Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Here's what I baked and gave my colleagues this year.
Banana quickbread for everyone. Foolproof receipe. Limited wrapping skills. Hope they like it. :)

Rum N Raisin Icecream

I was really happy when I found an ice-cream receipe that didn't require the use of an ice-cream maker - coz I don't own one :P Even more overjoyed when it was a rum n raisin one. I am a fan of anything that is slightly spiked, although I cannot bring myself to sip anything alcoholic (maybe with the exception of bailey's cream).


1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup rum (I used Meyers)

150g icing sugar

600ml thickened cream (I used Bulla)

Soak raisins in rum overnight. Drain raisins and mix the rum liquid with the icing sugar. Add cream and allow the electric mixer to mix the stuff well till thickened. Freeze overnight.

DH thought it was a little overspiked, but I thought it still tasted fine. The cream tasted really creamy, wonder if I should replace some with milk instead next time?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Xmas Butter Cookies

What's Christmas without puddings and cookies?
Using the simple butter cookie receipe that I have in my receipe file, this was a easy mix and cut project. Again the gals were really excited in the kitchen, all wanting to decorate the christmas tree and stars. Proud to say that the cookies you see in the photos are all done by Bubbles and Blossom.
Buttercup was excited initially, but eventually she was putting more of the sprinkles into her mouth rather than on the cookie dough! Had to distract her out of the kitchen in case the sprinkes get all used up. hehehe.

Xmas Cupcake Project

The gals and I did some cutey Xmas cupcakes on Saturday. Well, I baked them and the gals iced and decorated them. It was a premix that comes with the sugar decorations, which I felt was so adorable and easy.To me they were a tad too sweet, but the gals loved the cupcakes to bits.
Project completed!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sponge Cake

Tried a basic sponge cake yesterday. Realised at the last minute that I had run out of parchment/baking paper to line the round tin, so had to improvise and bake them in muffin cups.

Simple receipe with few ingredients:
5 eggs
90g sugar
100g plain flour
1 tbsp cornoil (i used ricebran oil)

1. Whisk eggs over high speed for around 8 min till it is creamy.
2. Add sugar in slowly, whisk till colour turns ligth and stiff
3. Add flour, mis slowly till batter is well combined.
4. Add oil, mix well slowly in one direction,careful not to overblend.
5. Pour mixture into a lined and greased 8" cake mould. Bake in preheated oven at 180C for 30-35 min. ( as mine were in cuppies, it took about 20min)

The gals liked it, especially the ones which I had thrown some chocolate chips into.

This morning, added some nutella as frosting plus sprinkles and topped with a marshmellow flower and viola! it turned into a little cupcake.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Xmas Jellycups

Today, Bubbles and Buttercup will be having their Xmas party celebration at their childcare centre. Usually they have their party slightly earlier as some families are away closer to the actual day. The kids also get to exchange gifts and sing songs.

It is a potluck party. I volunteered to make jellycups for the children. Red strawberry and green lime jelly - the Xmasy colours. On each jelly topped a Xmas candy. I thought they look a pretty sight. Bubbles and Blossom woke up early to help me put on the lids on the cups and pack them in bags.

Doesn't the snowman look 'sweet'?

I really liked this one - snowy boot.
Hope the gals have fun today! "I had fun making the jelly :) "

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Family Cruise

Hi! Back from our holidays!

We went for a 4D3N cruise to Penang and Phuket over the long weekend. 11 of us in total, great fun! The powerpuff gals and their cousin enjoyed themselves with the endless food (burp!), swimming area, ice-cream party and kids' playarea. They were awed by mostly everything as it was their first time a large ship. Best of all, the adults also had their own type of fun - casino, while the kids were enjoying their party at the childcare centre.

At the stopover at Penang, DH's colleague (based in Penang) took us to the famous char kway teow stall (fried flat noodles with cockles and prawns and lots of porky lard). Taste was really fragrant, and different from those found in Singapore, a was a tad oily for us. It was a 1-hr plus wait for the noodles as the stall is really busy, hot and sweaty, plus had to hear the stall owner scolding some of the customers for chasing the order!

In Phuket, strange enough, the 2 grandmas allowed us to go on the elephant rides! It was an exciting ride, esp when the elephant was going up/down the slopes. We must be a noisy bunch to the elephants: hold tight! slipper going to fall off! elephant poo poo! (can guess that they really had a heavy meal) aiyo smelly! :P City people!!! Too urbanised to enjoy the simplicity of nature and animals... :(

Gala night dinner on board was also wonderful chance to dress up and for the gals "to act like a princess". No lah, it is not that formal - just a simple dress and some fine dining. Everyone also had a good time watching the daily night performances of dance, song, acrobatics, and even get to line dance the YMCA and Macarena.

Asked Buttercup if she would like to go on a cruise again, she replied with another question "Can we go tomorrow?"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Steamed Banana Cupcake

Had a bunch of speckled bananas again. Decided on a steamed version instead of baked cupcake. This is really a nice and moist cake, and it is really easy to do. Just beat up some of the wet ingredients and fold in the flour and voila!

Sis, here's the receipe for you:

Ingredients/ Method
2 eggs
100g sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed (200g)
150g self-raising flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
75g oil (i only had ricebran oil left, it still worked)
1. Sift together self-raising flour and baking soda. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar till ribbon stage.
3. Mix in mashed bananas, beat till combine.
4. Gently fold in flour mixture and oil, taking care not to deflat the eggs and sugar mixture.
5. Pour batter into muffin cups.
6. Steam over high heat for 15 mins or till an inserted skewer comes out clean.
(Receipe courtesy of Baking on Cloud9)

Bento #26

This was actually a leftover dinner which I brought as lunch to the office the next day. Spiral pasta sprinked with dried parsley, and creamy chicken sauce. Yum. A mandarin orange completes the meal. Satisfying.

Bento #23, #24, #25

Bento#23: Blanched cauliflower, stir-fried chicken with carrots and onions (not featured here because the kids won't have any onions- unless it comes in the form of doughnut rings aka onion rings), fried cabbage with dried shrimps. Dragonfruit cubes were served. Told them a white lie that they were jellyfruits. At least it made them try the fruit.

Bento #24: Popcorn chicken (ketchup in green container), fried kailan with carrot rounds, steamed threadfin fish. Jellyfruit plus kiwi, served with the everfavourite flower marshmallow.

Bento #25: This was one of the dinners last week. I think it was pork slices in soysauce, fried french beans, plus a "bird's nest with 2 eggs" (aka fishball + spinach). They love spinach and fishball combo, esp cooked as a soup. No complaints from me - easy peasy to cook anyway. :P

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bento #20, #21, #22

Bento #20: Rice with fried wingdrum, sweet potatoe sticks (taste yummy) and stir-fried spinach (again). Ketchup in the green bear container for dip. Honeydew cubes for dessert. Deep fried stuff again in their bento as children simply love them, at least they eat their dinner.

Bento #21: Rice with yakitori balls on a skewer, chicken nugget, ham omelette and stir-fried broccoli with shitake mushroom. Dessert: papaya cubes

Bento #22: Shell pasta with tomato sauce. Added sausages, ham, peas, carrots, onions and hope that the gals will not pick stuff out and choose. They still did anyway, esp the onions and carrots. Pooh bear ham and cheese to make it look more cute. Some madarin orange wedge to complete the meal.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Flight to nowhere

1 Nov - Flight to nowhere - on the Singapore Flyer

This was a blue moon occasion, an office colleague outing with family. It was such a warm feeling to have everyone there, together with their family. The slight drizzle that morning made our day cool. Our flight was at 10.30am and we "took off" smoothly. The children were fascinated with the big ferris wheel. Flight journey was about 30 minutes. We could still identify some of the tracks used during the F1 night race.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bento #18 & #19

Bento #18: Contented doggy lying on a bed of sprouts and spinach under the carrot sun. Skewered porkballs + fishball. Dessert: Green grapes. The doggy was made of minced pork and shredded carrot (sneaking in veges in the gals' food hehehe) patties.

Bento #19: Fish-shaped egg (cannot see the imprint very clearly, as the eggs were not the correct size, again!). Rice served with fishball, nugget, braised threadfin fish (aka ikan kurau). On the "garden bed" are kailan stems (they are huge stems) with pretty marshmellow flowers. Green grapes were for dessert once again.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bento #17

This was breakfast on Saturday. The gals love the Pooh and Tigger sandwiches and cheese slices. Buttercup could recognise them very easily so the cookie cutter/mould was something well spent. The moon sandwiches were there coz I didn't want to waste the bread after cutting out the Pooh and Tigger. They were either Nutella or just plain butter sandwiches, but they are favourites of the gals. Placed some Ritz biscuits and strawberries to complete the meal.

Bentos #14, #15, #16

Bento #14: Star onigiri topped with animal biscuit, served with seafood rolls and steamed minced pork with egg and stir-fried pak choy. Fruit: apples.

The seafood rolls were store bought and it looked nice when sliced - it had seaweed, green onions and imitation crabstick. Steamed minced pork is always a favourite for the gals, as the pork juices just go so well with the steam eggs.

Bento #15: Heart-shaped rice with braised chicken drumstick for Blossom. Oven toasted ngoh hiang and stir-fried spinach. On the right is a nest of quail eggs and "chicks". Fruit: extra sweet strawberry.
Finally had some time on my hands to experiment making the quail egg chicks. Sesame seed for the eyes and strawberry/tomato for the beaks. Next time should use carrot for the beaks as I think that may look better.
Bento #16: This is the "monster" bento. Spinach hair and char siew eyes and roast pork for the grin. Dessert was papaya cubes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bento #13

Last night's dinner:
Rice with smiley peas, braised meatballs and mushrooms, siew mai, steamed threadfin fish (partially hidden), fried ikan bilis snack (aka anchovies)
And guess what fruit was served?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bento #12

I think this was a Saturday's dinner.

Ribbon pasta, with diced chicken in cream sauce, and flower carrots. Dessert: Apples also cut with same flower cutter, and orange jelly.

The gals cleaned up their plates (or shd I say boxes). They usually love pasta in cream sauce.

Happy Birthday Blossom!

Guess whose birthday? hehehe

Bento #11

Stir-fried Spinach with ikan bilis, deep fried ikan bilis snack, fish fingers (with ketchup in blue container). Dessert was kiwi cubes.

Realised that it was quite a "fishy" meal. :P

Friday, October 3, 2008

Banana Cupcake

Banana Cupcakes for supper last night and breakfast this morning. This receipe is adapted from Joanne @ Kitchen Capers is a keeper, the cake was fluffy and soft. Love the crispy top best. Hope it is ok to share with everyone.

180g butter
180g caster sugar (I used only 150g, to cut the sweetness)
2 eggs
3 tbsp milk
3 large banana (riped, mashed)
240g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate soda

Preheat oven to 180°C. Beat butter & sugar together using a mixer until creamy and smooth. Add eggs, one at a time until it’s well corporated. Add milk and banana, mix well. Mix flour, baking powder & bicarbonate soda and add to mixture. Pour batter into the individual cupcake cases and bake for 25 minutes.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fairy Wand Cookies

Can you imagine that all these were accomplished yesterday! Trip to Jurong Bird Park, grocery shopping, cooking dinner and baking cookies!

The gals pestered me to bake yesterday afternoon, tried to resist but they were more resistant. Anyway, this is a simple bake coz it was a premix and most stuff came in the package, even the star shaped cookie cutter. All I had to do was add an egg and 1 tablespoon of butter in the flour mix, roll the dough, cut the shapes and put a wooden stick through it. Baking time was 12 minutes. After the cookies cooled, we added the pink icing on it. Again it was a premix, and just required 2 teaspoon of milk and 1 teaspoon of butter.

Here's the product if anyone is interested. The gals loved it, but I found the icing too sweet. The both had 2 fairy wands each, and that was after dinner. You can see they really have a sweet tooth.

Bento #10

Rice with edamame beans, roasted pork slices with leeks in dark soy sauce (yummy), braised fish* in taucheo sauce, heart-shaped jelly with purple grapes. *dun ask me what fish it was, it was not labelled and I usually have little clue what type of fish it is

Blossom loves those wafer roses that come with dishes at some Chinese restarants. When we went to Sheng Siong supermarket, she saw it and requested for some to go with her bento.

Children's Day n Hari Raya Puasa

It was a public holiday yesterday - Hari Raya Puasa as well as Children's Day. Was thinking about what to do on this day and keep the active kids occupied. When we woke up, the air was feeling little cool. Not quite good day for a swim in the pool. Told DH and my mom that there was a promotion going on at Jurong Bird Park where kids get free admission on 1 Oct. After that it was all excitment getting ready for the trip. Packed some sandwiches for everyone to munch on, and off we went. We were quite early, reached about 9am. Kids even received a goody bag, courtesy of JBP.

Gals wanted to feed the birds, so our first stop was to Lory Loft. Colourful, greedy and at times agressive (my DH got a peck on the finger, which bled) birds. Bubbles not in the pic coz she was more afraid of the lories.
One for the camera - the bird and Blossom
New exhibit called Dino Descendants. Bubbles thought we were going to look at dinosaurs, not knowing the meaning of descendants.
We left JBP around 12.30pm, and my! The queue at the admissions booth was snaking so long! Even the carpark was full. Luckily we got there early yesterday.

Went for lunch at West Coast McDonalds. Had a leisure stroll along West Coast "beach". Not much of a beach but more to look at ships and boats and people fishing. Buttercup said there were dolphins in the water ( think they were just some debri or buoyants) :)

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