Playdate cum BBQ dinnerPosted on May 20th, 2013 @ 5:02 pm
Just like last year, I tried to arrange a playdate cum BBQ dinner for Malaika’s besties – Sabine, Layla, Eleanor and Laura. A week before the playdate, I kept on looking at the weather forecast. I would cancel the playdate if it were to rain. Hence I didn’t mention the playdate to the girl at all. I didn’t want to disappoint her. Then, finally, it seemed like Saturday would be a sunny and warm day. But then, Layla and Sabine could not make it. I still let the playdate went on as planned. I was tempted to postpone the playdate to another day, but with the highly unpredictable German weather, it might be tough to choose a sunny weekend. For those who miss the playdate, perhaps next time …
It was supposed to be a BBQ dinner. But I made some finger foods too – deviled eggs (highly requested by my boss), onion bhaji, some curry puffs and deep fried wantan. I also cooked up some tom kha gai. In the end, the adults were pretty filled up with my finger foods. We only grilled 4 big steak and some sausages for the kids. Ha … As for dessert, I baked an Oreo cheesecake, some brownie cake pop (leftover from Malaika’s bday party), chocolate madeleine and a bowlful of chocolate and some dough balls. I just wanted to provide some varieties in food. I don’t know what kind of food other kids like. I hate the feeling that going to a party and feel hungry upon returning home. I just want to feed those kids till they are happy and are willing to come back for playdate with Malaika. Ha .. you can say I use food to entice them!
Yannick and Kelsey
All the kids were playing in the garden the whole time. Therefore hardly any mess in the house.
· 6 years
Year end singing and a play scriptPosted on May 17th, 2013 @ 10:35 pm
It’s nearly the end of the academic year for Malaika. Another 1.5 months to go, then it will be the start of summer break. So, the 1st grader were having another round of publishing morning. This time round it included about 10 mins of singing and then the class would perform a play script. The script was written by themselves. So the content was pretty funny.
After that, it was snack time. Parents brought in cakes, bread, drinks and fruits.
with her BFF, Laura, another mix parentage girl
· Publishing day
In a upside down housePosted on May 15th, 2013 @ 10:35 pm
During our recent trip to Gramai, we had a tough luck – non stop rain for 2 whole days! Almost all activities had to be done indoor. One of the places we visited to kill time was the Upside Down house.
It was pretty surreal. Due to the tilted level of the house, we did feel like having sea sick. I suppose our brain was tricking us. It was pretty fun. The kids had fun posing for some silly pictures.
funny silly pictures, eh?!
· 7 years
· Gramai Alm
· having fun
Kelsey can swim too!Posted on May 14th, 2013 @ 8:51 pm
4 years 2 months old
I am so happy and surprised that Kelsey can finally swim. Since he was 3 years old, he had been putting his head down in the water when he was in the pool. He was more like diving than swimming. We have been showing, telling him to put his head up. And he just would not do it. Last weekend when we were at the Thermal pools in Fügen, he insisted that he could swim without the arm floaties. I didn’t want to believe him, I still asked Terry to buy a pair of floaties because I forgot to pack them. Then he showed me, see-I-can-swim-look. I was so surprise that he could really swim. He is still a beginner, so adult supervision is still needed until he masters the skill.
A long weekend breakPosted on May 13th, 2013 @ 9:46 pm
We went for a long weekend trip last weekend. We did it with a group of friends. This year was the same. Last year we had a amazing weather. This year, unfortunately, it was raining non stop for 2 whole day. The only time it didn’t rain was on the day we arrived and the day we departed. Tough luck!
the mountain hut out in the wilderness
playing with baby Theo
Somebody came out with an idea to do soft play – collecting twig, leaves and etc around the area. All done in the rain. I did checked the weather forecast before packing, so I packed rain gears for the kids and I also brought an umbrella with me because I don’t have a rain coat. The kids had fun nevertheless.
collecting river stone
collecting snow ball! yes, there was still some leftover dirty snow
After that, some moms brought out some papers and stickers to do crafts with the kids. At least they were occupied. You could see how many kids they were.
After that, we went to a Planetarium in Schwarz to watch a show. It was just so-so. There was silver mining tour just opposite the Planetarium, we wanted to went for the tour to kill time since our dinner reservation was at 5.30pm. Then, we found out that the silver mining tour took 1.5 hrs. So we gave it a miss. And we went to visit a upside down house. It was a pretty awesome experience. We took lots of silly pictures. Then, we went to have dinner.
On the 3rd day, it was still raining, not as heavy as the 2nd day, nevertheless it was still raining. We decided to go swimming. Luckily we brought our swim gear. So off we drove to Erlebnis Therme in Fügen. I actually like this thermal pools. All the pools were heated to above 30C. I don’t like to swim in cold water.
After that, we went back to our mountain hut. The kids watched TV to kill time. Some of the kids were not around. Finally dinner time.
On Sunday, finally the rain has stopped. But it was still pretty cold. After breakfast, the kids were playing in the play ground. We also celebrated Basti’s 5th birthday.
Terry didn’t really like the place because there is no internet connection. Worse still, there was not even mobile signal. So we practically were totally cut off from the world. Well, not totally, there were still hotel fixed line and one needs to purchase voucher for internet connection to be used in the lobby area. I quite like the place. It is nice to be out in the wilderness once in a while. The group was talking about going back there next year. We have our reservation. We would like to try out new places. So we will see ..
· 7 years
Lemon sablésPosted on May 11th, 2013 @ 12:57 am
I saw this recipe some time ago, and thinking of baking a batch and of course my baking list is so long that I totally forgot all about it until 2 weeks ago, I had to bake some cookies for Malaika’s school. I decided to try out new recipes. So I picked this lemon rosemary sable.
It tasted just like shortbread cookies to me. Very crumbly, melt in your mouth type. I felt guilty every time I popped one in my mouth cause I knew how much butter I used. I decided to make one log with rosemary and another without. Instead of rolling the sable with rosemary, I chopped it into small pieces and mix it in the dough. The one with rosemary tasted pretty good.
225g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 1/2 lemons
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted before measuring
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour.
For the decoration (optional):
1 egg yolk
6 tablespoons minced, fresh rosemary
1. With a mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until it is smooth and very creamy.
2. Mix the sugar and zest together in a bowl and rub them together with your fingers until you can smell the lemon and the sugar is moist.
3. Add the sugars and salt and beat until smooth and looking like velvet. You’re not going for fluffy and airy, so keep it to about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in 2 egg yolks, beating until well blended.
4. Pour in all the flour, and, at low speed, pulse the mixer about 5 times. Mix at low speed for about 30 seconds more. You only want to mix until the flour disappears into the dough. You don’t want the dough to come together into a ball. It should be clumpy and soft.
5. Pour the dough out on a work surface, bring it into a ball, and divide it in two. Shape each piece into a log about 9 inches long and 1 1/2″ wide. (When forming your logs, lay the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and use it to help form the log). Wrap the logs well and put them in the refrigerator for at least two hours. The dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or kept in the freezer for 1 month. (if frozen, let dough thaw a bit before slicing into cookies. If they crumble when you slice them, you can gently pinch them back together)
6. When it’s time to bake, center one baking rack in the oven and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
7. To apply the rosemary, whisk the egg yolk and brush it onto one log of chilled dough. Sprinkle the rosemary on a work surface and roll the log in the rosemary until somewhat covered. Trim the ends of the log if they are uneven and slice it into 1/3-inch-thick cookies.
8. Place the rounds on the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each cookie, and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point.
Dorie says: “When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top”. Let the cookies rest a couple of minutes before carefully moving them to a cooling rack.
White chocolate blondiesPosted on May 9th, 2013 @ 8:01 pm
Every year, Parent Teacher Organisation (PTO) organised a staff appreciation lunch to reward teachers and school staffs. Parents were asked to provide food. Last year I baked some homemade cookies, because it was the easiest thing to do, easier for Malaika to bring to school than a cake. There was no need for me to go to the school. This year, I volunteered to bake cookies, but the spot was taken, so I offered to bake some brownies. I could cut in it into pieces so that Malaika could easily bring it to school. Then I decided to bake something else – white chocolate blondies after seeing a big block of white chocolate in my pantry.
So I googled and decided on a BBC food recipe. It was a pretty easy recipe and yet yummy tasting. I didn’t make the frosting because I think the blondies itself should be very sweet.
225g caster sugar (reduced to 160g)
4 free-range eggs
225g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
150g plain flour, sifted
225g white chocolate, chopped
100g macadamia nuts, chopped (used walnuts)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm/8in square cake tin with butter.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until pale and fluffy. Beat in the melted butter a little at a time, making sure each addition of butter is fully incorporated before adding the next.
3. Add the flour and carefully fold it into the mixture using a metal spoon.
4. Add the chopped white chocolate and macadamia nuts and carefully fold them into the mixture.
5. Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared cake tin and shake gently until level. Transfer the tin to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the brownies comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
21 questions to ask your kids …Posted on May 8th, 2013 @ 8:42 pm
I saw this at Barbara’s blog and thought it would be interesting to find out how well Malaika know her mother, that is yours truly. I think she knows me pretty well.
1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
always close my toothpaste lid (she always forget)
2. What makes Mommy happy?
that I finish mad minutes (she has to finish a math sheet within 2 mins in school, she is pretty right about it)
3. What makes Mommy sad?
when I do something bad
4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
reading funny stories to me
5. What was Mommy like as a child?
she didn’t have much money (I always tell her that)
6. How old is Mommy?
35 years old
7. How tall is Mommy?
180cm (ha.. I am not that tall)
8. What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do?
to sleep (she is so right about this!)
9. What does Mommy do when you’re not around?
she does her work
10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
being a rockstar (?! never cross my mind)
11. What is Mommy really good at?
cooking (she is right!)
12. What is Mommy not very good at?
playing games on iphone, ipod and ipad (I don’t play games)
13. What does Mommy do for her job?
working at home
14. What is Mommy’s favorite food?
pizza margarita (nope, wrong answer)
15. What makes you proud of Mommy?
that she does all the work just for me!
16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
The big bad witch (?!)
17. What do you and Mommy do together?
when my brother is at school we walk together to his school (happen only when she is on break)
18. How are you and Mommy the same?
me and mommy have the same blood (same blood type)
19. How are you and Mommy different?
our hair colour is different
20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
that she teaches me and cooks for me
21. Where is Mommy’s favorite place to go?
to nice hotels
A rose among the thornsPosted on May 6th, 2013 @ 8:33 pm
Last Sunday, Malaika attended her friend, Karl’s birthday at a Kiddy car theme party. He is a boy that has been in the same class and same bus as Malaika for almost 2 years. Not to say they are very close friends, but they have a good friendship. So when Karl’s mum wrote an email to me inviting Malaika to Karl’s party, I said yes. Little did I know that, there was only 1 girl in the party, and that girl was Malaika. The rest was boys. Well, boys that in the same class.
They learnt about driving an electronics car, wearing a helmet and reading traffic signs. We left her in the party and went for an early dinner. And when we got back there, they just finished their pizza and a cupcake as dessert.
At the end, there was a certificate for the girl for mastering driving skills.
a rose among the thorns!
best chocolate cupcakes?Posted on May 5th, 2013 @ 8:47 pm
I was looking for a chocolate tart recipe and stumbled across this chocolate cake recipe. I glanced through the ingredients and had all in my pantry. So I started baking straight away. I wanted to use the chocolate frosting as per the original recipe, and I ran out of butter. My driver didn’t want to drive me out to buy butter. So I looked in the fridge and found a pack of cream cheese. We all know that almost all kids like chocolate, so I melted a block of of chocolate to be mix into the frosting.
The result – Papa ate 2-3 cupcakes. He commented that it was like the devil cake. He likes it. Normally I don’t like this type of chocolates because I could taste soda in my mouth which I don’t like it. But this time, I like the whole cupcake.
Ingredients: (to make up to 24 cupcakes or 2 8″ cakes)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp espresso powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 170C. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans or muffins tray.
2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
3. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter. Cake batter is pretty runny.
4. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans or muffin tray. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
6. Frost cake with cream cheese chocolate frosting.
Cream cheese chocolate frosting
175g cream cheese
30g butter, soft
100g 55% bittersweet chocolate, melted
100g powder sugar
Using a hand held mixer, mix all the ingredients together. Pipe on cooled cupcakes.