April 28, 2017

Friday Flavours: A Round-up of 24 MMMs

Instead of the regular Friday recipe feature, I thought that I shall shake it up this week by listing all the 48 55 recipes that Gen and I have done for our Monthly Mystery Munchies challenge in the last 24 months.

Pretty apt to close the last Friday of the month with the completion of our 2 years, no?

MMM #1-#24

 I thought so too!

Without further ado, let me now present you with a list of mouth-watering, sometimes experimental recipes based on the monthly agreed theme to keep you busy for the next 48 55 days/week/months:

Challenge #1: Mexican 

Challenge #2: Appetizers in Dough

Challenge #3: Lemons/limes, Thyme and Coriander

Challenge 1-3
MMM #1-#3 From Left (Gen’s) to Right (Mine)

Challenge #4: Sweets and Colours

Challenge #5: Greek

Challenge #6: Stew with Beans 

MMM #4-#6 From Left (Gen’s) to Right (Mine)

 

Challenge #7: Fish with an ingredient/s not commonly used

Challenge #8: Get Creative with Rice

Challenge #9: Not Your Usual Salad-Make it Fun-Salad with a Difference

MMM #7-#9 From Left (Gen’s) to Right (Mine)

Challenge #10: Party with Pesto

Challenge #11: Shellfish

Challenge #12: Culture Swap!

MMM #10-#12 From Left (Gen’s) to Right (Mine)

Challenge #13: Main Course Using Fruit

Challenge #14: Food from Country of Residence

Challenge #15: Must-use Ingredients – Figs (or a substitute of), Lime and Rosemary

MMM #13-#15 From Left (Gen’s) to Right (Mine)

Challenge #16: Wraps with meat and a dressing/sauce.

Challenge #17: Signature Dips

Challenge #18: A Halloween Meal

MMM #16-#18 From Left (Gen’s) to Right (Mine)

Challenge #19: Minimum of 3 different vegetables and 1 (non-meat) protein (Make it a side dish. Cannot be a Salad)

Challenge #20: BBQ

Challenge #21: Breakfast

MMM #19-#21 From Left (Gen’s) to Right (Mine)

Challenge #22: Part of a different culture – an important occasion that another culture celebrates.

Challenge #23: Frosting also as Filling

Challenge #24: Green, Yellow and Red

MMM #22-#24From Left (Gen’s) to Right (Mine)

Wow! That’s quite a list don’t you think? 55 altogether! The irony was that I didn’t even realise that we had more than 48, forgetting that Gen has on more than one occasion made 3 0r even 4 types of recipes with just one theme.

Crazy, crazy yet so very satisfying! We practically drooled, experimented and ate nothing but wholesome, home-made food which were cooked with lots of tender love. I definitely have some favourites there, but I have to tell you that I truly love them all! 

With this list my dear readers, you don’t ever have to leave the comfort of your own home to sample dishes from a South African, (then) Thai and (now) Dutch kitchen. Don’t forget to bookmark and share this page.

You won’t ever be starving for ideas, I’m sure. 

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Monthly Mystery Munchies features every first Friday of the month in collaboration with Gen, Author of Eat, Play, Clove. Stay tuned for next month’s theme (next week!) with yet another challenge. Until then! Here’s to more #MMM to come. 

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April 27, 2017

The One with The Boots

Category: Parenting

Have you ever wondered what your kids do to their shoes when you are not looking? Has the thought of them secretly nibbling on their shoes when you are not with them ever crossed your mind?

Yeah. I wonder too. Actually, scrap that.

Because, given the frequency we ended up at the shoe-store almost on a monthly basis and sometimes, just 2 weeks apart from the previous shoe purchase, I am convinced that our kids  could very well be snacking on their shoes.

And to be honest, I am getting a little fed-up with the frequent trips to the shoe stores especially since a decent pair of shoes for the kids can cost quite a bit!

So what’s a mother to do?

If you are anything like me, you’ll let your kids walk around with battered shoes. You’d give no regard to how shitty the shoes look or how the soles wore out or even torn because for all you care, their little feet are still very well protected and the shoes still fit them really well. 

These boots are made for walkin’…

That’s the shoes Spud has been wearing. This one actually looked better than it was 2 days ago because my mother in-law has taken the initiative to cover up the gaping outer layer exposing the white beneath it with a black marker. I should be offended but I’m not.

Rather when she told us about it,  I thought that it was hilarious! In her words, she was embarrassed that Spud had to wear such a battered looking shoes when she took them out and about.So she went all out for it with a black marker so her grand-daughter would look like she’s wearing at least a half-decent shoes.

I can’t blame her; Spud’s shoes really look hideous! 

But hear me out on this one: It’s not because we stopped buying her shoes or that we can’t be bothered with how she looks. In fact, she has 2 other new pair of shoes – one from her Oma from about 2 months back and another pair we bought just 2 weeks ago for her.

None of those flew with Spud because Spud being Spud likes wearing her high boots as she finds it to be the most comfortable to walk, run and climb with. Rain, hail, snow, high winds or shine, Spud has baptised this pair of shoes as her trusted ally. 

She almost never go anywhere with it no matter how many other times we reminded her of her other pair of shoes and how battered this pair is for her  Only when she feels like wearing her sneakers would she put them on. Otherwise, it’s her and her trusted black boots.

This would be one of those things where I’d let her be. I choose my battles. For Spud, I think it’s a virtue that she doesn’t really care how torn and tattered it looks as to her; it’s not leaky, she still could wear it and it’s comfort that she’s after.

In a way, I can’t blame Spud for I know exactly how she feels about comfy shoes which you are attached to. I have the same thing. And believe you me it’s not like we have not tried to look for something similar. It’s been months of search yet so far we can’t find any.

As far as I’m concerned, she still can go a little bit more with the boots. But that’s not to be since my mother-in-law has explicitly forbid Spud to continue wearing her boots. She made no qualms with her warning that she never again want to see the boots, nudging us to leave her boots behind to be thrown away.

To be fair, the boots do look terribly horrible and I agree they have to go. Yes, they are going to be gone. Eventually. Gone. Yes, really. 

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April 24, 2017

The Lonely Snowman

 

The Painting from Squirt:

“A lonely snowman. He cannot find anybody to play with”

20170419_190534
Squirt’s Painting

Or as it is stated in Dutch there: Het schilderij van (Squirt). Er staat een enzame sneeuwpop. Hij kan nieman vinden om mee te spelen

The caption of his painting had me first in stitches and then scratching my head! Since when is he ever lonely?

Not only I had a hard time identifying the snowman (Silver Bullet’s keen eyes pointed me to the green scribbles on the left), reading how he had captioned it made me went,“Awww…you poor thing!”

While not exactly Picasso material, this was one of Squirt’s art pieces that stood out from the kids’ recent after-school program which the teachers had painstakingly put together for the whole school. (We couldn’t figure out Spud’s because she has forgotten to put her name on any of her crafts that were exhibited.)

While I was wondering if somehow was projecting his loneliness, I also know that it can’t be so bad because be it in school or in the daycare, he always has someone to play with. No question about that.

Squirt is like our little Ambassador; every kid in the neighbourhood seems to know him. We could be anywhere in the neighbourhood – the supermarket, the town fair or the little suburban shopping mall we have here, more often than not, there’ll always be a kid calling out after him the moment they spot him. At times,  the next call out being just seconds apart from the previous kid(s). 

It’s hard to fathom that he’s a lonely child especially he makes friends so easily. His teacher says he talks a lot. Like all the time. Hence I’m incline to believe that he isn’t all that lonely despite what the caption captured. 

That said, I also wondered if he had made that painting during winter a few months back. At that time, we made snowman and we parked the poor bugger right outside our house.  We then left him all alone (the snowman, not Squirt) till he went lopsided and melted away.

sneeuwpop
Our lonely snowman
Untitled
Squirt rolling the snowman’s head

During that time, there weren’t so many kids outside for him to play with too and if there were, the kids around the neighbourhood are all mostly only girls. He’s usually quite peeved with that and he’ll then find something else to do. Like trying to roll his own sneeuwpop (see above)

My guess is that Squirt’s thoughts must have transported him back to the snowman and the surrounding sentiments while working on his panting. Nah…I’m not worried. A kid can be lonely and they’ll be fine. 

Squirt’s a funny kid; he still is one of the happiest and most easy-going chap I know. He certainly ain’t lonely; he’s just our cheeky little sunshine with a knack for giving his parents something to think about every now and then. 

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April 23, 2017

Sunday Humour: Mom’s Reflex is Eggcellent!

Category: Entertainment

This video is too eggciting to watch this guy throwing eggs to his unsuspecting mom…

…apparently for over A YEAR! Everyday! I’m super amazed at her reflex and like she said…”every fucking time!”

This video really cracked me up. I hope your day has been crackingly eggcellent. 😀

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April 21, 2017

Friday Flavour: Raspberry Swiss Roll

Somebody stop me because I’m on a rrrrrollllllll! Remember this?

20160706_165708
Giraffe-Print Inspired Swiss Roll©

Since the Giraffe-Print Inspired Swiss Roll for our Monthly Mystery Munchies barely 3 weeks ago, I’ve then gone on to continue with my experiment in trying to perfect my craft with various different flavours and colours. My obsession has resulted with 2 more types of Swiss Rolls (to the delight of my family):

Lemon-Lime Swiss Roll
Lemon-Lime Swiss Roll with Vanilla Cream Filling ©
Raspberry Swiss Roll
Raspberry Swiss Roll with Chocolate Cream Filling©

Call me crazy but I have actually enjoyed doing this very much! In times of stress, this is something I do to let off steam as well. It’s a great therapy to have. 

If you find the previous Swiss Roll recipe daunting, I assure you that this one is a much simpler version. Despite the tantalising colours though (Spud’s choice), the Lemon-Lime proved to be a disappointment for the entire household for they found the flavour a little too over-powering.

The Raspberry one however got me a huge encore. The resident critics echoed that it was one of the bestest Swiss Rolls they ever had. Knowing that was good enough for me! And I have to admit that this one turned out so very well that I can’t wait to share the recipe with you.

From the kitchen of Grubbs ‘n Critters, let me present you with my very own Raspberry Swiss Roll with Light Chocolate Cream for your eating pleasure:

Raspberry Swiss Roll
Serves 4
Soft and spongy Raspberry-flavoured Swiss-Roll filled with light almost foamy chocolate filling for your eating pleasure!
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
59 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
59 min
The Cake
  1. 3 eggs - separate whites and yolks
  2. 25ml sunflower oil
  3. 30g Sugar (to be mixed with yolk batter)
  4. 40g Sugar (to be mixed with whites batter)
  5. 20ml Milk
  6. 50g self-raising flour
  7. 10g corn starch
  8. 1/4 tspn baking powder
  9. 1.5 tspn Raspberry extract
  10. 1 tspn cream of tartar
  11. Colouring of your choice
For Cream Filling
  1. 50g sugar
  2. 250g whipping cream
  3. 100g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
  4. 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  5. 2 tbsp thick chocolate syrup
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven at 190 degree celsius.
  2. Line a shallow rectangular tray with wax paper and grease with baking spray. Set aside
  3. Combine egg yolks and the 30g sugar together. Beat well then blend in milk, oil and raspberry extract. Continue mixing till the mixture turns into a pale yellowish colour.
  4. Sift cake flour, corn starch and baking powder together. Add to #1 (egg yolk mixture). Beat well and transfer out if you need to reuse the container for your whites.
  5. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar. When ti gets a little foamy, add in the sugar. Whisk well till it forms a stiff peak.
  6. Add in 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk batter. Fold in gently. Then the next 1/3 and fold again. Then fold in the remaining 1/3 and ensure that the batter is smooth and mixed well.
  7. If you intend to make a patterned roll, scoop out about 3-4 tbsp from the folded batter, add colouring of your choice and mix well before you put it into a ziplock or piping bag. Set aside in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This makes sure that it won't be too runny. After that, pipe the design to your heart's desire and pop it in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Top the rest of the batter over it, bang and bake!
  8. Otherwise, add in colouring of your choice and just pour all of the batter into the pan.
  9. Even out the surface and lightly bang the tray on a hard surface a few times to remove trapped bubbles.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes
  11. While the pan is in the oven, whisk cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate syrup for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the cold whipping cream and whisk till the texture just about stiffen and gets a little fluffy. Do not over-beat. Set aside in the fridge for use later.
  12. When the cake is ready, flip the cake over and transfer to another wax paper. Peel off the wax paper from the other side
  13. Generously spread the cream all over the cake. Slowly and gently roll the cake up tight
  14. Seal it on both ends with the wax paper and chill it for half an hour before serving.
  15. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Best served chilled! Be warned: Once you are hooked, there is no turning back.
Grubbs n Critters http://grubbsncritters.com/
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