Wednesday, July 12

Russell's Atlas of Adventures


Craziness doesn’t even begin to describe what we’ve been through over the past few years. While I might reminisce our child-less days, I wouldn’t give up my current life for anything. No life of luxury can replace the fullness I have these days.

One of Russell’s favourite books is Atlas of Adventures by Lucy Letherland, so the theme largely circled around that. My mother-in-law found a banner with over a hundred country flags and with that monstrosity, there wasn’t a need for more decorations. As KW aptly put it, "The UN is in session." It’s amazing how Russell recognises most of the flags. The walking Google of country flags.

This time round, we had full attendance, meaning all of our friends could make it. Usually, a few couples and families would have conflicting commitment, but last Saturday, the house was packed packed packed. Believe me, I was so tired after the party, it hurt just to shower. #IntrovertWoes

I am not complaining though. It has been a while since we had so many people over, so we strapped up our boots and cooked up a storm.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Salad – I love love love this salad. I based it off this recipe and it was a great refreshing summer salad. That pork belly alone is good enough to snack on and quell the worries of carnivores.

Spinach and Mushroom Pasta Bake, based off this recipe. To be honest, I thought it was ok but my a couple of guests raved about itso maybe my tastebuds are weird.

Jerk Chicken, which Russell had too many pieces off since he is feeling T-Rex carnivorous these days.

Wagyu MB4 Steak, which was undeniably the pierce de resistence of the evening! I can't even remember the last time we went for steak at a restaurant.

Most importantly, Russell is at the age where he enjoys his birthday parties and it gives him so much joy to be able to spend it with family and friends. Our tables were full – and so are our hearts!

Monday, July 10

Russell // five years old

 My dear Russell,

You are 5 today. Wow, I never thought we make it this far. I mean, the first year was rough and I was pretty much shell shocked from motherhood. Your second year was no better though I have to say we were conditioned by then, and we knew you were a high-strung baby.

As the months wore on, we learnt your language. Numbers and music. You memorized Sam Smith songs and read off numbers from the lamp posts while we drove past them. You could recite multiplication tables at 3 years old, but you also had a taste of failure and hating trying new things for fear of making mistakes. As much as it was tempting to praise your intelligence, your father and I switched tracks and applauded your efforts instead.

You are such a ball of energy and you never fail to surprise me. You are a learner like your father. From numbers to planets and dinosaurs, you love discovering knowledge and books are your respite. You soak up everything like a sponge and I can tell your father loves enriching your childhood with knowledge.

Your younger brother literally worships the ground you step on. From birth, he's been infatuated with you and now that he can be your playmate, he's become your companion in crime. The two of you couldn’t be more different in personality yet you find joy in each other. I don't think I'll ever get tired of your brotherly antics and laughter.

But it's your kindness that gets me. Whenever we pass by a florist, you will tell me you want to get me flowers for my birthday. When we travelled to Fukuoka, you helped us lift the baggages off the belt, much to my amusement and horror. Your younger brother adores you and you do a great job of sharing your love of knowledge with him. When your father travels for work, you immediately assume "Man of the house" mindset and a sense of responsibility wise beyond the time you have been in this world.

You are strong-willed as ever. There are days where we will butt heads and egos, and I seriously question what I did wrong. Then I realised, we are both on a journey. You have only been in existence for this long, while I’m just as new to this parenting game as well. I know your strong personality might rub people the wrong way, and you come across as uncompromising and disrespectful. As much as I wish people around us were more understanding, it's not something we should expect. You are a sweet little being, very misunderstood by those close to us. I hope I have the judgement to recognize potential contention and guide you to a place where you don't feel like you have to stick out those porcupine spikes. Stay you, my little man. I love you very much.


Wednesday, June 28

Hock Hai (Hong Lim) Chicken Curry Noodle, Bedok Interchange

Despite being a Singaporean, I have never had curry noodles. What a travesty huh? I guess there is something about the richness of the dish that didn't really appeal to me - till recently. A friend and I popped over to Bedok Interchange for lunch and I thought, after travelling this far, I shouldn't get the usual boring ol' fishball mee pok.

I gamely joined the short queue at Hock Hai (Hong Lim) Chicken Curry Noodles and subsequently had my mind blown.

The kicker was the thickish curry gravy which I lapped up till every last drop. There is a decent amount of steamed chicken under that blanket of tau pok. I loved how the gravy coats the yellow noodles and vermicelli, with little room for a breather. This was a real sensory treat on every front.

Monday, June 26

Dotty for Dinosaurs

Hope you are having a good long weekend so far. Isn't it swell that we get the day off on Monday as well? Big love. 

Russell had a school assignment to complete over the long weekend. It was simple enough - create an artwork using dots. Yes, very Yayoi. And because the boys are really into dinosaurs these days, we printed out some dinosaur outlines and got some circle stickers to fill up the dinosaurs.

Hey, presto! An activity that occupied the boys for close to an hour. It's really easy to create an home, why didn't we think of this activity sooner?

Thursday, June 22

Idaten Udon, Changi City Point

When the colleague suggested udon for lunch, I mumbled something along the lines of "It's just carbs... blah blah blah." But I went along - it wasn't like I had more exciting plans in line.

Part of the Ichiban group, Idaten focuses on the humble udon. Perhaps in this present moment where people love to complicate things and create bastardised fusion food, I appreciate Idaten's mission to keep things the way they were.

The steps to getting a hot piping bowl of simplicity is well, simple enough:
Step 1: Choose your udon: Soup or dry, and plain, matcha, yuzu or pumpkin.
Step 2: Pick your sides from a wide variety of tempura, including mixed vegetables, pumpkin, squid, crab stick, chicken and crab croquette
Step 3: Grab garnishes such as seaweed, spring onion, tempura flakes, chilli padi and tempura sauce from a nearby bar

Though the meal looked uninspiring. it was surprisingly very tasty. I stuck with the basic udon soup that was filled with al dente toothsome noodles. I would love to try the matcha noodles next. A fried salmon belly filled with omega-3 goodness brought things home. To top it off, a generous confetti of seaweed and fiery chili padi sealed the deal.

Monday, June 19

And it's Father's Day

H A P P Y F A T H E R S D A Y 
to the man who works tirelessly to make 
parenthood a wee bit easier for the both of us

Monday, June 12

A weekend summed up with food photos

What a title. Zero points for creativity. But hey, we ate well and we spent great time catching up with friends and family.

On Saturday, we prepared a belated birthday lunch for my mother-in-law. Slow roasted lamb shanks with garlic and anchovies. I love love love anchovies and these shanks were tender and toothsome.

Kw recently came back from a business trip to St Petersburg and he brought back a small (and ridiculously expensive) can of sturgeon caviar. My MIL loves angel hair pasta so I made a creamy angel hair pasta with caviar and shrimp. Got to admit, I don't really care much for burn-a-hole-in-your-wallet caviar.

An apricot almond Caesar salad balanced out the meal. I found fresh apricots from Turkey in the supermarket and this is the first time I have having apricots that didn't come out of a bag. 

On Saturday night, we attended a friend's birthday party and we lapped up some seriously good homemade lamb biryani and fried chicken. Might not look pretty or Instagram-worthy but I felt super lucky to be able to partake in such a meal.

The birthday carrot cake was super moist, and stuffed with shredded carrots and walnuts. A worthy contender for best carrot cake in town. Ain't the cake pretty too?

I don't normally rave about brownies but these were amazeballs. I had two, then I stopped counting.

Come Sunday, we had friends over for lunch. It's been ghastly hot these days so we kept things simple. Lemon panko thyme salmon - ah so good! I am really glad I love something that is good for me. 

Soba salad, inspired by Wheat Bamkuchen. A keeper. Definitely a great dish for the hot summer days.

Hope your weekend was just as good too!