Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Japanese steamed cake, DIY Tornado in a bottle

June school holiday begins next week.  What are your plans for your kids?  I have already booked a Mangroves Adventure 3-day camp with Terraminds from 2 to 4 June 2014.  For the rest of the days, we probably will visit the museum, explore a new playground, play at Grandma's house and more soccer, or even pop by our neighbourhood library for a storytelling session.  These outdoor activities (I hope) would pretty much occupy my energetic boy for the one whole month of June.  If weather is not favourable, it is also a good time to bond with our children by engaging them perhaps with some home baking or even some easy science experiments which I'm going to share here.  It was an awesome experience for us. 
We made Japanese steamed cake together allowing my son to free hand doodle on the batter before we steamed it.  My boy wanted to draw kerropi frog but somehow, the finished products did not turn out and resemble kerropi.  It did not matter at all.  Most importantly, my little man enjoyed the process and happy to eat his own steamed cake that he made (with my help).  The receipe can be found here.  Except I added pandan flavour that my boy loves.

Next, we created a Tornado in a bottle.  It was fascinating for my boy and he just could not stop swirling the bottle.
  • 1 plastic bottle
  • 6 small aluminium foil balls
  • water
  • blue food colouring
  • teaspoon
  • clear dish liquid soup
  • Pour 1 teaspoon of dish liquid soup into the bottle
  • Drop aluminium foil balls
  • Add food colouring
  • Rotate the bottle to create a swirling motion.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Octopus, DIY Gift Box

Food Art #336

Simple meal at home.  Potato mash for the octopus head.  Green peas for its eight tentacles.  Some carrots and cherries to create rocky seabed under the sea.  I decorated the baked salmon fillet with some patterns which I pressed out from a piece of cheese using straw. Hehe, does it look like coral?  Well, guess you need some imagination!

Last week happened to be the birthday of his form teacher, Ms Josie and some of the kids actually gave her presents.  After school, my son told me that he too wanted to make a gift for Ms Josie.  A box!  Yeah, a box for his teacher he insisted.  I then asked him why it has to be a box?  He replied that Ms Josie wanted a box to put her things.  I was quite baffled that the teacher requested for it.  (Afterwhich, I learnt from his Chinese teacher, she had read a story about a box to the children.  Probably that was the reason why he thought of a box as a gift.)  Back home, he searched our shoe cabinet for empty boxes.  Mommy usually kept a couple of nice shoe boxes whenever she buys new shoes.  A habit I could not explain why ;P  We decided to use his kiddy shoe box; old and dusty.  Not for long....after we transformed it.

First, I told me son to wipe off the dust with a dam cloth.  Then, I took out my art and craft barang (a Malay word for stuff) and let him chose the materials to dress up the box. 

  • An old shoe box of any size
  • A red colour wrapping paper (which I collected from Christmas shopping last year)
  • A paper daisy (from Grandma and she also could not remember how on earth she got it)
  • Black felt for the base
  • Stickers, stencils, colour papers or any decorative items you can find
  • Glue
Whilst I wrapped up the shoe box, my boy did the decorative parts and cuttings where necessary. We also did the paper daisy together. He was so proud of the DIY gift box and that night, he slept with it.

Cut-outs to make paper daisy

Bright yellow daisy

DIY gift box
Glue black felt on the base
Stickers around the four sides of the box

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Dinosaur playground at Fu Shan Garden, Woodlands

We visited Grandma ("Po Po") on Vesak day since it was a public holiday.  As part of Mother's day celebration (although it has already passed but never too late!), we treated her for lunch at a Ichiban Japanese restaurant in Causeway point.  After lunch, we made an impromptu trip to Fu Shan Garden at Woodlands Street 81.  I have mentioned to my mum previously that Dinosaur theme playground at Fu Shan Garden was one of the playgrounds on my wish list to visit. (Thus far, we had been to the Dragon playground at Toa Payoh and Watermelon playground at Tampines.) I was taken a back that she actually suggested to walk to Fu Shan Garden from Causeway point under such that super hot and humid afternoon.  Along the way, there were a lots of complaints from my little man.   Nevertheless, when we finally made it, my boy was elated to see dinosaurs there. 
The playground was rather muddy after the rain.  Pretty quiet and deserted as well. We seemed to enter into the prehistoric period.  If it was not because of the scorching hot sun, we would love to hang around for a longer time.  Perspiring but satisfying, we took a bus number 911 back to Bus Terminal  enroute to my mum's home.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Miffy's boyfriend, Sweet Mother's day

Bento # 335
I wanted to make Mother's day theme bento quietly without his (my boy's) knowledge.  However, my dear son enthusiastically asked me to create a bunny bento instead.  Unusual request - that was what I thought!  Because as far as I knew, he was not keen in cute bento.  I gladly obliged him and created Miffy's boyfriend made of yellow cheese/nori.  Yeah, it must be a boy not girl.  I really tempted to put a red ribbon foodpick on it instead :P  Well, I did not obviously.  In the box, he has white rice mixed with baked salmon flakes, seaweed and corn kernels.  Top with carrot flowers and Japanese cucumber leaves.  Some strawberries and blueberries to go in his lunch.

Bet everyone has a fabulous Mother's day celebration yesterday.  We did the usual casual dining at Ichiban restaurant for lunch which I ate the whole dragon roll all by myself.  I like the creamy avocado and fried tiger prawn but hardly order the dragon sushi roll since it was quite pricey (to us at  $14.90). And later that evening, we had Chinese food at Soup restaurant which we were pleasantly surprised that the day's menu only limited Mother's day set meals, nothing else.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed the dinner.

Prior to that, I made strawberry tarts since I have plenty of organic oats left in the cupboard which were due to expire next month.  And the boys were not fond of oatmeal too.  Cracking my head on what I should do with these roll oats.  I ended up with these yummy strawberry tarts. 

Receipe for tart base
125g butter
50g brown sugar
75g plain flour
140g rolled oats

For Crème Pâtissière, I followed and adapted the receipe from The Little Teochew here.

I also received a jewellery box and the cards he made in the school.  Love it all.   It was interesting how my son described what he drew on the card and just have to quickly pen down before I forgot. Quoted by my 6 years old little man:

"Mummy is the tree
with flowers and love and,
attracts butterflies, bees and stickbugs"

Jewellery box made of ice cream sticks

Balloon print design card

A Japanese red stork
Computer generated
Tux paint

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fried soba with crispy baked chicken breast, Belated birthday card

Bento # 334

I did a simple bento box with stir-fried soba with carrot/edamame paired with crispy baked chicken breast that I cut into strips.  Decorated with lots of stars omelette.  And my boy loves it that he called it 'Chicken fries' haha....The receipe for crispy baked chicken can be found here.

It has been a month since my boy's birthday.  And we finally received the super snail mail from Malaysia which our dear Christine Jie Jie has promised our little man. Beautifully hand-crafted with his favourite Ninja turtles on it.  I love the cascade design!