Sunday, December 30, 2012

A little holiday baking adventure

A special treat for EV this holidays: baking with her favourite aunt, my dearest sister J, otherwise known as the baker of the family. She baked a strawberry cake for EV earlier this year, and plans to do the same next year. Yums...

So, the little toddling baker accompanied J to Holland Village to get baking stuff. When they returned home, they got down to work.

Cinnamon Roll

First, the dough for the cinnamon roll. As J kneaded the dough, EV added flour and patted the dough and did her bit to knead it into a smooth consistency.

When the dough was set aside to rest, EV helped to make the cinnamon filling by pouring out the brown sugar and stirring the mixture.

Here, she is rolling out the dough into a 12x9 inch rectangle. She had lots of fun and kept poking her fingers into the soft dough, which J had to fix.

It was then time to spread the cinnamon mix on to the dough. J then rolled it up.

With her aunt's help, J's little helper cut the roll into twelve pieces. She oiled the baking tray for J to put the rolls in.

The cinnamon rolls ready to be popped into the oven.

Ta da! Hot, sweet cinnamon rolls! Yums!

Star-shaped Sugar Cookies with Chocolate Ganache
This was relatively easy compared to cinnamon rolls as J used a pack of sugar cookie mix. After adding softened butter, flour and an egg, and kneading it to a smooth consistency, the dough was ready for EV to work on.

EV hard at work with a star-shaped mould.

Sugar cookies ready to be baked.

Chocolate, glorious chocolate! EV adding chocolate ganache to the piping hot cookies, and licking it off the spoon when she is done.

Crunchy, mouth-watering sugar cookies.

Want a bite?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What I'm thankful for in 2012

This year has been an eventful one. I became mum to my second kid, a handsome boy. I also had a mid-career change, and am now an educator. The first half of the year was demanding, as I, as well as the rest of the family, was coping with the arrival of a new member while carefully ensuring that it was a smooth transition for E who used to get all the attention. The second half of the year was even more testing, as I had to adapt to my new career quickly. Work now starts two hours earlier, and this means the schedule and arrangement that the family is used to had to be adjusted, not to mention my sleeping times. Couple that with the hubby's absence of two months because of work, and having to be both mother and father to two young kids, I think I was suffering from a severe lack of sleep.

Still, it is now December, and 2012 is going by without a hitch. I am thankful for my family of four, that we have been kept safe, healthy and happy throughout this year.

I am thankful to my husband, who is standing by me during my mid-career change. His support is my pillar of strength.

I am thankful to my parents and parents-in-law, who during my hubby's absence, rallied behind us and helped us to look after the kids, especially when I was at work.

I am also thankful for a very helpful and trustworthy helper.

I am thankful for my wonderful brother and sister, the greatest siblings one can have. I miss them both as they live in Melbourne. And definitely not forgetting my sister-in-law and cute cute nephew Grayson.

Finally, I am glad that my bedridden grandfather, who passed away in January, is finally reunited with my grandmother after six years of separation. Their love story continues in heaven, and I miss them both.

Eventful 2012 has peacefully gone by. 2013 will be another year of new beginnings for me, something that I have not done for almost 15 years. I am heading back to school. Yes, that will be quite an experience, and I look forward to it.

NB: This post first appeared as part of the Thankful 2012 guest post series by The Gingerbread Mum. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Treats for a yummy Christmas

Over the weekend, EV and I got a little greedy and whipped up three yummy treats for Christmas. I  had wanted to work with food items that can be easily found at home, and didn't require any cooking. So with a quick look around the kitchen, and a visit to the supermarket to get whatever I was missing, we created these treats. 

Here, you see all the ingredients that we used for the three treats: Ice cream cones, green icing sugar, pumpkin bread, carrot bread, spinach bread, cheese as well as sweets, dried fruits, biscuits and cereal stars for decorating.

Christmas Tree Sandwich

Layer the spinach bread and cheese to make a sandwich.

Cut out the sides, so that you get the shape of a Christmas tree. 

Decorate the tree with dried fruits, sweets, cereal or biscuits. EV used mostly cranberries, one of her favourite dried fruit snacks.

Christmas 'Star' Tree Tower

Using star-shaped moulds, EV cut out stars from the carrot and pumpkin bread. We used the mould set from Daiso, which comes in different sizes.

Stack the different sized stars into a tower, and the Christmas tree is complete.

EV also had so much fun toppling the tower down, before sinking her teeth into the tree.

Ice Cream Cone Christmas Tree

Invert an ice cream cone and spread green icing sugar on it. I was in a lazy mood and used ready-made icing that can be bought from supermarkets. Green icing can also be easily made at home using icing sugar, water and green food colouring. Just make sure that not too much water is added otherwise the icing will become runny.

EV had a great time 'painting' the cones with icing, and licking it off her fingers and arm. How it managed to get on to her arm, I have no idea.

Decorating time! Once that is done, this sweet treat is ready. Share the love around, as one cone is enough to give you a sugar overdose.

I am so happy that EV had fun making these treats, and this mummy had fun snapping her cheeky smiles. We hope you will enjoy it too. :)

Friday, December 07, 2012

Our Care & Share Day

This year, I decided to dedicate one day to spend with my girl, something I call our Care & Share Day. Basically, I wanted to share with her that there are those who are less fortunate than us in Singapore, and I wanted her to take a part in doing something for them.

Before we started our mission, we had a nice mummy-daughter lunch at Mos Burger. After that, we headed to help those in need at the Boys' Brigade Share-A-Gift and World Vision Tree of Life.

Besides rice and milo for those in Singapore, we also got water filters to provide clean water for children in Myanmar, a food pack for one child in the Philippines and a health pack for two children in China. I'm glad we shared our love with them. 

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