April 29, 2013

Happy belated birthday Germs!

Splurged on lunch today in honour of Germaine’s belated birthday. Met JGR at Mikuni to capitalize on their 50% discount for up to 5 pax for FAR cardmembers, only on Sundays and Mondays.
We ordered different sets each, mine was a teppanyaki beef and ebi ougon sauce set.
Loved the creamy, cheesy sauce the prawns came covered in but I asked for my beef to be well done but it was still served pink and bloody in the middle and I had to send back a few pieces to be cooked further, but it was still a bit pink upon return.

Ordered additional tempura prawns, at half price or $17ish for 5, it was worth it. Was so stuffed after lunch!

Nickypoo scared the girls this evening with an outburst that involved shouting at Sasha and kicking down a fan. All because the little one refused to drink the milk he proffered, claiming it was too hot (and it was a whole hour earlier than her usual milk time!).

Daddy was in kancheong mode because he thought Sasha was sleep-deprived and he was determined to make her sleep early even though it wouldn’t have killed anybody to just wait 15 mins. Temper, temper…he’s just very irrational when it comes to their health!

April 28, 2013

Happy birthday Jayna!

Mildred stayed over last night after catching her and ma’s Mother’s Day pressie of a Julio Iglesias concert at RWS. We all went to church together followed by lunch in town, Geraldine was off today.
I had to collect the lucky draw prize from M1 and we ended up lunching at Fish & Co. Service was slow and they forgot Nick’s order so not likely to go back anytime soon.

In the afternoon while Sasha snoozed, Nick brought Nat to Cara’s 5th birthday party where there was a rainbow theme going on. Then they came back to pick us up for Jayna’s 3rd birthday at Aloha Loyang.

Ananya the Fashionista came with mismatched shoes deliberately, quite cool for a 4 year old!
There was a Barbie-theme going on and Jayna has grown so much…she’s missing out bonding with her cousins and friends here having moved to Sydney with Judy. Sasha, Diya, Reagan and her are all the same age.
Food was biryani, pretty good. There was supposed to be swimming involved but none of the other kids swam because the water was too cold. We saw a litter of kittens nearby the chalet, so cute.

It happened to be Mac’s birthday as well and he and Sajini made an appearance. Cake was from Aunty Yochana, so pretty. It was nice to see the Spicy Girls reunited! 

April 27, 2013

New toy!

Sasha woke me up so early that I decided to try out the instant wa ko kueh mix that I had. Made them in pink, purple and blue but the texture was a lot denser than the kind I am used too at the pasar malams…I think I will just stick with those.
Had to bribe the kids with sticker earrings to wear what I wanted…picked out turquoise outfits for them and they complied just so they could wear the earrings!
We headed to town for lunch, having arranged to meet Ben and Wendy at Ion. We got there first and made a reservation at Canton-I as a backup lunch option in case we couldn’t decide where to eat.

Had 20 mins to walk around, and we headed to Wisma for Cotton On and Gap. Showed Nat the latest Gap-DVF collection but she didn’t like anything except for a pink wrap dress so I guess I get to save money because I was eyeing a blue print romper and eyelet dress. Will wait for sale!

We ended up at Canton-I anyway because the other restaurants in the vicinity were crowded and though prices were a little on the high side for dim sum, the food was tasty.

After lunch we had time to jalan-jalan some more, I came across an M1-Samsung roadshow and I’ve been itching to get a new phone and so impulsively I ended up with a Samsung Galaxy SIII.
The promo price was $138 with plan, but after factoring my loyalty voucher and the micro SIM card, I paid about $125. There was an instant lucky draw too and I won a corning ware set, plus helped myself to the complimentary tubs of cotton candy and popcorn!

Spotted a yellow bird perched on a tree below our block upon our return, don’t know what kind it is.
The full moon this evening also had an orange glow, so hard to capture on camera without a tripod and my digital zoom is so blur!

April 26, 2013

So long Phil!

More than a month after he left, we finally had a farewell get-together for my ex-boss Phil. I only invited a few people and some of us shared in getting him a Nautica watch which I chose earlier this afternoon.
Drinks were at The Bank across the road and I indulged in one glass of sauvignon blanc.

Nick came to pick me up after the kids slept and we had supper at Lau Pa Sat. As we were walking home from our carpark, we discovered lots of snails in an area that we usually don’t spot them. There must have been at least 50 along the stretch of drain!
Pops was finally discharged yesterday and currently recuperating at Membina. On Sunday, they had to do an urgent op on him because while removing his drainage tube in the morning, it broke. By the afternoon a doctor had operated under LA to remove the tube which had shifted. They’d better not charge us for this extra procedure!

April 24, 2013

MexOut

Nat has been a bit of a fashionista of late, after she figured out how to pin a floral brooch on herself. Bought her a necklace on Sunday, similar to the one Ma bought Sasha on Nick’s birthday and she pairs them up on her nightie or whatever outfit she’s wearing for the day. My very own mini SJP!
Met Phil for lunch today, there was a new Mexican joint in the CBD I wanted to check out and he met me and another colleague there. It’s called MexOut at Pekin St and I’ve been thinking about tacos of late. It didn’t disappoint but a meal can come up to 20 bucks with chips and a drink, which is expensive considering it’s self-service and has a bit of fast food concept.
 
My corn tacos came in a set of 3, I could mix and match my meat fillings and toppings. So I had 2 chargrilled chicken and 1 with pulled pork. I also tried with 2 different salsas, the salsa fresca and the mango pineapple. The pork was a tad salty but I thoroughly enjoyed the meal, maybe because I had been thinking of tacos, but at least it didn’t disappoint. Mmmm, I think a return visit is in order.

Phil kindly walked me back to the office, helping to carry a goodie bag from Dean and Deluca that he bought for me to thank me for helping him over the past couple of years. How sweet! A very thoughtful gift because he knows I like cooking and in the bag was an assortment of spices, a packet of pasta, gummies, Dutch cocoa powder and an apron! Love it!

April 23, 2013

Drawing blood

Had an early morning visit to Gleneagles this morning to check on gestational diabetes…had to fast overnight and drink a sickeningly sweet orange fizzy drink and draw blood twice. Hopefully the results are normal!

Dr Siow was held up with an operation so we killed time by having lunch first rather than reschedule the appointment. Got to see Jr again, his face resembles Sasha’s from the ultrasound…looks like another chubby bubba. Am really curious what this one will turn out like, more like Nat or Sasha? Whose genes are stronger?
Apart from a penchant for Mexican, Italian and Japanese cuisine and constantly feeling hot, this pregnancy has been pretty uneventful. There’s been the occasionally heartburn but mainly due to spicy food.

Stretch marks are starting to appear, mainly on the thighs and butt, uninterrupted sleep is a distant memory as a I wake up several times to pee or flip sides. I’ve gained about 10kg so far, I aim not to exceed 13.

April 20, 2013

Macarons - Take 3!

The macaron experimentation continued this morning. Same recipe again as last time but very different result from my second attempt which I didn’t bother blogging about because it was not up to the mark. I had doubled the volume and used Phoon Huat’s ‘extra fine almond meal’ out of the packet but it wasn’t fine enough resulting in pock marked macarons with no feet. Might have overfolded the meringue too.

For today, I stuck with the original recipe’s quantities, put my oven at 150 degrees celcius and used double trays, baked at around 12 mins each batch. For the almond meal, I sifted the entire packet I had and only used fine bits that made it through.


The result was smooth surfaces and feet! Yay! I think I could have afforded to leave them in the oven a couple more extra minutes to achieve a harder shell. The mini ones I made had a better, chewier texture and peeled off the baking paper more easily. But very pleased, now I can start experimenting with different flavours.

Had lunch at UE Square, the mommies brought the bubs for Goldilocks and it was round 2 for me, this time with Sasha. While we watched the show, Nick and Nat ran errands. I found today’s production not as energetic as the first one, maybe the actors are tired. The sound also was a bit muted.

After dinner at home, we brought the kids to Ion, I’d been wanting to check out Crate & Barrel since they opened. The store wasn’t as big as I anticipated and the selection limited. It was pricey but the girls had a good time rolling on the sofas and beds!

After they slept, Nick and I were peckish and went to Keppel for the Outram Road bak kut teh. Can you believe it’s the first time we’ve suppered there despite living so near? Had the mee suah instead of rice…and didn’t order any meat for myself, just stole a piece from him. There is one thing missing from their menu though – tau kee! 

April 19, 2013

Two Face

Popped by the hospital with the boy and then we had dinner with the Gomezs at Two Face Pizza and Taproom. I was in a pasta mood and been meaning to check out the place which is just behind the now-closed Prata Paradise at Tiong Bahru.

They were packed but I managed to get a table near the kitchen and eventually moved when a better table became available. The concept is simple, by day it’s a coffeeshop serving mee pok and yong tau fu and at night a chilled out pizza and beer joint that seems to be drawing a very yuppie crowd, hence the name Two Face I suppose.
Waiting times were long and they only accept cash or Nets. While waiting for everyone, I ordered some calamari, fries with pork belly and margherita pizza to share. It took at least 30 mins for the food to arrive, though drinks were fast.

Calamari was ok, the batter did not stick to the squid though. The pork belly was nice and crisp and the maple mayo dressing somehow worked. Pizza was disappointing, too much cheese and the crust thick. We ended up tapauing most of it. 

I had a daily special which was a crayfish angel hair pasta. The crayfish was small-ish, there were 3 half pieces but it sated my pasta craving. Swana’s carbonara was a bit dry and tasted like there was too much parmesan, the powdery kind you add to pizza.
Overall decent food, but not cheap considering the coffeeshop environs. My boy categorises it as yet another pretentious place, I won’t be back in a hurry…there are just too many new places to try these days and there really wasn’t a standout dish that would make me come back. But now I can say, been there, done that!

April 18, 2013

Post op Pops

Pops had his operation 2 days ago and so far, so good. According to the doc it went well and he was in ICU for a couple of days having lost a fair bit of blood but today he was deemed ok to transfer to the high dependency ward.

He looks and feels like he got hit by a bus, kinda regrets proceeding with the op because he has to deal with the pain and inconvenience now of not being able to move about.
He was quite the grumps when I visited today, quite poor thing too lah. Lots of tubes connected, including a blood transfusion one. He should be in hospital for a week or so more until he’s a bit more mobile, then he’ll probably head to Membina to recuperate further.

April 15, 2013

Macaroning

JJ is in town and together with Susan, Adri and Joanne, we had a quick catch-up over dinner at Tung Lok Signatures at Vivo this evening. Susan did the ordering and by the time I showed, they were almost finishing the meal.
JJ’s son Truman is just about 3 months older than Sasha but he’s quite independent and not afraid of strangers. JJ could eat in peace because Susan was entertaining him and also he entertained himself!
I was late because I had to pop by SGH to meet Pops’ doctor. This morning they said they could operate on him as fast as tomorrow so we just needed to understand the risks.

He has 4 blockages in his arteries including his old stent and also his valve is moderately blocked so the recommendation was valve replacement AND a bypass. Because of his stroke history and 2-in-1 operation, his risk is increased but we’re going ahead anyway. Otherwise the doctor is only next available in mid-May and Pops just wants to get it over and done with.

Last night I attempted chocolate macarons so I could use up my leftover ganache. Used this recipe for the shells and discovered my fine almond powder from ToTT had recently expired but I used it anyway! I threw away the balance which I regret now because I think it was still usable and the ones from Phoon Huat and Sun Lik are not so fine. 

The recipe only yielded me about 13 cookies because my disposable piping bag leaked, time to invest in proper icing bags!
I baked them in 2 batches, the first was very cracked, I need to control my oven settings better and also exercise some patience. Plus I think it helps to put double trays and not place the tray too close to the fan.

Such finicky creatures macarons are! The egg whites need to be beaten to just the right consistency, humidity plays a part, too hot an oven and you get cracks, etc etc.
The second tray fared slightly better, not as much cracks and both batches actually had ‘feet’, the hallmark of a proper macaron, yay! Am inspired to make more! Nat thinks I'm a goddess because I made macarons, she couldn't stop eating them!

April 13, 2013

Playground in the CBD

I caved and bought the boy a belated birthday present yesterday. Was out at Bras Basah with Jane and found a Kenneth Cole watch that matches a little the one he got for me for Christmas. Our first 'couple watches', ha ha. 
Remember the playground set up in Raffles Place I mentioned last month? This morning we brought the kids to experience the old-fashioned swings in the heart of the CBD, part of NParks 50th anniversary.
NParks staff were actually on hand to distribute flyers and document families out and about. They also had a booth dishing out free drinks and nostalgic biscuits, as well as stations inviting people to play with the old-fashioned toys like marbles, bubbles, tikam-tikam, aeroplane gliders and chapteh. Nick showed off his airplane assembly skills.

The girls had a ball trying out the different swings and so did I! Sasha hated the sand though and it was hard to get her on the see-saw.
Showed them the Singapore River after and then we headed to China Square for lunch at Hans.
Came home to find condensation droplets all over the fridge and luckily found a repairman who could come within an hour. Actually on Thursday the freezer was already not cold but I thought I had fixed it, but I was wrong! I bought 2 tubs of Haagen Dazs earlier in the week and they were ruined!

Scrambled to salvage whatever we could, we had a pot luck at Ajen and Vim’s this evening and I was supposed to bring a quiche and cupcakes, thankfully my ingredients were still usable.

It was a little crowded in the kitchen with me baking, 2 repairmen fixing the fridge and Geraldine cooking whatever was salvageable!

The chocolate orange cupcakes turned out well though, tried a new recipe from the internet and for once, my cupcakes were of even height and flat on top, just nice for decorating! The orange chocolate ganache frosting was so yummy, Nat couldn’t resist coming back for more. I even squeezed frosting directly into her mouth! I only substituted the Aero for canned oranges to top off the cupcakes.
 
 
 
The quiche had rave reviews, I do so love a good quiche and mine is pretty decent but not the most pretty crust. Need to work on that!
 
Ajen and Vim have sold their house so this is probably the last gathering there. The kids watched a screening of The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child while the adults chatted away. Lovely evening, lovely day!