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Recipe – New Trial

I tried a few recipes over the weekend, not so satisfied but I believe it can be better next time.

1. Dilly Baby Red Potato Salad from Prevention Magazine.  I find the “avocado dressing” a little bit too thick to mix, but other than that, it tastes pretty good and my family liked it.

2. Veal Roast Italiano from IGA Market Place flyer (the veal was $6.99/lb, but I think I’d rather have T-bone steak for that price).  I was a bit disappointed, but my family said it’s not bad.

3. Cilantro Rice from Prevention Magazine.  It could’ve been good but I screwed it up by soaking the basmati rice.  So it turned out not fluffy but mushy which my 13-month old boy loved it though.  I will definitely try this recipe again to see how it turns out without the soaking.

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Recipe – BBQ Pork (Char Siu)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb pork collar butt (梅頭肉)

Seasoning:

  • 2 tbsp Char Siu Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Ground Bean Sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey and maltose mixture (or to your taste)
  • 1 tbsp Rose Wine
  • 1 tsp minced garlic

Method:

  • Rinse and cut pork collar butt into strip(s) about 2 and half inch in width each. Make several slashes across the top of the strips to avoid curling up when cooked.
  • Heat the maltose a little bit so that it can be mixed into the seasoning better.  Marinate the pork with the seasoning and put in a fridge. For a better result, marinate for overnight.
  • Preheat countertop toaster oven to 180C/350F. Put seasoned pork strip(s) in a tray lined with foil. Do not put all the marinade in because it will burn easily.  Only keep a thin layer on the pork strips.  Bake for about 30 minutes.
  • Adjusst the heat to 210C/400F.  Take the pork out, brush pork strip(s) with honey and maltose mixture and bake for 5 minutes.
  • Repeat step 4 once.
  • Let the BBQ pork stand for 10 minutes after taking out from oven.  When the pork cool down a bit, cut and arrange it as desired. Don’t forget to go with the gravy inn oven tray. Excellent taste!

Tips:

  1. You can use the conventional oven but the cooking time will need to be adjusted accordingly.  I found that it takes longer to cook the pork while the meat cooked in the toaster oven is more juicy and tender.
  2. Cutting into the meat too early will cause a significant loss of juice. Do not skip the resting stage.
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Recipe – Sticky Rice Cake (Nin Go)

I don’t usually have a sweet tooth, but somehow this year I craved for the “nin go” so badly.  After getting one from my mother in law, I decided to give it a try and make myself some for the first time.  I found a recipe from one of my favorite recipe site and modified it a little bit when I made it.  Here’s the recipe:

Prepare cake mould (removable base preferred): I used two 9″ cake pans

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (400 g) glutinous rice flour (糯米粉)
  • 1 cup wheat starch (澄麵粉)
  • 1 pack (400 g) brown sugar in pieces (片糖)
  • 1 cup water
  • 80 ml coconut milk
  • 30 ml oil + a dash to brush cake mould
  • 1 egg, whisked

Method:

  1. Use a saucepan to bring 1 cup of water to boil. Add brown sugar and cook until completely dissolved. Stir in coconut milk and oil. Drain syrup through a fine sieve to make the mixture smoother. Let cool.
  2. Sift glutinous rice flour and wheat starch twice. Add flour bit by bit into syrup, stir constantly and combine well. If you’d like your batter really smooth, drain through a fine sieve once more.
  3. Transfer batter to 2 greased cake pans. Place in a wok and steam over high heat, covered, for about 60 to 75 minutes. As the cake is very sticky, even if it’s cooked through, it still sticks to your needle/chopstick if you test it. But if you can’t taste any raw flour, it’s done. Make sure to steam the cake for enough time. (Note: Steaming time depends on how big and thick the cake is.)
  4. Let cool. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. When the cake is cold, it’s much easier to slice into thick pieces. Coat the sliced cake with whisked egg, fry on medium-low heat until both sides are brown. Serve hot.
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Pediatric Dental Treatment for My 3-Year Old

Sarah started to have cavity signs on her front teeth when she was around 2, so I was told to take her to the dentist. My dentist doesn’t prefer to accept kids under 3 because they think the kids will freak out at such a young age and refuse to go back in the future due to the bad experience. But I insisted that it was suggested by the community nurse, so they took her in the end which was back in June last year. Sarah was good at her first visit to the dentist office which surprised everyone.  The dentist suggested that we clean Sarah’s teeth very well (floss, brush, and use a q-tip to wipe the surface of her teeth).

 After that we were told to go back for a visit in 4 months (usually 6 months) in October.  Again Sarah did well and she even let them do a quick fix to one of her molars without any screaming or tears.  Then again we were told to go back again in 4 months, which was last Friday. This time they did a quick x-ray since the dentist suspected more cavities. Again this time she stayed calm and didn’t freak out even when they took the x-ray. But the pictures didn’t come out nicely since she was too young to cooperate (couldn’t bite the piece in her mouth hard enough). The dentist still referred us to the pediatric dental office because she didn’t want to try fixing Sarah’s teeth which might scare her away for the future cleaning visits.

 So we got an appointment on the past Tuesday for a consultation. She did well again for the appointment, no fuss no tears. But the bad news is that she has cavities (mostly minor) for 15 out of her 20 teeth. Holy moly! How can we expect this while we have been making so much effort to clean her teeth every night ?? According to the dentist, that’s caused by her bad eating habit – snacking along all day and keeping food in her mouth. Yike…the worst part is that they proposed to put her to sleep, and then she will need 4 crowns and 7 fillings. The estimated cost will be around $3000, and even with coverage from both me and my husband’s benefit, we still need to pay about $1000 out of our pocket. What a nightmare for such a little girl, and also our bank!

 In the meantime, I kinda feel this pediatric dental office is a bit aggressive. I in fact was warned by my dentist when I was offered a few choices to choose from, but I still picked this one because it’s more convenient location wise. So now we would like to seek second opinion. Sarah happened to have a cousin who has a similar issue and just got his teeth fixed, so I got the dentist’s contact and booked an appointment which is in mid March. So we hope we will feel more comfortable with the next proposed treatment plan and get this over soon. What we don’t want to see is to wait until the cavity gets worse and Sarah will suffer from it. After all the period of losing the primary teeth range from age of 4 to 12, and this is a long time. We do want to get things right and minimize the possibility of her suffering. So we will wait and see how it goes next month. (To be continued)

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Valentine Card Creator Made at Lowe’s Build and Grow Kids’ Clinic

We took Sarah to Lowe’s Build and Grow Kids’ Clinic last Saturday where she made a Valentine Card Creator with daddy’s help.  Pretty much daddy built the whole thing while Sarah enjoyed putting stickers on the box the most afterwards.   

You receive a free apron, goggles, a project themed patch, and a certification of merit upon completion of your project.  But make sure to bring the apron and goggles back after the first visit since you only get them once.

Apron and Goggles

Project Patch (to be attached on apron after each project)

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Valentine’s Day Projects

Over the weekend Sarah and I did some crafty projects for her preschool party and I also made her a very cute angel.  Here are what we did:

Valentine’s Day Gift Tags/Treat 
 
Download the PDF template here and cut them out to put in the small clear plastic bag for treats.  It’s fun to get your little one(s) to help with putting the tags and treats (I got Hershey kisses) in the bag and seal them for you.
 
Sweet Heart Angel
 
I found this pretty angel on a very cool artsy craftsy site.  Sarah loves it and put it on her doll house in her bedroom.  Click here to learn how to make one for your kid(s).