Monday, September 30, 2013

Things we do with the kids on a weekend

Every weekends, me and hubby tried to find places or things to do with the kids. This is kinda new to us cos we are in the beginning stage of doing so. Why? Cos my #2 is finally learning to enjoy what we do so I tot it's a good time to do so.

We decided to keep every weekends for family time, be it grocery shopping, simple coffee and cakes session or even shopping trips that thrilled my #1. Trying hard to be more active in various forms of activities.

So, I googled for some kids activities on Saturday night as we were thinking where to bring the kids as we have no plans for that day. We chanced upon EatPlayLove cafe review and was intrigued. The little craft corner that will interest the kids and it's a great bonding time as well. But sad to say, it is fully booked for that weekend. We ended up having our meal at A for Arbite at Aliwal Arte Center which is just beside. 

We weren't too hungry so hubby and I shared a Ceasar Salad, the kids shared a Linguine with Black Forest Truffle Ham and we ended the meal with a cappuccino, latte and The Wife's Chocolate cake, which is basically a brownie served with scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The salad is so-so, average, and I dared to say I can make better. 

The linguine is very yummy, esp with the ham. It is in cream based but not overly rich. (Ok, I steal a mouth to taste) 

The chocolate cake is soft and not overly sweet, goes very well with the ice cream and needless to say, we finish it all. The coffee were average. 

Overall, I would say average for food experience and cost wise, over-priced. I spent a total of $58+ for all the above. Not very friendly for our pockets.

The next place we tried from my google search results was Belly View Cafe at NSRCC Sea Sports Center. I did a little search review on it and I know I am not gonna find fantastic food there but I know the kids will enjoy the view and of cos, the feel of aeroplanes flying over our head as we had our meal. 

We ordered Hor Fun & Yee Mee which is totally bland for us. But it could helped a bit to eat it with their cut green chilli. 
The Fried Rice is ok, average I would say.

Then the Fried Mee Sua, it really makes up for the 'lost' of salt earlier on. Tasty but over saltish. Hahah~ 

The best dish of all - Prawn Paste Chicken. It is crispy on outside, fragrant meat. My gal had most of it, being a fried Chix lover same as mummy. Food experience was fantastic, cost wise is same as those normal zi char stalls. Fun for the kids and we had a little 'ride' on the swing too.

The kids, especially my boy was playing imaginary airplanes with his hands throughout. 

Late Night Sunday routine

Been craving about luncheon meat buns ever since I opened the can of luncheon meat to fry noodles. I specially keep 3 stripes so that I could make buns with them when I bake my breads on Sunday. Ha~

I decided to have a try at the worm shaped bread with Nutella as well. I did 3 buns as well for trial. My 1st 'worm' was really perfect. My 2nd one, I cut the stripes and turn over before rolling into a long buns and it seems much much better. 

I am using this recipe that I used previously, following exactly the same. I managed to get 6x35g doughs for the buns, 3x180g into Flaxseed Wholemeal Cheese Bread loaf. Sound yummy for all the flavour that I am baking today. Can't wait.

Verdict: it's definetely yummy with the cheese oozing out from the loaf. Hubby took a slice after I slice it up minutes out from BM. With the aid of my bread slicer, I can cut it better but it is gonna make things much easier if the loaf is cooled completely. Can't wait to eat my luncheon bun tml for breakfast.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Home-made Meatballs Noodle Soup

Went home early and had to settle dinner while hubby went jogging. 1-dish meal is always inviting to me. I decided to use up my celery, make some meatballs and cook healthy soup noodles.

Of cos, this meatballs are not so yummy in my sense, and the kids too.. Why? Cos of the taste of celery. But my hubby who loves it, says it's yummy but could do with a little salt. Bearing that in mind, I shall try that next round and see how it goes. 

But nonetheless, if you don't like celery, you can opt that out. It will still be yummy too.. Or perhaps, I should learn to appreciate it.

Home-made Meatballs Noodles Soup
150g Minced Meat
150g Fish Paste
3 stalks Spring Onion
1 stalk Celery
Sesame Oil

1) Mix all the above into paste-like form. 
2) Prepare a bowl of water, enough for you to put ready-rolled balls into. Take some paste and roll into a ball and put into the bowl of water. Leave aside.

Soup broth:
Handful Ikan Billis & Yellow Beans
1 Slice Ginger
1 Tomato, wedge
Some Chix bones 
Sesame Oil
Fish Gravy to taste

1) Bring 2l of water to boil with above, except fish gravy and sesame oil.
2) Simmer for 15-20mins then add the ready-roll balls, vegetable and bring to boil.
3) Add in noodles, bring to boil again. Add pepper and fish gravy to taste, serve warm.

Little Sponge Cupcakes

Finally got the courage, as well as time to bake this little cupcakes. I was intrigued when I saw Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover post when I was searching for some sponge recipe. And I simply fell in love with the outlook as well as the comments given by Sonia. 

I saw her using a KA to mix in flour, after the eggs reaching balloon stage, and it seems a higher chance of me succeeding in making sponge-related cakes? (Oh, if you follow my blog, you would know that I am super afraid of baking sponge and I have a high failure rate for it) 

Anyway, I was home early on a Saturday and hubby went out to jog. So I have a empty time slot that my itchy hands can't seems to be able to 'rest'! I decided to go thru my KIV list and then I saw this recipe that I bookmarked. And since recently I have a baker fren who also tried this, she have me super thumbs up review and that it was pretty easy to do it too.. So..... Here I go...

Indeed, it was quite simple to follow exactly as Sonia's steps. Although the adding of flour spoonful by spoonful did intimidate me, when the batter deflate slightly, I decided to let it be and just trust the steps to go. Hahahah~ And finally I add a drop of pink colourings, hoping to see swirls inside, mix in gently with my spatula and faster fill my cupcake to 90% full.

Verdict: Indeed it is very soft, slightly spongy. Not very dry but a bit sweet for me, will reduce 10-15g next round. Yummy!! Most impt, my kids love it.

Strawberry Sponge Cupcakes (adapted for NasiLemakLover)
25g Canola Oil
35g Milk (original recipe use orange juice for orange Cuppies)
100g Cake Flour
1/2tsp Salt *omit*
3 Eggs
95g Sugar

1) Put eggs and sugar in mixing bowl and beat at Speed 8-9 for 3mins. Then reduce to Speed 5-6 for 10mins.
2) Batter will be thick now. Reduce to Speed 1-2 and continue to beat for 1-2mins. 
3) While mixer is still on, add in spoon by spoon of flour, followed by the oil+milk mixture.
4) Do not over mix, fill cupcake cases 90% full.
5) Bake at 175deg for 20-25mins.

**above speed and timing is based on a Kitchenaid mixer.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pandan & Strawberry Chiffon

Overheard someone saying that she haven had Pandan chiffon for very long and I realized that I also haven bake chiffon for ages. Ok, maybe not ages but at least few weeks? Then came to my mind that I haven use my Heart-shaped chiffon pan that my fren helped to arrange to bring back for me from hongkong. 

I spent SG$41 for it after conversion from Hongkong dollars. It is considered $$ well spent cos I recently saw a shop selling it for $58.90 at Star vista mall. Minus all the shipping and whatever miscellaneous, super worth.

I am using the same tang mian recipe used previously, make into Pandan + Strawberry flavour. I think I am 'rusty' from the long break, my batter was too runny. Luckily it still end up yummy, just that inside a bit wet. Not spongy enough. But, my die-heart fans at home are fighting over them..

'm linking this post to Little Thumbs Up : Pandan, hosted by Joceline from Butter, Flour & Me and organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen from my little favourite D.I.Y.

Notes: using the exact recipe, I divide batter into 2 and add 1tsp of Pandan and strawberry paste respectively.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

三菜一汤 inspired Pork Ribs

I saw the 1st episode of 三菜一汤 and was inspired to cook my own pork ribs too. I wanted to mimic the same dish cooked by the 2 teams but then I realized I didn't have some of the ingredients when I decided to cook them.

I marinate them with Lee Kum Kee BBQ Spare Ribs Sauce with the intention of baking them. I added chopped parsley for added fragrance. After baking them for 30mins, I decided to fry a little bit in wok with garlic, added 1Tbsp of oyster sauce and 1 cup of water to simmer til the sauce slightly thicken. Yes, all learn form the tv show.

Verdict: it is very flavourful and yummy. The meat is not soft enough in my opinion but not very tough. It is slightly chewy. Definitely will cook them again when my ribs craving come again and I will steam instead of baking them.

Dinner is served.

BBQ Sauce Pork Ribs
2 plate of prime ribs
2Tbsp BBQ Spare Ribs sauce
1stalk Chopped Parsely
1Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1Cup Water

1) Marinate ribs with BBQ sauce and chopped Parsely, at least 4hours or overnight. Bake at 200deg for 30mins,
2) Fry garlic til fragrant, add in baked ribs and fry. Add oyster sauce and water and bring to boil. Lower fire and simmer til sauce thicken. Serve warm.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sweet Bread Recipe

My bread supply lasted a day, I think too yummy and kinda store-bought texture so it ended up finishing very fast. I was itching to try another recipe that I have bookmarked. It seems like another recipe from a Breadmaker -Bluesky manual.

The amount of milk used seems lesser than normal recipe that makes a 900g dough. And it is my first using 2 eggs for a recipe. I am excited to try. And since grandma been asking for raisins loaf, I decided to make a bigger loaf of 600g Raisin loaf and a 300g Chocolate chips loaf for myself. Yummy..

Verdict: It is soft and fluffy and the bread is enough to last for 3 days. The sweetness is not overly sweet as I omit the honey. Overall, it is also another recipe to keep if you are making a huge quantity. =)

Sweet Bread Recipe (adapted from BlessedHomeMaker)
520g Bread Flour (used 260g of bread flour and plain flour each)
4Tbsp Sugar
2Tbsp Honey *omit as I ran out of it*
1/2tsp Salt
11/4tsp Yeast

1) I put ingredients as per above sequence. Menu 8 for dough function.
2) I divide into 4x150g balls and 3x100g balls. Roll out accordingly for the raisins and chocolate chips loaf. Leave to proof 40-50mins or til doubled in size.
3) Bake at 190deg for 30mins or til browned.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stir Fry Baby Asparagus w/Fish Slice

Lately been trying out new methods or recipes for our meals. I saw the use of baby asparagus in salads and was keen to try it out. I didn't had a chance to use that for salads and decided to do a stir fry with fish slices.

I lightly fry it with garlic and ginger, toss in few drops of fish gravy to taste. It's really yummy and I feel that it is better than those selling in zi char or restaurants. Yummy. It's definetely a keeper for future meals.

Dinner is served. How about you?

Stir Fry Baby Asparagus w/Fish Slice
1 Fish Fillet, slice
(Marinate with cornflour, sesame oil and pepper)
1box Baby Asparagus, cut into 3" length
Fish gravy to taste

1) Fry garlic and ginger in oil til fragrant.
2) Add in baby asparagus and fry til 70% cooked. About 2-3mins.
3) Push asparagus aside. Add in fish slice and fry them til cooked. Mix in baby asparagus and fry well.
4) Add few drops of fish gravy to taste. Serve warm.

Pandan Marble Bread

I have bookmarked this recipe from carol for the longest time but never get down to it. Today, in my midst of looking thru my bookmarks, I saw this recipe again. And I know I have to do it.

I replaced the chocolate paste with Pandan paste. I modified slightly and hoping it will turn out well. Keeping my fingers crossed. I kept the bread dough as per recipe.

Verdict: This is really yummy and soft. My grandma commented that it tasted like those bread loaf selling outside. I wanted to add raisins but I 'braid' the bread til I forgot to add raisins. Hahah. But I still need to improve on wrapping cos I didn't do a good job yet.

I'm linking this post to Little Thumbs Up : Pandan, hosted by Joceline from Butter, Flour & Me and organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen from my little favourite D.I.Y.

Pandan Marble Bread (adapted and modified slightly from Carol)
Pandan Paste:
1tsp Pandan Paste
1tsp Pandan Flavour
20g Butter
45g Milk
30g Cake Flour
5g Cornflour
1 Egg White

1) I mix all the above ingredients in a pot, whisk slightly.
2) Bring to stove and keep stirring on low heat til it become a paste.
3) Put on a cling wrap and roll to a shape of square, leave in fridge for later use.

Bread Dough:
125g Milk
1 Egg
260g Bread Flour
20g Cake Flour
20g Sugar
1/2tsp Salt
3/4tsp Yeast
20g Butter

1) I put the above ingredients in the sequence as per above, set to menu 8: Dough function.
2) a Once beep, I take it, punch out air. Roll out dough into a flat sheet, put Pandan paste that I Prepared earlier on to dough.
3) Wrap up Pandan like a envelope (can hop to carol blog for visual aid). Then roll out again.
4) Fold dough into 3s and stack, repeat.
5) Cut into 3 with the ends still attached. Tie into braids and leave for 2nd proof.
6) Bake in BM til brown and remove.