Monday, August 31, 2009

Dine like a pauper... or not

The day started on a promising note towards healthy eating. For breakfast today, Da and I ate homemade carrot and pistachio nut bread that I had baked on 29 August 2009 (saturday).

As the day progressed, things went "downhill" in terms of healthy eating but "uphill" in terms of "yummy" factor of our meals!

Da and I met for lunch at the Indian Muslim cafe located at Stanley Street. We had originally arranged to meet for lunch at the Amoy hawker centre. However, the elevators in my office building are undergoing upgrading and there is currently only one elevator serving my floor. As such, by the time I managed to leave the building and walk towards Amoy hawker centre, Da had already walked in my direction and we ended up meeting at Stanley Street. Since Da had to work late today, we decided to eat rice for lunch.

The cafe was relatively crowded when we arrived but we managed to obtain a seat. Do not be fooled by the apparent number of dishes that you see in the photograph below. Actually, we ordered:-
(a) 1 small piece of mutton cutlet;
(b) 1 small piece of fish cutlet;
(c) 1 piece of fried chicken; and
(d) a portion of stir-fried bittergourd.

The food was served with 2 plates of steamed white rice, a small plate of pickles and two types of curry sauce (fish curry and chicken curry).

When it came to the end of the workday, I sent a text message to my mother and suggested that we eat toasted sandwiches for dinner. She agreed.

When I left my office building, I walked past the building next to ours and lo-and-behold, I saw six piping hot curry puffs in the warmer in the cafe located on the first storey. I approached one of the staff at the cafe and said that I would take all the six curry puffs. He nodded and told another staff "扫" (sǎo), which literally means "sweep". I guess he wanted to inform the other staff that I would "sweep" all the remaining curry puffs?

When my mother saw the curry puffs that I brought to her home, she suggested eating the curry puffs for dinner instead. My mother ate her curry puff "neat" (that is, without condiments/sauces) while I ate mine with tomato sauce (to counter the spiciness of the curry).

What drink complements curry puffs? Hot coffee, of course!

My mother and I decided to stop at one curry puff each. As the curry puff was a little oily, there was a feeling of "jelat" after one curry puff. How do I explain "jelat" in English? Hmm... in economics terminology, I guess the closest would be "zero utility" or even "negative utility"?

How does one counter the feeling of "jelat"? With chocolates, of course! *grin*

When the sound of my mother's gate being opened was heard, Boy-Boy ran excitedly to the main door. Ah... it was ZT (girlfriend of my brother, LG) who was back from her dinner. She had bought some snacks from NTUC Supermarket. Do you see Boy-Boy licking his lips in anticipation in the photograph below?

According to ZT, NTUC Supermarket was having a promotion. As such, she bought two packets of mixed nuts and two packets of satay broad beans.

Boy-Boy stood on tip-toe, wanting to have a look at the snacks. As such, ZT obliged by showing him the packet of snacks that she had bought.

Suddenly, Boy-Boy's ears perked up again. His sharp hearing had detected another arrival at my mother's home. It was Da, back from work. I heated up two curry puffs for him in my mother's oven.

Ever since ZT came back, Boy-Boy has been putting up an Academy-award winning performance, making the appropriate noises and when ZT looked in his direction, he would walk towards the edge of the staircase in the dining room and turn to look at her meaningfully. Yes, he was hinting to ZT that he wanted to go for a walk.

When ZT asked Boy-Boy whether he wanted to go for a walk, he immediately turned and ran towards the shelving in the living room where his leash was placed.

Look at how excited Boy-Boy was!

Boy-Boy could not wait to put on his leash. He kept fidgeting, as though to tell ZT, "Let's go! Let's go!".

With Boy-Boy's leash in place, ZT and Boy-Boy proceeded to the main door. Or rather, Boy-Boy led ZT to the main door!

And off they went on their walk! Actually, Boy-Boy took ZT for a run.

In the meantime, my mother, Da and I ate some prawn crackers that Da's colleague had given him. Yummy! They were very fresh and must have been fried over the weekend.

After his walk (or run, actually!), Boy-Boy came back a happy dog. He knew that what would follow would be his bath. After the bath, his fur would be dried thoroughly and he would smell absolutely wonderful from the dog shampoo.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

hot and spicy

My brother (LG) was going through the freezer at home recently and realised that there are a lot of ingredients in the freezer. We had two solutions - barbeque or steamboat. By popular consensus, steamboat was the choice for dinner today.

Earlier this week, I had intended to have brunch at the basement food court of Katong Shopping Centre today. I need to get my sunglasses fixed and the optician is located at Katong Shopping Centre. However, when morning came today, our favourite coffee shop at Jalan Tua Kong beckoned us. As such, Da and I met my mother, LG and ZT (LG's girlfriend) for brunch at Jalan Tua Kong.

As Da and I were early, we ordered the food for everyone. Today, ZT decided to try something different - she ordered the fish and chips from the stall named "Ang Mo Chiak". The rest of us ordered one-dish meals from our favourite one-dish-meal stall. We also ordered a piece of fried fish and a plate of bittergourd fried with egg as side dishes.

After brunch, Da and I parted ways with the rest. We proceeded to church to sit at the feet of Jesus.

I look forward to sundays where I get the privilege of having Jesus revealed to me with such clarity. Jesus knows who we are and He still loves us. We need to trust His goodness and His Word. God does not deal with us based on the law. He deals with us based on what is in His heart.

We deserve nothing and we are thankful to receive anything from God. Because of the finished work of Jesus at the Cross, we end up receiving everything. Everything that He had, He used to serve. All the demands of the law have been fulfilled. At the Cross, Jesus found His rest in saving us, blessing us and loving us. This is our God and our Saviour.

After the church service, Da and I went home to rest. Actually, we ended up doing some springcleaning again. *grin*

Dinner was held at my mother's home. When we arrived, we could smell the lovely aroma of tom yum soup boiling in the steamboat.

LG had used a vegetarian tom yam paste that my mother bought from Muar, Malaysia in one of her previous trips there.

Ta-da! Piping hot steamboat... ready to be eaten.

The inclusion of carrots, prawns and marinated meat made the soup even more flavourful.

Boy-Boy was very well-behaved today and did not ask to share our dinner. Perhaps he knew that the soup was too spicy for his tastebuds.

After the hot and spicy dinner, it was time to cool down. LG used Bols lychee liqueur and a can of lychees in syrup.

Here is LG's creation. It was a very lovely cocktail.

Have a wonderful week ahead. God wants us to live in the realm of Grace. Remember that Jesus placed His hand on us, touched us and said, "I am willing". He always exceeds our requests. So aim high and He will more than meet our needs.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy birthday, MJ

I love lazy saturdays when I have the whole day to do nothing or to busy myself in the kitchen. Invariably, I will potter around in the kitchen or do some springcleaning of the house in the morning while Da is at work.

Da and I have an unopened packet of carrots in our refrigerator. As I did not plan to do any cooking this weekend and I was not sure whether the carrots would last another week in our refrigerator, I decided to use the carrots in my baking instead.

First up, carrot and oat cookies.

This was followed by a moist carrot cake.

As I was taking photographs of the goodies that I had baked so far, I heard someone call out "Auntie". Turning my head, I saw at our door the three handsome boys who live opposite Da and me in our apartment block. The boys were going out for their spelling class. They informed me (when I asked them) that their swimming classes are on sundays and not saturdays. I must have mixed up the dates. I seem to recall that they have swimming classes on saturdays.

As I waved goodbye to the boys, I heard one of them mention bread. That gave me an idea. I decided to bake a kiddy loaf for them. To make the bread more nutritious, I added grated carrots. To tempt their tastebuds, I rolled out the bread dough, sprinkled liberal amounts of chocolate rice and rainbow rice before I rolled up the dough and placed it in a loaf pan. This is the loaf that came out from our oven:-

For Da's and my bread supply for the coming week, I baked a loaf of carrot and pistachio nut bread.

As it has been some time since I last made ice cream, I made pistachio cheese ice cream. I had grated some hazelnut chocolate (thanks, Tuayi, for the chocolate which you bought from Melbourne, Australia!) with the intention to add it to the ice cream. However, I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to add chopped pistachio nuts instead. That left me with grated hazelnut chocolate. I was debating what to do with it when I looked into our packet of carrots and realised that we had several carrots left. As such, I used the balance carrots and the grated hazelnut chocolate to bake some muffins. The muffins turned out very moist. However, I would recommend that you roughly chop the chocolate instead of grating them as the taste of chocolate was not distinctive enough in the muffins.

When Da came home from work, we decided to go out for lunch. Before we left the house, I packed some goodies for the three handsome boys. The sliced kiddy loaf is hidden at the bottom of the container on the right hand side. In the left container are several scoops of homemade peanut butter ice cream.

When Da and I went to our favourite coffee shop at Jalan Tua Kong for lunch, our favourite stall was closing for the day. As such, we went to Glory Catering at East Coast Road instead. We ordered mee rebus, mee siam, teh tarik and kopi tarik. The drinks cost S$1.50 each whereas the mee rebus and mee siam cost S$3 each.

We also ordered three types of kueh-kueh. I was pleasantly surprised that the three pieces of kueh-kueh cost only S$2.

After a very satisfying lunch, we went home and did some springcleaning. Goodness me... how did we accumulate so many items over the years?

In the evening, we went to the home of the Three Musketeers for dinner. When we arrived, we heard the distinctive voice of Michael Jackson belting out his hits on the television. It is Michael Jackson's birthday today and as a tribute to him, our local television station broadcast his concert that was held in Munich, Germany in 1997 as part of his HIStory world tour. Everyone was singing along to his songs as he performed and I must admit that the women present at the home of the Three Musketeers were in danger of swooning at times during the amazing performance.

(photograph source: television screen)

As everyone's eyes were glued to the television, pizza home delivery was ordered from Canadian 2-for-1 Pizza. I had also baked some chicken wings and brought them to the home of the Three Musketeers.

Nining is only three years of age but she can sing along to Michael Jackson's songs. She can even mimic some of his moves. We had all a good laugh when it came to the song "Beat It". Nining bent over and gamely beat her own backside!

Coffee time! SY had baked cheesecake today. It was delicious! Hi SY, please post the recipe in your blog soon!

We also ate the carrot cake and the carrot muffins that I had baked today.

Supercute and Tau Suan decided to stay up to watch the Manchester United vs Arsenal English Premier League soccer match. As it was late, Nining decided to call it a night.

Happy birthday, MJ! May you moonwalk on streets of gold in heaven always. Rest in peace.


Friday, August 28, 2009

sandwich galore

Recently, my friend (GP) asked me about the sandwich maker that I mentioned in one of my earlier posts. Hi GP, my mother's sandwich maker (I have the same sandwich maker at home) is a Philips sandwich maker. It is very useful and it makes lovely toasted sandwiches.

ZT (girlfriend of my brother, LG) was working the day shift today. As such, she finished work at 7 pm and by the time I arrived at my mother's home after work today, the two lady chefs were already busy in the kitchen. Da had a company function cum dinner to attend and as such, he would not be joining us for dinner today.

We were having toasted sandwiches for dinner today. My mother had bought several cans of luncheon meat from Giant Supermarket at Parkway Parade recently. As such, the menu for tonight was toasted luncheon meat and cheese sandwiches. Yummy!

Boy-Boy watched my mother intently as she busied herself in the kitchen. As he kept straining his neck trying to look up, ZT took pity on him and carried him up for a closer look. From this angle where I took the photograph, Boy-Boy looked like he was "begging" my mother for some sandwiches! *grin*

Boy-Boy was in a good mood today. He knew that whenever we eat toasted sandwiches, he would be given a treat of the crunchy ends of the bread. As such, he willingly posed and grinned for the camera.

Ta-da! Toasted luncheon meat and cheese sandwiches. The cheese melts in your mouth as you bite into the sandwiches.

As promised, Boy-Boy had his treat.

Here is a close-up look of the sandwiches. Hi GP, if you have not bought a sandwich maker yet, do buy it soon.

Satisfied with his treat, Boy-Boy demonstrated how he slides down from the arm of the leather armchair into the seat of the chair. He has perfected the skill and he does it so gracefully.

It is a friday today! Enjoy your weekend and have a blessed week ahead.

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