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Conversation With A Pre-Teen

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Conversation #36845

Princess: "Mummy, what's this in your phone's photo gallery?"

Me: "Oh, that's my 杏仁茶(Chinese Almond milk drink)."

Princess: "It looks like my slime."

Me: "..."

I still cannot phantom the joy of playing with slime.

This was indeed my precious homemade Chinese almond milk which I had to rationed carefully since I had made only a small quantity to try out. There are plenty of recipes out there, and me being me, I just bought a bag of Chinese almonds (南杏) and just winged it without any measurements. I am beginning to cook like my mum, with whom I am forever exasperated when I try to coax a recipe of my favourite dish out from her. So now I am equally unable to give a recipe here. Sigh ... I guess I am really my mother's daughter. But I will not leave you in the lurch. I made this Chinese almond milk based on this video from YTower Cooking Channel, so go check it. The method is so easy and the result is unlike any…

New Year, Old Me

When I was still in school uniforms, I was told about something called new year's resolution and was even encouraged to make these silly statements about what you want to achieve in the new year. That is all fine and good, except that they forgot to tell me exactly how should I go about achieving it. Needless to say, there was no improvement in my life in any meaningful way. So I learnt early on in life never to trust well-meaning adults who gave only the intro but left out the nut-and-bolts of what they say. 

The year I finally finished my formal schooling, someone whom I met at a casual gathering after new year ran out of conversation topic and decided to ask: "So, what's your new year's resolution?" He looked expectantly at me, hoping that I would pick up the conversation ball and keep it rolling. He was a nice guy but he asked the wrong question. "My new year's resolution is not to have any resolution at all!" was my reply. We blinked at each oth…

Salmon Teriyaki Don

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What do you do with a princess who could not get up from bed in the morning?

The answer is quite simple actually. Either fry up a batch of bacon or cook a comforting bowl of salmon teriyaki don. Once you are done cooking, just leave the bedroom door ajar and let it do its magic. Who can resist the smell of smoky bacon or savoury-sweet soy sauce?

Princess was out of her room before her bowl even landed on the dining table.  

I put this dish together in under 30 minutes from start to finish. Easy right? Sure it is if you define finish as the bowl landing on the dining table. However, for most home cooks, finish including putting away the last rag/dish towel/cleaning cloth after you scrub down the whole kitchen. And for you information, teriyaki-anything is a messy affair. The sauce spits at you and splatters everywhere. Sometimes you get more sauce on your stove than on the pan. 

On this hot and humid island, the question I kept asking myself is why bother cooking when there are similar opt…

Princess Bento #10

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Princess brings a lunch box to school every morning. But why haven't you seen that many of them? Well, we had a change of management and the new manager didn't really like to take photos. The previous manager (which is yours sincerely) will only crawl out of bed after 7am, so by then the lunch box had already been packed and bagged.

This morning, I decided to drag myself out of the duvet and crawl into the kitchen to help with the food prep. Hubby was already almost all done and hence I managed to steal a snap before it went into her lunch bag.
Mix grains rice with spring onion omelette, sesame ginger chicken and stir fried greens.
Princess is having Higher Chinese composition writing exam for the first time today and I am just wondering how it will turn out since I had left her to pretty much to her own. This mama has been too lazy. 

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

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My first attempt at quiche making was back in 2006. To put it kindly, back then my cooking skills was still in the making. My tart looked better than my quiche, which would be better off be called a pizza. 

Ten years later, I am happy to report that things are somewhat different around my kitchen. Although some things, such as inability to follow a recipe or to roll out a decent pie dough, still remain the same.
This was dinner last night for our princess who wanted something different for a change. Since I had a carton of half and half sitting inside my fridge screaming to be used, this ticked all the boxes.
The pie crust recipe comes from The Joy of Cooking. The book version called for half shortening and half butter, but I changed to all butter as in their website. I only found out that they had a website this morning! The problem with making short crust pastry in a climate such as Singapore is that the butter melts almost instantly once out of the fridge. I had to work super fast and…

You Not Only Need a Map, You Need a Compass Too

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Some time ago, in fact a very long time ago, I bought this wonderful book The Art of Thinking Clearly. If you haven't heard of the book, go to the nearest bookshop now and grab a copy. Don't bother with the library because this book is so good, that I want all the contents downloaded permanently in my brains. Ok, I digress.

As I was saying, in this book I came across a chapter "Why we prefer a wrong map to no map at all". This chapter discusses about availability bias, which is about our inclination to decide outcomes based on how easily/quickly examples come to our minds. For example, if we know of someone who had strike lottery previously, we would think that striking lottery is a highly likely possible outcome for ourselves as well, hence we buy into lottery. Another example, if an unknown (probably wrong) map is easily available to a lost traveller, he/she will most probably still try to use it in desperation despite it not knowing what he/she is looking at.

The …

Saturday Baking

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The first time I made this recipe was almost 10 years ago and I had never forgotten how it tasted. The lusciousness of each bite of this cream cheese brownie was just a glutton's fantasy.
10 years has since lapsed, and our little princess is old enough to whip a decent batter manually. She has also shown enough interest in cooking and baking to make this mama proud.

So, since we had some time on hand to kill, I decided that the best way to expend some pent-up energy after sitting around for hours learning is to whip some batter.

This recipe is really easy to put together and princess did it mostly by herself. I was just the kitchen helper who was good for reaching things in higher places and also washing up.
Warning: Try not to finish the whole pan of this by yourself.

So in order to avoid that, I came up with a wonderful strategy - cutting the brownie into really small rectangles. The fork in the photo is a fruit fork, not a dessert or dinner fork. The size of my brownie was probab…