May 30, 2013

Look Ma, I'm on TV!

The clips the girls filmed on Sunday have been edited and Gigi, Nat, Sasha and Riley all appeared in today’s episode of Zoom Zim Zam. 

Sasha said ‘V for Van’ and “W for Whale’, while Nat said ‘Watermelon’. They got so excited seeing themselves on TV, tomorrow they will be on again for XYZ. 

May 26, 2013

Lights, camera, action...again!

Kavi held an emergency recording session today for Zoom Zim Zam, some of her other recorded clips for the alphabet sounds could not be used because the kids’ clothes didn’t stand out on the green screen.

So she rounded up her nieces to help record more alphabet sounds for the final remaining alphabets and I can’t wait to see Nat and Sasha on TV again. They were practicing their XYZs at home but when it came time for their close-ups, only Sasha was not shy. 
She was quite enthusiastic in saying her phonic sounds and what the alphabets stood for while Nat was soooooo super shy and kept mumbling and looking down. She was so self-conscious because of other people in the room. Once they had contributed their bit, we went to Marina Square for lunch at the food court.

Nick had come back yesterday but before he arrived, the girls and I had whiled the time away in Membina, everyone dressed in rainbow colours.

Had impromptu supper with Swana and Kevin at Sin Hoi Sai, coincidentally both boys wore orange Holland t-shirts. There was a slight commotion when a large group of diners came in midway through our meal, apparently there was a celebrity among them.
We found out later it was Richie Ren. I didn’t recognise him with his dreadlocks but I have hummed along to his songs in karaoke sessions!

May 24, 2013

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie...

I have seriously got to stop buying dresses! Did a spot of spring cleaning this morning to sort my dresses and even after setting aside about 40 I don’t want anymore, plus not counting maternity clothes and whatever’s in the laundry or due for alteration and dry cleaning, I still have about 180 dresses! It’s a disease I tell you!
Me and the kids stayed home all day since Nick is not around and Geraldine was off. Swana and Gigi spent the day at Chai Chee and in the evening they all came over, together with Kaelash, Jeanette, Kavi and the kids.
I had decided to experiment with homemade pizza today inspired by Nat and Gigi’s recent excursion to Doughworkz and the older girls helped to make their own dinner. It was my first time making pizza dough, found a simple enough recipe online and the crust turned out tasting, well, like pizza!
We used mushroom, zucchini and bacon for toppings and prosciutto for the last batch, made 4 trays in total to feed all the adults. Very pleased for a first attempt, I didn’t get a thin crispy crust till the last tray, I think the trick is not to stretch the dough all the way to the edges.
Everything was baked for 10-12 mins at the highest oven setting, in my case 225 degrees celcius and I used the black tray base instead of the grill rack to rest my tray on to ensure everything is at maximum heat.

May 23, 2013

Bonsoir! Welcome to Poulet!

It’s Geraldine’s 40th birthday tomorrow and instead of having Sunday off, I gave her the option of not working on her birthday since it is also a public holiday for Vesak Day.

So we celebrated today instead by checking out Poulet at Vivocity. It’s a French chicken restaurant run by the same people at Thai Express and they have been opening branches all over.
Food is not bad and not overly expensive, a lot of rich creamy sauces involved…mmmm. The staff keep repeating, 'Bonsoir, welcome to Poulet' whenever a new customer comes in and the kids have picked it up!
Nick is away in Switzerland, and Kavi, Aunty Gowrie and Ananya joined us. After dinner, I got the staff to stick a candle in the tiramisu I ordered and that was Geraldine’s birthday cake. 
Hope she feels more settled in now, it’s obvious that she is not so used to the rigours of being a domestic helper, she comes from a middle-class family but financial circumstances forced her to come out and work.

The kids are comfy with her and I can see she tries her best. We’re still adapting to each other but I am generally happy with her work but I do wish she would be firmer with the kids, she’s too soft with them even when they have done something wrong!

May 22, 2013

3 secs of fame

Nat had her 3 seconds of fame today when she appeared on an episode of Zoom Zim Zam, which Kavi produced and is currently running on Okto. This was a clip taken at the audition session months ago, where Nat said several alphabets and today's letter was L and she said 'L for Lampshade', although it actually sounded like 'lampshake'!

May 19, 2013

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

After mass today, we met Mildred for lunch at Szechuan Kitchen at Fairmont. They have some cheap lunch sets, starting from 13++ which gets you 4 courses.

In this instance, I had a prawn dumpling appetizer, soup of the day which was a full portion size, the main was a mini dry noodle tossed with minced chicken and for dessert, it was another generous portion of mango pudding. Pretty good value eh?

The FAR card discount is not applicable on the set lunch but we did save a bit on the ala carte dimsum we ordered.

In the afternoon, I finally tried replicating Aunty Lee Eng’s yummy carrot cake which she has been making for years. She kindly shared the recipe with me and for a first attempt, the result was pretty close to hers but I think I need some finetuning.
For starters, the wholemeal flour I bought was very coarse which resulted in a grainy bite. Also, I wasn’t sure whether the grated carrot weight included the juice or not and I decided to strain mine which may have contributed to some dryness. The recipe did not include any vanilla essence which made it taste a little eggy to me, so next time I will try adding that.

The recipe is actually for one big loaf of cake, they didn’t specify the tin size but I thought it was a lot of batter for one cake so I split mine into a dozen cupcakes and 2 small loaves and reduced the baking time to 18-20 mins for the cupcakes and 35-40 mins for the small loaves.
Overall, I got rave reviews so this will be my go to carrot cake recipe from now on. I found carrot-shaped gummies at Sun Lik and they were the perfect decoration for the cakes.

May 18, 2013

Malaysian Food Street finally

Some of the Spicy Girls went to watch a Charlotte’s Web play today but I opted to give it a miss, especially since the spider dies and I wasn’t impressed by the website of the production company.

Instead, Kaelash and Jeanette came over with Riley and Reagan and I made mac ‘n’ cheese from scratch for the kids. Was trying out yet another internet recipe, it was very creamy and rich and had a number of steps so I might try to search for a simpler recipe.

I did like the idea of breadcrumbs as a topping however but they got pretty oily mixed with all that cheese in the oven…didn’t help that I didn’t notice a stray plastic measuring cup in the oven before turning it on and it melted…hope the kids don’t suffer any ill effects from the melted plastic smell in their food. 

Reagan and Sasha got on swimmingly, pretending to be mommies to the dolls and putting them to sleep. They had their own secret conversations, too cute.
In the evening, we ventured to Sentosa for dinner with the Gomezs. We had thought about McDonalds at the Beach Station, but there was some immigration event that had just ended and the place was just too crowded.

So we drove to RWS instead and winded up at the Malaysian Food Street. Took a while to find a table, luckily the kids had already eaten at home. I have been wanting to try this place for the longest time and finally got my chance….had to order an assortment of dishes to try because I don’t know when I will be back!

I had me some assam laksa and prawn mee which I shared with Swana and when I was done, I queued up for the Penang char kway teow which was a lot better than the char kway teows I had in Penang!
The girls went wild in Candylicious after that, I allowed them one packet of naturally coloured Sunkist gummies each. Simple day, simple pleasures. 

May 17, 2013

Ladies Night

It was a ladies night as I caught up with Vig, Puni, Chris and Kannaki at CafĂ© Iguana’s for dinner and drinks. Vig is back in town, possibly for good so we had ourselves some fajitas, quesadillas and margaritas…another phase I am going through i.e. texmex food!
Was disappointed with the pork tacos I ordered though, the pork was rubbery and tough, unlike the pulled pork at MexOut which was really tender. I limited myself to one margarita and by the end of the meal we were so stuffed…we over-ordered!
It was great seeing the gals, we found out the sex of Chris’ baby! She’s due in Oct and she’s having a boy! Koko Krunch will have another playmate! Now that Vig is back, I hope we get to catch up more often.

Before I met them though, I walked to Chinatown to pick up my new glasses that I made earlier in the week. A pair of Betsey Johnson cats eye frames…nice or not?

May 16, 2013

Ramen King

Followed my colleague to Orchard during lunch time today and while she ran an errand, I wandered to Laduree to try me some macarons.

At $3.80 a pop, they are pricey but I had to see what all the fuss was about since there was no queue on a weekday. Laduree is a French patissier renowned for their macarons…I did see them in London but opted to try a Pierre Herme one instead.

The verdict? Nice crunch but they started melting when I got back to the office so best to keep refrigerated. But honestly, they taste like all other macarons out there.
Had a quick dinner with Nick at the Ramen Keisuke Tori King in Amara, he says if I hadn’t dragged him there, he would never venture to such a place. Our table was very cramped, they like to put a lot of condiments and cutlery on the small space.
The ramen was good, the chicken was especially tender but after a while the soup started getting very salty, so note to self, opt for less salt in future.
When we got home, Gigi was dressed in her Doughworkz apron and chef’s hat. She and Nat had an excursion today where they got to make their own pizzas and she was so proud of her uniform!