Thursday, May 28, 2015

Living BIG

Remember our field trip to Morganfield's in KL, and eventually losing our way back, we were these country mice trying to find food in the city. Fast forward 2 years later, and there is a Morganfield's outlet closer to us, well ok not THAT close but relatively closer, at Empire Subang. So what? We HAD to go there and eat BIG!

We experienced something new this time, bibs for all, and love the caption! The kids put in on for a few minutes, and then it was all gone!

The genius in ourselves had us purchasing sweet nothings (read imitation Lego men) for the kids to stay entertained while Mummy and Daddy (and the kids, of course) binge, I mean, eat.

Can you feel the serenity? We did too! Until the food arrived! Then the Daddy got the kids to dig in, only Sanju obliged though, while Jeev pretended to sleep. Told you, Jeev can do anything to escape from food!

To cut the long story short, Sanju tried to wrestle with it for a while and later settled for the corn muffins and sausages. Well, no one complained!

This is the full view of the set. And please do not judge, we order big because we know if we can't finish it we will bring it back and have it for breakfast the next day. We love our ribs that much. 

By the way, don't you just love the piggy nose mugs?

We also had some refreshing apple mo-ji-to. True story.

And before I forget, Morganfield's ribs are still the best ever in Asia (Malaysia and Singapore at least), this time we had so much of it we got temporarily sick but hey we can still have more next time!

And on another occasion I was feeling like some tomyam at Khunthai, and someone wanted to have it BIG. So we got this:

Kick@$$ lobster Thai style! Needless to say there was more shell than meat. However I am still at awe at the size of it! The good thing about Khuntai is they also have a simple play area and a large pond with fishes and tortoise, so the kids are occupied till the food comes.

And when the kids are not juggling and tackling their foodie parents, they moonlight as Hulk & Ironman. Don't take my word for it, the pic here says it all.

Till the next time.. eat and live BIG!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cook. Bake. Be Merry

On some days of the week I work from home. And I truly treasure the little moment I get to enjoy time to myself, be it doing my work, running errands, prepping or even cooking and baking. Its exciting to plan what things can I cook and bake on those days. I plan ahead, and even do a quick trip to the market to get things going. 

I had made some cinnamon rolls last weekend for a cousin who's not been well. And I had purposely made extra dough in the same breadmaker run and chilled it for my day off. And this is what I got:

As the lovely aroma of rosemary and extra virgin olive oil filled the ambience, I get reminded again and again, why do I love focaccia so much. Better still with bacon, onion & cheese filling. The kids call this pizza, I don't know why, maybe its the cheese?

Here is what it looks like from the inside:

The dough is the same recipe as my cinnamon rolls with less sugar. This way, I took out the chilled dough and gave it a nice massage & little folding with EVOO and its good to pose as foccacia dough! Then it is just the matter of arranging in the baking dish, put the filling and another layer on top. Drizzle some more EVOO and some dried rosemary and bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes. And this time, finally I could cut the focaccia so neat, only because I let it out cool down to room temperature. Most often than not I (or rather hubby) is always rushing to cut open warm bread pronto immediately right now ASAP!

And then I had to prep for dinner so I went for this Jamie Oliver's Hit-and-run tray baked chicken recipe, which turned out so awesome! Served with some aglio olio pasta, it was perfect! And the juices were perfect dip for the focaccia!

Not in pic is also this sweet-sour Indian mangoes salad right from my father-in-law's own tree. I cut it small with some red chillis, spring onion and garlic. Dress it with EVOO and salt. Ok my mouth is watering as I type it. But yes, truly refreshing!

I did not snap any pictures this time but I have one from the time I made kimchi and salad using, yes, you guessed it, unripe Indian mangoes! Here's the link to my kimchi recipe I shared previously, made using easy to find Malaysian ingredients.

Gorgeous rainbow of colours! And this is what and why and how I enjoy my time to myself. Cook, bake and be merry. By the time its evening, I am down with back and leg aches. Darn you age!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pick Only Two

I saw this on a fellow blogger's post I'm a full-time mummy, and I was wondering, which two would I choose? My sanity? Happy kids? Or a clean house?

A clean house is very important given the fact that we spend the most of part of our days at home. Also with active and playful kids, I have to ensure they have a clean play area (which means the whole house). Plus I am kinda OCD that I can't stand walking and working around dirty floors and table tops.

Happy kids are essential to ensure minimal fussing, condusive play times & learning sessions and in fact happy kids make mummy happy and eventually you feel you are meeting your daily goals and KPIs.

And then, how about my sanity? I can turn into quite a momzilla, momster, mogambo (whatever you may want to call it) under stress and noise. Maintaining my sanity gives me more energy and drive do go about my daily chores and cooking/baking experiments.

My two choices are my sanity and happy kids. Sure a clean house is important, but if I have my sanity, I will have the state of mind of working around it and surely a solution for a clean home can be managed.

Being a full time working mom I have my practices and routines that help me plan for weekly meals. I cook a lot on Sundays so that we can eat the leftovers on weekdays. I also prep vegetables and marinate meat for impromptu pasta or grilled meat dishes. I always have grated vegetables ready for immediate salads. I always keep pizza base and cheese in handy to make pizza for dinner. I do bend the rule 2 or 3 times a week that I allow the kids to eat out at their favourite spot. This also allows us some bonding time together as I get to sit and chat with them about their day and school without worrying about cleaning up.

With kids happily playing together, I get some 'me' time that I use for baking that keeps the whole family happy with different surprises each time. Hubby gets his breakfast on the go almost on daily basis. I also get some sanity, minus the cleaning up that comes with it, it is very enjoyable for me.

Since I have my sanity (well, most of the times) I keep the house clean with floor wipes. Using the Daiso wet wipes I get almost mopped feel on the floors. I also maintain the toilets by washing it weekly, but I leave the heavy-duty cleaning for the part time cleaner who comes in every 2 weeks. I usually plan her work such that she also helps me with ironing. 

When I embarked on being a full time working mother, I was initially skeptical and worried on how will I balance routine with the new schedule, but I guess it all just fell in place together. Persistence is the key, and lots and lots of SANITY!

Which two would you choose?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

No Knead, No Mess, Easiest Bread

When I first read post on her mother's best peasant bread The Best Easiest Bread You Will Ever Make I was skeptical thinking 'yea right and I am Duchess of Cambridge'.

Boy oh boy, was I wrong. And how gleefully!

I set out to making the alleged easiest bread, and believe me, it cannot get any easier!

I did not have pyrex bowl, so I used the loaf pan, so I did not get crispy bottom, yet, it was a delight to not knead, just bake and eat. Any easier you will have to buy it on your own!

Here's how I did it:
Mix 2 tsp yeast into 1 cup of lukewarm water and some sugar. Stir it and leave it till it foams. Mix 2 cups of all purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup wholewheat flour & the rest APF) with salt and 2 tsp sugar in a mixing bowl. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir till it comes together. This mixture will appear more like a batter than dough. Cover with a towel and leave it to proof for 1 hour. In the meantime butter your baking dish well. After the first proof, you can use fork to poke and punch the dough down. Use the fork or your hands (buttered) to transfer into the baking dish. Proof for another 30 minutes and bake in preheated 220C oven for 18-20 minutes. 

For my maiden attempt, I decided to go faux foccacia, so I added some mixed herbs and what appeared to be 1tbsp of EVOO into the batter, and voila!

Excellent to be eaten with butter, or on its own!


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