Our FIRST OctoBurst!

I’m glad that I brought my kid down to Octoburst! at Esplanade last Sunday. Octoburst it’s a children’s festival from 5-8 Oct 2017 (in conjunction to Children’s Day – I guess). I got to know that this isn’t the first Octoburst (why didn’t I know about this last year).

Find out more of Octoburst! here.

There are a series of activities and events and I’m glad that my kid completed most of the activities (as we need to go back home for dinner) and we even went for a musical performances in the Concert Hall!CIMG1719

We count ourselves LUCKY as are there on the FIRST Sunday of the month where Esplanade presents “Beautiful Sunday” where there’s a series of FREE concerts by homegrown music groups and everyone is invited as it’s open to ALL AGES (I’m definitely going every first Sunday from now!). My kid managed to sit there the full hour (with some fidgeting in the mid-way through).

CIMG1739

This year’s Octoburst! features Mother Nature and the environment where they teach you how to use dry leaves to create the mascot’s costumes. The kids are invited to colour on the dry leaves and then pin the leaves on the mascot using a pin.

The kid could also unleash their creativity by using plasticine and different type of beans to  replicate any reptiles or insects (or anything) and display it in the “Nature”. (See my kid’s snake – in blue on the below right picture and the snake’s house)

He then went off to draw the leaves using torch light and magnifying glass to look at vein of the leaf. (He looks like a professional!)

Just opposite of this leaves drawing area is the “My Little Story World” by Berries. There’s a total of 3 stories sharing. The stories were from the top three winners of the Children Chinese Picture Book Creation Contest held by Berries in 2016.

Last but not least, the last activities of the day (and I’m glad that we managed to get a slot for the last slot): “Grow a Garden” by Mrydette where they recycle the water bottle by creating a self-watering mini garden!

That’s how we spent about 3hours in Esplanade last Sunday and I’m looking forward to the next Octoburst!

Till then..~

 

Advertisements

Dumpling from SCRATCH

It’s kind of mind-wrecking when I started to make my own chives dumpling. Knowing how cheap and easy it is to make the dumpling, I was put off by how much those dumplings are selling outside. 50CENTS for a piece of dumpling without much chives! Hahahah.. T-T

I have been craving for chives dumplings for a while so I decided to make it (again) this time – making everything FROM SCRATCH with my KIDDO! Hahhaa.. I have already formed the production line in my head: HIM – rolling the dough to form the skin and ME – wrapping the dumplings.

(This time) I didn’t measure the all the ingredients, I just use estimation.. 😀 But according to the website measurement is as follows.
Recipe (adapted from thewoksoflife):

  • 7 cups all-purpose flour20171001_164323
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 7 cups Chinese chives, chopped finely
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • salt to taste

I added some Shaoxing Hua Tiao Chew for the extra taste

STEPS:

  1. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the water to the flour and 20171001_151153knead into a smooth dough. (This time, I used a spatula to mix instead of my hand. Previously, I knead it using my hand and it all the dough ended up sticking on my hand). Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for an hour.
  2. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Start by adding the oil to a small pot over medium high heat. Heat the oil for about 7 minutes and allow it to cool. This “cooking” of the oil is supposed to bring out a nuttier flavor in the filling. (I find that you could skip this step if you’ve added the sesame oil as the filling gets too oily – too oily for my liking)
  3. Once the oil is cooled, add the ground pork to a large bowl, along with everything else and you’re ready to go! (So here is what the dough looks like, after an hour of “proofing” the dough is ready for rolling – dough in white bowl in the bottom right picture)

Do ensure that you have your hand and table top full of the all-purpose flour as things can get really STICKY. You can see how diligent he is rolling the dough and he doesn’t even want me to help him with it.  After he roll the dough to a big circle shape, I will try to fit in AS MUCH ingredient as I could in the small thin skin and then wrap it up in a BAO shape (sorry guys that it comes in a BAO shape instead of those JIAO ZI shape as it’s easier to wrap as a BAO).

We just REPEAT the same step over till we finished all the ingredients and the dough. Leave the “JIAO ZI BAO” in the freezer for it to harden up before transferring it to ziplock bag (to save space).

CIMG1682

We realized it is definitely CHEAPER and MORE ENJOYABLE to make our own skin but it’s more troublesome because of the rolling. However, my KIDDO enjoyed rolling than using pre-packed skin and I see us making more JIAO ZI using this “ROLLING” skin instead of pre-packed. 😀

If making everything FROM SCRATCH is too STICKY for you, you could click HERE for my post using pre-packed skin.

Till the next batch, we’re thinking to try making MANTOU..

Snowskin Mooncakes

I’ve always want to make mooncake and I’ve been talking about it for years.. This year, I decided to put my words into action! I went to google for snowskin receipe.

I use the receipt from: Domestic Goddness Wannabe

Below are basically what you need for the mooncake.
20170924_141437I bought everything from Kwong Cheong Thye even the filling. It’s basically like a one-stop place where you can get the paste, shortening, flour.. For the filling, I bought mango (my kid’s favourite), pu’er tea and also low sugar lotus.
Each kg cost around $18! Cause this is my first time making mooncake, so I got all the mould from there too!

20170924_150851
So we’ll need to roll the filling into the bowl which is smaller than the mould. (From top anti-clockwise: mango; pu’er; low sugar lotus; snowskin)
I’m really amazed at how easy the snowskin mooncake is made and my kid could even take part in this! Can’t wait for BATCH 2!!!

Tada, my final product turns out pretty well (Uhm, okay, it might not look THAT nice if you look closely..) and I did some extra to give to my colleagues, my kid’s current caregiver and also Mr K! I did “warn” them that it’s homemade and it might not taste nice.. >.<

20170924_172603

Ingredients

50g kao fen (cooked glutinous rice flour)
230g snowskin flour (Kwong Cheong Thye Pinpe Premix Powder)
50g icing sugar, sifted (I forgot to shift)
46g vegetable shortening
300g water (boil 500g water with 4 pandan leaves, leave to cool, and measure 300g water)
Some extra kao fen for dusting
Colouring (if required)

Instructions

  1. Combine kao fen and snowskin flour in a big bowl and set aside.
  2. In a pot, add the icing sugar and shortening to the water and stirring with a hand whisk, bring this to a boil until the shortening had melted.
  3. Pour this mixture into the bowl containing flour and use a spatula to stir the mixture until a soft dough forms. Set this aside to cool. Form the filling into balls of 25g each. Set this aside.
  4. Once the dough is cool, knead the dough until it becomes smooth. Add more kao fen if the dough is still too sticky.
  5. Add food colouring if you are using. You may want to divide the dough into portions if you are using different colours. Place the colour in the middle of the dough and knead until the colour is uniform.
  6. Divide the dough (21g each). Flatten each portion and roll into a round disc. Place one portion of filling in the middle of each piece of dough. Pinch edges to seal.Dust the ball with a little kao fen and press it firmly into the mould.
  7. Chill the mooncakes before consuming. (This is IMPORTANT)

    Adapted from thedomesticgoddesswannabe.com

Gone Girl BY Gillian Flynn

I borrowed the physical book from the library a month back but found e-book more convenient as I could just read it off my tablet while eating or on the bus without having to bring such a big book around. So, I went back to e-book after about a few chapters into the book. I’m OFFICIALLY hooked to E-BOOK! Is that something good or bad? 

 

SYNOPSIS (taken from the book):

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears.
Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.
Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior.
Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

Overall, the story keeps one engaged and you’ll be so immersed in the second half of the story that you’ll just want to know who is lying and who’s not. Are things really what it seems or not..

This book is definitely better than “The Girl on The Train” and I’m totally amaze at at how sly and psychotic Amy is. However, I feel that the ending falls out of my expectation.. I wasn’t expecting this kind of ending! I don’t want it to end this way.. (sad) I’ll still recommend to pick up this book and get ready for the roller coaster ride. 

Book completed: September 2017
Rating: 4.3/5

Next book: Killing Floor


*SPOILER ALERT*

First part of the story, we were told from Nick’s POV (point of view) and from Amy’s diary. From Amy’s diary, we could see that Nick wasn’t performing his #husbandduty while according to Nick, Amy was not sociable. They both lost their job in New York and moved back to Missouri to take care of Nick’s mother. From Amy’s diary, we know that suddenly, Nick tuns abusive and then BOOM, one day, Amy went missing on their wedding anniversasry….

Nick (as usual) becomes a suspect  because of his lack of emotion. Some other stuffs unfold like Amy was pregnant and it was known that Nick doesn’t want the kid and then Nick has a mistress who is way younger than Amy and there’s a huge spending on the CREDIT CARD!!!

However, at the 2nd half of the book, the story went for a 90 degree turn where Amy IS ALIVE and that she planned and staged the whole “murdered” case.. Is everything including her pregnancy fake? Then suddenly, here comes the ex-boyfriend Desi who helped Amy but because of his possessive natural, caused him to get hurt…

Will Amy and Nick get back together again??

I don’t wished to spoil it further. RECOMMEND to read it as it’s really a good book, just that the ending falls short.

Sunday Sunday @ Peranakan Museum

After his swimming lesson on Sunday, we went to Peranakan Museum as we have no idea where to go and we doesn’t want to go back straight after swimming. >.<

20170910_124928 (2)

Do you know on every second Sunday (from  1 to 5pm) Peranakan Museum has themed tour and activities where you could explore the colourful world of Peranakans. Make arts and crafts based on the museum’s collections, dress up with the whole family in a batik shirt or sarong kebaya, or read a book and discover the world of Peranakan celebrations…

  • It’s free admission for the activities
    Check the website regularly for updates on each month’s programmes

Last month’s theme was:
20170910_131509 (2)Straits Family Sunday: Strike a Pose
Where we are able to create our own frame to take home and there’s a special guided tour for children to learn about some of the famous Peranakans captured on canvas (which we didn’t join) and also to strike a pose in traditional Peranakan costumes!!!!!!

We reached before 1pm so we just went explore the exhibits and we didn’t managed to finish the whole museum (will come back again next month to visit the museum as I’m interested to see if it’s different from the Peranakan museum in Malacca) 😀

So in the small lecture room at Level 1 there’s 3 corners:

  1. DRESS UP Corner where the young and even the adults could dress up in the batik shirt or a sarong and kebaya. (Saw this group of adults and kid where they dress up in sarong and kebaya and takes lots of photos).
  2. READING Corner where you could read a book with your kid to know more about Peranakan culture and celebrations.
  3. ART & CRAFT Corner where you could make your own frame inspired by grand portraits.

DIY Teacher’s Day Gift!

Teacher’s Day falls on the 1st Friday in September and this year, it happens to fall on a public holiday, that’s why the school celebrate it on the 31st August (Thursday) instead. All the kids in school starts their September school holiday earlier (from 31st August till 10th September 2017!)

Last week, I’m thinking what to give to my kid’s teachers during Teacher’s Day as Teacher’s Day is a day where the students shows appreciation to the teachers. I don’t want to spend too much money on gifts and I would want my kid to handmade a gift to let him know what’s Teacher’s Day is all about (even though the teachers might just throw it away cause it’s ugly.. HAHHAHAHA) >.<

I went to Toy R’Us to get Crayola washable paints (something which I wanted to get a long time back and this day gives me more reasons to get it!) and decided to do some cards for the teachers!

20170904_113005


These are just the stuffs we need! 

– Washable kids paint (I let him choose 3 colour out of 10)
– 6″ x 4″ colour cards (I have plenty of these at home!)
1 paper plate (not in this picture, where I pour the paint on)

 

We got some inspiration on the design online and we did 5 cards! >.<

20170829_213733
This is how it looks before we draw anything on it..

Can you guess what are we drawings??
(Yes! It’s flowers, Jellyfish and fish!)..

He wrote “Thank You” and his name!
(I wrote the 1st “Thank You” but felt that he should write it instead of me! Hahaha..)

20170830_090835
We wanted to thanks the teacher for all the teaching and guidance this year!

A final picture to show how the cover page looks like! I helped with the calligraphy writing but he insist on colouring it!

20170830_090848

The Girl on the Train BY Paula Hawkins

My first e-book! The feeling isn’t that great as reading from physical book but I like the convenient of not having to bring that bulky book around and risk the font cover getting tampered by the stuffs in my bag. I could just read it on my tablet or phone for e-book!

I wanted to read “The Woman in Cabin 10” but was googling about the review of the book and majority of them mentioned that “The Girl on the Train” was way better than “The Woman in Cabin 10” hence I went ahead with this book..

SYNOPSIS (taken from the book):

Every day the same

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

Until today

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

The story were told from the point of view of 3 women (Rachel, Megan, Anna) and it’s written in a first-person narrative form. The way of how the story is unfold is similar to “My Sister’s Keeper” (a book that I never finish reading). Seriously, I have no idea what’s the hype is about this book, before I read it, most of the reviews are going “ga ga” about this book and saying how good it is.

The 3 women in the book are quite screwed up in their life too: Rachel (an alcoholic), Anna (mistress who came in between Rachel and Tom), Megan (someone with depression because of what she did in the past).

Rachel is an divorcee and alcoholic. She still take the same train everyday (like she’s working) even thought she was being fired from her previous job. She will pass by one of the house where Jess & Jason (she named the couple that) stayed in and also her previous marriage house where Tom (her ex husband), Anna (the mistress) and Evie (Anna and Tom’s kid).

So one day, Rachel saw Jess (Megan) kissed another guy NOT Jason (Scott) and she felt betrayed and angry at Megan and all of the sudden Megan went missing. So Rachel went to the police and inform her about THAT SCENE which she saw, but being an alcoholic, she wasn’t taken seriously (of course) and so, she turned herself to Nancy Drew and tried to SOLVE the mystery herself and during the course, she got herself involved with Scott, Kamal, Tom and even Anna!

I don’t dislike how the story were told but I don’t feel that suspense which cling onto me wanting to finish the book to know who is the killer (maybe my expectation were too high from all the positive reviews too).

The whole story was okay but the ending really falls shorts. I feel that it’s too abrupt to end the story like this. Well, you managed to bring up the suspense, leading us to think that “Oh, maybe he is the killer but hold on a second, maybe he’s not” but the way how it ends feels a little too sloppy (I’m sorry)..

Reviewers compared this book to “Gone Girl” so that will be my next book. I have already borrowed the book from the library (can’t wait)! >.<

Book completed: August 2017
Next book: Gone Girl