Lately I’ve been trying to include my toddler in my cooking and baking adventures. I try and do this about once a week and since he doesn’t go to full school yet, he’s rather free in the early evenings after his nap.
So I’m regularly on the hunt for simple and easy recipes that the little one can manage without much assistance. I help with measuring the ingredients, occasionally pouring the ingredients into the big bowl and putting the batter or mixture into the oven. And like all mothers, I give lots of instructions and reminders during the process.
Anyway, this recipe is not mine so credit goes to Kirbie Cravings and here’s the link http://kirbiecravings.com/2013/02/easiest-3-ingredient-nutella-brownies.html
Essentially, this is all it requires.
- Half a cup of plain flour
- One and a quarter cup of Nutella (which works out to the 350g jar)
- 2 eggs
Preheat the oven at 180°C, mix all the ingredients together and bake for 15 minutes. The toothpick should come out dry when it’s cooked. These brownies don’t come out really thick plus I cut them into bite sized pieces so they were really easy for little hands to handle.
The best part is that it took less than half an hour from start to end. Of course with a toddler, it may take a little longer but it’s long enough to sustain his interest.
They were so delicious I must admit I popped way too many pieces in my mouth. Will I be making these again, you bet!
Another one of those rather addictive cookies that I tried were cookies with cornflakes. I had lots of excess cornflakes plus my father in-law had given me another box (which I’ve yet to finish) so I had to look for an easy and fast recipe. This did not require the mixer as long as the butter was sufficiently melted and soft.
100g unsalted butter, melted for easy mixing 100g caster sugar 175g self-raising flour 1 cup crushed cornflakes 1 egg
- Pre-heat the oven at 160°
- Cream the butter and sugar
- Add the egg to the batter and mix well
- Add in the flour and mix well
- Using a teaspoon, scoop out a small part of the mixture (I measured each scoop. I initially tried 16g but the cookies spread out to be rather large. For a bite size cookie, try 6g.)
- Coat with cornflakes
- Place each scoop on the baking tray lined with baking paper otherwise grease the tray
- Flatten them lightly with a fork
- Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how brown you’d want it
- Cool on the rack and serve or store in an airtight container.
This was rather fast but it is troublesome if you’d want each cookie to be of similar weight to even out the baking.
Recipe ref: http://eatapieceofcake.blogspot.sg/2013/01/corn-flakes-cookies.html?m=1
At one point blogging took a back seat not because I wasn’t doing anything much but I got hooked onto baking. To be precise, baking cookies and some sweet treats. And once I was hooked onto something, it was very difficult to pull me away unless I got bored of it or I’ve gotten interested in something else.
It was also rather coincidental that I chose this snack to start with considering the Chinese New Year was fast approaching. I never intended to bake goodies but rather snacks for R for more variety other than his usual biscuits.
This was super super easy. I was also reminded of the activity that I did in school with my pupils prior to writing their procedural text. The children had fun making their own honey cornflakes cups but many of them burnt because the honey was poured directly onto the cornflakes instead of being mixed with butter. So, this recipe that I adapted from http://www.noobcook.com is much much better.
50g of unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of honey
150g of cornflakes
Colored sprinkles known as hundreds-and-thousands
1. Heat the butter and honey in a saucepan. There’s no need for it to boil. The idea is to get a frothy mixture.
2. In a big bowl, pour the mixture over the cornflakes and mix it till the cornflakes are well coated.
3. Spoon the cornflakes into cupcake cases and sprinkle with the hundreds-and-thousands.
4. Bake in a preheated oven of 150° for 10-12 minutes or until the cornflakes are golden brown.
5. Cool and serve or store them in an airtight container.
Trust me, these would all disappear quite quickly coz its oh-so-yummy!
I’d love to have R help me in the kitchen. I’m certain that kids take great pride in their work when they are actively involved in the process. The outcome may not be the best, great if it is but if not it’s alright. However, the learning process is more important.
With that I decided that he could help me in making his tea time snack that day. I figured that if he liked it, I could freeze a few and when I was short of time or had no idea on what to feed R, I could easily pop this in the microwave for a quick and fuss free meal.
The preparation is a little tedious as you’d need to chop the spinach and ham otherwise, the combining of ingredients is very fast.
2 cups of grated cheese (I used cheddar)
2 cups of self raising flour
1.5 cups of milk
0.5 cups of ham (I added about 1 cup)
A large handful of baby spinach
Half a teaspoon of salt (for taste especially if the ham is not salty enough)
Method: (makes 12 muffins)
1. Preheat oven at 180°.
2. Chop the ham and spinach.
3. Sift the flour.
4. Whisk the eggs.
5. Make a well in the flour and combine all the ingredients together.
6. Mix well.
7. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tin.
8. Bake for 25 minutes or till the top is golden.
R helped me with whisking the eggs.
And with combining the mixture.
I think he enjoyed greasing the muffin tin the most.
The end product was a little too bland for my liking. I didn’t add salt to the mixture but the next time, I would for more taste. R wasn’t so interested in eating the muffin although he managed to dig all the pieces of ham and that was really what he wanted.
Cooking with a toddler also means there’s a little bit more to clean up like when the mixture spills on the floor or when he gets a little curious and sticks his finger in the mixture. Nevertheless, it’s really the process that counts and the fun of making something together. I was glad he understood my instructions and I definitely enjoyed having him help me.
I must add that I’m really no expert when it comes to baking. So, giving credit where it’s due, this is the site for the recipe http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2014/06/ham-cheese-and-spinach-muffins-cooking.html?m=1
I’m very lucky to have a husband who cooks and bakes pretty well. I don’t know many men who can do both quite well though so I count myself very fortunate.
Sometimes we are so bored of eating that we just have no idea what to cook or eat. And if we were to eat out, even though there are so many options, we still can’t decide. Yes, sounds like first world problems.
The past weekend I requested for chicken rice and listening to how hubby cooks this while in Japan meant that he was quite an expert in it. He was trying to recreate the famous hawker dish. So did he succeed?
I would think so. He used chicken breast which I’m not quite fond of. I prefer chicken thigh because it is juicer and not as dry. As for the vegetables, it’s was different from the usual green vegetable and oyster sauce that we get if we order a set meal. Here he cooked beansprouts with cabbage, shiitake mushrooms and carrots for some colour. Toss it in a pan with salt and black pepper and it was delicious.
I enjoy using the oven primarily because all I need to do is prepare the ingredients and the oven does the job with, of course the right temperature and time. Occasionally, you’d just need to peep to see that it’s doing its job well.
I’ve been longing to bake fish for awhile especially since I’ve been eating a fair bit of fish lately. However, it has always been the same few ways of cooking it that bored me. I was excited to try baking a whole fish. I chose seabass but I reckon it should work well with other types of fish too. I’ve tried baking a slice of salmon and I should be putting the recipe here one day.
A whole fish (the size is up to you and depending on the number of people eating)
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
A stalk of coriander roughly cut them into thirds
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Several cherry tomatoes halved
2 limes or half a lemon
A teaspoon of salt
A dash of pepper
Preheat oven at 200°C.
Ensure the fish is scaled and cleaned. Marinate it with the oil, garlic, juice from the lime, salt and pepper.
Add the tomatoes onto the casserole
Bake the fish for 20 to 25 minutes or until the meat is flaky.
Once baked, add the coriander on the top of the fish and serve.
Before going into the oven
We enjoyed this dish that this was a repeat and I’m sure there will be days when yummy food like this will make its appearance again.
A bit further from the frog and goat farms is Bollywood Veggies. When my in-laws and I decided to go to the farms, this wasn’t on the agenda. It was just getting fun and my father in-law wanted to visit more places. On the map that I had earlier picked up from the frog farm, I suggested dropping by Bollywood Veggies as I knew we could have some lunch.
For a small entrance fee for adults while kids and helpers get in free, you can roam around e large area and view all sorts of plants, herbs and trees. There are two trails that you can embark on. A ten minute trail or a thirty minute one. I thought my in-laws wouldn’t want to be in the heat so I suggested the 10 minute trail but as we walked on, we ended up on the other trail. I was quite sure we didn’t take thirty minutes to cover the area because before we knew it we were back at the entrance next to the Poison Ivy restaurant.
We were quite pleased with the food selection. It was mainly Asian fare that was affordable. It was great they had something for kids and adults. Since it was our first time, we asked for food recommendations. We had the Nasi lemak, otak covered in omelette and cempedak (jackfruit) curry. The last option came highly recommended as the jackfruit came directly from the farm.
It’s a great place for kids to connect with nature and learn about the various types of plants, leaves, etc. However, be prepared depending on the time you visit that some fruits are not in season.
I liked that there were quirky signages within the area. Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of them. At the end of it, I purchased a little lime plant that’s sitting at my corridor now.
100 Neo Tiew Road,
Singapore 719026 (Kranji)