This got us burping at first sight! Eggs Benedict with veal bacon and side salad.
Not sure about you, but during my working years I used to draaag myself waking up earlier to make or spend any time eating breakfast, especially on tedious work days.
Well surprise surprise motherhood flipped me over 360 degrees to dote on breakfast again! Now that I have ‘ample’ time as a stay-at-home-mum, cooking and discovering new breakfast venues is what hubs and I do best, we usually return frequently to hearty portions, fill-us-up fluffy omelettes, rich eggs benedict or freshly made breads!
Oh don’t be deceived by its plain dull appearance!
Cheesy melts-in-your-mouth fluffy Smoked Salmon & Spinach Omelette took my buds away, mmm.
Thankfully, my mini foodie toddler took a big liking to breads, croissants and well-done scrambled eggs.
What keeps her seated happily in the highchair for a good 15-20mins whenever we brekkie-out? Carb filled foods. The sight of a whole plain croissant/ plain/ buttered toast gets her appetite going, allowing us to enjoy breakfast catch-up conversations before she starts persistently wanting out to walk.
As a mum of a young toddler, I rate their stroller-friendly layout bling star points!
You don’t find many cafes nowadays with sufficient walking let alone stroller/pram space, since our many huff-and-puff episodes of shuffling our stroller between tables or narrow entrances or worse when diners shoot us an evil stare at the sight of our stroller in crowded spaces!
So yeah, I highly appreciate your thoughtful infant/ toddler-friendly seating arrangements Le Pain Quotidien (Marina Mall)!
The only tolerable downside (a no-big-deal to most) is that we prefer coffee/tea mugs rather than a handle-less bowl-like cup? Sure it’s stylish but I find them impractical (especially for mums multi-tasking) needing to drink using both my hands instead of one
This morning, I fell head over heels in love with Dubai again as I took our usual morning coffee and stroll near us. The perfect crisp skies and cool breezy weather (must be the work of recent rain and winds) had me at wow-I-can-do-this-all-day emotions running through me! As bub and I strolled, the city-girl in me felt teary at the thought of moving away to a suburban lifestyle soon, a gush of thankfulness at the many blessed opportunities opened for us from humble beginnings to living it up beyond our expectations.
If we were given this same opportunity again, low-crime rate, safe and well-maintained Dubai Marina will still be our first housing choice.
Weather here can be so unpredictably amusing at times, this weekend the local weather news warned about possible rains (yay really?), lightning and thunder (omg really??!) along with expected must-have sandstorm (Yuck)! Long-term residents like us recognize this change-of-season skies to last for few days, and then BAM, HOT scorching summer pays us a looong visit! Everyone normally squeals excitedly (even I, newbie or not) because rain is RARE, once/ twice a year at most. Oh and for the first time (in 2 years) we used our car wipers on our way from dinner, lol.
So aside from being bored out stuck indoors avoiding sand in our eyes, muddy rain stains on our clothes and skin, exposed to potentially unhealthy air levels that triggers cough/ raspiratory problems or allergic rhinitis, and listening in every pitter-patter, we got some fun out of this gloomy weekend regardless.
Friday (weekend here) morning, view from our living room: Hello sandstorm!
Stuck indoors: Croissants brekkie-in, Laura loves her butter croissants with scrambled eggs topped with grated cheddar cheese
Bored silly with daddy, lol.
Sunday (workday here) Morning at Marina Walk: Weather grew worse as we dash home from our coffee fix!
Sunday (workday here) Morning, view from our bedroom balcony: Woke up thinking it’s cleared up. Nope.
Photos were taken from my Ipad uploaded onto Instagram. If you’ve been following me religiously, I did back-to-back weather updates. A deliberate excuse to irritate my followers on Facebook, twitter and Instagram with “omg it’s RAINING!”, “sandstorm noo!” updates/statuses, well hey not everyday we get hint of rain so please bear with me.
Madeleine Cafe & Boulangerie, Dubai Mall: Had a lovely dinner meetup with a hottie friend holidaying in Dubai before her vacation family time back in Kuala Lumpur. Laura and her famous about-to-wail serious face on! Lol.
Funny how we never bothered owning an umbrella after 4 episodes of once-a-year rainy days in our 4.5yrs here. I mean it isn’t everyday we experience fat drops of rain tossed with dust/sand and staying in is adviced.
It was DELICIOUS! I swear by Korean-brand only seasonings and sauces, it makes a difference, true to its authentic taste!
Bulgogi is one of my many favourites when dining out at an authentic Korean restaurant. It is not until years later that I decided to make bulgogi for the first time because I had a CRAVED-IT-BADLY-NOW and it CANNOT WAIT. My obsession with Korean cuisine runs deep to the extent of reserving one cabinet solely for Korean-brand seasonings/ sauces/ spices from my every-few-months shopping at a Korean mart along Sheikh Zayed Road.
I searched high and low for beef brisket so tenderloin was used instead. Churned out tender anyway. Goes superbly well with old fermented Kimchi on the side, bummer that I ran out
Some people asked if I had any Korean genes in me? Heh, I wish. But no doubt i’m still proud of my Chinese roots forever! This recipe came from a friend who shares the same love for Korean flavours. For months i’ve been experimenting nothing but soup, simple banchans and stew recipes, about time I brave on meaty mains for a change
As you might have noticed (previous blogposts and instagram), I’ve been busy with my final runs of driving classes and tests that usually soaks up 3 hours, thrice a week of my mornings. By the time I give Laura a i’m-home hug, there’s still laundry, chores/ household whatevers to clear before her bedtime at 8.15pm.
So on a dish-dash day, I decided to cook a quick 10-minute mini omelette rolls lunch. Omelette because what’s left in my near-empty refrigerator were eggs, zucchini, carrots, half an onion, tomatoes and asparagus. Not giving excuses but really, I haven’t had sufficient energy for an hour long grocery shopping.
Erm, okay the spoon wasn’t scoop-friendly, Laura used her hands instead.
I first introduced cooked-through sunny side up (fried eggs) at 11 months old. I fried it with unsalted butter, dish up and cut into bite-size. Most bubs I know love eggs at few bites, well not Laura. She didn’t exactly yum-love it, but liked it enough to finish half off. 2 weeks later, I gave omelette a try, adding her favourite veggies with hopes she’ll like them better… Yep she SO did!
She enjoys picking up veggies onto her spoon or bowl whenever she’s done eating.
2 eggs – whisk it well to avoid stringy egg whites
half a carrot – chopped finely
half an onion – chopped finely
half Zucchini – chopped finely
Bring non-stick pan to medium low heat. Add oil and spread the oil evenly using a paper towel. Once the pan feels hot (place your hand 2 above the pan to test), toss in chopped vegetables and stir-fry for 1-2 minute, evenly distribute the veggies around the pan.
Pour in beaten eggs, and swirl around to cover the pan. Let it cook until the top begins to set but is still slightly runny.
Use a spatula, lift gently one end of the egg and fold it over inch by inch. (Lower the heat if omelette is browning on underside).
Continue to fold/ roll the omelette with the spatula until it looks like a long log, turn off heat, leave it to cool.
Slice the omelette into pieces or serve as it is.
Laura loves her vegetables which i’m ever so glad about, but lately I noticed that she eats them willingly if they are cooked. She puts on the blek-yuck face or shakes her head “no no” whenever a tiny raw piece touches her mouth! How can she tell without even tasting it???
Ahh… Thanks to Hansaplast babysitting ‘services’ I got some couch time sipping cuppa green tea before prepping for dinner!
This couple of weeks I’ve been bogged down with paperwork errands, going for driving classes and lectures twice/ thrice a week (more about that another day), squeezing in some playdate time for Laura and freelancing work in between has kept me on my toes 24/7. So it isn’t surprising that my energy level today was down to ZERO, and having to tolerate (without bursting my voicebox) Laura’s no-big-deal crankiness pushed me to find something bub-friendly, something new that she hasn’t played with for ages or never seen just so I can enjoy wee bit of couch time before I’m on my feet again prepping dinner. And thankfully it kept her busy! Her simple idea of out-and-into-box ‘fun’ gave me ONE refreshing peaceful hour, bliss!
Mothers on a tight budget, no time for toy shopping or need a breather? Fish out a box of bandaids!
I was impressed at her fine motor skills, patience, determination and focus since 14.5months old! Another Lego fan like her daddy?
Like most toddlers her age, she gets bored easily (within hours or 2-3 days max.) with any new bought toy. For the past few weeks, I noticed that she’s drawn to the lift-the-flap books, legos, flashcards, much more than her other battery operated gadget-like toys, stuff animals or child-friendly music instruments. Husband thinks she’ll grow up to be an inventor of something extraordinary!
I know it’s been like ages since my last update on Laura. It’s just more exciting watching her develop everyday, new discoveries, new habits etc than blogging.
Between 13-15 months of age, Laura has suddenly sprouted into this new person with a kind, gentle heart. Always amazes us with her creative ideas she comes up with, definitely takes after my highly creative/ imaginative husband! Whenever I document every milestone, skills achieved on my camera and journal, I couldn’t help shedding a proud tear in my heart.
How did my once a vulnerable eat-poop-sleep baby blossomed into a I-can-self-feed-now toddler stage??
15mos: Yay to self-feeding! She was insistent on feeding herself, we had a few days of spoon fights, lol. Gave in and as of this week my assistance is not needed unless she plays throw-food games!
13mos: My little lady loves drinking from a cup! She was taught to do so at about 10months when I did gradual weaning of bottle, and was surprised she learnt it within 3 weeks.
Not sure why, but she rather focus on dexterity and fine motor skills while taking her sweeeet time on gross motor skills. She’ll look me in the eye with a walking-can-wait expression whenever I ‘pressure’ her. Oh, a big proud mama moment, she took her FIRST tiny step at 14.5months, but she didn’t seemed too keen to do more 2 days after. Yeah I’m SO IMPATIENT but appreciating time to myself while I can
I’m a big girl now! Yep she’s been such a good foodie, my mini nomster Praying it isn’t a phase.
Liking the swing after 2 tries at our recent anniversary staycation.
14.5mos: Putting on her hoodie on a chilly winter morning.
Who would have thought a fussy sensitive newborn has turned out to be a polite, focused, chatty and composed individual? As of today, she’s spoken about 20 words (peas, hua (flower in Mandarin), yes, no, mama, daddy, door, bowl, ball, bub, chubby, tummy, book, woof, meow, that, bible, amen, bubble, hi, bye, boo, no more, me, haha, moo, up, cheese, yummy). Mimicking our conversations is always a hilarious moment!
She also knows how to pronounce her name (Wauwa or wawa) which makes us go googagagoo ALL THE TIME. Why didn’t I name her Wauwa instead? Lol.
Chillaxing is what I do best!
Beach fun! On our anniversary week, her gift to us was a set of bottom molars
It took me some weeks to accept that she isn’t really a social butterfly (I love meeting new people) nor an extrovert I sometimes want her to be. She’s just happy to be part of an audience observing from afar, which is an added advantage as she normally is well-behave, calm and can be sociable around small group settings, shopping trips, dining out, relaxing strolls, or just be contented playing with her Lego Duplos. Because of her poised personality, a few people said I might be the lucky few that get to sit and sip coffee without running after an active walking toddler every millisecond! Hmm, it’s a wait-and-see and I’ll get back to you about it.
As for her naps, she dropped one (mornings) for a month and then weeks ago, was back on her two 45-minute 10-ish and 3pm naps. Loving it as I get to sit down and do nothing much in between all the chores, cooking and errands But I can smell goodbye-morning-nap soon again, oh nooooo.
I LOVE spicy appetizing stews. It might sound odd to you, but spicy Korean stews seems to soothe my headache, warms my icicle toes (I know, i’m such a a weakling during winter months!) and pacifies any hormonal irritations. When I noticed how effective Korean spicy stews/ soups do wonders to my health, I contacted Kimchi-devotee friends for recipes. Glad that one of them did and happily shared her recently found (but forgot the website) under-30mins stew recipe.
Luscious spicy hot stew topped onto a bowl of steamed rice melts your wintry blues away.
It took me 2 months to learn how to dish up a decent edible Korean stew/ dish/ soup and I now cook stews twice a week and usually refrigerate 5-6 months (2 containers) worth of homemade old Kimchi from A-Mart. Paired with steamed rice, it’s definitely a mood reviver.
But wait, don’t start dashing out to the grocery stores yet, unless you detest the taste of Kimchi and unhealthy canned SPAM, this recipe don’t require added shopping.
My all-time favourite brand of chicken stock powder since we met in 2011.
I tweaked this recipe a little by adding extra firm tofu, 1 tablespoon of no added MSG chicken stock powder and 1 tablespoon of Korean soup soy sauce (meant for soups).
1 small bowl (1 cup) of old fermented kimchi – cut into bite-size
1 medium onion, sliced
Half can of lite SPAM, sliced
1 stalk scallions, cut into short lengths
1.5 tablespoon of chicken stock power
1 tablespoon of soup soy sauce (Must be Korean made brand) – optional
half box of extra firm tofu, cut into squares
In a deep pan or pot (with a lid), place onion slices randomly on the bottom, place SPAM slices on top (distribute evenly). Next, spread chicken stock powder evenly on SPAM slices, add scallions and then place kimchi on top of everything.
Add warm water enough to cover on medium-high heat, leave it boil. Stir and mix everything before pouring the soup soy sauce.
Lower heat, cover with lid and let it simmer for 20minutes until kimchee is tender.
Toss in tofu 5 minutes before dishing up.
Serve hot with steamed rice.
If anyone knows where this original recipe stems from, leave me a comment or email and I will gladly link it back to where it belonged.
I’m such a procrastinator, especially when it comes to blogging. This recipe has been sitting in my draft box for MONTHS! Out of mind out of sight they say, proven true to this forgotten post because days after I saved this draft (for later), I ambitiously wrote couple more in my already backed-up draft box!
Basket full of Worldfoods saucy goodies personally delivered to my doorstep!
Well, I decided to dug it up and post it today!
Ready to dish up: Drenched in sauce!
But tired, lazy, bored of take aways and brain dry on what to cook AND craving for Thai food? Well, shout a hello to stir-fried meals made even easier with healthy-made ThaiCreamy Chili Kaffir Lime sauce yummo THANKS to WORLDFOODS and upbeat UAE-based foodie blogger Epicurean on recommending WORLDFOODS for a taste-test!
Some busy months ago, a few of us foodie bloggers had the privilege to sample bottles of different Asian conveniently-ready sauces. We were also given a long list of flavours to choose from, I obviously chose the Thai and Malaysian much-loved varieties for this cook-and-review blogposts.
This is my use-whatever-in-the-fridge ingredients
Stir-fries are supposed to be effortless, but because I decided to use all leftover vegetables (broccoli, red bell pepper, onion, fried tofu), a futher preparation time of 10mins caused this supposedly quick dish to fall under a 30-minute recipe. It would have been quicker if you use 2-3 ingredients instead.
Alright enough talk, enjoy the recipe below!
Home&Cook #76: Chicken & Veggie Creamy Chili Kaffir Lime Stir-Fry!
2 garlic cloves, crushed (I love garlic!) – optional
half pack of fried tofu – optional
Dashes of salt and white flavoured pepper to taste
2 stalks of scallions (spring onions), cut into lengths
1 stalk scallions, chopped for garnish – optional
Cooked steamed Jasmine rice
2 chicken breast, diced or cut into bite-size
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
Half bottle of Creamy Chili Khaffir Lime sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 red onion, sliced or quartered
Season chicken with salt and flavoured white pepper for 10 minutes.
Add oil to non-stick pan/ wok on medium heat, add garlic and scallions until fragrant.
Toss in chicken chunks, fry until almost cooked, toss in onions, bell pepper and stir-fry for 5 mins or until onions are still crisp tender.
Add in broccoli and tofu, fry for another 3-5minutes and pour in half bottle of Creamy Chili Khaffir Lime sauce. Toss and coat ingredients well with sauce, let it cook on medium low heat for 3 minutes, cover lid (optional) for 1 minute and keep stir-frying until veggies and chicken is cooked through.
Serve warm with cooked steamed rice!
For your info, most major supermarkets in Dubai stock up WORLDFOODS sauces and pastes.
Mandu bliss! Old kimchi on the side with Korean instant noodles adds bonus yum points.
Since the day I became a full time mum, I rarely have ample alone-time in the kitchen cooking my own lunches. Days like today -with a clingy cranky bub superglued to me- makes cooking activities impossible.
Ingredients ready to mix: Minced cabbage, ground pork, minced shrimps, minced garlic, sesame oil, grated ginger, chopped green onions (scallions), chopped onions, 1 egg, all purpose flour, salt and pepper.
So last weekend while hubs took over babysitting duties, I shopped for ingredients to make mandu (Korean Dumplings) for lunch and wrapped extras to freeze 2 bags full for hungry busy days. I’ve made gyoza before (blogpost here) but second time round didn’t seemed any easier, it took me 1.5hours of chopping/ mincing ingredients and another 30 mins stuffing into ready-made wrappers.
Ready to freeze. I love them steamed-fry or dunked into broths, noodle soups. How about you?
There you go, another new Korean recipe learnt since my last Home&Cook blogpost
Who would have thought I’ll someday be obsessed finding the PERFECT spoon/ fork for my infant? Weeks before I introduced Laura’s first foods, I went cutlery shopping built just for petite mouths, I was SO PICKY that even my hubs got annoyed at my ridiculous hours spent finding the right one. He asked, “How do you define a perfect first baby-friendly spoon??”
Go on, give these chubbas a hug!
Being a first time mum, I had no idea how ‘perfect’ it should be until I tried Beaba ergonomic cutleries 9 months ago. Among the many I shopped for, Beaba seemed to be most appealing to me. I took a good look and felt an immediate bond, their I’m-adorable-to-resist design did a fine job coaxing me into buying them. I know, I know it’s just a spoon for goof sakes, but really, it’s the chubby-like curvy features I rave on and on about.
I guess because I’m an Interior Designer (by profession) with a weakness for tasteful unique designs, so it’s not surprising that i’m naturally drawn to these stylish practical products.
Here’s my review on why Beaba was (and still is) my top baby/toddler buys:
Compared to other brands, Beaba ergonomic curvy handle ‘locks’ onto any bowl which doesn’t slip sliding off into the bowl, no irritating time spent on adjusting it to sit upright. Great for us impatient mums!
Other brand of spoon rolls over disobediently everytime.
Can be used as a spork. The top curvy part of the spoon and fork leans against steadily onto servewares.
Now you see why I still use them, and will continue to until Laura turns 3 or when she’s old enough to hold larger cutleries well. Okay, just realized it’s kinda silly to blog passionately about infant cutlery, lol.
If you’re into Beaba, they can be found at JustKidding stores in UAE. * Btw, this is not a paid/ sponsored blogpost.
My colourful discounted darlings that made my day!
I TRY not to shop at Crate&Barrel too often because of the big-dent-on-my-debit-card reason, no regrets but it always flashes an ouch siren ringing in my ears whenever I do my month-end finances. Nope, haven’t and don’t want to learn my lesson It’s not as if i’m spending thousands, my limit has been Aed400 max bi-monthly.
Giving in to what catches my eye rather than need is still a problem of mine but happy to know that I’ve had better self-control and waited until their FINAL REDUCTION sale is on! I really enjoy their quality customer service at the Mall of The Emirates outlet, constant hellos, smiles and a brief ‘”how’s your day been?” conversations exchanged at the cashier do ease up my scruffy mood at times. Oh and they don’t tailgate customers trying to shove sales into your faces!
My heart sprung up with joy when I saw the items I eyed on recently were part of this final sale, the patterns and design were too pretty to ignore. As I walked out, I noticed a beautiful serveware that wished it was on sale, UH OH…
Hello mummy readers!
I’ve been reading up abit on potty training lately, and there’s plenty of training methods, ideas and recommended age groups to follow. I won’t be training Laura yet as she’s only 14.5 months old, in my opinion still too young which may take frustrating months of training for her to get the hang of it. I think 18-24 months old is the ‘better’ age to start gradually as they’ve learnt how to communicate and understand much more resulting to a shorter hair-pulling training process instead? Or not? I know every child is different, but hey, no harm using some of your training ideas to keep in mind.
Based on your been-there-done-that experience, would love to know which age group your toddlers fall under by filling out my poll below. And kindly state which brand of affordable potties is best or easier to train them in the comments box. Thanks heaps!
Dear Fuyee (Foo Yee),
You’ve made my days happier everytime I take a bite out of you, I did my best to prolong our yummy moments together but… But I just couldn’t control my cravings for you today… Sob.
You will be missed!
So, who and what is Fuyee?
I’m talking about this appetizingly addictive fermented beancurd soaked in chili and sesame oil, soft cream cheese-like texture that melts in your mouth. My hubs calls them stinky tofu, and he’s right, fermented preserved tofu stinks but tastes heavenly!
I purposely brought one bottle back here from my last trip home in September. And gah, why didn’t I pack more?? *pokes self*
Whenever I crave them I’ll scoop out half / 1 whole PRECIOUS cube into porridge, or stir-fry together with Kangkong (Water convolvulus). Is it available in Dubai? Yes, I remembered seeing it sold at the Chinese mart in International City (China Cluster) and bought one to try, disappointedly didn’t taste close to my preferred brand which is found widely in Kuala Lumpur.
Erm, anyone kind enough to fly it over to my doorstep?
Nowadays I rarely grumble about getting my dim sum, laksa, peking duck, chicken feet, duck noodles, black sesame glutinous rice ball dessert, Chinese claypot dishes, fish head curry craving-fix in Dubai, because they can be found conveniently. But when it comes to finding Bak Kut Teh (direct translation: Pork Bone Tea) here, I don’t bother putting my hopes up at all. Well firstly, it’s not a popular dish globally, most (non-Chinese and non-Malaysians) find Bak Kut Teh herbal soup and taste quite bitter to love it at first bite, the ingredients consists of soft dried woodcuts (yep you read it right, you’re eating wood!?) dried Chineese herb, yes you are actually drinking wood-infused broth mixed in with wolfberries and other supposed healthy Chinese herbs into your body! Don’t panic, we Bak Kut Teh lovers are still alive and well.
The backbone to this dish is the use of pork bones, piggy’s stomach lining (oh barf gross but CHEWY YUM!) and other oinky parts to enhance the aroma and flavor. The non-halal version is adding chicken but it isn’t the real scrumptious deal!
Remember to throw in 1 whole garlic bulb (unpeeled), for an overpowering flavour!
So you now know why I HAD to nag myself before my last trip home to pack back as many Bak Kut Teh packets from Eu Yan Sang (a popular traditional Chinese medical store known around Asia). Easy by simple following the 3-step recipe/ instructions at the back of the package, not much of preparation needed really. Let it simmer for 2hours, yes you want every ingredient (meat, mushroom, tofu) to absorb all its herbalness, that’s the point of bak kut teh! AND don’t add too much water, I love my broth slightly thick with an aromatic-oomph!
To give an additional notch of taste, pour in one spoonful of soy sauce, dark soy sauce to simmer half hour before serving.
A Malaysian Chinese wife to an Aussie geek, a proud mother of one 3 years later. Was once a shy blogger who's been challenging herself to dive deep into the sea of food blogging, motherhood episodes and baby&toddler recipes. Sometimes known to be a nomster!
Tries her best to post restaurant/ cafe and product reviews that deserves the limelight. You might find scribblings about this glitzy city, tasty reads on Malaysian cuisine and praise-worthy blessings in our homey lifestyle.
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