It is Lunar New Year’s eve today, so I thought I would make something traditional to celebrate the day with K and little A.
Sweet dumplings are traditional desserts that we have on the last night of each lunar calendar year. They symbolize that the year is complete and that we are ready for a new beginning. Growing up, my mom would make this for us as a late evening dessert.
Even though you can buy these frozen from all Asian grocery stores, the home made version is better and very easy!
The filling of the dessert is typically red bean, black sesame, peanut butter or taro. I decided to make red bean dumplings because red bean is K’s favourite. The dumpling itself is made of glutinous rice flour and water. The dessert soup base is made from palm sugar and ginger in water. I also added some sweet potato to the dessert to give it a different texture from the gooey red bean dumplings. (Just made it to 5 ingredients (red bean paste, glutinous rice flour, ginger, palm sugar and sweet potato).
We had these after dinner before little A went down for bed at 9p. We really stretched her bedtime tonight because we really wanted to enjoy dinner and dessert together as a family :)
On a separate note, I have to let you know that this is going to be my last post as a regular BSS contributor. I am constantly finding myself time challenged nowadays balancing work and family. I now understand the dilemma that working mothers go through. K and I also have additional challenges to being parents because little A is anaphylaxis to dairy and eggs and allergic to soy, wheat, peanuts and fish. I am going to step away from BSS for a while to focus on finding and trialling more recipes that I can try for little A. With her allergies, the types of solids we have been giving her have been limited and as she grows older (now 17 months), she will need to try more foods. Helping little A with her food challenges is going to be my focus for the next little while.
I hope to be able to contribute to BSS again in the near future as a guest contributor :)
Happy Lunar New Year everyone. May your next Lunar year be filled with health, joy and happiness :)
It is our second Xmas with little A. Little A is 15 months old now! Well and truly into the toddler stage! This year Xmas was a lot more exciting for us! We have been going to Xmas parties on the weekend, we visited an amusement park, attempted a photo with Santa (baby A and Santa were both traumatized by the event) and have been out and about checking out the Xmas trees and Xmas decor in shopping centres. Seeing Xmas through the eyes of a young child is truly amazing.
We hosted a Xmas lunch last Sunday for some of our new friends who we met through little A’s playdates. To embrace the summer ambiance of Xmas in Australia, I made a very summery dessert for our Xmas party. The fruits at this time of year are AMAZING, but the mangoes caught my eye at the shops on the weekend. I made a simple sponge cake topped with whip cream and fresh sliced mangoes. This dessert would work with any fruit really, but mangoes are such a treat in the summer I couldn’t resist :)
Unfortunately, little A is allergic to almost everything (eggs, dairy, soy, wheat, etc)….so no dessert for little A instead she had apple slices…not quite the same huh?
Have a safe and happy Christmas :)
Sorry for the late post! Even though the deadline was extended for 1 month, I still found myself stretched for time and running late! This is the life of a working mom. I am impressed with myself when I can walk out of the house with a clean outfit on, a neat appearance and on time! lol!
When the bread theme was announced, I turned to a page in one of my recipe books, which I had dog-eared years ago! I have always been intrigued by summer pudding. A pudding with berries and made of white bread! What would it taste like? Would I actually like it? The concept of it was a bit strange to me at first.
However, working in an office with a lot of English people, I soon learned a lot about summer pudding and what berries to use, type of bread, quality of bread, what to serve it with.
I do not like my desserts too sweet, so I did not add a lot of sugar to the berries and kept them fairly tart. This pudding is really easy to make. No baking involved. The time it takes for it to be ready is really the time that it needs in the fridge (overnight), squashed under 1 kilo of apples!
I served this dessert with vanilla yogurt, but I know that it will also work well with custard, thickened cream and even ice cream!
I am going to keep this recipe on the top of mind over the summer season. Perfect simple dessert recipe when I have people over AND am stretched for time….which is ALWAYS!
This month we celebrated little A’s first birthday! We had a small party with family and close friends. I didn’t know how much pressure there was to host a first birthday! Apparently, there are unspoken rules for: a home made birthday cake, lots of home made baked goods, served lunch, treat bags and the family should look polished and happy at the event (aka no cranky baby, spills, etc).
WELL…..I managed to pull off the first couple of points! We had a hot lunch buffet, I baked a 3 layer hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut for little A’s birthday cake and I baked lots of home made goodies and gave them to our guests in little purple chinese take out containers as treat bags.
The recipe I am sharing this month is for one of the treats I baked for our guests’ goodie bags. Vanilla confetti cupcakes with chocolate frosting. These were really pretty décor items for our centrepiece table before the party and our guests loved them! I packed each cupcake into separate take out containers and stuffed choc chip cookies and candy bars into the sides of the box to hold the cupcake in place so that the frosting would be in tact when our guests got home. :)
And the result of all of my effort…..K, little A and I were exhausted by the time the 3 hour party was over at 3p. Little A managed to keep her dress clean for most of the party and our guests had a good time.
I did complain a lot to K about the prep for the party, getting little A to nap in the morning and all the shopping and baking I had to do….but I secretly loved it ;p
I really liked the concept of using cereal in desserts! I LOVE cereal! I grew up having cereal with milk for breakfast. My favorites from when I was growing up were cinnamon toast crunch and lucky charms! Now that I am an adult and know about ‘healthy eating’, I try to avoid sugary cereals and opt for cornflakes or rice bubbles. However, I often mix these healthier options with a sweetened granola mix to add additional texture and flavour.
K also loves his cereal, but he has it as a snack and not at breakfast. He likes the cereal that I put together for breakfast, but to that he also adds crumbled chocolate biscuits. I have to admit though, his version of cereal is SO much nicer.
I wanted to find a recipe for a cookie that incorporates K and my kooky way of having cereal. The Momofuku milk bar cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie pretty much incorporated everything that K and I loved about cereal. I read through the Momofuku milk bar recipe for inspiration and made a different version of the cookie which included shredded coconut and I also added the cornflakes directly into the cookie as opposed to making the cornflake milk crunch.
My version of the cornflake choc chip marshmallow cookie is soft and chewy with the crunch of cornflakes and gooey marshmallows. I brought these to a picnic in the park to share with friends and they were a hit :)
This month I finally tried a cookie recipe that I had clipped from a magazine a while back. Fruit in cookies might sound a bit unusual, but some of the best cookies I have ever had are fruit inspired: oatmeal raisin, sticky date cookies…just to name a few.
When I was growing up, one of my favourite dining spots was Fuddruckers and I still remember the cookie and sundae bar they had inside the restaurant. Fuddruckers is an American hamburger restaurant chain. I haven’t been to one since I was about 12. (The one in my hometown in Canada closed down). Anyways, the kids’ meal included a hamburger, drink and a cookie voucher (which looked like a Vegas slot machine coin), which was redeemed for a cookie at the cookie counter. I remember finishing my burger really quickly and rushing up to the cookie counter to redeem my voucher. There were quite a few cookie selections, but my favourite was the fresh, melt-in-your mouth oatmeal raisin cookie. Actually, I still find oatmeal raisin cookies irresistible. :)
This cranberry oatmeal cookie recipe comes close to the oatmeal raisin cookies I remember from my youth. They are just as addictive and are soft and chewy. The dried cranberries are a touch sour, but balances the sweetness of the cookie. And oats in the recipe means that they are healthy? ;p
I made these cookies on a lazy Saturday afternoon. It took about 15 minutes to make the cookie dough and each tray (2 trays) took c.20 minutes to bake. I ate 6 with a cup of tea while flipping through a magazine that afternoon. I meant to freeze a dozen of them because the recipe makes about 20, but I finished all of them in 3 days….on my own :(