Sunday, October 26, 2014

{Birthday Special} Sweetheart Cuppies of my Sweetheatt

Finally, I attempted cupcake deco with buttercream after many moons. I have never liked buttercream as I find it too sweet and too rich, bad for my weight control and also against my wish to allow the Little Ones to have so much sugar intake. However, since they are both above 2yo now I am ready to get loosen up.

As my little bunny's birthday is coming up soon, and I have already got her birthday dress ready, I decided to try out some cupcake decorating today, with homemade buttercream. Ah,  they turned out beautiful, don't they? :)

Cuppies design by PH @ food4littleones

My little handsome were so excited when the cuppies were done, kept asking if he can bring them to the school tomorrow, "they are so cute, Mommy, how did you learn to make all these?". Awww.. worth the effort to just hear him saying these. Yes, I'm a shallow mom. ;-)

Love this Ballerina Cuppie using Eccentric pink coloring, I am going to make a few of them in different shade of pinks. They are easier than it seems when crafted with fondant. I used letter "V" for the bodice and cut out a circle using the kid's cup, then created some ripples with the help of a toothpick. Join both piece with some sugar water and ta-da, the ballerina cuppie is ready!

Ballerina Cuppie

The Heart of the Ocean, another of my favorite. The contrast of the color turned out exactly as I expected. I used Navy Blue color for the ocean effect and Drop Flower tip.
Heart of the Ocean Cuppie

The Sweetheart Cuppies Trio for my little girl.. My duo absolutely love the sprinkles and little hearts. In fact 2 of these were gone right after my photo-shoot. I had to constantly keep an eye on my little girl as she had been eyeing on the ballerina cuppie the whole time! 
Sweetheart Cuppies Trio, in Eccentric Pink

The Little Fish & Little Star Cuppies, easy peasy deco using fondant but huge on cuteness effect. I'm not quite satisfied with the yellow color, so will have to fine-tune these later. All these are fondant cut out using cookie cutters.

Little Fish & Star Cuppies

Lovely cuppies, which are your favourites?

I have yet to finalise which designs to used for my little C's birthday party, but the ballerina is definite in my pick! ❤️

Almost forgotten. For anyone interested to try out some homemade buttercream, here's the simple recipe I used  from "Fabulous Party Cakes and Cupcakes", I got this book from Times book store quite some times back. I have reduced the amount of sugar used by 50% and it turned out just nice.

Simple Buttercream Recipe

• 250g unsalted butter (room temperature)
• 250g icing sugar (original recipe used 500g)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon hot water 

To make, just soften the butter in the mixer on medium speed for about 3 minute - until it is soft and creamy, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix on high speed to 5-10min until the texture turns pale white and really smooth. Your buttercream is ready!

This is enough to decorate the 12 -14 medium size cupcakes depending on your design. In my case, I still have some left over after decorating the 16 cuppies.

If there is any leftover, just store them in airtight container or cover with cling foam and place in fridge (good to keep up to a week) or freezer compartment (up to a month)

Happy cake decorating!  ❤️

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Easy Homemade Meatball Spaghetti

My little ones are both meat lovers, although they like veggies in general but meat dishes are always better received. Onion is a big no-no for them, both will diligently picked up any onion sliced in their dish. So I thought to add some diced onions into the meatballs without them noticing.

My trick worked, my little E loved the meatball spaghetti so much that he kept telling the daddy "I like this, it's delicious!" and he actually finished everything on his plate, including 7 meatballs that he made. He had been a great little helper in the kitchen since he turned 5yo and his involvement in the process had helped him to appreciate the food a lot better. 

I cooked up this dish without any reference, as I wanted to cook a stewed version instead of the conventional tomato sauce meatballs. These meatballs are crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, even big guy approved of them. :)
Here's the meatball loaded serving for him. 

Mini meatballs for my little ones.

For mine, is quite a big portion too. I must confess that I'm quite a big eater. :p
(Everyone has equal portion of the green Romanies)

My little helper busy rolling meatballs and coating them with flour. Wearing the pajamas and apron made by mommy :)

So, are you ready to make some? Here's the recipe. It may look complicated due to the many herbs and spices used, but the making is really pretty simple.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serving for: 20-30 medium meatballs  
What you need:

The Ingredients:

For Meatballs
• 300gm of minced beef (lean meat)
• 1 small carrot, diced 
• 1/4 yellow onion, diced
• 2 clove garlic, diced 
• 2 tablespoon cheddar cheese, cut cubes
• 2 tablespoon bread crumbs 
• a dash of salt
• a dash of pepper
• a dash of rosemary
• a dash of black pepper or paprika powder
• 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
• 4 tablespoon all purpose flour

For Sauce
• 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• 2 tablespoon white wine (optional for little ones)
• 1 cub water or stock

The Making:

1. Place all the ingredients for meatball (except the flour) in a big bowl and mix well using a pair of chopsticks or a fork.

2. Roll the beef mixture into balls of your preferred size - we had some mini ones for the kids and medium size for the adults. 

3. Pour the flour in a clean plate, coat a layer of flour over the meatballs by rolling it over the flour. 

4. Heat up 3 table spoons or olive oil in a skillet, cook the meat ball for about 2 minutes on each side or until they turn brown. Set aside.

5. To prepare the sauce, just mix all the sauce ingredients together in a pan (sugar shall be the last), bring it to boil and toss in the cooked meatballs. Let them simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickened. 

Tips: When cooking for little ones, you may scope out the sauce and meatball before adding the wine.

6. While the saucing is cooking, prepare the spaghetti according to the instruction on the box. Should take only about 10 minutes. (I used the leftover stir fried spaghetti)
7. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti that you have prepared and serve immediately.

Bon appetite!