Chinese New Year Holiday is over and school had already started on Monday. Overall, we had a great long weekend although most of the time we just stayed at home. It was great because the three of us could have a long holiday together (daddy already had his holiday since Wednesday and on that day school finished at 10 am with no lesson at all, so we considered Wednesday was already our holiday).
I came to school to watch the performance and although most of the P3 students didn’t perform (except for the Higher Mother Tongue Class), but I enjoyed watching the Wushu, Chinese Dance, Guzheng, choir performance, or just chit chat with other parents on the back of the hall. There was also Lion Dance Performance (barongsai) which the children and parents liked so much. We still stayed after school to take pictures with his friends in the canteen area.
Based from our experience last year, we chose to stay at home most of the time to avoid the crowd. Even the boy refused to go out and preferred to relax, enjoy, and read books at home (he said that himself), but he went to Pasir Ris Park Playground one time and the playground near our home almost everyday. He would see first from the kitchen windows whether other kids were already there, if it was still empty he wouldn’t want to go.
We already borrowed some books from the library, so we had many books to read. The boy also went for swimming lesson and we had lunch with his friend and her family after that. It was great as we could spend the time together and even at lunch time the children chose to sit side by side………so sweet……………
On the morning of Chinese New Year, we gave his red packets and continued the day as usual. We planned to go out but thinking that most restaurants would be closed and the ones opened would be very crowded, we decided to stay at home and eat home cooked food.
After almost 3 days stayed at home, we finally got bored and decided to go to the cinema to watch this movie:
Since we stayed home most of the time, of course I also had to cook most of our meals and snacks. Being at home with one big boy and 1 small boy at home, it felt like I couldn’t stop doing this and that in the kitchen. For the snacks, I made pudding, cheese white bread, croutons, and mung bean porridge (bubur kacang hijau), Since the supermarket and wet market were closed or only opened half day during the holiday, I already stocked my food ingredients in my fridge. Since I didn’t need to supervise the lil one on his study (he was free from studying for 3 days) and had daddy to accompany him to play, I could cook some dishes that take quite a long time to make. Mostly, I cooked different things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If I already cooked dishes that took time to make, for the rest of the day I only made simple ones like this:
For me, when I can already make the dish that I really like at home, then when I go out to the restaurants, I never want to order that dish again…………..because I can make it at home and the taste is also good, so why must I order it again when I dine out?
Like for pancakes, we never but pancakes anymore now, whenever we want to eat pancakes, I just make at home. The same case with this aglio olio. It is definitely one of my favorite and it was very often that I ordered this when I dined out. Now that I know it’s very easy to prepare this at home, I never want to order this anymore from the restaurant. Daddy, who is not a big fan of pasta, also likes what I make at home (yayyy…..), so I made this simple dish for our dinner on Sunday night (for both of us because the lil one doesn’t like simple pasta dish like this).
My Spaghetti Aglio Olio Simple Recipe
Ingredient for Spaghetti Aglio Olio
- 1 portion of cooked spaghetti
- 5 garlic, mince
- 5 peeled prawns
- 1 small packet of red chili
- 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Add olive oil in a pan and wait until it’s hot
- Add garlic, stir fry until fragrant
- Add prawns, stir fry until the color change into pink
- Add spaghetti and salt and chili
- Mix together
Although it’s simple, but it still needs a lot of washing to do………
One of our favorite food is also……of course………..fried noodle. I like to use Indonesian egg noodle because somehow it tastes better and the curly structure is also nicer after the cooking is done. I’ve served this when my friends and their children came for play date in our house, and it was a big hit and finished quicker than other food. Indonesian recipe for fried noodle is different that the usual fried noodle that I find in here, and since I am used to this kind of fried noodle, I like this one better.
The lil one had been asked for croutons since last month, and kept asking of when I would make them, and he even gave me a deadline, hahaha…………
To make good croutons, I had to make the white bread first. I tried to use white bread that I bought from the bakery several times, but the results were never good enough for us. So I always stick of making my own bread when making croutons.
Other dish that both boys love is fish soup and they usually order this when we dined in the food court, and as far as I remember, they never order this again for a very long time, and it’s because I already learnt how to make delicious and yummy fish soup. At home, I make a different kind of fish soup (from combining this and that recipes), and so far the taste is absolutely much much better than any fish soup that we’ve ordered before. The soup in the fish soup in here is usually clear one or with milk. As far as I could see, the soup only use garlic and ginger and fish bones for the soup.
The secret to a much better taste of fish soup for me is to add Indonesian spices (and lots of them) which will strengthen the taste of the soup. It is additional work of course, but the taste is different and everybody in the house said the soup is very tasty and different.
The soup itself is made from prawn stock (first cook) and then combine with fish stock from the fish flesh and bones (second cook).
Fish Soup in Prawn Stock Recipe
Ingredient for the Prawn Stock
- Prawn skins, heads, and shells (wash thoroughly) from 1 kg of prawns
- 2 thumbs of ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, slice
- 5 shallots, mince
- 10 garlic, mince
- 1 tomato, cut 8
- 15 lime leaves
- 5 salam leaves (Indonesian bay leave – optional)
- 2 lemon grass
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 L of water
- 2 tsp sugar
Making Prawn Stock
- Prepare a large pan in medium heat, add unsalted butter until melted
- Add ginger, stir fry until fragrant
- Add onion, shallots, garlic, stir fry until fragrant
- Add prawn skins, head, shells, tomato, lemon grass, and stir fry until prawn skins turn pink
- Add lime leaves and salam leaves, stir fry for 1 minute
- Add water
- Bring the stock until boil (cook in low heat until at least 2 hours)
- Turn off the heat, cover the pan for another 1 hour
- Strain the stock through sieve and transfer the stock into another pot. Discard everything except the soup in the pot
- To make the fish soup, I only used half the portion of the soup. I freeze the other half for further use
Ingredient for the Fish Soup
- Prawn Stock
- 200 gr batang fish (or any white fish that you like), slice. I usually ask the fish monger to cut two the fillet fish and take out the whole bone. I added the whole bone in the soup
- 1 tomato, cut 8
- 1 soybean curd / tau kwa, cut in small cubes
- 1 tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 handful of celery leaves
- 2 tbsp fried shallot (ready to use in a packet)
Making Fish Soup
- Combine the prawn stock, salt, sugar, sliced fish, tomato, and soybean curd in a pot
- Cook until boil and the fish is tender
- Turn off the heat
- Add celery leaves and fried shallots, mix together
- Cover the pot for 1 minute
- Serve hot
Yes, there are many things to prepare and do, but the result is amazing…………..so I always stick to this recipe when I make fish soup.
What did I do with the remaining of the soup in the fridge?
I’m a big fan of tekwan but never made this before. So when I had extra prawn stock and found fresh batang fish in the wet market, I decided to try this recipe which is actually very easy. Tekwan usually use yam bean (bengkuang) and sedap malam (don’t know what’s in English), but since it’s I did’t find them in the market, I just added whatever vegetables I had in the fridge.
- Prawn Stock
- 200 gram tengiri / mackerel fish
- egg white from 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 25 ml cold water
- 50 gr tapioca starch
- Celery leaves and fried shallots for toppings
- Boil water in a pot
- Process the fish in a food processor, and then mix with egg white, sugar, salt, ice water, and tapioca starch in a bowl
- Make fish balls with spoon or hand, and cook in the pot until they float
- Strain and discard the water
- Cook the fish balls again in the prawn stock until boil
- Turn off the heat, add celery leaves and fried shallots
- Serve hot
I also made fried shrimp with mayonnaise and it tasted tasted so yummy. I do not make this very often because shrimp, frying process, and mayonnaise are actually not good combination of healthy food (say hi to high cholesterol level after you eat this………..), but it was holiday so let’s just make something special. One big salad bowl topped with homemade croutons accompanied our lunch.
Fried Shrimp with Mayonnaise Recipe
- 12 peeled and deveined large shrimp, marinate with a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of blended garlic
- 2 tbsp bread crumb (or more)
- 1 tbsp of all purpose flour, mix with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of blended garlic and 25 ml of water (the amount of water depends on how much flour is used)
- Dredge shrimp in flour mixture
- Dredge shrimp in breadcrumbs, shake off excess breading
- Deep fry the shrimp
- Mix shrimp with mayonnaise
If I didn’t have much time to cook (because we were very lazy during the holiday, we woke up late and also took long nap, and after we woke up we usually felt hungry so I needed to prepare something quick), I made simple dish like this:
One of the lil boy’s favorite food is my home made crispy and salty potato chips. I don’t make this very often because it takes lots of time and energy and cleaning process to make this. To avoid the chips from burning, I usually fry them in small batches, so I need to fry two or three times. I can’t do other things because when frying this, I need to stay close to the pan, turning frequently so they won’t get burn (not over cook or under cook). And after the frying, I have to clean the stove, the kitchen top, and the kitchen floor because the oil usually splashes here and there…………..and many other things to do…………..
Since I hadn’t made this for a long time, I decided to make these chips again, and this time, being too ambitious, I used 2 kg of fries……………phew……..what a work. But everyone loved it and I had to keep the chips away from the dining table, because if not it would be finished very soon. Lil boy loved it so much, because they were salty and still crispy even until 3 days. Here is the secret of making super crispy potato chips.
Home Made Potato Chips Recipe
- 2 kg of potatoes (I used US Russet and Berastagi potatoes), peeled, make round thin slice with potato slicer
- 1 big bowl of cold water
- Oil to fry
- Put the fries in a large bowl of cold water and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight (this is to remove all the starch from the potatoes and to make them crispier
- Drain the fries well and pat dry with paper towels
- Add salt and mix well
- Heat the oil in a large non stick pan over medium heat
- Fry the potatoes in batches, turning frequently until golden brown
- Remove with the skimmer and drain on clean paper towels
I served the chips with fried chicken in Worcester Sauce which was also a hit that night. Everything was finished quickly. I already shared the recipe once, but I will share again in here. This is absolutely a recommended dish and guarantee everyone, including children will love it.
Fried Chicken in Worcester Sauce Recipe
Making the Fried Chicken
- Cut in long thin slice 250 gr chicken fillet
- Marinate the chicken with: 5 garlic (blend), 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tbsp tapioca/corn starch. Put in the fridge for 1 hour
- Deep fry the chicken until golden brown
- Set aside
Making the Worcester Sauce
- 1 large onion, slice
- 5 garlic, mince
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- Sauce mixture (set aside in a small bowl): 2 tbsp Worcester sauce (kecap inggris), 1 tsp sweet soy sauce, 1/2 tsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sugar
- 200 ml water
- Melt butter in a pan in medium heat
- Add garlic, stir fry until fragrant
- Add large onion, stir fry again until fragrant
- Add sauce mixture, bring to boil
- Add the fried chicken, mix with the sauce, and cook until there’s no more water in the pan
- Serve on a plate and add tomato, cucumber, and lettuce. Serve with the potato chips
And that was all we did during the holiday………………see ya in another holiday activities (and that will be March holiday which we’re still confuse of what to do……)