November 26, 2011

Reagan is 1!

Reagan celebrated her first birthday today, with a repeat fairy theme that big sis Riley had. She was so adorable in her pink and green fairy costume, just want to squish her!

The kids had sufficiently recovered from their recent bouts of flu and were excited to be reunited with the other kids. There was a fairy bouncy castle that Nat took a while to warm up to but soon she was bouncing around with the rest.

Had to feed the bubs one by one, didn’t bring Wendy along and Nick was stressing himself out for no reason over their mealtime. Nat didn’t want to eat the hot dogs prepared for the kids and opted for plain pilau rice from the adult buffet, which irked her father because he harped on about it not having any nutritional value and he kept topping up the carrots and peas for her. After a while, I sent him away to hang with the other daddies!

Nat did get to try sparkler sticks for the first time, surprisingly they did not freak her out.

Jeanette made the birthday cake, I missed out on a proper slice but from the bite I tried, it was damn good cake! Rich dark chocolate and covered in crushed Oreo.

Earlier in the day, we met a very special baby, Marie. She was almost a month old, but her delivery and the fact that her mum was even pregnant was top secret till after she arrived.

Mark and Grace had good reason to keep it under wraps as they did not want to get their hopes too high after experiencing a full-term stillborn a couple of years ago. Couldn’t be more pleased for them, they went through a lot but persevered, didn’t lose hope and tried again...good for them!

November 22, 2011

Networking Nite at Senso

Man, my feet are killing me.

We had a cocktail cum wine tasting networking event for hedge funds at Senso today and I did not wear comfortable shoes.

Turnout was not as great as anticipated, we had over 100 RSVPs but only about 60% showed, apparently the markets were volatile today and that kept some people busy.

Still it was a success, the room was packed and the guests were quite happy, food and wine was excellent.

There's going to be a similar event in Hong Kong in 2 weeks and there's a slim possibility I get to go if the RSVP is as high as this one. Fingers crossed!

November 20, 2011

Up goes the tree

Christmas is just over a month away and out came the tree today.

The girls were really excited to see it being set up and helped to hang the lower ornaments (which will be rearranged when they're not looking!). Nat also put on the star at the top.

I love the colourful theme we've had since last year, looks like the tree will keep these riotous colours for a while. I don't need any additional ornaments but when they lelong after Xmas, maybe just a few more swirly balls and butterflies.

November 19, 2011

U is for...

...Uncle Leong.

It's been a while since I had butter crab and have been craving for it. Met Colin and Debra for a doubledate at Uncle Leong in Tebing Lane, Punggol.

Have been curious to check out Tebing Lane since hearing about it, there is a Popeye's there, a large pool hall, prawning and a bunch of other restaurants and cafes. For somewhere so ulu, it sure was crowded...Nick had trouble finding parking.

We shared 2 crab dishes - their signature shimmering sand crab and a chilli one. Prices are going up, the crab cost $45 per kg but aside from the crabs, the other dishes were just so-so. We had coffee ribs, scallops with brocolli, salted egg prawns and fried beancurd. The salted egg prawn dish at Jumbo is better. But still I was a happy camper with the shimmering sand crab which essentially the creamy butter crab with cereal.

After dinner, we had a drink at a cafe called Frienzie. I don't know how they do their pricing, their mocktails were more expensive than their cocktails but generally other prices were ok. Might go back one day and bring the kids, since they are situated next to a canal and have a kids menu.

West Coasting

Brought the bubs to West Coast McDonalds for breakfast after everyone had woken early. Sasha just refused to sit in the high chair or stroller and kept climbing over all the chairs, this one has ants in her pants.

After brekkie, we strolled in the park and then went to check out the boats along the coast. Nat looked like a little diva with Sasha's sunglasses and I wished the pumpkin had looked in the camera when Nick took this shot.

November 18, 2011

TTFN Caprice!

Caprice messaged a couple of weeks ago to say she was moving on to Swiss pastures after her hubby received a job offer there and we met for dinner this evening along with Terh Ling and Adri. Adrienne couldn't make it in the end because of a cold so it was a cozy dinner for 4.

Made reservations at Oriole Cafe and killed time before dinner at Uniqlo, purchasing 3 tops. Terh Ling came not long after I sat down, followed by Adri. We shared 3 mains including the crabmeat capellini I have been thinking about, before Caprice arrived after putting Scott to sleep.

It was great catching up, Caprice will be based in Basel...oooh, land of the jewellery and watch fair! Hopefully we get to visit one day. Ooh, and no.2 will be arriving in the new year, can't wait to find out if it will be a boy or girl...she herself is in the dark!

Terh Ling's 2 kids Kimberley and Darren made an appearance after dinner, they were shopping in town with daddy and Kimmie helped us take this group shot, not bad eh?

November 16, 2011

Food tasting at Senso...*hic*

We have an event at Senso next week and the kind people at the restaurant allowed us to have a food tasting of the selected canapes today, along with the wines being served for the wine tasting session of our networking event.

Since they allowed up to 4 diners, I invited Gerry and Didier along and we met Phil there. All the savoury canapes were good but I decided to change the dessert ones to other options.

The wines were all good, not that I can tell one apart from the other but the sommelier kept plying us with bottle after bottle and we tried 8 wines in all, 4 red and 4 white and they were almost full servings, mind you.

I was a teensy bit high from all that alcohol but could still function. I did feel really airy though and eventually forced myself to do a Merlion and felt much better after that. Not an experience to be repeated anytime soon!

November 13, 2011

Sasha's first haircut

The mums have been nagging me to trim Sasha's fringe, I was content to pin it up and try to grow her hair to one length but I had to do something before they took matters into their own hands. Out came the scissors this morning and with one snip, my pumpkin has bangs.

I must say she looks rather cute, more feminine.

Went for mass after that, then a trip to Orchard where there were more elephants on parade. Had lunch at Kaffir and Lime at Paragon before a requisite stop at Toys R Us. Need to get cracking on the Xmas shopping!

November 12, 2011

Chicken, mushroom and zucchini quiche

Basic Shortcrust Pastry:

- 1 and 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour, sifted
- 125g salted butter, chilled, finely chopped
- 1 egg, chilled
- 1 tbsp chilled water

1. Mix flour and butter in a large bowl until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

2. Whisk egg and water in a bowl until combined, then add to flour mixture. Mix with hands until it begins to form large clumps.

3. Knead gently to bring together. Form into a disc for a round tart. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours. (Can keep in fridge up to 3 days)

4. When ready to use, remove from fridge let thaw for about 10 mins. Dust a work surface with some flour and roll out the pastry to as thin as you can.

5. Fit the crust to a tart pan, and prick the bottom all over with a fork to allow steam to escape. Place the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes or longer, then bake in a 205°C oven for 12 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before adding the filling.

The Filling:

- 1 full chicken breast, cut into small slices
- 4-5 button mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 zucchini, half cut into quarters and the other half sliced into discs
- 1 medium onion, chopped finely
- 8 cherry tomatoes, cut into half lengthwise
- 60g of tasty cheddar, shredded
- 4 chilled eggs
- 200 ml of fresh cream
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of black pepper
- A pinch of nutmeg

1. Stir fry the onions, chicken, quartered zucchini (save the sliced ones for garnishing), mushrooms (save some slices for garnishing) and tomatoes till the chicken is cooked and the vegetables start to soften. Turn off heat and strain any liquid.

2. Place the mixture in the cooled quiche crust, and sprinkle half the grated cheese.

3. Whisk the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg gently until just mixed. Don't overwhisk, should be ideally a creamy texture.

4. Pour the egg mixture on top of the filling, leaving a few tablespoons behind. Decorate with the remaining zucchini and mushrooms, and top up with the balance egg mixture.

5. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and place in a 190°C oven for 38-40 minutes, or just until the eggs are set (the quiche will continue to cook some after you remove it from the oven, so be sure not to over cook it).

Cool for 10 mins before serving. Serves 8.

Back to back

I was just running from one appointment to another today but still managed to make a quiche and fruit salad in the morning!

First up was a mums and babes brunch at 'Paris', a farewell for Jayna this time, instead of her mummy. I volunteered to bring a quiche and fruit salad, thought it was about time I attempt a quiche again, only my second it seemed like such a perfect brunch dish.

I made the shortcrust pastry last night and when blind-baking it this morning, Nick off-ed the oven by mistake...luckily there was no harm done. The chicken, mushroom and zucchini quiche turned out better than expected, I was quite pleased - it will be my default contribution to pot luck parties now...until I master something else!

The mummies and bubbas had a swell time, the kids were kept entertained and the ladies could chat. Plus there was some bubbly served...we all agreed we should make this a regular affair, perhaps once every 2 months.

We tried to take a group photo but it was very hard to get the kids to cooperate. There were 8 little girls in all!

Once back home, after putting the girls down for their nap, I got ready and went off for my next appointment - my colleague Dian's wedding at Bukit Panjang. Took 190 all the way, then switched to a feeder service. The weather was quite miserable, it poured all day.

Ended up approaching the wrong wedding at first, luckily I bumped into another colleague and we found our way together. I don't remember the last time I attended a Malay wedding, it would have been ages ago so it was nice to just soak in the festivities. I was tempted to wear a sari or kebaya but decided to opt for the comfort of a dress.

Got to meet a number of colleagues' spouses, it was nice to see them with their families and put faces to names.

The bride and groom changed several times that day, I caught 2 outfits...very grand I must say! Had a quick bite and hitched a ride with my big boss who was headed in my general direction.

Next stop was Amah's house where the aunts were celebrating her birthday. I missed everything by the time I reached but tucked into some leftover chicken rice and cake. Sorry Amah!