2012-07-30

Now you see now you don't

I found this set of pictures in my picture folder in my laptop. These pictures were taken with web cam  2 years ago. I didn't share these self obsession pictures in FB, nor in my blog before. Because, there was somebody at background and spoiled the entire picture of me being 'shiok sendiri'. 

I got to  know there is a Clone feature in Photoscape that can help eliminate the object that you don't like to be seen in your pictures from SK's blog.

First picture
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Though the touched up wasn't really perfect, it is good enough to have the person disappear from the background, no?

2012-07-26

Simple Chicken Pie

Everyone knows I am a beginner in baking. I always look up for simple and easy to bake recipes online, and never in my life I thought of baking chicken pies. I felt that it was too complicated for me to prepare the crust and the filling.

In order not to be left out from Bake Along theme No.29 Chicken Pie which was host by Frozen Wings, Kitchen Flavours and Bake for Happy Kids, I braved myself up baking my own chicken pie for the very first time.

I just did the filling myself and used the ready made puff pastry.
I used HCP to cook the filling. The filling consisted of chicken breast meat, onion, mixed veggies, black pepper, margarine, milk and cream of chicken.
The filling was enough for me to make 6 chicken pies, and I used only 10 puff pastries.
I was quite satisfied with my first baking attempt of chicken pies.
My MIL who happened to drop by my house while the chicken pie was just fresh from the oven. She at the door asked, "What have you baked? It smells so nice."  I gave her 2 chicken pies, she was so happy.
Ingredients:
  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces 
  • 1/4 cup margarine 
  • half can cream soup (I prefer cream of chicken) 
  • 1 cups frozen vegetables
  • 1 medium size onion
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 can of evaporated milk 
  • garlic
  • corn flour 
Directions:
1. Heat a bit of oil and garlic.
2. Cook chicken and set aside.
3. Melt 1/4 cup of margarine in pot; add flour until it becomes a thick paste.
4. Add milk until it becomes a thick sauce stirring constantly.
5. Add half can of cream soup and 1/4 can of evaporated milk.
6. Make sure sauce is slightly thick.
7. Put in onion, frozen veggies, chicken and black pepper.
8. Cook on low heat for about an hour.
I am submitting this Simple Chicken Pie entry to Easy & Bake Along Event. Feel free to view other bloggers' Chicken Pie recipes through links below this entry. 
Bake Along theme No.29 Chicken Pie

2012-07-25

Early Christmas or late Valentines?

Yesterday after dinner, we went shopping for some grocery at Giant. While I put a handful of baking ingredients in the cart coming behind me, I saw a box already inside the cart.
My husband bought an electric mixer for me. I remember I told him 2 nights before, I took 30 minutes to beat butter and sugar, but the batter was still not fluffy and pale enough.
It is so sweet of him for listening to me, and buying me something that I really want.  Now I have this electric mixer, I can bake a more handsome cakes for my family.
Before I could keep my excitement in check, my husband went to Guardian and bought me another thing.
Natural Clenx Tea™ is a high quality detox slimming tea made from 100% natural organic green tea and herbs, with no laxatives, no added sugar and no side effects.
You wonder why he bought this for me.
Ever since I started baking, I didn't lose a single pound though I exercised for 1 hour 3 times a week.
Albeit having 10 grains porridge in my breakfast and lunch, I still couldn't reduce my belly fat. T____T.
When he helped taking picture of me in bikinis at Pangkor beach last few weeks, he saw me sucking in my belly, he shook his head in disbelievable. He knows, and I know too, I am still far far behind my role model, Halle Berry.
Anyway, it is so thoughtful of him for being so supportive in my weight loss program.

Should I take these as are my early Christmas gifts or my late Valentine gifts from my White Knight???

2012-07-23

Homemade breakfast on weekends

French toast peanut butter sandwich, sausages and scrambled eggs.
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Shame to admit that I only cook breakfast on weekends for my family. From Monday to Friday, my girls take only a cup of MILO with a few pieces of cream crackers as their breakfast. Then, I have to rush them to school and I get myself ready to go to work. So, I make it a point to prepare them breakfast on weekends that I don't work.
So far I have whipped up these few breakfast menus for them. They love it and they have started to suggest more varieties for me to try in coming weekends.
I seldom cooked breakfast like frying eggs for my girls before I owed the HCP. We needed to mop the floor, wipe the stove, clean the window and sink, each time after I fried only 2 sunny side up eggs. Now, I do not need to do these chores, as I use only little oil for frying with HappyCall Pan.

2012-07-20

My resolution is accomplished


I have made this year as a year to bake and cook more. I proud to say now, I have accomplished half of the recipes that in my list to cook and bake. Shy to say that, before this, the last time I baked was in my Home Science lesson. It was like donkey years ago. I am just half year into baking. Please don't expect me to present you a very beautiful cakes like those in other cooking mamas' blog, but I will definitely keep on practicing until it becomes better.

1. Muffins

Kiwi seed muffins
ingredients:
500g kiwi ready-mixed flour
112ml water
4 eggs
140g butter


Direction:
  1. Combine ready-mixed flour, water and eggs into a large mixing bowl. Beat for 1 minute with low speed and continue with medium speed for 4 minutes.
  2. Add butter to the mixture and beat for another 1 minute with low speed.
  3. Spoon batter into paper muffin cups until 2/3 full.
  4. Bake in halogen for 25 15 minutes at 160130°C or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Kiwi muffins raised well and tasted good.

2. Cupcakes
Chocolate Swirled Steamed Cupcakes ( adapted from Elinluv's Sweet Delights )
Yield: Makes 4 cupcakes
Ingredients:

½ cup (75g) all purpose flour ( I used unbleached)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. sugar  *  I doubled the amount of sugar
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 Heaped Tbsp of nutella  * I substituted with  melted dark chocolate
 
Method:

In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour and baking powder combining well.

In another bowl, combine egg, milk, sugar and vegetable oil and whisk them all together.

Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a fork until smooth.

Add in the tablespoon of nutella or melted dark chocolate and stir to create a swirl in the batter. Don't mix too well else you won't be able to see the swirly effect.

Pour the mixture into the cupcake liners trying to make sure that the batter does not spill over the edges of the liners.

Place them in the steamer and steam for 8-15 mins. ( mine cooked at 8 mins )

Stick a skewer or toothpick into the cake. When it comes out clean, remove them from steamer an place on a rack to cool. If not , leave to cook for 5 minute increments until done.

If you undercook they will be dense and gummy and if you overcook they will become rubbery, so do check.

Mine was a bit overcooked, and it was hard to take on the next day. 

3. Cakes


Topo Map Love Cake ( adapted from Table for2 ....or more)

As Seen on Home Keation
Original source: Pn. Mastura Yasak
Ingredients:
250gm butter
250gm sugar
5 medium eggs
300gm cake flour +1 tsp baking powder
125ml evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pandan paste
Cocoa powder for creating the topo lines (I replaced with MILO 3 Tbsp)

1. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
2. Beat in eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift half the flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until well combined.
4. Mix in the evaporated milk until well combined.
5. Sift the balance of flour into the mixture and beat on low speed until combined.
6. Divide the batter to two. Mix vanilla extract to one part and pandan paste to the other.
7. Preheat oven to 160(fan)/180C. Prepare a 8 inch pan, lined at the base.
8. Spread 1/2 the pandan batter (or vanilla whichever you prefer) into pan. Level it.
9. Evenly sift a thin layer of cocoa powder over.
10. Very very gently dollop half of the other colour over and gently level it. Repeat the sifting of cocoa powder.
11. Repeat layering with both colours, with the final layer clean (no cocoa powder on top).
12. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
May be it was because I replaced the cocoa powder with MILO, the TOPO line wasn't obvious enough. Besides, I should have reduced the temperature to 130C and baked for 45. The top part of the cake was badly burnt and I needed to cut it off. Thankfully, my girls showed me their thumbs after tasting it.

2012-07-19

My health drink

Even my husband and I are not at home, I still want my girls to take some fruits. Banana is the easiest one, as it doesn't need to be cut, and it is seedless. So, there is always a bunch of bananas on my dining table.

I bought some lemons from pasar malam.  I wanted to make lemon juice to sooth my dry throat after taking durians the day before.

I swear, I don't know these two fruits when mix together can be so tasty.
I blended 1 banana and 1 lemon with a tablespoon of honey.
You must try this, it tastes heavenly good.

2012-07-18

My health food

I am quite a health conscious person, because I want to help my kids babysitting my grand kids when I have retired in future. I take good care of my diet, I exercise regularly, I take supplements and I lead a healthy lifestyle. I really hope all these help, and I pray. 

I bought a pack of 5 grain cereal mix from an organic shop. I soaked it for a few hours. I also added in  white fungus, lotus seeds, ginkgo biloba, wolf berries, and red dates to make it up to 10 ingredients. I  put in a piece of rock sugar for better taste, and boiled everything with 4 cups of water in slow cooker over night.
Next morning, I brought a big pot to office. I could eat this as breakfast, and keep the left over in fridge for lunch.
It was like eating porridge when warm, and it was like eating sweet dessert when chill. I do not know whether you can accept this type of health food. I can.

2012-07-17

BIOCERA Green Laundry Ball

In the last 1 hour shopping at one supermarket which located at 10 minutes drive from Incheon Airport, Seoul, I happily purchased this BIOCERA Green Laundry Ball. I remember vividly it costs more than RM300 for two balls in a box.
I bought it, because I still had some money in Korean Won and it was highly recommended by my good looking tour guide.
In fact, we have stocked up a few packs of detergent which we bought when there was promotion at Giant or Tesco. Guess, these will be the last few packs of detergent and then we can go Green for the next 3 years.
We have tried these two laundry balls a few times, and we are satisfied with the result.

I just put in laundry as normal, I skip using detergent or fabric softener. I use 2 Biocera Washing Balls when the laundry is a lot. Then, air dry Biocera Washing Balls after the laundry. It can last for 3 years or 1000 washes after the first use.

This ball is a Nano Technology Ceramic Ball made in Korea. It has been developed, researched and scientifically tested.

It contains ceramic beads and emits infra reds and negative ions into the water. Its antibacterial effect eliminate bacteria and odour and increase the cleaning effect of water.

This laundry ball can clean clothes without detergents
     If you are interested in this BIOCERA Green Laundry Ball, you can find out more from the web.  Here are the summary of the advantages.

    Advantages Of Using BioCera Laundry Balls: Wash, soften and sterilize, all in one
    • Economical: A ball lasts 3 years or 1000 washes.
    • Ecological: No harmful phosphates from your laundry water to pollute waterways.
    • Save Water: No need for excessive rinsing and your wash water is safe to re use.
    • No Allergenic Reaction: No residual detergents and chemicals in your laundry.
    • Gentle: Gentle on your clothes and gentle on your washing machine.

    2012-07-16

    Second piano mini concert

    It has been a long time I last wrote about the progress of my both princesses in their piano lessons. May is already in Level 3 of Music for little Mozarts, and April is still learning piano for pleasure. I didn't send them for any piano exam.

    The Music for Little Mozarts required parents to join in the class. I tried to cut down on the frequency of sitting next to May. I find her is too shy to sing loudly whenever I am around. So, I just left her to the teacher. Only when I feel like it, I will join her in the lesson to observe her  progress.

    The following pictures were taken during May's second piano mini concert.
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    Group singing
    My girls don't practise piano everyday due to the commitment in school homework and other activities. I will ask them to practise whenever they are free on weekends. I always motivate them to play piano by saying this,"Mummy love listening to music, especially piano that both of you are playing." They will happily play piano for me. I believe art, sports and music are all good to unwind them from the study pressure.

    May played Yankee Doodle in concert.

    2012-07-13

    Talent can be cultivated

    I told April that many uncles and aunties praise her for her nice drawings in mummy's blog. She just smiled.

    Her papa heard our conversation. When we were out for piano class, he stayed at home and pasted all his princesses' art work on the wall.
    
    These were all the most recent art work of April. Some were done in crayons, some were painted with water colours.
     When we were back, I asked her which one she likes best.
    She said this one, which was painted with water colours.

    I sent her to art class when she was only four, as I believe talent can be cultivated.

    Thanks everyone for your valuable input and comments. Happy Weekend, folks.

    2012-07-11

    Primary 2 drawing contest

    *Edited text in blue on 12 July 2012*
    I went picking up April from school yesterday, in the car.
    She: Mummy, the drawing contest result was out.
    Me : Really? You won?
    She: Yes, number 2.
    Me: Who is number 1?
    She: QZ.
    Me: Again.

    QZ, her classmate, was also the champion of Primary 1 drawing contest last year. He and April engage with the same art teacher outside. If you have forget how were their drawings last year, you can view this link.

    This year theme is "Flowers and butterflies".
    The champion's drawing is very colourful, bright and complete. He drew rainbow, bridge and mountain.
    April's drawing is a bit empty if compare to the champion's. She drew mushroom, flower pot and caterpillar and tree log. I personally like clouds as the background of her drawing.
    I couldn't get a clearer picture because of the glass. Please share with me how you find these two drawings. I think my daughter was too lazy to draw more things.

    ************************************************************************************
    On the way to PIL's house for dinner.
    Me: Mummy had taken pictures of you and QZ's drawings. Mummy had spent some time looking and analysing the drawings. I personally like your drawing more. The colour is nicer, the drawing is nicer, the background is also nicer. But, QZ drew more things, he colored more things, he put in more effort and time for those extra things that he drew. So he gained more marks than you. He deserved the number 1. The result is fair.

    April: Mummy, did you take at look at number 3 drawing? It is not nice at all............bla...bla...bla...

    Then, we changed topic.
    I forgot to mention. All students were taking part in this drawing contest which held in school. They were required to draw extra objects on a pre-printed drawing papers. The pre-printed drawing paper consists of some flowers at the left and a butterfly at the middle. Drawing and colouring needed to be completed and submitted to teachers within 2 hours.

    I admit that I have more expectation in her drawing than any other competitions that she took part. She has started the art lesson since she was 4 years old.

    2012-07-10

    I've been blessed with...

    ...April.

    These were the trophies and medal that she brought home yesterday. She was at position 7 in Pertandingan Melafazkan Pantun and first runner up in Pertandingan Buat Ayat.

    Even I am her mother, I didn't expect to see her good in sports. Last Saturday, she won the second runner up in 50M run of 3 Primary Schools combined sports event.
    She also took part in Chinese Song Singing Contest. This was the video that I took at home the night before the contest.
    I took an half day leave and went to her school to support her. I clapped my hand so loud, when the MC announced that she was the third runner up. I felt so proud and happy because I have just let her learn from the video and coached her on some of the actions. Most of the winners paid music teachers whom they engaged outside to learn their competition songs and actions.

    p/s: Sorry, I do not know how to rotate the video. It will be better to watch it via mobiles, pads or tabs.

    2012-07-07

    Online purchased bag

    Last 2 weeks, I did an online purchase again from this website, Zalora for this bag. This bag is from the brand of Gin & Jacqie. I found that it is sold at RM219 at its own brand official website. Whereas it has 50% discount at Zalora. Furthermore I got RM20 voucher upon signing up.
    The best thing of Zalora is all items are free shipping to your doorstep. How nice right?
      |   
    The Gin & Jacqie Carry-all Danni is a fit all bag featuring a drawstring opening, two exterior side compartments for water bottle, two exterior front compartments for notes and books, inner compartments for phone and keys, two interior pen holders and one large inner zipper compartment. It also comes with a bag organiser and matching sunglass case.

    RM219 * 50% = RM109.50 and RM109.50 - RM20 (voucher code) = RM89.50

    I placed order and made payment on 26 June and I got my bag on 29 June.
    Free shipping and yet could be so fast in delivery, I really like it. In future, I will still buy from this website.

    2012-07-06

    A little improvement of May

    I am always happy to see, though it is just a little improvement. May showed improvement in her study and her coloring skills.
    I am always happy to see, though it is just a little improvement. May showed improvement in her study and her coloring skills.

    She and her 4 others classmates scored 100% in all 6 subjects, their form teacher gave each of them the Angry Bird ball. She is holding the ball day and night, and she forgets that she has 3 same type of balls in the toy box.
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    Comparing to her examination result and her coloring work last year, she is getting better and better. I am certainly proud of her.