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Simple Cooking 5

I am back with my simple dishes!

Recipe 10 Char Siew

Ingredients: Pork (I buy from the wet market and I just tell the auntie I want to buy ‘char siew meat’. I have no idea what it’s called in the supermarket. But the original recipe calls for shoulder butt or tenderloin.), 2tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp hua diao wine, few drops of sesame oil, 1/2 tsp five spice powder, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder, dash of white pepper

Method: The original recipe is from Munch Ministry. Char siew sounds like a lot of work, right? Especially with the intimidating list of ingredients above. But it’s super easy! Just marinate the pork with all the ingredients for at least 3 hours and just pop it in the oven for 30 minutes at 170 deg C, then flip it over for another 20 minutes. Voila! I usually marinate the previous night so that there is minimal work during the day. My kids love this dish!

Recipe 11 Braised Pork with Egg

Ingredients: Pork belly (3 layer pork?), cooking oil, 3 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp sugar, 1.5 cups water

Method: Cut the pork belly into half-inch strips.

Fry the pork until it is no longer pink.

Add dark soy sauce, sugar and water.

Cook till it’s boiling. Turn down the fire to low.

Prepare hardboiled eggs. Add into the stew.

Simmer for an hour.

This is yummy. I love this dish since childhood and now all three kids love it too! I have to cook extra rice whenever I serve this dish.

Recipe 12 Hardboiled Egg

Huh, don’t look down on this ok. It’s a perfectly nutritious food! And super easy to cook. So easy that I am not going to include the ingredient and method!

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HDB Mud Kitchen!

Have you heard of mud kitchens? Basically, it’s a play kitchen where the kids pretend to cook… with mud! Since it can get quite messy, mud kitchens tend to be outdoors. I have been drooling over all those lovely mud kitchens I see all over the blogosphere, but.. we don’t have a backyard : (

Then one day, I decided to just try to make one anyway! Our circumstances haven’t changed, we are still in a HDB flat more than ten stories aboveground… the only thing that has changed is my mindset!

We have had this storage box of mud at the corridor for quite some time.

We have had this storage box of mud at the corridor for quite some time, for free play.

 

TATA! Our mud kitchen!

TATA! Our mud kitchen! 2 pails, 2 baskets, an old shelf, all from our storeroom

 

Chef is busy

Chef is busy

 

The dishwasher..?

The dishwasher..?

 

Added a 'sink'

Added a ‘sink’

 

How To Do It?

Mud: I mixed gardening soil (bought from Giant Hypermart) and sand (from aquarium shop), and of course water. No fixed recipe, just go by the feel! (Yes, Mummy, put your hand in the mud!)

Setup: I didn’t spend any money on the setup. All those stuff had been collecting dust in the storeroom for ages. I thought it would be quite cool and practical to use old flower pots too, but I didn’t have any. Whatever goes!

Accessories: Most of the things I provided for the mud kitchen are old ones which I hardly use. But I am definitely going to Daiso ($2 shop) to buy some more!

Cleanup: At the end of the day, I get the boys to rinse the accessories in the ‘sink’ and keep them on the shelf underneath. I pour the water into the small drain at the side of the corridor and pour the mud residue back into the storage container. Then I give the area a quick sweep and rinse the drain with some clean water. Quick and simple!

There you go! I wonder if this is the first mud kitchen in Singapore??? Hee hee : ) It can be done even without a backyard! And if you have a backyard… are you jumping up and down and running out to build your kitchen now? Gosh, the things I will do if I live in a landed property! (Actually, it is not that difficult. We just have to move in with my in-laws who will be more than happy. But I do not want to live on the ground/lower floors with lizards and rats and cockroaches. Sorry, kids, no backyard for you even if Daddy & Mummy strike a windfall.)

Need more inspiration?

Mud Kitchen On The Balcony

Simple Mud Sensory Bin

10 Reasons Why We Should Let Children Play In The Mud

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Cooking With The Kids: Steamed Garlic Pork Ribs and Baked Mustard Salmon

Very lucky to have found two suitable recipes easily this week!

Steamed Garlic Pork Ribs

This is from one of my favourite cookbooks.

Ingredients: 400g riblets, 2 tbsp minced garlic, 1/2 tbsp potato starch

Marinade: 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp chicken seasoning powder, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp baking soda

Method

1. Chop riblets into small chunks. Rinse away the blood and drain well.

2. Add garlic and marinade to the riblets. Mix evenly and marinate for about 30 minutes. Add potato starch and mix evenly. Place in steaming plate.

3. Boil water in a steamer. Place riblets inside. Steam over high heat for about 20 minutes until cooked. Serve.

Washing the riblets

Washing the riblets

We looked at the cookbook together as we added the marinade ingredients

We looked at the cookbook together as we added the marinade ingredients. I have minced garlic on hand in the fridge, so gave them a garlic to look at & touch.

Baked Mustard Salmon

I got this recipe from another blog! Made a couple of modifications, the main one being I used honey mustard instead of djorn mustard.

Ingredients: Salmon filet, 1/4 cup butter, a lot of honey mustard (didn’t measure, just asked my boy to keep squeezing the bottle!), 1 tbsp honey, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, pinch of salt

Method

1. Mix melted butter, honey mustard and honey. Pour onto the salmon filet.

2. Mix breadcrumbs and parsley. Sprinkle on top of the filet.

3. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes (depending on how thick your filet is), at 200 deg C.

Mixing the ingredients

Mixing the ingredients

The butter wasn't melted enough, so I got him to press the poor butter with the spoon

The butter wasn’t melted enough, so I got him to press the poor butter with the spoon

Cooking rice. I think he was dying to PLAY with the whole tub of rice!

Cooking rice. I think he was dying to PLAY with the whole tub of rice!

Since I started this regular cooking with the boys, Kor Kor has been asking me almost everyday – ‘Mummy, do you need me to help you prepare lunch/dinner?’ I guess he is enjoying it very much : )

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Cooking With The Kids: Steamed Salmon and Baked Chicken Fillet – Recipes Included!

I realise it’s not easy to find recipes that are suitable for a four-year-old and a two-year-old. To eat, yes. To make, no. A few days ago, I spent two hours flipping through cookbooks for this week’s cooking session! So from now on, I shall include the recipes here when I write about our cooking sessions. Hope they will be of some help to you!

Oh, before going on, I found this at Daiso!! Today was our first time trying it out, and we had no problems cutting salmon and Chinese mushrooms. Not sure about the childsafe part though… didn’t test it on my kids’ fingers! By the way, it’s stated as for ages 8 and up. (There’s a peeler too, but I didn’t buy that.)

Childsafe knife at $2!

Childsafe knife at $2!

Steamed Salmon with Tofu and Egg

Ingredients: 300g salmon, 1 box silken tofu, 1 egg

Seasonings A: 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tbsp potato starch, 1 tsp pepper, dash of sesame oil

Seasonings B: 1 tsp fish sauce

Method

1. Cut salmon and tofu into cubes. Beat egg.

2. Combine well salmon, tofu, egg and Seasonings A in a steaming dish. Cover with cling wrap.

3. Bring water in the steamer to a boil. Steam fish and tofu mixture over high heat for about 10 minutes or until cooked. Remove.

4. Drizzle over fish sauce.

No photos of him cutting salmon cos I was guiding him

No photos of him cutting salmon cos I was guiding him

Baked Chicken Fillet with Cheese and Garlic

Ingredients A: 2 pieces skinless chicken breast meat, 2 tablespoons shredded pizza cheese

Ingredients B: 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/3 tsp salt

Ingredients C: 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp pepper, 3 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese

Method

1. Combine wel Ingredients B and Ingredients C separately.

2. Immerse chicken meat in Ingredients B for about two minutes, then coat well with Ingredients C. Transfer to a greased baking dish and cover with foil.

3. Preheat oven to 180 deg C and bake for 40-45 minutes.

4. At the last 10 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle cheese on the chicken. Continue to bake until cheese is melted.

This was supposed to be Didi's dish. But he refused to touch the chicken meat! wahahaha!

This was supposed to be Didi’s dish. But he refused to touch the chicken meat! wahahaha!

I am really enjoying these sessions with the boys. Though they aren’t doing any stove work yet, they are being exposed to the different ingredients. It is also a good sensory activity! Raw meat.. raw fish.. raw egg..!

The best part? When Meimei showed disdain toward the salmon, I told the boys ‘she didn’t like your cooking!’ Wow, I got such a kick! Haha! Usually the boys are the ones giving me ‘feedback’ about the food… Now I get a turn once a week! Yay!

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Simple Cooking 4

Not sharing recipes today… sharing the source of many of the recipes I use!

I bought a couple from this series of cookbooks, and I was hooked. Each recipe comes in both English and Chinese. I find it easier and faster to read English, but some ingredients are more commonly known by their Chinese names, especially at the wet markets.

$5.90 each, from Fairprice supermarkets

$5.90 each, from Fairprice supermarkets

Happy cooking! : )

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Cooking With The Kids 2

Guidelines for selecting the dishes for the boys to help prepare:

1) The kids should be able to do as much of the prep work as possible. I won’t be letting the boys use a real knife for now, so they can’t cut things like mushrooms (except button mushrooms). Won’t be letting them use a peeler either, so they can’t prepare ginger. So I won’t choose dishes which include such ingredients.

2) The kids will not be allowed near the stove yet. Kor Kor is four years old and should be able to handle some simple stir-frying. But since I have to keep an eye on the younger two and won’t be able to focus full attention on him for his safety, I shall not attempt any dangerous stuff. So the dishes should not require much cooking after they prepare the ingredients, perhaps just cook in the oven/airfryer or a simple stir-fry (by me).

Adding the marinade ingredients

Adding the marinade ingredients

Love Didi's expression!

Love Didi’s expression!

Giving the wings a good massage

Giving the wings a good massage

Cutting the pranws after I deshelled & deveined them

Cutting the pranws after I deshelled & deveined them

Beating the eggs after adding salt & milk

Beating the eggs after adding salt & milk

Tata!

Tata!

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Cooking With The Kids

I have decided to make cooking with the kids a regular part of our homeschooling, probably weekly. Once a week, the boys shall help in the preparation of a meal, as much as possible. Am looking forward to them cooking for the family all by themselves one day!

(Got the inspiration and recipe from mummy-bloggers at So Oddly Dreamlike and xavvy-licious. Thanks!)

Kor Kor marinating the minced pork

Kor Kor marinating the minced pork

Transferring to metal plate after cutting the tofu

Transferring to metal plate after cutting the tofu

Placing the marinated minced pork on the tofu

Placing the marinated minced pork on the tofu

Didi marinating the chicken wings

Didi marinating the chicken wings

Ta-ta!

Ta-ta!

The boys ate a lot more than usual for this meal! : )

The boys ate a lot more than usual for this meal! : )

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