Monday, December 26, 2011

My Special Day 2011

It’s time of the year again, in December, not only Christmas but also my birthday (on 27th); and the annual eating-outing to celebrate that is the thing I wanted to do most every year with my family.





This year hubby has given me two birthday pressies, again. I never expected he had bought me a smart phone as my current one can still be used (but he said we cannot afford an iPhone, so I have to make do with this Android set).



The second gift is a sling bag; it will convenient for me to store my personal belonging when outing. Prior to this, I always “tumpang” hubby’s backpack.



But the real kicker is at the dinner in TGIF. While we were eating, I saw a lady holding a bouquet on her hands; I did not sense a thing until she walked towards our table and my husband nodded his head to signal that I am the one.

Oh dear, the flowers is for me! This is surreal and I was in total shocked. His very first bouquet to me… (He must have done something bad lately, uh?)



I am deeply touched by the effort that he has put in on all these. Yes, I know, I am lucky, and I always count my blessing.


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Friday, December 23, 2011

Spelling Development

I’ve never guide Sarah in spelling. According to teachers, she will only learn Spelling, “Ejaan” and “Ting Xie” when she’s in year-five class. Therefore, I believe Sarah have zero idea about all these until she starts her school next term.

Few days ago, she surprised us by spelled out and writes the S-A-R-A-H all by herself; although she only remembered these five alphabets but it’s already enough to make us proud.



video

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bruises

I would consider Sarah an active kid; she run, jump and of course fall down sometimes. Her legs always have bruises and if they are too small, we will just leave it as it is.

This time, I think the blue-black mark is little too many over both her legs therefore I’ve used some lotion to massage on them; according to old folks this will quicken the healing. See, its colour have changed so much after a day.



The funniest part is Sarah enjoy the rubbing a lot. She prefers “hard one” rather than just gentle massage.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Muachi, Sesame Sponge Cake & Salad


Muachi

I love this dessert but hardly find it here in my area; that’s why I am just too happy to come across this muachi recipe from Ohbin.

It only involves few steps in making the glutinous rice and to have a flavourful muachi, the peanuts have to be pan-roasted. It took me 25 minutes but it worth the effort.

The peanuts indeed bring aroma to muachi. After few attempts this latest outcome was to my greatest satisfaction.

And here is the recipe in English:

Ingredients A:
250g glutinous rice flour
375ml water (I adjusted to 370ml)
3 tablespoons sugar

Ingredients B (mixed):
Pan-roasted peanuts and sesame seeds
Sugar

Instructions:
1. Mix well of ingredients A. (I find the mixture smoother if mixed using fingers).
2. Grease the steaming pan with some oil and steam the mixture for 45 minutes.
3. After 45 minutes, when it becomes a dough, stir it in the same direction until it become opaque. (I suggest using wooden chopstick for the stirring).
4. Leave to cool.
5. Cut the dough and rolled it in Ingredients B.





Steamed Sesame Sponge Cake
It’s easy to make and it just need very few ingredients. I like the sesame flavor in the cake. Give it a try, ladies, and hope you will like it, the “oil-free” cake.





Salad with Peanuts

My very first try serving salad with peanuts, and it taste superb! The shredded cucumber and carrots are so crunchy and the pan-roasted peanuts definitely add a kick to it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Barney Space Adventure Live Musical 2011

The last time Barney in Malaysia was 5-6 years ago; we were absolutely thrilled that he is back! Never mind Sarah’ interest towards Barney is on the wane we quickly grab the tickets nonetheless. We so want her to see the dinosaur “live” in front her very eyes before she completely outgrow them.



We were lucky; we have a very clear view from our seat. I could even hear the stomping sound from BJ’s feet, and Sarah was taken aback by our close proximity with the stage…



We can tell that she was enjoying the performance, and concentrated throughout the show. But there is only one problem – she forgotten to bring along her smile. Mommy was the one who sang out loud all the familiar songs instead.

Daddy double up as photographer, and here are ton of photos taken during the 90 minutes show.



















On the whole, the show was just awesome. The stage, the lighting, the cast, all the songs and dance…what a stu-u-u-u-pendous extravaganza! Come to think of it, these people are just amazing, they go all around the world and bring joy to children’s face.

And I leave you all with a classic of them all…”I love you”.

video

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Year in School

Parents-Teachers Day
Twice-a-year Parents-Teachers Day went well just before the holiday started; Sarah was less tense this time around.

In fact, teachers are quite pleased with her behavior at class; teacher said that she is an obedient girl. She has showed improvement in colouring but needs to brush up her writing skill.



Sarah’s Mandarin teacher commented that she still lack confident in writing and communicating in Mandarin. Hopefully she will learnt better in Year-Five Class.

Looking back, we can really feel the changes in Sarah since she attended school. At times I wonder how she grows up so much right under my nose.
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Holiday Class

We were concerned about the school holiday, frankly; we do not wish Sarah spent the entire holiday with boredom at home.

We thought about those a la carte Holiday Programs but in the end we opt for the holiday class provided by her school. Familiarity is important for her at this stage.

Sarah went to school as usual but came home with a little moody face the first day. I guess she just disappointed that the baking activities (which told by the management when we sign up) was not conducted that day.

But at least I knew that she has better time with her friends at school than with me at home.


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Must-Try Recipes

For me, these recipes are definitely a keeper! I adjusted the recipes a little bit and it still turned out rightly; I would truly recommend you all to try them out.

Steamed Chocolate Cake

Source: Baking Wonderland (from Facebook)

Ingredients A:
Butter - 180g
Sugar - 120g
Fresh Milk - 200ml
Vanilla Essence - Few drops

Ingredient B:
Egg 2 (whisk)

Ingredient C:
Self-Raising flour - 160g
Cocoa Powder - 30g
Baking Chocolate - 20g
Soda Bicarbonate - ½ teaspoon

Note: Substitution of self-raising flour: for 1 cup, use 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.

Instructions:
1) Double-boiled the ingredients A till it melted.
2) Remove from heat (and let it cool for few minutes) and mix it with ingredient B.
3) Add ingredient C. You may complete this step without using the electric mixer, but be sure the batter is well mixed until the smooth texture is formed.
4) Steamed at high heat for 30-45 minutes (for 6 x 6 inches square pan) or until the skewer came out cleanly.

Outcome:

The cake is so spongy to eat; I tried it on several occasions and it never failed me. It is such a moist chocolate cake, everyone agreed!



Dried Shrimps Eggplant
Source: CookingCrave.blogspot

Ingredients:
1 egg plant - medium size (cut into thin slices)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 1/2 tbsp dried shrimps - rinse with water
3 cloves garlic - chopped
3-4 chili padi (sliced)
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce (or to taste)
2-3 tbsp water
pinch of sugar (optional)

Instructions:
1) Heat up the non-stick pan without oil.
2) Place the sliced egg plant in the heated pan, cover with lid and cook for 2-3 minutes in low heat until its bottom part turn brown. Be careful not to burn the egg plant.
3) Flip the egg plant slices, it should be slightly soften now and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
When both side of the egg plant turn brown, remove from the pan and set aside.

Note: Make sure the egg plants are soft before proceed to the next steps of the recipe.

4) Now the egg plants are ready to stir fried with other ingredients
5) Heat the pan with a tablespoon of cooking oil and brown the garlic in medium heat.
6) Add in dried shrimp and chili padi, stir and cook for 1 minute.
7) Add in fish sauce, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Immediately stir in the eggplant slices, cook for about 30-45 second.
8) Add in water and stir until water dries up.
9) Serve warm with rice.

Outcome:

The eggplant is cooked with less oil and is healthier. The aroma and its flavors will make you crave for more rice than you usually do.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Arcade

Arcade games and kid rides has become a favorite pass-time for Sarah to do. During weekends, after groceries shopping at the neighborhood hypermarket she will never missed the chance to visit her “haunt”.

Basically, Sarah loves her drum game the most! That’s the game she learnt when first visited arcade. Of course, she also attracted with other stuffs but we only allowed her to spend a buck or two each time; therefore, she had to make do with only taken some photos with them.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Confuse with…

Animals
I don’t know about your kids but Sarah is easily confused between these two animals - lion and tiger.

Daddy has hard time telling her the obvious difference, one has stripes and the other doesn’t; yet she still says “Tiger” when she saw a lion or vice versa.

I think she got it from me. It was funny to know even her mommy also has the similar confusion. But after some “re-education” by hubby, now I no longer mixed up the tiger with female lion.


Numbers
13, 14, 16, 17… That’s how Sarah recites her numbers. She started good from one up to 14, but later she will skip 15.

When told to read out the 15, she was puzzled; she will then said 13, 14, 15, 17…

I think her mind has way to play tricks with her somehow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steamed Sponge Cake

My dread feeling strike every time when I failed to control the oven temperature; it is such a disappointing moment seeing the cake turned dark that deterred me from frequent baking.

Therefore, I now prefer the simpler method - steaming. My two attempts with the recipe turned out quite satisfactorily…but maybe because I did not use cake flour, the texture was not that spongy. I would say it is like “Ma Lai Gao”.



Me and my family love it, and thank my friend Chui Lee for the recipe.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fourth Birthday

Sarah just passed her 4th birthday and we’re not having any “grand plan” for that; we just keep it very simple with immediate family members by having a gathering at our house. I served spaghetti, KFC, red eggs, salad, birthday cake and a DIY chocolate fondue - It was the main attraction of the day.

Sarah laughed, played and spent time with the people who truly adore her.







On the exact birthday just happened we drove pass SJMC, as always Sarah point to the building and says “I born here-one-loh”.

Yes, dear, exactly four years ago, on that blessed day, something beautiful is happening.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Toy Stories

Microphone
Sarah always recalled she has good time sang song in the bus during her school trip; and it is fun to watch every time she belt out her favourite rhymes at home.

Therefore, we’ve bought a Toy Microphone for Sarah. It is so happened that Toys "R" Us was on sale so we just grab one without the guilt.



And now, ladies and gentlemen, let the show begin…

video


Monopoly
For nostalgic reason, I like to share with Sarah about the childhood games and toys of my generation.
Recently I’ve bought a set of Monopoly (or “Millionaire”, in Hong Kong version, during our time). Sarah is definitely too young to understand this “toy”; she lost her patience fast, and she was more interested in “looting” the bank when she found out she has lesser cash.



Sarah has started to get bored with the new toys now, but I just can’t forget the laughter and the joy it bring when we all playing together.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Introducing…Bus, and Train

Boat Riding was a new experience for Sarah; but she did not enjoy that as much as these two.

First School Excursion

The destination was Ostrich Wonderland at Semenyih; and the main and most important reason that attracted her was the one-hour bus riding.

Sarah insisted daddy and mommy not to join the trip (anyway, her school does not allow so). We believe she would enjoy the excursion much better without our presence; she was quite independent when comes to her school activities.

On that morning, we just dropped her off with teachers and then we left. We even did not stayed for a glimpse when she boarding the bus.

Anyway, is always nice to know that Sarah has grown up so much from the trip. She told us that she enjoyed singing in the bus (as a reward, the bus driver gave her little pressie). She also joined activities like poney riding, rabbit feeding and etc at the farm.


Too bad we don’t have Sarah’s excursion pictures, as all the pictures were “exclusively” owned by the school. We were told we can only purchase them at the end of the year.
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Train Ride
It is always in our “list” to bring Sarah to ride the train. It was a joy ride on LRT.



Sarah seldom been so energetic in the morning. She walked a lot at the KLCC shopping centre without complaining of tiredness; she loves spending time in the toy shops.

We guess Sarah was in a good mood. She played photographer and even took a photo of us!



It was a great exposure for her and we all went home with a smile on our face.






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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I met with Syida

Two weeks after the posting about Syida, finally I was able to pay her a visit last Sunday together with another ex-colleague.



We go with a heavy heart. Our first impression seeing Syida after seven long years was, she doesn't look like she's in pain; she greeted us with warm and great smile. Syida is such a fighter!

From our two-hour conversation, we got to know her current condition is not so favourable. She can sense the tumor is growing, because it started to affects her writing ability; if without persistent self-help exercising, the complication towards her daily life will be much greater.

So far, the fund accumulated is still way too low to achieve her wish to perform the surgery in US…

Sometimes we are at a loss as to what part we might play in our friend life when they are sick, especially when the sickness goes on for a longer period of time than just the flu.

I only hope my tiny efforts and few simple words of encouragement do help her to get past the bad time.

After hearing so much of her stories, it makes me realized how lucky and blessed I am.

P/S: If you wish to help Syida in any ways, please click here; my heartfelt appreciation for the kindness you have shown Syida.


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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Most Beautiful Song

I have kept the video of Sarah singing “A-Z Song” for some time now; she knew the song but just can't recite the alphabet accurately. I was giggling when recording her singing.

video


After half a year of practice at kindergarten, here is the result…

video
Improving?


And recently, she's learnt a heart-melting Mandarin song from her teacher. This is Sarah very first Mandarin solo in the blog.

video

To be honest, I can't really phrase out the lyrics but it is the sweetest song I've ever heard.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Introducing…boat

There was one thing we promised Sarah on holiday but couldn’t make it – boat cruising; and I’ve seen from Kathy’s blog about such activity at Putrajaya, therefore, we brought her there to enjoy the boating experience for the first time.



The weather was rather sunny (still late-evening), so we thought it is better to go for the air-conditioned cruise boat. Too bad, the next ride will be 90 minutes away…don’t wanting to wait, we settle for the Dondang Sayang Perahu.



It is not a bad option either. The Perahu has lesser passenger capacity, and it is just nice for a small family like us. We got a friendly boatman to explain the surrounding landmark while we cruise.

Actually we saw not much enjoyment from Sarah’s face. She was a bit blur yet maybe it’s the heat; at times, we were hit direct by the sunset’s light.





The happiest thing for her was the moment we all reached the shore; she just can’t wait to get her hand on a Dora toy which she spots earlier from the nearby stall.


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Thursday, July 14, 2011

She is my friend, her name is Syahidah Ishak

Dear all, allow me to tell you a story about my friend, her name is Syahidah Ishak.

She is my ex-colleague, we fondly called her Syida. To me, I will always be thankful to her for the guidance in teaching me when I’m still a rookie in the company. She is such a kind soul.

Syida was diagnosed with Acoustic Neuroma last year, a rare brain tumor. Although the tumor is non-cancerous but with the delaying of the surgery it has started causing all sorts of major obstacles and consequences in her daily life.

She lost the hearing in her right ear and was in semi facial paralysis. The tumor effects her balancing and she’s experiencing swallowing difficulty; food and water will get stuck in her throat, hence causing breathing problem.

She was in constant tinnitus and now she has difficulty in closing her right eye and has to cover it with a patch. Knowing her conditions just pains me.

Syida underwent a not-so-successful surgery at HUKM once, and it drains her. Then Syida met a fellow patient Yvonne Foong (an author of “I’m not sick, just a bit unwell”, Yvonne’s story was well-published in the media in the past); and Yvonne has recommends her Dr. Rick Friedman, an American surgeon.

Syida is at her wit end, her aging parent are both pensioners and couldn’t do much. She tried to hide from them initially but they found out nevertheless.

So she’s now tried to raise fund by selling some items online like magnet, T-shirt and umbrella. Judging from the amount she need to raise, she has a mountain to climb; but she’s a fighter, just like Yvonne, she hope to give her life a second chance by having a successful operation by Dr. Friedman in the U.S. by September/October.

This is heartbreaking. I can’t explain why bad things do happen to good people, and I’ve never made a public appeal before. Then again, I’ve never had a friend in such dire need like her.

Her story was published on Malay Mail recently. I really feel sorry for her. I do contribute little monetary wise and feel that I should do more. I will try my level best to get help and support for her, in any form.

So if you have time, do drop Syida a well wishes at her Facebook or Blog. If you want to support her with buying some items, you are most welcomed. If you want to make some contribution, that will be wonderful (no amount is too small). And if you know any other way to help to raise greater fund, please let Syida know.


She is my friend. Her name is Syahidah Ishak.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My New Trying

Roti Canai
I stumble upon this frozen “Roti Canai” while groceries shopping recently; it tastes almost the same like what we have from the “mamak” stall. I like it as it’s convenient, inexpensive yet only require tiny bit of oil to pan-fried the dough.

I just had two pieces of it for my breakfast and it match right with sugar.




Seafood Pumpkin Soup and Chicken with Pumpkin in Ketchup

This is first time I incorporate pumpkin into my cooking…and the foods turned out satisfactorily. I think it is also a great way to encourage Sarah to eat more pumpkin by adding them into daily dishes.





Picture courtesy of The Lifestyle Cuisine Magazine and Cookbooks


Barley with Pumpkin and Sago dessert

I must give credit to myself on this one (ahem). I have no cook book but just try to imitate what I’ve ordered from a nearby restaurant; the outcome is fabulous! Everyone gave thumbs up for it.

This is a very simple and yummy dessert; you may as well give a try.




Red Bean Soup
I had my first attempt in cooking this simple folk’s dessert; it turned out just nice for my liking. And I should have do it more often as it said to has the benefit of lower the water-retention in our body.