Coconut bread roll

Last week, my friend, T, invited us to her place and got the little ones to help with baking bread roll. I must say it was fun and the bread delicious and the thick-skinned me got her to share the recipe with me. She got it via a Chinese app and since my Chinese isn’t that good, she translated the ingredients and their quantity for me. I finally got down to baking it this morning so here’s a record of it.

Bread dough

250g bread flour
30g castor sugar
2g salt
3.5g yeast
40g egg
50g whipping cream
75g milk (slightly warm so that it can activate the yeast)
15g unsalted butter at room temperature

I didn’t have the bread maker and did the dough using the standmixer with the dough hook. Basically place all the ingredients together except for the butter and mix together. When they are mixed well, add in the butter and continue to knead until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the mixer bowl. Then run the window pane test.

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Once it’s ready, place it in a lightly oiled bowl and let it proof for about 40 min to 1 hour or until it has increased to double the volume.

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While waiting for the dough to rise, prepare the next set of ingredients – the coconut spread.

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70g coconut flakes (from Cold Storage)
40g egg
25g castor sugar
15g milk powder
10g unsalted butter at room temperature

Mix all the above ingredients together except for the coconut flakes.

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The recipe given recommended using a cake tin that measures 27.6 x 17.8cm but I just use whatever tin or baking tray I have.

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Roll the dough into a rectangular shape and spread the mixture onto the dough.

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Sprinkle the coconut flakes on top of the mixture evenly and then roll the dough from the furthest end to the one nearest to you.

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Cut the dough into 12 pieces and place them onto the baking tray.

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After this, let it proof for about 20 minutes. Do allow some space in between each roll as they will expand when they are being baked. Meanwhile, switch on the oven to 180C.

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Before placing the tray into the oven, I did an egg wash with the remaining amount of egg. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes depending on your oven.

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So, that’s lunch for today. Thanks, Trisa for sharing the recipe! I hope I have translated correctly!

Some photos from that day…

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😉

 

[Motivational Monday] It takes discipline

Three weeks have passed since my last entry on Motivational Monday and it has not been smooth sailing in terms of my exercise plan.

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It started off well, actually. We and another family went to the beach and did some exercises on one weekend. Faith could ride on her skate-scooter and I could do a slow jog with the stroller alongside her. The pace was good and I felt awesome and sincerely planned to do such a jog when F was in school during the weekdays. But it didn’t happened.

5th week postpartum and things started to get rough. I was trying to establish a routine and I realised it’s not easy with two kids now. I had difficulty dealing with Faith as she threw tantrums and whined over the slightest thing and then Dan needed to be soothed and carried. Just dealing with these two children took up much time and I realised I need to work smarter in the kitchen. So whatever free time I have in the morning (while Faith was in school), it was used to prepare lunch and dinner and to do the other household chores. By the time those were done, it was time to pick Faith up from school. My planned exercises didn’t materialise as a result.

20151124_120609Now that Faith is having her school holidays, things get even trickier. I tried to squeeze in dips and planks whenever I could and climb the eight flight of stairs whenever the kids are not with me. Thankfully, I was invited to try out a machine called the Calorie Burner which helped me eliminate at least 500 calories in half an hour ( I will do a review on that in another post) and that is the only exercise that I was consistent in for the past 2 weeks. Apart from these, exercises were reduced to a bare minimum unless you count household chores as a form of workout.

It’s December come tomorrow and I have targetted to start #bbg this month.  My gynae has given me good report on my health during my 6th week postpartum checkup and I believe my body can accept more vigorous workout.

Now I just need to be more disciplined and stop popping those Ferrero Rocher into my mouth whenever I feel stressed out dealing with the two kiddos.

Oh, Mr Discipline, please visit me!

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Opening party for Sew Into It

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of baking some sweet treats for the opening party of Sew Into It, a one stop sewing workshops and fabric store in Singapore. If you can recall, I sewed my first dress for Faith under the guidance of Amy, my friend whom I have met in Boston and one of the two partners who started this enterprise.

Initially, I wasn’t keen to bake since I wasn’t sure if I could cope with two kids now. But I couldn’t find any other baker friends who could bake for them and in the end, I decided that I should just try. Part of me wanted to play a part too in their opening party. 😉

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Karen, the other partner, requested for 50 cupcakes and a vanilla sponge cake with the party logo on it. Without the kids, I would have been able to bake and manage all these in a day. Now, it took a few days, including the buttons that were made from fondant. Thankfully, the sweet treats were completed by the stipulated timing.

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Welcome to the party!

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This is Amy who taught me how to sew the dress. When she shared with me her vision for Sew Into it, I was happy for her. She has wanted to use her skills to reach out to the less privileged which is really typical of her.

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Blessing others through Sew Into It.

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Sew Into It has courses for the young ones. So if you are thinking of getting your kids to acquire some skills in sewing, you might want to check out their website for relevant workshops?

Erm, Faith was just posing here. She is a bit young for sewing.

All the best for your venture, Amy and Karen!

[Wordless Wednesday] Featured

Mid-week.

Was dealing with some domestic affairs and was obviously flustered and frustrated when a friend whatsapped me and asked if the following was my creation.

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So it is.

I wasn’t surprised since the bride has told me about it and asked how I wanted to be mentioned.

Nope, I don’t want to be mentioned. I’m just glad to be given this opportunity to make this wonderful cake. It’s been a pure joy and working with an easy-going bride made it even more enjoyable.

It’s been a rather tough afternoon today but I’m encouraged by this.

Read the full text here.

Faith turns 3

Dear Faith
You turn 3 years old today and Mama is blessed to have you as my daughter. You are truly a gift from God.

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You have grown to be more independent as the days passed, preferring to do things yourself instead of having us help you. You have an inquisitive mind and love exploring and asking questions to the point of irritating me. I remember I was once fearful that you were the quiet sort or that you had speech delay and before I knew it, you were chatting non-stop. During the recent Parent Teacher Meeting, all your teachers sang praises of you, commenting that you are independent, sociable, learns fast and are well-liked by all and I’m comforted that you truly love learning.

However, you do know that I had a difficult time with you recently, eh? You have always been my little companion and I like doing things with you. But nowadays, I would have to spend some time with your brother since he’s still quite helpless in a lot of ways and would need me. I thought you knew that before he came out of my womb. For the first two weeks since he was born, you were really sweet and I thought you would have no problem in adjusting to your new role but apparently, I was wrong. You began to throw tantrums, big ones, and cry for no good reasons. Mama was completely caught off-guard. “What on earth is happening to you?”

You didn’t listen to us and went ahead to do what you wanted which really upset both Papa and me. When you couldn’t get your way, you cried out really loudly and hysterically, kicking your legs to show your frustration. You really tested my patience. I am human after all and there is only so much I can handle. Taking care of both you and Dan is a challenge when there is no help. The last thing I want from you is your tantrums. I find myself scolding you so much to the point that I just want to stay away from you. And when I did that, I could see the sense of abandonment in your eyes and my heart broke when you cried out helplessly to me, “Mama!”

To be honest with you, I feel resentment slowly welling up in my heart. I was exhausted and it didn’t help that you were not cooperative. I felt like a total failure at times because I didn’t know how to handle you all of a sudden. Where is the Faith that I knew all along? The sweet and caring girl, the one who came rushing up to me when I puked and asked,”Are you ok, Mama?” when I was carrying Dan during the first trimester. Where, oh, where has she been?

Faith, I love you. You should know that. You don’t have to act up to get my attention. You definitely don’t have to take the cue from Dan and cry so that I would tend to you. In fact, the more you throw your tantrums, the more I want to get away from you. I know you feel insecure right now but your fear is unfounded.

I’m sorry that I hit you out of anger that day. I know it’s wrong and that’s why I want to stay away from you lest I respond in anger again.

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Despite all these, I’m immensely thankful that you have been treating Dan with great care and I can totally sense that you are proud to be a big sister to him. Whenever we go out, you would proudly announce to my friends or even strangers that he is your baby (anyway, you should say’brother’ instead). You help me take care of him when I’m busy in the kitchen and even read him stories. That’s so sweet of you!

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Dear Faith, as you turn 3 years old, my prayer for you is that you will grow in wisdom and maturity and continue to be a good sister to your brother. I’m praying constantly that this difficult phase be over and that we could have fun like before.

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I love you. Do not doubt me.

Lovingly,
Your mama.

img1448026637057We celebrated her birthday with our cell group as requested by her and of course, a ‘Let it go’ chocolate cake specially made for her.

[Foodie Friday] Buckwheat cookies

It was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing and I wanted to test if the oven is still in working condition. So I thought why not bake some cookies using the ingredients I had at home. Looking through the recipes I have on the blog, I decided to go for buckwheat cookies and got the little one to join me. It’s a fuss-free recipe which I needed at that moment!

20151113_155957All ready to help out!

While the little ones were napping, I got the following ingredients ready:

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
110g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg yolk, beaten

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1. Heat the oven to 325F/ 165C. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk to mix (easy for the girl to do). Using a standmixer, beat the butter in a bowl until fluffy and add the egg yolk. Beat in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions.

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2. Form tbsp of dough into balls and place 1 1/2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Use a fork to press the dough into 3/8-inch-thick rounds. This is the part which I got the little one to help again and she’s elated.

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3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden around the edges. Cool on a rack.

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Isn’t it easy?

[Motivational Monday] A new beginning

The end of the confinement period signals the beginning of an adventure for me. By that, I mean going back to exercising. “Chey”, do I hear you say that? But exercising is important to me and there are certain sports which I love such as running, swimming and cycling. I would love to attempt triathlons again but l have to be realistic. How can I find the time to train?

I put on a total of 11kg during the second pregnancy and as of today, I have 1kg to 2kg more to shed, depending on which part of the day i weigh myself. Numbers aside, I’m more interested in gaining back my stamina and fitness and to adopt a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating well through wholesome food.

During the confinement period, I scouted for doable exercise regime that can be done at home. From previous experience, it is a complete waste of my money to sign up for a gym membership because I can only visit the gym once a week and for a short period of time (since I’m breastfeeding = the need to rush back home to pump or feed). I need to exercise from home and one that does not require too much time.

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I found a programme that might suit me. It is Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide (#bbg) Don’t get me wrong. I’m not aiming to flaunt my body. I chose that programme because it can be done at the comfort of my home and it takes about 30 minutes of the actual workout. I also like how the community of ladies encourage one another to press on in the journey so YWNWA.

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The programme can be pretty intense (if you study it) and I know for sure that my body is not ready to be beaten up…yet. So for these coming few weeks, I would be toning and conditioning my body so that I can eventually attempt it and not have to give up halfway through. I’m also waiting for the haze to clear so that I can jog with Dan in the stroller. Just a few more weeks to go before I embark on the programme!

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Meanwhile, I have been doing a lot of stretching and conditioning exercises using the Loopz band which I have acquired five years ago.

My ultimate goal?

To participate in a 10km run in 2016 with a sub 1 hr timing, which is where I have left off before I became a mother. Bleh.

Dan is 1 month old!

The boy is 1 month old today! Oh, what joy!

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It has been a busy day as we delivered the full month’s boxes of goodies to our relatives. This time round, instead of western desserts like cakes and tarts, we decided on something traditional like nonya kuehs.

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From Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery

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But this was not before the hubs and I had a slow breakfast discussing Faith’s recent change in habits and attitudes. The last two weeks hadn’t been all blissful. Of all times, Faith had to fall sick during the third week of the confinement period and she was all cranky and whiny. She cried at the slightest thing and sometimes we had absolutely no clue as to what caused her sudden change in attitude. Just a few days before, she was this excited and caring sister to Dan and then she morphed into one who was disobedient to her parents and always up to mischief.

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I was frustrated, no doubt. Added to this was the fact that my breast was engorged and I had very sore left nipple, thanks to Dan’s poor latching. When would all these pain end?

Thankfully, the confinement lady (CL) was all understanding and told me to be patient towards the girl who was obviously having a hard time transiting to her new role and having to share her parents with her brother. “Get her to help you more. She will appreciate it.”

And one evening, after cleaning Dan, the CL placed Dan on Faith’s lap. The little girl was pleasantly surprised. At last, someone trusted her enough! You see, I had not allowed Faith to get close to Dan because she was coughing and many times, she forgot to cover her mouth or to turn away. I wouldn’t want Dan to catch the bug and thus forbade her to get too close to her brother.

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Since that incident, Faith started to care for her brother more but her whines and cries continued until I had enough and asked her where she learnt it from. “From baby…”

She must have come to the conclusion that we would tend to her and give her attention if she cries, just like her brother. Poor girl. I admit, that in grappling with the changes, I had forgotten to pause and laugh at her silly acts (which she purposely did so to make me happy). I had, more often than not, asked her to wait and wait and wait while I tend to her brother. I had also ignored her desire to want to be more involved with Dan, together with her mother, and not to be left alone to do her own thing. Oh, the damage that I have done to her.

And then the mother’s guilt!

So, I’ve decided to intentionally set aside some time to spend with her (let’s call it mother-daughter bonding time) and sneaked out on one of the confinement days to do what women love – shop and eat! Boy, was she happy and we were both recharged!

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So, has life gotten better now?

Nope.

In fact, ever since the CL left (which was 2 days ago), I have been trying to ‘work things out’. Having two kids is definitely different and more challenging as compared to having just one. Different nap times, trying to prepare meals in time and finding time to spend with the toddler are some of the more urgent concerns. And I’m not even adding my own personal rest time (huh? what’s that?) into the list. Many moms have assured me that this is only a phrase and it would soon pass so I’m taking their word for it.

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I’m taking a step at a time now and allowing the Lord to teach me more about motherhood and myself. It can only get better.

P.S. If this post sounds incoherent, that’s due to a lack of sleep …and caffeine.

Melbourne museum

I know this post is way too late. It’s been more than a year since we came back from Melbourne but I thought I had better record these wonderful memories on my electronic diary lest it be gone forever.

That morning, we had a slow breakfast at Queen Victoria Market before strolling to get onto the tram to get to the museum. Before that, we stopped in our tracks to have some workout and fun at the playground. This is one thing (of a lot of many others) that I appreciate about Melbourne – wide open space for playground.

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I didn’t expect Faith to be interested in visiting museums. She was, after all, just 19 months then but we still went ahead since we have heard good stuff about the museum.

And we were stuck in the Children’s Gallery for more than an hour. It wasn’t a big space and there weren’t a lot of exhibits but there are certainly interesting stuff that engaged the toddler.

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The area leading up to the Children’s Gallery has quite a few activities for children to work on such as puzzles, colouring paper, puppet show, blocks of different civilisations and books to read.

20140610_102644Just outside the area are some activities to engage the children physically. Look at these gigantic Lego rubber pieces!

Play is a way of learning…

20140610_110843Let’s enter the Children’s Gallery!

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One could learn much about nature here!

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To me, the exhibits are well designed and get the children to use their senses in exploring them. I guess if Faith was older then, we might have to be stuck in there for more than an hour.

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Faith has shown keen interest in building blocks at a very young age but then again, this applies to a lot of children eh?

20140610_105855One of the many quotes that I love…

20140610_124054The little girl finally fell asleep after I strapped her in the carrier and it’s time for the adults to view the other exhibits. We spent a good time at the other levels and eventually rested at the cafe.

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The food was nothing to boast about but we were glad to have a rest after all that walking.

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Oh, how I love the fall season.

20140610_134112On our way back, the hubs and I were just strolling with Faith following us behind. As we turned around, she was running towards us and then fell into the big pile of fallen leaves.

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Oops!

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But she got amazed by them and continued to play. This picture reminds me to allow her to explore and not restrict her no matter how dirty she might end up. ;p But I think the story will end up differently if there are lots of ants underneath the leaves.