Recipe: Mac & Cheese (The Easy Way)

IMG_3893.JPG

I have been finding easy to cook recipes mostly because my day is usually quite pressed for time. So the other day, I went on to cook Mac & Cheese for the kiddo. Our nearest supermarket was on renovation so I had to make do with what the smaller Marts were offering. Here is the recipe I went with but adapted along the way by omitting salt and included super vegetables. I purposely added in a fair bit of vegetables because I was clearing my fridge. Which explains why my final dish became a superfood instead. Well, the more the merrier! You can stick to the original..

mac&cheese

Step 1: Boil the macaroni until al dente. Drain and set aside. I’ve threw in my vegetables to soften it at the same time.

Step 2: In a saucepan, heat up the butter till it is completely melted and add in the flour. Okay, I’ve forgotten that I’ve included 1 tbsp of  ALL PURPOSE FLOUR to my ingredient list. Please note! Mix for about 3-4 minutes.

Step 4: Add in fresh milk slowly. I didn’t warm the milk beforehand but I removed it from the fridge for a while before I add it into the sauce. Mix until sauce thickens.

Step 5: Reduce stove to lowest heat and add in Cheese! Stir till completely melted and your sauce is almost ready. Add in pepper to taste (if you’d like) and toss sauce with macaroni.

It’s a pity I couldn’t find my ramekin dishes before I moved. I used to bake molten lava cake in those and would have definitely given this Mac & Cheese a yummy uplift by baking in the oven but I couldn’t find another dish to replace at the very last minute 😦

IMG_3919.JPG

Verdict: Charley seems quite okay with the food. She finished up but got quite thirsty after. I would definitely try it with Cheddar the next time. I’ve tried the food personally and find it a little…bland. Haha! I think my tastebuds are accustomed to seasonings. If you’ve got a different recipe and it’s awesome, please share! 🙂

Advertisements

Recipe: Buttered French Toast (The Easy Way)

IMG_3682

Before you read on, I just want to announce that I’m a noob cook.

I have been trying to vary the tastes and textures of Charley’s food recently. Just the other day I woke up a little earlier trying out baked sweet potato sticks for breakfast and I think she loves it. She finished most of it and got too full for her milk feed after.

Thus, in my attempt to search for easy breakfast options, I vividly remember the heavenly aroma of ‘fried bread dipped in egg’ that fills the living room when I was little. I didn’t know what they were called when I was young so I often just referred that breakfast item to ‘fried bread dipped in egg’. Back then, mum didn’t made it pretty, she just made it taste good. So whenever the bread came out on the table, the egg was all over the bread. Sounds pretty much like a bad romance. Haha! Tasty nonetheless.

Now that I’m a mother myself, I am trying out different ways to make breakfast more fun for the little one. That said, I’m allowing her to self-feed herself more often for breakfast and lunch, while dinner would be done by me as it would usually be porridge. Sometimes I do give her a little porridge in her own bowl for pretend-play as she likes to pretend to feed me at the same time. Mornings are the best for self-feeding since she would be taking a shower soon after.

So, I went to google ‘Easy french toast recipe for baby’ and I’ve settled on this. I’ve omitted quite a fair bit of from this recipe and made it really simple and easy. Who knows if Charley would want to try to feed herself today right? If she doesn’t, those awesome, healthy food would just end up on the floor. So here’s my easy recipe for this morning:

IMG_3685.JPG

1. Beat the egg with 1 tsp of fresh milk in a shallow bowl.

2. Trim off the sides of the bread and cut it into strips.

3. Dip (2) into (1). Coat all sides. I use the fork to gently press into the strips to make it absorb the batter better.

4. Warm the frying pan and add in the unsalted butter. When the butter is warmed and melted, add in (3) and fry till it’s golden brown on both sides.IMG_3687

Verdict: The toast sticks came out pretty and the taste was quite mild. Could definitely add on some maple syrup for a dip or sorts. Looking forward to trying cinnamon and banana the next time!

Charley is officially ONE!

Entire July went by in a whim! We were so busy that the only place I was updating about me and Charley was on Instagram. We shifted into our new place and Charley celebrated her first birthday at our new place! Definitely what I’ve hope for for her first party! I’ve wanted a cosy place and private/ intimate setting and everything went exactly as planned. Thanks to my girls for helping out. Couldn’t have thanked them enough.

So what did we have for Charley’s big ONE?

20140804-231344-83624501.jpg

20140804-231405-83645204.jpg

20140804-231453-83693200.jpg

20140804-231531-83731706.jpg

20140804-231556-83756301.jpg
<
20140804-231622-83782635.jpg

20140804-231650-83810511.jpg

20140804-231723-83843017.jpg

20140804-231759-83879333.jpg

20140804-231842-83922837.jpg

20140804-231922-83962982.jpg

If I had the time, I would love to be able to bake my own dessert table. It is quite horrible how the real world is charging exorbitant prices just for cupcakes and cakes. Maybe next year, when my dear daughter learns not to cling on to my legs while I wash the dishes, I could bake something nice for her. I’ve went through quite a fair bit of pastry vendors to get to the chosen one. Many of these vendors are charging an overrated pricing from $500 onwards and I think that’s totally uncalled for, plus it’s way over my budget. I’ve even came across one that’s asking for $1k plus with just a few items. So I’ve went along with this newly established pastry shop called Edith patisserie. The cakes are done by Ethel and Shaun (I think?) and they are charging a fairly reasonable pricing for what I’m asking for. Moreover, their bakes are child-friendly (less sweet in my opinion) and their service is pretty good. Love their raspberry choco cake, praline tarts and passionfruit mango tarts! They tasted awesome!

Decors: I’ve only got a few decors up for the house. There is a photo bunting on one wall and pinwheels on the other side of the wall – for photo taking purposes. The craft paper are bought randomly at Daiso and another shop which I’ve forgotten the name but it’s somewhere at Wheelock.

Dessert table: The blue polka dot tablecloth is provided by Edith Patisserie and the table runner is bought from ikea. The transparent sealable jugs/ container are also from ikea. The floral trays are from Daiso and I’m currently using them to place fridge items so that the condensed water won’t form on the base. The ribbon for the containers are from Popular bookstore.

For real food: a dear friend SY helped to buy fried bee hoon and old Chang kee just in case some of my guest turns up hungry. She has bought 30 pax worth of beehoon and we ended up giving some away to the workers under my block. 30pax worth of beehoon was a lot! No joke! Some of our guest also left with beehoon takeaway for the night. My mum made two trays of curry and I’ve also had fried rice cooked for the occasion so we ended up with a lot of leftovers. Not forgetting almond and konnyaku desserts. Burped.

Drinks: I’ve made Ribena and detox lemon drink in the fridge. Quite amazed that my guest drank the lemon water because I didn’t plan that for the party, it was actually for personal consumption but I’ve no complaints about that! They probably needed to clean up abit from eating too much sweets! 😛 Another gf sponsored more packeted drinks and now they are sitting in my fridge! 😀

All the craft works are made with love by Charley’s BFF, misschua. Even the photos are taken by her. She’s not professional but if you would like to engage her services, do leave a comment/email!

Did I miss out anything? If you see something there that I’ve not mentioned and you would like to find out how we got it, please leave a comment and I will revert soonest! 🙂

With that, with a lot of love, Happy Birthday again my munchkin.

Charley’s solids – Purple Sweet Potato

Okay, I didn’t know that the sweet potato that I’ve bought from our local organic store turns out to be purple. I thought the skin was purple and the flesh orange. Human minds are trained in such a way that if the food comes out in weird colors, the food is weird. Let’s say… Pink bananas? You get my drift. So purple? Let’s just say maybe my baby would like it cause it’s a rainbow color. Nah, my baby is 8 months old what does she know about colors? 😛

So today we tried this purple sweet potato mixed with brown rice porridge (which I’ve painstakingly cooked it over slow fire at 7am and blend it down to its finest at 9am when Charley wakes from her first nap). Here’s a sneak peek:

20140407-125547.jpg
Would you eat that? There’s pork, organic brown rice and sweet potato here. She had a few mouth to determine she wasn’t a huge fan and refuses to open her mouth thereafter.

20140407-132347.jpg
20140407-132333.jpg
20140407-132317.jpg
See what I mean?

I find that the slightly green sweet potato is sweeter than the purple one. To me, this one tasted bland and if I was the one having it, I would definitely spice it up. But of course it would do for Charley, she’s not having sugar and salt in her diet yet. Baking it is another option, but we’ll start on that when she’s older.

Someone said online that the baby poop may turn out purple… Let’s wait to find out. I will definitely update you if it’s true! 😀

Charley’s solids – Puréed Potato

Charley doesn’t fancy potato the minute I popped it into her mouth. Maybe it isn’t the right time, maybe she’s not keen to try out at this moment but we’re not giving up! How can little munchkin not like potato when that’s her daddy’s favorite food?

20140313-205350.jpg

This post is a little late because so far we’ve tried other food like peas, sweet potato, broccoli, sweet corn, carrot, apple, avocado, pear and banana. Little munchkin is really not a fan of eating. Either that or she’s been teething and it’s been pretty hard on her gums. So far she has two little ones on the lower gums and one more is popping on the top gum. She’s salivating so much that she’s got this rashes on her chin (ugh!) and I didn’t want to put any cream since it’s so near to her mouth. Well, it will go away eventually!

20140313-210255.jpg
Nope, she’s not feeding herself…yet

20140313-210455.jpg

Charley’s solids – Puréed Pumpkin

20140117-164806.jpg

We’ve started Charley on her first solids few days before she’s officially six months old and she’s definitely not a big fan of eating…as yet! Unlike most parents, I’ve decided to go with vegetables first, fruits then poultry and cereal. Cereal is a staple item so she’s definitely going to have to eat that sooner or later but I’m going with vegetables first because it’s not the yummiest food to a kiddo (IMO) and I want her to develop her love for her veggies. The hubs is not a fan of vegetables and that’s not going to happen to Charley. Haha!

Pumpkin was chosen first because it’s slightly sweet.. Imagine if I go for broccoli first – steam, blend… Yummy? Haha! I’m not adding any salt or sugar to the pure goodness because their digestive system are still developing.. Moreover, she wouldn’t know if it’s too sweet, salty or whatever at her age isn’t it? The first try of putting food in her mouth was pretty much of what goes in all came out. She was tasting the food and it probably didn’t sit too well with her so once the trial was good enough, I finished up the rest of the purée myself! Not a fan of pumpkin but $4 for a sliced of organic pumpkin? I’m definitely cleaning up after this young lady. Organic or not doesn’t make a huge difference to me, I just happened to be at the organic section and the pumpkin color looks yummy.

It was really easy making purée for Charley. Philips Avent blender did not disappoint. Only thing I would have love if someone could invent a sound proof blender. I couldn’t make the food when her sleep time always coincides with her lunch time and I have to wait because the blender always wake her up.

20140203-200824.jpg
20140203-193412.jpg

So what’s next for this little lady? Stay tune for the next first food post! 🙂

Its a good food day!

My dearest cousin must have heard bean’s calling. She didn’t forget about our date and she wasn’t late (this time it’s me instead). And well..bean’s calling was good food. Good food in my opinion, is not just about expensive food. It’s about the person I’m eating with. We could be eating at the shabbiest joint anywhere but the companion matters.

image

Like I was telling my cousin that I would rather eat alone than having to ‘entertain’ an eating partner that I’m not comfortable with. I dislike trying to build conversations just for the sake of filling in the awkwardness in the air. But of course, when I was younger..I do have an issue about eating alone. Back then, eating alone makes me feel a little..how should I put it, awkward? Loser-ish?  I used to think that people are staring at me. But now, even if they were really staring at me, I guess I can’t be bothered. Signs of growing old? Doesnt matter. We all grow old.

Dinner was at a familiar joint at Novena with the husband. Felt a little cheated ordering the new set from the new menu but..this too shall pass.

image

image

The back of my knees kinda hurt quite a fair bit these days due to the weight I’m adding up. I can bear the pain but please don’t let those varicose veins pop!