Foodie Fridays | Five spice chicken

I hardly post recipes nowadays. It’s not because I seldom cook. On the contrary, I churn out meals almost every day (except the weekends) for both lunch and dinner. It’s just that I have been cooking the usual stuff that it seems unnecessary to record it here. Even if I had wanted to blog about the recipes, I wouldn’t have the time to come up with exact measurement for them since everything is by aga aga (to estimate).

But I do constantly look out for recipes that are easy and uncomplicated. If I can help it, I would stir-fry less and steam my food more often. It’s healthier but more importantly, it saves me the effort to have to clean my kitchen properly (I’m quite particular about having a clean kitchen).

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One fine day, I came across this recipe and it didn’t take me long to experiment with it. It’s a total winner! All you need to do is to marinate the chicken thighs for at least a day (up to 2 days) and bake it for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add them to your bowl of rice and top it with some blanched leafy vegetables and you will have a hearty and delicious meal!

This recipe is for keeps.
(Adapted from here)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon  honey
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 large clove of garlic, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon five spice
  • 3 boneless skin-on chicken thighs

Directions

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  1. Whisk together the dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, oyster sauce, garlic and five spice powder in a small bowl until well combined.
  2. Pour this marinade over the chicken thighs, flipping them over several times to coat evenly and marinate for at least 24 hours, or up to 48 hours.
  3. When you’re ready to roast the chicken, prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 200 C. 
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the sheet pan, skin-side up. Reserve the marinade for basting.
  5. Roast the chicken for 6 minutes, and then brush the tops with some of the remaining marinade.
  6. Continue roasting for another 6-8 minutes, or until the edges are lightly charred.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serve on top of the rice.

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Try it!

The baby eczema episode

Since the beginning of 2016, the son has been scratching himself like a monkey and yours truly thought that it was a natural thing for the baby to do. “He’s discovering his fingers,” so I thought. That action persisted and it got me worried because discomfort was shown all over his face. That’s when I realised that I had better do something about it lest it got worse.

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Dan at 6.5kg and 60cm (4th month)

The condition did get worse and on Dan’s 4-month’s visit to the PD, the latter diagnosed him as having baby eczema. My heart sank. Why would he have eczema when the rest of the family members do not suffer from this condition? What would I have to do? I guess the panic button was activated because I knew little about this condition. Thankfully, the doc assured me that in most cases, the baby would outgrow baby eczema as he gets older. However, he did ask me to watch my diet and cut down on my consumption of eggs and dairy intake. I was perplexed because I don’t take in large quantities of eggs and dairy products? Very little. So what could be the cause?

“…No one knows for sure what causes it, but the tendency to have eczema is often inherited. So your child is more likely to have it if you or a close family member has had eczema,asthma, or allergies.

Eczema is not an allergic reaction to a substance, but allergens or irritants in the environment (such as pollen or cigarette smoke) can trigger it. Less frequently, it can be triggered by allergens in your child’s diet – or in your diet if your child is breastfeeding.

The rash can also be aggravated by heat, irritants that come in contact with the skin (like wool or the chemicals in some soaps, fragrances, lotions, and detergents), changes in temperature, and dry skin. Stress can also trigger a flare-up of eczema…”

Source: http://www.babycenter.com/0_eczema-in-babies_10872.bc

I soon realised that I am not alone and found out that there are actually many who have this condition. The mummies’ community in Dayre is awesome and many of them offered their advice and shared their experiences. The PD had prescribed Zaricort cream (steriod) and Ceradan but after much consideration, we decided not to use steriod on Dan.

The days following the PD visit had been exasperating. Each day, I witnessed the scratching and even after applying the cream, his condition didn’t improve. Okay, I must confess that I was impatient and expect miracles to happen, like, you know, I expect the redness to disappear within a day. Obviously, that was not the case. Fellow moms have recommended products that have been effective and this exasperated mom just went out and buy and amassed a good collection of cream and oil.

The above work on different folks and I have learnt to be realistic and let each cream perform its magic on Dan and be PATIENT. Dan has very dry skin from the beginning but I have not been diligent in applying moisturiser on him, thinking that he could rough it out since he’s a boy. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!! He’s still, after all, a baby! This second-time mother needs to be scolded!

Apart from finding out which moisturising cream works on him, I have been experimenting with different brands of baby wash on him since that could be a factor that triggers his condition. And yes, I have to watch my own diet since I’m currently his only food source. 😉

Some of the brands that are recommended (for my own reference):
:: Four Cow Farm
:: Jo Lauren (I personally like the miracle balm. It does work miracles)
:: Emu oil
:: Moo Goo (another highly recommended brand)

A month has passed and his condition has improved. The cool weather during the Chinese New Year period has been immensely helpful.Dan scratched less often and his wounds in his scalp have healed. The rashes around his neck, hands and body still exist but at least, it is not as bad as before.

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The journey continues…

Since I’m lazy to write another post on his development, I will just record his 18 weeks progress in this post.

:: Loves to shriek non-stop
:: Doesn’t like to be cradled
:: Loves to turn and turn. Time to use the cot bumper.
:: Loves to use his fingers to explore all things that he sets his eyes on
:: Observant
:: Drools a lot, a lot!
:: Nap pattern in the morning has changed as a result
:: Feed on demand
:: Loves to be read to and chuckles in response
:: Loves it that people talk to him and he will flash his most charming smile in return