Bread story

Bread story

Like I always say, my kids are my biggest inspiration when it comes to cooking and baking. Okay, let me back it up a little here. I was never a kitchen person. Growing up, I rarely ever ventured beyond the kitchen door. But when I had kids, it all changed. I found myself trying to cook or bake whatever they liked to eat.

I’ve never had any cooking or baking lessons, never felt inclined to spend the money. Just trial and error, and winging it most of the time. When my kids in their pre-teen years went berserk over sausage rolls, we spent a small fortune going to that bakery near our house to feed our bread frenzy.

My cinnamon rolls

Bread making was uncharted territory for me. I didn’t even think I wanted to try it after seeing how the bread my aunt used to make could knock a person’s brains clear out of their heads if they ever got hit by one of her rolls. Bread making sounded deadly!!

My apple cinnamon braid

If my aunt, the so-called “celebrity chef of the family”, couldn’t do it, what were the chances that my bread would even be edible? Then again, it’s not as if parenting is without its risks, right? So I ventured to make my first batch of sausage rolls. Worst case scenario, I would build myself a nice little rock garden with my rolls 😆 .

Our daily bread

Making bread takes patience and calm. No electronic breadmakers for me. My unlovely SIL gave us a loaf to show off what her new breadmaker could do. Oh sure, leave the loaf overnight and tomorrow you could stone someone to death with it. My kids hated the rock-hard bread. So that was it, forget the breadmaker!

Let’s get down and dirty. Work up some elbow grease. I dare say bread tastes better with that secret ingredient – Mom’s perspiration.

My bread rolls, so soft and yummy

What is one food that you love to eat and learnt to cook, or wish you could cook?

Eating healthier, and we try

Eating healthier, and we try

We’ve been trying to eat healthier. Little by little. Whenever we can manage it. I won’t pretend it’s easy because a busy lifestyle like ours isn’t exactly cut out for that. With the convenience of eating out comes high sodium, high sugar, high fat and not so ideal methods of food preparation. But we’re trying and we’ve been pretty good with it so far.

We had Japanese (again!) last weekend and I ordered this scrumptious salmon doused in lemon juice and smothered with wasabi. Just ignore me, I’m raving about wasabi again 😆 .

Our home bakery comes alive every weekend. Me and the girls are in there with sleeves rolled up, hair tied back and elbow-deep in bread dough, kneading and rolling. No bread maker. It’s back to basics, the old-fashioned way. If our high metabolic rates won’t allow us to go without carbs, we’ll just have to pile on the wheat, nuts and fruit.


We are recent converts to oatmeal. We (yes, me included) have always balked at the word. But since we chomped down like 100 granola bars in the space of our 1-month winter vacation in Cali last year, I figured that was a darned good start right there. Now I make my own granola bars, so I can control the sugar.

My two salad haters are now salad lovers. So more greens it is. If time permits, I even make my own dressing.

There’s a ton of new (to us) foods that we’ve recently added to our list, like pumpkins and pomegranates. Are you trying to eat healthier? What changes are you making to your diet? What new foods are you trying?

Weekend wrap and pseudo-wisdom

  1. Past, present, future aren’t the only tenses in the English language. What can you do with 3 tenses seriously?
  2. A loaf of bread for 35 bucks. Wouldn’t’ve believed it if I hadn’t see it with my own eyes. Is it made of gold powder?
  3. Pixie haircuts are for those with flawless bone structures and facial features. Like Emma Watson 😉 .
  4. Badminton and soccer are for girls. Bring on the Super Bowl!
  5. Fascinated by Sweet Serendipity. Whenever I hear it in the car, I recognize it instantly. Don’t know the guy but love the video and the song. So upbeat, so good for the soul.

Between then and now

Between then and now

I was pretty much stuck in this chair all of yesterday. You may have swung by recently and noticed a bit of a mess here. Maybe we were missing a sidebar here, some graphics there. Pretty much the sort of stuff you expect when you’re moving to a new “home”. Been working very long hours with the most patient support guy ever (thanks again, Scott!) to get stuff ironed out.

Apart from that, we’ve just been hanging out. Food is the really big thing this time of year. For us, not so much. We haven’t been out to a restaurant yet. Instead we’ve been feasting on these incredibly scrumptious leftover turkey sandwiches. Never mind that we ran out of tomatoes.

And we got to the gym yesterday which was near-empty. A gym where you can actually make out each piece of equipment instead of seeing a blur of movement – priceless! Great workout yesterday, so happy about that. And planning to hit it again early tomorrow morning 😀 .

Got a few more hiccups to sort out, then we’re out of here. Going to make the most of the rest of the holidays and just kick back before the insanity starts all over again Monday.

Snippets of our weekend

Snippets of our weekend

What a Sunday! The girls and I were up early and we got to work right after breakfast. Yup, 5 hours in the kitchen baking up a storm. Nevertheless it was a long morning well spent. We baked granola bars, 2 huge loaves of wholemeal bread that’s going to last us a week and chocolate chip cookies (recipe here) which I was planning to give away as a gift but we’ve already munched through half the container.

The bread and granola bars are for my girls to munch in school. Homemade bread is much more substantial as a breakfast food than the airy bread sold at the store. The granola is to tie them over the long school hours.

Saturday, we trawled the mall. I know, I know, we have nothing to buy and we really should try to avoid the malls on the weekends from now on because Chinese New Year is next week and the malls are busting with folks trying to get their last-minute shopping done.

But when you live in this city, there’s practically nowhere else to go on the weekend except… the mall. We just need to get out of the house for a few hours. So that’s where we had both lunch and dinner out Saturday.

And now we’re ready for another crazy week ahead. Bring it on!

By the way, what was your weekend like?

A place to destress

A place to destress

For the past couple of weekends, the girls and I have been sneaking off to a little Japanese place which serves these gorgeous dragon rolls. Japanese is one of our favorite go-to’s for stress relief, and these weeks have been kinda stressful. So what the heck, right?

Quite honestly, we can’t decide which one of these dragon rolls we like better. They taste different but they both taste so good. I love drenching my roll in wasabi even if it makes me sneeze sometimes when that powerful pungence travels up my nose 😆 .

Hip2bDaughter2’s favorite is this unagi rice. Unagi is Japanese for eel. Well, I try to think of this as fish, not eel when I’m eating it. It’s not hard because it smells heavenly. And I would dab my spoonful all over with wasabi.

Hip2bDaughter1 loves this beef rice and I have to agree. We rarely eat beef at home so this is kinda a nice little treat for us.

And let’s face it, we all love tempura. For me, it would be a sin to go to a Japanese restaurant and not order tempura. So ebi tempura (shrimp) and yasai tempura (assorted vegetables) is a must.

Not to forget that piping hot green tea. Looking at these pictures is making me drool. We definitely need to do this more often.

how not to lose your kids when you’re out

When my kids were younger, I couldn’t do much serious shopping when I was out with them. I had to watch them like hawks, well, pretty much. I’ve seen first-hand how parents lost their kids in the crowd and that desperate look on their faces is enough to scare the daylights out of anyone.

Sometimes we tend to get carried away with looking at stuff and we leave the kids in their strollers, or the toddlers to wander off on their own. There are a few things you can do though to avoid losing your kids.

(1) Always keep your kids in sight.

(2) Hold your child by the hand to keep them with you all the time.

(3) Have your wandering toddler on a leash.

(4) If you’re out with more than one kid, do a regular headcount to ensure everyone’s accounted for before moving on. Better yet, put an older sibling in charge of headcounts.

(5) Do a show and tell of an agreed location so your kids know where to go in case you get separated.

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