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Monday, October 31, 2016

Hailam Cafe And Seafood Steam Pot

Hailam Cafe And Seafood Steam Pot was opened in early October this year (2016).  For seafood lovers seeking a new way to enjoy steamboat, try this steam pot cum steamboat.  First, you savor fresh seafood by steaming them on a stainless steel tray with holes atop the steamboat pot. Then comes the usual steamboat items like fish balls, tofu pok, fish noodles, tofu, vegetables, noodles, etc.

Our first  seafood that came was lala. The lala was steamed on a multi-holed stainless steel tray placed atop a pot of soup boiling in the steamboat pot.  This is a novel way of enjoying naked seafood at its best, with nothing added. You can taste the natural sweetness and freshness of each seafood this way, while the essence from the seafood drips down to the pot of soup beneath.

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The flesh of the lala and prawns were SO juicy, tender and sweet and not overcooked in any way.
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When the prawns were placed on the tray, we could still see the life prawns wriggling their legs!!  I felt really, really bad and imagined myself being steamed alive. My tummy churned slightly and I had the familiar feeling each time someone orders suckling pig.  One day, just one day I will turn  into a vegan...

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Steamed fresh scallops...

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Steamed fresh king garoupa fish...

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Steamed crabs...

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By the time we polished off all the fresh seafood, we were already pretty full but my trencherman hubster ordered more food -- a tray of traditional steamboat items consisting of a variety of seafood balls, tofu, 'foo pei', yee mein and vegetables.

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The cafe is very spacious and clean, as can be seen here...

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Pick your choice of fresh seafood...

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While waiting for the seafood to boil in the pot, the two sisters monkeyed around with   Instagram Face Swap...

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My sweetie-pie helped me to de-shell the crab and fed me the crab meat coz she knows mummy hates to have stinky crab odor on her fingers :D

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Chunky crab claw meat - all for me!!

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After a course of steamed fresh seafood and traditional steamboat items, the final course was porridge  steamboat with the king garoupa head.  Gawd, we were so so full already!!  With so much seafood essence in the soup, the soup and porridge had so much flavors and  natural sweetness.  How could we reject a mean bowl of porridge knowing that so much goodness went into it?

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We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly tucking into fresh steamed seafood and steamboat in this novel way. We will definitely be back again!
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Hailam Cafe And Seafood Steam Pot
ICC Pudu
Jalan Kijang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Call 016-382 0889
Serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sixth Sense

I have it!

Yes, the sixth sense.  And it's freaking creepy each time my eyelid or eyebrow twitches.  The more it twitches the worse off the presentiment of disaster that is about to strike us - my loved ones especially.

And it happens all the time. Well, 9.5 out of 10 times when my darn eyelid/eyebrow twitches. Scary eh?

Last Saturday, my left eyelid twitched and vibrated the whole day. The whole darn day, less the hours I was in bed. I just knew something bad would pop out from the Pandora's Box.  I kept telling the girls that they had better be careful in all circumstances - what they eat and do. They know that mummy has this uncanny 6th Sense with her Twitching Eyelid.  Cass seems to inherit this special ability too. And her eyelid twitched too.  Double whammy!

About 4 days later, the evil genie finally popped out from the bottle.  First Cass was left behind in school by her van driver and she gave me a heart attack when she used her class teacher's mobile phone to call me from school at the time when I was supposed to wait for her at our condo lobby. You can read about it here.

Next, the girl's grand aunt fractured her leg during her holiday overseas and is now in a cast and homebound.

Next up, our very dear and close family friend was down with a bad bout of kidney infection. We visited her in the hospital on Sunday and I brought along packets of Izumio for her.

Several days later, Drama Queen came home from school with high fever. She has inflamed tonsillitis. This girl has been slacking in drinking water and popping her Super Lutein lately and I have been too busy to keep reminding her to drink water like a fish.  On the day we went to our church fun-fair last week, I had warned the girls not to buy sausages and nuggets and absolutely nothing deep fried.  And this stubborn girl just had to go against me and bought a foot-long deep fried Frankfurter. Double trouble - deep fried garbage. And know what? She didn't bring along her water tumbler and did not drink a drop of water after chowing down the entire crap, right out from the pot of recycled hot oil.... all by herself.  When I found out that she had inflamed tonsils, I just couldn't help repeating "serves you right for disobeying your mother!"  I know it sounds evil of me but I did warn the girls umpteen times in the car on our way to the fun-fair to NOT BUY DEEP FRIED FOOD. And she just had to do it.  SIGH, why, why, why?!!

Now Drama Queen is on Cass' diet, which comprises of an alkaline diet, no deep fried food, lots of water, lots of Izumio, 2 capsules of Super Lutein a day, probiotics, Roselle kefir and propolis with manuka honey. I hope she'll get well soon in time to attend her school's bazaar and Children's Day.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Breakfast With The Big Girl

School was out for several days for the big princess to cater for students sitting for the UEC exam early this week.

Every morning during her school break, the big princess and I would have a short outing, either to the supermarket or to the eatery to enjoy breakfast, just the two of us.

Here we had breakfast at the Indian restaurant. She had her favorite roti tisu kurang gula (less sugar) and I had my all-time favorite tosai rawa lebih garing (extra crispy).  We enjoyed our high calorie and high carb breakfast very much and needless to say, we busted our carbs and calorie quota for the day. Lunch was just fruits and cucumber :D

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I really wouldn't mind a wee bit tucking into this heavenly morsel everyday IF ONLY there was no such thing as carb, diabetes, calories and high cholesterol. IF only la...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Our Saturday - 24 Oct 2016

We attended a food and fun fair at our church last Saturday. The girls have been looking forward to attend this fund-raising event since the church announced it months ago.

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The girls were not too keen to spend the coupons on food. They were only eyeing the games!
Drama Queen used up a lot of coupons on 2 rounds of this game where playing cards had to be aimed and thrown at two half cut watermelons. If the card sticks to the melon, you'll get a chop on your redemption card.  I don't know why she chose this game as it's one of the toughest to aim.

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Alycia tried too but didn't manage to stick any card to the watermelon.

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Cass trying her luck with throwing darts at the balloons. Not easy too.
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Hitting tins with a ball seemed easy but it ain't easy too...
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Fishing ducks from the pool also seemed easy but it ain't easy as well as the plastic ducks were too light and kept buoying in all directions. Towards the last few seconds, Cass managed to fish out 1 duck... which earned her 3 chops, YAY!

And for almost RM60 on these games, the girls only accumulated 8 chops, which qualified them for a gift redemption.  Cass was eyeing on some Pokemon plushies but they were all already finished by the time we were at the redemption counter.  What's left were  only some plastic food containers and car sun shades for redemption.   She was really disappointed. But it's OK I told her as we are doing this for charity. We can try again next year.

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I used some of the coupons to get myself a bowl of homemade Foo Chow red wine chicken noodles.

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Back home, Drama Queen baked a tray of chocolate chip cookies for her school Girl Guide's party.  She baked the cookies all on her own while I was away with Cass for piano lesson at Yamaha. When I was back, I helped her crank up the oven.  The cookies turned out pretty tasty and I think that it's very good for an 11-year old girl, who did it all on her own steam.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Compilation Of Home-Cooked Dishes

Some simple but yummy dishes that I rolled out last week:

Braised minced meat with potatoes and tomatoes; Sauteed brocolli with French beans, carrot strips,  minced garlic and onions.

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Grilled giant Portobello with minced garlic. The girls' grand-aunt prepared this mushroom dish.

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Braised pork belly with carrots, dried flower mushrooms and spices; sauteed organic yau mak veggie with celery and onions. It was fridge-clearing day, thus the weird combo of this veggie dish.

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Grilled salmon head with sea salt and cracked black pepper; braised chicken drumsticks with spices and hard-boiled eggs; sauteed organic yau mak veggie.

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It's Friday and thank God it's the long-awaited day of the week!!  Weekends mean that my kitchen is closed and I can have a respite from cooking, eat out (but not junk), chillax and sleep-in.

Have a great weekend and well deserved rest peeps. I know I definitely deserve a good rest after two stressful exam weeks. The big princess doesn't need to go to school until mid of next week but it's school as usual for the other 2 gals.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Cass Finally Learned How To Swallow Pills And Capsules

Cass has recently started to master the art of swallowing pills and capsules. That's a big achievement for her considering the bitter experiences she has had in the process of learning how to swallow pills. When I first purchased Izumio and Super Lutein primarily for her consumption last year in April 2015, we both went through a very rough time trying to get her to swallow Super Lutein.  She would store the capsule in her mouth and just couldn't bring herself to swallow it. The more tensed she got, the harder it was for her to swallow the capsule.  Moments later, she would spit it out, only to see that the capsule had half melted into a dark brown sticky paste. The all-natural dark brown paste contains 6 types of carotenoids, blackcurrant polyphenols, anthocyanin, vitamin E, B group vitamins, DHA and various other nutrients.  She didn't like the taste of it as it has fish oil and would stifle a puke.  She would have tears in her eyes trying hard to swallow the capsule but alas, the capsule would end up in the bin with her puking. We both got so frustrated that I stopped forcing her to swallow Super Lutein.  I gave her a break of over a year for her to get over her traumatic bitter pill experience.

Ever since Cass had a UTI attack in November 2015 and was given strong dosage of antibiotics via IV and oral, her immunity took a plunge. She would have a minor cold or flu every month on end. But she got well pretty fast too, thanks to Izumio. But we were both very frustrated that she kept getting bitten by the flu bugs every month.  It was so frustrating for her that she asked for Super Lutein as I have always been telling her that this supplement will strengthen her immune system. She wanted to try popping the small tear-drop like capsule again.

It was around July this year that Cass finally had the courage to try swallowing Super Lutein again. Before we started, I had a Eureka moment. I remembered how my mum used reverse psychology on the girls when they were younger to get them to drink water and milk by challenging them to compete with her to see who finished the drink first. I tried the same tactic on Cass.  This brat who is quite competitive in nature loved the challenge as she wanted to win me all the time!  By making pill-popping seem like a fun competition, the brat conquered her phobia of pill swallowing and voila, she finally swallowed her first Super Lutein without much fuss, and then the next and the rest they say is history. She now pops 2 capsules of Super Lutein a day. And would you believe it if I told you that she doesn't get colds and flu so often now? I shan't say more. As you know, Chinese folks are very 'pantang' (taboo) if a child is praised excessively. I kind of believe this taboo too.

However, the brat would only willingly swallow her Super Lutein only if I compete with her each time, which isn't a big deal to me. Most times, I fake losing to her :D   She gets the honor of winning the race and I have one less worry.  Life is so much more easier when your kids are healthy. This I am sure every parent out there would agree with me.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Exam Week

This week is the big Princess' final exam and will end on Saturday. Yep she has full day school on Saturdays too.  If you don't already know, I am always sleep deprived as I only have a max of 5 hours sleep from Mondays through Saturdays.  I am up by 4:45 am each day to get the girls ready for school.  But I'm glad that the big Princess is attending a school voted the best Chinese Independent High School in Malaysia, all rounder :)

For the past few nights, when I got up at 2am to bring Cass for her nightly pee, I found the big Princess still studying in her room, with air-cond turned on and a very weary look on her face.  I chided her (though very toned down) and told her that her way of revising for an exam is very wrong.  I have always discouraged the girls to do last minute revision till ungodly hours. Instead I always exhort to them that revision should be done everyday, though only half an hour a day. But sigh... it is SO HARD to drum this into their heads.  Stubborn like who??? Me or the hubs?   The big girl tells me that it is pointless to study too soon as she will forget the facts, thus she feels it is best to only revise at the eleventh hour. Makes sense ar??  Pretty, maybe. But I am all for getting sufficient sleep to gain sharp mental acuity to fight the battlefields the next day. I pray that the big Princess will still have the mental alertness to answer her Physics and History papers today. She has to study Sejarah (Malaysia history) and China history in Chinese.  She only has 4 hours of sleep today.

I am unable to help the big girl much in the preparation of her exam. But I can do a supporting role by rolling out only fresh and wholesome meals for the girls to prep their bodies to weather the stress from lack of sleep and exam anxiety.  I also pump them with Izumio and Super Lutein everyday to zap away free radicals.  Stress and lack of sleep are the biggest free radicals causing culprits!

Dinner for yesterday-

ABC soup, sauteed organic Chinese spinach (por choy) with garlic and steamed Berkcious minced pork with salted egg, chicken eggs and organic wood fungus (Mok Yue).

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You can get organic wood fungus from most organic shops. I used about 2 pieces and cut them into thin strips. Since there is salted duck's egg added, I omitted the salt and soy sauce.  The girls loved this dish very much.  Cass polished off almost half the plate!

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Soup for the soul - composed of carrots, potatoes, celery, big onions, corn pepper, Sakura antibiotic-free chicken keel, Sanshui free range chicken parts and soft baby pork ribs.

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Dinner two nights ago - rice cooker chicken rice and sauteed organic bok choy and organic French beans with garlic and carrot strips, washed down with a glass of refreshing cool coconut water.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Beat The Blue Light's Damage To Your Eyes With Flora Glo Lutein

If you use a handphone very frequently, you need to pop a good lutein supplement to preserve your eye sight for as long as you can.

Blue light is everywhere. Sunlight is the main source of blue light, and being outdoors during daylight is where most of us get most of our exposure to it. But there are also many man-made, indoor sources of blue light, including fluorescent and LED lighting and flat-screen televisions. Most notably, the display screens of computers, electronic notebooks, smartphones and other digital devices emit significant amounts of blue light. The amount of HEV light these devices emit is only a fraction of that emitted by the sun. But the amount of time people spend using these devices and the proximity of these screens to the user's face have many eye doctors and other health care professionals concerned about possible long-term effects of blue light on eye health.

Has it occurred to you that kids these days start wearing eye glasses at a very tender age? That is because kids in this era have easy access to electrical gadgets like iPad, iPod, mobile phones, laptops, desk top computers and other e-devices.  Some parents use these gadgets to babysit their kids.

infographic about harmful blue light eye health solution to beat the blue supplementation with FloraGLO lutein

The eye is not very good at blocking blue light. Anterior structures of the adult human eye (the cornea and lens) are very effective at blocking UV rays from reaching the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eyeball. In fact, less than one percent of UV radiation from the sun reaches the retina, even if you aren't wearing sunglasses. On the other hand, virtually all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina.

Blue light exposure may increase the risk of macular degeneration. The fact that blue light penetrates all the way to the retina (the inner lining of the back of the eye) is important, because laboratory studies have shown that too much exposure to blue light can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina. This causes changes that resemble those of macular degeneration, which can lead to permanent vision loss. Although more research is needed to determine how much natural and man-made blue light is "too much blue light" for the retina, many eye care providers are concerned that the added blue light exposure from computer screens, smartphones and other digital devices might increase a person's risk of macular degeneration later in life.

Protecting Your Eyes With Lutein, The Eye Vitamin.  Lutein is one of two major carotenoids found as a color pigment in the human eye (macula and retina). It is thought to function as a light filter, protecting the eye tissues from sunlight damage. Lutein is called a carotenoid vitamin. It is related to beta-carotene and vitamin A. Foods rich in lutein include broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, orange pepper, kiwi fruit, grapes, orange juice, zucchini, and squash. Lutein is absorbed best when it is taken with a high-fat meal.

FloraGlo Lutein protects your eyes from the harmful blue light that you get from your smartphone, iPads and computers daily. DAILY!!!!  I am guilty as charged too!

Lutein for babies and pregnant mommies.  This is from studies made by the American Government research centre not just hearsay by me. Read the conclusion at the bottom. And please remember, only use FloraGlo Lutein for pregnant mommies and babies despite the fact that all other Lutein supplements in the market are cheap. There is a reason why they are cheap. The Lutein eaters are not pure in composition like Floraglo Lutein and does not get absorbed well into the blood.

Super Lutein from Naturally Plus contains Floraglo Lutein, the only lutein trusted by doctors in the USA.

My 3 girls and I pop 2 Super Lutein a day.  This is to protect our eyes from damage as my kids are exposed to man-made blue light every single day.  I stare at the computer screen for almost 10 hours each day and I know that if I do not take care of my eyes, I may lose my vision in time to come.  I already have eye floaters and I am very certain that this is caused by over-usage and over-stressing my eyes.  After 1.5 years on Super Lutein, the floaters have reduced in intensity and frequency.

Do we want to wait till it is too late?   Do drop me an email at shireenyong@gmail.com or call / Whatsapp me at 019 266 4290 to find out more.  No obligation to purchase anything :)

For more reading on Izumio and Super Lutein, you can click here.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Garlic Minced Pork Chives Ala Taiwan And Steamed Egg Wtih Fish Paste And Japanese Tofu

Dinner that I wok-ed up on one of the weekdays this week :)

Garlic minced pork chives ala Taiwan.  I have not cooked this dish for SO LONG and I had forgotten all about this dish until I chanced upon the picture of a chives dish that I had cooked very many years ago in my archived photo album.  Those days, the hubs would order this dish whenever we dined at Fong Lye Taiwanese restaurant and it was our favorite dish to order at the restaurant.   This dish can also be used to prepare 'Zha Jiang Mien' but the chives have to be chopped into smaller pieces and there is also add on of cucumber strips.

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Steamed egg with fish paste, Japanese egg tofu and shredded carrot again. This dish is so easy to prepare and has been a hit with the girls ever since I cooked it for the first time two weeks ago.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Shanshui Free-Range Chicken

About two weeks ago, I found someone who lives at my neighborhood who arranges Group Buy on Facebook for naturally raised free-range chickens. The chickens are bred in a farm in the outskirts of Selangor. They are slaughtered at pre-dawn and delivered at 6am to this lady.  I was so excited!  As you know, I am a total health freak. Each time I buy regular chickens to cook, I limit my girls' intake of the meat. I am sure by now you know what goes into our chicken feed these days -- antibiotics to prevent diseases and growth hormones to accelerate the chickens' growth to meet high demand. I have recently posted an article on how bacteria becomes resistant and one of the causes is livestock fed with antibiotics.

This retired lady who is organizing the Group Buy was very helpful. She sent the 2 freshly slaughtered Shanshui free-range chickens to me in the morning and only charges me RM5 for handling fees. The chickens were cut into 16 pieces each and vacuumed packed.  I can also have the chicken tailored cut.

Free Range Chicken

I had the chicken steamed with sea salt, red dates, wolfberries, ginger wine and a few slices of tong kwai.

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It was so yummy! The meat is firm and juicy.  The girls and I polished off the entire plate of chicken that evening. I still have another Shanshui chicken in the freezer and I am planning to cook rice-cooker chicken rice next week. This time will save some for the King of the house (he is a chicken lover too) to sample :D

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Kitchen Tales With Drama Queen

We all love eating cantaloupe or rock melon.  But I hardly buy it as I hate cutting it!!  I hate chopping off the thick skin from the cantaloupe.

The other day, the hubs brought home a huge cantaloupe.  The girls were overjoyed as they have not dug into a cantaloupe for quite a while. But I had been very busy with work for the past one week and hadn't found the time to cut the cantaloupe.


Yesterday Drama Queen volunteered to cut and pare the cantaloupe but I said NO. Cutting and paring the cantaloupe would mean using a  long and sharp ceramic knife as the cantaloupe was huge and very hard on the exterior. But she reassured me that it would be an easy peasy job as she had already Googled  how to cut a cantaloupe in the easiest way. She found two methods from Mr Google. She sauntered into the kitchen still in her school uniform and prepared the chopping board and knife. I stood next to her JUST IN CASE!!  Did I tell you that she used to be a very clumsy girl?  She had cut her fingers in the kitchen umpteen times. And I ain't going to take any chances with a razor sharp ceramic knife! I don't have the time to drive her to the hospital and spend hours on end at the A&E with blood oozing out of her fingers. By the way I am not exaggerating. I was once a traumatized pregnant mummy waiting at the A&E of the hospital with Drama Queen and pressing on her bloodied thumb. There were drops of blood all over the hospital floor. And she was only about 2 years old when she squashed her thumb on a steel kitchen door and chipped the bone.. and the nail dropped off *faint*!!

And my Drama Queen executed the job efficiently. She had memorized the techniques of cutting a cantaloupe and did it without a hitch. I stood next to her watching her hands like a hawk while popping the sweet cantaloupe into my mouth and nodding approvingly HAHAHA!  Good job once again to Drama Queen. She has always encouraged me to participate in My Kitchen Rules and Master Chef but I don't think I have the cut and material of one.   I would think she should qualify for Junior Iron Chef in time to come :D

Sliced Cantaloupe

Monday, October 3, 2016

Compilation Of Simple And Healthy Kids-Friendly Homecooked Dishes

Despite having a very hectic day each weekday, I try to dish out something healthy and yummy for my girls. In the past, I have tried ordering daily tiffin meals for dinner but each time I did so, it didn't last for a month.  So I gave up and have decided that no matter how busy each day turns out for me, I will try to place something healthy on the dining table, though they may be something really simple and plain like steamed chicken or steamed fish with a vegetables dish.

This is a compilation of some of the dishes that I cooked over the last 10 days or so...

Braised minced pork with organic miso, tomatoes, onion and garlic.  Pork used is Berkcious pork, free from antibiotics and growth hormones.

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Pork ribs soup with radish, carrots and organic cabbage.

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Pan-fried red snapper fish fillet and sauteed organic leek with Berkcious sliced pork chop and onions.

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Kids-friendly braised brinjal with organic miso, organic fermented bean paste with toona sinensis, squids, tomatoes, grated carrot, shredded kafir lime leaves and garlic.
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I discovered that tomatoes and grated carrots added to a dish impart natural sweetness and flavors to the dish.  Thus, almost all my dishes have carrots and tomatoes in addition to garlic and onions. I hardly use oyster sauce and dark sauce, except for dark sauce naturally brewed purchased from the organic shop.

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Steamed Japanese tofu with 100% fish paste, eggs and grated carrot.

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This is another new dish that I chanced upon from the newspapers and is SO easy to prepare and SO yummy and healthy.

Just mash the fish paste, Japanese tofu and add them into some beaten eggs with a drizzle of soy sauce, pepper, sesame seed oil, water and throw in some grated carrots for the sweetness. Steam for about 15 - 20 minutes.

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The girls loved this dish. Even the persnickety KING of the house who happens to be a foodie and perfectionist caterer loved it.

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Another kids-friendly healthy dish is braised bitter gourd with pan-fried chicken fillet, black pepper, organic miso, tomatoes, grated carrot and onions. The grated carrot and tomatoes impart natural sweetness to the dish, masking the bitterness.

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Sweet corn egg drop soup with organic miso, grated carrot, scallions and organic 'lai park' veggie.

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