Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Homemade Cheese Biscuits

I finally got around to baking my own cheese biscuits for Babycakes. It is so simple, it requires very little ingredients and it is delicious!
The ingredients you need are:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 tbsp butter. If you use unsalted butter, you might want to add about 1/2 tsp salt into the batter. I used salted butter so I put just a teeny pinch of salt considering that the cheese and butter are already salty.
  • 2 tbsp ice water
For instructions, click here. I used recipe from this site.

After taking out the dough from the fridge, roll it out evenly and start cutting the dough using your favourite cookie cutters. Of course I used my trio cookie cutters in the shape of a star, a heart and a teddy bear.

Arrange the cookies on a parchment paper. As you can see, they are close to each other because they don't expand since there is no baking powder in the recipe. Make sure you poke the cookies with a fork so that they don't puff up when being baked.

Bake until golden brown and you are done. The biscuits were tasty even my hubby loves it! He even said "Banyak ni je ke biskutnya? Tadi I tengok you buat macam banyak je?"  Will definitely bake another batch because this batch is already finished. Go try and make them yourself. It is so easy and most importantly, preservative free, homemade and made with love.

Day Trip to Bentong, Raub and Colmar Tropicale

Last weekend was another short and impromptu trip for us. Initially we wanted to go to Zoo Negara on Sunday but by the time we got ready, it was 11ish am and it was starting to get hot. Inside the car, I asked hubby, "Betul ke nak pergi Zoo? Ke nak pergi tempat lain? Colmar ke?" Because the previous day, he asked if we wanted to go to Colmar but that was already 4ish pm and I told him by the time we get ready and reach there, it'll be dark and there won't be anything much to do, unless we want to stay overnight. However we didn't make any bookings. He also said we could go to Bentong or Raub to find durians but where to stay in Bentong or Raub? So on Saturday evening, we went to Setia City Mall instead and bought this cute dress for Babycakes at H&M. Her necklace is from Cotton On Kids, which was on sale, RM5 only.
Babycakes posing in the car on the way to Zoo Negara, which later we diverted our plan to Bentong instead. That escalated quickly, right? I only packed one packet of chocolate milk for her and a spare change of clothes. I didn't bring a cardigan for her because we were supposed to go to the Zoo, remember? That's why she was all ready with her sunnies and hat. Poor child. She thought she's going to see the elephants, tigers and giraffes. Next time ok?
Before we reached Colmar, I told hubby let's have lunch first maybe in Bentong. Bentong is further up than Colmar btw. We found a nice restaurant which serves nasi campur at a decent price. The foods were quite nice too. Then we went to search for durians. Surprisingly, most stalls along the road sell nangka madu (jackfruit). We were wondering where the heck are the durians? Aren't they in season anymore? We went towards Raub and found a few stalls selling durians so we stopped by the road and had a really good D24 and Musang King. Gosh the taste was divine! We also tapau some back home. Even though the durians were put in containers, the smell was so overpowering and it lingers in the car even until today. Babycakes love durians too and as usual, she doesn't mind posing in front of the stall.
After the durian feast, we went back to Bentong and stopped by an ol skool ice cream shop. We thought this is the famous ice cream shop in Bentong because this is the only one we saw. Apparently the famous ice cream shop is Kow Po. Never mind, we shall make another trip to Bentong then. We had the ABC with pandan ice cream. It was good especially on a hot day and after eating durians. We told Babycakes "OK lepas makan ice cream, kita tengok animal."
We reached the Animal Park at about 4pm. Entrance fee is RM3 for adults and children below 2 enters for free. I am not sure about the fee for children aged 2-12 though. If I am not mistaken, it's RM2. Even though Babycakes is 2yo, they didn't ask to pay so oklah. I bought two packets of animal feed, RM3 each to feed the deers and rabbits. At first Babycakes hesitated to feed the deers and the food tend to fall on the ground because she got geli when the deer's wet nose and mouth touches her hand. I showed her how it's done (that is after a few attempts because I was geli at first too) and she got the hold of it. She kept asking for more animal food.
The place isn't that big but big enough for the deers to run around. There are also an outdoor playground and an indoor playground (not in picture). So if you bring your kids here, they will sure have a nice time. There are also deers with spots (think Bambi!) and some with antlers but  I didn't take their pic with my phone. More pics are in my husband's digicam and I am too lazy to transfer the pics. You have to go there yourself to see the animals. They're really tame especially the plain ones. The spotted ones are a bit shy/eksyen because they always run away when you come near them. Menatng2 lah cantik! Their fur is softer than the plain ones. The plain ones' furs feel like a broom, I am not kidding.

There are guinea pigs in an enclosure together with some deers, some cages for rabbits and also an enclosure for rabbits to roam free. You can enter the rabbits enclosure and play, pet, hug, feed and touch them.  It was a nice experience for us, even though this is our second time here. Babycakes had a lot of fun playing and feeding the animals, touching them and chasing them and also had a great time playing at the playground. With such minimal fee, this is definitely a worthwhile trip and experience. It may be a bit far from KL but the weather was cool and nice, the park didn't smell at all and you get a hands-on experience with the animals. After all that play, Babycakes conked out almost immediately in the car on the way back. We will definitely come back!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Impromptu Trip to PD

Last Saturday we went to Port Dickson (PD) for a short trip. Hubby asked us to get ready and said we'll go to see some animals. I ask, "where?" He said "Colmar Tropicale." But that was already 3ish pm and it was a bit cloudy outside. I said to him by the time we reach there, it might already be closed and what if it rains? Then he said, "Ke u nak pergi beach?" I said "which beach?" "PD". OK set. We quickly got ready, I made nescafe in our hot cup, packed Babycakes spare change of clothes, diapers and milk and off we went. My husband loves to take us on an impromptu short trips over the weekend. We've been to Genting Highlands on a short notice a few times already. Good thing that Babycakes napped along the way and by the time we reached PD, she woke up refreshed.

Instead of going to Teluk Kemang Beach, we decided to go to Pantai Saujana. The beach was bustling with activities, there were so many people on the beach and there was a pasar malam (night market) opposite the beach. Perfect! We strolled along the beach and watched people burying themselves in the sand, people swimming and playing balls on the beach. However, the beach wasn't very clean as there are litters scattered on the beach. So disgusting.
There was a playground and we let Babycakes play. After a while, she got knocked down by another kid after going down the tube spiral slide. Unfortunately the kids' parents didn't monitor their kids. Kids, being kids, didn't know that they were supposed to wait until the slide is clear and the person before them had got off the slide before they could come down. So yes, Babycakes cried. While Babycakes were playing, I went to the toilet to pee. The fee was 50sen but if you want to bathe, you have to pay RM1. When I entered the toilet, to my utter shock and disgust, the toilet was packed, stuffy, people were queuing and there were only three freaking cubicles available! At the place where you can take your wuduk (ablution), some people were squatting bathing their kids and themselves. There were clothes hanging everywhere. At the sink, also there were people bathing and squatting using a rubber hose and one kid was bathing inside the sink. I just couldn't take it, I left. If I were to wait, it'll take forever. I should have asked for a refund considering I didn't pee and didn't even use the sink. It was just too disgusting and a horrible sight. I am so gonna write to the Majlis Perbandaran Port Dickson to improve this. There were a gazillion people on the beach, covered with sand and whatnot so good luck to them! Unless they won't mind getting into their cars in wet and sandy clothes. Bleughhh. I told hubby, that's it, I need to find another toilet to pee!
We then crossed the road and went to the nearby Petronas because Babycakes was whining for Ribena. I won't mind drinking the drinks sold at the pasar malam for myself but I don't think I'd want Babycakes to drink them. After that we went to have an early dinner at one of the restaurants, all within walking distance. The foods was OK but I won't recommend it. We went to the pasar malam and thought of buying some apam balik and putu piring but we were already full. So we bought some grapes and corns.
There were a row of stalls selling all sorts of T shirts (there's even a Hard Rock Port Dickson t shirt!), floats, kids' swimming suits, balls, magnets etc. I bought a pink ball with Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck for Babycakes and also two pairs of leggings for RM10 each. I also bought this slippers for RM6 because my sandals were sandy.
 We got into the car and went to PD Waterfront. Last time we went there, there was a funfair so we hoped there is one and what luck, there is!
There were not many people so we had a nice time. A token is RM2 and some rides require 2 tokens. Babycakes wanted to play with these ducks because she was excited to see so many ducks!
I went on the train and dinosaur rides with Babycakes and then I got dizzy because of the dinosaur ride. So I asked hubby to take Babycakes on the Ferris Wheel. I wonder why they call it balloon wheel though. Besides, I am kinda scared of heights. -___- The Ferris Wheel operator said it will take 5 spins but it was definitely more than 5 spins. After that, all three of us went on a boat ride which spins. Basically most of the rides spin so that got me dizzy again hahaha. After that we head home. Babycakes wanted to play even more but there weren't that many rides and she's too small for one of the rides. Next time I want to book a hotel and we can stay and enjoy the beach and explore PD a little bit more. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fun Carrots

Since I have yet to get around to making my own cheese biscuits for Babycakes (so ambitious with the cookie cutters, I know), I found another creative use for it! 
Check out my abik (teddy bear), twinkle (star) and I Love You (heart) shaped carrots! Made these for dinner last night for my cantonese fried koay teow. Babycakes loves carrots but making them in cute shapes like this made eating carrots more fun for her. Next time I must cut the carrots into horizontal strips so that I can get more shapes out of it as compared to round ones. As for the remaining bits of the carrots, of course I threw them into the gravy as well.

I too haven't gotten around to making my own chicken stock just yet. I've been using Maggi or Knorr cubes and powders for my cooking. Not so healthy, I know. So when I found this vegetable seasoning powder at Cosway, I decided to give it a try. It is MSG-free and it's made of vegetables so it's much better than using Maggi and Knorr's right? Next I will purchase the mushroom seasoning powder and see if it tastes nice.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Play pretend- masak-masak

Babycakes is so into playing masak-masak nowadays. She has quite a number of masak-masak equipments. On Monday 6 January 2014, I was in Muar for a case so I went to The Store at Wetex Parade and bought her another set of masak-masak. It was very cheap, RM19.90 and it was on 20% discount.

The el cheapo masak-masak set. I like that it comes with a few pieces of items with velcro tabs so Babycakes can pretend to cut the foods.
When I got back, I wanted to take a nap but I couldn't so I got up and started to sort all her masak-masak stuffs which were mixed up with all sorts of toys. I laid them nicely on the table and waited for her to come back. She was so excited upon seeing her masak-masak toys neatly arranged for her to play.
She brought most, if not all of the stuffs on the floor and scattered them all over the living room. Here she is, 'cutting' a fish. And I had to tell her a gazillion times after that to clear her toys and keep them nicely in the storage box.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cutesy sandwich

What better way to impress and make your child eat than turning their foods into cartoon characters? I am nowhere near doing fancy bento sets with elaborate designs and what not. But I have a couple of Hello Kitty cookie cutters, a Mickey Mouse and a Minnie Mouse cookie cutters that can double up as sandwich cutters.

But of course I have to eat the remaining bits of the bread. -_- Oh well, whatever makes my Babycakes happy and no wastage! I bought a 3 piece small cookie cutters at Daiso in the shape of a bear, a star and a love and I intend to make cheese biscuits for Babycakes. I will blog about it when I actually come around to doing the biscuits, Insyaallah.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Cheap activity part 1

There are so many websites and ideas on pinterest on how to keep your kid occupied and at the same time hone their fine motor skills at a very cheap price, using materials you have at home. At one point or another, your kid would get tired of the toys that they have and you can't be buying toys every so often now, can you? So gather your materials and let your kid have fun.

For this activity, the materials you need are:
  1. Tissue paper cardboard tube(s)
  2. Masking tape
  3. Small items e.g. cotton balls, small wooden pegs, paper clips, small balls or you can even roll up aluminium foil to form small balls. Make sure the size is small enough to fit through the tubes
  4. A willing model and participant a.k.a your kid
Of course Babycakes couldn't help but stop and struck a pose for Mummy. Sigh melts my heart every time she poses like that.
p/s: kindly excuse the laundry basket in the background

Friday, January 03, 2014

A good end

It was a day well spent with my Babycakes on the last day of the year 2013. I was on leave as Boss decided to close office on Monday and Tuesday so what better way to spend than with my Babycakes? Of course on Monday I had some me time and went shopping alone so Tuesday was spent with her. I bought a deal from livingsocial for Jkids Playground. The normal entrance fee for weekdays is RM20 but I bought the deal for RM15. OKla RM5 discount. I chose Publika's outlet as it is nearby to my house. Honestly I don't really like going to Publika simply because the parking and elevators are very confusing. I decided to park at the premium area. It is more expensive than the rest but it is most convenient.
When we arrived at Jkids at 1ish pm, the place was deserted. I was so happy because we had the playground all to ourselves. However our happiness was shortlived because slowly the crowd started to trickle in.
I am so into wearing matchy-matchy and/or colour coordinate outfits with Babycakes these days. It is just so much fun to dress up together. Since I know Babycakes will be running and playing around, will be on her knees crawling and climbing, I put her in a tshirt and legging. Easy and comfortable, that is most important and it does not restrict her movements. I too wore the same colour combo. And surprisingly a lady asked me if Babycakes was a boy or a girl. -___- I don't think I have ever seen a boy wearing a Hello Kitty t shirt and how much girly can Babycakes look like, right? Oh well. Anyway we had so much fun, we jumped on the trampoline, we played in the ball pit, we went on the slide (I went on once only though because it was too high and so slippery and fast!), we played on the swing, we played in the balloon area and we played blocks. Babycakes really enjoyed herself and after about 2hours+, we left and had chicken rice for a late lunch. When I asked her what she wanted to eat, she said nasi dengan ayam goreng (pengaruh Upin Ipin kuat ni). 
It was a nice day of bonding with my precious child, a great way to end the year 2013, followed by a bbq at my parents' that night. It has been a great year but it was not one with its fair share of ups and downs. Here's to a better year ahead, Insyaallah.