Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Of Crabs and Shark's Fin Soup

My Dad (Aiden's Tok) was in town so he decided to take the whole family out for a treat. A seafood treat to be exact. Also, he hasn't seen Aiden for quite a while now. Since I have the most extreme fixation on crabs, he told me to pick a place. In the end, we ended up choosing Fresh Unique Seafood in Petaling Jaya (my vote for Fatty Crab was turned down due to the limited available parking space, *sob*sob*).

It was my first time in Fresh Unique Seafood. Parking was a breeze since they provide valet parking for their patrons. There were about a hundred fish tanks right in the middle of the restaurant. All filled with sea creatures, in which half I have never even seen before! So you can actually pick and choose which crab you want to be cooked. It certainly lives up to its name of being fresh and unique. You cannot get your seafood any fresher than this.

Aiden and Uncle Boy Boy posing in front of the fish tanks.

I honestly have not seen this ever before. Is this really a duck? Geoduck Sashimi is apparently very popular (and very expensive).

You can choose to order ala carte or the sets meals which starts at RM500++ for a family of 7 or more. There were about 10 of us so we went for the set meal. And surprisingly, they were very accommodative when we wanted to change certain dishes within the set. In the end, we settled for a hot and cold combination, shark's fin soup, fried chicken, salted egg crab, steamed crab, butter prawns, vegetables and fried rice.

Aunty Awien placing the order while I picked which crab I wanted cooked for our dinner.

I chose this smiling crab. (Alahai, kesian la pulak imagining the smiling crab dead and cooked when I look at this picture!)

Can you imagine how much it would cost to maintain all these fish tanks??!! Kolam ikan at our current house pun kami tak terjaga!

Look at those small but expensive crabs!

More expensive crabs! Makes me miss my Sakhalin days when I used to bring giant sea crabs home. Wrapped them up in layers and layers or newspaper and placed them in my suitcase (while praying hard that the Singaporean authorities won't catch me smuggling crabs in my luggage while on transit).

Gambar selingan. This is the size of the giant crabs that the Sakhaliners would sell by the road side. Huge ain't it?

It was minus 5degC and yet this Russian lady was selling crabs without even using any gloves!

Don't be fooled by my clothes. I jumped out of the 4WD, rushed out for a picture in the freezing cold and jumped back in to warm myself. (This picture was taken 2000 years BC (before child), so even with the layers of clothes, I look selim melim!)

But these are the crabs that I used to smuggle home. Readily packed and available at the market. Russians usually throw away the body of the crab and eat the legs instead.

My MIL used to help me cook it (cos i'm a hopeless cook!) and she would make scrumptious ketam masak lemak with these. Eating half of the leg is enough for a whole plate of rice!

Anyway, back to Unique Seafood, Aiden was definitely enjoying this new experience.

And the best part of it all, he got his first taste of Shark's Fin soup! After inheriting Mummy's craze for durians, hopefully he'll go crazy over this other obsession of mine as well. Okay, this boy definitely loves Shark's Fin Soup!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dinner at Celedon

Sometimes, I spend more than RM50 for lunch. And I kid you not. My lunch partners are all mid 30s to mid 40s, with plenty of moolah to spend. Being the youngest at mid 20s (mid tuh... denial habis!), I enjoy their company and their wisdom (what wisdom??!!) which comes with their old age (I am soooo looking for trouble). And these 30s to 40s peeps do not eat fast food. McDonalds is junk. They don't eat pizza unless it is Italian (bye bye Dominos!) and enjoy fine dining all the time.

And I always feel guilty when spending so much on lunch. It's not the guilt of spending too much. But rather the guilt of spending it with friends instead of with Hubby and Aiden. I wanted them to get to eat the scrumptious food I devour at lunch as well!

So 5 days after receiving my pay, I decided to take my family out for a Thai treat. I decided to share with them one of my favourite spots for lunch.

Guess where we went?

Celedon, in Pavilion KLCC.

I love the chandelier! *sigh* Unfortunately the ceiling height of the Cahaya SPK house isn't high enough to accommodate the enormity of this light feature. (No, no, actually, its the enormity of the price that we cannot afford!)

Lovely jade coloured bowls and plates.

I have always loved Mieng Kam ever since I first tried it about 7 years ago. How do you eat this? Take the leave, spread it with the brown sauce. Put the condiments on the leaf (I usually put dried prawns, coconut flakes, ground nuts and a bit of lime for some zest) and roll the leave. Pop it into your mouth. Absolutely yummy!!

Aiden is now at the age where he loves imitating people. So when he saw us munching on the leaves, he wanted to try some too! But he placed the leave straight into his mouth. Which of course, didn't taste good at all!

So he ended up putting the leave on his head. So cute!!!

Celedon even has plastic plates and utensils for toddlers.

Definite must try. Clear Tom Yam seafood. Spicy, of course.

Chicken fried with cashew nuts. And the basket is edible.

We also ordered sweet and sour japanese tofu but by the time the dish arrived, we were too busy devouring our food, hence no pictures. Hubby and I had second and third helpings of everything. The spread we ordered was heavenly divine. Celedon never fails to impress me everytime! (Wow, sounds like a tag line.) But seriously, after the meal ended, we sat back patting our tummies in content.

And then, it was time for dessert! We didn't want ice-cream or the typical Thai dessert like Mango with glutinous rice. So we ordered a sweet and cold combination of jack fruit and red rubies in a coconut shell.

So satisfying!

Sweet and cold.

Aiden, trying to persuade Daddy to let him pay for the wonderful meal.

Nasi Ayam in Ampang

The in-laws surprised me on a Sunday morning by announcing that they (plus my sister in laws) were going to drop by for a visit.

So I stood in my kitchen, scratching my head trying to think of something to conjure with my limited supply of groceries to hidang to the famished family who were on the way from Subang USJ. I had enough of making ayam masak merah or masak kicap or masak lemak. It is even a family joke between hubby and I:

Me: "Yang, malam nie you nak makan ayam masak merah, masak kuning or masak hitam?"
Hubby: "Masak biru boleh?"

And I simply hate making ayam masak something when there are visitors. Because one dish is never enough. Add a vegetable dish and it still isn't enough to serve to my in-laws. I mean, it isn't always that they come by. And to serve rice, one main dish and one side dish, just ain't right.

So I decided to make Nasi Ayam! A perfect excuse for a complete meal. No one can complain that the dish is to simple, because heck, Chicken Rice is just like that. Rice, chicken, soup. With chilli and soy sauce on the side. And chopped tomatoes and cucumber or shredded salad leaves. Right?

Chicken rice yang tak cukup halia, according to my MIL!

Nyummy marinated chicken and fried to perfection.

Home made chilli and soy sauce.

And of course, chicken soup.

So, what do you serve when given short notice to cook for your in-laws?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Visit to the Pediatrician...

A week after the viral fever scare and Aiden was still not gaining weight. I could even feel his back bone! That was how skinny he was. And it doesn't help that Aiden refuses to eat bersuap. He prefers to eat all by himself. Using a plate/bowl and a spoon. Which is great, since it shows that he is developing his basic motor skills. But I bet the floor eats more than him. The amount of food that actually ends up in his mouth is far far far less than the amout that Bibik has to kutip from the floor after every meal.

So off we went to Prince Court Medical Centre. Unfortunately, Aiden's usual pediatrician (Dr Padma) wasn't around so I decided to just try my luck with Dr Anthony. And Alhamdulillah, he was as perfect as Dr Padma, if not better!

Aiden is now ngam ngam 10.1 kg. (When he was sick in Singapore, he dropped to 9.9kg! Below the 10kg mark for one year olds!)

Aiden looking curiously, waiting for his cue to scream.

Good boy! He didn't cry at all!

Oooppsss spoke too soon! Aiden absolutely hates being laid vertical. I don't know how Bibik manages to get him into his diapers every single day!

I didn't even know that the Women and Children Centre had a playroom! Maybe because this is the first time that Aiden can finally understand the concept of toys and playing with other toddlers. (Don't ask me how the hell that boy climbed to the top of the house. Hopefully Aiden doesn't replicate the same antics!)

Playing on the see saw.

One... Two...

Threeeeee!!! Check out Aiden's terified face. Despite the months of Gymboree classes, he still hasn't conquered the fear of going down plastic slides.

Oh, did I mention that Aiden is absolutely obsessed with phones? And he finally grasped the idea that phones should be held to the ear. Not behind the head.

Very very obsessed.

He loves holding two phones to his ears. Usually its the house phone and my iPhone. Or two iPhones simultaneously.

And the phone never leaves his ear even when another toy distracts him.

So what did Dr Anthony say? Well even though Aiden popped out as an obese baby (4.1kg remember?), he is now of normal size. I complained to the doctor about Aiden losing his Michelin lines and he answered: "You don't want those Michelin lines! His size is just fine! You don't want an overweight baby". And when I told him about Aiden refusing to eat, insisting on feeding himself, he said that it is good that Aiden is showing interest in spoon feeding himself. Also, it is very important to implement the high chair rule. No feeding snacks in front of the TV. If a toddler can sit in a high chair and knows that it is time to eat (not play or get distracted by anything or worse still, cries), half of the battle is won! About making him more interested in food, his recommendation to cure picky eaters was to:

  • Make sure the food in his plate is of multi colours (Mummy put red chilli baru tau!)
  • Introduce him to new food everyday. He may like something for a week or so and then decides to like something else after that.
  • Try to get him involved in the process of making his food (Okay, from now onwards, Mummy will let you turn the kitchen upside down, Aiden...)
  • 3 meals per day - breakfast, lunch and dinner (Aiden always skips breakfast because he loves waking up late, just like Mummy!) And set meal times. And keep to it!
  • Not more than 2 snacks per day. Meaning biscuits only during brunch and tea.
  • No distractions. TV off, no toys and eat at the high chair and table only.
  • Try to get company! The more the merrier!
  • And don't lose your patience. It is definitely very challenging to coax a picky eater to eat, but at the end of the day, if he's hungry, he'll eat. Stay calm.

About fattening him up:

  • Mix butter in his rice.
  • Add a bit of oil in his milk (okay, this one I certainly cannot do!)
  • Try cheese. Or chocolates!
  • Food requirement: 50% carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, noodles, bread). 30%+ protein (meat, bean curd, nuts, lentils) and the remainder to be oil/fat (butter/olive oil). Fruits and vegetables should be unlimited and for snacks.
  • Mixing Milo in his milk is fine. No, he won't get addicted to it. (I asked!)
  • If you're really worried, try a full calorie formula milk. He recommended Pediasure (iklan free nie!)
  • Keeping his milk bottle away in hope that he would be hungry and start eating, probably wouldn't work. Stubborn picky eaters will just wait it out.

There you go.Free advise for all of you from the doctor himself. I am just playing the middle man here.

So, was I being a bit of an OTT Mummy by dragging Aiden to the doctor just because he felt a bit bony???

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sneak Preview for Raya 2010!

I am actually making new baju raya(s) this year!!!

I have not made baju raya, erm, probably since 2006. That was 4 years ago. Yes, I did send a couple of new materials to the tailor about 2 years back which was made into a few beautiful baju kebayas but then Aiden happened, and sad to say, I have never been able to fit into it. I probably only tried them once, at the tailor during the fitting trial!

So I have been using the same (altered, post Aiden) baju raya for the past two years. And I sooooo need new ones. I don't think this extra 7kgs i'm carrying around is going away anytime soon. It is definitely time to embrace my new body shape. If all else fails, there is always the girdle. Hubby cracked up when I told him "The girdle is the second best invention in the world, after airplanes!".

Therefore, this year, I am proud to announce that I have sent 3 different materials to 2 different tailors. All for modern baju kurung. Hey, I know I will look horrible in baju kebaya. Kebayas are only for slim melim people, okay? And why 2 different tailors? Because I can't afford to send all my kain to the expensive tailor (read: designer) lah. Only one, thank you very much!

And he called yesterday! To pick it up!

Aiden, wondering why he was in Shah Alam on a Wednesday afternoon.

Hatta Dolmat Couture. Go Google him if you don't know who he is.

And I was oh so impressed with the end result. A four-toned chiffon is not an easy task, tau!

And the beading was simply to die for. I died and went to heaven and came back. I love it!

That's all I am showing. You'll just have to wait another month to see the full creation. Even though my friends at work call it the "Lollipop" (because of the pastel colours), I still love it to bits and pieces. It is so me. Maybe not me when I turn into my 30s, but so me, right here, right now.

And now, I am contemplating ordering a kaftan from him. But I am so broke! But that red kaftan on the mannequin at his shop (which turns out to be an order from Erra Fazira!) looked absolutely delish. Sayang... pretty pleaseeeeeeeeeeee??? *puppy eyes*

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Visiting Danya

After the viral fever scare in Singapore, I decided to take Aiden to Prince Court for a second opinion. So I extended my leave another day (leaving my team in shambles *grin*grin*, sorry guys!).

Being in Singapore during the weekend effectively means not being able to check the progress of the house. And my ID Contractor had promised to deliver so much during the week!!! So off we went to visit the house (with jealous Hubby screaming on the phone in my ear because he had to wait an extra 5 days before getting back home - that was how excited he was).

I know I haven't posted any renovation updates on the new house for quite a while now. But I think it is time to exercise some restraint in pictures. After all, I want the house to be a surprise to be revealed during the house warming, right?

But, just to satifsy your curiousity, here's a couple of pictures I snapped today:

Balau strip gates.

The house is now Monterrey Brown. Beats Canary Yellow anyday!

I *heart* Monterry Brown!

My 3rd floor attic (aka walk up closet) is complete!

Back door.

Having two extra hours to spare before heading to Seventh Heaven for my monthly facial, I decided to drop by a friend's house. I wanted to pick up the Jumperoo which I had loaned to her.

Presenting Danya. And her truckload of toys.

Aiden obviously had the time of his life, trying out every single piece of toy that Danya owned.

Aiden tried to include Danya in the game.

But Danya looked at us forlornly, as if thinking "Why is this BOY playing with my toys? It's mineeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Aiden even tried to sabotage Danya's meal time.

Finally! Rub rub eye to indicate feeling of sleepyness.

Yeah right! Lawan mata of course. Danya's toys were more interesting than sleep!

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