Thursday, August 24, 2006

Simple dinners

People often ask how I manage without a helper. And I always say, I make almost everything simple. I'm sharing here two recipes of simple dinners, nothing to boast about except being satisfied, seeing my family enjoy them.

1. Pita bread with chicken

I was a little tired of having rice and pasta. Thanks to butterflutter who mentioned pita bread in one of her entries a few weeks ago.
I season pieces of chicken with salt and deep-fry. While they are cooking on one stove, I toast the bread on another. I just chunk a little butter on a pan, and place a bread on it. I let the side turned a bit brownish. I got a crispy-outside-soft-inside result. I sliced some lettuce leaves, chopped some tomatoes.
Chicken is cooled and chopped, and I add some mayoinaise. I cut the breads into two pieces and fill the pockets.
It would taste better with pepper, but I don't want anybody to complain that it is hot.
It taste good and Bea1 can finish 2 whole pieces (equivalent to 1 whole bread).

It would also look like the McD Chicken foldover, if I add in the tiny slice of carrot and purple cabbage. And think the taste is also close to it without the taste of the box that also comes together, with the foldover;).

2. Imitation of Pizza Hut Prawn Olio

We love the Prawn Olio. We had it for 5-6 times, and hubby suggested we just cook it ourselves. I modify the recipe a bit.

While the pasta is cooking, I fried some chopped garlic till crispy, and put it aside. Then, I saute garlic and chopped union. Throw in some prawns (and sometimes squids, too).
Add some basil leaves, chopped tomatoes and sliced shitake mushrooms. Finally add in the spaghetti, some chopped almonds, and the fried garlic.

This type of dinners are cooked with Bea3 is either at the kitchen floor, playing by herself or sitting in the high-chair besides me, eating a biscuit. While the two other girls playing everywhere in the apartment. I make sure over and over that everywhere is safe for them, and I would only worry about any mess that they make after the dinner is done;).

If hubby is around, I would normally let Bea1 'helps' me cutting some veges, while he keeps an eye on the little ones.

Think at the moment we cope well without a helper;). And I'm just grateful for being blessed with this beautiful family (who so far is very, very easy with food) and the good health (to keep on cooking and taking care of the family).

Friday, August 18, 2006

Other reasons it is fun to have a baby

We know babies are cute, adorable, apple of our eyes, chubby, cute-miut...yada, yada, yada. But these are a few other reasons that come personally from mama23beas, a mother who never seems to be tired of popping babies;)

1. I'm sure only mothers can relate well to this. Our baby's breath is heavenly, even when she/he has bad breath. I'm not sure about formula-fed babies, as all my baby are fully breastfed till 6 months, and later only drink breastmilk with solid till one year plus.

Hold your baby , press your nose at the corner of her mouth (but it is advisable not to do it immediately after returning home from work, with your shiny nose;)), and inhale...think that is the smell of heaven. It is therapeutic

Enjoy the moment while you can, before your baby turn to toddler and later preschoolar. You won't get it anymore, and their breath could stink especially when they need to be reminded to brush their teeth.

2. If you have a baby, sleep can be a luxury. But something may happen in the wee hours that leave you giggling. When the baby is mobile, she would try to look for nipple herself. Your tummy may still be exposed after you lift your shirt for the previous feeding. And you may feel something wet and ticklish moves on your tummy. It most probaby is your baby, with her eyes closed searching for the ultimate comfort, your nipple.

Wanna play a joke on hubby? Switch position on the bed. I did it, but I could not tahan seeing her licking on the hairs on hubby's tummy;).

3. Want to have an experience of having someone (yes, a human being, not just your cat or dog) lick your toes, then get a baby. There is a phase when she would put everything in her mouth...(better lari before I got rotten tomatoes...)

And again it's back to they are the most adorable thing on earth, I mean ALL babies, not just mine.

I've hinted to hubby that in two months time, our Bea3 will turn into a toddler, and we may love to have another baby. I get only 'huh?'. Not a good sign. Need to plan for a plot to have an 'accident', I guess...hehe!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

We love the kitchen!

Maybe you think there is more 'progress' on my incomplete kitchen. Nope, not yet. It took me 4 Ikea catalogue, many, many times opening and closing cabinets in many, many show units and 6 times visits to the kitchen workstation area. I have not decided on the wall cabinets and also the cooker hood, now only rely on a ventilation fan. And also the occasional table, thinking to just use the remnant of the wooden counter top (that was cut to fix the huge sink), buy table legs and turn it into one table. But at the moment I'm taking a break. Well, of course I will still go at least once to their current sale, not to buy anything...ok I lied, I may get some photo frames or other smaller stuffs.

What I want to write is, after more than a month, my white APPLAD kitchen still looks ok. A bit messy, but that shows all the action is taking place there.

There, my darling Bea1 helping me with the celery.

We have a huge cabinet just below one for a built-in oven (also still in my dream;)) that the girls just love. They call it Bea1's house.

And the castle (also an Ikea stuff) on the right is Bea2's house.

Bea1's house is also their rendevouz, a place to hide from their parents;). Both of them can fit in there nicely, with the door closed;).

Trust me, it looks small but I have plenty of storage spaces. Think hubby loves it too, he is beginning to make "after dinner washing dishes" a routine.

Anyway, thought I'm crazy enough about Ikea but check out what I found today. Somebody created a blog. fantastic idea, I love it, love it, love it. Check it out yourself, but if you are not a fan, don't bother!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Me and my keys

One day about 2 months ago....
I was preparing to leave my office room, standing near the door, giving a last look if I forgot anything, press the button on the knob and pulled it. Damn....I forgot the keys. Nevermind, I will get the spare from the main office first thing the next day.

Borrowed the spare key, I did. I had an appointment with a contractor to fix the grille at the new apartment during lunchtime. But I had to run to a lab first before leaving, making sure I got my keys by 'raba'ing my pants pocket, and pulled the door. Then it just occured to me that I might not get the right keys, got them out...and dammit, it was the house keys!

So, I shut myself out with both my room and the spare keys, my car keys and handbag.

Started to call for help. We don't have master key, said one staff. One came with a ladder, tried to get in through to a window, but it was completely shut. Others tried any sort of "pecah rumah" methods at my door.

Had a call from hubby, he said people were waiting at our apartment. Told him "We are having a situation...".

We tried old credit card, those mobile phone reload cards, screwdriver, ruler, those food container covers...The office just added some sort of a panel along the door frame to add more to the safety features, and to give hell to staff who just keep locking herself out!

Another call from hubby, and I had to yell "We have a crisis here...."

But there is always a solution, and it comes from a mother of 5 whose kids tend to lock themselves, too. It is a combination of a screwdriver and a mobile phone reload card, a thicker one.

A few weeks after that....
I took 1/2 day leave to get some stuffs from the old place, and to tidy it up a little bit. I was ready to load some stuffs to the car and realised I didn't know where I last saw the car key. Looked around and started to get frantic. Went down to the car, it was locked alright. Went up again, tried to trace my movement since the first time I entered the house. Sighed with relief when I saw it under a tray in the kitchen. I knew it, 'tracing back my movement' always works.

Not to repeat the same mistake, I put all keys to somewhere I could remember and easily see. One shelf just below my nose level, on the book rack in the living.

Got the car key in my pocket, and some stuffs to the car first. Pulled the door, and dammit...I forgot the house keys! And I had to return as I still got things to get, and the fan was switched on.

Luckily, there is always my bro-in-law who has always his keys in his backpack. He was being warded, and I had to drive to the hospital to get the spare. Wasted about an hour but I didn't really curse myself for that.

One day two weeks ago...
I was doing the last bit of work. I visualised having fun with my kids at the pool, and I would made quick pasta dinner. My kids would be hungry after playing water...lovely;).

Got up to leave, looked for my keys but one was missing. Scoured through the pile of papers...Oh no, not again. But yes, I lost my car key!

Looked everywhere, even borrowed a key to a lecture hall. And it was past office hours. Called the boss, she said she would come to the main office (as I was there, talking to her earlier) and let me search. And no, it was not there.

Called my babysitter, and told her I might be late. She said "Tau orang Melaka kata apa ni...lale, tau lale..." In the background, I heard my kids asking "Mama mana...mama mana?"...It was heart-wrenching!

Again...trace back my movement, I did for the 1000th time! Called hubby and I started to cry of being so helpless (Maybe I was a bit tired as I was fasting, too). Told him, before the main office I went to the dean's office for a meeting. But I seriously thought I didn't get anything out from my handbag. He said, just go there and look. But it was 7.30 pm, and I really didn't think anyone would be there.

And in case you are wondering about the spare key, yes of course we have that but...the previous day, we were at the old place again, I found the spare key and place it in a box together with my old photos and bring them home. The problem was, the box was still in the ....yes, you guess it...the car...wuahhhh:(.

I went back to my room to gain some composure. Took a deep breath, picked up the phone and called the dean's office. To my surprise, somebody picked it up. I saw hopes, the light at the end of the tunnel...the staff went to the meeting, I didn't wait long. She returned and like a music to my ears, she was like singing "Adaaaaa...". I let out "Alhamdulillah...".
Walked passed a cafe, was surprised to see it still open, got my key, bought a can drink to break my fast at about 8:10 pm.

Fetched the girls, met hubby at the apartment swimming, but we still had pasta. At Pizza Hut, that is;).

Last night (I promised this is the last one;))

I was getting Bea3 to sleep, while the other two girls played "let's-change-as-many-clothes-as-much-as-we-can-and-scatter-them-all-on-the-floor" game in the other room.

To cut it short (I'm tired of typing anyway;)), they locked the door from inside when they came out. I had my phone, the house key, and the keys to every door in the house and the car key. A bit worried as hubby worked late and he might call me to fetch him from the office. The nearest public phone is about 15 minutes walk, and that time I realised I might need to neighbour's help.

Anyway, it just occured to me that I should have learned some "pecah rumah" skills the other day. And yes, I picked the right material, a piece of the plastic food container (ala...the one you get when you buy pasar malam taufu fah) cover and armed with that, the door was wide was like a victory. I did learn from my 'blunders'...

The end.

By the way, do you think I need help?