Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mallow Crunchies

This is another simple recipe for a snack which I found at the back of a pack of marshmallows. Friend Belle gave me a pack of white jumbo marshmallows to take home for the kids. I have a habit of reading any printed matter on any printing medium. So I saw this recipe and tried it one weekend afternoon.

1/4 cup butter
4 cups of marshmallows
pack of cereals

Melt the butter in a cooking pan and add the marshmallows. Make sure you continuously mix it until the marshmallows are molten.  Another variation is to add chocolate chips while mixing the mallows.

Remove from the cooking pan immediately and mix with cereals.

What I did was to prepare ahead of time a big tray with corn flakes spread evenly and poured the molten mallows directly. Then add the remaining cornflakes on top. While the marshmallows are still soft, I transferred it to a rectangular pan.

I found plain corn cereals as the perfect foil to counter the sweetness of the marshmallows. You can also use rice crispies, granola, nuts or other cereals of your choice. You can drizzle choco syrup, add sugar dusting or cinnamon powder on top. I prefer plain cereals to at least keep it a bit on the healthy side.

Let it set for a few minutes before serving. You can cut them into bite-sized squares and put them into muffin liners before serving.

It's a great twist to the usual marshmallows, don't you agree?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

An Evening with The Song of India

It's been quite a while since I've had Friday night dinner with friends. There are too much goings-on lately that most of the time I simply prefer to be at home on Fridays and have a lazy evening and midnight munchies with hubby and the kids.

One of my friend Leklek, organized for us a Friday night dinner at The Song of India together with friends from work.

The Song of India is hailed as one of Singapore's Best Fine Dining Restaurants so I you can tell I'm wide-eyed with anticipation. I've been to India twice and I have an appreciation for Indian cuisine so I was looking forward for this experience.

The restaurant which is located along Scotts Road is actually a restored heritage bungalow from the colonial period era that gives an old world ambiance. Our reservations were slated for dinner so the lighting was toned-down. If it is a dinner date for two, it would probably have been romantic. I read in reviews that others may find this a downer. I suppose the place is generally serene but we didn't quite notice this as we were too busy chatting (a bit boisterously we admit) and laughing! I was seated facing the wall so if the other patrons have been glaring at us, I couldn't tell.

Our dinner was a 4-course menu of kebabs artfully presented in degustacion proportions. I am not a heavy eater so the proportion works well for me because you can try a bit of everything. I consider its hint of spice as mild so if you are not a hot-and-spice-person, this should be perfect.

The appetizer was the spiciest for the night.
This is mild to moderate for me though.

This is part 2 of the appetizer fare. Different types of kebabs.

The entree is called the Art Platter Kebab,
served with warm roti which you can dip into the sauce.
The dessert is a mango and ginger ice cream with fruits.
Followed by milk tea.
I also read they have a great wine selection but since of the ladies still have post-dinner plans, we skipped the alcohol. And I am curbing my alcholic tendencies after weeks of hubby's homemade Mojitos which I am using as my excuse for my muffun tops.

The entree was very good. I like the spiciness of the prawn and the lamb was tender. Yes, I do appreciate a good meal of lamb. There were also different sauce-y accompaniments (forgot all their names), one with mushroom, another with lentils. I miss my all time favorite tikka paneer though.

We had different points of view on the dessert of mango and ginger ice cream. It worked for me. It's not very sweet and I am guessing that aside from ginger, some other mild spice must have been infused as well. Dinner was capped by a serving of milk tea. I actually wanted some second helping of the tea too.

And of course, in between are snippets of stories from our-lives-so-far. Life has been too serious lately so it is refreshing to let your hair down (and have an excuse for glamming up).

Indian cuisine at it's finest. As Leklek aptly puts it, it is a night of good food with good friends. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Simple Greek Salad

I once had to grab a quick lunch and decided to go this take-away Greek salad at Salad Stop. The ingredients look so simple and it's quite easy to replicate this salad so I tried it home with some variations.

Below is the picture of the salad without the final dressing and cheese toppings, for better visualization of the ingredients.

Salad just before I added the Greek Feta Cheese dressing
and Cottage Cheese

I used vegetable fussili pasta to make it more colorful. Then added sliced cucumbers, heirloom and cherry tomatoes, a few olives (can't see them here) and broccoli florets.

I found this bottle of Greek Feta Cheese dressing from Margetti. This dressing is perfect and I didn't have to bother adding more spices to the salad. Add the dressing to the salad mixture and toss. The dressing comes with bits of feta cheese.

You can also add a dash of feta cubes after tossing the salad.  I chosed to instead add 3 tbsp of cottage cheese. You can be as liberal as you like. Chill slightly before serving.

This salad is best paired with grilled pork/steak/salmon in lieu of rice. I also eat it as is for a quick breakfast or snack.

The kids love this as well so it is a great way to also serve vegetarian fare!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Little Girl Got Calluses

It has been a nightly ritual to put the children to bed after finishing our evening prayer at Kyla's room. They also know Mommy will be working next door. Kyla requests that I visit her in between while I work. I also visit Kevin too, to check if he is finally asleep. He has a habit of staying awake for as long as someone is still up.

I just came from Kyla's room a few minutes ago. I reached for her hand and started lightly touching her palm. I noticed that the calluses in her palms grew bigger and rougher by now. She got these calluses after hours of playing at the monkey bars. She even proudly demonstrated to me once how agile and strong she has become, crossing the entire length of monkey bars with such ease and speed.

Kyla crossing the monkey bars while Kevin is perched on his favorite corner.
 Being a non-athletic person myself, I can only marvel at how nimble she was! I can't remember being able to do this when I was her age. She is eight and she got these very rough calluses. I have none.

Clearly, she enjoys conquering the monkey bars despite her dad forbidding her to play further when he noticed the onset of blisters that eventually became a wide, rough patch of toughened skin. I don't think we can stop her. It looked only like monkey bars to us. To her, it probably meant something more than that.

I snapped this photo of her that day, crossing the monkey bars. I smiled and eventually laughed out loud. She is good at it. She smiled back at me proundly when she reached the other end, and I thought, "there must be a feeling of freedom, being able to conquer these bars, against time, against every ounce of strength."

I remember that day while I was touching her hand and feeling the roughened skin of her palms. Clearly not a young lady's hand. Perhaps it will never be. I can see it now, my little girl is not meant to be the dainty lady. It wasn't just blisters I saw or felt. I remember the fears she has conquered. The depth of her love and understanding for her brother.

And in that moment, her little hand in mine, I felt a sense of portents being passed on to her.

One of these days, I'll let her examine her palms, feel the calluses.

And I'll tell her what it meant. And she has every reason to be proud.

And it's not about just the monkey bars.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My "To Do" List

This is actually a copy of hand written scribblings from my journal. I still keep a journal on top of my blog. It's a daintly looking notebook which I bought in 2009 at National Bookstore.

One of the pages contain my 2011-2012-2013 To Do List (it's a 3 year plan). It's not long list. Just a few important milestones I would like to do in the next 3 years or so. Had to write it down in my journal so that I won't confuse them with my other minor To Do List elsewhere in my other notebooks. I thought that by publishing them, I'd be more determined enough to ensure that it gets ticked off the list.

So here it goes...(with side comments which were not included in my notebook entry)

Write a new article about children with special needs and submit them for publication. (The former is easy. Getting it published takes a little bit of opportunity and luck.)

Do 5S more often. (Than I already do. Okay, this one is quite easy. But it's good to be reminded.)

Get a Tatoo! (Hubby supports this but I was advised to be content with the henna-thing.)

Buy an Amazon Kindle (?). I must be desperate to do this. (I ended up striking this out of the entry but including it here for transparency. I decided I am not yet that desperate.)

Buy more gemstone earrings. (Started! There is something down to earth about precious stones. And there are more to precious stones that the diamond, emerald and ruby variety.)

Be more deliberate.

Learn new recipes. (Not exactly my cup of tea...so I started with baking again.)

Update the travel masterplan. With dates and bookings. (It's back on track.)


Read more books again. (And I meant real books, not the pretend books.)

Eat more real food. (I was inspired after reading Food Rules.)

Get more sleep! (Working on it)

Only postive thoughts!

Continue life conversations with Kyla (What we teach our kids today will at least help shape up the person they become tomorrow. I learned this from my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.)

Learn a new language. (Kyla knows the language I have chosen. Inspired by a movie I was watching when I decided to do this.)

I am excited about updating our travel plans once again. Kyla is excited too! It lagged for a while so now we have some catching up to do. Travelling has been made relatively affordable nowadays and the places we are interested to see are not very far from where we live today.

I have started my new language exploration. I downloaded this app with voice over tutorial and I started with handy, everyday phrases. I am so looking forward to actually have to put it to good use someday!