My Ramblings

Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Going To The Movies

This is our 3rd visit to the movies together. The other occasions were :

1st movie : Mamma Mia the Movie. Amber sit through the whole movie. She did get restless after the 1st hour, got down to the floor to dance, luckily we were seated at the last row. The she started disturbing the kakaks sitting in front of us. Luckily they were friendly

2nd movie : 1st day of Chinese New Year. One of those silly, humourous CNY movies. Gosh, I can't even remember the name nor recall the show at all. She was well behaved, there's 14 of us, so she walked over to my in laws and 'disturbed' them.

3rd moview : This is a classical attempt Papa & Mama pushing their luck. We brought her to watch :



Geng mou ?? It was hubs idea. He's supposed to watch with the guys but one after another pulled out, so he dragged me, bil & his gf along. With 4 adults, I think we can handle Amber.

I told her about the going to the movies on Thursday and oh.. she went on like a tape recorder, telling everyone she meets that she's gonna go to the CINEMA to watch TERMINATOR SALVATION. It's really funny to hear her spit out the name 'TERMINATOR SALVATION' in full and she surprised many people!! What's it that a 3 yr old knows about Terminator ? Honestly I don't really know the storyline. This kinda movie is not my cuppa tea, I'm going coz hubs wanna go and wanna drag us along !

So, off we went to 1 Utama today. We took DUKE and somehow got to SPRINT, using our GPS. Toll was RM4 (ouch!!!) but I need to find a better way getting there, avoiding SPRINT. At 1 U, it's quite a nightmare coz it's the start of the school holidays. Put me in 1 U, you'll see a chicken without head. I am totally clueless. Although it's a big big mall, it's not my favourite. I find it confusing and too much to walk. I'll only go there for Zara Kids sale. Give me Mid Valley or Pavillion anytime. I'm so not a PJ person.

Amber was all excited, obediently finished her lunch, took her nap in the car (coz I threatened her, no TERMINATOR if you don't listen to Mama.. ha ha ha ha)

Amber sits on Papa's lap. She stuck to Papa almost throughout the whole movie, I brought all kind of candies to keep her quiet (shhhh!!! If you talk, the abang will catch and take you out of the cinema and Papa, Mama not going with you!!! - hahahahaha).
In fact I was surprised, she was quiet througout the movie. She did want to play with BIL's gf but it was 'silent' play. She's clever enough to use hand gestures and whisper...

My Miss 'Little but Loud'

My little girl, now Papa & Mama can bring you to the movies more often !!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sand Art

She had lotsa fun with the piece of sand art from the party packs of Fearles & Cruz birthday party last week.

She's been pestering to play with the pack for many days. As usual, we're busy and it's always too late (all excuses).

I admit, many times, I only think of the list of things I want to do and neglect her to do list. Today's a Saturday and there's no excuse. I dragged her Ikea study table out to the balcony and let her have some fun with the sand art.

And she was soooo happy !!!

Yam Cake

This weekend's free and easy for us. I had the chance to try out a few new recipes.

Woo Tau Kou or Steamed Yam Cake is one of my favourites but I can hardly ever find a good place which is generous with their yam servings. Can't blame them as yam is getting very expensive. It was about RM5/kg and the past months it went up to RM9/kg. Tesco had a new fresh batch of yam arriving yesterday at RM5.99/kg, I quickly grabbed a reasonable sized one.

Ingredients :

750gm yam, peeled and washed and cubed (any size from 500m-750gm is okay)
1/2 bowl of dried shrimps, rinsed, fried and pounded
1/2 garlic, minced
5 shallots, sliced
1/2 bowl of oil

Batter :
300gm rice flour
80gm tapioca flour
1.5 tsp salt
1.2 liters of water

1 cube chicken stock, I prefer Knorr No-MSG
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp pepper

Method :
Fry dried shrimps in 2 tablespoon oil and remove when it turns crispy, then pound till fine.

Mix batter with hand, ensure it's well mixed and no lumps of flour

Fry shallots with 1/2 bowl oil till golden, drain and set aside. With the remaining oil, fry garlic till fragrant, add dried shrimps, add yam and seasoning, fry till fragrant.

Add batter, cook in medium fire till lumpy.

Transfer to oiled steaming pan. Steam for 45 minutes. Leave to cool and garnish with sliced chilly, spring onion and fried shallots

Serve with sweet bean sauce (theem cheong) and chilly sauce.

Here's some pictures of the cooking process :

Pounded dried shrimps and garlic.

Pour in batter

Cook the batter to this consistency

Smoothen batter with back of knife

Yam cake... Yummzzz (Too excited, can't wait to eat and I forget to take picture of the untouched yam cake, here you see one corner cut up. In fact most of my food photos are partially eaten .. ha ha ha ha)

Serve with theem cheong

Friday, May 29, 2009

She Wants To Send Money Back

My maid. Again....

This time, the sister, 699 (what better way than to differentiate them by numbers, since they have so many different names - application name, passport name, family name) is home, safe and sound and found a job at a school. Good, I am happy for her. I spoke to her when she called to look for 700.

Last night 700 (my maid) asked me to send USD500 back to Cambodia. Apparently 699 needs money for medical treatment and the other sisters needs it for their studies.

The hubs flipped, nag, nag and nag her... I, kept my cool. I had a few arguments with her recently and I do not even bother blogging about it, just another annoying and idiotic maid vs employer episode. I thought to myself why I should waste my time, breath and efforts teaching her to be smart and save money for herself, teach her about economics, inflation, jobless.. ? Why bother ???

Hai ya.. want to send, send lah.. as long as there's 6 months salary for my keeping, I don't care if she goes home with no money to buy land, no money for any men to chase after her. I really don't give a damn anymore. For someone, who will not keep in touch with me when she leaves, obviously 'mo kam cheng', why do I bother and fret over this issue ?

Now, I've got to find time to TT the money for her. Darn... 3rd time in 5 months !!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sharing Everything

This post is for the record of Amber's growing up antics.

Amber's bed is full of stuffs. She has 3 bolsters, 3 pillows and her little Siaw Tien's family (Siaw Tien, ST's mama - pink teddy bear and ST's papa - Doraemon). I think the bed is OVERCROWDED and I chuck ST & family to the floor.

Last night, she was very sad to see ST & family on the floor, she wanted to share her blanket with them. So, off goes the blanket to the floor. Next, she wants to share her pillow 1, pillow 2, pillow 3 and then share her bolster 1, bolster 2, bolster 3..

then her bed looks like this :

She'd rather sleep on an empty bed but of course Mama had to cover her up with blanket when she's asleep. When she woke up, she throw everything on the floor for ST and joins ST to have her milkie.

I wonder what's this with ST that Amber loves so much ?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bak Chang .. Bak Chang .. Fei Sei Lor !!!!!!!

Yippeee !!! Dumpling festival today, time to stock up on some laxatives too.

Been stuffing myself full with dumplings. Some from friends, some from MIL, and some from my parents. I did not buy any this year, enough with dumpling gifts from friends, if I take any more, I'll end up like a dumpling myself too.

My favourite is 'everything in' dumpling : salty egg yolk, mushroom, streaky fatty pork, black eye peas, chestnuts.

This is what I had yesterday for lunch, With the rate I am going, fei sei lorrr !!!

People Who Never Return Calls

What's wrong with people nowadays? I'm ranting about my alarm system actually. The remote viewer's been out of order for months, somehow, we can view it from home but not remotely. The guy who set our alarm, hubs friend, cannot detect the root of the problem. His son is working on the issue and needed some time to figure it out. We gave him hours, days, weeks, and almost 2 months! Everytime I call or sms the young boy, he's either busy or cannot think of a solution to the problem! Ok, I gave him time (while keeping my cool).

Lately, he's been avoiding my call and that IRRATATES me to the bone. You know how it's like ? You're greeted by some funky song ringing tone, it'll sing sing sing until *toot* you're call has been forwarded to......

Arrgghhhhh !

Last weekend while we were at Tampin, our alarm rang twice at 2.30am and 3pm. I also receive calls from Amber's childminder who happened to pass by my area telling me my alarm rang. I cannot view my house remotely, what can I do apart from worrying ?? I bet my neighbours must have been cursing us all corners !

Hubs cannot take it any longer. He called his friend, the father. The father threw a tantrum, blaming it on Streamyx connection. Hubs blood boiling and flare up, shouted at him ## YOU LISTEN TO ME FIRST !!! YOUR SON NEVER RETURN CALL ! I AM YOUR CUSTOMER AND YOU ARE MY FRIEND !!! ####...........
Wah.. I was *surprised* by hubs tone. Only then, the father calmed down and promised us to look into remote viewer.

True enough, they called us yesterday to fix and appointment and today they came to settle it. Hubs was at home to watch them fix it and gave the young boy a piece of his mind. Apparently his dad already *tarok him cukup cukup*

That's why sometimes, we have to flex our muscles and raise our voice !!!

On the alarm, we found out it was a cat who climbed to our balcony via the roof. Darn those cats.. having a party at our home while we were away.

Suki Hainanese Chicken Rice

Another one of our favourite haunts. I told Barbara about this place and suggested she try. I had this chicken rice almost every week while I was pregnant with Amber.
This is one of the best chicken rice I'd had, the rice is fragrant, tasty and never enough. The chicken meat is firm and tasty as they serve "kampung chicken".

SukiNasi Ayam Hainanese, Open from 9am - 3pm or until chicken is sold out. You can even order a whole chicken for prayers but you need to make advanced booking. Call Mr Suki at
016-6971858 for reservations.

This stall is located at Taman Supreme, Cheras. Take a left turn up Jalan Jintan to Taman Supreme and turn right immediately. This stall is located in between semi d houses and shophouses. You'll be surprised to see a few familiar faces
there as there's a local recording/production house nearby.

The owner, Suki , at his works.

This portion was for 3 of us. A lot of chicken meat right ? She charged us RM7 per head (rice & chicken only)

The rice is very tasty but I think the portion is a bit small. Just nice for me but hubs needed 2 or 3 bowls.

Fresh piquant garlic chilly sauce with lime juice

Monday, May 25, 2009

Our Weekend

We were back to hubs hometown over the weekend for MIL's bday celebration. Tampin is a bustling small town. Over the years of being married to a Tampin man, I've seen the town transform. When I first came to Tampin, there's only KFC and Pizza Hut. Now, there's Giant, Secret Recipe, Guardian Pharmacy and more progressing soon. Even then, our favourite haunts are the mamaks and roti canais (morning, afternoon and late night supper). You know how it's like in small towns, where everybody knows your name. Just sit down for a cuppa teh tarik and 5 minutes later, someone you know will happen to pass by join you, another 5 minutes, another friend or acquaintance will come along and join us.

Restoran Ooty at Jalan Besar is our favourite roti canai and teh tarik haunt at mornings and evenings. The owner, Mr Chinniah Govindasamy passed away from heart attack a week ago. Hubs and his family will miss him dearly. Nevertheless, we are still supporters of Ooty, rain or shine, without fail, BIL will have his cuppa there.

Hubs and I had bfast and I was almost finishing before I remembered to take some pictures. Amber enjoys her roti canai with coarse sugar. Ask her what drink she wants, she'll answer very loudly : TEH TARIK !!! *sigh ! she's starting young!*

I like to walk along Jalan Besar, lots of stuff to see and shop. You know those small stationery shops ? Displaying of toys, books and snacks along the walkway ? The little one gets busy. We allowed her to choose ONE item ONLY and she gets busy...

Everything also want.... but we stick to ONE only...

and guess what she chose ?


Mini dinosaurs !!!

and she said : Mama ! Amber not scared. This dinosaur small small, plastic ! You see, Amber not scared !

I had a little scary episode, Amber was scratching her eyes, non stop, I fed her lunch, rushing so we could make it to Tesco Malacca in the afternoon. I delayed her shower and while showering, I noticed her eyes got very swollen! I could see jelly like substance in her inner eye lid. I panicked, quickly dressed her up and rushed to the clinic opposite the house. Hubs was still showering.

I don't know why but when Amber saw the doctor, she cried like a chicken being slaughtered !
She's quite friendly with doctors but not this one. This is her second visit to this doctor and both visits also 'dramatic. I tried to hold her down but with all her 14kg might, she kicked me, doctor and nurse away. In the midst of rushing, I forgot to put on her underwear. .. ha ha ha ha... the nurses quickly pulled her skirt down. I called hubs to quickly drop everything and come over.
With hubs around, we were in better control of Amber. All 5 of us (doc, hubs, me, 2 kakak nurse) put her down to the bed and forced her to open her eyes for doctor to see. Hubs said : If you don't open your eyes, we are leaving you here.. ALONE ! Wah.. she quickly responded.
Doc said it was just some allergy probably from dustmites, and rubbed her eye too excessively. He prescribed Fusithalmic, an antibiotic for the eye and put the drops on Amber and it subsided within hours. Luckily and we made it to Tesco Malacca for kiddies ride and for MIL's dinner celebration.

Annie suggested I wipe her eyes with warm salt water instead. Salt water is saline and I think I shall do that. My little girl has all sorts of steroid creams : Elomet, Fucidin, Fucicort, Tobradex and Fusithalmic. I really have to cut down using steroid applications on her. She's only 3 years old and topical steroid applications are damaging when used long term.

Before we left, we had a cake cutting session for mil. The cake ? Hazelnut again, from Secret Recipe. Guess this will be in the list until all of us gets tired of it.

Amber polishes of the cream while hubs had the cake.
We quickly rushed back to KL and attended Annie's birthday party. Amber was really excited, she knows there'll be Batman and Spiderman cakes. It was fun to finally meet up with Annie, Jacs, Laundryamah and Barbara. Thanks Annie for inviting us. Can't wait for Annie to blog on her big bento project for her boys birthday !

Oh what a weekend it was, the little fart was very happy !

Lunching In

I lunched in again on Friday. I made extra stuffed taufoo poks from the fish paste, asked my
maid to cook a trusty can of baked beans with egg and I have a tasty and fulfilling lunch :

Recipe for stuffed taufoo poks:
1 portion minced pork (about 300 gm)
1 portion fish paste
dash of pepper
1 small slice of slated tenggiri fish fillet
1 tablespoon corn flour
Mixed all above together. Cut a slit in the taufoo poks. Stuff in filling. Fry filling side down on shallow wok of oil. Leave to cool
Gravy :
Half garlic, minced, fry in oil till fragrant, add in 1 no-Msg ikan bilis cube (if you have the tenggiri bones and skin saved, use it, taste much better), add i liter of water and braise taufoo pok for 30 mins. Garnish with spring onions and serve.

Apple Tarts - A Variation

I did another variation of the same apple tarts recipe last week. I had some difficulties weaving in the strips of pastry on top of the pie and this time I decided to cover the whole pie and decor with a heart from my bento cookie cutters.

Made these tarts for mil, we celebrated her birthday over the weekend :

filling it up with chunky apple fillings

my little helper

helping me brush the tarts with egg wash

tarts, unbaked

golden glorious apple tarts.. yummz... I prefer this variation, the fillings are not exposed and more moist and juicy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Amber - 3years + 1month

My little girl is now 37 months old. Apart from her increasing vocabulary, she can now :

- does not use potty anymore, she prefers adult toilet.

- able to go toilet on her own (take off own pants, adjust her tiny bum bum to sit to the throne, tear tissue paper, fold and wipe off)

- wears diapers only during nap and bedtime. Most of the time, diaper stays dry at afternoon naptime

- able to brush her own teeth (but I must do a major clean up every alternate day)

- finally learning how to write, guided by dotted lines (I got her a Spiderman a-b-c book to inspire her)

-chewing more solid food (she is able to finish off one chicken drumstick in a go)

-able to walk upstairs and down unguided

slowly and surely, she will learn to write a-b-c before she goes to kindie next year.

Way to go girl !

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mui Choy Yoke

I've been itching to have some yummy soft mui choy (preserved mustard leaves) for a long time. Mom used to make the best mui choy (many many years ago but i remember the smell and taste!!)

I asked the butcher, the sundry shop guy how to make mui choy, combine their tips and here we go :

Use 2 types of mui choy, salty and sweet (I used a combination of half & half), one whole garlic, half minced, half whole. soaked raw groundnuts and a piece of pork belly, blanched and cut to small pieces

Soak and wash mui choy thoroughly for at least 1 hour, change water 3 times. Cut to small pieces.

Fry minced garlic with pork slices, add a dash of dark soya sauce and fry till fragrant. Add in groundnuts, both mui choy, and enough water to cover, let it cook for 5 minutes

Transfer to slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours

Tadaaa!! One big pot of mui choy to last me many meals. I'll freeze a few portions and stuff in the freezer. Good for last minute meals.

Mum used to cook mui choy in a enamel double boiler like this (picture taken from internet) :

Does anyone know where I can get such double boiler ? My memories of mom and her double boiler is the sound of it boiling, blup BLOP, blup BLOP, blup BLOP !!! and the smell of kaya or snow fungus with rock sugar or mui choy. Oh ! I really miss those days.

A lof of respect has been given to the old humble mui choy. Just a few ringgit worth but given the emperor status of 'double boiling'. I took the easy way out and dumped to a slow cooker instead. Just as good. When I get the double boiler, I'll try kaya instead.

Orange Crush

Since having Amber, my gums are very sensitive, I cannot bite cold fruits especially acidic ones like orange. I don't know if pregnancy's to be blamed but after 3 years, the situation has not improved.

I stayed away from oranges for a while until I came up with the idea to blend it with ice. The weather is so hot recently, this makes an excellent drink :

orange wedges, minus rind and seeds

blended with ice. May add honey or salt to your liking

Orange crush. Full of fiber and vitamins. Thirst quenching too. I gulp it down with a straw, bypassing my gums and no need to chew... Yummzzz !!!

Plane Crash, Market Crashing Soon ?

I have a friend who has quite an accurate 'sixth sense'. He told me today, the Indonesian plane crash is not a good sign. It's also an indication a stock market correction is coming soon.
He's a keen observer in markets around the world and all things spinning around him.

Our KLCI is hitting a new high for the year almost every day. Let's see what happens in a week or two.

Learning to Express Herself

Amber learns new words again.

I picked her up from her childminders yesterday and hand in hand, we walked to our car. She muttered :

I 'upset' with Boon kor-kor.

?? what does she mean ?? ?? ?? more ?? ?? I quickly turned around and back to the childminders we go. I asked Boon (her childminder) and what happened was he chided Amber for playing with water. She was pouring out water from her tumblers near the kitchen. I told Amber she is not to play with water and wet the floor... and the whole long lecture begins. Then she denied :

boh ! I didn't play with water !

Then all the kids came running out, and said : She did ! She did ! She played with water ! Amber naughty !! At this point, I felt sorry for her, the older kids, me and Boon were against her words.' Anyway, she said sorry and we left. In the car, I questioned her again in a nicer tone on why she denied playing with water. She said :

Amber want to cook soup !

Oh no ! Long lecture again.. you are not to cook(boil) soup, not to play with fire or water ... bla bla bla.. She quickly defended :

No lah ! Amber want to cook soup in the masak masak kitchen. Got pot, I want to cook soup for Boon Kor-Kor

I see... so she actually wanted to make some soup with the mini kids kitchen. Then, i felt sorry for the little fart, her good intention (albeit naughty) was slammed down by everyone as being naughty and telling lies. Then after a while, almost reaching home, she said :

Amber sad ah. Very sad !

Why ?

Becoz Boon Kor-Kor upset with me.

Then goes the long lecture of explaining the whole situation to her again, why she must tell the truth, why Boon kor-kor reprimanded her, etc.. etc..... BUT deep in me, I was surprised with her ability to express herself and her choice of words recently includes 'emo' ones like upset, sad, tired, etc.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Yoga Baby

We've got a new DVD in our room. I used the Sen Heng voucher, minus this and that, cost us RM130 for what was orginally RM319. Good deal! That means I have no more excuses not to practise some yoga in the evening.

We tested the DVD yesterday with a yoga cd and Amber was watching the cd and then she started monkeying around with some yoga poses.

I am surprised, some poses looks quite real, like the sun salutation and down dog.

My little girl, should I send you for kids yoga ?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Of Roast Pork lately

Lately, it's been siew yoke fever amongst a few blogger moms. I had my fair share of ups and
downs, crispiness and hardiness, love and hate relationship with THAT piece of pork belly before I finally got it right. He/she has to be streaky but not too fat, lean but not too skinny and most important, FRESH !

Here's my share of siew yoke :

I bought a 1.5kg piece from the wet market. Look for streakiness with alternate layers of fat and meat and thicker skin. Thicker skin will give you better crunchy skin. This piece I had was a bit too lean and skin a bit too thin. According to the butcher, it's hard to get a fat pig nowadays.. (to market, to market to buy a fat pig... ooooppsss... to market to market to buy a lean pig... home again home again jiggedy hig)

First, wash the pork belly clean, I then cut of the both ends to save for mui choy yoke, that's my intention coz 1.5kg was a bit too much for our small gathering tonight.

Boil the pork, skin side down for 5 mins, then cut criss cross on the meaty side, to enable marinate to seep in.

Marinate with 1 cube red fermerted bean curd (nam yue), 1tsp of five spice powder and 2tsp salt

Chill in fridge uncovered for 3-4 hours, or until skin is dry

Leave the meat to return to room temperature before roasting. Poke and stab skin side with a big fork, knife or ice picker. Slather with white vinegar then roast on grill/fan function at 190 celcius

Place between middle and upper rack, do not place at middle or too low because if thre's insufficient direct heat at skin, it will not crackle.

Here's how it looks like after 20 minutes :

Then the sides begins to crackle and burn faster than the rest. Cover with foil to prevent charring.

Tadaaaa !!! Siew Yoke : warm, crunchy and moist !

Scrape of any charred black parts. Not worth risking cancer when the cholesterol and fat count is already so high.

Leave to cool a bit and chop with a big cleaver, be careful with the skin as it falls easily. You need a very fast hand on this one.

The plate of siew yoke, going, going, GONE !!!