Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fruit Puree - Baby First Food

Serves 4
You need: 2 medium size apples/pears

Peel the skin off, cored and diced into small cubes. Simmer in small saucepan with 100mil of water until soft. Mash with fork when still hot. Strain the mash, and divide into small portions (approx 60-70 grams per serve). Store on clean container with lid. Will last for 2 weeks if keep frozen.

Vegetable Puree - Baby First Food

serves 4

250grams Pumpkin / Sweet Potato / Potato / Carrot

Cut vegetable into small dice, steam until soft. Mash with fork when still hot. Strain the mash . You should get very smooth puree.
Divide the mash into 4 portions (approx 50-60 grams per serve). Store on clean microwaveable container with lid. Will last for 2 weeks if keep frozen.

Homemade Baby First Food - What to prepare

Some people says, the best time to give first solid for your baby is when the baby at least 6 months. The reason behind is the readiness of baby’s digestive system. But I started giving solid for both of my kids when they turned 4 months, since they showing readiness signs for solid (interested in food when saw others eats, milk doesn’t settle the baby-means the baby needs more than milk- and reflex of the tongue to swallow has develop –means when I put some foot on their mouth, they swallow instead of bounce the food off the mouth-).

I try to makes my own baby food which not hard but need extra patience. Based on experienced, for start we don’t need an advance or the latest home appliance like food processor or blender. Just try using simple everyday tools from your kitchen. When your baby growing and need more variance, you can think about buying a decent blender to help you out.

For baby 1st food, I am using strainer as my most important tools. And invest in some small container with lid, microwaveable, so you can cook big batch in one time and divided into container. If you put on the fridge, it will last for 2 days. Freeze it, and it will last for 2 weeks. When frozen, do not thaw using microwave, let it thaw naturally with taken from freezer about 2-3 hours before meal time. Just put on kitchen bench, lid unopened.

With both kids, I decided not to give mixture food for the first 3 months. Instead, I try to give different menu every day, repeated after 3 days or so, so I be able to see what my baby’s favorite. If there is some food that causing allergic, it’s also easy to spot.

The most important things before you do your own baby food is wash your hand, and devoted one separate napkin or tea towel to dry your hand every time you make your own baby’s food. And make sure, your entire utensil is perfectly clean.

Happy cooking !

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Labor of love

My little girl started to eat solid 4 days ago. At first, I was thinking to give her solid when she turns 4 months yesterday. Soooo many books said, you better start to give solid when the baby is 6 months, just to make sure their tummy ready. But when we saw how passionate this little princess with all food that I prepared, or simply watched us having dinner, day after day for like 2 weeks, my husband just throw out the idea to start give her solid on that Wednesday, on that very fine moment when I prepared nothing for this event to be happen. Because I was thinking, I have another 3 days to prepare.
So, I just grabbed one carrot from the fridge, chopped on my beloved food processor. But it seems I can't crush the carrot smooth enough. I still trying for another 15 minutes, but my princess scream already. Can't wait.
And I don't want the world pointing on me, for how a bad mother I am for being incapable, just for doing simple task like this. So I tried to find salvage in my strainer. If I could strain it, it will become a puree carrot. And doooooh...why you always can't find anything when you really need it?
Another 5 minutes and here we go, found the strainer on the back corner of my utensil drawer. And again, Little Princess was sooooo hungry, she started to cry. Oh poor thing.
Finally, I can make everything ready -after another 10 minutes, of course- and she ate so quickly, only takes her less than 15 minutes to finished.
Learned from that day, I try to prepare baby food in advance. Make enough stock for 3-4 days. And try becoming a good mother. Ideal mother. This means, I try to cook all the food by myself. Not buying ready to eat baby's food on the jar from supermarket. Try to take preservatives away. And today, my idealistic start to cost me. After peeling, chopping, mashing, pureeing, straining 2 days in a row, I felt my upper arms just killing me like I never felt before. At least, not in the last 3 years. And still days to go. I can surrender for just after few days. Not now. It's labor of love.

Make your own stock

It’s always good to keep Beef or Chicken stock –or even vegetable and fish stock- on your fridge. So anytime you feel for soup or even just simple meal like risotto, you had it handy.
You can easily find the stocks on supermarket shelves. But if you want to eat something healthy with no-preservative, this is a good reason to make your own stock. It’s very simple to make, you can do it while you do another chores (because you don’t have to standing in front of it while it cooked), and you can cook extras, and simply store it in airtight container on the fridge for two months. The tools you needs are big pot (6 litres ideally) and couple of airtight containers with size that suite you .Get different sizes of airtight containers if possible, so if you need just small amount you don’t have to thawed a 500ml of stock and re-freeze it. It just doesn’t work!

For 4ltrs of stock, you will needs:

4.5ltrs of water
Bunch of parsley
2 medium size onions, chopped
3 medium size carrots, peel and cut into 4
4 sticks of celery
1 teaspoon of whole pepper
Salt to season, as desired

For Chicken stock, add:
Bones of 2 whole chicken (ask your local butcher, they always have it), or
8 chicken wings and 4 drumsticks

For Beef stock, add:
1kg of beef’s bone, knee preferable

For Fish stock, add:
1 medium size whole fish
1cm of ginger

For Vegetables stock, just add extra carrots and celeries to make the vegetable’s taste stronger
Put every ingredient on big pot, bring to boil, and simmer on medium heat for about 1hour. If you like your stock thicker, give another 30minutes.
Once it’s done and colder, strain, and you can divide into your container. Freeze it when it’s cold.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


(serve 4)

250gr chicken breast fillet
handful of flat parsley
1 carrot, cut into 0.5mmx0.5mm
3 celery sticks, chopped
125gr egg noodle pasta (based on experience, San Remo brand is the best)
1 onion, chopped2 tablespoon oil for frying (olive oil gave the best result)
cracked black pepper

Boiled the chicken with 1litre of water on medium saucepan. Chopped the chicken (keep the chicken stock on the saucepan).
Heat small frying pan, fries the onion with oil (be careful not to burn it), stir the carrot for 30 second, put aside.
Heat the stock on saucepan (medium heat), stir onion, carrot, chopped celeries and chicken, turn into low heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add egg noodle pasta, season with salt and cracked black pepper, simmer uncovered on low heat until egg noodle pasta just tender.
Turn off the heat, add parsley, and stir.
Chicken noodle soup ready to serve.

How to make your scramble egg smoother

Drop two tablespoon of fresh milk for every egg will make your scramble egg smoother and taste better.

(You can use olive oil instead of butter to fried the egg, and do not put it to much otherwaise your scramble egg will be to oily)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Have you ever heard this web?
It's a energy saving search engine powered by -who else- Google. It's quite interesting, instead of white, this web use black colour for their pages. They said, with black, it's only use less power (about 59 watts) rather than white (about 74 watts for a display). So, if you concern about saving your environment, global warming etc (but especially to saving your own money - pay less for your electricity bill) yo may think to change your web page to black.
The unfortunate thing is: this is still limited. Means, only when you use Google black aka Blackle you will see the black screen. But if you click the web that you search from Blackle it still turns on white. Or others colors but black. Sorry, you can't save your money just yet.

Sweet Chilli Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

Serve : 2

2 Chicken breast fillet - medium size
5 Tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce
2 Medium sweet potatoes
4 garlic cloves
Drizzle of Olive oil
Salad to serve

Marinate chicken with sweet chili sauce, store on fridge for at least 15 minutes (overnight will give better taste).
Meanwhile, heat the oven with 220 degrees (C) for 10 minutes. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into dice, drizzle with olive oil and season with cracked black peppers. Spread the potatoes on lined baking tray; put the garlic in between the potatoes, cover with foil, and roast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, open the foil and turn the potatoes upside down, roast for another 10 minutes.
Pan fries the chicken on medium heat until brown.
Serve the chicken with potatoes and salad
Alternatively, steamed vegetables may be served instead of salad.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Going Banana

I did my weekly groceries shopping yesterday (means: shop for veggies and fruits that put me on shock when I saw the price tag)

Carrots: check.
Potatoes: check
Herbs: check
Apples: check
Bananas: Omigod!

I saw the price: $7.98 for a kilogram of Bananas, which only 3 or 4 bananas for a kilo.
Okeeey, this is not the worst price I ever see. We had been through $12.98/kgs before, when the Banana's plantation in Queensland was ruin by hurricane. When every time I passed the isle, I only can managed to buy 1 for our son. When bought a banana felt like we bought oyster or even caviar (not really match comparison though).

And with specific order from my son to buy some bananas, it's impossible to come home with empty hand and pretend that I forget to buy. He won't forgive me.
So, I took 3 of them, carefully placed inside the plastic bag as if I place a diamond. And weight it, so I can calculate how much I should pay. This banana's price make me going banana.

When it's time to check-out, and stand on the queue that stretch for 5km as always (I think all of big supermarket try to cut-out the labor. With 20 check-out register, only 5 are open and all with long queue, make you swear not to come back shopping to this place but always come back, and swear again when they put you on long queue), I ears dropping two old ladies in front of me with trolley full of groceries which will take forever to upload and scan.

(I know ears dropping its not good habit, just can't help)

1st Lady: Fancy cup of coffee?

2nd Lady: Sure. But don't take me to your favorite coffee shop. I don't really like it.

1st: Why? They had the best coffee in this centre. And regarding the price, it's very good.

2nd: I'm not talking about their coffee. But their banana bread. It's taste like rubbish.

1st: So you ever tried rubbish then (with smile, try to tease...)

2nd: No. that’s not that I mean. I mean, the banana bread doesn't taste like banana. To much
artificial flavoring.

1st: Oh dear, that's not really their fault. You know bananas price been crazy lately. They've
must try to do their best...

2nd: Their what...? Wait a sec, why you become their spokesperson now? You know what, not
only their banana bread makes me going banana, you make me going banana too.....

1st: But...

2nd: Blah...blah...blah....

(It seems I'm not alone)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My paper being stolen...again !

5:30 AM.

I heard very familiar sound, today's paper that being throwed by delivery man, and landed in front of the building. The paper rolled with some sort of plastic wrap formed a stick and created funny sound when it catapulted. Since 5:30 AM still quite dark (winter, remember...?) I was thinking to get it in another hour or so, didn't want to sacrifice my time to walk out of the building, and rather snuggle inside my doona.

7:45 AM. Sun definitely out.
Grab the keys, walked out still with my pj's on. And I couldn't see my paper around. Ok, might be the sun just too strong, can't really see without glasses.
Another look, and another...and still nothing. This is not happening. I tried to calm. Walked around the building, and still can't see. It's clean, nothing around. Gone. Missing. Full stop. Somebody apparently earlier and quicker than me, which I am the person who subscribe for Herald and AFR, and pays.

Ok, I am not angry. Take a deep breath, and I am furious!
This is the 2nd time happened this week. It happened on Monday, forced us to buy another copy from News agency because we really hate live without it. Such a nightmare spend the day knowing we don't have the paper (I must admit that I -sometimes- read it late, like yesterday I read paper from 2 days ago , and yesterday paper for today's breakfast).
But the most annoying thing is: why you take something that not yours.

And we came with thousand theories about whom and how they stole the paper.
One of the theory that really convince us (ok, we made the theories and we convinced ourselves to believe it, funny huh?) is someone that regularly walk pass our building, saw the paper with nobody name on it or claim it (since when you get the paper with your name stick to it? can’t remember) and try their luck, pick them and run before get caught. And he/she become real lucky because not only one but TWO paper inside, and AFR is quite expensive. Yesterday no luck, we woke up early, and got it. Today, must've been waiting outside since 5:30 or so, and once it whooosh...gotcha! Mine!

Since we lives in apartments -not a house- it's impossible to have the paper deliver to our door. Or asking the delivery man to squeeze it to our tiny mailbox (which I am sure it will take forever to squeeze so let's forget this option). But the idea that it will be happen again anytime soon (could be tomorrow) if I fail to command my body and walking out to pick the paper as soon as we hear that funny noise. And that is terribly hard, walking out when my mind still can feel the warmth of my doona. And my heater.

Let see tomorrow. Fingers cross.
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