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Monday, November 24, 2008

BENTO has lost track ......

Just wonder anyone still remember i made bento....... yet i don't seemed to be passing up my homework lately??!!
Life has been real hectic lately with traveling, birthday parties over & over again which got me into much preparation works, cooking & baking affairs....not forgetting catching up with works & back logs in the office!!

So, at one point of time, i told myself not to stress my mind with Bento at least for this moment!!
And so i had followed my heart.....kept cooking minimum for my kids' bento!! Ooh Yes, i still prepared bento for the boys (though simple). I only tried to do away with cooking!!

So what's bento without the need to lit up the stove??

Various shapes of bread with various fillings (peanut butter, strawberries jam & kaya) too!!


Obviously with the red eggs below, it was a bento after the boys' birthday bash!!
Ooh ya....... i didn't lit up the stove for cooking but i did switched on the oven for baking....haha ridiculous heh!! yup those were my simple muffins and also seen were slices of star shaped pears!


Another pumpkin muffins day with a marsh mellow treat!!


Here is another bread day.
The boys had an outing day for concert rehearsal before their recent annual concert, to which the teacher specifically mentioned that the kids were only allowed to bring the bottle....absolutely NO BAGS allowed. So what did i do with the boys' snack when that was the instruction given?? As if the teacher is going to starve my kids, i die-die also want them to bring along some food (despite there were supposingly snacks provided).

I made them some sandwiches & packed into the animal zipper bags as shown below. I would rather risked losing these bags than the lunch box.
And i punched a hole onto the bag to make way for the hang over 'ring' which was then fastened onto their bottle strap!! That was tight & secure, isn't it??
hahaha....i also thought myself CRAZY......if that's what u'd been thinking!!

That way, i'm sure my kids didn't put any extra responsibility on the teachers' shoulder in ensuring that the kids' belongings were intact!!


Next are some VERY BACKDATED bentos prepared way before my kids' recent b'day celebrations !!!

If you could remember, i had wanted to make some prawn tempura to serve my guests during my boys' simple b'day party at home. For that, i had been practising (trial & error here) to cook some decent looking tempuras!! Yet, it was failure for both the 2 times i tried.

When i managed to meet up with Christene & Nancy over a quick lunch the other day when they came to Kinokuniya, KLCC.....i quickly got my way to "DIG" some tips on how they do up with these prawn tempura!! Nancy shared that she used a stick/skewer to keep the prawn straight while for Chris, the success was contributed to her MIL (who got the prawns all prepared before passing them to her.....such lucky soul lar....)
Anyway, at least now i'm more certain what to do the next time .....thanks ladies!!
It was another nice chatting session....yes, chris proved that she was such the chatterbox queen, hehehe!!!

Though i don't achieved the desired shape of the tempura prawn, my ordinary fried prawn still tasted good. I had them in a bento for myself with lots of greenies & carrots and furikake on some rice!

The boys got the same food too for their bento.
2 pieces of sushi rice, kiwi, fried prawns, broccoli & carrot slices!!

That's the end of my recent BENTOs creation !!

I'm announcing a BENTO BREAK for the moment as it is now the school holiday and i have every right to call it off !!

Not only that, i'll be due for another round of traveling sagas......... so my mind will definitely be too congested for both Bento & Blog !!!

coming weekend, will be in Penang for huby's cousin wedding. It is going to be a rushing trip over the weekend as i am running out of leave so there's no way i could extend the trip!!

More so with the long waited & much anticipated japan trip in the week that follows suit!!
And i'd had been reminding myself HARD that year end is approaching real close which simply means a critical time for me as i will be closing another financial year's accounts .....
big task there!!!!

" i feel sorry for not being able to catch up more with a distance uncle & aunty this time in penang, hopefully we can do more in your next trip down to KL the next month.... for yet another relative wedding.....yeah, a year-end that's full of weddings "

:( very guilty of not dropping by for a long time too :(

Therefore i might have to also declare a blog break
(can't be too greedy & achieving so much at one time) !!!

Here i'm wishing all :

Happy school holiday!!
Merry X'mas!!
Happy New Year!!

And i shall be greeting you again ........hopefully real soon !!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

NZX.....of FOOD and Entertainment

NZX (NiuZeXui) ......arghh, sorry but frankly speaking, i hate this name and reckon that it was very stupid of the founder to name this place such.....i mean...... i don't mind the 'chinese' version of it, be it cantonese or mandarin BUT can't they put up something 'more english' for the official English name of it?? Translate it if need be!! Else, i wouldn't imagine getting the 'non-chinese' to pronounce these words.......made the place 'sounds' so 'ah beng', 'ah lian', 'ah pek' or watever!!

Anyway, the place is now having the
Festive Fun-Tasy Lantern Festival (15/11/2008 - 15/02/2009)
where there are a variety of Disney characters to be seen such as Mickey & friends, Winnie the Pooh, Lion King, Nemo, WALL E, Lightbuzz of Toys Story2 & etc.

I wasn't really very excited about bringing my kids there, knowing that they would've outgrown with these characters!! But it was more for the fun of a family get-together bcoz it was an outing with my siblings & our parents!!
But i gotta mention the ultimate goal of going to this place was to fulfill our dining needs i.e. to try out a recommended steamboat and the lantern show was only a secondary event.

Anyway, we did not made it for the steamboat session ultimately as the place was just too crowded and being the impatient lots, we just couldn't wait for our turn after 15mins in the queue!! The fact that we had about 15pax made it even more difficult to get a suitable place to equip us!!
I hate waiting for food.....
So how??
We separated the group into 2.
The 2 good EATERs of the family, BIL Angus & my huby decided to go for Japanese food & my other sister, Mic family went with my parents for chinese food!

Angus & Mag are regulars to NZX as it is near their home. So they knew this place has good food....and being such a food expert, i just can't doubt his recommendation!!

KANSAI restaurant, we will surely be back for you!! Yes, good food..... unfortunately, there wasn't a very good crowd as compared to others that offered different type of foods like the steamboat & chinese cuisine, what a waste!!! Not sure if it has anything to do with the location, the price or simply luck/ bad feng shui but we trust it wasn't due to the taste of the food!!
We sincerely hope u could sustain the bad time & will shall still see u around in the future!!

The varieties of 'maki' were truly impressive not only with the look but the taste too!! And with interesting names too......like 'Earthquake'.........'Caterpillar'........etc etc

DROOL over them .....

My boys were extremely hungry after waited for quite sometime at the steamboat restaurant so they swallowed their all-time-favourite UNAGI rice like nobody business, pheww blissful !!!

Superbly fresh & moist salmon

I'm not a beef taker but this time, not only did i not reject their beef but i even went for a 2nd & 3rd piece ...haha
Nice terriyaki Squids

As fate would have it, my parents missed this nice jap food.....
now, i believe my mom surely knows which son in law to follow for good food, the next time around, LOL !!
(apparently my other BIL whom my parents were eating with, isn't a food fancier, hehehe)

After filling up the hungry stomachs, we proceeded to see the disney lantern show.
Adults = RM10
Kids = RM5

Actually you can have the show right here.....i'm giving it free, hahaha
For those who had been to any DISNEYLAND before, can forget about wasting your money there....u get what i mean?? as we are one of them of course...

Oh ya, must mention also la.....with 2 adults ticket purchased, u get a print 5R photo of yourself absolutely FREE complete with a very nice Disney cutboard paper frame!!

That was how i spent my hectic weekends, how about yours??
Hope you had a fruitful weekend too!

Jac finally attended baking class ....

Yes, it finally 'happened'......... after much thoughts & fantasies of attending a baking class officially !!! Yet, it wasn't exactly those kind of baking courses which required some kind of commitment be it in the form of 'effort' or 'time' !!!

I had pre-selected a few places which offered my most required 'conveniences' ....eg. flexible 'one-off' lesson, i can choose the type of cakes to learn & the venue that must have hang-out place for my dearest chauffeur & kids to 'kill time' while waiting for me to finish my class, LOL !!!

I'm also very interested with "Apple Kitchen" lesson but unfortunately the location just isn't that desirable, so being much of a PJ person, Damansara is definitely a more sought after choice!

Yes, i learn baking 'TIRAMISU' with " SUNNY YAW " this afternoon!!
The fact that there weren't many participants this round, my 2 monkeys...huby & maid could actually stayed around while i attended my lesson !!!

geee.....see 'my dearest' so good hor ??
Actually if it wasn't the support & encouragement shown by 'him', i wouldn't even be pursuing this newly found passion of mine !!!

OK, enuf of all the 'yuk ma' stuffs.....back to my baking class.
The basic chocolate sponge cake for the base has been baked ahead (to safe up time) and the entire lesson actually concentrated in the making of the mousse/cream mixture which was the highlight of tiramisu anyway!!

But both huby & I took the opportunity to get Sunny's advice on the 'trick' to bake a moist & fluffy sponge cake as opposed to the heavy & dry cakes i usually baked!! Sponge cake might be the basic of baking cake but usually the 'simplest' thing isn't always the 'simplest' after all.....if u know what i mean?

The cake cut outs became the victim of my 2 hungry monsters!! Both of them were fighting for the moist chocolate cakes.....'sei mou' !!!

The whole thing was a pretty fast affair & very much easy than i would have thought....probably it was the hand of an expert that was doing the job. I will probably have to prove this one day when i have to do it all by myself. Sunny shared with me some of the brands of ingredients that he used, the places he got them & the prices too!! Of course not forgetting the step by step process of doing things!!

Well, apart from learning what i'm suppose to, the most valuable advice that i had from a professional baker was hearing & seeing with my very own eyes how the whipping cream miracally turned from a LIQUID form into beautifully whipped CREAM .....
that's my biggest baking challenge!!!
I even recorded down the process ........hahaha
Yes, my failure & mistakes all these while were due to over beating.......
guess, only "more PRACTISEs could MAKE it PERFECT" !!! slowly 'whipped' more la....

Here are the cream mixture with 2 flavours (green tea & coffee)

Then the cakes needed to be chilled for at least 1/2 an hour or 1 hour for best result ! That's when we excused ourselves to The Curve for the weekend needs and only picked up our cakes later!!

When we picked up the cakes, Sunny had already dressed up the cakes beautifully !!! Both Sunny & his partner Sidney were such pleasant gentlemen to deal with. Sunny even reminded me to call him should i still have any doubts/queries in my future baking journey....how nice heh!! I would certainly be back for more lessons.....


Eemm.....it would be another milestone if i can really made out something like this one day!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our Surprise for them .....

I mentioned earlier that i will be giving the boys a SURPRISE for their birthday this year! Well, it wasn't exactly one as i did told them earlier what i'm getting but hearing & seeing the real thing was somehow different i would say!!

Last year, we celebrated their 5th b'day at Megakidz and thought we would gave that a pass this year (as in having to do with all those invitations & etc). Instead, since it was their final year in the kindy, we thought why not let them celebrate with their classmates!! So MISSION was set (i.e. celebration in school), next was to set a GOAL, that is to get the boys as well as their friends
" to thrill with excitement " !!

After discussing with the principal, we chose the school's Party Day as the date so as not to interrupt any lesson!!
Both the boys as well as myself had been waiting for the day to arrive for weeks......only to be greeted with 2 sicked boys !!! Scot had the bad cough few days back & by the time it was celebration, Sean caught the bugs from his lil brother!! Thk god no fever though!
I was actually worried for the rest of kids there, who would have high tendency of bringing back the bugs....sorry guys....plans can't be changed !!
if u noticed that wet patch on sean's pant, it was the mark left after his vommit....yuck!!

Scot all GEARed up to go ......

See my BEN10 boys below, not just dressed up in the Ben10 shirt but together with his Omnitrix watch, SCOT was caught surrounded by the boys who got very curious with his watch !!!

And guess Sean just wasn't in the mood. Btw, i've got no idea how & why he ended up sitting around the girls.......ngek ngek ngek!!As it was a Party Day, the kids were encouraged to dress up in their party costumes as well as to bring some food to share with their friends!! Check out below the generous & kind parents of today....the amount of foods contributed were more than sufficient & literally saved the teachers from serving any food on that day!!

NOW, what's SEAN & SCOT's contribution on that day??
Wanna make a guess ???


OKAY la.....i opened clue, birthday ma........



How was that?? Would your kids get thrilled just as much as mine??
Which kid wouldn't heh .....

And yes, for those who has been following HER WORKS, i'm sure you could've recognised her already. It was the work of the talented, creative & cute dearie SU YIN !!
Her site has much better photos of the cakes !!
Arghh....isn't she awesome & a God sent talent??

I'm pretty sure anyone who has a cake made out of her hands on a birthday would certainly have a long lasted memory of the occassion!!
What i'm particularly impressed was not just the outcome of her production, it was her professional attitude, dedication, commitment to work that made her so outstanding....not forgetting despite such tender age of hers!! In fact, it made me 'reflect' a little of what made up of myself when i was her age......hahaha (obviously i was barely there yet)

After receiving my inquiry, Su almost instantly responded with a phone call. We spoke & i must admit that i was kinda surprise that she actually asked to 'meet' to discuss more details......well, am sure you would understand as it was after all only a 'cake-order'.
But as i had quite an expectation on the outcome of the cake plus lots of queries were running in my mind then, i thought to myself, it might be a good idea to meet & discuss things out!
So we met in my office and Su even gave me a rough sketch of the production......suddenly i giggled to myself....as if it was a 'big business' that we were dealing, hahaha.
But somehow, come to think of it, isn't this the kind of hospitality that we would expect out of today's service industry??? After our quick chat to finalize things up, Su & her partner Emily made their move & there i was left with full anticipation of the masterpiece!!

Now SU, be assured that the boys LOVE the cakes big time, both my huby & I were tremendously impressed, my sister & BIL were astonished, the teachers were amazed and the kids' chaos were a proved too!!
A Great Job & we appreciated the memories you left us !!

*** Here is Su arranging the cupcakes ***

A clear & sharp snap of Scot, courtesy of SU (arghh....good camera is so significant eh)

I'm not exactly sure if the boys were really giving a hard time to Emily with questions....haha

*** Here's one with their class teacher, Ms Estee ***

Once the cakes were ready, i felt that our (the parents) presence were somehow giving a little tense to the party atmosphere. So we decided that we should settled things off & let the kids enjoy the party without interference from the parents/adults!!
I quickly got the principal to say a few words & announce the birthday! And that's when the B'day Song was sang, followed by the candles blowing!! Had that recorded down.

(btw, i learnt a lesson too that day....*** The 9 Aliens *** but the kids still beat me in remembering these names, LOL)

When i went back an hour later to pick up the boys, it was dismissal time and i didn't get a chance to talk to the principal ! I actually wanted to check out if there was really nothing left over from the cakes........ haha so 'kiasu'....... yalor coz i haven't got d chance to taste it leh !!!

Since the principal didn't caught up with me, i thought it must have gone finished. I asked the boys if all the cakes were finished and they said teacher kept the 2 omnitrix watch cakes!! I was puzzled & regretted that i didn't grabbed a piece with me before i left so that i could at least taste it .....I left with dissapointment!

That afternoon, we had our lunch at 1U and that's when i received a call from the principal asking if i would like to take back the 'sugar dough' base of BEN....even the teacher also mentioned that i should keep it....for more photography or share with family members!! And she also informed that she has kept the 2 bigger watch cakes as the children were more interested with the elaborated cupcakes!! Deep beneath me, i was so delighted with that information & without any hesitation, i said yes, i'll be dropping by to collect them.........yippee!!

Yes, in the end i got to taste your cake, SU!
There isn't a single doubt in giving you a good rating over the TASTE of the cake.

After having his first bite, my 'nasty lou kung' even extended out his hand with the piece of cake close to my vision trying to tell me how a moist & fluffy cake should look & taste as he used to complaint that the cake i baked was too dry (hey how could he compared me to a prof, rite??!!)

Here a nice shot with this young enterpreneur!!

During the weekend, the boys cough episode left them with loads of phlegm and so they had the nuberliser session at night in the clinic!! The baby next door who was also on nuberliser was wailing at the top of his lung but my silly boys thought that the session was fun .....
aikk, sot chor !!!

Finally, i ended the post with a video of the birthday song singing session by Sean's & Scot's schoolmates !!!