Friday, August 29, 2014

Gyoza, sunset


We love Japanese food so much so that I learned how to cook it at home referencing Nami's receipe at Just One Cookbookook book and Makiko Itoh at The Just Bento Cookbook and Just Hungry.  Japanese Gyoza dumplings are one of our favourite that I always made a large batch and freeze it.  It was bento friendly too.  Receipe is easy peasy lemon squeezy.  Except preparation can be quite time consuming since I have to fold the dumpling skins.  But it's worth making because it's really yummy.  The lunchbox simply contains pan-fried gyoza, blanched shanghai green, a cheery tomato and some black grapes.
We used to be able see sunrise from our window because of the open spacious field we faced in front of our apartment.  However, the spacious land had been planned for housing development by the government. After enjoying many years of gorgeous sunrise in the morning, the view now was blocked by high rise HDB ("Housing Development Board") apartments. I really miss it! 
Lately, I just swopped my boy's soccer training session from Saturday mornings to Thursday evening.  With the encouragement from my son, I started a healthy regime for myself by brisk walking round the artificial turf whilst my son was playing.  As the sun sets in the evening, I spotted beautiful orange and pink hues across the sky.  I wonder whether the students who stays in the dormitory bother to notice it.  The pictures was taken at the same venue but look how different was the skyline! 

Cool and Calm
Sunset taken on 21 Aug 2014 at UWCSEA East

Sunset taken on 21 Aug 2014 at UWCSEA East

Sunset taken on 28 Aug 2014 at UWCSEA East

Sunset taken on 28 Aug 2014 at UWCSEA East

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tamgo and crabstick sushi, Tiong Bahru (Train) Playground

Sushi has always been a convenient food and easy to pack in a bento box.   What stands out in the box above was the bright red cara cara orange apart from his usual tamago and crabstick sushi and edamame.  Love the colours!!
Two weeks ago on a Sunday evening, whilst our Papa was busy with his home improvement project, we decided to visit the train playground nestled at Tiong Bahru Park.  It was a last minute thing since my boy was getting quite restless and boredom began to consume him. I brought along our doggie, Nitro too.  I drove there unfamiliar with the directions and as a matter of fact, almost lost on the way.  But luckily, we spotted the train playground from a distance and managed to park right next to the park.
It was a nice playground (though quite run down) with many kids playing around amidst a group of scantily dressed foreigners' 'happy hour' with a stench of alcohol in the air.  Now I know why there were so much rubbish to clear the next day and I have been advised to avoid Mondays too. 
Unfortunately, my boy was not impressed nor interested in exploring the tilted 'train' but rather engrossed in playing sands with his new found friends and flying fox.  Nevertheless, he enjoyed the playtime and wanted to come back again. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mango yogurt popsicles

I love making popsicles especially mango flavour! Our family's favourite!!  It's really easy and I did it with just three ingredients:-
  • Fresh mango
  • Honey
  • Vanila flavour yogurt
Even Papa also requested to reserve one for him ;)   Most recipes calls for greek yogurt and drops of vanilla essence.  But I substituted with vanilla flavour yogurt (Yoplait brand) instead.  Blend the mango puree with honey.  Then layer it in the popsicles mould.  My boy was grinning cheek to cheek. 

Recently, I have decided to swop his football lesson from Saturday morning to Thursday evening.  And I notice there was a huge difference of energy level and enthusiasm. Our dear little friend told mommy that it was too hot in the morning and he did not enjoy it most of the time.  Indeed, I must confess that a lot of times we have to pull him out of the bed and coax him to go for the soccer lesson in the morning.  With the change, my son is happier and eager to go without me nagging.  The only thing I did not like was the training finished pretty late at night 8.00pm.  By the time we reached home to shower and have dinner, it always past his normal bedtime.  Nonetheless, it was a good change.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Very Berry Overnight Oats

I have been trying a variety of methods to prepare oatmeal hoping that my son would fall in love with it.  (Both my hubby and my son are not fond of oats either). Not very successful except that he would eat it when he was ill.  And he associated it as a sick person's comfort food.  Since Papa is away for my mother in-law 49 days prayer, I decided to try something new!  Overnight Oats or similar to Bircher Museli - a name I just learned from a friend in Switzerland.  At the same time, I got a helper (my boy) to prepare the breakfast yesterday evening.
We had some new food on the plate this time i.e. Black Berries and also Chia Seeds.  Although Chia Seeds is a power food that packed with Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acid, dietary fibre, protein, antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, we ought to be mindful of the side effects it might have.  Nevertheless, the drawbacks are harmless and manageable.  For instances increased gas (flatulence) and to a person who is allergy to mustard seeds or on medication also best avoid chia seeds,  If giving to a kid, I gathered from this site that not more than 1 to 2 teaspoons for a start.
The receipe I adopted calls for 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds and considered a serving for an adult consumption. 
When I brought it out from the refrigerator this morning, it was gluey and gel like texture.  I would add more milk and perhaps to sweeten it with more fruits next time.  I scooped out a small portion for my son aged 6 years old and I finished the rest.  Indeed a healthier and nutritious breakfast!!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Egg mayo pocket sandwich

Bento #337

I made a simple egg mayo pocket sandwich for his lunch box on Monday.  I like to add a bit of honey mustard sauce for more flavour into the egg mayo mixture as well as some organic baby spinach for some fibre.  On top of which, the box also contains some cashew nuts, green kiwi and raw carrot flower.  A really light lunch and egg is his favourite food. 

My mother-in-law passed away peacefully on 29 Jun 2014 at the age of 91 years old, less than a week after we made a trip down as part of our holiday since the school was out. As a result, we flew back to Malaysia again to attend the wake/funeral.   My son knew that grandma would never wake up again to chat with him and I was touched that he mentioned he missed her so much on the way to crematorium.  During the period, he was cheerful playing with a boy next door named Guan Shen whom kept him company throughout the period.  According to my husband, the family member saw a moth appeared when my father in-law passed away. A belief that 'they' have returned to visit you in another a form.   Whereas as for my mother in-law, she was a dragonfly instead.  Coincidentally, my son has a few sightings in the bedroom (in Malaysia) and as we were about to took off from the airport runway.  Even at my husband's third brother house, there was a day we saw numerous swarms of dragonflies flying outside the main gate, a phenomenon, which was never happened before.  Back Singapore, I also began to notice a dragonfly sometimes hovering at the soccer field which seemingly (if I may say her spirit) watching over my son playing football.  Was it his beloved grandma; my mother in-law?

Another incident has also trigger the thought that her spirit was around us.  Lately, I have been utterly stressful after we learned that balloting was required at our choice of school during the Primary One registration here.  My hubby went down to the school personally to witness the balloting.  Anxiously awaiting the result at home since my boy was not awoke early that morning.  To our joy, my son was allocated the number 6 and was lucky to be drawn - not the last few but the second in line!  I was so relief and happy to receive my hubby's message.  I chose to believe that it was a blessing from my mother in-law spirit.  And of course, I was glad that primary one registration was over for us and we could sleep well in peace at night now.

Changi boardwalk

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Almost a Tic Tac Toe

Bento # 336

It has been a while since I last made a bento box. And today I did not know what should I prepare for my son's lunch (you know there were times we, as a home maker, just could not figure out what to put on the dining table).  I was contemplating between sushi or rice ball and my dear son chose to have rice ball. So I put together all the ingredients available into a bento box and almost did a Tic Tac Toe theme but without the the 'X' and 'O'.  My boy has rice balls wrapped with seaweed/topped with pork floss, tamagoyaki, stir-fried chicken breast with soya/mirin, boil green peas/carrot strips and green kiwi.  However he commented that the rice balls did not taste like 'Japanese' food.  Indeed, it was just plain rice flavoured with pork floss.  I shall try some furikake seasoning next time.

July - a month that was truly eventful and unforgettable due to the loss of our grandma (aka Ah Ma)who has passed away (less than a week after we visited her during the June school holiday) and the Primary one registration for in-take 2015 (details refer to MOE website). In Singapore, majority of the parents, wherever possible, would have planned to become a parent volunteer or even become a member of affiliated association or part of resident committee, two years ahead of the registration just to have greater chance of enrolling their kids into their choice of primary school (especially popular or elite schools).  Well, we did nothing of that sort (basically I lacked support/backing from Papa).  And now, we were faced with a situation that balloting is required for Singapore citizen who resides within 1km away from the school as the number of children registered exceeded the vacancy available in the school of our choice in phase 2C.  It has been stressful for the past few days.  I have been calling and even popping by the school to check the statistics.  Balloting is fixed on 6 August 2014.  I wish for luck and the best outcome for us.