Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fresh Mixed Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing

When making sandwiches or spaghetti, I will usually serve them with fresh fruits or salad so there is a balance of greens and carbo.

This is a really quick salad that can be ready in no time, you can just pre-cut them, keep in the fridge and pour the dressing only right before meal time.

I whipped up this simple Italian salad dressing after studying several food labels at the supermarket. I have not buy store-made salad dressing for a long while, since it only takes me 5 minutes to make this dressing. :)

You may replace the vegetables suggested below depending on your preference, however the lettuce leaves shall remain. My duo enjoyed chewing the lettuce and carrots, but both rejected the bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. At least it's a 50% success.. *wink*

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Homemade Steamed Rolled Buns (man tou) 手制有味花卷馒头

Rolled buns, or man tou (馒头), is one of the traditional favorites in most Chinese families, you can find the freshly made in most dim-sum stores or pre-packed ones in the frozen food section of major supermarkets.

This weekend, I decided to give it a try to make my own homemade rolled buns, since it has always been one of my childhood favorites.

Here they are, the  steamed rolled buns hot from stove. I made them plain this time as I had ran out of pumpkin and sweet potatoes, the next round I shall try to make some dwi-color man tou :)

The raw man tou and twisted rolls, I was testing out various rolling methods as you can see. My favorite is the twisted rolls, but my little boy liked the tower shape most. What about you? :)

Interested to make some? Just read on...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Homemade Garlic Powder 自制蒜头粉末

I made some garlic powder last night and I must say that, making homemade garlic powder is much easier than I thought!

While the oven was running, my kitchen and living hall was filled with the wonderful aroma of roasted garlic that I find rather comforting. I don't usually like garlic, especially raw garlic, never a garlic person. However roasted garlic is a totally different thing. I can't explain why but it just work for me, and my Big Guy too asked me what was the nice smell coming from the kitchen...

What is the garlic powder for, you asked? Well, I am going to use it for:

While ready-made garlic powders are easily available in supermarket, homemade ensure there is no added salt nor preservative, it is as natural as can be. Since the making is simple, I do not mind to make this at home once in a while, just like the anchovies powder.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Combat the Haze! 向烟雾说不!

Weather has been bad lately, no thanks to the thick haze blowing up from our neighboring country. Many people around us as fall ill due to the dry and highly polluted air. :(

To combat the poor air quality, I had been busy making various juices and drinks for the family. So this post just sharing some of the suggestive drinks for immunity booster or nourishment supplement.

Manuka Honey with Lemon Juice 蜜糖柠檬

A true immunity drink, as Manuka honey is known as immunity booster and has anti-bacteria function that ease throat and skin problem, while lemon too is rich with vitamins. I made a bottle for each of us in the morning, even my 19 mo baby had a small bottle of this goodie drink.

Making this: Just mix about 4-5 table spoon of Manuka honey, 1/4 lemon juice in warm water for each serving. Reduce portion accordingly for younger ones.

Green Beans with Ginger and Brown Sugar 绿豆姜片汤

Green beans, a.k.a. mung beans, is a traditional Chinese dessert that my mom used to make to reduce our body heat on hot weather, it's also known for detox purpose. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Healthy Homemade Vegetable Chips, and Baked Potatoes 烘蔬菜脆片加烤土豆(健康小吃)

What snack do you usually offer to your little ones? While I try to offer the healthy options to my little ones as much as possible, some of the folks back home like to offer them potato chips, muruku etc, all the snacks that are packed with salt, oil, fat, sugar, I refer to these as junks and I would really avoid them as much as possible.

However, I do agree that life should have a little enjoyment. So as a healthy substitute, I experienced making my own vegetable chips and they turned out pretty alright on the second try.

Here are what I've baked..

#1 Baked Pumpkin Cubes

#2 Baked Crispy Carrot Chips

With all the natural flavoring, they taste good and you can be assured there is no nonsense added. Perfect as handy snack for the TV time or when riding in a car. Hopefully they will except this as substitute for the commercial potato chips. *fingers crossed*

Monday, June 10, 2013

Green Smoothies with Apples, Kiwi and Manuka Honey 奇异青冰沙

If you have been following my blog, you probably noticed I am into smoothies nowadays. Well, reasons are many. It's cooling, it's packed with nutrition that can be directly absorbed by our bodies and most importantly, it is yummy and we all love it!  :)

Today I made this feel good smoothie for my big guy and my little girl who are both not feeling too well -running nose, no thanks to our temperamental weather. Unlike the previous smoothies, it has a slight sourish taste due to the kiwi, hence I added Manuka honey to balance it. 

My little boy doesn't like kiwi when serve fresh, probably due to its sourness; however when served as smoothie, he gobbled down the entire cup without me asking :)

Why kiwi? This fuzzy little fruit originated from China but made popular by the New Zealander is packed with nutrition and is probably one of the most nutrition dense fruit, it offers benefits from disease prevention (high fiber, antioxidant) to supplier of vitamins (acic folic, vitamin C, vitamin E) and minerals (calcium, copper).  It's pretty amazing that one small fuzzy fruit contains so much of nutrient!

Green apples, on the other hand, are packed with fiber, vitamin A, B, C & E, low in cholesterol and it has this tartaric and malefic acid that helps to prevent constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. In fact, it's one of the frequent fruits you can find in our fridge.

Mixed these two green guardian fruits with lemon and Manuka honey, now you see why I called this the Feel-Good Smoothies? :)


4 medium green apples 四粒中型青苹果
3 green kiwis 三粒奇异果
1/2 lemon, extract the juice 半颗柠檬汁
3-4 spoons of Manuka honey (adjust according to your liking) 三-四茶匙Manuka蜂蜜
6-8 ice cubes 六至八颗冰块

Step-by-Step Guides:
1. Mix honey and lemon juice with 1/2 cup of warm water. Set aside.
2. Wash and cut all the fruits into cubes, toss into the blender and add the honey lemon juice. Blend on high speed for 20-30seconds. Add the ice cubes last.
3. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes before serving.

Useful Tips!
  • Please take note that honey is not recommended for children under 1 yo as there is a potential of allergic reaction. If you are not comfortable to serve honey to little one under 2 yo, you may substitute green kiwi with golden kiwi which is sweeter hence you may skip the honey.
  • When choosing kiwi, go for those that are plump and slightly firm when touch, and no visible bruises or wrinkles on the surface.

Reference Links..

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Nutty Chocolate Muffin

Once in a while I'll bake some sweet treats for my little boy, instead of buying store made chocolate muffins which are often overly sweet, I would prefer to bake at home, I can control the sugar level and the ingredients used.

This is a rather simple recipe, all you need is a hand whisk and 2 mixer bowls. Mixer is usually optional when making muffin. 

The muffins, soft and moist and rich in chocolate.... My little boy insisted to have one before he went to bed, and this soft-hearted mommy gave in. Well, he helped though out the whole making of these muffins, so consider this an instant reward? :)


Original recipe adopted from Food Lovers: Cooking for Children.

Preparation Time: 20 min 
Cooking Time: 30 min
Serving for: 12 - 14 cupcakes