Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's Kevin's Birthday!

Since my gums are still a little bit swollen and somewhat painful (I am still not able to eat regular food), we didn't go out to celebrate Kevin's birthday today. I hope to get better by Saturday since the stitches come out on Thursday. We will most probably have a belated birthday celebration for Kevin this weekend.
I was a little bit bummed out that poor Kevin is not going to do anything special for his birthday this year. I found out online that there is actually a Cuban bakery not too far down the street from us. They are supposed to be the best in the whole of Newark. It's a family run bakery and it has handed down from generation to generation. So, I went down there to see if they had any birthday cakes. It's located in a somewhat shady part of town and there were just a lot of Hispanic guys (most of them are really tough looking but I have learnt that they can be nice people) loitering outside the bakery. The bakery was just filled with all kinds of pastries, breads and cakes. Most of the people working there only spoke Spanish and it took me a while to explain to them that I was looking for a birthday cake. I later found out there were only two choices, blue or pink. Errr blue I guess?? Hahaha.

Here is Kevin with his Hispanic birthday cake!

Soooo, did the cake taste as good as it's supposed to be? Was it worth it to go down to that part of town to get the cake? Helll yeeah! When I bought the cake, I thought that it was just regular yellow cake. I didn't know that it's actually filled with pineapple and strawberry! The cake was really moist and the filling had really big chunks of fruits in it. I don't know if you notice...but the cream from American birthday cakes are different from the Malaysian ones. The American ones are really heavy and can be pretty 'jelek' sometimes. This cake was different. It had really nice and light cream..very very yuummmmy! The cake might look funny but it sure tasted good!!

Anyway, Kevin loved his Cuban Birthday Cake and that's all that matters! I will update you guys about his belated birthday celebration next week!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy 59th Birthday, Dad!!

It's here again! I just looooove the end of March. This is when the two guys in my life will celebrate their birthdays!! My dad's birthday is on the 30th and Kevin's is on the 31st (different years, of course :P). I just realized I don't have a photo of just my dad and Kevin, so here is a family photo taken early last year.

It really sucks that my dad is half away across the globe from us, so we cannot really celebrate his birthday with him. We would usually just buy him a birthday cake online and have it delivered to him. Being so far away from home really cuts down on the choices that we have when it comes to buying a gift for my parents...it's either order a cake, order flowers (that's for my mom) or something that the florist would deliver.

This year however, we managed to get something a little bit different. I remember how my dad used to say that a good present is not something that a person needs but something that a person would like but would not have bought it for himself/herself. I read about this online shop in Malaysia called RedRibbon Days a few months ago. The unique thing about this online shop is, they do not sell actual 'gifts' but they sell 'experiences' that you can buy for special occasions. You can choose from a list of experiences that they already have or you can work with the team to tailor an experience that suits your budget and taste. This was just perfect!! We spent quite a lot of time browsing thru the website and even emailed the Pleasure Team from RedRibbon Days to ask a few questions. They were really helpful and professional, I was really impressed with the way they suggested various 'experiences' to suit the budget and occasion.

At last we chose an experience that we thought that my dad will enjoy and decided to get it hand delivered with balloons to my dad on his birthday. We even got to choose the time we wanted it to be delivered and true enough, a lady in a black Aveo arrived at our house at 9:30AM with this for my dad! My dad did say that he was truly impressed with the packaging of the 'experience'.

A red box with three red balloons! Inside the red box was a black envelope sealed with red wax.

My dad opened the envelope to find a voucher with the 'experience' that we bought him. A Traditional English Tea for Two at Carcosa Seri Negara.

We figured that my parents would enjoy some fine English tea and scones with clotted cream at Carcosa (once the official residence of the highest British rep of the Malay states), away from the hustle and bustle of the city on a Saturday afternoon. It might not be an over the top experience but I trust that it will be a pleasant experience for my dad. I hope that he will have a great time, enjoying an elegant but pleasant afternoon with my mom as they soak in some timeless colonial charm.

Dad, may you have a great birthday and we are really sorry that we could not be there to celebrate it with you this year. May God continue to bless you richly and may you also be a blessing to others at home, work and your ministry!



Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kevin's Buffalo Wings

Just because I'm on a semi solid/mushy food diet, doesn't mean that Kevin has to be on one too :P I know this blog has been lacking it's usual yummy food photos, so here is Kevin showing you how he makes his favorite Louisana Lickers Buffalo Wings. It's really really simple. All you would need is a bag of frozen wing sections (drummettes and wings) and a bottle of buffalo wings sauce. Kevin is using the Louisana Lickers Sauce from Quaker Steak & Lube (we bought that from Pittsburgh a few weeks ago). It's one of the best sauces ever!

First, place some frozen wings on an aluminium foil lined baking tray.

Place it in a 375F oven and bake it until it's about half cooked.

Flip the wings over and return it into the oven until it's about 3/4 cooked.

Remove the wings from the oven and place it in a big container.

Pour some buffalo sauce over the wings.

Cover the container and shake it around. Make sure all the wings are well coated.

Once all the wings are evenly coated, return the wings to the baking tray and let it continue to bake until it's cooked through.

Remove the wings from the oven and it's ready to eat!

Boy, doesn't that look yummy? Can't wait until my gums are healed well enough for me to start eating solid food again!! Maybe Kevin can make me some wings!! :P

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Relaxing Saturday At Home...

Third day after the surgery. Yes, I did wake up with a little bit more pain compared to yesterday but it wasn't excruciating pain. There was just a slight discomfort at the area where the teeth were extracted from. My jaw was a tiny bit tighter compared to the day before and Kevin said he thinks there is a slight swelling on the left side of my face. After taking my pain killers and rinsing with salt water, the discomfort and swelling went away. It came back on later in the day when I was 2 hours late in taking my pain pills but it went away almost instantly once I took my pain killers. I guess the pain killers are really keeping me happy and comfortable :D I hope the pain and swelling will not increase tomorrow, let's just keep on praying for a speedy recovery!!
I am so sick of eating all the bland and mushy food! Can't wait to go back to normal solid food. I have upgraded to something a tiny bit more yummy today. I had Chef Boyardee's Mini Os for dinner today...Yay! At least something different. I really cannot take another bowl of bland porridge or mash potatoes anymore :P Guess I will stick to canned pasta and stuff like that for a couple more days before deciding what's next.

Oh, before I forget...check out the skyline of the city during Earth Hour today. Almost everything was in darkness, except for some of the mandatory street and safety building lights. It was such a sight to behold, the entire city just 'disappearing' before our very eyes!

Pretty cool, eh?

Friday, March 27, 2009

2nd Day After The Surgery

I recovered pretty well after the surgery yesterday. It took me about a little over 3 hours to completely stop the bleeding. I just had to continue changing the gauze every half an hour to 45 minutes. From what I read on the Internet, 3 hours is considered pretty good. The gross part is a wastepaper basket full of bloody gauze :P Wanna see? Let me warn you first, it's very gross and bloody. If you think you still want to see it, click here.
The oral surgeon prescribed me some antibiotics (Amoxicillin) as well as some pain killers (Hydrocodone). I really didn't feel any pain at all yesterday. In fact, by the time I went to sleep last night, my chin, lips and tongue were still numb! I was a little bit concerned because I read online that my nerve might be damaged . Kevin and I prayed real hard that it wasn't and when I woke up today, the numbness was gone! PTL!
I also had two big ice packs going on both sides of my face. The dentist instructed that I should have it 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off for the whole day. I guess my tiny cutey frog cold gel pack wasn't good enough. Kevin had to go get those big ice bags for me and went to McDs to buy a huge packet of ice :D

I was pretty much on a liquid diet yesterday, some milkshake, yogurt and I had some mash potatoes for dinner last night. I really didn't want to push it on the first day, so I just had light meals. I also realized that most of the soups that we bought the day before were chunky soups! How silly..I might have some trouble chewing all those chunky meat and pasta :P We shall see.

I braced myself for all the swelling and pain that was supposed to begin on the 2nd day. I woke up early today, expecting the worst and guess what? Totally no pain or swelling! The oral surgeon did say that I might have some difficulty in opening my mouth due to the soreness but I could open my mouth without any problems. The dental nurse gave me a call early today to check and see how I was doing. I told her I'm doing great, no pain yet! She was pretty pleased and told me that I should start rinsing my mouth with salt water every 3-4 hours. That will also help with the healing process. I made myself some really watery porridge with tiny chicken pieces and carrots today. Left it in the slow cooker for about 10 hours, so it was nice and mushy by dinner time :D

Kevin bought a selection of milkshakes (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla) and a hot fudge sundae from McDs for me after work today. So niceee....It's all in the refrigerator and I can take sips of milkshake whenever I want! So yummmy.

Well, it's almost time for me to take my antibiotic and pain killer meds. After that, I'll most probably drift to la la land...them painkillers ALWAYS make me drowsy! I am expecting the pain and sore feeling to come tomorrow. We shall see. As usual, I'll keep you guys updated!! Goodnight!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Surgery's over!

Just a short post before the Novocain wears off. The oral surgeon removed all four of my wisdom in about 25 minutes. It was almost painless, except the part where he had to inject all four sides of my gums. I think the Nitrous Oxide helped a lot, it sorta put me in another state, it felt good :P The oral surgeon had some problems extracting the tooth that was growing sideways, so he had to drill it and break it into a few pieces. The broken tooth on the right side also gave some problems. There was a small piece of tooth that just refused to come out. He somehow got it out at last. Other then that, everything went well. I just have to return next Thursday to remove the stitches.
I am still biting on to the gauze on both sides of my mouth. The bleeding should stop in a bit. I am certainly not looking forward to the Novocain wearing off :( I now have two ice packs on both sides of my cheeks. The oral surgeon said to keep it on until tonight. The more ice I put on it now, the less pain and swelling I will have tomorrow. Oh well, I'm going off to rest now. Thanks for all your prayers and concern. I'll try to update more later on. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day Before The Dental Surgery

It's here at last! I'll be having all four of my wisdom teeth taken out tomorrow morning. The oral surgeon will be using local anesthesia as well as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) in the procedure. Boy, I hope there won't be much pain. Just pray that everything will go on smoothly and that there won't be much pain :P
We went to get some groceries today. Kevin says that I will pretty much be in pain for a few days after the surgery, so we went to get some easy to make food for him as well as soups for me.

Kevin got some microwave meals as well as some cheese and ham to make sandwiches. He also picked up some hot dogs. Looks like his meals are all set for the next few days. I got a few different types of soups and yogurts.

We also picked up a cold gel pack, some witch hazel (my MIL said that it's good to calm pain) and some Advil PM (in case the painkillers prescribed by the dentist runs out and I am still in pain).

Looks like we are all set. Just continue to pray for me, for the procedure to go well and also for a speedy recovery. I'll my best try to blog after the surgery tomorrow!! :D

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fire in NYC?

I was laying on the couch watching the 6 o clock news on TV when Kevin suddenly said "You are not going to blog about that?" I was like "Huh? Blog about what?" Then he asked me to look out of the window. This is what I saw.
Wowwww! So much smoke. It looked as though the city was on fire!! I quickly went to take my camera to snap a few photos (just for you guys :D). Kevin tried to look up online to see what might be causing all that smoke. There was a car fire in the city but I don't think it would have caused so much smoke. He also found out that there is a brush fire in Secaucus, NJ as well as another fire in East Rutherford, NJ. Maybe that might be the cause for the smoke! Anywayy, the smoke didn't really last for long. It was really windy outside and I think it cleared up in about 15 minutes or so. We really don't know what happened but it was a scary sight. It somewhat reminded me of how the city would look like if it was under attack again :S Soooo, does anybody know what happened early this evening that might have caused all that smoke?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Big Taste Bailout Package

Since I started having really bad toothaches and was put on pretty heavy pain killers, I have been drowsy most of the time. My appointment for the surgery to remove all four of my wisdom teeth will be on Thursday, so looks like I have another two more days to go before the surgery. These days, I am either in pain or in a drowsy/sleepy state most of the time :P Because of that, I haven't been able to cook so Kevin has been surviving on fast food and stuff like that for the past few days. We saw the ad on TV for Dominos Big Taste Bailout Package and decided to order that for dinner on Sunday night.

It's a pretty good deal actually. You can choose any 3 medium size one topping pizzas or oven baked sandwiches for $5 each. We went online to place our order. It's actually the first time we are ordering from Dominos online, we would usually order our pizza from Papa Johns. First we get to choose the type of crust. So, we chose then Classic Hand Tossed.

Next we got to choose the type of sauce and toppings. We chose the White Garlic Parm Sauce with half of the topping being Grilled Chicken and the other half Philly Steak.

Alritey, next! We then chose a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich as one of the other choices.

The third item we chose was a medium pizza with a Deep Dish Crust, Marinara Sauce and Italian Sausage as the topping. Just click on complete and we are done!!

Now, this is the interesting part. I have never seen this on any other pizza website before (maybe cos I am a bit ulu kampung lah...). It's a real time Pizza Tracker. Dominos is known to get the pizza to your doorstep in 30 minutes or less. With this Pizza Tracker, we get to track the status of our pizza in real time! We ordered the pizza at around 8:00pm, so it shows "Mohammed begin custom-making your order at 8:00pm". Yeah, looks like we even know the name of the person making our pizza! :P

Then it showed that Mohammed placed our pizza in the oven at around 8:02pm and before we knew it, it showed " Our delivery expert, Jose, left the store with your order at 8:12pm". Wah, so fast!!

True enough, Jose (I think that's his name :P) was buzzing at our intercom to let him into the building at around 8:25 or so. I guess it took him less than 15 mins to get to our apartment! Very very impressed. Here it is, two piping hot pizzas and one oven baked sandwich.

Here is the Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. Kevin said it tasted yummy, looks yummy to me too.

This is the Deep Dish Pizza with Italian Sausage. It was still piping hot!!

Lastly, this is the Classic Hand Tossed White Garlic Parm pizza with Grilled Chicken on one side and Philly Steak on the other...

Eh wait! Grilled Chicken on one side and what on the other?!!? Looks like its just cheese! I don't see any Philly Steak on the other half of the pizza! Hmmmm, I guess Mr. Mohammed made a mistake! I called the Dominos outlet and told them that there was a mistake with our order. The girl on the phone was very apologetic and said that they will rush us a new pizza with the correct toppings! In less than half an hour, Jose was at our door again, apologized and handed us this...

Mmmm mmmm mmmm, another Classic Hand Tossed White Garlic Parm pizza with Grilled Chicken on one half AND Philly Steak on the other. Looks like Kevin will have enough pizzas to last him until my surgery! Hahaha. I must say that I was very impressed with how professional Dominos was with their fast delivery as well as how they handled the situation when they made a mistake with the order. I think we will be ordering more pizzas from Dominos in the future :D

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Help! I have a toothache :(

My left wisdom tooth started to hurt a little sometime last week when we were in Pittsburgh. I didn't think much of it but it became worse and worse. The left side of my head began to hurt and my left jaw was hurting like crazy. I had to pop Advil and used Orajel like a crazy woman to get some minor relief for my headaches and toothaches. I knew then that I had to go to the dentist. I am not a big fan of the dentist but the pain was killing me. I called 1800-dentist to look for a dentist that is located somewhere near our area and also someone that accepts my dental insurance. They recommended Smile Today in Nutley and I made an appointment for this morning.
When I said that I am not a big fan of the dentist, that's actually an understatement :P I am actually kinda terrified of the dentist (yes la, I can hear Sharon Ong going...scared what?). I don't even know why I am terrified of the dentist..hahaha. Anyway, I went in early today and it was a nice looking clinic. Very friendly staff and the dentist was pretty cool too. She took a look at my teeth and said that they will take an xray. You folks wanna see?

Well, from what she sees and from the xray, she said that I should just extract the wisdom tooth that is giving me the problem. She also said that I might as well remove all four of my wisdom teeth, since two out of the four is bad and another one is growing sideways. The dentist then referred me to two oral surgeons for me call on Monday (they are not open on weekends) to set up an appointment. She said she is not sure if the oral surgeon will remove all four or just the one that is giving me problems, I guess I'll know once I call them on Monday.

I really hope I can get an appointment to extract the tooth soon, I'm in so much pain. She thinks they should be able to slot me in sometime next week. Meanwhile, she prescribed me some pain killers ( Tylenol #3 with Codeine). Anything with Codeine is good :P I'm supposed to take it once every four hours but the pain comes back after 3 to 3 and the half hours. That's when I have to put on some Orajel and stuff. Man, I just can't wait to remove this tooth!! Another thing sucky about this meds is that it makes me drowsy! After taking the meds in the afternoon, I think it knocked me out cold for a good part of the afternoon..haha.

Guess how much we paid for the dentist to take a look at my teeth, xray as well as pain killers? ZERO dollars! Looks like the insurance covered all if it. We were expecting to pay at least some sort of a minimal payment but we were pleasantly surprised when we found out that we didn't have too!! Yay! Oh and checkout what I got to eat earlier today. Some super yummy, silky and soft HK Shrimp Chee Cheong Fun that we bought from 555 Asian Supermarket. Just perfect for people with a bad toothache :D Double Yay!!

Aaarrgghhh, it's beginning to hurt again. As long as the pain killers are working, I feel fine. In fact, I would sometimes even forget that I am having tooth problems. It's only when it begins to wear out, then it's hell all over again. Please pray that I will get an appointment as soon as possible to fix this and that I will not be in so much pain until then.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring!

Spring is here at last! In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring officially starts on March 20th at 7:44am EST this year. I woke up bright and early this morning (despite my terrible toothache and pounding headache), all ready to welcome Spring! When you think of Spring, what comes to your mind? This?

Or maybe this?

Well, the moment I opened my eyes this morning, Kevin said " Look out the window". So...I pulled open the curtains and this is what I saw!!

Snow?!?!?!? Not just light flurries but pretty heavy snow! It's supposed to be Spring, why is it snowing!?!? :P Anyway, the snow didn't last that long and it stopped in about an hour or so. All of the snow melted by midday. Oh well, I hope that this will be the last snow of the season. I'm all ready to put away all my heavy coats and bring out my spring clothes!! Happy First Day of Spring everybody!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spinach & Bacon Quiche

I love eating Quiche, be it Quiche Lorraine or any other type of Quiche. It's such a wonderful dish. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Not only that, you can choose to eat it hot and fresh from the oven or you can eat it cold, like during a picnic. I have been told that it's relatively easy to make but I have not attempted to make it until today. I found out that YES, it's really easy to make and yummy to eat.
Today, I tried making a Spinach & Bacon Quiche. First, I have to prepare the bottom crust. I bought a pack of ready made pie crust. Just take it out from the refrigerator and let it thaw to room temperature. Unroll the crust on a pie pan and press it firmly against the sides and bottom of the pan. Pinch the crust to create a scalloped edge (please excuse my crust, I know it looks terrible :P).

Using a fork, prick the bottom and sides of the crust.

Bake it in the oven at 450F for about 11-13 mins or until it turns golden brown. Remember to let it cool before filling.

Now, we need to prepare the filling. It's really simple to make. First, crack 4 large eggs in a big bowl.

Beat the eggs and add in 1 cup of shredded cheese.

Add in 1 cup of milk and mix it all together. Set the egg mixture aside.

Sprinkle bacon that has been precooked and crumbled onto the bottom crust.

Add a layer of thawed frozen spinach on top of the bacon.

Pour in the egg mixture. Spread the cheese so that it covers the top evenly. Put it in the oven and bake at 400F for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Once it is done, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool before serving.

I'm actually pretty amazed that it's so easy to make. I always thought that it would take a whole lot of effort and time to make a quiche. Now I know :D The next time I have some left over eggs and bacon in the fridge, I would know what to make!!