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Thursday, February 28, 2019

12345 Pork Ribs (Cooked With Philips Pressure Cooker)

You'll probably say that I'm a crazy workaholic if I told you that I sat in front of my desktop PC to rush off 5 posts to be submitted to my online 'boss' and took a freaking 3 hours to finish my box of takeout lunch.   When my online 'boss' gives me 5 or 7 jobs in a day and asks for them within 24 hours, I dutifully honour my promise so that I get paid the next day. In US Dollars ๐Ÿ˜‡

Yesterday I started to eat my lunch at 11 a.m. and only finished it at 2 p.m.  I have this habit of leaving my food on the dining table while I work. I guess I started this habit when I was working as a PA to a super busy Datuk of a large conglomerate.  I had no fixed time to have my lunch and always tapau my lunch and ate while I worked in my room. Thank God I had a room to myself, where I could even take short 10 minutes power naps, especially during my two pregnancies.

I need my Izumio hydrogen water these days to help me pull through each challenging day that ends only at 10 p.m.  I am my own boss, a PA to my hubby and MIL (when she's around), the cook, the driver to 3 ordinary kids who act like they are princess and a slave to my home.

Who says SAHMs and WFHMs have a very relaxed and stress-free life? Whoever says it probably never has to do things that a SAHM and WFHM does.

With such a hectic life, I need efficient kitchen gadgets to make cooking easier and faster for me. Nope I am not talking about the German made TMX. My hubs won't buy me a TMX. Even if he bought one for me, I think it will turn into a white elephant. I prefer my good old stainless steel wok, LC pots, oven and now my Philips Pressure Cooker (PPC)!

With a PPC, I can cook meat dishes in a jiffy and what I like most about the PPC is that the meat comes out tender and juicy and hardly ever tough and dry. The sauce remains and does not evaporate much and it's a wonderful pot to cook red meat.

As yesterday was a busy day for me, I decided to cook something that's fuss-free and fast with my PPC.   It's a recipe that I've never tried before.  I was actually looking at You Tube for a steamed pork ribs with yam recipe and stumbled upon 12345 Pork Ribs recipe. As I have all the ingredients and the cooking instructions look so easy to whip up, I decided to give it a try!

And the result was A. MA. ZING.!  My 12345 Pork Ribs turned out super yummy. So yummy that I only got to taste 2 pieces of ribs as there was not enough to share with everyone, including the fussy king hubby.

This dish tastes like Black Vinegar Pork Trotters and BBQ pork ribs.  Cass commented that the ribs tasted like the RM500 BBQ pork ribs meal that we had for lunch on New Years Day this year at Burnin' Pit @ Mont Kiara ๐Ÿ˜

And to think that this dish does not require garlic, onion or ginger and only requires a few ingredients, yet can be so tasty, it's a child's play that even a 10-year old child can whip up under mummy's supervision.

All ready in my PPC, cooked in Chicken Mode, Keep Pressure Time to 20 minutes, manual release valve:

Our yummy dinner of 12345 pork ribs and organic siew pak choy omelette with garlic.

Dinner all ready for Sherilyn when she gets back from Muay Thai class at 8:30 p.m. and the fussy king  hubby at 9:00 p.m. :

I was totally satisfied with the outcome of my 12345 Pork Ribs but dissatisfied that I only had 2 miserable pieces and went to bed with a growling tummy and yearning for more. So this morning,  I went to the supermarket and bought some pork to cook this dish again TODAY!  This time I am using pork shoulder loin and I hope that it will taste just as delish.

As to why this dish is named 12345 Pork Ribs, it's because the measurements for the sauce ingredients goes in the order of 12345 tablespoons.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

2 tablespoons oil for browning the pork ribs (I use Berkcious antibiotic and hormone-free pork)
Pork ribs enough for 4 pax


1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
2 tablespoon black vinegar
3 tablespoon sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
2 tablespoon soy sauce (I used organic shoyu)
2 tablespoon dark soy sauce (2 soy sauce + 2 dark soy sauce = 4)
5 tablespoon filtered water

I only used 2 tablespoons of organic soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of organic dark soy sauce as I prefer my dish to be less salty and less black. It's kids-friendly.

Heat oil in PPC under Bake mode.
Brown ribs and sear until all sides turn golden brown
Add in the Seasoning/Sauce
Turn PPC to Chicken Mode, seal valve, KPT 20 minutes
Manual release vent and valve
Plate up the ribs and skim off any fatty oil from the pork with a fine mesh stainless steel oil sieve
Serve with rice or noodles

Why Walking Is A Good Exercise

Exercising is one of the best ways to shed off extra pounds and stay fit. This is because the body tends to use more energy and burn a lot of calories while you are exercising. If you are passionate about losing weight or maintaining a good shape, then you need to start working out. The first thing you should do is come up with a good training schedule. It can be a weekly programme that is made up of different types of exercise. Remember to include 2 to 3 days for relaxation in your program.

Rest is essential, in that it helps you to recover and also promotes growth. Different processes take place when your body is at rest. It is during this period that you can fuel your body with essential supplements. Healthy eating is vital for your program.

You should not just eat any food but a healthy diet. It should also be a balanced meal if you want to experience quality gains. Steroids can play a significant role in your overall gains. This is because they are made using ingredients that promote endurance and boost muscle growth. You should not be worried about any after effects because there are legal steroids considered safe for use. They are available at steroidsfax.com and other outlets. Hiring a trainer is also great for gym and home workouts.

Many people don't value some exercises because they consider them less effective. One of these is walking. However, walking is something that will help you get into shape fast. Here is why it is one of the best exercises.

Wallking Groups

Good for Your Joints 
Having flexible joints is essential for your overall movement. You will have an easier time walking around. Walking is one of the best exercises that can benefit your joints. Your limbs are involved more in this type of workout. You will have better joint flexibility when you participate in more walking exercise.

Good for Weight Loss 
Excess weight is very dangerous to your body. We are all aware of the risks that come with being overweight. Walking helps you burn a lot of calories and you can shed off extra pounds in the long run. You should set the distance you intend to cover each day and monitor the number of steps you make and calories burned using fitness devices.

It Is Easy 
If you are looking for one of the most natural workouts, then you should try walking. It's similar to running only you don't get worn out as fast because you will not use as much energy like you do when running. You can lower or increase your walking pace and burn more calories too.

Improves Mood 
Walking through various natural spots will help enhance your mood. It helps trigger the release of endorphins which help you feel better. Apart from burning calories and losing weight, you will also be in a good mental state all the time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

New Osim uJolly Portable Back Massager

I bought an OSIM uJolly portable back massager exactly two years ago in February 2017.  About 1.5 months ago, this baby of mine started to act up.  She would stop short of massaging me half way into a cycle, then gets 'hang' (freezes and does not respond) and I would have to wait for 15-20 minutes to restart a cycle again only to go through the same frustrating process again.  She just wouldn't perform the entire cycle like it used to. And the skin on the leather seat was starting to thin out and peel off. I was worried sick. I can't live without this baby! 

I have sat on this massage chair every single day for the past 2 years (for more than 10 hours each day)  while she gave me short massages throughout the day, relieving me of stiff neck, lumbar pain and shoulder pain.  Whenever I felt insomniac, this baby would never fail to lull me to sleep with her gentle massages and Shiatsu taps.  I told the hubs that I had to bring my baby to the Osim outlet at Mid Valley Megamall to get it repaired before it dies out on me completely.

My bad. I've grossly overworked my baby. I let it run at least 5 cycles continuously on most days at least twice or thrice a day to soothe my overworked shoulders and back without letting her rest and cool down before the next cycle. She should have had a longer life span had I read the manual when I first bought it.  When I read the manual today, it says to let the massager rest for at least 15 minutes after each cycle, which I never did.  I am SO sorry baby for overworking you ๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿ˜ญ

At the Osim outlet yesterday, I was told that upholstery of the leather seat would cost RM267.  Fixing the electronic parts of the massager would cost another few hundred Ringgit.  A ballpark figure for fixing the massager and changing the leather would be in the region of RM500 - RM600!๐Ÿค‘

I was told that I could get a rebate of RM400 for trading-in my faulty massager. The selling price of a new OSIM uJolly is RM1,400.  This means I only need to fork out RM1k for a new massager if I trade-in my old one.  Not bad, considering I am a heavy user of the massager. I was instantly sold.  I paid for the new massager right away without batting an eyelid! And now I have a new baby to massage my back and  shoulders again!

This time, I'm going to take very good care of my new babe, taking mental note to let her rest for 15 minutes after each cycle before starting another cycle again.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Truly Organic Cabbage

Have you ever come across a single head of cabbage with at least 10 life worms hidden inside the leaves?

I had bought a head of organic cabbage from the supermarket and did not cook it until 3-4 days later. The moment I cut the cabbage into half, I got a pleasant surprise!  Three wriggly worms dropped out of the leaves and onto my hand! It delights me to see worms and worm holes in my organic veggies. I'd be worried if my vegetables are too green and perfect.

As I sliced the cabbage, more worms started to wriggle out of the tiny crevices between the tightly packed leaves. Each time I sliced the cabbage, a few worms wriggled out.  It was really a hair-raising moment as my sink was soon filled with wriggly worms!!  Cass begged me not to kill the worms and said that she'll keep those worms as pets ๐Ÿ‘ฝ

Never in my life had I handled so many worms packed inside a head of cabbage or any vegetable for that matter๐Ÿ˜–

I always have doubts whether the organic vegetables that I buy are truly organic as I pay double and sometimes triple for them. But my doubts are quelled. This organic cabbage from Agape Organic Farm is truly 100% pesticide-free and proven.

This cabbage had been a comfy and snug home for the bunch of worms even on the chiller at the supermarket and back home in my refrigerator.  They are a bunch of healthy worms too, to have survived such cold temperatures and without air for so many days! The cabbage was cling wrapped.

Have I told you that Cass has an affinity with vegetables worms? She had on several occasions kept a vegetable worm in a plastic container for a few days and fed them with so much vegetables and leaves till the worms looked like they were about to explode and that's when she finally released the worms  ๐Ÿ˜†

Monday, February 18, 2019

Homemade Oven Baked Chicken Satay & Easy Peanut Sauce

Satay is one of our family's favorite local delights. But we hardly buy them from roadside food stalls. We'd encountered a number of gross experiences eating satay bought from these stalls. Several times the chicken meat were not thoroughly cooked and we saw raw shiny bloody meat half way through eating our satay.  ๐Ÿคข ๐Ÿคฎ  And that was from a well-known satay restaurant in Kajang. On several occasions, the meat was as burnt as charcoal and we discarded most of the satay.  If you don't already know, burnt food is carcinogenic (cancer causing potential) and I don't want to take any chances.  Have you ever observed that satay sold outside is totally unhygienic and may be contaminated? The meat is usually marinated early in the day and left in the open at the stall and not kept in a chiller. By the time the satay is grilled on a rust-and-grease coated grill many hours later, the meat may have already been contaminated by salmonella. I wonder if the black and greasy grill on top of the bed of charcoal is ever washed!

Fans of satay, sorry for being a party pooper.  That's just one of my pet peeves on hawkers food.

For this reason, I decided to make my own chicken satay. And it is SO EASY you won't ever want to buy satay from outside stalls again.

All you need is boneless chicken breast or thighs and a few other basic kitchen ingredients. Chicken thigh is preferred as it's more tender and juicier.

Marinate ingredients for the meat are turmeric powder, coriander powder, garlic powder, some curry powder, some soy sauce and chopped garlic.  In many recipes, the meat is marinated with freshly blended garlic, shallots, lemongrass (white part), turmeric and galangal. My method is for super busy parents where powdered spices are used.

Chicken Satay Recipe

4 chicken legs and thighs preferred or 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
Bamboo skewers soaked in cold water for 2 hours
2 cucumbers cut into small pieces
1 small onion quartered
Oil and honey / coconut flower nectar / palm sugar syrup for basting. I used organic coconut flower nectar as it is low in GI.  For oil, I used olive oil. You may use peanut oil for the aroma.

3 tablespoons oil
2 stalks lemongrass white parts only
2 cloves garlic peeled 6 shallots peeled
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used English curry powder as that's what I have in the kitchen)
A dash of soy sauce (optional)
1/2 tablespoon salt or to taste (optional)

Cut the chicken meat into small cubes.
Blend the marinade ingredients in a food processor
Add in a little water if needed.
Marinate the chicken pieces for 6 hours or best overnight.
Thread a few pieces of the chicken meat into the bamboo skewers and place in pre-heated oven at 180C.  Bake 10 minutes on each side or until nicely charred. I prefer mine not to be so charred.
Baste and brush with some olive oil / honey / syrup while grilling.
Serve hot with the fresh cucumber pieces and onions.

The first time I made chicken satay, I served it with creamy mushroom pasta for the girls.

My low-carb dinner of chicken satay, broccoli blanched with olive oil and water and creamy mushrooms, sans pasta.

I made chicken satay for dinner again today and this time made a very easy and yummy peanut sauce as dipping for the satay. This lazy satay sauce is so easy that you can prep it in less than 1 hour. It does not require toasting and grinding peanuts.

Easy Peanut Sauce

1 Cup Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter
 ½ Cup + 2 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
1 tsp Chili Powder
¼ tsp Galangal Powder
¼ tsp Cumin Powder
1 ¾ Cups Water
3 Tbsp chopped peanuts (optional)
Sea salt, to taste

Combine all the ingredients except chopped peanuts in a saucepan and mix well.
Bring it to a boil, lower the heat and simmer in low fire for about 30 minutes.
Make sure to stir often to prevent the sauce from sticking and burn on the bottom of the pan. (To prevent the sauce from splattering, closed the pan with a lid, and leave it slightly ajar)
Once the sauce has thickened, season with sea salt (optional), and mix in the chopped peanuts.
Serve the sauce warm or at room temperature with Satay.

Cass helped to thread the chicken meat into the skewers.

This easy peanut sauce goes well with gado-gado (Indonesian salad) as well. After giving some of the sauce (and satay) to Maria our part-time helper, I still have enough sauce for another batch of satay, which I will make again next week and this time, I will make double the recipe for the chicken satay ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‹

Fashion Trends From Spring/Summer 2019 Fashion Weeks

If you’re looking to keep your wardrobe up-to-date with the latest fashion, the world’s top street style stars have the inspiration you need. Every season, these stylish ladies debut the latest and greatest fashion looks, and Spring/Summer 2019 was no exception. From Paris and Milan to London and New York, every fashion week from the month featured outstanding outfits and lust-worthy looks.

Here are the top trends from the season for you to get some ideas on what to add to your shopping list:

1. Bike Shorts With Blazers 
Athleisure is the latest offering and is as unexpected as it is stylish. The term “athleisure” has now been added to the dictionary and is defined as “casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use.”

The bike shorts were worn with blazers by many style-savvy showgoers this fashion month. Offering a fresh blend of sportswear and tailoring, the look was both striking and chic. Of course, while it may not be appropriate for either the office or the gym, the outfit is perfect for strutting the streets or attending a weekend brunch with your best boos. So, don’t be afraid to try it for yourself. You can shop for sexy fashion jackets and blazers at affordable prices at luvyle.com.

Bike Shorts With Blazers

2. Animal Skin Prints
This season, street style stars let their animal instincts take over with bold and wild prints. In particular, loud leopard print was a favourite amongst the fashionistas and appeared on a variety of garments, including pants, coats, dresses, suits, and more. To follow the lead of these chic ladies and unleash your own inner jungle cat, choose strong and striking designs with bold and bright colours. You can choose from a wide selection of leopard print cardigans, tops, pants and cozy maxi dresses from luvyle.com.

 Collarless  Snap Front  Leopard Printed CardigansDeep V-Neck Leopard Print Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Collarless  Flap Pocket  Leopard Printed OuterwearElastic Waist  Leopard Printed Pants

3. Colorful Patchwork
Patchwork  is no longer just a craft that your grandma and mother enjoy. It’s also one of fashion’s latest trends. Surprise! Spotted on the streets outside fashion shows from Paris to New York, patchwork appeared on dresses, jumpsuits, pants and more.To rock the look yourself, allow your patchwork piece to be the focus of your outfit by teaming it with simple, block-coloured garments and accessories.


Colorful and modish patchwork tops from luvly.com:
Asymmetric Neck  Patchwork  Contrast Stitching  Color Block Long Sleeve T-ShirtsAbove Knee Autumn Patchwork Cardigans
Band Collar  Patchwork  Color Block Patchwork T-ShirtsAsymmetric Neck  Patchwork  Contrast Stitching T-Shirts
4. Boilersuits
Boilersuits gained tons of momentum via the street style scene this past fashion month. Although they might look intimidating, this is probably the easiest trend to wear and style. Add some accessories and you have yourself an outfit.

Modish boilersuits and jumpsuits from luvly.com:

Chiffon V Neck Belt Loops JumpsuitsFold Over Collar  Plain  Long Sleeve Jumpsuits

Fold Over Collar  Single Breasted  Plain  Long Sleeve JumpsuitsOne Shoulder  Backless  Belt  Plain  Sleeveless Jumpsuits

Whatever the latest trend is this spring / summer, you are sure to find your favorite pick from luvyle.com!

Friday, February 15, 2019

No Longer Sparks Joy

Our 10-year old two-seater couch no longer sparks joy. According to Marie Kondo, throw out or donate stuff in your house that no longer sparks joy to you.  As this sofa is peeling badly on the seat and under, it makes the house floor dirty. That's no joy to me as I have to sweep the floor like 10 times in a day, I kid you not. And it makes the house looks shabby. Besides, it's bad feng shui to keep a broken furniture at home. So out you go sofa and thank you for serving us the past 10 years.

I paid the cleaners at our condo to help me remove the couch. Now our living room looks really bare. Suddenly, the view of KL Tower and KLCC looks even clearer from the living room without the sofa. Our living room looks so much bigger without the two-seater couch. This means more space for our dancing queen to practice dancing and for Cass to do her floor exercises on her yoga mat.

Looking forward to shop for a new sofa now!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Bonding With Cousins

Photos taken on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year (6 February 2019) in Ipoh:

This doggy photo makes me smile. It looks like Tommy the Golden Retriever is smiling and giving Raelyne a peck on her cheek.   Our trip to Ipoh must be completed with a visit to my friend's house (which is opposite my parents) where we get our dose of pet therapy from four super adorable Golden Retriever doggies.

On the third day of CNY, we planned to leave Ipoh before 8:30 a.m. to avoid getting stuck in the gridlock on the highway. As usual, it's a torture to wake the girls up. Then I had a light bulb moment ~ to put baby Rayzen on the bed to  wake up the 3 sleepy heads! And it worked like a CHARM! In under 5 minutes, the girls sprung out of bed  one by one to cuddle baby Rayzen, who is so cute and charming that we wanna squeeze and bite him.

Love this photo! So heartwarming.

Within 5 minutes, the girls were up, made their beds, gave the twins more hugs and then got themselves ready to leave Ipoh to beat the reverse exodus on the highway. But surprise surprise! Traffic was unbelievable smooth and we reached KL in slightly under 2 hours.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Chinese New Year 2019 ~ Day 2 (6 February 2019)

On the second day of CNY, we were at the Yap clan family house again for lunch.  Instead of vegetarian (which we had on day 1), we had a panoply of meaty dishes. It was a 11-course lunch, inclusive of pig's belly soup.  Totally satisfying as every dish was delish and homecooked by talented chefs (hubby's aunts).

Dinner was at the Ipoh YMCA restaurant, which serves 5-star Chinese restaurant (halal) dishes.

Steamed chicken, abalone, braised mushrooms with pork belly:

Steamed promfret fish with Brand's chicken essence, braised turnip and an assortment of sausages and waxed meat.

Braised leek with roast pork, braised Hakka pork with black fungus and sauteed arrowroot with roast pork.

These are all my favorite dishes but I could eat no more than 2 pieces of each type of meat. I've always had a small appetite and always stop when I am 70% full. Thus my size and weight (44.3kg). Here's another tip on staying trim ~ reduce your food portion and stop eating when you are 70% full.   You don't have to stuff yourself silly just because it's your favorite food.  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Back at my parents, the girls and I take every opportunity to carry and cuddle the twins, and this frees up Madonna (the twins' Pinoy super nanny) who has been working non-stop tending to the twins, who clings on to her like UHU glue.  Cass finds it entertaining feeding baby Rayzen, her favorite baby in the whole wide world.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Of Maids and Simple Homecooked Food

Maria, our beloved Indonesian part-time helper of 6 years is currently 3 months into her first pregnancy.  I had expected her to get pregnant as soon as she's married as this is the norm for Indonesian women from the rural areas.  It's very common for impoverished Indonesian girls to be married off in their early teens, have babies soon after and divorce would follow suit in time to come. I've had 4 live-in maids from Indonesia in the past and all 4 of them have the same fate.

Maria is married to a man of her mother's choice, a man whom she barely knows. She ditched her Chinese East Malaysian boyfriend of over 10 years when he kept finding excuses not to marry her.

From the moment Maria told me that she was going to get married, I knew that she wouldn't work for us for long.  When she told me that she's already 3 months into her pregnancy, I asked her if she'd like to take a break from working but she said no. She needs two jobs to survive in KL as her Indonesian  husband who has just arrived in KL is only working as a leaves blower on the street with a measly income of RM700 a month.

Maria works as a cleaner at a nearby office building and most of her co-workers who were pregnant worked till they were 6 months into the pregnancy. She's confident that she could do it as well. In fact, during the early months of her pregnancy when she hadn't told me about it yet, I did not have the slightest inkling that she was pregnant. She was still carrying heavy buckets of water, climbing up ladder to clean fans and worked as usual, with no morning sickness or whatsoever discomfort. But she was always asking for leave.  After she told me that she's pregnant, she's taking leave almost every other day with eleventh hour notice given to me.

Maria and I have discussed and agreed on a contingency plan. Should she feel that she can no longer work five times a week when the pregnancy advances, she has agreed that I get my most recent part-time maid to cover for her, until she gives birth. She plans to continue working for us after giving birth but is not sure how long she will take leave. With so much uncertainty over the future, I am only 50% confident that she will come back to work after she gives birth. Annie, our most recent part-time maid who was Maria's relief has a tendency to job-hop, though she's pretty good in her work.

There is a possibility that I may not have anymore reliable part-time maid this year. If this happens, my life will be chaotic. I won't be able to cope with making five to six chauffeuring  trips on top of cooking on school days without a part-time helper.

Should the worst case scenario happen this year and I'm unable to get another reliable part-time maid who can come in the evening,  I may have to alter our daily routine. Cooking can then only be  done on alternate days and the remaining busier days, get takeout for dinner.  Cooking will then only be restricted to REALLY SIMPLE dishes with minimal washing. On most school days, the girls do not have the time to help out in the kitchen and around the house. And my hubs works late and never helps to wash the dishes.

When Maria was on leave recently, I dished out some very simple meals that the girls loved, which I don't mind cooking on days when there is no help at home.

One pot meal  of chicken stew. I added lots of carrots, tomatoes and potatoes. The girls love this dish. Even my foodie king hubby loves it and walloped everything that I kept for him for his late dinner.

Roast chicken breast sandwich with cheese, avocado and cucumber. Cass had a burger bun with it.

And I had mine with my favorite multi-grain cinnamon bread from Les Deux Garcons (LDG) Patisserie.

Yee Mee soup with organic seaweed, organic lettuce, organic eggs and meat balls.  I made the soup with just browning some minced garlic with olive oil, add water, dried seaweed, meat balls, eggs and lastly the lettuce and organic yee mee. Seasoned with pepper and organic sea salt.

And this tasted exactly like the ones sold outside. So yummeh!

Mine is with added seaweed, vegetables, eggs and less noodles.