Friday, September 27, 2013

Foodie Fridays - Stir-fried Chicken with Preserved Soy Bean paste

After the Spicy & Sour Fish Head Curry and the Stir-Fried Curried Calms, I am sharing the 3rd Peranakan dish that DinoPapa whipped up on that day.  This is my favourite as it has soy bean paste in it~ I simply love the paste, its YUM though salty but still YUM!

Our dish do not have any chillies in it as we need to feed the kids, but I don't think the taste was compromised by omitting them, it still taste as good.  The kids love the sauce on their steaming white rice though you have to make sure that you do not put too much less it makes the rice too salty for them to eat.

Stir-fried Chicken with Preserved Soy Bean Paste

by DinoMama (adapted from Florence Tan Secrets of Nyonya Cooking
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Keywords: stir-fry main chicken Peranakan

Ingredients (6-8)
* 3 tablespoons cooking oil
* 10 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
* 10cm ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
* 2 tablespoons preserved soy bean paste (tau cheong)
* 500g chicken breasts, sliced into 0.5cm/ 1/4 inch thick pieces
* 300ml cups water
* 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
* 3/4 teaspoon thick soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 red chilli, cut into thin strips
* 1 green chilli, cut into thin strips

1. Heat the cooking oil and fry garlic and ginger until fragrant.
2. Add the preserved soy bean paste and fry until oil surfaces.
3. Add the chicken and fry until it changes color. Stir in the water and bring to boil.
4. Add the light and thick soy sauce and season with sugar. Cook until the chicken is done.
5. Add chillies and stir for 2 minutes before transferring to a serving dish.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Primary 1 Term 4 Holistic Assessment

*This is not a photograph but what the heck*

This is a letter from the school informing the parents on the year end test schedule (which is about 2 weeks away).  Yes, I almost got a heart attack when I see the letter then I decided to do the next sensible thing... I've decided NOT to put too much pressure on myself and DinoBoy.  Thank goodness he is good in English & Maths but not so for his Chinese which I have also decided NOT to push him too hard on this as I think it is too late to do anything, no use hugging the Buddha's leg now.  Since technically Primary 1 students are not required to take any exams, they will not be graded, so I shall let him go through these Holistic Assessment this year and we shall see what to do next year. 

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Foodie Fridays - Peranakan style Stir-fried Curried Clams

In my last week's Foodie Fridays Spicy and Sour Fish Head Curry post, I mentioned that DinoPapa cooked up a Peranakan feast.  I'm sharing with you the 2nd dish that he cooked for the first time, Stir-fried Curried Clams.  This is a quick and easy dish that takes only 20 mins to prepare and 10 mins to cook it.

We love this dish because the spices enhances the natural sweetness of the fresh clams, the curry paste is mild thus it is not too over whelming but you can still smell its aroma.  

Stir-fried Curried Clams

by Jennifer Lim (adapted from Florence Tan Secrets of Nyonya Cooking)
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Keywords: stir-fry side Clams Seafood Peranakan
Ingredients (serves 4)
Main Ingredients
* 60ml cooking oil
* 2  prings curry leaves
* 2 stalks lemon grass, cut into 3 inch lengths and lightly bruised
* 500g clams, soaked in salted water for an hour and thoroughly cleaned
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* ½ teaspoon sugar
* 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 1 teaspoon light soy sauce

Curry Paste (mixed)
* 4 shallots, peeled and finely pounded
* 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely pounded
* 1 ½ tablespoons fish curry powder

* 5 red bird’s eye chillies, chopped
* 2 spring onions (scallions), chopped

1. Heat the cooking oil and fry curry leaves, curry paste and lemon grass until fragrant.
2. Add the clams. Season with salt, sugar, pepper and soy sauce. Cook until the clams open (approximately 7 mins). Discard the clams which are still closed.
3. Garnish with bird’s eye chillies and spring onions (scallions) and serve hot.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

TinyTiles of Memories

It would be right for me to say that every single one of us love to take photographs either with our smartphones or with our stylish digital cameras.  And with these high-tech devices the convenience of snapping photos is truly as quick and simple as a click on the shutter button.  I have taken more photos then I could imagine probably about a decade ago with a camera and roll of films, and the number is still climbing every day!

When I got my first smart phone; my trusty Samsung S3, taking photos on the go becomes a norm for me, especially when I'm out with the family.  Every moment are precious to me and a MUST to take photo to keep them forever.  And who can resist sharing these with family and friends on the social media like facebook or instagram?  

My instagram account, not many photos coz I was controlling myself :P

I never thought of putting these memorable moments into print until TinyTiles approached me with their wonderful product.  Imagine that!  Transferring my precious memories onto a small tile and showing them to every one!  How exciting~

It took me longer then expected to send in my photographs to TinyTiles, there were really too many good ones to choose from and if I am given a choice I would made a tile out of each and every single one of them!  (Then I will have problem finding a place in the house to put them up.)

A week after I emailed my photographs to Tinytiles, I received my tiles in the mail, well protected; tissue and bubbled wrapped, talk about fast delivery~ I'm impressed. 

Love these tiles~

Here's a little bit about those cute little TinyTiles;
1. Each TinyTile is 45mm x 45mm, a perfect size for any instagram images.  Of course you can use photographs taken by camera, TinyTile will crop the photographs to fit nicely onto the tiles.  The result will be as good, just look at my tiles.
2. A strong adhesive super glue is used to stick the big strong magnet onto the back of the tiles ensuring that it doesn't fall off the tile.
3.  Your photos will be sealed onto the surface of the tile using 2 sealants.  The first special sealant is used to seal the photo on the tile, then it is finished it off with another sealant to preserve & ensure minimal image fading.

I like it that the tiles are not too expensive too;
* 3 tiles for SGD6.50
* 6 tiles for SGD12.00
* 9 tiles for SGD18.00

Plus TinyTile is offering free local shipping for all orders~ 

These tiles were so pretty that I thought it would be a waste let them stay on my fridge so I bought them to office.

Now I have 9 tiny tiles to decorate my work desk, their size is just nice for me to display them at my small work area.  Ok, I cheated on the one on my monitor, I improvised by using blue tack to stick the 2 tiles to my plastic monitor frame.

Last but not least, I always share good stuffs with my loyal readers, so here goes~

Great Deal #1 - Place your order with TinyTile before 25 October 2013, quote "dinofamily" and get 1 free tile for an order of 6  - 9 tiles and 2 for 12 and above!

Great Deal #2 - TinyTiles is kind enough to sponsor a set of 6 TinyTiles for one lucky winner!  Since TinyTiles are perfect match for instagram images, I'll thought it would be fun to do this giveaway through instagram.  Read on for more details.


1. Prize : a set of 6 TinyTiles
2. Participate in the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below.
3. Additionally post up your photograph in instagram that show the great fun time you had with your family with a little short description.  After that hashtag #bestfamilymoment and tag me @din0mama (its spelt with a zero instead of O) to your photograph.
4. No instagram account?  No worries!  Post up your photograph in our facebook page, quoting #bestfamilymoment.
5. One photograph per person please~
6. Leave a comment below this blog post telling us the following;
a) Your Name :
b) Your email address :
c) Your instagram account : 
7. Giveaway will end on 27 Septmber 2013 @ 2359hrs and winners will be announced in our blog and facebook page.
8. Giveaway is open to Singapore only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Results

NOTE : All comments with personal information will be removed immediately after the giveaway ends.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Still a Van Gogh wannabe!

When I asked DinoBoy to chose a theme from the list of heART Studio's September Holiday Workshop classes, he picked Van Gogh's Tea Time without 2nd thought.

I hope the kids who won my heART Studio's September Holiday Workshop passes had as much fun as we did during the class! If you missed their workshop, look out for their next holiday program in a few months time~

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Recipe Sharing Monday #4

Four weeks fly by at the blink of an eye, today is the 1st day of school after the September term break.  How's every one doing?  I don't know about you but I'm kinda relieve that school's started, I think DinoBoy needs more activities to keep him occupy and to divert his energy some where.  

I have an urge to bake something, I have been wanting to bake a smaller Devil's Food Chocolate cake for the passed weeks but did not have a chance to go to Phoon Huat to gather some of the ingredients.  Yupe, my hands are itchy and I feel a little bit restless when I see others' cakes & tarts.  So I got a little bit biased and decided to show mostly bakes recipes today. 

1. Fruit Tart by A Dose of Dannie
2. Peanut Butter Fudge by Two Crazy Little People and Their Mom
3. Lemon Meringue Tartlets by Lynnlly
4. Chicken curry with potatoes by The Domestic Goddess Wannabe
5. Starry Eggless Cookie by Chubbyanecdotes
6. Thai Fish Cake (Tod Man Pla) by The Accidental Mom Blogger
7. Freshly Baked Madeleines by Mamashoppe

Till the next Recipe Sharing Monday post, remember to cook and link up with my Foodie Fridays linky party that is happening on every Friday, your recipe may be feature next!

For the previous Receipe Sharing Monday Post click here.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Foodie Fridays - Spicy and Sour Fish Head Curry

When MamaSue shared that she would like to host a food blogtrain and looking for eager participants, I agreed to join it without much thoughts.  Besides having a chance to join in the fun and cooking some delicious food for the family, what excites me is the 3 different cuisines themes she had listed out; Peranakan, Dialect & Japanese.  My dialect is Hakka or Kheh, I've been wanting to cook more Hakka dishes and this is another chance for me to link up and show others my unique dialect dish.  I've never done Peranakan or Japanese dishes before so this will be my first time doing it, definitely a challenge for me.

I even borrowed a Peranakan recipe book from the library to find out more about Peranakan dishes.  Its either I am not looking the right way or there are really very limited Pernankan recipe books in the library, in this case, I only found ONE; Florene Tan's Secrets of Nyonya Cooking.  Regardless, one is better then none, so this book went home with me that day.

DinoPapa saw me flipping through this book a few times during the passed weeks, that got him curious and I told him about the blogtrain.  He got interested, took the recipe book from me and few minutes later he said that he wants to cook a few dishes in the book.  That following weekend we had a Pernankan dinner~

We went to Sheng Siong Supermarket that morning to gather all the necessary ingredients, DinoPapa was really happy to be able to get a fresh red snapper fish head and also some of the lesser seen spices.  

1. Ingredients for the paste
2. The blended paste
3. Stir-fried paste with thin coconut milk, torch ginger bud, kaffir lime leaves and tamarind juice.
4. In goes the vegetables.
5. Lastly the fish head goes in.

Our fish head curry is not as red as you usually see as DinoPapa did not put a lot of chillies and the tamarind since DinoAuntie does not take too spicy food, we also want the kids to take a little bit of the fish thus our fish head curry is only mild spicy.  I'm sure you can make yours into the beautiful bright orange color with the right spicy sourish gravy.

Oh, did I mention that we had a Peranakan feast?  DinoPapa whipped up this Spicy and Sour Fish head curry together with Deep-fried Sour Prawns, Stir-fried Curried Clams and Stir-fried Chicken with Preserved Soy Bean Paste, I'll be sharing the recipes in the next 3 Foodie Fridays linky party posts.

Spicy and Sour Fish Head Curry

by DinoMama (adapted from Florence Tan's Secrets of Nyonya Cooking)
Prep Time: 60 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Yield: 7 - 8 serves
Keywords: simmer main Fish curry tamarind Peranakan

Main Ingredients
* 1 long eggplant
* 3 ¾ cups grated coconut
* 4 cups water
* ¾ cup cooking oil
* 1 torch ginger bud (bunga kantan), halved lengthways
* 3 kaffir lime leaves
* 7 tablespoons thick tamarind juice, extracted from 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp and 7 tablespoons water
* 800g fish head, red snapper or garoupa
* 8 lady’s fingers (okra), steamed
* 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges

Finely Ground Paste
* 20 dried chillies, soaked in water and drained
* 2 red chillies
* 25 shallots, peeled
* 7 cloves garlic, peeled
* 1.5cm fresh turmeric, peeled
* 2.5cm galangal, peeled
* 2 stalks lemon grass, sliced
* 2 ½ tablespoons powdered coriander
* ¾ tablespoon powdered fennel
* ½ tablespoon powdered cumin

Seasoning (Blended)
* 1 ½ tablespoons light soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 anchovy stock cube
* 1 tablespoon salt

1. Cut eggplant into 2.5cm lengths, halve each piece and make a slit through each piece from one end to the centre. Soak in water.
2. Combine the grated coconut and 250ml water and squeeze out 250ml thick coconut milk. Set aside the thick milk
3. Add the remaining water to the grated coconut and squeeze 750ml thin coconut milk. Set aside the thin milk.
4. Heat the cooking oil and fry finely ground paste until fragrant. Gradually stir in the thin coconut milk.
5. Add torch ginger bud, kaffir lime leaves and tamarind juice. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 7 mins. Add the eggplant.
6. Increase the heat, add the fish head, lady’s fingers, tomatoes, seasoning and thick coconut milk. When the fish head and vegetables are cooked, remove from heat.
7. Serve hot with rice or bread.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fabulous Salmon Fillet with Greenfields Milk

In the DinoFamily, we are pretty adventurous when it comes to food, we love to try out new recipes and DinoBoy is willing to eat any suspicious looking new dishes we put on the table.  He will try it with little or no protest then give his sometimes too honest view of the food after the first bite. 

In May earlier this year, I challenged myself to cook dinner daily for the family, I searched intensively for some simple or quick & easy recipes and for the 1st time I used fresh milk in the white fish stew I whipped up at that time.  It was well liked by the boys.  I have been in love with milk recipes ever since. Besides, my attempt with Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in milk recipe was a hit with the DinoFamily.

When the good people in Greenfields approached me to do a review of their milk, I jumped at the chance almost immediately.  Don't get me wrong, I did not accept it just because its complimentary milk, I grabbed this chance as I know, and I'm sure many of you know this too, Greenfields produces milk that has no additives, chemicals, antibiotics and hormones added to their milk, that's why they can claim that they produce Honest Milk.  

• Fresh milk: 2-litre bottles and 1-litre, 500ml and 200ml packs
• Chocolate Malt: 1-litre, 500ml and 200ml packs
• High Calcium Skimmed milk (0.1% fat of fresh milk): 1-litre packs
• High Calcium Low Fat (contains only 1.3% fat): 2-litre bottles and 1-litre packs

Greenfields Milk is from Indonesia and has been established since 1997.  They have an integrated dairy farm based at Gunung Kawi, Malang, East Java with over 6,000 Holstein cows which produces over 20 million litres of fresh milk each year.  Their milk is produced, pasteurised and packed within the dairy and it is single-pasteurised, ensuring optimal freshness till it reaches our doorstep.  Greenfields milk is also available in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Philippines too.

Before I received the Greenfields milk, I was already searching excitedly for a new recipe to try with the milk.  I decided to go with salmon; a fish that I only love when its raw, will tolerate if its smoked, but DinoPapa & DinoBoy love it a lot.  I decided that I should indulge them with both the goodness of the salmon AND the milk.

I found this simple recipe and it took me only 15mins to get it done using the oven.  We were seated at the dining table enjoying the salmon shortly after.  The mouthwatering smell of the baked salmon gushed out from the oven the minute I opened it made my stomach growl almost immediately.  The vibrant colors looked inviting and appetizing when I got it out from the oven.  A tantalizing dinner awaited us!

One important thing to note when you make this dish, you have to use full cream milk, not skim nor low fat, you need the milk fat in this recipe. 

And yes, even I enjoyed it a lot.  The salmon was baked to a soft and tender texture.  The combination of milk, cream cheese, lemon rind and spice made it tasty while the soft vegetable added some sweetness to it.  I enjoyed it so much that we made this 2 days in a row!  We had the salmon with rice on the 1st night and with pasta on the 2nd night.  The DinoFamily felt that we could have the salmon fillet alone with perhaps a side dish of mashed potatoes and more vegetables.

For all the salmon lovers out there, I'm sure you will love this. For those like me, try out this recipe and let me know if you love it like I do. Till the next post, happy cooking!

Fabulous Fillet of Salmon

by Jennifer Lim (adapted from
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Keywords: bake main salmon

Ingredients (serves 4)
* 4 thick salmon fillets, (about 1 1/2 lbs/750 g)
* 2 carrots, julienne
* 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
* 1/4 cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour
* 4 oz (125 g) Canadian Cream Cheese, softened
* 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) Milk
* Grated rind of 1 lemon
* 1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh dill or chives or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried dill
* 1/4 tsp (2 ml) salt
* 1/4 tsp (1 ml) freshly ground pepper
* 2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C). 
2. Lightly butter 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) baking dish. 
3. Place salmon in baking dish, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) between fillets. Sprinkle carrots and peppers over and around fish.
4. In bowl, using electric mixer, beat flour and Cream cheese until smooth. 
5. Gradually beat in milk, then lemon rind, dill, salt and pepper. Pour over salmon and vegetables in dish. 
6. Bake, uncovered, for about 15 min before serving.
7. Remove salmon from dish with a pancake flipper, spoon vegetables and sauce over top. 
8. Serve sprinkled with lemon juice.

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Disclaimer : I received few cartons of milk from Greenfields for purposes of this review, though I was compensated for this post all opinions are 100% mine.  All photos in this review are taken by me painstakingly so they naturally belongs to me.  Be nice and do not "steal" them.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Foodie Fridays - Stir-fried Prawns with French Beans

I love prawns, they are so tasty and sweet and if I can get them fresh I can whip up a simple dish with minimum seasoning.  Recently I cooked this stir-fried prawns with french beans on one of the weekday and everyone said its delicious.  Its fast & easy to prepare, dinner was ready in 30mins.

You can cook this as one of the dish for the meal but we eat it alone with rice, our one dish dinner for that night.

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Stir Fried Prawns with French Beans

by DinoMama
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Ingredients (serves 4)
* 12 - 15 prawns, remove shell and de-veined
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* 1 teaspoon sesame oil
* 1 teaspoon cornflour
* 1 packet of french beans
* 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
* 1 tablespoon oil
* 1 tablespoon finely diced garlic
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons chicken stock
* 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine
* some cornflour, mixed with little bit of water
* 1/3 teaspoon sugar

1. Season the prawns with salt, pepper, sesame oil and cornflour, leave it to marinate for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, blanch the french beans and carrots in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat a large frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Stir fry the prawns until cooked through and no longer opaque; about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
4. Heat the same frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Saute the garlic until aromatic.
5. Stir in the prawns, french beans, carrot, chicken stock, shaoxing wine, cornflour slurry and sugar; mix well until the sauce thickens.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fight Ants with Lemons

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah

Since we moved into our house about a year ago, ants were seen crawling around the house.  We were not bothered by them as we know ants are bound to appear any where, especially places where there is a constant supply of food all over the place.  And mind you, even when he is 7 years old now DinoBoy is still very careless when he is eating food, he drops crumbs and bits of food every where then failed to clean them up properly, leaving the ants to "clean up" later.

Our ants problem, if I am allowed to call it that, got worst these few months.  We can see ants crawling here and there, either alone, a few together, in a group or in a single file.  We find them on the dinning table, coffee table, kitchen top, kitchen wall, on the air pot, on the floor, they even invaded our poor hamster's food!  Sitting on the living room floor or on the sofa and we risk getting bitten by them, yeah they are so notorious, they think we are their lucky find of a "gigantic food!".  They find their ways into our sugar container (now we know its not air tight as we thought it is) and had numerous sugar high parties.

I casually told Mdm Koh, our weekend cleaning auntie, about this and she suggested to me to use freshly squeeze lemon juice.  She said she tried and it worked, she's never seen any ants on her kitchen counters etc since then.  I was skeptical... how can my various methods of placing star anise, using ants baits, ants chalk, cleaning the area with special disinfect cleaner and many more does not work but a little yellow lemon will solve the problem?

So last Sunday I decided to tidy up the kitchen counter and thought "Why not try out the lemon method?".  I squeeze the lemon juice into a small spray container and started cleaning.  First I wiped the kitchen counter with water then I spray the lemon juice on it and wiped it off.  I even wiped my air pot, Tefal mixer, Philips food processor, tumbler, rice cooker & Nespressor machine - basically EVERYRHING on the kitchen counter!  When I'm done, the kitchen feel so clean and smells so nice, lemon nice.

I was on a look out for any sign of the ants that day; NONE, even after I cooked a lunch and dinner that day.  I thought perhaps its because the kitchen counter is still squeaky clean, too clean for ants' liking.  On the 2nd, 3rd & 4th days I only saw 1 or 2 lone ants crawling on the kitchen counter.  Today is the 5th day and after I prepared and cooked 2 dinners there are still no sign of ants invasion!  Woohoo! 

Since I started baking a few weeks ago, lemons has also started to make their appearances in my kitchen.  I always felt the pinch whenever I have to buy ONE lemon from the supermarket for the price of $0.65 - $0.95, I will jumped up in joy like a little girl when I see the price tag changed to "Buy 6 @ $1.95" and wished I could buy MORE but couldn't find a good enough reason to stock them up until now! 

And here are some more reasons to stock up on the lemons.  There are many more ways to use lemons, you can find them easily in the web with just a few strikes on the keyboard and a few clicks.

Freshen the Fridge - Cut a lemon into half and put them into the fridge, it will remove any unwanted odour.

Deodorize cutting board -  Sprinkle some sea salt and gently rub lemon half over your cutting board.

Remove the smell of fish from your hand - After handling the fish, squeeze some lemon juice onto your hands, rub your hands together, rinse with water.  Repeat if necessary.

Make soggy lettuce crisp - Squeeze half lemon juice into a bowl of cold water, put the soggy lettuce in and pop into the fridge for an hour.  Remove them from the fridge, rinse, dry and add them into your salads or sandwiches.

Lighten age spots - Save money from buying expensive whitening cream spots remover cream.  To light age spots or freckles try applying lemon juice directly onto that area, leave it on for about 15mins then rinse with water.

So for now, in our humble kitchen...

The ants are not marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants are not marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah

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