Friday, January 31, 2014

Steamboat For Reunion Dinner :)


This year we celebrated CNY a little different from the previous years. It’s different because we were home alone for the very first time in 26years without the kids . We had an early reunion dinner about a week ago and it was not only a reunion but also a small celebration for Joanna’s solemnization of Marriage at the Registry. 

So with just the two of us home alone we decided to have a simple but very cosy Steamboat for 2. Steamboat is also known as Sukiyaki in Japanese or Korean BBQ Hot Plate. This manner of cooking over a pot placed on a hotplate is good for bringing people closer together.Its ideal especially in cool climates as it produces a lot of heat over a boiling pot of nice meaty stock which is the soup base.This was how we did it with lots of our own favorite type of meats , seafood or specialty meat ball type of meats. Vegetables are a must have not forgetting 3 types of dipping sauces.


we had chicken tenders ( marinate with garlic oil and salt ), fresh sea prawns,
salmon fillets , bawal emas and tofu...


my favourite enoki and mini king oyster mushrooms, different variety of meat balls
and some yong tau foo from the famous noodle stall in old town 



























We had a wonderful time eating and wishing our kids were with us :p
A toast to a better year....peace , joy and happiness !


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Happy Chinese New Year 2014





Wishing family, friends and blog readers, 

"   Gong Xi Fa Cai   "

May the year of Horse brings all of us joy, happiness, peace, good health and prosperity




First Stop - NZ ?

Recently I met up with a few classmate who were back from New Zealand.  It was fun meeting them for we have not seen each other for years. We were like back to school days.  We talked of everything under the sun . Jackie , who recently bought a new house in NZ , told us how she managed to save thousand of dollars by applying to Viventium Home Loans .  They are a highly professional and motivated team and lateral thinkers.  An attribute to have as they think out of the box and find solutions to the most complex solutions.  Jackie recommended VHL to my two other classmates and they are also looking for second property in their hometown in Auckland.  I wish I am staying in New Zealand too but,  I got an invitation from Jackie to visit her next year .  Next year...gosh I will retiring and it would be a great opportunity to start my holiday in New Zealand.

Jackie said that we could rent a car from Snap Car Rentals. She said that Snap Car Rentals offers the best and cheapest holiday on a reasonable budget. We can travel around Auckland in comfort.  They have a huge fleet of different types of vehicles to choose from so that we will have an exceptionally great experience travelling through Auckland.  It is true , she said while vacation , we need to be on our own in order to enjoy our holiday to the maximum extent possible. This rental car package includes free airport transgfers, third party insurance, 24 hour roadside assistance and unlimited kilometres. Wow, I am really impressed and I told Jackie that I will make NZ my first to visit country when I retires in 2015 :)

Sight seeing will be good for us, for NZ has many scenic and beautiful places and since WB and myself are now brushing up our photography skills.  WB recently taken to a liking to film camera.  He took his Nikon FM 10 to the shop for servicing.  He is lucky that this film camera is still in good condition. When Jackie heard of this camera , she became excited and told me that WB should bring this camera with him to NZ so that he could capture the most beautiful places in NZ.  And she wants WB to take some pictures for her so that she could turn the pictures into canvas.  It seems in NZ Photo 4 Canvas is renowed for wall print services.  Jackie knows that WB is good photographer and she jokingly told WB that it is about time that he shows his skills to her :)   We had a wonderful meet up and I look forward to visiting Jackie in NZ !




Thursday, January 23, 2014

Vegetable And Prawns Curry



I do indulge in some sinful tucking once in a while....this curry is so delicious that I almost finish the whole bowl of curry soup.  The prawns added extra sweetness to the coconut milk sweetness...mmmm yummy!  I used the bought curry paste from the market , I just have to saute the paste and lemongrass till fragrant and add in the veggies and prawns together with the thin coconut milk and cooked till the veggies has softened and the prawns are cooked.  Add in the thick coconut and cook a while before dishing up.  So easy with the ready curry paste.  The veggies I used are eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes and long beans.  Garnish with garden grown mint leaves :)  Yummy.....if my doctor were to see this dish....she will shake her head... " now I know why the cholesterol reading is on the rise "  LOL!





























Enjoy !

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ssambap - Korean Rice Wrap With Lettuce



Ssambap - Korean Rice Wrap With Lettuce.  Ssam means " wrap " in korean and bap means " rice " . I promised Piggy Jo that we will have Ssambap , a country style Korean food ,for dinner when she is back for the weekend.  She and myself are great fan of Korean cuisine and ssambap is on of her favourite korean food.  I prepared some succulent stove grilled pork belly and made some pickled garlic slices for the rice wraps.  The best crisp lettuce is the green coral lettuce. The kimchi I made came in handy and in it goes for the rice wrap. I wanted to make some ssamjang (condiment sauce made of guchojang paste and soybean paste) for the ssambap but Jo told me with the kimchi , the ssambap would be flavorful enough. 




























How to make ssam

Start with the lettuce , choose a smaller leaf.   Place the lettuce in your hand, add a small mound of rice, stack grilled meat on top, finish with some kimchi and a few slices of pickled garlic . Wrap the whole thing into a neat package ( about the size of a golf ball ) and eat it in one bite.  Try not to make the whole thing too big, because then you are stuck with two messy options: stuffing it in your mouth or biting into the ssam and spilling its contents everywhere.



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Pro Tools 9

My Piggy Josh has interest in music since he was in grade 3.  I sent him for music lessons starting with the piano and now he has taken an interest in playing the guitar.  He loves playing the drum too. He used to serve in the music ministry in church and he will help out with the drum whenever they needed someone for the drum.  With the help of pro tools 9 he could produce better sound for the church ministry and I am so thankful that many of the musical instruments that he could play are mostly self taught.  He reads a lot and and buy a lot of books on self improvement whether it is for his career or his music.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Silicone Bakewares

When my Piggies were studying in Sheffield two years ago, I used to ask them to get me stuff from UK and courier them back to me . I remembered having ordered some silicon bakewares from London and have them delivered to their Sheffield address. The moment they received my silicon bakewares, they searched the whole of UK for a cheaper courier service to send my goods back to me.  I needed the bakewares urgently and could not wait for them to bring home to me 

Luckily , through a senior college mate , Piggy Josh came to know of  Parcel2Go , a global courier company offering cheap shipping services across UK and internationally.  And to the delight of Piggy Josh, Parcel2Go can deliver your parcel to 240 countries worldwide. The best thing about Parcel2Go is ,they work together with large courier company such as FedEx and Parcelforce.  And they have parcel tracking service too.  One can track where one's  parcel is.  Because of Parcel2Go  huge popularity and volume of orders handled, they are able to secure big-name express delivery services at discounted rates.

They not only deliver parcel to UK but also to many other countries and Asia. And they only use and recommend trusted, reliable, efficient and cost effective couriers.  Josh was happy that he could send home to me the silicon bakewares that I ordered. Those residing in UK mostly uses Parcel2Go. They have family and friends that live , work or study abroad, and while the internet offers a great way to keep in touch day to day, there is nothing like receiving a parcel from home and it doesn't cost the earth by providing a quick quote service.  All you need to do is to tell the size and weight of the parcel and the collection and destination addresses and Parcel2Go will do the rest. Thanks to Parcel2Go, I received my silicone bakewares just in time for my baking competition :)






Friday, January 10, 2014

Making Kimchi Again :)



I should live in South Korea come to think of it , thinking of kimchi all the time.....I love Korean cuisine and especially this side dish...kimchi !!!!  I must have this side dish when I have rice for dinner.  I made another load of kimchi for my Piggy Jo.  She loves kimchi ( I guess she has my genes more ) and yay ! she is coming back next week.  I have them ready for her to cart back to her hostel..the Uni has a fridge for her so she can now keep kimchi in her room :p

I can make kimchi with the eyes closed ,  hahaha just kidding, that I do not need to measure out the ingredients.  I just go by instinct.  And most of time it turned out better than the last time  :p  Yea, I know my Piggies will be rolling their eyes if they read this and will tell me to my face ..." Mom , be humble ya " hahaha yea...ok ok...I will be humble then.  This time, I cut up the cabbage into 1 inch length and soak them in brine for a day in the fridge , the cabbage turned out crispy and gosh it tasted so good that I have a bowl of it , all to myself.  So good that, I salivate each time I open the fridge door and this tupper of kimchi starring at me , asking to be savored.  



Jo, this is for you ....you will love it !


For the kimchi recipe
click here


Enjoy !

Vanity

I have a brother who stays in New Jersey .  He complained about the thinning of his hair to my sister in law almost everyday. He is very worried that he will be getting bald soon !  My sister-in-law could not stand his lamenting and told him to make an appointment with their family doctor for advise.  Actually my brother had tried many traditional medicine but the hair still drops in an alarming manner.

He consulted his family doctor as to whether he should have a hair restoration done and whether it is safe to do so.  He was told that hair restoration is on the increase with minimally invasive Neo Graft and is approved by FDA. So he  is thinking of having this hair restoration done at Hair Transplant New Jersey.  He made an appointment with the doctor and was explained about the procedure.  He was told that NeoGraft is the first minimally invasive FDA approved automated hair transplant system and it does not remove any of the scalp and there will be no scar. All they do is to transplant individual follicles to create the most natural look. And it only requires local anesthesia . My sister in law, San took the opportunity to do Botox in South Jersey . She also made an appointment with the clinic while the husband has his hair transplant done.  Talking about the husband being vain, she is vain too! But seriously , running their restaurant is taking a toll on her and she does look aged. She is also taking one of her restuarant worker to do a Liposuction in South Jersey since she is going there herself. I advised her that she has to be careful when going for botox and liposuction treatment.  They must knew what they are in for and to find out more about the procedure.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Zealand And Its Fascinating History

My department engineer Miss Abigail had just visited New Zealand last month ,and came back with lots of great stories about her recent trip there. After hearing about her trip, I will definitely put New Zealand on my to visit list.  New Zealand is an island country in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean. Has a rich and fascinating history, reflecting a unique mix of Maori and European culture. History has it that the Maori were the first to arrive in New Zealand, journeying in canoes from Hawaiki about 1,000 years ago. And Dutchman Abel Tasman was the first European to sight the country but it was the British who made the country part of their empire. You know it is always good to study and know the country before travelling there.  The amazing Maori history sites and taonga (treasures) and their beautiful colonial-era buildings are dotted throughout the country . There are many things for my kids to do in New Zealand too.  Exploring NZ's magnificient landscape and coastline tops the list for them. There are a long list of thrilling activities for my Piggies if they are joining me for this coming planned trip to NZ. And for WB, he is more keen to a relaxing holiday.  The hot pools , vineyards and cultural attraction will keep him entertained.  Travelling around will not be a problem for there many campervansfor sale and it would be a great idea to travel around  NZ in a campervan. It is a home on the road and it gives you the freedom to take each day as it comes. One can roam the country, finding beautiful and remote places to park and picnic and enjoy the beautiful sceneries.

For me , trying out the food in all the famous restaurants there , would be in my travel itinenary.  Being a food blogger, and with the intention of opening my own cafe, I will definitely visit Hot Chef Equipment and see what they have to offer . Hot Chef Equipment is the best one-stop online warehouse for commercial kitchen equipment. Hot prices for Chef's Equipment.

Ok , we planned to visit this country together next year and I will have to let my friends Carol and Derek knows when we are coming over so that they can arrange the campervan and make themselves available for us when we are there LOL!  They are Property Lawyers of Auckland . If WB wants to invest in property in New Zealand, he can consult Carol and Derek. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Shopping Online For Dresses Is Jo's Favorite Hobby .:)

Last Sunday I went shopping for a new dress .  I have not been shopping for dresses since my surgery.  Since Parkson Grand has their grand sale on, WB took me there to look for an elegant and suitable dress . Looking at the clothes there, it looks like Sexy Short Dresses are back in fashion again. But for my age, it is not appropriate though I would look good in them.  I saw a few nice ones that will fit my Piggy Jo and without any hestitation, I took pictures of the dresses and send to her.  She loves them at first sight and whatsapp me back to purchase for her since it is on sale now.  Well, she will look good in them.  She told me that she used to order online for dresses whenever there are sales . Buying clothes online has become her favorite hobby as it would save her energy and time to go shopping in town  .  All she has to do is browse through the website and select what she likes, click her paypal and tada in a week's time , the dress would arrived at her University.  She told me that she seldom goes shopping for dresses at the mall anymore.  Online shopping has become her number one hobby.  Great idea, I think I should do that do.  

Braised Pork Ribs With Brown Tofu And Tao Pau



















Braised Pork Rib has been the family favorite dish . Wherever we eat out, this is a dish we will most probably not miss out.  Homecooked ones are just as good as those served in restaurants.  I tried braising them with tao pau and brown tofu and it turned out delicious and brings comfort to me when the appetite is not good. You can either serve them with porridge or rice.  For WB and myself, we served it with porridge.  Sunday lunch was this tasty and flavorful dish with teochew porridge.  Yumz !



















Braised Pork Ribs With Brown Tofu And Tao Pau - WB's Kitchen

1/2 kg meaty pork ribs - cut into 2" inch length - seasoned with light soy sauce and corn flour
2 pieces of brown tofu - Cut into halves
1/2 piece of tao pau - lightly deep fried, cut into smaller pieces

1 tbsp of vegetable oil

sauce:
1/2 tbsp of thick soy sauce
2 tbsp of light soy sauce
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
4 pips of garlic - crushed
1/2 tsp of  ground white pepper

1.5 cups of water - add in more if the ribs are still not tender

thickening

1 tbsp of corn flour + 3 tbsp of water

Method:

Heat up oil in a medium sized pot, when oil is hot, add in crushed garlic and saute till fragrant.  Add in the seasoned ribs and seared it for a few minutes.  Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Add  the sauce mixture to the seared ribs and stir it together till well combined.  Add in the water and let the ribs simmer under medium low heat till soft.  Half way through cooking add in the fried tao pau and brown tofu.  Continue to simmer till ribs is tender soft.  Add in thickening last.  Off the heat when the gravy thickens. Serve with porridge or rice.


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Steamboat Brings Family Members Closer Together :)

My Piggy Josh is working as a business consultant in the Lion City.  He came back for Christmas and he has lots to tell us :)   About his work most of the time .  It was during one steamboat dinner in one of the restaurant in town that we had a great time sharing and eating.  He told me that his cousin Bryan ( my nephew from NJ wants to get the right product fulfillment company to run his company for him .. It is important for him to get the right company because this fulfillment company will play a major role in its success or bring about challenges that Bryan rather not face.  He told Josh that he had chosen AMS  for his one time promotional distribution project and asked Josh what he thinks of it.

Bryan told Josh that AMS stands for Advantage Media Services, Inc., is a third party resource for Warehouse Management, Order Management and Fulfillment Services.  And Josh did a quick check on AMS  and found that they have a team of professionals who are experienced in the industry and they have managed billions of dollars in distribution and they ensure that the programs are well managed while budgets are maintained or proactively reduced. AMS use sophisticated systems technology, proven methodologies and for Inventory Control to ensure inventories are properly maintained, accounted for and reported upon. Josh told Bryan that he has chosen the right and proper company and Josh assured Bryan that he does not need to worry much about his project since he has found a reliable and professional to do it for him.
This is what catching up with one another is all about .  Steamboat is the best if you want to share and have fun with one another.   Steamboat brings the family together.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stir Fry Pumpkin With Abalone Mushroom And Fresh Wood Ear Mushroom


I love all types of mushrooms , fresh or canned type.  I bought a can of abalone mushroom some months back and last week , while looking through the kitchen cabinet, found a can of mushroom that is quite near to expiry date.   I told WB that we must cook it straight away or we will have to throw  it away.  I have no idea what to do with it but thanks to WB 's suggestion to cook a vegetarian dish with it. Luckily, there is still a wedge of pumpkin left in the fridge, some fresh baby corns, wood ear mushroom.  With the addition of the abalone mushrooms, this simple stir fry dish looks impressive :) And of course it tasted good with some crispy garlic slices garnishing added to it.  And what more it is a healthy dish.



Stir Fry Pumpkin And Abalone Mushroom

Ingredients

a wedge of pumpkin - diced
a can of abalone mushroom - slice the mushroom into thick slices
a few fresh baby corns - cut into halves
a few pieces of fresh wood ear mushroom
1 tsp of chopped garlic
1 tbsp of veggie oil

thickening sauce

1 tsp of corn flour
5 tbsp of water
1 tsp of oyster sauce
1 tsp of thick soy sauce
1 tsp of light soy sauce

a few pips of garlic - slice thinly and fried till crispy - for garnishing


Method:

Saute garlic with a tbsp of oil in a non stick wok till fragrant. Add in the  pumpkin cubes , fresh baby corns , abalone mushroom slices and fresh wood ear mushroom and stir fry till well combined.  Add 1/4 cup of water and cover wok with lid and cook over medium heat.  When the pumpkin, corns and mushrooms are cooked, add in the thickening sauce .  When the gravy thickens, dish up and garnish with the crispy garlic slices and serve hot.    



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Vitamin A - Good For The Eyes

I noticed that many kids are wearing glasses from young.  Either they are looking into iPad all the time or they have vitamin A deficiency .  Adding carrots into the children's meal is good for them.  Children should not be allowed to face the computers or iPad for a long period of time. It will damage their eyesight and will cause them to wear glasses from young.  When my Piggies were toddlers, I always add carrots and spinach to their porridge. Thus , they have better eye sight than my two other nephews.  They started wearing glasses since they were four years old.  I guess my sis-in-law did not give them enough vitamin A . Lucky for them , we have an optical shop near our place that provides glasses for child and adults. They have a great selection of affordable glasses to fit kids.  Somehow it is important to add vegetables / fruits with vitamin A to your kid's meal .

Friday, January 3, 2014

Stir Fry Watercress With Belacan And FoodPanda Voucher Giveaways


After having been out of action in the kitchen for the past 3 months, I look forward to hijack my kitchen back from WB.  He is really lousy when it comes to cleaning up after each cooking.   Ok, he can cook alright but when it comes to cleaning up , I would rate him as 3/10.  I still have to supervise him till every bit of grease or dirty plates are cleaned up :p  Anyway , I have to thank him for taking care of me the last 3 months.  This is what I cooked for dinner after hijacking back my kitchen. Stir Fry Watercress With Belacan.   Love this dish , but the preparation takes a bit of time though and the whole house smell of belacan....LOL!   




























After having rested for 3 months, I tired out easily after an hour in the kitchen :p . Guess age is catching up. I was chatting with a friend the other day and was complaining to her about my recent tiredness and she straight away told me to have food delivered to the house whenever I feel tired to cook or too lazy to eat out.  Isn't it a great idea to order food online from one of our favorite restaurants and get the food delivered to our home !  I am sure WB will be happy to hear this. 

Food delivery in Malaysia ,Foodpanda , has made it easy for everyone who lives in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Penang, Melaka, Johor and Perak .  All you have to do is log on to their homepage, type in your location, choose a restaurant and pick your favorite dish and tada the food will be on its way to your doorstep.  So simple and easy. You can either pay cash on delivery or through paypal.  They have a list of favorite restaurants you can choose from.  You can download the app to your mobile phone and the fastest way to order food on the go. They have deals of the week and you will have Remember this, too tired to cook or too lazy to eat out , try FoodPanda .  With FoodPanda, life will be much easier for us :)  And the family gets to be pampered too with the delicious food from the best restaurants in town .  Kids will love it too !  

I have 15 RM10 vouchers from FoodPanda to be given away to readers staying in the mentioned cities in Malaysia only .All you have to do is leave me a comment that you like FoodPanda , your name and email address. The vouchers are valid from 3rd January 2014 till 3rd January 2015.   


Stir Fry Watercress With Belacan ( Shrimp Paste )


500 g watercress - take the young shoots and leaves only , soak in salt water , wash clean, drain dry

1/2 " cube shrimp paste
3 pips of garlic - chopped
4 bird's eye chillies - sliced
1.5  tbsp of vegetable oil
4 tbsp of water

Method:

Heat up wok , add in the oil and when oil is smoking hot, add in shrimp paste, garlic, and chillies. Stir fry till fragrant, add in the watercress and stir fry till it wilted, add in water and continue to cook till the watercress is cooked and soft .  Dish up and served with piping hot rice.


Enjoy !


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Greetings From Charco To Start 2014
















This is my first post for 2014.  A very Happy New Year to all.  May 2014 brings you Joy, Peace and Health :)  Charco my four legged son wishes Mommy's readers a very  Happy New Year... woof woof ! 

He is four years old and the pride of my life . He is a cross between an Alsatian German Shepherd and a Rottweiler.  Sometimes he looks like a Rott when his ears are down and sometimes he stands tall like an Alsatian but at times he looks like a donkey LOL!  No matter how he looks, he brings JOY to WB and myself.  He understands English very well and has learned many tricks during his four years with us.  We love his cute cute expressions and the way he cocked up his face each time Daddy and myself are in conversation as if he understood every word we spoke :p   He fills up our loneliness and a great companion to us.  I cannot imagine life without Charco....

















My friend Jessica is thrilled and amazed by his intelligence . His intelligence is on par with a three year old child.  He knows WB as Daddy and me as Mommy :) He is darn cute and makes us laugh all day long with his darn cute expressions.  Jessica stays in Brisbane and is looking for a pet dog like him :)  So I recommended her to check out this site  and if you are looking for a pet dog check out this puppy website. Try this site if you are looking for an excellent site, easy to navigate, quick to load and no waiting for pictures to come up. They have many puppies that you will want to take home with you.  When I retire in a year time , I will want to get another puppy so that Charco will not be lonely and will not be overly pampered.  He can then share our love with the new puppy. 



























Toast to a Happy 2014......more blogging and more sharings :)



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