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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Delish Homecooked Meals

Whenever I run out of stories to dish up in my 3 blogs, the best posts to dish up is to show pictures of homecooked dishes, no pun intended :D

So here goes... pix of some of the dishes that my mil dished up over the past 1 week...

Stir-fried spaghetti with beef slices, fresh mushrooms, homemade sundried tomatoes infused with olive oil, big onions and black pepper.

Stir fried vermicelli.  I can never produce fried vermicelli like hers, just wonder why!  The reason why she can cook such delish fried vermicelli for so many mouths is that she divides all the ingredients into half and cooks two times!  Yes, twice the time needed so that all the ingredients get the 'wok hei' aka heat from the hot wok.

My all-time favorite minced pork with fermented beans (tau cheong) and chilli.  A very appetizing dish to go with rice. For my non-halal readers, you can try using chicken meat or perhaps minced beef.

Braised chicken with Chinese chestnuts and dried mushrooms.

Braised fish belly with tofu pok.

Organic baby yau mak veggie and organic yeh far heong (a kind of flower veggie that resembles coconut tree flowers, thus the moniker.  These are only blanched with some oil and my girls have no problem eating their greens.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Getaway At Hilton Sentral (26-27 Oct 2012)

We returned from our short getaway at Hilton Sentral this afternoon. After 1.5 days of blissful eating, sleeping and watching TV in the hotel room, it's back to the grind for me.  Thankfully there's still tomorrow to catch up on my sleep before Monday and school week start all over again.

The most dreaded part of a post-holiday...

Thankfully I have helpers...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

'S' For Snakes!

My 4.5yo baby girl drew this. When Alycia and I saw her art work, we ROTFLOL! 

What was my baby girl thinking of? 'S' for snake and lots of snakes that is! And that botak person with a scared face must be her I guess? LOL!!

And I just realized why there were 5 snakes in the picture - 2 big snakes are her daddy and mummy... and the 3 smaller snakes in different length must be her 2 che ches and her LOL!  Such a cute drawing.

She still gets her 'd' written the other way round.

Shot Execution Style

On our way out for brunch last Sunday, we saw a big commotion outside one of the houses with police cars, ambulance and sirens wailing away. Many people were seen at the main road, just opposite the house. When we saw that the entire road was cordoned off, we knew that a serious crime resulting in death had just happened. As we approached the scene, the hubs exclaimed that the house is his friend's house. He called his friend on the mobile phone and I only heard my hubs saying "I'm sorry". His friend's father was shot on the head, execution style and was dead on the spot. Life is just too unpredictable. The man was on his way out to the market with his wife and maid and without even having a chance to say goodbye to his loved ones, was shot dead.

Perform Better Under Stress

My brain always works better under stress with deadlines. When there is no stress at work, the brain is in a plateau mode and I need to give it a little excitement to jump-start it. I almost fell off my chair when I saw the long list of online assignments allocated for me yesterday. I put aside work from my online store and worked on the assignments at full steam. I am almost done with the assignments and am now working on the most difficult one on coilhose pneumatics.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nihon Kai Japanese Restaurant @ Old Klang Road, KL

One of our favorite and most visited Japanese restaurants  is Nihon Kai located along Old Klang Road. Years ago, hubs and I used to frequent Japanese restaurants in hotels to dig into buffet lunches almost every week but as we grow older, our tummies can only fill up this much of food and buffet meals often make us sick after 2 hours of crazy digging LOL! So, we prefer ala-carte meals these days and prefer to patronize Japanese restaurants that offer ala-carte menus. The portion is not big and this often leaves us raring to savour more and to come back for more... and not a feeling of overly stuffed sick with oily fish.

Nihon Kai is quite a small restaurant and simply decorated, yet it offers good quality Japanese food that is not too taxing on the wallet. Although this shop is located in a hidden area along Old Klang Road but they still enjoy brisk business for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is perpetually packed to the brim and never go there on a Saturday evening unless you are there at around 6ish pm.   We went to this restaurant several times on a Saturday evening at around 7ish - 8ishpm and each time, we had to leave with tail behind our legs.

One of the items on their menu that often leaves me craving for more is their phoenix sushi roll? (well, not really sure of the name of the sushi). It is wrapped with soft shell crab, avocado and lots of crunchy stuff on top. For one who eats no rice, I have to succumb to this sushi and give it a rating of 10/10!  No pic of this sushi this round as we did not order this item.

Several days before Aly and Sher's final exam, I told the MIL not to cook so that I could have more time to do revision with them.  So we headed to Nihon Kai for dinner.

Here's what we had:

 Ramen with bacon and eggs, which is the girls' all-time favorite.


Grilled salmon for moi... no rice for me, as usual.

Deep fried chicken with eggs on top of rice for my fan thoong Alycia, to be shared.

Alycia's all-time favorite and the most expensive -- grilled Unagi fish with rice.

Restaurant Information
No. 4-2, Jalan Telok Gadong, Off Old Klang Road, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-7982 3668

Monday, October 22, 2012

Half-Boiled Eggs That Are Still A Tad Raw

Cass loves half-boiled eggs but I can hardly get the right consistency, i.e. one that is not too runny with egg white that is not transparent. I used to fry the half-boiled eggs that are still a tad raw but ever since we were maidless, any frying would mean washing and wiping the stove for me.  And I hate washing and wiping! So lazy me found a better way of getting the half-boiled eggs right whenever they turn out too raw... by steaming the egg for about 5 minutes.

The half-boiled eggs that are still a tad raw...

After approximately 5 minutes of steaming the 'quarter-boiled' eggs...

The eggs are now in the right consistency, with smiley face some more... which Cass just loved!  She eats 1-2 free-range eggs a day... brain-power boosting food for her :D

Friday, October 19, 2012

Music To My Ears

What's music to my ears is when my daughters perform well in their exams.  Today was by far one of the best days for me when Alycia told me that her position is 4th in class. I really did not expect this as I think her marks for several test papers have gone down.  But I must say that the test papers were very hard for most of the subjects and I guess most of the students did not get 90% and above, so Alycia stood a good chance in climbing up the numbers in the class position.  Her position in the entire standard improved by the leaps and bounds too.  I am really happy for her.  I think I worked harder than she did.  I think she could have done much better if she had been more careful. Yup, this girl is an extremely careless girl and so is Sherilyn.   Despite the hubs and I being yellow bananas and cannot help her in her subjects where Chinese language is used, Alycia can still perform satisfactorily is already an achievement.  I am not expecting a position of top 5 from the top in class as I know her capabilities and limitation in her Chinese language. Yet she proved me wrong.

Alycia and Sherilyn are as cool as cucumbers.  Had I not been such a tiger mum to them, I know they would be like a lalang (wild grass) and would not even bother to do any revision.  The moment I turn my back on them, I am rest assured that they would be up to something, other than poring into their school books. 

It looks like Alycia now stands a chance to go to the top class next year.  She was streamed to the 2nd best class this year.  With this position, I think she would be moved to the cream class and I am hoping that this will NOT happen. I know I will be 100% more stressed up if she's in the cream class and I do not want this kind of stress to plague my life and that of Alycia's.  2nd best class is good enough for me and tough enough for her. Now, I am curious to know what position Sherilyn is placed in her class.  I am not placing too high a hope on this fella.

Long Weekend

It is a long weekend for us as there are 2 public holidays before the weekend. We had planned to check into Hilton Sentral for a short getaway but the rooms are fully booked. So we shall visit the shopping malls instead, to do some retail therapy as well as tummy therapy. I know the foodie hubs will be one very happy man if we can join him in his food adventures to try out new eateries. Besides retail and tummy therapy, the hubs also needs to check out some cigar deals for a VIP client.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Productive Morning

This morning has been a pretty productive morning for me, outside the house.  I managed to settle some banking issues that I had been procrastinating for over 7 years since my Southern Bank and Renong Group days!  In fact, had I not receive a letter from the bank to advice me to claim my money asap before the money goes to the Unclaimed Monies in BNM, I would have procrastinated to heavens know when!  This is one of my weaknesses - I tend to do things that I like to do but important things like this which involves so much money, I will just push it aside until some punitive action / warning is taken. Oh well, that's just me.  Anyway, I am glad that I managed to close my current account at this bank located in the busiest part of KL -- that's the main reason why I kept procrastinating going to the bank as I hate to be in this part of the city, albeit I had worked in that area for almost a decade.  Then, with the cheque that this bank had issued me, I went back to my neighborhood bank to deposit into a Fixed Deposit account.  At the same time, I withdrew some USD (converted into RM) via Western Union issued to me by Google Inc. and dumped it into the FD as well.  All these $$ would go towards funding the 3 girls' tertiary education in years to come.  While waiting at the 2 banks, I managed to get some work done on my Samsung Galaxy Note.     Next, I went to the organic shop to get organic soy bean powder for Cass and organic almond powder for moi.  And then went to pack lunch and picked up Cass.  Very happy now that I had finally settled this matter that I had pushed to the back-burner for so many years, though I had to pay a penalty and a service fee to the bank.

This Lilo thumb drive adds to my latest collection of thumb drives. The hubs got it for me, cute eh?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Science Experiment For Alycia - Mixing Substances With Vinegar

A few days before Alycia's Science in Mandarin test last weekend, my mil and I did some experiments with her in the kitchen.  I always believe that seeing is believing and we will remember something more prominently and effectively if we see it as opposed to just reading about it. It is pretty tough for a 8YO+ kid to remember what will release bubble, what will precipitate and what will become lumpy when mixed with vinegar.  So here we are experimenting with my Primary 3 daughter...

Alycia pouring the vinegar onto the mixtures by herself...

Baking powder when mixed with vinegar - releases bubbles.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Char Siew Sandwich

My baby girl enjoying her lunch of 'char siew' sandwich. If only my girls have no complaints eating sandwiches for lunch everyday, part of my stress will be resolved. I can use different fillings for the sandwiches everyday from egg mayo to tuna-egg, sardines, char siew, roast chicken breast meat, ice cream, kaya, butter, meat floss and the list goes. While #2 and #3 may have no complaints, #1 will surely put on a long, black and sulky face if I were to tell her that we're having bread again!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cassandra's Very First Concert

A week ago, my baby girl participated in her very first pre-school concert. It was an Alisan dance (a Taiwanese mountain dance). Watching her dance on stage made me emotional and teary-eyed. I seem to get very sentimental each time I see my daughters perform. I felt the same when I watched Sherilyn dance during her concert cum graduation from pre-school last year and during her ballet performances. I have never watched Alycia perform in any of her concerts during her pre-school years as I was too busy and preoccupied with Cass who had a very difficult and painful babyhood. Anyway, it's not late. I still have plenty of years ahead of attending my daughters' concerts and performances.

 Cass with her bestest friend, Sasha, who looks like a living doll due to her pint size...


Something funny happened just minutes before the 4YOs were to go up stage.  A student cried, which seemed to be really infectious and then another kid cried, and another and then like a chain reaction, about 10 of them were crying.   The girl next to Cass was crying for a good one hour and thank goodness she stopped short just moments before she went up stage.  And thank God the crying spell did not infect Cass, phew!!


Cass with her handsome classmate, Ryan

Friday, October 5, 2012

Alycia's Officially A School Prefect!

Alycia passed her 3-month probationary period and was accepted on the school prefectorial board last week. She was given just 2 days' notice to buy the prefect uniform, which is a blue top and dark blue skirt with black socks and black shoes!  Eeeeek, looks really weird for a 9-YO girl to be donning on this uniform, especially the socks and shoes but oh well, she did not mind a wee bit.  In fact, she was really happy that she passed the probation and was in a cheery mood for a few days since the announcement.  Daddy had to rush home to bring her to Professor @ Mid Valley Megamall to get the uniforms on the same day that the teacher announced that she passed the probation and gave us like 0 notice period to buy the uniform.  Thank goodness the MIL was around and she had to spend several days removing Alycia's name badge and school badge from the existing school uniform to be sewn onto the prefect uniform.

So here she is... my precious baby in her oversized school prefect uniform on the first day of being an official school prefect. 

And do check out the princess wannabe in pink jacket - she is always seen in a different change of cardigan and jacket and prefers to hold her fanciful lunch bag (dangle on wrist some more, GAWD!) instead of stashing it into the school bag. What a vast difference in characters these 2 sisters have.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Subway Craze

A trip to Tesco for shopping will never be complete if daddy does not stop at Subway to grab a sandwich. This foodie daddy seems to have an affinity with Subway, just like he does with those branded franchise doughnuts and colorful cup cakes @@ DAMN F-A-T@@!  Did I tell you that my hubs has the letters F, A, T (in this order some more!) in his Chinese name? :D

Here the girls were having a light supper of Subway sandwich after shopping at Tesco. And just about an hour ago, we all had dinner at one of those restaurants in Tesco! What makes my man happy is FOOD and having his loved ones eat and enjoy the food with him! This, I always tai chi the job to the 3 angels, who will gladly accompany daddy  and all 4 of them will stuff themselves full haha!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Quirky Yet Adorable Habit

My 4.5 YO baby girl has a quirky yet adorable habit.  She loves smelling my clothes!  Not just any clothes but worn ones and stinky ones which has mummy's scent!  Just a moment ago, after showering her, I removed my partially wet nightie and threw it on the floor.  My baby girl instinctively picked up my nightie and held it to her chest, lovingly as if telling me "why throw this on the floor" and smelling the dirty nightie as if the dress had some really sweet smelling perfume that could comfort her body and mind!

On some days, Cass would rummage through my drawer to fish out the nightie with the strongest mummy scent so that she could hold it to sleep at night. She would fish out each nightie - sniff it, put it back, fish out another one and sniff it... and continue doing this until she finds one that has the strongest 'perfume'!  Usually, she would pick up the oldest nightie with my body smell deeply embedded in the fabric. None of my girls has done this in the past and I guess this closeness that Cass has to me is contributed by the 3 years of breastfeeding her and having her sleep with hubs and I for 3 frigging long years! :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mid Autumn Celebration 2012

For Mid Autumn Festival, there is really no 'formal' celebration for us and this year is no exception. On the eve of the festival, I brought the girls to the lobby for them to walk around the pool area with their lanterns. Yesterday, which was the celebration, we had dinner at the Japanese restaurant at our condo. No lantern playing yesterday as the lanterns were all partially spoilt after playing with them just one time. Alycia and Sherilyn's lanterns were handmade lanterns, which their Art and Craft teacher taught them during their Art class on Friday. The lanterns were made from used fresh milk bottles, felt, glitter paper and other craft materials. Cass' lantern was a disposable paper lantern which cost only RM2 -- which is what I want. Play and throw and get a new one next year :)


 Alycia and Sherilyn posing with their own-made lanterns.


Post Concert Day Holiday

Today is a one-day school holiday for Cass as it was her school concert yesterday. Her kindergarten always declares the post-concert day a holiday. With her 2 elder sisters in school, my baby girl was pretty bored today. After breakfast and shower, I allowed her to play with the iPad while I get some online work done. Then she started to get bored with the iPad and I had to think of some fun activities to placate my baby girl. I looked around the house and saw the 2 broken hand-made lanterns that Alycia and Sherilyn made on Friday. I removed the angel’s wings, tiara, hearts and pom pom balls from the lanterns so that I could recycle these pretty craft materials. I told Cass to make Alycia a birthday card. It is not Alycia’s birthday just yet but I wanted my very bored 4-YO daughter to do something that she loves so that her time is kept occupied and I can complete some of  my work without interruption.  After showing her how to create a fairy-themed birthday card with wings, tiara, hearts and all that jazz, my baby girl sat quietly at the dining table to work on the birthday card for her favorite sister.  Soon, it was lunch time and we had chicken porridge.

When Alycia and Sherilyn were back from school, Cass could not wait to show Alycia the card she had made for her! I should have kept the card as soon as Cass had finished working on it. Now, there is no more surprise for Alycia from Cass on her birthday in 2 months’ time. Oh well, it’s ok. I shall get Cass to prepare Alycia another birthday card. By 4pm, my baby girl was so jaded that she dozed off while ‘reading’ some magazines, including one on Nursing 2013! That Nursing 2013 mag is a critically acclaimed award winning journal which my nurse friend left in my house when she came to visit me recently. She is now a senior nurse at a private hospital and has plans of pursuing her studies in this fraternity.

Check out what sort of magazine my baby girl was reading here. I have no idea how she got hold of her daddy’s magazines for men. I guess that magazine must have bored her to slumberland haha!