Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Easy Pancake for One

After the easy french toast for one, I am really glad to have found a pancake recipe for one!

Hubby commented that the pancakes are soft and yummy - he thought I bought these hahaha :)

I didn't have time to dust icing sugar for the Hello Kitty face though :p
And the mooncake - hubby was clearing our stash of mooncakes lol.

Pancake for One (Recipe Adapted from Love Swah)
Makes about 5 Pancakes 10cm each

- ¼ cup plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp oil
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg
- Maple Syrup / Jam

1. Sift dry ingredients into a jug and mix.

2. In a separate bowl (I just use a mug), whisk together the egg, milk and oil until combined.

3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until well combined.

4. Lightly grease a non-stick fry pan and heat to a medium temperature. Making this mixture in a jug will make it easier to portion out the batter – make this to your preferred size.

5. Cook until bubbles form on surface, flip and cook the other side until lightly browned. Serve either with a garnish of extra berries and drizzle of maple syrup.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

How to Start Baby Weaning

Following my Top 5 Weaning Products post, I am writing about baby weaning now!

Had been wanting to blog about this, but I just didn't have time. I might have forgotten most of the details and how I felt when I first see my baby eat food :( Reminds me that I should blog about her development each month. Hee hee.

When to Start: This depends on individual baby's cue. Your baby should be able to sit up straight without help; head should not be wobbly anymore. He/she would also express interest in food while the adults eat.

I intended to start weaning when baby was around 5 months 2 weeks (in case she can't really swallow), because I believe in exclusive breastfeeding for first 6 months. However she fell ill that particular weekend, so I had to start only around 6 months. Thankfully she takes to food quite well!

How to Start: Most resources that I've read through encourage mothers to start weaning using baby cereal first. I can't remember why (hahaha when will my memory power ever return to me ;p), but I start giving baby pumpkin first.

I recently went for a weaning talk, and a doctor from the NUS recommended weaning by introducing food in this manner: baby cereal, vegetables, fruits. That is, start with bland food first.

This is because as baby start to learn to eat, we are training them more on their swallowing skill. Not so much as to "eat" and get nutrients from the food.

What Kind of Baby Cereal: I chose organic baby cereal, because I am trying to stay off those GMO stuff - well, we wouldn't really know what goes into the food these days right? As baby is still developing and is more vulnerable than older children and adults, I choose the safer kind of food - my personal choice :)

I also know of mothers who are not comfortable with commercial baby cereal, so they choose to dry and grind grains on their own. I think it's pretty cool, but I am kind of lazy to do that hee hee.

So far, I have fed baby with 3 kinds of baby cereal - Hipp White Rice Cereal, Happybellies Brown Rice Cereal and lately, Healthy Times Oatmeal Cereal.

To start, it is always better to choose a single grain cereal. I started with white rice cereal because it can be digested easily, compared to brown rice.

After 2 weeks of settling down with white rice, I introduced brown rice cereal to mix with the white rice cereal.

The First Time: You would need to choose a time of the day when baby is not fussy - that is neither tired nor hungry. I start feeding baby near to noon time, a while after her morning nap, and just before her next feed.

Some mothers would feed cereal in the evening. Again, I think it's up to your own comfort level :)

You wouldn't need to feed baby a lot for the first few times. If I remembered correctly, I mixed 3 small spoonfuls of baby cereal with enough milk to make it into a thin (watery) cereal mixture.

We also need to be mentally prepared that baby might not eat at all, or eat a lot for the first few times. As parents, it's good for us to always remain patient and relaxed during meals. It's ok for wastage because ultimately baby still depends on milk for his/her main nutrition.

Have a fun time planning and preparing for your baby's first food! It's really a joy to see our little babies start eating - a major milestone :)

Friday, 12 September 2014

Nyonya Curry

The hubby had been fascinated by his late grandma's nyonya curry for a long, long time. And I think he does miss the taste of the curry - probably reminds him of his grandma too..

We have tried to replicate the famous curry his grandma used to make, but we just can't manage to do it. We tried using curry pastes and curry powder from scratch, but it's just not the same!

So recently, we decided to try going to the dry market to get spices from the Indian store. Only to realise there is no Indian store there! Haha. Thankfully, we managed to find the nyonya curry paste pack that hubby's granduncle has been raving about!

And this is one recipe that we rely only on our "agaration" hahaha!

You do not need to put carrots in the curry.
The carrots were leftover from making my baby's porridge. Haha!

Nyonya Curry
- 1 whole chicken, chopped and trimmed off fats
- 3 to 5 potatoes, cut (amount depending on your preference)
- 1 twig of curry leaves, plucked
- 400g shallots
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 100ml to 150ml of coconut milk (I used 200ml milk to get it more "diluted". If you want a thicker, richer stock, use about 100-150ml)
- 400ml water
- 1 pack of Mak Nyonya Curry Paste
- 3 to 6 pieces of chilli (optional)
- 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed (optional)
- 4 tbsp of oil (I used 2 tbsp)

1.  Clean the chicken pieces. Poke holes on the chicken pieces using a fork. Rub 1/4 of the curry paste on the chicken pieces. Leave it aside.

2.  Cut garlic and shallots into smaller pieces. The shallots and garlic should fill a small soup bowl (heaping). Place the shallots, garlic, chilli and lemongrass into your food processor to grind into a mixture.

3.  Heat up oil in a deep pot. Fry the remaining curry paste and the mixture in Step (2), together with the chicken pieces till aromatic. Add in curry leaves (before you add in, crush the leaves for aroma). Add in water and potatoes, bring to a boil.

4.  Cook till chicken and potatoes are tender, about 20 mins.

5.  Just before turning off the stove, add in coconut milk and stir. (Do add in the coconut milk slowly to the texture and taste that you desire.)

6.  Serve with warm, toasted baguette and/or rice.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Easy French Toast for One

I have been making breakfast for hubby, since he complaint of stress at work. I suppose this is since our roles have changed to include being a parent of a new baby. Adding onto our status of "newly wed", plus change in job, I guess this is inevitable.

Of course I would have my "bad" days, where the hubby gotta listen to my rants. And there were also times when I got angry over the same reason again and again :(

So I guess making breakfast for him in the morning is definitely a mood lifter!

I love making french toast! But I always ended up with lots of leftover egg mixture. So I am quite happy to have found a recipe for one serving! I guess that's just by reducing the milk ;p

Easy French Toast for One (Recipe Adapted from OneLittleProject)
- 1 egg
- 1 slice of bread (I used 2 slices)
- 2 tbsp of milk
- Optional, tsp sugar and 1/8 tsp of cinnamon (I used only a dash of cinnamon)
- 1 tsp of butter (I used oil)

1.  Combine the egg, milk, sugar and cinnamon in a measuring cup.
2.  Pour about 1/2 of the egg mixture onto a plate. (If you are using 2 slices of bread, use less of the mixture)
3.  Place the bread onto the plate. Pour more egg mixture onto the bread.
4.  Heat up the frying pan with oil. Place bread onto the pan.
5.  Cook for about 3-5 mins and flip!
6.  Dish up and serve. Sprinkle some icing sugar and cinnamon, and serve together with maple syrup if you wish ;)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Osmanthus Snowskin Mooncakes

Mid-Autumn Festival is here!

I used to look forward to the mid-autumn festival every year, especially the mooncake fair! Haha. I just have to give in to mooncakes, even though I am quite health conscious. It's like a childhood treat that you can never forget about :)

I have been looking for recipes that do not include the usage of shortening for snowskin mooncakes, because shortening is, well, one of the worst things we could ever use in baking. BUT! I tried a recipe that steamed a batter made from various flours and oil together, however, it just doesn't seem to keep well.

So I am back to the old method again! I am just comforting myself that it's a once a year thing, and well, let me practise more on my baked mooncakes for a healthier change next year heeheehee.

Sorry I didn't have time to do any styling for these mooncakes. I was a little tired from taking care of baby, cooking her breakfast and lunch, and settling our own lunch, and makes these little moonies :)

I had wanted to make another batch of mooncakes for the styling, but I was just not confident that I can do it in time haha!

I bought these interchangeable plates for mooncake mold 2 years ago. And my favourite is this Hello Kitty print - I think I've been using this most of the time.

I was testing out the colors (yes I used food coloring), hence the weird combination. I sort of forgot how to do the swirl-in mix of colors, so I had to keep practising and some of the mooncakes just look weird lol.

My mil got this recipe from the baking supplies shop that we went to, I was apprehensive in trying out because it uses more shortening than my usual recipe. But well! It kept the snowskin dough really soft! 

Osmanthus Snowskin Mooncakes 
(Makes 20 small snowskin mooncakes or 9 large ones)

- 150g kao fen (fried glutinous rice flour)
- 200g icing sugar
- 65g shortening
- 150g cold drinking water (I replaced this with osmanthus infused water, left to cooled and chilled)

- Rolled osmanthus lotus paste fillings

1.  Sift flour and icing sugar.

2.  Rub in shortening. You would be able to see that the flour becomes coarse crumbs.

3.  Add in water slowly. Mix well until it forms soft dough. I added the water in about 3 additions. Need to be careful while adding so that the dough doesn't get too wet. I also added in some dried osmanthus flower.

4.  Set dough aside for about 20 mins.

5.  Divide dough into small portions of 30g each. (This might also depends on your mold. I am using 20g skin 40g filling. But you need to be very careful because the skin is very thin based on this proportion).

6.  Flatten dough with a rolling pin to a round shape. Put the filling in the middle of the dough. Wrap up to a round shape.

7.  Seal dough completely. Sprinkle some kao fen on the dough before molding.

* This recipes makes dough enough for small mooncakes (30g snowskin, 60g filling) or large mooncakes (60g snowskin, 120g filling)

I also made a variation of the snowskin mooncakes, by using the white peach lotus paste filling. I used chopped cranberries in the snowskin for a change ;) Simply chop dried cranberries, place some into a ball of dough, roll the dough to make sure you mix in the dried cranberries well.

Oppps, my hello kitty is disfigured. Haha!

* If you don't like the taste of kao fen, boil some water with pandan leaves in it. Leave to cool and chill in the fridge. 
* I usually put cling wrap on the table top, so it's easy to work and clean up :)
* I like to keep some water on the table top. So when the snowskin dough dries a little, I will just dab some water and pat it onto the dough to moisten it a little.
* Do sprinkle only the mooncake with flour - too much flour on the mold will "trap" flour on the mooncake when you take it out from the mold.

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