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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

School Holiday Activities

This school holiday, the girls have been occupying their time pretty much with board games in the morning.  Cass would first drag her grandma to play with her when her 2 sisters are still in bed.  When grandma is busy in the afternoon, she will drag her sisters to play with her.

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Today my day started off early.  I chauffeured Sherilyn to school at 8am for a field trip.  Was stuck in a horrendous traffic jam and by the time we reached school, we were 20 minutes late.  Once I drove past the stretch of perpetual jammed up road, I sped like an F1 driver all the way to school.  Thank God the bus was still there. And on my way out from the school, I saw a few teachers getting into the school. They were even later, ha!  After the field trip at 2pm, I fetched the drama queen back.

In the evening, it's gym session again. 

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It will be another week or so before we head back to Ipoh and then, possibly to Penang.

Though we are pretty much holed up at home, I am not complaining. I am enjoying the sleep-ins in the morning and relatively stress-free days now, before the stressful school blue days in the new term begin.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Compilation of Home-Cooked Dishes

Here's a compilation of yummy mumm mumm cooked for dinner by the chef of the house this month.  She cooks dinner  from Monday through Friday.

Below - Steamed egg with minced pork, sweet corn fritters with aromatic kafir lime leaves, pork chop cutlets with big onions and sauteed milk white veggie.

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Onion omelette.

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Steamed fish, yong tau foo, fried fish, braised bitter gourd with roast pork and crackling roast pork.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Just Another Glorious Food Post :)

Last weekend was pigging out weekend with good friends and family members.

After an early gourmet breakfast at Gravy Baby on its opening day, we went to Restoran 9888 in Cheras for dinner with our childhood friends.

What hubs and I like about Restoran 9888 is that they dish out the most stimulating and unique menus.  You have to check them out to pique your palate with their creative Chinese dishes that flaunt a flair for stylish surprises.

Below -
1. Two styles fried chicken
2.  Deep fried spinach with salted egg yolk on top. Beneath the pile of crunchy spinach is a surprise - spinach cooked with egg sauce.
3.  Suckling piggy.

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Below -
1.  Claypot pig trotters veins
2.  Yong Tau Fu (stuffed with minced pork and salted fish).
3.  Deep fried tilapia fish slice with super fine and crispy egg floss. The achingly crispy boneless fish slices with addictive deep fried egg floss is to die for.
4.  Fried rice wrapped in 'Hor Yip' leaves. This dish emerges brazenly flavorful with lap cheong (Chinese sausages), har mai (dried shimps), aromatic mushrooms, deep fried silverfish and spring onions. It was so addictive that the portion on the children's table was brought over to the adults' table and was polished clean.  For a moment, I just had to throw my low-carb diet off the window.  It was too hard to resist this enticing high calorie dish.

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Below - Dessert was coconut egg custard jelly (not in picture) and Bonsai Green Tea ice-cream.
This thrilling ice-cream is out of this world. It looks like a real plant with brown soil, which is actually crumbled chocolate cookies.  Kids and adults will love this enticing dessert.

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On Sunday, we had brunch at Han Room @ Gardens. I ordered my favorite kai jau (chicken in rice wine) and coconut jelly.
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Below - mushroom pau, which is a new item on the dim sum cart.  The pau is perfectly crafted into the shape of a mushroom. It even has a stump at the bottom of the pau.  The filling is of course mushrooms.  I love it!

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After dim sum, the girls shopped for books at Borders.

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Dinner was at our favorite neighborhood restaurant.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Curry Dishes For Dinner

As we say good riddance to the El Nino heat, we are now grappling with another natural disaster woe - flash floods.

But I have no complaints. I love the wet and chilly weather.  My mood is instantly lifted up when the skies turn gloomy and a storm looming :D

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With a wet and chilly weather greeting us almost every evening, we have been tucking into spicy food lately.

Below -
1. red snapper fish curry with ladies finger, aubergine and long beans.
2.  Beef rendang

Both dishes are from the kitchen of Catermate. Whenever there is an excess of food, we are the happy beneficiaries!

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The hubs' chef can whip up curries to die for.  The girls and I are always waiting for days when there is an excess of curry dishes.  We can never get too much of them. And the Nyonya kuih too. They are just too good to resist.

If you need catering for a home or office function, do give my hubs, Alan a call at 019-266 4297.   :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Teacher's Day 2016

Teacher's Day celebration will be held next week at Cass and Sherilyn's school.

Tomorrow I will pop by school to pass the presents to their teachers and at the same time to pass the cash for second semester books to the teachers. (That's over RM500 gone in a flash in just a day and I shudder to think how much Alycia's imported books would cost!)  I think the teachers will  appreciate it too that they receive gifts earlier rather than on the day of the celebration as they will be receiving too many gifts on the actual day. I doubt they remember who gives what to them.  I remember the mountainous gifts that my mum received during Teacher's Day each year when she was a teacher decades ago.  My brothers and I would have a jolly few hours unwrapping all her gifts.  Such sweet childhood memories :)

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This year I bought the teachers green tea and crunchy dark chocolate muesli. Cass and Sherilyn wrapped the gifts up themselves, saving me all the work and time :)

Happy teacher's day to all the teachers out there!  You certainly deserve lots of gifts and appreciation. It's not easy to be a teacher and I don't think I can ever be one.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Thursday Lunch - 12 May 2016

I had a pretty heavy brunch loaded with calories, cholesterol and carbs on Thursday.

While our girls were in school, hubs, the mil and I tucked into some gravely sinful and toothsome Indian morsel! :D

The hubs ordered nasi briyani with added mutton curry, veggies and fish curry.  The plate of nasi briyani was humongous and cost a whopping RM12 for the rice, mutton and veggie.  The three of us shared this plate of rice.  I further added a tosai rawa, which is my absolute favorite.  Tosai rawa is a healthier alternative to roti canai.  It is light and not starchy and heavy unlike its counterpart.  I like the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, onions, carrots, curry leaves and coriander leaves thrown into the batter, which make the tosai bursting with  natural flavors.  The tosai rawa is served with healthy dippings of coconut chutney, onion chutney and dhal.

I also bought a pack of nasi briyani with hard boiled egg and chicken for Cass and Sherilyn to share for lunch.

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For lunch, I had something really light and easy on my tummy.  I had salad composed of one raw green capsicum, pineapple, hard boiled egg, cucumber and pumpkin seeds.

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I can never get sick of Indian cuisine.  Our girls love it too. They are fans of spicy food.  However, I will only have it for lunch or breakfast and then go meatless and vegetarian for the rest of the day. It's all about having a balanced diet and not busting your calorie, carbs and fat quota / intake for each day. This way, you can eat anything and everything your heart desires :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My Fitbit Charge Activity Watch

The hubs got me a Fitbit Charge watch last week.  The Fitbit measures heart rate, number of steps walked, calories burnt, stairs climbed and much more. Oh yes, it shows the time too.  The Fitbit is synchronized with my mobile phone. I can check all my physical activities (done earlier) on my phone even when I am not wearing my Fitbit.   I love it!

This morning, I wore my Fitbit for the first time when I went brisk walking and then to the gym.  Too bad it rained when I was in the midst of brisk walking outside. I ran back to the condo and proceeded into the gym, where I worked out on the air-walker.

In my 40-minute workout today, I walked 3,992 steps and burnt 483 calories.  This is not  near my ideal target. I could have done better than that. I had to cut short my work out session as I have a lot of work to be done on the computer.  Soon, I will have to go to school to check on Cass.   But hey, this is still good and way better than sticking my butt on the chair or bed for 40 minutes.

The figures I get on my Fitbit today is still better than a big fat zero (had I not exercised), which would contribute to a big fat butt and belly.   I am doing this not so much of wanting to be slim and trim but more towards investing in good health.  As you already know, I have issues with genetic high cholesterol.  I have already increased the duration of my work out everyday -- from swimming 20 laps to 26 laps a day and brisk walking from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. I  alternate between swimming and brisk walking everyday.

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I know many of you ain't doing anything to keep fit and healthy.  It is never too late to start. Remember, even if you burn 100 calories a day, it is still better than a big fat zero :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

On the eve of Mother's Day, the hubs surprised his mother and the mother to his daughters to a sumptuous dinner at Unique Seafood Restaurant, PJ.

I didn't know that he would be bringing us to this restaurant until the eleventh hour. I hadn't charged my mobile phone and did not even bother to  bring my power bank along for dinner.  Saturdays are always hectic for me.  In fact, every single day is HECTIC for me.

When we reached the restaurant (after a tensed car ride in a torrential  thunderstorm with floods every where), I realized that my mobile phone only had 1 bar of battery left.

Thus, the only picture that I could possibly snap with my dying phone was this - ultra fresh raw oyster.

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The hubs also ordered steamed prawns, sweet and sour crabs, fish, fried rice, veggie and a steamed chicken.  Too bad, my phone had died on me and I couldn't take anymore pictures that night.

On Mother's Day (Sunday), Cass made me a very simple breakfast first thing in the morning (picture below).

She used Meiji crackers with cheese spread, organic brown rice rings, nuts, banana and tortilla chips... with a lovely note to the plate :D

She also made me cards and gave me an ang pow... with RM3.50 inside 😆😍

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Homemade cards from the girls...

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At church, all the mothers received a Mother's Day gift.  I got a pair of earrings!

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After lunch, we had coffee, tea and cakes at LDG (Les Deux Garcons) @ De Market.

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The MIL and I received a surprise from the lady boss.  She gave us each a bowl of yummy homemade marble cake with ice-cream and cookie crumble.

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At night, the hubs surprised us again. He had earlier said that he wouldn't join us for dinner as he had a basketball match. Half way through dinner at our favorite neighborhood restaurant, he turned up--- and ordered a gigantic steamed fish, on top of the dishes that I had earlier ordered.  The fish was really humongous and we gave a quarter of the fish to the lady boss, whom we have become really chummy with after over a decade of patronizing her restaurant.

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A few days before Mother's Day, I received a very lovely Mother's Day card from one of my loyal blog readers.  She has been sending me homemade Mother's Day cards for the past 4 years.  This is the 5th year that she sent me a card that she made it herself.  I am truly touched. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, S! :)

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I hope you've had a wonderful Mother's Day celebration, with you being pampered by your little ones and your man :)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Healthy Home-cooked Dishes

It's been a while since I last posted pictures of the mil's healthy home-cooked dishes for dinner.

Here's a compilation of the no-frills dishes that she lovingly wok-ed out over the past few days :)

Below -
1.  braised chicken with chestnuts and mushrooms.
2.  sauteed brinjal with minced pork, chili and fermented bean paste (tau cheong)

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Below -
1. On the foreground is a close-up picture of sauteed brinjal with minced pork, chili and fermented bean paste (tau cheong)

2.  Blanched ladies fingers

3.  Emperor's Dish (hot and sour Chinese mustard vegetable stew), which is my all-time favorite.  If you have an excess of food from a party or dinner, keep the meat and 'transform' them into this very flavorful stewed vegetables dish.

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Below -
1.  Braised pork ribs with yam
2.  Pan fried fish
3.  Canned sardines with julienned kyuri, lime juice and onions
4.  Stir-fried green veggie
5.  Braised Indian long green karela (bitter gourd) with roast pork

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Below - close up  picture of braised Indian long green karela (bitter gourd) with roast pork (on foreground)

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Below - this is the type of bitter gourd that the mil cooked. It's called India Long Green, which has a unique bumpy appearance of  'teeth' on the surface of the skin. 

Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon Types and Benefits

The smoother and light green variety of bitter gourd that we normally buy is called the Green Lover, as shown in the picture below.  Both types of bitter gourd taste the same to me.

Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon Types and Benefits

If you do a Google search, you'll be amazed to see the different kinds of bitter gourd in all shapes and sizes. Whatever the species, bitter gourd is bursting with nutrients and medicinal properties.  Bitter gourd can treat skin problems, helps to maintain healthy liver, bladder and kidney, lowers blood sugar through increased metabolism of glucose, lowers cholesterol levels, among others.

TGIF to all my readers!!  Our kitchen will be closed for the next 2 days, yipee!!    I hope you'll have a very fruitful and relaxing weekend with your family and loved ones :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lunch On A School Going Day

Here's a typical scene at home during lunch hour on a school-going day...

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Sherilyn and Cass quietly gobbling down their food with book in hand and eyes fixated on the book.
They need some butt pushing and hollering for them to leave the dining table though, else they can sit there and finish the entire story book and continue dinner with another book in hand.  Yes, I kid you not!  If only they are that enthusiastic with their school books, my life will be a zillion times easier!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Labour Day Holiday - 2 May 2016

I didn't get to sleep in on my Labour Day holiday (replacement). Miss Drama Queen had to be in school in the morning for a dance practice for her forthcoming sports day.  So I was up at 6am.   I wonder what the teachers were thinking of,  to organize practices on a public holiday.. of all days on a public holiday!

After Miss Drama Queen got back from school, we went to Seoul Korea Korean BBQ restaurant for lunch.  Food was fantastic but I had totally forgotten to snap any picture as I was really famished and savaged the food the moment it arrived :D

The big girl had been craving for waffles for weeks but I just did not have the time to experiment with our new waffle maker (brought back from the hubby's shop).

After lunch, the big girl got her wish fulfilled by her daddy. We had heavenly crispy and fluffy waffles, a slice of decadent chocolate truffle cake and coffee at Jemi Cafe.

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Capuccino and Signature Coco Matcha Frappucino with shredded coconut.

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After lunch, I brought Cass for a hair trim while everyone else napped at home on a breezy and rainy afternoon. Lovely weather it was today and I think we can finally say good riddance to the El Nino heatwave!

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3 Ways to Encourage an Interest in STEM for Your Children

Whether your child has an interest in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) career, or you just want to expand your child’s interests, there are many toys that help to increase and encourage a child’s interest in these fields. Here are just three items you can buy that may help to encourage your child’s interest in these fields.

While you likely will not want to buy an adult microscope for your child, there are many microscopes created for children. There are plastic microscopes created for small children, which allow them to view everyday objects in greater detail. Microscopes created for older children allow the child to place the objects on a slide and view things such as bugs, hairs, germs, and other small objects clearer. Often children’s microscopes are less fragile than microscopes used by scientists, allowing for the child to be a little less gentle with the device. Microscopes allow even children who might not have an interest in science to see that it can be fun.

Lab Coat
Kids lab coats are great for any child interested in STEM. The child can pretend to be a doctor. The child can pretend to be a scientist. When combined with something like a children’s microscope, the child can even feel like a real scientist. A lab coat also provides a little bit of protection for the child’s clothing, which is nice when your little scientist gets a little messy with the colored water “experiments” or other messes your child might make.

Rock and Mineral Kit 
If your child has an interest in rocks, a rock and mineral kit might be an ideal learning option. A rock and mineral kit allows the child to see different rock varieties and learn facts about the specific rocks. Many rock and mineral kits even include pictures of rocks with the name included, allowing your child to find rocks on their own and identify them.

Of course, these are only a few of the toys you can purchase to encourage a child’s interest in a STEM career. Books, toys that allow the child to build, and telescopes are other ideas that may help to build upon your child’s interest in these fields.