Friday, September 8, 2017

Toddler Meal: Pasta with Cheese Sauce and Steamed Salmon



So I'm a mum now which officially means two things:
> I've aged about 20 years
> I spend more time taking care of two little human beings than I do myself

After my kids went on a porridge strike at about 13 months, I started feeding them table food (ie food you and I eat like pasta, rice etc.).

However it's not all easy and I simply can't say " well they eat what we eat" which will actually be a big fat lie. I mean I prepare burgers, spicy noodles and wraps sometimes for our dinners - are they gonna eat this? The burgers are as big as their tiny faces!

However I've more or less found some meals which I can prepare for them and which thankfully they like. Many of these recipes I've sourced online maybe with some minor tweaks. Many mums look to Annabel Karmel and swear by her recipes. I don't. So I looked elsewhere....like everywhere else on the net.

I feed them alot of pasta and rice. My usual pasta sauces are a beef bolognaise, tomato based vegetable sauce (with three highly nutritous veggies in it) and a cheese sauce.

I make all my pasta sauces ahead of time and freeze them. I use small plastic containers.

Cheese Sauce. I actually got this recipe from the littlelock.com.au however the site is down for maintenance. Here is the recipe.

Cheese Sauce Recipe for Toddlers
What you need:
1 1/2 cups fresh milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
50g butter
2 tablespoons flour

What to do:
Step 1
Heat the milk first in a saucepan till hot (does not need to be boiling). Pour into jug and set aside.

Step 2
Place butter in saucepan on small flame and stir. Once melted whisk in the flour and mix till smooth. Add in milk bit by bit and keep whisking (make sure no lumps).

Step 3
Lower heat and add in cheese and mix till sauce becomes thick and smooth.

Tips:
Once you put in the small block of butter in the saucepan keep moving it around till melted. It can melt pretty fast and burn especially if the flame is high so watch the flame.

Let the grated cheese come to room temperature before adding in the mix so it will melt and mix well (as oppose from straight out of the fridge).

So then what do I do?
I portion out the sauce and freeze. I usually defrost the night before in the fridge so next day it's not frozen. Then I take out before place in bowl and just heat in microwave for about 20-30 seconds. Make sure you mix it well once out of the microwave.

I usually mix in the pasta and some steamed flaked salmon right before serving. You can also fry the small piece of salmon or chicken breast and add in.

Other uses for cheese sauce:
Pour onto mashed potatoes or mashed vegetables.

Kids are calling. What else is new...




Saturday, January 3, 2015

Yummy Marble Chocolate Cupcakes



Wow here we are in 2015 already!

It’s amazing how time flies and you realise how grateful you are for all that you have.
Last year, was pretty amazing for me as I took some time off in between jobs to attend as many baking and cooking classes around the Klang Valley. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time and I am SO glad I put my mind to it and did it. 

I learnt amazing dishes from the Masak-Masak classes organised by Ben's Independent Grocer in Publika, I learnt how to make puff pastry (from scratch!) and pineapple jam tarts from Mama Min, I learnt authentic Italian cooking from iCook Italian gastronomia, and the list goes on. Some of the recipes I learnt are ultimate crowd pleasers and will share them in time to come.

My first post of 2015 will please all cupcake lovers. Nothing fancy. Super simple just like the motto of this blog. I came across this recipe from one of my favourite bloggers and thought I’d try it out.

Chocolate Marble Cupcakes (Original Post by Nasi Lemak Lover)
Makes: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
150g soft margarine (I used salted butter)
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
200g self-raising flour (sifted)
2tbsp milk
Note: Though the recipe didn’t call for it, I added a drop of vanilla essence into the batter.
55g semisweet chocolate, melted (I used chocolate chips, you may also use cocoa powder)

What to do
Pre-step: I melted my chocolate chips using a double boiler. You can also pop it in the microwave.

Step 1
Beat together butter and sugar until well mixed (I used a hand-held mixer). Add eggs in one by one and mix well.  Add in sifted flour and mix.
Step 2
Divide the batter between 2 bowls. Add in all the melted chocolate into one of the bowls and mix well.
Step 3
Fill each cupcake liner ¾ full alternating with each batter.
Step 4
Bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for 25 mins. Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool.


Tips:
  • I used a tablespoon of batter from each bowl and fill up the 12 muffin liners. If there is any extra I distribute them evenly among the 12 muffins.
  • Each oven is different. I found my cupcakes a tad dry. So in future, I will lower the temp for my oven to 170C and bake for 20 mins. You should know your type of oven and adjust accordingly.

 Overall, this cupcake was a hit. It also looked very pretty and is perfect if you want to skip the hassle of icing them etc. Just present it as it is and it will go in a jiffy!



 Wishing you a blessed 2015!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Spicy Pork Prime Ribs




The next time you are craving a porky dish AND you want to pick up some fresh pork meat for cooking head on over to Sanbanto over in SS2 Petaling Jaya.  Known for its clean, healthy pork meat, I recently made Spicy Pork Ribs using prime pork ribs from the butchery in Sanbanto.

As soon as you walk into the cafe cum butchery you will see their fresh meat counter selling safe and high quality pork meat. In the SS2 branch, lies their cold butcher room where they maintain their fresh pork.




I have in the past year been cooking various recipes using pork ribs. I have found that the texture of the ribs from Sanbanto to be extremely tender. Also I noticed that when I pre-boiled the ribs prior to marinating, there wasn't much scum (the white stuff which floats to the top surface of the water) as compared to when boiling ribs purchased elsewhere.




I was extremely happy with how the ribs below turned out. After some marinating and about 2 hours in the oven, they were absolutely delicious and will definitely be making them again. I also have some pork loin from the Sanbanto butchery which I plan to use in my next recipe!



This recipe was adapted from here. However I have tweaked it according to my preference.

What you need:
125ml honey (I omitted the honey)
80ml tomato sauce
60ml soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chilli powder (adjust according to your spice level)
1 pack Sanbanto 400g prime ribs

Additional: Some Heinz bottled barbecue sauce to brush on ribs

What to do:
Step 1
Bring a pot of water with some sliced ginger added to boil. Add in pork ribs and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Take off heat, strain and rinse ribs.


Step 2
Place ribs in bowl. Add in tomato sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, olive oil and chilli powder. Mix ribs with marinade well. Cover in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 6 hours or overnight to develop the flavours.

Step 3
Preheat oven to 160C. Line a baking dish with foil and brush wire rack with oil to lightly grease. Remove the ribs from marinade and arrange in a single layer on the wire rack. Cover the baking tray in foil.




Step 4
Bake ribs in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove baking tray and foil. Turn ribs over and brush some barbecue sauce on each rib. Place back foil and put back in oven.  Bake for another hour removing foil at last 30 mins.

These ribs are slightly sticky but there isn't much 'sauce' on it - if that's your thing.


So what is so enticing about Sanbanto Premium Pork?
This is what I found out:
Their farms have been previously awarded the Best Farm in Malaysia. 
Their farms have also been certified for Good Farm Practices Scheme since 2008
The pigs are fed grains and probiotics
No drug residue and beta-agonist free

There is just something about the quality of meat which comes thru in the cooking. I would definitely vouch for Sanbanto.

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