Itadakimasu

To give my mum inlaw a break from cooking, us “kids” (the 5 of us) took over the kitchen last night. And took over, we did! I reckon there weren’t any utensils, pots, pans, and every inch of the bench unused. As we’re all great lovers of Japan, we chose to do a Japanese food cook-off πŸ™‚

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It was so much fun! Even though it was supposed to be judged and have a winner at the end, we helped each other and had a blast!

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For entrΓ©e, we had pork gyoza, cold soba, chicken karaage and tamagoyaki. For mains, we had Hayashi rice and Tonkatsu πŸ™‚

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Mr E also brought his sake set from our last trip there in 2011. So we did a little sake testing for dessert to go with my slightly squished dango πŸ˜›

We started cooking at around 4pm and our dinner didn’t finish until past after 10pm! The kitchen was definitely where the heart of this house last night πŸ™‚ Next time, we’re going to add in a secret ingredient to make it even more fun! πŸ˜‰

Christmas

I hope you all had a very good Christmas. I did. It was such a wonderful relaxed occasion, filled with laughter, presents and lots and lots of food.

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Little E was super duper spoilt, getting all sorts of goodies from everyone. He also had loads of cuddles and playtime with members of our extended family. I am always worried that I fail at ensuring he has a full family of his own. However, after this Christmas, I realised that I haven’t. He is loved by many and those family members that he has, make up for more than the ones he doesn’t have.

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My mum inlaw made sure that I had lots of “breaks” and took care of Little E for most of the day. I am so very thankful. I was able to eat and enjoy my meals at a leisurely pace as well as being able to chat with the rest of the family. My inlaws must also be reading my posts carefully as I received a year subscription to Gourmet Travellers magazines. Wooooee! πŸ˜‰

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On Christmas eve, we started the day by going to the beach. Little E was still unsure of the sand, however, he was very pleased being held while splashing in the waves. We then went back home for some pancakes for a late breakfast. At dusk, we went to a local park to listen to some carols. It was so much fun!

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I hope the Christmas excitements lasts and lasts for a very long time for you too! πŸ™‚

(Indonesian) Mothers’ Day

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It’s Mothers’ Day today in Indonesia, my second one, and I’ve had a good day so far. Little E still didn’t get the memo advising him that QLD doesn’t have Daylight Savings, so we had another early start and had a morning splash in the pool. We have a full day ahead for more fun and frivolity.
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I have decided that for the next couple of days, I am having a break from blogging πŸ™‚ So, my dear readers, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. May you all be blessed with a joyful, lovely and safe day wherever you may be.

Img src: Indulgy

Fussy little eaters: vegetarian quiche tarts

I find it really difficult to have a balanced diet all the time. When I try to be good with my vegetable intake, I would soon realise that my fruit intake has taken a backseat. I really don’t know how healthy people do it! I want to start Little E on a good eating habit so I am making a lot of effort in the kitchen.

When my boys were sick, I needed to really ensure they eat well too πŸ™‚ For lunch last week, I made vegetarian quiche tarts, inspired by a recipe on aΒ  sample packet of baby formula. Little E was able to eat it all by himself, with not much mess! Double yay!

Vegetarian quiche tarts

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Ingredients:

  • 8 slices of multigrain bread
  • 1 1/4 cup of mixed vegetables (I grated some zucchini and carrots, chopped bits of capsicum and 4 halved cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Method:

  1. Preheat oven at 160C
  2. Mix vegetables and cheese, then season with pepper
  3. With a rolling pin, flatten bread into 5mm thin
  4. Coat muffin trays with oil, then insert bread slices as cups
  5. Divide vegetable mixtures evenly into the bread cups
  6. Whisk eggs and milk together
  7. Pour evenly into bread cups (you will need to pour a little at a time and wait for the egg mixture to “sink in”)
  8. Bake for 30min or until egg mixture has set

These tarts have a lot of goodness in them. Grains and carbs from the bread, protein from the eggs, calcium from the milk and cheese, plus all the vegetables. A balance meal in a compact form πŸ˜‰

Child-friendly restaurants: Papparich

Papparich
Ph: 02 6230 4929
Bunda Street
Canberra
Pappa Rich on Urbanspoon

Last week, we were stuck at home with a cold since Monday. So on Wednesday, I finally had enough and packed us up to try Papparich. It’s a franchise Malaysian restaurant, apparently popular even in Malaysia! It truly is God’s answer to my prayers for good Malay/Indo food in Canberra.

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The place is setup quite nicely, it definitely has a welcoming feeling. We came just when they opened and already, there were patrons there. I requested a highchair, which was promptly placed in our table. We were given our menus and when we were ready to order, I filled in our order form and ring the bell on our table. The waiter didn’t take long to grab it from us.

In no time at all, our meals came. I loved everything I ordered, and Little E agreed. I found the Teh Tarik (iced milk tea) a little on the too sweet side but refreshing nevertheless. The chicken curry in my nasi lemak was nice and tender. Spicy but not too much for Little E. I like my sambal to have more heat, but it had a nice taste to it.
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Little E polished almost the entire butter and kaya jam on toast. The bread was amazingly light and fluffy, it almost disappear when you chew it. So so good! I would have loved it to be more toasted but it was great for Little E.

The piece of resistance (or Mr E’s worst nightmare) was the plate of deep fried chicken skin. I just couldn’t not order it. It is sinful, and I felt disgusting afterwards, but they were yummy and crispy and salty and just amazingly naughty. I felt bad that I had the whole plate to myself. To think I just paid $6.90 for a plate of skin is almost amusing.

Yesterday, we took my inlaws there for lunch as we were killing time in Civic before their flight. We had to wait in line for about 30 minutes as Papparich was incredibly packed! This time, I finally got to try their laksa, roti, mee goreng and various drinks. I love the laksa, as they only used fat hokkien noodles too! My favourite. The soup wasn’t too spicy nor fatty, so Little E had a little taste. He still loved the kaya toast and drank almost a quarter of my milo tarik!

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I thought their roti chanai was pretty yum, though I preferred eating it with just the sambal and not bother with the curries. I accidentally ordered the vegetarian laksa instead of the chicken but it was delicious nevertheless. I would have loved more of the yummy eggplants though, as there weren’t much stuff in it other than noodles.

The special nasi lemak didn’t look as good as when I went last time. The kaya toast was also even less toasted, they came out without a hint of brown. It could just be because they’re busy, as the actual taste itself was the same.

Again, even though the place was extremely full and busy, they were accommodating to Little E. They gave us a clean highchair, tuck away his pram and didn’t mind his messiness. I am already looking forward to trying more of their dishes! πŸ™‚

Haiyan Typhoon Appeal

I (and other bloggers) have teamed up with Nuffnang to raise funds for the Haiyan Typhoon victims in the Phillipines. As many of you will know,Β the typhoon was one of the most powerful storms in recorded history. There are millions of residents (a lot of them are children) have been left without food, clean water, shelter and medicine. As a mother, I could not imagine how mothers there would feel having to worry about their children is such devastation.

I donated my authentic Charlie Brown messenger bag to be sold at auction, on their eBay page (here). It is in excellent, as-new, giftable condition. It comes with its own dustbag and CB metal charm. The bag’s handle is adjustable and it is in the bright Hermes-orange colour. It’a a great everyday bag πŸ™‚

100%Β of the proceedsΒ willΒ go towards those severely affected by the Typhoon (via the Australian Red Cross). So, please, dig deep.

Currently, the auction is only for Australian residents, however, I know that I have overseas readers. So if any of you would like to bid, please do, and I will cover the difference in postage atΒ my expense.

Again, here is the link to the eBay page to the bag – here