On days like these…

… I just want to smash dishes on the floor! Any dish! ALL DISHES!!!! And on those days when I start cursing and swearing – in all languages and dialects no less (impressed by my linguistic capabilities much?) – I am NO FUN to be around.

The kids at Kindy were CRAAZZY today, so were their parents/grandparents/general carers. I was everywhere, doing everything ALL. DAY. Everyone wanted a piece of me and I had to work TREBLY fast. Do you know what it means to have to work trebly fast at Kindy?! That means putting 30 plates and 30 cups and dishing out 30 portions of sultanas/carrots/cucumbers AND pouring water into 30 cups in less than FIFTEEN MINUTES.

When all that was said and done, I head home IN A JIFFY to prepare dinner, only to find that Pocket had poo-ed in TWO different spots in the house, which also means A had not let him out before leaving for work to poo-poo. So because the husband wasn’t home yet, who do I yell at INSANELY LOUD?

Pocket.

Oh. My. Gawd.

Trust me when I say I wanted to KILL. I wanted to get into the car and drive somewhere – ANYWHERE – and all the while CURSE. LIKE A SAILOR.

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| source – your ecards |

I now am sitting on the couch with my legs up and Pocket lying on top of me, fast asleep. I can’t wait to go to bed and leave this day behind!

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On the Menu :: Muah Chee

I had some flat-leaf parsley in the fridge that I really wanted to use up, so I went and made meatballs for dinner. AGAIN. Bawwwring. And because I was feeling so very very BORING, I thought I’d make some yummy dessert for A πŸ™‚ Good wife I am, I know πŸ˜›

I’d come across a few different muah chee (or mochi) recipes a while back but just never got down to actually making some. Since I had an unopened packet of glutinous rice flour in the pantry and lots of ground peanuts (from the MIL), I figured I may as well make the best of ’em all!

The decision then to be made was between methods of cooking – did I want to STEAM the batter and wait 40 minutes or did I want to “take a risk” and MICROWAVE for only 7 minutes?

Because I’m lazy, the decision was made for me – I was going to take the risk and microwave…

And boy, am I DEEELIGHTED that I decided to microwave because in simply under 15 minutes, including prepping all the ingredients and mixing etc, I had me some YUMMY MUAH CHEE! Just like I’d get in Singapore! yippee! *knocks heels together*

Thank you EVERYONE who’s shared their recipes and methods online!

Here’s my recipe and method, adapted from The Little Teochew:

INGREDIENTS

(Muah Chee Batter)

  1. 250g glutinous rice flour
  2. 375ml water
  3. 3 tbsp castor sugar
  4. 2 tbsp shallot/vegetable oil (I used shallot oil this time but will most likely use vegetable oil the next.)

(Peanut Coating)

  1. 200g finely ground peanuts
  2. 50g caster sugar

METHOD

  1. Mix all of the ingredients for the muah chee batter in a covered microwave-safe bowl. (I made sure to mix until the batter was lump-free).
  2. Microwave on high for 7 mins.
  3. Cut into tiny pieces using a kitchen scissor and drop it into the peanuts and sugar mixture. Coat well and serve immediately.

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I fed a piece to A before he even had the chance to step out of the car and it was sheer JOY that erupted across his face. I knew he thought his wife rocked, especially when he heard that it only took 7 minutes in the microwave! πŸ˜€

Bon appetit, friends! Enjoy! xx

One For The Kids :: Homemade Play Dough

I realise that homemade play dough is nothing new but before I started teaching Kindy, I thought that mums who make their own play dough are SUPERMUMS!Β 

I now make play dough at Kindy on an almost weekly basis. GO ME! (Future SUPERMUM I hear you say?! Yea. We’ll see about that. *yaaawwn*)

The best thing about homemade play dough is that it’s non-toxic and the process of making it is a learning experience in itself. Children are tactile beings, so it’s best to expose them to as many different types of media and textures as often as possible. Since play dough is non-toxic, it’s OK if baby decides to EAT play dough while playing with it πŸ˜›Β 

Save some money, spend some quality time with your children and make play dough!Β 

Ingredients

1 cup plain flour

1/2 cup of salt

2 tbs of cream of tartar (optional)

1 tbs of cooking oil

1 cup of hot water

Food colouring

Glitter (optional)

Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
  2. As soon as it starts to bond together and is hard to mix, take it out of the bowland knead until it takes on the look and consistency of play dough. It might be hot when you take it out of the bowl, so be careful.

Don’t worry if you have no cream of tartar – it simply makes the play dough more elastic. This recipe will still work without cream of tartar.

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My next project with the big kids at Kindy is to do up a poster on how to make play dough. It’s been a while already *tsk tsk* I’m such a slacker πŸ˜›

xx

On the Menu :: Upside-Down Berry Cake

With A’s parents out of town, we figured it’d be a great opportunity for us to get some friends together for a BBQ. We thought the BBQ would keep us all nice and toasty but it got soooo cold, us girls had to run into the house for some warmth! Note to self – we need an outdoor gas heater in the new house!

The best part of organising a get-together – planning the menu! I always have aspirations of being the hostest with the mostest and like to make sure that food-wise, my guests get a bit of everything… From the savoury to the sweet. This also gave me the chance to get some baking in, something I haven’t done in FOREVER because I started work. I outdid myself and baked TWO desserts in one night πŸ˜› This actually resulted in a slightly under-baked Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownie which I’d like to think simply landed itself in the “ooey gooey full of chocolatey goodness” category of baked goods πŸ˜€

The second dessert – an Upside-Down Berry Cake – was one I’d never ever baked before AND with a little less sugar and butter than originally called for in the recipe, only because I wanted to use up all of those two ingredients that I had left. I figured a little less here and there shouldn’t hurt too much. That said, I would never ever try this when baking a chiffon cake!

The result? A tea cake that everyone RAVED about and enjoyed so much that they had to pack some to take home. Annnd it’s a HOME RUN! πŸ˜€ I’ll definitely bake this cake again but with the right quantity of sugar and butter, only because I want to see if the batter will look any different. My pre-baked batter was so sticky, I have NO IDEA if that’s how it’s meant to be… but it worked, I suppose! I served it up with some warm custard… mmmm, just what the doctor would’ve ordered for a chilly Autumn/Winter’s night I reckon πŸ™‚

The original recipe can be found here.

I think I might replace the mixed berries with cinnamon apples the next time around πŸ™‚

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On The Menu :: Soya Sauce Chicken

Growing up, Mum cooked dinner for us every night. There was always soup on the table (we’re very Cantonese like that :P), steamed fish, meat and veges. My favourite dish was probably her signature See Yau Gai, or Soya Sauce Chicken. Every time she asked what I wanted for dinner, I’d say “See Yau Gai!” I didn’t always get what I wanted coz that would have meant her having to cook that chook EVERY. DAY.

Now that it’s my turn to put dinner on the table, I am, as you know, always on the hunt for recipes, especially the good ol’ Asian ones πŸ˜€ I finally got around to asking Mum for her recipe and here it is:

Ingredients

1.2-1.5KG whole chicken (I use free-range)

2 tbs Chinese cooking wine

4-5 tbs thick dark soya sauce (This actually exists πŸ˜› I found it at the Asian grocers’)

4-5 tbs soya sauce

spring onion (just the white stalks), chopped into 1-inch pieces

4-5 heaping tbs white sugar

salt

pepper

Method

  1. Scrub the chicken clean with a lot of salt. Rinse salt off the chicken and pat dry.
  2. Rub a generous amount of salt and pepper all over the chicken and inside too.
  3. Stuff spring onion into the cavity of the chicken.
  4. Marinate chicken for 30 minutes or more in the dark soya sauce, soya sauce and Chinese cooking wine.
  5. When the chicken has been nicely marinated, heat a heavy-based pot over medium-high heat. Gently caramelise the sugar in the pot, stirring constantly.
  6. Once the sugar has turned a lovely golden brown colour, gently place the chicken, breast-side down, into the pot.
  7. Using tongs, move the chicken around the pot so that it’s nicely coated in the caramelised sugar. It’s IMPORTANT to move the chicken around to prevent it from sticking to the pot!
  8. Do the same for the flip-side of the chicken. Be careful when flipping the chicken over as the caramelised sugar will spit!
  9. When both sides of the chicken have been browned, pour in enough water to cover half the chicken. (My mum said half a cup but I didn’t measure that out because I didn’t think it’d be enough.)
  10. Bring water to a boil on high heat, before lowering fire to simmer the chicken.
  11. Simmer the chicken for about 30-40 minutes. When it’s cooked, use the tongs to take the chicken out of the pot and allow it to rest until it’s cool enough to be chopped up, dished out… and eaten!

Now kids, I’m not being preachy when I say you should always listen to Mum because there are dire consequences should you choose not to… For example, your chook ends up looking like this —

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All that beautiful skin – GONE! Torn off all because I decided to multi-task, instead of moving the chook around the pot… Just as Mummy had instructed 😦

A. should be on his way home from work right about now. His response when I emailed him the above 2 pictures was “Scrap the skin off the bottom of the pot.” Erm. OK.

It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday and if you’re looking to whip up a treat for Mum, impress her with this Soya Sauce Chicken πŸ™‚ And let her know this recipe’s been passed down through the generations!Β Happy Mother’s Day, Mummy! Vous me manquez… Bisous xx

If You Are The One [ιžθ―šε‹Ώζ‰°]

Trust the Chinese to produce a dating show that is controversial and yet, so very very riveting and entertaining! Ever since A. and I came across one episode of “If You Are The One [ιžθ―šε‹Ώζ‰°]” on SBS, we have been HOOKED! Watching is believing, so knock yourselves out! πŸ˜€

Sometimes, A. and I cringe when we lay eyes on the boys. And at other times, we’re egging on the girls to “leave their light on” for those less cringe-worthy. How emotionally invested in this show are we?! πŸ˜› Mind you, it airs on SBS every Friday night. I’m sure most people have somewhere better to be and have something better to do. But nooo, not us. We’re sitting in front of the telly watching a Chinese dating show.

I love being married πŸ˜€

* * * * * * * * * *

Most nights, A. and I have our dinner in front of the telly. It’s my fault really – I grew up in front of the box and as much as I know it’s a very VERY bad habit that I should kick, A. has somehow indulged me from the start, so I’ve never had a reason to stop. Maybe when we have kids?

Dinner tonight was super simple because I feel the beginnings of a cold coming on and so, I just wanted to keep prep/mess etc to a minimum. I fried up some Porterhouse steaks – Heston-style*, no less – whipped up a Steak Diane sauce and prepared sides of stir-fried mushrooms and potato gratin.

I’m knew A. was loving dinner when he said “MMMMMM” to me TWICE as we ate. He proceeded to DRINK the Steak Diane sauce from the saucepan.

I have no pictures tonight – just a couple of empty plates and very happy bellehs.

*I think I’ve preeetty much got it pat down when it comes to the perfect steak because even though A. always says his steak could do with more salt, he’d compare steaks we have elsewhere to those I cook at home πŸ˜€ If you don’t want to use a thermometer to check for doneness, I usually take the steaks off the pan at about the 2-3 minute mark for medium rare-medium and after about 5 minutes for a well-done steak. I also use a regular non-stick fry pan over the biggest/strongest gas hob on my stove.

On the Menu :: Poulet Cocotte Grandmere + Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Early on in the week, I’d planned to make a chicken casserole for dinner tonight but didn’t think about adding on any sides. Just as I was about to step out of the house today, it hit me that chicken casserole alone would probably not be enough for A. Because he’s a growing boy like that – he needs to eat lots to grow big muscles πŸ˜› That said, he’s not particularly fond of vegies of any kind and would most happily settle for a table full of meat dishes. So to get him to eat his vegies, I have to either deep-fry it or in tonight’s case, add lots of cheese to yummify it πŸ˜€

And because I haven’t baked in a while, I made our favourite Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies, recipe courtesy of Lorraine Pascale. So for dinner tonight, we had: Poulet Cocotte Grandmere // Three-Cheese Cauliflower Bake // Homemade Meatballs (leftovers from dinner the night before) // Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies

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β€œAΒ good cookΒ is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.” ~Β Elsa Schiaparelli

One day, I’ll be that good cook πŸ™‚ Bon appetit mes amis! Bisous xx