Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Moments And Memories - March School Holiday 2015

Monday, 23 March 2015 marks an important date in Singapore history because our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew has passed away peacefully at the age of 91. With the great lost and seven-day of national mourning, members of the public flooded to join the long waiting queue (waited as long as 10 hours) to pay their last respects for Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the Lying-in-State located in Parliament House. Indeed it was a long and heart wrenching week for everyone in Singapore but Mr Lee's name will forever be remembered in our heart for his contributions to build a better Singapore (read more @ http://www.rememberingleekuanyew.sg/).


Moments of Memories
While reading through some articles as well as video documentaries about Mr Lee's life and his contributions to build the country, I realize family value and support plays a great role in our life too. Personally I believe by doing simple routines together like having meals, chatting, strolling in the park, picnic or some fun activities are all moments that we share and memories that we keep as a family.

And as frequent readers of this site I am sure you know I don't usually shared photos or stories about my family unless during special occasions or in our travelogues. So in this "special" post I just wish to pen down some memories that shared between me and the boy during the holiday which we both treasured.


SATURDAY, 14 MARCH 2015


One of our favoruite weekend breakfast treat.
Weekend breakfast is often something that we look forward to because we get to enjoy various choices apart from the school day menu with "bread and milk/coffee". For western breakfast; McDonald Breakfast Deluxe is always our pick because the boy gets to eat his pancake with scrambled egg and hashbrown whereas I enjoy the muffin with jam and meat patty.

One of the weekend homecook dinner.
This year I almost have no time to prepare proper dinner ever since the boy has all his enrichment classes scheduled on weekdays (afternoon/evening). So now instead of eating out during weekend I will make an effort to cook on Saturday night to minimize the number of takeaway on each week.


SUNDAY, 15 MARCH 2015


Beauty products from Korea.
Souvenir for aunty whom returned from her recent trip to Korea.

Cze Char Dishes and Desserts
Sunday takeaway with local dishes such as; (top left) Hainanese Pork Chop Rice, Seafood Fried RIce and Sweet Sour Pork Rice plus dessert like Ice Jelly Cocktail and Bo Bo Cha Cha (a hot/cold colorful dessert made of coconut milk, steamed yam, sweet potatoes and chewy tapioca flour chunks).


MONDAY, 16 MARCH 2015


Bus ride!
During the March school holidays, the boy and I had a fun week packed with food, shopping and activities which we planned after he completed all his holiday homework during the weekend.

Morning tea-break at Tiong Bahru Bakery
On Monday since I need to get some baking stuffs from Sunlik at Seah Street, we decided to head down earlier so that we could grab some croissants for tea break at Tiong Bahru Bakery (city hall outlet). We love their flaky and buttery croissants which makes a satisfactory treat.

From Seah Street we took a walk to Bras Basah Complex which used to call "Book City - 书城" in the early days. We went around the mall and found many shops and stalls selling both new and used books which some of those are from my era that I shared the stories my boy.

Next we head over to Victoria Street where CHIJMES located and honestly speaking it was our first time stepping into this beautiful historic building which seems to be a history class for us.

Yakun @ Far East Square
After which we took a bus to Hong Lim Food Complex to have lunch as well as getting some Tau Sar Piah from Tan Hock Seng Cake Shop (陈福成饼家) and enjoy a cup of traditional coffee from Ya Kun, flagship outlet at Far East Square.

[Dessert] Milk Cow at The Cathay
Since we were in town, we decided to stop by at The Cathay to have some Korean soft-serve ice cream from Milk Cow which I read pretty good reviews on it. Moreover their ice-cream are made from certified organic milk where you can enjoy it with variety of toppings such as honeycomb, oreo cookies, kit kat, macarons and etc.


[Dessert] Milky Honey from Milk Cow
Each cup/cone of ice cream starts from SG$4.90 (plain - without any toppings) up to SG$6.50 with choices such as drizzled of flavored syrup like Pistachio or Affogato plus nuts and seeds. I tried their Milky Honey (SG$5.50) which comes with smooth and milky soft serve that pairs with generous amount of liquid honey which some might find it too sweet when comes to the end.

Heard that they have a second outlet opening soon at Novena (Velocity) which is pretty near our area. Will drop by soon to try their "M3 - Milky Cube" organic natural honeycomb and "M9 - Samsam" Red Ginseng syrup with Almond Flakes.

MILK COW
2 Handy Road, 01-03
The Cathay
Singapore 229233

Opening Hours:
11.30am to 9.50pm (Sunday to Thursday);
11.30am to 10.50pm (Friday, Saturday and Eve of public holidays)



TUESDAY, 17 MARCH 2015
(Prawning)


[Breakfast] Yakun; Kaya Butter Toast Set
One of the typical Singapore breakfast which consists of toast bread (spread with kaya and butter), coffee and soft-boiled egg that you can eat it anytime of the day. So that was our breakfast before  before heading to ORTO for another day of fun activities.

ORTO Leisure Park
We are fortunate to have direct buses to ORTO which takes less than 15 minutes from our home. Here is a photo of the side gate entrance along Yishun Ave 2 (opposite Yishun Stadium) which is about 8 minutes walk away from Khatib MRT station (refer to the map location here).

ORTO Leisure Park - Lotus Pond
ORTO is one of the largest leisure park located in the Northern area (Yishun/Sembawang) of Singapore which replaces the former "Bottle Tree Park" with range of facilities like prawning, fishing, paintball, Longkang fishing as well as restaurants and cafes.

[ORTO Leisure Park]: Fishing

[ORTO Leisure Park]: Rate card for pond fishing
Since it was our first visit, we decided to go around the park where we saw beautiful Lotus Pond located behind the Fishing area just next to the Transparent Lakehouse. Pond Fishing seems fun where we saw a two guys reeling in big fishes that weighs around 7 - 10kg each.

[ORTO Leisure Park] Prawning Area
There are about 10 individual pound available for prawning with either live fresh water prawns or  yabby (crayfish) in it.

[ORTO Leisure Park] Rate card for prawning and longkang fishing
Here is the rate card for prawning at ORTO. Personally I felt it was rather expensive when compared to the other few prawning places that we went. So in order to get a good bargain, perhaps you might want to visit them on weekday (since they open 24 hours) so that you get to save S$3.00 for student rate; meaning SG$11.00 per hour instead of SG$20.00.

Another separate area where they rare the prawns for prawning.
Below are some of our guides on prawning which you might be interested to take a look.

1. First get your prawning kits ready (rod and baits) and if possible go for the 3 hours package which is more worth of price as well as in term on timing (as sometime you might need to wait patiently for the prawns to get hook).

Prawning at ORTO - Baits
2. Get the Baits for Prawning: (left) live worm (S$2 a box) and chicken heart (complimentary).

3. Cut the baits into smaller pieces then secure it on the hook and off it goes into the water.....

4. Waiting patiently......

5. Yeah after 5 minutes of waiting time, we caught our 1st prawn which was around 4" long.

6. Next slowly remove the hook from the mouth of the prawn then place it into the net which hang by the side of the pond. After which secure new bait and off it goes into the water again for more catch.

*7. During weekend when they have huge crowds, prawns will be replenished into the pond on hourly basis to encourage more catch and level of excitement.

8. At the end most people would just cook the prawns on the spot with the provided BBQ grill so as to enjoy their labour of the day.

9. For us we prefer to bring the prawns back and bake it with garlic butter or throw them into noodles together with other ingredients.



WEDNESDAY, 18 MARCH 2015
(Picnic @ Lower Peirce Reservoir)


Picnic at Lower Pierce Reservior
On Wednesday morning after packing up some light snacks and etc we took a direct bus which was about 20 minutes away from our home to Lower Pierce Reservoir along Old Upper Thomsom area. Upon arrived we stop by at a nearby petrol kiosk to grab some hot snacks like steamed bun and puffs as well as drinks for our picnic. Felt so happy as we finally made it for the "real" outdoor picnic instead of often having it at the park near our block.

While munching the snacks I joke with the boy that I should have made him a cute bento with sandwiches or fried bee hoon plus some sides but he smiled and replied that he was contented with whatever we had on the mat.

Beside picnic, we also have some fun activities catching crayfish (yabby), shrimps and small fishes at the rock area near the fishing spot. If you are lucky you would be able to catch some cute "blue-clawed yabby" which often hide beneath the rocks.

In order to catch them:
1. Tie a piece of bread (wholemeal bread seems to work wonder) at the top on a wooden chopsticks;
2. Place the bread stick inside a small net,
3. Lower them into the water near the rock area to lure out the yabby;
4. Once the yabby appear, make sure they went into the middle of the net before you scoop it up immediately.

Our pet yabbies
We love to keep these yabbies as pet so whenever we caught one we would bring it back and add it together with the rest. At the moment we have 4 yabbies all growing well and their lifespan can max up to a year or a year and the half.

Japanese lunch at Sushi Tei
Since we were at Thomson area, the boy suggest to have western lunch at Swensen's in Thomson Plaza. But unfortunately the queue was too long so we had to go for another alternative choice at Sushi Tei which luckily took us less than 10 minutes wait.

The boy had Ebi Don whereas I had Chirashi Don and Fried Salmon Collar!

After a satisfied lunch, we walked around the mall and spotted this "paid to use" massage chair with a minimum charges of SG$2.00 for 6 minutes. Emmm the boy was enjoy it and keep on giggle as he felt so ticklish while the massage chair was working on him.


THURSDAY, 19 MARCH 2015
(recipes testing + photo shoot)


Suppose to go Airport with the boy on Thursday to have lunch (either Swensen's or Paris Baguette) and at the same time enjoy the views, activities (they have the Hobbit Village At Terminal T3) and air-condition. But last minute we have a change of plans and decided to work on one of my recipe testing instead.

So after brunch we went for grocery shopping to get the necessary ingredients and I am thankful that the boy is used and keen with this kind of chores so no problem working together with him as my little assistant.

[Recipe Testing] Cheesy Penne with Salmon and Broccoli
Test out a under 30 minutes quick lunch recipe using laughing cow cream cheese, milk and cheddar to whip up this Cheesy Penne with salmon and broccoli in creamy white sauce. The overall taste was good, not too creamy or overpower of taste. Will share the related recipe in another post this week.

Old school bak chor mee
Another noodle dish for dinner which I bought from a stall at Chong Pang Food Market and it is the only stall that sell Satay Bee Hoon ever since from my secondary school days (more than 15 years). And if you don't fancy bee hoon with peanut sauce, perhaps their Bak Chor Mee might meet your standard with ingredients like minced meat, braised mushroom, beansprouts, slices of pork meat and liver toss together with springy noodle and well-balanced sauce.


FRIDAY, 20 MARCH 2015
(Frozen Themed Cake; Olaf from BreadTalk)


FROZEN Themed Cake from BreadTalk.

FROZEN Themed Cake from BreadTalk - Olaf
On Friday morning we went out to run some errands and came back with a surprised waiting for us from BreadTalk. This adorable Olaf cake from BreadTalk comes in light vanilla-sponge cake filled with luscious Chantilly cream and bits of mixed fruits as fillings.

There are a total of 6 different design "Frozen Fever" inspired bakes which available in 2kg or 5kg with Chantilly or Chocolate at all BreadTalk outlets island-wide from 13 March - 13 June 2015. Meanwhile they are also having a 15% OFF from 20 - 31 March 2015 with purchased of any Frozen Themed whole cakes. And for UOB Cardmemebers the 15% OFF is valid until 30 June 2015.


SATURDAY, 21 MARCH 2015
(Dim Sum Breakfast)


Weekend dim sum breakfast
Woke up early on Saturday morning to grab some dim sum for our breakfast. Starting from top left we had: Fun Choy, Siew Mai (烧卖), Lo Mai Gai (steam glutinous rice with chicken - 糯米鸡) and Big Pork Bun (大包). Oh not to forget plus a can of my favourite old school kopi (coffee).

Egg Tarts
While eat the dim sum we kind of craving for some hot and flaky egg tart but too bad this stall only make and sell steamed dim sum items.


SUNDAY, 22 MARCH 2015
(Blessed Sunday)


Taken after our Sunday church service.

Sunday brunch at E.A.T Noodle
Our Sunday brunch is often at our favourite Mixed Vegetable Rice (Chap Chye Png - 杂菜饭) near Yishun MRT Station. Although their daily variety of dishes are almost the same but many loyal patrons like us are contented with its homely style of taste. Beside that the noode stall at North Point Shopping Mall is also another of our frequent venue but recently their standard of Bak Chor Mee seems to drop as compared to few months back.

Waffle treat at Mootime.
As the weather was so warm and humid in the afternoon, we decided to cool ourselves with some ice-cream at a nearby creamery. And with 3 choices available at our area (read more here for cafe and creamery at north), the boy decided on Mootime because he loves their Hazelnut ice-cream which resemble Ferrero Rocher/Nutella. But on that day our order was Waffle + 2 Scoops (SG$8.50) with Rum and Raisins and Ferrero Rocher since hazelnut flavor was not available.

With all these wonderful memories it marks the end of the 7 days March school holiday which the boy and I treasure as a beautiful chapter in our life. Now we are looking forward to June school holidays where we have more time (4 weeks) to plan our activities or perhaps a short trip too.

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