Welcome Home Daddy

We ended the school holiday with everyone falling sick. The boys lost their usual appetite and they only asked for soupy food.

Thankfully I found this prepacked herbal soup ingredients from the supermarket. They were really tasty and I always have a few packets stocked up at home. It came in pretty handy on days like this.

I filled up my biggest stock pot with water, threw in a whole chicken and let it cooked with all the herbs for an hour or 2. The boys like theirs with multigrain noodles and it was great to see them lapped up every bit in their bowls. Simple, hassle free and healthy meals like this was a life saver.

The 2 days that we were home bound, my 6 year old got to learn some computer coding from his elder brother. They spent many hours in front of the computer making silly games and he was absolutely thrilled to make a cat go spinning with a light saber.

He figured out how to record his own sound and doodle on the computer. It’s amazing how fast they could pick up these things.

He was so excited to show this animation to his Dad when he came home during the weekend. It was a flying plane completed with sound effect recorded by him. (Click on the green flag to play)

Isn’t it cute?! I am such a sucker for kids doodle!



Bread Making

So my ingenious friends bought me a bread maker machine a few months back and I have been making really good use of it. My boys love the bread from the bread machine and they could easily finish a loaf within 2 days. I don’t really eat them because I am on a low gluten diet but the boys eat them for breakfast and they bring them to school for snacks.

Before this, I have been contemplating whether to get a bread maker but I was worried that it would be cumbersome to use and the bread wouldn’t turn out nice and I would end up with another white elephant in the kitchen.

I fret about what bread to buy. You know how being a mother (and aging) makes one conscious about what goes into her food. I read my food labels and I try to avoid food that contains ingredients that I can’t pronounce. You find plenty of those on the packaging of bread you get off-the-shelf.

The bread maker is one of my most frequently used kitchen appliances now and it’s good that I know exactly what goes into my bread. I wish someone told me earlier that every family who eats bread should own one, much like every family who eats rice should own a rice cooker!

To make your bread, load the ingredients, choose the type of bread you want, choose the size of bread, choose colour of your bread and press Start.

3 hours later … Voila!

The recipe book that came with the machine was great but I find the bread a little too dry. Apart from flour and yeast, the recipe called for water and vegetable oil. I talked to a friend who is experienced in bread making and she recommended Brioche which is essentially a French pastry made in the same way as bread.

The recipe for Brioche uses milk and butter in replacement of water and vegetable oil and the final product turns out to be richer and lighter. I love it so much that I now use it as my basic recipe for different bread.

I throw in chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries, oat, nuts or seeds to vary the flavour. All it takes is a couple of minutes to gather the ingredients, press a few buttons and the machine will do the magic!

Here’s my friend’s recipe for the Brioche.
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
70g butter
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1.5 teaspoon yeast
2 cups 2 tablespoon high protein flour

For families with kids who are lactose intolerant, you can use 1 cup of water and 2.5 tablespoons of vegetable oil in replacement of butter and milk and 1 egg instead of 2 eggs.

If you use a bread maker, do share with me your recipe!


Running Again

So my husband who is currently overseas had taken the liberty to register me for a half marathon before he flew off. The date is set in April, that is less than a month from now.

The last time I did a half marathon was about 2 years back. It was painful but crossing the finishing line gave me a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, unlike the kind you get from scrubbing 2 toilets and polishing the floor. I guess my husband got that figured out, thus he had been very enthusiastic in signing me up for running events. For a while, those were our regular dates where we would sneak out for weekend morning runs before the kids wake up.

Then few months after the last half marathon, I busted my knees during skiing. I was devastated and thought I wouldn’t be able to run again. My husband however thought otherwise, he assured me that I would hit the track in no time and manage a 21km soon.

I still cannot fathom the kind of faith he has in me. Perhaps it was his way of comforting and encouraging me but trust me, when your holiday had been cut short and you were on crutches and had to be wheeled onto the plane, that kind of encouragement didn’t quite work. It almost felt annoying to hear him go yadi yadi ya without having to bear the pain and think about taking the next step.

He’s been away for 2 weeks now and apart from holding down the fort, I have been training quite a bit for our upcoming run. This was what it looks like last week.

Monday – run 13 km

Tuesday – rollerblade 10 km

Wednesday – run 5 km

Thursday – 1.5 hour pilate lesson

Friday – cycle 42 km

Sat – rock climbing with kids

Sunday – rest

2 days ago, I did an impromptu long run.

I started off with 10 km in mind but by 8.30 am, the weather was still breezy and cloudy. It was a sunless morning, a rarity, the perfect kind of weather for running. Unfortunately I was also very ill prepared. I had just switched to a new phone and didn’t have my Runkeeper and music installed. Those were my necessities!

The stretch I would be running was deserted, with no water point and I didn’t carry any water with me. I have never attempted that kind of distance on my own, especially not without proper hydration, but on the other hand, I was feeling energetic and felt I could go on.

I text my girl friend and my husband, seeking advice on whether I should continue. Obviously, my husband was like ‘go for it, all stars are aligned!’ (see, he is my best cheerleader). My friend however thought I should turn back.

The text messages went back and forth a couple of minutes and I finally went ahead and completed 20 km that morning!

My thighs and calves hurt and my foot was so sore but it felt soooo good to push myself, and did more than what I set out to do. I came home and pampered myself with a good salt scrub, gulped down 3 glasses of those healthy green smoothie, took a nap and headed off to pick up the kids.

Now I can’t wait for my husband to be back so that he can join me for a good run, hopefully by then I would be able to keep up with his pace!



This entry was posted in Fitness.
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