Blessed Christmas!

This is our first Christmas tree.

We had wanted to buy a Christmas tree years ago but procrastinated. At least this procrastination works well for us this round.

We have an unusual Christmas tree that will not take up too much space after the season. We had fun decorating it. It doesn’t need light as the silver material will flicker in the night light.

This is good enough, at least for us. Do you have a Christmas tree that you like?

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Personalise our wall

I have been busy moving in the past months. Packing and unpacking is no fun. It is a good time to clear clutter, but only when you have time before the move.

After the move comes the organising (of furnitures) and decorating. The fun part is of course with the decorating.

With the decorative brain juice going on yesterday, we decorated a plain wall with items that could have otherwise been with Mr Bin.

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Are they cute?

Yes! These plastic easter egg shells could have been dumped! With the help of blue tak and our beloved kitties collection, our plain wall has been transformed.

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Before the kitties went into their "pink houses"

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All done!

A house is just a house, but it becomes a home when you personalise it, don’t you think so?

Air Fried Breaded Chicken

We bought the Japanese panko (bread crumbs) from the supermarket the other day. We wanted to try it on chicken and air fryer. Usually we will use chicken breast as it’s healthier. You may think the end result should be dry especially if it’s air fried and breaded? Not sure if it’s because of the short timing, the chicken was not dry but moist and quite well flavoured considered I only marinated the chicken for about 1 hour. My family loves it so much that by the time I sat down to start eating, only few pieces left for me. 😦

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Breaded Chicken

First we “butterfly” the chicken breast. Then we marinate it. I like to use a folk to poke the meat first before marinating. Hopefully it can absorb more of the seasoning. I “concocted” this seasoning based on what I have on hand in my pantry. You can also do the same.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp japanese mayo (kewpie is fine)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp corn flour or plain flour

Chicken breast meat 2 pieces

Panko or Bread crumb
Salt
Pepper
Dried parsley

Directions:
1. Cut the chicken breast into thin slices. Poke the meat with a fork for better absorption.

2. Marinate chicken with the wet seasoning. Leave for at least 1 hour.

3. Scoop out bread crumbs onto a plate. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and dried parsley and mix well.

4. Coat chicken with bread crumb. “Paint” some oil on the baking paper. Lay chicken flat (don’t overlap them) on baking paper.

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Just before going into air fryer

5. Air fry chicken at 180 degrees for about 13 to 15 minutes depending on thickness of chicken.

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Just out from air fryer

Note:
1. I like to drain away the wet seasoning from the chicken before coating it with bread crumb. Remainder seasoning I will usually use it to cook other dishes.

2. As I don’t like too much bread crumb on the chicken and to prevent contamination on my bread crumb, I like to use 2 plates and a spoon. One plate for bread crumb, 1 empty plate to lay the chicken, then spoon over the bread crumb onto the chicken. Making sure my spoon don’t touch the chicken.

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Applying bread crumbs

A Colourful Loom Holiday

During the June holiday, I thought of getting the kiddo involved in some activities. So I bought a loom kit for beginners. I thought as long we finish it, that’s it, at least we would have done something interesting during the school holidays. Never did we know that we’ll be hooked after that first kit was finished!

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Isn't it interesting that rubber bands can be made to these?

I realised doing the loom can train the kiddo’s fine motor skills. I am surprised that she knows the fishtail method better than the single band method. I salute the creator of rainbow loom who can come up with such brilliant idea of turning simple rubble bands into something nice. Not forgetting the many creative creators who made so many charms, bracelets and many things on YouTube for people to follow.

Before we know it, our first kit finished. So I ordered more loom refills. While waiting for the loot to arrive impatiently, we started another “project”. A proper “house” for the loom bands, as the kiddo puts it.

We started to look for nice box and finally found a transparent box at the local $2 shop. It’s about the size of a shoe box. First thing we checked was to ensure the loom board can fit inside the box. It did. Next, the partition. The partition we found could not “stand” properly and would wiggle and fall when reaching for the bands. The bands would also “shift” beneath the partition. Out!

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Original "design" of our loom house

Our search for smaller boxes or partition yielded nothing. We cracked our heads and finally thought why not make our own partitions or little boxes. So we used coloured art and crafts paper to fold into half boxes and tape four together to form a single tray. Like the orange one below. You know the folding method is like those where the aunties usually fold the boxes to collect rubbish from guests during CNY.

Ta – da! Our colourful trays of colours!

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Love the colours!

When the loot finally arrived, we can’t wait to tear them open!

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Seen the torn sign?

About the segregating of colours. Initially I wanted to categorise them by the types of bands. Eg. Glitter, jelly, neon etc. But the kiddo wanted to categorise by colour family. I realised her idea was better since I can see the colours within the colour family easier.

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Are they colourful?

The boxes fit nicely into the biggy box, including space for the loom board and hook.

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Nice?

It’s also convenient to just remove the specific tray that I want to use and keep the rest in the biggy box.

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" Our Loom house"

Looks like this activity is here to stay. Very interesting and fun. My most satisfied “product” so far.

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Baby Ariel

So are you looming yet?

Overnight Oats and Oatmilk Powder

I have been introduced to overnight oats and oatmilk powder recently. Oats is low in Glycemic index (GI ) and its “may-reduce-weight” possibility attracted me.

A family member told me that her nutritionist recommended oatmilk powder as a dinner replacement if dinner time is after 8pm. Plus I remember an ex-colleague who had reduced her weight because she had oats for breakfast every morning. Too bad I didn’t get to ask the details of how she did it and we had no contacts since.

So I set off to google about overnight oats as my breakfast and searching for oatmilk powder as my dinner replacement. (Probably not daily but few times a week should help?)

There’s lots of recipes out there about overnight oats. I tried it and love it since. Now I don’t really follow any recipe. Just variations of how thick or diluted you want your oats to be. It is not restrictive and up to your creativity.

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Coffee flavoured with chia seeds

I must say this overnight oats is much more interesting and yummy than the typical instant oats I had in the past. In the past, I just mixed instant oats with hot water, milk and honey. But I dislike the slimy aftertaste. Somehow I tasted less of the slimy aftertaste with overnight oats. Plus now I use rolled oat which is supposed to be better and less processed than instant oats.

To do the overnight oats, just combine oats, pinch of salt, raisins, dried cranberries or any nuts you can find in your pantry. When ready, just pour milk into the oats and mix. I have made varieties of this overnight oats including chocolate and mocca flavour. Just mix hot water with cocoa powder/coffee granules before adding into oats followed by milk. One day I should try macha flavour. (Yucky?) I even added chia seeds for the pudding feel. Overnight oats will taste better with some honey added though.

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Getting ready to put them all together

Now about oats milk powder, it’s really expensive. Over here, a tin can sell for over $30 to $40. I like the taste. It has this beta glucan which is the fibre which makes it more expensive. The oatmilk should help to last thru my dinner but I found myself getting real hungry nearing midnight. (I don’t sleep that early u see…) So this didn’t last as being my dinner replacement. (I have in fact avoided carb at dinner time, see if it helps me)

Not willing to spend more on oatmilk powder, I started to explore and “d-i-y”. I thought maybe if I “process” the rolled oats in my blender into powder form, I should get similar oatmilk powder. Not exactly but similar. So yesterday I took out my dusty blender,  blitz thru the oats into powder. Mixed it into milk, just like overnight oats. It tasted as good too. Just don’t have the chewing part.

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Coffee flavour oats (see the powder at the bottom?)

Then I read my rolled oats packaging, I realised it has beta glucan! My rolled oats cost me only $3 plus! No other addictives and chemicals if I processed them myself! The good thing is it still taste as good. Taste more like smoothie then oats. Hmm…. more varieties for my breakfast now.

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Packaging of my rolled oats

I am so excited that I planned to blitz more of my oats into powder tonight. Maybe I will explore adding this “special” powder into my baked goods in future. 🙂

Update:

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Spot the difference

Can you spot the difference? The one on the left is commercial oats milk powder (received some samples from someone) and the right is the oats that I blitz. Commercial oats is more refine and mine not. Other than that I am not sure what other ingredients are added to the commercials but I know mine is mainly oats.