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Wednesday, March 26

Cooking Lion's Head Casserole Made Easy

Firstly, I want to declare that NO LION was ever harmed or killed for this dish of mine. Why the funny name, Lion's Head Casserole? It's probably the large meat balls in this dish that resembled lion's head, while the regular sized meatballs are probably looking like cat's head beside it. Oh.. whatever.. as long as the dish is tasty who cares about the name. Here are the ingredients:

INGREDIENTS A
- 1 pack of minced pork (I use frozen pork)

- 10 to 12 prawns, chopped into small pieces
- A handful of finely chopped water chestnuts
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon of Chinese rice wine (I used nu-er hong, but you could use anything, even brandy)
- 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of sugar (fine type)
-1 tablespoon of cornstarch (You'll need another 2 tablespoon set aside for thickening the broth at the end of the cooking)

INGREDIENTS B
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil for frying the meatballs 
- About 800 ml of chicken broth (You can get instant one like me if you are lazy) 

- Half head of Chinese cabbage washed, drained, cut into 2 or 3 sections (Picture above is only half the portion, as I had added the other half before I took this photo)
- Some chopped up garlics (not too finely chopped, you want it big enough to be seen even after cooking)


How to cook? Easy


Preparation:

1. In a bowl, combine all of Ingredients A and mix them up with a spoon. Keep the mixture covered and chill in the fridge over night.

2. The next day, form the pork mixture into large sized meatballs. Dampen your hands with water so the mixture will not stick to your hands when you try to mound them. Flatten the balls slightly, but not too flat like a patty.

3. Heat the oil in a pan on medium-high heat. When the oil is ready, add the meatballs. Cook until browned on the bottom before flipping it to the other side so that the balls will not break up into pieces. 


4. When the meatballs are done, lift them off the pan and put them aside. Bring half the chicken broth to boil in a large pot. Add just half of your Chinese cabbage (especially the stem parts) and the garlics, cook until the cabbage soften up.

5. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat and top up the rest of the Chinese cabbage and broth, covering the meatballs. Simmer for at least 35 minutes with half-covered lid. I like to keep it simmered longer so that the cabbage melts in my mouth when I eat. 


6. Thicken the broth with cornstarch.

7. Serve hot with some plain rice. Yumms!! 


Happy eating the lion, without really killing one. 

Monday, February 3

Choco Bananas with Chocolate Bits Muffins

This recipe is too good, and too easy, not to share. I guarantee your kid/s and/ or even yourself would love them! I could stop eating them, even though I am not really a fan of bananas.



Ingredients:

120g of self-raising flour (20g to be mixed into the chocolates)
100 g of sugar
1 pinch of salt
2 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 eggs
2 large overly ripe bananas
1 tsp of vanilla essence
55g of butter (melted and cool to room temperature)
50g of chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate mixed with 20g of flour (so that the chocolate would not sink to the bottom of the muffins when you bake them)

Steps (super easy, I am not kidding you)

WET MIXTURE
-Mash the banana up with a fork (My 6 YO daughter helped me with that)
-Crack 2 eggs into the mashed banana and whisk the mixture
-Pour in the melted butter and the vanilla essence, whisk to mix well

DRY MIXTURE
-Mix the flour, salt and sugar together
-Pour in half of the wet mixture and fold in the dry mixture, then the other half, mix well
-Sift in the cocoa powder and them fold it in
-Pour in the chocolates and fold those in as well

-Put them into muffin cups and bake at 280 degree for 20 minutes. Done!

I used gluten-free self-raising flour and margarine, but you could use the normal flour and butter just the same. For chocolates, I had some leftover Lindt Swiss Thins, you could replace it with any chocolate chips, however a good quality chocolate would give you a better overall taste.


Happy Baking!

Wednesday, January 29

Hello 2014, sorry I am late

I realized that I hadn't been blogging for a while.. ok.. a long while. Let's just say..  I got tired. Many things had happened towards the end of 2013. Don't get me wrong, it was still an awesome year. I got a new role at work, my baby girl was starting formal education, amidst those, there had been death and illnesses.

Then, I had gone away to be on my own for short time. Away from my kids, my home, my husband, my job. It was my necessary recharge, a time for me, and not just the role I play - a wife, a mother or a salaried employee. A time to sleep and eat at whatever time I want, however I want. A time to wake up to peace and quiet, instead of the noise from my alarm clock or the chaos my children create. A time to stay in bed for how ever long I want or to stay out the whole day, knowing I don't have to come back to anyone who is waiting.


Seoul is beautiful, but freezing. I loved my trip, but I was missed my family. After more than 12 days of travelling (5 days in Japan for business), I came home. They say, "Resting is for a longer journey." I think they must be right.

Am I ready for 2014? I don't know, what I do know is, the year ahead would be more challenging next the last.

Happy New Year. Happy Lunar New Year. I really mean it, because I, too, need it -  Have a really happy 2014!





Thursday, December 26

Christmas Shopping at Johor Premium Outlet

I was there early in the morning with my family on Christmas Eve, the shops opened at around 10am. We were very lucky that the weather was really good because the outlet is quite big and lots of walking to be done. And we were there to buy Christmas presents for each other (my hubby and I) as well as presents for our kids.




If you expect to find luxurious branded goods here, you might even go home empty-handed. There are just a few big and famous brands like Armani, DKNY, Burberry, Coach, Guy Laroche, Hugo Boss, Polo Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Only Burberry and Coach carry more bags while the rest mostly carry apparels. I usually won't spend so much on branded clothes because I prefer spending the same amount of money buying several pieces of merchandise instead. And I dumped/ give away the clothes in my wardrobe very frequently to make space for new ones.

You will find lots of mid to low priced brands like Cotton-on, Soda, G2000, Hang-Ten, Vincci, Padini, Topshop etc. And also some sports brand like Adidas, Puma, Nike, Rip Curl, etc. But seriously, you don't have to travel all the way to Johor Premium Outlet to buy these brands which have sales a few times a year in the malls. And not forgetting, we have IMM in Singapore, which houses many outlet stores too, although, the prices might not be as competitive.

Some stores that we visited were having additional discounts for multiple pieces purchase. Like Polo Ralph Lauren and Adidas, which gave up to 30% further discounts, so it was very worthwhile. The Polo dress that my hubby bought for my 6YO girl cost nothing more than SGD$40 and the Adidas sport suit for my 4YO son was just around SGD$25!


Nearly bought this jacket for my son, he looked so smart in it, but then again this fella already has two similar jackets at home. Which boy, his age, needs so many jackets?!


For myself, I didn't find that many things which appealed to me, maybe I have a lot of bags, shoes, clothes and stuff at home to begin with, but my hubby really wanted to get something for me for Christmas. In the end, I finally laid my eyes upon a winter jacket from Calvin Klein that was on a further 60% discount and I needed one for my trip to Seoul next month.

We spent almost 6 hours there (plus we had our lunch at the over-priced Kampachi Japanese Restaurant), we left the place with a few more bags than I initially expected. My two very cranky and exhausted kids were just glad that we were done shopping, they can't wait for us to check-in to Traders Hotels for our Christmas staycation!

Sunday, November 24

Son over Daughter

There are times when I would secretly prefer having son over daughter. Today, happens to be one of those.



I know it is making me sound like a real asshole for saying that; as though I came from the ancient era where boys were once treasured, and girls were trashed. But before you judge me, or let the feminists burn me alive, let me put things into perspectives.

We had a normal Sunday morning, where my helper would bring my two kids to the playground (within our condo's compound) while I stayed in bed for as long as I possibly can. Then my kids came home and talked about the great time they had with their friends at the playground. They cleaned themselves up, had lunch, my son showered.. and up until this point, our Sunday was as uneventful as any Sunday.

Then, it was my daughter's turn to shower. She went in briefly and came out of the bathroom, then she turned our world upside down when she told us her private part was bleeding!

She can't be menstruating, she isn't even six! I screamed in my head.

I laid her down and checked her and was shocked to find a cut on her delicate part, near her you-know-where. I asked her how she got the cut, she told me she fell down at the playground. I checked the rest of her body and couldn't find any bruises or cuts anywhere else. Panic infested me at that instant.

We (hubby and I) decided to bring her to the GP near our house. After a short wait, I got into the consultation room with my daughter, I told the GP what I had found on her private area, he listened and looked thoughtful. The male GP barely examined my shrieking daughter, who was bleeding and was in pain. Then he told me awkwardly that he didn't find her bleeding wound consistent with injury that would have resulted from a simple fall. He tried to probe about our family background with so much uneasiness exhibiting all over his face, he was making me super nervous. Finally, he let it out.

He told me, he wouldn't charge us the consultation fee, because his clinic wasn't equip with any sexual assault diagnostic kit, he suggested that we make a trip to a hospital instead.

SEXUAL ASSAULT!!! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???

I had wanted to throw up, but I didn't. I composed myself, exit the GP's office. I got my husband, but didn't tell him what the GP told me, but made him drove us straight to KK Children's and Women's Hospital.

Throughout the journey, my mind was in a whirlpool. I was fighting those dark thoughts that had gathered like rain clouds over my head.

I pig-out on a carbo-rich meal; played games on my mobile phone to distract myself, while we waited for our turn to see a doctor. It wasn't long before it was our turn, but the short wait was unbearable for me, and perhaps me alone.

I told the KK's doctor that our GP had wanted us to be here because he found the cut on my daughter's private part inconsistent with injury that would normally be sustained from a fall. And I just didn't want to go any further. So the doctor checked on her and asked her numerous questions, then the doctor got another more senior doctor to come in.

After a thorough examination, the senior doctor finally lifted those heavy rocks from my chest when she announced that the cut was most likely to be a straddle injury - injury to the genital area by falling astride a blunt object. There wasn't any signs of sexual abuse.

It almost felt as though I had died and was brought back to life! And now, I really wanted to slaughter that GP!

Lesson learnt. Go to a GP only if you wanted to get nothing more than a MC, for other reasons, consult a professional!

Next, where the hell can I enroll my daughter to a self-defence class, no, better a class that would teach her how to yank out the balls of any men who would dare touch her inappropriately?


Monday, October 28

Why Family Vacations are Important

We had just returned from our much anticipated family vacation not too long ago. We had been planning this since the beginning of the year!

Family vacation like this never fail to stress me out. Maybe I have too much expectations of myself and my kids. I really should learn to let go and chill out.

I know some parents are reluctant to bring their children along when they go on a vacation. Some couldn't be bothered because they believe that children would not retain the memories of the trip when they grow up. Some just aren't game enough to take up the challenge to bring along their kids.

I love my kids (even though they drive me nuts!) and I want to bring them to see the world! Yes, it's going to be a lot of hassle bringing little children around. We did it and will keep doing it, even if it means that I will have sleepless nights days before the trip and will be more tired than a dog during the trip.

But... look at these.

















Don't you think it's just worth all the troubles seeing their precious smiles?

It maybe be true that my kids are not going to remember everything that happened during our trip, but I do. The memories are for me, because they are not going to stay little forever. One day, they will become independent and leave home to form their own families, and then all these pictures and memories will be all I have of them, to keep and hold on forever.




Saturday, October 26

Sinking

There are things that I can't and won't ever want to say. Words that would make things fall apart if it was heard... or has it already became pieces?

I closed my eyes. It's there. I opened my eyes. It's still there. Has it always been there and I just didn't see it coming?

Denial. Is your name Denial?

I push them away and tucked them in the deepest corner of my mind. Keep busy, keep working, be distracted, I remind myself times and times over.

Busy.. distracted.. busy.. distracted.. a short moment of silence later.. it springs right back.

My thoughts throughout the days spin around like this. Concerned, depressed, uncomfortable, indifferent, nervous, resigned, scared, crushed, relieved, apathetic, pretentious, exasperated, uneasy. In no particular order.

It's like my emotions are running high on this overworked treadmill. Make it stop. Make it stop already!

I have to remind myself that the only thing that will remain unchanged, is change itself. Regardless of it being good or bad, nothing is meant to last forever... though it might last a long long time.

I want to remain emotionless, I don't want to lose that bit of control, because I am quite sure the floor will open up and swallow me into the realm of the irretrievable if I just let myself go.

Something so beautiful, can also be so morbid. Depends on how you look at it. So what do you choose to see?



Didn't they always say focus only on  the good?

Focus on the good... Focus on the good... Focus on the good...



I am freed now. So why am I still sinking?






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