Friday, July 24, 2015

Stealing Some Time-off for the Kitchen

I was so eager to start cooking and eating normal food again after the one-month confinement month. MIL bought us a lot of stuff too so I had to cook anyway to free some space for my breast milk in the freezer so here are some of my cooking that I managed to do while taking care of the little one at the same time! 

Simple lunch for one: 10-grain rice porridge with minced pork, carrot and potato with a tablespoon of Bovril, served with some boiled broccoli and cherry tomatoes.
Story behind this lunch? Finished in 2 hours while taking care of a attention-seeking baby. FML. :p

Super yummy One-Pot Chicken 10-grain Rice with Chinese Sausage, Shiitake Mushrooms and Edamame! So easy to make, packed with all the needed nutrition yet super yummy!!!

Cooked up this Simple Chicken and Mushroom Porridge to go with some French Beans Omelet for the parent who are now pretty much domesticated.

And then Mamo came to visit Rayden and got the two sisters over for dinner where Mamo took care of Rayden while I cooked up this beautiful table of dinner! Mamo contributed the yummy Fu Chok Soup and Peanuts Soup while I made Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks, Fu Yong Egg, Stir-fry Mixed Vege and Garlic Butter Prawns. :)

Learned this very simple Chicken Rice recipe from Mamo and made it again when she was around (cos I need her to cut the chicken when they are done. LOL). Goes so well with the bowl of gravy that came out from the steamed chicken. Served with a Stir-fry Watercress with Goji Berry yo!

Same Chicken Rice to go with some Dong Gui Chicken (not homemade), Stir-fry Kailan and ABC Soup. Hmmmm this is making me hungry!!!

Still trying to clear the freezer... Stir-fry Ladies Fingers with Sha Cha Sauce, Ginger and Onion Pork Slices with some 10-grain rice for dinner.

Awesome lunch for one: Leftover Chicken Rice with some simple sauteed Zucchini, Tomato and Minced Pork and a fried egg. So delicious and healthy!

Made some Steamed Minced Pork with Preserved Cabbage and Stir-fry Kangkong (both Deardo's favourite dishes) and a Herbal Soup for another dinner for two. :)

Yes, purposely cooked so much of chicken rice so that I can eat them for lunch when I was alone at home. Same ingredients as #8 you see but different method of cooking. Here I made Steamed Minced Pork with Egg and Sauteed Zucchini with Chili Flakes. Very hearty meal indeed!

Now adding zucchini into porridge is pretty weird but you know, it was only for myself so it's fine! 10-grain porridge with the leftover Steamed Minced Pork with Egg, Zucchini and drizzle with sesame oil. I think it was pretty yummy though!

Pork Ribs from MIL so recipe also from MIL. Here's the first time me cooking Steamed Pai Kuat with Preserved Black Beans (quite nice actually), served with some Shrimps Omelet since we ran out of vege.

Braised Pork Belly, Garlic Butter Prawns and Stir-fry Spinach for another dinner for two.

Making full use of the leftover Braised Pork Belly at #13 and made myself my own version of Ja Jiang Mian with Spaghetti, carrots, cabbage and Omelet! I call this creative cooking yo! :p

Shark Meat from MIL so recipe also from her. Just Fried them up with some onions, ginger and dried chili and it was quite tasty already! Went with a side of Stir-fry French Beans with Shrimps and Turmeric Powder.

Cabbage and Pork Balls Soup with Glass Noodles for lunch for one! Get the recipe here!

Dinner for three (FIL included) in another attempt to clear the freezer! Braised Kampung Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms and Hard Boiled Egg, Stir-fried Cabbage with Dried Shrimps and surprisingly awesome Curry Prawns and Shark Meat. I said 'surprisingly' cos it was a random curry paste I got from the supermarket and I replaced coconut milk with fresh milk and the dish still turned out to be super awesomely delicious! Yay! More curries in the future! :D

I've come to a realisation that I really prefer cooking over taking care of a crying baby. I mean, who doesn't? LOL. Hasn't been cooking like this since I got back to work though. Shall attempt that again maybe the next few weekends?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Peanut Butter Oatmeal (and Chia Seed) Cookies Recipe

During my entire pregnancy (and even know), I've grown to have a sweet tooth, which is a very abnormal Shirlexia. Every now and then, I crave for some sweet stuff after meal, be it dessert or just a sugary drink. 
That developed into baking, as witnessed in my previous entry on some of my baking adventure. I've bake more than I've ever bake in my entire life during my months of pregnancy! LOL!
Anyway, I decided to bake some of the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, recipe taken from here because I love peanut butter and oatmeal are known to be healthy and tummy-filling, just right for the Mummy Shirlexia who was always feeling hungry (now too, actually).

So what you need are: 
1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups old-fashioned oats (I use rolled oats)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (I used crunchy)
1 large egg (I put two cos our eggs are smaller)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(Added some Chia Seed too just cos I have a packet of them sitting in my cabinet)

Here's what you do: 
1) Preheat oven to 350° (I lowered this slightly because I make smaller pieces cookies). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
2) Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the oats. Set aside.
3) Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the peanut butter. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix well.
4) Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined (here I added the Chia Seed).
5) Drop the dough by 1/4 cup (4 tablespoon) portions onto the prepared pans. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown (I make smaller pieces so I only baked for less than 10 minutes, checking the oven from time to time until I feel they are done).
6) Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

And you are done!
I'm not too sure how is the texture like as per the original recipe, but I'm pretty sure it's the American cookies type with a moist centre. Mine were just a little moist and quite crumbly. Taste wise, it's not too sweet, in fact it tasted a tad salty because of both the little sad added and the peanut butter, which is really delicious (peanut butter lovers like me would agree)! I find the cookies very homey and delicious yet pretty healthy! Goes perfectly-well with some cold fresh milk! Yay!
Gotta make more when I have some time! But when is thaaaaaaaattt???

Friday, July 10, 2015

Mamo, the Ah Ma a.k.a Confinement Lady (and Her Cooking)

You may or may not know, Mamo was my confinement lady after delivering baby Rayden. 

The reasons I made Mamo my confinement lady were 1) we are not use to having a stranger (confinement lady) in our house, 2) I prefer Mamo's cooking and if I doesn't like it I can tell her or if I prefer certain type of food I can tell her too. But asking her to stay in KL, worst, to be confined at home for a month is kinda tough because of the fact that in Taiping she goes out every single day and enjoys her freedom hanging out with friends and running errands on a daily basis. 
You know they are in love with each other... LOL!
But she came anyway. No Astro to follow her Hokkien shows, no morning walk in lake garden (only morning walk downstairs at my condo), no driving out, no husband (Papo was here for a few days only), no friends (well she made friends here and you can't beat that), no normal I-wanna-nap-I-nap time and she cooks everyday for me, which she doesn't even do at home!

She was only a part-time confinement lady though, meaning by night baby is with Deardo and I so unlike many of you who have the privilege of a confinement lady taking care of your baby at midnight and you could have your sweet sleep, we took care of Rayden ourselves. No regret though, Deardo and I pretty much enjoyed the bonding we have built with him and Deardo is all proud about it that as a father, he has done so much during baby's first month itself. I couldn't agree more, really. Compared to many dads out there who probably take his wife's confinement month as opportunity to leave everything at home to the confinement lady and spend more time outside rather than with his newborn, my husband is in fact, 'a class above'. Ah hemm... *thick skin~*
At Rayden's Full Moon Luncheon! Ah Ma feeling heavy already to leave the little boy...
Anyway, this post isn't about Deardo lah, it's about Mamo and her grandmother-hood. I don't think Mamo regret it either. Grandmother-hood has totally changed her. In stead of being paiseh and refuses to express her true feelings, she shows how much she enjoys playing with Rayden, and told us she will miss him before she left for Taiping after that one month. She was back to KL again after just two weeks time and that's 'whoa' to a lot of people cos if it's the Mamo we know, to ask her to visit us in KL means you better just kill her. LOL.
And zooop... She is back after two weeks! Look at how much the boy has grown!
So that's the story of the Ah Ma and her grandson. As for the mother and her daughter, I am truly thankful of her taking care of me for one whole month, although she isn't a professional confinement lady and at times I had to do a lot of stuff myself. I still however, enjoy her company and am very happy the experience changes her. 
I told ya Mamo is addicted to Rayden! :p
It changes me as well. Last time I never thought much about my parent whenever you talk about migrating or working overseas cos I know at times they also hope for the best for me and that if I can earn more overseas they will be quite happy too. But now with Rayden around, I want to make sure we are in Malaysia so Ah Gong and Ah Ma (even Ye Ye and Ma Ma) can spend some time with him because the truth is they aren't getting any younger and the odds are they might not have too many years left with their grandson. Gosh talking about this always make me emo...

On a happier note, let me share with you just some of the awesome cooking Mamo has done for me during my confinement month! Only sharing those that are more interesting of course. 
The rice and dishes...
Cuz my mum can make awesome Pig Stomach Pepper Soup!
And she makes very awesome black pepper pork chops topped with fried ginger too! 
Oh, MIL contributed the turmeric base for this turmeric chicken! Very nice!!!
Mamo also makes awesome pork kidneys that is my favourite! Of course, she learned how to make the Black Vinegar Trotter from MIL and aced it I guess! Haha, I'm not a big fan of that dish la... :p Love the Papaya and Peanuts Soup too!
Highlight here is the spinach in red wine, egg and ginger. Love it!
This one with yellow wine and Goji berry!
My favourite turmeric chicken again and a small portion of Spring Onion Ginger Sliced Pork too!
My Special request - Steamed Egg with Minced Pork and Sesame Oil Chicken! Yumzzz...
I believe this was when Papo and my two sisters were around for dinner too where Mamo steamed some awesome chicken and make butter chicken rice to go with. Also in my confinement menu was the Lemongrass and Baby Onion Soup which I've fall in love with!

The noodle soup...
Mee Suah in Red Wine Soup with additional pork kidney topped with a fried egg! 
On lazy days, I'm ok with just Mee Suah in any soup of the day.
Like Pat Chan soup also we put Mee Suah and vegetables in it to make a meal!
And my Pat Chan has pig stomach in it, you can't beat that, can't you? Kekekeke,,,
Another Red Wine Soup Mee Suah, this time with a hard boiled egg!
The fried noodles, fried rice or one-pot-done dish...
The story here was that I bought the Hor Fun to make Cantonese Fried Hor Fun (Wat Dan Hor) without knowing I was going to pop! So I asked Mamo to use the Hor Fun and she made this pretty delicious Sesame Oil Fried Hor Fun with Pork Kidney!
Wanted something different so told Mamo to fried rice with Red Wine with some Edamame (rumour has it that they are milk booster) too!  
Fried Spaghetti with Sesame Oil, Minced Pork, Egg, Black Fungus and Edamame, another creative twist I asked Mamo to do and she simply aced it! Doesn't look like any other boring confinement month food isn't it? *wink~*
Simple fried bihun here but of course done with a lot of ingredients that are confinement-month friendly.
And when Red Wine Soup and Red Wine Fried Rice are too mainstream, here comes Red Wine Pasta yo~!
Or or... Red Wine One-Pot Chicken, Chinese Sausage, Shiitake Mushrooms and Black Fungus Rice.
Another awesome-looking red wine fried rice with whole loads of stuff.
So, how's that for some inspirations to you mothers out there who are going to be confinement ladies to your daughters? :p