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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. 💓