Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Porridge in siew mai tray

Bento No. 308

Bento lovers like me will never had enough of tools.  It's an addiction!! Above is a siew mai tray which I bought from Daiso.  I would never know that the tray could be used to prepare bento for my kid.  I learnt it from a very creative Mom in EZ Bento group.  Want more bento goodies, hope over to Bento Monster who is hosting a giveaway in celebration of her 500th post. I have entered the giveaway.  Have you?
At the bottom of the tray, my son had brown rice porridge (mixed with a little of fragrant jasmine rice) topped with pork floss.  In the middle row, there was stir-fried cabbage with baby shrimp and egg fried with baby shrimp.  The top was oranges and grapes decorated with leaf and panda foodpicks. My boy dislikes porridge.  Here, I'm trying to make it an interesting way to eat.  And it works!!  He was having fun and even asked for more porridge :D
The star of the ingredients today is baby shrimp?  Those that you can find in cincalok.  This was my childhood dish which my mum simply steamed it when I was little.  Speaking of nostalgia, my boy made five stones for Grandma in kindergarten in line with their learning theme - Grandparent  And Granny, in turn, bought the aeroplane chess game for him.  Coincidentally, these were Mommy and Papa's favourite childhood games.
Five Stones for Grandma
Playing five stones with Granny

Aeroplane chess

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pikachu kamaboko

Bento No. 307
For the first time I shopped at Medi-Ya supermarket at Liang Court, I bought  Pikachu kamaboko.  I didn't want to buy because it was too pricey.  Unfortunately, my son saw it and he 'please' so many time that I just did not want to disappoint him. What is kamaboko? To put it simply, it's Japanese processed seafood product which is akin  to Chinese fish cake.  I have extracted some information from the internet below.

Quote: Kamaboko is Japanese cured pureed white fish. They have rubbery texture and mild taste. In Japan, we slice them and eat with soy sauce with wasabi or mayonnaise. Kamaboko are often in udon soup, ramen soup, and bento box.Since kamaboko is good source of protein and calcium, and it is low fat, it is considered as a healthy food.  UnQuote

I have seen character kamaboko selling in top-end or specialised supermarket at Market Place (Tanglin Mall), Isetan supermarket (Orchard Road) and of course, Medi-Ya supermarket (Liang Court) in Singapore.

In the plate, my boy had soba, blanched carrot/spinach, gyoza and Pikachu kamaboko.  On top of which, he finished some grapes and a bowl of soup which was not pictured here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fox maki sushi

Bento No 306
Have you ever seen a panda face sushi or a flower maki sushi?  Fancy maki sushi or decorative sushi roll, whichever way you may call it. I have been procrastinating for a long long time to make something of similar for my boy's bento after I had seen beautiful ones created by Karen Wee's Bento Diary.  Last night, I found a video on how to make a fancy sushi here -  It looks quite daunting and complicated to make such a huge sushi roll as shown in the video.  However, I marvel at the Japanese chef's sushi art.  If you own decorative tools, it will make the job a lot easier, I guess.  But I don't.  Nevertheless, I was quite encouraged and inspired by the sushi art.  And after watching the video several times and taken note of the technique of folding and handling the roll, I decided to create a simple one using tamagoyaki  and imitation crabstick (the ears) instead of just sushi rice for the entire roll. 

Honestly, I have no idea what to expect this morning.  My finished product has a pair of pointed ears (imitation crabstick) and square face (tamagoyaki).  After decorating the facial with nori, I presented it to my son and asked him "What kind of animal is this?"  He replied "A fox?" unconvincingly.  In the box, he has edamame, imitation crabstick, grapes and Japanese cucumber on top of his maki sushi.

On a separate note, my 5 years old boy is able to write all the characters in his Chinese name.  Another milestone!!  Last Sunday, we had a house visit from his form teacher, Fu Laoshi (老师) about his progress in his school.  Overall, he is doing well.  There are two areas he need to improve i.e. his spoken language in Mandarin and fine motor skills such as cutting using scissor. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Teddy Bear

Bento No. 305
This box looks rather empty.  It's meant to be eaten at home and I have not much ingredient left in the fridge since it was the end of the week.  My boy loves egg fried rice in any form. However, this time I added lup cheong (aka Chinese sausage) and seasoned it with Thai fish sauce and some soya sauce for a twist (on top of the usual mixed vegetables; frozen peas, carrots and corns).  A new rice dish!  And his first lup cheong fried rice too!!  On the sides, he got some Japanese cucumbers and dragonfruits.  Plus a teddy bear made of orange cheese with a green pepper outfit and heart shape ham.  Nori for the facial and paws.  To my surprise, my son actually finished everything including the green pepper.  Haha, he thought it was green jelly initially.  Luckily, he did not throw out after a bite ;) 

Have you planned anything for your children over this coming June school holidays?  We did!  First week, we will travel to down under, Darwin Australia.  We probably go museums hopping on second week.  And we signed up an one-week Chinese Theatre camp on the third week for my boy.  Forth week, we will visit Grandma and his cousin (a routine we did in every school holidays :))

Have a nice weekend ahead!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Zoom Zoom Race Car

Bento No. 304
It was difficult to plan what to create for my boy's bento on a daily basis.  Because he always had a change of heart at the spur of moment.  This morning he requested for race car which was entirely different from what he told me last night. Hence, I used carrot (orange) and spinach (green) toast  spread with butter and sandwiched with cheese and honey baked ham for the body.  Japanese cucumbers for the wheels.  Nori and cheese for the car lucky number 21 as well as for the eyes.  Decorated with honey baked ham stars, a red flag and a tiger foodpick as the driver.  Some red and green coral lettuces as the background. 

Zoom, zoom, crossing the finishing line.......

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Penguins, Paper Plate Jabiru

Bento No. 303
I reckon this was not the cutest penguins but the fastest bento I ever made!! I cut out the shape of penguin from the seaweed and paste it on the fishballs.  Mouth and feet were orange cheese which I pressed out from a straw.  Toasted spaghetti for its eyes.  Final touches - decorated each with sunhat and a cap foodpicks!   That's my boy's lunch today; soba, blanched baby spinach/carrots, corn kernels and half of banana (which was not in the picture). 

We did a paper plate Jabiru craft on Monday since my son has fully recovered from his stomach flu.  And he is eating well and back to his usual chirpy self.  Why Jabiru?  We are planning to visit Darwin Australia during the June holiday.  Papa has mentioned that we are going for bird watching in the Kakadu National Park. Among which, he will be able to spot geese, jabiru..etc   The highlight of the trip would be camping there.  And my son is really excited about it because it will be his first 'camping' trip abroad. 

Materials for paper plate Jabiru :-

Some black colour paper (beak, head, neck, feathers)
Paper plate (body)
A pair of chopstick (legs)
Red crepe paper (legs)
Straws (feets)
Gold ink pen (to draw the eyes and patterns on beak)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day, cheese sandwich with assorted shapes

3D paper Sunshine Tulip
I have the best Mother's day this year.  I was gifted with an hour of Swedish Body massage at Amore by our dear Papa and son.  It was my happiest moment in my life to know that father and son together planned a surprise for me on Mother's day.  The original idea was to buy a pair of earrings for me and it must be 'gold' in colour insisted by my boy.  However, Daddy suggested a body massage instead.  I love it all whichever it would be.  To celebrate the occasion, we went to the floral show - Tulipmania at Flower Dome, Gardens by Bay which has since started 29 April 2013 and would be ending 20 May 2013.  I love tulips for the vibrate colours and it was a 'must go' for me, of course!!  But it was tad too crowded in the Flower Dome for us to leisurely immerse myself in the blooms.  Nonetheless, we still enjoy it and even did a 3D paper yellow sunshine tulip above.  There, we also witnessed a Dutch street organ on display and in action.  It was an eye-opener for me who has never been to Holland :P

Tulipmania at Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay

Dutch street organ

On a separate note, my son was actually nursing his stomach flu since last Thursday with onset of vomit, diarrhea and stomach ache. He saw our family doctor and was given Collimix (for wind tension), Dimenate (to stop vomit) and Lacteol Fact (the good bacteria).  On the third day (which was also the Mother's day), his condition has improved.  There was no signs vomiting and diarrhea except with intermittent stomach pain  And he was feeling quite bored at home on Sunday.  That was why we brought him to Gardens by the Bay to relax.  But the stomach ache came suddenly during the trip and gone later.  My poor boy :((  Later that evening, we had Japanese dinner at Yayoiken restaurant at Liang Court basement and strolled MEIDI-YA supermarket where we bought some crackers home.  It's a long time since we last visited Liang Court. We ordered udon soup for my boy as it was best to have bland food still he recovers.  The last few days, I have been following the B.R.A.T diet - Banana, rice, applesauce and toast.  (I did not make applesauce.) It was a real torture for a kid who loves food!  On the 5th day, I am so glad that he has fully recovered. I continue to provide small meals for him.  He had toast for breakfast, quinoa/oatmeal and banana in mid-morning and I packed some cheese sandwich for him to bring to school for his lunch. 

Bento No. 302

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sushi from leftovers, Phoenix, and about food

Bento No. 300
Sometimes, I used leftover from last night dinner to prepare bento for my son's lunch the next day.  The sushi here was made with leftovers; chicken breast, teriyaki sauce and corn kernels, except for the rice.  He also has tamagoyaki, blanched broccoli, green kiwi and blueberries. My boy decorated his lunch with the foodpicks.

Talking about food, I was craving for BBQ chicken wings from Bedok North (Fengshan). Hence, I decided to bake it myself since I had some chicken wings in the fridge.  I found a simple and easy receipe from Noobcook - Honey Baked Chicken Wings.  I thought these drumlettes and wings would be the nice portion for two adults and one pre-schooler.  But I was wrong! Although my hubby complained it was tasteless, he ate most of it and even attempted to steal one wing from my boy after I commented that our son was still not skillful in eating wings.  My boy was almost in tears and I gave up mine for Daddy.  This was not the first time father and son fighting over food.  Ice cream too!! It happened when we have an ice cream treat.  My hubby scolded him at the table and reprimanded the then 3 years old for eating too fast and too much ice cream.  My son was crying whilst scooping the ice cream into his mouth.  Papa was such a spoiler for that day! The other time was we were dining at a Japanese Restaurant.  I ordered Japanese curry and hence, I could not share with my boy because he has yet to appreciate spicy stuff.  Daddy had sukiyaki.  When the food arrived, there were probably 4 thinly slices of beef.  Daddy said it was too little for him and ordered the little one to go for vegetables instead. :((  Another favourite dish for these two 'carnivores' is roasted pork belly.  My boy would give himself a huge serving first which literally half the meat would be gone from the plate. But he has indeed taken too much meat from the dinner table.  Papa interfered by taking some of his roast meat away.  He was disappointed but did not cry.  He turned to me and said "Mommy, I really like this type of meat!".  As a Chinese, it is a basic dining etiquette that we should share the food and not seen as greedy at the table.  It's a good thing he loves his food but he cannot be too greedy.

On the contrary, we have plenty of greens on our dinner which has never been an issue of fighting over it.  Reason being, my son did not ask for second helping..haha

Honey baked chicken wings
Below was a phoenix I created using threadfin fillet pan-fried in egg for its wings, nai bai for tails and head/beak using cheddar cheese.  Nori for the eyes.  What do you think? ;P

Bento No. 301


Monday, May 6, 2013

Snoopy and Woodstock, Recycled craft : A turtle

Bento No. 299
Hope to chase away Monday blues?  Try this Snoopy and Woodstock to brighten up your day :)  Snoopy was made of white rice onigiri stuffed with pork floss to give it some flavour.  Seaweed for the details.  Woodstock, I freehand cut the nori details and paste it on a round shape cheddar cheese which nicely sat on a mini onigiri mixed with pork floss.  In the box, my son has baked salmon, blanched broccoli/carrots, apples and green kiwi.  Lemon slice, coral lettuce and a poka dot flag for decoration.

Ever since I was hooked into recycled craft, I have been trying to salvage whatever cardboard, plastic bottles, fruit containers, etc I could lay my hands on.  And these loot or 'barang' was kept in one Ikea storage box which I restricted to ONE and only ONE in case I became a 'karung guni' man (in Malay means rag and bone dealer) ;)  One fine day whilst I was busy preparing dinner, my son surprised me with this turtle made from recycled material. He did the head, shell and body and I finished off by helping him to cut the shape of the legs and tail.   Not pretty but it's original!  And my boy just wanted it to look like this without colours and frills.  As a Mom myself, we have been holding the little hands guiding him at each of his milestone and trying to make everything interesting and creative to stimulate the little head.  Here, my son did not need any inspiration from me at all and he did it on his own given him the space and time.  Totally agreed with 'A Happy Mum's Creativity 521', the sky is the limit when comes to creativity!!

Linking up :-

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California sushi and more parties

Bento No. 298
This was one of the California sushi bento I prepared for my son's lunch using this red single-tiered lego box.  On the sides, he has tamagoyaki, green grapes and a strawberry.  I bought two of such lego lunch box; blue one for Papa and the red box for my boy as their birthday presents.
April was indeed special for our Papa and our little boy because their birthdays fall on the same month and only one day apart from each other.  I planned an ice-skating for both father and son at JCube on 4th April 2013 right after school since there was a promotion where the child could skate free accompanied with an adult on their birthday month.  It was their first ice-skating experience.  My boy enjoyed every bits of it but Papa was complaining of sore muscle :P I also threw a big birthday bash for my boy's 5th birthday at Art Speaks Studio which I had blogged here.  Coincidentally, his best friend, Ollie's birthday from his ex-preschool, also born in end April and he was invited to his 'Ninja Warrior' party too.  We bought Ninjago lego for Ollie's gift as such.  My boy drew and wrote the words 'Happy Birthday' with gold ink on a black paper that I folded into a card. His writing has improved tremendously compared to a year ago.  He was 4 years old then. His grip over the pen/pencil was tight and exert a lot of pressure when he writes.   I vividly remembered he was in tears the first time I asked him to write on a Jake's birthday card last year. 
Birthday card
Papa accompanied him to the party dressed in black as part of the theme. I was, however, nursing a flu at home.  Back home, he told me that the best part of the party was food!?!  According to Daddy, he ate a lot and even into spicy fried mee hoon and hotdogs.  And ice cream too!  That's my son - he loves to eat :)) His other bestie girl-friend, Arin, was not in a good mood and had ignored him at the party.  Nevertheless, he had fun with his old friends.  Personally, what makes the party exceptionally different from others was Ollie's parents actually did a thank you note on the goodie bags that "... in the spirit of giving, half of the presents would be donated to Sunbean Children's Home....." It was such a noble and meaningful act.

His favourite ice cream

April was a month of celebration and hence, I was more lenient over his intake of goodies like chocolate, ice cream and sweets allowing him to indulge.  The result, he came down with a sore throat, cough and later, running nose :(( Arrrgh!