Monday, September 30, 2013

Crabby Meal

When I'm out of idea on what to cook, fried rice is one of the usual that I fall back on. It's fast and nutrition pack with all the fresh ingredients used. For today, I used broccoli, carrots, onions, long beans, bacon, egg omelette and a dash of anchovies powder. Now you see why I said its nutrition packed? *wink*

To make it more exciting for my duo, I deployed the same tactic as rainbow rice today.. covered it using a bowl to let them explore what's underneath.

For my elder, I decorated it like a crab. Hence the name, crabby rice. He started by eating the limbs, then the eyes and finally the body. Chuckling all the way. :)

Good thing of using a bowl to cover up, it keeps the rice warm and you serve just the right amount of rice within a bowl.

My little girl had the same surprise too, she was actually screaming in joy as she lift up the cover, bringing joy to the little one can be this simple. :)

I added few drops of raisins as sweet treat.

Simple meal, but everyone was happy.

Have fun cooking! You may refer to the rainbow rice here

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy Meals: Little Strawberries Trees

It's Sunday, and it's time for another happy meal. Since I bought some fresh strawberries yesterday, we are having them for breakfast today. But in a rather pretty way. :)

The little strawberries trees made of fresh strawberries and toasted whole meal bread. Served with Greek yogurt as dip. Added some little cherios butterflies.

The big ones are not left out. We too had a nice breakfast.

A beautiful morning, starts right now. :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oriental Style Chicken Fillet with Fried Onion

The oven at home had been rather busy lately since I've been cooking on daily basis. Last night I decided to give it a rest and cook the chicken fillet the conventional way with the oriental spices.

Oriental Chicken Filler with Fried Onions, the one plate complete meal.

My portion, not as lavish.

My little ones' portion, all cut into thin slices. My duo loved the chicken fillet so much so they were fighting for more and I had to top up more from my own fillet.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serving for: 4  


Ingredient A- the Fillet
4 slices of chicken breast, approximate 600gm. Remove fats and clean
A table spoon of corn flour 

Ingredient B - the Marinate
2 gloves chopped garlic 
A dash of salt
A dash of pepper
Few drops of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of Shao Xin wine (skip this for little ones)
A dash of paprika powder (optional)
2 tablespoon of soya sauce 

Ingredient C - Fried Onion Rings
2 onions, cut into rings  
A dash of salt 
1 medium egg, beaten 
1 table spoon of corn starch

The Making:

1. Using a meat tenderizer, beat both sides of the fillet until soften, but not mashed. If the fillet is too thick, you may want to slice it into half, to about 1" thickness.

2. Marinate the chicken fillet with ingredient B for at least an hour. Flip the filler over to ensure they are all coated in the marinate sauce. I marinated mine over night in the fridge.

3. Heat up 2 big tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, coat the chicken fillet with a thin layer of corn flour, then gently lay the chicken fillet into the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes or until it is thoroughly cook; turn to the other side and repeat the same. 

4. Set the chicken fillet aside.

5. Soak the onion into the egg liquid, add a dash of salt to taste, then coat it with  corn flour.

6. In the same pan (or a clean pan if this has became sticky), heat up a table spoon of olive oil, toss in all the coated onion rings and let them cook for about 3 minutes until them turns golden brown. Remove from heat immediately.

To serve, just serve the chicken fillet with the fried onion on the side and some veggies. You may cut them into small cutlets and serve to the little ones for easier chewing.

Happy dining!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Meal: Let's Play Piano!

As I was accompanying my little boy at his usual piano lesson, a new idea struck. I could make him a playable keyboard for meal time.

So here it is, Music Feast for the weekend happy meal.

With 2 slices of wholemeal bread, spread, some raisins and cherios, we made the keyboard and the music notes. Some happy cheesy fish swimming beneath. :)

My little boy was doing his "practice". 
Fun & healthy happy meal, snacking at home can be fun too. :)


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Happy Mid Autume Festival 中秋愉快

It's Mid Autumn festival today, a day of family reunion. I made another batch of mini ice skin mooncakes this time to be given to both side of families, all using natural flavoring, with fresh Pandan juice and dragon fruit juice.

Look at the little peaches, 桃子月饼, not perfectly shape but I made them for the good meaning; peaches is a symbol of longevity to the Chinese.

I love the different combinations of moulds, perhaps I shall get more traditional moulds next year.

All packed, ready to be delivered as gift! 

Happy Mid Autume to all my friends!

The recipe is from Christine's kitchen, to make the dragon fruit flavors just replace the pandan juice in the recipe with same amount of sieved dragon fruit juice.



Monday, September 16, 2013

Homemade Ice Skin Mooncakes 自制冰皮月饼,好过瘾

Mid Autumn festival is coming soon, and its only appropriate to celebrate it with family with some moon cakes, which symbolizes the full moon and the love for someone far away.

I know there are tons of mooncake choices in the malls, from modern ones  with tiramisu, chocolate, durian flavors to traditional ones with egg yolks, lotus paste and red bean paste... However I decided to make some at home this year for my little ones, so I can control the sweetness level and at the same time, ME get to have some fun making this all time favorite dessert. It is cheaper (way cheaper!) and I get to have a first hand experience on this while impressing my siblings, so why not?  *wink*

I have always like ice skin mooncakes as a child, so I decided to go for this non bake savory following Christine's recipe. She has a wide selection of mooncake recipes on her website, from ice skins to traditional, so really won't go wrong to go with her recipes!

The lovely mooncakes, freshly done.

I used lotus paste as filling, some has added melon seeds.

I used a traditional and a cute Mickey  moulds. 

The making was fun, took me about 1 hour to finish making the 14 mini mooncakes. Could have been better the next round.

Here is the Pandan Snowskin mooncake recipe I referred to, go and have a try.

Happy Mid Autumn to all!





Ham and Cheese Crepes 法式腌肉乳酪薄饼

It's crepeey breakfast time again, this time we have it differently - with ham & cheese, and banana raisins. Still yummy as ever. My little boy declared this is his best breakfast ever. He sure know how to make his mommy happy. :)

Crepe with Ham 'n Cheese, folded on corners, for my little handsome. A friend said this looks like Ham canai, I couldn't agree more as crepe is just a French version of thin pancake, while Canai is the Indian version of pancake. However, the texture is totally different though.

Half folded crepe for my big guy.

Banana & Raisin honey crepe for me, top with fruity honey. One of my personal favorites... You could have sprinkle with some confectionary sugar like the stores usually do, but I like mine this way.

My little girl had a smaller portion served with raisins and melon seeds. With a cup of milk, it's a yummy and healthy breakfast. :)

Making of this savory is easy:

Using the Stove
• Lay a slice of cheddar cheese with some shredded ham on top of the crepe.
• Cook on stove about few minutes till the cheese all melted. Use the spatula to fold the crepe.

Using the Microwave
• Lay a slice of cheddar cheese with some shredded ham on top of the crepe. 
• Cook it in an oven on high heat for 3 minutes.

Note: You may used an oven too, but I was lazy to turn on the oven just for few minutes of cooking, so I used the stove method. 


Friday, September 13, 2013

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Hams and Chicken

My little captain really enjoys eating Mac and Cheese, he can eat an entire plate all by himself, however most Mac and cheese served in the restaurant are rather plain - just macaroni and cheese, and some even uses cream cheese which is lower in nutrition in compared to natural cheddar or Parmesan cheese, so I seldom offer to my baby girl who is allergic to cream cheese.

After a recent visit to a fine dining restaurant where they served really nice baked macaroni and cheese, at quite an expensive price as expected, I decided to cook this at home since my little captain really enjoyed it to the very last bit. Besides, I can choose to use good quality cheese without fearing my girl will have another flare out after consuming cream cheese again.

When I told my little captain I'm making Mac and cheese for dinner, he was so excited and immediately offered to help up in the kitchen. He is a real helper nowadays, helped to chop up the hams, shred the cheese and prepare the cheese sauce. Hopefully one day soon my little girl is ready to join us too.

The macaroni and cheese with ham and chicken turned out really nice, especially when it's piping hot. My big guy volunteered to empty the remaining bits. :)

Preparation Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
Serving for: 2-3 little ones

1 cup elbow macaroni

1 table spoon of bread crumbs
100gm of good quality ham (I used honey glazed ham), finely chopped
1/2 cup of minced chicken, marinate with a pinch of salt and ground pepper

For Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
2 table spoons of butter
1 table spoon of flour
1 cup of fresh milk

The Making:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 375°F.

2. Cook the macaroni in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt as per the suggested cooking time (around 5-7min), drain the excess water and run the pasta under running tap water for a few seconds.

3. Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, stir fry the minced meat and chopped ham until the meat turns brown. Turn off the heat and set aside.

4. In a clean pot, melt the butter and add the flour on medium heat, stir constantly until the flour dissolved then add the milk. Bring it to a boil until the cheese sauce thicken.

5. Add the macaroni into the cheese sauce, follow by the ham and meat. Mix well. 

6. Transfer the macaroni to a carousel (I used a round baking tray instead), sprinkle with more shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 10 minutes and get ready for a really yummy Mac 'n cheese!

I love this baking pan I used for the baking the macaroni, as we finished the food the smiley Mickey will appear. :)

My little boy was so excited as he was busy chopping, shredding, stirring, scooping. I let him used a butter knife to cut the ham so I can leave him alone while I boiled the macaroni. I love the team work between us :)

Useful Tips!

• The Mac forms a thin layer of crust on top after baking, if your baby has soft teeth suggest to skip the last step. It taste great even if serve without baking it.

• I ran out of mozzarella cheese at the point of cooking, so I used a cup of cheddar cheese instead and it turned out well. You may add more cheese if you like it really creamy, but this is good enough for us. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Claypot Chicken Rice for Little Ones 简易版瓦锅鸡饭

I missed the famous charcoal Claypot chicken rice in Pudu, especially when it's been rather cold these few nights due to the monsoon rain that often comes in the evening, a pot of hot meal will be really warming.

Since I am now a temporary stay-home mom who cooks daily, I decided to make a claypot chicken rice that is child friendly so we can all share, including the little ones. By child friendly, I mean to cut down the rich flavoring used in marinating the chicken and avoid using preserved meat - salted fish and Chinese sausages. However, the texture of the rice turned out well and my little boy really loved his dinner. Claypot seems to amplifies the aroma of the food, which makes the chicken rice smell so irresistible.

So my craving eased and the family got to enjoy a nice one-pot meal. :)

Preparation Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Serving for: 3 person

3 chicken drummets, cut into small pieces of about 1.5" each

6 dried mushrooms
1 cup white rice
1 cup water or stock
1 tablespoon premium soya sauce (use 2
If you want a richer taste)
1 teaspoon black soya sauce (use 1 tablespoon if you want it darker)
A dash of sesame oil
A dash of pepper
1 teaspoon of corn flour
1 teaspoon of Shao Xin wine
2 clove garlic, finely chopped
A bit of ginger, thinly sliced

The Making:
1. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for at least 30 minutes or until soften.

2.  Marinate the chicken and mushrooms for at least 30 minutes.

3. Cook the rice and water in the Claypot for approximately 10 minutes on high heat, with the cover on. The rice is ready once you see tiny holes appearing on the surface. I add a teaspoon of anchovies powder into the pot for added flavor.

4. Spread out the chicken and mushrooms onto the rice, pour any remaining marinating sauce into the pot. Put the cover on and cook for another 20 minutes on high heat. Add some Chinese sausages if you like.

5. Once the chickens are all cooked, turnoff  the heat and let the rice sit for another 10 minutes before serving, it will dry up a little an become more chewy.

6. When serving, garnish with some spring onions and/or fried salted fish. 

Do take note that the Claypot will remain hot for quite sometimes, so be careful not to let the little one touches it!

I ran out of the mushroom in an earlier attempt so used the Korean button mushrooms instead. Tasted good. :)

Useful Tips:
• I cooked the Bak Choy with garlic (清炒小白菜) in a separate wok and top them onto the rice only right before serving. It is the perfect match for this flavorful dish.

• For little one's serving, I would suggest to debone the chicken to avoid them from biting onto tiny pieces of the bones.

• If serving for adults, you may add some fried salted fish and mix well with the rice before serving, the aroma will be so so inviting! However I skip that for my little ones since its not exactly a healthy food, replaces with a dash of roasted anchovies powder instead.

• If you like Chinese sausage, 腊肠, cut a few thin slices and add them during step 4. That is the traditional must-have for all die hard claypot chicken rice fans.

• You may add a drop of oyster sauce for richer taste if you wish, however I do not like using oyster sauce in my cooking. When cooking for the minors under 4yo, I will reduce or avoid the usage of articifal flavoring which often contains too much sugar, salt and preservative.