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Waa-Cow

One of the things that I really enjoy doing is eating and sussing out new food places as well as revisiting old ones. Yes, Odette remains as one of our fave restaurants.

A business associate introduced Waa-Cow to me a couple of months back and I’ve been back to the little eatery a few times thereafter. The lunch deals are a little pricer than what you might want to part with for lunch but it is nice to indulge in a treat occasionally.

One of my fave dishes to order off the menu is this Aburi Wagyu Beef Slices topped with mentaiko and served along with an onsen egg plus ebiko roe. The whole dish is very umami (delicious) and I usually go for the mini version rather than the normal size for it fills me up nicely for lunch and leaves me enough room for a small dessert.

Food for thought

It’s been a little quiet here because I have been struggling.. struggling to keep afloat, to keep it together at work, at home, to maintain relationships/ friendships and to not feel guilty about taking some time off for myself.

Been thinking quite a fair bit about “What drives me?”. At work, mainly. What do I do what I do? To ensure that there is purpose in the work that I do and the work that I deliver. To ensure that through it all, I learn something from it. Learning is a lifelong journey and there are no set ways in getting the results that you want. One way may work better for some, but it’s also about adaptability, how to get better at what you do and achieve the results faster. To be humble and that it’s not my way or the highway.

At home? What drives me? To the best parent that I can be to my child within my capabilities. To understand that as a parent, I’m not always right and that my child can also teach me life-lessons. To see the world through the eyes of my child and to be present for  her. To raise my child with the right set of values that can carry her through her life. To let her know that one must work hard to get where they are and not everything will fall on her lap. To let her learn that it’s ok to fall and not win all the time. If you work hard enough, you will eventually get there.

So yea, that’s food for thought… reflecting on what I’m seeing in today’s world at this point in time.

 

Kitchen Aid x Mother’s Day Cookout

We were invited by Kitchen Aid for this Mother’s Day cooking event at Little House of Dreams over the weekend and we had a lovely time – with me learning how to make Shepherd’s Pie using the Kitchen Aid stand mixer and the food grinder attachment and the little one having a ball of a time feasting on the cookies and also the goodies that the Kitchen Aid team specially prepared.

There were about 6 pairs who were also invited to this intimate gathering and it’s amazing how the 3 hours passed by so quickly. We each learned how to make Shepherd’s Pie with the ingredients that were specially prepared for each of us. I diced those onions and garlic as Cooking Mama while the Bub munched on her fave cookie with icing and watched me do the prep work. When it came to mincing the chicken meat, I learned how to fasten the food grinder attachment with the Kitchen Aid stand mixer and realised how quick the tool actually grinded up the meat. I used to think that this could only be used of making sausages but truth be told, we don’t eat a lot of sausages and it’s way faster to purchase them from a deli. But this meat grinder attachment is actually pretty useful for you know exactly what type of meat goes into the minced mixture. Remove the fatty bits from the chicken skin for it ain’t healthy and what you get is pure minced chicken. Really good for making burgers as well as making fine food for little ones. I can’t wait to experiment more with this device.

And I used to think that the Kitchen Aid stand mixer is only good for making cakes and sweet stuff. But of course, this simple cooking session changed my impression of that. Well, we did make Mee Hoon Kueh using the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. What I also learned is that the beater attachment can also mash potatoes! How useful is that tip?! I mean, I used to stand around the kitchen with my fork and exerted all that energy to mash the potatoes finely. Now that I know that the Kitchen Aid can do the job quickly, I’m really excited that we can have truffled mash in our occasional cook-outs soon! I wonder if it can mash steamed cauliflower too? Hmm..

We were also treated to a simple feast of pasta, pizza and chicken wings while we prepped our Shepherd’s Pie and also learned how versatile the Kitchen Aid can also be for the home. They also now have an additional Ice Cream bowl attachment which allow you to whip up ice-cream in the comfort of your own home. This is pretty useful if you want a device that can almost do everything by purchasing different attachments rather than purchasing different devices.

Please check out this simple video highlights of the Kitchen Aid event and if I do recreate the dish, I’ll be sure to share the recipe here!

Thanks Kitchen Aid Singapore for inviting us to be part of your Mother’s Day celebration. It was lovely meeting other ladies who specially brought their moms along and we are looking forward to the next Mom-and-Me cooking session. 🙂

Social Media

For the longest time, the Man has been asking me to catch Black Mirror on Netflix especially the episode called Nose Dive. He said that it would be relevant to me in today’s day and age. Perhaps, he thought I was headed to becoming a serious social media addict given that I was quite consumed/ obsessed with social media platforms like Instagram for a period of time. Wondering why my picture didn’t achieve the desired number of likes and scratching my head to generate content that would acheive the most number of likes.

Looking back, it’s actually kind of scary to think how these would affect me. Thankfully not for long as I begin to take stock of what really mattered. The real relationships/ friendships versus the reel and the online ones. It was nice meeting people online, chatting with them on similar topics and don’t get me wrong, I’ve actually made some really nice friends online. Some stayed, some didn’t because life caught up and it does take work to maintain relationships/ friendships. I don’t feel bitter that those didn’t work out. We had our time and I’m thankful that our paths crossed.

Social media… it’s a double-edged sword. If you put too much of yourself out there, while some may be supportive there’s always another group of people who can’t wait to rip you apart. People think they know you because you have chosen to give them access into your life be it through writing or pictures. And while I take everything with somewhat a pinch of salt and would like to think the best of everyone, sadly,  not everyone thinks that way. So sometimes walls are built for privacy and protection of those who that remain close and dear to me.

I’ve been blogging for a decade.. 10 years.. that’s long. I’ve experienced my fair share of likes and ‘haters’ out there and for a while, it did weigh me down. Have I considered removing all content from my blog? Not at this point in time, this online journal still serve many fond memories of different stages of my life. One that I would like to possibly share with the little one when she’s older. Those that I’m not comfortable sharing publicly, I decided to privatise those posts instead because writing is still an outlet for me.

So who reads blog these days when one gets instant gratification from checking Instagram feeds instead? I don’t know. But I’ll just do what makes me happy and blogging does help me…

 

One awesome gift for this Mama from Kitchen Aid

[Review]:

[Photo Credit: Kitchen Aid Singapore]

My eyes did a double blink when I saw this email from the folks at Kitchen Aid. They first invited us to an upcoming Mother’s Day workshop and then asked if we would be open to reviewing their items as part of the collab. I was really quite excited.. “A Kitchen Aid! WOW!!!” But of course, I’m the sort who didn’t want to count its chicks before they hatch, so I just waited to see what they would offer and lo and behold, they did offer the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer from the Artisan Series in Empire Red. The pastel colours in the range are really to die for but the red did stand out and hold its ground. Plus, it would also look just as fetching when placed next to our Nespresso coffee machine also in red. So that was the one we received!

[Photo Credit: Kitchen Aid Singapore]

When I was aggressively baking years ago, holed up in a small kitchen in our apartment in Geneva, I did lem for a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. After all, it’s THE Mixer of all mixers and this gorgeous device is often seen in many gourmet kitchens and kitchens of aspiring home-cooks. But I got scolded by the Man for even harbouring the thought of purchasing one as we moved from place to place then. It would not be pratical to lug it from one country to the next. So I just relied on my handheld mixer for many of my bakes. Till this fantastic opportunity came along!

After the initial unboxing of this gorgeous device was done (the kiddo helped too), I wondered hard and long what am I going to start baking/ cooking with this helpful kitchen device? My baking skills have somewhat become dusty along the way and the kid doesn’t quite have a sweet tooth so she might not appreciate the sweets like cupcakes and muffins that I whip up for her. I decided then to try using the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer for another purpose instead.

We all have our fave dish that is reminiscent of our childhood. Something special that our moms have made that would warm our hearts along with our bellies. For me, it was always the oyster chicken with mushrooms dish and the salted vegetable duck soup – my mom’s speciality dishes. My mom was not a home-maker, she had a full-time job and in fact, juggled a few jobs when we were growing up but she did try to cook for us occasionally and now, she really does make it a point to cook for us at least once a week when we go back home on Sundays. Her meals are always simple but I really appreciate the time and effort that she put in to cook the many dishes to feed the entire family of 8 or more when the troop goes over.

For the Man, it would always be his mom’s Mee Hoon Kueh (hand torn noodles). My mom-in-law makes the mee hoon kueh from scratch, kneaded the dough mixture by hand and cooking the broth from scratch. The side dish to be accompanied with the Mee Hoon Kueh is a simple, broiled pork belly with sesame oil because growing up, they really didn’t have a lot so pork belly was considered a treat for the Man and his mom. Last but not least, the condiments such as fried shallots, pepper and ikan billis that will generously be sprinkled on this homemade and simple noodle dish.

This Mee Hoon Kueh dish is always the dish the Man would request for after a long trip away from home and this dish would also be the dish that Sophie would also request for from her grandma if she’s feeling poorly or as and when she wants her grandma to cook her a happy meal My mom-in-law would always oblige when it came to cooking for her son and granddaughter.

Years back when we were living in Geneva and because we were away from home, the Man actually recreated his mom’s Mee Hoon Kueh dish. Now that we are back home, we hardly have to make this dish from scratch but I did want to learn how to do this as my mom-in-law travels quite a fair bit now and on days when Sophie actually requests for this when she’s not around, I find myself telling her to have something else or to resort having to run out to the hawker centre to buy a bowl for her as we don’t have the ingredients stashed at home. Even though it’s the same type of noodles, the taste is not quite the same. Nothing quite beats the home-made “feels”,  if you know what I mean. Maybe it’s the way the noodles are rolled into small pieces of dough, mashed and then torn to make up little pieces of cooked and starchy goodness.

Well, it does appear that the recipe of making the Mee Hoon Kueh has been simplified and kneading the dough by hand would be a preferred method but having the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer do the job in half the time was this lazy mama’s hack in putting the meal on the table. We  started prepping our meal (together with the little one at 6.30pm) and made the hand torn noodles in under 20 minutes. The broth was prepared in advance and dinner was served at 7.10pm. To prep a meal with a kid in tow, I’d say we did well on time!

Mee Hoon Kueh (Hand torn noodles)

Ingredients:
For the noodles:
4 cups of rice flour
1 medium egg
1/2 tsp salt
250 ml of cooled water

For the topping:
Fried shallots
Fried ikan bilis

For the soup stock:
150g ikan bilis, rinsed and drained
1.5 litres water
A bunch of spinach, trimmed
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp deep-fried ikan bilis
Onion oil, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Method:
1) To make the noodles, mix the flour, egg, salt and water evenly in a mixing bowl. Using the dough mixer attachment, turn on Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer on low speed (ie: Speed 1) before gradually increasing it to a slightly higher speed. We used up to Speed 3.

2) Once the dough mixture comes together to form a ball, transfer the dough mixture into another mixing bowl.

3) Place some rice flour on your fingers and continue to knead the mixture in the bowl until it doesn’t stick to the hands.

4) Peel the dough into small balls of about 1 to 2cm. Press and flatten each ball till about 2mm thick. Set aside till ready to cook.

5) To make the soup, add the ikan bilis to 1.5 litres of water and bring it to bowl. Simmer over low heat for about 20 mins. Remove the ikan bilis and then add in spinach and egg (if desired).

6) Add the mee hoon kuey. When the noodles rise to the surface, scoop out noodles and broth in a bowl and serve.

This simple soup dish is extremely versatile and you can also add additional ingredients such as mushrooms, prawns and even minced meatballs to accompany the noodles.

Seriously, it is quite simple to make the mee hoon kueh with the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer using the dough attachment. Even my kid could do this as you can see. Well, you may ask why even bother using a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer to do something that simple? True, but if you are going to be investing in a piece of machinery only to use it for rare occasions then is this a worthy investment? The idea is that this device is supposed to help you around in the kitchen and to help put out dishes quick and fast for the family. That’s my rationale of a worthy investment.

Thanks Kitchen Aid Singapore for sending this lovely Stand Mixer to us. It really is a beautiful piece of machinery which is now a permanent fixture on our kitchen counter. Can’t wait to try out other recipes with this. So stay tuned!

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Disclaimer : We received the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer with Meat Grinder attachment to test and review.  No additional monetary rewards were given.  All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using the product. Any queries on the product  should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.