Baking made easy with Bakestarters Kits

Bakestarters

We unwrapped our box from Bakestarters with much excitement this week, since all of us are big pineapple tart fans. Since I had some time before our projected baking day (Friday), I was thinking of ways to make our tarts look dog-like, in keeping with the Year of the Dog theme. Then I remembered an old milo-doggies cookies recipe I had tried a few years back, and it was perfect!

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After the flour has settled…

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Gorgeous flower art done by David above; mosaic flower and leaves decor done by the boys and I hanging below.

Boy, what a week it has been! Cleaning the house from top to toe, decluttering the storeroom in a major way, changing new notes and stuffing our stash of red packets for loved ones and friends, and of course, baking up a storm in the kitchen. (I also had my first formal drum lesson, ran 3.2km for the first time in years, and intercepted many fights over Lego… Yes, it’s been a hectic few days!)

I’m really pleased that, for the second year running, we didn’t buy any CNY goodies for ourselves – everything is homemade with much love. 🙂 During the early years of marriage, we racked up pretty hefty bills shopping for CNY goodies for ourselves and our loved ones, and often bemoaned the fact that all we had to show for it in the end were rounder tummies and emptier wallets.

Over the years, I began experimenting with baking my own treats, using recipes which had good reviews online. Last year was the first year that we managed to do everything ourselves, so I knew we could do it again this year. This time around, I tried a couple new recipes, with pretty satisfactory results!

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It’s a wrap!

In our family, we try to eat home as much as we can during the week. I like being able to (somewhat) track with what we’re putting into our tummies, and it’s slightly easier on the pocket as well. To keep the boys interested in their food, which is pretty-much an epic task on a general basis, I’m always on the lookout for new and quick recipe ideas to try.

We normally all eat the same thing, to avoid any comparisons of “How come you have that and I have this?”, but occasionally I crave for something unusual like tom yam, curry or instant noodles (or a combination of the above) which the boys can’t eat. I’ve learnt that, as long as I prepare something that they like for that meal, they’ll be more than happy to let Mummy enjoy her “spicy adult stuff”! 😉

So, this week, I got to satisfy my cravings for a little spice with the new Mission Curry Wraps!

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Eating healthier

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I wanted to say “eating healthy”, but in all honesty, our diet ain’t quite there yet. For example, granola isn’t THAT very healthy when you consider how much oil goes into the mix! Haha… that said, it’s definitely heaps healthier than your average biscuits, chips or chocolate! Plus making it ourselves at home means we decide on the quality of ingredients that go into the mix, and don’t add any preservatives or chemicals.

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For the love of CNY goodies…

One of my favourite things about Chinese New Year is the opportunity to FEAST on all manner of traditional bakes, and our boys definitely look forward to a houseful of yummies whenever CNY comes around. For the past few years, I’ve attempted a few recipes here and there, but this year, I put in more time to research and suss out tried-and-tested good recipes for our bakes. I’m very pleased that all our bakes this year turned out pretty awesome (haha, if I may say so myself!) and thought I’d share them all in one post, so you can get crackin’ if you want to give it a shot, still in time for CNY!

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Achievement unlocked!

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I love the smell of freshly baked bread. Still, it took me 4 years of marriage before I ventured to attempt my first loaf, when David was less than a year old. But the dough never rose after many hours, and I stubbornly put it into the oven to bake, only to be rewarded with a rock. Failure #1, and I threw it into the bin and wept from frustration.

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For the love of ramen

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Ask David to pick what he wants to eat for lunch or dinner, and his answer is always the same – “I want to eat Japanese noodles!” Hurrah, hurrah, because the rest of us in the family all love our ramen, udon and soba too! However I have never attempted to cook ramen in soup before – yaki udon is about the only Japanese noodle I have successfully attempted! So we jumped at the opportunity to learn more about Hakata ramen and try our hand at making gyoza from scratch at a cooking workshop over the weekend!

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Ryouri shimashou!

Weekends are a great opportunity for us to spend time as a family, both at home and outdoors. Last weekend, we visited the dazzling Mystica, and this weekend, we’ll be staying home to work on a a special piece of art as a family. Next weekend, we are looking forward to a new kind of experience! David and I will be attending a ramen and gyoza workshop organised by Spoonful, an exciting new cooking events company which seeks to highlight the value of food and encourage us to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the food that we consume.

“Creating awareness one spoonful at a time.”

Let’s get cooking!  料理しましょう! Read more

Hear him roar, David is FOUR!


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The little boy and us had a rip-roarin’ week of celebrations, and the hubs and I are All. Wiped. Out. But we honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Seeing his eyes light up, witnessing the joy on his face, hearing all the Wows and Yays bursting from his lips… our hearts are so, so full and happy. Happy birthday to our Davidosaurus!

I thought I’d share some peeks from our celebrations for the little guy, as well as some tips I picked up for parents who are celebrating their kids’ birthdays in school for the first time.

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Chicken & Floss Skewers… and a Giveaway!

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Do you use ready-made sauces in your cooking? We do! In fact, these ready-made sauces are my go-tos for whipping up a quick and easy meals on days when I’m exhausted or rushed for time. They are definitely a time-saver and godsend to me on days when I have just 15 minutes to get a meal onto the table!

So when Lee Kum Kee announced the launch of its brand-new teriyaki marinade and asked if I would be keen to review, I was definitely keen to try! After all, Lee Kum Kee sauces have always featured widely in my kitchen, since the day I got married until now.

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