Thursday, April 30, 2015

7th Birthday - Transformer Roll Out

He was having a running and congested nose on his 7th Birthday. As such, we abandoned the plan to visit Night Safari which he requested earlier.  We celebrated at home with father and son since their birthdays were so close to each to other.  It also made the celebration more meaningful, especially the bond between father and son.  Since our Grandma has just passed away last year, I was not supposed to make any birthday cake  I bought the cake from Bengawan Solo which my son chose the theme and Papa selected the design (I thought my boy was trying to please his father by agreeing on the design, both unanimously).  So it was a homely affair this year.  Also, he got to enjoy and eat the chocolate cake before the dietary change to go gluten free (not 100% though).

I like the fresh cream on the cake but found the chocolate rice ball and cream inside the layers were tad too sweet.

The most important men in my entire life.  Cake cutting was short and sweet.  The younger one was too eager to eat his cake. The older one swiftly finished his slice of cake and sat on the sofa to watch television.  Mommy later went back to the kitchen and cleared all the dishes and continued the washing. 

It's over just like that  .........  but they were happy and me too :))

Chicken tofu patties

# 350

I have not done any bento(s) lately.  I was pre-occupied with my son's sickness and dietary change.  He is feeling a lot better now.  Therefore, I made a simple and no-frill bento.  Inside the box, he has chicken tofu patties, boiled carrot flowers/broccoli, cherry tomatoes, romaine leave as a divider, short grain rice topped with wasabi furikake.  The chicken tofu was really yummy which can be found at Just One Cookbook.

In one of our lazy weekends, my boy discovered this old typewriter at Toast Box (coffee chain).  We passed by many times and yet we did not even notice it.   He was so fascinated with the typewriter and played on it for a long time.  It was so funny watching him fiddling with the typewriter and his intense curiosity on how the machine works. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chidhood sickness - running/congested nose, sinus for the longest period

It has been a month my son was down with running/congested nose.  Excessive mucus that cause blockage all day and worsen at night.  But now he was clearing up and less congested.  He is able to sleep and breathe better throughout the night too.  Phew.

A month ago, we flew back to Malaysia for Qing Ming festival (清明节) over the weekends 27-29 March 2015.  We brought vegetarian food, Malaya kuehs, tea and fruits to offer to our late Grandma and others at the Siamese temple early in the morning.  Jostling with the crowds holding joss sticks as usual.  Incense fume triggered tearing sensation that made it difficult to keep our eyes open.  We were hot and sweaty every bits.  It is a Chinese tradition during Qing Ming festival (清明节) to burn incense, paper money, paper clothes, paper shoes/slippers, .. etc for the spiritual, be it at the cemetery or temple.  In the past, it was a family gathering around the graveyard at the hillside where Grandfather (爷爷) was buried.  The offerings were more elaborate.  Since our grandmother passed away and cremated last year, the family had all decided to have grandfather's grave exhumed and cremated the remains so that both their ashes (Grandmother and Grandfather) could be housed at the same Siamese temple in the individual urns. On the last night before departure,  we were at the funeral wake of Tai Ku Cheong.  Papa and son were, last minute, pulled in to join the funeral rites for the burning of large paper house, car .. etc.  With due respect, I suspected if inhaling the incense smoke and burning could be a trigger point for my son's sinusitis.

The flight back home was painful and unpleasant for him because he could not equalise the pressure. My boy was fine when the plane landed.  However, his ear pain relapsed and became unbearable after dinner. Rashes appeared on his back.  Since it was a Sunday night, our family doctor was closed, we went to other clinics. We were surprised to see long queues at 24 hours Tampines clinic and chose to go further to Lifelink at Pasir Ris.  He was prescribed with antihistamines.  The next day, he was having running nose dripping like a tap water that cannot be switched off.  Occasionally with bouts of headaches.  Constantly congested nose throughout the days and nights.  A few days later, the skin on his fingers tips, hands and feet began drying and peeling off.  I was shocked to see he was 'shedding' skin like a snake.  Luckily, the skin healed gradually with plenty of QV lotion I applied on the affected areas.

We finished the antihistamines as instructed but he did not recover.  Then we visited my regular Chinese physician at Bedok and even persuaded my child to try acupuncture.  He did go ahead and that was also his first and last session of acupuncture.  He was calm and brave with 3 needles poked around his face.  He was tearing eventually.  I was heart broken.  Acupuncture works for me which literally relieved from congested nose but it did not work for my boy.

His condition however did not improve.  Papa suggested chiropractic for his posture as well as congested nose.  Without a hesitation, we visited Papa's chiropractor at CSG (Chiropractic Solutions Group).  Dr Alan Ng recommended a gluten free diet for 3 weeks and  weekly of chiropractic session.  We did go ahead with the dietary change but not 100% gluten free.  My boy was determined to get well soon and had cut off bread, cakes and biscuits totally.  I was proud of his perseverance. This was his second week of gluten free diet.  His mucus has reduced greatly but still very blocked at night.  Even I rubbed the vicks vapour on his chest and feets at night, his breathing was interrupted most of the time and he was gasping for air with his mouth.

Desperate to help him sleep better through the night, I chanced upon  R.C. essential oil from Young Living at Essentialoilsg while browsing for gluten free food over the internet.  I bought it online last Friday and was delivered quickly on the second day (Sunday) by courier service.  I applied NEAT on his chest and amazingly, it cleared out his congested nose almost immediately and my boy could breathe smoothly and normally.  Subsequent days, I applied NEAT on his feet as well.  It was therapeutic, I must say.  Because, he slept like a baby.  It was an undeniable fact that R.C. oil was effective in alleviating respiratory problems.  So powerful!!  A word of caution on the usage of such potent oil.  I have double checked with the seller that older child (mine is 7 years old) and adult can apply NEAT (directly on the skin) but for younger kid, it is advisable to dilute with a carrier oil. 

This was his second major illness that last for more than a month.  His first serious one was coughing for more than 3 months till the specialist diagnosed him with mild asthma in 2012. It was 3 years ago! Came home with a hole in our pocket and plenty of medicines (flixotide, ventolin, singular, etc).   He has since fully recovered from the asthma episode.

I hope for his speedy recovery from sinusitis.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thai chicken sandwich

# 349
This Thai chicken sandwich was simply bursting with flavours.  If I had some fresh mint, that would be divine!!  I was surprised that the pandan flavour bread actually paired well with Thai chicken. Even my 6 years old boy agreed with me.  It was not a planned menu.  I was just clearing whatever I had in the food cupboard.  I used the chicken marinade which I found in Just One Cookbook (omitted the salt in the marinade) and then pan-fried the chicken thigh on my HappyCall pan.  Made pickled julienned carrots with some rice vinegar and sugar.  Cut some fresh red pepper into strips.  Spread butter on the side of the pandan flavour bread and toasted it till brown. Layered all ingredients and spooned some Thai chilli sauce over it.  Tata, our Thai experience!

Thai chicken marinade (I used 2 chicken thighs)


  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. corn starch

  • On the side were some Korea strawberries and Australia sugar prunes.  We were blessed that Singapore imports all kinds of fresh fruits around the world.

    My boy started Term 2 of his Primary school education.  He was still happy-go-lucky child.  Occasionally, he forgot to hand in his homework or bring stuff required for the lesson.  No pressure cooker at the moment.  He was confident buying food at the school canteen (not so blur in Term 1).  I am glad he picks up silent reading on his own now.  Papa bought several Geronimo Stilton storybooks over the last two years and he was not ready to read on his own yet back then.  However, we did it as bedtime story, with me reading it aloud.  Beginning of the year, my boy has to bring a storybook that he like to school everyday for silent reading in the hall before the actual lesson starts in the morning.  As the time passed, he began to show interest and rediscovered the fun, hilarious and adventurous elements in Stilton's book   Thanks to his school that helps him to cultivate the habit.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    Banana walnut cake

    The bananas that laid on my dining table was overly ripe with honey spots.  The first thought came to my mind was to bake a banana walnut cake.  Moreover, there was half a packet of walnuts left inside the kitchen's cabinet. My first attempt baking a banana cake has not been satisfactory.  It was tad too dry.  But this was my best banana walnut cake I ever baked.  It was moist, soft, nutty and not overly sweet.  This cake was baked two weeks ago and I absolutely love it. Although my boy did not like the taste of walnuts, he ate the cake nevertheless since banana was his favourite fruit.  I even packed a slice for his snack in school. 

    Receipe adapted from Christein's Receipe.

    • 100 g butter, soften, room temperature
    • 90 g brown sugar
    • 200 g ripe bananas, mashed (I used 2 large bananas)
    • 2 eggs (120 g), whisked
    • 50 ml milk
    • 120 g cake flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 55 gm walnuts, roughly chopped

    It really easy to bake.  Just remember not to over stir the batter.