Family trips

Our little princess Abigail has been traveling with us since 4 months old. Stay tune for more of our family trips!

Honeymoon in Maldives

A place where romance begins... And there is never a blue as beautiful as the waters of Maldives!

Sinchow Vietnam!

Go to Vietnam. Indulge yourself in the peaceful Hmong villages in Sapa, or experience cruising at The New 7 Wonders of Nature - Halong Bay.

Go West to U.S.

Napa Valley! San Francisco! And Monterey!.

Bali oh Bali~

We've done it 3 times!! Couple trip 2009, friends trip 2010, and family trip 2014.

Hello Macau, the oriental Portugal

Walking the oriental Europe. Remember to taste the most authentic Portuguese tarts!.

London

I was just a touch-and-go tourist in a short 3 days...

Babymoon in Boracay

Sea, sand, sun. And a new family member in my tummy!

Marrakech, a hidden jewel

Of palm groves, fire dancing, and dromedaries.

Siem Reap - day and night

Back to the ancient kingdom and find the tomb raider in you.

Home Cooking

Just some recipes and home cuisine for my family and baby.

Welcome to my blog!! 欢迎到访!!

No matter how you get here, I wanna say a big THANK YOU for visiting my blog. Do come back often for more! Blessed because we're given the chance to share. Thank you for visiting! 无论你是刻意或者不刻意的来到这里,都进来坐坐、聊聊天吧。幸福不是必然的,而是懂得分享人生的喜悦。谢谢到访!

September 18, 2014

Caramel Apple Banana puffs



This is actually an upside-down cake recipe that I modified from Cuisine Paradise. It is meant for baking using my Happy Call Pan, but I modified the ingredients and use steaming instead. I was so happy to be able to get back home earlier yesterday and do some snacks for my little lady. She is a picky eater who is still a vegetarian thus far... I really have problem to make her take meat! There's so many recipes that I thought I can try out but she would reject right away once she tastes meat texture. Somehow she's a fan of pastries, so most of the recipes I try are pastries.


Puff ingredients:
180g Self Raising Flour
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
4 Large Egg
60g Organic Molasses Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Grated Rind of 1 Lemon
60ml Unsalted Butter, Melt
60ml Grape Seeds Oil

Caramel Apple Banana ingredients:
50g Unsalted Butter
60g Organic Molasses Sugar
50ml Water
2 Green Apple, skin remove and cored
1 Small Banana, skin remove
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
60g - 80g Golden Raisins


Method:
1. To prepare the Caramel apple banana; sliced the apple and banana into about 0.5cm thick, lightly marinate it with lemon juice. Set aside.

2. Simmer unsalted butter and organic molasses sugar over low heat until sugar dissolve and mixture begins to bubble.


3. Stir in marinated apple slices, water and continue to simmer over low heat for another 3 - 5 minutes till apple and banana slightly soften. When done, turn off the heat. Set aside and prepare the cake batter.


4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, organic molasses sugar and vanilla extract with a hand mixer till well-mixed (about 1 minute).


5. Next whisk in the melt butter, grape seeds oil and follow by the sifted flour mixtures (self raising flour + baking powder) and continue to stir until the flour is in-cooperate into the batter.


5. The batter will be slightly like thick cream texture before stirring in the remaining golden raisin.


6. Pour the mixture over the silicone mould prepared. Smooth the top and add in the caramel apple banana.


7. Steam it for 15 minutes until a skewer inserted and come out clean.



My cute little Hello Kitty Caramel Apple Banana puffs! Nicely done for my little Hello Kitty fans.




Needless to say she's excited over it and had one as supper~ Remaining were kept as breakfast and snacks for the next day.



September 4, 2014

Garlic butter flat bread

Action in kitchen tonight! 
Making bread without bread maker or oven. I only use the pan.

Garlic butter flat bread. Taste like naan.


Original recipe from my favorite celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. But I exclude the baking powder (forgot to re-stock). 
http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/easy-flatbreads

Recipe serves 12.

  • For the flatbreads:

  • 350 g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

  • sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 350 g natural yoghurt


  • For the garlic and herb butter (optional):

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a bunch of fresh soft herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, basil, dill

  • 40 g unsalted butter

  • Equipment list

  • weighing scales

  • measuring spoons

  • 2 mixing bowls

  • spoon

  • plate

  • chopping board

  • knife

  • garlic crusher

  • small saucepan (15cm)

  • rolling pin

  • griddle pan

  • tongs

  • pastry brush



Method:

1. Add all the flatbread ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon, then use clean hands to pat and bring everything together. 

2. Dust a clean work surface with flour, then tip out the dough.

3. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together (this isn't a traditional bread recipe, so you don't need to knead it for long – just enough time to bring everything together). 

4. Put the dough into a floured-dusted bowl and cover with a plate, then leave aside.

5. If making the garlic butter: peel the garlic cloves and crush them with a garlic crusher. 

6. Pick the herb leaves onto a chopping board and finely chop them, discarding the stalks. 

7. Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, then stir through the garlic and chopped herbs, then set aside.

8. Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 6 equal-sized pieces (roughly the size of a golf ball). 

9. With your hands, pat and flatten the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 12cm rounds, roughly 2mm to 3mm thick. 

10. Use a knife to cut 6 lines into the centre of each round, leaving about 3cm at each end.

11. Place the griddle pan on a high heat, then once hot, cook each one for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until bar-marked and puffed up, turning with tongs. 

12. Brush the flatbreads all over with herby garlic butter as they come off the griddle, then pile onto a serving board so everyone can dig in and help themselves.


She surely enjoys eating the bread. So does everyone.



August 30, 2014

How to pack light for your baby's day out during travel

Happy 57th Merdeka to everyone!!
In conjunction with our national day holidays, I decided to blog on this topic base on my experience. In fact I owe my friends this update for some time already...
This is one of the popular search for mommies who has planned for a trip with their little ones.

How to pack light when going out with your little one? Let me just list down the main ones first, and I'll update from time to time when another new technique of  mine is proven workable okay...

1. Baby's luggage. 
This is one of the most essential item when going for a few days trip.
Refer to my photo below on how I usually pack her clothes. I use the travel luggage organizer as her luggage. Don't underestimate its space, I could squeeze in 1 week's clothes.
The trick: Roll the clothes instead of fold them. I even organize them in such a way that I can easily pull out 1 set of outfit for the following wear. Rolling clothes is always the best technique for space saving during packing luggage, it works well for adult clothes too!



2. Baby's handcarry backpack.
Think about avoiding a lot of bags when boarding the plane? Leave your diaper bag + mommy bag behind. Get a backpack instead. I opt for the soft type material with PU skin so that it is more stretchable and waterproof. Always think of the weather factor...I learned that from my first trip with LO to Taiwan, it was rainy and my diaper bag + mommy bag + backpack carrying her breast milk all got wet. (>*<)"
The trick: Pack only essential items plus additional 3 pcs of diapers and 1 set of clothes. Spare 2 extra meals portion (milk or biscuits) in case of any delay. 
What to include: Thermos for hot water, thermoflask for food (I use it to warm breastmilk when still breastfeeding), tumbler, milk (powder/breastmilk in cooler bag), milk bottle, 2 pacifiers, 5-6 diapers, wet wipes, changing mat, a few hankies, small feeding plate with cover and spoon, spare clothes & jacket, pillow, biscuits, 1 of her favorite toy/book, and some plastic bags.
Ground rules to follow so that you don't have to start 'digging' when searching for the items - heavy items at the bottom, frequent use items stack on top, small items in pockets. 
That's why I choose this type of backpack with a few compartments and pockets.





3. Space saving for milk powder storage.
When it comes to milk powder, the conventional way is to spare 3 meals in the dispenser, then the remaining meals in a small tin. Am I right?
The trick: Look at the difference in space occupied by each of these storage - food storage bag, 3-tier dispenser, and the 3-compartment dispenser. I would definitely go for the first one. I'm not going against recycling, you can still reuse the bags isn't it. After each serving, the total space occupied will definitely reduce.
And the following photo below shows the total space occupied in my luggage, for 6 days supply. 




4. Bring a light weight stroller and baby carrier.
The trick: Go hands-free with baby carrier when shopping or moving around in public transports, or even in the airport. Stroller can be your temporary shopping cart too. I always like baby carrier as my girl will just sleep whenever she wants to.




5. Bring a semi-transparent shawl.
I just realized that shawl is so useful from my recent trip. It can be your baby's temporary sunshade under the hot sun!
The trick: Easy to keep in the bag (almost weightless), and some new fun for the baby. As it's semi-transparent, baby can still see what's happening outside.



That's about all for now. Shall add in in future for new ideas. Or you may share in comment too.

By the way, this is my backpack size. My girl is now 19 months old, so you may estimate the size. :)




August 25, 2014

DIY play dough for babies and toddlers

Last Friday evening I decided to make baby-safe play dough for my girl. At toddler stage, usually all sorts of new stuff they will put into mouth, so it's always good to make an eatable one. I got the recipe online but made a slight modification by using the available ingredients in my kitchen.


INGREDIENTS:
2 cups of multi-purpose flour, half cup of salt, 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil, half tablespoon of vinegar, and 1.5 cup of boiling water
*Note: original recipe indicates 2 tablespoon cream of tartar, few drops of glycerine, and food coloring. But as I do not have these at home, I just replace the cream of tartar with vinegar and skip the glycerine and food coloring.

METHOD:
1. Mix the flour, salt, oil and vinegar in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add boiling water into the dry ingredients. (Coloring optional)
3. Stir all ingredients until it becomes a sticky, combined dough.
4. Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all stickiness is gone. (This is the most important part of the process so keep till it's perfect consistency!)
5. If the stickiness remains, add a touch more flour until it's just right!



Completed product! Fun time for my little girl.




The papa also joined in and made her some stars...



Counting starsss~~ Her favorite shape all the time.



I keep the dough after play time by wrapping it up with the cling wrap and put into fridge. Can be used up to a few times till today.

August 22, 2014

Kyoto-Osaka family trip 2014 京都-大阪 亲子游 2014: Free & easy 自助旅游 全攻略

Kansai Family Trip: Kyoto-Osaka - July 2014 7D6N Itinerary
Day1: Penang/Kuala Lumpur (night flight)
Day2: Breakfast on board → Kansai International Airport → JR Haruka → Kyoto Station → lunch at one of the ramen restaurant in Kyoto Station → Higashiyama Area (Sakara Kyoto check-in → Kiyomizu-dera Temple → Sannen-zaka → Ninen-zaka → Yasaka Shrine → Kamo River → Potoncho → dinner at Ryoma Syamonoujo → back to ryokan
Day3: Kyoto (breakfast bought from Lawson last night → Arashiyama Area (Kameoka Torokko Station → Sagano Romantic Train ride → Hozu River → lunch at Arashiyama Torokko Station rest station → Bamboo Forest walk → passing by Tenryu-ji → Nonomiya Shrine) → The Golden Pavillion/Kinkaku-ji Temple → back to ryokan → dinner 
Day4: Kyoto (breakfast bought from Lawson last night → Fushimi Inari Taisha) → Osaka (Brighton City Osaka Kitahama check-in → lunch bought from Kitahama Plaza Fresco Departmental Store → Shinsaibashi-suji → PABLO cheese tart → dinner at Yoshinoya → Dotombori → back to hotel
Day5: Osaka (breakfast bought from 7-Eleven opposite hotel → Osaka City Visitor Information Center Namba → Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel → Tempozan Market Place → Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan → Osaka Bay Cruise Santa Maria + high tea → Shinseikai → Tsutenkaku Tower → lunch at 鶴龜家 → Abeno Q's Mall Akachan → back to hotel)
Day6: Osaka (breakfast bought from 7-Eleven opposite hotel → Osaka Castle → Kuromon Market lunch + high tea → Dotombori → Dotombori River Cruise  Shinsaibashi → dinner at Yoshinoya → back to hotel)
Day7: JR Haruka (Tennoji Station) → Kansai International Airport → Kuala Lumpur/Penang

Flight ticket:
AirAsia X:Penang - Kuala Lumpur - Osaka (Fly-Thru) return trip about RM2,800 (2 adults + 1 intant), include 20kg baggage (to) and 30kg baggage (back), and 2x 2 adult meals on board

Accommodation
Kyoto: Sakara Kyoto (sakarakyoto.com/wp/en/)
Osaka: Brighton City Osaka Kitahama (www.brightonhotels.co.jp/kitahama/index.html)

Transportation
Kansai International Airport - Kyoto: ICOCA + HARUKA return trip (¥4,060, includes ¥1,500 worth of credit in ICOCA and ¥500 deposit) https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/travel-information/pass/icoca-haruka/
Kyoto: Kyoto Municipal Bus (if you estimate the cost is over ¥500 per day, buy the 1 Day pass, per trip is about ¥210) http://www.city.kyoto.jp/koho/eng/access/transport.html
Osaka: Osaka Amazing Pass (2day pass), includes free entrance to 28 places of interests and special discount coupons at many outlets (http://www.osaka-info.jp/osp/cht/index.html)

Food
Breakfast: Can easily find 7-Eleven/Lawson/Family Mart/Fresco everywhere, very convenient to get food. Hotels normally do not include breakfast. Per meal is about ¥700 (food + drinks)
Lunch and dinner: Noodles and rice from ¥500, drinks from ¥100 (may buy from vending machines)
Kyoto MUST-EAT: Soba and cold noodle are nice
Osaka MUST-EAT: Crabs, sashimi, takoyaki, ramen, all kinds of finger food (different choices depending on area you visit, can refer to http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/plan/images/Guidebook_English.pdf

Japan family trip MUST-BRING items:
1. Camera + smart phone + charger 
2. International adapter
3. Disposable rain coats/umbrella (can get from 7-Eleven or Family Mart), you need it especially in spring or summer where it rains more frequently
4. A light-weight baby stroller + baby carrier, experiences tell us MUST BRING BOTH!! You can carry the baby inside the baby carrier (totally go hands-free), and use the stroller as temporary shopping cart. Else your arms are going to suffer for the rest of the day...
5. Diaper and baby wipes (always spare extra 4 pieces by hand carry, just in case there is flight delay/luggage delay)
6. Additional clothes as spare (for both mom and baby, in case need to change due to unforeseen incidents)
7. Pacifier 2x (still have a spare if one gets dirty/lost) - your baby may need it during take off and landing - the air pressure is different, baby may feel uncomfortable and cry, the use of pacifier is to help the baby on adjusting to this change, it's the same concept like swallowing saliva, or you may breastfeed/bottle feed
8. Garbage bags (for dirty clothes/dirty diapers, or may use as a mat for baby during diaper changing in public toilets)
9. A few of baby's favorite toys, and one or two new items (you can distract them when they started to feel bored or crying)
11. Baby's bathing necessities: towel, bath foam (suggest to bring Lactacid, it is very mild and will not cause allergy), baby powder, nappy rash cream, baby oil, diaper change mat... The packing list is getting longer and longer right?
10. Thermos (you can refill hot water at the convenience stores)
12. Nursing ponco (a wise choice, can be used as jacket for mother, and to cover up baby in case of sudden weather change)
13. Don't forget about the baby bottles and milk/milk powder! I miss the days when I breastfeed, now that my girl is already on milk powder, I need to bring extra bottles and spare hot water
14. Money and credit card
15. Smart phone, to keep in touch with family and find information, you may rent a portable Wi-fi in Japan, and many big cities also provide Free Wi-fi
16. Baby backpack, just dump whatever necessary items into it (it's a skill how to pack light for a whole day long)
17. Baby snacks/finger food (sometimes you just couldn't get the right food for your baby outside, so it's good to spare their favorite food)

Our suggestions are based on personal experience, for feeding it depends on the parents' acceptance, some parents will say NO totally to outside food, so you may bring along your own portable mini cooker. I've used that before in some trips, but my girl is the super adventurous type of baby, and definitely she'll give you the "Papa & Mama, I want exactly what you eat!" face when we go travel.
*My baby has been travelling with us since 4 months old, we've had 5 overseas trip and many domestic trips, and we've had all sorts of ride (plane, bus, boat, train), so everything I share here is solely base on our experience.


关西亲子游:京都-大阪 - 2014七月7天6夜关西行程
Day1:槟城/吉隆坡 (夜机)
Day2:@飞机关西空港关西机场特快JR Haruka京都駅@京都駅一家拉面店京都东山区(桜香楽本店check-in清水寺産寧坂(三年坂)→二年坂八坂神社/祇园鸭川先斗町晚餐@龍馬 軍鶏農場 京都駅前店回旅馆
Day3:京都早餐@早一晚在Lawson买岚山区(トロッコ亀岡駅嵯峨野トロッコ列車保津川溪谷餐@岚山駅休息站岚山竹林之道路经天龙寺野宫神社金阁寺→回旅馆晚餐@
Day4:京都(早餐@早一晚在Lawson买伏見稻荷大社)大阪(ホテルブライトンシティ大阪北浜check-in午餐@Kitahama Plaza的Fresco买心斎橋→路经PABLO买半熟起司蛋糕→晚餐@吉野家 大阪心斎橋店道顿窟→回酒店
Day5:大阪(早餐@酒店对面7-Eleven买大阪市なんば难波站游客中心天保山大摩天轮天保山Market Place海游馆帆船型观光船圣玛利亚号+下午茶新世界通天阁晚餐@鶴龜家阿倍野Q's Mall里的"阿卡將Akachan"婴童用品店→回酒店
Day6:大阪(早餐@酒店对面7-Eleven买大阪城&天守閣→黑門市場午餐+下午茶道頓堀→道頓堀水上观光船→心斎橋→晚餐@吉野家 大阪心斎橋店→回酒店)
Day7:关西机场特快JR Haruka(天王寺站)关西空港吉隆坡/槟城

机票:
廉价航班 AirAsia X:Penang - Kuala Lumpur - Osaka (Fly-Thru) 来回约RM2,800(2个大人+1个2岁以下小孩)包括20kg行李(去)30kg行李(回),2人飞机餐 x2餐

住宿
京都:桜香楽 (sakarakyoto.com/wp/en/)
大阪:ホテルブライトンシティ大阪北浜 (www.brightonhotels.co.jp/kitahama/index.html)

交通
关西空港 - 京都:ICOCA + HARUKA 双程配套(¥4,060,包括 ¥1,500的充值和 ¥500的抵押金)https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/travel-information/pass/icoca-haruka/
京都:京都市巴士 (如果预算花上超过¥500,建议买1日券,巴士车票每趟大概¥210)http://www.city.kyoto.jp/koho/eng/access/transport.html
大阪:大阪周遊卡(2日券),包括28个旅游景点免费入场,和许多折扣礼券 http://www.osaka-info.jp/osp/cht/index.html

饮食
早餐:到处都可以找到7-Eleven/Lawson/Family Mart/Fresco,很方便。酒店通常没包早餐。一顿早餐最低花费(食物+饮料)约¥700
午餐和晚餐:小吃店普通拉面大概从¥500起跳,饮料一瓶从¥100起跳(可以在街边零售机投币买)。
京都必吃:个人觉得荞麦面和冷面都很不错
大阪必吃:大螃蟹、刺身、章鱼烧、拉面、各种小食(每个地方都有不同的选择,可以参考http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/plan/images/Guidebook_English.pdf

去日本亲子游必备:
1. 相机 + 手机 + 相机充电器
2. International adapter
3. Disposable雨衣或雨伞(可以在7-11或Family Mart购买),特别是在春夏时期雨量较多
4. 轻便的baby stroller + baby carrier,个人经验觉得一定要带齐两样!!逛街购物用baby carrier的确比较方便,stroller车可以暂时放置逛街战利品,不然手都会断。。
5. 家里带来的纸尿片和baby wipes(extra4片hand carry,以应不时之需 - flight delay/luggage delay)
6. 每天出门spare多一套衣物(妈妈和bb也需要喔,若被屎尿弄脏可随时更换)
7. 奶嘴两个(肮脏了至少还有嘴spare)- 飞机起飞降落时由于气压不同,bb通常会耳痛而哭,吸奶嘴的用意其实就像大人吞口水,可以缓和气压对bb造成的不适;你也可以哺乳/瓶喂
8. 垃圾袋(装脏尿片和脏衣服,或在公共��换尿片时给bb铺着比较卫生)
9. 一两样bb平时最喜欢的玩具,和一样新的玩具(可以在飞机上bb哭闹时分散她的注意力)
11. bb的冲凉必备:毛巾、沐浴乳(建议带瓶Lactacid就可以了,决不会过敏)、爽身粉、nappy rash cream、如意油、diaper change mat。。。是不是越看越多东西需要pack呢?
10. 随身携带的热水壶(便利店可以refill)
12. Nursing ponco(很好用的,可以当妈妈的外套,天气转劣可以给宝宝暂时挡风遮雨)
13. 别忘了奶瓶和奶/奶粉!所以说哺乳可以省麻烦,现在宝贝喝奶粉了,出街还要准备热水
14. 钱和信用卡
15. Smart phone,以便随时可以上网查资料,日本可以租借Wi-fi,大城市很多地方有Free Wi-fi
16. Baby背包,把所有出门必须品统统丢进去(如何轻便pack背包是一门学问哦)
17. Baby snacks/finger food(有时候出门没有适当食物或宝宝不喜欢吃的时候,可暂时当一餐)

我们的practice是纯属个人经验之谈,喂食方面有可能某些父母不能接受,就可以自备食物或者自己携带迷你随身电煲。我也有用过,只是我家小姐现在一出门旅行就是一副“爸妈你在吃什么我也要!”的啦。。
*我家小姐4个月大已经跟着我们趴趴走,总共出国5次,本地游也无数次了;旅行时飞机、巴士、船、火车,我们都试过了,所以一切分享都纯粹是我的经验之谈哦。











 


Hopefully I will have more time to post on the places in details. Stay tune!
X0X0

August 19, 2014

Homemade steam cake in 15 minutes

Yum

It's time for some homemade delicacies for my little princess again!

I love the simple to prepare recipes without fuss. Nowadays the little girl seems to run around faster than me, so it's quite tiring for me to keep her out of kitchen...

Tonight I made this super easy steam cake for her, can be served as breakfast tomorrow morning. Done in15 minutes.


Ingredients: 8tbs (scrape off with knife, else 4 tbs full*) self-raising flour, 4 tbs milk/soy milk, 1 tbs caster sugar and 1 tbs Milo powder



Method:
1. Measure the flour, milk and sugar in a bowl then mix well.
2. Add in Milo powder afterwards and stir in circle motion to create marble-like pattern.
3. Pour the mixed ingredients into a medium size bowl then steam for 15 minutes.
4. Check if the cake is done by poking a chopstick into it. If it's not sticky then it's done.



My Milo steam cake!



The texture is medium soft and a bit moist. But the moisture will slowly vaporize after leave it for some time. So it will not become too hard and crusty after exposed in air.



Instead of serving as breakfast she has eaten off quarter of it! Hmm...slightly heavy supper eh?




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