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Monday, May 12

It's not Rocket or Pocket, it's Croquettes!

I have been wanting to make croquettes for my kids for a while, and since I am going out with some friends and their kids today, I thought why not. I will make them and bring them along with me.

My son asked me what I was doing, I told him, "I am making croquette!" He laughed and couldn't stop teasing me by mispronouncing it deliberately, calling it "rocket" or "pocket".

If you have children or love potatoes, why not try this yummy recipe - Bacon and Cheese Croquette

Ingredients for 8 croquettes:
- 5 small potatoes
- 5 slices of bacons
- an onion
- 2 slices of cheese
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 small piece of butter (optional)
- an egg
- some flour (I use gluten-free flour, but you can use normal flour)
- some bread crumbs (I use Japanese bread crumb)
- some vegetable oil for deep frying


And here is how you do it! 

Boil the potatoes until a fork can pass through them.


While the potatoes are in the pot, use the time to chop up the onion and bacons.


Fry the bacons. If you are using a non-stick pan, you don't have to use any oil. When the bacons start oozing out oil, add in the onions. Stir fry them until onion is soften and bacons are browned. 


When the potatoes are ready, peel the skins off under running water while the potatoes are hot, the skins will come off quite effortlessly. Then put the potatoes, salt and butter in a large bowl and mash them up.


Then add in the bacons and onion to the mashed potatoes. Mix them well.


Divide the potatoes into 8 portions. Take one portion and flatten it onto your palm, add a quarter slice of the cheese in the middle and fold the potato's edges to the middle, so that the cheese is hidden right inside. Then shape the potato into an oval shape.


Put flour onto a large plate and lay the shaped potato onto the flour to prevent them from sticking onto the plate. Turn the potato over and coat it evenly with flour.


Next, beat an egg in a wide and shallow bowl or plate and pour the bread crumbs into another similar bowl.


Dip the flour coated potato into the egg and then coat it with the bread crumbs.


Make sure the potato is coated evenly with bread crumbs.


When the oil is hot, gently put in the potato. Do not flip it immediately or it might break into pieces. Wait for the crumbs to harden before flipping the potato over. Use medium to medium high heat, fry for just 2 mins or until it turned deep golden in color.


Drain the oil off before serving.


It's good as a snack and perfect with a bottle of beer! I mean, beer if you are an adult. Hehehe...

You can also make it into a vegetarian style, but replacing the bacons with corns kernels. Or if you prefer meatier version, you can use minced beef instead of bacons. They will taste good anyhow.



Wednesday, April 30

Keep Calm and Eat Dessert!

Some times work can get pretty crazy. I see some of my co-workers skipping lunch because of stress, I really feel bad for them.

I don't usually feel stressed up easily, but when I do, I crave for desserts! STRESSED spells backward gives you DESSERTS! I know, that's sinful. So why not make some desserts that is healthier, like this Coconut Mango Pudding with real mangoes and very little sugar.




Ingredients for 5 servings:
250ml coconut milk (not coconut cream)
1 cup of mango puree (made from ripe mangoes)
2 tsp of gelatin powder
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp of sugar
optional - mint leaves for decoration (I happened to plant some myself. Organic!)


Instructions:
1. Cut up 2 large mangoes (or 3 small ones).
2. Save some mangoes for decoration later.
3. Put the rest into a food processor and process it until you get a smooth puree.
4. Put coconut milk in a pot, add in the gelatin powder, sugar and salt. Use low heat. Stir to dissolve the gelatin, sugar and salt. Remove from heat before the mixture boil.
5. Mix in the mango puree. Stir thoroughly until the mango puree completely blended with the milk mixture.
6. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into your pudding containers. I am using wine glasses, but you can use any glass bowls or even plastic cups.
7. Chill for at least 4 hours.
8. Before serving, spoon the cut mangoes cubes onto the pudding and decorate with mint leave if you like.


This recipe gives you a different mango pudding from the ones you normally get from those Hong Kong cafe. It has a distinct coconut flavour and the color is more like a pale mustard than bright orange (because there is no food coloring added). Enjoy and de-stress!



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 a short time. Away from my kids, my home, my husband, my job. It was my necessary recharge, a time for me to be me, and not just the role I play - a wife, a mother or a salaried employee. A time to sleep and eat at whenever 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 as long I wanted 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 finally 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 than 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?


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