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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Compilation of Home-Cooked Dishes - 31 Aug 2016

Here are some of the dishes that I wok-ed up recently:

Stir-fried red snapper fillet with ginger and scallions. This is the big girl's favorite dish.  I'm thankful to my regular meat seller who's ever willing to accommodate to my requests to debone my chicken and fish and cut them into the sizes  that I fancy so that cooking them will be a breeze.

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For this dinner, I also prepared rice cooker chicken rice, minced pork and blanched mustard greens.

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Next dinner...

Silky smooth steamed egg and sauteed organic cabbage with carrot strips and homemade fish paste.

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I have now mastered the skill of producing silky smooth steamed egg ;)

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Next dinner...

Sweet and sour minced pork pattie.
Our girls love the ubiquitous Gu Lo Yuk (sweet and sour pork) dish.  This 'tai chow' dish is very pleasing to the palate because of the flavorsome sweet and sour sauce, paired with an assortment of colorful vegetables, all in one plate.

I have always wanted to cook this dish but the thought of how tedious and messy deep frying the pork is always turns me off.  So I replaced deep fried pork with shallow fried minced pork and the outcome was just as good.  Mine is a healthier version minus the many different types of bottled sauces (plum sauce, Lea & Perrin, rice vinegar and oyster sauce).

On a side note, have you ever read the list of ingredients on the bottle of your oyster sauce? It contains MSG and a host of other food additives and preservatives.  That's a big NO NO for me.

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I used lots of minced garlic and big onions...

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And lots of ripened tomatoes too to impart the sweet and sour flavors, with red and green capsicums and cucumbers.  For the seasoning, I used a dash of tomato ketchup, organic shoyu and organic brown sugar.

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That was my first try in cooking this dish and there will definitely be a another round soon as the girls loved it.  The next  time, I'll toss in some fresh pineapples and a dash of Worcester sauce for a tangier taste.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My Monday & Tuesday (29 & 30 August 2016)

On a manic Monday morning yesterday, this little butterfly perched on the outside of our bedroom mozzie net lightened up my morning.  For the first time, I had the chance to take an up close and personal inspection of a butterfly's body. Pretty fascinating wings it has, though the body has resemblance of my enemy - the roach!  I snapped a picture of it to show my girls when they returned from school.

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Yesterday's haze situation deteriorated overnight.  There was acrid smell of haze in the air from dawn till dusk. Visibility was bad.

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This morning was bad too but it rained cats and dogs all of a sudden at around 8am for 3 hours, with strong winds. Several places in KL were flooded.  However, the haze doesn't seem to abate much.

Flash floods on the road heading to the Subang Airport resulted in a massive crawl from the Federal Highway exit and Citta Mall. – photo courtesy of Star Media Radio Traffic

Din din last night was something light and easy to dish up - steamed chicken drumsticks with dong guai, red dates and goji berries, blanched cauliflower and sweet corn + tomato + onion + scallion omelette, which Drama Queen cooked... on her own :)

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Breakie today is organic multi puffs with skinny yoghurt, Pic's sugar-free peanut butter, dried cranberries, organic pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and a drizzle of palm sugar syrup.

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Yesterday I bought a packet of Good Morning organic multi puffs.  Good Morning is an Australian brand.  Multi Puffs is a mix of Brown Rice Puffs, Buckwheat Puffs and Sorghum Puffs. The variety of grains gives a different texture and taste.  It is low in carb, low in salt, low in fat, has no preservatives, no coloring and no artificial flavors.  It tastes very much like pop corn  minus the sugar, butter, caramel and salt.   Very mild in taste but I like it au naturel.  Multi Puffs is good for toddlers too as it has no food additives.

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My shopping cart yesterday...

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Baked Chicken Fingers

It's been more than half a year since I last baked chicken fingers.   Since I wanted to dish up something that's fast (I've been really busy with work lately), yummy and resembles chicken nuggets (the girls' favorite!), baked chicken fingers is the perfect healthy alternative.

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I pulsed 3 slices of wholewheat bread on my Shimono blender to get the bread crumbs.

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Drama Queen helped to beat the eggs...

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She also helped to coat the boneless chicken breast meat  with the egg mixture and bread crumbs...

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I baked at 150C for 15 minutes on each side. The outcome was great. The chicken fingers were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

I had earlier marinated the chicken breast meat with soy sauce, pepper and coriander powder.

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I also made a quick soup using chicken bones, carrots, tomatoes, sweet corns and added Ikan Tenggiri fish paste and organic Chinese cabbage.

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Cheat chicken nuggets with sweet corn and carrots from the soup as healthy sides.
Did you know that sweet corns contain zeaxanthin and lutein which are your eyes' best friends? Yep, along with carrots, sweet corns are great for your eyes too.

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I wanted to see if the chicken fingers would taste better with bread crumbs or without, thus I baked two varieties.

Verdict - the ones coated with bread crumbs were way better (not as dry) and crispy.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Izumio for Sports

Recently I started adding crunches back into my daily exercise regimen. Age is catching up on me. As we age, our basal metabolic rate drops too. Before I develop a sagging jiggly pouch in front of me with sagging grandma arms too, I better do something to tone up my muscles!

According to the American Council on Exercise, your basal metabolic rate drops roughly one to two percent per decade. By the late twenties, many women notice that they can’t eat the same things they used to without gaining weight and that the weight doesn’t fall off as easily as it once did.  Since this drop starts right about the time people settle into the (largely sedentary) workforce—and start losing muscle—your office job might actually be to blame too.

To add insult to injury, during your thirties, you aren’t producing as much human growth hormone as before (no more growth spurts for you!), which also leads to a dip in your metabolic rate.  However, strength training can help you build muscle and produce more human growth hormone, both of which keep your metabolism running as fast as (or faster than) it did when you were 20.

Thus, no matter how tired or busy I may be, I make it a point to exercise first thing in the morning, after sending the girls off to their transporters. Pre-dawn exercising gives me back my sanity and I just love the serenity, quietness and peace of the outdoors during that time of the day. I have been doing this for the past 16 years and I will never stop performing my daily pre-dawn exercise. It is a must in my life.

Back home after a 30-minute swim in the pool (26 - 28 laps) or 40-minute brisk walk outdoors, I continue with crunches on my fitball.  On busy days, I skip the Swiss ball crunches but compensate with bicycle crunches on the bed - about 60 of them. You will feel the aches and pains on your body for a start, especially on your belly but as time goes, you will be able to increase the number of crunches with no more aches. And you'll begin to see the toned muscles on your abdomen.

On top of exercising, I cook 5x a week, sometimes twice a day. I chauffeur the kids around. I do the groceries. I have some businesses that I do online. I manage 3 blogs.  And I only get 5 hours of sleep each day. How do I find the energy to fuel me for all these?

The answer lies in hydrogen water and antioxidants, which I religiously consume everyday.

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Why are more and more sportsmen turning to Izumio as their power booster? Because it has the highest quantities of safe hydrogen in the world and it works! How? Google up and do your own research. When our muscles are fatigued, lactic acid is released and our body produces hydrogen to compensate. What happens when you introduce even more hydrogen into the body? Try it!!!

To read more about Izumio, you can click on Izumio And Super Lutein on the 'Labels' section of the right side bar of this blog.  Or simply click  here.

If you are active in sports or are on the go a lot everyday, do away with whatever you're drinking now and try Izumio. Call 012-266 4290 or email me at shireenyong@gmail.com for more information.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Pork Bolognese From Scratch

This is the healthiest and yummiest bolognese sauce that you can whip up for your entire family. I wouldn't say it is easy to whip up though, as it is very time consuming. It involves a lot of chopping, blending and cooking. But you can cook a big batch of sauce and freeze for use later, which ultimately saves time.

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For the sauce, I used:
4 large plump tomatoes (organic)
1 carrot
Half head of cauliflower
Blend all the above ingredients together.

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I think this gave me about 1 liter of pure vegetable puree for the bolognese sauce.

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I used 3 large big onions and 1 bulb of garlic. I have to thank my dear part-time helper, Maria for helping to chop these up.

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After browning the garlic and onions, put in the minced meat.  Stir-fry the meat until it turns dry and brown. Add in the blended vegetable puree and a handful of bay leave, some dried Italian herbs and cracked black pepper and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add salt and sugar to taste.

I used antibiotic and growth hormone free pork purchased from De Market supermarket. I bought pork belly and got the pork section guys to mince the meat for me.

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The portion in the glassware is for deep-freezing.

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For dinner, next day breakfast at home, recess in school and lunch at home the next day.

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I asked Cass and Drama Queen if they were sure about eating pork bolognese pasta for 4 meals in a row and they gave me a resounding YES!

Honestly, I can't eat the same food for 4 meals straight. Can you?

This pork bolognese is 100% wholesome, yummy and satisfying. It is 100% free from preservatives and unhealthy food additives.  With this recipe, you can say goodbye to bottled pasta sauces.  Do give this a try!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

My Saturday - 20 August 2016

Sorry for the long silence here!

I spent the last 3 days fixing my blogs as the photos in my blogs since November 2015 through May 2016 failed to load in all my blogs.  I am pretty sure it's caused by Facebook changing their setting some time in November 2015.  Consequently, the photos were not compatible with my blogs, thus they couldn't load. I upload my photos in an anonymous account on Facebook and then import the photos to my blogs.  Since Friday, I have been putting the photos back into each post, one by one.  So much precious time had been wasted doing this!

Last night, my right hand had a nagging pain in the muscles and I could not pinpoint the cause. I just realized that the pain was caused by over-usage of my right hand on the mouse. Not surprising as I had  a bad bout of  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome a few months after Alycia's birth.  I  had spent 3 full days sitting at the computer fixing my blogs and I still have 1 more blog to fix,  BLEH!

Cass enjoying her bowl of bitter gourd vermicelli for breakfast and totally soaked up in her Enid Blyton stories.

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In the evening, we had a quick dinner at Red Kettle, our favorite cafe to tuck into our favorite food.

Lip-smacking roasted pork ribs with roasted whole garlic for the hubs and I...

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Kettle salad and mushroom soup. The picture of the mushroom soup here does not do its justice. The soup tastes really rich and every spoonful is filled with texture of blended shiitake mushrooms.

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House-made apple cinnamon loaf to go with the mushroom soup.  We ordered coconut bread the previous Saturday.  The mushroom soup was sold out last Saturday and Cass was really disappointed. It was her suggestion to have dinner at Red Kettle again so that she could satiate her craving for a luscious hot bowl of mushroom soup.

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Kettl's Old School chicken chop. Cass loved it.

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Aglio Olio for Drama Queen.  Pan-fried seabass for the big princess.

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Kettle's house-made sausages are my absolute favorite. I don't eat commercially sold sausages and deli meat for all the bad rap they have on our health. When I dine at Red Kettle and Nutmeg, their textured house-made sausages are a must-have item for me.

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Kettle's Lemon Polenta cake is TO DIE FOR!  It is made from almond meal and corn meal and free from wheat flour and low in sugar. Perfect for low-carbers and health freak. It is another must-order item for me each time we dine at Red Kettle.

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After dinner, we hurried back home to watched Lee Chong Wei battle against Chen Long of China. It was such an intense, nerve wracking and heart thumping 1 hour watching two very powerful shuttlers clash. Alas our beloved DLCW had to settle for the silver.  Nonetheless, he's still our country's HERO and we all think he played very, very well. It's disappointing to know that DLCW has decided to hang up his racquet after next year's World Badminton Championship in Glasgow. I still wish that he will give it another try at clinching Malaysia's first gold in the 2020 Olympic. Would he??

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Check out Cass holding our Jalur Gemilang lol!  She was cheering on for DLCW.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Big Hearted Cass

Cass - mummy, can I have money from you for donation?

Me - what donation?

Cass - it's for the less fortunate people. You know those who have no hands and legs and blind. Today I gave 10 sen to my teacher.

Me - WHAT? Aiyoh, 10 sen is so little, you might as well not give and wait for me to give you money!

Cass - but that's all I had in my wallet today. You see, my wallet is totally empty!!  (then shows me
her empty wallet).

Cass - it's the thought that counts right?   At least I gave all that I had! And I will give more money tomorrow.

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Never the type who can sit and eat and do nothing else, Cass always has a book or newspapers in hand during meal times.In this picture, she was working on a word search.   Her daddy and grandma wouldn't like it though.  But I'm perfectly fine with it coz I am like that too! ;)

Angel Hair Aglio Olio With Grilled Chicken

For my girls, I can never go wrong with pasta and grilled chicken.  As a WFHM of 3 with no full-time helper, I have no time to cook glamour food.  Simplicity and FAST are my mantra, even if it means preparing food befitting toddlers like porridge or sandwiches for my tween girls.  Fortunately, my girls hardly complain if I cook the same dishes again within a 2-week period. I try not to repeat the same dish in a span of 2 weeks but sometimes when ideas run out, I will repeat a dish that I had cooked just a few days ago.  My girls also don't mind having simple no-frills sandwiches or toasties as a meal for lunch or dinner.

I cooked Angel Hair Aglio Olio with grilled lemon, herbs and turmeric chicken thighs on one of the week days last week.

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I didn't have to ask my girls if they enjoyed the pasta and chicken and I knew that they loved it coz Drama Queen and Cass ate the same thing for dinner, breakfast, recess and lunch the next day!!  I kept asking them if they were really sure about bringing the pasta and chicken to school for recess coz they were going to eat the same thing for lunch when they returned from school... and I had a resounding YES! I can't eat the same food for 4 meals in a row.  Same goes for our tai siew che Alycia. This will make us grow averse to the dish. But Drama Queen and Cass have no issues eating the same dish for several meals straight in a row.


No more headaches planning what to cook. When I am at a lost on what to dish up, pasta and grilled chicken will be placed on the dining table!  Pasta is also a very versatile dish, which my girls hardly say NO to. I can use penne, angel hair, ribbon, spaghetti, linguine, farfalle ribbon, rotini twists, et al cooked in different styles from bolognese to aglio olio to creamy mushroom.

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Flexitarian's Lunch

My laziest yet healthiest lunch ever - steamed Japanese sweet potatoes, thinly sliced cool and crunchy green bell peppers and cool kyuri.

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While Drama Queen and Cass had pork bolognese penne pasta that I cooked for dinner the previous night, I had an almost fat-free, low calorie, zero oil all natural lunch.

Satisfied to the max as it was guilt-free, food additives-free, process-free and meat-free, just my kind of meal, for a flexitarian.

Later in the afternoon, the hubs surprised me with my favorite fruit - Musang King and Red Prawn durian!!

Sei lor, fei sei lor!!  And my cholesterol!!

But since the durian season only comes 2-3 times in a year, what the heck!  Just wallop and suffer later.  The next morning, I swam an extra 2 laps in the pool, making it to 28 laps.  After a shower, I had durian for breakfast! That night, I did 50 bicycle crunches on the bed before I dare hit the sack.

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For my readers living abroad and craving for some durians, nah, my treat to you -- close up pix of my Musang King and Red Prawn durian ;)  They are totally to die for.

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