Monday, September 30, 2013

Italian Cookies

savoury cookies with tomato and mixed herbs

I bought one pack of organic tomato powder. It can be used in the recipes that require very rich tomato flavour but do not allow too much liquid. I created my own version of tomato cookies. While baking the first tray, I was thinking of discarding the second tray if the taste is horrible. Luckily it turned out nice. So I moved on to bake the second tray.

70g low protein flour
60g rice flour
30g potato starch
1/2tsp baking powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp tomato powder
1/4tsp sea salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
italian mixed herbs
black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

1. Mix all the dry ingredients.
2. Add in lemon juice.
3. Add in some olive oil and knead into dough. Just add olive oil until it can bearly stick together to form a dough.
4. Roll out into thin layer of about 0.5cm thickness.
5. Cut into desire shape with cookies cutter.
6. Bake 10-15 minutes in preheated oven at 180c.

Hot Cross Bun(Healthy version)

Hot cross bun, hot cross bun. One a penny, two a penny, hot cross bun.

This is one of Phin Zhe's favourite nursery rhyme. When I made him the dinner rolls, he told me,"not hot cross bun." Then he requested me to make hot cross bun. I modified the original recipe so that it is more simple and healthy. My recipe does not use the normal custard batter for cross decoration.

280g flour
2.5tbsp sugar
0.5tsp salt
0.5tsp yeast
130ml water
1 medium egg
30g unsalted butter
0.5tsp cinnamon powder

1. Knead all ingredients except cinnamon and raisins into dough.
2. Add in cinnamon powder and raisins.
3. Let the dough sit for 20minutes.(I used bread maker for above steps, bread dough mode).
4. Divide the dough into 9 equal portions, roll into ball shapes and place on parcement paper, slightly apart from each others.
5. Let the balls sit for 10minutes.
6. Brush a layer of egg(not in ingredient listed above) on top.
7. Mix some flour with water until thick batter is formed. Use this batter to draw the cross.(You can use a piping bag, but I just used a chopstick).
8. Bake 15minutes in preheated oven at 180c to 200c.

Rosemary Focaccia

After Phin Zhe had the first bite, he pointed at the focaccia and commented,"This bread is nice!" :D

When I baked, the whole house was filled with olive oil and rosemary smells, it made me felt like I was in a bakery. :)

280g high protein flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
150ml water
0.5tsp active dried yeast

1. Knead all the ingredients into dough.(I used bread maker, pizza mode).
2. Let the dough sit and rest for 20 minutes.
3. Divide into 3 equal portions and sit for 10 minutes.
4. Place the dough on parchment paper and roll out to 7 inches diameter flat dough.
5. Let it sit and rest for 40 minutes.
6. Use finger to poke on the dough to create wells.
7. Brush a layer of olive oil on the surface.
8. Sprinkle generous amount of chopped fresh rosemary, sea salt(I skipped) and cheese(I skipped) on top of the dough
9. Bake 15 minutes in preheated oven at 180c to 200c.

Best serve with a cup of espresso or cappucino. Of course my boy had it without coffee. :-)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Solid food feeding set and drinking bottles

I have started using this think baby feeding set since a year ago and I could not stop recommending it. I use it to serve almost every meal for my boy at home and also to pack my son's meal when we are on the go. I had been searching for a completely safe feeding set high and low, and finally settle with thinkbaby feeding set. Thinkbaby containers are made of food grade stainless steel and the covers are made of 100% PBA free PP material.

Thinkbaby feeding set comes with a 250ml bento box, a 300ml cereal bowl, another 300ml soup bowl and a 200ml cup. Each containers and cup can be separated from the casing and have a cover(only the cup has no cover. i wish they have). You can serve the meals with the casing on so it is not hot to touch, put on the cover if have remaining food or if you want to go out, remove the casing and reheat the food directly. I even steam fish or egg in the containers directly.

The bento box can fit in a pair of tea spoon and dessert fork nicely. Normally when I pack my boy's meal, I will keep the food in bowls, soup in thermos, so I put spoon and fork in the bento box. When serve, this bento box can be used as 'plate' and later to keep the used spoon and fork.

Here are the drinking bottles my son has used so far. From left: Mams sippy cup, Leak proof frog straw bottles from Taiwan, 300ml eplas straw bottles and 450ml bros straw bottles. Now he is using the last two straw bottles.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dinner Rolls

There is a lot of recipes that I have bookmarked and wanted to try. But I am still waiting, waiting for Phin Zhe to grow bigger. So at 22mo, I finally tried making bun with the help of bread maker. Main reason is I am lazy. Second reason is it uses slightly more butter and sugar as compare to loaf. Well, it is still relatively low compare to store bought bun. And since Phin Zhe likes it, maybe I can make it more often. But I still can not decide if I should make new buns or make this dinner rolls again this weekend. ;)

1. 280g high protein flour
2. 1/2tsp active dried yeast
3. 50g unsalted butter
4. 150ml water
5. 3tbsp sugar(of course I didn't put 3, I put 2.5tbsp)
6. 1tsp salt

1. Knead to unsticky dough, cover and let it sit for 30 to 40mins.(i used bread maker to do the job).
2. Divide equally to 12 portion, roll to ball shapes, cover and sit for 10mins.
3. Shape to oval shapes, cover and sit for another 10mins.
4. Use a roller to form a thin and long sheet. Roll the dough sheet from one end to another.
5. Place on parchment paper, sit for an hour and bake in preheated 170c oven for 15 to 20 mins

The bread texture is very fluffy. I think it is due to the second, third and fourth rising time given to the bun. My son loves it very much. He had one bun fresh from the oven right after his dinner. When the father wanted to take a bite, he pushed his father's hand and turned his head away. The next day, he ate one for breakfast. Then brought two to school, finished one during morning break and finished another during tea break. So he had 3 buns in a day! I am a happy mama. But the next day I told nanny to give him more fruits during tea break. Haha.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wild mushroom soup and Pumpkin soup

I have cooked these 2 soups almost every week since Phin Zhe is one year old. I started with basic ingredients which are safe for Phin Zhe. As he grow bigger, I have fine tuned the recipes many times and I am quite happy with them now.

Wild mushroom soup:
1. Stir fry 1tbsp of minced garlic in 1tbsp of ghee until fragrant.
2. Add in 1 pack of fresh white or brown button mushroom slice.
3. Cook over medium heat until water release from mushroom and start to dry up
4. Add in 1 medium potato cubes and water to cover.
5. Bring to boil and simmer for 15mins or until the food is soft.
6. Use a handheld blender to blend it until smooth. Add water if needed.
7. Season with sea salt, black pepper and herbs(i like fresh thyme. if not, i will sprinkle some dried italian mixed herbs.

Pumpkin soup:
This is even simpler.
1. Put pumpkin cubes, sweet potato cubes and carrot cubes in a pot with just enough water to cover them.
Pumpkin:Sweet Potatoe:Carrot=4:1:1. Just a guideline, dun have to be exact.
2. Bring the water to boil and add in a medium onion, peeled and cut four.
3. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the food is soft.
4. Use a hand blender to blend until smooth.Add water if needed.
5. Season with some black pepper.

These soups are good with everything on the breakfast table. Last weekend, I served it with wholemeal sourdough toast that has home made garlic spread on it. This is what I called good breakfast. ;)