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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Feasting Spree

On the day that we returned to KL from Ipoh on Christmas day, we were too tired and lazy to go out for dinner. We finished off the doggy-bagged braised sea cucumber with fish maw and mushrooms from the restaurant in Ipoh and went to bed early.  For the first time in many years, we had leftover food at home for dinner on Christmas!  Our Christmas in previous years were spent at hubby's aunt's house where she would cook up a very English Christmas dinner with food so much that everyone could doggy-bag  home some roast turkey, pigs in blankets, minced pies and ham.

On Boxing day, we had dinner with our usual group of Ipoh besties and their kids at OUG Jade Plaza Restaurant.  Sorry, no photos to share. I have so many photos on food that we ate since 21 December that I doubt I have the time to post them all in my blogs. I'm now down with a bad throat and lost my voice! All I want to do right now on a Sunday (which is hubby's birthday!) is to plonk myself on my bed and loose myself in lalaland till 8 am tomorrow. I have 2 more days to catch up on my beauty sleep before the sleep debt piles up again on 2 January 2019, which is the first day of school. 

On 27 December, we had dinner at Ming Room @ Bangsar Shopping Complex with hubby's relatives.  The next day, my parents came from Ipoh. We had Korean for dinner.  On 29 December morning, we went to ICC Pudu for breakfast at the huge food court before adjourning to Tommy Le Baker for the most expensive (and yummy!) sour dough bread in KL.  We had a sumptuous dinner at Pik Wah Restaurant (MABA House).  And today we had a heavy brunch of Dim Sum at Oriental Treasure @ Bangsar South before my parents took the ETS back to Ipoh. My parents made a trip to KL just to celebrate hubby's 47th birthday with him.

My daily exercise regimen has been on a hiatus throughout the school holidays the past 5 weeks. But yet I did not gain a pound despite all the pigging out.  How did I do it?  Household chores, reducing food portion and sticking to low-carb foods!  Pretty simple.  😊

Our lunch on Christmas day at Mont Kiara, upon return from Ipoh:




Our dinner at Ming Room @ Bangsar Shopping Centre on 27 December 2018:

Milky double-boiled soup with fish maw, Chinese cabbage and a bunch of other dried seafood, which makes this soup lip-smacking. This soup is a winner!



Steamed Soon Hock fish with wood fungus and dried tofu sheets.




Suckling pig. Never my favorite though.



This refreshing chilled 7-Up with lime juice comes with the suckling pig to help negate the cloy effect after chomping down the fatty pig.



Fried butter prawns and deep fried chicken with minced fried garlic.

More foodie photos coming up soon... 😉




Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!

My family and I are now in Ipoh at my parents and we're having a fantastic time enjoying the festivities and birthday celebration of loved ones.

I'll let the photos do the talking 😊

21 December 2018 ~ celebration of niece's 7th birthday:



Custom-made Unicorn birthday cake from JJ Swissroll.


22 December 2018 ~ The 4 cousins rolling 'tang yuan' for Winter Solstics festival:







Tang Yuan in all shapes and sizes:







Tang Yuan in pressure cooker cooked red bean tong sui. We were all so stuffed from big brother's birthday dinner at the restaurant on the actual day of Winter Solstice Festival that we only ate the Tang Yuan the next day for breakfast before our excursion at Lost World Of Tambun.




22 December 2018 ~ celebration of big brother Raymond's 47th birthday at Kok Thai restaurant:







The grand 4 Seasons dish, which was so big and heavy that 2 waiting staff were needed to carry it to the table:










Baked stuffed avocado and braised sea cucumber with fish maw, fatt choy, abalone, mushrooms and broccoli:





'Fah Sang Wu' (peanut paste sweet dessert) and moist chocolate cake with rum from JJ Swissroll:


23 December 2018 ~ the cousins decorating Christmas tree:





Our Christmas gift sharing and opening ceremony was done on 23 December as we had to return to KL the next day BUT the hubs surprised us at bedtime and told us that we could stay one more day in Ipoh. The girls were overjoyed, so happy that they could spend one more day in Ipoh with their grandparents and cousins that they could not sleep 😁




Mum gave me a Phillips pressure cooker this year! SIL from Singapore also received a pressure cooker. Thank you so much mummy 💓

Missing in the photo above are the twinnies. Baby girl was already in lalaland and baby boy was in the hospital. He had to be admitted for a day due to bronchitis and needs nebuliser every 4 hourly. So happy that he can be discharged today but he will need a portable nebuliser at home for treatment every 6 hours.

Health Freak Mommy would like to wish all her readers a very joyous and blessed Christmas!!  We will be on the road traveling on Christmas day tomorrow.





Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Homegrown Organic Spring Onions

What greeted me this morning was a beautiful sight!  The spring onions that the mil planted from red onion bulbs had sprung out, tall and mighty and bountiful!




For the first time after many tries, the spring onions didn't wither halfway while growing.  And the trick is to put the pots at the ledge of the balcony where the sunlight is the strongest. In the past, the pots were placed on the floor at our balcony, without receiving much direct sunlight.

Do you know that you can sow green scallions / spring onions from onion bulbs with shoots? Just cover the onion bulbs in soil and leave the green shoots exposed slightly. Water the plants everyday and make sure that the pot of plant gets lots of direct sunlight. We use fruit peel (orange and banana) and chicken egg shells as compost. The soil is organic.

Today we finally got to taste our harvested homegrown organic spring onions! And the mil cooked Taiwanese tomato egg omelette with the spring onions.





Spring onions can be grown from onion bulbs and they can also be regrown from spring onions. Yes, regrow!  We have tried both methods.  It's pretty hard to find organic spring onions from supermarkets and the best we can get them is to sow and harvest them right at our very own little balcony garden 😊

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Someone's Boo Boo

One day, she quietly used my printer to print some motifs on some Transfer Paper WITHOUT asking my permission.  Transfer paper is used in textiles and arts and crafts projects. Transfer Paper is a thin piece of paper coated with wax and pigment. Often, an ink-jet or other printer is used to print the image on the Transfer Paper.

She Googled the ways to use Transfer Paper on a printer but did not check if the model of my printer was compatible. When the darn Transfer Paper got jammed inside the printer, she still did not tell me that it was a darn Transfer Paper. She just quietly unplugged the printer from my desk and placed in on the floor in the living room and played technician by Googling ways to remove paper jammed in a printer. When I asked her what she was doing, she said that a piece of  paper got jammed inside.  When I took a look at the jammed paper, something did not look quite right. The paper looked like sticker and it was disintegrated and stuck all over the roller!!!  Finally she told me that it was Transfer Paper that she used! She had to tell me as she wanted my help.

😡 

Then she begged me to buy alcohol rub for her coz Mr Google says that it can help to remove the sticky paper from the roller. But I ain't going to drive all out to hunt for alcohol rub at that hour of the day. It was already night. Then she begged me for some alcohol swab meant for medical use.

She spent more than 5 hours Googling ways to remove the darn Transfer Paper from the printer and dismantled the printer in her dramatic fashion.



She sure took a bawling out from me. Because she did not ask my permission to use my printer to print some darn sticky Transfer Paper, because of her impulsiveness, the printer is konked out now. If it is irreparable, I told her that I will take RM500 from her bank account to get a new printer.

Surprisingly, when I told the hubs, he was not storming mad at all! Surprise surprise! Instead, he tried to remove the paper from the printer. Both father and daughter almost pulled an all-nighter just to remove the darn paper from the printer but alas, because they are not hardware specialist, it was all in vain. Nothing worked.


Check out the tweezers, screwdriver, toothpick, scissors and alcohol swabs scattered on the floor. She hijacked her daddy's tool box and tried on a dozen of tools on my poor printer.  I think my printer is totally screwed now!

The printer is now removed from my desk. The hubs will bring it to the hardware specialist to get it fixed.

Next boo boo was with a steamed pancake made earlier this week.  She Googled for a new recipe for pancake and found one for steamed pancake. The recipe looks easy to make and the photos of the pancake sure looked scrumptious.  But it was a failure.  Either the food blogger keyed in the wrong measurements or Drama Queen did the wrong measurements.

Imagine adding 4   huge tablespoons of baking powder into the batter!  And the batter was so much that it looked like the pancake was going to be a gigantic one, enough to feed 30 people. The way it was steamed in the non-stick pan did not look too convincing to me.





Does the picture above remind you of Apam Balik (Chinese 'Tai Kau Meen')?  And it smelled like Apam Balik and waffle. The smell was pretty appetizing though.

My creative baker used blue pea flower essence for the colouring. For the flavoring, she used fresh mango juice, butter, a little salt and sugar and fresh milk.

The pancake was slightly burnt at the bottom.



The texture and taste were similar to that of Apam Balik and it tasted not too bad. We ate a quarter of the supersized pancake and gave the rest to Kakak Maria.






Saturday, December 8, 2018

Simple Kitchen Hacks To Make Life Easier

I hate touching raw meat. I loathe the sight and odor of raw meat. I hate slicing / chopping them and would never ever chop a whole raw (or even cooked) chicken. But there's something about raw meat that I find kind of therapeutic  and it's when  I cut icy cold semi-thawed meat. 😀😆

What's magical to me about semi-thawed meat is that when I sink a sharp kitchen knife into the half icy meat, the sound of metal cutting into the meat creates the feeling and sound similar to that when I bite into an ice-lolly.  I know it's crazy, right? But semi-thawed frozen meat makes handling raw meat all peachy again for me. In my world 😄

Thus, if I have to cube or slice raw meat, I will only do it when it's half thawed. The sound and sensation of the knife cutting into the half thawed icy meat is pretty therapeutic to me. But this job turns skanky again when the meat is at room temperature and feels soft, bloody, wet, flimsy and almost disintegrating when you handle it. Yucky!

So I always freeze raw meat, or half freeze it before handling it.

Plus cutting semi-thawed meat gives you precision. When the meat is firm in a block, slicing and cubing is made so much easier, and it produces standardized size and shape of meat.





Another kitchen hack that makes my life so much easier is pre-peeled garlic.  Pre-peeled garlic sold in supermarkets are not very costly and it can save so much of my time peeling them. I only buy them when the mil is away and I have to take over the kitchen.




After peeling garlic, the next tedious and stinky job is chopping them. Thankfully I have a mini cutter to help me do my job.  This mini cutter does not require any battery or electric to operate it.  All you have to do is pull a string attached to the cutter several times and voila, you'll get perfectly minced garlic in just seconds. Plus, I find it therapeutic pulling the string HA HA HA!





Speedy Chopper - Portable Vegetable, Onion and Garlic Chopper


This vegetable cutter / chopper is very affordable and costs no more than RM20 at Lazada.

What are your kitchen hacks to make your life easier? Do share please!


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Alycia Turns Fifteen

My 'Precious Baby' turns 15 today!

Each year on this day, for the past 14 years, I can't help but to reminisce and replay the memories of the happiest day of my life on 5 December 2003.  I'm not going to bore you with the story of how Alycia was conceived. For the many of you who are my loyal blog readers, you would have read the story, which is the very first post in this blog, written 11 years ago in April 2007.   Click on the link above to read the story.

Alycia spent the entire day at the Gardens Mall with her besties on the eve of her birthday.

We first had brunch at An Viet:





At An Viet, dishes can be ordered in 3 sizes ~ small, medium and large at the SAME PRICE.  Awesome isn't it?  But if you're too ambitious and can't finish what you've ordered, you would have to take away what you can't finish. Fair deal.  I ordered 2 large sets for my 3 piranhas to do halfsies  😆  and yes, we did doggy-bag the unfinished rice and a small piece of chicken back for dinner 😉




This zero carb lemongrass grilled chicken with fried egg is mine.



Refreshing jackfruit smoothie (sugar-free) for me:





After brunch, Alycia met up with her friends while the two other girls followed me. We continued shopping for Christmas gifts at MPH Bookstore.  And stopped by my latest favorite bakery, Hogan Bakery to get some bread and buns.












Hogan is famous for its award-winning treats such as the Lychee and Rose Bread, Longan Bread, Mulberry Cream Cheese Bun, Squid Ink, Soft Honey Bread, Spring Onion Bun, Valrhona Cocoa Chiffon and German Pudding Tart.  Now that I can get the award-winning breads at Hogan, I don't have to wait for relatives from Taiwan to get them for us from Wu Pao Chun Bakery, Taiwan when they visit once a year.  The sponsor of Wu Pao Chun is the owner of Hogan bakery in Taipei.



On the morning of Alycia's birthday (5 December), Sherilyn woke up early to bake a surprise birthday cake for her sister ~ a mouth-watering molten chocolate cake, using the microwave oven!








Lunch was non other than K-food for my hardcore K-pop and K-drama fan.  The hubs took time off from work to bring us to Daorae BBQ Korean Restaurant @ Sri Hartamas.


Our sumptuous galore of K-dishes for the K-food loving family 😁








After our K-lunch, we went to the K-mart downstairs and bought some K-snacks for the birthday girl, before heading to Family Mart for matcha ice-cream.

Dinner was a homely one cooked by grandma and dessert was some fruit-flavored Japanese-style shaved ice dessert at Mykori, something that the birthday girl has been badgering me for days.


Happy birthday my precious baby, Alycia! I hope that whatever you ask on your special day you receive, whatever you seek may you find.  May you be gifted with life's biggest joys and never-ending bliss and good health. After all, you, my precious baby are a gift to earth, so you deserve the best. Happiest blessed birthday. 💓







Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Day Out At Mid Valley / Gardens Mall - 27 November 2018

The main purpose of our shopping outing today was to get a dinner dress, both the mil and myself for a wedding dinner of our close family friend's daughter this Saturday at a hotel.  Five star hotel to be exact.  And we do not have any swank formal dress in our wardrobe to swagger for the pompous function.

After 5.5 hours, I managed to hunt down my chi chi elegant dress that all three of my critical daughters had only praises for. For the first time ever! My daughters are my most critical fashion critics. They are so ever generous with their critics on my sense of fashion with hardly any approval on what I wear, though I find them lacking in good sense of aesthetics sometimes. Well, I can't expect much approval from 3 girls who are anti-dresses and skirts, can I?

🤔

Just to side-track a bit.  The girls and I had a real good laugh two weeks ago when Alycia and Drama Queen had no choice but to go through my wardrobe to pick out a dress to wear to another wedding reception.  They can now wear my clothes and shoes. It's hilarious to see them slipping into my size XS and S dresses

😆

Anyway, back to my shopping outing.

We had lunch at Zok Noodle House at Mid Valley Megamall, a noodles eatery with a perpetual crowd each time we pass by it. This eatery is located on the third floor beneath the GSC Cinema. At Zok, you will find an authentic Hong Kong and Macau gourmet experience.  One can choose from a variety of Cantonese dishes, from congee to roast meats and springy noodles in superior soup. Each dish has been carefully prepared with the freshest ingredients.  Everyone of us enjoyed our noodles and plan to go back again to try other dishes on their menu.






Bitter gourd min xian noodles and pork belly in wine soup min xian  noodles. Both were superb with luscious great tasting soup.



Wanton noodles and pork chop noodles.





After lunch, Alycia and Drama Queen followed their grandma shopping. They always succeed in getting what they want from their grandma, thus they love following her vs. me when we go shopping.

Cass followed me and we did a little camwhoring at the Concourse area while browsing for Christmas gifts.








4.5 hours later, we had a late lunch at 3:30 p.m. at Nando's.




After we reached home at 5 p.m., the mil asked me to bring her to the nearby supermarket and we continued shopping for almost an hour for groceries!

With a total of 5.5 hours of shopping today, I gladly announce that I clocked up 9,806 steps equivalent to 7 km and burned 210 calories just from the shopping malls, woohoo!  No wonder I've been feeling terribly hungry the entire day. Shopping is indeed my favorite exercise 😁













Sunday, November 25, 2018

Our Sunday, 25 November 2018

Today I woke up without feeling the nagging pressure on my lower abdomen and the urge to pee every 10-15 minutes. Today is the 4th day since I had a UTI attack, which is my first in over 25 years.  I am SO thankful and glad that I trusted my guts feelings NOT to go to the hospital to get antibiotics for a fast relief (but with a nasty aftermath) for the horrible and painful UTI attack.

Today I feel 99.9% as right as rain. Praise the Lord!
🙏

Since I was feeling good, I brought Cass to church for Sunday School.  The two older girls have no more Youth Sunday School for the rest of this year.  After church, we went to Mid Valley Megamall for lunch.

Almost every restaurant was packed to the brim with long waiting queues. We waited for over 15 minutes for a table at Din Tai Fung, which wasn't as bad as I thought would be. I was famished by the time the food came. I lost my appetite on the day I had UTI and today I finally got back my appetite. So happy!



Every dish tasted superb to me today. I was hungry the entire day. I have not had a proper meal for 3 days and was only surviving on vegetables, sweet potatoes, pomeloes, apples, avocados, bananas and very little meat. My tummy was bloated with liquid ~ Izumio, barley water, coconut water, Ural and D-Mannose + water. The only way to remove the bad bacteria from my body is through pee. Thus, I had to drink like a fish and camp on the toilet seat the whole day.



Dessert after lunch was X'mas candy cane for the girls. Cass got them from her Sunday School teacher. I don't always allow the girls to eat candies. But since candy canes are only available once a year, I gave them a rare treat ~ a few licks only of the candy cane. They hardly have the chance to finish an entire candy. Candies are still junk food. Empty calories with sugar and food additives.  Fans of candies, my sincere apologies if I rained on your parade.  I am not going to list down the ingredients of candies ok.
 😬 

I remember Alycia pestered me for days to get her some candy canes when we were in New Zealand exactly 4 years ago. I stuck to my guns and didn't get her any. Her doting aunt got her some 😁

After lunch, the mil went shopping with Alycia and Sherilyn. They only got home at 7pm.  The hubs, Cass and I didn't want to shop. So what's there to do with the foodie hubs?  What else?



Dessert of cakes at Alexis. The hubs ordered a Banoffee pie and a Tiramisu.  Alexis sells the best Tiramisu in the world.  I would have chomped down the entire Tiramisu myself if not for the UTI. I am on a low-sugar and low-acidic foods diet to starve the bacteria. Sugar and meat are both on the stay-off list as these are acidifying foods which E.Coli thrive on. The key is to create an alkaline environment in my body and the bad bacteria won't survive.

The Christmas deco at the Gardens Mall this year is beautiful; too beautiful not to capture some photos to store in my Google Photos album.  I love browsing at old photos during my free time. But Cass has been extremely resistant of me taking her pix lately. She's just extremely difficult to deal with the past one year. She's got mood swings. Dang the pre-teen hormones. It was only through a 'deal' with her that she agreed to these photos being taken. Can you beat it? Can you?

🙄 








Check out that sour face!!

CUT.......!  Daddy was not pleased with that face and we made her smile and take many, many more pix!

🙄

I had to force her to smile for the camera, SEE!
 


Just can't stand this girl of mine. What happened to my cutest, most smiley and most cooperative baby girl who used to model for my online store? I feel like I've lost my chummiest closest sidekick 😭





Monday, November 19, 2018

Cass At 10.5 Years Old

My schedule the past two weeks has been stuffed to the gills. Though it's just days away from the 5-week school holidays, the girls are still busy as ever. Well, except for Alycia who has already started her school holidays since a week ago. She works at her dad's office and kitchen on some days to earn some pocket money but on most days, she's as free as a bird, slothing around and without doing a stroke of work!  I've also been busy with my online work, with the girls' activities and welfare and not to mention, chauffeuring.


Alycia and Drama Queen were both down with fever last weekend.  I spent half a day at Pantai Medical Centre with Drama Queen last Thursday (to get an X-ray done for a swelling on her back caused by a fall during dance practice) and today, it's with Cass at the same hospital, for a frigging 6 hours for her yearly ultrasound scan of the urinary tract! I may have to be at the hospital again some time this week with Drama Queen again and get stuck at the Imaging department again! I. Hate. Hospital. Visits! I. Hate. Waiting!

At 10.5 years old, my baby girl has grown so much the past one year. She's now much taller (standing at 141cm tall as of today) and her feet are as big as mine! She's another big foot in the family.  Hopefully she'll be the tallest of the three sisters.  It looks like none of my girls will be as tall as me, though I am considered a shorty at 158cm. But hey, at least I passed the minimum height requirement at MAS and breezed through the interview to be a flight stewardess with the Airlines some 20 years ago. Till today, I still have regrets of giving up my dreams to be a  flight stewardess with free travels around the world.

But I am sure I'll have the opportunity to  travel the world when our girls have all graduated and it's my turn to be as free as a bird!

This is Cass' latest picture taken at  our close friend's son's wedding at St Regis Hotel yesterday. It's really rare that she's willing to pose for the camera without bribery.   And she has now outgrown all her cartoon dresses and tees, as well as princessy gowns 😥  She wants to have nothing to do with princess, pink and lilac colors, frilly ribbon dresses, gowns, tutus, headbands and cutesy hair clips anymore 😭



Cass' ambition has got something to do with an aircraft too. Nope, not a flight stewardess but a pilot!  A female pilot!  Sounds like a half-baked idea? I shall see...

And Cass' latest rage and craze is Harry Potter. She has almost the entire series of Harry Potter novels and is now waiting to claim her final exam reward for another Harry Potter book.

In this picture, she's browsing Lazada for some Harry Potter magic wand but I told her no way, Jose! Such a waste of money.

🙄 







Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Homemade Burrito

For days, Drama Queen has been telling me that she'd like to make Burrito for everyone for dinner. That's fine by me as long as she cleans up the aftermath in the kitchen. She finally made a big batch of Burrito yesterday since it was her day off in school due to fifth formers sitting for their SPM exam. And her Burritos are made from scratch. No Mission wraps are used as I don't buy them. Try reading the ingredients label of Mission wraps if you've got the chance and you'll be shocked to see the list of long names of chemicals and food additives used! Simple rule is if a packet of wraps can stay on the shelves of supermarkets for over a year, imagine the chemicals added into the wraps to preserve them 😲🙈

While Drama Queen prepped the salsa, guacamole and kneaded the dough for the tortilla, I grilled the chicken drumsticks and boneless thighs that I'd marinated a day earlier.


The flour tortillas are pan-fried sans any oil.  They taste like naan.  Though plain, they are nonetheless pretty addictive to chew on.  Cass had half a toasted tortilla for breakfast this morning, eaten plain and she loved it.

Recipe was taken from Chris Scheuer's cooking blog, https://thecafesucrefarine.com/best-ever-homemade-flour-tortillas/


Then Sher dished up a very delish mixed vegetables dish for the wraps composed of organic broccoli, carrot strips, fried potato cubes and lots of garlic and onions. She seasoned this dish with turmeric powder, cumin and smoked paprika.




After working on her babies for close to two hours in the kitchen, we (with rumbling tummies!) finally got to taste her super yummeh Burrito.





Even my very persnickety mil loved the Burrito.

All these from a 13-year old! Well done my Sherilyn! Your next project shall be an old fashioned flour-less orange almond meal cake for your crazy mum and perhaps another meat pie 😚



Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Cherry Apples

Have you ever seen a cherry apple?



I saw cherry apples at De Market and the size is slightly bigger than a cherry, with a long stem, making them look almost like a cherry. At RM25.99 a punnet, these cherry apples look stunning and exotic but I am not ambitious when it comes to buying exotic foods. Exotic does not mean delicious.  I tried Googling for cherry apples but  can't gather much information on it, except that cherry apples are also called crab apples and  they are usually used for preserving.




Has anyone tried cherry apples before? I am curious to know what it tastes like.





Cass Irons Her Clothes

Annie, our new part-time maid does not iron clothes. She does not have enough time to do this job. She leaves at 8:30 p.m. on the dot after 3 hours and if I want her to do more, I have to pay her OT, unlike Maria my part-time maid of 6 years who is ever willing to put in more hours at no extra charge.  But it's ok. I'm happy that there's someone to come in the evenings to help wash the dishes and clean up after cooking.

Without kakak Maria, the girls would  have to iron their clothes themselves. Most times they are lazy and wear crinkled shirts to school. Cass says she has a pinafore over her shirt, so who cares about her crumpled shirt?  Sometimes she only irons the sleeves.

 😆

But for her outing clothes, I have to remind her to iron them. She does them hurriedly though, as if it's a waste of her time. This is the first time in my brat's life that she's ironing her own clothes!  Good training for her.

🙄 



As for me, I hate ironing!  I hardly iron clothes as I buy only clothes made from wrinkle-free fabric.  The hubs irons his clothes and sometimes the mil irons for him.