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Three Years

April 21st, 2012

… on 17 April.

roses

Anniversary Present from Hubby

Peanut Butter Cookies

April 14th, 2012

Little Bee has been ‘helping’ me lots in the kitchen.

Yesterday, she cut up the green beans for her bubur (Malaysian rice porridge) for lunch and then mix the ingredients for Thai fried corn patties for her dinner.

This morning, she helped me with making cookies. I found this recipe here… and it has no flour for Little Bee to mess. Perfect!

peanut butter cookies

Ingredients:

260g creamy peanut butter
90g brown sugar
1 egg

  1. Preheat oven at gas mark 4.
  2. Put all ingredients and mix them well.
  3. Make about 24 balls from the mix, put them on a baking tray and flatten them with a fork .
  4. Place it in the oven for 18 minutes. When that’s done cool it on a wire rack.

Seriously… that’s it.

Strawberry Bloom

April 13th, 2012

I was busy getting rid of those pesky weed growing around my garlic plants when Little Bee called out to me saying there’s a white flower!!

I couldn’t remember buying any white flowered plant so I head over to her and saw that it was a flower on one of our strawberry plants :)

Strawberry flower

Nice.

Told Little Bee not to pick the flower as it will then turn into a berry.

She said OK and started collecting snails :)

Tomato Soup

April 9th, 2012

This is so easy and yummier than a canned soup! Is it as easy as opening a can? Maybe not but it’s more satisfying as you definitely know what you put in the pot :)

tomato soup

Ingredients:

3tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 can chopped tomatoes
600ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Handful of fresh basil
200ml double cream

  1. Heat oil over medium heat and add carrots, onion and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the diced carrot is softened.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock and bay leaves. Leave it to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add basil and cream, discard the bay leaves and puree with hand held blender until smooth.

Seriously… that is it! It’s ready to be served. This should serve six. There is only two and a half of us in this household but I made extra so I could freeze it for another day when I’m too tired to cook dinner ;)

Broccoli Stalk Kinpira

April 8th, 2012

I’ve always felt that it’s so wasteful to throw away the stalk when I cut up broccoli florets but I never know what to do with it so I usually just throw it in the compost. I thought to find a way to cook it never crossed my mind until I came across this recipe at justbento.com.

It is a nice bento filler and also something healthy for me to munch on as a little snack…. it’s still a bit crunchy so it’s better than crisps (potato chips) ;)

Broccoli Stalk Kinpira

Ingredients:

Broccoli stalk cut into matchsticks – 1 cup
1tbsp vegetable oil
1/2tbsp light soy sauce
A pinch of chili flakes
1tsp sesame seeds

  1.  Heat the vegetable oil on medium heat and add the cut broccoli stalk. Toss it around for around 4 minutes.
  2. Add the soy sauce and chili flakes and toss to coat the broccoli stalk evenly.
  3. Add the sesame seed and toss it again to even the seeds onto the vegetable.

Seriously… that is it. It’s now ready to be served, eaten or cooled down for your bento box.

Save the Bee

April 7th, 2012

This is Little Bee’s and my good deed for Good Friday. We (I actually mean ‘I’) were cleaning the front room when we found a bee. I thought she was dead but when I tried to pick her up, she twitched! But it was a weak twitch.

I picked her up, turn her around (she was on her back) and Little Bee and I took her to the kitchen and gave her a drop of honey.

honey and bee

We let her rest and an hour later she was crawling around. Two hours later she looked more energetic and we took her to the front garden. It was now warmer outside and we let her crawl on to a leaf.

With bees dying at the moment, I hope we managed to prolong the life of one.

Homemade Chicken Ham

April 5th, 2012

I found this recipe on justbento.com (currently my favourite site). I don’t eat pork or anything that comes out of a pig but I don’t mind finding alternatives to feed my little family. So, now I am quite happy that I’ve found a substitute when a recipe has ham in it.

I have to say that my first go was OK but verging to disaster as it was a bit salty. My fault for being lazy and not rinse the chicken breast properly. But I am getting better at it and am happy to share my take on the recipe… as I decided to use what is in the cupboard, I don’t have sea salt as in the justbento recipe, I just used normal salt. It might taste better with sea salt… I’ll try it one day..,. when I remember to add sea salt to my shopping list.

homemade chicken ham - torihamu

Ingredients:

1tbsp clear runny honey
1tsp salt
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1tsp dried thyme
1tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 freezer/ziplock bag
cling film

  1. Put the honey and salt in a freezer bag and squish the bag around to mix it.
  2. Add the chicken breast into the bag and squish it around again to coat the chicken breast with the mixture.
  3. Add thyme and pepper and squish the bag again to evenly coat the chicken.
  4. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it and leave chicken to marinate in the fridge for 48hours.
  5. After 48hours, take the chicken out of the bag and rinse well under the cold water tap. Leave it to soak in plenty of cold water for an hour to desalinate.
  6. Bring a pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, take the chicken out of the cold water and wipe off access liquid with paper towels.
  7. Lay the clingfilm down and roll the chicken breast tightly. Seal the edges by twisting them like a candy wrapper. Then take a smaller piece of clingfilm, roll it around the chicken again to secure the edges.
  8. Reduce the heat and let the water simmer. Drop in the wrapped chicken and let it simmer for five minutes. Take it off the heat and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and leave it to poach for at least an hour.
  9. After an hour, you can take it out and slice it and it’s ready for your sandwich or bento box :)

I tend to make more than one chicken breast at a time but when I do this, I still put each chicken breast in separate bag and cling film.

 

Ginger Meat Man

April 1st, 2012

We went to the 14th Kite Festival over at Streatham Common today. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day… but there was no wind really, so, it was kind of a non-event kite wise while we were there but it was still a nice couple of hours in the park and Little Bee enjoyed running around :)

And she also enjoyed the lunch I made for her, basic meat soboro with simple natural orange coloured rice. Both recipes is my take from justbento.com.

soboro man

For the meat soboro, I omitted sake as I do not use alcohol in my cooking.

Ingredients:

2 spring onions
1 clove garlic
2 inch ginger
2tbsp vegetable oil
500g lean minced beef
1tbsp brown sugar
2tbsp dark soy sauce
2tbsp oyster sauce

  • Put the spring onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and blitz them fine. Heat the oil and add the chopped spring onions, garlic and ginger. Fry for a minute.
  • Brown the beef. Add the sugar, stir until the mixture slightly caramelized.
  • Add soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stir and simmer until the liquid almost evaporate.
I then cool the beef and store half in the fridge, the other half I freeze it for future use.

For this lunch box, I used a gingerbread man cookie cutter to get the gingerbread man effect :) First I put a layer of rice at the bottom of the food box, even it down and place the cookie cutter on top of it. I fill the cookie cutter with the soboro and then rice around the cookie cutter. Even everything down and carefully take the cookie cutter out. Then I put two grain of rice for eyes :)

I also prepared a little snack box for Little Bee of carrots (cut into stars and flowers) and a vegetarian frankfurter (stamped to look like a fish :))

fish stamped vege frankfurter