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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Herbal Chicken

I ran out of ideas to cook chicken. It's always soya sauce, oyster sauce or braised with potatoes. Sometimes tumeric but I was too lazy to get some, let alone pound it. I went to the market in the morning, got half a chicken cut to pieces sitting in my office fridge, to be cooked for dinner.

Thinking.. thinking.. thinking..

Then buzzed Annie, asked her randomly what she'd do with half a chicken .. She suggested herbal chicken.

Good idea. In fact I have lots of herbs, a bit of this and that and some leftover from my confinement days (more than 3 years ago !!!)

Here's what I concocted :

3 slice of dong quai
3 sticks of tong sum, cut to 2 inch long
4 red dates, smashed
4 black dates (lam choe) smashed
1 tablespoon of kei chee
1 tablespoon of dried longan

Marinate chicken with 1 tsp salt, 1tablespoon chinese wine, 1tablespoon Maggi chicken stock (no MSG) for 30 mins
Add 1 bowl water and herbs.
Pressure cook for 15 mins :

Kao tim! Delicious and nourishing chicken dish with tasty gravy for all.


Friday, August 28, 2009

My Favourite Bakery

I'm not a bread fan but I love these dainty treats :

Any 5 for RM6. All are tasty and it's so hard to choose only 5 .

This petit treats are available at Sun Moulin, Isetan KLCC !

When I lunch alone and don't know where to eat, and got caught in KLCC during school holidays where getting a seat anywhere is near impossible. Sun Moulin takeaway is a great idea.

Individually packed petits.

My choice : multi sesame mini croissants (the best-est !!!), chocolate danish, edamame bread and chicken floss & seaweed mini's. Quite a lot of carbo for lunch but I really cannot resist ! :(
If you don't work around KLCC area but happen to be at Isetan during weekends, get the takeaways. Sun Moulin's buns sells fast because they are DELICIOUS !!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bumbo Chairs

My friend Kimmy returned a Bumbo seat to me couple of days ago. It's been at my office for few days and everytime I walk in or out, I look at the Bumbo seat and thought of Amber and laughed.

Before she was delivered, we were determined to get the Bumbo seat. We thought it's so convenient and easy to use. Baby can be propped up anytime anywhere and we can even bring along when we dine out of home

And so, we got a Bumbo seat for her.

But we only used it a couple of times. Not more than 2-3 weeks.

I dug out her baby photos seated on the Bumbo from my external drive. Only a handful :

@ 3 months 3 wks

@ 4 months 1 wk

I think above photo was her last few occasions on the Bumbo coz her thighs were thick and got stuck. I remembered we were at Tampin then and when we carried her out, her legs were stuck and we carried Bumbo up as well. SIL, MIL and BIL saw and laughed so hard.. it was very funny and cute but too bad I didn't snap a picture then. LOL !!!

Those were her chubby schmubby days... now, she's skinny minny. :)

Amber's Getting Better

We took her to the doctors to check her lungs last Saturday. Her lungs are cleared but cough persists.

I take extra precautions to keep her body warm, especially at night. No more evening baths, just wash hands, legs, bum bum, brush teeth and wipe face. I apply body warming oil to her abdomen, wear a camisole inside her jammies and put on Vicks to her feet sole and lastly put on socks.

I find Vicks helps when kids have runny nose. Apply plenty to their feet, right up to ankles and put on long socks. Kids will sleep better throughout the night.

However, the ever mischievious Amber plays the socks and I have to search for them in darkness after she sleeps and wear it over her feet again .. every night .

She wears the socks over her hands as gloves ....

Nah !!!! See how she likes to roll up her pants? A habit she's used to. Mama has to roll it down again when she's asleep. Just another one of Amber's quirks and quaints.

Fatty Fatty Food !

This is the loot from our Ipoh/Penang trip 2 weeks ago. Terrible huh ? I must post to remind myself I've been having too much lately.

This is the just VARIETY we bought home. I haven't mentioned the QUANTITY yet.. hahahaha ...

Joke aside... time to diligently work out now.. Mooncake Festival round the corner, then comes Deepavali, Christmas and New Year. .Makan time again. *sigh*

Prevention or Precaution

Prevention or precaution ? Whatever. Chinese medicine halls now sells prepacked 'leung char' and with special ones labeled H1N1, for one to take precautions against H1N1 but the guy also said it can prevent H1N1 wor ...

I don't believe much of his words, purely sales talk but still I end up grabbing some packs of :

I took a few packets of 'leung char' and some to 'yoon fai' or sooth the lungs. I don't think it prevents me or my family from catching the H1N1 virus. I believe in keeping ourselves clean and be wary of our surrounding wherever we go. Never leave home without antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers. However, I do believe the 'leung char' keeps our body balanced, cool and thus reduce our chances of catching a cough, fever or sore throat. If we keep our immunity high, there'll be less chance of us catching the virus right ?

Moreover, the 'leung char' taste great and refreshing !

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Painting Her Nails

She loves getting her nails done. By the time we were done with our food expedition in Klang and eached Collin's place, it was past midnight. Amber was dozing off in the car and I have not changed her to pyjamas yet. She kept mumbling "I want to paint my nails.. I want to paint my nails... " while almost falling asleep.

Cruel as I was, I kept her awake.. suggesting we should not paint nails and go home.. Her eyes instantly lit up " No ! I want to fo Pam cheh cheh's house to paint my nails !" Few seconds later, she almost doze off again and I'll try to keep her awake again.

I needed to put on diapers and change her to pyjamas. If I'd wait till she sleeps and change her when we reach home, she'll surely 'lau kai' and what more if she'd missed getting her nails done. That was her 'agenda' for the evening and she'd waited for hours while we hopped from one restaurant to another.

So, we was excited and wide awake when we reached Collin's. Pam cheh-cheh quickly fished out her manicure tools. She decided on something simple since it was too late to do anything fancy.

She did a simple pink polish with metallic flowers for Amber.

Then fished out a 'mini fan' to dry her nails.

Hurry hurry dry ! Late already !
When Pam was done.. Amber put up her legs.. "My toes leh ?" LOL !!!

We told her it was too late to get her toes done. Luckily she didn't throw a tantrum.

I like this shot of her feet tucked under her bum .
We left for long drive home at almost 1.30am with a happy little girl and painted nails :)
The next day, she happily showed kakak, hubs friends, kong-kong, yee-ma her nails.
I never paint nails for her and I don't wanna start. If I do, she'll always be asking to get her nails done. Honestly, I'm even lazy to get my own nails done, let alone paint hers. My nail polish, removers and tools and stashed away somewhere, LOL !!!

Jalan Jalan Cari Makan @ Klang Bostons

After our Bagan Hailam dinner, we took a drive down to Klang town. If you are familiar with Klang, you'll know a lot of big lorries and containers ply the port area and some roads do not have street lights. I did not feel comfortable driving and I let hubs take over the wheels with Collin navigating the humps while GPS notes down the location.

Jalan-jalan and crossing the Klang river , we reached Jalan Kapar at Klang town, looking for Bostons. When Pam mentioned going to Boston, I thought it was a little village tucked somewhere in Klang but Boston is a 'restaurant' at Jalan Kapar. Jalan Kapar is a long road and clues to this place is it's opposite Kamdar and next to Lembaga Tabung Haji building.

It was already late in the evening and Amber dutifully followed us from one makan place to another. She did complain a little " Hah ? Why have to eat some more ?" I want to go Pam cheh cheh's house ! LOL ! A 3 yr old complaining we eat non-stop. Haih.. LOL !!
Uncle Collin got Amber this Barbie-wannabe toy for Amber and that kept her busy while we waited for our lala. There were many colors and Amber chose the gawdy blue colored hair Barbie-wannabe. It was nicely wrapped with lots of tiny styrofoam bubbles and we named her new toy Bubbles !

Look at the long queue of tables and this is only one side of the road.
We were lucky to find a table at 10.30pm !

Restoran Boston Baru. With a distinctive name as such, I'm sure you'll find
it by just asking around.

The must tries here are chee hun kern (tapioca starch noodles), steamed lala, nestum mantis prawns. We were still full from dinner and I think it's a sin to have a dinner after dinner but to have supper after dinner is okay right ? :)

So, we ordered a few mains just for picking...

Steamed la la.. Really geng stuff. Lala steamed with lots of slivered ginger and chilly padi.
garnished with garlic crisp. If you are a love lala, go for it. Trust me, it's worthwhile your drive to Klang.

Closer look.... so fresh, no unopened, dead or muddy clams in the plate..

HK choy sam. Very fresh and crunchy, our gang said it tasted bland as the lala overpowers our taste buds but I find this dish very well done.

Nestum mantis prawns.. Yummylicious ! Crispy and light.

Takes a lot of skill to cook this dish. If not done right, it'll be darn oily.

None of the food was to Amber's liking but she was well behaved and

can't wait to go back to Collin's place to get her nails painted.

Amber and Pam cheh-cheh. She'll always stick close to her. Wanna know why ? Read my next blog....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jalan Jalan Cari Makan - Klang

Saturday, we went for a seafood expedition to Port Klang. Our guide, 'teh-si-peng' lives in Kota Kemuning and we made plans to meet at his house and move from there on. Hubs and I are not familiar with Port Klang, the roads are kinda dark with lots of unexpected bumps and humps. Although we had GPS with us, Collin was the bestest GPS ! He'll alert us on sharp humps to look out for.

He gave us a few choices, Chinese seafood, Malay seafood, seafood with toddy and a famous lala place. Hubs chose Chinese (he'll go for anything porky !!) and we went to Bagan Hailam. I remember vaguely about 10 years ago, going there for barbecued crabs with my bunch of girlfriends but this time I didn't see any bbqs.

Bagan Hailam restaurant is stretched out to the sea, you'll have to pass through a small Hainanese community comprising of about 8-10 houses sitting on planks before you finally reach the restaurant.

We were there around 8pm and the tide was a tad high. We could see water all around us but it looked 'black'. I was extra careful with Amber. We told her if she'd to play near the railings and fall, nobody will save her coz we don't know how to swim .. :)

The view was kinda nice, overlooking the port and seafront but at 8pm, we can't see much.

Upon reaching the restaurant ..

So, what did we have ?

Kam heong bamboo clams, Crabs with mihun, Hailam noodles,
Hailam mixed vege and steamed prawns (pak cheok har)
All was good but we made a mistake with pak cheok har. It's not fresh live prawn (as with most pak cheok har ) but they served us sea prawns which is not fresh from the aquarium but still, it was very fresh.
The best dish was crab mihun ! Our total bill came up to RM150 for 5 of us. Quite a fair deal don't you think ?
As if dinner wasn't good enough, Collin kept hinting us to try another lala soup place... will blog about it later...

Refusing the Childminders

Last week

One evening, last week, when I picked her up, her eyes were looking to the floor and she said this to me :

Mummy, I am very sad ....

Naturally, I asked Boon Kor Kor and I also saw none of the kids were at the living room.
Boon said the kids were fighting over a toy, a green soft toy snake from Ikea, the one that curls round the neck.

Amber wanted it.

The other 'older' kids also wanted it.

Screaming ensued, Boon asked the kids to give it to Amber as she's the youngest (the rest were 5,6 &7). The rest got angry and went upstairs to play, 'marginalizing' her.

So, the poor kid was left alone with a long green snake and a sulking face. She felt no one wanted to be friends with her and no one wanted to play with her.

I explained to her during the drive home, about sharing etc , bla bla bla...

During bedtime, we 'pillow talked' , again she said "Mummy, Amber very sad" .
Amber sad because YY kor kor, MS cheh cheh, YY cheh cheh angry with me,
They don't want to play with me!

Haish...she's still not over it. I thought kids have very short memory ? I feel so sorry for her.. cuddled her, assuring everybody loves her, the cheh-cheh's and kor-kor's don't mean to be angry with her.. etc..

Pillow talk so long till I almost fell asleep but the little fart was still wide awake, pondering over the evening's incident !

Then.. comes more and more complains about not wanting to go to Boon Kor Kor's....


This morning

Mama, can you stay home ?

These words uttered by her, with innocent eyes this morning broke my heart. It all started over the weekend.

On Saturday, she wakes up and whimpers... I don't want to go Boon Kor Kor there !
That's easy, it's a Saturday and we had to check up her lungs (by the way, her lungs are cleared but coughing persists).
So, I told her.. Ok. today is Saturday, we stay home, later we'll see a doctor and evening, we'll go to Uncle Collin's. She understood and was very well behaved for the rest of the day.

Sunday came, same thing, wake up and whimpers (eyes closed) I don't want to go Boon Kor Kor there ! I explained again, it's Sunday and she'll stay home with us or go wherever we go. Saturdays and Sundays are stay home days coz Papa & Mama don't work.

I 3 days don't want to go Boon Kor Kor !! (shows me her index, middle and fourth finger,, 1,2,3). She knows Sat & Sun is only 2 days, now she tells me she wants to stay home for more days.

Poor girl, close to tears, I distracted her attention by switching on some Disney cartoons and asked her why she doesn't want to go to the childminders, a place she's so happy to be until recently. Then she said :

Coz I scared Uncle Bulldozer !
Coz I don't want to eat !

Uncle Bulldozer was a bulldozer guy driving near Boon Kor Kor's place. One day when Boon took Amber for a walk, they met Uncle B. Boon stopped to talk to him but Amber was very frightened. I found out today, the other kids were frightening her with Uncle B. If she don't finish her meals, Uncle B will sweep her away.

Haish ! My poor girl !

So this morning, she said in a clear sentence to me :
Mama, can Papa go to work first ?
Mama, can you stay home and take care of me ?

So pitiful ! I sent her to the childminders, brought her in and talked to the other kids, there's no Uncle B to be afraid of. Uncle B is Boon Kor Kor's friend. Then I went to the toilet for a while. When I came back, she was in tears already. The other kids keep teasing her.

What should I do ? I can't scold the kids. After all kids are just kids ....

I told Boon the situation and not to let the other kids frighten her with Uncle B anymore. Boon said he'll play Bob The Builder video today and show Amber bulldozers and such, and there's nothing to be afraid of.

I hope she'll get over this soon. Every morning, I have to deal with her " I Don't Want to go Boon Kor Kor's " *sigh*

Monday, August 24, 2009

Between Extremities

She can throw the worst tantrums, be the tiniest monster on earth until I wanna tear my hair out


She can also be the sweetest of angels !

Scene 1
Lately, she 'lau kai' over the slightest things, she's not happy with the slightest thing and she can even be unhappy with the way the wind blows.
She'll scream and stomp and shout !

Once, I placed her on the kitchen island, lowering down my voice, talking sense to her (and I can't even remember what it was all over about, but it's something trivial), she screamed murder and with runny nose and sticky gooey flowing down, she shouted I Don't want Mama ! I want to 'lau-kai'

I pacified her.. she didn't give me a chance. She cried some more

So I fished out the camera and video-ed her.

She was so ANGRY ! She spitted at me ! ABOO !! ABOO !!

Fuyoh ! I was shocked but instead of calming her down, I laughed at her action!

Hubs saw from a distance, laughed also. Maid standing few feet away, laughed too.

That got her very very angry and shouted I DON'T WANT MAMA ! GO AWAY !

Then hubs turned angry and quickly took away. If you don't want Mama ! You go out !
Hubs threathen to throw her out of the house. After more screaming and upon reaching the grills, the crying stopped. All I can see is a 3 yr old, wanting to scream her lungs out but holding back, afraid of being thrown out of the house.

I can't understand why a little kid would have so much anger.

Scene 2
In BIL's car during our Penang trip, she fought with cheh cheh over some toys. Cheh cheh asked her to stop playing coz she's very noisy!
She shouted : No ! You are naughty !
Cheh cheh : I am not naughty !
So, both of them sulked, not talking to each other and fell asleep !

Scene 3
Not eating her meals,, I threatened, You want me to feed ? Or Kakak ? (Knowing she'll choose me over kakak)
Then maid walks over to us
Amber shouts : You go away ! Go far far away !!! (stomping her feet). I Don't Want You !

That got me very angry and start scolding her. Another episode ensued. Sei mou ? This goes on and on everyday !

Scene 4
Puts on lotion for me (yes, me, the Mama) at night. She does it voluntarily. She'll masage my right shoulders and then left, right feet and then left, right thighs and then left :

Nice or not ? Hard enough or not ?
I use 2 hands ar.. nicer ok ?
Ok ! Turn around, Now I massage the other shoulder !
I massage for you .. because "I Love You" mah...

Then I asked her to massage my legs, which is very dry..

Aiyer ! Why Mama's leg so dry ah ?
You never take care of yourself ah ?
Come, come, Amber massage for you.
I massage you because I love you mah ..
See ? Nice or not ? Now not rough already.

Then I put smoothen the lotion she puts on for me (coz her 'application' is not smooth, a 3 yr olds hand can only do so much)
Mama, why you waste so much lotion ?
Need money buy wan you know ?
Don't waste so much lotion ok ?

(Imitates my exact words when I reprimand her about wasting lotion)


I don't know which is the best method to discpline her. Caning and punishment doesn't work, I don't see her learningher lesson after few episodes from hubs.
I try to be patient but my patience doesn't last very long. I try to speak down to her level, explain to her and many a times, after a while, if she doesn't listen to me, I turn to a 'SCREAMING MONSTER'.

Sigh.. disciplining a 3 yr old is a tough job !!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cuti Cuti Malaysia - Penang Day 3

On the 3rd day, sis's in laws from Penang took us around. Much more interesting food than what we had previous day. We went 'where the locals go'. They picked us up from our hotel and we went to Macalister Lane, Off Jalan Burma. If you are there, take note of the shop below : Kedai Makanan Kim Lee. You know it's a place where locals go by their dressing and no one is holding a camera (except me, hehehe)

So what did we have for breakfast ????

Otak-otak - this is very special, with fresh fish fillet bits. The ones we get from KL is all mashed up together
Char koay kark - similiar to our pasar malam char chye tau kueh but yummylicious ! Soft to the bite and delicious
Koay teok th'ng - with slivers of duck meat and fishballs. Interesting combination huh ? They even have coagulated duck blood but I gave that a skip..

I told Er Jie (sis's second SIL) I haven't had any Hokkien Mee (Penang version of har meen) and she took us to Pulau Tikus Market. We hopped in to a corner coffeeshop at entrance to Pulau Tikus market.

Aitelyu.. Penang Hokkien mee is so different. The ones we get from KL sometimes taste flat coz the mihun and mee taste overcome the soup. Penang ones are pungent and tasty, till the last drop.

So tasty until I almost forgot to take picture, lucky hubs was only half way thru the noodles when I fished out my camera :)

Then .. it was char koay teow .. a much better than the one we had at Gurney Drive.

I've never had 5 different kinds of food for breakfast !!!

Our wonderful host sent us back to the hotel with boxes of tau sar pneah to bring home ...

We checked out around noon and the kids made donations again :)

A wishing well of Hope of Love. :)

We stopped by Batu Feringghi. Hubs insisted to bring Amber to the beach. She's not dressed up for beach play but got wet anyway. The kids were so happy to feel sand on their feet and get themselves wet.

From Batu Feringghi, we took the Balik Pulau road back to Penang Bridge. Stopped for durians too ! I think it's almost end of the season coz I don't see many durian stalls set up. Many years ago, during one of my company trips, I took the Balik Pulau way back to Bayan Lepas, there's at least 10 stalls along the road. Balik Pulau is famous for ang-hae and hor-lor durians.

Luckily we stopped at the first stall because we didn't spot any other durian stalls thereafter.
Quite miserable, only a few durians and some cempedaks.

Not much choice, only a couple of ang-hae and D15. The durians looks ugly, brownish color.

But surprise suprise, the D15 flesh is bitter sweet, I likeee...

There's a pipe of 'mountain water' for us to wash hands. Surprisingly, my finger and hands didn't smell of durians. Must be the mineral content in the water.

The journey from Balik Pulau to Bayan Lepas took us a good 40 minutes. We stopped by Queensbay Mall for shopping. KL'ites are KL'ites , bring us anywhere, we'll still look for shopping centers. We had lunch at AEON Jusco food court. Lousy choice, after having so much good Penang food, the food court stuff taste lousy. Anyway, after shopping, we left for Bidor.

We bought lots of chicken biskits and shak kei ma from Pun Chun Bidor. I don't fancy Pun Chun stuff but I like the shop next door..
Ta Chong Biscuits.
1 Jalan Pasar, 35500 Bidor
Appeared in Ho Chak show. Must be good !

I bought some heong peah here again to add to my loot. MIL also bought some from Pun Chun and Ta Chong, our car was stufffed to the brim.
I saw some beautiful bakes inside. In fact, too pretty to eat. Look at these beautiful mini pastries, snails, chicken and dogs:

Pigs and ducks in the making :

Can you recognize Mr Oink Oink ??

Amber chose a rabbit !

We had dinner at "Xiang Tien Tien Lai". Too bad I forgot to take a name card but it's very easy to find. Once you exit to Bidor from toll, turn right at traffic junction and the shop's at yr left. The only restaurant with many tables.

We ordered (from top left, clockwise) Marmite chicken, pork ribs with shandong nuts, mince pork tofu, choy tam and cheong ching talapia.
Guess how much ???
RM72.. for 6 pax dinner.
Cheap hor ??
So, if you're on a long journey drive down from North, you know where to stop for dinner.
The place is packed but we got a seat coz it was slightly pass 8pm when we got there.
Amber, Yuen Wen with their favourite uncle...

A photo of the 2 Ong Princess.. hardly can get them to smile at camera together and I caught this as the last photo of our trip. :)

So, that the end of our 3day/2night "Cuti Cuti Malaysia" holiday.
Next stop ?
PORT DICKSON - 5 Sep 2009...