Lotus seed (莲子羹)recipe

Old is gold. I finally found the time to make something traditional for dessert today. This is another fuss free recipe which required just a few ingredients. But because of CB, I had to make do with whatever I have because the queue to enter the supermarket was too long. Again.

Ingredients (Serves 6pax)

  • 200g Lotus seeds (aka 莲子)
  • Lily bulb (aka 百合) I didn’t have this so I took the ones in my 六味汤 soup pack.
  • 4 pandan leaves (tied into a knot)
  • 8 Red dates (红枣)
  • 15 Dried longans (龙眼干)
  • White fungus (I didn’t have this)
  • Rock sugar

Instructions

  • Soak the lotus seeds overnight.
Kinda look like a bowl of boobs eh
  • Remove the greenish bulb from the centre of the lotus seed. (The lotus seeds will be bitter if you leave them in)
  • Rinse the lily bulb, red dates and dried longan.
  • Put everything in the pressure cooker and add in 2 litres of water.
  • I used the soup setting and cooked for 40min under the pressure cooker mode.
  • Add in desired amount of rock sugar according to your preference.

Enjoy!

Thai Red Ruby Recipe (The failproof version)

Thai red ruby is my must order dessert whenever we have Thai food. It looks difficult to make them but that’s just an illusion. Try it! I think it’s safe to proclaim it as failproof.

Ingredients (To serve 4 pax)

  • Water Chestnuts (I used 9 big ones)
  • Tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch)
  • 250ml Coconut milk (too much for 9 chestnuts but who cares! Burps!)
  • 4 Pandan leaves (tie into a knot)
  • 15ml of sugar (I measured using the Avent milk storage cup)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Some ice cubes

Instructions

  • Cut each chestnut into small cubes (I cut it via its cross section then cut each cross section into 8 parts).
Sorry probably failed fractions at school so all uneven in size
  • Add in a couple of drops of red food colouring (can substitute it with beetroot powder).
  • Leave the chestnuts alone for now.
  • In a pot, add in the coconut milk, pandan leaves, sugar and salt. Leave it on a small flame to melt the sugar and salt. Do not bring it to a boil.
  • Leave it to cool.
  • Pour away the excess water in your water chestnuts. Put them in a plastic bag.
  • Add in tapioca flour (I just pour enough to coat them). Give the bag a good shake so each chestnut has a nice coat.
  • Use a spray to give the tapioca flour coated chestnuts a good spritz and pour more tapioca flour. Shake it well to coat the flour evenly. Repeat it until you feel your chestnuts are fat enough (I sprayed them thrice).
  • Pour the coated chestnuts into a sieve and shake off the excess flour.
  • Boil a pot of water. Make sure it’s boiling nicely otherwise the coating might split from the chestnuts.
  • Pour the coated chestnuts into the boiling water.
  • Prepare an ice bath.
  • Scoop the rubies out when all of them are floating nicely and put them in the ice water.
  • You can blend some ice cubes with the coconut milk before adding them to your rubies. I wanted a fuss free experience so I just put the mixture in the fridge to chill.
  • Enjoy!

Homemade ice-cream

The P4 students in my school made ice-cream in class a couple of months ago as part of the Stellar curriculum. On hearing PM Lee’s announcement that the manufacture of ice cream will be halted during the Comprehensive Circuit Breaker period, I asked in the group chat for instructions.

There was a slight problem though. When everyone heard that there’s no more desserts like doughnuts and cakes for the next few weeks, the hoarding frenzy increased in intensity and I couldn’t get hold of the main ingredient, whipping cream.

The hub finally managed to find a 1 litre pack at a totally obscure minimart after weeks of hunting.

Here’s what you need to enjoy homemade ice cream. So far we made 2 batches over 2 days. Ez said these tasted like IKEA’s. Only better. He asked me to tell his teachers that he made ice-cream at home (implying that he finally got to do some stay home activities with me).

Ingredient list

  • 125ml of whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of fine sugar (you will get a smoother and creamier scoop if you add in more sugar)
  • 2 drops of vanilla essence
  • Chocolate chips / rainbow sprinkles / chocolate rice / crushed Oreo / blueberries as toppings

Add in a little bit of whipping cream first to the sugar and mix it well. Thereafter, fold in the rest of the whipping cream and stir some more. Add in 2 drops of vanilla essence and stir before capping it. I used the Avent food storage cups for convenience.

Because there ain’t a freezer in school, the kids had to put the above mixture in an airtight glass container before putting it in another container that’s filled with ice cubes and salt. Keep rolling the container around until the cream solidifies. Putting a dish towel under the container helps tremendously in soaking up the mess.

Science tip: Salt lowers the freezing point of water. When salt is added to ice, energy is drawn the water as the ice cubes melt, making it colder.

We got Ez and Lè meimei to go through the entire process so we could explain this concept. But unfortunately, they didn’t have the patience to continue rolling the container so we stuck them in the freezer and bathe them first instead. Bad idea as it meant they made a huge mess while eating their ice cream in pajamas. I would suggest you get your kids to try this out before nap time. That way, they can wake up to a dessert treat for tea break.

Today, we tried substituting sugar with a quarter sachet of hot chocolate powder to 125ml of whipping cream to get chocolate ice-cream. I think I’m too stingy as the colour is not dark enough. We will be trying other varieties soon. Some suggestions include, adding crushed Oreo to yield cookies and cream ice-cream or substituting the hot chocolate mix with 3-in-1 coffee powder for the adults. So many possibilities for a pack of whipping cream. No wonder it’s OOS everywhere.

Blueberry and chocolate rice

Mango Sago Recipe

It’s day 13 of Circuit Breaker, Singapore’s version of Not a Lockdown lockdown. We woke up to the news of the islandwide closure of Macdonald. The hub is bummed because his Mac delivery was canceled due to overwhelming demands.

To cheer him up, I decided that today is the day we try to make our own version of Mango Sago.

I got mangoes from Shengshiong, $0.99 each. The sign proclaimed that they were rainbow mangoes. Such a wonderful name so I’m sold immediately. Rainbow to chase away the gloom of No Macdonald till May the fourth.

I don’t know how to choose sweet mangoes, I went by colour. Yeah I’m superficial like that. I only took mangoes that had a rosy complexion and luckily, all of them were sweet.

Here’s what you need to yield around 1litre of mango purée.

Ingredients:

  • 4 mangoes
  • 3/4 cup of sago
  • Half a can of evaporated milk
  • 100ml Coconut cream

Steps:

  • Cut the mangoes into half so that each half is like a cup and no juice is wasted as you scrap out the flesh.

Rosy cheeked mango

  • Keep a little of each mango so you can cut it into small cubes for garnishing.

Sorry orange mango in orange bowl abit of an overkill

  • Cook the sago and rinse them in cold water when it’s done. A little white dot is perfectly fine as they will even out when hanging out in the bowl.
  • Blend the mango with evaporated milk

So yummy I can eat an entire bowl on its own
  • Layer the sago at the bottom, then the blended purée, coconut cream and finally garnish with excess sago and mango cubes.

It’s not perfect but it’s done by Ez

  • Finally just close both eyes and let the kids create their masterpiece aka make a glorious mess.

#stayhome #staysafe #cookon #huilaushan #mangosago #homemadedessert #nosugaradded

A toothifying experience

I was officially 50% less wise a week ago. So taking into account how blonde I oredi was, now it’s even worse okay. So if I can’t comprehend you, take heart that it’s not communication skills that you are lacking.

Previous X-rays had shown that all my wisdom teeth were impacted. So imagine my joy when one of these elusive teeth cut through the gum to say hi. I figured that perhaps growing plus size after 2 kids made my jaws expanded too (evidence of being blonde again). So I waited patiently for it to grow nicely.

Then came the night before the eve of CNY. The area around the tooth was swollen and it hurt to brush / chew / whatever but I figured that it was due to the tooth erupting from the gum. And an eruption it was because by the first day of CNY, I already couldn’t eat properly and I needed the first of many paracetamol (in days to come) just to get through the day. I hardly take paracetamol even though it’s safe during breastfeeding because I didn’t want to risk affecting Lè meimei.

Plenty of CNY goodies were still hanging around because I couldn’t eat them

Why the extraction? I wanted to keep the tooth initially because

  • It was already growing out above the surface of the gum.
  • It’s gonna hurt like hell during extraction and the aftermath.
  • I don’t like the dentist.
  • I am freaking scared of sitting on the dentist’s chair.
  • It’s not a good time (COVID-19) to go to a clinic of any kind because no one wears a mask at the dentist (okay turns out everyone including the recept wore one).

However, the pain soon got excruciating. To the point that even a bristle of my toothbrush could trigger a head-jaw-cheek numbing pain whenever I brushed. It remained a barely tolerant throbbing irritation at other times. I gargled with onguard and listerine, applied Bonjela and even sucked on Lè Meimei’s teething medicine (was really desperate at this point) but to no avail. By the time I finished an entire tab of paracetamol, I came to the conclusion that it had to go.

I chose a Q&M clinic despite it being poorly reviewed by everyone I asked simply because I know there’s not gonna be a huge crowd. But even then, I had to wait to get an available slot at an awkward timing. If you have a choice, perhaps you should think twice before putting yourself in that spot.

Please remember to request for your bill before payment and be sure to read through every item. I was billed for x-ray even though I didn’t do one that day. I had one done on a previous visit and my guess was that no one checked the image was current and still relevant. I only realized this after I got home. The clinic had since agreed to refund me the extra $80 but it would take 6 to 8 weeks for them to process and issue a cheque.

Take care of your teeth people. They are real gems and therefore a b*tch to remove.

Our 9s Seafood experience

School started this week. I no longer have the luxury to go to NTUC every day to get our fresh supplies. It’s alright to stock up on frozen meat during the weekends but I prefer to get the kids fresh fish for their meals.

I decided to try out 9s Seafood after raving reviews from my mummy friends. 9s certainly did not disappoint. Firstly, their website is easy to maneuver with all the necessary information you need about that particular fish. Even for a simple salmon, you have a variety of choices to determine how the fish will appear in front of you. You can have it as a steak, fillet (sliced or not), etc.

I hardly (almost never) buy an entire fish because it kinda gross me out and I seriously do not know how to get the organs out (nor want to) and descaling it is way too much work. At 9s, I indicated the size of pomfret I want, told them I want it for steamboat and guess what?!? The fish is nicely sliced with the head in a bag, the bones in another and the flesh on its own! Did I mention that everything is vacuum sealed for freshness?

Though slightly more expensive than the wet markets, I much rather shop for my fish online out of convenience (kids and slippery floor in wet markets usually don’t end well).

9s Seafood offers free delivery for orders over $60. This is a reasonable amount for small families like us. We don’t have to amass a huge order just to make the free delivery (like Song Fish).

One final reason for choosing this company is that you can receive your order the very next day as long as you order before 9.30pm! How fresh is that?! They literally choose your seafood for you while you sleep and deliver them to your doorstep just in time for you to cook dinner. And if you are very very lucky, they might even throw in an additional item foc. I wasn’t but 2 of my mummy friends had free squids. Sad… But there’s always next time.

My parents used to be staunch believers of wet markets. They are now converts after surfing the website. Today, they are the proud owners of 2 entire pomfret. Me? I still like mine sliced. Neat and mess free.

Here’s my $72.20 loot! Pomfret (800g), gong gong (500g), lala (500g), grey prawns (500g), scallops (500g), salmon belly (not in photo) and a Muar otah!

I really like their delivery crew too. He even went out of his way to check if my parents (who were at my place) needed a lift back to theirs cuz he was delivering their loot there. Where got such a nice uncle one?!

Eat, fight, cry, play, repeat

Today was Ez’s Centre closure day. I planned to take the kids to watch Frozen 2 because we wanted to do so in Beijing but it was too expensive (each ticket was 80rmb). A couple of days ago, I came up with this fantabulous idea of bringing them to Dreamers @ Jewel for the movie and thankfully managed to get what the hub and I usually deem as good seats (last row, unobstructed view).

Then today came. We took the bus to the airport. Like 2 stops later, the kids started bickering. Lè meimei did not like Ez’s legs near hers. Ez was complaining that he wasn’t anywhere near her. So she started crying. In she went into the baby carrier but of course the leg space issue continued. Tsk Tsk. Luckily, she managed a short nap before we alighted.

Though we left house like 2h before the movie, we managed to dilly dally till we had to rush to get our popcorn. There’s a current promotion for a free 32oz popcorn if you are a Changi reward member (login to the app and get the coupon). 500 pax per calendar month. We managed to get that even though it’s almost mid month. The girl at the cashier was awesome. She saw the kids and asked if I want to split the popcorn into 2 cups. We did and I’m sure we averted a meltdown in the cinema because they didn’t need to fight over who would hold the tub.

Dreamers was a very good idea because of the designated play area. This marked my maiden experience of watching a movie while sitting on a step. I wondered if I can convince Shaw to let me pay half price in future. We don’t need a seat. Lè meimei spent the entire movie going up and down the slide while Ez spent half the time telling me that the show was so sad. I think her bum bum must hurt a lot.

Lunch was a stressful event because they were over stimulated, tired and hungry. The funniest thing was that Lè meimei refused to go into Tula while Ez wanted to be carried. So I was attracting quite a bit of attention while walking around.

Thanks to technology, I managed to locate the free play area on Level 2 and the kids spent almost an hour going up and down the slide again on repeat till the hub came to rescue us. Thanks to blog posts by fellow mummies, we could now access information quickly. Last time, my mum seldom ventured far because she’s bad with directions. If only they had smartphones then, we might have had more fun exploring Singapore.

Dinner was a homely affair at my parents’ place. It’s been a long time since we went back there for dinner. A sumptuous meal awaited us. No matter how old we are, no matter how long you have been away, home is always where the heart lies.

PS: This post is almost devoid of photos because I managed to max out my 3gb space on WordPress.