Street art: It's a dare.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Oompa Loompa sells gourmet chocolate, and is great for east enders who don't have to go far to satisfy their chocolate fix.
It is extremely creamy, the texture is great. I like it better than Canale, and it is definitely FAR cheaper than Godiva's. (We bought seven pieces for S$13.60.) It has, however, very few selections at the moment maybe because it is newly opened. But I don't mind it; it makes it much easier for me to make my selections!
180 East Coast Road
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The smooth, sweet O-Nee (Yam paste) with pumpkin and gingko nuts is a sinful treat that makes you toss your diet plans out of the window
Situated in the heart of Chinatown, this traditional Teochew restaurant looks like a blast from the past. Red lanterns hang from the ceiling together with trails of red paper garlands. Picture menus showcasing its house specialties are pasted on the walls. It is filled chock a block with diners every single day, and you can't get in without a reservation. No surprises.
It serves a killer O-Nee (Yam paste), oyster omelette generously adorned with plump, fresh oysters, steamed Teochew-styled fish, and many many more dishes the Teochews are renowed for. The owner speaks perfectly good Cantonese and recommends dishes to his Japanese clients in fluent Japanese. He's nice, he's patient, and his staff are never frazzled by the crowd of diners who keep streaming in.
Shui Jing Pao are savory and sweet dumplings made with paper thin, chewy skins; usually eaten as desserts
Some people who have reviewed this restaurant says Never, Never to bring kids. But we've always requested for tables in the corners, and they've always given us that. So we plonk Kai in the corner seat, which keeps him out of trouble from waiting staff. We never had problems and their child seats are clean, which is something I can't always say for a lot of restaurants (with such a crowd) even in
Fish maw soup
Braised duck and stir fried vegetables
8/9/10 Mosque Street
Tel: 6222 3654
(Reservations a must)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Two nights ago, shortly after I put Kai to bed, he started screaming, "Mama! Mama!" in terror.
He does cry occasionally after I put him to bed, but I would normally wait about 5 minutes before I go in again to check on him. But he sounded disturbed enough for me to jump off my bed immediately.
I could see the poor kid shaking with fright in his bed.
Me: Are you scared?
Me: What are you scared of?
(And he extended his arms to show me how long the dinosaur was.)
# # #
Yesterday, he cried long enough to convince me that I had to get out from my warm bed and day-end, power down braindead moment to check on him.
Me: What's wrong Kai? Tell me.
Kai: Afraid of night.
# # #
"Monsters under the bed" in the September 2008 issue of Parents talked about dealing with our kids fear, and has some great tips on how to deal with the over imaginative minds of our growing toddlers. What worked for me is:
1. Don't laugh at him. The dinosaur is as real to him as the cockroach that flew into your hair during lunch in a hawker centre. Show him you care enough to help him deal with the fear.
2. Reassure but don't overreact. Switch on the light or night light to show him that his bed room looks the same as it is in the day. There's nothing scary. I usually just stay long enough to reassure him that everything is ok and tuck him back in, rather than pet him to sleep. Staying there, simply validates his fear. And the next time, he'd want you to stay with him longer, and longer, and longer... It happened to me.
3. Remove any object that might be scaring him. I thought it was the ballon at the foot of Kai's bed and swaying in the wind, which caused the problem. I placed it aside, and explained why I did it. ("Mama is putting this aside because I think this ballon scared you in the dark.")
4. Make him feel safe. This kind of reinforces Point #2. But it helps that before I leave his room, I always tell Kai that he is safe and that I'm always "just in the next room" if he's scared. The magazine suggests having a night light in the kid's room; it gives enough to illuminate but not enough to distract.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Lately, all we want to do on Sunday evenings is to eat dinner at home, open a bottle of wine, and chill... So we have been passing on simple recipes to Wanti, our helper. With simple, we mean that with just one dish, it'd fill the stomach of everyone in the house. Plus of course, it must be easy to prepare.
I taught Wanti my version of coq au vin and last Sunday, shepard's pie. Typically, shepard's pie is made with left over roast meat. Since we don't have that, we use minced beef instead.
All you need (for 3-4 pax):
- 500-600g of minced beef
- button mushrooms (chopped)
- 1-2 onions (chopped)
- 4-5 potatoes
- shredded cheddar cheese
- fresh milk (500ml)
- 1-2 cups of red wine
- Beef stock (1 cup)
(Sorry for the lack of exact figures; these are recipes I keep in my head so we usually go by estimates!)
-While you chop your mushrooms and onions, bring water to boil to cook you potatoes
- Fry the onions (olive oil or butter) till fragrant, then throw in the mushrooms
- At this stage, I toss in some wine as well
- Then throw in the mince meet and fry till it's almost cooked
- Pour in the beef stock (not everything; just add to taste)
- Fry till it's cooked, and add salt and black pepper to taste.
It's ok if you get a lot of gravy at this stage. This way your minced beef wouldn't be too dry after you take it out of the oven later.
- Cook your potatoes thoroughly, and remove the skin from the potatoes
- Mash potatoes with butter and milk* till it's creamy
- Add salt and black pepper to taste
* Once again, use your discretion. Don't pour all 500ml in! It's suppose to be creamy, not watery.
(Putting it all together)
- Preheat your oven to 250 degree celsius
- Get a big pot, dish all your minced beef and spread it evenly across the bottom of the dish
- Then ladle your mashed potato on top of your minced beef evenly
- Pop it into the oven for approximately 15-20 min
- When it gets to about 10-15 min, open the oven and sprinkle cheddar cheese all over the top
(You want it cheesier, then put more!)
- Then leave it in the oven for another 5 min or until the cheese browns nicely
# # #
This is our version of the Shepard's pie, which means you can add and minus any ingredients you wish. Hate onions? Then throw in some chopped carrots, peas, tomatoes... whatever makes you happy.
And who cares if this really isn't the way the British makes it. ;) Just as long as you like it. (But on hind sight, I ought to have thrown in more vegetables. Next time!)
Monday, November 10, 2008
It is really easy and like my DIY pizza project, making popsicles is a fun thing to do together with your toddler. All you need is a plastic ice cream mould, and little bit of creativity.
How we made our orange popsicle:
- Squeeze some oranges for its juice (or you can use juices with less sugar from the supermarket)
- Pour them into the moulds
- Put the moulds into the freezer
That's it! And don't forget to involve your little helper along the way.
Tip: If you want to involve your toddler in the popsicle making process, and you think he can't wait to sample the end product. Pre-make some popsicles before you start the project with your toddler.
You can try other things like grape fruit juice. Then chop up some grapes and throw it into the mould together with the juice.
Monday, November 03, 2008
...is a ghastly good read.
I read it all through one sitting. It took me just 4.5 hours to finish the book--an action which Terence thinks "a waste of S$20". But I really couldn't make the book last any longer than that. I just couldn't put it down.
Written by Neil Gaiman (standing applause please) for young adults, i.e. children, it's about a little boy who's parents and sister were killed by the man Jack. He was subsequently brought up in a graveyard, and whose guardian--though hinted, never spoken--might be a vampire.
Isn't it disgustingly macabre a setting for a children's book? Yes! But the fantastical setting just pulls the reader through the pages like magic. And magic was what Gaiman wanted to give his readers, and magic was just what the readers received.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Another reason to visit Liang Court, other than to eat ramen at Tampopo, is the Mazazu crepes. I am so in love with the soft, chewy texture of the crepes, with prices ranging from S$4.80 - S$6.80.
I always had to share the crepe with Kai, which meant he gets to eat almost the whole thing by himself. Ah... but one fine Friday evening, Terence said: "Let's go get your crepe!" Satisfaction, at last.
Mazazu Crepe is in the basement, just outside the Japanese supermarket.
Kai with his S$5.50 (!) orange juice
If you can wake up early enough to beat the heat and humidity of a Singapore morning, head down to Casa Verde at the Singapore Botanical Gardens for breakfast. Casa Verde is a collaboration between the Les Amis Group, and the couple behind the boutique restaurant Buko Nero.
Food is pretty decent, but it may take you a while to get a seat when the crowd starts streaming in. Their "gourmet coffee", however, was a little diluted and didn't give enough kick. We ordered the cinnamon french toast^ and the mee siam; both were not too bad.
I'm definitely walking on the 'dark side' mama
It's definitely a great place for kids too. Bring a ball or a push bike. We kicked our ball around on a grass patch for a while before it became too hot to do anything. Then it was off to a nearby pond where a kind uncle gave Kai some bread to feed the fish and turtles.