Thursday, March 5, 2015

Italian Bread - Yummm !

And this time round, I made Italian Bread from my Kenwood Bread maker (inspired by Italiannies, our favorite restaurant). All I need is to just put all the ingredients together into the bread pan and the awesome bread maker will do all the job from scratch for me! That's perfect, isn't it ? But, I just need to try and error on the preset program.

 
I've always been using Program 4, which is quite close to the bread that I'm baking. The end result is good! Perhaps if you use the bread maker to knead the bread, and then your hands to shape the bread in the final steps, the end result could be even better. 
 The dough will be a little sticky and sometimes the kneader would go out of place and the machine will start beeping. I wonder why the bread maker has this problem and I wonder if it's just me or anyone else facing this problem.

 My Italian bread is all set! And my house is now filled with the fragrant of Italian Herbs!

Among all the bread that I bake, this is the best! Soft and fragrant! Delicious if you dip in a plate of vinegar+olive oil. Just like how the Italians' use to eat their bread. I miss Italy now.

And here's the recipe which I couldn't remember where I adopt it from (my sincere apology).

30gm lukewarm water
123gm warm milk
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
15gm sugar / 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1.5 teaspoon yeast
315gm bread flour

That's all you need. Always add in the wet ingredients first before you add the dry ingredients when using bread maker. 

Cheers to all ... happy baking!
Monday, February 16, 2015

What's in the toddler's Porridge

Eating healthy is always the key to a healthy body, mind and soul. So, basically above are the ingredients that I put everything together in the kids' porridge. The packet behind is chicken stock brewed by my mom in law. Besides, I usually cook steam egg for the boy and fried egg for the girl as side dishes.

You might be scary with the amount of veges in their porridge, but hey, they eat everything! Good job kids! =D

I just wonder how long more they will take porridge, as long as they want it, I will cook it. I believe porridge contains more nutrients cause I actually dump a lot of varieties inside. I tried feeding my daughter rice and dishes (our adult food), in fact, she ate lesser and was more picky. As for now, porridge is the best for them. Until they outgrown their porridge ............. 
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Surprise!

I like surprises ....

but

All surprises come with a Price Tag ... and the saying goes "No money no talk".

This is by far the shortest post that I've ever written and it basically explains my mood right now.

Tata.
Monday, January 26, 2015

Loves to Bake - Steamed Caramel Banana Cake

Baking is so much fun. My MIL brought lots of bananas over and I just wondering what I can do with those bananas, instead of just eating them on its own. So, looking through recipes.. thought of baking muffins, but ended up I made steamed caramel banana cake. The name itself looks delicious and the end result is even more yummy. Because I like caramel. That explains why I decided to made this cake.

The recipe adopted from the website :
Just follow exactly the same, steps by steps and you will get a superb steamed cake.

But, I find it a little too sweet. Wonder if I cut down the sugar, will the cake still look this good....


 Ashlynn said she would like to have a muffin, thus, I poured some batter into a paper cupcake we bought from Ikea.
 Yummmm!! It will be so much better if I can cut down the sugar.


Looks good right? Soft and moist is the most important key to a successful cake.

The hubby loves it too... he said this is good! Yeayy!!

More baking to come. Next target will be baking a nice birthday cake for the birthday boy. So, I gotta practice more! Swiss meringue buttercream, pipping, decorating ... etc. Wish me luck!
Thursday, January 8, 2015

My farewell Gift!

First of all, a big thank you to my dear colleagues, my wonderful team members that contributed so much to get me this amazing bread maker as my farewell gift. The most expensive gift that I've received from my friends! I never expect to receive such a huge and expensive gift, I already had a nice share of nice and expensive lunch treat. So, whenever I bake, I remember all the good memories that we had. We laughed, we cried, we laser-ed each other... lots of fun things that we did together. Those were the days, the good memories.... If I ever have the chance to go back again, I think going back to the same team will be the best choice, if only my friends are still there. :P

So, this was the first time I ever bake a bread. I've been longing to get this for a long long time, but due to budget constraint, we decided to put this desire on hold. Till the hubby gets his next bonus ? But my colleagues gave me a surprise, they read my mind! And they know what I want! Thank you so much! 

Here's Brioche Bread that I baked.. This is already a preset recipe. I just need to prepare the ingredients and dump everything inside the bread pan according to the sequence. That's all. Pretty easy.

I'm seriously hopeless in reading the manual, if without my hubby.. I would have turned the machine upside down. Silly me, I poured in all the ingredients into the bread pan before I place the kneader. And then looking through the manual, where exactly is the place to put the kneader. The real fact is I should put the kneader first before I pour in the ingredients. Sighh... I'm seriously hopeless in reading manuals. So, Don't ask me to get stuffs from IKEA and fix them myself.




Ta dahhh... my bread came out to be pretty nice. But since this is a home made bread without preservatives or bread softener, don't expect it be so soft and nice. It's good to eat when it's hot. But once it's cool down, it will be a little hard. And when you keep the bread till the next day, it will be super hard. So, just steam it and it is nice to eat again. Soft and fluffy home made bread!

This is a good machine to invest for a healthier meal.

The bread flour ain't expensive. A packet of Country Farm organics plain flour cost between RM6-RM7 and one packet can use about 3 times. So I guess overall cost is still OK, but of course, one loaf of gardenia is even cheaper.. but, home made food is always the best choice for the family!
Friday, January 2, 2015

One month : SAHM

It's exactly one month now that I'm hired as SAHM by my hubby. Some days are beautiful, some days are not. Some days ended with tantrums and some days ended beautifully. 

Sometimes I did ask myself, why did I get into this "trouble" when I have to deal with tantrums/meltdown all day long. At the end of the day, I was so tired that I lost my sanity easily and I turn up to be a roaring lion. Sigh... Working life is more fun and relaxing, isn't it? I sat at the corner of the house, wondering why did I make this decision. I think working life suits me better.

One month passed... 

I won't deny it, sometimes my heart is itchy that I want to go back to work. Everything is so expensive these days. A's kindergarten alone already cost RM545 per month! I didn't expect it to be THIS expensive. We did survey a few kindergartens, the fees are definitely cheaper by a hundred, but somehow, at first sight, we already fell in love with the school. It's convenient, it's organized, it's well-structured. And most importantly, Ashlynn loves her school. Every morning, she wakes up with excitement. "Mommy, I want to take this biscuit to school" "Mommy, I want to wear this socks" "Mommy, help me to put hairpin" All these makes me smile. I'm a happy mom.

 She's a big girl now right.. 

And when Jie Jie is off to school.. here's what I'm doing with the little man. It's cuddling time. Hugging time. Kissing time! And this moment is the most wonderful moment of life, the very best moment of a SAHM. I can just catch him and give him a kiss on his sweaty head. It smells good tho. I just love smelling his sweaty head. Hehe. And then his sourish cheeks! I better enjoy as much as I can because Jie Jie will run away whenever I'm doing this to her. Which means I only have 2 more years to go before the little man "outgrown" all the baby kisses, hugs, cuddles. Time oh Time. Please go slower!

I can sit all day and do nothing just to cuddle if he lets me...

So, how's motherhood treating me now? Did I really enjoy being a full time mom? Did the kids enjoy? I bet they do, if I never lose my sanity and become a roaring lion or if I say Yes all the time to them. Haha.

The truth. I love my kids. I love this full time job. It's getting better and better each day as I get used to the home-stay routine. I get to do a lot of things that I like to do; cooking, baking, cleaning (oh yes, I  like to clean the house and keep 'em clean), and gardening! The only thing that I still need to adjust is the love-to-buy-things. I still need some time to adjust and get used to not-buying-want-but-not important-things. *giggles*

Happy New Year friends!
May the new year brings good health, new strength, better job, better opportunities and a better relationship!

Let's sail strong, forget the past, move forward and start a new chapter, a stronger chapter of life!
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Through the eyes of my children ...

When I was young, I always envisioned myself working in a big company with a big position, but life is full of surprises. It's like a box of chocolate. Would I really just “throw it all away”? Should I just sing "Let it go?"..........

2011. The day our little princess greeted us in this world, deep down in my heart I silently wished that how nice if I'm a SAHM. 2 months of maternity leave passed by just like that, and on the first day I dropped her off at the babysitter, I cried. I was so sad. Looking at other moms who have the privilege to stay at home with their baby makes my heart ache even more. I don't mind the paycheck, I don't mind the luxury to buy things, I don't mind the simple lifestyle.. all I want and need is to play the role as a mother. I don't want to get separated from my child.

2 years later in 2013 we gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. And the urge to stay at home became stronger.

We discussed among each other, what we can do, how we can save up to settle our debts (car/house loan) so that by the time we make the decision, we are debt free. That is our dream. Our new goal.We talked to both our parents and we thank God for parents like them. Without them, this dream will remain a dream. And we will never ever dare to dream of living on just one paycheck. We look highly on our parents, our role model, and we want to be like them. Parents that love their children wholeheartedly. Unconditional love. Looking at who we are today, where we stand today, it is all because of the sacrifices our parents made.

Being a stay at home parent can be a very worthwhile experience and yet it can also be a scary decision to make. With the price hike, increased in tuition fees, GST in few more months.. can we still afford to pay off the bills. Oh yeah, electricity bills are going up too. Recent news : no more subsidies for RON95. Great. This is scary. 20 years later when the kids are ready for university, the money that we saved up means Nothing! Perhaps that savings can only pay off their year One tuition fees.

We're at the crossroad. Both paths are scary because we do not know what the future lies ahead of us. Ultimately, we followed our heart, we surrender our future to God and I ditched the allures of the corporate world. Did I feel any better after making this decision? Not really. I felt sad tho. Deep down in my heart, I knew this is the best decision ever. But, another part of me, I felt so incapable. I felt lousy that I have to fully rely on my husband now. That my husband has to work harder, extra harder. Oh wait, I should be happy right. I can be with my children 24x7, ain't this a happy decision?

I have two more days before I leave the company. I finally signed the resignation letter early this month and I knew, there is no turning back. Friends from all over provided me with their "reviews" on my resignation to be a SAHM.

* Carysse, give you 6 months. I'm sure you will be back
* Carysse, why you decided to do this? Coming out to work is more fun, more colors in your life.
* Carysse, you are so "wei da".
* Carysse, staying at home will make you outdated. You only live within the walls. You need to come out and see the world.
* Carysse, hopefully the next time I see you, I won't see a double you. (he's saying I will be double fat)
* Carysse, your children are lucky to have mom like you. A huge sacrifice.
* Look at her face. A sao nai nai face. The first day I look at her, I knew she won't work long. She has the sao nai nai face. Stay-at-home face.
* Carysse everyday will chase after children.

But here are some encouragements from my fellow SAHM friends...
* Children are the best treasures of the earth because if we raise them well, we are contributing the best to the society
* I no longer think about pacyheck. I only think of budgeting and my child's emotional growth development
* My baby is only a baby once

Anyway, being a SAHM or not, we are still mothers. We give the best to our children. Since we have chosen this path for our family, we pray and uphold our future to Him. I might or might not go back to work , it all depends on situation. For now, we have made this decision and we hope and pray for the best.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Our lifeguard walks on water!

The more you want to give your child the best, the more unexpected incidents happened. Oh well, I've tried my best to provide the best shield/protection to my kids and yet incidents still happen. And the more I love my child, the more I'm afraid that I might lose them due to my negligence. Suffering from two miscarriages was already a huge trauma to me. One moment we rejoiced, the next moment we mourned. The first checkup was a bliss when we saw the sac and our little seed. The next checkup we cried when our little seed stopped growing with no heartbeat detected. It happened twice. I cried for days. I cried for months. I cried for years. And I only stopped crying when our precious daughter was born. At that time, I was so afraid that I was not fit enough to carry a baby to full term. I claimed God's promises, that the fruit of my womb will grow. And when He said He will bless the fruit of my womb, He definitely will. I proclaimed the promises of God, I claimed it loud and clear. 2 years later, we welcomed our beautiful girl and then our handsome boy. I've been taking care of them like a gemstone. So precious.. I've been one paranoid mom, hold them close to me, this-cannot-that-cannot.. and I'm well known for the over-protective mom. And yet, mistakes still happened. I felt so weak at this point.. I've been struggling to give them my best and yet I can't prevent accidents to happen.

This week was a little scary. Our little boy, the boy who loves to climb and kick, the boy who is well known for his all sorts of drama and the little handsome that melts our heart in everything he does... has enough of falls and bumps on his head! It's enough for the week! He fell twice. Earlier this week, he fell from the bed when we were all sleeping on the bed. He woke up to nurse, he struggled and he kicked upwards. The next thing I heard was a loud "Pomp". Followed by a loud cry. He fell down from the bed. I jumped out from the bed, quickly picked him up and consoled him. He settled down after few minutes. Such a strong boy. I was so worried for that huge impact on his head. I prayed and prayed and prayed. He acted normally after this incident, so I'm not that worry.

Then, yesterday... the most scary incident ever. He fell down from his baby COT! Gosh... my heart literally stopped beating. I was so scared! At that time, I was so scared that I might lose him. I quickly picked him up and again, he settled after few minutes. His lips was a little pale.. and I checked his bones, his arms and so on .. everything looks OK to me. Few minutes later, his lips was back to normal pinkish color. And he was back to normal. He walked, he ran, he sat, he ate, he drank .. everything seemed to be ok. The whole night I couldn't sleep. I checked on him every now and then. I checked if he's breathing. I'm so afraid that he might vomit blood or any nose bleed without me noticing it. Ok, I admit. I'm one drama mommy. I think a lot. I think too much. I quickly lift up a prayer that God will heal him. No internal injuries. No side effects.

After this, I'm going to look after him so closely. Two bumps on the head in a week is too much for a young toddler like him. I prayed that the impacts weren't that hard, I prayed that the hands of the angels were at the bottom to support his head when he fell. I felt so sad. I felt like a failure. I felt miserable that I can't even provide a safe environment for them to grow and learn. Today, I hang on to God. I lift up my hands and pray.
I pray for the hands of God to be upon my children, His angels will guard and protect them. I proclaim Psalm 91. Thousand and thousands of angels on their left , right, front, back. Everywhere, wherever they go, the angels surround them. That they will be safe and sound all the time.

Thank you Jesus!

Monday, September 29, 2014

People, listen!

Days like these are tough. Extremely tough that I can barely open my eyes. Imagine a toddler that cries on and off in the middle of the night due to discomfort. And I have to wake up every hour to check if he's running any high temperature. The fever came back at 4.20am. Gave him a dose of paracetamol and he didn't sleep straight away. When he finally dozed off, my alarm rang. It's time for work. I'm so tired. My head is heavy. My eyes are sore and my eyelids are heavy.

Days like these are tough. It's tough on the parents, and even more tough for a child to bear with the sickness. My heart is heavy and sad. At once I felt victorious (he's well and healthy), the next moment I felt defeated (fever,flu again).

I've been keeping this in my heart for a long long time, it's time to say it loud and clear. If you love little children.. this is what you must do.

1) Parents. Stay healthy so that you do not transfer any viruses, germs, bacterias to your child. Eat the right food. Eat the right supplements. Pump up with more Vitamin C if you know you are not well. Drink lots of water/cooling drinks if you foreseen the bugs are coming.

2) Friends. Babies are cute. Yes, they are. What more their little fingers, their chubby cheeks, their little hands... You know, babies love to put everything inside their mouth, especially their little fist/ or their thumb. So, don't ever touch a baby's hands if you haven't wash your hands. And, don't touch their cheeks! SOme babies are prone to eczema (rashes). Not only that, babies like to rub their cheeks with their hands, and the hands will then go inside their mouth. Enough said, WASH your hands before you deal with babies! And if you are not well, don't go near a baby. Baby's immune system aren't as strong as an adult.

3) Don't share food! I dislike it SO much when you take a piece of bread, you take a bite and then you let my child take the next bite. Sometimes your body could be immune with a certain type of virus/bacteria, but that virus/bacteria might be new to our child. So, please please don't!

4) Before you touch any babies.. please make sure you ask the parents for permission if it is OK to touch. I guess only parents will understand this situation because again, handling a sick child is never an easy job. What more when you are running out of annual leave.

5) Parents, if your child has developed any contagious disease (like HFMD), please don't bring them out and this act alone is so selfish! You think only about yourself. What if a newborn baby catch that disease.... When a newborn baby cannot suck/drink, a tube will be inserted through the mouth to the stomach. This procedure is not fun, but a traumatic experience to the child!

6) Last but not least.. in a daycare/nursery/public areas. Parents... if you have a hyperactive child, please watch over your child closely. Don't let your child run wild in public areas and harm any other children. I was shocked when a 4yo took out a toy hammer and punched into my baby boy's stomach! My boy lost his grip, he swung to the left and then dropped on the floor. My daughter was so shocked when she saw his brother was being punched. My heart pumped so fast. I quickly picked him up and check if there is any swell on his abdomen. Thank God he acted OK after that incident. Otherwise, I will sue the parents! Parents, please! Watch over your child closely!

Ok. I've said all I wanted to say.

Thank you.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Frozen.

*Sad*

I have so many frozen party ideas in mind, but this year, we ain't doing any party for our going to be THREE baby girl. It's sad to say. We just have a birthday cake and present. That's all our plans for her Third birthday. I wish I can do a party. I wish to be busy at this time cutting, sticking, preparing cake toppers, banners, etc.

Since I'm not doing anything for her, I decided to bake her a Frozen birthday cake. We couldn't afford one customized fondant frozen cake, which will cost about RM150 the cheapest. Thus, I purchased some Frozen figurines online as cake topper and after cake cutting, she can use it to play. This whole set cost me RM35 + RM3 for shipping.

 Well, I guess the whole DIY Frozen cake will only cost about RM50-RM60. That is if my home-baked cake is Successful. *keeping my fingers crossed*

#Prayforme
#Wishmeallthebest
#Unleashedmyhiddentalent(hopefully)

I've done some google-ling and the cakes below caught my attention. The inside of the cake will be something like this. A watercolor frozen theme cake. 


 Picture credit to bakedbyrachel.com 

And the buttercream frosting design will be something like this! I saw some designs on castle, snowy mountain, snowflakes but I think all those will take a huge time to design and frost. And I think the one below is much easier. Hopefully it turned out as good as this.

#prayformeagain

 
Picture credit to http://freshandhappy.com/

Oh Well, this is the least that I can do for her. I don't have any baking talents nor do I have any frosting skills. All I can do is to pray for hidden talents in baking/designing/frosting. And I don't have to bake over and over again. One time success! I really pray that my sleepless night is worth it.