Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm back

Hello, everybody!  I'm back at last, had post in a few back-dated entries last nite til past 3am!!!  Happy reading!

Oh, my little Macbook, miss u so much!

Last but not least, happy National Day!  Merdeka!  Merdeka!  Merdeka!      ;) 

Friday, August 29, 2008

中華涼麵 Chinese style cold noodle

Didn't eat at home last nite cos dinner at mum's place after yoga.  Therefore, gotta think of something to finish up the leftover ingredients after making the "Jalur Gemilang" bento.  Went thru my recipe "bible", found this one that I copied from another manga "妙廚老爹".

Another simple and easy recipe:

1. Cut ham, fried egg, crab sticks, cucumber into julienne size
2. Tear eggplant into short, thin strips
3. Cook noodle according to packet instruction (I used angel hair)
4. Mix the sauce: 2 tbs shoyu, 2 tbs dashi, 3 tbs vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar), 3 tbs sugar, 1 tbs sesame oil and 1 tbs sesame
5. Rinse noodle with cold water, drain well
6. Place noodle in bowl, top with ham, fried egg, crab stick, cucumber and eggplant and scoop a few spoonful of sauce over, done.

I like the sauce very much, a bit of everything, sweet, sour, salty, very appetizing.  Hubby and little girl liked it too.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jalur Gemilang Bento

This is the month of our national day, and little girl's school were having the related theme too.  I'd been thinking of doing something related to this theme for a while.  Hm...  Why not our flag, since it's so colourful, it will of course attract little girl's attention.  She learned the flag's name last year, and couldn't stop telling us whenever she sees one.

Then I struggled on what ingredients to use for the colours (blue, yellow, red and white), as I don wanna use any artificial colouring.  Also, what others additional ingredients to use in order to fill up her little tummy, rice, noodles, or bread?  There were so many ???? on my head.

Blue had been very difficult for me, the only ingredient with the nearest colour that I can think off is eggplant. Yeah, I know, it's purple, but had been thinking hard, still couldn't think of anything in blue. Can you think of any, please advice.

After the school holiday, I went to SS2 pasar malam with little girl, she asked me to buy crab sticks, ah, 2 colours in one ingredient, red and white.  Before that, I thought of using tomato sauce for the red and mayo or fried egg white for the white, but they were not that good comparing to this, phew, little girl helped me out on this.

As for the yellow, aiya, simple, just fried egg loh!

Then on Tue, asked little girl, "What do u want to have for your bento this Thu, rice, mee, meehoon or bread?"  She answered me bread.  Ok, why don I make her a sandwich roll!  I was very excited after having all the questions solved and kept practicing to decorate the bento in my mind.

I asked little girl on wed, "Do u know what are u going to have for your bento?  It's about national day.", She answered me happily "Is it the national flag?"  Hey, she knew!

So on the Thu morning, microwaved the eggplant and crab sticks, then fried egg.  Took a piece of bread, cut off the "pei-pei" (outer brown skin), and rolled it flat with a roller pin.  Placed it on top of a sling film (so that may roll into a sandwich roll), spread butter on bread, put on a piece of lettuce, followed with some cream cheese, then ham, then some mayo to act as glue.  Started decorating the flag then, cut out the skin of eggplant, followed with the moon and star fried egg using cookie mold, and long pieces of red and white crabstick.

When little girl opened her bento box, "Wah, mummy, Jalur Gemilang!"  Even one of her friend came over to see it, “那是國旗嗎?"  Hee hee, happy to hear their little conversations.

"Mummy, I don want the purple thing, ok?"  Even little girl said it is purple, not blue, sigh!  Little girl preferred to eat the flag first, then only she allowed me to roll up the sandwich.

A happy day for me to see little girl finished up her bento again.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Strawberry and mango sandwich

I made this for lunch (or tea?) today, yeah, a very simple one:

1. Took out the leftover baguette from freezer, cut it half lengthwise and toasted it
2. Spread peanut butter at one side of the baguette and black sesame jam at another side
3. Halved a bunch of strawberries, stuffed all into the baguette with a few slices of mango, done.

I ate the sandwich with the ice cold pineapple enzyme, satisfy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm handicapped!

It had been more than a week I didn't blog.  My MacBook is at the service centre since last Thu, don know when can I get it back.  

Oh!  Just like what little girl said "I miss my MacBook!"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Roast chicken wing bacon

I found this recipe sometime ago at wokkingmum's blog, it doesn't look very difficult to cook, so I gave it a try.

This was how the wings looked after wrapping with bacon. I didn't follow the recipe fully, skipped the garlic, cos lazy to skin off the skin.

After staying in the oven for 45mins, the bacon turned a bit crispy, and the smell and taste was just awesome.

Hubby already finished half the wing before I took this photo, and me too, can't resist it, took a bite from the wing on right site, can u see it?

Little girl likes this wing very much, she tore out all the bacon, bite the wing, swapped to bacon, then wing, bacon... After downing the wing, she finished up the remaining bacon with rice. Patting her little full tummy happily in front of TV after her meal. :)

Pear and orange soup

I found this pear and orange deep inside my fridge this morning, I believe they'd been sitting there for a long while and I was not brave to eat them raw.  Thus I dig out the long kept 枸杞, 蜜棗 and rock sugar to cook this dessert.

This was how it looks after half an hour cooking, yummy!  Full of the taste of pear with a hint of orange, not bad.  My brother like it too!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Seremban market

We went to Seremban market almost every weekend to have brunch with MIL (mother-in-law). Whenever we asked little girl what'd she like to eat, her answer was always "aunty beef mee".

This is the stall we frequented almost every Sunday, 發記牛腩粉.  This is not the well known stall but we just like the taste of its sauce and soup than the popular one.  Usually little girl would go order her own bowl of noodle by herself, she don allow me to follow her, I had to kept a close eyes on her when she walk there herself.

This was my bowl of noodle, I'd taken half of it.  The noodles was 瀨粉 "lai fan" soaked in black thick sauce with a few pieces of stewed beef, I know it didn't sound yummy, but trust me, it tasted really delicious.  

This was little girl's, she likes to add in some beef soup to her noodle. Sometimes, she may finish the whole bowl of noodle (not the beef, she don like it) herself!

We usually sit near this stall, 永香茶室, because it is more breezy here, and the aunty is always friendly.

This is little girl's second favorite stall.  She'd only eat the cuttle fish mee hoon here.  Again, this is not the popular stall (the popular cuttle fish mee hoon stall is just on the left side of this stall), MIL frequented this stall most of the time thus we followed.  

Little girl offered to take all the above photos for me.  All the aunties and uncles from the stalls too were happy to see little girl taking their photos.  Thanks, girl and well done!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tic-tac-toe bento

I thought I'd skip making bento today as it was holiday this week, then my friend MY invited me and little girl to her house,  I volunteered to bring her lunch.  Thus made 4 bentos for 4 of us!  It took me almost 1 and a half hour to complete all the 4 bentos, from cooking, decorating then taking the photos, phew!  What a morning!

This was the bento I made for little girl.  Top tier containing some pear wedges on the left and nectarine wedges on the right.

As for the bottom tier, I fried flat noodles and made the tic-tac-toe using julienned mushrooms as the
 grids, julienned carrots as "X" and edamame as the "O".  The cute little container at the bottom right was a handkerchief and its container I bought a day ago at The Pavillion.

This bento is for J, MY's daughter, the contains were exactly the same as little girl's.

This bento box is a gift from MY to little girl, she bought it during her holiday at Hong Kong.  Thanks again, MY!

This belong to MY, it was quite a big portion, MY couldn't finish it, she kept half for her hubby  :)  Hope her hubby enjoyed the fried noodles too.

This was mine, a smaller box cos I knew I need to take care of little girl's as she had a heavy breakfast.

These were all the bentos, ready to go.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Miso cucumber and eggs

These were the ingredients I used to make the miso cucumber and eggs.

1. Cut cucumber, cook eggs to soft-boiled eggs
2. Marinate all cucumber and eggs into miso
3. Marinate for 5 to 6 hours
4. Scoop out from miso

5. give it a hot bath, done

After washing them with hot water, I put them into fridge and they tasted great, especially the eggs.

Note: Do not marinate for too long, the ingredients will turn extremely salty.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Miso Bento

Top tier (from left): Fish balls, UFO shaped fish cakes, miso cucumbers, miso quail eggs (I got both of this recipe from manga, will post the recipe soon), miso braised konnyaku and fried long snake beans (蛇豆) with roast pork (left over from last nite).

Bottom tier: Nectarine cubes, some raisins and a small bowl of vanilla yogurt with some colored sprinkles.

Little girl kept half of the nectarine cubes and raisins for snack later, and left 1 each of the fish cake and quail egg.

It is school holiday next week, there will not be any posting on bento next Thu.  Happy holiday!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hijiki and katsuobushi rice

I got this recipe from a manga (漫畫), yes, you didn't read it wrong.  I love reading manga ever since I am a teenager, and lately I like manga on cooking.  The title of this manga is "天才廚師飯藏".  It is stories of a genius chef who operates an antique store.  He introduced lots of simple and money saving recipes.

Here is the recipe of Hijiki and katsuobushi (Dried bonito shavings) rice:
  1. Wash rice and put in water  (use the usual water level for cooking rice)
  2. Put in hijiki without soaking before hand (with the ratio of 1 cup of rice : 1 tsp hijiki), as for the katsuobushi you may place as many as you like
  3. Add shoyu and mirin (1 tbs each, ratio of 1 cup rice : 1 tbs)
  4. Cook or steam rice, and done
It tasted good and here is a pic of its looks, I made a few rice balls for little girl as dinner.  I thought of leaving some extra for little girl's bento tomorrow, but we finished all!

There are a few more recipes I wanna try out, will share with you soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ABC soup

Ok, this ABC soup is not those soup with alphabet pasta, it is potato and carrot soup.  I think it is widely known as ABC soup in S'pore and M'sia.  Of course everybody know how to cook this kids-friendly soup, what I would like to share today is cook with lots of onions and omit the meat or bone.  I heard from an uncle that it may help to prevent or cure cold.

Well, we'd a terrible cold over the weekend, luckily little girl recover fast with the help of medicines I'd always standby in the cabinet.  However, me and hubby were so sick that we'd to visit doctor. After taking medicines for 2 days, it is slightly better, but the sore-throat turned to bad coughing! Hubby and I didn't have appetite to eat, thus I decided to make this soup.  

The ingredients was 6 potatoes, 6 onions, a carrot and 3 tomatoes, peeled the skins off, cut them into big chunks and here was how I cooked the soup:

1. Boiled water in a pot, put in onions, let it boiled for 5 minutes
2. Threw in everything except tomatoes, turned fire to low and let it boiled for 15 min
3. Put in tomatoes, boiled for another 15 min
4. Add in pepper and salt to taste and done!

Yes, fast and simple.  This soup is clear and has it own natural sweetness from all the root vegetables and a hint of sourness from the tomatoes.

Believe it or not, after taking a bowl of the soup, I was sweated all over, and gave a few loud burps.  As for little girl, she dislike onion but she likes this soup, she even told me this: 

LG: I ate onion, mummy!
M: Good, do u like it?
LG: Yeah, but I want onion for this only ah, not other dish, ok?
M: Ok.

Isn't she sweet?

I found this information on goodness of onions thru the web.  It mentioned under the title of "Anti-Inflammatory and anti-bacterial activity" that it helps to prevent colds and flu and is beneficial to asthmatics.  It also mentioned that onion soups are good during cold seasons and when you are threatened with flu.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you, to all of you!

I still couldn't believe it, I was voted as the winner?!  Lots of thanks to u who voted me, really appreciate your supports.

As I said, I'm an amateur on everything, both on bentoing and blogging, by seeing the number of peoples checking out my blog really boosted my ego (still feeling a bit shy though), especially seeing those of you from another part of the world!  Still gotta learn a lot from all of you "sifu" or master out there.

The reason I started blogging was, I wanna kept a copy of what I did, and the special moments I shared with little girl, she will be able to look back those she had or enjoyed thru out her childhood. Another reason was hubby has been out of the country (for a few months) when I started bentoing, I had to "report" to him (my boss mah! :) ) too.  Also, some of my friends too wanna me to share what I usually prepare for little girl to get her into eating more, instead of sending them emails one by one, I decided to let them read here.

For the past 1 week, I'd been going in and out of Bento Pet's blog so often til hubby complained "Eh, don act yourself like stock market watch!"  Can u imagined how often I checked now?  :)  Hehehe ....

Thanks Bento Pet, for hosting this amazing competition!

P/s   Told little girl this morning about the result, and she's going to get some new bento boxes and candies, she asked "the Pooh bear-bear?"  After seeing me nodded my head, she smiled happily!  I can't wait to see her expression when the prize is in front of her.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sushi sandwiches and Sunflower bento

Little girl had fever last nite, I allowed her to skip the mental arithmetic class this morning, so that means I don have to prepare her bento for lunch in school.

However, I decided to make her a surprise lunch to cheer her up.  My MIL (mother in law) always says that do not eat rice during fever (afraid it may maintain the temperature), thus I made little girl a sandwich, a sushi sandwich.

I had a few sausages, cheddar slices, lettuces, breads on a nori, squeezed in some tomato sauce and mayo and rolled it to form a sushi roll.

I have 5 slices of the sushi sandwich for little girl.  Also, made her a little sunflower sausage egg with some snow peas as its stem.  

While she was attacking the sunflower, little girl told me she wanna have the same sunflower for her snack in school again.  Therefore, I made her a very simple and small bento as she need to eat the snack from school as well.

Here is the little sunflower, with some lettuces as grass and a small container of mayo.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nectarine smiles bento

Do you like these smiles?  Hahaha...  

I found the recipe at  Made this quick snack for little girl as a little surprise after school.  I changed it slightly, used nectarine instead of apple.  

To me, they looked incredibly ugly, the peanut butter was all over the smile on the left, and the teeth were not placed neatly.  However, little girl liked it and she said she wanna it again for her bento on coming Thu.  :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm shortlisted!

* Applaud!  Applaud! *

I was browsing Bento Pet's yesterday to check out the competition result and was thrilled to find myself was shortlisted with my bento titled "Cold soba bento on 24 july 2008".

As a beginner,  this mean a lot to me and it really cheered up my bentoing spirit.  

Oh my!  Just couldn't stop myself smiling from ear to ear :)  Eiya!  Feeling a bit shy too!  :">

Bento Pet had put in the voting board at her blog, remember to vote for my bento after reading my blog ya!