August 30, 2007

Tumeric Fried Chicken

Tumeric Fried Chicken I found this recipe from Lilian Chan's site. Its very simple and easy to make. My kids just love it and I attempted this yesterday and found it too salty. We cooked it again today with lesser salt and it turned out perfect. My Gilly has requested it for tomorrow and I think 3 days of Tumeric Fried Chicken is way too often.

This is the recipe with some adjustment to the salt.

6 pieces chicken (preferably thighs)
2 tablespoon tumeric powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 tablespoon fennel powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Method: Season chicken and leave overnight in the fridge. (I use a Ziploc bag and shake it to mix them well)

FRYING METHOD: If you have spices like fennel, cumin, cardamon etc, put some in to flavor the oil. Otherwise, just forget it. Heat oil and fry chicken until cooked. Tips: Heat oil till bubbling, add chicken to sear for a while. Lower heat and slowly fry for about 30 minutes. Take chicken out of the oil. Heat oil again by turning up fire. When bubbling, add chicken again. This will ensure that chicken pieces aren’t clogged with oil. Remove and soak up oil with paper towel.

Note: I used my deep fryer and started off with 360ºF then lowered it to 300ºF for 30 min and finally raised it back to 300ºF for the final frying as instructed above.

Do try this recipe. Its very easy.
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Finally Food and its Curry Maifun

My intro to food... Curry Maifun

Finally here it comes, some of you must be wondering when I'm gonna start blogging on food. From my size, you know I love food and its one of my weakness. OK.. OK... I'm trying to shed some pounds. Seriously, sometimes I can be such a lazy cook. When I'm lazy and hungry, I'll just go look at photos of food on people's blog and oddly, I get some satisfaction.

Whenever I read some food blogs, I'm amazed at how disciplined the bloggers are at taking photos of almost each stage of cooking. By the time I finish my dinner, I realize I forgot to take photo of the food... hahaha... I finally did take photos of 2 dishes... and here it goes.

I love Hup Loong and my sister was nice to send me a few packets of Hup Loong Curry Maifun. As always it turned out delicious and it was easy to cook. You just need to add chicken, shrimp(prawns), bean sprouts. I added hard boil egg and long beans and somehow I forgot to add "Tau Pok".

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August 29, 2007

Day out with Thomas

Every year the "Day Out With Thomas" comes to Chicagoland for a 2 weekends. I made it a point this year to take Greg there as he is grow up and soon will grow out tired of Thomas. He loves Thomas the Tank Engine and has loved it for the past 2 1/2 years. This year, we decided to surprise him with this outing. He had no idea about this "Day out with Thomas".

On Saturday, I talked him into going to bed early and told him I have a nice surprise for you but you have to wake up at 6 am. 6am came and he didn't want to wake up. He crawled into my bed to snooze then when I told him to look at my camcorder, digital camera, cellphone and GPS is ready to go into my bag... he realized something special was happening.

He changed and got ready pretty quick. The trip was about 1 1/2 hours long as it was in Union Illinois. He slept on his way there and when he woke up, he heard the "toot" of a train. Only then did he realize he was looking at THOMAS.... he grin from ear to ear and there started his Magical Day.

Both the kids had their photo taken with Thomas and Greg was over the Moon. Gilly didn't have such a nice time as Greg as this was Thomas but she never once complained she was bored. She just went along with us even during the later part of the day when it was getting warmer and tiring. Later on that day, I gave her $20 and told her it was for her to spend as we did buy a Thomas alarm clock, table lamp, a pencil box and a wallet for Greg.

"Wow!! I see Steam... Thomas has steam coming out... I'm so excited... I get to ride on Thomas.... yeah...... " that was what went thru Greg's mind.

They had a about 8 cars and the cars were filled up very quickly. Its a 30 min ride and Greg had was so happy to sit in a Thomas Train. He even danced to the songs played during the train ride. This outing cost $16 per person (even for a kid) and we were lucky to have gotten tickets at the gate. I was suppose to order them online but forgot and decided to take my chance at the gate. I was just scared there wasn't anymore tickets and see Greg's dissapointed face. The $16 included the ride on Thomas. Its worth it when you see Greg beaming thinking this is all so real.

Greg got to take photos with Sir Topham Hatt and Gilly was nice to "help" accompany Greg as he was abit scared of approaching Sir Topham Hatt but the moment he stepped on the box, all his reservations flushed away.

That's all from our exciting Day out with Thomas.

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August 28, 2007

Mummy Can I Stay Home

Yesterday when I was looking through my 7 year old's school folder, I saw her homework, it was a project for Grandparents Day. She had to hand in a Quilt with photos of family member etc.. It was to be presented to the Grandparents on Grandparents Day. The school has this celebration where Grandparents are invited to their classroom for an hour.

Most of you know that my parents are in Malaysia which is 22 hours flight away. That means Gilly has not had her Grandparents around for that Day. Hubby's mom only speaks chinese and therefore its hard for her to participate for that Day. So while I was looking at the instructions to the quilt, she says "Mummy, for that day can I stay home. I don't want to go to school". My heart broke when I heard her say that. I told her its ok to go to school on that day and enjoy her day eventhough her grandparents can't be there. She could still make her quilt and show her friends photos of her grandparents.

I spoke to my gf, MJ about this and she suggested on letting Gilly wear a t-shirt with photos of her grandparents ironed on.. and that way she does have her grandparents there and later mail the quilt to her grandparents. I'm feeling less guilty now and will run to Michaels to get her a blank t-shirt.. shhh... please don't mention this to her.. it's going to be a nice surprise for her on Grandparents Day.
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August 24, 2007

Off To School

August 22nd came so fast, after 3 months of summer holidays, I looked forward to this day. I hope I don't sound like I want my kids out of the house. We have a very nice summer vacation sleeping in late and not having to rush for classes. It was just time for school to start, my two kutus (malaysian endearing term meaning lice) are getting too accustom to each other that they fight over anything. Gilly wasn't too happy she was going back to school but after her 1st half day of school, she came home all excited and telling me who was in her class. Some old and alot new. I always take a photo of her while waiting for her school bus and I've added these 3 photos to show how much she has grown.

2005 - 1st day of Kindergarten

2006- 1st day of 1st Grade

2007- 1st day of 2nd Grade

Yesterday was her 2nd day of school and what a start of school year. When it was time to go pick her up from the bus stop, it started pouring and the sirens were blaring crazy. I quickly checked the TV and it showed it was Tornado Warning. I was getting worried as I didn't know if my child will be OK. I finally called the school from the basement and they told me they are holding on to all the students until its safe. She came home 1 hour later and told me they were all sitting down along their classroom corridor away from the windows. I asked if she cried and as usual she said NO which I truly know she wouldn't. Lets hope this will be a repeat.

That's for all for now. Smile and live your life to the fullest.

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August 23, 2007

Opening a Can of Worms opps... Box of Worms

A month ago I received a bag of red worms. With all the excitement we made Daddy go to Lowes to buy containers and drilled holes in the same night. We got to place the worms in their new home and covered them with shredded newspaper. Viola !!!! All done !!! hahaha.. How wrong we were. You see, I was told to not feed the worms for a few days so that they could get used to the new soil. Therefore I didn't feed them. I know the seller mailed the worms on a Saturday and I received them on a Monday. That meant the worms didn't have vegetable food for 2 days. That night we switched off all the lights and went to bed.

The next morning when we woke up, we went to peek at the worm house and to our surprise there were worms on the floor. I screamed as I refuse to touch the worms and the kids got all happy as they had valid reason to touch the worms. We put them back and when Daddy called he told us he found worms on the floor too before he left for work. And there I started worrying that my house will be infested with runaway worms. 1 lb of worms = 600-1000 worms... and thats too many worms to have around the house......

That night after switching off all the lights, we went up to our bedrooms. I decided to go peek at the worm house and to my surprise I saw my worms trying to make their escape again. But because I had the lights on, they quickly retreated back into the pile of papers. Ah ha!!! Bingo!!!! I moved the box towards my kitchen cabinets and switched on my undercabinet florescent lights. Next morning there wasn't any runaway worms.

Food.. Finally on the 3rd day, I decided to get out some of my vegetable scraps that I saved in the fridge. I chopped them in the food chopper and fed them to the worms. That night I forgot to switch on the lights and then next morning.. NO RUNAWAY worms. Bingo!!! if there is food, they don't come out. Its been a few 3 weeks and the worms are doing well. They don't stink the house and as long as you cover the veggie scraps with the newspaper, there is no housefly. I just have to remember to feed them a few times a week and water spray the newspaper to keep it damp.

Our new members of the family are slowly and surely making compost as I do see sprinkles of blacks in the box now.

I've added a few photos to show the worm house and the healthy worms. I just love the fact I'm not wasting my veggie scraps. It was hard to take photos of the worms. As soon as I moved the papers, they sense the light and would run for cover... smart worms???

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August 22, 2007

I'm still here & Iowa Trip

I’m BACK!!!! Did you all think I gave up blogging ?? I don’t think I’m that hopeless, just busy. I’ve been taking the kids out more before school starts. We did go to Iowa to visit my friend whom my kids call Grandma White. They love going to Iowa as they get to see cows, pigs and horses. It’s a 5 hours drive and we managed to stop in Iowa City to visit my ex-university friend, Florence. It was nice seeing her, as it was 7 years since I saw her. The last she saw me was when I just had Gilly and now she has a cute handsome 9-month-old boy. Driving to Iowa City was a 3 hours drive and my kids had fun playing with baby Nick and gladly hopped into the minivan to continue another 2 hours to our destination, Fayette.

The kids were glad to see Grandma Snow White (Greg calls her that) and loved running around without having to worry about cars. Fayette is a nice town small town of population 600. Yes, there were barely cars on the main street so I didn’t have to have my car “radar” on. We did visit another Malaysian friend (Loga) who married another friend of mine (Ron) and they live out in the farmland. Yes farmland, I was surprised as I always thought they lived in town. I hope I didn’t offend her with my surprise and I did tell her that I would have run for my life if I had to live there. I do admire her for it and love is great. You will do anything and everything for your loved ones. Who am I to say its wrong as long as she is happy, I’m happy for her. We did bring some goodies from chinatown for our friends and Grandma and Grandpa White enjoyed the Manila Mangoes and Egg Tarts. Jakarah (Grandma White's granddaughter) was there for the weekend and the kids had fun playing although being the only boy Greg got left out abit. Poor boy.. but he shadowed the girls and drove them Nuts.. hahahaha..

I did get to meet up with my ex-coworkers and got all-envious at how beautiful the office looks now after the renovation. It was a nice trip full of memories as I lived there for 3 years. Yes!! 3 years of cornfield and cornfield and nothing but cornfield.

On our way back, we stopped at Dyersville. Avid baseball fans will know of this town as Field of Dreams was filmed here. Little did I know that there is this outlet store located at this town. Its called RC2 and they sell Thomas Tank Engines and Lamaze Infant Toys. Greg got all excited when he realizes that there were Trains in that store. He got even more excited when he realizes that Mummy was letting him dump trains into the shopping cart. He wanted the metal trains and we managed to grab 9 sets for $36. Yes they were on sale and a few were just $2. The wooden trains were cheap too about $6. So if anyone wants to get cheap Thomas Trains. This is the place to go if you are driving by IOWA…

These are Greg's Precious Loot

Notice the $2.00 price tag ???

Iowa was our little summer trip which we hope we could repeat. Daddy didn't come with us as he had training and could not get out of it. I drove all by myself and managed to stay awake with coffee from McD. Three of us had our little adventure for this summer.

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August 4, 2007

Sibling Slumber

Our Saturday mornings are very quiet as everyone gets to sleep in later. I found my babies asleep this way and was tickled by their sleeping positions. I seldom let them sleep together as its impossible to get them to go to bed. My girlie's sheet has a hole and I've yet to sew them and that's why she gets to sleep with her brother. I just showed them the photos I took of them and they were giggling amazed at how they didn't hurt each other even in their sleep.

For those that do not know about my family, I've a girl who is turning 7 in a few days and a son who just turned 4. I've been feeling so guilty these few weeks. We did not plan a birthday party for them this year. Their dad wanted a quiet birthday with them and I thought after having a 2 hectic months of April and June that we would just relax. I don't think I'll ever do that again. I just told my hubby my kids will have their birthday party next year. As it is they don't get to celebrate their birthdays in school as its summer holidays. The least I could do is to let them celebrate their birthday with family friends. I hope I'm not a bad mommy.

We did take Greg out on his birthday with his Nina (godma), Kor Kor, Matt Matt and baby KATIE (she is just 5 months old and I am accidentally "left" her name out. Bad Bad Tita!!!!) for a fun day of fishing. Then we had Chinese Buffet dinner. He did have a fun day and ended up happier when Mummy found him a Train Table (shh.. it was on sale at Target for $40)

Gilly has told me she wants to have Dim Sum on her birthday. So after her swim lessons, we will head down to Chinatown and continue her birthday with a day in the Water Park as per her request. I guess kids don't really care if they do not have a birthday party but being a MOM... I still feel guilty.

That's for all for now. Smile and live your life to the fullest.
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August 3, 2007

Flowers in my Garden

I finally made myself take photos of my garden. I'm lucky to live in a townhome association that allows us to plant our own plants. Not only did I add colorful flowers, I pulled up almost 80% of the boring green that the builder planted. Fortunately I had a few friends who taught me alot about plants and soil. The ground was all clay soil and I was taught to mix coir into the soil and add mushroom compost and cow manure.

My mom was a avid garderner and she loved planting orchids, I used to joke about cutting those orchids and taking them to the wet market to sell and I guarantee you I could make $50 just from them as they were plenty. I've not had luck with orchids but I'm still lucky I've only killed about 10 plants. Enjoy the photos of my garden, I'll add more later when the plants are blooming.

This is the photo of my tiny garden that is between my driveway and my neighbor's. I pulled out the ugly green only shrub and added the Rose of Sharon.

This photo shows the walkway leading to my front door. I've bordered it with red impatients and I did pull out a few spireas and replaced them with boxwood and clematis. I hope my clematis will bush out even more. I just added it a year ago and it was a very tiny plant to begin.

This photo shows my front entryway. I've added the red hibiscus next to my little fountain. I just love the sound of the water pouring into its pot. Its so relaxing. I just love colors and want my entrance to be welcoming.

The next photo shows the side of my house. I've pulled a tree out and replaced it with a Rose of Sharon Tree. I've seen huge one so I know mine will be that size one day. I pulled out alot of the shrubs as I found that I'm allergic to them. Everytime I graze it, my poor leg itches. Off it went and there I just threw in some perinneals.

I replaced some boring spireas with roses. I've one that is called Voluptuous and its flowering now. Its not that fragrant but its bloom is full, hence its name. The other 2 bushes are of fragrant and I'll add them later.

I've a deck at the back and I love to plant some flowers in pots and hanging it on the railings. Here they are, I added a mint which I vow never to plant on ground as they will spread like weeds.

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