Monday, February 25, 2013

Hello 2013!

It's been too long!  Ever since I got my iPad, I have a long-lasting excuse that I couldn't post from it and I was too lazy to sit by the desktop to do any updates.  Lazy Awards gooooooooo tooooooo ME!

I don't know what updates have taken place for the iPad but it seems I can post from it now.  Friends and family have asked me to update my blog.  But I notice a sharp decline of updates in the many blogs which I usually visit.  Well, I guess people have their "moods" and phases.  Mine comes and goes as it pleases too.  Hardly have any control over it!

I am happy that my blog has at least benefitted my second daughter.  She is in her second year doing music in UK.  That one has all the "cook genes" from me.  She loves to eat and cook as well.  Many a time she would refer to recipes from my blog to satiate her palate.

I'm still packing food for the two other kids residing at home.  The eldest who joined the workforce last September and the youngest who is in Form two.  I am still happy and enjoy packing them their boxes and they seem to enjoy their food, so no complains here.

I need to get my photos in order to post them.  Well, till the next post this is a wordy one! Looool!

Monday, October 22, 2012

My little crisis!

Face palm!  It's been five months since my last post.  Seeing the progress I've reached with bento-ing since the one I bento-ed for left for further studies hasn't exactly been much of a inspiration!  Wah! That line was an awkward one. Lol!

I had tried to re-bento after my second daughter left for the UK to do her degree in Music.  I tried packing for #3, but to really "bento" was impossible.  She was too fussy and selective in her choices.  Obviously the types of food she preferred was narrowed down to two fists full in terms of numbers.  She would be happy with just chocolate chip cookies and tuna sandwiches the entire school term.  Drives me crazy just making them!

#1 graduated in July, began working in August and since then, I've been up at 6.15am every morning to pack sandwiches for the two of them.  Nope!  I have not taken any pictures of the sandwiches.  I'm always half asleep while packing their sandwiches.  After seven weeks of "creating" sandwiches I have run out of ideas.  How many types of sandwiches can one make?  #1 doesn't want a regular box or tupperware so I use a foldable sandwich box.  She says it takes up too much space and is bulky, but she still wants the sandwiches.

So I've made sandwiches filled with:
Peanut butter and jam, kaya, tuna, nuggets, sausages, ham, roast chicken, beef slices, eggs cooked in all ways - fried, mashed, scrambled and hardboiled.  The sandwiches are usually filled with salad, "no cheese please", mustard, onions, mayonnaise, tomato sauce (ketchup) and sometimes on the side, accompanied by some fruits or biscuits.

Sometimes #3 gets the same thing and other times, her regular menu!  I am cracking my head at what else I can use to make these sandwiches.  #1 said "please don't pack anything else mum!" "only sandwiches".  So sandwiches, it's been!  Aggrrhhh!  The life of a mother!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bento 324

My baby had Sunday School this morning after mass and I had a whole day session.  I decided to pack some food for her so that she would not go hungry.

It was spaghetti and Parmesan cheese in the bottom box.
In the top box there was some cheese nuggets and seedless grapes I had just bought from a Japanese promotion at the newly opened ISETAN at One Utama.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bento 323

So, I haven't been posting bentos for most of this week.  Not because I've not made them, but because there's no variation!  My baby is one consistent eater.  Only eat the same one dozen variety of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This is really no fun or incentive! (for me).

This box of sushi was the last bento for the week which made the cut on this blog!  Boo hoo hoo!

Tonkatsu, some salad, kewpie mayonnaise and sakura denbu rolled in sushi rice and nori.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pork Stew

About a month ago, the family (3 of us, husband, youngest daughter and yours truly) spent 5 days in Krabi.  We loved it there.  It was relaxing, lazy, lazy and lazy! 

Where we stayed, at Aaonang there was a great German open air cafe two minutes away.  The owner is a German and calls himself Andy.  The Thai food is scrumptious and the German food was dirt cheap and delicious.

I loved the porky dishes which he served and one evening I daringly asked Andy what he put in his pork stew.  He was very accommodating and  rattled the ingredients for me.

Yesterday I tried it out from memory.  I plucked a whole lot of herbs from my garden again.  There was parsley, sage, terragon, cekur, basil and thyme.  The recipe simply calls for pork, chopped onions, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, tomatoes and a can of chopped tomatoes.

I seared the pork in my amazingly great-to-use Green Pan.

Then I cooked down the onions and button mushrooms.

Then I tossed the herbs and tomatoes together.

Added the carrots and garlic too.

Poured a can of chopped tomatoes and about a cup of stock.
 Allowed it to simmer for one hour on low fire.

Added some freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. 
I think it tasted very close to Andy's recipe. 
I shall add some red wine next time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Soap making

Last weekend, I brought my youngest daughter for a soap making class.  It was a Groupon promotion and I'd delayed the class till the last lesson.  Been busy!

Soap making seems like an easy process but one must not be deceived!  It can be dangerous because of the use of Sodium Hydroxide a.k.a. caustic soda.  

I enjoyed the two plus hours of demonstration and hands on lesson but cautious to begin on my own until I learn a little more.

My youngest daughter took some pictures which shows a simplified process of soap making.

Below are the oils, lye and utensils.


Pouring the lye into the oils and stirring continuously.

 After 20 minutes of stirring, the mixture becomes thick and ready.

 The balance half is mixed with some red  yeast for coloring purpose.


Stir in the natural coloring.

 Pouring the colored balance into the half filled containers.

Use a satay stick to make patterns.

After 24 hours, the content will harden enough for cutting.

Pieces of soap ready for curing purpose between 30-40 days.

My eldest daughter said that the soap looked like pieces of marble cake!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bento 322

Saturday was "Hari Anugerah" (Prize giving day) at baby's high school.  She was part of the presenting Choir.  It was an eventful day for her meeting with parents of friends and sharing joy with recipients of excellence certificates and book prizes.

I packed her some pancakes this morning.  I actually fried the pancakes the night before so that I didn't have to wake up so early to do this.  In the morning, I got it out of the fridge and smothered one pancake with Nutella and the other, I peppered some cinnamon sugar on it.

A simple box of "rolled" pancakes and seedless grapes again! :(


Friday, May 11, 2012

Bento 321

Last night my baby came back from tuition and made her tuna mix for this mornings break time box.  I used to do this but since she learn to make it, she's been making it since.

It's basically just a can of tuna in Olive oil, some chopped large yellow onions, chopped gerkins, a hard boiled egg, mayonnaise, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  It's easy enough for a 13 year old to manage.

This morning I  just had to split open two croissants, slip in a lettuce leaf and load up the tuna mix.  Before I cut them into pieces, I had to secure the individual parts with some skewers.  There was still some seedless grapes (which you will often see because that's about the only fruit or two which she consumes) and the box was done.

This box couldn't take both the croissants so the balance made up my breakfast before I slipped back into bed.

Freshly toasted croissants loaded with lettuce and tuna mix.

There's skinned, seedless grapes at the back of the top box.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bento 320

This morning I packed a homemade hamburger patty between a country multi-seed bun layered with salad and cheese.  On the side was some seedless grapes and in the top box, some home made cornflake cookies a.k.a. melting moments.

Unfortunately I was in a hurry to pack the box (as usual) so when I took the picture, the burger and it's layers couldn't be seen.  I'll try to do better next time!  This box follows my youngest "baby" to school for her break time.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hello world!

It's been eight months since my last post.  Many of you who have been regular visitors over the last five years must be wondering what happened to this blog.  I wonder too!

A lot have changed since I began blogging in 2007 for the sole purpose of packing lunches and meals for my children.  My two elder daughters who were eating from the bento boxes from On a Bento Frenzy blog has progressed from high school to University students now.

My husband and I are blessed with our youngest daughter who is turning 13 this year and still living with us, regularly providing us the uncommon upheavals of teenage dramas.

I cook a lot less these days because there are only the three of us and our maid in the house (besides the two dogs, two turtles and a school of fish).

Life is a lot more relaxed and orderly (the way I like it).  My middle child has been bugging me to re-start blogging.  "When are you going to start blogging?, Why you not blogging any more?", Mummy! Your blog is dead! Start blogging!" These were some of the intermittent questions posted by my middle child during our Skype conversations.

I was intending to begin a new blog with new interests and new life but decided that it took too much effort! (laughs at self!).  So, I thought that I'd try to re-invent this blog - not a very good idea but it suits me.  The last eight months has seen me go back to my first love - crafting!  Cooking with the "magic pot" has been quite a "magical" experience also.  I've saved a lot of gas with some planning.  I've managed to loose 5kg from some selective and specific meatless meal consumption which seemed a gradual and natural process.  My diet is not completely meatless but at this point of my life I have a preference for more vegetables than the former.  Nonetheless, do not be deceived!  I eat most of what comes my way but in a more discerning manner.

I wake up at 6.15am on school day mornings to pack a break time box for my youngest "baby".  It's her first year at high school.  Canteen food to my children seem unpalatable!  Besides, my baby is a picky eater.  That boils down to the reason why I cannot focus this blog on her meals.  (laughs out louder!).  Any attempt to introduce new food into her diet would result in sulking, moody body language and an array of "l won't eat this" attitude.

I've made some changes to the blog skin of this blog.  Pictures on the banner header depicts my current loves; magic pot cooking, packing meals and craft work.  I cannot promise that I will blog daily but let's see what comes my way.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Magic Pot cooking again!

I've been having a ball with my magic pots!!!

Last week I made some spaghetti sauce.  Usually I would have to simmer the sauce over low fire for a couple of hours.  This time, I tried using the Magic pot!  The results were amazing as always!

This was the sauce before going into the Magic pot!

This was the sauce after 6 hours in the Magic pot.  It tasted even better than cooking over the gas top!

See the delicious Bolognese sauce below!!!

Bento 319

This bento was made last week!  It's got spaghetti and cheese in it.  There are pieces of mango and carrot cake!  Yeah! In a desperate need to feed my child some 'vegetables', I made carrot cake!  Obviously the little girl didn't know it was carrot cake because I didn't divulge any information.  LOL!

The two boxes behind were filled with spaghetti for her friends!  There was a small bottle of enzyme for her.  I have since gone on to buy a small bottle to contain enzyme!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bento 318

It's been a while since I made a Bento.  It's also been a busy few months preparing #2 for Uni.  Now that both the elder girls are off, I have a lot of time on my hands.

Today's bento was for #3 and I!  UPSR ends tomoro and we'll have a lot of time to spend together doing fun stuff.  Look out for some cooking experiments!  LOL!

Sweet mangoes, Tonkatsu  and some delicious rice! Salad and cherry tomato for garnishing!

One of the two Bentos I made, from a different angle!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Experiments!

I've been busy experimenting with dehydration!  I've been successful dehydrating large Red and Yellow onions under the hot sun.  I use them when I boil soup and it's really tasty and has a wonderful fragrant smell!

Dehydrated Red and Yellow onions

I'm drying ginger this time round.  I was at Genting yesterday and managed to buy some ginger.  Last night, my maid and I skinned, cleaned and sliced the ginger.  We sorted it out nicely on these large basket like trays (compliments from my mother!). 

Dehydrating ginger

After one morning in the sun, it's a little shriveled up already!

Does this look like an over rated "expensive" mop bucket?

I've also been making "enzymes"!

My God son's mother introduced me to this "expensive" bucket which shortens the fermentation time to a quarter of the time required to "process" the enzymes!  My eldest daughter went on a little 'rampage' and said that I spent a small fortune for a 'mop bucket'!!!!

Hahaha!  This is my second batch of enzymes!  The first batch went too fast!  This has become a fast family favorite!  Well, after enjoying the first batch of enzymes, my children didn't have much to complain about the bucket except that the second batch wasn't ready as yet!  LOL!

This bucket doing it "magic"!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More "Magic" cooking!

I used my Thermal "magic" pot to cook "Ham Yee Chee Yoke Farn" (pork slices, salted fish and rice).

Last night, I washed one and a half cups of brown rice and left to soak overnight. This morning I drain dry the rice. When I was ready to cook the rice at 3pm, I set it to boil in 2 cups of water over a medium fire (after it came to a boil) for 15 minutes.

In another pan, I fried some garlic, marinated pork (soy sauce, dark sauce and pepper), salted fish and some chopped carrot bits. When done, I added some freshly cut spring onions and a quarter cup of water. Add pepper and soy sauce to taste. Go light with the soy sauce if you are using salted fish! Once that is done, transfer all the meat and sauce into the pot of boiling brown rice (after cooking on the stove for 15 minutes).

I had dinner at 6.45pm and ta dah... rice in a pot...all ready! The rice was tender and didn't taste like brown rice in its original flavor at all! Tasted very much like the regular "Ham Yee Chee Yoke Farn!".

The last picture below shows a bowl of soup which I used my 5lt "magic" pot to cook! Yummy!


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