Sunday, August 31, 2008

Scents & Touch

It's been a while since we went to the Botanic Gardens so I decided to bring Kimi there this morning to run, sweat and have fun. Keke!

Although it was just maybe 2 months back that we were there, he changed a bit .... What do I mean? Well, before, he used to run and bash about but now he will stop and 'smell the roses'. Of course he still ran and still bash about, but, he was so much more keen today to learn about the things we past by. I'm so happy!
We were feeding the swans when we were 'attacked' by this bunch of pigeons! Everytime Kimi threw bread, he would say, 'Throw'. So cute!
Kimi waving bye to the pigeons

Kimi in his new rain boots. I changed him into this so that his shoes won't get wet as he often wants to step into the lake when feeding the swans. Cool hor? I wanna get a pair for me-self too! Keke!
In full view of the boots
Kimi back in his trackies. Nowadays, he does wierd actions and movements ....
like the above - leg lifts and kungfu kicks!
Stepping on the fallen flowers and feeling it and ...
of course, must touch also cos feeling with legs just not enough
Kimi pointing out the Ixora when I asked him! I have been showing him Ixora for the longest time everyday when he went for our walks. But he was never quite keen to response. Today, he promptly pointed them out. Maybe a change of environment makes him more keen or those we pass everyday looks too bleah...
He also learnt very quickly what a nangka/cempedek (Jackfruit) was and could point out to me. It was also the ripening season so the air was lightly laced with the fragrance of Jackfruit. Heavenly!
At Children's Garden - looking longingly and not wanting to go home... aww..
After snacks and drinks, I asked Kimi to try to put the rubber band through the snack box. That occupied him for a while as he tried figuring out while I quickly wolf down a hotdog. In the end, he couldn't do it. It's ok, we'll play this another time and am sure he can do it!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Steam Eggy Egg Tofu with Fish Floss

This was made the same day when I made the BB Fish Fingers for Kimi, cos I had some leftover egg that was too small to make an omelette.

After cutting up the tofu did I realised I had ran out of Chinese Sausage which I had wanted to use to steam with the tofu. So I substituted with mushrooms and a sprinkling of Fish Floss instead. I placed it on top of the rice (in the rice cooker) so that when the rice is cooked, so is the dish. Quite yummy and easy & fast to cook!

Ingredients
  • 1 tube of egg tofu
  • 2-3 ears of mushroom soaked and sliced
  • 1 Egg lightly beaten
  • Fish floss (or pork floss)
  • Seasame oil
  • 4 tbsp water
Method
  1. Drizzle some seasame oil in a steaming plate.
  2. Cut the tofu in thick slices and lay it on the plate.
  3. Pour the beaten egg on top of the tofu.
  4. Spread mushroom slices on top of tofu and place in rice cooker or steamer.
  5. Steam for 8-10mins or till egg is cooked.
  6. Remove and sprinkle fish floss.
  7. Serve hot. ENJOY!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Teacher's Day Part 2 ( Craft Card)

I decided to let Kimi complete his Teacher's Day card for his PG (Playgroup) teachers after he wakes in the morning as we had a busy day yesterday.

So far, he is doing well. But think I may need to get those glue that are liquid kind instead of the present stick kind. Feel the liquid kind is easier for his stubby little fingers, keke!

I still remember when I was small, I used to have those that were in a pot and I needed to 'paint' them. Haven't see those around in a while.

After Kimi's nap, we did another Teacher's Day card for his favourite teacher at SM. I assembled most of the embellishments and Kimi helped me to stick it on. I got the idea for the card from here: http://www.craftcards.info/handmade/displayimage-1-14.html

I just liked the freshness of the card. I hand cut all the flowers and leaves and used nail stickers for the tiny daisies. Looks complicated but actually it is very easy, just layer, layer, layer.

And, Kimi said 'flower', repeating after me when I was telling him about the card. He did say 'flower' a few months back but refused to say anymore. I wonder why he can be such a 'one-time-word-wonder'. Anyone have the same experience with your kids before?
Up bright & early and all ready for craft! Kimi applying glue on the 'wings' of the ladybug
Sticking on butterflies stickers to decorate the card
Kimi flashing his half-finished card
The completed card for Teacher Mohana
The 2nd completed card for Teacher Stella
Kimi starting work on Teacher Claudia's card. Busy lil' hands!
Putting on the finishing touch
My shy lil' helper showing his card for Teacher Claudia
The completed project 1
The completed project 2

Green & Red Carrot Soup

Hb has been working quite a bit and I have not been having more than 4.5 hours of sleep straight each night so need something to bring our 'fires' down.

This is a soup that is very common among Cantonese. It is believed to remove 'toxins' that we have consumed and accumulated through using gas to cook. Not sure if it is true but it is indeed comforting to have this when you are tired and listless. Even Kimi enjoys this naturally 'sweet' soup.

I am hoping earnerstly that Kimi will enjoy drinking soup as much as us. Since I seldom use the gas-stove now, I am re-finding my joy in making soup via the slow-cooker. Maybe my standards/demands have shifted down a little these days!

I've tried Thermal Pots but it just can't make it. Maybe I need to shift my demands/expectations down even further? But thermal pots help to save the electricity - 1 BIG motivation!

Soup Efficacy
  • Removes harmful toxins
  • Clears heatiness and 'fire' from lack of sleep, late nights and even smoking
  • Great for nourishing the lungs
Ingredients
  • 1 green carrot
  • 2 red carrots
  • 350g pork ribs
  • 450g large pork bones
  • 4-5 pcs of honey dates (mi-zao)
  • 3 tbsp of sweet almonds (nan-xing)
  • 1 tbsp of bitter almonds (bei-xing)
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 1.5 litres of water (for boiling the soup)
Method
  1. Blanch all the meat in boiling water. Remove and run in thru tap water. Set aside.
  2. In another pot, bring the water to boil on high fire.
  3. Add in ginger, dates and almonds. Once water is boiling and bubbling, add in the pork and carrots.
  4. Let it boil on high for 20 mins and transfer to slow cooker base. Or continue on very low heat, covered. Ensure that the fire is small enough to ensure small surface bubbling.
  5. If using slow cooker, transfer and switch on high and let it boil for a further 3.5 hours. Use same amount of time for the gas stove boiling.
  6. Once the soup is ready, you can sprinkle some salt. I do not add anymore as it is tasty enough.
  7. Serve hot. ENJOY!!
Tips
  • Most 1.5l water soup requires at least 600g meat (1 kati) but I normally like to up the meat to 700-800g so that the soup has more body and is more tasty.
  • You do not have to follow the exact measurement as above for the meats. You can just use 600g pork ribs. But I use the large pork bones as it is more flavourful.
  • Most times I buy the meat from the supermarket and it is usually pre-packed. So I just take 2 packs and make sure both pack adds up to at least 600g.
  • I would recommed you use Indonesian pork as it has a less 'porky' smell as compared to the Australian ones.
  • Pls ensure that the almonds are used in ratio of 70:30 as using the wrong almond proportion will bring about a bitter soup. So, pls label your almonds carefully.
  • If you do not have honey dates or almonds, you can just use red dates (de-seeded).
  • These almonds are good to have at home as it helps to nourish/moisten lungs, clear phelgm and reduce cough. Sometimes I will use these to make porridge for Kimi too.

BB Fish Fingers

Real Cod Fish Fingers (not exactly finger strips shaped, keke!) with carrot lightly chopped

A personal favourite from Bird's Eye when I was growing up. But I am not ready to give Kimi those at the moment so I made my own to reward my little helper who had been doing quite a bit the last 2 days.

Glad he enjoyed it. You can eat this with rice, porridge, potatoes, couscous or whatever carbo you want to give your baby.

I used fresh breadcrumbs (place a slice into the processor) cos I do not have any soda crackers. You can use any kind of breadcrumbs or cracker/biscuit crumbs or even plain Cheerio crumbs. In fact the cracker crumbs are very fragrant.

I shallow fry these but if you wish, you can bake it with a little oil drizzled on top in a 180 degrees celsius oven till golden brown.

Ingredients
  • 50g cod fillet deskinned/deboned and cut in strips & marinated with kelp and pepper
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 slice of white bread processed into breadcrumbs
  • Dash of kelp & pepper
  • Oil
Method
  1. Heat a little oil in a pan.
  2. Place the marinated fillet in the egg mixture and then liberally coat with the breadcrumbs, shaking off excess.
  3. Panfry till golden, turning carefully.
  4. Remove from pan and let it stand in some kitchen towels to absorb excess oil
  5. Serve warm. ENJOY!!
Tips
  • You can use threadfin or any other kinds of fish fillets but cod gives a nice, creamy texture and that is what Bird's Eye was supposed to be using too!
  • If you do not have kelp, you can use basil or any other kind of herbs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Teacher's Day Part 1 (Baking Muffins)

This Friday the playschool will be celebrating Teacher's Day and thereafter to break for a week of holidays. Since Kimi do not attend PG on Fridays, we decided to bake some muffins for a small gift for his PG teachers and give it to them tomorrow.

So, this afternoon, we did baking as part of learning - stirring, picking up raisins, banana slices and adding them to the muffins. Luckily hb was around to help me hold on to Kimi etc as not that easy cos Kimi needs to stand on the dining chairs. I was so afraid he would slip and fall.

My cam can't seem to be able to take fast shots so pls pardon the badly taken pix. I would definitely do this again with Kimi. Maybe, we can do drop cookies or cut-out cookies next time! He did help me scoop some of the batter into the cups. No mean feat for a 19month old! I'm so proud of his enthusiam! Good job Kimi!

Oh ya, by the way, I had a very pleasant and encouraging surprise today. When Kimi saw me laying out the flashcards, he quickly went over to push his high chair to the dining table! I usually put Kimi in his high chair during our sessions.

I really don't know how to describe how I feel when I saw him trying to push the chair over. Really mixed emotions - elated cos he was happy to do the session, touched cos he showed he was getting more helpful and understanding - trying to chip in to help me when he saw I had my hands full, bittersweet cos he is growing up and a fast one at that! Sometimes, little actions like these can bring a tear to my eyes. Hmm, getting quite emotional these days!

After adding the flour, let's add the sugar...
Stir in the milk ...
Mix lightly and quickly so that all the ingredients are combined
Hb helping to hold Kimi while I snapped away. Kimi enjoying the feeling of the batter
Kimi helping to sprinkle more raisins and banana slices on top of the batter
Muffins just out from the oven
Ready to be packed and to go!

Soya Sauce Chicken


This is a very easy and fuss-free, no fail dish to do. But it does require quite a bit of arm muscle - indeed a very good work out for arms, haha!

However, it's worth every effort cos the chicken is so yummy and juicy! Do try it for a nice chicken meal in 30mins!

Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken (approx 1.1 - 1.3 kg)
  • 1/2 bottle of Lee Kum Kee Marinade
  • 1/2 amount of water to the marinade (1 part marinade, 1/2 part water)
  • 4-5 slices of ginger
Method
  1. Pour the chicken marinade and water into a large saucepan or wok with the fire on low.
  2. Add the ginger slices and place chicken into the pot breast up.
  3. Use a soup ladle and scoop the sauce over the chicken continuously for 10mins each side.
  4. Cover the chicken and let it simmer for 5mins each side.
  5. Remove. Let it cool slightly before slicing to serve.
  6. Take some sauce and add some cornflour & sugar and let it bring to a boil. Adjust to your taste. Use this sauce as a dipping sauce. (optional).
  7. Or you can just use the sauce directly as a dipping sauce.
Tips
  • Be careful when turning the chicken as it is rather tender. Use a frying spatula to support and turn.
  • You can save the sauce in the fridge and use it 1 more time for another chicken or use it to stew chicken parts another time.
  • If the chicken is very big, do the sauce pouring for 12-15 mins each side or let it simmer a little longer each side. Mostly the more difficult part to be cooked are the thighs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Long & Short of Vegetables & Shapes

I had a horrendous migraine today, one that had not been so bad in a while. It started when Kimi woke me at 4.35 this morning. Yes, he woke early today. It was like you can feel the pain before waking. And when I woke, I knew it was going to be a bad headache, one that would not go away with 2 normal panadol.

Although I kept telling Kimi to go back to sleep, he didn't. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and went to grab 2 extra strong panadol at 6.20am. Eventually, Kimi went back to sleep at 7.05am. I was at that point very nauseous and giddy. So went out and made a sandwich. Rested till 7.30am, still not better. Decided, I can't waste more time as I had loads to do and can't be behind schedule.

By 9am, the pain was still there. I gulp down another panadol despite not having reached the 4 hour interval - I didn't care! It was terrible and I need to get on with my morning. Long story short, the pain subsided only now as I am typing this post at 10.30pm.

I thought I could not do anything with Kimi again but I knew I had to as we had quite a lazy day yesterday and Kimi is always raring to go after his nap. Since, the pain was not as bad as before lunch, we did accomplish quite a bit.

Today our theme was to learn about vegetables, its shapes and what is long/short. It came about cos I had a leftover corn and a empty kitchen roll. We had lots of fun today!

After our song & dance when Kimi woke, I sat him down to do this puzzle which is so cute and so cheap! I bought it from Daiso at only S$2. He can easily sort all the rounds but can sometimes get quite impatient with the clothes.
Kimi, so happy when he can put in most of the shapes especially the clothes!
Then we did painting with the corn, stamping with a section of the corn first ....
followed by more stamping ...
and rolling ...
Then, it all got so dirty. Even with paint all over his face, Kimi still continued with stamping
Remember the sponge Dinosaurs from the magic capsules? We recycled them today with sponge stamping.
Stamp, stamp, stamp!
My little artist holding up his artwork. He is well hidden behind.. notice his cute lil' fingers?
Then we had pretend play where Kimi helped me to 'cook' some vegetable soup. Frankly, I think the real thing relates better cos after playing with the real sweet corn, Kimi could easily pick out the toy corn when I asked him. The rest needed a little more time.
Chef at work, stirring our yummy, hearty vegetable soup! As well as learning about round and long shapes from asparagus to red pepper.
This is such a clever idea! Cut a straw into different lengths and let your toddler string/thread them! I got this idea from Jayne. How creative and so simple and fast to do too! Maybe the shoelace I used was too boring in colour so instead of threading the cut-up straw parts ...
Kimi threw them into the empty kitchen roll. Oh, well... next time? But hey, he still learnt about spatial and the comparison of sizes. Exploration is important! It's ok if your kid don't like it this time, try in another month and it may just be his/her favourite game. Happens to Kimi all the time!
When Kimi was done with that, I made the tube into an elephant trunk cos today he learnt the letter 'E' in school and coloured his favourite animal, the Elephant. So, I became mama-elephant and Kimi, baby elephant and we took turns to don the trunk and walk on fours. It was FUN! Kimi also learnt that a baby elephant was called a calf. Not sure if it registered but I just imput & input.
This 'trunk' is very simple to do - just punch 2 holes on opposite side of the roll and thread with rubber bands. Kimi calls elephant, 'fern'.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lazy Penguins

Not the penguins but me ... today. Not sure it's the nice, cool weather or what but I was soooo tired today. I badly needed a nap. I normally don't nap unless I'm sick or like today, just tired. During days like these, you can be sure that I have lots to do and a hubby that is out of town.

And to boot, Kimi slept only 1+ hours. So how? I opened a new toy for him - the climbing penguin and told him to please let mummy take a quick nap and he to play with the toy on his own.

Kimi was good and 'entertained' himself for a good 30mins but everytime I fall asleep, he will rush over to 'wake' me with a loud squeal. However, those few power naps were good enough to get me through till the rest of the day.

I felt so guilty for being so lazy today but well, at least we did our flash cards! *wink*



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