Daniel turns 3

Daniel turned 3 this week. How time flies! Looking through snapshots of him over the last 3 years really brought back fond memories. How quickly kids grow up! Really need to cherish every moment of their growing years and create many wonderful memories.

We decided not to have a party since he does not have many friends and a party would just be for the adults. Maybe next time when he has more friends to invite. Nonetheless, we had a great time celebrating with family and friends which made it a very memorable occasion. We are thankful to be able to celebrate with our family and close friends and we were much blessed by their prayers and gifts. Daniel sure enjoyed himself …..being able to sing the birthday song and blow candles a few times with different groups and he enjoyed his many new toys.

Highlights of his birthday this year:

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Playing with the game Shane and Anne gave him …..love his expressions!

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Popiah Party

Popiah has been a regular dish at my family dinner table since I was young. My grandma used to make it for family dinner from time to time. After she stopped cooking, my mum has continued with this tradition. So a few times a year, this will be a meal for us which we all enjoy and always look forward too. Ivan and I have tried doing popiah by ourselves for a gathering about 5 years ago, but it was not too successful. Decided to have another go at it for our Nov birthday gathering for Nov babies – Ivan, Xinyi and Daniel. So once again, I got the recipe from my mum). This is the recipe that my family has been using to make delicious popiah all this while. This time round, we were quite successful and it was quite well-received by our guests.

Ingredients (for about 8 pax)

1. 3 medium sized turnips

2. 2 medium carrots

3. 2 bunches of Chinese lettuce

4. 1 cucumber

5. 6 eggs

6. 1/2 kg prawns

7. 4 medium tau kwa

8. 100 gm beansprouts

9. Parsley

10. Chopped nuts (readily grinded ones are available at supermarket)

11. 5 chillis

12. 1-2 garlics

13. Tao chio (We use the one with the picture of a green urn which can only be found in wet markets)

14. Sweet black sauce (We use the one with yellow cap and manufactured by Sin Ngee Seng)

15. Sugar

16. Salt

17. 30-40 pieces of popiah skin (We usually use frozen ones from NTUC – cheap and good! Or can be bought from shops selling popiah too but this is much more expensive from $16 onwards per kg. This time, we found some at a dry goods shop in the market at $11/kg but I found them to be a little dry.)

Main preparation for popiah is to cook the turnip. The rest of the ingredients are quite easy to prepare.

Method for cooking turnip:

1. Shred the turnip. (This takes quite a while depending on how good your equipment is!)

2. Peel the prawns and keep the shells for the stock. Set the prawns aside for later use.

3. Fry the prawns and about 500 ml water to prepare the prawn stock. Let it simmer for a while. Set the stock aside for later use.

4. Fry 2 tablespoon garlic with oil.

5. Add 3 tablespoons tau chio and fry.

6. Add prawn stock.

7. Add shredded turnip.

8. Stir and balance the taste with sugar and salt.

9. Cover the wok and stir occasionally till the turnip is soft.

Method for the rest of the popiah ingredients:

1. Eggs – Hard boil them and slice them.

2. Prawns – fry with some garlic and dice them.

3. Cucumber – remove centre and skin and shred.

4. Tau kwa – slice into strips and fry.

5. Beansprouts – Blanch them in boiling water.

6. Chilli paste – Blend the chilli into a chili paste.

7. Garlic – Blend/Mince till fine.

To roll and wrap the popiah:

1. Lay out the skin

2. Put a piece of lettuce

3. Spread sweet sauce, chilli and garlic onto skin/lettuce

4. Add all the popiah ingredients

5. Top with turnip

6. Wrap and roll!

To wrap and roll a nice popiah requires skill  …… which even after making for so many years, my skill is far from perfect! Some tips: Too much filling will cause it to burst easily. It also helps to drain the turnip so that it is dry and will not cause the skin to break easily. Having a sharp knife to cut the popiah also helps.

Birthday date at Dozo

This is our second time back at Dozo. The first time was on Valentine’s Day in 2011. Obviously the food was good enough for us to decide to come back a second time. It was the birthday boy’s choice. He has been wanting to come back again for some time and we finally had the chance.

This time we came for lunch. Dozo serves French-Jap fusion food. For lunch, they serve a 6 course lunch and for dinner 7 course. Diners get to select from various options for each course. Here’s a glimpse of what we ate.
My favourite for the night were the escargots and the crab bisque which were really yummy and rich in flavour. Ivan of course ordered the lava cake which he loves and which has since set the benchmark for all other lava cakes!

Complimentary drinks to start off the 6 course lunch:

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First course for me and him:

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2nd course: Escargots for me and Soft shell crab for Ivan

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3rd course: I chose Crab Bisque and Ivan chose Clam soup.

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Fourth course: My duck and his Kurubuta Pork.

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5th course: Matcha ice-cream and Lava cake

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6th course: Ice Fruit tea

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After that, we went to catch Thor:The dark world. Pretty much enjoyed the movie though it was more of Ivan’s kind of movie.

Dozo Restaurant

#02-02/03, Valley Point Shopping Centre, 491 River Valley Road

Fun at JB

Recently, we spent a night in JB. Our purpose of going into JB this time (besides stocking up on Daniel’s milk powder!) is to bring Daniel to the Little Big Club – a small theme park with some of his favourite characters like Thomas, Barney and Bob the Builder. Kinda like a birthday treat for him too since his birthday is at the end of the month. I found the entrance free to be a little expensive. RM75 for adults. If you purchase the 2 park price – which allows you to visit Hello Kitty Land as well, it’s RM110. Kids under the age of 3 get to enter for free. By the time we reached, it was almost noon, hence we felt that we only had time for one theme park before proceeding to drive to KSL hotel to check-in.

Little Big Club is a rather small theme park. Can be completed in about 2 hours. There are a variety of rides built around themes like Thomas, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina and Barney. There are also some indoor playgrounds which kids can spend a good amount of time in. However, because of it’s size and lack of rides for adults – most of the rides are more suitable for young children, I find the ticket price of RM75 to be expensive for adults who are merely accompanying their kids in. This is unlike theme parks like Legoland or Disneyland which adults get to enjoy too.

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Later that evening, after checking into the hotel, we also had some water fun at the dinosaur water park at KSL hotel which was free to enter for hotel guests. It had quite a few shallow pools and a couple of slides. Like a big water playground. Would be nicer if it had more fun features though.

The next day in JB was shopping day and R&R. We all slept in, had a late breakfast and walked around KSL mall. In the afternoon, we went to check out the Johor Premium outlets. And in the evening, our final stop was the supermarket to pick up our usual supply of Yakult and milk powder before heading home.

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