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Friday, September 30, 2011

King Salmon Cake

Feel bored of eating fried salmon. Tried something new last week - King Salmon Cake.

What you need:
Canola oil, for frying
1 1/2 lbs of cooked king salmon ( 2 slices )
7 digestive biscuits ( the original recipe used cracker meal )
2 large eggs, beaten
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
sugar and salt

What you do:
  1. Flake the cooked cooled salmon with a fork, Add digestive biscuits to the bowl and work through the fish with your hands.
  2. Add the eggs, red bell pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper and the zest of lemon to the bowl. Combine the ingredients well with your hands. If the mixture is a little wet, add a bit more digestive biscuits.
  3. Form 3-inch patties of salmon cakes 1-inch thick. Fry cakes until golden in a single layer 3 - 4 minutes on each side.
  4. Served with salad greens or chili mayonnaise sauce.

Every Child Ready to Read

Saw this parent guide to early literacy for talkers : Two- and Three-Years-Olds at the library. Wanted to jot down here to remind myself on how to help MSLS to be ready to read.

According to research, there are six pre-reading skills that children must learn in order to learn to read.

What can I do to help:
(1) Vocabulary
  • Talk with your child about what is going on around you. Talk about feelings - your and your child's.
  • When your child talks with you, add more details to what she says.
  • Speak in the language that is most comfortable for you.
  • Read together every day. When you talk about the story and pictures, your child hears and learns more words.
  • Reserach shows that children who have larger vocabularies are better readers. Knowing many words helps children recognise written words and inderstand what they read.
(2) Print Motivation
  • Make book-sharing time a special time for closeness between you and your child.
  • Let your child see you reading
  • Visit your public library often
  • Children who enjoy books will want to learn how to read.
(3) Narrative Skills
  • Tell your child stories.
  • Ask your child to tell you about something that happened today.
  • Read books together. Stories help children understand that things happen in order first, next, last.
  • Read a book that you have read before. Switch what you do - you be the listener and let your child tell you the story.
  • Being able to tell or retell a story helps children understand what they read.
(4) Phonological Awareness
  • Say nursery rhymes and make up your own silly, nonsense rhymes.
  • Sing songs. Songs have different notes for each syllable in a word, so children can hear the different sounds in words.
  • Play word games such as " What sounds like 'ran'? or " What starts with the same soun as " ball"?
  • Say rhymes and sing songs in the language that is most comfortable for you.
  • Being able to hear the sounds that make up words helps children soun out words as they begin to read.
(5) Letter Knowledge
  • Help your child see different shapes and the shapes of letters.
  • Talk about what is the same and what is the different between two things
  • Write you child's name, especially first letter.
  • Make letters from clay or use magnetic letters. Point out and name letters when reading alphabet books, signs, or labels.
  • Read alphabet books with clear letters and pictures
  • Knowing the names and sounds of letters help children figure out how to sound out words.

MSLS at 23 months

  • Both MSLS are at 12.3kg. They loves to eat and LS will say " bau bau " when she is full.
  • Still wearing diapers during daytime nap and night time. MS will wake up during midnight to wee wee. But we still let her wear diapers during night time. LS tends to have a few " accidents" last month while diaperless during daytime, eg: at supermarket's play area, in the car. This happened when she is too excited when she play new things, and sometimes she only alert us when she really cannot hold it anymore.
  • Have their milk 3 times per day - after afternoon nap, before sleep and during midnight.
  • Daily diet consists of bread/ oat ( they love oat with sliced bananas )/ fruits ( especially grapes ) / fruit juice for breakfast, porridge before nap time, rice, fruits/ bread/ beans/ yoghurt during tea time, and  porridge or noodles for dinner.
  • They will follow what we said, if we said out words by words.
  • They like to imitate what ES did during her gymnastics class.
  • They like to play " masak masak" and dolls.
    They used lego to play masak masak too. Pretend the red color blocks are strawberry cakes, and yellow colour blocks are banana cakes.
  • They have their own opinions, eg: MS wanted to wear the same diapers ( the diapers with moon, just like what LS had ).
  • They love to take bath.
  • Sometimes they share, but sometimes they do fight.

Great hiking experience at Mt St Helens

Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980.which was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States.
Last Saturday, we drove two hours together with three families and reached our destination, Mount St Helens. We decided to go for a short trail, about 2.3 miles - Hummock Trail.

Hummonck trail is a loop of trails meandering over and around various hummacks, along streams, ponds and wet land that are the result of the landslides that happened during the eruption. Lots of ups and downs and some areas of flat walking. Daddy really did a great job as he brought MSLS together with him with their stroller. It is really not easy to hike with a stroller and need a lot of strength especially going through path with lots of stones, and when going up the hill. However, it is a totally different experience compared to hiking alone.

ES with her new friend, Yi Jie. They walked through the whole trail without complaining of tiredness. They love seeing frogs and dragonflies along the trail.

We stopped for awhile when we reached a flat area.
Mount St Helens, from far.

We passed by a lake.

We saw a lot of thess white wildflowers along the trail.

                                 While walking half way, we saw North Fork Toutle River.
Another great view of Mount St Helens from Tortle River.

This piece of land was separated into two by muds and rocks, after the  eruptions in 1980's.

Even it is a short trail, we took three hours to complete the trail. Is is indeed a fun hikng experience especially with the three girls. Everytime when the kids were asking whether when they will reached the parking area, I told them, " after one turning, you will reached!" just like what gong gong told me when we go for hiking when I was a kid.

We drove to Coldwater Creek and had picnic there. After lunch, we have a slow walk at Coldwater Creek.

                                           The kids enjoyed playing with each other.

                                                                   Our group photo

  We drove to the top of the hill before we drove back. Behind Ah Ma is Mount St Helen, a more closer view.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chocolate butter cake

Thought of baking a simple butter cake for tomorrow's breakfast. Popo always made this for us and she had shared the recipe with me before. It is really simple and yummy.

Now it's time for me to try it out by myself.

What you need:
190g butter
140g sugar
3 eggs
190g all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder ( sifted )
3 tablespoons fresh milk
70g chocolates ( add one tablespoon of olive oil and heat up in microwave for 30 seconds )

What you do:
(1) Add sugar into butter and mix with low speed till smooth and light yellowish.
(2) Add in egg, one at a time, and mix well after each addtion.
(3) Add in flour in three addition.
(4) Mix fresh milk with the batter.
(5) Take out some batter and add in chocolate mixture. Mix well.
(6) Pour the original batter into a 9 inche baking tray. Followed by chocolate batter. Pour in another layer of original batter on top.
(7) Put the tray into the preheated oven ( 180 C or 356 F ) for about 40 minutes or till the surface turned

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Seattle Aquarium and Agosy

We went for a cruise ride and visit Seattle Aquarium last Saturday. It took us about 4 hours to reach there.

Seattle is the northernmost major city in the contiguous United States, and the largest city in the Pacific NorthWest and the state of Washington. It is a major seaportt and the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States.

There are some very large companies dominate the business landscape. Companies like Internet retailer, coffee chain Starbucks, and department store Nordstrom are headquartered in Seattle.
Prior to moving its headquarters to Chicago, aerospace manufacturer Boeing  was the largest company based in Seattle.
Here we are at Seattle Aquarium!

Life on the Edge - This exhibit allows visitors to experience the tidepool life of Washington's outer coast and Seattle's inland sea, while meeting such creatures as aggregating anemones and sunflower sea stars. Two large exhibit pools, which include touch zones staffed by naturalists

Some beatiful starfish, we are allowed to touch it and feel it!

ES with a huge octopus

One of the staff is sharing some facts about different octopus.

Guess what, I can dive... Just like dad & mum

These corals are only available in Hawaii.
In the Aquarium's Pacific Coral Reef exhibit a 25,000 gallon community tank demonstrates the structure of the reef fish community, as a variety of colorful warm-water fish swim through a large, man-made coral reef.

                                                                       Tufted Puffin
The Northwest Shores exhibit gives visitors an inside view of the variety of habitats inherent to the coastal areas of the Northwest. Within each of the three habitats on display, we learned how birds are able to use their unique features to live and thrive in their inhospitable homes.

These Chinook Salmon fish live in fresh water streams and estuaries. These habitat provides protection and nutrition until they are large enough to swim out to the sea.

The most "action-packed" part of the Aquarium, the marine mammal exhibit features the always-entertaining sea otters.

Window on Washington Waters Diver Show. Naturalist gave short talks during feeding with the animals.

At Pier 55

                The tour guide gave us a clear introduction about the harbour and the scenary

Seattle Aquarium

ES kept on asking questions and daddy was busy explaining to her.

Space needle

We saw some seals playing in the middle of the sea.

A huge bird flying towards the cruise.

                                          one of the world's largest shipping terminals

The spectacular city skyline

Ah Ma and daddy were busy enjoying the view, while the three girls started to have one of their favourite fruits, grapes in the cruise.

Che Che is sharing some grapes with LS...

         The girls were so excited, and they are ready for the next destination - farmers' market.

While walking towards farmers market, we saw a ferry truck on the road.