Friday, December 12, 2014

Onion Omelette

Years ago, when I was overseas for a course, this simple, humble dish brought me straight home - onion omelette.  This gave me the taste of home while I was thousands of kilometres away, it reminded me of Mum cooking in the kitchen each day, making sure we kids had the best food ever...

Onion Omelette

Eggs, beated
Red onions, sliced
Cooking oil

  1. Heat up a little cooking oil in a pan, then add onions and fry until slightly translucent and fragrant.
  2. Pour cooked onions into beaten egg and mix well.
  3. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook for a while, flip over and cook a little while more and the omelette is ready to be served!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Honey Cinnamon Popcorn

Honey Cinnamon Popcorn
I love sweet popcorn!  Whenever I go to the movies, it has to be SWEET popcorn, not the salty ones.  This is a really quick snack which is really fun for kids, and they get to eat it too :)

To make the popcorn, I heated up some oil in a pot, then added about 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels.  How do you know when the oil is hot enough? Try adding 1 or 2 kernels to test first before adding the whole load in.  Remember to cover the pot with a lid, leaving a tiny gap for hot air to escape.  In a few minutes, you should have a whole pot of freshly popped popcorn!

For something a little special, melt a little butter in a pan, add honey and a little cinnamon powder and mix well.  Spread popcorn on an aluminium foil lined tray, pour honey sauce over the popcorn and mix well.  Spread the popcorn into a single layer and bake for a few minutes in the oven at about 180 degrees Celsius.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I Love My Family

I love my family
This is a picture of love by Big One.... a picture which has all family members smiling, butterfly fluttering.  I love my family!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Turmeric Chicken Drumlets

Want something easy to cook yet unique enough for the guests to talk about over dinner?  Try these exotic Tumeric Chicken Drumlets!

Tumeric Chicken Drumlets
Chicken drumlets
Turmeric powder, a dash or two
Light soya sauce
Black pepper

  1. Marinate chicken drumlets with turmeric powder (not too much or it'll end up bitter!), light soya sauce and some black pepper for at least 30 minutes.  I like to marinate the chicken for a few hours or even overnight.
  2. Bake them in the oven at 160°C for about 45 minutes (or until cooked), turning them every 15 minutes or so.
  3. Serve immediately!  Now wasn't that easy? ;)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Healthy Seafood Soup

There's something warm and fuzzy about drinking a warm bowl of soup when it's cold and rainy, or when you are feeling under the weather.  All it takes is some boiling over the stove and you can practically dump in anything that you like.  For today, I have Seafood Soup!

Healthy Seafood Soup
Garlic, a few cloves
Chicken bones
Carrots, cut into 1-inch long wedges
Tomato, cut into wedges
Fish, sliced (I used Mackerel here)
Prawns, shelled and cleaned
Lettuce, a bunch of leaves washed
Light soya sauce
White pepper

  1. For the soup, bring a pot of water to a boil and add in the garlic, chicken bones, and carrots.  Scoop out scum as necessary.  Remember to lower the fire once it gets to a furious boil at the start.  I like to boil my soup base for about 20-30 mins.
  2. While boiling the soup base, prepare all other ingredients.
  3. When soup base is ready, remove chicken bones and garlic.
  4. Turn the fire up and add in tomato, fish and prawns and boil until fish and prawn are just cooked.
  5. Throw in lettuce and give a quick stir.  Add light soya sauce and a dash of white pepper to taste.  The healthy seafood soup is now ready to be served!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)

When I read about Robbin Williams' death, I went numb for a little while.  "Suicide", "depression", "drug and alcohol addiction", words and phrases that kept jumping out at my on news feed.  Sometimes it doesn't matter how someone died, just let them leave this world in peace.  Yes, he is a celebrity, a public figure, but everyone deserves dignity in death.  Let us remember him for the things that he has done and achieved in the decades that he was alive, not the minutes that led to the end.

Robbin Williams was one of the actors that I loved to watch when I was younger.  I think it's a gift that he was able to use his voice, his facial expressions, his body language, to convey whatever message was required of the character he was playing.

Of all his roles, I recall having watched Dead Poets' Society, Good Morning Vietnam, Good Will Hunting and Aladdin.  But the most memorable movie was Patch Adams.  I remember rushing to the cinema alone to catch the movie as it was nearing the end of its run.  I remember crying at the touching scenes as I sat there with strangers in the dark room.  That was Robbin Williams - the guy with the ability to make you feel for him.

Rest in peace, Robbin Williams.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kid 1 Vs Kid 2 Series [1] - Discovery

Ever since I was pregnant with Little One, I've been thinking of blogging about the differences between Kid 1 and Kid 2 for the different stages.  Little One is almost 2 now and I've yet to write anything on this topic..... Gosh!  So here's the first in the series of comparing what it was like having Kid 1 vs Kid 2 - Discovery.

It all started with a positive reading on a pregnancy test kit..... oh, the excitement we felt!  After all the rejoicing, now what should we do??  We had no contacts for gynaecologists and we had a holiday planned for just a few days later!  Hubs had to contact friends who have had kids to ask about their gynaecologists and within hours of deciding which one to choose, we had an appointment booked for that day itself.  Finally, we decided to be super safe and not fly, thus cancelling our holiday to Taiwan which we had been planning for for months....

With Kid 2, there was the usual initial excitement but what happened after was way less dramatic.  Dug out gynaecologist's number, made an appointment for a few days away and was greeted by our smiling doctor asking how Kid 1 was doing.  Familiar clinic, familiar doctor, familiar nurses, familiar procedures..... things are way less scary when you know exactly what to expect.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pumpkin Rice

Pumpkin Rice

One-dish meals are busy Mums' (or any other busy person's) best friends.  Pumpkin rice is one such meal.  I love this dish for a number of reasons:

  1. It's healthy and nutritious
  2. It is easy to prepare
  3. It can be cooked ahead of time and kept warm till it's time to eat
  4. Ingredients can be easily substituted with anything you have in the fridge
Without further ado, let's proceed to the recipe:

Uncooked rice, washed and placed in water as per rice cooker's instructions
Lean pork, cut into strips
Pumpkin, washed and cut into cubes leaving skin on
Dried mushroom, soaked and rehydrated, stem removed and sliced
Garlic, chopped
Onion, diced
Cooking oil
Dark soy sauce
Black pepper
White pepper

  1. Start cooking rice in a rice cooker
  2. Wash and/or prepare all other ingredients
  3. Season the pork with some dark soy sauce and black pepper
  4. Heat up frying pan and add a little cooking oil.  Add garlic and onions and fry until fragrant.
  5. Squeeze water out of prepared mushrooms and add to the frying pan.
  6. Add seasoned pork, then pumpkin to the frying pan.  Add a little water and cook for a few minutes.
  7. Add dark soy sauce to the pan with a little water and mix.  Turn off the fire.
  8. Once the water in the rice cooker has started to boil, add all of the frying pan's contents into the rice cooker and give it a good mix.
  9. Now, wait for the rice cooker to inform you when it's done.
  10. Serve with a little white pepper.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Morning Walk Series [6]

I've never really liked eating eggplant (or brinjal or aubergine). When cooked, they have that dirty purple look and it looks all mushy.... Eeeeeee....  But I saw these cute little eggplants on one of my morning walks and couldn't help but take a pic :)

Common name: Eggplant or brinjal or aubergine
Binomial name: Solanum melongena L.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Star of World Cup 2014

Japanese soccer fans clean up after match

I'm sure photographs of Japanese soccer fans at the World Cup have been spread far and wide through the internet.  As seen from the photograph above, the stadium stands are free of litter!  While fans from some countries create trouble when their team loses a match, the Japanese went about cleaning up after themselves even after their team lost.

While humanity 'progresses', I can't help but wonder why cleaning up after yourself (which I think is basic courtesy) is now so rare in 'civilised countries' that the Japanese made headlines for what they did...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Simple Salad

Simple Salad

There are times where I just want something simple, something easy to throw together.  This salad couldn't be any easier.  Grab a head of butterhead lettuce, pluck out the stalk, and wash the leaves together with some yellow cherry tomatoes.  Toss them into a bowl and drizzle a little salad dressing of your choice.  What can be easier than that?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Garlic Bread

What's better than baking your own bread?  It's making your own garlic bread!  When I was a kid, we used garlic spread from the bottle and that was the only way I knew how to make garlic bread.  Actually, it's really simple..... all you need is: bread, butter and garlic!

Mince up some garlic and give it a good mix with some butter.  Spread this mixture on some bread and toast it.  That's it!

Garlic Bread

Friday, May 9, 2014

Vegetable/Fruit Bread

One big difference when using a slow juicer as compared to a blender, was the separation of fibre from the juice.  Here's the by-product of juicing:

Vegetable and fruit fibre
 Instead of throwing the fibre away, I added them to my bread.  Ta-daa!  A plain loaf of bread becomes a carrot-celery-apple bread!

Vegetable/Fruit bread

Friday, May 2, 2014

Slow Juicer

Slow juicer

A what juicer, you say??  Exactly what I was thinking when I first heard about the slow juicer...  all my life, I have been making smoothies/juices using a blender.  But, apparently the slow juicer is supposed to retain more nutrients in your juices as it doesn't make use of a high speed blade, which in turn creates heat.  Going through a vegetables and fruit juice phase, we bit the bullet and got ourselves a slow juicer (these are not cheap!).

And to test it out, here's a simple combination of carrots, apples and celery:

Apples, carrots, celery
The end product was a thicker, more condensed version as compared to the blender version (needed water to enable the blender to work).  Yummy!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

First Loaf of Bread Machine Bread

First loaf of bread from the bread machine
This is THE first loaf of bread that came out of our first ever bread machine.  Using the basic recipe that came together with the machine, it takes just minutes to throw in all the ingredients into the bread machine.  In about 3h, the bread is done!  Ah.... the wonders of technology.  I love my gadgets!!!

Psst.... try making some kaya (coconut egg jam) or peanut butter to go with your bread!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Oh My Socks!

Socks, socks and more socks!

Yes, many Singapore apartments don't have much space for hanging laundry.  No, you shouldn't dry them at a public garden!  There were at least 20 pairs of socks drying on a bench at a nearby garden.  Hmmmm.... does this family have so many family members, or do they wash their socks all at one go?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Big One's Dinosaurs

Not so long ago, I remember my dinosaur crazy Big One pestering me to draw dinosaurs for him.  From T-Rex to Stegosaurus to Triceratops..... I just kept drawing for him, almost on a daily basis.  Suddenly, he drew these all on his own.


These don't quite look like mine, so somehow he managed to find his own style.  Pretty cute, don't you think?  Mummy's very proud :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Morning Walk Series [5]

Casually strolling one fine morning with Little One again, and we came across what looked like a patch of dead, brown leaves on the ground:

Dead leaves?
Upon closer examination, those "dead leaves" were actually a cluster of fungus!

In our daily rush, don't forget to look around you.  You don't know what you're missing.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Trying New Things as an Adult

Everyone knows that it's much easier to pick up a new skill when you are young.  Kids seem to have less fear and others are less likely to judge them when they make mistakes or fail.  It's part of learning, part of growing up.  What happens when an adult wants to pick up a new skill?

Big One happened to see someone inline skating and decided that he wanted to learn how to.  At his first lesson, he was already armed with brand new inline skates, full protective gear, and a helmet of his choice; quite costly start-up gear I must say.  Fortunately, it wasn't just a phase.  Somehow, he wanted to get better so much that we found ourselves going to the multi-purpose area a few times a day during the weekends so that he could practice.  For a kid who's not even 6, I have to say that his determination impressed me!

Seeing that he was still very young, and also because I didn't know how to inline skate, I took the chance to take lessons together with Big One -- (1) I get to keep an eye on him, and (2) I get to learn how to inline skate.  It was tough..... for me that is.  Big One?  He was a real trooper, falling and getting up and falling and getting up. He never stopped trying.

Physically, it was not easy to pick up the skills, and I was really really fearful of falling. "What if I hurt myself badly?  Who will look after my kids then?", "What if I fall on some kid and hurt them?", "What if I bang into someone because I can't stop?".  With each fall, I just got more fearful.  As I got more fearful, I got even slower....

Mentally, it was worse.... There I was waddling around like a drunken duck, while kids half my age, no wait, a quarter my age, were zipping around like nobody's business.  I think I looked like a complete idiot, but I bit my lip and continued.... I wanted Big One to learn that sometimes you just have to ignore what other people think, and do what you have to do.  I held on.... until one fine day....

Big One had moved on to more advanced skills.  I was starting to enjoy being able to do new things, though less complex than what Big One was doing.  "Big One, do you think Mummy's inline skating has improved?", I asked.  Silence.... "I can now go down the slope without falling, and can do parallel turns. Don't you think I've improved?", I continued.  He looked at me and quietly shook his head.  "No improvement? Why?", asked a very puzzled me.  "Because you are still very slow...", he said.  Feeling quite sad by now, I went, "It's not nice to laugh at people who are not as good as you are, you know".  "I didn't!", he answered instantly.  "Did the other kids laugh at Mummy for being slow?", I asked.  Big One kept very quiet.....

My heart sank....  other than looking like a total idiot myself, God knows what Big One has been hearing what the other kids have been saying about me.  Ever since I decided to learn inline skating, I knew I had to put my ego aside.  But this really hurt.... whatever little confidence that I was so slowly building just crumbled...

I only have 1 more lesson to go this month.  Honestly, I don't know if I can continue....

Saturday, March 15, 2014


It doesn't take expensive toys to make kids happy.  Kids are happy with the simplest things in life - running around aimlessly with baby brother, building sand castles, splashing in the swimming pool...  There's one very simple and rather cheap activity that never fails to entertain little ones.... BUBBLES!  Why not forget that you're an adult for an hour and just blow bubbles, chase after them and watch them float up into the sky.... Simple joys...

Bubble solution

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Homemade Peanut Butter

When it comes to spread for my bread, I find myself sticking to a few favourites: Nutella, peanut butter and Kaya (coconut egg jam).  These spreads win hands down when compared to fruit jams for me.  Having found a way to make Kaya the easy way, I was ready to try something new -- Peanut butter!  I always thought that there was butter in peanut butter.  Isn't that why it's so creamy?  It was after the usual Googling that I realised that all you needed to make peanut butter, was peanuts!  That's all!

Thus began my little experiment...

First, I "toasted" the peanuts in a frying pan without any oil
'Toasting' peanuts in a frying pan

Then came the worst part of my experiment..... I had to remove all the skin from the peanuts!  I was literally kicking myself for not buying peanuts which had the skin removed.  Anyway, when I finally removed all the skin from the peanuts, I chucked them into my blender.  Many websites mention that a food processor should be used, NOT a blender because it might overheat.  I didn't have a food processor, so my Bosch cake mixer cum blender was the only option.  I did stop often to let my blender rest though.

Place peanuts in a blender or food processor

As I blended the peanuts, it went through different stages before eventually getting to the peanut butter stage.  Amazingly, it became creamy peanut butter without any liquids added!
Different stages of blended peanuts

Verdict?  I liked it!!  It was not as sweet or as oily as store bought peanut butter and had a very natural taste.  Maybe next time I'll experiment with different nuts or add some honey :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Morning Walk Series [4]

While I've been eating ladies' fingers since young and later cooked them myself, can you believe that I've never actually seen the plant until last year??  Well, here it is for all city folk like myself :p

Common name: Okra or ladies' fingers
Binomial name: Abelmoschus esculentus

Ladies' fingers flower and fruit

Ladies' fingers leaf

Does the leaf look familiar?  That's because we've seen it here!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ladies' Fingers

Ladies' fingers
I remember when I was young, my Mum used to cook ladies' fingers with chili.... YUMMY!  When I cook ladies' fingers, the only other ingredient I need is garlic.  Firstly, my kitchen/pantry is not as well stocked as my Mum's and I do not have all the spices needed for the fragrant chili concoction.  Secondly, my cooking skills are not as good as my Mum's.  So here's a really quick and easy ladies' fingers dish when you are in a hurry:

ladies' fingers, washed and cut into slices on the diagonal
garlic, minced
cooking oil
light soya sauce

  1. Heat a little oil in frying pan or wok
  2. Fry minced garlic until fragrant (not burnt!)
  3. Add ladies' fingers and stir-fry for a few minutes (add a little water to speed up the cooking)
  4. Season with light soya sauce and serve hot!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Morning Walk Series [3]

While I was out walking with Little One, look who else brought their kid out for a walk too!

Grasshoppers out for a walk

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Months at Home

It's been many months since I started a new stage in life.  Now that I'm back to work, here's a recap on what it was like the past few months, being home alone with the Little One.

I've been working ever since I graduated from university.  Every month, I would see my pay being deposited into my bank account.  With zero income for the past few months, even the small little expenses worried me.... Just the basics of buying meals, paying telephone bills, paying for public transport etc.... each item costs very little, but when you add them up, the dollars become tens of dollars, which easily become hundreds of dollars.

When I got a much needed break away from Little One and met friends for tea, I couldn't help but think how expensive a cuppa and cake from Starbucks was, or how much a more extravagant lunch was going to set me back.

'Work' vs Satisfaction
Financial issues aside, 'work' at home is very different from working at the office.  At home, absolutely EVERYTHING revolved around the Little One.  My meals, housework and rest times (if any!) depended TOTALLY on Little One's schedule.  If Little One slept well, I would be able to do all work AND get some rest.  On other days, Little One could be cranky and want attention all the time.  It's days like these where I'd be surviving on biscuits and such, look like I walked through a tornado, and have to call for backup -- Daddy has to buy back dinner for us adults.

In real life, I believe that all Stay-at-home-mums (SAHMs) have good days and bad.  It's the love for these little bundles of joy that give us the energy to continue day after day, no matter how hard things get.  The satisfaction I got when the Little One started giving me megawatt smiles, or super wet kisses.... awwww...... I just melted.......

Pursuing Interests
At certain times in life, we sometimes get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we forget what we are actually doing.  We rush to get the kids ready for school, we rush to work each day, we rush home, we rush to get the kids ready for bed, and tomorrow we start all over again...

When I was home alone with Big One years ago, I was unhappy.... I think I was so caught up in what baby needed that I forgot what I needed.  With Little One, I made a conscious effort to keep some time to pursue my own interests, to keep a little bit of me intact.  Thus, I started working on an online store called Angelhearts Crafts. This was my outlet... there was something about setting goals and concentrating on meeting them.... it took my mind away to a separate world.  This project didn't quite take off as I hoped it would, but I had fun creating stuff for the store the past few months