Saturday, 28 May 2016

Red Amaranth (Bayam) Soup

This is another super nutritious and super quick soup to make! Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, magnesium and calcium, this leafy vegetable is definitely something that you don't want your little one to miss!


Red amaranth, leaves removed from stalks and washed
Dried anchovies, cleaned and washed
A few cloves of garlic


Heat oil and fry garlic and anchovies until fragrant. Add amaranth leaves and stir fry until it wilts a little. Add boiling water. Boil for another 5 minutes over medium fire. Add salt to taste. The ruby red colour amaranth soup is now ready to serve!

Yep, that's exactly how easy the recipe is. The only thing you need to take note of is that the leaves tend to accumulate more soil than most other veggies and hence, needs a few more runs of thorough rinsing. :D

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Apple Muffins

New to baking? Muffins are probably the easiest thing to bake! No mixer needed and no need to wash a ton of equipments. And, what's best? The chances of failing is close to zero! Well, at least it is when compared to more complicated projects, like making a sponge cake, or a bread loaf. In general, the key to well-rising muffin is not to over-mix the batter. So here goes, a simple apple muffin recipe to kick-start your baking journey!

Dry Ingredients:

200g self-rising flour
50g sugar
A dash of cinnamon powder

Wet Ingredients:

2 small red apples, peeled, coarsely grated
100g butter, melt over low fire and let cool
1 egg
100ml milk


Preheat oven to 200oC. Line muffin tin with muffin liners. Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients together. Pour the wet ingredients mixture into the dry ingredients mixture. Gently mix it until just combined, say, within 10 seconds? The batter should be thick and "spoonable". Over-mixing will create tough and flat muffins. Fill muffin liners until 2/3 full. Bake at 200oC for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Easy-peasy!

This recipe yields 12 muffins. Green apples are usually used in apple muffins. However, I used red ones because they are sweeter and perhaps more appealing to tiny humans. Most importantly, sweeter apples also means reduction of added sugar to the muffins. So yeah, its really up to you whether to use red or green ones!

Happy baking!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Luffa (Petola) Egg Drop Soup

Many pork or chicken based Chinese soups usually take long hours to cook, or at least 45 minutes cooking time to get tender meats. Now what do you do when you only have 15 minutes to cook a soup to go with your little one's rice? Try this quick and easy luffa egg drop recipe! 

Ah... Before I start with the ingredients, I want to make a silly confession: I've always thought that petola is an English word until I googled about it when writing this post! So yeah, if you don't already know this, be reminded that petola is actually a Malay word and this gourd-like thingy is called luffa in English! Haha.


3 clove garlic, sliced
3 slice ginger
1 luffa, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 carrot, cut into thin strips
4-5 tablespoon minced meat (pork/ chicken)
1 egg, whisked 


Heat some oil and stir fry garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add minced meat. Add luffa and carrot. Stir fry for a minute or two until luffa pieces wilted a little. Add boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes and stir egg into the boiling soup. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Ta-daah, a wholesome quick soup with both meat and veggies in it is ready to serve!

Baby V is a huge fan of luffa! She was on a food-strike, or rather rice-strike AGAIN on this particular  day when I cook this soup. So what did her desperate mummy do? Let her self feed the veggies while trying to spoon feed her the soup! And guess what, she ate about one third of a medium-sized luffa! It's really a relief to see her eat something, ANYTHING, especially after days of only eating 2-3 tablespoon food every meal time.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Is your little one a fan of pasta? How about a change from the usual tomato based pasta sauce? Try this easy creamy mushroom pasta sauce recipe! This recipe yields enough sauce for one large plate of pasta for an adult.


2 tablespoon butter
5 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon flour
300ml fresh milk (might need some extra to adjust sauce thickness)
1 tablespoon cream cheese
5-6 fresh mushrooms (portobello, shiitake, or button mushroom), washed and sliced
Some mixed herb
Pasta, cooked until al dente


Melt butter over medium fire and sauté garlic until fragrant. Add mushroom and fry until a little browned. Add milk. Stir flour into the mixture to thicken the sauce. Add cream cheese and stir until all of it melts into the sauce. If the sauce appears to be too thick, add some more milk and adjust consistency to your liking. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Bring sauce to a boil and pour it over cooked pasta. Garnish with a dash of mix herb on top. Serve warm.

Looks yummy? I used spirals so that my tiny human will be able to self feed easily. If your little one is at the same "I-don't want-you-to-feed-me" phase, try different pasta shapes like fusilli, penne, macaroni, and shells that tiny fingers can hold easily! In fact, your little one will probably be fascinated with pasta shapes that they have not seen before. Hehe.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Cheesy Pumpkin Soup

Is your little one bored with rice? Or bored with noodles? No problem at all! Try serving bread with this nutrient dense, yummy soup as dipping! It might just be your little one's next favourite soup!


Half of a small pumpkin, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon cream cheese
5 clove garlic, minced
3-5 tablespoon minced chicken


Melt butter over medium fire. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add minced meat and pumpkin. Stir fry for a few minutes and add just enough water to cover the pumpkin. Do not add too much water since pumpkin releases water as it cooks. Cook for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin softens. Mash pumpkin with a fork against the bottom/ side of the pot so that the soup becomes thick. Add cream cheese and stir until all of it melts into the soup. Garnish with a small dollop of cream cheese on top. Serve warm. Yums!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Tomato Tofu Egg Drop Soup

This is another almost instant, easy soup to whip up. Perfect for busy days where you have limited time to cook. As easy as it many seem, it is actually one of Baby V's favourite soup as she loves tofu and tomatoes.


2 tomatoes, cut into bite-size chunks
1 box soft tofu, cubed
1 egg, whisked
3-4 slices ginger
3-4 cloves garlic
Some sesame oil
Some chopped coriander/ spring onion for garnish


Heat some oil and stir fry ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add tomatoes and continue stir frying for a minute or two. Add water and bring the soup to a boil. Add tofu and continue boiling for a few minutes. Lastly, stir egg mixture into boiling soup. Add salt and pepper if desired. Drizzle with some sesame oil and garnish with coriander or spring onion. Ta-daah, the soup is ready to serve!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Felt Sandwich Play Set: Part 3 - Cheese and Bacon

How did your felt sandwich set project went? I sure hope you had fun sewing all the felties. Let's continue with cheese and bacon felties today!


1. Draw and cut cheese slices based on the template. The larger holes are cut but using a scissor after slicing the centre f the hole with a knife whereas the smaller holes are made by using a hole punch. I prefer to sew two layers of felt together for extra durability because tiny humans can be pretty destructive (or is it just mine? LOL). Anyway, if you've read about my previous post, you might be wondering why didn't I double up layers for lettuce leaf too? Hmm... Well, because I think a thin single layer of felt would have more resemblance to a real lettuce leaf. Hehe.

2. Glue around holes and blanket stitch two cut-outs together back to back. Yes, you can do it the easy way too, just glue both pieces together! But again, blanket stitch does give extra reinforcement so that the felties can last longer. :D Anyway, this should not be a concern if your sandwich set is meant for older kids who don't go around ripping stuffs like my 13mo tiny human. Haha.


1. Bacon felties are the easiest among all to make. Just cut strips of maroon, white and brown felts.

2. Glue them accordingly in stacks and your bacon felties are ready in no time! You can glue the white and maroon strips on both sides of the brown strip so that the bacon streaks are visible on both sides, but I prefer to just do one side so that the thinness of the bacon felties resemble real bacons. So, yeah, I made mine using only hot glue without any stitches. It's so easy to made that I have zero worries that my tiny human would destroy it. If she really did, I'll just make another one. Haha.

My tutorials on all felties for the sandwich set has finally come to an end! All templates available here. Happy crafting! 

Friday, 13 May 2016

One Pot Chicken Rice

Pff... Don't know what to cook for dinner? Or you are having that "can-we-eat-outside-tonight" melt-down? Give this fuss-free recipe a try so that you don't have to think about WHERE to eat out. That can be tough to decide too sometimes, well, at least for me. Haha.


6-8 pieces of chicken, blanched
4-5 mushrooms, soaked and cleaned
Rice, washed
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Some sesame oil
Some pepper
Half bulb garlic, washed (you can mince the garlic if you prefer a more garlicky taste, directly putting it to the rice is just me being lazy, haha :P)
A few slices of ginger
Pandan leaves, washed and tied in a knot (too bad I don't have it this time)


Add water to rice according to your usual preferred ratio (the general 1:1 ratio is good although you may need a little more if your little one prefers softer rice). Add soy sauce and pepper and mix thoroughly. Add ginger, garlic and Pandan leaves. Lay chicken pieces on top of rice in a single layer. Add mushrooms. Drizzle generous amount of sesame oil. 

Close the lid and switch on the rice cooker. Do not open the lid once the rice cooker switches to the "keep warm" mode. Let the chicken rice sit in the cooker for at least another 20 minutes. This allows the remaining steam to cook both the rice and the chicken pieces thoroughly. Ta-daah, the chicken rice is ready to serve!

You can season the rice with a bit of salt before cooking for extra flavours. Anyway, since I'm serving it to my tiny human, I prefer to season with just a little bit of soy sauce. Happy cooking!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Felt Sandwich Play Set: Part 2 - Lettuce and Egg


1. Draw and cut template on a piece of light green felt. Pinch the back of the lettuce and start sewing the "stem" of the lettuce leaf.

 2. Pinch the back of the felt where you want the "veins" to be and continue sewing.

3. This is how the front of the lettuce leaf look like after completion.

Fried Egg

Fried egg felties takes a little more time and effort to sew but it's not that difficult actually, at least it's easier than sewing the bread slices, if you have already tried it. Haha. Here goes:

1. Draw and cut egg white and egg yolk based on the template.

2. Sew the egg yolk onto the egg white using blanket stitch. Insert poly-filling halfway through sewing and add accordingly as you close up the opening.

3. Blanket stitch another piece of white cut-out to the back of the fried egg so that the stitches are covered up. Ta-daah! Sunny side-up egg all done! :D

In Part 3, i.e. the last part of the felt sandwich set tutorial, I will share how cheese and bacon felties are made. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Felt Sandwich Play Set: Part 1 - Bread and Tomato

This is another felt project of mine. If you find my previous "Under the Sea" quiet book instructions to be too intimidating, try this fun project! I promise it is less tedious than making a quiet book, although it still require plenty of time to complete it. Haha. :P

The project is nothing new and in fact, you can find plenty of it on the internet but I sure hope my step-by-step tutorial is one of the most complete guide you can possibly find. These are the stuffs that comes with the sandwich set: bread, tomato, lettuce, egg, cheese, and bacon. As the blog title suggests, I will cover bread and bacon first in this post. Let's get started:


Here's what you'll need, light beige colour felt for the body of the bread, light brown felt for the crust of the bread, poly-filling, matching thread, and needle. 

1. Draw and cut template.

2. Start sewing one side of the bread "body" to the crust using blanket-stitch. I know, it seems a little difficult at first since it is three dimensional, but really, it'll get better when you get the hang of it. Hehe. My strips weren't long enough so I just overlap another strip a few stitches before the first strip comes to an end. You should end up with something like this, creating a shallow pocket for the filling later.

3. Place a thin layer of filling, followed by a layer of felt, and lastly, add another layer of poly-filling. Sandwiching felt between filling layers creates a more sturdy body for the bread. 

4. Place the outer piece on top the poly-filling. Blanket stitch around the edges of the bread slice. How to get nice crisp edges? Insert a chopstick and tuck around the edges from the inside of the bread slice. Do this a few times as you close up the "bread", adding or adjusting the filling where necessary. Ta-daah, the felt bread slice is ready! Ah, don't be too happy just yet, you'll still need to at least sew another slice of "bread" for the sandwich set! Haha.


The worst is over now that the bread slices are done. LOL. The rest of the sandwich set are definitely easier to sew. Let's continue with sewing tomato slices. You'll need felt in red and maroon colour,  hot glue, yellow thread and red thread.

1. Draw something like this and cut red colour felt based on your template.

2. Cut the maroon felt into a matching size as the inner part of the tomato. glue two piece of the cut-outs together to get something like this.

3. Sew tomato seeds randomly using yellow thread. If you do not have thick threads, just double up normal strands of thread, tie a knot at the end, and start sewing. You will need two pieces of these for every tomato slice. Oops... The back is messy but it'll be hidden later. :P

4. Lastly, blanket stitch two pieces together back-to-back.Voile! A slice of tomato is ready! Now, continue stitching as much slices as you like. Haha.

Do stay tuned for my coming post for lettuce and egg felties. Happy crafting!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Felt Sandwich Play Set: Video + Template

Good day!

This is a video of my felt sandwich play set. Free template for all the felties are available here. Stay tuned for the detailed step-by-step tutorials for you to make your own bread, egg, lettuce, tomato, cheese and bacon! :D

Saturday, 7 May 2016

DIY Bread Loaf: The "I-Don't-have-a-Bread-Maker" Way

The last time I made a bread loaf was like, emm... at least a year ago? LOL. Yep... Only mummies with clingy tiny humans understand the agony of having a long "I-want-to-do-this-and-that" list, but simply cannot find some me-time to do any of it. With 13 months old lil' lady who only wants to self-feed, I figured it's time to start baking again so that she can enjoy some wholesome homemade bread.

Now why should you bother making bread at home? Well, because it's free from nasty stuffs like softeners, conditioners, preservatives, improvers, and so on. Having said that, I do understand that we don't really have the luxury of making bread from scratch all the time, so I will make it whenever possible (or rather when I feel adventurous, LOL). Anyway, I do prefer to have a bread maker if I were to bake regularly. :P It's not that complicated to make bread the old-fashion way, but it does require a little patience and effort. Haha.

Alright, let's cut long stories short. What's the key to soft fluffy bread if you where to hand-knead and oven-bake? Ferment part of the bread dough in the fridge overnight! Yep, as easy as that! If this is new to you, and like me, you don't have a bread maker just yet, read on! This recipe yields 1 big loaf of bread.

Ingredients for refrigerated overnight ferment (A):

200g high protein flour
150ml water
1 teaspoon instant yeast

Ingredients for bread dough (B):

300g high protein flour
150ml water
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
A dash of salt
1 teaspoon oil


  1. Mix all ingredients for the refrigerated overnight ferment (A) in a small bowl. Just stir it with a spoon until well combined. No kneading required. 
  2. Cover the mixture with a cling wrap. Ensure that the cling wrap touches the entire surface so that the surface of the ferment doesn't dry up.
  3. Pop the bowl into the fridge and ferment for at least 8 hours. The yeast will do its job and you'll get a bubbly wet dough next day.
  4. Oil the surface of a bread pan and dust it with some flour.
  5. Combine the ferment with all ingredients for bread dough (B), excluding oil. Knead dough until it clears the side of the bowl. The dough should be an elastic ball that is no longer sticky.
  6. Add oil and continue kneading for a few more minutes. Pop the dough into the prepared bread pan and loosely cover it with a lightly oiled cling wrap (for easy removal of cling crap should the dough rise until it touches the cling wrap). 
  7. Leave it on the counter top proof for an hour. The bread dough should now double in size.
  8. Remove cling wrap and carefully transfer the bread tin into the oven. Bake it at 200oC for 25-30 minutes.
  9. Let cool on a rack for an hour or so. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Not the best-looking bread (looks a little burnt on top thanks to the uneven heat of my oven) but it's really fluffy and springy. Look at the air pockets! I am beyond ecstatic with the outcome. So glad that my effort actually pays off. Haha. 

Now if you prefer to make in into different shapes, do it by all means! I would love to make smaller buns but my tiny human was already screaming for me before I even manage to let the bread proof. So yeah, a big loaf of bread is all I manage to do.  >.< You can totally make steamed buns with the exact same recipe by just replacing the high protein flour with pau flour.

Here's the thing with homemade bread, it doesn't keep as good as the commercial ones. In fact, it will most likely harden on the next day of baking. I give it a quick 5-10 minutes steam before serving to my little one so that it's all soft and fluffy again. Last but not least, if you are certain that you can't finish the entire loaf in say, 2 days, it's best to keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for maximum freshness. Just lightly steam or toast it before eating and it will be all nice and tasty again. Hehe.

Happy baking!