I look forward to a better year with some goals set out and hopefully I achieve some if not all. So far, I can say that my life has its share of ups and downs just like everyone else and maybe luckier than some but not wholly complete yet. I see the life cycle as a test of one's soul, mind and body and to achieve a new number today and this far is a blessing and I am thankful for what I have been, am now and will be in the future. Happy Birthday to myself. And thank you to all my friends and families who have been sending their wishes.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
To me, comfort food means something that I feel so warm and satisfied when I take the first mouthful and leaves my appetite yearning for more till I finish the whole plate and still relish it after it is all gone. The wholesome factor that makes the mouth watering and gulping when seeing it and simultaneously the aroma reminding me of how good it was the last time I had it and now I want to eat it so badly....yup . That sums up the idea of comfort food in my food vocabulary!
Although beef is not my favorite meat, beef stew with its simmered thick gravy filled with potato and carrot is something I fancy. The meat being first pan seared to seal in the juices and then submerged into a big pot covered with spices and condiment sauces and simmered for more than one hour is a very easy cooking method that I don't have to monitor throughout and yet makes the waiting so worth it. As this dish contains potato which is the starch and carb element, the staple rice can be omitted during serving time. I used red potatoes as it cooks faster and gives a nicer color to the dish, together with the bright orange carrot. The meat is tender, completely immersed with the gravy and requiring little chewing before the next piece is savored. The gravy will reduce in amount and thicken throughout the cooking.
2 to 2.5 lbs of chuck roast meat, cut to chunks
6 medium size carrot
3 large red potatoes
4 small shallots , sliced
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 cups of dark soy sauce
1/2 cup of light soy sauce
1 tsp black pepper
5 cups of water
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt & pepper each
3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
3 tbsp dried oregano
1)Marinate the meat with the marinate ingredients for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
2)Heat a stock pot with cooking oil and pan fry the meat for 5 minutes on each side. Remove.
3)Add 2 tbsp of cooking oil to the same pot and fry the garlic and shallots till fragrant.
4)Add in the meat, black pepper and both the dark and light soy sauce. Cover with lid and on medium fire, let simmer for 10 minutes.
5)Add in the water and let simmer further for 1 hour or till meat becomes tender, falling apart.
6)Add in the potato and carrot and continue to simmer for 10 to 12 mins.
7)Serve in bowl with gravy.
Serves: 4 persons
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
My father has passed on for almost 9 years now but I never forget whatever we had together as father and daughter. He was a strong figure and never failed to educate and pamper me at the same time. His sudden demise was a blow to my mind and soul and every year on the anniversary of his death, my mind will linger back to that day when I saw him for the last time. His words and actions are still fresh in my memory and sometimes I do feel that he hasn't left me at all and now with my own kids, I see the resemblance of my own hopes and dreams as a parent with his pattern of upbringing me and my brothers. As with all Chinese fathers, he never uttered the lovey dovey words but his hardwork in the office and his own time given up shuffling us here and there at the ring of the school bell and his determination to put us all through tertiary education levels are proofs of his fatherly love.
Sometimes I think it is harder to be a father than a mother. Women are natural nag bags and they can simply tell all about their joys and sorrows but fathers have to maintain a more stoic face and be the decision maker in most of the family issues. They are expected to settle mishaps and problems, minor or major.... everyone seems to call Dad to save the day. Although I am a tough mother myself , sometimes I do break down mentally when I have been with the kids for too long or when my moody days strikes, I will just beg Curry to save my day before it becomes more unbearable and let me take a break. Perhaps a little reluctant but yet he never said no.
To all fathers, you are treasured as much as the mothers. Love your kids and understand them as they will always look up to their dads as their heroes in everything. Happy Father's Day.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Haven't been making Bentos for Curry for a month now and with the summer days and good weather, I think he would prefer to lunch at those quick places with bars when he can enjoy a bottle of beer rather than being cooped up in the office. And I am getting pretty lethargic these days with the allergies attacking mostly in the morning when my nose is totally out of form from the sneezing and sniffles.
However, when one gives me a break, another one always has something going on. Missy E was at summer camp for 5 days this week and she had to bring her lunch box and seriously, I think I am a very hard working mom! Anyhows, it was her first time in using her cute pink Bento box, complete with matching fork, spoon and chopsticks and so the food that it contains must be good and presentable too.
Packing lunch boxes for kids can be challenging too as it is smaller and yet there must be varieties to entice their little palates. Moreover it is summer and any type of food that is packed will need to withstand a certain time before lunch time. Lucky me, I found the smallest ice pack and compact lunch tote for her Bento box at one of those junk stores where they sell all sorts of things that you thought you can never find and yet they stock it up the shelves! I guess the title 'stay home mom' should be omitted in my case and changed to 'multi tasking mum' as having kids really make one work so much harder from taking care of the house to shopping for them.
Missy E surely enjoys her food and doesn't need any supervision during meal time and if only Prince D can be half as good as she is, I can have my own nice lunchbox too with all the colors and flavors! Everyday she came back with an empty box and I am glad she enjoyed all the food that I packed so far, although I will admit that another week of summer camp will surely drive me nuts as I have totally run out of ideas. I really admire the BentoBoxes blogger mums who can do this everyday and sometimes their creativities are just mind boggling.
I guess this week was a good practice for me as I will have to do it everyday when Missy E and Prince D enter full day school next time. All I can say is... for the love of my kids, I will do it. The idea of downing processed food and high sugary and fat snacks at some of the school lunches really makes me more determined to do this and what is more important is the health of my kids and not the extra sleep that I can get from the morning stretch.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
It is the middle of the week and I must be crazy to attempt baking with the kids screaming and running around. Throughout the whole process, I was working fast with both hands doing whisking and stirring at opposite sides of the countertop. With the new mixer I got from Mother's Day, I figured that I can do more than I can handle.