Apologies to all. My camera is currently in the 'hospital'. It'd be back hopefully next week so no post updates till then. I had to make sure it's working properly before my trip. It's kind of wonky lately. Catch you later. ;P
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Oops, another fun thingy from Camemberu. :)
What Your Pizza Reveals
People may tell you that you have a small appetite... but you aren't under eating. You just aren't a pig.
You consider pizza to be bread... very good bread. You fit in best in the Midwest part of the US.
You like food that's traditional and well crafted. You aren't impressed with "gourmet" foods.
You are dependable, loyal, and conservative with your choices.
You are carefree and friendly. You should consider traveling to Hawaii.
The stereotype that best fits you is upper class preppy. You don't anything too ordinary or vulgar.
Ha! Just something I found in little corner of mine's posting and thought it was fun to do. My blog's the best-looking on the block? Hehe, I don't think so lah.
Your Blogging Type
is Kind and Harmonious
You're an approachable blogger who tends to have many online friends.
People new to your blogging circle know they can count on you for support.
You tend to mediate fighting and drama. You set a cooperative tone.
You have a great eye for design - and your blog tends to be the best looking on the block!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Last weekend, I opened this packet of smoked salmon and together with the scallops leftover from bbq, made a pasta dish. The salmon was a gift from Uncle Joe n Aunt Nana when they were over for dinner during the Chinese New Year. It was brought back from Canada. And I loved it. The usual smoked salmon I know is almost raw-like but this one is a texture I've not tasted before. It's flaky and it had a lovely smoked flavour.
The second thing I made was sago pudding using Daphne's recipe. I had come across these green pandan sago pearls in the supermarket a while back. It was actually princess who pointed them out to me. She wanted to buy them. I thought I could make a pudding with them and remembered Daphne having made something like that. I decided I should make them for a 'working mums meeting' with the ballet teacher. It was to discuss a funfair that we are organising. It was going to be a potluck thing so I thought it'd be a lovely dessert to bring. Unfortunately it didn't make it there. :( Firstly I had forgotten to get the coconut milk, then after cooking the sugar, found that there was a little bee or something inside. Was disgusting with the little wings floating around. It most definitely was from within the gula melaka. I was too tired to go out to the supermarket to get them so I abandoned the idea. Meanwhile the pudding sat in the fridge and by the time I had a chance to make the syrup etc, some of the tops of the pudding had dried up. But they were still edible. I love this recipe. Thanks Daphne. I also love the overall colour. Reminds me of chendol.
Hubby has been very kind and helped me with this new look. It's only taken 2 days to create even though he is clueless about blogger. The only good thing is that he knows html which I'm totally clueless about.
The pink one I tried was very sweet, but it would have been suitable only if I were a 16-yr-old. The other thing was that I just didn't feel it was my blog without Princess' drawing up on the header. That is the thing I missed most when I had the two days of pink. It's the signature of this blog and I couldn't get rid of it. So I pleaded with hubby to create something for me incorporating the drawing, three columns, and some nice wallpaper. He changed the fonts for the header, did some photoshop with the little daisies and voila!
Do you like it? I totally love it. :) It's still sweet but a nice soothing, refreshing sweet. The colour reminds me of lemons too and I do love them.
Tell me what you think.
I still have lots to do especially adding links to the blogs I read often. Some are missing as I haven't got to yours yet, but do give me some time. And others, such as Miz Young, I can't find you. Please send a link... pretty please.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Two years seem like a decade really. This was the last Mother's Day that we celebrated with darling Ah Ma as she didn't make it to the next. Even though she looked very happy in this photo, she was sick then and had gotten permission from the hospital, to be released for a couple of hours, to spend time together with us for lunch. The uncles arranged for lunch at a dimsum restaurant and most of the family was there. I guess that was what made her so happy.
Her sickness came as a shock to us and as she was already in her 80s, we grandchildren thought that she shouldn't be made to suffer through chemo etc. Her children thought otherwise.
Much as she loved us all, she loved her great-grandchildren even more, as you must be very blessed to have lived so long to get to meet them. There are only 2 - princess and Z. Unfortunately they will not get to know her. I do remind princess of Tai Ma all the time, and we visit her at her niche too. She calls her the 'Tai Ma who went to Heaven', or 'the old Tai Ma', as she has 2.
Memories of her are around me every day, as I now live near where I grew up. Coming from a broken home, my sis and I were cared of by her and lived with her most of our lives. She was like a mother to us. The market down at my place is where I used to go with her when I was young and on days when I wasn't lazy. Also on Saturdays when they were not working, Z's grandparents will pick her up in their car to take her there to stock up on her groceries. The pork stall is the same one she used to buy from but it was run by the stall owner's father during those days. And so too is the sundry shop. The young man used to manage the stall with his grandmother and he still remembers me and asks after Ah Ma. If I'm not wrong, the fish stall that I patronise is the same too, run by a few of the old man's sons now. Thus I love my present home as I am reminded of her everywhere in this neighbourhood. When I first moved here 5 years ago, the market was undergoing renovations as a new one had been built to replace the old one from Ah Ma's time. As the temporary market was a distance away, I bought quite a lot of foodstuff so that I needn't go every day. Since there are only 3 in our family to feed, I often bought enough for a week. However, I struggled with the bags of foodstuff and it was then I thought of Ah Ma, how she often had to walk such a long distance home carrying her very heavy-laden basket and being young, we didn't know how much she had to suffer just to bring food to the table. I appreciated her more.
My only regret is that princess and I didn't get to spend lots of time with her towards the end of her years here on earth - conflicts in the family and such.
So my advice to you is, put aside the disagreements and spend as much time as possible with your loved ones as you don't know what tomorrow will bring.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Following in Daphne's footsteps, I have got myself a new template. My intention was to get one where I could still use dear Princess' drawing as the header but it seems not possible. However, I am kind of sick of the old polka dots and wanted something different, so bear with me while I sample a few. I realize that I have a lot of follow-up work to do after that and most of my links have disappeared so I'll have to enlist the help of hubby.
I'm not sure if I can get used to this one as it is super candy sweet, but I like that it has 3 columns, and there weren't many choices of those. What do you think?
Note - Thanks to the many of you who have given your feedback regarding the templates. We're still working on it. :O)
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I watched an episode of The 'F' Word once and Gordon Ramsay's guest was arguing with him that she was making a shepherd's pie, when in actual fact she was making a cottage pie. I'm not entirely sure what the difference in ingredients is, but only the fact that when one is made from beef it is called a 'cottage pie' and when made with lamb, it is 'shepherd's pie'.
I've not made this dish in a long time and since I bought some minced beef at a discount, decided to do it. This is naturally one of hubby's favourites because of the potatoes.
I don't have exact measurements but the ingredients I used are as
1. Minced Beef
2. 3 big potatoes, boiled and mashed with approx. 1/4 cup fresh milk and a knob of butter, seasoned with salt and a mix of black and white pepper
3. Some peas
4. 1 carrot, cubed
5. 1/2 an onion chopped up
6. 1 tomato, chopped
7. Seasonings - cinnamon, 1 bay leaf, oregano
8. Some breadcrumbs to thicken up minced beef mixture
9. I added some grated cheddar to the top (optional). You can use an egg wash
Cook everything together except the mashed potatoes. When beef is cooked, place in a baking dish and top with mash. You can choose to pipe it nicely if you like. Sprinkle some cheese on top and bake till brown. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I spent the longest half hour of my life up in the sky today with nary a seatbelt to hold me in place, except the arms of my loving daughter. I nearly freaked out and had a nervous breakdown!
Hubby promised princess that he'd take her for a ride in the sky when the Singapore Flyer was ready, and each time we passed it along the ECP, she'd be bugging and reminding and nagging, 'oh why isn't daddy taking me to ride that yet, I've been waiting so long!'. So hubby finally caved in and took the day off work today to make good his promise.
The plan was just for the 2 of them to go up on it while I occupied myself in the shops down on the ground for half an hour. But a few days' back, princess tried to convince me to go up with them and she was adamant about it. Said she wanted me to be there. I told her I'd be so afraid and she said she'd hold me tight. I said she'd forget, and she said NO! I WILL hold you! Please, mummy. Well, I didn't say yes. So that evening when daddy got home, they were discussing the ride and daddy said maybe mummy will stay down as it is pretty expensive to go up all of us. She bought the excuse. But all was changed when we were at the ticketing office this afternoon and hubby insisted I joined them and got the tickets. There was no way of backing out and I was fine on my way to the area where we board the cabin, but the minute I saw them coming like those cable cars at Sentosa, I suddenly felt dizzy and totally regretted not objecting to it. And I wasn't sure how I was going to endure the 30-min ride. It was the ride from hell.
From the minute I got in, I sat in the seats provided in the middle of the cabin and just stayed there. Hubby and princess were not allowed to leave my side, with at least one by my side at any time. True to her word, she hugged me real tight, but as mummy is way bigger than her in size, she was tired after a short while and said she couldn't hold me anymore.
The ride up was bad but could not be compared to the knowledge that you were at the highest point when they actually announce it and you can see two other cabins on either side of you. I was almost in tears. I thought that ride would never end!
But thank God, we did make it down eventually and I couldn't wait to dash out of that scary place. Hubby said that I can at least say I've been up there, but I shudder to even think of it.
I truly do NOT advise those with fear of heights to ever attempt it. Once up, you can't get off. Remember that!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Was very tempted by the scones Little Corner of Mine made a couple of days' back. I love anything that is super easy to do, one bowl kind of thing, not having to wash up tons of stuff. And so, I decided to make them seeing that the recipe was rather straightforward. Woke up pretty early this morning even though princess wasn't going to school, as my intention was to make the scones for breakfast before her ballet class. Her teacher's assistant is doing her practical exams and as part of the exams, she has to conduct a class before the examiner who will then grade her. So we skipped school today to form a class with 5 other girls and they had loads of fun. All of those who participated were given little goody bags in appreciation of their help; filled with Smarties, jelly babies, a notebook and a pencil. How sweet of these teachers.
The scones are really good. I love the almond flavour in them. Try it. It takes very little effort yet are delicious! However, not sure of the temperature of my oven, I put them in at 218-220deg C but found it to be too hot. Of course I didn't have the time to sit in front of it while it was baking so in 11mins they became really brown on top due to the sugar. I quickly turned it down a little to approx 200deg and let it slowly bake for another 6-8mins. Lovely, gorgeous scones. We had to put them in bags to eat on the way as we were running late. It was lovely and warm and I believe that's the best way to eat them. ;)
It didn't yield a lot. 10 pieces according to how I cut them and only 2 small pieces are left now. Hubby had some too. Princess wants me to bake more for after her swim class when they have a little 'picnic', but I'm too tired now. I will most definitely bake them again, very soon. :)
For lunch, we ate at Sakae Sushi, and this is one dish I've recently discovered which I love. It's Curry Udon with a choice of chicken or beef. Slurp!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
My little girl got off the school bus and said, 'Mummy, I made something for you to eat'. 'What is it? Wow, you cooked it in school?'. 'Yes, it is 菜餅.' It was made with long beans, carrots, tomatoes.
So she told me to get it out from her school bag and it was this oily mess of kitchen towel just put directly into her bag. So I asked her if 老師 let everyone take it home to their mummies. She said she asked 老師，’我可以帶回家給我的媽媽吃嗎？’。她說，“不可以”。(Teacher, may I bring this home for my mummy to eat? Teacher said 'no'). But you know what she did then? She wrapped it in her little piece of napkin and brought it home secretly. Hehe. Sneaky, but how thoughtful and sweet. The vegetable pancake is yummy. I must remember to ask the teacher for the recipe.
We had so much satay leftover, we'll be stuffing our faces with satay these couple of days. As we were out most of yesterday, we only got home after 5pm and I had to rustle up a quick dinner. I had already planned to use the chicken satay from Saturday's bbq to make a pasta dish which was quick and easy. Cut up some strips of red capsicum, shredded some cabbage leaves, red onion, garlic slices and stir fried all together and a meal was complete. Other than a little sprinkle of salt, no other seasoning was required.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Bottom picture : Notice on the right side of picture is a dangerous piece of thin glass protruding? That is also another danger point. I just thank God she did not run into that.
I know these pictures aren't very good at emphasizing our point. You have to be physically there to see it for yourself. From a distance, this looked like the entrance to a certain boutique in Marina Square, right beside the Starbuck's cafe. Mum and I were interested in going in to take a look at what the shop had to offer. So we were both headed this way, thinking that it was the way in, but when we went close enough to it, both realized that it was actually a window pane, which resembled very much the shop's entrance. The actual point of entry was around a corner to the right of this picture.
While browsing, we heard a very loud bang, and mum wondered what the sound could be. I had just walked past the pane on the inside of the shop, and having realised what could have happened, knew at once that princess was the one who would most likely have been on the opposite of said glass pane. I was right of course, and she had run smack right into it. Mum and I were discussing at length before that, the danger of the pane which gave no indication that it was there. There were no warning signs or those strips which show you clearly that you can't go through there. I am not saying she wasn't at fault at all for having made that run, but if there had been more visible signs, the accident could have been prevented.
I went out immediately to princess who had gone back to her daddy by then, and she was visibly upset, I think more from the shock of it than the actual pain itself. A pinkish hue had started forming on her left cheek. I was pissed! I got hubs to go sort it out and was dragging princess to the shop to show them what had happened to her face. She refused to go and pulled me back. I believe it was more to do with embarrassment. I left her with grandma who calmed her down, and followed hubs into the boutique. By that time, the manager had been called and he was already with hubs. I didn't know that as I was a few minutes behind, so I said it to a certain guy, E, that I wanted the contact for the person higher in authority to the store manager. His reply was that the manager was already with the hubs, and that 'we ARE already trying to solve the matter'. The pompousness of his attitude, not at all apologetic that an accident such as this had happened and in his words as told to mum 'it's happened many times'.
Hubs took the store manager out to where it had happened and the manager said it didn't look like an entrance. Well, of course he'd say that. He knew the store inside out. We are talking about a little child here. How could she judge that it wasn't one? Even we adults initially mistook it for one. His rationale was that it was designed by their Italian designers to give full exposure to the shop and for the public to be better able to view the interior from the outside. A few metres away is a very famous boutique which has the same kind of frontage but had put a full window display area which didn't prohibit the customer from taking a peek in, so I don't see their point of argument.
After getting the contact numbers of both the manager as well as the MD, we gave princess a treat of ice-cream, as requested by her. While there, I noticed that her eyebrow had turned a light shade, as if the hair had gone off a little. I then realized that there was a swelling on the brow so it had spread the brow hair a bit and it looked like it had been shaved off.
We decided to take her to see the doctor as it was the brow bone which had taken the greatest impact. If it had been just the cheek, I would have left it. I wasn't about to take a risk on the eye area. Some people might think it's being kiasu, but I think it's better to be safe than sorry.
The MD was communicating to hubs throughout that afternoon and was even offering to send her a 'get well' basket. I told him to just say it to her thanks for her thoughts but it wasn't necessary. We did not make a big hooha to get benefits out of it. What we want is for them to make that area safe. As hubs says, one accident is one too many.
We have not gotten any email replies from her as she does not want to commit herself due to the legal aspect of the case but we do need to see some proof and some pictures to show that the problem has been resolved or else we'll just take our case to the newspapers. I find that oftentimes when the Straits Times is involved, we often get a solution to the matter.
It's been a long time since we had organised a bbq and hubby thought it'd be great to get a few of his colleagues over for one. It was all very fun when we first planned it, but at the end of the day, the bulk of the preparation rested on my shoulders. To make matters worse, on the day of the bbq, there was a major storm at noon while we were leaving ballet class. B was supposed to pick up little princess to a classmate's birthday party, and hub's friend and wife were to collect her after. So they were very late for the party as we waited for the rain to die down. Thanks very much, B, I do so appreciate your help, and also the mothers who are ever-so-willing to lend a hand every time. The rain delayed the precious little time I had going around to buy food. I called up the hubs and said why not I just buy ready satay and otah from the supermarket, and his reply was 'Huh?!'. Ok, so he wasn't satisfied with just normal frozen stuff then, but what was I to do when a storm was going on?
When the rain finally came to a standstill, we rushed around getting otah from the famous Mackeral Otah in Joo Chiat, and satay supposedly from Haig Road market. Unfortunately by the time we made it to Haig Road, all the satay had been sold out. Goodness! What was I to do?! I had to think of an alternative quickly, and remembered City Satay which was very near to where I was then. Hurried over and got what we needed.
D arrived early to help me with the preparation of the bacon/asparagus sticks etc. Both she and C also picked up some food stuff such as snowfish satay and salmon teriyaki sticks. She got scallops in shells specially for me. So sweet of them. I enjoyed them very much, all the food she brought.
We had some unusual food that evening. Portobello mushrooms with butter/garlic seasoning, and scallop shells with the same topping. All tasted heavenly, especially the scallops which were so sweet, no other seasoning was needed. But of course, there was the chicken wings which is a must at every bbq, and that was pretty popular, I'm glad. ;) And surely, there were sausages, garlic bread, and sweet potatoes and stingrays. The last two of which weren't very popular. :P
A special thank you to those who brought food and drinks, you know who you are. And also to the couple who babysat our little one.
It was a lovely gathering and the 3 little girls had fun in the little waddling pool.
But it had been a tiring day and we were all exhausted by the end of it. Unfortunately I've been laden with loads of food stuff which we'll have to feed ourselves this week.
Last Tuesday saw us on an outing to the Botanical Gardens. The kids were learning about plants last month and to reinforce the theme, it was capped off with a visit to the gardens to study more about them.
I wasn't looking forward to it as the weather has been either very hot or very wet and that particular morning, it was hot. However, as J observed, it's usually not very hot because of all the greenery around, and she was right about that.
We were given little slips of paper with different topics with which to take photos of. Our slip said:
I was like, huh, how boring. How many shades of leaves can I find other than light green, dark green, yellow or brown. The flowers looked much more interesting. But I was proven wrong. We found an array of colourful leaves in purple, pink, polka dots, etc. And I was really glad we made that trip to the gardens. It was a truly educational and fun trip for us all.
Have so many backlog of posts and it's only because I'm not able to sleep that I have this chance now to do some updates. Woke up at 3.30am to go to the toilet and have been awake since. I know I am going to suffer later. Plus princess won't be in school today so I won't get to rest in the morning. Why she's not in school, that is another story altogether.
Right now, I want to boast that I am a very proud mama who has a little girl who was so brave to have her tiny ears pierced. Not a cry or a whimper from her.
Princess had been bugging to get her ears done for a few weeks' now and I wasn't too keen on it. My intention was to keep her from having any holes done to any part of her body for as long as I could. But she was adamant. I managed to coax her to leave it till later, but in the end, it was a missing magnet earring that sealed the fate. She had gone to Sunday school last weekend and wore her fake magnetic dangling earrings. When hubby picked her up at the end of mass, she came to me with tears in her eyes. One side of her earrings had gone missing and they couldn't find it. I calmed her down and told her we'd go to Daiso to get another pair. Unfortunately, much to my dismay, it was really the last pair on the rack so we couldn't find the same ones. Very visibly upset, so sigh, soft-hearted mama told her she could go get real earrings done.
She was excited about it but still very sore about her favourite pair, even sobbing at night when going to bed. So there was no way I could postpone it further. A quick message to KY to check if she was available to go with us to do it on Monday 7 April, just to hold princess' hands while mummy recorded the moment with her vcam, and she readily agreed. Thanks dear. :)
I was advised by many mums that I should do the two guns option, where two people pierce the holes at the same time. One hole at a time, especially for a little kid, would be too cruel. They have to suffer twice, and worse, might not have the other side pierced once they have the first one done.
When the guns went through the ears, there was a shock that registered on her face, and the eyes were beginning to turn a little red. However, brave little one managed to control her tears and suffer for the sake of vanity.
However, I'm not too pleased with the result as I feel that the right hole is slightly lower than the left one. However, the only consolation is that at certain angles, they do even out. The unevenness is minimal so I choose not to put her through it again.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Hi there to my fellow blogger friends. First off, I'd like to apologize to those who have left comments but I've not had the chance to reply them. Thanks for taking the time to.
I just don't know what I've been really occupied with. Anything and everything I guess. My diary is filled every day of the week, and every weekend there is a birthday party to attend. To kick start the month of April, we had 2 birthday parties one after another last Saturday and for the next 3 weekends to come. Thus, have been shopping around for presents, burning a giant hole in the pocket! And also, we've started swimming class again last week. So, mega busy this mummy has been. On the flip side, little princess is really happy to meet up with her swimming pals once more and they've picked up where they left off. The great thing is that at this new pool where they go for class now, there is a little wadding pool perfect for them to play in after their half hour lesson is over. However, we mums aren't too pleased with the timing of the class but the coach can't change it. It's right smack in the hottest part of the afternoon at 3pm and for those of you living in Singapore, you'd know that the weather now is a killer. The 8am sun feels like 12pm, so you can imagine the intensity of the 3pm sun! I have picked up for her a long-sleeved UV protection swim top to give her little body as much cover as possible from the sun's harmful rays. Now, I just pray that she doesn't get goggle eyes. You know those, you see them on little swimmers who spend too much time in the sun using goggles.
In the time I've been missing, I did some cooking. However, they are stuff that I have blogged about before. Or else, I'd packed food from the coffee shop, or bought ready chicken thighs and served them with this potato salad below. This is the ultimate comfort food. Boiled potatoes with chopped onions, spring onions, slathered with mayonnaise and topped with bacon bits (fresh, not canned). Yum!
I made these Orange, Carrot & Chocolate Muffins for a school outing yesterday, by the request of little princess. She had wanted me to make Lemon Poppyseed. I was like, huh, I can't feed the kids that! So orange muffins they were.
Was super tired after the outing yesterday and to make matters worse, my phone gave me problems, so had to drop it in to the Ericsson service centre to get it repaired and will only get it back on Friday after 2pm. So, friends who read my blog and have been trying to get me in vain, please note that I will only be able to contact you after Friday afternoon. However, am trying to get my hands on a phone to use. I don't believe that all the phones at the service centre are out. Are there so many phones spoiled that so many have sent theirs for repair? Well, it will be the last Ericsson I'm getting for sure. I had to trade-in my last one early as it gave me problems, and this one, less than 2mths old, and already problematic. Gosh! Don't I ever learn??!!!
Alright, I've digressed. Meant to be talking about my dinner. So, not having the energy to go to the supermarket and then racking my brains as to what to prepare for dinner, I thought of what I had left in my fridge, put the ingredients together and decided to fry a dish of bee hoon for us last night. So here I present my Fried Bee Hoon with baby kailan, shredded carrots, sausages, prawns, fresh button mushrooms and some corned beef leftover from my corned beef fried rice last week. Fried an omelette and sliced it up to garnish, together with fried shallots.