Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fish farm

Had a lovely afternoon with cousin and nephew. We've not seen each other in months and it was great to catch up. Both the kids were excited and looking forward to the outing. We had lunch at Ikea Tampines and then left the two of them to have fun in the play area for an hour while the both of us went shopping. It's been ages since I last set foot in Ikea and I even bumped into an ex-choirmate. :) She was relaxing, having sent her girl off to school, and having lunch and enjoying her free time. How nice. :D

After the play hour was up, cousin drove us to a nearby fish farm to feed the koi. She bought a packet of fish food for $3 and we went about to all the individual ponds feeding them. It was great fun for our city kids. :) We even had a fright once when a little black fish jumped out of the water in greed and found itself in trouble. We had to get help from one of the staff there who took a big scoop and hoisted the poor fish back into the pond. :)

From there, nephew had to proceed to swim class so we were given a lift to Parkway where we had a light dinner and then I promised princess I would give her an ice-cream treat, to make up for being a bad mummy and accidentally closing the car door on her tiny fingers. :(

So she asked to try the durian one but didn't like it. In the end she picked chocolate after testing like 3 flavours! And I was attracted to this avocado which was really nice. Decided to get a scoop of it for myself to enjoy. ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Curry Puff Pastry

I feel a little rested now, having taken a nap an hour ago, while cleaner was getting my home spick and spank. Just put the pots of soup and stew onto stove to boil a little longer and the rice is cooked, thus have some free time. As promised in earlier post, I have here, the recipe for the pastry which I used for the curry puffs.

It was given by a ex-friend of mine and it is rather simple except that if you do not have a mixer, you need to rely a lot on arm power.

Ingredients - (pastry)

250g plain flour
250g self-raising flour
250g butter (salted)
1 egg
1/2 cup water

Method -

1. Cut butter into small cubes and rub in flour till resemble breadcrumbs.
2. Add egg and 1/4 cup of water first. Knead. (The longer you knead, the firmer the crust). Slowly add remaining water till you achieve the right consistency. (I didn't use all of the water, once it starts like getting a little sticky, stop adding).
3. Continue to knead till it's a pliable dough.
4. Meanwhile, turn on the oven to 350deg F or 180deg C while preparing puffs.
5. Brush with egg wash or milk before baking.
6. Bake in oven at 180deg C for an hour (I only baked in there for approx 40mins).

Ok, I have never made curry puff filling and it was the first time I tried to. So, it's mostly based on memory what I used and did, so I'll try my best to remember. :P

Ingredients - (filling)

2 medium potatoes, cut into little cubes
2 boneless chicken thighs, skinned removed, also cut into small pieces
2 shallots, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
curry powder
salt to taste

Method -

1. Saute shallots in oil till soft, then add garlic and saute till fragrant.
2. Add chicken and fry till half cooked.
3. Add potatoes, then curry powder (not sure but I might have used approx 3-4tsps as I just basically poured it in from the packet just till the taste suited me).
4. Add some water and let it simmer till almost dry, and both potatoes and chicken are cooked. Add salt to taste. Turn off flame and scoop it onto plate and let cool till needed.

And S, I'm glad it passed your fussy tastebuds that you had to tell your hubby about it. ;) So good luck trying this. :D

Some free time

Last week was busy for me as hubby was away, so while little girl was in full-day school, I wasn't having it easy either. My arthritis has been acting up pretty bad and I had to insist on an appointment with the doc. Whatever it took, I just had to make them squeeze me in as my appointment wasn't due till 18 Nov. I couldn't wait that long or I couldn't function otherwise.

While I was battling joint pains the week before hubby's holiday trip, little one suddenly caught the flu bug and it took a week to clear. She was very miserable throughout, as she wasn't able to go school for 3 days; missed ballet class; and worse of all, a birthday party, and that burden was passed on to me. She really got on my nerves every second mummy this and mummy that and just wouldn't leave me alone. All these were additional stress thrust upon me and by Sunday I couldn't take it anymore, I just had to get out. Told hubby I needed a few hours off, and went to have a nice lunch with mum. I definitely was ready to get rid of the two of them by Monday morning. :D

What was meant to be a relaxing week, in which I was supposed to have more time to myself, turned out to be the opposite. Not only were there the joint pains to reckon with, my having to pick up little one from school every evening (as the school buses were filled to the brim and thus they couldn't take her on) made things worse. But really, from what I learn from the school administrator, that wasn't the case. I guess the bus company just didn't want to put themselves out, and besides I offended them once recently when I insisted that my girl was changed to another bus where the driver didn't smoke in it. Reluctantly, after threats by me, they changed her. So now I have to pay for that.

So I did manage to see the doc on Tuesday and was given a jab. However, a new problem presented itself in the right knee and it didn't help, that I needed to climb the stairs up the overhead bridge every evening on the way to school. I was in such pain, and it was really weird considering I had just had a jab two days prior. So all in, it wasn't a good week for me at all.

However, the week ended off rather well with a visit to the cinema to catch the premiere of High School Musical 3 on Friday and hubby was home early Saturday morning. There was then grandma's birthday dinner (where I made a mess of my marshmallow cake given that I didn't have enough time to chill it). But everyone was nice about it and called it a pudding cake. Well, at least they didn't spit it out.

And I made another marshmallow cake for B's birthday bbq on Sunday and made sure I had plenty of hours to chill it. I couldn't afford to embarrass myself in front of a whole lot of people (not family this time). And am glad it turned out well, and the birthday boy was happy. :) But I have learnt too, that cakes like these and bbqs do not go hand-in-hand as they melt easily in the heat and humidity. I have also learnt not to use sliced pineapples in it else is difficult to cut and messes up the cake. On top of the cake, I made a portion of chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache as I didn't think the main cake was big enough, and although KY said there's not that many people at the bbq, there were LOADS!

So I spent the whole of Sunday basically in the kitchen till it was time to leave for KY's. We didn't have lunch so I made some curry puffs with dough and fillings leftover from during the week, and ready hardboiled eggs from baby C's one-month-old cake box. They don't look very pretty as I am bad at pleating them, but who cares once they taste yummy, right? ;) I must make sure I buy a curry puff mould soon. Princess, who doesn't eat curry, loved it and said, 'I love mummy's curry puff'. Awww.... :D

Will type out the recipe when I have time again, but meanwhile need to take a walk down to the market to buy some fishballs for soup tonight. And incidentally, dinner's cooking itself in the magic pot so that's saved me some time today. ;)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chilli Seafood Pasta

So much has happened in the past week which left me all drained and really no energy to blog. I just wanted to challenge my brains in 'word challenge' and take care of a virtual pet in 'pet society' in FB and basically just switch myself off from the real world. Hopefully this week will be better for me and I can have some free time to myself to relax and do my own stuff, all 9hrs of it! Yes, I have packed little one off to full day school for a week so I can recover myself.

So well, here I am finding a little alone time while girl has gone to sleep and realized I have this from last week, which I wanted to post earlier.

This mee hoon kueh is from Qiu Lian Ban Mian at Parkway and it's the stall I go to 8 times out of 10 when I have my meals there. My girl has caught on to my taste and she loves this too, and customers of this stall can tell you, that the portion is mega big so we usually share the one bowl.

I also tried this for dinner last week after reading about it through Daphne. It was very yummy and hubby loved it too. I used crab meat, prawns and sliced fish, yellow capsicum and fresh basil, and paired it with angelhair. Delicious!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Let sleeping dogs lie...

This sleeping dog was rudely woken by an extremely loud noise at 7am and let me tell you, she wasn't a happy one, having fallen asleep only at 2am. It lasted approximately 10-15mins. The noise level was merely a decibel below the Formula 1 cars. She immediately got out of bed, washed up, changed and went downstairs to hunt down whoever was responsible, to give him a piece of her mind. I mean this is ridiculous, on a Sunday morning at 7am??!!!

Well, she did find the man, but having missed him the first time she spotted him, as he was without his guilty weapon (a mega powerful vacuum), she had to find out from a cleaner as to what the noise was. When she did, she chased the supervisor around and gave him a good thrashing! But what's the use? Her sleep has been disturbed and she can't go back to bed now. So that's why she is venting her frustration here.

The town council, if you're reading this, please get this straight... I am not going to be disturbed from my sleep at 7am so that my block can participate in some 'cleanest block' contest! How does it benefit me? All I can say is sleep isn't it! I also have a suggestion for this contest - have a time period say over 3 months and spot checks are done during this time and then a winner is decided upon. What's the use of doing the one-time cleanup to determine the winner on the very day itself? Everyone will be scrambling to get their blocks as clean as possible! What kind of a competition would that be? And meanwhile, we have to live with dirty lifts or lobbies and rubbish collection areas etc on a daily basis??? This very much resembles our education system where we are graded over one single paper for each subject and then judged if we are smart or dumb. Well, what can we say... welcome to Singapore.

And since I am on the subject of noise, I think that it should be mandatory for all car owners to attend some course on learning to switch off their car alarms and not let it play on like some music blasting from the radio. That is what we get most mornings and our flat being right beside the car park doesn't help things.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fridays myspace graphic comments
Myspace Friends Comments & Graphics

I love Fridays. It's not because it's the last day of a work week, since homemakers/mothers/wives typically do not have any rest day... they are on call 24/7. I don't know about you out there, but I know I am. What makes me look forward to this particular day of the week, is that I get to meet up with some good friend mums from school. After the kids are off to school, we sneak in a breakfast meeting to just spend time together, complain about school/teachers etc.

Now don't call me a tai tai, as I am far from one. It just pisses me off when people assume that if you don't work and stay home to take care of kids, you are a tai tai. That is so totally untrue and something which most homemakers like me will totally protest against. Well, if I were a tai tai, where would I have the time to be sitting here and blogging, and not to mention cooking, and cleaning house, etc? I'd be out shopping and having high teas or organising some charity do. And since I do not have maids or fancy cars (well, not even a broken second hand car), how do I qualify as one? I'm sure you can tell that someone stepped on my toes with that comment.

Now, back to the topic at hand. I do treasure the few hours on Fridays, be it for breakfast or lunch and I know it's very quickly coming to a halt once our kids start school. Two mums would leave our area to start new homes in other parts of Singapore and two will remain, although one will migrate soon to Oz, and one has a new baby to mind. Well, what say you mums, that we might still occasionally meet up on Friday for lunch when kids have left for school? I know it's not easy. But I'm sure we will find a way. The friendship with these mums sure is precious to me and I do thank God for them all, for He has blessed me with such caring and reliable friends who live so close by, and to whom I can turn in times of trouble, and bless J, who so kindly offered to take care of my girl while I was planning a last minute trip to China with hubby. However, the trip on my part has been cancelled so there is no need to bother her with that now. But it touched me that she said 'my doors are always open to you'. KY offered to mind princess too, but unfortunately she lives too far away and I would have liked her to continue to go to school while I was away. But thanks so much for offering, KY, and for being such a wonderful godma. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Made some chocolate cupcakes just for the fun of it, and just slathered some ganache on them. Yum! Pretty too. :)

Lemon Chicken

Dear goddaughter is back from India, so she spent the night at our place. I can't believe how much this girl has grown. In my eyes, she is still that little 4-yr-old flower girl at my wedding over 9yrs ago. How time flies, and how fast these kids grow. She's only 13 but really going on 18. I can't believe how matured she has become. I think she's really too grown up for a sleepover with my little one. Haha.

The problem is that she is pretty fussy with food, so I had to plan my menu properly so she would eat. I didn't want her to be eating pasta bolognaise every time she came to my place, so I made a corn fishball soup, broccoli which both kids love, an omelette fried with fishpaste as well as lemon chicken. She loved them all, and this godma was so pleased. :)

I fried some chicken thighs and then used a ready Woh Hup lemon sauce. My Google search is acting weird today thus I can't find a picture of sauce bottle to attach. But it made the dish really good. It was thumbs up from everyone. ;)

Seaweed Chicken

For HK -

This is the seaweed chicken which my girl absolutely loves but I try to give her as little as possible. It's not that unhealthy the way I cook it, which is to bake them in the oven, but really, what I dislike is the fat within. I don't remember them being so fatty when it was first in the market. It tastes quite horrible sometimes, as I do not like the idea of chewing on all that fat.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Goodies from Penang

Dad told me at the very last minute, the night before he left in fact, that he was leaving for Penang. Argh!! He should have told me earlier... I could have tompang him to do me a favour. Well, anyway, before he got off the line, I told him to get me some tau sar piah. :) This will have to do, even though I was looking forward to the super fresh ones which come in a box. Beggars can't be choosers. He also got a box of preserved lime. Yum! I have not seen these in years, and it brings me back to my childhood when we used to go up to Petaling Jaya during the school holidays. I remember we even drove up to Cameron Highlands and I so hated those rides when I would feel so sick and he often had to stop by the roadside I also remember those trips to other parts of Malaysia to visit relatives, or have fun at the Kota Tinggi waterfall. Wow, that was indeed a lonnnnggg time ago. Memories...

Gluttons Bay

Princess and I spent the entire afternoon at Esplanade enjoying Octoburst yesterday. There were performers from Nafa, and some plays in the Concourse which the public could enjoy for free. This is a yearly affair celebrating Children's Day which falls on 1st Oct. We watched a total of 3 plays, one story-telling session at the Library @ Esplanade on the 3rd level, and also a performance by the Nafa Young Talents with their Chinese musical instruments. We had a great time.

By the time the last play ended, it was almost 6pm, so we walked over to Glutton's Bay right beside Esplanade, and packed home some dinner.

Little one had chicken rice...

We also ordered some chicken satay to share...

Roti John for me...

And fish and chips for hubby...

Makansutra Gluttons Bay
01-15 Esplanade Mall
daily 6pm to 3am

How to get there?

  • MRT (alight at Cityhall MRT Station, walk towards Esplande linkway)
  • Buses numbers: ( 36, 56, 70, 97, 111, 133, 162, 174M, 195, 502, C1, C2, C3, 75, 77, 106, 171, 700A, 857, 960, 961, NR 1, NR 2, NR 5, NR 6, NR 7 & NR 8.
  • Taxi

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Homemade Italian Stew with Fresh Fettucine

I don't know what a traditional Italian stew is, but I was watching Micheal Smith one morning and he cooked something similar to what I did. So using that episode as an inspiration, I decided to make up something that somewhat resembled an Italian stew, or from what I can remember of that episode.

2 fresh sausages cut into bite-sized pieces
A few rashers of back bacon
2 chicken thighs, deboned and cut into bite-sized pieces (then marinated in a bit of salt and pepper)
a can of chopped tomatoes
sliced onion
black pepper and salt to taste
fresh or dried pasta of your choice

Friday, October 3, 2008

More buns

I was told to try out another nice recipe, and no regrets. This one resulted in super soft buns, unlike the ones I made last week. Those were nice too but not super soft. I'm happy with this and it's easy to handle. Will surely be using the recipe again.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rich Orange Cake

The picture above doesn't really do the cake justice. As you can see from photo, there's a little portion in the middle where the cake didn't cook too well. But believe me, this cake is heavenly. I had some oranges in the fridge which have been there for quite some time, so this morning, I thought of baking something simple and which needed minimum ingredients, as well as, using the stuff I already have at home. This (Bee Lian's Rich Orange Cake from Allrecipes) fitted the bill perfectly. I followed the recipe mostly, but I substituted the flour for cake flour, adding a tsp of baking powder and half tsp of baking soda. I also used half a tsp of orange essence.

The result? A super light & fluffy cake, very very yummy. I wonder if it's because of the change of flour that made it fluffy, as most of the comments indicated that it was a moist and dense cake. It is slightly moist. I'll be making more of these, definitely!

Sponge cake

This was made a couple of days ago. I can't remember where I got this recipe. I tend to print out recipes when they catch my attention, and usually when it's something simple, I like to try it out. However, I wasn't exactly pleased with it. I have a pack of whipping cream in the fridge, thus decided to slice cake in half and spread it with jam and a layer of whipped cream, followed by top layer of cake and more whipped cream for topping. Hubby loves it, but I'm no whipped cream fan so I didn't have too much of it. :P