Friday, June 29, 2012

The Toy Stories

Every toy has a story to tell. The condition of the toy tells how well it is taken care by the owner. The quality of the toy tells the value of the toy. And the quantity of the toy tells the amount of times parents had to give in to the power of persuasion.

With two kids and plenty of uncles, aunties and grandparents doting over them, we have a good amount of toys that the kids received as gifts. However, the kids are never satisfied, especially Sanju, always makes us buy small toys that he sees here and there at petrol station or the supermarket.

The good thing is at these places they have a good variety of toys that come with some candies. We usually throw the candies away immediately, neither is Sanju interested himself. The toys however turn out amazingly good in quality and entertaining for the kid, for less than RM5.

This line up of toys are from the above mentioned places and strategies. There is the police 4WD, commando pickup, some Figurine, drummer Mickey and aeroplane. The Mickey has lost his leg,and the drum is detachable, but plays fine once we turn the key. The figurine has arms that has come off a number of times, but always goes back in place with no trouble. The 2 cars make up the variety for Sanju's car collection, and the aeroplane is so cool that it has a chain, pulling which its wheels start moving and the dynamo action emits light on the disc above it.

The line of balloons above is what we (are forced to) get for Sanju from Petronas stations, during every visit there he knows which exact corner displays his goodies.

Those are our cheapo buys over the months, and the collection is only growing by the day. Among the other toys, the one with most history has got to be the robot below. It was gifted to Sanju by a very dear family friend who is no longer among us. Originally the robot can walk, swing it's hand and shoot after giving some warnings. Now, with it's head and hands amputated, Sanju plays gun with the hands.

The most pricey toy at the moment has got to be the Ironman figurine, thanks to his obsession on the superhero after watching the movie. I've been teaching Sanju to take care of him like a baby because God forbid if any of the parts break, even Tony Stark can't help fix it back.

The most engaging toy has got to be the blocks. He can play whole day long, building robots, train and colliding them into pieces, and then start building again. Mechanical engineer potential there, the father always says. I say he just likes to mess up the living room. We have now setup a play area for them beside the living room, still hoping that they learn to Play within the play mat.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Of iPhone, iPad and The Euro Cup

The soccer fever is on, yet again, with Euro Cup being in progress for the past 2 weeks plus. Hubby is full involved in the game and his schedules revolves around it. I still can't imagine how important can this once in 4 years event be. Late nights, erratic sleeping hours, missed alarm and countless snoozes is the side effects of this event. Conversations are now about the matches, the goals, and the anticipation of the coming final match.

This is also the time of the year that I get to brush up my soccer knowledge, not that I am interested, but he makes sure I fully support his favorite team, the Germans, and makes sure I understand why they deserve to be the winners. I do not dispute, support them with open arms, and just hope we get over the soccer fever real soon, because I am getting tired of watching the reruns of the best goals on sports channel.

With all this craze, Hubby upgraded himself to the device in craze, the iPhone, to replace his Nokia that served him for slightly more than a year. My android talks on him did not work at all. I have always maintained to be an android supporter due to the open source nature, but with a thick face I have to admit that I too gave in to the pressure of the i-device and got the iPad to replace my ailing laptop.

What is so great about the iPhone and the iPad compared to their competitive contemporaries anyway? Now that I have tried both, I must say, a great deal! The I-devices are all about speed, convenience and technology with grace. And at this moment it feels great to have apple products on my finger tips, literally!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Quick Fix With HCP

Please bear with me while I go on raving about my HCP. Cooking is an exciting hobby and essential daily chore for me. It is a great feeling cooking something new daily that I learn from a friend, the television or the internet. With the new HCP, even the same old dish becomes exciting and new, knowing that I have a different utensil to produce better result in a shorter amount of time.

Today afternoon I was about to spread some tuna on the wholemeal bread for my lunch when I remembered the HCP. Plus I also had some custard mixture balance from the cuppies. And I kind of felt like eating something cheesy. French toast came to my mind. And then I thought why not put a cheese in between the breads in a sandwich and make a french toast of it. Then I got cooking.

It took hardly a few minutes, and with the non stick surface, flipping was so easy. No, I did not try flipping the pan. I kind of forgot about that feature. Nevertheless, my cheesy french toast was so rich and satisfying. It also occurred to me that the HCP can make a very wonderful bread pudding, my favourite! I have like thousands of ideas in my head to utilise the HCP and I just can't wait for it!

I might just become an HCP expert soon and join the home tutors on a Tutor Spree! If I do indeed, you would be the first to know!

In the meantime, please drool over the picture.

More lessons learnt on the HCP.

HCP Lesson no.3 - Cook at low heat if you don't want the toast to brown more than intended.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Calling - Mini Pie Cuppies

Happy Call indeed, when I received my Happy Call double sided pan! I had contemplated buying this pan for months now seeing mothers raving about it everywhere. I asked myself did I really need it? It took a while to answer the question, and by then I had found out the best price in the market, all the way from Gmarket in Singapore, which even provided free shipping to Malaysia!

What made me decide for it? Since it is a double sided pan, with a lock, I can fry anything and flip it while it is closed. This means my phobia for frying fish pretty much answered, and I can also fry my other favourites like egg tofu without worrying about the oil spluttering over the kitchen and with my kids playing all over the kitchen floor, safety is the most important factor. With the lock system it also means that food cook faster than the normal pan. How cool is that?

I have been cooking pretty much every day on the weekdays. And my current frying pan was wearing out anyway, I don't blame it, it was a cheap one to begin with. My kitchen utensils needed a desperate upgrade, and non stick surface is the way to go since we are getting all so health conscious (I have some baby weight to lose still).

Right before they go in the oven
I have been crazy over this muffin tray that I recently got, and wanted to make this little pie cuppies that I got inspired from Rachel Ray's recipe. It is a simple chicken ham crusted pie with creamy spinach filling. For the spinach filling, I just sauteed garlic, spinach, asparagus and red pepper. Added some milk and cream cheese to cream it up. I also filled up the cuppies with a mixture of 1.5cups of milk and 3 eggs beaten together, with some salt, pepper and ground oregano. There is still some balance left however, I am hatching my next plan on how to utilise it next.
After baking for 15 mins at 150C
Here is what I learnt today:

HCP lesson no.1: Do not flip the HCP if you are cooking with some gravy
HCP lesson no.2: Do not toss and shake the HCP as how you see the Korean dude do it on the video.

Ah well, I am still a beginner!

Now as I go back to cooking and painting the kitchen red with my new toy, stay tuned for more inventions!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Afternoon Breakfast At Antipodeon Cafe

It was one of those rare days that we get to make a spontaneous plan of going out. We headed to Bangsar to eat something that we have been meaning to try for a long time now. I have been telling hubby so much about this big breakfast at Antipodeon Cafe that it is unfair to not try it.

At first I joked that for us to make it for breakfast at 8am in Bangsar we would have to leave the house like 7am. And to make it for that timing we would have to get up possibly 5am or so, you know to bath, feed and get the kids dressed up. It sounds tiring already! Thank God it was possible to leave the house at leisure, the kids showered, fed and dressed up all nice and handsome, and we would not miss the breakfast. All this is possible because at Antipodeon Cafe, breakfast is served all day long. Yes, you heard it right!

There was nothing much to decide on what to eat. Given their reputation on big breakfast, big breakfast it was. And all day breakfast. Not much difference there except for the mushrooms and baked beans. The scrambled egg portion is so huge that mine felt like a never-ending serving.The highlight of the meals is the sausage and hearty bacon, either beef or pork. No prizes for guessing which one we 'pigged on'.

The sausage was so soft and fresh, we are guessing it was made by the cafe itself. And the bacon was something like we never had before. Much more meaty than the ones we buy at the supermarkets locally. It was totally wrong to eat so little of such good stuff, so we ordered extra servings of both.

Antipodeon is very famous for their coffee, so we also gave a try at their latte. I am no coffee drinker, neither expert, but it was very very pleasant to drink. And yeah, since we were pigging out anyway, we tried this butter free chocolate cake, to cover for the calories consumed earlier. Pure yummylicious! 

There is this simplicity in their food that makes it taste almost home-made. Salt is at its minimal best, and no artificial or empowering flavouring of any sort. This is something that we really appreciated being able to taste the pure flavours of the food.

Enough about the food. Another major highlight of this cafe is the fact that they have a little playroom with cool toys to entertain the kids. A couple of the waitresses were so good with Sanju that he kept on calling out to them to play with him. Surely kept the kids occupied while we enjoyed our breakfast that afternoon.

Big Breakfast Meal -  RM19
Butter free chocolate cake - RM8
Latte - RM9
Enjoying the meal with the kids playing away peacefully - PRICELESS


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