Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mini Madeira Cake

Mini Madeira Cake

My mini Madeira cakes are so brown because I substitute castor sugar with molasses sugar. I absolutely love the gorgeous brown color from molasses sugar in my baked goods. By the way, I substitute lemon with orange because that's what I have in the fridge. Haha!

Recipe adapted from Nigella's and fellow Bake-Along member, Karen's.

(Makes 6 in square muffin pan)

80g unsalted butter, softened
65g molasses sugar

Grated zest and juice of 1/2 an orange
1 large egg
70g self-raising flour
30g plain flour

1 tablespoon demerara sugar, for sprinkling

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 6-hole square muffin pan. 

2. Cream butter and molasses sugar, and add the orange zest.

3. Add the egg, then gently mix in the flour and, finally, the orange juice. Mix well.

4. Spoon the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for 25 minutes.

I'm linking this post to the event, Bake-Along #79: Theme - My Mother-In-Law's Madeira Cake (Nigella Lawson) organized by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen Wings, and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme, May Potluck!

Monday, May 25, 2015

4 Fun Ways to Eat Mini Crackers (featuring Organix Goodies Organic Mini Cheese & Tomato Crackers)

I'm back with more goodies for my little foodie! Hey, it rhymes! :D

My little foodie has tried Organix Goodies Organic Saucy Tomato Noughts & Crosses - these snacks are light and puffy. This time round, I'm giving him Organix Goodies Organic Mini Cheese & Tomato Crackers.

Organix Goodies Organic Mini Cheese & Tomato Crackers
12+ Months (4 x 20g)

Why do I recommend Organix Goodies Organic Mini Cheese & Tomato Crackers?

#1 - Taste

These crackers are baked with wheat & rice flours, r
eal organic cheese, and dried tomatoes. These savory mini crackers are delicious on their own, with a dip or a handy addition to a lunch box!

#2 - NO Junk Promise

Free from artificial colors
Free from artificial flavors
Baked not fried
No added salt
No hydrogenated fat
With real cheese
Suitable for vegetarians

Note: Contains gluten, wheat, lactose, milk, and may contain nuts

#3 - Ingredients are honestly labeled

Organic Wheat Flour 46%
Organic Rice Flour 18%
Organic Cheese 13%
Organic Sunflower Oil 8%
Organic Malt Extract 6%
Organic Dried Tomato Flakes 3%
Organic Unhydrogenated Palm Oil 2%
Organic Tomato Powder 2%
Organic Malted Wheat Flour 2%
Raising Agents* (Sodium Bicarbonate, Ammonium Bicarbonate) <1 span="">
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)** <1 span="">
Junk 0%

*Raising Agents (Sodium Bicarbonate, Ammonium Bicarbonate) and Thiamin have no organic certification.

**Thiamin (Vitamin B1) is an essential nutrient for growing children.

#4 - Convenient travel snacks

Packed in portion packs (
4 packs of 20g each), these tasty cheese & tomato crackers are a handy savory snack. I'm all for ease, fuss-free, and convenience when I pack my toddler's travel snacks. They have to be easy to pack and less hassle to handle when he wants to eat. So, these little grab-and-go packs of mini crackers definitely top my travel snacks list!

4 Fun Ways to Eat Organix Goodies Organic Mini Cheese & Tomato Crackers!

#1: Eat it just like that!

Of course lah! Nothing beats watching his favorite nursery rhyme while munching on snacks. Eh wait, sometimes he prefers nen-nen direct from the source (me!). Hahaha!

#2: Eat it with creamy soup & grated cheese!

Get the recipe from here. :)

The soup is creamy, the grated cheese is yummy, the elbow pasta is soft, and the mini crackers add a delightful crunch. I think I will start topping his dinner with crackers. Eureka! :P

#3: Make it into trail mix!

Simple ingredients: Organix Goodies Organic Mini Cheese & Tomato Crackers, plain bear-shaped puffs, strawberry Happypuffs, dried cranberries.

You can consider adding other snacks from Organix Goodies' savory range:

Organic Saucy Tomato Noughts Crosses
Organic Cheese & Herb Puffs
Organic Spicy Tomato Stars
Organic Carrot Stix
Organic Tomato Cheese & Herb Puffs

Left: credit; Right: credit

#4: Make it an art!

With a little bit of creativity and some patience, normal snacks can be transformed into fun art masterpieces! Toddlers eat with their eyes. They will be thrilled recognizing their favorite characters and eat them. LOL.

Where to buy Organix Goodies Organic Mini Cheese & Tomato Crackers?

You can buy it from Babydash.com.my!


Babydash.com.my was founded by two gorgeous moms, Lavi and Shan, who got tired of constantly running out for diapers and milk. They aim to make this errand as hassle-free and painless as possible by offering an easy and convenient way for other moms to get diapers and milk without having to suffer long queues at the grocers or lug bulky heavy bags around. No more running from store to store in search of the one brand our baby likes and wasting time and petrol as we do.

Why Babydash?

Babydash offers exclusive baby products directly to your doorstep! So, we busy moms can pre-order diapers, milk, baby food, and many more baby products, and have them delivered to our office or home! 

Their fast delivery service in 1-2 working days is fantastic! I have bought things several times and yes, I receive the goods within 1-2 days of delivery.

All you have to do is go to Babydash.com.my, select the items you want, follow the simple payment instructions, and within a couple of days, you'll have your goods delivered to you!

More info

Find out more info and promos on Babydash's:

LINE, WhatsApp, call +6016 676 1101

Thank you Babydash for collaborating with me for this post!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lentil-Mushroom Soup (in honor of Deb's late mom)

Lentil-Mushroom Soup

This post is dedicated to Deb, who lost her mom recently. Deb is a dear IHCC member. My deepest condolences to her family. I lost my dad in 2007, that was 8 years ago. Losing a family member is never easy, no matter how long time has passed.....

I heard from other IHCC members that Deb loves soup. So, I made a bowl of Lentil-Mushroom Soup, a recipe adapted from Nigel Slater.

Recipe adapted from here.

(Serves 2) 

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small red onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 green chili, chopped
2 cups mixed mushrooms (oyster, fresh shiitake, dried shiitake), chopped
1 cup yellow lentils, soaked overnight
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper
Worcestershire sauce
A squeeze of lemon juice


How to:

1. Heat up olive oil in a frying pan and sauté onions until soft. Add garlic cloves and green chili. Sauté until fragrant. Add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring continuously, until the mushrooms are soft and fragrant.

2. Drain the lentils and add into the pan. Add water to cover the ingredients. Add the bay leaves. Bring to a strong boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and let it all cook until the lentils are very soft, about 45 minutes.

3. Season with salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.

4. Remove the bay leaves. Pour half of the soup into a blender and pulse until creamy. Then, mix with the rest of the soup. Serve warm.

Dear Deb, have a bowl of warm soup. I add some extra toppings - cooked elbow pasta, grated Cheddar cheese, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and three mini crackers. 

Hope you're doing fine over there. Take care.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme, In Honor of Deb.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Homemade Banana & Dates Frozen Yogurt

Homemade Banana & Dates Frozen Yogurt

This is my first attempt of making frozen yogurt without using an ice-cream maker. I don't have an ice-cream scoop or melon baller either. So, I have to use two measuring set's tablespoons to scoop the froyo out and shape them into balls nicely. Hahaha!

Recipe adapted from here and here.

(Serves 4)

1 cup Greek yogurt
4 medium ripe bananas
8 pitted dates (kurma)
Homemade granola, for garnishing

How to:

1. Blend all ingredients (except homemade granola) in a blender.

2. Pour the mixture back into the Greek yogurt container and cover with its lid.

3. Freeze for 4 hours. Then, take it out and blend the mixture again until soft. Pop into the freezer again for another 2 hours. Finally, remove the container from the freezer and chill in the fridge for another 2 hours.

4. Scoop into a serving bowl and garnish with homemade granola.


This post is linked to Best Recipes for Everyone May 2015 Event (Theme: My Favorite Desserts) organized by Fion of XuanHom's Mom and co-hosted by Aunty Young of Aunty Young (安迪漾).


This post is also linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (May 2015 Event: Yogurt) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Cheryl (Baking Taitai).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

6 ways to encourage your toddler to drink more water

Launching of "Drinking Water Week"

As mothers, we do wonder whether our kids are drinking enough water. Frequently asked questions include, "How much water should my toddler drink?" "How can I get my toddler to drink more water?"

I'm glad to learn that the first-ever "Drinking Water Week" is happening in Malaysia this 18 to 22 May 2015. This meaningful event is launched by 3M Malaysia in collaboration with Julia Gabriel Center, a child enrichment center at Citta Mall, Ara Damansara.

The aim: to advocate cleaner, clearer and better tasting drinking water and better drinking water habits to improve the health & well-being of Malaysian families.

Recap of the launch

Top left: Lewis Wong, General Manager of 3M Industrial Group passing the product donation mock cheque to Wong Pau Lee, Center Director of Julia Gabriel Center and Chiltern House Preschool, at the first 3M Drinking Water Week Donation Ceremony.

Top right: Jean Lee, Advanced Application Engineer of 3M Purification showing parents the efficiency of 3M water filter through a 3M Clean-Trace Surface ATP hygiene test.

Bottom left: Indra, well-known consultant dietitian alongside Jean Lee, empowered parents on achieving cleaner, clearer and better tasting drinking water.

Bottom right: Julia Gabriel Center's teachers are advocating cleaner, clearer and better tasting drinking water through a PlayBear performance.

Indra Balaratnam, the well-known consultant dietitian.

Importance of water session with consultant dietitian, Indra Balaratnam

My favorite session was the informative engaging session conducted by invited speaker Indra Balaratnam, one of Malaysia's well-known consultant dietitians. The fun and engaging parenting skill session showed us how to encourage our children to drink more water and get more fluids in their daily diet.

She started off with an interactive session of guessing the water content of different organs in our body. Our blood has the highest water content, 92%; followed by our lungs, 90%.

Then, she continued with the seven factors that influence how many glasses of water we need to drink daily:

  • Age: Children from 1-17 years should drink 1.3-2.1 liters of water per day. Adults should drink 2.3-3.7 liters.

  • Gender: Men need an average of 13 cups a day, whereas women, an average of 9 cups a day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need to increase the amount of water to about 10-13 cups daily.

  • Height & weight: Those with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) should drink more water.

  • Exercise intensity & duration: Those who exercise a lot need to drink more water.

  • Environment: You should drink more water when the weather is hot or when you're out and about.

  • Illnesses: Sick people should drink more water to replenish water loss from their body due to illnesses.

Credit: Healthworks.my
Credit: Healthworks.my

Check your pee!

Indra commented that we can monitor the color of urine (ourselves and our kids') to see if we all are drinking enough water.

"If the color of your urine is very yellow and murky, you are not drinking enough water. It should be a very light, pale yellow. If it's dark yellow or orange, you are not drinking enough; you need to drink more water. If your urine is clear and looks just like water, it could be you are drinking too much water and you need to slow down a bit," said Indra.

6 ways to encourage your toddler to drink more water

#1 - Be a good role model yourself

In this case, the golden rule of parenting applies: Be a role model; practice what you preach. Children often copy what we are doing, so we as parents need lead by example. We drink, they drink.

#2 - Let your child have his own water jug at home

Let your child choose the water jug/bottle that he likes. Or, you can give them those with their favorite cartoon characters.

#3 - Use a reward chart

This works well with children who understand the concept of rewards. You can stick a reward chart on the wall and every time your child finishes his portion of water, give him a star and ask him to stick it on the chart.

#4 - Keep bottles of water handy and when they go out to play

Keep water bottles around the house - not just in the kitchen but also in the bedroom and the living room. Children tend to ignore thirst. But if there are bottles of water within reach, he will most likely reach for it when thirsty.

#5 - Designate your child to set out the table with water for every mealtimes

This is a good way to inculcate the habit of drinking water. Start young, be consistent, be persistent. They will eventually get the idea of drinking water on their own. Just don't give up half way.


#6 - Introduce a variety of fluids to your child

Point #6 is based on my own research and experience. There are a few sources of fluids for proper hydration: plain drinking water, clear soups, milk, yogurt, freshly squeezed fruit juices, and juicy fruits and veggies.

  • Plain drinking water: If your child doesn't fancy plain drinking water, you can try adding lemon, lime or orange slices to add natural flavor to the water.

  • Clear soups: Soups offer nourishment and most children love soups. Cook a pot of nutritious soup and your child will oblige willingly to take in his fluids.

  • Milk & yogurt: Milk is also a healthy choice, but milk intake should be limited to 16 to 24 ounces per day. Yogurt is also a very good healthy alternative.

  • Freshly squeezed fruit juices: Preferably homemade, without added sugar and without straining. As pure as possible. My 21mo toddler loves pure orange juice, juiced with a humble manual fruit juicer. :)

  • Juicy fruits and vegetables: They contain 90-99% water, e.g. watermelon, cherry tomatoes, oranges, pear, cucumber, lettuce, grapes, peaches, and strawberries.

  • Remove fizzy drinks and bottled juices from your child's meals because they contain high amount of sugar that leads to tooth decay and obesity.

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks such as coke, coffee, and tea because these drinks draw water from your child's body, causing dehydration. I believe we don't feed these to younger children, but make sure you don't introduce them to your older children as well.


Other related info from the web

The chart above shows approximately how much water kids of different ages and genders need daily for proper hydration.


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