Weekend treats

I love weekend. Who's not? Weekend is fun, happy, relax, enjoy and spending time with loved ones. These are some food pictures which I took over the last two weekends.

We took the girls to Ipoh for the coming ping pong national tournament training. After dropping the girls to the coach at the school hall. We went for dim sum at Hong Xing Dim Sum restaurant nearby.

I didn't know how to call this pastry. It looks so special to me. It is made of almond flakes, black and white sesame seeds.

Lau Sar Bao is always my favourite. These are 4 mini Lao Sar Bao. I could easily wallop all of them, but I left two for my husband.

When having dim sum, I must order dessert for myself. That day, the restaurant had Kwai Fa Jelly and Egg rolled with meat floss.

We went to Subway, AEON Taiping. It is not our first time having Subway, but it is our first time having it at AEON Taiping.

This definitely is our first time buying 12 Mister Donuts at one go. We took 3 days to finish them. I kept them in the fridge and microwave them again when I wanted to eat.

Weekend is here again. This weekend treat is homemade steamboat with my newly bought induction cooker.  Happy long weekend, folks.


Campus singing contest

My daughters school is going to held the parental / teacher-student campus singing contest (亲子/师生校园歌唱比赛) .  This singing contest is sponsored by " 南洋商報;Nányáng Shāngbào and CARLSBERG".  We get to know this singing contest in July and the contest date is in September. We have two months to prepare for the duet song.

My 9 years-old May was the first to show her interest in the contest. My 11 years-old April was not so keen to join. However, me, being a supportive and sporting parent,  I pestered my husband to join the singing contest too. Our plan is May sings a duet with me, and April sings a duet with Papa. We informed their music teacher in school, their teacher was delighted with our participation and immediately passed us 2 forms.

While we were in the midst of thinking of what duet songs to sing, I got to know that one of April's classmates is going to take part in the singing contest with her elder cousin sister. Both of them are pretty good singers, especially the elder cousin sister had won herself several champions in local singing contests. April's classmate too won herself many champions in campus singing contests.

April who was not keen to join said,"Mommy, then there is no point for us to join anymore, they sure win."

I wanted to encourage her by saying, "That is ok, we just do our best."

April again said, "She(her classmate) can't just sing with parents and teachers, why must her sing with her big cousin sister? "

I was speechless. I have to agree with her that is what written in the singing contest form. She understood that every one should follow the rule and regulation of the contest.

Let me translate the singing contest rule and regulation as below.
1. This singing contest is opened: Parents/Teachers/PTA(Parents Teachers Association)
2. Two person in a group: Parent-Child/Teacher-Student/PTA-Student relationships.

There is not stated in the rule and regulation that the relationship of Relative-Student is allowed. After much thought and consideration, I decided to text the music teacher on what we think. I told her that it is not fair to accept the relationship of the duet participants other than what is stated in the form, and we wanted to withdraw from joining.

I thought that the school would re-do the singing contest form with new rule and regulation after I made the complaint.

I was informed by the music teacher on the next day that the school has decided to disqualify those relative-child participation. Period.

April's classmate is not taking part finally. April and Papa too have decided to withdraw. May insists to go ahead, I have no choice but to proceed with her.

Now, May and me have started to practice our duet song over and over again, be it at home and at the singing lessons which we purposely engaged for this singing contest.

We are anxiously waiting for the date to step on to the stage. This is my first time taking part in such singing contest. To be honest, I have stage fright worse than May, I am getting nervous. I just wish that I can sing the whole song without any mistake. 


Purple Sweet Potatoes dessert soup

Lately, I love eating sweet potatoes. Every time, I try to look up for sweet potatoes when I go to hypermarket or wet market. I steam sweet potatoes and take them to office as my snack. Though sweet potatoes is high carbs, but I won't feel guilty for having them after knowing their nutrition facts, especially the purple color one. Purple sweet potatoes rank high in nutritional value along with other purple foods.

Purple sweet potatoes are a high source of:
Antioxidants from anthocyanins and polyphenolic compounds

They are also a good source of:
Dietary fiber
Complex carbohydrate

Purple sweet potatoes are also very low in:
I spent around RM20 to RM30 every week on sweet potatoes. 

When I have started to get bored of having steamed sweet potatoes everyday, I will make them into other food. The simplest way of having sweet potatoes is to make sweet potatoes dessert soup.

Ingredients: Purple sweet potatoes, dried longan, lotus seeds, and I only used  2 Taiwanese ginger tea cubes(台湾姜母茶) for taste.

I like sweet potatoes, because it is rich in fiber and it can make you feeling full.
Ingredients:Pumpkin, purple sweet potatoes,red dates and Taiwanese ginger tea cube(台湾姜母茶). 
I put all the ingredients in slow cooker with hot water. Let it cook for 1.5 hours and serve. It is so yummy both of my purple sweet potatoes dessert soups, I tell ya!

I want to thank my SIL for buying me Taiwan Ginger Tea from Taiwan. I find it is too sweet to drink as a tea alone, therefore I put them into my sweet dessert soup, and it makes my sweet dessert soup taste so well. 


Husbands go out when unattended

Wednesday, I went straight to the gym after work, as I had other appointment later in the evening. 

I met a few of my gym buddies there. They were finished their work in the office, in the school and in the shop too. The last two men went off, and left all of us ladies above 40s exercising our body and mouth at the same time. Most women are talkative, no? lol!

While I was running at the speed of 8km/h, the flamboyant one talked about an interesting topic on specifically husband and wife, which made all other ladies laugh out loud and almost forget about their workout, including yours truly.

This flamboyant one is actually an open minded, funny, out spoken, bold, stylish, English-educated, early 50s working lady. I didn’t meet her often, but each time I met her, I enjoyed our talk very much. She loves uplifting people.

I really like what she said on last Wednesday evening.

She said,
  1.  The wife is always different from the mistress.
  2.  The wife can’t do what the mistress does to the husband.
  3.  When the wife becomes other men’s Mistress, the wife can do better than the wife’s husband’s mistress.

She asked us whether we understood the message behind these points.

My answer to her is “The wife must do what the mistress does to the husband.”

The teacher ran on the treadmill next to mine said, “You should have told me these 20 years ago, then I wouldn’t need to go through the divorce.”

Before she left the gym, she said to all of us, “Ladies, don’t take your man for granted, be more attentive to him, remember to hug and kiss him before he leaves home for work. “
By the way, her husband had passed away a few years ago.

This quote is so true, which I steal from Anay TM's blog
 "Husbands are like fires. They go out when unattended."


He doesn't and he does

He doesn’t  …
1. praise me.
2. say those 3 little words.
3. hold my hand when walking, I will hold his hand instead. Boo hoo!
4. buy me flower or gift on Valentines’ day, my birthday and our Wedding Anniversary.
5. call me often.

But he does
1. fill up my car petrol.
2. house chores and almost all the cleaning jobs at home.
3. spend time with us.
4. set my alarm clock to wake me up every morning.
5. cut fruits and put them on the table next to me, when I look at my phone.


I love exercise

5 years ago, my husband signed up the family package at one of the two recreation clubs in the town. 
Upon joining the club, I took up the yoga lesson, my daughters started their ping pong lesson and we went to the pool occasionally.

After some time, I started working out in the gym and I got addicted. Since then, I went to the gym every evening on weekdays, and every morning on weekends. I make new friends there, I get socialized with different people from all walks of life. 

I can easily spend 2 to 3 hours in the gym, I run my 7km here and 10km there, while chatting with other members to kill the boredom, otherwise Lite FM or My FM from radio are my best companions in the gym. 

I love running because it gives me the confidence

I love exercise because I know I'm fitter and healthier!
This year, my fitness freak husband again signed up the promotion package at another recreation club in the town. Apparently this New Club has better equipment in the gym, nicer pool and new sauna facility. This has given me an alternative when I want to do exercise.
Exercise just makes me happier
I work out because it makes me feel great. 

Exercise is the ultimate stress relieve
Other than working out in the gym, I had Zumba and Belly Dance once a week. On top of my work out in the gym, I take my girls to go swimming on Saturday, and hiking on Sunday. 

I love exercise because it calms me down after a long day.

If I can push myself hard in the gym, it gives me the confidence that I can overcome obstacles outside the gym.

I use the time at the gym to think, release emotion, and relax.
It relieves my stress while simultaneously making me feel more confident about my body, so that I have the allowance to wear hot.

Nothing clears my head or makes me calmer than a good sweaty workout.
My skin looks healthier, I sleep better, and I get thirstier, so I drink more water.
It also provides “me time” to do something good for myself.

I am obsessed with running because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind every time I do it, no matter what the distance or speed.
Every time I finish a run, I feel as though I'm back at zero, as if all my worries and problems have been realigned.

Thank Goodness, my spouse is addictive to fitness as much as I am.  


My weekly red beans soup

I have been cooking red beans soup religiously on every weekend. Red beans soup is the easiest dessert that I can cook for myself on busy weekends. Yes, my weekends are always busy and packed with activities. I will tell you how busy my weekends will be in another post.

I usually soak red beans overnight in water before I cook. I threw the red beans with some other ingredients into the slow cooker. I will leave home for my workout. When I return from gym, everything is boiled and ready to serve, I will then add in 3 small pieces of rock sugars for better taste.
Red beans with "kuih bakul" 年糕
I put in "kuih bakul" just 5 minutes before I off the slow cooker, otherwise the "kuih bakul" would melt and dissolve inside the soup. 

Red beans wish orange flesh sweet potatoes
Cut sweet potatoes into cubes, throw into the soup when the soup is boiled. It is reader to serve after boiling for another 10 minutes.

Red beans, black glutinous rice and dried longan
Soak red beans and black glutinous rice a night before cooking. Put in dried "longan" into the slow cooker 10 minutes before serving.

Red beans with barley
I read from internet, red beans and barley are good in reducing water retention and weight management.

Red beans with Japanese sweet potatoes.
Instead of putting in sweet potatoes, I plan to put in pumpkins into my red beans soup this coming weekend.

Red beans soup is my lunch on weekend. I can take a few bowls at one go after my morning work out. In fact, red bean has lots of health benefits, it is especially beneficial to women, because red bean is high fiber, source of antioxidants and protein and rich in iron.

I get the following information on red beans health benefits from here.

Red beans - the most important health benefits:

1. Red Beans - wonderful source of antioxidants: red beans is one of the richest foods in antioxidants, even richer than blueberries or cherries, according to a study by researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture on 100 fruits, vegetables and nuts. Thus, Frequently consumption of red beans help your body fight free radicals and reduces the risk of cancer or other serious diseases, keeping your youth longer!

2. Red Beans - essential source of fiber: a cup of red beans provides half your daily requirement of fiber, which not only keeps the digestive system health, ease digestion and prevent constipation, but shrinks the cholesterol levels, lowering the risk associated with cardiovascular disease and regulate blood sugar levels.

3. Red Beans - a healthy alternative to meat: when you want a lighter meal or are in post, replacing the consumption of meat with red beans. Excellent source of protein, red beans will help to strengthen your body and muscles, to prevent cardiovascular disease and live a life full of energy! A cup of red beans is over 15 mg of healthy protein for your body
4. Red Beans - source of iron: let's do a little test - keep your palm facing you and pull the fingers back. How pink are the lines of your palm ? If they are white, you may suffer from iron deficiency and red beans is a wonderful source of iron, low in calories and fat (as opposed to red meat). Pregnant women, children and teenagers need especially high intakes of iron, and a cup cover of red beans have 30% of the RDA.

5. Red Beans - for a great memory: source of thiamine (vitamin B1), red bean consumption stimulates attention and memory, is particularly beneficial during periods of intellectual overloaded, eliminate insomnia, combat depression, fatigue and anxiety and lowers Alzheimer's risks .

Red Beans - for a long and healthy life

Besides all the benefits mentioned above, regular consumption of red beans strengthens teeth and bones, can help you lose weight Lower the risk of heart attack and energize your whole body!