Friday, August 15, 2014

Stir fried prawns with dark sauce - 干煎虾碌

I am so missing this dish ! I first tried this when I was in Malaysia, the sauce is simply addictive, making one goes for more than just a piece.

I have been sitting on this for the longest time and best part of it is, I have to admit am lazy ...hence I went for the easy way out. I spotted one of the stalls at the wet market selling the sauce in packs. It costs $2.30 per pack. I just grabbed one pack and tossed 15 glass prawns in.

I did not deep fried the prawns, as I dreaded to mop oily floors. I trimmed off the legs while Xav helped to cut off the antennae.

I marinated with a dash of salt and grounded black peppercorns, baked in the oven until 3/4 cooked.
I removed it from the oven and submerged them in a bowl of ice water. Why would I want to do that ? Go ahead and give a try, this method actually allow the prawns to have the "crunchy" feel(as if it can bounce in your mouth) when you sink your teeth in.

Another method apart from running the prawns under cold running water, you could try this :
- Marinate with egg white, tapioca flour and baking soda (A process of coating with starch) Both egg white and baking soda are at alkaline level of PH 8. Tap water is often at PH 9.

So now you know the secret behind having crunchy, bouncing prawns, it's actually the alkaline level that makes the difference !

I drained away the water, pan fried the prawns till golden brown and served the cooked  prawns aside. Then, I stirred fry some minced garlic and added in the sauce. When it was heated up, I tossed in the prawns and coated every piece with the sauce and served !

This has earned me praises from Xav again. Then he posed me this question, "mummy, why didn't you go and work as a chef, your cooking is really yummy ?" (He hasn't know that his mummy was never a kitchen person until he came into my life. )

My replied to him was, I chose not to work but to look after him and Vera,  which set him bouncing off happily !

Do give this simple dish a try !

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Okras with mayo and ebiko

Finally, this was stroked off my waiting list for my list of wanting to try dishes after I saw the post posted by Wokkingmum, Elaine. Elaine's blog is one of the blog I have followed through these years and I have learnt to cook up plenty of simple to cook yet tasty dishes from her recipes.

I made a little change to the cooking method by baking the okras at 180 deg celcius for about 3-4 mins instead, after slicing them into halves, since my oven was already running then.

I bought a box of ebiko from NTUC Finest and mixed into the mayonnaise, spread it onto the baked okras and baked it for another 1-2 mins in the oven.

Definitely, the presentation have more room for improvement for the presentation but nonetheless, it tasted great and even dear dear who hated to take okras, ate quite a few !

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Label of Love Studio Advertorial Shoot [Selected images]

Finally, I got the pics loaded ! Received the disc from Ashley Low Photography months back when Xav went for Label of love Studio advertorial shoot ! I paid a small fee to get back all the soft copies of Xav, here's some which I selected from the whole lot !


Thank you Label of love Studio and Ashley Low Photography once again !

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Linking up with :

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored photography session as Xav came into the top three from the Label of Love Studio Casting Call 2014. No monetary compensation is involved.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Stir fried spaghetti with dried cranberries

Last week's impromptu dinner, the award winning dish in my home that earned me praises from my 6 year old. I knew that he really love that plate of spaghetti with cranberries when he could come running to me while in the mid of his meal just to tell me "Mummy, your cooking is impressive, the food is yummy!"

I knew my effort was being appreciated, not that on normal days they don't give praises. The father and son always supported my cooking by wiping out the plates most of the time.

Pretty straight forward dish, what I did was:
1. Boil the spaghetti till cooked with a dash of salt in the boiling water. Drain off the water when it is ready and set aside.

2. Minced some garlic, and stir fry till golden brown with some olive oil. Add in the cooked spaghetti, ground some black peppercorns and sea salt and stir fry the cooked spaghetti. Add a little olive oil if it's too dry.

3. Add in the dried cranberries last, stir fry for about 3 mins and serve with your choice of veg or meat. I baked chicken cordon bleu and sliced them up.  (You can add dried tomatoes instead of cranberries)

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Stepping into the One'derful Toddlerhood

Our little cupcake has turned 1 ! It's another milestone ! More squeals & more fun as she steps into the One-derful toddlerhood.

One year ago, it was just so amazing and at the same time, I can't help but rolled down drops of happiness from my eyes when I welcomed her in my arms ! (Read Vera's birth story HERE)

New chick in the house

She has been a joy to us, showering us with her funny faces, smiles and giggles always !

@  1 month old
Falling in love with her smile @ 2 months old

She is still as challenging, with her very persistently stubborn character. At 2 months old, she was on bottle strike for months, refusing almost all the different kind of bottles I bought for her. You name it, I have it except for Dr Brown ......

In her third month, she recognised my phone cover whenever I want to take pictures of her, she would then gave me her brightest smile.

My smiling angel @ 3 months old

Making her BOLD Statement at 4 months as her hair fall was pretty bad, plus on top of it, she has been pulling off her own hair by the sides. Till you could see the sides "balding."

Making the BOLD Statement @ 4 months old

Her 1st Christmas with us @ 5 months
Vera was pretty good ! She watched the movie with excitement (she was all eyes on the screen.) Thereafter, she fell asleep all the way till the movie ended.

Caught her 1st movie @ 6 months

Her hair grew just in time for her 1st CNY with us @ 6 months old

I named this pic below "My fortune cat". 

The jovial Vera @ 7 months old
She was still in the boh-geh (toothless) club @ 8 months. But who cares ! She loves the baby puffs which could melt in her mouth ! I used the puffs to train her fine motor skills. She could use her pincer grip pretty well.

Spot that puff ! @ 8 months old
At 11 months, she was officially sleeping through the night. Vera was weaned off from breastfeeding as well before I left for my trip to Salt Lake City. Credit goes to daddy who supported me along side to wean her off and trained her to sleep through when  am not around.

At 11 months old, this is what she liked to do ! She loved to chew on papers , rubber textured objects. Liked to pull things out as well. See that stash of tissue papers around her, that was her doing and with that pair of innocent looking eyes, how could I bear to be angry with her ! By the way, she is famous among my friends for her MOB !

Creating "snow" at  11 months

Just the nice height to fit under the chair !
@ 11 months old, she is now taking cereal for breakfast, normally milk intake of 240ml, or half a bowl of cereal with 180 ml of milk >>> porridge for lunch (one meat + one veg) >>> milk intake of 240ml (4 hrs later) >>> porridge for dinner >>> last feed at 9.30pm before she goes to bed.

I have weaned her off breastfeeding and she is trained to sleep through the night, so what is coming up next will be drinking from the straw. Hoping that she picks up the skill soon before we leave for our trip to Taiwan in September.

Our baby turns ONE ! We thank you for showering her with your blessings. She is deeply loved and blessed.


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Monday, August 4, 2014

[Monthly Chinese Fun Series + Review + Giveaway] Classic Fairy Tales in Chinese

A set of Classic Fairy Tales series to share for my monthly Chinese Fun Series.

I bought a thick " 5 minutes Fairy Tales" for Xav but not any books on fairy tales in Chinese, until Penpal Whizz came along. I have shared before the differences between Penpal Whizz and Leapfrog if you happen to be reading this post and is caught in between on which set to get for your child, I hope this list helps you in your decision making. =)

If you are looking for Classic Fairy Tales in Chinese version, JLB has a set of audio books series,

in a bundle of 10.

These fairy tales teaches children about love, kindness, bravery, moral behaviours etc.

The stories are being brought alive when you tap on the images using Penpal Whizz, you get to hear dialogues and sound effects. And if your child would like to listen to and try reading in Mandarin, there is a "Read after me" function found on the first page of each book.

Fairy Tale Bundle Pack includes 

Anti-Clockwise from top left: Pinocchio, Lil' Red Riding hood, The frog Prince, Fishermen And Fish

Anti-Clockwise from top left: White Snake, Ugly Duckling, Hansel and Gretel, Thumbelina
Left to right: Cinderella & Jack and the beanstalk.

What I like about this set of books is, the text does not contains Han Yu Pin Yin (HYPY) on top of the characters and it's compatible with Penpal Whizz.  I realised children will have the tendency to read the HYPY instead of making an effort to recognise the characters. What I would do at times if am busy, Xav will listen to Penpal Whizz first but if I'm with him,  I will read along with him and track the prints with my finger as we read.

On the other hand, the illustrations are lovely but I would prefer the text to be on a plain white background. I find it a little hard to read prints printed on the illustrations with dark colours.

Overall, this series of Classic Fairy Tales in Chinese is a keeper if you have the intention to expose Chinese language to your pre-schooler via this fairy tales series.

I have also reviewed the following which are compatible with Penpal Whizz :
I.Love.Reading Magazines
Jo's Early Readers
Emily Lim's Toy Tales Award Winning Series

JLB has kindly sponsored a set of Classic Fairy Tales to giveaway to one lucky reader of Xavvy-licious ! Simply follow the steps in Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do note the following :
- Giveaway will end on 12th August 2014, 2400 hrs.
- Giveaway is only open to contestants residing in Singapore only.
- Winner will be notified via email.

And if you too have any activities related to learning Chinese in a fun way, do link up with Xavvy-licious !

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