a good source of protein and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  From saltwater and freshwater fish to deep water shellfish, seafood is a beloved delicacy.

Fish also contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and D, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids, found abundantly in seafood, have health benefits, such as improved infant brain development and protection against heart disease and stroke. Scientific studies continue to explore the relationship between the unique type of fat found in seafood, the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, in the prevention or mitigation of common chronic diseases.

Current advice from the government and health organizations recommends eating two seafood meals each week.  I'm proud to say that we have more than two seafood meals a week. Our regular seafood at home consist mainly of fish and the occasional shrimps and squids.  For seafood treats, we will go to a good seafood restaurant and order our favorite seafood - crabs cooked in two flavors, which is normally baked, steamed or sweet and sour stir fried. We heart grilled flying squids too.

If you are around the area of Texas and are looking for seafood restaurants in Plano, do check out The Boiling Pots.   At The Boiling Pot, you'll surely seek the best seafood experience possible with a fun atmosphere and clean establishment. The secret to this restaurant's success is that they  offer only  the freshest and highest quality food available. Check them out today to give them a try!

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Granola With Kaya

I discovered recently that my favorite Salted Gula Melaka granola from Amazin' Graze pairs really well with kaya (coconut jam) and I'm now hooked on this combo! So is Cass.

I have a certain way of enjoying granola, that is, I only eat them dry. I never like putting milk onto my granola. Or yoghurt.  Same with cereals. I like eating them dry and crunchy.  But now I love my granola with kaya.

The Salted Gula Melaka granola from Amazin' Graze is by far the yummiest granola that I've tasted. They are crunchy, sugar free, fresh and have generous amounts of nuts and seeds. I first got them as samples from Amazin' Graze, where I had to write a review on their range of granola and nuts. I am now a loyal customer of Amazin' Graze and have purchased their granola many times. My current stock of Salted Gula Melaka is almost finishing and I'm on my way to place a new order for the same flavor again (can never get bored of it... yet). This time I am also getting a packet of Matcha granola.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Our Monday - 28 August 2017

Though it's the school holidays, it's not exactly a holiday for Drama Queen and Cass yet as they have to be in school from Monday through Wednesday for tuition.  Our holiday officially starts on Thursday. With only 4 days of holiday left, this is going to be yet another no-travel holiday for us. However, Alycia has been going places with her grandma and visiting aunt from Hong Kong for the past few days and had even visited the Mitsui Outlet Park at Sepang.  Last Saturday, Drama Queen had a class trip to the National Planetarium, courtesy of her class teacher.

Counting down to the UPSR exam day from today, Drama Queen has exactly 13 more days to revise and as usual, she's still as relaxed as ever and nary an ounce of anxiousness, worry or fear in her. This girl's gonna take the bull by its horn πŸ™ŒπŸ’ͺ We'll see...

After fetching Drama Queen and Cass from school, off we went to the dentist's office for the girls' dental appointment.  Alycia and Drama Queen were given dental scaling. Thank God there were no tooth decay and cavities found on the girls.  My next trip to the dentist will be for Alycia to get an X-ray and teeth extraction done in preparation for her braces!  This is going to cost us over RM7,000 but thankfully, this dentist provides interest-free installments for up to 3 years.






Next up was lunch at our favorite coffee shop before we dropped by next door for a totally unplanned Cosmo Dr electroterapy session.



Since it's the school holiday and we had several hours of free time before the Mandarin tutor came, I thought why not try the much raved about Cosmo Dr electroterapy mats since it's absolutely FREE! I'm a sucker for freebies, especially health-related ones.



Plus, I was very curious to know if it really works at promoting good health and curing ailments.   The Cosmo Dr machine from Japan is able to generate an electric field through the body.





Alycia and Drama Queen sitting on the electrostatic chair pads wired to a Cosmo Dr machine. We do not feel anything when seated on the pad but static electric was randomly felt when we touched each other with our finger tips and on the forehead.






This gadget held by the speaker on her right hand will beep when it's placed on our body parts, signalling that electricity is present. We were also asked to touch the plastic sheet to feel the vibration and static electric zapping away on our skin, which felt like a brief but very sharp electric current poke.




This is the Cosmo Dr machine from Japan. When I asked the speaker the cost of the machine, she told me that it costs more than RM100k!   We were told that the electrons produced by the Cosmo Dr machine help to improve the quality of our blood and its flow. It can supposedly alleviate / treat a host of ailments ranging from insomnia to diabetes, migraine, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, constipation, high cholesterol, obesity, etc.





To be able to see and feel the effects to one's health, we were advised to sit on the electrostatic pads continuously for at least 3 - 4 days (each session lasts about half hour). Since it's free and it's the school holiday, I think I'm going to return to the shop with the 3 girls and also mil in tow to try for another 2 days to see if we can feel anything positive.

I noticed that the speaker did not talk about selling the machine but only mentioned that the company is providing free service to gain awareness to as many people as possible (in the hope of people buying it, surely!).  Those who are interested after the promotion has ended can use the machine at certain hospitals for a fee. For those who can afford, of course they can splurge on the machine. I'm still a tad apprehensive of this kind of super machines that have claims of alleviating symptoms and healing, but there's no harm trying it for free. There is no limit on the number of times you can try it as long as the promotion is on-going.




How To Style Natural Black Hair At Home

How To Style Natural Black Hair At Home? This is what most women are eager to learn - DIY hair styling at home. Going to a hair salon for a new hairstyle usually costs a lot.  Hot tools such as curling iron and straightener are usually used in salon to achieve the desired hairstyle.  However, high heat will cause damage to the hair and scalp to some extent. If your hair suffers from high heat for long time, it may become dry and lose luster gradually. That's why more and more women prefer to style their hair at home without the use of hot tools. In addition to this, some hair products such as deep wave weave and cheap hair bundles are also good tools to change your hairstyle without damage.

We have mentioned that there are two quick and easy ways to style your natural black hair at home. The first one is to use heatless tool such as flexi rod to curl your hair overnight. The second one is to use some hair products such as weave and bundles to sew in into your own hair. Next we will talk about these two ways in detail.

The usage of flexi rod is very simple and easy. What you need to do is to start with blow-drying the hair and then section your hair into four parts. Each section is divided into three pieces. Conditioner can be used to add some moisture to your hair. Use wide tooth comb to brush your hair to avoid tangling. Then blow the hair around the flexi rod; the next day, you will have deep wave hairstyle. This method will not cause any damage to your hair and  it is very easy to mange. Have a try!

As for the hair products, they have been warmly welcomed by women, especially by black women. There are many kinds of such hair products sold in Amazon and AliExpress, thus you can easily get hairs from all over the world easily. Among these hair products, weave and bundle share lots of similarities. Both of them can be used to make wigs with great versatility. If you want to sew in the weave or bundles, you need to section your hair into small pieces and braid all of them. Then use needle with strand to sew in. There are lots of tutorial about how to sew in the weave or bundles online. Most  companies provide hair products in different styles and sizes. With these products, you can achieve your desired look.

If you really do not have any time to style the hair overnight or sew in weave and bundle, you still have another choice--- cheap human hair lace front wigs. This kind of wig is made using 100% human hair, with all the hairs sewed in, which can save your time greatly. Lace is used as the material, giving you a very natural look. Maxglam is a company worth to be recommended. It provides many cheap hair products with high quality. If you want to buy some hair products to change your hairstyle, it will be a good option.





Thursday, August 24, 2017

Grossed Out

This incident happened about a month back, on the eve of Cass and Drama Queen's exam.

After hanging out the fresh laundry, I noticed a little piece of something blackish + pinkish in color at the bottom of the pail. Thinking that it must be yet another piece of residue from Cass' art and craft papers or stickers, I picked up the piece of  'sticker'. With my bare fingers.

And holy cow.  At the  touch of it, the piece of 'sticker' sure didn't feel paper-ish. It was sticky but it felt squishy. I brought the piece of  'sticker'  closer to my eyes and then "WAAAAAAAAA" I screamed blue murder and flung the piece of 'sticker' away. Eye to eye with a dead reptile!! 😡  Cass  and Drama Queen who were revising at the table ran to me and asked what happened.

Me - I think I just washed a baby lizard with our clothes and it's now dead.  QUICK bring the magnifying glass, quick!!!

As quick as lightning, Cass fetched me the magnifying glass.  The 3 of us had to study the specimen to confirm that it was indeed a dead baby lizard.

Just the night earlier, I had seen a baby lizard lurking around the dirty laundry area and this confirmed my suspicion.

When the 3 girls scrutinized the specimen through the lenses of the magnifying glass carefully, like scientists, they all concurred what they saw -- the bulging eyes, the translucent skin which was PINK in color (EWWWWW!!!) and the tiny claws on the legs. Oh. My. Freaking. Gawd.

I wanted to puke. Knowing that the life baby reptile went a spinning together with our clothes just grossed me out.

I ordered the girls to remove all the clothes that I had just hung on the hangers and dump them back into the washing machine for another round of washing.





Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sinful Saturday

Cass at our favorite open air coffee shop during our Saturday brekkie last week:



Last Saturday's brekkie was just the two of us as everyone else had their own activity respectively.

Instead of ordering bitter gourd pork noodles, this time I ordered a plate of char koay teow (replaced koay teow with meehoon) with extra bean sprouts and 2 eggs, which Cass and I shared.  The plate of noodles with no prawns and no cockles (Cass and I don't like prawns and cockles) cost a frigging RM8.

Then I bought some pau (for my pau crazed eldest), pumpkin Chinese muffin, black sesame ang ku and Ki Ka Ku / Xi Ban.  I call the Xi Ban 'pink sticky kuih' and I am besotted with this kuih in my favorite color even though it's nothing more than just flour, sugar, yeast, oil and pink coloring - empty calories.  But that's ok,  It's only an occasional indulgence and I believe won't kill me 😁



What's your favorite kuih?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Simple Tomyam Noodles

The last dish that I cooked before the mil's return from her 1-month stay in Hawaii was Tomyam noodles.  It's a simplified version of my Mee Siam.  My homecooked Mee Siam which everyone loves involves a lot of prep like blending dried shrimps and chopping lots of onions and garlic.  As I was rushing off  to  cook dinner to chauffeur Alycia and Drama Queen to their tuition centres at different times that day, I could only whip up something that's very quick.

I came up with this noodles as I wanted to clear the fridge before the mil's homecoming. I still had a little Tomyam paste left, a quarter packet of organic spinach yee mee, a little vermicelli and frozen kafir lime leaves in the fridge. That's how this dish was created.  I used vermicelli as it's the only noodles that I like and yee mee for the girls who love yee mee.




Tomyam meehoon

Instant Tom Yam Sauce




Ingredients:
Instant tomyam paste - I used about 4 tablespoons of Mak Nyonya tomyam paste. You can add more tomyam paste if you prefer it to be spicier. One packet of tomyam paste is enough for me to cook 3 different dishes as the girls cannot tolerate food that's too spicy.
Vermicelli (mee hoon) and yee mee (I used organic spinach yee mee)
Chopped garlic (about 1 bulb)
Chopped onions (about a handful of small rose onions)
Chicken breast meat, sliced and marinated with soy sauce, fish sauce (optional), pepper, a little corn flour for at least 1-2 hours
Vegetables - I used yau mak.  
Eggs
Salt and sugar to taste
Kafir lime juice
Handful of kafir lime leaves, cut into very thin strips

Method:
Pan fry the chicken breast meat.
Meanwhile, blanch the vermicelli and yee mee for about 1 minute in a pot of water.  I use A1 vermicelli which softens very quickly and does not need soaking.  Drain the noodles and leave aside.
Brown chopped garlic and onions.
Add in tomyam paste and saute until fragrant (about 5-10 minutes)
Add water and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes together with the green vegetables
Add salt and sugar to taste.
Add in kafir lime juice
Add in strips of kafir lime leaves
Add in the cooked noodles and mix them well with the sauce.
In another non-stick pan, prep the scrambled eggs.  I cooked scrambled eggs as that's the fastest to cook. If you have enough time on hand, beat up the eggs and pan fry them. Then chop / cut the fried eggs into thin strips.
Plate up the noodles.
Scatter the fried eggs and raw kafir lime leaves strips on the noodles.
Bon appetit!




Tomyam yee mee

Super easy to cook, this one is sure to become a favourite you’ll make over and over again!


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