This is how Ying Yue loves to eat her raspberries. She loves to put them into her fingers and then eat them up one by one. Thats really a fun thing for her to do. As long as she enjoys eating her food, I don't really mind is she has some fun in the process of eating. After all, some live to eat and some eat to live! We might as well have some fun and creativity in the process.
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
This is what I came up with for my little girl. Its full of healthy ingredients, something for growing children and appeal to her sweet tooth and love affair with fruits. It can be made and assembled within an hour. Would you believe its my first attempt! I wished I was as good as creating experiments and debugging the programs and coming up with papers as I am at this new creation. I thought of making it yesterday, found the right tart moulds to go with the pastry. I'm using ready made short crust pastry as I have limited time for experimentation today and I wanted to make these as fast as possible. Of course traditionally tartlets are made with custard but I thought of a faster way of making these. I used to make these long ago while I was alone studying and these was for a house party to amuse the housemates. At that time I used to make the pastry from scratch, but that was a very long time ago.
Ready to roll short crust pastry
Dark Chocolate courverture
1. Press and cut the pastry and mould it gently over the mould. Prick it and bake it for 15 to 30 mins.
2. Melt the chocolate courverture over the a warm water bath. Spoon the chocolate into the pastry shells. Refrigerate.
3. Pipe the cream cheese into pastry shells.
4. Arrange the fruits on the pastry shells.
Its looks very attractive and yet its really fast and easy to make! Not bad for a first attempt!
Some pointers, not to worry too much about pastry shrinkage and remember to prick the tart shells before they are baked. I used to be good with baking beads to weigh the tart shells down while they are being baked. But not to worry too much, after all there are so many things to pile on top of the pastry shells. See the bigger picture and complete the job rather worry about the minor details.
A final dusting of icing sugar.
Voila!!! This didn't take me long to make. And very satisfying to construct it after thinking about over the weekend!
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Children love expressions on their food. I try to create something novel to attract their attention. This is what I came up with to complement what she learnt in school about quails' eggs.
To make these you need really good Japanese tools. Here is my tool collection for this creation.
I love all things Japanese. I most admire their way of food presentation. One has to go to Japan to experience their thougthfulness and little touches to show that they aim to please their customers.
All the punching of the Nori is very detailed work. The nori has to be freshly opened so that the edges are crisp when they are cut. Nori absorbs moisture really fast and once its damp, it does not really cut well.
My daughter was really amused with my handiwork. My enthusiasm in cute food making really inspires her to create some of her own cute food. I'm really proud of her achievements. Every step of her growth makes me very happy and gives me purpose of my existence. Am I now experiencing the joy of motherhood?
Monday, 5 March 2012
Mushipan Japanese Steamcake
I made these pretty steamed cake with my little helper last week, when she was at home with me.
Its really healthy and kid friendly. As you noticed, I am using both orange and purple sweet potatoes.
Currently, she enjoys all the stirring and mixing. I guess there is something intrinsically satisfying about creating something from scratch. Ying Yue is now very good with mixing all the ingredients. The baking process is really good for children to learn words. We had a good time spelling all the ingredients we use. This little activity complements what they learn in childcare these days, Montessori style, learn when the kids are ready and teach them what they want to know about.
2 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
100 g of japanese steam cake flour
Steamed sweet potatoes
The best sweet potatoes that you can get are from Okinawan, Japan. These are pictures of those I found just before the Earthquake in Japan. These are very special and only available once a year from Okinawan when the Japanese Fair is on in Singapore. You can either get them from Isetan or Takashimaya. Why are they so special? Its really very sweet and the colour is absolutely brilliant.
I simply love the sweetness and texture of these sweet potatoes. There are other sources of purple sweet potatoes. I have found them from Cold storage,NTUC Finest from Vietnam, organic shops from Singapore. The orange sweet potatoes can be found from NTUC Finest from Australia.
Colours make a huge difference for children, and somehow they are facinated by it. Ying Yue's favourite colour is purple.
The smaller sweet potatoes, the less fibrous they are and they can be steamed whole or chopped into pieces.
One authentic Japanese recipe can be found here: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/cooking/english/20110902.html
I love the sweet potatoes with the skin topping. Its got a rustic feel to it. Maybe I will try that next time.