Thursday, January 21, 2016

Homemade Two-Ingredient Mini Pizza Dough

Now that Babycakes is in kindergarten, I have to prepare a snack/lunch box for her to eat in school. I love looking at recipes and get inspirations from other people's postings be it in facebook, pinterest or blogs. I also joined several food related groups on facebook and I got a recipe for mini pizzas using only two ingredients for the dough. It sounds too good to be true and I was curious and eager to try it. Normally a pizza dough requires yeast but you won't believe it when I say this pizza dough uses only flour and yogurt.
The recipe I saw on the facebook group Lunchbox Ideas For Kids (sorry the group is private but you may request to join, subject to the admin's approval) calls for the use of greek yoghurt. However I simply used this normal plain fresh yoghurt. I am not sure if the texture with greek yoghurt differs though. All you have to do is mix 1.5 cups self raising flour with 1 cup yoghurt or greek yoghurt in a large bowl. The dough will be sticky so you may add flour to your hands. Transfer the mixture onto a kneading board or mat and flour the mat and your hands evenly. Knead the dough until mixed and with this measurement, I made into 8 mini balls which I then flatten to form a pizza base.
In the meantime, prepare your toppings accordingly. I used Prego pasta sauce, chicken balls sliced thinly, shitake mushrooms and cheddar cheese. I wish I have mozarella cheese but they are just so expensive and since this is my first time trying this recipe, sliced cheddar cheese will do for now.
Once the dough and the toppings are ready, it is time to assemble your mini pizzas. You may get your little kids to help with this process. Babycakes helped me with the chicken slices, mushrooms and the cheese.
Clearly my pizza dough were out of shape but heck who cares! Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees celcius (oven temperature may vary so test your oven accordingly) until golden brown for about 15 minutes, depending on your pizza size and the thickness of your dough. What I notice is that if the dough is thick and doesn't bake long enough, the dough turns out a bit dough-ey so you may adjust the thickness if you prefer a crispy thin base. We tried one piece last night and Babycakes approved the pizzas so obviously these were packed in her lunchbox today. That's the reason why I made them in the first place anyway. I asked her if she wants me to cut the pizza into four pieces. She said she wants only two pieces because four pieces is too much and she may not finish. This reminds me of a joke I once read. Oh my Babycakes! Please do not inherit mummy's lack of mathematical skills. *cry*  
I also packed two little pieces for Babypie, a few for myself and 1 piece for hubby's breakfast while three more pieces were kept in a ziplock bag and thrown into the freezer for other days. Yay!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My Kind of Dinner

I am always on the lookout for one meal dishes or one pot meals for dinner because as much as I love cooking for my little family, I just hate the cleaning up part. Even though I am tempted to buy food from outside, I try to refrain from doing so too often because I have two small kids and I need them to eat healthily and by cooking for them, I know exactly what is inside the dishes. Bonus is when I cook extra for the next day's breakfast/lunch/snack. One of the easiest meals which I always cook is chicken soup with vegetables. This soup is versatile that I can either eat with rice, noodles like meehoon, yellow mee, mee suah or macaroni. My kids love soups and to be honest I don't mind cooking this a few times a week. It is also healthier than having fried stuffs. Oh, it also saves up on the cleaning up!

This is a bowl of mee suah with chicken balls, shitake mushrooms, chinese cabbage and carrots. Clearly I have too much in my fridge that day. This is one way to get the kids to eat their veges. This time I used a chicken stock cube to flavour the soup. Technically this is not a one pot meal because I fried some shallots and garlic in butter and a bit of olive oil in a separate frying pan. When the onions are fragrant, I poured the mixture into the pot of boiling soup. This brings out the flavour even more. So there you go, comfort food in a bowl.

Monday, January 18, 2016

We met Po from Kungfu Panda in Sunway Pyramid!

Do you remember Po, the ubiquitous panda bear from Kung Fu Panda? Believe it or not, there will be a third installation of the much loved animation which will be out in the cinemas on 10 March 2016! I sure can't wait to see Po and his friends back in action and I wonder what mischief and adventures that Po will get himself into this time!
 
However, if you feel like waiting to see Po in March is still a long way to go, fret not as you can catch Po live in action in Sunway Pyramid!
Yup, that's the big guy himself! Sunway Pyramid decided to usher into the lunar new year by transforming its orange concourse area into Po's village!  


   
  
 There is a huge lantern hanging above the village which really adds to the festive vibes.

 
Babypie was in awe with the huge lantern and the amazing 'village' that he couldn't wait to get out of his stroller! Seen here he was holding a monkey plush toy, which is redeemable upon purchase at Sunway Pyramid. As 2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey, the mall will be rewarding shoppers with adorable monkey plush toys.  From the 8 till 21 of January, shoppers who spend more than RM1000 in 3 receipts (RM800 for HSBC cardholders) will be able to redeem the monkey plush toys, while those who shop from 22 January till 9 February will receive a mini Panda blankie. Throughout both duration, shoppers who spend RM250 and above (RM150 for HSBC cardholders) will be rewarded with JoyFU angpau packets.
There are a few activities where kids can take part in. For example, they can colour pictures from the Kung Fu Panda movies and the characters from the movies.
 
 Babycakes and Babypie had a nice time colouring some pictures with Faber Castell colour pencils.
Babycakes showing off her colouring page. 
  
As for Babypie, he didn't actually colour anything. He was just busy playing with the colour pencils.
There was also a free face painting session but obviously the queue was long so while waiting, Babycakes decided to strike a few poses, in her panda dress.

Finally it was her turn!
There are a lot of designs to choose from. Most kids chose a character from Kungfu Panda but Babycakes decided to choose a flower design on her arm. 
Done!
While Mummy and Babycakes were queuing for the face painting session, Daddy and Babypie went over to another booth to create their own panda balloon. All they had to do was cut the ears, eyes, mouth and nose of a panda and stick them onto the white balloons which were readily available. DIY your own panda balloon! This is an awesome idea for a panda-themed party.
 
Those who love the traditional Beard Candy and Ting-Ting candy or are in need of new oriental outfits will be able to find them easily in the mall. With over 900 shops to wander, the mall is a perfect choice for festive shopping and dining.Be sure to wear comfy shoes!
 
 
 
You can also take pictures with Po when he makes an appearance in his village. We didn't manage to get a picture with Po but I was lucky that Po was very close to me that I managed to take several of his pics. You can also take an instant picture at the village and have the picture printed on the spot. It was a very fun event and I bet your kids will love seeing Po. Do head on over to Sunway Pyramid to catch Po and don't forget to watch Kungfu Panda 3 in the cinemas in March! For more info, log on to Sunway Pyramid's official website. Have a BountiFu Spring and Happy Chinese New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Giant Monopoly!


If you have been to Quill City Mall recently, you may have noticed that there is a giant Monopoly board in the middle of Ground Floor.

 How can you miss such a humongous Monopoly board and Christmas tree, right?  

Not to forget, a giant Mr. Monopoly greeted you when you enter the mall.

To participate in the Monopoly game, you have to spend a minimum RM50 and register yourself at the registration counter. I bought some stuffs for the kids at H&M and used the receipt to enter. When we registered, they told us that our game will start at 6.45p.m. so we went to have some buns and coffee before playing.
So we were contestant number 4. This girl here, my babycakes, was my sidekick and my partner to play the game while daddy kept babypie occupied. We were given a tag and a folder with some Monopoly money in it. They didn't tell us how much was in the folder though.

This is the emcee cum game organizer who briefed us about the game before we start. There are two crews to throw the dices for the contestants and there are also a few other crews on standby to help the contestants along the game.

So we started the game and when they threw the dices for us, we got a chance card. The card directed us to go back to the starting point and collect $200. This happened twice for us! The second time, we stopped in a community chest box and again had to return to the starting point and collect yet another $200. What a lucky day for us!

 The next round, we stopped in this box and scored a voucher from Glow & Glamour. 

The next one we won a voucher from On the 6th, a one stop entertainment place in Quill City Mall. We have yet to explore the place so we have zero idea what it's about. We also stopped at a place where another contestant has bought so we had to pay the rent of $8. The game went on for a few more rounds. We were lucky throughout because we landed on good spots and didn't have to pay for anything else.

After a while they stopped the game. They actually set a time frame for each round so as not to drag and to give others a chance. The crews then collected our folders and calculated each contestant's balance money. In the meantime, babypie went to play on the board.

Not long after, they announced the winner and guess what, we had the most money in our folder so we, contestant number 4, won! Babypie was happy that mummy and babycakes won! Yay!

 While waiting to collect our prize, hubby and babypie went into the 'jail' just for the fun of it.

What did we win? Vouchers! Lots and lots of vouchers! But the best voucher has got to be the RM100 cash voucher from Red Lobster/Longhorn Steakhouse. Since the voucher is expiring on 31 December 2015, we decided to have dinner right after the game. It was well worth it. The other vouchers haven't been utilised as they have a longer deadline.

Monday, December 28, 2015

52 Week Money Challenge

Now that the year 2015 is coming to an end in a few days, I am proud to say that I have saved an extra RM1378 this year. There are a lot of ideas and tips on how to save money but in the beginning of the year, I found this idea on the internet and decided to take up the challenge. It is called the 52 Week Money Challenge where you have to save money for the 52 weeks that comes in a year.
It is very easy and not hard on the pocket too because you save the money on a weekly basis. Here is how it works. For week 1, save RM1, week two, save RM2 and you will have RM3 in week 2. Add the amount according to the week. Week 3 save RM3, week 4 save RM4 and by week 52, which is the end of the year, you will have a total saving of RM1378.
Easy, isn't it? Make sure to be disciplined and never ever touch the money, under any circumstances. I'm sure you have an 'emergency stash' somewhere else, right? Stash the money jar somewhere safe and be sure to tick or highlight after you have saved for the week. Remember not to dip in the jar, no matter how tempted you are.

Download the link here if you are interested to take up this challenge for the year 2016. Do share with me if you have other methods of saving. Good luck! 
Now what shall I buy with the RM1378?

Credit to Life as You Live It.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lunchbox

No thanks to our #$^&*!#%$ ministers and the government, prices of everything have been increasing like nobody's business. How I wish my salary increases the same! So to cut cost wherever I can, I try to pack my lunch from home. Sometimes I purposely cooked extra for dinner so that I have leftover foods to pack for lunch the next day.


I bought this so-called insulated lunchbox from Mr. DIY a few months ago. I have tons of containers at home and I shouldn't be buying this. It is quite big actually but the only reason I bought it is because it is supposed to be insulated thus keeping my food warm, if not hot. I mean, who likes cold lunches, right? We have a microwave in the office pantry but let's just say that I doubt the cleanliness of it.
I like that this lunchbox has two compartments. The white one comes with a cover so you can separate your foods. Today I brought fried mee and in the white container, I put a small container with some chopped cili padi in vinegar.
Because the container is big and quite in depth, it is probably not a good idea to put your rice in the bottom compartment. It makes eating rice difficult. 
 
 
I figured that rice should be placed in the white container and your dishes can be put inside the bottom compartment. Unlike the fried mee above, it isn't hard to eat it with a fork. Here I put my two dishes in smaller containers and placed them in the bottom compartment and the rice is kept in the white container.
 
The lunchbox unfortunately did not do what it claimed it can do, that is keeping my food warm. By the time I open it for lunch at 1pm, the foods are cold. Kinda defeats the purpose of having an insulated lunchbox, right? And to think that it is huge and bulky, I might as well bring my normal food containers like the ones with the green lid from IKEA. Not in picture is the green lid. I am sure most people know which container I am talking about. Almost everyone I know have them.
In the alternative, there are always the clear plastic container to pack your lunches in. Do remember to recycle them if you no longer want to use them, OK?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Catlover's Paradise

I love cats. I have loved them since I was small even though my parents don't really approve of them. I like to feed stray cats that wander near my table when I'm eating outside, I entertained stray cats that come by the house, I give them milk, ikan bilis (anchovies) and I even fed the neighbor's cats. One time I had a kitten but since I was staying at a hostel at that time, I couldn't take him with me so I had my parents (my mum, to be specific) to help me look after the cat for me. His name is Nemo, btw. Such an adorable but very naughty cat gosh I miss you Nemo! Even though my father hates cats, he had a cat house/cage custom made for my cats at one time. They also bought tons of cat foods, my mum would buy fishes from the market for my cats and they foot the veterinary bills when my cats got sick. Guess it is true when people say that a parents' love knows no boundaries. Hehehe. 

Now that I have my own kids, I am so glad to see that Babycakes loves cats as much as I do. However, since we are staying in a tiny condominium, it is impossible for us to have a pet cat of our own.

Then I found out about a cat cafe in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. The cafe is called Purradise Cat Cafe. I asked hubby to take us there as I know Babycakes will be thrilled. If you are familiar with TTDI, the cafe is located on the first floor of the row of shops, same row with 99 Speedmart supermarket. Or you can just use waze to get yourself there.


We went there on one fine Sunday evening. As you may or may not know, TTDI has a night maarket every Sunday evening and the night market is pretty awesome too with tons of yummy foods -the apam balik is my favourite and the two times I bought papayas from the night market, the papayas were sweet and tasty.

OK back to the cat cafe. There is no entrance fee but you are required to buy at least one drink/smoothie each and you can only stay there for an hour. If I recall correctly, you will be charged a few RM if you stay longer. This was when we visited back in August. Do check out their website or fb for more info in case they change the rules.

The cafe is spacious and cozy. They have beanbags strewn on the floor for you to sit on, they have a bright wall with places for the cats to hang out and walk, to jump and to hide.

They also have long tables and high chairs for those who want to sit to enjoy their sandwiches and light snacks.
The staffs feeding the cats.

Babypie was in awe of the cats. At this time, he was still a bit scared of them. He freaked out when the cats pass by him. I hope he will slowly learn to love and appreciate the furry friends.



The place is air conditioned and surprisingly it was very clean and no smell at all. It was a very nice experience for my kids. Do check out the cafe if you are a cat lover like us.

Address: 24A, Jalan Tun Mohd. Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur