Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thin Crust Sausage Pizza 创意脆皮披萨


Pizza, I think of it as an open-platform. It provides a simple base so versatile that it can easily "integrate" with nearly all ingredient, from meat to veggie to seafood. (pardon if I sound geeky :))

My personal favorite is thin crust pizza, with loads of toppings and melted mozzarella cheese... The thought of it already makes my tummy grumbling. Ethan loves helping me to spread the pizza toppings & the cheese, he does mess up a little (with bits of cheese or olives on the floor) but we certainly have fun! :)

Preparation Time: 45 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
Serving for: 2 Large Pizzas

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve Get-together: Simple Home Cook

Finally Christmas is only a day away, and this time we invited my in-laws and family for Christmas eve dinner at our cozy home.

These are the meals served for tonight, all prepared within 3 hours as I was held back at work. I got to admit I amazed myself with my speed of cooking (yes, without any helps).

It certainly helped to have the cooking sequence pre-played in mind as I was driving home, and my recipes readily available in my own blog. So once reached home, I just defrost all the meat, fish, clean all the vegetables and start marinating them right away.

A close up of what I've cooked tonight...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Meal: Smiley Face Series

Ethan received this smiley Food Face plate as early Christmas present from his favorite uncle living abroad. I saw this online a year ago but was not keen to get one as it is made of porcelain and I though that is too fragile for little ones. Well, now that we have got one, I can offer alternative option to little Ethan's weekend Happy Meal and since my little boy is much older now, let's hope he will not drop it.. *fingers crossed*

Since there are so many possible combinations to make with this plate, I shall be uploading more photos from time to one, so stay tuned ;)

Happy Mustache Man

Smiley man with curly hair (scallop noodles and stripes of fried eggs), brown mustache (sausage) and green collar T (broccoli).

With the same soup base (using only veggies and homemade anchovies powder), my 1yo baby girl had her share of this yummy meal too. Minus the sausage and eggs of course.

Refer here for the anchovies powder recipe.

Interested to get one for your little ones too? I was told quite a few kitchenware stores in KL carry this product, so here's how the packaging looks like. Good luck hunting!

Mrs Happy 
Meet Mrs Happy Food Face, she loves to smile and she has lots of jewelry.. ;)

Mr Happy Hawaiian 
Mr Happy with blond beard and a messy hair made of fried rice and raisins :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cupcakes in Ice Cream Cones 冰筒小蛋糕

I'll be attending a small potluck party with my duo, so was scratching my head on what to prepare, something that will be different from the usual party food and yet not too time consuming.

So I flipped through my recipe books for idea and found a particular one that is easy to make but with stunning result.

The outcome - cupcakes in ice cream cones, in chocolate and vanilla flavor.

Ice Creams in a Box

"Chocolate ice cream"

"Vanilla ice cream" with heart sprinkles

Interested to make some too? Just read on..

Preparation Time: 30min
Cooking Time: 25min
Decoration Time: 10min
Serving for: 12 cupcakes
Utensil / Tools needed: Mixer, 12 hold cupcake tin, spatula, measuring cups

Refer to the my orange chocolate marble cake recipe here
12 flat bottom ice cream cones

For decoration:
- 500gm butter cream
- 2 table spoons cocoa powder
- Mixture of sprinkles, chocolate chips and pearl balls for topping

Alternatively, you can prepare DIY Butter Cream (mixer required):
- 300gm icing sugar (original recipe calls for 500gm but that's really too sweet)
- 250gm unsalted butter, soften to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon warm water (optional)

Recipe for butter cream modified from "Fabulous Party Cakes & Cupcakes".

Step-by-Step Guides:

1. Preheat oven to 150c.

2. Scoop 2 spoonful of batter into ice cream cone or until 2/3 full, place them into cupcake holder tin and bake for 25min in the medium rack or until fully rise. Prepare buttercream while waiting the cakes to be ready.

3. If you choose to DIY, whisk butter and sugar together in a clean bowl until fluffy, then add the vanilla essence and water (add water if the mixture is too thick). Whisk on medium speed until you get a creamy white texture.

4. Scoop few spoonful of the buttercream into a separate bowl and mix evenly with the cocoa powder - now you get chocolate flavored buttercream.

5. Let the cupcakes cold on a rack. Start decorating the cupcakes by spreading a generous layer of buttercream, then sprinkle with chocolate chips, rice sprinkles or pearl balls. Let the cream hardened (preferably Aircond room in you live in hot climate like me) before serving them.

That's it, your cupcakes in ice cream cones are ready, now go and impress your friends and family! ;)

A week later, I made these bunch of birthday cupcakes for grandpa's birthday. Same ingredients, same method, different presentation. The only extra is some fondant and modelling tools.

Since the buttercream topping is rather sweet, I would suggest not to make this on regular basis, too much sugar may cause a child to be hyper active.

Unfinished buttercream can be kept in box and stored in fridge up to a week.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rainbow Rice with Fish Nuggets 彩虹饭

Wouldn't it be nice to have your little ones running to the dinning table for dinner instead of having to drag them to take the meals, or having to keep reminding them to eat the food?

That was what happened when I told Ethan we are having Rainbow Rice for dinner. He rushed to the dinning table and offered to open up all the covers for me to reveal the rainbow rice underneath. He then happily ate his meal and kept telling daddy that rainbow rice will make him strong (coincidentally he was wearing a super hero pajamas, haha)

The Rainbow Rice set, with the bowl/cover on (it keeps the rice warm)

Ta da..

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kids Meal: Happy Face Rice with Steamed Punters Fish

Here's a quick and healthy meal made for my duo today.

I made steamed Punters fish today, 1 fillet shared by mommy and the duo. It's really easy and delicious provided you use fresh fish, and must keep watch of time as you won't want to over-cook your fish.

Preparation Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 5-8 min
Serving for: 2 little ones

1 block fillet about 1" thick (Punters 马友鱼, Garoupa 石斑鱼, cod 鳕鱼, red snapper 红鳄鱼, these are among the fish with less bones)
5-10 slices of ginger
1/2 teaspoon of salt

For Seasoning (I exclude this for my baby):
1 teaspoon of premium soya sauce
Few drops of sesame oil

Step-by-Step Guides:
1. Clean the fillet, dap dry with kitchen towel and rub a thin layer of salt over it evenly using hands. Sprinkle the sliced gingers on top and set aside.

2. Boil a pot of water for the steamer, once water is boiled, place the fillet (with the plate) into the steamer.

3. Steam the fillet for 5-8 min (depending on thickness of the fillet) with the lid on. Once the meat turns white and the flakes can be separated with a fork easily, your fillet is ready.

4. When serving, add the seasoning on top (adjust according to your liking).

That's it, yummy steam fish in 4 simple steps!

Serve it along with rice and other food. I prepared stir fried onion and cucumber with scrambled eggs, so I made used of the eggs and cucumber to arrange a smiley face meal for my boy.

For my baby girl, I prepared this nutritious porridge with diced onion, carrots and Japanese cucumber. I mixed in the steamed fish only when feeding (I usually store the fish in a separate container for second feeding). She absolutely loved it and kept asking for more. :)

Simple, no fuss family meal. Anyone can do it. ;)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Healthy Alphabet Pasta with Steamed Cod Fish 健康字母意粉

Tired of feeding your little ones with porridge, porridge and porridge all the time? Why not give it a change this time by introducing tiny alphabet organic pasta. It's yummy and give a different variety to little one's diet.

I cooked this for my 3.5 yo and 11.5mo today, both of them loved it and finished the entire bowl each. My elder boy had a bigger bowl of course. :)

A healthy meal for my precious duo - Organic Alphabet Pasta in vegetable soup.

My Little boy's portion, served with grated cheese and lightly flavored steamed cod fish fillet.

My baby girl's portion, without the grated cheese.

Only fresh ingredients are used in this recipe, no canned puree, no packaged stocks, only the good and natural stuff. Where possible, I try to avoid feeding canned / processed food to my baby especially when under 1 yo.

If you prefer tomato puree version, refer to my earlier post here.

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Serving for: 2 little ones

3 palmfull of alphabet pasta

For vegetable soup base:
- 1 palmful of purple cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 palmful of pumpkin, diced (I skipped this as I ran out of pumpkin)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 teaspoon of anchovy powder (refer here for recipe)
- 1 big table spoon of grated cheddar cheese

For Vegetarian version, skip the following ingredients.

For Steamed Cod Fish
- 1 block of cold fish fillet, about 200gm, completely defrost
- A few slices of ginger

Note: you may change the choice of vegetable but tomatoes and carrots shall remain.

The Making:
1. Boil a pot of water (about 4 small rice bowls), once boiled, add all the vegetables. Close the lid and let it shimmer for about 5 minutes. You can add some salt into the soup, but I skipped that as I'm using anchovy powder.

2. In the meanwhile, clean the cod fish,lightly coat with salt and sprinkle with the slice ginger. This is to avoid the fishy smell.

3. Add the alphabet pasta into the soup. Let it boils for 10 minute (or as per the cooking time indicated on the packaging)

4. While the pasta is boiling in the pot, steam the cod fish in a steamer on top of the pot of soup for 5 minutes (if the fillet is thicker than 1", steam slightly longer). You can also stem the fish on a separate pot but this is most time and energy efficient way :)

Note: Use a chopstick or fork to test that the fish is cooked - once it can be easily separated when poked, the fish is ready.

5. Turn off the stove. Sprinkle with some anchovy powder.

6. Serve pasta in a shallow dish, add a big spoonful of grated cheddar cheese on top for added taste and nutrition.

7. Lay the steamed cod fish on top. For elder toddler (above 2 yo), add a few drops of light soya sauce and sesame oil to add flavor for the fish.

The pasta taste best when serve hot, as the cheese will melt in the pasta and give it a nice natural aroma.

This is the organic pasta I used for this post.

Useful tips!
1. Some infants may be allergic to cheese, so for first time feeding, give a small amount and observe for possible allergy sign such as rashes, itchiness etc.

2. For baby between 8mo-12mo, you can boil the soup base for slightly longer so the carrots are thoroughly soften.

A Note about Salt in Baby's Food
Most if not all books and sites I read advised against adding salt, sugar or any artificial flavoring into baby's food, this is to avoid them from becoming a picky eater at young age and most importantly, for health reason. Excess salt may be harmful to baby's kidney at such young age and some processed food already contain certain amount of salt in them.

I have did some reading about salt & sodium for little ones, do read on more here if you are interested..


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Crunchy Cheese Crackers 香脆乳酪饼干

My little boy loves the cheesy goldfish crackers, I usually serve them as snack or part of his breakfast and he will happily eat them all.

So when the little sister's birthday is coming soon, I thought of making some cute shapes cheese crackers that are crunchy and healthy.

I gave a piece of the cheese cracker to my boy the next morning, he loved it instantly and rushed downstairs to get more from the cookie jar. Hehe, success!

The crunchy cheese crackers

For the party, I packed all different shapes into small plastic packages so its easy for little fingers to handle. Let's hope all the kids will like them.

Not a cheese lover? Why not try out this easy butter cookie recipe instead!

Preparation Time: 30 minutes (including cutting the cookie dough)
Cooking Time: 10-15 min
Serving for: 50-60 small cookies

Adopted and modified from original recipe posted on

1 cup (100gm) grated Cheddar cheese (or other cheese of your choice for a different flavor. Add more cheese if you like it really cheesy ;)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
¾ cup all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper (optional)
2 tablespoon milk or water

All the ingredients I used

The grated cheese, soft and aromatic

Step-by-Step Guide:
1. Mix butter, salt, sifted flour and ground pepper in a big bowl using a spatula, gradually add the grated cheese, little by little until it's all well mixed and you get a crumb like texture.

2. Add the milk and mix again, until the dough gathers together in a ball.

3. Wrap the dough ball in cling foam and store in freezer for 30 minutes or fridge overnight. This will make the dough less sticky hence easier to work on later.

4. Preheat oven to 175C.

5. Roll the dough out on a floured surface with a rolling pin that has been floured until it is about 1/8 inch thick.

6. Cut the dough into 1-inch squares with a sharp knife / pizza cutter or any cookie cutters you have. Dust the knife or cookie cutter and your hands with some flour to reduce stickiness.

7. Place the crackers flat on a parchment paper on a baking tray, leave at least ¼ inch apart.

8. Bake in middle tray for 12 – 15 minutes until the edges are just starting to brown.

9. Put the baking tray on a rack and let the crackers cool completely.

Fresh from oven, smelling good..

Ready to serve once cool. If you can resist the temptation to eat this crunchy cheese cookies right away (my big guy and I ate a few pieces right away :P), you may store the crackers in an air tight container, good to keep up to a week.

The natural cheddar cheese block I used. Love it's natural taste.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Real Happy Meals 2: See The World 开心营养餐-小动物游世界

The Happy Meals post had reached 12 collections, so I thought it's about time to create a new post on the next collection of homemade happy meals. This time, I'm giving it a theme - Little Animals See The World. I have no concrete plan in mind so let's see if I can really create up to 10 sets of happy meals with this theme :)

Little Animals See the World

8th Stop, Sailed the Sea!
Little Animal friends sailed the sea in their strawberries boats, conquering theountains of wholemeal and raisin toasts!

7th Stop, The Magical Forest 
Little animals played hide and seek in the forest, can you see where they are hiding? 

It's really just a simple sandwiched bread with homemade jam (for the tree trunk) and slices of apples & pears for the leaves. Little wholemeal Cherios to resemble the fruits. :)

6th journey, Board the Train 
Little animals are on the journey again, this time they go by the train. Choo Choo!!

Note: the train is made of 1 piece sandwich bread cut into 6 rectangles with some sunflower seeds on top. The wheels are made of dried blueberries and I used almonds and macadamia nuts as the goods. My little boy really enjoyed his breakfast.. :)

5th stop, In the Aquaria
In the aquaria, seeing beautiful jelly fishes (cherries**) and little fish playing around the corals (cheese crackers)..

** If serving for kids under 4, you must cut the cherries into halves or smaller size and remove the core to avoid chocking.

4th stop, go kiting! 
It's a beautiful windy day do the little animals decided to play kites :)

3rd stop, the Golden Gate Bridge
Little animals sailed the sea again to San Francisco! Ethan knew this famous structure through Little Einstein series so he recognized it right away... Half way eating he started singing "London Bridge is falling down" and built this one-like bridge instead (as he called it)... :)



2nd stop, The Golden Pyramid at Egypt
Little animals ventured to Egypt where they sailed the Nile river and climbed up the Golden Pyramid.. Ethan helped to build the mini pyramid too :)

1st Stop, Petronas Twin Tower
All journey begins from homeland, isn't it? The Twin Towers, surrounded by KL convention center, a mosque (those are mini red bean paste buns) and a fountain in the central park. Little fish were added on Ethan's request. :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pan Fried Teriyaki Salmon with Noodle in Dark Sauce 日酱三文鱼拌干捞面

Are you a noodle lover? I am, so is my little boy and my big guy. I stock up a few types of noodles for days when I crave for simple noodle meal at home. From All-Eggs noodle (全蛋面), Yang Chun noodle (阳春面) and dried scallop noodle (干瑶柱面), I seek for noodles that are non deep fried and if possible, are organic. In KL, stores like The Organic Farm, Village Grocers provides pretty good selection of organic noodles.

This is my version of dried noodle in dark sauce, or you can call this Gan-Lao Mian like how the locals call it. :)

Little one's portion, arranged to resemble Earth with all salmon flakes arranged in the middle.

Ethan loved his noodle. He gave me a thumb up upon first spoonful and happily ate up his portion.

On any other day. I would have served this noodle with barbecue pork loin, char siew, however since I was out of pork loin so salmon seem like a good nutritious substitute. I was also out of bak Choy (小白菜) so used broccoli and carrots instead. You may refer to the sautéed vegetables recipe here.

Preparation Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Serving for: 2 adult + 1 LO (little one)

For the Noodle:
3 balls of noodles of your choice

Ingredient A (noodle's sauce):
1 table spoon of dark soya sauce 黑酱油
2 table spoon of light soya sauce 酱油
1 table spoon of sesame oil 芝麻油
1 tea spoon of white pepper 胡椒粉

For the Salmon:
200gm fresh salmon block, fully defrost, clean and rub with salt.

Ingredient B (salmon's marinate):
4 table spoon of Teriyaki sauce
1 garlic, finely chopped

Step-by-Step Guides:
1. Marinate the salmon with ingredient B in a deep bowl or a zip lock bag. Cover well and keep refrigerated for about 30 minutes.

2. In a non stick pan, heat up a small tea spoon of olive oil and spread it around the pan. Salmon produces a lot of oil during cooking so it's not necessary to use much oil. This is just to create a coating to ensure the fish will not stick to the pan.

3. Fry the salmon on medium heat fot about 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Do not over cook or it may have a bitter after taste. Refrain yourself from flipping the salmon too early if you want it retain in one nice piece after cook.

4. Remove salmon from pan, keep warm.

4. Cook a pot of boiling water (just enough to cover the noodles). Add a dash of salt. Once water is boiled, toss in the noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes, based on the time indicated on the packaging. Spread out the noodle using a pair of chopsticks.

5. While the noodle is cooking, mix all ingredient A in a large bowl.

6. Once noodle is cooked, drain all excess water and add it into the sauce. Mix well.

7. Your food is ready, serve immediately.

Bon appetite! :)

This was the noodle I used for making today's dish...

Useful Tips!
For little ones, press the salmon into flakes using a fork and top onto the noodle. Besides, you may want to cut the noodles shorter so it is easier for little hands to handle.