Sunday, February 28, 2010

Last Year

Adrian and I were watching the 2010 Winter Olympics on TV.

Adrian:  Mommy, was last year 29?

Me:  No, last year was 2009.

Adrian:  No, mommy, I mean 20-9!  Otherwise, why do they call it 20-10 this year?

Phone Number

I always insist speaking to Olivia in Cantonese, even if she speaks English to me.  Olivia is not feeling well today.  I told her that she wouldn't be going to school tomorrow.  She's disappointed, but still agreed to stay with grandma. 

Olivia:  Ok, but will you call the school to tell them that I'm not going there?

Me:  我會. (I will)

Olivia:  Do you have their phone number?

Me:  有。(Yes)

Olivia:  What is it?

Me:  九零五 二零一 八四六一。(905- 201 8461)

Olivia: You have to tell me in English, because 中文我淨係識: 一,二,三,四,五,六,七,八,九,十,十一,十二,十三,十四,十五,十六,十七, 嗰D㗎咋。because in Chinese I only know: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17, those words)

Me:  妹妹,都係嗰啲數目字嚟㗎咋。(Livie, they are the same numbers)

Olivia:  They are?

Pork Back Ribs

Bought the ribs awhile back.  I've always thought that it would take a long time to marinade and cook it.  Found a quick and easy marinade from Canadian Living online so I tried it, added a few more things myself.  It was very good and juicy.  Total time used might be 1 hour 40 mins only, that includes oven time already.  

Look how juicy it is?  Bones fall off right at the first bite!

Adrian also likes it a lot.  He's packing some for lunch too, with corn and veggie noodles...  Yummy...

I better type the recipe out before I forget what I added:

Marinade for one rack of ribs

ketchup 1 cup (I think it can be reduced to 3/4 cup next time, I find the taste was too overpowering)

red wine vinegar 1/4 cup

sugar 1 tbsp

worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp

cajun spice  2 tsp (I used Emeril Essence which I mixed from scratch, recipe gotten online)

Rest of the ingredients are my personal addition:

corn syrup 2 tbsp

onion powder 1 1/2 tbsp

minced garlic 1 tsp

unsweetened apple sauce 1/3 cup

Mix everything together.  Brush 2/3 of the marinade on ribs and leave it on for at least 30 mins.  Put in foil lined roasting pan, cover with foil and place on lowest rack in the oven at 350 degrees F  for 1 hour.  Remove the foil cover, braise with remaining marinade.  Move the pan to top rack and broil on high for 5 mins.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bread - Baking Arts #6

I got carried away playing with the dough shaping, I even missed the chance to let the dough rest.   In structor had to put them in the oven as soon as I finished braiding them.  Lucky us, the GB oven in our lab wasn't working.  Nothing was baked after awhile.  So our dough ended up getting enough time to rest.  I put cheese, sesame, poppy sees and even chilli powder on top.  Didn't know chilli powder bun can be so tasty!

Lemon Souffle

Went crazy this weekend.  Baked the bread at GB yesterday morning, did lemon souffle and creme caramel at night, then baked chocolate macaron cake for mom on Sunday.  4 baking projects in 2 days!  This souffle was a disaster.  The recipe said put in the oven for 7 mins.  I was wondering why the baking time was so short.  Turned out that it should be 12 mins instead.  Since I took it out from the oven to check, and then put it back, they were pretty much deflated when the time was up.  Taste was good though.  I also think the lemon juice can be reduced 1.5 lemons (I doubled the recipe to make 8)  Well, I'm sure I'll try it again soon.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Playing Teacher

Olivia is drawing on her doodle board before bedtime, pretending she is a teacher.  She wrote a "q" and an "a" on the board.

Olivia:  What is the difference between these?

Me:  One is a "q", one is an "a".

Olivia:  No.

Then she erased it and wrote the same thing again.

Olivia:  Now, look at them again, what is the difference?

Me:  (Then I wonder, maybe they are not alphabets, so I said:)  They are both circle with a line.  One line is longer, the other one is shorter?

Olivia:  No, (she pointed at the "q") this is the "a" you learn in PK1 (preschool 1), (while pointing at the "a", she said:) this is the "a" you learn in Grade 1.


This was from awhile back when Adrian was about 4.5 years old.  I was giving him a shower and we talked about last time he threw up because he was reading in the car.

Me:  If you read a book when the car is moving, you'll get nauseous easily.  That's car sick.

Adrian:  Why is it called car sick?

Me:  Well, you get sick, not feeling well in the car.  It was caused by riding in the car, that's why it's called car sick.  Yet I don't know why they call it sea sick  not boat sick when you are on a boat.

Adrian:  When you are sick at home, do you call it home sick?

無謂嘢 (Pointless Stuff)

Adrian and Olivia were having breakfast this morning.  They talked non-stop.  Most of the conversations were meaningless.  Adrian was even teasing Olivia at one time.

Me:  Adrian, 食早餐,晤好講咁多無謂嘢!eat your breakfast, stop saying so much “mo wai” (pointless) stuff.

Adrian:   乜嘢係無謂嘢呀 What is “mo wai” stuff?

Me:  Meaningless, useless things.

Adrian:  Useless?  We should use it more then…

Olivia:  No, that’s called “useful”!

Kids, they interpret words their own way.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

Made this for my husband's meeting at home. Dec 11, 2009.  It's Food Network recipe by Paula Deen.  After making this, I learned a trick from French Food At Home.  Put a piece of parchment paper at bottom of the ramekin before pouring the batter in.  Then when I flip the cake out, the thin top won't stick to the ramekin, like the one I had in the photo.  Another note, molten cake is only moist in centre, molten lava cake is the one with gooey batter flowing out from the centre.


 I didn't realize I was baking so frequently in the past 3 months until I started to look for pictures of my previous baking projects.  This one was made on Dec 6, 2009.  What a nice surprise.  I didn't expect the texture would be like this at all.  Like my husband said, "It's like cutting into a cloud."  Crunchy on the outside, marshmallowy on the inside.  A little too sweet even after I reduced the sugar to 7 oz.  I tried 6.5 oz after.  The crust was even thinner, so it would break easier.  I remember when I broke the first one I made, I also broke into tears because I spent so much time on it.  Luckily only part of it broke and you can't tell from the picture.

Peaches and Cream

Did this on Dec 7, 2009.  Combined Martha Stewart's Vanilla Sponge Cake and my sister's whipped cream recipes.  It actually tasted better on the second day.  The cake texture was dryer on the first day.  On second day, as the moisture from cream sunk in (I guess), the cake was moist, soft, and mix very well with the cream.  I'll try brushing a film of syrup on the cake layers before covering it with cream if I plan to eat it on the day I finish the cake.



I always try to encourage Adrian to eat vegetables.   Today we have "gai lan" at dinner.

Me:  This is also called Chinese Broccoli.

Adrian:  Chinese Broccoli?  How come it looks different?

Me:  Of course it's different, that's why it's called "Chinese" broccoli. You don't look the same as Adrian N. (his caucasian classmate), do you?


Adrian:  Mommy, we got a problem.  Everybody looks different!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another nap time story

Another nap time story

I just picked up Livie from skating class.  We were chatting on the way to grandma's house.

Olivia:  Mommy, can you check my communication book to see if I napped today?

Me:  Why don't you tell me yourself?

Olivia:  I could only remember Mrs. Bowen rubbing my back.  I don't remember what happened after.


Livie overheard daddy talking about Jackson.

Olivia: Was that Auntie Mila's wife?

Daddy: No, Livie, that's her husband.

Olivia:  Oh, so wife is a girl?


I tried making a new cake today.  Livie saw it before I decorated it with meringue.

Me:  Livie, do you think mommy's cake is successful this time?

Olivia:  (said reluctantly) It's ugly a little bit, but I'll try it...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chocolate Macaroon Cake with Toasted Meringue Frosting

I did it!  When I saw the picture from Fine Cooking Magazine, I said to myself, "I'm going to make it one day."  It's Jennifer's birthday and she likes macaroon.  So I found this macaroon cake recipe and was just wondering what I could put on there to dress it up.  Then I found from Zoe Bakes blog that she did the toasted meringue.  So I thought, "maybe I can really try it."  Thanks to Cherry, I don't need to buy the torch right away.

The original recipe called for 1.5 cups of egg whites, Zoe used 1 cup.  I followed Zoe's 1 cup recipe and had almost half left.  Yet her cake was a layered cake.  I would say, 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup will be enough to cover a small cake like mine.  I also reduced to sugar to 1 and 2/3 cup of sugar.  Reduced sugar in the cake recipe and macaroon recipe.  The sweetness level is just right for me.  Links to recipes are listed at the bottom of this post.

Look at the coconut macaroons inside the cake!

Still have half a cake left. Will bring it to work tomorrow.  Covered the cut side with remaining meringue.  Not sure how it will be like tomorrow.


I was greasing and flouring the bundt pan to get ready for my cake batter.  Livie came to watch me.  While I was patting the flour off the pan, Livie looked at me with a puzzled face.  She said in Chinese,

"洗咗佢啦!"(Just wash it!)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Creme Caramel – Baking Art Week #5

It was too fast when we did the creme caramel so I didn't take any pictures.  We even burnt the caramel once.
After following exactly the same steps as taught in class, still couldn't release the creme caramel nicely.  Really need to practise more.

Chocolate Bavarian Cream – Baking Art Week #5

This is our fifth class at George Brown.  We are doing Bavarian Cream and Creme Caramel.  Instructor said we could add fruit puree other than chocolate.  Would love to try Indian mango puree in this dessert.   Here are some pictures taken when we made the Bavarian Cream.  We put the ramekins in hot water for too long, some of them started to melt when we flip them out of the ramekins.

Mixed eggs and salt, added combination of sugar and gelatin.  Pour boiling milk in.   Add milk chocolate and leave it in to dissolve for 15 mins.  Instructor gave us a tip: add a little bit of sugar in the milk will prevent milk from sticking to the pot.

Whip cream to soft peak.  Fold in mixture.

Put in the fridge for at least 15 mins until set.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I think Livie will be cutting out her nap soon.  She started to skip nap at school recently.  Only nap once or twice  a week now.  After I picked up the kids from grandma's, I asked:

Me:  Livie, did you nap today?

Livie:  No.

Me:  Why?

Livie:  I had a bad dream.

Me:  If you didn't fall asleep, how could you have a bad dream?

Adrian:  Maybe that's what's called a "daydream".

Me:  ??!?  How can you daydream about something bad?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Registering Skating Classes for Spring

Tried to start up this blog last night until 1am, then finally went to bed at 2am.  Woke up again at 6:20am trying to register skating class at York Region online.  Luckily got 2 spots for the kids.  A mommy friend logged on at 7:30am but all classes were full already.  Boy, it's so stressful to sign them up.  Fun for them to skate, sleep deprivation for mom.


Olivia:  Mommy, Kaitlyn fell on Mrs. Chan today.  Mrs Chan felt very dizzy when she got up.

Adrian:  Did she have spirals and stars on her head?

Olivia:  No.

Adrian: That's the cartoon way.

Olivia:  But the school is not on TV!

Adrian:  Yes it is!  The whole world is on TV because it's surrounded by satellites!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Adrian is 6 and Olivia is 4.

I was discussing with the kids about future trip to Disney World.  Adrian asked me where we'd be staying at night.

Me: There are lots of hotels in the park.  Or if we are going on a cruise, we may sleep on a boat.

Adrian: I want to go by plane, not by boat, because I don't want to be on the water.  I'm scared of water.  That's why I don't like swimming.

Olivia:  But I saw you drinking water...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Daddy took Olivia with him to his office to pick up something.  He left the grapefruit in the fridge for about a week.  Olivia saw him threw it away.

I saw daddy whispering to Olivia at dinner time.

Mommy:     What was that all about?

Daddy:        It’s little secret between Livie and daddy.

Mommy:     Livie, was daddy telling you a secret?

Olivia:         Yes.

Mommy:     What secret?

Olivia:         Daddy threw the grapefruit you gave him in the garbage.

Another bath time chat

Olivia is very skinny because she has stomach like birds’ and gets distracted easily at dinner table.  I commented on her weight while I was giving her a bath.

Mommy:     Livie, you really should eat more.  I can see the shape of your bones from your back, I’ve never seen girls as skinny as you.

Olivia:         There are boys like that too.

Mommy:     Who?

Olivia:         Kids in Haiti.


We were reading books at the downtown indigo bookstore. Olivia wanted to go to Mastermind, the toy store. There is one close to our home.

Olivia:         I want to go to Mastermind after this.

Mommy:     I don’t know if there’s one in downtown.

Olivia:         No, I mean when we go back to Canada!

Mommy:     We are in Canada, honey. We still have to go for dinner with friends after visiting this store.

Olivia:         Where are we eating?

Mommy:     Chinese restaurant in Richmond Hill.

Olivia:         Is it in Canada?

Mommy:     Yes.

Olivia:         Do we live in Canada?

Mommy:     !!?! Yes!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Olivia is a picky eater and seldom eats at food court.  One day we were doing Xmas shopping and had to get a quick dinner at the food court in the mall.  Olivia as usually didn’t eat much.  Then we finished shopping, we got in the car getting ready to go home.

Olivia:         Where are we having dinner?

Adrian:        We HAD our dinner already!

Olivia:         Where?

Adrian:        In the mall!

Olivia:         What did I eat?

Mommy:     You ate half of a chicken drumstick and a few fries.

Olivia started crying, complaining that she wanted to have dinner again.


Adrian:        Mommy, Abigail (his classmate) doesn’t have respect for the “olders”.

Mommy:     That’s not nice.  You should show her a good model.  By the way, what made you think that she didn’t respect the elders?

Adrian:        I’m older!

Grade 1

Adrian was chatting with Olivia in the car this morning.

Adrian:        Olivia, do you wish you were in Grade one sometimes?

Olivia:         Yeah, but I don’t really wish to be.  (Well, whatever that means)

Adrian:        Let me tell you, you don’t want to be in Grade one.

Olivia:         Why?

Adrian:        Because, if you’re naughty, the teacher will put your name on the board.  If your name goes on the board 3 times that day, you’ll have to go the office and see Mrs. Serio (the school principal).

Olivia:         That’s ok, I know Mrs. Serio.

Adrian:        If your name goes on the board 4 times, the office will write a note for you to bring home to mommy.  5 times, they will call your mom.

Olivia:         Haha (laughing in relief), I don’t think they have our phone number!

Adrian:        Yes, they do!  Ask mommy!

Olivia was so shocked.  She went speechless for a long while.

Jennifer's gift

Kids' aunt Jennifer’s birthday is coming up, Olivia picked a present for her and asked me to wrap it for her.  Both Adrian and Olivia were watching me doing it.

Adrian:        I want to wrap a gift to “yee sum” (Jennifer) too.

Mommy:     You have to “buy” a gift for yee sum so that you can have something to wrap.

Adrian:        (pause…)  Oh… (another pause), good thinking mommy.  Olivia, do you have something that I can give to yee sum?

Adrian then found a toy laptop from Olivia’s bag.

Adrian:        How about this laptop?

Olivia:         OK!


Adrian is sitting in a bath tub half filled with water at grandma’s house, getting ready for a bath.

Adrian:        Mommy, can you get me the sponge from downstairs for my bath.

Mommy:     I can get it but you can start putting soap on, don’t touch anything else.

I came back, I saw him playing with a sponge (a not so clean one used for cleaning the tub).

Mommy:     I thought I'd told you not to touch other things.

Adrian:        No I wasn’t doing anything.  (He closed his eyes, sat with the meditation pose and said…) Omm….

Christmas Tree

Olivia:         It’s time to put the tree back to the basement, we are late!

Mommy:     Daddy and mommy were just too busy, but you’re right, we have to do it as soon as possible.

Adrian:        Or we can wait until summer to take it outside

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Late start

I started too late in writing down memories with my kids.  Many had lost in my mind.  Need to catch up now.

Good morning

I came out from the washroom in the morning and saw Adrian standing in my room.

Mommy:     Good job Adrian!  You woke up without my wake up call.

Adrian:        I woke up this morning early and went to your bed to sleep for a short while.  Then I really got up.  “I rise again!”  Just like Jesus!  (He meant after Jesus died on the cross and came out from the cave 3 days later.)