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Friday, December 27, 2013

Singapore Trip Pictures (16 Decenber 2013)

The residential area  that we stayed at in Marina Cove @ Sentosa Island  during our stay in Singapore at our friend's house reminds me very much of Beverly Hills in the US.  The bungalows are built just next to the sea.  The majority of the residents are Caucasians and some of the eye-catching, excessively and fancifully designed units are owned by Malaysian, China and Hongkie tycoons.  Even cars parked at the front porch can be transported to the basement at the touch of a button, just like an elevator!  Every unit of bungalow has a private pool. And almost every owner has a private buggy parked at their porch. Maids walking very well-fed and well-groomed pedigree dogs throughout the day is a common sight. Even the maids look very well-fed and dressed.

Cass, Alycia and I went for a morning walk by the beach on the last day of our stay in Singapore. As I was walking past these mansions and admiring them, I knew that the hubs and I would never for the life of us be able to own one unit. Not even a unit of the apartments there. At least, not in this life of ours haha!

Spore house5  

Spore house4  

Spore house3

  Spore house2

    Spore house1  

I wonder who on this earth owns the below unit...



Are you drooling already over these mansions? :P

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dong Zhi Festival 2013 In Ipoh

The girls have been pestering their granny to roll tangyuan balls with them since yesterday.  Though some people said that Dong Zhi festival 2013 is on 21 Dec 2013, many still insist that Dong Zhi 2013 is on 22 December 2013, which is today.  Thus, my parents are only celebrating it today :)

So here they are... my monsters from Monsters Inc., with their granny, rolling tangyuan balls.


My dad is now boiling a pot of ginger syrup. Next, my mum will blanch the tangyuan balls, then soak the balls in ice water for 10 minutes before removing the balls and serving them with ginger syrup. The house is wafting with the aroma of pandan ginger syrup now. Hmmmm, smells heavenly and beckons good vibes and warmth to a happy family :)

Our tangyuan balls are rolled plain and some are stuffed with my mum's home-made mung bean paste.
 dong zhi 2013

Significance of Tangyuan (extracted from Wikipedia):

For many Chinese families in mainland China as well as overseas, tangyuan is usually eaten together with family. The round shape of the balls and the bowls where they are served, come to symbolise the family togetherness.

 While tangyuan was originally a food that people would consume during festivals, it has become a dessert consumed year-round rather than simply a festival food. For instance, tangyuan is traditionally in white color. Yet, in order to cater to consumers’ needs and changing tastes, dessert specialty shops create new flavors or colors of tangyuan by substituting the traditional filling with chocolate, mashed potato and pumpkin paste. Thus, tangyuan has already evolved into a dessert that is consumed by Chinese from time to time throughout the year and is no longer limited to festivals.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pictures Of Singapore Trip (14 - 16 December 2013)

Here are some of the pictures taken during our  recent stay in Singapore from 14 through 16 December 2013.

It was by far the 'bestest' holiday for the girls as they had their buddies to play with throughout the trip.   And our friend's bungalow in Sentosa Island, situated just next to the sea was just too awesome -- with breathtaking view and top notch hospitality from our friends (the birthday guy and his wife).

Can you beat it that though our friend's house is located just minutes away from Universal Studio, the kids did not want to leave the house and did not bug us to bring them there? We actually did not visit Universal Studio! They were madly in love with this infinity pool, which has a transparent glass below (see 2nd picture).  Below the pool is a garden that is next to the sea and there is a hammock hanging between two coconut trees. In the evening, the kids would feed bread to the fishes in the sea.  The kids could not get enough of this place.  When it was time for lunch, all the kids vetoed against going out to eat and opted to stay home to eat home-cooked spaghetti that our friend's maids cooked.  We adults went out for lunch sans the kids then!  Our friends' maids helped us babysit the kids.


Below is the birthday guy's garden-themed birthday cake, which was scrumptious!

View from the 3rd floor balcony of the bungalow, overlooking the sea.

Activities with our friends...
From left, clockwise : playing games at night, breakfast, cake-cutting ceremony, the guys playing basketball.


Our friend was a wonderful host who made all of us feel so warm and welcomed.  Food served and hospitality were top notch, like from a 5-star hotel!

You can read the surprise birthday party on board a chartered boat and view more pictures in my other blog :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Cool Party Favor

The social butterfly of the family received this very pretty jar of jelly beans as party favor at her friend's birthday party last week. The theme of the birthday was Hello Kitty. Along with this Hello Kitty jar of jelly beans, there was also a mini bottle of mineral water, with a Hello Kitty label affixed to the bottle.

Miss Social Butterfly had a swell time at C's birthday party, together with all her buddies.  What can really make her happy are parties, fun activities and loads of  crazy moments with her besties.

party favor

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chicken Adobo For Dinner Again

Since I still have a pot of leftover sauce for Chicken Adobo (a Filipino chicken dish that uses Apple Cider Vinegar) in the fridge, I made Chicken Adobo again yesterday. This time, I used chicken drumsticks and chicken wings.

Of all the dishes that I had recently cooked, this dish has got to be the girls' top favorite dish.

From the time the dish was placed on the dining table until the time the dish was all polished off in a jiffy, my girls could not stop telling me how delish the dish was!! :D :D

The way to Alycia's heart is definitely through delish food. Her smiles were all over her  and  she was in a very cheery mood during dinner yesterday. And she kept saying "this is the best grub ever!!", "this grub is so delish and awesome!!"  

Cass and Sherilyn followed suit with praises of "mummy, this chicken is REMARKABLE!"  and "this is the BEST EVER!"

Now, being buttered with such flattery compliments from Alycia, my fussiest and most critical daughter, this chicken dish must be damn good! 

Sorry, I did not manage to snap a picture of the dish yesterday as the 3 rascals could not wait to grab their share of chicken the moment the tray of chicken was placed on the dining table. And what was left for moi was only 1 miserable piece of tiny chicken wing!  To look at the brighter side, it is rewarding to have hungry and greedy kids as they eat your share and you don't have to eat that much, thus you remain svelte :D

There is still some sauce left in the fridge and very soon, I'll dish this up again.  This is one of the easiest chicken dish to prepare. I promise you, it is oil-splatter free and mess-free.  Busy me won't cook anything that involves splish splash of oil, lots of preparation and lots of scrubbing.  Go to my other blog to read up the recipe ya!

Chick adobo 9 Dec 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Birthday Wishes Via Skype

Today is the mil's birthday.  Last week, I told the girls to each make a birthday card to show their grandma via Skype video call.

This morning, Alycia reminded me of the Skype call to grandma. She had since last week prepared the card but this morning, she could not locate it, shiaks! After searching for the card at every nook and corner, she finally found it!  She then logged in to Skype to send her birthday wishes to grandma  in Hong Kong.

One by one, the three musketeers sent  their sweetest birthday wishes to grandma, showed grandma the cards that they made and updated grandma  of all the happenings  for about half an hour.

skype mama

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Our Sunday - 8 December 2013

Cass and I had a pretty quiet Sunday today.  This morning, Alycia and Sherilyn followed their grand-aunts and grand-uncles in an entourage to Kuala Selangor for seafood lunch and to buy seafood from the fishing village.

Cass and I stayed home. I spent my morning doing my online work and then mopped the floor.  Sundays are off for my part-time helper.

For lunch, we went to Casa del Coco, my favorite fusion Italian restaurant that serves pretty healthy food cooked using fire wood.  Their pizzas are baked in a huge round oven using fire wood.

Check out the X'mas tree, stacked up using wood blocks. I've never seen a X'mas tree quite like this before and it is pretty sui generis. 

Coco 1 

My choice of food today was mushroom soup, an assortment of stir-fried fresh mushrooms, grilled chicken and hubs ordered a lasagne.


For dessert, we had Affogato with vanilla ice-cream. The hubs and I being coffee lovers, love this dessert.  I find that the Affogato served at Antipodean Cafe too strong for me and I had an overdose off caffeine when I ate it at Antipodean recently.

Casa del Coco's Affogato was just right - loved the strong coffee on the vanilla ice-cream and it did not cause my head to throb and heart to palpitate.  Even Cass could eat it without getting high from the side-effects of the caffeine. I can't wait to have my next coffee fix with Affogato at Casa del Coco again! 


Friday, December 6, 2013

Awesomeness From A Bunch Of Siew Pak Choy!

Nature's awesomeness...

Well, in case you want to know how I got this cute little baby veggie sprouting out from the veggie head, I just snipped off the bunch of siew pak choy head with a pair of scissors and tadaa... a baby inside!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lunch At The Magic Wok Restaurant @ Damansara Jaya

Cass went for her 4th electromagnetic accupuncture session today. There was no drama from her as usual and the Master praised her sky high again for being such a brave girl.

After the session, hubs drove around Damansara Jaya to find something to eat for lunch. Finding a place to park at Damansara Jaya during lunch time is always something that we hate. Finally after driving around for more than 15 minutes, the hubs found a nice place to park his car. We got down the car and walked  along the corridor of the eateries to see what looked interesting to eat and spotted the menu outside The Magic Wok Chinese restaurant.  The pictures of the dishes stirred and excited our appetite and we all agreed on The Magic Wok.

Sorry, there are no pictures taken of the food today. Why?  Honestly, the facade of this restaurant did not really look like it was some kind of restaurants that serve good food but we were wrong. This unassuming restaurant serves really good Chinese food. The toilet are clean too. I would give a rating of 8/10 for the taste and quality of the food and pricing a rating of 8/10.  In fact, I think the taste and quality of the food are comparable with up scale Chinese restaurants.  The foodie hubs was very satisfied with the food and as usual, he added a few more dishes when we were already almost finishing our lunch!

The black sesame filled glutinous rice balls in ginger tong sui was very good and has the standard of those served at fine dine Chinese restaurants.

We will definitely be returning to The Magic Wok to try out new dishes in their menu.

magic wok 4 dec 2013

Check out Cass in the picture - she was looking sulky and refused to smile as she was in a foul mood.  She forgot to bring her water tumbler down the car and refused to drink the plain water that I ordered from the restaurant.  This rascal has a queer habit of refusing to drink from cups that are not hers.  Whether the cups are from a glitzy restaurant or a friend's house, she just won't let her lips touch the cup! Grrrrr, that's a very bad OCD to have!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ramen Ten Japanese Restaurant @ Jaya 33, PJ

Yesterday we went to Ramen Ten @ Jaya 33 for lunch as I was craving for Japanese food. Yeah, Japanese food again.  I must have been bitten by the Japanese food love bug. I do not seem to get enough of Japanese food of late.  Seriously, I really do not mind having Japanese food every single day!  Well, it may be partly psychological as my brain tells me that raw fish is almost fat free and grilled fish is tasty yet low in calories and low in carbs.  Most of all, I love the taste of Japanese dishes.  Suddenly, I have lost some interest in Chinese food and Western food. It seems like Japanese food is now my new found love!  I must have been a Japanese mamasan in my past life haha!

Yesterday was the second time we had lunch at the newly opened Ramen Ten @ Jaya 33.  The first time we had lunch at this restaurant was about a month ago.  The girls and I were totally smitten with the Ramen noodles - the broth had the 'oomph' factor and the noodles were springy.  We were very happy that we found another Japanese restaurant that serves reasonably priced and good food. That gives us another alternative besides Zanmai Sushi, which is perpetually full to the brim.

The pictures in this post were taken on 2 occasions when we lunched at Ramen Ten. I have procrastinated blogging about this restaurant as I find posts on food review and restaurants very time consuming and tedious. I need to get the facts correct and I cannot be overly critical and negative about a restaurant, lest I land myself in a pot of hot soup like what happened to a blogger (or was it Facebooker?) recently for writing false and defaming information about a mamak restaurant. Anyway, if the food at a shop is below my expectations, I will not blog about it.

 ramenten 3

Kyu Dragon roll has always been our all-time favorite maki.  We love the combo of soft-shell crab, avocado, seaweed and mayo all rolled up into a very flavorful sticky sweet rice ball.

The tofu salad with unagi was also good.

ramenten 6

ramenten 7

Sukiyaki with salmon, an assortment of fresh mushrooms, tofu and veggies.  The soup was a tad bland - not salty and quite natural. It would be perfect for those who want something that is soupy, low in fat, not oily, not salty and almost free from MSG.

ramenten 5

Grilled mackeral fish, an assortment of sushi and Japanese salad.  The raw fish salad was what I ordered yesterday. I love the salad dressing that came with it. The next time I lunch there, I must get the name of the sauce and get myself a bottle.

ramenten 2

Our favorite bowl of chicken teriyaki zaru with volcano eggs.

ramenten 1

Ramen Ten is opened side-by-side Shin Tokyo and they are sister restaurants. Patrons can opt to sit at either outlet and order from both sides to enjoy the sushi from Shin Tokyo and ramen from Ramen Ten. Both restaurants are brands from Singapore.

Shin Tokyo Sushi & Ramen Ten are located at:
Ground Floor, Jaya 33
Petaling Jaya.

And as always, after a good lunch at Jaya 33, I went grocery shopping at Jaya Grocer.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Miss Social Butterfly's BFFs

Ever since Sherilyn attended after-school enrichment classes at the centre (some call it day-care centre or 'an ching pan') some three months back, she has been a very happy girl. Being a person who likes to be surrounded by friends so that she can get crazy with them after the serious business (studies) is done, the enrichment centre is the perfect place for her to be.

Sherilyn made an about turn in her discipline recently. From one who could not be bothered with waking up early, she now wakes up ahead of her 2 sisters every morning during the school holidays. By the time I return from the gym at 8am, she would be ready - washed up, dressed up, hair tied up, cup of water gulped down on her own without me nagging her, fruits eaten - she cut it on her own. She will then pester me to shower and bring her to the enrichment centre. I am really surprised how this girl whom I have almost given up hope on her discipline and punctuality can make a sudden change into one who is so impeccable with her punctuality. Her marks for her test papers had improved for the final exam, as with her class and standard position. I am really glad I made the right decision to send her to this enrichment centre and hopefully she will continue to thrive positively in her behaviour and in academics.

I copied this picture from Sherilyn's BFF's Facebook page. These are her BFFs from the enrichment centre. She talks about her BFFs all the time. These girls are always planning parties, catwalking, modeling and doing everything fun and girly. I hope that Sherilyn will remain good friends with her bunch of BFFs forever.