Category Archives: Recipes

Kids-friendly pasta salad for a picnic

In this family, we all eat almost the same food which means no spicy dish as A4 does not take spicy food yet. Hence, I always try out different recipes that all would enjoy. We were planning for a picnic on national day and I made the following:

1. Oven grilled salmon fillet with mentai mayo dressing
2. Vitamin-infused water- strawberry, lime and mint
3. Kids-friendly ham, edamame and cheese pasta salad

Gonna share the salad recipe today as my kids love it. For A3 who doesn’t like cheese, he just pick it out. The good thing came out of it for me is both kids like edamame after this when previously they didn’t.

Kids-friendly pasta salad
(Makes 6)

Ingredients
200gm of organic macaroni
7 slices of mini honey baked ham, diced into 1cm slices
100gm of gouda cheese, diced into 1cm cubes
1 cup of edamame, shelled
Olive oil
Pinch of rock salt
Coarse black pepper

Method
1. Boiled the edamae with shells as per instruction.  Rinse with cold water to stop cooking process.
2. Cook pasata as per instruction.
3. Dice or slice the ham and cheese if you haven’t.
4. Drain pasta. Add edamame, ham and cheese.
5. Add salt and pepper for taste. Don’t over salt the salad as gouda cheese is slightly sharp n salty.
5. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and give the salad a toss to ensure there’s enough olive oil.
Another fuss-free dish for the family! This salad is delicious to eat either warm or cold. Not complicated on the taste bud as I had paired it with the salmon dish which was heavier. I think I will make this regularly for the boys’ lunch. 🙂

Some other combinations to try out, like  chicken or fish either poached or grilled. Feta cheese, eggs or avocado. Noms away!

Oh yes, the picnic. The weather was fabulous for Singapore’s national day which the rumour was it almost never rained on national day. We braved it out despite the overcasted sky. My boys first had good water play fun with a friend’s son. Then we proceeded to the top of the barrage where we laid out the mats and to have our dinner. Everyone was hungry and we finished our dinner in less than 30mins….

Luckily we had the apache helicopters and fighter jets to keep us entertained. The finale of the night was the fireworks which everyone liked. Overall, an enjoyable and fabulous time we had. Gonna have another picnic again soon!

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Ham and egg in a toast cup

Made ham and egg in a toast cup for our breakfast this morning. I have been planning to make this for a while and it was raining this morning thus I put together what I had in the fridge. My recipes are mostly adapted and improvised and this was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. It’s really easy to prepare and a dish that kids can help out. Washing up can be minimised too! 😀

I made 4 toast cups but it wasn’t enough for hb and me. On the hindsight, 2 would be better for adult. ;D

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Ham and egg in a toast cup
(Makes 4 portions)

Ingredients
4 slices of multi-grain bread
4 slices of mini honey baked ham
4 eggs
Olive oil
Coarse black pepper
Sea salt (I omitted coz ham is savoury)
Organic parsley flakes for garnishing

You also need a muffin tray or 4 paper muffin cups.

Method
1. Turn on the oven and set the temperature at 190c.
1. Flatten the bread with the bottom of a pan. I find pressing the pan down on the bread works better than banging on it. ; )
2. Hand-tear or use a knife to cut a slit on both sides of the bread slice at the middle. This is to fit the bread into the muffin tray.
3. Place 1 bread slice into a cup of the muffin tray. Overlap the sides to form the shape of a cup.
4. Brush some olive oil on the bread. If not, do what I do in the next step.
5. Drip a few drops of olive oil on the underside of a ham slice. Place it on the bread cup and give it a swirl.
6. Crack an egg on top of the ham and bread cup.
7. Add some pepper on top and pop the tray into the oven for 20-25mins, depending on desired texture of egg.

I have already planned what to try out next. Gonna grate some cheese on top of the ham for some goody gooey yums! Instead of bread, there’s alternative like tomato and capsicum cup. Instead of ham, can try bacon slice or mushrooms. Noms away. The possibility is endless! 🙂

Teriyaki salmon with onion

Cooked this dish tonight and my kids love it. Alas! Forgot to take photo of it before it was all gone. Will update photo when I cook this again.

Ingredients:
4 thin slabs of salmon fillet
1 and 1/2 onion, sliced thinly
5 cloves of garlic
3 tbspn of Teriyaki or bulldog brand sauce*
3 tbspn of mirin
3 tbspn of water
Dash of black pepper
Oil

*Bulldog brand sauce is the tonkatsu sauce that is similar in colour than Teriyaki and taste sweeter.

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan and start frying onion til the slices are beginning to turn translucent.
2. Add garic into the pan and stir-fry till fragrant. Make sure that the onion slices don’t get burn.
3. Add in salmon fillets and then black pepper. Give the ingredients a stir.
4. Add mirin, bulldog or teriyaki sauce then water. Flip the fish fillets. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to lowest flame. Simmer for 2 minutes. Viola!

Asparagus and ham macaroni

I cooked this for kids’ lunch yesterday. A4 loves this while A3 is not keen in the cheese in it. Sometimes I think A3 has weird tastebud. He likes aromatic n spicy food, but why not cheese?

Ingredients
1/2 onion, diced
Asparagus, 100gm
Shaved ham, 80gm
Macaroni or pasta of your choice.
Butter, 2 tbspn
Pure cream, 3 tbspn (more if you prefer)
Organic vegetable stock powder
1/2 cup of water (replace stock powder and water with chicken stock if you prefer)
Parmesan cheese

Method:
1. Melt butter and sautée onion till slightly brown. Medium flame will take abt 8-10mins.
2. Add in shaved ham and sautée for 1min.
3. Add in water and stock powder.  Using high flame, let the liquid evaporate until the desired consistency.
4. Add in cream and asparagus spears. Stir fry for 2 mins.
5. Add in macaroni.
6. Shave parmesan cheese before serving thw food.
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Rainy 2-3 Dec

It’s been raining non-stop this afternoon. I think everyone is in for a good sleep tonight. Woo hoo!

We spent Sunday at church as usual. It was family service so kids was sitting in with us instead of going to Sunday School. Church also thoughtfully provided an activity pack for all the children. However my kids being young still, they could not sit throughout the service and had to explore… If not screams of protest from the younger one…

After church, we went to have lunch and then went for MPH book sale. I’m such a book nerd and can spend a long time browsing for ’em gems. Hence a cut-off time is required but still I’m quite happy with my finds.

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As for today, I kept up with CIP and A3 finished his first Chinese workbook. It’s really to learn some basic strokes for the chinese characters. Next I hope to engage him in learning Chinese characters and introduce him to more Chinese books. The problem with Chinese books is they are less fun than English books. There’s so much about moral values that a kid or a parent can take. Chinese books are wordy too. Sometimes I find it hard to stifle a yawn when I’m reading out loud with a dry mouth. Thinking about yawning makes me yawn! The “fun”
Chinese books are usually translated. I particularly like the books translated from Japanese. The illustrations are good and the words or sentence are more age appropriate.

Tip: Some Chinese books indicate the intended age at the back, however the reader must discern that the Chinese standard in China (where the books are from) is much higher than Singapore’s. The education system plays a part. Why? Because primary one school children here learn romanized hanyu pinyin instead of Chinese characters. The education system robbed, excuse me, reduced the time for our children to learn Chinese characters.

So a book meant for 5yo is more for 7yo in SG, IMHO.

I can go on about the library system for Chinese books but I will save it for next time. 😉

As for today, we were suppose to go for some swimming but bad weather changed the plan. Then I had already decided to make honey mustard chicken for tonight’s dinner. It’s really simple to make and the beauty of it is it’s not too much of a hassle. Good for a lazy, rainy day meal.

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Stormy 28 Nov

As I’m typing this, the sky is brewing up a fine storm. Good weather for slumbering!

I brought kids to the nearby wet market for some grocery shopping. I hadn’t expect that my elder boy would complain that he doesn’t like the smell in the market and some people are smelly too. My golly! Has he turned into a little insensitive snob? I remembered when I was a little girl, I didn’t like to step my foot into the wet market too, however the hygiene conditions were worse off then, the smell was even more offensive and backsplashes from a cocktail of melted ice and seafood wasn’t enticing. It’s better now?! Certainly I think!

My view on the wet market certainly has changed after I became a sahm and did my marketing there mostly.

Why I like the wet market:

  • produce is fresher
  • produce is cheaper. This is true when you established a relationship with a trusted stall. One pays more when one looks like a n00b.
  • the stall holders can advise how to cook or prepare certain ingredients
  • the human element
  • yummy hawker food is almost always nearby
  • Today someone at the wet market told me how big my kids are now. Another person in the neighbourhood stopped to say a hi. I realised that these are people who had watched my kids grow up. How I interact with them leave impressions upon the kids. The venue, smell, sight and sound serve as a memory to them when they are adults, just like my experience.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I cooked a Chinese soup for our dinner today. It’s one of my favorite soup and I actually got the recipe from a Cantonese drama. Believe it or not. Lol.

    Lotus roots green bean soup

    Ingredients:

      500gm of soup bones (I use soft bones)
      1 section of a lotus root
      2 honey dates
      1 small dried octopus
      Water, enough to cover up to 80% of the ingredients
      Salt, optional

    Method:

      I first cooked the green beans in a pressure cooker for about 10 mins.
      Scald the soup bones for abt 10mins
      Remove skin of lotus roots n slice.
      Give the honey dates and dried octopus a quick rinse.
      Everything goes into the pressure cooker and cook for about 30mins. That’s it!

    I first tried the dried octopus in this recipe and couldn’t believe how tasty the soup taste with it. I had avoided using it as I had thought it looked pretty gross. Haha. Now I will never cook any bean or lotus roots soup without it.

    This soup is considered as a “balanced” soup. Cooked lotus root is mildly heaty and green beans is cooling. Lotus roots is good for cough so I’m trying out the effect on A4 who has a very mild cough. If it does, will definitely cook it again when kids are down with cough.

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    Doesn’t look so enticing in the photo but I love this soup!

    Ace of base- 21 Nov

    Today has been great. This mummy here achieved all in her calendar so I’m feeling great! Tiredness is part of me permanently, in case you are wondering.

    What we did today… For the first half of the day while it was bright and sunny, my kids met up with our regular play mates, the AJ boys for water play at Tampines One. This place is great. Sun shade for the “bench warmers”. The water play area was adequate for us to eyeball the kids and wiggled eyebrows at them when they are up to monkey business. Playground by the side and there’s loo and bathing area. The kids have been in the sun and water often recently that A4 is starting to have the sun kissed look. He has browned a little and cute pinky cheeks. 😀

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    After lunch, I had to go home to grab A3’s bag for one of his class. Thank God for His amazing timing that we didn’t get wet at our open air car park for it started to rain as I buckled A4. After dropping A3 off, then it’s time for A4 to nap and for me to cook dinner.

    Today’s menu is one pot chicken rice. I was trying to come up something like the local chicken rice but didn’t bother to check any recipe. I think the end result is pretty good. The rice taste like the flavour one gets when eating a lor mai gai (glutinous chicken rice) but without the starchiness since I used Thai jasmine rice. I also added oyster mushrooms and steamed broccoli in one pot, ie the rice cooker. A healthy, wholesome meal in a pot! Yay! Less things for me to wash really! Double yay! On the hindsight, I should have added ginger slices.

    One pot chicken rice
    Ingredients

      4 drumsticks
      1 packet of oyster mushrooms
      1 broccoli, about 200gm-300gm
      Light soya sauce
      Sesame oil
      Chinese cooking wine
      Coarse black pepper
      Rice
      Chicken stock
      Ginger slices, optional

    Method:

      I marinated the chicken in the morning before I went out. Placed the drumsticks in a suitably size ziplock bags, added about 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, light soya sauce, cooking wine each and black pepper. Squeeze out the air in the bag as much as I can. Sealed and put into fridge. Flipped the bag when I was back so the chicken will be evenly marinated.

      Before cooking, bring the drumsticks out from fridge to let it warm up to room temperature.

      Rinse rice and add in Chicken broth. Season with 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce. When the broth starts to bubble, add in chicken drumsticks, stir everything once.
      Place the mushroom as evenly as possible on top of the rice.
      When the cauldron is bubbling hot, steam the broccoli florets for abt 6-8mins then take out the florets while its still undercooked. Set aside to cool down.

    Then I went to pick up A3 and the next challenge was to visit a library as it was raining heavily. God willing, we managed to visit one, even though it was not sheltered at certain part for the rain had stopped. We conquered the ramp with our stroller and heavy books.

    Summary: happy.

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