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Watermelon Cake for Christmas tea

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Who would have thought of adding a slice of juicy watermelon to a cake?

Cake – Cream – Watermelon – Cream – Cake – Cream – Fresh Fruits & Nuts

It’s a really good combination I must say. The light and airy layers of sponge cake goes surprisingly well with the watermelon and cream. I’m guessing an Angel Food Cake recipe would work better than a Classic Sponge Cake as the beaten-till-stiff egg whites would give the cake a much lighter texture than a regular- all- eggs- in method.

It was so good and refreshing. I only wished they had served me a MUCH BIGGER slice!

Very Christmasy colours as well don’t you think?

 

The imperfect, rough and broken tart.

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Pear Tart

Imperfect, Rough, Broken.

I often identify myself this way. Things were never easy at home. Dad and Mom, working professionals themselves back then were always asking for nothing more but perfection from us. They both migrated to the city from small towns, worked their way up the corporate ladder, sacrificed pleasures so that they could afford to raise us up and give us opportunities they didn’t have.

We were taught to be nothing short of the best in everything (academics, hobbies, skills, characteristics, etc.), anything lesser would mean disappointments and punishments. I hated the dreadful PTM (Parent-Teacher’s Meeting) held twice a year because mom would always leave the meeting in tears, ashamed at the teacher’s remarks about me and I would be home to face the ‘rotan’, a.k.a. the wooden stick.

Looking back, no amount of ‘rotans’ were good enough to make me number 1. I tried, but somehow I’ve always fell short.

Fast forward and I’m 30 now.

I love imperfections.

A good looking buttery and flaky tart with perfectly arranged pears would be amazing, but an imperfect, rough and (literally) broken tart is good too, in fact, beautiful, just the way I like it.

Golden Roti Jala (Net Crepe)

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My parent-in-laws came over to stay for the weekend and they very kindly brought some Chicken Rendang for us. Rendang (chicken, lamb, pork or beef) is probably one of the Top 5 most complicated dish I’d attempt to make at home so needless to say, I was delighted!

Instead of having the Chicken Rendang with plain white rice, I decided to be fancy and make ‘Roti Jala’, which in literal Malay translation means ‘Net bread’. However, the consistency is more like thin crepes rather than bread or pancakes. Roti Jala is made using a special pouring tool to create the beautiful net like design in the pan, which is then folded into half twice and served.

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The recipe called for either coconut milk or milk but unfortunately I didn’t have any left. I must have had too much tea the day before… I was gonna give up but thanks to my quick-witted husband, he suggested I use some of our baby’s milk powder as a substitute. Apparently most of Singapore’s famous cereal prawns are coated with this magic!

Roti Jala (Net Crepe) 

1 cup all purpose flour

1.5 cups milk (or 3/4 cup coconut milk + 3/4 cup water)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder

1 egg

(This recipe makes roughly 20 pieces of Roti Jala)

Method

  1. Sift the flour, salt and tumeric poweder into a big bowl.
  2. Mix in the egg until it becomes a thick paste.
  3. Lastly, add in the milk (it should be a very watery batter).
  4. On medium heat, brush the non-stick pan with oil before you start cooking.
  5. Pour some batter into the tool and go crazy with your designs! (see picture above)
  • Usually the first roti won’t turn out so good, don’t fret! It’s completely normal. It will only get better.
  • I usually add a little more oil after each roti, but trust me, by the 5th or 6th roti, you don’t even need to add anymore oil as the pan will be well coated.
  • It’s usually served with curry or rendang but if you happen to have kids as well, just give them some honey or syrup to dip it in. Happy family!

Btw, if you can’t find this special Roti Jala tool, drop me a comment and I’ll be happy to post it you!

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Not your typical Super Girl

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It was costume play at school and the only kiddy costume we had at home was a pink mask and cape. We told her that she would be Super Girl and got her all dressed up in pink. It wasn’t very elaborate but good enough for effort I guess.

Erin went off, had loads of fun, and came home with a bag full of sweets. I asked if there were many Super Girls like her at school today, to which she shockingly exclaimed, “I’m not Super Girl, I’m Strawberry Girl!”.

You see, as parents, it’s easy to just follow the crowd. If you’re gonna wear a cape, it means you’re a superhero, you fly, you’re super special. Pretty self explanatory really.

But to Erin, the ‘S’ on her mask wasn’t for ‘Super’, it was for ‘Strawberry’, and she firmly believed so. She didn’t care much about having superpowers, or running around in a cape. She just wanted to identify herself with strawberries because she enjoyed eating them the most, and she wanted everyone to know that.

I now know better.

So ‘S for Strawberry’ it is. So simple and so sweet.

MomFood

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Scrambled Eggs with lettuce on toast

Probably the biggest change in my life since becoming a mother is my diet.

Why didn’t anybody warn me about this?

Before I became a mother, I had pretty much all the time in the world to fantasize about food. I’d spend hours reading food blogs, watching food related videos/ talkshows/ reality shows/ dramas/ cooking series… you name it.

If I wanted to bake a triple chocolate cheesecake, I’d run out to get the ingredients and immediately start baking, devouring it the minute it comes out of the oven (wrong but so good!). If I was craving curry laksa, I’d drive out to my favourite hawker place to have some. It was pretty straight forward.

Motherhood changed everything. Eating and cooking became a huge challenge. I was no longer mobile, I was no longer spontaneous, I no longer had the luxury of time.

Beef wellington for a special occasion? No way. Maybe… one pan chicken stew instead. Even if it means mixing together all the ingredients (you happen to have in your fridge) that doesn’t work well together, who cares, as long as they are nutritious right?

Complicated and time consuming recipes such as lasagna, Vietnamese spring rolls, quiche, had to be crossed out. Everything had to be instant and fast. I had to eat to live.

Fast forward and the girl is 3, the boy is 1. I have a little bit more time. Hurray!

I still have dirty diapers to change, bottles to wash, toys to tidy up, clothes to fold… I don’t think it would be a wise idea to attempt that beef wellington just yet but I’m happily settling for something simple yet pretty, well balanced and most importantly, easy to wash up!

So what’s for lunch?  Scrambled eggs and lettuce on homemade bread, topped with a sprinkle of chia seeds. Perfect!

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