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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ngoh Jie Apom @ K88 Food Court, Old Klang Road

I finally found my favorite Apom Guan @ Jalan Burma, Penang right here in KL!  Just 10 to 15 minutes drive away from where I stay!

But...no it is not the authentic Apom Guan apom but it tastes 98% similar. I still like Apom Guan's apom best!  Looking at the photos from Ngoh Jie Apom's Facebook page, I guess that they either still have a stall at Gurney Drive, Penang or once sold there. The Facebook page is updated in Chinese and I can't read Chinese.

Ngoh Jie Apom currently has two stalls in the Klang Valley: one at Bandar Puteri, Puchong (morning) and one at Old Klang Road (night).

The hubs chanced upon Ngoh Jie's apom stall when he went to the newly opened K88 Food Court to get some food recently.  He got so excited and bought 20 pieces of apom to surprise me 😍😂

Our trip to Penang will never ever be complete if I don't get to savour Apom Guan's apom.  Our routine upon arrival in Penang is to have lunch at our favorite Sin Kheng Aun restaurant, then go to GMC to see Cass' surgeon, after doctor's appointment and ultrasound scan, we head straight to Burmah Road to get Ah Guan's apom and then check into the hotel.  I could easily whack 10 pieces of Ah Guan's apom at one go... in the car while the apom are still hot, after waiting for at least an hour for them. By the time we reach the hotel, all the apoms would have been gobbled down by us.  It's my most favorite snack of all time and to think that this old man only makes about 20 or 30 cents profit per piece of apom, I think he's only selling them as a passion or to pass time.   It's a laborious job standing at his push cart under the unforgiving sun or rain working non-stop pleasing the perpetual long queue, most of which are his long-time loyal patrons, just like myself.  I discovered Ah Guan's apom during my 3 weeks nightmarish stay at Gleneagles Hospital, Penang in May 2009 during Cass' surgeries.

OK, back to Ngoh Jie's Apom!  I was SO happy when the hubs came home that evening carrying plastic bags of tapau food. When I opened up one of the bags, I could not believe my eyes!  One bite of the apom and I was sent to food heaven!  Where on earth did my man find my favorite apom in KL?!

At only RM4 for 5 pieces, Ngoh Jie's apom are a steal.  The apoms are best eaten fresh from the pan. They tend to get soggy if you keep them inside the plastic bag for more than an hour.  Best is to scoff down all 5 pieces at one go, while they are still hot. 😋

Ngoh Jie Apom

6pm to 11pm at JALAN KLANG LAMA , K88 FOOD COURT

Mobile number: 016-431 2288 (you can Whatsapp to make reservations)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pet Therapy

Last week, we discovered that one of the residents at our condo rears cats in their unit. Not one, not two but four! 

It all happened one pre-dawn school day last week. As we were leaving our unit, I looked up to my right and saw some sparkly eyes glistening in the dark.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a cat sitting on an outdoor air-conditioner unit; it was actually perching precariously at the edge of the air-conditioner unit, soaking in the pre-dawn peace I guess. Just like me, I enjoy my pre-dawn exercise.  I love the absolute peace and stillness of the dark while I feel the adrenaline rush in my body.  In the subsequent mornings, Cass and I discovered that there were 4 cats sitting there, enjoying the view from the 7th floor, every single morning. How adorable!

From that morning onwards, Cass and I would never fail to wave to the cats when we leave the house. It is quite a sight to behold for animal lovers like Cass and me each morning.

Today Cass and I got a full dose of of pet therapy. After piano class, we segued into the pet shop next door. We were tickled pink to see three new puppies at the pet shop -- two  Corgi and a Samoyed.  The 3 fluff balls are so so adorable! I can feel my stress and worries melt away just by looking at these fluff balls with a RM8,500 price tag!

We also noticed that the pet shop owner has recently opened a pet cafe just above the pet shop.  Cass and I couldn't wait to check out the pet cafe and zoomed upstairs right away.

We weren't surprised to see the usual Giant Alaskan Malamut at the pet cafe. It belongs to the pet shop owner. It used to be caged up at the pet shop. Now it has a larger space to roam about but it has to be diapered for hygiene purposes.  Cass was pleased as punch to see her favorite Corgi at the pet cafe and went straight to pat it.  The dogs are extremely docile and do not bark or bite.

Cass has since been bugging me to have dinner at this pet cafe and I think it won't be long before we dine there.  Hopefully there will be more dogs at this cafe the next time we are there. I get very happy when I am surrounded by dogs 😁

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Cassandra's Interests

While her two sisters were hooked to electronic gadgets during the recent school holidays, Cass was hooked to her novels and magic clay. She could sit for hours on end at the dining table rolling, sculpturing and decorating her creations made with magic clay that I got for her from my supplier.

Two of Cass' latest favorite novels are Rebel Spring and Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. From Geronimo Stilton to Diary of A Wimpy Kid to Enid Blyton and now to Morgan Rhodes' paranormal novels, Cass is a ferocious reader who reads just about any book. She even hijacks my novels and Reader's Digest. Dan Brown and Rick Riordan are other current favorite authors of Cass and her sisters.

Dangerously, Cass only likes English novels and not Malay or Chinese ones, which means that she is only strong in English and not other languages. Unless Cass is in an international school, being weak in the Malay and Chinese language is only going to drag her down. It's something which Cass really needs to put in enormous effort in order to master these languages down pat.

Dainty and cute, I just love these miniature burger, hot dog and chocolate carefully sculpted by Cass.

The ice-cream, chocolate and alphabet S were meant to be her handmade Christmas gifts to her favorite cousin, Raelyne, koong koong and granny but she aborted the idea when the clay just didn't harden up like it should. We tried air-drying these clay decor in the sun and under the fan but they still didn't harden. As a last resort, Cass begged me to toast the clay and alas, the clay almost melted.... and they ended up in the bin, bummer!

Alternative To Perming Your Hair

Many years ago when I was still in the corporate world, I tried to be a little adventurous and permed my hair. That was one of the worst decisions I had made.  Not only did I look 10 years older than my actual age in curly hair, my scalp suffered the brunt of the perm chemicals and heat.  Consequently, I had itchy, flaky scalp and dandruff! I was corroded with regret. That hair perm cost me a frigging RM400!  And that was done 20 years ago.

Perming (and hair styling in general) is a tricky thing – you usually understand that it might do some damage but you absolutely want to do it anyway.  I was deeply influenced by my favorite TVB actress who had big wavy curls in a series that I was watching back then.

It is pretty common that a person with straight hair wishes to have curly / wavy hair and a curly-haired person wishes to have her hair straight.   For many women, the after-effects of a "permanent wave" or other chemical treatment can be nothing short of disastrous. Some experience major hair loss after getting a perm. Before going for a chemical treatment, understand the risks involved in perming or relaxing hair.

These are some of the disadvantages of perming your hair:

1) You can’t wash your hair right away.
2) Your hair can become dry and frizzy.
3) You won’t be able to change styles easily.
4) Your scalp can be damaged by the chemicals and heat.  This can result in dandruff and hair loss.

If you have straight hair and wish to have jerry curl weave, water wave weave or even afro kinky weave, there is an alternative to perming your hair and that is to get a wig made from human hair 😀

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Minced Pork Bun

Sunday is a non-cooking day for me. We are out of the house almost the entire day, normally tuck into a heavy and sumptuous lunch, thus dinner is usually very simple. The girls can have sandwiches, buns or even steamed sweet potatoes or sweet corns for dinner. I can even gulp down a glass of skim milk with oats for dinner. I don't feel like cooking anything on a Sunday, not even cranking up the stove to reheat food. In fact if I could have it my way, I only want to sit on my massage chair after our day's outing and have a relaxing siesta. But I am still a slave to our home sweet home. I force my butt out of my massage chair to mop the floor and wash toilets. The girls help out too.

Yesterday was no exception. I bought some plain buns for dinner and it's up to the girls to mix and match whatever they fancy to go with the buns.  There's an overnight sauteed minced pork with choy sum and I reheated it for dinner.  We slit the bun into half and then stuffed the minced pork veggie into the bun. Cass added some cheese and tomato sauce too.  She didn't know that something so simple and inexpensive could be so yummy!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Healthy Lunch

I was craving to have garlic bread this morning, so I made a loaf of garlic + cheese + melon seeds wholemeal bread using my Tesco breadmaker.  I started prepping the ingredients at 8:30 a.m. and by 12:30 noon, I could have it for lunch.

I also made a batch of meatballs using antibiotic-free Berkcious pork with grated carrots and seasoned with salt, soy sauce, sesame seed oil and pepper.  The only thing missing in the meatball is scallion and I keep forgetting to buy them.

Drama Queen's lunch today:

Steamed meat balls, steamed organic sweet corn and Huai Shan + carrot soup with chicken drumstick (made last night).

When Cass got home, she had egg sandwich and baked meat balls.  Tonight we're going to have baked meat balls again and an added grilled chicken. Both chicken and meat balls will go into the oven together, saving time.  I can never get enough of meat balls. I can nosh down 10 balls at one go. I like them cooked in any style, but perfect if they are crispy and bouncy 😁 and I love my homemade meat balls most as I know what goes in and I can nosh to my heart's content.

Friday, January 12, 2018

My Friday ~ 12 January 2018

It has been raining continuously for more than 24 hours. Today feels even colder than yesterday, with a temperature of 21~22C at mid afternoon and even lower at night. We don't even need to turn on the fan or air cond at night. Not complaining at all. Love the  wet and cooling weather, though it's pretty messy and troublesome when I run errands and do school and tuition runs.  Washings have to be fan-dried inside the house with 4 fans blowing at our clothes in the living room and bedroom.  Now is the time that I do not welcome visitors as our house is like a refugee camp.

Lunch for Drama Queen today is fried rice from dinner yesterday. For Cass and me, I made garlic butter toast, ramen eggs and had mum's homemade pumpkin soup ~ just the kind of meal for us as we are recovering from a bout of flu with fever.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Exotic Imported Fruit And Vegetable

I saw these imported exotic fruit and vegetable at De Market Supermarket, which got me thinking if anyone would spend RM30 on an ear of  sweet corn imported from Japan and RM40 on a  medium sized yellow Pitahaya (dragon fruit) from Ecuador?

Sweet corns are loaded with Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin (which help fight eye diseases), help fight anemia, improve one's cholesterol level and some studies have shown that sweet corns help to fight cancer.

Corn is  rich in ferulic acid, an anticarcinogenic agent that has been shown to be effective in fighting the tumors, which lead to breast and liver cancer. Anthocyanins, found in purple corn, also act eliminates cancer-causing free radicals.

Yellow pitahayas are the sweetest and finest of all pitahayas.  They are jam-packed with nutrients, vitamins and have a wide range of health benefits ranging from preventing constipation, diabetes prevention, heart-healthy, immune booster, keeps you looking youthful and even  has the potential to prevent cancer.

Though chockful of vitamins and disease fighting nutrients, would you spend so much on sweet corns and dragon fruits?

Friday, January 5, 2018

Human Hair Wigs For Bad Hair Days

I can't remember when the last time was that I had a fever as I hardly get it *knock on wood*! With colds, I normally get well in under a week.  This year of the rooster is certainly an unhealthy one for me. From the start of the rooster year right up to the end of it.  Hopefully the year of the dog rolling in in another 1.5 months will bring about better health for me.

After an entire night of checking on Cass' temperature on Monday, I am now down with fever @ 38.4C with flu. After sending off Cass to the school transporter at 6:15 this morning, I crawled back to bed and got up at 9 a.m.  I didn't have the mood to do anything except to lie in bed but I needed to get lunch for Drama Queen.  Thankfully the hubs volunteered to buy lunch for us. But I still needed to chauffeur Drama Queen to school. With unkempt hair and face devoid of any makeup, I dragged myself to school. Had I a long straight weave  or a long curly weave wig at home, I would have just put it on to give my head an instant makeover in a heartbeat. Thankfully I didn't bump into anyone at the lift of our condo for that person would surely jump out of his/her skin to see me in such haggard look 👽

Peeps, if you are often faced with bad hair days (just like myself), it's a good idea to keep a human hair weave wig at home for those  quick hair hacks to save your day.

Thursday Dinner - 4 January 2018

Since the start of the new school term on 2 January 2018, my life has been even more hectic than in previous years with an extra two school runs each day.  Last year when Drama Queen was still in primary school, she would leave the house at 6:20 a.m. and only return at 4 or 5 p.m.  For the next two years, she would be in the afternoon session. School starts at 1 p.m. and dismisses at 6:50 p.m.  Before she goes to school, I will have to settle her lunch.  I either dish up something very fast and simple for her or bring her to the nearby coffee shop.  I drop her off in school 15 minutes before 1 p.m. and rush home to wait for Cass who returns between 1:45 ~ 2 p.m..

When Cass is back home, I have very little free time to do my own stuff. I cook dinner at 5:30 p.m. and only have an hour to spend in the kitchen before I zoom off to school. Traffic leading to and out of school is horrendous. By the time I reach home, it's already 7-ish p.m.  I have a quick dinner, do some chores, have my shower and before I can even sit at my desk again, it's already 9:30 p.m. and I have only half an hour left to do my work. I drag myself to bed at 10 p.m. and rise at 4:15 a.m. to get Alycia and Cass ready for school and do some chores.  Their transporters pick them up between 6 - 6:10 a.m.

This is the dinner that I whipped up yesterday in exactly an hour:

Pork Pongteh (Nyonya style slow braised pork), saute 'lai park' veggie with garlic and saute shiitake mushrooms with garlic and butter.  Despite  9 months of cooking hiatus, I still haven't lost touch of my cooking skill and the quality of the dishes. The girls still love my cooking 💓

I saved a small portion of pork Pongteh for Drama Queen's lunch today and I have porridge cooking in the rice cooker now.  The porridge will be lunch for Cass and myself as well as dinner for everyone tonight! 😜  Fridays are busy for me and besides school run in the evening, I have tuition run too. And oh yes, on Fridays I get our week's supply of fruits from the night market, after dropping off Alycia at the tuition center.  When I don't feel like cooking on a Friday, I still have the option of getting food from the night market but that will be my last option.

Love For Long Hair

I have never looked good in short hair. When I was little, mum would cut my brothers' hair and mine herself in our backyard.  Mum and papa were very thrifty and very shrewd in finding ways of saving money.   In some of those home hair salon sessions, my bangs were inadvertently cut lopsided, making me look really hilarious. At times, I would be in a  short choppy hair cut, like a boy, which made me cringe.  I also hated my 'mushroom head' hair style that mum would sometimes surprise me with.  Most times, I would be in tears, just like Drama Queen a few years ago. In those days, I already knew that there were wigs available as I had seen one of mum's vain friend wearing one. I was dying inside me to get a lace front bob wigs to cover up my mushroom head.  Thank goodness my classmates had never laughed at my mushroom head. No one dared bully me as mum was a teacher in the school.

Mum never allowed me to keep my hair long during my primary school days; reason being the school that I was in required all students with long hair to braid their hair. Mum didn't have the time to braid my hair in the morning as she (just like me now) had to rush off her morning preparing breakfast for us and complete some chores before chauffeuring us to school. But I was dying to keep my hair long. I was so obsessed with having long hair that I would put a towel on my head and admired my instant makeover in front of a mirror and pretended that the towel was my long human hair 😁  When I was about 12, I begged mum to allow me to keep my hair long. I told her that having long hair would be my best birthday gift. She agreed and I was overjoyed.  I willingly woke up half an hour earlier every morning to braid my hair. I had my hair long until one fateful day when I was thirteen.  After I tried thinning my hair with mum's special salon comb with blades, my precious long hair was ruined forever. With no other ways to fix my screwed up hair, I had to drag myself to the hair salon for some trainee hair stylist to chop off my precious long hair. I looked awful in my new super short locks.  Thankfully my best friend taught me how to use hair spray to style my hair to safe mum from buying me some lace front wigs with baby hair. 😐