Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fried Broccoli, Cauliflower & Chicken

Fried broccoli and cauliflower
Broccoli together with cauliflower has to be one of the vegetable dishes that I cook most often.  For this dish, I added in some chicken to make it a quick and easy one-dish-meal to be eaten with rice.

Chicken breast
Vegetarian oyster sauce (mushroom based)
Light soya sauce
Black pepper
Corn flour

  1. Cut chicken breast into bite-sized cubes and season with light soya sauce, black pepper and a little corn flour.  Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.  Marinate for longer if you have the time.
  2. Mince garlic.  Wash and cut up broccoli, cauliflower and carrot
  3. Heat up frying pan with a little oil.  On low heat, fry the garlic until fragrant and slightly golden brown.
  4. Add in chicken to cook for a while.
  5. Add in broccoli, cauliflower and carrot.
  6. Add vegetarian oyster sauce and a little water, stirring to mix all ingredients in the pan.
  7. Cover pan and bring up to high heat and let cook for a few minutes or until vegetables are cooked but not overly soft.
  8. Uncover the pan and give it a final stir before dishing out onto a plate.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Search for the Perfect Cupcake

Recently, there have been cupcake stores popping up everywhere.  With swirls of frosting, topped with chocolates or candy sprinkles... they look so tempting!  BUT at $3 a piece, I just can't bring myself to buy any.... it's just a cupcake!  Or isn't it?

Even though I've been baking since young with my mum, we didn't do much fancy stuff.  Most of the focus was also getting in more of the good stuff into what we bake (think loads of chocolate chips, or double the amount of walnuts!), rather than appearance.  Apparently, it's not trivial to bake and frost a cupcake just like those you see in the store.

I turned to my favourite teacher -- the internet, and finally found this "Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes" post.  Doesn't this make you drool?

Image posted with permission from

This post doesn't just tell you how to bake perfect cupcakes, it also showed the failed attempts/experiments.  I was like, "Hey, some of my cupcakes look like that!".  So if you want the PERFECT cupcake, give this a try =)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bosch Cake Mixer

I grew up with a Kenwood cake mixer in the house.  It was white with pastel blue accents.  It had 2 porcelain mixing bowls.  It had a powerful motor that failed only once in my whole lifetime.  Up till now, it is still going strong.

When I got married, the only cake mixer in the house was a handheld one.  As I wasn't baking often, I just made do with it for years.  Until one day, I just thought it was time to get a proper cake mixer... First in mind was a Kenwood, but the better ones were beyond my budget.  After much searching, I finally decided to get a Bosch.  I hope it'll be a permanent fixture in my kitchen, just as the old Kenwood was in my old home...

Bosch Cake Mixer

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Big one came home with a Mother's Day card on Friday after school:
Mother's Day Card 2013

..... and also a little poem he learnt at school:

My Mummy my friend so dear
Throughout my life you are always near
A tender smile to guide my way
You are the sunshine to light my day
To have a mummy as nice as you

Awwww..... wouldn't this melt any Mummy's heart?

Happy Mother's Day!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Steamed Chicken Wing

Steaming is a healthier way of cooking as compared to frying, and so much easier when it comes to cleaning up.  Here's a steamed chicken wing recipe that can be whipped up in no time with a few basic ingredients.

Steamed chicken wing

  1. Season mid section and tip of chicken wings with light soya sauce, dark soya sauce, sesame oil, black pepper for at least an hour.  (To prepare ahead, season chicken wings and freeze in a ziplock bag.  Take out to thaw and cook when needed)
  2. Cut some ginger
  3. Arrange seasoned chicken wings in a plate, drizzle with the seasoning and top with the ginger.  Steam for 15-20 minutes or until chicken wings are cooked through
As for washing up, there will be only 1 plate to wash!  Choose a plate to be used for steaming, thaw chicken wings on it, arrange on the same plate to steam, then eat from it =)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Banana Muffins

It was at the end of a very tiring day that I baked these banana muffins.... therapeutic baking, that's what I call it.  Some time back, big one had lots of painful ulcers in his mouth, so we bought bananas to freeze and make banana milkshake to help numb the pain.  Apparently it still hurt a lot, and big one just refused to drink any  more after a few sips.  So I was left with lots of really ripe bananas.

This recipe calls for mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately, then combining them. Really quick and easy.

Ingredients A
2 cups flour
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (can be replaced with chocolate chips)

Ingredients B
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup mashed banana

  1. Mix all of ingredients A together
  2. Mix all of ingredients B together
  3. Mix B into A until combined
  4. Pour into lined muffin tin and bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes.  Makes 12 regular sized muffins
Banana muffins

Monday, May 6, 2013

A New Stage

I've been working at my first and only job after I graduated from university.  More than 10 years of work... other than taking a long break when I had my big one, and now, when I'm looking after my little one.

For someone who is used to getting a regular paycheck every month, I won't deny that I'm a little worried about being a stay-at-home-mum (SAHM)... Worried that:

  • I won't have enough savings for the kids or for old age
  • it won't be the same when I go back to work a few months down the road
  • I won't have money to spend
But worries aside, I really feel that it's important to spend time with the little one.  I'm a worrier, but maybe it's time to relax a little, see what's important, do what I want in life...  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Should the Kids be Scolded (Part I)

When kids misbehave or throw a tantrum, should the kids be scolded?

While this may seem like a silly questions, especially in a more Asian parenting style where traditionally scolding and caning are generally accepted, what I want to explore and discuss goes beyond the surface... let me explain using an example...

Kid refuses to stop playing games - To scold or not to scold?
I'm referring to electronic games, whether it's on iPads or mobile phones or computers.  Kid refuses to stop after several reminders/threats.  Isn't this a straight forward "SCOLD"?  Well, it really depends... ask yourself a few questions:

1) Who introduced the games to the kid?  Was it you, the parent?
2) Are you guilty of letting the kid play continuously on several occasions without saying anything?
3) Did you explain to the kid when they can play, and how long he/she should play as well as enforce the rules you set for the kid?

The reason why I ask these questions is simple: to me, the kid is not totally at fault.  From the kid's point of view, "Mummy/Daddy let me play games, then all of a sudden, they are scolding me because I'm playing games.  Why??"  These electronic games have become a tool that many parents use in order to get some "me" time, or some quiet time.  Nowadays, I notice that when we eat at restaurants, kids would be armed with an iPad/mobile phone and they would be playing with it throughout the meal.  I find this rather disturbing...

I totally understand why parents use games as a distraction tool, I'm guilty of that at times too.  But, we have to be aware that this tool cannot be used all the time until it becomes a habit.  Kids do not automatically prefer games over interaction with their parents, they are trained by their parents to do that.  When you spend that extra effort to spend time with them (REALLY spending time with them, not PRETENDING to), they really love the attention.  When they get the attention of their parents, they are more well behaved and there are fewer tantrums.  Isn't this better than screaming your head off at a wailing kid who's throwing a mega tantrum at a busy mall with the whole world watching??

Note: This post was originally from another of my blogs and was moved here as this a more suitable platform.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Planting Experiment: Carrot

Read online that you can plant carrots really easily -- cut up the parts that you usually cook/eat and stick the top part in soil!  Look at this, such cute leaves!!

As a side note, this carrot was completely utilised:
1) top end planted
2) bottom tip composted
3) centre portion eaten.... yummy =p