Thursday, July 30, 2015

Corn flakes chicken nuggets

# 345

Lately, my son seems to miss Mummy's bento and has asked me to pack for him to bring to school on alternate days.  Out of the blue, he told me that the food sold in his school's canteen was not nice.  He preferred Mummy's bento.  I was overjoyed to hear from him :)) 

I realised I could not make a charaben (aka character bento) early in the morning unless I planned it properly the day before.  Corn flakes chicken nuggets was pretty easy to prepare.  I woke up at 5.30am and targeted to finish before 6.30am which I did!  Leaving me ample time to get the breakfast ready on the table and pulled the little one out from his bed if he still in his sweet dream. 

I minced chicken breast prior day. This morning, I marinated it with pinch of pepper, coated with Japanese mayonnaise and crushed corn flakes.  Pan-fried to golden brown.  Blanched the sugar beans at the same time.  I have a couple of muffin papers left in the pantry and hence, I used it to hold the cheese bun and chicken nuggets.  Put in the vegetables/fruits; sugar beans, Japanese cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, raspberries and a dried prune.  Plonked two cute foodpicks and then left it to cool off before covering and packing the bento box into his schoolbag.

There's quite a lot of food for his half hour recess time.  Boy is growing up and his appetite is huge nowadays.  Hope he enjoys his bento.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

My boy's favourite playtime in the airport!
 Changi Airport Terminal 3
Arrival Hall, Level 1, Public Area

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Japan trip during June 2015 holidays - Tokyo (Part 1)

I have been blogging about making bento since 2010 when my boy started his playgroup in a Preschool which does not prepare meals for the children.  Throughout the bento-ing journey, I learnt to cook Japanese dishes and meals which has also became my son's favourite.  Todate,  I have acquired quite a number of bento books/accessories/boxes mostly from Daiso - the $2 store, some from online shops and others from my hubby who travelled to Tokyo for work previously.  When my hubby popped the question of planning a family vacation in overseas during the June school holidays.  Naturally, Japan came into my mind! The birth place of bento and onigiri!  Of course,  I grabbed the opportunity to include Kyoto in our itinerary where the infamous Bento & Co located.  Kyoto is a beautiful place to visit and stay.  Less congested than Tokyo and Osaka. Beside Kyoto, our trip briefly covered Tokyo, Nara and Osaka prefectures.

5 June 2015  Haneda International Airport, Tokyo

On arrival at Haneda airport in Tokyo approximately around 4 pm, we took an airport transfer which has been paid for back in Singapore.  We just need to exchange the voucher with the bus tickets at the designated ticket and hotel reservation counter. We also bought 2 adults and 1 child suica card ((IC card  Afterwhich, we headed for the bus terminal 3 where we waited for the bus to bring us to Shinjuku Washington Hotel. 

Suica Card
Waiting for bus

It was a raining day and more than an hour bus ride with traffic jam on the way.  Unexpectedly, Shinjuku Washington Hotel does not has a bus unloading bay within the building like most hotels do.  Luckily, we brought only 2 luggages (1 large and 1 small) which Papa alone could managed it. Unprepared and armed with no umbrella, we dashed across a zebra crossing to the entrance of the hotel.  Another peculiar encounter was it took us a while to locate the hotel lobby/front desk at the 3rd level of the building.  There was a 7 Eleven store which sold variety of hot and cold meals and was very popular with locals and foreigners.  Microwaves also were provided outside the store too. Besides, most 7 Elevens have ATM machines.  (We only knew it much later when we ran out of cash.  Ironically, I took a picture of it at the airport not realising).   The buildings also housed several restaurants and eateries.  Since it was cold raining, we decided to have our dinner at a soba noodle shop where we tried our first experience of ordered and paid at the food vending machine.  Fascinating!

The night was still young after dinner.  We took a stroll around Shinjuku station which was connected to our hotel before we called it for a day.

Important to note

Food vending machine

6 June 2015 Shinjuku/Akihabara

The hotel room was small and with a low ceiling.  Nonetheless, we stayed comfortably enough for the three of us.  Except how I wish the double bed could be bigger to accommodate the three of us (my son was big for his age - 7 years).    This was the only hotel I knew using bean pillow instead of the soft fluffy ones.  Not too bad I thought.  We slept and woke up pretty late in the morning.  We had a Japanese style breakfast at the hotel.  It was a meal itself that consisted of a big bowl of rice, grilled salmon, onsen egg, fish cake, fermented bean, seaweed, pickles, vegetables, miso soup.  It was nice but we were not used to have such heavy meal in the morning. 

Japanese breakfast
To burn the calories, we explored the street level since it was a sunny day before heading to Uniqlo Shinjuku.  The discoveries of so many drink vending machines along the way got the man and boy so excited.  We spent about 10,000 yen to qualify for tax free purpose at Uniqlo.  Lugging a big bag of clothing (bad idea), we settled for a late lunch inside Shinjuku station.  It started to drizzle then.


Next stop was Akihabara, the central district that specialised in electronics.  That was where suica card came in handy at Shinjuku station. Walking around the already crowded Shinjuku station heightened our stress level.  With so many lines and exists (I read) certainly live up to its claim for the most busiest station.  Luckily, we have our navigator Papa to lead us.  I certainly would be lost there. It was at Akihabara that both father and son went hunting for Gacha Po (capsule toys) and could not stop.  The hunt began in Yodobashi electronic store.  Yodobashi was like a mega store that have everything under one roof from cameras, watches, electronics to cosmetics, toys...etc.  Surprisingly, they have quite a sizable capsule toys.  Adult and child alike, would all love to try their hands and luck for a Gacha Po.  The quest for gacha po was unbelievable so strong that we walked streets after streets for the little capsule toys. 

Dead tired and famished, we ended our day eating hot and cold food bought from 7 Eleven and it was really good!

At Yodoshiba Gacha Po section

Pokémon Gacha Po
Hot & cold food from 7 Eleven

7 June 2015 National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)/Shibuya

As usual, we had our Japanese breakfast in the hotel.  The highlight of today was a visit to National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) to check out Asimo, a Humanoid Robot.  Papa's must visit and see place!   First, we went to the Ticket Office to buy Nozomi Shinkasen, a faster train that took only 2 hours to reach Kyoto tomorrow afternoon.  We would be leaving Tokyo tomorrow and yet there was still a lot more about Tokyo we have not discovered. That would give us more reason to come back to Tokyo again!

At Miraikan, - 日本科学未来館 (translated as Hall of Future), we were blown away by Japanese technologies from the invention of humanoid robot 'Asimo' to therapeutic robot 'Paro''.  Ever thought of communicating with almost life like talking human androids! How these human androids would shape the future?  I could not imagine when that happens.  But children could first experience the lifestyle of Itookashi City, an imaginary city in 2050.  The star, of course, was none other than The Honda humanoid robot 'Asimo' which was a 10 minutes demonstration. We could easily spend the whole day at Miraikan.  Unfortunately, we had to move on to our destination.  After lunch at the museum, we left for Shibuya station.

Therapeutic robot - 'Paro'

At the Shibuya station, we stood at the subway exit watching the famous and most busiest pedestrian Shibuya crossing behind the glass panel. Gosh! All we can see was a sea of people moving slowly towards the intersection. Later, we braved the crowd and hastily walked across.  Oblivious of the people, we walked the streets, peeked into every display windows and shops for interesting finds.  And we noticed French establishments and eateries have gained a foot hold in Shibuya too. Apparently some of the best French patisseries were there too.  A pity we did not try any.

View from Shibuya Station
Shibuya crossing

Away from the jostling crowd, we somehow ended up at NHK studio but did not go in.  We felt at peace at Yoyoki Park where young and old gathered for a picnic, a game of Frisbee or kendama.  Passed  Harujuku station and quite disappointed that we did not spot any cosplay. As the dusk fell, we headed back to Shinjuku for dinner.  We had char siu ramen - cheap and good!

Harujuku station
Neon lights at Shinjuku

Since it was the last day in Tokyo, we went for more shopping at Tokyu hands Shinjuku.  Yeah, we all bought more things!

Stay tune for our one day Nara trip.........

Kokeshi Bento - Bushi (or samurai)

I bought Kokeshi Bento - Bushi (or samurai) from Bento & Co from our Kyoto trip in June 2015.  There were many types of Japanese dolls and my boy chose samurai for himself.  Today I used it for my boy's lunch at home which he had steamed ginger chicken drumstick meat, blanched broccoli/carrot, steamed purple sweet potato and furikake on the white rice.  The bowl which is the headpiece cannot hold any food except for soup that need to pack separately.

Bushi (Samurai)

Love this compact and cute bento box!   How about you?

Raising kid(s) has not been smooth ride.  Despite his tantrums and misbehaviour, it is nonetheless very fulfilling and satisfying mission (possible) when the little one whom you nurtured blessed with good character, upright, passionate and well mannered. 

Looking back, from a doe eyed boy, my boy has grown so much to a now active primary school kid.  It has never occurred to me that he could be one of the naughty one in the class until his form teacher called and feedback to me. He torn and crushed his classmate's English booklet.  When questioned, he was not able to give a reason for doing it.  He teared and gazed at us not knowing how to explain his bad behaviour.  I walked home with a heavy heart on Tuesday. Hoping to gain more insight of his inner feeling as to why he did such a mean thing to his classmate but to no avail.  There's this little rebellious trait in his blood lately that I have also found it hard to get him to do his homework automatically without me nagging or scolding.

Hope he learned from his mistake............

Friday, July 10, 2015

Bullet train

# 353
What do you think of the bullet train onigiri?  In his lunchbox, my son has baked salmon, steamed pumpkin, blanched edamame, checker apple and of course the bullet train onigiri stuffed with furikake. Yeah, I am still reminiscing about our Japan trip during the June school holiday.

We had the opportunity to take Tokaido Shinkasen bullet train line from Tokyo to Kyoto station as part of our itinerary. Papa purchased the fastest train, the Nozomi Super express 229 model N700 which was only two hours ride.  We also had some of the most pretty and delicious 'ekiben' we bought from the platform for lunch.  'Eki' is the Japanese word for train station and 'ben' is short for bento.  Kids especially boys love trains.  And so is my son!  There, he enjoyed the best of both worlds; train and his ekiben.  

Shinkasen Ekiben

Car No. 11

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Japanese potato salad

I love Japanese potato salad more than the western type of mashed potatoes.  So is my son.  How about you?  In fact he asked for second serving after finished his meal.  Besides the potato salad, he also has some baked breaded threadfin fingers, blanched broccoli and cherry.  The potato salad was decorated with space foodpicks I bought from Tokyu Hands in Japan.

  • 1 Russet potatoe
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 inch carrot thinly sliced and cut into halves/quarters
  • 1 inch Japanese cucumber and cut into halves/quarters
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Japanese mayonnaise

  • It was the second week of the school for Term 3 and I have received the tests schedule which will begin in August.  My boy was still in holiday mood.  He forgot about his homework a couple of times till I checked on him.  Need to get him more independently doing his homework and be responsible for packing his school bag and wallet without me reminding him or checking on him most of the times.

    Tuesday, July 7, 2015

    No bake oreo (yogurt) cheesecake

    My first attempt of no bake oreo (yogurt) cheesecake!  I did some research and tweaked the original receipe. 
    1. The receipe called for 7 inch cake tin.  Unfortunately, I could not find any cake ring in Phoon Huat store.  So I bought a 20 cm springform cake tin. 
    2. I used greek yogurt instead of Marigold low fat. 
    3. I reduced the gelatin from 2.5 tbsp. to 1.5 tbsp.
    4. In the blender, I blitzed the cookie biscuits into almost powder form for the base.
    5. I did not freeze the cake because my freezer was full. What I did was,  set the refrigerator to 3 degree Celsius.  When I checked the base, I made sure it was firm to touch.
    6. I left the cake overnight in the refrigerator.
    It was pretty easy from setting the base to mixing the batter and finally, popped into the refrigerator. The cake turned out well.  The cake was rather short though.  It did not wobble or collapse when I cut it.  The tricky part was to remove the cake from the tin and placed it on a cake board.  If you are novice like me, do check out a few videos prior.

    My boy, being a cheese lover, does not like the tangy smell and taste of yogurt.  However, I tried adding some honey and it actually could mask off the sour taste a little.   Honestly, I really could not taste any cream cheese.  It was light and pudding like texture.  My mum who dislikes cheesy stuff commented that the cake was nice to eat.  So if you are looking for real cheesecake, I guess this is not the type of cake you wish to make. 
    Receipe adapted and modified from Cynthia The Baking Biatch (
    250g plain greek yogurt
    250g low fat cream cheese (room temperature)
    11/2 tbsp gelatin powder
    75gcastor sugar
    40g oreo cookies crushed (excluding cream)

    200g oreo cookies (excluding cream)
    80g unsalted butter
    6 normal size oreos

    Sprinkle more oreo powder on top requested by my boy

    Thursday, July 2, 2015

    Flower Bento, Goodies from our Japan trip

    School reopened on Monday after one month of June holiday.   His first bento for a start was simply teriyaki chicken, boiled broccoli, cherry tomatoes, flower carrots and rice with cod roe/seaweek furikake.  This was my second purchase of furikake and perhaps the last as the latter was too salty to my taste.

    We had a fabulous June holiday away from Singapore.  We visited Japan; Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka for 12 days from 5 to 16 June 2015.  We were all so excited about it.  Prior to the trip, I did a little home learning about the country with my son such as the prefectures, regions, culture, temples and shrines....etc.  It was an eye opener for us to be able to experience Japanese rich cultures, their hospitality, their incredibly efficient super complicated transportation system, cleanliness of the country amidst the old buildings, their high technologies like human robots/androids and its amazing electronic bidet toilet seat!!

    In the cities, shops be it low or high rise building lined up the streets in every nook and cranny. There's always something interesting to see and buy.  And, our boy also addicted to Gacha Po, the capsule toys that he played several times till he amassed almost 20 capsules.  As for Papa, he grew up with Akira manga (comic books), guess he just could not resist when we were at a book store.  So much of our shopping spree which I have not done in my entire life.  In our family vacation abroad, we usually brought home only memories, pictures and goodies from the country.  The trip to Japan was exceptional!  Even the Papa and son also did a lot of shopping too without complaint.  Mummy, of course, took the opportunity to make a trip to Bento & Co in Kyoto, the infamous store among bento lovers.  Needless to say, I bought more bento boxes from them too.

    People - they were everywhere !  At the most busiest  Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, train stations, subways, shopping malls..etc.  We could literally feel how densely populous in the cities. 

    I hope to visit Japan again to explore other prefectures and places.

    Bento boxes from Bento & Co
    Space foodpick and sushi mat from Tokyu Hands

    Goodies from Kyoto and Kansai International Airport

    Pokémon Gacha Po (Capsule Toys)

    Kaikukan (Osaka Aquarium)  Gacha Po