Monday, November 30, 2009

Gifted Awards Again

Gotta thanks Javapot for this 2 lovely awards, like the top 1 most cos I don have to type anything extra to claim it ;p

To claim this, I need to list 7 items about myself, so here u go:
  1. I'm a simple person, think simple, dressed simple, eat simple, etc
  2. My most concerned of all is my family
  3. My top interest (still) is bentoing, though has been doing it for almost 2 years
  4. Next to bentoing, I like baking, be it breads, buns or cakes
  5. I love little snacks, that's why u able to find plenty of it in my blog
  6. The little smiles or chuckles from little girl always make my day
  7. I love traveling, wanna re-visit Europe again if possible, especially Germany, just love this country very much.
As for the 7 bloggers I'd like to nominate:
Sorry, I don know many of the bloggers I frequented and lots of them do not post up awards too, thus I keep it simple, posting this 3 cooking mama 1st.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tempting Biscuits

X'mas tree biscuits

It has been a very eventful week for little girl and me, due to little girl's pre-school concert full-dress rehearsal (Mon), pre-birthday celebration (Thu), children day & farewell party (Fri) and concert & graduation day (Sun).

I baked these biscuits for little girl's children day & farewell party celebration. I baked them on Wed after icing little girl's birthday cake, and decorated them on Thu. The recipe was adapted from Famous Cuisine magazine issue 41 (11/2006).

Biscuit ingredients
160g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar (sifted)
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
2 hard boiled egg yolk (grated)
240g plain flour
  1. Cream butter and sifted icing sugar until creamy. Add in egg yolks, vanilla essence and gated hard boiled egg yolk. Whisk until light and fluffy.
  2. Fold in sifted flour to form a dough. Wrap well and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 175 C. Roll out the dough between two sheets of silicon paper, about 5mm. Use shape knife to cut out snow man shapes. (I used some molds to help out)
  4. Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool. Decorate with ornamental icing.
Bell biscuits
Ornamental icing ingredients
125g icing sugar
1 egg white
1 tsp lemon juice
  1. Sift the icing sugar. Beat with egg whites and lemon juice in a mixer over low speed. Beat until soft and smooth, about 20 minutes.
  2. If not using icing immediately, keep bowl covered with a damp tea towel to prevent the icing too dry.
  3. Spoon icing into paper piping bag with tip cut to make a small hole. Pipe decorative outlines and design on each biscuit.
  4. With another paper piping bag fill with difference colored icings. Pipe your design color on the biscuits.
Magic wand biscuits

Verdict: my cousins tried out a few, they said it tasted like the famous Kjeldsens Denmark cookies, hahaha... The differents r I made it a bit too thin and it is not as crunchy as the Kjeldsens'. Little girl's classmates liked the biscuits, I think they were more attracted to the colorful icing and sprinkles, ;p

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pikachu & Fried Kuey Teow Bento (126)

This is the final bento for this school year, though I don have much time & ingredients left at home to prepare it, I wanted to make something special for little girl. I used about 45 minutes to complete the bento.

Little girl is a big fan of pocket monster lately, she has a booklet introducing all the characters of pocket monsters, I tell u, she loves it til she flip thru it almost everyday, & it is a bit worn out now. She loves to trace on her favorite characters and sometimes even reading the booklet while doing her big business in the toilet.

Though Pikachu is not really her favorite, I think she'll be delighted to see it in her bento. Pikachu is laying on a bed of fried kuey teow with cabbage & bacon. The Pikachu is made of cheese & seaweed, ketchup for the rosy cheek.

Shaped grass jelly & a little mandarin.

Little girl was too excited to eat today, she was more looking forward for her snack, cos she was going to celebrate her early birthday with her classmates (see the cake I baked her here). At least, she managed to eat all the grass jelly and 1/2 of the fried kuey teow.

Pre-Birthday Celebration 1-2009

Times really fly this year, all of the sudden, it has come to the end of the school year, and this means it's getting closer to little girl's birthday. Since this is her final year in her pre-school, I decided to bake her a cake, instead of buying it from Bread Story (like this & this last year), as I able to get the cake topper easily from Bake with Yen.

I used the strawberry cake recipe from Cake's Talk by Wendy Kor for the sponge cake. I planned out the baking & icing of the cake on different days as I afraid if something goes wrong, I'd had spare time to make another one. Luckily everything went well, the only mistake I did was I used peanut oil instead of corn oil for the sponge cake, thus the cake carry the smell of peanut butter, ;p

I split the sponge cake to 2 layers, iced a thick layer of cream and placed lots of cubed strawberries at the center of the cake. I really need more practices on icing the outer layer as u may see from the pic, it is not smooth at all.

Little girl requested to place the shinny sugar beads at her cake and I got them placed at the side of the cake. I'm very happy on how the cake turn out, it really build up my confidents now.

Verdict on the cake: very soft & spongy, strawberries was too sour, but luckily it turned out ok after blending with the icing. Little girl & her classmates enjoyed it very much and so did I, happy ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Marble Cake

I baked a cake for little girl's early birthday celebration with all her classmates in her pre-school. (That cake was a success, will post it up later on.) After baking the cake, dad was flipping the recipe book I used, then he told me he wanna a butter cake, hey, of course gotta quickly bake 1 for him ;) I chose this marble cake to please my ah ba ;p. The recipe was adapted from Wendy Kor's Cake's Talk.

Sorry about the photos, were taken by my mobile as I'd left my camera at home.

It looked slightly burned as I baked it 10 minutes longer than the suggested time as the center was not quite done

It rise highly, love the contrast of dark & light brown

I'd have stirred the batter more b4 baking it, as it don really look like marble

The verdict: taste very milky, buttery & chocolaty, yum! Dad likes it, so does little girl, me => happy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Devil Eggs & Mashed Potato Bento (125)

Promised little girl for a mashed potato bento last nite, just b4 I slept, the image of devil egg 'pop' into my mind, since little girl will be at pre-school very early today for her concert's full-dress rehearsal (on modern dance), I'll have the whole morning to play in the kitchen, ;p

I spend about 1 1/2 hours in the kitchen, yeah, had so much fun, especially when playing with those nori expressions.

Ms devil eggs - stuffed with mashed potato, green pea and sausage

Ms elephant mashed potato and Mr bear mushroom gravy

2 Ms cocktail sausages & 2 Mr mandarin oranges

I'd to rush little girl to eat fast today, as she'll need to change for her afternoon class rehearsal, thus with no surprise, she ate only 1/2 of Ms elephant, 1 Ms devil egg and both Ms cocktail sausages. However, she cleaned up the remaining bento (except the tomato & mandarins) after her classes at the evening, she told me she forgot to eat it during snack time, luckily I always pack her the ice pack & the weather is quite chilly the whole day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pan Fried Baos 生煎包

Have u ever eaten this soft at the top & crisp at the bottom type of bao? I don remember where did I 1st eat this, HK? Shanghai? Taipei? I just remember they r very delicious and I'm dying to try cooking it myself for a very long time, but couldn't pull the guts together til this morning.

I saw the recipe at Florence's Do What I Like, after comparing it with Carol's and Angie's, I decided to put my hands on Florence's.

Dough 1:
100g plain flour (I used bluekey brand pao flour)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
45ml boiling water
10ml - 15ml water (to regulate dough, I didn't add this as I find my dough enough with the boiling water)

Dough 2:
160g plain flour (I used bao flour)
40g cake flour (I used superfine flour)
1 tbsp sugar
3g instant yeast
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp oil
105ml water

Frying mixture:
230ml water
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp sesame oil
  1. Mix all items for dough 1 together using a pair of chopsticks. If dough is too dry add in some water. Leave to cool
  2. Mix all items for dough 2 together til u get a smooth dough. Rest dough for 20 minutes
  3. After 20 minutes, knead dough 1 and dough 2 together. Rest dough for 20 minutes.
  4. Divide dough into 20g pieces. Roll into flat round disk of about 8 - 9cm in diameter. Wrap in 1 tbsp full of pork filling
  5. Heat a little oil in a flat based frying pan, arrange the baos in the pan and fry for 1 minute on medium low heat
  6. Pour in the frying mixture, make sure the baos are at least 30% but not more than 50% submerged in the frying mixture. Cover the pan with a lid til the frying mixture has dried up. Half way through the frying process, remove the lid and sprinkle some sesame seeds onto the sticky baos

Pork Filling:
150g minced pork
1 tsp sugar
1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt or 1/2 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 - 2 tsp oil (I used 1 tsp fried garlic oil & 1 tsp corn oil)
1 tbsp water or chicken stock
1 tsp Chinese wine (I used ginger wine)
pinch of pepper
some grated ginger (omitted as no ginger)
some minced garlic

a) 200g Chinese cabbage, diced
b) 1.5 tsp corn flour (I used potato starch as I couldn't locate the bag of corn flour)
c) 1 - 2 stalks scallion, thinly sliced (used the chopped spring onions I stocked in the freezer)
  1. Cook the diced cabbage in hot boiling water for 1 - 2 minutes. Drain and leave to cool. (I lightly squeezed out the water from the cabbage)
  2. Mix all items in the pork filling together except a, b & c, stir with a pair of chopsticks till mixture is sticky and paste like. Add in a & b. Chill in the fridge til ready to use. Add in c only when u are ready to wrap the baos
This was the 2nd batch I cooked, we emptied the 1st batch so fast that I totally forgot of capturing a pic

I'm so satisfy with the baos as they r just like what Florence promised: the dough is soft but 'Q' (springy) and the meat filling is very juicy.

Little girl ate 3 (in 1 go!) for her lunch, and 2 after her pre-school, as for me, I lost count, ate so many of it, keep popping 1 into mouth whenever I walked to the kitchen (intensionally or accidentally, I can't figure it out)!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tarako/mentaiko & Sake Angel Hair Bento (124)

This is another yummy & simple version of angel hair other than the usual carbonara version I cooked previously. The original recipe of tarako spaghetti asked for tarako (salted cod roe), butter & soy sauce, but I use salmon & fish roe (sample package shown on bento 119), some mayo, pinch of salt & pepper for my version. Total preparation time was about 20 minutes for 2 bentos.

Today's bento menu:

Tarako & Sake (salmon) angel hair, top with some nori

pan fried long beans & egg omelette

red & yellow plum tomatoes, 2 pieces of persimmon & a tiny mandarin orange

Little girl has fewer leftover today, only a bit of the angel hair, a piece of the omelette, 1 tomato and the persimmon. Little girl dislike persimmon tho it is so sweet & delicious.

My box of bento for lunch

My 1st Sewing Project

Little girl's modern dance teacher has requested for a black legging as 1 of her costume at the soon coming pre-school concert. I'd been searching high & low for it, there r plenty of purple, white & pink but couldn't get 1 black at all. At last, I managed to get it at Anakku, The Curve, a very simple, bare & expensive legging =>

It is so basic looking and I'm afraid little girl won't wanna wear it again after her concert

I promised little girl I'd do some magic on the legging, and I got these:

Pink color lace,

a rope of sparkling 'diamonds'

and 4 sparkling crystal buttons

Thus, with a few hours of 'ouch' (needle poking on finger), 'ooh man' (thread was straggled into knob), 'hai' (sewed at the wrong place) and .... (holding breath while sewing) I managed to get this =>

Doesn't it look much girlie & pretty now comparing to the 1st photo

A closer view, I'm so proud of myself ;p

P/s Little girl wear it to her modern dance class today, there r ppl asking me where did I buy the legging, see, it'd turned into an eye catching legging, I tell them where I gotta it and proudly announce that I added the lace myself, hehehe....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hot Dog Bento (123)

I kept one of the plain bun for this from last nite's bread basket. This bento is a speedy, I only wasted time on the 2 tiny shaped sausages.

Don ask me what animal is this, I just stuffed in the split sausage into the bun and stick on the remaining nori

The left one is quite obvious is a frog, whereas the right one => I don know again ;p

As I don wanna the moist from the cucumber & tomato to make the bun soggy, I placed them in separately

Some ketchup & mayo for dipping and plum slices.

Little girl waked up very late today, having stuffy nose and keep sleeping back after waking up in the morning. It turned out that she is quite moody & lost of appetite today. She ate the 2 shaped sausages, 1 or 2 bites from the hot dog, all the cucumber slices and a few of the tomato.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hot & Spicy Buns/Breads

Baked 2 batches of breads on Sun, little girl & picky eater Y requested animal shaped buns, made them happy with the followings:

2 elephant curry chicken buns

and 2 piggie curry chicken buns

Found a few sticks of leftover chili sausages in mum's fridge to make do this sausage buns

And a pack of nearly expiring spicy bbq pork slices (don know where mum & dad got it from) to make these

Made this 3 tiny hot dog buns plain with leftover dough

Mum cooked 2 pots of curry chicken, the wet version to go with rice and the dry version to stuff into the bread

I forgot to capture a photo b4 we feast on the curry chicken bread, sorry, that proofed that everybody just couldn't wait to tear the bread out for the curry, ;)

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I am crazy with chocolate lately, as little girl loves chocolate, I always like to see her devouring it happily & keep asking for more, especially the moist chocolate cake baked a week ago.

Saw Happy Home Baking's lovely brownies, can't wait to bake one for little girl!


150g semisweet chocolate, chopped
120ml sunflower oil (I used corn oil)
215g light brown sugar (I cut down further to 180g)
2 eggs
5ml vanilla essence
65g self-raising flour (I used 65g all purpose flour + 1 tsp baking powder)
4 tbsps cocoa powder (unsweetened)
4 tbsps milk chocolate chips
75g chopped walnuts (I omitted this too)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease/line a shallow 19cm/7.5 inch square pan
  2. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water
  3. With a electric mixer, beat together oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl
  4. Stir in the melted chocolate then beat well until evenly mixed
  5. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the batter. With a spatula, fold thoroughly until all the flour mixture incorporates into the batter
  6. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Mix well
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared square tin. Spread the mixture evenly to the edges. (The mixture is rather sticky and gooey)
  8. Bake for about 30 - 35 mins until the top is firm and crusty. Cool in pan before cutting into squares

Usually when I baked cakes, little girl would give me a hand in the kitchen, either reading me the measurement of ingredients, sifting the flour, mixing the batter, etc As for this time, after step 4 above, I passed her a very important job - clean the chocolate bowl, well, not washing it but licking it, hehehe, she didn't disappoint me at all, the bowl was basically shine after her careful 'cleaning' process, ;p

I had a piece after cooling & cutting, the texture was a crusty at the outer layer & chewy at the center, and again, love the chocolate, but was rather too sweet to my liking. The next morning, gave 2 pieces to little girl as breakfast, she told me she dislike it (she ate a piece only), though is so chocolatie, :( I ate 2 pieces in the morning, the texture had changed, the outer layer became very crusty & crumbly and the center still remain moist, yum, but too sweet :( Everyone who ate this brownies complained that it was too sweet, next time must cut the sugar down to 150g.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Monsters Prawn Mee - Non Spicy Version

A backdated dinner in the month of Halloween. I cooked the prawn stock based on The momster's kitchen's recipe, a not so difficult recipe ;p I made it a non-spicy version as little girl can't take in any hot ingredients at all.

Little girl's monster prawn mee


Mine, with a spoonful of sambal dried prawn