Spiral purple carrot mantou

20140630_193613Before steaming

Following the successful attempt of spiral pandan mantou, today I attempted spiral purple carrot mantou – because I know for sure the colour differences will come out!

 

~Plain dough

(A) Starter dough
100ml lukewarm water
2 tsp yeast
1 tbsp molasses sugar
130g pau flour

(B) Main dough
250g pau flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp salt

50ml fresh milk
100ml water
2 tsp baking powder
~Purple carrot flavour dough

(A) Starter dough
50g purple carrot, steam & puree
2 tsp yeast
1 tbsp molasses sugar
130g pau flour

(B) Main dough

250g pau flour
1 tbsp castor sugar
½ tsp salt
50ml fresh milk

50ml water

50 g purple carrot, steam and puree
2 tsp baking powder
Methods:

~Starter Dough for both plain and purple carrot dough
Mix all ingredients till form dough. Keep aside for 10 minutes.

 

~Mantou dough (for both plain and purple carrot dough)

1. Mix all ingredients plus “starter dough” till form dough. Knead for 10-15 minutes (I used breadmaker so, it saved some of my energy)

 

2. Cover both dough and rest for at least 1 hour.

 20140630_203008After steaming

~Rolling to spiral purple carrot mantou

1.Transfer the dough to working surface. Slightly knead to remove air bubbles.

 

2. Divide plain and purple carrot dough into 200g each and shape into balls.

 

3.Roll the balls into rectangle shape.

 

4. Brush the plain dough surface with some water and stack the purple carrot dough on top (whichever side you want – depending on which colour you want on top).

 

5. Gently roll into swiss roll shape. Leave to rest for 10 minutes or more.

 

6. With a sharp knife cut the rolls into few portions.

 

7. Place the mantou on a baking sheet (I used cookie sheet) and rest them about 15 minutes.

 

8. Under high heat, steam for 10 minutes (cover the steamer lid with a cloth).

 

9. Once the steaming time is over, off the heat. Leave the mantou inside the steamer for 1 minute before opening the lid.

 

**The longer your proofing time, the fluffier it is. The earlier batch I made for little 17chipmunks before we went swimming, was less fluffy. Those that I rolled and left there before steaming, became fluffier.

 

I steamed everything and those remaining I am putting them into freezer, as I am giving away to my mum who will be coming over to visit us.

 

How long will it last in fridge/ freezer? >> Best to consume as soon as possible

10462569_10203135070770471_1289991841940023490_nWhen we were in hurry to steam it before letting it proof longer

Tips in baking a simple butter cake….coming from the beginner

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I am not a pro here…..yet. But, I am still trying. My mission is to bake and decorate a cake for my little girl’s second birthday (hopefully). Therefore, I start with a simple and basic butter cake. This is my second try after getting some feedback from mummies, especially mummy Winnie Wong and watching youtubes as per advised.

 

Well, I tried finding back the post I made in Healthy Food for My Baby facebook page but failed. So, I will jot down whatever I remember here:

  1. On my first try, I halved all the ingredients and reduced sugar so that I would not cause wastage and also too sweet. WRONG! Always try with the original recipe amount.
  2. I was rushing time and then simply mix all the ingredients without following the right steps. WRONG! Following the steps are required to bake successfully. >> So, watch youtube to know the steps correctly.
  3. I always thought egg is “egg” and what’s the problem of mixing both together at once – since it will be mixed up anyway! WRONG! When it comes to baking cake, it is important to separate egg yolk and egg white. And it really requires skill to separate them! (I broke all the egg yolks during my second trial, but I separated them into individual bowls so that I can add in one egg yolk by one.)
  4. After mixing the butter and sugar in the blender (using cake function), I re-used without washing the blender cups to mix the egg whites. WRONG! It is important to ensure that the egg whites are mixed in a clean container.
  5. I mix in all the flour at one go and then flour into the egg yolk, sugar and butter mixture. WRONG. Add in the sift flour in stages. The key is don’t overmix the flour.
  6. Get the better butter to make your cake, as it will give you a better result. I have not tried this yet, as currently I am still using the normal unsalted butter to test out – as you know, butter price is expensive.
  7. Knock the pan with the batter before baking.

More tips >> Here

 

Homemade wholemeal noodle in cabonara sauce

 

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Finally, I managed to make cabonara sauce!

Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
1 can of button mushroom, diced
150g minced pork marinated with 1/2 orange juice & dash of pepper
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp Philadephia cream cheese
1 bowl of chicken/vegetables stock (I used remainder apple beetroot soup)
2 tbsp oats
Olive oil

Methods:
1. Stir fry onions in olive oil until fragrant.
2. Add in marinated pork and stir fry until almost cooked.
3. Add in button mushrooms, cheese and pepper. Stir fry for 2 minutes and off fire.
4. In another pot, heat up stock.
5. Add in the stir fried pork and mushrooms & oats.
6. Let it simmer about 10 minutes.

Homemade wholemeal noodle – please refer to my earlier post >> Here

Overall, my girl likes the sauce but doesn’t really like the wholemeal noodle – most probably because it is rough in texture.

 

Homemade wholemeal noodle in apple beetroot soup topped with yam & shiitake mushroom omelette

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Ingredients for homemade wholemeal noodle
200g wholemeal flour
100g all purpose flour
50g corn flour
50ml fresh milk
50ml water
1 tbsp olive oil

Mix everything and knead. Leave it aside before rolling into noodles (or you can pinch it).

*fresh milk can be replaced by water

The noodle is kind of rough in its texture.

Soup recipe: <here>

Yam and shiitake mushroom omelette:
3 slices yam, chopped
1 shiitake mushroom, chopped
1 big onion, chopped
Olive oil
Egg
Cheddar cheese
Dash of pepper

Drink after lunch: Watermelon + strawberry + grape smoothie

Keeping mummies safe in the nursing room in Jaya Shopping Centre

Today we were at Jaya Shopping Centre’s Kidz Art N’ Fun Zone to celebrate our girl’s 18th month – RM20 per kid on weekend, unlimited playtime (RM15 per kid on weekdays). As it was still new, there was basically no one, or we were early.

10425189_10203128464685323_3971494901281696874_nIn the midst of playing, little 17chipmunks wanted to nurse and so we went to the baby room, just next to this playland. While I am personally impressed with the room, an untoward incident happened and I decided to write to its management.

This is a message I wrote at Jaya Shopping Centre facebook page:

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To the management of Jaya Shopping Centre,

Good job on providing a very nice baby cum nursing room at level 2. I am really impressed as it really mimic the feel I had in my recent trip to a breastfeeding friendly country – Taipei, Taiwan.

However, I would like to express my disappointment on an untoward incident when we were in the nursing room. For no apparent reason, your security guard (yes, a man) opened the curtain when I was in the midst of nursing my little girl. While his action may be wanting to ensure that the nursing room is not being abused, I think it would be more appropriate if the checks are done by lady cleaners, instead of a man guard. In addition, there isn’t a hook in the nursing room to ensure that the curtains are closed when mummies occupied the rooms. We hope that you will look into this matter. Thank you.

17chipmunks has fed her baby with solid for a year now!

Untitled-1 copyOur little angel from July 2013 to June 2014 on her solid food!

 

I am happy that I have breastfed our girl for 18 months now! But, I am more excited that I have provided our girl with healthy home prepared/cooked food for 1 year now (we actually started her with solid few days after turning 6 months).

 

When I was expecting, we were just concern about “breastfeeding”, never a thought about feeding solid until her first few months – after doing some research. In fact, during our girl’s first month, I heard from a person with no motherhood experience saying how her sister in law being fussy about her children’s food. She even asked if I will be similar to her sister in law in the future. I didn’t answer, I remembered. LOL! I think I turned out to be one now! I never thought it would be “home cooked/prepared” food – as no one actually taught or told me about it (but I blame no one as we were doing things in stages). The most I heard was giving anchovies for calcium (which I never ever give – after doing some research on its preservatives level). And the simplest suggestion was commercial cereal – which we often see in advertisements.

 

I am glad that I took up the initiatives to do research and read up on feeding solid. I gave myself less than 6 months, as that was the only time left for me. LOL! It is a journey full of ups and some downs (the latter, thanks mostly to the old fashioned thinking people – seriously, do we need so much opinion?). I am glad that I have persisted. In this one year, I learnt so much about food – from fresh, preparation, cooking to baking. I also became familiar with some ingredients that never come across my mind before – for example, grains – millet and buckwheat; vegetables – zucchini, molasses sugar, the different kinds of flour – etc. I read and research so much, and there’s also when I found Healthy Food for My Baby facebook page. I remembered having a list of vegetables that she has tried and hasn’t – which I did during lunch time. In these few months, I thought to myself, I should have become a nutritionist.

 

We started her off with single puree. Though it is best to start new food during day time, the only time I had was in the evening (during that time I was working). I wanted to witness how my girl was taking in new stuff – so, I never let the nanny try on new food with her. So, I will rush home from work (leaving at 5.30pm sharp), prepare something and then pick her up (sometimes when it got too jam, I had to pick her up from nanny before preparing – and if you wonder, my nanny is just next block to where I stay). Generally, she is alright to most vegetables and fruit purees – she was only allergic to brinjal that time (I told that to a paed, the paed said – “that is not a very nice vegetable to eat after all!”).

 

During 6-8 months, I packed a warm-up fruit or vegetable puree (that has been tested on our girl before) to the nanny in a thermos, and asked her to feed my girl during daytime. I usually prepared during the weekend and freeze it; only heating up in the morning before I go to work. Well, I believe whatever freezing, defrozing and heating I do is definitely better than commercial food (just similar to expressed breast milk, frozen breast milk and formula milk concept). The amount is small and occasionally, my girl doesn’t want to eat at the nanny’s (according to nanny). But each evening when I tried at home, she accepted it! So, overall, at 6-8 months she had two small meals.

 

From 8 months on, we started her on yogurt – beating the traditional thoughts that anchovies, which has a lot of preservatives – to provide my girl with calcium. I have this packed in a cooler bag – 2-3 tablespoon of Fresh Farm Natural Yogurt with fruit puree. I asked the nanny to feed her for teatime. She usually finished it without hesitation – her favourite, probably because it is chill. And because of yogurt consumption, she rarely or close to never had constipation. So, by 8 months onwards she had 3 tiny meals – day meal, tea time and dinner (at home). I also started introducing things like cheese, home made brown rice/millet, oats and etc.

 

As we move forward to 10 months, it gets more adventurous – more combinations of stuff were made – for example – silken tofu with egg and oats. She takes an additional meal (total 3 meals and a snack) – where I provided a small container of fruits to the nanny, which I asked her to give our girl as snack – usually grapes or honeydew, which she can hold on. These persisted until my last day at work or when I turned into a stay at home mum – at her 13th month.

 

Her 13th to 14th month was also my transition period. I was adapting to the new life as stay at home mum and also understanding her pattern. It was from 14th month onwards, I became more active and hardworking in preparing all kinds of meals – sharing my efforts, which at the same time I got some words of encouragement. I came to understand her schedule and thus fit in my schedule into hers (yes, I believe it is important for parents to accommodate the toddler). Generally, she will have breakfast, morning snack, lunch, teatime, dinner and maybe a slight snack before bedtime. And, this has gone on till now.

 

It is also from her one year old onwards, I often hear many nonsense suggestions, but I persisted with my effort to do research and analyzing things for the sake of my girl’s health. Generally, no salt/sugar/soy sauce unless it is for baking (which is required for certain recipe). To be fair to our girl, we have also followed such rule at home for our own meal.

 

Moving forward, I think it will also be a hard time to be stern to a toddler who is constantly showing interest with whatever things we/others eat. Sometimes I have relaxed the rules to giving her some sushi or edamame in Japanese restaurant, or just plain rice in the restaurant. After putting some thoughts into it, I think I will persist this until at least 3 years old (hopefully)– for sure, I will still get many criticism or comparisons made with other toddlers (especially with their other grandchildren). But, I don’t do this for fun – but for the sake of my girl’s health. As I mentioned before, the first three years’ diet is the road to a healthy being.