December is always a happening month for the family. Because we will go all out to have fun, feast and deliberately seek out adventures. While our amazing experience at The Dusun was definitely a highlight, we had many memorable moments in Singapore too.
Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay
Christmas Cookie house decor mania at my place. 8 adults and 8 kids. Lotssssss of candies and icings.
My house! 🙂
The whole village.
Buffet lunch with Audrey and Calynn and their kids, at Silver Shell Cafe, Rasa Sentosa. Then beach play with Megan at Siloso beach. Followed by USS at night. Woah. Exhausting but super fun!
We stayed for the nightly fireworks.
Last month, we went to Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve twice. 2nd time with my mum, who loves it as much as we do.
So many crocodile sightings during the 2 visits. Awesome!
Although school has started, but it doesn’t mean the fun has to end! Looking forward to more fun-filled family time and more outings with friends! 🙂
It’s been a fun new year at the kitchen.
The childcare I’ve been working part-time at last year, doesn’t need my service this year, so I’m jobless again! Haha. Mixed feelings about this, but not going to overthink it. I’m determined to put my free time in the mornings to good use, one of which is to widen my cooking repertoire. These are some of the dishes I’ve done this year. Some for the first time.
2nd time I made this meatball pasta. Meatballs and pasta sauce are both homemade. It’s delicious! I’m not a big pasta fan but love this dish. However, the brand of canned whole tomatoes this time round gave a less impressive sauce than the first. The right ingredients is so important! Both recipes are from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.
My first ever tart! Erm, not really if you count the (not very nice) fruit tarts I made with kids 3 years ago as part of the homelearning. But this is a real tart, not from a kids recipe book.
It’s Simplest Apple Tart from Mark Bittman. Again. Haha. I think my oven is too hot. Most of the stuff I baked in there came out overbaked. So I must lower the temperature and cooking time for my bakes next time. And watch them more carefully while they’re in the oven. Regardless, the tart was pretty yummy. Kids rejected my opinion that it wasn’t a success. They said it was delicious! Haha. Love them.
They also love my Cereal Prawn. First attempt.
This one is from The Meatmen. Yap, Meatmen for asian cuisine and Mark Bittman for angmo food. Perfect! Haha.
And this milo pop? Don’t need recipe lah! It was the first Friday of their school term. So I made them cool pops to… I don’t know, reward them for surviving the week? Haha. (Try to ignore the boy’s messy table in the background)
Boy also cooked a meal for the whole family. A real meal. And he initiated it himself. Now, girl wants to cook for us too. She will be doing it this Sunday. Looks like it will be a regular thing. Boy has already passed me his second shopping list. Haha. My kids are so cool. :p
Will blog about their kitchen exploits soon.
Jio-ed my mum for an otah making session. Why otah? Because towards the end of the school holidays last December, my kids developed a taste for spicy food. They devoured chilli crab, satay with peanut sauce, otah, prata with curry and even tried nasi lemak sambal! I remembered my mum made otah before, so asked her to teach me. Alas, she’s forgotten the recipe. Haha. Never mind, Meatmen to the rescue. Yep, we based our recipe around this. I say based, because my mother never follows recipes to a T, always agar agar.
We started off nice and early at the wet market. It’s a joy shopping at the market with her. She knows so much about raw ingredients. And of course, she knew the common names of the various seafood, spices and vegetables. I don’t think I would make much progress asking around for kaffir lime leaves or candlenuts. And the fishes, oh man. I thought all mackerels are simply batang. I was so wrong. :p
After lots of peeling and chopping and blending, we got this:
It smelled terrific already!
While I was slowly sampling the first piece of otah, my mum was hard at work scooping more of the paste into the banana leaves, and sighing that I don’t learn because I don’t do the work. Haha.
Who says I don’t do the work? I peeled all the shallots and garlic and blended everything hor. Admittedly, she was super quick with her chopping and more chopping. And ya, I did the last few banana leaves. Not hard at all.
Oh my gawd, they looked so good!
I love the texture of the otah. Not too soft and mushy. It was firm, yet not dry. It did dry out a bit when I reheated it (the ones in the leaves) a second time at home in the pan. Steaming them was better.
We made loads! Those on the trays were my share. My mum kept hers for dinner that night. My aunties got wind of the homemade otah session and were flocking to her place that evening. Haha.
My hubby and kids gave it thumbs up! Though I was having kind of an otah overload by dinner time. Till next time. I still have 2 packs of these in my freezer. Yay!
Everybody, meet Tiger! The resident kitty of the resort.
This kitty brought out all the nurturing instincts from my girl and boy. Yes, boy. They both love it and miss it very much.
It’s so manja. So cute! Ok, I confess I fell in love with Tiger too. What’s wrong with me? I hate cats!
This dog, followed us throughout our 4 hour trek to the waterfall and back. At first, it was annoying, but it has character! All the kids grew very fond of it. I too.
The floral displays at Dusun were so on point. Notice the use of herbs? And how every vase is different? Love them.
The way the tables and were set was delightful too. Their choice of utensils and cutlery made the food all the more appealing.
Delicious food! 1st breakfast.
BBQ set for 4.
OK, these ice-kachang are from the market place at Seremban town, not Dusun. Yummiest I have tried.
Perhaps, we will pay Dusun a visit again. This time, during durian season. Mmmmm…
As you can see, some of my posts are password protected. But The Dusun is so beautiful and we took so many gorgeous shots of the resort that it’s a shame not to share them. More importantly, I want to make my blog pretty. Hehe.
Our house, Emas.
Trixie’s house, Sora.
Dusk at Emas
Dawn at Emas
Infinity pool at Berembun House
View from the pool
Infinity pool at Perling House
Entrance near Perling House
Waterfall which we (including the two 7 year olds) took almost 2 hours to trek to.
Isn’t this a lovely resort? It’s eco-friendly, has good service and great food and pets, which I will post about later. Highly recommended!
Why did we sign up for another countdown event at AQH? (AQH as in 爱琴海 aka Musicdreamer Live Cafe. Yes, that one of the Crescendo fame.)
Every time we got involved in a countdown event, we would curse through the planning and rehearsals, and even cursed through the countdown itself. But amazingly, after we wrapped up the performance and sat down to eat and chat (more like bitch) at 1+am, there was always this sense of euphoria, this sense of accomplishment.
So, although we (as in me and hubby. We perform together) always tell ourselves no more countdown events, we still hesitate when the time comes. Haha. Here’s the whole crew. Singers, instrumentalists, waiters and waitresses and cooks and bosses. 🙂
I am being tagged on a gazillion photos in the album on Facebook. I must say I am relieved I am looking better on photographs. I am the opposite of photogenic and tend to look horrendous in pictures. In recent months, I put in more effort into my appearance. Most notably, I achieved my goal of obtaining abs! A feat I thought impossible. So proud of myself ok? Even though the abs didn’t last too long. HAHAHA.
Here are the pictures I like.
See the very cool necklace? It’s a gift from Calynn. I love it! I planned my outfit and song around this necklace ok? I sang Tanya Chua’s 别找我麻烦 and Joan Jett’s I Hate Myself for Loving You.
A photo after the event. Before we started out binging and bitching till 2+am! Haha. Oh, kids stayed over at my in law’s that night. First sleepover for them.
Oh man, I felt so liberated not having to worry about going home early for the kids and waking early the next day.
Happy 2016 everybody!