Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mooncakes from Bread Garden

I failed twice making the snow skin for my mooncake, so in the end I gave up. We bought some from the roadshow at J cube. We love to taste mooncakes when we go to these roadshow. We tried Bread Garden's mooncakes. Not overly sweet or oily.

Classy packaging

Fork and knife included.

We purchase 2 lotus paste with single yolk, pandan and lotus paste, cranberries snowskin  mooncake
They have plenty of other flavours such as durian snowskin, charcoal lotus mooncake to offer but we still prefer these.

Mooncakes are high in calories, fats and sugar. These are the main reason why mooncakes are not suited for diabetics. Howver, during this festive season, it is alright to consume just a little bit of it and control the intake of the sugar for the rest of the day.

I guess for the past 2 weeks, I have been eating lots of home made mooncakes, mainly because I had failed the snowskin. I have put on 2 kg. Time to do some work out soon.

Have you bought or made your own mooncakes?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lanterns chasing in Chinatown

Mid autumn festival which falls on the 15th of the eight lunar month is coming this Sunday. It is also known as the moon festival or Mooncake festival. We were off chasing lanterns last weekend. Yes, besides eating moon cake with Chinese tea during mid autumn festival, carrying brightly lit lanterns is also one of the popular activities, especially among kids.

Lanterns at Chinatown Food street 

Traditional lanterns

Chinese White Honeycomb cake (Bak Tong Gou, 白糖糕) and Steamed Rice Cake (松糕 )

These 2 recipes are even simpler than the steamed cake recipe in my post steamed mug cake. Simple ingredients, no whipping of eggs. That sounds easy to me as I do not have any egg beater.

There are different versions in the net. Below are adapted from recipe books. Minimal steps is required and it is quite effortlessly done.

My hubby loves the White Honeycomb cake and requested that I do it again. I will do it next time as I had already finished my batch of rice flour playing with steaming different rice cake and radish cake.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Transition - The changes From SAHM to FTWM

After staying at home for 2 years, I have been searching for jobs inactively. After searching for 1 year, it is only just recently, I have got a job interview. Now I am having a mixture of feelings.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Simple things that makes that little one happy- "Fake' Slippers

My little one loves slippers. One day, she told me she wanted to wear the slippers on her art wall.

Hmmm... Those paper slippers were already glued onto paper, so I could not possibly remove them without damaging them. Also, they are too small for her since those were done 1 year ago. Her feet had grown so much over the 1 year. So , how to avoid her whining over and over again without having to remove the art piece from my art wall?

Friday, September 21, 2012

The making of lotus paste with love

I love figuring out how pastry, or rather how comfort food is done. It is an enjoyment and fulfilled my curiosity how these comes about. In the process, I am amazed how much ingredients is used to make them. I usually source the recipes from blogs and recipe books. Some that I did passed with flying colours, some are just not up to the mark. (Most probably due to the modification I made)

The latest craze I have is to make snow skin mooncake since I do not have oven. Well, my first attempt actually failed. My snowskin is too oily and very much like a melted playdough. I substituted shortening with butter and probably in the wrong proportion too. Later, I got to know butter has a lower melting point that shortening and hence, it is not quite possible for it to maintain solid form in the room temperature. However, I did read from one blogger who actually did succeed making them using olive oil. (This is also liquid in room temperature ) So, that sets me thinking hard. I will try out again this weekend.

Well, wonder why lotus paste is expensive? It's hard work! I won't say my lotus paste taste wonderfully nice but it has the basic taste of it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Everything changes in The House of Robert Timms - Well, almost

Roberts Timms' Flat White is my favorite coffee. They are originated from Australia. If I happened to shop around Borders , I will definitely drop most of the time to have coffee complete with a cake. Well, it had been quite some time that Borders had closed last August. 

Things have changed! I mean the menu had changed. They had exotic flavours including kangaroo and crocodile meat. They even have kids menu! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chinatown trail

Little one had visited Chinatown for only 2 to 3 times and it is always just before Chinese New Year. It was then packed with people who came to look at the lights decoration and buying last minute goodies for the new year.

Since her school is having a break and I am running out of idea where to bring her to, I decided, why not we take a walk at Chinatown and eat some 'delicacies' there. Probably we could see some historic sites too.

We started from Bukit Pasoh., the Street of Clans. We studied the architecture of the place. Most buildings here maintained the vintage look.
We spotted mordern cum vintage designs @ the Books Cellar

Friday, September 14, 2012

Indulgence- try Fredo Galaxy

Ever since I learnt to steam cakes, I have been trying out and steaming a lot in the month of August. I have not lay my hands on a single store bought cakes. In fact, most of the cakes I made at home contains less sugar and oil. I have not tried making any creamy toppings or chocolate grazing. Any thing that I consider as fatty, I will opt not to include into my home made cake. In conclusion, I would say, most of the cakes I made are quite bland because I omitted a lot of sugar, but to clarify, those that I chose to post on my blog are sweet enough to my liking and they are nice enough for human consumption.

That day, I walked past one of my favourite bakery Fredo Galaxy. It's one of my favorite pastry store, I couldn't help but went into it. As usual, there is a wonderful display of cakes, pastries, tarts, biscuits. The aroma in it is enough to make you drool! I guess it's quite ok to indulge once in a while these creamy cakes and sugary tarts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Let's get crafty:- Paper Flowers

Fancy some beautiful flowers to decorate your home? But does not want the hassle of changing the water every now and then? How about making some simple ones to decorate your home or probably give as gifts? On top of it, you can get the little one to help you out because it is so simple to make.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Steamed Longan Red Date Cake

Heard of red date and dried longan tea? Yes, it is typically a Chinese drink made for the mommy during her confinement month. In fact , she cannot drink any plain water (believed to cause 'wind') except hot red date longan tea and of course, plenty of hot soup. (Although some modern women does not follow these 'rules') 
Red date or hongzao(红枣) in Chinese, nourishes the stomach, spleen and blood. Longan (龙眼 or  桂圆) is considered as a blood tonic, to nurture the heart and to improve skin condition. However, longan being a heaty fruit is best consume in moderation.

How about Longan Red Date cake? I have not heard of this before until I browse it through a recipe book. "Cake in Steam". I think probably it will be good to eat during confinement too? 

Cake in Steam 蒸糕招 by Liu Fenglan 刘凤澜.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Teachers' Day Gift

Teachers had created imprints in our life, one way or another. Teachers' Day is a day for us the appreciation of Teachers.

Let's sidetrack a little and talk about the one teacher I remembered most was Mr Goh, my primary school teacher. I felt he is a truly great teacher. He taught us Chinese. He makes his lessons interesting. He told us moral stories, teaching us values. I still remember vividly that he mentioned the story of how we should not always expect rewards for good behaviours, it's part of our job to do it. Moral stories like this are not part of our study curriculum but he would ,once in a while, impart such knowledge to us. He also shared his travel experience. Everyone in our class loves his lessons. I truly miss him. My old school no longer exists. I wonder where he is now. I truly wishes him good blessed life.

Back to the little girl's gift for the teachers. As mentioned earlier in the post, A saltish afternoon that little one's school is giving out paper to write notes of appreciation. Feeling a little down under the weather, I welcomed the idea. I think the best way for kid's to express their appreciation is through their artwork. I wrote some lines along the border and get the little one to decorate it with markers and glittering glue.

Decorate with markers

Adding glitter glue
Ta dah!!! Done!
It's a very simple work.
What I enjoyed most is the process of doing it.
I asked little one shall we make a card for teachers? She said yes. Concentrating on her work.
Who do you want to give this to? She replied Teacher H, Teacher S, and C Laoshi.
By the way, Teacher S had already left but my dear little girl still remembers her. It simply shows that children would remember you when you have left imprints on them. This gift is supposed to be secret, I still have the email of Teacher S, I would email to her the photo on Teachers Day itself.

I hereby wishes all teachers and ex-teachers a very Happy Teachers' Day! My teachers ,wherever you are, I wish you great health as well. Thank you for your guidance and patience. You have provided the knowledge and values that I have. I hope to transfer the same to my little one.

Linking up with :

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Help for burnt pot.

Have you ever burnt a pot? Tried scrubbing and it doesn't seemed to work, no matter how much time you try to do it?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Indoor activity:- A saltish afternoon

As the first post of September, I have a couple of posts in mind to blog about. Initially, I wanted to start the month by blogging about gifts that we would like to make for this Teachers' Day. However, we received email from the vice principal of the school that they had better plans. They are distributing us a piece of paper and sheet protector to write a note of appreciation. After collecting from the notes from the parents, they would make a collage for the teachers. Hence, the thought of blogging about the gift may be abandoned.

So I put this post instead. Indoor activities for the little one- playing with salt!
Nowadays, we have chosen use sea salt for cooking. As sea salt is more expensive, we choose to buy normal table salt for this project.

Raised salt art piece

Well, I tried to show little one how to write or draw in the salt.

Writing with a chopstick
Apparently, she is not very interested. She is more interested in making handprints in them. I taught her how to do a nice handprint. I put her little hand on the tray and ask her not to move it. Then I would pour salt over her little hand, after which I would brush them off to reveal her hand. Then very carefully, I would lift up her hand up, trying very hard not to disturb the salt around. She tried to do it the same thing, but everytime she tried to remove her hand, she would move so fast that the salt she built all crumble down... LOL.
Writing with finger is apparently better than using the chopstick. PLaying with this reminds her of playing with sand.
Note the thicker strikes as compared to the thinner ones the chopsticks made? 

Teaching her to make hand print. Pick up the salt with your fingers and drop it all onto the hand to be 'printed'

Ta Dah!!! 
Then we did some raised salt painting. The effect was not as great as we thought it would be. The colour is supposed to run through the lines of the salt. But ours runs slightly. Sometimes it didn't even run at all! Probably due to the fact we used finger paint instead of food colouring or water colours. Note: This kind of painting cannot be hanged or displayed on the wall. Some of the salt and glue will somehow fall off after they dry.

 I help her to squeeze the glue She spread the salt and paint the whole thing..
Love the shimmering effect
Then we proceed mixing salt into the finger paint instead. We have some grainy texture after drying .
Grainy painting

We would probably do the salt painting again. As for salt writing, probably it will be later when she has the interest to write.

Be warned, this activities can get quite messy.
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