Sunday, May 1, 2016

Miscellaneous Picture #53: In the morning

I woke up before them; getting ready breakfast and snack boxes for them.

And drive them to school when the sun rises. Now the sun is early; the sky starts to brighten up around 615am.

One morning I woke up earlier than usual as my girl requested for fried noodle for her snack box.  So I cooked and sweated in the kitchen at early hour to fry the noodle.

My simple fried noodle that everyone loves; with dried prawns, eggs and bok choy.

When hubby is not around over the weekend, we usually wake up later and I cook simple brunch at home. Like the other day, I made us some egg mayo sandwich. Easy, hassle-free and nutritious.

In the morning, I would stay at home unless something comes up or I need to run an errand. Warm and bright most mornings so it is a good time to bring out the laundry to dry.

Lovely clear blue sky in the morning but watch out!  Rain could pour down like crazy in the late afternoon or evening without much warning!

The kids?  They have other stuff to keep them busy other than tv.  Toys!  The boys are growing their toys collection nowadays. Luckily they are trained to keep them otherwise I will blackmail them by throwing them away.  *wink wink* It works every time.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Stop and smell

Stop and smell the roses. But for my case, it would be stop and look at the roses.

Life is buzzing like a bee for me. Up early and on the go all day, catching the warm sun and brace the rain, and trying to fit everything in a few measly 24-hours. Doesn't everyeone complain that 24-hours is not enough for them??

Not only I feel like I am constantly on the go, but my schooling kids are also busy with their schoolworks, after school classes etc.  Pity them.  Life is hard on them.

I constantly get this question "How do you do it?"  "How do you juggling between home, kids, and still doing everything by yourself?"

Well, it is hard but not impossible. It is hard to keep the house at tip top condition and sparkling clean while chasing after an active toddler, getting involved in my school-going kids, and cooking and cleaning for them. There is actually no secret tip to doing it all.

I am a human, not a robot.  I could not possibly do it all but when there is a will, there is a way. Just that some day, I would just forget how messy my house is, or leave the laundry piling or how noisy my kids are and concentrate on the next important thing. Myself! Take a little break. Take times to think about life, present and what is important to me. So it is a timely reminder to truly pay attention to what's going on in my life, to really look at people and stop and smell the flowers of life.

By the way, I did stopped and took notice of my little lovelings in the garden lately. You could say that my garden is my little sanctuary. Not only I enjoy looking at my flowers, I am thrilled when they start to bloom. They do not bloom everyday so whenever they do, I would take out my camera and snap them.

Aren't they lovely? 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Princess' birthday lunch

Yes. My eldest is turning 10 today!! The 1st double digit!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to Swee Garden in Jalan Mendu for an early birthday lunch.  My parents' treat for their special granddaughter.

It was our first time to Swee Garden and I heard from dad (who has been here few times) that the food was good.

It was not hard to spot the restaurant. Facing the main road and its signboard is blue in colour.

Sorry, I could not take a better shot of the restaurant because I were holding on to a sleeping child. Hard to do much with a child in your arms.

Thank goodness that the restaurant is all air-conditioned. We had been under the sun the whole morning that Sunday as Jan and Jay joined a colouring competition in Batu Kawah Carnival. So, it was a joy to sit and dine in a cooler space.

And here came the food. I only took photos of few dishes. 

Salt & pepper prawns

Roasted chicken

Bittergourd with egg

Her special birthday request. Deep-fried pork trotter aka crispy pata!

However this crispy pata has a different twist to it. They added Thai sweet & spicy sauce at the bottom. The sauce was actually good with the dry crispy pata.

After our delightful lunch, we had a little celebration by singing birthday song and cake blowing and cutting. 

A pretty pink cake for my princess.

Happy 10th birthday, Princess Jan. You will always be our princess in our hearts. 

I couldn't believe that maybe in 8 years time, she would be leaving the house for college. Sob! Please, someone hand me a tissue, quick!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A week before

The week before last, I did not find my mum for breakfast because I were busy and my SIL came for a visit.

Everything was back to normal and I were able to catch up with her last week. It was middle of the week. Not sure why, it was so jammed that day. More than usual. 

I almost gave up and wanted to turn back due to the traffic jam. But a promise is a promise, so after almost an hour on the road, I reached her house and picked her up.

We went to this Woon Lam Cafe since I needed to run some errands in the city centre that morning. Actually, a week before, I came here for kway chap with my SIL so this time, I did not feel like having kway chap again.

However, we could not resist ordering the fried radish cake for a little bite. Usually it is faster and since our tummies were hungry, this delicious plate was great for a quick bite. However, the fried radish cake aka char kueh was slightly salty that morning. It was crispyly fried but I think the cook over-seasoned the cake. 

Mum also did not feel like having kway chap that morning. She was eyeing the economy rice stall and spotted they had good varieties of dishes. She ended up with this plate of rice for RM5. 

The dishes were alright, according to mum. Curry was not too spicy but the rice was slightly sticky. Mushy to her liking. 

As for me, I went for yong tau fu and ended up with this RM7.00 bowl. Gosh. I forgot how expensive yong tau fu could be but I did took quite a lot. 

It was a disappointment though as it was not that nice. Maybe I expected too much.

I think next time I come here, I would just stick to the kway chap. I may have to wait long for it but at least it tastes better than what I had that day.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Cast Iron & Bell

Last week, hubby bought these little antiques from Sri Aman. 

They may be little, but they are very heavy and worth few hundreds each.

An cast iron and a bell.

I don't know what got into him but hubby always have interest in antiques, old sentimental stuff and vintage. Guess he couldn't resist buying them when he bumped into them.

Still, it amazed me to see, touch and feel these old stuff from the past.


Cast iron

Inside the iron

Saturday, April 23, 2016

In the kitchen with my first recipe

It has been in my list to get an electric oven and recently I managed to redeem one from a store using coupons. Happy indeed, as I have been wanting one. An oven for roasting and baking!!

Since I do not have much space in the kitchen, I need to re-organise the countertop and rack to accommodate my electric oven. 

The last time I organised my kitchen was when I were back from Sibu, which was more than a year ago. Glad I did it again this time as I threw away some stuff and I think my kitchen looks more organised now. *wink*
My Jay was excited seeing the new oven and he told me that it could bake pizza and muffin.  He asked me when I would start baking pizza for him! Oh boy, it takes time to learn and since I am not a baking expert, I would need some time to get use to the oven.  Some day, my boy. *wink*

And to celebrate my new oven, I made a simple roasting with it. My first recipe with the oven was this roasted buttery chicken thigh with oregano and parsley.
My dinner

Of course I got my herbs fresh from my mini herbs garden. I am starting to love them. They are sturdy plants and not much care needed.


Italian parsley

And here is my recipe for the roasted chicken thigh.

Roasted buttery chicken thigh with oregano and parsley

1 chicken thigh
1 tbsp. melted butter
1 tbsp. oregano, chopped
1 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp olive oil

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Rub the mixture all over the chicken thigh.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 210C. Place the thigh on a lightly greased wire rack with a pan underneath it.
3. Roast for 50 minutes or till meat is cooked at 210C. Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

I served my roasted chicken thigh with mashed potatoes and French beans.  That was my dinner that day!! A well-deserved dinner, I said. *wink*


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Here again

Not once but thrice I dropped by this restaurant for the past one week. I think by now the waiters would recognise us pretty well.

M2 Restaurant, MJC

I did not expect to come here again last Sunday as I were thinking of cooking dinner since hubby was at home. However, just before I were getting ready to cook, he told me that we were to eat out. 

So that was how we ended at this restaurant for the 3rd time in a week. However this time, we went for its set dinner menu.

RM58 nett for 4 persons, which was just right for my family of 5.

First to come was this stir-fried kangkung with garlic which was everyone's favourite. Nicely cooked; not overly seasoned.

This nestum chicken was so nice and crispy that everyone enjoyed it very much. The meat was moist and tender, while the skin was crispy.

Next in line was this soul-warming sweet corn soup. The menu said sweet corn crab meat soup but I did not taste any crab meat in my soup.

This was our first time trying this "3 eggs layer beancurd with snow fungus". We did not know what to expect till it was served on our table. Wow! Look like an island in middle of the sea, don't you think so?

As we dug in, we could spot the century egg and salted egg bits in the soft beancurd. The other egg would be the egg flower surrounding the beancurd.

Taste-wise it was a bit bland, not much taste to the soft beancurd. Even the egg yolk did not save this dish. I did not take century egg. We could only finished half of this beancurd as the kids did not enjoyed it at all. Next time we are here again, we would stick to our usual, the sizzling beancurd. *wink*