Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mee hoon kueh recipe

Finally some time to jot in our favourite mee hoon kueh recipe.  Almost a weekly appearance in our home dinner menu. It's quite some work to preparing and cooking it, but everyone loves it. Little Js too! It's a recipe I learnt from an Aunt who came to see us.

Mee Hoon Kueh Recipe (Serves 4 to 5)

300 gm plain flour
2 tbsp tapioca flour 
1/2 tsp salt (I omitted)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
3 tbsp cooking oil
120ml water

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You may portion into smaller lumps and set aside
100g ikan billis
100g soya bean
2 litres water
drizzles of shallot oil
Salt to taste 
(For richer taste, you may use ikan billis stock granules) 

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Ikan billis and soya beans
200g  minced pork (Marinate with soya sauce, salt and sesame oil)
About 15 prawns
Bunch of Chye sim

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You may add or replace with other choices
Fried Shallots
Fried ikan billis (no head) 
(I fry shallots and crisp ikan billis in the microwave. Save some shallot oil for the soup)

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I think these are a must!

Steps for dough
1. Mix plain flour, tapioca flour, salt, egg and oil. While kneading, add in water. Continue kneading till smooth. I used a dough mixer to ease my arms. 
2. Keep in covered container or cling wrapped. Set aside for at least an hour before cooking.

Steps for soup
1. Boil ikan billis and soya bean for about 45 minutes. Add salt to taste. 
2. You may use stock granules for richer taste. So then, watch the salt. 

Cooking for individual portions:
1. In a small pot, ladle in some soup for boil.
2. Pull and tear the dough into small thin pieces, and drop into the pot. Stir occasionally to ensure they don't stick.
3. Add in prawns and pork. Cook till meat is ready and dough floats.
4. Put in chye sim. Cook a little more and it's ready!
5. Serve hot with garnishing and chilli. Chilli padi with lime and soya sauce is simply good.

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Pulling and tearing into small pieces looking like these
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Just so yummy!

And a friend asked me to try the kids' version. We did it this way, and they loved it! At least they worked for food.

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Swimming mickeys and minnies

Have fun playing and exploring with this soupy dough! 

Prawing and Fishing!

We recently brought ourselves to the patience and perseverance tests - prawning and longkang (drain in Malay) fishing. It's been a long long while since Jazz last did fishing. Read our previous fishing and farm mart experience here

It was an evening after dinner at East coast when I sounded prawning to the kids. It got them really excited and I knew we had to make it happen. We swung over to East Coast Prawning, rented a rod and went baiting for our catch. We talked a little about being patience for a catch and the tugging signs of a target on hook. It wasn't too long before we caught our first victim.

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Awaiting patiently
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Staying hopeful

We did an hour of prawning, which was a good duration for us. The one rod was fairly transferred among hands with no fuss. We caught about 6 prawns at the end. We tried to BBQ them on site, but the burning charcoal was extremely weak. We couldn't afford a forever waiting time, and the kids were really tired from a long day out. We agreed to leave the prawns for someone else, and left.

I spotted longkang fishing there too, and thought of returning another day until I found another venue to fish, Fish @ Big Splash. It looked more appealing, and I wouldn't have to survive with a mobile toilet over at the other. There were many eateries nearby.

So, we did fishing another day.

Oh man! It wasn't easy. You know how teeny weeny the net was?!!! The kids tried really hard, but somehow not reaping any reward. The fish were very well trained, they swam or rather, magically disappear even before the net touches water. Swift is the key word to net fishing skill. So then, I thought if I give them a fish, I will feed them for a day, if I teach them to fish, they will be fed for life. I taught what I could, even though I had no experience of a fisherwoman. But they caught none!

My little fisherman and woman

Somehow, skills can't be mastered over a minute or two. Looking at their disappointment and decreasing excitement meter, I decided to ditch my slippers to join them in the pond. I knew it was for ages 2 to 12, but we weren't ready to go home empty tank. I combined both their nets and set like a trap for the fish. Catching became almost easy. I fished almost every few minutes and lucky times, two in my net. Js were excited over my every catch, it got them busy sending the tank to me. Seeing some movements in their tank got them delighted again.

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Our dinner!

Maximum number of fish allowed to be caught was 18. Every fish beyond 18 was at $0.50 each. Nah, I didn't wana pay. Ended our catch at 16 after about 45 minutes before heading for some toast. 

Longkang fish don't survive too long. We counted 4 dead right after our dinner. Our worried Jazz pleaded to send the living ones to my Gramps' tank for adoption. Which we zoomingly did so. 

It's clear which activity yields higher success for those little hands. Prawning feels easier to me, but it's slow moving because you sit and wait. It's really moulding patience in here. Longkang fishing keeps them constantly busy, but success rate could be zero for very young kids. And we're talking about perseverance here. Though not easy even with a persistent attitude. Nonetheless, have fun with either or both choices!

Did you know: I'm not confused with my plural and singular here. We use 'fish 'generally for many fish of the same species, and 'fishes' for different or more than one species of fish.

1020 East Coast Parkway, #01-06,
Singapore 449878
Tel: 6227 3330

Longkang fishing:
30 minutes - $10
60 minutes - $18
(Rates include container) 
1 hour - $18 per rod
2 hours -$28 per rod
3 hours - $33 per rod

902 East Coast Parkway, #01-30, Block H, Big Splash,
Singapore 449874
Tel: (65) 83386530, (65) 90080201

Longkang fishing:
1 hour - $12
2 hours - $18 
(Price include of 1 net, which they don't allow sharing)
($3 for tank, re-usable for next trip)
1 hour - $18 per rod
2 hours -$28 per rod
3 hours - $33 per rod

Both operates 24 hours.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Snacks for the go!

What would be your choices of power food to bring along as snacks for our little ones? We have some favourite snacks making frequent appearances in our to go list. Whenever I'm out with the kids, some of my friends would laugh off at the contents in my bag. A mother of 2 toddlers who are diaperless and off milk bottles should be travelling light. Okay, that's just me having some unusual weight over the shoulders. 

I've Activities for the go and adding to the weight, snacks for the go!

1. Easy fruits

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Apples, Bluberries, Grapes and Straberries

Apples, berries and grapes are some of Js favourite fruits. They are convenient and don't have to be sliced for bring out. An easy wash and slight trim off the strawberries, they're all ready to fit into a cooler container or ziplock for go. We know fresh fruits are one of the best stuff we can offer our little ones. It's power packed with vitamin C!

If you are concern about that shiny wax coating that apple skin, organic apples might be a better choice. It's more promising that organic growers don't coat their apples with wax. I'll buy organic apples for to-go snacks, where they would crunch that apple together with its high fibre skin.


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Oh so yummy tomatoes!

I know cherry tomatoes are fruits, but I'm just gonna park it here because I use it more often as a vegetable than a fruit. Like how some people would debate over its breed. Jare has this interesting affair with cherry tomatoes, he loves eating them! These cute little orangey fruit doesn't seem to entice Jazz though. And yes, it's another vitamins rich snack. You go, boy!

It's also said the compounds in tomatoes might offer protection against skin damage caused by ultraviolet light. So yes, I share their snacks too.

Another easy to bring out vegetable would be baby carrots. Js love it. I'll usually buy the smallest pack of baby carrots in the store. It's fresh for eating within 30 days of opening. Carrots contain beta-carotene, a substance that our body converts to vitamin A, an important nutrient for eye health and vision. But we don't need a bunny-like appetite for those good eyes. Remember to spread the carrot days out so we don't risk turning our children into the colour orange.

3. Dried fruits

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Dried apricots

Some fruits can yield its best nutrients by the process of drying. Such examples are apricots and prunes. Although the drying process degrades their content of water-soluble and heat-sensitive vitamins, other nutrients become more concentrated. They are excellent sources of fibre, Iron, calcium, anitoxidants and potassium. I've read somewhere that potassium helps prevent the forming of moles on our skin. Not sure if that's a fact or myth though. Dried apricots and prunes are really easy for bring out, and they could easily survive the heat and foot steps of our long day out. So are the next few favourites.

4. Nuts

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Nutty affair

I like to pack a mix of almonds, cashews and peanuts for bring out. Js have varying taste preferences. They both loves peanuts. Jazz loves almonds and Jare loves cashew. That explains our mix of nutty affair.

Nuts are powerful brain food. Perfect companions for our schooling and learning little ones. These tiny little nuts contain a lot of goodness and essential nutrients. Albeit high in fats and calories, I don't think it's a bugging concern in kids, who are usually high in metabolism. Almonds are also high in calcium, which makes it a good option for those little growing bones. And of course, eat nuts as they are. Not fried, not sugar coated, not chocolate coated or fancifully coated. We love it nakedly baked.

5. Small packed snacks

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Sachets to go!

When I'm in a very rushed mode, it's always a saviour to have pouched snacks in our pantry. And here's what we were recently introduced to, Kiwigarden dried apple slices and yoghurt drops. It's highly attractive to parents because there is no sugar added. Yeap, No.Sugar.Added. I am usually attracted to kids' snacks that states no preservatives, no artificial colouring or flavouring, no sugar or low in sugar. Being packed in small convenient pouches usually increase my chances of buying it. So yes, I love individually packed small pouches.

I did a quick read into the yoghurt drops' ingredients. Found it to be containing lesser ingredients than some other brands of similar products. One of my philosophy in selecting food off the shelf is to study its ingredients carefully (That's what Motherhood did to me). Comparing similar choices here and there, my final choice would be the one that has less ingredients added during its process to the end product. Less is truly more.

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Ingredients for dried apple and yoghurt drops

The kind people from foodpath sent us these healthy kiwigarden snacks, and we fell in love with them instantly. They have also included some Mother Earth's snacks for the purpose of our feedback, which are a little towards the sweetened side. It's some alternatives if you're looking into more tummy filled snacks for delayed meals or even to substitute a meal. The man grabs a granola bar for go on his rushed mornings.

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Some samples from Mother Earth's range

Mother Earth snacks are sold through supermarkets like Cold storage, Jasons, Market Place and Fairprice finest. Kiwigarden products are not available in supermarkets yet, but you may get them online at foodpath .

It's not too long that I can hover over everything Js eat. If I'm still able, while I still can, I'll introduce and offer the better alternatives to them. I look forward to every opportunity in being kind to their teeth and body. Most times, the trick is to avoid leaving 'undesirable' food before their eyes. Replace them with the healthy favourites that they can reach freely.

There are plenty of chances to indulge in those sugary sweety moments. Think parties, grandies, uncles and aunties who love bribing pampering them this way. After all, there's always that childhood and desires in them. Just don't get caught, oops!

What would be your child's favourite healthy snacks? Let me know by leaving a comment. Would be happy to hear from you.

While I was planning to draft this post, I asked if foodpath would like to spread the goodness and wellness of healthy food to a lucky reader of Mum's calling. And Yes! They are giving a hamper of good and nutritious snacks worth $80. I am just so excited to be sharing this good news with everyone.

It's looking something like this:

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Photo credit: food path

Definitely a nutritious pack for win! To take part, simply enter the following steps in the rafflecopter widget below. Do ensure you've completed at least steps 1 to 3 in rafflecopter to qualify. Step 4 gives you additional winning chances. Good luck!
1. Like Mum's calling on facebook
2. Like Foodpath on facebook
3. Like and share this post with the following comment, "Win a nutritious hamper worth $80!"
4. Follow us on instagram @mumscalling (Optional, but nice)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and Conditions:
  • This giveaway ends on 26th Oct 14, 11.59pm 
  • Open to Singapore residents only 
  • Winner will be contacted using the contact particulars provided when entering this draw
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. 
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified. 
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  • To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (eg. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win." 

Disclosure: We were given some snack samples for the purpose of reviewing. All opinions and pictures, unless credited are solely ours. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Paint Brushes on strike

Our paint brushes decided to go on a strike. Js worked with the really basic resource, their tiny hands! They went free flow painting, and kept asking for more papers.

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Painting with hands
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Finger painting

Then Jazz asked to paint with her feet. Of course, the quick Motherly instinct in me said, "No!" Then I retreated a little and thought, why not? No harm, no cost and no penalty for using those feet. I gave the go, and they went stamping happily.

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"How has you feet grown?!!"
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He used both feet!

I realized, it really wasn't too difficult to agree on feet painting. As little as they still are, I could easily carry them into the bathroom for a wash. How nice to take steps back and take thoughts slow in considering their desires. While the little and petite things last.

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Their creations!

Looking at their creations, these hands and feet have grown so much. I always struggle emotionally when I put away an old pair of shoes they no longer fit. Treasuring the now, I had better do more hand in hand walks before they decide to go that independent path.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Dining by the Ocean

After our exploration in the aquarium, we knew we had to try dining at the Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, developed by renowned celebrity chef and the first female Iron Chef in Singapore. We didn't make prior reservation, so we sat in for a very delayed lunch. It was very much worth the wait. Well compensated by its food. 

We had its set lunch ($60++) which came with an appetizer, 2 small portions of mains and a dessert. Non of them failed us. It serves seafood on its menu, which kinda made us feel sorry for eating them in an aquarium. But knowing that they serve only sustainable seafood, it sets us free from guilt. 

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The mains

I highly recommend the Pan Seared Glacier 51 Toothfish and braised beef short ribs.  Top left and bottom left of collage. The kids shared a platter fish and chips ($22) from the kids' menu. Good portion for 2 toddlers.

The food serving pace was kinda slow, but good time for diners to appreciate the aquarium view. Js spent much time viewing marine life prior meal, they got a little restless while waiting for food to be served. Minimum spending per adult is $38+ in the restaurant. Easily attained if you plan to do set meal. The place was beautifully embellished with swim creatures in the huge aquarium just next to you. This magnificent view of the open ocean habitat was a truly unique experience for all of us. If you call in for reservations, you could probably request for a table next to the aquarium. If not, all table views are great. There are mirrors on the opposite side of the aquarium, so diners sitting with their back facing the ocean creatures can view them through reflection. 

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Aquarium view
You may enter the restaurant without being a paid visitor in the S.E.A aquarium. Admission to Ocean Restaurant is via RWS's West Zone Carpark, B1M. Diners can park near Equarius Hotel. 

Operating hours:
Lunch 11:30am to 3:30pm
Dinner 5:00pm to 5:30pm
Location: S.E.A aquarium, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa gateway

It's really nice to be catching up with my non-sponsored posts. So many things, so little time.