Friday, April 29, 2016

Foodie Fridays - Red Fermented Beancurd Garlicky Crispy Pork Belly

Pork belly has been part of our meals since I was young because my dad loves them and being a khek or hakka there are some delish hakka dishes that uses this ingredient.  I remember I was the only one that will savour this with my dad while my other siblings shunned it.

After I married DinoPapa I found out that pork belly is also one of his favourite food *slurp slurp* and so I have been cooking this sinful and unhealthy food constantly for years.  From the tradition Hakka Style Crispy Pork Belly, to favourite Crispy Tender Soft Roast Pork Belly, then the simple Braised Pork Belly and adding it into One Pot Cabbage Rice.  There are other dishes that I used pork belly, too many to list down over here, you just have to click the tag 

Recently I did another pork belly dish that is easy to make and to me its the next best thing to the roast pork belly.  I love the Hakka Style Crispy Pork Belly but didn't want any deep fried dish so I tweet it a bit, I call it Red Fermented Beancurd Garlicky Crispy Pork Belly, kinda long name for a dish but what the heck, I like the name.

You must be wondering why I choose red fermented beancurd as the main ingredient for the marinade.  Well, my love for this small piece of food started when I was young where  I spent many of my school holidays with my paternal grandparents.  My grandfather's lunch was having a bowl of plain white porridge with some dishes and he MUST have the red fermented beancurd every day.  So every morning my grandmother will buy a piece of red fermented beancurd fresh from the market, put it on a saucer and serve it together with other lunch dishes.  I started to share that small piece of delicacy at the age of 7 and since then whenever I have porridge; plain or loaded with ingredients, I will have a small piece on a saucer by the side.  Therefore it is no surprise that I do not hesitate to use them in my cooking too, the salty-sweetness of a small piece of it gives the dish a whole new flavour.


You can easily get a packet of pork belly from the supermarket, they usually comes in 2 short strips in a pack of about 220g to 250g per packet.  The portion is just nice for us; 2 adults and 1 child (Yes, the boy fights with us for the pork belly).  As usual, I marinated the pork belly with the marinade over night, the next day I brought it out 30mins before I cook it to allow the pork belly comes to room temperature before pan frying it.

I forgot that the pork belly has loads of fatty oil, I added a little too much oil on my non stick pan and had the shock of my life when oil starts to splatter all over the stove and onto me!  What a noob mistake I just made!  Anyway, I quickly cover the pan with a lid to prevent the hot oil from doing any harm further.

Side Note : I like to marinate my ingredients over night so that they can soak up the marinade.  Of course if the marinade are salty or sweet or of strong taste I would only marinate for 4-6 hours lest it becomes too salty or too sweet, that will be a waste of ingredients.

So I got too pan-frying happy and charred my pork belly but no matter, simply scrap off the charred residue and it still looks as good.  I love the reddish color on the pork belly, you can see from the sliced up piece that the marinade has soaked into the meat.  Can't wait to sink my teeth in them.  I also purposely pan fried the top of the skin for a while to make them crispy.  It's a bit dangerous and painful coz I used the tong to hold the skin facing down onto the hot pan, oil was splattering on my hand like crazy!


I can't help by steal a piece or two while I was cutting the pork belly into bite size, its crispy with a hint of fermented beancurd and garlic taste.  Heavenly to me!  Next time when I ran out of idea for dinner I shall prepare this and have it with steaming white rice as one dish meal!

Ingredient
* 1 packet of pork belly 220g to 250g
* 1 piece of red fermented beancurd
* 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
* 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
* 1 tablespoon of corn flour
* 1 teaspoon of salt
* 1 teaspoon of sugar

Method
1. In a bowl mash the red fermented beancurd with a fork, add in the garlic, salt, sugar and Shaoxing wine, mixed them up.  Add the corn flour and mix the marinade up.
2. Add the pork belly and coat it thoroughly with the marinade.  You can also do it with a ziplock bag, pour the marinade in the bag, add the pork belly, shake it to make sure they are coated with the marinade.
3. Leave the pork belly in the fridge over night to marinate.  Remove from the fridge 30mins before cooking to bring them to room temperature.
4. Heat up a frying pan, add some cooking oil.  When the oil is hot add the pork belly and pan fry both sides till cook.
5. Remove from frying pan, drain and cut the pork belly into pieces before serving.

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If you like red fermented beancurd, you may also like these recipes.






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OR follow us on Instagram din0mama where we post almost daily meals we prepared under hashtag #dinomamakitchen.

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This linky is for anything that is FOOD related. It could be a restaurant you visited recently, meals you cook with your family or for your family or recipes you wish to share with every one.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ACT 3i Festival for Children 2016

I'm the bad Mama who instead of sharing the things to do to prepare your child for the upcoming exam, I share family activities, workshops and plays for you to go or attend during the holidays.  Today, I share with you another exciting festival that is worth going, the ACT 3i Festival for Children that is happening from 24 May to 05 June 2016 at Drama Centre.


About the Festival
The ultimate aim is to give young audiences a unique and memorable experience that is different from broad-based children’s entertainment to enrich their lives through Arts and Culture. For this festival, we worked with renowned and emerging children’s theatre companies that are exploratory in nature and who are ever ready to challenge pre-conceptions.

What to Expect
ACT 3 International, Singapore’s leading Arts company for the young, is proud to announce the launch of a brand new ACT 3i Festival for Children dedicated to children from 2 to 12 years old. Packed with exquisite, high quality and awe-inspiring theatre performances that will include original works from Singapore, Italy, Sweden, Argentina, the U.K and Canada, an artfully curated visual arts programme, as well as Conviviality Sessions led by Children’s Theatre artists that are aimed at educators and parents, ACT 3i Festival for Children aims to be the frontrunner in arts enrichment for the young.  Click here to read more about the individual performances.

#Performances

Omar Alvarez Titeres
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
For ages 4 to 12


DuffleBag Theatre
Snow White
For ages 4 to 8


ACT 3 International with Vicky Ireland
All On A Summer’s Day
a companion piece to Shakespeare’s ‘fairytale’, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
For ages 7 to 12


Claire Parsons Co
Marmalade
For ages 2 to 6


Principio Attivo Teatro
Hanà e Momò
For ages 3 to 8


Awake
Awake LOVE Orchestra
For ages 4 and above


#Conviviality Sessions

The sessions will be held at Drama Centre from 25 May to 5 June 2016, ticket is SGD30 per parent-and-child.

The With the many visiting artists and practitioners coming with their productions for the Festival, there will be workshops as well organised for parent-and-child groups on weekends. The artistes of the productions will lead the sharing-and-learning sessions and will use their know-how from their chosen art form and practice to conduct workshops on creative parenting, empowerment through artistic engagement, and how to value add to child development through the creative process. There will be eight workshops for parent-and-child groups and all will be held at Drama Centre.

#Sweet

A visual arts sense-sibility exhibition suitable for 4 ot 8 year olds, workshop and storytelling session at ION Art Gallery, ION Orchard from 28 May to 5 June 2016, 10.30am to 12.30pm OR 3.30pm-5.30pm.

Held in conjunction with ACT 3i Festival for Children is Sweet, an interactive drop-off workshop comprising an art exhibition, art making activities, a show, as well as drama workshop and art making activities. The programme is a brilliant learning process for the child as it ignites the imagination, inspires a multi-sensory creative process, as well as encourages artistic expression and participation. Inspired by Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweet will feature elements of storytelling, improvisation and even gelato-making. While the session is about using desserts to inspire art-making and to teach the values of kindness, it also highlights the importance of eating in moderation.

Ticket Prices
Purchase your tickets at here at SISTIC, check out the various discount available. *Terms & Conditions appy*

Weekday : SGD28
Weekend : SGD38
Packages : S$129, S$95 for Family Package of 4
(Valid from 1 Apr 2016 onwards)

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We have a pair of tickets to watch Awake LOVE Orchestra, 31 May, Tuesday, 10am show at Drama Centre, here's more about the production.

Awake LOVE Orchestra
By Awake, Sweden/United Kingdom
For 4 years old and up

With a commitment to making “lovely music about love with love for lovely people”, the Awake LOVE Orchestra is a talented ensemble made up of vocals and a variety of instruments such as string and percussion to transport audiences on a musical journey across Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and the U.S. Composed with passion and love, the pieces are a fusion of haunting folk melodies enlivened with a contemporary groove. This is a brilliant avenue for children to learn about the beauty and diversity of the Arts, and a new way of viewing the world.

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Giveaway Details

Prize : 2 pairs of tickets to Awake LOVE Orchestra on 31 May 2016 and 02 June 2016, 10am
Contest Ends : 10 May 2016 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore
How to Enter : Please answer the question by commenting on blog post and also by using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and conditions of giveaway are as follow:
- Dates & time for the show cannot be changed.
- To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated.
- Tickets are non transferable nor exchange for cash.
- Winners will be picked randomly.
- Winners will be notified via email, please ensure you have provided a valid email.
- Winners will have 24 hours to respond by replying to our notification otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Prizes will be given out by sponsor.
- Only one winner per household.
- This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer : We were invited to special blogger preview workshop of ACT 3i Festival for Children for the purpose of this post, no other compensation were received. The opinions in this post are 100% ours. All photos in this post are provided and belongs to ACT 3 International

Updated :  We were unable to attend the special blogger preview workshop on 21 May 2016.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hanzi800, a fun way to learn Chinese

Alright, all of you know that we struggle with DinoBoy's Chinese, it's tough to get him interested in the language.  It's mentally draining when I have to deal with the boy's attitude and unwillingness to learn.

Recently I was introduced to Hanzi800 and was immediately drawn to it because it claims that "after completing all 40 lessons, a user who started the programme with basic level of Chinese literacy (preschool or Primary 1) can expect to achieve up to 80% general reading competency." That is something which I hope the boy to achieve in near future but I frown at the process if we were to use our way of learning. We tried the app and find it useful, entertaining, engaging and affordable, read more about it from our review over at theAsianparent.



Disclaimer : We are in no way affiliated with the management of Hanzi800, we were approached by theAsianparent to do an advertorial product review of Hanzi800 educational app for our honest review of the product.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Easter Eggstravaganza at Universal Studios Singapore

The 1 week March school term break came n went like a whirlwind, how did you spend it with your family?  DinoBoy went out with friends and had a great day at Sentosa, I was unable to join them because of work commitment.  However we made up for it a week later over the Good Friday weekend, we went to Universal Studios Singapore and had a blast of time at their Easter Eggstravaganza~


With the intention of spending a FULL day at the park, we started early and reached Universal Studios Singapore at 10.12am (the Park opens at 10am) but there were already 4 long queues in front of the gates!  The tourists are earlier than us!  We didn't want to waste any more time and joined the queue immediately.

Now, when you are there it seems like it is a MUST to photo with the famous USS globe but we didn't want to leave our queue.  So we tried to take a welfie with the globe while queueing and guess what... our 1 and only shot was photo bombed... zzzz zzz zzz......  Never mind there is always a next time to take photo with that famous globe.

BTW, word of advice, buy your tickets online to avoid queuing to purchase them at the park because some days the queue at the ticketing counter is mad long and you really really do not want to waste precious time queuing to get tickets to enter the park.  We also bought Express Unlimited tickets because base on our past experience its either spending $70 per pax for the express tickets or waiting in queue for at least an hour for each rides.


After collecting our tickets & the Easter Eggstravaganza card at the retail store we started our adventure excitedly~  And guess who we saw the minute we turned the corner literally?  Its Bob, Stuart and Kevin!  We just have to take a photo with these 3 lovable minions!  And the kids reminded me why I find Minions a little bit annoying when they went on and on like this...

I say "Hello!"
You say "Bello!"
Hello!
Bello!
Hello!
Bello!


I posted this in my instagram, not too difficult to guess where we are heading. This is the #1 ride in all of our list that day and we made a bee line to it after the photo shoot with the Minions. And we took a total of 4 rides that day!  Thanks to the Express Unlimited ticket We also discovered that we will have a different experience and view of the 3D effects when we sit at different seats in EVAC.  For example, at the end of the ride, Optimus Prime will be either talking to you facing you directly or looking at you side way.  The next time you are there, watch out for it and let us know if you managed to see the difference too.



Look! We met Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee in person! *Squeals in delight*  I'm pretty impress with these 2, instead of standing there not moving and waiting for the people to walk up to them and pose for photos they were actually moving around, interacting with those in queue.  Bumble Bee was busy giving high-fives to the crowd and dancing to the funky music at the same time.



Remember we purchased the Easter Eggstravaganza tickets?  We received a play card as the one C is holding in the photo below, we are supposed to go around the park to locate the eggs, once we found the egg we peeled off the egg sticker and stick it on the correct location.  Complete the hunt with the correctly matched egg stickers and receive an exclusive Minion Easter Egg filled with candies~


We had a "misadventure", we were determined to try out all the rides in the park except for Battlestar Galactica because of obvious reason and also this Mama is not a roller coaster fan.  It slipped our mind that Revenge of the Mummy is also another No-No ride because its a mad roller coaster ride in pitch dark that is filled with sudden dip or drop from a height, or being pulled back and sudden surge forward in crazy speed.  

C reluctantly followed us but not without showing concerns in her face, she kept saying she don't want to take the ride but we assured her that it's nothing scary, just a normal roller coaster ride.  However, I also had a nagging feeling when we were entering the building but I pushed it back thinking that perhaps the mysterious looking Egyptian statues and drawings around us.  When the ride enters into darkness, my heart sank and I thought to myself "OH SHIT!" before plunging into the pit.  I screamed in fear on top of my voice during those few mins and I am pretty sure my face is as white as sheet when we emerge from the ride. C was crying uncontrollably because it was too dam scary!!!! I felt so guilty for urging her to go on the ride with us, both of us should have stayed outside and wait for them.

After some hugging and me apologizing, she felt better, BUT there's nothing an ice cream can't fix~  We all had one each to calm our nerves, reminding ourselves that we will NEVER go near this place every again!


It was nearing our buffet time (there are only 2 slots 1.00am – 12.30pm, 1.30pm – 3.00pm) and we headed off to Far Far Away to look for Casa Del Wild.

Don't expect a great spread but the food are definitely tasty and satisfying, but who would want to fill their stomach to the max when we will be running around and on rides?  I wouldn't want to risk puking every thing out while on the roller coaster.    Having said that, you should try the Nonya Laksa, Creamy Cauliflower & Potato Gratin with Turkey Ham and Chicken Lollipop with BBQ Sauce. Read more about the food being served over here.

Oh another thing to note, the price you pay for the buffet lunch does not includes drinks.  We discovered that only when we were at the cashier and was told to top up $3 each for free flow of drinks.  We weren't very happy about it but of course we paid for it because it was a scorching hot day and we were all dying of thirst!  It makes me wonder why would you charge $38+ for adult and $28+ for child for the buffet that does not includes drink?  Where do you expect patrons to get drinks when outside food & drinks are not allowed?  Perhaps that's the reason why there is a pushcart selling cold drinks just outside the restaurant (a bottled of chilled mineral water cost a whopping $3 from the pushcart).   

Photo Credit : RWScoop
Before you leave the cashier to hunt for a table, you will received 4 eggs, the kids may go to the craft area within the restaurant to decorate their eggs.  They will be able to bring the egg back once the paint dries up.  


And while the kids were busy painting the eggs, the mummies were relaxing at the table eating the food and taking photos with the Madagascar gang!



The Easter Eggstravagaza package also includes a 30 mins or so live musical stageshow “An unEGGspected Wedding” .  Its a hilarious and entertaining show about the whimsical Egg Lord and his arranged marriage to an undisclosed suitor in order to save his royal standing.  



Following the show, we were lead to Eggingham Gardens where we get up close and personal with photo opportunity with the Easter-exclusive characters Humpty Dumpty, the Egg Lord and The Easter Bunny.

Easter Bunny

Egg Lord 

Humpty Dumpty

When it ended, we were just in time to catch the Hollywood Dream Parade where we were being dazzled by the characters from Madagascar, Revenge of the Mummy®, Jurassic Park and Shrek.  







When Puss in Boots Giant Journey was launched last year, I wanted to pay it a visit but put it off till I simply forget about it. Even though I wasn't a roller coaster fan; both mild or mad crazy death threatening ones, I was willing to bite the bullet for the sake of the boy and we went onto it not once but TWICE!  Even though its a pretty gentle ride, the ride up to the top of the tower still gives me the heebie jeebies.  It's like the calm before the plunge or sudden dip on most roller coasters but instead we surges forward and out of the tower!

It was an enjoyable ride, I even shake my body to Lady Gaga's Americano together with Puss and Kitty Softpaws when they managed to save the orphanage.  There were a few sudden stops through the ride and it was unpleasant to me because my stomach got knocked against the lap bar a couple of times, giving me queasy feeling and an sudden urge to purge out from my mouth.  YUCKS!  Lucky that did not happened.



Besides the above we also spent some time at The Lost World where we rode the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure twice and the kids rode on Dino Soaring ride.  No photos for those because we put our bags & everything in the locker provided as we didn't want to risk our bags and cameras getting wet while going on the rapids adventure.  The $4 locker fee is for minimum an hour's rental thus we decided to leave them there till we are done.  We also went for the Shrek 4D Adventure, joining Shrek and Donkey in rescuing Princess Fiona.  That place is too dark to take any decent photos.  We missed out a few performance because of timing but nevertheless, we still had enormous fun that day.

Oh about the egg hunting, don't worry that you will be unable to hunt for the eggs and sit on the rides at the same time because you can do both effortlessly!  Our priority was to play hard at the park, going for all rides & shows that we fancied, we still managed to finish searching for the eggs even though it took us the whole day to do so.  Some of the eggs are so well hidden and some were is such a position that only visible through a child's view (clever eh USS?).

If you are thinking of letting your child have a last burst of fun before studying for the mid year exam, I strongly suggest that you head off to Universal Studios Singapore to have a full day of thrill & excitement.  Do join in the Easter Eggstravaganza egg hunt too for extra fun.  Hurry!  You have till 17th April 2016 to join in the Easter Eggstravaganza fun!  Book your tickets over here.

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