Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Today, I made Onigiri. Normally, I would cook fresh rice in the morning, but I was running late and decided to zap some left overs in the microwave oven and it worked! I used my regular furikake, mixed it into hot rice and shaped them.

I think there is some level of monosodium glutamate in furikake and if you are wary about buying the commercially packed ones, you can just use sesame seeds and bonito flakes and salt and it'll taste great with a tuna mayo filling in the middle.

I particularly like this furikake which is about the only one other than the salmon furikake which I buy. I've tried others but some tastes quite wierd and doesn't seem very palatable.

I want to thank all my blog readers especially the regular readers for coming back to visit even though I have not been able to respond to you. I am grateful for your patience. I miss surfing your blogs and when I do, I do so with lightning speed so it leaves me no time to leave you comments.

This year started off on 'Turbo drive' and it hasn't slowed down. I pray that you bear with me and enjoy my blog as I enjoy de-stressing by blogging.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Much as I love this new Bento Box because it is compact, and is able to keep at least one dish hot, I also find it very constrained because there's not much space for more variety!

As you can see, the left container keeps the 'hot' stuff! I filled it with Oden and filled the other two boxes with rice and Hiziki.

The square box of fruits consisting of seedless grapes and Persimmons and the Bento box belongs to #2 who has to stay back at school up to 4.30p.m. today.

The pink rectangle box of fruits goes with #1 to college from 8.00a.m. - 9.30a.m. Then when she's back we're off to a nice long lunch!! *Girls time together*!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I made some brownies today for #2 to bring for a 'do' tonight. #1 used sugar paste flowers which she made, to decorate the usually dark looking brownies. I thought the effects were really nice! #1 told me that the flowers could be used to sweeten coffee (like sugar cubes) because they are basically made from icing sugar. Okay, I've learnt something!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Saba no Teriyaki - Broiled Mackerel

You know, I never learn! I almost always forget to take pictures!! I haven't reached the stage where I plan what pictures I should be taking under what light or background. I just do what I have to do and suddenly... I remember I have to take pictures to keep my blog alive. The result? Half baked pictures!! Look at this one below. I only remembered that I had to take pictures after I started grilling the other three pieces of Saba fish! *Sigh* Luckily there was one piece left because the pan couldn't accommodate all four pieces.

I love, love Saba fish because it is so delicious when grilled properly. It is juicy and the mackerel literally melts in the mouth. Mmmmm......

Very often in the Japanese restaurants, they serve Saba Shioyaki (salt grilled Mackerel). I love this very much too, especially when grilled to perfection and dipped in wasabi, shoyu and served with hot Japanese rice.

I like a variation sometimes, and Saba no Teriyaki is delicious. It is very easy, here's the recipe:

1 whole mackerel - filleted to four pieces

1/4 Cup soy sauce
1/4 Cup mirin
1 T sugar

1/2 T grated fresh ginger root, pounded and juice squeezed out
Wash and pat dry Mackerel with paper towel and soak in marinate.
Leave to marinate for at least one hour (I leave it in the fridge for half a day)
Broil over stove or oven and baste occasionally while broiling.
Serve with Lemon and grated daikon.
You can use Salmon, Yellowtail or Tuna for more variation.

The picture below shows you the three pieces of Mackerel being broiled!

Ahemm....yours truly was in such a hurry to serve dinner to the family that the final picture was completely FORGOTTEN!!!
Anyway it was delicious and it looked exactly like a juicy piece of grilled!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sakura Denbu

Ingredients: cod fish, sugar, glucose, wheat flour, cochinille

Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese, and the pink color is similar to the color of cherry blossom.

It is made from cooked cod fish which is pounded, dried, and flavored with salt, sugar, soy sauce etc, and finally colored with food red coloring. It is often used in sushi because it makes sushi vivid and beautiful.

Manufactured by Nishimoto trading Co., LTD.
Product of Japan


I've run out of Sakura Denbu for months! It's been out of stock at all the Jusco outlets!! Yeah! I've gone on a rampage search everywhere and today when I was at Mid Valley, the staff at Jusco informed me that they have stopped ordering this.

*Sigh, faints slightly* I love this because it gives the sushi a nice sweet flavor besides making it look good. I'm not giving up yet. Still searching!!


It's been ages since I posted anything on Bento. I acquired this new Thermos Bento from a sale at Parkson. It was on a 20% discount. I thought it was a pretty good deal and very compact. It maintains the heat in the rice thermos for a few hours.

This was #2's lunch today.

From left: Fried Kai Lan, Chicken Katsu with Bulldog sauce and white rice. Put them all in the bag provided and slotted a pair of chopsticks on the top of the bag.

This is how it looks with it's containers stacked in the bag. On the left is a thermal flask to keep hot the food you fill in - it could be soup, rice or stew. There are two other side dish containers that are stacked one on top of the other. It come with a pretty bag and now I'm inclined to cook hot food for #2 to bring to school.

This is how the Thermos bento looks zipped up! Cool eh?


My kids favorite breakfast are pancakes. We love Paddington house of pancakes (PHOP) in One Utama. We've been patronizing this place since it's inception. The outlet at The Curve was the first to open but unfortunately we had some bad experiences with the hygiene of that outlet and we never went back until PHOP opened in One U.

We love all the different pancakes and eat there almost weekly. Unfortunately being quite regular makes one aware of very jarring changes that has been taking place in this place. Firstly, the service is deteriorating - the waiters are always messing up the orders. Their facial expressions are so glum that one would think that they'd be better off working as 'undertakers' and not waiters! Secondly, the chef's sometimes, don't deliver you what is stated on the menu - you have to ask for it! (when you are regular enough, you know what's missing from your order!)

Thirdly, the tables and cutlery are not as clean as they should be. The three girls, or should I say, the two elder girls and I, have, time and again been very irritated with the waiters (who seem to be new, all the time) who keep getting our orders wrong - sometimes, they miss out on one item or they bring us extra drinks we didn't order or something.

I made a point to complain in the comment card that they have but seems like there was no action taken and we noticed that the place was more and more quiet (no customers) every time we were there.

Last weekend, we were there again and were disappointed again. Call us dumb, but we love the variety that PHOP serves there.

I went home and taught #1 how to make basic pancakes. I don't think PHOP deserves another chance at earning our $$$! See! It's so easy!

110 g flour - sieve
2 eggs

Make a well in the middle of the flour and stir in eggs!
Add in 200 ml of milk and 75 ml of water and beat till smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter and a pinch of salt.

Oil a flat pan . Pour batter into the hot pan and toss over .

Finished!! Butter, Maple syrup and Cinnamon Sugar!! Delicious!!

No hassle and no stress!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

New additions

Early February, #3 came to me and said "Mum! I think Melody (the Bitch) is pregnant!" "Huh? I responded, no lah, cannot be lah, Aiyah! As if you would know?" (#3 is nine years old).

Before I go on, I need to clarify, first, we've never owned a bitch before. Second, hubs and I were planning to spay her. Our Vet advised us to do it when she got a little older and we kinda forgot about it soon after. We have two bitches and two males at home.

The story goes on..... February 15th, while I was out with #1 for a lazy lunch (#2 decided not to join us because she had some work to do), I got a call from the house phone. "MUM! You better get home NOW!!!" Melody is GIVING BIRTH!!!" Agggghhhhh.........screams #2!! Aggggggghhhhhh....NO! Screams #2's mother!!!!! How do you know, I say. "Because 'kakak' says so and I just saw a puppy coming out!!! Aggggghhhhh..... she screams, Aggggghhhhh..... I scream and Aggggghhhhh.....we both scream together!!!!

#1 and I rush home and the second puppy is coming out..... all three *screams some more*!! Okay, okay calm down everybody, I say. Call your father! your grandmother also! I'll call the Vet! All three of us are busy on our hand phones and 'kakak' comes and says 'Adik, ada lagi satu'. Aggggghhhhh.....Nooo.... we scream together! How many more ah mum? How do I know, I respond! Meanwhile no one is responding to our calls!! What the heck @@!### $@ @!#$ # #$@#! @!

Oh no! The third puppy is stuck in the placenta and Melody is too tired to tear it apart. MUM!!!! What to do??? How should I know, I yelled!! With you all, the Gynecologist did all the work!! We don't have one here and I've never had to deliver puppies from a bitch!!!

S..t!!!S..t!!!S..t!!! I was nervous and all the yelling wasn't helping and I could see the puppy struggling in the placenta and it was getting weaker and weaker and Mel was also very tired and wasn't chewing to tear it.

"Kakak! I hollered 'bawa gunting sama 'glove' mari! She brought the scissors and asked 'apa lagi itu?' GLOVE tangan lah! Itu, itu...I forgot the Malay name for it. Damn! "Sarung tangan" #2 says!!! Ya! Ya! "Sarung tangan"

Armed with a pair of scissors and gloves, I cut the placenta and the puppy, which was already quite still, started to move as Melody helped by pulling and eating the placenta. I t
hink I was at risk of getting a heart attack anytime.

"Where is your father! Call your father! This is hisss.... responsibility! I said I didn't want so many dogs! I told him I wasn't going to take care of the dogs!!" Expletives were pouring out of my mouth non stop. I was completely stressed!

Hic! Hic! Hooo!
Hic! Hic! Hooo! Hic! Hic! Hooo! I turned around "What do you think you are doing? I glared at #1! "Errrr....trying to calm myself down? She was taking deep breaths in and out, as though she was in the birthing process!! Errr tying to help Mel too...maybe she need some support to push? #1 grins at me"

I shook my head *rolls eyes too* and went back into the house. #1 said, mum we should get #3 back from daycare so that she can see the puppies. No! I responded, I don't n
eed anymore stress at this point. I need to calm my nerves.

I tried calling my Vet again and this time managed to get through. "Ah nooo problem, just let her eat the placenta and the milk will start flowing, I'll come tomorrow. Remember to keep the puppies warm" he says.

After three puppies, I feel like an experienced midwife and when he said he was coming tomorrow, I mouthed silently, "no need you tomorrow man! I needed help an hour ago and now you want to come tomorrow!" Huh!!!@@#$#@%^$#@@

"Adik, ada lagi satu"
Aggggghhhhh..... Hic! Hic! Hooo! I glared at #1. "Sorwee mum, and she gives me a wide grin" When is this going to end?? Three of us rush outside again. The fourth one! Now, I am more calm and I am experienced. Everybody quiet! Mel is a good mother, she's trying not to step on the other puppies but the cage is not big enough for five. We need to do something. Quick think. Okay, move 'house'!

As Mel was licking dry the puppies, we started to fence up the kitchen terrace with some collapsible fencing that my mother had brought. Initially, I was a little annoyed when she brought them as I thought that she was, as usual 'piling up rubbish' in my house. How wrong I was and this 'rubbish' turned into 'gold' as we quickly set up a fenced area for Mel and her new babies.

"Adik,.." "Lagi satu?" we chorused. "Ya" kakak responds. "Nooo problem" I say. While we were watching the fifth puppy come out, I noticed that the two male dogs were also watching.

Hey!! Which one of the two is the culprit, I asked. Buddy, you ah? I asked my Lab. Or is it you Max? Max is a Pincher of some-sort I think and is quite small. I'll deal with yo
u two later, I said. #1 and #2, cage these two fellas! In all the hustle and bustle I forgot about the 'cause' of all the stress.

Rrrrriiiinnnnggggg! "Hello..who called me? Daaadddddyyyyy!!! Mel gave birth to puppies. You better come home NOW!!" Oh! Alleluia!! I'll be back shortly, daddy replies. So hubs came back with our assistant Parish Priest. After the Way of the Cross on Friday, they had adjourned for "Yong Tau Foo" and he forgot to turn off the 'silent mode'.

I was mentally exhausted and so were the girls and we kept waiting and waiting for the sixth one but it never came. Thank God! Final result - one female and f
our males.

Mel is a wonderful mother and cares well for her pups. Along the way, we lost the girl and now we're left with the four boys. We've kinda Christian-ed them Tender, Loving and Care when the first three came. When the fourth one came, (unexpectedly) we Christian-ed him Faith and then Hope came but Charity never came.

We lost "Hope" and now we're left with Tender, Loving, Care and Faith.

Here they are after four weeks!


Last Saturday, our BEC had two nuns come to give a "Talk on Parents as Sexuality Educators". It was pot-luck and because elections was on that day, I really didn't have much time to do any cooking. So I issued and 'order' to #1 to make some cup cakes.

She was very sweet and made these for me. Wasn't any left after the meal that night. While the whole country was busy following the results for the elections, 25 adults sat attentively to listen to two nuns speak about "SEX"! Hahaha! I'd have expected more parents would attend this - after all what else would have been more interesting than good food and sex talks??

On a serious note, I was really disappointed with the turn up. We're talking about us parents trying to get some 'sex education' from the Church's perspective (How often does this ever happen anyway?).

How many of us use the correct terminology when it comes to our kids sexual organs? Instead, we give 'pet names' that confuse them when they learn what they learn from their Science classes. Can we actually speak openly to our kids about sexual abuse and warn them to be 'alert' so that they know who can touch where?

We learnt a whole lot about ourselves as parents and our own 'taboos' and pre-set minds. It wasn't a session where we could learn everything about how to discuss with our kids on the topic of sex but it was a very good learning 'entry level' where most parents could relate and understand, first, ourselves and then only the approach we need to take to discuss with our kids.

The last part of the talk was really distracting though. SMS's were coming in lightning speed from friends and relatives updating on the dismal performance of BN.
What goes around, comes around - my philosophy in life!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

More cuppacakes?

My baby has grown up!!
#1 made these cup cakes for CNY 2008!

More cuppacakes!!

#1 complained about how expensive the cup cake holders from Wilton's were and refused to add anymore to her collection than the one that we purchased last year.

Yikes! How were we going to display all those cup cakes that she made then? Little genius that she is, she constructed her own stand! Hero! It probably cost us under RM15/=

Every year for CNY, #1 and #2 would invite their school mates and church friends for an open house. My principal is always the same, the numbers cannot exceed 50 people otherwise we'd be drowning around their friends!! We cater the food BUT they must make the deserts. Of course yours truly also makes some lah!

The cup cakes were a hit as usual. There were none left by the time the kids left. Not even one for breakfast!!

Sorry for the poor shots. We were so busy that night that no one bothered to take pictures (as usual). #1 just took some using her phone. Sigh!

I'm Back again!!

I've been thinking for a long while if I should continue with this blog. For very obvious reasons, my family demands and busy schedule take precedence and priority.

I'm facing an uphill task trying to maintain this blog and finally after much reflection and prayer I've decided not to be a slave to my blogging.

Ooooo...I'm still going to blog, only now at my own pace and most likely very randomly too. I'm currently maintaining three other blogs for my Church Youth Ministry and honestly, it has it's challenges. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy doing what I'm doing, it's just the multitasking and switchover of roles that sometimes get me really 'stoned'.

Enough of all that...I thank all of you who has been very kind to check on this site now and again to see if I've 'resurrected'. I have, at least for near future. Cheers!!


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