May 8, 2015

Pearl Beans (aka Cranberry Beans) and Corn Soup

Peeling off the pod of pearl beans are great for training toddlers' fine motors skill, as well as mathematic lesson for primary schooler- counting, grouping; addition and multiplication.

My daughters love the work involving these beans, I always get help volunteering in peeling off and extracting the beans. Little Bomber first laid her hands on the beans when she was about 3. She was probably attracted to the beautiful appearance of the bean pods.

They love to consume the soup that is boiled with these beans too.

As I surfing in the internet, it is also called cranberry bean,

  • 200g of cranberry beans
  • 1 ear of fresh corn (or two, if you wish for more sweetness from the corn)
  • 250-300g of pork ribs
  • some red dates (optional)
  • 1500ml of water
  • salt to taste

Apr 30, 2015

Penang: Murals/Heritage Trail

After hearing so much of the Penang Murals Trail, we too, took a morning to hunt down as many murals as possible. Along the way, we discovered that there are not just Ernest Zacharevic's murals, there are many other amazing works too.

It was a fun morning, very much like a treasure hunt game- walking towards unknown based on the guided route.
Creadits: KPertiet's paper; Clementine Creative's Watercolour Circles; Misschifis' Fuzzy Felt Alpha;
Telling  the story of our lives from; etc.

Apr 26, 2015

Black Chicken and Black Beans Soup

I learnt about black chicken soup from my grandmother. At that time, two youngest aunts were still single and under the same roof with my grandmother. They taught me that this yummy chicken soup was great for nourish the body and the tasteless chicken meat was actually tender and delicious to eat with bit of soy sauce. I had some great time on my grandma's dining table with her and my aunts. They always tried to feed me and my siblings healthy nutrients whenever we were sent by my mother over while she headed out for some errands or her work.
In the nutrition aspect, black chicken does indeed have less calories than regular chicken, mostly due to less fat. For example, a 100 gram piece of regular chicken has around 8 grams fat, while black chicken has only 2 grams.
Recent evidence also shows a higher level of an antioxidant called carnosine. Antioxidants in general are a great thing, and black chicken has double the amount of carnosine than regular chicken. - source
To me, my grandma boiled the most hearty chicken soup in the universal.

Whilst, my mum taught me about black bean. She usually cook black bean soup with pork rib. According to her, black bean nourish blood, essence and yin. One step before making the soup is, the black beans are to be roasted or pan-fried without oil until the skin of the bean crack.

Over the years, I learnt from somewhere else that both black chicken and black bean are in greater effect by combining both together in a pot with black dates and boil. It helps to replenish blood and vitality. So, here's the simple recipe:

  • 1.5L of Water;
  • 1 whole black chicken
    [I usually would ask the poultry stall to de-skin and cut it into 4] 
  • 100g -150g of black beans
    [wash them and then pan-fried without oil until the skin of the bean crack]
  • Some black dates (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Apr 4, 2015

Penang: Occupy Beach Street

Beach Street, or Lebuh Pantai is one of the oldest streets in Penang. Renownedly, it is a vibrant banking district with numerous heritage buildings standing side by side.
It was built as early as 1786 or 1787, subsequent to Light Street, to be the main commercial street of the newly established George Town. Beach Street is older and has been around longer than many of the towns on the Malayan Peninsula including Singapore, Taiping, Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. Unlike arrow-straight Light Street, Beach Street was built to follow the curve of the beach, which was then right beside it. The result, as can be seen to this day, is a meandering street as it makes its way towards the southern hinterland. Today both streets meet at the Light Street Roundabout. - source
I used to came for classes at the British Council, Pengkalan Weld, in the evening and drove through Beach Road after class. Besides admiring the charming old-world facade, I enjoyed the peace and smooth traffic home. It was a buzzing commercial area of Georgetown in the daytime. It is still.

On the Sunday that we were visiting Penang, SC's cousin brought us here, for the Project Occupy Beach Street. It is an initiative by the local government to bring life into Beach Street on Sundays. This project coincides with Car-Free Day which is implemented every Sunday from 7am to 1pm on the stretch of Beach Street from Downing Street to Church Street.

This is a weekend arts and cultural market.

At the same time, this is a safe platform to for the public to view the heritage area.

Not crowded though as it was drizzling.

Some of the cutest merchandises...

Public are invited to take part into the street performance too.

It is very happening here in Beach Street every Sunday. It is also buzzling at their Facebook: Occupy Beach Street.


Mar 29, 2015

Mar 2015: Another Ordinary Day

Time flies, she is 5 now. Love every moment with her, except when she bombs me.
Credits :Sahlin Studio's Digital Scrapbooking Template - May2015; Feifei's Stuff; Amanda Yi Designs; KPertiet@Designer Digitals; etc.

Mar 21, 2015

Penang: Apam Balik

Everyone, please meet Malaysian traditional pancake, Apam Balik- literally means turnover pancake.

I was thrilled when I saw this during our last visit to Penang. This was my childhood favorite! I could easily had it every week in the pasar malam (night market) near my house. But it is getting so hard to find it these days, especially in KL. The Malaysian Department of National Heritage has listed this as one of the heritage food.

Feb 15, 2015

A good year ahead

Clean house. Good year.

- Ancient Chinese Belief

As the Lunar New Year arriving soon, the focus for most of us begin with cleaning and decorating, from each's threshold into drawers and cupboards. Jolly, the house would be de-cluttered determinedly, cleaned sparkly and decorated with all sort of lucky symbols to usher the family in a prosperous Chinese New Year. Dirt, residue, negative attitudes, unpleasant words and disrespect are to be swept before or after the celebration.

Along with the clean house, I suppose one's mind must also be refresh and optimistic. Only honeyed thoughts should come out of one's mouth, and the little minds are not reprimanded or scolded during the celebration period. 

Cleaned shelter, honeyed thoughts inject positivity from one to another. And so we all prosperously embarking into a good year. 

Here, I am not going to tell you how my physical house being cleaned up significantly. What is more meaningful, in my opinion is, cleaning up the house of my soul from last year. I started of jotting down things in a year I plan to do since last year. I felt that it solidified the year for me to live on: purposefully, happily. So, here I am again, wrapping up 2014, which I believe it would help to led me to another meaningful year of 2015. Planning for the year is all over the place. 

  1. I had been cooking a lot more than before. Sometimes, I can even handle a meal for 6! The routine kicks in so naturally now that, I hardly hear my girls mention about dining out.
  2. I jogged regularly, kept sickness at bay.
  3. I've saved up the money according to the plan. The question is, what's next!
  4. Together with sc and little bomber, we cafe-hopping whenever we had time and had fun throughout the year.
  5. I had a great trip with my good old friends in Bangkok.

Jan 14, 2015

Penang: Misty Penang Hill

I have fond childhood memory of visiting Penang Hill. With luxuriant green, cold refreshing weather, tranquil, some part remained colonized too. I recalled, there was a green corner for kids to run wild while the parents get to sit down and relaxing close-by. About 830km above sea level, generally five degrees cooler than Georgetown, you will get to experience the change of temperature from the foot of the Hill to the Hill itself, with less than 30 minutes, excluding the waiting time at the queue to take the funicular. Penang Hill is one place that offering a spectacular panoramic view of Georgetown, sometime, Penang Bridge and beyond. 

Jan 3, 2015

Dec 2014: Pulau Pinang

Before the year (2014) ended, we managed to make a trip to Penang. The trip was unexpectedly awesome. Even the girls said so and asked for a return. Well, maybe we hardly a tourist in our own homeland, time was always allocated for family gathering, friends meeting, running errands and shopping(it's cheaper there). This time round, despite we made the effort to meet uni-mates and bonding with family members, we did what tourists do: sight-seeing to Penang Hill, water and sand playing at the beach, wandering and hunting down those famous street arts, finding those food stalls that we used to patronised... Penang is really fun, apparently.

This scrapbook captured one fun moment of the girls. SC drove through Jalan Tanjung Bungah to reminisce what we knew of Teluk Bahang, Batu Ferringhi, stopped by one of the smaller and quieter beach at Tanjung Bunga for the girls to have some sand play time. The girls were thrilled. They jumped, cart-wheeled, shell and rock throwing, soaked into the sea water, etc. They didn't have enough of it. Beach, one great place to be for the kids to release their energy. Zero cost, infinite joy. 

Oh, throughout our visit in Penang, it was raining everyday. This was the only bright, cooling day for us to enjoy the beach.

Dec 8, 2014

I Didn't Throw it Away

I used to draw a lot when I was young, before the world was cyberised. 

Growing up in a big city, we didn't spend our childhood outdoor freely. Most of the time, besides playing with my siblings at home, I spent most of my free time seating down on my desk and holding the pencil to draw, to sketch, and brushes to paint. There must the innocent soul of mine in believing myself of having some sort of magical power to visualise and decode 3D into 2D. I was not afraid of wrong doing onto the drawing pad.

"让生命稳稳流动(也)是我的功课之一。" by Bubu Tsai