Elliott Says.

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We were at a bakery and looking at bread. I told the boy that I needed to use the bathroom so off I went.

When I was done, Elliott was waiting outside. The moment he saw me, he asked in a chiding tone:

Elliott: Mummy, where you go? Why you lost?
Me: I went to the bathroom.
Elliott: Bathroom? I was looking at bread with Daddy. Why you lost, Mummy. Why?!

It made me laugh. It was his way of asking where I went without telling him. And that chiding tone really cracked me up. He’s only 3 years old! Aiyooooo.

miss ene cooks: Kung Pao Chicken

I’ve loved Kung Pao Chicken since I was 8 years old. I also call it “Diced chicken with dried red chilli”. If it’s on the menu, I will order it. That’s how much I love the dish. I saw that The MeatMen had a recipe for it so decided to try it for myself.

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Here’s the recipe and my own notes in italics and pink:

Kung Pao Chicken
Servings: 4 | Time: 25 min | Skill: Easy

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless chicken thighs (cut into 3cm chunks)
  • 15 dried chillies (seeds removed)
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns / Sichuan peppercorns (I left this out as I don’t have any!)
  • 4 stalks of spring onions (cut into 5cm)
  • 3 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp of ginger (chopped)
  • 5 cm knob of ginger (sliced)
  • 2 chilli padis (I only use 1 as I can’t deal with too much spice)
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce

Marinade (for the chicken thighs)

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chinese rice wine (I use hua diao jiu)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Sauce (mix well and set aside)

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar (I use the one from Narcissus – from any supermarket)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Mix well and set aside

Instructions

  1. Marinade chicken thighs for at least 30 minutes.
  2. tbsp sugar,
  3. Add 1 tbsp black peppercorns / sichuan peppercorns to a wok heated with 3 tbsp oil; Fry until fragrant and remove peppercorns (I left out this step)
  4. Add dried chillies, stir fry until colour darken
  5. Add sliced garlic, 1 tbsp of chopped ginger and ⅓ of the spring onions
  6. Stir fry until fragrant
  7. Add sauce mixture and cook for 2 mins
  8. Transfer to bowl and set aside
  9. Add 2 tbsp oil to wok
  10. Add sliced ginger, chili padis and rest of the spring onions (leave a small handful aside for garnish)
  11. Stir fry until fragrant
  12. Add chicken thighs
  13. Once chicken is almost cooked, add kung pao sauce
  14. Add 1 tbsp dark soy sauce cook for another min
  15. Serve and garnish with spring onions

Review: Lollababy Nasal Aspirator

Note: This is not a sponsored post. Also, this post talks about snot so if you’re squeamish about such stuff, consider this a warning!

I can’t remember how I came across the Lollababy Nasal Aspirator. Must have been one of those idle-surfing moments. It was selling at one of the baby fairs for $79 at a special promotional launch price and after a quick chat with the sales staff, I got one. Previously, we used  the Nose Frida whenever Elliott has a stuffy nose but he HATES it. He will struggle and fight, and it’d take 2 adults (me and the boy) to pin him down just to use it on him. Also, I did not like that I have to suck on the mouthpiece to get the snot out. Washing the Nose Frida also involved many parts.

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Last month, E had a snotty nose again. Think thick yellow snot and it was bothering him. I took out the Lollababy and used it on him. Amazingly, he thought that it was the funniest thing ever and kept giggling. He even asked me to keep using it again and again (!!). Honestly, I have NEVER seen him enjoy getting his nose cleaned this much.

I managed to clear both his blocked nostrils properly and when I removed the silicon cap to wash, there was a collection of thick snot. As strange as it sounds (especially to non-parents), it felt really good to see all that gross snot.  Also, it is really easy to clean. We simply remove the silicon tip (it comes in 2 sizes, a smaller one for newborns and a larger one for toddlers) and the plastic attachment and rinse it with water and soap.

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E has since learnt that this little contraption helps him in clearing his nose and would even ask to use it (never happened with the Nose Frida). We use it together with the Sterimar Sea Spray, i.e. we spray both nostrils before using the Lollababy to clear out his blocked nose. It’s really easy to use and in fact, he can use it on his own. I usually clear his nose properly before letting him have a go.

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As mentioned above, this is not a sponsored post. I paid for the product and found it useful so I’m blogging about it to help other parents who have to deal with snotty noses (and we all know this is a common occurrence with little people).

miss ene cooks: Curry Chicken

The boy rarely makes food requests as he is very easy going. He pretty much eats anything and everything! I’m quite the opposite, by the way. One weekend, he suddenly said that he felt like having curry chicken for dinner. Being the dutiful lovely wife that I am, I said: Sure!

The thing is, I have never made curry chicken in my life. I eat a lot of it, yes, but to cook it from scratch? Nope. My mum and MIL makes awesome curry chicken so why cook it when they make it so well? I texted my mum for help (as always) but she did not reply to my message (alamak) so I had to turn to Google.

I have found the recipes from The MeatMen to be pretty decent so decided to go with their recipe of Curry Chicken. The recipe also said that it is “easy” and I can deal with “easy” so let’s do this.

We happened to be at Parkway Parade so I popped into Giant Supermarket to grab the necessary ingredients. I am putting their recipe here with my own notes in blue italics so that the next time I want to cook it again, I can refer to this post.

Curry Chicken
Servings: 4 | Time: 1 hr 20 min | Skill: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Chicken (cut in pieces)
  • 3 large potatoes (skin off)
  • 30g ginger slices
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 5 shallots
  • 50g fresh chili paste (no fresh ones at the supermarket so got the closest one I could find)
  • 5 tbsp curry powder
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 600ml water
  • 200ml coconut milk (random brand from Giant but the best is to get Heng Guan’s)
  • 1 tbsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste)
  • ½ tbsp chicken powder (I used Knorr’s chicken seasoning powder)

Instructions

  1. Cut 3 potatoes into large pieces (with or without skin on depending on preference)
  2. Blend 30g ginger slices, 10 cloves garlic and 5 shallots in a food processor (food processor did not work so I just chopped them all very finely)
  3. Add 50g fresh chili paste and 5 tbsp curry powder to shallots mixture, mix well
  4. Add 3 tbsp oil to a pot, then add the spice paste and stir fry till fragrant
  5. Add chicken, 1 stalk lemongrass (bruised) and 20 curry leaves, continue to stir fry and mix
  6. Once the chicken starts to cook, add 600ml water
  7. Next add potatoes, bring to boil and let it simmer for another 20 mins.
  8. Add 200ml coconut milk and bring to boil, turn the heat down to low
  9. Add 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp. sugar and ½ tbsp. chicken powder (all adjust to taste)
  10. Cook for another 20 mins and it’s ready.
  11. Note it you have the time let the curry sit for 1 hour before serving to let the curry flavour soak into the chicken and potatoes (I did this and I think it really allowed the flavours to seep in so plan in advance)

This is how the spice paste looked like.

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My mum tells me she just buys the paste from the wet market as it is all nicely blended. This cuts down the preparing process by quite a bit. Told her to please get me 5 packets, I’d keep them in the freezer. Hur hur.

And this is how my maiden attempt at curry chicken turned out:

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The boy gave it the thumbs-up but I thought it could be more spicy and ‘lemak’ (creamier/thicker). Shall give curry chicken another go when I get the spice paste from my mum!

Parent teacher meeting

It was our first parent teacher meeting for the year. It was also Elliott’s first after he started pre-nursery class and full-day childcare. I was a little curious as to what his teacher would say about him because we all know how differently  children behave when they are at home and at school.

It was good to hear from his teacher M that he is thriving at school. Apparently, he’s a riot when he’s with 2 other boys. They’re apparently thick as thieves! Teacher M shared that they cannot stop talking (!) and if they’re seated together at lunch, 20 minutes will pass and no one would have touched their food as they’d be busy talking, laughing and play jostling.

She also shared that Elliott loves to sing and would break out into song whenever he feels like it. Interestingly, his classmates will join in and the entire class will be singing. Reminds me of Glee! She also showed us a video clip of him singing with his friends. Awww. She shared that he sings whenever – when they are doing activitivies at the table, in the shower, when they are playing….

We are just glad to know that he’s doing good at school and that’s all that matters.

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