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Day 24/2021: how did it fly?

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Happened to read a couple of instagram posts that absolutely resonated with my life, that I took a double take. It’s 24th Jan, the year 2021. My kids have been in school for the past 20 days (well, less the weekends). How has life been so far?

Busy. I had an awesome 1st week. Dropped the kids off at school, then went for breakfast with Daddy Ting, before coming home to start on work, meals and you know, SAHM stuff. I was doing pretty well.

Then I started getting orders for some hae been hiam cookies that I had been R&D-ing for fun. Friends ordered and more friends ordered and they told their friends about it, then BOOM. What had I created? Hahaha. What a steep learning curve into the F&B industry. It was insane the first week, I was surviving on fumes, then I finally settled into the 2nd week and now we’ve got a system going on.

Donald and I started getting some time to ourselves as the kids stayed over at their grandparents’. One weekend, we slept in till 11am before we roused ourselves up. It had been YEARS since we slept in so late. We went out for meals a lot more, debating if we should try this cafe or that, before ending up at the food centre with a teh-c and a bowl of noodles. Cheap and good. It was the company that was important.

It made me wonder if this was what life was like without kids. And would we be happy without the four kids? I dunno. It’s hard to imagine life without the kids. That honeymoon period of 7 yrs together seemed another lifetime ago.

I told Donald this morning, I must be crazy thinking I want to do more, and I probably have the capacity to do more. Just like how I told him I must be crazy to want to do this cookie business, on top of running two other businesses and the four kids. There are some trade offs, but I would like to think I am getting better at managing it now. I hope! Okok, I really need to get back into the exercising game. All those food and tasting is gonna make me fat soon (as if I have not put on enough weight).

2020 went by in the blitz. Was it forgettable? No, in fact I am in wonder at the type of stuff we encounter, not experienced. Our grandparents went through the war n post war, but our encounters are one of a different kid. It was also a year I cooked so much stuff that I never knew I could cook. Talk about stepping out of the box! It’s like cooking just so I can and can say I did it LOL. I’m glad the kids took the food gamely, we had some fun, especially making pearls for our BBT, and having churros and muah chi.

It made us closer as a family. Because we wanted to reduce as much contact with others as much as possible, it was really just us. We only started heading out in July and we took the kids to a secluded park to get some air (Tampines Eco Green) and then it sparked other walks and outdoor experiences, cycling distances got further, the boys endurance was tested. It was amazing.

The kids are growing up alot more. The boys have their birthdays in the next couple of weeks, Alex started school and is adapting well. And Sarah has gotten taller (FINALLY).

What about me? I’ve finally scored some me-time for 3 hours, still trying to manage my projects and life. But definitely doing more self-care. Not about the spas, facials type of self-care, but taking rest when needed, making sure that my sanity is suitable to raise kids (not be all shrieky and screamy), and definitely making sure there is ALWAYS ice cream in the freezer.

Hope all of you are coping well at the beginning of the year.

Category: Daily, Special

Recipe: Steamed Herbal Chicken

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yummy herbal chicken

If you love a good herbal chicken, you can give this recipe a try!

My earliest memories of a herbal chicken dish was at Old Airport Road food centre. And then came those premixes that you can get from the supermarkets.

Haha but with premixes, I always wondered what goes into the powdered satchet. Or gives that added oomph into the dish. I tried making my own and still couldn’t quite get it right. It wasn’t just the herbs.

Finally chanced on a recipe that used a marinade with the herbs. So easy? Just like that?

Yup, just like that haha. We used chicken marylands instead of a whole chicken just because it is so much easier to manage and portion out too! Doing it at home just got simpler.

10g yuzhu
5g ginseng beard
4-5 pcs dang gui
5g dried longan
1 tbsp wolfberries
3 red dates
50ml water

To marinade
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper (we used black pepper)
1 tsp light soy sauce
½ tsp salt
2-3 slices ginger

4 chicken marylands

Baking paper
Aluminium foil

Marinade chicken pieces with prepared marinade for about 15mins.

Line aluminium foil with baking paper. Place herbs & ginger on the baking paper, then place marinated chicken thighs on top of the herbs.

Lift up edges of foil & baking paper and gently fit into 3L ShuttleChef inner pot. Pour 50ml water into the parcel and fold edges of aluminium foil to secure the parcel.

Fill pot with water till it comes up halfway of the sealed parcel. Bring water to boil and simmer with lid closed for 30mins. Place pot in outer pot for 3 hours.

Eat with hot steamed rice! Enjoy.

Day 278/2020: lifestyle change

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Attempting a juice cleanse

Circuit breaker has brought out the cook/baker in all of us. Hahah. I think it is because I could actually cook dishes without being interrupted, with ah lau at home and being able to watch the kids for a bit.

Obviously the lack of moving about meant we were piling on some weight. I wasn’t very consistent with exercising. I love my food, and I felt conscious exercising at home with so many eyes on me. Hahaha. And just like that, I piled on an additional 6kg. 😭

I have to constantly remind myself that I am not doing it to lose weight but to stay healthy. I can’t cut the food I love so exercise would be it. Close to hitting 40 already, ah lau has high cholestrol. My weight has been yo-yoing for the past 8 yrs with 4 pregnancies. I went for a gallbladder removal surgery 2 yrs ago cos of gallstones.

If not now, then when?

So ah lau attended a detox zoom class and decided a juice cleanse was what he needed. I rolled my a lot. Isn’t that like a super expensive fad? I have nothing against juices, I love it. But wah lao, I rolled my eyes cos this is coming from the skeptic of the year, my ah lau himself.

We used to have a centrifugal juicer and he went on about how we should blend fruits instead of juicing so it retains the fibre, or eat the actual fruit itself; how difficult it was to wash and how a balanced diet was more important. How slow-pressed juices were just a con job to charge exhorbitant prices; how fruit juices are all sugar.

Ok lor. But wthhh he got damn excited after the class and we nearly bought a juicer over the weekend?? I am supportive wife ok. But logic got over the better me, smacked some sense into him and we decided to borrow his mother’s Kuvings to trial for 3 days.

$40 of veggies and fruits poorer, today is day 1 of his juice cleanse. We did some research and learnt that juice cleanse is more veggies than fruits, the various types of masticating juicers (capacity, speed of machine, brands and other uses for said machine) and that hey, veggie juices with an apple or two don’t really taste that bad.

Juices! Lelong lelong 😂

I made an apple, pineapple, carrot and mint juice for myself. Ah lau’s kale, spinach and apple juice didn’t taste too bad. He is still going strong lol. He is taking notes of his journey so maybe there’ll be some result after 3 days!

I was also conscious of all these pulp getting wasted. Ah lau actually sent me a link to use the pulp for baking bread! Wahh, so supportive of my zero waste. I would use for compost if I had a bin but my last attempt at composting got me a little iffy so I will pass on it for now. The almond pulp didn’t get wasted tho!

Almond pulp from making almond milk

I used these from my last batch of almond milk and add it into my banana bread batter. Oh my…it was so lovely! It was not as fine as almond meal which is fine cos it means the bread has a nuttier texture to it. It was so so yummy.

Banana bread with almond pulp and a glass of almond milk

Recipe for banana bread:
1½ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup buttermilk (make ½ tbsp lemon juice and enough milk to fill ½ cup)
100g almond pulp

Preheat oven to 170°C. Sift flour, baking powder and bicarb soda together.

In another bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, ensuring egg is well mixed after each addition. Then add mashed bananas in and stir to mix well.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet mix, alternating with buttermilk, stirring well after each addition. Finally, add in the almond pulp until combined.

Spoon mixture into prepared loaf tin and bake for 50 – 60mins, or until the top of the bread is firm and is a deep brown colour. An inserted skewer should come out clean. Cool in tin for 10 mins before removing.