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Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness



Simple commands that 10.5-month baby Luke understands

This is baby Luke. He turns 10.5 months old today! Yay!!!

Here are some simple commands that he can understand pretty well (sequence in alphabetical order):

  • Clap hands (he responds the moment he hears the "clap your hands" song or the word "clap")
  • Crawl
  • Dance
  • Give
  • Give me 5 (he will tap his little hand at your palm)
  • Jump (he will move his legs vigorously)
  • Kick
  • Knock (he will knock 2 blocks together)
  • Luke (he responds to his own name)
  • Makan (he also responds to umm-mum-mum)
  • Open door (he will touch the door sensor with access card) 
  • Roll / Rolling
  • Rub head (he will rub his forehead against yours)
  • Say mama
  • Say papa
  • Shake
  • Splash
  • Stand (he can stand by propping himself at us or the sofa)
  • Take
  • Touch
  • Wave bye-bye (or just bye-bye)
  • Wipe mouth

The list will just get longer and longer! :D


Gumbo and Biscuits recipes by Paula Deen

It was a sleepy Sunday evening. Hubby and I were taking turns to entertain our 10-month old little bub. It was then hubby suggested to watch a movie at home. We finally settled with The Princess and the Frog, a 2009 animated movie.

It was a story about a hardworking waitress named Tiana who dreamed of owning her own restaurant. Tiana's father was a good cook. One recipe that was repeatedly mentioned was gumbo. I've heard of gumbo but I don't know how does it look and taste like.

After a quick Googling, I learn that gumbo is a dish consists primarily of a strongly flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables, which can include celery, bell peppers and onions. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: the African vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice filé powder, or roux, the French base made of flour and fat. [Source]

I look up Paula Deen's Gumbo and here's the recipe.

Paula Deen's Gumbo

Recipe can be found on and

(Serves 8-10)
(Serves 2-3 with my modifications)


3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves (I use 2 medium chicken breast, sliced)

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use 4 tablespoons)

1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices (I use 5 pieces pork cocktail sausages, sliced)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I use 1/4 cup)

5 tablespoons margarine (I use 2 tablespoons)

1 large onion, chopped (I use 1 medium onion)

8 cloves garlic, minced (I use 4 cloves)

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped (I use 2 stalks)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (I use 4 tablespoons)

1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped, plus chopped leaves for garnish (I use Chinese parsley or daun sup)

4 cups hot water (I use 2 cups)

5 beef bouillon cubes (I use 2 cubes)

1 (14-ounce can) stewed tomatoes with juice (I use 1/2 can)

2 cups frozen sliced okra (I use 1 cup fresh okra, sliced)

4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts (I omit this)

1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked (I omit this because hubby can't eat seafood)

How to:

1. Season chicken slices with salt and pepper.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken slices until browned on both sides; remove from pan and set aside. Add sausages and cook until browned, then remove from pan and set aside.

3. Sprinkle flour over oil in the pan, add 1 tablespoon margarine, and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes. Off the heat and let the roux cool.

4. Return the pan to low heat and melt the remaining 1 tablespoon margarine. Add onion, garlic, green pepper, celery, and Chinese parsley. Cook for 10 minutes.

5. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.

6. Add hot water and beef cubes, whisking constantly. Add chicken and sausages. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

7. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

8. Remove from heat. Serve hot with Tabasco sauce and biscuits (recipe to follow below).

Paula Deen's Biscuits 

Recipe can be found on and

(Makes about 3 dozen)
(Makes about a dozen with my modifications)


2 cups all-purpose flour (I use 1 cup)

1 teaspoons sugar (I use 1/2 teaspoon)

1 tablespoon baking powder (I use 1/2 tablespoon)

1 teaspoon salt (I use 1/2 teaspoon)

8 tablespoons butter, cubed (I use 4 tablespoons)

3/4 cup milk (I use slightly less than 1/2 cup)

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 220°C for at least 10 minutes. Line baking tray with baking sheet.

2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Cut butter into mixture until it begins to look like cornmeal.

3. Make a well with flour mixture and slowly add milk into the middle. Knead dough with your fingers and add milk when necessary. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to desired thickness.

4. Place biscuits in baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.


This post is linked to Cook like a Star (Paula Deen and Deen brothers theme) organized by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe.


Baked Broccoli, Cauliflower & Rice Egg Cups

Baked Broccoli, Cauliflower & Rice Egg Cups

I love my muffin pan/tin/tray. My first one is the normal non-stick 6-hole pan that I got from here. My second one is a non-stick pan with 6 bear-shaped cups that I got from here.

Note: The links above are NOT affiliate links.

Muffin pan is perfect for baking muffins and egg cups. For these latest egg cups that I bake, I add broccoli, cauliflower, and rice. They taste just as great!

(Yields 10-12 egg cups) 

1 cup cooked white rice
3/4 cup cauliflower, chopped
3/4 cup broccoli, chopped
3 slices cheddar cheese, tore into small pieces
2 chicken frankfurters, cut into small pieces
3 small eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil, extra for greasing
Salt to taste

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 190°C for at least 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix together rice, cauliflower, broccoli, cheese, chicken frankfurters, and olive oil until combined.

3. Scoop rice mixture into 10-12 greased muffin cups.

4. Spoon beaten egg into each cup until rice mixture is wet.

5. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops become light golden brown.

Getting ready to go into the oven!

Freshly baked and ready to be served after 25 minutes!

I adore these bear-shaped rice cups.

Cute, right?

See that red patch in the bear's middle? It's a piece of chicken frankfurter, disguising as the bear's tummy. :D


Motherhood - The First Year: The Things I Do

It has been 10 months and 1 week since my firstborn, Luke, was born. Is life good? Yes, life is awesome now.

I survived the first four weeks and the fourth trimester of motherhood. *fist bump*

Now, nothing is too difficult for a first-time mom, I hope. :P

Having struggled through baby's tongue-tie (until 2 weeks old) and prolonged jaundice (until 7.5 weeks old), I thank God for His protection and blessings every single day.

Indeed, baby Luke is growing up fast. In two month's time, he will be a toddler. He will be walking, talking, and soon, running! Gosh! Time flies.

So, in these 10 months, what have I done to ensure that baby Luke receives the best babyhood we as parents can provide to him? Let me list down one by one.

Note: This is a wordy post.


Natural birth or C-section?

I opt for natural birth the moment I find out I was pregnant. Not that I'm very brave or want to be a hero. To be honest, I hate pain and perceive myself as having very low pain tolerance.

But, giving birth naturally is a choice I made after I read up about the advantages of natural child birth and also, the possibility of having a gentle, easy, comfortable birthing.

You might ask, was it painful? I prefer to use the term major discomfort, not pain. In fact, giving birth is the most empowering process that I, as a woman, have experienced, even more so without pain relief.

Learn more about gentle birth at and contact the instructor, Mdm. Soo Wai Han. You won't regret attending HypnoBirthing classes.

I want Luke to start his journey as a baby in this world by letting him "choose" the date he wants to be born on. I don't want him to go through the stress of being induced to come out earlier than the day nature intends for him.

Will I consider C-section in the future, for e.g. if baby is breech? I'd say, no. I learn that there are ways to turn the baby down.


No epidural. Lower back massage by the hubby as I braved through each surge (contraction) was good enough. Am I out of my mind? I think so. Hahaha. To be honest, I'd describe birthing "pain" as super duper period cramps that just won't go away.

Confinement lady?

From the very first day, I've made up my mind that I would NOT hire a confinement lady. NO. NO. NO. NO.

First, they are ridiculously expensive. I'm not willing to spend this kind of money.

Second, she will comment that a new mother won't have enough breast milk and will suggest to feed my newborn with formula milk in bottles. This will jeopardize my effort to establish a good breastfeeding relationship with my baby. Surely one bottle won't hurt? Every baby is different. Some babies will prefer the bottle once it's introduced, some won't. I don't want to take this kind of risk.

Third, she will sleep with my newborn. I find it ridiculous when people say that a newborn should sleep with the confinement lady so that the mother can have enough rest and sleep. Huh? In my opinion, it's just giving birth, no big deal. I was lucky my hubby and mother-in-law were very helpful. They took care of Luke very well when I really needed some extra sleep.

Fourth, she is a stranger. I don't like staying with a stranger in the same house, no matter how "good" she is.


Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding?

Breastfeeding takes the lead. Bottle-feeding is done only at the babysitter's house when I'm at work. I have blogged about why I choose to breastfeed my baby here and here.

From WHO: To enable mothers to establish and sustain exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, WHO and UNICEF recommend:

- Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life.
- Exclusive breastfeeding – that is the infant only receives breast milk without any additional food or drink, not even water.
- Breastfeeding on demand – that is as often as the child wants, day and night.
- No use of bottles, teats or pacifiers.

Solids at 4 months or 6 months?

6 months. From WHO: Review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

Homemade meals or commercial baby food?

Homemade meals. Luke loves his porridge, steamed vegetables, and mashed fruits. Spoon-feeding is a breeze. He knows when to stop when he's full. He can hold solid food chunks such as bananas, bread, and baby biscuits, with his fingers pretty well.

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Growing up

Co-sleeping or sleep training in baby cot?

We co-sleep with Luke on our bed from day one until now. Co-sleeping is very good for us. Before he cries for milk at night, I'm already awake from sensing (I don't know how) his hunger cues. No bottle-feeding at night too. I just breastfeed him on the bed. He sleeps back pretty fast after he's full.

Midnight feeds or STTN (sleep through the night)?

Midnight feeds. At 10 months old, Luke hasn't slept through the night yet. He's waking up 2-3 times to breastfeed. I'm okay with this because we co-sleep.

Baby-wearing or stroller?

Baby-wearing. Stroller is bulky and takes up so much space in our car booth and worse, Luke doesn't want to sit in it. Luke loves to be in our arms whenever he's with us. So, baby-wearing is perfect. He will stay in his carrier and enjoy the scenery around him.


No, Luke doesn't like it. I don't manage to get him to use it, not even my babysitter with 15 years of babysitting experience can do it. Now he bites and chews the pacifier like a teether.

So, how do I calm him down when he's fretting and being a cranky pot? Well, the boobs are doing a great job in pacifying him.


No. Here's a good article - Babywalkers 'hinder first steps'. For every 24 hours of babywalker use, there was a delay of 3.3 days in walking independently and a delay of 3.7 days in standing independently.


Working away from home mom (WAHM) or stay at home mom (SAHM)?

I'm a working mom, not by choice initially. But I've come to terms about being a working mom.

Daddy's role?

My hubby is the perfect family man. He loves his son to bits!

By the way, I think my hubby will handle the matter of disciplining (when necessary) the boy better than I do. Luke listens to his papa more. Haha.


Eggless Cheddar Cheese Pancakes with Honey Butter

Eggless Cheddar Cheese Pancakes with Honey Butter

Pancakes are awesome, even the eggless ones. I love making pancakes for weekend brunches. This recipe combines cheese, butter, and honey. Heavenly!

Recipe adapted from here.


(For pancakes)

200g cheddar cheese, shredded
1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup salted butter, melted

(For honey butter)

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey

Mix butter and honey until smooth in a small bowl and set aside in room temperature.

(For garnishing)

1 ripe banana, sliced

How to:

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in shredded cheese.

2. In a small bowl, lightly beat yogurt, milk, and butter until smooth.

3. Add yogurt-milk-butter mixture all at once to dry ingredients; stir until slightly moistened (batter will be thick).

4. For each pancake, spread 1 heaping tablespoon batter in hot, lightly greased fry pan.

5. Cook over medium heat until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn and brown underside.

6. Spoon a dollop of honey butter over each pancake and garnish with banana slices.


This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organized by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Jozelyn from Spice Up My Kitchen at this post (June 2014: Butter).


Basic white bread baked in bread maker (Cornell Bread Master)

This is my latest kitchen toy.

Brand: Cornell
Product: Bread Maker
Model no.: CBM-PH30LB

This is a special gift from the hubby in conjunction with our triple happiness celebration - Happy Father's Day (hubby's first), Happy 2nd Anniversary (our wedding), and Happy Birthday (mine!). :D

Thanks hubby! You and your sweet surprises! :)

I'm so elated beyond words! And so, I baked my very first loaf of basic white bread in my life! :)

Weight: 900g
Type: Basic white bread
Crust: Medium brown


350ml water
2 tablespoon oil (I used virgin coconut oil)
1 & 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
520g bread flour*
1 teaspoon dry yeast

*Bread flour is not the same as all-purpose flour. It is higher in protein and gluten and is necessary to give your bread its fine grain.

I read up about how to mix the ingredients and here's an important one: With most machines, start with the liquids then move on to the dry ingredients. The very last ingredient to add is the yeast. [source]

Now, let the photos and their captions speak for themselves.

Freshly baked and ready to be sliced!

Smells sooooo goooood!

And there you are! Meet the insides of my first loaf of white bread. :P

I need to buy a good bread knife. I have problem slicing it into nice slices with a normal kitchen knife.

The hubby's idea: Let's make a soup bowl...

...and fill it with cream of chicken soup!

By the way, our 10-month old baby loves bread pieces. He can hold a piece of bread with his cute little fingers and eat it slowly. So cute!


Chicken Florentine (Paula Deen)

I'm enjoying cooking, baking, and joining blog hops such as Little Thumbs Up, Bake-Along, and now Cook like a Star!

Chicken Florentine (Paula Deen)
(Serves 6-8)

Note: I halved the ingredients to yield 3-4 servings (my version in orange)


2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach (I use 2 cups of coarsely chopped fresh red spinach)

6 chicken breast halves (about 4 pounds), cooked, boned, and shredded (I use 3 chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded)

2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup (I use 1 can)

2 cups grated sharp Cheddar (I use 1 & 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup dry white wine (I use 1/2 cup chicken stock)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (I use 1/2 cup grated Cheddar)

1 cup sour cream (I use 1 cup plain yogurt)

1 cup mayonnaise (I omit this)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I omit this)

1 teaspoon curry powder (I omit this)

1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to:

1. Put shredded chicken and spinach in a bowl.

2. In a medium bowl, combine soup, yogurt, Cheddar, salt and pepper. Whisk to make sauce. Pour the sauce over the spinach and chicken. Mix well with a spatula.

3. Place the mixture into a greased casserole dish. Pat down evenly and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle bread crumbs and more cheese over the top. Dot with butter.

4. Bake uncovered at 180°C for about 30 minutes until bubbly.

Not that pretty but yummy! :D

Gooey and oozing with cheesy goodness!


This post is linked to Cook like a Star (Paula Deen and Deen brothers theme) organized by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe.


Chicken Pot Pie with Homemade Biscuit Crust

Chicken Pot Pie with Homemade Biscuit Crust

This is my first chicken pot pie and it turns out pretty good. The next challenge is to make a "real" pie with pie dough. :D

Recipe adapted from here.

(Serves 1 pie in a Pyrex 3-Cup Rectangle Dish)

For the filling:

2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups water
1 & 1/2 cups full cream milk
1/2 cup yellow onions, chopped
3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed
3/4 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
3/4 cup carrots, chopped
3/4 cup potatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

How to:

For the filling:

1. In a large saucepan, melt butter and slowly stir in flour, salt, and pepper; stir until consistency resembles peanut butter. Add milk slowly and keep stirring.

2. Add in chicken, onions, carrots, potatoes, green peas, and sweet corn. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.


For the biscuit crust:

1 & 1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
5 tablespoons cubed cold butter
1/4 cup cold water

How to:

For the biscuit crust:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix well.

2. Add cold butter cubes a little at a time and cut into flour mixture until well blended. This mixture will appear chunky in appearance.

3. Stir in cold water, a tablespoon at time, into the dough mixture until well blended.

4. Form dough into a ball and keep it in a sealed zip-lock bag. Place in the fridge to chill for up to an hour.

To assemble:

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. To work the dough, sprinkle workplace with some flour. Roll out the dough until you get the thickness and width that can fit your casserole dish. Set aside.

3. Pour the cooked and cooled chicken pot pie filling into your casserole dish.

4. Top biscuit crust dough over the chicken filling until fully covered. Brush top with milk or eggwash (optional).

4. Bake at 200°C for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.


This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organized by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Jozelyn from Spice Up My Kitchen at this post (June 2014: Butter).


I'm also linking this post to the event, Bake-Along #62: Theme - Savoury Pie/Tart organized by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen Wings, and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.


Arabian Fast Food: Big & Tasty @ Zest Point, Bandar Kinrara 9

Let the photos and captions speak for themselves. :)

Good, affordable Arabic fast food!

Big & Tasty Arabic Restaurant

Address: No. ZP-G-27, Zest Point, Bandar Kinrara 9. You can use this address here.

Choices of chicken sandwiches and their prices as listed above.

Choices of meat/beef sandwiches and their prices as listed above.

This is Nasi Arab Ayam - my hubby's favorite meal, mine too. It's basically fragrant long-grained rice served with grilled chicken thigh and secret tangy sauce. Sometimes, you get some greens on your plate; sometimes, you get grilled potatoes.

Look at that yummylicious grilled chicken thigh! Tender, succulent, and flavorful!

This is Chicken Fajita Sandwich, made into a meal (by adding an extra RM3), i.e. you will get more mayonnaise dip and french fries on the side. The chicken chunks are well marinated and the sweet corns give a nice crunchiness to the whole sandwich.

This is our customized (not on the menu) Nasi Arab with beef and corns from Rosto Tasty Sandwich.

This is another customized Nasi Arab with grilled beef slices from Grilled Staak (I'm not sure if this is a spelling error or is it really called staak instead of steak) Sandwich.

This is Chicken Shawerma Sandwich made from chicken slices grilled with traditional Turkish spices,  Grenadine Molasses, and tomatoes.

This is Shish Tawook Sandwich made from grilled chicken pieces with special Arabic herbs.

New menu includes Nasi Lemak Ayam Berempah, Nasi Kukus Ayam, and Nasi Arab Kambing (my new favorite!).

This is Nasi Lemak Ayam Berempah. They serve rice cooked in coconut milk, not white rice. I'd say this is one of the best nasi lemak I've eaten, I dare say it can fight with the famous Village Park Nasi Lemak.

This is another superb rice dish their latest addition - Nasi Arab Kambing. Moist and tender lamb chunks, so good they melt in your mouth. The soup is tasty too. Next round I might ask for a bowl. :)

All dishes are halal. Do come and enjoy your lunch and dinner!

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post.