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Showing posts from November, 2013

Figuring out fibre

{Sponsored Link}Many of you know that I have a fussy eater in the house. One of my biggest everyday challenges is trying to get my toddler to eat more fruits and vegetables. I have resorted to all kinds of tricks to get more fibre into his tummy. Dieticians recommend that toddlers age 1-3 years should get 19 grams of fibre each day and children 4-8 years should get 25 grams of fibre a day to keep all those icky conditions like constipation, obesity and diabetes at bay. Twenty five grams is a lot to consume. But I’ve discovered a few clever ways to sneak in those extra fruits, vegetables and fibre-packed foods into my everyday cooking...French toast with sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are among the world’s top healthiest foods. This vegetable is rich in dietary fibre, anti-oxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of vitamin C to ward off cold and flu viruses, vitamin D for healthy bone development and iron for red and white blood cell production.I always ke…

Another fairy comes to live with us

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand
pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.
And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy.
So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl”

(J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan)Is there anything in the world that sounds more magical than a baby’s first gurgly gummy laugh?If this fairy resembled the little baby’s laugh that brought her into being, I imagine she would be light and sparkly and love dancing and bouncing on teeny tiny twinkly toes.Some things that get a chuckle out of little Grace...Being held up to bounce up and down on her little feet Big brother blowing raspberry kisses on her tummy Getting butterfly kisses under her chin and neck Playing “This little piggy” with mummy on her teeny toesies Being tickled at just the right spot on her chubby belly (only daddy knows where) Mummy singing “chicken drumsticks and charsiu bao” while pumping her chunky drums…

Totally doable rendang from scratch

I always enjoy indulging in a good home-cooked rendang curry every now and then. However I’ve always relied on pre-packed sauces to skip all the pounding and grinding of spices from scratch.But I’ve recently discovered this rendang recipe (courtesy of Jamie Oliver) which turned out to be surprisingly easy and tastes amazing! It’s totally doable. I’ve already cooked it three times last month. It can be whipped up in less than an hour and turns out wonderfully every single time.Good things must always be shared. So here is the recipe...Ingredients
1 large brown onion (peeled)
6-8 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 inch piece of ginger
2-3 chillies (depending on how spicy you like it)
A generous handful of coriander (approx 30 grams)
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 can of coconut milk (approx 375-400ml)
700-800 grams beef or chicken (cut into chunks)Throw all the ingredients (except coconut milk and beef/chicken) into a food processor and blend…

Embarking on something crazy

I’m presently in the midst of embarking on a mega huge project. I think a lot of people will think I’m crazy to want to do this. Even the hubby thought so at first, actually I think he still does but he’s going to support me anyway.So here goes (deep breath)...I have decided to start my own Family Day Care!For those of you who may not be familiar with this, a family day care is a small scale day care run in the carer’s own home.It’s going to be exciting journey. There are some training courses I’ll need to undergo and adjustments to make around our house. My blogging and sewing may suffer a little during this time. However I’m planning to journal about this project and the process I’ll be going through to set up our day care here.I plan to share about the application process, what I’ll be learning from the training courses, my home set up, craft and activity ideas and other related bits and pieces on this journey.So stay tuned for more updates in this department.
Looks like I’ll be see…

Simple homemade cheese paratha

One of the best recent discoveries I’ve made is homemade parathas. They are surprisingly easy to make and are always a big hit with my in-house ‘customers’. It’s a nice change from the usual rice and pasta, and is the perfect accompaniment to jazz up a simple curry.It’s a big favourite with Nathan, and I’ve found it to be one of the most effective ways to entice his somewhat fussy palate. Everything seems to taste nicer with a side of paratha.Here is the recipe:1 1/2 cups of plain or wholemeal flour (plus extra for dusting)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water (approx 150 ml)
1/2 cup grated cheddar/tasty cheese (for the filling)Mix and knead the flour, salt and water together until it forms a dough. Pinch off and roll the dough into equal sized portions about the size of your palm.Form a little hollow in the centre of each ball. Fill with grated cheese, then pinch the edges together to seal it up.Sprinkle some flour over and roll out the cheese-filled dough balls into flat round discs. Take c…

Movie night in the park

Summer is upon us! And I’m absolutely loving it. It’s so good to get outdoors and play in the sunshine and bright sunny weather.I don’t really mind the warmer weather. However the big downside for me is that the kids have been waking up earlier than usual due to the early sunrise. But that is after all the lure of summer... longer days for longer play time.So last weekend we decided to head outdoors for a family movie night in the park by taking advantage of the free outdoor cinema at the Northbridge Piazza.We packed a picnic dinner (courtesy of Maccas), picked a spot on the green lawn and settled into the complimentary bean bags provided. They were playing one of Nathan’s favourites: Monsters Inc.So there we all were, sitting out in the sunshine, munching on burgers, nuggets and fries, sipping on icy cold carbonated drinks, with a giant LED screen playing a favourite flick – can it get any better than this?Grace wasn’t really into the movie, but she enjoyed herself anyway just sittin…

I made this

Just a plug to something new I made recently...Behold, The Ultimate Bib!An all-in-one pocket bib + drool bib + burp cloth + pacifier holder + toy leashThese kids come in handy for testing and modelling stuff. I pay them with cookies and milk. And the hubby too... it’s important to check that my stuff is daddy-friendly as well.Further details available at Serenely Made and my Etsy Store.Have a great weekend, folks!

Unwell

This week, Nathan caught a really bad case of tonsillitis. He has been unusually quiet and listless and not at all like his usual bumptious and bouncy self. I kept him home from day care today. He didn’t do much all day except sleep and have little sips of water in between. Poor thing.During the few quiet moments between naps when he was awake, he was happy just to hang out quietly with his little sister, while I snapped photos of them to amuse us all.Here are some snapshots of Nathan’s sick day at home…ListlessAsking baby sis for a little patMilk timeKeeping big brother companyManage to coax a little smile out of him with baby’s gigglesMy sleep has suffered a lot more these couple of days. But I know my poor boy must be suffering a lot more. He can barely even swallow his own saliva without wincing. But he is being such a little trooper trying his best to be as cheerful and good-humoured as he can even though he must be feeling awful.This is the first time in I can’t remember how lon…

Hello, my name is Munchie the Owl

Question of the day: How do you become the best mum ever?Answer: Make a Bento lunch!I have recently discovered this ingenious way to overcome some of the challenges with persuading my fussy eater to finish his meals.So far I’ve kept it fairly simple by arranging small portions of various foods on his plate. I think it looks much les overwhelming than seeing a big mound of food piled up in a bowl.I don’t do it for every single meal, but I try to at least once or twice a week to provide some variety and interest in the menu.One day on a whim, I decided to arrange his simple lunch sandwich into a shape of an owl.Body: tuna sandwiches, cut into small triangles Eyes: rice crackers with vegemite Beak: cheese slice, cut into a triangle Wings and feet: apple pieces I christened my creation, Munchie the Owl. He was very well received by his little audience. He didn’t live long as his sole purpose of existence was to be gobbled up by a hungry boy. So here ends the tale of Munchie the Owl.Thank you …

3 places to visit with your family at the Gold Coast

{Sponsored Post} I remember my very first visit to the Gold Coast. I was 13 years old. My family were there on a big holiday touring the east coast of Australia. We had been to Sydney and Melbourne earlier in the week and finally came the big highlight for us kids: the golden beaches, curling blue waves and of course the thrilling theme parks of the Gold Coast.Image SourceI have never forgotten that holiday and I definitely would love to go back again – especially now that I have my own kids, and experience all that fun and excitement again through the eyes of my children. Here are three places I would love to check out with the family at the Gold Coast... Currumbin Bird Sanctuary
A local tourism staple, just beyond the quiet hospitality of Kirra Beach, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is nestled in an emerald expanse of protected forest land, hosting various native fauna species. I think Nathan would totally enjoy cuddling a koala, getting up close among kangaroos and watching the variou…

Knee Deep Wines, Margaret River

Okay, I think you regular readers should know by now that my blog is definitely not a foodie-restaurant-review type blog. I don't think I have ever written a restaurant review post before. So I'm definitely making history with this post because I cannot stop thinking and raving about this place. A work associate of hubby's had highly recommended this restaurant and winery, Knee Deep Wines in Dunsborough. So during a family trip down to Margaret River a few weeks ago, we decided to pop in to check it out. Mistake number one: Do NOT just 'pop by' this place on whim. The restaurant is a very small with limited seating. They open only for lunch and are often fully booked out. Fortunately we were able to secure a spare opening the next day just before we were due to head home to Perth.So the following afternoon, we made our way back to find out for ourselves what the fuss was all about. Bottom line: It far exceeded my expectations. I can confidently say, you will not…

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