2012-03-31

RM1 for 100% correct

April and May have Ejaan for BM, Spelling for English and Ting Xie for Chinese every week in school. They also have a different set of Ejaan, Spelling and Ting Xie every week in tuition. Altogether, they have 2 sets of Ejaan, Spelling and Ting Xie every week.
My husband and I will write those words along with the schedule date on the white board. We will also give them practices prior to the date. 
In order to encourage them to do well in all Ejaan, Spelling and Ting Xie, I reward them with RM1 for 100% correct for each subject. Every 2 weeks, I will bring them to either Popular Book Store or Mr. DIY to buy things that they like with the money that I reward them.  We have started this a month ago, and each of them has collected around RM20 in 2 weeks.  See, the amount of Spelling, Ejaan and Ting Xie that they have gone through in just 2 week time.
Now, they are the one to remind me to give them practise 2 days before the date. They even ask for more Ejaan, Spelling and Ting Xie from their Tuition teacher.

I don't know whether this reward scheme is a right way in encouraging them to do well for the subjects, but at least I see them looking forwards to each Ejaan, Spelling and Ting Xie right now.

2012-03-29

Food is to nourish the body,and book is to feed the soul

I have talked a lot about my home made snacks for the past few days. I  shall pause for a while and talk about other topics. When Ian's mom shared about Ian's Chinese Reading Frenzy, I was inspired by her on getting Chinese reading materials for both my girls. Before that, I only borrowed books from the club library, and I only borrowed English books for them.

These are the books that I ordered online from Odonata(红蜻蜓).

1. 《闪亮的时刻》Bright Times - 漫画 Comic MYR 12.00
2. 二年级 我会读好故事(一套六本)Standard 2 Self Reading Stories Books (1 set 6 books) MYR 25.00
3. 《十月》 October - 漫画 Comic MYR 12.00
4. 风云人物郑小强 The Extraordinary Boy - 绘图小说 Illustration Novel MYR 14.00
5. 三年级 我会读好故事(一套六本)Standard 3 Self Reading Stories Books (1 set 6 books) MYR 25.00
6. 神奇望远镜 The Magical Telescope -  绘图小说 Illustration Novel  MYR 14.00
7.  一年级 我会读好故事(一套六本)Standard 1 Self Reading Stories Books (1 set 6 Books) MYR 25.00

Since I bought a total amount of RM127, I got them in free delivery.
April and May had finished reading all the Self Reading Stories Books of Standard 1, 2 and 3 in just 2 days.
April had also finished reading 风云人物郑小强 The Extraordinary Boy - 绘图小说 Illustration Novel on last week. She will finish reading 神奇望远镜 The Magical Telescope - 绘图小说 Illustration Novel in these 2 days. Then, I will let her start with the two comics 《闪亮的时刻》Bright Times and 《十月》 October . 

At first, I worried that April would not be able to comprehend the novels. Then, I was surprised to know that April likes the novels very much. She finds the novels funny and interesting. She is eager to read the novels everyday. She has asked for the next copy of the same author. I helped her to check with the publisher yesterday. There is a new illustration novel launched soon,  and it is allowed for pre-ordering next week.

I am now reading all the books that they have finished reading. I want to learn that what is the morale of the story of each book, I also want to know that what new vocabulary they have learned in the books. After I read, we would share and  discuss about the interesting parts that we found in each book.

I believe that my girls will improve in their essay writing by reading lots of books.

2012-03-28

Home made strawberry ice cream and pancake

Friday evening, when my two princesses were having tuition and my husband was working late, I had 2 hours ME time at home. I whipped up 3 simple snacks in only 1.5 hours. First, I baked pudding bread which I have blogger earlier. Second, I whipped up my first home made ice cream, which I learned from Wokking mum.
 Ingredients:
  • A small box of strawberries.
  • 250ml Whipping Cream
  • 5 tablespoon Icing Sugar or to taste
How to do:
  1. Cut strawberries into smaller cubes.
  2. Mix or blend the strawberry with sugar and whipping cream.
  3. Add some diced strawberry too if you like to the blended mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture into a container.
  5. Place a piece of baking paper on it and freeze till frozen.
I kept the ice-cream in freezer for overnight. We actually ate it on weekend. It was too sour for my girls' liking. I should have added in more sugar because the strawberries weren't sweet at all.

The 3rd snack was pancakes. I afraid that my two girls might not like the pudding bread, as they never tried it before. So, I quickly prepared the batter for pancakes, and got the pancakes ready before their tuition ended.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
  • ½ cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 banana
I pretty sure everyone knows how to make pancakes, thus I am not going to mention here again. This was my first piece of pancake. Angeline said that the first piece is always not good looking. Mine wasn't that bad.
Angeline also said that the last piece is always the best looking. So, this was my last piece of pancakes. It was quite round in shape. I actually burned 2 pieces, because I went to practise my line dance steps half way frying the pancakes. I thought the batter wouldn't be ready in just a few minutes. When I came back to the stove, it had become charcoal. T___T. Quickly I threw the two charcoal pancakes into the dustbin, and continued frying the rest.
I could have fried up to 8 or 9 pieces of pancakes, but now left only 6 pieces.
All my hard work was paid off, when my lil May told me that she was very full and showed me her tummy this way.  Her tummy bloated like pregnant woman. lol! She and her sister finished off all the 6 pancakes and a small piece of bread pudding.

2012-03-27

Baked bread pudding

Since I had successfully grilled the Bovril chicken wings, I decided to bake something simple with my halogen oven. Before I start baking cakes, cookies and breads, I tried baking bread pudding.
Yvonne and I shared a loaf of bread. She had blogged about her half loaf of bread pudding, and here is mine.

Ingredients
  • 6 slices day-old bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (I reduced to 1/2 cup only)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I skipped this)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I skipped this)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Cut bread into small pieces into an 9 inch round baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. If desired, sprinkle with raisins. I put in a banana for extra taste and nicer aroma.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, and sugar (vanilla and cinnamon). Beat until well mixed.
4. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped

I referred to the recipe, it stated to bake for 45 minutes. I off the power at 30 minutes as I could smell the light burning already. Thank God, it still tasted delicious .

2012-03-26

Steamed Cream Cracker Cake

I have steamed a cake which I love it very much. I am also proud to say that it was my very successful first attempt in making Cream Cracker Cake.

I just tried out to make one layer in my first attempt. It will be nicer if it is in multi layers of original and Milo taste. 
 I love this cake more than those cakes that I have steamed earlier, because I love how it tasted.

I want to make this cream cracker cake again, and this time I must make it in layers.
Ingredients:
250gm butter
170gm Castor sugar
200gm cream cracker ( I put about 15 pieces of plain cream crackers into a plastic bag and mash it)
5 eggs, beaten
2 & 1/2 tbsp Milo/coco powder (I skipped this)

Method:
1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the beaten eggs in batches and mix well.
3. Pour in cream cracker powder in batches and mix well.
4. Divide the mixture into half. Add coco powder too one of the portion. (I skipped this)
5. Spread a layer of original flavoured batter in the baking tray. Steam for 5 minutes. Then continue with a layer of coco flavoured batter and steam for 5 minutes. Continue doing this with alternating flavoured until finish up the batter.
6. Test with toothpick and it should come out clean.

2012-03-23

Grilled Bovril chicken wings

I don't have an electric oven, but I have a halogen oven sitting in my kitchen cabinet for a very long time. When I married my husband, this halogen oven already there. My husband won it from his company dinner lucky draw contest. Since I have made cooking my new resolution, I dug out some old but never-use-before cooking appliances.

Last Sunday was my first time grilled chicken wings with halogen oven for my family as dinner. It was actually Yvonne who shared with me  the recipe of Wokking Mum.
Ingredients:
  • I used 10 Chicken Winglets
Marinade:
  • I used 1 tablespoon Borvil
  • I used 1 teaspoon Honey
  • I used 1/2 teaspoon Sugar

Halogen Oven
How to do it:
  1. Mix marinade together well.
  2. Add winglets to the marinade and marinate for 2 hours.
  3. Drain winglets from marinate and place on a baking tray. Retain marinade.
  4. Bring reserved marinade to a boil and set aside to use for basting. Add a bit more sugar if you want the sauce sweeter. ( I skip this step)
  5. Grill in preheated oven at 220C for 25 mins, basting it with Bovril and honey in-between.
  6. Remove when done and serve.
               

Grilled chicken wings are my husband's favourite, so he helped me with the basting.

2 adults and 2 children polished off the 10 yummy Bovril chicken wings. I will definitely cook this dish more often in future.

Folks, do you have a halogen oven at home too? what other things that I can cook with it?

2012-03-22

Steamed banana cake

In order not to let the home baking fever go down, I steamed banana cake last weekend. I got the recipe from here.
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 egg (can be substituted with 50ml of milk or water; I once ran out of egg and substituted with water and it worked fine)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 100g (2/3 cup to close to 1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips or raisins, optional 
Instructions
  • Place all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients with a fork until well blended.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Steam the cake on a rack for 15 to 18 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
While waiting for the banana cake to be ready, I gave my girls dragon fruit juice Konnyaku jellies in source plates. No added sugar in these jellies, so I allowed them to have these jellies as many as they liked.

Remove banana cake from the steamer and let it cool for a few minutes. Use a knife to loosen the sides of the cake and pop the cake out of the bowl. Here you are, a warm and fragrant cake ready in less than 25 minutes. 
You may add some chocolate chips if you prefer. I just melted the chocolate bar with margarine and poured it onto the cake. My girls brought this cake to school on Monday.

If you have some over ripe banana at home, don't waste it. Try this very simple and quick steamed banana cake recipe.

2012-03-21

You better don't let your husband know

Friday evening, April and May were allowed to read "Blog with Yan".  I was at down stair steaming their cakes. When I came up checking on them, April said "Come here, mummy. You read this..." She then pointed to the line that I highlighted below.
Lil May also said, "You read this yourself, mummy."

I was then bombarded by April and May, one question after another, " Mummy, mummy...., do you know you have "老公" already?" , "How can you love someone else ?" , "How dare you love John Carter?"......and bla bla bla.

I surrendered. I tried to explain to them this way, "John Carter is just a movie character, ok?" , "It is just like how you girls love Barbie, Mickey and Donald.", "John Carter isn't exist in mummy's life."

They were not truly convinced.

The last thing April said before we off the light, "You better don't let Papa know. 他才是你的老公."

2012-03-19

Two little bakers in action

Before the school break ended, I planned a baking session for my two princesses. I have mentioned that I want to get them into the kitchen more, and we want to try to steam a cake again.
 I got the recipe printed out and had them to read it themselves. 
April sifted 4 tablespoon of self raising flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
 May did the right way of sifting flour.
Add in 3 tablespoon of milk
Add in 3 tablespoon of melted butter.
Add in 5 tablespoon of sugar and 1 egg.
Stir to mix everything well.
Pour batter into mould.
While they put the batter in mould, mummy set up boiling water for steaming.
Steam for approximately 15 minutes.
Test the cake with a toothpick and it should come out clean.
I melted some cooking chocolate with butter, and poured it onto the cake, as I skipped putting in cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
Cakes were ready to serve.
Meet my two little bakers. They love doing this, and they have started to ask for the next baking session.

2012-03-16

Art analysis report

I knew this Free Art Analysis from . Since it is school holiday, I asked April and May to draw something by listening to their own hearts. Lil May was the first to start the drawing.
At first, she just drew her jie jie and herself at a park. When her jie jie started to draw, she was very much influenced by her jie jie to add more things at the background .
On the other hand, April drew almost everything in family of 4 at the park. Butterflies, birds, and us were all 4.
They used magic pens only in this drawing.
I love these drawings of them. It tells a lot about what inside their minds. If you want to know what is the report after the Demoments analyzed their drawings, please click at the button below.
p/s: Special thanks to SK for the tutorial and Yvonne for her assistance on creating the very first button in my blog. Everything also got first time right?

2012-03-15

My chocolate short cake

The last time I baked cake was at my Form 3 Home Science lesson in school.
Yesterday, I finally baked again. These 20 over years, I didn't bake because I don't have an oven. What kind of excuse right? Thanks to Chloe's mummy, she let me know that I can actually steam a cake. I super love the very simple recipe that she shared in her blog.

Before I started, I told my girls that I was going to bake them Chocolate Moist Cake for supper. When their tuition was over and they came out from their room, they saw Chocolate Short Cake. I purposely stacked up 3 layers, just for illustration purpose.
I must blame the new pan that I bought yesterday. The ingredients are meant for only a mini loaf pan, but I used the 9 inches round pan. The batter wasn't enough to fill up the pan, I tried to flat the batter more, so that it could spread evenly on all the surface of the pan. That is why chocolate short cake.
My all time successful dessert for my girls, konnyaku jellies with kiwi and strawberry.  I had finally used the jelly moulds that Amelia gave me. Thanks again, Amelia.
The most satisfying moment was to see my girls indulging in Cooking Mama's food. They finished off the konnyaku jellies, and left some short cakes as the next day breakfast.

I will definitely bake steam the chocolate moist cake again. This time, I will double up the ingredients.