Friday, December 26, 2008

How to remove shoe odour

My SMALL FAN has this really weird habit, he only wears one pair of shoes every where he goes, he will only change his shoes when it gets too small and it really hurts his feet. As he don't wear socks, he shoes tends to get really smelly. Tried washing and soaking it in detergent but it doesn't really help. So, search the web and found this website Helium about removing shoes odors, here are some of the tips I gather from there:

  • Wash any washable smelly shoes in bleach. If your shoes are not bleach safe, but are washable use a heavy duty detergent and a quarter cup of baking soda. Regardless of what method you choose, select the strongest wash cycle on your washing machine. Putting them in a washing bag or pillow case will help to prevent them from becoming damaged in the spin cycle. Allow your shoes to air dry and rewash them if the smell is still at all present. Do this at least 24 hours before you will wear them next.
  • Stick in a plastic bag and freeze for 12 hours - this will kill the bacteria.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in shoes, leave overnight and shake out the next morning. The baking soda absorbs the odor.
  • Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol and dry shoes (make sure shoes dry completely).

After you have gotten rid of the initial shoe odor, be proactive about keeping the smell under control. Here are some tips:
  1. Keep dryer or fabric softener sheets in your shoes between wearing them or spray them with Febreeze after use.
  2. Avoid wearing your shoes without socks.
  3. Generally, shoes odor is caused by our feet sweating and the sweat absorbing into the padding in the shoe. Keeping your feet clean and free of dead skin and athletes foot will also help prevent shoe odor. Soak your feet every now and then to help remove dead skin. Additionally, use creams and foot powders to help cure any athletes foot you may be experiencing.
  4. Spray shoes daily with disinfectants and deodorizers specially designed for foot odor problems.
  5. Apply foot powder specially designed for foot odor problems to feet and/or shoes daily.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Cookies for the Teachers

Baked some Christmas Cookies for SMALL FAN's school teachers using the Chewy Oatmeal Cookies recipes from my previous post. Then I made some icing using egg whites and icing sugar and decorated it. Looks quite good right?

By the way, here's the icing sugar recipe that I got from All Recipes.com, I modified it a little and the icing was enough for 60 cookies, it was really really easy to work with and it dries up quite fast. Will definitely using this recipe again when I need to decorate icing:

Royal Icing
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 2 cups of Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
Beat egg whites in clean, large bowl with mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla extract. Beat at high speed until thickened. NOTE: When dry, Royal Icing is very hard and resistant to damage that can occur during shipping/handling.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Red Pepper Risotto

Red Pepper Risotto
  • 1/4 cup or 50g of long grain rice (I used brown rice instead)
  • 300ml or 1 1/4 cup formula milk
  • 75g red bell pepper
  • 75g zucchini
  • 50g celery (I opmitted this as I don't have it on hand)
  1. Place the rice and milk in apan, bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  2. Discard the core and seeds from the pepper and trim the zucchini and celery. Rinse and wash the vegetables and chop them into small pieces.
  3. Add the vegetables to the rice mixture, bring to boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the rice is soft.
  4. Pree the rice mixture until smooth
  5. Spoon a little into a bowl and serve. Freeze the remainder.
Verdict: Baby FAN doesn't really like this, I think may be due to the bell pepper, the taste can be quite strong.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Cheesy Pasta

Cheesy Pasta
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/4 cup of frozen corn
  • a few broccoli florets (about 4 or 5)
  • 50g or 2 oz dried pasta shapes
  • 1 cup formula milk
  • 50g or 2 oz cheddar or mild cheese
  1. Peel the carrot, rinse and chop broccoli and carrot into pieces.
  2. Place the prepared vegetables, corn, pasta and milk in a pan, bring to boil and then simmer, uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes, until the pasta is cooked.
  3. Grate the cheese and add to the vegetables, stirring until the cheese has completely melted.
  4. Process or mas just enough to give the desired consistency. Then spoon a little into a bowl. Test the temperature and cool if necessary before giving to the baby.
  5. Freeze the remainder.

Variations: I actually cooked the pasta separately from the vegetables. Then I puree the vegetables and make it into a sauce before putting in the cheese. Once the cheese has melt, I pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and serve it to my boy. He loves it. Then I puree the pasta and mix it with the sauce for my baby girl.




Sweet Bun

Tried making sweet bun today as Baby FAN really loves bread. I tried to make it healthier by adding in some formula milk powder, was trying to get Baby FAN to take her formula milk as she just refuse to drink it. I tried putting everything she eats with formula milk and think I'm getting crazy. Well, the bun turns out too dense and more cake-like then bread-like, but it tasted quite good.

Here's the recipe that I get from my idol, Happy Home Baking:

Sweet Buns
Ingredients:
(make around nine 60g portions)
  • 150g bread flour
  • 150g cake flour
  • 5g active dry yeast
  • 3g salt
  • 125g milk
  • 1 egg
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 50g butter (1 egg, beaten, for glazing)

Method:
  • Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add in milk, egg and butter. Mix into a dough.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until the gluten is fully developed (see tip below) and the dough is elastic, smooth and non-sticky. It will take about 25 mins to knead the dough by hand. Initially the dough will stick on to the work surface. Do not be tempted to add more flour or even give up kneading! After continuous kneading, the dough will no longer stick to the work surface.
  • Place the dough in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp towel or cling wrap to seal in the moisture. Allow the dough to ferment(or proof) until double in bulk. This will take about 1 hr in our Singapore weather. To test whether the dough has been fully proofed, press a finger into the dough and withdraw quickly. It should leave a deep impression and spring back very slowly. For an insufficiently proofed dough, the impression will spring back instantly.
  • Take out the dough and punch out the gas produced. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 60g portions. Shape and add fillings as desired. Arrange dough in a greased or lined pan. Rest for about another 15 minutes.
  • Brush the top with whole egg mixture. Add almond flakes on the top of the buns, as desired.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 degC. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
Tip:
To check whether the dough is fully developed, take a small piece of the dough and stretch it with your fingers. If it can be stretched into a thin layer without tearing easily, the dough is fully developed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Spinach Pancake

It's a rainy Sunday, so decided to stay home and eat breakfast instead of our usual sunday breakfast at the Kopitiam downstairs. Tried my hand at making Spinach Pancake, it tasted quite nice, more like a crepe then pancake. SMALL FAN likes it with nutella and peanut butter. As for BIG FAN & myself we served it with a cheese and sausage cream sauce (see recipe below).

Spinach Pancake
(serve 2 to 3)
  • 50g fresh spinach, leaves only (I used 2 cubes of spinach puree that I have made earlier on)
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150ml of milk
  • 1 tbsp oil
  1. Wash the spinach leaves well in cold water and then place in a frying pan, set over a medium heat. Cover and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until the spinach has just wilted, stirring ocassonally. Drain off any excess liquid and cool. (I skipped this step as I used spinach puree).
  2. Put the flour, egg yolk and a little salt and pepper, if liked, into a bowl. Whisk in the milk to make a smooth batter. Finely chop the spinach and stir into the batter.
  3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, pour off excess, then add 2 tbsp pancake batter, tilting the pan so that the batter covers the base. Cook for a few minutes until browned, then flip over and cook the other side until golden. Slide the pancake on to a plate and keep warm.
  4. Continue making pancakes until all the batter is used up.
  5. Serve pancakes with your kids' favourite sauce.
Cream Sauce Filing
  • 1 tbsp margarine (I used butter instead)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 25g grated mild cheese (I used cheddar cheese)
  • 40g thinly sliced ham, chopped (as I don't have any ham, I used sausages instead)
  • 40g button (white) mushrooms, thinly sliced (I opmited this as I don't have it on hand)
  1. Melt margarine or butter in a pan, stir in the flour and then gradually stir in the milk and bring to boil, stirring continuously until smooth.
  2. Add the cheese, ham and mushrooms and stir to mix.
  3. Heat, cover and keep warm.
  4. Fold the pancakes into quarters, then spoon a little of the cream sauce into each one. Arrange the pancakes on plates and serve.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Boosting SMALL FAN's immunity - Part V

SMALL FAN is finally free from cough after 5 long months of coughing. We brought him to a pediatrician in Bishan, an Indian doctor, she was very detail and serious looking. After checking him and asking me about his cough, she gave him a med for allergies (Cetirizine), a medicine for his Sinus (Singular), a nose spray to stabilize his nose (Nasonex)and a puff for cough and phelgm(Seretide).

Doctor say SMALL FAN has sensitive nose and skin, so we must be very diligent in keeping the house dust-mites free. She ask us to keep his room simple and dust free, soak his bedsheets in hot water before washing to kill the dust-mites and change it once a week. Doc also give us a medicine (Hydroderm) for SMALL FAN's mosquito bite (he always get big bruise after a mosquito bite), doc say he is a very sensitive kid, so a small bite can look really big due to allergies. After taking the medicine for 2 weeks, we now hardly hear him cough except for ocassionally when he has too much chocolate or french fries. His mosquito bite has gone down too with no marks (it used to leave permanent marks on him).

We are really glad, finally won the better. So all along we have been curing him wrongly, we tried to clear his lung with all the medicine but it's all in his nose, sinus. But now have to start giving him tonic to build up his health after taking so much western medicine. Doc also asked us to give him a Flu Vaccine jab as a prevention since his is so sensitive.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homemade Baby Finger Food: Cheese Straws

Baby FAN has been showing interest in picking things up and chewing at it. She loves to chew on those teething biscuits, the really hard type (she can chew at it for half-an-hour), recently I upgraded her to eating those softer and crumpier biscuits and Gerber's Strawberry puff, she is able to eat it without gagging. She just loves to chew on stick object, give her a spoon and she can chew at it for hours.

So, today, I decided to baked something stick-like for her, it was really easy to do, I did it in just 15 to 20 min (including baking time), it turns out really nice, the cheese give it a salty and sweet taste...yummy I ate 2 stick myself...ha ha.. Here's the recipe:

Cheese Straws
  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour (I added 1 cup unbleach flour and 1/2 cup bread flour instead, oh and I added about 2 to 3 scope of formula milk powder to increase the nutritional content of the straws)
  • 75g or 6 tbsp of butter
  • 115g of grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten (used 2 egg yolks instead if your baby is allergic to egg whites)
  1. Preheat oven to 200 delgree celsius.
  2. Place flour in a bowl, add butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated cheese.
  3. Reserve 1 tbsp beaten egg and then stir the rest into the pastry mixture. Mix to smooth dough, adding water if necessary.
  4. Knead lightly and roll out on a floured surface to rectangel 30 x 20cm/12 x 8 in. Brush with the remaining egg.
  5. Cut into strips and place on the baking sheets, spaced slightly apart.
  6. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Loosen from but leave to cool on the baking sheets.
  7. Serve one or two to the baby and store the rest in a plastic box for up to 1 week.
  8. Alternatively, you can freeze the sticks for up to 3 months in a plastic box, interleaved with baking parchment.
Above are a few pics of my baby FAN eating the straws.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Fish & Courgette Savory

Fish & Courgette Savory

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 courgettes (zucchini)
  • 115g pink trout fillet (I use gor fish in hokkien)
  • 210 ml formula milk
  1. Cut fish into small pieces. Peel potatoes. Dice potatoes and zucchini into small slices.
  2. Place vegetables in the pin and pour over the milk. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the fish and cooked until vegetables is tender and fish is cooked (fish is cooked when it turns white).
  4. Puree to desired consistency.
  5. Spoon a little into the bowl and served. Freeze the remainder.
Verdict: Baby FAN love this although, the formula milk and fish gives it a very nice sweet taste.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

I always have a lot of leftover pumpkin which I don't know what to do with it as every time I cook porridge for Baby FAN, I only need very little. So, search the web and find this recipe from Happy Home Baking's blog.

The pumpkin bread turns out a little dense in the middle and was rather hard the next day, so I made it into a bread crisp and served it with tomatoes for lunch instead. I will probably make it again next time if I have left over pumpkin but this time, I might add in some cake flour to make it softer.

Pumpkin Bread
original recipe here


Ingredients

500g pumpkin, after peeled, seeded and cut into pieces

you are left with about 300g(alternatively, use 300g canned pumpkin puree)
60ml cooking liquid reserved from cooking the pumpkin or use water if using canned pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons of runny honey
500g bread flour

2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
egg glaze (beat together 1 egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of milk)
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, to decorate


Method:
  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pumpkin flesh and simmer until soft and cooked through, about 20 mins. Drain the pumpkin and reserve the cooking liquid.
  2. Mash the pumpkin thoroughly, and sieve, or puree in a food processor or blender, about 2 mins. (I mash the pumpkin with a fork instead as it was already very soft and fine.) Leave the pumpkin puree and the reserved cooking liquid to cool.
  3. Add honey to 60ml of the cooking liquid and stir to dissolve.
  4. Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in the instant yeast and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add in the honey liquid, followed by the pumpkin puree.
  5. Mix in the flour to form a firm, coarse, sticky dough. If the mixture is too dry, gradually add one or two tablespoons of the pumpkin liquid (or water). (I added extra two tablespoons of liquid).
  6. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Knead until very smooth, silky and elastic, about 10 mins. (I stop after 10 min, very tire already!)
  7. Place dough in large clean bowl and cover with a tea towel or cling wrap. Leave to rise until double in size, about 1 to 1.5hrs. Knock back the dough to release the air, then leave it to rest for 10mins, covered.
  8. Shape dough into a round loaf. Place on an oiled baking sheet and cover with a tea towel. Prove until double in size, about 1 hour.
  9. Brush the dough with egg glaze and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
  10. Bake in pre-heated oven at 220 deg C (I set mine to 200 deg C, should I keep it at 220 deg C instead as my mum said that the bread was so dense in the middle, one of the reason could be that the heat is not strong enough) and bake for 40mins until golden-coloured and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath. Leave to cool completely before slicing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Milk Pretzel

I love the taste of the milk loaf and the crispy skin of the pretzel in my earlier blog. So decided to combine this 2 recipes together. The pretzel turns out really soft and yummy and crispy outside, I ate 2 immediately it came out of the oven.

Here's the modified recipe:
  • 80g fresh milk
  • 35g egg (I use 1 egg yolk)
  • 25g sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 250g bread flour
  • 38g butter
Yeast Mixture
  • 4g Instant yeast (I put about 1 teaspoon)
  • 60g of warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
Baking Soda Solution
  • 1/2 cup of hot water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Decoration
  • Kosher salt or sugar
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the yeast mixture, egg yolk and milk. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of milk. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth. Then knead the butter into the dough.
  3. Knead the dough for about 20 minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  4. Let the dough proof in room temperature in a mixing bowl, covered with cling wrap. Let proof for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Remove dough and punch out the gas. Divide dough into 10 equal portion. Roll and shape into balls. Let the doughs rest and relax for 15 mins. (this 'relaxing' time is needed so that the dough will be easier to roll out and shaped).
  6. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, flatten one dough and roll out into a longish shape. Roll up the dough swiss-roll style. Do the same for the remaining doughs.
  8. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt or sugar. Let the doughs proof for the second time, until it about double the size.
  9. Bake in preheated oven of 450 degrees F or 230 degrees C for 8 minutes, until browned.

Homemade Baby Food: Steam Egg

Steam Egg (or Egg Custard)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100ml prepared formula/breast milk
  1. Mix the egg yolk with the formula/breast milk. Beat with a fork for about 1 to 2 mins.
  2. Steam the egg mixture over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Let it cool and served.
Variations: you can add in 1 tsp of sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence and baked it for 15 to 20 minutes with a preheated oven (180 degree celsius) and make it into vanilla custard. Or add in 1 tsp of cocoa powder and make it into Chocolate Pots.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Cookies

Tried making some healthy cookies to see if I can use this recipes again for Christmas. The cookies tasted really good but somehow I think I put too much eggs (I use 3 small eggs as I felt that the egg I bought was really tiny), so the dough was really too soft to cut-out shapes, got so frustrated that I ended up just making it into round one. But I think I will try again next time using less eggs and maybe less sugar as I thought it tasted a little too sweet for me, especially if I want to decorate it with icing for Christmas.


Christmas Cutouts Cookies

original recipes from allrecipes.com
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I did not put this)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Blend in the eggs, lemon extract, and vanilla extract. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating continually. Stir in the oatmeal.
  3. Roll the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough into shapes using cookie cutters and arrange them on the prepared sheets.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until edges begin to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack before frosting.

Homemade Baby Food: Beef & Carrots

Beef & Carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 175g mince beef
  • 210 ml water
  1. Peel and chop the potato, carrots, onion.
  2. Stir fry onion and mince beef until beef is brown all over, about 5 minutes
  3. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Stir well to blend all the flavours.
  4. Add water and bring to boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  5. Puree to desired consistency.
  6. Spoon a little into a bowl to serve, freeze the rest.
Verdict: Baby FAN doesn't seems to like this dish, I think because the beef taste could be too strong.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Milk Loaf

As SMALL FAN and Baby FAN both loves bread, decided to try my hand at making bread for them. Thought it would be healthier and fresher with no preservatives etc.

Found the recipe and follow the instructions from Happy Home Baking.

Milk Loaf (original recipe from here)
  • 143g fresh milk (I used about 140 g of marigold fullcream milk)
  • 35g egg (I use half an egg)
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 250g bread flour (I used unbleached white flour)
  • 4g Instant yeast (I put about 1 teaspoon)
  • 38g butter (unsalted)
How I did it:
  1. Mixed flour, salt, sugar and yeast together. Form a well in the flour and pour milk and egg into it, then knead it into a dough.
  2. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth. Then knead the butter into the dough.
  3. Knead the dough for about 20 minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  4. Remove dough from the bread pan, let it proof in room temperature in a mixing bowl, covered with cling wrap. Let proof for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Remove dough and punch out the gas. Divide dough into 3 equal portion. Roll and shape into balls. Let the doughs rest and relax for 15 mins. (this 'relaxing' time is needed so that the dough will be easier to roll out and shaped).
  6. On a lightly floured surface, flatten one dough and roll out into a longish shape. Roll up the dough swiss-roll style. Do the same for the two remaining doughs.
  7. Flatten the rolled-up dough and roll out again into a long rectangular shape. Roll up tightly, and make as many rolls you can, swiss-roll style for the second time. Do the same for the two remaining doughs.
  8. Place doughs in lightly greased bread tin/pan. Let the doughs proof for the second time, until it fills up 80% of the tin/pan. Cover with cling wrap.
  9. Bake at pre-heated oven at 180 ~ 190 deg C for 30 to 35mins. (I set mine to 200 deg C as my oven temperature is always on the low side.)
  10. Unmould the bread immediately when removed from the oven. Let cool completely before slicing.
Ok, the bread turns out quite nice although I think it's a little too dense and the next day, I need to steam it as it gets quite hard. I wonder if it's because of the flour as I don't have bread flour, I substituted it with unbleached white flour or is it that I did not knead enough or I didn't proof it long enough??? But it's a good try, maybe I will try again next time using bread flour as per the original recipe.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Fisherman's Pie

Fisherman's Pie
  • 2 potatoes
  • 90g skinless cod fish
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp frozen corn
  • 210ml formula milk
  1. Peel and rinse the potatoes and cut into even pieces. Place in a pan with the peas corn and milk.
  2. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, put in the fish and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Puree the mixture until desired consistency.
  4. Served a portion and freeze the rest.
Verdict: Baby FAN don't really like this, I think it could be the cod fish and the corn combination that cause the dish to have a bitter aftertaste.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Nutritious Fruits Dessert

Baby FAN has been having constipation since she started on solid food, was thinking of buying commercial prune juice for her to drink to help in her constipation when I stumble upon a reading that pear helps in bowel movement. So decided to try out on this recipe and it seems to work, Baby FAN has been pooing quite consistently these few days after I gave her the dessert.

Nutritious Fruit Dessert
  • 1 ripe pear (make sure it's really ripe, I used a not as ripe one and the dish taste a little sour)
  • 2 ripe plums
  • 2 tsp sugar (optional, if your pear and plums are ripe enough, I suggested not to put sugar)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup or 90ml formula milk
  1. Peel, core and cut the fruits into small pieces.
  2. Put the fruit in a pan with 1 tbsp water and 2 tsp sugar. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until soft. Then puree until smooth.
  3. Heat up and milk and dissolve the remaining sugar and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat and pour in the beaten egg yolk and stir until a custardy mixture is form.
  4. Pour the custard mixture into the puree fruit.
  5. Serve warm or cold. Freeze the remaining.
Verdict: As mentioned earlier, my pear was a little too raw and so are the plums, so the dessert tasted a little too sourish, Baby FAN don't really like it. But I will try again next time and use riper pear and plums since it works in getting Baby FAN to poo and I personally tasted it myself and thought it tasted quite yummy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Mixed Vegetables Platter

Mixed Vegetable Platter
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 medium potatoes (I used 3 instead as my potatoes was very small)
  • About half a broccoli
  • 50g of cabbage
  • 210ml of formula milk
  1. Peel carrot and potatoes. Rinse, chop and place ina pan. Wash the broccoli and cabbage and cut the broccoli into florets and the stems into think slices. Shred the cabbage finely.
  2. Add the milk to the carrot and potatoes and bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli stems and florets and cabbage and cook, covered for 10 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
  4. Puree until the desired consistency.
  5. Spoon a portion into a bowl and served. Freeze the rest.
Note: It made about 3 servings for my baby girl. For big eater, maybe 2 servings.

Verdict: My baby FAN doesn't seems to like it but I tried it myself and thought it tasted quite tasty :)

Easy Pretzels

SMALL FAN has been eating a lot of breads nowadays as his Grandma always buy him bread to eat after school as she is worried that he did not eat a proper lunch in childcare. Am getting worried about those commercial bread and how much preservatives and artificial favourings and conditioners that has been put in the bread to made them nice and soft.

So, I decided to try my hand at making some bread stuff for him, a more home-made and healthy one. Found this recipe on making Pretzels instead that looks so easy, so I decided to try making it on a lovely Saturday and let Big FAN take care of the 2 screaming kids instead.

Buttery Soft Pretzels
orginal recipe from www.allrecipes.com
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs of baking soda
  • 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.
Verdict: The pretzel turns out quite nice and SMALL FAN likes it, look at him enjoying the bread. The only think is that it gets kinda hard the next day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Boosting your kids immunity - Part IV

SMALL FAN stopped coughing for 2 weeks and now his cough is back. Went to see his doc the week before and doc suggested Antibiotic again. This time, both doc and myself decided to wait and see first before getting him on the med again. So he was on normal flu medicine for 1 week but still no effect and the phlegm seems to be getting more.

Desperate mommy then tried looking thru the net for soup or remedy for reducing phlegm and stumble upon this thread in one of the Motherhood website/forum and the following soup for reducing phlegm:

To clear phlegm:-

Yellow Pear + Rock Sugar + water
( cook in slow cooker about 4/5 hours - this will help to vomit out the phlegm)

To cure the cough and phlegm:-

Yellow Pear + Rock Sugar + Chuan Pei + Water
( cook in slow cooker about 4/5 hours, you need to filter out the chuan-pei)

To cure cough:-

pear + chuan1 pei4 + nan2 xing4 + bei3 xing4 + chen2 pi2 + hong2 zao3 + chicken (i use pork), boil 2 hours.


I tired making the yellow pear, rock sugar and chun pei soup for SMALL FAN and it seems to work, he seems to be coughing less. But he still vomit when he cough, I hoping is to get rid of the phelgm. I'm planning to let him drink the soup continuously for a few days and see if his condition will improve.

I also started him on Vitamin C with Zinc from Brand's Essence. Hopefully, it will help build up his immunity so he won't caught the flu virus so often. Why I chose Brand's? Because that is the only Vit C that I can find that contains Zinc and no preservatives and colouring. Many of the kids vitamin contain so much colouring and favourings and gelatin and stuff like that, not sure how it might affect the kid if they take the vitamin long term.

Incidentally, I was reading the Lifestyle magazine by NTUC and saw this advertisement on Goat's milk, say that it won't cause phlegm like cow's milk. So, I'm thinking of buying a bottle and let SMALL FAN try to see if he likes it. Maybe, it can help reduce his phlegm.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Chicken Stew with Carrots and Corn

Chicken Stew with Carrots and Corn
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 1/3 cup frozen corn
  • 210 ml formula milk
  1. Trim and peel the potatoes and carrots, rinse under cold water and then chop into small cubes.
  2. Rinse the chicken thigh. Place in a small pan with the potato and carrot.
  3. Add the corn and milk. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Debone the chicken and puree it with the rest of the vegetables until smooth.
  4. Spoon a little into a bowl and served.
  5. Freeze the rest.
Note: As I have some leftover broccoli, so I added a few florets to increase the nutritional content. Recipe made about 3 servings for my baby girl, for big eater, I think 2 servings.

Verdict: Baby FAN loves this and so is her daddy BIG FAN, he slurp up the puree after Baby FAN had enough...ha ha..

Soft Oatmeal Cookies

Have a sudden craving for Subway Cookies but was worried about the nutritional value of the cookies as I'm currently breastfeeding and don't want too much sugar to get into the milk. So I decided to baked my own cookies. Got this recipe from All Recipes.com and modified it a little to make it more nutritious. The cookies was really crispy in the outside and soft inside, yummy...

Soft Oatmeal Cookies
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar & 1/2 white sugar (I replace with 3/4 cup light muscovado sugar that I bought from NTUC)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tbs wheatgerm (I added this for the additional nutrients)
  1. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats, raisins and wheatgerm. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with a large fork dipped in sugar.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Afternote: it's now 3rd day and the biscuit now taste even softer and moist, yummy...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Red Pepper Risotto

Red Pepper Risotto
  • 1/4 cup long grain rice (I'm not sure what is long grain rice but I used brown rice instead)
  • 210ml formula milk
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 stalk of celery
  1. Place the rice and milk in apan, bring to the boil and immer, uncovered for 5 minutes.
  2. Discard the core and seeds from the pepper and trim the zucchini and celery. Wash and chop them into small pieces
  3. Add the vegetables to the rice mixture and bring to boil, cover and simmer for about 10 to 20 minutes until the rice is soft.
  4. Puree the rice mixture until smooth.
  5. Spoon a little into a bowl and served.
  6. Freeze the rest.

Verdict: Thought it tasted ok. I tried serving Baby FAN the freeze portion another day and she keep hiccuping after that, not sure if it's because got wind. As my mum always say that refrigerated rice or porridge cause wind. So, personally don't recommend freezing this.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Banana & Avocado Puree

Made some banana and avocado puree for Baby FAN. But she don't like it, I think she don't like the gluey texture of the mashed banana. So I serve it to SMALL FAN and he loves it and gobble up everything. Here's the recipes:

Banana and Avocado Puree
  • 2 medium size bananas (I think it's called "punk jiao" in hokkien)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  1. Scoop out the flesh of the avocado, put 2 medium size bananas and mash them together into the desired consistency.
  2. Spoon and serve baby.
  3. I added a dash of lemon into the mixture to prevent it from turning brown and store it in the refrigerator for SMALL FAN. It taste really good served cold.

Homemade Baby Food: Lentil Puree

I combined the recipe from 2 books, the Healthy Home-made Food For Babies & Toddlers by Sara Lewis and Optimum Nutrition for Babies and Young Children by Lucy Burney.

Lentil Puree
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin oil
  • 2 medium size potatoes
  • 1/4 red lentils (bought this from the organic section as NTUC fairprice)
  • 210ml of Formula milk
  1. Saute the onion, carrot, potatoes in a little oil for 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the red lentils and the formula milk. Bring to a boil
  3. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes until the lentil are very soft.
  4. Puree the mixture until smooth.
  5. Spoon a little into a bowl and served.
  6. Freeze the rest.

Verdict: Baby FAN likes this and can eat quite a lot.



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Self Feeding

Trying to help develop Baby FAN's pincer grip, so gave her some baby biscuits to pick up and bite. Look at her trying hard to put the food in her mouth. Found the Graduates Finger Foods I bought from NTUC Fairprice quite good for this purpose as the biscuit melts when it comes in contact with water so baby FAN won't get choke so easily.


video

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Best Cream of Broccoli Soup

SMALL FAN used to like this broccoli soup as he could eat it with the toasted bread himself. Got this recipe from www.allrecipes.com and surprisingly it tasted really good.

Best Cream of Broccoli Soup
  • 2 teaspoons margarine (I use butter instead)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (I don't have celery so I replace with half a carrot instead)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (Don't have chicken broth on hand, so used 1/4 cube of the maggi chicken stock with 1 cup of water)
  • 2-2/3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon margarine (I use butter instead)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (I use unbleach white flour instead)
  • 2/3 cup milk (can use formula milk for younger babies)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium sized stock pot, and saute onion and celery/carrot until tender.
  2. Add broccoli and broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree soup and return to heat. (I took some time to puree it till really smooth as SMALL FAN likes his soup smooth and liquidy)
  3. In small saucepan, over medium-heat melt 3 tablespoons butter, stir in flour and add milk. Stir until thick and bubbly, and add to soup. Season with pepper and serve.
I diluted the soup a little for SMALL FAN as he is used to the chinese type of soup which is normally clear and liquidy. By the way, this recipe can served 3 rice bowl about 3 adults. But for myself and BIG FAN, the creamy texture of the soup tasted really shiok. I serve this with whole wheat bread which I cut into small pieces and toasted it, so it tasted like croutons.

I have used this recipe to make pumpkin soup, spinach soup, corn soup, mushroom soup before, just change the "broccoli" to the relevant vegetables you want.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Home-made Baby Puree

Was on a look out for recipes suitable for Baby FAN that includes formula milk and found these from one of my many cookbook "Healthy Home-made Food for Babies & Toddlers" by Sara Lewis.

Cock-a-Leekie Casserole
  • 50g leek (about 1 middle size leek)
  • 275g potatoes (about 2 medium size potatoes)
  • 115g chicken breast, skinned and boned (about 1 chicken breast)
  • 210ml formula milk
  1. Halve the leek lengthways and rinse under running water to remove any dirt or grit
  2. Peel potatoes and cut into small dice. Rinse the chicken and cut into pieces and thinly slice the leek.
  3. Place the vegetables and chicken in a pan with the milk.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. Puree the mixture until it is completely smooth.
  5. Spoon a little into a bowl, Test the temperature and cool if necessary before giving to the baby. Keep the rest in a container and freeze.
Verdict: Yummy, Baby FAN loves this.

Trout and Courgette Savoury
  • 275g potatoes
  • 175g courgettes (zucchini)
  • 115g trout fillet
  • 210ml formula milk
  1. Peel the potatoes, trim the courgettes and rinse under cold water. Dice the potatoes and cut the courgettes into slices.
  2. Place the vegetables in a pan. Rinse the trout and arrange on top, then pour over the milk. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes and fish are cooked.
  3. Life the trout out of the pan and peel off the skin. Break it into pieces with a knife and fork, checking carefully for any bones.
  4. Puree the fish the vegetables and the liquid until smooth.
  5. Spoon a little into a bowl, Test the temperature and cool if necessary before giving to the baby. Keep the rest in a container and freeze.
Verdict: Thought it tasted ok, Baby FAN doesn't love or hate it.

The above 2 recipes, according to the book, is suitable for baby from 6 to 6.5 months. This recipe below is suitable for babies from 7 to 9 months.

Nursery Kedgeree
  • 50g or 1/4 cup long grain rice (I just use normal rice)
  • 25g or 2 tbsp frozen peas
  • 210ml formula milk
  • 90g frozen skinless cod
  • 2 hard-boiled egg yolks
  1. Place the rice, peas, milk and fish in a pan, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the fish is cooked and the rice is soft.
  2. Lift the fish out of the pan and break into pieces with a knife and fork, checking for bones.
  3. Sitr the fish into the rice mixture and add the egg yolks.
  4. Puree the food until the desired consistency.
  5. Spoon a little into a bowl, Test the temperature and cool if necessary before giving to the baby. Keep the rest in a container and freeze.

I have tried out these 3 recipes for Baby FAN and so far, she seems quite ok with it although I think she still prefer my usual porridge.

Weaning Baby FAN - Part IV

Baby FAN is now 7 months old but she only weighs between 6.1 kg to 6.5kg (it fluctuates up and down). I'm getting worried if she is having enough. However, she seems to be developing fine and reaching her milestones way ahead of her brother. Here's her feeding schedule:
  • 0800: 1 oz of formula milk from a sippy cup(that's all she takes, she refuse to drink anymore), sometimes I gave her some bread soak in the milk and she will take more.
  • 1000: Breastfeed for about 15 minutes on one breast, refuse to take the other breast or falls asleep after one breast.
  • 1130: Half an adult bowl of porridge
  • 1330: Breastfeed for 15 minutes
  • 1530: Breastfeed or Biscuits with 1 oz of formula milk
  • 1730: Half an adult bowl of porridge
  • 1930: Breastfeed for 15 minutes
  • 2030 to next morning: about 2 night feed of 10 minutes
I wanted to stop breast feeding after 6 months, but somehow with such slow weight again, I'm getting worried if I stop entirely, she won't get enough milk since she refuse to drink from a bottle and is only about to take about 1 to 2 oz from a cup.

Now, I'm trying to put formula milk into the porridge she eats, hopefully it will increase her wait. But read from a chinese book that putting milk into porridge or soup will affect the absorption of vitamin A. So, I only put the milk into one of her porridge feed or alternate days rather then all her feed.

Found out this weight gain tips for children from Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota:

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