Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Bento No. 231
We decided to make a trip down to Island Creamery at Serene Centre after school for ice cream with Papa who took a day off yesterday. And I was almost roasted under the scorching hot sun on the way to the school after I had done my facial !! Really in need of an ice cold treat.  On arrival, we were surprised that the price has adjusted upwards for inflation.  Guess, we should expect more food prices to be increased in the coming months (in line with our PM's statement).  We also dropped by the 'Toy Station' which sold all kinds of toys as well as legos.  This is 'their favourite place', for both Papa and my boy.  According to hubby, the legos are parallel import and hence, it is cheaper than the rest of the retail shops.  We had visited the shop many times and the label that indicated 15% discount seems permanently there.   Expectedly, the first thing my son asked was "Can you buy this....and...that?" and followed by "Pleassssee!".  Pointing at one of the lego ninjago, he came up with all the reasons trying to justify why he wanted to buy.  Back at home, he has already had two spinners and minifigures.  Of course, it was a 'No' from me.  However, our dear doting daddy (another lego collector) promised my boy he would get him the other ninjagos.  

Therefore, today's bento is a ninja onigiri.  I cooked his favourite steamed egg with minced meat as well as some crabstick, blanched star carrots/spinach, dragonfruits and grapes.

Monday, July 30, 2012


We were due for a review of medical reports this morning following our checkups with TTSH Health Enrichment Center in early July.  Hence, I did a quick bento; baked salmon, tomatoe wedges, butterhead lettuces, steamed red potato along with some grapes (pitted and skin removed) and dragonfruits.  On top of which, I packed the creamy Japanese sesame dressing for the salads in a separate container as well as threw in a bottle of vitagen inside his lunchbag.   A piece of grass baran which I cut into two, nicely tucked between the foods.  Completed with a few foodpicks; a panda, an elephant, a monkey and a couple of leafs.   I thought the dressing was yummy but my son, however, did not eat the lettuces with the sauce when I checked his lunchbox after school.  My attempt trying to encourage him to eat his salads failed again;)  Perhaps, I should change the type of vegetable instead or even let him choose it for himself at the supermarket!
Bento No. 230
I was given a clean bill of health except that I was slightly underweight.  My other half did not fair very well (as he has a family history of cardiovascular disease).  His condition did not improve despite he was on eggless diet for a year on the advice of his doctor.  (He used to have two soft boiled egg and toast for his breakfast every other day previously.)  Now, the Doctor recommended eating less of noodles and start a regular exercise regime.  Hope that it gets better next year.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Elephant and Fish fingers

Bento No. 229
I made fish fingers which I adapted the receipe from http://food-4tots.com/2011/08/10/oven-baked-fish-fingers/.  However, I tweaked the receipe a little.  Instead of oven-baked, I pan-fried the white fish fillet since it was a small fillet (half of what the receipe called for).  I coated the fillets purely panko breadcrumbs and the results - breadcrumbs was slightly burnt and not in the golden brown colour.  Surprisingly, it still taste good, not too dry and pefectly flaky, nevertheless ;)  This is a frozen white fish fillet that I bought from Cold Storange Tanglin Mall with a label of healthier choice and low in sodium. The fish was originated from Indonesia and named 'oreochromis niloticus'. And it was pricey compared to other frozen fish fillet.  We tried as much as possible to give him a balance and healthy meal and we avoid, as hard as possible, eating out at a Fast Food restaurants such as McDonald's and KFC within our controls.  In fact, we did not introduce it to him.  But he found out from one of his teachers one day. He came back home telling me he wanted to eat McDonald's! And now, he associates fried nuggets/chicken, fries, fish and chips, burger...etc are all his 'likes' food.  For this reason, I would include burger, occasional nuggets and fish fingers in his bentos.  Hope that it will satisfy his craving and the next time, he asked for it.  I can say he have already had it in his lunchbox :P

I love cookie cutter and have a small collection.  But I have not tried my hands on baking any cookies yet.  Most of time, I used it on the bentos.  So this elephant was pressed out from a cookie cutter using pumpkin/raisin bread which I purchased from Yamazaki bakery.  It was a sweet bread without a hint of pumpkin taste.   Quite disappointed!   On the sides, my son got a cup of blanched mixed vegetables, a few slices of cucumber, a tiny wedge of tomato and oranges.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Panda in Love

Bento No. 228
I normally used sushi rice (aka Japonica rice Fairprice brand) for making onigiri.  But I have forgotten to replenish my stock!  So this panda onigiri was made with Thai long grain rice.  I was so afraid the shape does not hold that I mould it when the rice was still hot (hoping it would stick together.  And it did but still not good enough).  Round cucumbers for its ears, nori/cheese for its facial expression and lastly, touch up on its cheek with some ketchup. His lunch today consisted of teriyaki chicken, blanched broccoli, heart shape carrots, green bean, oranges and cheeries. 

I am looking forward to a family holiday in Penang over the long weekends this National Day.  It will be the first time we are celebrating National Day away from Singapore.  But I really dying for one (still cannot get over my hubby went on his hiking trip in Peru :P).  My son is thrilled when Papa announced he has everything booked.  Mommy has to get her passport renewed quickly (which I have sat on it for a few months).   Papa has also promised to bring us on a camping trip outside of Singapore.  I wonder when it is going to materialize.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Bento No. 227
It's cold soba with gyoza, some blanched Japanese green and blanched carrots in the shapes of moon, star and planet.  Plus some oranges and cheeries.  Besides sushi, my son likes cold noodles.  In fact, he loves anything cold for instance ice cream, cold milk and cold drinks.  He even requested for a cold bao one fine day!   My husband blamed me for not training him to eat hot food when he was younger.  When he was baby, I fed him with baby porridge which could took up half an hour or longer to finish.  The porridge would turn cold eventually.  When he was on solids, I would mix the rice with soup and enticed him with some toys or play during the feeding process.  Surely, the food will end up cold on the table.  When he started preschool at 18 months, the teacher assured me that she would warm up the lunch.  But under air-conditioning, the food certainly turned cold rapidly. At 4 years old, he has his own mind and preferences.  It is difficult to convince him to try pipping hot food.  Nevertheless, the above instances are not excuses for myself giving him cold food.  The cause of it is the process.  Slowly, I believe, we can change his mindset with explanation that some food is eaten cold and others, have to be consumed hot.

Lately, my boy began to throw tantrums when he did not get what he wanted and often demanded that he must have this 'right now' attitude.  It has got worse when we dine out at a restaurant.  We were all seated and browsing at the food menu.  The waitress came over and informed us that there were no more pizzas. Fighting back his tears, my son insisted saying "I want to eat pizza.  I want to eat pizza now!!  He was also not listening when we told him that he could choose other kinds of food.  In the end, Papa reprimanded him and decided not to give him anymore choices.  "Just eat whatever food we ordered" he commanded.  Then we went to another restaurant where the little rascal calmed down later and we finally had our dinner in peace.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chicken Multi-grain Burger, Domino blocks

Let's have a peek into my boy's lunchbag today.  It contained a chicken multi-grain burger wrapped in cling wrap, baked potato wedges/oranges/cheeries packed inside the blue bento box, apple flavour vitagen and his Tom & Jerry waterbottle with stickers all over the places.  For the first time, he stopped me from decorating the burger after I finished layering with baked chicken patty, tomato slice, butter lettuce and emmental cheese.  He proclaimed that it looked like a walrus with its teeth sticking out and did not want further touch up.  I asked "Are you sure?" couple of times and he was very persistent :P  Can you visualise it? 

I bought a set of domino blocks with chinese characters, pinying and even with pictograms printed on the wooden blocks from Tampines 1 yesterday night.  It caught my eye when my boy was playing the Angry Bird brick game (those that built and using catapult to shoot type) at the store.  Although I found it expensive for a China product at $24.50 (after 50% discount), I decided to buy it because firstly, I could engage him to learn chinese in a fun way apart from books and secondly, it was better choice than the Angry bird, right. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bear (ham and cheese sandwich)

Bento No. 226
Slurp! I was trying to present a bear slurping with its tougue (like my dog below).   But I think I could further improve on it.  The bear was made with black sesame bread from Yamazaki bakery.  I used a round cookie cutter to press out the shape for its face and layered with honey baked ham, emmental cheese and tomato slice.   Nori and cheese for its facial expression.  Then, I stuffed pieces of sliced round Japanese cucumbers (topped with pink ham) to make its ears. On the sides were stripes of cucumbers and yellow kiwi.  Looking at the finished product, I thought it resembles a 'thing' that I could not recall in my memory! 

The last thing we would like to hear from the preschool is rising school fees.  We have just been informed via email that the new fee schedule effective next year will incorporate 7% GST tax and 1% to 3% increase to account for yearly inflation.  The sentiments of the school principal seems coincide with the Lien Foundation recent calls for vital changes to improve preschool situation in Singapore.  We have plans for my son to switch to another kindergarten that is within our means.  I hope that he will adapt well in the new environment next year.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Car (egg) and Porridge

Bento No. 225

I have three lunchboxes which I bought for my son (although I am still contemplating to buy a few more ;). This is from the Lock and Lock.  The compartmentalised space make it easier to separate the food without using any silicon cup and baran. And my boy has yellow kiwi, grapes, blanched cauliflower/carrots/sugar bean and half soya sauce hard boiled egg (in the shape of a car) all nicely packed in the box!  The porridge is cooked with meat stock, water chestnut and meatballs.  The only way my son will eat porridge is to sprinkle with some fried silver fish.  I have accumulated quite a lot of foodpicks and other bento-making 'gadgets' over the years.  Among which, is this egg mould that I purchased from Isetan.  It can be found selling in Takashimaya as well.  Even though it's just egg, but not-so-boring anymore ;)

I cannot remember how many times my boy has fallen or slipped injuring himself that there are so many scars on his legs.  When I saw a picture posted by fellow mom blogger that her girl has a deep cut on her chin with stiches on it, I just felt instantly 'ouch' as a mommy.  Painful and heartache and I wish her girl will heal well soon.  Coincidentally, my son got big slash on his big toe while playing in the playground ripping off some of the skin.  Immediately, I applied pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding.  We went home and digged out the bottle of antiseptic chlorhexidine solution to wash his cut.  Still crying but that is the consequences of playing barefooted at the playground!!  Bet he learned his lesson and would wear his shoe instead of turning a deaf ear to my naggings.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Bento No. 224

It's california sushi and tamgo butterfly.   And some edamame, yellow kiwi and grapes.   It is his favourite so much so that when we dine outside, my son would request to eat sushi for lunch/dinner. 

I have been taking pictures of sunrise from my home.  I will not be able to view it once the constructions are completed in year 2014.  Can you spot a bird in the sky?  One of my favourite!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Miss Octopus

Bento No. 223

Yesterday, my son did not finish his fried brown mee hoon which I packed for him.  And he told me that "I don't like brown mee hoon and there is no picture in my lunchbox". Ohhh, I was flattered for a minute because it worth all my effort into dressing up his food!  However, I begin to think if my bento really encourage him to eat and less picky about food.  He still has his likes and dislikes and sometimes or rather lately, he started to reject some of the vegetables that he eats it previously. Perhaps, it is part of his growth spurts! He was tearing when I asked him to just try to give the veggie a bite.  May be, I was too pushy.  So I told him today, he can pick one vegetable from the refrigerator for me to cook dinner.  He did and ate the cauliflower which I stir-fried with sugan bean, carrot and fish cake. Phew, at least, I see a happy face and no tears!

Today's lunch was a pink octopus with eye lashes made with honey baked ham, nori and cheese. A tiny drop of ketchup for its cheek.  The first reaction from my boy was "It's a girl."  I responded with "Don't you like 妹妹 (mei mei)?".  He said "I like 弟弟 (di di)."  :P  A green baran for contrast against the yellow fried rice that I cooked with diced ham, mixed vegetables and shallots.  An apricot and some grapes for his fruits.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Bento No. 222

Dumplings - ya, I made a large batch previously and freezed it.  These yummy dumplings come in handy when I need to whip up a meal in a jiffy.  And at times, where I have no mood or clueless what to prepare for lunch or dinner.  This was the lunch I prepared on Friday for my son - soba noodles (hidden underneath), dumplings, carrots and broccoli with dipping sauce (for the cold noodles which I think I could further improve the concoction ;)  His fruits for this week were none other than apricot and grapes. 

I had my first health screening at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), Health Enrichment Centre.  Literally, there is no health check since I have stopped working.  And it has never come across my mind that I need one!    Until, my the other half emphasized that we had hit 40s and it is essential to make it an annual affair as part of our health regime.  Taking note that we still have a son to take care of for another decade or more, it is important for early detection of any medical conditions (we never know, touch-wood!) to minimise health risks.  At TTSH,  we were treated like a VIP, with porters (they called it) bringing, fetching and guiding you from one test to another.  Customer Services is excellent and comparable to a 5-star hotel. At the end of screening, there is even a well-spread breakfast awaiting for our hungry stomach (as we had to fast the night before).  And well, it also comes with a price tag.   Now I understand why Singapore is thriving on medical tourism.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pumpkin rice

Bento No. 221
Ever since I found the receipe of pumpkin rice from food-4tots, it has become one of our favourite meal that I will definitely cook.  And my son is happy to have it for his lunch as well as dinner!  It was another day that my mind went blank looking at the ingredients. No inspiration and dull.... Luckily,  these cute foodpicks saved the day!  His bento consisted of a floret of blanched broccoli, pumpkin on rice, grapes and apricot.

Papa again flew off early in the morning for his business trip in Indonesia.  And my son seems to have gotten used to Papa's travelling schedule.   Later in the afternoon, I met up my Mom for lunch at ION Orchard Road.  And she handed me some monies and a pair of jade earings that my late Grandma, who passed away last month, has left behind.  She was 89 years old.  The pair of earings was a gift for Grandma which I bought it from New Zealand ages ago.  She kept it and was not worn (because my Mum said she does not like it).  Never did I expect it to be returned to me.  I grew up with my Grandma when I was young in a kampong until I reached the age of schooling.   I still can remember that I was whining and crying refused to leave my grandma's house. Thereafter, we often visited her and to me, it was a day trip or outing affair that I was always looking forward.   I am going to miss Grandma a lot....

Life is short and treasure it now before it is too late.  This is a familiar phrase we hear many times and read it in many articles/books.  We know it but seriously, have we really put in effort to treasure the dearest and closest ones to us?   Or, perhaps, we should be more forgiving so to live our life the fullest and happily.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Soupy chicken macaroni

Bento No. 220

I met some of my son's classmates yesterday since I got to his preschool early.  And one of the girls, Gwen, reported that my boy was naughty.  Even the Chinese teacher also commented "有一点坏蛋".  He has always been a good boy most of the time (I am not bragging comparatively to boys of his age).  Hence, I was a little concerned and we tried to sound him out yesterday night before bedtime. Apparently, he did not listen to teacher's instruction and displayed 'play right now'  demanding attitude.  So we explained to him that in a classroom settings, he is required to follow rules i.e. there is time to play, time to read, time to write and time to eat.  He nodded quietly with a 'guilt' on his face.  Turned alway and felt asleep later.  Not his usual, cheerful self.  Hopefully, today would be a better day for him.

I boiled some chicken soup using half of chicken breast, tiny piece of ginger and half of spring onion (white part only).  Shredded the chicken meat, put in the macaroni and some fried shallots into the flask.  Blanched the caixin and carrot.  Placed it altogther with the apricot and grapes in his bento box.  Easy and simple lunch!

I went online shopping again for some cookie cutters from Reeney's baking supplies. Another collections of mine..haha!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baked salmon sushi and Apricots

Bento No. 219
Brought some Turkey apricots from NTUC over the weekends and it taste nice and not too sweet.  It somehow lifted the entire look of the bento today given its bright orange and near gold in colour.  What do you think? Besides the apricot, my son has his usual baked salmon sushi with cucumber, edamame and grapes. 

I was seriously dead tired from making my own milk loaf yesterday.  I have a bread machine at home which the receipe calls for bread improver which I do not use at all.  Therefore, it does not churn out nice, soft and fluffy bread.  I have also tried several receipes hoping to improve the texture but failed.  Whilst other receipe given by my Sanku has too much eggs and butter.  Then, I chanced upon this site http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.sg/2007/08/almost-square.html that uses the kneading method in the bread machine and the rest of the steps, looks simple and manageable.  I decided to give it a try.  My son also helped me in the process by punching out the air at the end of the first proofing of the bread. Oh boy, he enjoyed it!  The result was a soft and flavourful bread and best eaten when it was freshly baked from the oven.   However, it became drier the next morning.   Quite encouraged by it.  I would bake it again testing other methods.

We were at the playground near our neighbourdhood yesterday evening.  It was our everyday routine;  walk my dog and bring my boy to the playground to sweat it out.  We saw a pair Lovebird!  One daddy has brought it to the playground and children were ecstatic and delighted to see the pair of Lovebird hoping and climbing trees.  They could not fly very high because their wings are clipped.  It was a lovely sight but I told my son that "It is like you have a pair of legs that cannot run".   

Monday, July 9, 2012

Angry Bird

Bento No. 218
Angry Bird!  Who doesn't love it?  Even my son has received a blue angry bird backpack from my sister as a birthday present in April this year and he has some stickers and puzzles too.  He even knows how to play angry birds games in the iphone.  I do not own one but my hubby does.  However, we have never let him played it using Papa's iphone.  It was through parties, gatherings of friends and relatives that he was being exposed to the games. 

So today bento lunch is a yellow Angry Bird made of egg sheet (which I had obviously overcooked :P).  Nori for its comb, carrot strips for its eyebrow, cheese/nori for its eyes and tomato for its beak.  The egg sheet was first spread with some tomato sauce before sticking on the wholemeal pita bread.   Put a little of mayo spread on each sides of the pita bread which I then fill it with teriyaki chicken, a slice of tomato and cucumbers.  Some grapes and green kiwi for fruits.  I have a hard time convincing my boy to eat leafy salads and hence, I have temporarily stopped using it for bento-making.  When we were shopping at Cold Storage for some lettues to make salads yesterday night, he told me that "I don't like salad.  If you buy it, I won't eat it."  Strangely, he loves sandwiches from subway which he can finish all the vegetables excepts pickles and green chilli.  How to make him eat his salads again?  Why again because he ate it previously!!  And he dislikes it now....  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chicken Nuggets and Panda

Bento No. 217
Sometime, I feel that we do not need to be exceptional creative to prepare a bento.  With a few colourful and cute foodpicks and a couple of silicon cups, a speedy lunch can be done in no time.  This was what I did today - inserted two little acrobatic panda foodpicks onto the chicken nuggets and threw in the mixed vegetables in a silicone cup, likewise for the fruits; strawberries and oranges. The chicken nuggets, according to my boy, were very tasty! The recipe was adapted from "Just Bento", my very first bento cookbook.  Briefly, the chicken nuggets were seasoned with salt and pepper, then coated it with mayonnaise.  Crushed cornflakes in a ziplock bag and put in the mayonnasie-coated chicken.  And the fun part was to shake it!  Lastly, I pan-fried it.  It was a quick and easy meal.

His preschool, besides being a kindergarten, they also catered for children with special needs.   They even encouraged kids to participate in their Kidz' Club where they become play buddies for the special needs children.   I have talked to my boy on a few occasions about being a play buddy for these children and he is quite apprehensive at first. And I brought up the subject again yesterday, he surprised me with an affirmative, "Yes".   Needless to say, I made up a story about the panda who become a play buddy to a special needs kid enjoying a great time together.  Hence, he had an extra hour of playtime with his special friend after school today. All went well according to the teacher.  Guess, he would be looking forward to it next week ;)

This week is full of surprises for my little rascal.  He got his long overdue storybook titled Hot Hippo which he always looked for it every time we visited NLB.  But it was never available at the Tampines branch.  Not to disappoint him, I paid $1.50 to reserve it.  And he sighted real tadpoles for the first time which I have collected from one of the Mom Bloggers, Selena whom still has hundreds to give away.  On top of it, he had a wonderful time with his new-found special friends.  The joy and happiness I see in my boy is priceless.  Me -- a Happy Mom definitely!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pot Sticker (Gyoza) and bean stick noodles

Bento No. 216

One of my son's favourite dish is pot sticker (aka Gyoza in Japanese).  It is easy to prepare by simply mixing all the ingredients together.  But the most tricky part is folding the dumplings.  I have not perfected the skills yet but still, it looks presentable, at least, when served on the dinner table ;) I made a big batch which we had some for dinner earlier and the balance, I freezed it.  And of course, I could pack it for his lunchbox too!   

On the bottom tier of his panda bento box, he has beanstick noodles, stir-fried cabbage/carrot with ikan bilis and a few pot stickers. And my son did the decorating with his favourite animals foodpicks.  For more colours, I added a grass baran.  On the upper tier,  I put some red strawberries and oranges. 

Lastly, a styracosaurus which he again insisted to be included in the picture.  However, this toy does not belong to my son.  It all started with lending and borrowing game with his classmate, Oliver.  They shared the same interest i.e. Cars and Dinosaurs.  First, they began with vehicles which Oliver generously allowed my son to bring it home over the school holidays. Mommy had to make sure that the toy is not lost and broken and in its original condition when we returned it to Oliver.  Now, he borrowed the dinosaurs.. I wonder what is next?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Farm with a piggy and a chick

Bento No. 215

At four years, my son are picking up new English words and expanding his vocabulary at a tremendous speed (except Mandarin).  And he too, learned, for the first time, name-calling from his football mates (luckily not vulgarities). One fine day, he called me a 'Potato Head!' while we were having a fun of rough and tumble.  I was not amused but rather curious of where and from who he learned it.  He told me that it was during the soccer game where one of the kids said "if you loose, you are a potato head".   In that sense, I think it was not as bad as I have thought since it was a challenge afterall.  However, if name-calling was directed to a person's physical appearance, then I would not approve.  Because to do so was tantamount to verbal bullying.  God knows what is next but as a parent, we are there to guide and teach them.

Today's lunch, we have a farm with a little piggy which was made with hotdog, cheese for its snort and nori for its eyes and ears.  As for the chick, carrot for its beak and the rest of the details were made with nori.  These were super tiny and I had never done it before.   I am glad it turned out well ;)  He has favourite fruits; orange and strawberry, some chicken fillet stir-fried with leek and carrot and blanched kailan.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Curls and Inside out california roll

Bento No. 214
I was thinking really hard what is the theme for today's bento since I made two adorable tamgo babies with little but curly hair wearing party hats.  Pondering for a long long time and finally, I told my son it is their birthdays!  He added that he would give them a present i.e. a rabbit soft-toy.  And he chose a rabbit foodpick and placed it inside his lunchbox.  Not forgetting the birthday song, we inserted some blue musical notes on the red strawberries.  I love and enjoy decorating his lunchbox together with my boy.  He never stopped amazing me and often, I was awed by his imagination.  The blue train, which he insisted, to be photographed as well.  Any link?  Beats me!

We had an early dinner yesterday as my son was complaining he was hungry and could not wait.  His lunch consisted of only a small piece of hotdog pizza yesterday and my boy skipped his snack in the afternoon since he slept for an hour in the car.  By the time, we reached home, it was closed to 5pm.  After I had finished cooking the meal, I told my son dinner was ready and we would have it together once I had my shower.   In the meantime, he quickly set the table with forks and spoons!  He was really starving, boy!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Something 'Fishy' for Pizza

Bento No. 213
It is the beginning of the week and there are times, my mood is like a cloudy sky waiting for the sun in the picture as shown below.

But I remembered a diving instructor once told me that watching little fishes swiming in a tank is a form of relaxation therapy and he did it everyday before he left the office for home.  Speaking of which, I made something 'fishy' for pizza.  Using a wholemeal pita bread, I cut out the shape of its body and tail.  Then I topped it with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese before placing slices of cicular hotdog and some green/yellow pepper which resembled its scales.  The eyes were made of cucumber, cheese and nori.  I also packed a container with 'fish food' (pretending - that was what I told my son for the fun of it ;)  It was actually parmesan cheese to be sprinkled on his pizza.  He also got some red strawberries and  cucumbers  as well as a blueberry yogurt which I put it in his lunchbox separately.