Thursday, October 29, 2009

In training to be a stronger woman

It had been a lousy week for me especially when DH is not in town to help out. However, I survived with simple meals and no baking. Definitely looking forward to DH's return.

26 October 2009, Monday
  • Midnight: DD3 started coughing and it was really phlegmy.
  • 2am: Poo-ed (diarrhea) in her sleep but did not stain the bed. Brought her for a quick shower and put her back to bed.
  • 6am: There was a pungent stench in my room. DD3 had diarrhea again and the bed was stained. Bathed DD3 again and changed the bedsheet (I just changed 2 days ago!!) and mattress protector.
  • 6.30am: Prepared DD1 to school and walked the dog.
  • 7.30am: Sanitised the mattress.
  • 8am - 9.30am: Prepared DS2 for school.
  • 9.30am: Brought DD3 to see a doctor but the queue was extremely long (over 10 in the list) so I decided to bring her back home for her morning nap.
  • 10.30am: Vacuumed the whole house since I have brought out my steamed vacuum cleaner.
  • 11.45am: Fetched DS2 from school (MIL offered to cook lunch so one chore down for me, phew!)
  • 12.15pm: Brought DD3 to clinic again, was prescibed antibiotics with diarrhea, cough and runny nose medicine. She was better in the later part of the day.

Outdoor Activity: An hour at the neighbourhood park in the evening :-)

27 October 2009, Tuesday

  • 6.30am: DD1 woke up complaining tummy ached. I thought she cried wolf and I got so mad with her. Sent her off to school without any considerations.
  • 11.30am: Teacher called to say DD1 vomitted several times in school. She asked DD1 if she wants to go home but she insisted on taking her Pratical Maths Exam. However she was too ill to complete her exam and only managed to finish Section 1/4. I was cooking lunch and DD3 was napping. I had to fetch DS2 at 12pm. Had to keep my cool and think of best alternative. In the end, I decided to drive there. I was worried DD3 might not want to sit in the car seat alone (rear seats) as I'm always by her side when DH drives. She behaved very well and did not fuss, not even a single whine. Managed to make it back in time to fetch DS2.
  • 12pm - 5pm: DD1 ate nothing but slept throughout.
  • 5.30pm: Brought her to the clinic, diagnosed as Gastroenteritis. I felt like a bad mom for not trusting her :'-( Apologised to her and she accepted it gracefully.
  • 7pm: I felt nausea and slight abdominal discomfort. I've gotten the bug too. I felt worst for treating her that way in the morning.

Outdoor Activity: A visit to the clinic :-(

28 October 2009, Wednesday

  • 8am: DS2 started coughing with phlegm.
  • 10am: Lugged all 3 to the clinic (our third visit in 3 days!).
  • 12.30pm: MIL offered to cook lunch so we had a good rest after our medication.
  • 4.30pm: Feeling better, I decided to cut the children's hair (long overdue haircut).

Outdoor Activity: Hair cutting along the corridor and children blew bubbles.

29 October 2009, Thursday

  • 9am: Brought DS2 to school and proceeded to the supermarket with the girls.
  • 10.30am: Home for DD3's nap.
  • 11am: Lunch preparation.
  • 12pm: Time to fetch DS2 from school.
  • 12.30pm: Lunch
  • 4pm - 5.30pm: DD1 skated while the two younger ones played hide-and-seek at neighbourhood void deck. But just when we got there, DD3 poo-ed! Had to lug all 3 home to wash her, and brought them down again.

Outdoor Activity: 1 1/2 hours skating/running.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Instant Roti Prata Puff

We brought DD1 for her eye review last Friday and were astonished that her myopia has worsened from a power of 75 to 200 within 4 months. If her condition does not maintain in the next few months, she may be prescribed Atropine to prevent her myopia from worsening. Atropine causes the pupil to dilate and allow more light to enter, thus causing glare which can damage the eye. Atropine also causes blurring of the near vision by paralyzing the eye muscles used to focus for near. The long-term risks of Atropine is still unknown. We are concern because she's only 7.

It had been a busy weekend for us, trying to bring her outdoor as much as we could. I had to squeeze in a daily routine of 30 mins outdoor play and I really wonder how am I going to cope home alone. Yes, DH just flew off to India yesterday. I know it's tough but I'm sure I can manage, that's what I always tell myself. Positive thinking = winning half the battle! Ganbate!!

It had been ages since I last baked some bread but since it's relatively time consuming for me to shape and proof and bake in the oven, I decided to use instant roti prata instead.

I used some peppery hotdogs from the local supermarket sprinkled with grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese. The kids love these!

These triangular ones were stuffed with mushroom ham and grated cheese.

Roti Prata Puffs
Instant roti prata
Fillings (ham/tuna/hotdog/curry potato)
Some cheese (optional)

  1. Cut slightly thawed roti prata into half and add fillings.
  2. Fold it into a triangle shape and pinch all edges to prevent fillings from leaking.
  3. Bake at pre-heated oven of 200C for 30 mins or till golden brown.

I usually bake this the night before and put them into the toaster oven the next day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What is LOVE?

Do we really understand the meaning of "LOVE" among spouses? I thought this is interesting and would like to share this information with all my readers.


Learn the languages
The Five Love Languages

Words of Affirmation
Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Verbal appreciation speaks powerfully to persons whose primary Love Language is “Words of Affirmation.” Simple statements, such as, “You look great in that suit,” or “You must be the best baker in the world! I love your oatmeal cookies,” are sometimes all a person needs to hear to feel loved.

Aside from verbal compliments, another way to communicate through “Words of Affirmation” is to offer encouragement. Here are some examples: reinforcing a difficult decision; calling attention to progress made on a current project; acknowledging a person’s unique perspective on an important topic. If a loved one listens for “Words of Affirmation,” offering encouragement will help him or her to overcome insecurities and develop greater confidence.

Quality Time
Quality time is more than mere proximity. It’s about focusing all your energy on your mate. A husband watching sports while talking to his wife is NOT quality time. Unless all of your attention is focused on your mate, even an intimate dinner for two can come and go without a minute of quality time being shared.

Quality conversation is very important in a healthy relationship. It involves sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context. A good mate will not only listen, but offer advice and respond to assure their mate they are truly listening. Many mates don’t expect you to solve their problems. They need a sympathetic listener.

An important aspect of quality conversation is self-revelation. In order for you to communicate with your mate, you must also be in tune with your inner emotions. It is only when you understand your emotions and inner feelings will you then be able to share quality conversation, and quality time with your mate.

Quality activities are a very important part of quality time. Many mates feel most loved when they spend physical time together, doing activities that they love to do. Spending time together will bring a couple closer, and, in the years to come, will fill up a memory bank that you can reminisce about in the future. Whether it’s sitting on the couch and having a brief conversation or playing together in a tennis league, quality time is a love language that is shared by many. Setting aside focused time with your mate will ensure a happy marriage.

Receiving Gifts
Some mates respond well to visual symbols of love. If you speak this love language, you are more likely to treasure any gift as an expression of love and devotion. People who speak this love language often feel that a lack of gifts represents a lack of love from their mate. Luckily, this love language is one of the easiest to learn.

If you want to become an effective gift giver, many mates will have to learn to change their attitude about money. If you are naturally a spender, you will have no trouble buying gifts for your mate. However, a person who is used to investing and saving their money may have a tough time adjusting to the concept of spending money as an expression of love. These people must understand that you are investing the money not in gifts, but in deepening your relationship with your mate.

The gift of self is an important symbol of love. Sometimes all your mate desires is for someone to be there for them, going through the same trials and experiencing the same things. Your body can become a very powerful physical symbol of love.

These gifts need not to come every day, or even every week. They don’t even need to cost a lot of money. Free, frequent, expensive, or rare, if your mate relates to the language of receiving gifts, any visible sign of your love will leave them feeling happy and secure in your relationship.

Acts of Service
Sometimes simple chores around the house can be an undeniable expression of love. Even simple things like laundry and taking out the trash require some form of planning, time, effort, and energy. Just as Jesus demonstrated when he washed the feet of his disciples, doing humble chores can be a very powerful expression of love and devotion to your mate.

Very often, both pairs in a couple will speak to the Acts of Service Language. However, it is very important to understand what acts of service your mate most appreciates. Even though couples are helping each other around the house, couples will still fight because the are unknowingly communicating with each other in two different dialects. For example, a wife may spend her day washing the cars and walking the dog, but if her husband feels that laundry and dishes are a superior necessity, he may feel unloved, despite the fact that his wife did many other chores throughout the day. It is important to learn your mate’s dialect and work hard to understand what acts of service will show your love.

It is important to do these acts of service out of love and not obligation. A mate who does chores and helps out around the house out of guilt or fear will inevitably not be speaking a language of love, but a language of resentment. It’s important to perform these acts out of the kindness of your heart.

Demonstrating the acts of service can mean stepping out of the stereotypes. Acts of service require both mates to humble themselves into doing some chores and services that aren’t usually expected from their gender. However, these little sacrifices will mean the world to your mate, and will ensure a happy relationship.

Physical Touch
Many mates feel the most loved when they receive physical contact from their partner. For a mate who speaks this love language loudly, physical touch can make or break the relationship.

Sexual intercourse makes many mates feel secure and loved in a marriage. However, it is only one dialect of physical touch. Many parts of the body are extremely sensitive to stimulation.

It is important to discover how your partner not only physically responds but also psychologically responds to these touches. It is important to learn how your mate speaks the physical touch language. Some touches are irritating and uncomfortable for your mate. Take the time to learn the touches your mate likes. They can be big acts, such as back massages or lovemaking, or little acts such as touches on the cheek or a hand on the shoulder. It’s important to learn how your mate responds to touch. That is how you will make the most of this love language.

All marriages will experience crisis. In these cases, physical touch is very important. In a crisis situation, a hug can communicate an immense amount of love for that person. A person whose primary love language is physical touch would much rather have you hold them and be silent than offer any advice.

It is important to remember that this love language is different for everyone. What type of touch makes you feel secure is not necessarily what will make your partner happy. It is important to learn each other’s dialects. That way you can make the most of your hugging, kissing, and other physical contacts.

Matcha Mochi (Daifuku)

I love Mochi especially those with fillings, also known as Daifuku. It is a traditional Japanese sweet made out of glutinous rice flour and covered with a layer of corn starch/flour to prevent them from sticking together.

I adapted this recipe from Lee Lee and changed it to include matcha (green tea powder).

The big ones were filled with red bean paste and the bite-sizes were just plain mochi (my kids prefer the plain ones). My shaping sucks big time but the kids don't mind, not at all. Practise makes perfect and I'm sure I can do a better job next time ;-)

When straight out from the microwave, the dough was hot and sticky, thus it was difficult to wrap and shape. The first few I made have very thick skin (see picture below) and I thanked my lucky stars when the kids requested for plain ones :P

The matcha flavour was not strong and I could hardly taste it. Will have to increase the matcha to 1 1/2 tsp next time.

I kept some in the fridge to see if they will remain soft the next day. This was taken on the 2nd day, straight from the fridge without thawing and to my pleasant surprise, it was still soft when I bite into it :)

Mochi (aka Daifuku)
100 g glutinous rice flour
1 tsp matcha powder
180ml water
50g sugar
Red bean paste
Corn flour for dust


  1. In a microwavable safe bowl, put glutinous rice flour + matcha + water and mix well to paste. Add sugar and mix till dissolved.
  2. Cover with clingwrap (leaving a small gap for hot air to escape) and microwave on High for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  3. Cover and return to microwave for 1 minute on Medium. Stir well and check for doneness. If not, return it to microwave for another 1 minute on Medium. Be careful not to overcook/burn it.
  4. Sprinkle some corn flour on work area and use a spoon to drop a ball of dough on top. Coat dough with corn flour all over. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  5. Lightly flour your hands, wrap red bean paste with dough and seal the opening with a tight pinch. Roll into a ball and cover with more corn flour to prevent them from sticking.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Red Bean Paste

With the intention to make Matcha (green tea) mochi, I made some red bean paste. The last time I cook this, I over-cooked the paste and it was too dry. I like buns with red bean paste but commercially bought ones are so SWEET... For homemade paste, you can control the amount of sugar used :)

After soaking the red beans overnight, I cooked it in my AMC pot and the beans were softened in an hour's time :)

This is how it looks like after blending it with some water.

The best part of homecooked paste is adding JUST ENOUGH sugar to suit my family.

I used my AMC pot and cook on low, stirring occassionally to prevent the base from burning/sticking to the base.

I managed to get the right consistency this time round ^-^

Red Bean Paste
500g Red beans
200g Sugar


  1. Wash the beans, cover the cold water, and soak overnight. Drain beans and discard water. Place beans in a saucepan, add cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour, or until very soft. Monitor the pan to make sure water doesn't dry up.
  2. Place the beans in a food processor and process until smooth. In a medium saucepan/pot, add the bean paste and sugar. Cook, stirring until the mixture is dry.

Banana Cream Pie

If you have been following my blog, you know I don't bake cookies and tarts/pies that often. I find it very time consuming to bake a tart/pie, ie prepare the crust, chill the dough, blind-baking, leave to cool, prepare fillings and bake again. Since I have another bunch of bananas untouched, I attempted Annie's Banana Cream Pie since there's only one baking to be done.

I do not have shortening so I used butter instead. The dough was relatively soft and sticky, which was quite difficult to work with but after chilling in the fridge for an hour, it was manageable.

Cooking of the pudding was relatively easy too, just remember not to overheat the milk mixture, else you will end up with curdled eggs. Also, I added 1 tsp of lemon juice into the pudding, hoping that it will help to keep the bananas from turning brown (oxidation).

The crust was flaking despite the usage of butter, but after chilling in the fridge overnight, the crust turned soft. I thought the pudding compliments the bananas but unfortunately no one except me like this pie so I won't be making this again for my family. Do give this recipe a try if you like pies/tarts.

Banana Cream Pie
Check out Annie's blog for step-by-step pictures.
(makes 2 x 9"pies)
Pie Crust Ingredients
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
220g butter

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk

Pie Crust Method
  1. Rub ingredients A together to form a shaggy dough in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix ingredients B together to form a paste in another bowl.
  3. Add B to A and mix gently with a spatula until it forms a dough. If it’s too wet, add more flour to the dough to get a nice soft dough. Do not overwork the dough.
  4. Form two balls, cover them in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 F (210 C).
  6. Roll out your dough into a round, about 1/8 inch thick, dusting with flour to keep it from sticking. Place dough rounds on your pie pan and press into pan and crimp edges to the side of the pan. Dock with a fork all around the crust.
  7. Cover with foil or parchment paper and cover with pie weights. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Remove foil/parchment paper and bake for another 10-12 minutes till golden brown.
  9. Cool pie crust.

Pudding ingredients
4 cups milk
100g butter
1 cup sugar
6 heaping Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 egg yolks

Pudding method
  1. Heat on stove 4 cups milk and 1/2 cup butter over med-low heat in large sauce pan.
  2. Mix in another bowl the sugar, flour, salt and yolks. Add to this mixture enough milk from the sauce pan to make a paste.
  3. Add paste to milk/butter mixture on stove. Make sure the milk mixture is not too hot when adding the paste or the eggs will curdle. Whisk mixture constantly over med-low heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat immediately and stir in vanilla essence. Let it cool slightly. If you want a smoother pudding, strain it so that the bits of cooked egg will be strained out.
To assemble banana cream pie

  1. Slice 5-8 bananas (depending on size of bananas) in half length-wise. You can choose to slice them into rounds but I find that the pie slices hold better when you slice in half and lay them in circles around the crust. Cut as needed to fit all the bananas into the bottom of the pie crust.
  2. Pour warm pudding over bananas until the bananas are covered and the pudding is almost at the top of the crust.
  3. Cool in refrigerator until set, about 2-3 hours.
  4. Just before serving, whip some heavy cream (about 1/2-1 cup depending on how much whipped cream you like), with 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Spread whipped cream over pie. (I omit this)
  5. Slice into wedges and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gula Melaka Agar Agar

It had been a while since DD1 last updated her blog and today she wanted to blog about the Gula Melaka Agar Agar I made over the weekends. Initially, she wanted to post the recipe in her blog but since I've not posted mine, I told her to wait till I've uploaded pics and recipe before I help her with her blog.

I was so preoccupied with my cooking and baking and I didn't have time to blog about this. Actually, I've tried out quite a few new recipes but didn't have time to blog, yet. And since DD1 has already posted this in her blog and she included a link to my blog, I better update mine too.

I saw this recipe in Lily Ng's blog and since I've got some condensed milk to finish up, this is it. However, I didn't shred the milk layer originally called for, I adapted Lee Lee's pattern agar agar.

Again, the kids were thrilled! :-) However, they prefer the brown agar agar over the milk layer agar agar. I brought some back to my parents and they like it too.

The Milk Layer
1 tbsp agar agar powder
600 ml water
80g condensed milk

  1. Cook the milk layer by putting 600 ml water in a saucepan and turn on the heat, then whisk in agar agar.
  2. Cook until agar agar is dissolved, then add in the condensed milk.
  3. Pour into a cake pan to cool. Put in the fridge to set. When it is set, use a cutter to cut out the pattern.
  4. Use a skewer or cake tester or satay stick or toothpick to remove the cut-outs and leave it aside. Leave the tray in the fridge while you cook the brown layer.
The brown layer
1 packet (13g) agar agar powder
1100 ml water
180g gula melaka
70g sugar


  1. While the milk layer is in the fridge, cook the brown layer by boiling all the ingredients together until dissolved.
  2. Pass through a fine sieve.
  3. Pour 1/2 portion of cooked brown layer over the prepared tray. Leave it to cool down and leave it fridge to harden. Cut out into individual square to show the cut out star in each square.
  4. Place cut-out stars into small jelly moulds and fill up with balance brown layer.
  5. Leave to cool before putting into the fridge to set.
  6. When set, unmould and serve.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another gift from Japan!

This is an overdue post. I received this gift last month but forgot all about it.

It came in this packaging...

with a nice little doughnut clip ;-)

The gift: a chiffon cake knife :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Drawings #3

DS2's little rabbit (or was it a bear? I can't remember what he told me). Everytime he draws something on his Megasketcher, he will ask me to take a picture of it so I can post it in my blog. He likes to see his little accomplishment on the computer screen.

He also took a picture of me.

No, I didn't crop this picture, it was taken without my head... hahaha! And he wants me to post this in my blog too.

Yogurt Scones

I can't remember when was the last time I bought commercial scones, so much so that I forgot how a scone taste like, for I found the BEST CREAM SCONES EVER .

When Annie first shared this recipe in a food forum, I made it so often then that I know exactly what goes into the mixing bowl without looking at the recipe ;-)

This is originally a Cream Scones recipe but for a healthier alternative, I used plain yogurt instead (you can use sour cream too but I've not tried it). Using cream will yield a very FLAKY scone but with yogurt, it's not as flaky but still very soft.

Made some in bite-sizes for the little hands.

They stay soft the next day, all I did was heat it up in the toaster oven for a few mins and it's as good as freshly baked. Gave some to SL and her family likes it too ^-^

Yogurt Scones

Cream scones (recipe courtesy of America's Test Kitchen and technique from Fine Cooking)
240g Plain flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

75g unsalted butter

1/2 cup dried currants

1 cup plain yogurt (set aside 2 TBSP for brushing)


  1. Preheat oven to 220 C.
  2. Place ingredients (A) in a bowl and mix.
  3. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse meal.(At this point, you can freeze the mixture in a container for later.)
  4. Add currants. Mix.
  5. Stir in yogurt (slowly and mixing it little by little) until it comes together in a shaggy ball. It will still have lots of loose, sandy pieces.
  6. Place batter on a floured surface and roughly work it into a ball.
  7. Press the ball down into a rectangular shape.
  8. Fold the dough like you're folding a business envelope (in thirds, first right fold to center, then left fold to center). Notice that it is still quite shaggy and loose. That's ok.
  9. Press the dough down again into rectangular shape in a vertical position. Do the business envelope fold again, this time top third to center then bottom third to center. The dough will still be a little sandy and loose--don't worry about it...the less you work it, the flakier it will be.
  10. Now, press the dough down into a circle. Cut it into 8 large or 16 small triangles.
  11. Separate the individual scones and place them on a baking tray that is lined with parchment paper. Brush the top of the scones with yogurt and then sprinkle each one with a little sugar.
  12. Bake for 12 - 15 mins or until golden brown on top.

Using yogurt yields a very sticky dough.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Marinated Guava

This is yet another simple "recipe". Actually, there's no recipe, just slice the guava into thin slices and add some thinly shredded mandarin orange peel, chill before serving.

Marinated Guava
1 Guava
1/2 - 2/3 packet Dried Mandarin Orange Peel


  1. Cut guava and remove seed. Slice thinly into 2mm thick. Set aside.
  2. Slice/cut dried mandarin orange peel into thin stirps.
  3. Marinate everything together and leave in fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm not a cookie person so that explains why I hardly bake cookies. When I had a can of expiring condensed milk, I had to search for recipes using condensed milk and I vaguely remember Stefanie's cookie recipe in Kitchen Capers. I made this once last year but never again simply because I don't usually stock up on condensed milk.

I started off with 2 teaspoons, scooped up the dough (bite-size) and using the back of a spoon to push it onto the lined baking tray. But after filling up 1/2 tray, I still have 3/4 dough. To speed up the process, I decided to shape them with my hands (I used disposable plastic gloves), it was a much easier and quicker process.

I made some cookies bigger, about 2.5" diameter and these are for SL.

See the difference in size? I thought the bigger cookie looks more presentable but with young children at home, it's easier to give them bite-sizes cookies to minimise cleaning up crumbs on the ground. But even with such petite sizes cookies, I still have to pick up after DD1. Sigh...

I don't like to cool my bakes on the rack directly so I always cool them on top of a kitchen towel. Check out the amount of oil on the kitchen towel!

This is a very delicious cookie with sugar reduced. It is crispy on the outside yet soft inside. I don't like crunchy cookies and this is just perfect for me. For those who want more crisp, just need to extend baking time by another 2 - 3 mins. Similarly said, if you want a more chewy texture, bake it 2 - 3 mins shorter.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
125g softened butter
1 tbsp brown sugar (originally calls for 3 tbsp brown sugar)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup (100g) condensed milk
½ cup chopped almonds, toasted (I didn't bother to toast)
100g mini bittersweet chocolate chips
1 and ½ cup plain flour
1 and ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 to 2 tbsp milk

  1. Beat butter with sugar till combined, with a wooden spoon.
  2. Sift in cocoa powder and salt, beat to combine.
  3. Pour in condensed milk, beat well to mix. Alternatively, use a whisk from step one.
  4. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Sift in flour and fold to combine, add a little milk to moisten if dough seems too dry.
  6. Shape dough into small balls, flatten slightly and place on a lined cookie sheets.
  7. Bake in preheated oven of 170C for 9 to 10 minutes.
  8. Cool completely.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Steamed Sponge Cake with Meat Floss

Another interesting recipe I found on the net, it's a steamed sponge cake with meat floss! Since my kids like meat floss, I just had to make this.

I didn't have any self raising flour at home so I used plain flour and added baking powder and baking soda. Also, I reduced the sugar slightly and it's just right for my family. The cake is soft and fluffy but slightly messy to eat as the floss on the top layer kept falling off. I'll omit the top layer the next time I make this.

100g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

3 eggs
40g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

30ml milk
30g vegetable oil

50g pork floss

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and sift twice.
  2. Beat the eggs, sugar and cream of tartar until it turns thick and pale.
  3. Fold in the sifted flour mixture.
  4. Fold in the milk and oil.
  5. Pour half the batter into a 8-in round tin lined with baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle half of the pork floss on the batter.
  7. Pour another half of the batter into the tin and sprinkle the remaining pork floss on the surface.
  8. Steam for 15 - 20 minutes.
  9. Serve.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mandarin Orange Peel Chicken

It never occur to me that Mandarin Orange Peel can be used as an ingredient for cooking until I saw it in Sonia's blog. Besides eating Mandarin Orange Peel on it's own, I've only used it to marinate guava.

With all ingredients on hand, I cooked this for dinner last night. There are no exact measurements in Sonia's blog so I just had to base on estimation. Not sure if I've got it done correctly but I'm satisfied with the taste, slightly tangy and sweet.

DS2 is not a meat person but he likes the taste so he ate a few pieces. DD1 however doesn't like it so I'm stucked in a dilemma if I should be cooking this again...

I was lazy to cut them into smaller pieces so I fried them in big chucks and cut it smaller to stir fry with the sauce and mandarin orange peel. The chicken turned slightly soggy, I'm not sure if it's because I've cut them up after deep-frying? Or did I add too much sauce?

2 pieces Boneless chicken quarters, deskined, cut into cubes

(B) Marinate sauce
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp corn flour
some pepper (I use black pepper)

Some rice flour

(D) Sauce
50ml water
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp fish sauce
3 slices, Mandarin Orange Peel, sliced thinly

  1. Marinate chicken pieces with Ingredients (B) for at least 30 mins.
  2. Coat marinated chicken pieces with rice flour, deep fry till cooked/golden brown and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a wok, add in Ingredients (D).
  4. Add in the fried chicken pieces and mix well.
  5. Serve.

Pumpkin Muffins

I like to stock up on muffins in my freezer for emergencies. Days when there are no more frozen bread and/or on rainy days where it's difficult to lug all 3 to grab a loaf of bread (yes, I still buy commercial breads).

Decide to use the same recipe here and here, but replaced with pumpkin puree instead.

Pumpkin has an unique taste so I added some chocolate chips on top to entice the children to eat these muffins :P

Pumpkin Muffins
(A) Dry Mix
250g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
155g castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt

(B) Wet Mix
250ml milk
125g corn oil
2 eggs

120g pumpkin puree


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Prepare muffin tray.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, add wet ingredients and whisk till smooth.
  4. Add mashed pumpkin puree to milk mixture.
  5. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir till just blended.
  6. Spoon onto prepared tin.
  7. Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top.
  8. Baking for 15 - 20 mins or until cooked.
  9. Cool on rack.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Raising HAPPY children

I've been a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) for 2 years. With 3 young children, a dog and a frequent travelling DH, there is so much to be done but I've only got a pair of hands. I did contemplate getting a domestic helper but decided against it as that means I'll have to take care of her too. Of course, I'll wish to spend more time with my children, especially with DD1, to sit down with her to coach her schoolwork. I wish I have more time to play with DS2 as of late, he's constantly asking me what should he play/do now?

Some folks told me to bake less in order to make time for my children. I usually plan ahead if I want to bake, so I do not take up too much of my time away from my kids. I always try to prepare my ingredients in advance and get my kids involved when I bake. In this way, we spend some time bonding together. I honestly don't think this is a bad idea, since I'm also spending quality time with them and teaching DD1 to read recipes at a young age.

S0, besides being the main caregiver of my children, main homemaker of the house, what else have I achieved over these years? I don't know since there are no Mission, Goals, Objectives and Targets to achieve. But I'm sure the bonding with my children is invaluable. Also I want to raise HAPPY CHILDREN.

This quote was extracted from S's Wall in Facebook, it's very meaningful and I'm putting this in my blog as a reminder. I hope they can grow up happily.

If I had my child 2 raise all over again, I’d build self-esteem first, & e house later. I’d finger-paint more, & point e finger less. I would do less correcting & more connecting. I’d take my eyes off my watch, & watch w...ith my eyes. I’d take more hikes & fly more kites. I’d stop playing serious, & seriously play. I would run through more fields & gaze at more stars. I’d do more hugging & less tugging.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Baked Doughnuts

My kids love doughnuts (also spelled donuts) and I've been buying commericial doughnuts for them. My personal favourite is still one with bitter chocolate coating, as it is less sweet as compared to any other flavours. But that was history... I've found a baked version, though it's nothing like the fried ones (it's more cake-like), my children are easily pleased and they are happy as long as I coat the doughnuts with melted chocolate. I choose to omit sprinkles as they contain colourings and preservatives.

Here are 2 trays of baked doughnuts, fresh from the oven. I tossed them over mid-way through baking to get a better browning on the other side.

Melted some bitter chocolate and the kids chomped on these within seconds!

A few flavours to try out:
  1. Matcha
  2. Cinnamon Sugar
  3. White Chocolate
  4. Strawberry Chocolate
  5. Chocolate Chips
  6. Cream Cheese
  7. Blueberry Jam

Baked Doughnuts Recipe
1 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
1/4 - 1/3 cup (50g - 75g) sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tub (150 gm ) plain yogurt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  2. Combine the egg, yogurt, oil and lemon juice, mix well.
  3. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  4. Coat the tube pans with nonstick cooking sprayand dust with 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar. (I omit this since I'm using a nonstick pan)
  5. Transfer batter into a piping bag and pipe into pan.
  6. Pipe the batter till half full so that you will see donut hole when baked. 3/4 full will not be able to see any donut hole when baked.
  7. Bake at 200°C for 10 - 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What I've cooked/baked over the weeks

Just sharing what I've cooked and baked over the weeks.