Monday, 9 November 2015

Burgers with Homemade Beefy Patties & Portobello Mushrooms with Buttered Peas

This meal turned out totally differently from what I had planned initially..lolz! I chanced upon organic miso the day before so I bought some & had wanted to cook a soba in miso soup. However, I saw the bread buns that we had purchased supposedly for breakfast which I'd almost completely forgotten about. As usual, my lil' bread lover got so excited upon overhearing me muttered the word 'bread'. Thus, with the new turn of events, I asked if he wanted a burger to which few kids would be able to resist that temptation, right?

Ingredients (supposedly for 1 toddler but my boy couldn't finish so I ate 1 too):

50g of organic minced beef
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp of Bob's Red Mill All Natural Cornstarch
1 egg, white separated
A dash of basil
A dash of oregano
2 big portobello mushrooms 
1 tsp of organic VCO
2 tbsps of freshly grated organic cheddar cheese
2 big handfuls of Watties frozen garden peas
2 tbsps of water
1 tsp of unsalted butter
2 burger buns (I used the sesame loaf from Green Pumpkin Japanese Bakery at Nex)


1. Marinate beef with sesame oil, cornstarch, egg white, basil & oregano for at least 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven under Grill setting, max temperature (260°C) for 5 minutes.

3. Drizzle the underside of the mushrooms with the VCO & grill for 5 minutes. 

4. Half the beef & use a spoon to form 2 circular patties. Grill for around 10 minutes till they turn slightly brown on the surface.

5. Cut the buns into half, without seperating them. Lightly beat the egg yolk & spread it over the insides of the buns & grill for 2-3 minutes till the egg is cooked & bread lightly toasted.

6. Top the mushrooms with 1 tbsp of cheddar cheese each & bake for another 10 minutes.

7. Add 2 tbsps of water to the peas then also grill for 2-3 minutes till softened & cooked. Drain the water then melt the butter over the hot peas & mix well.

8. Assemble the burger by putting the beef patty on the bun then cap on the mushroom with cheese. Lastly, top with the bun & serve warm with the buttered peas.

I couldn't help but mention the most hilarious thing that happened while I was prepping lunch. My boy was so elated & grateful for his upcoming meal that he repeatedly thanked me for it..hahaha!! His impromptu luncheon turned out yummilicious!!! I remembered my first attempt at homemade patties weren't quite as successful as I found them too dense with oats added. Yet, this time round, I didn't even have time to do any research & simply jumped right into the preparations with just my gut feel. I was still kinda worried initially as i had pre-marinated the beef with sesame oil which is more commonly used for Chinese cuisines. To my surprise, the patty was quite tender with a faint fragrance from the herbs plus the juice from the portobello mushrooms complemented it nicely. Furthermore, the crispy toasted bread had a slight sweetness to it so all the flavours just seemed to come together in a perfect symphony in my mouth. No wonder BB devoured his in no time at all..lolz! I'm so going to replicate this again for my other 'boy' soon ~.<

Sunday, 8 November 2015

DIY with Lotsa L.O.V.Es - Orange Colour Sensory Bag

The preparations for the next Toddler Busy Bags exchange have started since my activity, orange sensory bags, has been finalised. For the past few weeks, shopping for various orange coloured items has been underway & I've already purchased the bulk of them. Thus, the next step now is to get the rice & pastas dyed.

Mummies who've done this before shared that it's so much fun. After getting my hands dirty, or should i say stained in this case, I totally agree with them..lolz! After trying out 3 seperate batches, I finally achieved a satisfactory bright orange rice using the following ratio:

  Vinegar : Colour gel : Rice 
= 1 tbsp : 12 drops : 2 cups


1. Pour the vinegar & colour gel into a big ziplock bag (I'm using Ikea's 4.5L one), fasten & then mix well.

2. Add in the rice, fasten again & mix till the rice grains are evenly dyed.

3. Pour onto a tray to dry thoroughly, stirring occasionally.

With the air-conditioner switched on, it seemed to dry pretty fast. However to play safe, I'm leaving them overnight to dry thoroughly. With 2 packs of 5kg rice, I believe I'll be spending many more nights repeating the above steps..hee ;)

To thank Grub n' Grow's supporters, I'm going to give away 2 of this busy bag.

Directions to win:

1. Like "Grub n' Grow" Facebook Page.

2. Tag at least 3 friends to this Facebook Post whom you know will be delighted to receive one of them too.

3. Share this post publicly on your timeline. 

4. Closing date is 31st December 2015, 2359hrs.

5. The winners will be randomly drawn by my boy, and his decision is final..hee ;)

Kindly note that this giveaway is limited to Singapore entries only. May the odds be ever in your favor ^.~

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Healthy Bubur Chacha - Purple Sweet Potatoes in Fresh Milk

After trying out the Milky Oats With Purple Sweet Potato for Breaky previously, I've cravings for it again but preferably a more soupy version so I omitted the oats today.


2 cups of fresh milk
2 middle size purple sweet potatoes, skinned & cut into small chunks


1. Bring the milk to a boil. 

2. Add in sweet potato then simmer for about 15mins. Serve warm.

Omg!! The taste of this resembles it's counterpart, the bubur chacha even more! Without adding in oats this time, it has an even more distinct milky & sweet potato taste. Yums! Even though the little boy, a milk fanatic who very much prefers his milk straight from the source or cup, initially threw a tantrum after hearing that I was cooking a sweet potato dessert with milk; finally conceded and kept repeating 'Nice nice!!'

Beneficial Combination:

Milk + Sweet Potatoes = Prevent hypertension & arteriosclerosis

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Milky Oats With Purple Sweet Potato for Breaky

I was having cravings for banana oats for breakfast this morning. To my disappointment, the bananas were too ripe & had turned brownish inside so into the rubbish bin they went. Since I've a pack of purple sweet potatoes on my countertop, I decided to try something new ;>

Ingredients (serve 2 adults & 1 toddler):

200ml of fresh milk
1/2 cup of organic rolled oats
1 medium size purple sweet potato, skinned & cut into small chunks


1. Bring the milk to a boil. 

2. Add in sweet potato & oats then simmer for about 15mins. Serve warm.

What's the end result of my lil' kitchen experiment? The taste is kinda like a lighter version of bubur chacha. Fresh milk definitely doesn't have the strong fragrant of coconut milk but it also doesn't contain as much saturated fats present in the latter. Therefore, it's healthier too. The purple sweet potato gives the porridge a tinge of mild natural sweetness. What surprises me the most is the natural fragrant of the oats which fill my mouth as I chew on. I believe that without the addition of seasonings in my everyday meals, my palate has become more acute to the natural flavours or maybe because there aren't too much sweetness or saltiness to mask them.

Beneficial Combinations:

Milk + Oats = Has the effect of reducing fats & losing weight

Milk + Sweet Potatoes = Prevent hypertension & arteriosclerosis

Friday, 25 September 2015

Protection against Haze - Air+Smart Mask or Vogmask?

Masks are no doubt one of the two most sought after products every year when the haze hits us! For the previous years, there wasn't any suitable N95 grade masks for the little ones. This year, on the other hand, two different brands both with kids' sizes have been introduced to the market & I was lucky to be able to lay my hands on both with the kind recommendations & help from a few of my girlfriends. A big THANKS to all of them!!! I have seen a lot of questions being raised over the past few days as the haze condition worsened. Since I have both their respective "S" sizes for my 26mo boy, I thought it would be helpful to do a comparison, especially for mummies who're trying to find suitable ones for their kids.

Personally, I prefer the Vogmask as its reusable & washable. The only thing about it is that the straps are not adjustable so getting the right size to ensure a good fit is necessary. The "S" size was actually loose for my BB. On the other hand, accordingly to the feedback of my girlfriend, this mask has the best fit among others she has tried for her 2.5yo son. Another positive feedback from a mummy friend is that it is easier for kids to put on themselves than N95 masks.

For the AIR+, the feedback from another girlfriend is that it's too loose even for her 4yo gal so I was expecting it to be very loose for my boy. On the contrary, when we first wore it for him before his Vogmask was ready for collection, it fitted well. This is most likely due to the adjustable straps & as different people have different facial contours, the fit may differ slightly too. Some mummies may also wonder if it's a must to add on the ventilator. In my opinion, if your child is just wearing it from point to point, for eg, home to car, it suffices even without the ventilator. However, if it's for more prolonged periods, I'll recommend to add on the ventilator for more comfort.

In conclusion, both masks have their individual strengths over the other. Therefore, rather than choosing a particular brand, I think choosing the mask that has a perfect fit for your child is more important. As the haze continues to descend upon us, please take the necessary precautions for the safety of your LOs & take care too!!!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Throwback of Pear with Mi Zao & Chinese Almonds Soup

Readers of my blog would most likely know that one of the earliest natural remedies I've tried was the Double-Boiled Asian Pear since it has been the most popular post till date. I would say that this is a "tweaked" recipe of that. I was quite reluctant to add mi zao when my mum first introduced it to me as the dates are soaked in a raw sugar solution during the preservation process. However, since BB is already two, a bit of sugar now & then won't hurt I guess ;) There're various reasons why this is an ideal soup for the recent haze. First & foremost, pears help to nourish our lungs. Furthermore, other than lung nourishing properties, Chinese almonds also help to relieve cough & asthma as well as to dissolve phlegm. As for the benefits of mi zao, it has already been explained in my earlier post Apple Corn & Honey Dates Soup to Combat the Hazy Skies.

Ingredients (serve 2 adults & 1 toddler)

1.5l of water
2 Asian pears, skinned & cut into chunks
30g of Chinese almonds (premix of sweet & bitter almonds with a higher % of sweet ones)
3 Eu Yan San mi zao


1. Bring the ingredients in water to a boil then simmer for 2h & serve warm.

Addition of the mi zao definitely adds another layer of sweetness to this drink. My 'boys' slurped up theirs & both devoured the dates in no time at all..lolz! 

Red Bean Oats Porridge - Another Immune Boosting Recipe

Another throwback recipe! The first time I tried something like this was in Seoul. Two big pots of red beans & pumpkin porridges outside a stall in a local market captured our attentions. However, to our surprise, it was salted, not sweet. Tasted equally yummy though. As I reminisced over the happy times in Korea, I recalled that I still had a pack of adzuki beans in my cabinet. Without wasting any time, I referred to my guide book for complements of these small red beans & found exactly what I needed..oats! So, here's my sweet version ^.^

Ingredients (serve 2 adults & 1 toddler):

1/2 cup of organic adzuki beans, soaked overnight (or at least 8 hours)
750ml of water
1/2 cup of organic rolled oats
Optional - 1 tsp of molasses or honey (pls exclude for babies less than 1yo)


1. Rinse the soaked beans a couple of times then add into the pot of water. 

2. Bring the water to a boil then simmer for about 1hr 15mins or till the red beans soften according to your preference.

3. Pour in the oats & cook for another 15mins.

4. Add molasses or honey (best to wait till it has cooled down significantly before adding as high heat willl destroy some of the nutrients) to taste & serve warm.

Today's actually my second attempt & we still love this simple yet nutritious bowl of warm porridge in our tummies early in the morning. 

Beneficial Combination:

Oats + Red Beans = Enhance constitution & improve immunity

Monday, 21 September 2015

Apple Corn with Honey Dates Soup to Combat the Hazy Skies

Hello, everyone! I'm back after a seemingly long 'break'. First & foremost, thank you all for sticking around for the past few months!!! Despite the absence of new posts, I know some of you have still been referring to my blog for recipes & some inspirations. 

Many of you must have been wondering where I had MIA-ed to? Well, business was more or less as usual in my kitchen..lolz! My coming to 26 months old still essentially feeds on home-cooked food but I'll have to admit that I've started to close 1 eye to outside food since he's older now.Yes, only 1 eye, and not both. He may have an allowance of 1 to 2 'indulgences' per week, having the same food as us outside but I'll try to request for no salt & MSG for his portion. So far, our favourite restaurant with food that may be prepared as per the above requests is Fish & Co. Simply place an order of baked salmon or cod fish without any seasonings & sauces and he's ready to have them  (~.^) 

Food aside, I've been spending more time on his development for the last few months. With his rapid development in speech & his growth in awareness, my lil' BB is no longer that little..hee! His demand for attention has kinda increased exponentially. Thus, the focus in my blog may change slightly as well, with more emphasis on the 'Growth' aspect.

We've been more sociable as well. As my boy has not officially attended school yet, I've been meeting up with other SAHMs for playmates. These are good avenues for BB's social development & to learn how to share & interact with other children. Well, mummies need some support groups too, don't we?

Other than the Busy Bags exchanges which I've shared previously on Facebook, I have also made a Quiet Book for his 2nd birthday. This Quiet Book activity has only recently started to take off in Singapore. I've been wanting to share more but haven't quite gotten down to doing it. I promise though that it won't be long now : )

Lastly, I've also embarked on a wellness journey which I've procrastinated for like forever. I shall keep all of you in suspense for now but do stay tuned!

Enough for the catching up, let's dive straight into the recipe you've been awaiting for. With the bad hazy weather looming over our heads for the past few weeks, I have prepared this simple soup for my 'boys' at home. Consuming apples & corn together helps to boost our immune systems. In addition, mi zao helps to prevent the common cold as well as reduces allergic symptoms such as asthma & nasal inflammation by strengthening our lungs which I believe is what our bodies need most currently.

Ingredients (serve 2 adults & 1 toddler):
1.5l of water (2l if you prefer mild sweetness like myself)
2 organic apples, cut into wedges
2 organic corns, cut into thirds
2 Eu Yan Sang mi zao


1. Bring the ingredients in water to a boil then simmer for 2h & serve warm.

I find this to be very thirst-quenching & throat soothing but a tad too sweet, especially for BB as his diet is still without much sugary stuffs. In view of this, I'll increase the volume of water to 2 litres for future attempts. Njoy the drink & bid the haze goodbye..soon, I hope!!

Beneficial Combination:

Apple + Corn = Can make skin glow & improve immunity

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Sesame Oil Chicken Rice with Organic Pumpkin & Red Dates Soup

This is another of my all-time faves - "one-pot" chicken rice imparted by my mummy! The usual ingredients include Chinese sausages & dried shiitake mushrooms but we're all aware that sausages are not exactly a very healthy option due to high sodium levels & the addition of preservatives. Thus, they've been omitted. As for dried shiitake mushrooms, i've asked my mummy where I could buy good ones but she told me she also can't really find them nowadays & advised me to use fresh ones instead. That was quite a dampening news as I've always like their richer flavours as compared to the fresh ones. To compensate for the missing aromas, I subsituted normal oil with sesame oil instead & the results were great!

Ingredients (serve 1 toddler & 1 adult):

1 chicken leg + 1 small drumstick
1/2 cup of organic 10 multi-grains
4 tbsps of sesame oil
1 tbsp of Bob's Red Mill All Natural Cornstarch
1/2 cup water
50g of white bunashimeiji mushrooms
8 stalks of organic French beans, diced


1. Marinate the chicken pieces with the cornstarch & half the sesame oil, and marinate the rice with the remaining sesame oil for at least 1 hour.

2. Add water to rice, top off with the chicken pieces & mushrooms then steam for 30 minutes (I'm using my Techno 3-Tiers Electric Steamer but rice cooker would do too).

3. Add the French beans & steam for another 5 minutes. Remove chicken pieces & give it a good stir to mix the ingredients evenly. Serve warm.

We both love the fragrance of the sesame oil in the rice. Be warned though that the rice is kinda wet & sticky partly due to the fact that it was cooked in my steamer where more moisture is added during the steaming process. Think along the lines of mui fan (which I happened to like too). Cooking it in the cooker should give you the usual rice texture if you're not a big fan of rice with lotsa gravy.


240g of organic pumpkin
6 red dates, seeds removed
750ml of water


1. Add all the ingredients to a pot & bring to boil. Then, simmer in low fire for 2 hours.

Nothing fanciful but just a bowl of comforting sweet-tasting soup.

Beneficial Combination:

Pumpkin + Red date = Invigorating spleen & replenishing qi as well as restraining & inhibiting qi of lungs

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Organic Penne in Creamy Pork with Portobello Mushrooms Sauce

After we came home from our second trip to the library today, I needed to whip up a quick luncheon & I knew just what to cook as I've been having this craving since the bottle of Bulla cream has been siitting in my fridge...hee! I had wanted to prepare this dish much earlier, however, due to unforseen circumstances (almost an entire pack of shiitake mushrooms turned mouldy), I wasn't able to cook it last week :(

Ingredients (serve 1 toddler & 1 adult):

100g of Alce Nero Organic Penne Rigate
100g of Australia corn fed minced pork
6 medium-sized portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 medium-sized purple onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
150ml of Bulla Thickened Cream (red label as shown in picture below)
100ml of pasta water
1 big handful of frozen peas
3 tbsps (sauce) + 1 tbsp (topping) of shredded organic cheddar cheese
Some freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)


1. Bring water to boil for pasta & cook in simmering water till it's almost cooked.

2. Simultaneously, heat up some EVOO in a pan then add garlic. When it starts to brown, add in the onion followed by mushrooms & black pepper then sauté till the mushrooms start to shrivel & 'sweat'. 

3. Add in the pork to stirfry then pour the cream & pasta water into the pan & mix well.

4. As soon as pasta is ready, add the pasta, peas & cheese to the pan. Toss around to evenly coat the pasta with the sauce & let it simmer a while for the pasta to absorb the goodness.

5. Top with more cheese & serve immediately.

Burp! Absolutely satisfying meal but super fattening. Well, I'm sure it's alright since we don't eat cream everyday, not even once a month in fact. &, I know most people would tell me that I can afford to put on some extra kilos..lolz! This is so good that I think I'm going to tweak the recipe slightly to make a creamy mushroom soup one of these days. Thus, do stay tuned & happie grubbing!

Beneficial Combinations:

Garlic + Onion = Detoxification & anti-cancer effects

Garlic + Pork = Eliminate fatigue, improve attention & help enhance immunity

Peas + Pork = Diuretic (promotes the production of urine), stop diarrhoea & aid digestion

Pepper + Pork = Favorable for digestion & absorption of nutrients

Friday, 10 April 2015

Open Faced Sandwich with Avocado & Cheddar Cheese Scrambled Egg

I was brain-storming as to what I could do for breakfast with the remaining few slices of my bread. When I came across the ripe avocado on my countertop, this idea came to me instanteously!

Ingredients (serve 1 toddler & 1 adult):

3 slices of homemade purple sweet potato bread
3 kampong eggs
3 tbsps (for eggs) + 1 tbsp (topping) of shredded organic cheddar cheese
1 avocado, pitted & mashed
1/2 tsp of lemon juice
A dash of freshly ground black pepper
Some organic extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO)


1. Add lemon juice to the avocado & mix well. Spread generously onto 2 pieces of bread (may lightly toast the bread if desired) & set aside.

2. Beat eggs with the cheese

3. Heat up some EVCO till hot. Pour in the eggs & lower the fire to lowest heat. Use a spatula and push inwards to the centre from around the edges. Switch off the fire when the eggs are softly set but yet slightly runny & scoop out the adult's portion. Continue to stir fry the remaining eggs till fully cooked for BB. 

4. Scoop on top of the avocado spread, top with some more cheese & pepper then serve immediately. 

BB finished his with a dollop of plain yogurt & some organic raisins in no time at all. It was a blessing in disguise that BB was having a bit of running nose & I decided not to let him drink the fresh milk which is supposed to create more mucus.
(Note: best not to consume milk with this meal. Refer to 'Harmful Combination' below) 

Healthy & delicious homecooked breakfasts always make the start of our days a better one...I hope they'd have the same greatness on you too! Enjoy!

Beneficial Combination:

Egg + Milk = Improve memory skills

Harmful Combination:

Lemon + Milk = Can affect gastrointestinal function