Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dinner : Simple Salad

Made this quick and simple salad for myself since the ingredients are already there. Mark doesn't go for celery and tomatoes.. oh well, he just don't know what he is missing out.

Ingredients :
Chopped Celery
Chopped Cherry Tomatoes sprinkled with Basil leaves
Toasted Pine Nuts
Black Pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1) Toss all together and serve.

Basils blends superb with tomatoes giving it an extra ommph. The toasted pine nuts will add a rich nutty fragrance to the olive oil.. similar to that of sesame.

If you are wondering why I used Virgin Olive Oil for this dish and stated Olive Oil for Baked Fish... it's becos they are different. Virgin Oil are purely from Olive and have a strong fragrance thus great as flavouring. However, they have a low tolerant for heat. So it is better to use Olive Oil, which is mixed with refined oil for stirfries.

Dinner : Baked Fish

layers of cheese, mushrooms and fish

Ingredients :
3 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
Shitake mushrooms
Button mushrooms
Dried breadcrumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
2 to 4 White fish fillet (I used Sutchi fish)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Sour cream
Japanese Mayonnaise

1) Preheat oven to 200'C

2) Heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Saute garlic till brown and add in the mushrooms. Stir till tender. Transfer to a large boil making sure that the mushrooms are dry with no sauce.

3) Heat remaining oil and add breadcrumbs, fry till lightly toasted. Add to bowl of mushrooms then toss with cheese.

4) Place fish in a single layer in a baking dish. Sprinkle salt and pepper. (Note that cheese is salty too)

5) Stir together sour cream and mayonnaise. Spread mixture over fish then spoon mushroom mixture over. Bake for 25mins or until fish flakes when pressed with fork and is cooked through. Serve hot.

Amount of ingredients varies according to taste and the size of the bakeware used.

Dinner : Fishball Spinach Soup

Yeah... Jem's back to School! Thus over the weekend we only went fishing and Suntec for a while. Nothing to post so i'm gonna post last nite's dinner :)

In this pot :

Round Spinach
Lean Pork
Celery (leftover from salad so optional)
Dried Scallops (run out of ikan bilis)

1) Boil slightly more water needed for the soup. Once it is boiling hot, use the extra hot water to scald the pork.

2) Add Pork, Celery, Carrot, Dried Scallop into boiling water and simmer for 10mins. Add in the thick branches of Spinach and simmer for another 10mins.

3) Basically, the soup stock is ready after 20mins of simmering. Remaining ingredients can be added to cook before serving for dinner.

Tips :
Celery add extra taste and nutrients to soups. Most doesn't like to eat it raw becos of the thick fibre. Thus I will hand tear the sides of the celery till the thick fibres are pulled out. Then the 'sides' pieces are being thrown into soup and the middle portion are use for salads.

It is better to parboil the meats before adding into soups. To be earth friendly, I go through the meat with boiling water meant for the soup to save on gas and water.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dinner @ Carnivore

It was pouring cats and dogs after 2pm.. Thank God we finished most at the Birdpark. So we headed out to Vivo City to have the promised dinner for Mark as Father's Day Celebration.

Brazillian Churrascaria.... it had been on our Must Try List for quite some time. Yah... both of us are meat lovers thus the restaurant's name "Carnivore" sounds very tempting. But it served pretty mean salads as well... so you can imagine how much we indulged. Not a bad thing too.. as the nice food did soothe some of the hurting moods, aftermath of a rough patch.

Anyway... let the photos bring on some drools.

Carnivore.. that's the restaurant. Basically the people brings kebabs of meat right to your plate. On this plate are some of the salad : Buttered Kailan, Asparagus, marinated otopus. My fav was the sauteed onions.

That's one of the guy with the roast ham... Chrismassy yah!

Beef Topside... nicely raw. Yes... it is very juicy but still it did not beat the sirloins! I didn't manage to take a pic of the sirloins tho... the aroma is way to hard to resist to exchange my fork for the camera.

BBQ Pineapples... During the recent BBQ with my family, one of my cousin took bananas to bbq with chocolate chips. I was like eeewww... But this pineapple is one must have! The fragrant and sweetness is just so wow... if only they take the extra step to remove those parts that causes your tongue to have that tingling feeling. I couldn't take much though i really like it.

More photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ting-family/sets/72157605689662872/

Some shots that I like

Some shots from the birdpark that I personally like

Jurong Birdpark on 18th Jun

Finally we brought the kids to Jurong Birdpark although we lived in Jurong for close to 4 years now. We managed to get entrance tickets through CDAN, which was really a good thing cos I think we will be very disappointed if we had paid the full fare.
There's really nothing much in this park but we did have some enjoyable moments. Guess Jem did have fun though cos he keep saying,"kor kor happy." throughout the trip. And more importantly, did not request to be carried that much.

Of course we started the day with our favourite activity... eating. A traditional roti and egg breakfast... yum

Jem happily striking a pose with me at the entrance.. Yeap, you see it right. I did 'chop' off my long hair...

Lory Loft... one of the attractions which we enjoyed. The Lories were very noisy and have no qualms of pecking at the wrong places. But still, we had a good time feeding them. Jerome was pretty scare initially but got over it after a while.. Jayden? He just zzz through the noise. Sometimes, he simply amaze me.

Playground, of course... one of the place where the kids run wild and laugh away. I don't really understand why they do not have proper stairs to lead up to the slides? The kids gotta climb up someway or others.. mebbe it's their idea of being in the wild side. It really did not stop the boys though it nearly stopped my heart.

I brought extra clothes this time round.. I did !! I swear !! I did not stop them from playing at the water play area... but I didn't understand how they managed to have fun and yet keep dry either. Oh well, as long as they laugh...

More photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ting-family/sets/72157605689662866/

Family BBQ on 15th June

I have a big extended family, thus it's not easy to keep in touch regularly. Thank God though all of us have this constant desire to keep a close bond.

This time round, we decide to go for a bbq at East Coast after failing to get hold of a chalet.
Kids having sand play...
Aunties and Uncles eating and chatting away...
Lovers having romantic time...
And of course... good food!

Father's Day Card

This year we gotten Jayden to join us with the cardmaking.

In comparison, he has much less patience for art and craft than Jerome. But that didn't stop him from happily 'dirtying' his hands to make prints. Although he made more prints than I desired.. not to mention on places I don't desire.. we still had a good time.

This year, we see improvement in Jem's work with the picture of papa he drew and of course.. his favourite heart shapes. He wrote his own name as well.

So this is from the 2 Js to you, papa! HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Trust and Obey

Trust and obey... two simple lessons from God taht I had learned since young... yet so hard to practice in real life. It's just so hard to trust in rocky situations and obey in overwhelming moments where the Door of Escape seems so extra sparkly.

So imagine in the midst of my crazy schedule nowadays, Jem sang these two songs to me whenever I get upset..

Jem (singing) : "Mummy, mummy I love you.... mummy, mummy I love you..."

Me : I love you too, Jerome. Thank you...

Jem (singing) : "Trust and obey, for there's no other way. To be happy in Jesus... but to trust and obey."

Me : Sing with mummy again... "Trust and obey..."

Jem : God is good, God is great... We thank Jesus for our food. AMEN!

by now I think he has exhausted all that he knows to comfort me... Yes, that's my sensitive boy.. (you read it right SENSITIVE, not sensible). Jerome, his name means Holy. Our ever sensitive boy knows when someone is sad... feels deeply for the depressed. He will try to be the Comforter in his own way.

Yes.. its my prayer too that one day, he will stand in his place as a Son of God to offer comfort to those who needs it... amen.

Jay's Painful Episode

6th June 6008... The first time we rushed Jay down to KKH at night.

Other than he was having running nose the day before... there wasn't really much sign of distress. He was still cheeky and naughty as ever though he required me to sit next to him more often. Thus even after I msn Mark that Jay seems unwell, we decided that it was still alright for him to work late in the office.

He wasn't eating well the whole day, refusing his biscuits etc but did manage some porridge for lunch. But the nightmare begun when i offered dinner. Not only he cried, he repeatedly asked me to 'throw' his favourite rice away... I carried him to calm him down as he's crying hysterically and brought him to the kitchen. He chose to have grapes instead.. oh well, anything to fill his little tummy. But the crying session started again after he finished those grapes...

Sorry, but understand me a bit... while many felt that crying and clinging is a norm for toddlers, it's really not so in my family. My 2 Js hardly cry for more than 15mins even when they were ill or for Jem's case, hospitalised. So I truly felt that Jay was in some distress when he cried all the way till 10pm but I wasn't able to 'see' what exactly was hurting him. So despited no high temperature or obvious signs, I requested to go KKH once Mark reached home. We got a stressful ride cos little jay was still howling away or worse.. he's like drowsy, nodding off yet waking up to howl.

He's fine now... after a few dose of paracetamol and medication. The doc says he was in pain having viral infection somewhere and was too tired out by the time we reaches. Lucky in a way too that we went early cos she said that fever will come and ask us to be prepared with the medication. True enough at 2am, his temperature was rising. Imagine us rushing down to KKH at that wee hour if we wasn't prepared.

Haiz~ parenthood... We give thanks there's more sweet time then tough time. Thus it's our philosophy to play more and create more joyous moments so that such crying episodes seem so minimal.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Deep Fried Fish

It's really a bad day for me and I'm in those mood of not wanting to do anything... but then it's Thursday already. I don't wanna risk 'expiring' the greasy grouper lying frozen in my freezer thus I forced myself to get it cooked.

I love deep fried greasy grouper despite all the cleaning up needed after it. It just have this oomph taste to it.

But like I said... I wasn't in the mood. And when I'm forced to do things in such conditions.. i just get wacky ideas.

I decide to de bone it so that it become a flat piece of fillet and instead of the usual rice and corn flour... i used egg and breadcrumbs instead. hahahahah... Ta-da! My deep fried fish on a bad day

Ingredients :
1 Greasy Grouper, middle bone removed
garlic pepper
beaten egg

1) sprinkle salt and garlic pepper on fish to season.
2) coat fish all over with cornflour. Shake off excess.
3) coat fish with beaten eggs and sprinkle breadcrumbs all over. Pat to make sure the breadcrumbs stay on.
4) Deep fry fish till golden.

Ham and Cheese Quiches

My new weighing machine which comes with thermometer function is showing that today's temperature is above 29`C, definitely not a suitable day for making pastry...

But my ham is gonna expired soon so I just had to grit my teeth and tackle the gooey mess..

Thank goodness I still have some pastry margarine in the fridge to mix with butter so that the fat will not melt too fast under this crazy heat.

Making this quiche is definitely a hilarious experience for me cos I was basically racing against the melting butter, battling against a boy who insisted that I should make cakes instead, juggling a crying toddler who is in a bad mood for the whole day and ignoring the urge to throw the sticky dough into the bin. When I finally did the shells for the quiche... i came to understand not all goodies are meant to be mini sized. Yes... i only have mini sized muffin tray so i used that. End up there's very little room left for the egg mixture.

But against all odds, these shortcrust pastry did not fail me... it is definitely yummy! Though it lacks the savoury fullness a quiche usually have.. the pastry is packed with buttery fragrant and a nice melt in the mouth texture.

2nd Year into Bak Chang Making

My first encounter with bak chang making was actually many years back when I was just a youth in church. I remembered vividly the times spend with the senior aunties back in Queenstown Lutheran Church, playing.. i mean making bak chang. One expert ah ma even uses big pandan leaves to make distinctively frangrant ones... Sad to say, over the years.. some of these beloved ladies had departed us.

I am one of those lucky wife with a MIL good at making bak chang too... Thus, i managed to get my MIL to impart some of her knowledge to me last year. That time, she assisted me with providing leaves that were cleaned and soaked proper. This year, it's purely Do-It-Myself... which really doubled my admiration for these old folks, my MIL inclusive cos it's truely hard work!!

Soaking the leaves itself already test ones patience.. having to soak it overnite, clean it thru once with wiping and wash, soak another round.. then wipe dry prior to using. 40+ leaves just to make 20 bak chang... gosh.

Oh well, this is my 'fruits' for this year attempt...

Yah... we went traditonal and use charcoal instead

Bak Chang with Pork Belly, Mushroom, Chestnut, Scallop and Hae bee Hiam. Nice!

Bak Chang with Braised Duck Meat, Enoki and Hae Bee Hiam. The duck meat got too tough after boiling thus not that nice

Jem's Dancing

Can't remember since when Jem went into dancing... but yah, he likes to show off his moves every now and then. I seriously don't know where he picks these up from since his daddy was anti High 5 right at the beginning... and I don't think that clumsy purple dino can manage such sleekness.

It's the School Hols

Yah.. It's the school holidays for Jem now and he is getting increasing bored at home.

I do make it a point to bring them out at least once an evening on weekdays but the weather is really not helping.

Brought them to West Coast via cab on this day although there's some dark clouds lingering around. My ever sensitive boy, Jem never ceased to point it out to me throughout the time there that it's gonna rain. I take it as an attempt to get me into Mac so that he can indulge in his fries...

Actually there's a lot of mummies there with their kids playing w sands... i wasn't the only one. But my boys simply dun seems to appreciate the grainier version of the sand there as compared to those at the beach so we went on down the tracks instead.

Then they found this see-saw and kiddie playground...

Finally I'm convinced that it's gonna rain and we went to get a comfortable seat in Mac while the kids do some scribbling. For those mummies still concerned about their kids' way of colouring.. Jem's one is not any better despite starting art from a tender age... look at his Mack.